This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our Atlantic Canada craft beer guy, Todd Beal. In today’s column Todd takes us to the Northumberland Strait on the north shore of Nova Scotia to visit Tatamagouche Brewing.
This month I’d like to introduce you to Tatamagouche Brewing. Tatabrew, as its fans call it, is situated in the village of Tatamagouche on the Northumberland Strait on the north shore of Nova Scotia, about two hours from Halifax. The village is located where the French and Waugh Rivers meet and derives its name from the native Mi’kmaq term Takǔmegoochk meaning “dam” or “sea wall,” which probably refers to the sand bar at the mouth of the two rivers.
The area is very popular in summer with the strait waters warming to ocean temperatures you would need to travel south to the Carolinas to find. The area also offers ample outdoor activities with parks and the Trans-Canada trail running through it, and an old train is converted to a hotel where you can dine and sleep onboard.
The Jost family name is synonymous with wine in the region as they pioneered the largest and oldest operating winery in the Atlantic region. After selling the vinegard, Hans Christian turned to beer and opened the brewery in 2014. The brewery was the old butcher shop built with reclaimed boards from a barn. Originally there was a retail location that was open to the brewery below. Last year the old library next door was converted to more retail and a tasting area. This year there is a significant expansion adding a dedicated canning area and more fermentation capacity.
The brewery has steadily increased the number of offerings to include core offerings of Hippie Dippie Pale Ale, Butcher Block Red, North Shore Lagered Ale and Deception Bay IPA, as well as many seasonals and its latest Giant Series. The Giant Series, an homage to the giantess Anna Swan who was from the area, garnered three medals, including a gold, at the Canadian Brewing Awards.
During the summer they are open seven days a week and offer merchandise, packaged beer and growler fills. They also offer tasters and tasting flights to enjoy on their side deck.
Tatabrew is definitely a top brewery to visit in Nova Scotia — you’ll want to include the beautiful village of Tatamagouche on any trip to the area.
Todd Beal follows the craft beer scene closely in the Canadian Maritimes and reports on it weekly on his blog, Maritime Beer Report. He’s frequently asked to comment on television, newspapers and magazines as a craft beer expert. He can be heard Friday afternoons on News 95.7 commenting on beer. Visit his blog and follow him on Twitter @MaritimeBeerRpt.