Profiles

CAVOK Brewing Company has recently opened their brewery and taproom at 250 Dieppe Boulevard in Dieppe, NB, welcoming their fans to step inside their brewery and taste their wares. Owners Serge Basque and Serge Nadeau have actually had their beer available since January, but were brewing their Léger Corner Honey Ale at another brewery in Moncton. Now that they have a space to call their own, we wanted to catch up with them and share the news.
How did you get into the world of beer?
We are 2 Air traffic Controllers, this is where the brewery name comes from. (CAVOK which is pronounced “CAV-OH-KAY” is an aviation term, it means Ceiling and Visibility [are] OK.). We have been homebrewing together since before 2005. We started out with kits and evolved into brewing all grain. We have traveled to many different places in the world and have tried many different beer and visited a variety of breweries all over the world.
What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
It as always been a dream of ours to own a brewery. For myself, I always get chills when I visit a brewery, I have made arrangements and even brewed with some brewers at breweries in the past. The lack of tap rooms and breweries in Moncton also played a factor in our decision. That being said, we know that a few other nano brewers will be making the step to open up something in Moncton in the near future. The people here in New Brunswick and Moncton are opening up more and more to trying new products, this also helped us taking the step.
What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
We want to make beer that pleases us and hopefully others 🙂 We would like to use local products as much as we could. We want to make quality products and not just products to get more sales. We do not want to have to follow the trends. We want to make it a family business and hopefully when we do get employees, we would want them to be as passionate about beer as we are. We would like our employees to feel like they are part of something great. (We have 3 at this time)
Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially? Any seasonals or one-offs in the works?
We have many different beer that we plan on offering initially, but we want to venture into more complex beer when we have our location and tap room open full time.
Our flagship is the Leger Corner Honey Ale, a 4.8% Blonde brewed with local honey. It is named after the original name for Dieppe.
We have been rotating through some pilot batches, including a Raspberry SourRye IPAWet-hopped IPA, and a few more. You’ll have to drop by to see what we have on tap today!
How can fans enjoy your beer?
The best place to grab a wide selection of our beer is at our recently opened taproom on Dieppe Boulevard, where we sell flights and pints of our beer, as well as a few guest taps of beer and cider from other NB producers. With the expanded capacity that our own brewhouse affords, we are now selling more kegs to licensees, and we’re able to keep up with demand of packaged product in the ANBL and other shops. We hope to be selling growlers very, very soon. [Ed. note: keep a close eye on their Social Media, as we understand it could be this weekend!]
How about bars and restaurants in the region?
Initially, we only had our beer at just a few limited establishments, since our original brewing system was small (1 BBL/120 litre) and we were not able to keep up. As we ramp up production on our large system, we’ll be able to extend beyond those places that have supported since the beginning (but of course keeping them happy first!)
As of now, we have beer on tap or in rotation at Tide and Boar Gastropub, Marky’s Laundromat, Classic Burger Restaurant, Rossano’s Restaurant, St James Gates in Moncton and Dieppe, The Joyce in Fredericton, Au Bootlegger in Bathurst just to name a few.
Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada?
Yes. the brewing community is great for that, people are very willing to share their time and expertise. There are too many to name them all, but big thanks to Matt Kenny of Tatamagouche, the owners of the Pump House Brewery plus Plant Director Roland Arseneault, Shaun O’Hearn of Nine Locks, Sebastien Roy of Fils du Roy, Patrice Godin of Acadie-Broue, Michel Gauthier of CarMic Consultation, and John Way of Pollen Angels. Sorry for whoever I’m forgetting!
Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
With a tap room that is successful, sourcing out as many local products (ingredients) as possible to brew our beer. With hopefully, a barrel/foudre (foedre) aging program of some sort.
Do you have an approximate opening date?
The taproom is open now limited hours Thursday to Sunday at this time, for a progressive opening. Hopefully we will have our Grand Opening in the next couple of weeks. Thursdays, 6 – 10:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays 2 – 11:30 PM, and Sundays: 2 – 7 PM.
Let’s get nerdy with some brewery-specific details…
What type of system are you be brewing on?
We began with a 1 BBL (120 litre) system from Colorado Brewing Systems, which we continue to use as our pilot system.
We are now operating a 15 BBL (1800 litre) brewhouse from DME that we have been brewing on for about a month now.
Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Too many great breweries out there to have a favorite one.
German, English, American… really anything that is well made.
A big thank you to Serge and Serge for answering our questions and getting us all up to speed with their operations at 250 Dieppe Blvd. Drop by this weekend to grab a flight or pint of their beers, and keep an eye on their social media pages for details on their Grand Opening, and when they will be able to sell growlers of their beer to go. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and on their homepage.

The Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse opens today at 11 AM, featuring on-site brewed beer and food prepared in their kitchen, including a full BBQ pit and chicken rotisserie. Located at 612 Windmill Rd in Dartmouth, this is the first foray to the mainland for Upstreet Craft Brewing, who opened their Allen Street location in Charlottetown in Summer 2015, and their Craft Beer Corner retail location earlier this year.

In Nova Scotia, the Upstreet crew will be taking care of the beer but have teamed up with Chef Bill Pratt whose team will be running the food side of the house. Chef Pratt worked his way through kitchens in the Royal Canadian Navy for 27 years, before retiring as Command Food Services Chief (in charge of all cooks in the Navy!) and moving to private industry. After cooking in hotels and restaurants across the country and beyond, he founded Chef Inspired, known for the Cheese Curds and Habaneros restaurants found across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

The brewery filling the taps at the BBQ Brewhouse is a 10 BBL (1200 litre) electric-fired system visible just behind the main bar, which features a beautiful live wood edge. With two 10 BBL (1200 litre) and three 20 BBL (2400 litre) uni-tanks (for both fermentation and conditioning/carbonation), the one-man brewing crew has been busy for the past couple of months getting ready for opening day. Upstreet’s Brewmaster Mike Hogan, better known as Hogie to all who know him, temporarily transplanted himself to HRM to dial in the system, tweak the recipes, and get everything tasting *just right*.

As for what to expect on tap in Dartmouth, fans of Upstreet’s core beers will not be disappointed: Nova Scotia-brewed Commons Pilsner, Do Gooder APA, Rhuby Social Strawberry Rhubarb Witbier, and White Noize White IPA are all on tap. Joining them are a rotating group of seasonals, with Gravedigger Pumpkin Ale, Island Hopspitality Vermont IPA, plus their new Abenteur Altbier and the latest Neon Friday release: Brut IPA With Hallertau Blanc (visitors today may even get a sneak peek at tomorrow’s Neon Friday Tropic IPA).

But wait, there’s more! Launching today in both Dartmouth and Charlottetown is their Major Tom Sour, a 5.0% ABV dry-hopped sour, with deep citrus (grapefruit) notes and a bright acidity. In addition to all of these Upstreet beers, they will be rotating in some beer and cider guest taps as room becomes available. And for the alcohol-free crowd, four of their East Coast Craft Soda line are on tap, rounding out the 16-tap selection.

As we’ve already mentioned, beer is only part of the equation, with the BBQ pit seeing constant action for hours before and after opening, to get the meat just right. After fact-finding missions to BBQ country to learn some best practices, the team has honed their skills to bring you St. Louis Pork Ribs, Brisket, Pulled Pork, Cheddar & Beer Sausage, Churrasco Chicken, and even a vegan option with Smoked Jackfruit. The sides available reflect traditional as well as local tastes, including BBQ Beer Beans, Mac ‘n Cheese and Potato Gratin, plus a variety of slaws and salads. Meats can be purchased by weight or on platters for one or more to share.

