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All posts for the month July, 2013

Good morning, friends of beer. Here’s a bit of Atlantic Canadian beer news for this week:

Bridge Brewing and Local Source are pairing up for Sausage Fest 2013 in Halifax. Along with some tasty sausages and sides, there will be a Belgian Honey Mustard, made with Bridge’s Strong Dark Ale. There will be Bridge beers available, including the Strong Dark, Summer, and Farmhouse. It will be spread across two events: the first, hosting the Ladies Beer League, on Tuesday, August 13th from 6:30-8:30 (tickets are $30, available here), and the following Thursday, the 15th, as a Blues BBQ (tickets $40, available here) featuring Garrett Mason. Tickets are going fast, so get yours now!

• Speaking of the Ladies Beer League, they have another great event scheduled. On Saturday, August 10th, they will host a VIP tour of the Seaport Beer Festival in Halifax. Scheduled from 1:30-4 pm, the tour will include “Beer 101”, early entry into the festival, and an opportunity to try three beers before the festival begins. Tickets are $51.75 and can be purchased at Garrison Brewing’s retail counter. Eight dollars from each ticket purchased will be donated directly to the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. The VIP tour is limited to the first 40 women to buy a ticket.

• After making their beer available to the public for the first time last week in Tyne Valley, PEI, Barnone Brewery now has both their Pale Ale and Summer Sessions available in Charlottetown. You can find both beers on tap at Cedar’s Eatery and Baba’s Lounge, on University Ave.

• The PEI Brewing Company has a new beer – kind of – on tap at their brewery location in Charlottetown: an unfiltered version of their Beach Chair Lager. This one won’t be on tap at any bars or restaurants in PEI, so if you’d like to give it a try, head down to the brewery for a pour or growler fill.

• In other PEI Brewing Co. news, they’ve also just put their first beers on tap in Nova Scotia. The Maxwell’s Plum in Halifax now has all of the Gahan/PEIBC’s regular release beers on tap: Sir John A’s, Island Red, Iron Bridge, 1772 IPA, Beach Chair Lager, and Blueberry Ale. While Beach Chair has been available in cans in Nova Scotia for awhile now, this marks the first time that you can find their beers on draught in the province.

Picaroons also has a new beer available on tap in Fredericton. About 8 months after a severe fire destroyed their building on Carleton St., Isaac’s Way Restaurant reopened in June at their new location on Queen St. All of their taps are New Brunswick craft beers, including an Apricot Beer brewed by Picaroons specifically for Isaac’s Way. The base beer is their Blonde Ale, which is further flavored with apricot extract.

• Greg Nash has another special beer on tap at Rockbottom in Halifax: Barrel Aged Desecration. An Imperial Red Ale, this monster of a beer (11% ABV) has a huge malt bill, five different hop varieties, and is aged in a Glenora single-malt barrel. Nash describes the beer on his blog:  “Oak, vanilla, hops and caramel standout up front with a big boozy depth and complexity, finishing with a lingering draw.” Sounds delicious… get there fast to give it a try!

• And, it looks like it was complete madness at the four ANBL stores selling the Brewer’s Bash leftovers yesterday. Beer fans were lined up before the stores opened at 10:00 am; if you’re one of the people who were taking beer out of others’ carts, let me just say: for shame! Let’s hope the ANBL was paying attention to the craziness, and can take one thing from this: craft beer sells.

Have a safe and beer-filled weekend, everyone…

Howdy, craft beer drinkers! Here’s some beer-related news to cool you off at the end of the week…

– It’s been a long-time coming, but after a soft launch at the PEI Beer Festival in September of 2011, Barnone Brewery (located in Rose Valley, PEI) finally has their beer available for the public! They have two beers  currently on tap at The Landing Oyster House and Pub in Tyne Valley. Their “Pale Ale” is an American Pale Ale, and “Summer Sessions” could be described as an American Wheat. Both beers should be on tap at other locations on PEI soon, and the brewery should hopefully be filling growlers in the not-too-distant future. Head over to the full story on the PEIBeerGuy blog for more info.

– Missed the Picaroons Brewer’s Bash last Saturday in Fredericton? Well, your chances to try some of the 300 beers featured may not be completely gone – apparently the ANBL will be selling the “leftovers” from the festival at four of their stores (York St. and Prospect St. in Fredericton, Vaughan Harvery Blvd. in Moncton, and the Quispamsis location). Details aren’t great yet, but stay tuned to the ANBL website and Brewer’s Bash Facebook page… beers should hopefully be in stores by early next week.

– Looking for another tasty Greg Nash creation? The Hart & Thistle tapped Hoplessness yesterday – a hybrid Witbier/IPA (aka White IPA) that is low in bitterness (5 IBUs), but high in hop aroma due to a large addition at the end of the boil. Clocking in at 6% ABV, and brewed with curacao orange peel and coriander spices in the traditional Witbier fashion, it sounds like a great summer beer!

