Happy first Friday of Fall! Lots of seasonal beers, ciders, and meads have been released this week, so let’s get right to it!

TrailWay released Rype, their newest American Pale Ale, earlier this week at the brewery. This pale and hazy hoppy ale was brewed with a portion of Rye malt, giving a “noticeable, yet subtle” rye presence in the background. Hopped with Mosaic, Comet, and Topaz (with the high majority being used in the whirlpool and dry hop additions, keeping the IBUs in the low-20s) for plenty of juicy and tropical aromas and flavours, this one will join the regular lineup at TrailWay, with possible hop substitutions in the future. In addition, look for their kettle-soured hoppy beer, Sour 1, to be tapped later today. Hopped with Citra and Galaxy, this 5.0% ABV beer will be available at the brewery today and at select tap accounts in the region shortly.

Schoolhouse has released the latest version in their locally-hopped series, Big Red Schoolhouse. This take features Galena and Centennial, harvested from Elleslea Farm out of Sheffield Mills, NS. Both varieties were added to a hopback, which the beer passed through twice, first on the way to the boil kettle from the mashtun, and again from the kettle to the fermentor. At 6.5% ABV and 80 IBUs, the brewery describes the finish as having a “mouth-puckering hop bitterness”. Some of the beer has been kegged, with the rest going into 650 mL bottles. Look for it on tap at a few of Schoolhouse’s tap accounts, and their next growler night, October 6th in downtown Windsor (assuming there’s any left!). As well, a special cask of the beer will be pouring at the first session of tomorrow’s Cask Beer Throwdown (more on that in the events section below).

• Good news for Sunset Heights Meadery fans in Fredericton – many of their brands have been bottled and were available for sale at two ANBL stores (York Street and Brookside Mall) as of last Friday afternoon. Sales have been high over the past week, with different varieties of their Still Meads, Sparkling Queens, and Pollen Angels all being available for purchase; drop in both stores (or check online inventory) to see what’s still available. Luckily, this won’t be the only time bottles are available through ANBL, as more release dates will be scheduled for the near future.

• The latest Boxing Rock / Big Spruce collaboration beer, a blueberry Berliner Weisse – was released this week. For the Love of Grimace is made up of a simple grist of half-and-half Pilsner and Wheat malt, and was kettle-soured with the Big Spruce Lactobacillus in-house culture. After being boiled and fermented, it was aged for two weeks on 250 lbs of wild organic blueberries from North of Nuttby Farm. Featuring a beautiful purple colour, it weighs in at 3.9% ABV. This beer will only be available on tap and in growlers, but should make it to better bars across the province, as both breweries in Shelburne and Nyanza are sharing the wealth.

• Boxing Rock also teamed up with the crew at North Brewing recently, and are ready to release Year 4 of their Many Hands collaboration beer. This year’s batch once again features locally-grown and freshly-picked hops, namely Cascade, Crystal, Goldings and Willamette from Wallace Ridge Farm in Malagash. The hops were added in the “first wort” (as the kettle is filled with wort after draining from the mash tun), and then not again until just 10 minutes left in the boil, to preserve the essential oils in these freshly-harvested hops. New this year is the use of locally malted barley from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, namely 100% Munich malt, which undergoes a higher kiln temperature than traditional Pale or 2-Row malts, thus displaying enhanced colour and flavour character. This 5.7% ABV celebration of local farmers and producers will be available starting tomorrow at both the Boxing Rock and North breweries for growler fills, and their local accounts and Farmers’ Market tables.

• And look for the re-launch of Boxing Rock’s The Darkness Cascadian Ale shortly, which will be available in 355 ml bottle six-packs at the NSLC beginning next week. The 6.5% black, hoppy ale will also see release on tap and in growlers very soon.

• After months of trials, Big Spruce is now putting their own farm-isolated yeast to the test. What first began as 50 samples collected from in and around the farm brewery, with the help of Guelph’s Escarpment Labs, they narrowed down the yeasts to those that produce, and could tolerate, alcohol. From those, a few mini batches were prepared to check the taste and aroma characteristics, with the ultimate Saccharomyces cerevisiae winner being chosen. Originating from a wild pin cherry on their property, the yeast is currently chugging away on a batch of wort, with the beer seeing wide release in the fall. And there has been lots of development across the road from the brewery, as the location of their 20 barrel (2400 litre) production brewery is being built and assembled now. Follow along on their Facebook page.

Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove, NS have released their own harvest beer this week, Binecraft Pale Ale. From 40 hand-harvested and -picked bines of Cascade hops grown by the Hudgins family in Aylesford, the wet hops were added late in the boil, preserving the freshly-harvested aroma, plus a dash of citrus. The yeast chosen for this brew, Midwestern Ale from Yeast Bay, lent some subtle esters to the final beer, enhancing the bright fruit experience. Drop by the brewery during their Thursday night Growler Nights to enjoy the fruits of their labours, and look for it on tap in HRM at Battery Park and for fills at Harvest Wines soon.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a pair of beers returning this week and next. Released for Halifax Oktoberfest, Hammerschlagen is also available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills. This ‘Fest-style lager is 5.4% ABV and a light 14 IBUs, highlighting an amber colour from the crystal and caramel malts, and the typical toffee, bready, and dark fruit flavours and aromas from them. Also at the brewery are 650 ml bombers of the Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale, brewed with bog myrtle.

• And returning next week is Garrison’s Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with loads of Cinderella pumpkins from the Dill Farm, and additions of the spices found in pumpkin pie recipes the world over (allspice, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg). The 8.0% ABV copper-coloured beer is lightly hopped to 30 IBUs to allow the spicing, crystal malts, and light sweetness to shine through. Pair it with your turkey, pumpkin pie, or on its own, this beer is a fun seasonal release for fall. Look for it to be released at the brewery and private stores next Thursday.

Annapolis Cider Company has released their first Ice Cider, Harvest Gold. This type of cider is typically produced by cryoextraction – the juice is frozen and then allowed to slowly thaw; the “run-off” is, as a result, extremely concentrated and sweet. This is then fermented, and usually results in a high-alcohol cider… in the case of Harvest Gold, 10.5% ABV. The alcohol is hidden quite well, however, as the resulting cider “still retains plenty of sweetness and acidity”; think of this one as a dessert cider, similar to ice wine. It’s available now in 200 mL bottles ($19.95 each), and only at the cidery in Wolfville.

• There’s a brand new cask pouring at the PEI Brewing Co.The Mayor is described as an easy-drinking, 3.8% ABV Saison that has been spiced with garden-fresh basil. With “lots of fruity esters and a spicy aroma, with notes of black liquorice and fresh-cut grass”, according to the brewery, it won’t last long, as per usual for these special cask releases. Get to the brewery’s taproom now for a taste!

Moosehead has confirmed that they have secured a location for their new small-batch brewery, scheduled to open in 2017 in conjunction with their 150th anniversary. The new facility will be located on Water Street, adjacent to Pugsley slip at the bottom of Princess St. in Uptown Saint John. Two small-scale brewing systems will be located in the 10,000 square foot space, which will allow the brewery to “explore new product development and new brewing techniques”, according to a recent press release; a tap room and retail area will also be housed in the space. This should mean more beer along the lines of the special releases that have popped up over the last few years, especially at events such as the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival.

Another busy weekend; here are a few of the events worth checking out including the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest, depending on where you are in the world:

• A reminder that the Cask Beer Throwdown is happening at Olympic Centre tomorrow, September 24th. Featuring two sessions (12-3 and 5-8), guests will get a chance to try a whole slew of beers served via gravity pins and hand pumps. The entrance fee includes access to the event, a take-home glass, and your first 12 beer sample tickets. Session One (12-3pm) breweries include: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Garrison, Good Robot, Propeller, Schoolhouse, Sober Island, and Tatamagouche. Session Two (5-8pm) breweries include: Big Spruce, Gahan House – Halifax, Garrison, Good Robot, Hell Bay, North, Sober Island, and Spindrift. Food courtesy of Bramoso Gourmet Pizzeria, The Food Wolf, and T DOGS will be available as well. Grab your tickets now!

