Happy Friday, folks! Breweries are in full Summer mode now, so there’s lots of news and new beers to share with y’all! And be sure to grab a growler or two of something tasty Tuesday, so that you can be sipping on local suds to celebrate Canada Day Wednesday! Can you tell we’re excited? Yup, we are!

• Earlier this week, PEI Brewing Company launched their Cask Program at their Kensington Street location. Throughout the summer, they will be rotating through special casks of beer on their hand pump at the bar. Currently on is the “BourbAnne of Green Gables”, their Island Red dosed with bourbon-soaked wood chips. These local casks will not take away from the special beers that they’ve been sending to Bar Stillwell, however, and we have heard that there are two new sour beers heading across the Northumberland soon: one was casked with dandelion wine must and another with cold extracted Receiver coffee.

• And speaking of PEI Brewing, these Island Brews have taken over the Board Room Game Cafe‘s taps this weekend, with seven different brews pouring. Staple brews 1772 IPA and Iron Bridge Brown are joined by seasonals Blueberry Ale, Sydney Street Stout, and special brews Blood Orange IPAVic Park APA, and Setting Day Saison. More details can be found at the Facebook event page. But be warned, there’s only one of each keg, so visit early to avoid disappointment! Flights of four beers can be purchased for $7.95.

Bulwark is releasing a new cider, Sour Cherry Cider.  The Cider weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and features their signature blend of Annapolis Valley-grown apples, with a special sour cherry base added (including some Valley-grown cherries) for a great sour cherry blast, and rich red colour. This celebratory Canada Day cider is only available on tap at the following locations in Halifax (sorry, no bottles): Economy Shoe Shop, Gahan House, Lion & Bright, Old Triangle, RockHead [for growler fills], Scanway Cafe, Stillwell (both Barrington and the Beergarden), and Stubborn Goat. Keep an eye on their social media feeds to check when this treat is flowing! And keep an eye out for Bulwark’s new branding, with their Original blend now being available in 6-packs at the NSLC and private stores.

• There’s a beer on tap at the Big Tide brewpub in Saint John that hasn’t been available for awhile – Gesner’s Deluxe Copper Ale. Only available about once every year or two, it’s brewed with 2-row and Pale Ale malts for the base, with lots of CaraMunich and some Carafa specialty malts to add caramel and bready notes to the aroma and flavour of the beer. This particular batch was hopped with Simcoe to about 50 IBUs, adding some pine and citrus notes. Quite drinkable at 4.8% ABV, it won’t be around long, so be sure to drop by the brewpub for a pint and/or growler fill!

• And in other exciting Big Tide news, they will once again be hosting Acadie-Broue owner/brewer Patrice Godin this weekend for another collaboration brew. This time around, they’re tackling Gose, an increasing-in-popularity, tart German style that usually features the addition of salt and coriander. Godin and Big Tide brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos have decided to use Bay of Fundy water to provide the salty flavour typical to this style (Godin’s day job as a water microbiologist comes in handy at times!). The beer will also be sour-mashed to provide the signature sour and tart flavours expected in the style. Stay tuned for more info on this beer in the near future.

• There’s a new beer currently fermenting at Grimross, a “Table Oat Saison”. Featuring a grist made-up entirely of oats, owner/brewer Stephen Dixon was naturally preparing for a very challenging mash, as the oats would no doubt cause issues, as they take much longer on their own to convert their starches to sugars (3 hours, in this particular case) than other grains. Magnum hops were used for the bittering addition, and Hallertau for taste and aroma. Fermented with the Grimross house yeast, the beer should come in around 4% ABV and 25 IBUs, making it a true “Table” beer. We’ll let you know when this beer is pouring at the brewery!

• Earlier this week, TrailWay released the second iteration of Patio, one of their summer seasonals. As the name implies, this 4.5% ABV ale is meant to be a sessionable and refreshing beer to enjoy outdoors in the summer weather. A “Session Wheat Beer”, the first version was hopped with Chinook and Cascade, and had some orange zest added after primary fermentation. This time around, the beer was hopped a little heavier, solely with Comet (a citrusy/grapefruit-y variety that is found in many TrailWay hoppy beers), with no orange zest added. It can currently be found at several establishments in Fredericton that serve TrailWay beers. Look for future versions to feature further changes, until the beer is retired at the end of the season.

• It’s Petit-Sault‘s first anniversary, and they’re celebrating in style! Tomorrow, June 27th, they will be hosting a free open house at the brewery in Edmundston from 1 – 6 pm, featuring beer tastings and pulled pork sliders. A terrace will be open for drinking and socializing, and when you purchase your first full pour, you get to keep the glass! A special surprise birthday firkin will be tapped at 4 pm, and there will be a short ceremony at 6 pm. Live music from Les Bagosseux will start shortly after, at 6:30. Happy anniversary to all the hard workers at the brewery, and cheers to many more years!

Sea Level Brewing has brought back their Southern Cross IPA. The beer weighs in at 6.5%, and features both the New Zealand Southern Cross and Australian Ella hop varietals (in fact, it was dry-hopped in two stages with Ella). The bold hop bitterness clocks in at 80 IBUs, and showcases some nice citrus and subtle pine characters. It is available now at the Port Pub, at Harvest Wines in cans, and Obladee Wine Bar on tap. It will also be pouring at the Bishop’s Cellar growler station shortly.

• Speaking of Bishop’s Cellar, their new 5-tap growler system has been installed by Ken Greer and crew of BeerTech, and the beer is now flowing on the waterfront. Despite their small retail space, they’ve managed to install a cooler to house the direct draw system, with taps mounted directly on the wall. They are focusing on serving beers not otherwise available in the HRM, skipping those that are handily found in bottles or cans. They offer fills of both the 32 oz and 64 oz (0.95 and 1.89 litre) growlers, and customers can either buy a Bishop’s growler, or bring their own clean bottles. They do have a rinse station, for a last blast of water to reduce foaming. At launch, they are pouring Garrison’s Coast to Coastless Collaboration Imperial ESB, Good Robot Crown on the Ground Steam, Granite Brewery Hopping Mad IPA, Propeller Halifornia Common, and Tatamagouche Butcher Block Red. The current lineup will be posted on their Beer page, and that page highlights the new arrivals and specials they are featuring at any given time. To go with their expanded beer offerings, they will be doing more beer tastings as part of their regular events, and have even been sneaking in a beer or two during their regular wine tastings. Drop by today at 5pm for the official public launch, and to fill up your growlers!

• More news on the progress of Savoie’s Brewhouse, the soon-to-open brewery in Charlo, New Brunswick: owner/brewer Rodney Savoie has confirmed that the first two flagship beers, Island Lake Blonde and Chaleur Phantom Amber Ale, have successfully made it through the ANBL tasting panel. Next up is lab testing, followed by an ANBL listing, and then it’s official – their beer will be ready for sale! We’ll continue to keep you updated on their progress.

• The latest beer offering from Newfoundland Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is now open, and this time it focuses on Belgium. Coming to the NLC in October are: Saison Dupont, Halve Maan Brugse Zot Blonde, Oud Beersel Oude Kriek, and DeuS Brut des Flandres. While the beers will be available to all NLC customers, these sign-ups give the Club an idea as to how popular the orders will be, to ensure there’s enough to go around. Your input is much appreciated, please fill out the order form today.

• And speaking of the NLACBC, they are holding a unique beer (or wine, if you prefer) tasting event July 9th. They will be visiting St. Michael’s Printshop on Harbour Drive, and pairing beer or wine with Italian cheese, and different printmaking techniques. A different Trou du Diable beer (or Sauvignon Blanc wine) will accompany each of four stops along the tour. This poster has more info, and email Tom Beckett to sign up today (there are just a few spots left).

• Cristall Wine Merchants in Sunnyside Mall have also begun filling growlers at their location, featuring four taps. Currently pouring are: Cristall Pale Ale (brewed for them by Garrison), Big Spruce Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Tatamagouche Butcher Block Red, and Sea Level Rojo Mojo Red. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for updates to the lineup.

