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All posts for the month January, 2014

Another busy news week in our region, including some regulation change in Nova Scotia that will make your life easier. Let’s dive right in!

• Terrific news, New Brunswick! Hammond River Brewing has had their four flagship beers – an Extra Special Bitter, American IPA, India Red Ale, and Oatmeal Stout (infused with Star Anise) – approved by the ANBL, meaning that they can now be sold to thirsty customers! While the beers should start popping up in the Saint John area any day now, the official launch of all four beers will be at the Saint John Ale House on Thursday, Feb. 13th. You will also be able to find Hammond River beers at Bourbon Quarter, The Barrel’s Head, and The Shiretown Publicans.

• If you live in Fredericton, you probably remember the opening of the King Street Ale House in November, and the Smoked Porter, Ember Ale, released by Picaroons exclusively for that location. Well, good news if you’ve been missing it – the KSAH will be tapping a cask of the original brew tomorrow at 3:00 pm. It’s part of their first “Beer, Bourbon and BBQ” event, where they will be featuring exclusive items from their smoker, bourbon, and, of course, beer! Look for future casks to pop up there from time to time; and who knows… Picaroons MAY brew the beer again in the future!

• In other Picaroons news, earlier this week they put a new beer on tap at the Brewtique. A Pale Ale, the beer is the first of four that were brewed before Christmas with different Engineering groups from the University of New Brunswick. Each group paired up with Picaroons Head Brewer Andrew Estabrooks to create a different beer style. Once the Pale Ale is out, look for the three other beers to follow shortly after; they include a Belgian Wheat, a Coffee and Vanilla Bean Stout, and the crowd-favorite, a Maple Wheat.

• And continuing on, the first beer brewed by Picaroons to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Lunar Rogue was tapped on Wednesday night. A Parcel of Rogues has finally been revealed to be an Amber Ale brewed mainly with Mild malt; some Honey malt was also used to add a “delicate sweetness” as described by Marketing Director Dennis Goodwin. A full-bodied beer, the alcohol level of 4.6% ABV keeps it fairly sessionable and easy-drinking. The beer is, of course, limited, so get down to the Rogue to have a pint or two to help them celebrate!

• With only five weeks to go before the 2nd Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival on March 8th, the final breweries are now confirmed, and tickets are over 80% sold out. Looks like there’s going to be a great showing from craft breweries in our region; many of these smaller breweries have limited distribution (for now), so this gives a lot of us a terrific opportunity to sample their beers! We should have a list of breweries/beers being served at the festival in the near future – hopefully next week – so stay tuned here for an update!

• Great news for Nova Scotian beer fans: the NS government announced earlier this week that Brewpubs may now fill growlers during opening hours. This means that the pubs will no longer be forced to fill growlers during off-hours, but are permitted to do so on demand. Forget having to call the day before to request a growler, or worry that the pre-filled supply might run out before you visited after work. Different brewpubs will be handling it differently (some will permit you to bring your own, clean growler to be filled, while others will still be exchanging the bottles), so best to call or tweet your local brewpub to confirm. Rogues Roost and Rockbottom Brewpubs had already been selling growlers under the old regulations, and it looks like Hart & Thistle will use the changed regulations to begin to offer them next week.

Rockbottom Brewpub hosted their first Beer Dinner on Monday, to great praise by those in attendance. Three courses of food paired with three beers, for $30+tax and tip? Seems like a good deal to us! If you enjoyed the first one, or missed out, the next monthly dinner will be held Tuesday Feb 25. Call the pub at 423-2938 to reserve your spot now. Brewmaster Greg Nash will be on hand to chat food and beer. And a reminder that the RB has moved Firkin day to Wednesday, with a pin tapped at 4pm. And, beginning this week, they are whipping up a special dish to pair with the beer. This week’s pairing was Dry-hopped Pale Ale, paired with beer Mac & Cheese. Pop by to see what the mind of Nash has come up with next week!

• The Stubborn Goat is continuing their very popular Cask Friday today, with guest brewery Propeller offering up a pair of special brews. There will be a cask of their IPA, dry-hopped with Citra, as well as a cask of Vanilla Porter. The casks are tapped at 4pm, so get there early to avoid disappointment! Also, congratulations are in order for Propeller, as they celebrated the 100 batch of beer brewed at their new facility in Dartmouth. The expansion more than doubles their potential output, with lots of big fermentation and brite tanks to brew their core brand, and the extra space makes doing special recipes not as much of a drag on the system.

