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All posts for the month November, 2014

We may have had a few days of nasty weather, but that certainly hasn’t slowed down the brew news in our region! Stay warm with all of the details on the goings-on in our local beer world.

North Brewing released a brand new beer late last week, Belgian Milk Stout. Brewed with 2-Row, Roasted Barley, Chocolate and De-bittered Chocolate malts, they also used lactose (milk sugar), for a bit of sweet character (lactose is not fermentable by most yeasts). Northern Brewer hops were used for bittering, and a light dose of Willamette was used late in the boil for aroma. A Belgian Stout yeast strain was used to ferment this first-in-the-region creation. The beer weighs in at 5.5% ABV, and will be available until spring in growlers, on tap, and in a North first, bottles! That’s right, North beers will now be available in 650 mL bottles from the private beer stores. The Milk Stout joins existing beers Strong Dark Belgian and Belgian IPA as the initial bottles available at Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores. From a self-made 3-head counter pressure bottle filler, they are able to fill about 200 bottles in an hour, and are now using this gear to fill their 750 mL flip-top bottles. The benefit of using a counter-pressure filler is less foaming while filling, leading to less product loss, and better carbonation retention in the bottle.

Last month, we reported on a new beer being brewed by PEI Brewing Co. after the lifting of the limit on ABV for beers brewed in the province. Well, 8 Cord is being canned today (473 mL), and the 8.5% ABV beer should be ready for purchase at the brewery by the end of this weekend. This is a limited-edition Imperial IPA, so make sure you get some before it’s gone! Keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter accounts for exact release details. And remember, this is only the beginning of high-ABV beer styles from PEI Brewing – they’ve just brewed a Doppelbock, a strong, malty German lager. More on that new beer next week!

• And in other high-ABV-beer news from the Island, BarNone Brewing has just released THEIR Imperial IPA, The Little DIPA. Co-owner/brewer Don Campbell is still being a bit secretive on details (we’re not sure if this new beer has similar hop varieties to BarNone’s IPA), but he has indicated that “the hop load is definitely bumped up quite a bit over the IPA“. With an ABV of approximately 8%, expect a hefty amount of hop aroma and flavor in this beer!

• On the other end of the spectrum, BarNone has also released another new beer, Orbit Session. Similar to the regularly-available Summer Sessions (at 4.8% ABV), this new beer features Orbit, a blend of New Zealand hop varieties. Part of the “Hops With a Difference” aroma breeding program, the hops are selected “on their unique aroma and flavor characteristics, and brewing quality”. Both the Orbit Session and Little DIPA were supposed to be released at last night’s weekly Growler Night; however, due to weather conditions, the event was cancelled. Look for both beers at the brewery next Thursday evening for growler and grunter (their new 32 oz bottles) fills.

Tatamagouche Brewing Company has released another new beer this week, RR#2 Lager. It was brewed using only Crystal hops from their hop field on Rural Road #2 in Malagash. This 4.7% ABV beer was fermented as a lager, features a light body, and is very drinkable. It is available in growlers and kegs at the brewery, and in bottles at the brewery and Truro Farmers’ Market, and will be on tap at Stillwell, Obladee, and Stubborn Goat. Their North Shore Lagered Ale will also be making an appearance in 650 mL bottles, but for a limited time only. And once this beer is gone, it’s gone! We also have a little bit more information on their Festive Beer: it will be released in bottles and growlers at the brewery on Thursday, December 11th, and their Halifax launch will be a “Festive Brunch” at Stillwell on Sunday the 14th, in collaboration with the Ladies Beer League. We’ll share more details on the beer, and how to take part in the launch, as they become available.

Grimross had their first brew day on their brand new 10 bbl (~11 hL) system earlier this week, at their new location at 600 Bishop Dr. in Fredericton. A Belgian Blond Ale was the lucky beer style to be brewed; look for it to be released sometime in mid-December in growlers and select bars/restaurants in the area, when we’ll have more details on the beer. Also, the retail area and tasting room of the brewery should be open before Christmas, and they’re hoping to have their canning line installed soon. Hopefully we’ll be seeing canned Belgian-style beers released early in the New Year!

Paddys Irish Brewpub in the Annapolis Valley has released a brand new beer this week, the Tripel Tipple. This Belgian Tripel-style beer was brewed with Belgian Pale malt and sugar, with East Kent Goldings for bittering, and Saaz as later additions. A blend of Abbey and Saison yeasts were used to ferment the beer, and it finished at 7.75% ABV and 25 IBUs. This highly effervescent beer has a golden colour with slight yeast haze, and is sweet, smooth, and very easy drinking, with distinctive Belgian yeast characteristics. It is available at both the Kentville and Wolfville locations, and in growlers to go from either.

