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All posts for the month May, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone! Things have slowed down a bit this week in beer news in our region, but we’ve still got some info to share…

• With the opening date for their brewery approaching fast, Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released information on their two inaugural beers. The first beer, a Blonde named Bob LeBoeuf, is a light-colored beer coming in at 5.2% ABV and 22 IBUs, while the second beer is a Wheat beer named Tante Blanche. Another light-colored beer perfect for the upcoming summer months, this beer has an ABV of 4.7%, and 18 IBUs. Both beers are named after real-life characters from the history of the Edmundston area, where the brewery is located. The brewery hopes to have both beers available to the public by late June; when released, look for them at ANBL stores in the area, in singles and six-packs in the old “stubby” format; they’ll also be available for sale at the brewery, along with 1.9 L growler fills. For more info on the beers and their label design, check out the brewery’s blog post here.

• Meander River Farm and Brewery, after a sold out opening day on May 17th, will once again be selling beer this weekend. Open Saturday and Sunday 11-5, folks can drop by for a refill of their Lunchbox Pale Ale. Like last time, we suggest showing up early to avoid disappointment. While there, grab some of their lavender and hops products (grown and made on site), and take a tour of the brewery and farm.

Rockbottom Brewpub has released their newest beer, Hali-Lager. With warmer temperatures finally breaking through, this should be a perfect “lawnmower beer”, as it is a light-colored lager clocking in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, with 17 IBUs. It was brewed with 2-row and Melanoidin malts, and lightly hopped with Hallertau Hersbrucker, with “a twist of Cascade hops in the finish”. Get down to the brewpub to give this new beer a try!

• Bix Axe Brewery in Nackawic will be releasing their Simon Saaz Summer Ale this weekend. From brewer Peter Cole, “A ray of golden light shines through a thin patch of the blotchy white sky. Our summer ale is light gold in colour, dry and refreshing with a citric hop aroma and crisp flavours of orange and coriander. Released from a dark closet of winter, Simon Saaz Summer Ale is moderately hopped with 5.5% ABV and is sure to satisfy. It’s a perfect summer day in New Brunswick”. It should be available in growlers Sunday, and should make it on tap in the next few days as well.

Propeller Brewing has announced that they’re releasing their next Gottingen One-Off beer. Their Smoked Ale is brewed “with ample amounts of Smoked malt”; it’s a malt-forward beer that the brewery describes as pairing well with grilled meats and vegetables, as well as strong cheeses and apple pie. Look for it at both brewery locations for growler fills; it could pop up in limited quantities at the better beer bars in the HRM. Drop by today to fill your growler and, if you’re visiting the Windmill Rd location, grab a grilled cheese sandwich from the Cheese Gypsy food truck.

• The 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards are being held this weekend in Fredericton, which means that the collaboration beer between Picaroons and Great Lakes Brewery is now on tap! Eastbound and Down IPA, a 6.5% ABV American IPA, was released last evening at several bars and restaurants around the city, including The King Street Ale House, Brewbakers, The Snooty Fox, the James Joyce Pub, and Wilser’s Room. The last remaining keg will be released today at the Brewtique for growler fills, starting at 5 pm. It goes without saying that this beer is in very limited quantities, so make sure you try it before it’s gone! For more details on the beer, check out our post from earlier in the month.

• After a successful visit to the Tide and Boar yesterday, the crew from Trou du Diable are making their way west to Fredericton today. The King Street Ale House will have a tap takeover of several kegs, and even more bottles, this evening. No tickets necessary, just show up for some pints and good discussion. You’ll be able to chat with some folks from TDD, as well as other brewers from across the country, in town for the CBAs.

• The Ladies Beer League is celebrating their first anniversary in style! On June 20th, they’ll be hosting a fun event at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth, in the Alderney Ferry Building. They will be pouring special casks from North Brewing, Big Spruce, and Garrison Brewing. No tickets necessary, just drop by, and pay as you go. The event starts at 7:30, and in addition to the great beer, you’ll be able to pick up some LBL swag, and get some insight on what the future holds for the future. Cheers and congratulations!

• Since our post earlier this month, the final beer list for the 2014 Atlantic Beer Festival, being held Saturday, May 31st, at the Moncton Coliseum, has been released. There is also a mobile version of the list, but requires several clicks to see everything. The booth numbers match up with the map of the festTickets for the afternoon session are still available.

• This fall, the first Celtic Oktoberfest will be held in Port Hawkesbury. Being held on Saturday, October 25th at 6:30 pm, the festival will highlight 10 Nova Scotian breweries, and 8 Cape Breton food establishments. There will also be lots of live Celtic music throughout. Tickets are on sale now, and are $70; they can be purchased here. We’ll have more details on the festival, including a full brewery list, as soon as they come available.

