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All posts for the month September, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone! Lots of new beers and other news this week, so let’s dive right in!

• Those living in Fredericton will soon be seeing a new restaurant that will place a heavy emphasis on serving craft beer. Co-owner Doug Williams says that the King Street Ale House, which will be located at 546 King St., will be providing Frederictonians with “a whole bunch of craft beer that they haven’t seen in months”, as well as a large menu that will also feature barbecued cuisine. Look for the King Street Ale House to open by Thanksgiving. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

• The first “fresh-hopped” beer from Big Tide Brewing is now on tap at the brewpub in Saint John. Indian Beach Harvest Ale is brewed with Cascade, Hallertau and Nugget hops that were harvested at Dunham’s Run Winery. According to brewer Wendy Papadopoulos, it’s disappearing quickly, so get in there quickly to give it a try! Locals will also likely see their new fresh-hopped Pumpkin Ale – brewed with real pumpkins grown on the Kingston Peninsula – on tap by Tuesday.

• At this weekend’s Hoptoberfest, Big Spruce Brewing will be debuting their “Bitter Get’er India” India Black Ale/Black IPA. Brewed with Organic Carafa Malt and Sinamar for medium body and distinct colour, this beer will really showcase the hops, in both bittering (it weighs in at 124 IBU!) and aroma (thanks to wet, on-farm-grown, Cascade hops used to dry-hop it). Don’t worry, for those of you not able to make it to this Brewnosers event (sorry, members only!), it will also be available at the Cape Breton Farmer’s Market and at the Big Spruce Store.

The PEI Brewing Co. is continuing to expand into Western Canada; after recently having several of their beers made available for sale in Alberta, they recently announced that three of their beers are now being shipped and sold in British Columbia. Their Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Island Red, and Beach Chair Lager are now listed in private and public liquor agencies in Vancouver, Whistler, and the Lower Mainland through Stanley Road Imports. Check here for a full list of liquor stores in B.C. where their beers are available.

• Speaking of the PEI Brewing Co., they just released their seasonal Pumpkin Ale this week. Available in bottles and on tap for growler fills and kegs at the brewery right now, it should be available at PEILCC outlets in the near future. The beer weighs in at 5.8% and 25 IBU, and features local pumpkins that were roasted prior to being added to the lauter tun. They are also about to release their Sydney Street Stout in bottles again, after a “special release” last November. Like last year, this will be a special one-timing bottling, so get it while you can. Of course, it’s available year-round at the Gahan House.

• In other PEI brewing news, BarNone Brewing has made their beers available at two new locations in Charlottetown. Both the Pale Ale and Summer Sessions are now pouring at The Pilot House, and Water St. Fish & Chips also has the Summer Sessions on tap, with the possibility of the Pale Ale joining it in the future. Barnone’s new IPA was also pouring last night at the brewery for growler fills; Islanders should also look for this very hoppy beer soon at Baba’s Lounge.

• It looks like the Pump House Brewery has their Oktoberfest back on the shelves of numerous ANBL stores, and on tap at the brewpub. Also released last year, this malty, amber-colored lager proved to be quite popular with beer lovers in the area. At 5.5% ABV, it’s brewed with various specialty malts and German noble hops; grab some while you can, it’s the perfect time of year to be enjoying this style of beer!

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing had a busy week! On Wednesday, they relaunched their Firkin events, once held on Fridays at Maxwell’s Plum, at the King’s College Wardroom Pub. This week, they featured two firkins: their new Harvest Wheat Ale (which is now available in growlers at the brewery), as well as a small batch of their Nut Brown Ale cask-conditioned with Peanut Butter, for a Peanut Butter Brown. They expect the firkins to be a regular event (usually one standard and one experimental), tapped at 4:30pm Wednesday afternoon, and pouring until they’re empty. You must be a King’s student, or have one sign you in, to get into the Wardroom, so it’s time to make some new friends. 🙂

