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All posts for the month March, 2015

Look at that, it’s the weekend again already! And as usual, there’s lots going on in the beer world…

• There’s a new beer on the way from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault; coming out in a few days, it honours the departure of the KB882 Lancaster Bomber from Edmundston. The plane, which was responsible for many allied runs to occupied Europe during World War II, is being dismantled and moved to the Alberta Aviation Museum this summer. Lancaster KB882 is a special-edition “Amber Lager” brewed in the style of a Marzen/Oktoberfest. Starting off a bit sweet but finishing dry, it features a bready malt backbone, and is hopped to 23 IBUs with Hallertauer, a German noble variety, providing a light, supporting bitterness. Lagered for 6 weeks, it’s an easy-drinking beer with a sessionable 4.6% ABV. Look for this one to be released this Monday, March 30th, at the brewery for growler fills; it should follow shortly at select ANBL growler stations as well.

YellowBelly Brewery has released their Unite Red Ale, brewed as part of the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. The guidelines from the Pink Boots Society suggested a 4.5% Red Ale with 50 IBUs using Willamette, but creative license was encouraged. To achieve these targets, Maris Otter and Extra Dark Crystal were used in the mash, along with a bit of Briess Midnight Wheat™ for colour. As wheat has no husk, there is no astringency or grain-based bitterness that may arise from other dark roasted cereals. To increase the hop bitterness level, higher alpha acid Mosaic hop was used early in the boil, to accompany the lower AA Willamette (with Mosaic also being used in the dry-hop). The resultant aroma is reminiscent of fruit punch, with notes of passionfruit and lychee up front, and lingering pink grapefruit. Overall, the beer tastes like more! The brewday report from Brewmaster Liam McKenna describes the many enthusiastic participants enjoying a beer brunch, taking turns in the brewhouse during the process, and even having a chance to do a hop drop. Money was raised for the Newfoundland Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, and there are already plans to make this an annual event. The Unite Red Ale is on tap now at the brewery, with bottles coming to the brewery and NLC early next week. And a quick note that the next batch of YellowBelly Pale Ale, expected to hit the taps on Wednesday, also incorporates Mosaic for late- and dry-hopping, as a treat for the Island’s fruit juicy hop lovers.

Picaroons has released another one-off beer featuring an interesting ingredient: kelp! When approached by Dr. Thierry Chopin of UNB-SJ about brewing a beer featuring the brown algae, the Picaroons staff happily took on the challenge. Brewed with organic sugar kelp harvested off the shores near St. George, Kelp on the Way also includes a “strong malt backbone” of Golden Promise, Dark Crystal, Roasted, and Smoked malts. Hopped with Fuggles and Goldings to 22 IBUs to help balance the sweetness, this 5.8% ABV beer is described by the brewery as dark, malty and smokey. It was released earlier this week, exclusively at the Brewtique for growler fills; if there’s still any left, get down there to give it a try before it’s all gone!

• There’s Big things brewing at Big Spruce! Yesterday was the brewday for their first ever lager, and they chose a special style, a Maibock. And if that wasn’t enough, they added the zest of 40 lemons to the boil, and will add the same during conditioning. The grist is primarily Pilsner malt, with Munich added for colour and flavour. The hops used included Magnum in the first wort, some Big Spruce-grown Galena for bittering and Challenger for flavour, for an estimated total 35 IBUs. After fermentation is complete (done using a Bavarian lager yeast), the beer will lager for 4-6 weeks, and be released during NS Craft Beer Week, May 8-17.

• In more Big Spruce news, they teased the upcoming brewing and release of a brand new beer coming in the summer. Based on notes from Alexander Graham Bell, they will be releasing a sour raspberry wheat ale. Bell spent more than 30 years living in Baddeck, and a Parks Canada National Historic Site in Baddeck bears his name. His notes describe an interesting tart drink with raspberries, and Big Spruce was approached to produce something in that same vein. The sour character of the brew will be accomplished using the kettle souring technique, using Lactobacillus to ferment the wort and give a tart and acidic character not available from brewer’s yeast. We will have more on this beer, which will be released in coordination with The Bells of Baddeck, a musical drama running during the month of July.

• And finally in Big Spruce news, their Island Conspiracy, brewed with BarNone Brewing’s Don Campbell, is now available. This Double IPA, weighing in at 8% ABV and 97 IBUs (bittered with Magnum, flavoured with Bravo, Citra and Cascade, with these last two hops also used in aromatic additions) hit the taps at Stillwell last night, and is available on tap today at the brewery today for growler fills. Look for it on tap elsewhere in fine bars across the province, and rumour has it that BarNone may brew it at their brewery for release in PEI at some point.

• While Railcar Brewing‘s opening at their new location had been slightly delayed to around April 1st, they’re still busy brewing new beer. The latest one-off is Smoked Maple Porter, an 8%ABV dark ale with a grist consisting of several malts: 2-row, Chocolate, Black, Brown, Carafoam, Crystal 120 L, and, of course, Smoked. Hopped with Fuggles and Centennial to 22 IBUs, the beer also had 2 L of maple syrup added while in the primary fermentor. Look for this one to be on tap at the new 6-tap tasting room once it opens in the hopefully-near future. And owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has a lot of new beers planned, including an Orange Cranberry Rye, Chipotle Chaga Porter, and an 8-hop version of their Trainwreck IPA; we’ll be sure to keep you updated as these beers are brewed and released. In the meantime, the brewery itself will be open tomorrow-on for growler fills of their Artisan Brown, during regular hours (Mon-Sat noon – 10 pm, Sun noon – 5 pm).

