B R E W E RY P R O F I L E
Creative house-made brews and casual
eats round out the menu at this laid-back,
By Pat Rediger
The names definitely have a Maritime
feel to them – Fogbound Hemp
Pale, Seaworthy IPA and Sandpiper
Pilsner – just to name a few. In fact, plenty
of sandpipers can be found in the Bay of
Fundy, which is probably why Big Tide
Brewing Company uses the Semipalmated
Sandpiper as an unofficial mascot for its
location in Saint John, N.B.
Big Tide Brewing began about 11
years ago after the microbrewery Chris
Vair had worked for closed. He had worked
at the business for several years and had
discussed setting up a brewery with the
brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos, but
they never made the leap. Suddenly, the
opportunity presented itself as one door
closed and another opened.
“We had guys who used to go to the
place where we worked and they said, ‘You
should open up a place.’ That’s pretty easy
to say, but it isn’t easy to do, but eventually
we did,” said Vair. He partnered with his
brother to form Big Tide.
Their first step was to consider
re-opening the former location, but Vair
says the owners were interested in selling
the property rather than leasing it and at
that time, they didn’t want to be landlords.
Fortunately, the owners had a second
property in a different part of town that
met the brothers’ needs.
It was in a quieter part of the city, but
there was a popular bar across the street
and Vair says they could see the potential.
Today, that part of Saint John contains
three other microbreweries and at least
six new restaurants featuring everything
from sushi to spaghetti, so it’s a great area
to be located.
Since there were few microbreweries
in the province when they opened, Vair
says there was plenty of paperwork to
complete and some of the policies and
procedures were being developed as they
opened. They purchased a new brewing
system and added tanks from the
Photos courtesy of Big Tide Brewing
FALL 2020 § POURED CANADA § 9