All posts for the month October, 2014

Happy Halloween! There’s a whole lot of Atlantic Canadian beer news this week, so let’s get at it…

• There’s another new brewery in New Brunswick on the horizon… the people behind TrailWay Brewing recently broke through on social media when they announced on their Twitter account that they would be opening soon in Fredericton. Dan Mason and Jake Saunders are two homebrewers that have decided to go pro, and plan on bringing a variety of beer styles (including APAs, IPAs, and Stouts) to the area. Brewery construction is currently under way; they have received their Federal Excise License, and hope to be producing beer before Christmas. Stay tuned for a profile on New Brunswick’s newest brewery in the near future!

• The rumours have been confirmed in a recent CBC storyRogues Roost in Halifax has been sold to the PEI Brewing Co. The second acquisition of a brewpub by PEIBC in the last several months (the first being the Hart & Thistle waterfront property, now the location of the Halifax Gahan Pub), it has been confirmed that all 15 staff members of Rogue’s Roost – including brewmaster Lorne Romano – will stay on. At the moment, there is no intention on changing the Rogue’s brand, as all of their beers will continue to be brewed, according to former owner Doug Johnson and PEI Brewing Co. COO Ben Murphy. With this acquisition comes the possibility that some of the Rogue’s beers will be bottled/canned in the future.

Big Axe has a new beer available for growler fills at the brewery in Nackawic – Partridgeberry Belgian is a Belgian Witbier-style brewed with a combination of ingredients, including coriander, oranges, and partridgeberries (a tart berry found in regions of Newfoundland) that were added to the boil. Hopped with Saaz, and fermented with a Belgian yeast, it weighs in at 5.6% ABV. Owner/brewer Peter Cole describes the beer as having “a mild but complex tartness, and a mild berry, clove, and cinnamon aroma”. It’s also available on tap at 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton.

Pump House has just released their Glenn’s Barley Wine, which recently won Beer of the Year at the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards earlier this month. Brewed in the style of an English Barleywine, this copper-colored beer is “full-bodied with a high residual malty sweetness”, with “noticeable alcohol, fruity esters, and sherry-like aromas and flavors”, according to the brewery. In true Barleywine fashion, it has a high ABV, clocking in at 9.9%. It’s available now for a very limited time, only on tap at the brewpub on Orange Lane.

• In other Pump House news, Stonefire Ale – the beer brewed for their 15th Anniversary in early September – should now be available! This Stein Beer was brewed by immersing hot stones (~700 degrees Celsius) into the wort, quickly bringing the liquid to a boil and caramelizing sugars in the process. With a dark-amber color, the beer has notes of “apricot, grapefruit, and toasted bread” in the aroma, according to the brewery. Full-bodied, with “lots of caramel flavors, combined with the taste of roasted sugar and a background smokiness”, the beer has a low bitterness (~7 IBUs) and 6.5% ABV. Look for it in numbered, limited edition bottles only, at the brewpub now; it will follow shortly in short numbers at ANBL, NSLC and PEILCC stores.

Tatamagouche Brewing has just released a new beer, Dreadnot. A 7% ABV India Black Ale (aka Black IPA) named after a boat built in Tatamagouche in 1877, the beer was brewed using debittered black malt to provide hints of roastiness without the acrid character from other husked, dark malts. Hopped with “generous amounts” of Waimea, El Dorado, and their own Malagash-grown Cascade to provide “pronounced citrus and floral hop aromas, and subtle pine characteristics”. There’s only a very limited amount available at the moment; look for it at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at The Stirling Room in Tatamagouche, and at Stillwell, The Stubborn Goat, Obladee and Lion & Bright in Halifax. Luckily, they hope to brew it again in the near future!

• Speaking of Black IPAs, it looks like Moosehead has brewed a beer exclusively for the Saint John Ale House. A cask-conditioned Black IPA with a “rich roasted malt backbone”, it has been dry-hopped with Styrian Goldings “for a crisp finish”, according to the description at the SJAH. It comes in a bit lower than your typical Black IPA, at 5.6% ABV. And in other Moosehead news, their Cold Beer Store in Dartmouth is now offering growler fills of their brands.

• Chris Long, brewmaster at PEI Brewing Co., hasn’t wasted any time brewing a new beer now that the ABV-restriction has been lifted in the province – he’s mashing in a celebratory DIPA today! 8 Cord Double IPA has a grist of 2-row, Munich, and Honey malt, and is hopped with Warrior, Amarillo, Columbus, Cascade, and Centennial… and then dry-hopped (of course!), twice, with more Amarillo, Columbus, and Cascade. With about 80 IBUs and an ABV of 8.5%, it should be a terrific entry into the new range of beers available on the Island! Look for it on PEI by late November/early December, on tap and in cans.

• Picaroons has confirmed the details on their official Winter Warmer Launch Party which will be held next Wednesday, November 5th, from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the ANBL Train Station. There will be live music from local singer Josh Bravener, a variety of tasty pies from the Chess Piece Pâtisserie & Cafe, and of course, samples of the star of the hour, Winter Warmer. In addition, representatives of the Shivering Songs Festival will be on hand to announce the line-up of music for this year’s event. It’s all free, so make sure to drop by!

Meander River Farm and Brewery has released a new beer this week, Smokey Chipotle Porter. The malt bill features Cherrywood Smoked Malt, to lend a smokey character on top of the rich dark chocolate notes. Chipotle peppers were added close to the end of fermentation for a bit more smoke, and a slight spicy kick, while maintaining a nice hop balance. It is available today at the Brewhouse 4-7pm, tomorrow and Sunday 11-5pm, and on tap in Halifax at Tom’s Little Havana and Lion & Bright.