Meander River Farm and Brewery is having a special release this weekend, their first Cider! A blend of Cortland, McIntosh, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples have gone in to this first batch of cider, finishing at 6.5% ABV. Citrus and apple notes are predominant in the cider. This is a very limited release, with only 200 litres available; it is expected to sell out this weekend at the Brewery (though it will make a brief appearance on tap in Halifax, as well). Going forward, they anticipate making cider a part of their rotating offerings, with Meander River’s own fruits and wild apples possibly making it into the recipes.

• This is a busy weekend at Meander River, as it is also the return of their Smokey Chipotle Porter, first released in October 2014. The malt bill features Cherrywood Smoked Malt, along with darker kilned malts for a smoke and roast/chocolate character. Chipotle peppers were added late in the fermentation for an additional smoke character, as well as a spicy punch and pepper flavour. The peppers were left in the beer longer this time for a bit more of a kick. They also announced that they have brought in two additional conditioning tanks, allowing them to brew more often, and effectively triple capacity to 450 hectolitres per year.

• Summer is still a few months away (and let’s be honest, it feels even longer than that), but there’s some good news for beer fans living in Fredericton for the season: those behind the recently-redefined James Joyce Pub are planning a summer craft beer garden at the Lighthouse on the Green downtown. Right now, plans are to have 3 taps pouring – two Picaroons, and one NB-brewery rotating tap – along with a BBQ on the deck for food purchases. Details are still being ironed out, but expect the beer garden to open with limited hours around mid-June, and then all day (11 am – 10 pm) in July and August. We’ll keep you updated on its progress; be sure to follow the Facebook link for the Lighthouse above, as all updates/beer notices/etc. will flow through there.

• Calling all Islanders… PEI’s newest craft brewery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, needs your help! In preparation for their grand opening later this spring, they’re looking to include something “different” in each bottle when they begin packaging their beers: “Islandisms” (“Islanderisms?”) under every cap! They’re asking for your assistance; any PEI-specific phrases, quotes, jokes, etc. you can think of are fair-game, as long as they’re relatively clean! You can suggest as many as you like via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; just be sure to include the hashtag #UnderTheCap. The best 250 will garner laughter and fame in future bottles of Upstreet beer! Get cracking, you have until next Friday to submit your ideas.

• Congratulations are in order to Sunset Heights Meadery, producers of the Pollen Angels line of sparkling meads available in the Fredericton area. Their Bee Mine chocolate and cherry expression took home a Silver medal in the Session Mead – Sweet category at the 2015 Mazer Cup. They have celebrated the win by releasing a limited number of bottles to several restaurants and bars in the area (The Grad House at UNB, Isaac’s Way, Relish, James Joyce Pub, Wolastoq Wharf, and McGinnis Landing). Available by the glass only,

• Tickets go on sale today for Sunset Heights’ first Still Mead release, scheduled for the afternoon of April 11th. The event will feature Mead pairing with chocolate and cheese, and first availability to buy one of their four new still meads released at that time. Each attendee is able to purchase up to two cases, and will have first access to tickets to the upcoming Summer and subsequent release and tasting events. Be sure to check their Twitter feed to get first crack at the tickets when they go on sale at noon, as they are limited to only 36!

Tom’s Little Havana announced earlier this week that they will be hosting their first Tap Takeover, and it will be by perennial favourite Bad Apple Brewhouse. Over four days, beginning May 14th, there will be five different BAB beers on tap, with a special cask being released each day. No tickets required for the event, just show up to enjoy great beer and food.

Rockbottom Brewpub has released their newest beer, Freudian Slip Vienna Lager. A light and crisp golden lager, it features toasted malt and spicy and herbal noble hop characters. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs.

Boxing Rock has brought back their very popular La Rive du Sud, first released in May 2014. This Biere de Garde style beer is a malty, lagered beer (though initially fermented with an ale yeast), with origins in France, where the summer months were too hot for brewing, so beer was brewed and stored in the cellar during the cooler months to enjoy once the weather warmed. It features light base malts and dark caramelized sugar, and is 7.5% ABV. Available at the brewery now in bottles and growler fills, bottles will be available this weekend in Halifax (and growlers at the Seaport Market), and on tap at select bars soon. And their The Next Chapter Rye IPA has finally hit store shelves this week, and is moving fast. Check here for availability at your local ANBL.

Hammond River’s Switchback Brown Ale is being featured at the ANBL Growler fill program this week. This is the first time in a while that Hammond River has brewed the hoppy American Brown; the same recipe has been used, since the beer was so well-received during its first run. Head to the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL to pick up a growler, as the beer will be available exclusively at this location. And they’ve recently brewed the last batch for this season of their Breakfast Stout; this brew features the Java Moose coffee, oats, cacao nibs, and home-smoked bacon as before, along with a few eggs being added this time (to the mash) to make your “breakfast” complete! Finally, look for their Hawaiian Pale Ale (brewed with fresh pineapples) to be available again soon (it will be debuting for the season at this year’s Saint John Beer Fest on April 11th).

