Well, it’s been a wet and snowy past couple of days, but the weekend – and better weather – is here! There’s plenty going on as usual in the beer world, so let’s dive right in…

Maybee Brewing has a new limited-edition beer in cans and on tap around Fredericton, Sumac Witbier. Brewed in the traditional sense for your typical Belgian Witbier, and fermented with a Witbier yeast strain, this brew features something different to tart things up – Sumac berries. The fruit is a hard, red-coloured berry with oil-rich hairs covering it. Maybee rinsed the oil off the berries to create a tincture, which was then added to the Witbier wort as it boiled; a total of 20 kg of Sumac cones were used in the 10 BBL (~11 hL) batch. A very small amount of cinnamon and cardamom were also added to the beer. The end result? A “very refreshing, light and slightly tart” Witbier, coming in at 5% ABV and approximately 20 IBUs. As mentioned, it’s available in cans at the brewery (as well as in growlers) and the Red Rover Ciderhouse, and you can also find it on tap at select establishments in Fredericton.

• Sticking with Fredericton, TrailWay has a couple of news items this week. For starters, they’ve confirmed that their beer will finally be available in cans, starting today at the brewery with the release of their American IPA, Hu Jon Hops (yes, that is a spelling change!) and hoppy session ale, Luster. More details will follow soon as to their canning schedule (which beers, when, etc.) and further distribution. And in the meantime, they’ve got a brand new beer available for pints and growler fills – Seeing Citra. This American IPA weighs in at 6.7% ABV and was hopped entirely with, yes, Citra, so expect plenty of tropical fruit and citrus. It’s available now on tap at the brewery, and should be popping up at better beer establishments around the city. Expect to see more one-hop “Seeing” IPA series in the future.

• The latest episode of the 902BrewCast podcast dropped earlier this week. The guys sat down with Angus, Doug, and Josh from Good Robot, and chatted everything from Busch Gardens, Short Circuit, Gilmore Girls, and even beer once or twice. Learn more about some cool upcoming beers, how they decide what to send us for tasting notes (“Hey Josh…”), and how to master social media (though it may be in chapter 3 of that book). Grab it from Stitcher, iTunes, or your favourite podcatching software. And subscribe now, so that December 13th’s 2 Crows episode downloads automagically while you sleep.

• Big congratulations to winners and entrants alike at the two homebrew competitions held on the weekend. Firstly, Gahan House’s Homebrewer’s Challenge winners: Clayton Harding, Jonathan Green, and William Panting, for their outstanding Winter Warmer style beers. Look for the scaled up version to hit the taps at Gahan in the coming months.

• And in Nova Scotia, the winners of the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge were announced on Sunday. From 57 entries, the top three beers were chosen by a panel of local BJCP judges: David Pepper’s Risky Biscuits was the best Dark Mild, Mitch Kehoe’s Big Juice won in Double IPA, and Jeramy Slaunwhite’s Sour Cherry Hefeweizen took home top honours in Experimental Sour. Look for Best-in-Show Risky Biscuits to be brewed in Nyanza in the very near future, with release at January 12th‘s Fourth Annual Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration (tickets available now).

Lazy Bear Brewing is releasing an extremely interesting beer this weekend called, simply, The Norwegian. Brewed according to a traditional Norwegian Farmhouse Ale recipe adapted to the brewery’s equipment, it was mashed using an infusion made from locally harvested juniper sprigs and Hallertauer hops. But the real star of this brew is a unique strain of yeast from Norway known as Kveik that has been preserved and propagated for generations, brought across the sea to Lazy Bear by the eponymous Norwegian. Known to ferment at temperatures that are double what you’d see for most ales (upwards of 35 and in some cases over 40ºC!), it provides orange-peel and Christmas spice aromas and a distinct earthiness on the palate. The resulting beer should be like nothing else in the region. Bittered to 17 IBUs and coming in at 7.0% ABV, it will be available at the brewery and the Lazy Bear stall at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market, and a keg has been sent to Stillwell. It is in limited supply and won’t be brewed again until next year, so if you’re looking to broaden your beer horizons, you’ll want to act quickly on this one.

• Debuting at last night’s Tap Takeover at Battery Park was the conspiracy brew between Big Spruce, BP, and NorthBlood Donair Imperial Donair Meat Stout. At 7.0% ABV, this stout incorporated a small amount of donair meat in the mash, and was aged on 50 kilograms of raspberries. The resulting beer features a great mix of dark chocolate and raspberry notes, with only a hint of spicing from the meat. The idea of a meat-infused beer is grounded in a tradition of fortifying beers to increase essential minerals (Oyster Stout, anyone?), but is certainly a new take on it in our region. Learn more about Meat Stouts at the great Shut up About Barclay Perkins and Zythophile. BD IDMS is available on tap (and growler fills) now at Big Spruce and Battery Park, and will soon be available at your favourite watering hole.

• Following on the heels of last night’s release of the unholy Blood Donair conspiracy brew with Big Spruce and Battery Park, word from North Brewing this week brings us news of the first in their “Finite Series” of one off experimental brews. Not to be outdone by Lazy Bear with the Scandinavian influence (and the use of interesting ingredients!), this beer is called Ask and Embla, after the first humans in Norse mythology. It is a mixed fermentation rustic Saison containing a significant portion of oats in the grain bill, and also a generous amount of Timothy hay in the mash. If that weren’t far enough off the beaten path, it was then aged for three weeks on driftwood foraged in Cow Bay. Not too heavy at 5.2% ABV and 20 IBU, it is said to feature citrus and tropical flavours, with a subtle aroma of hay, a light brine character and a dry finish. Available, for now, only on tap at Battery Park, Stillwell, Little Oak and the Agricola Street Brasserie, the rest of the batch is currently being bottle conditioned and will be released for sale once it’s ready (we will certainly pass on word of its impending arrival when we receive it).

Red Rover has a few special releases planned for the Christmas season, as they’ve teamed up with Distillerie Fils du Roy for three different collaboration ciders. For three consecutive Fridays, starting on December 9th, a different cider will be released in a very limited amount – only 200 bottles for each style. Each will be priced at $16.50 per 750 mL bottle, with customers having the opportunity to pre-purchase all three for $45, on December 9th. All bottles must be picked up at the Ciderhouse in Fredericton, and sets are limited to three per person. Here are the details on the three styles, all of which are named after the three spirits that visit Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:
Past (December 9th) – a 7.3% ABV dry crabapple cider with added vanilla and Crosby’s Molasses, combined with Fils du Roy Fort LaTour brandy.
Present (December 16th) – Red Rover’s wild blueberry cider infused with Gin Thuya; 7.3% ABV.
Future (December 23rd) – a 7.4% ABV, semi-dry floral cider featuring the addition of The Courailleuse, a Fils du Roy absinthe that has flavours of wormwood.

• Fredericton’s Bogtrotter is releasing a new beer on tap today – Bullrush Golden Ale. This “light and crisp”, straw-coloured 4.5% ABV English-style ale was hopped with Saaz and Northern Brewer, giving the beer soft notes of hop spiciness. It was fermented with a British Ale yeast strain, to help add light fruity aromatics. Look for it on tap at the James Joyce, and in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL stores.

•  The Saint John General Store location for Picaroons launched their newest-one off yesterday, a Roggenbier named City on Fire. A German ale traditionally brewed with a hefty portion of Wheat and Rye malts in the grist, Picaroons’ take also features the addition of real ginger. As with all one-offs, this 4.5% ABV brew is available for pints and growlers at the General Store only, while supplies last. Also, a reminder that the 5 Kings Restaurant & Picaroons Brewhouse, located in Saint Stephen, is now open. The inaugural brew on the system there hasn’t been completed yet, but look for that to happen soon.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has announced the details of their inaugural Home Brewing Competition. It is open to all local amateur brewers, though the number of entries is being capped at 20, and registration closes December 17th. One brewer may enter more than one beer ($40 per entry), but only one entry per brewer per style, please! Entrants may choose any BJCP style for their beer, provided they keep it under 9.0% ABV, and do not use any wild yeast. As part of the judging process, brewers will come to the brewery and give a short presentation on their beer, from the style and recipe choice, to the brewday itself. A slideshow with pictures is encouraged. During the presentation, the judging panel (made up of Saltbox Head Brewer Jeremy Fehr and local “experts in the field”), as well as fellow entrants, will be enjoying your beer, so be sure to bring enough to go around! In addition to the judging of the beer, positive remarks from your presentation will ensure you advance to the next round. After the initial rounds of presentations (taking place on subsequent Tuesdays in January at the brewery), the top beers will go onto a Final Five tasting February 7th, where you will present it to the Saltbox’s Pioneers Club, who will sample and give feedback on the beers alongside the judges,. The judge’s scoring, presentation and story, and Pioneers feedback all calculate the winning beer, which will be announced February 15th. The winning brewer will help Fehr to brew it on Saltbox’s big system, for release in the spring, and will be able to direct 10% of the sales of the beer to the charity of their choice. All of the details are available here, and you can download the registration form here. A few notes: the winning entry becomes the sole property of Saltbox brewing, and may not be brewed on a 1.2 hl or larger system going forward. Be sure to keep Feb 7 & 15 open, as you’ll need to be there to talk shop and win, but there will be food and beer, as well as lots of happy and thirsty beer fans!

• Congratulations to Western Newfoundland Brewing, who have now launched and are serving beer to thirsty fans in the region. Their first beer is Killdevil Pale Ale, named after the mountain in nearby Gros Morne National Park. Currently on tap at the Bonne Bay Inn in Woody Point, they will be expanding to other spots in the region in the coming weeks. Be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook to see where they’ll be popping up next!

• And in a last-minute addition, Coastliner Craft Cider, New Brunswick’s newest cidery, is launching soon. They will be announcing the release date of their core brand, a 5.4% ABV cider made with “100% cold-pressed juice”, today at 11 am; we can expect to see bottles of this one available at ANBL stores within a week or two. We’ll have more details in the near future; in the meantime, check them out through the link above, and follow them along on Twitter for more updates.

Lots of events this week, and remember to check out our Calendar for everything on the horizon.

