The newest member of our Brewtique Crew, Christine Marsh, has spent the past few years researching for her new role.
“Christine came to is with an impressive background in the craft beer business,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello. “She’d spent a number of years working for Harpoon in their tasting room in Vermont. She’s been a great addition to the Brewtique, but I know she has her eye on getting back behind the bar.”
Fair warning: this is all geographically confusing.
“When people ask me where I’m from, it’s easier to say ‘New England’,” she says.
She’s originally from Chester, Connecticut, “a little town north of Old Saybrook, right on the Connecticut River.”
Little known fact: when we work on these blogs, we Google all of these little towns that people are from that we’d never heard of, and Chester is adorable. It’s got a castle, and everything about it screams Connecticut.
Regardless, Christine moved to Vermont when she was eighteen. Maybe.
“I moved to Vermont when I was eighteen,” she says. “Oh, wait. No. I went to college in Rhode Island and my parents moved to Vermont.”
Christine went to Johnson and Wales University in Providence for Travel Tourism and Hospitality.
“Providence is a nice town,” she says. “Good food. One of the best cities for food. Lots of Italians.”
So, it sounds like everyone moved at the same time: she to Rhode Island and the parents to Vermont. However, Christine wasn’t a huge fan of Vermont.
We were a little surprised that Christine didn’t like Vermont, as we’d always heard wonderful things.
“It’s great to visit,” she stresses. “Living there is a lot different. It took my parents five or six years to get used to it. But, yes. Everyone is chill and they don’t care about anything.”
Now, home is in Cape May, where, growing up, her parents had a summer home.
“I was a travel agent up in….” she thinks for a second before remembering where, “…New Hampshire. I lived on the border of New Hampshire and Vermont, so I just had to hop over the Connecticut River and I’d be at work.”
The agency with which she worked had a position in Atlantic City, but they thought it was too much of a drive from Cape May.
“I said, ‘No, I’m used to it,’” she says. “I lived in Vermont. Everything’s forty-five minutes from everything.”
Regardless, the agency created a position in Rio Grande for her, that, unfortunately for them (fortunately for us), didn’t pan out as planned, with the agency eventually eliminating the position.
However, when she was still in Vermont — and in school in Rhode Island, and when she was working in New Hampshire — she was also working at Harpoon’s Vermont location in Windsor, working there for about five years.
“That’s where I got my love for beer,” she says.
And Christine definitely loves beer. She and a friend once traveled from Massachusetts to Vermont over the span of a few days, hitting each brewery along the way.
“Back in November, I took a friend up to visit my parents, and we hit them all,” she says. “We started at Treehouse, we went to Lost Nation, we went to Harpoon, Alchemist, Rock Art, Trillium. In Vermont, you can just drive down the road and there’s gonna be a brewery on the side, so we’d just pull over and check it out.”
She’d already been to most of them, so she was behind the wheel while her friend did the lion’s share of sampling.
“It was difficult to plan because people were doing releases and we wanted to get there at the right time,” she says. “But, being a travel agent made it easier.”
Life as a travel agent fit her well: she loves to travel and has been able to travel quite a bit.
“At the travel agency, they sent me to the Caribbean a couple of times,” she says. “I’ve been to France a couple of times, traveled around Italy.”
She names the coast of France as her favorite place.
“Nice, and Monaco,” she says. “I was not expecting that whatsoever. I’ve been to Paris a few times, and I know it’s all built up. I got to southern France, and it’s palm trees and mountains — all of the buildings are built up into the mountains, and it’s really neat.”
Regardless of the amount she got to travel, Christine says she was “miserable” working for a large, corporate travel agency.
“So, I thought, ‘Where was I happiest?’, and it was at Harpoon,” she says. “It’s the longest place I’ve ever worked. And I said, ‘Cape May Brewing Company, I’ll check them out.’”
Christine says that the beer culture is pretty much the same everywhere.
“Everyone’s happy, no matter where you go,” she says.
And she really enjoys Cape May, as well.
“It’s so cute,” she says. “I have to say it’s perfect. I grew up in a town that was really small. Cities are too big for me. But, I don’t like being out in the middle of nowhere. So, this is perfect. There are people here — sometimes it’s a lot of people, sometimes it’s like no people.
“And the beach, I can’t get away from that.”
While she’s here, Christine wouldn’t mind helping us out with some of our event planning.
“When I got my degree,” she says, “my concentration was in event planning. Hopefully, maybe in the future, I can start working on the events side of things. Beer and events would be the best of both worlds.”
She’s thoroughly enjoying her time here thus far.
“I’m happy as a cl… as can be…?” she laughs. “I was about to say ‘happy as a clam,’ but then I decided, ‘That sounds weird!”
Christine was confused between common idiom and I also work at the Raw Bar at the Lobster House and maybe I’ve been around clams too long.
“I’m cracking open clams all day,” she says, still laughing at her slip-up. “So I got confused!”
And the Raw Bar isn’t the end of the list of jobs she’s currently working. However, Christine truly loves working.
We hadn’t. Apparently, it’s kind of like Uber for dog watchers.
“I get the luxury of having a pet without the responsibility of buying food,” she jokes. “I just get to play with dogs when I come home from work.”
And while she’s at work, Christine has been enjoying the people she works with.
“I love the beer community,” she says. “Everyone’s so happy in brewery life.”
And she’s been enjoying sampling our brews, but she points to one before her time here as her favorite.
“I really liked Tiny Drink Umbrella: Pomegranate, Orange, and Guava,” she says. “I obviously love Crushin’ It, too.”
She loves the fruit beers, as long as they’re not too fruity.
“I can’t do The Bog,” she says. “It’s a little too sweet. I like the IPAs as long as they have a hint of fruit. But I don’t like Citra hops.”
Christine is a study in contradictions.
“I’ve been called the most outgoing shy person,” she says. “I’m the most optimistic pessimist. I’m a walking contradiction.”
Be sure to say hello to Christine the next time you see her in the Brewtique!