Breton Brewing in Sydney will be opening this weekend! Kegs of their Stirling Hefeweizen and Black Angus IPA have been filled, and being delivered to restaurants and bars as you read this. They will be having a soft opening at the brewery Saturday 10-5pm, so be sure to drop by and grab a growler or two to go. Their tap room, and Sons of Hector Brown Ale, will be open and pouring very soon. Congratulations Andrew and Bryan!

Stillwell Beergarden has been a popular spot during the sporadic lovely days available recently, pouring 10 lines of exclusively-Nova Scotian beer, cider, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks (including cold brewed coffee and lemonade). Now you can keep track of the Beergarden’s status, as it is heavily dependent on the weather. Save http://www.barstillwell.com/beergarden in your list of bookmarks, to stay in the loop.

Tatamagouche Brewing‘s canning line has been busy this week, and these boat- and beach-friendly packages will be available this weekend at the brewery. As their bottle stock decreases, Hippie Dippie Pale Ale, North Shore Lagered Ale, and Butcher Block Red canned versions will be replacing them. Their current seasonal, RR#2, will also be available next week at the brewery. Beginning July 4th, the cans will also be available at their Farmer’s Market stand. Cans will be the package of choice for all but their Giant Beer series (Giantess Barleywine , Two Rivers Baltic Porter, and Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot IBA, all still available for purchase at the brewery) going forward. Folks shopping at the brewery are welcome to mix their own 12-pack, and will save $0.25 per can when buying in 12-packs (or more).

Meander River has released their collaboration with Garrison’s Daniel Girard, Surf & Turf. It is a Strong Scotch Ale, featuring Seaweed and Peated Malt in the mash, giving the beer a “rich, complex flavour of scotch, sweet caramel, slight salt, and roasted malt”, according to the brewery. This 6.2% ABV, deep copper-coloured ale was brewed for the Taste of Nova Scotia “Dinner on the Ocean Floor” event, which starts this weekend. You can also find the beer on tap at the brewery this weekend.

• The cask list for Saturday’s Ladies Beer League 2nd Birthday at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth has been finalized: Big Spruce Brewing‘s Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Boxing Rock Collaboration Rule 42 English IPA Garrison Brewing Dry-Hopped Imperial IPA, and North Brewing Company Summer Saison with Sour CherriesTickets are still available for the pizza, beer, and cake extranvaganza.

Have a great weekend, and Canada Day Wednesday! Speaking of, it’s your last chance to snatch up the few remaining tickets for the Canada Day Bash in Fredericton at the Lighthouse on the Green, featuring lots of local craft beer, BBQ, and fireworks! Hell Bay has released their Hell’s Anvil Smoked Stout, brewed for the CanIRON X event, and have a very limited number of bottles available at their Liverpool brewery. Red Rover has announced that they will now be at the St. Andrews Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 8 am – 1 pm for flagon fills.  The Moncton Beer League is hosting a NS Craft Beer BBQ Deck Party on Saturday, July 11th, which will feature a four-course dinner, with each course being paired with a different Nova Scotia beer; check the link for tickets and more details. Keep an eye out early next week for the next iteration of PEI Brewing Co.’s Vic Park Pale Ale; this version will feature the wonderful Nelson Sauvin hop. Several new beers are on tap at Paddys Irish Brewpub in the Valley. Drop by for a taste of their Scotian Tartan Export Sour, Porter,  and Lime beers. For those of you lucky enough to be near the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL, you’ll be able to find Hammond River‘s popular seasonal, Hawaiian Pale Ale, on tap for growler fills there next week (July 2-5). Finally, keep your eyes on Upstreet Craft Brewing‘s social media outlets, as they’ll be opening this weekend!

Hooray, another Friday! Which means… hooray, more Atlantic Canadian beer news! Things have slowed down a bit this week, but there’s still plenty of beer-related items to tackle:

• After the release of their Maritime Pale Ale last month, Grimross has released a darker variation of the beer that they’re calling Maritime Amber Ale. Featuring a brand of Pale Malt (sourced from Quebec) with a darker colour (i.e. longer roast), the beer is amber-coloured and features more toffee flavours as a result. That’s not the only difference, however; while the Pale Ale was hopped relatively equally with both British and American varieties, the Amber Ale hopping is skewed more towards the British side, meaning less citrus and more earthiness in the aroma, and more of a “perceived hoppiness”. Like the Pale Ale, it’s still an easy-drinking beer at 5.6% ABV.

• Earlier this week, TrailWay welcomed back their D’Under Pale Ale, and as promised when they first released this beer in early May, the second iteration involves some slight changes. The first go-around, this light-coloured Pale Ale was hopped solely with Galaxy, a popular Australian variety; this time, another Australian hop, Ella, was thrown into the mix. Actually related to Galaxy (half-sister… no, we’re not kidding), Ella is known to be a bit more subtle, and offers floral, spice, and tropical notes when used. The beer still weighs in around 5.5% ABV, but the IBUs have been decreased slightly to around 35, with the high majority of those coming from a whirlpool hop addition at the end of the boil. It’s available on tap now at 540 Kitchen & Bar, and will likely be seen at all of their Fredericton accounts within a week. Make sure you get some of this delicious beer before it’s gone! Also note that their Black IPA, Black Hops One, has returned, and is on tap now at the King Street Ale House.

• Quickly following the successful launch of their on-site taproom, Big Axe has released a new beer: Lizzie Borden Red Ale is an appropriately-named Amber Ale that incorporates a “mixture of Crystal malts” and some Roasted malt to give a “significant malt and toffee aroma”, along with a slight, “roasted-grain finish”. Hopped lightly with English Goldings, it comes in at 5% ABV. You can find it at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and should be on tap at their various accounts in the near future.

• Sticking with New Brunswick beer news, a new festival has been announced for Fredericton this summer. On Saturday, July 11th, the first Tasting NB event will be held from 7 – 10 pm at the Capital Complex downtown. With the purpose of “bringing together New Brunswick craft alcohol producers of all varieties for the first time”, the festival will feature many (if not all) beer, cider, mead, and even wine producers in the province. The full list of participants has not been determined yet, but it looks like a great way to sample what New Brunswick has to offer this summer! Tickets are on sale now; they’re $55.99, and include unlimited 6 oz pours during the event. Afterwards, there will be an after party with live music and a NB Tap Takeover at Wilser’s Room; we’ll keep you updated on the festival as it nears. Get your tickets now!

• Halifax’s North Brewing has brewed up a special beer to celebrate Local Source‘s 10th Anniversary. Hang Ten is a refreshing and sessionable 4.5% ABV hybrid beer. Pilsner malt makes up most of the grain bill (with a touch of Crystal 15 for body), with Amarillo hops added to the mash, and a first wort hop addition of Columbus. Late hop additions in the boil feature Columbus again, along with Wakatu and Amarillo. Columbus and Wakatu were also used as a dry hop during lagering, along with a blast of sweet orange peel. The beer was fermented mid-temperature (between traditional lager and ale temperatures, hence the term “hybrid”), and then lagered for 3 weeks. The beer is being released at Local Source’s Who’s Your Farmer Dinner tomorrow (tickets are still available), a celebration of LS’s local farmers and producers. After the launch, it will be available on tap at Lion & Bright and North’s store.

• Speaking of Anniversaries, the Ladies Beer League is celebrating their Second Birthday with a party at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth. Next Saturday, June 27th, they will be pouring casks from Big Spruce Brewing (Pump Le Mousse Grapefruit Wheat), Boxing Rock (Rule 42 English IPA), Garrison Brewing (TBD) and North Brewing (also TBD). The $25 ticket includes five 7 oz pours from the casks, along with pizza and cake. Tickets are available online now. They are currently only available to LBL Members (check out the details on becoming a member here), but will open up to the general public this afternoon. Attendees can also sign up for a membership that night, and pick up some LBL swag. And if you post a picture of yourself in your LBL shirt to their Facebook page, you could win one of their newly-designed shirts.