• Also happening tomorrow is the 2nd annual Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest, at the Moncton Lions Club. Featuring 20 breweries, cider houses and meaderies from Atlantic Canada, there are three ticket types available, each including unlimited samples: regular tickets include a custom tasting glass and entry from 7:30 pm-10 pm; the VIP session, which begins a half hour earlier; and a VVIP session which begins at 6 pm and includes a special glass, industry panel discussion, and guided beer tasting. Tickets can be purchased online ($58, $68, and $75 for regular, VIP, and VVIP, respectively). Proceeds will go to support the United Way.

• And one final reminder for tomorrow – new Fredericton brewery Bogtrotter will be holding their official launch. Their three core beers have been pouring at several establishments over the past week, and are now available in 16 oz bottles at the Oromocto ANBL. Starting with a tasting at the ANBL Train Station from noon – 3 pm, then on to Graystone from 4-6 pm, before finishing off with a Meet the Maker event at the James Joyce from 8-10 pm. There’s no charge to attend any of the events.

We’ve got a few more parting shots this week:

Bore City has confirmed the name of their new DIPA – Tipsy Giant will be pouring at the Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest, with one keg likely to make it to one of their Moncton licensees, soon. For those of us who are missing out, fret not – Tipsy Giant will most likely be joining the regular Bore City rotation. For more details on the beer, check last week’s post.
Hell Bay has brought back their Black IPA, Black Flag IPA; brewed with dark malts and Demerara sugar (to add a touch of rum flavour), the beer is hopped with Chinook and Ahtanum to 55 IBUs. Weighing in at 6.1% ABV, it’s available on tap at the brewery now and should pop up at select accounts, soon.
Propeller Pumpkin Ale is back, in both 6-packs and 500 mL bottles, as well as on tap; brewed with a combination of real pumpkin flesh and spices, it comes in at 5% ABV.

Happy Friday everyone! Another busy week, so let’s dive right in!

• It’s been a busy few weeks at Tatamagouche Brewing, and they’re ready to share the fruits of their labour! Yesterday, they released their first kettle sour beer, brewed in collaboration/conspiracy with Big SpruceI’m In Love is a 4.0% ABV Berliner Weisse, featuring 70kg of ground cherries added after primary fermentation was complete. The resulting beer has quite a tropical feel, with melon and cantalope notes, aided by light additions of Mandarina Bavaria and Mosaic hops (to 13 IBUs). This beer will be a draft-only release, so grab a growler at the brewery, or a pint at better watering holes in the province. And we have it on good authority that this will not be the last TataWeisse release; we’ll keep you up to date with future releases.

• Launching at TataBrew today, is the third in their Barrel Aged Belgian Golden Strong series of beers. The Blackberry and Cherry spent an extra month in its barrel, as compared to the earlier releases of the Raspberry and Strawberry and Ginger versions. As such, this release, while still clocking in at 7.8% ABV, does show more barrel (vanilla and oak) and fruit (the eponymous blackberry and cherry, but also subtle sherry) characters. As with the other two releases, there are only a dozen cases of this beer available, so be sure to drop by the brewery this weekend to avoid disappointment.

• Tata’s Lagerhosen will be back next week, just in time for next weekend’s Tatamagouche Oktoberfest. The 4.5% ABV lager will be available in cans, as well as growler fills and of course on tap. They are running a contest on Facebook for swag, tickets to Oktoberfest, and a case of beer, so be sure to check it out! And we’ve spotted a new brew in the works with Battery Park, slated to be released at Tatabrew tap-takeover there on Thursday, October 6th, where a grand total of 14 Tatabrew beers will be featured on tap, along with one cask. Keep it dialed here for the details on this West Coast-inspired beer when available!

• The Port Rexton Brewing crew have been busy lately, and will be launching a brand new beer (to both them, and to the Rock, we reckon), a Gose. This 4.0% German-inspired beer features hand-picked and freshly-cracked coriander seed from the gardens and greenhouse at nearby Fisher’s Loft Inn. And in more exciting PRB news, they made their first delivery into St John’s this week: two kegs of T-Rex Porter were delivered to The Adelaide Oyster House Wednesday evening. Expect there to be more deliveries to town when supply allows it.

Bore City has brewed up their very first Imperial IPA – with a grist made up mainly of 2-row, there’s a decent amount of flaked grains to boost the body (and add haze), and just the tiniest amount of CaraMunich malt. Hopped and dry-hopped with heavy amounts of Equinox, Galaxy and Topaz, those of you lucky enough to try this currently-unnamed DIPA can expect big blasts of citrus and tropical fruit. Fermented with a blend of English and American ale yeasts, it weighs in at 8.5% ABV and 75 IBUs. Your best bet to try this delicious-sounding beer? Next Saturday’s (Sept 24th) Atlantic Canada Craft Brew Oktoberfest in Moncton; tickets are still available here.

• As wet-hopped-beer season continues, Maybee Brewing recently brewed their first, a SMaSH featuring all Maris Otter malt and freshly-harvested Columbus hops from Southan Farms. A hop variety that has been around for years, Columbus offers a pleasant mix of dank, earthy, and resinous aromas and flavours, which should be amped up even more when used fresh. Expect this one to come in between 5.5-6% ABV, and to hit taps in the next week or so. It will also be released in 473 mL cans, which will be available exclusively at the brewery in Fredericton.

• Florenceville-Bristol’s Railcar Brewing has a new brew available at the brewery, and another following soon. Their Biggar’s Extra Special Bitter is an English ESB brewed with 2-row, Munich, Crystal 40 L, and Chocolate malts, and hopped entirely with English Goldings. At 6.2% ABV and 47 IBUs, it’s available now for growler fills and pints. Brewed recently is a Smoked Vanilla Whisky Porter; this 9.9% ABV monster features a combination of roasted and smoked malts, as well as 8 lbs of blackstrap molasses. In addition, whisky-aged oak chips and 35 vanilla beans were added in secondary. Finally, the beer was dry-hopped with Goldings. Look for this one to become available on tap at the brewery within the next couple of weeks.

• We reported last week on TrailWay‘s first sour beer, which was kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus blend from Escarpment Labs. That beer is nearing completion, and should be available sometime next week. We can now confirm that it will be a ~5% ABV hoppy sour ale; it was “generously whirpool-hopped” with Galaxy, and further dry-hopped with Citra. With the IBUs kept extremely low (high bitterness can easily clash in sour beers), expect a quite tart beer with loads of tropical fruit on the nose and palate.

• There’s another new brew on tap at Mama’s Brew Pub, an American Wheat Ale named Atlantic Great White. Featuring a simple grist of 50% each of 2-row and Wheat malt, it was hopped with the tropical/citrus Amarillo variety. Crushed coriander was also added in the boil, followed by fresh apples and oranges in secondary. Easy-drinking at 4.9% ABV and 17 IBUs, this one is – as always – available only at the brewpub for pints and tasters.

• After several months delay, Fredericton’s Gray Stone Brewing has finally received and commissioned their 11.5 hL (10BBL) brewhouse. As such, they’ve been brewing like mad this week, with at least three batches currently on the go, including their first wet-hopped beer – American Harvest IPA – which will be brewed this coming Sunday. Bittered with freshly harvested Summit to an approximated 85 IBUs, according to the brewery, the beer is expected to come in at 6.5% ABV. They are also putting out a call for any interested parties growing hops on their property to drop them off at the brewery by closing-time on Saturday, to be used in the brew in the flavour and aroma additions. Look for the first in-house-brewed releases to come late September/early October. Congratulations!

