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.