Good morning, craft beer fans! It’s another very busy week in the world of Atlantic Canadian beer news, so let’s get cracking…

• New Brunswick, Red Rover Brewing needs your help! As explained by owner/brewer Adam Clawson in a recent CBC interview, the company has had increasing difficulty turning a profit in the province, despite excellent demand for their ciders. Right now, there isn’t a set policy for cider; while there is one for beer, and one for wine, cider falls into a “grey area” where the mark-up set by the ANBL is not pre-determined. As a result, Red Rover has to pay a much higher mark-up for every keg and flagon of cider that they produce. Here’s a few numbers to make it all a bit clearer:

– For a 20 L keg of beer, breweries pay a $0.76/L mark-up, while Red Rover pays $1.29/L

– For bottles at ANBL stores, breweries pay $1.23/L; Red Rover would pay $2.90/L if their ciders were listed (which they are trying to accomplish)

– Many styles of beer can be brewed and packaged within a matter of weeks, while cider takes 2-3 months before it’s ready; during that extended period, temperature control and storage space increase the time, effort, and cost required for the batch

– Depending on the beer, a 20 L keg could be brewed for $20 or less; the cost in ingredients, time, etc. to Red Rover for the equivalent amount is about $50-55

Clawson understands that this is not an easy fix, and respects that there is currently no policy under ANBL for his business. What he’s asking for is that the ANBL temporarily let Red Rover join one of the current policies, or even better, create a new policy specifically geared towards cider, where the mark-ups are fair, and set-in-stone.

We also spoke with Brian Harriman, CEO of the ANBL; he acknowledges that the policy for cider was never clear, and that they had always made it their goal to work with Red Rover to help them (and other ciderhouses) succeed. Harriman went on to say that they currently have a “project team” made up of people from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Tourism, and ANBL, with the goal to “streamline processes and to create a policy that fosters growth of micro producers from all categories in New Brunswick”.

What can you do? Call and make your opinion clear to ANBL and to your MLA. If a new, fair policy is created, Red Rover will be able to expand, which will only be good news for the province. If nothing is done, they may be forced to either a) shut down, or b) leave the province and set up shop elsewhere. Neither is good for New Brunswick. This isn’t just a matter of keeping an excellent product in the province; this is about showing the proper support for a small, local business that is asking for nothing more than the opportunity to grow. Here’s hoping for a quick resolution.

Propeller Brewing has two new beers out this week. First up, their next One-Hit Wonder All Tapped Out is an India Pale Ale brewed with 6 different hop varietals, and will take any hophead down for the count. Victory, Wheat, and Crystal malts bump up the 2 Row base malt, lending colour and flavour, while the Warrior, Centennial, Columbus, Cluster, Ahtanum and Cascade hops pack a punch of bitterness and grassy, citrus, and resiny aromas. The beer weighs in at 6.9% ABV and 72 IBUs, for a bit more alcohol than their standard IPA. As with all other One-Hit Wonders, this beer is for growler sales only (on now at both the Gottingen and Windmill locations), with the rare keg sneaking out to friendly HRM bars and restaurants.

• Prop’s second new beer this week is their Spring Seasonal, Rye IPA. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV and 72 IBUs, the malt bill features a healthy dose of Rye malt to spice up the brew, and a secret blend of hops for bittering and aroma. Released today in bottles at both brewery locations, it will also be available in the NSLC and private beer stores, and on tap for growlers and at HRM bars soon.

TrailWay Brewing just delivered some kegs of their newest beer, a Black IPA named Black Hops One. This particular style of beer is often interpreted differently from brewery to brewery; look for TrailWay’s version to have significant roast and chocolate character (thanks to the addition of both Roasted and Chocolate malts in the mash). Of course, there will also be lots of hop character, as this beer includes Apollo, Centennial, Mosaic, Chinook and Comet. As the style dictates, it comes in fairly bitter at around 90 IBUs, with an ABV of 7.1%. There should be a limited quantity available this weekend at both the King Street Ale House and 540 Kitchen & Bar.

Big Axe is re-releasing their Maple Wheat Amber Ale, first introduced last year. Brewed with both Pale and Caramel malts, it also features maple sap tapped from Big Axe’s very own maple trees, as well as some sourced from Nackawic’s own Stone Family Maple Products. Hopped with the Orbit variety, the beer comes in at 5% ABV and features a light-to-medium body, and lots of sweet, caramel and maple aromas, according to the brewery. Look for it on tap at the brewery and possibly select accounts by this weekend. And stay tuned for more news soon on their 1st Anniversary party, which sill take place at the brewery  in June; they’re planning on lots of live music, beer, and NB cider and mead (from Red Rover and Sunset Heights Meadery). They’ve also announced plans to build a taproom at their location in the future; we’ll keep you updated on their progress!

• There’s a new beer on tap at the Big Tide brewpub in Saint John, an India Pale Lager (read: hoppy Lager) named Sea Legs. Originally brewed for last Saturday’s Saint John Beer Fest (more on that below), a lot of the recipe is similar to their regular-release Seaworthy IPA, except it was fermented – of course – with a Lager yeast. It also followed a step-mash technique (more than one temperature rest during the mashing process), and was aged cool (or “lagered”) for a month before packaging. The beer was hopped with Cascade, Columbus, and Hallertau, and dry-hopped with Saaz. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and about 60 IBUs, and is on tap for both pints and growler fills. Their Bucht Bock – another festival beer – is still available for pints for a limited time only, so be sure to get to the brewpub to sample both!

• Shortly after last week’s experimental Belgian Scotch Ale, Picaroons has released the “other half” of that beer; that is, the first runnings from the brew day, which were fermented with their house Ringwood yeast to make The Brick ISA, an “Imperial Scotch Ale”. With a grist consisting of Pale malt, Golden Promise, Torrified Wheat, and Roasted and Smoked malts, the beer exhibits plenty of fruity esters, along with a “subtle smokiness” and some expected warmth from the high ABV (11.5%). It was hopped lightly to 28 IBUs with Goldings and Fuggles; as with last week’s beer, it is available only at the Brewtique for growler fills. And stay tuned for the second beer from their “Employee Series”, which should be released in the near future!

• In other Pics news, next week will mark the return of their popular summer seasonal, Dooryard, a 4.5% ABV American Wheat Ale. To celebrate, they’re having a Dooryard Launch Party at the ANBL Train Station next Wednesday, April 22nd (Earth Day). Along with free Dooryard samples, they’ll have food from Isaac’s Way and live music from the Alan Jeffries Duo. There’s no charge to attend; it all starts at 4 pm.

Grimross has re-brewed one of the beers originally brewed shortly after they opened in the summer of 2013. Bayard Blond is a 7% ABV Belgian Blond, a stronger style that exhibits both spiciness and fruitiness, thanks to the expressive Belgian yeast. With “notes of pear and grass”, and a “very fresh character” according to the brewery, it was likely brewed with the warmer temperatures of spring in mind! Stop by the brewery to try this refreshing ale; it’s available for both pints and growler fills now.

• Next Saturday, April 25th, Railcar Brewing is holding a Craft Beer and Cheese Pairing at their newly-opened tasting room. Held from 6 pm – 9 pm, there will be six cheeses from Jolly Farmer, paired with six different craft beers, including two each from Railcar (Irish Red and Chocolate Maple Stout), Picaroons (Yippee IPA and Dark and Stormy Night), and Propeller (ESB and Double IPA). Tickets are $20 each and can be bought at the door, or purchased in advance by contacting owner/brewer Mitch Biggar through the brewery’s Facebook page.

• And coming back to the Saint John Beer Fest, last Saturday’s event was a great success; the festival was sold-out, and featured more breweries and more beer than last year. The People’s Choice votes were tallied, and Hammond River Brewing won first place for the second year in a row! Silver went to Big Tide, and bronze to first-time attendee TrailWay Brewing. Congrats to the winners, and to the SJBF on another successful event!

Rogues Roost has a new Double IPA on tap at the brewpub now. Weighing in at 7.2%, this is a big beer with big hops to balance: 90 IBUs coming from several different hop varietals, finished with a large aroma addition of the Falconer’s Flight blend, lending tropical and citrus characteristics. This is actually the second Double IPA that Brewster Karen Allen has released in recent months, and like the first one, it will probably sell quickly, so be sure to pop down soon!

