Howdy, everyone… here’s a bit of Atlantic craft beer news for your weekend…
• It’s been a long time in the making, but it looks like the PEI Brewing Company is starting to expand to Western Canada. Last week, their Gahan beers (Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Iron Bridge Brown, Island Red, and 1772 IPA) and Beach Chair Lager officially became available in Alberta. The brewery partnered with Thirsty Cellar Imports, a sales agency in Calgary, to make the beers available in 39 Sobeys Liquor stores throughout the province, as well as some select private beer/liquor stores. For a full list of locations where the beer is available in Alberta, check out the links here.
• While a separate post on the upcoming PEI Beer Festival is coming soon, keep your eyes on our Twitter account for a contest in the near future that will give away two VIP tickets to the festival. We can’t give full details now, but it will involve two things: photos, and… beer!
• While waiting for his Black IPA, “Loki”, to be released at Marky’s Laundromat in Moncton, Bruce Barton of Celtic Knot Brewing has brewed another pilot batch of a new beer that will hopefully be available in the near future. We don’t have many details on the “Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout” yet, but keep it in mind if you’re in the Moncton area and are keen on some new Celtic Knot beer! And remember to ask for Celtic Knot at your local watering hole, as customer demand is what keeps Celtic Knot going.
• The India Brown Ale from Hell Bay Brewing Company that we had mentioned in a previous post is finally available! Described by the brewery as “sweet and malty upfront, lending way to hints of rum and molasses, and finishing slightly dry”, it comes in at 6.8% ABV. Available in growlers at the brewery, it won’t be around for long, so hurry in if you’re in the area. Brewer Mark Baillie is making good use of his expanded brewhouse!
• We had a great time at the Halifax Seaport Beerfest last weekend. The indoor venue had plenty of room (and restrooms), and there were hundreds of stellar beers available. Very strong showing from new NS breweries Uncle Leo’s, Boxing Rock, Big Spruce, and Bridge Brewing, as well as “old” favourites Hell Bay, Rockbottom Brewpub, Rogue’s Roost, Sea Level and Garrison. Great to chat with all of you brewers onsite! Other standouts were Malédiction Stout from Saint-Bock (served with a mini marshmallow), Maine Is. Trail Ale from Rising Tide and Sour in the Rye from The Bruery (still available at Premier Wines). The Ladies Beer League had a strong showing for their VIP tasting, giving the women a primer on beer styles and it even got them early for the fest.
• With the different regulations and practices of growler filling in Nova Scotia (brewpubs cannot fill growlers during operating hours, some breweries will only sell pre-filled growlers, etc), buying a growler of beer can mean spending a lot of money on glassware, thus reducing the economics and increasing the clutter in your cupboards. Big Spruce in Nyanza and Granite Brewery in Halifax are partnering to make life a little simpler: you can now bring in an empty 1.89L growler from either brewery, to either brewery, and the growler fee is waived. This is handy for folks who travel between Halifax and Cape Breton, but don’t want to worry about having several different growlers with them. We’re really hoping for an NS (or Atlantic Province) Craft Beer Growler, but cooperation between breweries like this is excellent!
Looks like some nice weather coming for this weekend… get out there and enjoy it, along with some of your favorite craft brews!