Where the beards are now!?
Whilst sitting in the living room over the holidays eating one too many of everything, my brother in law turned to me and said “Congratulations Moll”. “Pardon me?” I muttered as cracker crumbs whisped out of my mouth. “I just got a notification from LinkedIn. Congratulations on your 4 years at Village.” While I stuffed yet another salami cheese combo into my mouth I realized I’d been telling people I’ve been here for "almost 3 years" and haven’t been doing my math. LinkedIn alerts 1, Molly 0.
Over the 4 years that I've been here it seems there’s been a rule that if you don’t have a beard you can’t work here. Although false, it seems true. As I was cleaning files to start 2018 this photo got me to thinking where all the beards were today? See photo below.
Here’s an update:
Andrew, one of the OG's at Village, opened up his own brewery called Annex Ale Project with his partner Erica. Only a hop, skip and a jump from Village! Annex is a beautiful clean atmosphere with family style tables and hard hitting brews. They are key members of the Barley Belt which enables us to continue to work alongside Andrew! If you ever had the pleasure of enjoying a glass of the Village Ginger back in the day, you'll have raised a glass to cheers Andrew for this spicy brew and who's grandmother graces the poster.
Sam is now working at Persephone Brewing Company, which he told me was a dream of his growing up, being his home town brewery. Moving from a delivery position at Village, Sam truly had his eyes set on brewing. It was a transition that turned him from surly billy into a much happier version. I had the pleasure of visiting Sam when I was in Gibsons, BC and it truly is a gem! The little farm turned brewery is as cute as it sounds. And is located right off the highway on your way to the ferry! Sam was a wonderful tour guide and still has a beard. He also created the recipe for one of our summer favourites, the Village Squeeze.
Kirk recently opened up Zero Issue Brewing with his brother in the NE industrial. It's based around all the things they loved growing up, comic books, sci-fi, and more comics; as they grew they incorporated their love of great beer and a brewery was born! To keep the friendship going, our next collaboration for our Village Friend just so happens to be with Zero Issue! Keep your eyes peeled for the Imperial Golden Stout, made better together. Ironically, this is the second time Kirk will have appeared on the front bottle of the Village Friend, we've added a bit more grey to his portrait as a result. Kirk was also the creator of the spicy black saisson, the Village Undertaker.
Bernie moved onto the slightly different world of craft spirits and took a job as the head distiller at Burwood distillery in Calgary’s NE. Remembered always by answering Shira’s “Hunk Buzzer”, his amazing deep laughter and his love for questionable music genres. Bernie created the recipe for the Village Father Rauchbier.
Matty began on the bottling line, bringing that sweet sweet music and groove to the brewhouse. He still works part time as one of the most contagiously happy members of our taproom staff, but spends most of his time at SAIT getting his diploma in IT with a major in software development. Nerd alert! If you’re looking for him around noon though he can often be found at lunch with Jackson and myself or doing yoga in his living room.
Bobby is a mystery in the wind, a diamond in the rough. What does he do? I can’t be sure, it’s a question with a million answers. Last story I heard, he was getting his handmade, rawhide drum blessed by an elder when the last leaf had fallen. Bobby is currently living in Vancouver, sending me emails with the subject line “operation yas” with attached blueprints for the Vogue Theatre, have i said too much? They are lucky to have him.
Jeremy has been promoted to our QA Manager, ensuring only the best beers head out those brewery doors. His daily input and knowledge is a driving force, continually making our beers that much better. "Oh Billy". His pets are part of his identity, one of which is Lucy a rolly polly pug with bulging brown eyes and his one true love, man cat. And don't forget to look out for his band "Life Jacket", Jer will be the one in the front shredding that lead guitar. His prize brew he created was the Village Woodsman - a Northern Red Ale that was made that much more special as his dad's photo made it's way onto our packaging.
Eric climbed the Village ladder and is now the newest member of the marketing team. Going from the bottling line to our delivery driver where his business card read “don of distribution” he is now our Marketing and Taproom Coordinator. Handling all things taproom he is usually the loudest in the office, but also probably get’s the most done. One big project he's been working on is the creation of the Barley Belt YYC, a brewery district highlighting breweries in our vicinity around Manchester and Highfield industrial area in Calgary. Come by during our tap room hours and he'll pour you a pint or give you a taste of some of his favourite metal music, your choice! Watch for his elbows though, he throws down.
Although not everyone stays in one spot, we have been extremely lucky to have been graced with a bunch of talented, bearded brewers that have all gotten their own hands dirty in order to make this brewery what it is today. It takes a Village after all.
Written with love by @VillageMolly - Marketing & Design Coordinator