In Spring of 1998 after recently being fired from a brewery, three friends set out on a canoe trip. That canoe trip would lead to a campfire conversation that would change all of their lives. Greg Taylor, Cam Heaps and Greg Cromwell “The Three Fired Guys” wanted to make a Pilsner that would compete with the best in the world. They did just that! Their brewery is named Steam Whistle, drawing from the inspirational sounds of steam rushing from factory whistles, signalling the end of a fulfilling workday and a time for personal reward.1 The Three Fired Guys built their company with a retro feel, when marketing of goods relied on the trust between manufacturer and consumers. Steam Whistle understands the importance of listening to their consumers and makes ever effort to do so by utilizing social media.
So, I avoided real life and chose the beer/food and fun arrow. The warm hop aroma met me at the door, followed by a smiling hostess with a warm “hello”. Immediately, I knew I made the right decision. The beer and food were delicious but above all else the atmosphere was magnetic. Looking around, everyone was having fun… especially the staff. It was obvious that they loved their job and had a genuine passion for craft beer. The Elora Brewing Company has only been operating for a little less than a year, but already it is evident that this is more like a family than a traditional business. The building itself, a former local hardware store in the picturesque town of Elora, Ontario, was completely renovated by local tradesmen, artisans, and current employees. Community involvement has been a big part of their plan from day one as locals and future staff members were encouraged to bring their sledge hammers and pitch in during construction. This approach built a foundation of community and employee brand ownership. This feeling of ownership has led employees to personal investment in the product, which shines through and ultimately drives sales.