FreshTAP was founded in February 2011 in Vancouver, BC by Mike Macquisten and Steve Thorp. After travelling throughout the USA researching the benefits of wine-on-tap poured from stainless steel kegs, the duo put the wheels in motion to begin Canada’s first custom keg packaging operation. Today, the company packages wine for many local and international wineries while supporting the marketing and education of the rapidly expanding wine-on-tap category. FreshTAP strives to innovate beyond the bottle and give wine lovers a better glass of wine, by eliminating spoiled & oxidized wine.
This process of kegging, preserving and serving wine-on-tap has been vetted and approved by the world’s most respected wineries.
FreshTAP’s innovative quality assurance standards and technology, together with our partners’ wine-certified parts and installations, ensure that the wine flowing out of the tap is exactly as the winemaker intended, from barrel to glass.
More than 150 wines are now available in FreshTAP stainless steel kegs and our system provides hospitality locations throughout Canada with an easy solution for delivering wine-on-tap to their customers.
Wine-on-tap from stainless steel kegs provides a sustainable, environmentally friendly wine delivery system and FreshTAP enables the wine and hospitality industries access to this uniquely green category. In 2016, FreshTAP and its Winery Partners eliminated the need for over 1 million bottles since inception.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, with an operational expansion in Ontario, FreshTAP is both the pioneer and leader in the wine-on-tap movement in Canada.
FreshTAP Head Office & Kegging Facility
1575 Vernon Drive
Vancouver BC, V6A 3P8
Mike Macquisten, Co-Founder & CEO
Mike Macquisten started his career in the hospitality industry during his time at the University of British Columbia. Mike worked in sales and marketing roles with major brewer Molson-Coors Canada for 3 years, followed by spirits maker Corby Distilleries Ltd. for another 3 years. Mike and his now business partner, Steve Thorp, started a product sourcing and marketing business called The Antidote which specialized in creating and implementing unique marketing products for large national liquor brands. A year later, Mike and Steve were fatefully introduced to the rapidly growing trend of wine-on-tap in the United States and decided to bring the category to life in the Canadian marketplace. Today, Mike is the CEO and Managing Partner of FreshTAP, a custom wine kegging provider for a growing number of premium wineries. Founded in 2011, FreshTAP has expanded the wine-on-tap category to hundreds of locations in Western Canada thus far. Mike is also the Co-Founder of the Vancouver Urban Winery in the Railtown neighbourhood of Vancouver. The urban winery also acts as the current home for FreshTAP’s operations.
David Ledderhof, Production Director & Enologist
David’s love for wine started in his last year of high school at a Canadian school in Switzerland, but it was during his degree in Bio-Process & Food Engineering at the University of Guelph that he decided to pursue a career in wine. A Precision Viticulture co-op project led to a harvest in the cellars at a premium Niagara winery, and on to a Masters in Oenology & Viticulture at Brock University. In 2010, David moved to BC to lead a new Innovation and research program at Quails’ Gate Winery, where he was a member of the viticulture and winemaking teams. He also instructed at Okanagan College, teaching Introduction to Winemaking. David joined the FreshTAP team in 2014, and is responsible for liaising with winery partners, performing quality assurance & lab analysis to ensure that the wines in the kegs meet the high expectations of the winemakers. He oversees food safety, HACCP and sanitation programs, as well as the development of new and innovative processes and procedures.
Jordan Laker, Financial Controller
Jordan joined FreshTAP in late 2014 to oversee the finances of the growing wine on tap sector and develop the new distribution business Direct TAP. Previously he was in the Public sector doing audits of small and medium sized companies where he was able to build his financial and technical skills necessary to help FreshTAP expand in the growing Canadian market. Jordan has taken over the treasury role, is involved in business strategy and modelling, budgeting and monitoring expenses as the company evolves.
Steve Thorp, Co-Founder
Steve began his entrepreneurial career early, founding his first business at the age of 20 while studying business at Capilano University. That business, ST Marketing was a sales and marketing venture in the action sports industry. After 6 years working throughout Canada representing brands from all over the world, Steve moved on to develop The Antidote with Mike Macquisten, a unique marketing agency working with some of the most influential beer, liquor and sports brands in the world. While traveling for clients Steve and Mike began to study the fast growing wine-on-tap category in San Francisco and New York. It did not take long to see the opportunity in Canada to bring this industry changing technology to a new market. Thus FreshTAP was born. Steve has passed on his operational responsibilities to new members of the team, making room to operate and lead The Settlement Building and the collective of brands under that umbrella.
Tage Lee, Director of Business Development
Mixing a passion for wine and a love of people, Tage found the perfect fit with FreshTAP. Since joining the team in 2012, her role has evolved from Account Coordinator to General Manager of Client Relations, making her the ideal candidate to transition into the role of Director of Business Development. Having gained a significant amount of experience and knowledge within the growing business, Tage has an understanding of all aspects of FreshTAP, including administration, logistics, sustainability, sales, and marketing. As the Director of Business Development, Tage’s role is to provide support for and education about the benefits of wine-on-tap, poured from FreshTAP’s 19.5L stainless steel kegs, and to expand the category, thereby providing us all more opportunity to enjoy a smarter, fresher, friendlier glass of wine. Whether you are a food or beverage professional, winery, sales agent, installer, or consumer, Tage is available to explain all of FreshTAP’s benefits and answer any questions you may have about the rapidly expanding wine-on-tap market. Above all, she’s your go-to gal.
