Brewing on a small scale at his house in Dieppe, New Brunswick, Patrice Daigle launched O’Creek Brewing in late May, just in time for the local Atlantic Beer Festival. Daigle was looking for a change in focus, and with the support of his family, found brewing to be the perfect fit. Daigle was kind enough to sit down with us and share the details on his brewery, his homebrewing history, and plans for the future.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in a small fishing village called Pointe-Sapin, this is where the name O’Creek is from. I’ve been in Moncton for over 20 years, working in IT ever since. I am the father of two beautiful young girls and have been married to a supportive wife. I’m mostly involved in the brewery duties but it’s also a family thing. Before brewing, I did wedding photography, and since I stopped, I’ve been brewing non stop and last year I decided to go commercial. It’s a real passion that I would like to share with others.
How did you get into the world of beer?
I wasn’t into beer that much to be honest, I was more a wine drinker. It all started about 10 years ago with friends, buying all sorts of imported beers and that’s where you start tasting different styles. After a summer of drinking just Picaroons, I really got hooked on craft beer. Back then, the craft beer scene wasn’t much, but now we have many choices and great options to pick from.
What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
After I started homebrewing, I liked it so much and couldn’t keep up with giving some to family members and friends. I would get good feedback and would want to brew more and more. I saw, and I still see, a huge potential in our region and I want to be part of this industry and to help other breweries to make a difference.
What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
– I want people to enjoy the final results as much as I enjoy making it!
– Drink and support local
Can you tell us about the beers you have launched with? How about beers in planning?
Most of my beers are American style beer, big flavors like IPA, American Pale Ale, and Stouts, but I’m also a big fan of Belgian Saison so I will have a Saison Series, one called “Saison du Nord” and the other “Saison du Sud”. These names come from back home; we have two lobster seasons which divides the North and South. In summer time I will release some Wheat beer, Belgian and German styles, and in winter time, some stronger beer like Belgian Dubbel, Imperial Stout, etc. This may also change on demand, I’m really open and can’t wait to hear some feedback. This drives me to brew more. One of my launch beers was Route 117 NEIPA, named after the highway which goes from Kouchibouguac to Chatham along the Northern NB shore, via Pointe-Sapin.
What are your plans for distribution?
No taproom, bottles or cans for now. I only do kegs and I will post on social media where it will be available, so stay tuned to O’Creek!
Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
No permanent accounts for now, however I have sold some kegs to the Pump House Fill Station, The Laundromat and Tide & Boar in Moncton, and Au Bootlegger in Bathurst. Also, you will soon see us at the ANBL store in Dieppe for growler fills…
Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in the region?
Not on site in the brewery, but whenever I need advice on anything, I know I can count on other local breweries, they’ve been great answering all my questions, and continue to do so, and I try to do my part as well. That’s what make this community so great: wanting to help each other out.
Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
I can’t say; I don’t think about it but my goal for now is putting my name out there. I’m happy to start this process since it took almost one year to get ready.
Let’s switch gear to some nerdy details… What size/manufacturer/type of system are you be brewing on?
I have a 1BBL (120 litre) HERMS system from Spike Brewing (Milwaukee, WI) which I bought last year. I brewed my first test batches last fall, and as of now, I’m still learning the system as I ramp up batches. I have three 1BBL fermenters as well as a ½ BBL (mostly to do test batches) from SS Brewtech. I’m hoping to brew once a week for now and see how it goes.
Care to share some details on your brewing history?
I started homebrewing like most brewers, and before that, I was a photographer (mostly weddings), and got tired of it and that’s when I decided to get some all grain equipment. After my last gig, I went to Halifax and bought my homebrewing system from Everwood Ave Brew Shop and bought a kit to do a Witbier. For a first brew, it tasted pretty good from what I remember.
Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
I cannot lie, I am a hophead, so IPAs are my go to, but it all depends on the season, too. Last winter I was big into stouts. I like to taste any style, but lately there are some styles I don’t care to buy anymore; even my taste in IPAs have changed, now I’d rather have a juicy NEIPA. Overall I’d say IPA, Saison and Stout are my favorite styles. Oh, and let’s not forget Brett beer!
Do you have a website, Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter page?
It’s funny, I don’t have a website, because that’s what I’ve been doing for a living for the past 20 years. Not sure if I want one, I don’t really see the need since Facebook and Instagram have been great so far. That’s how you guys found me right? [Ed: It sure is!]
Thanks again to Patrice for spending time answering our questions. As of publishing, kegs of Route 117 NEIPA have been delivered to the ANBL in Dieppe, to go on their Growler Station next week. Keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest O’Creek news! Felicitations!