Wednesday, June 29, 2011

5 Years Old!!!

I’m somewhat dumbfounded to say we’re about to hit a pretty significant milestone, 5 years in business as of July. In some ways it seems like its been five weeks and in others it seems I’ve been doing this my whole life. In past years I’ve done blog posts on where we’ve gone, so I’m reluctant to repeat the same stories, but wow, five years feels really special.

What makes this anniversary so very special is that from almost every angle, the next five years are shaping up to be even more amazing. The whole team has put in so many hours and made so many sacrifices that it seems most appropriate at this time to say thanks to all them, instead of another “We’ve Come A Long Way Baby” kind of post. So here goes...

Dad, I couldn’t have chosen a better partner, you’re my mentor, my idol and my rock

Mom, I know this has been hard on you, you’ve sacrificed so much and the stress on you has been immense. Thanks for standing by me and Dad and believing in us. I love the fact that its my mom on the phone every week calling up the LCBO stores.

Nicola, thanks for letting me follow my dreams and being there for our kids when I didn’t have the time. Packing up and moving away from Toronto was hard on you and I appreciate it.

Matt, what can I say, Matt? If everyone else at the brewery worked twice as hard as they already do, it would mean a thing if our beer wasn’t so gosh darn tasty. Over the years, I’ve come to think of you as a brother, a friend and both a willing co-conspirator and a voice of reason.

Johanne R, your positive attitude and hard work have been invaluable. You are a pleasure to be around and you are calm under pressure. It has been a lot of learning to grow into our office manager, but I think you are doing great.

Alex, one day you are going to make a great accountant! Thanks for all the hard work you’ve put in.

Jen James, if it were possible to be too passionate about what we do, I think you might be guilty. Your smarts, your willingness to learn new skills and your investment into our brewery is wicked cool, sis. It’ll be cool having you in the comptroller position soon.

Anick, I’m always happy to see you, both because I think you are a great person and it always means we’re really busy here.

Anne, thanks for all your help in getting us certified organic and for dealing with our bottling line for as long as you did.

Alex, Anne, Alice, Megan, Robert, Ryan M, Nik, I’m glad you have come on board to help us out for this busy summer on the bottling line, i look forward to getting to know all of you.

Korina, I dig your sense of humour, your grace under fire and your eye to detail. I was pretty reluctant to hire a retail manager, but you’ve proven both that we needed the position and that you are the best person for it.

Audrey, you are quickly making yourself a great part of the team whether its been on the bottling line or in the office.

Laura, when the brewery was young, you put in a lot of hours, doing all sorts of crazy things and I’m very glad we can still count on you to come out and wave the flag for events and still give it all you’ve got.

Jerry, ever since we went to see Gwar in ’93, I’ve counted you as one of my closest, bestest friends. Bringing you on board last year was such a happy moment for me, and through the year and a bit you’ve been with us, as much as I love how amazing you are doing selling in Toronto and to the West of the city, I love that I get to hang out with you even more.

Jamie, it has been so fulfilling to have you by my side these 5 years. You built up Ottawa, by caring about your customers and about the brewery and about me. I couldn’t ask for a better friend, I know you are there for me personally, and professionally and that means so much.

Nikki, we’ve shared so many laughs and tears, its hard to put into words how much I care for you. I’m so glad you’ve been with us these last few years, you are awesome. You’ve been a great brand ambassador, tour guide and the retail store will miss you.

Frank, from our first meeting at a Maximum RnR show, you’ve shown yourself to be incredibly passionate about all things beer. Our customers love you and your tours, and so do I.

Cuggy, you are destined for greatness. Your passion, your thirst for knowledge and your awesome personality are going to take you to amazing places. I’m looking forward to the day I’ll be able to brag to my friends about how I knew you before you were famous.

Karen C, you’ve kept the team together, you’ve given us the HR structure and policies we’ve needed and you’ve always pitched in, on everything. When you walk in the brewery, everyone’s mood lifts so MUch. I’m your biggest fan!

Amanda, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, bit by bit as I walk behind you to pour myself a beer. You’ve got a great sense of humour, mixed with a no-nonsense work ethic; its pretty cool.

Jordan Bamforth, when we first started out, you took my ideas and made them better than I had imagined. Now you are coming to me with ideas I couldn’t have come up with. You are the look and feel of Beau’s, and there isn’t anyone else in the World that could do it better.

Jen Brock, I miss your great sense of humour, your motormouth, and your insane, non-stop work. I still hope we’ll get you back at the brewery one day.

Jordan aka Jo Po, the lady killer. Man, I wish I had your mojo when I was your age. For that matter, I wish I had it now! The fact you actually have some smarts and make a difference at the brewery is cool, too.

Keith, it’s only been a few weeks, but I’ve already come to think of you as our production Messiah! I believe very much in serendipity, and you are proof that some things were meant to happen; you are exactly the person we needed. I’m enjoying getting to know you, too.

Kevin, you have been such a good friend for such a long time. From the days before the brewery when we’d skip class to drink beer and play Sega Hockey ‘95 (or was it ‘94?) to the late nights when you’d come in and help me bottle through the night, to delivering beer to brewing, you’ve been such a supporter and amazing part of my life.

Rob, Wild Rose’s loss is our gain. I’m glad you decided to move out this way and hope you’ll stay a few more years before starting your own brewery. That said, I can’t wait to try your beer.

