Happy Friday, Beer Fans! The weather is finally improving around our parts, and we’ve got lots of hoppy news to go with it; let’s dive right in!

• Unfiltered Brewing opened earlier this week at 6041 North Street in Halifax. They currently have three beers pouring in their retail location, Hoppy Fingers APA (4.8% ABV and 25 IBUs), Exile on North Street IPA (6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs), and Twelve Years to Zion DIPA (8.0% ABV, 100+ IBUs). For those with celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities, their Exile on North Street was treated to reduce the gluten present in the final beer, and has been tested to be less than 5ppm. Their retail location is open 12-8pm Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6pm Sunday. And for those who are getting anxious to enjoy some pints of Unfiltered AT Unfiltered, fear not, work continues on their tap room adjacent to the brewery. Congratulations on the opening, to the entire Unfiltered Family!

• To celebrate next week’s upcoming annual International IPA Day (Thursday, August 6th), Upstreet will be releasing their first IPA. White Noize is being dubbed a “Wheat IPA” (think hoppy American Wheat Ale), as half of its grist is Wheat malt. Hopped with plenty of ‘C’ hops (including Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus) to 70 IBUs, this 7% ABV ale should feature plenty of citrus and dank notes. Look for it to be released next Thursday at the brewery’s taproom for growler fills and pints; they’ll also have it on cask, along with their regular-release APA, Do-Gooder.

Pump House Brewery in Moncton has released a new seasonal beer, Rose Hip Ale. This 4.5% ABV beer was brewed with rose hips, local to the region, with a distinct floral and citrus aroma, and full of vitamin C. Orange peel was also used in the brew to complement the hips. The colour is a golden copper tone, stemming from specialty malts and the orange colour of the rose hips – no artificial colourings were used. The beer will be available at both the the ANBL and NSLC shortly.

• Also new from Pump House this week, is Strawberry Wheat Ale. This is a limited-supply, “German-style, unfiltered wheat beer” that features “banana-like” esters, similar to your typical Hefeweizen. However, the beer also had an addition of over 40 kg of real strawberries, giving it a “lingering, strawberry-tart finish”, according to the brewery. Coming in at 5.2% ABV, it has a very low bitterness at 9 IBUs. You can find it on tap at the brewpub in Moncton, select beer bars and restaurants across NB and NS, and at the Dieppe ANBL growler station this weekend.

• There’s a new beer on tap from Picaroons at the Brewtique in Fredericton, which was just released yesterday. ESB-231 was brewed to celebrate the New Brunswick Day long weekend (starting… today!), and features all NB malts and hops. This Extra Special Bitter is “moderately-malty, and moderately-hopped” with both Cascade and Centennial. Recipe-wise, it’s actually quite similar to their regular-release Best Bitter, but aside from all-local ingredients, this batch was also dry-hopped in the fermentor. This quite-limited 6.2% ABV British-style ale will also be pouring at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend.

• While on the topic of the NB Day long weekend, let’s review what’s going on, beer-wise, in the province over the next few days! The James Joyce “18 Lines, 18 NB Breweries” event starts today at 3 pm, and it has actually been increased to 19 taps, as newcomer Half Cut released their first beer last Friday! No tickets for entry required, just be sure to show up over the weekend to try a plethora of NB-brewed beers! Keep in mind they’re also open on Sunday for this weekend. There’s still some tickets left for the 3rd annual Fredericton Beer Run; with 18 breweries pouring around 40 beers, cider, and mead after the running portion of the event, it’s the perfect way to exercise and indulge at the same time! Check out our previous post for more details. And to top it off, all four ANBL growler stations will feature NB-brewed beers, including Hammond River Covered Bridge ESB at the KV location, Railcar Grapefruit Pale Ale in Fredericton, and Fils du Roy Caraquet Flyer in Sackville, to name a few. Check the full list here.

• If you hadn’t pre-ordered tickets for the Sunset Heights Meadery Autumn Mead Release Party (being held Saturday, October 24th from 5-9 pm at the Crowne Plaza), good news! They will be releasing the few remaining tickets online this Sunday, starting at 9 am. The event features special-release meads, a “Local Harvest Meal”, a collectible glass, and the right to purchase up to 24 bottles of mead. Tickets are extremely limited (only seven remaining), so be sure to grab yours while you can!

• Over on the Rock, YellowBelly has a new beer on tap – Robert the Spruce is a Pale Ale that has been brewed with spruce tips. Golden-amber in color, it clocks in at 5.5% ABV. While having a calculated bitterness of only 28 IBUs, the perceived bitterness is actually much higher due to the use of the spruce tips, according to the brewery. Look for bottles of this one to be available at the brewery and select NLC stores by the end of next week.

Garrison Brewing has a pair of new brews on at their Marginal Rd location these days. The first is Trop Yard Radler, a blend of their Hop Yard Pale Ale and with fresh lime and orange juice. Despite the low ABV (3.4%), the blend packs a punch of tropical fruit character and solid bitterness. It is available at the brewery for growler fills and on-site sampling. The second beer is called Fluffernutter. It is a special batch of their Nut Brown Ale, infused with marshmallows, which lend a slight sweetness to the beer, as well as their distinctive aroma and taste. The Fluffernutter is 5% ABV, and due to its limited availability, is only available for onsite consumption at the brewery. Get down there today for a taste before its all gone!

The Nook and Cranny in Truro has brewed up a new beer. NovelTea Passionfruit Ale is based on their Wheat Ale, with some special additions. After fermentation, 22 litres of steeped Satya Tea blend Berry Bliss was added to the beer. It is a blend of dried chamomile, chicory root, hibiscus flowers, rose hips, and strawberries. In addition to the tea, puréed passion fruit is added to the beer for additional tart, bitter, and citrus characteristics. Look for the beer to be on tap shortly, for pints in the pub, and growlers to go.

