Author Archives: Courtney Sung

Guest Tap #12 – Brian’s Sleepytime Kolsch

Oct. 1 2016

Our Guest Tap features rotating brews from collaborators including local brewers (professional and homebrewers), cooks, vintners, distillers, or whoever has a beer recipe that intrigues us. The Guest Tap brews are small test batches available only at our tasting room, so once we announce them, you’ll have to hurry in to try them!

Our last guest tap was a Weizenbock by Brian Menges, who is also the brewing mastermind behind this next guest tap: Brian’s Sleepytime Kolsch! I had a chance to sit down with Brian and talk beer.

Courtney: I know it’s only been five months since your last guest tap with us, but have you learned any new homebrewing lessons in that period of time?

Brian: I’ve learned that keeping things simple is better, and to not over complicate recipes.

Courtney: What are your current go-to beers?

Brian: Moody Ales IPA, Twin Sales Pilsner, Old Jalopy from Powell Street, and probably the Red Pilsner from Steel + Oak.

Courtney: Do you have any guilty pleasure beers?

Brian: Occasionally I’ll have some PBR.

Courtney: What was the inspiration for your Sleepytime Kolsch.

Brian: With the kolsch, I wanted to do something for the spring or summer, light and easy to drink. I was in the brew shop buying my ingredients and I thought, “let’s do something different!” so I decided to try it.

Courtney: Tell us about this beer.

Brian: The beer is light and refreshing with floral and herbal aromas. I kept the hop bitterness low to accentuate the sweetness from the chamomile, giving it almost a slightly honey taste. All in all, I’d say it is a great substitute for sleepy time tea!

Brian’s Sleeytime Kolsch has an ABV of 5.1% and an IBU of 25. It will be on tap Saturday, October 1st while quantities last in the Moody Ales tasting room!

– Courtney

Staff Bio: Ryan Drolet

Ryan Drolet

Many of us don’t get the opportunity, or have the bravery, to follow our dreams and find careers that cater to our passions — Ryan rejects these norms on a daily basis while juggling multiple passions and a family.

About Ryan

Having been a home brewer for four years, Ryan enrolled at KPU where he met our now Head Brewer, Robyn Guille, who later referred Ryan for a volunteer position at Moody Ales. Shortly thereafter, Ryan was asked to come on the team permanently and has been with Moody Ales ever since. While his job title may be Brewer, Ryan describes his daily responsibilities as making everyone laugh all the time (something I can personally attest to).

When he’s not brewing, Ryan leads a busy life being the father of two teenage boys. Ryan also has artistic pursuits like drawing and playing music professionally. If you have a keen eye, you may be able to spot a few of Ryan’s “soap sketches” around the brewery or get to hear his band, Puppycat (puppycat.bandcamp.com), gracing our stage on an open mic night.

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Courtney: What kind of music can people expect from Puppycat?

Ryan: Weird instrumental rock theme.

What’s your favourite thing about working here?

The people that I work with. We have a lot of fun working together. They always laugh at my stupid jokes so I can’t complain about that.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the craft beer industry?

When I started home brewing it was really the only thing that I liked to do other than music that really grabbed me and I felt obsessive about it so I thought that was a good pursuit

What is your current go-to beer, other than one of ours?

I have favourites but I can never afford to buy them! I really like Daagerad’s blonde ale.

What would be the name of your debut solo album?

[laughter] This is hard. Well, I already did a solo album called “Trippin’ Wet”.

Who would you consider your work spouse?

My work spouse?! You’re gonna get me in trouble here. I’m in kind of a love triangle with Roxanne and Robyn.

The three R’s.

Greg will be in there soon, so it’ll be “GRRR”.

What is your guilty pleasure beer?

I actually do like bud.

Really?

It’s my favourite out of those types of beers.

“Those types of beers?”

Yeah, your big brewery, mainstream types of beers.

Let’s Get Weird

What’s your favourite donut?

I like old fashioned.

