All posts for the month June, 2013

Celtic Knot Logo

New Brunswick continues to follow the trend of the rest of of North America – another craft brewery is opening, this time in the Riverview area. Owned by long-time homebrewer Bruce Barton, Celtic Knot Brewing will be having its launch party this Sunday, June 23rd, at 3pm, at Marky’s Laundromat in Moncton. We recently exchanged emails with Bruce to get some details on what he has planned for beer lovers in the area.

I know you have quite a history of homebrewing. How long have you been attached to this hobby?

Bruce: I have been homebrewing on and off for 30 years now; I got more serious about it and moved to all-grain brewing about 10 years ago.

What made you decide to move to a professional level?

My decision to brew professionally was due to all of the positive feedback I have been receiving over the years, and the fact that I just love to brew.

How far along are you in the process of selling your beer commercially?

I just received my Provincial brewing license, which was the final step in the process… this took almost exactly one year to accomplish.

Celtic Knot Brewery

The Celtic Knot Brewery: Boil Kettle, Mash Tun and Hot Liquor Tank, and Electric Brewery Panel

Tell me a bit about the system you are using.

I am using an all-electric Blichmann HERMS brewing system. The HLT and the mash tun are 20 gallon and the boil kettle is 30 gallon. All hosing is food grade silicone, and water and wort are pumped around with two March pumps. The wort is the cooled through a counter flow chiller to end up in one of 2 stainless steel conical fermentors that are both 27 gallon. I can produce batches of 90 liters at a time.

Can you tell me a little about your initial beers? Will you be concentrating on a particular style or styles of beer?

I have two styles that will be ready by early next week and will immediately be available via ANBL in 20L kegs. The initial beers that I have brewed will be my “Not Joe Average” American Pale Ale and my “Hopicide” American IPA. I mainly concentrate on American and English style beers with a few specialty beers in the works.

What are your plans for distribution (kegs, bottles, growlers)? Do you have any contracts lined up already in Moncton?

Initially I will packaging in 20 liter kegs only for sale on tap. As of now I have interest from one pub and I plan to see what the demand will be before pursuing further contracts. I hope to supply the Laundromat full-time but I guess that’s up to Marc and how well the beers are received. I’m going slow as I’m in no hurry.

Have any other brewers or breweries in the area helped you through the whole process?

I would have to say I learned the most from my brewing buddy Gil back in my home town of Winnipeg. We brewed a lot and shared a tremendous amount of information making us both better brewers. We still chat beer at least once a week via email and text messages.

I would say the most helpful professional brewer was Patrice from Acadie-Broue here in Moncton. He has been a valuable source of information regarding licensing and contacts.

Is there something specific that got you into the world of craft beer?

When it comes to the world of beer I would have to say that my interest was sparked by a festival we have back in my hometown, called Folklorama. This was a festival celebrating the multiple cultures of Winnipeg, with several pavilions each with ethnic food and drink. I would sample the different beers from each country and it opened my eyes to the fact that there are all sorts of styles and flavours in beers. From a young age I have been hunting for the alternative beers to the norm.

Can you tell me more about your launch and initial beers? How about plans for future beers?

Both launch beers are American in style. The “Not Joe Average” Pale Ale is 5% ABV and 19 IBU, and the “Hopicide” IPA is 6.4 and 100 IBU. The Pale Ale was crafted over a few years and is meant to appeal to both the craft beer and non-craft beer lovers alike. It’s brewed with five malts and is quite flavourful despite the low bitterness. I tend to make the English style beers in the fall and winter. I also have a few specialty beers that I will be brewing such as a spruce beer, a chinese green tea and goji berry beer, a Viking heather beer, and a pumpkin beer for Halloween.

Welcome Celtic Knot Brewing! We imagine the launch party Sunday will be great, and folks will be clamouring for more. Keep up-to-date with Celtic Knot via their Facebook page.

• The inaugural brew at Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Pictou took place this week, by brewer Karl Whiffen and Greg Nash (of Hart & Thistle and Rockbottom). It is their signature Red Ale, and it will be released by the end of the month. Expect a full profile on Uncle Leo’s soon (including info on who Uncle Leo was). Welcome to the Atlantic Canada beer landscape!

