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Matt Pearson, owner & operator at Sleeping Giant Brewing

Matt Pearson, owner & operator at Sleeping Giant Brewing

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

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

Who are you: 

 Matt Pearson

Your current job: 

Owner (partnership) / Operator of Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. 

In which city are you located? 

Thunder Bay Ontario

A word to define what kind of worker you are: 


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

text messaging has been a game changer that we all take for granted I think.

What does your office space look like? 

My office is full pictures/antiques and packaging designs that catch my eye. I like to be able to look around my space for inspiration. 

How large is the brewery? 

We just moved to our new location and we should hit 9k HL this year.

The reason you started brewing? 

The brewery started because of a lack of good beer in Northern Ontario. It was a forgotten corner of the province that most craft breweries could not distribute to. 

What was the inspiration behind your brewery? 

The inspiration behind the brewery is to provide independent craft beer to northern Ontario. We are named after the rock formation that sits out in Lake Superior looking over the city of Thunder Bay, it’s beautiful!

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

companies and more?) For us the challenges come from isolation. We do have a limited market in the north and we have let that direct how we evolve our business. I am always inspired how Alaskan Brewing has been able to develop their business over the years being the best example of how geography should not be a limiting factor in what you do.

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

I like all music, that being said I tend to do my best work when listening to Motown’.

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

As an owner, I really work for the team here at SGBC. It’s important that I keep time free to help them so I like to keep mornings free. The rest of my time is organized but those plans are always changing depending on the most impending needs at the brewery.  

What tips would you give to improve productivity?

 Focus on what you do well and get help where you need it. Don’t ever be too proud to ask for help.

What is the best advice anyone has given you? 

Not so much advice but I have had some amazing mentors that have had a huge impact on me. So when you find somebody that you respect, do more listening than talking.

What is your routine start and end of the day? 

I absolutely love waking up to the baby noises my 19th-month-old daughter makes as we get into our morning routine. At the end of the day, I do like to crack a beer and sit down and relax with my wife Erin. 

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

This might sound silly but I love cycling and if I do not have my Garmin computer with me I almost don’t want to ride. I am addicted to the data and the credit!

3 Ontario craft beers that we must try?

So much good beer out there right now three is kinda tough. I was recently in London Ontario and had Anderson Craft Ales IPA and thought that was great. As I write this I look into my fridge and I always seem to have Muskoka’s Mad Tom IPA stocked. Lastly is a bit of a shameless plug but our new Mr. Canoehead is what I am having the most often. We have worked on that beer for some time and I think it is just great. We call it “Just a Hoppy Red Ale” and that’s exactly what it is.

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

Ask yourself what is it that you are good at and how does that help you start and run a brewery.