• Nova Scotia’s newest entry into the craft beer scene, The Schoolhouse Brewery, will finally have beer available to the public next week! Both of their inaugural beers – Principal Ale, a dry-hopped Pale Ale, and Chequers Ale, a Robust Porter – will be on tap at the Library Pub as of Friday, June 6th, and at the Spitfire Arms June 7th. We’ll have a full profile on the brewery early next week.

We’re at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Fredericton this weekend, taking part in all of the conferences and festivities. We’ll be posting some pictures and information on the event next week. Here’s hoping that there’s some awards won by some of our Atlantic Canadian breweries! The gala is being broadcast Saturday night, be sure to tune in on the Canadian Brewing Awards website.

Good morning beer fans! There’s lots going on in the craft beer world in Atlantic Canada this week, so let’s get started…

Celtic Knot Brewing announced that they have ordered three more 102 L fermentors to keep up with demand for their beers. Currently on tap at Marky’s Laundromat and The Tide and Boar in Moncton, as well as Ducky’s in Sackville, obviously beer drinkers are enjoying what Celtic Knot has been brewing! Their recently-brewed Session IPA, For Shore, featuring New Zealand and Australian hops, should also be appearing soon; for more info on that beer, check out our previous post.

Big Axe Brewery has added yet another new beer to their line-up… Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (named after owners Peter and Tatiana Cole’s chocolate labrador dog, Shakespeare) comes in at 6% ABV and is described as a “full and silky-bodied stout”, with an aroma “rich in caramel malts, chocolate, and hints of vanilla”. With a roasty and earthy hop character in the flavor, the beer is now available for growler fills at the brewery in Nackawic. And if you’re in the Sackville area, you can now find Big Axe beer on tap at Ducky’s; their Chanterelle Cream Ale was just tapped this week!

• It’s been out for a little while, but we wanted to share full details on Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Brew Pub’s latest seasonal beer. Brewmaster Mike Ferguson has brewed up Bunkers Island IPA, named after the peninsula in Yarmouth Harbour where an Irving Oil bunker oil tank farm was located. This Black IPA was hopped using Southern Cross exclusively, by means of five additions all added late in the boil, for a big aroma and flavour blast, and light on calculated bitterness. A generous portion of Midnight Wheat was used to generate the dark hue characteristic of this style. The beer weighs in at 6.3% ABV and 42 IBUs, and is available on tap and growlers and squealers at the pub. If you’re headed to or from Portland, Maine, on the ferry, be sure to drop by for a pint!

Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS, has released their newest beer, The Impresser Double IPA. This massive beer weighs in at 10.2% ABV, and 300 calculated IBUs, thanks to generous hopping throughout the entire process, from using Chinook flowers in the mash, of course lots of hops (including Citra) throughout the boil, and again dry hopped in the fermentation and conditioning tanks. The powerhouse Conan yeast was used to tear through the high-test wort, and will only enhance the hop flavours and aromas with its signature characteristics. The Impresser is available now in Squealers only at the brewery, and may make it on tap at your local watering hole, but will not last long, so jump on it now!

• Coming soon from Bad Apple Brewhouse is their Mosaic Double IPA. Brewed with a generous dose of the Mosaic hop varietal, this beer was brewed to raise awareness of Mosaic Down Syndrome. Donations from the sale of the beer will be made to the Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society, as well as to Brigadoon Village, who run camps throughout the summer, including a camp over the Father’s Day weekend for families with children with Down Syndrome. This 8% ABV, 120 calculated IBU beer will be released at the beginning of June.

• We now have some more details on the new seasonal, Summer Solstice, brewed by BarNone a couple of weeks ago. Designed to respect the longest day of the year, and to celebrate the sun, it’s an unfiltered, moderately-hopped ale that is brewed with several varieties of hops, and dry-hopped with Citra (also the dominant variety in the beer). It weighs in at 4.8% ABV and slightly hoppier than the Summer Sessions. It made its debut last evening at BarNone’s weekly growler night (every Thursday from 6 – 8 pm), with positive feedback from customers, according to co-owner/brewer Don Campbell. Last night also featured some delegates from Ireland and live local music. BarNone has also announced that they’ve brewed a collaboration beer with Bicycle Craft Brewery from Ottawa; that beer was just kegged earlier this week. We’ll have more details on the beer in next week’s Wrap-Up!