• On Thursday, Garrison released their 3 Fields Harvest Wet-Hopped Beer. All of the hops in this beer are local, from four farms in Nova Scotia:  Meander River Farm and Wentworth Creek (both in Ashdale), FiddleHop Farm (Glenholme) & Ross Farm Museum (New Ross); and they are of a wide variety: Nugget, Newport, Galena, Cascade, Zeus, Centennial, Willamette and  Brewers Gold. The malt used in the beer is Maritime Malt, carried by Canada Malting, grown in the Maritimes. A special cask of it will be tapped at 11:00am Saturday at the brewery. The 3 Fields will be available only in bottles: at the brewery, the four private liquor stores in NS, and select NSLC and ANBL outlets soon.

• And next week, Garrison will be releasing the third of their One Hop series IPAs. They have released the Comet and Citra versions of this IPA, which usually clocks in around 6.5% and 60 IBU, so we expect the same this time. No details on which hop will be used, but we’ve got a feeling it will be a British varietal. Not that that narrows the selection down much!

Sea Level Brewing has released a wet-hopped beer, Hopfazupa IPA. It showcases hops from their own farm, and is currently available on tap at the Port Pub. Here’s hoping it makes it into growlers and cans for those of us not able to make it to the Port.

Boxing Rock Brewing have re-released their Vicar’s Cross Double IPA. After rave reviews, and quickly selling out, they have re-brewed it, and it is available at the brewery and the four private Halifax liquor stores. It will also be available at Halifax Seaport Market this weekend.

Bridge Brewing (collaborators with Boxing Rock on the excellent Many Hands IPA) will be releasing their newest seasonal next week. After the great success of their Summer Ale, they will keep a light 5.5%ABV beer on all year. This seasonal will feature more hops for a great aroma and bitterness, and a little bit more Candi sugar for a light mouthfeel.

• Spots for the October Ladies Beer League Spring Garden Take-Over events are still available. On October 10th, they will be taking over the Rockbottom Brewpub, where they will be joined by Brewmaster Greg Nash for some beer learning and drinking. On October 17th, they will move down the road to Rogues Roost, to sample some of Lorne Romano’s fine creations. Both events run 7-10pm, and are pay-as-you-go. Please email them to secure your spot at the private event.

Whew! Looks like that’s all of it… enjoy the last weekend of September, it looks like it’s going to be a nice one!

Welcome to the last Friday of the summer of 2013. It seems like just yesterday that we were kicking off the beer festival season, and announcing the patios opening. But fear not, fearless Atlantic Canadian reader, there is plenty of great beer news and information to guide us into the fall of 2013!

• Details are few, but this week Yellowbelly Brewpub in St. John’s brewed up another batch of their Republic Pale Ale using locally-grown hops. If it’s anything like previous year’s beer, it will be about 6% ABV, and feature a big citrus and pine nose from the hearty Newfoundland hops.

Shiretown Beer in Charlo has also brewed up a beer with fresh hops, these being some wild hops from Charlo. They brewed up “Runnin’ Down the Road” Amber Ale, and the local hops will give it a spicy aroma, and plenty of bitterness. It will be available in a few weeks. Their Big Brown Ale and Buckwheat Honey Ale are both currently available at the brewery, as well as their flagship Blonde du Quai. And their expansion into bars and ANBLs across the province continues, with more and more stores being added all of the time.  Fredericton, Moncton, Sackville, the list continues to grow.

BarNone Brewing in PEI will soon be releasing their first IPA since a brief appearance at the PEI Beer Festival two years ago. An unfiltered American IPA, it comes in at 6.5% ABV and is heavily-hopped, both in the kettle and with multiple dry-hop additions, according to brewer/owner Don Campbell. Showcasing several “sought-after” hop varieties, the beer should be available for growler fills at the brewery (every Thursday from 6-8 pm) soon. To keep updated on its release, follow Barnone on their Twitter account.

• BarNone will also be taking part in this weekend’s Kegs, Corks & Oysters event at Credit Union Place (511 Notre Dame St) in Summerside. Their beer will be used to cook and pair with famous Malpeque Oysters as part of this Fall Flavours Festival event. Tickets are $35 (+fees), available at BoxOfficePEI.

