Happy Friday everyone! We’ve got news on new brewery openings and plans, as well as a few new beers and events in our region.

TrailWay Brewing‘s new brewery and taproom location officially opens to the public tomorrow, with the opening party beginning at noon! Located at 280 Main St. (on Fredericton’s North Side), the brewery houses their new 10 bbl (~12 hL) DME system, including four fermentors, as well as a taproom where the public can enjoy a pint, flight, and have their growlers filled. They will happily fill any clean 1.89 L growler (and will of course be selling their own), with smaller sizes likely being available in the near future. Four beers will be pouring, including their Primetime Pale Ale, Session IPA, D’Under, and Raspberry Wheat. Milda’s Pizza and More will be there from 4:30-8:00 pm, serving up some specially-concocted pizzas to go with your beer. The taproom will remain open tomorrow until 10 pm; tentative hours for the coming weeks will be Wed and Thurs 11 am-9 pm, Fri and Sat 11 am-11 pm, and Sun 12 pm-5 pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Look for their outdoor patio, which should provide seating for an additional 50-70 patrons, to open within a couple of weeks. Congrats to the TrailWay crew!

• A new brewery is in development in the town of Montague, PEI. Local businessman Dave McGuire is aiming to open Beer Island Brewery in the downtown area in Spring 2017. The 15 bbl (18hL) brewhouse will feature a retail space and taproom, where patrons will be able to enjoy the beer while savouring locally-harvested food. Currently on the lookout for a brewer, the brewery plan includes a canning line, for packaging their beer for local and out-of-province distribution. “I’m a resident and I look forward to establishing a new business in town and supporting the development and growth of Montague,’’ says McGuire.

• From one new Island brewery to another, the Newfoundland Provincial government announced a major investment in Western Newfoundland Brewing Company, to be opened later this summer in Pasadena, NL. The brewery has been in development for more than two years, and plans on local distribution in the Corner Brook and Gros Morne region. Jennifer Galliott, Director of Marketing and Sales, says, “People can look forward later this summer to seeing Killdevil Pale Ale and Wild Cove Cream Ale on tap at Galliott Studios in Woody Point, The Cat Stop in Norris Point, and other select venues throughout the Gros Morne region. We hope this venture bolsters opportunity throughout Western Newfoundland to foster growth in our beloved region.” We will share more details of the brewery and availability once we have them. Congratulations to both new breweries coming to small towns on the Island provinces soon!

BarNone released not one, but two new beers at their weekly growler night at the brewery last night. First up is Outback Blonde, a light, sessionable ale (at 4.7% ABV) that features a simple 2-row malt base, and is hopped with Citra and Australian Galaxy, for a delicious tropical hop character. Next is Amber, an American Amber Ale that is also easy-drinking (5% ABV), with a lower bitterness than their flagship Pale Ale. Hopped with Centennial, you can also expect some fruity aromas and flavours as a result. Look for both beers to pop up at various BarNone tap accounts in the near future, and drop by the brewery in Rose Valley next Thursday for Growler Night, which may feature some local musicians taking the stage.

Pump House is releasing their first Radler, a style that involves mixing flavoured soda with a strong beer. Originally created about a century ago in Germany, the resulting beverage is usually fruity, refreshing, and easy-drinking. Pump House’s take, Crafty Radler, includes a mix of in-house-made grapefruit and tangerine soda, providing an aroma of “ripe, freshly-sliced grapefruit with sweet notes of ripened tangerines”. Lightly hopped with Willamette to only 5 IBUs, it weighs in at 4.7% ABV. Look for it to be launched at this weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival (more details below), and should follow at tap accounts and in cans by sometime next week.

• Drop by Good Robot today to celebrate Crop Top Tolerance (#CroToTo)… After some complaints and negative comments were made about one of their servers who favours wearing a crop-top, Robie and the Robots have deemed today Crop Top Tolerance day. All patrons are invited to share their support by wearing their own Crop Top (or not), and celebrating the lovely weather we’ve been enjoying. And beginning this Monday, they are hosting weekly “Goodwill Bot” events, by inviting local non-profit organizations to set up shop and inform their patrons of their group. From 5-8pm May 30th, Hope Cottage will be dropping by to spread the word of their community meal services in Halifax. Plus, $1 of each pint sale will go to the Charity Case, which will be split among the participating nonprofit groups.

Here’s the info you need on upcoming beer events…

• This weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 27th and 28th, the 11th Annual Atlantic Beer Festival takes place at the Moncton Coliseum. Featuring three tasting sessions – Friday, 7:30-10 pm, Saturday, 2:30-5 pm and 7:30-10 pm – there will be 70 breweries pouring over 150 different beers, including many not otherwise available in the region. This year’s fest will include a West Coast Pavilion featuring brewers from the Western provinces; also, all attendees will get the chance to win tickets to the 2016 Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria, B.C. this coming September. There will be live music in the form of The Royaltones and Superlove. There are still tickets available to all three sessions, here; the evening sessions are $54.50 per ticket, with the afternoon session going for $44.50 each.

• A reminder that the very first Florenceville-Bristol Beer Run is being held tomorrow, May 28th, and is brought to you by those who organize the annual Fredericton Beer Run. Due to the location, the featured brewery will be, of course, Florenceville-Bristol’s own Railcar Brewing. The 6 km run begins at 10 am sharp, with registration occurring from 8 – 9:45 am. After the run, drop by Railcar’s tasting room for beers from Railcar and several other NB breweries, in a custom-designed beer glass to keep.

• Be sure to drop by the Wolfville Farmers Market for Blossom Brew Night, also being held May 28th. Part of the Apple Blossom Festival, it will feature beers from Bad Apple BrewhousePaddy’s Irish Brewpub, and Schoolhouse Brewery, plus ciders from Bulwark, Noggins, Shipbuilders, and Stutz. Running 4-8pm, tickets are just $32, which include your first 4 drink tickets and a souvenir tasting glass. Local BJCP Certified Judge Andrew Newton will be leading a tasting tutorial at 4:45, and Alex MacLean of East Coast Lifestyle will be spinning tunes from 6-8pm. Tickets are available at the Acadia Box Office, and online here.

• The finale of the Rare Beer Series at Stillwell is this weekend. Featuring four beers in bottles and draught from Portland, OR’s Upright Brewing, the lineup will be filled out with some great beers from Great Lakes, Indie Ale House, and Le Trou du Diable, whose brewer Stephane Thibodeau will be onsite Sunday to chat. From noon Saturday and 4pm Sunday, May 28 & 29.

• The Saint John Ladies Beer Club has officially been formed, and you’re invited to their next meeting (provided you’re female, of course)! Held at the Big Tide brewpub next Thursday, June 2nd at 7 pm, there will be an information session with brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos on the Big Tide beer lineup, followed by the opportunity to enjoy some of these beers with fellow beer lovers. There’s no charge to attend, just pay by the pint or flight as you go. Be sure to show up a bit early to secure your spot!

Red Rover is celebrating the recent opening of their new CiderHouse location with an official launch party on Friday, June 3rd, from 7 pm-11 pm. They’ll have cider on tap, of course, as well as live music. Stay tuned to their social media for more details as the date gets closer.

• Early-bird tickets are now on sale for Local Connections Halifax’s Cask Beer Showdown, being held at the Olympic Community Centre September 24th. Featuring both an afternoon and evening session, each 3 hour event will feature cask-conditioned beers from local breweries, along with entertainment and food to pair. Tickets include a souvenir glass and your first 12 samples, with more available for purchase.

That’s it for this week! A few parting notes…

– One of Petit-Sault‘s first flagship beers, Tante Blanche, will be returning next week. This 4.7% ABV Belgian Witbier became a summer seasonal last year, so it’s returning just in time! Look for it at the brewery for growler fills, on tap at better beer establishments across NB, and in bottles at ANBL stores next Wednesday.
Big Axe’s Chanterelle Cream Ale is back on tap at the brewery, and their tap accounts, now that the harvest of these mushrooms is on again.
– Saint John community and college radio station Local 107.3FM is hosting a beer-naming competition. Local beer writer Craig Pinhey has designed an English Session Ale, 4.5% ABV, that Picaroons will brew and release at their Saint John General Store on June 30th. Until June 15th, the public can submit their ideas for the beer name to brian@cfmh.ca with the subject line: “Picaroons Traditional Ales – Radio Beer.” The winner will receive a growler of the beer.
– Best of luck to the Atlantic Canadian breweries who submitted and/or are in attendance at this weekend’s Canadian Brewing Awards in Vancouver! We’ll be sure to share the details on the winning beers after Saturday’s Award Presentation.