Garrison Brewing has announced a special Twelve Cask Bar Top Takeover event at Stillwell Beer Bar on June 21st. Featuring a dozen one-off cask conditioned beers, and highlighting local ingredients, this will be a great event. The day is divided in two: the First Sips event starts at noon, with $10 tickets getting you a special glass and first pour, and these limited number of tickets are available directly from Stillwell. Starting at two, the doors will open again, and as the first wave of folks get their fill, general entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis (for the same $10 deal). We got an inside scoop as to the great beers that will be making an appearance on the 21st: Brewer Kellye Robertson made her first pin a Blueberry Wheat Chai Tea using Oxford Blueberries & Chai from The Tea Brewery in Mahone Bay. We’ll have more details on beer in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

• Also from Garrison, a brand new beer! Building on the feedback and popularity of their Test Batch beers, they are releasing an India Pale Ale. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV and 50 IBUs, Waimea, Citra, Columbus and Amarillo hops lend the beer a citrus and tropical fruit aroma to balance the malt backbone. It is available now in 6-pack format at the brewery, and will soon be in the NSLC and private beer stores. It is joined by a re-release of the the ever-popular NiTWiT Belgian-style Wheat Ale, which started off life as the 2010 Home Brew-off winning beer. The beer weighs in at 4.8% ABV and 12 IBUs, and true to the Witbier style, was brewed with coriander, and offers a orange and tropical fruit aroma from the special yeast.

Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams, NS, has released their very popular seasonal Apple Blossom Ale this week. Brewed with pilsner malt and Nelson Sauvin hops, this beer is infused with fresh Valley apples. The beer is 4.8% ABV, and lightly hopped. Brewed as a celebration of the 82nd Annual Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, being held May 28-June 2, the beer is currently on tap at the Port Pub, in growlers and cans at the brewery today, and early next week in cans in Halifax, and on tap at select spots around the province.

Last week, we mentioned that Pump House will be releasing a new IPA in six-packs at the end of this month, to coincide with the Atlantic Beer Festival on May 31st in Moncton. In related Pump House IPA news, they are looking for a catchy name for their Draft IPA, and they’re holding a contest requesting some help! If you have an idea for a great IPA name, post it to their Facebook page, and you could win a pizza party for four at the brewery, which includes two pitchers of the new beer.

• If you’re a fan of Shiretown‘s Big Brown Ale (currently at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select accounts in New Brunswick), good news! They’ve confirmed that it should be available in bottles at ANBL stores in the near future. No official date yet, but expect to see it sometime this year. Coming in at 5% ABV and 28 IBUs, the brewery describes it as “malty, roasty, and chocolatey, with a nice bit of bitterness and a big mouthfeel”.

• Tickets to PicaroonsBrewer’s Bash beer festival went on sale earlier this week, and a few more details on the event have trickled in. The $25 ticket price gets you a 5 oz tasting mug, and eight beer tickets; additional tickets are $1 each. Like last year, the event will be all day from 11 am – 11 pm, and you can come and go as you please. Expect several food options, live music, and a heck of a lot of beer from breweries all across Canada. Once we find out more details on that end, we’ll be sure to let you know! And keep in mind, they’re still looking for volunteers… shoot them an email if you’re interested.

The King Street Ale House in Fredericton is hosting another beer and food pairing, this time featuring Quebec brewery Unibroue. Featuring five courses from Chef Aaron Fraser, and five different Unibroue beers (including their popular anniversary beer, 17 Grande Réserve), tickets are $65 and can be purchased online. It all takes place next Wednesday, May 28th, from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. And just before that event (3-4:30pm), Beer Sommelier Sylvain Bouchard of Unibroue will be hosting a free tasting at the York Street ANBL location. There are a limited number of seats, so RSVP today.

• Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub will be hosting a special visitor from Trou du Diable next Thursday, May 29th. In the province for the Canadian Brewing Awards, Isaac Tremblay from the brewery will be on hand to pour a keg or two of their beer (including MacTavish in Memoriam Pale Ale), as well as having some special bottles for purchase. No tickets necessary, just drop by to say hello, grab a pint, and chat about beer!

Big Tide Brewpub in Saint John, NB, recently released Fogbound Hemp Pale Ale. An original recipe of theirs, this is a West Coast style Pale Ale, weighing in at 5% ABV and 50 IBUs, thanks to Cascade and Tradition hop varietals. Hemp oil was used during the brew, imparting a lovely nutty flavour to complement the big hop aroma. It is on tap and available in growlers now. Speaking of growlers, they have lifted the temporary weekly limit on growler sales, as they were were having a bit of trouble keeping the beer on tap. Great news, be sure and drop by this weekend to celebrate!

Rockbottom Brewpub has announced that the very popular Thulsa Doom Double IPA has run out, however they are rewarding their fans with a very special 20L pin of Oak-Aged Double Hoppelganger. This 10% ABV beer was first released in August 2013, but has been cellared with love and care by Brewmaster Greg Nash, and it will be interesting to see the changes in the beer over time. On tap soon will be HaliLager a Euro-style lager at 4.5% ABV brewed with Hersbrucker and Cascade hops to 17 IBU. Crispy.

