It’s been 12 years since his Olympic gold medal win for the men’s skeleton event representing Canada, and Jon Montgomery is still thirsty. We sat glued to our televisions while he chugged beer from a pitcher walking through Whistler village right after his win, and we all knew we were witnessing a proud moment in history that couldn’t be cooler, or more Canadian. Jon has been hosting The Amazing Race Canada since 2013 and has a brand-new seven-part online series out now called Brewdocking. Each episode follows Jon while he RVs across Canada, from B.C. to P.E.I., stopping at local breweries and sharing what he’s learned about each of the communities. —Catherine Dunwoody
Hi Jon! What can you tell us about your new series, Brewdocking?
I am sure it’s a stretch to imagine me doing anything even remotely related to beer (laughs) but here I find myself with the opportunity to explore something I am very interested in and passionate about. Though I don’t drink the volume of beer I did in my early 20s, I still very much love it and it shapes an aspect of my personality that I would love to be able to understand more. How is it made, why do people seek it out, how is beer related to why we form ourselves in these social groupings called communities, and how is community related to that beverage? I’m a curious individual and when I got an itch, I want to scratch it! I loved getting across this country to explore the flavours and profiles of beer and meet the people who created them out of their minds eye, bridging the gap between what this product and place means to the community that calls it home. We see how wholeheartedly a beer can be a central pillar in a community, how people can rally around a business that is a brewery to become a centralized watering hole where they can have a meeting of the minds, an opportunity to be educated and introduced to new theories and ideas you may never have otherwise had.
Is it safe to say, you still love beer?
My love for it only grows as I understand it better. Goes lock stock with how I feel about my country. Beer and community go hand in hand. Being a Canadian has directly influenced my life and the opportunities that I have sought and shaped who I am today.
Was the idea for Brewdocking your own?
I’d love to be able to lay claim to the idea, but Go RVing Canada is a regulatory body that promotes the RV lifestyle, and they had interest in doing something like this for some time now. Chris Mahony had this desire to show that the RV lifestyle is directly related to this new local brewing industry which is popping up en masse in small towns and communities coast to coast. I think that beer and camping are inextricably intertwined and community and beer are also in that same vein. It’s a real opportunity to appreciate all our incredible luck and hard work that folks get to realize whether they are born here are find their way to Canada in that our backyard is this immense playground we can all share. I’ve got to give it Chris for working collaboratively with us to bring this idea to reality, and today all seven episodes are available online.
Was shooting delayed due to the pandemic or was it scheduled to start airing in July 2022?
We were stymied by the lockdowns but like every other Canadian we were desperate to get out there when we could and shot all seven episodes between September 2021 to June 2022.
How many breweries do you feature?
One brewery per episode. When we went to Tofino, well, I had never been to church and got served a pint of beer. This brewery is in the town’s local church that had been there for about 80 years, with all the millwork, beamwork and a cathedral style roof. I think upcycling an important building and staple in the community into something that can be celebrated is great. BNA Brewing Co. in Kelowna is such a cool space with a bowling alley, an Airstream trailer that is a bar, fantastic food, and décor that make you feel like you’re in someone’s rec room in the basement. All the fixings on the wall, the shuffleboard, the mismatched furniture, the CDs. It’s awesome.
What’s your favourite beer style? Pilsner? Saison?
Wet and free. Easy right? I will drink anything. If it’s wet I’ma like it. And if its free? I’ma love it.