Happy Birthday Simeon Jones!

Born on August 23, 1828, Simeon Jones was a respected brewer and politician in New Brunswick in the late 1800’s. In honour of this man, and our Simeon Jones River Valley Amber Ale, we’re sharing this article written by Rene Comeau for Kings Landing. For those who don’t know who Simeon Jones was, perhaps this will give you a little insight as to why this man is so significant to New Brunswick’s (beer) history.

You may be familiar with Simeon Jones — one of many delicious craft beers brewed by Picaroons in Fredericton. However, Simeon Jones is much more than just the name of a beer. It’s the name of an actual man who was very influential and left quite a legacy in New Brunswick and across the country. Kings Landing and Picaroons have partnered up to bring Simeon’s story back to life.

It all started back in the year of 1828 when Thomas and Jane Jones had their firstborn son, Simeon. Until age 20, he lived in the Jones family house which is now found as part of the Exhibit Experience at Kings Landing. Upon stepping foot into this historic house you’ll find several artefacts on display with panels explaining the significance and family history of each.

As a young educated man looking to explore new opportunities, Mr. Jones left his childhood home and made the big move to Saint John. He was about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. Once he had arrived in Saint John, Simeon was approached by a burly Scotsman, Robert Keltie. Keltie had mistaken him for another man who he had intended to hire for his brewery. Simeon was in the right place at the right time and got a job at Keltie’s Saint John brewery in 1848 which was the big break he needed. Soon after, he became Keltie’s manager and eventually bought the business from Keltie and re-named it the Simeon Jones Ale Company. His ale became known throughout the Maritimes for its hearty, robust flavour and glowing amber colour.

After many years of booming business, an ageing Simeon sold the brewery to his three sons in 1892. The three sons operated the brewery as “Red Ball” for the next 26 years until George Oland bought the business from them in 1918. Simeon’s brewery was just one of his many accomplishments and contributions to Saint John and New Brunswick.

In 1879 he began his career in the public sector when he was elected a member of city council in Saint John, where he served as chairman of the finance committee. In 1881, he was elected as mayor of Saint John and held this position for the next three years. During this time, Simeon became a very well respected leader in the community. After retiring as mayor in 1884 he brought in an architect to build a magnificent gothic-style mansion which he called “Caverhill Hall.” The local newspapers celebrated the new mansion which attracted major attention to the city. To celebrate the opening of Caverhill Hall, the Jones family hosted a reception for Prime Minister John A. MacDonald and his wife, with 250 guests in attendance. This dinner proved that Simeon had influence stretching far greater than Saint John; he was an important figure all across the country. Today, you can find the iconic Caverhill Hall on Sydney Street in Saint John.

The retired mayor relocated to New York City where he was active in business before he moved to London, England where he passed away at the age of 87. In his final years, Mr. Jones hired a Canadian artist, William Brymer, to paint his portrait. Kings Landing acquired the original portrait in poor condition but had it fully restored and is now part of their collection of over 70,000 artefacts. The portrait is stored in a temperature-controlled warehouse where it will be preserved for generations to come. However, for your viewing pleasure, reproductions are on display at the Jones Gallery and in the Simeon Jones Room at the King’s Head Inn Restaurant.

Stop by Kings Landing and step foot in Mr. Jones’ childhood home and learn about his family history. For lunch, kick back at the King’s Head Inn and try the beer that’s brewed in his honour – Picaroons Simeon Jones River Valley Amber Ale!

Chuck Clarke and The Picaroons Stump

Now that No-Mow-May is over and the grass is neatly trimmed, the Picaroons Stump has been moved to the dooryard of the Roundhouse. Fabricated by local craftsman Charles ‘Chuck’ Clarke, The Stump is brought inside over winter to minimize damage by the elements.

Chuck has a long history with Picarons starting back in the very early days when he was asked by owner Sean Dunbar to carve a sign and some tap handles. Chuck’s background in the arts is as rich as it is diverse. He grew up in the country and lived near an auto salvage. When he was young, he built a ‘motorized-bicycle’ with parts from his father’s garage and the salvage yard. His interest in art was ignited when, as a 10 year old boy, he was one of the subjects of a painting by Tom Forrestall. Struck by how Forrestall used the brush to capture the scene, Chuck’s fascination with art grew from there.