Schoolhouse Brewery in Falmouth, NS is coming to Stillwell for the first time tomorrow, and they’re arriving in a big way! Owner Cam Hartley will be on hand to share their six handcrafted ales with the thirsty Halifax drinkers. Their two flagship beers will be on tap, as well as all four of the Hants County Hop Series beers. The Principal Ale is an unfiltered, dry hopped 4.5% ABV, 20 IBU Pale Ale made with Maritime barley and organic specialty malts. The dry hopping with Cascade leaves this beer with a citrusy aroma. The Chequers Ale is a 4.5% ABV Robust Porter made with Goldings hops. This dark ale is a tribute to Cameron’s Great Grandfather’s brewpub in Kent England with the same name. The Hants County Hop Series beers are just about as local as a beer can get, using Maritime malt and hops grown in Hants County. Each beer features just one or two local hops, to allow imbibers to taste the characteristics each hop lends to the final product. The four beers are: Hants County Goldings, Hants County Galena, Hants County Zeus, and Hants County Zeus & Galena. The base beer style is a 5%ABV Pale Ale, with most of the hops being used in a hop back, between the kettle, through the chiller, and to the fermenter. This technique proved to be tricky, but worth the effort to grab tons of aroma from the hops without a lot of bitterness. The hops were grown on the Schoolhouse grounds, another of their hop yards at Castle Frederick Farm, as well as from Wentworth Creek Farm. Cam dried them himself, turning his garage into a temporary oast house. Cam had this to say about the Hop Series, ” I always wanted to make a beer that would be close to what the first settlers would have drank (with the exception of using modern sanitization techniques). It also allowed me to meet and work with some wonderful local hop growers at Wentworth Farm. We hope this annual series grows. This will mean an expanding hop industry in Hants County.” Meet Cam, and drink the labour of love for this brewery and farmers Saturday, starting at noon. No tickets necessary, come on by!

• In other Schoolhouse news, they will soon be offering growler fills! While they are not open to the public, they will be attending the Wolfville Farmers Market as soon as their capacity allows. And, in a region first, they will be offering a weekly growler delivery service to customers in the Windsor and Falmouth area. The truck will head out Thursday evening to collect empties and drop off filled growlers. Be sure to place your order in advance via email. Due to alcohol restrictions, ID will be checked, so no re-purposing the milkman’s “Milk/No Milk” sign!

Yellowbelly Brewery in St. John’s, NL has their newest creation on tap now, named Root Cellar. After being charged to create a parsnip beer, brewmaster Liam McKenna admitted that he was stumped. However, not to give up on a challenge, he came up with the idea of using parsnips in a fall seasonal. While many of our favourite breweries opt for Pumpkin Spice beers, they are very divisive in the beer community, and McKenna is not a fan, due to the spices used. Instead of using nutmeg or allspice, he chose other spices and seasonings for a different beer altogether, complementing the earthy nature with hints of licorice found in parsnips. Marris Otter was the base grain, with 60 kg of baked and pureed parsnips added. The beer was hopped with the earthy East Kent Goldings to about 16 IBU, and then given a double dry-hop dose of Topaz, lending a citrus rind character. McKenna also used fresh grated ginger and Thai basil, and dried Star Anise to round out the rich spicing characteristics of the beer. The final product is a 6% straw coloured brew with a slight haze, and light in body. And, most importantly, McKenna is pleased with the results! Grab a pint at the Yellowbelly today.

• nuqneH! Garrison Brewing will be releasing a new beer next week, in celebration of Hal-Con, the Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Gaming Convention being held Nov 7-9. Klingon Warnog Roggen Dunkel is a dark rye beer, a hybrid of the Dunkelweizen and Roggenbier styles. It was brewed using Munich, Dark Crystal, Wheat and Rye malts, hopped with Cascade, and fermented with a German Weizen yeast, for a rich blend of aromas and flavours. Aromas of banana, clove and chocolate lead to rye, caramel and chocolate, with a balancing bitterness. Available in very short supply at the brewery and private stores beginning Nov 7, and they will be announcing their favourite fan slogan today on twitter. ‘IwlIj jachjaj!

Railcar Brewing officially opens tomorrow, and in addition to two of their flagship beers (Railcar Red and Artisan Brown), they’ll have a SMaSH IPA that’s hopped exclusively with Cascade, from Southan Farms. It clocks in at 5.5% ABV and 70 IBUs. They also have a Peanut Butter Porter on the brew schedule for next week… we’ll keep you updated on that one! Be sure to drop in at the brewery/retail store in Florenceville tomorrow if you’re in the area, and pick up some growlers and swag (10% off opening day)!

• Over at Rockbottom, they released a new beer on Wednesday for their weekly firkin. A Smoked Lager (Classic Rauchbier) with a grist containing a whopping 82% of beechwood-smoked malt, and Munich malt, and hopped with Saaz, it comes in at 5.3% ABV and 21 IBUs. Think of this as a preview for the main batch, which should be on tap at the brewpub soon.

Hammond River Brewing is has announced that they’re hosting a homebrew competition! Open to all New Brunswick homebrewers, the style to brew will be Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer. A total of four bottles of beer will be required; the due date for sample submission is January 9th, so you have lots of time to get brewing! Local BJCP-certified judges will be joined by a local sommelier to find the best in show. The winner will brew their recipe with HR owner/brewer Shane Steeves on his brew system, and the beer will be released on tap in the Saint John area. In addition, the top three finalists will receive prizes from the Saint John Ale House.

• In other homebrew competition news, the Beerthief crew is hosting a competition for Newfoundland and Labrador homebrewers. Focusing on two styles (Dry Stout and  American IPA), the competition closes mid-December, so get brewing now! Check out the forums for more details. Good luck!

• And for NS Homebrewers, don’t forget that the Big Spruce American Wheat/Rye competition closes Nov 27, so brew now or forever hold your peace. Details are available in our previous writeup.

• A final reminder that the second annual Fredericton Poutine Festival is next Saturday, Nov. 8th, and tickets are almost gone! The brewery list has expanded, with 12 breweries pouring up to 25 different beers. And, of course there will be lots of food: five establishments will have a total of 10 different types of poutine for you to sample! Get your tickets now before they’re sold out. For more info on the festival, check out our previous post.

