We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason De La Torre and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I suppose this is a little bit of a cliche answer, but a common outsider perspective is that we are in a constant state of “party”. We make beer. . . we must be drinking it all day. Something that I have been drawn to over the past 5-6 years is humanity’s willingness to try and understand mental health, and this is a huge part of our industry. There is a party element that comes from the fact that we love and make beer. Too often employees are underpaid and overworked and the fruits of their labor become the commodity. People willing to do hard work for little pay make sacrifices to do something they love. In that love comes camaraderie, family, and normalcy. Years ago a friend had started a blog and addressed this unspoken (at least in my experience) issue. It opened my eyes. I was not alone. Finding balance in this industry is difficult, especially now. I love that talking about mental health is becoming more normal every day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I produce all of the branding and can art for Ogopogo. It has to be the greatest treat, even if I am not in the mood to produce art for my company, It is something that I really enjoy. Since we name all of our beers after folklore and mythology, I have a blast doing research and crafting these creatures.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am assuming this is either a pre or post covid scenario. I love San Gabriel. Hot Pot at Shancheng Lameiizi has been my favorite spot since moving here almost 4 years ago. Not to just run on and on about food, but Golden Deli for Pho is a must. We have always been drawn to Vincent Lugo park with all of its mythical creatures, including an Ogopogo. We have made so many great friends since opening.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I feel like I am always putting him on the spot. An amazing gentle soul by the name of Matt Olesh
All photographs and artwork were created in house