SMALL BUSINESS
08/16/2013 03:14 pm ET

Christopher George Ditches Finance Job To Make Beer: CNBC

CNBC:

Christopher George never thought about leaving his job at Bank One. He made good money and had great benefits. But in 2004, the decision was made for him: JPMorgan Chase took over Bank One and eliminated his position.

George turned his back on finance to find out if he could make a career out of his hobby: making beer.

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According to the American Homebrewers Association, about 90 percent of professional brewers started crafting beers at home before going on to work for small businesses. Chris was determined to join the homebrew club. He entered contests and met with a professional brewmaster through a mentorship program run by career-change advisors PivotPlanet.

"A solid 50 percent walk away saying, 'Whoa, that is not what I want—and I'm so glad that I did this, because it just saved me a lot of time and money by discovering this is not actually what I want to do with the rest of my life," said Brian Kurth, founder of PivotPlanet.

That was not the case with Chris.

It took him a couple of years, but Chris finally got a local microbrewery to give him a chance. Seven years later, he's pumping out more than 200 barrels of his pilsners, ales and hefeweizens annually, contributing his part to the $10.2 billion American craft brew industry.

Learn more about Chris George's career hop here as part of CNBC's new series, "Escaping the Cube."

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