Five months ago, Randy and Denise Rowe announced that they planned on opening a nano-brewery in their town of Harvey, New Brunswick. Housed in a barn on the couples’ property, Off Grid Ales will be wind- and solar-powered, thanks to 18 solar panels and a wind turbine. With their official launch date approaching fast, we exchanged emails with Denise and Randy to get a little more information on what they have planned for New Brunswick’s newest brewery…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We were sprout growers for 27 years; Denise is now a photographer and Randy a jack-of-all-trades. We have two grown daughters and three grandkids.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Scott MacLean of THINK Brewing [ed: also opening in Harvey in the near future] got Randy interested in all-grain brewing. And we’ve always been Picaroons fans.

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
The thought of self-employment really appealed to us, and a brewery was a business idea from the start.

Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
We’ve been homebrewers off and on for years, making the move to all-grain brewing about two years ago.

Do you have an approximate launch date?
Fingers are crossed for mid-November!

What size/manufacturer/type of system will you be brewing on?
We’re brewing on a Stout Tanks and Kettles 3 barrel (350 L) system, and expect 6 barrels (700 L) a week in terms of production.

Randy checks out the newly-installed brewhouse

Randy checks out the newly-installed brewhouse

Can you tell us about the hurdles, and benefits, that brewing while off the grid entails? Why was it important for you to do so?
In terms of hurdles, there are always power issues; we have to watch our consumption very closely, and be extremely efficient. On the benefits side, we get to live and work/brew on the side of a lake in a remote part of the picture province.

What are your plans for distribution?
We will be distributing 500 mL bottles to two ANBL outlets: Harvey, and York St. in Fredericton. We will also be on tap at two locations, the nearby Lougheed Pub (when it re-opens) and a popular Fredericton tap location. No onsite sales are planned for now.

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
Our first beers will consist of four regular-releases; we hope to offer seasonals sometime next year. The flagships will be the following: Campfire Red, an American Amber (5.5% ABV, 23 IBUs) exhibiting red malty goodness; Sunny Day IPA (5.5% ABV, 70 IBUs), a nice, hoppy, everyday IPA; High Tower Double IPA (7.8% ABV, 60 IBUs), a smooth and hoppy IPA; and Unplugged Porter (5.5% ABV, 34 IBUs), exhibiting a smooth mix of chocolate, caramel and coffee malts.  We hope to offer seasonals by next year.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
Scott MacLean of THINK Brewing has been most helpful with brewing and equipment sourcing, as well as introducing us to local brewers.  We’ve met some pretty inspirational people along the way – a lot of local talents who are so enthusiastic about the growth in the craft beer market. Our designer Tanya Duffy of The Details Design in Fredericton has been awesome to work with and we love our labeling, it’s unique and fun.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
Producing great beers that people enjoy. By then, we’re hoping for a small increase in production (adding more fermentors), as well as adding seasonal beers every year.

Do you have a favourite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Denise: I’m big on Red Ales; Gahan Island Red is a personal favourite of mine.
Randy: IPAs all the way! Picaroons Yippee IPA is a favourite.

How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
Our Double IPA, High Tower, is honey infused, and smells and tastes amazing.  Unplugged, our Porter has such a rich flavour – coffee/chocolate and caramel – making it a great dessert – or even breakfast! – beer.

Do you have a website, facebook, and/or twitter page?
Our website will be ready upon launch; for now, we do have both Facebook and Twitter accounts active, where we have been providing updates on our progress for our followers.

Thanks very much to both Randy and Denise for answering our questions! We look forward to trying their beers when they’re hopefully released next month. Stay tuned for updates, and of course following along Off Grid’s social media accounts for the latest info.

Good morning, and welcome to a rainy weekend! We can’t really complain too much, considering the beautiful weather we’ve had over the last several months… but if you’d like something to take your mind off the all the wet, why not dive into some of the latest beer news?

Big Spruce is releasing a very special beer this week, fermented using yeast harvested from a Pin Cherry on the brewery’s property. Big Grandma’s Wild uses Horton Ridge malt for the grain bill, and the yeast was isolated, investigated and propagated by the folks at Escarpment Labs out of Guelph, Ontario. Featuring some spicy phenolic notes, thanks to both the malt and yeast choices, this is a big step in creating a true “beer from here”. The 7.4% ABV, 24 IBU beer is named in celebration of Thelma MacLellan of St. Patrick’s Channel, one of Big Spruce’s earliest supporters, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Congratulations to both Big Grandma and Big Spruce on their important accomplishments! Look for the beer at the brewery now, with bars around HRM tapping it this weekend. Also keep your eyes open for Craig Goes Yard, their own Harvest Beer, featuring hops grown right at the brewery. It is on tap at the brewery now, and will be pouring around the province very soon, including Battery Park, Stillwell, and growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar.

• Celebrating the advancement of Canada’s Team to the AL Finals, Halifax’s Propeller Brewing released a new One Hit Wonder brew late last week. Mahogany in colour, it is best described as a maltly Fest-style beer. A hybrid fermentation technique was used, employing both ale and lager yeast strains, for an easy-drinking beer. Using NB-grown Cascade from Moose Mountain Hop Farm, as well as Northern Brewer, the . At 6.0% ABV and 16 IBUs, this malt-forward beer is still around, although the Jays are not. 🙁 Formerly known as Go Jays Go, it has been renamed to Maybe Next Year, and is available for growler fills at both the Gottingen and Windmill brewery locations now, and will be found on tap at select spots around HRM. And we’ve gotten word that they’ve brewed up a brand new winter seasonal yesterday.

Tatamagouche Brewery has released another in their Giant Beer Series this week, Russian Imperial Stout with Cherries. This 8.5% ABV beer spent a month in an Ironworks Distillery barrel, on top of a healthy assortment of dark cherries. After some conditioning and carbonating, it made its way into their large-format 650 ml bottles. As with their other recent GBS beers, these are in short supply and high demand, so be sure to drop by the brewery today to avoid disappointment. And while at the brewery, be sure to grab batch number 3 of Tata’s collab with Bishop’s CellarCellar Slammer India Session Ale, their 4.4% ABV ode to hops. And keep an eye out for the return of Blue Bales Blueberry Wheat next week, this time brewed with berries from the end of the season, lending a juicier and sweeter profile than the tart character of the early harvest berries.

Tide and Boar Brewing is releasing their small batch beers at a break-neck pace. Late last week they tapped a new version of their Sour Otis Sour Beer series, brewed with Field Grapes and Lemon Zest. While still available, it’s sure to sell out quickly, and will be replaced with Sour Otis Plum, featuring local plums from Memramcook, probably on the weekend. In hoppy beer news, keep an eye out for Amarillo, Citra, and Summit Pale Ale to hit the taps any minute now, with a return of their JEENYUS IPA next week.

Garrison Brewing is releasing a new beer today, New Ross Sucker Punch IPA. This 6.9% ABV brew features loads of Cascade and Willamette hops grown at Ross Farm Museum (plus some whole leaf Amarillo and Columbus), to the tune of 65 IBUs. The grain bill builds on a base of Maritime Malt, with some Wheat Malt for additional foam retention. This beer is only available at the brewery for tasters and growler fills, so be sure to drop by for a taste. They will be celebrating City Harvest tomorrow at the brewery with some special visitors. In addition to the new beer, they are inviting Halifax Press to their space to serve up some inspired grilled cheeses, 11-3.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has been busy lately! Their beers are now available at several spots in HRM, including Battery Park and The Board Room Game Cafe (both pouring the Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spice Latte Strong Porter), as well as Rooftop Rye-It for growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar (they’ll be pouring the KDPSLSP when that’s through). Lunenburg’s Grand Banker will be pouring their beer very shortly, too. Look for a new version of their Little Pup Pale Ale to hit the taps very soon. Fermented with a different yeast, it finishes a little drier, with a lighter body to allow the hops to shine through. It weighs in at 4.8% ABV and 28 IBUs. And after a very successful Harvest Supper Club last night, tickets are on sale for a Festive Supper Club, being held December 1st. Tickets for the two seatings (5:00 and 7:30) are available now via email, and take a sneak peek at the menu here.

