Moncton's Pump House brewery changes hands after more than 20 years

·2 min read

A Moncton brewery is passing the torch.

After 21 years, co-owners Lilia and Shaun Fraser, of the Pump House, have decided to step away from their craft brewing business and restaurant.

"It was time in life to step back and just relax and enjoy the fruit of our labours," Shaun said.

They have been thinking about leaving the business for a while.

For almost a year, the couple tried to keep the news of the brew pub's sale to themselves and said it came as a shock to everyone.

Photo: Facebook
Photo: Facebook

"An emotional time for sure," Lilia said, holding back tears, during an interview with Information Morning Moncton.

And one of the hardest things to do was break the news to staff, who weren't expecting it.

"It was hard to digest and get used to the idea."

Business was a lifelong dream

The couple opened their business in 1991. At first, their goal was to open for possibly 10 years — at most. And maybe have have people lining up to get in. They were soon rewarded.

"It was only six people, but it was six weeks after we opened the doors," Lilia said

Pump House was one of the first brew pubs to open in the Maritimes, and the couple remember having to explain what the business was about because the concept was still very new.

"A lot of our time was spent just teaching people what a brew pub was."

Throughout the years, the Frasers have offered different types of beer and wood oven pizza to customers across New Brunswick.

It was a dream Shaun had since he was about "knee high."

But they never expected the business to take off the way it did.

"We're quite surprised that we managed to go as far as we did with our idea," he said.

'Time to move on'

And the couple have high hopes for the pub's future too.

The new owners are three business people and longtime friends from New Brunswick who "truly appreciate everything we've created and its importance to our community," the Frasers said in a Facebook post.

Staff have all been retained and the new owners will be running things the way they've always been.

"Why change something that works?" Shaun said.

The Frasers also plan to keep their winery near Magnetic Hill, and they're also keeping a business that sells cans to microbreweries in the province.

"We're not stepping away, just changing what we're going to do," Shaun said. "It's time to move on."