Kevin Emms is a local beer man. He has spent years crafting original recipes for beer lovers and mastering his skills. In fact, he is an award-winning brewmaster and newest addition to Granville Island Brewing. Between drinking and sampling new recipes, Kevin Emms took out a moment to talk beer with 604 Now:
Did you wake up one day and decide to hop into the brewery world?
(Nice one…) Actually, when I was a kid I thought I’d get rich as a musician and use my wealth to start a microbrewery, but I ended up kind of doing things in reverse!
Describe a day in the life of a brewmaster:
Wake up, get to work and put on your rubber boots and start cleaning! A lot of what we do day-to-day involves keeping our equipment clean and sanitary. There are daily checks on the fermenting beer, however, to make sure the right flavours are developing.
What do you think of Vancouver’s microbrewery scene?
It’s exciting to be a part of it right now! Even in the last four years the number of breweries here has grown exponentially. Beer drinkers are now offered a lot of choice. They can visit breweries and taprooms, and collect growlers, making beer appreciation more of an actual hobby now.
Favourite places to grab a beer in Vancouver?
The Alibi Room always has great taps; I enjoy visiting the ‘brewery creek’ district and popping into the numerous craft brewery tasting rooms. Commercial Drive is my haunt and I love Belgian beer so I do enjoy Biercraft. And of course the GIB taproom!
The one Granville Island Brewing beer everyone has to try?
Our new ‘Two Tides’ India Session Ale is a nicely flavourful and refreshing beer to enjoy in the summer and beyond.
Was it an easy decision to join Granville Island Brewing?
I was delighted to join Canada’s first microbrewery and become part of a fantastic and evolving story!
Any ideas for your first small batches at Granville Island Brewing?
Oh there are always ideas… but you will just have to wait and see! This will be fun.
What inspires your brew ingredients?
I have access to the best ingredients in the world, sourced locally and from abroad. The ingredient decisions come from a desire to either be traditional or innovative with the beer.
Aside from the technical skills what is the greatest thing you learned from finishing your Masters in Brewing & Distilling?
After having studied in Scotland with brewing and distilling students from all over the world… honestly that western Canadians are some of the biggest partiers on the planet.
Advice for someone who wants to pursue their passion for the brew?
Come to one of the many great beer events we have in the city every year. Connect with a few brewing industry professionals of varying positions. Then, find a way to sit down and buy them a beer and pick their brain. There are lots of different ways to apply your love for the product into a role in the industry.
Interview by Amar Mirchandani @amarmirch