• The brewery and beer list for next weekend’s Seaport Beerfest (Aug 7-8) was released this morning. They will be featuring plenty of Maritime, Quebec, Ontario, and Maine breweries, as well as several Irish breweries again this year. The extremely popular Cask Beer Pavillion will be making a return, with an expanded lineup. The Ladies Beer League will be operating that Pavillion, and the Fest and LBL will be donating to Adsum House. This year’s special guest is Gráinne Walsh of Metalman Brewing in Waterford, Ireland. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, you are not too late! Tickets for all sessions are still available, including the Friday night VIP session, which includes a limited edition sampling glass and opener, participation in a Q&A session with a brewer’s panel, guided tasting of a few brews, and early access to the Fest. For those of you who like to travel in packs, tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of the group discount option, for groups of 15 or more. Email Joanne for more information.

• The Moncton Beer League is holding another beer and food pairing that features Nova Scotia beer, on Friday, August 28th from 7-10 pm. Early-bird tickets are on sale now until August 4th, and are $39 + fee. They also have some other events planned for the future, including an Oktoberfest event in the fall, and a group cruise next May. More on those events, soon!

Enjoy your weekend! And be sure to stock up on some locally-brewed IPAs for next Thursday!

Happy Friday folks! We’ve got lots of new beers (and a couple of breweries!) to keep you satisfied today.

• Fredericton beer lovers were alerted this morning to yet another new brewery in their city… and it’s open now! Half Cut Brewing is owned by Matt Corey, an employee at Picaroons; Matt will be brewing his first beers on the 7 BBL system at the Brewtique on Queen St. This isn’t the first time that Picaroons have lent their space and equipment to a new brewery – Grimross initially had their start there when they first opened two years ago. Half Cut has released their first beer this morning for growler fills at the Brewtique – Alter Ego is a 5% ABV Düsseldorf Altbier, a copper-coloured German ale/lager hybrid that features clean and malty flavours, and is balanced by a firm bitterness (47 IBUs). Head down to the Brewtique ASAP to give this new beer a try! In the meantime, we’ll have more info on Half Cut in the near future.

Hammond River owner/brewer Shane Steeves was at the Big Tide brewpub last Saturday with brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos for their first collaboration beer! They decided to focus on both a style and ingredient that neither of them had brewed/used before, and settled on a “Rhubarb Saison”. With a fairly simple grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt, plus a little Munich and Crystal 60 L, it was hopped lightly with Hallertau to about 28 IBUs. Seventy pounds of locally-sourced rhubarb was added to the beer in several stages – the boil, during primary fermentation, and when fermentation is complete – which should provide significant tartness to the finished product. Fermented with a dry Saison yeast, expect this Belgian ale to weigh in at around 6% ABV; it should be available on tap at Big Tide within a couple of weeks, and will hopefully pop up at several of Hammond River’s accounts as well!

TrailWay has added another fruit beer to their summer line-up: Mango Wheat features the same grist as their popular Raspberry Wheat, with real mangoes – 10 lbs worth – added during secondary fermentation. Also hopped with notoriously-tropical varieties Citra and Galaxy (including more Citra in the dry-hop), expect this easy-drinking, 4.5% ABV beer to be perfectly-fruity for summer (even if the weather hasn’t felt like it, lately). It’s available on tap now throughout Fredericton.

• Last night, TrailWay also took part in the recent return of the weekly Thursday Cask Night at the King Street Ale House. Along with two casks of their IPA, Hugh John Hops (one infused with bourbon-soaked oak chips, the other dry-hopped a second time, with Comet), they released… another new beer! Summer Amber is on the lighter side of Amber-coloured, with a grist of 2-row, Munich, Crystal, CaraRed, and a hint of Chocolate malt. Hopped heavily with Centennial (and smaller amounts of Amarillo and Mosaic), it’s easy-drinking at 5% ABV, with a moderate bitterness in the finish.

• Ahead of their participation in the Halifax Seaport Beer Festival August 7-8, the fine folks from Toronto’s Great Lakes Brewery will be taking over the taps at both the Stillwell Beergarden and Barrington St mothership on Thursday, August 6th. Starting at 4pm, a fine selection of GLB beers will be pouring on the waterfront, taking over all of the Beergarden’s lines, with some special sausages and dogs to accompany them. Just one keg of each beer will be on, so once it’s gone, it’s gone! Entry tickets are $5+fees. And then, starting at 6pm, Barrington Street will be pouring a dozen of Brewmaster Mike Lackey’s favourite brews, which will be sure to include some rare-for-even-Toronto GLB brews, perhaps from their mixed fermentation, barrel-aged and other small-batch beers. And Lackey himself will be on hand to meet and greet. Tickets for entry to this event are also $5+fees, and after 8pm, the doors will be open to all (assuming there’s anything left). Tickets are available online now, and are sure to sell out soon!

Flying Boats Brewing hasn’t been open very long, but that’s not stopping them from experimenting with new beers! First up is Dome Car, a Bohemian or Czech Pilsner that is brewed with plenty of the noble Saaz hop variety, providing lots of its characteristic spicy flavours and aromas. It registers at 36 IBUs and 5% ABV, and is currently on tap at Shediac’s Auberge Gabriele Inn. Owner/brewer Marc Melanson also brewed up a special beer for a special event (mentioned directly below): S-55 Special Mission Dark Pale Ale.  Featuring a “rich blend of malted and caramel-based barleys”, the beer is heavily-hopped (and dry-hopped) with Cascade to balance the sweetness from the malts. Named after an aviation feat that took place in Shediac in 1933 (more on that here), it comes in at 37 IBUs and 5.6% ABV.

• In celebration of the upcoming New Brunswick Day long weekend, Fredericton’s James Joyce Pub is pulling out all the stops and dedicating their 18 taps to all 18 breweries in the province. This will mark the first time that every brewery in New Brunswick is available on tap at the same time! Beers from the recently-opened Flying Boats Brewing (including the new brew mentioned above) and Savoie’s Brewhouse will join the line-up, as well as the recent Acadie-Broue/Big Tide collaboration La Gaboteuse, a Belgian IPA. Acadie-Broue will also have a tap for their Hefeweizen, Valdrague Weizen (more on that beer here). The kegs will be tapped at 3 pm on Friday, July 31st, and will continue flowing all weekend until they’re gone. Many of these beers will go quickly, so don’t wait to drop in! This feat likely won’t be accomplished again for quite some time!

