Selkirk College Business Administration Program instructor Mike Konkin knows a great idea when he tastes it. Founder and CEO of the Trail Beer Refinery, the veteran educator launched his plan for a micro-brewery and taproom in 2016. With a product line focused on traditional ales and lagers, it opened in the spring of 2017 in downtown Trail to massive positive response.
“If you deliver something of quality, people will want to support it,” says Konkin, who has been teaching tax, finance and accounting at Selkirk College for more than a decade. “We know what people like and we want to deliver it to them. It’s authentic and people appreciate that aspect of our business.”
Konkin spent nine years in Vancouver working as a CGA for the likes of McDonald’s Corporation, Fletcher Challenge and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory before returning to the West Kootenay where he was raised. Prior to teaching at Selkirk College, he set up a bustling accounting practice in Trail and was involved in a successful tech start-up.
“Everything I teach in class, I have seen in real life beyond the academia,” Konkin says. “You can take a look at almost any course in business and you can build a case study someplace in this brewery that can be used. And when you talk about beer, it’s just that much cooler.”
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