• With the return of fall comes the inevitable return of pumpkin beers. Last year, Upstreet released their Gravedigger, which is returning with a couple of changes: this year’s batch weighs in at a slightly-lower 6.5% ABV (compared to last year’s 7.5%), and exhibits slightly less graham cracker character in the flavour. The beer will officially launch tonight with the Gravedigger Ghost Tour and Beer Release, with a Ghost Tour starting at Captain Jack’s Bar & Grill at 6pm, and ending up at Upstreet at 8pm to join the party in full swing. And big congratulations to them for winning Startup Canada’s Social Enterprise Award, recognizing them for making a difference in, and helping to build, their community.

• And in an interesting mesh where wet-hopped-beers-meet-pumpkin-ales, Big Tide has brewed up their Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale, which features additions of real pumpkin, and is wet-hopped with freshly-harvested Cascade from Dunhams Run. As always, the beer also has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove added to boost the pumpkin pie presence, resulting in an interesting flavour combination for this ~5% ABV brew. They have also brewed a wet-hop version of their FogBound Hemp Pale Ale, swapping out Cascade for Dunham Run’s Hallertauer and Nugget. Look for these beers to hit the taps at the end of the month.

• Charlottetown’s Gahan House has just released the details of this year’s Home Brew Challenge. Amateur brewers from the Island are encouraged to brew up their best Winter Warmer by November 18th, when it will be judged by a panel of beer experts. The winning brewer will then get to brew her/his recipe with Gahan’s Brewmaster Trent Hayes (plus a cash prize!), and will be launched in 2017. Register via email by September 30th, and more details are available on their Facebook page.

We’ve got lots of things for you to do this weekend, including the Hops ‘n’ Brats event tonight, and Halifax Beer Run and Halifax Oktoberfest tomorrow.

• It’s a busy weekend for new Nova Scotia breweries! Trider’s Craft Beer is launching today in Amherst. Their retail location at will be open at noon for growler and merchandise sales, and again tomorrow 12-10pm. In case you missed it, check out the Profile of Trider’s we released earlier this morning.

• In Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing is officially opening the doors of their taproom and retail shop tomorrow, September 17 at 10 am. In addition to merchandise and growlers of their four core beers, their taproom will be open to embibe onsite. Lobster Jo’s Food Truck will be set up to keep folks happy too. Joining Saltbox on tap will be a few beers from Boxing Rock, Firkenstein, and Good Robot, plus ShipBuilders Cider. Learn more about Saltbox in an upcoming Profile post, and drop by 363 Main Street to take part in the fun!

• Continuing through Sunday is the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton. Red Rover is opening a couple of pop-ups where they’ll be selling about six different ciders; they’ll also be accompanied by various beers from Maybee and Grimross. One will take place one the balcony of the Fredericton Region Museum today from 4pm – 12am, and the other will occur on the Isaac’s Way patio tomorrow from 12am – 2am. Cover charge is by donation, with all funds going to the Fredericton Region Museum.

• Drop by Digby’s Roofhound Brewery for Games Night this Saturday. Pitchers of RH beer are discounted by $5, and there will be some special treats available that evening. The fun kicks off at 8pm.

• The Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is hosting an Oktoberfest at the Bella Vista September 30th. Featuring four German beers and digestif, and food to pair with it, this will be sure to give you a taste of the country. Learn more and register your spot with Matthew by Sept 27th.

• A reminder that the second annual Fredericton Cider Festival is in two weeks, Saturday, October 1st. Held at Brewbakers downtown, there will be unlimited 4 oz samples of more than 25 different varieties of cider, with local cideries such as Red Rover, York County, Gagetown Cider Company, and Scow being the main stars of the show. Tickets are still available ($56.50, tax included), which get you a tasting glass and samples from 1:00-3:30 pm; VIP tickets, which allow for early entry at noon, are sold out.

• Mark your calendars! Bissell Brothers and Orono Brewing Company will be taking over the taps at Stillwell the weekend of Dec 10-12. These great Maine breweries are killing it in Portland and Orono, respectively (and the rest of the state), and are bringing their great beers North for us to enjoy. Stay tuned for the exact date/time details, as well as teasers of which beers will be available.

Looks like a nice couple of days coming up for the last weekend of summer; get out there and enjoy them (with some craft beer, of course)! In closing…

PEI Brewing Co. have brought back a pair of seasonal favourites: Harvest Time Lager and Pumpkin Beer.
– For those who like it in the can, Propeller Brewing has expanded their tinnie offering to include the Pilsener and Pale Ale, joining their popular IPA. Cans are available at both their Gottingen and Windmill locations.
Pump House SPCA IPA is available again, with a portion of proceeds going to the Greater Moncton SPCA.
– Keep an eye out for the first kegs of Fredericton’s Bogtrotter beers in the wild: kegs of Muddy Mayhem IPA, Osprey’orange Pale Ale were delivered to Gray Stone Brewery last night, and will likely be tapped this weekend. To learn more about Bogtrotter, check our Q&A with them, and be sure to visit the James Joyce for their Meet the Maker event next weekend.

Trider's Logo

After a successful soft launch at Sociables Pub this past weekend, Trider’s Craft Beer is set to open the doors to their retail location this Friday at noon. Located at Unit 3 of 46 Anson Avenue in the Amherst Industrial Park, Trider’s is the first brewery in Nova Scotia’s Cumberland County. Business partners Scott Parker, Joe Potter, and Laura Parker have been hard at work for many months planning, building, and now launching the brewery. We asked Scott to bring us up to speed on the Trider’s family (literally), and their plans for Amherst’s local brewery.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Our Brew Master is Joe Potter from Springhill, Nova Scotia. Joe was working as a lawyer in the town of Amherst and has been home brewing for more than a decade. He realized brewing was his true passion and decided to make the plunge and chase a dream of his! Joe has extensive knowledge working with all grain recipes which have garnered a ton of compliments from almost everyone who has tried them. He really does brew a fantastic beer!
I (Scott) was living in Toronto and working for a marketing firm until September 2015, when I decided to move back home to Nova Scotia. At the firm, I worked very closely with SABMiller. Grolsch, Peroni, Fosters, MGD, and Miller Light were some of their beers that I marketed across both Canada and the United States. I worked on the team that handled the entire product launch of Miller Light into the Canadian marketplace. Such a fun experience!
My sister Laura Parker (who happens to be married to Joe), is our Operations Manager and will be managing our tap room/retail location. She brings a wealth of experience to the table from the merchandise management standpoint. She is currently a Veterinary Assistant here in Amherst making the transition with us over the coming months.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Scott has been drinking craft beer since the early days of Picaroons. Craft beer has such an extensive variety when compared to those of the big box brands. There are always new and exciting flavors or styles to try. Joe never buys the same beer twice, knowing there has to be something that he’s never had before. He is a huge fan of the exploding craft beer scene in Nova Scotia. Luckily, he lives right on the NB/NS border so getting his hands on what NB has to offer isn’t too far out of reach for him. Laura prefers the gluten-free alternatives, as she is allergic to wheat. We hope to have a gluten free alternative at some point!

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally? Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
Joe started home brewing with his father shortly after finishing high school. Like most home brewers, he started with simple kits, and gradually became more and more advanced with his techniques. Joe has certainly worked though the motions of home brewing, going through extract kits, fruit and spice flavour additions, partial grain steeping, hop teas, dry hopping, and eventually full all grain mashes. The true spirit of brewing is in the ability to experiment and continually push the boundaries of the craft. This applies to everything from ingredients to the equipment being used. Joe always enjoyed building new gear to drive the beer forward. This progressive momentum has done nothing but pick up speed from day one. After making the jump to all grain brewing, it became obvious that the beer he was making had to be shared.

