Meet Tess McFadden
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of Colorado's First Craft Brewery? We'll take you beyond the beer you love to drink with our blog series titled, "Mug Shots." There are a lot of folks here at Boulder Beer who play a huge role in our day to day success. This is our way of introducing you to the team that makes it all happen. If you've ever been to Boulder Beer brewery and pub or visited our booth at a festival, there's a great chance that you've met Senior Marketing Director, Tess McFadden. (Otherwise known as the Director of Fun!) Celebrating her 15th year here at Boulder Beer this May, Tess has worked her fair share of beer events and then some. She is known for her bubbly personality and award winning smile. Tess has truly become the face of the brewery over the years.
We all wear a lot of hats here at Boulder Beer, and Tess is no exception. As the Senior Marketing Director, Tess manages a team of three in the Marketing Department, is in charge of executing branding and design, writing press releases, managing point of sale (POS) inventory and ordering, event planning and so much more. She started at Boulder Beer Company on May 26, 2000 as the Marketing Assistant. "My boss at the time, Catherine, left 6 months after I started so I was trained and prepared for a promotion to Marketing Coordinator," said Tess. "At the time, President Jeff Brown was the General Manager and he coached me through the next year or so," explained Tess. Not long after, she worked her way up to Marketing Director and the rest as they say, is history.
Originally from Hazen, North Dakota, Tess grew up the middle child of seven. Her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Bodine, had 18 children and was honored as the national 'Mother of the Year' in 1968 PLUS won the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award in 1979. (She even has her own Wikipedia page!) Tess is one of 99 cousins on her father's side. She attended the University of ND in Grand Forks and although she consumed a ton of beer in college, Tess graduated in December of '98 with a degree in English. While in college, Tess worked as a bartender, pub manager, deli cook and server. She also spent 4 summers working as a lifeguard and swim instructor. She was working as a bartender at Whitey's Cafe in East Grand Forks when she tried her first Boulder Beer- a bottle of Boulder Amber. Prior to that, the first 'heavier' beers she ever tried were Pete's Wicked Ale, Sam Adams and Guinness. "The first hoppy beer I enjoyed was Summit IPA," Tess recalled. Currently, her favorite Boulder Beer is Mojo IPA and she loves to drink seasonally. "I drank a lot of Slope Style Winter IPA this year," said Tess. "In the summer I love a Sweaty Betty with a lemon wedge."
After college, Tess spent a year road tripping across the country with friends and family. "I hit the Olympic Penninsula to Arizona, and the whole Eastern half of the country from Chicago to New Orleans, all the way up to Maine," said Tess. She and her best friend Jenny did a lot of camping and stayed with family and friends along the way. In December of '99, Tess's brother Fran asked her to come to Boulder for a visit and see if she'd consider moving there. "I made it out to Colorado for a visit in February of 2000," Tess recalled. "During my stay, I enjoyed my first time skiing, saw Cracker at the Fox Theater, drank a lot of craft beer and basically fell in love with Boulder." She moved into an apartment with her brother in May of 2000. Later that month, after applying for job after job with a backpack of resumes, Tess received three job offers and chose Boulder Beer because it just felt like home. In August of 2001, Fran and Tess recruited their younger brother Jeb to move to Boulder and the trio moved into a house downtown where they stayed for three years. (Something tells us Casa Bodine (Tess's maiden name) was an epic party house!)
During her stay at Casa Bodine, Tess met her current husband, Chad. After a year and a half of dating, Tess and Chad got engaged. They were married in June of 2005 and will be happily celebrating their 10th Anniversary this June in Kauai. Currently, Tess and Chad reside in Lafayette where they bought their first home 9 years ago. Together, the couple enjoys camping, hiking, live music, backpacking and cooking. Tess also enjoys reading, planting flowers, singing, playing piano, drawing, and 80's hair bands. (Ask her about her crush on Kip Winger.) In addition to her passion for beer, Tess enjoys wine and had the opportunity to visit Sonoma County, CA and go wine tasting with her husband. Her favorite menu items at Boulder Beer brewery and pub are the Pot stickers and their teriyaki-Thai sauce as well as the Veggie Quesadilla. "Add mushrooms & jalapenos, extra crispy, please!"
We asked Tess to share with us some special memories from her years here at Boulder Beer. "I have many fond memories from crew drives in all different territories," said Tess, "But one of my favorite memories is the year we met the Black Crowes at Telluride Blues and Brews after randomly getting seated next to Sven Pipien and Rich Robinson on a 6 person gondola." Huge fans of the Black Crowes, Tess, Chad and past Boulder Beer employees Katie Cartwright and her husband Jer, had the opportunity to meet and greet with the rock stars in a very, shall we say, intimate setting. "Well, we weren't sober and we were a little slap happy, so naturally we assumed they were our new best friends!" exclaimed Tess. She also fondly recalls being back stage with The String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks one year. (In case you didn't know, we collaborate Hoopla Pale Ale with Kyle Hollingsworth from SCI- read more about Hoopla here!) Another fun memory of hers from over the years, is a trip to Lake Powell. We tried to pry out some information about this said 'Lake Powell trip,' but apparently what happens at Lake Powell stays at Lake Powell....
For those of you looking to get into the industry, Tess recommends that you get in where you can. Whether it's as a line cook, production team member, or helping at festivals and events, getting your foot in the door is the first step. Also, be passionate, do your homework and smile lots! In sales, Tess has come to learn that people buy beer from people they like. If you can relate to people and are friendly, you can learn the rest. "We can train you to sell beer, but your personality is what will shine through," Tess said. "What I enjoy most about the brewing industry," said Tess, "Is the comradery, culture and the relationships you build. I can say that I'm happy to come to work!"
Thanks Tess, for all you do! The brewery wouldn't be the same without you :-)