Big Tide: Good Times in Uptown Saint John

Being Saint John’s only brewpub already makes the Big Tide Brewing Company a unique venue on Saint John’s hospitality landscape; however General Manager Chris Vair wanted something more for his customers.

The Big Tide has been brewing hand-crafted all natural ales and lagers at their 47 Princess Street location, in the heart of historic Saint John, since Aug of 2009, and since then the brew pub has gained a reputation for a high quality food menu that Chef Tom MacArthur has developed to reflect, and perfectly match the flavours of their beers.

The brewers, Wendy Papadopoulos, and Chris Welch are intensely passionate about their personalized approach to the science of brewing. In fact, Wendy has earned Gold Medals from the World Beer Cup, and the World Beer Championships! Their dedication to their craft is evident in the taste and flavor consistency of each batch they brew.

Like the name of the restaurant, Big Tide (the Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world) strives to celebrate the regional heritage and culture through the names of their brews such as: Fogbound Hemp Pale, Seaworthy IPA, Confederation Cream Ale, Celtic Mist Irish Red Ale, and Sandpiper Pilsner, just to name a few.

Big Tide is unique beyond its brews: the building once housed the first Law school in New Brunswick, and if you take a seat at the bar you can enjoy the architectural details of this beautiful building, or find a spot next to the enclosed brew house and check out the equipment used to make the Bid Tide’s own ales, stouts and bitters, which can be purchased individually by the glass, or sample a variety by ordering the Big Wood Teaser.

Big Wood Teaser? Yes, the Big Wood Teaser is a sample of four types of beers served on a wooden “tray” made from the original floor tresses from the brew room. In fact, the wall that separates the brewing equipment from the bar is built from the old floor tresses.

As mentioned, Chris Vair wanted the Big Tide to be something more, so many of the tables feature table-top games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Checkers & Chess, and even Trivial Pursuit (pieces available at the bar). Speaking of trivia, every Tuesday night features the “Pub Stumpers” trivia competition, (more Big Tide trivia: The Sandpiper Pilsner is named for Big Tide’s unofficial mascot (the little bird on the Big Tide logo), the semipalmated sandpiper. This tiny shorebird is common in the Bay of Fundy area during mid-summer as it stocks up for its long trip back to South America.)

Like another famous bar, Vair wanted the Big Tide to be a place “where everyone knows your name”, and implemented the “Steiners and Winers Clubs”, where for $50.00 a year, you get your own mug, (thoughtfully kept behind the bar for you), and discounted prices on beer and wine. And for truly dedicated customers, Big Tide’s brews are available to take home in “Growlers”, traditional 64oz refillable bottles.

Therefore, if you are looking to leave behind the stress of the office, or the perfect location for lunch with clients, or to enjoy some history with your meal, the Big Tide Brewing Company is the place to be, open weekdays from 11 am to midnight and 12 noon to midnight on Saturday (closed Sunday).

Find Big Tide on Facebook, or checkout the Big Tide website.

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