By Tera Dacek
We stumbled upon Jesse Morris in a 2015 Twitter post for the Miami New Times. The article featured Miami people, and Jesse was acclaimed with fueling one of the city’s up-and-coming breweries, Concrete Beach. I also had the pleasure of working alongside Jesse in 2014, so I understand just how lucky Miami is to see Jesse’s bearded face on the streets of its hip design district and behind the bar at one of Wynwood’s latest breweries.
How long have you been in the beer business, and how did you get your foot in the door?
I’ve been in the beer business for about 12 years. I started bartending at craft beer bars and really fell in love with the climate.
What is your current role with Concrete Beach Brewery (CBB), and what do you actually do every day?
I’m the social hall manager at CBB, and my days never look alike. I do everything from monitoring beer quality, to ordering beer, to educating my staff or our patrons. I also brew some small batch beers and make sure that we’re set up for our guests to have a fun and enjoyable time.
Is it a typical nine-to-fiver?
It is in no way, shape, or form a nine-to-fiver. I find myself at the brewery at all hours of the day.
What is your favorite part about your work?
Talking to people about beer or teaching them something new. I absolutely love it.
You have been known for bringing brewers together. What is the craft beer scene like in Miami? Does everyone play well together?
It’s really fantastic—there’s a genuine spirit of cooperation and camaraderie. On any given night of the week, you’ll find people from one Miami brewery sharing pints with folks from another Miami brewery … and likely at a third brewery or bar. It’s just a wonderful community, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.
What is the most common question you get at the social hall?
“What’s your favorite beer?” which is a bummer, because it really doesn’t matter. Our job here at CBB is to find people a beer that they will enjoy, so the flavors that I personally like are absolutely unimportant.
Coffee, chocolate, cream ales, nitros, what’s next?
What’s interesting to me about this list is that these are all throwback flavors. We’ve been brewing beers with similar flavors or mouthfeel to those ideas for, in some cases, hundreds of years. In my heart of hearts, what I hope happens is that we see a rise of sours and the return of sessionable beers. Not everything needs to be 8%. In fact, I’m far more impressed with brewers who can make a 4% to 5% ABV beer with a lovely flavor… that’s more difficult. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m a quantity drinker and a quantity talker, and the lower the ABV, the more of both I can do responsibly. Sours are the other kind of extreme—I think people are looking for beers with more and more flavor, and souring creates combinations that you really can’t find in other beers. It should be noted though that these are the ramblings of one beer fanatic. Only time will tell how the market actually grows and responds.
Lastly, what is it about your job that nobody knew (until now)?
Not so much my job, but me personally—I’m deathly afraid of talking to people I don’t know. So much so that when I was a child, I would refuse to call the pizza place to get delivery because I didn’t want to talk to a stranger. What’s interesting about my job, to me at least, is that I have such a drive and passion for teaching people about beer that every single time I meet someone new, there’s this war between my absolute fear of talking to someone I’ve not met and my love of beer. So far, the desire to talk about beer wins, every time.
Tera Dacek is a consultant and freelance writer. She most recently worked as Marketing Manager for Alchemy and Science. When she unplugs, she can be found at her local mountain or one of the many wonderful breweries in her home state of Vermont.