Keeping it real … Real Ale
It was about a year ago or so I first came across Cee on Instagram, it was the pictures of his and Brewheads collaboration that caught my eye. So we get chatting and as a result I get put in contact with Phil of Brewheads and I become the first person in the UK (maybe Europe?) to purchase the collaboration gear!
It isn’t just beer that we have in common though, its music, I am a huge Hip Hop fan. My record collection at home is fairly big and full of UK, classic and interdependent Hip Hop, hell once upon a time way way back in the day at college you may have known me for making music myself! I wanted to get Cee on a #Beerbuddies interview because his passion for Craft Beer and music is admirable. We don’t get a lot of Canadian Craft Beer here in the UK so Cee is my window into the scene over there. Hopefully you will also enjoy reading, seeing and listening to my latest #Beerbuddies interview…
1.For those who don’t know you would you like to introduce yourself?
G’day folks. My name is Cee, my Mum calls me Craig. I’m an MC, Manager, Entrepreneur and Certified BrewHead from Melbourne, Australia now living in Montreal, Canada. Appreciate you taking the time to chat bro!
2. When did you first get into Hip Hop and when did you first get into Craft Beer?
Man, I first got into Hip Hop back in like 1990 with Kris Kross and Vanilla Ice, though I usually credit my real Hip Hop beginnings in 1993 when I heard Snoop’s “What’s My Name?”. It was on from there. I got into craft kinda accidentally, actually. In the winter of 2011, some mates back in Australia were doing this thing called ‘365 Days of Beer’ where you had to drink 365 beers in 12 months and document it on Facebook by taking a photo of yourself with the bottle or labelled pint glass to prove you did it. I took it up on January 20th because I’d only moved to Canada about four months earlier and I was suffering through my first Canadian winter – I needed a hobby. It became more of an OCD thing as I went; every time I hit the liquor store, I had this overwhelming urge to grab whatever beer there was that I hadn’t had. Completion issues, I guess. So as I plowed through the macros, I naturally had to move towards the craft section. And the more I drank, the more I understood it and the more I loved it.
3. If you had a choice of owning a record label or owning a brewery what would it be?
Ah man! That’s just mean. I currently own a record label by the name of The Movement Fam, and our plans are to start a brewpub in the near future. If I really, really had to choose, I’d have to go with a label because music has been my passion since I can remember and beer is a relatively new thing in my life. Though I really, really wanna own a brewery haha.
4. How do you see the Canadian Craft Beer scene at the moment?
It’s fantastic! When I started the ‘365 Days of Beer’, the craft scene was still small but solid. There were some great breweries across the country but it wasn’t really poppin’ to the point of tapping into the mainstream yet. As time went on and craft became more and more popular, a lot more breweries have popped up, the LCBO and Beer Store in Ontario are stocking a ton more craft, the breweries themselves are collaborating a lot and you can’t walk down any main street without bumping into a brewpubs. I see a lot of interest in Canadian beer from my international mates via social media – and interestingly, Montreal has the second most brewpubs in any city in the world. So it’s most definitely on the rise.
5. What are some of your favourite Canadian Craft Beers?
Great question! A few faves: Le Castor Yakima IPA (Quebec), Beau’s Dunkelbuck (Ontario), Mill St. Tankhouse (Ontario), Flying Monkey’s City & Colour Imperial Maple Wheat (Ontario), Phillips Amnesiac Double IPA (British Columbia), and Big Rig Release The Hounds Black IPA (Ontario). Probably a ton more but those are some boss ones.
6. Have you had much of a chance to sample much UK Craft Beers? If so what are your highlights?
I’ve had quite a few since I started the blog, actually. The BrewDog Punk IPA is fantastic, and strangely enough I really like the Well’s Banana Bread joint. I also enjoy a lot of Wychwood’s beers, they’re mostly really solid, too. Though I’m shattered we can’t get many BrewDog beers in Canada, they’re the main brewery I hear about from the UK.
7. Recently there was a news article doing the rounds about Dock Street Brewery barrel aging a beer while continuously playing it Wu Tang records. If I was to play music to a beer while it aged it would be Tribe Called Quest and it would be a best bitter called “Tribe Called Best..Bitter”, what would you play yours and what would you name it?
I’d brew a Saison aged in Syrah barrels called ‘Nothing Was The Saison’ and play it only Drake cuts. This one is for the ladies.
8. BrewHeads is an anthem for the Craft Beer scene. How did you and Phil from BrewHeads first meet and how did the track happen?
Phil and I met via Instagram, actually. Not sure how it happened but I gather we found each other through hashtags, and we had a mutual respect for our respective arts. Phil sent me a bunch of BrewHeads gear to rock and I really repped it real heavy at shows and in videos. We were talking about a merch collab in late 2013, and right at that time I had just released my EP with Dr. MaD ‘Steps To The Peak’. MaD hit me with a beat for my album that I was working on and I said to Phil ‘Man, I should do a BrewHeads track to drop with the collab’. I came up with the hook and the song came out really dope. Phil flew up to Montreal and we shot the video over a week at brewpubs, breweries and brew shops across the city, which was an exhausting but amazing experience. That song and project is something we’re both extremely proud of, and we’re stoked at the support it’s all received from both the beer and Hip Hop communities.
9. You’ve recently started doing a Craft Beer podcast, how is that going? What plans do you have for the podcast in the future?
It’s going awesome! We named the podcast after my blog, Beer & Other Shit, and I run it with my co-host Scott ‘Beer’ Cole. We’ve dropped three episodes to date, with a bunch more recorded in the bag ready to drop every two weeks. It’s been a lot of fun to take the blog from just Instagram and Tumblr to podcasts and actually discuss beer in more detail. We plan to feature a ton of guests (you’re on my list!), do live podcasts from events and brewpubs, and really just spread the gospel of craft beer through our stupid humour and Hip Hop culture lens, which I believe hasn’t been done before. We also are working on Beer & Other Shit TV for YouTube; we’ve shot one episode thus far and are planning on making that a regular thing as well. So it’s moving!
10. Whats next for you music wise? Craft Beer wise? And where can people find out more about it all?
Man we have a TON of stuff coming up. Personally, I’m working on 4 EPs – one with the UK’s FlamesYall called “BeBetter”; one with Livin’ Poetry (Oakland, CA) produced by A-Fos (London, ON); one with legend D-Shade (Montreal, QC) produced by Digital Martyrs (Oakland, CA); and one with my brother Notion, which he is producing. I’ve already started work on my sophomore LP entitled “Relentless”, which I’m SUPER excited about as I’m only using musicians, no samples or anything else. My man Clarity in Toronto is producing that. We also have Notion’s debut album “Heart On My Sleeve Music” dropping soon through the label, and we recently signed artists to both The Movement Fam and our management company High Season, so the music side is looking great. As far as beer, Phil and I are talking about our next collab; and of course we have the podcast and TV stuff.
You can hit me via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. You can check out the beer blog, the podcast and the Facebook page. And for my music, you can hit me via Bandcamp or SoundCloud, or just the label’s website.
Thanks for the chat, man! Cheers!