Leveraging the work of former tenants of the space, the BBQ Brewhouse also has a retail area, where take out food orders can be picked up, packaged beers can be purchased, and growlers and crowlers can be filled and taken away (and don’t worry, there’s plenty of Upstreet swag available too). Thanks to NSLC regulations, only beer brewed on Windmill Road can be taken to go, which means cans, bottles, crowlers and growlers of the four core beers as well as the seasonals brewed on-site (at launch time those are the Neon Friday Tropic IPA and Major Tom Sour).

Drop by today at 11 AM to get your fill of the full line of beers brewed in-house, as well as on the Island; they’ve got lots of options to keep you happy! The Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse is open from 11 AM daily, excepting Mondays, when they’re closed. Closing time comes at 11 PM Sunday and Tues – Thurs, and 12 PM Fri – Sat, with the kitchen closing up shop a couple of hours earlier each night. Keep an eye on their social media for all of the latest releases and menu teases and treats: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Congratulations to the entire crew on opening!

The town of Douglas, NB, located in Fredericton on the North Side of the city, will soon be getting their first craft brewery with the opening of 3Flip Brewing in the near future (although technically the brewery is within Fredericton city limits). This small operation recently announced their plans to open, and owners Nick and Alicia were very quick to respond to our request for a Q&A, so that we can share all that you need to know before they launch early next year.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are Nick Jones and Alicia Cassidy, former Retail Moguls and future Beer Tycoons (Just kidding, we’re just here for the good beer and great people). We’ve spent the last 8 years living across NS, NB and ON and made the decision last year to move back to Nick’s hometown of Fredericton (well, Douglas, really).

How did you get into the world of beer?
About 7 years ago, while living in Moncton, we started trying local beer just for fun. Alicia has always been a fan of Propeller Brewing, having grown up in Halifax, and we wanted to support the local beer industry (stick it to The Man aka the Big Breweries, right?). Pump House quickly became our typical go-to spot for a beer and a bite. With a taste for what great beer could be and Nick’s dad being a former home brewer, we picked up homebrewing as a hobby, starting with basic kits. The hobby grew into a passion (probably more of an obsession, if we’re being honest). We moved to Ontario in 2013, where the craft beer industry was booming, and that’s when the passion really took off. We spent a lot of time at our local breweries (probably too much time) and we loved the culture and vibe of a craft brewery. It wasn’t long before we jumped into homebrewing full-steam, shifting to all-grain and playing around with recipes.

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
Opening our own brewery has always been a dream of ours since we made our first batch (and it turned out pretty good). We actually bought our three 1 BBL tanks in 2016 to start the process and planned on buying piece by piece over time until we had everything we needed. Then life circumstances brought us to a crossroads, and Nick had to make a career choice – continue to ride the retail roller coaster or shift gears and start something new. It was a tough choice – and slightly terrifying – but we figure it’s now or never and we decided to go all in; if you’re passionate enough about something and have the drive to make it succeed, you’ll always come out on top.

What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
We both feel connected to the “underground” scene, where action sports goes hand in hand with that punk-rock spirit. 3Flip is about rebelling against the norm, pushing the limits of creativity. Our motto is “Brewing beer for the misfits, outcasts and freaks aka the innovators, creators and revolutionaries”. Our goal is to brew exciting beer that tastes great and doesn’t always fit the standards and styles.

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially? Any seasonals or one-offs in the works?
We’re launching with a couple of what we feel will be our staples that have been recipes in development for a while now.
Oat Cold (Oatmeal Stout) 5.2% ABV, 34 IBU
Brewed with Maris Otter, along with a good helping of quick oats, dark malts and both flaked and roasted barley give it the roasty stout flavor and aroma that everyone loves with touch of sweetness on the front-end. Taking its name from the terrible/awesome snowboarding movie from the early 2000s, for those that remember this one’s for you.
Anonymous Amber Ale (American Amber) 5.0% ABV, 40 IBU
Our take on the classic American Amber style brewed with a simple grist of Pale and Crystal malts, but with an extra kick of bitterness on the back end from upping the hop profile using Apollo hops. If you’re wondering about the name, well so is 3Flip – this beer is anonymous even to them.
Pretty Fly for a White IPA (White IPA) 6.5% ABV, 70 IBU
There are so many IPAs out there that we decided why not be different and make our a White IPA. Using the grist and spice profile of a Belgian Wit and the hop additions of an IPA this is something to take your tastebuds by storm! Heavily hopped and dry hopped with a mix of Apollo, Amarillo and Centennial hops give this a truly unique flavor with lots of citrus and floral kicks as well as the orange and coriander flavors of the Belgian Wit. As for the name, it speaks for itself, and now you’ve probably got that song stuck in your head if you grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