Over the years he has worked in a variety of disciplines and media including screenprinting, painting, sculpture, wood carving and wood turning. He has taught art – including a multi-year residency at The Ville in Marysville – worked for a time at Aitkens Pewter and is a member of the Sculpture Saint John group where he participates in their annual symposium and conducts workshops teaching carving and other subjects.

While honing his woodworking skills he was the protégé of master woodcarver and Atlantic Salmon guide, Bill Page. When Page was struck with cancer, he asked Chuck to finish his large-scale bas-relief piece featuring Atlantic salmon – a Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation – that was hand carved from a piece of native New Brunswick black cherry. While discussing the salmon carving with Picaroons’ owner Sean, Chuck asked him if he’d like a salmon of his own – but then instead told Sean he could create a sculpture of his logo – the stump and picaroon.

Chuck built a rough template to show Sean the size of the final sculpture and gained approval to proceed on the full-sized sculpture itself without the usual middle step of a small sculpture proof-of-concept. The Stump took two months to build over the summer – at times work was slow due to weather – it was difficult to work when it was too hot or wet. The Stump shape is carved from styrofoam blocks, then overlaid with fibreglass. Chuck then used automotive body putty to smooth and sculpt the details. It was then cured and painted.

Picaroons’ owner Sean Dunbar notes that he is “really pleased with the result. We’re very happy we were able to work with this talented local artist.” Like many other regional traditions, when The Picaroons Stump is placed in the dooryard at the Roundhouse it’s a marker of another year passed and a look forward to things to come, made all the more poignant thanks to the shared history of Chuck and Picaroons. We hope you’ll take a minute on your next visit to the Roundhouse to appreciate Chuck’s sculpture and dedication to his craft.

Chuck continues to create his art, though he says the Covid-19 pandemic has made work challenging as both teaching opportunities and commissions have dried up. He has been featured in the Atlantic Salmon Journal and is a featured artist at Gallery 78 in Fredericton. You can find more information, view samples of his work, or reach out to discuss commissions or teaching opportunities via the Gallery 78 Website, or via his instagram or facebook profiles.

photos courtesy of the artist, Chuck Clarke

A Tiny House at the Roundhouse Doing Big Things

Anita Legere was in a bit of a tough spot. She’d been volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters Fredericton for over 30 years, and now, as President of the Board, she needed a fundraiser that could work in a Covid-19 Climate.

“Because of Covid we were unable to hold our usual Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser. I knew we needed to come up with a fundraiser that was different from what other nonprofits were doing but would allow us to raise the money we needed to continue our mentoring programs.”

As a fan of TV shows featuring Tiny Homes, Anita thought perhaps they could raffle off a tiny home as a fundraiser. She heard of another non-profit that had successfully raffled off a cottage and thought the tiny home might be a good idea so she pitched it to her Board, who thought it was worth a shot. One Board member even knew of someone who was building tiny houses.

Locally owned and operated by Mike Roy in Oromocto since 1992, Mike Roy’s Carpentry was expanding the shop to accommodate building on/off grid tiny homes, portable cottages, portable granny suites, and custom log furniture. Mike had just finished construction of his first tiny home when Anita reached out.

“I called Mike and arranged to meet him and see his tiny home. I was very impressed with the size, the attention to detail, and the amount of light that came in through the many windows. The fact that it is totally off-grid was a bonus that I knew people would like, and fortunately Mike was interested in working with BBBS to raffle it off as a new fundraiser.”

As they planned the fundraiser, they decided to display the tiny house at various locations during the period that the raffle tickets were being sold so people could visit it and appreciate the craftsmanship and get the tiny house experience first-hand. They had two locations on the south side of Fredericton – and that’s when Anita approached Picaroons about setting up on the north side. We have plenty of space at the Roundhouse and were happy to coordinate with Anita and Mike to have the tiny house on-site the weekend of June 4-6.

