Brewing the Best times in the East
Fredericton / Brewing the Best Times in the East

Brewing the Best Times in the East

Benjamin Franklin once said that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  If that is the case, then Fredericton has plenty of reasons to be of good cheer!  With the highest concentration of breweries, meaderies and cideries in Atlantic Canada, this provincial capital is a craft alcohol lover’s dream.  Find your new favourite at one of the many tasting rooms around the city. 

The Picaroons Roundhouse

The granddaddy of the Atlantic brewing scene, Picaroons specializes in traditional English-style ales, with a twist of fun!  This historic site is perfectly situated along the walking trail on the north end of the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge.  Originally built in 1885 by B. Mooney & Sons. using bricks made at Boss Gibson’s brick yard, this building has been lovingly restored and now serves as both the brewery, and tasting room.  The Roundhouse is a friendly and casual wide-open space featuring long communal tables and hard surfaces overlooking the St. John River.

On top of the dedicated Picaroons taps, the Roundhouse offers one local guest tap, and one cider tap.  You can also find most other New Brunswick craft beer and ciders for sale in growlers, cans and bottles, including many that are not available at local liquor stores!



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Beer that best represents the brewery: Picaroons’ Best Bitter is the epitome of a English ale. 

RustiCo./King West Brewing 

One of Fredericton’s latest additions to the brewing scene, King West is RustiCo.’s in-house beer, crafted on-site by John Evans. Come for approachable offerings such as the pale, IPA, amber or stout, and stay for the wood oven-fired pizzas. The spacious bar at RustiCo. opens up to a patio where the citrusy hop aroma permeates the air as you people-watch and enjoy some authentic Mediterranean cuisine. And if you prefer your beer to go, King West offers affordable growler fills!

Beer that best represents the brewery: The King West APA has a pleasant amount of bitterness that balances well with the juicy hops to make one easy-drinking beer.



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Graystone Brewing

One of the area’s newest tasting rooms, Graystone Brewing first opened its doors on Canada Day in 2016. Known for brewing a wide variety of West Coast-style ales, this tasting room has quickly become a downtown favourite.

The building itself has a laid-back vibe that is family and dog-friendly, and features a warming fireplace in the winter and large, windowed garage doors that open to the patio in the summer.  Its 23 taps showcase 10-12 Graystone brews at any given time, as well as several local beer and ciders.  And if you find one you want to bring home, fill a growler or crowler of your favourite to go.

Graystone’s popularity in the capital city is undeniable, and they’re in the midst of a major expansion that will mean increased brewing capacity and canning potential, as well as a more prominent presence in the downtown core.

While there is no year-round on-site food service, you can find a food truck conveniently parked outside during the summer months for all of your snacking needs.

Beer that best represents the brewery: The delicious hint of citrus in the Patagonia Pale Ale is sure to please. 

Gahan House Riverside

Gahan House is a brewpub that’s part of Prince Edward Island Brewing Company’s chain across the Maritimes. The Gahan Riverside location in downtown Fredericton carries all the Gahan Brewing staples on tap or in bottles and cans to go, but they also brew their own specialty batches in-house of saisons, sours or double IPAs. Drop by to try a flight with fresh oysters or other pub fare. In the summer, their hidden patio out back is a great place to relax.

Beer that best represents the brewery: Any of the Gahan classics are worth trying, but you should ask your server about the latest specialty batch brewed in Fredericton.



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Grimross Brewery

Named for an island on the St. John River, Grimross Brewery sold its first beer on July 1, 2013, and opened a tasting room for its products a year and a half later in December 2014.

Although often described as Belgian because the yeast strains typically used are Belgian in origin, they prefer to describe their beer as an Atlantic Canadian-style beer, brewed with Belgian yeast.  The taproom is casual with an industrial look and feel, from the tables and stool to the finishes. Guests will feel welcome in the brewery, and an active participant in the tasting room experience. The 10 beers on tap vary, but feature both Grimross and guest taps, depending on how many Grimross varieties are in season. You will also find growlers, bottles and cans of Grimross product to go, and a variety of Grimross-branded merchandise.



