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All posts for the month January, 2015

Good morning! What better way to celebrate the end of January, and the beginning of Superbowl weekend, than by reading about beer?

• In addition to the snowstorm blowing outside Tuesday morning, there was a storm erupting on Twitter, with the announcement of a new brewery coming this Spring to Sydney, Cape Breton. Breton Brewing is the collaboration between two homebrewers Bryan MacDonald and Andrew Morrow. We will have more details on their endeavour soon, but we do know that they will be using a 15 barrel (18 hectolitre) steam-fired system, and the 5000 square foot brewery and tasting room will be located on Keltic Drive. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for now, and we’ll update you when their Facebook and website are published.

• There’s a new beer on tap from Pump House at their brewpub in Moncton – Easy Amber 4.3 Session Ale. The name pretty much says it all, as this is a sessionable Amber Ale coming in at 4.3% ABV. While an easy-drinking beer, the brewery describes it as having a “full malt taste” thanks to the addition of kilned Amber and Munich malts, giving both toffee and caramel flavors. It’s also lightly hopped with Tettnang and Saaz, giving only a touch of bitterness at 12 IBUs. It’s also currently pouring at the Dieppe ANBL this week for growler fills, and will be available on tap at select bars/restaurants across the Maritimes in the near future.

Red Rover released a new cider yesterday, just in time for Fredericton’s winter celebration, Frostival (Jan 23rd – Feb 15th). Fire Cider is a 7% ABV semi-dry cider brewed with fresh ginger, and is now available for flagon fills at the Ciderhouse. While it can be served cold (like Red Rover’s other brands), they encourage you to drink it warm, to bring a little heat into your life during these cold winter months! Just pop it in the microwave (40 seconds per 300 mL/10 oz), and you’re good to go! Look for it at the Boyce Farmers Market this Saturday, and on tap for a limited time at the King Street Ale House soon.

• We have a few more details on the Cappuccino Stout from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault that we mentioned a couple of weeks ago. They just brewed it last Saturday, and are hoping to have it released by the second week of February! Canon Franchetti is named after pastor/architect Nicolo Franchetti from Edmundston’s St. John the Baptist Church, which was destroyed in a fire last September. The beer was brewed with coffee from three downtown Edmundston cafes, including Cafe Lotus Bleu, Sucré Salé and Boutique Au Bout Du Monde. Look for it on tap soon, and if you’re not in Edmundston, make sure to request it for growler fills at your nearest ANBL growler-filling station!

• It’s sold-out already (within one day!), but we thought we should fill you in on the latest one-off beer from Railcar Brewing, Vanilla Brown Sugar Stout. Brewed with four malts and three hop varieties, this massive dark beer (9.9% ABV) had 6 lbs of brown sugar added at the end of the boil and real vanilla beans in secondary, making this a sweet, strong monster of a beer! But don’t feel bad if you missed out – owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has assured us that he will be brewing it again!

• While on the topic of Railcar, they just announced details on their 1st Annual Railcar Brewing Home Brew-Off. Open to all homebrewers in the Maritimes, the competition style is Scottish Export (14C) from the new 2014 BJCP Style Guidelines. Entries must be all-grain (no kits, extracts or sugars are permitted), and will be evaluated in a blind tasting by a panel of non-BJCP judges. The winner will get the opportunity to brew their beer with Mitch as a full-sized batch on the Railcar system, for commercial release as a Railcar seasonal! Registration is $15; each participant will receive a special 2015 Railcar Brew-Off glass. Entries are due by Thursday, March 26th (six 341 to 500 mL bottles are required); the top four will be selected for final judging. Awards and prizes will be handed out the following Thursday, April 2nd. For more information on rules and prizes, check out the link above. Fire up those kettles, homebrewers!

• In other homebrew competition news, Brasseurs du Moncton Homebrewers are holding one of their own… sort of. The St. Patrick’s Day Beer Challenge is more of an excuse to get Moncton-area homebrewers together to evaluate each other’s beers, specifically in the style of either Dry Stout or Irish Red Ale. There’s no entry fee or official prizes yet (other than bragging rights), and it’s a great opportunity to meet other homebrewers and taste their beers. Keep an eye on the link above for final details on the date and location, but expect the event to occur around March 15th, shortly before St. Patrick’s Day. Six weeks is plenty of time to put together a solid brew, so get to it!

Granite Brewery has released a small batch of Winter Warmer, and it is available now. Malt-forward and “very English”, this strong beer weighs in at 5.8% ABV. We expect that folks who enjoy Peculiar and Old Cardinal will enjoy this beer. It is available in growlers at the brewery, and will make it to finer beer establishments in Halifax soon. And a reminder that time really flies: Granite is celebrating their THIRTIETH Anniversary this year! To celebrate, Brewmaster Kevin Keefe will be bringing back some of their classic, and perhaps forgotten, beers for us local drinkers. Congratulations to the entire Granite family!

