Fredericton — At around 11 a.m. this morning, Brett Macpherson, 26, went for a leisurely stroll down Queen Street after visiting the Boyce Farmers’ Market.
“Yeah, I’d just been to the market there to grab a couple of samosas and some orange juice before it got too crowded, and so then I thought I might as well stop into the Brewtique to get my growler filled,” he said. “Some buddies and I are headed back to our camp in the Dungarvon tonight for a few drinks,” he informed our reporter, who couldn’t have cared less if he tried.
“Anyway, the sign outside the store said ‘Milk is for babies; when you grow up you have to drink beer,’ and I’m pretty sure the quote was from Arnold Schwazenegger or someone you wouldn’t expect like that,” he said, pointing with the growler in the direction of the Brewtique. “You can tell how laid-back and cool Picaroons are, not like one of those shitty big beer companies.”
The Manatee asked Matt Fraser, who was working at the Brewtique this morning, where they come up with this stuff. Fraser said “Oh, you know, we’re trying to appeal to a more youthful demographic here at the Brewtique. Downtown Fredericton people are a different breed — they’re not going to buy beer just because it tastes good. We need to get them in here with a unique phrase that really makes them stop and think,” he explained, leaning on the counter and fiddling with his Picaroons keychain.
The Brewtique has three full-time staffers entrusted to the task: one to write the sign on the board, one to physically carry the sign outside and place it at a perfect angle where it will be viewable to the most passersby, and one is entrusted with the most crucial job of all: choosing the witty quote itself.
“The weekly deadline is really tight,” said Sarah Atkinson, 30, the employee who’s tasked with this all-important objective each week. “My boss threatened to fire me one time because it was Thursday night and I still hadn’t come up with anything good for Saturday morning. I spent the whole night on the Internet researching until I found a quote by Bukowski that made being an alcoholic seem cute and intellectual.”
Atkinson said part of her wishes she’d never been caught up in this stressful job, but that a bigger part of her knows it’s for the greater good of the city, and that makes the strict deadlines and all-nighters worthwhile. “At Picaroons we just want to make people stop and reflect for a second about why it is they’re drinking — and then obviously we want to get them in here, buying our product on a daily basis.”
Atkinson asked our reporter to send a call-out for sign ideas, because she’s been out of good ones for a long time now.