• Over in Newfoundland, the Beerthief and Beckett on Wine are hosting a terrific-looking beer tasting on Wednesday, Feb. 12th, featuring the oldest active brewery in the world – Weihenstephaner, from Germany. After a reception beer from Quidi Vidi, the tasting will begin with the excellent Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, followed by their equally-tasty Dunkelweizen and Vitus (Weizenbock). Each sample will be approximately 250 mL. Afterwards, they’ll be pouring each attendant a sample of the Belgian beer Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel – yes, it’s difficult to say, but it’s an excellent beer as well! The beers will be accompanied by fresh baguette and cold, rare, sliced roast beef; Beerthief and Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler will lead the tasting. The event will be held in the Hospitality Room at the Quidi Vidi Brewery at 7:00 pm; tickets are $28 each, with 75 seats available. To reserve your spot, send an email to tom.beckett@nl.rogers.com.

Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s start your weekend off with a few news stories from around the Atlantic Region.

Two weeks ago, we mentioned the start of the “Name the Beer!” competition that The Lunar Rogue was having in collaboration with Picaroons to celebrate the Rogue’s 25th Anniversary year. Well, the winner for the first beer has been selected – Duncan MacSporran, with his entry of “Parcel of Rogues”, is the proud owner of a Picaroons Draft & Dinner Party for six, valued at $300. Picaroons has already brewed the beer, but they’re still keeping silent on which style it is. However, you won’t have long to wait – the official launch of Parcel of Rogues will take place at the Rogue next Wednesday, January 29th at 7:00 pm.

• And hey, speaking of Fredericton… have you ever thought about knitting your own growler bag? No? Well, neither have we, but now’s the time to learn! This Sunday, January 26th, Yarns on York is having a 3-hour workshop for all levels of knitters to instruct you on how you can make a handy item to carry your growler around. The $50 fee includes materials and taxes; check here for more information.

Paddys Irish Brewpub has released a new beer at both their Wolfville and Kentville locations. Fitz’s Belgian Dubbel follows the style with a bronze-colored body, fruity and spicy aromas and flavors, light bitterness (with 25 IBUs), and “lively” carbonation. At 7% ABV, the beer has a pleasant warming sensation that is perfect for this time of year! Drop in at either location to try this new beer at the brewpub or get your growler filled.

• Looks like the Hart & Thistle has a new batch of brewmaster Greg Nash’s popular Commissar, a Russian Imperial Stout. A full-bodied stout with “notes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, raisins and figs”, it’s nicely balanced with enough bitterness at 117 IBUs (calc) to even things out. At 11% ABV, here’s another beer to warm you on these cold winter days and nights!

• Mike Buhler of the Beerthief Artisanal and Craft Beer group is hosting a Chimay Cheese, Beer and Food tasting at Clinched Bistro, January 29th. Pairing both cheese and beer from the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Scourmont, will be creations from Clinched’s co-owners Shaun Hussey (winner of 2012 Gold Medal Plates) and renowned pastry check Michelle LeBlanc, including Salt Cod and Lobster Bubbly Bake, Chicken and Waffles, and Chocolate, Cherries and Almonds pastries (actually paired with Liefmans Cuvee Brut). Tickets for the event are $165, and can be reserved by emailing Tom Beckett.

Robbie Burns Day is tomorrow, and Garrison Brewing has brewed up a few casks of Scotch Ale to celebrate. They released them to a few of your friendly neighbourhood bars, so be sure to grab a pint or two to celebrate along with fellow fans of The Bard, while enjoying some haggis. Look for it at Stillwell Beer BarCeilidh’s Pub (tapped at 4:00 pm), and at The Loose Cannon (to be tapped at 11:00 am).

• Speaking of Garrison, a little birdy (aka Twitter) has told us that their very popular Spruce Beer will be taking the ferry over to Newfoundland in the next little while. Look for it on the shelves of NLC stores mid- to late-February.

• Big Congratulations to Bridge Brewing in Halifax. In addition to this week being their one-year anniversary, last night they won the New Business of the Year from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. With expanded capacity, thanks to a few larger fermentation vessels, look for Bridge on tap at more and more establishments around the province in 2014. Well done to Peter, Josh and the whole Bridge family!

