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 firstname.lastname@example.org.