• Speaking of Savoie’s Brewhouse, their listing at the ANBL has gone live today, which means this weekend should be the time to pick up their Chaleur Phantom Amber Ale (and their Island Lake Blonde shortly). They will also be participating (along with Charlo neighbours Shiretown Beer) in the Bon Ami Flavour Fest taking place at 7pm July 25th at the Lion’s Club on Adelaide in Dalhousie. Tickets are $35, and include beer, cider, and wine tasting, and finger food until 10pm, when the live music and dancing take over the hall floor.

Petit-Sault has released Lt. Ingall – Summer Edition, a new take on Lt. Ingall, their “Session Pale Ale”. While the original was brewed entirely with malt from Quebec’s MaltBroue, the new beer features both Canadian 2-row and Munich malt for “more of a smooth maltiness”, according to the brewery. The hop schedule has also been changed, with Chinook and Centennial taking the stage. It’s still a very-sessionable 4.6% ABV; currently available at the brewery, it should also be joining the line-up at the ANBL Growler Stations in the near future. And be sure to drop by their Beer Garden at 45 rue de l’Eglise July 30-Aug 1, for some pre-Foire Brayonne fun.

Railcar Brewing in Florenceville has a new beer out this week, Celtic Red Ale. This malt-forward 6.2% ABV Red features four different malts in the grain bill, with bittering from Fuggle and Golding from local Southan Farm to 17 IBUs for balance. Railcar has also given us some details on a new beer they’ve brewed especially for their local Festival of Flavour, being held Aug 9-15. Their Sweet Potato Porter features Pale, Munich, Caramel, Carapils and Chocolate malts, along with 8 kg of sweet potatoes in the mash tun. Magnum hops were used both in a first-wort hop and in the boil to balance the malt, and an addition of star anise and cinnamon spices was added to the boil. This 8.2% ABV beer will be available at the brewery beginning August 11, and at the Festival of Flavour Grand Tasting, Aug 15 at 6:30pm. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $35, and available now. And join Railcar’s owner/brewer Mitch Biggar in a tasting of Maritime Craft Beer on Aug 12, complete with a tour of his brewery. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for Railcar’s debut on the ANBL growler program next week, with their Grapefruit Pale Ale on tap at the Fredericton ANBL.

Let’s hope the weather improves over the weekend! Grimross’ Table Oat Saison is now available. Brewed with 100% Oats, this beer is suitable for gluten-conscious drinkers, as oats themselves contain no gluten, but they were not processed in a gluten-free facility, so those with celiac disease should be aware of that. Look for more details on the brew here. PEI Brewing’s latest Vic Park Pale Ale single-hop variant is out, this time using the Australian Galaxy hop. Big Spruce was visited by home brewer Jason Spears to brew up this year’s batch of Tip of the Spear Spruce Tip IPA, look for it to hit the taps mid-August. And drop by today for oysters (until 6:30pm) and music from Keith Mullins (starting at 3:30pm) during their Food, Music, and Beer Friday. Drop by Halifax’s Good Robot for a growler fill of their core lineup this weekend, and you can also grab a taste of some pilot brews that may be released in the coming months. Look for a Lichtenhainer (a sour and smoky low alcohol German style) and Kentucky Common (a pre-Prohibition malt and corn beer from Kentucky). Bishop’s Cellar has received a new shipment from several breweries that is hitting the shelves today, including a handful from Evil Twin, as well as a Summer Wheat from Anchor Brewing, cider from Brickworks Ciderhouse, and a collaboration between Le Trou du Diable & Dieu du Ciel!. A reminder that they take internet orders and deliveries across the province for those who cannot make it into their Halifax shop. Sign up to their Behind the Taps mailing list for the latest details. And Chris will be doing something a little different next weekend, visiting a few Maine beer sites and events, including a Brews & Views Beer Pairing Dinner at Stratton Brook Hut near Kingfield, Maine, and going for a bit of a beer and raft adventure on the Kennebec River, at The Forks, Maine. Keep an eye open for additional info next week.

Hello, everyone! It’s been another great week of weather in Atlantic Canada… what better way to end it than with some local news on our favourite beverage?

Boxing Rock has released a new beer that is an interesting twist on the commonly-found Blonde Ale style – it’s a “Blonde Rye Ale” named Bottle Blonde. Brewed with the summer months in mind, the grain bill consists of a whopping 35% Rye Malt (large amounts of Rye can be tricky to brew with due to the sticky consistency it often lends to the mash), complementing the 5% ABV. Hopped mainly with East Kent Goldings and Saaz, it has a fairly-low bitterness at about 20 IBUs. The brewery is describing it as very drinkable, with a nice balance between the spicy notes from the hops and the spicy notes from the Rye. You can find it now at the brewery and on tap at select beer bars/restaurants, and in bottles at several NSLC stores sometime next week. It should be around until September, when the temperatures inevitably start to drop!

• Earlier this week, Grimross released a new beer, Strab Cream Ale. Brewed for the Canadian Association of Optometrists Congress 2015 (held this week in Fredericton), the name comes from the short form of “strabismic”, which refers to double-vision, often resulting from too much drinking! The beer itself is a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) ale featuring Pale malt and Centennial. Featuring a low hop bitterness at 18 IBUs, it’s light-bodied and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV, and is described by the brewery as a “great lawnmower beer, refreshing with a little grassiness”. Stop by the brewery today for a pint and/or growler fill; it is also available at select bars/restaurants in the city.

• Speaking of Grimross, they’ve announced their first Grimross Hops Festival, to be held on Saturday, August 22nd. A “celebration of New Brunswick hops, microbreweries, and music”, it will take place in the back lot of the brewery at 600 Bishop Dr. from 3 pm – 11 pm. Details are slim at the moment, but they promise plenty of NB beer, food, and talent! Advance tickets ($30 each) will go on sale soon, and include entry and three 5 oz beer samples, with additional drink tickets available for purchase at the event; the price at the door will be $35. For more details on the bands scheduled, check out the event page. We’ll keep you updated on the breweries/beers pouring as that information is released.