Upstreet Brewing announced this week the beginning of their One Way Series, a chance for them to explore and experiment with new styles and recipes. The first release under the One Way banner comes this Friday in the form of the new Black IPA. Described as a middle ground where the dark and roasty chocolate and malt flavours of a porter meet with the resinous citrus blast of an American IPA, this burly brew comes in at 6.5% and a solid 60 IBU. It’s a departure from what Upstreet has released to date and they’re excited to know what folks think. It will be available at the brewery as of today, so if you’ve got a chance to get down and try it out, do so, and be sure to let Hogie and the gang know what you think.

• Great news from Picaroons Traditional Ales in Fredericton this week as they’ve not only got a new beer to share with us, they’re joining the ranks of breweries embracing the convenience of cans. The beer is the brewery’s first attempt at an Oktoberfest, and it comes in at 5% ABV… and a month or so late. 😉 Using a well-known true lager yeast strain from VLB Berlin and dosed with Mt Hood, Hallertau, and Saaz for a classic noble hop flavour and aroma, it will be available only while supplies last and only at Picaroons General Store in Saint John. On the canning front, after starting its life as an occasional summer seasonal, then going year-round earlier this summer and becoming the first Picaroons available in 6 packs, 506 Logger will now become the first Picaroons available in cans. It’s still a mix of German Pilsner and domestic 2-row malt that produces a golden coloured, dry and crisp easy-drinking 4.6% ABV beer, tempered with Amarillo hops. But now you can take it all the places that bottles are a pain to bring. As the brewery says – “IT’S JUST BEER. IN CANS.” You can expect to find it at the ANBL real soon now and you can also expect Picaroons to extend the canning to other beers in the lineup.

• As we continue through fall, more and more homebrew competitions are being announced. TrailWay is no exception, as they recently released the details for their 1st Homebrew Challenge! The style to be submitted is American IPA; your homebrew entry (3 x 450-750 mL bottles) can be dropped off/mailed to the brewery in Fredericton between January 11th-20th. Judging will take place between January 21st-25th, with the winner and runner-up being announced on Sunday, January 29th at the brewery. The entry fee is $20, which gets you a t-shirt and glass, a 12-oz pour of a new TW DIPA (at the January 29th event), as well as preferential drink pricing for the remainder of the event. The winning entry will receive a $100 gift card, and will get to brew their beer on the TW 10 BBL system for resale across Fredericton; the runner-up will receive a $50 gift card. For more details, check out their Facebook page. Good luck, homebrewers! And in other TW news, they’ve received their three new 30 BBL (35 hL) fermentors and 30 BBL brite tank, so expect to see more TW beer (and cans) soon!

Sober Island Brewing continues to spread their offerings across HRM, now appearing on tap at The Press Gang, Primal Kitchen, and Battery Park (on rotation), with a few more spots scheduled. Their Kickstarter campaign rolls on, with just two weeks left to get in on helping to build their brewery in Sheet Harbour. The rewards range from stickers, to insulated backpacks (perfect for picnics on the go), to taking part in a brewday at SIBC. Be sure to check it out. Keep an eye out for new brews from Sober Island to launch in the coming weeks, including a British IPA. Next weekend, be sure to drop by the New Glasgow Farmers Market (Saturday) and/or Musquodoboit Farmers Market (Sunday) to grab crowlers and merchandise from their beer trailer.

• This week, Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove has released a new brew, Braunbär, a medium-bodied honey brown ale. Honey was added to the fermentor in order to maintain some of the honey aromatics that would tend to be lost in the boil. For hops, they’ve chosen the Santiam variety, an American hop which brings some classic noble characteristics. The flowery and peppery spice aromas from the hops should play nicely with the roasted and caramel malt flavours, while an undertone of sweetness from some residual sugars from the honey completes the palate. You can find this 5% ABV brew at the brewery, or potentially in Halifax this weekend.

• Newfoundland’s newest brewery, Port Rexton Brewing, tapped a new beer late last week, Sweater Weather Double IPA. This SMaSH beer was brewed entirely with Canadian 2-row malt, and single-hopped quite heavily with Simcoe, a very popular variety well known for its characteristics of citrus, berries, and pine. Very hoppy, but well-balanced, this 7.6% beer is available now at the brewery, and may make an appearance on tap in Town, but why risk it?? And if you’re dropping by the brewery tomorrow (Saturday, October 22nd), they’re hosting a “Yoga, Lunch, Hike & Beer” from 9:30 am – 3 pm; it’s $45 to take part, and you can register by emailing here.

Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery has launched a brand new beer, hitting the taps this weekend. Hants County Hop on Harvest Ale was brewed using more than 45kg of wet hops from Hill Top Hops in Scotchville, NS.  Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus were added late in the boil, to preserve the piney and green notes these fresh hops deliver. The grain bill of Golden Promise, Caramunich III, Vienna and Toasted Wheat lend a golden colour to this Fest/Marzen beer, with biscuit and bready character on a medium-low body. 6.0% ABV and a moderate 35 IBUs. It is on tap now at Stubborn Goat, Red Stag Tavern, and The Lower Deck.

As usual, there are plenty of beer-related events happening in our region; here are some of the bigger ones to take note of:

• Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Brewpub is holding their 11th Annual Brewers Dinner tomorrow evening at 6pm. Featuring 4 courses, each paired with a Rudder’s beer, it with be a filling – and fulfilling – evening. Reservations are required, and tickets for the dinner are available at the brewery, or by phone (902-742-7311). More details on the menu and beers on their Facebook page.

• For those on the other end of the province, the Celtic Oktoberfest is being held in Port Hawkesbury this Saturday. Featuring unlimited sampling from nine Nova Scotia breweries, one winery, and ten local restaurants, along with live music all evening, it’s sure to be a great evening out.

• Now that Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing is releasing full-size batches from their 10hL DME system (Holy Mackerel, their Pale Ale was released this week, with Nun on the Run Cream Ale to be released next week) they are now also sending kegs of beer out into the wild. Some of the first have gone to Grand Banker in Lunenburg, who will be hosting a Tap Takeover next Friday, October 28th. Featuring their full lineup, and some beer-steamed mussels, the evening is sure to be a fun time. Learn more about Saltbox’s offerings here, and the Tap Takeover here.

Railcar Brewing will officially have been open for two years on November 1st; to celebrate, they’re holding an Open Brewery Day next Saturday, October 29th. Drop by the brewery’s taproom in Florenceville-Bristol for free samples and brewery tours, and enjoy two-for-one growler fills all day. Happy birthday, Railcar!

• Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing Co has released a new beer in celebration of the Devour! Film Festival (running November 2-6 in Wolfville). Kinobier is a 4.7% Munich Helles, a German-style light blonde lager, brewed with 100% German Heidelberg Malt. Lightly hopped to 16 IBUs, it features Herkules and Huell Melon German varieties, for a citrus highlight to the grain profile. The beer will be pouring around Wolfville during the festival, with some spots in the Valley, and HRM, pouring it now, including the brewery.

Beerocracy will be debuting at the Silver Wave Film Festival, at 7pm November 3rd. Passes for the entire festival are only $40 ($20 for students), which get you into every screening and event, and are available now. For those looking to only attend Beerocracy, there will be limited first-come, first-serve tickets available at the door (cash only). There will be a reception at the James Joyce following the film, for the chance to enjoy beer from the breweries profiled in the film. And look for details after the festival regarding the official opening screening of Beerocracy, and how VIP backers can take advantage of that perk. Congratulations to Shauna and Alex!

