Cheers To A Good Old Fashioned Brewpub #BrewedAwakening
Many of the new small breweries opening in our Atlantic region have their own tap rooms, where you can go in and buy a beer, and bring your own food. Some have snacks and some even allow dogs. These are all great things.
But if we we can push our minds back to the olden days, like the late 80s, you may remember good old brewpubs that made their own beer and also sold food like a normal pub. They were basically pubs first, but happened to have a house brewery. Not many of those are opening anymore, but we are lucky to have a new one in “The Valley”: Bootstrap Brewpub.
Quispamsis-Rothesay, in the Kennebecasis Valley, has now become one of the highest per capita brewing areas in the nation, with four breweries and a total population of around 25,000.
Bootstrap is a little different from the other small breweries in the area. They not only have a bunch of their own taps (there were 13 today), they also sell a good selection of other New Brunswick breweries. Also, they invite guest brewers to make a beer on their system on a regular basis, resulting in a wide variety of styles and interpretations. So it is an actual community brewery; the local community is brewing some of the beer.
It’s a small pub, with nice wood furniture and flooring, and an attractive stone/brick back bar.
They have a limited menu, and it is mostly deep fried, but it’s convenient to be able to enjoy hot food while you try a pint of their latest brew, or a flight that could be a mix of house brews and your favourite local breweries.
For now, though, here are my notes on 8 of their current house brews:
More Fun! Cream Ale
– A good start, because a real test for a new brewery is if their lighter beers are clean. This is, and has a nice malt and hop balance, a refreshing summer beer.
Hillbilly Classic Pale Ale
– This is made more in the English style, with toffeeish malt and no west coast hop dominance. There might be a bit of buttery diacetyl, but it’s OK for this style. It has a good level of bitterness, a touch higher than expected.
– Lots of citrus fruit on the nose, with almost cat pee notes (like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc). This has medium bitterness, and the malt is present and pleasant. It’s less bitter than I expected. I like that it is all citrus and no “dope.”
– This is very good, with lots of body, clean, dry and balanced. It has nice malt complexity, balanced hopping, and fruitiness, as the style should.
The G2 Dry Stout
– A very good, clean example, dry as advertised. Pretty authentic.
– A very fruity style pale ale with lots of hop aroma and flavour. The fruitiness reminds me of sweet tarts, and it is not particularly bitter.
Big Shoes APA
– This is in that very modern, “dopey” style, alongside tropical fruit. Not my thing, but some folks love this style.
Cousin Jimmy’s Traditional IPA
– This is a really good American style IPA without being over the top on the hops. The malt is the backbone, and the bitterness/hop character is balanced.