Kelsey Orth is in a beer league of his own // Secret Life

Meet the labour lawyer who makes a mean brew

By Braden Alexander

On Tuesday May 27th, 2014


Kelsey Orth, CCPartners, secret life 

Kelsey Orth


“If I fuck it up, I want to fuck it up trying to make really good beer,” says Kelsey Orth, partner at labour and employment firm CCPartners. He takes his beer seriously. Last year, he took the plunge and spent $1,500 on home-brewing equipment, including a propane burner big enough to cook a turkey. “Now I can make beer outside, which is nice. The first few batches I did in the house, and the smell of burning wort didn’t leave for days.”

Luckily, his wife — RBC in-house counsel Melissa McBean — is a beer-loving lady. The two were even married at the Steamwhistle Brewery, and have been to Oktoberfest in Munich.

As an employment lawyer, Orth handles grievance arbitration, wrongful dismissals, collective bargaining and human rights cases, among others. “If I did the same thing all the time, I would get bored. But I never am.” That need for variety drove him to explore craft brewing. “With the craft beer movement, there’s so much good stuff to try, especially when I can contribute my own beers.”

Orth often brings his creations to weekly catch-up meetings at CCP. This includes the Twist ’n’ Stout (a chocolate-vanilla stout, which impressed his fellow partners). “Nobody’s been rude enough or honest enough to tell me anything’s been terrible.”

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Behind-the-scenes at the photoshoot 

Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth; hair and makeup by Annastasia Cucullo