• For those in Halifax, there will be an equally beery event to keep you happy on November 3rd: Battery Park is hosting the second in their Nova Scotia Tap Takeover series, featuring more than a baker’s dozen of beers from Shelburne’s Boxing Rock. It will be a mixture of core favourites, blasts from the past, and at least a couple of brand new beers, one of which is the collab between BP and BR, an India Brown Ale, as well as the recently re-released Hop Springs Eternal White IPA. We’ll have more on the beers pouring closer to the date, but in the meantime, book Friday the 4th off so you can full enjoy the evening before.

• Due to quick sales on tickets for their Christmas Brewery Tour this December, New Brunswick Beer Tours have added two additional tours for the month: one on Saturday, December 3rd, and a second tour on Saturday, December 17th. Both events will go from 11:30 am – 4 pm, and feature stops and samples at four different Fredericton breweries. Tickets for both go on sale this weekend. For more details, check out their Facebook page (link above).

That’s it for this week, have a great weekend! And before we go…

Bulwark‘s Winter Cider has been bottled and has started to make its appearance in stores; this 7% ABV cider is infused with cinnamon and nutmeg, perfect for those nights by a fire (which aren’t too far off).
– A small batch of Toasted Coconut Porter is now available at Gahan House Harbourfront – Halifax, available on cask into the weekend.
Graystone recently released their Ridgeback IPA, a 5.5% ABV, 94 IBU West Coast IPA that they have described as “full-bodied, with notes of citrus and pine”. This is the first time this beer has been brewed on their new, large system; it’s available now for pints and growlers at the brewery, and like several of their other brands now, should be on tap across Fredericton.
Hammond River has re-brewed their Black IPA, Two Rivers India Black Ale (7% ABV, 77 IBUs), which should be available on tap by the end of the month. Stay tuned next week, as we’ll have details on their third annual Homebrew Competition, which will feature three different styles this year: Imperial IPA, Sweet Stout, and English Porter.
– The Forage Rye IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBUs) from Maybee that we talked about a few weeks ago is now available; brewed with Crystal Rye Malt and hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus, you can find it in growlers and cans at the brewery.
Shiretown Hops On For Nowhere I.P.A is now available for purchase at the brewery in Charlo, marking the first time in over a year that it’s been available. Due to the small batch size, it will only be available in bottles from the source.
– With temperatures cooling, TrailWay has re-released their Black IPA, Black Hops One (7% ABV, 70 IBUs). Hopped with Comet, Mosaic, and Galaxy, it’s got a great balance between fruity, citrusy hops, and dark roasted malt character.
– Details are very slim right now, but we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with a special hybrid wine/beer in the works by North Brewing. They visited Benjamin Bridge this week, and managed to leave with a few hundred litres of grape must, and a barrel. We’ll be sure to share the info when available!

Happy Friday! With Monday’s holiday, it really snuck up on us here at ACBB, but we’ve still got a pint’s-worth of news to keep you busy this weekend.

• You may know that Muwin Estate Winery (the folks behind Bulwark Cider) have teamed with Ross Farm Museum to bring us Cider Days, coming the weekend of October 22, where you can learn about heritage apples, the proper care of orchards, how cider is made, and cooperage (barrel making). What you may not know is that they are calling on anyone in Nova Scotia with apple trees on their property to pick their apples and bring them along for use in a special batch that will be known as The People’s Cider. This is a chance to see how the heirloom apple varieties that may not be great for eating are sought-after as a key ingredient in cider making. Anyone who provides apples will be provided with a People’s Cider Membership and an invitation to a launch event for the resulting product, where they’re hoping to have some bottles available (depending, of course, on how much is produced). You can even contact them to have your apples picked up from you if you aren’t able to make the event or have more apples than you can easily bring along. If you have an old orchard on your property producing apples that you don’t know what to do with, this is an awesome opportunity to see them become part of a truly Nova Scotian product. 

• The brewing team at Good Robot have tweaked one of their more popular beers, and released Damn Fine Coffee v2.0 yesterday. Brewed with Pilsner, Red X, and Rye malts, and an addition of Kenya Gatina coffee (cold brewed by Bottleneck, sourced from Java Blend), this updated iteration was fermented with a highly-attenuating yeast strain (California Ale) to give the resulting beer a “drier, hoppier finish”, according to the brewery. Expect flavours to be fruity, tart, and even vinous, to go along with the floral, citrus, and grassy character from the addition of Cascade and Falconer’s Flight hops. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 40 IBUs, and is available now at the brewery’s taproom, and better beer bars and restaurants across the HRM.

• And speaking of Good Robot, the screening of Sociable! earlier this week was a roaring success, with a full house witnessing the ups and downs of planning, opening, and operating a brewery in Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for details on more screenings, entry to film festivals, and online distribution.

• About a month ago, we reported on the wet-hopped beer brewed by Graystone Brewing; that beer was released at the brewery on Wednesday of this week. Now named United Hops, it was bittered with freshly-harvested Summit to ~80 IBUs, according to the brewery, with other hops added later in the boil, including Perle, El Dorado, Cascade, Idaho 7, and a small portion coming from locally-grown hops donated by people in the Fredericton area. Weighing in at 6% ABV, a portion of the proceeds will go to support United Way. Drop by the brewery this weekend to try a pint, crowler, or growler of this new brew.

• There’s a new Picaroons beer on tap exclusively at the General Store in Saint John – One for the Road Black IPA was brewed to celebrate the recently-renovated Canterbury Street in the city. A small batch brewed on the General Store system, it features a grain bill with plenty of dark, roasted malts, was hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Galaxy, and fermented with an American Ale yeast strain. This 5.6% ale won’t last long, so pop by the General Store to give it a try, while supplies last.

• This week Annapolis Cider Company has a new release in their ‘Something Different’ series, an unfiltered sparkling cider called Peach and Peppercorn. True to its name, it features both freshly cracked peppercorns, with which it’s been infused, and the juice of tree-ripened peaches to the tune of 15% of the batch. On top of the apple base, the peach brings tanginess while the peppercorns provide a subtle heat. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV, you’ll find it available at the cidery, where $0.50 of each bottle refill will be donated to the local 4-H Club.

• Jeremy White of Big Spruce penned a Letter to Nova Scotia this week, detailing some of the struggles and backwards hoops that he, and other breweries, have to go through in that province. A combination of antiquated laws, unfair treatment of breweries versus wineries and distilleries, inequality in tax collection from younger breweries, lead to many frustrations for those looking to earn a living while brewing in the province.

There are a few events this weekend, and in the coming weeks, worth checking out. Here are a few that we wanted to highlight:

• Drop by the Cabot Links Public House tonight for a Big Spruce Tap Takeover. Featuring the core line-up of Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, Kitchen Party Pale Ale, and Tim’s Dirty American IPA, plus seasonals Bitter Get’er India Black IPA and Spruce Bringstein Amber, plus the BS/Boxing Rock For the Love of Grimace Berliner Weisse aged on blueberries. The event starts at 9pm, with live music kicking off at 9:30. The first 48 folks in the door will receive a free glass to take home with them.

• While the weather in Halifax has been beautiful for the past few weeks, it’s time to face reality: the best days of outdoor dining and drinking are behind us. As such, both the Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden, and Stubborn Goat‘s Waterfront location are both winding down for the season this weekend. Drop by for one last hoorah tomorrow before/during/after Nocturne. Good Robot is hosting an interactive art display on their Gastroturf fro Nocturne, so be sure to drop by to take part. And today marks the first day for Stillwell’s new noon-time opening at Barrington. Start the weekend early with some great food and beer on Barrington!

• On Saturday, October 22nd, Sackville’s Ducky’s Bar will be holding a tap takeover featuring PEI Brewing Co., at 7:00 pm. A total of 15 different beers will be flowing, with no cover charge to attend. However, if you pay $20, you will receive a 13-oz branded Belgian-style beer glass, and five 5-oz beer tickets, with 5$ going towards the Tantramar Breast Cancer Organization. Reserve your glass before the 22nd by signing up at the bar, and you’ll receive an addition two 5-oz tickets. Finally, those with the special glass will be able to purchase additional 5 oz pours for the rest of the evening for $2.25. More details, including which beers will be available, will be coming soon; stay tuned to the event page for updates.