Tidehouse Brewing, our region’s newest (and one of its smallest) breweries, has released the details of its Launch Weekend, happening December 9th and 10th. From noon Friday, they will be taking over half of the taps at Stillwell Beer Bar, just a couple of blocks from Tidehouse. They will be pouring their four core beers (Like a Motorcyc-ale, The Copper, Mild Thing, Golden Glacier), in addition to a special one-off Hoppy Saison special to the Stilly crew. On Saturday, they’ll be doing it all again at Good Robot‘s taproom from noon, with the Core Four, plus a unique Spruced Red Ale for GR. After the draught launch, look for the Tidehouse retail spot to open in another week or so, for growler fills at 5187 Salter St.

• If you live in Fredericton and are looking for an excuse to go for a run this month, good news – The Tasters Craft Brewery Fun Run will take place on Saturday, December 10th. Starting at 2 pm at the King’s Place Mall, runners will run to and stop at several breweries/cideries during the day (Graystone, TrailWay, Picaroons, and Red Rover) before finishing off at the James Joyce. This is a very informal event, with no charge to run… just bring money to purchase beer/flights at each stop!

• Those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have confirmed the date for the Second Annual Christmas Beer Garden at the MarketSunday, December 18th. Starting early at 10 am, and continuing until 2:30 pm, your $26 ticket (available now) entitles you to a 16 oz glass and four beer tickets; additional beer tickets can be purchased for $7 each. Food will be available for purchase from vendors at the Market and can be taken into the Beer Garden.

• Tickets for next Spring’s Saint John Annual Beerfest have gone on sale this week. Being held Saturday, April 8th at Market Square in Uptown Saint John, the festival will feature more than 100 beers from 20+ breweries from across the Maritimes, as well as imports from across the pond. Food is included in your ticket, with a handful of local vendors providing their wares, while roaming entertainment from contortionists, fire eaters and stiltwalkers will keep you on your toes. Grab your tickets now, both general admission and VIP, allowing for entry 30 minutes earlier. The SJBF is a fundraiser for Ducks Unlimited and KV Old Boys, and will include a silent auction and 50/50 draw as well.

And a couple more things this week…

– Saint John’s Big Tide Brewpub has brought back their Gesner’s Deluxe Copper Ale this week. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV and 28 IBU, this beer is named in honour of Abraham Pineo Gesner, Nova-Scotian born physician and geologist, who was the inventor of kerosene, and the father of the modern petroleum industry. He was the founder of the first public museum in Canada, the Gesner Museum, which later became the New Brunswick Museum, in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Unfiltered has once again brought back their DOA (Double Orange Ale, 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs), a SMaSH DIPA brewed with all-Citra hops. This batch, being released at the brewery today at noon, also features 2-row malt from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, donated as a contribution to Unfiltered’s ongoing legal battle with the NSLC. And don’t forget, Charm School’s first Anniversary is being celebrated this Sunday, December 4th, with $5 pints all day, and special treats available from Salvatore’s Pizza.

Happy Friday, folks! The weather has definitely turned cooler in the region, with some unlucky spots even seeing the first snowfall of the year. Fall was great while it lasted, I guess! Let’s get you warmed up with some beer news from across the region.

• The latest release in the Something Different series from Annapolis Cider Company is now available. Hopped Pear is a dry cider made from different varieties of locally-grown apples, cold-steeped with three hop varieties: Cascade, Mosaic, and Northern Brewer. The cider then went on to be blended with fresh-pressed Flemish Beauty heirloom pear juice, resulting in a “clear and golden cider with the light flavour and aromas of citrusy-hops… balanced out by mellow notes of fresh pear”; it weighs in at 6.5% ABV. The charity recipient of this batch is the Wolfville Area Food Bank, with 50 cents from each refill being donated. And be sure to check out the cidery’s website, as online sales for cases of their Juicy & Sweet and Crisp & Dry ciders have begun, with shipping available throughout Nova Scotia.

Tatamagouche Brewing has an interesting new beer out, Square One, a dry-hopped Saison. Featuring a grist of mainly Pilsner malt, with a small amount of Rye and Spelt thrown in, the beer was fermented with the New World Saison blend from Escarpment Labs. This blend contains a blend of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces strains, to give characteristics of fruit, funk, and “rustic charm”, all of which are perfect for a traditional Saison. This 6.1% ABV, 10 IBU brew was then dry-hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Hallertau Blanc, to give a big boost to the already-present fruit character. It made its debut at Stillwell last week; look for it to pop up at several other tap accounts soon. The remainder of the batch will be bottled (650 mL) and released within the next two weeks.

• The gang at Good Robot Brewing Company apparently didn’t get the memo about it being a quiet week, as they’ve got three beers to talk about (and some events below as well). First off, version 7.0 of their Burban Legend APA hit the taps earlier this week. The grain bill maintains the now-familiar combination of two-row, pilsner, amber, and caramel with a little spicy rye kick, while the hop side still features Cascade but paired now with Falconer’s Flight 7C’s and Amarillo. The big difference this time around is a dry-hop with Mosaic that yields some blueberry, melon and cantaloupe notes. As always, fermented with California Ale yeast for a classic American clean, ester-less profile, you can find it at the taproom and at the brewery for growler fills. Next up, today sees the return of the seasonal Awesome Beer, Great Job! Billed as an “Autumn Saison” and built on a base of Pilsner malt, it also features wheat, dark crystal and rye. Hopping is solely the American Hallertau-descendent Mt. Hood variety to the tune of 22 IBU. The Brewmaster selected the Old World Blend yeast from Escarpment Yeast to do the goo for this brew, yielding roughly 6.4% ABV and aromas of banana, citrus, spice and plum, which also manifest as flavours on the palate. There’s some creamy mouthfeel from the wheat and a sharp finish with a peppery and spicy aftertaste. Lastly on the beer front is a special brew conceived for funky folk groove band Earthbound Trio and available only at their Time Traveller’s Soiree show tonight at The Seahorse Tavern. Dubbed Thyme Hopper, it’s a BetaBrew featuring organic Nugget hops from Lunahop Farm in Cornhill, NB, owned by Earthbound Trio’s bassist, “Big Orange” Bob Fitzgerald. The beer also boasts thyme, grapefruit zest and some additional American hop varieties for a spicy, citrusy kick. The band will also be playing a special sneak peek matinee show this afternoon from 4-6pm at the Good Robot taproom.

• Fredericton’s Bogtrotter has a brand new beer out – Tipsy Toad, an American Pale Ale. Single-hopped with Mosaic – an American variety well-known for having strong characteristics of melon and berries – it’s described by the brewery as a refreshing, easy-drinking, and hoppy brew. Coming in at 5% ABV and 40 IBUs, look for it on tap at select accounts in the city; it should also hit a couple of ANBL stores within a couple of weeks, when it is available in bottles.

• Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing has released a brand new beer this week, in collaboration with the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia. Tannen Bomb is a 5.0% ABV Blonde Ale, with a couple of twists: honey was added to the beer for a light sweetness, and Balsam Fir was added to the end of the boil for a light character of fir flavour and aroma. Lightly hopped to 17 IBUs, the beer is available on tap at the brewery now, and at a couple of spots in HRM this weekend (The Henry House and Downeast Beer Factory). Bottles will be available at the brewery and the Halifax private stores next week (when many of the tree stands will be launching).

• Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing has released a new Belgian-inspired beer, Détourné. This 5.8% ABV ale features floral aromatics, bitter citrus flavour, and has a pleasant dry finish. Currently available for growler fills and pints at the brewery, grab it around the city at better beer bars.

Garrison Brewing is expanding their Cellar Series lineup today with another wood-aged beer: Rum-Barrel Aged Spruce Beer. The 7.5% ABV base beer, featuring loads of molasses and spruce and fir needles and boughs, spent a couple of months in rum barrels from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery, picking up flavour, aroma, and alcohol from the spirit, ending up at 11.0% ABV. Bottles of this special beer are available exclusively at the brewery now, retailing for $15.95 for a large, shareable, 650 ml bottle.

• In other winter-related beer news, Nine Locks will be releasing Chocolate Stout, a smooth, dark, and full-bodied brew, around the beginning of December. Chocolate is definitely the dominating flavour here (real chocolate was added during the brewing process), with notes of coffee and roasted grain balancing things off. Hopped with East Kent Goldings to 28 IBUs, to balance the sweetness from the grist, it comes in at 6.1% ABV. In addition, look for the crowd-favourite Cream Ale (4.8% ABV, 15 IBUs) to make a return very soon.

• St John’s Mill Street Brewpub has released a new brew this morning, RDF Hefe. Named after the favourite local weather of Rain, Drizzle, and Fog, this hazy beer is Mill Street’s first hefeweizen, featuring a bright straw colour and long-lasting head from the generous amount of wheat in the grist bill. The iconic banana and clove aromatics are there, thanks to the German Weisse yeast used. Grab the 5.7% ABV, 25 IBU refreshing beer on tap at the brewery now.

Here are some more events coming up in the next few weeks, as promised!

Tonight‘s the night at Charlottetown’s HopYard, where Hogie, Mitch and the rest of the the Upstreet crew are taking over the taps, kitchen, and music. Drop by for the debut of their 4.5% ABV Mighty Neighbourly SMaTH SIPL (Single Malt and Triple-Hopped Session India Pale Lager), a special keg of their De Novo I Brett Saison, and enjoy Chef Jane’s Upstreet-inspired menu. Check out the full line-up here. See you at 6pm.

• Good Robot gives you the chance to walk the positive karma highway this week with their Toys for Pints + Cookie Decorating Party on Sunday, November 27th, from noon to close at the GR taproom. Bring a new-in-box toy with a $20 (or more) value along with you and you’ll receive a pint on the house while your donation will help support Moms in need through Every Woman’s Centre in Cape Breton. Meanwhile, the fine folks at Rinaldo’s are donating cookies: five bucks buys you two cookies to decorate, with proceeds going to Prescott Group, an organization dedicated to aiding adults with intellectual disabilities. It’s all so simple: bring toy(s), get beer; buy tasty cookies, make them pretty. Either way (or both ways!) you’ll be doing good, having fun and drinking beer. EVERYBODY WINS.

