Nova Scotia, plus a little NB, PEI and Quebec

Discussion in 'Canada' started by tobelerone, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,318) Dec 1, 2010 New York

    Super last minute trip came together in the past two days and I've tried to study up on the forums here as best I can with limited time. ANY guidance at all would be appreciated regarding the following:

    One day in QC - staying in Old Quebec. I plan to hit Le Duchess and maybe Le Projet but my time is limited and I'll be with wife and baby. Any can't miss spots aside from those to grab bottles or maybe have a drink (ideally outdoor seating). I'm not going to be able to get far afield.

    I have two days in PEI. Top choices for beer to-go and breweries to visit?

    I'll then be on Cape Breton Island for most of a week and plan to hit Big Spruce one day. Any other worthy spots? I'm coming on the ferry and driving from Caribou to Margaree Harbour - it appears one of the state stores will be my best bet on the way to buy bottles and cans, unless I'm mistaken. Most likely I won't get close to Halifax at all on this trip. I may pass through Tagamouche on the way back but's that's TBD.

    Finally excuse my ignorance - who are the top Canadians brewers I should be looking for on shelves, particularly for fresh and hoppy stuff? Of course I know Dieu du Ciel and others that make it to the states but any tips on the more local, smaller brewers seeing distribution would be a huge help.

    Thanks in advance for any last minute tips! Even a great food store or restaurant would be helpful. This is completely out of character for me to be so unprepared!
  2. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Poo-Bah (1,766) Mar 7, 2013 Quebec (Canada)

    DDC Moralité and Ultra Mosaika are good (and I don't think they're common in the states). UM just got released recently so it should be easy to find. Le Castor Yakima, Les Trois Mousquetaires' IPA and Ta Meilleure from Lagabière are all solid and pretty easy to find hoppy beers as well. Just check the dates.

    As for other beers, keep an eye peeled for Dunham (really good saisons/wild stuff), Beau's (lagers) and the Quebec beers on the Canada top 250 (most are fairly available).

    L'Axe du malt is a good store for bottles and is reasonably close to the old city.
    #2 TheDoctor, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    tobelerone likes this.
  3. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Crusader (770) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    I doubt you’ll be through Fredricton, but I believe Trailway is sold at the government liquor monopoly in New Brunswick. Great IPAs.
    tobelerone likes this.
  4. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,318) Dec 1, 2010 New York

    Thanks for the tip! I'll be in Fredricton but in the dead of night as we pull an all night drive from QC to PEI. I'll keep an eye out at the gov store.
  5. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Crusader (770) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    Right. I need to refresh myself on East Coast geography...

    You likely won't be detouring through St. John. If you do, I thought the beers at Loyalist City were great. Im not sure they are available at ANBL.

    My New Brunswick source for good beer might be able to make some better suggestions for this leg of your journey @MarkMcElman
  6. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,318) Dec 1, 2010 New York

    Haha! Last night in Canada I'm staying at the Hilton Saint John, three minutes walk from loyalist. Will definitely check them out!
    Coronaeus likes this.
  7. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,318) Dec 1, 2010 New York

    Final itinerary:

    Quebec City - 1 day and night

    PEI- two full days and nightS

    Cape Breton Island- four days and nights

    Moncton/dieppe one night (passing through tatamagouche).

    Saint John one day/night

    Back to the states via Portland Maine.
  8. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (62) Apr 20, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Trailway are pretty widely available at the ANBL (liquor stores). The store in Dieppe and the one at Main St/Vaughan Harvey Blvd in Moncton are the two best stores. Hujon (hazy IPA) is the beer that has made Trailway's name. I assume some trailway makes it to Saint John but less familiar with their stores.

    Two spots to check out in Moncton... Pump House Brewery (Orange Lane downtown). Ok spot, ok food, a NB classic. Tide and Boar gastropub is basically a block away. Best tap list in Moncton including a few they brew themselves. Good food.

