One of the good things about starting as a packaging technician is that, while there are a lot of skills that are particularly germane to the job, there are a lot of transferable skills that someone may have picked up along the way.
“Jake is a good guy that was excited to come work for us,” says Packaging Manager Mark Graves. “His employment background has a lot of parallels to a production brewery, so hiring him was an easy call.”
Welcome Jake Craley!
“It was a hard job, but it paid the bills,” he says. “It kept me busy and the pay was decent. But I was looking for a change of scenery and wanted to better myself, so I’m here now.”
Along the way, the previously-300lb Jake has managed to lose over a hundred pounds.
“I’m down to 188 right now,” he says. “I just started eating better — I made it a lifestyle instead of looking at it like a diet. I’ve been working out a lot, and I’m always running. I like working out, riding my bike, going out for a run, going to the gym, lifting.”
However, this was all before he began working for a brewery. We often joke about the “brewery 15” — much like the “freshman 15” that new college students sometimes gain, the same thing can happen when someone begins working here, and for much the same reason: beer.
“I still like the beer,” he says, “but I look at it more like a way to treat myself.”
Regardless, Jake is thinking of working his way up to running a marathon.
“Maybe not a marathon right away,” he says, “but a 5K or 10K, work my way up to it, getting out and running more.”
“Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Sixers,” he says. “The Phillies are 4-0 right now — I’m optimistic. I keep saying that they’re on track to be 162-0 right now. It won’t happen, but it’s nice to dream.”
He’s also a big music fan, listening to just about anything.
“My favorite music is rap and hip-hop,” he says. “Right now, I’m a big fan of throwback music like Dr. Dre or Gucci Mane — stuff like that. But, I’ll listen to anything that isn’t country.”
When he’s not working or working out, Jake enjoys spending time with his family, including his brother and his cousin, our very own Brewer Brad Young.
“I like being outdoors and going to the beach,” he says. “Which is why I like living down here, so I can’t complain.”
Jake enjoys visiting Delaware, vacationing there with his father, going camping and hitting the beaches.
“I also like going for bike rides on trails,” he says. “Hiking. I’ve been getting into hiking, too. Kayaking, as well. I go up to Beesley’s Point when I go. I’ve only been a couple of times — I’m in the market for a new kayak.”
“It’s a small, relaxed town, even though, in the summer, it’s busy,” he says. “I like it. It’s really nice.”
After Jake moved here, he’d been working at the Cape May Peanut Butter Company for a bit, primarily in production, but, every so often, he’d be asked to work the store a block off Washington Street Mall.
“The town is beautiful,” he says. “I love it down there. I’ve been down to the lighthouse and went up to Sunset Beach — I used to do delivery driving for the peanut butter company; I pretty much started it during COVID. When I was driving for them, I loved heading down to Sunset Beach. I love watching sunsets and the sunrise, so seeing those was epic.”
While he enjoyed his time at Cape May Peanut Butter Company, he wanted a change of pace. Brad encouraged him to apply here.
“I’d been putting my resume in here since I’ve moved down,” he says. “I just wanted to learn more about the industry. Once I got the phone call from Christine with my offer, I took it immediately. I didn’t hesitate. I knew that I wanted to be in here, learning more about this industry. But this is where I want to be. I just want to grow from the bottom up, and see where this place takes me.”
Jake is looking forward to learning as much as possible.
“For example, today I learned how to flip a tank,” he says, referring to the process of emptying a tank and getting it cleaned up for the next fill. “That’s going to be a bit of a process and a learning curve, but I’m excited to keep learning. I haven’t stopped the learning process since day one. I’m excited to continue to grow as a person.”
He’s been enjoying it here so far.
“I like it,” he says. “It’s been keeping me busy. I just switched to second shift from morning shift — I’m more of a morning person, but second shift hasn’t been too bad. It’s a bit of an adjustment switching back and forth, but I like it a lot. I’m learning a lot.”
Jake is also really enjoying the team in production.
“The people here are great,” he says. “They welcomed me in with open arms. That’s what I like about it: it seems like a family environment. I feel like I have a second family. It’s great.”
But, most importantly, Jake loves getting to sample the products, pointing to Key Lime Corrosion as his favorite.
“I like the sourness of it,” he says. “I’m also a huge fan of lime. I tried Tan Limes and it was good, but Key Lime Corrosion has been growing on me a lot now. When I get weeklies, that’s what I get. I’m really hooked on it.”
If you see Jake around the Tasting Room, be sure to say hello!