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New Brunswick-made snacks, from cheese jerky and BBQ cheese curds, to oat cakes and potato chips, are all available to satisfy your need to nibble.  If you time it right, you can also catch a live music show

Beer that best represents the brewery: The Cheval D'or, a Belgian Farmhouse Saison, has been a Grimross staple since the beginning of the brewery.

Trailway Brewing

Named after it’s early brewing days along Fredericton’s popular walking trail, Trailway Brewing’s tasting room opened in May 2016, and has quickly become a Northside staple.  If you like hoppy, unfiltered American ales, you will want to find a place to relax, and try one beer from each of the nine taps of Trailway product on offer!

The tasting room’s clean, inviting atmosphere, and top-notch summer patio are also a great place to try some of Trailway’s fruit beers, stouts or sours that are produced when the brewers feel like changing things up.

In addition to being a hoppy heaven, the tasting room sells Trailway merchandise, growlers and cans of their own product, and occasionally hosts food trucks to deal with its customers cravings.

Trailway bought the Bowl-a-Drome, a pillar of northside Fredericton, in September 2018. The new owners plan to refurbish the bowling alley in 2019 under the abbreviated moniker “The Drome.” The Drome will offer the same great hazy, New England-style IPAs Trailway fans are thirsty for -- but with bowling! What’s not to love?

Beer that best represents the brewery:  Any of the hoppy beers. Hu Jon Hops is very popular with regulars

Maybee Brew

Opened in February 2016, Maybee Brew’s 10-barrel brewery has become an instant hit.  Although their beers don’t conform to any one particular style, among their favourites to brew are hoppy American Ales and Belgian beers.  The brewers also enjoy being inventive with their recipes to come up with new tastes and combinations, especially using local ingredients.

Maybee Brew boasts a large industrial-style tap room with a view of the production floor, so you can see them making your favourite drink while you enjoy it.  And for those sizzling summer days when a cold craft beer is perfect, Maybee also has a patio so you can enjoy the great outdoors.



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They host a number of events throughout the year, from a summer pig roast, Paint and Sips, Hopped Yoga and cask nights, to live music by local bands.  You can also buy lots of Maybee Brewing Company merchandise, and their beer to go in growlers or cans.

Beer that best represents the brewery: The Workhorse IPA is a popular choice for patrons in the know.


Chef explaining his magic as the Pig is being served up. #magic #pigroast #summer

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Mama’s Brew Pub

Long known as a popular place for casual pub dining and comfort food, Mama’s Pub started brewing their own beer in 2016 to complement their food fare and keep their patrons even more satisfied with their experience.

With five main brews, and three seasonals, Mama’s beers are known for the creativity in their flavouring. They pair perfectly with the wings that Mama’s has been famous for since they opened in 1992.

Mama’s hosts musical acts and other local shows on a regular basis, so there is always lots of fun to be had along with the terrific beer and food!

Beer that best represents the brewery: Give the East Coast Dry Hop a try with a pound of hot wings to tickle your taste buds. 

Red Rover Cider/The Ciderhouse

Red Rover Cider, started the day before Valentine’s Day in 2014 is the first ciderhouse in New Brunswick, and is a testament to true cider love!  When owners Adam Clawson and Nicola Mason first moved to New Brunswick, they couldn’t find any good locally-produced ciders and started making their own.  Their friends were enjoying what they produced so much that they realized that this was one sector that was unexplored in New Brunswick.  Hard to believe with so many apples available locally!

Red Rover’s crisp, fruity, and gluten-free cider is made using fresh-pressed apple juice from local farmers. Four of the cidery’s foundational styles (Spring, Summer, Fall and Fire) are available year-round, with many other unique varieties rotating on tap at the Ciderhouse, such as the Blood Moon cider made with blood oranges, or The Blues, their blueberry cider.  Their products are also available by the bottle, and for 1L flagon refills.



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The current location, in the old Gaiety Theatre downtown on Queen Street, opened in March 2016.  It is co-located with The Abbey, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant, and together they deliver a one-two punch to the tastebuds.

