Each month with sit down with a long time Geister. For our latest Meet the Team, we chat with Content Manager, DIY Contractor, and former myspace superstar Nate Yelton.
What’s your spirit animal?
This one’s hard. I asked my wife and she said I would be a mix between a beaver and an elephant. Beaver cause I cuss a lot and they build dams, that’s kind of a cuss word, right? I know, spelled differently. They build a lot, too. I build a lot, same, same. Elephant because they put family first.
Personally, I would say honey badger. They protect their family at all costs and they’re not really scared of taking on anything. Honey Badger don’t give a shit.
What’s your official job title?
I’m the content manager. I photograph and manage all visual assets for social media and anything else online.
How’d you get here? Did you always do that job?
I started as a beer delivery driver in early 2015 on our Kentucky side of things, at River Ghost [Rhinegeist’s former Kentucky distribution company]. We quickly lost the capability to self distribute in Kentucky, so we tried to keep afloat by just selling wine and spirits. It wasn’t as lucrative as we would’ve liked, so we closed shop in 2016 and I came over here. They asked me what I wanted to do and at the time I was handling all of the marketing on the Kentucky side, so I asked to be on the marketing team. I started just being the photographer and videographer and then doing design work, and I’m definitely not a designer, so they quickly pulled me off that after we had hired more designers because they realized how bad they messed up when they asked me to do that. I’m sure our designers at the time had a laugh or two at my design questions.
How’d you get into photography?
Filming my skate crew. We called ourselves “E-Town skate crew”. You have to be extremely creative to be a skater. You look at things differently, like a bench for example. That’s an obstacle, or something to grind on, or something you can do a tre flip over. I can’t tre flip, though, I’m really bad at those.
We’d make our own skate videos, which is how I learned video editing. Anything I know about still photography came from what I learned through skateboarding as well. I’d like to just say I think skateboarders have the gnarliest work ethic of all time. They will try a trick a thousand times before sticking it. No one else will put their body through that much agony just to fulfill this small urge to be better.
You’re a Kentucky boy through and through. What’s so great about the other side of the river?
Well for starters, the grass is bluer and the skies are greener. *laughs* When I grew up, I always thought of Ohio as being a city. Like if you’re from anywhere else in the world, you think of Ohio as farmland, right? But I was from a farm, so I thought Ohio was all like Cincinnati. City life just never appealed to me. Every time we would go to Cincinnati, it seemed like a foreign land to me. I wouldn’t give up my rolling hills for anything the city has to offer.
Rumor has it you played in a certain hardcore band back in the day. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Oh God the Terror! We played a lot of shows at the Mad Hatter, the Madison Theater and tried to go on “tour.” That was just a shit show.
Any advice for someone who wants to take their band on the road?
Don’t do it. *laughs* It’s not worth it. You’ll see a lot of people doing a lot of drugs. It was more or less just a really nice way to hang out with our friends in a different setting every night. We didn’t take our music extremely seriously, although we sounded like we did. We were decent if you like angry music for happy people. We had around a hundred thousand friends on myspace. I alone had like 45,000 friends on myspace. I thought I was going to be myspace star with my skunk patch hair.
Oh! That reminds me, that’s also why I said honey badger. They have a skunk patch.
Let’s do a quick round of Rhinegeist questions. Do you have a favorite Rhinegeist beer?
Zen. It’s the perfect summer beer, right? Truth is great, but if you could drink Truth all day, that’s the best life you can have.
If you were a Rhinegeist beer, what would you be?
Python aka Corn Snake, a Kentucky Common. I wasn’t a huge fan of that beer, but it’s from Kentucky, so I like it. More seriously, I’d be Chester, a Cherry Saison. That’s my grandpa’s name and if I grew up to be like 5% the man that he is, then I’ve been successful in life.
Do you have a favorite brewery you’ve ever visited?
Either Blue Owl, a Sours-only brewery in Austin, Texas, or Live Oak, also in Austin. They have like 20 acres with a frisbee golf course on it. You can just grab a beer and walk around their property. It feels like you’re out in the wilderness and just stumbled upon this concrete oasis of a brewery.
You’ve had your fair share of photoshoots. What’s the weirdest situation you’ve ever found yourself in?
Being a photographer, you find yourself in a lot of weird predicaments, sometimes uncomfortable situations. Especially for me, since I’m such an introvert, I really don’t like to tell people exactly what to do and how to do it. Anytime that you’re photographing somebody higher up at a company, outside of this place at least, I’m super uncomfortable.
The strangest photoshoots are any of the ones where I’m having my picture taken. I despise having my picture taken, that’s why I’m always behind the camera.
Do you have a famous look-alike?
I’ve only heard one celebrity look-alike I have. I heard it like seven times in the same week and that was the only time. It was Tom Hardy. What a hunk, right?
What do you do outside of the brewery?
I like to work with my hands. I build a lot. I do a lot of woodworking. I built a new deck on my house about two years ago. 18 by 40 feet long. The tallest point is 16 and a half feet high. The lowest point is 3 and a half feet high. I just refinished my entire basement, too. *pulls out notes*
I ran 480’ of 14/2 wire, added two 20 amp breakers, hung 13 can lights, 1 ceiling fan, installed 15 outlets and 6 light switches, put up 1400’ of insulation, hung 47 sheets of drywall, ran 73’ of copper pipe without shark bites, and used 10 gallons of drywall mud. That was fun.
Here’s a two-parter: What’s the best part of your personality, and if your friends had to describe you in three words, what would they be?
The best part of my personality is a part that I don’t think a lot of people know about me. If you are my friend or if I like you, I’d do absolutely anything for you. Like if you called me and you needed a ride home from New York, I would come and pick you up. I don’t think I come off that way. My spirit animal was originally going to be a porcupine cause I have that prickly exterior, but I’m pretty nice on the inside.
For the three words, one of them would definitely be ‘asshole’. Hundred percent. Aside from that, probably ‘loyal’ and ‘decisive’.
Time for a math lightning round. A train is traveling due South at 75 miles per hour from Chicago to Cincinnati. It’s a 300 mile trip departing at 9:00 PM CST. If another train departing from Cincinnati traveling at 80 miles per hour, is set to arrive in Indianapolis, which is 100 miles away, at 12:00 PM EST, what time will the two trains cross paths?
What do you think is unique about Rhinegeist? What makes this place tick?
I could go on about this for a while, but I think the number one thing would have to be the leadership here. Bob and Bryant, I think I’ve told them this personally, but you could go to any other business that’s similar in scale to ours and not one out of a thousand would have the open door policy we have.
The way this place puts employees first is so unlike any other business. It’s very transparent. I think that support trickles down and makes everyone else feel good about working here. It puts folks in a good mood so everybody treats everybody with respect and dignity. It’s unlike anywhere else that I’ve ever worked.
What are you looking forward to about the future?
My child, Acton. I cannot wait to start playing sports with him. That’s the number one thing that I’m looking forward to in life. I’ll go on a tangent for a second and just say, I think if you’re a millennial who is reading this, having children is not as scary as you think it is. But yeah, I can’t wait until he can throw a ball more than 10 feet. He does have a canon right now for his age though (19 months). He’s not left-handed, so we will need to work on the speed a bit more. *laughs* When we play toss for the first time and he can catch, like really catch a ball, it’s going to be the proudest moment of my entire life.