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All posts for the month May, 2013

• This afternoon, Picaroons will be having a mini-launch party for their “other” summer beer, Melonhead. Held at the Brewtique in downtown Fredericton, Melonhead will, of course, be available on tap. As well, several cats (only those 2.7 years or older) will be there taking part in the festivities, including the winner of the Melonhead label contest. Real Food Connections will be providing some “melon-esque” food, and some members of the Chickadee Cat Club will be attending to promote their cat show on the weekend. The fun starts at 2pm.

• Garrison Brewing is releasing their Tilford’s Nit Wit Belgian Witbier today, including tapping a firkin at the brewery at 4pm. It will be available at the NSLC, as well as the ANBL. The beer originally began as the winner of the 2010 Home Brew-Off Challenge, brewed by Scott Tilford, but has been so popular that it has been back every year since. Hopefully some of the other winners can make an appearance again too! And a reminder to homebrewers, the 2014 Brew-Off style has been announced: Weizen/Weissbier (BJCP style 15A).

• The owners of Red Rover Brewing Co. have recently begun their campaign to help raise money for their business. Geared to supporters that live in the Fredericton area, a $30 donation entitles you to a t-shirt customized to the area of Fredericton that you live in (i.e. North Side vs. South Side). Check out details and pictures of the shirt here. As well, “Red Roverlutionaries” will receive a membership cider mat made from local hardwood, be entered into random prize draws, and will be notified of upcoming exclusive events put on by the cidery.

• Brewmaster Nash at the Hart & Thistle has released his latest concoction, the High Voltage Double IPA. This joins his 1913 Stock Ale, also on tap. It looks like a beautiful weekend to spend on a patio on the water in Halifax.

• Celebrating their recent Canadian Brewing Awards medal, Acadie-Broue will be tapping a keg of Tintramarre Saison at the Laundromat Expresso Bar this Sunday at 4pm. Come on down to taste this excellent beer!

• Thursday, June 6, there will be a Beerthief tasting of Propeller beers at the Howley Estates NLC in St. John’s. Propeller beers were part of a recent Beerthief order, and so Mike and Tom will be giving a guided tour of these beers. Congratulations to Mike for completing his Certified Cicerone® program, not an easy task!

• According to the Coastguard newspaper, the brewhouse for Shelburne’s Boxing Rock brewery arrived last week. We look forward to their opening this summer, and will have some details on the setup soon!

• A head’s up for good beer fans in NB: Unibroue’s Grand Reserve 17 is now available in several ANBLs in Moncton and Fredericton. While not brewed in the Atlantic Provinces, it is a great Belgian Dark Strong (aka Quadrupel), and these styles are few and far between in the area. This beer will keep (and improve) for years if stored properly (cool and dark).

• While not in the Atlantic Provinces, Montreal is a short plane ride away for many of us. This weekend’s Mondial de la Biere event is certainly worth that plane ticket! It is held in a large convention hall, and has free admission. You then purchase tokens to spend on exactly the beers you want to try. And there are over 500 beers to try, so you won’t get bored. It started Wednesday, and is on until Sunday.

It’s been a hectic week at the ACBB “offices”, here’s the important news you need to know about beer in our area:

• Tonight, Picaroons continues their Plaid to the Bone launch in Perth-Andover. Featuring their Heather Ale, the “Picaroons Castle Ceilidh” will be held at the Castle Inn. The festivities begin at 7 pm, and will include the Southern Victoria Pipe Band and Fredericton’s Highland Dancers, followed by PEI’s Ten Strings and a Goat Skin (who continue to tour New Brunswick for this beer’s launch). There will be a large “Picaroons-infused” pub menu, with food items ranging from Best Bitter-battered onion rings to grilled salmon with Simeon Jones garlic cream. The launch continues Saturday night in Moncton at Plan B (after the beer festival), where Ten Strings will be performing at 10 pm.

Mirella Amato is in New Brunswick this week, taking part in events surrounding the Atlantic Beer Festival. She is hosting two events at The Station in Fredericton today: from 1-3pm, she will be running a mock beer competition, where participants will be able to taste some winning beers from the recent Canadian Brewing Awards, learn how to judge beers, and even do some judging themselves. This event is free and open to the public. Later in the evening (6:30-8:30), Mirella will be leading a five-course tasting, highlighting the style range of beers, and how they can pair with food in some exciting and fascinating ways. Tickets are $25. As mentioned in our previous post, she will also be leading a VIP tour of the Atlantic Beer Festival, including appetizers at Pump House, limo ride to the fest, and a guided tasting of a handful of the best beers on tap at the fest.

• Last Saturday’s grand opening of the new location for the PEI Brewing Company was a great success, with approximately 600 people attending the day’s events, despite less-than-desirable weather. Two new beers were introduced, a Blueberry Ale, and a Mango Wheat. While both beers will continue to be available on tap at the PEI Brewing Company (the Mango Wheat for a limited time only), the Blueberry Ale will also be pouring at some bars/restaurants on the Island, and can also be found in bottles at the brewery and at PEILCC locations.