• A reminder of the Big Spruce Tap Takeover of Battery Park, happening next Thursday, December 1. In addition to a solid contingency of BS’s current line-up, this will serve as the launch of the Big Spruce/North/Battery Park conspiracy brew, Blood Donair, the Imperial Stout brewed with a small quantity of rendered, dried, and powdered house-made donair meat, aged on raspberries. Keep an eye on BP’s Instagram feed, as they are releasing the beer list in spurts over the next few days.

• Also, and in spite of the fact that we’ll no doubt bang this gong again next week to really bring it home, a reminder that a week from today, Friday, December 2, from 5pm, is the second Good Robot BrewBot Takeover, this time with Brathair Brewing. On the heels of a wildly successful event (on a TUESDAY, no less) featuring the brews of award-winning home brewer Keith Forbes, Good Robot once again sees half their taps taken over by home brewers (and members of the BrewNosers). Justin, Eric, Rod and Jason take beer (and brotherhood!) seriously and are bringing their ‘A’ game with the Stillwell Open-winning Kissed by Elvis (IPA), the Monty Python sketch-sounding 3 Scots and a Frenchman (Scottish Ale with Saison yeast), Daughter of Sin (DIPA using only whirlpool hops), IPLish (India Pale Lager, sorta), and two variations on a Berliner Weisse, one with raspberries, one with peaches. You may have experienced other Brathair brews brewed by Big Spruce, as Brathair Eric American Wheat was the 2014 Big Spruce Homebrew Challenge Winner and Czech Yo’self Dark Lager took the prize in the 2015 competition. Come experience what they get up to when they’re not entering competitions and are left to their own devices.

Unfiltered Brewing‘s tap room Charm School will be celebrating their First Anniversary on December 4th. Stay tuned for details of what’s pouring, which will surely include at least one new beer, as well as the return of many favourites from Unfiltered’s arsenal.

• The Ladies Beer League will be holding their Annual Holiday Brunch at Stillwell December 11th. Your $30 entry includes three 5 ounce pours from a Picaroons Winter Warmer Vertical (2014, 2015, 2016), as well as your first taste of Chef Ruppel’s specially-created brunch menu items. Tickets for the 12:00 to 3:00 event (normal Sunday hours at from 4:00 pm) are on sale now, and if you have any dietary concerns, be sure to let them know ASAP so alternative items can be prepared.

A few more parting shots today…

– The new Hammond River DIPA that we mentioned last month is now available – The Excavator (8.4% ABV, 106 IBUs) is hopped entirely with Simcoe, and joins the re-released Imperial Vanilla Porter at a few lucky HR accounts in New Brunswick.
PEI Brewing Co. has their barrel-aged Doppelbock, Hell Street (8.1% ABV) returning this Monday at the PEIBC taproom in Charlottetown. Stay tuned to their Twitter and Facebook pages for updates on what they have planned for the release.
Pump House has re-released their black Lager, Schwarzbier (7% ABV), which has “subtle notes of chocolate and coffee, but with a crisp Lager finish”; it’s available on tap now at the brewpub in Moncton.
– After a brief hiatus, the house-brewed beers have returned at Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub. The 5.9% ABV Amarillo, Citra & Summit Pale Ale is back on, featuring predominantly late-addition hops for plenty of aroma and low bitterness.
– Halifax and Dartmouth’s Propeller Brewing has released the next in their line of canned beers: Rye IPA. The 6.8% ABV, 68 IBU beer is now in the easy-to-transport 473ml can format, perfect for those winter days on the beach or in your boat. Hmm, well, OK, maybe a nicer format to stick in the snowbank while shoveling (you know it’s coming, folks!). Grab them on Gottingen or Windmill today. Keep your eyes peeled as they continue releasing more in this package format.
– Charlo’s Shiretown Beer has brought back a favourite seasonal today, Venezuelan Express Porter. A first impression of the name would make you think “coffee”, but it actually refers to a type of crude oil produced in Venezuela at the time, that used to come into Dalhousie for the now-closed Dalhousie Generating Station. Grab bottles of the 5.0% ABV beer at the brewery at 363 Chaleur Street.
– After their launch last Friday, Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has begun to sell kegs to local licensees. Fredericton’s Jame Joyce tapped a keg of Brian Stout last night, and more Fh beer will certainly be flowing around the Saint John River Valley soon. Keep an eye on their social media for the latest deliveries.

Have an excellent weekend! And a final reminder that tickets for the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival went on sale this morning at 11 am (online, or through their app), with VIP tickets selling out immediately! Not to worry, there’s still other options (afternoon and evening), but don’t hesitate! And come drink with us at one of the many events happening during the week leading up to the FCBF.

You wouldn’t know it by the weather in much of the region, but winter is theoretically on its way and we’re starting to see some seasonal brews in that vein released here on the East Coast. At the same time, there’s plenty of non-seasonal action in the ten-plus brand new beers announced, the craft scene continues grow with another brewery opening it’s doors in New Brunswick, and there’s lots of beer-related news to share and events in the offing. Here’s this week’s attempt to tell you everything you need to know about craft beer in Atlantic Canada.

• Congratulations are in order as Foghorn Brewing in Rothesay officially opens their doors today. Located at 47 Clark Road, immediately adjacent to the CrossFit gym, Foghorn is serving samples, pints, and growlers of five brand new beers, including The Yellow Dart Session IPA (3.9% ABV), Golden Grover British Golden Ale (5.0% ABV), Brian Stout (5.0% ABV), Constable Winchester IPA (6.5%), and Old Forte Winter Warmer (6.5%). Their opening hours are 10-10 daily. For those who want to sit and enjoy a few pints, outside food is welcome, and can be ordered for delivery on-site (using the authentic restored 1950s era payphone). For those in NB, but not *quite* close enough to visit, look for kegs to hit local bars and restaurants late next week. For the latest news, be sure to follow their Facebook and Twitter pages. Check out our Profile of them, published in October.

• Following the maxim that when opportunity knocks one should open the door wide, Boxing Rock recently found themselves saying yes to a batch of malt from local malthouse Horton Ridge that hadn’t proceeded as scheduled due to a power interruption. Assessing this malt as reminiscent of a more rustic, homegrown Pilsner, the next step was to source hops to compliment its biscuity, bready flavour. Enter Clear Valley Hops with both Wild Turkey, a native Ontario variety and Crystal, an American hop with noble German lineage through the Hallertauer family tree. The Wild Turkey brings a smooth bittering profile along with an herbal and floral aroma that matches well with the fruit from this Ontario-grown Crystal. The resultant beer, dubbed Kilnus Interruptus was brewed in the American Pale Ale style at 5.5% ABV. It will be available on tap at select accounts in Halifax, in bottles at all of the private liquor stores in Halifax, in growlers at Boxing Rock’s stalls at the Halifax and Dartmouth farmers markets and, of course, at the brewery retail store in Shelburne. Only one batch of this irreproducible brew has been made, so you’ll want to act fast if you’d like a taste!

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is releasing a new beer this weekend, branching out the variety of their offerings. Grumpy Cranberry Orange Sour is a 3.8% Kettle Sour beer, featuring loads of orange zest in the boil, and further aged on home-made cranberry sauce. To get you up to speed, Kettle Sours are a style of beer heavily inspired by the Berliner Weisse of Northern Germany. Usually featuring wheat malt as a significant portion of the grist, the low ABV and light-bodied beer features a distinctive acidic character from lactic acid. Lactobacillus bacteria are responsible for producing the acid, and are added to the wort in one of several ways: as a pure pitch from a yeast company; via un-mashed grain added to the wort (Lacto is commonly found on raw barley grain); or through Lacto-containing cultures, including yogurt. After addition of the bacteria, the wort is kept warm while the pH lowers, usually to 3.5 or lower (standard beer is in the pH 5 range). Once complete, the beer is heated/boiled to kill the Lacto, and then cooled and further fermented with a more traditional ale or lager yeast. For more beer learnin’, check out Milk the Funk, a resource for commercial and homebrewers alike. Drop by Roof Hound on Saturday, November 19th for the release, with the beer flowing at 9pm, and Tide & Timbre playing a set starting at 10pm.

• PEI’s BarNone has a couple of new beers in the pipeline: first up is SMaSH Ella, a single-malt-and-single-hop beer featuring – you guessed it – Ella, an Australian hop varietal. This relatively-new hop is known for “distinct tropical flavours”, especially when used in the dry-hop, which it definitely was with this brew. Very pale-coloured, it’s easy-drinking at just 4.2% ABV and 23 IBUs; look for it on tap around the Island this weekend. Next is BarNone’s first take on the Extra Special Bitter style, which has been a frequent request by fans of the brewery. Bitter Winter ESB features a grist made up mainly of floor-malted barley from Nova Scotia’s Horton Ridge, and was hopped with U.K. varieties. Fermented, interestingly enough, with an Abbey-style yeast strain, the beer weighs in at 5.6% ABV and 36 IBUs. This one was just brewed recently, so look for it on tap in a couple of weeks.

• The winter beers continue to trickle in, as Flying Boats is releasing their newest seasonal, Fireside Friend, which is their take on the Winter Warmer style. A full-bodied ale exhibiting plenty of malt character, expect flavours of caramel, nuts, and molasses. Further-complemented with the additional of spices such as cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, cloves, and peeled ginger, this is naturally a bigger beer, weighing in at 7.1% ABV and 32 IBUs. This one is going to be available on tap only; expect to see it any day now at the following locations: the Tide & Boar, James Joyce Irish Pub, Graystone, Saint John Ale House, and Ducky’s Pub.

• Taking a left-turn from the winter beers, Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has released Langered Stook, a “Hoppy Half Wit”. Brewed in the Hopfenweisse style (which originated between a collaboration between Schneider and Brooklyn Brewery), it features Belgian Witbier and German Hefeweizen characteristics, with a healthy dose of hops. In this case, lots of late and dry-hop additions of AmarilloCitraEl Dorado, and Mandarina Bavaria, which themselves display notes of fruit and citrus, are enhanced by fermentation using the Fruity Witbier yeast from Escarpment Labs. At 4.8% ABV and 43 IBUs, this isn’t your Uncle Dieter’s Hefe! Look for it on tap in HRM at Battery Park, Lion & Bright and Stillwell, as well as at the Big Spruce and Breton Brewing co-Tap Takeover at Governor’s Pub after Saturday’s Cape Breton Beer Fest.