• Garrison Brewing has teamed up with their pals at Bulwark Cider to release a cider of their own! Brewhouse Cider is made from a blend of five Annapolis Valley apples, and weighs in at 5.8% ABV. Available at the brewery now for sampling and growler fills, and on tap at their licensees shortly, it may also be available in bottles in the future.

• The Rare Bird Pub in Guysborough has opened again for the season. While they brew on-site year-round for release on tap and the NSLC, their pub is only open in the warmer months. They are open daily 11:30-8pm at 80 Main Street, where their Full Steam Stout, Red Ale, Pale Ale, and seasonals can be enjoyed at the source. Look for their Spruce Ale to be re-released soon.

• Beginning next Friday, and for each and every Friday this summer, Big Spruce in Nyanza will host “Food Truck Friday”, where they’ll have have food, music, and of course beer at their brewery and tap room. To mark the occasion, the folks from Free Range Bio Farm in Cleveland, CB will drop by in their food truck. They will be serving their own on-farm raised and processed German-style Berkshire pork sausages, complete with sauerkraut and all the fixings. There will be live music, and of course Big Spruce’s beers, including the tapping of a special cask. Check Big Spruce’s Facebook event for more info, and subsequent weeks’ announcements.

• The NSLC has released their Year-End Report for 2014, and while overall beer sales fell by 1.2%, sales of NS Craft Beer sales grew by 25.4% (outpacing last year’s tremendous growth of 22%!). It now accounts for more than $5 Million is sales in the province. NS Cider also saw major growth, rising by 55% to $1.2M. Craft breweries in NS employ more than 300 people across the province, with more jobs coming soon with the new breweries coming online, and expansion for the successful current breweries. Congratulations and thanks to the NS Craft Brewers and Drinkers!

Have a fantastic weekend! If you’re in the Saint John area, Hammond River‘s DIPA, Too Hop to Handle, is back on tap, and Red Rover cider is now regularly pouring at The Barrel’s Head. The Gahan House has announced that they will be at this year’s Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July 10th-12th), with beer for sale, a pop-up restaurant, and beer and food demos. For those of you taking part in the MudCraft adventure race event next Sunday in Gore, good news, Propeller has brewed up a beer especially for you, MudCraft Brown Ale! And they will release their latest One Hit Wonder, Halifornia Common, today, weighing in at 5.2% ABV. As usual, on tap at their two locations for growler fills, and licensees, only.

Happy Friday, everyone! Our thoughts are now turning to summer, now that patios and outside dining can finally be enjoyed without having to wear our snowsuits! Grab a pint, and let’s talk beer!

• The 13th Canadian Brewing Awards Gala was held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Saturday night. Of the 125 medal-winning beers and ciders, a handful were from our region: Bulwark‘s Gold Cider took home Gold in Specialty Cider,  Garrison Brewing took home Bronze in Barley Wine for their Ol’ Fog Burner, Moosehead earned Gold in North American Style Blonde/Golden Ale with their Pale AleBrasseurs du Petit-Sault‘s La Kedgwick earned a Bronze in European Style Lager (Pilsner), PEI Brewing Company took home Gold in Brown Ale for their Iron Bridge BrownRed Rover‘s Fire Cider took home Gold in Cider with Herbs/Spices, and Tatamagouche Brewing took home Bronze in Kolsch for their North Shore Lagered Ale. The Beer of the Year was Scona Gold Kolsch from Alley Kat in Edmonton, and Four Winds Brewing in Delta, BC, took home Top Brewery honours. Congratulations to all of the entrants and winners!

• It’s almost summer, which means that the Fredericton Beer Run is just around the corner! This is the third year for the annual event, and with more runners – and more beer! – it should be the best one yet. Held on Monday, August 3rd (New Brunswick Day), runners can choose to participate in one of three distances – 4, 6 or 12 km – starting at the Delta Fredericton at 10 am (all running tickets are $60 + fee). After your run, the sampling will begin! Every runner get 14 tickets, each of which is good for a 4 oz pour (runners will receive a custom-designed beer glass) from a selection of at least 30 beers, ciders, and meads in air-conditioned comfort back at the Delta. The brewery list has almost been finalized; expect to see around 15 breweries, most of which will be from New Brunswick. After the sampling is concluded, a bus will bring runners to the King Street Ale House for an after-party, where there will be drink and food specials on for the rest of the afternoon. And if you’re not into the actual “running” of this event, there are Coach’s Tickets available for $42 + fee, which allows you to cheer on your runner, and still sample all of the beer (note that you must attend with a runner)! The event is already over 50% sold (this year’s run will allow for up to 600 attendees), so don’t wait much longer! Tickets can be purchased online.

PEI Brewing Co. has re-released a favourite limited-release beer from last year, with a bit of a twist. Vic Park Pale Ale is an APA with a grist made up of 50% 2-row and 50% Vienna malt; last year’s batch featured late hop additions of Citra and Kohatu hops, which resulted in a very fruity and tropical beer. This year, they’re using this beer in a single-hop series: every 2 weeks, the beer will be released featuring a different hop variety. This week’s Vic Park was hopped (and dry-hopped) heavily with Citra; varieties to follow will include Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Waimea, to mention a few. It weighs in at 45 IBUs and 5.7% ABV (brewer Chris Long has indicated that the ABV will likely decrease with the next batch), and is currently on tap at the brewery for growler fills and pints. You should also be able to find this series of beer on tap at Gahan House – Charlottetown, Fishbones, and a few other select bars/restaurants.

• Tomorrow (June 13th) marks the opening day of the Big Axe taproom in Nackawic, and you’re invited to celebrate! Opening at 2 pm, there will be five Big Axe beers pouring (The Hatchet, White Birch Porter, Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Double Bit, and their new, currently-unnamed English Pale Ale), along with a Red Rover cider and Sunset Heights mead. Souther Ukrainian food will be available for purchase from 5-7 pm, and Julio’s Garage will provide live music from 8-10 pm. Regular summer hours for the taproom will be Thursdays 12-7 pm, and Fri-Sat 12-9 pm.

• The James Joyce in Fredericton has started their new Happy Hour program, Craft Beer at Twilight Happy Hour. Featuring happy hour prices every night from 9-10 pm on a weekly-rotating New Brunswick craft brewery (subject to availability), it will continue for the duration of the summer (and hopefully beyond!). Picaroons is the first brewery currently featured, with TrailWay and Big Axe likely to follow.

• And speaking of the James Joyce/Food at the Crowne, as promised back in March, today marks the opening of their craft beer garden/open air BBQ restaurant at the Lighthouse on the Green in downtown Fredericton. Various barbecued fare will be available, and there will be three taps pouring at all times – two Picaroons beers, with a third tap rotating through different New Brunswick breweries (TrailWay will be featured first). Hours are 11 am – 10 pm; Fri-Sun only for the first two weeks, but daily after that for the entire summer!

• The official website for soon-to-open Upstreet Craft Brewing has launched! It’s chock-full of information on their beers, tasting room, and more, so be sure to check it out. They also released the first 50 memberships to their Mug Club… which quickly sold out. Sorry! No worries, they will be releasing more soon… add your name to the waiting list on the Mug Club link to be sure you get yours. Including your own handmade Upstreet mug (which resides at the brewery), bigger pours, discounts on growler-fills and merchandise, and invitations to member-exclusive events, it’s well-worth the yearly $60 membership fee! Look for their beer release before the end of the month, and Grand Opening in early July.

• A new upcoming brewery in New Brunswick has revealed itself ever-so-subtly on Facebook this week: Flying Boats Brewing, located in Shediac, is currently going through the process of getting their license to brew beer. Details are slim for now, of course, but we’ve been in contact with the owner/brewer, and will have plenty of information for you in the near future!

