Popular Craft Breweries of New Brunswick

The province of New Brunswick which lies in the Eastern Seaboard of the North American Continent is home to Canada’s most dynamic landscape. Right from long stretches of coastline that afford gorgeous beaches with sparkling waters and abundant natural vegetation to small, quaint Acadian towns that are utterly rich in culture, New Brunswick is a place that can promise tourists a multitude of activities and events to help spend their vacations in the best ways possible and thereby, create amazing memories that can last a long time.

Being the lesser-known of its counterparts that comprise the Maritime Provinces, New Brunswick is nonetheless, renowned for its cuisine that comprises of Traditional Acadian Fares and not to mention, the many Craft and Microbreweries of New Brunswick that bestow it with the well-deserved title of being one of the top destinations for beer enthusiasts from all over the world. This attribute is what makes New Brunswick the best place to go to if one wants to just kick back and relax with appetizing food and drinks to go with it. Amongst all of New Brunswick’s cities, Fredericton stands tallest when it comes to this form of enjoyment with its close-knit circuits of Bars and Microbreweries that distill and serve a wide variety of spirits and Craft Beer to their patrons. So to all the Craft Beer fans out there, here is a list of all the excellent Bars and Microbreweries that make New Brunswick the best in the business along the entire East Coast.   

1. Niche Brewing, Hanwell, New Brunswick

The brainchild of Shawn Meek and Rob Coombs, Niche Brewing is a relatively new addition to the Beer community in New Brunswick. But do not let that fact fool you because in the years since it opened its doors to patrons, Niche Brewing has earned a spot among the top Breweries of New Brunswick. Inspired by the varieties of beer Meek had the pleasure of tasting on his trip to Belgium, he decided to bring some of the amazing types of beer home to New Brunswick through the process of Homebrewing. The best of their beer is produced through experimentation and some of their best sellers include:

  1. Single Origin: This is a very well balanced Stout beer with added lactose powder that helps enhance the sweetness. The special thing about it is the use of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans that provide the alluring coffee aroma and just the right bit of a chocolatey taste to tingle your senses.
  2. Mines of Wallonia: Taking inspiration from the miners of the Wallonia region in Belgium whose go-to drink was Grisette, The Mines of Wallonia is their interpretation of the above-mentioned Grisette which is brewed with malted wheat. It is a Low-ABV beer that has a very inviting wine-like Aroma due to the addition of measured amounts of Hallertau Blanc. This provides the tropical taste and is known to be Refreshing as well.
  3. Evolution: This is a Farmhouse beer that has very inviting fruity undertones to it. It is a barrel-aged brew and is one of the best-liked beers that Niche Brewing has developed the formula for.

These are only a few of the multiple other house favourites. Drop in and grab a pint to figure out which one of their special brews is to your liking.

2. Moosehead Breweries, Saint John, New Brunswick

One of the oldest known establishments that serve ale in New Brunswick, Moosehead Breweries is proud to let its patrons know about its rich history through the evolution of its brews. Founded in the year 1867 by a woman, this brewery has survived wars, multiple disasters, competition with breweries twice its size and time, still managing to remain within the family that first founded it, the Oland family. This incidentally makes it the only Brewery in the whole of Canada that is still owned and run by natives. Reputed as one of the biggest beer distribution companies in the North American Continent, They are currently shipping to over 300 distributors in the USA. Some of the favorites include:

  • Moosehead Lager: This is their trademark beer which has a fine balance of sweetness owing to the malt and the hop bitterness. It is a light beer that is brewed for a relatively long time to deepen its flavor and is Highly Refreshing
  • Pale Ale: This is one of the first beers that the company brewed which was also referred to as Moose Red. With its rich European influenced taste, This is the beer that set the foundation for this 148-year-old Brewery.
  • Cracked Canoe: The Cracked Canoe is their take on a full bodied American Light Lager. The highlight of this beer is the low calorie intake per bottle which makes it a popular choice among the people. 

 To try more of what Moosehead Breweries has to offer, pay this historical brewery a visit and partake of their brews. Their Instagram page is: https://instagram.com/moosehead?igshid=7mzuberq9043

3. Picaroons Brewing Company

Picaroons Traditional Ales are a Brewing Company that operates out of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Operations started in the year 1995 and since then, The Company produces several seasonal British-Style ales that are brewed using their trademark ingredients,Malted Barley and Hops, both imported from England, Yeast and Water. The company distributes to taverns and bars of New Brunswick that sell the delectable ale. Some of the popular choices are:

  • Best Bitter: This beer is a classic English bitter beer with hints of coffee and nutmeg and a slight bitterness in the aftertaste that complements the experience.
  • Dooryard Summer Ale: This refreshing, citrusy beer has undertones of spice to it that add to the flavor delicately. It is brewed using three white beer styles and falls into the category of American Pale Ale.
  • Winter Warmer: This is the beer you want to pick if you’re looking to warm yourself up in the Winters. The strong flavor is oaky and is their interpretation of the British Barley Wine. 

Visit the nearest tavern in New Brunswick to get a taste of the famed Picaroons Ale.

4. York County Cider

York County Cider is one of the more recent additions to the Brewery scene in York County, New Brunswick, having been formally started in March of 2016. It was established by an Englishman who moved from Yorkshire, England to Ontario, Canada and It was here that he discovered his passion for Cider and Later, with his family, set up one of the most successful Cider Breweries in New Brunswick. Here are a few traditional Cider beverages you do not wanna miss from this Brewery:

  • Strawberry Lime 
  • In The Beginning
  • An Apple a Day

The highlight of this brewery is the fact that they infuse Fredericton hops into their traditional brews. These Ciders are made using Traditional Methods and give rise to non Traditional fruity Ciders that are similar to ale.

