All posts for the month September, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone! We hope your “Back to School” Week went well, and now you’re ready to enjoy the local beer news with a pint in your hand.

BarNone Brewing has a new beer on the go, a Black IPA they’ve named Black Eye P.A. A dark-colored beer that isn’t high in roasted flavors or aromas, thanks to the sole use of Blackprinz Malt (which has been dehusked, making it less likely to cause an astringent mouthfeel), it is hopped heavily with several varieties, including Pilgrim and Amarillo. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, it should be ready in a couple of weeks; look for it at Baba’s Lounge and for growler fills at the brewery soon!

We mentioned a few weeks ago that Hammond River had brewed a new beer, their Watermelon Wheat. Well, that beer is now ready and currently pouring at the Saint John Ale House and Bourbon Quarter. Brewed with lots of fresh watermelon, this light-colored and light-drinking Fruit Beer finished at about 20 IBUs and 5.6% ABV. It’s the last summer seasonal for Hammond River, so make sure you try it ASAP! They’ve also confirmed that they’ll be brewing a Harvest Ale, Pumpkin Ale and Vanilla Porter in the near future… we’ll keep you updated as to the status of those new beers, soon.

• The wait for Fredericton-brewed Mead is almost over! Sunset Heights Meadery has confirmed that they have been approved to receive their Manufacturer’s Agency Store (MAS) license, which means that they are now able to sell directly to bars/restaurants and the public (e.g. via farmer’s markets). Their first batch will be available this Sunday at the annual The Feast in the Field in downtown Fredericton; they hope to have other products available for purchase by the end of this month. Stay tuned for more news as to which brands they will have available, and where. For more info on Sunset Heights Meadery, check out our previous post.

• The Halifax location of the Gahan House Pub is now open! The interior redesign and brewery expansion is complete, and the Pub opened to customers last night. Currently on tap are two beers brewed on site, Hippie Cousin IPA and Beer and Loathing Belgian Ale. Joining them on tap are eight more of the full lineup of Gahan/PEI Brewing beer, and seasonals Harvest Time Lager and Black Banks Cascadian Dark Ale. There are also taps from other locals: Granite Brewery Hopping Mad, Bulwark Cider and Picaroons Yippee IPA and bottles from a dozen more breweries from the region are available.

Antigonish Townhouse has announced a beer and food dinner, scheduled for September 20th. As part of the 50% Local Food Club events to “Meet Farmers Halfway” taking place across the province this month, they will be highlighting items from their local food producers throughout September, culminating in this dinner. It will feature four to five courses of local food, each course paired with beer brewed on-site or from Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza. Guests can look forward to Antigonish lamb, pork, cheese, Mabou Oysters and homemade breads, and the farmers and producers will be on hand to share their stories. Tickets are not yet on sale, but keep on eye on their Twitter and Facebook pages to grab them when available. One of the beers being poured will be Terry’s Porter, a new beer that debuted at last week’s Friday afternoon cask. It will also be tapped at 5pm today, so be sure to show up for a pint and food tonight!

• Wednesday night marked the Fifteenth Anniversary of Pump House Brewery, and their Stone Drop Event went off without a hitch! Using a kiln and several propane tanks, they heated stones to over 600C, and dropped them in the wort to boil the beer. The intense heat caramelizes the sugars as they drop in the wort, so once cool, the stones come out covered in sugar. Participants were encouraged to taste the wort and lick the stones to get an idea of the final product, which will be hitting shelves in October. Both CTV and CBC were there to cover the event, check out their videos for the fun. Congratulations to Shaun Fraser and the whole Pump House crew on the event, and fifteen great years in business!

• The latest One Hit Wonder from Propeller Brewing has been released this week, Orbit Ale. Weighing in at 5.6% ABV and 35 IBUs, the beer features Orbit hops from New Zealand. We also learned that they have brewed up their very popular Pumpkin Ale beer this week, using Howard Dill pumpkins, so look for it at the end of September.

• In preparation for their brewery opening, hopefully this month, Railcar Brewing is holding a label/design contest on Facebook for their Railcar Red. Check out the excellent submissions and submit a vote (by Liking) for your favourites, before Sept 11 at noon AST.

• Several breweries have brewed up Harvest or Wet-Hop Beers this week, that will be hitting the taps/shelves over the next few weeks. We spotted pictures from Meander River Farm and Brewery and Big Spruce, both featuring their own on-premises grown hops, and Picaroons, who will brew several in their Harvest series, single-sourced from hop growers in our region. First up was a Centennial beer, courtesy of Southan Farms in Wicklow, NB.

• The inaugural Atlantic Canada Beer Awards were announced this week. This BJCP-sanctioned competition is open to all commercial breweries and brewpubs in our region, with judging taking place October 4th, and the Awards Gala at the Stubborn Goat October 5th. We look forward to taking part and celebrating the great beers and brewers in our region! We will have full details on the Awards, and beer-filled weekend, next week.

The ANBL is launching its Growler Pilot Project today at three locations – Prospect Street (Fredericton), Kennebecasis Valley (near Saint John), and Regis Street (Dieppe) – when they open at 10:00 am.

Customers wishing to take part in the program must purchase an ANBL-branded 1.89 litre growler for $8; growler fills have four different prices ($8, $10, $12 and $15), depending on the beer chosen. The ANBL plans on rotating the selection on a regular basis; whether particular beers will be re-ordered will depend on sales. However, the Dieppe store will feature a permanent Pump House tap, while the Prospect St. store will have one tap dedicated to Picaroons beers.

The first beers that will be available in this program are as follows:

Prospect St.: Picaroons Selection DIPA, Unibroue Ephemere Cranberry, Labatt Shock Top Belgian Wheat

Dieppe: Pump House IPA, Flying Monkeys Genius of Suburbia, Creemore Springs Premium Lager

Kennebecasis Valley: Moosehead Boundary Ale, McAuslan Pumpkin Ale, Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion

Though touted as a way to increase both a wider range of products and distribution for local and small craft breweries (it has been said that the program would “only be offering craft or import beers, [and not] mainstream domestic beers”, according to ANBL CEO Brian Harriman), most of the initial beer offerings will be from outside of the region, and some from multi-national breweries. We reached out to the smaller NB producers not on the initial list, and they cited lack of details on pricing and volume requirements, as well as packaging concerns, for reasons not to take part in the launch. We hope that the ANBL and small breweries will be able to make the economics work to increase local participation in the project. You can do your part by requesting them at the ANBL.

If this initial pilot program is a success, the ANBL plans on increasing to 10-15 stores, “in a more permanent fashion”.