Jerome Pellaud is the Global VP of Craft & Specialties at Anheuser-Busch InBev and ZX Ventures. He started with InBev in 2000 as a Brewing Science Specialist and has worked his way up through the ranks, spending nine years in Global Exploratory Product and Packaging Development for ABI before assuming his current role. He is now responsible for Brewing, Logistics & Marketing for our global portfolio of craft and specialty brands outside North America, leading a team to provide extraordinary beer experiences to consumers.
We asked Jerome to describe some of his recent accomplishments and how working at ZX Ventures impacts the rest of his life. Check out his responses below.
What have you learned from your work here at ZX Ventures and ABI?
We are all full in for the long run, living day in and day out with the consequences of our decisions. This gives a great sense of ownership and empowers everyone on the team.
Everyone aims to be the best in the world at what they are doing, and that means you have to follow your passion, be open to try new things, stretch out of your comfort zone and be ready for opportunities. If you’re not passionate about your work, or if you don’t enjoy what you’re working on, you won’t be willing to work as hard as it takes to be the best. So first, you have to know yourself and find what you’re good at, and work to become the best at. A great fulfilling career is about always being ready from a skills and experiences point of view for what’s next and create your own opportunities.
What would you point to as some of your career highlights? What are your favorite stories about working with ABI?
That’s difficult, because I’m an optimist, and most days are truly great because I keep learning from others and learning by doing! Picking out the highlights, though, I had a great experience working with the Leuven brewery, back in 2003-4 or so, helping them to solve a difficult technical challenge related to unusual protein content in Barley that crop year due to the heat wave in Europe.
At one point, the managers gave me a key to the brewery and allotted me three months to find a solution. The team did, and the brewery is still using the learnings we uncovered back then today. I’ve had other great experiences—too many to count—such as working in product development to create our first exploration team, straddling the line between innovation and technology; working with wines as a sommelier to figure out how to get beer on the tables at fine restaurants; and working with some of the best bartenders in the world to develop sour beers for cocktails, recruiting people to try the product and then becoming a specialized Sales rep to list the product in bars in NYC and Boston.
What have you learned through your work with ZX Ventures?
Well, I like to say I’ve learned about disruption in many senses! I’m always learning new things here as part of our efforts to stay on the cutting edge and disrupt ourselves both professionally and personally. We are always challenged here, and that helps us all to grow. After all, no one grows in his or her comfort zone. I’ve had to learn to be not just a great brewer but also how to lead the team and deliver results across Logistics, M&A and Marketing. But I’ve loved all of it, and I am so much better because of the challenges we have tackled with the team working here.
What recent accomplishments have you and your team achieved?
Well, I’m still young in this role, but we’ve been building our team and our portfolio with great success. We’re gaining traction in seven global markets with our Goose Island beers. We’ve also worked a lot on building a community with our craft partners. I’ve found that when you put great people together, one plus one can actually equal five, and that’s our focus. We’re developing great friendships and synergy with those new partners.