That’s all of the news for this week. Just a note that we had a wonderful time at the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food event last Thursday. Despite getting sprayed by an over-pressurized cask (not all bad when it’s whiskey-infused Oatmeal Stout), the evening went off without a hitch! Great to see so many craft beer brewers and fans in one place. And then on Saturday, we had a great time for the Stillwell Big Spruce and Boxing Rock tap takeover, and had great conversations again with the brewers and beer fans. Remember that craft beer can be as much about the great people behind the beer, as the beer itself!

Happy Friday everyone! Here’s what’s going on in our region these days:

• Back in October we posted about a new brewery, Hammond River Brewing, opening in Quispamsis, NB later in the fall. The official launch of the brewery was unfortunately delayed; however, owner/brewer Shane Steeves has indicated that his first beers should be available sometime in February. We’ll keep you updated when we know exactly when Hammond River’s first beers will be pouring at the official launch at the Saint John Ale House!

• Speaking of Saint John, Big Tide Brewing has a couple of new beers; brewer Wendy Papadopoulos has given us some info on both. Currently on tap is the Crasberry Cream Ale, a still-hanging-on-to-the-holidays Cream Ale brewed with cranberry juice and raspberry extract; it clocks in at 5% ABV. They should also be releasing a Winter Warmer this weekend – this currently unnamed beer is brewed with smoked malt and Caramunich, with some bourbon added for extra flavor, and comes in at 7% ABV.

• Halifax’s Bridge Brewing is releasing a new beer today, a collaboration with Java Blend Coffee Roasters. It is a Belgian Coffee Brown Ale, made with 2 kg of Guatemalan El Injerto Pandora del Carmen beans. The folks at Java Blend did a special roast of the beans, and a 24-hour cold brew, before being added to the beer. Look for it at the brewery and Alderney Market this weekend.

• Hell Bay Brewing, from Liverpool, NS, has released a new beer, the R.I.P.(A) IPA. Over the next few months, they will be releasing several IPAs, and asking for feedback on the beers. At the end of the series, they’ll be having a taste-off to determine the winning style. The first version weighs in at 7.2%, is pale and finishes dry, and is moderately hopped (for an IPA). Look for the beer at the brewery, only available in growlers. The next version will feature even more hops, so watch out for that!

• In other Hell Bay news, consumers in more locations around the province will soon be able to purchase their English Ale at the NSLC. We don’t have all of the details yet (which stores will be participating), but will be sure to pass them along when available. It should be on shelves before the end of the month.

• And finally, Hell Bay has been nominated for a Lunenburg-Queens Business Excellence Award. They are up for the 2013 Small Business Award. The winning announcement will take place February 17th. Best of luck!

• Have you purchased your tickets for the 2014 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival on March 8th? Well, they’re currently having a contest on their Facebook page; like and share the link indicated, and you’ll have a chance to win two tickets to the festival AND the 2014 Fredericton Poutine Festival… that’s a $190 value! The winner will be drawn today at approximately 4:00 pm. Just a reminder… last year’s event sold out weeks before it was held. With about 70% of this year’s tickets already gone, and the event promising to be even better than last year, don’t hesitate much longer! And there are still rooms available at the Crowne Plaza just across the street, at the special Beer Fest rate. Check them out here.

The PEI Brewing Co. sent an interesting cask to Bar Stillwell yesterday; the “Dry-Hopped, Barrel-Aged, Farmhouse Saison”! This very tart beer (the wort – what beer is before yeast does its thing – was originally destined to be Sir John A’s Honey Wheat) was initially fermented with a Saison yeast and aged in an oak red wine barrel since last summer. After it finally made its way into the cask, fresh yeast was added, and the beer was dry-hopped with Santiam, a European-type aroma hop that has spicy, herbal and floral qualities. With an ABV of ~5%, this sounds like a very interesting beer!

• Speaking of Stillwell Beer Bar, they are holding the Big Spruce X Boxing Rock Tap Takeover tomorrow. Tickets are sold out, however they will be tweeting during the event if seats become available. You might not be able to score one of the slick glasses created especially for the event, but you will be able to try some of the great beers being poured. Look for Boxing Rock’s U-889 RIS with vanilla beans and Crafty Jack Brown Ale, as well as Big Spruce’s Tim’s Dirty IPA and Cereal Killer Sideways (Oatmeal Stout infused with Bowmore).

