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Nov 30, 2020

Meet the Team: Damien Smith | Sales Representative by Day, Beer Sommelier by Night

Meet the author: Damien Smith is a Retail Sales Representative on the Sleeman team. Located in Guelph, Canada, Damien began his career journey with Sleeman Breweries 12 years ago.

By Damien Smith:

The Sleeman brand has had a really special place in my heart for a long time. In fact, my story with Sleeman Breweries actually predates my time working here!

It all started in 1998...

Back at that time, I had just started working as a bartender at the Chateau Lake Louise when my roommate returned from a trip to Banff with a six pack of Sleeman Honey Brown. He was so excited to find a beer brand from his hometown all the way out in the Rockies! I can still vividly remember that first sip of Sleeman beer on my balcony, the sun was shining and the Victoria Glacier was right behind me.

Fast forward to today and I have now been a Sleeman Employee for 12 years. I’m now proud to be a sales representative for my home territory of Guelph, Waterloo, and Kitchener.

Coming from a hospitality background, this is the perfect gig for me. I have a big passion for food and drink, specifically cooking with beer and playing around with beer and food pairings.

Cooking with beer

I have been cooking with Sleeman beer for several years now. I present our beers and affiliated brands to the Beer Store and the LCBO with a food pairing cooked with the beer we are trying.

From homemade beer brined Pastrami, to beer candied bacon with garden tomato and basil, to Blanche De Chambly cupcakes, customers and employees from across my territory have commented on how unique and informative my beer and food pairings are.

Three years ago, I partnered with Longo’s Grocery Chain to host a Cooking with Beer workshop in their interactive demonstration kitchens. The two-hour workshop covered the history of Sleeman Brewery, artifacts from our archive collection, and included a three-course meal each prepared and served with a different Sleeman Breweries beer!

A company that encourages my passion

I am lucky to work for a company that not only appreciates this passion of mine, but encourages it as well. Thanks to the support from Sleeman Breweries, I am currently pursuing my Prud’-homme Beer Sommelier designation as well.

The beer industry, and Sleeman Breweries in particular, is truly a great place to work! And to think it all started 22 years ago with a single sip of Sleeman Honey Brown in the Rockies.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Damien!

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