• From Nova Scotia’s oldest craft brewery, to one of its youngest, North Brewing is celebrating their second anniversary this weekend. And we get the presents! They are offering their 1.89 litre growler fills for $10, Friday through Sunday. This weekend also marks the release of their Coffee-Infused Belgian Milk Stout cask at Smiling Goat at Bishops Landing. They used Cold-brewed Kenyan Karindundu beans from Java Blend Coffee Roasters. Drop by from 4-6pm to try it out, for only $1/4oz sample. When you drop by the brewery, you may notice a new face, as their retail/bottle-filler/spirit animal Grant is moving on to another local business.

Uncle Leo’s has released a new seasonal, Winterschlaf, a German Hybrid Beer. This Kolsch-style beer was brewed in collaboration with Matt Vohs, who also assisted with the Weizen last year. Brewed with pilsner malt and a small amount of Munich malt, bittered with German Tettnanger hops, and weighing in at 5.5% ABV. They fermented the beer with an ale yeast, but cold, to keep the yeast character minimal (reduced ester profile). When trying the beer for the first time, Vohs smiled and said it tasted just like the beer he drank while living in Cologne. Well done! Look for growlers at the brewery, bottles at the private stores at the end of next week, and at better beer bars in the province, including Piper’s Landing in Lyons Brook and Apple Seed Diner in New Glasgow.

• RockHead Wine & Beer Market opened yesterday at 2651 Windsor Street, in/adjacent to the Sobeys grocery store. They launched with three beers on their growler station: RockHead Pale Ale (brewed for them by Garrison Brewing), Tatamagouche Brewing’s Butcher Block Red, and Sea Level High Street Scotch Ale. They will be adding a beer from Uncle Leo’s shortly. Their hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-10pm & Sundays 10am-8pm. Their new Twitter, Facebook, and website are up now, to keep an eye on their specials and new arrivals.

• Speaking of Garrison Brewing, they have brought back their Unfiltered Wheat. This hazy American Wheat is 4.6%, and very easy drinking. Don’t forget that their Barrel-aged Spruce Beer is being released tomorrow, along with lots of other Barrel and Cellar-aged beers, at their Cellar Saturday event. Doors open at 10am, and we’ve seen the list, and there are several beers that folks will definitely want to pick up (2009-2013 Ol’ Fog Burner and their Barrel-aged counterparts, 2009 Grand Baltic Porter, aged Winter Warmer, and much more). There may be a ticket or two left for tonight’s Ol’ Fog Burner Vertical tasting (which also allows early access to the Cellar!), contact Justin for more details.

PEI Brewing Co. is bringing back their Spud cask for the second year in a row, to coincide with today’s 2015 Spud Event being held at the brewery. This year’s Spud is their Beach Chair Lager that has been dry-hopped with Citra and Comet, two very citrusy and flavorful hop varieties; it comes in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, and 20 IBUs. The event will also feature live music, food, and trivia; tickets are $10, and the doors open at 7pm.

Muwin Estate Wines, producers of Bulwark Cider, have installed two new 200 hectolitre tanks, with plans to add two more. The extra capacity will allow them to expand their production across more Canadian provinces, as well as into the US and UK markets. Over the past year, they have already doubled both production and staff at their location. In addition to expanding their territory, the extra capacity will allow them to expand their cider line further, and we can share that their next new product will be a hopped cider. We’ll have more details on it closer to the release.

• Good news, Fredericton beer drinkers! The James Joyce Irish Pub (located in the Crowne Plaza downtown) is greatly increasing their craft beer offerings! They’ve added new tap lines to their current selection (for a total of 18) and are in the ongoing process of filling them with new beers, most of which are from local breweries. This week includes the addition of Petit-Sault Tante Blanche and Big Axe Wrath of Putin; keep your eye on the Food at the Crowne Facebook page for updates on their taps!

• There have been some major changes at Rogues Roost this week. Brewmaster Lorne Romano, who has been with the brewpub since its opening in 1999, is no longer with the company. Going forward, Karen Allen will be taking over the brewing responsibilities at the Roost. Allen is the brewmaster at Gahan Halifax Harbourfront (and will remain in that position), and has brewed on Rogues’ system previously, so she will fit right in to the cramped space and high pressure situation of brewing at this busy brewpub. Rogues’ core products will remain untouched, but Allen will bring her own twist to seasonals and one-offs. Keep an eye out for PEI Brewing/Gahan beer at Rogues, as they plan to expand their number of taps, and begin to pour beer from other Murphy Group brands.

