Monday, 1 August 2011

bio of Kevin

Well, it has been an amazing experience but the project that is 'Natural Selection Brewing' is coming to a close, so I feel like taking this last opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself and say a few things about the project.
So, first of all, Hi! My name is Kevin Emms, I am the Project Manager for Natural Selection Brewing and I am hailing from Vancouver, Canada. 
 I can trace the beginning of my proper beer life back to when I was 15, and I moved from Canada to London, UK. There I attended the American School in London, and we found that at that age, if we picked our spots carefully, we could often get into the pub! At ASL I got to travel around Europe quite a bit for sports and music. Suddenly, it was as if my universe of beer underwent a 'big bang' and I was discovering tons of new varieties and styles - and I loved it!

I returned to Canada to study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. I realized I wanted to do something I was really passionate about, so I tried to find a job in a local brewery (driver, washing kegs, ANYTHING!), but at the time I was unsuccessful. Shortly after I discovered the MSc Brewing and Distilling course at Heriot-Watt University and applied....

I came to HWU wanting to really hone in on my brewing passion, but I've found that distilling spirits is quite interesting as well, and it is often the same people that produce - and indeed consume - both types of beverages. One of the best parts of my HWU experience was that the community of MSc brewers was really tight-knit and enthusiastic. It was great fun to experiment with all of our home-brewing shenanigans, and no doubt this provided a good atmosphere to strengthen our brewing abilities.

Although we set high standards for ourselves as a group in this project, I am pleased that we were able to meet our goals. My role in Natural Selection Brewing has been mostly behind the scenes. In addition to several side projects I took on, I coordinated the members of the team to keep everyone on the same page, I liaised with Project Supervisors, balanced the budget, held everyone to the tight timeline, et cetera. I was mainly concerned with keeping the project running smoothly and ensuring that everything was done in a manner that was befitting of our company image/vibe. My other main passion is music, and it was amazing how much my experience promoting my own bands on a shoestring budget tied in with the situations I encountered in this brewing project.

Once again, this project has been a great experience and I would quickly like to acknowledge a short list of people that were instrumental in making this happen. Big thanks to Steve Stewart, Dr. David Quain, the professors of the ICBD, our fellow MSc Brewing and Distilling Students 2011, and especially, BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED US BY BUYING OUR BEER!

What does the future hold?
In the immediate future I will be heading back to Vancouver, BC. I have been craving the West Coast outdoors so badly. 
I want to be involved in craft brewing on the West Coast in North America. I want to get involved with a company that is passionate, innovative, artisanal but with good practice and business sense, and that has ambitions to expand and grow. Really, I want to get involved somewhere that I can really put my all into. 

My last word is that this project was inspiring and has been invaluable for my own experience. I hope to see it undertaken again in subsequent years, and I hope that those involved can receive the same amazing level of support that we got. Thanks again.


Introducing Claire Odecki - our Artist

One of the most frequent bits of feedback we’ve had during our project has been how much people like the artwork, and they want to find out where it came from. I am pleased to introduce the artist we worked with to create the label for Finch…  Ms. Claire Odecki.

Claire is from Canada’s capital, Ottawa, but now resides in Vancouver, BC. There she attended Emily Carr University of Art and Design, specializing in illustration.

Throughout the few years I have known Claire, whether it is a small sketch or a gallery display, her artwork has never failed to impress me and also surprise me with its creativity. Furthermore, after working with her a few times now I have found her to be adaptive, dedicated, and personable – very easy to work with.

At Natural Selection Brewing, we compared the portfolios of several young and talented artists during the brand development stage. Ultimately Colin found that Claire’s work stood out, and would best represent what we were looking for. You can view a selection of Claire’s portfolio online at where she also lists professional contact information. She provided me with a few self portraits of herself for me to choose from to put up here, but I like them all so here they are:

- Kevin
Project Manager