Phew! Lots of new, local beers to look for this weekend! Celtic Knot Brewing has also expanded distribution – they now have a rotating tap at the Old Triangle in Moncton. If you are on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, be sure to drop by Boxing Rock for a Hallowe’en party Saturday. From 12-3pm at the brewery, they will be having a BBQ, free tours and samples (best to call 902-494-9233 first to ensure your spot), face painting, apple bobbing, and Pumpkin Slinging with their trebuchet!

Good morning, beer lovers! What better way to warm up and dry off from this miserable weather than with some beer news from our region?

The PEI Brewing Co. has a new beer exclusively on tap at the brewery – Scary Saison is a very small test batch that was brewed back in the summer. Featuring a simple malt bill (“Belgian Blonde” style, according to brewmaster Chris Long) fermented with a Saison yeast, the beer went on to have lemon juice added directly to the keg for additional acidity. Coming in at 6.5% ABV and 25-30 IBUs, it has a “crisp and acidic finish, and is fantastic with rich foods”, according to Long. Get down to the brewery to try it out, it won’t last long!

• In other good news for Islanders, CBC news recently reported that changes to the liquor control act will now allow craft breweries on PEI to brew beer above 6.5% ABV. This previous limitation resulted in breweries (and consumers) being boxed-in to a certain number of beer styles. With more choices now being opened up, expect to see more offerings available soon! PEI Brewing Co.’s Chris Long has confirmed that the planning has already begun, and that beer drinkers can expect to see some new styles available from them soon.

• With this news, BarNone Brewing has a new beer scheduled to be brewed tomorrow, when the law change takes effect. What’s up first? An Imperial IPA, naturally! We don’t have many details on this beer yet, but we can tell you it will be named The Little DIPA (because something “even bigger and badder” is being planned for the future, says BarNone brewer/co-owner Don Campbell), and clock in at about 8.5% ABV. Stay tuned for more information!

North Brewing in Halifax are releasing a special hybrid today, Saison De L’Acadie. This wine and beer hybrid was brewed in collaboration with Ben Swetnam of Avondale Sky Winery. After primary fermentation of 1100 litres of a Saison (brewed with pilsner and wheat malts), they added 200 litres of  L’Acadie Blanc grape must and 10 kg of Cosman and Whidden honey to the secondary. Featuring a dominating grape character, with the malt and yeast to balance and complement. Some lucky folks were able to get the first taste of it last night at Stillwell, and it is available today at the brewery, tomorrow at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market, and may make an appearance back on tap (and in cask) shortly.

• More news on the new beer from Hammond River: a “bold” American Brown Ale (style selected by popular vote on their Facebook page) named Switchback, the grist contains Pale Ale malt, Carapils, Caramunich II, and Chocolate malt. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves went on to hop the beer aggressively (in the mash and boil) with Northern Brewer and Falconer’s Flight; when fermentation is complete, it will be dry-hopped with Centennial. It should come in at about 6% ABV and 62 IBUs. We’ll keep you updated when the beer is ready and available. Shane continues to develop new recipes… he’s got a Coconut Porter in mind for the near future!

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has a new beer on the way as well. A currently-unnamed Amber Ale brewed with local specialty malts, it will feature “upfront caramel notes with a toasted bread aroma, and hints of toffee, roastiness, and fruitiness”, according to the brewery, and will be “well-rounded with a balanced bitterness”. This amber-colored ale should come in at about 5-5.5% ABV and 27 IBUs when it is ready. Look for it on tap and at the brewery for growler fills in early November, and should be bottled early next year. They’ve also got a special-release Christmas beer planned for early December; more news on both beers soon!

• As the colder days roll in, that means that Picaroons Winter Warmer is on its way! This 7.3% ABV English Barleywine is always a popular slow-sipper in Fredericton, and should be available on tap at bars/restaurants in the province, and in bottles, during the first week of November. Picaroons is planning a special launch party for the beer around that time – more details on that next week.

• The NB brewers have been busy this week! Celtic Knot Brewery has put together a brand new brew this week, Angry Willy. Described as a hybrid of a Scottish Export and American IPA, using the body of his Caledonia, but hopped to excess with New Zealand Waimea for bittering and primarily Amarillo for flavour and aroma. Low alcohol content, but high hopping will make for a tasty beer. Look for this on tap mid-November around Moncton.

• The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is going through a consultation process, in order to modernize the way beer is labelled, identified, and described in the country. Your comments can help shape the way beer is treated in Canada. The 10-min survey can be found here, it closes Nov 17th.

• Looking for something to do after work this evening? If you live in the HRM, Bishop’s Cellar is holding a Craft Beer Tasting today, from 5-7pm. While primarily known for their solid wine selection, in recent months, Bishop’s has been expanding their craft and import beer selection, from Atlantic Canada, the rest of the country, and also imported craft beer. Attendees can look forward to a handful of local and imported beers, each paired with special snacks. Tickets are available online now.

• If you’re in Cape Breton this weekend, remember that the Celtic Oktoberfest is happening in Port Hawkesbury tomorrow evening. This all-=inclusive event with have beer from 9 NS breweries, and 8 local restaurants, each bringing their best to share with you. There are still tickets available for purchase. And be sure to drop by the Port Hawkesbury Yacht Club 2-4pm to witness the Pumpkin Launch! The breweries and other teams have been sharing jabs on social media, as they work to perfect their trebuchets, click here for a video from Big Spruce.

Remember to grab a pint, bottle, or growler of something local this weekend: Red Rover White Witch is now available in flagons at the Ciderhouse, Petit-Sault Bob LeBoeuf is in growlers at ANBL in Fredericton this week, and Boxing Rock’s Unobtanium is available in bottles today at the brewery and private stores. And speaking of the ANBL program, Hammond River will be back on the taps in November, and Big Axe will be taking part for the first time November 5th in Fredericton, with their award-winning Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

Happy Friday folks! Another busy week in our region, with plenty of new beers, and new news to share. Grab a pint of bitter or mug of coffee, and let’s dive right in!