• A reminder that the “Name The Beer!” competition, Picaroons‘ new beer to honour The Lunar Rogue Pub‘s 25th anniversary, closes today. Post up your favourite name on their Facebook page, and you might just win a tasty prize package, a Draught and Dinner party for you and five of your worthy friends.

• We’ve got a reminder, and some great news for homebrewers who are thinking of entering the Garrison Home Brew-Off competition this year. Noble Grape will be doing an all-grain brewing demo of a Weizen at Garrison Brewery tomorrow from 10-2pm. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and watch the techniques used by more advanced home brewers (and you’ll see it isn’t so tough to do after all!). The great news is that all of the beers entered into the competition will be tasted and judged by BJCP-certified judges. The judging has always been impartial and blind (the identity of the beer or brewer were never revealed to the judges), but having the BJCP judges whittle down all entries to the finale means that the notes and scoresheets back from the competition should offer some insight not otherwise available. If you were on the fence as to whether to enter or not, hopefully this steers you towards YES!

That’s it for this week… have a great weekend!

Happy Wednesday folks! We wanted to interrupt your week to give you some important news for beer events taking place over the next couple of days.

• There are two new beers on at Rockbottom Brewpub this week, both tapped Today. The Balticus Smoked Baltic Porter returns after last being brewed in 2012. This beer features 35% beechwood-smoked malt, along with 2-Row base and Melanoidin, Carastan and Black Patent. Weighing in at 7.8% and 40 IBUs (calc), the beer will feature that smokey nose, as well as licorice, raisins, and dark fruit. Also on is the Wreckoning Russian Imperial Stout. Brewed with Pale Ale, Melanoidin, Crystal 150 and Chocolate malts. Lots of rich vanilla and chocolate aromas, and balanced with over 100 IBUs (calc) from Magnum and Cascade hops. Both beers will be on at 4pm this afternoon, we hope to see you down there!

• Speaking of Wednesdays at the Rockbottom, they are switching up their weekly firkins to Wednesday nights. Tapped at 4pm every Wednesday, these gravity-fed casks will feature limited brews (only 20L available). We’re not sure what will be on this afternoon, but have been assured it’ll be a pin of something special (as always). You’ll have to show up to find out what it is! (Or it might be announced on Brewmaster Greg Nash’s Twitter feed this afternoon)

• Finally from Rockbottom today, they have announced details of their first beer dinner, being held Monday, Jan 27. There will be three courses of food, each paired with an appropriate beer. Full details are available here, but needless to say the food looks excellent, the beer is always outstanding, and for just $30 plus tax and gratuity, an excellent value. Reserve your tickets (only 40 will be sold) by phoning (902) 423-2938.
We also contacted the breweries taking part in the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration, being held tomorrow evening at the Halifax Club. Many of them got back to us to give attendees a hint of what beers they’ll be pouring. There will be cider and beer throughout the 7 rooms of the event, and a collection of special casks in one room.
Big Spruce is starting off this list strong! They held a homebrew competition in December to crown the best homebrewed IPA in Nova Scotia. Tim Gregory won the competition with his “Dirty” IPA, and it will be launched at the event. It will be available both from a gravity-fed cask, as well as on draft, so this is a good opportunity to taste the difference between the two serving methods. Also on cask will be their Cereal Killer Sideways – a cask of their extremely popular Oatmeal Stout, infused with Scotch, for an even bigger blast of great flavour and aroma. Several of the Big Spruce crew (including Brewmaster Jeremy White) will be on hand to chat and enjoy the festivities. When speaking with him leading up to the event, he was excited about the prospect of a great variety of beer, cider, food, and experiences, and has high hopes for the evening.
• Jillian from Petite Riviere Vineyards, was kind enough to announce what they will be bringing to the event: “We’re excited to be a part of the event of course; this is our second event with Local Connections. We will be serving Stutz Cider and ShipBuilders Cider and will be offering a chance to win a cider prize pack which will also include a tour to our favorite vineyard, Petite Riviere! We’re always very happy to take part in all of the exciting local events that are happening; Nova Scotia is booming!”
• From Boxing Rock, owners and brewers Emily and Henry will be on hand, with their three year-round beers:  Hunky Dory Pale Ale, Temptation Red Ale and The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA. Emily says, “We’re really excited about the event, it will be great to have all our local brewers together in one venue and show off what we do, with great food to boot!  And apparently karaoke.  Fun! I believe that there may also be some U-889 ice cream available from Dee Dee’s Ice Cream…” Sounds like a great treat, as the U-889 is full of vanilla, coffee and chocolate flavours and aromas.

