Raise your hand if you love craft beer. 🙋
Raise both hands if you’re also kind of a history buff. 🙌
We’ve got just the thing for you.
New Brunswick’s craft beer scene is on fire. The capital city of Fredericton now has the highest concentration of breweries, meaderies, and cideries in Atlantic Canada, and there are also a smattering of craft beer operations all over the province. Something we noticed while, uh, sampling the goods is that our brewers have a knack for naming beers after New Brunswick’s crazy, colourful past. Here are 6 of our favourites. Read up on the stories then try a pint at the spots listed below.
1. Bob LeBoeuf Belgian-style Blonde Ale, Brasseurs du Petit-Sault
When it comes to legend and lore, this guy’s got it in spades. A determined prospector from Edmundston, Bob LeBoeuf never gave up on his quest for precious metals in New Brunswick forests. Did he ever find them? The jury’s still out. But his legend lives on - the famous trails he forged through wild lands are still used today as part of the northern New Brunswick hiking network.
2. Simeon Jones River Valley Amber Ale, Picaroons Traditional Ales
A popular mayor of Saint John in the late 1800s, Simeon Jones was a politician moonlighting as a master brewer (or perhaps a master brewer moonlighting as a politician?). Either way, the beer won out. He went all in and made brewing his life’s work, making an indelible mark on New Brunswick’s burgeoning beer industry. The famous Moosehead Brewery in Saint John, which is Canada’s oldest independent brewery, even has roots back to the Simeon Jones Brewery.
Try this at... Picaroons General Store, 32 Canterbury Street, Saint John // Picaroons Roundhouse, 912 Union Street, Fredericton // Kings Head Inn at Kings Landing, 5804 Route 102, Prince William. Visit Simeon Jones’ childhood home while you’re there.
3. Lady Chaga Acadian Pale Ale, Fils du Roy Distillery
Okay, so Lady Chaga isn’t technically a person, but this ale is brewed with the famous chaga mushroom that grows on trees in New Brunswick’s Acadian forest, and that’s pretty cool. This fungus is known for its immense health benefits and healing powers, and has been a staple of Aboriginal diets for centuries. Who knew beer could be so healthy?
4. Picnic Train Witbier, Flying Boats Brewing
This brewery’s all about paying tribute to the historic transportation industry in southern New Brunswick. The picnic train used to bring day-trippers from the city of Moncton to coastal Pointe-du-Chêne beaches. How’s that for the heyday of travel? There’s no longer a train, but beach-seekers still make the short pilgrimage from Moncton each summer to the warm saltwater beaches of Shediac and Parlee Beach Provincial Park.
Try this at... Tide & Boar Gastropub, 700 Main St, Moncton
5. Benedict Arnold Extra-Special Bitter, Big Tide Brewing
It just so happens that one of the most infamous characters of the American Revolution spent a little downtime in the city of Saint John. Deemed traitor or hero - depending on which side of history you’re on - disgraced U.S. General Benedict Arnold found solace in the British colony of New Brunswick amongst like-minded loyalists. Founded by, and for, American refugees, the city is still known as Loyalist City today.
Try this at... Big Tide Brewing Co., 47 Princess St, Saint John.
6. Cartier’s Columbus Golden IPA, Shiretown Beer
This clever play on words gives a nod to early European explorers who first stepped foot on North American soil. Brewed with Columbus hops, this IPA pays homage to French explorer Jacques Cartier who famously named Baie des Chaleurs (Bay of Warmth) when he first arrived during a July heat wave. Five centuries later, Shiretown brewery is crafting one-of-a-kind beers on the banks of this very bay.
Try this at... Shiretown Beer, 363 Chaleur St., River Charlo
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