Okay,  say I brought in a box of donuts. And say I left them on the kitchen table and told you not to eat any of them until I got back, but I disappear for the day. How long would it take for you to disobey my wishes and eat a donut?

It wouldn’t take long. Probably in a couple hours I would’ve had them already. I would assess to see how important it was to actually save them.

If you were 2 inches tall and I threw you into the mash tun, how would you get out?

I guess I’d have to climb from grain to grain. Or ride up on a bubble if there was a bubble.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to be an astronaut. And then I discovered music and wanted to be a rock star. Almost succeeded. [laughter]

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. Why is he here and what does he say?

He’s here because he got tired of the cold weather and I don’t know… He’s been eating a lot of jalapeños to keep them from melting the polar ice.

Turning the Tables

Ryan: You sing too, right? If you had to sing a duet with someone who would it be?

Courtney: Ooh… I don’t want to say something obvious and I don’t think I would’ve gotten along with someone like Frank Sinatra (it’s very fitting that I’m listening to Luck Be A Lady as I write this article).

He’d have put the moves on you.

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Drawing by Ryan Drolet

I’ve been asked this question before and I always used to say Michael Bublé. But now, I think I’d have to say — and maybe it’s because I went to the concert recently — Josh Ramsay from Marianas Trench, he’s super talented.

I met him years ago. He was a nice guy! A guy I went to music school with married [Josh Ramsay’s] sister and so [my friend] used to play bass in his band before he became big.

I saw him once on Granville Island. I’m sitting there eating lunch and I see him walk by, a few feet in front of me. I wasn’t sure it was him but I’m thinking, “that’s got to be him, there’s nobody else that he could be!” He was walking with his grandma, which is so sweet, and my jaw was on the floor. They walked right by and I was just staring at them — it was pretty embarrassing.


-Courtney

Staff Bio: Robyn Guille

Robyn Guille

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a head brewer or how someone becomes the head brewer of a local craft beer establishment? I interviewed our very own Head Brewer, Robyn Guille to answer those questions and more.

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About Robyn

Robyn has been with Moody Ales almost since the very beginning (one month after opening, to be exact). Having started as a volunteer after being referred by Steel & Oak’s Jorden Foss, Robyn is now our Head Brewer. He does a little bit of everything, but his primary responsibilities include every aspect of producing Moody Ales beers from brewing and cellaring to carbonating and packaging. Robyn also handles most of our cask work (except our Special Bitter which is taken care of by Sho Ogawa). Robyn completed one year at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and has three and a half years of home brewing experience. He also has an undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria in Anthropology and Sociology.

Courtney: How’d you end up in brewing from anthropology and sociology?

Robyn: About two thirds through my undergrad, I discovered an archeological field called archeology of beer and brewing and I thought that was really fascinating. I started studying ancient beverages and alcohols. That got me really interested in beer and right around the same time, my oldest brother was getting me into craft beer so it slipped together pretty perfectly.

When you’re not working or home brewing, what do you do in your free time?

What do I do… a few things. I go for hikes every once in a while. I try to get out kayaking, get out on the water. Sometimes I just nerd out and play video games. I like to play board games with friends and family.

What kind of video games?

I’m into turn-based strategy games. I like playing split screen co-op games so I can sit on the couch with friends, have a couple beers and have some fun.

Why the craft beer industry?

It was something really fascinating and I think what I’ve always wanted to look for in a career is something that was kind of physical but also kind of intellectually challenging. I didn’t really want to sit in a cubicle or just be doing some mindless physical labour, so that’s where it looked appealing to me.

What’s your favourite thing about working here?

Probably the people. I work with great people… And the beer’s good too.

What’s your current go-to beer outside of anything by Moody Ales?

When I was living in Victoria it was the Lighthouse Tasman Ale, but in Vancouver here, it’s probably Steel & Oak’s Royal City Ale.

Let’s Get Weird

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

[laughter] oh, the age old internet question. I think I would fight one-horse sized duck.