• Unfortunately, the Ladies Beer League / Noble Grape Home Brew Workshops scheduled for this weekend and June have been postponed until July. Scheduling conflicts are to blame, but fear not, ticket holders will be reimbursed, and will have first dibs on tickets for the next Workshop. Stay tuned here for more details. Stay tuned, too, for details on the next LBL special event, to celebrate their first anniversary. We know it’ll be a fun one!

• The results from this year’s “Best of Halifax” food awards via The Coast are now in! Here’s a summary of the beer-related awards, with Gold, Silver and Bronze listed, respectively:

Best New Bar: Stillwell, The Stubborn Goat, Lion & Bright

Best Beer Selection: Stillwell, Maxwell’s Plum, The Stubborn Goat

Best Brewpub: Rockbottom, Rogue’s Roost, Henry House

Best Craft Brewery: Garrison, Propeller, North Brewing

Congratulations to all the winners!

Phew, that was a long one today! As the weather improves and folks are hitting the decks and patios, as well as a few new breweries opening in our region, we’re sure the good beer news will keep on flowing in! Thanks for joining us this week, and until next week, Cheers!

Late addition: We were overwhelmed with stories this week, and totally forgot to announce the random lucky winner of tickets to next weekend’s 2014 Atlantic Beer Festival. Congratulations to the crew from the Drink N Brew blog! We’ll be in touch to give you details. We’ll be starting another contest next week, so stay tuned.

Happy Friday everyone! Now that spring is in full swing, be sure to grab a local beer, and enjoy it outside! Here are some new beers, new events, new jobs, and more!

Hell Bay has released their R.I.P.(A.) version 3.0. Brewed with a different malt and hops recipe than the two previous versions, this beer has a maltier body, and a citrus hop presence. Despite these changes, the beer once again weighs in at 7.2%ABV and 70IBUs. Drop by the brewery in Liverpool for a growler, and look for it on tap around the province shortly.

• Hammond River Brewing has announced that they’re currently brewing up two new summer seasonals, and we have some info on both of them. The first beer is described as a Hawaiian-style Pale Ale; it’s brewed with fresh pineapples, along with Chinook and Cascade hops, and then dry-hopped with more Cascade. It clocks in at 5.8% ABV and 55 IBUs. The other seasonal is a Fruit Beer… more specifically, a Blueberry Ale that is brewed with real blueberries, not extract, which will give the beer a purplish color. This one will come in at 5.4% ABV and 38 IBUs. Both seasonals will rotate in production with one another, so look for them both to be making appearances over the next few months in the Saint John area, starting with the Hawaiian APA in the next couple of weeks.

• To coincide with the Atlantic Beer Festival on May 31st in Moncton, the Pump House is releasing two beers for sale in six-packs for the first time. First, the Premium Pilsner that had a limited release around last Christmas (in 750 mL swing top bottles) will now be available as the newest seasonal beer. A German-style Pilsner weighing in at about 5.7% ABV and 30 IBUs, it arrives just in time for the warmer weather (more info on the beer here). Second, they’ll be releasing a brand new IPA! No, not their regular IPA (that has always been popular with hop lovers, and only available on tap at select locations)… a new beer entirely, also in the American IPA style. No specifics on this one yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we can! Both six-packs will be available at the brewery and ANBL locations at the end of the month/first of June, after an original launch at the Atlantic Beer Festival.

Picaroons has announced the date of sale for tickets to their Brewer’s Bash this summer, July 12th – they go on sale next Tuesday, May 20th. Starting at 10:00 am, you can pick them up at the Cedar Tree Cafe in downtown Fredericton, or find them online here; the price is $25. Tickets sold out fairly quickly last year; even with 500 more tickets available for this year’s festival, expect it to sell out at least as fast as last year. Check out last week’s post for a bit more info on the Bash.

• Looking to work in the brewery business, but not necessarily as a brewer? Well, the PEI Brewing Co. is looking to fill a position for Retail and Sales Manager at their retail store in the brewery. You’ll need a university degree or diploma in Business, Marketing, or a related field, with a minimum of 2 years sales and marketing experience in a retail environment. Contact Cara Squires by email for more information, and/or to submit a resume. More details here.

• A reminder that the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards are being held in Fredericton at the end of the month, May 29-31. The three day event is being held at the Fredericton Conference Centre in the city’s downtown, with satellite events across the city. Featuring some excellent panels, talks and presentations from brewers, distributors and ingredient and equipment manufacturers, this is a must-visit for anyone involved in the beer industry. The Awards Gala, being held Saturday night, and live-broadcast from the CBA website, will be the highlight of the weekend. This is when the winning beers and breweries will be announced, after the impressive job Tracy Phillippi and the panel of judges did, making their way through more than 900 submissions in Toronto last month. For those brewers who have not yet signed up, it’s not too late! Visit the CBA website for further information on the schedule and email Katrina to sign up.