What type of brewing system will you be using?
We are opening our doors with sales of beer made on a 40 litre pilot system. We run a three vessel, propane fired, manually driven stainless steel brew house. The bulk of the pilot system was sourced through our buddy Dave at Everwood Ave Brew Shop just outside of Halifax. While each batch is only forty litres, we have more than 300 litres of fermentation space, and a wealth of carefully engineered methods for maintaining strict temperature control. We are carbonating in corny kegs for the moment. The larger system currently under production (with delivery expected in October) is a three vessel, 8.5 hectolitre (7 BBL), electric brew house manufactured by DME in Prince Edward Island. Our fermentors are sourced from a company in China called Jinan Tiantai. There is a lot of talk right now within the industry surrounding sourcing brewhouses from Asian manufacturers. It has certainly become a central theme to discuss with everyone we deal with. We have developed a good relationship with our supplier and raised many of the concerns North American brewers voice when debating the issue. They were the first to point out that there are lot of questionable manufacturers, and that it is crucial for brewers to do their research before buying. Still, it seems that the largest problem is often due to a misunderstanding of the needs of the brewery and the extent of what the manufacturer can actually offer. We noticed right away that Tiantai had figured this out, and were operating in a similar fashion to North American equipment suppliers. We are happy with them so far, and fully expect a quality product to help us bring the beer to our customers.

What are your plans for distribution?
Distribution from now until December will be in our storefront, where we will initially be providing growlers, with 500ml stubbie bottles to follow shortly. During our grand opening later in the fall (after christening our main brewhouse), we expect to have our products listed with the NSLC. We hope to have our 6 packs and 500ml bottles in their stores come the new year. We do have restaurants who are awaiting our kegs and taps but we have agreed to not release their information at this point.

Do you have some accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We currently have our beer on tap at Sociables Pub in Springhill, NS, and may branch out as production allows.

 Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
We will be starting with our three staples which are Yellow Beer’d Ale, Rod’s Red, and our Scotian Pale Ale. Yellow Beer’d  is a very friendly 5.0% ABV Blonde with a hint of Citra and Columbus hops at the end of each sip. We want this to be an introductory beer into the craft beer scene for those of us who have yet to develop a taste for the more full flavored beers available. Rod’s Red is Joe’s late father’s secret recipe. It’s a very smooth 5.0% ABV Red with a nice finish of malted barley. Dark in color, but light in feel. Our Scotian Pale Ale is an exciting take on the classic and very popular IPA. Our S.P.A. is a very nice pale ale that is dry hopped with Cascade hops that will be sourced from a local hop farms (Wysmykal Farms). We will have rotating seasonals such as Oxford Blue (Blueberry wheat ale), Maccan Maple (Maple beer brewed with sap from our own maple trees), and the Coal Miner Stout. Again, we are aiming at having easy drinking craft beer in hopes of getting more people into the craft beer scene that normally wouldn’t stray too far from their usual big box brands. We want to share the amazing beers that our province has to offer and would like even more people enjoying the various beers of Nova Scotia.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries and other folks people in Atlantic Canada?
Absolutely! The gang at Jym Line has been massively helpful. They provide around 90% of the craft beer scene with a lot of their glassware. They gave us a few pointers and have provided us with contact info for a few of the local breweries. Unfortunately, we have not reached out to all of them yet. Sean at Picaroons has been a large help and Aaron from Halifax Folding Cartons is absolutely incredible. I recommend anyone who needs beer boxes made to contact Aaron. We have been keeping a close eye on Upstreet in PEI and absolutely love everything they are doing. We have a number of friends working as staff for them and are always happy to hear about the inside scoop. A lot of Scott’s contacts from his time working with SABMiller have been a large help.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
We hope to be a household name with beer drinkers throughout the province in three years. We really want to be the stepping stone into the craft beer scene for the “craft curious” who might not like that double IPA right away or the non beer drinkers who would like to start drinking beer.

Do you have a favourite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Scott’s favourite craft beer is currently Boxing Rock‘s Hunky Dory while Joe seems unwilling to pick any favourites. Scott is a fan of very strong IPA’s generally, and Joe isn’t happy unless he has had a crisp clean ale followed by a rich and malty dark brew.

Thank you to Scott for sharing the info on Trider’s! Their retail location will be open today from noon until 10pm, and Saturday 12 to 10pm, for 1.89 litre growler sales and fills of Yellow Beer’d Ale and Rod’s Red, as well as merchandise. Until their Grand Opening later in the fall, they will be open Thursday (4-10pm), in addition to the Friday and Saturday hours. Look for the launch of their 500 ml bottles of Scotian Pale Ale in the coming weeks. And be sure to head to the Amherst Fire Department’s Rocktoberfest, being held at the Fire Hall October 1st, to drink some Trider’s and support the local FD. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Trider’s news.

tidehouse logo

 

Tidehouse Brewing is the partnership between Shean Higgins and Peter Lionais, two avid homebrewers in Halifax. They are taking their passion for well-crafted beer to the next level, and will be opening shop this fall. Located at 5187 Salter Street, their brewery and retail shop are right in the heart of downtown. We caught up with the boys to learn a bit more about them, and their plans for the brewery.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Shean hails from the woods of New Brunswick, and is seemingly always occupied by some kind of DIY project, with almost an obsessive focus on home improvement projects, woodworking, brewing, etc. Oh, and handsome; he’s really, really handsome.
Peter is a Cape Breton ex-pat who has been living in Halifax since 2003. He used to be found at almost every indie rock show, but now mostly stays home to work on beer while popping over to his favourite tap rooms when he can. Also handsome.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Peter started down the road of fermentation after moving to Halifax and following in his dad’s footsteps of making wine kits, when he and a friend split on some equipment and began making wine in a spare room. Eventually, looking for a more creative output and falling in love with Halifax’s burgeoning craft beer and home-brewing scene, he moved towards focusing on designing and brewing beer. Shean was a little late to the party but made up for any shortcomings by talking REALLY LOUDLY. Shean learned the ropes from Peter, and his friend Derrick Hiltz. Derrick and Peter were brewing for years and Shean was great at consuming their products.

Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
The two of us, as well as some other close friends, have bonded over our varied fermentation projects/experiments. We have both worked together at a local home brew shop, Noble Grape (shout out to the Oxford crew) for many years, honing our knowledge, helping others and learning about running a business. We both entered the Stillwell Open of 2016 and have entered many of the local homebrew competitions.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
CASH MONEY!! Because a 1 hectolitre system is a HUGE money maker right? RIGHT??!! (Perhaps a bit of passion for brewing and creating as well)

What type of system will you be brewing on?
We will be brewing on a 98 L system and be doing double brew days. We are starting with a four brew day/week schedule.

Do you have an approximate launch date?
Barring some unforeseen incident, we are hoping to have beer for sale early to mid-October, but we hear from our pals in the industry that unexpected delays are to be expected.

What are your plans for distribution?
To start, we are focusing on pre-filled growler sales from our 5187 Salter St. location. We will have our own branded refillable bottle, but will be filling other clean growlers/refillable bottles. We will be sending some kegs/casks to our favourite craft beer hangouts/tap rooms.

tidehouse_deliveryvan

Thankfully they won’t have to drive far to deliver their beer, as the Tidehouse delivery van needs a little work… From https://www.instagram.com/tidehousebrewing/

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
Nope! But we will soon!

