Good morning! Thankfully, February is just about over, which means winter has to be ending soon… right? Let’s celebrate with some regional beer news…

Big Spruce had a special visitor at the brewery earlier this week: Don Campbell, brewer/co-owner of PEI’s BarNone Brewing; luckily for us, the purpose of the visit was to brew! The two brewers conspired – not collaborated – together to develop a currently-unnamed Imperial IPA expected to come in at around 8% ABV and 97 calculated IBUs. Bittered with Magnum, flavored with Bravo, and lots of aroma/flavor additions of both Citra and Cascade, expect plenty of hoppy goodness! When it’s ready, it will be available on tap at the Big Spruce brewery, and at select establishments in Nova Scotia; BarNone may brew it at their brewery for release in PEI. Stay tuned for more info in the near future!

• A couple of days ago, Picaroons released their first of a new series of beers that are “brewed by, brewed for, and named after” their staff. All 30 Picaroons staff members (ranging from brewers to delivery drivers) will have a chance to develop and brew a recipe of their own, with some help from head brewer Myles MacKenzie and owner Sean Dunbar. They’re even being encouraged to incorporate different yeasts other than their house strain, Ringwood. While there’s no exact schedule to each brew, every batch will be brewed on the smaller system located at the Brewtique in downtown Fredericton. The first beer, Griff, was brewed by longtime Picaroons brewer Ryan “Griff” Griffith. An English Pale Ale, it was “moderately hopped” with Willamette and some Fuggles to 20 IBUs, giving the beer a “nice and pleasant earthy tone”. An easy-drinking beer at 4.8% ABV, it became available in limited supply at the Brewtique for growler fills on Tuesday, Feb. 24th; a single keg was also tapped at the Lunar Rogue last night for a Picaroons staff party celebrating the new beer series. We’ll keep you updated on the staff brew series as more beers are developed and released!

• And speaking of Picaroons, their seasonal Maple Cream Ale will be available again this coming Monday, March 2nd. This year, however, the ~5% ABV beer – brewed with real maple syrup from Briggs Maples in Riverview – will be available on tap only, no bottles. Look for it at the Brewtique for growler fills, on tap at select bars and restaurants, and likely at ANBL growler stations in the near future.

Bad Apple Brewhouse is bringing back one of their most most popular and often-requested beers, Mosaic Double IPA. Winner of the 2014 Atlantic Canada Brewing Award in the Double IPA category, it will see its 2015 launch at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival next week. The beer weighs in at 8% ABV, features a medium body, and of course, showcases the lovely Mosaic hop varietal, which was extensively added late in the brew, at flame out, and during dry-hopping. Due to the popularity, and more access to Mosaic hops, the beer will be brewed again in the Spring and Summer, with the possibility of a limited release in bottles at that time. The beer is also a passion project for Bad Apple owner Jeff Saunders and his wife Kari Smith, who will again be partnering with the Halifax Down Syndrome Society and donating all income (not just profits) from sales of the brew to ensure that all local children (along with their families and caregivers) will be able to attend the Down Syndrome Weekend at Camp Brigadoon, being held June 13-15. Look for the beer at the brewery, and on tap wherever craft beer lovers come together!

• The University of New Brunswick-Saint John will soon be celebrating their 50th Anniversary, and they’ve asked Hammond River to brew up a special beer for a party on March 19th at Beaverbrook House. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves has fittingly chosen a “Golden Ale” (aka Blonde Ale), brewed with 2-row and CaraRed malts, and lightly hopped with Cascade to 20 IBUs. Expect this beer to be smooth and easy-drinking, at ~5.2% ABV. The UNBSJ party starts at 5:30 pm; there’s no charge to attend, and your first pint of Shane’s new beer is free! Head to the party’s FB page to vote on what the beer should be named. Hammond River’s regular accounts will also be receiving kegs of this new beer once it’s ready, so look for it around Saint John around the same time.

Pump House will soon be releasing their popular Bière de Garde in six-packs; this award-winning beer (it took home a gold medal in the Belgian Style Specialty Ales category in the 2014 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards) has been available on tap periodically at the brewery. A dark-red beer with an aroma of toasted dark bread and hints of spice, juniper berries, and pineapple, it’s allowed time to mature and age to let the flavors develop. Bittered to 15 IBUs with Goldings and Chinook, it’s full-bodied with notes of dark caramel, according to the brewery. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, look for the sixers across NB and NS (and in Alberta!) by the second week of March.

Red Rover continues to celebrate their 1st Birthday, this time with a party at the UNB Grad House, starting tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 pm. There will be several seasonal ciders available on tap, including their newest brew, Winter Blues, a wild blueberry cider. Head to the event page and vote for which of their ciders you’d most like to see on tap, and you’ll receive an official invite to the party, where there will be live music, free birthday cupcakes… and your first cider pour is on the house (while supplies last). They will also be announcing a special collaboration with Big Axe Brewery that they will be introducing at next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival.

• The latest Signature Event of the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, coming May 8-17, has been announced. The Science of Beer will see the CBANS and friends take over the Discovery Centre on Thursday the 14th from 6-9pm, for a night of learning about, and enjoying, our favourite beverage. Seven speakers will be exploring different scientific, and fun, aspects of beer, from the brewing, packaging, and tasting, and many more angles. To keep your tastebuds stimulated while your brain is working, six breweries will be pouring beer (Boxing Rock​, Garrison​, North​, Propeller​, Sea Level, and Wrought Iron​), and food from Ace Burger, Morris East, and Stubborn Goat. We’ll have more details on the speakers and topics soon, but we can tell you that Chris will be giving a presentation. Tickets are available online now, we hope to see you there! And don’t forget to pick up tickets for the Full House Craft Beer Fest on Saturday the 16th, at the Olympic Community Centre. While there are many left for the 12-3pm session, there are only a few tickets remaining for the 4-7pm session. For $25, you’ll have a chance to sample the wares of CBANS members from one end of the province to the other, all under one roof, for the first time.

• The Moncton Beer League is partnering with Chef Matthew Pennell (Champion of Chopped Canada), for a 4-course beer and food pairing meal at Legends Restaurant (in the Moncton Coliseum) on March 21st. Each course will be paired with a different NB beer, plus an additional welcome beer in a souvenir glass you can take home. Tickets are available online now, and if you purchase them before March 4th, you will save $10.

• The official announcement has been made, and the website launched: Unfiltered Brewing will be coming to Halifax’s North End this Spring! Greg Nash is partnering with long-time friend Andrew Murphy and opening the brewery on North Street, and a sister pub adjacent, opening in the summer. Follow along with the progress on Twitter and their mailing list, where they will be releasing details on becoming a member of their Growler Club when it launches. We’ll have brewhouse and distribution details shortly. Welcome Unfiltered Brewing!

There are a few seasonal and special beers back to our region this week: Tatamagouche Brewing‘s RR#2 Lager, brewed with their own Mt. Hood and Crystal hops is back on at the brewery; Boxing Rock was able to their hands on more Nelson Sauvin hops, and have brought back a second batch of Unobtainium, available at the brewery and private beer stores starting today; Sea Level has released this year’s version of  El Rojo Diablo Double IPA, brewed with Waimea hops, and it’s on tap at the Port Pub and will be in the private stores shortly. The James Joyce Irish Pub in Fredericton has added yet another NB brewery to their taplist; they should be pouring Railcar‘s Artisan Brown Ale starting tomorrow.

If you missed out on tickets for next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Fest, the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook is holding a contest on Facebook, giving away a pair of tickets and hotel room. Share this post to enter, and be sure to say Hi to Shawn and Chris on Saturday!

