Each month, we conduct a long-form interview with an awesome member of the Rhinegeist team. This month, we chatted with Megan Weller, our fantastic Sales Logistics Manager.
What do you do at Rhinegeist?
I am, by title, the Sales Logistics Manager. It is a semi-invented title created to encompass a variety of things. I do brand compliance, making sure everything is registered on the Federal and State level. I also do things with shipping — build purchase orders for all of our distributors based on the plan for the week set by the sales and production teams. I take that plan and translate it into actual, physical invoices. I also do a lot of inventory control — making sure that the database that we have actually reflects what we have on the floor – and the right people have access to it. There’s a lot of back and forth on that due to projections and packaging, sales managers wanting to reserve special kegs for special events, etc. So I work with a lot of different departments. I pick up a lot of loose strings and tuck them in. Make things tidy.
How’d you end up in that role? Walk us through your Rhinegeist journey. We know you’re an OG ‘Geister!
I was originally hired to work at Riverghost (former Rhinegeist distribution company in Kentucky) to be the Office Manager/Bookkeeper. That turned into a sales role as well — we were growing very quickly. After we were no longer able to sell beer in Kentucky, I did wine and spirits sales as the sole employee of Riverghost for its final months. Then I came over to Elm St. The job that was open was Telephone Sales. I wasn’t super hyped about it, but I’m easy-going, so I figured I’d prove my worth, and that accelerated into what I do now. I love working with the Cincy sales squad – they are a great bunch.
What are some of the challenges that get thrown your way in that role?
Hmm. It’s not a bad thing to not have enough beer, but that’s what you could call a big challenge: we can’t make beer fast enough, and we can’t get it out fast enough. A lot of times my job is held up by production or packaging. That can be a challenge, but we all have the same goal. Sometimes we want to make sure that the beer that gets packaged on Thursday gets onto a truck on Monday, so that when it gets where it’s going, it’s as fresh as it can be. If it doesn’t get packaged on Thursday, that will usually impede the plan for the next week. That’s the main challenge of my job, but we’re so nimble and flexible, which is the really cool thing about being self-distributed. I know that our ability to work so well with our retailers and wholesalers lies in the strength of our warehouse, packaging and production teams. They fully kick ass.
What did you have for breakfast?
Coffee! I’m not a big breakfast person. I’m an early riser — especially with the baby in the picture now — so I’m usually eating lunch at 10:30am *laughs*. You guys are interrupting my schedule! On weekends, we do a big breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, the works.
Where’d you grow up?
Newport, Kentucky. Great place right across the river – I live closer to Cincinnati than most people who say they are from Cincinnati.
What did you do before Rhinegeist?
Before I joined Riverghost I was a cheese buyer for Cork N’ Bottle. Yep, cheese and other fine foods. Prior to that I was a waitress at Newport Pizza Company. Got hired because I knew a lot about craft beer and they had over 40 bottles of craft and imports, which was crazy for that time.
What’s something about you most people don’t know?
I’m a bird nerd! Love birds.
Do you have a spirit animal?
I feel like I need to stick with the bird theme. I’d say a crow. They’re playful and smart, a bit ominous. Also, a deer, because I’m always trying to be a pretty calm person. So let’s say a crow sitting atop a deer.
What’s your favorite Rhinegeist beer?
Zen! It’s amazing. Also, Truth — that’s the best IPA out there, in my opinion. But Zen is my go-to — so crushable.
What do you enjoy most about this place?
Well of course the people. They are incredible. The culture here is really special. Also, the responsibility. We work hard and there is constantly a new challenge to take on. Those two things create a culture that is never boring. No monotony. It’s easy to come to work every day!
Is there a piece of Rhinegeist apparel you wear the most?
Probably these new backpacks! The black hoodie, as well.
Do you have any nicknames?
Meg! Comes with the name.
Do you have a famous look-a-like?
I’ve gotten Sarah Silverman *laughs*. It fits my personality, too — very sarcastic with a little crazy mixed in!
You’re a Mom now! Talk about the newest member of your family.
Delaney Wren. She’s fantastic! Her new thing is laughing – it’s truly amazing.
We’re about halfway through the interview. Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Hi Matt! Hi Delaney!
Potentially our most important question of the interview: can you talk about your “JDilla Changed My Life” shirt?
*laughs* J Dilla is an incredible hip-hop producer. I got this shirt online and try to wear it on Donut Friday — for obvious reasons. If you know, you know.
Where does the beauty of the brewery lie for you?
The rooftop! It’s so beautiful up there. The view is awesome — I can actually see the deck of the old apartment where my husband and I first used to hang out!
What’s your favorite sandwich?
So when you’re pregnant, you don’t eat lunch meat. For those nine months — more than any other food — I craved a turkey club. Cold turkey, cold tomatoes, cold lettuce, cold mayonnaise. That’s the first thing I ate after giving birth: a turkey club from Jersey Mike’s.
Employee-submitted question comes from Nate Yelton: how many times have you had to take your husband to the ER with a power tools-related injury?
*laughs* Ah yes. My husband Matt enjoys woodworking, but seems to injure himself whenever I go away for a few hours. I’ll get a call from a neighbor, “The ambulance is on the way.” There’s been one ER visit and one Urgent Care visit. And I should clarify, these are not power tools, they are hand tools. Once, he was building a shelf for me to display vinyl on — a “Now Playing” shelf — and he cut his arm pretty bad.
Speaking of records, here’s a music question. If you had to play five records for a person who had never heard music before, what would you play?
Dave Brubeck’s “We’re All Together for the First Time,” Yma Sumac’s “Voice of the Xtabay”, The Beatles’ “The White Album,” “Doughnuts” by J. Dilla, and “In on the Killtaker” by Fugazi.
What do you do when you’re not ‘Geisting?
My hobbies have definitely taken a backseat since we had the baby. But I love backyard time. I’m a homebody – projects around the house, gardening, expanding on the whole “bird nerd” thing, I love birdwatching.
What’s your favorite type of bird?
A Yellow Flicker! I’ve only seen two. They look pretty ordinary, but when they spread their wings, they reveal an incredible yellow underside.
Do you cook? What’s your best dish in the kitchen?
I do cook, everyday! I don’t have a go-to dish though — we go for a protein and a veggie at home. I do love to chop, so I’ll say Ratatouille. SO MUCH chopping.
On average how many times do you sing in the shower per week?
I don’t sing in the shower, but I do sing the car. Every time. If I know the words, I’m going for it.
If you were a Rhinegeist beer, what would you be?
What’s your favorite bagel topping?
Cream cheese! Keep it simple.
If friends used three words to describe you, what would they be?
Diligent, sarcastic, funny!
What’s your favorite TV show?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d go with “The Office.”
“Dinner Party,” that’s my favorite. There’s that great scene when Michael is showing off his really small plasma T.V. It’s funny, my parents have a farmhouse in the country and they have one of those tiny flat screens, as well *laughs*.
What are you looking forward to about the future?
I’m just looking forward to seeing where this thing goes! And also for our new storage and distribution facility at Spring Grove to open — that’s either going to make my life a lot easier or a lot harder *laughs*.