A.W.O.L. Brewery continues to inch closer to opening in Riverview, New Brunswick. Owner/brewer Robert Black is expecting to secure some additional financing next month, and should be purchasing his brewery equipment in January. In the meantime, Black has been brewing a lot of test batches, including a Chocolate Mint Stout last week. In addition, one of Black’s other beers, DAG Red Ale (a sweet Amber Ale brewed with rye-soaked oak chips) finished in first place for Canada in the SJPORR Challenge 2014, an international homebrew competition, early in the fall. Don’t worry, we should get to try it eventually – Black has confirmed this will be his first commercially-available brew!

• If you missed out on the inaugural run of New Brunswick Beer Tours that was held at the beginning of this month, good news! They’ve announced that their next tour will take place on Saturday, January 31st. There’s no itinerary set yet (the first tour included visits to Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Railcar, and Big Axe), but we’ll be sure to keep you updated when the schedule and tickets become available.

Meander River’s latest in a line of special brews, Haymaker Imperial India Brown Ale, was released last night. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, this big brown ale features 2-Row, Munich, Carapils, Caramel 120 and Midnight Wheat malts for a dark colour and coffee and black pepper finish. What makes this an “India” beer is the massive amount of hops used throughout the brewing process: Magnum, Cascade, Chinook and Centennial pushed the Meander River kettle to the limit with the sheer volume of hops in the boil. This beer really packs a punch! It launched on tap at Stillwell last night, and will also be available at Lion & Bright Café Wine Bar. Or, take a trip to Ashdale, and visit the farm today 4-6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11-5. The Honey Brown will also be available at the farm for growler fills.

Propeller is releasing the newest beer in their One Hit Wonder series today. Vanilla Porter is a dark beer with a grist containing 2-row, Wheat, Crystal, Melanoidin, Munich, and Roast malts. Coming in at 5.7% ABV and 24 IBUs, it’s hopped with Willamette and Fuggles to add a bit of earthiness to the aroma/flavor. All-natural vanilla is added to the brew to provide a higher residual sweetness than their regular-release Porter. You can find it on tap at both retail locations for growler fills, and it will likely pop up on tap at select bars in Halifax soon.

• In the world of mead, Sunset Heights Meadery is releasing a new limited-edition seasonal today, at Isaac’s Way at 5:30 pm. The name and details are being kept secret for now, but they’ve told us that it “tastes like a Christmas dessert, and is named for how you might feel when wrapped up in front of the fire”. Look for it on tap sometime next week at their other accounts: 540 Kitchen & Bar, The Blue Door, and The Grad House at UNB.

• The Brewnettes and Beerthief Artisanal Beer Club in Newfoundland are hosting a By Women, for Women tasting of Charlevoix beer December 16th, at NLC Howley Estates. The guided tasting will focus on six beers from this Quebec brewery, and include light snacks. Tickets are $25 per person, and will sell out by the end of the weekend, so grab them today. More details, and updates, can be found on the Beerthief forums.

• A reminder to homebrewers that the Inaugural Beerthief Homebrew Competition is being held at the end of December. Full rules have been posted, so be sure to check them and enter. For this first year, BJCP styles 13A. Dry Stout and 14B. American IPA are the focus. Beer must be dropped off in St John’s between Dec 10-15, with the judging taking place the next week.

• Tickets for the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration are just about gone, so be sure to grab yours now to avoid disappointment. The popular event returns to the Halifax Club January 15th, 2015, and will see beer from 14 different Beer and Cider producers from Nova Scotia. As in previous Local Connections events held at the Halifax Club, each of the Seven Rooms will have a theme, and will feature both beer and food. Updates are being posted to their Facebook page with a description of the rooms, and we can say that this will be the inaugural event for the new Wrought Iron Brewing Company, a new brewery opening in Halifax. Tickets for the Celebration are available online.

• Due to this week’s storm, the third Burgers n’ Beer event scheduled for last night had to be cancelled. Don’t fret, though, it has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 9th, from 8:00 – 10:30 pm. And if you weren’t able to make the original date, good news… there’s still a few tickets left for purchase!

We hope you have a fantastic weekend! While out and about, why not stop by Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston – their new dark seasonal beer, La Buckdjeuve, is now available! Or swing by Shiretown if you’re in their area – they are hosting a tasting this evening at the Heron’s Nest Cottages at 7pm, and will have several beers available, including the re-release of their IPA, Hops on for Nowhere. And don’t forget that the 2015 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival tickets went on sale today at 10:00 am… remember, last year’s VIP tickets sold out in 3 hours, so get on it! And today is Canadian Beer Day, so be sure to celebrate with a bottle or pint of something local.

