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All posts for the month August, 2014

Good morning! As August comes to an end and the long weekend begins, beer news in our region has slowed down… but only slightly. Let’s get right into what’s going on in our region!

Picaroons is releasing a new beer next week, their first Double IPA! Selection Double IPA is brewed with no less than seven hop varieties: Pride of Ringwood, Bramling Cross, Cascade, Orbit, Galaxy, Sorachi Ace, and Slovenian. Coming in at around 80 IBUs and 7.9% ABV, this new beer will be released next Thursday, Sept. 4th for growler fills only, at the Brewtique when it opens. It will also be a part of the ANBL pilot program for growler fills; no word yet if this will be at all three ANBL stores participating in the program, or just the Prospect Street location.

• Distribution for Brasseurs du Petit-Sault is expanding, as one of their two inaugural beers, Tante Blanche (a Witbier) is now available at ANBL stores in Fredericton (York St. location), Dieppe (Régis St.), and Moncton (Vaughn Harvey Blvd.). Also, their Belgian Blonde, Bob LeBoeuf, should be following at the same locations sometime next week. Look for both beers to continue to make their way across the province; we’ll be sure to keep you updated as to their availability.

• Speaking of Petit-Sault, they’re currently hiring for the position of Sales and Marketing Rep. Are you in good physical shape, bilingual (a must for the position), and want to hang out with a very friendly staff (we can attest to this)? Well, now’s your chance! The position includes ordering, promotional events, ongoing relationships with bars/restaurants and ANBL stores, making deliveries, rotating inventory, etc. If you’re interested, send your resume to them via email, no later than September 5th. More info on the position is available here.

• And while on the topic of job-hunting, Garrison is also looking to fill some part-time positions at their retail store and promotional events in Halifax. If you’re hard-working and enthusiastic (read: love craft beer), send a resume via email to Jeff Green ASAP.

• With the grand opening of the new Gahan House location on the Halifax waterfront approaching, the Ladies Beer League is holding a special sneak peek on Monday, Sept. 8th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. During this time, ticket-holders will be given a “Beer 101” and introduction to Gahan’s expansion to Halifax. They will then be led through a guided tasting of 10 different Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. beers by brewmaster Karen Allen. Tours of the new brewery will also be offered, and attendees are encouraged to stick around after to order food and more beer. The beer will be a combination of unique offerings brewed onsite by Allen, as well as those in the PEI Brewing lineup. Only 30 spots were available, and they sold out within 24 hours (sorry)! We understand this is just the beginning of an enduring relationship between the Ladies Beer League and Gahan, and we can look forward to a beer dinner this winter, as well as other exciting events from the LBL this fall. Keep an eye on their Events page for more details.

Shiretown has another beer hitting shelves at the ANBL this week. Big Brown Ale has been available on tap at certain bars/restaurants across the province, and on tap for growler fills at the brewery, and is now joining Blonde du Quai and Siren’s T’Ale in 500 ml bottles. As usual, it should be hitting stores in the Charlo area first, but will spread to other outlets in the very near future.

Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax is releasing their latest new beer today, Rhubarb π. This beer weighs in at 4.6% and very low IBUs (from East Kent Golding), but the highlight here is the sour character imparted by the choice of Lactobacillus bacteria as the fermenting workhorse, which produces lactic acid for an acidic and tart flavour, hence the rhubarb name. Grab a pint of it at the ‘bottom today! This is the second lacto sour done by brewer Greg Nash, the first being last year’s Synaptic Illusion.

Hell Bay Brewing has sent the final few kegs of their new India Brown Ale to Bar Stillwell for the city folks to enjoy (the rest was sold to thirsty locals in the Liverpool region). The beer is sweet and malty upfront, and leads to hints of rum and molasses with a dry finish, and weighs in at 6.5% and 45 IBUs.  Brewer Mark Baillie tells us that the next version of the R.I.P.(A.) will be out soon, and will make its debut in bottles for the first time (will also be available in kegs and growlers, as were previous versions). We’ll have more recipe details closer to the release.

• It’s Hop Harvest Time in our region! While several breweries in the Atlantic Provinces will be brewing up Wet Hop beers in the next couple of weeks, we believe the first to do so was Big Spruce in Nyanza. With help from some volunteers, they picked their own farm-grown Magnum, Cascade and Mt Hood hops, and brewed up Hoppily Remarried earlier this week. While the IBUs are not available, they used enough hops to get them into Imperial IPA range, with an expected ABV of 8.4%. Look for this beer at the brewery and select tap accounts in September.

Propeller Brewing has released another One-Hit Wonder, the Cluster Bomb IPA. It weighs in at 7.1% ABV and 64 IBUs, thanks to a ton of Cluster hop in the brew. And what a great Lambic launch event at Stillwell last week! The Framboise Lambic was a big hit, and after selling out at Stillwell, the beer sold like hotcakes on Monday at both the Halifax and Dartmouth locations. Look for the other beer in the Lambic series in the coming months, including a blackberry, cherry, and non-fruited version.

• This weekend, the fifth annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is being held in the village of Bertrand, NB. Starting yesterday and continuing through to Sunday, activities include Bavarian music and dancing, live entertainment, games, and of course, beer! There will be several beer tastings throughout the weekend, including two by Acadie-Broue owner/brewer Patrice Godin (these were by reservation only). Tickets and passes are still available online through their website.

