Hobnob 4: Pete Nguyen

As far as we know, Berlin is the only agency in town that’s had two team members move on to start craft breweries. This week we caught up with one of them – Pete Nguyen, Partner and Brand Director at Sea Change Brewing Co. – to talk brand, beer and business in the time of COVID-19.

Pete’s career has placed him in different industries at different times, but it’s always been a creative career – more than 10 years art directing for magazines, three years on Berlin’s creative team, and an impressive number of side hustles. He’s an artist, designer, brand director and mostly retired pop punk musician, who formed Sea Change with friends from Edmonton’s music scene.

In February this year, the brewery was thriving. Its business model – based on a couple of cozily crowded taprooms and putting Sea Change brews on tap all over Edmonton – was working. Pete left Berlin to make the brewery his full-time gig, and “business as usual” was working just fine… until all the taprooms, bars and restaurants closed a month later.

Turns out former punk rockers turned entrepreneurs are a gritty, inventive, get-it-done sort of crowd. Watch Pete’s conversation with Michael here for the story of how a beloved community brewery transformed its business model overnight, so we can all still enjoy a Prairie Fairy or two while sitting safely at home.