Big Axe has released a new American IPA, Firefly IPA. With a lighter body than their Double Bit IPA, this beer should also be drier and more refreshing, as there are no caramel notes in the aroma or flavour, according to the brewery. Brewed with several hop varieties including Chinook and Galena, it features a “prominent hop aroma, with both floral and citrus notes”. It clocks in at 5.7% ABV and 50 IBUs, and has a “very clean and crisp finish”. You can find it on tap now at the brewery in Nackawic, and at the James Joyce in Fredericton.

The Gahan House – Charlottetown has released the winning entry in this year’s Home Brewer’s Challenge, and it’s on tap now at the brewpub. Summer in New Zealand comes from the homebrewing brains and talent of Ryan Palmer (who also won last year’s inaugural event); an American Wheat Ale hopped with Wakatu, it also features Grains of Paradise and lemon and lime zest. Palmer and Gahan brewmaster Trent Hayes brewed the recipe on the Gahan system; the beer comes in at approximately 5.1% ABV and 30 IBUs. Get to the brewpub and try it while you can!

• In some sad news, the popular Windsor, NS pub and friend to local craft beer, The Spitfire Arms, was severely damaged in a fire on Tuesday morning. Happily, they already have plans to open in a temporary location next week on Gerrish St.; in the meantime, work will begin soon on the original location to have it back up and running ASAP. As well, local musician Hal Bruce is organizing a music event to help raise funds for the Spitfire; the tentative date is currently set for Sunday, August 23rd. Here’s to a speedy recovery for this wonderful establishment!

• Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub recently released an exclusive line-up of highly-rated and hard-to-find American craft beers, featuring breweries such as Allagash, Maine Beer Co., Dogfish Head, and Cascade Brewing, to name a few (the full list is available here). Bottles of these beers are on sale now; they’re available in limited quantities only, so be sure to stop in for a chance to try some excellent beers, complemented by the more than a dozen craft beers on tap from Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

• This year’s PEI Beer Festival has been confirmed for September 11th and 12th at the Delta Prince Edward. This year’s event will once again offer two evening sessions (Friday and Saturday), and one Saturday afternoon session. Full details and a brewery/beer list have not been released yet, but expect live music and food pairings to accompany many samples of beers. Tickets are on sale now; they’re priced at $47.60 for each evening sesson, and $36.20 for the afternoon session.

• The crew from Bar Stillwell made a visit to Big Spruce in Nyanza yesterday, to brew up a conspiracy beer. They put together a Pale Ale, hopped generously (understatement of the year!) with Citra, all late in the boil. This will give the beer a big blast of citrus and melon in aroma and flavour, without an aggressive bitterness. Look for this on tap at the Beergarden by early August.

Distillerie Fils du Roy in Petit-Paquetville, N.B. has brewed up their Summer Seasonal this week, to be released in the coming weeks. La Messe Blanche is named in memory of the Acadians fleeing deportation who would settle in existing communities, and would still hold Sunday Mass, but without a priest overseeing it (thus named Messe Blanche/White Mass). For the label, local artist Raynald Basque was commissioned to paint Alexis Landry, who had built Chapel de Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage in Caraquet, leading one of the Messe Blanches. Fils du Roy will soon be offering their beers in a new format – growlers from local producer Jym Line.

We hope you have a great weekend! A final reminder that Breton Brewing is having their launch party at Flavor on the Water tomorrow, with music, food and beer all night. Tickets are available online. Propeller has another One Hit Wonder on the go: English Mild is now available at both Prop Shop locations, and comes in at 4% ABV and 22 IBUs.

breton logo

Breton Brewing is now open at 364 Keltic Drive in Sydney, NS. The brewery is the culmination of years of passion, planning, and preparation by homebrewers Bryan MacDonald and Andrew Morrow, both from Cape Breton. Ahead of their launch party this weekend, we wanted to share the story behind Breton Brewing, from their perspective. Both Andrew and Bryan were kind enough to respond to our questions.

ACBB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Bryan MacDonald: I was born and raised in Cape Breton. I graduated with Mechanical Engineering at Dalhousie in 2007, and spent 6 years in the HVAC industry doing mechanical building design. I am married and have a 16 month old son who is currently in training to be a brewer.
Andrew Morrow: I was born and raised in Sydney, NS. I graduated in 2006 from CBU with a Science degree and then from UPEI in 2009 with a Bachelor Education degree. I have been working for the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board and Community Services of Nova Scotia since 2009. I am married to my wife Jen and have a 13 month old boy Bennett.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Andrew: My first experience with craft beer was in PEI at the Gahan House. They opened my eyes to what the world of craft beer was all about. Since then I’ve been using my educational background to help study the art and science of the brewing industry. I am still a huge fan of the PEI Brewing Company and visit whenever I get the chance to get back to PEI.
Bryan: I think my first taste of craft beer was at Rogues Roost and Ginger’s Tavern in my university days. I have since done a fair amount of traveling and have gone to as many breweries and brewpubs as possible. I love the variety of craft beer, and am excited to now be able to share my passion for craft beer with Nova Scotia.

breton sign and tanks

Do you guys have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery?
Bryan: I love all styles, but probably love IPAs the most. I had a chance to travel to Belgium and enjoyed all of the Abbey style ales. I love the taste of a bottle conditioned beer. My favorite two breweries that I visited were both over seas: Brouwerij ‘t ij in Amsterdam, and Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels. I loved the atmosphere at “The Egg” brewery and the rustic process at Cantillon… just awesome.
Andrew: I am a big fan of dark beer. Porters, Browns, Stouts, all peak my interest. There is a depth of complexity to these styles that excites my palate. Having said that, the beer that actually started my love of craft beer was Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale from the PEI Brewing Company.

