If you know about beer in BC, you’ve heard about Spinnakers, the 35-year-old brewpub in Victoria. Maybe you’ve been there on more than one occasion. The hard work of owner/publican Paul Hadfield created the first of its kind in Canada, and it has thrived throughout the exponential growth of the BC microbrewery industry.
Paul is not the only member of the family who is a part of the beer world. His two daughters, Kala and Carly Hadfield, have followed the family tradition, with Kala working at Spinnakers and Carly owning a pub in Castlegar.
We’ve already had a word with Kala; now let’s meet her sister Carly.
Q&A CARLY HADFIELD,
CO-OWNER, LION’S HEAD SMOKE & BREW PUB
- How long have you been in the position? Have you worked your way up or did you jump right in?
You could say we jumped in. My partner Troy and I purchased The Lion’s Head in the late spring of 2009.The pub had been closed for about eight months at the time. We had the doors open for business three weeks later. We created a BC craft beer–focused tap house in what felt like the heart of Bud country and worked hard to build our own reputation and educate our patrons on craft beer, as it was a rare thing in the West Kootenays at that time.
- Did you choose the job or did the job choose you? Or maybe a push of support from your Dad?
There was just something about The Lion’s Head.The high vaulted ceilings reminded me of Spinnakers; I could see the potential for this place to become what it is today. I had practically grown up in Spinnakers and when I moved to Castlegar I missed having a pub that felt like home. A place where everyone felt welcome, a place that served good food and great local beer. We had joked about buying The Lion’s Head for a few years and bringing craft beer to the West Kootenays, and then one day everything worked out and we did.
- What were you doing before?
Before we purchased the building, I was a student at Selkirk College in the Business Administration program, ran a small landscaping company called The Grass Master, worked up at Red Mountain during the winter seasons, and waitressed in between.
- Did you take any specific training for your role now?
It has mostly been a hands-on learning experience. We were so fortunate to have my Dad as a mentor when we first started, and still continue to learn and grow all the time as the place evolves and trends change.
- How did you discover your passion for beer?
I was lucky enough to be born into really good beer, so I don’t recall when I discovered my passion for beer. It was just always there.
- Do you feel respected in your role?
Yes, absolutely. I have a great team behind me here at The Lion’s Head and have had great support from the community.
- Are there advantages or disadvantages to being a woman in the industry?
I am happy to say that, in my work environment, gender doesn’t matter.
- Do you have any suggestions for women wanting to get into the industry?
Do it! It is a fun industry to be part of.
- How do you feel about women-only beer groups like “Pink Boots”?
I love the idea of Pink Boots. It is great to get like-minded women together to support one another. I am not currently a member but would happily join.
- What is your favourite beer on tap?
One of my favourite beers on tap recently is Operis from Four Winds.
- What is your favourite beer otherwise?
One of my all-time favourite beers is a vintage brew from Spinnakers that hasn’t been made in a long time, The Fog Fighter.
- Favourite female in the industry?
Call me biased but, my sister Kala. Not only has she brought some fun creativity to their brewery there, but she has been a wealth of knowledge on all things beer-related when I need a hand with my establishment. I’ve got a great supportive family.
- Biggest achievement to date?
Even though it is a few months away, our biggest achievement is our upcoming 10th anniversary this July 1, on Canada Day. It feels like such a milestone, and I am proud that we have made it this far.
- What made you decide to create a BC craft-centric pub experience in the Kootenays?
We had such a great opportunity with The Lion’s Head. We wanted to do something different and bring something different to the area. It was a bold decision to exclusively pour BC Craft Beer, and I am so happy that we did. It’s what makes our place unique. It’s also been exciting to see all the growth in the West Kootenays beer scene in the last few years, and although we aren’t brewing, I am happy that we are a part of that growth.