As one of the more established craft breweries in the Fredericton area, Grimross Brewing Co. is about to go through a much-needed expansion that’s expected to double their output.
We caught up with taproom manager Phil Noseworthy to chat about their recent trip to Washington for the Craft Brewers Conference and how the expansion is going.
How was the Craft Brewers Conference? What was that all about?
It was the American Craft Brewers Conference (the CBC’s). Essentially it’s a trade show. The Brewers Association puts it on so with the trade show passes, you get seminars. Every day there are two blocks of one-hour seminars and there are ten subjects that are covered in the three days … It’s good to learn, good to see what other places are doing.
What did you get out if it?
There’s lots to learn and it’s good to get insight … You get some of these seminars where it’s the big craft brewery guys in the states who get up and talk for an hour so three or four will be up there for a roundtable discussion about how they each do things differently. It’s interesting to get their insight. The trade show is everything new and exciting and shiny in beer and hops and malts and brewery equipment.
What do you guys have going on right now?
We’re going to have our ever-popular Cheval D’or back in a few weeks and then we’re going to add another larger style, Vienna lager. So after our German lager came out like gangbusters, we have this new one coming out so it should be popular. The Vienna lager is more malty so it’s almost like a red, but maybe a little lighter.
Right now we’re just trying to maintain stock of what we have and for our can releases. We’re being slammed by having too much variety. We have to narrow our focus and then after our expansion, we’ll be able to widen it again. We’re expanding our brewery so everything is getting bigger.
What’s the plan for that?
We’re going to be doubling our output from where we are right now so we’re going from 150,000 litres to 300,000.
Why is there the need for that?
We just don’t cover a vast enough area. Right now we’re about an hour and a half in either direction. For us to even get north, we can barely maintain, so with demand from restaurants, liquor stores, canning … canning is a big thing. Canning takes a lot. That’s going to be our big push, to be able to maintain. Our tap list is down to seven of our own, soon to be six so the guys are working like crazy but we can only brew so much beer.
What’s the timeline?
We’re hoping three months. We’ve already received the first piece of equipment, our bright tank. The existing one is a 20 barrel bright tank, we went to a 30 barrel, which is set up now and then we’ll be receiving 30 barrel fermenters hopefully at the end of this month. Then the future will be in the next year, hopefully, less, we’ll have an automated canning line because right now we’re doing manual.
We’re brewing as fast as we can turn over tanks. So the biggest slowdown is this, time in tanks. That’s why we need more tanks, just to continue brewing … It’s just that time in the fermenters. So with having five right now, we’re hoping by the end of the month we’ll have three more of the 30 barrel ones so we’ll be going up the next step, 50 per cent bigger.
Anything else going on?
We always have music. Tons of music, tons of events. At the end of May, we have the Living Roots music festival. We’re one of the bigger venues taking part and the Wilmot Church, they’ll have the bigger shows and we’ll do the next size down. Then there are lots of beer fests. We have Poutine Fest, Big Axe coming up, things like that. There are a few in the summer, food trucks back.