Dozens of people spent Saturday in downtown Fredericton doing what British soldiers may have done hundreds of years ago — curling and drinking beer.

Over the past week ice engineers, expert curlers and even an ice resurfacing machine turned Fredericton's Officers' Square into a number of full sized curling lanes for NB HopSpiel.

History inspired the day-long event, organizer Lloyd Chambers said.

"The British army used to curl here and we found some old blueprints for the area that actually showed curling rinks on the square," Chambers said. "That got our minds on doing an event here."

Lloyd Chambers

Chambers helped organize NB HopSpiel, inspired by history. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

'We started off great'

The event was hosted by the New Brunswick Craft Brewers Association to celebrate the craft beer industry and the game of curling. A beer garden was set up next to the curling lanes.

Ken Morrison played with one of 12 teams at the event.

"We started off great. We had great camaraderie. We won our first game — and then the wheels started to come off," Morrison said with a laugh.

NB Hopspiel

Jared Blackmore, left, and Ken Morrison, right, say they had fun playing in NB HopSpiel. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

"There was some team tension," he said. "We got a few beer in us, and then one guy started arguing with the next and here we are — one and two."

The makeshift curling rink was set to close at dark, followed by a bonfire the public was welcome to attend.

The event is part of Fredericton's FROSTival, which runs for three weeks.