New beer pays homage to well-known Saint John restaurateur

The sons of a renowned New Brunswick restaurateur, who helped to shape the uptown restaurant scene in Saint John into what it is today, have introduced a beer to honour his life and his legacy.

The Paul Grannan lager has been launched on what is the 20th year of his passing. His career in the industry started back in the 70s with the opening of the restaurant and bar Pier One.

"He was great at his ability to be a forward thinker," says his son, Jamie Grannan, "He could look forward and see what was trending. He would search outside of the cities and whatnot; he wouldn't be scared to take that risk."

Paul Grannan and his family would go on to open and operate at least a dozen establishments in Saint John – and his son says many of those who work in the industry, learned from and looked up to him.

"A number of the restaurants in Saint John now, the owners and operators used to work for dad, and still talk about him to this day and say that he's been a mentor for many who have gone on to do many great things in Saint John," says son Chris Grannan.

The brothers tapped into the expertise of brewer Matt MacDonald at Gahan House to create and brew the beer, which is described as a dry-hopped lager with citrus notes and floral aromas of honeydew melon.

"We decided on a dry-hopped lager because it toes the line between crafty and non-crafty so it's very approachable."

The beer has also been a way to bring Paul's memory to life – with the brothers getting to hear stories of their father and his impact.

"I walked into a pub into the other day, and as I walked in, people raised their glass and they were drinking the Paul Grannan beer, and it just brought chills -- goosebumps," says Jamie.

"That's been the most exciting part of about this whole process for me and my brother," says Chris, "that his legacy is being talked about more than it has in a long time."