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All posts for the month April, 2013

Hello beer buddies! It’s another Friday, so another Friday Wrap-Up:

  • Shiretown Beer, located in Charlo, NB, should have their flagship beer, Blonde du Quai, for sale in 500 mL bottles at select ANBL stores by the end of next week. A Blonde Ale with more hops than typical, Blonde du Quai recently won a bronze medal at the Saint John Beer Festival on April 13th. Look for it at ANBL locations in Campbellton, Charlo, and Dalhousie, and on tap around the province. Here’s the direct “Find it” link.
  • Railcar Brewing Company, which will be opening by the end of 2013 in the Florenceville-Bristol area, has added an online store to their website. Currently, hats, men’s and women’s t-shirts, and women’s hoodies are available for purchase, with glassware being added soon.
  • The Antigonish Townhouse has been open since July 2012, and have now started brewing test batches on their SABCO Brew Magic system. We’re excited to hear about another brewpub “opening”, and with the success the restaurant is already having, think the locals will enjoy their in-house beer. Stay tuned as we do a profile on them in the coming weeks.
  • Garrison Brewing have done a special release of their 15 Malt Anniversary beer, aged for three months in Glenora Distillery Barrels. This is only available at the brewery, and is very limited, sorry!
  • The Saltscapes Expo is on this weekend at the Halifax Exhibition Park. Not beer-centric per se, but lots of breweries will be in attendance: Propeller Brewing, Garrison Brewing, Ironworks DistilleryPEI Brewing, Prince Edward Distillery.
  • And congratulations once again to Big Spruce! We attended their HRM Launch Party at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth, and sampled both their Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Stout. While we didn’t kick as many kegs at the Sydney party (I blame the poor weather), the beer, food and music was great! Their beer is now on tap in Halifax (Wooden Monkey [Dartmouth], The Argyle Grill and Bar [Halifax], Gabrieau’s Bistro [Antigonish], Bras D’Or Yacht Club [Baddeck], Governor’s Pub and Eatery [Sydney], East Side Mario’s [Sydney]).

Hello Atlantic Canadian Beer Fans! Another busy week, with lots more to come. Here’s your Friday Wrap-Up:

  • A reminder that the launch party for Big Spruce Brewing‘s beers in the HRM will be held Saturday at the Wooden Monkey, Dartmouth location. The event kicks off at 7pm, with samples of their Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. We hope to see you there! For more up-to-the-minute details on when the brewery is open for growler sales, Big Spruce is now on twitter.
  • Bridge Brewing has announced that their third beer, Strong Dark Belgian, will be available at the brewery starting today. With flavours of dark chocolate, and dark fruit, this 8% beer is a welcome addition to their line-up. Their current hours are Wed-Sat 12-7pm, though it’s best to check Twitter for any “Out of stock” notices.
  • Next Wednesday, April 24th, Picaroons will also be having a launch party for their highly successful Dooryard, an American Wheat Ale, one of their two summer seasonal beers. From 4-7 pm at the York St. Train Station in Fredericton, the party will feature live music, wood-fired pizza, and free Dooryard samples.
  • And a reminder that their Prohibition Repeal Party at Wilser’s Room is tonight. 12 taps of their beer, and there may even be some barrel-aged goodies as well! The event starts at 7pm, with Gypsophilia taking the stage at 9:30.
  • In Halifax, a reminder that the Rockbottom brewpub has a special beer every Saturday, tapped at 1pm. Served gravity-fed on the bar-top from a pin (20l), this week’s is the American Pale Ale with an extra blast of Cascade Hop Oil. Brewmaster Greg Nash loves to try a special twist on his regular lineup and seasonals, and it’s different every week.
  • Down at the Hart and Thistle, the Commissar Russian Imperial Stout is gone 🙁 but that means there is room for Nash’s latest creation, which is a dry-hopped IPA, launching in a few days :). Check their twitter for details on the exact release.
  • The Saint John Beer Festival, which was held last Saturday, appears to have been a great success. The event was sold out, and feedback was very positive, according to  organizer Peter Stoddart (also of the Saint John Ale House). Almost $2000 was raised for Ducks Unlimited.
    A popular vote was held to determine the best beers of the festival. With over 150 ballots cast, the results were as follows:
    Gold – Picaroons Oak-aged Winter Warmer (in Glenora cask)
    Silver – Big Tide Sandpiper Pilsner
    Bronze – Shiretown Blonde du Quai
    With a tentative date of April 5th being planned for next year’s event, Stoddart says that organizers “will be working diligently to up the bar once again”.
  • Speaking of Saint John, Big Tide Brewing‘s newest seasonal is still available, their Double IPA. This one is only available at the pub, so you have to be a local to get it.