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering?
Our initial lineup will consist of:
Golden Glacier– A pale ale hopped with a favourite hop variety of ours, Glacier. We’ve always said it is a really pleasant hop with a lovely balance of earth, citrus and wood.
The Copper – A darker amber ale with a hint of smokiness from Rauchmalt (beechwood smoked malt from Germany).
Mild Thing – A super sessionable (lower alcohol) malty beer following British traditions of a pub beer. Look out for casked versions that make your heart sing!
Like A Motorcyc-ale – We were inspired by our friends’ band Like A Motorcycle to make a black but sessionable rock n’ roll of a beer. Light body, earthy and dank hop flavours and dark as a midnight ride on your motorcycle through the woods.
We are launching with four titles, but will add in one-offs and seasonals as we like.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
We are definitely excited to be joining an industry that is so friendly and collaborative. We have learned a lot from Big Spruce, North Brewing, Good Robot, Sober Island and even fellow new comers 2 Crows and Bore City. “The rising tide floats all boats” truly does apply in our region, and we think most of the breweries out there recognize that. We are also very thankful for the help we’ve received from Noble Grape; the Haynes brothers have been hugely influential and big supporters of our project for quite some time. We’ve learned a lot from the home brewers of Halifax both those involved in the Brewnosers club and our enthusiastic customers at Noble Grape. We didn’t just teach people to how to brew beer, many of them taught us a thing or two.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
We plan to expand from what we can brew in our Salter St. space and have a larger production brewhouse set up, while still slinging growlers and producing fun one-offs in the downtown Halifax location. At the moment there are no plans for a pub or tap-room, however there IS available space in the unit directly next door. *wink*

Do you have a favourite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Peter is a big Saison fan, so expect to see something from that style coming down the pipelines. Shean tends to lean more toward sessionable hop-forward beers.

How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
Variety is the spice of life and we enjoy exploring the many avenues that brewing can lead you down. Expect a lot of different options. We’ll really be all over the map once we lock in our initial offerings.

Thanks to Peter and Shean for getting us up to speed with their little big project! Be sure to follow along on the build and brew process at their social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Cheers!

Happy Friday, everyone! Here’s hoping that you’re all fully recovered from the beautiful Labour Day weekend we just had; as usual, the local beer news just keeps on truckin’…

• There’s a new beer on tap at Nine LocksCream Ale is a special one-off brewed just in time for the end of summer. This amber-coloured brew is “smooth and full-bodied”, according to the brewery, featuring caramel notes and a “subtle hop finish” provided by the two English varieties, East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. At 15 IBUs, the beer finishes only mildly bitter, and is quite easy-drinking at 5.2% ABV. No cans for this one – it’s available only on tap at the brewery for growler fills, until it’s gone!

Propeller has released their latest One Hit Wonder, Tea Rex Ale. Described as an unfiltered Black Tea-Infused Ale, the beer was infused with organic Assam black tea from DAVIDsTEA, and then further dry-hopped (dry-tead?) with it. Black in colour, with a creamy brown head, the beer was hopped with Ahtanum to 47 IBUs; the hop also provides “bright, distinct notes” in the flavour, to go with the molasses undertones. At 6% ABV, the brewery is describing it as “smooth and approachable”; they also recommend drinking this beer from a tea cup! As with all OHW beers, it’s available on tap at both Prop Shop locations for growler fills, and it will likely appear at select beer establishments in the HRM.

Red Rover has a brand new cider that will be released next Wednesday, created specifically for local restaurant/bar The Snooty Fox. Made with wild blueberries and tart cherry juice, this 7% ABV cider will be on tap exclusively at the Snooty in celebration of the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival beginning next week in Fredericton. They need your help in naming it, however, and are holding a contest with the Snooty, so send in your best name to win some great prizes! The winner will be chosen on Tuesday. And in other Harvest-related cider news, Red Rover will also be re-releasing The Blues, a 7% ABV cider made with wild blueberries. This one will be available for flagon fills at the Cider House, and on tap throughout the city; if the response is good (which it definitely was last year), The Blues could be bottled and sold at ANBL stores in the near future.

• As they gear up for the revelry of the Halifax Oktoberfest events later in the month, Garrison brings us two fall beers this week: a return engagement and an all new twist on a classic style, both featuring rye. First brewed with Beau’s All Natural Brewing in 2014, the Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale features both wheat and rye malts along with Munich and pale in a 6.0% ABV copper-coloured brew. Hopped to 40 IBUs with CascadeCitra, and Columbus, it also features bog myrtle (Myrica gale) provided by Beau’s. It is available for purchase in six-packs now at the NSLC, and shortly at the ANBL.

• New to Garrison’s lineup is a familiar concept to those who appreciate well shots at dive bars. A brew conceived of during this year’s Seaport Beer Fest, Rye & Ginger IPA takes on a Canadian favourite mixed drink in a beer-centric way. Featuring the grainy spiciness of rye malt, the body yields light caramel, toffee, dark fruit and a kick of ginger. The lemon slice on the rim is provided by the citrus punch of Centennial hops, which also provide a touch of earthy balance. At 6.4% ABV and 56 IBU, it’s solidly in the sweetspot for modern IPAs. Light-amber and hazy in colour, it has a dry, warming finish that should be perfect for crisp fall evenings. Even better, it provides a chance to toast your university days in a more grown-up and refined way. Find it in 650 mL bombers at NSLC and private NS stores, as well as through the ANBL growler program this weekend.

•  Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has been open for a month, and now fans from both near and far can enjoy their beer in a few more venues. This week they launched growler fills at the brewery, allowing patrons to grab a 0.95 or 1.89 L fill of their Little Pup Pale Ale, Rooftop Rye-It Rye Amber, Wasted Days Peanut Butter Chocolate Wheat, and newly launched Big Brown Roof Hound, the 7.0% ABV Brown Ale with raisins and brown sugar, after which the brewery is named (full story here). And for those not able to make a visit to the taproom to enjoy the beer, food, and ambiance, owner Les Barr has delivered a few kegs of beer outside of town. Look out for the tapping of BBRH at Dartmouth’s Battery Park, Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar, as well as the Capital Pub in Middleton in the coming days.

TrailWay is doing some experimenting at the brewery, as they recently began brewing their first go at a kettle-soured beer. Details are slim at the moment, but we can confirm they pitched a strain of Lactobacillus from Escarpment labs, with the goal being to sour the wort to the desired level, before boiling and fermenting the beer afterwards. Expect this one to come in at about 5% ABV; we’ll release more specifics as they become available.

YellowBelly has the third iteration of their East Coast Cream Ale currently pouring at the brewpub in St. John’s. Originally a collaboration beer created with Australia’s Top Shed, the latest beer is “slightly lighter in body”, and was allowed to spend a longer amount of time in secondary, to smooth out the flavours even more than the two previous brews. It comes in at 5% ABV, and should be available in bottles by next Wednesday. In addition, bottles of their Southern Shore Foggy Porter are now available at the brewery, and select St. John’s NLC locations.

Picaroons has brewed up a new beer at their General Store location in Saint John – Hippie IPA is a 6.3% ABV SMaSH beer featuring Maritime Malt, and Nugget hops grown and harvested at Lunahops in Cornhill, NB. Fermented with an American Ale yeast strain, this small batch will be tapped this Sunday, September 11th at 3 pm at the General Store (where it will likely be available exclusively, for pints and growler fills); live music from Earthbound Trio will accompany the release. And keep your eyes open for a unique beer brewed with BioNB for their Sept 30th “Innovation at the Station” event at the York Street Train Station, celebrating 20 years of operation. Tickets are free, but advance registration is suggested.

• We also have all the details on this year’s release of Picaroons’ Harvest Ale. A 5.5% ABV “golden amber ale” (British Pale Ale) brewed every year, there are usually three or more batches brewed, each featuring a different hop variety or varieties that is/are grown in Atlantic Canada. For this season, there will be three larger batches: one using all Mt. Hood hops from Wallace Ridge Farm (Nova Scotia); one using all Willamette from My Father’s Farm (PEI); and one using all “wild hops” from Moose Mountain Hops (New Brunswick). As always, all the details on the farm and hops used can be found by checking the four-digit code on your bottle, and looking it up online. The beer should be released sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Spindrift is bringing back The Abyss, their Schwarzbier, which will be available in cans next week. The gravity is bumped up slightly to 4.8% ABV after a light tweak to the recipe, and fans of the black and lightly roasted lager will be happy to be able to grab it again. It launches at the brewery Thursday; private stores and NSLC outlets will follow in the near future.