• Brewer Kellye Robertson and the crew from Garrison Brewing will be on hand as well. They will have a few of their year-round and seasonal offerings, as well as a couple of special casks: a dry-hopped version of their Imperial IPA, and a Mint Wheat beer. Tracy of Garrison says, “It’s going to be a great event – the first of its kind! It gives us the opportunity to show-off our stuff and connect with a larger group of beer enthusiasts & chefs.”
Rogues Roost Brewpub will also be in attendance, and are excited for the event. They’ll be bringing a keg of their IPA, dry-hopped, their Russian Imperial Stout, and possibly a couple more of their year-round beers, depending on space allowance.
• The crew from Propeller Brewing Company will be on hand as well, and Andrew Cooper gives us some insight into the event: “We’re excited about this event! It will bring together the very best of what Nova Scotia Craft Beer is all about. Propeller is bringing a selection of our core brands, our winter seasonal Revolution RIS & a Cask of Amarillo Dry Hopped Pale Ale.” Sounds great!
• An event featuring cask beers wouldn’t be complete without casks from Halifax’s original Cask Master, Kevin Keefe at Granite Brewery. In addition to a few of their core brands, they’ve prepared a special cask conditioned firkin of their Hopping Mad Pale Ale.
Thanks to the breweries for taking the time to give us attendees a sneak peek as to what we can expect tomorrow. Unfortunately for those who haven’t yet grabbed them, tickets for the event have sold out. However you can follow along with the great beer and food by checking out the #meetyourlocal tag. And if you see acbbChris in the cask room, please say hi!

Happy Friday everyone! After a couple of slow weeks due to the holidays, we are back and bigger than ever! Lots of news this week, so let’s get right to it.

• Last month, we mentioned the Great Canadian Beer Expo, a travelling beer festival, would be coming to six different cities in the Maritimes, starting in late January. While we had never been able to get solid details or a beer list from them (which we had contacted them for several times, in hopes of doing a full write-up), we thought it was worthy of a quick mention on the blog. In the past week, thanks to some detective work begun by members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club, it has been determined that the event might have been nothing more than a work of fiction dreamed up by a single man, Jonathan Brett. He had previously organized “Mud Immortal“, a fall event in St. John’s, Newfoundland, that came under fire for poor management, dangerous conditions, and not following through on promises of charitable donations. In the last couple of days, the events have “officially” been canceled, and people who have purchased tickets should have received information on how to get refunds.

• On a happier note beer-festival-wise, we are looking forward to two legitimate and ANBL-approved events taking place this spring: the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival being held at the Fredericton Convention Centre March 8th, and the Saint John Beer Fest at Market Square April 5th. Tickets for both are still available, we hope to see you there!

• As the initial launch of Red Rover Brewing Company gets closer, co-owner/brewmaster Adam Clawson has confirmed that the plan is to have up to four varieties of cider available when the Ciderhouse opens towards the end of the month. With a spring, summer, and fall cider pouring, along with a “surprise” variety, there should be plenty to satisfy the palates of cider fans in New Brunswick! Look for their ciders to be available for growler fills at their Ciderhouse location, as well as on tap at various bars/restaurants in the area. Check back here for more details, and keep an eye on the Ciderhouse Twitter page for the latest availability.

• It’s been a busy first two weeks at the Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS. The first customers arrived mid-morning December 31st, eager to pick up the American Pale Ale from Atlantic Canada’s newest brewery, and the visitors haven’t slowed down since (even during the nasty weather last week). As promised, the Black and Tackle Russian Imperial Stout is being released Saturday, on sale in bottles and growlers at the brewery. This robust beer features a boatload of roast coffee and chocolate flavour and aroma, with a nice hop bitterness to balance it out. It weighs in at 9%ABV and 110 IBUs (calc). Look for it on sale in HRM soon. BAB-branded glasses join t-shirts and decals in the shop. At 20oz, they are a proper glass for a proper beer! Drop by today, the brewery hours are 3-8pm Mon-Thurs and 1-10pm Fri-Sun.

