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.