Railcar Brewing founder Mitch Biggar grew up near Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick, and after living away from the area for almost 25 years moved back with his wife to be closer to family. It helped that he had always wanted to open a nano-brewery in his hometown.
Railcar Brewing opened in 2013, and is now housed in a 2100 square foot glassed-in brewing room and a complete tasting room. The tasting room focuses in craft alcohol made in the Maritimes, with wine, cider, mead, grog, and between 50 to 60 bottles of various craft beer, including six of Railcar’s in-house ales.
Railcar’s influence is felt well beyond that 2100 square feet – Mitch focuses on making the Brewery a gathering space, as well as a hub of reuse, up-cycling and community support. The spent grain is given away to farmers free of charge for livestock feed. Any beer that does not meet A-grade is used to make soap, and all of the clean wastewater in the warm months is used to water community gardens and flower beds. The spent hops are composted and the grain bags are made into growler bags. A local blacksmith turns used railway spikes into bottle openers and tap handles. Fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit are used in seasonal beer.
Mitch has also served several terms as Chamber of Commerce President, as well as President of the local and Provincial Library boards. A portion of the Artisan Brown sales are donated to the library for children’s art classes.