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Tommy De Vos, President at Hometown Brew Co.

Tommy De Vos, President at Hometown Brew Co.

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

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

Who are you: 

Tommy De Vos

Your current job: 

President, Hometown Brew Co.

In which city are you located: 

Langton, Ontario

A word to define what kind of worker you are: 


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

QuickBooks, Instagram, Google App Suite & Microsoft Excel

What does your office space look like: 

a converted shed that’s about 200 square feet. It has 3 desks tightly packed for the 3 partners & a dartboard on the wall for meeting breaks

How large is the brewery:

 We brew at our friend’s brewery (Ramblin’ Road’ Brewery Farm) in Delhi, Ontario. It has a 30hL Brew-House with a number of 20hL & 60hL fermenters.

The reason you started brewing: 

I’ve been in the beer industry since leaving University in 2009 so it’s what I know. The other great thing about it is that consumers growing love for craft beer provide’s you with a market to do new and amazing things while still having a viable business.

What was the inspiration behind your brewery?

The 3 of us (all family) wanted to do something together that would allow us to promote our home, Norfolk County – we live in such a beautiful section of Canada and the more people who can experience it the better. It’s where the idea to pair Old World Beer Styles & South Western Ontario fruit came from – use as much local as possible.

The concept behind the brewery is all about “coming home”, wherever that is, and enjoying yourself with friends and family.

The concept behind our beers is to take new and different styles and then simplify them slightly to make it more accessible to your everyday drinker

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

getting the liquid to lips. In other words, securing distribution at a large enough number of retail locations so that the people who want to buy our beer can.

What kind of music do you listen to when you are working: I’m all over the map with music but it’s usually anything fast indie (Alt-J, Tokyo Police Club, Milky Chance, Japandroids) so I can zone out to it. The only thing I can’t listen to is Country because then it feels too much like the weekend and I need to grab a beer.

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

get as much accomplished as humanly possible on Monday. It’ll give you more time to deal with unexpected issues when they inevitably come up later in the week.

What tips would you give to improve productivity: 

manage your email the right way – every night you go to bed your inbox should only include a) items with specific actions b) items that people owe you. This always means things are getting done quicker: you won’t forget anything on your end & people quickly learn that you’ll keep asking for something until it’s done.

What is the best advice anyone has given you: 

the entire Rudyard Kipling poem “If” – the best way to experience it is Big Papi’s goodbye video with Kevin Spacey as narrator

What is your routine start and end of the day:

Start: mornings start slow for me! I roll-out of bed around 9/930 with a coffee and catch up on Trump & Sports news then go through all emails

End: go through my emails one last time and write-out everything I want to accomplish for tomorrow. Then a late dinner with the girlfriend and either a book or a quick TV show

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

hands down it would be my QuiteComfort Wireless BOSE Head-phones 

3 Ontario craft beers that we must try: 

Woodhouse Amber Lager, New Limburg Belgian Blonde, Ramblin’ Road DPA

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

before starting to make sure you know what will separate you from the pack. There are too many breweries to just launch another beer company – figure out what sets you apart.