Picaroons has announced the details on their latest one-off release at their General Store in Saint John – Cranberry Wheat is just as the name suggests, an American Wheat Ale brewed with real cranberries, sourced from Sunberry Cranberry Producers out of Maugerville, NB. Described by the brewery as “sweet, smooth, and just a tiny bit of tart”, it’s quite sessionable at 4.2% ABV. Available on tap now, for a limited time.

• Tuesday of this week saw a new beer available on tap at Yellowbelly Brewery in St. John’s. On the face of it, Labrador Lager is vaguely reminiscent of last year’s Oktoberfest, the brewery’s first lager, which was a festbier made with Pilsen, Munich and Vienna malts and Styrian Goldings and Saphir hops. The Labrador replaces the Vienna with Caramunich, which will bring additional body and some sweetness, and substitutes Super Styrian hops for the Styrian Goldings while featuring “a ton” of the Saphir to bring a sweet citrus character. Billed as 6.5% ABV and in the Helles Bock style, it’s been lagering for weeks now and should be well-balanced and integrated.

• Hot on the heels of last week’s Danko SMaSH comes another new offering from Unfiltered Brewing, this time a devious-sounding DIPA with specs that may very well give prospective hop-lovers a slight pause. Listed at a massive 10% ABV and a typically NASH-ian 100+ IBU, this beer has been aged on white oak for 8 weeks or so and apparently displays none of the warning signs you’d normally detect from such a powerful brew, so they put it in the name. Warning Label is available starting today at the brewery and next door at Charm School for pints and growler fills. Whatever happens, you will not be able to say that you were not warned.

• Those crazy kids at Good Robot Brewing Company are releasing a new beer today: Extra BIG-ASS Beer – Camacho Lager is an amber malty lager in the European style, somewhere in the vicinity of a Märzen or Oktoberfest. The malt bill features Vienna, 2-row, coffee and smoked malts, with some flaked oats to enhance the mouthfeel. On the hops side it marries two varieties developed and released in the 1970s, the German Perle, known for a floral and spicy character, and the American Willamette, which features fruity and floral notes. A true lager, it is bready on the nose and the palate, with prominent roasted flavours, some lingering spice, and a crisp, dry finish. At 5.2% ABV and 24 IBU, it’s gluten-reduced and should be quite crushable. You’ll be able to find its ample hindquarters today at the Good Robot taproom.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is releasing the latest in their Cellar Series today, a Rum Barrel-Aged version of their Honey Lavender. The base beer, produced with lavender grown at Meander River, and wildflower honey, spent several months in Ironworks Distillery barrels, taking on loads of rum and wood character, as well as a few points of alcohol, with this version weighing in at 11.0% ABV (the non-barrelled is 6.5% ABV). Grab a bottle or two (this beer is perfect for aging) at the brewery today, as it is in high demand and short supply!

• Today is the release of Episode 1 of the 902 BrewCast podcast. Kyle, Phil and Tony sit down with Peter Burbridge and Josh Herbin of North Brewing to learn more about how they got to where they are, and what’s next for the brewery. Sharing some beers and chatting beer, sounds like a great way to spend your hour commute home today. Subscribe to the podcast here, iTunes and Google Play links are coming shortly. *Maybe wait until you’re home to crack open that Wiley Boys II.*

As we pass the half-way point of the month, there are plenty of great events coming up on our radar. Here are a select few that we can cram in today:

• New Brunswick-based band (and hop farmers) Earthbound Trio are embarking on a Maritimes Brewery tour today. Starting at Upstreet Nov 18, they will be at the Big Spruce/Breton Brewing after-party November 19th, and Roof Hound Brewing Nov 22nd. There are a few more stops during and after these dates, be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest information.

Cape Breton Beer Fest is tomorrow November 19th, at the Sydney Cruise Terminal (aka The Big Fiddle). It will serve as the official launch of Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Pours of their Table BeerWild NE IPA, and 100% Brett Fermented Golden Ale, all produced on their pilot system, will be available to thirsty attendees. Sober Island Brewing will be debuting their British IPA at the Fest, as well as a cask of their Mild Ale, plus a bevvy of brand new beers mentioned here (and not)… Tickets are still available, and check out the brewery list here.

Salvatore’s Pizza is hosting a two-day tap (and kitchen) takeover by Unfiltered Brewing November 22 and 23, the Garlic & Hops Tastebud Take-Down. Featuring a handful of Unfiltered taps, as well as Greg Nash-smoked brisket, NashBomb sausages from Getaway Butcher Shop, plus plenty of treats and surprises. Be sure to drop by to take part in the fun!

Uncle Leo‘s will be launching a brand new beer November 23rd, Sunburst Pale Ale. The 5.5% ABV golden amber brew is reminiscent of a Sunburst guitar, and hits “all of the right notes”, according to the collaborators Dave Gunning, JP Cormier & Jamie Robinson. Drop by Piper’s for a glass of the beer (from a special cask double dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe) and appetizers. Tickets are $20, and available at Uncle Leo’s (by phone or in person), and are limited to only 60, so act today! Find out more on their FB page.

• The Saint John Ladies Beer Club has announced their next meet-up, being held next Friday, November 25th. Drop by Big Tide Brewing at 7:00 PM for an intro talk on the beer-making process, and meet with fellow ladies who are also enjoying the burgeoning Saint John beer scene. There is no cover to attend (pay as you go for food and beer), but please do pre-register so the organizers know how many attendees to expect.
• Tickets for the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival officially go on sale next Friday, November 25th, at 11 am. Like last year, the festival itself will be just one part of a weeklong series of events, being held from March 6th-12th, 2017. The beer festival will take place on Saturday, March 11th, with McInnes Cooper returning as the presenting sponsor. If you’re planning on attending (and why wouldn’t you be?), please get your tickets early – they regularly go very quickly, with VIP tickets in particular selling out in about an hour. We’ll have plenty of details on the week of events as March approaches!
Upstreet will be hosting a tap takeover at Charlottetown’s Hopyard, next Friday, November 25th. HopUp will begin at 6 pm and continue until close, with all ten taps belonging to tasty Upstreet brews… including a special release brewed specifically for the tap takeover. Upstreet is calling this one a SMaTH SIPL; no, we don’t have a lisp… that’s a “Single Malt and Triple-Hopped Session India Pale Lager”. Brewed with Maritime 2-row malt and hopped with New Brunswick-grown Columbus, Chinook and Nugget, it comes in at 4.5% and 45 IBUs, and is described as “clean, crisp, dank and piney”; the name will be released when the beer is! In addition to all the beer, Hopyard’s Chef Jane has concocted an Upstreet-inspired menu for all your solid-food needs, and the Upstreet staff will be spinning their favourite records all evening.
• Living in Fredericton and looking for something to do with the kids next Saturday, November 26th? Look no more – Crayons n’ Beer is scheduled to take place at the King Street Ale House from 2:00-4:00 pm! This family-friendly event is the brain-child of those behind the FCBF, and features activities for both your child (colouring) and you (colouring and drinking beer!). Colouring sheets and other materials will be provided (although feel free to bring your own as well), and each adult will be treated to two flights of beer. In addition, Red Rover‘s Adam Clawson will do a live reading of one of the best children’s books in modern times, The Day the Crayons Quit. Attendance is by donation (suggested is $20 per adult), with all proceeds going to Team Diabetes (tax receipts will be provided). If you plan on attending, you must donate and register in advance.

• Next weekend, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers -Atlantic Chapter is offering the first module of their Certified Beer Professional Program. November 26 and 27, 10:00-3:00 on both days at the Prince George Hotel. Garrison Brewing’s Brewmaster Daniel Girard will lead attendees through lectures laying out the history, production, styles and service of beer, giving students the knowledge base necessary to take and pass the Certified Beer Server exam from Cicerone. The course includes a textbook, tour of Garrison, tasting of several beers, and the cost and facilitation of the exam. Find out more details, and sign up today!

• A reminder that next weekend is the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge, where homebrewers from across the Maritimes are competing to produce the best Dark Mild, Double IPA, and Experimental Sour. For those entrants who haven’t already mailed in their registration form, or dropped off their beer (at Big Spruce, or with Chris), be sure to reach out today to organize that! And we’ll see you at Wooden Monkey on November 27th for the party and announcement.

• After a brilliantly successful BrewBot takeover by Keith Forbes on Tuesday, the fine folks at Good Robot have invited the next homebrew crew to invade. On December 2nd, Bráthair Brewing will be taking over the taps with six beers, including their Stillwell Open-winning Kissed by Elvis Double IPA, 3 Scots & a Frenchman Scottish ale with Saison yeast, and Daughter of Sin Double IPA with only whirlpool hops. Check out the video to learn a bit more about the Brothers in (Beer) Arms, and drop by that Friday for some well-crafted beer.

• One of the first brewery Christmas parties was announced earlier this week, with Maybee Brewing confirming theirs to take place on Saturday, December 10th. Shake the Shivers will be a semi-formal event, and should begin around 7 pm. Lots of beer will be on tap for purchase, live music will start at 8pm and will be playing throughout the night, and Milda’s Pizzas & More will be on-hand to make sure you don’t go hungry. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12, and will also be available at the door for $20; this price includes the use of a shuttle from 12:30-1:30 am, which will take you downtown to the Tannery, where you can continue your party!

• Details are now available for Stillwell’s Mikkeller Tap Takeover. With two dozen beers coming, it is far too epic for just one weekend (or month!), so they will be holding Part 1 of the Danish Invasion December 17th, and Part 2 January 14th. Mark your calendars now for a blast of innovative collaborative beers coming your way. And in the meantime, drop by this Sunday, November 20th for their Third Anniversary Party, and December 10th for the Bissell Brothers/Orono Brewing Tap Takeover.