– If you’re in the Moncton/Dieppe area and were hoping to find some more Celtic Knot beer, Marky’s has recently tapped another keg of the Hopicide. The Not Joe Average Pale Ale should also be on tap again sometime in the near future.

– For those of you in PEI needing some local craft beer in large amounts, PEI Brewing Company is now renting kegs of all their beers. Kegs are available in one of three sizes: 19 L, 30 L, and 50 L, and can be picked up at their new retail space on Kensington Rd, in Charlottetown. Call ahead to make your order.

Boxing Rock Brewing continues to expand, as their beers will become available in Halifax starting this weekend. Their Temptation Red Ale will be the first beer out for purchase; Haligonians should expect to see the Hunky Dory Pale Ale the following week, and then the Vicar’s Cross DIPA another week later. Look for their beers at Premier Wine & Spirits, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Landing, and Cristall Wine, with the NSLC following soon.

Bridge Brewing Company has announced that they will be selling their beer in 750 mL growlers at the Historic Farmers’ Market in Halifax every Saturday. Which beer(s) will be available will depend on what is leftover from the previous day’s sales at the brewery; T-shirts and glasses will also be available for purchase.

That’s all for this week. ACBBChris is away on vacation for several weeks, so don’t be surprised if the quantity (and quality!) of posts drops during that period. Have fun, Chris!

Happy Friday everyone!

• After a successful launch last weekend, Boxing Rock Brewing will be hitting up the Farmers Markets this weekend. Look for them at Shelburne Farmers MarketYarmouth Farmers MarketLockeport Afternoon Market (held Friday afternoon), and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. They will also be pouring samples at Premier Wine & Spirits in Halifax, Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm. Shelburne locals (or visitors to the South Shore) can drop by the brewery storefront 11-8 daily (except Sunday) to refill growlers and grab a trucker hat. And two of their beer (Hunky Dory Pale Ale and Vicar’s Cross IPA) will be available in the NSLC in August.

• It looks like Picaroons is taking another step forward in expansion – they announced this week via a story on CBC that they have purchased a new brewery location on Union St. The former Gibson Roundhouse site was snapped up for $100, and will be transformed into a new brewery and tourism centre. Sean Dunbar, owner of Picaroons, told the CBC that he expects to spend several million dollars on the project; work should begin in the fall and be completed within a year. The current Melissa St. location will likely continue to produce beer in some capacity, says Dennis Goodwin, Marketing Director of Picaroons.

• Speaking of Picaroons, their much-anticipated Brewer’s Bash beer festival will be held tomorrow at Officer’s Square in Fredericton. Tickets for the event have been sold-out for weeks. Those lucky enough to be attending the event (or those who want to torture themselves) can check the full brewery and beer list on the event’s Facebook page (where they’ve also been giving away tickets for the last few days to lucky followers); we also posted yesterday on the Atlantic Canadian beers here.

• In more Fredericton beer news, Grimross Brewing is following up their very popular Canada Day release of their Cheval D’Or Farmhouse with their second beer, Destrier Farmhouse Stout. It will be available in growlers at the Picaroons Brewtique, at the Brewer’s Bash this weekend, and hopefully on tap in town soon.

• After a false start last weekend, the Dartmouth location of the Propeller Prop Shop opened Thursday. Located at 617 Windmill Rd, the shop will have growlers and six-packs to go, as well as merchandise, and are open 12-8pm daily. Gottingen-location fans fear not, that Shop will stay open as their current brewery location will still be in operation, even when the bulk of the production moves to Dartmouth.

The Pump House just recently tapped a new beer at their brewpub location in Moncton. The Raspberry Wheat is fermented with a German yeast strain, and fresh raspberries are added during fermentation. At 5.5% ABV, expect a tart and refreshing finish… sounds great for summer!

• Fans of the PEI Brewing Co./Gahan Iron Horse Brown Ale will notice something different about the beer in the future… the name has been changed to Iron Bridge. Ironhorse is also the name of a Pacific Western beer, and PEIBC decided to change their beer’s name to avoid any confusion.

• Looks like another successful Ladies Beer League event last night at Wooden Monkey Dartmouth. It featured the full line of Big Spruce Brewing’s beer (Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Regatta Red Ale), and owner and brewer Jeremy White was on hand to speak about and pour the beer. The LBL will have a couple of events in August, we will be sure to let you know the details.

