The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

31. Brewing a business with the Sons of Kent

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Chatham local Colin Chrysler, was on his way to the Island of Palau for a few weeks of surfing and brewing beer, when some visa complications left him stranded in British Columbia.

With few days to kill at the epicenter of Canada’s growing craft beer industry, Colin decided to make the most of his time and sought out a meeting with fellow Chatham natives, Alf and Doug Hunter, who had created a formula for building breweries across the Province.

That conversation culminated with the creation of Chatham’s first craft brewery, Sons of Kent.

On this episode, Eric Janssen sits down with half of the co-founders of the Sons of Kent, to discuss beer, business, and the impact a brewery can have on community and culture.

You're listening to the IVYENTMRENORpodcast from the Pierre L, Morriset Institute, Farento Preneurship at theAby Business School in this series, Iveentrepreneur an ivfaculty member,Eric Janson, will anchor the session all right sitting down with two of thefounders of sons of can callin dug things for coming in appreciates youguys, making the time think e or sure o appreciate it gofaks wrong. So I wantto get into a bunch of pieces of the story of the brewery, but I want torewind the tape and maybe, let's start with Callin, if you were when you weretwenty two years old, what were you up to? What were you doing? I was having alot of fun um I uh. I went to school in Ottaa for a coupleof years, mostly because I wanted to have fun out there and kind af get awayfrom Chatham a little bit and yeah. I had SOM. I had a good time and then Idid a lot of traveling. I I ended up twenty two. I was living in Australiaand I was working for tourism companies sailing traditional tall ships aroundthe Great Barrier Reef. As a Dekand, I kindof worked my way up and and helpnavigate some big boats around h, the the east coast of Australia, which wasfun and then I ended up yeah coming home and started a small tourismcompany in in Erio, which is where I grew up. It's on the lake, where we dida lot of water, sports and stuff and yeah. We throw some big events. Weorganized some big events and yeah. I did some more traveling afterthat, but long sor short. I found myself in the beer industry, startingin a small Brupub and getting stoked on beer. Actually, my when I was inAustralia, I fell in love with beer, had a small brewry in Byron Bay andthat was kind of in two thousand and ten so to give Bo context. Yeah I meanit doesn't seem like that long ago, but in the craft beer world, that's likeI'm like a veteran almost but yeah. So it's interesting, but thatreally got me excited on what a craftbery could be in in what a crapwer you can do for a community and how much fun you can have kind of with theidea of beer more than the liquid itself, but what the idea of beer isand what I thought it was was superinspiring in that moment and thennow, I'm here so Byron Bade. Did you ever go to the Byron Bay Blues Fest?Unfortunately, I didn't ID missed that one that wasn't I wasn't living inBiron, but I was passing through at the time and yeah it's soosed t be awesome.I've never been. I had a company in the entertainment business, so we one ofour first events in Australia was the Byron Ba Blos Vesso, that's a big one.He Hasa e worth a trip. It's worth a we should go now. E should ea these ues,so it seems like so. You grew up in Chatdam, small town, shadom Janta,Montario people have this when they live in small towns. I grew up inWindsor, so relatively small town yeah, bigger than Chatem W when er the bigcity locally. I think Chatham kind of rides that edge of being a city leasureit'. It is a city on paper like I mean it's t e city of Chata, Montario andcounty, but it definitely has that small small town lot, it's a city, butI mean it's small town yeah. So did you you wanted to get out and just resetlike. Why did you go travel? That's a good question. I mean I. I was alwayskind of driven. My parents weren't, like big adventurous people they'd,never really gone any further than Florida in the winter like when I was akid that was our family vacation risam every year, yeah I mean being close tothe border was easy for us. I guess but yeah you know. I don't know what it was.I think for me at the time n in the late two, thousands an or ye h kind of-I guess so over ten years ago now I'm superinspired and- and you know I justwanted to go- see the world. It was also at an interesting time beforesmart phones were incredibly accessible and traveling was a little bit harder.You know booking a flight, you had to find a desktop computer and book yourflights and then, when you fer traveling, you had to find Internetcafes, and I think about that in today's world and how differenttraveling was then and how it kind of inspired me to to probably look atthings little differently and...

