Capital Pint by Travis Persaud is published every second Thursday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Travis on Twitter @tpersaud.
The brewpub scene in Ottawa just got a little bit bigger.
We sat down with John Miller, one of the two brewers at the 240 Sparks St. location, ahead of the opening to find out how he got connected with the brewpub.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Ottawa, actually. I went to Merivale High School. After that I moved to Belleville for three years, and did an apprenticeship there. But I moved back to Ottawa because all of my family is here.
Where were you working before you started with The 3 Brewers?
I was with Iogen Corporation. They are a biofuel company. I worked there for four years.
What did you do there?
I was heavily involved with their fermentation. They would send sugars down and I would ferment it with genetically modified yeast, and would essentially make beer — I created a driving beer rather than a drinking beer! Then we distilled it and that’s how we got the ethanol. The company came to a standstill this past May, and I was laid off.
So how did you end up becoming a brewer?
I’ve always loved beer, trying new styles and figuring out the differences. When I lost my job I started pursuing [a brewing job]. I applied to other breweries in the area, but it’s tough to get in. And all the big brewers are only in Toronto and Montreal. But I was out one night [late-September] and saw the site for The 3 Brewers. I sent my resumé in on a Friday, got a call on Monday, was interviewed on Tuesday, and then was hired and in Montreal [the company’s Canadian headquarters] on Thursday. It was pretty crazy!
What’s it been like so far?
It’s been a bit overwhelming at times. But it’s really enjoyable. There’s a lot of hype about this place. When I step outside people are asking me all sorts of questions. I will be great to finally see people come it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.