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Friday, December 16, 2011

Meet Patrice Godin - Acadie Broue Inc.

Meet Patrice Godin, the founder, brewer, packager, delivery driver, and more at Acadie-Broue Inc., New Brunswick's smallest brewery. 

It is a small brewery. Godin produces his beers on a 50 litre system in his garage, right next to his car! He received his official permits to brew commercially in 2010 and brews four beers that are only available on tap at one location in Moncton - The Laundromat Espresso Bar. La Bringue won a bronze medal this year at the 2011 Canadian Brewing Awards in the North American Style Amber/Red Ale category.

Godin still has a full time job aware from his small brewery, but the response to his beers has him dreaming big. Many Haligonians had the opportunity this past summer to try a number of his beers as Acadie Broue was a participant at the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. 

Meet Patrice Godin!

You're a one man show! Where is Acadie-Broue situated and what beers do you currently produce?
The brewery is located in Ammon, a small community on the outskirts of Moncton NB. The brewery is literally 50 meters just outside the city limits as I was trying to avoid zoning restrictions. The brewery sits in a vacant un-heated garage. I currently produce four beers; a Saison called Tintamarre, a Sticke Alt called Patente, a North American Brown Ale called Bringue and a Dark Saison called Boloxée.

Describe the history behind the brewery.
My friend and I started a beer club in 2001. We we’re judging, analyzing and ranking 3 different beers every Wednesday. After three years it was getting hard to find new beers and the selection available at our provincial liquor corporation was stagnant. It was then that we decided to brew our own commercially to improve variety available to local beer drinkers. We’ve looked on the web and found a 50 litres electric system for sale in Québec and bought it in 2004. I’m still brewing on this system today. In the meantime my brewing partner moved on to start his own distillery.

I was initially brewing in my basement but the zoning was not appropriate to sell commercially so I had to move to Ammon. My brewery is so small that I was able to move it with my Mazda Protétgé. It took me 6 years to get all the permits to finally start brewing commercially. I have a full time job so it was hard to get it going but I finally gathered all I needed by mid-July 2010.

What's new at the brewery? 
I recently purchased a 23L oak barrel from a local Oktoberfest event and I’m experimenting with it. I never thought I would condition beer in a barrel but I love it. I’m currently developing a Berliner Weisse, souring one half in the barrel with lactobacillus before blending it back. I visited Berlin in 2008 and really enjoyed the style. It is one of the most complex session ales.

In 1943 a German submarine on a secret mission came to pick up POW escapees in my hometown of Maisonnette in Northern NB. The beer will be named after this secret mission (Kiebitz). We are trying to get in touch with the descendants of the German detachment and have them visit the site and most importantly try my beer of course.

Also I won a bronze medal in the North American Amber/Red Ale Category for my Bringue at the 2011 CBA. I’m really proud of the achievement since it was only my third batch for this beer and my first participation in such an event. I just submitted it out to see what component I could improve, it was a total surprise.

How did you get into the brewing industry?
If I can answer this question more philosophically I would say that I got into the industry because I wanted to offer Acadian themed beers to people who are curious or in love with our unique culture.

What is the best aspect of working in the Canadian craft brewery industry? 
As a new brewer I feel like we are still a small family closely knit together. The brewers are very helpful and willing to help each other out. The breweries don’t see the others as competition. The market is still fairly new and there is lots of room to innovate so to me it’s a great time to be a brewer in Canada.

Where can someone find your products?
I don’t bottle so my products are only available on tap. Currently there is only one bar serving it in town called The Laundromat Espresso Bar located at 382 St. George Street in Moncton. This cosy café specializes in imported bottled beers and serves seasonal beers from local brewery on tap. It is a must see if you like beer and are travelling in Moncton.

Tell us something about the Acadie-Broue that not a lot of people know about.
When residents heard that I was moving my brewery in their neighbourhood they started a petition against the project. The document was presented at town hall the same night I was getting the OK from the planning commission. It added hours of deliberation but reason prevailed. Among their arguments; there will be a rat infestation, the traffic from transport trailers will increase and a spill could contaminate their water supply which would get the whole town drunk.

Really? Well, how is the local support now?
Excellent! The beer drinkers around here are just starting to learn about all the different beer styles. Personally I see this as an opportunity to teach them something by producing hard to find styles while they provide me genuine feedback on what they perceive in my beers. It was nerve-wracking to launch a Saison for my first beer in such an environment but the locals were open and ready to taste something new. They are now asking me to produce new styles.

What is the highlight of your brewing career - to date?
Definitely the launch of my very first beer in 2010. Nothing beats rising your own creation “legally” in a bar to toast with family, friends and supporters.

Name your favourite non Acadie-Broue produced beer?
With my beer club I take note of all the beers I drank and so far after 3000 beers my best ranked is a Düsseldorf Alt beer named Zum Schlüssel. I traveled to Düsseldorf Germany to visit the Alt breweries and this one alt was not only the best beer in town but my favourite ever. When you look closely at the style you’ll find everything you want in a beer; it is an ale with lager qualities and it is bitter yet malty, what else do you want.

Best time for a pint?
For me it is around 11h00 am. You’re well rested, you breakfast is long gone and your taste buds are ready to roll. In case my boss is reading I mean 11h00 am on weekends.

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