Harvey Station is normally a pretty quiet spot. Aside from the seasonal flood of cottagers, it’s the type of place where you know everyone’s business going back a few generations. It also happens to be one of the nicest spots in New Brunswick, and it’s about to get a whole lot nicer. This year it has already announced that there’d be one new brewery and a new festival coming to the area. Now Think Brewing Company, a second brewery, is opening on the other side of town.
Denise and Scott MacLean, owners of Think Brewing, grew up outside of Harvey in nearby Tweedside (and if you also grew up there, you’ve probably known this story was coming for months). An engineering technician and a potter, they’ve been home brewers for years, but have just recently converted the barn from their century and a half old farm into the brewery.
“We drove in the driveway when we were dating in the 80’s. Someone else lived there at the time but the yard was so nice with big maple trees, apple trees, and gardens we thought it would be a perfect place to live. We bought it a month before we got married and have worked away for years upgrading the house and gardens,” says Denise.
Peace and quiet can be a blessing in moderation, but when it comes to living it full time there’s a tendency to pick up a few hobbies. While Denise says there is plenty of hiking and skiing in the nearby area, not to mention a lake just down the lane, they also have a small apple orchard, a hopyard, a very active interest in local music, and pottery, and beekeeping, and lots of plans for the future. Converting the barn into a brewery was just one more thing.
“It’s about 150 feet from our front door so the commute is awesome. We’ve got beehives and raspberry canes and gardens outside the brewery so we are looking forward to incorporating some of what we grow here into our brews. The barn we converted into the brewery was a good size so it should allow for future expansion. It works out well because we are always need to go back and forth from the house to the brewery checking on things… and of course our dog Porter likes to come to work with us too.”
With the two new breweries, a hop farm in the Harvey area, and the village pub set to reopen soon after undergoing a massive renovation (including a rumoured twelve beer taps), they’re hoping that locals will embrace the craft beer movement. They’re also hoping locals farmers will get onboard. Already sourcing hops through Lakeview Hops, Scott and Denise hope that other farmers will be encouraged to grow organic grains and hops to supply the brewery.
“People have their favourites of the mainstream beer brands that we all grew up with for sure but I think a lot of those people want to try to find a craft beer they like so that they can support local. We operated an OCIA certified organic market garden here in the 1990’s so organic is definitely something we value. “
Think Brewing will be launching their product rather serendipitously during Shivering Songs in Fredericton. The first beer they’re sending out is their Revelation IPA (6.2 %, 65 IBU), a hop-forward American style IPA. Festival-goers will be able to get it on tap this weekend in Fredericton at James Joyce, as well as at 540 Kitchen on Queen Street.