• This big change has not slowed down the new beer releases, as there will be a new English IPA out next week at Rogues Roost, and an English Bitter at Gahan House. And next Tuesday’s cask (remember it is Industry Night every Tuesday, where members of the beer business enjoy staff-priced pints) is the Bitter with fresh lemon zest, and lightly dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace.

Enjoy your weekend! For those in the Antigonish area, look for Big Spruce Brewing at tomorrow’s Antigonish Winter Market, at the Antigonish Mall 10am-2pm. Don’t forget that the King Street Ale House Superbowl party (no cover) is all-day Sunday, where a new one-off American IPA from TrailWay Brewing will be pouring.

Happy Friday everyone! Grab a mug of coffee, or pint of Coffee Porter, as we’ve got another dose of beer news for you today.

• After a very successful response to their first release of Session IPA, TrailWay Brewing has brewed up another batch that should be released sometime today, or later this weekend. This easy-drinking and low-ABV (~4.4%) beer is hopped a bit differently than the previous one, featuring both Centennial and Comet. They also plan on releasing an Oatmeal Stout this weekend or shortly thereafter; coming in at around 5% ABV, it features up to seven different grain varieties in the mash, including plenty of roasted barley and chocolate malts – giving the beer “intense” flavors – as well as a good portion of organic oats to bump up the body.

• Speaking of TrailWay, they also have a brand new beer that they will be releasing during next Sunday’s Superbowl party at the King Street Ale House. A currently-unnamed American IPA, it was brewed with lots of Comet, Amarillo, Centennial, and Cascade hops, with Comet and Cascade also being used in the dry-hop, to give the beer lots of fruity and citrusy hop aromas. There’s no charge to check out the Superbowl at the KSAH and try this new IPA; just drop in for a pint! They’ll also have happy hour on regional beers, and food specials. And for those of you lucky enough to have tickets for the sold-out New Brunswick Beer Tour next Saturday, you’ll probably be getting a sneak preview of TrailWay’s new IPA at the conclusion of the tour at KSAH!

Railcar Brewing has re-released their SMaSH IPA, and while brewed with the same malt (2-row) and hop variety (Cascade) as before, a different yeast strain was used for fermentation, resulting in a hoppier-tasting beer, according to owner/brewer Mitch Biggar. This very pale ale comes in at 5% ABV and 85 IBUs, and won’t last long, so get to the brewery ASAP! Also, Mitch just brewed an “Orange Rye IPA”, featuring six different malts, Cascade and Goldings hops, and real orange peel in the boil. Weighing in at ~7.7% ABV and 66 IBUs, look for this one to appear for growler fills at the brewery, soon.

Hammond River has announced the results of last Sunday’s judging of their 1st Annual Homebrew Competition: Mike Hebert and Jason Dobbelsteyn brewed the winning entry, and will get to brew a full-size batch of their Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer on the HR system with owner/brewer Shane Steeves today, to be released in the near future. Second and third place were awarded to Marc Melanson and Liam Walsh, respectively. Congratulations to the winners, and we’ll have more info on the winning beer soon! Steeves had this to say about the event, “I was pretty happy with the turnout and had a lot of fun organizing it. I’ll definitely open it to all of the Maritimes next year.” Good news to the rest of the region’s homebrewers. We’ll be releasing details on this when we have them.

• And while we’re on the topic on Hammond River, this is as good a time as any to mention that they’ve confirmed that they will be expanding some time in the future, likely to a 15 bbl (~17 hL) brewery (that’s 15-times larger than their current setup). While the expansion is still in the planning stages, we’re looking forward to having Hammond River beers more readily-available to the masses!

• As mentioned last week, Antigonish Townhouse will once again be featuring Double Pumped Fridays today. Today’s bonus beer, joining Terry’s Bitter on the hand pumps, is Terry’s English IPA. A traditional English IPA, with a focus on balanced bitterness and traditional English hop (earthy and floral, rather than citrus or resinous) and malt (caramel and biscuit) aroma and flavours. This light copper-coloured beer weighs in at 4.9% ABV, and 47 calculated IBUs from some Cascade early in the boil for bitterness, and more traditional English hops Fuggles and East Kent Golding used for flavour and aroma. Complementing the traditional recipe is the cask-conditioned character of the IPA (and Bitter), and the Townhouse’s hand pump helps to deliver the a perfect pint. The beer will be tapped at 4pm, and won’t last long!

• And while you visit the Townhouse, perhaps you can sign up for their Camino de Santiago-inspired communal dinner, being held January 27th. Traditional Spanish fare from regions along the Camino and Spanish wine will be served, as well as photos and lively conversation about the walk from several previous trekkers. Tickets are $35, and can be reserved by email or phone (02-863-2248).

