AWOL Brewery, a Canadian Armed Forces Veteran-owned brewery in the Moncton region, is up and running as of this month, and celebrating its Launch Party at the All Ranks Moncton Mess this weekend. We caught up with owner and brewer, Robert Black, to learn more about his journey to open AWOL, their current and future offerings, and much more!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and AWOL?
My name is Bobby and am the brewer/owner of a new craft brewery located in Moncton, New Brunswick. I am a retired Sgt. from the Army, and started this project after my medical release in 2015. AWOL Brewery is primarily marketed towards serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as first responders, but not exclusively so. We are part of the Buy Veteran movement, and give back to Veteran non-profit organizations, through a percentage of sales from our merchandise and a selection of our seasonal/specialty beers.
Can you tell us about your brewery and plans for distribution?
The brewery is a 3 BBL (~350 litre) electric brewery, powered exclusively by solar energy, thanks to the panels on the roof of our building. While our current brewing location is not open to the public, we are focusing on providing licensees in the region with beer. The focus is on the development of the brand and getting exposure, before we expand into a new space, which could include a taproom. Where to find us on tap is always expanding, so it’s best to check the list on our website for the up-to-date information. Currently pouring at the All Ranks Moncton Mess (ARMM), Laundromat Expresso Bar, Timber Lounge, and Furnace Room in Moncton, and on the rotating taps at The Joyce Pub in Fredericton. The ARMM is not normally open to the public, except during special events.
Can you tell us about the beers you have available now, and plans for the future?
Currently, we have an American Pale Ale, Tactical Pause APA, as a regular full-time listed beer. This beer is a 5% ABV hop-forward pale ale, with German Caramel malts to give it some body and help balance out the bitterness of the Warrior and Amarillo hops used to make it 36 IBU.
Throughout the year we will be rotating different beer styles in our seasonal selection. By our second year, we plan on promoting the best performing seasonal beer to a permanent listing. Our first seasonal beer is a Smoked Amber Ale, called The Smoker, named after the (rare) post-military training exercise beer call and BBQ. Lightly smoked using traditional German Beechwood-smoked malt, along with German Caramel malts and American Hops to help balance the flavor. The Smoker Ale is at 5.1% ABV 24 IBU and displays a colour of 15 SRM. This beer pairs nicely with anything from the grill, and the smoke does not overwhelm your sense of taste.
The next seasonal beer is a Red Lager brewed with German lager yeast and German Cara malts. It weighs in at 5.0% ABV. No special for it yet, other than calling it AWOL R.E.D. Lager. All three of these will be available on tap at the Launch Party, and at the other licensees, then it’s hard at work on releasing summer seasonal beers.
What can folks expect at the Launch Party Saturday?
From 6PM on Saturday, at the All Ranks Moncton Mess (Building 47 at 299 Park Street), we are inviting the public to join the active and veteran communities to help us celebrate our launch. We will be onsite pouring our three beers, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, the BBQ will be fired up and we will have burgers and sausages available after 6:30, with merchandise such as shirts, glassware, and stickers available for purchase. And door prizes to say thank you to those who come out to support! We have more details on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
How can we keep up with the latest AWOL Brewery news?
We have Facebook and Instagram pages, and we update our website with new beer releases, merchandise, and licensees. Look for an online store for merch coming soon!
Congratulations to Robert and Julie Black on the launch of AWOL, we know it has been many years in the making!