While it doesn’t have as many breweries as our home turf, New Brunswick’s brew scene is growing fast. Chart your course, pick your stops, and get set for brewery visits a plenty.
Grimdonk (Belgian blonde)
This isn’t a regular on the roster, but it appears enough that you’re likely to catch it during a brewery visit. Light and smooth, peppery and jam-packed with citrus, this is a delightful summer beer. The brewery itself is a great place to kick back. It features wooden power-line spools repurposed into tables and live music several days per week. Bonus points: Grimross often features guest taps from Graystone Brewing, Red Rover Cider, Fog Horn Brewing, and other locals.
Tide & Boar Brewing
Moncton’s only gastropub has had a great beer selection ever since opening in 2012. But last year owner Chad Steeves scaled up his home brewing to a brew-pub. This nano brewery favours juicy, hazy IPAs so hoppy that the aroma hits you before you touch the glass. Killington is no exception. The bitterness and citrus play well off each other, and the mild malts, to create a hophead’s dream beer. In addition to Steeve’s house beers, you’ll find some gems on tap and in bottles. Watch for Montreal powerhouses Dieu de ciel, and Trou du diable, alongside local favourites like Celtic Knot Brewing, Flying Boats Brewing, and Picaroons Traditional Ales.
Long Reach Strawberry Rhubarb
Big Tide Brewing
This sweet and sour brew is light on hops, but you won’t miss them with the light strawberry flavour, backed up by 50 lbs of local rhubarb. This subterranean brewhouse offers growler fills and a menu of pub grub, sandwiches, and an array of vegetarian options. Grab a seat near the bar and you catch some action through the window into the brewery while you sip.
Seaberry Sour (sour ale)
Big Axe Brewery
Pucker up for this ale made with New Brunswick sea buckthorn berries. These orange orbs are known for their sour and somewhat astringent taste, but they shine when paired with a sour beer. If sours aren’t your thing, this small brewery always features and array of beers on tap from cream ale to stout. In addition to offering a warm, wood-lined tap room and sunny front porch, there’s a three-room bed and breakfast upstairs. In true New Brunswick fashion, the brewery is accessible by boat, four-wheeler, and ski-doo.
John Galzer (pale ale)
This recent beer from the province’s most northern brewer is its first locally sourced brew. Many beer drinkers roll their eyes at a SMaSH (single malt, single hop) beer, but I love them. It’s an opportunity to appreciate what flavours and colours each ingredient brings to your glass. This beer is biscuity from the Quebec-grown pale malt, with a mild citrus flavour and slight bitterness from the Aroostook hops. The tap room is a large airy space dominated by the Great Table. Grab a seat, and some snacks, and give these Belgian-inspired beers a try. Brewery tours are available for a fee (call the brewery 24 hours in advance to book).