We’ve got a few events to tell you about this week, and don’t forget to check out our Calendar Page, as we keep it as up-to-date as possible with all of the events going on in the region, including next weekend’s Halifax Oktoberfest fun.

• A reminder that the launch of Trider’s Craft Beer is happening tomorrow, September 10th at Sociables Pub in Springhill. Tickets are still available in advance, or pay on entry at 8pm. Meet the folks behind Trider’s, and your first pint is included in the ticket price. Trider’s storefront at 46 Anson Avenue will be opening September 16th, and they will be taking part in the Rocktoberfest at the Amherst Fire Hall October 1st.

September 10th also marks the last Urban Beer Hike lead by the Moncton Beer League for a while. Meet at the Laundromat Espresso Bar at 1:45, and visit five spots for food and beer along the way. Tickets are still available, so be sure to check it out!

• For those in PEI (or up for a little drive), be sure to drop by Upstreet Brewing tomorrow for the launch of a brand new beer. Lager Quest came about when an Upstreet fan won a silent auction supporting the Red Cross’ efforts in Fort McMurray. Winner Gavin Hall helped pick the style of the brew, was put to work making it with Brewmaster Mike Hogan, and will have the honour of the first pour in the taproom Saturday at 3pm. Drop by for the fun, and there are more details here.

• The next Moncton Beer League event is September 24th, Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest, being held at the Lions Club on Mark Avenue. Close to 20 breweries from around the Maritimes will be in attendance, pouring their wares to benefit the United Way. Tickets are still available!

New Brunswick Beer Tours has their next event planned, and it’s set up in true festive fashion! The Christmas Brewery Tour is scheduled for Saturday, December 17th; it will follow a similar format as in previous tours, with four brewery visits. Each stop includes a minimum of four 4 oz beer samples, as well as the chance to meet and chat with the people behind your favourite Fredericton beers. The fun starts at 11:30 am at Grimross, followed by stops at TrailWay, Mama’s Brewpub, and another soon-to-be-determined location, before finishing off at the King Street Ale House for one final beer (or more!) at 4:30 pm. Tickets are available now, and are $67.50 each.

As a favourite university professor of mine always used to say – that’s it, that’s all, there ain’t no more! Ok, maybe a couple more short things…

– Bad Apple Brewhouse‘s latest release is Son of a Pitch, a 7.1% ABV Double IPA. It is available exclusively at the brewery and Stubborn Goat. And congratulations to Jeff and Kari on getting hitched in Vegas this week!
Maybee Brewing‘s Long Carry Brett Red, their Roseway Red aged on Brettanomyces, is now available in 750 mL, cork and cage bottles, exclusively at the brewery for now.
Port Rexton Brewing has announced their new hours for September, which will see them closed on Wednesdays, and remain open all other days 2-10pm. And they will be gearing down for the season on Saturday, October 29th, so be sure to drop by the brewery in the next 8 weeks to grab a taste of the Bonavista Peninsula!
Uncle Leo’s is releasing their Harvest Ale today, brewed with malt from Horton Ridge Malt and hops from Bramble Hill Farm. It will be available at the brewery, their table at the New Glasgow Farmer’s Market tomorrow, and on tap at better beer bars in the province.

Good morning, and welcome to another long weekend! Some big news for a couple of breweries in our region, and the usual plethora of new beers, beer events… let’s get started!

• Well, it’s official – Hammond River Brewing is finally expanding! Owner/brewmaster Shane Steeves confirmed in a Facebook post yesterday that the brewery will be moving to a newly-constructed building that will house the DME-constructed 15 BBL (1750 L) system… that’s 15 times the size of Hammond River’s current brewery, making it the largest microbrewery in the Saint John area. The brewery will also be attached to the Barrel’s Head Gastropub & Wine Bar, and will have a tasting room where customers can order pints, have their growlers filled, and purchase bottles of HR beer. A barrel-aging program is currently in the plans as well. Look for the new brewery to open in early 2017, if all goes according to plan, and don’t worry – it will be business as usual for the current brewery until the new location opens, meaning your favourite HR beers will continue to be brewed. Congratulations, Shane!

• Hammond River also has a new brew in the making, a Berliner Weisse named Paisley Park. This is the first foray into sour beer territory for HR; brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt and lightly hopped to only 4 IBUs (as is typical for the style), it was kettle-soured to give it the characteristic tartness of a Berliner Weisse. In addition, 34 lbs of fresh local raspberries from Balemans U-Pick were added in secondary. Keep your eyes open for this 3.2% ABV refreshing sour beer in the near future.

• And speaking of brewery expansions, more details on the currently-underway Big Spruce embiggening are now available! Construction on the brand-new, 5400 sq-ft building has begun on the Big Spruce property, which will eventually house a 3-vessel, 20 BBL (2300 L) brew house – that’s about three times larger than the current brewery. With 40 BBL fermentors and an automated, 30 can-per-minute canning line, we can all expect to see a heck of a lot more Big Spruce beer in the near future! Look for everything to be completed sometime in March, 2017.

• Let’s stick with Big Spruce for a while longer, as they have some new and returning beers on the horizon. In new beers are two collaboration kettle-soured ales, similar to their popular Silver Tart. Both Certified Organic Berliner Weisse/American Sours, soured with the BS in-house Lactobacillus culture, they’re made up of a grist of 50% Pilsner and 50% Wheat malt. One was brewed with Tatamagouche Brewing and will be conditioned on organic ground cherries from Taproot Farms, while the other beer, brewed with Boxing Rock, will feature organic blueberries from North of Nuttby Farm (the blueberry Berliner Weisse is based on a beer brewed by our own acbbshawn). We’ll have more details on the release dates of these beers as they near completion, and if either of them will be packaged outside of kegs.

• And in even more Big Spruce news, they have released I’m Wit Chris Lemon Ginger Wit this week. This local twist on a Belgian Wit features 6.5 kilograms of locally-grown ginger from Jody Nelson’s LocalMotive Farm and Tim & Estelle Levangie’s Thyme for Ewe Farm. The brew is further spruced up with the zest of 80 lemons, completing the beer with a great citrus aroma, and both a bite and pleasant aroma from the ginger. First available in 2015 as Cold Remedy, accbchris wrote about his experience assisting with the scale-up of his recipe previously. Grab it on tap at the brewery, and around HRM this weekend. And remember to drop by the brewery this weekend for The Big Pig Roast!

• Moncton’s Bore City is releasing a hoppy Wheat Ale, I’d Radler Not. With a grist comprised of ~40% Wheat malt, the beer was hopped with Equinox, Hallertau Blanc, and Vic Secret, giving a big blast of tropical fruit in the aroma and flavours. Described by the brewery as “juicy, light, and refreshing, yet well-balanced”, it comes in at 5.2% ABV and 44 IBUs. Don’t be fooled by the name, there’s no juice or soda in this one! Kegs have been sent to both Marky’s Laundromat and the Tide & Boar in the city.

• Halifax (and Dartmouth’s) North Brewing is releasing a very special beer today at noon. They have taken a funky path with their Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian: they pitched Brettanomyces from Escarpment Labs into one of their Glenora barrels, and allowed their SDB to re-ferment and age in the barrel for seven months over the winter. After a further two month conditioning, the beer is now ready for the public. Both the Brett and barrel aging add their own notes of leather, vanilla, cherry and oak to the already complex 10.5% ABV dark Belgian brew. With the higher ABV and bottle conditioning component, this beer will continue to develop over the months and years to come, so it is certainly advisable to pick up a few bottles. Due to the limited numbers, only one barrel (less than 20 cases), there is a 12-bottle limit per person.