That’s all the news for this week. If you have news of info you’d like published, write it in the comments, or hit us up via email or twitter. We’re looking to expand the ACBB Calendar, so if you know of any upcoming events, pass it along. Cheers!

I recently had the chance to do a tour of PEI Brewing Company‘s beautiful new facilities, located at 96 Kensington Rd (at Garfield St) in Charlottetown. The former cabinet factory has been undergoing renovations for over a year, and will be have a grand opening in early May.

Panorama of the Kensington Rd side of the brewery

Panorama of the Kensington Rd side of the brewery

Still being completed, the foyer will house 17 vingettes, highlighting the history of the brewery and its principals. It will be a great place for visitors to grab a pint and wander around while waiting for a guided tour, or grab a growler to enjoy at home. It will highlight the important ingredients of beer: water, grain, hops and yeast and the brewing process (think waterfalls and hops bines climbing trellis). There is also a massive Events room, complete with stage, that will be home to concerts, weddings and any other events looking for a cool venue.

The building's foyer, still under construction

The building’s foyer, still under construction

The brewery is a DME 50 hectolitre system, a big step up from their current 20bbl production system (just up the road, on Walker Drive). There are three 100hl and three 150hl fermenters to accept the wort, allowing production to at least double. This will save them from always playing catch up to meet the demand for their most popular beers: the Beach Chair Lager, Gahan Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Island Red, Iron Horse Brown and 1772 IPA.

The 40hl brewhouse: mash tun, lauter tun, kettle and whirlpool (right to left)

The 45hl brewhouse: mash tun, lauter tun, kettle and whirlpool (right to left)

The facilities are set up to allow the public to get up close and personal with their favourite brewery. There is a massive window in front of the brewhouse, offering a peek into the brewing from Kensington Road (hopefully there will not be traffic jams as drivers watch the goings-on). Inside the brewery, a guided tour will take visitors on an elevated walkway, giving a great view of the brewing process, from the milling of the grain from the massive silos, through the mashing, boiling, cooling, fermenting and packaging.

Vintage Gahan Truck

Vintage Gahan Truck

We will update you once the facilities open to the public. In the meantime, the PEI Island Brew Tour is highlighting the pairing of their beer with great restaurants across PEI. Check their Facebook and Twitter for more information.

As a reminder, PEI Brewing Company’s beers are available in the PEILC and many restaurants on the island. As well, the ANBL carries their main line of beer, and some will be available in the NSLC shortly, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador, and parts further West.

From their start in a Lone Star Cafe 15 years ago, to the Gahan House (where they continue to brew for onsite sale and specialty beers) and now their expanded facilities, we’re excited to follow what the PEI Brewing Company is up to!

Hello Beer Fans! Another busy week in Atlantic Canadian Beer. Here’s your Friday Wrap-Up:

  • Tonight is Big Spruce Brewing’s Sydney release party, being held at Governor’s Pub on Esplanade at 5pm. Their release party in Bras d’Or was a big hit, and the good times are sure to continue. They’ve been open most weekday afternoons for growler fills, and on tap at more and more locations across Cape Breton, HRM, and parts in between.
  • A final reminder that the Saint John Beerfest is taking place this Saturday, April 13th, at the Market Square Atrium. The doors open at 7:30, and there will be 130+ beers, many of which are not available at the ANBL. Food from some talented local chefs and kitchens will be available, and are included in the ticket price. There are still tickets available through the Harbour Station Box Office.
  • Picaroons will be hosting a tap takeover at Wilser’s Room in Fredericton starting at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 19th. Part of their “Prohibition Repeal Party“, there will be 12 different Picaroons beers available, with the strong possibility of both Winter Warmer and Timberhog aged in Glenora barrels, and Yippee IPA on cask. It’s also possible that their summer beer, Dooryard, will be available, ahead of the April 22nd official release date. The band Gypsophilia will be performing at 9:30. No tickets, just show up for a great time!
  • Thursday marked the release of Garrison Brewing’s second One-Hop beer, this time it’s Citra. Clocking in at 56 IBU and 6.5%, this has the potential to be a great summer IPA available at the private stores as well as the NSLC. They intend to brew it throughout the summer, so it might even make it to other Atlantic provinces!
  • To correspond with its arrival in NLC stores, Mike Buhler and Tom Beckett are leading a Flying Monkeys tasting on April 18th at the Qidi Vidi Brewery, just outside of St. John’s. They will be pouring samples of Smashbomb Atomic IPA, Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale, Hoptical Illusion, Amber Ale, and Matador Imperial IPA. Tickets are $19 and include a pint of Qidi Vidi beer before the event, roast beef and bread to cleanse the palate between samples, and great discussion from Mike and Tom. Contact Tom via email to reserve a spot.

