Sid Ruhland is living the dream of many former college students, merging his professional business training obtained at Okanagan College with his passion for brewing beer to launch the Firehall Brewery in Oliver.
Sid began developing and honing his craft while attending the College. What started out as a hobby quickly grew such that he realized he had a business with true potential on his hands.
He has now turned his love of beer into a full-time career. Branding his product as “The Beer of Wine Country,” Sid is leading the charge for the Craft Beer Revolution spreading across British Columbia and becoming a global phenomenon.
Sid attended Okanagan College from 2006 to 2011. It was during Sid’s last year at Okanagan College that his plan to start his own brewery really took shape. He immersed himself in learning about the beer making process, first using tips he obtained from the person who sold him the equipment, and then adding to it with an eye to professionalism.
Seeing a real opportunity, he connected his business school projects to the real-world experiences he would soon be exploring with the brewery, and used the feedback from his professors to always continue improving. By the time he completed his studies, he was ready to launch the brewery as a fully-motivated entrepreneur. The foundation he built at the College has translated into a very successful business venture, and he credits his time as a student for shaping the way he looks at the world.
Today, Sid operates and owns Firehall Brewery but remains engaged with Okanagan College. He is involved in marketing events, keeps in contact with his favourite professors, and sold a keg of his beer to the College for the 50th Anniversary Celebration in September 2013. He looks forward to deepening that relationship in the months ahead and would like to partner with Enactus and the Student Union for more promotional events. He encourages students to travel, go on exchange programs, and be sure to meet as many people as they can to have a fulfilling experience as a college student.
To learn more about Sid and the Firehall Brewery, please visit the website at: http://www.firehallbrewery.com