I had the opportunity to meet Marvin Simpson this past April, following the Electric City Craft Brew Fest in Scranton. Marvin was representing Boulder Beer Company at the Craft Brew Fest and, following the event, we talked a little bit about the industry over a couple of Hazed and Infused Dry-Hopped Ales (which I highly recommend). I want to write some articles about the beer industry from an insider’s perspective to show the side we don’t necessarily see from a bar stool at our local pub. I sent Marvin an email recently to ask him some questions about his involvement in the industry and he was happy to give me some insight.
Marvin has been in beverage sales for 26 years and, from a Massachusetts beer distributor, built a relationship with Boulder President/Owner Jeff Brown. Marvin joined Colorado’s First Microbrewery, Boulder Beer Company, seven and a half years ago and holds the position of Right Coast Sales Manager. If my memory serves me correctly, Marvin is responsible for Boulder sales from New England down to Virginia. He covers 10 states in total.
So what exactly does a Sales Manager do? In Marvin’s case, sales management means distributor management, account management, and being the face of Boulder Beer to east coast consumers. Marvin told me he deals with budgets, annual business plans, product offering fulfillment, point of sale, and key accounts throughout his ten states. Marvin builds relationships with distributors and consumers everyday to grow Boulder’s business. Speaking of growing business, when I asked if Marvin had any exciting Boulder news to report he told me, “YES! Hoopla [Pale Ale] in 12oz cans in about 6 weeks. And all my events I do at on premise accounts are something to witness and consume!….I always have something rare and special on tap at my on premise promos.”
Marvin couldn’t be happier to work for Boulder Beer. I asked him about his outlook on the craft beer industry, the future, and if he felt working in the industry was a rewarding experience. He told me, “My outlook on the industry is we are growing and stealing market share from the big 3 and imports year over year! Yes the future is very bright (I gotta wear shades :} ) and yes it is very rewarding! In fact very instantaneous.” Marvin told me the fast growth is not only into new markets, but also within current markets and “feet on the street is where the high growth is coming from.”
Finally, I asked Marvin to lend his advice for people looking to get into the industry. The advice he gave, I thought, was a great reflection what makes the industry so desirable…how fun it can be. Marvin said, “Educate yourself, home brew or brew on premise, land a job at a distributor, be a part of the industry, volunteer at fests, attend beer weeks, go to GABF [Great American Beer Festival], DRINK AND ENJOY CRAFT BEER!” I could tell from Marvin’s responses that he really does enjoy working for Boulder and their “lil corner of the Craft Beer Universe.” I want to thank Marvin for his time and his great advice. I look forward to grabbing another Hazed and Infused and grabbing some Hoopla cans when they are available.
Tim Meyers (Tim@GoodHopBadHop.com)