From Backyard BBQ & Brews to Bustling Businesses
The Inspiring Rise of Hampton's Trio Creating a One-of-a-Kind Hub at The Porch
What started as a group of friends and family enjoying barbeque and beers has quickly developed into three growing businesses that are providing gathering spaces and vibrancy to the Town of Hampton.
And there are only plans for growth on the horizon as Beer Daddy BBQ, Gridiron Brewing, and Ole Foggy Distillery set sights on The Porch – a new one-stop shop that will provide a unique venue and offer world-famous barbeque, craft beer, and a distillery under one roof.
In 2017 Corey Richard decided he wanted to learn low and slow barbeque techniques. He bought a cheap smoker and fed his brother-in-law, Luke MacGregor in return for samples of Luke’s craft beer – known today as Gridiron Brewing.
As Corey gained confidence in his new hobby, he and a friend entered a competition. With rave reviews and ranking in the top three teams – he was hooked.
“I immediately got my brother to fabricate a smoker for me, like a real deal smoker,” Corey explained. “We entered more competitions and although we kept our expectations low, we continued to do really well.”
With that success came requests for more barbeque. Corey was bringing food to work and catering his friend’s kids birthday parties.
In 2021 things took a turn and he lost his full-time job. It was a pivotal point in life where he needed to figure out what was next. With the full support of his spouse Cailin who is now co-owner of Beer Daddy BBQ, and encouragement from friends, Corey was ready to take the next step.
“I was sitting having a beer with Luke and he encouraged me to cook food for people, like a food truck or something,” Corey said. “Luke had the brewery up and running and we launched the food truck for six months. We had such a good run, that I leased space next to the brewery in January 2022, opening the restaurant in June 2022, and now we are moving to bigger and better.”
Rewind a decade and that’s where Aaron Murray, co-owner of Ole Foggy Distillery’s story begins. He was living in dry communities throughout the Artic and had tried his hand at brewing ciders and wines. A friend of his who had a small distillery invited him to try the craft of distilling, and Aaron quickly became obsessed with perfecting and learning the art.
“I decided I really enjoyed this a lot, and I started taking courses online,” he said. “I started mentoring with a bunch of other distilleries around North America, and I travelled fairly extensively to go visit some of these distilleries and breweries and learn how they make their products.”
During the pandemic, Aaron continued to work with various brewers and distillers throughout North America - video conferencing to discover new equipment and various functions.
With enough knowledge gained, and a growing passion, it was time to start his own business. Alongside his partner Christina, the pair operate Ole Foggy Distillery, providing a unique offering of spirits and cocktails, as well as a local gift shop that showcases artisans from the Saint John Region.
Luke’s story dates back nearly two decades when he started brewing out of his home in 2006.
“Shortly after I graduated university, I was looking to perfect an art and to drink cheaper,” he said with a laugh. “My wife is from southern New Brunswick and we moved to Hampton in 2015. My goal was to buy a house that had big enough space in it to open a brewery. Her goal was to have a nice house for raising a family. We got both. A family home, with a really rundown garage.”
Luke created Gridiron Brewing out of that garage - selling kegs to bars and restaurants, then expanding in 2019 to growlers that locals would purchase for takeaway. He had even set up a bar in a local barbershop down the road.
During the pandemic that barbershop building came on the market – Gridiron Brewing purchased the space and built the taproom that is home to Gridiron today.
The three businesses all developed from passion and purpose. Each storefront continuously recommends patrons to visit their fellow entrepreneurs and experience something different in their small hometown.
As they all continue to grow, it is a natural next step to grow together.
Construction and the official groundbreaking for the Porch is set to take place in early 2024. All three businesses hope to expand their offerings and provide more hands-on experiences to customers – while also serving as a new upscale venue for the town of Hampton.
To stay up-to-date on the progress and plans in 2024 – follow The Porch here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61553949866320&locale=el_GR