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Mount Allison students celebrate launch of new brewing company

Bagtown Brewing Company president Robbie Baxter enjoys a glass during the new company’s official launch at Ducky’s Bar Saturday evening.
Bagtown Brewing Company president Robbie Baxter enjoys a glass during the new company’s official launch at Ducky’s Bar Saturday evening.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Craft beer inspires a devoted following, and now Sackville residents have their own local brewery.

That’s thanks to the Bagtown Brewing Company, formed by entrepreneurship students at Mount Allison University.

What began as a class project is now a full-fledged, very drinkable product. Saturday saw the beer temporarily taking over the taps at Ducky’s Bar Saturday evening for the official launch of their new brew, Wobbly Duck. President of the brewing company Robbie Baxter says the English pale ale was designed with students in mind.

“It’s not bitter; it has an extremely low IBU,” he says. “And it’s below five per cent alcohol by volume, so you can drink a lot of them.”

He describes the taste as having fruity notes with some and just a little bit of caramel flavour.  Brewmaster Anthony Maddalena designed it to be the ideal drink for a night out with friends.

Baxter says the class was initially “very optimistic” about the idea and planned to have the beer ready as early as November 2016.

“The reality started to set in: the process of getting licenses from the government.”

After what he calls a “tedious” series of setbacks, he said he’s happy to have finally reached the full official release after a successful “soft launch” the previous week.

The launch party for the Bagtown Brewing Company was held Saturday evening at Ducky's Bar in Sackville.

As for the future of the brewing company, he says things are somewhat uncertain right now. With most of the class graduating this year, it’s not clear who will stay with the brewery.

“There’s a huge craft beer market right in the Maritimes,” he says. “We’ll focus on getting to Moncton first.”

After getting a foothold in Moncton, Baxter says he would really like to see the brewery expand to Halifax and the rest of Nova Scotia to capitalize on the popularity of craft beer there. He doesn’t rule out eventually achieving national distribution, either.

“I think we’ve just got to take it one step at a time.”

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