Timber Ship Brewing is a small-batch brewery opening this week in Miramichi, New Brunswick. A passion project for four friends in the region, it is the culmination of many months of work that they are thrilled to share with the public. We met with the owners to learn more about their history, beer they are offering, and what they have planned for the future.
Who is Timber Ship Brewing?
The Timber Ship Brewing crew consists of 2 couples/friends/beer lovers, Darren and Gillian Row, Jeff and Erin Savage. It was during a 3 day canoe excursion that we decided to stop just talking about bringing craft beer to Miramichi and started seriously discussing plans about how to make this brewery a reality. Once we returned from the trip we began to move forward and never looked back. The four of us are all full-time professionals and are very goal oriented. We bring our individual strengths and valuable experience to the brewery.
What is the philosophy or ethos of Timber Ship?
The philosophy of our brewery is to keep things light and laid back, have fun and enjoy the experience. We want to make quality beer and share as much of it as we can with our community and hopefully make it a brand Miramichiers will come to love.
The name Timber Ship was chosen to highlight our ship building history and the role our precious timber played in developing our shores. We continue to take pride in our heritage as well as acknowledge the long journey our ancestors endured on large ships under harsh conditions for the chance of a new start.
Can you tell us about the beers you have available?
We currently brew four different styles of ales. There is a story behind all of our beer names, most of which give a piece of Miramcihi’s history.
Ballast Island Blonde 5.2% ABV, 20 IBU
Ballast stone was used to add weight and steady the large ships and was emptied prior to picking up our precious timber. As a result, ballast stone can be found all along Miramichi’s shoreline and in larger deposits as seen on Ballast Island which can be viewed while crossing the Centennial Bridge.
Ballast Island blonde is easy drinking and lightly hopped with a splash of Warrior and Willamette. It is light tasting for those looking for a refreshing pint or who are new to the craft beer scene.
Miramichi Irish Red 5.2% ABV, 25 IBU
Known as Canada’s Irish Capital we figured it only made sense for Miramichi to have a beer they can call their own. This Irish Red Ale combines the slight bitterness of roasted barely with the sweetness of several caramel malts. This beer is easy going and full of character, much like the community it represents.
Dungarvon Hopper IPA 6.0% ABV, 64 IBU
A lumber camp cook named Ryan was working in the Dungarvon River when he met his end at the hands of his foreman in a quarrel over his money belt. He was left in those woods and it is said that the bitter cook known as the Dungarvon Whoopper can still be heard whooping his discontent at night.
Much like the cook, the Dungarvon Hopper IPA has a bitter finish, balanced with Magnum, Citra and Cascade giving a citrus flavour and welcoming aroma.
Broken Paddle Pale Ale 5.3% ABV, 40 IBU
Named after the canoe paddle that broke 1 hour into our canoe trip, then mended secure with electrical tape, the Broken Paddle Pale Ale combines several malts resulting in a subtle toasted flavor and light colour. Moderately hopped, this beer is full of flavour with a slightly bitter but refreshing finish.
We have brewed a few other seasonal beers that we would love to introduce once we get things moving along.
Have you had any assistance from other breweries in the region?
We would like to compliment the craft beer community. It has been a truly amazing experience to this point. We have contacted several breweries in NB and NS who have supported us from the beginning. In the early stages we spoke to Danny McClair, from Annapolis Brewing, who helped us tremendously to get the ball rolling. We had a fantastic visit with Scott McLean at Think Brewing in Harvey, NB who was more than willing to answer all the questions we had. Patrice Daigle at O’Creek Brewing has been a great resource along the way as well. We realize we are a new, small brewery, but we are thrilled to say we are a part of this community.
Let’s get nerdy, what sort of brewing equipment are you using?
We are a 1 barrel system with 3 – 50 gallon Spike Brewing kettles and 2 SS Brewtech Unitanks. We plan on brewing as often as our system, or our beer, will allow and can’t rule out the thought of another fermenting vessel in the near future.
How can folks try your beer?
We have been in contact with several licensees on the river who are committed to having us on tap, which is quite exciting. Our plan for now is to brew and sell 20 L kegs to some of our local establishments for our community and local tourists to enjoy. Due to our capacity and location, we are not able to fill growlers at this time. We would love to see our brewery expand into something more…a larger system….a tap room….who knows? But for now, we are just going to put up our sails and see where the Timber Ship goes.
Congratulations to Darren, Gillian, Jeff, and Erin on their launch! You can grab a pint of their Dungarvon Hopper IPA very, very soon at the Piping Plover Gastropub on Pleasant Street in Miramichi (click that link for the latest news), and look for it to be available at more bars and restaurants in the region shortly thereafter. Keep an eye on Timber Ship’s Facebook and Instagram pages for updates on the release and availability schedule.