• Halifax’s The Coast website has published its annual readers’ poll results, and Garrison Brewing Company has been selected as Best Craft Brewery! Runners-up were silver and bronze medal-winners, Propeller Brewing and Bridge Brewing, respectively. As for Best Brew Pub, Rockbottom unseated previous 9-time winner Rogues Roost to win the top prize. Rogues Roost finished second, followed by Hart and Thistle. Congratulations to the winners!

• Speaking of Rockbottom, their Insidious IBA (India Black Ale) is now on tap. This beer won a bronze medal in the American Style Black Ale (also known as Black IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, etc) category at the recent Canadian Brewing Awards. Get it while it’s … cold!

• For those of you looking forward to getting a taste of one of the new Grimross beers tonight in Fredericton, there’s some bad news… the Love Your Balls event has been cancelled. We originally reported on this charity event last Friday. Looks like we’ll all have to wait another few weeks until Grimross is available commercially.

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The Atlantic Beer Festival is taking place at the Moncton Coliseum this Saturday. There are two sessions: 2:30-5pm, and 7:30-10pm. Tickets are available at the Coliseum Box Office, The Pump House Brewery or BarnYard BBQ, and online at tickets.moncton.ca. The evening session is sold out, however there are lots of tickets still available for the afternoon session. The Beer Fest is partnering with the SPCA and United Way.

Exact details on the beers and breweries are not published online (check the Times & Transcript on Thursday for a full list), but I give you some highlights from the organizers and brewers I’ve contacted.

– Fresh off a CBA medal earlier this month, Acadie-Broue will be there with their Gaboteuse Belgian IPA. However, it will only be at the Afternoon Session, that’s worth buying a ticket for the session alone!

Shiretown from Charlo, NB will be there, pouring their Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale and a one off RodDog’s Amber Ale. Also only there for the afternoon session, I see a trend!

Le Troue du Diable from Shawinagan, QC will be returning, with a pair of beers, that are always hits with the craft beer fans.

– Local (and almost local) breweries Pump House, Picaroons, Big Tide, Garrison and Propeller will also be there, with some special casks and one-off beers that will not be available anywhere else.

– There will be a Maine pavillion, showcasing a over dozen beer that are not available at the ANBL.

We will post the final beer list as soon as it’s available. We expect to see over 140 beers, 30% of which are new offerings not usually available in NB. Some will be launched at the Fest, so this will be your first chance to try them.

In addition to the beer, there will be food vendors (pretzels!), with a BBQ/Smoking station set up with pulled pork and sausages. There will be music by Carey Beck and the 60 LPs. Free shuttle buses leave from the Coliseum to various spots around the city (Downtown, Riverview, etc), so be sure to take advantage and don’t drink and drive!

There is a VIP option at each of the sessions: you will start at the Pump House Brewpub, and meet your guide for the session, Mirella Amato. She is the only Master Cicerone[TM] in Canada, and will be helping folks get the most out of the Beer Festival. After some appetizers and a limo ride to the Coliseum, Mirella will bring you in the VIP entrance and then spend some time tasting some of the great beer available. She will highlight a few of the best beers, do a guided tasting at several of the difference booths, and assist you in hunting down the best beers for your favourites styles. To sign up, contact the ANBL. The ticket price is $99, and that includes your Festival ticket.

We’ll be there, and hope you will too! Cheers!

• This Saturday, May 18th, Prince Edward Island Brewing Co. will be celebrating the grand opening of their new location at 96 Kensington Road in Charlottetown. The event will feature live music all day, free hot dogs and sausages, “Beer 101” with Mike Ross, and more. Brewery specials will include 1/2-priced brewery tours from 12:00 – 5:00, as well as special prices on cask beers. Afterwards, there will be a Hoss’s House of Beer event, with more live music, food and beer. Admission for the evening festivities will be 19+; tickets are 10$ and can be purchased at PEI Brewing Co. and Back Alley Music.

• The Canadian Brewing Awards held last week in Victoria, B.C. were a great success as usual, with several Atlantic Canadian breweries taking home awards. And in further good news for Atlantic Canadian beer fans, it was announced at the event that next year, the awards ceremony will take place in Fredericton! We’re looking forward to reporting on this over the next year, and anxious to see what else we can expect to see as a result (maybe another collaboration beer?).

• For those of you who can’t wait until June to have your first Grimross Brewing beer, there’s a way for you to get it sooner, AND support a good cause! On Friday, May 24th, “Love Your Balls” will be held at the iRock in Fredericton. Tickets are $20 and include all-you-can-eat spaghetti, a Grimross beer (while supplies last),  and music; the event will run from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. The Grimross beer should be either a Belgian Rye IPA or a 100% Brettanomyces beer. Proceeds will support Relay For Life and testicular cancer research; tickets can be purchased here.

