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Irish Chamber

Inspiration for the Far Side

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
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In our latest IACC guest blog, Mairead Kennedy of Far Side Beers shares some insights into how our Business Mentoring Program helped inspire her to set up her own business after 20 years of corporate life.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

I guess I’m proof that you don’t always have to regret the ideas talked up during good times.

It was during one the many events that I attended during Good Beer Week 2013 that the idea of starting my own business took hold.

Having spent nearly two decades in manufacturing, half of that in pharmaceutical manufacturing, I felt that starting a microbrewery and brewing beer commercially was not something beyond my reach.

I took pretty immediate action and applied to complete a post grad in brewing technology, then I got offered a promotion at work and initially couldn’t articulate that it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.

Several months later, while browsing the web, I made a decision to join the IACC and signed up for the mentoring program where applications were closing the following week. Fortuitous? Fate? Who knows?

Fate took another intervention and I was paired with a mentor that I had actually met during the aforementioned Good Beer Week at the Craft Beer Industry Association conference.

I cannot rate highly enough the opportunity afforded to me by the mentoring program. I got advice, support, and probably the most important thing was the positive reinforcement. No one ever asked me was I ‘mad’ to give up a career that I had worked so hard for.

Now, one year later, I own and run my own craft beer shop, I am partnering with an Irish craft brewery to bring their beers to Australia, and we have plans to manufacture a collaboration brew with a Victorian brewery and hope to enter a beer to the GABs (Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular) during Good Beer Week 2015.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever” Steve Jobs.

Mairead Kennedy is founder of Far Side Beers, an active IACC member and lover of fine craft beers - especially Irish ones!