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 Rock – Unobtainium 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!