Propeller Brewing’s new Windmill Rd location is celebrating its first “Food Truck Friday” today. Cheese Gypsy Mobile Cuisine will be  set up 11:30-4 today, and every Friday this spring and summer, for folks to have some food to wash down their beer. From Andrew Cooper, “We’re quite excited about the local food truck scene and really want to be involved with it.” They join North Brewing on Agricola St, who host The Food Wolf every Sunday 12-4 and Seaport Farmers’ Market / Garrison Brewing, where Nomad Gourmet hangs out Saturday 7-3 and Sunday 9-3. To keep an eye on where these and the other food trucks are in the HRM, be sure to check out the Street Food App website.

• Speaking of Propeller, hot on the heels of their very popular Black IPA, they’ve brewed up two more One Hit Wonders at the Gottingen St brewery. While too early to release the details, Andrew Cooper assure us that they will be available soon, and released back to back, to reduce lag time between them. In previous years, these one-offs have included Zwickelbier, Imperial Red, SPA (Special Pale Ale), so we’re sure these upcoming ones will be just as special!

• Today’s Cask at the Stubborn Goat is a Double Dry-Hopped Kitchen Party Pale Ale from Big Spruce Brewing. Brewmaster Jeremy White let us know that the KP was dry hopped with Centennial in the conditioning tank, then blasted with a dose of Amarillo in the cask. After grabbing a grilled cheese sandwich and growler in Dartmouth, this sounds like a great start to the long weekend!

• Tickets for the 2014 NLC Beer Expo are now on sale. Being held June 6th and 7th, the Expo will showcase beer from across the country, and around the world. The list of beers is available here, and features over 100 different products, about 20% of which are not normally available in the province. Tickets are still available for the Friday night session, which can also include an exclusive Tasting Panel before the Fest, lead by folks from the Mill Street, Muskoka, and Unibroue.

• A quick reminder that Meander River Farm and Brewery is opening tomorrow! From 10-5, drop by their Ashdale, NS location to tour the brewery and grounds, check out some of the lavender and hops products, and other merchandise, and of course, grab some beer! We’ll see you there!

In closing, we mentioned in our post on the upcoming Atlantic Beer Festival yesterday that we’d be holding a contest for a giveaway of two tickets for the afternoon session (2:30 – 5:00 pm). Starting now, hop on Twitter and send us a note like: Hey @ACBeerBlogger! I want to win tickets to #ABF2014! http://wp.me/p23UN6-1gZ. One entry per person; we’ll randomly pick the winner and announce their name in next Friday’s post. The contest will run from now until next Thursday at 11:59 pm. Good luck!

Atlantic Beer Festi

The 9th Annual Atlantic Beer Festival, Atlantic Canada’s longest-running beer fest, will be held this year on Saturday, May 31st. Taking place at the Moncton Coliseum, there will be two sessions: one in the afternoon from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm, and an evening session from 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm. Tickets are $49 each (tax included), and can be purchased directly at the Pump House Brewery or the Moncton Coliseum, and online at tickets.moncton.ca. Note that evening session tickets are sold out through the Coliseum, but a few more have been released and are available at the Pump House only.

For this year’s event, a limited number of 24 VIP tickets were made available through the Moncton Beer League, in conjunction with the festival. These $65 tickets, which are now sold out, include pre-fest snacks at the Pump House, followed by a limousine ride to the festival, where ticket-holders will be allowed to skip the line via a VIP entrance; a limo ride back to the Pump House after the fest is also included. All proceeds from these tickets will be donated to a local charity. As well, a team of volunteers from another local charity will be present to assist in pouring beer samples; a donation from the Atlantic Beer Festival will be made on their behalf.

Sponsored by the ANBL and City of Moncton, this year’s festival will offer their largest selection of beer yet, with over 160 beers from more than 35 breweries/importers. While the full brewery/beer list has not been released yet (look for that to be posted May 24th), we have confirmation on a few of the breweries that will be attending, including several from Quebec (Microbrasserie Charlevoix, Le Naufrageur, and returning favorite Le Trou du Diable, with a whopping 10 different beers!), Muskoka Brewery from Ontario, and, of course, some Atlantic Canadian breweries such as Pump House and The PEI Brewing Co. Attendees can also look forward to sampling 10-12 different brands from American breweries (such as Wachusett Brewing Company and Cisco Brewers, just to mention a couple), thanks to the participation of an importer from Massachusetts. That’s a lot of beer to sample that we can’t normally get in our area! Most breweries will have representatives on hand to answer questions about their beers.