• Halloween is fast approaching, and with it comes the first Halloween Bash at Maybee’s, on Saturday, October 29th. Starting around 7 pm at Maybee Brewing Co., there’s all sorts of ghoulish things planned, including haunted brewery tours, a costume contest (with prizes), a dance party with live music and, of course, candy! There’s no cover, and Milda’s Pizza & More will be on-site to provide tasty food for purchase. In addition, a special, super-secret beer will be released by the brewery at the event; we can’t give anything away, but we CAN assure you that it’s NOT a Pumpkin Ale!

• For those interested in learning to make cider, a Continuing Education course at NSCC Kingstec will be kicking off November 3rd. Running for four weeks, Hard Cider Made Easy explores all steps of the cider-making process, including apple selection, pressing, fermenting, and packaging of the final product.

A few more drips and drops before you head out today:

– The Third Annual Hammond River Home Brew Competition will be coming up soon; we’ll have more details for you next week, but in the meantime, raise a glass to Shane Steeves and family as expansion on the new, 15 BBL HR brewhouse located adjacent to The Barrel’s Head has officially begun this week!

– In addition to their regular Thursday night growler evenings, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing will be attending the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmer’s Market, beginning this weekend. Drop by the Historic Gardens location Saturday 9-12 to grab your fills. And while there, be sure to sign up and compete in the 5th Annual North American Conker Championship, taking place that morning. Try, if you dare, to dethrone last year’s winner, Simon Bonnington. Registration and mandatory drug testing starts at 9am.

– Look for more beers and availability at Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing shortly: their 10 BBL (1200 litre) DME brewhouse is working overtime to keep their thirsty fans satisfied. The first batches from their big system should be hitting the taps in Mahone Bay, and elsewhere in the province, very soon.

– There are a pair of new batches on tap at Saint John’s Big Tide Brewpub. It is the return of Karnival Kölsch, as well as their second batch of Indian Beach Pumpkin, this time brewed with all Magnum hops from Darlings Island Farm. And they are down to the last drops of their Hemmingsway Vealy Great Ale, brewed in collaboration with the folks from the Boiling Point podcast.

– Moncton-area Beckwith Road Brewing have released their fourth beer, Upland American Brown. At 6.1% ABV and 40 IBUs, this beer debuted at the Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest last month, and will be found on tap in the city shortly.

Good day, and welcome to another beautiful Friday! Before diving headfirst into your long weekend, there is a ton of beer news to get through, so sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy!

• With expansion soon underway at Hammond River, brewing – luckily for fans of their beer – hasn’t slowed down a bit! Two favourites were rebrewed earlier this week: White Walker White Stout (a pale-coloured Stout brewed with Java Moose Foghorn coffee, Madagascar vanilla beans, and cacoa nibs) was brewed on Tuesday, and Imperial Breakfast Stout (featuring more local coffee and cacao nibs, along with Applewood home-smoked bacon) yesterday. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves also has two new beers in the pipeline, to be brewed very soon. First up will be a new Imperial IPA that will be hopped continuously with Simcoe during the 90-minute boil (with a large dry-hop addition as well, of course). With a grist composed of Pale Ale, Pilsner, and Vienna malt, along with some Carapils, expect this 9.2% ABV, 101 IBUs DIPA to be very hop-forward, as expected. Shortly after, Steeves will be brewing a new take on his The Vegas SMaSH, with this iteration featuring the extremely-popular Citra hop variety. We’ll keep you updated as to the release of all four of these beers in the future.

• The beer keeps flowing at Mama’s Brew Pub, as yet another couple of new brews became available on tap earlier this week. Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout features a grist of 2-row and Medium Crystal, with some Carafa III and Chocolate malt to darken the colour and add some roasted notes to the beer. Hopped lightly with Goldings to 20 IBUs, dehydrated chocolate peanut butter powder was added to both the boil and secondary to add the eponymous flavours; it weighs in at 7.1% ABV. Next up is Pumpkin Patch IPA, an interesting take on the love-it-or-hate-it Pumpkin Ale. This 6.7% ABV beer uses 2-row as the only malt, but gains colour from the addition of pumpkin pie filling, brown sugar, and molasses. “Generously spiced with brown baking spices”, and hopping with Cascade, Amarillo and Summit to 37 IBUs, it’s available just in time for the holiday weekend, as it will be released today. Finally, good news for those of you unable to make frequent trips to the Northside brewpub – Mama’s is currently installing three new 3 BBL (350 L) fermentors, and a crowler machine. This means more beer of course, but more importantly, some of this beer will be available for off-site sales at local beer bars/restaurants in Fredericton.

Celtic Knot has released Murky Depths, a new take on their Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout. Featuring the addition of the meat and water from local wild oysters, it’s a great beer to pair with a variety of salty cheeses. Still quite drinkable at 5% ABV, it’s been pouring at a few select locations throughout Moncton; look for it to hit the taps at Tide & Boar very soon (if it’s not on already). If you missed out, fear not – owner/brewer Bruce Barton has confirmed that a new batch has just been brewed, and will be available on tap, soon. And in other Celtic Knot beer news, their 7.5% ABV Toque and Mitts Barleywine should be released this coming December. Perfect for sipping on cold winter nights, this will mark the third year for the annual release of this full-bodied ale.

Graystone Brewing hasn’t had any trouble breaking in their new brewing equipment – they’ve got several beers in the pipeline, one of which – the first “new” beer brewed on their in-house system – is being released today. Base Camp Idaho is their newest India Session Ale (aka Session IPA), brewed entirely with Idaho 7 (to 60 IBUs), a new experimental hop variety. Described as displaying characters of tropical fruit, stone fruit, citrus and pine, this could very likely be the first time this variety has been used by a brewery in Atlantic Canada. Supremely sessionable at 4.1% ABV, look for it at the brewery for pints and growler fills.

• The bigwigs at Good Robot are a sentimental bunch, and with the departure of Liam, a beloved employee who has returned home to Australia, they’re releasing Chazzwazzers, an “Oceanian Ale” today. Yellow-coloured thanks to a fairly-simple grist of Maritime, Vienna, and Golden Promise malt, plenty of New Zealand and Australian hop varieties were added: Ella and Rakau as whirlpool additions, and Dr. Rudi, Kohatu, and Wakatu in the dry-hop. Expect big aromas and flavours of tropical and stone fruit. Fermented with an American Ale strain to keep the hops front and center, the beer comes in at 7.2% ABV and 46 IBUs. Look for it on tap at Good Robot, and at better beer establishments across the HRM.

• There’s a head-to-head Gose competition underway on PEI, featuring brewers from the PEI Brewing Co. and the Gahan House brewpub, who split up and developed two brand new Gose recipes for draught release only. Let’s start with the PEIBC version, Spiced Gose – brewed with Pilsner malt and a blend of malted and torrefied wheat, it was kettle-soured before being boiled with toasted coriander and a portion of PEI seawater. Hopped-to-style – that is, extremely lightly, to 7 IBUs – with the German Saphir variety, the resulting 3.5% ABV beer is described as “malt-forward, with a balanced salinity and acidity; very drinkable”. A very limited supply will be pouring at the PEIBC taproom and a few regional beer bars, with the rest heading to New Brunswick, where it will be available this weekend at all five ANBL growler stations. Unfortunately, we do not have much information on Gahan’s entry to this friendly competition, but will be sure to share it next week!

Railcar Brewing brewed a special seasonal batch on October 5th that will be hitting the taps in a couple of weeks: Smoked Apple Ale features 25 pounds of locally picked apples added to the mash, a little smoked malt, and a touch of brown sugar at the end of the boil. Look for more details as its release approaches!