Brad, you are my favourite crasshole! I’m glad you made the decision to move out to Vankleek Hill, you are a great brewer and a loyal, stand-up guy.

Chris, nobody can MacGyver broken stuff better than you. Just stop breaking yourself, ok? We need you in piece! Your Happy Pils last year was amazing, you make good beer, and you add a lot of character to the brewing team.

Mark Smith, you came through for us in such a big way, when we needed you most. When Matt was out for several weeks due to a car accident, you stepped up, and totally came through. You were our Obi Won Kenobi. I wish you had been able to stay with us, but have so much respect for the decisions you made and the way you got us through a really scary time.

Michaela, you are so cool. Its great having you with us, and our Eastern Ontario restaurants have such a great vibe, because of how you look after them.

David B, I looked up to you so much when I was a kid. Whether it was teaching me how to play Risk or D&D or just hanging out, you were the older cousin I admired. Nothing has changed in that respect (and I’d totally go for a game of D&D sometime soon). Keep kickin’ ass selling beer in central Ontario, dude.

Rob P, I’m really glad things have worked out with you, you really seem to have hit your stride and I’m thrilled to have you with us, drivin’ and deliverin’ with the best of ‘em.

Rob Morra, you have proven yourself so thoroughly to be a great friend, a great salesman, a great eater, a questionable driver, and one of the hardest working men I know. You care so much about our customers and our brewery, it is truly inspiring. I work harder, because of how hard you work and how much you believe in me. Toronto restaurants are so lucky to have you as their salerep.

Phil, although I believe you are missing your true calling in life as a stand-up comedian, I’m very glad I get to work with you day in and day out and hear your material. You have come in early, you have stayed late, you have put a lot of yourself into making our brewery a success. Thanks, little brother! Getting the beer out the door hasn’t been an easy task and you’ve stuck with it.

Todd, you are such a great guy. You are great with our customers, you work hard, you are a great driver and you are one of the funniest guys to share a beer with.

Thaila, uhhhhhh, what can I say? You’re a great guy, a great delivery person and a very thoughtful, that was really hard not to repeat the word guy in that sentence!

Darren, I know things didn’t end well between us and I’m sorry it didn’t work out. We did have some good times together though, and I still hope that someday we’ll be able to have some Barbeque and a beer again.

Judd, You’ve been a solid addition to the delivery team, and I can’t wait to see your zombie death metal band.

Keith Carmen, you are seriously the nicest man on the planet! It’s been so cool bringing you on to deliver in Toronto after witness you deliver rock and roll so hard for so long.

Davey D, from the first time I met you in the Heatskores to today, you’ve impressed me with your larger-than-life personality, your fun attitude and your take on life. You are doing great and I think its so cool we get to work together.

Matt M, you’ve been there when we needed you on weekends, overnight, whenever. Thanks for sticking with us and I’m excited to have you start as assistant brewer very soon.

Bruce, best hire story ever...I walk by Bruce’s place on my home every day and I’d usually stop and say hi for a bit. Over a couple years, I got to know Bruce pretty well. One day, as I stop by, Bruce says “I just got laid off, are you guys hiring?” I say “Well, no, but stop by the brewery on Monday, we’ll find something for you”. Since then Bruce has been such a great employee, its been amazing. Always sporting a smile and a kind word, too.

Johanne C, from the old Spectrum days, I’ve always admired your work ethic and enjoyed your company. I’m so glad we’ve had you with us.

Karen A, I know how important a job well done is for you and I appreciate the amount of care you put into the work you do.

Shane, you’ve been a great addition to our team. Everyone can learn a few lessons about focus and steady hard work from you.

Colin, you’ve been a great co-op student and I’m glad you have been able to help us get through the summer, too.

Andrew, good luck in brewing school next year and thanks for choosing to work with us over the summer

Dave Wade, I hope you are able to find work in your field one day, and I’m happy that we’ve had you while you are looking.

Little Jeff, thanks for pitching in over Christmases and busy times for us. You are a good friend and a hard worker

Lyndell, you’ve very quickly made yourself such an important part of our brewery. You’ve grown so well into the role of special events coordinator and I can see you learning more every day.

Stephane, Jason, Nina, Sylvie, Veronic, Yalitsa, Stacy, Jen P, Amy S, Brett, Beasley, Shari, Alex N, Marc B, Mike S and Neil E, I’m sorry you couldn’t stick around, but I appreciate your time here and hope you remember us with fondness.

To everyone else who has helped out, pitched in, gone the extra mile and supported us throughout these last 5 years, thanks to you, too. I could spend a month listing off all the people that have done so much for us. Your belief in Beau’s gives all of us the energy to keep pushing the boundaries, striving to do better and feeling good about our accomplishments.

Here's to another 5 years of fun and beer and more fun!


Katy Watts said...

Congratulations! It's wonderful to see the brewery grow and have more and more people be fans of the beer.

To another five years and more!

James A said...

What a great post Steve! If the first five are any indication, the brewery will have many more anniversaries!
Very thoughtful of you to actually thank EVERYONE!

Jen James said...

You left someone out: Steve, you continue to embody the not-so-corporate philosophy you set out: your co-workers have names, not titles, and despite insane busyness, we can see you still always have time for your friends. With respect and admiration for all you have achieved, and all you have sacrificed... cheers to 5 great years. :) Love you. Jen