As many Saint Johners know, when the good weather hits you have to take advantage. That's why when the good weather hits we here at Uncorked Tours find any excuse to get out of the office. Our most recent excuse was "research" for a new blog post. What we decided to do for this "research" was a quintessential Saint John picnic, one perfect for locals and travelers alike.
The first step was deciding on what to pack for food. A quick look around the office led us to determine that we were going to have pick up some food. We pondered, "what to bring, what to bring." So many options. Do we go with sandwiches from Urban Deli, do we go classic maritime soul food with Deluxe, do we go with something ethnic and exciting from Taste of Egypt? Finally, it hit us, a salmon platter from North Market Seafood. We went with salmon cooked three-ways. Cold smoked salmon, hot smoked salmon, and of course the candied salmon. How could we do an east coast picnic without representing seafood and maple syrup?
Next was where do we go. That was easy, Martello Tower of course. Now that it is under construction it seems like many locals and travelers alike forget about Carleton Martello Tower. Built-in 1813 as a military fortification for the war of 1812, overlooking the city and the Bay of Fundy, Martello Tower is the perfect backdrop to a picnic. (Bonus there was a cruise ship docked, adding something extra interesting to our view!)
On our way to Martello Tower, we realized something tragic, what where are we gonna drink? After a quick discussion, we determined that none of us felt like being particularly productive for the rest of the day, so we decided on some craft beer. (Of course.) Here in Saint John, we are blessed and cursed to have so many amazing craft beer options. Blessed because they are all so incredible and there are so many choices. Cursed because they are all so incredible, there are so many choices, and getting a bunch of indecisive people to make a pick can be impossible. Ultimately we went with Loyalist City Brewing. Founded in 2016 and brewing out of their location on Water Street in Uptown Saint John. Loyalist City focuses on consistency, using quality ingredients, and a meticulous process. The outcome is one of the best craft brewers in New Brunswick today!
We went with the Parrtown ESB, Irish Stout, and Three Sisters Pale Ale. All three beers were excellent and balanced. The Parrtown ESB, while it may sound intimidating what it actually is, is perfectly balanced and flavorful. Without being overwhelmingly "bitter". The Irish Stout was better than any Guinness I've ever had and the Three Sisters Pale Ale was the perfect summertime beer with the hoppiness being perfectly balanced by understated notes of floral.
1. New York City, Urban Adventures Harbour Craft Beer Cruise
Board the Clipper City, a replica clipper ship, and soak up the views of New York City. Including the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan, while you sample 5 of the best craft brews NYC has to offer from local microbreweries Kelso, Bronx Brewery, Greenport Harbour, and more. This event includes all your beer, food, and fun are included. Be sure to book online in advance as this event tends to sell out! Unlike you needed another reason to book this awesome tour, but you will also receive 20% off Urban Adventures Tours in NYC, Baltimore, Miami, and New Orleans, when you take a tour with Uncorked Tours!
2. Boston, MASS BREW BUS
Board the Mass Brew Bus for a unique experience highlighting Boston’s booming craft beer and artisan alcohol scene. You will hop onto a bright green school bus and visit craft breweries, Trillium Brewing Co, Castle Island, and Dorchester Brewing Company. Of course, at each stop, you will get to sample some of the great craft beer, some food, and get behind the scenes access to the breweries. Including getting to meet the brew masters and staff that make this great craft brews possible.
3. Portland, Maine, MAINE FOODIE TOURS
Portland is steeped in a rich Maritime history. While also being home to organic produce, dairy products, and fresh fish from its harbors. Creating a taste and culture that is uniquely Portland. With Maine Foodie Tour's you can choose from one of its several tours including the Old Port Culinary Tour, Old Port Happy Hour Tour, or it’s Old Port Lunchtime Lobster Crawl, among many others. We recommend the Old Port Culinary Tour. This is its classic tour that features seafood, lobster, and award-winning craft beer. Making it a well-rounded showcase of everything Portland has to offer. Regardless of what tour you choose, you will discover all the tastes, sites, and stories that make Portland a must-see destination along your cruise. The best part, receive $5(USD) off a Maine Foodie Tour when you take a tour with Uncorked Tours!
4. Saint John, N.B., Canada, UNCORKED TOURS
How could we have a list of the top food & drink tours without including ourselves! We have several tours to choose, from the Seafood City Tour where you will have some of the best seafood and fish in the Maritimes, to the Saint John Brewery Tour where you will sample some of the best craft beer in New Brunswick. Our Uncork Saint John Tour is the tour that started it all. This tour features the oldest continually operating six days a week market in Canada, some of the best Salmon in the Maritimes, craft beer, artisan cocktails and history of Canada’s oldest incorporated city. We even have an Uncork Saint John early edition. If you have an early departure time we even an Uncork Saint John early edition that started 10:00 am and wraps up around noon. You'll swap out some of the alcohol for some local coffee and treats. All daily tours are $69+tax(CDN) and last about 2-2.5 hours. Regardless of what tour you choose you will surely discover the spirit of New Brunswick.
