Saint John N.B.

All posts tagged Saint John N.B.


Atlantic Canada continues to bring on the beer, as another new brewery is scheduled to open soon in New Brunswick! Shane Steeves, a longtime homebrewer, plans on opening his nanobrewery, named Hammond River Brewing, later this fall at his home in Quispamsis. We recently exchanged emails with Shane to get a little more information on what he has planned for his brewery in the near future…

ACBB: Tell me a little about your homebrewing history.

Shane Steeves: I’ve been homebrewing for approximately 23 years now. I switched over to all grain a few years ago and I haven’t looked back. I am also one of the brewers at Big Tide Brewing Co. in Saint John.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?

Basically, there were two things that made me take the leap into brewing professionally. The first was that I enjoy brewing immensely, and I feel great satisfaction tasting a great beer that I’ve made from scratch. The second thing is that I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from friends and family which has encouraged me to open my own brewery.

What steps have you taken so far getting everything up and running? Do you have any partners with the whole project?

So far, I have my Federal Brewing license and the vast majority of my equipment. I have also applied for my provincial license, and when the construction of my brewery is finished (which will be soon), that will be finalized as well. I am doing this solo and do not have any partners involved in my brewery.

What type of system will you be brewing on?

I’m brewing on an all-electric 1 bbl (31 U.S. gallons) HERMS system. I’ll be capable of brewing approximately 115 litres of beer with each batch. I have a 45 gallon boil kettle, 40 gallon hot liquor tank, 40 gallon mash tun, two 40 gallon conical fermenters, and a 37 gallon brite tank.


What are your plans for distribution? Any plans for growlers, bottling, etc.?

At first, I plan on dispensing my beer in 20 litre kegs only, and will be distributing them to a few pubs and restaurants in the Saint John and surrounding areas. My intention is to take it slow, so no immediate plans for bottling or growlers at this time.

Do you already have some beer bars/restaurants in the Saint John area lined up to serve your beers?

Yes, I currently have four local establishments that will be serving my beers on tap.  My initial launch will be at the Saint John Ale House, but Bourbon Quarter, The Barrel’s Head, and The Shiretown Publicans will also be serving my beers.
Can you tell me about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially? Are you planning on offering a specific style, or styles, of beer? Any seasonals, one-offs, or will you stick mainly with a “flagship lineup”?
As of now, my intention is to list four different beers with ANBL: an IPA, an American Pale Ale, a West Coast Style Red Ale, and an Extra Special Bitter. I do plan on offering seasonals as well; for example, a Vanilla Porter in the winter months and a Hawaiian Pale Ale in the summer.
Have you had any assistance from other breweries in Atlantic Canada?
Greg Nash [of Rockbottom and The Hart & Thistle in Halifax, NS] has been a very valuable source of information and assistance to me along the way.
With the recent increase in the number of new breweries in Atlantic Canada, what will make Hammond River Brewing different from the rest?
Hmmm, that’s a very good question.  There are so many fantastic breweries in Atlantic Canada right now.  What I will say is that I’m a hophead at heart, so I’ll be focusing mainly on West Coast style beers.
Where do you hope to see Hammond River Brewing in two to three years?
To be honest, I really haven’t put too much thought into where I see Hammond River Brewing in a few years.  My biggest goal is to not to grow too big, too fast.  Right now, I am just concentrating on making some fantastic craft beers for beer lovers in the Saint John and surrounding areas.  I’ll see where everything takes me in the future and take it from there.
Do you, personally, have a favorite beer style? Beer? Brewery?
While I generally like most styles of beer, I definitely gravitate towards West Coast style IPAs and APAs. I don’t think that I have a favorite brewery, as there are just so many out there now that are producing such great beers.
Do you have a specific ingredient in brewing that you like to brew with? E.g. a specific malt and/or hop variety?
Absolutely.  I’m a HUGE fan of Amarillo hops!  I just love the orange citrusy flavour and aroma that it brings to a nice APA or IPA.  Unfortunately, it’s not always an easy hop to get.
From whom have you learned the most in respect to brewing?
That’s another good question. I don’t think that I could single out any one person whom I’ve learned the most from. It was Kellye Robertson (current brewer at Garrison) that first got me into all grain, so I need to thank her for that. But I’ve also learned an extensive amount from others online at Brewnosers, and also speaking to other professionals like Greg Nash.
Is there something specific that got you into the world of craft beer?
I’d say that it was traveling to Europe for the first time that really got me involved in craft beers. It really opened my eyes (and taste buds) to some fantastic beers of all styles. And it’s been virtually all craft beers for me since that first trip to Europe.
We’re happy to welcome Hammond River Brewing to the fold of Atlantic Canadian Breweries, and wish Shane the best of luck in his endeavours! There are lots of beer geeks looking forward to when they can order his hoppy beers, so stay tuned to his Facebook site and this blog for further updates on Shane’s progress! Also, check out the Fundy Area Brewers page for more information on homebrewers in the Saint John area.


