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About Us

The FastBrewing & WineMaking Story

Axle Plastic Inc. was founded in 2012 with a single product called FastRack which was designed and invented by Mitchell Lesbirel who is one of the two co-founders. It was initially made for sorting beer bottles in bars and restaurants in Canada. As the product became more well known, a youtube video that generated 10 000s of views opened a new and growing market in the homebrewing community. Numerous blog and forum postings and a growing number of community threads demonstrated immense interest from homebrewers looking for a Beer Bottle Tree alternative. Hundreds of emails and comments from over a dozen countries poured in. “Beer bottle trees take up a lot of space” and “Beer Bottle Trees are awkward to use and far less streamlined compared to FastRack” were some of the most common comments. Fast forward a few years and the pair had built a worldwide manufacturing, distributing and marketing brand in the homebrew industry.

Old university friends; it was Casey who thought back on his experience living in residence at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He purchased 4, Five Gallon Buckets and Carboys from the local homebrew shop and began brewing in his residence. This satisfied his production and also allowed him to help out his friends in need. It was evident that his homebrewing operation was treading on a fine line in the eyes of the University but without a formal method of dealing with the situation; the brewery remained open the entire year! Once returning for his second year of school he was informed that Dalhousie had changed the Residence Code of Conduct to prohibit homebrewing.

Expanding the product lines for the past three years, the guys took over the old V Vessel product from a local wine store owner in nearby Mississauga, Ontario and improved it in a variety of ways including renaming it FastFerment. Around the same time, they expanded their team to include Jes Dean to take over all operations, Stephen McConomy as the controller and some hard working University Co-op Students. The FastFerment took off selling +40,000 to date with 4 and 5 stars ratings across all major retailers. The launching of 6 complimentary accessories was rolled out during this time. With constant requests to create new products, the FastBrewing Team has no signs of slowing down with 6 new products and accessories coming out in 2017.

The guys also had a successful pitch on the Canadian hit TV series Dragons’ Den receiving 4 offers and did a handshake deal on screen with Jim Treliving founder of Boston Pizza (Boston’s in the US). They have been brought in to participate in industry podcasts, blogs and asked to lead seminars at events. FastFerment also debuted in the Hollywood blockbuster film “Keeping Up with the Joneses”, which released in 2016.

Dragons’ Den Episode - Original episode on CBC not available on
computers with a USA IP addresses:

Watch Pitch on YouTube
Watch Pitch on CBC.ca

Blockbuster Debut - Keeping Up With The Joneses Trailer
Watch Trailer
At 2:06 you can see FastFerment

The Team

Mitchell Lesbirel

Born and raised in Oakfield, NS, Mitchell is a Dalhousie Business Studies graduate that comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Mitchell was chosen as 1 of 36 students from over 1300 entries to be part ofThe Next 36 - Business Accelerator program in Toronto. Mitchell is also a published travel writer and has lived, studied and travelled in over 50 countries.

Mitchell has operated various companies including: importingLacoste polos in his dorm room, running a successful landscaping company and co-founding Axle Plastic Inc. He has also worked in Real Estate and recently completed a multi million-dollar sale of 54 apartment units in Nova Scotia.

When asked about key influencers in his life, Mitchell counts Richard Branson as one of his professional "heroes" because of his range of businesses and daredevil world record attempts.

An extreme sports addict, Mitchell swims with great white sharks, sky dives, bungee jumps and has attempted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mitchell was born to be an Entrepreneur. He designed the original FastRack from his dorm in University and hasn't looked back.

Casey Binkley

Raised on the opposite side of the country in Winfield, BC, Casey was actually born in Brandon, Manitoba but moved to the mountains at a very young age.

An avid skier, Casey remembers spending as many as 150 days a year on the slopes as a competitive ski racer and even today, still counts the sport as one of his favorite pastimes - not an easy feat when living in Toronto!

Like Mitchell, he chose Dalhousie and the School of Management for both its size and for Casey, the challenge of moving across the country for University fit perfectly with his desire to try new things.

He graduated in 2010 with a Management degree with a Major in Entrepreneurship and two successful business starts already under his belt.

When asked about one of his heroes, he talks candidly about extreme sport pioneer Shane McConkey, who died while ski-base jumping several years ago.

He notes that Shane's willingness to push the envelope, always be thinking out of the box, and be a positive influence are traits that he tries to live and breathe in his day to day life.

In his downtime, Casey is also addicted to extreme sports but has a softer side for the environment. Although he enjoyed Halifax immensely - he does not miss the East Coast!