Rudder’s Brew Pub & Restaurant in Yarmouth has brewed up a lager for the coming warmer months. Lighthouse Lager 2.0 was brewed this week, and will be fermenting and conditioning until June. A lighter lager, the grain bill has changed slightly since the last time it was brewed in 2013. And this batch has been hopped with New Zealand Southern Cross and UK Fuggles varietals.

• For those not able to visit Rudder’s in Yarmouth, look for them in the Yarmouth Town Exhibit at the Saltscapes Expo next weekend at Halifax Exhibition Grounds. They will be sampling a couple of their beers, along with local restaurants and artisans. Other breweries attending the Expo include Propeller and Garrison, and local homebrew/winery shop Noble Grape.

Bar Stillwell in Halifax shared some great news this week: they will be setting up Stillwell Beergarden on the waterfront, set to open in about 6 weeks. Based in a custom-built shipping container, the Stilly Satellite Spot will be located at the Summit Plaza, steps from “The Wave”. The taps will be primarily NS beers (with a Nova Scotian cider and wine also on tap), with a focus on lighter-bodied, more “sessionable” beers. The food will also focus on NS, with chef Graeme Ruppel cooking up homemade sausages, complemented with other local fare, like sausages from Sweet William’s, Rose Lane, and bread and buns from Gingerbread Haus. It will operate into the fall, so that locals and tourists alike will have plenty of chances to drink and taste the best Nova Scotia has to offer. We understand that there are already some exciting events scheduled for the space, including Tap Takeovers that would be seen at both Stillwell HQ and the Beergarden, plus the special beers that show up on a regular basis.

Schoolhouse Brewery has a very cool project in the works, The Southfield Project: One Field, One Beer. They will be using a two-acre plot of land and growing barley and hops for a truely local NS beer. The ingredients will be hand planted and tended to, with the barley malted and hops harvested and dried right at the brewery. Those interested can follow along with the progress of the project on Facebook, and we look forward to taking part and drinking the resulting beer in the fall.

• Several more events for NS Craft Beer Week May 7-18 have been announced, including a series of Brewmaster’s Dinners at Lion & Bright: Boxing Rock vs Big Spruce on Monday, Sea Level vs Propeller on Wednesday, and North Brewing on Thursday. Beer Cocktail Face-Off, The Science of Beer, and Brews Cruise tickets are still available, and new events are being announced daily. Keep up with them using the #NSCraftBeerWeek tag on Twitter.

Enjoy your weekend! BarNone has rebrewed their Milk Stout, La Vaca Loca, and it should be available for their weekly growler night next Thursday at the brewery, and is expected to be on tap at the Pilot House next week as well. And speaking of Milk Stouts, it looks like there’s one being brewed at the Gahan House, too; we’ll have more on that beer for you next week. After a 10-day break the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish re-opened this week, so local beer fans can resume their place at the bar for a pint of Terry’s Bitter. And don’t forget that tomorrow is the launch of the Ladies Beer League and Boxing Rock beer, Cinnamon Spin. The event starts at 6pm at Stillwell, with the official tapping at 6:30. Happy 1st Anniversary to BeerTech Draft System Technologists, keeping many bars, restaurants and breweries’ taps and lines clean! And Happy 30th Anniversary to Granite Brewing, who continue to push the NS beer scene forward!

Happy Friday everyone! In case you thought last week’s busy post was a fluke, fear not! It’s been another busy week in Atlantic Canadian Beer News. And that means more tasty bevvies out now, and cool events coming our way! Let’s get right to the action!

Paddys Irish Brewpubs in Kentville and Wolfville have a few new beers on tap that are worth checking out! First up is their Extra Special Bitter, weighing in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs. It’s brewed with a traditional English malt bill and English Ale yeast for a light caramel character, and traditional East Kent Goldings hops exclusively give a light bitterness and a taste of England in the Annapolis Valley. Their Irish Stout is also on tap, an easily sessionable, light-bodied beer, but with a roast-forward character. This beer weighs in at 5% ABV and 33 IBUs, and is a fan favourite. Also keep an eye out for two lagers to be making their debut at the pubs in the next while: a Helles, which incorporated step mashing on their full 7 barrel system (sounds like quite a task!), and a Red Lager. We’ll have more details on both when they are available.

• There’s lots going on at PEI Brewing Co. these days! First off, they just sent over a new cask to Bar Stillwell in Halifax: Rais’n Sais’n is a bit of an experiment, consisting of their Iron Bridge Brown Ale fermented with a Saison yeast (Belle Saison, from Danstar, the same strain used in last year’s Lobster Saison). The beer was then transferred to a cask with a quantity of sultana raisins (a sweet, golden-coloured variety); it comes in at 5.1% ABV. Get down to Stillwell to try a pour before it’s gone!

• Moving on, they’ve also brewed a new Saison. Currently unnamed, it’s a completely different brew from the Lobster Saison. Brewed with all 2-row malt and hopped with Saaz and UK Goldings, it was then fermented “very warm” with the Belgian Dupont yeast strain from White Labs. With this yeast, expect lots of spicy flavors and aromas, accompanied by some fruitiness and a dry finish. The beer should be hitting taps at select locations sometime early next month; we’ll be sure to keep you updated on its release.

• Finally, a bit of a teaser: PEIBC brewmaster Chris Long has confirmed that we can expect to see a series of small batch (8 bbl) single-hop beers this summer at the brewery tasting room, and at Fishbones Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill in Charlottetown. We look forward to hearing more about this series when better weather arrives!

• Moving on to the Gahan side of PEIBC, they’ve released a new beer just in time for the Island’s annual (and extremely popular) PEI Burger Love. Angus Pale is a single-hop APA featuring the fairly-new Belma variety, and fermented with an English yeast strain. The beer is lightly filtered, with a “slight citrus aroma and a fruity/berry-like finish”, according to the brewery,

• It’s time to join the Club! Ahead of their opening later this Spring, Unfiltered Brewing have announced the details of their Club, available at launch. There are three levels available to those able to get in: The first level is an annual membership ($250 for the first year, $175 to resubscribe, plus HST), which gets the member an Unfiltered-branded Stainless Steel growler (full of beer, of course!), plus another free fill on their birthday (and $1 off all subsequent growler fills Mon-Wed), a branded glass and limited edition t-shirt, a pair of bottles of Russian Imperial Stouts (perfect for cellaring), and early access and first right of refusal to subsequent releases and swag. The second level is a lifetime membership in the Club, with all of its benefits, but with an even better growler. The cost to enroll is $1000 (plus tax). The third level is $5000, and is identical to the second level, but will offer the member the opportunity to brew a beer with Brewmaster Greg Nash, and leave with 20 litres of it after your hard day(s) of work. Full details on the Club, including how to sign up, are available here, and we’re happy to report that their brewhouse from DME was delivered this week, which means it won’t be long until the brewing begins!

TrailWay has brewed a new beer, and it’s their first collaboration! Staying true to their roots, they formulated a recipe with two homebrewers from the New Brunswick Craft Brewers Association, Adam Jones and Roger Ringuette. The beer, Sensible Nonsense, is a DIPA hopped with Apollo, Magnum, Orbit, Centennial, and Mosaic, to approximately 95 IBUs. Supported by some malty sweetness thanks to some Vienna and CaraRed malt in the mash, expect this hoppy beer to exhibit lots of fruity, piney, and dank notes. It should come in around 7.5% ABV; look for it to hit taps around Fredericton within the next couple of weeks. They’re also planning on experimenting with some casks of this beer, so stay tuned for that (and remember, their inaugural cask release at the King Street Ale House starts tonight at 6 pm!).

Picaroons released a new experimental beer earlier this week, an unnamed “Belgian Scotch Ale”. Definitely a bit of an orphan beer, think of it as a low-ABV Scotch Ale (featuring Roasted, Crystal, and Smoked malts) fermented with a Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, and hopped with Goldings and Fuggles. The beer came about from two batches of another experiment, a stronger Scotch Ale, where the weaker run-offs of each batch were combined for this release. The stronger batches were combined and are now being aged for a future release (and possibly some barrel-aging). Coming in at around 4.5% ABV, it features lots of clove and banana aromas and flavors, in conjunction with the smokiness and sweetness from the malt, according to the brewery. It’s on tap now, exclusively at the Brewtique for growler fills.

