As public interest in craft beer has risen over the last few years, passionate startups have sprung up throughout the Maritimes. Get your peanuts and pretzels ready, because Sackville will soon have its own brewery.
Headed by 14 students who are in Mount Allison’s entrepreneurship class, a commerce course instructed by Nauman Farooqi, the Bagtown Brewing Company is committed to start production and distribution in January. In order to get the brewery off the ground, the students have pitched in to raise the initial $5,000 needed for startup.
I sat down with Jane Rouse, Robbie Baxter and Cody Cummins, three of the students behind Bagtown Brewery, to learn more about their project and the products it will offer.
“Expect a launch party sometime in January,” Baxter said. At the moment, the brewery is still getting started, but the members hope to expand the operation before its launch.
Project member Anthony Maddalena has previous brewing experience and will oversee the brewing process. Cummins also plans to contribute to the brewing, a process that lasts around a week from start to completion.
The brewery will offer one kind beer for now, an English-style pale ale. Bagtown Brewery describes this yet-to-be-named EPA as a smooth, drinkable, unfiltered ale with distinctive body and golden-brown colouring.
“[The beer] will be named before it’s out in the bars,” Rouse said. The team plans to give the beers Sackville-related names. Baxter explained that one of the ideas behind the project is to “add a story behind each beer.” These stories will add to the feel that the products are from and for Sackville.
Tentative arrangements for sale on tap have been made with some of Sackville’s favourite bars, including Ducky’s and Joey’s. Soon after the beer makes its appearance in bars, expect growlers to be available from Bagtown Brewery’s brewing and distribution centre at the old police station on Main street.
Aside from Bagtown Brewery merchandise, the company plans to expand production to other products. “I’d like to try [brewing] a fruit beer,” Cummins said. Although disappointed I didn’t get to sample a pint (or keg), I have high expectations for the brewery’s upcoming launch.