A cleverly named local favourite, Bagtown Brewing Company has some surprising yet inspiring roots. Starting as a project in a Mt. A entrepreneurship class in 2016, Anthony Maddalena and his 13 classmates took the full academic year to launch the first version of the Brewing Company. With a loan from Mt. A, Maddalena and his peers attained the necessary licensing and successfully launched their first draft at Ducky’s Bar.
After the class ended and Maddalena graduated, he proposed to his classmates that he would take over the business solo, and see how it would develop. Garnering a Reisman scholarship in the summer of 2017, Maddalena kept at the business idea with the help of family and friends until he could move to Bagtown’s current location at 45B Main Street in February 2020.
Maddalena is almost finished with Bagtown’s new space and plans to do an official launch in May 2022 in conjunction with Mt. A’s triple-Convocation. Finishing the renovations in the new space is among Maddalena’s top goals for Bagtown, as he hopes this inaugural year of indoor seating will allow students to enjoy their beverages in the coming winter months. Ideally, students would find Bagtown’s tap room a great place for a drink with their friends before heading to Sackville’s larger venues. Given the approaching winter weather, Bagtown’s patio might not be as popular as it was in the summer, though Trivia Nights and other events continue to be a big draw for Mt. A students.
Other goals for Bagtown include focusing on making new and different products and increasing production to sell products outside of the Sackville community. The demand is already here, and Bagtown is currently working hard on the supply. Maddalena also hires student interns every summer, entrusting them with trying out different engagement strategies and social media approaches to attract new customers and retain current patrons.
Right now, Bagtown Brewing Company is offering a selection of seasonal drinks, including Hot Sugar, a warmer winter ale, and a long-standing seasonal favourite, Peppermint Patty Stout, to be released at the next Moonlight Madness on December 3. Bagtown’s newest cider, the Border Berry cider, was made in partnership with 2020’s entrepreneurship class, demonstrating Maddalena’s commitment to engaging with Mt. A and its students.
Though his most popular item is the Wobbly Duck, a British golden ale, Maddalena recommends trying the seasonal treats as well as anything “outside of your comfort zone” because chances are you will find something new you like.
On a more local note, if you are a fan of Donald, the Sackville cat, then you will be pleased to know that Bagtown is brewing a new beer named after Donald himself that is also to be launched at Moonlight Madness on December 3.