Enjoy your weekend! Garrison has a new one-off beer, Cranberry Hibiscus Wit, available at the brewery for growler fills; tart and sessionable at 4% ABV. Big Tide has an unfiltered version of their Seaworthy IPA (featuring Nugget and Cascade hops) on tap at the brewpub. Shiretown’s Black Currant Wheat is back, available for growlers fills at the brewery, and on tap at the Heron’s Nest Pub. And the new batch of TrailWay Brewing‘s Session IPA is now available at King Street Ale House, James Joyce, and at their newest account, Brewbakers.

Brewnosers' Homebrew Competition Poster
The Brewnosers Homebrew and Beer Appreciation Club is hosting an Amateur Brewers Beer Competition May 23-25, 2015. While the Maritimes has seen an explosion of commercial breweries opening in recent memory, the homebrewing community has seen similar growth. A combination of new beer drinkers, those realizing not all beer is “fizzy yellow lager” and looking for beer with more taste, and those who enjoy the DIY culture and want to add beer to their repertoire are just a few of the groups to thank for this explosion. As Craft Beer grows, so does the Homebrewing community, and vice versa, as many commercial brewers start out as homebrewers looking to turn their passion into a career.
While getting comments on homebrew from family and friends is nice, it can be difficult to receive impartial feedback, especially if the beer is free and plentiful. Enter homebrew competitions, where homebrewers can receive honest feedback from judges drinking their beer blind, without any preconceived notions. Local breweries have supported this idea by giving homebrewers an opportunity to do that for years (Garrison Brewing, Big SpruceGahan House Charlottetown, and Hammond River to name a few), but those competitions are usually restricted to one style, as the winning brew will be turned into a commercial beer. With 23 categories and more than 80 sub-categories recognized by the BJCP, many homebrewers brew outside of these single styles.
This is where homebrew clubs come in! For more than 30 years, Canadian amateur/homebrew clubs have been holding competitions to allow entrants to receive honest feedback on their brews, earn some bragging rights, and maybe some cool prizes at the same time. Annual club competitions are hosted in Vancouver, CalgarySaskatchewan, Montreal, and many cities in between. In Halifax, the Brewnosers have previously hosted All About Ales in 1999, a combination homebrew competition and conference at John Shippey’s Brewing Company and Rogues Roost, but have not hosted an annual competition until now. Thanks to passionate Brewnosers members willing to donate their time to organize and judge the competition, Canada’s East Coast will become an integral part of the homebrew competition circuit. One driving force behind the renewed interest is Jeff Pinhey, one of the original Brewnosers members when the group formed in 1986. As a National ranked BJCP judge, he has lead study groups and beer seminars in our region, including guidance and study assistance for a crop of a dozen new BJCP judges in 2013. The Beer Judge Certification Program is an international non-profit organization encouraging knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of beer, by offering a standardized method for evaluation, ranking, and giving feedback. There are more than 15 BJCP judges in our region, who have taken both knowledge- and tasting-exams, and most of them will be taking part as judges (or participants) in this homebrew competition.
Registration for the Inaugural Brewnosers Homebrew Competition is now open, and accepting entries from amateur brewers from across the country. All BJCP beer styles are welcome, and will be evaluated by a team of BJCP-certified and industry-member judges. As the name implies, only beer brewed by amateur brewers, on non-commercial systems may enter (commercial brewers can/should enter the CBAs, whose registration ends April 1st). The competition is also registered as part of the Brewer of the Year, which tracks amateur brewing competitions across Canada. All entrants will receive honest feedback on their entries by means of scoresheets, and the top entries in each category may be eligible for prizes from competition sponsors. The Best of Show winning brewer will have the opportunity to work with Best Case Beer to produce a DIY Craft Beer kit from their winning beer, to be sold at homebrew shops across Canada. Other sponsors, as of publishing time, include Bad Apple BrewhouseBig Spruce Brewing, Breton Brewing, FastRack, Garrison Brewing, Ladies Beer LeagueSchoolhouse Brewery, Wrought Iron Brewing, and we here at the ACBB, with more groups expected to assist with category prizes and other sponsorship.
The deadline for registration is May 15 at 5pm, and must be done online at www.brewnosers.org/competition. Samples (2 bottles of each entry) may be dropped off at any Noble Grape (in the HRM and in Coldbrook and Fredericton, with the Burnside location being the central point for accepting mailed entries) before the same deadline. Costs are $7 per entry (and $5 for subsequent, via online payment only), and the number of entries is being capped at one per sub-category and 15 total per entrant, and 325 overall. As of publishing time, there are more than 150 entries registered, from brewers across the country.
If you are interested in supporting the competition by means of sponsoring a category, or donating funds, merchandise or time towards the prizes and logistics of the competition, please contact Competition Coordinator Andrew Newton. The goal of the organizers is to have the competition break even, while providing the entrants, judges, and supporters a valuable and worthwhile event.

Welcome to the first day of spring! How about some beer news to read while you sit back and watch all of the snow melt away today?