Shiretown has a new beer available exclusively for growler fills at the brewery. Runnin’ Down the Road Amber Ale comes in at 5% ABV and 30-35 IBUs, and was hopped entirely with an unknown variety grown at the brewery. Featuring “a beauty grapefruit aftertaste” according to the brewery, the beer was brewed as a small batch only, so won’t last long.

Big Tide also has a new beer, currently on tap at the brewpub. The Darkening Imperial Stout is a big beer, clocking in at 8.2% ABV and 70 IBUs. Brewed with a grist containing both 2-row and Pale Ale malt, along with lots of Chocolate malt and some Caramunich, the brewery describes the beer as “rich and malty, sure to warm you up” with the high alcohol.

• We have more details on the new Amber Ale brewed by Boxing RockUnobtainium is a 5% ABV beer with a dark-mahogany color, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a “malty-rich backbone supporting some unexpected hop flavors”. The hops used for this brew include Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo, and the hard-to-find Nelson Sauvin variety from New Zealand. Known for its strong fruity flavors and aromas that resemble white wine, or gooseberries, the brewery was able to get their hands on some whole-leaf Nelson… and won’t be able to again anytime soon. So, grab your chance to try this heavily-dry hopped beer! Look for it on tap around Halifax soon, and in 650 mL bottles at all four private liquor stores in the city, and at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market.

• Boxing Rock also hosted some special visitors this week for a big brew day… the crew from Stillwell Beer Bar in Halifax made a visit to the Shelburne brewery to brew up a special collaboration beer, to be released in celebration of their First Anniversary. Details are being guarded closely, but we do know that Merci Biere is an 8.4% ABV Ale, and Smoked Malt was used in the mash. We’ll keep you up-to-date with this and other developments ahead of the Nov. 16th Anniversary party, where it will be launched, and then available in bottles shortly thereafter.

Last month, we mentioned that Hammond River was brewing up a new beer, Imperial Vanilla Porter. Well, that 8.1% ABV beer is now ready, and pouring at The Barrel’s Head, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and the Saint John Ale House, alongside the version that has Maker’s Mark Bourbon added (exclusive to the SJAH).  Look for it to follow soon at Ducky’s in Sackville.

• Speaking of Hammond River, they’re planning another couple of new beers to be brewed in the near future. One will be an American Brown Ale; this style was chosen by popular vote on their Facebook page, beating out Black IPA and Coffee Porter. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves admits the beer will be “a fair bit bolder than other Browns here, and will no doubt be slightly out of style”. Sounds good to us! Not to disappoint Black IPA lovers, Hammond River has also confirmed that they will be brewing this style as a collaboration beer with newly-opened Railcar Brewing. Stay tuned for more news on these two beers soon.

• And while on the topic of Railcar Brewing, they’ve just announced that their retail location will be officially open for growler fills on Saturday, November 1st. Their Railcar Red and Artisan Brown Ale will be available that day; fill prices will be $5 for 1 litre growlers, and $10 for 1.89 litre, and they will happily fill any growler from any brewery!

• The first kegs of mead produced by newly-opened Sunset Heights Meadery has been delivered to Isaac’s Way in Fredericton! Queen’s Nectar is the 7.5% ABV base mead; it can be consumed as-is, or added to a variety of “mixers” to make different flavors of mead (all coming in at 5% ABV), such as Naughtea (Iced Green Tea), Shipwrecked (India Pale Mead), and Tart’n (Cranberry Pollen Angels). They’ll also be serving up some MeadMosa, which is, of course, a mixture of base mead and orange juice.

• If you live in Fredericton, your options for craft cider continue to grow! Red Rover Brewing has paired up with Real Food Connections (a local-foods grocery store) to make their ciders available to order online, to be either picked up at a later date, or delivered to your door (within the Fredericton/Oromocto area). Order by Tuesday to pick it up any time from Thursday  to Saturday.

Grimross has updated us on the progress of their ongoing expansion. Owner/brewer Stephen Dixon is travelling to British Columbia this weekend to check on the progress of the 10 bbl brewing system being built by Newlands Systems, that will soon be shipped to the new location of the brewery at Bishop Dr. in Fredericton. They hope to begin brewing on the new system sometime in November, and open their tasting room the following month, where they will have growlers and cans of beer for purchase, as well as space to enjoy a pint or two. We’ll continue to keep you updated!

• After almost 10 years brewing for Picaroons (with about 4 years as the official Head Brewer), Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks has decided to leave the brewery to spend more time with his family. His position has been filled by one of Picaroons other brewers, Myles MacKenzie, who has been with the brewery now for several years. We wish Esty the best in his future endeavours!

Ducky’s Bar in Sackville is celebrating their 25th Anniversary, and they have lots scheduled for the event! Starting last night and continuing through the weekend, they have several bands providing live music, as well as special cask offerings each night. The cask beers include Picaroons Best Bitter, dry-hopped with Chinook, Gahan Tall Poppy (Sir John A’s Honey Wheat with New Zealand Motueka hops), and a new beer from Garrison, Unfiltered Wheat, a slightly hazy, sweet and malty American Wheat Ale with ~13 IBUs and 5.4% ABV. There will also be lots of other local beers pouring (as usual), including Garrison Double Jack (it’s first appearance outside of NS) and Hammond River Harvest Ale and Imperial Vanilla Porter. Congratulations to Ducky’s on 25 great years!