5. Sussex Ale Works

 Established by Rick Lockhard, Sussex Ale works is a Brewpub that operates based on the way life ran in old Sussex. The ambiance and overall atmosphere of the place are very inviting and conducive for people wishing to have a merry time and flowing conversation. The beer they serve does not disappoint either owing to the hard work that the owner Rick Lockhard puts into his brews in order to get the best flavor and aroma. The best part about this Brewpub is that the ale is brewed on-site and served. Here are a few must-try beers that they produce:

  1. Hop To It! IPA: This is an American Ipa beer with an ABV of around 6.5% and is one of the most popular choices among patrons due to its balanced malt to hop bitterness ratio and good taste.
  2. Picadilly Pale Ale: This is their interpretation of an American Pale Ale and it’s a favourite as well.
  3. Bean Head Milk Stout: This is one of their sweet beers that falls under the category of Stout Beer.

6. Grimross Brewing

Named for the Grimross Island where the founder’s family spent a lot of time and made amazing memories, This Brewery aims to recreate that same feeling of joy in its patrons through its quality Brews. Operating out of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Grimross Brewing distributes traditional Maritime ale to a large number of taverns and pubs throughout New Brunswick. Their philosophy is to explore and create. Most of the ingredients they use to brew their beer are locally produced and sourced so as to ensure the best quality. They use methods that are traditionally adopted in Belgian beer brewing. This gives the authentic flavour so many of this Brewery’s patrons enjoy. Some of their best beers include:

  1. Maritime Pale Ale: This is their take on the hoppy West Coast Pale Ale. Suitable for all occasions, this beer has citrusy undertones and is dry hopped.
  2. Cheval D’Or: A very unique ale that has a flavourful blend of citrus, pepper and Bubblegum, This is the beer that pushed them to the Forefront of the Brewing scene in New Brunswick. Brewed in traditional Belgian fashion, this is a beverage that simply HAS to be experienced.
  3. Braunschweig German Pilsner: Named for the German city, Braunschweig which translates to Brunswick in English, this Pilsner merges European and English traditions to bring forth a beer that is suited for all occasions.

Drop in to your nearest pub to grab your own Grimross Brew.

7. The James Joyce Pub

The 36 taps of this New Brunswick Meadery serve some of the best Craft Beer and Cider that Fredericton has to offer. With its amazingly wide variety of beers and ales to pick from, it can be termed aa a Beer Pilgrimage of sorts as described by the company itself.They also boast a Wholly local food menu with traditional New Brunswick fares which are also cooked using locally cultivated and sourced ingredients. Some of its most popular beers include:

  • Wild Goose- Stout American IPA beer.
  • Foctrot 33- A White IPA Beer that was formerly known as Pretty Fly.
  • Chockpish- A variety of Pilsner

You can find more information on their website: https://thejoycepub.com/

8. Fredericton Craft Beer Festival

In the month of March every year, the City of Fredericton hosts its very own hugely successful Beer festival which attracts both natives and tourists from far and wide. Considered as one of the most awaited events in all of the Maritimes, This beer festival hosted by Lloyd Chambers is a treat for beer lovers all over. It features events like the Fredericton Beer Run, and Fredericton Cider festival which are only a few of many others. Tourists who wish to take part in this festival can visit New Brunswick around the Month of March to be able to savour and appreciate all that the Beer Community of the Maritimes has to offer. 

Other beer festivals that bring the Public and Brewing community of New Brunswick together include the Atlantic Beer Fest in Moncton, the Saint John Annual Beerfest and the Big Axe Beerfest in Nackawic. This brings master Brewers together to share brewing techniques and secrets in order to further improve their brews. Here are a few links to Instagram posts featuring The festivals:

9. Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault

This is an award winning microbrewery located in Edmundston, New Brunswick. They produce beers that are a very smooth blend of Traditional Belgian flavours and Madawaska taste. This Brewery produces Beers that are bold and crisp. An aspect of this Microbrewery that may appeal to tourists is the many events they host throughout the year. They also operate a Brewtique and tasting room where one can sample their brews to pick a favourite. Some of the beer they have on tap include:

  • La Kedgewick Pilsner: This award winning beer is available for sampling and purchase at the Brewtique.
  • Louis XVII Amber Ale
  • Snap Dickie Cream Ale

10. Four Rivers Brewing Co.

This family-owned Brewing company is named for the four rivers, namely-Nepisiguit, Tetagouche, Little and Middle that all meet at the Bathurst Harbour. They produce refreshing  American Style ales in a 15 Barrel facility. The Four Rivers company houses a tsp room that also presents a view of the area where the brewing happens. They allow private tours of the Brewery and host functions upon request of the patrons. Here are a few of their brews that are popular year-round:

  • Nor’Easter: This is a Perfect American Pale Ale that beautifully balances the malty sweetness and the bitterness from the Hop. It has fruity undertones that hint at Mangoes and Passion Fruit and this contributes to its inviting aroma
  • Rockbolter: This Pitch-black beer is one of the most popular with its fruity aroma and taste that hints at Coffee, Chocolate and Citrus brought out by the malt. 
  • Timbership: This is an American Stout beer that gets its smooth texture and sweetness from the Lactose sugar used while brewing it. It has undertones of Chocolate and Coffee as well as a rich texture that sets it apart from the rest. 

Pop into this Brewery to be able to tell for yourself which of their beers you like best.

These are just a few of the many Breweries and Brewpubs that dot the lands of New Brunswick. Visit this Scenic Land to partake of the amazing cuisine and Beer Community here. Do let us know which Brewery/Brewpub you would like to visit first and which of their brews tickled your fancy! 

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