Howdy, beer fans! Hope everyone has had a good week, and that you’re ready for your long weekend! Here’s what’s currently happening in beer news in Atlantic Canada this week…

• Good news, residents of Digby County, NS! Lazy Bear Brewing is set to launch this weekend, with growler sales commencing this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market, on St. George St, open from 8am – 1pm. Their Gut View Amber Ale, an “English-style beer rich with malt overtones and subtle aromas from Canadian-grown English hops” will be available, along with brewery-logoed t-shirts and glasses. The Amber clocks in at 4.9% ABV and 32 IBUs, and should be followed next weekend by their India Pale Ale. Look for the Lazy Bear retail space to open at the brewery in June, in Smith’s Cove.

• Attention all rhubarb growers! Garrison is kicking off their new “U-Pick Series” with an as-yet undetermined rhubarb beer, and they need plenty of the tart stalks from this herbaceous perennial (don’t worry, this won’t be part of next year’s ACBB Trivia!) from the beer-drinking public. For every pound of clean, fresh local rhubarb that you bring to the brewery, you will receive in-store credit! We’ll be sure to provide more info on the beer as it’s determined; in the meantime, get foraging! And keep an eye out for their Brewhouse Cider, which will be back on tap at the brewery this weekend. Made in collaboration with Bulwark, it features a blend of NS apples, and clocks in at 5.8% ABV.

• We have some details on Mango Lassi Pale Ale, the latest cask pouring at the PEI Brewing Co. taproom this week. This single-release is their already-delicious Vic Park Pale Ale, along with the addition of mangos and cardamom during fermentation; the beer is then further dry-hopped with Citra and Sorachi Ace. It weighs in at 5% ABV; if you’d like to try it, get down there fast, as these cask releases usually don’t last very long!

Good Robot has a pair of new beers pouring at their taproom currently. Beta versions 1 and 2 of an American Wheat were brewed on their pilot system; the two beers feature altered malt and hopping schedules, while they do both feature Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria. Best to try both to find your favourite! The scaled up Alpha version of the American Wheat, Wackity Shmackity Doo, features the best qualities of both, with an addition of Honey malt for a slight sweetness, but crisp finish with the addition of Magnum for bittering, plus a 7-day dry-hopping with Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria. The beer comes in at 5.8% ABV and 25 IBUs. WSD will be released Tuesday, May 24th, as part of their Just Vorlaufs! live outdoor comedy show on their Gastroturf/Green Room.

Upstreet has released a brand new beer this week, launching their “One Way Series”, on tap at the brewery for pints only due to the extremely small volume. The first release is Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, a 6% ABV Smoked Porter brewed with smoked malt in the grist, to give the beer just enough of a smoky aroma and flavour to make you feel “like you’re already sitting around a backyard bonfire eating BBQ’ed burgers”. Hopped with Chinook from New Brunswick to add some balance, be sure to drop by the brewery taproom for a pint ASAP!

• A new beer was brewed at Hammond River late last week to honour the beloved Duck Tolling Retriever of owner/brewer Shane Steeves and his family, Vegas, who passed away earlier this month. HR’s 200th batch, The Vegas SMaSH IPA was brewed with Pale Ale malt and plenty of the wonderfully-fruity Amarillo hop. Steeves expects the beer to come in at 6.5% ABV and approximately 60 IBUs; we’ll keep you updated as to its release. And expect to see the return of HR’s Blood Orange Hefeweizen, which was re-brewed the same day.

• Today marks the return of Unfiltered’s Daytimer Berliner Weisse. Featuring an assertive tart acidity from lactic acid formed naturally during a warm incubation period, the beer features no hops in the boil, but is generously dry-hopped with Mosaic. The resultant 3.4% ABV is quite refreshing and perfect for the warmer days we’re finally receiving. Grab it today in growlers at noon at the brewery, or in your glass at 4pm at Charm School next door. And for the next several months, Charm School’s doors will be open from noon on both Saturday and Sunday.

Big Tide brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos is in the planning stages for a new one-off collaboration beer, and your help is needed in designing and naming it! Brewed with David Veale and Greg Hemmings to celebrate the upcoming 100th episode of their Boiling Point Podcast, the beer style and details are open to suggestion. Simply fill out the online survey by June 1st (it’s short, so will only take a minute or two), and the winner will be announced at the brewpub on Thursday, June 23rd at 5:30 pm during the podcast celebrations. Good luck! For more info, check out this video.

• Shediac Bay’s Flying Boats has a pair of beers now back in their rotation, in time for the warmer months. Humpyard is a 5.8% ABV Steam Ale (also known as California Common), originally brewed by German immigrants in the San Francisco area, as a pale hybrid lager/ale (lager yeast but at an elevated temperature). FB’s version features the iconic Northern Brewer hops for a medium bitterness to offset the characteristic caramel malt flavour. Picnic Train is a Witbier, a Belgian wheat beer with the additions of coriander and bitter orange peel for an easy-drinking beer for the summer. Both are currently on tap at Moncton’s Tide and Boar, and will be available at FB’s other tap locations soon.

• Tomorrow and Sunday, drop by Stillwell for the latest edition of the Rare Beer Series, featuring the Belgian-Saison-inspired Saint Somewhere of Tarpon Springs, FL. Featuring twelve different beers, many of which are on tap, including Anne (Saison with elderflowers), Caitlin (Saison with oranges), Caroline (aged on coffee), and Beached Wood, a collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal. Drop by starting at noon Saturday, and 4 pm Sunday.

Stubborn Goat’s waterfront Beer Garden location will be opening tomorrow. Located at Summit Plaza, it features a shipping container housing a beer cooler, bar counter and service bay, and a separate trailer with a kitchen, allowing them to offer a wide variety of food choices. Both bar and sit-down table service will be available, and there will be plenty of beer available, focussing entirely on Nova Scotia breweries: 12 taps, with the emphasis on craft. As well, expect to see a small selection of NS bottled beer, and locally-made non-alcoholic products. As it is an outdoor space, it is weather dependent, so be sure to keep an eye on their Twitter feed for the latest information.

• Next Wednesday, May 25th, there will be a special launch party for this summer’s Fredericton Beer Run, held at the King Street Ale House patio. If you’ve purchased tickets for the August 1st run, or would like to show up to buy your tickets in person, there will be beer included! Several kegs of local breweries will be pouring at the party next Wednesday; hope to see you there!

Have a great long weekend! In closing, here’s a few snipits of some other beer releases out now or coming up soon…

– One of North Brewing‘s original releases, their 7.5% ABV Farmhouse Ale, is back on tap at the brewery for growler fills; look for it to appear at better beer establishments across HRM as well.
Grimross has a new beer on tap at their taproom, ESB, a 5.3% ABV English-style ale that they describe as “woodsy, caramel, peppery, hop finish”.
Picaroons‘ popular fruit beer seasonal, Melon Head, is set to return on Wednesday, June 1st. This 4.5% ABV summer ale will be available on tap and in bottles throughout the warmer months.

Happy Friday! We hope that those of you in Nova Scotia have been participating in the many excellent events this past week for Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, with more scheduled for the coming weekend (Brews Cruise tonight, Full House tomorrow, Cape Breton Kitchen Party Sunday)! Once we get our act in gear, we’ll post some pictures and thoughts on the week. In the meantime, it’s time to get caught up with beer news in our area, including the announcement of more breweries for New Brunswick…

• Attention, residents of Harvey, NB… there’s not just one, but two new breweries planning to open in your area in the near future! Longtime homebrewers Scott MacLean and Randy Rowe have been brewing weekly 1/2 BBL (~60 L) batches together for the past two years, and work is underway on both sides to open small-batch breweries at their homes in Harvey:

Randy Rowe and his wife, Denise, plan to open Off Grid Ales sometime this coming summer. Specializing in “full-bodied ales”, including a Honey-infused Double IPA, the 3 BBL (~360 L) brewery will be solar- and wind-powered, and housed in a barn located on the couples’ property. The brewhouse equipment from Stout Tanks and Kettles arrived last week, with work progressing on set-up for commercial production. The brewery now has an active Twitter account, and will be launching their official website soon.

Scott and Denise MacLean’s 1 BBL (~120 L) brewery, Think Brewing, will also be housed within a barn (over 100 years old) on his property. Scott recently purchased the brewhouse equipment from TrailWay (who have now moved to a 10 BBL system). Hoping to open sometime mid-summer, the brewery will initially focus on English and American style ales. Stay tuned to Think’s Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates; of course, we’ll also be providing more info on both breweries as they progress further!