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For those of you who have tickets to the sold-out Brewer’s Bash in Fredericton this Saturday, here’s a list of the Atlantic Canadian beers that should be available for your drinking pleasure…

• New Brunswick:

– Acadie-Broue – La Bringue (American Brown Ale)

– Big Tide – Seaworthy IPA, Karnival Kölsch, and possibly their Benedict Arnold ESB

– Grimross – Cheval D’Or, and their new Destrier Farmhouse Stout

– Picaroons – all of their regular-release beers, plus possibly their new East India Porter

– Pump House – Premium Lager and Blueberry Ale

– Shiretown – Blonde du Quai

• Newfoundland:

– Quidi Vidi – Iceberg Beer and British IPA

• Nova Scotia:

– Big Spruce – Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, and Regatta Red

– Garrison Brewing – Hop Yard, Irish Red, Nit Wit, Citra One-Hop, and Raspberry Wheat

– Granite Brewery – Peculiar, Ringwood, Honey Ginger, Keefe’s Irish Stout, Old Cardinal, and Hopping Mad

– Hell Bay – English Ale

– Propeller – Bohemian Pilsner, ESB, Honey Wheat, IPA, and London Style Porter

– Rock Bottom – Fathom IPA and Rookie American Mild

Note: Unfortunately, Bridge Brewing from Halifax will NOT be at the festival. Owner Peter Burbridge has said that due to high demand for their beers in Halifax, they will not have the time to attend. Hopefully, next time!

Update: Looks like Sea Level Brewing will also NOT be coming to the festival due to selling out of their beer this past week. Like Bridge Brewing, we look forward to seeing them at the next beer festival, whenever that may be!

• Prince Edward Island:

– PEI Brewing Co – 1772 IPA, Iron Bridge (formerly Iron Horse), Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Island Red, Beach Chair Lager, and Blueberry Ale

The beers being served by the breweries in the other provinces can be viewed on the festival’s Facebook page. Have a great time, you lucky ticket-holders! And remember… hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Happy Friday, everyone! How about some beer news for this week?

Boxing Rock Brewery in Shelburne is opening Saturday! At their location at 78 Ohio Rd, they will have their Temptation Red Ale in 1 L and 1.89 L growlers, as well as some merchandise. The storefront will be open Monday-Saturday, and there will be a grand opening soon. They will also be at the Shelburne Farmer’s Market tomorrow. Welcome to the fast growing Atlantic Canada Beer scene!

Railcar Brewing Company, set to open late this fall, will no longer be housed in Railcar 3 at the Shogomac Site in Florenceville-Bristol, NB, despite a previous proposal being accepted by the town. Owner/brewmaster Mitch Biggar has posted on Railcar’s Facebook page that he is currently weighing other location options for the brewery. We’ll be sure to post on this nano-brewery’s new location and plans as soon as we can!

• Propeller Brewing Co is opening their Dartmouth storefront at 617 Windmill tomorrow. They will have growlers and bottles for sale, and their 16th Anniversary celebration beer should be available at both stores. It is an unfiltered dry-hopped Pale Ale. Eventually, the main production will switch over to the larger 30hL brewhouse in Dartmouth, but like all good things, it’s not going to happen overnight! We hope to have more details for you soon.

• Looking to attend the Brewer’s Bash in Fredericton, hosted by Picaroons, next Saturday, July 13th? Well, tickets have been sold out for some time, but organizers are still looking for volunteers to help out with pouring samples, tending the entrance and exits, running beer and ice, and keeping the site tidy. There are two options: one 4-hour shift in the morning or afternoon, and one 5&1/2 hour shift in the evening. Volunteers would have access to the festival after their shift is completed; while evening volunteers would obviously miss most of the festival, there will be a “post-event bonus” of some sort. If you’re interested, send an email ASAP to kim@picaroons.ca.

• On July 1st, shortly after our post in last Friday’s Wrap-Up, Grimross Brewing began selling their Cheval D’Or at the Picaroons Brewtique in Fredericton. The 5 bbl batch (155 U.S. gallons) of this Saison was also brewed at this location, and is available in 750 mL swing-top growlers. Those living in Fredericton will be seeing this beer on tap at restaurants and bars in the near future, along with some other Belgian-style beers that owner/brewer Stephen Dixon has planned.

• For those of you that haven’t yet purchased your tickets for August’s Fredericton Beer Run, here’s another incentive for you: one of the prizes for this event will be a private tasting of some of Red Rover Brewing‘s ciders. This will be just one of the craft-beer/cider related prizes available, ranging from random draws to swag and other items for the top runners in each distance.

Shiretown continues to expand the locations that their Blonde du Quai can be found. Check the ANBL site for exact details, but it can now be found regularly in some stores in Fredericton and Moncton, as well as Caraquet and Tracadie-Sheila, and on tap at good beer bars Marky’s Laundromat and the Saint John Ale House.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to enjoy the warm weather with some local and cold (but not too cold!) craft beer!