Happy Friday everyone! Another busy week in AtlCanBeer News, so let’s get right to it!

• If you caught yesterday’s post on this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, you may have noticed that Big Spruce has brewed up something special for the event: UnRYEvaled Chocolate Rye IPA. We now have some more details on this tasty-sounding beer. Brewed with a grist containing 20% Rye malt, and a touch of malted Chocolate Rye, it’s hopped to 54 IBUs… with most of those IBUs (42, approximately) coming from late additions (the final 10 minutes of the boil, and during the whirlpool), which means lots of hop flavor and aroma! In fact, this beer features the largest late hop additions of any Big Spruce beer, according to owner/brewer Jeremy White. Hops used in these late additions include Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo, so expect an extremely-hop forward beer, featuring “layered spicy notes, with complex citrus and pine flavour and aroma”; it weighs in at about 7.2% ABV. While this beer will pour for the first time ever at FCBF, it will later be available at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select locations in Nova Scotia. And in big news for HRM lovers of Big Spruce beer, they sent down a pile of kegs to be poured at RockHead’s popular growler station. Last night saw the debut of Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout available in take-home packaging in HRM, and Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Mr IncREDible are waiting in the wings.

Picaroons has released another one-off beer brewed on their small system at the Brewtique. Scotch Ale comes in at 7% ABV and 28 IBUs, and features a grist containing Golden Promise malt, some Crystal, and a good amount of Roasted Barley. It’s described by the brewery as being full-bodied, with “plenty of roasted characteristics that are all held together by an earthy Fuggles hop undertone”. It should still be on tap at the Brewtique for growler fills; in addition, it can be found this week at all four ANBL growler fill locations.

• There’s lots of brewing going on at YellowBelly Brewpub in St. John’s, Newfoundland! They will be celebrating International Women’s Day March 8th by brewing up a collaboration brew as part of the IWCBD initiative, and all women are invited to take part! “Brunch, Beer and Brewing” is the theme of their event. Tickets are $50, $20 of which is donated to the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre. For your admission fee, you will enjoy a flight of Brewmaster Liam McKenna and Assistant Brewer Nardia McGrath’s four current offerings: Wexford Wheat, YellowBelly Pale Ale, St. John’s Stout and Fighting Irish Red, as well as a hearty brunch prepared by the kitchen. You will also be hanging out in the Brewhouse with Nardia and Liam, while they (and maybe you!) work to create the Unite Red Ale, mashing, boiling, and transferring the beer (hey, it’s not all fun and games!). Uniting the 75+ breweries taking part in the Collaborative Brew Day will be the recipe, a dark red ale (21 degrees SRM) weighing in at 4.6% ABV and 50 IBUs (from Willamette hops), with some dry-hopping likely happening later in the process. And when *your beer* is released, you will enjoy your first pint of the brew on the house! Tickets are available now at the Brewery, so be sure to pick up yours today to avoid disappointment. The Collab Day kicks off at 10:30, and $1 from every pint sold that day will also be donated to the NLSACPC.

• In more YellowBelly new beer news, they’ve brewed up this year’s version of an annual favourite: Paddy’s Pale Ale was brewed with Maris Otter, Munich malt, and some Light Carastan, and hopped with both Nugget and East Kent Goldings to approximately 45 IBUs. A double dry-hop dose of more EKG should give this English IPA plenty of earthy, floral hop aroma and flavor. Weighing in at 6.2% ABV, look for this one to be released at the brewpub sometime around March 10th, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

• And finally in YB news, Nardia and Liam have just brewed a Saison. Currently unnamed, this dry, spicy/fruity Belgian-style ale was brewed with both Pilsner and Honey malt, as well as an addition of Belgian Blonde candi sugar. Hopped entirely with the Saphir variety, it’s currently fermenting with no temperature control, which is common for traditional takes on the style; the warm fermentation temps allow the Belgian yeast strain to give off plenty of aromatic and flavorful esters (fruity) and phenols (spicy). Once primary fermentation is complete, the beer will be transferred to secondary for an extended aging period… it should be available on tap in the last week of April. While it’s still early in the process, look for it to come in somewhere around 6.3% ABV.

Pump House is releasing a new beer of sorts, just in time for Mardi Gras. Black Voodoo Ale is a 50:50 blend of their 4 Alarm IPA and Muddy River Stout; the combination of the dark roasted malts and hoppy flavors and bitter finish will give a beer somewhere along the line of a Black IPA. This will be on tap only at the brewpub on Orange Lane in Moncton, from today until next Saturday, Feb 28th, so if you’d like to give it a try, get down there!

Propeller Brewing‘s Irish Red Ale has made a return! Brewed with Pale, Crystal, Melanoidin, and Roasted malts, and hopped with Willamette to 25 IBUs, this ruby red-colored ale combines “roasted malt sweetness with an earthy hoppiness for a full-flavoured, yet balanced brew”. This popular beer will be available for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations, on tap at select beer bars/restaurants in the HRM, and in 650 mL bottles at the private stores, and for the first time, the NSLC.

• Also, Propeller has just released another One-Hit Wonder beer, Imperial ESB. Similar to their regular-release ESB, this is a bigger, fuller-flavoured brew, with a “more pronounced malt character”, according to the brewery. Brewed with 2-row, Wheat, Crystal, and Chocolate malts (which give a “subtle malt sweetness blending with hints of chocolate”), and hopped with Warrior, Willamette and Fuggles for an increased hop presence over their regular ESB, this dark amber/copper-coloured ale comes in at 6.2% ABV and 38 IBUs. It’s available today at the Dartmouth Prop Shop for growler fills, and shortly at the Gottingen St location.

• As mentioned briefly last week, Garrison Brewing’s Beer Dory had docked in Newfoundland, and the brews have been flowing ever since. This includes the Imperial Chocolate Stout, brewed specifically for the Beerthief Special Order Beer Club: 10% ABV, featuring lots of dark malts, and Cacao Nibs for a roast and chocolate bomb. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to a fund for the family of Sarah Turpin, a member of the Beerthief group, who passed away in the fall. In addition to that beer, Garrison also sent over their IPA, Red Ale, and Black IPA. To check the Garrison inventory at an NLC near you, visit the NLC’s website. And we can tell you that they kept some Imperial Chocolate Stout for us thirsty locals, and it has been released at the brewery and the four private stores in HRM today.

• Garrison will be releasing another new beer this weekend, This is Radio Wheat! CKDU Anniversary Ale. The 4.6% ABV American-style Wheat Ale features 40% wheat in the grain bill, for a hazy, light-bodied and easy-drinking beer. It was brewed to celebrate CKDU Radio Station’s 30th Anniversary. It will be one of the beers pouring at the Ladies Beer League “Rocks Off” event at the Mayflower Curling Club Saturday night, and will be available in bottles at the brewery and private stores shortly.

• Building on previous events held in Halifax, owner Adam Bower of The Grand Banker Bar & Grill in Lunenburg will be hosting a Winemaker vs Brewmaster event on Saturday, March 7th. Pete Luckett, owner of Luckett Vineyards and Daniel Girard, Brewmaster of Garrison Brewing, will be choosing five of their own wines or beers to pair with the Grand Banker’s five course menu. Attendees will sample the food and beverages, and then vote for their favourite by way of a bottle cap or cork. Tickets for the event are $112 including tax and gratuity, available online, by phone (902-634-3300), or in person at the Grand Banker.

• Taking a queue from successful events held in Fredericton, Halifax will be hosting its own Beer Run April 26th, called Strides & Suds for a Cure, in support of JDRF. This 5 or 10 km run will take place along the First Lake Trail in Lower Sackville and end in a social with samples of craft beer and entertainment. We will have more details for runners shortly, but in the meantime, the JDRF is currently looking for sponsoring breweries to take part. If you are interested, please contact Alanna.