• Our contest to win two tickets to the PEI Beer Festival next weekend has come to an end, and the winner is… Derek Stapleton! Congratulations, Derek! Contact us as soon as possible and let us know which of the three sessions you’d prefer to attend, and we’ll hook you up with the tickets. Since our post last week, they have announced After-Parties for both Friday and Saturday nights. Drop by Fishbones Oyster Bar for more food, drink, and music (Friday: In-Flight Safety + Coyote, Saturday: The North Lakes + Wildcat). Entry is $8 with your Beer Fest mug, $10 without. More details here.

Happy Friday, everyone! Yet another busy week of beer news for our region, so let’s get to it!

Meander River Farm and Brewery is back with another one-off beer. After the great success with their first special brew, Honey Brown, they have quickly followed it up with their Wheat Ale. An American-style wheat beer weighing in at 3.8%, the beer features the newer Belma hop, giving citrus and strawberry characteristics. Much like their Honey Brown, it won’t be around for very much longer. Take a drive out to the brewery today (4-7pm) and this weekend (11-5 both Saturday and Sunday) for a taste of it and their Lunchbox Pale Ale, and keep an eye out at your favourite watering holes in Halifax (Stillwell and Lion & Bright). Once it’s gone, it won’t be back until next summer!

• September 3rd will mark the 15th Anniversary of the Pump House Brewery, and they’re celebrating it with a new endeavour! On Sept. 3rd, they will be brewing a Stein Beer at the brewery in true fashion. During the Middle Ages, there were very few options for heating wort (the malty, sugary liquid that will become beer) to a boil, due to the lack of modern-day brewing equipment and direct-heating techniques. Luckily, German brewers discovered the method of heating granite rocks (“stein” is German for “rock”) to superhigh temperatures, then dropping them in the wort in wooden kettles to produce a vigorous boil over several minutes. This is the exact method that the Pump House will use to brew their new ale, Stonefire Ale, on their Anniversary. The beer will eventually be bottled as a limited release of approximately four thousand 750 mL bottles sometime in October. Keep an eye on their Facebook page, as they’re holding contests for chances to win an invite to their “Rock Drop” Launch Party on Sept. 3rd.

Celtic Knot Brewing is re-releasing one of their inaugural brews, Not Joe Average Pale Ale. This American Pale Ale has had some revisions, according to owner/brewer Bruce Barton. While still coming in at 5% ABV, the bitterness has gone up slightly, with the IBUs increased from 19 to 30. Also, the aroma and flavor hops are now made up of Cascade and Centennial (well known for their fruity and citrusy characteristics). The beer finishes slightly drier than the original version, according to Barton. Look for it soon at bars/restaurants that carry Celtic Knot beers, including new account Plan b Lounge (with one rotating tap) in Moncton.

• Barton is also brewing up the new Ring of Fire beer today, featuring 40% Smoked Malt (along with 2-Row, Munich, Cara Aroma and Roasted malts to an Amber colour, 16 SRM), and hopped to 18 IBUs with Tettnang and Fuggle hops. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! For the heat, Barton will be using Habanero and Jalapeno peppers in the boil, and might add some in secondary as well, depending on the results. Look for this one on tap mid- to late-September.

Rare Bird Craft Beer has released their latest seasonal, Spruce Beer. It is their modern take on this style of beer with some history in our region, both on shore, and on the ships that visited Guysborough harbour. Building on a medium-bodied Pale Ale base of 5.5% and 47 IBUs (from Cascade and Galena hops), Black Spruce buds were added to the boil for a bright spruce nose. Currently on tap at the Rare Bird Pub, look for it in bottles at the private stores soon.

• In the brewing world, the approach of fall means one thing… the brewing of pumpkin beers, and the PEI Brewing Co. just brewed theirs! The grist contains Canadian 2-row malt, Munich, Victory, Extra Special Roast, Caramunich 60 L, and some malted rye, and the beer is hopped exclusively with Comet hops to 25 IBUs. As for the most important part, the pumpkin, 30 lbs of yellow summer squash were sourced from MacKenzie Produce in Stratford, PEI, with the balance made up of unspiced, canned pumpkin and squash due to limited availability of pie pumpkins this time of year. Luckily, brewmaster Chris Long was able to find many high quality spices from Kate the Spice Lady for the brew, including “150 cinnamon sticks, about 80 cloves, almost 100 allspice pods, 10 whole nutmeg, and 10 lbs of fresh ginger” for each batch. The beer clocks in at 5.8% ABV; look for it in bottles and kegs in the near future across Atlantic Canada.

• Next Friday, August 29th, Edmundston’s Resto-Bar Le Deck will be holding a Picaroons tap takeover that will also feature guest taps from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault and live entertainment from The Carson Downey Band. No word yet on exactly which Picaroons beers will be pouring (they will have 5 taps dedicated to their brews), but we can confirm that both flagship beers – Tante Blanche and Bob LeBoeuf – from Petit-Sault will be present, as well as the recently-released limited edition of their collaboration brew with Acadie-BroueL’effrayab’ Tintamarre. There’s no cover at the door; it all starts at 10:00 pm.