• Don’t be surprised if you see a lineup Friday at noon at Unfiltered Brewing, as they bring us another entry in their SMaSH series this week. Spec’d very much like its siblings DOA and Deity, and made with brewmaster Greg Nash’s unique SMaSH technique, the new RSMA is 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU, and features Mosaic hops. This variety, also known as HBC 369, was released in 2012 by the Hop Breeding Company and has become a favourite in hop-forward beers across North America. It’s known to provide a complex combination of floral, fruity, earthy, and especially tropical flavours. If you’re lucky enough to be going to Cask Days in Toronto later this month, you’ll find this one alongside Unfiltered’s Flat Black Jesus West Coast Stout and a bevy of other Maritime brews. If you’re not so fortunate, you can head on over to the brewery or Charm School Pub for a pint or a growler fill. Get on it!

Savoie’s Brewhouse, way up north in River Charlo, New Brunswick, has two items of interest for us this week. The first is the impending release of their new Fall Fair Harvest Ale, containing selected malts from their four main brews into one. This year it uses Chinook, Magnum, Palisade and Cascade (all of which are also featured in their regular line), but going forward it will feature locally grown hops. It is amber in colour and has a slight bitterness. The second piece of news is a move of the brewhouse just down the road to the Heron’s Nest Cottages, home of the Heron’s Nest Pub, where Savoie’s brews are exclusively on tap (where you’ll also find a wide selection of craft and imported beers). This move has also given them the opportunity to follow a welcome trend in the region by expanding their brewhouse capacity from 80 gallons to 160.

Sea Level Brewing is extremely excited to announce the arrival of a true farm-to-glass Nova Scotian beer this weekend. Brewmaster Randy Lawrence has been dreaming of a beer made solely of locally-sourced ingredients since he began growing his own hops in 1983, and the new Indigenous Pale Ale sees his dream become reality. The barley was grown in Port Williams at TapRoot Farms and malted at Horton Ridge Malting Company. The bulk of the hops are of the Cascade variety and were harvested from Sea Level’s own hop farm, while the small remainder comes from other Nova Scotia growers. The beer is 5% ABV, with a smooth malt flavour that allows the floral and citrus notes from the wet-hopped Cascade to shine. A pre-release took place on Thursday at the Port Pub in Port Williams, with cans and 1L growlers available at the brewery today. If you’re in HRM you’ll be able to find this truly Nova Scotian Ale this weekend at Bishop’s Cellar and at select tap accounts around the city. 

• Launched during their epic takeover of Battery Park’s taps last night, there’s a brand new Tatamagouche brew now flowing this week. Batattery Pale Ale has all the hop character of a West Coast IPA, but in a smaller ABV-delivery system, at 60 IBUs and 5.6% ABV. Battery Park’s head bartender Marc Wilson, a native of the West Coast, and BP/North Brewing’s Peter Burbridge made a trip to Tatamagouche to brew up a special collaboration in September. Featuring Malagash-grown Cascade hops added during the mash, with loads more hops added during the boil (namely Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe), and through even more of the local Cascade in a hopback, then with extra dosing of Cascade and Chinook dry hops. Though an ode to hops, the use of Horton Ridge Pale Malt helps to complete the local twist on a West Coast-inspired beer. The beer is available now at Tatamagouche for samples, growler fills, and cans, and will be available at licensees within the next week.

• Attendees to the Tata Takeover were also treated to a sneak peek of their next Berliner Weisse release, Philomenaroma. This 4.0% ABV kettle sour features dark cherries, for a brilliant colour and bright fresh cherry aroma. Look for the full release of this beer next week, on tap and in growlers only. Also launching this coming week is Tata’s collaboration with the crew from Bishop’s CellarCellar Slammer Session IPA; at 4.4% ABV, it features the same light malt recipe from the first release, but is further enhanced, aromatically, with a pass through the hopback with some of their own home-grown whole leaf Cascade. Grab the beer at the brewery in growlers and cans, rotating through the growler station at Bishop’s, and on tap at favourite bars in HRM.

• And speaking of North Brewing, they are releasing a brand new beer today, Headline Milk Stout. It features big chocolate flavour from three different chocolate malts (including debittered chocolate malt), complemented with toasted nut and coffee notes. The addition of lactose lends a creamy and lightly sweet finish to the beer, for a full 360° experience. This 5.5% ABV beer is lightly bittered to just under 30 IBUs for balance. It is available now at their Ochterloney and Agricola locations in 650 mL bottles and 750 mL swing tops, growler fills, and sure to be available at your local watering hole shortly.

• A cross-harbour collaboration was released late last week, between Halifax’s Gahan House and Dartmouth’s Spindrift BrewingYser is a 20 IBU, 5.9% ABV Saison, featuring light amounts of both flaked rye and flaked wheat in the grist for a light spiciness and haze, and persistent head retention. Lemondrop and Meridian hops lend a bright lemon citrus aroma, which is offset with an addition of pink peppercorns late in the boil. With the yeast drying the beer out (taking the final gravity quite low), the wheat and rye help to maintain a pleasant full body mouthfeel. This is one complex beer, perfect for pairing with oysters (the beer was released in celebration of last weekend’s Oysterfest), or your favourite cheese. Grab it on tap at Gahan and Spindrift for growler fills, and there are a few kegs in the wild around the HRM, too.

• There are a pair of other new beers flowing on the Halifax side of the harbour at Gahan as well. Dead Drift Double IPA is definitely American in inspiration and execution, featuring Chinook, Palisade, and Simcoe hops for pine, citrus, and stonefruit flavours and aromatics, but with a restrained 45 IBUs. At 8.2% ABV, the grist is made up solely of 2-Row malt. A light heat does come through, but only serves to deliver more of the hop aromatics directly to the nose.

• The third new beer is Tommy’s Chocolate Orange, a 4.0% ABV Hefeweizen brewed in collaboration with Gahan’s Chef, Thomas Hulford. The aim was to achieve a blonde-coloured beer reminiscent of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, featuring notes of chocolate, citrus, and maybe some banana. The German weizen yeast helps to bring in the banana, while aging on fresh orange zest and cacao nibs bring in the other flavour and aromatic notes. From head brewer Kyle Jesspsen: “While the aromatics are big, the flavour is still very light, quenching and approachable.” Grab all three new beers, as well as core beers Maritime Brine Gose and Night Vision American Porter on tap and in growler fills now, and keep an eye open for a new version of Crosscurrent Pale Ale (this time with Centennial and Comet) releasing Monday.

Mill Street Brewery St. John’s has released a new batch of their Capelin Hound, their 4.0% ABV Session IPA. Plenty of hops are used in this small package, to the tune of 50 IBUs, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story of the big grapefruit and melon aromatics, thanks to a boatload of dry-hopping. While originally brewed to enjoy in great volume while awaiting the Capelin to roll, this beer can definitely be enjoyed into fall. They are also releasing Leder-Helles next week, their Oktoberfest-inspired Munich Helles beer. At 5.2% ABV and 20 IBUs, this golden lager is medium-bodied and malt-forward with a sweet, grainy, and nutty aroma. Light hopping from Hersbruker and Saaz hops give a light spiciness, pairing with the dry finish. Grab these two beers, as well as Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale, on growlers to go, upon release.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is releasing a special collaboration brew this Saturday, brewed with the help of local beertographer and beer fan @kelticdevil (aka Phil Church). Kelticdevil Pumpkin Spiced Latte Strong Porter is an 8.0% Porter, featuring light pumpkin spicing, Sissiboo Coffee Roaster Honduran Coffee, and lactose. The result is more than the sum of its parts, with the cream and coffee coming together with the light spicing for a special seasonal release. To celebrate the release, there will be live music tomorrow night from 10pm, featuring Marc Durkee. Learn more at RHB’s Facebook page.  And there are still a few tickets available for their October 20 Supper Club, more details and the menu are here. And keep an eye out in HRM for their Rooftop Rye-It beer, as kegs were delivered yesterday to Battery Park, Good Robot, Stillwell and Bishop’s Cellar for growler fills.