Have a great weekend, and after shoveling, be sure to refresh yourself with some local craft beer! As we mentioned previously, 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards Gold Medal winner The Wreckoning Russian Imperial Stout is back on tap at Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax. Definitely do not delay with grabbing this beauty, as this is the last batch to be brewed, ever. Beer fans in Yarmouth and the surrounding region, take note that Rudder’s Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub will be closed for two weeks while some minor, but necessary, renovations are being made to the kitchen and bar areas. In last minute beer news, Harvest Wines has set up a Growler Station at their Dartmouth location. They have just received their custom-printed growlers from the good folks at Jym Line Glassware, and they will also fill anyone’s clean 1.89l growlers. Currently flowing is: Boxing Rock Vicar’s Cross, and Wild Axe Pils, Tatamagouche Brewery Dreadnot Black IPA and Sea Level Rojo Mojo Red.

FCBF

The third annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (FCBF) will be taking place on Saturday, March 7th at the Fredericton Convention Centre downtown. This year’s festival promises to somehow improve on last year’s event, featuring new breweries and new beers, while continuing to focus strongly on those represented by the Maritimes. The festival has many sponsors: event sponsors include Massive Graphics and the King Street Ale House; hotel sponsor is the Crowne Plaza-Lord Beaverbrook Hotel; and supporting sponsors Investors Group and Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers.

This year’s FCBF sold out even faster than last year’s… all 1,050 tickets were spoken for more than two weeks ago, with the 250 VIP tickets selling out within hours of going on sale. The festival will run from 7:30-10:00 pm, and features 4 oz pours of a large variety of craft beers, ciders and mead. VIP ticket-holders get early access to the festival at 6:30 pm, as well as a custom tasting glass.

There will be several food options available during the festival; the full list hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we can confirm that Johnny 5’s Burger and Fries will have sliders and potato wedges available for purchase, and Magzy’s Kettle Korn will be there for the third year in a row.

For those visiting from out of town (or Frederictonians who want to make a full night of it!), the Crowne Plaza – located across the street from the Convention Centre – is once again offering their festival rate of $109/night for both Friday and Saturday (March 6th and 7th); that discounted rate is available here. There will be lots of craft beer available before and after the festival in the city – the King Street Ale House has been named as the Official Beer Bar of the festival, and always has plenty of options on tap and in bottles. Also, the James Joyce Irish Pub, located in the Crowne Plaza, has been steadily increasing their selection of draught craft beer lately, and they’re hoping to have at least one beer from almost every craft brewery in New Brunswick.

Last year’s festival saw a significant increase over the inaugural event in 2013, with 28 brewers and distributors pouring over 150 different beers, ciders and meads. This year, there will be even more: about 45 breweries and 190 different beers will be available! With the exception of Acadie-Broue, every brewery in New Brunswick will be attending this year. Both breweries from PEI will be there, along with seven breweries from Nova Scotia, making a large showing from the Atlantic provinces – more than half of the booths will feature local beers! As well, thanks to importers Good Pallets and ASWL, ticket-holders will see many new breweries from outside Atlantic Canada attending for the first time, such as Quebec’s Dieu du Ciel!, Trou du Diable, and Trois Mousquetaires, and Ontario’s Flying Monkeys and Grand River Brewing, to name a few.

While many favorites will be pouring from breweries attending FCBF, there are lots of one-offs that will be available for tasting, and several breweries are even bringing new beers brewed specifically for the festival! Fredericton’s own TrailWay Brewing will have three new beers (an APA, IPA, and Imperial Coffee Milk Stout); Big Tide is bringing a traditional Bavarian lager, Bucht Bock; Boxing Rock’s collaboration Rye IPA (The Next Chapter) brewed with Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks will be making it’s awaited debut; and Big Spruce will have UnRYEvaled Chocolate Rye IPA. As well, Petit-Sault will have their new beer brewed earlier this month for International Women’s Day, Phémie-la-Bootlegger.

All of the local breweries will have a brewer and/or brewery representative on hand to answer questions about their products. As well, Good Pallets will have several volunteers on hand; these volunteers have many decades of combined experience in the industry. So, feel free to discuss beer at the festival, instead of just consuming it! In addition, many breweries will have swag on hand for purchase.

Finally, two breweries planning to open in the near future will have brewers in the crowd: Riverview, NB’s A.W.O.L. Brewery will be represented by owner/brewer Robert Black, and the crew from Wrought Iron Brewing in Halifax will also be at the festival. If you can find them, be sure to stop and say hi!

Now, on to the brewery/beer list!  Keep in mind these products are subject to change, and some have not been announced yet. We will continue to update this list as we find out more information:

Atlantic Spirits & Wines (Dartmouth, NS) – Somersby Cider, Kronenbourg 1664, Holsten Festbock, Holsten Maibock,

Authentic Seacoast Brewing Co. (Guysborough, NS) – Rare Bird Pale Ale, Rare Bird Full Steam Stout, Rare Bird Red Ale

Bad Apple Brewhouse (Berwick, NS) – Black and Tackle RIS, Mosaic DIPA

Barnone Brewing (Rose Valley, PEI) – IPA, Pale Ale, Summer Sessions, American Wheat Ale

Big Axe Brewing (Nackawic, NB) – Big Axe Blonde, Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Wrath of Putin Imperial Pale Ale, Red Ale

Big Spruce Brewing (Nyanza, NS) – Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, Coade Word: Snowmageddon, UnRYEvaled Chocolate Rye IPA

Big Tide Brewing Company (Saint John, NB) – Fogbound Hemp Pale Ale, Bucht Bock

Black Oak Brewing (Etobicoke, ON) – 10 Bitter Years

Boxing Rock Brewing (Shelburne, NS) – Temptation Red Ale, Hunky Dory Pale Ale, The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA, The Next Chapter (Rye IPA)

Brasseurs du Petit-Sault (Edmundston, NB) – Tante Blanche, Bob LeBouef, Louis XVII, Canon Franchetti, Phémie-la-Bootlegger

Celtic Knot (Riverview, NB) – Dubh Loki Black IPA, Éire (Irish Red Ale)

Central City Brewing (Surrey, BC) – Red Racer IPA, Red Racer Copper Ale

Churchill Cellars (Toronto, ON) – Bavaria 8.6 (Original), Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse, Schneider Wiesen Edel-Weisse, Amsterdam Natural Blonde, Amsterdam Boneshaker IPA, Amsterdam Orange Weisse

Creemore Springs Brewery (Creemore, ON) – Creemore Springs Premium Lager, Mad & Noisy Hops & Bolts, Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale

Dieu du Ciel! (St-Jerome, QC) – Péché Mortel, Moralité, Chemin de Croix

Double Trouble Brewing (ON) – Hops and Robbers Extra Delicious IPA, Prison Break, Fire in the Rye, Revenge of the Ginger, French Press Vanilla Stout

Flying Monkeys (Barrie, ON) – Hoptical Illusion, Smashbomb Atomic IPA, The Matador Version 2.0 El Toro Bravo, Genius of Suburbia, The Chocolate Manifesto

Garrison Brewing Co. (Halifax, NS) – Tall Ship Amber, Irish Red, Raspberry Wheat, IPA, Imperial IPA, Glutenberg American Pale Ale, Glutenberg Blonde, Glutenberg Red

Grand River Brewing (Cambridge, ON) – Plowman’s Ale, Mill Race Mild, Pugnacious Pale Ale, Curmudgeon IPA