• North Brewing and Stillwell have teamed up to release their latest collaboration beer, Gose. The Gose style is growing ever-more-popular… tart and refreshing, the North/Stillwell take was brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Wheat, and Acid malt, it was kettle-soured with Lactobacillus to provide a slight acidic character, with “wet hay and lemon aromas”.  Hand-harvested Black Whale Salt from PEI and toasted coriander were also added. Hopped with the new New Zealand variety, Wai-Iti (which reportedly provides “fresh peach and apricot character”), and Mandarina Bavaria, it’s easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBUs. Just released yesterday, it’s available for growler fills at North, and is on tap at Stillwell and other better beer establishments across the HRM.

• North is also releasing another new beer, Grisette. Historically brewed for the mining class in Belgium, it’s another low-ABV style (but not sour/tart), intended on being light and crisp, and able to be consumed in quantity. Similar to the Gose grist, and hopped again with Wai-Iti, as well as the Australian Summer variety, it weighs in at a supremely-sessionable 3.5% ABV and 15 IBUs. Dry and citrusy, with a light peppery finish, according to the brewery. Available today in growlers at both North locations (Agricola and Ochterloney), it will also be out in the wild very shortly.

• Continuing the new beer releases for #NSCBW, Boxing Rock has released 4 (four!) new beers this week, and we’ve got the scoop direct from the brewery:

Mutiny! (Subversive Amber Ale, 5% ABV). This amber ale is a collaboration with Garrison, Hell Bay, Propeller, and Schoolhouse and forms the base for the Grog raced to Gahan House for Race the Kegs on May 8. This is an English style Pale Ale, amber in colour with a bold malt backbone and moderate hoppiness… lots of spicy and citrus hop aroma and very smooth and drinkable.

Over the Top (Sour Mash Cranberry Wheat Ale, 4% ABV). This beer is a collaboration with Karen Allen from Gahan House and we believe it is the first sour mash beer to be brewed and packaged in NS. Refreshingly tart and awesomely sessionable, this beer began with a 48-hour sour mash, in which our lactobacillus friends thrived, partied and arm wrestled. A late hop addition imparts a fruity aroma to balance the sour malt base. Nova Scotia cranberries dry out the finish and add a subtle depth of flavour and give it an amazing colour.

Carbon-14 (Strong Dark Belgian Ale, 8.2% ABV). Runner-up in our Homebrew Competition, the Black Box Challenge, this beer is as rare as the C-14 isotope. A strong, dark, Belgian ale made in the classic style, this beer is altogether perfectly balanced with that unmistakable Belgian character. It will have a very short half-life, so get it while you can. Carbon-14 was brewed in collaboration with Professor Jason McDougall.

Where There’s Smoke (Smoked Pale Ale, 6.5% ABV). Winner of the Black Box Challenge, our first homebrew competition. This beer is made with copious quantities of beech smoked malt, hops and steeped on cinnamon. The result is a beer that is bold, unexpected, in your face, and totally crushable. Brewed in collaboration with Black Box Challenge winner, Brian Harvey.

Try many of these, and several more (including a few past favourite from the archives) at Lion & Bright tonight, when the Boxing Rock crew drop by for a Tap Takeover starting at 5pm. And be sure to try many (all?) of what’s available, as $1 from each pint sold will be going to Red Cross Canada, in support of people affected by the fires in Fort McMurray.

• Another NS launch is a new/old beer from Good RobotAwesome Beer, Great Job! is their own take on a Fall Saison, featuring darker malt CaraMunich 120 and Rye, spicing up the underlying Wheat and Pilsner malts. Lightly hopped with Mt Hood, it was fermented with Old World Blend from new yeast producer Escarpment Labs. The resulting beer is a hazy orange, with notes of plum, banana, and phenolic spice from both the rye and yeast character. Originally to be released in Fall 2015, due to difficulties with the beer, it was re-brewed, then re-re-brewed, and is now on tap! Check out their honest reporting of the ordeal. And keep an eye out for the launch of their American Wheat, Pryor Offences, this weekend, featuring lots of Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria hops. And a new version of Burban Legend APA, dry-hopped with Cascade and Citra.

• There’s a new beer hitting taps from Riverview’s Celtic Knot BrewingMonkeytown Mango Ale is a 4.5% ABV “light-drinking ale” that features the addition of real, frozen mangoes to the beer after primary fermentation was completed. Lightly-hopped with Cascade to add a bit more fruit character, kegs were delivered earlier this week to Plan B and Ducky’s. Look for Celtic Knot’s other accounts to be pouring this beer in the near future.

YellowBelly has a brand new seasonal on tap at the brewpub, Tilt Cove Golden Nugget Ale. This APA was brewed with a mix of Canadian and West Yorkshire Pale Ale malts, along with some Scottish Carastan. Hopped entirely with the Nugget variety (including two dry-hop additions), the resulting “earthy, herbal, leafy character” comes through nicely. Clocking in at 6% ABV and 50 IBUs, this slightly-hazy beer will also be pouring at NLC Beer Expo this weekend, with a limited supply of bottles following shortly at the brewpub. In other YB news, they’ve rebrewed their East Coast Cream Ale, which should be available in about three weeks, and plan on brewing a “Summer Wheat Ale” dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace in the near future. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

• Sad news in Saint John this week, as it has been announced that Bourbon Quarter Restaurant, a true friend to local craft beer, is closing. On the bright side, BQ owner Shawn Verner is teaming up with Mike McPartland to open the Cask and Kettle Irish Pub, which they assure us will continue the BQ tradition of supporting craft beer. Located in the same space on Prince William, construction is underway now, with an opening expected in the next 4-6 weeks.

• After a year of construction and many test batches, Horton Ridge Malt is now open for business in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Specializing in floor-malted organic malts, their first product deliveries were made earlier this week, and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce brewed up a batch of the Kitchen Party Pale Ale with the 2-Row pale malt. Look for more breweries to use the local malt very soon, including Tatamagouche Brewing. In addition to selling to breweries, Horton Ridge will also be available to home brewers looking for a local organic product. As locally-grown organic grain suitable for malting is not yet available in large enough quantity, HR has sourced the initial deliveries from outside of the province, but hopes to achieve a truly Nova Scotian-grown and -produced malt very soon. In addition to lighter barley-based malts, look for specialty and rye malts to be available in the future. For those commercial and amateur brewers attending tomorrow’s Full House beer fest, be sure to drop by their table for samples and to learn more.

A few more events worth checking out in the next little while:

• Tonight, the PEI Brewing Co. is holding Fortnight: Fundraiser for Fort McMurray at the brewery. Starting at 7 pm, it will feature “music, fun, and fundraising”, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross (and being matched by the Federal Government). One of the items up for auction is a chance to brew a full-size batch of beer with Upstreet‘s Mike “Hogie” Hogan, on the Upstreet system. Homebrewer or not, the lucky winner will be able to pick the beer style, help develop the recipe and take part in the brewing, name the beer, and ever pour the first pint at the Upstreet taproom! This is for a great cause, so get out your wallets and dig deep!

Tom’s Little Havana is hosting a Tap Takeover today (and all weekend) by friends Bad Apple Brewhouse and Unfiltered Brewing. Featuring seven beers between the two breweries, look for some old favourites, as well as some new … well, favourites too! Look for a new collaboration American Wheat, and a pair of iterations of the Tom’s Smoked Porter, including a barrel-aged version, today through Sunday.

• A reminder from last week, tonight‘s Meet Your Maker event at the James Joyce will feature Big Tide; four BT beers will be available on tap, and brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos will be on hand to chat about our favourite beverage!

• This year’s Inspire Arts Festival (June 15th-19th, in Moncton) will be holding their first beer-themed event, the Picaroons Craft Beer Village, on Saturday, June 18th. Taking place at the Riverfront Park in downtown Moncton, it will all start at 12 pm with the opening of the Picaroons Beer Tent; later in the afternoon, at 4 pm, the rest of the craft beer village will open, with NB breweries Bore City, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, and Maybee also pouring their beers. Entrance is free, just pay for your beer as you go, and enjoy the live music, circus performances, fire spinning, and more that’s going on during the festival!

• The Fredericton Beer Run is returning on Monday, August 1st (New Brunswick Day)! The fourth year for the event, it will once again feature three options of either a 4, 6, or 12 km distance. Your ticket will get you much more than just another run, however! Including a custom-designed beer glass and 14 x 4 oz beer tickets, there will be over 20 breweries present with plenty of beer to choose from! This year’s run will start at the Lighthouse on the Green, at 10 am, with the beer sampling occurring afterwards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Tickets are $60 (tax included) and are available now.

Happy Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week! We hope those of you in the province, or nearby, will make it out to one or more of the events happening all week, including the Cape Breton Kitchen Party in Sydney, or the Beer & Beethoven in Halifax. Check out the #NSCBW Guide we published yesterday for the scoop on the next 10 days of beer fun! And keep your eyes open for plenty of new beer alerts throughout the week; we’ll do our best to retweet and FB-share them so you won’t miss out!

