Who likes craft beer? I know it’s a silly question, we all do. Since my last visit in the summer of 2015 the Fredericton craft beer scene has blown up. Where before there was only one within city limits, now there are 5 and counting. They are spread out throughout the city but very easy to access by car or by bike. In fact, the best way to visit all the breweries is by bike. Fredericton has over 85 km of cycling and walking trails and they connect many of the breweries together. Is it any wonder I call my exploration of the craft beer scene the Fredericton Bike and Beer Trail. You can burn off a few calories in between beer flight tastings. Let’s go, a sip and cycle await us.
Just to show you how easy and accessible the breweries are to reach I have plotted their location out on a map for you. This is the unofficial Fredericton Bike and Beer Trail map. An official one would also include some of the great pubs and restaurants that serve local New Brunswick beer, cider and mead.
In alphabetical order here are the five breweries I visited.
Graystone Brewing 221 King Street – Located in the heart of the heart of downtown Fredericton Graystone Brewing is a very popular after-work hangout for locals. With two patios and a dedicated food truck on site, you can order a tasting flight or a pint, pair it with some tasty food and enjoy yourself. The taps change with the seasons and so chances are there will always be something new for you to try here.
During my visit, I sampled four brews. The Patagonia Pale Ale, Into the Woods Brown Ale, Single Track Pale Ale and their own housemade Radler. All fantastic but the Radler was the stand out for me. Perhaps because the temp was in the high 20º’s and it was both tasty and refreshing.
Grimross Brewing 600 Bishop Drive – Grimross Brewing is not new to the beer scene in New Brunswick. In fact, I visited Grimross on my previous visit two years ago. Things have only gotten busier and better for Stephen Dixon and his team. The tap room is expanding, Growler sales are growing and you can find Grimross beer on more and more restaurant menus throughout the province. It was a real treat to revisit tasting their Cheval D’or, one of my favourite New Brunswick beers.
Maybee Brew 559 Wilsey Rd #4 – Maybee Brew is located just off of the Vanier Highway (#7) and it is celebrating its 2nd anniversary in February 2018. We timed our visit in between 2 large groups of visitors so we had the tasting room to ourselves. We were also lucky enough to have a food truck parked outside to grab a bite from if we were hungry.
As for beer, there is plenty to sample. I started off with a tasting flight of four different brews. The taps are seasonal and rotate so what you try today may not be available during your next visit. In fact of these four that I tried, I believe only the Rye IPA is listed on their website. If they have the Tailwind Session on tap or in bottle grab it. It was my favourite.
Picaroons Roundhouse 912 Union Street – The grandfather of Fredericton craft brewers has opened it’s lasted tasting room at the historic Roundhouse on the banks of the Saint John River. It is an easy cycle or walk over the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge from downtown Fredericton to the Roundhouse. The complete line of Picaroon beer is available here including some light foods to snack on. The Dooryard Summer Wheat Ale is always a crowd pleaser and one of my favourites.
Trailway Brewing Co. 280 Main Street – A short cycle from Picaroons Roundhouse you will discover Trailway Brewing. The website is still under construction as of this writing however the tasting room is up and running. There is a lovely patio that overlooks the Saint John River and plenty of seasonal brews on tap.
A lovely spot to rest and recharge from your cycling adventure in Fredericton. Did I have a favourite beer? Of course, I did. Two, in fact, the Raspberry fruit beer and the Dunder, an Australian style Pale Ale.
A lot can happen in two years and that has been proven true with the Fredericton Bike and Beer Trail. I hope you get the chance to sample all these fine beers for yourself and share with me what your favourite is. I am fairly certain by the time I return to Fredericton a few more breweries may have opened and the Bike and Beer Trail may become officialcal attraction with plenty of stops along the way.
If you don’t have a bike but want to cycle the 85+ km of trails in Fredericton there are plenty of cycle rental shops in town plus at least one along the Saint John River trail itself. Hoppy trails!