...investigate things differently. I guessin my own world, but yeah I just wanted to see the world. I was really big intowater, Sports and surfing an and then beer after that which changed my travelinspiration a little bit with places. I would go but yeah I just wanted to Kinda enjoy theworld, but ultimately I mean the more I travelled the more. I knew that I wouldalways end up back home eventually and that wh t that's really what travelingtaught me how I was inspired. Was It really reterated? The fact where I knewwhere I wanted to be not necessarily know what I wanted to do yet, but it itgave me perspective on where what was important to me and where I would endup how you wanted to get out with the idea of getting someperspective, but then eventually, thought Youd come back yeah and I meanbeing said, I'm also on the you know. I'v I've always been involved withChatam Ken Tourism and Chanican Outh rettention on the board right now forCK to the powerfly, which is encouraging youth to relocate back toChattom, typically, people who maybe go to school here and maybe some day wantto move back to Chatham and we create kind of incentives, an and ideas ofreasons why Chatam could be a cool place to relocate so yeah. It's beeninteresting for me, and I think that was because that was my perspective andI was so passionate about my community. Ultimately, and I see all the pros ofthe reasons why you should move back and obviously chaam needs young peopletoo. We have lost little bit. So I think it's really really important andyou know I know that ultimately, the more young people that are in Chathamthe better quality of life I 'm going to have because it's just moreinspiration, more cool businesses, more stuff to do or of your people or a hope.So so why wasn't the default for you to go? Find a stable job? ECAUSE YOUTRAVELED! Then you said you came back and started your own water sportscompany. Why weren't you yo no first step, go find a job somewhere and worksomewhere stable. I that's a great question. I I I live the freedom. Ialso loved having fun all the time so be, and my friends were you know,because we kind of grew up on the water. We didn't. Have you know mansions andstuff. I mean it was far from that, but I think ultimately we were verypassionate about the community we lived in, which wasn't? You know, a big fancyresort town Erio. If anybody knows about it is a little tiny fishingvillage, and when we were kids I mean you know we would go down behind theFire Hall and ride our skateboards off Pingno tables. It wasn't, you knowanything, overly fancy, but we just love that little community and myfriends and I grew up there and- and we grew up on our skateboards and hangingO ound, the bay on our little tinboats and stuff, and we we were justsuperpassionate about wakeboarding and that just kind of inspired us to throwsome events that were you know we tickeed advants and music and bands andnplayed and bands n. We did a bunch of stuff and I always saw an opportunity.I had a clothing company for a couple of years, where I just I recognizedthat there was a lifestyle component in how you can market something and youcan share your passion and people really want to buy in to your storyultimately, but in an honest way- and I think there's I always had that kind ofperspective on how to make a cool lifestyle in knowing that you know whatI really need, and I mean I worked for businesses as well. It wasn't alwaysjust me doing my own thing, but ultimately I always knew that. I wouldend up doing my own thing so o and how dogs been sitting here patientlyletting Aon teleisd Goin. It's a Greek store. How? How did you guys end upmeeting ECAUSE? I want to get to the founding of sunsaken. How did this Holl tellestore really quick? This is kind of a crazy story, so I knew a dug.I knew who dog was. I didn't know him. I didn't. I've never met him dugs alittle bit older than me and his brother Al, and so I was conservativeyeah so dug and Al Her brothers, Therre,also business partners, and this there's four of us altogether, but thestory of DUGANALF. I took a job after I finihed being school in Germany, IADbeen back in living in chat, I'm kind of looking for something to do so. Itook an intership internship, slash brewing job in Myconesia in Pala, so Iwas like I'm gonna. I want to take. We skripped over, like Yeah rewingbriliant school in Jersey. You musthave...

...went to micro, so so I want to hear lkKo goon o the story bu like I want to hear. We got ta fill in the blanks here,a little bit, yeah a little bit m yeah so long as Sto e short, I'm on my wayto Um from Toronto to Vancouver and thenVancouvere Topala, which is a small island in Macinesia, probably like. Ithink it's about two hundred nautical miles from to the east of thePhilippines. So just for context. Geographically, most people don't knowwhere Palauas, but not too far from Guam. It's an independent island, it'sself governed, but but fifty thousand people live on there all the time lotsof tourism from Asia. So there's a burry there they make beer on theisland. They import a lot of ingretients from the US, but it wasreally cool it swown by an American guy, really creative, passionate craftbrewer. I caught Windo this thro thre people I went to school with and I waslike you know this 'LD be awsome and do this for a few months and STURF andmake beer live my life. But on my way out there my visa was denied inVancouver. They wouldn't. Let me on the plane to get to Pallao. So next thingyou know I'm hanging out in Vancouver waiting to get all this paperworksorted out and I'm killing time staying on my friend's couch and I'm justvisiting brees 'cause. Why not? I love beer and I had known that Elfan dogbrothers were living in Vancouver from Chatam. Originally there are these twobrothers that were from chatdom they're living in Vancouver building. ReallyCool Beres out there and I end up visiting these bewries and a monitourof th bery called red truck, and it was one that Elfan dug were just finishingbuilding and alfs up there in the office working on some paperwork, and Iget introduced all these people on this tour and Iwaslike. We start talking toe ' from Chatam he's from Chadam next thing. You know we're having beers, wego out for drinks and and start talking about stories who we know obviouslyChanne being a small town. Everybody knows somebody very few degrees ofseparation there and, and we KINDOF START D. This idea of like you', thinkthere's you think you could build a Brian Channel. You think it couldsupport a BRI and I'm this young guy being like yeah. I would love to movehome some day and have a sweet Bereee, and if these guys are on it like we canmake it happen me being a little young and at the time and obviously a little,maybe overzealous, of the whole concept and how easy it must be to build deberihaving these guys as a reality check was a huge opportunity and I knewhaving that would would seal the deal. We could get it done and there's a lotof advantage of O that so I ended up taking the job machinusum. I did itcouple of months in I get an email from alf and we had never really like setthe tone and we never said like we're goingto build a brery, but I think Alphan, I kind of inspired each other.We let it go for a couple of months. I get an email from him randomly somehowhe found out how to get a hold of me 'cause. I was like yeah I'm going to myConesia to catch Hor later. You know, and I get an email from him saying heywhen you coming back iwould love to talk more about this idea and I waslike well actually my job is done in about a month and then'll be my flight.Will connect in Vancouver, betl ill ust, extend it and I'll. Hang it in van fora couple of weeks, and we can try to see this is going on and then yeah. Weall got involved. 'cause always been part of that too, and then we sat downfor about a couple of weeks and drank a lot of coffee started, shooting the ID around andyeah, and then we were inspired. That was aroun twenty fifteen. I believe Wa,Fifteen Y R and H and then yeah. It took us a solid year,at least to get things really moving. But then I flew back to Chatham trthen.I started got final location. We had no direct flight from Micronesia to chate.There isn't now, no yeahtinaly ias a tricky one but yeah. So that's kind ofhow we me t that's how the store started. Ultimately, I think, havingthat small town connection was the inspiration, the fact that we were allin the industry ar their partner to him as well. He was from Chatham, but hewas. He was a brewer for a little while backin his day, and then we all Kindo had this brewing experience in the factthat wee all kind of not entirely invested in Chatam at the time with ourcareers or our jobs, wherever we were,...

