I’ll admit it. I’m a summer beer fan. On a hot night, give me a chilled glass, two fingers of foam—a smooth finish. Another round, barkeep, and keep it coming! But when it comes to craft beer, when we’re talking crisp mouth-feel or malty sweetness, I head for beer-loving New Brunswick. These folks know a Russian stout ain’t no burly guy from Moscow. Oh, and if you feel a lingering bitterness, it’s not the beer, it’s just closing time in New Brunswick.
Picaroons Brewing Company
They may not know poutine, but the British sure know beer. Picaroons Brewing Company brews traditional British-style ales. The microbrewery got the world’s attention for its Picaroons Ale, but things get even more interesting on the seasonal side. Tip back a Dooryard Organic Ale (dooryard is a “New Brunswickism” meaning backyard) for a citrus zest with a subtle hint of coriander. The mahogany-tinged and malty sweet Winter Warmer Strong Ale will leave your toes tingling in your boots.
Northampton Brewery Company
Northampton Brewery Company Ltd., the makers of Picaroons beer, is on tap for funding from the New Brunswick Growth Program, launched by Business New Brunswick to expand its operation. A new retail outlet is also set to open in Fredericton this year.
Pump House Brewery
Call it dessert beer: in Moncton, you can find a wheat beer flooded with 91 kg (200 lb) of raspberries. Pump House’s specialty brews and good old-fashioned ales and stouts keep winning awards. The Blueberry Ale pours golden-orange, but tastes of blueberries with a hint of pepper. And why shell out for single-malt Scotch when you can sip a Scotch Ale—mmmmm, toasted malt, nut and caramel—a smoky, gold-medal winner at the 2008 Canadian Brewing Awards.
Pump House co-owners Shaun Fraser, a former local fire department chief, and his wife Lilia, celebrate the brewery’s 10th anniversary this year.
Big Tide Brewing Company
Just opened in fall 2009 in Saint John, the Big Tide features the recipes of brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos, a former gold-medal winner at the World Beer Cup.