Unexpected Experts Part 3 | Lauren's Journey
February 5th, 2019
This week, we’re back with another unexpected expert story - to banish that stop-gap stigma and learn all about what the hospitality industry and New World has to offer in the unusual and (you guessed it) unexpected careers.
In part 1 (which you can read here), we met Tamara, our people’s expert and TRIBES Elder, followed by Amber, our Company Designer in part 2 (which you can read here). This week, we’re moving to the land of liquid dreams aka. BEER. Now, we’re not claiming that beer is essential to hospitality – but a bar would be pretty dull without beer.
With over 70 beers and ales stocked across our estate to tickle your taste buds and revolutionise your culinary experiences, we couldn’t imagine New World without beer. But, who can give you advice on the right beer for you? And, who decides which beers deserve to be stocked behind the bar? Enter the Beer Guru...
Unexpected Expert | Lauren's Journey
And you thought it was unusual to have 'people' expert. What did we tell you? Hospitality is an industry with so many unexpected opportunities.
For the lovely Lauren Soderburg, her career journey led to becoming an expert in Beer. Lauren has delved into a realm of customer service, not even experts of customer service could have anticipated. From selecting every beer, ale and cider we stock in our venues, learning about tastes and pairings, to teaching our bartenders how to advise our guests - Lauren's job is so varied, qualifying her as our unexpected expert. We spoke to Lauren to find out a little more about how she became a Beer Guru.
What is it you do?
“I am Beer Guru, a title that still sounds crazy to me when I say it out loud! Basically, I deal with all things beer. I do staff training, Ale Masterclasses for customers and I source beers for the Anthology. I also run the Master of Beer program, for individuals who want to broaden their beer knowledge. My MOB, as I like to call them can then do training in units and are trained by myself to do masterclasses, spreading the beer knowledge to everyone!”
How did you come into being an expert in this field?
“I just really like drinking beer and got into it by trying new beers and discovering different styles. Before I was in my current role, New World were developing the 'Master of Beer' program and asked me if I would essentially be the Guinea pig for it. I jumped at the opportunity. It allowed me to share my knowledge on beer, and continue learning all about the industry. Occasionally I will do a masterclass, and someone will mention something that I didn’t know, or one of my Masters of Beer will tell me a story that I hadn’t heard about, so I am continually adding to my expertise which I love.”
How did you come into hospitality?
“Believe it or not, my first job in hospitality was at the age of 15 in a kids play area, hosting children’s parties! Fun fact: if you need someone to fill and tie hundreds of balloons I’m your gal! From there, I went on to work as a chambermaid in a hotel and a waitress. I moved to Manchester to go to university, where I did a business enterprise course as I wanted to open my own bar and wanted the knowledge to help me do that. Throughout Uni I worked as a bartender and I loved it. After that, I stayed in hospitality, working in a hotel as bar manager and in a restaurant as a duty manager, eventually joining The Botanist as AGM. I took a break from management and went to work on the bar and floor again - a risky step at the age of 29 - but it was the best thing I did, as it led to becoming a Master of Beer and the career I enjoy so much today!”
What is the most amazing thing you have achieved through your unusual career?
“In 2017, I was on the Independent’s '20 Ground-breaking Women of 2017 list - alongside people like Rose Mcgowan who started the 'Me Too' campaign and Malala Yousafzai who was shot just for going to school and went on to win the Nobel Prize for literature. I still can believe I was on the same list as these incredible women! Last year was pretty good too, with four of my Masters of Beer getting through to the Imbibe tapsters final and being nominated for Tapsters of the year. Alongside this, I have been nominated for educator of the year."
What an incredible journey!
Want to see where a career in hospitality could take you? Take a look at our latest career openings here and keep a look out for more inspiring unexpected expert stories coming soon...