electrical bike Getting Reel in Kelowna with Susi Foerg
Okayelowna’s craft beer scene started 24 years in the past with the debut of Tree Brewing Firm. Development in brewery numbers remained quiet till 5 years in the past, when breweries started popping up everywhere in the metropolis. Now with 15 breweries and counting, it has become a true beer destination.
From the primary time I examine Susi Foerg again in 2017, I used to be I intrigued! The proprietor and operator of the now one-year previous Rustic Reel Brewing Co. appeared totally different, as did her strategy to opening a brewery. It was a lady’s strategy.
Susi actually comes throughout as a robust girl who has fastidiously thought out and deliberate her operation and can tackle as many roles as wanted to make her brewery succeed. I’ve but to satisfy her, however till I get that likelihood, right here is my digital meetup with Susi Foerg.
HOW MUCH OF “YOU” IS IN RUSTIC REEL?
Every thing about Rustic Reel is me. While you go searching our house, the snug, old-school vibe, with the little female touches have been all put collectively and chosen by my designer, Tara Reavie, and myself.
WHY THE NAME?
The identify is meant to remind you of fishing off the dock together with your Dad or Grandpa; perhaps they gave you their previous rod and reel to make use of. In our Group Room, you’ll discover a wall with photographs of previous fishing journeys with household and buddies. That nostalgic feeling is what I hope individuals really feel once they come into our tasting room.
WHAT ROLE DID YOU PLAY IN THE CREATION OF RUSTIC REEL?
I acquired the thought of opening a brewery after visiting Persephone Brewing on the Sunshine Coast 5 years in the past. I used to be in banking previous to this endeavour, and I’m unsure what possessed me to resolve on this enterprise, however I did. I labored on placing collectively a marketing strategy for over a 12 months, took on-line brewing programs, moved to Vancouver to work at a craft brewery, got here again and designed the complete house with my inside designer, then bodily labored on the positioning for the eight months that it took to place Rustic Reel collectively.
Since opening, I’ve spent numerous hours in all areas of the enterprise. I’ve labored within the tasting room behind the bar, working meals, taking orders and filling growlers; I’ve labored within the kitchen dishwashing and cooking; and when my brewer went again to the US after COVID-19 hit, I spent three months dealing with all issues brewery-related: brewing, cleansing, cellaring and kegging. I’m very completely satisfied and proud to say I’ve carried out each job in my enterprise!
YOU APPEAR TO HAVE A FOCUS ON WOMEN, FROM EVENTS TO PROMOTIONS AND MERCH? IS THAT PLANNED?
It partly was, sure. Being in a really male-dominated business, I used to be clear from the start on ensuring that girls felt welcome and cozy in my house. I’m completely satisfied to say that with my designer’s assist we positively succeeded in creating that really feel. This has allowed me to carry occasions which are targeted on girls.
Nothing in opposition to males! Love ‘em! However I’ve the chance to create superior occasions in an area that’s normally deemed masculine, and it feels nice!
WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM THE MANY OTHER BREWERIES IN KELOWNA?
Mmmmm, that’s a query I’ve a tough time answering; I don’t wish to sound as if I’m bragging or assume we’re higher than anybody. I’ll say that we’re a lot bigger than our shut neighbours, and a ‘lighter’ vibe that’s relaxed but elegant.
I wish to recommend individuals simply come go to and really feel the distinction; it’s actually cool. I don’t discover that any two breweries are alike, and I like that!
HOW WERE YOU TRAINED?
I had initially deliberate on heading all the way down to Chicago’s Seibel Institute for his or her brewing program, nonetheless I made a decision to take the net model as a substitute and get some hands-on expertise at a brewery in Vancouver. I had met one of many companions of Electrical Bicycle Brewing again in 2017. After I was seeking to get expertise, they have been of their closing months earlier than opening and wanted somebody to do odd jobs. I used to be that lady!
I used to be in a position to spend time with their brewer, be a part of brew days, do some house brewing, and in addition find out about all that goes in to getting a brewery open! It was a tremendous expertise.
DO YOU FEEL RESPECTED IN YOUR PRESENT ROLE?
Sure. I really feel revered by my workers as a result of they’ve seen that I’ve carried out each job within the constructing and am by no means above doing any job. I’ve tried to verify to create an area the place my workers can share with me, strategy me with points, and ask me for assist. I additionally usually don’t get mad about issues. Screw-ups occur, transfer on.
FAVOURITE FEMALE IN THE INDUSTRY AND WHY?
Honestly, I’m a loner. 😊 I don’t know anybody within the business outdoors of the Kelowna circle and Electrical Bicycle. I wasn’t within the business previous to this, and I’ve saved my head down working since, so I haven’t had a lot time for socializing.
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? GOALS FOR YOURSELF?
My greatest achievement is that I’m in a position to say that the entire beers presently on faucet have been brewed by me, and we get compliments on the beer on a regular basis! I used the recipes we had in place, nonetheless it’s an enormous accomplishment to have been in a position to provide my brewery with beer myself!
It was INCREDIBLY exhausting, particularly since I used to be doing this each whereas we have been shut down and after we had re-opened. I used to be working a enterprise whereas additionally doing very bodily work. I’m proud to say that I can deal with something life throws at me and nonetheless stay standing.
ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR WOMEN GETTING INTO THE INDUSTRY?
Don’t hearken to any voice apart from your individual. Focus, head down, work onerous, and imagine in your self!
Rustic Reel Brewing Co.
On The Scene
Taken throughout What’s Brewing’s visit to Kelowna in July 2020.