Grimross Brewing Company (Fredericton, NB) – Cheval D’Or, Ben’s Bitter Pale Ale

Hammond River Brewing (Quispamsis, NB) – Too Hop to Handle DIPA, Breakfast Stout, Imperial Vanilla Porter (Bourbon version)

Innis and Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Lager, Original Oak Aged Beer, Toasted Oak IPA, Melville’s Ginger Beer

McAuslan Brewery (Montreal, QC) – St. Ambroise Pale Ale, St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat, St. Ambroise IPA

McClelland Premium Imports (Mississauga, ON) – Erdinger Weissbier, Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel, Fruli Strawberry, Stiegl Lager, Stiegl Radler, Mort Subite Kriek, Mort Subite Framboise, Mongozo Premium Pilsner, Palm Amber Ale, Delirium Tremens, Delirium Tremens Christmas

Mill St. Brewery (Scarborough, ON) – Belgian Wit, Belgian Tank House, Belgian Organic

Moosehead (Saint John, NB) – Moosehead Boundary Ale, Moosehead Pale Ale, Clancy’s, Moosehead Radler, Hop City Barking Squirrel, Hop City HopBot, Hop City Big Mouth Pale Ale, Hop City 8th Sin Black Lager, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Rebel IPA, Sam Adams Cold Snap

Muskoka Brewery (Bracebridge, ON) – Mad Tom IPA, Detour Session IPA

Le Naufrageur (Carleton-sur-mer, QC) – Raccoon, Corte-Real, Saint-Barnabe, Swordfish, Carrick, Penelope, Ale Amerindienne, Ale Amerindienne Double Blanche (Tanaisie), Ale Amerindienne Myrique Beaumier

Northampton Brewing Company/Picaroons (Fredericton, NB) – Maple Cream Ale, Yippee IPA, and four casks: Winter Warmer, Scotch Ale, a Brown Ale, and one TBA

PEI Brewing Company (Charlottetown, PEI) – Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Sydney Street Stout, 1772 IPA, Island Red, Iron Bridge Brown, Beach Chair Lager, Blueberry Ale, and a TBD cask

Propeller Brewing (Halifax, NS) – Pale Ale, IPA, London Style Porter, Double IPA, RIS, Irish Red Ale

Pump House Brewery (Moncton, NB) – Biere de Garde, Premium Pilsner, IPA, Blueberry, 4 Alarm IPA (on cask)

Railcar Brewing (Florenceville-Bristol, NB) – Artisan Brown Ale, Cafe Buzz Coffee Porter

Red Rover Brewing (Fredericton, NB) – Spring Cider, Summer Cider, Fall Cider, TBA Seasonal

Shiretown Beer (Rover Charlo, NB) – Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale, Siren’s T’Ale, TBA Special-release

Sleeman Breweries Ltd (Guelph, ON) – Sleeman Cream Ale, Sleeman Silver Clear, Sleeman Honey Brown, Sleeman Original Draught, Unibroue Maudite, Okanagan Mild Winter Ale, Sapporo, Dos Equis Special Lager, Old Milwaukee

Sunset Heights Meadery (Fredericton, NB) – Queen’s Nectar, Denim (Blueberry), Tart’n (Cranberry), Naughtea (Iced Green Tea), Shipwreck (India Pale Mead), Meadmosa, Bee Mine, A Peel

Tatamagouche Brewing (Tatamagouche, NS) – North Shore Lagered Ale, Dreadnot India Black Ale

TrailWay Brewing (Fredericton, NB) – a new APA, Imperial IPA, and Imperial Coffee Milk Stout

Les Trois Mousquetaires (Brossard, QC) – Porter Baltique, Hopfenweisse, Maibock, Sticke Alt, Kellerbier, Pale Ale Americaine

Trou du Diable (Shawinigan, QC) – La Pitoune, Morsure, MacTavish in Memorium, Dubaï Pillée, Le Sang D’Encre, Saison du Tracteur

Windward Imports (Halifax, NS) – Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale, Shipyard Export Ale, Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA

It’s always been a great time at the FCBF, and this year won’t disappoint! As the FCBF tagline states, “It’s all about the beer. Pure. Simple.” Both Shawn and Chris will be attending; we hope to see you there!

Happy Friday the 13th! We don’t want to jinx anyone right before Love Day, so let’s get to the beer news…

Hammond River has released the commercial version of the winning entry of their 1st Annual Homebrew Competition. First-place winners Mike Hebert and Jason Dobbelsteyn brewed the beer – a Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer appropriately named F@#K Winter – with owner/brewer Shane Steeves; it was released late last week at Bourbon Quarter Restaurant & Bar… and quickly sold out in less than a day! A Winter Warmer brewed with 2-row, two different Crystal malts, Special B, and Roasted Barley, it was also spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and all-spice. A big beer at 7% ABV and 38 IBUs, it’s back on tap now at Bourbon Quarter and the Saint John Ale House, and should follow soon at the Barrel’s Head. Sounds delicious… if not a bit awkward to order! And this weekend, Hammond River’s award-winning American IPA, Hopflash, is available for growler fills for the first time at the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL.

Red Rover is celebrating their 1st Anniversary by serving up some new and aged ciders at the Cider House! Starting yesterday and continuing into today, they’ll be pouring one-year-aged versions of their Spring, Summer, and Scrumpy, as well as their FROSTival-inspired brew, Fire Cider. Also pouring is the return of Dark Cider, a 7% ABV, 3-month-aged Black Velvet featuring a blend of Spring cider and Picaroons‘ Stout, Timber Hog. As well, a special “surprise” cider will be tapped at 4 pm; details are slim, but we can tell you that a certain black, curranty berry may be featured! With new ciders and an expansion planned for the future, we can’t wait to see where Red Rover takes us in their second year!

• In sad news, Railcar Brewing announced yesterday that they are currently undergoing a hiatus in brewing and are now closed until further notice. Due to “production problems”, at least one current batch of beer had to be disposed of. As brewer/owner Mitch Biggar stated on Railcar’s Facebook page, “We want to make sure our product is top-notch, and if it isn’t, we won’t serve it; our latest batch did not meet quality guidelines”. On the BRIGHT side, however, Biggar has confirmed that Railcar will be moving to a new location just across the street from the current spot, to 2 Curtis Rd (below A.C. Sharkey’s Pub), where a grand re-opening is planned for March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day). The new, 2500-square-foot area will feature a bar, couches, and tables for a total seating capacity of 25; full pints will be able to be served in this environment. With the brewery behind glass, patrons will be able to view the brewing process while enjoying their beer! They’re also expecting some new equipment, specifically five additional 50-gallon fermentors, two 100-gallon fermentors, and a new brite tank. This will all make it much easier to keep up with demand when they re-open; we’ll keep you updated on their progress!

• Attention, Fredericton! As the James Joyce Irish Pub continues to add new local craft beer to their expanded tap selection, Celtic Knot is now pouring for the first time in the city since a brief appearance at last year’s Burgers n’ Beer event. Their Black IPA, Dubh Loki, was just tapped yesterday; there’s also a keg each of the Hopicide IPA and Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout waiting in the wings! In addition, Grimross Pugnacious Porter and Shiretown Big Brown Ale are now pouring, making a grand total of EIGHT New Brunswick breweries currently on tap! Also, Red Rover cider and Sunset Heights Meadery are on tap, making for a fantastic local selection!

• PEI Homebrewers, take note: The Gahan House in Charlottetown has opened entry for their second Annual Home Brewer’s Challenge. Registration for the brewing is open until February 27th, brewers must email Gahan (or drop by the Pub) to sign up to receive their entry forms. Brewers must submit their beer by 5pm on May 15th, after which it will be judged by a panel of experts. The winner will have the opportunity to brew their beer with Gahan Brewmaster Trent Hayes, and see their beer on tap at the Gahan House. This year’s style is “Summer Seasonal Fruit Beer”, which leaves the door wide open for a lot of creativity… perhaps a Lime Wheat Beer, or Orange Cream Ale, or Strawberry IPA? The competition is for PEI-based Homebrewers only, and doesn’t cost a dime, so register today!

