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All posts for the month January, 2013

After months of waiting and wading through red tape, Bridge Brewing is finally open!

Wednesday at 3pm marked the first day of business for the brewery at 2576 Agricola Street in Halifax, and it got off to a roaring start. A few die-hards waited in the -15C weather to be among the first to buy the beer (yours truly was among them). We even got to witness the wonderful sign being mounted.

The Bridge Brewing sign mounted, minutes before opening

The Bridge Brewing sign mounted, minutes before opening

After opening, the first dozen customers huddled inside, while owner Peter Burbridge and brewer Josh Herbin spoke about their two Belgian-inspired beers: Farmhouse Ale and Gus’ 65m Blonde Ale. The Farmhouse has a solid malt sweetness balanced out with a refreshing tartness from the yeast and hop bitterness;  Big, Complex and refreshing. Candied Fruit Aroma (7.5% abv). The Gus’ 65m Blonde has light fruit nose up front, citrus, background spice and a dry finish; a very refreshing session beer (6.5%).

Store backdrop

Store backdrop, Peter at work selling growlers

The beer was so popular that they sold out of their pre-filled growlers within 3 hours! Since then, they’ve been busy filling growlers and selling them at break-neck speed. In fact, after today’s 3-7pm opening, they will be closed until Wednesday (Jan 30) to refill the tanks, so go there right now! If you get thirsty on the weekend, Gus’ 65m is curently on tap at Gus’ Pub (2605 Agricola), only 65 metres North of Bridge (hence the name).

They also have glasses and t-shirts for the beer-swag-minded.

bridge_bottles

Cheers to a great opening, and continued success! We look forward to following Bridge as they continue to help expand the beer scene in the Atlantic Provinces.

We’ve had a busy week in Atlantic Canada, here’s the quick summary. Check the attached links for more details:

  • Propeller Brewing Co in Halifax will be expanding to a second location. Having visited their Gottingen Street location many times, I can say that they outgrew it years ago, so I’m very happy to hear that there are solid plans in the works.
  • Garrison Brewing Co in Halifax has released their Comet IPA, the first in a series of Single Hop beers. It is available at the brewery, private beer stores, and select NSLC locations (sorry NB, PEI and NL readers!).
  • Good news from the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (March 9 at the Delta Fredericton): they are beginning to release their list of breweries who will be attending. So far  Gahan House/PEI Brewing Co, Garrison Brewing Co, McClelland Imports (reps for Affligem, Delerium Tremens and others) have been announced, but there will be plenty more!
  • Bad news from the Garrison District Ale House: the damage was more extensive than first thought, and the road to recovery will take several months.
  • The first of many fundraisers for the GDAH staff was held last night at Marky’s Laundromat Expresso Bar in Moncton. Check our Calendar page to keep to up date with the next ones planned in Fredericton and afar.
  • Speaking of the Calendar: if you have any events you would like to have featured, please let us know (either in the comments or via the Contact page).
  • This past Tuesday was the monthly Brewnosers meeting. There was a solid turnout of 15 members, and we tasted ~25 homebrewed and commercial beers. If you live in the HRM, consider coming out for them to share some great food and drink, on the second Tuesday of the month.
  • The Aleanders (PEI’s homebrew and beer appreciation club) also met on Tuesday, with about 10 people in attendance.

GDAH Front, from Fundraiser for Garrison Staff Facebook page

Friday January 4th at around 10pm, good friend of good beer The Garrison District Ale House (and sister bar Up Wine Bar) in Fredericton, NB was severely damaged by fire. It appears that it was caused by an electrical issue in a wall. The Fredericton Fire Department spent 6 hours working to contain and extinguish it, and thankfully all patrons and staff made it out safely.

For those that don’t know, The Garrison District Ale House is a great advocate for craft beer from around the Atlantic Provinces, as well as country- and world-wide. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the co-owners Doug and Shane on several occasions while travelling to Fredericton, as well as their very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Fredericton will be without a stellar watering hole for the next couple of months as the GDAH gets back up and running.

To assist with staff that are now suddenly out-of-work, there has been a Facebook group created by friends of the GDAH. Fundraiser for Garrison Staff already has over one thousand followers, and will have events in the coming weeks to help those affected. One of these will be at the Laundromat Expresso Bar in Moncton this coming Thursday (January 10th). Keep your eyes peeled here, on Facebook, or at their Twitter page for more details. We hope to do a profile of the GDAH once they are on their road to recovery.

The Picaroon’s Brewtique is located immediately beside the Ale House, but was able to open after a clean up from water and smoke.

From all of us at the Atlantic Canada Beer Blog, we hope for a speedy re-opening to the Garrison District Ale House!

GDAH inside, from Fundraiser for Garrison Staff Facebook page

Pictures are from the Fundraiser for Garrison Staff Facebook Page.

ACBB

A year ago today I started this blog based on a New Year’s resolution.  Now, due to a perfect storm of personal (I’d like to focus on my new hobby) and professional reasons, I don’t have much free time on my hands.  As as a result, I don’t have time to run this blog anymore.  I am pleased to say that the blog will go on and will no doubt be better than ever.