What strategy would you employ to fight said duck?

I would find the largest baguette I could find to distract him.

Would you rather never be able to drink beer again, or if every time you drank beer it tasted like the worst beer you’ve ever had?

That’s an unfair question! If beer didn’t taste good I probably wouldn’t drink it.

Would you be able to stay in a relationship with somebody who said that they hated beer?

Probably not, no.

Note: Thankfully Robyn is engaged to a lovely woman who does, in fact, have a passion for craft beer. 

If you were two inches tall and I threw you into the mash tun, what would you do?

I would probably drown because it’s pretty much like quicksand. I actually saw a meme about quicksand yesterday.

I’ll have to dig that up for your bio.

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Describe your high school self.

I was a floater. I wasn’t necessarily popular but I was able to mingle with different social groups. I was just kind of there.

What’s your favourite type of donut?

I think a long john.

Okay, so, say I have a box of long john donuts and I left them on this table and walked away. I tell you not to eat any before I get back. How long would it take you to eat a donut if I don’t come back?

I don’t know, ten or fifteen minutes? Depends on how hungry I am.

Would you blame  somebody else?

I’d fess up to it.

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does the penguin say and why is he here?

A sombrero…

Specifically, yeah, a sombrero.

[laughter] these would be really good spontaneous interview questions. Honestly the first thing that comes to my head is “Say hello to my little friend” but in a Mexican accent.

Right, right, of course. So why is he here?

He’s selling lollipops or something.

Turning the Tables

Because I am interviewing and writing bios for all of our employees, I give everyone an opportunity to ask me a few interview questions in return.

Robyn: I think I’ll ask the same question you just asked me

Courtney: The penguin question? Okay. That’s funny, that’s what Chris asked me too. My penguin is here because he got on a cruise ship, was aiming for Mexico, got off one stop too soon, and he’s wandered into our bar. He’s looking for a drink, so we get him drunk on beer and throw him in the kettle to wade around. That’s what my penguin’s doing in his little sombrero.

What do you like the most about working at Moody Ales even though you’re relatively new here?

It was the people for me too, that was the draw. It doesn’t feel like torture to come to work and I like the flexible culture here.

Yeah that’s definitely really appealing. Dan and Adam treat everybody with a lot of respect. One last question: what is your favourite beer outside of Moody Ales?

When I first started drinking, I drank Corona all the time — it was all about the Corona. And then I heard these horror stories about their processing plant and I stopped drinking Corona. So next it was Heineken all the time and then I went to Amsterdam and did the Heineken experience and geeked out there.

Super cool tour. I love that tour. Definitely one of my favourites, for sure.

Outside of our beers… I don’t drink a lot of beer outside of our beer. I drink wine, can I say wine?

Yeah that’s fair.

Too keep it local, I like Blasted Church’s Syrah and Burrowing Owl’s Cabernet Sauvignon.


There you have it, a peek into the mind of Moody Ales’ head brewer! Stay tuned for more staff bio’s.

– Courtney

Staff Bio: Chris Read

Chris Read

I thought it apt that Chris, our newest hire at the time of these interviews, be the subject of my first staff profile interview. Having only been at Moody for two days, Chris was surprisingly comfortable and candid during his interview — I have a feeling he’ll fit in well here.

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About Chris

Chris has been at the company for less than a week. He’s taking over for Greg as our delivery driver and, as he puts it, “miscellaneous helper”. Prior to working at Moody Ales, Chris was in a sales leadership position. As he rose through the ranks and became a leader within the company, he realized it was time for a change and quit his job to pursue his passion: making sustainable surfboards and surf-related products. Chis took this position as a means to support his 2 year old daughter who, as he puts it, “is starting to become really terrible, but [is] also still very sweet at the same time.”

I asked Chris what he does with his spare time outside of building surfboards and working here:

“I play a lot of hockey when I can.” he says, “What else do I do… yeah literally I roll around on the floor with my daughter just like, goofing around. I hang out with my family, we do a lot of travelling and garnish a lot of our wages to live music.”