The Lunar Rogue Pub in Fredericton will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. For this special event, Picaroons is brewing up a series of seasonal beers that will be available exclusively on tap at the Rogue; the first beer should be pouring sometime during the week of January 27th. The style of beer has not yet been announced; however, they ARE looking for some help in naming it. If you think you’ve got a catchy title for this new beer, post it to the Facebook page of either Picaroons or the Lunar Rogue – if your entry is selected, you’ll win a Picaroons Draught & Dinner Party for six, valued at $300. Enter as many names as you like; deadline for submissions is next Friday, January 17th. We’ll keep you updated on details of the new beers as they become available!

• The Pump House Brewery just tapped another new beer at their brewpub location in Moncton. Pompier à Vos Garde is in the style of Biere de Garde (meaning “beer which has been kept or lagered”), a farmhouse ale originating in Northern France. The style ranges from blond to brown; Pump House’s take is of the brown variety, and is brewed with 2-row, Crystal, and Carafa dark malts. Described by the brewery as being lightly hopped with “three distinctive hops”, the beer should have some fruity esters noticeable in the taste, and be quite smooth despite the 7% ABV. Get down to the brewpub before it’s gone!

• Tomorrow, Jan. 11th, is Sir John A. MacDonald’s birthday, and the PEI Brewing Co. is celebrating with two separate events. First, there will be free live entertainment and birthday treats available at the brewery from 1 pm – 5 pm, along with brick-oven pizza and beer. At 8 pm that evening, the doors will open for more music, food and beer, with live bands starting to play at 9 pm. Cover for the evening session will be $10 per person. While there are no one-off beers planned for the event, all of the regular PEI Brewing Co./Gahan beers will be pouring, with special emphasis, of course, on their Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale.

• Speaking of the PEI Brewing Co., they’re partnering with PEI 2014 to help celebrate the province’s 150th anniversary, or sesquicentennial (and yes, I did have to re-check the spelling on that word). The brewery is releasing a Fathers Commemorative Beer Pack, a 4-pack of some of their regular-release beers that have been re-branded and re-labelled for this packaging. Included will be Blueberry Ale (re-named 1864), Coles Cream Ale (Premier George Coles; note that this beer was previously only available on tap), Iron Bridge Brown Ale (Colonel John Hamilton Gray), and, of course, Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale. Four-packs should be available at PEILCC stores and at the brewery today; look for them in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Ontario in the coming weeks.

• Today, the Stubborn Goat Gastropub is starting up a new series, Cask Fridays. They want to showcase this special way of  serving beer that is especially friendly to one-off or unique twists on regular beer (sometimes with added fruit, whisky, oak, or other interesting ingredients). Today’s first event will feature Garrison Brewing, with cask-conditioned versions of their Winter Warmer and Spruce Beer, tapped at 4pm. The Goat has also put out the call for other breweries interested in taking part in the first of many events; contact Geir to be a part of it!

• Speaking of Garrison, were you considering entering the 2014 Garrison Home Brew Off? If you need a little push, Steven Haynes from Noble Grape will be at Garrison from 10am-2pm on Saturday the 18th doing an all-grain brewing demonstration of a Weizen (this year’s competition style). It’s the perfect opportunity for home brewers of all experience levels to drop by and learn about brewing this style of beer. Entries are due Feb 20th, plenty of time to brew, but don’t wait much longer! Entries can be dropped off at Garrison or your local Noble Grape.

• Also in Garrison news, they are partnering with a University of King’s College professor to bring the students of his Brewing Science course some special experiences this term. They will be hosting lectures (at the brewery) and leading some short seminars (Cask Ale and sensory workshops), ensuring a new generation of good beer lovers. Where were these courses when we were in school!? I wonder if I could audit it?