Can you share a bit about your homebrewing backgrounds?
Andrew: In 2009 I made my first batch of beer through the extract method. I was hooked and I knew I wanted more. I immediately gathered enough equipment to all grain brew my second batch. The authenticity of all grain brewing was so intriguing that it led me to where I am today .
Bryan: My wife got me my first homebrew kit for Christmas back in 2008, and I have been hooked ever since. I have read every book I can get my hands on, and brewed countless batches out in the driveway. I also put in about three semesters of listening on the Brewing Network, haha.

Do you have a specific ingredient in brewing that you like to brew with?
Bryan: I think my favourite ingredient to use is the Weihenstephaner W3068 Yeast. This is one of my favourite styles of beer (Hefeweizen), and it is amazing the flavours and aromas that come from this yeast.
Andrew: I am a big fan of adding adjuncts to beer. I’ve been experimenting for as long as I can remember and have produced some great beers using adjuncts. I’m also a fan of Aromatic Malt and any type of citrusy hops.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
Andrew: I’ve always wanted to be on the business side of things and think I am well suited for that. Along with my science background, passion for brewing and the craft beer market now, it was the perfect fit.
Bryan: I have always had the itch to be entrepreneurial, and I want to do what I love every day, so it is a perfect match. It wasn’t easy taking the leap from my professional job, but my family and friends have been very supportive, and the craft beer scene is still on the rise, so the timing is right.

breton guys and brewhouse

What size/manufacturer/type of system will you be brewing on?
We currently have a 15 BBL steam fired system from Criveller Group, out of Niagara Falls. We love the flexibility that this system offers, and are very pleased with our results so far. We are excited about the products we are producing with this system.

What are your plans for distribution? Plans for tap accounts, bottles, growlers, etc.?
Our current plan is to distribute to restaurants, bars, distilleries, and golf courses throughout Nova Scotia, and to sell growlers and pints out of our Brewery. We also just started attending the Ross Ferry Farmers Market with our growlers, and plan to offer our kegs to growler fill stations in Halifax. We eventually plan to do some bottling and canning down the road, but initially are selling 20L and 50L kegs, and 64oz and 32oz growlers.

Where can we purchase your beers currently?
We are currently on tap at many restaurants across the province:
Sydney – Flavor on the Water, Governor’s, Old Triangle
Glace Bay – Talo
Iona – Frolic Pub
Glenville – Glenora Distillery
Antigonish – The Townhouse
Halifax – Bar Stillwell & the Beergarden, The Stubborn Goat, The Argyle, Tom’s Little Havana
We also have several seasonal Cape Breton locations that will be serving our beer later this summer.

Can you tell us about the beer you are currently pouring?

We have three flagship beers:
Sons of Hector Brown Ale
Black Angus IPA
Stirling Hefeweizen

breton coasters

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
Yes, all of the NS breweries have been helpful, and we have had many questions over the past few months. The craft beer community is awesome, and we are glad to be part of it!

Where do you hope to see Breton Brewing in the next 2-3 years?
We will continue focusing on producing high quality products, and will likely have several seasonal beers by this point. We hope to be canning and bottling by this point as well.

Big thanks to Andrew and Bryan for answering our questions. Be sure to drop by the brewery, or one of their licensees to grab a growler or pint of their beers. And there are still tickets available for their Launch Party at Flavor on the Water, featuring local musicians, great food, and of course their beer.

Happy Friday local beer fans! We’ve got a shorter post this week, but that just means there’s more time for you to be out drinking!

Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax has released a brand new beer this week, Raisin Hell Oatmeal Stout. This stout is dark, rich and chocolaty, with coffee and cream notes, and a bittersweet finish reminiscent of oatmeal raisin cookies. Aromas of roasted grains, vanilla and cheerios. This Traditional English Stout is brewed with steel cut oats, which provide a full, velvety body. It is being served on a nitrogenated tap, for even more creamy character. The beer weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 35 IBUs

• And coming next week at Rockbottom is their collaboration with the Ladies Beer League, Fizzgig Imperial Red. At 7.5% ABV and 80 IBUs, this big, bold, and hoppy Imperial Red ale is a marriage of dark English crystal malts and bright punchy New Zealand hops. Ruby coloured, with aromas of blackberry and cut grass. Long bitter lemon-lime finish. The beer will be launched Wednesday evening, and a reminder that all LBL members receive 50% off appetizers Wednesday nights.

Big Tide Brewing has tapped the Marée Montante (Rising Tide) Gose this week, their collaboration with Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin. This sour mashed beer has a light and refreshing body, at 4.6% ABV, and very light hopping, to 15 IBUs. Additions of coriander and Bay of Fundy salt water for that characteristic flavour of this traditional German style. It is available only at the brewery, and won’t last long, so drop by today.

Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston, NB are looking for an Assistant Brewer to join their ranks. While having intimate knowledge of yeast pitch rates and hop flavour profile are not required (but a bonus), this job is perfect for someone looking to learn the craft of brewing on a large scale. Check out the job posting for the full details, and contact them quickly, as the posting closes next Friday.

• Speaking of brewing jobs, Yellowbelly Brewery in St John’s, NL, is still looking for a Head Brewer and Brewer’s Apprentice. These positions will be to assist Brewmaster Liam McKenna as they expand their offerings and distribution. The 10 hl brewhouse located in the heart of downtown (on the corner of George and Water Streets), brews for both onsite consumption as well as bottles in the NLC. While the Brewer position requires formal brewing training and/or experience, the Apprentice job is the perfect position for those interested in the wonderful world of brewing! Interested candidates should send an email to yellowbellybrewerjob@gmail.com for more details and to submit a résumé.

• There are a pair of events happening in NB tomorrow evening. In Fredericton, the Tasting NB Event at the Capital Complex will see ten breweries (including brand new Flying Boats Brewing and Gray Stone Brewing), plus cider, wine, and spirits producers come together to celebrate the New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association. Tickets are still available. Flying Boats will be pouring their Humpyard Steam Ale, a 5.8% and 46 IBU California Common Ale (aka Steam Ale) and their Stove Pipe Gang Black IPA, 6.9% ABV and 96 IBUs. Gray Stone will be pouring their American Pale Ale, featuring tropical hop aromas, balances with a satisfying bitterness; American Stout, with a medium body featuring notes of toffee, roasted barley and coffee with a mocha nose; and India Pale Ale, a balanced beer, but with big bitterness. As their brewery is still months away, the folks at TrailWay Brewing (also in attendance) were kind enough to allow them to brew on their system.