Happy Friday, everyone! Another hefty week of beer news for Atlantic Canada, so let’s get cracking…

Last month, we mentioned that Hammond River was planning on brewing a Coconut Porter in the near future. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves has confirmed that he will be brewing this beer, Into the Dark, this coming Monday. A Robust Porter, the beer will have both toasted coconut and toasted cacao nibs added in secondary (after primary fermentation has completed); there may even be some local coffee added! The beer should come in at about 6.3% ABV and 38 IBUs; we’ll keep you updated on its progress. And don’t forget to swing by the KV ANBL this weekend, where Hammond River’s Red Coat India Red Ale is available for growler fills!

Shiretown has a new one-off beer almost ready to be packaged: Hop Hash Strong Wheat Ale is hopped exclusively with… Hop Hash! This is a relatively new product composed of the sticky, resinous hop lupulin glands, supposedly giving lots of hop flavor without the bitterness. For this batch, the hash comes from Goldings hops grown at Southan Farms. Lots of Wheat malt goes into this 6.2% ABV beer (50% of the grist), along with 2 Row, Munich, Vienna, CaraMunich, and Toasted Wheat. The Hop Hash was used in three different additions during the boil. Due to the nature of the additions, the calculated IBUs aren’t known, but owner/brewer Derek Leslie has confirmed the bitterness is in the “medium” range. Look for it soon (probably next week) at the brewery for growler fills, and likely on tap shortly after at the King Street Ale House in Fredericton.

• In even more new beer news from New Brunswick, Les Brasseurs du Petit Sault will be releasing a one-off holiday beer next Wednesday, Nov 26th at noon, at the brewery for growler fills. The name is a secret for now; the brewery is currently dropping small clues in the form of a picture puzzle on Facebook and Twitter. The beer is described by the brewery as a “spiced winter ale” (think Winter Warmer); they’re keeping a few details secret for now, but we can confirm that it will come in at 7.3% ABV and 28 IBUs, and pour with a dark-brown body. “Spicy, and with a nice molasses aftertaste”, it sounds like a great beer for the holidays!

• As their opening date gets closer, the brewers at TrailWay Brewing have been testing out their new equipment with some test batches, including an American Pale Ale and American Stout. Recently, they brewed up something new, an Imperial Brown Ale named Grizzly Oak; as the name suggests, the beer will be aged on oak when fermentation is complete. Including Victory and Honey malt in the grist, it should clock in at around 7.5% ABV and 40 IBUs. While only a test batch now, hopefully we’ll see it on tap around Fredericton when the brewery officially opens; at the very least, this should be representative of future beers from Fredericton’s newest brewery!

• On to Nova Scotia! Granite Brewery is releasing a new beer soon, a Black IPA named Dark Side. Brewed with 2-r0w, Carastan and “Black malt”, the beer is hopped with East Kent Goldings and Cascade to 60 IBUs. It’s a stronger beer at 6.8%, and should be available by the first week of December at the latest, at the Beer Store for growler fills. It will follow afterwards on tap at select locations in Halifax.

• Speaking of Black IPAs, Boxing Rock is releasing a new beer today, The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale. Brewed in the IPA style, with strong bitterness and fragrant hop characteristics, the CDA features a roast character from the dark malts used in the mash, also lending the signature ink-black colour. 2014-harvest Canadian-grown Centennial hops are featured in the dry-hop with Simcoe, both of which lend their characteristic citrus and piney flavour and aroma to the beer. The beer weighs in at 6.5% ABV and ~50 IBUs. Bottles are available at the brewery and the four private wine shops and Market, as well as on tap at better beer establishments. This was a one-off brew, so best to grab a bottle or pint when you see it!

• And good news for beer drinkers in New Brunswick: after a year of Boxing Rock’s great offerings being available only in Nova Scotia, they are now available on tap at a few bars in your province! Look for their beers on tap at Ducky’s Bar in Sackville, Marky’s Laundromat and Tide & Boar in Moncton, Lemongrass Thai and Peppers Pub in Saint John, and 540 Kitchen & Bar and King Street Ale House in Fredericton.

Rockbottom Brewpub is releasing their newest seasonal tomorrow, Smoke and Mirrors. This is a classic Rauchbier, reminiscent of the iconic beer from Bamberg, Germany, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen. Brewmaster Greg Nash used over 80% Beechwood-smoked malt, with Munich malt making up the rest of the grist, and Hallertauer Tradition hops used for a balancing bitterness. The result is a 5.3% ABV beer featuring both smoke and malt character, and a light 21 IBU bitterness. The beer hits the tap at opening at 4pm, and the RB kitchen will be serving grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches to pair with the beer.

• As promised last week, we have some more information on the Tatamagouche Brewing North Shore Lagered Ale. Weighing in at 4.7% ABV, the beer was lagered for 3 weeks before hitting the taps and bottling line. With that extra conditioning time, the beer has time to meld the light Pale Ale body with the hop bitterness and aroma, measured at 15 IBUs, thanks to Ahtanum and Hallertau Mittelfruh. And good news everyone, it is still available on tap in Halifax, as both Bar Stillwell and the Stubborn Goat received a reload this week.

