We’re continuing our Common Block coworker bio series with our graphic design guru, Ashley. Shirts, stickers, glassware, posters…Ashley creates them all and more, and we love her style, enthusiasm, and wildly funny sense of humor.
During an opportune nap time for her two boys, Ashley answered a few questions about her experience in the craft beer/design world for us all to get to know her a little better:
Tell us a bit about the beer festivals and conferences you’ve attended. Did you meet any famous beer people?!
My first experiences with beer/food festivals and conferences were awesome events like The Bite of Oregon in Portland and the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) conference in Bend. These events brought to my attention the depth of what’s possible in the industry, and set my sights on areas other than table service. My excitement and interest grew as Alex and Danielle sent me to the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) in Chicago, followed by Savor in Washington DC. Both of these “sealed the deal,” and I was overwhelmed and excited by the infinite amount of learning to be had.
At Chicago’s CBC, I remember seeing quite a few brewers and founders I had already met (in frequenting their breweries, maybe a bit too frequently…) and was surprised that many of them remembered me! “Oh you’re that crazy lady that asks for a brewery tour EVERY time you come through! We hate you!” But really, this is evidence of the personal, unique and humble facets that give the craft beer community the excellent culture it has.
I definitely had my “star-struck” moments when meeting brewer Tonya Cornett of 10 Barrel, Greg Koch of Stone Brewing, the wild and crazy Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi, Jim Koch of Sam Adams, and a couple of Portland’s legendary bar managers/cocktail gurus such as Dave Shenaut, Jacob Grier, and Kevin Ludwig.
What attracts you to design in the brewing industry?
I feel like I have the coolest design gig ever! Combining graphic design and beer is definitely not what I had in mind when graduating with degrees in Psychology and Spanish, but I personally can’t think of a cooler, more unique, ever-evolving job! I think that what I love most about design within the craft beer industry is that you are working with creative, artistic, hard-working, problem-solvers who can’t really be doing what they do without passion and community investment. Doesn’t that sound like a kick-a** group of co-workers? Yeah!
Honestly, it’s taking something that is already an art form involving highly-honed skills (brewing), and helping to creating branding or visual concepts that help to bring that craft to life in a different way. It’s also an industry that tends not to take itself too terribly seriously, so there’s a lot of fun to be had. Plus having a weekly meeting or press-check with a beer in your hand ain’t too shabby.
So far, working in downtown Medford has been a blast. I love having a reason to check out spots I would have otherwise driven right by, or seeing the community already rally with such support and excitement! Any time I’ve been at Common Block, someone from a local business walks by and smiles or waves, or stops in to check on progress. Having a park literally across the street with live music, a grassy spot to relax, and a water-park/playground for my kids is amazing; the location is perfect. Plus, having an excuse to grab happy hour at Porters, drinks at Jefferson Spirits, a pour-over at Limestone Coffee or a slice of pizza at Kaleidoscope is a bonus!
If friends invite you to a beer and food pairing at their house, what do you bring?
And if you’d like to read about more of our coworkers: