The Tatamagouche Brewing Company has added a light blue, two-storey, 40- by 50-ft. expansion to the side of its two orange buildings in the village’s downtown.
The expansion will allow the craft brewery to double its brewing capacity for the second year in a row.
“Last summer we didn’t have enough beer. We sold out,” says Matt Kenny of Tatabrew. “We couldn’t make any deliveries or do any sales so we took three days off. We filled every tank and while they were fermenting we went to Montreal for three days.”
Originally in 2013 Hans Christian Jost bought the old Tatamagouche library and was going to install the brewery there.
He had just sold Jost Winery and his daughter Christiane joined him in the business along with her partner Matt.
Huston’s Butcher Shop next door also came up for sale and, because it was slightly larger, they set up the brewery in there, opening in June 2014.
Last winter they joined the library and butcher shop to make a bigger retail space and squeeze in a few more tanks for fermenting.
But even that wasn’t enough.
Not long after Matt and Christiane came back from their mini vacation last August, the answer to their predicament appeared.
“We had our eye on that building next door for a while and luckily it came up for sale,” says Christiane.
The brewers knocked that down and built an expansion.
The new space has allowed them to buy and set up two new 100-hectolitre fermenting tanks; they also moved two tanks, one 100-hectolitre tank and one 50-hectolitre tank, from the library basement.
The new space will also provide a permanent home for an upgraded canning line.
“This expansion is all about efficiency,” says Christiane.
Up to now the brewers barely had room for a semi-automatic canning line – they actually had to cut a hole in the cellar ceiling to allow enough clearance for the sleeve of covers.
The storefront of the new building will be rented out.
Brewing should start in the new space by the end of this month.
Christiane expects to hire two new staff for the brewing side of the operation which currently employs three including Matt.
In summer she figures 12 to 14 people will be working at the brewery.
“Not only are we able to live here in Tatamagouche but we are helping keep young people here in the community too,” she says. “Every summer we start out with what we think is enough staff and then we realize we need more – every year it gets busier – that’s a good problem,” she says.