Local Brew Lover Itinerary
With more than 50 breweries to discover, the Maritimes is a “hoppy” place to visit. Visitors and locals alike can grab a brew of every style, from classic IPAs and stellar stouts to Belgian beers and experimental brews. Each creation you’ll try is a unique experience influenced by the region you’re visiting and the personality of the brewer.
South Shore, Nova Scotia
You’ve arrived in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and we bet you could use a beer, so let’s not waste any time. The first stop is not far from the port: Rudder’s Brew Pub. Rudder’s Brew Pub is southwest Nova Scotia’s only microbrewery and brewpub and the perfect place to sip a local craft beer while you enjoy fresh seafood.
Next, in the small seaside towns of the South Shore of Nova Scotia, you’ll find four breweries, Boxing Rock Brewing in Shelburne, Hell Bay Brewing Company in Liverpool, Firkinstein Brewing in Bridgewater and Saltbox Brewery in Mahone Bay. Stop into any of these breweries and see what they can do with water, grain, hops, and a little creativity. Take a tour, enjoy a tasting, or pick up a growler for later.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Once you’re in the downtown Halifax area you’ll have plenty of breweries and brew pubs to choose from. In case you don’t have time to experience them all, here are three unique, must-see spots to grab a cold brew. First, head to Garrison Brewing Company for an Irish Red. Garrison is a located on the waterfront, across from Pier 21 Immigration Museum and the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market, and it’s one of Halifax’s original microbreweries. Garrison’s offers beer tasting, tours and purchase options.
Next, head to Halifax’s North End for a Samsquamptch! Smoked Ale at Good Robot Brewing Company, famous for making craft brews that are experimental, untrue to style, and a little eccentric compared to most craft brews.
Your final destination in the Halifax area is Nine Locks Brewing Co. located across the harbour in Dartmouth. They are considered the new kid on the block, but they’ve become the talk of the beer town with the release of their Dirty Blonde brew.
It’s time to continue north! Your next stop is in Lyon’s Brook at Uncle Leo’s Brewery. Located only a few kilometres outside the town of Pictou, Uncle Leo’s Brewery produces fine ale in the traditional style of craft breweries. It’s also one of a few breweries that make their beer from fresh well water.
Prince Edward Island
It’s now time to head to Prince Edward Island, the home of Anne of Green Gables, red-sand beaches and of course, great microbreweries. ‘Hop’ aboard Northumberland Ferries to Wood Islands for a ‘grain’ time!
After a short drive north, you’ll arrive in the provincial capital of Charlottetown. Charlottetown is a vivacious seaside city with historic charm. It is also the home of your first Prince Edward Island stop, The Gahan House. The Gahan House is the Island’s most well-known microbrewery and brewpub. They offer full tours of their brewery and explanation of their brewing process, but if you’d rather sit and relax, they offer plenty of seafood options. Grab a refreshing Beach Chair Lager and enjoy!
After The Gahan House, head to Rose Valley to check out Barnone Brewing and Hop Farm, a father-and-son team who have put a twist on modern farming by turning their traditional farm into a hop farm and craft brewing operation.
Your first stop on the New Brunswick portion of the maritime ale trail should be Pump House Brewery in Moncton. Pump House is one of the province’s most established breweries, and for good reason. These brewmasters make everything from IPAs and premium pilsners to blueberry ales and seasonal brews.
Your next stop is in the port city of Saint John, a small city with bold personality and even bolder craft beers. Head to Big Tide Brewing Company, Saint John’s only brew pub and restaurant. With a reputation of brewing brilliant hand-crafted, all-natural ales and lagers, it’s the perfect place to stop for a pint of Seaworthy IPA or Sandpiper Pilsner and a bite to eat!
Back to Nova Scotia
From Saint John, take The Fundy Rose ferry back to Nova Scotia. Once you’ve arrived in Digby, head to Smith’s Cove for your final stop at Lazy Bear Brewing. This is the newest edition to Nova Scotia’s collection of breweries. Be among the first to try their assortment of locally crafted brews, made with hops grown in their “tiny hop yard” with locally-sourced rhizomes from Bramble Hill Farms. Big things are happening at this small shop!