Happy Friday everyone! It’s the last Wrap-Up of 2013, so we hope it finds you well. Despite the holiday break, there were a few new beer releases and stories we wanted to share with you.
• The PEI Brewing Co. has started a new beer series, in which they’re collaborating with Island chefs to brew new beers to be tasted and paired with certain foods as various restaurants across the province. They’ve released their first beer with Gahan Pub chef Dwayne MacLeod, a Munich Dunkel called Dwayne’s Dunkel Lager. A dark lager meant to be paired with “hearty winter fare”, this draft-only, 5.5% ABV low-bittered beer was brewed on the 7-bbl Gahan system in the traditional German way, with lots of Munich malt and cold-conditioned (“lagered”) to allow the flavors to mellow out. In the meantime, the brewers aged bourbon on whole vanilla beans and toasted oak chips; the extracted liquid was then added to the final, filtered product to result in an easy-drinking beer than can be enjoyed as a session beer or a slow-sipper. Described by the brewers as easy to enjoy with roasted vegetables, blackened meat, spicy dishes or rich cheeses, the beer mainly shines with desserts such as German strudel and French pastries. It’s currently available at the Gahan Pub in Charlottetown, and will likely pop up at a select few bars/restaurants in PEI and New Brunswick soon. Stay-tuned for more entries in the Island Chef series in the near future!
• Garrison Brewing has released a special beer, almost a year in the making: they aged their Grand Baltic Porter in rum barrels from Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg, NS for ten months. This is a very limited brew, with only 417 bottles available. This beer weighs in at 11% ABV, definitely picking up some tasty rum from the barrel (their regular Grand Baltic Porter is 9%). Tracy Phillipi of Garrison was kind enough to provide us with tasting notes: “With aromas of cherries & caramel, this ruby-brown specialty brew is balanced by flavor notes of coffee, smoke & leather. Not for the faint of heart, Barrel Aged Grand Baltic Porter leaves a dry warming sensation on your palate”. This beer is only available at the brewery, so pop down soon to grab a bottle.
• The story of Garrison’s Spruce Beer was highlighted on last night’s CBC The National program. Watch the video to follow along with the fun, from harvesting the spruce and fir trees, to brewday, bottling and release. Brewmaster Daniel Girard talks about the impetus and recipe development he went through with this beer, and President Brian Titus speaks about his initial hesitance to brew up the beer. There’s still lots left at the brewery and even the ANBL, so pick one up before it vanishes for another year.
• There’s a new beer on at the Hart & Thistle Gastropub, the “Off The Hop” India Pale Ale. Weighing in at 7.4% ABV and 52 IBUs (calculated), this beer features the Magnum, Summit, Cascade and Falconer’s Flight hop varieties, against a dry-bodied beer, allowing the hops to really pop. It joins Hop Mess Monster v4.0 and Dank & Stormy on tap.
• Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS has released some details on which beers and swag they’ll have available for next week’s launch: The 5.7% ABV American Pale Ale will retail for $4 a bottle, and $10 a growler fill (on top of the refundable $7 growler fee). When they are available in early 2014, bottles of the 9% Black & Tackle Russian Imperial Stout will retail for $6, and growler fills for $14. The 11.6% Glenora Barrel-Aged version of the RIS will be $8.50 per bottle. Decals will retail for $2, and t-shirts will also be available in limited quantities.
As this is the last Wrap-Up of 2013, we want to thank you for following along with the Atlantic Canadian Beer Blog as we share the news and accomplishments of our local breweries, brewpubs, restaurants and bars. We’d like to thank everyone at these establishments who answer our emails and messages while we look deeper into the details of new breweries, beer releases and events, and wish you all the best in 2014. Remember to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a pint or bottle of beer from our excellent local craft breweries and brewpubs. Cheers from Shawn and Chris!