Hammond River will be brewing a brand new beer early next week to celebrate the return of spring. A Rye IPA, the grist will consist of 2-row, Chocolate and Crystal malts, and roughly 15% rye malt to provide some spicy notes to the beer. Hopped entirely with the El Dorado variety, expect citrus and fruity qualities in the aroma and flavors, along with the classic orange-candy character expected from this hop. The beer should come in at around 55 IBUs and 6.5% ABV. It’s currently unnamed; with the way this weather has been lately, we’d like to suggest (in homage to Hammond River’s recent Winter Warmer): F@#K Spring! Look for this beer to be released at next month’s Saint John Beer Fest.

• There’s been a new beer from TrailWay Brewing on tap at the King Street Ale HouseWest Coast Wheat – to get you in the summer mood. Brewed with warmer days in mind, it involves a grist of equal parts 2-row and Wheat malt, with a touch of light Crystal thrown in as well. Hopped to 35 IBUs with Cascade and Chinook, this light, easy-drinking beer (~4.5% ABV) won’t be around much longer (they’re on their last keg already), but no worries… Jake and Dan have confirmed that they will be brewing more in the future! In the meantime, get down to the KSAH if you’d like to try the first iteration of this beer.

• In other TrailWay news, they’ve brewed up another version of their popular Session IPA. This time around, they’ve upped the late hopping (for more flavor and aroma) with Amarillo, Comet and Cascade, and the ABV is slightly higher, at 4.5% ABV. Still a hoppy, sessionable ale, look for this one on tap by next weekend. And they’re brewing their first Black IPA this weekend; look for more info on that one, soon!

• The votes have been counted for the Best of the Fest from the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival two weeks ago, and the winner is… Hammond River Brewing! The People’s Choice awards were also announced: Fredericton’s own TrailWay Brewing came in first, with Hammond River and Boxing Rock following very closely behind in second and third place, respectively. Congratulations to the winners… with the real winners being us festival attendees, who had so many great beers available to them in one room!

• Speaking of Boxing Rock, they brewed up the Cinnamon Challenge Robust Porter on the weekend. Unfortunately, due to the nasty weather in Nova Scotia, the brewing crew from the Ladies Beer League were unable to make the trek. However, the boys from Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing were in town for some stick time on their DME system, and pitched in with the brewday. Look for the beer to be released in early April. And to all of you Boxing Rock fans living in New Brunswick, The Next Chapter Rye IPA will be on the shelves early next week! Check the ANBL site for availability.

Sea Level Brewing has released a second version of their El Diablo Rojo DIPA this week. This version is a slight departure from the previous, with the Australian hop Ella being used throughout the brew (including a double-dose of dry-hopping!). A different yeast was also chosen: a pitch of Ringwood from the fine folks at Propeller. The beer weighs in at 7.666% ABV, and 88 IBUs, and is available in growlers and cans at the Port Williams brewery, and on tap at the Port Pub. The cans will be available later next week at the HRM private stores (they currently have the previous version released a few weeks ago, featuring the New Zealand hop Waimea).

• Speaking of Sea Level, they will be doing a Tap Takeover at the Board Room Game Cafe from March 25-28. They will be pouring seven different Sea Level beers, including this newest batch of El Diablo Rojo, Blooberry Pail Ale, Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Blue Heron ESB, Planters Pale Ale, Rojo Mojo Red Ale, and Port in the Storm Porter.

• Back in early January, we reported that PEI Brewing Co. had brewed up their second “big” beer, a Doppelbock, once the PEI liquor laws had allowed the release of beers  with an ABV higher than 6.5%. The idea was to lager the beer for several months to allow the flavors to smooth out (typical – and recommended – for this style of beer). Well, the initial release of the beer is now here – Re-Animator is now on tap at the brewery and Gahan House Pub in Charlottetown (for both pints and growlers), and has been spotted at Halifax’s Stillwell. Brewed with 2-row, Pale, and Munich malts, along with two varieties of CaraMunich to give the beer its deep red color and “sweet malt aromas”, it has a very low bitterness (25 IBUs from the Tettnang varietal), and a little warmth from the high alcohol (8.2% ABV). Fear not if you are not able to make it to have it on tap, as most of the batch has been canned, and will be released in the first week of April at the brewery and into the PEILCC. We have also heard a rumour that some of the batch was barrel-aged; we’ll be sure to share when that is released.

• The Nook and Cranny in Truro is adding on-site beer to their location! Beginning in May, they will be installing a SmartBrew system from DME and Brian Watson in the Nook, which will allow them to sell their own beer on tap and in growlers. The compact footprint of the four 5 BBL (~600 litre) fermenters will allow them to offer three of their own brews, to complement the other local craft beers they currently pour (including Garrison, Propeller, Tatamagouche, Hell Bay and Uncle Leo’s). While they have not decided on the exact recipes yet, they intend on keeping a light, crisp beer, and a second dark beer on permanently, with a third being a wheat beer with local fruit added. Suppliers for strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, watermelon and apples have already been secured, to ensure this is a versatile and interesting option for local craft beer drinkers. We will be sure to share more details closer to their launch date. Cheers!

