All posts for the month February, 2012

Update #2: I originally posted this story late Wednesday night and have revised it early Thursday morning based on additional information I received via email from P.E.I. Brewing Company.   Updates to the post are made in italics and include a different pic.

Update #1: (literally minutes after posting this), noticed on Twitter that Gahan has confirmed it is now on the shelves in Moncton:  Well – it’s official – we’re on the shelves in Moncton – the attached pic is from the North Mountain Rd store-enjoy NB!          !/GahanBeer/status/175052994646249474/photo/1                )

There have been rumblings on Twitter that major news was coming from Gahan Brewery in Charlottetown P.E.I.  One of my informants  (thanks PEI Beer Guy) sent along a link highlighting several pieces of news.

Gahan Beer is in the process of shipping its beer over to New Brunswick for the first time.   The article does not confirm which beers are available but another informant tweeted me (thanks @MeekBrewingCo) indicating that he noticed empty spots for both Honey Wheat and Island Red (one of my personal favourites, although admittedly it is a long list) on a NB Liquor store shelf.  I have since received confirmation from the P.E.I Brewing Company that these are in fact the two listings that are available in New Brunswick.

It also appears that the company will be re-branded as the P.E.I. Brewing Company (the company had previously been known as Murphy’s Brewing Co.).

The company plans to sell a new kind of beer, which wasn’t named in the article, on the Island and across Canada under the P.E.I. Brewing Company label.  In related news, the new beer is expected to be canned.  The P.E. I. Brewing Company has confirmed that a new brew which is not currently currently in production (I have no confirmation as to which type of beer) will be canned and distributed by the P.E.I. Brewing Company.  To my knowledge, this would be the first canned offering from  an Atlantic Craft brewery (Pump House does own some equipment but has yet to distribute its beer in cans).

For the most up-to-date information check out their Facebook page.

As per an article on the CBC website, proposed reforms to NB Liquor will give the private sector a large role in province wide liquor distribution in a report created for the Provincial Government.   The report does not call for total privatization but has two broad recommendations.  The two recommendations are for NB Liquor to examine its existing operations as well as explore opportunities with third-party groups including potentially strategic alliances with other regional liquor boards.

Other recommendations listed in the report include setting up liquidation stores in areas close to the Quebec and United States borders which generally offer far lower prices for their products.  The possibility of more specialty stores such as beer stores was mentioned as a possibility as well.

The deadline for submission for this year’s Garrison Brewing Ultimate Brew-Off has come and gone and as per their Facebook page  a very impressive 62 RYE IPA entries were received.

Due to the volume, they’ll be going through 5 / day in order to test them all (sounds really rough, let me know if I can help!).  As per the contest entry form, all entries will be reviewed and receive an evaluation for Garrison Master Brewer Daniel Girard.  The top 4 entries will then by judged by a group of BJCP certified judges.

Awards will be presented on Thursday, March 22nd with finalists asked to bring samples of their brew for attendees to sample.

This past February Propeller Brewery started offering up one off brews on the first of the month in a limited release.  These beers will be available in growlers only at the Prop Shop on 2015 Gottingen St. Halifax.

The second in the series, available this coming Thursday, is Munich Style Dark Lager.  Check out the What’s New section of the Propeller site for a description of the beer and history of the style.

Photo credit goes to Andrew Murphy

Without a doubt, the most interesting person you’ll come across on the Atlantic Canada beer scene is brewer extraordinaire Greg Nash.  The man simply known as “Nash” has been described as “some sort of demi-god” and as a “hop genius” with “a national reputation for uncompromising, assertive, slap-you-in-the-face hoppy beer — he loves his hops and it shows”.

Nash and I have exchanged emails in order to complete the following Q & A:

Atlantic Canada Beer Blogger (ACBB): Tell me about yourself .

Greg Nash (Nash): I was born and raised outside Amherst NS in a little place called Nappan, we had a cattle farm down the road with a few other critters which were eventually replaced with Christmas trees and blueberries. I worked through a few professions before discovering the passion of great beer and brewing. That led me to working on craft brewery installations in the New England States during the early ’90s. I was really intrigued at this point so I set off to the American Brewer’s Guild for my formal training. After graduation and several years of brewing abroad I moved to Halifax and still call it home.

The American Brewers Guild (now based out of Vermont) was a fabulous experience no matter how you look at it! Sunny California, a ton of hard work and a ton of great beer and fun. The instructors and management were incredible, the President is still my go-to guy whenever I’m stumped with anything beer related.

