Shehan De Silva: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Shehan De Silva, who quit his job in banking to travel the world and taste different beers before coming back to Toronto to develop his own unique ales. We caught up to find out how he filled a gap in Canada’s craft beer scene and what advice he would share with other young professionals…



Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go
I’m a Jack of all trades, including sales, product development, deliveries, and extensive taste testing. I’m also a part-time model – it’s hard to find me without a “4 the 6” hat or toque on my head.

What was the inspiration for your career route?
I’ve always been a beer aficionado and wanted to pursue a passion after almost a decade in finance. I loved what was happening in the craft beer scene in Ontario but felt many of the beers were hard to drink, overly hoppy, or bitter. Through my extensive travels in Europe, I experienced fantastic, easy drinking beer styles that were hard to find in Canada. I decided on brewing craft beer inspired by those great beer styles from around the world. Think Global, Drink Local embodies what Lost Craft represents.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Enjoying the first batch of Revivale with friends and family at our launch party at E11even for the Raptors home opener. Seeing people enjoying a product that took almost a year to develop was unforgettable.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Leading the Lost Craft movement wherever it take us and building a company that is committed to making positive changes in the communities where we operate.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
When you’re feeling comfortable, it’s time to move on. Work hard and be passionate about everything you do. Surround yourself with talented people. All of my successes are attributable to always being challenged, a relentless work ethic, and working with amazing teams.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I was born, raised, and educated in Toronto. As a result of my personal connection to the city, we want to work with organizations making a difference in Toronto. Last year we worked with SickKids by donating apparel to parents with kids in hospital over the holiday season. We are willing to work with people as well, not just organizations. There are several Meet-up groups in Toronto doing great things such as giving food and clothing to the homeless. As we expand, we’ll look to work with grassroots organizations outside of the GTA as well.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
There are over 200 craft beer companies in Ontario. Differentiating yourself and staying relevant is hard to do in an industry facing such explosive growth. Our strategy was to be unapologetically different; it’s obvious when you taste our beer or look at our can.

What does the word notable mean to you?
Going above and beyond.


Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Loaded question for someone in our business. The restaurant, bar, and club scene in Toronto is second to none. I grew up in Scarborough, so shout outs to Johnny’s Hamburgers.

What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Google Inbox. I’m on my email 24/7. I’m blasting City Lights by my brother Tremayne from Parkdale all day right now.

Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Norm Kelly. Check his Twitter – seriously.

What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Sri Lanka. It’s roots for me and I get to see friends and family that I don’t see often. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it; it’s a hidden gem in South Asia. Beer-wise, it’s Germany. I can go to any city in that country and everything I drink is amazing. The next trip for me is Miami, working on getting craft beer 4 the 6 stateside.

What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Spending time with friends and family. When you’re an entrepreneur, balancing personal time with loved ones and the business is hard to do.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Diet Pepsi.

What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I really wish my cell phone bill was lower. I have been told I should spend more money on clothes but I really like my Levi’s.

And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success is doing what you love.