• The Beerthief Newfoundland Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is holding a tasting of Evil Twin Beer on Wednesday, March 25th at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Visitors will be greeted with a bottle or half pint of QV beer, and then 3-4 ounces each of Low Life, Freudian Slip, I Love You with my Stout, and Molotov Cocktail. Tickets are $25, and can be secured by emailing Tom Beckett.

• In conjunction with the annual conference of the Canadian Archaeology Association, the Artisanal and Craft Beer Club will also host a tasting of a locally brewed Midas Touch under the direction of Dr. Patrick McGovern on Saturday, May 2. The tasting will start at 7:00 pm. We will share more details on the tasting and beer when available.

• There are several new beers on at the Gahan House Halifax that are worth checking out! Low Ryder IPA is a rye IPA that was dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace hops, for a unique combination of rye spiciness and Sorachi Ace lemon aroma and flavour. This beer weighs in at 6.8% ABV and 73 IBUs. Ahnold Schwartz Bier is, you guessed it, a Schwarzbier, a dark German lager. This 4.9% ABV and 36 IBU beer is clean and easy drinking, with some nice milk chocolate and roast characteristics that are crowd pleasers. And being released this afternoon is an English IPA, weighing in at 5.8% and 55 IBUs. This brew was dry-hopped with the Falconers Flight hop blend, for a bit of tropical and citrus aroma. And if you get down early today, you may also be able to enjoy the last pints of For Bitter Or Worse ESB (5% ABV), before it runs out. As always, their beer can be enjoyed at the bar, and you can then take away a growler fill to enjoy after yet another round of shovelling.

Bulwark Cider is releasing a Hopped Cider! While a new phenomenon in our region, dry-hopped ciders are very popular in the Pacific Northwest. Chinook, Cascade, Comet, and Hersbruker were used for this particular blend, for a lovely citrus aroma and flavour, and offer something different than in beer. On tap only at a few spots now (we’ve spotted it at Bar Stillwell), it will also be making it into bottles at the NSLC shortly. And Bulwark Blush is now available to licensees in 355 ml bottles, so be sure to ask for this fruit blend cider at your favourite restaurant the next time you visit.

We’re sure you don’t need reminding, but make sure to enjoy some tasty, local craft beer this weekend! The new El Dorado IPA from Celtic Knot, Terminus,  has been kegged and delivered to the Tide & Boar in Moncton, so look for that one to start flowing soon (if it hasn’t already). And the Golden Ale, Colonel Tuckers, brewed by Hammond River for UNB-SJ’s 50th anniversary was unveiled last night at Beaverbrook House; look for it on tap at HR’s Saint John accounts next week. And the brewery tanks destined for Wrought Iron Brewing Company have been delivered, despite the 10-foot snowbanks lining Robie Street; great news!

Happy Friday, folks! It was another busy week in Atlantic Canada Beer News, with the announcement of new breweries, beers, and events. Here’s what you need to know:

• This year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival was last Saturday, and as usual, a terrific time was had by all! Almost 200 beers, ciders and mead were pouring that night, and more than half of them were brewed right here in Atlantic Canada! Here’s some highlights from what was new from our region:

TrailWay Brewing had three new beers for the festival: Orbit Pale Ale is their regular-release 5.5% ABV Primetime APA hopped exclusively with the Orbit varietal, from New Zealand. Hugh John Hops, a DIPA, was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row and Munich malts, to let the hops shine. Weighing in at 7.3% and ~100 IBUs, the Cascade, Comet, and Apollo hops used provide lots of citrus and fruity characters, with a dry finish. It should be on tap now at 540 Kitchen & Bar, if you want to try it/have it again. Finally, Double-Double, a 6.5% ABV “Imperial Coffee Milk Stout”, features lots of roasted malt, lactose powder, and coffee from local Whitney Coffee Company; it also should be available soon at James Joyce Irish Pub.

The Next Chapter, the collaboration beer brewed by Boxing Rock and former Picaroons head brewer Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks, was a huge hit! This 6.3% ABV Rye IPA was brewed with New Brunswick-grown malt, and highly hopped with Columbus, Mosaic and Simcoe. If you didn’t get to try it, good news – it’s still on tap at the King Street Ale House, and will be released at select ANBL stores very soon (if our sources are correct) in 650 mL bottles. Don’t miss out on this NB-release-only beer! More on The Next Chapter in our previous post here.

Also officially launched at the Fest was Bad Apple Brewing’s Mosaic Double IPA. As mentioned previously, all proceeds of this beer will go towards ensuring any and all children will be able to attend the Down Syndrome Camp at Camp Brigadoon June 13-15. For those that want another taste of this beer (or try it for the first time), it is currently available at the brewery in Somerset in growlers and bottles, and will be on tap early next week at Tom’s Little Havana, Lion & BrightStillwell, and Stubborn Goat.

Big Spruce debuted their newest beer, UnRYEvaled Chocolate Rye IPA. A dark brown, slightly spicy ale that was heavily hopped with Simcoe, Citra and Amarillo, it exhibited lots of citrus and pine in both the aroma and flavour, as promised! More on this beer from our write-up a few weeks ago. It should be available now at the brewery for growler fills, as well as at the Antigonish Winter Farmers’ Market tomorrow. Look for it on tap at better beer bars/restaurants throughout Nova Scotia, too.