• The PEI Brewing Company is releasing a new beer, a Belgian Saison, called Lobster Ale. Conceived to celebrate PEI fisheries, it was brewed with the idea of being paired with lobster dinners and other rich foods. According to Bryan Carver, head brewer, the beer contains a mash of malted barley, wheat and oats, with kettle additions of European noble hops, refined sugar, and lemon peel. The juice from the lemons was added to the beer during conditioning. A very small amount of lobster shell was also added, prior to fermentation with a Saison yeast. The beer has been tested for allergen compounds, and none were detected; however, those concerned with an allergic reaction should still “err on the side of caution”. Coming in at 6.5% ABV, Lobster Ale will be available at the PEI Brewing Co. on tap and in bottles; the bottles will also be available at several PEILCC stores across the province.

Sea Level Brewing has released a new seasonal, their Summer Blonde Pilsner. It uses 100% Pilsner malt, and its namesake, a Southern Hemisphere hop, Summer. The beer was fermented using an authentic Czech Pilsner yeast. It clocks in at 4.8% ABV, and has a crisp, refreshing taste. It is currently available on tap and in cans & 1L growlers at the Port Pub. It will be at  Harvest Wines and Cristall Wine Merchants today, and Bishop’s Cellar next week.

Garrison Brewing has released a limited run of a new beer, American Red. Clocking in at 6% ABV and 47 IBUs, it is only available at the brewery for growler fills. Think of it as a cross between the Irish Red and Imperial Pale Ale.

• The Pump House has a new beer available, a Hefeweizen. For those of you not familiar, Weizen is a German wheat beer, and can be served mit hefe (with yeast) or krystal (bright, or clear). It is a beer with very low hopping rates, best drunk fresh, and is quite delicate, as the yeast will create very different aromas depending on the fermentation temperature, with some beer smelling like bananas, and others like cloves. Pump House’s beer clocks in at 5% ABV, and is only available on tap at the restaurant.

• More details on last week’s release of Big Spruce’s Regatta Red, from brewer Jeremy White: The beer is loaded with Munich and Caramel 60, with some Roast and Chocolate malts, and clocks in at 5.0% ABV. The beer has 22 IBUs, is unfiltered, and, like all of their other beers, is 100% farm fresh and certified organic. It will be available throughout the summer (they’ve brewed it three times already), in growlers and on tap in Cape Breton only.

Halifax Seaport Beerfest tickets are now on sale at most NSLC locations in the HRM, for all of the three sessions (Friday, Aug 9, 7-9:30pm, Saturday, Aug 10, 2-4:30pm and 7-9:30pm). Tickets are also available online through Ticket Atlantic. We will announce breweries and beers when available. One major difference is that this year’s event will be held in the Cunard Centre at Pier 23, all inside. So no worrying about rain getting in your beer. 🙂

Attention female beer fans (or not-yet fans, but interested in becoming one) in Halifax: there’s a new group starting up, and you’re all invited to join!

The brainchild of six female beer lovers who met at Garrison Brewing Co, the Ladies Beer League is a group focusing on a friendly and fun environment for women to get together to taste, enjoy, share, and geek out on beer. Together with friends at beer businesses (breweries Propeller Brewing Co and Bridge Brewing, and the four private beer stores), they will be hosting socials on the second Thursday of the month at a variety of venues across the HRM.

Ladies Beer League Inaugural Event June 13

The first event is this Thursday, June 13th, 8-10pm, at Garrison. For a $5 entry fee, visitors will be able to sample beers, chat brewing with Garrison brewer Kellye Robertson, and tasting with BJCP judge Tracy Phillippi, and have a great time. This month, there will be a special cask-conditioned version of Garrison’s Nit-Wit Belgian Witbier, fermented with Elderberry and Bilberry juice and NS honey. Come out to drink great beer, chat about beer, and decide the future of the League. Future events might include beer and food pairings, brewery tours, homebrew demonstrations, sharing of exciting beer from here and away; anything the members would like!

You can get the latest scoop from the LBL’s Facebook and Twitter pages.