• In Moncton, the Moncton Beer League is taking over La Teraz for a Nova Scotia Beer BBQ Deck Party, featuring beers from Boxing Rock, Garrison, North, and Propeller, each paired with a course of the meal: grilled pineapple glazed salmon, crispy orange marinated chicken thigh with cilantro and pineapple salsa, beer marinated and grilled ribeye, and extra dark double chocolate and coffee brownie with leche cream. Contact the MBL on FB to check for last-minute tickets, if available.

• Details have been announced for another Summer Tasting Session at Railcar Brewing in Florenceville-Bristol. Join brewer Mitch Biggar 6-9pm July 25 for some Stout and Porter talk, including the history, recipe development, and of course some tasting of three of each style. Tickets are $20 at the door.

Real Food Connections in Fredericton is making some unique products with local beer and cider: Freezies! They have taken Picaroons Dooryard Summer Wheat, and lightly simmered it with local honey, lemon, and lime, to make a Dooryard Shandy Sorbet that can be eaten/slurped on the go! They have also experimented with Grimross Pugnacious Porter and strawberry juice, and Red Rover cider for yet another flavour. While most of the alcohol is lost to evaporation during the preparation, the beer flavour remains in the final product. Drop by Real Food Connections in Fredericton for a taste, and you may even see these for sale in Dicke Dee-type rolling freezer chests soon!

Keep an eye out this weekend for Big Axe Brewing‘s Chanterelle Cream Ale, which has made its return this week, with freshly harvested mushrooms from the Nackawic area. Upstreet‘s Quittin’ Time Session is happening again this evening at the brewery, featuring Racoon Bandit‘s Fraser McCallum, and some fresh PEI oysters. Trailway Brewing has sent some Hugh John Hops IPA to Saint John, and it is only available at Bourbon Quarter (and only a pair of kegs). Meander River in Ashdale, NS has released another Cider, Dusty Road Hard Apple Cider. Dry, light, refreshing, 5.5% ABV, drop by the brewery this weekend to pick some up. In Halifax, North Brewing‘s Halifax Common is back on tap at the brewery, and a few local tap accounts.  And in more good news for Halifax beer fans, the inaugural brew from Unfiltered Brewing went on this week, so it won’t be long before Greg Nash’s beer will be flowing again in the city.

Flying Boats Brewing

Flying Boats Brewing is a new small scale brewery, recently opened in the Shediac Bay, N.B. region, by Marc Melanson. The “Flying Boats” moniker and beer names are a nod to the history of transportation in southeast New Brunswick, including its early aviation, railway, Ships and boats, and highway travel. This part of NB has a unique and interesting history that will be celebrated with full bodied and flavourful craft beers that will be tied to these stories. Marc was kind enough to answer a few questions about Flying Boats, his beers, and his brewing history.

ACBB: Is there something specific that got you into the world of craft beer?
I worked as an automotive engineer in Europe for 10 years and built a love for premium, good quality beers, as well as the dedication to the craft, especially in Germany. Upon returning to Canada in 1992 and being disappointed with returning to the local beers offered, I started to brew kits (not very good by today’s standards, with info available and quality yeasts) and searching out the early micro breweries. Family years put a halt into home brewing until about 6-7 years ago when I started again and progressed all the way to All Grain.

What steps have you taken so far getting everything up and running?
I started with kits again, 6-7 years ago, then started to add extra hops, partial grains and other techniques to end up to All Grain today. I practiced my sanitation techniques, temperature control, and yeast handling over hundreds of 23 L batches to get a good understanding of the variables. I also read, picked fellow brewers’ brains, attended events, etc… One of the biggest lessons learned early on is to be prepared by having everything ready (set up, sanitation, ingredients, timelines, etc…).

What size/type of system will you be brewing on?
I am currently brewing on a 10 G systems but recently ordered a 2 BBL system from Stout Tanks, which is scheduled to arrive in Sept. My approach is more of a “controlled” growth so I can focus on creating and delivering high quality beers at this stage.

Will you be the primary brewer, or will you be employing one?
I am the primary brewer at this point, but I have a few brewing assistants who help me from time to time.

Do you have any partners in the brewery?
I am currently the only brewer, with my wife helping (voluntold) with back office accounting, social media and other tasks. I’ve had a lot of help and advice from other brewers (thanks to Shane Steeves from Hammond River) and other friends who’ve helped me set up my “brew shop” in my converted garage.

What are your plans for distribution? Plans for tap accounts, bottles, growlers, etc.?
I plan to distribute to southeastern NB tap accounts, the Fredericton area and selected Craft Beer events. No current plans for bottling. I am also planning to ramp up production this fall with my new system to make some of my kegs available through the ANBL Growler program (work in progress).

Do you have any beer bars/restaurants in the area lined up to serve your beers?
Due to my limited production capacity, I am focusing on a soft launch to selected restaurants/bars/licensees:

La Coast – Main Street, Shediac
Auberge Gabriele Inn– Main Street, Shediac
Ducky’s – Bridge Street, Sackville

Upcoming Events:
Tasting NB – July 11, Capitol Complex, Fredericton
Fredericton Craft Beer Run – Aug 3, Delta Fredericton, Fredericton

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
I currently have three beers listed under the Flying Boats banner at ANBL, along with one Seasonal listing, in kegs to be sold to Licensees:
Flying Boats Dixie Clipper IPA
Flying Boats S-55 Special Mission Pale Ale
Flying Boats Empress Irish Red Ale
Current Seasonal:
Flying Boats Picnic Train Witbier

I have submitted three more beers for full time listing by ANBL, which will go through the tasting and selection process later this month: An Extra Special Bitter, Humpyard Steam Ale (California Common), and the Picnic Train Witbier. There will be 5 or more new styles released in the fall and winter, as production increases.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries or people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
The craft beer brewing scene is pretty amazing with great camaraderie. I’ve received lots of verbal support, as well as help on transitioning to larger brewing systems thanks to Shane Steeves at Hammond River Brewing. Also, the online community of The Brewnosers and the crew at NBCBA and NBCAPA have been very helpful.

