Bill McKenzie is the president of Calgary-based Big Rock Brewery, which is in its 25th year of operations. McKenzie initially joined Big Rock as the vice-president of sales and marketing.
How did you get involved with Big Rock?
I effectively became president Jan. 1, (2010) … but I joined the company in 2008 … I’ve been in this industry since 1988 and (Big Rock) gave me the call.
What is it about beer that has kept you in the industry?
To me, it’s just a fun industry. I can’t think of another industry allowing for so much fun into it. It’s an industry where you have constant contact with a variety of people so there’s a kind of diversity in the job. In the job that I’m in right now here at Big Rock, I love working for a smaller company. It’s my dream job.
You walk into almost any pub in the city and you see Big Rock on tap, what’s that like to be part of a company that’s so well-known in Calgary?
It’s the pride of what we do here. It’s unbelievable, it really is.
What’s the most popular beer at Big Rock?
Grass(hopper) and Trad(itional) are basically neck and neck. In any given month, one will be bigger than the other, but they’re more or less the biggest two brands for us.
What’s your favourite kind of Big Rock beer?
Mine is Warthog. I just like darker ale and it’s the lighter tasting one … I love the taste.
Do you prefer bottle, can or draft?
That’s a hard question. I drink cans in the summer. Starting about May long weekend, I buy cans. As of Labour Day, I buy bottles but I love going out and having a draft. I have zero preference, that’s the God-honest truth, I like all three. I truthfully can’t answer it because on any given day, like on a golf course having a can of beer, or after a hockey game having a can of beer is great, but going and sitting in a pub is great as well.