• For this year’s Earth Day (April 22nd), the Lion & Bright is once again celebrating with Spruce up the Planet!, a Big Spruce tap takeover. Doors open at 7 pm (the $7 charge will go to the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) to support their Ocean’s Week activities), and there will be live music from The Bluejam Grass Band, as well as “Love Letters to the Ocean”, hosted by Brave Space. For every pint purchased, an additional $1 will be donated to the EAC. Unfortunately, we don’t have a full tap list for you, but we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed with the selection!

• There’s yet another beer event planned for Fredericton from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Let Them Eat Cake… and Drink Beer will pair six different La Naufrageur beers (each pour is 8 oz) with six cake varieties from local bakery Fuller Confections. Scheduled for Saturday, April 25th at 2 pm at the King Street Ale House, it’s going to be a small event, with entry being limited to ten people. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased by sending an email. This is the first of several planned small-pairings; stay tuned for more in the near future!

• Now seems like a good time to mention that the fourth Burgers n’ Beer has been planned for Tuesday, June 9th, from 8:00 – 10:30 pm. Held once again at the uptown reLiSH location, this event is taking on a new twist, featuring an “Ales vs. Lagers” approach. Breweries are currently TBD, but count on six beers (8 oz pours) to be paired with six different reLiSH sliders. It’s a great way to kick off the two-week Fredericton Burger Battle (part of Eat New Brunswick), which begins on June 8th.(Tickets are $48 each, and are available online. We’ll have more info on the breweries participating, soon.

Sea Level Brewing is bringing back their latest seasonal, Düssel-port Altbier. This “New World Alt” uses a recipe given to Brewmaster Randy Lawrence by a brewer friend from Brauerei im Füchschen, in Dusseldorf, home of the Alt style. This medium-bodied ale weighs in at 4.8% ABV. Lawrence used Saphir hops throughout, for an authentic bitterness. It is now available at the brewery in cans, growlers, and kegs, and on tap at the Port Pub and other locations shortly.

• Last month, Boxing Rock brewed up a collaboration brew with the Ladies Beer League: the Cinnamon Spin. While the poor weather kept the LBL crew away, they were there in spirit, and the crew visiting from Upstreet lent a hand in their stead. We now have some information on the beer, and the release details! The base beer is a Robust Porter, weighing in at 6.5% ABV. It featured some first wort hopping, and whole cinnamon sticks added during the boil. Now the important details: how can you taste it? The Ladies Beer League and Boxing Rock folks will be launching the beer April 18th at Bar Stillwell in Halifax. It is an open event, no tickets required, and pay as you enjoy, starting at 6pm. There will be a cask of the Cinnamon Spin tapped at 6:30, and the beer will also be available on tap. There will also be LBL swag and memberships available for purchase that evening. Stillwell will have exclusivity on the kegged beer, but there will be some bottles available at the B.R. brewery, Seaport and Alderney Farmers Markets, and the private beer stores in HRM. As the beer was brewed in celebration of International Women’s Day, there are two charities benefiting from sales of the beer: Halifax Sexual Health Center and Shelburne County Women’s Fishnet Bursary Program.

• And speaking of beer launches at Stillwell, the next Saturday, April 25th, will see the launch party of the third in the line of Propeller Brewing’s Lambic-style beers. This release will be different than the earlier two, in that there was no fruit added during the fermentation and maturation process (raspberries and blackberries were featured previously); this will be the straight wheat beer that was inoculated with wild yeast and bacteria and aged in Blomidon Estate oak barrels, to produce a unique beer not otherwise available in our region. Think of it as a 4.2% ABV Gueuze-style beer, though this will be an unblended 4-year old beer. As in previous releases, the beer will be available by the glass and in bottles (for consumption at the bar) beginning at noon. There will be a signup sheet on site for those who would like to purchase one bottle (and one bottle only) from Propeller the next day, ahead of the general sale on Monday. The last release was so popular that none of the beer made it to Monday, all was scooped up in pre-sales, and we imagine the same will happen again this time. More details on the beer can be seen in a previous post on the first release.

• Details for the Beerthief Ancient Ales tasting in St John’s are now available, being held at The Bella Vista, at 5pm Saturday, May 2nd. Dr. Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist,  will be giving a presentation on the fieldwork and research required to develop the Dogfish Head Brewery for their Ancient Ales series. And through some local collaboration with local brewery Storm Brewing in Newfoundland, Brew Craft Homebrew Shop, Sap World, and gypsy brewers Chad Levesque and Stephen Canning, visitors will be able to enjoy two beers based on ancient recipes:  Levesque Midas Touch Collaborative Clone and Canning Kvasir Collaborative Clone. After the presentation and Q&A session, there will be a supper of lamb shank and flank steak paired by Chef Ian Smith. The tasting will continue with several selections from Garrison Brewing, led by Brewmaster Daniel Girard, and from Storm Brewing in Newfoundland, led by owner and brewer Mike McBride, for a full evening of beer, food and fun. Tickets for the event are $90, and are available by emailing Tom Beckett before April 29th.

Enjoy the weekend, and the (hopefully) warmer temps! While you are out and about this weekend, stop into the ANBL and fill up your growler with Petit-Sault Lancaster KB882 Amber Lager, Picaroons Historical Brown Ale (formerly known as 104th Regiment Ale), and/or (we vote andLe Trou du Diable’s Dubai Pillee Imperial IPA. For the first time, all four fill ANBL filling stations will have the same three beers available. And for those of you in Fredericton, be sure to drop by Grimross to buy a pint and growler of Monk’s Choice, the name chosen from the submissions for their Abbey Ale. In Nova Scotia, Muwin Wines has received a loan from ACOA to expand distribution of Bulwark Cider to the UK, a massive Cider market. The extra funds will go towards additional equipment to expand production, and re-branding their bottled packaged product. Tickets for the Full House Beer Fest, the highlight of the CBANS Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, are now officially sold out, though there is a waiting list available. Tickets for Beer & Beethoven (May 8th at the Halifax Forum), Science of Beer (May 14th at the Discovery Centre) and Brewer’s Brunch (May 17th at Stubborn Goat) are still available, however. We’ll be sharing details on more of the events in the coming weeks. Spindrift Brewing in Dartmouth has taken delivery of their brewhouse recently, and are busy setting it up and preparing for their first brew day in the coming weeks. And finally, in new more brewery news, Trestle Brewing is set to open in Truro in the fall. The brainchild of Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills, it will be located in the downtown area. We’ll share more details when available. And for those of you lucky enough to have tickets to tomorrow’s sold-out Saint John Beer Fest, enjoy the selection of craft beer! With even more breweries and beer than last year, it’s bound to be a great time as usual! And don’t miss their Hair of the Dog Brunch at the Saint John Ale House the next morning.

Happy April everyone! We made it! Old Man Winter is finally fading away, and the melting has begun in earnest. Before long, it will be time to plant those hop rhizomes…

• Late last week, Grimross announced that they were releasing a new beer on tap that day for growler fills and tastings at the brewery. Currently unnamed, it’s described as a “Single Abbey”; this type of beer was traditionally brewed by Belgian monks to be lighter and lower alcohol, specifically for consumption at the Abbey during their down-time. Featuring Pilsner and Munich malt from the Frontenac Malting Co. in Quebec, it was lightly hopped with Bobek to 23 IBUs, and fermented with the Abbaye yeast from Fermentis, a strain that is new to Grimross. This light-copper-coloured beer is described by the brewery as having an aroma of banana and bubblegum, with flavours including earthiness, crabapple and lemon zest. It finishes quite dry, and comes in at 5.1% ABV. They’ve announced that this beer will be the second in their Serendipity series (the first being their Summer Serendipity), and they’re looking for help naming it! Tweet or comment on Facebook your idea with the hashtag, #serendipityseries; if your name is selected, you will win a free growler and fill. The contest ends today at 5 pm.