• Tatamagouche also went through a small (but critical) expansion this week, adding capacity to their mash tun and kettle. The folks from Purity Stainless were in and chopped the top off of both vessels, and added 5 hl (500 litres) additional capacity to their 10hl brewhouse. And the Tata Crew wasted no time in testing out the system, and everything worked great! Staying true to their goal to not run out of their two core brand offerings, Hippie Dippie Pale Ale and Butcher Block Red, will now be that much easier thanks to this extra volume. It will also mean more access, and greater frequency, to special brews and one-offs, like a new one-off RR#2 Lager coming next week (brewed using their own Malagash-grown hops), and the return of their Dreadnot IBA, with the next batch hitting the taps in the first week of December.

Rogues Roost Brewpub released their newest one-off beer last week, Double IPA. The 8% ABV, light-bodied ale features 2-Row, Wheat, Crystal, and Melanoidin malts, with Falconer’s Flight and Cascade hops throughout (including dry-hopping) for a massive hop aroma and assertive, but not punishing, bitterness. Notes of citrus and floral come to mind while sipping the beer. Assistant Brewer Jake Saunders took the reins with this beer, developing the recipe himself, and it is a beer to be proud of. Cheers!

Garrison Brewing has released their newest seasonal, Winter Warmer, this week. Weighing in at 7% ABV and 20 IBUs, this beer is a great accompaniment to those cool nights we are experiencing in our region. 2-Row, Munich, Caramel and Chocolate malts make up the grist, with Brewer’s Gold hops used to balance the rich mouthfeel of the beer. Notes of cinnamon, clove, dark fruit and citrus are present. It is available now in 6-packs in Nova Scotia, and in 500ml bottles in New Brunswick. Last week, we spied the Garrison crew braving the weather and visiting Meander River Farm to pick Spruce tips and branches for their annual Spruce Beer. Look for that to be released in December, we’ll have all of the details then!

• We have more details to share on two ciders that are hitting shelves (and a few taps) in Nova Scotia these days, both from Bulwark. Bulwark Winter is 7.0% ABV, and is their Original Cider infused with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger. It offers a fuller mouthfeel due to a slightly higher alcohol content. It can be enjoyed either chilled, or try warming it up to release even more of the great spice aromas. It has been on the shelves at the NSLC and private wine stores for a few weeks, and as it has been so successful, a second run will be released in the next two weeks. Bulwark Gold is 5.0% ABV, and is infused with honey and orchard fruit, for a subtle sweetness and notes of apricot or peach. The Gold will be hitting the NSLC shelves this weekend, and can be sampled at the Barrington St location Sunday 1-4pm. Both ciders, as well as their Original and Blush, use a blend of Macintosh, Golden Russet, Red Delicious, Honey Crisp and Spartan apples, all from Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.

In a promising final word this week, the ANBL growler program has expanded to their Sackville location. This week’s offerings will be Picaroons Winter Warmer, Muskoka Brewery Cream Ale, and Le Trou du Diable L’Amère Indienne (American IPA). And speaking of Muskoka, their Mad Tom IPA and Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout will soon be available in Nova Scotia, and they are holding a launch party at Stubborn Goat Wednesday (Nov 28, 6-8pm) to celebrate. Contact Lara to secure your spot.

Happy Friday everyone! We hope you’re able to stay dry and warm today, as some wet weather hits our region. Perhaps this toasty beer news will help a bit!

Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS is releasing their newest beer this weekend, Boxcutter IPA. A light coloured ale, weighing in at 6.92% ABV and light-bodied, this IPA is hop-forward without being too bitter. The IBUs are calculated at 45, however most of the secret hop blend was added in a massive charge at flame-out (in the kettle, after the burner is turned off), and then another boost as a dry-hop in the fermenter/conditioning tank. This beer will be making its debut at Stillwell Sunday during their First Anniversary party, and available on tap around the city thereafter, as well as growler fills at the brewery.

• Another beer debuting at Stillwell’s party Sunday is Merci Bière, from Shelburne’s Boxing Rock. The Stillwell crew visited Boxing Rock, and brewed alongside Emily and Henry last month. Their beer is a very special Saison, weighing in at 8.4% ABV and 20 IBUs. However, the numbers definitely do not tell the whole story, as the crew used some Beechwood smoked malt for a smokey hint, and used noble UK Goldings and Czech Saaz hops to complement. And with a French farmhouse yeast to ferment this beer, they were blessed with spicy notes, including clove, allspice, and black pepper. After its release at Stillwell Sunday, it will be available in growler fills at the brewery and Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and in bottles at the private wine shops.