• And great news for those of you who live in Fredericton and would like to try L’effrayab’ Tintamarre… a keg or two has been delivered to the King Street Ale House, and should be pouring now! It won’t last long, however, so best head there for lunch today. 🙂

• And back to Picaroons, their annual release of UPSTREAM Ale will be hitting shelves at the beginning of September. This 4.5% Pale Ale is crisp and clean, like the wild waters of the famous NB Salmon Rivers. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer will go to the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation to help preserve those rivers. And available shortly thereafter will be Picaroons’ series of Harvest Ales, featuring wet hops grown on local farms.

• This week, brewer Josh Herbin at North Brewing Company started experimenting with cask conditioning and adding flavour infusions to their very popular Saison. He prepared infusions using black peppercorn and candied ginger, and has dosed two of the casks with different concentrations. To a third cask, he added both of the infusions and some of the ginger and pepper to further “dry spice” the beer to measure its effects on the final product. No word yet where they will be available, but when they hit the taps/bar tops mid-September, we’ll be sure to share the details.

Uncle Leo’s Brewery is launching a new growler format today, a 750ml Flip Top Growler. These new growlers are $5 for the glass, and $5 for a fill of any of their IPA, Smoked Porter, Red Ale and Vohs Weizenbier. Until Sunday, August 24th (or while supplies last), when purchasing two or four 750ml growlers, you will receive a free two- or four-growler tote. Please note that they ask folks to not return their 1.89l growlers until after the weekend, when they re-open on Wednesday, August the 27th.

• The Beerthief Newfoundland Special Order Beer Group is holding a tasting next Thursday August 28th. ShakesBEER in the GUT is a fundraiser for the Shakespeare by the Sea Festival in St. John’s, and will give attendees the chance to try four exclusive international offerings available only at the tasting: after starting with a choice of a Quidi Vidi beer, Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler will guide participants through Sorachi Ace and Local 2 Ale by Brooklyn Brewery, and Hiver and Dorée from Meduz Brewery. Tickets are available online for $50, and include snacks, door prizes and live entertainment.

Tatamagouche Brewing Co is holding a contest! Their Brew Crew is putting together an Oktoberfest Lager to be released in the coming weeks, and they want you to name it. We don’t have the recipe details just yet, but you can enter by replying to this tweet or instagram with your best shot. The contest is closing soon, so be sure to enter today. The winner will win a free party keg rental from the brewery. Only those 19 years or older may enter.

• New Beer Alert! Big Spruce Brewing has released their International Coffee Conspiracy, the Hoppuccino. As mentioned previously, this beer was brewed with help from Phillips Brewing from Victoria, BC and  Cafe Milagro from Costa Rica. Coming in a bit bigger than originally reported, the beer weighs in at 7.3 % ABV and 80 IBUs from Simcoe and Chinook, and features lots of whole bean coffee in the boil, and then a second cold extraction infusion, added post-fermentation. Grab a sample and growler at the brewery today, and ask for it at your favourite local bar.

• After some delays due to ANBL regulation changes that were mostly dropped late last week, Mitch Biggar of Railcar Brewing is back on track! This week he brewed a test batch of the first in his “Derailed” series, a Maple Bacon Porter. Using Chocolate and Cherrywood Smoked Malts in the grain bill for characteristic aroma and taste, he also added New Brunswick Maple Syrup and Smoked Bacon in the boil. Wow!

• And finally, in case you missed yesterday’s post, we’re currently holding a contest to win two tickets to any of the three sessions at this year’s PEI Beer Festival on Sept. 5th and 6th. All you have to do is take a picture of one of the beers that will be pouring at the festival (a list of breweries and beers is available on their website), and Tweet it/share it to our Facebook page, with the hashtag #PEIBeerFest. The contest will continue until next Thursday at 11:59 pm; we’ll announce the winner in next week’s Friday Wrap-Up on August 29th. Only one entry per person, please!

Drink locally this weekend! Head on out to Antigonish Townhouse tonight at 5pm to enjoy another of their one-off casks of British Bitter, to the Stubborn Goat for a Friday Firkin of Boxing Rock‘s The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA, or King’s Arm Pub in Kentville who now have Schoolhouse Brewery on tap. And we hope to see lots of you tomorrow at noon at Stillwell for the launch of Propeller Brewing’s Raspberry Lambic. Folks from Propeller will also be there from 1-3pm taking pre-orders to be picked up at the Gottingen St location Sunday (1 bottle max), before it goes on sale to the general public at both locations on Monday (limit two bottles per person).

peibeerfest

This year’s Prince Edward Island Beer Festival, produced by the PEI Brewing Co., will be held on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5th and 6th. We recently chatted with Alex Douglas, Director of Branding and Community Engagement with the PEI Brewing Co., to find out a few more details on the festival.

This is the first year that the festival will be held indoors, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel. According to Douglas, this was a natural decision due to the unpredictability of weather and consequent protection from the elements. Also, the new ballroom where the festival will be held has a patio overlooking Peakes Quay, which should provide an enjoyable atmosphere for festival attendees.

There will be three tasting sessions over the weekend; two evening sessions, Friday and Saturday, from 6:30 – 9:30 pm, and a slightly shorter afternoon session on Saturday from 2:00 – 4:30 pm. Evening tickets are $40 (+tax and fee), and the afternoon tickets are $30 (+tax and fee). Tickets are still available; they can be purchased online, or in-person at the PEI Brewing Co. There are also discounted hotel & ticket packages available through the Delta; call to inquire (1-877-450-7752). We’ve been assured that Designated Driver tickets will also become available soon, for $15 online.