• Two new beers hit the taps at Rockbottom Brewpub this week with a bit of a yin and yang feel that celebrates both the end of the summer and the approaching fall. The first, dubbed Fuzzy Pucker, is an American sour fermented on the last of the summer fruits, peaches. The aroma features stewed peach and pie crust with a touch of floral esters. At only 4 IBUs and carrying 5% ABV, it’s tart on the palate with a drying acidic finish; definitely a late summer sipper. On the other side of the coin, reminding us that cooler weather is just around the corner, the Baltic Porter is a rich, multilayered, lagered beer in the tradition of the Baltic states of Europe. Strong, dark and roasty, with featured flavors of sweet malt, liquorice, and dried fruit, this complex 8% ABV brew comes in at 30 IBU and is a sipper of a different sort. Both beers are available at the pub, either to sit and drink or in growlers to take home.

• Last Friday, Big Tide released Barrelled Life, their first Barleywine. After being brewed on the Big Tide system, the beer was barrel-aged for 6 months by Dunhams Run winery, out of Kingston, NB. According to the brewery, the beer was aged in a Frontenac Reserve barrel, and blended with Black Mamba, a mead made by Dunhams Run. The resulting product is a “silky smooth”, 10.5% ABV monster of a beverage. Available at the brewpub for 12 oz pours only, once it’s gone, it’s gone, so hurry down for a pour!

Wayfarers’ Ale Society has a new beer on tap, One-Eyed River Hog IPA. Featuring a larger malt bill than their EPA, it likely falls in the English IPA category, described by the brewery as having “some wonderful hoppy overtones, with a big body and a little bit of sweetness in the finish”. Brewed as a special-release small batch, this 6.2% ABV beer won’t be brewed again until sometime in November.

Bad Apple Brewhouse has a brand new beer out this week. Primal Wit is a 5.7% Witbier, featuring kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass, Star Anise, and Ginger, for an Asian-inspired twist on this Belgian style. Bright citrus, light licorice, and ginger lend a savoury theme to this brew. Brewed exclusively for Halifax’s Primal Kitchen, it’s on tap there now, as well as at the brewery in Somerset. Also look out for BA’s Mosaic DIPA, the 8.0% ABV Double IPA featuring loads of Mosaic hops, available at better bars in Halifax now. They recently brewed their APA (American Pale Ale) with a high portion of the grist with Horton Ridge Malt, and the upcoming brew of their Russian Imperial Stout will also feature a healthy dose of the locally-malted grain in the malt bill. And Operation Green Ring, the collaboration with Delta Force Brewery will be brewed on the weekend, featuring loads of cucumbers and fresh mint on top of an American Wheat base.

Schoolhouse Brewery allowed visitors a sneak peek at their new brewery and retail location yesterday, as part of their new monthly Growler Night. Open the first Thursday of the month at their new 40 Water St location in Windsor, customers can purchase growlers of their beer, as well as merchandise, and track their progress as they work towards the opening of their location in December. For now, these nights will replace their delivery schedule, as they work tirelessly towards that opening. Keep an eye on their Instagram feed for the latest developments! And there is still a bit of their collaboration with Good RobotSkratch Plaskett, a 5.8% ABV Pale Ale, brewed for the Evolve Festival.

Annapolis Cider has released the latest entry in their Something Different series of ciders, Citrus and Plum. This unfiltered cider features fresh-pressed juice from Golden Plums that were grown just down the road from the cidery. In addition, a small batch of dry cider was added, that had been infused with the zest of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, giving the final product a “mouth-puckering zing, and a cleansing finish”. Note that this 6.1% ABV cider contains the first apples from the 2016 harvest, including fresh-pressed juice from three different varieties: Vista Bella, Close, and Jersey Mac. Available only at the cidery in Wolfville, don’t expect this one to last long (especially with the return of Acadia students!). And as with all of their Something Different blends, a portion will be going to a local group. This batch’s beneficiary is The Flower Cart, empowering local adults with intellectual disabilities through vocational training and job placement assistance.

• This week saw Good Robot bringing out another stylistic mashup that reminds us once again where they stand on the East Coast/West Coast beef. Ol’ Scurvy Bastard, a Marga-RZA and/or Dirt McGirtarita Ale sees an ultimately Belgian style, Witbier, that was brewed with coriander and fermented with the St-Remy Abbey strain from Escarpment Labs, then a-salted Leipzig-style like a Gose, peppered with Japanese Sorachi Ace hops to the tune of 14 IBUs, and finally smacked down with lime zest. Pale gold in colour and hazy with a white head, you’ll find aromas of lemon and lime, vanilla, honey and agave with floral and briny hints. On the palate you’ll be tasting those same citrus and sweet notes along with the salt. Both mildly tart and a touch boozy, it’s 6.2% ABV and carbed right up for a crispness that accentuates the acidity. Protect ya neck!

Mill Street St John’s has released their latest brew, Jigger’s Delight California Common. This 5.7% ABV, 18 IBU hybrid beer uses lager yeast fermented a little bit warmer, allowing some of the aromatics of ale yeast to shine through, while maintaining a smooth finish. Notes of grain and a light honey sweetness sit upon a medium body with toast and caramel flavours. The beer is available on tap now, and will rotate into their growler bar when possible. Mill Street is currently recruiting a Head Brewer for this location, as current Head Brewer Alexis Wagner is heading to the UK to complete her Masters. Click the St. John’s tab here for more information.

• It’s that time of year again – Hop Harvest! Several breweries in our region have wasted no time, and have brewed (or will very shortly) Wet (aka Fresh Hop) beers with locally-grown hops. While hops are usually dried, and possibly pelletized before use to help extend their storage, wet hops can be used immediately after picking, for an extra aromatic blast fresh from the plant.

Big Spruce rounds up plenty of community hop pickers for assistance in harvesting the aromatic varietals grown on their property. Last year they released their wet-hopped Craig Goes Yard; no word on what exactly they have planned for this year’s harvest, but we can definitely expect the style to be another IPA.

Meander River will be brewing several batches of their Home Grown Ale, thanks to the bountiful harvest of eight different hop varietals grown right at the brewery, as well as some grown in a test hopyard in Aylesford.

Schoolhouse Brewery grabbed some 70kg of hops from a local family farm, some of which will be used in a soon-to-be-brewed beer; the rest will be dried for later brews.

Sea Level has been brewing a wet-hopped beer for years; this year, they’ve brewed up a new one, Indigenous Pale Ale (5% ABV). Featuring freshly-harvested Cascade grown on-site, and organically-grown malt from Horton Ridge, it should be available in kegs and cans by mid-September.

Uncle Leo’s brewed their 2nd Annual Harvest Ale with hops from Bramble Hill Farm and malt from Horton Ridge Malt and Grain. Look for it in a couple of weeks; it went fast last year, so watch for updates!

And the fun isn’t only in Nova Scotia – New Brunswick brewery Picaroons will be continuing their Harvest Ale series; we’ll have more details on that series of beer, soon.

• The NSLC released their First Quarter Results this week, and the sales of NS Craft Beer continue to show great growth, rising by almost 50% over last year’s Q1, while overall beer sales grew by only 9.6%. Any concern that the number of small local producers has reached saturation is far from true, as they still only account for less than 4% of the entire beer sales in the province. Massive growth in NS-produced cider continues as well, clocking in at over 80%, still accounting only a small percentage of the overall “Ready-to-Drink” market. The full report can be read here.

There’s a few events coming up that we’d like to mention before signing off:

• The 2016 PEI Beer Festival is being held this weekend at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown. There are three sessions: Friday and Saturday, 6:30-9:30, and Saturday 2-4:30. Featuring a wide variety of the PEILCC‘s regular offerings, there will also be some special casks from PEI Brewing Company, as well as new beers from visiting breweries Boxing Rock, Collective Arts, and Propeller. Check out the beer and brewery list here, and grab your tickets online or at the door ($50 for tonight’s session, $40 for tomorrow afternoon’s, Saturday evening session is sold out).

