All Posts Tagged With: "Half Pints"
Winnipeg accountant traded insurance for entrepreneurship
Nicole Barry, now 34, had an unusually long-term plan for a 20-year-old woman. She and her then-boyfriend (now ex-husband) would both get jobs in their 20s and then “reconvene” in their 30s to open a brewery in their hometown, Winnipeg. To hold up her end of the bargain, Barry became a Certified General Accountant, earned Bachelor of Business Administration from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and got a job as a controller for an insurance company. Then a severance package allowed the pair to fast-track their dream and at age 27 Barry became co-owner of Half Pints Brewing. Seven years later she has 14 employees. Her path is the perfect addition to Your Job Makes me Jealous. Here’s how it went.
How did you get from university to starting your own brewery?
My parents were entrepreneurs so that was something bred into me—the whole DIY lifestyle. I didn’t start off wanting to become an accountant or a CGA but I realized that if I was going to be successful being my own boss, at some point I needed a strong business education. I’m fairly smart and I’ve seen people succeed and fail and so having a good backup career was a good plan. My then-boyfriend and I decided he’d go to brewing school and I’d do the business side of things.
How did you spot the craft beer trend back then?
I have this mixed bag personality where I can be the accountant girl, but I was also going to punk rock shows at age 15. The Winnipeg music scene was really big in the 90s with Propaghandi, and the Weakerthans developed from that scene. The music scene lent itself to the ‘support local’ movement. So when I became of drinking age I was like, ‘I’m not going to support mass beer, I’m going to support the little guy.’ But there wasn’t really much [craft beer] going on in Winnipeg.