Big Tide brought their new Bavarian Lager, Bucht Bock. Brewed with 2-row and CaraMunich malts, this smooth, malty lager was lightly hopped with Hallertauer Tradition, a German-grown variety, to 25 IBUs. Coming in at a fairly-hefty 7% ABV, this beer will likely not be pouring at the brewpub, but will be making an appearance at next month’s Saint John Beer Fest.

While BarNone had their three staples on tap (Summer Sessions, Pale Ale, and IPA), they also brought their brand new American Wheat. Brewed-to-style with a good portion of Wheat malt, this light-coloured and easy-drinking ale clocks in at 5.5% ABV, and is hopped a little heavier than normal for this style, to about 30 IBUs.

Over $10,000 was raised from ticket sales and the FCBF Grunter Auction for the Canadian Diabetes Association; also, over $1000 was raised through coat check tips for the Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society.

For those of us who attended the fest, remember to cast your vote for Best of the Fest. Check your inbox for an email from Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (via Eventbrite), entitled “Thank You from Fredericton Craft Beer Festival 2015” for your unique link. Voting ends Sunday, so don’t delay!

And great news for New Brunswick (and other Maritime province) beer fans, next year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival will be Fredericton Craft Beer Week! The tentative dates are March 9-13, with Beer Dinners, guided tastings, brunches, and other events all around Fredericton & vicinity joining the Saturday evening Festival. Of course, we’ll be sharing details once they are available, but best to mark your calendar now!

• Speaking of New Brunswick beer events, the next NB Beer Tour has been announced: a May 16-17 overnight bus trip to Carleton-sur-Mer, QC’s brewery, Le Naufrageur! The bus leaves from the King Street Ale House in the morning, and then stops for lunch, sampling, and a brewery tour (all included in your ticket price) at Shiretown Beer in Charlo. The bus then continues on to Carleton, where folks can check into their hotel (just a 10 minute walk away from the brewery), and then meet at Le Naufrageur for more sampling, a brewery tour, and supper with the Brew Crew (all included). After an optional trip to picturesque Mont Saint-Joseph to watch the sunset, it’s back to the brewery for a concert (Dan Livingstone and The Griffintown Jug Addicts, tickets included) and a few more drinks. Leaving Carleton Sunday morning, with a lunch stop in Miramichi, will have folks back at the Ale House before 4pm. Tickets are $195 and $220 (quad and dbl occupancy, respectively), and are available online now.

• In more TrailWay news, beer drinkers in Fredericton can expect to see another one-hop APA available through the city this weekend. Apollo Pale Ale is hopped with, you guessed it, the Apollo varietal (known for its orangey/resiny qualities); like their other APAs, it weighs in at 5.5% ABV. You should be able to find this one on tap now/soon at TrailWay’s newest account, The Blue Door. And they’ve got some new beers in the works, hopefully for next week… a new IPA, and their first Black IPA! We’ll have more info on these beers for you next Friday. And it looks like they’re beginning to experiment with casks, too, so expect more news on that end as well!

• Tonight, Picaroons is once again holding a Tap Takeover at Plan b Lounge in Moncton, starting at 7 pm. All six taps will feature Picaroons beers, with one acting as a rotating “Stout” tap, where different versions of their Timber Hog will be pouring throughout the night, including one dry-hopped with Willamette hops, one infused with coffee, one with ginger, and a Chocolate Vanilla version. There’s no cover, and there will be live music from Force Fields and Heavy Doobie as well. The special Timber Hog varieties will also be available at the Picaroons Brewtique in Fredericton, beginning at 4pm.

Granite Brewery in Halifax has brought back their very popular India Pale Ale for the first time in a couple of years. It is a lighter IPA, weighing in at 5.5% ABV. The beer features a lot of Cascade and East Kent Golding hops for a solid bitterness, but is not over-the-top hoppy. It will be a staple in the Stairs Street Beer Store when it is released early next week, and at a few specialty tap locations around HRM for the Spring.

Pump House has re-released their Red Leaf Lager seasonal. Featuring a nutty malt character from a similar malt bill to their Fire Chief Red Ale but brewed using a lager yeast, this 5.0% ABV beer features a medium bitterness and is dry-hopped with whole leaf hops for additional aroma. It is available at all four ANBL Growler locations this weekend, and will be available at select bars and restaurants in NB, NS and PEI.

Garrison Brewing has released a brand new beer to their line-up, In Session ISA (India Session Ale). Though the beer is lower alcohol at 4.4%, there is still plenty of citrus and tropical fruit hop flavour and aroma packed into the small package, thanks to lots of El Dorado, Belma, and Crystal hops. The lighter body and lower alcohol will make this a truly sessionable beer. Look for it at the brewery and private beer stores now, and at the NSLC and on tap at favourite beer bars shortly.

Propeller Brewing has released the latest in their One-Hit Wonder series, Oatmeal Stout. With a hint of oats on the nose to complement the roast character, this 5.8% ABV beer is pitch black, not too bitter, and well balanced. 2 Row, Wheat, Chocolate, Oats, Black Prinz and Roast Malts make up the grain bill, with Willamette and Cascade hops delivering 29 IBUs. As with all of the OHW brews, the best place to buy the beer is in growlers at both the Gottingen St and Windmill Rd locations, with a few kegs available on tap around Halifax.