...but we kind of saw this opportunity ofChattaman because wer all grew up there and we all had this vested interest inour hometown that it inspired us so and how did what were you guys doingdog like w? Why were you guys? You were working on other brewies? What were youguys up to my brother, an OLF and I have a consulting company out ofVancouver and we install craftberries across Canada, not just in BC. We've done 'em all overthe place, Troto Niagra Calgary, so we started compan m two thousand andtwelve, and I think we've worked on over thirty on an engineering capacityand probably fifteen on an installation capacity. Tlike, we're actually goingin actually installing the Berisor people and getting contractors comit,and how did you guys develop that expert like where did that come fromwher yoits? Really so my story's, not as great as collins he's got a greatstorry he's surfing. When I was twenty two that was Kino when I was twenty two Iwas in college. By the time I was twenty five I had two kids, I needed ajob. I was supposed to go to BC with my brother off didn't happen, Owass,because I had two kids and Um, so I just got in Te corpoworld. I was inautomotive. I was flying all over the world get automotive and I just gotburnt out. So I quit and moved to B C in two thousand and twelve and thirteen.My Wife said I had to go back to work, two thousand and thirteen. You need togo back to work so alferd for Molsen's. He quit moltinto him back an goes cleanmasters, an clean energy and he was doing some consulting. He met a guideof Barbecue and squamish than needed help, which is the red trek. Berrycollinwas talking about, and I had some project management experience and somesales and tech so e S. won't you come down and check it out and see if youcan help these guys out. So he worked on the engineering side and I kindofworked on the project management side and from there it just took off, andthis massive boom hit waas it like thirteen threetiming or these guys likea craft beer boom, has been ongoing. It's an interesting state right now,but at that time I mean Alf being with Molsen Miller cores. Ultimately, forfourteen years previous I mean nobody saw this craftbeer wave hitting the wayit did, but obviously olf having that background with those guys for so longand then kind of being got out of the industry exactly when the craftyerindustry was about to explode, and it was just you know that the idea of theidea actually, when I first went out there 'cause, I have my I'm a mctechout of college at a St Clarence Codam with energy management, and we weregoing to start an e energy management company that was KINDOF. The idea whenI went out there and we were going to talk about it and then this crap boomhit and we were only supposed to work like thirty hours, wee a toldhem look.I've been working eighty hours a week for ten years, I'm done, and next thingyou know- were we'reenswn three berries at one time and SI was crazy and thatwent on and on and on and then in fifteen when we met Calland, that'swhen it that's when it just took off with I, with the sons Accounenwell andbefore that, before meeting Colin you s must have been tossing around likedoing this. For so many other people. Should we just do it on our own? Wereyou just originally? You know Alfan I had talkedabout it. ECAUSE we saw business case owe he was a c. He was in capital whenhe was. He dealt with a lot of capital projects at Molson's, H at theengineering manager, and he um. He kindof had all the background and heknew what we needed. He knew everything we needed to build a brewery. Therewere some pieces that he didn't have and once we started figuring out allwhat all that was that's when we started going to Hine e. What are wedoing? Why don't we open our own brewry and that was probably just before youcame out yeah so so I, the reason I knew who Alfin dug were were because Iheard that these two brothers were fishing around ideas to build a Barin,Chatom and people started telling me that hey somebody told me that theseguys were looking at a building. Maybe and t these guys want to build a Brieand I'm like I don't know who these guys are, but I got a figure Tho andfind ow who they are 'cause whatever's going on a chanel. I got to be part ofit. We ad actually talked to Im Yah...