• Yet another new beer debuting Sunday will be Stillwell’s very own beer, Nuppeppo. Contract brewed at North Brewing, the grain bill reads like that of an Imperial Stout, with lots of oats and flaked barley, chocolate malt for colour and flavour, and some sugar to help achieve terminal gravity. The beer takes a left turn from the style in the choice of hops: UK Goldings for bittering and Czech Saaz for flavour and aroma. And another turn (onto a ramp?) when you realize this is a Saison, and was fermented with a Farmhouse yeast. The main event (or the 24 buses jumped, in this over-stretched analogy) are the 900 grams of spices added in the last minutes of the boil. Chef Graeme used his signature Tokyo Steak Spice mixture (featuring black and Szechuan peppercorns, chilis, and a few other secret ingredients) to complete the notes of heat, chocolate, pepper, and mint on the nose and tongue. While nervous during the process, the beer has turned out even better than the Stillwellers could have expected! This beer will only be on tap at Stillwell, and there are not many kegs, so be sure to drop by Sunday to ensure happiness.

• As if you needed more reasons to visit on Sunday, the SW crew is bringing in some more heavy hitters, including lovingly cellared kegs of Acadie-Broue Kiebitz Coti Berliner Weisse, Grimross Chantelope (100% Brett fermented), Garrison Brewing Grand Baltic Porter (2013), Dieu du Ciel! Bourbon Barrel-aged Péché Mortel (2013), and casks from Boxing Rock (U-889 [2013] and the Merci Bière collaboration), North Brewing (Saison de L’Acadie), and Bulwark (Cask-Conditioned Original Cider). Plus they will have some special bottles pouring by the glass for that day only (Propeller’s Lambic-Style Framboise, The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye, and the Merci Bière collaboration. In addition to the great beers, they’ll be serving cake, and the favourite food menu items from the past year. It will be quite the party, don’t miss it! Full tap/cask/bottle list is available here.

• Already on tap in the city and at the brewery is Big Spruce’s Statler & Waldorf Proprietary IPA. Weighing in at 6.4% ABV, it is their first ever beer brewed using 100% of their own farm-grown hops (located just behind the brewery building). Cascade, Centennial, Nugget, Chinook and Mt Hood were the 5 varietals used, dried in their own oast house, and stored until brewday late last month. It is a tannin rich, hop forward beer with deep citrus flavour and character. While Statler & Waldorf are famous for their heckles and puns on the Muppet Show, we don’t think anyone will be complaining about this beer and its #MuppetLevelHops! The beer will be on tap at Stillwell, The Stubborn Goat, and Lion & Bright in Halifax, and the Townhouse in Antigonish. While the IPA is not scheduled to be on tap for the Anniversary party, Big Spruce’s The Whole 9 Yards (their own First Anniversary beer) will be pouring Sunday afternoon at Stillwell. And don’t forget to submit your registration information for their Second Annual Home Brew Competition before the 21st. Beers are due at the end of the month, and the winner will be brewing their beer in Nyanza for release at the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration, Jan 15, 2015.

• Fredericton’s Picaroons has released a returning favourite, Feels Good Imperial Pilsner. Featuring a grain bill of Bohemian Pilsner malt with some malted wheat, this beer usually features traditional Saaz hops, however this release also features hops grown in New Brunswick, specifically Magnum, Nugget and Centennial. As the beer is brewed to support the local arts through Feels Good, it made sense to feature local hops. While the name may imply a lager, this beer was fermented with Picaroons’ house ale yeast, Ringwood. The beer weighs in at 7.0% ABV. Also, big congratulations to Picaroons for achieving B Corporation recognition. To become certified, they must demonstrate “social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”. They join only a handful of other companies in NB, and one brewery in all of Canada (Beau’s in Vankleek Hill, Ontario)

Hell Bay Brewing in Liverpool, NS has released a brand new beer today, Chocolat. This 6.0% ABV beer is a Chocolate Wheat Ale (ala Brown Porter style), using a malt bill highlighted with wheat, oats, and darker roast and crystal malts. While these malts alone would offer a full chocolate aroma and flavour, cocoa and vanilla beans were extracted with a generous portion of  rum to really bring out its namesake characteristics. The hops used in this brew were all local Mt Hood and Challenger varietals, grown at Hightide Hops, in Dayspring. Grab it in a growler at the brewery, or on tap only at your favourite local watering hole.

• Like last year’s event, the 2014 Fredericton Poutine Festival was a great success! With over ten different poutines being served and over twenty different beers pouring, the sold-old evening session was hopping with great food and drink. This year’s “Best of the Fest” award went to the Doghut Canteen; they had three different poutines, including Traditional, Newfoundland, and Donair. Check out the festival’s Facebook page for lots of photos of the fun!