    If you are passing by Tatamagouche NS during the day, Tatamagouche is a highlight for the NS beer scene.

    If you are looking for tourist recos especially for the Moncton area, drop me a PM. It's my motherland! :-)
    tobelerone likes this.
  9. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (62) Apr 20, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Oh and one I forgot in Moncton. For an offbeat spot in Moncton you can check out the Laundromat. As close to a hipster spot as Moncton has. Few taps and lots of bottle/can options. Can be busy and it is definitely not a place you'll likely run into tourists, but great for a spot not on a lot of radars.
    tobelerone likes this.
  10. MarkMcElman

    MarkMcElman Initiate (29) Apr 12, 2018 New Brunswick (Canada)

    PEI has Upstreet and Gahan/PEI Brewing, both decent breweries. Check ratings on Untappd and you should be able to get a selection of good beers. Gahan has a good pubish restaurant. Not sure about Upstreet.

    Bring an oyster knife with you and hit Raspberry Point near Canvendish. Order a couple dozen bivalves and sit at the picnic table and enjoy. Someone there will show you how to shuck then, if you’ve never done it yourself. They would probably even sit and shuck them for you, I expect.

    In Moncton, I’d hit the Tide and Bore. Very central with a good selection of regional beers, including their own, which tend to be very good.

    Saint John has Loyalist City Brewing, but it is lacking a taproom. If you are staying at the Hilton you could do Saint John Ale House, Peppers Pub, or the Cask and Kettle. All are very close with good selections of local brews. All are good options for food as well, although I can recommend proper restaurants if you would like.

    The drive to Saint John from points north will put you past the bedroom communities of Rothesay/Quispamsis. Hammond River Brewing is located here. It and Trailway are the 2 best breweries in the province. HRB with have 12 of their own beers on tap, and it’s a nice spot. Give me a little notice, and the first beer is on me...

    We also have Long Bay (only bottles - no tap room) and Foghorn (very basic taproom at the brewery). Both are a short drive from HRB.

    In Portland hit Allagash, but you already knew that. Also Foundation, which is just up the street. Also Bissell Brothers, although I’ve never actually been there.

    Please feel free to ask any further questions, either here or via DM. Enjoy your trip - it should be great. Cape Breton, in particular, is a special place.
    tobelerone and Coronaeus like this.
  11. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (62) Apr 20, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    The trip is yours, and you'll have a blast no matter where you go, but I'd humbly suggest trying to find some time to pop into Halifax. Awesome walkable city and by far the best beer scene in Atlantic Canada, both from brewery (Unfiltered, 2 Crows, North and more) and bar (Stillwell, Battery Park).

    Also, one PEI spot not mentioned is Hopyard beer bar. Haven't been yet, but by all accounts I've seen best beer selection by a mile on the island.
    tobelerone likes this.
  12. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Poo-Bah (1,526) Jan 26, 2013 Ontario (Canada)

    On the subject of PEI, I hear good things about Barnone. The one thing I can say for sure, is the scenery around d there is nice .

    I agree with Peter and Mark on Trailway...the best you will get in NB. HuJon is quite good, bit their seasonals make it to the ANBL too...sometimes a fantastic find.
    tobelerone likes this.
  13. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,318) Dec 1, 2010 New York

    L'axe du malt was great! Overwhelming selection of beer that was totally new to me, but the proprietor was super friendly and helpful with recommendations. And now...the drinking commences.
  14. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,318) Dec 1, 2010 New York

    Any recommendations on stores in Nova Scotia - tomorrow I'm driving from Caribou through Antigonish and up to Cape Breton. Stockpile is starting to get a little low...
  15. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (62) Apr 20, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Too late now I guess, but unless you get to Halifax you are at the mercy of the Nova Scotia Liquor commission stores. Not great selection. Halifax has a couple of private stores, Bishop's Cellar is probably the best. Otherwise breweries are your best bet.
    tobelerone likes this.