The only thing that could possibly rival Chris’s self-proclaimed addiction to surfing is beer and nerding out on it. Naturally, when asked about his favourite part about working at Moody Ales, Chris cited the casual (and constant) offerings of beer samples and the warm welcome from the team.

When prompted about his favourite non-Moody Ales beer, Chris insisted that I rephrase the question to his top 3 beers. I obliged.

“I really like Deschutes’ Red Chair, on nitro if possible,” Chris starts, “I really like Lagunitas’ Day Time Session Ale and just the brand in general.”

Upon consideration, Chris submitted a third favourite: Out of San Deigo, Green Flash’s Le Freak, a Belgian Imperial IPA.

Let’s Get Weird

At this point in the interview, I began asking questions that Google spat out after a quick search for non-traditional interview questions:

Courtney: If I gave you $10 to buy me some chocolate milk, and it only cost $3, what would you buy with the extra $7?

Chris: And I could spend it anywhere?

Anywhere.

Oh boy. Um, I’d probably buy as much pizza as I can from Fresh Slice. [Laughter]

Fresh Slice only tastes good when you’re drunk!

Yeah, I know, this is true, but if I’m working at a brewery now… I guess that’s my final answer.

Would you rather never be able to drink beer again, or be able to drink beer but every time you drank, it would taste horrible?

[Pause]

I would rather not drink.

Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

I’m gonna say Batman. Way more money, resources, cool technology.

[sceptically] Yeah, okay, okay

Why, what do you think?

I don’t know, which iteration of Spiderman and Batman are you thinking of?

I’m thinking new age-y.

Like Tobey McGuire Spiderman? He would get his ass kicked.

No I’m thinking like… who’s that guy from American Psycho… Christian Bale as Batman. The guy’s got a ton of resources, all kinds of crazy spy gear… not spy gear but like super high tech armour. Tobey McGuire ruined Spiderman for me.

A penguin walks into that door right now, he’s wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

Penguin… sombrero… walks in… [In a Mexican accent] “Hola amigo! Why is it so chilly in here?”

Turning the Tables

Because I am conducting staff interviews and writing profiles, I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to ask me a few interview questions. Chris asked me the first, middle, and final questions I asked him:

Chris: Tell me about yourself

Courtney: I did a six year degree in business for marketing and Human Resources! I met Adam when I was looking into doing consulting and he and Dan were working at Habanero together. Nothing came out of that, they didn’t have time to bring on an intern so I just went on my way. Two years later, it came up on my LinkedIn feed that Adam had started this brewery so I thought, “sweet! It’s only ten minutes away from me, I should go learn about the industry!” because I wasn’t sure I wanted to do consulting anymore. So I come in and I talk to Adam. He’s asks, “so are you graduating?” I said, “yes”, and he said “we’re kind of looking for someone too” so yeah, that’s kind of what happened. It was just good timing.

In my spare time, I play music. I play guitar, I play ukulele, I can play bass about as well as a guitar player can play bass. I know how to play a basic rock beat, but I wouldn’t call myself a drummer. And piano. I’ve played piano my whole life. I also knit, crochet and cross stitch.

Stitch and bitch!

Yeah, exactly! My cousin and I get together for stitch and bitch. What else do I do… I’m a rock climber!

Cool, cool. What kind of music do you like to play?

A little bit of everything. It ranges, like pop music to country music to indie music. Yeah, I think the only thing I don’t play is probably metal.

If I gave you $10 to buy chocolate milk what would you do with the extra $7?

I’d probably buy more beer, to be honest.

A penguin walks into that door right now, he’s wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

He’s here for a party. His cruise ship docked in Vancouver. It was headed for Mexico, he got off one stop too soon, and now he’s going to have some beer with us!

Right on.


That’s Chris in a nutshell! Stay tuned for more staff bio’s.

– Courtney