Celtic Knot announced last week that they would be brewing their first batch of Toque and Mitts, an English Barleywine, for the season. Like last year, it’s a dark and malty beer brewed with Maris Otter, Chocolate Malt, Wheat Malt, and Crystal 120 L malts, and is hopped with Willamette, East Kent Golding, and Belma hops to approximately 33 IBUs. This batch has something new, however; Bourbon-soaked oak chips have also been added to the beer. A big beer at 7.5% ABV, it will require a bit of aging, but look for it to pop up on tap at Celtic Knot accounts sometime around Christmas. And, speaking of Celtic Knot accounts, the Old Triangle in Moncton just tapped the Dubh Loki (a Black IPA), their first CK beer!

Pump House Brewery has released their latest seasonal this week, Schwarzbier. This is a traditional German-style black lager, featuring light hints of chocolate and coffee. Being a lager, it still manages a crisp mouthfeel and light-bodied, clean finish. It is available on tap now at the Brewpub, and at ANBL Dieppe this weekend for growler fills. Readers in NS and PEI should keep their eyes open for Pump House Stonefire Ale, their limited edition Steinbeir, which has been hitting the shelves in those two provinces.

Tatamagouche Brewing has released North Shore Lagered Ale this week. A light and refreshing brew, it is lightly hopped, and cold conditioned. Available at the brewery in growlers, and on tap at your favourite watering bar. They also brewed up a holiday-themed beer earlier this week that will be out in December. We do not have any details, but gather it will be a “flavourful and festive ale”, out in time for the holidays.

Bulwark Gold is heading to shelves in NS shortly. This cider is made from fresh-pressed apples and honey. 5.0% ABV. It will be joining Bulwark Winter already on the shelves, their spiced seasonal cider. We will have more details for next week’s write-up.

Finally this week, PEI Brewing has announced that they will be serving light food at their brewery location at 96 Kensington Rd. Enjoy nachos, chicken wings, poutine or pulled pork sandwiches while tipping a pint of their fine beers. Food will be served daily 4-7pm, except Sunday. The full menu is here.

Hello, craft beer fans! After an extremely busy news week last week, things have quieted down a little. However, there’s still several things going on in the beer world in our region…

• Back in September, we alluded to NB HopSpiel, another beer event coming up early next year in Fredericton, from the creators of the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Well, we now have more details! An outdoor curling tournament featuring a beer garden, it will be held Feb. 6th & 7th, during the annual FROSTival winter festival. Held downtown in Officer’s Square, you’ll need to register in teams of four to participate. Friday night will feature an “Introduction to Outdoor Curling” from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, giving the opportunity to practice your skills and meet fellow curlers. On Saturday, the tournament will begin at 8:00 am and continue until the closing ceremonies at 4:30 pm; each team will play a minimum of two games. Of course, the beer garden will be there throughout the day (and will stay open until 8:00 pm), featuring NB craft beer, cider and mead from 5-6 breweries, with approximately 10 different products. Every contestant will receive beer tickets, with more available for purchase. There will also be other contests through the day, including “Best Dressed Team” and “Classic Snowsuit Contest”. What about food? Luckily, they will also be hosting the Fredericton Chili Challenge that day! Tickets will be approximately $65 each ($260 per team), and will go on sale December 1st; you can pre-register and hold your spot now, online. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available!

Shiretown has yet another new one-off beer available for growler fills at the brewery. A first impression of the name – Venezuelan Express Porter – would make you think “coffee”, but it actually refers to a type of crude oil produced in Venezuela at the time, that used to come into Dalhousie for the now-closed Dalhousie Generating Station, according to owner/brewer Derek Leslie. A dark beer that comes in at 5% ABV and 25 IBUs, it is brewed with an unidentified hop variety harvested from Letourneau Lane in Dalhousie that is thought to have been growing there for over a hundred years. You can also currently find the beer on tap at the King Street Ale House in Fredericton, for a very limited time only!

Rockbottom Brewpub is looking for a head brewer. The very busy brewpub on Spring Garden Rd in Halifax has put out the call for a brewer with previous experience to step in and brew on their 8 bbl Electric-fired DME system. In addition to once-to-twice weekly brews, the successful candidate will be responsible for quality control, ingredient inventory and ordering, and staff training, and will be an all-around, one-person army in the brewhouse. They are looking to hire someone immediately, to train with current Brewmaster Greg Nash. Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume. And in case you were worried, dear reader, that Mr. Nash was getting out of the brewing business, or leaving our region, fear not! He is leaving to open, with partner Andrew Murphy, a new brewery in Halifax’s North End, named Unfiltered.

• The Amber Ale recently brewed by Brasseurs du Petit-Sault is now available. Named Louis XVII, it’s available for growler fills at the brewery now, and is also on tap at Frank’s Bar & Grill; it should also follow at Resto-Bar le Deck by this weekend, and hopefully in bottles by early 2015. And if you’re attending the Fredericton Poutine Festival tomorrow, it’ll be pouring there as well!

