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Grassroots Moncton Brewery Will Get Permanent Home

By Sam Macdonald Oct 6, 2022 | 5:19 PM

Rendering of O'Creek Brewing Company (Courtesy John Gonzales)

A collaboration between four Moncton business stalwarts will see a permanent home open for O’Creek Brewing Company early next year.

John Gonzales, one of four partners working on the $2-million effort to find a larger home for the microbrewery, set February 1 as its tentative opening day.

Once it moves into 175 Barker Street, O’Creek will share a home with True Reflection Training CrossFit, Quantum Jiu-Jitsu, and True Yoga.

Gonzales said opening a microbrewery in New Brunswick, with an already high concentration of craft breweries, isn’t of much concern.

“I think there are some communities in this province that have a bit of saturation but I don’t think Moncton’s there yet,” he said.

“I think Moncton is very receptive and loves the microbrewery environment, since you can see how all microbrewers are successful. The wonderful thing is owners have their own community – they talk and share ideas and that is really great.”

The 5,000-square-foot space will be half dedicated to the brewing process. The other fifty percent will be for guests and events and retail. The taproom will seat 100 people inside and “at least 50” outside on a patio, noted Gonzales.

“It’s going to be a huge exterior and patio space and a very large taproom space for people to come and host events and gather,” he said.

Gonzales said that once the brewery opens, there are longer-term plans to open a full-service restaurant there as well.

He and his co-owners also have plans for a beach volleyball court and staging for concerts, as well as lots of parking.

The four partners decided to move forward with the idea of a permanent brewery in May of 2021.

“Over the last 16 months we have been slowly testing the water and doing market research, evaluating the financials and were able to come up with this plan,” said Gonzales.

“As of this month, everything has been ordered, all of our plans are going, and permits are being approved as we speak.”

O’Creek was founded in 2017, in the basement of its brewmaster and founder, Patrice Daigle.

“He was just doing testers and trying to come up with a beer, serving it to his friends at parties, and gathered a great following,” Gonzales said.

Daigle’s brewing eventually landed him contracts to brew out of CAVOK’s Dieppe location and shelf space in ANBL stores.

Gonzales noted that Daigle wanted to take the next step in 2021, so a mutual acquaintance introduced him to Gonzales and fellow co-founders Greg McAfee and Nick Spataro.

“We were on the hunt and had the feelers out. Over the next couple of months, we all met and exchanged ideas to see if it was going to be a fit,” said Gonzales.

McAfee, a Realtor brings experience in the restaurant business in Moncton, while Spataro, the landlord of the brewery’s home near downtown Moncton, brings his own business insight.

Gonzales, founder and owner of Rehab1 Performance Centre, noted that he brings a combination of business and marketing experience to O’Creek.

Spataro is also the owner of Coastal Flooring & Wall and is vice president of the FiveFive Queen mixed-use, 41-condominium building in downtown Moncton and Canvas Moncton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Gonzales said they have plans to spread O’Creek’s beer distribution across the Maritimes, once they’re set up.

Currently, O’Creek has two beers in ANBL locations  – Route 117 (its flagship brew) and Paradox Ale.

Once the brewery opens Daigle will be manning its 15-barrel brewing system.

Gonzales said that once they’re set up on Barker Street, O’Creek will also hatch plans to brew a wider variety of new ales and beers, from stouts to Pilsners.

“We want to be known for having amazing-tasting beer, but also the fact that we have a very strong internal community of loyal customers.”

Sam Macdonald is a reporter with Huddle in Moncton, an Acadia Broadcasting partner. Send him your feedback and story ideas: macdonalds@huddle.today.


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