Raffle tickets are available online, but will also be available in-person at the Roundhouse when the tiny house comes for a visit. It will be onsite from Friday June 4 to Sunday June 6. Visitors will be able to stop by and tour the tiny house and get a real sense of the attention to detail, craftsmanship and unique features. Full Covid protocols will be observed with regards to masking, a maximum number of people in the house at one time and cleaning and sanitizing.

Though this was his first tiny house, Mike Roy already has a second under construction for a couple in Nova Scotia, and he thinks tiny houses are a great option for living that more people should consider.

“With living costs continuing to rise, it is time to consider downsizing and free oneself from the consumer driven chaos. Tiny homes allow us to go back to the basics, with the luxury of modern 21st century conveniences. It is very simple, just downsize and rid yourself of the clutter you’ve accumulated over the years. With a tiny home, there is significantly less square footage to maintain and clean as well. Our builds are actually four season ready with excellent spray foam insulation, and ultra high efficiency. If you have a portable cottage or tiny home, a major advantage is that, you can move it out of the flood zone. High waters are here to stay it seems. The ability to move your cottage or tiny home out of harm’s way is essential now. This is the solution to that problem.”


Mike’s homes are highly-efficient and can be completely off grid – even four-season – thanks to features like spray foam insulation, solar and wind power and eco-friendly plumbing.

When asked, Anita has a hard time picking her favorite feature. “I really can’t just pick one favourite thing about the Tiny Home. I love how bright it is, the creative use of space for storage, and of course the incinerating Cinderella toilet!”

Mike and Anita are both happy that their collaboration has worked out and look to continue to work together in the future. “We both hope this is the first of many (tiny houses) to be raffled off to help kids in our community,” noted Anita.

Mentoring Ignites the Power In Young People

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fredericton and Oromocto facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their full potential. From their website:

Potential lives within every young person. Yet millions of children and youth are still in urgent need of someone who will stand in their corner and ignite their full power and potential.
From the seaports of Vancouver to the shores of St. John’s, we’ve sharpened our focus. Reimagined how we do things. Modernized how we look and the way we speak. We are the new Big Brothers Big Sisters and we create life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people. We are ready to spark the biggest possible future, together.

You can see more photos and details of the tiny house on the websites and social media of Big Brothers Big Sisters Fredericton and Mike Roy’s Carpentry. You can purchase raffle tickets online at https://bbbshope.com/ and also in-person at the Roundhouse June 4-6.

Come out to the Picaroons Roundhouse the weekend of June 4-6, have a pint, visit the tiny-house and buy a raffle ticket or two. Volunteers will be on-site guiding tours through the house and selling raffle tickets from 12pm-7pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You’ll be supporting a great cause and – who knows – you may walk away with a whole new way of living!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fredericton and Oromocto

Facebook | Twitter | Website

Mike Roy’s Carpentry

Facebook | Website

Local Artist Appreciates the ‘View from Picaroons’

Lindsey MacKay

We’re featuring two pieces of artwork in the Roundhouse from local artist Lindsey MacKay. At Picaroons we consider brewing beer as a bit of an art – combined with a healthy dose of science – and we enjoy the opportunity to feature other local artists and craftspeople of all disciplines. Lindsey has been painting spots around Fredericton and came to us with the idea to display her art at the Roundhouse.

“I have been painting a series called ‘Fredericton Street and Scenes’ for the last few years and I thought the historic architecture of the Roundhouse at Picaroons – and its beautiful view –  was the perfect spot to complement my work.”

“The paintings in Picaroons are both made using acrylic paint and they both measure 48”x 48”. One is titled View from Picaroons and the other Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge and Cathedral at Dusk. Both are available for sale.”

Lindsey’s interest in art started at a young age and isn’t limited to just painting.

“My parents enrolled me in art classes as a child and young person – I was always the youngest one there. As an adult I have taken classes which involve various aspects of the arts such as pottery, print-making, jewellery, and screen printing. I graduated in Graphic Design in 1991 when everything was drawn using thumbnail sketches and not computer-generated so I also received a lot of training in my creative journey there.”