In addition to all that beer, there will be several food options. Like last year, a BBQ/smoking station will be set up to provide pretzels, sausages, and pulled pork sandwiches for sale. As well, the St. James’ Gate will have a food booth at the festival. Water and Pepsi products will also be available for no extra charge. Live entertainment will be present throughout the festival; both Carey Beck and the 60 LPs will be performing at both the afternoon and evening sessions.

This year, the Atlantic Beer Festival and ANBL are providing free transportation in the form of buses after each session; patrons will be able to travel to various locations in the Greater Moncton Area. As they’ve made clear, this is more of a quality over quantity type of event, and they wish to ensure that safety is the number one priority for everyone involved.

The festival is approaching fast, so if you haven’t bought your ticket yet, don’t wait much longer! There’s still plenty of afternoon tickets available… keep in mind that at least one beer will be making an appearance solely at this session (no, we don’t know which one(s), yet!); with the slightly more-relaxed atmosphere, it’s a great option. We’ll be having a contest on Twitter and Facebook to give away 2 afternoon session tickets… tune in to our Friday Wrap-Up tomorrow for more details!

Update May 16: We’re giving away two tickets for the afternoon session (2:30 – 5:00 pm)! Hop on Twitter and send us a note that you’d like to win the tickets (something like: Hey @ACBeerBlogger! I want to win tickets to #ABF2014! http://wp.me/p23UN6-1gZ). One entry per person; we’ll randomly pick the winner before 11:59PM Thursday, May 22nd, and announce their name in next Friday’s post. Good luck!

Hello, craft beer fans! As the weather finally starts to improve a little in our region, let’s warm up your weekend even more with some beer news…

Boxing Rock has released details on their newest brew, a Biere de Garde; this marks the first time this malty, lagered, French beer style has been brewed by a brewery in Nova Scotia. La Rive du Sud is brewed with base malts and dark caramelized sugar; it clocks in at 7.5% ABV. With “notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, as well as tangerine, peach, nutmeg, clove and allspice”, the beer has a dry finish with a “lingering spicy aftertaste”, according to the brewery. Available in 650 mL bottles at the private stores in HRM Saturday, on tap at select bars/restaurants, and in bottles and 1 L growler fills at the brewery, get it while you can! You can read more about this new beer on the Boxing Rock blog, here.

Hammond River Brewing has announced that they’re brewing a new beer today, an Imperial IPA (aka Double IPA) named Too Hop to Handle. Brewer/owner Shane Steeves has confirmed that the beer should come in at about 8.4% ABV and 101 IBUs (calc); all of the flavor and aroma hop additions will incorporate the Zythos hop, a hop blend that has been described as strongly aromatic, with “tangerine, lemon, grapefruit, and pine notes”. We’ll keep you updated on it’s release; it should be available sometime next month in the Saint John area.

• Over in PEI, BarNone Brewing has also brewed up a new beer. Details on Summer Solstice are pretty slim, but we do know that the strongly-aromatic Citra hop is involved. BarNone recently had a vote on its Facebook page as to whether the beer should be filtered or unfiltered; unfiltered was the strong favorite, so look for the beer to be slightly hazy, but exhibiting more hop aroma and flavor as a result.

Picaroons has announced that they will be having their Brewer’s Bash beer festival again this year, on Saturday, July 12th from 11am – 11pm. Like last year, the event will be held at Officer’s Square in downtown Fredericton; ticket prices will remain at $25 each, with 500 more being sold this year. The date of ticket sales has not been determined yet; keep your eyes on their Twitter feed for an announcement next Tuesday. With about 60 breweries and 300 beers featured in last year’s sold-out festival, expect at least as many this year. In the meantime, they are looking for volunteers; send them an email if you’re interested! We’ll post more details on the festival as they become available.

• To celebrate the 1st anniversary of the opening of their new brewery, the PEI Brewing Co. is putting on their 1st Annual Taps & Tunes Music Festival. This 4-day festival will take place from Tuesday, May 14th to Saturday, the 17th, and involves multiple bands at multiple venues (including the PEI Brewing Co. and Gahan House locations); check out their link for full music details. No details yet on if they’re brewing up something special for the festival, but there MAY be a special cask released!

• Speaking of the PEI Brewing Co., this Saturday they will be hosting their fourth Art Battle (an event that features live competitive painting). For this battle, they plan on releasing a British Pale Ale dry-hopped with whole cone hops… that’s all we know for now, but if you’re in the area and want to give it a try, drop by for a taste!

Red Rover Brewing has added a couple new accounts to their growing list, as their Spring Brew is now available at two new locations. Look for it on tap in Fredericton at reLiSH Gourmet Burgers at their uptown location, and in Moncton at the Tide & Boar.