• Attention Homebrewers: The Brewnosers are hosting their first open homebrew competition! Open to all Canadian Homebrewers, and accepting all BJCP beer styles, this competition will also be a part of the Canadian Amateur Brewer of the Year circuit. Registration is now open, and beer samples must be sent/dropped off at the Noble Grape in Burnside before May 15th, with the judging taking place the next weekend.

• More Signature Events have been announced for May’s Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia NS Craft Beer Week. We’ll have full details shortly, but in the meantime, here are the important dates:

MAY 8 – Beer & Beethoven, 7pm at Halifax Forum Multipurpose Centre. The kick-off event for the Week, and Symphony NS fundraiser.
MAY 9 – Open Brewery Day, all day. All member breweries will be open for tours, tastings, and other events.
MAY 10 – The 2015 Stillwell Open, 12pm-2am at Stillwell (tickets sold out). Backyard BBQ Beer Tasting, served blind to attendees, with the best beer voted upon by the customers.
MAY 13 – Beer Cocktail Face-Off, 7pm at Auction House. Bartenders will be creating their best Beer Cocktails, with live music accompaniment.
MAY 14 – The Science of Beer, 6-9pm at Discovery Centre. A look at the science behind the design, creation, and enjoyment of our favourite beverage. Plus 12 beers from 6 local breweries.
MAY 15 – Brews Cruise. Cruise the Halifax harbour on the Tall Ship Silva, while enjoying NS Craft Beer. Tickets available at Murphy’s Company Store.
MAY 15 – Race the Kegs, 7pm, Gahan House. Collaboration brews from the North and South of the province will race to Halifax by sail, to be tapped at this friendly competition.
MAY 16 – Full House Beer Fest, 12-3pm (tickets here) & 4-7pm (tickets sold out), Olympic Community Centre. All CBANS members together under one roof, for the first time ever.
MAY 17 – Brewers Brunch, 11am-2pm, Stubborn Goat. A hearty brunch buffet and CBANS member beers will help to cure any hangover you might have from the previous days’ imbibing.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend! A reminder that tickets are still available for the Moncton Beer League New Brunswick Craft Beer Dinner at Legends Restaurant (Moncton Coliseum) March 21st, 6-11pm. After being closed for two weeks for renovations, Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Sea Food Restaurant and Brew Pub re-opened this week, just in time for Tuesday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Speaking of which, St. John’s Yellowbelly Brewpub has released Paddy’s Pale Ale this week (details here), with bottles at the brewery and NLC available this weekend. Piez Bistro (Cole Harbour) is celebrating Pi Day Saturday with Pizza and Craft Beer pairing all day. Look for Boxing Rock, Garrison, North and Tatamagouche beers to be paired with their creations. Petit-Sault’s Phémie-la-Bootlegger, the 4.6% Maple Brown Ale brewed as part of the Pink Boots International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day initiative, is on at the ANBL Growler program province-wide this weekend. The Coast’s annual Beer Guide was released this week… grab it for articles on three upcoming HRM breweries: Spindrift, Unfiltered, and Wrought IronAngeline MacLennan (the Maritimes’ only Certified Cicerone); Homebrewer Rob Shortt’s Basement Brewery, and much more.

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Prince Edward Island will soon be increasing its production of craft beer, as Upstreet Craft Brewing has announced plans to open this Summer in downtown Charlottetown. Started by friends Mitch Cobb, Michael Hogan, and Joey Seaman, the brewery and tasting room will be located at 41 Allen St. All three were nice enough to provide a bit of background on themselves, and fill us in on the roles they will play in the brewery:

Mitch Cobb: Mitch has an MBA from UPEI and worked in the Business Administration Program at Holland College before coming on at Upstreet full-time. While at Holland College, he taught marketing and entrepreneurship, and he comes from an entrepreneurial background. Mitch is definitely a big picture kind of guy and will play a major part in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company (keeping Joey and Mike in-line).

Mike Hogan (aka Hogie): Mike is a computer engineer by trade. He graduated from Dalhousie University in 2004; he also holds a diploma in audio engineering. His career path has taken many twists and turns through industries such as: veterinary software, offshore weather forecasting, tv/film post-production, and even Swiss Chalet delivery. The only constant has been a combination of building, tinkering and mad science — fortunately these are skills that can and will be applied to brewing, too.

Joey Seaman: Joey has worked in sales, marketing, business development and management roles with two start-up companies. He and his wife Suzanne are also involved in running Village Pottery, which is a 40-year-old family business and the longest running pottery shop in PEI. Joey is one of those strange types that just loves being an entrepreneur, seeing opportunities and making them happen. He’s also a big beer fan and has been a homebrewer for the past three years.

Last month, we exchanged emails with head brewer Hogie to get a bit of background on his brewing history, and what he and the others have planned for Upstreet when they open. We’re happy to share that information, now!

ACBB: Tell me a little about your homebrewing history.

I’ve been homebrewing for several years now. It’s safe to say I’ve done over a hundred batches by now, in three provinces. I won’t say they’ve all been exceptional, but not a drop was ever poured down the drain!