• Next Saturday, January 18, Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar is hosting a tap/cask takeover featuring Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing and Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing. It is a closed event, from 12-5pm, requiring a ticket (available at the bar or by email), after which the bar is open to all. Your $10 will get you first crack at some great beer and food, a special glass to take home, and a drink ticket. From Boxing Rock: Many Hands Pale Ale (their collaboration with Halifax’s Bridge Brewing, and the last keg around!), Hunky Dory Pale Ale, Temptation Red Ale, Crafty Jack English Brown, U-889 RIS with Vanilla beans, Vicar’s Cross IIPA. From Big Spruce: Tim’s Dirty (recent homebrew competition-winning IPA), Blackout Conundrum (brewed over two days when the power went out at the brewery), Organic Conspiracy IIPA (collaboration with Crannóg), Regatta Red (first time on tap at Stillwell), Bitter Get’r India Black IPA, Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. And the brewers from both breweries will be there to talk shop and answer all of your questions.

• Monday, January 13th, Halifax brewpub Rogues Roost is hosting their second Brewmaster Monday event. For $15, attendees will receive a sample of all six beers currently on tap (including their Blueberry Wheat, just released this week), and have a chance to chat with brewer Jake Saunders about the process of brewing, from recipe development to brewday to serving. These events serve as a great way to introduce folks to the art and great taste of craft beer. Contact Husky Communications on Twitter or Facebook to grab tickets. This edition of the event is almost sold out, but have no fear, they will be doing it again on January 27th!

• And if you’re looking for even MORE beer events in Halifax, the Rockbottom Brewpub is planning a series of monthly beer dinners, with the first being held on January 27th. Starting at 6 pm, the meal will consists of three courses, paired with three separate Nash beers. Tickets are $30; the menu and beer list will be posted on Rockbottom’s Facebook and Twitter pages soon.

Happy New Year, craft beer fans! Things are still a bit slow in the beer world this week due to the holidays wrapping up, but we still have a bit of news for your end-of-week beer news cravings…

• The King Street Ale House in Fredericton will be hosting a beer and food pairing on Saturday, January 11th. Following a reception beginning at 5 pm, the four-course tasting will start at 5:30 and feature food prepared by chef Aaron Fraser, paired with various beers from the area, including Picaroons. Andrew Estabrooks, head brewer at Picaroons, will be present to talk beer throughout the tasting. No concrete details on the specific beers as of yet, but KSAH co-owner Doug Williams has confirmed there will be at least eight of them to taste, including ” a surprise or two”. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased at the KSAH; they’re just about sold out, so hurry to get yours! Proceeds from the event will go towards Saint John Ale House Chef Jesse Vergen and his family, whose house was stricken by a severe fire on Christmas Day.

• The Shivering Songs Festival will be held again this January in Fredericton, from the 23rd to the 26th, and once again Picaroons will be supporting the event through endorsements and providing beer at certain venues… including the final day Bluesgrass Brunch which will be held at the Boyce Farmers Market on Sunday, the 26th. Those of you who have tickets to the brunch may see a couple of the recently-released “12 Beers of Christmas” beers, including the Blitzen Coffee Stout (Timberhog infused with Java Moose coffee beans) and French Toast Beer (Irish Red infused with maple, cinnamon and coffee). Keep your fingers crossed!

• Great news for those of you living in Halifax, with regular access to Stillwell beer bar! They’ve extended their hours for 2014, so they will now be open on Tuesdays (that means every weekday now, 4 pm – 2 am), and their Saturday hours now begin at 12 noon (until 2 am). As before, they’re also open Sundays from 12 noon – midnight. Stay tuned to their Twitter and Instagram pages to keep up to date on what beers are flowing and which snacks are being served.

Boxing Rock has announced that another batch of their seasonal Crafty Jack Brown Ale has been released. Look for it at the brewery, Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, and at the private beer stores in HRM late next week.

• Speaking of private beer stores, Harvest Wines has closed their Bedford location, and opened up shop at 268 Baker Drive in Dartmouth (adjacent to Sobey’s). Their beer fridges are up and running, so drop by for a look. They’ve promised to update their website soon, to allow online inventory checks and ordering.

Like I said, a bit of a slow week, but brewers need their rest too! Stay tuned next week, as we’ll have an update on Bridge Brewing’s first year in business, and how far they’ve come in such a short time. In the meantime, Happy New Year! If you’re going out today, stay safe (and call first to be sure the bar/restaurant/brewery/beer shop is open).