Garrison Brewing has announced that they will be releasing a Rum Barrel-aged version of their Spruce Beer next weekend. Their 2013 release aged for 12 months in Ironworks Distillery Rum Barrels, was bottled earlier this month, and will be released Saturday, January 31st. They are holding a special day to commemorate it, Cellar Saturday. Details are a little thin, but we do know that they will be opening up the cellar to allow purchase of some of their bigger beers, worthy of cellaring and storing for months or years. The night before, they are hosting a vertical tasting of Ol’ Fog Burner Barley Wine, where folks can try a few ounces of each of the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015 releases, plus the 2011 Barrel-Aged release. Attendees will also be able to enjoy snacks, and have first dibs on the beers available in the cellar. There are just over a dozen tickets left, so contact Justin at the brewery (902-453-5343 x225) today to secure your spot.

Boxing Rock has announced that they will be celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8th) by teaming up with the Ladies Beer League to brew up something special, with a portion of the proceeds going to two local charities. The base style has not yet been decided, and the brewsters are looking for your input! Vote here for your favourite style. Also a quick note that the LBL has made their memberships available online, in case you haven’t had a chance to attend one of their events. And look for a return of Boxing Rock’s The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale in a few weeks, as they were brewing up another batch of this popular seasonal this week.

• In order to keep up with demand, North Brewing has installed more hardware at their Agricola Street location. They received a 13 hectolitre brite tank this week, and will be taking delivery of a 23 hectolitre fermentor in March. And keep an eye on their Twitter feed for a special one-off cask of cold-brewed coffee-infused Milk Stout to be served at Smiling Goat Coffeehouse & Cafe at Bishop’s Landing later this month.

• There are only a handful of tickets available for the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, March 7th at the Fredericton Convention Centre. Breweries from all over the Maritimes and Quebec and Ontario will be attending and pouring their wares. The festival has also secured discounted rooms at the Crowne Plaza immediately across the street, which will make for a very short trip to the next pub.

• And speaking of beer festivals, tickets for the Full House Craft Beer Fest being held May 16 as part of the NS Craft Beer Week are still available, but the second session (4-7pm) is almost sold out. At $25 for 12 samples (additional samples are just $1), this will be a great opportunity to try almost all of the breweries and brewpubs in Nova Scotia in one place at one time. We expect to have more info on the Week very shortly, and will share the details with you.

rustik magazine wrote a feature on local breweries using local and innovative ingredients in their beers. Check out the article, featuring Tatamagouche Brewing, Bad Apple Brewhouse, and Professor Gordon McOuat of University of King’s College, who teaches a course entitled Brewing Science.
Premier Wines & Spirits is moving! At the end of the month, they will be moving to a new location in the North End of Halifax, at the Sobeys at 2651 Windsor Street (at the corner of North Street). To lighten the amount of inventory they will be moving, they are having a sale on many of their beers, wines, and spirits. We contacted manager Anthony Wight for some details on the sale and move, and he was able to give us the inside scoop: local (Pump House Red six-packs) as well as Canadian (Trou du Diable Grivoise de Noel), American (Anderson Valley Brother David’s Double and Triple) and European (Buxton Special Pale Ale) beers are on sale for 10-20% off. And a bonus for anyone taking part in the moving sale, they will receive a coupon for 15% off at their new location. A new location also means a new name, Rockhead Wine & Beer Market. Premier will be closing Wednesday, January 28th, and RockHead will be open Thursday the 29th. In addition to a more convenient parking setup (ie, they have some!), the new location will be offering growler fills. Their growler station will have four beer on tap at a time, with a focus on Nova Scotia beer. They will be offering their own branded growler, but will also fill other breweries’ 1.89 litre growlers, provided they are clean!
Be sure to track down some tasty and local beers this weekend! Petit-Sault has just released their Amber Ale, Louis XVII, in bottles in NBLC stores across the province. Grimross has been ramping up production to attempt to keep up with the high demand for their beers at their new brewery, and has a couple of old favorites – Pugnatious Porter and Rye IPA – now on tap for pours and growler fills. Picaroons hinted earlier this week that they’ve brewed another test batch of beer on their Brewtique system; they’re keeping details under wraps for now, but their SS Cocoa Beware is available at all four ANBL growler-fill locations this week; as always, check the ANBL list to see what is pouring near you. Tatamagouche Brewing Co’s collaboration with Stubborn Goat GastropubHorns Over Hooves Double IPA, has been spotted in the wild; catch it at the Goat, Bar Stillwell and Lion & Bright.

After a quiet beginning to the year, we are now back to our regular-sized posts, chock full of new beers and other exciting news for our region!

