Make Your Own Beer Blend #BrewedAwakening

By / Wine + Drinks / November 3rd, 2017 / 8

Last night I went to Pump House Brewery’s original brewpub location after a Champagne tasting (yes, that is how I finish a Champagne tasting, with beer). This brewery on Orange Lane in downtown Moncton is the original location, dating back to 1999, in the days before there were hundreds (I’ve lost count) of small breweries in Atlantic Canada. I started with a Pail Ale – part of their firefighting theme – which is a really good everyday pale ale, English style.

It is fairly common knowledge amongst local beer folks that the beers brewed at this small brewery are more flavourful and interesting than most of the ones brewed at their larger brewery, where they bottle and can a number of core brands. It’s also where they make their extremely popular Crafty Radler, a 5% alcohol drink that is more of a cooler than a beer. Personally, I’d prefer it if they packaged the Pail Ale, but these are strange times.

The Orange Lane location is where they brew their draft only seasonals, as well as a few beers, like the Pail Ale, which are always on tap here, and can sometimes be found on tap at other licensees. Perhaps the best known beer from this location is the draft only Four Alarm IPA, which is completely different from (and far superior to) their bottled IPA. Four Alarm is a real west coast style hop bomb. Anyway, it was late and I didn’t feel like a hop bomb, as the bitterness tends to linger through the morning, but I wanted a bit more zip, so I asked the bartender to pour a half and half, Four Alarm and Pail Ale. The resulting beer was basically an American Pale, and was just what I wanted.

I do this with wine too, after tastings at home or at events. Why not? If you can make a better balanced drink, or just something that you are more in the mood for, by doing your own blend, go for it. You aren’t insulting the brewer or winemaker. Besides, they are your taste buds, and you paid for it with your $. Blend away!


Craig Pinhey discovered good drink circa 1985 at Ginger’s Tavern/Granite Brewery in Halifax and has been writing about beer, wine and spirits for 25 years. A Certified Sommelier and BJCP judge, Craig lives in New Brunswick where he runs his own writing and consulting business and is the beverage columnist for Brunswick News. He is the only person to have judged all of the national wine, spirits and beer awards of Canada.

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