July 20, 2021

Episode #48: C-Suite Unplugged: Wayne Arsenault, President & CEO, Big Rock Brewery

Perhaps while sitting out on a local patio, you’ve seen this company’s name (or one of their iconic brews) on the menu or perhaps you are a fermented drink connoisseur and know Calgary’s rich brewery history. Whether or not you are a drinker, you probably know the name Big Rock Brewery, especially if you live in Calgary.

Big Rock Brewery was started by local Calgarian Ed McNally in 1985, launching what is now a booming craft beer industry in Calgary. From its humble origins 36 years ago, the company has grown to establish breweries across Canada, bringing the Alberta flavour and spirit with it.

There’s not much about the company that isn’t inspired by the Prairies. Take product names like Grasshopper or Rock Creek Cider, or even the name of the company itself—the smells, tastes, and sights of the Prairies are embedded within the DNA of the company. Even what goes into making each product—barley, water, etc.—comes from local producers as much as possible.

On this episode, we’re going behind the scenes with the man at the helm of this local Alberta success story, Wayne Arsenault, President & CEO. In addition to sharing the history of the company and his exciting plans, Wayne shares about his journey into leadership, what lessons he has learned along the way that young leaders can heed, why Alberta is the best place to operate a beverage company, and why he is so bullish on our future.

In this episode:

  • About Big Rock Brewery, Wayne’s journey to the company, and the value of staying committed to your core brand purpose
  • Wayne’s leadership philosophy, advice to future leaders, and lessons learned from mentors
  • History of Big Rock Brewery and the inspiration behind the name
  • History and growth of the craft beer industry in Alberta
  • Impact of COVID on the business
  • Advantages of growing a beer and beverage business in Alberta
  • Key barriers to success in the industry
  • What is next for Big Rock
  • How we make Alberta better

About C-Suite Unplugged

In this series, C-Suite Unplugged, host Adam Legge talks to Alberta’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders about their journey to the C-Suite, what keeps them up at night as an Albertan and as leader in their industry, and what their outlook is for the future.

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