Meet Matthew James, Cameron’s Sales Rep
“Passion, knowledge and sincerity are key.”
When asked what it takes to excel in the craft beer business, Matthew James, sales for Toronto West, is quick to say: “Passion, knowledge and sincerity are key. The Ontario craft beer industry has exploded and we’re seeing a fantastic variety of excellent products, so you need to know your stuff. While the Ontario craft beer market continues to grow, it remains an uphill battle for market share against the big brewers,” describes James. “I build relationships with customers—both the licensee and home consumers—with my passion for beer and through great customer service—fake it till you make it just doesn’t cut it in this industry,” says James.
Having recently returned from a trip to one of the world’s bastions of beer-making, Prague, Czech Republic, Matthew is raving about his beer tasting experience. “I’d heard the beer there was extremely fresh and the books and internet didn’t let me down,” said James. “I also toured the Pilsner Urquell brewery and have a better understanding and respect for that beer, how it’s made, and its flavor characteristics”, he says.
That experience also has Matthew appreciating what’s going on at home, too. “I really appreciate what Cameron’s brewmaster Jason Britton and his brewing team are doing. Take our 12 Mile IPL, for example, this beer is so good! And what people may not know when they put it to their lips and taste that delicious, subtle, smoky follow through is how much love, passion, and creativity has gone into making that beer taste like it does,” he comments.
That mutual passion is why James got into the industry in the first place. “I came from the wine industry where I spent more than half my day describing what people were tasting and why. I felt it was a natural transition to beer. That, and the fact that when I get home from work, 95% of the time reach for a cold one,” he adds.