• Good news everyone! Propeller Brewing’s One-Hit Wonders are back! These one-off, draft and growler-only brews, come out of the Gottingen St location when space and timing allows. Today’s launch is Section 31 Pale Ale. Unfortunately, we don’t have any other information on the beer for today. In other Propeller news, be sure to read the article from Chronicle-Herald this week for some insight into the start of the brewery through founder/owner John Allen.

• Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams, NS marked the return of two darker brews this week: Crossing Muddy Waters Brown Ale and Port in the Storm Porter. The Brown Ale is a North American style, weighing in at 5.5% ABV, featuring chocolate malt profile with subtle hopping. The Porter features coffee and chocolate flavour and aroma, weighing in at 5% ABV, using English hops to balance the malt. Look for both beers on tap at the Port Pub and around the Valley and HRM, and growlers and cans at the brewery, and cans at the four private stores in HRM.

Uncle Leo’s Brewery has a new seasonal beer that they recently brewed, a Sweet Stout (aka Cream Stout, or Milk Stout) named Uncle Leo’s Cream Stout. A delicious beer style that is brewed with lactose powder to provide a slight sweetness, and fuller body, it has an ABV of 5%, and 23 IBUs. Look for it to be released for growler fills at the brewery by next weekend; they’ll be brewing the beer until the end of December. Fans of their award-winning Vohs Weizenbier have no need to worry – it will return in May, 2015!

• As a follow-up to yesterday’s profile on TrailWay Brewing in Fredericton, they announced this morning that they have passed their inspections, and will be brewing their first test batch on their new brew system today! Congrats on the completion of one more step, Dan and Jake!

• It’s about four months away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start getting excited about the 2015 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival! Tickets for the March 7th event will officially go on sale on Friday, November 28th at 10:00 am – the link should be on their Facebook page soon. Keep in mind that VIP tickets for last year’s event sold out in less than three hours, so remember this date! And keep an eye on their Facebook page and Twitter account close to ticket launch – they’ll be holding a contest to win two VIP tickets to the event.

• And speaking of the FCBF, they’re holding their third Burgers n’ Beer event later this month, on Thursday, Nov. 27th at 8:00 pm. While the brewery list has not yet been announced, it should be a tasty time (come on, just look at the title) as usual! As a switch, this time they’ll be offering ten different 4 oz beer samples, as opposed to their regular five 8 oz samples, paired with five reLiSH sliders. Tickets are available now; they’re $45 and available through the link above. As an added bonus, if you attend, you’ll have the chance to buy FCBF tickets a day early, with a 10% discount!

As for this weekend, want to get the first taste of Garrison Brewing’s Klingon Warnog Roggen Dunkel Ale? It is being released today at 3:30 at the brewery, and all sci-fi and beer fans are welcome! In case you can’t make it, it will be available at the brewery, all four private stores, and a limited number of bars and restaurants in HRM. If you are in Moncton, Fredericton, or Saint John, be sure to check out your local ANBL to see what’s pouring from the growler taps. In addition to some interesting beer from away (Brooklyn East India Pale Ale is pouring in both Dieppe and Saint John), local favourites Big Axe Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and Picaroons Winter Warmer (Fredericton), and Pump House Pail Ale (Dieppe) are pouring. They will fill any 1.89 L growler, so you needn’t buy one of theirs (just be sure yours is clean, as they do not have the facilities there). And maybe we’ll see you at Fredericton Poutine Fest tomorrow night!

TrailWay-VerticalLogo

Very recently, a new brewery in New Brunswick suddenly popped up in social media. To our knowledge, no one was aware that there was a new nanobrewery planned to open soon in Fredericton, but on Saturday, October 25th, TrailWay Brewing Co. happily announced through Twitter that they would be producing beer for the public in the near future. With the name inspired by the nearby Fredericton Walking Trail, TrailWay’s brewery construction is currently ongoing. They’ve already received their Federal Exise License, and their brewery inspection is scheduled for later today. We recently met with the owners/brewers of TrailWay, homebrewers Dan Mason and Jake Saunders (an engineer and Chartered Account by day, respectively), to check out brewery construction and ask them some questions on what they have planned for beer drinkers in our area…

ACBB: Tell us a little about your homebrewing history.

Dan: For me, my dad has homebrewed for almost 30 years and I have always been interested in the hobby and the beer he was making. Eventually I became interested in brewing better beer and beer of different styles, and the rest is history. I started with a couple of kits and immediately made the jump to all-grain, and since then I have probably brewed 3-4 batches per month.