• The Falmouth TrALE Run is scheduled for October 1st. Featuring a challenging 5km route through the woods at Castle Frederick Farms, water stations along the way are amped up with beer from nearby Schoolhouse Brewing. The event will not be timed, so enjoy the view and the beer while you make your way along the route. Your $40 ticket includes beer samples and a souvenir glass. All proceeds from the event are going to support West Hants Ground Search and Rescue, and you can pledge more through the online registration.

• Port Hawkesbury will once again be hosting the Celtic Oktoberfest on October 22nd. An all-inclusive event with live music, food, wine and beer, this is the third year for this great event. Featuring products by Authentic Seacoast, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Eileanan Breagha Vineyards, Garrison, Hell Bay, Spindrift, Tatamagouche, and Uncle Leo’s. Check the website for the full food and music run-down, too!

Have a fantastic long weekend! Looks like some mighty decent weather to unofficially end the summer; be sure to enjoy it with your favourite craft beer(s)! And as usual, a few parting notes…

Petit-Sault‘s 8.5% ABV Pumpkin Ale, Bonhomme Sept-heures, has been brewed and packaged for release this weekend. This year, however, a portion has been bottled; bottles will be available for purchase at the brewery only, along with growlers. It sold out quickly last year, so don’t wait! A few kegs may make it to licensees.
– Due to great response from customers, Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewery will be taking this weekend off, but will be open again next Saturday 10-2 for growler fills and merchandise sales, before their full launch mid-September.
York County Cider has announced that their bottle distribution has increased, as several of their brands are now available in bottles at the ANBL on Mountain Road in Moncton.

 LoyalistCityLogo

Loyalist City Brewing Company is a new brewery, opening this fall in Uptown Saint John. Located on Water Street, the brewery overlooks the Saint John Harbour and Bay of Fundy. Named to honour Saint John’s Loyalist roots, the brewery is the brainchild of three friends and homebrewers from the region. We chatted with Ryan, Mark, and Dave of Loyalist City to learn more about their brewery.

ACBB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Ryan: We are three homebrewers who were raised and live in Saint John, NB. Our friendship began around 2011 and our mutual trust, along with a passion for brewing beer, has grown to the point that it was natural for us to enter the competitive craft beer brewing market.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Mark: Sam Adams Boston Lager would have been the first craft beer I tried back in my university days. At the time there wasn’t much available locally but you could find the odd keg of Boston Lager on tap at the local bars. After that Picaroons began to appear on the scene more often and my love of craft beer has taken off since then. By the time I had began brewing partial mash kits my love of craft beer had taken full hold.
Ryan: During a period of time when I travelled and worked in the NorthEast US I was exposed to the broad craft beer selection and styles available.
Dave: My adventures with craft beer started after university. Picaroons and Pumphouse were my first exposure to craft beer. They were the two larger craft breweries in the province and introduced me to some styles of beer that I didn’t even know existed at the time. Since then, I have tried many different styles of beer and keep the adventure going by even planning vacations around beer festivals and great beer cities. 

Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
Mark: I brewed my first batch of homebrew from a Coopers extract kit in 2004. At the time I was living at home and was able to pilfer some equipment from my dad who made wine. I had brewed a few Coopers kits and progressed to some Mr Beer kits but I was never excited about the end result. I shelved my brewing equipment for a few years before being introduced to partial mash brewing in 2011. I progressed quickly from partial mash to all grain brewing on a 3 vessel keg system and Dave and Ryan started brewing with me when I switched to all grain. Since then we have brewed over 100 batches and progressed through a few different equipment setups all using the single vessel approach.
Ryan: My parents homebrewed so it was natural for me to make my own clones of the great beer that weren’t available in New Brunswick at the time. 
Dave: In university, I experimented with some Festa Brew kits and some extract brewing. At the time, I had not done any research on brewing and did not know the importance of fermentation temp and other processes, so my results were mixed and I gave up on the kits. As I started diving into the world of craft beer, I got the urge to brew my own beer and jumped straight to All Grain brewing on Mark’s recommendation. My initial all grain setup consisted of a 5 gallon pot on a stovetop, doing BIAB batches in 590 square foot condo, which got messy at times Ha! I was surprised by the quality of beer that could be produced by such simple equipment and applying consistent approaches and methods. I have since moved on to brewing on a 5 gallon electric system at home and brewing with Mark and Ryan on the half barrel pilot system. 

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
Mark: I have always enjoyed sharing my beer with other people that appreciate a good pint. As I progressed as a homebrewer and started entering competitions I found myself brewing many styles of beer that I wasn’t able to buy in New Brunswick. I really enjoyed learning the history of a style, tracking down some modern examples, and recreating it with the best ingredients I could find. I had decided long ago that doing this on a larger scale would be a more challenging and more rewarding endeavor.
Ryan: We’ve observed first hand the growth of the NB craft beer market over the past 5 years and decided that we wanted to participate in the growing market with the goal of being the best rated nanobrewery in New Brunswick. Quality and not quantity will be our primary goal.
Dave: Jumping into the world of professional brewing seemed to be the natural next step in our brewing progression. As the batches rolled on, we found ourselves experimenting more and more with yeast strains, quality of grain, and different hop varieties. We improved our processes and methods in order to get our batch consistency to a high standard. We want our beer quality and consistency to be the cornerstone of our brewery and we are are ready to share it with the craft beer community!

What size/manufacturer/type of system will you be brewing on?
Our brewhouse is a ~6 bbl (200 US gallon) PLC system from Colorado Brewing Systems. The three of us have been brewing for years using the BIAB method and decided early on in the planning stages that we wanted our commercial system to leverage the benefits of BIAB. Colorado’s systems are among the best single vessel brewhouses available today on the commercial scale and after speaking with the owner of Colorado Brewing Systems we decided to move ahead with their largest system. Initially our plan is to brew 4 batches a month to fill our four fermenters and allow our beer time to mature in a controlled environment before being released to our accounts.  

Do you have an approximate launch date?
Mark: If all goes to plan we should be brewing Mid-October, with beer available mid November. We are working with NB Liquor and the Federal Government to navigate through the application process now.

What are your plans for distribution?
Mark: We are currently working through the process to become licensed to sell growlers onsite and distribute directly to bars in the area. We are really looking forward to partnering with some of the amazing local restaurants and bars in our area. Being in the Uptown core was critical for us so we could build a relationship with the many vendors in the area.

LCB_Beer

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
Our core line up consists of five beer that we plan on always having available for our accounts, an American IPA, a “Commonwealth” Pale ale, an English pale ale, a German Hefeweizen, and a Dry Irish Stout. We will continually be brewing seasonal variations of our line up and are working on securing hops for our hop series of beer now. We plan to release a series of IPAs featuring hops from different regions in the US, New Zealand, and Australia.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
The craft brewers in our area have all been very supportive. Over the past few years we have been able to have some great talks with Shane at Hammond River Brewing about the experience of running a brewery and distributing in the local markets.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Mark: Our tastes are pretty broad and like many homebrewers our focus initially was on hoppy styles. We enjoy experimenting with the different styles of IPA and brewing East Coast, West Coast, and Australian style IPAs. We have branched out in the past few years to appreciate the roasted complexity of stouts, and the malt forward english styles.  A personal favorite of mine these days has been sour beer, I have been enjoying trying to create some of the complexity that you find in a well-made Flanders red and Berliner Weisse.

Thank you to Mark, Ryan and Scott for filling us in! Be sure to check out Loyalist City’s website, and keep an eye on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages for progress pics as they work towards their November launch.