Atlantic Canadians’ love of beer is well known to all inhabitants of the continent.
They enjoy a well brewed beers and lots of it. Up to recently, they had to contend with what was offered by Labatt’s and Molson’s.
Nova Scotia’s Moosehead Breweries is the largest independent brewery and used to export more to the U. S. A than other provinces in Canada, due to strict regulations in each jurisdiction.
Today, the 2.5 million inhabitants of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland have one other thing (beside cultural and historical heritage) – an unprecedented interest in all things, beer – specifically microbreweries and brewpubs.
A relatively new brewery (founded in 1997), Maritime Beer Co. in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia turns out 80,000 hectolitres (one hectolitre=100 litres= 26.4 U S Gallons) and calls itself a regional specialty brewery catering to all the beer aficionados of Atlantic Provinces. The brewery markets all malt six beers (Atlantic Storm, I P A, Privateers Classic Ale, Halifax 1749 Stone Fired Ale, Kings Honey Amber Ale, Frosted Frog and Black pearl Cream Ale.
This ultra-modern brewery turns our well-hopped, flavourful and superbly conditioned beers. In a few short years of its existence the Maritime Beer Co captured four percent of the Atlantic market. This, for a relatively small brewery is a huge success. As of yet, the management does not have plans to distribute to the rest of the country, or export to the U. S. A.
Canada has approximately 140 craft breweries (54 microbreweries, 73 brewpubs and 13 regional specialty breweries of which a dozen are located in the Maritime Provinces. This number is growing every year, and chances are by 2011, there will be close to 220.
Anchor Ales microbrewery in Miramichi, New Brunswick is small but well known for its deeply flavoured ales. Unfortunately, they are only locally available due to physical limitations of the brewery.
John Shippley’s Brewpub in Halifax opened in 2000 and does very well with locals and university students.
The Granite Brewery and Brewpub in Halifax in an institution that was started by Kevin Keefe, and is credited to have pioneered the brewpub concept in Canada.
Unfortunately, the Granite Brewpub in Toronto had to close due to excessive overhead costs.
Rogue’s Roost Ale House in Halifax opened in 1998. This 100 seat (plus 60 seat outdoor patio) is a trendy watering hole for locals and tourists alike.
They brew five steam-fired beers including a German-style wheat beer with an aroma of bananas, citrus and cloves. Rogue’s amber is the most popular because of its lighter body and smooth texture.
The new Garrison Brewing Co. of Halifax is famous for a Halifax businessman who registered the name of Titanic Brewing Co. but had no brewery.
Newfoundlanders have always been great beer consumers. And when Quidi Vidi Brewing Co in St John’s opened its doors (1996) people were already lined up to try the new product.
Since then every year production, projections have been surpassed. Presently the capacity is 20,000 hectolitres, which, considering the initial output of 3000 hectolitres this is a remarkable growth in only seven years.
Quidi Vidi brews five beers, all of which are distributed to the 460 restaurants and pubs in major cities of the province.
Freshwater Brewing Co. is only six years old (1997), but already well known amongst St John’s pub goers. Brewer/owner Murray brews Baccalien Light, Killick Ale, Kyle Mild Ale, and Quintal Stout, available throughout the province in liquor control board stores.
The Duke of Duckworth in St John’s was Newfoundland’s first brewpub, and to this day brews small batches of Dukesown (160 litres) for its guests exclusively.
Fog City Brewing Co., St John’s, is considerably bigger than the Duke of Duckworth, and brews four draught beers: Battery Brown Ale, Caboit’s Red Ale, Merchant’s Wheat Ale and Fog City Classic. All are well received by the regulars of this restaurant cum pub.
Picaroon’s Brewing Co. in Fredericton was established in 1995 and brews four flavourful beers, including Crooked Log Blonde Ale, Timber Hog Stout. Pircaroon’s operates a taproom adjacent to the brewery, frequented by local beer aficionados.
Moosehead Breweries happens to be more famous in the U S A than in Canada.
For a long time this St. John (New Brunswick) brewery sold its brews regionally and exported to the U. S. A, but not Ontario.
Recently, Moosehead was made available to Ontario beer lovers.
St. John is also home to the Tapps Brewpub and Steakhouse, producing bitter and IPA. The Queen Molly, a 300 seat bar and restaurant, in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia is famous for its Lloyd’s Golden Wheat Ale. Founded in 1997, this small pub brewery aims to please its in-house clientele.
Kentville in the Annapolis Valley is home to Paddy’s Pub and Brewery where Randy Lawrence produces seven brands and one seasonal brew. All are well brewed, but only locally available.
Danny Langille opened Nova Scotia’s newest microbrewery in 1998, in Pictou, which is more famous for its seafood fleet than beer. Langille aims to change this perception.
Lone Star Café and Brewery in Charlottetown, P E I, is the only brewery in the province, the smallest of all in Canada. Although the population is less than 150,000, the average per capita beer consumption far exceeds the national average of 66 litres.
Lone Star’s Iron horse Brown Ale. Long Horn Red Ale and Sierra Golden Pale constitute Lone Star’s full line of brews.