...before youws, because Tim was abrewerback in the day B. I can, I want to say Jesus before I met my wife so inthe early nineties and he was making home brew in his house and I wasn'tdrinking it at the time. 'CAUSE Thir was a curs like gt back. Then let the secret be no yea. I used to bea converted. CUSE LIK. They only drank Mostan products, you wtha the connection yeah, so interesting, different, different stories. Right,like you, went and did something totally different, obviously had aninterest in beer for a while, though yeah always iunderstin beer, but but itwas just a on a career sid. No it it probably started when I moved to BC,that's really when it started: Happenin Ind, like okay. This is a really greatidea and in twenty twelve, ultimately, in my mind, was the year that craftsstarted to become recognized. It was ite was a lot of stories. A lot ofstuff in the media, Montario was always a little bit behind in terms of whenthe boom was going to come, and a lot of that was just because I meananterroris a weird province. Ultimately, but I mean you look at the West Coast,I mean, that's always been the the boiling pot, for you know, creativityand stuff, so BC was always ahead and obviously I and that's how we figureeut yeah an oftenk being out there, while all the boom was happening outthere. I think you know, I remember Alfhoy said he saw so much potential ona terror that just hadn't happened. Yet I think at the time BC was aroundseventeen to twenty percent craft sales and ntere was around four or five yeah.So we saw I mean there was not ton of opportunity early on Um and there stillis, but it's changed. Things are always changing. This is such a weird industryin terms of the speed at which things happen, I think a lot of things are butyeah I mean as a whole. I mean we're very fortunate to be in the location,whe'read and I'm super grateful we're doing what we're doing, but things arechanging. You gotto be on top of it and it's it's good to to know. What's goingon in B C in the? U S. for that matter, too, things are changing fast overthere, but Ontario is in kind of it's a beast of its own in its uniqueness inthe industry of beer and alcohol in general, there's a ton of opportunity,but there's also a lot of challenges and it's territory. I guess so. Okay,so you guys meet up. Who knows luck? Fate, grace! I don't know what happened?You N meating up? U S, Son Opportunity all from Chanam. You move back, decide that you're going to open up andchat em so walking through even briefly like how did you figure out what to do?First? So the thing that's, I ' not going to say stumps a lot of people,but, like you wanted to be back an Chatt, you had an interest in beer. Youhad a background and Beera your brother works on capital projects. You kneewthe technical side like I see how all the ingredients are coming together,but then then, what? How did you get things going in channel?Well, I thi, I think first ot hapened is we had to do a bit. We did abusiness case Oup in BC. We hired a guy or actually a higher guy 'cause. It'sthe craft beer world. We talked to a guy out in BC that had just opened up abury he's: A marketing guy. He created a market case like R A business casewors and I don't even think sonsce was our number one choice to start with. Wethrew some names around and this Guy Canad he was hes marketing Guro, whoopened a Beri in Avesford and he was really inspiring and he waskindof like well. This is what I'm going to kind of start with on asmaller scale and KINDOF, how we're going to try to raise capital andwhatever, I think ultimately, buries- are very capital. Intensive projects.You've got T, I mean if you walk into a brewry shure the tap room. You got somenice bars and you know tables and chairs whatever. But when you reallylook behind the window, there thereis a window where you look in the back door,I mean there's a tonof stainless, teel ton of infrastructure that has to gointo it in terms of waste, water and natural gas and energy wraw energy.Just turning it into stuff and then you've got concrete and and the bonuson that end was Alfindog, knew they've built a lot of buries and knew exactlywhat things are going to cost. They knew all the suppliers, so we kind ofcould come up with a rough budget of...

...what we need to start, but then it wasyeah. Trying to I mean I'm, not the financial garn, but I know ultimatelyAl Kinda, I think, had an idea in his head of. We need this much money tojust get the doors open, and then we can rally and try to keep this thinglike we could start on a smaller scale. If we don't get all the money we need,but we just had to have a. We had kind of a black and white number that we hadto have and if we had that just minimum amount, then we could open the doorsand start and then we could continue to raise a bit more money and also startbrewing beer and selling beer and improving to the banks that we can havesome revenue coming in to you know: try to keep that cashful happening, butyeah, it's a capital, intensive business, so I think ultimately it was.I mean finding a location that worked for us and everything else. But but youknow it was a tough start. You know there wase days when I think we allFELGT, like I don't know if this thing's actually going to happen, youknow M, it was tough. We you know we got beat down by some financial guysoff the beginning, which was kind of defeating and but also ther. An no waytoo. I Wa kind of open there. Wase some reality checks that we had to have. Ithink in that starting phase, but but I think honestly for me and everybody'sdifferent personality wise, but but having partners at that point I think, washealthy in the sense of where we all kind of motivated each other a littlebit to to you know we all Han kind of leveraged each other to say hey, youknow, let's not, let's you know if somebody else is going to try, then I'mgoing to back yet wher its going to keep this thing on so so wrote. Thebusiness plan did the business case. Use that case to go. Try to find somemoney get some Gabatd we are, but in the meantime, what we did. We did alittle market study and chottom back in fifteen theyhad a craft beer show. Sowe made some beer at Imar of the ownles place. He had his old equipment. Wemade am beere in his basement. Took it took it there just to see what theresponse would be from the Chatham folk or actually not Chatim Chi an cennfolkand it w as it was excellent. I called I was going to ask like kind of a bigleap of faith. Right like I get. If you were to, I don't know, gobusiness school for a second like. Let's pick the perfect market to launcha craft bury, maybe it would be shadom, maybe it wouldn't be, but you guys saidno we're going to start with chattems where it's got to be yeah. That was,that was the standard. I think you could. You could really, depending onwhere you want to put a Bu Ye, would really determine your market strategyin Your Business Strategy. But for us we knew chatamwas our base, our storyor our emotional connection. Personaly a Chatem was there, but I think our ourstory of who we are- and I think, having a a really inspiring story intoday's Day in terms of small business or any business in general is, isreally important and I think your consumer Tosein, the craft B, YourBusiness is, is really engaged with your story and if you can have anhonest story about you know four guys who grew up in this in this small townand were in the industry and decided that they wanted to come home andandbuild. This thing is: that's a story in itself that people can reallyinteract with. I guess ultimately so so that was kind of the Chatham componentof it for us, but yeah everybody could have their own store wherever they wantto be, but I mean ultimately where you are determines like there isn't reallyanother bury in Chatam. So it also. We have a pretty open canvase of what wecan do, I'm not going to say there won't be another Bru someday in Chatham.I think it would probably be healthy for the city to have another berry, butif I were to open, if I wasn't involved, is SPR ND opening another one and wealready existed. I probably wouldn't do the same thing. We were doing right. Imean there's, there's other avenues now that you could attract business. Doingyou know so, so how did you there's five of yougetting going for four four? How did you decide h how to structure it? Didyou guys put in your own money? Did you raise all outside capital like how didyou actually get going? So what we did is we? We did the business case up. Weall put money in at one point, no e said Lik. We just between four T wasjust don't have enough money to do what we wanted to do so we we actually wentout and didn't investor pitch.