• Attention homebrewers, the style for this year’s Garrison Home Brew-Off has been announced! Wee Heavy (Category 17C of the 2015 BJCP Guidelines) is a Scottish style of beer, 6.5 – 10.0% ABV, malt-forward and low bitterness, with a full mouthfeel from the crystal and caramel malts. The judging will take place in February with the Gala shortly thereafter. More details will be available soon, and Garrison’s Brew-Off page will updated soon after. Get those test batches on the go now!

• Saint John’s First City has been busy lately, with one recent new beer release and two others on the way. Out now at a handful of beer bars is their American Pale Ale, brewed with “four West Coast ‘C’ variety hops”; it comes in at 5.5% ABV and 42 IBUs. In the next few days, look for Spiced Pumpkin Ale (6% ABV, 25 IBUs) to join the flurry of pumpkin beers currently hitting bars. Finally, their Red IPA (7% ABV, 60 IBUs) will be returning within the next week or so as well.

• In celebration of this year’s Celtic Colours Festival (Oct 7-15), Breton Brewing has just released their Celtic Colours Maple Lager. Featuring more than 20 litres of local maple syrup in the batch, this 5.5% ABV and 15 IBUs Helles is pouring at the brewery and at local bars now. And releasing later today is their Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale, at 5.5% ABV and 20 IBUs, featuring more than 100 kg of roasted pumpkin added to the beer. Today, and into the weekend, they are featuring musicians in their taproom, in celebration of the Festival. Check out the listings here.

Propeller Brewing has brought back their ode to next weekend’s “Art at Night” festival, Nocturne. The 4.8% ABV Nocturne Dark Lager is now available in 500ml bottles and growler fills, and is only available at the Prop Shops on Gottingen and Windmill. And during Nocturne, drop by their Gottingen location from 6 to midnight, when they will be hosting a local artist. A percentage of proceeds of the sale of this beer go to the Nocturne Festival.

Sober Island Brewing has taken to Kickstarter to help fund the next steps in their expansion on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. With rewards ranging from stickers, cooler backpacks for that perfect picnic, to designing and brewing your own custom brew, there are benefits to everyone who takes part. Be sure to check out their campaign and be a part of their exciting future!

• Drop by the Brookside Mall location of ANBL this evening from 5 to 8pm for a taste of some seasonal releases from Sunset Heights Meadery. In addition to Queen’s NectarPunky Pie and several other expressions and still meads will be available. Tomorrow, drop by the Train Station for their “Saturday Sips” from 11 am until 3 pm. They will be serving Queen’s Nectar, Punky Pie, Latifah, BluePrintz, and a new cocktail they’ve temporarily named “Morphine Dance” in honour of author Shelia McPhee’s book The Naked Wine & Morphine Dance, with whom they are sharing the space. It features Queen’s Nectar, Fils du Roy Absinthe, Egg White and Lemonade.

• In case you missed our post earlier this week, Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub is now brewing their own beer onsite. After only a week of availability, they have gone through at least six different flavours, the latest of which, at time of publishing, are: Forum Pale Ale, a 5.8% ABV cloudy hoppy ale with flavors and aromas of melon, lychee and peach; and Amarillo, Citra and Summit Pale Ale, a 5.9% ABV ale featuring loads of the eponymous hops for notes of citrus and apricot.

• Good news for New Brunswickers who are fans of PEI’s Upstreet Brewing – the brewery has confirmed that kegs of several of their beers have been sent to the province for the first time. Look for these to pop up at select bars and restaurants this weekend. If your favourite local watering hole is missing out, be sure to put your request in!

How about some upcoming events to get you inspired?

• The I Love Local Halifax City Harvest is being held October 22nd. This celebration of local businesses is a great excuse to get out and visit the many breweries in our city. Among them, Garrison will be setting up an outdoor bar, sampling some special one-off beers, and will be welcoming Halifax Press to sell grilled cheese sandwiches. Other participants in the event include Bishop’s Cellar and Stubborn Goat.

• November and December are going to be busy for beer and cider fans at Stillwell’s Barrington Street location. On November 5th, they will be hosting their first-ever cider Tap Takeover, featuring West Avenue Cider from Hamilton. Look for a dozen-plus blends to go on tap from opening Saturday. On November 20th, Stillwell will be celebrating their 3rd anniversary with some great blasts from the past, as well as the celebration and release of their latest beer, brewed at North. We now know that the Bissell Brothers / Orono Brewing Co tap takeover will be happening Saturday December 10th, and will be sure to be a Maine-iac of a weekend! And while no date has yet been set, they have announced that Danish gypsy brewery Mikkeller will be sending a full 24 beers to invade their taps during an epic weekend some time in December. Keep your eyes peeled here for the details on this event. And be sure to drop by the Beergarden this weekend, before the outdoor space closes for the year. The crew from Rinaldo’s are serving up some Italian inspired sandwiches and dishes today from 4pm.

Wow, do things seem busier today, or is it just us? Be sure to check ahead on breweries’ and bars’ status over this long weekend, as some may be closed (in addition to the provincial stores). A few more parting shots:

– Bad Apple Brewhouse has released their collaboration with the Delta Force homebrewing collective. Operation Green Ring is a 5.0% Cucumber Mint Wheat beer. Also keep an eye out for their BAB’s Russian Imperial Stout, as the latest batch of this 9.0% ABV roasty beast is hitting local taps shortly. These, as well as a handful of others, are available at their Somerset location now.
Petit Sault‘s Oktoberfest, La Padrix, is back on tap for a limited time; with a “rich malty taste, and light biscuit notes”, it comes in at 5.6% ABV.
– Speaking of Oktoberfest beer, the Pump House Oktoberfest is back out in six packs. At 5.5% ABV and 12 IBUs, this amber-coloured lager can be found at ANBL stores, and likely on tap at the brewpub in Moncton as well.
– Yellowbelly Brewpub have released a brand new beer, Flatrock Freshie. This 5.6% ABV Saison features loads of locally-grown Blackcurrants, and is available on tap and in bottles to go, at both the brewery and NLC stores shortly.


In August, rumours that had been abound for months were officially confirmed, as Foghorn Brewing Company announced they would be opening this fall at 47 Clark Rd in the town of Rothesay, located in Kennebecasis Valley. Co-owned by Business Manager Steve Russell and brewmaster Andrew ‘Esty’ Estabrooks, the brewery and taproom should be open by late October. We recently chatted with Steve and Esty to learn more about their plans for New Brunswick’s newest brewery…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Steve: I believe food is one of the great pleasures in life. And I believe that beer is food. I love everything about it: I love drinking it, talking about it, thinking about it. I also love the community of KV, where I grew up and where Foghorn Brewing Company is located.
Esty: I have been brewing for almost 13 years. I worked at Picaroons, Petit Sault, have done a bit of Gypsy brewing, and consulted on various projects, including Mama’s Brew Pub and Beckwith Road. I love the beer/brewers culture; I find it’s a part of our society that was in dire need of being brought back. It opens up the channels of communication and friendship. Drink more pints and put down those damn phones!

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Steve: I hitch-hiked across Europe and the UK when I was 18. There I first discovered real cask ale and it changed everything. A few years later, I ended up on the West Coast for a number of years and was introduced to the North West craft beer renaissance. That was when the dream was born.
Esty: I was fortunate enough to be part of the early trailblazing that Picaroons did. I used to help bottle and glue four-pack boxes for payments in short-fills in University. Then when I returned from teaching English in South Korea, friends told me to go see Sean Dunbar [owner of Picaroons] for a job. I started washing kegs and gluing boxes, and the love for beer and brewing grew from there.

What appealed to you about setting up shop in KV?
Steve: I was born and raised here. My family and friends are here. There was no question about opening a brewery anywhere else. It’s a great community, beautiful, happy, and growing. Most importantly, We feel it deserves its own craft brewery.

What size/manufacturer/type of system will you be brewing on? Expected output?
We are a 7 BBL (800 L) brewhouse (from DME in PEI) expecting somewhere in the range of 600-700 hL range yearly.

