Vision 12 - Brett Gilbert: Wear Your Influences On Your Sleeve


Brett Gilbert is a quality beer lover! During his college years, he found his love for craft beer by going to the store and finding the brews that caught his eye. After graduating college, Brett made his way up to Chicago to work with a start-up company. Shortly after, he realized he should be documenting all of the beer he tries. From there, Brett’s Beer Blog was born.

Ben: Before we break into questions, can you give readers a brief introduction of yourself?

Brett: For sure, my name is Brett Gilbert and I live and work in Chicago, IL. I’m a recent graduate of Illinois State University where I majored in Entrepreneurship and HR.

Ben: Roll Birds baby! What are some of your passions?

Brett: I love to learn about new things. I like reading about technology, history, and about Chicago. I love hockey and I’ve played all of my life. Luckily, I get to play hockey a few times a week and that’s always great. I also like learning about and drinking craft beer. I recently started a small beer blog where I record the beers I try.

Ben: When and how did you discover your passion for trying different beer and reviewing it?

Brett: I don’t know when it truly started, but I’d say sometime around college I got into beer. I liked buying different six packs and picking out which ones I really enjoyed. I’m not talking about buying Rolling Rock or Bud Light, but actually going into U-Liq and taking about 10 minutes to pick a beer I wanted to try. I never made much of it until I moved to Chicago and realized that I should start to list out how many beers I’ve tried. That’s when Brett's Beer Blog started.

Ben: What type of growth have you seen since you started?

Brett: Well, when I first started, I had a basic WordPress site with their branding in the URL. I had a few people who checked out the first few blogs and that’s it. Recently, I see a lot more people reading what I write after I do some marketing on Instagram. I ended up getting the domain to make it more official. I even had some people subscribe to get email alerts when a new post is up. I treat is more as a hobby and I try to get a post in once every week.

Ben: What is your favorite beer? What about it makes it your favorite?

Brett: Wow...that’s a tough question. I think that my favorite beer is Revolution Brewing’s Bottom Up Wit. I wrote about it early on and it’s always been a go-to of mine. The fact that it’s an easy going, spice-infused beer makes it so easy to drink and it has a lot of flavor. It’s not a super bitter beer, and it has hints of orange to it. I’d consider it to be way better than a Blue Moon. Plus, I love Revolution Brewery so that helps with my affection towards their beers.

Ben: Have you ever traveled to a different city to try a new beer and review it?

Brett: Not exactly...yet. So, I went on a business trip to Pittsburgh and I tried and reviewed a beer from the Long Island area. But, I have had people bring back beers from different places to have me try them. Two of the coolest beers that were given to me were from a brewery in Vermont. They made two IPA’s that are world class, one of them winning best IPA in the world a few years ago. So, I had to write about that one at least.

Ben: If there was one beer that you could try, what would it be?

Brett:  I’m always on the hunt for more, but I think that I would really go out of my way for a limited edition bourbon stout or a very limited seasonal beer. For example, there are a lot of breweries that only make Oktoberfest beers in the fall. Oktoberfest beers are some of my favorites so I have to make use of the time I have with them.

Ben: Who have been the biggest influences in your journey chasing your passions?

Brett: I like to think I have many influences so far. For beer, it’s Jim Koch, the Founder of the Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams). I read his book and he told his story so well that I was hooked within a few pages. I think another influence isn’t a who but a what. I think that the whole tech industry is a great influence on me because everyone in tech is trying to get better. Companies are trying to make life better, software is trying to make things easier, and people are trying to output their best work. Lastly, the people who I interact with on a daily basis influence me in such a positive way. You truly are a reflection of your friends and I’m lucky to have some great people to look up to.

Ben: You’ve already accomplished some amazing things in your time but it’s human to always want more. With that being said, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Brett:  Wow, that’s something I actually haven’t thought about in quite a while. I think in 5 years I’d like to have a larger role at a tech company in Chicago as my day job/main income. I’d also like to have started the home brewing process with beer. It’s something I need to read more about, but I feel like it’s the next step in my beer journey. Besides those two things, I’d like to see myself working on some sort of side project while learning new things and even making some money on the side.                                                                                                                                                           

Ben: It’s so important to give back to others, especially the people chasing their dreams. What advice would you give to someone following their passion?                                                               

Brett: Think both with your head in the clouds and your hands in the dirt. What I interpret that as dreaming big, but knowing to make your dreams come true, you really have to work for it. You don’t just get your dreams handed to you, you have to work for them. It doesn’t hurt to step back and plan things out, but make sure you do them once you’re done planning. Lastly, just go for it. We all have our passions but you stand out when you actually pursue them. You’re young, no matter how much you think you don’t have time, you do. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you truly are hungry for something.

Brett found a passion for discovering unique brews and turned it into something bigger than himself. Brett's Beer Blog features a variety of beers that make you want to head to the store and grab something.