We did it at at a club in Inchot Im alittle club and it was a real eye opener the questions that we got fromit. Knowing that most of T, none of us are Busi e. We weren't business guyswere tack, engineering, Bering Tech. You were tach at one pointand that Kinda, you know we got a l lie opener there, but but we were able tosecure some investors right at the beginning and that's how we that's howwe got going and I think you know going to thosebeing from Chatham. Originally. I think we all had personal connections to thatcity with you know, people who worked for the bank- or you know, friends thatyou know were in business and and could kind of point us in a direction andpeople wish we should talk to who have some money in Chi, they're, looking toinvest and Buryis a unique business opportunity, a lot of people see itdifferently. I think there's a lot of opportunity in the business financially,of course, but there's also a legacy component to it. There's a communitycomponent to it, there's a cultural component to it so, depending on whypeople want to invest in in what they want to invest into. Everybody has adifferent justification. If you're, you know an ultimately a bee's kind of acool story and it's it's it's a bit of a legacy piece. You know you're, we arewhat's happened in that city since we've built that buries is reallyinspiring. I mean the population's growing again and I'm not saying theBeris. The only reason that happened, but all these small pieces in and Umreally inspiring people and in I think we were a little bit of a catalyst forchange. An even attitudes are changing in that city and we're hearing so muchmore positiveity. There's more young people coming back to open businesses.So I think we were just one small piece of that story that helped reinspirethat whole community and now there's more money coming Ino, the community.Ultimately, so a lot of the people who helped us invest obviously had otherbusiness interests in the city as well, and I think it's it's been incrediblyvaluable for them too. So it's cool yeah, so you said h. This helps me figure outhow you deristed a little bit. So you got some some of your own money foundsome investor money. Did your market test frsome Er festivals got someproduct out there figured out. There was going to be a good response. Howdid you figure out what elements that you wanted and what elements you didn'twant so there's this concept in we talk about teaching arch, pernorship,analogs and Antalogus. So the example, like I don't know, you're going tostart a coffee shop. You go to all the coffee shops. You make a list of allthe things you like. You go to cobfy shops maker, wih list fallow. He thingsthat you don't Tor. All of your experiences. Did you guys have thislist in your head, like? How did you figure out what it was going to looklike what to Sart there's a lot of brewries that you can investigate innow, and I worked for, I mean for me. Iworked for a large Beri, Asaya ill work for collective arts right before thebre open in Chattom, which is now one of the largest berews in Ontario andthey're growing like crazy, and that was really interesting for me to kind osee what I liked about that place whet. I did a ultimately their KICKAN ASS andthey're moving a lot of volume, but that was really cool for me and thenobviously, these guys being able to work in a lot of beries and seeing howbrews were starting and things that they liked about him and didn't, andthat was really cool and- and I think that gave us that insformation to toopen a breathe the way we wanted it and how we wanted our taproom to look- andyou know, there's still things that two year two and a half years in you know,we should probably change that we a we still are evolving and changing d stufftoo. So that's been good but yeah, I think, being able to to check outmarkets. I mean even the city of London. Now we open in twenty sixteen twentyseventeen, sorry and how many Beres have opened in laden since twent anseventeen is actually pretty crazy. I thintwo or three at least so every year. It's kind of this. Thisbusiness is growing, the industry's growing and things are changing and youhave to be unique and on top of it and whatever, but but having so many brewsavailable to us, really inspired us and then obviously being close to Michigan,which is a huge beer destination, helped give us kind of a better boing.In the origial too, though, we did sit down and we actually did some brainstorming, but we all kind of talked about Yourk Sobe, like your experienceMa, I just ad my experience Thames and...

...we kind of took all those things andsaid we want this. We don't want. You know we don't want this, you know wedon't want to have a a bar is one if we don't want to be a bar, be want to e aa tasting room. Er Yo, won't come in TA, sit down and Droy a beer and hang outjust on. That's one small point: We, you know we all talked about LCB andBresretail. What do we want to be in? What's the best thing for yeah, andepending on the sides of your really depends on like where you? What avenues you need topursue? As a be I mean ultimately, if you're a tiny, brue pub with a smallsystem in in a really awesome location in the downtown Corp. You N' have thecapacity or th the square footage to be a massive production facility. That'sgin to pump ther o the lcbo versus you know a really large outfit that has allthe packaging equipment and huge tanks you're never going to sell enough beerin your tap room to justify all your equipment. So you got to find thatbalance and I think, for us, we had kind of the best of both worlds, have acool location and we have a lot of space in the back, so we're kind ofdoing a bit of both, but your your tap room sales or your front of House salesor whatever you want to call them, are very kind of Finie. In my mind I meanyou can always grow that, but you know if you're a bar restaurant, I mean youcan get more people in the door, but you're only going to be able to ges somany people in the door. You have a capacity, but in retail it's kind ofinfinite. Where you can, you can keep pushing a d pushing us being close tothe American border. We keep that avenue open, we're still investigatingit. We haven't entirely pursued it. Yet we've done some test markets where wemoved a little bit of Beer Inda Detroit and did some promos to see what thefeedback would be scool partnerships over there and stuff, but we haven'tentirely gone down that Rodyan, but we will. We will investigate more, as timegoes on. As we see if there's no more opportunity there cool cool, so you get location was key. You New Chatam, butthe location that you guys end up getting is pretty awesome. Tere USCOOEL history in the location, an old movie theater igh in Chatam y o Tha,that's a great spot. You who's the actual brewers, I'm I am calling socalling the Ma masterbewer you are th. You are the product, the product yeah, so you dris it tofigure out like okay, we get some local investors. These guys know the businessyou're, passionate bering, we've tested some of the product to Ge, put it outthere in the market. People seem to like it, but then there's this like leap. You've got to take right likewe're, going to way down money, we're going to open the doors, we're Gong toget investors on and like, let's figure out if people are going to like this ornot so I don't know opend the doors on day one how di? How did you get people to knowthat you guys existed? We didn't even tell people honesty. Chottom is such aI small town. I mean any small town people loved to gossip and whatever wekind of reserved our even social media, we weren't we weren't trying to gocrazy because any big project with a lot of infrastructure never goes downon time, and I I mean obviously Alfhan dug you guy C, I don't think we've everhad one project that yeah met our my Timelin, because I did the timelinenever met it yeah because of Dagoneli, usually there's a lot of MOE, lator,Mosi, Hart and and trying to nail down an exact date was really hired. I meanwe wanted to be open, fall of twenty sixteen and it was just like wow. Thisisn't going to happen so then Yeh. You start this project and you startspending money, and you know you Gott. The only way we're going to startmaking money is if we start putting liquid into these gags and startselling it, and it's a really tight spot, because you're likel, we can'topen the brewry. Until I mean we had our permits and stuff, but of courseyou got to have your if you Wanto Open your taproom tat's, totally differentpermnt, because it's the alcohol business and there's tons of rule. Sothese lags and delays and TNOW. We have thirty days to to even get our doorsopen once we submit the paperwork, but they won't even look at your buildinguntil you have it finished. So many of these things are happening and, and wewere trying to get the doors open, but honestly word of mouth was so easypeople and Chatham like I was mentioned early. I don't know if I sait on thepot gest, but people in chat him wanted...