• From one Island to Another, the Newfoundland Artisanal and Craft Beer Club (aka Beerthief) will be hosting a Dieu du Ciel! tasting Thursday, February 26th, at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Folks will get to enjoy a QV beer of their choosing t begin, and then 100 ml each of Blanche du Paradis, Route des épices, Aphrodisiaque, Disco Soleil, and Moralité. Snacks will also be provided. Mike Buhler, the Beerthief and Certified Cicerone, will lead the tasting of the five beer. The event starts at 7:30pm, and tickets must be reserved by emailing Mike.

• Speaking of Newfoundland, Garrison Brewing has sent over another shipment of beer on the Beer Dory, scheduled to be on the shelves this weekend. It includes the Chocolate Imperial Stout, brewed specifically for the Beerthief crew. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to a fund for the family of Sarah Turpin, a member of the Beerthief group, who passed away in the fall.

• If you’re taking in the second (and last) weekend of Fredericton’s Winterfesthiver tomorrow, be sure to check out the Craft Beer Bar at the Rocks the Night concert in the evening. Several NB breweries will be pouring: Grimross (Cheval D’Or and Pugnacious Porter), Big Axe (Big Axe Blonde and Chocolate Orange Stout), Picaroons (Blonde Ale and Irish Red), Red Rover (Fire Cider), and Sunset Heights Meadery (Cozy and Shipwreck). Featuring live music from Angry Candy, it’s a great combination of local beer and entertainment!

• Rudder’s Brewpub has just released Blonde Rock, a Blonde Ale brewed with a malt bill consisting of Canadian 2 Row barley, Wheat, and Munich Malt. They used Cascade hops, which shine through in the aroma. Head on down to the brewpub soon to test it out!

Have a fantastic Valentine’s Day weekend! Look out for the return of Tatamagouche’s Dreadnot India Black Ale, available in growlers at the brewery and RockHead in Halifax, and bottles as well. Boxing Rock has also re-released their Cascadian Dark Ale, The Darkness, also in growlers and bottles. And good news for fans of Schoolhouse Brewery – they’re looking to expand their production, and are soon expecting the delivery of a four hectolitre fermentor, which will allow them to brew and ferment double batches.

Happy Friday! Snow continues to fall, temperatures continue to drop… but luckily, the beer news in our region continues to flow in!

• Last weekend, Boxing Rock brewed up a new beer with a special guest – Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks, former head brewer at Picaroons. The Next Chapter is a Rye IPA brewed with New Brunswick-grown malt, and hopped with Columbus, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it will feature “rich spicy notes” from the rye malt, and a “great dank bitterness with a fruity middle, and dry, citrusy, piney finish” according to Boxing Rock head brewer Henry Pedro. This collaboration is going to be a special Boxing Rock release, as it’s not only their first IPA, but also their first beer intended for release only in New Brunswick! Lucky attendees of this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival will be able to sample the beer, which will then have an exclusive tap at the King Street Ale House. In addition, right now the plan is for 650 mL bottles of the beer to be available through ANBL; it’s not confirmed yet, but let’s keep our fingers crossed!

• Don’t worry, Nova Scotia, Boxing Rock has a new beer for you, too! A Bohemian Pilsener, Wild Axe is brewed with all Saaz hops (a spicy and floral European variety), fermented cool in true lager fashion, and then aged cold to give the clean, balanced, crisp flavors expected of the style. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, look for this one to be released on tap at the brewery and at better beer bars/restaurants in Nova Scotia today, and by next Wednesday in 650 mL bottles.

Propeller has just released their newest One-Hit Wonder, and they couldn’t have timed it any better! 6 More Weeks is an Indian Brown Ale (aka hoppy American Brown, or Brown IPA) that is brewed with dark malts (including Chocolate, Roast, and Black Prinz) to give “a dash of roast character that adds a delicate creaminess”, and is hopped with Warrior, Centennial, Cascade and Ahtanum. These hop varieties lend an earthy, piney, and spicy hop character to the flavor and aroma, as well as “plenty of bitterness that doesn’t linger”. At 5.5% ABV and 82 IBUs, this dark brown beer can be found at both Prop Shop locations for growler fills, and on tap around the city. No groundhogs were harmed in the making of this beer.

• Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Picaroons will be re-releasing their Afterglow Aphrodisiac Ale. This 5% ABV, full-bodied dark beer is brewed with chocolate, cayenne, ginseng root, and liquorice root. Look for it on tap at the Brewtique for growler fills next week, and at several restaurants throughout Frederiction. Next week also marks the return of their Beer & Chocolate Dinners, which feature several chocolate-infused courses, each paired with a different Picaroons beer. Taking place on February 10th (7:00 pm) at 540 Kitchen & Bar and February 11th (6:30 pm) at Tide and Boar Gastropub, tickets are on sale through both locations now ($50 + tax/gratuity).

• Living in Saint John? Do you like to run, drink local beer, and support a good cause? Well the Port City Beer Run is for you! Being held on Saturday, May 30th at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal, the run will feature your choice of a 3, 5, or 10 km distance (route TBD); afterwards, there will be live music, food from three local restaurants, and beer! There are currently four breweries attending (Big Tide, Grimross, Hammond River, and Moosehead), with an additional 1-2 likely to be announced soon. Each brewery will have two types of beer; you’ll be able to enjoy 1-2 oz samples (to a maximum of 16 oz), and then a full pint of your favourite. Early-bird tickets are $50 and on sale now until April 30th; after that, tickets are $60 each. The price includes the run, food, entertainment and beer, and all funds go to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). The registration page isn’t up quite yet, so keep an eye on their Facebook account; you can also message them your name and email address to reserve a spot.

• We may as well take this opportunity to remind you that tickets are now on sale for the 3rd Annual Fredericton Beer Run! Held this summer on Monday, August 3rd (New Brunswick Day), the 4, 6, or 12 km run features plenty of local beer, cider and mead to be consumed after your hard work – fourteen 4 oz samples of about 30 brands, to be exact! Breweries haven’t been announced yet, but expect a mostly-NB-based turnout. Tickets are on sale now, and are $60 each (a Coach’s ticket can be purchased for $50; you must accompany a runner to buy this ticket).

Rockbottom Brewpub will have three new beers hitting the taps in the next couple of weeks, starting with their Scottish Export, hitting the taps today. This beer is a Scottish malt-forward beer, with Oatmeal added to the recipe. The colour is Mahogany Red, with tan head and lacing. The beer is very malty, with caramel and toasted notes, reminiscent of stewed plums, and oatmeal raisin cookies. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 25 IBUs. They will be tapping a Double Chocolate Stout on February 11th, just in time for Valentine’s Day. A special day deserves a special beer, and this small batch delivers: Roast Barley and dark crystal malts are enhanced with Belgian dark chocolate and Peruvian Cacao nibs. The beer is served on a nitro tap, which will give the beer a very smooth and silky character This beer clocks in at 7.0% ABV and 50 IBUs. And the following Wednesday, February 18th, will see the return of the Wreckoning Russian Imperial Stout. It was awarded the Gold for Imperial Stout at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards last fall, and we have heard that this is the last batch to be brewed, ever. This beer has incredible complexity, owing to the massive malt bill (the beer is 10.5% ABV and 100 IBUs), with notes of roast, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cherries, caramel, and more. Don’t miss out on these beers, grab a pint at the ‘Bottom.

