Yee Haw To Big Axe Brewery and Saloon Expansion #BrewedAwakening
A lot has been written over the past 3 years about the new wave of small breweries in Canada, the tiny nanobreweries and also the somewhat bigger ones, ~5-10 barrels, particularly the prevalence for them in smaller towns, or rural areas.
These entrepreneurial enterprises are great for the community and the economy, both in terms of employment and taxes, but also tourism. While it’s great that some of these really small breweries stay tiny, and can be sustainable that way, it’s also nice to see some of them expand.
I recently checked out the new facility for Big Axe, in Nackawic, New Brunswick, a rural town of around 1000 people right on the Saint John River, largely supported by a local pulp mill. It’s a greta example of how a small brewery can work in a small town.
Owner/brewer Peter Cole and his wife and business partner Tatiana expanded Big Axe from a tiny 1 barrel system to a new location just a few metres down the road, opened in October 2018, which features the bigger brewery (now 20 barrel) plus their Saloon, complete with a saddle at the bar and live music, all in a rustic cedar log barn. They still have the family B&B on the same beautiful property, which extends a ways back from the river and has trails.
It’s great to see this investment in a small community, done well, and the beer is really good, too. They originally caught fame for their Chanterelles Cream Ale, using local mushrooms, and their award winning dry, creamy Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, named after their friendly Lab that passed on a while ago. It is still excellent. They make a range of brews including a blonde, pilsner, amber, pale, IPA and DIPA, bottling them for sale at ANBL stores as well as at their Saloon. They make other bold seasonals, such as a Seaberry Sour using NB grown sea buckthorn berries, a White Birch Porter employing birch sap, and Purple Maize, using Peruvian purple corn.
While there I enjoyed a pint of their well balanced, hoppy pale ale, tried some of the cured meat they sell, made by Tatiana’s parents, and even gave the saddle a brief try.
I only have one thing to say about the Big Axe Saloon: Yee Haw!