Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Matchstick Beer Factory Opening Soon in Hampton

(Hampton, NB) - Matchstick Beer Factory is about to open in the town of Hampton, about 30 km outside Saint John. The nanobrewery will be run by a husband and wife team, Luke MacGregor and Heather Avery, with Luke doing the brewing and Heather taking care of the day to day.
The name came from the Flewelling Match factory that used to be on Saint Andrews Street in Hampton and with Luke's background in engineering he wanted the brewery to have an industrial vibe.
Luke has been homebrewing since 2006 but his earliest brewing was making root beer and cream soda when he was a kid. When asked why they wanted to open a brewery Luke said "Besides my love of making and drinking beer, the plans started when we moved to NB from NS in 2015. We bought an old house with a large garage/barn, and the planning began. I was on the road a lot for work, and have two young kids and a wife at home that still likes me, so I was thinking of ways to change jobs to stay home more. I've since moved on to a local job which has given me time to focus on the brewery at night once everyone else is in bed and on most Friday's, as well as a few hours on the week ends". 
Matchstick Beer Factory will be opening with a 1 BBL system from Blichmann, which when maxed out makes about 180L. Once revenue starts coming in they will double it to produce closer to 350L (almost 3 BBL), Fermenters are all 3 BBL and the bright tank is also 3BBL.
They are starting off brewing English and Canadian/American ales, starting with two beers. The first is the Matchbook Pale Ale, which is hopped with El Dorado, Mosaic and Amarillo, with heavy dry hopping to give it a nice fruit punch. The second is the Fired Up Red, which is a strong English style ale, with a hefty 8% ABV and with a bit of rye in the mash to give the huge malt backbone a bit of spice. They have a few other recipes that they'll start rolling out once they get a couple months under their belts, which include a rhubarb Hefeweizen (likely summer seasonal only), a Belgian blonde fermented with American yeast, and a few others. They will throw a few IPAs in there as well and they have a few other recipes that Luke is working on.
Look for their beers at the Match Factory Restaurant in Hampton and at Bootstrap Brew Pub in Quispamsis initially over the next week or so. 
Luke noted "...how helpful other breweries and home brewers have been in getting this operation going. I haven't met one brewer who didn't make time to show me their brewery, discuss suppliers, sell me old equipment that they've outgrown, give advice on my plan or offer help in any way. I grew up on a farm in NS, and the attitude of Maritime brewers has reminded me of the helpfulness we received on the farm from other farmers".
Matchstick Beer Factory won't be open to the public until they get a commercial space set up. Matchstick Beer Factory is operating out of their home and due to zoning regulations they can't have sales from their location. They are looking at commercial properties now, but won't realistically have anything set up until next summer at the earliest.