What does your ticket get you?

• Unlimited beer samples

• Live entertainment at each session (featuring several local bands; check out the beer fest web page for details)

• Voting in the Cask Contest

• Access to several on-site games

In regards to the Cask Contest, attending breweries have been invited to create a cask beer for the festival; festival goers will have the chance to try all cask offerings and vote on their favorite of the festival. Participating breweries in the contest will include PEI Brewing Co., Garrison, Picaroons, and possibly more. As for the games, we don’t have full details as to what they will entail, but Douglas said to expect “some classic East Coast-style party games to be played”.

There will be food available for purchase from several vendors at the festival. No word as to which vendors will be participating yet, however, details should follow on the festival’s website and social media links soon.

As for the beer, the mostly-completed brewery and beer list has been released on the festival’s website. Atlantic Canadian breweries attending include PEI Brewing Co., Garrison, Picaroons, and Pump House. Like last year, there will be over 75 different beers pouring, so attendees should have plenty to choose from.

Starting tonight, we’ll be holding a contest to give away two tickets to the festival; any session, winner’s choice! It’s easy to enter… take a picture of any of the beers that will be at the festival, and Tweet it or share it to our Facebook page, with the hashtag #PEIBeerFest. Only one entry per person; the contest will begin immediately and continue until next Thursday, August 28th at 11:59 pm. That gives you a whole week, so don’t miss out on your chance to win!

And remember, stay tuned to the festival’s Facebook page and Twitter account for more updates on food, entertainment, and beer over the next couple of weeks!

In an announcement just made this afternoon, ANBL has removed the new regulation requiring craft breweries to sell at least 100 hL (10,000 L) of beer through ANBL stores before being allowed to sell beer at the brewery for off-site consumption (e.g. growler fills). That regulation, just announced last month (our reports here and here), would have been a major hurdle for many of the small breweries that have opened or would be opening in the province.

ANBL CEO Brian Harriman had the following to say: “I am pleased that the board of directors has approved these changes and I look forward to working with all brewers in New Brunswick to promote the craft beer industry. This regulation was put into place to ensure product quality, however, after discovering it may be a barrier to new breweries, it was removed.”

In order to meet these quality demands, all new brewers will be required to send a product sample to an independent food inspection lab and undergo Smart Serve training; both of these requirements will be paid for by the ANBL.

This is fantastic news for NB craft brewers; we’re ecstatic to see that ANBL board members have listened to the demands of both brewers and the public. If it wasn’t for fans of small and local businesses voicing their concerns, the regulation may never have been re-evaluated so quickly. We look forward to the continued growth of craft beer in New Brunswick, and the rest of Atlantic Canada!

Good morning beer fans! Thirsty yet? If not, here’s some Atlantic Canadian beer news to get your beer-appetite going…

Propeller Brewing ‏has released their latest One Hit Wonder beer, Summer Blonde Lagered Ale. Their latest growler-only beer is a light bodied beer, thanks to the Wheat, Pale, and Pilsner malts, and weighs in at 4.8%. Hopped with Centennial to 22 IBUs, the beer is well balanced, and very drinkable. Part of the smooth character of the beer is thanks to the particular conditioning process the beer went through: after its one-week primary fermentation, the ale was lagered for three weeks. It is available at both the Halifax and Dartmouth locations, but if it’s anything like previous One Hit Wonders, not for much longer! And there are just a handful of tickets left for tonight’s Prop’r Cask Night featuring a sausage feast from Agricola St Brasserie’s Chef Ludo Eveno. Your ticket gets you in the door for the food and beer, including a special cask prepared for the evening. Also part of Sausage Fest is Tuesday’s Brews & Brats Tap Takeover at Lion & Bright, featuring nothing but One Hit Wonders and other special one-off beer.

• Following their recent announcement concerning their expansion into Halifax at the old Hart & Thistle location on the waterfront, the Gahan House has announced that they’ve chosen their brewmaster for this location. Karen Allen has been brewing at the PEI Brewing Co. in Charlottetown for the past two and a half years, and was part of the first graduating class from the Niagara College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program. Karen has confirmed that the Halifax brewhouse will be used solely to brew specialty and seasonal batches, including trial batches for possible future releases from the PEIBC. The grand-opening will take place on September 4th, and will feature Business Lunch IPA, a sessionable, hoppy beer that the PEIBC has brewed in the past, this time dry-hopped heavily with a New Zealand hop variety, and a currently-unnamed high-ABV Belgian beer that “hopefully will be dry, funky, and have an earthy European hop aroma”, according to Allen. With a total of 17 taps on hand, there will be plenty of room to serve all PEIBC/Gahan brands, as well as additional offerings from other Atlantic Canadian breweries, Allen has confirmed. We’ll have more on the grand opening in the near future!

Bad Apple Brewhouse has released their Barrel-aged Black & Tackle Russian Imperial Stout this week. This beer started out life as the 9% ABV Black & Tackle Russian Imperial Stout, and then spent a few months in whisky barrels from Glenora Distillery (producers of Glen Breton), picking up lots of vanilla and oak character, and increasing the alcohol to 11.5%. This release marks the first time Bad Apple beers are available in bottles in the four private beer stores in HRM: Bishop’s Cellar, Cristall Wine Merchants, Harvest Wines and Spirits, and Premier Wines & Spirits. Also look for Bad Apple American Pale Ale on tap at The Union Street Cafe/Wick Pub in Berwick, The Kings Arms in Kentville, and Roy’s Lounge at the Westin Halifax. Those that make the trip to Somerset will be rewarded with growler fills of both of these beers, plus the next exciting beer on its way through the brewery.

• Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 PEI Beer Festival, which will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5th and 6th at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel in Charlottetown. Friday will have an evening session from 6:30 – 9:30 pm, while Saturday will have both an afternoon and evening session, from 2:00 – 4:30 pm and 6:30 – 9:30 pm, respectively. With live entertainment, games, and a “Cask Contest”, it should be a great time! Tickets ($40+tax and fee for the evening sessions, $30+tax and fee for the afternoon session) can be purchased online, or in person at the brewery. There are also hotel/ticket packages available through the Delta; designated driver tickets will also be released in the near future. We plan on posting more details on the festival next week in a standalone post.

Hammond River Brewing has re-released their Back in Black Oatmeal Stout. One of the original beers from their launch, this is an Oatmeal Stout with Star Anise added for a subtle licorice flavour, the beer weighs in at 5.2% ABV and 30 IBUs (all from East Kent Goldings). Currently on tap at Bourbon Quarter in Saint John, and the Barrel’s Head in Rothesay. Also keep an eye out for the last round of kegs (for this summer) of Blueberry Ale to hit the taps in the Saint John region (currently at Bourbon Quarter, other spots shortly). This light bodied beer is 5.4% ABV and 14 IBUs, and features loads of real blueberries for lots of flavour and aroma. And in a couple of weeks, locals can look forward to Hammond River’s last summer seasonal, a Watermelon Wheat. We’ll have more details on the beer when it becomes available.

• The PEI Brewing Co. has a new beer on tap only at the brewery – Blood Orange Tangerine IPA has the pure juice of blood oranges and tangerines mixed into their 1772 IPA, resulting in a beer that “brings out a nice juice flavour that slightly masks the bitterness and alcohol of the IPA, making it a bit more refreshing and drinkable”, according to brewmaster Chris Long. It comes in at about 6.2% ABV and 50 IBUs. Their popular Sydney Street Stout (5.3% ABVwas also brewed last week, and therefore should be making its appearance throughout PEI and NB early next month; we’ll keep you updated on future news involving this beer, including special blends planned by the brewery.

• In other PEIBC news, keep your eyes open for a mixed, canned seasonal pack being released in the near future. This 4-pack will include two PEIBC standbys – Sir John A’s Honey Wheat and Blueberry Ale, both in cans for the first time – and two new beers. Black Banks Cascadian Dark is a blend if their 1772 IPA and Sydney Street Stout, and is named after an area in Western PEI where the cliffs appear black due to layers of peat moss. The other beer is Harvest Time Lager, another hoppy, sessionable Lager featuring a New Zealand hop variety for the aroma (their first attempt was Landing Day Lager, earlier in the summer). Expected release for this mixed pack is around September 5th in PEI only, as part of the province’s culinary festival, Fall Flavours. Canned singles will start to show up in the retail fridge at the PEIBC a week or two later.

Brasseurs du Petit-Sault is releasing their collaboration with Patrice Godin of Acadie-BroueL’effrayab’ Tintamarre today at noon. Brewed to celebrate National Acadian Day, this Saison features a spicy and citrus aroma, fruit and a slight tart flavour, and a dry finish (more recipe details in our previous post). It will only be available on tap at the BrewtiqueResto-Bar Le Deck, and Station 127. Look for their Tante Blanche Wheat Beer and Bob LeBoeuf Blonde Ale on tap, and in bottles at the ANBL as well.

• Next month, Burgers n’ Beer – an event organized between the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival and reLiSH Gourmet Burgers – is returning to Fredericton! Similar to the first events held in April, it will involve six pairings of different sliders and beers/ciders. For this event, the 8 oz samples will include offerings from Red Rover Brewing, Brasseurs du Petit Sault, and Quebec’s Le Naufrageur, with there likely being two beers/ciders from each. It will be held at reLiSH’s uptown location on Tuesday, Sept. 30th from 8 pm – 10:30 pm; tickets are $45 and can be purchased online. The event sold out last April, and tickets are already 40% gone, so don’t wait to buy yours!

• Following up last summer’s beer tasting cruise, Uncorked Tours has scheduled a New Brews Cruise for Saturday, August 23rd. Like last year, the cruise will take place on the Voyageur II, an authentic Mississippi river boat, and will feature a 3-hour cruise on the Saint John River… with beer and cider! Ticket holders will be entitled to six different beers/ciders, as well as lots of appetizers – NB cheese, charcuterie, condiments, bread, fruit, vegetables, crackers, pretzels, etc. The beer/cider being poured will mostly be from NB breweries that have opened over the last year-and-a-half – Big Axe, Grimross, Hammond River, and Red Rover – along with Big Tide. Brewers from at least some of the breweries will be present to talk about their products. The ship also has a bar on board for wine, spirits, and commercial beer bottles if guests are interested in additional purchases throughout the cruise. The ship departs from the Saint John Marina at 6:00 pm; tickets are $75 (+HST) and can be purchased online. They also have an Oktoberfest Cruise planned for October 4th; we’ll post more details on this one soon!