• After a sneak peek at this year’s Saltscapes Expo, Sober Island is officially open, and serving beer! Their current home in Sheet Harbour, Henley House, opened yesterday for the season, so Eastern Shore fans will now have access to a steady supply of their beers. Drop by for a pint of their Oyster Stout, English Golden Rye Ale, or their very own Henley House Private Ale. This 4.8%, 34 IBUs Ordinary Bitter features all late-addition East Kent Goldings hops, and is fermented with an English yeast for a taste of the UK. Sober Island will also have a brew on at this weekend’s Stillwell Open, and is gearing up for festival season, with plans to attend the Cold Waters Seafood Festival June 4-5, and NorthumBeerFest at Pictou Lodge June 11. They are also in the process of finding a Farmers Market location for the summer, so stay tuned for that. While set up at the market, instead of growlers, they will be using Crowlers, the can-on-demand system popular in the US. These 950mL cans are great for taking on the boat, camping, hiking, or to the beach, where glass can be dangerous/forbidden. They will be installing the system in their rolling beer trailer, and will eventually institute Crowler Delivery runs to town.

• Turning now to another Island, there’s a couple of new beers on tap at the Gahan House Brewpub in Charlottetown, PEI. First up is ESB, an Extra Special Bitter that comes in at 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs. Featuring late hop additions of East Kent Goldings and Fuggles to boost the herbal and earthy aroma, this classic British style has been pouring for awhile now. More recent is Belgium Blue, a strong (7.6% ABV) Belgian style that was fermented with a blend of yeasts, giving it a “spicy banana” aroma and flavour, according to brewmaster Trent Hayes. Be sure to stop by the brewpub soon to give both a try! And swing by the PEI Brewing Co. taproom for a taste of their newest cask, Chocolate Cherry Lager, a 4.5% ABV beer that has cocoa nibs and organic tart cherry juice added in-cask.

• In other brewpub news, Big Tide also has a new beer pouring at their location in Saint John. Cascade SMaSH IPA features a grist of German Pilsner malt, and lots of late- and dry-hop additions of the well-loved Cascade hop variety, sourced from local Darlings Island Farm. Weighing in at 5.25% ABV and 39 IBUs, this “very drinkable” beer has a “beautiful citrusy flavour and aroma”, according to the brewery. It’s available now at the brewpub for pints and growler fills. And coming soon from Big Tide is their Wild Weed Summer Ale, a 4.9% ABV, 15 IBUs Wheat ale enhanced with sweet gale, yarrow, lemongrass, cardamom, and coriander.

• Back to Nova Scotia now, Meander River has re-released their Summer Solstice Session IPA, a hoppy and sessionable beer perfect for when the warmer weather decides to stay for good! Hopped with Amarillo and Citra in the boil, it was further dry-hopped with Cascade to provide even more fruit and citrus characteristics in the aroma and flavour. This 4.5% ale is available at the brewery and Forum Farmers’ Market while it lasts. Meander River has also brought back their Scotch Ale, Surf & Turf, just in time for Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week. A silver medal winner at the 2015 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards, it was brewed with peated malt and seaweed to give it a “smooth, savoury taste with an earthy scotch finish”; it weighs in at 6.2% ABV.

Propeller Brewing has released their newest One Hit Wonder this week. Lil’ SIPA is a 4.4% Session IPA, with 27 theoretical IBUs, but as is often the case in beer, the numbers do not tell the whole story! Massive late hopping favours aroma and flavour over bitterness, so this small package packs a massive taste wallop. As always, the OHW beers are ONLY available for growler fills at their Gottingen and Windmill locations, with select kegs sometimes sneaking out to local bars.

• After a brief hiatus, Spindrift‘s Seventh Wave Series returns this weekend. These smaller, pilot batches allow the creative minds at the brewery to run a bit wild, and brew up beers that would otherwise be impractical, or not feasible. The series continues Saturday during Open Brewery Day, with Raspberry Session Saison, a 5% beer with 6 kilograms of raspberries added to the batch. And if that wasn’t enough, it was dry-hopped with whole leaf Citra hops. Grab this beer starting at 11am tomorrow. And Spindrift will keep the Seventh Wave going all week, with a new one debuting every day (or whenever the previous beer empties). Next up is India Session Lager, a 4.4% light lager with massive amounts of Citra and Simcoe at flameout and whirlpool (while the beer chills), for a seemingly-low 25 IBUs, but with plenty of flavour and aroma from the volatile hop oils that would otherwise be boiled off if added earlier in the process. They have several 7W beers locked and loaded to release during NS Craft Beer Week, so be sure to follow their Twitter feed for the announcements.

• Fresh off the great announcement of $436,000 of ACOA funds destined for Cape Breton, Sydney’s Breton Brewing took delivery of a Cask canning machine this week, and will be packaging their core brands of beer in the coming weeks. Look for their cans to hit the shelves of the NSLC, and private stores in the first week of June. And be sure to drop by Breton tomorrow during Open Brewery Day, as they will be launching Crazy Angus DIPA. With the malt bill being an amped-up version of their Black Angus IPA, this 7.4% ABV beer features a massive citrus punch from 85 IBUs worth of hops, including the always-lovely Australian Galaxy.

• With little fanfare, Downeast Beer Factory opened Sunday. Located in the former Brewdebakers location at 612 Windmill Road, the bar and grill is currently serving product from across the province, with 14 beers and ciders on tap. In the coming weeks, they will be adding their own house-brewed beers to the lineup, including Mylde Wylde Blonde, Fiddler’s Irish Red and Game Changer IPA. Their unique building location features a drive-thru beer shop, which will allow them to sell beer to go from other Nova Scotia breweries, when it opens later in the spring.

• Speaking of openings, Stillwell has announced the new location of their mobile Beergarden: the vacant lot at 5688 Spring Garden Rd. Nestled between Bookmark and Eastlink and across the corner from the Public Gardens, it will feature their iconic converted shipping container slinging local and imported beer (upgraded to 10 taps) and handheld “Summertime BBQ” food. Their friends from Manual Food & Drink will be joining them in the space, for some sweet relief from the hot weather (think ice cream and pastries). Construction has already begun at the location, and they look to launch the space in early June.

In addition to NS Craft Beer Week, here are a few more beer events worthy of your attention in the next little while:

• Tomorrow, May 8th, Stillwell is holding the second of their Rare American Beer Series, with several bottles from Mystic Brewery in Massachusetts popping all day. The En Garde, Connards! Biere de Garde, Flor Ventus Barrel-aged Wild Beer, Saison Renaud Saison (also available on tap), and Table Beer will be available by the full bottle, or 5-7oz pours. Look for some special accompanying beers on tap, and, as always, great food from the kitchen.

• The next Meet Your Maker event at the James Joyce will feature Big Tide, and has been scheduled for next Friday, May 13th at 7:30 pm. As always, there is no charge to attend, just show up for some Big Tide beers (there will likely be four different ones on tap) and have a chat with brewer Wendy Papadopoulus!

• As part of this year’s Festival Inspire in Moncton, they will be holding a Craft Beer Village June 18th. We are still getting all of the ticket details, but we do know that Bore City, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, Maybee, and Picaroons will all be in attendance.

• The date for the second annual Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest has been set for Saturday, September 24th at the Lion’s Club in Moncton. Featuring many local breweries pouring beer alongside local food stations, the 7:30-10 pm session (tickets $58+fee) will allow unlimited beer samples and a custom take-home glass; VIP tickets ($68+fee) will get you in at 6 pm, along with a special glass, guided beer tasting, and access to an industry panel discussion; a portion of the proceeds will go to the United Way. Keep your eyes on the event page, as tickets will go on sale sometime in July.

And in closing this week:

– Congratulations to Red Rover for winning medals at this year’s Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition! Their Blues, Fall, Fire, and White Witch all took home bronze medals at this competition. In celebration, they have (or had!) all these award winners available at their Cider House on Queen Street.
Maybee Brewing has released their new Birdseye Pale Ale and recent Elevensies Espresso Stout in cans; a currently-ongoing issue with ANBL’s ordering system has prevented cans from hitting ANBL stores this week, but there’s still lots available at the brewery’s location on Wilsey Rd, so drop in to pick some up this weekend!
– The James Joyce recently registered their venue on the popular beer app/website Untappd, which means their entire draught list, event schedule, and more is available and updated in real time! Check it out here.
– Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing a new batch of the Double Orange Ale (DOA) today. This batch of the 7.5% ABV SMaSH was fermented with a famous Vermont yeast for even more juicy goodness. Grab a growler when the brewey opens at noon, or a glass at Charm School from 4pm.

