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Beer, chips and popcorn; What a time to be a New Brunswicker

If you’ve been visiting this site for a bit (or even just a minute or two), you’re probably aware that part of the purpose of this site is to get people eating less processed foods and more fresh stuff.   But let’s face it, we all like a bag of chips once in a while.  And beer and popcorn too.

In the past few months, a handful of New Brunswickers have been doing some fantastic things on the big stage that is beer, chips and popcorn.   All three of these items are better than any of the biggest players in the business, in my opinion.    The quality of their work is worth a mention and I truly hope all of these talented folks make the big time.

Beer:  Pumphouse S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter)

This beer has been around for as long as Pumphouse has been pumping out the brews as far as I know, but up until this year, it’s only been available in draught.  Now bottled, this fantastic, hoppy, English style beer can be chilled and served right from your own refrigerator.    I think this beer is one of the best commercial beers you can buy, certainly in New Brunswick liquor stores at least.   Pumphouse’s line-up has been very good over the years but I think the S.O.B. is a real standout.  Check out the full line-up at www.pumphousebrewery.ca and be sure to pop into the brewery for lunch or supper when you’re in Moncton.

Chips: Covered Bridge Old Fashioned Kettle Style Potato Chips

Move over greasy mainstream brands, there’s a much, much better chip on the market.  Made with New Brunswick Russets, these kettle-style chips are making their mark in Atlantic Canada.   Available in a variety of flavours, my favourites are BBQ flavour and sea salt.   For years my favourite chip was Old Dutch (which finally made it into New Brunswick just a couple of years ago) but Covered Bridge knocks them off the pedestal with ease.  Even the packaging is cool.  If you’re heading up to Edmundston from Southern New Brunswick, you’ll pass the Covered Bridge factory on the way, naturally smack in the middle of potato country at Hartland, New Brunswick.  Get the full story at www.coveredbridgechips.com.

Popcorn: Magzy’s Kettle Korn

I recall a year or two ago a fellow selling huge bags of kettle popcorn at local markets and summer events.  He was happy to explain the process and wow, the popcorn was good.   I had forgotten about it for a while but then Magzy’s Kettle Korn started showing up at local stores.   Now available year round, Magzy has managed to capture all the crisp freshness of those original big bags and are now sold all over New Brunswick.   Magzy’s is still a fixture at the Fredericton market every Saturday.   Popcorn is a very difficult thing to mass produce (I find the big brand popcorns to be closer to cardboard than corn) but Magzy nails it.   Great flavour from start to finish.   Addictive, addictive, addictive.  See www.magzyskettlekorn.com.