a.m./p.m. - Shehan De Silva, founder of Lost Craft

Featured in this month’s a.m./p.m. is Shehan De Silva, who is the founder of popular craft beer brand Lost Craft. If you’re looking for someone to be inspired by, he’s your guy.

Leaving a career in finance behind, Shehan decided to pursue a dream to make craft beer better. The catch? He had no experience or knowledge when it come to brewing. But like all entrepreneurs, he immersed himself in the craft and learned everything he could to make what is now Lost Craft.

We’re lucky and honoured to get to know Shehan, someone who exudes the courage to pursue the unknown and make it his passion. Learn about Shehan’s morning and nightly routine below!

Shehand De Silva (Photo and graphic design by Cat Walrond)

Shehand De Silva (Photo and graphic design by Cat Walrond)

Give us the low down on your morning routine. What do you do to ensure you’re ready to tackle the day ahead? 

My morning routine recently changed as a result of a new addition to my family, a doberman puppy named Rocky. I'm up early to give him some morning exercise at the dog park. Once I'm home, my morning playlist goes on which is constantly evolving. It includes mainstays such as Biggie, Drake, and Kendrick; new additions include Khalid, Saint Jhn, and Joyner Lucas. A cold shower to wake me up, coffee to relax, and I'm refreshed and ready to go!

Tell us what inspired you to name your business ‘Lost Craft’? 

When I started the company in 2015, I felt the majority of craft beer that existed was a bit too extreme for the average person. Many of my friends wanted to support local craft beer but the products that were coming out were too hoppy or bitter for their palates; it was rare to see a craft brewery make a lager. The name came from my belief that there was a "Lost Craft" of making approachable easy drinking craft beer that appealed to the majority of beer drinkers. 

What about beer makes you geek out?

The brewing process itself is amazing to me. After developing and refining recipes with our brewers, it's stunning to see how the smallest change can impact the taste profile of a liquid. Also, I'm amazed at innovations in the brewing process. I'm always keen to try new beer styles and it's impressive to see the creativity of craft breweries compared to how the traditional beer industry operated for so long. 

Before this, you had zero brewing knowledge or experience. What’s your greatest piece of advice for entrepreneurs who want to pursue the unknown and/or make something better?

Don't view a lack of experience as a bad thing. Sometimes being an outsider allows you to think outside the box and do things more effectively or efficiently. The traditionalists in the industry believe you’ll need to spend a significant amount of money (which I didn't have) to start a craft beer company by building a brewing facility. I opted to focus on recipe development and marketing and found bricks and mortar breweries to outsource our production. This allowed us to be very flexible, stay out of debt, and scale the business to the point where we are confident that building or taking over a brewing facility makes sense. Also, believe in your idea and don't overthink things. A bad idea with great execution is far more likely to succeed compared to a great idea with bad execution. I heard way more reasons why I would fail versus why I would succeed when I started. I did my homework and tried to mitigate as many risks as possible but you're never going to deal with every issue as a startup. At the end of the day, I believed in why I was starting the business and worked tirelessly to execute on that vision to the best of my ability. 

How do you get ready for bedtime? What are some things you have to do before going to bed? 

I'll usually read or watch movies before bed. I try and detach from phone calls and emails an hour before going to sleep. I'll also review my calendar and plan the day ahead. Nowadays, I'm playing with Rocky and hoping I'm not going to find an accident when I wake up in the morning :)