That’s it for this week; have a great weekend!

NS CBW 2016 splash

The 2016 NS Craft Beer Week starts this Friday. A presentation of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, the aim of the week is to showcase the innovative products of its members, and collaborations with bars, restaurants and licensees. With so many different events to keep track of, we thought it would be beneficial to have them all in one place. Scroll all the way to the bottom for a handy calendar and map.

But first, with all of these events going on over the coming days, we can expect to see several new beers (and some returning favourites) from many of the participating breweries. Here’s a taste of what will be joining the many regular-release beers that will be pouring all week…

Big Spruce, Propeller & Tatamagouche…

These three breweries came back together for an organic conspiracy of epic proportions…. Cerberus American IPA. This Certified Organic beer weighs in at 7% ABV, and features massive additions of Ahtanum, AmarilloCentennial, Chinook, Citra, Simcoe and Zythos hops for an assertive, but not offensive, aroma and flavour. After a sneak peek at Propeller’s Prop’r Cask Night last week, it will be available around the province beginning Friday, including the two Signature events kicking off the week, as well as on tap for growler fills at each of the conspiring breweries. There will also be a limited number of bottles available at Big Spruce and Tatamagouche.

“South” and “North” Collaboration Grogs

There will be two new “Grogs” at the Race the Kegs event on Sunday, May 8th at the Gahan House Harbourfront. Both are collaboration beers – one from the “South” team (Boxing Rock, Garrison, Hell Bay, Propeller, and Schoolhouse), and one from the “North” (Big Spruce, Good Robot, North, and Uncle Leo’s). Details are under wraps on each of these beers for now; you’ll have to attend the event that afternoon to find out for yourself!

We’ve heard rumours of more than a dozen other new beers being launched this week from all over the province, but many of the breweries are keeping mum about the details until after the Stillwell Open or Stubborn Goat Royal Rumble. Keep your eyes open for the 2016 launch of Big Spruce’s Silver Tart, Boxing Rock’s brand new Where There’s Smoke, Meander River’s returning Surf & Turf Strong Scotch Ale, Rudders’ brand new Sweet Georgia Brown Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, a whole gamut of Seventh Wave beers from Spindift, the return of Tata’s Deadeye DIPA, and many more.

NS Craft Beer Week Events

Throughout the week

NS Craft Beer @ Roy’s Lounge at Westin Nova Scotia
Daily, throughout the week
Roy’s Lounge is hosting several NS Craft Beer specials throughout the week, including specials on samples all day, May 6-15 ($5 gets you five samples of their NS beer); Craft Beer & Curds Happy Hour 5:00-7:00pm daily; Under the Clock on Us! on Friday & Saturday May 6,7,13,14, with live music and free menu samples.

Free Beer Tastings each afternoon at the private beer stores around town
Check the Social Media of Bishop’s Cellar, Cristall Wine, Harvest Wines, and RockHead.

Friday, May 6

Cape Breton Kitchen Party at Centre 200
7:00-10:00pm
Hosted by Cape Breton’s own Breton Brewing and Big Spruce Brewing, they’ve invited 10 mainland breweries to join them for a night of local live music, Nova Scotia Craft Beer, with Cape Breton restaurants creating some awesome food. More than 10 breweries, food vendors and three musical acts.
Tickets are $60, $30 for designated drivers.

Beer & Beethoven with The Irish Descendants at Halifax Forum (Friday Session)
7:00pm-10:30pm
Beethoven in jeans, a pint in hand? The master would revel in the rousing!
Wear your jeans and come on out for Symphony Nova Scotia’s 25th annual end-of-season fundraising party! Hear great music, sample local craft beer, and try out an instrument at Long & McQuade’s Fun Zone – all in a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of pints and loads of fun. Featuring orchestral music from classical to Celtic, special guest performers The Irish Descendants, and a delightful selection of the Nova Scotia Craft Brewers’ finest, it’s sure to be a rollicking good time for all. Come thirsty!
Breweries taking part in sampling May 6th: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing, Gahan House, Granite Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, Tatamagouche Brewing
Plus beers from these breweries will be available for purchase: Meander River Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, North Brewing, Propeller Brewing, Spindrift Brewing
Tickets are $43.99.

Kitchen Party After-Party at Commoner Table and Tap
10:00pm-2:00am
After the Cape Breton Kitchen Party, drop by the Commoner for more music and great beer. Big Spruce and Breton Brewery are taking over their taps for the evening.
No tickets required.

Saturday, May 7

Craft Beer Week Dinner at Sugar Moon Farm
6:00-9:30pm
Field Guide Restaurant will present a seasonally themed three course meal, thoughtfully paired with the North Shore’s delicious craft beer, including Tatamagouche Brewing and Uncle Leo’s – taking place at the ever charming Sugar Moon Farm.
$55 per ticket, $12 for flight of 4 North Shore Craft Beer

Beer & Beethoven with The Irish Descendants at Halifax Forum (Saturday Session)
7:00pm-10:30pm
More great music by the Irish Descendants and Symphony Nova Scotia!
Breweries taking part in sampling May 7: Gahan House, Meander River Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, North Brewing, Propeller Brewing, Spindrift Brewing
In addition, beer from these breweries will be available for purchase: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing, Granite Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, Tatamagouche Brewing
Tickets are $43.99.

Open Brewery Day: Many of the breweries in Nova Scotia will be open for tours and tastings, and a few have some special events planned as well. Drop by and show them some love! May 7th also coincides with National Homebrew Day, so several breweries have invited members of the Brewnosers in to set up their brewing gear to chat about this fun and rewarding hobby!

Open Brewery Day at Big Spruce
12:00pm-4:00pm
They will be hosting Rolling Bricks Pizza, who will be bringing their roving Wood Fired Pizza Oven for free food, with live music by Angelo Spinazolia. Samples of all of their beers will also be available.

Open Brewery Day at Boxing Rock
12:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by Boxing Rock for free brewery tours and tastings, charity-run BBQ, free cake, music and lots of other fun! Maybe even some axe throwing if the weather holds…

Open Brewery Day at Breton Brewing
9:00am-10:00pm
Breton Brewing is inviting homebrewer Mike Morrison into the brewery for the day. Come by to chat beer, learn the process of brewing, and pick up tips and tricks on brewing your own at home. Free brewery tours all day, as well.

Open Brewery Day at Gahan House Harbourfront
11:30am-4:30pm
Brewmaster Karen Allen will be on-site discussing various brew topics, and local homebrewer Tim Gregory will be helping to brew a batch on their system.

Open Brewery Day at Garrison Brewing
10:00am-5:00pm
Home brewer Mike Edwards demoing the Grainfather all-in-one home brew setup, brewing up a Gluten free Rauchbier. Asado will be on their patio cooking some awesome food, and there will be Maple Beer Bacon Cupcakes for sale!

Open Brewery Day at Good Robot
10:00am-10:00pm
Join Good Robot for the grand opening of the GastroTurf at noon, their new beer garden and frolicking space. Plus, local homebrewer Mike Orr to brew a Chocolate IPA LIVE for your viewing and brewing pleasure. This is a great chance to tour the brewery FREE, meet the cofounders and ask any beer questions you may have!

Open Brewery Day at Granite Brewery
10:00am-8:00pm
Drop by Stairs Street to see what Kevin Keefe is brewing up today!

Open Brewery Day at Hell Bay Brewing
12:00pm-5:00pm, 7:00-9:00pm
Drop by Hell Bay for Open Brewery Day! And stick around for Beer School for Beginners in the evening, 7:00-9:00pm (reservations are required).

Open Brewery Day at Meander River Farm
11:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by the Farm to meet your local brewer and farmer! There will be tours, tastings, and the patio is open!

Open Brewery Day at Nine Locks
10:00pm-5:00pm
Tastings, prizes and tours every hour on the hour 10-5. Bring the family and have some fun!

Open Brewery Day at North Brewing
12:00pm-9:00pm
Drop by North’s locations for a new beer launch, and $2 off growler fills, $1 off 750 fills.
In Dartmouth, brewer Josh Herbin will be on hand from 12:00-3:00 to chat brewing, there will have a home brewing demo going on inside the store.

Open Brewery Day at Propeller Brewing (Gottingen)
12:00pm-3:00pm
Drop by Propeller to watch they brew up the next One Hit Wonder beer, chat with their brewers, tour the facilities, and try some samples of their brews.

Open Brewery Day at Rockbottom
4:00pm-8:00pm
Drop by Rockbottom to learn about brewing ingredients and the brewing process, and check out their sweet brewing system!

Open Brewery Day at Rudder’s Brewpub
12:00-4:00pm
Drop by Rudder’s for tours of their three-floor brewing system, and reduced-price samples.