...something so bad and and nobodyhadoffered them anything. So once this thing started happening and people sawtanks coming down the street and going into the old cinema and Chatam downtownpeople were talking, and I think that was really happy to Kinda. We help fuelthe gossip, I guess, or the the word of mout stuff, that we didn't give anydefinitive timelines or anything like that. We kindo just kept putting outthe you know the little guerilla marketing as if you will, and just kindof you know, trying to get people talking and let them tell the storybetween themselves and let people go home at night and say hey. I saw sometanks going into that that building ligor on her face. Bok you'd posesomething on the facebook Eah and we would just watch the people just STARTC.Are they ever going to open that a a and people would just- and I think I Igenuenely do believe that I was a really healthy way to do it, because itkind of gave us an open book to get the doors open when we could, rather thancome up with a definitive date and not hit it, and it allowed people just kindof by word and mouth to get really excited and tell their story and whatthey think they heard and what they heard. And we didn't really publishdefinitive things which gave us om flexibility. And then, when we openedthe doors there was retrofast, which is a big classic. CARFESSFOL and Chananchannel people like classic cars and we just openedthe doors. I didn't tellanybody and therewas a line up down the street people just started. TalkingHeyher, I heard the doors were open. We got to go down there and check it outand it was packed. We were blown away and then we had our grand opening acouple of weeks later, once we kind of got through the craziness of it all andhaving kind of that secret opening allowed us to work out the kinks a bittoo, and I think that's a healthy way to do it but teach their own see. Thatwas good. It was great Tso, a little secret soft opening wh. What did you?How many products did you start with h many yeers round tap when you openedday one we have like twelve main taps on the bar. We probably opened with welok on by e II, at least Um, but we started with some smaller equipment. AnI mean we were doing about a thousand leters per batch at the time whichisn't super small, but it's small enough where it gave us the creativityto to be able to do some test, batches and trial, some cool stuff and openwith a big kind of a better portfolio or a better line up a beer. You couldsay- and that gave us more of an opportunity on that end and having morebeers, obviously driss some people in the door 'cause, it's it's just acooler thing. Obviously, it's cool en different beer for iferent people, soso before you launched, though you had, were you open about the name like? Didyou have a W Youhad a website? You had a FACEBOOK PA yeah? Yes, we Wen, wewere dabling, I mean yeah people knew there was a bury. I mean there isn't alot of news going on in Chine at least there wasn't, then so the newspapersand the media, the local media was, you, know, hounding us, and people knew whowe were. People were talking and we weren't. You know like the hidingbehind. You know brick walls and not coming out, but we kind of let like Isaid we can't let people tell the story for us a when the newspaper and stuffcame in. We I kindof gave them the setof rules. I've done. I do most ofthe P R stuff, and- and I said this is what you're allowed to say and whatyou're not allowed to say. Then I wasn't trying to be rude or anything,but I just said you know 'cause. The biggest question is: What Day Are youopening? I don't know you know and before you publish some vague thingthat people are going to get excited about, let's just keep it open ended anand they were pretty respectful, and that was cool and we took some photos.You know like the CTV news came in while we still had dirt on the floorsand stuff 'cause. Everybody was just talking about it and it was such aninspiring thing for our community, which was cool, and that was excitingthat we didn't realyenough to try. People were coming to US left and rightand not every business gets that. But beer is beer, it's sexy and cool andexciting and it inspires people. So so you guys have done an amazing job. On Imean the story. The story is a genuine story Ma. That's that's just the story.If the story, it's a great story, but you've done a good job of telling itand sharing it through your website and facebook and social and everything elseso gather that social is a big component to marketing like it's. Thevoice that you control is that, where you interact mainly with your fans withyour yeah, I mean I understand that...