• There’s another new beer now available from Les Brasseurs du Petit-SaultSoeur Catherine, an American IPA. The brewery named the beer after “a headstrong (and somewhat bitter) nun who taught elementary school in Edmundston for four decades”. Hopped to 70 IBUs with lots of Centennial, Chinook, Citra, Columbus, and Galena, it has aromas of strong citrus, hints of black currant and pine, and “a subtle earthiness balanced by a touch of Caramel malt”, according to the brewery. This 7% ABV IPA is now available for growler fills at the brewery, and also at the Dieppe ANBL store this weekend, as part of their growler program!

• Petit-Sault has two other new beers on the horizon as well! Cappuccino Stout (name not finalized) is a “Coffee Milk Stout” brewed with real coffee from no fewer than three Edmundston cafes. Coming in at 5% ABV and 25 IBUs, it has a strong roasted aroma that is “dominated by flavors of freshly-brewed espresso and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Look for this one to be available sometime in late February. The other new beer is a currently-unnamed “Maple Brown Ale”, which will be brewed with “copious amounts” of local maple syrup. This beer will be brewed by an all-women brew team (including Petit-Sault’s own Mychèle Poitras) as part of the Pink Boots Society International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day, and will be launched on Saturday, March 7th, just in time for International Women’s Day on March 8th. It will also be debuting at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival that Saturday night!

• Brewer Terry Piercey of The Antigonish Townhouse has been brewing upstairs above their pub for more than two years, experimenting with different styles and recipes. Terry’s Bitter, a cask-conditioned English Bitter, is their house beer, and absolutely a must-try when visiting the Townhouse. Lately, they have been hosting “Double Pumped Fridays”, when a second house-brewed cask is tapped as well. Recently, Terry’s Stout has made a big splash, selling out in a matter of hours after release. Terry himself was kind enough to share some details of the beer. This Dry Irish Stout is fairly bitter (from the UK Fuggles added at the start of the boil), and high in roasted malt character, finishing at 3.9% ABV. This was the first stout they’ve brewed and served from the handpump, and was a great success! “The pump highlighted the silky mouthfeel and produced a thick creamy head through the tight sparkler. I’m definitely not breaking new ground here but it’s a very pleasant and easy drinking low gravity stout all around.” Those of you who missed it last week, fear not! The Stout will be available today (as well as the Bitter), and will definitely be a regular part of the Double Pumped Friday rotation. But don’t delay, as there is only 20 litres in the cask. For the the next two Fridays, Terry is serving his English IPA, in addition to the Bitter.

Propeller has yet another new beer in their One Hit Wonder series, and it’s available now at both Prop Shop locations! Black Out is an American Black Ale (aka Black IPA) brewed with dark malts (Chocolate, Roast, and Black Prinz) to give “a hint of chocolate and roasty characters” to the medium-light bodied beer, and is hopped with plenty of Warrior, Falconers Flight, Cascade, and Ahtanum to lend lots of piney and resinous hop flavor. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV and 78 IBUs, you’ll be able to find this one on tap at better beer establishments across the city, soon.

Picaroons has a new beer coming out soon, to be released just in time for next weekend’s annual Shivering Songs Festival (Jan 22nd-25th) in Fredericton. SS Cocoa Beware is described by the brewery as a “Dark Chocolate Wheat” beer, and is brewed with Carafa malt and real dark chocolate, giving this 4.8% ABV ale lots of chocolate and roast flavors. They plan on releasing it sometime next week (stay tuned to their Facebook and Twitter pages for exact details when they have them); you’ll be able to find it in Fredericton at the Brewtique for growler fills, and on tap at the Snooty Fox, Isaac’s Way, Wilser’s Room, and several venues during the festival. It will also be on tap outside the city at the Tide & Boar in Moncton (they’re hosting a SS show on Jan 23rd) and Ducky’s in Sackville (in support of the town’s Stereophonic music festival the same weekend).

Garrison Brewing is releasing their Ol’ Fog Burner Barley Wine today! After a brief hiatus in 2014, this favourite winter seasonal for those cold nights around the fire makes its return. The 2015 edition of this English Barleywine weighs in at a whopping 11.5% ABV, so their 500mL bottles are certainly made for sharing (or you ambitious Vikings)! While the rich malt backbone is the star of this copper coloured beer, Nugget, Spalt and Brewers Gold hops keep things balanced at 60 IBUs. Strong, but not sweet. Available today at the brewery store on Marginal Road, it will also be in the private stores shortly. Ol’ Fog Burner’s Glenora-barrel-aged brother (sister?) will sadly not be making an appearance this year, but we’ve been assured that it will be making a return in 2016. This beer is a great candidate for your cellar, for those looking to start, or add to, their beer collection.

