We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Rice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberly, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I think for anyone ambitious or project based this is constantly a challenge. You really have to commit your full self to something to make it work, at least in the beginning. But that is unsustainable. In my experience, people typically don’t realize the point at which that is no longer working for them until they are much past it and burnt out. I use the age old barometer of when you stop feeling inspired by a project that once was your everything something is askew. For writing I usually do a reset by just setting down the script for a few weeks until I can come back and remember the reasons I was originally excited about it in the first place. The brewery is different because I can’t just not go in for a few weeks. I typically find my resets by going out to the farm that Sage’s owners have. It’s a mix of the healing power of being outside in a beautiful setting and re-connecting to the ingredients I get to use. And it generally gets my imagination reeling when I find an ingredient there that inspires me to make a new beer. This is not to say I don’t know how to relax and throw back a cold one with my friends. I am in the beer industry after all. But like everyone who has ever answered this question ever, I’m working on it. It’s especially tough when you set your own schedule but I am slowly figuring out what I need personally to show up and be the best version of me for the business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve had one hell of a zig-zagging career and I think that’s one of the biggest risks I have taken. I started in film and being my first love I will always continue to write and direct even if just in small ways for the time being. I took a strong left turn when I got the opportunity to help open a brewery and become the head brewer there. It’s been a huge learning curve but that’s kept me buzzing with excitement for the past few years wanting to absorb all I can and be the best I can be at it. I love that I am a part of a company that strives to make people connect with the food and drink they consume and the land it came from; something that is so easily over looked at every meal. It’s not been a traditional path, however, as much as I love the beer world and film industry it’s been more important that I feel I am a well-rounded, multi-faceted person. I know both will now always be a big part of my life, and hell maybe I’ll pick up a third career in my 50’s to add to my end of days resume skills.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start with Echo Park because that’s been my home the last 10 years. I’ve never felt such a part of a community as I do there. I love walking down the street and knowing the business owners and people working at nearly every shop there. The lake is a beautiful temporary retreat from the city. And it has some incredible restaurants. I’d likely force my friend to come drink one of my beers at Sage, then head to Masa for a deep dish pizza, and close out the week with an amazing dinner from Elf. If it’s someone from outside California I would certainly make plans to visit Joshua Tree. It’s a cliche for a reason that there is something so alluring and magical about the desert. Everyone should experience it. And again, I hate pick the low hanging fruit. but a trip up the PCH isn’t a bad way to introduce someone to the beauty of Southern California. I love my neighborhood but California’s best asset is the endless day trips.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been charmed with so many families of support in my corner. My biological family has been unconditionally loving and supportive despite my many quirks and unpopular decisions. My Sage family has believed in me and given me incredible lessons about risk taking and confidence. And my friends family have been my daily support system since I moved here 14 years ago. I border intolerable when gushing about how much I love my friends. I don’t know why they are so good to me or how I got so lucky but I know I’ll never take it for granted. A few other specific shoutouts — To Pink Boots Society: the education based, women empowering, lady brewer society I am a part of that has allowed me to meet so many lady badasses in the industry and jump started all my relationships within the LA brewing community. Chia Yi Lin: The amazing photographer and dear friend who took most of the pictures in this article. My Micheltorena fam: You guys came bustin’ through the wall like the Kool-Aid man to save the day during the past few months. You’ve been my sanity. I love you.
Chia Yi Lin Chelsea Rosetter Nicholas Skinner