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. is holding an information session at The Wooden Monkey – Alderney Landing, February 11, 7-9 PM. They are in the middle of raising funds through the Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIF) program to open a Malt House in the Annapolis Valley, and will be sharing the malting outlook and market in our region. They have invited local brewers to talk about using local malt and the benefits of a local malt house. Snacks and samples will be served.

• Speaking of malting, later in the month, on February 21st, the CCNB in Edmundston is hosting a day-long seminar, Regional Malts for a Regional Beer. Aimed at brewers, homebrewers, farmers and potential maltsters, the goal of the event is to open dialogue around producing, processing, and brewing with regional malts. From organizer Mike Doucette, “We will give the floor to Jean-Michel Degraux of MaltBroue, who will talk about the possibility of malt house franchises across Eastern Canada. We’ll also talk about the Biorefinery Technology Scale-up Center at CCNB, and the services we offer. I will give a short presentation on Barley field trials in eastern Canada. In the afternoon, Jean-Michel Degraux will give a presentation pertaining to malt varieties and brewing. There will then be a panel discussion around using local malts for brewing local beers. We hope to answer some questions and to extinguish some of the major concerns around using local malts for brewing.” Tickets are available online now, and should prove to be an informative day to those in the beer business.

• There are a couple of events happening in Halifax on February 14th to tie in with your love of beer, no date required! The Le Trou du Diable Tap Takeover Event at Bar Stillwell is almost sold out, however there are a handful of tickets left for the noon-3pm session. More than a twelve draft and bottled beers will make their Atlantic Canadian debut. Plus, visit and chat with the brewers, and grab some TdD schwag/swag. Email them to secure your spot. After that, head on by the Stubborn Goat, to take part in their Speed Dating event. The event kicks off at 6pm, and there will be prizes (plus lots of great local beer)! Check out the details here, and be sure to register with Evan before the 13th.

• The Ladies Beer League crew have another great event coming soon, a Charity Curling-Board Game-Dance Party… with Local Beer! On February 21st at 8pm, the LBL will be taking over the Mayflower Curling Club, and hosting curling lessons and giant games from the Board Room Game Cafe. And then a dance party, supported by CKDU. There will be local beer flowing, and the Food Wolf will be serving up their creations. Entry to the event is free, and all proceeds from the activities go to Stepping Stone.

Big Axe has been brewing some new beers again, after their brief hiatus due to a much-needed vacation in December. First up is their Big Axe Blonde, a light-bodied, golden-colored ale. An easy-drinking style that is perfect for introducing craft beer to those who haven’t made the leap yet, this beer was “modestly hopped” with Cascade and Saaz, and showcases a smooth malt character; it comes in at 5.1% ABV. Next up is a Chocolate Orange Stout; this is their Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (6.5% ABV), but with orange added to the boil. Both beers should be making their debut at 540 Kitchen & Bar this weekend, during Fredericton’s Winterfesthiver 2015. Big Axe has also tweaked their Double Bit IPA; according to brewer Peter Cole, the hop profile has been changed to give a “clean, crisp finish” to the beer.

• Homebrewer Jason McDougall visited Garrison Brewing yesterday, to brew up his 2014 Home Brew-Off-winning Hefeweizen on their system. No word on the exact recipe details quite yet, but we do know that it will be released at this year’s Brew-Off Gala, being held March 5th at the brewery. And a reminder to homebrewers, you must drop off your Robust Porter entries for this year’s competition by Thursday, February 12th.

• The Certified Cicerone® Exam is coming to Halifax, July 14th, at Bar Stillwell. While it might be five months away, it is never too early to get studying! We interviewed Mirella Amato (the first non-US resident to achieve Master Cicerone® status, and the person who will be administering the exam) and Mike Buhler (the first Certified Cicerone® in the Atlantic Provinces) previously about the program; their responses may help you decide whether the program is worth pursuing. For those interested, be sure to take the Certified Beer Server online exam, and then sign up for the exam. There is also a Facebook study group for Canadian Examinees.

Have a great weekend, and stay warm! TrailWay Brewing has added a new account in Fredericton, as their Whitney Coffee Stout (Kenyan) is now available on tap at the James Joyce Irish PubPetit-Sault‘s new Cappuccino Stout, Canon Franchetti, will be hitting all four ANBL growler stations next week, so make sure to drop the one closest to you and give it a try, if you haven’t already! And as a final note, if you’re looking to purchase some Hammond River swag, they now have an online store up and running; toques and glassware are currently available, with more merchandise being added soon!

Good morning! What better way to celebrate the end of January, and the beginning of Superbowl weekend, than by reading about beer?

• In addition to the snowstorm blowing outside Tuesday morning, there was a storm erupting on Twitter, with the announcement of a new brewery coming this Spring to Sydney, Cape Breton. Breton Brewing is the collaboration between two homebrewers Bryan MacDonald and Andrew Morrow. We will have more details on their endeavour soon, but we do know that they will be using a 15 barrel (18 hectolitre) steam-fired system, and the 5000 square foot brewery and tasting room will be located on Keltic Drive. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for now, and we’ll update you when their Facebook and website are published.

• There’s a new beer on tap from Pump House at their brewpub in Moncton – Easy Amber 4.3 Session Ale. The name pretty much says it all, as this is a sessionable Amber Ale coming in at 4.3% ABV. While an easy-drinking beer, the brewery describes it as having a “full malt taste” thanks to the addition of kilned Amber and Munich malts, giving both toffee and caramel flavors. It’s also lightly hopped with Tettnang and Saaz, giving only a touch of bitterness at 12 IBUs. It’s also currently pouring at the Dieppe ANBL this week for growler fills, and will be available on tap at select bars/restaurants across the Maritimes in the near future.

Red Rover released a new cider yesterday, just in time for Fredericton’s winter celebration, Frostival (Jan 23rd – Feb 15th). Fire Cider is a 7% ABV semi-dry cider brewed with fresh ginger, and is now available for flagon fills at the Ciderhouse. While it can be served cold (like Red Rover’s other brands), they encourage you to drink it warm, to bring a little heat into your life during these cold winter months! Just pop it in the microwave (40 seconds per 300 mL/10 oz), and you’re good to go! Look for it at the Boyce Farmers Market this Saturday, and on tap for a limited time at the King Street Ale House soon.

• We have a few more details on the Cappuccino Stout from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault that we mentioned a couple of weeks ago. They just brewed it last Saturday, and are hoping to have it released by the second week of February! Canon Franchetti is named after pastor/architect Nicolo Franchetti from Edmundston’s St. John the Baptist Church, which was destroyed in a fire last September. The beer was brewed with coffee from three downtown Edmundston cafes, including Cafe Lotus Bleu, Sucré Salé and Boutique Au Bout Du Monde. Look for it on tap soon, and if you’re not in Edmundston, make sure to request it for growler fills at your nearest ANBL growler-filling station!

• It’s sold-out already (within one day!), but we thought we should fill you in on the latest one-off beer from Railcar Brewing, Vanilla Brown Sugar Stout. Brewed with four malts and three hop varieties, this massive dark beer (9.9% ABV) had 6 lbs of brown sugar added at the end of the boil and real vanilla beans in secondary, making this a sweet, strong monster of a beer! But don’t feel bad if you missed out – owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has assured us that he will be brewing it again!

