Presented x Mondial de la Bière [June 14-18, 2017 – Montréal]
Who are you:
Your current job:
brewer, social-media manager, secretary, director, worker-owner
In which city are you located?
A word to define what kind of worker you are:
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
G Suite, Loomio
What does your office space look like?
Areas of activities – office, design, packaging – spread out across the room
How large is the brewery?
Currently 4BBL with a mid-summer expansion to 15BBL
The reason you started brewing?
Wishing to create beers that celebrated local – using as organic and as local ingredients as possible – and with that finding a beer that really tastes of Ontario
What was the inspiration behind your brewery?
We wanted to be a community brewery – both within the city and the surrounding agricultural community – and to be a democratic workplace. This is why we incorporated as a co-operative
What are the biggest challenges for you as a brewer in Ontario?
Things are getting better but you’re always satisfying three different levels of government with everything you do and they each have their specific requirements. There’s a great community in the craft beer world but there are still many times when we’re the square peg trying to fit into the round regulations
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
Canadian pop/rock/folk: New Pornographers, Dan Mangan, Hey Rosetta, Basia Bulat – upbeat and layered music.
Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work?
I often utilize the Pomodoro technique in 15 min segments. Trying to segment the various roles I have within the brewery is essential to getting things done.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
I write a lot – internal documentation, grant applications, social media, etc. – and so a bit of a disconnect from the rest of the world to write in bursts is what I aim for; for better or for worse these periods are often at the end of the day
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
You’re constantly selling your vision – not just your product but the ideals behind why you started the business – and so you need to live that vision. Your enthusiasm for your business should be infectious
What is your routine start and end of the day?
Hard to establish the routine but the first hour of the day is often spent reading and replying to email…and that’s often how the end of the day goes
Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
My Pebble Steel (which has been discontinued…)
3 Ontario craft beers that we must try?
I enjoy Muskoka Detour, Anderson Amber (and not just because they’re fantastic neighbors), and Church-Key’s Holy Smoke Scotch Ale
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a brewery?
Understand the science and engineering behind brewing but also appreciate the art to it. It’s a capital-intensive business and so being strategic in your purchasing and your growth is important. But it’s also essential that there’s personality in your beer – often people who drink craft beer are as interested in the people as in the beer.