Fredericton — Graystone Brewing in the heart of downtown Fredericton, N.B., has been expanding their King Street brewery and bar to accommodate the popularity of the beer and the venue.
But the expansion, launched last spring, will not stop at a renovated taproom.
“We’re going to build a dome that covers everything in Fredericton,” said owner Wes Ward. “That way, we’ve cornered the market and literally enveloped the competition. This means if you’re in Fredericton, you’re at Graystone.”
Graystone patrons — a diverse demographic of hipsters between the ages of 19 and 24 — love the cozy fireplace, the hammock on the patio, and the selfie opportunities afforded them by these thoughtful touches.
Bartender Kaylee Illies said the “Instagrammable” nature of the venue won’t change with the citywide expansion.
“I guess there’s gonna be, like, a huge fireplace with a stack of artisanal wood on one side of the dome where you can sit and take snaps with friends or whatever,” she said with a bored sigh, not once looking up from her phone at our reporter. “Uh…did you want something?”
Ward said that the inspiration for the dome came not from the Stephen King novel, but from a desire to ensure tap space in Fredericton isn’t wasted on other brewers’ offerings.
“Yeah, we’re already available absolutely everywhere, with cans in the liquor stores, but I realized that unless we really stepped things up a notch, there’d always be the risk of other beers making their way to taps around town. Why you’d want a non-Patagonia beer is beyond me, but I guess some people still do.”
Graystone has been testing out aspects of the expansion before constructing the dome: they recently purchased an apartment next door, named it The Patagonia Suite, and put it up on Airbnb. That’s already gone well, which has signalled that the reception to the dome will be just as positive.
Once the dome is up, the work of converting Fredericton to Graystone will begin in earnest, with the Graystone logo replacing all other branding, the removal of other drink options from bars, and city streets being renamed after Graystone beers.
“Might get kind of confusing since they’re mostly called ‘Patagonia’ something or other, won’t it?” asked Fredericton resident Ralph Charters. “Won’t the City just end up in a big lawsuit with Patagonia, the American clothing company? I just don’t see how this is going to work out.”
“I’m not sure about this,” said Hannah Allen, another local. “I don’t even drink…but maybe the dome will keep out the snow and wind in winter, in which case I’m all for it!”
Ward said the concerns are understandable, but everything has been meticulously planned.
“Look, this is already happening so you might as well get on board now. We’re looking into how much money it would take to just go ahead and rename the city Patagoniaton, or Patagoniaville…something like that, but that’s not in the works till at least 2021.
“And don’t worry — the dome is dog-friendly!”