Propeller Brewing has released their latest One-Hit Wonder this week, Peated Scotch Ale. A very robust, full bodied beer at 7.2% ABV, Peated Malt was used to reinforce the flavour and aroma in their traditional Scotch Ale with greater smoke and peat characteristics. Willamette and Warrior hops were used to balance the body of the beer, and hopped to 19 IBUs. As with all of their One-Hit Wonder releases, these are available for growler fills and samples at the brewery while supplies last (which won’t be long!), and in short supply on tap around HRM, so if you spot it, be sure to grab a pint before it’s gone! This will surely be a winning beer for fans of Islay-region Scotches (Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, for example), which also use Peated Malt.

Tatamagouche Brewing just brewed up a new beer that will be ready in time for NS Craft Beer Week in May! Sunrise Trail India Session Ale is shaping up to be a highly-sessionable (4.1% ABV), hoppy beer featuring Ahtanum and Azacca (a very new, hard-to-get, extremely tasty variety). Based on what these hops have to offer, expect this easy-drinking beer to have lots of citrus, tropical, and stone fruit flavours and aromas. TataBrew will also be re-releasing their Stubborn Goat collaboration brew, Horns Over Hooves DIPA, during the week as well.

Railcar Brewing should have a new beer on tap tomorrow at their new location for growler fills. Orange Rye IPA is brewed with several types of malt, including – of course – Rye, coming in with a dark copper color. Hopped entirely with Cascade to about 65 IBUs, the beer weighs in at 7.7% ABV. Fresh orange peel was added in secondary to help boost the citrusy flavors and aromas from the hops. Railcar has also confirmed that they’ve had the final inspection of their new tasting room, so look for them to be able to serve pints of their beer very soon!

• We mentioned a few weeks ago that the brewers at TrailWay were experimenting with casks… well, luckily for us, these cask beers will be available to the thirsty public, soon! They plan on having two casks to be tapped at the King Street Ale House on Friday, April 10th; both their Whitney Coffee Stout and Primetime APA will be featured that night. After that, they hope to have a different cask available at the KSAH on a weekly basis.

• Last week, we reported that Hammond River had brewed up their final batch of Breakfast Stout for the season. They’ve since confirmed that a small portion of this batch (approximately 20 L) will be aged for several weeks in a white oak barrel; owner/brewer Shane Steeves will be testing the beer periodically until it develops the character he’s looking for, at which point the beer will be kegged and sent to one lucky location! We’ll keep you updated on its release.

Stillwell Beer Bar has released a beer of their own creation, Crush. Contract-brewed at North Brewing, this is a 6.1% ABV SMaSH lager, featuring pilsner malt and Nelson Sauvin hops. The SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) recipe lets the characteristics of the chosen malt and hop shine through. The pilsner malt (and the fact that it was fermented and conditioned as a lager) is a clean, crisp base upon which to build, and the Nelson Sauvin hops lend a white wine-like flavour, with fruity aromas reminiscent of peach and gooseberry. The lager is unfiltered, and may retain a bit of haze while on tap, allowing more flavour and aroma to come through that would otherwise be filtered out. The beer is available exclusively on tap at the bar (and they’ve blown through two kegs already!), be sure to check their Twitter feed for updates of the next keg tapping.

• Picaroons is ramping up to release one of their summer seasonals, Melon Head, in June… which means they want your cat pictures again! If you think your cat has what it takes to be featured on this year’s label, send in an email with a hi-resolution picture of him/her (no actual melons needed). You have until Friday, April 24th to have a chance at making your cat famous. And take note that the annual Prohibition Repeal Party & Tap Takeover will be Saturday, April 18th at Wilser’s Room, where all 12 taps will feature Picaroons beer; it starts at 7 pm (no cover if you go before 10:30), and features live music, as usual.

• Tickets for the Atlantic Beer Festival are now on sale. Being held at the Moncton Coliseum May 29th-30th, this is the Fest’s Tenth anniversary, and they are celebrating by introducing a Friday evening session (7:30-10pm), in addition to the Saturday afternoon (2:30-5pm) and evening (7:30-10pm) sessions. They are also introducing a Belgian Pavillion, highlighting some beers and breweries not otherwise available in New Brunswick, and Fest-goers will be entered in a contest for a free beer-fueled trip to Belgium. We’ll have more details on the beers and other Fest events available closer to the date, of course. Tickets are $45 for the Saturday afternoon session, and $55 for the evening sessions (taxes and fees included), and available at the Moncton Tickets website.

• Like last year, the Moncton Beer League will be hosting a VIP experience for the Saturday afternoon session. VIPers will meet at the Pump House Restaurant and Brewery on Orange Lane at noon, and enjoy beer and Tapetizers to prepare for the afternoon. A limousine will take people to the Coliseum, where they will skip the line and begin the session right at 2:30pm. After the session, the limos will return people to the downtown area to visit the Old Triangle or other bars. Part of the VIP ticket price will be going to local charity. Tickets are $70, and there is already a waitlist, but email them to be added, just in case more become available.

Horton Ridge Malt have successfully funded their CEDIF, and are now extending the  offering until May 30th. Just shy of $400,000 has been raised toward the Malt House, opening in the fall to process this year’s harvest. Congratulations to Horton Ridge, and soon NS and other Atlantic breweries will be using “Malt Less Travelled”.

• There are still a handful of tickets available for next Saturday’s Sunset Heights Spring Release Party, and they have begun to release details on the expressions to be tasted (and available for purchase), and their food pairings. Here are a few teases: an Elderflower mead paired with strawberry-rhubarb crumble, a Petunia mead paired with brie, and Marigold mead with hot smoked salmon. Attendees will try eight of these pairings, and then have the chance to create their own (or repeat their favourites) from the available offerings. The event is 2:30-5pm April 11 at the Grad House on the UNB campus, and tickets can be purchased online.

Most of our favourite breweries, bars and restaurants are open regular hours this holiday weekend, but be sure to check before heading out, just to be sure. The NSLC, ANBL, PEILCC and NLC are closed Friday and Sunday. The Townhouse in Antigonish is closed for a short break while owners Rose and Terry do some R&D in England. You can follow along with their adventures on Facebook. The Townhouse will be re-opening Tuesday April 14th. The Picaroons Brewtique is hoping your Saturday is Hoppy, and they are helping with four dry-hopped variants on tap tomorrow for your tasting pleasure: Man’s Best Friend dry-hopped with Tettnang, Yippee IPA dry-hopped with Amarillo, their Blonde dry-hopped with Cascade, and Irish Red dry-hopped with Goldings.

Look at that, it’s the weekend again already! And as usual, there’s lots going on in the beer world…

• There’s a new beer on the way from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault; coming out in a few days, it honours the departure of the KB882 Lancaster Bomber from Edmundston. The plane, which was responsible for many allied runs to occupied Europe during World War II, is being dismantled and moved to the Alberta Aviation Museum this summer. Lancaster KB882 is a special-edition “Amber Lager” brewed in the style of a Marzen/Oktoberfest. Starting off a bit sweet but finishing dry, it features a bready malt backbone, and is hopped to 23 IBUs with Hallertauer, a German noble variety, providing a light, supporting bitterness. Lagered for 6 weeks, it’s an easy-drinking beer with a sessionable 4.6% ABV. Look for this one to be released this Monday, March 30th, at the brewery for growler fills; it should follow shortly at select ANBL growler stations as well.

YellowBelly Brewery has released their Unite Red Ale, brewed as part of the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. The guidelines from the Pink Boots Society suggested a 4.5% Red Ale with 50 IBUs using Willamette, but creative license was encouraged. To achieve these targets, Maris Otter and Extra Dark Crystal were used in the mash, along with a bit of Briess Midnight Wheat™ for colour. As wheat has no husk, there is no astringency or grain-based bitterness that may arise from other dark roasted cereals. To increase the hop bitterness level, higher alpha acid Mosaic hop was used early in the boil, to accompany the lower AA Willamette (with Mosaic also being used in the dry-hop). The resultant aroma is reminiscent of fruit punch, with notes of passionfruit and lychee up front, and lingering pink grapefruit. Overall, the beer tastes like more! The brewday report from Brewmaster Liam McKenna describes the many enthusiastic participants enjoying a beer brunch, taking turns in the brewhouse during the process, and even having a chance to do a hop drop. Money was raised for the Newfoundland Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, and there are already plans to make this an annual event. The Unite Red Ale is on tap now at the brewery, with bottles coming to the brewery and NLC early next week. And a quick note that the next batch of YellowBelly Pale Ale, expected to hit the taps on Wednesday, also incorporates Mosaic for late- and dry-hopping, as a treat for the Island’s fruit juicy hop lovers.