• For those of you in Fredericton and Sackville, NB, your local ANBL will be carrying Garrison Brewing’s IPA for growler fills this weekend. Also look for the return of their EKG (East Kent Golding) One Hop IPA in six-packs available now at the brewery, and the NSLC shortly.

• There’s a new beer on tap at Rogues Roost – Winter IPA. Combining a malty sweetness with lots of hop character (coming mostly from the Cascade variety), think of it as a juiced-up version of their regular IPA. It comes in at 6.5% ABV and about 70 IBUs, providing a firm, lingering bitterness in the finish. Hop on down to the brewpub to give it a try before it’s gone!

Lion & Bright is celebrating their One-Year Anniversary tomorrow with a Tap Takeover by a couple of their closest friends: Big Spruce and Boxing Rock. They will be sharing the bar and pouring a half dozen beers each, including some casks and brand new beers. Look for Big Spruce to be pouring Bráthair Éric American Wheat and Coade Word: Snowmaggedon (more on these below), plus a few other new favourites and core brands. Boxing Rock will be pouring U-889, Unobtanium, Many Hands, and more from their core brands, as well as The Vicars Cross DIPA on cask.

• Last night was the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Event, and those in attendance were treated to the launch and return of several beers from over a dozen breweries. Here are a few highlights:

Wrought Iron Brewing Company made its debut at the event, bringing four (FOUR!) beers to delight the thirsty attendees. Tom Waits for No One Stout, Cleveland Steamer California Common, and the first ever commercial Gose beers in our region (Goseface Killah and Gutter Sow), a unique wheat beer style originating in Germany, traditionally brewed with coriander and salt. Their equipment from DME has yet to arrive, so these beers were produced on their pilot system. WIBC will be making its official debut in the Spring; check out the latest from them on their blog.

Big Spruce Brewing released a pair of new beers, including Home Brew Challenge winner Eric Gauthier’s Bráthair Éric American Wheat. Lots of late addition Simcoe and Cascade lend a great citrus flavour; 5.2% ABV and 22 IBUs. Also debuted was Coade Word: Snowmaggedon, the Winter Warmer we described earlier. With rum-soaked cinnamon, vanilla beans and fresh organic ginger, this beer has a great character for cold nights. Only local-sourced whole leaf Nugget and Centennial hops from their own hop farm, as well as Southan Farms in NB and the Alan Doyle farm in NS. Look for both of these beers at the brewery, Cape Breton Farmers’ Market, and at better beer bars now!

Tatamagouche Brewing debuted their Horns Over Hooves Double IPA, the collaboration they brewed with the crew from Stubborn Goat. The beer features Chinook, Centennial and Columbus, and was dry hopped with Azacca, finishing at 8% ABV and 77 IBUs. Look for it on tap at the brewery now, and at the Goat and other better beer bars shortly.

And finally today,

Bar Stillwell is holding another great Tap Takeover for all of you lovebirds out there. On February 14th, they will be welcoming Le Trou du Diable to Barrington St. While Stillwell has been selling excellent TdD beers for over a year, that is just a small selection of the incredible diversity of their offerings. The guys from Shawinigan will be bringing twelve draught beers (only a couple of which have been seen previously on the East Coast), as well as bottles of their excellent barrel-aged beers. There will be three tasting sessions: 12-3, 4-7, and 8-close. Tickets will be $20, which include a special printed glass to take home, and your first pour. Tickets go on sale today, drop by or fire them an email to secure your spot. We’ll see you there!

We hope you have a great weekend! If you’re out drinking around Fredericton, TrailWay Brewing is now available on tap at Vault 29 (joining their regular accounts, King Street Ale House and 540 Kitchen & Bar). This Sunday is the official judging day for the 1st Annual Hammond River Homebrew Competition; we’ll be sure to announce the results in next week’s post! Finally, A.W.O.L. Brewery has announced that they’re now officially incorporated, and are narrowing down the location to open their brewery in the future… great news, and congrats to them!

Good morning, Beer Fans! With the extreme cold weather we’ve had this week, things have slowed down a bit more… but here’s a few tidbits of news to help warm you up a bit!

Gahan House Halifax has a couple of new beers that we’d like to tell you about: This week saw the release of their latest seasonal, Winter IPA. Weighing in at 7.2% ABV, the beer features four different hop varieties, to 85 IBUs. It has a nice caramel and malt sweetness, but is well balanced by the hop bitterness. It joins the Gingerbread Unfiltered Amber Ale, which has been on for a couple of weeks. Brewed with an English yeast, the Amber base was enhanced using a specially-made chai syrup from Gahan’s Historic Properties neighbours, Two If By Sea. Catch them both at the brewery while you can, and the Pleasures and Treasures Maple Whiskey Porter is back on tap as well.

