Sometimes when the Muskoka team gathers in Toronto for events, magical things happen… such as the chance to hang out with Erin Nicholson, our Merchandise and Inventory Specialist at La Carnita for a pint of Detour. Get to know Erin in Victoria Rombis’ Q&A with the Bracebridge-based all-star below.
Erin, tell us your position at Muskoka and tell us about what you do. What’s your favourite part of the job?
My position is merchandise and inventory specialist. When my boyfriend and I decided to move to Bracebridge, I got a job at the retail store at the Brewery as a part-time employee and I’ve worked at the store ever since! It’s funny how your path can change; I was going to do my Masters degree in Psychology, and now I work for a brewery and absolutely love it. I order all the sales tools for the team and I also do the retail store merchandising. Anything that’s branded with our logo, I order. It’s very fun, I just get to shop and come up with different, fun items. My favourite part of the job is seeing people come into our brewery that like the product, and that cool feeling of seeing people wearing our stuff. I was at the grocery store last week and I saw two people that I didn’t know with our snapback hat - I thought that was so cool, you didn’t see that as much when I started two and a half years ago.
What’s the story of the new furry friend you have around the brewery with you?
My new puppy! She’s from Antigua and her name is Isla, and she’s a rescue. Just down the road from the Brewery is Muskoka Spa for pets, and I often see the woman that owns it come into our retail shop. She started adopting dogs from Antigua six months ago, and brings dogs to Canada and finds them homes. She came into the store one day with Isla and Charlie (who works at the Brewery) sent me a photo of her and I immediately knew - this is my dog. I called and I got her that night. And now she comes to work with me most days!
If you could trade jobs with anyone else from the brewery who would you trade with?
That’s a tough question because I really love my job. Maybe Danielle Smith - I think it’s cool to be organizing collaboration brews and the Moonlight Kettle program. Building relationships with people and coming up with creative collab ideas would be awesome. I got to spend some time at the brewery during the collabs that were done this year and it was so much fun. But no, I still wouldn’t trade - I love my job! If for some reason the Brewery decided they never needed merch anymore, that’s what I’d do.
How many times have you encountered Jerome?
My first time encountering Jerome was this year at Session Muskoka. I had heard about him for so long, but had never seen him - he was like a mythical creature. Since then, it’s been about five times. He’s living on my desk at the moment.
Part of your job includes working with our sales reps in their storage lockers. What music do you listen to when organizing the lock-ups?
Jack Johnson. Soothing but still upbeat! Or sometimes Byron leaves on The Moose FM in the back of the brewery so that’s also a great soundtrack.
What new items can we expect in 2017?
We are getting new t-shirt designs! I don’t even know what they’ll look like yet. Tons of new stuff this winter that I can’t tell you about just yet. We can do lots of awesome summer and spring stuff, because of the cottage feel of Muskoka. We get to do different items than other breweries, like sweatpants for people to wear around the campfire.
What would be your dream clothing item?
Everything that I’ve wanted to come up with we’ve done; we just run with it and do it! So I’ve kind of made all of my dream items, with our new tank tops being a big one.
What is your go-to hangover cure?
Chocolate milk! I could drink a litre of chocolate milk when I’m hungover.
If you could only drink 3 things on an island what would they be? Water doesn’t count.
Detour. Folonari Valpolicella Red Wine. Chocolate milk. See previous answer.
If you were a beer style, which would you be?
A session ale. Because I’m not too in your face, but I still have a lot going on!
What’s the craziest way you’ve ever tried to open a bottle of beer? Canoe paddle? Kindling? Beaver tooth? Your own tooth??
How did you know that I’ve tried to use a beaver tooth? Honestly, I’m the retail specialist, I pretty much always have a bottle opener on me.
Would you rather drink the same style of beer for the rest of your life, or only ever try any beer once?
Only ever try any beer once, for sure. I just love trying different beers.
What’s a cool thing about living in Muskoka that most people may not know?
I can get pizza delivered to my house, which I didn’t think I’d get. I never had delivery when I used to live in Haliburton.
Do you have any hidden talents? Can you touch your tongue to your elbow?
I’m a speed reader! I can kill a novel in a day easily. I go through so many books – I’ll go through three books a weekend at the cottage.
Flights or pints? Flights!
Cans or bottles? Cans.
Netflix or Shomi? Netflix.
Shot-ski or Jerome? I’d rather take Jerome any day of the week! Every day of the week.
Muskoka or Kawarthas? Muskoka!
Pullover or Zip-up? Pullover.
Tobey Maguire as Spiderman or Andrew Garfield as Spiderman? Totally Andrew Garfield.
Save your Gary bucks or spend them right away? Save them. I found 100 in my closet last week!
Filtered beer or unfiltered beer? Unfiltered.
Spider dog or s’more? Spider dog.
Beyonce or Rihanna? Rihanna.
Lagers or Ales? Ales!
Thanks for Venturing Off The Beaten Path with us. Now whenever you wear your favourite piece of Muskoka merchandise, you know where it came from - our wonderful Erin