Open Brewery Day at Spindrift Brewing
11:00am-5:00pm
Drop by Spindrift to check out their brewery, and watch local homebrewers Derek and Kevin brew up something special! There will be sausages from Sweet Williams, and they will be launching the next Seventh Wave that day, Raspberry Session Saison.

Open Brewery Day at Tatamagouche Brewing
10:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by TataBrew for self-guided tours of the brewhouse, and to check out their expanded storefront. They will be selling flights of their beers, and have homebrewer Mark MacKay brewing a pilot batch.

Sunday, May 8

Stillwell Open at Stillwell Beer Bar
12:00-8:00pm
Stillwell invited brewers and homebrewers from across the province to put together their best Session and Imperial beers. During two sessions, each featuring twelve unique beers, look for one-off small batches and brand new beers being launched. They will be served blind (unknown brewer or style), and the public will vote on their favourites. The beers will be revealed as the voting closes, with the favourite beer taking home the title!
12-4pm: Session Beers
4-8pm: Imperial Beers
No tickets necessary, pay-as-you-go.

Race the Kegs at Gahan Waterfront
1:oo-4:00pm
Join the arrival party for collaboration brews from the North and South of Nova Scotia. Craft breweries from across the province have teamed up to face off for this challenge, which includes racing the kegs of their collaboration brews to Halifax Harbour by sail. Live music, pirate-themed food, and pirates, all while enjoying the competing Grogs.
No tickets necessary, pay-as-you-go.

Monday, May 9

Pints and Poses at Boxing Rock Brewing
6:00-8:00pm
The experience will start with 60 minutes of all-levels yoga delivered by Brittany Hachey of Yoga Room of Essence followed by a 60 minutes brewery tour and tasting!  A heads up – the beer doesn’t have to wait until the end!  So come early, grab a pre-pose pint, and stay to socialize and relax afterwards!  It is sure to be an amazing, relaxing night that you wont want to miss!
Tickets are $30, pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, May 10

A Walk In the Park at Battery Park Beer Bar
5:00-10:00pm
This is a new Craft Beer Week Signature Event hosted by the newly opened Battery Park in Downtown Dartmouth. The event begins with an oyster and beer reception, followed by a 5 course dinner where a local chef, brewer and farmer work together to pair each dish. This event will feature new and unique brews. Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Garrison, Meander River, Nine Locks, North, Propeller, Spindrift, and Tatamagouche will all be pouring special beers.
Only 40 tickets are to be sold and the price is $75.

Wednesday, May 11

Beer Cocktail Face-Off at The Auction House
7:30pm-10:00pm
Nova Scotia Craft Brewers and some of the province’s best mixologists converge for a night of revelry that will expand your beer boundaries. Representatives from 10 cocktail bars will be paired with 10 Nova Scotia Craft Breweries and challenged to come up with the ultimate craft concoction. Attendees will vote on their favourites and a winner will be crowned!
Big Spruce with Kyle Macaskill (The Auction House)
Boxing Rock with Mark Bradbury (The Bicycle Thief)
Breton with Bret Dodson (Durty Nelly’s)
Garrison with Matt Conway (Stubborn Goat)
Good Robot with Neil Daoust (Shuck)
Hell Bay with Kyla Wright (Gahan House)
North with Steven Cross (Temple Bar)
Propeller with Shane Beehan (Lot 6)
Spindrift with Josh Jackman (Stubborn Goat)
Tatamagouche with Liam Mcneil (Good Robot Tap Room)
Tickets are $20, and include 6 samples, with more cocktails available for purchase once you pick a favourite(s).

Thursday, May 12

NS Craft Beer Royal Rumble at Stubborn Goat
8:00pm-2:00am
A wrestling themed blind showdown of Nova Scotia’s finest Craft Breweries hosted by the Stubborn Goat in Halifax. Breweries will bring their best one-off creations to battle it out in an all out “vote with your throat” showdown. The first keg emptied will win the title of being Nova Scotia’s Craft Beer Heavyweight Champion. In this challenge, if you ain’t 1st, you’re last. This event will run from 8pm – close.
Tickets are now sold out, BUT it is open to the public as a pay-as-you-drink event.

Unfortunately, The Science of Beer at the Discovery Centre has been cancelled due to low ticket sales.

Friday, May 13

Craft Beer Week Brews Cruise – Silva
7:00pm-8:30pm
Sailing and beer: the ultimate Nova Scotia pairing.
Halifax’s beer enthusiasts will be in and out of bars all week to celebrate Craft Beer Week. In connection with the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia‘s Craft Beer Week, Murphy’s is excited to be hosting the ultimate beer experience – by bringing you out on the water.
The purchase of your ticket will include a delicious craft brew of your choice, and a 1.5 hour sail. Cruise through the harbour on the Tall Ship Silva while you enjoy craft beer from around Nova Scotia.
Tickets are $23.50.

Saturday, May 14

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Afternoon Session) at the Cunard Centre
1:30pm-4:00pm
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be available for purchase, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.
You will be able to taste craft beers from the 21 following Nova Scotia Craft Brewers: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing Company, Breton Brewing Co., Gahan House, Garrison Brewing Co., Good Robot Brewing Company, Granite Brewery, Hell Bay Brewing Company, Meander River Farm, Nine Locks Brewing Co., North Brewing Company, Paddy’s Irish BrewPub, Propeller Brewing Company, Rare Bird Craft Beer, Rockbottom Brewpub, Rudder’s Brew Pub, Schoolhouse Brewery, Sea Level Brewing, Spindrift Brewing Company, Tatamagouche Brewing Co., and Uncle Leo’s Brewery.
Tickets are $35, $15 for designated drivers.

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Evening Session) at the Cunard Centre
6:30pm-9:00pm
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be available for purchase, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.
You will be able to taste craft beers from the 21 following Nova Scotia Craft Brewers: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing Company, Breton Brewing Co., Gahan House, Garrison Brewing Co., Good Robot Brewing Company, Granite Brewery, Hell Bay Brewing Company, Meander River Farm, Nine Locks Brewing Co., North Brewing Company, Paddy’s Irish BrewPub, Propeller Brewing Company, Rare Bird Craft Beer, Rockbottom Brewpub, Rudder’s Brew Pub, Schoolhouse Brewery, Sea Level Brewing, Spindrift Brewing Company, Tatamagouche Brewing Co., and Uncle Leo’s Brewery.
Tickets are $35, $15 for designated drivers.

Sunday, May 15

Nova Scotian Kitchen Party Brunch at elements on hollis
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Join elements on hollis for a very special Sunday Brunch on Sunday, May 15. Brunch will literally be a kitchen party, allowing you to join the chefs in the kitchen as you dine.
Sip at a selection of craft beers throughout your meal. elements on hollis‘ culinary team will be serving up delicious Cape Breton inspired dishes. Join us for an Islander’s spin on our Halifax brunch.
Tickets are $35.00.  Reservations are recommended (902) 496-7960.

#NSCraftBeerWeek Calendar and Map

For those of you looking for an easy way to carry this list in you pocket, add the following calendar to your to Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCal.

Full-sized map on a separate page.

Looks like it’s going to be a great, fun-filled week! Keep an eye on this page, as we’ll be updating the list and calendar as last-minute events are announced. Be sure to get out there and support your local breweries, drink some awesome beer, and be sure to say “hi” if you see us around!

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s hope that was the absolute last throes of winter this week, and we can proceed into spring now.

Red Rover recently launched a new hopped cider, Hop to It, that is currently available in a very limited supply. Similar to their Hop Back in Time cask cider which was released at last fall’s Fredericton Cider Festival, this batch was “hopped with English varieties, blended to enhance the apple aromas, providing a slight citrus taste in the flavour”. As mentioned, only a very small amount of this 7% ABV cider was produced (400 L total); you can find it available for flagon fills at the Ciderhouse (at their new location at The Abbey on Queen St.) and at Red Rover market accounts, with one keg going to both the James Joyce and Saint John Ale House. If feedback is good, there’s a good chance we’ll see this pop up again, in bottles at ANBL stores.

Big Spruce recently filled some Glenora Single Malt whisky barrels with their Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, and that beer is ready for the world. Available exclusively at the Nyanza brewery, the stout features great aromas from the barrel on a base of the lovely coffee and chocolate stout, with a big of an alcohol jump to 5.5% ABV. Growlers and samples are available at the brewery now.

• A sure sign of warmer weather to come is Big Spruce’s other release this week, Silver Tart! This 4.5% ABV sour ale features loads of raspberries, for a great combination of aroma, flavour, and an acidic kick. Available on tap at the brewery, it will also be on tap at Battery ParkGood RobotPrimal, and Stillwell in the coming days. And keep an eye on Bishop’s Cellar’s Beer Page to see when they tap their shipment for growler fills.