• As the weekend approaches, Railcar Brewing has several more new beers in the pipeline. Two of these are already pouring at the brewery:  their American Amber is a malty-sweet, reddish-colored beer that comes in at a very sessionable 4.5% ABV, and 18 IBUs, while the Irish Dry Stout was brewed in collaboration with Basset Hound Brewing (from homebrewer Justin Tompkins). This low-ABV (4%), roasty ale has a calculated bitterness of about 37 IBUs. Look for several new brews to follow shortly, including The Darkest One, a Black IPA that clocks in at a whopping 9.4% ABV and 55 IBUs, and is hopped with Cascade, Fuggles, and Goldings; Something Brown, a 5.5% ABV and 21 IBUs Brown Ale; and Chocolate Coffee Porter, a strong (8.8% ABV) dark beer which will feature a blend of coffee named River Valley Blend, from Fancy Coffee Services. And nope, that’s not all… Railcar owner/brewer Mitch Biggar plans on re-brewing a batch of his Biggar’s Best Bitter, a 7.5% ABV and 55 IBUs English Bitter, this weekend!

Grimross currently has an online survey active that allows participants to vote on their favorite Grimross beer. Owner/brewer Stephen Dixon is looking for feedback on which beers to brew in the near future to fill up all five available taps at the newly-opened brewery/tasting room; this is also a way to gauge interest for new brews in the future! Hop on over and cast your vote; the survey will be closed by Monday.

• Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing has released the last version in their ongoing series, the R.I.P.(A.) IPA. This time around, the malt bill will be the same as the previous version, but is being hopped more assertively with six different hop varietals, for more bitterness and aroma. Their Chocolat (Chocolate Wheat Ale) is back this week as well, featuring a rum extraction of cocoa and vanilla beans to enhance the aroma and flavour of the dark roast and crystal malts. Both of these beers are available in growlers at the brewery, with a few kegs being sent to better beer establishments around the province.

Paddys Irish Brewpub in Kentville and Wolfville debuted a new beer this weekend. The 542 Belgian IPA features American C-hops ( Centennial and ( Citra) and Belgian yeast for a fruity and tasty beer. The beer finished fairly low in gravity (2.8 Plato or 1.011 Specific Gravity) and 6.9% ABV, for a nice light body, and hefty bitterness, at 65 IBU. Drop by either Pub for a pint today!

If you’re out around Fredericton, you may want to stop by King Street Ale House and/or 540 Kitchen & Bar, as both should have the new TrailWay Session IPA on tap (see last week’s post for more info) by tonight or tomorrow. The brewers at Picaroons are starting to play with the smaller brew system at the Brewtique – they just brewed up a batch of unfiltered Best Bitter that we may see available in the near future. Garrison Brewing’s Black IPA is back again, and is now available in 650 mL bombers. Also, a reminder that tickets for this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival are over 85% sold out, and their NB HopSpiel (February’s outdoor curling/beer event) is filling up fast, so don’t wait much longer to get your tickets/register your team!

Happy New Year, beer lovers, and welcome back! While beer news is a bit slow this week as we all recover from the holidays, there’s still a few things going on in our region to start 2015…

• After a successful launch party on December 20th, TrailWay Brewing already has two new beers brewed and planned for release sometime over the next 2-3 weeks. The first beer is a Session IPA; this hop-forward, easy-drinking ale comes in at a very sessionable 4.4% ABV, and is hopped with lots of Comet and Amarillo. Not to break the hop streak, the second beer is an American IPA, with higher numbers in both ABV and IBUs (6.5% and 60, respectively); this one also uses Comet and Amarillo, along with Centennial hops. Both beers should be on tap in the near future at both TrailWay accounts in Fredericton (King Street Ale House and 540 Kitchen & Bar).

Celtic Knot has brewed up a new beer; Éire is an Irish Red Ale, brewed with Maris Otter, Crystal malt, and some Roasted Barley to give this easy-drinking, malty-sweet beer its classic deep-red color. Hopped with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles to 26 IBUs, the beer should clock in at about 5.3% ABV. Look for it on tap at Celtic Knot accounts in the near future!

Hammond River is expecting to release a new beer within a few weeks, and it’s an interesting one! Named Breakfast Stout, it was brewed with several dark malts, including Chocolate, Black Patent, and Roasted Barley… but that’s not all! Owner/brewer Shane Steeves added lots of Java Moose coffee to the beer, along with cacao nibs. And as a final twist, the beer was “dry-hopped” with Shane’s own home-smoked Applewood bacon! It comes in at about 8% ABV and 60 IBUs; we’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available, so you can plan your breakfasts accordingly! And just a reminder that their Back in Black Oatmeal Stout is available for growler fills this week at the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL; also, check out the Saint John Ale House, as there may still be some of the Too Hop To Handle DIPA on tap, which was recently brewed to higher IBUs, if you’re into bitterness (and who isn’t)!

