After leaving Inverness, we had roughly three weeks to get to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for one of our somewhat rare actually planned date and location requirements. Plenty of time, plenty of options, and based on the recommendation of some well traveled Canucks, we decided to aim for Shediac, New Brunswick along the way. This is yet another picturesque and somewhat touristy coastal town promising great seafood and plenty of pictures.
But first we had to work our way out of Nova Scotia, and since we love the damn place we used our “we don’t like to drive more than four hours a day in the RV” excuse to make yet another stop in Tatamagouche. Just two days this time, but long enough to visit the farmers market (as buyers only) and enjoy a fun weekend in our favorite Canadian party RV resort. And yes, because the regulars are starting to remember us, we sold a bit of jewelry over the weekend as well.
At this point we had sampled the wares from 14 Nova Scotia breweries, distilleries, vineyards, and cideries participating in The Good Cheer Trail. The requirement for a free t-shirt was 15. So naturally we incorporated Triders Craft Beer into our route towards New Brunswick being that it was only about five minutes out of the way. Imagine our disappointment when we arrived only to find them closed: I had not paid sufficient attention to their business hours when planning the trip. Ah well.
We continued along our short drive into New Brunswick and Parlee Beach Provincial Park. It’s weird to me, as a Floridian, to think of Canadian’s going to beaches. From my parochial perspective I have trouble seeing it. Do they take their ice skates? Snow mobiles? Are they immune to the cold? The reality is that the gulf stream effects make the waters in numerous parts of eastern coastal Canada quite tolerable, and certainly warmer than a lot of California’s beaches. Parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island advertise their beaches as “the warmest north of the Carolinas.” So there’s that.
Anyway, Parlee Beach is a nice park, and Shediac is a nice town, but we, at this point, had our fill of touristy coastal places like this. So we spent the majority of our outings more inland, hitting a couple of breweries in Dieppe, starting with CAVOK Brewing Company, located next to the local airport. It was founded by a couple of retired air traffic controllers, thus the name (pilot speak indicating visibility is at least 10 KM and there are no clouds below 5000 feet, i.e., Ceiling And Visibility OK.)
We really enjoyed this place. In addition to a great beer flight, the bartender gave us a history lesson on the Acadian people (French settlers) and their Great Expulsion from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island in the mid 18th century. The short version is that during the Seven Year War (England vs France, round 28 or so) which spilled over into the New World as the French and Indian War, the English Governors and generals forcibly expelled about 80% of the Acadians south into the British colonies that would eventually become the US. They did so without regard to those that were trying to remain neutral vs those that were likely assisting French forces.
The French pronunciation of Acadian is roughly “Acajun.” See where I am going with this? Yeah, the Cajuns in Louisiana came to live there due to the Great Expulsion. I did not know this. See the benefits of visiting breweries? This is why you have distinctly North American connections between Quebec and New Orleans, particularly in the culinary department, e.g., boudin and poutine.
We also hit Flying Boats Brewing, a great place with some fantastic beer and an informative staff. During our flight they started up an interesting tour of the facility with lessons and Q&A on their process. This is the first place since Tatamagouche that we have refilled our growler.
Oh, you wish to know why it is called Flying Boats? You want another history lesson? Of course: southeast New Brunswick is geographically about as close to England as you can get while still in industrialized North America. In the 1930’s, during the era when commercial air travel was rapidly expanding, one of the financial/engineering considerations revolved around the idea that if you have a protected bay you don’t need to build an expensive airport runway structure. Thus, during this period, Shediac became a major air travel hub between the US and England. The well heeled could fly from New York to New Brunswick, then on to Newfoundland, then the long leg to Ireland followed by a short hop to Southampton. There you have it.
While in Dieppe we also swung into Celtic Knot Brewing before returning to Shediac. They don’t have a tasting room, so we satisfied ourselves with the purchase of a 500 ml IPA (I think.)
We had one last day in Shediac, and no desire to play tourist or dine on pricey lobster and seafood. What to do? I’ll tell you what to do: get that 15th Good Cheer Trail stamp by driving the 45 minutes back into Nova Scotia and the now open Trider’s Craft Beer. Which we did, and had an excellent flight at our final Nova Scotia brewery until we get back into the region in 2021, at the earliest.
Next post: Quebec.