9 to 5: JT Thompson – The Minister of Propaganda

JT Thompson has one of the most unique job titles; he is the first official “Minister of Propaganda” at Smuttynose Brewing Company in Hampton, New Hampshire. To put it simpler, JT is the publicist and communications director of the company.

How did JT get here?

JT is a native of Lincolnton, North Carolina, and he attended Dickinson College in Pennsylvania to complete a degree in English. He worked in two breweries back in Pennsylvania while he studied there. He made the move to New England in 2004, and he attended school in Boston to pursue an MS in Library Information Studies. He said this was “the best time to move” to New England because of the Red Sox winning the World Series.

JT knew he wanted to stay in New Hampshire because to him it is “a pleasant place to live with so many great things in the area.” JT calls Portsmouth a “small, vibrant town”, with many cultural opportunities and great people.

Before actually going to Portsmouth for the first time, JT pictured it as a small, sleepy town with moose walking around, and when he got here he was “happy to be wrong about that.” The move to Portsmouth was to pursue a career in craft beer.

Working at Smutty

JT_photoJT didn’t start out as the Minister of Propaganda. He began as the Assistant Brewer at their sister company, Portsmouth Brewery, then came on board as a brewer at Smutty. JT was previously involved in the tours at Smutty, and he is proud to have started that program there. He has enjoyed passing on his knowledge and hiring fun people to take on running the brewery tours.

JT is proud to have had the experience of going to Washington D.C. to talk about the craft beer industry in New Hampshire. JT is definitely a people person; he loves talking and interacting with people. He was even featured on a few local programs including NH Chronicle, where he was given a chance to “tell our story.”

JT has been in this role for 6 years and is responsible for the social media management, newsletter, sales documents, and things of that nature at Smutty, where he is looking to continue to broaden their reach. JT is also on the board of Brew NH and he is the VP of the Granite State Brewer’s Association.

Outside of work

You can often find JT cooking or at a local restaurant. JT enjoys cooking and says that “it’s pretty foodie over here” in Portsmouth. He likes to get involved in cultural opportunities, from plays to museums, and one of his favorite events is the Portsmouth Halloween Parade that he is on the board of. I was so excited to learn about this event, and being a NH resident all my life, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of this! JT grew up with being involved in community activities and enjoys those types of opportunities.

Down the Road

In the future, JT hopes to keep doing awesome things for Smutty. He wears a lot of hats, and would like to “keep doing a better job” while looking at the big picture. 

For recent grads who might consider leaving NH for Boston or NY, JT thinks they should “consider what they really want. It’s easy to feel like you need to be in the city.” JT continued to describe New Hampshire as a “really dynamic state”, that’s small, which allows you to “easily make connections and engage with people.” JT knows people in the big cities who can’t say that same thing about where they live.

Do you or someone you know work for an exciting NH company or organization and want to be featured in the SWP blog? Email 9to5@stayworkplay.org!

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