Just a few more things today…

– Truro’s Nook and Cranny has a new Pale Ale hitting the taps, one dry-hopped with New Zealand’s Motueka. The crisp and clean beer is 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs.
Sea Level has released the 2016 version of Crossing Muddy Waters Brown Ale. This year’s batch features Horton Ridge Malt in the grist, and weighs in at 5.5% ABV. Available now in cans and growler fills.
– Congratulations to Tidehouse Brewing on their inaugural brews last weekend! Look for these to be available to the public late this month/early December.
TrailWay‘s Rype (5% ABV) – a rye-APA hopped with lots of Citra, Comet, and Mosaic – will be featured in this weekend’s ANBL growler program, where it will be available for fills at all five non-Fredericton growler locations (hey, it’s only fair that they spread the love a little!).
– Uncle Leo’s is looking for a part-time production worker, involved in all aspects of the brewing and packaging process, as well as retail customer service. Usual operating hours are Tuesday to Saturday, with the highest need being Thursday through Saturday. Previous brewery experience will be given preference, but is not necessary. Reach out to them on Facebook, or via email.
– Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing has debuted a new beer this week, Burning Rock Red. This 4.5% ABV & 25 IBU is available at the brewery and tap room for pints, and crowler fills to go.
– The family of private beer stores Cristall Wine Merchants, Harvest Wines and Spirits, and RockHead Wine and Beer Market are releasing the “Merry Maritimer’s Christmas Craft Beer Countdown”. Featuring 24 beer and cider from across the Maritimes, with products from Breton, Boxing Rock, Bulwark Cider, Garrison, Nine Locks, Picaroons, Propeller, Spindrift, Tatamagouche, and Upstreet. Pre-order your $125 now, for pick up November 25th.

Good afternoon, and welcome to a special Thursday edition of the Atlantic Canada Beer Blog! With tomorrow’s holiday, we decided to release this week’s news a day early…

One Way Brewing is coming soon to historic Ginger House, located on Truro’s Prince Street. Three local entrepreneurs will be launching the small brewery in the spring, complete with an on-site tap room, as well as growler and keg sales. Brewing on a 5 hl (4 BBL) system, they will be concentrating on supplying beer fans and bars in the local market. We’ll have more details closer to launch, but in the meantime check out the articles in Truro Daily News and CBC online.

• The University of Moncton’s brew pub, Le Coude, has been going strong for a couple of months now, ever since Acadie-Broue has set up shop! Lucky residents of Fredericton will be seeing some AB popping up in the city, as they recently sent four different beers to the James Joyce. Included are: Valdrague Weizen, their 5% ABV take on the classic German Hefeweizen style; Tintamarre, a 6.6% ABV Belgian Saison; La Bringue,  a 5% ABV American Brown Ale; and La Picasse, a 7.3% ABV Baltic Porter that hasn’t been brewed since in more than two years. As always, these beers won’t last long, so be sure to keep track of when they’re being tapped!

Mama’s Brew Pub isn’t letting the cool weather prevent them from brewing summer beer styles, as they’ve recently released their take on a Belgian Witbier, White Citrus Bomb. The grist is made up simply of 2-row malt and Flaked Wheat, and lightly hopped to 18 IBUs with Hallertau. Brewer Ryan Kingston also added “a cheesecloth sack the size of a basketball” full of freshly-grated orange zest (for those of you who haven’t grated multiple oranges, this takes awhile!), and a small amount of coriander.  Featuring plenty of citrus aromas and flavours, as the name implies, it comes in at 4.3% ABV. And for Mama’s fans who may not make it to the brewpub as often as they’d like, their Crowler machine and cans have arrived, so look for off-site sales to begin in the near future.

• Today will see the launch of the latest Greg Nash SMaSH at Unfiltered Brewing. Touted as the fourth in the series (although we had counted four already: DOA, All Falc’d Up, Deity, and RSMA), Danko features two-row malt and copious quantities of the Simcoe hop, a variety known for it’s potent, woody, musky-like-cat-pee-but-in-a-good-way aroma and passionfruit, pine and berry flavour notes. The name, credited to the brewery’s own Emily, reflects both the word “dank,” often used when describing Nash’s hop-forward creations, and Rick Danko, bassist for The Band and one of the more famous products of Simcoe, Ontario. As with all Unfiltered SMaSH beers, it comes in north of 100 IBU and somewhere in the vicinity of 7.5% ABV. Given the nature of the hop and the likely quantities involved, this is another that’s likely to flirt with some more savoury notes in flavour and aroma. You’ll have to grab a growler at the brewery or a pint (or three) at Charm School Pub to find out. Get on it!

• Halifax’s (and Dartmouth’s) North Brewing is releasing a special mixed fermentation beer today. Wiley Boys II is the second iteration of Wiley Boys Dark Saison first released in July, in celebration of owner Peter Burbridge’s best friend’s wedding. Six hundred litres of the original brew was given an extra pitch of Brettanomyces from Escarpment Labs, as well as a large addition of Nova Scotia-harvested strawberries from Beet Rouge. This new blend was allowed to further ferment for three months, and has been conditioning for another month in bottles. The Brett adds a leather-like and funky contribution, with the strawberries and underlying dark chocolate notes coming through as well. Available at both locations today, this 7.0% ABV beer is for sale only in bottles, with a special nitro-primed keg to be released at Battery Park‘s First Birthday Party December 9th. The artwork on the label is a photo taken by Trevor Allen.

• Details are now available for Stillwell‘s annual birthday celebration beer. Brewing once again at North in Halifax, Stillwell 3 will be similar to last year’s Stillwell 2, a rustic farmhouse, fermented with their “house blend” of yeasts and bacteria, however the underlying beer is markedly different. From Stillwell’s Christopher Reynolds, “Traditionally, many saisons were quite bitter, quite hoppy in aroma and flavour, and bittered with high quantities of low-alpha acid hops. For Stillwell 3, we found some Styrian Goldings that were a scant 1.8 AA and used them to bitter to 32 IBU.” The higher bitterness lowered the acidity, and allowed the Saccharomyces yeast strains to shine through and show off more classic Saison character with fruity esters and spicy phenolics. The beer was heavily dry-hopped, and if drunk fresh will be reminiscent of traditional Saison beers from Belgium, or if left to age, the hops will fade and Brett will take over, as with the famous Orval. The beer will be launching at Stilly’s party on November 20th, and will be joined by a slew of beers from across the Maritimes and beyond (late update, the draught and special bottle list has been released). Bottles of Stillwell 3 will also be available for sale at North Brewing’s retail stores at that time.

• We now have the details on the 3rd Annual Hammond River Brewing Homebrew Competition, open to all homebrewers living in the Maritimes. This BJCP-certified competition will involve three beer styles: Imperial IPA (category 22A), Sweet Stout (16A), and English Porter (13C). The entry fee is $10, with any or all three styles open for entry for each participant. The first-place finisher will receive a $75 gift certificate for the Saint John Ale House, and will get to assist in the brewing of their beer on the Hammond River system, for release to local tap accounts. There will be 2nd and 3rd prizes offered as well. More details and entry forms can be accessed through the link above; all entries are due at the brewery by February 3rd, with judging taking place on February 5th.

Picaroons has announced that the taproom at their Fredericton brewhouse location (912 Union St.) will be opening later this month. The Roundhouse will be serving pints of Picaroons beer, as well as other New Brunswick craft beer, cider, and mead, and will also have brewery merchandise for sale. Pairing with the taproom will be the Real Foods Café, which will offer “an ever-evolving menu of lighter fare and grab-n-go items”. Growlers will also be filled at the new location and bottles will be available for sale; when opened, expect the taproom to be open seven days a week. We’ll keep you updated on the date, and hours, when known.

• You knew with everything that happened Tuesday night, there had to be an election-themed beverage produced somewhere. Well, Red Rover must have seen the writing on the wall that almost everyone else missed, as they released a new keg of cider yesterday, Trumpty Dumpty. On tap at the Ciderhouse only, this 7% ABV cider was infused with hibiscus, a type of flower often used in tea, providing a tangy flavour; they also added some Thuya Gin, from New Brunswick’s Fils du Roy. No word yet on if the cider is orange or angry; be sure to let us know if you’re lucky enough to have a taste!

• Fredericton’s newest nano-brewery, Bogtrotter, has released Malty Muskrat, their first Imperial IPA. Their biggest beer to-date at 8.2%, it was highly hopped to 100 IBUs with Warrior, Amarillo, and Simcoe. You can find it exclusively on tap at select locations in the city, including the James Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Graystone Brewing.

There’s yet a few more beer-themed events coming up over the next month that we’d like to mention:

Upstreet is bringing back Black Tie Affair, their Vanilla Cranberry Stout, and is holding a Rocking Release Party to celebrate, next Thursday, November 17th from 6-10 pm. A three-course, Prix Fixe menu Black Tie Dinner (featuring Black Tie Affair in the recipes, of course) will start the night at 6 pm, followed by live music at 7 pm. Admission is free, with donations being accepted for the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project. While there, be sure to check out their latest on-tap-only small batch, Berliner Weisse (4.5% ABV, 8 IBUs), which was kettle-soured with grain; future iterations, with various dry-hop additions, will follow.

• The second public presentation of Sociable!, will be taking place next Friday, November 18th, at Boxing Rock Brewing. The party in Shelburne kicks off at 6pm with free brewery tours, with the film starting at 7pm, and following up with a Q&A with the filmmakers. Free snacks and beer samples will be available too! For more information, check out the Event page.

