2019 Foodies of the Year: Richard Sehmer and Andrew Harris
The beer industry couldn’t have asked for two better-suited fairy godmothers, or founders, to start a collab craft brewery.
The Collectivists: Richard Sehmer and Andrew Harris
Founders, Craft Collective Beerworks, Vancouver
Given the boom in craft brewing in Vancouver, it might appear that opening a brewery is easy. But those big tanks you saw on your last tasting tour? Even used, one of those will set you back about $100,000. Then you need a brewmaster, recipes—a dream—and affordable lab space, somewhere in Vancouver big enough to hold it all.
Cracking the market now is the deep-pocketed pursuit of the very few with passion (and wallets) strong enough to overlook the risks, industry realities that Vancouverites Richard Sehmer and Andrew Harris know all too well. Sehmer is a lawyer who, with his wife, Sarah, started Trim Hair Salon on Main Street eight years ago, next to Harris’s business, Portland Craft. The two became friends, and while Sehmer was helping new breweries get off the ground through his law practice, Harris co-founded Russell Brewing and Main Street Brewing. (Sehmer was also a director of Main Street Brewing, as well as a co-founder of Twin Sails Brewing.)
The beer industry couldn’t have asked for two better-suited fairy godmothers, or founders, to start Craft Collective Beerworks, a collaborative craft brewery that’s a one-stop brew shop complete with rentable tanks, assistant brewers, canning line operators and lab techs for those indie owners who have the dream, but not always the means, to create their own craft beer.
“We like to think we’ve disrupted the industry for the better by giving smaller breweries the resources to compete with larger ones,” says Sehmer, who counts Postmark, Spectrum and Phantom among Craft Collective’s brands. “We know exactly how difficult it is to run a brewery. That’s why we started Craft Collective.”
WL: What’s always in your fridge?
AH: Sourdough yeast starter.
RS: Hot sauce.
WL: What’s your favourite unusual food and beer pairing?
AH: Ramen and a crisp saison.
RS: Sour beer and pickled pineapple slices.
WL: What song is always on your dinner party playlist?
AH: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen.
RS: “All Night Long,” by Lionel Ritchie.
AH: Rooibos tea with a dash of bourbon.
RS: A fedora.
WL: Hangover cure?
AH: Two eggs, half a can of Spectrum Margarita Gose, a shot of vodka, half a lime (squeezed), 4 oz of Da Bomb Insane hot sauce—all shaken and consumed as quickly as possible.
RS: Three eggs, one can of Spectrum Margarita Gose, two shots of vodka, one lime (squeezed), 8 oz of Da Bomb Insane hot sauce—all shaken and consumed as quickly as possible.