Railcar Brewing in Florenceville-Bristol, NB has announced that they will soon be offering bottles of their beer for sale at the brewery. These will join their growlers already available for off-site consumption, and supplement the taps and other breweries’ bottles available in their tap room. Shortly after the launch in their retail store, the two initial bottled offerings be will be available at a handful of ANBL locations in their region. They will be using the 500mL format.

Garrison Brewing is releasing their country-wide collaboration early next week, simultaneously brewed (and also to be released) by Phillips Brewing, Flying Monkeys, and Trou du Diable. Coast to Coastless is a 7.6% ABV Imperial ESB, brewed with Pale Ale, Kiln Amber (similar to Biscuit) and Crystal malts, UK hops Bramling Cross, Challenger and Admiral to 50 IBUs. Good news, folks who attend their Backlot Bash tomorrow will get a sneak peak at this new brew! Tickets are still available for the concert/celebration, with proceeds going to the Ecology Action Centre. For those unable to make it, look for it on sale at the brewery store Monday, and at the private stores shortly thereafter. And Garrison will also be launching their re-branded look tomorrow at the Bash, centering on their iconic cannon logo.

• Tickets for August 7&8’s Halifax Seaport Beerfest are now on sale. The 9th Annual Fest will take place once again at the Cunard Centre on the Waterfront. Tickets are $45+fees and tax, available online, and at Ticket Atlantic or NSLC locations (where you can save the fees). VIP options are available for each session as well, allowing festival goers some cool swag and access to the floor early and a Q&A panel with special guests. As in previous years, there will be a Friday evening session, and Saturday afternoon and evening sessions. 300 beers and ciders will be available for tasting (most of which are not normally available in NS), with an expanded Cask Pavillion, as well as Gluten-free and Ciders options. The ticket price includes drinks, and food will be available for purchase from Bramoso Pizza, Stubborn Goat and Waterfront Warehouse, all under $5. We will share more details on the beers pouring when available.

Yellowbelly Brewery in St. John’s has a new beer on tap today, Black Gold. This 4.5% ABV black ale is balanced with 40 IBUs of the Brewer’s Gold hop (added during the boil as well as dry hopping early during fermentation, and later in cold conditioning). The colour for this brew comes from Midnight Wheat (at about 8% of the grain bill), which imparts the dark colour and chocolate character, without the astringency found in other roasted malts. The wheat also aids in great head retention, and gives a “puffed wheat” character. Grab it on tap beginning today, and pick up bottles at the store and NLC later next week.

• Speaking of Yellowbelly, they are looking for a Brewer and Apprentice in their brewhouse. These positions will be to assist Brewmaster Liam McKenna as they expand their offerings and distribution. The 10 hl brewhouse located in the heart of downtown (on the corner of George and Water Streets) brews for both onsite consumption as well as bottles in the NLC. While the Brewer position requires formal brewing training and/or experience, the apprentice job is the perfect position for those interested in the wonderful world of brewing! Interested candidates should send an email to yellowbellybrewerjob@gmail.com for more details and to submit a résumé.

• Congratulations to Schoolhouse Brewery, as they mark their first anniversary as a commercial brewery! Their Thursday evening growler delivery service continues to be popular with folks in Windsor and Falmouth, so be sure to sign up on their website. Keep up to date with their Southfield Project, where they will be brewing a beer from hops and malt, all harvested from one field, with the malt processed in their brewery.

• Today’s the day! The Stillwell Beergarden will open its sliding doors today, inviting residents and visitors alike to drink great local beer, cider, wine and hand-crafted lemonade right on the water. And they couldn’t have picked a better day for it! Ten taps, local sausages and snacks, get on it! Keep an eye on their Twitter and Facebook feeds for the opening time announcement.

Thanks for tuning in! Another few local beers are back on tap, including Hammond River Blueberry Ale and Shiretown Hop Hash. Petit-Sault‘s award-winning La Kedgwick should be available in bottles at ANBL stores by early July. And don’t forget that there’s still tickets left for Fredericton’s Canada Day Bash… lots of beer, food, and patriotism/fireworks!

Good morning, beer lovers! It’s the end of another week, and it’s absolutely chock-full of Atlantic Canadian beer news… let’s get right to it:

Propeller has released their newest One Hit Wonder, Point Pleasant Pale Ale. An APA hopped entirely with the Columbus variety, the brewery describes it as “crisp and balanced”. It weighs in at 5% ABV, and at only 27 IBUs, expect a beer that isn’t quite as bitter as others of the same style. As always, it’s available for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations, and on tap at better beer establishments throughout Halifax.

• As we promised last week, we have some info on two new beers currently on tap at The Nook and Cranny. First off is their Black Beer’d IPA, a Black IPA that is very dark as per the style (thanks to a grist including Carafa Special II, along with Carapils and CaraMunich for specialty malts). Weighing in at 5.8% ABV and 38 IBUs, it’s dry-hopped with plenty of Centennial, Cascade and Galaxy for lots of tropical and citrus aromas/flavours. Next is the Spitting Alpaca, an American Pale Ale hopped with Pacific Jade and Cascade, and dry-hopped with Galaxy; this one comes in at 5.2% ABV and 18 IBUs. This is the first iteration for both brews, so expect some recipe tweaking over the next few batches until they’ve settled on what they (and customers) like best. In the meantime, get down there for a pint and/or growler fills! Also, look for another fruit-based wheat beer in July (their Blueberry Wheat is currently the most-popular beer on tap).

• Their first beer, Caraquet Flyer, was only released last month, but Distillerie Fils du Roy now have a second brew available, and it’s at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend! Stella Maris (named after the star in the Acadian flag, representing Mary, the patron of mariners) is inspired by the French style, Bière de Garde, which means “beer that has been kept or lagered”. A fairly-strong (7.5% ABV), malty beer, it was brewed with French malts and hops. The brewery/distillery is referring to it as a “Bière de Garde Régions d’Acadie”, not unlike some French styles of alcohol being specific to where they are made (e.g. Champagne). If you’re in the Petit-Paquetville region, you can also find 750 mL bottles of both beers available at their store, open 10-5, Mon-Sat; the Caraquet Flyer is also available in bottles in select ANBLs.

Big Axe has a new rendition of their Blonde Ale currently available on tap and at the brewery for growler fills and pints. The Hatchet has the same grist as the previous Blonde Ale, but has been hopped more heavily (with Perle and El Dorado) later in the boil, to boost the aroma of the beer. It still comes in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV, and 30 IBUs. Look for it at the usual Big Axe accounts to enjoy it on tap, including new addition Isaac’s Way, where it will be part of their summer beer menu.

• Earlier this week, on June 1st, Picaroons released their seasonal Watermelon Wheat, MelonHead; this day also marked the revealing of the winning cat in their Melon Head label contest. Sir Winston Snaggletooth (!), owned by Jordan Stephens, takes the honour of gracing every bottle of MelonHead released this season. MelonHead is available now at the Brewtique for growler fills, and should be on tap at select bars/restaurants across the province, and in bottles at ANBL stores this weekend.

Hell Bay Brewing has released a new beer this week, with a bit of a twist. Their OPA (Oatmeal Pale Ale) is now on tap at the brewery and soon at select bars, and weighs in at 5.0% ABV. While oats are used occasionally in Stouts to impart a fuller mouthfeel and some residual sweetness, they are seldom used in other beer styles. The smooth mouthfeel offered by the oats pairs well with the crisp hop character (weighing in at 49 IBUs), for a balanced and easy- drinking summer beer. The OPA will be available all summer, with the possibility of bottles into the private stores later. Hell Bay also teased the label for a beer coming in July, Hell’s Anvil!. This Smoked Dry Stout is being brewed in collaboration with the CanIron X Blacksmiths Conference being held in Baddeck, Cape Breton, July 2-5. Beware, Smithing is thirsty work, and we civilians may have to wait for a re-brew of the beer, perhaps in the fall.

