The first thing that strikes me about Meg Gill is how disarmingly normal she is. When speaking to her, you feel like you’re talking to a very articulate beer buddy, who really knows their stuff. Her good-natured humility gives no indication of her incredible success, though a quick Google of her name does.
Meg Gill is the Founder of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. She built the L.A.-institution from the bottom up, successfully helming its transition to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s craft beer catalogue. Today, in addition to supporting her brewery in a founder’s capacity, she is leading marketing and innovation for the Brewers Collective Business Unit at Anheuser-Busch, a centralized arm built to support the company’s craft brewery partners across the country.
How did she get to where she is today?
“Grit and determination – combined with surrounding myself with smart, passionate and honest people who have similar ambitions and goals – played a large part in helping me get to where I am today professionally,” she answers.
“When I started in the beer industry 13 years ago, there were certainly more challenges, but being a young woman in the field gave me the drive to work even harder and smarter to create a great business and brand,” she continues. “Women no doubt were seen as a rare breed amongst the brewing industry’s rough and tough bearded men when I was starting out. However, the playing field has gotten more inclusive with regard to gender, age and race, in turn adding more diverse thought and excitement to the field. I’m proud of how far the craft beer industry has come in the last decade or so.”
When she first started out, some of her colleagues doubted the weight of her determination, but they were soon proved wrong.
“When I was starting out in the beer industry, I recall a beer distributor saying, ‘Hey little girl, go fetch me a beer.’ I remember the brewery owner I worked with at that time replying ‘Watch out, she’ll be your boss in five years,’” Gill recounts. “There were tough times in the early days and even now, but all you can do is focus on the positive impact you can make in your role, whatever it may be. To the naysayers: I’d rather live in the positive, enjoy what I’m doing, and appreciate the beers in front of me.”
Her positive attitude as well as tenacity to succeed and live her dream is an inspiration. What advice does she have for young women just starting out in their careers?
“Follow your passion first and don’t get hung up on titles or money,” Gill advises. “Remember that experiences and learning from mistakes and failures are what will make your career. The money and responsibility will usually come so long as the passion and experience is there.”