• Looking to test your art skills… in the world of beer? Well, soon-to-open Railcar Brewing is holding a contest to design a label for one of their inaugural beers, Railcar Red. Full details are available via a PDF file on the page-link above, but involve submitting original artwork and personal details in-person at the brewery, or via email. The contest is being held until August 30th; the winner will receive bragging rights and a $250 prepaid debit card.

• Speaking of Railcar, they’ve teamed up with The Castle Inn in Perth-Andover to put on an “Oktobeerfest” in the fall. Details are still being finalized, but there will be several NB breweries attending, including Picaroons, Pump House, Shiretown, and of course, Railcar. The event is planned for Saturday, October 18th; you can purchase a general admission ticket (which includes a commemorative glass and 15 beer tickets) for $40, or a VIP ticket for $145, which also includes overnight accommodation at the Inn for you and one guest. Additional beer tickets will be available for $1 each. Get your tickets online; we’ll post more as details become available!

• After having released their new IPA in 6-packs this summer, Pump House is retiring an old favorite from bottle release – S.O.B. will now only be available on tap at the brewpub and through various bars and restaurants in the Maritimes; it may return in bottles as a seasonal release within the next couple of years. Look for the IPA to debut on NSLC shelves next week. They’ve also recently announced that they have their Hefeweizen seasonal on tap again at the brewpub; great style to finish off the warm days of summer, so get down for a pint!

A few final beer notes to end off today: Rogues Roost Brew Pub has their Kolsch summer seasonal on tap (and available in growlers), the Antigonish Townhouse will be tapping another pin of Terry’s Best Bitter today at 5pm, and Big Spruce is brewing up another batch of Tim’s Dirty American IPA, winner of last year’s Home Brew Challenge, look for it in September.

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s kick your weekend off right with lots of new beers, and some special announcements!

• Announced last Friday, just after the Wrap-Up went out, Gahan House in Charlottetown is expanding to the Halifax Waterfront. They are moving into the former site of the Hart & Thistle, and aim to be open at the end of September. They were holding an open call for Hosts, Servers, Bartenders, Line Cooks and Management today from 10-12, and we expect there to be more shortly. PEI Beer Guy has a summary of his thoughts on the matter, and we hope to have some more information on the brewing side of things soon. CBC News has also picked up the story.

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza has had a busy week! They have finished off their outdoor tasting room, which is now open to enjoy a few samples of their wares onsite. They have also released Pump Le Mousse, a grapefruit wheat. It weighs in at 5.4% ABV and 23 IBUs, fermented quite dry. The zest of 40 organic grapefruit was used in the last 5 minutes of the boil for a real citrus punch. Look for it in growlers and samples at the brewery, and on tap at your favourite joint soon (confirmed accounts tap are Stillwell, Stubborn Goat, Governor’s and Lion & Bright). And, as we mentioned yesterday in the Seaport Beerfest post, their Tip of the Spear Black Spruce IPA will be making its Halifax debut at the Fest, and also on tap at the brewery and better beer bars very soon.

• In more Big Spruce news, they brewed up an International Coffee Conspiracy this week with help from Bryan Druhan of Phillips Brewing (Victoria, BC) and Cafe Milagro (Costa Rica). The as-of-now unnamed beer will weigh in at 6.4% ABV and about 70 IBUs, with loads of late addition Simcoe and Chinook. They used whole bean coffee in muslin bags for last 5 mins of boil, and will add a second infusion of coffee as a cold extraction in the tank post fermentation, in addition to dry-hopping it heavily. The beer will be out at the end of August, and will be on at the brewery and Stillwell.

Picaroons has released a pair of new beers this week. Firstly, a brand new beer to celebrate Fredericton Pride week is being released today. Pride Sally Pride is a 4.5% ABV pale ale brewed with Amarillo hops and natural apricot flavouring, for a great fruit nose and flavour. Look for it at the brewery, and on tap at select bars and restaurants in downtown Fredericton. And be sure to check out the flag raising today at noon at City Hall, and the parade Sunday afternoon through the downtown core.

• Picaroons has also brought back their 506 Logger this week. This Kolsch-style beer is crisp, light and refreshing, and weighs in at 4.5% ABV. Look for it at the Brewtique and on tap around the city.

• Meander River Farm and Brewery has released their second offering, Honey Brown. This 5.2% ABV beer was brewed with toasted malts and local Cosman & Whidden honey. It features notes of coffee, toffee and a smooth honey finish. Stop by the farm today 4-7pm or Saturday and Sunday 11-5 for a taste and growler fill while it lasts!

Grimross Brewing has released a very special beer this week, Chantelope. This beer was fermented solely using Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast, possibly the first commercial 100% Brett beer in Atlantic Canada. This yeast is found naturally occurring in the Senne valley near Brussels, and is a key player in the musty or horse-blanket aromas that are found in Lambic beers. The 6.7% ABV beer started out from a similar grain bill as their Cheval D’Or (with pilsner, rye and wheat malts), and lightly hopped to 20 IBU with Amarillo, Tettnang and Saaz. From brewer Stephen Dixon, “We let the temperature go as high as it wanted to see what compounds our Brett would produce. It has a little less pineapple than expected, but with slightly more phenols, the taste is quite pleasant. It has a slightly musty and rustic nose, not quite barnyard, but close… think flowers, wheat and straw, with a horse over in the corner;-) We’ll call her Gertrude. The taste reminds me of some of our Belgian Farmhouse ales, but with a very slight tart lemon in the background. The hops are subdued and play a supporting role to the yeast and grain. Overall, this beer is not an extreme beer with a good balance with the ABV well hidden. I can imagine having this beer on the deck with pasta and pesto with Manchego cheese.” Sounds great to us! Grab a bottle or two at the Picaroons Brewtique at 422 Queen Street, and look for it on tap at better establishments downtown.