• Attention Halifax Beer Fans! The Stillwell Waterfront Beergarden is set to open within the next few days. Located at Summit Plaza, steps from “The Wave”, the bar is located in a converted shipping container, and features outdoor, but sheltered, seating. Delivery of the container, built by Halifax’s Skin + Bones Building Desgin Workshop, took place yesterday, with the taps installed by BeerTech Darught Systems shortly thereafter. The seating area is set, and the staff is receiving training today, so look for the big announcement from the Stillwell crew on Twitter later in the weekend, or very early next week. As a reminder, they will be serving beer, cider and wine on tap, and food will focus on easy snacks and sausages, with some being handmade by chef Graeme Ruppel, as well as local producers Sweet William’s, Roselane Farm, with bread and buns from Gingerbread Haus.

Meander River Farm and Brewery released a new beer last night, launched at the Taste of Nova Scotia 12 Tides event. Summer Solstice IPA is a Session Ale, weighing in at 4.5% ABV. The lower alcohol certainly does not mean lower flavour, as the beer features lots of flavour and aroma from Amarillo and Citra hops, with an extra dry-hopped blast of Cascade. It is available at the Brewery in Ashdale all weekend (along with their Honey Brown), and will make an appearance shortly on tap at Stillwell.

• Earlier this week, Meander River invited Garrison Brewmaster Daniel Girard to Ashdale to brew up a special beer, for a series of special dinners happening this summer. Dining on the Ocean Floor will be taking place four times this summer (June 27, July 25, August 15 and September 12) at Burntcoat Head in the Minas Basin, the site of the world’s largest tides. And during the lowest tides each month, Taste of Nova Scotia is holding a dinner on the beach (which was, just hours earlier, 15 metres underwater!), featuring Flying Apron Cookery, Newell’s Jewels Edibles (foraged food) and Avondale Sky winery. The beer is a strong Scotch Ale, featuring peated malt, with the addition of seaweed.

• And speaking of Garrison, they teased a collaborative Coast-to-Coast release scheduled for later this month, featuring Phillips Brewery in Victoria, Flying Monkeys in Barrie, and Troue du Diable in Shawinigan. We’ll share the details once they’ve been released.

Tatamagouche Brewing will be installing a canning line later this month. They will be canning their core line of beers (Hippie Dippie Pale Ale, North Shore Lagered Ale, and Butcher Block Red), as well as a rotating seasonal or two, beginning early July. These will supplement their growler and bottles already available, in a more stowable and beach- and boat-friendly package.

BarNone released a new beer – of sorts – at their weekly growler night last evening, Pale Indian Ale. Described by the brewery as a “variation” on their regular-release IPA, this one was brewed by BarNone assistant brewer Johnny. Details are being kept secret, so all we can recommend is to try it out if you have the chance, and compare it to their regular IPA. Their Route 225 Root Beer (non-alcoholic) made its return at last evening’s Growler Night as well.

• Next Wednesday, June 10th, drinking craft beer in northern New Brunswick will get a whole lot easier! Caraquet’s La Brôkerie is opening a separate craft beer bar, La Chope, which will feature six craft taps. On opening, expect to see three beers from Petit-Sault (La Kedgwick, Louis XVII, and Soeur Catherine), two from Distillerie Fils du Roy (Caraquet Flyer and Stella Maris), and one featuring a Pollen Angels mead.

• This Sunday, starting at 9 am,  Sunset Heights Meadery will be selling tickets for their Summer Mead Release Party. If you pre-purchased your ticket at the Spring Mead Release in April, you should be receiving it soon; for those who did not pre-purchase, there will be a limited number of 16 available. The event will take place on Sunday, July 5th, from 2 pm – 6 pm, and will feature six 2 oz pours of new meads (and some past favourites), paired with an appetizer, four different reLiSH sliders, and a dessert. More samples and food repeats will follow. As well, attendees can purchase up to 24 bottles of mead with guaranteed availability (and the possibility of more, depending on availability), and can reserve a ticket to the Autumn party at the current, locked-in price. Tickets are $55 + tax.

• There are still tickets available for Northumbeerfest Craft Beer & Music Festival, being held this Saturday at Pictou Lodge. It features entertainment by Meaghan Blanchard, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys and Tim Chaisson. Beers will be available from Big Spruce, Garrison, Tatamagouche and Uncle Leo’s. The event doors open at 5pm, tickets for the Fest are $40+tax, and are available by phone (902-485-4322) or email.

• As we reported previously, the building that houses Rogues Roost and Tom’s Little Havana will be demolished in the fall. We can now report that Tom’s new location has been chosen, in the City Centre Atlantic Mall, using the entrance located adjacent to former tenant Premier Wines & Spirits and Top Cuts (which is moving elsewhere in the mall). This will now lead directly into Tom’s and The Fireside (when it moves from Brunswick St), both of which will share a common kitchen. No word yet on Rogues Roost’s new location.

• Speaking of moving, North Brewing owner Peter Burbridge is teaming up with the Brooklyn Warehouse crew, and taking over the Nectar Restaurant location when it closes at the end of the month. Their beer-centric project will be opening in the fall, at the 62 Ochterloney Street location. Details are slim beyond that at the moment, but stay tuned for more details as they are revealed.

Breton Brewing brewed the inaugural batches of three beers this week, for release in a few weeks. We are able to share the historically-inspired names of the beers, but we’ll have to wait a little while before tasting these beauties. Black Angus IPA is named after Giant Angus MacAskill, who lived in Englishtown. Stirling Hefeweizen is named after William Alexander, the first proprietor of what is now Nova Scotia. Sons of Hector Brown Ale is named after the famous ship Hector, which brought Breton’s owners’ ancestors to Pictou from Scotland in 1773. Look for a full profile of Breton Brewing in the next couple of weeks, and their beer release shortly thereafter!

• The Good Cheer Trail officially launched in Nova Scotia June 1st. This is Canada’s first winery, craft brewery and distillery trail, and encourages visitors to get on the road and visit the producers of our local beverages. An accompanying passport can be picked up at your local brewery or brewpub, or an online passport can be used to check-in along your journey. There are a few of the province’s breweries not listed (due to onsite tasting limitations), but don’t let that stop you from visiting them all this summer! In addition to enjoying the great products each stop is offering, as a bonus incentive, a free t-shirt will be offered to those who collect 10 stamps on their passport (while supplies last). We’ll see you out on the Trail!

• This weekend is the 13th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Craft Brewers Conference, being held in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We wish all of the Atlantic Canadian breweries and ciderhouses taking part the best of luck! The Awards Gala will be taking place Saturday night at 7:30 pm AST, and we’ll be tuning in live to cheer on our local breweries. You can too, by following the stream link on the front page, and by following the @CdnBrewAwards or #CBAs2015. And for those that can’t tune in live, the winners will be updated on this page Sunday or Monday.

That’s it for this week! Good Robot‘s Crown on the Ground Steam Beer Mini-Festival, featuring music, Halifax Press Food Truck, and other fun times, is taking place Sunday [changed from Saturday], starting at noon. Be sure to drop by for a taste of the new beer, and their other three offerings. Tonight, starting at 10:30 pm, Resto-Bar Le Deck will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary with a Picaroons and Petit-Sault tap-takeover; there will be live music as well, so be sure to check it out if you’re in Edmundston. PEI Brewing Company has been serving their popular Blood Orange IPA at their Kensington Road location, but hurry in, it sells out quickly! Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown has been undergoing renovations over the past week, and will be returning on June 7th (hopefully) with lots of taps (12) to serve lots of craft beer (including soon-to-open Upstreet)! And finally, voting is now open for The Coast’s Best of Halifax 2015. Be sure to let them know what your favourite Brewery, Bar, and Restaurant are!

Good afternoon! Looks like things aren’t slowing down in the beer world in Atlantic Canada this week, as we’ve got lots of new news to share with you all!

