What’s in a name? In Charles Bierbrier’s case, it’s quite literally his profession. Here’s what inspired his career path towards being President, CEO and sometimes Chief Bottle Washer at Montreal’s beloved Bierbrier Brewing company…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
President, CEO and sometimes Chief Bottle Washer at Bierbrier Brewing. Joking aside, I basically oversee all aspects of the company from production to distribution, sales and the marketing of my brewery’s brands. I’ve got a terrific team in place so it makes my work that much easier and enjoyable. When I’m not in my office, I’m usually on the road visiting and interacting with my customers. At the end of a day you might find me sampling a delicious brew (for product quality purposes, of course!)
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I always had a passion for brewing craft beer. I started as an avid home-brewer in college and my passion for beer only grew from there. I would study beer styles and develop recipes while researching various malt and hop varieties from around the world. I loved business but always knew I wanted to blend that with the art of making a quality product in order to pursue a career in something I would love and be proud of.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I deal with amazing and passionate people all day. I interact with people in the food and beverage industry who truly care about what they do. My customers definitely give me a sense of fulfilment. I work for myself, making a product that I created and am so proud of, and I get to enjoy seeing it served in some of the city’s best restaurants and bars. That’s pretty hard to beat.
The most challenging part is growing a brand in a very competitive landscape. Even though the competition can be quite ferocious at times, I feel there’s always room for a quality product if presented and marketed well.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Growing the business to a point where it has a greater national presence (we’re based in Montreal and recently expanded distribution to Toronto) all while maintaining the same high level of product quality and customer service.
What does success look like to you?
Success is looking back on one’s accomplishments and feeling good, having earned it, and being thankful for the wonderful and rewarding life it has brought.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I have to say that it was the very first day I was able to sit in a pub and order my own beer. It was a surreal moment. I sat there and soaked it all in; after all those years of planning, the dream was a reality.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Just get out there and do it. Find your passion and enjoy it. Hard work will most likely generate success, and you’ll feel like you’re having the time of your life while doing it.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
My company supports and donates beer to many charity events during the year. Almost every week we’re sponsoring a fundraiser of sorts and getting involved in the community. Anything from a local art event, to a massive gala raising money for charity, we try to participate in.
I also serve on the board of a few charitable organizations like the Rotary Club of Westmount and the Batshaw Foundation. I definitely feel that being an active participant in the community and giving back is important in one’s life.
What to you is notable?
For some reason I think of integrity when you ask me this. Having integrity is notable. All we have is our name and our reputation in life, and in business I stand by what I say and my handshake is golden. I like people who operate the same way – I find that notable.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone. My entire business runs on it!