Rockbottom Brewpub is bringing back their Ultimate White IPA. Brewed in collaboration with Halifax Ultimate, this beer is a hybrid of a Witbier (Belgian Wheat Ale) and IPA (hoppy, hoppy goodness). Brewed with 2-row, Crystal 15, wheat and rolled oats, along with bitter orange peel and coriander, plus a blast of Comet, NZ Cascade, and Magnum hops, this beer features orange and citrus flavours, along with a low, but balancing, bitterness. The beer weighs in at 5.7% ABV and 8 IBUs (calc). To celebrate the new beer, a launch party is taking place tomorrow (Oct 18th), beginning at 4pm at the ‘bottom. In addition to the new beer, Halifax Ultimate member Cyra Belbin will be on hand with her award-winning Mexi Mac n Cheese Bites (as seen on CBC’s Recipe to Riches), raising money for Children’s Charities. We’ll see you there!

Hell Bay Brewing has brought back another batch of their R.I.P.(A.) this week. Available only in growlers and kegs, look for this on tap at better beer bars around the South Shore and HRM shortly. They’ve also released a Honey Blonde recently, available in kegs, growlers and bottles.

Cask Days is a three-day celebration of cask-conditioned beer, held annually in Toronto. Run by the folks behind Bar Volo, breweries from across Canada, and the US and UK, share their best cask beer. For the second year in a row, several Maritime Breweries will be sending up their best wares to take part, with the crew from Bar Stillwell there to serve and show off the great beers from our part of the world. We know many local brewers and good beer fans from the Maritimes will be in attendance, so if you’re free Oct 24-26, it would be worth a trip! Tickets are now sold out for the Fri and Sat sessions, however you can still drop by the Sunday “Last Call for Cask” session, to bat cleanup and grab some tasty beer.

Here are the beers the local breweries are sending up. The full list of beer from the rest of Canada, California, and the UK is also available. The list is subject to change, we know that cask beer can be temperamental!

Bad Apple / Delta Force Operation Green Ring (Cucumber Mint Pale Ale)
Bad Apple Black & Tackle Wine Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout
Big Spruce Mr.IncREDible (Dry Hopped Irish Red Ale)
Big Spruce Cereal Killer (Oatmeal Stout)
Boxing Rock Temptation Red (American Red Ale)
Boxing Rock Crafty Jack (English Brown Ale)
Greg Nash/Bad Apple Terroir Wethop (Harvest IPA)
Grimross Chantelope (100% Brett Saison)
North Brewing Belgian IPA
North Brewing Winter Saison (Saison With Pepper and Ginger)
PEI Brewing Workshop (Wild Ale Barrel-Aged Saison)
PEI Brewing Blood Orange On The Tracks (India Pale Ale W/ Blood Orange)
Propeller Extra Special Bitter
Pumphouse 4 Alarm (American IPA)
Pumphouse Premium Lager (American Lager)
Uncle Leo’s Smoked Porter
Uncle Leo’s Dry Hopped IPA (American IPA)

Get on out for a pint or two this weekend; why not drop by the NBNano Takeover at Stillwell Saturday (tickets still available for the noon session), PEI Brewing Company to grab their re-release of Blood Orange On The Tracks IPA, The Stubborn Goat for their Nocturne Halifax kick-off party, or your other favourite local pub. Remember to drink local this weekend!

Happy long-weekend Friday, everyone! After several weeks absolutely chock-full of beer news, it looks like things have slowed down – slightly – as everyone gets ready for Thanksgiving…

• The long wait is almost over… Railcar Brewing should be supplying beer to the thirsty public very soon! They’ve hired their first full-time assistant brewer, and their first commercial brew day will occur this weekend – they’ll be brewing up a batch of their Artisan Brown Ale, a traditional English Brown with an ABV of 5% and 22 IBUs. For every growler of this beer that is sold, Railcar will donate $0.50 to the Andrew and Laura McCain Art Gallery to support art programs for youth in the community. Their Railcar Red (5% ABV, 23 IBUs) will be brewed several days later; look for their beers to be available for growler fills at the brewery soon, and hitting local restaurants/pubs on tap. They’re also expanding into a space behind the brewery, where they’ll be opening a spin-off company named Brew Offs, where they’ll be selling products made with beer ingredients – e.g. spent grain granola, beer soap, beer barbecue sauce, etc. – to avoid wastage as much as possible.

• Railcar will be at the NB Nano Takeover at Stillwell (with their Railcar Red), being held next Saturday, October 18th. During the two sessions (12-3, 4-7), some of the smallest and most innovative breweries in New Brunswick will be pouring their beers and ciders, most for the first time outside of NB. Acadie-Broue, Big Axe, Grimross, Hammond River, Red Rover, and Petit-Sault will also be pouring that day. Tickets are still available for either session, and your $15 entry will snag you a t-shirt and your first pour. If you haven’t booked them by now, you *may* not get the correct sized t-shirt (be sure to specify in your request), but at least you’ll get in the door! And you definitely don’t want to miss out on this very special day.

Big Spruce will be holding their Second Annual Home Brew Competition shortly, so NS homebrewers, fire up your kettles! This year’s style is 6D – American Wheat or Rye. Full registration details will open very shortly, however we can tell you that entries will be due November 26th, and the judging will take place November 29th. Once again, the winning brewer will be invited to step up their homebrew recipe on Big Spruce’s 7 bbl system, and the beer will be launched at the Local Connections Halifax Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration, January 15, at the Halifax Club. With over 6 weeks of lead time, we can look forward to some great beers being submitted (maybe even a chance for a test brew to fine tune the recipe?). As in last year’s, entry is open to all NS homebrewers, and please email Big Spruce for the registration form.

• Speaking of Big Spruce, they have two new beers in the pipeline; the first one is Das Sprucebier, an Oktoberfest (aka Märzen) brewed with 100% imported German malt, including Vienna, Pilsner, Munich I, and CaraMunich. It clocks in at 5.9% ABV and 23 IBUs, and is hopped with both Magnum and Challenger, the latter of which is grown on-site at the Big Spruce farm. The second beer, Smoking Jack, is their first seasonal Pumpkin ale. Featuring their own farm-grown, organic pumpkins that have been smoked for 5 hours outside the brewery  and added to the mash, the beer was then conditioned on cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg… that had been soaked for 72 hours in Flor de Caña Centenario dark rum. And, of course, the rum itself was then added to the beer for good measure! This one weighs in at 5.4% ABV and 22 IBUs. Das Sprucebier is available now, and the Smoking Jack will be released just in time for the Celtic Oktoberfest, being held October 25th in Port Hawkesbury, NS (more on that later in the post). Both beers will be available for growler fills at the brewery, and at select bars/restaurants in the Halifax area as well.

