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 Porter, Insidious India Black Ale, Wreckoning 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 IPA, Fathom IPA, Jacktar Stout, Deadwood 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.
• 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!