• In more exciting traditional Belgian beer news, Propeller Brewing is starting to release their Lambic-style beers. Brewed over three years ago, Propeller Framboise is an ode to the raspberry lambics made very popular by Cantillon and other breweries in the Senne valley. Keeping in that tradition, the grist used unmalted wheat, and only aged hops were added to the boil (used for their preservation characteristics, rather than bitterness or aroma). The beer was fermented using Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus & Pediococcus, and aged in Blomidon Estate oak barrels for a couple of years, with whole raspberries added. After a year in bottles to further condition and generate high carbonation, the beer is 4.2% ABV, and now ready to be released. Expect a tart, musty and fruit-filled effervescent  beer, it is very special indeed! On August 23rd, Stillwell will be the scene for the launch of this very special beer, years in the making. The beer will be available by the glass or bottle, and they are commissioning a special glass to honour the event. No tickets are necessary to attend, simply show up any time after noon to have a try of the beer. And beginning on Monday the 25th, an extremely limited number of bottles will be available at both Propeller brewery locations to enjoy and age in your own cellar.

Red Rover Cider will now be attending Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market on Saturdays! Starting tomorrow, August 9, they will be set up at the market to allow for flagon purchase and exchange, 7am – 1pm. Unfortunately, due to liquor laws, no tasting is allowed at the market. With the increased exposure at the market, they have changed the hours for their storefront at Red’s Ciderhouse, and it will be open Thursday 4-8pm and Friday 2-8pm.

• Brewmaster Greg Nash is holding his annual Nashfest at the Rockbottom Brewpub this weekend. It marks the return of Thulsa Doom Double IPA, back bigger and stronger than ever! This hop bomb weighs in at 8.8 % ABV (up from 7.8% in version 1.0), and features 6.8 pounds of hops per barrel of Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook, and Summit. It is being tapped today at 5pm. Joining the Thulsa Doom are some returning champions Balticus Smoked Baltic PorterInsidious India Black AleWreckoning RIS (2014 Gold for Imperial Stout in Canada), and Barrel-Aged Wreckoning RIS. The fun kicks off at 5pm this evening, with the special beers rotating in the lineup as the Nashty One sees fit (check their twitter feed for tapping details). They join the Bloodletter Belgian IPAFathom IPAJacktar StoutDeadwood Wheat and Big Water Brown.

• The King Street Ale House is hosting a beer and cheese tasting this Saturday, 3-5pm. Tickets are just $25 (inc tax and gratuity), you will have a chance to try a handful of great beer and fantastic cheeses. The full list of both was not available, so best to show up and prepare to be wowed by the pairings, tastes and aromas.

• There’s lots going on at Garrison Brewing in Halifax these days. With their expansion, they are still looking to hire several people in the brewery (brewer, bottle line people and packaging supervisor), so be sure to give them a shout if you’re interested. They are also releasing their Honey Lavender beer this week. This unfiltered beer weighs in at 6% ABV and 15 IBU, and is brewed with lavender from Meander River Farms. You can have a first taste of it at the Beerfest this weekend, or else find it in bottles and on tap at the brewery shortly.

Yellowbelly Brewery in St John’s has released their first Cider. It is on tap now at the brewery, and will soon be in bottles. It is a lightly-filtered, off-dry, backsweetened to 3% with unfermented cider, it weighs in at 5.5%ABV. There is no added sugar. It is fermented with a champagne yeast and has a lovely tart base, and is Yellowbelly’s first gluten free product.

• The Second-Annual Fredericton Beer Run went off without a hitch on Monday. Global News was there, and you can enjoy some of the fun through their report.

• Unfortunately, Railcar Brewing will not be open this weekend, as originally planned. In all of the dust-up with the new ANBL regulations, they are still awaiting final approval. However, you can still visit their storefront to join their mug club, merchandise and (empty) growlers. Brewer Mitch Biggar will be leading several events as part of the Festival of Flavour in Florenceville-Bristol next week, so be sure and drop by and say hello.

• Speaking of Railcar and the ANBL, CBC Maritime Noon held a call-in show this week, with special guest Craig Pinhey, regarding supporting local microbreweries. Skip to 9:40 for the pertinent section.

Whether you’re drinking a beer at a festival, local pub or restaurant, or on your deck this weekend, enjoy!

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With the Halifax Seaport Beerfest happening this weekend, we wanted to give attendees (and those on the fence whether to attend) some more details on the fest.

This year’s most exciting element is the Cask Beer Pavillion, being run by Stillwell Beer Bar and the Ladies Beer League. We reached out to Christopher Reynolds from Stillwell for more details on this endeavour. “We put a call out to the breweries that are a) Producing casks at all, b) Producing relatively good/stable casks, and finally c) Breweries we thought might participate. The format will be similar to Stillwell, in that we will aim for the best mix of FIVE casks at any given time, and we’ll be tapping new ones as casks run out. There are three casks from some producers (Garrison, Big Spruce), but only ONE cask from some (Hell Bay), so we’re not sure which session will get what — which is part of the fun, we think.” You can see Christopher and Beerfest co-founder Brian Titus chat casks in this clip from Global Morning News.