• The PEI Brewing Co. is holding their annual Oktoberfest celebration next weekend on Saturday, October 18th. Like last year, the event will be held throughout the day, with an artisan market, music, and lots of sausages and beer for purchase. Included in the beer offerings is a new cask brewed for the occasion: Big Jimmy Brown is their Iron Bridge Brown Ale aged on bourbon-soaked oak chips, “primed” with Creme de Cacao; it clocks in at 6% ABV and ~30 IBUs. Their popular Growler Challenge (where contestants compete to see who can hold a full growler of beer at arm’s length for the longest period) begins at 2:00 pm, and later in the evening, starting at 8:00 pm, their first Art Battle of the season will be held. This will be followed by live music starting at 10:30 pm, featuring Rich Aucoin and PS I Love You. Entry is free during the afternoon; tickets for the Art Battle and after party are $10 and can be purchased online.

• And while on the topic of the PEI Brewing Co., their popular Sydney Street Stout is now back in liquor stores across the Maritimes, and on tap at select locations.

Boxing Rock has just brewed a new beer, an Amber Ale fall seasonal hopped with “a very special hop, believed to be unobtainable”. They’re keeping details under wraps for now, but we’ll have more info for you next week! For now, look forward to a beer featuring a hop that “really makes it a special brew”, according to owner/brewer Emily Tipton. They hope to have the beer released before the end of this month. And we see that they are brewing up another batch of U-889 today, which is their ACBA Gold-Medal winning Russian Imperial Stout.

Shiretown recently brewed a revised batch of their Siren’s T’ale; this one was brewed with a new hop variety, Goldings, from Southan Farms. Owner/brewer Derek Leslie has confirmed that this variety may become a permanent substitute in future brews of this particular beer. In the meantime, when the beer becomes available, if you’d like to try it to compare to previous batches, look for bottles with batch #146 indicated on the label.

• We have some more details on the North Brewing Winter Saison. Their popular Saison will now be a year-round beer (weighing in at 5.5% ABV), however the orange and coriander from the Summer brew is being swapped out for Winter’s ginger and black pepper. We had a chance to try it on the weekend, and quite enjoyed it!

Sea Level Brewing has released their latest seasonal,  Punkin Grinner Ale. Brewed for the first time last year, this beer features local produce, including baby pam pie pumpkins grown on the Sea Level farm. It weighs in at 5% ABV, and features local honey and Annapolis Valley hops. We can also confirm that it’s available now at the Port Pub and brewery, and will be in the Halifax Private Stores this weekend.

• A reminder that the Beerthief Special Brew Label Contest closes today. Be sure to send your entry along to Mike to be entered. Garrison Brewing’s special brew will be released in January, to Beerthief members in Newfoundland and Labrador only.

• Toot toot! Final call for East Coast Beer Tour’s Valley Tour! Check out their bus tour to the Annapolis Valley, scheduled for tomorrow, October 11th. Tickets are now only $25, and include transport, three brewery tours complete with beer tastings, snacks and lunch. Now’s your chance to visit Meander River, Paddys Irish Brewpub, and Bad Apple Brewhouse, and leave the driving to someone else!

• The latest Local Connections Halifax Magazine is on its way to the printers, but the digital version is now available for reading. In it, there is an extensive Craft Beer section, featuring Garrison Brewing, Propeller Brewing, Schoolhouse, the Atlantic Canada Beer Awards, and much more.
• Tickets are still available for this month’s Celtic Oktoberfest, being held in Port Hawkesbury on Saturday, Oct 25th. A nice write-up in the Chronicle Herald highlights many of the local food and beer vendors whose products will be offered that evening. Remember that your ticket includes beer AND food, as well as great local entertainment. And be sure to check out the Pumpkin Launch that afternoon on the Port Hawkesbury marina. If you’ve got a team of like-minded designers and builders, sign up to take part!
Barley, Hops and Mash, a workshop for Craft Brewers, is taking place October 24th at Acadia University in Wolfville. The brainchild of Springboard Atlantic, it seeks to pair brewers with scientific researchers, for mutual benefit. Perhaps a brewery has a question about hops utilization in their system, a lab or research group is available with the tools to perform the experiments and analyze the results. Gary McMullen (President and Founder of Muskoka Brewery) and Joel Alex (Founder and President of Blue Ox Malt House) will give Keynote talks, and then brewers and researchers will give short 3 minute/1 slide presentations on their research needs and abilities, respectively. The seminar is free, and is aimed at established or in-development breweries.
• What a weekend! Chris was thrilled to have been one of the organizers for the inaugural Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards held last weekend. Saturday was a long day of judging, with the 18 judges tackling over 170 different beers, submitted by 28 different breweries. The hard working stewards kept the beer moving and the judges busy, going quite late into the night. Once the dust settled, the results were tallied, and announced at the Stubborn Goat, Sunday evening.
Here are the results, and we offer our sincere congratulations to all entrants. What a great celebration of our brewing community!
Brewery of the Year*: Bad Apple Brewhouse
Brewpub of the Year*: Rockbottom Brewpub
Beer of the Year: Pump House Barleywine
Stillwell‘s People’s Choice Award: Big Spruce Cereal Killer Stout
Category Gold Silver Bronze
North American & European Style Lagers Hop City Brewing Co. Barking Squirrel Tatamagouche Brewing Co. Lagerhosen Propeller Brewing Co. Bohemian Style Pilsner
German Specialty Beers Uncle Leo’s Vohs Weizenbier Paddys Irish Brewpub Dom Arthur
UK Specialty Beers PEI Brewing Co. Iron Bridge Brown Gahan House Iron Bridge Brown Paddys Irish Brewpub Raven Ale
North American Specialty Ales Barnone Black Eye Pale Ale Boxing Rock Hunky Dory Pale Ale Barnone Sessions Ale
Belgian Style Specialty Ales Pump House Pompiers à Vos Garde North Brewing Summer Saison Grimross Chantelope
North American Amber & Red Ales Boxing Rock Tempation Red Barnone Substanchel Garrison/Beau’s Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale
Fruit & Field Beers Rare Bird Pumpkin Ale Rogues Roost Raspberry Wheat Bad Apple Brewhouse Operation Green Ring
Pale Ales Bad Apple Brewhouse American Pale Ale Moosehead Boundary Ale Garrison Brewing Hop Yard Pale Ale
Stout & Porter Rogues Roost Oatmeal Stout Big Axe Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout Pump House Muddy River Stout
Strong Stout & Porter Propeller Brewing Co. Revolution Russian Imperial Stout Bad Apple Brewhouse Black & Tackle Rogues Roost Imperial Stout
India Pale Ale Rockbottom Brewpub Fathom IPA Big Spruce Tim’s Dirty American IPA Barnone IPA
Imperial IPA Bad Apple Brewhouse Mosaic Double IPA Boxing Rock The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA Garrison Brewing Imperial IPA
Strong Ale Pump House Barleywine North Brewing Strong Belgian Dark Petit-Sault Bob Le Boeuf
Experimental Beers Boxing Rock U-889 Russian Imperial Stout Garrison Brewing Honey Lavendar Ale Big Spruce Hoppuccino Coffee IPA
Wood & Barrel Aged Beers Propeller Brewing Co. Lambic Garrison Brewing Barrel-Aged Grand Baltic Porter Bad Apple Brewhouse Barrel-Aged Black & Tackle
* Brewery and Brewpub of the year were determined by the number of points earned by four pre-assigned beers (as chosen by the brewery). Both categories were hotly contested!