Lindsey has successfully sold her work to numerous private commissioners within Canada, the United States and Europe. Her work is featured in many downtown restaurants throughout the city of Fredericton as well as government offices throughout New Brunswick and she regularly donates her paintings to charities and associations. She has featured her work in numerous solo exhibitions in New Brunswick and regularly exhibits her work at Arta Gallery and the Urban Gallery, both situated in Toronto.

View from Picaroons, 2021. Acrylic, 48″ x 48″

Though she comes to New Brunswick via Ontario, Indiana and Nova Scotia she has called Fredericton home since 1984.

“I met my husband in 1987 who is from Fredericton so we settled here and we love it. We go for our evening walks across the bridge, continue across downtown, and loop back to Picaroons and often stop there for a refreshing high quality craft beer and the fun vibe. We both like the Feels Good Pilsner – I also enjoy Yippee IPA and he’s a fan of the Barrel Aged Timber Hog.”

Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge and Cathedral at Dusk, 2021. Acrylic, 48″ x 48″

Though she continues to do her own work, her social media profiles are filled with commissions and process shots.

“I can work with every medium. I started with oil paint then watercolor, but I liked how quickly acrylic paint dries and how you can easily fix mistakes. I also have used a lot of molding paste in many of my pieces to add dimension and interest to the piece. I like it when people touch my work, which I think evokes a feeling in them.”

We are excited to have Lindsey’s artwork to spruce up the Roundhouse for as long as we can – as mentioned, the pieces are for sale. If you’re interested in purchasing one of these paintings, other artwork from Lindsey or perhaps a commission, contact her via her webpage or social media profiles listed below and give her a follow to inject some great local art into your feed. We look forward to seeing you and your husband for a pint, Lindsey and thanks for fancying up the place!

Lindsey MacKay, Artist
website  |  facebook  |  houzzinstagram  |  twitter

Picaroons UNB Bursary 2021

What started as our interest in learning more about the history of beer in New Brunswick has led us to support students in the History program at the University of New Brunswick. Awarded based on financial need to a Fredericton campus undergraduate student majoring in history, we are proud to be able to offer the Picaroons Brewing Company Bursary to students in partnership with UNB.

This year’s recipient is 4th year Bachelor of Arts History major Austen Jeffcoat. Austen, who hopes to become a teacher, start a family, and stay in New Brunswick, was very appreciative of the award.

“This award is going to help me take my first steps after university; it’s more money off my loans, less stress on my shoulders and a bigger smile on my face.”

Austen, who’s preferred Picaroons Ales are Irish Red and Winter Warmer, also said the news of the award brightened his day – and that perhaps some family and friends would reap some tertiary benefits.

“Thank you so much for investing in my future; this really takes a load off my shoulders. I was having a rough day before checking my email; let’s just say you turned my frown upside down, and I feel much better now. Thank you Picaroons – this summer I will pay it forward with your locally made brews by sharing them with friends and family!”

Sounds good, Austen – we hope to see you enjoying the New Brunswick summer with some local craft brews soon! Cheers and best of luck in the future!

Better Beer, Better Planet

When you buy Picaroons, you are getting more than just great beer. You are joining a culture of community that we are proud to be a part of. 

Part of that commitment is our intention to brew the best beer possible while being as environmentally conscious as we can – we strive to encourage green initiatives throughout our organization and in our communities. We have been choosing green energy with Bullfrog Power since 2012. Through this partnership we have avoided over 109 tonnes of carbon emissions.

We want to inspire sociability, honesty, creativity, and happiness, in our staff and our customers. Most importantly, we want to bring people together with good beer, good times, and good vibes and continue to be good stewards of the planet.

We invite you to celebrate Earth Day this Thursday, April 22nd – and indeed every day – in whatever fashion you feel best. We hope you’ll include enjoying a fresh, cold Picaroons and know that we will be continuing to find the best and most innovative ways to bring it to you in an environmentally responsible way. Cheers!

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