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 Propeller – Fly 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!