With the recent increase in the number of new breweries in Atlantic Canada, what will make Flying Boats different from the rest?
I believe that there is still lots of room for growth in the craft beer segment, which can accommodate new entrants. More craft brewers helps the whole segment with lots of choice and beer styles.

Where do you hope to see Flying Boats in the next 2-3 years?
My initial goal is to become a well established “Local Craft Brewing Company”. The next steps will be determined by feedback from my customers.

Do you personally have a favorite beer style? Beer? Brewery?
I tend to like beers that have a nice balance of malts and hops, with more emphasis on hop forward beers. I also enjoy most beers, but a hoppy IPA is my desert island beer… I’ve always been a fan of Picaroons, as well as Propeller beers and their style of brewing. Lately, there has been a lot of great new beers out in the marketplace. I tend to like Local-Fresh-Unpasteurized-Unfiltered beers…

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
After several years of brewing and encouragement/feedback from friends who enjoyed all the variety of beer styles I have brewed, I decided that I wanted to do this full time. If you’re going to invest this kind of money and time, it only makes sense to get all the necessary permits and listings. It’s a lot of work, some of it not glorious (cleaning), but it’s what I want to do.

Do you have a specific ingredient in brewing that you like to brew with? E.g. a specific malt and/or hop variety?
I tend to brew with a variety of ingredients, but I am starting to focus on a few ingredients that I really like such as Chinook and Simcoe hops in IPAs or Pale Ales. I try to balance what I like with what customers are asking for…

From what/where/whom have you learned the most in respect to brewing?
Books, Online, events, friends…. and most important…. brew, brew and more brewing to learn the nuances of the results with different hop schedules, malt mash temps, yeasts, temp control, etc….

Thanks again to Marc for answering our questions. Follow along with Flying Boats’ releases of new beers and licensees on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to drop by the spots in Shediac and Sackville to grab a pint of his beer today.
You can also meet and chat with Marc, as well as a dozen other NB Craft Alcohol Producers, at the Tasting NB event this Saturday. There, Flying Boats Brewing will be serving their current seasonal beers:
Humpyard Steam Ale, a California Common Ale (aka Steam Ale) that has typical Pale Ale ingredients, but is fermented with a Lager yeast at elevated temperature. This creates a nice malty caramel flavour balanced with Northern Brewer hops and a crisp finish taste, and comes in at 5.8% ABV and 46 IBUs.
Stove Pipe Gang Black IPA, a full-flavoured dark malt ale with plenty of hops (4 varieties) including a dry hop for aroma. It weighs in at 6.9% ABV and has 96 IBUs.

Welcome to the first Friday in July! We hope your Canada Day was a festive one, and you were able to celebrate with a local pint. Let’s see what other new beers you’ll soon be able to taste around our region!

• New Brunswick’s newest brewery, Flying Boats Brewing in Shediac, has released their first beer, Picnic Train Witbier. A refreshing, easy-drinking seasonal release named after a “popular summertime train service between Moncton and Pointe-du-Chene wharf to bring passengers to Parlee Beach in the early part of 1900s”, it was brewed with Flaked Wheat, malted Pilsner and some Flaked Oats in the grist. In true Witbier-style, bitter orange peel and coriander were added to the beer at the end of the boil to provide some additional spiciness/fruitiness to the aroma and flavour. Lightly hopped to balance the sweetness, the beer comes in at 5.5% ABV, and is currently on tap at La Coast Restaurant et Bar and Auberge Gabrièle Inn, both of which are located in Shediac.

• Flying Boats should also be releasing their Dixie Clipper IPA on tap in the near future. Continuing with the locally-named theme, Dixie Clipper refers to “one of the planes that flew into Shediac Bay during the 1920-30’s as a weekly Pan Am flight from New York to Shediac, then onward to Europe and return”, according to brewer/owner Marc Melanson. Hopped (and dry-hopped) predominantly with Chinook to 68 IBUs, it weighs in at a moderately-strong 6.5% ABV. Expect notes of both pine and grapefruit in this hoppy ale. And look for two additional new Flying Boats beers (currently TBD) to be served at next Saturday’s Tasting NB!

Red Rover has released a special cider this week, Get with the Beet. They sourced fresh beet juice from Real Food Connections, and added it to the apple cider base before conditioning. The rough juicing allows significant beet character to shine through on both the nose and palate, with a bright red colour highlighting the blend. The ABV is listed as 7.0%, and will be available at their market stalls in Fredericton, KingstonSaint John and St. Andrews, their Cider House and on tap at select locations.

Garrison Brewing is releasing a new beer today, Seaport Blonde. Brewed in celebration of the spot where they work and play, this American Blonde Ale is light bodied, and has a dry, crisp finish. It features an ABV of 4.0%, from the 2-Row and Wheat malt grain bill, and is lightly hopped with Columbus to 8 IBUs. This new brew is on tap and in bottles at the brewery now, and will be debuting in the NSLCs very shortly.

• There’s another beer event coming soon to Fredericton from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival and the King Street Ale House. Ice Cream n’ Beer will be held at the KSAH on Sunday, July 26th from 6-9 pm, and will feature six different local craft beers (8 oz pours) paired with six different “craft ice creams” created by chef Aaron Fraser.  The brewery/beer list will be confirmed once the ice cream creations come in! Tickets are $35 (taxes and fee included) and can be purchased now, online.

Yellowbelly Brewmaster Liam McKenna has put a different spin on the latest batch of their YellowBelly Pale Ale, on now at the brewery. The grain bill is the same, for 4.5% ABV, however McKenna has swapped out the traditional Nugget and Cluster hops used normally in this year-round staple. In their place, Sorachi Ace was used for the bittering and flavour additions, with a charge of Mosaic used for dry-hopping, for an aromatic blast. This is truly a one-off iteration of the Pale Ale, so be sure to check it out at the brewery today.