Picaroons has released another one-off beer featuring an interesting ingredient: kelp! When approached by Dr. Thierry Chopin of UNB-SJ about brewing a beer featuring the brown algae, the Picaroons staff happily took on the challenge. Brewed with organic sugar kelp harvested off the shores near St. George, Kelp on the Way also includes a “strong malt backbone” of Golden Promise, Dark Crystal, Roasted, and Smoked malts. Hopped with Fuggles and Goldings to 22 IBUs to help balance the sweetness, this 5.8% ABV beer is described by the brewery as dark, malty and smokey. It was released earlier this week, exclusively at the Brewtique for growler fills; if there’s still any left, get down there to give it a try before it’s all gone!

• There’s Big things brewing at Big Spruce! Yesterday was the brewday for their first ever lager, and they chose a special style, a Maibock. And if that wasn’t enough, they added the zest of 40 lemons to the boil, and will add the same during conditioning. The grist is primarily Pilsner malt, with Munich added for colour and flavour. The hops used included Magnum in the first wort, some Big Spruce-grown Galena for bittering and Challenger for flavour, for an estimated total 35 IBUs. After fermentation is complete (done using a Bavarian lager yeast), the beer will lager for 4-6 weeks, and be released during NS Craft Beer Week, May 8-17.

• In more Big Spruce news, they teased the upcoming brewing and release of a brand new beer coming in the summer. Based on notes from Alexander Graham Bell, they will be releasing a sour raspberry wheat ale. Bell spent more than 30 years living in Baddeck, and a Parks Canada National Historic Site in Baddeck bears his name. His notes describe an interesting tart drink with raspberries, and Big Spruce was approached to produce something in that same vein. The sour character of the brew will be accomplished using the kettle souring technique, using Lactobacillus to ferment the wort and give a tart and acidic character not available from brewer’s yeast. We will have more on this beer, which will be released in coordination with The Bells of Baddeck, a musical drama running during the month of July.

• And finally in Big Spruce news, their Island Conspiracy, brewed with BarNone Brewing’s Don Campbell, is now available. This Double IPA, weighing in at 8% ABV and 97 IBUs (bittered with Magnum, flavoured with Bravo, Citra and Cascade, with these last two hops also used in aromatic additions) hit the taps at Stillwell last night, and is available on tap today at the brewery today for growler fills. Look for it on tap elsewhere in fine bars across the province, and rumour has it that BarNone may brew it at their brewery for release in PEI at some point.

• While Railcar Brewing‘s opening at their new location had been slightly delayed to around April 1st, they’re still busy brewing new beer. The latest one-off is Smoked Maple Porter, an 8%ABV dark ale with a grist consisting of several malts: 2-row, Chocolate, Black, Brown, Carafoam, Crystal 120 L, and, of course, Smoked. Hopped with Fuggles and Centennial to 22 IBUs, the beer also had 2 L of maple syrup added while in the primary fermentor. Look for this one to be on tap at the new 6-tap tasting room once it opens in the hopefully-near future. And owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has a lot of new beers planned, including an Orange Cranberry Rye, Chipotle Chaga Porter, and an 8-hop version of their Trainwreck IPA; we’ll be sure to keep you updated as these beers are brewed and released. In the meantime, the brewery itself will be open tomorrow-on for growler fills of their Artisan Brown, during regular hours (Mon-Sat noon – 10 pm, Sun noon – 5 pm).

Meander River Farm and Brewery is having a special release this weekend, their first Cider! A blend of Cortland, McIntosh, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples have gone in to this first batch of cider, finishing at 6.5% ABV. Citrus and apple notes are predominant in the cider. This is a very limited release, with only 200 litres available; it is expected to sell out this weekend at the Brewery (though it will make a brief appearance on tap in Halifax, as well). Going forward, they anticipate making cider a part of their rotating offerings, with Meander River’s own fruits and wild apples possibly making it into the recipes.

• This is a busy weekend at Meander River, as it is also the return of their Smokey Chipotle Porter, first released in October 2014. The malt bill features Cherrywood Smoked Malt, along with darker kilned malts for a smoke and roast/chocolate character. Chipotle peppers were added late in the fermentation for an additional smoke character, as well as a spicy punch and pepper flavour. The peppers were left in the beer longer this time for a bit more of a kick. They also announced that they have brought in two additional conditioning tanks, allowing them to brew more often, and effectively triple capacity to 450 hectolitres per year.

• Summer is still a few months away (and let’s be honest, it feels even longer than that), but there’s some good news for beer fans living in Fredericton for the season: those behind the recently-redefined James Joyce Pub are planning a summer craft beer garden at the Lighthouse on the Green downtown. Right now, plans are to have 3 taps pouring – two Picaroons, and one NB-brewery rotating tap – along with a BBQ on the deck for food purchases. Details are still being ironed out, but expect the beer garden to open with limited hours around mid-June, and then all day (11 am – 10 pm) in July and August. We’ll keep you updated on its progress; be sure to follow the Facebook link for the Lighthouse above, as all updates/beer notices/etc. will flow through there.

• Calling all Islanders… PEI’s newest craft brewery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, needs your help! In preparation for their grand opening later this spring, they’re looking to include something “different” in each bottle when they begin packaging their beers: “Islandisms” (“Islanderisms?”) under every cap! They’re asking for your assistance; any PEI-specific phrases, quotes, jokes, etc. you can think of are fair-game, as long as they’re relatively clean! You can suggest as many as you like via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; just be sure to include the hashtag #UnderTheCap. The best 250 will garner laughter and fame in future bottles of Upstreet beer! Get cracking, you have until next Friday to submit your ideas.

• Congratulations are in order to Sunset Heights Meadery, producers of the Pollen Angels line of sparkling meads available in the Fredericton area. Their Bee Mine chocolate and cherry expression took home a Silver medal in the Session Mead – Sweet category at the 2015 Mazer Cup. They have celebrated the win by releasing a limited number of bottles to several restaurants and bars in the area (The Grad House at UNB, Isaac’s Way, Relish, James Joyce Pub, Wolastoq Wharf, and McGinnis Landing). Available by the glass only,

• Tickets go on sale today for Sunset Heights’ first Still Mead release, scheduled for the afternoon of April 11th. The event will feature Mead pairing with chocolate and cheese, and first availability to buy one of their four new still meads released at that time. Each attendee is able to purchase up to two cases, and will have first access to tickets to the upcoming Summer and subsequent release and tasting events. Be sure to check their Twitter feed to get first crack at the tickets when they go on sale at noon, as they are limited to only 36!

Tom’s Little Havana announced earlier this week that they will be hosting their first Tap Takeover, and it will be by perennial favourite Bad Apple Brewhouse. Over four days, beginning May 14th, there will be five different BAB beers on tap, with a special cask being released each day. No tickets required for the event, just show up to enjoy great beer and food.

Rockbottom Brewpub has released their newest beer, Freudian Slip Vienna Lager. A light and crisp golden lager, it features toasted malt and spicy and herbal noble hop characters. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs.

Boxing Rock has brought back their very popular La Rive du Sud, first released in May 2014. This Biere de Garde style beer is a malty, lagered beer (though initially fermented with an ale yeast), with origins in France, where the summer months were too hot for brewing, so beer was brewed and stored in the cellar during the cooler months to enjoy once the weather warmed. It features light base malts and dark caramelized sugar, and is 7.5% ABV. Available at the brewery now in bottles and growler fills, bottles will be available this weekend in Halifax (and growlers at the Seaport Market), and on tap at select bars soon. And their The Next Chapter Rye IPA has finally hit store shelves this week, and is moving fast. Check here for availability at your local ANBL.

