Throwback Thursday: NS Road Trip to Big Spruce Brewing

Ok Winter, I surrender.

Nova Scotia, or more appropriately Snowva Scotia is collectively bowing at your feet and begging you to calm down and let Spring do its thing. I’m getting real sick of not being able to get out of my apartment, and struggling to navigate through the massive quantities of snow that you continue to dump on us. Which, for the record was beyond frustrating while on crutches, so thanks for that. What an eye opener, I will never take my mobility for granted again.

To ease the pain of snow, after snow, after snow, I’ve been filling my mind with memories of better times. Warmer times. One might even say, that on this snowy Thursday, I’m doing a throw back… to a time when my friends and I could just hop in the car and do something fun… like drive to Cape Breton and visit one of my favourite local breweries: Big Spruce Brewing.


I’ve mentioned Big Spruce a few times on the ‘ole blog. They were my first stop at Celtic Oktoberfest, I enjoyed some Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout during my Big Day Downtown , and they will no doubt be re-appearing in future posts too. There’s just so much to love: they’re really nice people, their beer is delicious and certified organic, and they seem to love puns as much as I do! Please see beer names, and other beer puns here. Hours of HOPeration? LOVE IT.

This Fall some pals and I took a little day trip over the Canso Causeway to enjoy the sights and some delicious beer from Cape Breton.


It’s almost cruel to look at this right now.

If you’ve never been to Cape Breton then… well… I don’t even know what to say to you other than you had best be putting a road trip on the top of your To-Do-If-We-Ever-Escape-The-Terrifying-Grasp-Of-Winter-List.


Seriously. I can’t wait to get back on the island once the weather warms up. It’s been entirely too long since I’ve made the trip to Louisbourg. The Cabot Trail is calling my name. Baddeck isn’t really that far…



Yup. Definitely heading back to enjoy this view again.


And of course, I’ll be making a pit stop here too.

Big Spruce operates an on-farm brewery about 12 minutes away from Baddeck in Nyanza. Where the heck is that? Google Maps to the rescue!


Although we didn’t have a chance to check out their new tasting patio, I think that just means I have to next time I go. Amiright?


In addition to growler/yapper sales and refills, their shop is also full of awesomeness like shirts, glassware, and few food products too!


A jelly made out of my personal favourite, and first-ever Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards People’s-Choice-award winning beer? Count me in!


I’m willing to guess that this Kitchen Party Malt Vinegar is so good it will start a party of deliciousness in your kitchen.

Ok, that was a pretty terrible pun right there, but cut me a break. It’s 11:30 pm on a Wednesday night, and I’m basically a 90 year old so I should have gone to bed a couple hours ago but instead I’m here typing this up so you can have a fresh post tomorrow.

Our trip was all about that beer though, so we each got a couple fill ups.


Big Spruce does not have their beer available for sale by the bottle, so instead you can get a growler (or a mini-growler aka yapper) filled on site. Then you just bring it home, clean it out, and come back for a refill when you’re ready. Genius!

Now here was the difficult part: what kind of beer should I get?

If you know me at all, then you know that I am terrible at making decisions. I usually just end up standing there, with a panicked look on my face making Tina-from-Bob’s Burgers-Noises while frantically racking my brain. It goes a little something like this:

So to avoid the situation mentioned above, I opted for two yappers instead of one growler: one of the tried and true Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, and one of their (then) new Hoppily Remarried Harvest IPA.




Look how triumphant I look. Victory was mine, my friends. Victory was mine.

As it turns out, we all got those two brews.


What can I say? We all have excellent taste.

If you are lucky enough to live in the Antigonish area, this really does make a great day trip. You can head over the island, take a drive around and enjoy the scenery, grab some lunch at a little local restaurant, and then load up your trunk with delicious, certified organic beer before heading home.

And then when you get home, you can look forward to indulging in some Big Spruce Brews in the comfort of your home.


If you’re sitting there, terribly depressed that you can’t go fill up a growler at the brewery, don’t despair. If you’re in the area, then you can catch Big Spruce at the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market or the new Antigonish Winter Market.


I may have been a little excited to pick up a growler of Coade Word: Snowmaggedon at the Antigonish Winter Market. Just a little.


So good.

If you’re not in the area, you may not be able to get a growler, but you can grab a pint at one of these fine establishments while you dream of warmer days to come and the road trip you’ll be making to the brewery to see where the magic happens. Oh, and give me a heads up and pick me up on the way, would ya? Thanks pals.

Want to keep in touch with Big Spruce? Find them online at:

Check out their Website
Like Big Spruce’s Facebook Page
Follow Big Spruce onTwitter

About the author


Writing about herself has never been Maureen's forte, but writing in the third person seems to help. Maureen is passionate about supporting local, especially when it involves food, wine, and beer. Baked in Nova Scotia started as a baking blog, but has recently branched out. Browse her posts and you'll find some Sugar & Spice (recipes featuring local ingredients) and Everything Nice (profiles of awesome local food & drink, businesses, events etc).

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