Another week, another bunch of great beer happenings in Atlantic Canada. Here’s the Friday Wrap-Up:

Picaroons Brewmaster Andrew Estabrooks is putting on a dinner tonight, at the Shadow Lawn Inn in Rothesay. Tickets are $70 (inc. tax and gratuity), available by phone or email. The menu features 5 courses, each paired with a different Picaroons beer. A great opportunity to enjoy some excellent food and beer, with tasting direction from the brewer himself.

For those of you not in Rothesay, Garrison Brewing Co.‘s Daniel Girard is taking part in a Brewmaster vs. Winemaker event tonight at the Halifax Club (1682 Hollis St, Halifax), squaring off against Avondale Sky Winemaker Ben Swetnam. Call or email the Club for tickets, pricing is $89 plus tax and tip. Both Daniel and Ben were given the menu in advance, and have chosen beer or wine that complements the five courses.

Big Spruce Brewing in Cape Breton has begun selling their beer! They have been open for a few hours each day this week, selling their Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout in growlers, as well as t-shirts and glassware. They are also now on tap at the Bras d’Or Yacht Club in Baddeck, where their official release party will be taking place this Saturday at 4pm. Drop by to say hello to the folks behind Cape Breton’s only Craft Brewery. Release parties in Sydney (April 12 at Governer’s Pub) and Halifax (April 20 at Wooden Monkey Dartmouth) are also upcoming.

Propeller Brewing has announced that they will be bringing back the Prop’r Cask Nights. It is held on the last Friday of the month (the next one is April 26th), and features a special cask of their beer (previous casks have been dry-hopped or had cherries added), and pair with a local food provider. This month’s catering will be provided by Jane’s Catering (formerly of Jane’s on the Common), and is sure to be a great time. Tickets are $20 ($25 at the door, but they don’t last that long), and available at the Propeller Shop on Gottingen St.

We’re seeing lots of great things happening on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Hell Bay Brewing is brewing at their new, bigger, location in Mill Village (beer available on tap at Lane’s and elsewhere and in bottles at Premier Wines and Spirits in Halifax) and Boxing Rock Brewery is pouring the foundation for their brewery in Shelburne. We’ll have more news and profiles from these breweries soon.

If you don’t get your fill at next weekend’s Saint John Beer Fest, tickets for the Atlantic Beer Fest in Moncton are available now. It takes place May 25th at the Moncton Coliseum, and only afternoon session tickets are still available (2:30-5pm) for $49 (inc. tax). We hope to have a beer list for that shortly.

And finally, don’t forget to get out and buy a pint, bottle or growler from your favourite local brewery or brewpub. It’s one thing to talk about beer events, but the real fun is enjoying (responsibly, of course) the fruits of labour of your friendly neighbourhood brewer. Maybe we’ll see you out on a patio soon. Cheers!

SJBeerFest

The second annual Saint John Beerfest is taking place next Saturday, April 13th, from 7:30-9:30pm. It is being held in the Market Square Atrium, adjacent to the Hilton Saint John. VIP Tickets for the fest are now sold out (allows entry at 7pm), but there are still some available for the regular session. They are only available in person or via phone at the Harbour Station, and are $60.

The fest will feature 130+ beers, over 20% of which are not available at the ANBL. There will be roaming entertainment from Atlantic Cirque, with food from the SJAH, Smokin Pig BBQ and Grannans Seafood available. The event is also a fundraiser for Ducks Unlimited.

Beer Fountain and Beer Fans during the 2012 Saint John Beer Fest

Beer-coloured Fountain and Beer Fans during the 2012 Saint John Beer Fest

I spoke with organizer Peter Stoddard (also owner of the Saint John Ale House) about the event.

The Market Atrium seems like a solid choice for venue, can you speak about the reasons why you chose it?

Time of year is important: April can be cold, so heated underground parking, available overnight, so no tickets. It’s attached to the two major hotels uptown and easily accessed inside day or night. It is unique and has built in atmosphere. It’s also attached to all the sponsored Restaurants. It’s big enough to work, yet small enough to be intimate. Personally I love Market Square and it is Saint John’s Festival Place!

Why have you chosen D.U. as your fundraiser recipient?

I have been a long time supporter of Ducks Unlimited Canada, I am the Atlantic Spokesperson for them. We do many events and fundraisers with them and I believe the work they do can be seen and touched by everyone around.

Members of Atlantic Cirque during the 2012 SJBF

Members of Atlantic Cirque during the 2012 SJBF

Are there bands or other entertainment joining Atlantic Cirque?

We have a live DJ playing house music in the back ground with a surround sound speaker setup and upgraded versus what we had last year. The atrium doesn’t lend itself to be a great live music venue due to the acoustics, so we have opted out of that option for now.

Can you comment on non-alcoholic options at the Fest?

We will have Pop and Bottled water and I believe there will be some non-alcoholic beer options. The reality is it’s a Beer festival, so we are encouraging Taxis, again easily accessible or there is a Beerfest rate at the Hilton for people that just want to make a night of it.

