Happy Friday beer fans! Another busy week in our region, just when we thought things were winding down for the summer!
• Tatamagouche Brewing Co has brewed up an Oktoberfest beer for the 35th Annual North Shore Bavarian Society Oktoberfest, being held next Friday and Saturday, Sept 26&27, in Tatamagouche. Dubbed Lagerhosen, this amber lager weighs in at 5% ABV, and uses Hallertau Mittelfruh hops to keep that traditional Noble hop character. The best way to enjoy this brew is during one of the three sessions in the beer tent with one thousand of your closest friends. If you can’t attend (or want more after the weekend), it will be available Wednesday in bottles and growlers at the brewery and on tap shortly. Prosit! Also keep your eyes open for a beer brewed using their home-grown hops. Unlike some breweries in our region, they have dried theirs, thus extending their lifetime. It will be hitting the taps in the fall, and we’ll be sure to share the details when available.
• Gahan House Halifax is releasing a pair of new beers this weekend. Today, their Belgian Pale Ale hits the taps. From head brewer Karen Allen, “It is very light and very easy drinking, with subtle Belgian yeast characters of clove, spice and fruity esters, with just a little Mt. Hood dry-hop for added character. 4.8% ABV and 35 IBUs”. Tomorrow is the launch of a very special beer, Maple Whiskey Porter. This beer is a scaled-up version of the beer Allen brewed at Niagara College, and brought to her interview at PEI Brewing Company (there’s a note to all you want-to-be brewers!). The base of the beer is a medium-bodied porter, with NS Maple Syrup and Wiser’s Whiskey added during conditioning. This beer will come in at 5.7% ABV and 50 IBUs. Next up is another batch of the Hippy Cousin IPA (brewed once again with the NZ hop Waimea), and shortly thereafter, a batch of Peach Wit, made with two bushels of Annapolis Valley peaches.
• In other Gahan news, this Tuesday will be the first “Brewster on the Bar”, with Allen tapping a special cask every Tuesday at 6pm. This week’s cask will be Coffee Porter, starting from the same base beer as the Maple Whiskey Porter, but with more coffee aroma and taste. This makes three days/spots in Halifax with weekly Cask Nights: Tuesdays at Gahan House, Wednesdays at Rockbottom Brewpub (tapped at 4pm), and Friday at The Stubborn Goat (4pm). And these spots join Henry House and Bar Stillwell where one can enjoy cask beers all week long.
• Coinciding with Gahan’s Cask tapping is their Brewing Industry Night, where every Tuesday from 5-9pm, folks in the local brewery/brewpub community can enjoy staff-priced pints. Show them your paystub, business card, tattoo, “bottle line hands”, etc to take advantage of this offer. And if you don’t have a job in the brewing community, but want one, Gahan is hiring! They are looking for a General Manager for the bar, hopefully someone with a couple years experience. If you’re the right candidate, send off an email with your resume.
• Also note that the pumpkin beer brewed last month by the PEI Brewing Co. is now available; you can find it at liquor stores across PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia under the name Gahan Pumpkin Ale. For more info on this beer, check out our previous post.
• Things are staying busy over at Hammond River, as more new beers continue to be brewed. First up is a Pumpkin Ale, La Maitresse, brewed with fresh pumpkin and lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice; it clocks in at 5.3% ABV and 23 IBUs. Look for it on tap in the area in about 2 weeks. And this weekend, owner/brewer Shane Steeves will be brewing an “Imperial Vanilla Porter”, a strong beer targeted at 8.1% ABV and 35 IBUs. Shane also plans on adding Maker’s Mark Bourbon to several kegs of this beer, for a Bourbon version that will be available exclusively at the Saint John Ale House. Stay tuned for updates to its availability.
• In other Hammond River news, after demand from beer-drinkers in the province, they’re going to be participating in the ANBL Growler Program. Their California Common, Gammie, will be available for growler fills at the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL, starting on October 2nd, with other Hammond River beers likely following thereafter.
• To celebrate the recent annual release of their Harvest Ale, Picaroons is holding a Harvest Ale Launch Party later today at the Train Station on York. From 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, there will be several batches of Harvest Ale available for sampling (there were a total of 7 different batches brewed), wood-fired pizza from Milda’s, and some live bluegrass music, courtesy of local musician Alan Jeffries. No charge to attend, just show up and enjoy some beer and atmosphere! For more info on this year’s Harvest Ale, check out last week’s post.
• Shiretown has once again rebrewed their Black Currant Wheat, a fuchsia-colored wheat ale brewed with Brewers Gold hops and local black currants. Coming in at a lower ABV this time (4%) and about 20 IBUs, the beer is available now for growler fills at the brewery, and should be on tap this weekend at Isaac’s Way in Fredericton.
• Along with lots of Harvest ales being released lately, keep your eyes open for Oktoberfest beers… one that has recently found shelves again is Pump House Oktoberfest. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and about 12 IBUs, this malty Lager-style beer can be found at ANBL stores across New Brunswick, at the brewery in Moncton, and on tap at select locations.
• We only told you about it last week, but the epic collaboration between Boxing Rock and North Brewing will be hitting the taps tomorrow! Many Hands Pale Ale will be available at both breweries in Shelburne and Halifax, their Market stalls at Seaport, Alderney Landing and Shelburne, and on tap around the province. Featuring over one hundred pounds of buttercup squash, and bags and bags of wet hops throughout the brew, this is a special brew! It weighs in at 6.5% ABV and approximately 37 IBUs (wet hops haven’t had their AA measured, so brewers have to use their best guess).
• Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams has released their latest much-anticipated seasonal, New Scotland Heather Ale. This hybrid brew features fresh and wet Cascade, Fuggles and Hallertau hops from brewmaster Randy Lawrence’s farm, and 6 kg of locally-grown heather in the boil. It weighs in at 5% ABV, and approximately 20 IBUs. Find it on tap across the Valley, including at the Port Pub, Spitfire Arms, and Luckett Vineyards, and in Halifax at Bar Stillwell, Obladee Wine Bar, Agricola Street Brasserie, and Auction House. Cans are available at the brewery and the Halifax private stores.
• If you’re living in New Brunswick and feeling a bit jealous of the recent launch of East Coast Beer Tours in Nova Scotia, cheer up, and get ready for the River Valley Beer Tour! Organized by the people behind the King Street Ale House, Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, and Eat New Brunswick, the inaugural bus tour is scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 1st. The all-day tour will include visits to several breweries in the region; the tentative list includes Railcar, Big Axe, Grimross, Hammond River, and Picaroons, with sampling of beer at the breweries… and even on the bus! A boxed lunch from the KSAH will also be included. Details are still being ironed out, but expect tickets to go on sale this Monday, with 40 spots available (check for the link that day through the KSAH, FCBF and ENB links above). Organizers are hoping for the tour to happen several times a year, with different breweries being included. We’ll keep you updated on the tour as the date approaches!
• Speaking of Railcar Brewing, they have just received their Brewer’s License from the province yesterday, completing another hurdle towards opening in the coming weeks. And how did brewer Mitch Biggar celebrate? By brewing, of course! He will be brewing up a Harvest Ale and Pumpkin Ale, and working on his Shogomoc Stout, featuring potatoes (Railcar is in Florenceville-Bristol, after all!). Look for those beers and more in October.
• And in other New Brunswick beer-fun news, yet another event is being planned for Fredericton in the future – NB HopSpiel will be feature outdoor curling and a beer garden, and will be held in February of 2015 as part of FROSTival (Atlantic Canada’s largest winter celebration). More details will be available next month; in the meantime, you can reserve your spot now via the link above. Sounds like another great time from the people behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival!
• Red Rover has a new cider in the works, a “Weiss Cider” designed to create a craft cider with a profile similar to a German Weiss beer/Belgian Wit, according to co-owner/brewer Adam Clawson. A 7% ABV, semi-dry cider was aged and blended with fresh cilantro (picked from Wellwood Farm in Saint John) and orange zest… sounds tasty! Look for it to be available by mid-October.
• Our friends at Bar Stillwell have been busy, cooking up some exciting events for us all to take in. Firstly, in conjunction with the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards taking place Oct 4-5 in Halifax, they will be holding a People’s Choice vote. The public will have a chance to choose their favourite brew from those registered in the Awards.
In early October, Stillwell will be introducing Brasserie Dunham from Dunham, Quebec (about an hour outside Montreal). Their innovative brews have won awards across the country, and this will be the first time they are available on tap in the Atlantic Provinces.
On October 18th, they will be hosting a New Brunswick Nano Brewery Tap Takeover. Featuring at least six small breweries that have opened in the last few years, the taps and casks will be full of New Brunswick goodness. Acadie-Broue, Big Axe, Grimross, Hammond River, Petit-Sault, Railcar, and Red Rover are all taking part. Ticket details will be available soon.
On the weekend of October 24th, the entire Stillwell crew will be heading to Toronto to Cask Days. They’ll be bringing with them more than a dozen casks from our favourite Atlantic Canadian breweries, and will be showing folks in the Big Smoke the high quality brews we are making in our region. We’ll be sharing those beer details closer to the event.
November 16th marks the One-Year Anniversary of Bar Stillwell, and they will be pulling out all of the stops to celebrate (and we’re all invited!). They’ve got several special kegs they’ve saved specifically for this event, will be holding a special beer release (yup!), and special by-the-glass beers they’ll be cracking open. As if we needed another reason to visit, amiright?
• If you are looking for more beers and suggestions on what to do this weekend, the Halifax Oktoberfest is taking place Saturday at the Halifax Seaport, in front of Garrison Brewing. Organized by Garrison and the German Canadian Association of Nova Scotia (GCA), the event starts at 9am with the opening of the “Kinderfest” open to kids of all ages to enjoy fun, games, music, and great food. The beer tent opens at 11am, with the ceremonial tapping of Garrison’s casks of Unfiltered Wheat Ale happening at noon. At 7pm, the tent transforms in to a 19+ establishment, with more music and food and fun until midnight. All proceeds from the entry to the festival and tents go to the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre and the GCA.
• And after all that, there’s still several new beers coming from Atlantic Canadian breweries, and more events! We weren’t able to find out details for today’s post, but look for more soon on a new wet-hopped Amber ale – Sub_Stanchel Amber – from BarNone Brewing, a Harvest Ale from Big Axe, a pumpkin beer from Big Spruce, and Port Hawkesbury’s Celtic Oktoberfest. Stay tuned next week for more details!