• The Inaugural Cape Breton Beer Fest is happening November 19th at the Cruise Terminal in Sydney. There will be fifteen breweries, cider houses, and distilleries from around the province in attendance for the Afternoon (2:00 to 4:30 pm) or Evening sessions (7:00 to 9:30 pm, with VIP tickets available for 6:00 pm entry). Grab your tickets online today.
• Battery Park will be hosting Nyanza’s Big Spruce on December 1st, in the third in a series of NS Brewery Tap Takeovers. As in the previous editions with Tatamagouche and Boxing Rock, they have also teamed up with the visiting brewery on a collaboration brew. This month’s beer is a Nova Scotia-themed mad scientist’s dream: a Donair Beer, aged on raspberries. The Battery Park kitchen created, cooked, then dried and powdered donair meat, and added it to the mash tun, with the grain required for an Imperial Stout. After primary fermentation, the beer will age on raspberries. Blood Donair is the name of the beer, and it will debut during the tap takeover, along with plenty of Big Spruce’s favourite and award-winning beers.
Have a great long weekend, and tomorrow, remember to think of those who gave – and continue to give – so much, and raise a glass of craft beer in their honour. In closing…
Boxing Rock‘s Bohemian Pilsner, Wild Axe (5.7% ABV), is back again on tap, and in bottles at the HRM private liquor stores.
Hammond River has rebrewed their Into the Dark Hawaiian Porter (6.3% ABV, 38 IBUs), brewed with cacao nibs and fresh, toasted coconut; it should be appearing on tap within the next couple of weeks.
Garrison Brewing has released the next two beers in their winter seasonal portfolio today; their 7.5% ABV Spruce Beer, made with locally-harvested spruce and fir, on a full bodied-ale featuring molasses, and the 7.0% ABV Winter Warmer, brewed with cinnamon and clove spice additions, for a beer worthy of enjoying around the fire. Both beers are available in 650mL bottles at the brewery today, with release to the private liquor stores and NSLC next week.
– Keep your eyes, and ears, open for a local beer-themed podcast dropping next week. 902 BrewCast features three local beer fans, Kyle, Philip, and Tony, talking about the latest releases in our region, and interviewing local brewers and industry folks. Subscribe now, and look for the first pair of episodes in your favourite podcast app next Friday, November 18th.
 – For those who want to try this highly sought-after beer, the PEI Liquor Commission currently has bottles of Sam Adams Utopias on their shelves at two locations. At $200, this is not an everyday-drinker, but certainly something that can be cellared long-term, and pulled out at special occasions. They are also carrying the CRAFT BeerAdvent Calendar, a collection of 24 new-to-Canada beers, to be opened during December.
– Not to be outdone, the NSLC will be releasing eight bottles of Utopias at The Port signature store November 19th, also priced at $200.

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What a weekend! From Friday afternoon, until Saturday night, 21 beer judges came together to sample the more than 250 beer and cider entries in this year’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards. At the Gala Sunday evening, awards were handed out for the top beers in the region. Here are the winners!

1) North American & European Style Lager
Gold: Moosehead Breweries – Moose Light
Silver: Oland Brewery – Schooner
Bronze: Propeller Brewing – Nocturne Dark Lager

2) German Style Specialty Ales
Gold: Uncle Leo’s Brewery – Altbier
Silver: Uncle Leo’s Brewery – Vohs Weizenbier
Bronze: Garrison Brewing – Rise ‘N’ Stein

3) UK Style Specialty Ales
Gold: Pump House Brewery – Barley Wine Ale
Silver: Garrison Brewing – Irish Red Ale
Bronze: Trider’s Craft Beer – Rod’s Red

4) North American Style Specialty Ale
Gold: Upstreet Craft Brewing – One Way Black IPA
Silver: Spindrift Brewing – Riptide IPL
Bronze: Good Robot Brewing – Leave Me Blue

5) Belgian Style Specialty Ale
Gold: Petit-Sault – Tante Blanche
Silver: Upstreet Craft Brewing – De Novo I
Bronze: Tatamagouche Brewing – Tatamagouche Tripel

6) North American Style Amber / Red Ale
Gold: PEI Brewing – Island Red
Silver: Boxing Rock Brewing – Temptation Red Ale
Bronze: Paddy’s Pub – Annapolis Valley Ale (AVA)

7) Fruit & Field Beer
Gold: Lazy Bear Brewing – Braunbär Honey Brown
Silver: Big Spruce Brewing – The Silver Tart
Bronze: Petit-Sault – Bonhomme Sept-Heures

8) Pale Ales
Gold: Hell Bay Brewing – English Ale
Silver: Bad Apple Brewhouse – American Pale Ale
Bronze: Big Spruce Brewing – Gimme Citra

9) Stout / Porter
Gold: Alexander Keith’s – Lunenburg Coffee & Cacao Stout
Silver: Breton Brewing – Cocoa Envy Chocolate Robust Porter
Bronze: Tatamagouche Brewing – Two Rivers Baltic Porter

10) India Pale Ale
Gold: Rockbottom Brewpub – Fathom IPA
Silver: Tatamagouche Brewing – Deception Bay IPA
Bronze: Bad Apple Brewhouse – Mosaic DIPA

11) Experimental Beer
Gold: Bad Apple Brewhouse –  Smoked Porter
Silver: Good Robot Brewing – Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie v2.0
Bronze: Propeller Brewing – Graceland Too White IPA

12) Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer
Gold: Big Spruce – Ra Ra Rasputin Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout
Silver: Bad Apple Brewhouse – Smoke Show
Bronze: Big Spruce Brewing – Coade Word: Snowmageddon Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer

13) Standard Cider and Perry
Gold: ShipBuilders Cider – ShipBuilders
Silver: Paddy’s Pub – Fitzgerald Traditional Cider
Bronze: Elderkin’s Cider – Elderkin’s Traditional Hard Cider

14) Specialty Cider and Perry
Gold: Annapolis Cider – Crisp & Dry
Silver: Annapolis Cider – Something Different – Peach & Peppercorn
Bronze: Red Rover Brewhouse – Fall Cider

Brewery of the Year
Bad Apple Brewhouse

Brewpub of the Year
Rockbottom Brewpub

Cider House of the Year
Annapolis Cider Company

Beer of the Year
Ra Ra Rasputin Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout (Big Spruce)

Cider of the Year
ShipBuilders Cider (ShipBuilders)

People’s Choice Beer
T-Rex Porter (Port Rexton)

People’s Choice Cider
Crisp & Dry (Annapolis Cider Company)

Congratulations to all of the winners!

2016 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards by the numbers:
228 Beer entries from 35 Breweries and Brewpubs
29 Cider entries from 7 Cider Houses
21 BJCP National, Certified, Recognized, and Novice Judges
10 dedicated stewards behind the scenes
12 hours of judging
900 cups of beer and cider sniffed, swigged and sampled
30,000 steps (20 km) walked by the Judging Organizer (acbbchris)

49 Awards

1 Great Industry Worth Celebrating!

Good morning, and welcome to the first Friday of November! The weather is now colder, and winter is around the corner, but the local beer continues to flow…

Propeller recently released a new winter seasonal, Coffee Porter. True to its name, it was brewed with 20 lbs of whole beans and “dry-hopped” (dry-coffeed?) with coffee grounds, also 20 lbs worth. The coffee comes from local roasters Java Blend, and is their Fog City blend – with two roast levels that give a “bold flavour, with sweet, rich tones”, expect plenty of roasted, coffee goodness. At 5.9% and 35 IBUs, it’s available now in growlers and 650 mL bottles. And grab their Russian Imperial Stout, back on tap and in bottles at both Windmill and Gottingen locations.

• Continuing on with coffee beers, FirkinStein Brewing has debuted Rock Your Boat, a Coffee Oatmeal Stout. A smooth beer thanks to the addition of oatmeal, the coffee was provided by Lunenburg’s Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters; the Rock Your Boat coffee is one of their dark roasts, and is described as “a blend of dark, mi-noir, and medium roasted Mexican beans, bolstered by full bodied Sumatra”. While the Hubbard’s Farmers Market has shut down for the season, FirkinStein can be found at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market every Thursday morning.

Big Tide has a brand new beer pouring at their brewpub in Saint John, Barbarossa’s Black IPA. Brewed with Pale Ale, Munich, “dark” CaraMunich, Chocolate Wheat, and Black malts, it was heavily hopped with Hallertau, Magnum, and Citra, to 70 IBUs. A medium-bodied, dark brew exhibiting a “toasty, biscuity malt profile, balanced well with citrusy hop flavours”, it weighs in at 6.8% ABV. Drop by for a pint and/or growler today! Their Barrelled Life Barley Wine is also currently pouring.

• The Boxing Rock/Battery Park/North collaboration, Battery Rock India Brown Ale, was launched at the epic Tap Takeover at Battery Park last night. For those who missed out, it is available on tap around the HRM now, and in growlers and 650 mL bottles at both Boxing Rock and North, and their Farmers’ Market stalls. With a “dark, complex, creamy malt base with notes of coffee, caramel and smoke”, it brings in the IPA side with notes of tropical fruit and citrus in the aroma. Highly drinkable at 5.7% ABV, look for bottles to appear in the Halifax private liquor stores as well, likely by next week.

• The new beers from Tide & Boar Brewing continue to flow at the brewpub in Moncton; this week has featured Strawberry Ale Shake, a style known simply as “Milkshake IPA” that has been quickly growing in popularity with North American breweries. Featuring the addition of lactose to increase the body and add a touch of lingering sweetness, real strawberries were also added, as well as heavy hop additions in the whirlpool, resulting in a fruity and murky brew. A true Double IPA at 8.1% ABV, only 3 kegs were brewed, so it likely won’t last long… if it’s even still on!

• Yesterday was International Stout Day, and Picaroons released a new one-off at Saint John’s General Store to celebrate. Brewed in conjunction with Brú Brewery Meath, out of County Meath, Ireland, Irish Canadian Stout features the addition of Canadian maple syrup and Irish whiskey oak chips, to combine the best of both worlds. Still exhibiting plenty of roasted characteristics you expect to see in a stout, it comes in at 6.2% ABV and is available on tap at the General Store only.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing will be launching two new beers this Saturday, November 5thRoof Hound IPA is a 6.4% hop-bomb, brewed with guidance and assistance from Bad Apple‘s Jeff Saunders, featuring a boat-load of Columbus and Mosaic hops. Big Brown Rum and Raisin Holiday Edition is a 7.5% Brown Ale with a holiday twist. Both beers will be flowing starting at 9pm, with live music from Tide and Timbre and Hannah Morgan starting at 10:00 PM. And while the 7:30pm seating for their upcoming Festive Supper Club on December 1st is sold out, there are a few spots available for the 5:00 PM seating. Email for more details and to reserve your spot.