Newly-installed brewing equipment

Foghorn’s newly-installed brewing equipment

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially? Are you planning on offering a specific style, or genre?
Esty: We won’t be tied to any specific style; seasonals and one-offs are a must and allow for lots of fun and adventure. We also love the idea of collaboration with our fellow brewers and will hopefully have a dedicated tap in our taproom for collaborations only. The three styles we will lead with are a British Golden (my background is mainly British brewing, so this was a no-brainer), a West coast-style IPA (why deny the obvious), and an Irish Dry Stout. We will also start doing cask ales as soon as possible, likely just out of our taproom at first but eventually to accounts.

What are your plans for distribution? Will you be licensed for on-site sampling/pints?
As far as distribution, we are focusing on the local area. Initially, just KV and the greater Saint John area. Although we are growth-oriented, we are a small brewery and don’t want to spread ourselves too thin. Our location at 47 Clark Road in Rothesay will sell beer in-house by the glass in our taproom or in growlers for off-site consumption (even kegs, if you’re that thirsty!).

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We’ve had great support from the local restaurant and pub community already. We’ll be on tap in a few local establishments in the KV and SJ area. It’s important to us, however, to ensure we have plenty on hand in our brewery for when people visit us in Rothesay. Check our website once we’re open for our account listings. Regardless, we’re excited to partner with such great local businesses.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada?
Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes. Too many to list. Other than friends and family, the Town of Rothesay, and the local business community, a number of Maritime-wide craft breweries have been more than willing to  help and give advice. So many that I hesitate to list them lest I forget anyone. To everyone that helped: we are forever grateful!

Thanks to Steve and Esty for answering our questions; we look forward to trying their beers in Rothesay in the very near future! Follow them on both Facebook and Twitter for updates; of course, we’ll be providing more information as it becomes available.


Since opening in 2012, Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub has been combining the best of local and craft beer with thoughtful food, including their very popular Boar Poutine, along with hosting local music and events. Late last week they launched the first of their house-brewed beers, produced by one of the owners, and long-time homebrewer, Chad Steeves. We caught up with Chad to learn more about the new beers hitting the taps at T&B these days.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Tide and Boar?
I am one of the owners of Tide & Boar Gastropub. We have been open for five years and have been trying our best to be a home to good beer, food and live music. After home brewing for the past five years I thought it was time to offer my own beers on tap.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
I was in a pub in the Rockies thirteen years ago, when a British friend of mine passed me a 32oz glass of Guinness; I had asked him what this glass of black was and he said by the time you get to the bottom of it you’ll be a fan. He was right, and I’ve been trying new beer, while learning as much about it as possible.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
I’m a big fan of IPAs, love the hops!

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
It’s something I have dreamed about for a long time and I finally felt I had the time to do it.

What size/manufacturer/type of system are you be brewing on? Expected output (monthly, yearly, etc)?
We are brewing on a 1 BBL (120 litre) electric system from Ruby Street,  along with seven 170 litre Blichmann conical fermentors.

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering?
I’m planning on selling more “series of beers”, with a lot of them being focused on different hops and malt blends. All hazy and unfiltered of course! In the Hoppy IPA vein, we started with the 5.9% ABV Centennial/Simcoe/Citra (that sold out right away), and are currently serving Apollo (which in addition to the eponymous hop, also features AmarilloCitra, and Pacific Gem) and a Fresh Hop Pale Ale, also 5.9% ABV, featuring local Cascade and Willamette. We also currently offer a kettle sour series we’re calling Sour Otis: this sub-5% ABV beer will be infused with whatever blend of in-season fruit or berries we can get. So far we have done a Wild Raspberry Hibiscus (that’s already sold out), and on now is the Blueberry Basil; up next we have a Field Grape & Lemon Zest, with even more to come. The size of the system really means I can explore and try different ideas out. But for now, Hazy IPAs and Kettle Sours are what I have brewing in our tanks.


Tide & Boar Brewing’s Apollo IPA, Sour Otis (Blueberry and Basil), and Harvest Pale Ale

Will you be sending beers out to other bars/restaurants, or offering growler fills?
We do plan to send our beer to other bars and places when we can. We’re not actively pursuing this option currently, but would be happy to put a keg here or there on request. I’m going to try to not keep it all here at the Tide & Boar.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
Every brewery we work with at the Tide & Boar has been great and very supportive: in no particular order, Grimross Brewing, Unfiltered, Beckwith Road, Garrison, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, Bore City, to name a few…

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
Only time will tell!

Anything else you’d like to share, we’d love pass it along.
I guess I just want to emphasize that we will continue to carry and support the craft beer scene. I have no intention of not selling other craft breweries at the Tide & Boar – I love trying new beers. Our beers will only take up 2-4 lines at a time, and we currently have 14 draft lines.

Thanks to Chad for getting us up to speed with Tide & Boar Brewing, and be sure to check what’s on tap through their Twitter, Facebook, and Untappd pages.

Another Friday, another busy week in beer news in Atlantic Canada. Grab your coffee, or coffee stout, and get up to speed with the latest info.

• Dartmouth’s newest nano, Brightwood Brewery has added to their lineup this week with their McNabs Pure, a rye IPA. Golden-hued, this 6.3% ABV beer uses rye in combination with Bramling Cross hops to give it an earthy spiciness that should pair nicely with crisp fall air and the scent of fallen leaves. Further additions of the classic noble hop Hallertauer will present with an herbal and spicy but restrained aroma as well as bolstering the flavour and complementing the solid bitterness of 50 IBUs. You’ll find it at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market this weekend along with Brightwood’s other offerings.

Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s is joining in the seasonal fun this fall with Cobbler Path, an unfiltered blueberry wheat ale that’s been cold-aged on 70 pounds of wild Newfoundland blueberries. The aroma features subtle berry, ripe fruit, and melon notes, while on the palate a slight sweetness is balanced by tartness from the berries. A judicious bitterness rounds out this beer through the use of Mosaic hops to the tune of 25 IBUs. At 5% ABV expect it to go down easy, with the creamy, smooth mouthfeel characteristic of a wheat beer and a dry finish that should make this a fine pint to toast an early autumn afternoon or evening.

• There’s a new beer on tap at the Grimross taproom this week – Petite Grim is actually a scaled down version of another fairly-recent Grimross beer, Grimdonk. Categorized by the brewery as a “Belgian Blonde Session Ale”, the grist, hops (Southan Farms Goldings) and Belgian yeast strain are the same, but it comes in at a more-sessionable 4.6% ABV (vs. the 7% ABV of Grimdonk). Available now for growler fills and pints at the brewery. And look for the return of their Abbey Dubbel, on tap at the brewery just this morning, and around the city soon!

• There’s a new small batch beer on tap at Propeller‘s Halifax location these days, E = MC Yummy. This Honey Lager weighs in at 4.8%, and a light 20 IBUs, and features a light dosing of honey on top of a lager base. This beer is only available on Gottingen, so be sure to drop by soon to grab a sample and growler fill. You may be smarter for it! And for all you pumpkin fans, keep your eyes peeled for a special cask of their Double IPA, dosed with pumpkin spicing, that should be tapped soon, either at the Gottingen taproom, or at a local bar.