Good morning! Yet another week full of beer news in Atlantic Canada…

• There’s another new brewery gearing to start up in New Brunswick! Currently unnamed, the brewery’s origins began in the Grand Tracadie-Sheila area of the province; the brewery itself will be located somewhere in the Acadian peninsula. It will be owned under a joint co-op/private enterprise format, the first of its kind in the province. Money is being raised, boards are coming together, and they’re looking for brewery equipment; the goal is to be brewing somewhere in the range of 5-10 bbl (155-310 U.S. gallons, or roughly 6-11 hL). We plan on having a standalone post on the brewery up soon; in the meantime, they’re currently looking for more investors in the project. If you’re interested, contact Dean Roberts for more information.

• There’s a new variation of one of the favorite beers from Hammond River Brewing out on tap – it’s the Back in Black Oatmeal Stout, but brewed with some Smoked malt to give the beer a bit of smoke in the aroma and flavor. You can currently find it on tap at Bourbon Quarter in Saint John, The Barrel’s Head in Rothesay, and 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton. And speaking of Fredericton, Hammond River beers are now available on tap at the King Street Ale House; currently pouring is the award-winning American IPA, Hop Flash. And, stop by the ANBL in Kennebecasis Valley to grab a growler of the Gammie California Common, tapped yesterday.

Rockbottom Brewpub has tapped a pair of new beers this week. With the last drop of Thulsa Doom II pouring this week, the Insidious India Black Ale has made a triumphant return. Weighing in at 6.9% and 70 IBUs, this beer features 5.8 pounds of hops per barrel (!!), featuring Columbus, Citra, Simcoe, Summit, Centennial, and German Magnum, sure to keep the hop heads satisfied. Restitution Porter is a brand new brew at the ‘bottom this week, at 5.2% ABV, featuring some nice roast, chocolate and toffee and light caramel notes, and is lightly hopped to 30 IBUs with Centennial and German Magnum hops. A smaller batch, this special brew will only last a few weeks on tap. And be sure to drop by Wednesday afternoons for the latest firkin creation from Brewmaster Nash!

Celtic Knot Brewing has just brewed a new beer, and it’s a style that you don’t usually see in our area: a Scottish Heavy (or 70/), a Scottish session beer that is amber-colored and normally malty with a dry finish, with an optional peaty or earthy character. Owner/brewer Bruce Barton has confirmed that his take on the beer (which he brewed for years as a homebrewer) is brewed with a Maris Otter malt base, several varieties of Crystal malt, and “a wee bit of Chocolate malt”. Named Caledonia, the beer should come in at a very sessionable 3.8% ABV… it should be a great beer to drink several pints of! We’ll let you know when it’s available, which should be later this month.

Bad Apple Brewhouse is releasing two new beers this weekend: Operation Green Ring is a 5.0% ABV Cucumber Mint beer, brewed with two members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club, aka Delta Force Brewery. Terroir is Bad Apple/Greg Nash collaboration Wet-hop beer, weighing in at 7.0% ABV, featuring well over 100 kilos of wet hops used throughout the brew (10 hl). Unique brewing practices have given this beer a very smooth and subtle, yet delicious hoppiness. Kegs will be delivered to Tom’s Little Havana and Stillwell this weekend. It will also be available at the Brewhouse starting today for Growler fills. The Black & Tackle Russian Imperial Stout is back on tap for a limited time, and they’ve filled two red wine barrels with the beer! Look for this unique combination around Christmas.

North Brewing is once again aging some of their Strong Dark Belgian in Glenora barrels. This beer was a big hit when it was first released; subsequent releases also sold out very quickly. Luckily for all of us, they’ve managed to get their hands on more barrels… four times as many! Look for the beer to be released in December, after an appropriate aging period.