Picaroons has released the first beer in their Staff series in over a year, Iain’s CanadIain Stout.  Brewed by Iain Brannigan (one of the brewery’s cellarmen), this 7% ABV ale is “assertively roasty, with a well-balanced hop bitterness which goes down quite smooth due to the velvety nature of the generous helping of oats in the recipe”, according to the brewery. It will be available for growler fills only at both the Brewtique and General Store.

• Over on the Island, the PEI Brewing Co. has a new cask tapped at the brewery taproom; Way She Gose is, yes, a Gose, a slightly tart/sour ale brewed with coriander, and sea salt made by their own Al Douglas, from sea water off the north shore of the Island. If there’s any of this 4.5% ABV beer left, it won’t last long, so get down to the brewery to give it a try! Also, later today the brewery will be officially releasing their latest seasonal, Setting Day Saison, in cans. Light-bodied and golden-coloured, with high carbonation, this 3.5% ABV Belgian ale exhibits aromas and flavours of spicy phenolics and fruity esters. Feel free to show up at the brewery between 5-7 pm to celebrate its release with cans, taps, and music! It will also be popping up on tap at select PEIBC accounts.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a pair of new beers out this week. Their Sugar Moon Maple Ale is made with maple syrup from Sugar Moon Farm, adding to a base of Maritime Malt and some darker malts, for a toast and caramel character from this amber-coloured beer, lightly hopped with Millenium and Willamette. It is available at the brewery in bottles now.

• Returning today is Garrison’s Klignon Warnog Roggen Dunkel, a Dunkelweizen (German dark wheat) featuring a healthy addition of rye malt. This is an official Star Trek beer, brewed under the Federation of Beer name, featuring clove and banana aromas and flavours, along with a light sweetness from Munich malt. Available at the brewery in bottles beginning today.

• Guysborough’s Rare Bird has brought back their Maple Ale this week. Brewed not with water, but exclusively with maple sap as the base liquid, the beer celebrates the running of the sap with the cool evenings and warm days. Additions of syrup bump up the flavour (and alcohol, slightly, to 6.5%), and hops offset the sweet character, for a well balanced brew.  It is currently available at the brewery, and will be at Harvest Wines & Spirits this weekend.

• There’s lots going on at Halifax’s Rockbottom: they recently launched their latest new beer, Rye Pale Ale. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, the beer feature rye malt in the grain bill, for a light spicy character, and experimental hop ADHA-529, for flavours of orange and black tea. It is available on tap, and in growler fills to take away. Look for a pair of new beers in the coming weeks, with Japanese Lager debuting next week. This 4.5% ABV beer was brewed with rice, and the lagering process leaves the beer with a clean, crisp, and snappy character, with notes of peach and lemon in the finish. Mid-May will usher in their Maibock, a higher ABV blonde lager, coming in at 7.2% ABV. The pilsner base malt shines through, as well as some toasty/caramel character, from light specialty malts. And for fans of their Fathom IPA, look for a variation in the hops used, which will alter the flavour profile slightly. The batch on tap now features massive amounts of Amarillo hops at flameout and dry-hop, lending a big citrus aroma. The next batch will feature Summit for a dank resinous base, with Cascade and Falconer’s Flight for grapefruit hop blast, and finshing “with a huge El Dorado/Mandrina Bavaria fruit-loop dance party”, according to Brewmaster Jake Saunders. All of these late- and dry-hop additions preserve the volatile essential oils in the hops, promoting flavour above bitterness (enhanced by the isomerization of the alpha acids in the boil). Be sure to get on both batches to get the full experience!

• Soon-to-open Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay has launched their Pioneers Club. For your $40 enrollment fee ($10 per year subsequent), you will receive an exclusive t-shirt, early notification of new beer releases, invitations to educational seminars, and a 10% discount on merchandise (beer excluded). Also this week, Sb announced that their brewmaster has been hired, Jeremy Fehr, a graduate of the Niagara College Brewmaster program. Also a highly-decorated homebrewer, he was most recently brewing at Neustadt Springs Brewery in Neustadt, Ontario. Look for the brewery to launch on Main Street Mahone Bay this summer.

• In a story with repercussions for beer lovers nation-wide, the judge is ruling today in the case of Gerard Comeau, the man charged in 2012 when he brought a dozen cases of beer into New Brunswick from Quebec. CBC had a reporter in the courtoom, live-tweeting the proceedings. He had been charged under the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act, limiting the amount of alcohol to “liquor not in excess of one bottle or beer not in excess of twelve pints “. He pleaded not guilty, and went to court to fight the law, which is in opposition to the Constitution Act of 1867. Section 121 of the Act states, “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.” In the judge’s ruling, he concluded that the Fathers of Confederation intended inter-provincial free trade, and that evidence presented in the trial has altered the nature of the debate on the term “admitted free”. The announcement was just made, and the charges against Comeau have been dismissed.

As for what’s going on in the world of beer events in the coming weeks…

• There will be a special announcement at Breton Brewing today at 1pm. Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria will be making the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. In the spirit of local cooperation, beers from Big Spruce will also be available, taking over half of Breton’s taps. After the announcement, stick around for music from Angelo Spinazzola until 4:30pm, and come back for their Music on Tap! event with Robert White, 6-9pm. UPDATE: The event was an announcement that ACOA will be investing $436,000 in Big Spruce and Breton, to aid in their growth. Big Spruce is constructing a 5000 square foot building to expand their production facilities, while Breton will be purchasing a pair of fermentors, and a canning line. Full details here.

• Propeller’s next Prop’r Cask Night, featuring Krave Burgers, scheduled for tonight at the brewery’s location on Gottingen St. from 6-9 pm. There are still tickets available ($30 each, online or at the brewery), which include appetizers from Krave paired with several samples of Propeller beers, including a sneak-peek cask of their three-way Organic Collaboration DIPA Cerberus (with Big Spruce and Tatamagouche) their special cask ale that will be tapped at approximately 6:30 pm.

• The first in Stillwell‘s Rare American Beer Weekend Series is happening this weekend (April 30th and May 1st); this no-tickets-required event will feature Alaska’s Anchorage Brewing Company, with bottles of several of their “bright, funky, layered beers” being poured. In addition, several kegs of sour beers from Quebec breweries Dunham and Trou du Diable will be pouring.

• It’s not Father’s Day yet, but attention all Dads looking for a day off! Good Robot is holding their first Dad Day Afternoon this Sunday, May 1st at the brewery on Robie St. Featuring lawn games, a MarioKart tournament, haircuts and trims, and BBQ from Black Sheep Restaurant, it’s the perfect excuse for fathers to get together, drink some beers, and enjoy themselves… because they never do that any other time, right? 🙂

Ducky’s Bar is holding a Beer and Food Pairing Dinner on Sunday, May 1st, from 5-7:30 pm. Hosted by Craig Pinhey, there will be four courses paired with four beers from different New Brunswick breweries, including Petit-Sault, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, and Fils du Roy. Tickets are $45 each and are available at Ducky’s and Napul’è, with sales ending tomorrow night.

• Next Thursday, May 5th, Upstreet Brewing will be holding their Charlottetown Invasion tap takeover at Halifax’s Seahorse Tavern. Five Upstreet beers will be pouring from 10 pm to close, paired with live music from Charlottetown bands Sorrey, Raccoon Bandit, Coyote, and Whaleskin.

• Next Friday, May 6th,  is the start of NS Craft Beer Week. Kicking off the week on Friday is the Cape Breton Kitchen Party, hosted by Big Spruce and Breton Brewing, they have invited 10 NS breweries to Sydney for a right good Kitchen Party. Food and live music round out the beers, and the party is sure to keep going elsewhere in town once the event is over! Also on the 6th (and on Saturday, the 7th, too) Beer and Beethoven is returning again this year. With special guests The Irish Descendants, the event will have 6 different breweries in attendance each night, pouring their wares during a sampling period at the beginning of the night, and continuing for sales for the rest of the evening. Saturday the 7th is also Open Brewery Day, where breweries across the province will be opening their doors, holding brewery tours and events all day, to celebrate the local craft. Look for a full post and update to our NS Craft Beer Week Calendar and Map early next week.

