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Image: Jon Chouinard/Wasted Day

No Wasted Days For New Uptown Brewery And Taproom

By Scott Pettigrew Oct 7, 2022 | 11:54 AM

Despite its nonchalant name, the newly opened Wasted Day Brewery taproom in Uptown Saint John has a surprisingly ambitious craft brewing agenda.

“We had two paths to choose from,” explains Wasted Day co-owner Jon Chouinard.

Path one was the tried and true traditional route: to put in a larger production facility at the uptown taproom, supplying a steady stream of well-known, staple beers.

“But then we thought ‘let’s do the opposite. Let’s put a smaller brew house in… so we’ll launch a new beer every week’.”

And that’s what they’ve done. The small brewhouse at the 36 Water Street location will be making 400 litres of truly unique beer, launched every Friday.

“You have to set yourself apart,” Chouinard explains. “Let’s get back to the core of what craft brewing really is. Be creative and launch new products. Really answer that question for people when they walk in the door and say, ‘what do you have new today.’ We always want to have a good answer for that.”

A new weekly brew will be one of the 20 different brews Wasted Day has on offer, the rest coming from their Rothesay brewery, Long Bay, the home of their flagship Wasted Day IPA.

Interesting name

So how did such productive people land on such an unproductive name for their business?

“It actually goes back seven or eight years,” Chouinard explains.

He and his partner, Tim Webber were learning how to brew in Chouinard’s garage, and their passion for beer led them slightly astray.

“We made a really good IPA and we may have sampled it a bit too much the night before,” he recollects.

“We didn’t end up brewing that day and it was just an offhand comment ‘That IPA really wasted the day.’ And a lightbulb just went off and we thought – what a great name for a beer. As we developed it over time we thought – what a great name for a brewery.”

Demand for their beer has been so great, that they expanded the Long Bay facility earlier this year and are planning another expansion in early 2023.

A business inside a business

Wasted Day has also partnered with a well-known Saint John delicatessen to provide food for taproom patrons.

Jeremiah’s Deli has been a staple of the Saint John City Market for decades. They’ve opened a satellite location, doing food to go – but it’s inside Wasted Day. There is a stand-alone counter, physically separated from the rest of the taproom, where food is prepared and can be picked up by patrons.

The reason Chouinard and Webber chose this model was it checked off all the boxes for safe food preparation, but also allowed the taproom to still be dog friendly – which was a priority for the Wasted Day business model.

“It’s the only place I know of where you can come in with your dog and still order a hot meal,” Chouinard jokes.

Vibrant Uptown Saint John

The Water Street location for the new taproom was an easy decision to make for the Saint John natives.

“It was an absolute no-brainer for us,” says Chouinard. “Saint John has been on a long growth journey. Both Tim and I are born and raised in the Saint John area so we have been first-hand witnesses to the city maturing and evolving.”

“It’s becoming a destination for people within Atlantic Canada to come here and stay here rather than just pass by here on their way to somewhere else.”

Nancy Tissington, the executive director of Uptown Saint John, says the area has seen quite a resurgence in the past few years and the craft beer scene has played a role in that. In July Uptown Saint John offered a craft brew trail for aficionados to follow, to much success.

“This is our latest family member to the craft brew trail,” she says of Wasted Day. “Their space is lovely, it warm and welcoming. It seems like a really, nice open living room for everyone to go in and enjoy what they have to offer.”

The taproom is a nice complement to what is becoming an increasingly exciting neighbourhood for events and nightlife in the Saint John core.

“Water Street is becoming more and more popular because of the cruise ships but also because it’s facing the new container village as well. So the vibrancy in that area in the city is welcome”

Chouinard agrees.

“We’ve got a great scene here in the uptown. We have the Moonlight Bazaar, we have the 506 festival, it just felt like the right time to become a part of that. So far we’ve been very, very happy.”

In addition to already hosting several wedding receptions and retirement parties since opening in September, Wasted Day also has plans for Thursday night trivia, starting after Thanksgiving, and jazz nights, likely on Wednesday nights.

They’re also making a name for themselves as a music venue, with several shows booked for October, including October 15 with Richie Young; October 21 Brew Geeks: Austin Eatman band, followed by local DJs and an October 29 Halloween costume party with live music.

Alex Graham is a reporter with Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


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