• For their second higher-ABV beer, now that provincial restrictions have been lifted, PEI Brewing Co. brewed up a Doppelbock shortly before Christmas. This strong, malty and rich lager will be hitting both PEILCC and ANBL shelves sometime in late winter/early spring, giving it enough time to lager at cool temps and let the flavors develop and smooth out. They also plan on barrelling about 12 hL of this beer for release during Oktoberfest in the fall. Expect this deep-red-colored beer to come in above 8% ABV, and around 25 IBUs.

• PEIBC brewed up yet another “new” beer recently: Black Banks, a Cascadian Dark Ale (AKA Black IPA), was originally released as a one-off in cans, and was a blend of their Sydney Street Stout and 1772 IPA. This time, they redid the brew from the ground up, and not as a blend. With a grist containing 2-row, Wheat, Munich, Carastan 35, and Midnight Wheat malts, it was kettle-hopped with Millenium, Amarillo, Cascade, and Columbus to 50 IBUs, and then dry-hopped with Falconer’s Flight. Clocking in at 6.2% ABV, look for this one in cans across PEI and NB by late January.

Rogues Roost currently has a couple of new beers on tap at the brewpub. The first beer, Freedom Stout, is a higher-alcohol stout (8.2% ABV) described as having a “chocolate flavor with hints of rum, raisins and dates”; it is hopped to 50 IBUs. Next up is an all-Citra hopped American Pale Ale; the high quantities of Citra give the beer a strong grapefruit aroma, according to the brewery. It comes in at 5.5% ABV and 40 IBUs. Get down to the brewpub to sample both beers before they’re gone!

• There’s another new beer in the One Hit Wonder series from PropellerFly Time IPA is an unfiltered American IPA that incorporates several hop varieties, including Ahtanum, Cascade, Centennial, and Falconer’s Flight, and is heavily dry-hopped. With a grist containing 2-row, Pilsner, Wheat and Crystal malts, it’s a fairly light-colored beer that “leaves only a hint of residual sugar which accentuates the hop aroma and flavour”, according to the brewery. It weighs in at 6.3% ABV and 65 IBUs, and is currently available for growler fills at the Gottingen and Windmill Prop Shops.

Sea Level released a very-limited version of their High Street Wee Heavy last week. This beer, named High Street Wee Heavier, is a higher-ABV version (8.2%) of their original Scotch Ale, and has also been aged on Bourbon oak chips. It was almost gone, as reported by the brewery, for growlers fills a few days ago, but there may still be some available on tap at the Board Room Game Cafe in Halifax.

• They haven’t been open for very long, but Railcar Brewing is already prepping for expansion! Owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has confirmed that they have ordered four additional 45-gallon fermentors, and are in the process of raising funds to increase the size of the brewery system to a 5-bbl (~580 L) system, hopefully by July. They’re also still busy working on the construction of their 1000 square foot tasting room.

New Brunswick Beer Tours has announced the itinerary for their second beer tour, to be held on Saturday, January 31st from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. This time, the tour will take place entirely within Fredericton, and will feature visits to Grimross, Sunset Heights Meadery, and Red Rover, and will conclude at the King Street Ale House, where the brewers from TrailWay will be on hand to serve up some of their beers and answer questions. The tour bus will depart from the KSAH in the morning, and return at 1:30 pm for lunch (which is included in the ticket price). Beers/meads/ciders will be sampled at each stop, and there will also be samples provided on the bus itself. Tickets are now on sale for $65 each, and can be purchased here.

• A reminder that the Ladies Beer League official membership launch takes place this Wednesday, January 7th at Rockbottom Brewpub, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. No ticket purchase is necessary, just drop in to purchase your official membership ($25 each; list of member benefits are here)! Rockbottom’s new brewmaster, Jake Saunders, brewed up a special firkin just for the membership release: a stout fermented with Madagascar vanilla beans and cacao nibs. If you’re not available to attend on Wednesday, shame on you!… but, luckily, you’ll have the chance to purchase your membership at other LBL events in the future, and on their website by the end of this month. The beer, not so much.

Have a fantastic weekend! If you’re in Saint John, Big Tide Brewing has brewed up their Tidal Wave DIPA again, and it’s currently on tap at the brewpub. The new version of Hoppuccino from Big Spruce is now available; drop by the brewery for a growler fill, or look for it on tap at select accounts in Halifax soon. The brewers at Brasseurs du Petit-Sault have several new beers for release in the near future, including a Coffee Stout, Maple Ale, and IPA… we’ll have more info on those next week when the brewers (and half of the blogging team) are back from vacation!