A few parting shots this week:

Bore City has been busy brewing, and will be re-releasing three of their beers – Night and Day Black IPA, Equilux APA, and Marécage Belgian Saison – at the Tide & Boar very soon, with both Night and Day and Marécage also pouring at Marky’s Laundromat in the near future. And for our Fredericton readers, look for the return of Equilux APA and Spacetime Odyssey Porter at the James Joyce this weekend.
TrailWay has finished installing their new brewhouse, and will be brewing on the new system for the first time this weekend. Congrats! Look for the brewery and taproom to officially open sometime next month.
– We can expect more Petit-Sault beer to be hitting the market soon, as they’ve recently added two more 60 bbl (~70 hL) fermentors to their brewhouse. These additions will allow the brewery to brew more of their extremely-popular La Kedgwick, a Pilsner that undergoes a 6-week lagering period; meeting this demand will free up space for brewing their other flagship beers, as well as new one-off releases.

Welcome to the weekend, and a beautiful Friday! Beer news in our region is a bit slower this week, but there’s still plenty to talk about…

• Prince Edward Island should soon be expanding options for enjoying craft beer, as the Island’s first outdoor beer garden is being planned for downtown Charlottetown, as reported by the Guardian late last week. Business partners Steve Barber and Jacob Hiemstra, owners of local restaurants such as Hunter’s Ale House, hope to have the location open on the corner of Prince and Kent streets by late June. The Charlottetown Beer Garden and Seafood Patio should have about 25 taps, with 12 dedicated to craft breweries and another several reserved for imports. While local, Island breweries will naturally be a big focus, Barber is in talks with PEILCC to feature other craft breweries from the Maritimes. Live music and fresh, local seafood will also be a feature of the restaurant, as well as other beer-pairing favourites such as sausages and pretzels. Stay tuned for more info…

• But that’s not all! HopYard, a craft beer bar focusing on “local Island beer, regional breweries, and beers from across the continent”, is set to open downtown at 151 Kent St. on Monday, May 9th. Owned by Mike Ross and Brett Hogan, the bar will feature draught beer only, with 10 always-rotating taps. Award-winning Chef Jane Crawford will be in charge of the food menu, with all items priced at under $8 (note that while bar snacks will stay the same, all menu entrees will also be rotating). Cider, wine and spirits will also be available, and a “vast vinyl selection” will be on-hand for customers to look through and make selections to be played on the bar’s sound system. Open every day at 11 am, the bar’s simple motto – “Beer. Food. Vinyl.” – perfectly sums up their mission statement!

• Halifax’s Granite Brewery has released their latest seasonal beer, Granite IPA. Light copper in colour, the 5.5% ABV beer was brewed with healthy doses of East Kent Goldings and Cascade hops, to 55 IBUs. Grab a growler at the brewery, or a pint at better beer bars in the city.

Back in March, we reported on a new beer being brewed by YellowBelly that involved the addition of a large amount of stale bread from neighbouring Rocket Bakery, as a statement to support those who minimize the wasting of food. Well, that beer, named Brewis Hard Tack Ale, is now on tap at the brewpub. The brewery describes the brown, 4% ABV beer as showing notes of “pepper from the rye, a lactic bite from the sourdough, and figs and raisins as backnotes”, along with some herbal and spiciness from the Willamette hops. Bottles will be available shortly at both the brewery and NLC, as well. Learn more about the ingredients, process, and beer, at YB’s site.

Unfiltered is releasing another new beer today (and those at yesterday’s punk album evening got a sneak peek) – Riddle of Steel is an American IPA described as “bright and juicy, with a serious New England influence on top of the usual San Diego roots”. Coming in at 7% ABV and 70 IBUs, this very-pale-coloured hoppy beer will be on tap for growler fills at the retail store at noon, by the pint at Charm School at 4 pm, and in the wild at local bars shortly.

•  Good Robot has released what they’re referring to as “a damn good cup of beer”, their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale. Brewed with a grist including Pilsner, Red X, and Rye malt, plus some Flaked Barley, it was hopped with Falconer’s Flight and Cascade to 40 IBUs. In addition, approximately 3.5% of the beer volume comes from the addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Ethiopian Guji coffee, which is “grown in cherry soil and known for its berry character”, according to the brewery. The resultant 5.1% ABV Pale Ale is described by the brewery as exhibiting notes of coffee and caramel, with a chocolate forefront; slight acidity and tartness come from the Guji coffee as well, as the beer starts off as creamy before turning slightly sharp/acidic. Grab a pint or growler at Good Robot now, and look for it in rotation at taps around HRM.

Saltbox Brewery, currently in development in Mahone Bay, has confirmed that they have successfully purchased the building on Main Street that will serve as their brewery and storefront. With their 12 hL DME brewhouse to be delivered in May, they are planning on a mid-summer launch. Read more on their site.

There are a few events coming up in the next bit that are worth checking out. And remember, NS Craft Beer Week kicks off in just two weeks, May 6th! Check out our Calendar and Map for all of the events, and we’ll be adding more as details are announced.

Bishop’s Cellar is holding a free in-store tasting hosted by Dartmouth’s Nine Locks this afternoon, 4-6pm. Featuring their four flagship beers, Dirty Blonde, ESB, IPA, and Porter, drop by for a taste and grab a few cans to enjoy on the patio. While there, also check out their extensive beer sale, as they’ve marked down several American and Quebec craft beers, to make room for new arrivals.

• Celebrating Earth Day is an annual event for Lion & Bright and Big Spruce Brewing. In support of Ecology Action Centre, the two companies teamed up to collect funds throughout April, whenever patrons ordered tacos or a pint of Big Spruce beer. Tonight at 6pm, drop by L&B to celebrate Earth Day, with a Big Spruce tap takeover featuring some returning favourites, including Gimme Citra Single-Hop Pale Ale, She’s Maibock Lemon Maibock, and Watchtower Conspiracy Imperial IPA, joining their core lineup of beers. During tonight’s event, $1 from every pint, and order of tacos, will add to the donation coffers. More details here.

• Good Robot Brewery are also celebrating Earth Day today, by encouraging patrons to take part in the North End Cleanup starting at 4pm (prizes for those who collect the most street trash), and are inviting some goats from Moo Nay Farms to “graze” on their (faux) lawn on Robie Street. There will be guided yoga at 3pm to limber up before collecting trash, and when the sun goes down, the tap room will be lit only by tea lights. Moo Nay Farms, by the way, are the proud recipient of Good Robot’s spent grains, reducing the feed requirements, and therefore agricultural resources, needed to keep their animals fed. Check out a video of some Robot/Animal fun.

• Tomorrow, April 23rd, is the Winemaker vs Brewmaster event at the Grand Banker in Lunenburg. Featuring Nyanza’s Big Spruce, squaring off against L’Acadie Vineyards, in a five-course meal, each paired with both a wine and beer. Guests vote with either a beer cap or wine cork, and the winning producer will be crowned at the end of the meal. Tickets are available at the Grand Banker, or by phone (902-634-3300).

• On Saturday, April 30th, Railcar is pairing with the Algonquin Resort to present Maritime Beer & Cheer. Being held from 6-9 pm at the Algonquin in Saint Andrews, NB, there will be five courses paired with five different Railcar beers. Tickets are $55 + tax and gratuity, and will feature such pairings as braised beef brisket and butternut squash ravioli with Smoked Molasses Porter. Reserve your tickets by phone (1-855-529-8693) or in person at the resort.

Local Connections has announced the date for Halifax’s first cask festival, the Cask Beer Showdown. Scheduled for Saturday, September 24th, there will be two sessions (12-3 pm and 5-8 pm) available to attend. Early-bird tickets are now on sale at the above link for $33 each, which includes entry, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and twelve 4 oz samples of a variety of “unique cask-conditioned beers” from local breweries.

That’s all for this week. And, of course, before you go…

Picaroons is releasing their popular summer seasonal, Dooryard, today; this 4.5% ABV “Organic Wheat Ale” will be available on tap at most Picaroons accounts through the end of summer, as well as for growler fills at both retail locations, and in bottles.
– Grimross Brewing is hiring yet again, this time in the Assistant Brewer position. For details on the requirements and work detail, check out their link.
Uncle Leo’s has re-released their Altbier today. This traditional German style features a copper colour, and a light body with a significant bitterness and flavour hop presence. At 5.2% ABV, it is available at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select bars in the province.
North Brewing has released another batch of their Barrel-Aged Strong Dark Ale, aged for five months in barrels from Cape Breton’s Glenora Distillery.
Bore City‘s Equilux, their APA hopped with the mega-delicious Equinox and Citra, has been sent to the James Joyce in Fredericton; it should be tapped later today, and won’t last long, so head in for a pint!
Tatamagouche Brewery has sent off several pallets of cans of their popular Deception Bay IPA to the NSLC, for distribution across the province. Look for it in the first week of May. Around that same time, just in time for Open Brewery Day on May 7th, they will be opening their larger storefront on Main Street Tatamagouche, with more space for bottles, cans, and growler fills, and they will be offering tasting flights of their beer to visitors. Keep an eye on their Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the progress.