5. Moncton, N.B., TASTE THIS
Even with a little bit of "foodie" in your soul, this tour is a must do! On this three-hour guided excursions, you will enjoy tasty samples of local, traditional and international dishes. New Brunswick’s culture extends far beyond its Acadian influence and seafood, welcoming ethnicities from all corners of the globe. The cuisine has evolved into a fusion of flavors we are certain will please your palate. Discover the stories of the restaurateurs and chefs that will inspire and fascinate you. As you learn about the rich history of the beautiful cities and towns of New Brunswick.
6. Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, TASTE THE TOWN
If you are a foodie and/or a history buff (which you must be if you’re reading this blog) then Taste the Town offers you the chance to get up close and personal with Charlottetown's best seafood and fish, craft beers, and all kinds of other Island products. Including hot spangled chip made from the islands red russet potatoes from the infamous Queen of Fries, Malpeque oysters, and Island blue mussels. While learning about what makes Charlottetown a must see Maritime destination.
7. Halifax, NS, LOCAL TASTINGS TOURS
Started in 2012, Local Tasting is the original Halifax food tour! Since then Local Tastings have strived to find innovative ways to show guests and locals what life in Nova Scotia is all about. Examine the history of Halifax and Nova Scotia through its culinary scene. During the tour your guild will the culture, showcase he architecture and introduce you to the people who make up this amazing community.
8. Annapolis Valley, Wolfville, NS, TASTE OF WOLFVILLE TOURS
Wolfville is a culinary hot spot in the Annapolis Valley with over 21 eateries to entice the most famished foodie. This tour will guide you through the abundance of culinary choice with a behind the scenes look at Annapolis Valley’s blooming culinary scene. You will try truffles, munch on meze platters, slurp soup, cherish crepes, sip cider, and so much more!
9. Yarmouth, NS, YARMOUTH FOODIE WALKING TOURS
Yarmouth, is steeped in rich history and is home to some of the freshest and best seafood in the world. Join your guide Carole on a mouth-watering foodie tour that features local beer, seafood, wine, sweets and even a personalized tasting tour of the Farmers' Market.
10. Bar Harbour, MA, MAINE FOODIE TOURS
Experience the same great quality tours as you did in Portland in Bar Harbour. Bar Harbor and the Mid Coast areas are steeped in rich local and maritime history. Uncover the storied past of these vibrant towns with guides as you enjoy samplings of local fare and craft beer.
It’s hard to talk about beer in New Brunswick, or Canada, without talking about Moosehead Breweries. For over 150 years, the Oland family has owned and operated this empire of hops and grain. For many years, Moosehead focused on markets outside of New Brunswick, and as a result of security concerns they stopped allowing guests to visit the historic brewery. That all changed in June 2016, when Moosehead opened their doors to public tours for the first time in 15 years!
With Moosehead’s new small-batch brewery just days from opening, we thought it would be fun to go for a visit and find out what you can expect when you stop in at Canada’s oldest independent brewery. In short, you’ll find good beer, great hospitality, and a state of-the-art facility that continues to innovate the way we produce and distribute beer in Canada.
The current Moosehead facility, formerly the James Ready Brewery, was purchased in 1928 shortly after the family had also purchased the Alexander Keith’s Brewery in Halifax. In 1933, Moosehead Pale Ale was introduced, becoming the flagship beer for New Brunswick Breweries, and paving they way for the brewery’s name change in 1947. Some of the brewing equipment that you’ll see on the tour isn’t much younger than that, and includes a huge copper mash tun and kettle, and an early computer designed to manage the brewery inputs, outputs and temperature control, among other things.
It’s not long into the tour before you receive your first sample, of many. As a commercial brewery, Moosehead has several ales and lagers available, but it’s their new small-batch products that have people excited. Playing with flavours, yeasts, grain bills and adjuncts is something Moosehead couldn’t do on it’s large brewing system, so make sure to try everything!
One of our favourite stops on the tour was the brite tank. This is where beer is chilled and can be found at its freshest. There are some good reasons why beer from the brite tank tastes so great. It hasn’t been pasteurized, it’s at the optimal temperature and carbonation, and it hasn’t been exposed to any air or light. All of these factors affect the flavour of your beer.
The last stop on the tour is the packaging line where you really start to get a sense of the scale of Moosehead Breweries. Along with their own product, the company contract brews for several large international breweries. You’ll see bottles and cans zipping along, and be amazed at how few people are needed to package so much product.
After your tour you’ll want to save time to pick up a growler and a shirt in the Moosehead Store, as well as enjoy a pint of your favourite Moosehead brew on the new outdoor patio. Uncork Moosehead today and experience Canada's oldest independent brewery!
At Uncorked Tours we're all about sharing the fabulous food, wine, beer & spirits being produced in the Province of New Brunswick.
It is our pleasure to share some of the awesome experiences you can have while living or visiting the province.