• We now have some details on this year’s Harvest Ale from Picaroons, which will be officially launched on Thursday, Sept. 26th. A Pale Ale that uses two-row base malt grown in New Brunswick, it also has a small percentage of Crystal malt which should add some caramel sweetness to the beer. As mentioned before, there will be different locally-grown hops used in each batch, coming from different farmers in Atlantic Canada; this should give each batch separate flavor and aroma profiles. According to Dennis Goodwin, Marketing Director at Picaroons, the farms providing the hops will be Happy Hopyard in Cornhill, NB (showcasing Nugget, Centennial, Cascade, Goldings, and more),  Southern Farms in Wicklow, NB, Wysmykal Farm in Chapman Settlement, NS, and possibly more to be added later. By going to picaroons.ca/myharvest (the site will be active upon the beer’s launch), you will be able to enter the batch number on your bottle’s label to find out more information regarding your beer.
• The newest beer on tap at the Hart and Thistle in Halifax is the Statutory IPA. Weighing in at 7.2% ABV and 52 IBUs, this is a juicy and malty IPA, brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Columbus hops. It contrasts the TubberRoe Robust Porter nicely, whose flavours are reminiscent of dark chocolate and dark fruit.
• For fans of the Rockbottom Brewpub, and in beer in general, Brewmaster Greg Nash posted a video of a recent brewday for the Broken Down Special Old Bitter. It’s a behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to get from grain to glass at the Rockbottom. And remember that every Saturday at 1pm, Nash taps a special cask of beer, sometimes a different take on a current beer (blackened Fathom IPA), or a completely new one (last week’s was the Deadwood Wheat refermented with 8oz of fresh ginger).
• This coming Wednesday, the 25th, Mike Buhler (Certified Cicerone and co-director of the Beerthief Newfoundland Craft Beer Order Club) will be doing a guided tasting of six beers from the Wychwood Brewery. The event is at 7PM at Bitters Restaurant and Lounge on the MUN campus (216 Prince Philip Drive). For $24, you will receive 100mL of each Wychwood beer, an appertif of Quidi Vidi or Yellowbelly beer, a burger, and chocolate brownie. Mike is a fount of beer knowledge, and lots of fun, so I’m sure the evening will be great. To take part, please reserve your seat by emailing Tom Beckett.
Finally this week, big news from Propeller Brewing! They brewed their first batch of beer at their new Dartmouth location yesterday (617 Windmill Rd, their cold beer store has been open for a few months). It was, not surprisingly given Halifax’s lust for hops, an IPA. We hope to get a look at the new digs soon, and will certainly do a full profile on their expanded system and location. In the meantime, be sure to look for their Nocturne Dark Lager out today, released in collaboration with the Nocturne Art at Night event, taking place October 19th, 6pm-midnight around the HRM.

oktoberfest poster

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This year’s Halifax Oktoberfest, presented by The German Canadian Association of Nova Scotia and Garrison Brewing, is being held this Saturday at Pier 20, from 11:30-midnight. The event has two distinct parts: until 6pm, the grounds are open to public of ages, with no ticket required; after 7pm, the gates open back up and entrance is ages 19+, with tickets $12 at the door.

So, most importantly, what’s the beer situation going to be? In addition to Garrison’s flagship beers, they will be serving their new Harvest Wheat, an unfiltered American Wheat beer, from 2-Row Maritime Malt, Wheat, Munich and CaraPils, and hopped with Hallertauer. It clocks in at 4.6% ABV and 13 IBUs and should complement the food quite nicely. There will also be a couple of special firkins, including one tapped at noon by Counselor Waye Mason (representing the mayor), to start the festivities. Just like at Wiesn! In addition to the beer, ShipBuilders Cider will be available on tap.

What would Oktoberfest be without great German food? There will be weiner schnitzel, bratwurst, german pastries (including Lebkuchenherz), and both roast pig and a 150lb smoked pig raised at Meander River Farm. Geir Simensen and his team  from Saege Bistro and Scanway Catering will be running the show, so the food will be excellent and authentic.

