A Former MP has shifted focus from Ottawa to Sussex, N.B., with a business venture into a craft brewery.
Alaina Lockhart served as the MP for Fundy Royal from 2015-2019, where she sat as the Parliamentary Secretary to Small Business and Tourism during that time.
The former politician said that brewery operations at Hand Forged Craft Beer have a different pace than sitting in Ottawa, but said that owning a small business is encompassing and that she has felt a need to get back into business after selling hers a number of years ago.
She said the support received from the community has grown into a prosperous venture and that she was surprised by the amount of demand for the beer.
“I think clearly when I was involved in leadership in the community, (my husband) Rick has been involved in that too, so it’s always been important for us, and we’re able to come at things from different angles. He is a craftsman and I like bringing the community together.”
Alaina and Rick experimented with the brew just before the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly brewing out of a small taproom. But, when the coronavirus hit New Brunswick, it made way for the operation that they have today.
“Brewing is an excellent way for a community to find its identity,” said Alaina.
“Rick has done a good job in doing that, so they go hand in hand.”
“I’ve always said it, I think every small town in New Brunswick can have the support of a craft brewery,” said Rick.
“We started out very very small and never thought we’d needed to expand, but the want was so great that we did.”
The two say they’re ready to settle on the expansions and are excited to perfect the batch.