Maritime beer giant Moosehead brewery has chosen a waterfront locale for its new small-batch brewery in uptown Saint John.
The company’s foray into craft brewing comes at a time when craft beers have been steadily increasing in popularity — dozens of microbreweries are brewing away across the province.
NB Liquor reports a 15.2 per cent increase in Maritime craft beer sales at its licensee and agency stores between April 1 and Sept. 16 of 2015, and that same period in 2016.
Company officials who sell beer across North America say they aren’t surprised by the hop in craft beer sales.
“We’ve seen this explosion in the interest in beer over the last 10 or 15 years and so we’re not surprised to see the interest in various styles of beer occurring throughout the Maritimes,” said Moosehead president Andrew Oland.
Big Tide Brewing Company in Saint John has been making it’s own beer for seven years. Owner Chris Vair is interested in how consumers will respond to the craft brew boom.
“It might get some of their non-craft beer drinkers to try that stuff, and it might get some of their non-quote-unquote domestic beer drinkers to go ‘Hey, maybe I’ll try that Moosehead stuff’.”
Moosehead hopes embracing the microbrewing trend will bring more beer enthusiasts through their doors, helping their bottom line.
“We’re going to be able to develop and innovate brands and then over time potentially put them on the west side as well,” Oland said.
The company plans to break ground on the new, small-batch brewery in early spring for an anticipated opening between September and December of 2017.