Fredericton brewers hustle post-flood to meet warm weather demand

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Fredericton brewers hustle post-flood to meet warm weather demand

After flood waters forced it to close, the Picaroons Roundhouse in Fredericton is now back in business — just in time for the first long weekend of the summer.

But its recovery from the flood is far from over.

The taproom reopened Friday afternoon, while the brewery portion was back in business on May 11.

Owner Sean Dunbar said it was a "relief" to open to the public again.

"Standing still isn't much fun in business ... not being able to do things," he said.

"So it was a relief to let go of that, and everybody's looking forward to being back on a normal schedule."

Playing catch-up 

But because Picaroons was unable to brew for about two weeks when water overtook its brewhouse, the business now has to play catch-up.

Dunbar said it's too early to measure how the flood has impacted his business, but it will certainly result in some revenue loss.

"Beer drinkers are immediate consumers for the most part, so if you go to a place and would like to buy beer for some reason and the beer that you were thinking you might want isn't there, well you just buy another one," he said.

"So every lost sales opportunity because our beer doesn't happen to be on tap, or on the shelf, is a total sales loss. It's not like we get to just pass that off down the road."

Right now, the brewery is focused on catching up on its regular products to service its keg and bottle clientele.

There is still cleanup work required at the Roundhouse and equipment assessments to do, though the building didn't suffer any serious damage.

"We opened for beer sales as soon as it was safe to do so, but we'll have crews in all of this week probably to clean up," Dunbar said.

In addition, Picaroons has a new small-batch beer, created during the flood to commemorate the disaster. 

Flood Red is on tap at all Picaroons' locations in New Brunswick.

Dunbar said the next new beer will also commemorate the flood in some respect, once they're caught up on orders of their regular brews.