We’re kicking off our Meet the Team series by introducing you to – or maybe in this case, reacquainting you with – Evan Doan, our Innovation and Efficiency Manager.
Evan is the founder and former head brewer at Doan’s Brewing and a well-known figure in the Vancouver brewing scene. Lately, he’s been overseeing recipe development for all of MOD’s existing and upcoming brands, while also leading the charge to make the company more efficient, sustainable and vegan-friendly.
What’s your day-to-day looking like these days?
I’m in charge of all recipe development, but that’s not just writing a recipe and implementing it into the brews schedule. It’s everything else that’s involved. So that’s creating and managing process maps for developing and producing new SKUs, then overseeing quality and bench testing. I’m also improving current SKUs and figuring out the key drivers of each innovation. I also explore new equipment, new techniques, and work toward saving the company money through alternative processes or ingredients and that kind of thing.
It seems to be equal parts creative and operational.
On the creative side, what are you most excited to be working on?
Without giving too much away yet, I’m really excited for – let’s just call them non-alcoholic vegan-alternative beverages. There’s a global market for these kinds of beverages right now, and it’s going nowhere but up. Being a part of that is amazing.
Are you working on vegan-friendly options for the existing alcohol brands?
We’re going to be moving all of our Spectrum beer away from lactose. We won’t be using milk sugar anymore. We’ll actually be making every SKU out of this facility a vegan product, starting in 2021.
And you’re working on improving MOD’s sustainability practices, right?
Part of my job is to make the company more efficient. So that means using less electricity, less water, less everything, while utilizing better practices across the entire company to have less of a footprint. In the end, this will save the company money. What we’re finding is that the more efficient we can be, the more sustainable we can be, while also saving the company more money. Go figure.
Is this something you’ve been personally advocating for?
For sure. I’ve been 100 per cent pro-environment my entire life. It’s definitely something that I feel strongly about. I think every company worldwide needs to be striving to become better. No one will be perfect, and certainly not right away. You don’t need to stop using water or whatever, but you can implement better practices. You can educate yourself. Waste Reduction
That’s what I’m working on. A [seemly small thing] big thing we’ve done here is, for example, on the hot side in the brewery, instead of using a hose to mop the thing up there, push down the drain, use a squeegee that saves 20 litres of water, [but it all adds up]. It’s a matter of educating the team here to understand the consequences of their procedures, and the impact it will have, so they can make smarter, more sustainable choices. That education is a big part of what’s going on here. I am working on this, but it’s definitely going to be a full team effort to get where we need to be.
This sounds like a pretty sweet job.
Oh, it’s amazing. It definitely plays to my strengths too. I love business and I love dealing with people, but I’m not that great at sales and all these other components of running a brewery. What I’m really good at is recipes. I was good at that even as a kid, so being able to utilize flavours and create recipes is definitely my strength for sure.