• This weekend Garrison Brewing continues their association with Hal-Con, now in its 7th year as the premier sci-fi, fantasy and gaming convention in Atlantic Canada, with two adult and one all-ages formulations. First, for the grownups, the Klingon Warnog Roggen Dunkel (Dark Rye) is available at the brewery once again. First brewed for Hal-Con 2014 under license from the Federation of Beer, it is fundamentally in the Dunkelweizen style. On a firm base of Munich and Wheat malts a significant addition of Rye provides spiciness, while dark Crystal malt gives it the characteristic colour of the style. Lightly hopped with Cascade to 20 IBUs, this 5.5% ABV brew uses an authentic Weizen yeast to provide clove and banana esters to pair with caramel and chocolate notes from the malt. Also for those of legal age, and making a repeat appearance after being introduced in June of this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the original television series, Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale has been re-released  just in time for the convention. A light and refreshing, 5% ABV, slightly sweet beer featuring only pale and wheat malts along with 20 IBUs and a spiciness provided by the noble Hallertauer hop, it’s filtered sparkling clear and has a solid, long-lasting white head. It’s available in 650 mL bombers from the brewery and at private liquor stores around the HRM area. Lastly, appropriate for both kids and the kid in all of us, is Sweet Nelson Power Soda, a Raspberry Ginger Ale featuring a suitably fantastic lime-green colour. Brewed under the auspices of Garrison division Dockside Soda Co., it is returning to Hal-Con this year after a tremendously popular introduction at last year’s event.

• If your appetite for pumpkin beers doesn’t quite justify a growler fill, or you’re just curious about how the other half lives, the Nine Locks Brewing fall seasonal Pumpkin Ale is now available in cans at the brewery. Still 5.2% and 12 IBUs and still featuring a malty backbone and full mouthfeel balancing the crisp spicing, this amber ale will surely give way soon to a winter offering, so get it while it lasts. Meanwhile, not resting on their gourds, Nine Locks is also releasing another beer this week, Scotch Ale. Inspired by the Scottish ales of the 18th and 19th centuries, it’s a strong beer at 7.5%, and is dark with ruby highlights, and deeply malty. Typical of the style, it comes in at a fairly low 22 IBUs while dark grains and a crisp finish complete the picture. This one will be available in the next couple of weeks for growler fills and in cans, both at the brewery.

Upstreet has teamed up with Ontario’s Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. for a very worthy cause – to help build the first women-owned and operated brewery in Rwanda. Until November 17th, $2 for every pint and growler sold in the Upstreet taproom will go to help this project. For more information on the Rwanda brewery, and to donate yourself directly, check out their Kickstarter campaign.

• There’s a couple of new beers from Graystone on tap for growler fills and pints: Into the Woods Brown Ale, a 5% ABV, 26 IBUs “medium-bodied ale with caramel and chocolate flavours”, and Pitch Stout, a 4.5% ABV American Oatmeal Stout that is full-bodied, “with notes of chocolate and a moderate roast character”.

• Beer lovers in Sackville, NB (aka Bagtown), will be able to enjoy beer brewed in their town in the new year. The just-announced Bagtown Brewing Company is a student project at Mount Allison University, which sees students go through the steps of investing and opening their own business. While still in the licensing phase, they do have a location for their nano-sized brewery, which will set up in the newly-opened Sackville Commons. Follow along on their progress on Twitter and Instagram, and we’ll be sharing more details shortly.

November is a busy month, with loads of newly-announced events in the next few weeks:

Good Robot was recently voted Best Brewery and Best Brewpub by readers of The Coast, and they’re celebrating with a crazy event – a tap takeover at their own taproom, today. A total of 11 different GR beers will be available, the most they’ve ever had on at one time. Check out the event link for full beer details! This self-serving event – 😉 – will continue all weekend.

Stillwell is holding a special all-cider event tomorrow on Saturday, November 5th, featuring Ontario’s West Avenue Cider Company. A bevy of special ciders will be pouring all day (check out the full list here) starting at noon, with no tickets required to attend. In addition, a special food menu has been put together that will optimally pair with all these tasty beverages; be sure to drop by for an epic sampling!

Red Rover is once again teaming up with the James Joyce for another Guy Fawkes-themed event, Saturday, November 5th. Plenty of Red Rover cider will be pouring, including three special releases, two of which are “James Joyce specialties”, and a mystery cask. It all starts at 8:30 pm; as usual, there is no cover charge.

• There are a plethora of events at various bars, restaurants, and breweries on Tuesday, November 8th, to “celebrate” Election Day in the U.S., when we can finally say, for better, worse, or worser, that this election has finally (hopefully) come to an end. There’s too many to list, but check out Facebook and you won’t have a problem finding one near you. Beer makes bad things better!

Breton Brewing is holding a tap takeover next Thursday, November 10th, at Halifax’s Lion & Bright. There will also be live music from Dave Sampson and Colin Grant. The boys from Breton will be bringing in a full complement of eight beers to pour for you, and the kitchen at L&B will be whipping up Cape Breton-inspired snacks. Look for their core lineup, as well as seasonals Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale, Celtic Colours Maple Lager, and Tart’an Juicy Grapefruit Pale Ale. Plus, a brand new beer, MacAskill’s Revenge Black IPA, which launched last evening. At 7.0% ABV and 80 IBUs, you best stay on MacAskill’s good side!

• Local homebrewer Keith Forbes has been busy brewing up a storm at Good Robot over the past 6 weeks, and will be holding one heck of a party at the GR Tap Room November 15th. The first of their BrewBot – Homebrew Tap Takeover series will feature five beers brewed on GR’s Sabco Brew-Magic system. A very active member of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club, Forbes will be showcasing some award-winning beers, including his Gold Medal-winning Funktown American Pale Ale, and Muddy River Brown, a favourite with family and friends. The party kicks off at 5:00 pm.

• While their beer has been available in Moncton for over a month, Beckwith Road Brewing is taking a breath, and finally holding their Launch Party later this month. Being held at 400 St George St, 7:00 – 11:00 pm, November 26th. Advanced tickets are available now online, or can be purchased in person that evening (subject to availability). Your $10 ticket gets you 2 pints, while the $15 ticket also includes a take-home glass. Additional pints will be available for purchase as well. Keep an eye on the details on their Facebook Event page.

Before we sign off for the day…

– As we mentioned last week, the ANBL new growler station at Moncton North is launching this weekend; be sure to drop by for growler fills of local beers that include Bore City Mondo IPA, Flying Boats Dixie Clipper IPA, and Pump House Scotch Ale, while supplies last.
– Rothesay, New Brunswick’s Foghorn Brewing looks to be launching soon, as they’ve been teasing pictures of filled kegs (we assume!) on social media… if you’re in the area, your wait is almost over!
Hammond River has released the latest iteration of their single-malt-and-single-hop beer, The Vegas SMaSH; this ones features the always-wonderful Citra hop, so be sure to ask your local watering hole if they carry it!
Hell Bay‘s Black IPA, Black Flag IPA (6.1% ABV, 55 IBUs), is now available in 12 oz bottles at the brewery; look for it to pop up at liquor stores in NS in the near future as well.
Meander River is releasing a small run of bottles for events they’ll be attending the next couple weeks. Look out for Homegrown Wet Hop, Shack Wacky Cider, Cold Porridge Oatmeal Stout, Smokey Chipotle Porter, Ashdale Honey Brown, and Surf & Turf Scotch Ale in 500 ml bottles. Meander River will be at the Christmas at the Forum this weekend, and The Guy Show and Saltscapes shows next weekend.
– Winter Warmer season is upon us, which is a bittersweet thing. This means, of course, that Petit-Sault‘s Winter Warmer, Buckdjeuve (7.3% ABV, 29 IBUs), is back for the season. You can find it in growlers and six-packs at the brewery now, and in sixers at select ANBL locations.
– Picaroons Winter Warmer (7.3% ABV, 35 IBUs) is back as well, on tap at both the Brewtique and General Store, select bars/restaurants, and in bottles.
– This year’s edition of the Pump House Stonefire Ale is now available, in a limited number of four thousand 750 mL bottles, at the brewery and soon in ANBL stores. This marks the third year for this 6.5% ABV beer, which was brewed by heating the wort through the addition of extremely hot rocks, as per an ancient German method.
– Saltbox Scottish Ale (5.5% ABV, 15 IBUs) is back on tap this week, but in a very limited quantity, so be sure to drop by and pick some up!
– Today is the last day for the Sober Island Brewing Kickstarter campaign; be sure to check out the link, and their many options for pledges and rewards!

And finally, best of luck to all entrants in this year’s Atlantic Canada Beer Awards, taking place in Halifax this weekend! We’ll be sure to give the list of winners next week, including the People’s Choice, whose online voting closes tomorrow.

Happy Friday folks! Before you bolt out the door to don your costume and drink beer straight from a pumpkin, check out the latest beers and events in our region this week.

Good Robot released a new beer earlier this week, the name of which is almost as hard to type as it is to say – HFXtraterrestrials StankoniAle (God bless copy and paste!). Described by the brewery as a “fruity wheat with southern heat”, think of it as a spicy Berliner Weisse. The grist is composed simply of Wheat and Pilsner malt, with a bit of Acidulated malt thrown in to lower the pH. Hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace, further additions of lemon zest, orange zest, and red Thai chilies help round out both the aroma and flavour with more fruit characteristics, as well as heat. This golden, hazy, effervescent beer was launched on Wednesday during their Player’s Ball event, accompanied by music, soul food, and classic cars. Super-sessionable at just 4% ABV, it’s still on tap now at the brewery taproom; you’ll likely see it across the HRM this weekend as well. Be sure to check our Events listing below for GR’s busy weekend.

• There’s a brand new beer on tap at the Big Tide brewpub, ALTar MatrimoniAle, which was brewed with Uncorked Tours‘ own Gilliane Nadeau earlier this month. Launched at Nadeau’s engagement party at the brewpub, it’s an Altbier that was lagered for a short while, in order to mimic how the beer style was originally brewed when it originated in Germany. Amber-coloured, and drinkable in quantity at 4.8% ABV and 42 IBUs, featuring Pale Ale and Caramunich malts, with Noble hops for a well-balanced brew. The beer is available for pints and growlers now, and will be making a return next summer to celebrate Nadeau’s wedding.

TrailWay has brought back Good Aura, hitting taps earlier this week. This hoppy Amber Ale was originally brewed in honour of Aura, the beloved dog of Dan Mason, TrailWay’s co-brewer and co-owner, a rescue pup from the Fredericton SPCA. The beer has a grist with multiple malts, including Crystal, Munich and Rye, giving it an amber-coloured (and, of course, hazy!) appearance. Hopped with plenty of Mosaic and Summit, this 7% ale combines the best-of-both-worlds from both the American Amber and American IPA styles. Every time Good Aura is brewed, TrailWay will make a donation to the Fredericton SPCA.

