The craft beer craze is blowing up in Canada and Saint John, New Brunswick is no different. When I last visited Canada’s oldest incorporated city in 2015 the only place to enjoy locally made craft beer was at Big Tide Brewing. I am happy to say that is not the case today. In fact, three microbreweries have opened up within the town of Rothesay just outside of Saint John proper. Easy to get to and relatively close together you can create your own Saint John Craft Beer tour and sample all the brews in one day or spread them out over a few days and enjoy them at your own pace. Either way, I’m excited to sample what’s been brewing in Saint John since I was last here. Shall we HOP to it?
Foghorn Brewing Company 47 Clark Rd, Rothesay – The first brewery I visit is Foghorn Brewing. Located off to the side of a strip mall there is plenty of parking. Of the three taprooms that I visit on this trip, Foghorn is right smack in the middle based on size. There are a few tables inside where you can saddle up, order a pint and relax. In the Summer months, they have a patio deck for you to enjoy as well.
At the time of my visit, five different beers were on tap including the Etsy Special Bitter and the Constable Winchester IPA. All beers were 4.5% ABV or higher. They do Growler fills here and also service many restaurants throughout the city so if you like it here you’ll probably be able to find it on a Tap in town. My favourite was the Golden Grover, a golden Ale that went down pretty easy.
Hammond River Brewing Company 141 Hampton Rd, Rothesay – It is hard to miss Hammond River Brewing when you drive by. Look for the huge tank and Peddlers Creek BBQ Steakhouse. Brewing for over four years it has just been within the last year that they have been brewing out of their new location. The largest tap room that I visited, Hammond River is a place that can handle a big crowd.
They brew unfiltered beer and had quite a few interesting fruit beers available for me to sample including a Blood Orange Hefeweizen and a Blueberry Ale. I loved them both. The Blood Orange was my personal favourite. What do you think will be yours?
Long Bay Brewing 82 Marr Rd, Rothesay – The smallest and easiest brewery to miss on my Saint John Craft Beer tour is Long Bay Brewing. Easy to miss because it is located in the middle of a strip mall. It also has the smallest taproom of the three breweries on this visit.
Size isn’t everything though when it comes to microbreweries and Long Bay Brewery proves the point. Growler fills and servicing restaurant accounts is the main use of the tap room however they do offer a few samples for you to try. My friend and I sampled the Bantam APA and the Chalice Belgian Ale which were both good but the real fun tasting came when we tried the Berliner Weisse. You can sample the Berliner Weisse on its own or with your choice of flavour which they add directly to it. Flavours are Woodruff and Raspberry. I’m not sure I can do they experience justice, so I will just say you HAVE to try them to understand. Amazing.
All three microbreweries offer something unique and I’m thrilled I was able to visit them. Of course, if you can’t make it out to Rothesay for your own Saint John Craft Beer tour you can still samples some good New Brunswick beer in the local pubs. Check out Big Tide Brewing, Picaroons General Store and Saint John Ale House.