We couldn't have been more surprised when we received the notification that our Mug Clubber Memberships were being bought by a collection of Calgary residents! People were actually willing and in fact PLANNING to drive out to Okotoks from Calgary, on a regular frequency, to be a part of our mug club! To say were were proud would be an understatement...seeing the proof that we have reached beyond our beautiful town borders is incredible to us which is why this BLOG will talk about Ryan...a guy that has become a brand ambassador for Hub Town and showed more support for us during our crowdfunder than we could have anticipated.
It was waaaaaay back in April of 2016 when we first met Ryan (and his son actually), at a David Nuttal "Beer School" class where we all met up on four Friday nights in a row, at Big Rock Brewery, learning in depth about and tasting a myriad of beer styles!
Ryan is a long time resident of Calgary, having moved there in 1990 (from Cold Lake) and is now living in the SE part of the city (not TOO far from where Hub Town will be built), and says he owes his love of craft beer to his wife Anna who introduced him to it when she suggested he attend the Beer Class with his young, newly "legal to drink" son, as a way of spending some quality time with him!
What Mark and I remember the most about that class however is that Ryan's son (being a younger man) would pour a FULL sampler glass of beer each time, leaving quite a bit less for the rest of us (hahaha) so the two inadvertently stood out.
If asked, Ryan would say he can recall meeting us then, but moreso several months later at a Yeast Wranglers, home brew club meeting at Big Rock. We had much more time to talk there and were able to get to know Ryan a bit more, and after finding out he had been recently laid off, offered to throw his resume into the hands of a few people in hopes of getting him back into the industry. Having been in oil and gas for as long as we have, we know every little bit helps when you're trying to out run a downturn!
What we didn't know, even after running into Ryan each of these times, was that Ryan's parents are actually residents of Okotoks, whom we met at one of the many Old Towne events held during the summer....small world!
Now here we are in the latter half of 2018, running a crowdfunder and low and behold, Ryan's name popped up on our founders page. As it turns out, Ryan continued to follow Hub Town and our little adventures, all while touring Alberta's many microbreweries with his lovely wife who would be the willing designated driver, while he got to sample and discover new and interesting beers all over our province.
When asked why Ryan purchased not one...not two...but THREE Mug Club Memberships (for him, his son and son-in-law), he told me that, "the crowdfunder was an opportunity I saw as a gift after touring so many other breweries previously and realizing what it takes to fund and grow any brewery. I wanted to put my money where my mouth is and feel like I played a small part in growing a local business and an industry that Albertans have finally started to embrace. Also, you taking the time to contact me and genuinely wanting to help me with my job application while I was unemployed says to me everything I need to know about you and your family. You two deserve all the success you WILL have and I want to live vicariously through that success, if that makes sense."
It makes perfect sense to us and we are so happy to have Ryan along on with us on this journey! And although we weren't successful in helping Ryan find work way back then, he did end up in exactly the role he was intending and is successfully working as a piping design lead, busier than ever.
As for getting to see his, his son's and son-in-laws' names on the Founders Wall in our brewery, Ryan said, "it will be bragging rights when you guys have people lined up out the door and we can say we knew Hub Town would be something special. All of us are extremely proud native Albertans, and I see that as a badge of honor saying we helped in some small way growing a business and an industry which can't be outsourced."
With plans to head out to Okotoks at least once a week when the brewery opens, it looks like Ryan's parents are going to enjoy a lot more quality time with their son (and maybe even the rest of the boys), and we are so proud to be a part of that...bringing people together is the whole idea and seeing our extended community grow means we are on to something here...
Thank you Ryan for believing in us and going out on a limb to support us, even from so much farther away!