Fredericton, New Brunswick is a mecca for beer lovers. Its craft brewery scene is one of the best in Atlantic Canada with “more breweries and cideries than Tim Hortons outlets.”
Many beer enthusiasts opt to sip their way through Fredericton by following the Taproom Trail. A passport-style map helps them plan their taproom excursion. When they order a pint or flight at any of the taprooms listed on the map, they receive a stamp that entitles them to collect swag. Everyone who collects a stamp from all 11 participating breweries is entered in a drawing to win the grand prize.
With the most taprooms per capita in Canada—one per 5,400 people and counting, you’re sure to find craft beers or ciders to your liking in Fredericton. These are seven breweries I suggest you include on your brewery-crawling adventure.
The 7 Best Breweries In Fredericton
221 King St Fredericton, NB E3B 1E1 – (506) 459-7710
Graystone, one of the best breweries in Fredericton, was established in 2016. Founder Wes Ward was inspired to open a brewery when he was in Argentina hiking in Patagonia. After working in the bar industry for years and traveling throughout the world, he worked with three local homebrewers to develop recipes in his garage. His dream became a reality two years later, and he opened Graystone Brewing.
Graystone Pale Ale, Graystone Light and Graystone IPA are flagship beers. Many product names reflect Ward’s sense of adventure, like Burning Rock Red, Devil’s Peak Black IPA and Wildchild, a summer beer that’s crisp and refreshing with a slight grapefruit taste.
Graystone Brewing is open from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday through Wednesday, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm on Thursday, 11:00 am to 12:00 am Friday and Saturday and 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Sunday. Seating is available inside and outside, and dogs are welcome. There’s a food truck on-site, as well as parking.
600 Bishop Dr Fredericton, NB E3C 0B4 – (506) 454-4810
Grimross, one of the best breweries in Fredericton, is a family-owned craft brewery that Stephen Dixon started in his basement. It was founded in 2013 and celebrated its 10th anniversary on July 1, 2023 (Canada Day). Grimross is an indigenous word that means “place of many muskrats.” Dixon chose the name because he spent many vacations on Grimross Island near Fredericton when he was young.
He describes his products as “true Atlantic craft beers that are ‘Belgian inspired and Maritime approved.’” Our flight included Maritime Pale Ale, a full-bodied ale, Maritime Cream Ale, a Pilsner-like beer that was smooth and mellow, Chaval D’or (Golden Horse), which looks like a hefeweizen and tastes like a very light beer and Praha Bohemian Lager, which is very Pilsner-like, smooth and refreshing.
Grimross Brewing is open from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday, 10:00 am to 11:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday. Seating is available inside and outside, dogs are welcome, and parking is available onsite.
67 Main St Fredericton, NB E3A 1C2 – (506) 454-7149
If you like pizza with your beer (and who doesn’t?), stop by Half Cut Brewing, one of the best breweries in Fredericton. It slings the beer and leaves the pizza-making to in-house partner Coast-Line Pizza.
Owner Matt Corey opened Half Cut Brewing Company in 2015 after graduating from the University of New Brunswick. He chose the name “Half Cut” because it’s slang for “almost drunk,” He gained experience working for other breweries and contract brewing and won over investors with his idea of a hybrid taproom and restaurant.
We tried a flight and agreed his efforts have paid off. Cold Lite is a “macro” beer with a clean, light taste. Charlie Horse is clean and crisp with a bolder flavor. Jackhammer is a light IPA, and Tickle Fight is a bold IPA.
Half Cut Brewing Company is open from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday, 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Sunday. Seating is available inside and outside, dogs are welcome, and parking is available onsite.
912 Union St Fredericton, NB E3A 5M5 – 506) 457-9082
Locals and visitors gather at Picaroons Brewing Company, one of the best breweries in Fredericton, to enjoy craft beers, the great outdoors and scenic views. The spacious outdoor patio overlooks the Saint John River.
A picaroon, a large ax used in logging, greets visitors at the front entrance. The adjacent Roundhouse Restaurant pays tribute to the building’s past; it used to be a train roundhouse. It also houses the Roundhouse “Brewtique” which features craft beers, ciders, spirits and wine from all over New Brunswick.
There were many interesting craft beers to choose from. So, we described our likes and dislikes, and our server created a flight of five beers she thought we’d like.
The first was Rec’d, a New Brunswick-style pale ale that’s light and crisp with hints of citrus and a lasting hop flavor. Number two on the list was Feels Good, a traditional pilsner with full-bodied malt. Melon Head, the third choice, had a slightly fruity taste since it’s infused with watermelon extract.
The fourth, Swallowtail, was a light, crisp ale with wheat and citrus tastes and is named after a lighthouse on Manan Island off the southwest coast of New Brunswick. The last was Irish Red, a light red ale with hints of caramel and brown bread.
