bring their own caterers and it’s just a unique atmosphere for socializing, overlooking a brewery and tasting room I mean. And when it’s not being used, it’s a great space for the Trailway Brewery Co. team. Who makes up the Trailway Brewing Co. team, Jake? Including Dan and I, there are 14 employees here on the payroll. When we first started, it was Dan and I, my wife, my mother, Dan’s mother and father, his father-in- law, his sister-in- law, and my older brother. It was, in the beginning, exclusively family members. Our families still really run this place during the day, so we’re really looked after that way, which is really cool. But we have now hired seven employees outside the family for mostly evenings and weekends. We’re to a point now where we have the right people working in the right spots. Dan and I are definitely sleeping better at night knowing we’re in good hands. What do you think has made you and Dan such a great team? We play to our strengths. Dan, in the beginning, did practi- cally all the brewing duties and I took care of the business and operational end of things given my accounting back- ground. Being an engineer, Dan was well-suited to be handling the brewing equipment – he’s very technical. We complement each other perfectly, not to mention the fact that we’re old friends. Jake, where can craft beer enthusiasts outside New Brunswick find a can or a fresh pint of a Trailway Brewing Co. creation? In Nova Scotia, in Halifax, people can head down to Stillwell on Barrington Street.
to the next, there’s going to be a new beer on tap here at the brewery. We do 30 to 50 cases of these one-offs, so it’s often the case that there’s two to three cases of 24 leftover from the week before. People love when they grab the last one because it’s sort of a one-of- a-kind thing. The one-off beers we do are very, very popular here at the brewery – we actually only sell our one-off beers at the brewery. If you come in on a Friday, we just packaged it that day. This week it’s a 100 percent IPA that we did with Galaxy hops the Voyager beer we talked about earlier. On that one, we worked with a company just outside Halifax, in Bedford, I believe, and they do a run of a thousand or fifteen-hundred labels. Like I said, once it’s gone, it’s gone but if the response is good, we may brew it again, we may re-release it three or four months down the road. It’s a cool concept. Last week the beer was LOMAH, which is another SMaSH IPA that we did with 100 percent Pilsner malt and Columbus hops and we did 40 cases of that. Every week people come to the brewery, they know there’s going to be a new beer on tap. These are all done with pretty basic labels as well. We put very succinct descriptors on the can, words like: Tropical; Dank; Juicy. Very clear descriptors are a part of our branding for one-offs. I don’t think there’s too many people taking that approach. The cans really stand out without being too busy, if you get my meaning. Yes, we like the simplicity of the design. A lot of branding tends to be almost cartoony. So many craft breweries are trying to tell a story and I get that, there’s a big market out there and a lot of beer drinkers love a back story where, for instance, the beer is brewed in homage to so and so, and the ingredients haven’t changed in 200 years – that’s part of their branding, and that’s fine. Us, on the other hand, we let the beer speak for itself. We don’t get too complicated; less is more. Our can designs, our growler designs, they’re very simplistic. Speaking of design, Jake, what’s the layout of the brewery there on Main Street? Originally, the main space was just over 4,000-square feet but we’ve recently purchased 700-square feet more for empty cans and ingredients as they have a pretty big foot- print. The building was an old Canadian Tire store, so we have 20-foot ceilings, so we’ve built spaces on top of the fridge for things like offices. As I’m talking to you now, I’m up on-top of the tasting room and on-top of the brewery. The tasting room and the brewery are separated by a glass wall, so you can really see all the fermenters and the inner-work- ings of the brewing process as you enjoy the final product. I understand that you also offer a rental space for the public on your second floor. It’s right up here next to me on-top of the fridge room below and we rent it out for work functions, corporate events, birthdays, that sort of thing. It holds 30 to 40 people and it’s available on Fridays and Saturdays. People are free to
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER 2017
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