Friday, January 31, 2020
If you have been in some ANBL stores in southeastern New Brunswick you may have seen Bouctouche Pale Ale on the shelf. Broue du Païen started up after new years and I got to ask owner and brewer a few questions.
MBR: Who is behind Broue du Païen?
BDP: My name is Maxime Sonier, I’m 30 years old and I do everything from the brewing, the canning and the delivering of the product. It’s pretty much a one man operation thus far plus the occasional volunteer helper.
MBR: What is the significance behind the name?
BDP: Païen is a word that, when growing up in the Acadian peninsula, I would hear a lot to describe someone who could be considered a ‘’small town hick”. When I decided to leave my job as a mechanic and take on brewing full time, I grew out my beard and my wife started jokingly calling me a Païen. I wanted to pick a name that would be representative of my heritage, but also light-hearted and comedic. Broue du Païen just translates to ‘’Païen’s Brew’’ but I’m also happy to have anyone refer to it as ‘’BDP’’. Seeing as the beard helped inspire the name, I included it on the can. I have plans on changing up the ‘’Hops Beard’’ on the can to represent the IBU of each style (i.e. the Païen character on the can will be sporting a Mustache for a Lager and a long Gandalf beard for a DIPA).
What made you want to open a brewery?
I had been making Home Brew for about 9 years. I started off with a cheap Mr. Beer kit, moved up to partial mash kits and kept modifying the kit instructions to improve on them. Couples years after I decided to go all grain and start making my own recipes from scratch using the BeerSmith software. After multiple successful recipes I decided to take the plunge and try doing this professionally. I have always been a beer fanatic and my goal was to make beer that everyone could enjoy. To this day, I still brew for the people and not for myself. Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone enjoying my creations.
How big is your brewhouse?
I currently have a fairly small brewhouse using a 2bbl Blichmann System, 4x 2bbl Conical Fermenters and a single 2bbl Brite Tank from Stout. As of now I’m limited to around 4000 Cans a month but I’m already looking into adding an extra 2 bbl Unitank.
How do you plan on just selling your beer via ANBL or will there be kegs?
At the moment I’m just focusing on can sales through ANBL since I don’t have much volume but I’m not turning down the idea of potentially doing keg sales. If the demand is there, I will have to look into it.
What styles of beer are you planning to make beyond the pale ale?
I have lots of ideas and tailored recipes I would like to release, but realistically, it can’t all happen at once with my small set up. I’d love to have an Irish Red, IPA/Session IPA and possibly a nice crisp Lager out within the next year. I want to name each style after an Acadian Town. I started with Bouctouche seeing as it’s the nearest town to me with an ANBL.
Anything else you would like to add?
ANBL just provided local vendors with a letter on January 22nd indicating that they will be applying Sale Targets and Thresholds for Local products as of April 1st 2020. Some local businesses could end up off the shelves as a result of this, especially ones just starting out. It will be more important than ever to support your favourite local breweries, wineries and distilleries. Being such a small start-up business myself, I sincerely hope that this change will not affect my growth potential and my ability to try out new recipes and products. I am incredibly grateful to all who have supported me so far and hope I can continue to do what I love!