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Chris M Thompson, co-owner & brewer at Whitewater Brewing Company

Chris M Thompson, co-owner & brewer at Whitewater Brewing Company

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Presented x Mondial de la Bière [June 14-18, 2017 – Montréal]

Who are you: 

Chris Thompson

Your current job: 

Owner/Brewer/Sales Rep/Accountant/Marketing/Cleaning Crew/Quality Control

In which city are you located? 

We have two breweries. One is in Foresters Falls along the Ottawa River where all the rafting takes place. The other is in Cobden along Hwy 17

A word to define what kind of worker you are: 


What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..):

 Cell phone, water, facebook, QuickBooks… coincidently they are also the things I hate the most

What does your office space look like? 

Open with many desks, mine has a number of prototype cans on it, empty water glasses, and a toy gun

How large is the brewery? 

Our original riverside location is ½ bbl and our new location is 30bbl

The reason you started brewing?

 I and two friends (James Innes and another guy named also named Chris Thompson) are friends from 10 years back when we first started running the rapids on the Ottawa River. About 5 years back we were looking to start a business together. Besides hanging out with friends and telling stories about the beatings the river gave us that day, beer was the other piece to this perfect time. We had no craft breweries in the area and decided since we drink beer, we could make beer.

What was the inspiration behind your brewery?

We use locally sourced quality ingredients. It is “Brewed by friends, for friends.” We also try to promote the active lifestyle we enjoy.

What are the biggest challenges for you as a brewer in Ontario? 

 Getting to a size that allows us to craft beer at a manageable price.

What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? 

At this very moment, I am listening to Kodaline. I enjoy many Canadian bands such as Elliot Brood, Current Swell, Dan Mangan, and a fellow river rat Dan Tait of Tiger Moon

Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work? 

Start early. I get more work done between 6 am and 9 am than I do from 9 am to 9 pm.

What tips would you give to improve productivity? 

Schedule yourself. Sometimes there are so many things to do and so many distractions/demands of your time that it is easy to only partially do a hundred things as opposed to finishing 20.Drink lots of water.

What is the best advice anyone has given you? 

Don’t run with scissors.

What is your routine start and end of the day? 

In the beginning of the day, I like to do a quick workout, have a shake, and start my emails. In the evening I WISH I played guitar, cooked a fine meal and enjoyed a nice drink. What I ACTUALLY do is some more emails, while not really watching a movie/tv show that is playing and thinking I should have eaten more.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?

 Kayak. Some of our most productive meetings have been in between rapids while paddling.

3 Ontario craft beers that we must try? Besides our own?

 😉 Most recently I have enjoyed Release the Hounds by Big Rig, Stay Classy by Bellwoods, Kissmeyer from Beaus. That being said picking only three isn’t very fair.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a brewery? 

Right now it’s the cool kid thing to do. You need to have two of the following 1.) good beer 2.) good story 3) good location 4) able to produce at a good price