• We have more details on the Hants County Hops Series beers from Schoolhouse Brewery. All of the batches will feature Maritime Malt and English yeast, brewed using open primary fermenters. Batch #1 made its debut last weekend, and featured mostly Golding, with some Cascade hops. Batch #2 features mostly Galena, and will be released shortly. Batch #3 will feature Zeus, and Batch #4 features Zeus and Galena. Check out their Twitter and Facebook pages for information on when/where to grab a pint, we understand that they will all be on tap at Bar Stillwell for an event early November. Also keep an eye out for growler sales in the near future.

Rudder’s Brew Pub in Yarmouth is holding their 9th Annual Brewer’s Dinner tonight. It will feature a four-course meal, prepared with some of their beer, and of course paired with beer to drink. The event kicks off at 7pm, and reservations are required (902-742-7311).

Paddys Irish Brewpub has released their Oktoberfest beer this week. Orange in colour with a medium body and balanced hop bitterness, it was brewed using German malt, hops and yeast. It weighs in at 7% ABV, and is very drinkable, thanks to a month of lagering. It is currently available on tap and in growlers in Wolfville, and will be on shortly at the Kentville location.

Propeller Brewing has released a favourite seasonal beer in the past week, the Nocturne Dark Lager. Weighing in at 4.8%, this Munich Style Dark Lager it is available now at both the Halifax and Dartmouth breweries, as well as the private stores. Rich and malty flavours are balanced with traditional German Noble hops to balance. It is brewed in support of Nocturne: Art at Night, taking place October 18th. This is a popular event, which sees the Halifax area turn into an indoor and outdoor art gallery for all styles. If you are interested in volunteering, please check here for more details.

• Garrison Brewing is releasing two beers this weekend: Their annual harvest beer, 3 Fields Harvest Ale, is returning, featuring wet hops from Ross Farm, Meander River, and Fiddle Hop Farm. This beer weighs in at 6.3% ABV. They are also releasing a brand new beer, the Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin, a 8.0% ABV darker brew featuring loads of local pumpkins. Both will be available at the brewery and private stores this weekend, and will be pouring at their stop at City Harvest tomorrow.

East Coast Beer Tours has adjusted their Valley tour departing next Saturday, Oct 11th: they have downsized the bus slightly, and as such are able to pass along the savings to you! The price of a ticket is now only $50+HST, and still includes all of the great beer and food visits: Meander River in Ashdale, Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville, and Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset. At each stop you’ll be treated to a brewery tour and beer samples, and you’ll also have some appetizers at Paddys and a BBQ featuring sausages from Meadowbrook Meat Market at Bad Apple. There will also be local musician CDs and other goodies given away during the trip. Tickets are still available, and you could win a pair of tickets by retweeting this post. Give the tour a try, we think you’ll have a great time!

Rogues Roost has released their Oatmeal Stout this week. Available on tap and in growlers, it weighs in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBUs, and features toasted oats, chocolate and dark crystal malt, and roasted barley.

• Following the release of the Indian Beach Harvest Ale last week, Big Tide has just released another fresh-hopped beer. Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale was brewed with pumpkins grown at Fullerton Farms; they were hand-prepared and roasted for the brew. With a grist featuring Pale, Munich and Carared malts, it is hopped with fresh, local hops from Dunhams Run, similar to the Harvest Ale. Clocking in at about 5.5% ABV, the beer also has cinnamon, orange peel, ginger, nutmeg, clove, molasses and local honey added for more flavor and aroma. It should be on tap at the brewpub now, and won’t last long!

Gahan House Halifax is putting the final touches on their Peach Wit today, for release in the next couple of weeks. Two bushels of peaches from Elderkin’s Farm in Wolfville are being peeled and pitted, and added to the conditioning tank today. To keep you satisfied until then, the Pleasures and Treasures Maple Whiskey Porter and Baby Steps Belgian Ale are still on, and tasting great! Be sure to drop by Tuesday night for their special casks. This week’s will be a Double Dry-hopped IPA, so drop by and chat over a pint with Brewer Karen Allen. And don’t forget that Tuesday is Industry night, where brewery and brewpub staff get a nice discount.

• Congratulations to Big Spruce Brewing who were awarded an Impact Award from Cape Breton Partnership, thanks to their significant impact on the local economy through improvements to local businesses! And speaking of Big Spruce, they are helping to organize the Celtic Oktoberfest, being held Oct 25th. In conjunction with the evening of fun, food and beer, there will be a Pumpkin Launch at the Port Hawkesbury Marina. It’s not too late to sign up your team’s trebuchet or catapult to launch a pumpkin into the Strait!

• In large brewery news, Moosehead has announced that they will be laying off about 70 workers – almost half of their hourly production employees – from their brewery in Saint John at the end of June, 2015. The brewery cites “the loss of a major brewing and packaging contract”, according to a recent story from the CBC, as the reason for the lay-offs.

• A reminder that the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards are this weekend in Halifax, and there are still tickets to take part in the fun, and to meet the special guest, Mirella Amato. She is leading a beer and cheese pairing seminar taking place 2pm Saturday afternoon at the Westin. The Gala Awards are open to everyone on Sunday at 6pm at the Stubborn Goat, followed immediately by a Beer Dinner featuring local food and beer (from North Brewing, Bad Apple and Garrison). Monday night, the Ladies Beer League is hosting a meet and greet with Mirella at Lion & Bright. Purchasing a ticket will get you a copy of her Beerology book and entry at 6pm, and the event is open to all at 7pm. And don’t forget to vote in the Stillwell People’s Choice Award, closing Saturday.

While you’re out and about this weekend, be sure to grab a pint or growler of something local: Meander River Farms has released their Homegrown harvest beer and 540 Kitchen and Bar is pouring Big Axe Rusty Axe Amber Ale.

And just a “behind-the-scenes” note: we expect to be updating the blog address to this week. We hope the change will be of minimum impact to our faithful readers, and you can even update your bookmarks to the new address now (currently redirects to the site). Our email subscriber list should follow with us as well. Have a great weekend!