Who are you and your current job?
I am Michael Kuzyk, Head Brewer and Founder of Category 12 Brewing
What was the inspiration behind your brewery?
I was a homebrewer for about 20 years before starting the brewery. I wanted to use my education and background for better things! (I have a PhD in Microbiology and Biochemistry from UVic) I was tired of having most of my science experiments be "failures", as all of my beer experiments were successes! I also was longing to break out and determine my own fate - be my own boss!
Can you give us a tour of your beer scene?
Here in Greater Victoria, we have both a mature beer scene (first brewpub in Canada, one of the earlier production craft breweries in BC) and a very fresh, fast-paced craft beer scene with some leading craft breweries like Driftwood. Just across the water in the Lower Mainland, there has been an absolute explosion of creative craft breweries with the likes of Four Winds, Steel & Oak, Moody Ales, Strange Fellows, etc. etc. We have to make sure we are blazing our own trail, but also standing out among so many diverse and creative breweries!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a brewery?
Really know why you are starting a brewery and how you are going to complement the market you are entering (not just compete in it!)