Shauna Ocean, Director of Business Development (currently on maternity leave)
Prior to joining the FreshTAP team, Shauna graduated from Simon Fraser University and worked as a wine and spirits sales representative for 3 years. With FreshTAP leading the wine-on-tap category in Canada, education is key to growing and pioneering this new category of wine. As the Director of Business Development for FreshTAP Shauna’s role is to educate food and beverage professionals, wineries, sales representatives, and consumers about the many benefits of wine-on-tap from stainless steel kegs. Shauna helps to connect the dots for bars, restaurants, stadiums, corporate chains, hotels and all other venues that can benefit from wine-on-tap, to make implementing the system a smooth and enjoyable process for everyone.
Brianne Carson, Manager, Customer Experience
Brianne is responsible for domestic and international logistics, client and account relations, order processing management and government liaising for FreshTAP. As FreshTAP’s Customer Service Manager, Brianne’s role is to plan, coordinate and control the activities of the customer service team to maintain and enhance FreshTAP’s client relationships. Prior to joining the team at FreshTAP, she graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and has worked in project coordination and client services across multiple sectors of the hospitality industry.
Kelly Symonds Mean, BSc (Oenology), Consulting Winemaker
Kelly brings with her over 10 years of winemaking experience and a degree from the University of Adelaide’s Winemaking Program. She’s been specializing in helping wineries start from the ground up for the past 5 years. Her primary role at FreshTAP is to oversee the kegging operations from sanitation to quality control and works directly with client winemakers. Kelly joined FreshTAP during its inception and was a natural choice as she’s been family friends with Mike Macquisten for nearly 20 years!
Reuben Major, Board Member
As one of the original partners in FreshTAP, Reuben witnessed the evolution of wine-on-tap happening throughout the USA and was the catalyst for Mike Macquisten and Steve Thorp to begin researching the category. Major has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years, with six of those working as the Director of Culinary and Bar Development for Earl’s Restaurants. He is deeply rooted in the Vancouver culinary scene and is the Executive Chef at Belgard Kitchen, the team’s restaurant located in The Settlement Building which houses the FreshTAP operation. Reuben is also the founder of Major Chef Inc., Restaurant Consulting where he offers clients a two-pronged approach to driving sales and improving profits through operational efficiencies and menu development.
Phil Gray, MBA, Operations Director
Having recently completed an MBA with a focus on Product and Services Management at the University of British Columbia, Phil joined FreshTAP to launch a logistics program for keg distribution and to revamp FreshTAP’s inventory tracking and order processing systems. Coming from a supply chain background, with experience in the biotechnology and healthcare sectors, Phil has led several projects involving inventory management, order processing, sustainability, and process redesign. He has also managed international customer service and logistics teams and is actively involved in developing the scope of FreshTAP’s service offerings.
Charles Chang, Board Member
Charles is a born entrepreneur with a passion for innovation, active living and mentoring. Charles is the President and Founder of Lyra Growth Partners which was started in September 2015. Prior to Lyra, Charles was the President and Founder of Vega. Started from scratch from his basement in 2004 and financed by his life savings, a second mortgage on his house and four credit cards, Charles lead Vega to become an iconic lifestyle brand of clean, plant-based nutritional products sold in over 20,000 stores across North America. Honoring a triple bottom line approach to business and recognizing people were the company’s greatest source of competitive advantage, Vega and Charles have received many accolades and awards, including: Profit 100 Fastest Growing Companies, Best Workplaces, BIV 40 Under 40, Canada’s Best Managed Companies and E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2016, Charles joined the Board of Directors for FreshTAP. Charles lives in Vancouver, BC and is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), an avid mountain biker, skier and Whistlerite wannabe.
FreshTAP currently operates out of 1575 Vernon Drive in Vancouver. As the pioneer of wine-on-tap, all of our equipment has been custom built for one purpose — packaging premium wines safely into kegs.
FreshTAP’s cleaning processes have been vetted by some of the world’s most sophisticated quality control teams and our standard operating procedures have been adopted from our partners in the United States; Free Flow Wines.
Our cleaning, filling, and tracking systems ensure that fine wine gets from the barrel to the tap, tasting exactly the way the winemaker intended. FreshTAP’s sophisticated 14-stage cleaning and sparging process ensures that every keg is absolutely sterile and wine-ready.
Our filling process goes through a 10-step sanitization and quality control process before any wine enters the system.
From the moment a keg enters our facility to the moment it is filled and shipped, our proprietary tracking system follows each keg and provides our clients detailed information about their wine.
With convenient operational locations in the heart of Vancouver and Wine Country in Ontario, FreshTAP is well situated to continue to lead the wine-on-tap industry in Canada.
FreshTAP was founded on a principle: to reduce the carbon footprint of the wine industry and improve wine quality. One 19.5L keg eliminates the need for 26 wine bottles, as well as the corks, labels and cardboard boxes associated with the packaging.
- 304 Grade Stainless Steel
- 26 x 750ml bottles equivalent
- 660 ounces
- 132 five-ounces glasses
- 23.5” tall x 9″ wide
- 57.5 lbs full / 26 kgs full