Hammond River’s Switchback Brown Ale is being featured at the ANBL Growler fill program this week. This is the first time in a while that Hammond River has brewed the hoppy American Brown; the same recipe has been used, since the beer was so well-received during its first run. Head to the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL to pick up a growler, as the beer will be available exclusively at this location. And they’ve recently brewed the last batch for this season of their Breakfast Stout; this brew features the Java Moose coffee, oats, cacao nibs, and home-smoked bacon as before, along with a few eggs being added this time (to the mash) to make your “breakfast” complete! Finally, look for their Hawaiian Pale Ale (brewed with fresh pineapples) to be available again soon (it will be debuting for the season at this year’s Saint John Beer Fest on April 11th).

Enjoy your weekend! Garrison has a new one-off beer, Cranberry Hibiscus Wit, available at the brewery for growler fills; tart and sessionable at 4% ABV. Big Tide has an unfiltered version of their Seaworthy IPA (featuring Nugget and Cascade hops) on tap at the brewpub. Shiretown’s Black Currant Wheat is back, available for growlers fills at the brewery, and on tap at the Heron’s Nest Pub. And the new batch of TrailWay Brewing‘s Session IPA is now available at King Street Ale House, James Joyce, and at their newest account, Brewbakers.

Brewnosers' Homebrew Competition Poster
The Brewnosers Homebrew and Beer Appreciation Club is hosting an Amateur Brewers Beer Competition May 23-25, 2015. While the Maritimes has seen an explosion of commercial breweries opening in recent memory, the homebrewing community has seen similar growth. A combination of new beer drinkers, those realizing not all beer is “fizzy yellow lager” and looking for beer with more taste, and those who enjoy the DIY culture and want to add beer to their repertoire are just a few of the groups to thank for this explosion. As Craft Beer grows, so does the Homebrewing community, and vice versa, as many commercial brewers start out as homebrewers looking to turn their passion into a career.
While getting comments on homebrew from family and friends is nice, it can be difficult to receive impartial feedback, especially if the beer is free and plentiful. Enter homebrew competitions, where homebrewers can receive honest feedback from judges drinking their beer blind, without any preconceived notions. Local breweries have supported this idea by giving homebrewers an opportunity to do that for years (Garrison Brewing, Big SpruceGahan House Charlottetown, and Hammond River to name a few), but those competitions are usually restricted to one style, as the winning brew will be turned into a commercial beer. With 23 categories and more than 80 sub-categories recognized by the BJCP, many homebrewers brew outside of these single styles.
This is where homebrew clubs come in! For more than 30 years, Canadian amateur/homebrew clubs have been holding competitions to allow entrants to receive honest feedback on their brews, earn some bragging rights, and maybe some cool prizes at the same time. Annual club competitions are hosted in Vancouver, CalgarySaskatchewan, Montreal, and many cities in between. In Halifax, the Brewnosers have previously hosted All About Ales in 1999, a combination homebrew competition and conference at John Shippey’s Brewing Company and Rogues Roost, but have not hosted an annual competition until now. Thanks to passionate Brewnosers members willing to donate their time to organize and judge the competition, Canada’s East Coast will become an integral part of the homebrew competition circuit. One driving force behind the renewed interest is Jeff Pinhey, one of the original Brewnosers members when the group formed in 1986. As a National ranked BJCP judge, he has lead study groups and beer seminars in our region, including guidance and study assistance for a crop of a dozen new BJCP judges in 2013. The Beer Judge Certification Program is an international non-profit organization encouraging knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of beer, by offering a standardized method for evaluation, ranking, and giving feedback. There are more than 15 BJCP judges in our region, who have taken both knowledge- and tasting-exams, and most of them will be taking part as judges (or participants) in this homebrew competition.
Registration for the Inaugural Brewnosers Homebrew Competition is now open, and accepting entries from amateur brewers from across the country. All BJCP beer styles are welcome, and will be evaluated by a team of BJCP-certified and industry-member judges. As the name implies, only beer brewed by amateur brewers, on non-commercial systems may enter (commercial brewers can/should enter the CBAs, whose registration ends April 1st). The competition is also registered as part of the Brewer of the Year, which tracks amateur brewing competitions across Canada. All entrants will receive honest feedback on their entries by means of scoresheets, and the top entries in each category may be eligible for prizes from competition sponsors. The Best of Show winning brewer will have the opportunity to work with Best Case Beer to produce a DIY Craft Beer kit from their winning beer, to be sold at homebrew shops across Canada. Other sponsors, as of publishing time, include Bad Apple BrewhouseBig Spruce Brewing, Breton Brewing, FastRack, Garrison Brewing, Ladies Beer LeagueSchoolhouse Brewery, Wrought Iron Brewing, and we here at the ACBB, with more groups expected to assist with category prizes and other sponsorship.
The deadline for registration is May 15 at 5pm, and must be done online at www.brewnosers.org/competition. Samples (2 bottles of each entry) may be dropped off at any Noble Grape (in the HRM and in Coldbrook and Fredericton, with the Burnside location being the central point for accepting mailed entries) before the same deadline. Costs are $7 per entry (and $5 for subsequent, via online payment only), and the number of entries is being capped at one per sub-category and 15 total per entrant, and 325 overall. As of publishing time, there are more than 150 entries registered, from brewers across the country.
If you are interested in supporting the competition by means of sponsoring a category, or donating funds, merchandise or time towards the prizes and logistics of the competition, please contact Competition Coordinator Andrew Newton. The goal of the organizers is to have the competition break even, while providing the entrants, judges, and supporters a valuable and worthwhile event.

Welcome to the first day of spring! How about some beer news to read while you sit back and watch all of the snow melt away today?

Hammond River will be brewing a brand new beer early next week to celebrate the return of spring. A Rye IPA, the grist will consist of 2-row, Chocolate and Crystal malts, and roughly 15% rye malt to provide some spicy notes to the beer. Hopped entirely with the El Dorado variety, expect citrus and fruity qualities in the aroma and flavors, along with the classic orange-candy character expected from this hop. The beer should come in at around 55 IBUs and 6.5% ABV. It’s currently unnamed; with the way this weather has been lately, we’d like to suggest (in homage to Hammond River’s recent Winter Warmer): F@#K Spring! Look for this beer to be released at next month’s Saint John Beer Fest.

• There’s been a new beer from TrailWay Brewing on tap at the King Street Ale HouseWest Coast Wheat – to get you in the summer mood. Brewed with warmer days in mind, it involves a grist of equal parts 2-row and Wheat malt, with a touch of light Crystal thrown in as well. Hopped to 35 IBUs with Cascade and Chinook, this light, easy-drinking beer (~4.5% ABV) won’t be around much longer (they’re on their last keg already), but no worries… Jake and Dan have confirmed that they will be brewing more in the future! In the meantime, get down to the KSAH if you’d like to try the first iteration of this beer.

• In other TrailWay news, they’ve brewed up another version of their popular Session IPA. This time around, they’ve upped the late hopping (for more flavor and aroma) with Amarillo, Comet and Cascade, and the ABV is slightly higher, at 4.5% ABV. Still a hoppy, sessionable ale, look for this one on tap by next weekend. And they’re brewing their first Black IPA this weekend; look for more info on that one, soon!

• The votes have been counted for the Best of the Fest from the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival two weeks ago, and the winner is… Hammond River Brewing! The People’s Choice awards were also announced: Fredericton’s own TrailWay Brewing came in first, with Hammond River and Boxing Rock following very closely behind in second and third place, respectively. Congratulations to the winners… with the real winners being us festival attendees, who had so many great beers available to them in one room!

• Speaking of Boxing Rock, they brewed up the Cinnamon Challenge Robust Porter on the weekend. Unfortunately, due to the nasty weather in Nova Scotia, the brewing crew from the Ladies Beer League were unable to make the trek. However, the boys from Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing were in town for some stick time on their DME system, and pitched in with the brewday. Look for the beer to be released in early April. And to all of you Boxing Rock fans living in New Brunswick, The Next Chapter Rye IPA will be on the shelves early next week! Check the ANBL site for availability.