Uncorked Tours, based in Saint John, New Brunswick, normally offers winery tours and tastings in the province. On July 20th, however, they’re switching things up a bit, and moving into the world of craft beer! That Saturday, they will be hosting a casual beer-tasting river cruise. The tasting will take place on  the Voyageur II, an authentic Mississippi river boat, which will embark from the Saint John Marina at 1:30 pm. So far, confirmed participating breweries include Big Tide, Picaroons, Pump House, and Shiretown, with the possibility of one or two more being added soon.

Once the 3-hour tour commences, a bell will ring and the first beer will be introduced by Gilliane Nadeau of Uncorked Tours; guests can then get their samples at the bar.  After 20 minutes, the next beer will be introduced, and so on. Guests are free to explore the ship, enjoy the scenery, and hang out with their friends. Each guest is guaranteed 9 oz pours of  five different beers; additional drinks can also be purchased at the bar throughout the cruise. There will also be an assortment of snacks available. Representatives of each brewery will be on-board to chat about their beers and answer questions from the guests.

Tickets for the tasting are 75$, and can be purchased either by phone at 506-324-4644, by leaving your info on the “Contact” page at the Uncorked Tours website, or directly online through Paypal. There’s only a couple of weeks left, and tickets are going fast, so don’t wait to get yours!

Here’s a press release I’ve recently received related to a Moosehead Brewery cross country tour:

Moosehead Brewery Raises A Beer To All Things Made Well

First stop for Moosehead’s cross-Canada road trip – Saint John, New Brunswick

May 15, 2012 (Toronto, ON) – Moosehead Breweries Limited, Canada’s oldest and largest independent brewery, is excited to announce its home of Saint John, New Brunswick as the first stop of its Summer 2012 cross-country tour celebrating all things made well. On Tuesday, May 22nd both Andrew Oland, President of Moosehead Breweries Limited and the company’s brew master will be on hand to greet some very special guests at the brewery.

The To All Things Made Well tour is connecting a documentary film crew with Canadians who share the Moosehead passion and ethos for creating quality, well-made products. By sitting down over a beer and talking with craftspeople, Moosehead is showcasing why Canadians create and produce the best of the best, no matter what they choose to do. From food to sports to fashion to outdoor life to music, Moosehead plans to meet and share news about the personalities who help make this country great.

Consumers are invited to follow the tour at where the journey is documented daily. A series of mini-documentaries showcasing key stops along the way is released throughout Summer 2012, while an ongoing contest provides consumers with the chance to win some of the innovative products featured on the tour.

“Canadians love their beer, but they also have a strong appreciation for locally made products,” says Katie Kennedy, Director of Marketing for Moosehead Breweries. “This journey is Moosehead’s way to hit the road and celebrate the Canadians who share our passion, our independent drive and our appreciation for all things made well. What better place to launch the tour than our home.”

The Moosehead-branded Airstream RV travel is travelling coast-to-coast across the country continuing across Canada from Saint John across to British Columbia, to Toronto for the North by Northeast (NXNE) festival on June 11, 2012.

The journey is the kick-off for Moosehead’s new To All Things Made Well marketing and advertising platform designed by recently appointed creative agency-of-record Sid Lee. Elements of the campaign commenced in May in the form of a social media content strategy; digital, radio and television advertising; on-premise promotions; and extensive outreach via PR and blogger campaigns.

“There are so many reasons why this campaign is perfect for us,” says Kennedy. “Of course we want more Canadians to give Moosehead a try, but what we’re really trying to do is share the essence of who we are. By encouraging recognition of local Canadian talent we are connecting their craft with ours. We are delighted to first meet our own beer artisans in our backyard.”

A full list of To All Things Made Well journey stops and craftspeople will be posted throughout the tour at

About Moosehead Breweries Limited

Moosehead Breweries Limited traces its roots to 1867 and is the only Canadian-owned major brewery. The Saint John-based company is owned and managed by New Brunswick’s Oland family, whose members represent the fifth and sixth generation to operate the business. Moosehead Breweries Limited sells its beer throughout Canada,
the United States and in 17 other countries around the world. For more information on Moosehead Breweries Limited, please visit Follow the To All Things Made Well tour at