Is there anything else we should know?

It’s year two, so we have learned a bit more about the flow of the space, what people are looking for and feel we have upped the bar and managed to keep the price at the same level. All of the food is included in the price of admission, we had great success with the food end of things last year and are looking at another great year for it!

Jesse Vergen of Smoking Pig BBQ at SJBF 2012 (and will be back in 2013)

Jesse Vergen of Smoking Pig BBQ at SJBF 2012 (and will be back in 2013)

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The provisional list of breweries, beers and tables has been posted to the Saint John Beer Fest Facebook page, and may change before the festival date. I see great beer from all of the Maritime Provinces, as well as some interesting imports on the list, so no one will leave thirsty!

Table #1

Garrison Tall Ship Amber Ale

Garrison Irish Red Ale

Garrison Raspberry Wheat

Garrison Hopyard Pale Ale 6

Garrison Imperial IPA

Garrison Ass Kicker IPA

Garrison Kellye’s Wild Rye’d IPA

TABLE #2

Picaroons Best Bitter

Irish Red

Dark and Stormy Night

Yippee IPA

Simeon Jones

Timberhog Stout

Yippee IPA

TABLE #3

Shiretown Blonde du Quai

Shiretown Big Brown Ale

Uncle Dunkel

TABLE #4

PEI Brewing Co/Gahan Sir John A Honey Wheat

Island Red

Iron Horse Brown

1772 IPA

Beach Chair Lager

TABLE #5

Carlsberg

Carlsberg Light

Kronenbourg

Mill Street – Tank House

Mill Street – Organic

Mill Street – Lemon Tea

TABLE #6

Saint John Ale House

TABLE #7

Coors Light

Molson Canadian

Rickards Red

Rickards White

Rickards Blonde

Rickards Dark

Creemore Springs Lager

Creemore Traditional Pilsner

Molson Canadian 67

Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale

Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

Strongbow

Newcastle Brown Ale

Molson Canadian Wheat

TABLE #8

Lemongrass Thai Fare/Pepper’s Pub

TABLE #9

Hop City Big Mouth

Hop City Barking Squirell

TABLE #10

MooseLight

Alpine

Moosehead Pale Ale

Moosehead Premium Dry

Clancy’s Amber Ale

Cracked Canoe

Moosehead Lager

Mooselight Lime

Moosehead Cask Ale

TABLE #11

Paulaner Hefe Weissbier

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Samuel Adams Spring Lager

Tennents

Twisted Tea

Magners Original Cider

TABLE #12

Bavaria Strong 8.6

Fuller’s Honey Dew

Fuller’s Porter

Hacker Pschorr Weisse Beer

Koningshoeven Tripel Trappist Beer

TABLE #13

Pump House Blueberry Ale

Pump House Fire Chief Red Ale

Pump House Scotch Ale

Pump House Special Old Bitter Ale (SOB)

Pump House Cadian Cream Ale

Pump House Premium Lager

TABLE #14

Erdinger Weissbier

Erdinger Dunkel Weissbier

Affligem Blonde

Fruli Strawberry White

Stiegl Lager

Mort Subite Kriek

Mongozo Premium Pilsner

Stiegl Radler

Palm Amber Ale

Delirium Tremens

TABLE #15

Grannan’s

TABLE #16

Bud Light Platnium 6 pack

Bud Light Platnium 650 ml bottle

Michelob ultra 12 pk bottles

Alexander Keith’s Hallertauer Hop Ale

Alexander Keith’s Cascade Hop Ale

TABLE #17

Propeller IPA

Propeller Exrta Special Bitter

Propeller Double IPA

Propeller London Style Porter

Cask Dry Hopped ESB

TABLE #18

Tidal Wave Douple IPA

Sandpiper Pilsner

TABLE #19

St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale

St. Ambroise Pale Ale

St. Ambroise Scotch Ale

St. Ambroise IPA

TABLE #20

Smoking Pig BBQ

TABLE #21

SLEEMAN CLEAR 12 CANS

SLEEMAN CLEAR 12 BOTTLES

SLEEMAN HONEY BROWN LAGER 12 BOTTLES

SLEEMAN ORIGINAL DRAUGHT 12 BOTTLES

BLANCHE DE CHAMBLY 6 BOTTLES

EPHEMERE POMME 6 BOTTLES

SAPPORO 4 PACK

TABLE #22

Grolsch Lager Can

Pilsner Urquell

Peroni Nastro Azzuro

American Vintage Hard Iced Tea

TABLE #23

Guinness Draught

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Harp Irish Lager

Smithwicks

Guinness Black

TABLE #24

Innis & Gunn Blonde

Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer

Innis & Gunn Spiced Rum Finish