Picaroons Brewing Company is open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. Seating is available inside and outside, and dogs are welcome. There’s a restaurant onsite and two parking lots. It’s one of the best breweries in Fredericton.
362 Queen St Fredericton, NB E3B 1B2 – (506) 459-3558
The Cap is located near the provincial capital building, which is the reason for the name. It has a nano brewery on-site and is the acknowledged home of live music in Fredericton. The bottom floor includes a bar that serves beer and cocktails to go and a record room where you can buy or trade albums.
An indoor staircase leads to The Nest, a room customers rent for parties and an
outdoor staircase leads to Wilser’s Room, a lounge with a live stage where customers enjoy drinks while listening to live music.
Happy Hour lasts from 12 noon to 7:00 pm, with new specials every week. Guests stop by in the afternoon and evening and enjoy local entertainment in the Wilsner’s Room upstairs or on the patio or rooftop deck. The Cap hosts open mic night each Tuesday, trivia night on Wednesdays and jazz night every Thursday.
The record room and bar are open from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Wilsner’s Room is open from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday and from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am Friday and Saturday. Seating is indoors and outdoors on the patio and rooftop deck, and dogs are welcome. Parking is available on the street or in nearby public lots.
280 Main St Fredericton, NB E3A 1C9 – (506) 455-8246
Jake Saunders and Dan Mason started Trailway Brewing Company in 2016 while attending the University of New Brunswick because they wanted cheap beer.
Since then, they’ve built a brewery with a cool vibe you sense the minute you walk in the door. Counters and tables are made out of wood from the lanes of an old bowling alley. It’s one of the best breweries in Fredericton right now.
Ironically, they have another tap room in a bowling alley across the street.
Trailway Brewing Company is hard to find since it’s on the side of a large shopping center. However, many beer lover have found it and told their friends. It has an extensive craft beer offering and introduces a new beer every week or two.
My husband tried Fetch, which is made with New Brunswick-grown hops and Canadian Pilsner malt and described it as “a lager that tastes like a pilsner.” Trailway’s best seller is Hu Jon Hops Light, which has a tropical, fruity taste.
Sun Dog is a hard selzer made with Canadian neutral grain spirits and cranberry, citrus and orange. El Generico is a raspberry orange sour ale that’s refreshing and tart, and Beyond Reality is a wheat-ale base with raspberries that’s charged with a hit of dry hops.
Chancy’s Pub Ale is an amber ale with white creamy foam with notes of toasted barley, toffee, caramel and multigrain toast, and Main Land is a Belgian-style wheat beer with hints of orange.
Trailway Brewing Company is open from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm Monday and Tuesday, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm Wednesday and Thursday, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday and 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm Sunday. Seating is available inside and outside, dogs are welcome, and food trucks are onsite. Limited parking is available by the entrance, and you can also park in the shopping center parking lot.
38 Main St Fredericton, NB E3A1B8 – (506) 440-5416
If you feel like you’re in an auto repair shop while you’re at York County Cider, you aren’t imagining things. Ed’s Garage and Taproom is the home of York County Cider and is so named because the building used to be a garage. The original garage doors are still in place. No wonder it’s one of the best breweries in Fredericton.
You’ll meet Ed Teale, the owner since 2017, and will probably also meet Riever, his Great Pyrenees, who’s the door greeter and self-appointed welcoming committee.
Ed has been making cider for over 30 years and always dreamed of opening a cider bar. He’s developed 28 different ciders that range from sweet and sour to crisp, dry and spicy.
My flight consisted of four customer favorites: Strawberry Ciderita blends the sweetness of strawberries with the tartness of lime juice. In The Beginning is a traditional dry cider with a delicate apple flavor reminiscent of Southeast England. Wilde Berry is a rich blend of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Tiki Hut is a blend of pineapple, mango, orange and lime.
York County Cider is open from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm Sunday through Tuesday, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm Wednesday and Thursday and 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm Friday and Saturday. Seating is available inside and outside, dogs are welcome, and parking is available onsite.
Best Breweries in Fredericton: Wrap Up
Fredericton is a friendly city with a vibrant beer and cider scene. When you follow the taproom trail, you’ll meet nice people, may have the opportunity to talk with owners and brewmasters and enjoy some world-class beers and ciders. When you fill out your passport, be sure to include these seven best breweries in Fredericton.
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Marni Patterson is a travel writer, photographer and videographer in Phoenix, AZ. She has lived and traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe and is gradually making it to all the destinations on her “bucket list” in Asia/Pacific, Africa and South America. After years of writing web content and marketing materials in the high-tech industry, she’s applying her experience writing about software, cloud computing and cybersecurity services to promote destinations and provide travel tips.