Another interesting week at Beau's...
I'm co-chairs of Ontario Craft Beer Week with Jason Ellsmere from Cameron's brewing and every Wednesday we meet (alternative weeks are face to face and teleconference) with our committee to review progress and set goals for achievement for the following week. Every 4th Wednesday is an Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB)executive committee meeting and this was both.
That means I spent a good 4 hours on the phone, updating the exec committee on OCB Week progress and then immediately getting onto the Craft Beer Week teleconference. My ears felt like they had been steamrolled by the end of the day.
Progress on Ontario Craft Beer Week has been phenomenal. All the OCB breweries are getting really involved and we're hoping to have an insane amount of programming, ranging from the very intimate events at tiny restaurants to much larger festival events.
From Vankleek Hill, to Barrie, to Huntsville to Ottawa and Toronto, there will be events going on all week. Its been a huge undertaking, but because we've got a great team, we're having fun and getting things done.
We had our first-ever quarterly sales meeting this week, too. In the last three months we've grown from a two-person sales team to a six-person team and our sales reps spend almost all their time on the road, so this was a great way to get all on the same page, go over all sorts of stuff there never seems time to go over and generally have some fun as a team.
On Thursday night we visited a few spots in Micheala's territory, including the Marlborough Pub, The Swan on the Rideau and The Red Dot. Then Friday was a full day session including hard core sales stuff, beer and cheese pairings, draught systems training and more.
Saturday was quite the day. We hosted a delegation from the European Union's organic certification body, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Pro-Cert, our certifier. It was explained to me that the two organizations are trying to develop an equivelency for the two certifications, and we were chosen as one of the certified processing companies to perform a mock-audit on. So the European delegates spent several hours going through our record-keeping and testing our knowledge of the certification processes and regulations.
It was pretty stressful, but also pretty great - we're coming up to our annual recertification audit and a trial run was a good opportunity to get a free test on how we're doing. Not to mention, in our small way being part of a rather historic undertaking.