From soccer to brewing beer

Varsity athlete Anthony Maddalena takes over Bagtown Brewery

Anthony Maddalena, now in his fifth year, first started playing soccer when he was only five years old. A Halifax native, Maddalena “watched Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s soccer teams play growing up. I always said to myself, ‘I want to play in that league someday.’ ” Maddalena accomplished this goal after making the Mount Allison varsity men’s soccer team in his first year.

Maddalena (middle) steals ball. Paul Lynch/Submitted.

Active on the team for five years, Maddalena has experienced all the team’s ups and downs, from their position as a middle-tier team competing for a playoff spot to their current rebuilding mode. To start the 2017 season, the Mounties are currently win-less, with seven losses so far.

“Every year has been very different,” Maddalena said. “Our new coach has been a lot of fun, which makes it more enjoyable. I was lucky enough to be a starter since first year, which helped me learn a lot over the years.”

The soccer field is not the only place that you can find Maddalena in Sackville. He also runs Bagtown Brewing, a microbrewery that started out in the entrepreneurship class offered here on campus. However, opening a brewery was not something that Maddalena ever dreamed of.

“My plan after graduation at one point was to do landscape architecture,” Maddalena said. “Then this whole beer thing happened in our entrepreneurship class.” Fourteen students originally collaborated together to form Bagtown Brewing last September, but it is now primarily operated by Maddalena.

“The brewery kept morphing itself into something bigger. Once the class started going and we got the space, I realized that we could actually build this into a real business that we can continue after the class finished,” Maddalena said. “Even now, I realize that this is something that I could do in upcoming years and turn it into a big microbrewery.”

Maddalena hopes to grow Bagtown into a bigger brewery.
Maddi Bell/S

Maddalena enjoys making the beer and finds it rewarding. He plans on brewing beer for the rest of his life as a hobby on his own.

“It’s always better tasting to make your own beer. It’s a fun hobby to have,” Maddalena said.

So far this September, Bagtown Brewing has participated in two beer festivals in New Brunswick: a small event in Woodstock and the Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest festival in Moncton this past weekend.

Maddalena said that his favorite part of running the brewery is learning the different aspects of running a business. He added that it doesn’t always feel like work when it’s something that he enjoys doing: “Brewing beer is pretty sweet. Sampling beer on a Monday morning as a part of your job is pretty cool.”

Bagtown Brewing is currently sold in Ducky’s, and is available for purchase on Fridays from 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their brewing location, the Sackville Commons on 62 Main Street.

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