• After making its debut at last weekend’s Cask Beer Throwdown, North Brewing released Priority Pale Ale yesterday, a 5% American IPA featuring all Belgian malt, fermented with an American yeast, for a light honey character in the base. Upon that, a bevvy of American hops were added to the boil, namely CascadeChinook, and Columbus, for a solid balancing bitterness of 30 IBUs. A further dry-hop with Cascade and Chinook help to bring out the floral and citrus aroma to complement the light sweetness and biscuit from the malt, and deliver notes of apricot and grapefruit. The beer is also meant for people to pause and see where their priorities lie, and the following poem/APA beer description was written in collaboration with Tanya Davis, local singer and songwriter, and former Halifax Poet Laureate.
If your priorities go crooked, dazzled by masses and billboards, remember that balance is yours to restore. Start here. This beer has aroma to wake you, a captivating flavour to encourage sips and contemplation, and a nourishing bitterness, righteous and mild. Find the symmetry your life requires and align your people with your efforts. It’s not more things; it’s more things better

• With their Watermelon Blonde soon to fade into the memories of the summer just past, Nine Locks Brewing is bringing us a new seasonal with a style that is a favourite of many (and a bête noire of some). Pumpkin, a dark amber ale features a full body and residual sweetness from the use of pumpkin, the classic spicing known to anyone who loves pumpkin pie or PSLs, and a malty backbone that completes the palate with a fullness to balance the sweet and spice. The 12 IBUs won’t interfere with the feature flavours and aromas, and coming in at an easy-drinking 5.2% ABV, this one is expected to be available next Tuesday at the brewery. Nine Locks’ social media accounts will surely be the best place to find out the exact timing of this release.

• Attention Fredericton and surrounding areas – Red Rover wants your apples! During the weekend of October 15th-16th, they’re hosting the 1st Annual Scrumping for a Cause. A special cider will be created from all of the apples brought in, as long as they’re picked from apple trees, as opposed to collecting them from the ground (i.e. no bruised or beaten apples, please). For every two bushels (max 8 per person, dropped off at 880 Hanwell Rd., Unit 305), you’ll receive a 750 mL bottle of the cider that your apples are helping to create! All of the profits of this special release will be donated to the Fredericton Region Museum, and participants can choose to donate their allotted bottle directly to the cause as well. And check in the Events section below for more details on what they are pouring at tomorrow’s Fredericton Cider Festival!

• Over at Maybee Brewing, their Harvest Ale – a wet-hopped SMaSH brewed with Maris Otter malt and Southan Farms Columbus hops – should be available on tap and in cans sometime next week. In the meantime, they’ve brewed up another brand new beer, Forage Rye IPA. The grist features a “Crystal Rye malt” from Quebec, giving the beer a dark, ruby-red colour. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Columbus, expect this one to come in somewhere around 7.2% ABV and 72 IBUs; it should be available on tap and in cans by mid-October.

• And speaking of Harvest Ale, Picaroons has released their series of the annual brew this week. There are three versions of the 5.5% Pale Ale, each featuring hops from a different Maritimes hop field. Batch 144 features Mt. Hood from Nova Scotia’s Wallace Ridge Farm145 was brewed with Willamette from PEI’s My Father’s Farm, and 157 uses ferals hops from Moose Mountain, in Maplehurst, NB. Look for the beer on tap and on shelves in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia now, and learn more about the hop growers at Picaroons’ site. And a fourth batch, brewed with hops from  LunaHop Farm in Cornhill, New Brunswick will be brewed and released in October.

• Picaroons is releasing another special collaboration brew today, Spudnik Potato Stout. Yes, you read that correctly, potatoes! Teaming up with the CCNB and BioNB, the 4.7% ABV beer was brewed with lots of Russet potatoes grown from Toner Farms in Grand Falls. Hopped with Golding and Willamette, the epic 17-hour brewday has resulted in a smooth and full-bodied brew. The beer is now on tap now at the Fredericton Brewtique for growler fills, so drop by today grab one (and a bag of locally-produced chips to complement).

• Drop by Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing for a slew of new wet-hopped suds on the board. Their Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale is on now,  which features additions of real pumpkin, and is wet-hopped with freshly-harvested Cascade from Dunhams Run. As always, the beer also has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove added to boost the pumpkin pie presence, resulting in an interesting flavour combination for this 5% ABV brew. They have also brewed a wet-hop version of their FogBound Hemp Pale Ale, swapping out Cascade for Dunham Run’s Hallertauer and Nugget. This batch weighs in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs. And a brand new beer is right around the corner! Golden Hawk White IPA was brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malts, and wet-hopped with Super Alpha hops from Darlings Island Farm. The combination Belgian Witbier and IPA features lots of citrus and coriander notes (typical of the wit), and a balancing bitterness and citrus kick of hops of an American IPA. The beer weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 72 IBUs, and is named after the hawk who watch the hopyard from atop his perch all summer.

• Moncton’s Acadie-Broue brought back a pair of favourites at last weekend’s Atlantic Craft Beer Oktoberfest, and will have them also at least one of them pouring at Le Coude shortly. Their Sour Wheat Kiebitz Coti and Gose were both available, using the same base, but the Gose was infused with coriander seeds and sea salt. The Gose was previously brewed in collaboration with Big Tide Brewing in 2015 (called Marée Montante), using Bay of Fundy seawater. The next batch of the Gose will also be brewed with seawater, and will probably be released under the name Reflux. Keep an eye hear for details when it is released. And look for the Valdrague Weizen Wheat Beer, on tap at Le Coude now.

Be sure to head out for some drinking fun this weekend!

• Don’t forget to head to the Fredericton Cider Festival tomorrow! Held at Brewbakers downtown, there will be unlimited 4 oz samples of more than 25 different varieties of cider, with local cideries such as Red Rover, York County, Gagetown Cider Company, and Scow being the main stars of the show. We have some advance notice of what Red Rover will be bringing, which includes their regular line-up and old favourites of Fall, Summer, Spring, Fire and Blues along with more recent addition specialty cider, Dragon SlayerHopped, Tinderbox, and the first 2016 White Witch will also be served (although it won’t be available for purchase until later in October). They are also planning on tapping the last keg of 2014 VeRRy Perry in celebration and anticipation of receiving juice to begin our first batches of 2016 Perry. They will also be serving three specialty ciders, to be served from cask. These are: The Matador, a fruity still cider with high acidity reminiscent of Spanish Sidra; Motown, a cider-wine hybrid made from Fredericton grapes, and an oak-aged Scrumpy. From Red Rover, “This will be the largest selection of Red Rover cider that has ever been available at a single location and we’re very excited to be able to share it with everyone tomorrow.” Tickets are still available ($56.50, tax included), which get you a tasting glass and samples from 1:00-3:30 pm; VIP tickets, which allow for early entry at noon, are sold out (though there is a waitlist).

• Also happening October 1 is the Marion Bridge Oktoberfest, running from 3-10pm. As in previous years, Big Spruce has released their specialty beer for the event, Spruce Bringstein. This American Amber is 6.2% ABV and a light 27 IBUs, and will be available at the Oktoberfest, as well as on tap at the brewery now, and at better beer bars around the province. And be sure to drop by Big Spruce this weekend for the last Farm to Fork Food Truck weekend of the season.

A few more beers and news items worth reading about today, before we sign off:

– Two Canadian brewery equipment manufacturers, Charlottetown’s DME Brewing Solutions and Abbottsford, BC’s Newlands Systems, have announced that they are joining forces into one company. While keeping their respective offices and operations, they will be opening a joint 50,000 sqft manufacturing location in South Carolina in the new year. Read more in the official press release.

Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their Flat Black Jesus American Stout today. At 7% ABV and more than 100 IBUs, this black ode to hops is available for growler fills and pints right now, like leave work and head there now, now.

– Sheet Harbour’s Henley House is winding down their season with a big weekend, so be sure to make a trip to this cozy pub soon. That also means that Sober Island Brewing, who usually have two or more of their beers on tap at the Henley, will be able to send more of their beer to thirsty drinkers in HRM. Early next week, look for their Oyster Stout on tap at The Press Gang (what better way to wash down freshly shucked Sober Island oysters?), followed shortly by a tap at Argyle Street’s Lot Six.

– Today is the last day to register for the Gahan House Charlottetown Home Brewer’s Challenge. Fire them an email, then brew up your best Winter Warmer! Details on their Facebook page.

– Congratulations to Downtown Halifax’s two new breweries, 2 Crows and Tidehouse, who both received their brew systems this week. Things are well on track for both breweries to be opening in the next couple of months!