• There’s a big Canada Day event scheduled in Fredericton this summer, brought to you from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival! The Canada Day Bash will be held on July 1st from 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm at the Lighthouse on the Green downtown, and will feature fifteen 4 oz samples of various beer, meads and ciders brewed in New Brunswick: Big Axe, Grimross, Railcar, Red Rover, Sunset Heights Meadery, and TrailWay will all be pouring. There will be a large variety of food included – all of which will be prepared by Food at the Crowne – such as cornbread, various salads, and a carved, slow-cooked suckling pig. Tickets just went on sale a couple of days ago, but are already over 50% sold out! They’re $76 + fee, and can be purchased online.

Garrison Brewing has released a new beer this week, brewed during Open Brewery Day, held May 9th. Wry & Ginger IPA was the runner-up in the 2012 Ultimate Brew-Off homebrewer competition, and ever since tasting it, Brewmaster Daniel Girard had been threatening to have homebrewer David Bardsley brew a full scale batch. The beer features 15% Rye malt, with the remaining grist bill consisting of Maritime Pale Malt. The beer is hopped with Millenium and Willamette to 52 IBUs. Four kilograms (!!) of fresh ginger was peeled, chopped, and added to the boil. The result is a refreshing ginger aroma, medium body, and moderate spicy taste from the hop, ginger, and rye. This beer is only available on tap at the brewery and select bars, while supplies last.

Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville and Kentville have a few new beers now on tap at both locations, for purchase in the pint, or to take home in a growler. A Helles Lager is now on tap, which was the first time performing a step mash on their system, which introduces some malt complexity from the different enzymes favoured at different mash temperatures, leading to a more diverse range of sugars produced in the mash, and an overall increase in the fermentable sugars in the wort. The resultant beer is a crisp and refreshing gold-coloured Euro-style lager, weighing in at 5.7% ABV and 20 IBUs. Due to the success with this first experiment, look for the step mashing technique to make a return in future brews. Paddys’ Porter is a malty beer, featuring notes of coffee and chocolate (from malts, not flavour additions), brewed in the Brown Porter style. Not quite as dark or heavy as a stout, this will be a perfect dark beer for the warmer months. It clocks in at 5.3% ABV and 30 IBUs. And finally, their customer-favourite Raspberry Ale has returned. It starts from a straw-coloured crisp Cream Ale base, with an addition of raspberry extract for a pleasant raspberry flavour. 5% ABV and 4 IBUs.

• Last Friday, TrailWay released a new beer as one of their two casks at the King Street Ale House. American Stout is described by the brewery as actually falling somewhere between an American Stout and Sweet Stout, since it had a small lactose addition during the boil. Brewed with seven different malts to give lots of roasted and chocolate flavour/aromas, it weighs in at about 6% ABV and 50 IBUs. You may still be able to find it on tap around Fredericton, but if you missed it, fear not – they DO plan on brewing it again sometime in the future. And keep your eyes open for the return of their fruit beer, Raspberry Wheat, which should be available now. And look for a cask of Black Hops One to be tapped at the KSAH tonight.

Sunset Heights Meadery has been raising bees (and, of course, cultivating their honey) on the rooftop of the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook hotel in downtown Fredericton since 2014. They have used that honey to brew a special batch of mead, Crowne Jewel Rooftop Mead, which is now on sale at the hotel (including the James Joyce Pub, Terrace, and Maverick Room) by the glass or bottle. This is the first time a hotel keeping bees on their roof have had a mead made from it, and available to the public.

Good Robot Brewing is releasing their fourth brew shortly, and we want to be sure you’re in the know! Crown on the Ground is their take on a California Common, with a few Nova Scotia alterations. The malt bill features Amber and Rye malts, for a toast and light spice character, with Cara and Red X malts used to increase malt sweetness. Perle, Mt. Hood, and Magnum hops were used for clean bittering and aroma, more akin to a German lager, punching the bitterness up to 34 IBUs (though the big malt body masks some of that). Just like the original Steam Beer, it was fermented cooler than most ales (12.5 deg C), allowing the yeast to take their time working, fermenting for over a month, and then conditioning for another week before the beer was ready for carbonation and kegging. The final ABV of this release is 4.2%. The “Crown on the Ground” name was inspired by a trip by the three founders to Bonnaroo, a festival held near Nashville, and one of the acts that played that night, Sleigh Bells. The Good Robot Crew will be hosting a mini Festival next Sunday afternoon to launch the beer, featuring music, art, games, and a Food Truck.

• As part of their Historical Brown Ale series, Picaroons has re-branded their 104th Regiment, a 4.2% ABV English Brown Ale, as The Connell Stamp. The newly-labelled beer should be available now at ANBL stores across the province; 25 cents from every bottle purchased will go to the Carleton County Historical Society & Connell House in Woodstock. Picaroons owner Sean Dunbar recently presented a cheque for $10,000 to the Fredericton Region Museum, which was raised over the last year through sales of 104th Regiment.

Railcar Brewing is planning on hosting a series of summer beer tasting sessions at their brewery in Florenceville; the first session is scheduled for Saturday, June 13th from 6-9 pm, and will feature IPAs. Owner/brewer Mitch Biggar will be hosting the tasting, where he will be discussing the history and development of the India Pale Ale in recent years, including the differences and similarities between East and West coast versions of the style. IPAs from Railcar, Garrison, Picaroons, Propeller, and Pump House will be pouring, and there will also be an info session on brewing IPAs. Tickets are $20 each, and will be available at the door.

• And while in the area, be sure to drop by Big Axe Brewery in Nackawic on the 13th to celebrate their First Anniversary. Beginning at 1pm, the celebration will include tours of the brewery and several special local beers and ciders on tap. That’s right, they will be pouring Red Rover Cider in their taproom with the extended draught line-up. Local band Julio’s Garage will be playing from 8-11pm.

• Last weekend, the judging of the final six entries in the Gahan House – Charlottetown Home Brewer’s Challenge took place, and homebrewer Ryan Palmer took the top spot for the second year in a row! His Summer in New Zealand American Wheat Ale features Wakatu hops, with Grains of Paradise and Lemon & Lime zest. The beer weighed in at 5% ABV and 31 IBUs, and the judges agreed that it was an excellent beer. Palmer and Gahan brewmaster Trent Hayes are planning the brewday for next week, and expect the beer to be released before July 1st. Congratulations Ryan!

• Speaking of Gahan, they have also released a brand new beer, Milk Money Vanilla Milk Stout. A Milk/Sweet Stout get its name from the lactose sugar addition to the beer, which is largely unfermentable by the yeast. The result is a sweeter beer, but not sickeningly so. The beer weighs in a 5.25% ABV and 20 IBUs. And for a chance to win a Gahan Brewery Tour for yourself and 10 co-workers, share this picture from the Gahan Facebook page. The draw happens this afternoon.

• Cross a bridge, a ferry, or both, and you’ll hit Gahan House -Harbourfront in Halifax. Brewster Karen Allen has released their latest seasonal, The Thing Session Ale. Based on an American Wheat Ale, the beer weighs in at 4.7% ABV and a robust 53 IBUs, but the numbers only tell a small part of the story. Tons of late additions of Cascade and Sorachi Ace hops give a blast of citrus aroma to complement the wheat character and dry finish, to complete this easy-drinking bevvy.

North Brewing has released a new beer this week, a Belgian Pale Ale. First teased and tasted during their Brooklyn Warehouse dinner during NS Craft Beer Week, the beer is now available at the brewery and at the private beer stores in town, as well as on tap. Featuring Belgian Pale Ale, Vienna and Carapils malts, and a lime finish from Wakatu hops, it weighs in at 5% ABV and 35 IBUs.

The Nook & Cranny in Truro launched their first beer late last week, Blueberry Wheat. Produced with DME’s SmartBrew system, it uses an addition of  100% pure NS Blueberry Juice for a great fruit flavour and aroma. The base Wheat Ale recipe used Southern Cross hops to a light 10 IBUs bittering, and the beer boasts a sessionable 5% ABV. It has been a hot seller on tap and in growlers since its release. Their Spitting Alpaca Pale Ale and Black Beer’d Black IPA are coming out very soon, and we’ll share details next week. Cheers!