• While on the topic of Railcar, they just announced details on their 1st Annual Railcar Brewing Home Brew-Off. Open to all homebrewers in the Maritimes, the competition style is Scottish Export (14C) from the new 2014 BJCP Style Guidelines. Entries must be all-grain (no kits, extracts or sugars are permitted), and will be evaluated in a blind tasting by a panel of non-BJCP judges. The winner will get the opportunity to brew their beer with Mitch as a full-sized batch on the Railcar system, for commercial release as a Railcar seasonal! Registration is $15; each participant will receive a special 2015 Railcar Brew-Off glass. Entries are due by Thursday, March 26th (six 341 to 500 mL bottles are required); the top four will be selected for final judging. Awards and prizes will be handed out the following Thursday, April 2nd. For more information on rules and prizes, check out the link above. Fire up those kettles, homebrewers!

• In other homebrew competition news, Brasseurs du Moncton Homebrewers are holding one of their own… sort of. The St. Patrick’s Day Beer Challenge is more of an excuse to get Moncton-area homebrewers together to evaluate each other’s beers, specifically in the style of either Dry Stout or Irish Red Ale. There’s no entry fee or official prizes yet (other than bragging rights), and it’s a great opportunity to meet other homebrewers and taste their beers. Keep an eye on the link above for final details on the date and location, but expect the event to occur around March 15th, shortly before St. Patrick’s Day. Six weeks is plenty of time to put together a solid brew, so get to it!

Granite Brewery has released a small batch of Winter Warmer, and it is available now. Malt-forward and “very English”, this strong beer weighs in at 5.8% ABV. We expect that folks who enjoy Peculiar and Old Cardinal will enjoy this beer. It is available in growlers at the brewery, and will make it to finer beer establishments in Halifax soon. And a reminder that time really flies: Granite is celebrating their THIRTIETH Anniversary this year! To celebrate, Brewmaster Kevin Keefe will be bringing back some of their classic, and perhaps forgotten, beers for us local drinkers. Congratulations to the entire Granite family!

• From Nova Scotia’s oldest craft brewery, to one of its youngest, North Brewing is celebrating their second anniversary this weekend. And we get the presents! They are offering their 1.89 litre growler fills for $10, Friday through Sunday. This weekend also marks the release of their Coffee-Infused Belgian Milk Stout cask at Smiling Goat at Bishops Landing. They used Cold-brewed Kenyan Karindundu beans from Java Blend Coffee Roasters. Drop by from 4-6pm to try it out, for only $1/4oz sample. When you drop by the brewery, you may notice a new face, as their retail/bottle-filler/spirit animal Grant is moving on to another local business.

Uncle Leo’s has released a new seasonal, Winterschlaf, a German Hybrid Beer. This Kolsch-style beer was brewed in collaboration with Matt Vohs, who also assisted with the Weizen last year. Brewed with pilsner malt and a small amount of Munich malt, bittered with German Tettnanger hops, and weighing in at 5.5% ABV. They fermented the beer with an ale yeast, but cold, to keep the yeast character minimal (reduced ester profile). When trying the beer for the first time, Vohs smiled and said it tasted just like the beer he drank while living in Cologne. Well done! Look for growlers at the brewery, bottles at the private stores at the end of next week, and at better beer bars in the province, including Piper’s Landing in Lyons Brook and Apple Seed Diner in New Glasgow.

• RockHead Wine & Beer Market opened yesterday at 2651 Windsor Street, in/adjacent to the Sobeys grocery store. They launched with three beers on their growler station: RockHead Pale Ale (brewed for them by Garrison Brewing), Tatamagouche Brewing’s Butcher Block Red, and Sea Level High Street Scotch Ale. They will be adding a beer from Uncle Leo’s shortly. Their hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-10pm & Sundays 10am-8pm. Their new Twitter, Facebook, and website are up now, to keep an eye on their specials and new arrivals.

• Speaking of Garrison Brewing, they have brought back their Unfiltered Wheat. This hazy American Wheat is 4.6%, and very easy drinking. Don’t forget that their Barrel-aged Spruce Beer is being released tomorrow, along with lots of other Barrel and Cellar-aged beers, at their Cellar Saturday event. Doors open at 10am, and we’ve seen the list, and there are several beers that folks will definitely want to pick up (2009-2013 Ol’ Fog Burner and their Barrel-aged counterparts, 2009 Grand Baltic Porter, aged Winter Warmer, and much more). There may be a ticket or two left for tonight’s Ol’ Fog Burner Vertical tasting (which also allows early access to the Cellar!), contact Justin for more details.

PEI Brewing Co. is bringing back their Spud cask for the second year in a row, to coincide with today’s 2015 Spud Event being held at the brewery. This year’s Spud is their Beach Chair Lager that has been dry-hopped with Citra and Comet, two very citrusy and flavorful hop varieties; it comes in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, and 20 IBUs. The event will also feature live music, food, and trivia; tickets are $10, and the doors open at 7pm.

Muwin Estate Wines, producers of Bulwark Cider, have installed two new 200 hectolitre tanks, with plans to add two more. The extra capacity will allow them to expand their production across more Canadian provinces, as well as into the US and UK markets. Over the past year, they have already doubled both production and staff at their location. In addition to expanding their territory, the extra capacity will allow them to expand their cider line further, and we can share that their next new product will be a hopped cider. We’ll have more details on it closer to the release.

• Good news, Fredericton beer drinkers! The James Joyce Irish Pub (located in the Crowne Plaza downtown) is greatly increasing their craft beer offerings! They’ve added new tap lines to their current selection (for a total of 18) and are in the ongoing process of filling them with new beers, most of which are from local breweries. This week includes the addition of Petit-Sault Tante Blanche and Big Axe Wrath of Putin; keep your eye on the Food at the Crowne Facebook page for updates on their taps!

• There have been some major changes at Rogues Roost this week. Brewmaster Lorne Romano, who has been with the brewpub since its opening in 1999, is no longer with the company. Going forward, Karen Allen will be taking over the brewing responsibilities at the Roost. Allen is the brewmaster at Gahan Halifax Harbourfront (and will remain in that position), and has brewed on Rogues’ system previously, so she will fit right in to the cramped space and high pressure situation of brewing at this busy brewpub. Rogues’ core products will remain untouched, but Allen will bring her own twist to seasonals and one-offs. Keep an eye out for PEI Brewing/Gahan beer at Rogues, as they plan to expand their number of taps, and begin to pour beer from other Murphy Group brands.

• This big change has not slowed down the new beer releases, as there will be a new English IPA out next week at Rogues Roost, and an English Bitter at Gahan House. And next Tuesday’s cask (remember it is Industry Night every Tuesday, where members of the beer business enjoy staff-priced pints) is the Bitter with fresh lemon zest, and lightly dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace.

Enjoy your weekend! For those in the Antigonish area, look for Big Spruce Brewing at tomorrow’s Antigonish Winter Market, at the Antigonish Mall 10am-2pm. Don’t forget that the King Street Ale House Superbowl party (no cover) is all-day Sunday, where a new one-off American IPA from TrailWay Brewing will be pouring.

Happy Friday everyone! Grab a mug of coffee, or pint of Coffee Porter, as we’ve got another dose of beer news for you today.

• After a very successful response to their first release of Session IPA, TrailWay Brewing has brewed up another batch that should be released sometime today, or later this weekend. This easy-drinking and low-ABV (~4.4%) beer is hopped a bit differently than the previous one, featuring both Centennial and Comet. They also plan on releasing an Oatmeal Stout this weekend or shortly thereafter; coming in at around 5% ABV, it features up to seven different grain varieties in the mash, including plenty of roasted barley and chocolate malts – giving the beer “intense” flavors – as well as a good portion of organic oats to bump up the body.

