THE TEAM

 

Mick McNamara : Toronto West Sales Representative

First memory of beer:  Drinking Budweiser from the bottle in a field in suburban Dublin. We were pretty big on the cider at the time but someone brought some beer one day. It was one of the worst things I ever tasted. I was 14 years old.   How I came to craft:  Just before I left Ireland to come to Canada, I started drinking German wheat beers and this was a spiritual awakening for me. Prior to that I was just shotgunning Carlsberg and Heineken with less than satisfying results (blackouts!). Meeting my wife Sophi introduced me to craft beer, as when I came across the Atlantic to stalk her a whole new world of flavours opened up for me. I never looked back.   Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery:  There are so many! There was the sales meeting that took place at the top of Blue Mountain with ice cold Downhill Pale Ales and Fireball, followed by a day of falling over, as I can't snowboard. But the winner has to be the 2016 Christmas party up at the brewery. What started out as a costume-themed murder mystery turned into the most kicking-est dance party ever!! I'm talking dance-offs, tunnel of dance, attempted break-dancing, group hug dancing, sales team can-can lines and so much more.   How I got here:  I was in public accounting for almost 9 years before I saved myself. I started getting involved in the industry by blogging (reviewing beers and breweries). That was a good foot in the door in getting to know some people. I also enrolled in the Prud'homme beer sommelier program, where I learned most of what I know about beer today. After completing the program, I still had the hunger to learn more so I took the Certified Cicerone® exam which gave me a more in-depth understanding of ingredients and the brewing process. I also have to give my wife Sophi credit for pushing me to apply for the Collingwood job, she pretty much forced me into it!   Favourite beer:  A trappist ale from Belgium by the name of Orval. It is a Belgian Pale Ale of sorts, and it has huge complexity due to the use of 2 brewing techniques.   What I want with me on my desert island:  If we're talking people, it would have to be my girls Sophi and Nyla. They can bring home the bacon AND fry it up too! If I must be alone, I would request a case of Orval and a harmonica. I might actually then have time to learn how to play it!!   About me:  I only started watching Seinfeld when I came to Canada, and now I watch at least a couple of episodes a night. I am close to completing my fifth tour of duty aka all 180 episodes back-to-back.

First memory of beer: Drinking Budweiser from the bottle in a field in suburban Dublin. We were pretty big on the cider at the time but someone brought some beer one day. It was one of the worst things I ever tasted. I was 14 years old.

How I came to craft: Just before I left Ireland to come to Canada, I started drinking German wheat beers and this was a spiritual awakening for me. Prior to that I was just shotgunning Carlsberg and Heineken with less than satisfying results (blackouts!). Meeting my wife Sophi introduced me to craft beer, as when I came across the Atlantic to stalk her a whole new world of flavours opened up for me. I never looked back.

Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery: There are so many! There was the sales meeting that took place at the top of Blue Mountain with ice cold Downhill Pale Ales and Fireball, followed by a day of falling over, as I can't snowboard. But the winner has to be the 2016 Christmas party up at the brewery. What started out as a costume-themed murder mystery turned into the most kicking-est dance party ever!! I'm talking dance-offs, tunnel of dance, attempted break-dancing, group hug dancing, sales team can-can lines and so much more.

How I got here: I was in public accounting for almost 9 years before I saved myself. I started getting involved in the industry by blogging (reviewing beers and breweries). That was a good foot in the door in getting to know some people. I also enrolled in the Prud'homme beer sommelier program, where I learned most of what I know about beer today. After completing the program, I still had the hunger to learn more so I took the Certified Cicerone® exam which gave me a more in-depth understanding of ingredients and the brewing process. I also have to give my wife Sophi credit for pushing me to apply for the Collingwood job, she pretty much forced me into it!

Favourite beer: A trappist ale from Belgium by the name of Orval. It is a Belgian Pale Ale of sorts, and it has huge complexity due to the use of 2 brewing techniques.

What I want with me on my desert island: If we're talking people, it would have to be my girls Sophi and Nyla. They can bring home the bacon AND fry it up too! If I must be alone, I would request a case of Orval and a harmonica. I might actually then have time to learn how to play it!!

About me: I only started watching Seinfeld when I came to Canada, and now I watch at least a couple of episodes a night. I am close to completing my fifth tour of duty aka all 180 episodes back-to-back.


Pat O’Connor: Southwestern Ontario Sales Representative

First memory of beer: It was back in high school during my parents’ end of summer cottage party. I snuck a few beers from the cooler and headed to the forest behind our cottage. This was my first-ever beer. It was a delicious golden lager brewed in the high mountains of Colorado. It was crisp, light and refreshing, or so I was told. I was too anxious sipping away out of sight of my parents’ party to fully appreciate it, though.  How I came to craft: I was rafting with a rafting guide buddy on the Ottawa River and he introduced me to Beau's Lug Tread. At the time craft/local beer was new to me and I thought it was cool concept, drinking something that's brewed close to home. I became hooked when my idiot cousin started opening my eyes to the world of craft beer and all the different styles available.  Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery: I don't know if this one is my favourite but it's the one that is burned into my memory. At my first Christmas party with the brewery watching our stunning Toronto West Sales Rep Mick strutting around in his elf costume and getting the dance party started. Those tights he borrowed from his wife will never be the same again!  How I got here: I spent several years working for various outdoor education centres throughout Ontario. Most recently I worked at an outdoor education school in Niagara. Since I had July & August off I began working summer beer festivals for The Collingwood Brewery and things morphed into a role as a Sales Rep.  Favourite beer: My favourite beer from The Collingwood Brewery would be the Kingpost ESB. My all-time favourite though would be Guinness.  What I want with me on my desert island:Boy Scouts taught me to always be prepared, so I would never become stranded on a desert island.  About me: I've competed in four World Championships in two different sports.