ACBB: What breweries have you worked at over the years?

Nash:  I apprenticed in three breweries in the Sacramento, Ca area (‘The Rubicon’, ‘Sunrise At The Oasis’ and ‘Sacramento Brewing Co.’) before moving to Green Bay for a couple years to work at a small microbrewery with a pub attached: Egan Brewing Company.  I made it to Lambeau Field a few times. The owner of the brewery held multiple season passes and I was lucky to get the leftovers! The games were amazing as is the city particularly on game day, a city-wide tailgate party ensues.

I also worked at the River City Brewing Company in  Winnipeg Manitoba, before moving to John Shippey’s Brewery in  Halifax, followed by Propeller, Garrison, Pump House, the Hart &  Thistle, Rockbottom Brewpub also did stints at ‘The Queen Molly’ in Yarmouth (now Rudders) as well as a few others as consultant for staff training, brewing technique, recipe formulation etc.

ACBB: You’re a member of what beer related groups / associations?

Nash:  I’m a member of several home-brewing clubs including the local Brewnosers. I’m also a member of the Brewer’s Association and the American Brewer’s Guild.

ACBB: How do you juggle your time as Brewmaster between Hart & Thistle and Rockbottom Brewpub?  Do you know of anyone else who is Brewmaster at two different microbreweries?

Nash: There has to be other brewers out there working for more than one brewery, how they handle is a good question! So far it’s been fairly easy to manage but summer is approaching, I have been training a couple local brewers to step in and help with the workload on the soon-to-be busy waterfront. Working weekends is getting old quick!

ACBB: What are your future plans for your brews / career ?

Nash:  My only plans are to keep on brewing good beer covering all the flaws with hops for as long as I can! 0_o

‘Day of Wreckoning’ is fast approaching which is the release of our Imperial Stout at Rockbottom Brewpub on March 8th at 5:00 PM. I’m sure there will be more fun beers and collaborations at some point in the not-so-distant future.

ACBB:  How do you come up with your ideas for new beers?

Nash:  I draw a ton of inspiration from the home-brewing community, once a homebrewer always a homebrewer! There’s a ton of online resources to peruse as well but when I want to brew something different with herbs, spices, fruits or other odd ingredients I think of how the flavours interact more from a food standpoint. Most people don’t think of Brewers as Chefs but really that’s what we do: we’re liquid Chefs.

ACBB:  Are you planning on being at any beer festivals / conferences this year?

Nash:  I will but I’m still on the fence as to which ones!

ACBB:  How many different brews would you say you’ve brewed professionally and as an amateur?

Nash:  As a homebrewer with a ton of thirsty friends in rural Nova Scotia I logged close to 600 batches before I finally packed up to head to brewing school. Since then I brewed somewhere around 1000 – 1100 batches professionally. As for how many different styles of beer I have made, I’m not sure really. There’s 30 or more style categories, I’m sure I’ve hit most of them and several of their sub-categories over the years.

ACBB: Are there any awards you wanted to mention regarding your brews?

Nash:  Awards can be rewarding and I have won several but at the end of the day the real reward and satisfaction is in watching people enjoy the product, they are effectively voting with their wallet.

ACBB: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Nash:  Currently most of my time is spent working in one way or another but when I have spare time I relax with the culinary arts. I cook, often, usually with beer or hops infused somehow. Charcuterie, coffee roasting, espresso making, BBQ. Mmmmmm. Okay ya got me, I love food. And beer.

Rockbottom Brewpub will be releasing its Day of Wreckoning Imperial Stout Thursday, March 8th at 5pm.  The brew is described as

a big luscious brew aged on oak then aged some more allowing the flavours to mature. It screams Bourbon and Port notes then quickly settles into an amazing complexity of flavour, layer after layer. Fruit, vanilla, oak, cherries, caramel and chocolate to start with superb tannin balance. Served nitrogenated through a sparkler faucet.

Check out the Rockbottom Brewer’s Blog for stats on the new beer.

The Atlantic Canadian beer festival scene continues to grow with the latest edition being the Saint John Beer Festival.   The inaugural event will take place on April 14th from 7-9:30 at the Market Square Atrium.  Tickets, which are $49.50 each,  will be limited due to the size of the location and are available at the Harbour Station box office.

I’ll post more information about the event as it becomes available.  Check out their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter (@SJBeerFest) for more information.