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!