We’ve also got a few other beers we’ll be adding to the main lineup in 2019 that we think will make an impact, especially our Root Beer Milk Stout. We’ll have some seasonals planned as well – think blackberries, jalapenos, winter warmers and bacon. And our brains are always turning, searching for inspiration for the next one.
(edited 20190125 to reflect their launch beers)

What are your plans for distribution?
At launch we’ll just be selling kegs to local bars and restaurants as well as NB Liquor for their growler fill stations. But we’re moving fast, with plans to sell bottles in late 2019, and open a taproom in 2020 for tastings and growler fills.

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We’ve been working with NB Liquor to start sales in early 2019. We don’t have any accounts locked down yet but will be starting the sales process within the next month.  We’ll keep you posted on where you can find us as we get closer!

Have you had any assistance from other breweries and people in Atlantic Canada, or from elsewhere?
This industry is so unique in that everyone welcomes you with open arms. We’ve had great support and conversations with brewers and owners from some of the other Fredericton breweries, as well as those across the province. We’ve also had some great support from our Scotian neighbors, and breweries in Ontario. I think moreAle said it best in their profile a bit ago, about being small and in the early stages and maybe a bit shy. We couldn’t agree more but have been more than thankful of all the support we’ve had so far!

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
We plan to launch a taproom in 2020 on the north side of Fredericton. We’re both passionate about the customer experience since we’ve spent so many years in the retail world, and we want to give craft beer lovers a chance to get the full 3Flip experience – a little grungy, a little edgy, and all fun times. Our goal is to expand our capacity at the same time (as long as everyone likes the beer!)

Do you have an approximate opening date?
Right now we’re finalizing the brewery setup (in our basement, which you can imagine is a blessing and a curse) and completing the last of some licensing requirements. We’re aiming for a January 2019 launch in restaurants, bars and NB Liquor growler fill stations. We’re hoping to throw a launch party and we’ll keep everyone updated. We’re beyond excited to meet our customers face to face!

What does your brew system look like and what is your anticipated output?
We’re brewing on a 1BBL (120 L) all-electric brewhouse based off of the tried and true The Electric Brewery Design by Kal. We’ll be doing back to back batches to fill our four 2 BBL fermenters and then move them to our 2 BBL brite for keg-filling. We’ve left ourselves lots of room in our setup to keep up with demand!

Care to share some info on your brewing history?
Like most brewers, we started at home, playing around with techniques and very quickly perfecting the art of burning wort onto a kitchen stovetop. Eventually, we moved on to making great beer. Just for kicks, we entered the GTA Homebrewers Association Brew Slam a few years back (only contest we ever entered), and ended up winning 3rd place. That was the kick in the butt we needed to focus on getting our lives in order to pursue brewing full-time.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery whose beers you enjoy drinking?
It’s too hard to pick a favourite! But we guess you could say Alicia likes reds and ambers, while Nick is a bit of a hop head as well as a fan of strong beers.

How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
Citra
 comes to mind – mostly because our brewdog shares the name.

Anything else you’d like to share, we’d love pass it along.
We’re excited to meet everyone over the coming months to share our beer, stories and a good laugh!

Thanks to Nick and Alicia for taking the time to answer our questions and give everyone an idea of what’s coming in 2019 from 3Flip. Watch for updates on their website (under construction) and especially their social media accounts (Fb/Ig/Tw) to find out when their grand opening will be.