During the day, there will be games (for young and old), dancing thanks to Polka/Oompah musicians Die Brewmasters & Die Holzhacker Bub’n, and a couple of car-centric events running until 4pm: a German Auto Show with over 30 new and collector cars and British Automotive Touring Association’s Live Drive, where you can tour around town for a donation to ALS research.

In the evening, there will be lots more beer and food and fun, and the music will be provided by The Roving Steins and Hawco.

The Halifax Oktoberfest is a fundraiser for the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre & The German Canadian Association. Throughout the day, there will be draws for prizes donated from local businesses.

Happy Friday, folks! Hopefully you are staying dry despite the poor weather, courtesy of Gabrielle. Maybe a nice weekend to grab a growler of your favourite local beer and stay inside?

  • The Many Hands Imperial Pale Ale, brewed as a collaboration between Boxing Rock and Bridge Brewing will be available Saturday. In Halifax, Bridge will have the beer available in growlers at the shop, as well as on tap at The Brooklyn Warehouse. Boxing Rock will also be at the Halifax Seaport Market with their 1L growlers, and it will also be available at their retail store in Shelburne,  Shelburne Farmer’s Market and the Yarmouth Farmer’s Market. Here are some pictures and a video from the brew day. They added 2/3 of the 110lb (!!) of wet hops in the last 15min to let the aroma shine through without creating an overly bitter beer. Looks like fun brew day, can’t wait to taste it!
  • Another Harvest Beer, Big Spruce’s Hoppily Married, is also available now. Pick up a growler at the brewery, or find it on tap at the Antigonish Townhouse. This beer features tons of their on-farm-grown hops at all points during the beer, for a full hop bitterness, flavour, and aroma profile. They will also be brewing up a new batch of Kitchen Party Pale Ale with Centennial and Cascade hops from this year’s harvest at Southan Farm in NB. Keeping it nice and local!
  • Speaking of the Townhouse, they had their house-brewed beer, Terry’s Bitter, on for the first time this week. They blew through 4 kegs in a short time, and are now busy brewing to get it back on. Check their Twitter or Facebook page for the announcement, as I’m sure it won’t last long next time, either!
  • Hell Bay Brewing has released their Dark Cream Ale in bottles again. It is available at the brewery, and soon at Premier Wines & Spirits and Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax. Their India Brown Ale was a big seller, so they’ve brewed up a second batch of that beer, which will be available soon. They also have expanded their brite tank arsenal, which will further expand their production and beer line-up.
  • The Ladies Beer League has announced their next event: in October, they will be featuring Spring Garden’s Brew Pubs – Rockbottom and Rogues Roost. On October 10 from 7-10 pm, they are hitting up Rockbottom. There will be drink & food specials, and a guest appearance from brewmaster Greg Nash. Then, one week later, they will be repeating the fun at Rogues Roost.  Both events will be pay-as-you-go, and can accommodate up to 40 attendees. Please RSVP to LadiesBeerLeague@gmail.com to get your name on the list for either or both socials.
  • Next Thursday, Sept 19, the PEI Brewing Company will be holding a Brewmasters Dinner at the Gahan House Pub, as part of the Fall Flavours Festival. Attendees will be able to enjoy a unique three course meal at the Gahan House Pub and Brewery and then be transported to the PEI Brewery for a tour. Your evening starts at the Gahan House Pub where chefs will incorporate their local fine handcrafted ales into three courses, giving you a culinary sampling of the “local” flavour of the Gahan beer. After your meal, you will be transported to the PEI Brewing Company where the beer is brewed and bottled, for a tour. The tour will include the story of the Gahan beers and the PEI Brewing Company, along with a chance to sample the beers firsthand. Transportation is provided. There are two sessions (5pm and 7:30pm), and tickets are available here.