Cider that best represents the cidery: The refreshing Summer cider is the perfect antidote to a sweltering summer day in Fredericton. 

York County Cider

Started 25 years ago as a home brewing enterprise, York County Cider made the move to selling to the public in March 2016.  While not a tap room in the truest sense of the word, this relatively new entrant to the local craft alcohol scene does offer samplings of the six English-style dry ciders that they have on tap. Customers can also fill three sizes of growlers (64oz, 32oz and 750ml) and buy pre-bottled product. 

In December 2017 York County opened a retro-style tasting room on Main Street, called “Ed’s Garage and Taproom,” with vintage furniture, an impressive vinyl collection and an ever-expanding selection of English-style ciders to please every palate.

Cider that best represents the cidery: One of the most popular flavours is Ginger Snap, a ginger cider.  The summer seasonal Sour Puss, a lemon cider, is also very popular. 

Niche Brewing

Niche hasn’t been around long, but the Hanwell-based brewery has already made a name for itself in Fredericton and beyond. Since the tail end of 2017 the co-founders of Niche have been raising the bar for what beer can be, with styles ranging from grisettes to goses, from coffee stouts to brett table beers and milkshake IPAs. They don’t have a taproom, but you can order a pint of Niche at bars and restaurants across the province.

Beer that best represents the brewery: If you want to try the beer that best says Niche, we recommend Ethos, a pale-coloured saison with brettanomyces. It’s a funky, tart treat that showcases the brewers’ love of farmhouse ales.



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“Beer” outside city limits for :

Big Axe Brewing

Located 45 minutes from Fredericton, The Big Axe Brewing began as a bed & breakfast, followed quickly by the establishment of the brewery in 2013, and the opening of the tap room in 2014.  It is hugely popular with locals as well as people passing by on ATVs, boats and snowmobiles.  The nearby trail system, and a dock in the summer ensures easy access to the property.

You will often find retro vinyl records playing, and six taps of product, as well as mead and cider from local Fredericton producers. Most weekends, there is live entertainment, and the brewery also hosts several ticketed special events throughout the year.

They are also known as one of the more creative brewers in the area, and often add locally sourced and wild foraged ingredients to their beer, creating seasonal mushroom, sap, and berry beers. 

Beyond what you can consume on site, Big Axe offers growler and grunter refills as well.  Branded clothing and beer glasses, maple syrup, mead, and local leather crafts can also be found for sale at the tasting room.

First it was a bed and breakfast, then a brewery, and now Big Axe is also a wild west-themed saloon with a seemingly limitless calendar of events such as rollicking live music, comedy nights and interactive paint-and-sip evenings. As if all this weren’t enough, each July, Big Axe now hosts the largest outdoor beer festival in Atlantic Canada. You can ride the mechanical bull, hear some home-grown musical talent and of course, sample dozens of carefully crafted beers from various breweries.

Beer that best represents the brewery: How can you pick just one?  The White Birch Porter, Sumac & Partridgeberry Sour, or Shakespeare Chocolate Oatmeal Stout are all winning choices.



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Gagetown Distilling & Cidery

Located 45 minutes from Fredericton.

After 7 generations of apple farming running through the family, owners of Gagetown Distilling & Cidery’s trade took a turn towards the craft alcohol industry. They take great pride in crafting the spirit of New Brunswick, creating one small batch at a time. Their ciders, gin, moonshine and vodka are all made from fruit grown on their very own farm. Their aim is to put a modern twist on old ideas and create superior quality drinks.

Fredericton breweries – a walk & bike destination

To make your exploration of Fredericton’s craft beer scene even easier, several of these tasting rooms are conveniently located along Fredericton’s 115 kilometre trail system.  Combine a day of craft beer tasting with a picturesque walk or bike ride from one to the next! Many also feature bike racks, and are easily accessible.  What better way to cool down after a sunny day of exploring the city?

If exercise is not your thing, there are also a number of bus services available that go from one tasting room to the next.  No need to take your car at all, which means that you can do a thorough testing to find your new favourite flavor of Fredericton craft beer.  Bottoms up, and don’t forget to take some back home with you!