• Up on the Rock this week, YellowBelly Brewery has released a variation on their tried and true namesake Pale Ale. Normally kettle hopped with Nugget, Cluster, and Super Styrians and then dry-hopped with Ahtanum to accentuate piney, floral and citrus notes, this batch is solely smashed with Mosaic (HBC 369) hops from start to finish, yielding heavy resinous, piney, tropical and citrusy flavours. Beautifully described by Brewmaster Liam McKenna himself with the note, “Smells like a frisky ocelot in a pine forest eating a massive tropical and citrus fruit salad,” it has all the hallmarks of the original (a sessionable 4.5% and a reasonable 40 IBU). Speaking of the original, we are assured that the standard YellowBelly Pale Ale will continue to be served alongside this batch, but for those with a nose for the modern, dank, citrus and tropical mashup that is Mosaic, it’s available now in the pub and hopefully next week in bottles.

• The new, experimental beers continue to roll out of the General Store, the Picaroons Saint John headquarters. Now on tap is The Power’s Out Pumpkin Ale, brewed in “honour” of the frequent power issues the location has experienced since opening. Brewed with real pumpkin and “healthy, though not overwhelming” amounts of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, this is quite-sessionable take on the Pumpkin Ale style, weighing in at just 4.7% ABV. As with their other special releases, this is available on tap only at the General Store, and for a very limited time, so drop by for your taste ASAP!

• As we mentioned last week, check the taps, and shelves, for a bevvy of returning favourites from Tatamagouche this week: Blue Bales, their Blueberry Wheat returns with the harvest berries, resulting in a softer and sweeter finish than the earlier batch; Full Circle American Wheat, first brewed last year with help from the crew at Field Guide, featuring Tata’s own Cascade hops, aided by some late Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria for a big candied citrus aroma; and Ging’ Sync: Rye, Rye, Rye, brewed with more than 5 kg of ginger in the kettle and hopback to complement the Horton Ridge Malt Rye used in the grain bill. Growler fills and cans of all three are available now at the brewery, and these will be showing up on the taps around HRM this weekend.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe Brewery has released a new beer this weekend, a Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout. Modeled after the favourite Hallowe’en (and year-round) peanut butter and chocolate cup treat, this 5.2% ABV beer has a lighter body than their Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, with a nice caramel malt and ligth roast, with the addition of lactose gives a slightly sweeter flavour, giving a nice base to the significant PB aroma and flavour. Actual Reese cups were added to the brew, as well as dark chocolate. It will be available in Fredericton at Isaac’s Way and the James Joyce pub, and a single keg heading to Cask and Kettle in Saint John. And for those who make the trip to Nackawic, those who show up in costume this weekend will receive a 10% discount on pints.

Garrison Brewing is launching a pair of beers this weekend. Returning for the season, just in time for International Stout Day on Nov 3, is Martello Stout. Weighing in at 5.0% ABV and 30 IBUs, it features lots of roast, chocolate and coffee characteristics. Available at the brewery now, and at the NSLC and private stores shortly. The second launch of the day is Test Batch – Code Name: Juicy. This 8.0% Double IPA features a tons of CitraElla, and Mosaic hops, to the tune of 75 IBUs, for a floral and fruity blast from these special varietals. This test batch is only available in 650 ml bottles at the brewery now.

• And in upcoming brewery news, Half Cocked Brewing has jumped onto the scene in North Grant, NS, near Antigonish. Local brothers Dave and Greg Oicle, together with partners Matt Thomson and Ryan MacPherson, will set up on an old chicken farm (hence the name…), which they have already prepped to begin growing hops in the spring. Long time homebrewers, they are currently working with a Sabco Brew-Magic system, a favourite for small and pilot breweries in our region. Follow along on their progress toward opening in the spring on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll grab the full scoop from them closer to launch.

Check out these events happening this weekend, and in the near future:

• Happening right now, is the inaugural brewday for the Gander Homebrew Club. Spearheaded by Sam Newman, one of the principals of the in-development Scudrunner Brewing, and David Jerrett, the group and event are a way for local beer enthusiasts to get together and share their love of the hobby. Brewers, and fans, of all skill and interest level are encouraged to drop by to meet, lend a hand, and make plans for future brewdays (and the beer nights that follow). More details can be found at their FB event page, and you can reach out via Twitter to find the location details. And look for Scudrunner to launch their brewery in Gander in Spring 2017.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub has an exciting new addition to their 20+ tap lines – cask ale! They’re officially launching the option of purchasing “cask ale” – beer that is packaged in a pin or firkin before fermentation is complete, allowing it to finish and carbonate in the cask from which it will be served. It is usually less-carbed than kegged beer, and served via hand pump. To celebrate the addition to their lineup, they are holding an event tonight, starting at 5:00 pm. A couple of special Maybee Brewing casks will be on, their Work Horse IPA and Stone House Tripel, both of which have been aging with Brettanomyces yeast. The pub plans to run casks on a daily basis, once a steady supply starts trickling in. There’s no cover to attend tonight, just show up and pay by the glass! And be sure to drop by Maybee’s spot Saturday after 6:00 pm for live music, and the launch of their Top Secret Hallowe’en beer, Give up the Gose, a 4.5 % ABV German-style sour, brewed with coriander and sea salt, with a unique twist of Chocolate Wheat malt for an unexpected dark appearance.

• After a busy inaugural summer season, the Port Rexton Brewing tap room will closing this weekend. To ensure they cap the season in style, they are holding a Hallowe’en Bash October 29th. Show up in your best costume at 7pm, and party the night away at your friendly local taproom. And for those making the trip from Town, there are a pair of nearby spots still open for the season, where you can rest your head. Fishers’ Loft (with whom they brewed the Gardener’s Gose) is nearby for your accommodation needs, as is Sherwood Suites. And fear not, PR fans, with the tap room closing, that just means more opportunities to grab a pint in town. Keep an eye on their social media to see when and where their next kegs will drop!

• Halifax’s Good Robot are holding a series of events this weekend to celebrate Hallowe’en as well.
FridayElectric Circuit Party, 10:00 pm. Retro dance party to kick off the weekend.
SaturdayJack-o-Lantern Contest, 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Drop by with your pre-carved pumpkins (or other gourd, veggie, or fruits) between noon and 6 for your chance at some prizes.
N̶o̶t̶ your Granny’s Halloween Party, 7:00pm. Cheesey Costume party and contest, Rinaldo’s sandwiches, and Black Buffalo Records spinning tunes.
Take Sunday off to recover, and then…
MondayEverything’s Fine: An Interactive Halloween Show, 6:00pm. This ticketed event is sold out, but the doors will be open to the public at 10pm. Black Sheep Restaurant will be serving food onsite.

• Those within striking distance of the Metro Halifax area are reminded of the Battery Park Beer Bar’s second tap takeover, this time featuring Boxing Rock Brewing Co., happening in Dartmouth on Thursday, November 3rd. It will feature familiar favourites, fondly-remembered (or possibly forgotten) brews from seasons past and some brand new bangers. You’ll definitely be seeing the return of Hop Springs Eternal White IPA, created as an entry for this year’s Black Box Challenge competition, Over the Top, the Cranberry Sour from this summer and For the Love of Grimace, the Blueberry Berliner Weiss collaboration with Big Spruce Brewing. Rumor has it you’ll also see a brand new collaboration between Battery Park and Boxing Rock, in the form of an India Brown Ale. Plenty more taps are yet to be announced, keep an eye on social media (especially @BatteryBeerBar and @boxingrockbeer) for more tap reveals as the date approaches.

Schoolhouse Brewery is continuing their First Thursday Growler Evening next Thursday, November 3rd, 5 to 9 pm. They will be giving tours of their new facility at 40 Water Street in Windsor, adjacent to the TAN Coffee. Check out their progress, and grab a growler while you’re there!

• Next weekend, on Sunday, November 6th, the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards Dinner & Gala will take place at the Stubborn Goat Gastropub. This is the culmination of the ACBA event and a chance to rub shoulders with both your favourite brewers as well, no doubt, as a few of the region’s beer cognoscenti as they converge for a multi-course dinner expertly paired with some of the region’s award-winning beers. The event starts at 6pm with dinner served at seven. Tickets for the event are $88.50 per person (which includes gratuity, but not taxes and fees, which run about $20 more). Whether you’re up for the gala or not, we’d like to remind everyone of your chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award for the top beer and top cider in the region for 2016. The list has been kept to those beers and ciders entered in the friendly competition, otherwise it would probably top out at 1000 different different offerings.

• The Inaugural Cape Breton Beer Fest is happening November 19th at the Cruise Terminal in Sydney. There will be thirteen breweries and cider houses from around the province in attendance for the Afternoon (2:00 to 4:30 pm) or Evening sessions (7:00 to 9:30 pm, with VIP tickets available for 6:00 pm entry). Grab your tickets online today.

• The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers – Atlantic Canada is holding a few beer courses in Halifax in the coming months. They are holding a Certified Beer Professional Course November 26th and 27th, preparing students to pass the online Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam. An introduction to the history, production, styles, and service of beer. Perfect for professional sales agents, hospitality professionals, or budding enthusiasts. Register online, or email for details. And keep an eye on their Beer Courses page, as they are adding to their portfolio all the time.

A few more parting shots before we sign off this week:

– After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered has once again released their very popular Double Orange Ale (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs), a SMaSH beer featuring 2-row malt and Citra hops; currently on tap for fills and pints at Charm School, and finer beer bars/restaurants in the HRM and beyond.
ANBL Growler stations are featuring a wide array of beers from Garrison, Pump House and breweries from outside the region this week. And they have recently expanded their growler filling station to include Moncton North, located at 1866 Mountain Rd, bringing the count to six locations. Look for their expansion to continue to more locations, as the growler program has certainly been a hit for the ANBL, breweries, and drinkers alike.
Sober Island Brewing‘s Kickstarter campaign is entering its final week, giving you just a few more chances to be a part of their expansion, while grabbing some swag for yourself. Be sure to take part today! Keep an eye on their social media pages to keep abreast of their new brewing location at Henley House.
– Local musicians Dave Gunning, JP Cormier & Jamie Robinson dropped by Uncle Leo’s Brewery this week, and brewed up a new Pale Ale, named Sunburst. Look for more details ahead of its launch mid-November.