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Leadership Profile - Brent Babyak

IT Professional, turned beer mogul - Brent is one cool guy!
Leadership Profile - Brent Babyak
Former co-worker and all-around awesome person Brent Babyak

Brent’s interest in technology and tickering with anything that runs on electrons started before even he can remember. The hours he spent glued to a computer led him to think of ways to make the computer do the hard work for him.

From being a member of Best Buy’s Geek Squad (he still has the jacket to prove it) to working in Cybersecurity at Farm Credit Canada, he turned his interest in technology into a fruitful career.

Then one fateful day, Brent watched with glee as a bartender in a London (UK) pub pumped a cask ale into a mug. With the first sip, he discovered a new flavour profile. He didn’t know beer could taste like this! He was hooked! Long story short, this born and raised Saskatchewanian found another way to marry his passions with work. Nowadays Brent is part owner and C.O.O. at Pile O’ Bones Brewing Company in Regina, SK and Nokomis Craft Ales in Nokomis, SK. A recovering IT-aholic who can still be found glued to a computer at times, he lives in Regina with his wife Laura and their collection of Lego sets. 

What’s your ideal start to a Sunday?

An Espresso, Americano, or if I'm feeling frisky a Latte and a podcast. Sunday is generally the only day of the week I get to wake up without an alarm so it's usually a late rise and a slow burn.  I dig Sundays.

Your current obsessions.

Podcast wise - I flow from political to business to general interest. I am a near daily listener to The Mansbridge Podcast, which covers Canadian politics and current events. A Regina-based podcast called The Clean Energy Show is another must catch every week that keeps me plugged into the ever expanding green economy.Other recent favorites are 13 Minutes to the Moon, The Lazarus Heist, and Business Wars.

I’m currently reading Making it So by Patrick Stewart and enjoying it thoroughly.

I’m an avid board and video gamer. Chill strategy video games that exercise my mind are a favorite. Farming Simulator anyone? As for board games, the bigger and deeper the better. These days I spend tons of time terraforming mars…

What’s one piece of advice you’re glad you didn’t follow?

When taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and leaving behind a government job that I enjoyed with great people and a great pension I was handed a whole lot of advice (solicited and unsolicited!) coaching me against the idea. Taking risks is always a bit of a leap of faith, but I felt I had a good enough foundation laid out in front of me that the potential rewards were worth the risk.

How do you take care of yourself during the weekend?

This answer varies a little based on the time of year. In the winters I enjoy spending quality downtime building Lego with my wife Laura.  We generally purchase a couple large collectors sets a year and spend time watching old/related movies and building the sets together. Lego is really on point with some super cool stuff nowadays! And just like puzzles, Lego helps you focus in on the moment and reset your mental state. If I'm not doing that, I'm generally playing a video game or a board game.

During the summer I generally spend a lot of weekends working. Brewing beer is a somewhat seasonal business and you have to strike when the iron is hot so to speak. That said I enjoy a good road trip so I have been trying to sneak away more time in the summer to just hit the road.  Laura and I recently drove all the way from Regina, SK to Tofino, BC and it was an extremely relaxing trip.

What are your plans for this winter? Any trips planned?

This winter I’m Mexico bound! I love opportunities to just turn everything off and have someone else do everything for me for a small amount of time.  It always feels like a great reset. Over the next couple months we’re also planning trips to the UK and Costa Rica.