• There’s yet another new brewery in the works for New Brunswick! Savoie’s Brewhouse, owned by Rodney Savoie, is located in Charlo; they’ve received their licenses, and will be brewing test batches in the near future. Stay tuned for more info, as we’ll be posting a Q&A with them soon!

Enjoy the hopefully-nice weather this weekend! If you’re near one of the four ANBLs with growler stations, keep in mind it’s all NB breweries featured this week, including Pump House Biere de Garde, Petit-Sault Soeur Catherine, and the Connell Stamp from Picaroons mentioned above. And keep your eyes open for Boxing Rock Crafty Jack, which should be available in ANBL stores for the first time, soon. Red Rover has added another market to their weekly flagon sales, as they will be available every Saturday at the Kingston Farmers Market from 8 am – 1 pm. Sea Level‘s popular seasonal, Apple Blossom Ale, is now available once again at the Port Pub on tap, celebrating the 83rd Apple Blossom Festival. And congratulations to the Fredericton Beer Run, which was listed in a recent DRAFT Magazine article as one of the seven Beer Runs to participate in in this country! This year’s event will be held on August 3rd; there are still some tickets available.

Howdy! Now that we’ve all had a chance to recover from last week’s excellent Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week… it’s time to dive into more beer news! Hair of the dog, right?

• Following up on last week’s news, we now have all the information on the third beer from Upstreet Craft Brewing. Joining Commons Pilsner and Do-Gooder APA as the inaugural-release beers, Rhuby Social is definitely a new style to the Island – a Strawberry-Rhubarb Witbier. Brewed with a simple malt bill and lightly hopped to 12 IBUs, it features several “traditional and non-traditional” spice additions at the end of the boil. It’s then fermented with a “subtly-flavoured” Belgian yeast, adding character while allowing the Maritime-sourced rhubarb and strawberries (which are added post-fermentation) to shine through. This all results in a tart (but not sour), refreshing, and easy-drinking (at 5% ABV) ale. Looking forward to when all of us can sample these beers for the first time!

Celtic Knot has recently rebrewed For Shore, their popular seasonal from last year. A Session IPA, this year’s batch features some slight changes: where the first version of this beer was hopped with two Australian varieties, Ella and Waimea, the new batch will feature Ella and two other varieties, Galaxy (Australia) and Mandarina Bavaria (Germany), both of which are known for being highly tropical and citrusy. Most of the hop additions came during the end of the boil and in the dry-hop, to maximize flavour and aroma while minimizing perceived bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV and 35 IBUs, it should be available sometime in June; we’ll keep you updated on its release!

Big Spruce Brewing has released their first Blonde Ale, named Jilted Blonde. Weighing in at 5% ABV and 30 IBUs, this beer features the Australian Topaz hop exclusively. A renowned multi-purpose hop, with excellent bittering, flavour and aroma properties, Brewmaster Jeremy White decided to only use it in the later stages of the boil. The result is a great example of the hop’s characteristics. For an additional blast of Topaz aroma, a portion has been cask conditioned with a extra dry-hop charge, and will be available at Stillwell soon.

• This year’s Fredericton Burger Battle (organized by Eat New Brunswick) is quickly approaching (June 8th-21st), and to coincide, New Brunswick Beer Tours will be launching the first ever YFC Burger Battle Walking Tours. A series of four, 3-hour walking tours, each will feature six different sliders paired with a different Picaroons beer (8 oz per pour), at a different location (the key word here is “different”). Confirmed spots include the King Street Ale House, Brewbakers, Vault 29, The Blue Door, and Delta Fredericton. The type of sliders available will change from tour to tour (there are four dates, June 11th, 13th, 18th and 20th), and will vary from beef tenderloin, to chorizo, to pulled pork, and beyond! Each Thursday tour will start at 6 pm, while the Saturday tours begin at 1 pm; tickets can be purchased for $49 (all included) on the NB Beer Tour site now. Exercise, beer, and burgers… the perfect combination!

• Speaking of Picaroons, it’s been announced that they will eventually be opening a Brewtique-like location in Uptown Saint John, at 30-38 Canterbury St. Details are slim at the moment, but it is confirmed they will be occupying space at this address sometime in the future, where locals can expect to see several taps for growler fills, merchandise for sale, and a small brew system on-site. It’s also possible they will dedicate some taps to local, small breweries in the future. Stay tuned!

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s has released a summer seasonal this week, dubbed Summer Wheat. It is a light American Wheat Ale, brewed with 30% wheat malt, with the remainder of the grain bill being Canadian and English Pale Ale malts (2-row and Maris Otter). It is very light in appearance and slightly hazy due to the wheat content. It weighs in at 4.5% ABV, and is lightly bittered to 14 IBUs with Nugget and Cluster. It is also triple dry-hopped with Cascade, Topaz and Mosaic, for a substantial fruity aroma. From Brewmaster Liam McKenna, “I was worried it may turn into a sort of hop tea but the hop flavours have integrated well. It works perfectly as a taste of summer. It is light and hoppy but finishes extremely clean. A perfect patio beer.” Cheers to that! It is on tap at the brewery now, but won’t last long!

• There was some action at Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville this week, as they took delivery of a new 7 BBL fermenter from DME. The expanded capacity will allow them to increase their draught and growler line-up to eight varieties, and to make lagers a regular part of their offerings. Speaking of which, look for their Helles lager on tap shortly.

• The very popular Cerberus IPA conspiracy brew between Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche breweries will make another appearance in bottles this morning, with a limited run available at Bishop’s Cellar. It has also been available on tap for growler fills at all three breweries (and occasionally at the growler stations at the private stores), and their stocks are getting low, so be sure and snag this one today!

• The Obey Convention VIII has kicked off in Halifax, and to celebrate, Garrison has brought back OBEY This Brew. Available in bottles now, and on tap shortly at the brewery for samples and growlers, this 5% ABV & 40 IBU Pale Ale will also be available at all of the OBEY shows (licensing permitting).

• As part of next weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, several spots in Moncton will be taking part in “Belgian Beer Week”, kicking off Sunday. Daily dinners and Belgian beer tastings at the Pump House Brewpub, Marky’s Laundromat, St James Gate and Plan B will feature different beers and breweries. Check the Festival’s Facebook page for exact details. Tickets are still available online for all three sessions of the Fest.

• Tickets for the NLC Beer Expo, being held June 5th and 6th at the Delta St. John’s Hotel, are on sale now. Priced at $82, they include unlimited tasting of more than 100 different beers and ciders (pamphlet with beer list is available here), pub grub, and a $10 taxi voucher. The show runs from 7-10 pm both Friday and Saturday, and tickets are available online here.

• The Gahan House Charlottetown Homebrew Competition has been narrowed down to the final 6 entries, with the judging happening this weekend. Judging will also take place for the Brewnosers Homebrew Competition this weekend. Good luck to all that entered!

As always, thanks for reading! The Acadie-Broue/Big Tide collaboration beer, La Gaboteuse II, is now available at the Big Tide brewpub for pints and growlers; this Belgian IPA won’t last long, so get down there quick to give it a try! This weekend, all four ANBL growler stations have a new version of Picaroons’ Blonde Ale… this batch has been dry-hopped with lots of Cascade. They’re calling it Selection Blonde Ale; you can also find a limited quantity at the Brewtique for growler fills. Picaroons is also holding a tap takeover tomorrow, May 23rd, at the Red Herring Pub in Saint Andrews; there’s no cover, and there should be lots of live music and beer! Petit-Sault‘s IPA, Soeur Catherine, is back once again at the brewery for growler fills, and is expected to be available in bottles, soon. TrailWay is holding another Cask Night at the King Street Ale House this evening, starting at 5 pm; they’ll have two casks pouring – their Hugh John Hops (DIPA), and a new American Stout (which should follow soon after on tap around Fredericton). And finally, in other Fredericton news, rumours have been circulating for months about Gray Stone Brewing, a brewery/taproom planning to open downtown (behind Wilser’s Room) in the near future. Recent artist renderings of the building have surfaced, and the city’s planning advisory committee have approved zoning. We’ll have more information on this new brewery for you, soon!