Chatam, like Kent, county demographics,OC Chatam, Kenn as a whole popis about a hundred thousand, and it's mostlyolder people, I would say the one unique thing about ourbere- is thatmajority of our market is probably a bit older than what a crafper in Londonmight be m in terms of demographics. I would say, like probably thirty five tofifty five is our main. You know main market where other brews might be moremallenial focus, but but it works for us and it's cool. So when, when youtalking about social, that's kind of blery, because obviouslyyounger people are more engaged with social media, although it is changing,of course, but it's unique in the sense Haf. I have friends that own breeise aswell and they're, like Ngramisgram Instrram, of course- and it is thebiggest platform now, but we get a town of traffic on facebook, because it's anolder audience and a little bit of that is is our audience. So it's interestingto see that a little bit more, but I mean we sell our beer in more thanChatam. Of course I mean southwestern. Otario is our main region, but ourbeers available across the province and we we advertise and market our beerdifferently depending on the gographical region, we're in knowingthat our market will change the further away we get from Chatam, but social,huge yeah, of course, and I would say, yeah between those two platforms:That's Hor! That's her bread and butter. Honestly, but in Chatam I mean the radio guys believe it or not. Radiostill does well for us for our market and the the guys on the radio stationsare huge supporters, of course, so that's always fin to blink up with them,and even the newspapers are you know, print still works and chatem believe itor not. So we still dabble on that yeahat's cool. How did you guys decidewhat to do yourselves and what to Oul source? I'm thinking meainly on likethe saleside or sals and marketing side. So like again, like you're, who did the logo? Who Does the brandingon the beers? Who Does the your social is awesome? Yeah, um? Let's see the original logo was done byour guy n BC, Yeah Yeah Yeah, so we um yeah, I mean douganalf had the guy whobuilt that Beri. Who was really a marketing guru, not so much liketecbeer guy, and he really helped us get the ball rolling on like what weneed to do from yeah a marketing sale strategy, so he was like logo needs tobe great website needs to be modern, like he playit hundred percent and- andhe kindof showed us his business case and said this- is you know, being likesomebody Ho's been in marketing in sales for Y hower many years? He was init probably ten years, at least and then to say here's my business case.That's really marketing sales driven in in that perspective, and you know we'regoing to build a Beri. I understand like a nets where Dagenov kind ofhelped him a bit and said well, this is what it's going to take to to build aBeref, financially the equipment you're going to need the infastructure interms of you, know, energy and and water and everything else, and then hekind of gave us all these guidelines ipe. This is what you guys need to doand really helped us point us in a direction at was going to get us. Therehelped us, as in Helogo, in the name of the company and or story a little bit.I mean a story was our story but helps us tell the story better and H, andthen we kindof a we source. We osourses a lot of our design stuff and we try tofind people who are familiar with the industry. Obviously, when you get intobeer labels and and Canne labels and stuff a lot of rules in terms of whatyou can and can't have so, if you have somebody who's worked in the alcoholindustry already in terms of what you legally are obligated to put on yourlabels that helps so we kind of found people who had a bit more familiarity,but I think, between all of us, we always sat down and said what do wewant, our our feel to look like, and that has changed, probably a bit fromthree and a half years ago en this idea started and what you know what we'verealized is. People are a little more receptive to us, but obviously chatombeing classic car capital and having an old cinema. That's a little bit morenostalgic. We really tried to feather in a bit of that Rhetrofiel I mean oureght track. Ip Rx P, I guess, is- is kind of falls into that category. Quitewell, so that's kind of our inspiration...

...from the marketing standpoint and thenwe do a lot of it in hosts too, we have three full time sales people from youknow London, Windsorstarnia and everywhere in between, and then we havean Lcbo guy too, which is fals into that group and then from the marketingstandpoint. I actually do some of it myself. I obviously dabble in somesoftware in in terms of design stuff and I like to have fun with it, but Ihave a friend of mine who has a company and we KINDOF oource a lot of like thevideo stuff and through him, and he helps me ind us kind of reallyfinalized these creative ideas that we might start on our own, but thenthey'll help seal the deal and get it done and get it on the Internet. Getpeople get eyeballs on it, so cool. So I'm I'll make a guess that I usuallytalk about like what of the what are like the critical things. Above all theother things. What are the critical things you need to nail in in thisindustry as over? You guys like? I would gather that nailing. The Look andfeel and Brandon story was one piece that was worth investing in you product has to be good like if thebeer was bad. U Yeah, I, the beer, sex you'll, never get past the startingline. I mean, and that's it's too competitive, now to not have a goodproduct. I think five years ago. Nobody really cared, they guess they're, justevery wanted craft beer was such a cool idea and there wasn't a lot of them outthere. So your selection was low, especially for us being in a regionmean for me, growing up and er, not even growing up up B being in Chathamfive ten years ago and being into beer was almost nonexistent right I mean we,I go to the Lcbo and there was you know, barely anything that was craft fromOntario and thats changed a lot now in that competitive end of things yeah,you gotta have a good product, but I would I would totally argue that atleast fifty percent of your sales are determined by your marketing, which isyour story telling and your strategy and your your image, your brand atleast fifty percent. The hardest part is getting somebody just to try yourbeer for the first time, and if you make a good beer, then they'll drink itagain, but if they're let down once there's a lot of other opportunities ofthere or other options out there, I guess you could say for them to findtheir favorite beer and if you know, even quality consistency on my end fromthe brewing slsh production management is crucial. I mean we. The last thing Iwant is a batch of beer going out. That's not good enough 'cause that canthat has tons of long term detrimental effects, t not just that one batsh thatwent now bad people who love that beer might say. You know those the peoplewho love. It will probably go back to it again, but if it's thatfirst personwho's trying it for the first time, they'll remember thatforever. So we are incredibly critical on quality inconsistency and makingsure that our product is always always on top and then yeah. The sales guysobviously have to be the face on the street that are that are representingus. Well, when we try to you know, we have some really talented people thatare doing that and and then our brand image in our story has to be on pointtoo. So there's a lot of parts and if you don't nail one of them, then youknow you can have the best beer in the world, but if you're brand Sux, then itdoesn't matter right. I mean, if you make the best pear in the world, butnobody drinks it is it really the best beer in the world you know. Is thereanything along the way that surprise you for better or worse,something, maybe that you didn't anticipate that was harder than it. Youthought it was going to be or something that you thought was going to be reallychallenging. ATD ended up being great for you guys. Both you eitheryeah the there was a lot of stuff right inthe beginning. I think that Kinda opened my eyes yeah an just trying to get just tryingto get things started and the delays that we got. I mean we thought a lot ofstuff when we're building beries for other people, but I think part of thething for us. We hadn't done Wedn' worked on like a tasting room andtrying to up with that and is Callin said earlier. It took a long time toget that done and get the perace on it and that that was a huge eyeopener forme on that, and I don't know calling did you did you go anything on thatyeah? I think you know one of the...