• Speaking of TrailWay, they also have a brand new beer that they will be releasing during next Sunday’s Superbowl party at the King Street Ale House. A currently-unnamed American IPA, it was brewed with lots of Comet, Amarillo, Centennial, and Cascade hops, with Comet and Cascade also being used in the dry-hop, to give the beer lots of fruity and citrusy hop aromas. There’s no charge to check out the Superbowl at the KSAH and try this new IPA; just drop in for a pint! They’ll also have happy hour on regional beers, and food specials. And for those of you lucky enough to have tickets for the sold-out New Brunswick Beer Tour next Saturday, you’ll probably be getting a sneak preview of TrailWay’s new IPA at the conclusion of the tour at KSAH!

Railcar Brewing has re-released their SMaSH IPA, and while brewed with the same malt (2-row) and hop variety (Cascade) as before, a different yeast strain was used for fermentation, resulting in a hoppier-tasting beer, according to owner/brewer Mitch Biggar. This very pale ale comes in at 5% ABV and 85 IBUs, and won’t last long, so get to the brewery ASAP! Also, Mitch just brewed an “Orange Rye IPA”, featuring six different malts, Cascade and Goldings hops, and real orange peel in the boil. Weighing in at ~7.7% ABV and 66 IBUs, look for this one to appear for growler fills at the brewery, soon.

Hammond River has announced the results of last Sunday’s judging of their 1st Annual Homebrew Competition: Mike Hebert and Jason Dobbelsteyn brewed the winning entry, and will get to brew a full-size batch of their Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer on the HR system with owner/brewer Shane Steeves today, to be released in the near future. Second and third place were awarded to Marc Melanson and Liam Walsh, respectively. Congratulations to the winners, and we’ll have more info on the winning beer soon! Steeves had this to say about the event, “I was pretty happy with the turnout and had a lot of fun organizing it. I’ll definitely open it to all of the Maritimes next year.” Good news to the rest of the region’s homebrewers. We’ll be releasing details on this when we have them.

• And while we’re on the topic on Hammond River, this is as good a time as any to mention that they’ve confirmed that they will be expanding some time in the future, likely to a 15 bbl (~17 hL) brewery (that’s 15-times larger than their current setup). While the expansion is still in the planning stages, we’re looking forward to having Hammond River beers more readily-available to the masses!

• As mentioned last week, Antigonish Townhouse will once again be featuring Double Pumped Fridays today. Today’s bonus beer, joining Terry’s Bitter on the hand pumps, is Terry’s English IPA. A traditional English IPA, with a focus on balanced bitterness and traditional English hop (earthy and floral, rather than citrus or resinous) and malt (caramel and biscuit) aroma and flavours. This light copper-coloured beer weighs in at 4.9% ABV, and 47 calculated IBUs from some Cascade early in the boil for bitterness, and more traditional English hops Fuggles and East Kent Golding used for flavour and aroma. Complementing the traditional recipe is the cask-conditioned character of the IPA (and Bitter), and the Townhouse’s hand pump helps to deliver the a perfect pint. The beer will be tapped at 4pm, and won’t last long!

• And while you visit the Townhouse, perhaps you can sign up for their Camino de Santiago-inspired communal dinner, being held January 27th. Traditional Spanish fare from regions along the Camino and Spanish wine will be served, as well as photos and lively conversation about the walk from several previous trekkers. Tickets are $35, and can be reserved by email or phone (02-863-2248).

Garrison Brewing has announced that they will be releasing a Rum Barrel-aged version of their Spruce Beer next weekend. Their 2013 release aged for 12 months in Ironworks Distillery Rum Barrels, was bottled earlier this month, and will be released Saturday, January 31st. They are holding a special day to commemorate it, Cellar Saturday. Details are a little thin, but we do know that they will be opening up the cellar to allow purchase of some of their bigger beers, worthy of cellaring and storing for months or years. The night before, they are hosting a vertical tasting of Ol’ Fog Burner Barley Wine, where folks can try a few ounces of each of the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015 releases, plus the 2011 Barrel-Aged release. Attendees will also be able to enjoy snacks, and have first dibs on the beers available in the cellar. There are just over a dozen tickets left, so contact Justin at the brewery (902-453-5343 x225) today to secure your spot.

Boxing Rock has announced that they will be celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8th) by teaming up with the Ladies Beer League to brew up something special, with a portion of the proceeds going to two local charities. The base style has not yet been decided, and the brewsters are looking for your input! Vote here for your favourite style. Also a quick note that the LBL has made their memberships available online, in case you haven’t had a chance to attend one of their events. And look for a return of Boxing Rock’s The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale in a few weeks, as they were brewing up another batch of this popular seasonal this week.

• In order to keep up with demand, North Brewing has installed more hardware at their Agricola Street location. They received a 13 hectolitre brite tank this week, and will be taking delivery of a 23 hectolitre fermentor in March. And keep an eye on their Twitter feed for a special one-off cask of cold-brewed coffee-infused Milk Stout to be served at Smiling Goat Coffeehouse & Cafe at Bishop’s Landing later this month.

• There are only a handful of tickets available for the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, March 7th at the Fredericton Convention Centre. Breweries from all over the Maritimes and Quebec and Ontario will be attending and pouring their wares. The festival has also secured discounted rooms at the Crowne Plaza immediately across the street, which will make for a very short trip to the next pub.

• And speaking of beer festivals, tickets for the Full House Craft Beer Fest being held May 16 as part of the NS Craft Beer Week are still available, but the second session (4-7pm) is almost sold out. At $25 for 12 samples (additional samples are just $1), this will be a great opportunity to try almost all of the breweries and brewpubs in Nova Scotia in one place at one time. We expect to have more info on the Week very shortly, and will share the details with you.

rustik magazine wrote a feature on local breweries using local and innovative ingredients in their beers. Check out the article, featuring Tatamagouche Brewing, Bad Apple Brewhouse, and Professor Gordon McOuat of University of King’s College, who teaches a course entitled Brewing Science.
Premier Wines & Spirits is moving! At the end of the month, they will be moving to a new location in the North End of Halifax, at the Sobeys at 2651 Windsor Street (at the corner of North Street). To lighten the amount of inventory they will be moving, they are having a sale on many of their beers, wines, and spirits. We contacted manager Anthony Wight for some details on the sale and move, and he was able to give us the inside scoop: local (Pump House Red six-packs) as well as Canadian (Trou du Diable Grivoise de Noel), American (Anderson Valley Brother David’s Double and Triple) and European (Buxton Special Pale Ale) beers are on sale for 10-20% off. And a bonus for anyone taking part in the moving sale, they will receive a coupon for 15% off at their new location. A new location also means a new name, Rockhead Wine & Beer Market. Premier will be closing Wednesday, January 28th, and RockHead will be open Thursday the 29th. In addition to a more convenient parking setup (ie, they have some!), the new location will be offering growler fills. Their growler station will have four beer on tap at a time, with a focus on Nova Scotia beer. They will be offering their own branded growler, but will also fill other breweries’ 1.89 litre growlers, provided they are clean!
Be sure to track down some tasty and local beers this weekend! Petit-Sault has just released their Amber Ale, Louis XVII, in bottles in NBLC stores across the province. Grimross has been ramping up production to attempt to keep up with the high demand for their beers at their new brewery, and has a couple of old favorites – Pugnatious Porter and Rye IPA – now on tap for pours and growler fills. Picaroons hinted earlier this week that they’ve brewed another test batch of beer on their Brewtique system; they’re keeping details under wraps for now, but their SS Cocoa Beware is available at all four ANBL growler-fill locations this week; as always, check the ANBL list to see what is pouring near you. Tatamagouche Brewing Co’s collaboration with Stubborn Goat GastropubHorns Over Hooves Double IPA, has been spotted in the wild; catch it at the Goat, Bar Stillwell and Lion & Bright.