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Business Travel: Interview with Greg Taylor of Toronto's Steam Whistle Brewing

Notes for the modern business traveller from the company's co-founder.

Greg Taylor

Sitting around a campfire after the brewery they worked for was dismantled, Greg Taylor and his two partners dreamt of opening their own (and calling it Three Fired Guys). Sixteen years later, it’s one of Canada’s largest independent breweries, and though the name didn’t stick, 3FG is still engraved on each bottle as a reminder of what got them fired up in the first place.

1. What I had to learn on the fly Public speaking, before realizing people just want to hear stories. Now I don’t even bring notes.

2. Best place for a business lunch There’s a Vietnamese spot in Toronto’s Chinatown – Pho Hung. It’s a bit unorthodox for business, but we like to shake things up. And they serve our beer.

3. I always listen to the youth in our organization. The world is changing, and they’re the future, so what they think determines our direction.

4. The biggest risk I ever took was mortgaging our family home to launch Steam Whistle. But the city needed a brewery.

5. In my carry-on, you’ll find nothing. I board with my phone, laptop and earbuds.

6. My go-to app Snapchat to connect with my kids and friends; it’s ephemeral like life.

7. My business mantra People first! Without our employees, the brewery is just an empty brick building with stainless steel equipment.

8. In business, now’s a good time to create jobs at the local level. Craft beer requires about five times more employees than a big brewery to make one litre of product.

9. My eureka moment Spotting someone carrying one of our 12-packs just after we opened in 2000 – we actually appealed to consumers! I realized we might have a business.

10. Window or aisle? Window. When you look out on a sunny day with cumulus clouds in the sky, it’s just spectacular.



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