Lots of people will agree that fall is the best time of year to be in New Brunswick. The brilliant colours of the leaves lighting up the highway always puts a smile on your face. Throw in crisp temperatures, your favourite seasonal vegetables and great craft beer and cider, and you’ve got yourself something close to paradise.
If you’re looking to make the most of fall and enjoy tasty, local craft beer and cider while you do it, Fredericton is your best urban destination for a day trip. Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, make a full weekend of it. Fredericton is a small yet vibrant city, but for craft brew connoisseurs it feels much bigger, with more breweries per capita than any other city in Canada and as the home of the Fredericton Taproom Trail. You can pick up a passport at participating taprooms on the #FredTapTrail and have it stamped at each location for a chance at prizes and a really cool keepsake.
Cooler still, the city of Fredericton brewed up a way for you to spread the financial love across all the breweries on the #FredTapTrail: Brew Bucks. It’s a currency that you can purchase AND spend at any of the participating taprooms on the trail. It makes a great gift for the craft lover in your life – after all, it’s like a gift card you can spend in more than one place, and every location is local!
Numerous breweries in downtown Fredericton are within walking distance of each other. You can take your pick, or even try them all in between stops at Unplugged: A Board Game Café, the local shops, and a stroll on the riverfront trail.
King West Brewing at 304 King Street: Housed in Rustico Restaurant, which makes terrific wood-fired pizza.
Gahan Riverside at 426 Queen Street: Gahan is a product of the PEI Brewing Company, but they’ve been steadily expanding throughout Atlantic Canada. They’re serving pub fare in addition to their much-loved beer, including a unique house brew, in a heritage building in the heart of the capital’s famous Garrison District.
Graystone Brewing at 221 King Street: Graystone is the product of an adventurer. It’s fittingly close to The Radical Edge, an outdoor sports supplier. Their Taphouse is also one of the most popular after-work watering holes in the city, with a welcoming fireplace, a cool patio, and their newly expanded, enclosed “Seacan.”
Fredericton’s Northside has plenty to offer craft beer lovers. This day trip is a little too spread out to do on foot, so take a cab or please make sure whoever is behind the wheel is sampling responsibly!
Picaroons Roundhouse at 912 Union Street: When in Fredericton you have to visit one of New Brunswick’s pioneering breweries, Picaroons. What started as a small brewtique in downtown Fredericton, has since moved to the Roundhouse, a repurposed 1885 railway roundhouse, designed by award-winning Acre Architects. They serve food from the highly regarded 540 North (run by the same folks who make delicious meals at 540 Kitchen & Bar downtown) on top of their (mostly) British style ales. The Roundhouse is also a public space, used for seasonal markets, meetings and other events.
The Drome by Trailway at 301 Main Street: Get in a friendly string, or two, of candlepin bowling by booking a lane at The Drome. To keep you refreshed, they serve Trailway Brewing’s hoppy and famously hazy American-style ales. They also have some light snacks. Note: you can also visit Trailway Brewing Company’s own taproom and deck which is close by at 280 Main Street.
Mama’s Brew Pub at 500 Brookside Drive: If you need a meal to keep you going after a turn on the bowling lanes, stop in at Mama’s Brew Pub, a friendly local pub. They’ve got burgers galore and even more types of local beer to wash them down.
Ed’s Garage and Taproom at 38 Main Street: If you’ve got a cider lover in the car, they might appreciate a stop at the home of York County Cider. They also sell local beer and have a great deck. Pub food is available right next door at PJ’s Wings An Things.
This day trip will pair well with anyone who likes a shopping spree – uptown Fredericton is home to plenty of retailers. Again, it’s important to plan for this one since you’ll need a taxi or a designated driver to taste responsibly!
Maybee Brewing at 559 Wilsey Road: Maybee Brewing features a large tap room and patio where you can sit down and enjoy a pint or two, or a flight, with a view of the production floor. There’s nothing like watching a functioning urban brewery to work up a thirst for great beer! Except “maybee” soaking up the sun on the patio…
Grimross Brewing Co.at 600 Bishop Drive: The taproom at Grimross has something for everyone – Belgian inspired classics, sours, pale ales, pilsners and everything in between. Bring in your lunch and grab a brew, and watch for their regular music events.