We never get tired of writing these words: yet another new brewery is in the planning stages to open soon in Atlantic Canada! A “community-owned business” where many shareholders have already invested in the business, Brasseurs du Petit Sault will be located in Edmundston, New Brunswick. The brewery is headed by a three-member Board of Directors: André Léger, president, is owner of a web development firm in Edmundston; André Morneault, a consultant in enterprise software architecture, will be in charge of brewery equipment; and Mychèle Poitras, Communications Director for the city, will be in charge of communications and marketing for the brewery. The brewery also has a new General Manager, André P. Leblanc, who has been passionate about beer for over 30 years, and has worked in the industry throughout Europe and Canada (including Cantillon and Unibroue). We exchanged emails recently with Mychèle to get some more information on this new brewery…
ACBB: With the three of you on the Board of Directors having different professional backgrounds, what made you decide to open a brewery?
Mychèle Poitras: We love beer! We’re also passionate about our community and found in the microbrewery the perfect project to “quench our thirst” for community development, and for getting great beer brewed locally.
What steps have you taken so far getting everything up and running?
We are finalizing our financial structure. We really wanted this to be a community project, so getting a group of investors together took a lot of time. But now we’re getting down to business. Our site is currently under construction in Edmundston’s old police station downtown. Brewing equipment has been ordered and we are developing the recipes for our first beers.
What type of system will you be brewing on?
We will be using a 15 BBL [465 U.S. gallons, or 17.5 hectolitres] brand-new DME system.
Do you currently have a brewer, or brewers, employed at the brewery?
What are your plans for distribution?
We will be going through ANBL stores and offering on-premise sale through our brewtique for off-premise consumption. A brewpub is not in our plans, as we will be working closely with the local established bars and pubs instead.
Any plans for growlers, bottling, etc.?
Yes, we absolutely plan on selling growlers, and of course, bottles and kegs. The market’s reactions to these will help us adapt our packaging strategy if need be.
Are you planning on offering a specific style, or styles, of beer?
Yes, all Belgian-inspired beers, which will distinguish us from most beers in the area.
Can you tell me about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially?
Any seasonals, one-offs, or will you stick mainly with a “flagship lineup”?
Seasonals will be part of our offering which will complement our standards.
Have you had any assistance from other breweries in Atlantic Canada?
On a technical point of view, no. But we have the same guiding motif as many of them, such as Picaroons (Sean Dunbar) and Acadie-Broue (Patrice Godin), which is to develop the industry as a whole. We’ve had a number of discussions with Sean and Patrice and have found in them kindred spirits and a true willingness to collaborate on a number of levels, particularly when it comes to promoting local suppliers and cultural identities.
With the recent increase in the number of new breweries in Atlantic Canada, what will make Brasseurs du Petit Sault different from other breweries in this part of the country?
It will be in Edmundston, a unique part of New Brunswick with an almost 100% francophone culture – we’re not sure, but this could explain the Belgian thing :-). With over 80 investors and partners at different levels, it’s a true community project.
Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
By then, we aim to be a well-established and well-reputed microbrewery, promoting local products, regional supplies and craft brewing development as a whole through the production and sale of high quality, Belgian-inspired local beers and a firm favourite for locals and tourists alike.
We’re very excited to welcome Brasseurs du Petit Sault to the mix of upcoming breweries! Look for them to be open by late May or early June, 2014. Stay tuned to this blog for updates on their progress, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more information. For those of you fluent in French, head here for a blog written by the Board of Directors this summer, providing a little more info on their story. Note that they are currently working on a new bilingual version of their website.
Avec l’aide de Mychèle, nous avons traduit cet article en français pour nos lecteurs francophones.