Exploring a city on foot is one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with it. There is also the added benefit of being able to stop and visit any of the small businesses and points of interest along your way that interest you.This may be my second time in Saint John, New Brunswick but I have signed myself up for a walking tour of Uptown Saint John with Gillian Nadeau and her company Uncorked Tours. They offer wine tours, beer tours and a combination walking tour of Uptown Saint John sharing why this city is nicknamed #SaintAwesome.
Our tour begins in the heart of Kings Square at the gazebo. It is easy to spot Gillian as she is holding up the rainbow coloured pinwheel.
The tour starts here with a brief history of Canada’s Oldest incorporated city. How it was founded, the significance of Kings Square and why it is still a popular place today.
From Kings Square, it is a short walk to our first stop at the Saint John City Market. Recognized as the oldest continuously operated farmer’s market in Canada. Our stop here is at North Market Seafood. Fish Monger Mike Lyon steps from behind the counter and shares with us some of the history of the market and of his business. Best of all he shares samples with us. If you love Salmon you are in for a treat as they have three Salmon products for you to try including their own cold smoked.
Saying goodbye to the market we take a small walk to Picaroons General Store. When I was last in Saint John the building was undergoing renovations and not open. Today the hard work has paid off.
Making our way to the bar we grab a chair and begin our beer sampling. I’ve enjoyed many beers from Picaroons so I am happy to jump in with a pint of. As part of the tour, we are able to enjoy a lovely meet and cheese board while we sample the beers.
Our next stop is the Buckland Merrifield Gallery. Here we are offered a glass of wine while we browse the gallery. Almost everything is made by local New Brunswick artists and includes pottery, jewellery, sculptures and paintings.
Big Tide Brewery is our next stop. On my previous visit to Saint John, I had enjoyed a great lunch here. This time around we are getting a full tasting flight of all the beers on tap. Definitely worth a return visit for a burger and a pint.
Our final stop of the Uncorked Tour is at the Saint John Ale House. A favourite place for locals and tourists alike to gather they offer a great selection of local craft beers. They also make a mean meat & cheese board which we happily devoured.
About three hours in length the tour is a great way to dip your toes into the local scene in Saint John and Gilliane is a passionate advocate and guide to the city. If there is a person who knows more about the history and personalities that make up #SaintAwesome I have yet to meet them.