• New Brunswick craft beer fans should be seeing two new Picaroons beers available in bottles over the coming weeks. Plaid to the Bone is a “Heather Ale” of ~4.5% ABV; this golden-colored beer brewed with heather was launched last night at a party at the Boyce Farmers Market. The other beer is 104th Regiment, an English Brown Ale that has been available on tap for the past couple of months in Fredericton at various bars. A sessionable beer at ~4.2%, it was originally brewed in February of this year in commemoration of New Brunswick’s 104th Regiment of Foot, from the War of 1812. Check your local ANBL stores over the next few weeks for availability!

• Tickets are now on sale, and the list of brewers and beers is now available for the 2013 NLC Beer Expo, being held at the St John’s Convention Centre, June 14&15. It features many beers not previously available in Newfoundland, some of which will be available at the NLC after the event. The $75 price tag includes a $10 taxi voucher to help get you home safe.

• The latest beer offering from the Beerthief Newfoundland Artisanal Beer Club is closing this weekend. It features five solid beers from Belgium, none of which have been available in Newfoundland (and most of the East Coast!) before. Saison Dupont, De Koninck, Houblon Chouffe, Duvel and Liefmans Goudenband are all on offer, and will be delivered to your local NLC in August. Mike and Tom are working overtime to bring great beer to Newfoundland, great work gentlemen! You can subscribe here.

• Big Spruce has brewed up their first seasonal. Details are sketchy, but we know it is a Red Ale that will be released around the end of the month. Their two regular offerings are now available at Maxwell’s Plum in Halifax.

That’s all the news for now. Enjoy your Victoria Day, and we’ll see you out on a patio some day soon. Cheers!

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Tonight, at the Boyce Farmers Market in Fredericton, Picaroons will be hosting a launch party for their “Heather Ale”, Plaid to the Bone. Originally brewed in 2012 for the New Brunswick Highland Games, Plaid to the Bone was named in a contest that Picaroons held on Facebook. A golden-colored beer brewed with heather, a flowering plant that grows abundantly in Scotland, Plaid to the Bone clocks in at a sessionable ~4.5% ABV.

There will be three bands playing live music at the event: THE MAHONES, Sprag Session, and Ten Strings and a Goat Skin. The event starts at 7:00 p.m.; early arrivals will have access to some local food provided by Real Food Connections. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased at the door.

Aside from the great music and grub, Plaid to the Bone will be available on tap, as well as Picaroons’ Dooryard, Best Bitter, and Irish Red.

All proceeds will go to The Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew Pipe Band.

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In last week’s Friday Wrap-Up, we had a brief post about another upcoming beer festival in Fredericton – the “Brewer’s Bash“, hosted by Picaroons, will feature 60 Canadian breweries and 300 beers on Saturday, July 13th. The event will run from 11:00 am – 11: 00 pm in Officer’s Square; tickets went on sale today for $25. If this wasn’t enough to convince you to attend the event, we now have some more information to share, thanks to Dennis Goodwin, Marketing Director for Picaroons.

The $25 will get you a bracelet that allows admission and re-entry into the festival all day. There will be lots of food options IN the festival, if you choose not to leave. The ticket price includes a 4-oz tasting glass and 6-8 drink tickets that are good for one pour each. After that, you are welcome to buy as many additional drink tickets as you’d like to sample more beers… these will run in the “one-dollar range”. They also plan to have some live bands playing towards the end of the festival.

Some of the confirmed breweries (along with Picaroons, of course) include:

Some great breweries, there… and that’s just a few of them! We’ll release further details and a complete brewery list when they become available. Also, be sure to follow the Brewer’s Bash on Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, you can buy your tickets NOW online or at The Cedar Tree Cafe in Fredericton.

The 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards Gala was held last night, and the winning beers were announced live in person and via livestream (jump to 5min unless you are a Dead Head). Congratulations to all of the winners, and especially to the Atlantic Canadian Winners:

Acadie-Broue: Bronze in French and Belgian Style Saison (La Tintamarre)

– PEI Brewing Co: Silver in Wheat Beer – North American Style (Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale)

Propeller Brewing Co: Silver in European Style Lager (Pilsner) (Bohemian Style Pilsener)

Pump House Brewery: Silver in North American Style Amber Lager (Premium Lager), Bronze in English Style Pale Ale (Bitter) (Pail Ale) and Bronze in Fruit Beer (Blueberry Ale)

Rockbottom Brewpub: Bronze in American Style Black Ale (Insidious IBA)

– Moosehead Breweries: Gold in North American Style Lager (Alpine Lager), Silver in North American Style Premium Lager (Moosehead Lager), Gold and Bronze in Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager (Alpine Light and Cracked Canoe Premium Light Lager)