From Christopher and the brewers, we were able to secure a partial list of the fifteen-plus casks being poured:

Big Spruce Brewing: Pump Le Mousse (a new beer, a Grapefruit Wheat), Tip of the Spear IPA (a Black Spruce tip IPA), and All Night Kitchen Party (a dry-hopped version of their Kitchen Party Pale Ale)
Boxing Rock: Hunky Dory Pale Ale, Temptation Red, and The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA
Garrison BrewingHoney Lavender (also to be released soon in bottles at the brewery and private stores) will be available at all sessions
Granite BreweryPeculiar and Best Bitter Special
Hell Bay BrewingMeander River Farm and BreweryPEI Brewing, and Propeller Brewing are also sending casks, but we were unable to find out which beers.

So, what about the rest of the beer offerings?

Folks will also be able to enjoy beer from handful of other breweries from the Maritimes, including:

Garrison: Tall Ship AmberIrish Red AleNut Brown AleRaspberry Wheat AleHopyard Pale AleIndia Pale AleImperial IPA, and NiT WiT Belgian Wheat
Hell Bay (Saturday sessions only): India Brown Ale and English Ale
Meander River Farm and Brewery: Lunchbox Pale Ale and Honey Brown Ale (a new beer from them)
PEI Brewing: Sir John A Honey WheatIsland Red AmberBeach Chair Lager, and Blueberry Ale
PicaroonsBest Bitter, Melonhead Watermelon Wheat, Blonde, Yippee IPA, and a cask of Best Bitter
Pumphouse Brewery: 1516 Premium Lager, Blueberry Ale, Cadian Ale, I.P.A., Premium Pilsner, 4 Alarm IPA, and Fire Chief Red
Rare Bird BrewingMaple Ale, Pale Ale, Full Steam Stout, and Pumpkin Ale
Rockbottom BrewpubFathom IPA, Deadwood Wheat, Big Water Brown, Balticus, and Jacktar Stout
Tatamagouche Brewing (Saturday sessions only): Hippie Dippie Ale and Butcher’s Block Red

Unfortunately, many of our other favourite Maritime breweries will not be taking part (beyond the Cask Pavillion or at all). Those we reached for comment mentioned being already pushed beyond capacity with regular business, and were unable to dedicate product to be given away without being reimbursed.

There’s beer from other parts of the world, though, to keep you satisfied! The Gluten-free options have expanded again this year, with the famed IPA (and also tasty American Pale Ale) from Glutenberg being poured, along with their regular offerings available in the NSLC. There are plenty of ciders, including the Bulwark Original and Blush, and Stutz Cider and Shipbuilders Cider (Saturday only), and several from Ireland. Speaking of Ireland, there will a be a strong showing from that country, with over 30 beers and ciders being poured by Irish breweries. There will also be a strong Quebec, Ontario, and Maine component again this year. Check the list on the Fest site for the full details, use this Map to plan your attack.

There are a few VIP tickets available for the Saturday afternoon session as well. These will allow you a special tasting glass and bottle opener, and to take part in a guided tasting and chat with some special guests,  Nicholas Pashley (author of Notes on a Beermat: Drinking and Why it’s Necessary and Cheers: An Intemperate History of Beer in Canada), Stephen Clinch (co-founder and co-owner of Trouble Brewing), and Craig Pinhey (local wine, beer and spirits writer).

Finally, in addition to staying hydrated, you’ve got to keep your belly full, right? Three vendors will be onsite to keep you satisfied, with lots of options, all for under $5.

The Waterfront Warehouse will be bringing:
Fish & Chips
Duo of Oysters (gluten-free)

Bramoso Gourmet Pizza will have several different pizzas to choose from:
Mediterranean – olive oil glaze, fresh garlic, diced tomatoes, marinated artichokes, fresh baby spinach, mozzarella and Holmstead Farm’s feta & oregano sprinkle (gluten-free option available)
Stromboli’s BBQ Chicken – olive oil glaze, diced red onions, chipotle BBQ chicken breast, smoked bacon, Riverview Herbs cilantro with 3 cheese blend
Brawny Bramoso – signature tomato sauce, local pepperoni, smoked bacon, cremini mushrooms, diced red onions, green & red peppers and 3 cheese blend
Three Cheese – signature red sauce , cheddar/mozza and provolone blend and sprinkled with oregano (gluten-free option available)
Pepperoni – signature red sauce topped with mozza/cheddar and provolone blend and loaded with tasty local pepperoni

The Stubborn Goat have a couple of special items to share as well:
Smoked Chicken Taco – with Pico de Gallo, avocado cream, shredded lettuce and crunchy poblanos
Pulled Pork Sloppy Joe – with aged cheddar and house made pickle

Beerfest co-founder Bruce Mansour and chef Tyler Smith of The Stubborn Goat also appeared on the Global Morning News to chat beer and food.

The weather for the weekend doesn’t look too fantastic, but fear not, the festival is indoors, at the Cunard Centre at Pier 23.

Tickets are available for a few more hours at NSLCs across the city until the end of today, and online. Any tickets left over will also be available at the Cunard Centre box office beginning at noon Friday, but we wouldn’t suggest waiting that long to snag some. Tickets for designated drivers and group tickets are also available.