Hey, everyone! Here’s what’s happening in the craft beer world in Atlantic Canada this week (and beyond)…

• Big Spruce is brewing up a Black IPA/India Black Ale today. With a medium body, using imported organic Carafa Malt and Sinamar for colour, the beer will showcase a great citrus flavour and aroma (thanks in no small part to their on-farm-grown Cascade to be used for dry-hopping), and will weigh in at a whopping 124 IBUs! We are looking forward to try this one in three weeks.

• On Monday, a bit too late for our Hop Harvest-centric postSea Level brewed up their popular New Scotland Heather Ale, made with all NS-grown hops and heather (from their own hop farm and others in the Annapolis Valley). Look for it at The Port Pub (on tap and at the brewery) and in Halifax at Bishop’s Cellar soon.

• Two new beers from Celtic Knot Brewing should be available soon: both the Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout and Dubh Loki (a Black IPA previously named “Loki”) are currently going through the listing process with ANBL. Batches are standing by, and will likely be pouring at The Tide & Boar and Marky’s Laundromat very soon.

• The Halifax Cycling Coalition is hosting an event at Bridge Brewing after the Switch Open Streets event. Running from 2:30-6:00 this Sunday, there will be live music, food from the Food Wolf, and pints of Bridge Brewing available. No admission to enjoy the music, and the food and beer is cash-only. Hopefully the skies stay clear for the event.

• Don’t forget the PEI Beer Festival is this weekend, starting this evening at 6pm at the New Charlottetown Event Grounds. A detailed post on the festival can be found here; tickets are still available, so don’t wait any longer to get yours! With over 75 beers available, as well as lots of food pairings and live music, it should be a great time. Head on over to The PEI Beer Guy, who has put together some solid suggestions on what to seek out at the festival.

Last week we mentioned that Picaroons was planning on releasing their annual Harvest Ale, where there will be several versions of the same base beer, with differing hop varieties and local hop fields used. Details are still slim, however we DO know that their official launch for the beer will be Thursday, Sept. 26th at the York St. ANBL in Fredericton. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

• Speaking of Picaroons, they plan on being involved with one of the music events planned for next week’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton. On Saturday, Sept. 14th, they will be showcasing “Bluegrass, Blues & BBQ” at the Capital Complex, which will feature southern-style BBQ, as well as live music from The Modern Grass Quartet and Sissy & The Hobos. At the Wilser’s Room bar, there will be several Picaroons beers on tap, with the possibility of one or two special releases, according to Marketing Director Dennis Goodwin. The show starts at 1 pm (doors open at noon), and the $15 admission will get you a plate of BBQ and access to the all-day live music.

• The Hart & Thistle have their newest seasonal now on tap, TubberRoe Robust Porter. Weighing in at 5.9% ABV and 43 IBUs, this beer is full of roast, dark fruit and chocolate notes from the specialty malt used, and plenty of citrus from the Centennial, Cascade, and Falconer’s Flight hops.

• Last weekend, BarNone Brewery in PEI brewed up their first IPA since they started officially selling their beer in July. Showcasing a device called the “Hop Dam” developed by DME for BarNone, the beer is “heavily dry-hopped” according to BarNone’s Twitter account, although we’re currently unsure which hop varieties were used. We’ll be sure to let you know more about this beer when we can; keep your eyes open for updates on when it will be released!

• By the way, if you’re in PEI and are looking to try some BarNone beers on tap, they’ve added another account to their list – The Old Triangle in Charlottetown is now selling their Summer Sessions Ale. Both of BarNone’s beers (Summer Sessions and Pale Ale) are still available at Cedar’s and Baba’s in Charlottetown, and at The Landing Oyster House & Pub in Tyne Valley.

• reLiSH Gourmet Burgers has become quite popular in Fredericton since they opened several years ago, and have even started other franchises in other areas of New Brunswick, and also in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. This fall, they plan on opening a new type of restaurant in Fredericton, which will pair craft beer with gourmet hamburgers. With a goal of having 6-8 craft beers on tap, as well as in bottles, they plan on opening this restaurant by late October. We’ll have more details and a standalone post on this soon!