Sea Level Brewing has released a second version of their El Diablo Rojo DIPA this week. This version is a slight departure from the previous, with the Australian hop Ella being used throughout the brew (including a double-dose of dry-hopping!). A different yeast was also chosen: a pitch of Ringwood from the fine folks at Propeller. The beer weighs in at 7.666% ABV, and 88 IBUs, and is available in growlers and cans at the Port Williams brewery, and on tap at the Port Pub. The cans will be available later next week at the HRM private stores (they currently have the previous version released a few weeks ago, featuring the New Zealand hop Waimea).

• Speaking of Sea Level, they will be doing a Tap Takeover at the Board Room Game Cafe from March 25-28. They will be pouring seven different Sea Level beers, including this newest batch of El Diablo Rojo, Blooberry Pail Ale, Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Blue Heron ESB, Planters Pale Ale, Rojo Mojo Red Ale, and Port in the Storm Porter.

• Back in early January, we reported that PEI Brewing Co. had brewed up their second “big” beer, a Doppelbock, once the PEI liquor laws had allowed the release of beers  with an ABV higher than 6.5%. The idea was to lager the beer for several months to allow the flavors to smooth out (typical – and recommended – for this style of beer). Well, the initial release of the beer is now here – Re-Animator is now on tap at the brewery and Gahan House Pub in Charlottetown (for both pints and growlers), and has been spotted at Halifax’s Stillwell. Brewed with 2-row, Pale, and Munich malts, along with two varieties of CaraMunich to give the beer its deep red color and “sweet malt aromas”, it has a very low bitterness (25 IBUs from the Tettnang varietal), and a little warmth from the high alcohol (8.2% ABV). Fear not if you are not able to make it to have it on tap, as most of the batch has been canned, and will be released in the first week of April at the brewery and into the PEILCC. We have also heard a rumour that some of the batch was barrel-aged; we’ll be sure to share when that is released.

• The Nook and Cranny in Truro is adding on-site beer to their location! Beginning in May, they will be installing a SmartBrew system from DME and Brian Watson in the Nook, which will allow them to sell their own beer on tap and in growlers. The compact footprint of the four 5 BBL (~600 litre) fermenters will allow them to offer three of their own brews, to complement the other local craft beers they currently pour (including Garrison, Propeller, Tatamagouche, Hell Bay and Uncle Leo’s). While they have not decided on the exact recipes yet, they intend on keeping a light, crisp beer, and a second dark beer on permanently, with a third being a wheat beer with local fruit added. Suppliers for strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, watermelon and apples have already been secured, to ensure this is a versatile and interesting option for local craft beer drinkers. We will be sure to share more details closer to their launch date. Cheers!

• The Beerthief Newfoundland Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is holding a tasting of Evil Twin Beer on Wednesday, March 25th at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Visitors will be greeted with a bottle or half pint of QV beer, and then 3-4 ounces each of Low Life, Freudian Slip, I Love You with my Stout, and Molotov Cocktail. Tickets are $25, and can be secured by emailing Tom Beckett.

• In conjunction with the annual conference of the Canadian Archaeology Association, the Artisanal and Craft Beer Club will also host a tasting of a locally brewed Midas Touch under the direction of Dr. Patrick McGovern on Saturday, May 2. The tasting will start at 7:00 pm. We will share more details on the tasting and beer when available.

• There are several new beers on at the Gahan House Halifax that are worth checking out! Low Ryder IPA is a rye IPA that was dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace hops, for a unique combination of rye spiciness and Sorachi Ace lemon aroma and flavour. This beer weighs in at 6.8% ABV and 73 IBUs. Ahnold Schwartz Bier is, you guessed it, a Schwarzbier, a dark German lager. This 4.9% ABV and 36 IBU beer is clean and easy drinking, with some nice milk chocolate and roast characteristics that are crowd pleasers. And being released this afternoon is an English IPA, weighing in at 5.8% and 55 IBUs. This brew was dry-hopped with the Falconers Flight hop blend, for a bit of tropical and citrus aroma. And if you get down early today, you may also be able to enjoy the last pints of For Bitter Or Worse ESB (5% ABV), before it runs out. As always, their beer can be enjoyed at the bar, and you can then take away a growler fill to enjoy after yet another round of shovelling.

Bulwark Cider is releasing a Hopped Cider! While a new phenomenon in our region, dry-hopped ciders are very popular in the Pacific Northwest. Chinook, Cascade, Comet, and Hersbruker were used for this particular blend, for a lovely citrus aroma and flavour, and offer something different than in beer. On tap only at a few spots now (we’ve spotted it at Bar Stillwell), it will also be making it into bottles at the NSLC shortly. And Bulwark Blush is now available to licensees in 355 ml bottles, so be sure to ask for this fruit blend cider at your favourite restaurant the next time you visit.

We’re sure you don’t need reminding, but make sure to enjoy some tasty, local craft beer this weekend! The new El Dorado IPA from Celtic Knot, Terminus,  has been kegged and delivered to the Tide & Boar in Moncton, so look for that one to start flowing soon (if it hasn’t already). And the Golden Ale, Colonel Tuckers, brewed by Hammond River for UNB-SJ’s 50th anniversary was unveiled last night at Beaverbrook House; look for it on tap at HR’s Saint John accounts next week. And the brewery tanks destined for Wrought Iron Brewing Company have been delivered, despite the 10-foot snowbanks lining Robie Street; great news!

Happy Friday, folks! It was another busy week in Atlantic Canada Beer News, with the announcement of new breweries, beers, and events. Here’s what you need to know:

• This year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival was last Saturday, and as usual, a terrific time was had by all! Almost 200 beers, ciders and mead were pouring that night, and more than half of them were brewed right here in Atlantic Canada! Here’s some highlights from what was new from our region:

TrailWay Brewing had three new beers for the festival: Orbit Pale Ale is their regular-release 5.5% ABV Primetime APA hopped exclusively with the Orbit varietal, from New Zealand. Hugh John Hops, a DIPA, was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row and Munich malts, to let the hops shine. Weighing in at 7.3% and ~100 IBUs, the Cascade, Comet, and Apollo hops used provide lots of citrus and fruity characters, with a dry finish. It should be on tap now at 540 Kitchen & Bar, if you want to try it/have it again. Finally, Double-Double, a 6.5% ABV “Imperial Coffee Milk Stout”, features lots of roasted malt, lactose powder, and coffee from local Whitney Coffee Company; it also should be available soon at James Joyce Irish Pub.

The Next Chapter, the collaboration beer brewed by Boxing Rock and former Picaroons head brewer Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks, was a huge hit! This 6.3% ABV Rye IPA was brewed with New Brunswick-grown malt, and highly hopped with Columbus, Mosaic and Simcoe. If you didn’t get to try it, good news – it’s still on tap at the King Street Ale House, and will be released at select ANBL stores very soon (if our sources are correct) in 650 mL bottles. Don’t miss out on this NB-release-only beer! More on The Next Chapter in our previous post here.

Also officially launched at the Fest was Bad Apple Brewing’s Mosaic Double IPA. As mentioned previously, all proceeds of this beer will go towards ensuring any and all children will be able to attend the Down Syndrome Camp at Camp Brigadoon June 13-15. For those that want another taste of this beer (or try it for the first time), it is currently available at the brewery in Somerset in growlers and bottles, and will be on tap early next week at Tom’s Little Havana, Lion & BrightStillwell, and Stubborn Goat.

Big Spruce debuted their newest beer, UnRYEvaled Chocolate Rye IPA. A dark brown, slightly spicy ale that was heavily hopped with Simcoe, Citra and Amarillo, it exhibited lots of citrus and pine in both the aroma and flavour, as promised! More on this beer from our write-up a few weeks ago. It should be available now at the brewery for growler fills, as well as at the Antigonish Winter Farmers’ Market tomorrow. Look for it on tap at better beer bars/restaurants throughout Nova Scotia, too.

Big Tide brought their new Bavarian Lager, Bucht Bock. Brewed with 2-row and CaraMunich malts, this smooth, malty lager was lightly hopped with Hallertauer Tradition, a German-grown variety, to 25 IBUs. Coming in at a fairly-hefty 7% ABV, this beer will likely not be pouring at the brewpub, but will be making an appearance at next month’s Saint John Beer Fest.