...hardest things for me is as a growingcompany. I mean we're growing, probably what we did like seventy percent growththis year, which is a huge number for any business. You know an n managingthat grouth is really really hard. I mean financiallyit's hard 'cause. Beer is a weird product that Hassit in tanks and thenferment and then it's got to get into the packaging process and it's got toget package. Ond just got to sit in the fridge and then the salesguys got tasell it, and then you got to receive the money. Lteres there's a a hugedelay from wrongredients to revenue and, and that is challenging when you'regrowing that fast. So that's been a struggle for us, but you know, seventypercent is is a big number. I mean we we're anticipating in twenty twentytwenty will be fifty percent, but you know that growth curve is can't stayaccelerated like that forever. I think it's just impossible, but we are stillseeing a ton of growth in managing growth is really really challenging.'cause that brings in New People and more bodies on the floor and and thenyou have to it's more managing people which we've been really fortunate withan awesome team, but it's still hard right. I mean it's not just pumpingliquid out and hoping for the best there's a lot of moving parts, but theone thing that I guess going to the other side of it things that I haveseen that I never foresaw being as easy as they are. Are these I kindof touchedon it earlier, but engaging our community in a positive way and how howmuch people really want to believe in what you're doing? If you give themsomething to believe and give them a reason to do then- and I mean yeah likewe- have lineups- U The door down the street to buy beer for you know like x,ORF former Major League baseball players that grew up in Chattam orformer anycel guys. Tha grew up in Chanamor, but we did a beer for RMclassic cars, which was what big kind of classic Car Companyn Chat, and we doa lot of charity beers where a portion of every sale goes to a local charityand- and not only is that great for the charity, I'm obviously it's great for acommunity and people rally behind that and and we're obviously very engaged inour community t it's home, so those values we always knew that were there,but to really drive that and create these products that are beneficial to acommunity. People are so you know stoked on that as we are and it and itmakes it. You know it makes it easy GE to line up people down the street to toget stoked on that too. So that's cool. It's amazing, ow small towns, kind ofrallid together to support the cause when the timing's right inthe stories right. That's Great Thi's been great chatting with you guys. Ilove the story for people that want to find you either online or to gopurchase. Where do we where you located? Where do people find you? Well, weusually have two products in the Lcbo Cross, the province all the time thatchanges depending on the season, but for the most part we always have eighttreck, which is our IPA and then, but if we're in Chatam on T, you don't knowwhare that is he's googling seasy enough, but yeah we're not too far fromthe downtown Cors we kind of are considered to be in the downtown corps.Obviously, sons of Ken tcom Will Give You all that fun information that youneed, but we are available in Grocery and beer store agency stores, which iskind of anique thing, but but yeah we're always kind of growing AUretaillist. Ultimately, we're across the province, mostly in southwesternOntario, so kind of you know, you'd, say the Kitchener Waterloo and thensouthwest of that is our is our territory. So any any of thoseretailers you'll find is pretty easily I'm sure, but come of the BURYTS awsome.That's great, the adds a great vibe last one before lets you go and you cananswer it. Rapid fire advice to your call it twenty five year oldself likewould you do it any differently? I'm not that much older than twentyfive. So, but I mean I think I wouldn't do it anydifferently. Honestly, I think m there's things that have changed somuch in the last. For me six years I guess Inti, twenty five things havechanged along the industry. So it's hard to say I mean beer is evolving andchanging all the time, but I think I'm pretty proud and happy with what wehave accomplished in Chatam in the last...

...few years and Chatam is changing too,is a town. So, with an ever changing kind of economic in business area, Iguess Toban, it's it's yeah. I think we're happy with whe we're at but yeah,that's my two sense think than wark. I don't think I change anything 'causethe whole thing's been a Eincu for me. So t your twenty five year old, SamiTwenty five yeah, that's 't long o long! That's a long g should have had more CA. You KN W. Idon't think I would have like knowing what I know now. I wouldn't changeanything. You know if I was twenty five and it started out this way, it'd begreat because you're Learnin as you go, and different people from the city likepeople from the city from the owners from the people that work at the placeso you're learning everyday, and I wouldn't change that 'cause every day.You should be learning something new. So that's great guys! Thank you forspending. The time is good to hear Ou story. Yeah thanks, Ther Cho sin you'vebeen listening to the IVIONCMEN or potcast to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player, or visitIvy dotca forward, slash entremrenorship. Thank you so much forlistening until next time.

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