Railcar Brewing has made progress with their bottling plans, as you should be able to buy their Summer Sessions IPA (a single-malt and single-hop – or SMaSH – beer featuring the Citra variety) and Grapefruit Pale Ale in 500 mL bottles at the brewery by next weekend, according to brewer/owner Mitch Biggar. They’ve been brewing a lot of fruit-based beers for the warmer weather, all of which have their standard Pale Ale as a base, but with different organic brewer’s fruit extract and real peel/flesh added. Variations so far have included raspberry, watermelon, black currant, and mango, in addition to the rebrewed grapefruit version; they all measure 5.5% ABV. Right now, they’re planning on having bottles at various ANBL locations sometime next month. In the meantime, Railcar beers are also on tap at the James Joyce and Isaac’s Way in Fredericton, A.C. Sharkey’s Pub in Bristol, and Larlee Creek Public House in Perth.

• We have some more details on the new English Pale Ale released in mid-June at the official opening of the Big Axe taproom. This golden-amber-coloured ale was brewed with the English pale malt Maris Otter, along with some Crystal malt for both colour and caramel/toffee notes. Hopped to about 50 IBUs with Goldings and Galena, it weighs in at 6% ABV. It’s currently available at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and at the James Joyce in Fredericton.

• For Charlottetown residents, it just got easier to get your hands on BarNone beer! Last Saturday, they made their first appearance at the Charlottetown Farmers Market, where they were selling growlers of their beer. Despite the minimal announcement, locals were quick to snatch up plenty of growlers; for those of you who were unaware, BarNone will return tomorrow morning, and weekly thereafter! Tomorrow’s offerings should include their IPA and La Vaca Loca Sweet Stout, and perhaps their FarmAle Saison, depending on availability.

Big Spruce Brewing‘s first Food Truck Friday was a grand success last week, despite the poor weather. Today looks to be a little nicer, and the folks from Free Range Bio Farm will be back with their bright yellow food truck. They will be serving up Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Pulled Pork Sandwiches, with potato salad and sauerkraut. To wash all of that down, grab some of the second release of The Silver Tart (Sour Raspberry Wheat), the return of Spin Me White Round Wheat IPA, Tim’s Dirty American IPA, and Bitter Get’er India Black IPA. Accompanying the food and drinks will be entertainment from local musicians Ferris and Shauna Matthews Asaph.

• After a very successful launch on Saturday, Breton Brewing have announced details of their official Launch Party, taking place July 18th at Flavor on the Water. An event full of food, music, and of course, beer will run 5:30-1am that night. Four bands will be playing that evening, Keith MullinsJordan MusycsynPretty Archie, and Slowcoaster. Tickets to the event are $30 (which includes a free Breton beer), with a VIP option for $60 which also includes free hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening (including PA Marinated Pulled Pork Sliders, Hefeweizen Marinated Fish Tacos, and Breton Brewing Bold BBQ & Local Maple Jumbo Wings). Tickets can be purchased at the brewery, or online.

• And speaking of Breton, they will be filling growlers at their Keltic Dr location again tomorrow, 10-5pm. Joining their Stirling Hefeweizen and Black Angus IPA on tap will be their Sons of Hector, a 5.0% ABV, 30 IBU Brown Ale. Before their tasting room opens later this month, their brews can be found at Flavor on the WaterGovernor’s PubIona Heights InnOld Triangle, and Talo Cafe in Cape Breton, and in Halifax at The Argyle, Stillwell (both Barrington and the Beer Garden), Stubborn Goat, and Tom’s Little Havana. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on their opening hours, as they may vary until their tap room is open.

Upstreet Brewing opened their doors Friday evening, and have been going great guns ever since. All three of their beers, Rhuby Social Strawberry Rhubarb Wit, Do-Gooder Pale Ale and Commons Pilsner are now available at the brewery tap room for pints and growler fills. They can also be found on tap at several spots in Charlottetown, including Baba’s Lounge, where they are hosting tonight’s Quittin’ Time Sessions at 6-8pm, and at tomorrow’s Village Feast in Souris, hosted by Chef Michael Smith.

• Do you have any wild hops growing on your property, or have spotted some on the side of the road? If so, AgCan PEI researchers Aaron Mills and Jason McCallum want to hear about them! They are looking for truly Maritime hop varietals (either native, or from early crops brought from Europe) that are resistant to pests and mildew in our area, and may possibly have some unique flavour and aroma characteristics. If you have any leads, email Aaron Mills.

• And finally this week, Rare Bird has released their Spruce Ale seasonal beer this week at their Guysborough brewery. Black Spruce buds were added to the boil, to complement the medium-bodied beer’s flavour and aroma. This 5.5% ABV and 53 IBU beer will also be bottled, and should be showing up in the private beer stores in HRM shortly.

Looks like a nice weekend coming up, be sure to enjoy it with some local craft beer! If you’re in Fredericton, TrailWay has released a new iteration of their Raspberry Wheat; in addition to fresh raspberries, Raspberry Pomegranate has had – you guessed it – pure pomegranate organic juice added during secondary fermentation. Look for it on tap at the KSAH and 540 Kitchen & Bar. Petit-Sault‘s IPA, Soeur Catherine, should now be available in bottles at several ANBL stores across the province, with more locations following soon. Also check out their Tante Blanche on all four growler stations, and Hammond River‘s Hawaiian Pale Ale is on at Kennebcasis Valley, but get there soon, as half of the kegs were sold by closing time yesterday! Drop by Rudder’s Brewery & Restaurant in Yarmouth for a taste of their new Lighthouse Lager, a 4.3% ABV Australian-style lager, hopped with Southern Cross hops. And finally, good news for those of us unable to make it to Big Tide for the release of their May collaboration brew, La Gaboteuse II, with Acadie-Broue – a few kegs of this Belgian IPA were saved and will be making their way to the Tide and Boar in Moncton, and the James Joyce in Fredericton very soon. Be sure to try it if you can, it’ll be gone in record time!