While BarNone had their three staples on tap (Summer Sessions, Pale Ale, and IPA), they also brought their brand new American Wheat. Brewed-to-style with a good portion of Wheat malt, this light-coloured and easy-drinking ale clocks in at 5.5% ABV, and is hopped a little heavier than normal for this style, to about 30 IBUs.

Over $10,000 was raised from ticket sales and the FCBF Grunter Auction for the Canadian Diabetes Association; also, over $1000 was raised through coat check tips for the Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society.

For those of us who attended the fest, remember to cast your vote for Best of the Fest. Check your inbox for an email from Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (via Eventbrite), entitled “Thank You from Fredericton Craft Beer Festival 2015″ for your unique link. Voting ends Sunday, so don’t delay!

And great news for New Brunswick (and other Maritime province) beer fans, next year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival will be Fredericton Craft Beer Week! The tentative dates are March 9-13, with Beer Dinners, guided tastings, brunches, and other events all around Fredericton & vicinity joining the Saturday evening Festival. Of course, we’ll be sharing details once they are available, but best to mark your calendar now!

• Speaking of New Brunswick beer events, the next NB Beer Tour has been announced: a May 16-17 overnight bus trip to Carleton-sur-Mer, QC’s brewery, Le Naufrageur! The bus leaves from the King Street Ale House in the morning, and then stops for lunch, sampling, and a brewery tour (all included in your ticket price) at Shiretown Beer in Charlo. The bus then continues on to Carleton, where folks can check into their hotel (just a 10 minute walk away from the brewery), and then meet at Le Naufrageur for more sampling, a brewery tour, and supper with the Brew Crew (all included). After an optional trip to picturesque Mont Saint-Joseph to watch the sunset, it’s back to the brewery for a concert (Dan Livingstone and The Griffintown Jug Addicts, tickets included) and a few more drinks. Leaving Carleton Sunday morning, with a lunch stop in Miramichi, will have folks back at the Ale House before 4pm. Tickets are $195 and $220 (quad and dbl occupancy, respectively), and are available online now.

• In more TrailWay news, beer drinkers in Fredericton can expect to see another one-hop APA available through the city this weekend. Apollo Pale Ale is hopped with, you guessed it, the Apollo varietal (known for its orangey/resiny qualities); like their other APAs, it weighs in at 5.5% ABV. You should be able to find this one on tap now/soon at TrailWay’s newest account, The Blue Door. And they’ve got some new beers in the works, hopefully for next week… a new IPA, and their first Black IPA! We’ll have more info on these beers for you next Friday. And it looks like they’re beginning to experiment with casks, too, so expect more news on that end as well!

• Tonight, Picaroons is once again holding a Tap Takeover at Plan b Lounge in Moncton, starting at 7 pm. All six taps will feature Picaroons beers, with one acting as a rotating “Stout” tap, where different versions of their Timber Hog will be pouring throughout the night, including one dry-hopped with Willamette hops, one infused with coffee, one with ginger, and a Chocolate Vanilla version. There’s no cover, and there will be live music from Force Fields and Heavy Doobie as well. The special Timber Hog varieties will also be available at the Picaroons Brewtique in Fredericton, beginning at 4pm.

Granite Brewery in Halifax has brought back their very popular India Pale Ale for the first time in a couple of years. It is a lighter IPA, weighing in at 5.5% ABV. The beer features a lot of Cascade and East Kent Golding hops for a solid bitterness, but is not over-the-top hoppy. It will be a staple in the Stairs Street Beer Store when it is released early next week, and at a few specialty tap locations around HRM for the Spring.

Pump House has re-released their Red Leaf Lager seasonal. Featuring a nutty malt character from a similar malt bill to their Fire Chief Red Ale but brewed using a lager yeast, this 5.0% ABV beer features a medium bitterness and is dry-hopped with whole leaf hops for additional aroma. It is available at all four ANBL Growler locations this weekend, and will be available at select bars and restaurants in NB, NS and PEI.

Garrison Brewing has released a brand new beer to their line-up, In Session ISA (India Session Ale). Though the beer is lower alcohol at 4.4%, there is still plenty of citrus and tropical fruit hop flavour and aroma packed into the small package, thanks to lots of El Dorado, Belma, and Crystal hops. The lighter body and lower alcohol will make this a truly sessionable beer. Look for it at the brewery and private beer stores now, and at the NSLC and on tap at favourite beer bars shortly.

Propeller Brewing has released the latest in their One-Hit Wonder series, Oatmeal Stout. With a hint of oats on the nose to complement the roast character, this 5.8% ABV beer is pitch black, not too bitter, and well balanced. 2 Row, Wheat, Chocolate, Oats, Black Prinz and Roast Malts make up the grain bill, with Willamette and Cascade hops delivering 29 IBUs. As with all of the OHW brews, the best place to buy the beer is in growlers at both the Gottingen St and Windmill Rd locations, with a few kegs available on tap around Halifax.

• Attention Homebrewers: The Brewnosers are hosting their first open homebrew competition! Open to all Canadian Homebrewers, and accepting all BJCP beer styles, this competition will also be a part of the Canadian Amateur Brewer of the Year circuit. Registration is now open, and beer samples must be sent/dropped off at the Noble Grape in Burnside before May 15th, with the judging taking place the next weekend.

• More Signature Events have been announced for May’s Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia NS Craft Beer Week. We’ll have full details shortly, but in the meantime, here are the important dates:

MAY 8 – Beer & Beethoven, 7pm at Halifax Forum Multipurpose Centre. The kick-off event for the Week, and Symphony NS fundraiser.
MAY 9 – Open Brewery Day, all day. All member breweries will be open for tours, tastings, and other events.
MAY 10 – The 2015 Stillwell Open, 12pm-2am at Stillwell (tickets sold out). Backyard BBQ Beer Tasting, served blind to attendees, with the best beer voted upon by the customers.
MAY 13 – Beer Cocktail Face-Off, 7pm at Auction House. Bartenders will be creating their best Beer Cocktails, with live music accompaniment.
MAY 14 – The Science of Beer, 6-9pm at Discovery Centre. A look at the science behind the design, creation, and enjoyment of our favourite beverage. Plus 12 beers from 6 local breweries.
MAY 15 – Brews Cruise. Cruise the Halifax harbour on the Tall Ship Silva, while enjoying NS Craft Beer. Tickets available at Murphy’s Company Store.
MAY 15 – Race the Kegs, 7pm, Gahan House. Collaboration brews from the North and South of the province will race to Halifax by sail, to be tapped at this friendly competition.
MAY 16 – Full House Beer Fest, 12-3pm (tickets here) & 4-7pm (tickets sold out), Olympic Community Centre. All CBANS members together under one roof, for the first time ever.
MAY 17 – Brewers Brunch, 11am-2pm, Stubborn Goat. A hearty brunch buffet and CBANS member beers will help to cure any hangover you might have from the previous days’ imbibing.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend! A reminder that tickets are still available for the Moncton Beer League New Brunswick Craft Beer Dinner at Legends Restaurant (Moncton Coliseum) March 21st, 6-11pm. After being closed for two weeks for renovations, Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Sea Food Restaurant and Brew Pub re-opened this week, just in time for Tuesday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Speaking of which, St. John’s Yellowbelly Brewpub has released Paddy’s Pale Ale this week (details here), with bottles at the brewery and NLC available this weekend. Piez Bistro (Cole Harbour) is celebrating Pi Day Saturday with Pizza and Craft Beer pairing all day. Look for Boxing Rock, Garrison, North and Tatamagouche beers to be paired with their creations. Petit-Sault’s Phémie-la-Bootlegger, the 4.6% Maple Brown Ale brewed as part of the Pink Boots International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day initiative, is on at the ANBL Growler program province-wide this weekend. The Coast’s annual Beer Guide was released this week… grab it for articles on three upcoming HRM breweries: Spindrift, Unfiltered, and Wrought IronAngeline MacLennan (the Maritimes’ only Certified Cicerone); Homebrewer Rob Shortt’s Basement Brewery, and much more.