Rogues Roost has brewed up an exciting new beer, set to hit the taps late next week: a Dunkel Weizenbock. Combining the best characteristics of several styles, this 7.5% ABV beer will taste like the chocolate banana split of beer, thanks to the melding of malt, hops and yeast character. It was lightly hopped with Saaz and Hersbrucker, though these flavours and aromas take a back seat to the rich melanoidins and sour-dough breadiness. We’re looking forward to this one!

• Paddy’s Pub in Wolfville is hosting a Brewery Tour this Saturday, May 10th, at 5:30pm. Visitors will be able to learn the art and science behind brewing, by learning about the ingredients that go into your pint, the brewing process, and how to taste the beer. Tickets are $10 (available at the bar), and include a 16oz beer. We are not sure if this will be a regular event, so be sure not to miss it!

• Also on Saturday, Halifax is home to Open City, a city-wide event highlighting local beer, food, arts and craft producers. Several beer-centric stops will be on the go, including:
Garrison Brewing will be hosting a pop-up by Getaway Meat Mongers, and are featuring a Test Batch IPA-based mimosa, which will pair well with Getaway’s Philly Cheese Steak.
Stubborn Goat is hosting a Goat Fest with music and Oulton’s Farm Burger (with Ran-Cher Acres goat paneer, Sriracha slaw & bacon fat mayo).
North Brewing is hosting the Food Wolf truck for your K-Dog fix, and featuring special pricing on growler fills.
The Foggy Goggle is featuring $5 Propeller Pints, and Giant Foggy Spud stuffed with bacon, corn, red onion & cheese.
Check out I LOVE LOCAL‘s page for the full list, and be sure and get out and experience Open City!

• Speaking of Garrison, they are releasing a new beer today in advance of the OBEY Convention, being held in Halifax May 22-25. OBEY This Brew is a hopped-up Pale Ale, a blend of their Hop Yard and Tall Ship Amber brews, weighing in at 5.0% ABV and 30 IBUs. It will be sold in 650 ml bombers, available at the brewery, NSLCs, private stores and at hosting licensees during the OBEY Festival.

• Garrison is also one of the breweries taking part in the Local Connections Wine and Spirits Gala, taking place next Thursday, May 15, at the Halifax Club. They will be serving an Elderberry Wheat Ale, dry-hopped with whole leaf Simcoe for a piney, woodsy character melding with the berry aroma. It weighs in at 4.6% and 13 IBU. Joining them in the Craft Brewer’s Room are Boxing Rock Brewing, North Brewing, and Propeller Brewing. There are still a handful of tickets left, so jump on them now if you’d like to attend. These LC events are always a great time, lots of different flavours and tastes under one roof!

• It was a busy week for new breweries in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley: after Meander River’s announcement of their May 17 opening, the soon-to-be-open Schoolhouse Brewery was invaded by local brewer Greg Nash, Beer Tech owner Ken Greer, and The Pub Magazine’s Troy Kirkby. They brewed Principal Ale, their dry-hopped Pale Ale, and are looking to have this on tap in early June. Stay tuned here in the next little while for a full profile on Cam Hartley and the Schoolhouse Brewery!

• Chris had a chance to drop by the Heron’s Nest Cottages & Bistro Pub in Charlo for a food and beer tasting last night. Derek Leslie of Shiretown Beer lead the tasting of 9 different New Brunswick beer, including Shiretown’s Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale (used to cook meat balls), Honey Wheat (made with local Charlo honey, and used in the cooking of a ham), and Siren’s T’Ale (chicken thighs were roasted in this beer). Also featured were three offerings from Big Axe Brewery in Nackawic: Chanterelle Cream AleMaple Wheat Amber Ale, and their Double Bit IPA. The Bistro Pub always has Shiretown beer on tap, and an excellent stock of beer from around our region and around the world, and is definitely worth visiting when in the area.

And, don’t forget… it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday! Thank a Mother near you with some tasty craft beer!

 

Meander River Logo

 

Meander River Farm and Brewery is the latest brewery to open in our region. Owned and operated by the Bailey family, Meander River Farm is located in Ashdale, NS, 20km from Windsor. The Baileys have been operating the farm for several years, growing livestock, as well as lavender and hops, with both of these crops used in beers by Garrison Brewing Co. We spoke with Alan Bailey regarding the brewery, and he was kind enough to answer our questions.