Over the past weekend, Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyons Brook, NS (2 minutes outside of Pictou) opened to great crowds of local beer lovers and visitors from all over the province, despite the spotty weather. We traded emails with co-owner and brewer Karl Whiffen, who, along with his wife Rebecca (also co-owner), were thrilled by the interest of good beer fans.

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ACBB: Could you give us some background about how this all got started?

Karl Whiffen: A little over two years ago, my wife and I were driving by the old “New Scotland Brewery” and noticed a for sale sign. We’ve both wanted to own our own business for some time and the idea of owning a brewery really intrigued us. Little did we know at the time that there would soon be a small explosion of breweries in Nova Scotia. It’s a good time to be a craft brewery.

Were you doing much homebrewing before you decided to go pro?

Not as much as most people would expect, I suppose. I got into all grain brewing about three years ago.

Who was Uncle Leo?

Uncle Leo was my Great Uncle. He lived in Newfoundland and supplied beer to the local residents in my old hometown. This was during the 40’s and 50’s in rural Newfoundland. You couldn’t go to the local beer store back then, so you went to Uncle Leo’s.

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What type of brewing system do you plan on using initially?

We will be using a direct fired 10BBL system.

Do you have any partners involved with Uncle Leo’s Brewing?

Yes, my wife.

Have you had any assistance with other breweries in the area through the whole process?

Yes. I would like to thank John Allen at Propeller who was kind enough to allow me to work at his brewery and teach me about the workings of commercial brewing equipment. I’d also like to thank our consultant Greg Nash of the Rockbottom BrewPub and the Hart and Thistle.

Tell me a bit about Uncle Leo’s initial beers. Are you planning on concentrating on a particular style, or styles of beer?

For now we are coming out with a red ale and a west coast style IPA. Down the road I’d like to add seasonal beers and I have a beer in mind as a tribute to my Uncle Leo.

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Do you have a favorite beer style? Brewery? Beer? Any hobbies outside of brewing?

Not really. I guess I’m biased towards British ales, but i’m open to anything, really. What I really like is trying new beers; I think that’s pretty normal for craft beer drinkers. If I ever get the time again, I’d really like to get back into sailing.

From whom have you learned the most in respect to brewing?

I guess most of what I know at this point is self taught, or stuff I learned from online forums and such. I think I’m getting a pretty good education from Greg Nash, too. That guy’s a great brewer. There’s a lot of depth to his knowledge.

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

Probably my uncle (not Leo) who lived in England for awhile. When I lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland about 20 years ago he would take me to all the smaller pubs and bars there. Wherever he could find imported British beer. I guess that’s not necessarily craft beer, but it developed my taste for beer outside the mainstream. I don’t remember my first craft beer. It was probably a Golden Rye from the New Scotland Brewing Company.

How was the launch on the weekend?

It was great! We sold out of growlers on the first day.  Our nearest estimate is over 500 people during the 2 day opening.  We expected to be busy but not lined up to the road all day.  It was incredible.  We were filling in that back as fast as we could and still couldn’t quite keep up.

 

Uncle Leo’s Brewery is open afternoons Wed-Sun, with brewery tours bookable Wed-Sat evenings. Their website has a great map with the Craft Breweries of Nova Scotia on it, so you can plan your vacation to the great breweries across the province.

Uncle Leo’s beer will soon be available at the NSLC, and on tap at local bars. They’ve got more growlers on the way to replenish their stock. Be sure to follow their website, Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest news.

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Uncorked Tours, based in Saint John, New Brunswick, normally offers winery tours and tastings in the province. On July 20th, however, they’re switching things up a bit, and moving into the world of craft beer! That Saturday, they will be hosting a casual beer-tasting river cruise. The tasting will take place on  the Voyageur II, an authentic Mississippi river boat, which will embark from the Saint John Marina at 1:30 pm. So far, confirmed participating breweries include Big Tide, Picaroons, Pump House, and Shiretown, with the possibility of one or two more being added soon.

Once the 3-hour tour commences, a bell will ring and the first beer will be introduced by Gilliane Nadeau of Uncorked Tours; guests can then get their samples at the bar.  After 20 minutes, the next beer will be introduced, and so on. Guests are free to explore the ship, enjoy the scenery, and hang out with their friends. Each guest is guaranteed 9 oz pours of  five different beers; additional drinks can also be purchased at the bar throughout the cruise. There will also be an assortment of snacks available. Representatives of each brewery will be on-board to chat about their beers and answer questions from the guests.

Tickets for the tasting are 75$, and can be purchased either by phone at 506-324-4644, by leaving your info on the “Contact” page at the Uncorked Tours website, or directly online through Paypal. There’s only a couple of weeks left, and tickets are going fast, so don’t wait to get yours!