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve been swept up in the fun and excitement that is #NSCraftBeerWeek, with lots of great events, dinners, and tap takeovers. There are still a few events this weekend, including tonight’s Brews Cruise on the tall ship Silva and Tap Takeover at Windsor’s Spitfire Arms (featuring Meander River, Schoolhouse and Sea Level), tomorrow’s sold out Full House Craft Beer Fest, and Sunday’s Brewer’s Brunch at the Stubborn Goat, so be sure to take them in.

• The Race the Kegs event will take place tonight at the Gahan House Harbourfront. Racing in from the Bedford Yacht Squadron on 24-foot sailboats, the North and South teams will be competing to see who can get their kegs tapped and pouring first. The event kicks off around 6:30pm. The “South” team (Boxing Rock, Gahan House, Hell Bay and Sea Level) are releasing Rule 42 – brewed with all English hops (Challenger, Phoenix, and Bramling Cross), the beer was named after the the boat-racing rule (stating that only the wind and water can be used to increased, decrease, or maintain a craft’s speed). It clocks in at 5.3% and 50 IBUs. As for the “North” team (Big Spruce, Good Robot, North Brewing, and Uncle Leo’s), their Northern Bight was brewed with plenty of Crystal 120 L for colour, and to boost the “spicy body”. Hopped entirely with UK Goldings in the boil, and dry-hopped with… well, that’s a secret, and we can’t tell you! This 6.3% ABV, 60 IBUs ale was fermented with Nottingham, a dry English yeast. May the best beer win! No tickets are necessary to come take part in the fun, and there will be plenty of other NS Craft Beer on tap as well to celebrate the event. These two beers will then be available for growler fills at their participant breweries, and on tap at bars around the province.

• With their opening day getting closer and closer, Upstreet Craft Brewing has announced details on their first three beer releases. The first is Commons Pilsner; brewed in the Bohemian style, the beer was named after its birthplace – in the 18th century, the brewery location used to be known as the “Commons”, or the outskirts of Charlottetown proper. Fermented with a lager yeast strain, this Czech-style beer is brewed with real Czech ingredients, including Bohemian floor-malted pilsner malt, and lots of Czech Saaz hops (with plenty being added late in the boil to increase the spicy aroma/flavour indicative to the style). Coming in at 4.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, this “balanced and crisp” Lager is the perfect style for summer-drinking!

•  Next up is an American Pale Ale named in honor of all those who helped the brewery come to fruition… Do-Gooder APA. Proudly brewed using 50% Maritime Malt, it features a malty backbone and medium bitterness, with a blast of citrus and fruitness in the aroma, thanks to hop bursting (adding most of the hops very late in the boil). Something to satisfy the hopheads but also accessible for those who don’t think they like hoppy or bitter beers. The Do-Gooder weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 45 IBUs. And we’ve heard a rumour about a Belgian-inspired fruit beer to be revealed shortly!

Sea Level has released their returning summer seasonal, Summer Blonde Pilsner. Brewed with 100% Maritime Malt, this “crisp, refreshing” Lager is hopped with the aptly-named Australian variety, Summer. Coming in at a sessionable 4.8% ABV, the beer finishes with a fairly-firm bitterness, at 40 IBUs. You can find it at the brewery now for growler fills and can purchases; look for it at private liquor stores across Halifax, soon.

• The folks behind Lake of Bays, a craft brewery from Baysville, ON, are coming to New Brunswick, and there will be a a series of beer dinners to celebrate:

In Fredericton, the Lake of Bays’ owners will be dropping by the King Street Ale House on May 27th, and Chef Aaron Fraser will be putting together a four course meal to pair with their offerings. The beers will be Rock Cut LagerCrosswind Pale Ale, Spark House Red Ale10 Point IPAOld North Mocha Porter, and a special Cask beer brewed for the event. Tickets will be going on sale very soon, keep on eye on the KSAH Facebook and Twitter feeds for details.

In Moncton, they are partnering with the  Moncton Beer League and local Chefs Dan & Cheryl McLenaghan for an event at La Teraz, on May 28th. A four course menu will be paired with four different Lake of Bays beer, plus a few others, and a souvenir glass. The dinner begins at 7:30 (doors at 6:30), and tickets are available now. The last Moncton Beer League dinner sold out well before the event, so don’t delay! Early bird tickets are available until May 20th for a $10 savings, ticket sales close May 23rd. Sales from this event will help support the Humanity Project. Keep up with the event on Facebook or Twitter.

The Brewnettes and Beerthief Artisanal and Craft Beer Club are putting on a tasting of Evil Twin beers next Thursday at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Starting at 7:30, attendees will have a chance to taste four beers from this Danish gypsy brewery: Low Life Pilsner, Freudian Slip Barleywine, I Love You With My Stout Imperial Stout, and Molotov Cocktail Imperial IPA. Pretzels and hummus will be provided, and the Quidi Vidi bar will be open throughout the event. To reserve your spot, please do so via email before Tuesday. This is a members only event, but membership is free, and open to all beer-loving women in Newfoundland.

• Sunday’s Stillwell Open was a great event, with a dozen breweries and homebrewers competing in a blind tasting, with attendees voting on their favourite Backyard BBQ beers. The competition was fierce, with the winning beer revealed around 7pm. And, believe it or not, our very own Chris McDonald was the winner! He brewed a Lemon & Ginger Witbier on the pilot system at Good Robot, and the crowd seemed to enjoy the combination of lemon aroma with ginger spice and “snap”. Tatamagouche’s Sunrise Trail Session Ale,  Boxing Rock’s Sessionista, and Big Spruce’s Silver Tart all finished extremely close in the voting, with less than 0.5 points (out of 40) separating the top four. We’re looking forward to next year’s event already!

•  The event also served as the launching pad for a few new beers in our region,  Propeller Brewing’s latest One Hit Wonder, The S’Wheat Life. This 4.5% ABV Wheat Beer is light in bitterness, at 10 IBUs, and is available now at both the Dartmouth and Gottingen breweries for growler fills. Garrison Brewing released Le Saison Froide, a Saison brewed with Mint, Japanese Tea, and Lime, weighing in at 4.2% ABV, and will be available shortly at the brewery for growler fills. They have also released the next in their “Pucker Up” series, Apricot Saison, and their Sugar Moon Maple will be available at the brewery this weekend. And as mentioned above, Big Spruce’s Silver Tart is now available for growler fills, and select bars across the province. They used 125 pounds of raspberries to achieve the wonderful flavour and striking colour, and used Lactobacillus bacteria to achieve the acidic character of the beer. A little more on the background here.

Have a fabulous long weekend… it’s looking like some nice weather, so get out there and enjoy it with some local craft beer! The seasonal Pump House Weizen (~5.2% ABV) is back on tap at the brewpub, and is also available for growler fills at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend. The Bad Apple Brewhouse Tap Takeover continues into the weekend at Tom’s Little Havana, and includes two brand new beers, Honey Wagon Honey Pale Ale, Tom’s Smoked Porter, and returning favourites Mosaic DIPA, Box Cutter IPA and APA. The Grimross Maritime Pale Ale (more info here) is now pouring at the brewery for both growler fills and on-site consumption. Those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have been hinting at an upcoming Canada Day event; all we know at the moment is that it will be a smaller, exclusive event, but we’ll have more info on that (and other plans up their sleeves) very soon! The SmartBrew system at the Nook & Cranny is in place, and they are fermenting their Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale Ale now. And homebrewers, today is the last day to register and drop off your entries for the Brewnosers Homebrew Competition at your local Noble Grape.