ACBB: Is there something specific that got you into the world of craft beer?
Alan: I have been homebrewing since the late 70’s – when bottles exploded as often as not, graduating to all grain brewing about 5 years ago… but it really just stems from something that I enjoy doing and educating my friends about. I like beer and I especially like beer that I make. There is something very gratifying about that.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
It really completes the circle on the farm – we raise livestock pigs clear land and fertilize as they go, we come behind and plant hops, now the hops go into the beer, the spent grain is fed to the animals and the brewery waste water is used to irrigate the hops – so full circle. But beer has been a dream and passion of my wife and I for as long as we have been together – longer than we have been apart…

What steps have you taken so far getting everything up and running?
Wow – way too many to mention – but we first floated the idea about 2 years ago – we planned for over a year and have been in execution for about 9 months. In spite of our planning we still ran into lots of challenges – but we were determined.

Do you have any partners in the brewery?
No, the brewery is family owned presently.

Brewery Tanks

Meander River’s Brewery Tanks. Courtesy of Campbell Bailey of Meander River Farm and Brewery

What size/type of system will you be brewing on?
3 bbl from Stout Tanks and Kettles in Portland Oregon… When we were first in the market for a system, DME (Diversified Metal Engineering, based in Charlottetown, PEI) was only selling 5bbl and up… I  understand that they may be in the smaller market now. It is a single infusion mash set up with a RIMS module.  We have 2 jacketed fermentors at present – but room and hopes for additional tank expansion in the future.

Will you be the primary brewer, or will you be employing one?
I will be the primary brewer for now. But I want my wife, son and daughter to all be capable of creating a brew and running the brewery. I am also looking forward to working with other brewers because the I have lots to learn and lots to share.

What are your plans for distribution?
We will be selling growlers and kegs directly from the brewery retail store, and hope to establish 2 or 3 tap accounts. Because we are so small – we want to ensure we can keep the tap accounts flowing – so we are being careful not to overextend ourselves. We plan to be active in the community at local events as well.

Do you have any beer bars/restaurants in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We have a verbal agreement with the Spitfire Arms Pub in Windsor to serve our beer there. They are open to doing something special at the launch – but again still tentative as to when that will be – but hopefully in May. We hope to have other draft taps in the province, but are intentionally going slow to ensure we can produce enough volume to keep the taps flowing – no point in having draft contracts we can’t live up to.

Can you tell me about the beer style(s) you plan on brewing?
Our plans are for traditional American style ales… we grow hops on the farm – so look forward for some seasonals that showcase the hops. We want to establish at least 2 always available styles – and then expand our seasonal beers to utilize some of the ingredients on our and other local farms. Our first offering is a Pale Ale. At 6.5%ABV and 55 IBU’s it is at the high end of the Pale Ale style and the lower end of the IPA style, but we are planning a big IPA to coincide with our hop harvest in September. We’re calling this initial offering Lunchbox Pale Ale for some sentimental reasons (full story on the website) – but we are shooting for a beer that is appealing to both the seasoned craft beer audience and those making the transition to craft beer.

Brewing up the Lunchbox Pale Ale

Brewing up the Lunchbox Pale Ale. Courtesy of Campbell Bailey of Meander River Farm and Brewery

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada?
There are many excellent brewers in the Maritimes – but I have developed a tremendous respect for Daniel Girard – Garrison’s brewmaster. In my mind, he is a true brewmaster – at a level I will never claim to be, and can only ever aspire to. His passion and creativity for the craft is truly amazing. Also, Jeremy at Big Spruce has been a great resource of information and advice.

With the recent increase in the number of new breweries in Atlantic Canada, what will make Meander River different from the rest?
We are focused on the agri-tourism and experiential tourism market. We think our farm currently differentiates us from the rest in NS anyway – I haven’t been to Barnone in PEI – but from what I see on Facebook – I would say they have similar goals.

Where do you hope to see Meander River in the next 2-3 years?
We are certainly not about world domination of the beer market – we want to be a brewery that our local community can get behind and support and want to have a strong presence in our local area. We see ourselves max-ing out at about 750 – 1000 hL a year. No plans to go any bigger.

Do you personally have a favorite beer style, beer, brewery?
IPA. 3 Fields Harvest. Garrison.

Will you be attending any farmers markets to sell growlers?
It is not our intent at this time to attend farmers markets. We are planning to participate in local community events and festivals to raise awareness.

Have you got a launch date for the brewery?
Yes, we will be opening for business next Saturday, May 17th. We will be open 10am-5pm. We will be selling kegs and growlers (1L refillable bottles are $5, fill is $6, and will fill bottles from other breweries), payment options will be cash, debit, and credit. We’ll be publishing all the details about the 17th throughout the week next week, as there will be some special offers/events on the day – folks will need to stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for that.

 

Thank you to Alan and the Bailey clan for their time. Something special that they are doing is offering the public a chance to buy into their future: following the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model, they are selling annual shares in the brewery. Be sure to check out their webpage for more details on these attractive awards! We are happy to welcome them to the vibrant Atlantic Canada Beer family, and wish them all of the best on their May 17th opening.