Jake: I got into making beer in my second year of University. I started buying the cheapest kits I could find and soon realized that the quality of product had a huge impact on the final product. I first got into brewing when I realized that I could make it for a lot cheaper than I could buy it for – likely my cheap accountant side coming out. I eventually was introduced to a couple of the original members of the New Brunswick Craft Brewing Association (NBCBA) and had the chance to try their all-grain beer. I immediately started stockpiling all-grain equipment and the hobby soon became an obsession.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?

Dan: One of my favorite parts of making beer is sharing it with friends and family. Sharing my beer on a larger scale gets me very excited.

Jake: Similar to Dan, I consume a small percentage of the product I produce. I really enjoy giving it away – and the more of it you can give away, the more 5 gallon batches I can brew! I’m a Chartered Accountant but I always thought it would be cool to do this professionally on the side. A couple months back, Dan and I were sitting in my kitchen during one of our club meetings, and we began talking about how fun it would be to start a small craft brewery. My problem and main stumbling block was time – during the busy season at work I simply do not have enough. Dan’s main holdback was more of a space issue. I was just finishing up building a new house with loads of space in the basement. The partnership made a lot of sense in these respects. That day, we brainstormed the idea and here we are now.

What steps have you taken so far getting everything up and running?

Nearly all brewing equipment has been purchased and is on-site. Brewery construction is nearing the end and we should be licensed in the coming weeks.

Do you have any other partners in the brewery?

At this point it is just the two of us involved in the brewery.

What size/type of system will you be brewing on?

We are starting with a one barrel (31 U.S. gallons, or 116 L) electric brewing system. We’ve pieced it together from various suppliers & manufacturers.

TW-brewhouse

The Brewhouse

Do you know when your beers will be available to the public?

Timelines can – and most likely will – change, but at this point we are targeting mid to late December. Our first inspection is scheduled for today, and we plan to have everything construction/equipment-wise ready for then. The timeline will largely depend on the timeliness of licencing agencies.

What are your plans for distribution? Plans for tap accounts, bottles, growlers, etc.?

Initially we will be selling kegs for distribution to pubs and restaurants.

Do you have any beer bars/restaurants in the area lined up to serve your beers?

We’ve spoken to two popular restaurants in town who have both shown a keen interest, but nothing has been officially set in stone. We’ve only spoken to these two restaurants and want to start with only two or three accounts so that we can gauge the demand – if we have the capacity, we’ll consider expanding our distribution to additional restaurants or pubs.

The Fermenters

The Fermentors

Can you tell me about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially? Are you planning on offering a specific style, or genres (German, English, etc.), of beer? Any seasonals, one-offs, or will you stick mainly with a “flagship lineup”?

We both tend to brew a lot of beers featuring American hops, but we also both love to experiment with different ingredients. We will focus on full-flavoured ales. Where we’re both homebrewers at heart, we love the idea of experimentation and producing a lot of one-off beers.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?

We’ve received various help from our friends at Grimross, Sunset Heights Meadery (with both breweries being owned by members of the NBCBA) and Picaroons.

With the recent increase in the number of new breweries in Atlantic Canada, what will make TrailWay different from the rest?

As mentioned, we both love to experiment with ingredients and TrailWay Brewing Co. will very much be about experimentation and playing with new recipes.

Where do you hope to see TrailWay in the next 2-3 years?

It’s difficult to say. We would both love to see TrailWay grow and continue to focus on these experimental batches and possibly have a tasting room at some point. We’re going to continue brewing on a part-time basis and if there’s a business case to expand operations, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Do either of you personally have a favorite beer style? Beer? Brewery?

Our flavours are similar. We both love pale ales, IPAs and stouts of all kinds, although any beer with a lot of flavor is a winner in our books. Did we mention that we’re both hop-heads?

Do you have a specific ingredient in brewing that you like to brew with? E.g. a specific malt and/or hop variety?

So far we would have to say any American hops. We are big on the intense aromas and flavors they bring. Expect to see a lot of late hop additions to produce this big hop aroma and flavor – we won’t be shy with dry hopping either.

From what/where/whom have you learned the most in respect to brewing?

Dan: My dad has definitely taught me plenty over the years. The NBCBA has been a huge part of my development as a brewer. The club has a massive amount of knowledge and brewing experience.

Jake: 90% of my brewing knowledge is from the NBCBA. I do tend to spend a lot of time online doing research and reading about the profession. For both of us, most of the learning is obtained through brewing. There’s only so much you can learn through reading and discussion with your beer club buddies – the best way to learn is through experience.

Jake and Dan, Trail Way Brewing

Jake and Dan, TrailWay Brewing

Welcome, TrailWay Brewing, to the growing list of Atlantic Canadian craft breweries! We look forward to trying their beers as they become available, and will continue to keep you updated on their progress. In the meantime, follow them on Twitter and Facebook for continued updates on brewery construction, licensure, and more!