Introducing “acbbchris” and “atlanticbeernick”, who will be managing the blog going forward.  As a general rule Chris will be writing about the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland scenes and Nick will be writing about New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  To introduce each of them to readers I asked them to answer a couple of questions, here are their answers:

Chris:

ACBB:  How did you develop your love of beer?
Chris:  I did not drink beer until being exposed to well-crafted beer while on a work trip to Germany. I was staying in a small town in the Southwestern part of Germany (Ettlingen), and visited the town’s brewpub, Der Vogel. The amazing flavours and aroma from these great beer really struck a chord with me, something that North American macro beer had never done. After returning to Halifax, I sought out the local beer scene, enjoying the offerings from Garrison, Propeller, Granite as well as the Rogue’s Roost Brewpub. 

Around that time, I stumbled across the Brewnosers Club, the local homebrew and beer advocacy group, and have been an active participant ever since. Despite the NS-centric name, we have members all across the Atlantic provinces, and beyond (members in Western Canada, the US, and even Europe!). Discussions on homebrewing beer, mead and wine, food and good commercial beer and restaurants happen every day.

Since then, I’ve returned to Europe a couple of times, with stops in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Ireland and Czech Republic. The latest highlight was a trip to Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell, ME for their 8th Annual Belgian Beer Fest in August.

ACBB: Why are you interested in blogging about the local beer scene and beer in general and what are your plans for the blog?
Chris:  I am interested in spreading news on up-and-coming as well as established craft beer and breweries, as well as profile local homebrewers. I hope to make weekly posts to the blog.

Nick:

ACBB:  How did you develop your love of beer?
Nick: I spent many of my earlier beer drinking years wishing I could be a beer snob but never really pulling it off. I wanted to order a Garrison Imperial IPA, but Keith’s was still my “IPA” of choice. I would order a Picaroons Irish Red, and wish it was as good as a Rickards. Then it all changed on a trip to England with my girlfriend, who is now my wife and primary beer drinking companion. 

In an effort to see parts of London we had never seen before, we decided to do somewhat of a pub crawl, and found a guide to the oldest and most unique pubs. Once we were in the second or third pub, it became painfully obvious that we couldn’t just go in and order a Heineken or a Carlsberg at every bar, that would just be disrespectful. Thus began our discovery of cask-conditioned ales. Upon returning to New Brunswick, we immediately sought out anything resembling a bitter or ale, which soon led to the discovery of the craft brewing scene in Atlantic Canada, a scene that still fascinates, surprises, and occasionally baffles me. 
ACBB: Why are you interested in blogging about the local beer scene and beer in general and what are your plans for the blog?
Nick: I hope to be able to make posts to the blog every couple of weeks. I love pubs, so some profiles of the Atlantic Canadian pubs that serve exceptional microbrews is to be expected. I also travel frequently to the New England states, so I will likely profile some craft beer road trips easily doable from Atlantic Canada. I love to look off the beaten path, so I hope to share some of the gems I unearth via the blog.
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I am really looking forward to reading their posts and seeing where they take this blog.

The contact email address for this blog remains the same.  The existing Twitter account ( @ACBeerBlogger ) will continue to be used to update new posts from the blog.

Before signing off, I’d like to acknowledge the many people who have taken time to contribute to making the blog what it has been.  A full list of people who have contributed time to content that has appeared in this blog can be seen here.  Additionally, I’d like to thank PEI native Greg Clow from Canadian Beer News for tips to a rookie blogger and for several links to the blog.  I’d also like to thank Troy Burtch from the Great Canadian Beer Blog for doing up a post about the blog when it was in its infancy.  Chris Schryer from the Toronto Beer Blog was also kind enough to put a plug in for the blog in its very early days as did Texan / honorary Atlantic Canadian Chuck Gillis.  Obviously I really want to thank Chris and Nick for taking on this blog and not letting something I’ve put a lot of time and effort into die.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning a great deal about the local beer scene and have met many very knowledgeable, and much more importantly, great people along the way.

I am really impressed with how the local beer scene has improved over the last several years and have really noticed great strides this past year while following it more closely than ever.  There are multiple nanobreweries popping up in all corners of Atlantic Canada and many more rumored to be on their way.  It’s also great to see how beer festivals have grown in the region.  In 2006, the inaugural Atlantic Beer Festival took place in Moncton.  Since then, festivals are now taking place as well in Halifax, St. John’s, Saint John, two on the Island and a new one planned for Fredericton.  I’m very excited about the prospects of the local beer scene and only see it improving in the coming years.  There’s never been a better time to be a beer geek in Atlantic Canada.

Overall my goal with this blog was to raise awareness of the great beers offered by the Atlantic Canadian breweries big and small and hope I’ve done that.  I hope that the next time you pick up beer it is Atlantic Canadian craft beer.

Cheers