Graham Sherman is a self-professed “high level geek” who used his love of technology to disrupt an entire industry. In 2013, Sherman took homebrewing “too far” when he launched the Tool Shed Brewing Company. What was originally a hobby in his backyard tool shed is now a 22,000 square foot brewery with product sold in over 1000 locations. Speaking on his bumpy entrepreneurial journey, Sherman’s passion comes through in every talk as he shows audiences how to harness disruption to transform their lives.
Prior to starting Tool Shed, Sherman, along with his business partner, worked on contracts for the Canadian and US governments and military forces, installing encrypted, tactical communication networks. By day, they rolled around Afghanistan in armoured vehicles, “geeking out” in the world of satellite communications. By night, they aimed their obsessive, high-level thinking at mastering everyday tasks such as roasting their own coffee beans and brewing the perfect cuppa, learning to control their homes in Canada remotely with their iPhones, and finally, perfecting batches of beer.
After quitting his well-paying, stable government job to jump head-first into the craft brewing industry, Sherman quickly learned that his new-found vocation was actually illegal in his home province of Alberta. So, he changed his game plan from simply brewing craft beer to disrupting the industry. It took one year of relentless perseverance for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Corporation to change their legislation. It was through this process he learned the importance of adaptability, resiliency, and collaboration in any success story, and it is these traits that helped his brewery see sustained success throughout a difficult pandemic.
Sherman has been nominated for Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year, was named one of Calgary’s 2016 “Top 40 Under 40” by Avenue magazine, and won the 2018 Business in Calgary Leaders Award.