Jes Dean

Jes was born in the historic Cambridge ON, spending most of her days listening to classic rock, playing every sport under the sun and dreaming of all the travels she would do someday.

When she decided to attend Dalhousie University's Faculty of Management, her family drove her out East in a winnebago. She fell in love with the coast immediately. At Dal, she joined the varsity volleyball team and spent her summers at a resort in Vermont, quickly building relationships with amazing people from around the world.

Jes spent a few years in business gaining experience in various industries including hotel management, mass entertainment, durable goods and education. When her passion for empowering people came into play, she took the opportunity to teach high school Business and various other disciplines. While teaching, she missed the daily grind and excitement of managing operations at a growing business.

Jes met Casey and Mitchell through a mentor and was immediately hooked on the entrepreneurial passion and skills of the co-owners. Jumping on the bandwagon in April, her creativity, attention to detail and fun-loving demeanour will undoubtedly be an asset to growing FastBrewing! Jes is a lover of craft beer, all genres of music and a traditional round of hackey sack.

Steve McConomy

Steve joined the FastBrewing & WineMaking team as the Controller with a wealth of financial experience and brewing experience – also making him the resident Master Brewer in the office.
Steve is an alumnus of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Bachelor of Business Administration Program and a registered Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) & Chartered Accountant (CA).
Steve has over 7 years experience within the accounting industry, focused in the fields of manufacturing, forensic and investigative accounting. He has a vast amount of experience in a number of industries including mining, construction, retail and wholesale operations, food & beverage including the brewery industry, manufacturing, rental properties, hotel and hospitality, the public sector, and the auto industry.
Newly engaged, Steve loves all sports especially hockey, as well as home brewing easy drinking IPA’s with the FastFerment. Steve has been an integral part of bringing FastBrewing & WineMaking to the next level.

Advisory Board

Andreas Souvaliotis, Advisor

Founded Green Rewards, the world's first eco-points program, fused it with the very popular AIR MILES program and ended up rewarding millions of citizens with their favourite loyalty points each time they made healthier or greener shopping choices. He has since co-founded and is now leading Social Change Rewards , a similar social venture with a global focus. He is also the author of the book Misfit.

Kerry Harris, Advisor

Kerry was the former President of Weber Shandwick Canada. Kerry has spent the majority of 20+ years in marketing communications either building her own international communications management firm with a partner or working with major agencies and brands. After which, she decided to take her extensive channel neutral marketing experience working with government, consumer packaged goods, quick service restaurants, not for profit, and other private sector clients and marrying it with her brand strategy experience to form a unique consulting group.

​Kerry has worked internationally with The Governments of Barbados, The Bahamas, South Africa, Cayman Islands, the Philippines, Turks and Caicos, (and domestically with) Alberta, Ontario and Canada in a variety of sectors including tourism, international business, economic development and trade, education and healthcare.

Her expertise have been a necessary asset to the FastBrewing & WineMaking team.

James Tucker, Advisor

James Tucker is the Partner and Managing Director of The Boston Consulting Group’s People & Organization practice in Canada and a member of the Corporate Development, Health Care, Consumer, Financial Institutions, and Marketing, Sales & Pricing practices.

He also has extensive expertise on a broad range of organizational projects across industries, including running project management offices, creating and launching transformation programs, and driving organization redesign efforts.

James is a Six Sigma Black Belt and an adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management. He is active in the community as a director on the boards of the West Park Healthcare Centre and the Facility Association. In addition, he has worked with numerous charities, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Out of the Cold program, and Junior Achievement. He has also supported youth education by helping to develop a Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Toronto. In 2010, he was presented with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship by the lieutenant governor (the province’s second-highest honor). Prior to joining BCG James spent more than 15 years in a variety of industries, including work at Molson Coors and CTV, as well as owning and operating his own business. He has been an integral part of growth consulting for Mitchell and Casey.

Harvey Coleman, Advisor

Harvey Coleman is a former President of Dell Canada and has over 40 years of experience in the IT industry. In the mid-1980s he headed pre-sales support for banking systems and was responsible for marketing strategy for the Olivetti Group. Beginning in 1987 he spent 10 years variously responsible as Managing Director of the Acorn Group PLC, President of Olivetti Canada and Executive Vice-President of Geac Computer Corporation, a Canadian-based global software company.
In the last 10 years Harvey has worked as an independent consultant to a variety of hardware, software, services, telecommunications and Internet-based companies, particularly startups, where he has also operated as an interim executive in a variety of senior roles.
Harvey completed his degree in physics at Oxford University. He is married and has three children. Harvey has provided extensive consulting on FastBrewing's growth strategy.