First memory of beer: It was back in high school during my parents’ end of summer cottage party. I snuck a few beers from the cooler and headed to the forest behind our cottage. This was my first-ever beer. It was a delicious golden lager brewed in the high mountains of Colorado. It was crisp, light and refreshing, or so I was told. I was too anxious sipping away out of sight of my parents’ party to fully appreciate it, though.

How I came to craft: I was rafting with a rafting guide buddy on the Ottawa River and he introduced me to Beau's Lug Tread. At the time craft/local beer was new to me and I thought it was cool concept, drinking something that's brewed close to home. I became hooked when my idiot cousin started opening my eyes to the world of craft beer and all the different styles available.

Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery: I don't know if this one is my favourite but it's the one that is burned into my memory. At my first Christmas party with the brewery watching our stunning Toronto West Sales Rep Mick strutting around in his elf costume and getting the dance party started. Those tights he borrowed from his wife will never be the same again!

How I got here: I spent several years working for various outdoor education centres throughout Ontario. Most recently I worked at an outdoor education school in Niagara. Since I had July & August off I began working summer beer festivals for The Collingwood Brewery and things morphed into a role as a Sales Rep.

Favourite beer: My favourite beer from The Collingwood Brewery would be the Kingpost ESB. My all-time favourite though would be Guinness.

What I want with me on my desert island:Boy Scouts taught me to always be prepared, so I would never become stranded on a desert island.

About me: I've competed in four World Championships in two different sports.

Kyle Weston: Northern Sales Representative

First memory of beer:  I think it was peewee hockey… we were in a tournament and we snuck some of our parents’ beers outside. Degenerates were formed.   How I came to craft:  During the summer, any time I would head up North for the weekend it was a staple to stop at two spots: Webers and Muskoka Brewery. They have some fantastic summer brews that taste great on a boat…I mean a dock….   Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery:  Having the opportunity to play in the Copper Kettle Cup was a blast!   How I got here:  I was in the financial services industry and I joined the Collingwood Brewery because I love how the culture of beer is shifting from walking into the LCBO and grabbing 3 tall boy packs of Coors Lights to walking in and grabbing a basket to sample a bunch of funky crafts. The industry is growing and who wouldn’t want to join a growing industry….??   Favourite beer:  I love the Rockwell Pilsner. As a golfer I need to stay hydrated, but don’t want something super heavy because the name of the game is beer consumption.   What I want with me on my desert island:  I would ideally have a golf set, the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (amazing novel, and huge so I wouldn’t get bored quick), and maybe a firearm or crossbow (in case I come across anyone else on the island and they have something I want, or I come across a wild animal).   About me:  I am half Trinidadian.

First memory of beer: I think it was peewee hockey… we were in a tournament and we snuck some of our parents’ beers outside. Degenerates were formed.

How I came to craft: During the summer, any time I would head up North for the weekend it was a staple to stop at two spots: Webers and Muskoka Brewery. They have some fantastic summer brews that taste great on a boat…I mean a dock….

Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery: Having the opportunity to play in the Copper Kettle Cup was a blast!

How I got here: I was in the financial services industry and I joined the Collingwood Brewery because I love how the culture of beer is shifting from walking into the LCBO and grabbing 3 tall boy packs of Coors Lights to walking in and grabbing a basket to sample a bunch of funky crafts. The industry is growing and who wouldn’t want to join a growing industry….??

Favourite beer: I love the Rockwell Pilsner. As a golfer I need to stay hydrated, but don’t want something super heavy because the name of the game is beer consumption.

What I want with me on my desert island: I would ideally have a golf set, the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (amazing novel, and huge so I wouldn’t get bored quick), and maybe a firearm or crossbow (in case I come across anyone else on the island and they have something I want, or I come across a wild animal).

About me: I am half Trinidadian.

Brian Bower: Toronto East Sales Representative

First memory of beer:  Drinking Labatt Blue watching the Leafs play the Sens in the playoffs in high school. We were seed 7 and they were 2 and we won the first game and swept the series…. I was totally of legal drinking age ….   How I came to craft:  Working in the hospitality industry and getting to try all kinds of different beers.   Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery:  Working the tent at the Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Fest, having a blast yelling about “FULL PILSNERS!”   How I got here:  I was a food and beverage manager/GM before making the transition to Craft Beer. When I was looking to make a career shift, the job at Collingwood Brewery made a lot of sense!   Favourite beer:  This changes on a daily basis…. I always grab a pint of La Chouffe when I see it on tap. Our 3-Point Saison is pretty ridiculous as well!   What I want with me on my desert island:  Probably a TV so I can yell about the Jays and Leafs…. I’d totally get reception, right?   About me:  I’ve lived in Japan, New Zealand and Whistler.

First memory of beer: Drinking Labatt Blue watching the Leafs play the Sens in the playoffs in high school. We were seed 7 and they were 2 and we won the first game and swept the series…. I was totally of legal drinking age ….

How I came to craft: Working in the hospitality industry and getting to try all kinds of different beers.

Favourite memory at The Collingwood Brewery: Working the tent at the Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Fest, having a blast yelling about “FULL PILSNERS!”

How I got here: I was a food and beverage manager/GM before making the transition to Craft Beer. When I was looking to make a career shift, the job at Collingwood Brewery made a lot of sense!

Favourite beer: This changes on a daily basis…. I always grab a pint of La Chouffe when I see it on tap. Our 3-Point Saison is pretty ridiculous as well!

What I want with me on my desert island: Probably a TV so I can yell about the Jays and Leafs…. I’d totally get reception, right?

About me: I’ve lived in Japan, New Zealand and Whistler.