My friend Aaron was the first of our group to start making his own beer and wine. I think he was making the partial extract kits right away. I recall creating quite a mess in his kitchen with the three small pots on the stove required to boil all of the wort. I also shared a couple batches with another friend, Tim, in Halifax. He’s a hophead, and was into dry-hopping Festabrew kits before he started brewing his own all-grain IPAs.

Shortly after moving to St. John’s in 2009, I purchased my own homebrewing equipment and was making beer with liquid extract canned kits, by boiling them and adding my own hops. One of the earliest batches was a honey-brown with Fuggles. I was mostly satisfied with the end result, but knew that I wanted to have more control over the final flavours. That Christmas, I received Charlie Papazian’s The Joy Of Homebrewing and couldn’t put it down once I started reading about all-grain brewing and alpha-amylase. A couple of weeks later, I was at Home Depot, buying the hardware for my cooler mash tun, while a bag of barley and wheat malt sat in the car, waiting to become my first all-grain Hefeweizen. In similar fashion to Charlie Papazian’s first batch, by the end of the day the kitchen was an absolute disaster and every pot and utensil we owned was dirty. The efficiency was low but the satisfaction was high. I’ve come a long way since then, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the pride that comes with crafting something from scratch.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?

I’ve always been very happy with the beers I’ve brewed, and so have my friends and family. I’ve been dreaming of having my own brewery for years, but I knew it was something I’d never be able to do alone. There are so many things that have to come together to pull off this kind of project, and fortunately Mitch and Joey have the business experience to make that happen, and maybe more importantly, keep the doors open. I’m confident the beer will be great, but I’m not foolish enough to think it will sell itself. Upstreet is a total team effort.

What steps have you taken so far getting everything up and running?

We’ve been working on this for well over a year now and learned very quickly there’s a lot more to opening a brewery than brewing beer. The first thing, and most important, was investing hundreds of hours into building a really solid business plan. I can’t stress enough how important this process was because it’s something we all learned a lot from and has guided all of our decisions from the beginning. The second major step was raising a fairly significant round of funding, which was a lengthy process but was strongly supported by everyone we worked with to get everything in place. Once that was sorted out the floodgates really opened up and we’ve been going flat out ever since. Some of the highlights would include finding an awesome location (it’s not easy to find an empty 7,000 square foot building in downtown Charlottetown), ordering our system from DME and working with a few talented friends to design the whole brewery. I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but let’s just say there have been many evening and weekend meetings spent working through the project over beers, and appreciating how cool it is to be opening a brewery.

What size/type of system will you be brewing on?

We’ll be brewing on a 15bbl (~17 hL) system from our neighbours, DME. Our equipment should be arriving soon, with installation happening in April.

Do you know when your beers will be available to the public?

We’re on track for May right now. We may have a couple beers released initially, and should be up to four for the grand opening.

What are your plans for distribution? Plans for tap accounts, bottles, growlers, etc.?

You’ll be able to find our beers on tap at restaurants and bars across the Island. We will have 500mL bottles in the PEILCC stores eventually, too. At our tasting room, all the beers will be on tap and we’ll have growlers available for take-away.

Do you have any beer bars/restaurants in the area lined up to serve your beers?

There’s been an incredible interest and support from so many of the local restaurants. As long as we put out a great product I’m confident we’ll be in quite a few establishments across the Island early on.

Can you tell me about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially? Are you planning on offering a specific style, or genres (German, English, etc), of beer? Any seasonals, one-offs, or will you stick mainly with a “flagship lineup”?

We can’t comment on specific styles right now, but I can say the beers are all based off of recipes I’ve been honing over the past few years. We’ve been doing a lot of homebrewing on an electric pilot system and it’s been really fun trying out different hop combinations, yeast, temperatures, etc. Big shout out to Ryan Palmer for putting that system together! It allows for so much control over the brewing variables.

What inspired the name of the brewery?

Upstreet is an old PEI saying – like… “Johnny’s headed’ upstreet to meet the fellas”. It’s typically a term used for a spot just outside of downtown.  It’s perfectly fitting with our Allen St. location.  It also reflects our hopes to be rooted in the local community.  We’re all Island guys who have spent some time away, but are so happy to be putting down roots and pursuing our passions on home turf.  We love this town, and we just love the name.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?

We’ve chatted with many local breweries while we’ve been planning the business. I’d like to give a personal shout-out to Emily Tipton at Boxing Rock, who met us at their brewery in Shelburne, NS one Saturday morning about a year ago; she has always been there to answer a few questions via email ever since.

With the recent increase in the number of new breweries in Atlantic Canada, what will make Upstreet Craft Brewing different from the rest?

We’ll be introducing some beers that aren’t very prominent in Atlantic Canada yet. Many of these are locally-inspired interpretations of traditional beers that I’ve been brewing for years. There’s also a really strong farming community on the Island and we’ll be drawing additional local ingredients for our seasonals. In comparison to the other Atlantic provinces, the PEI craft beer scene is really in its infancy, so we’re really going to focus on working with the others to bring more attention to the great beer that’s coming out of PEI these days. We hope to see some interesting collaborations coming out of our brewery, not only with the other local breweries, but maybe even with some of the distilleries as well. Aside from the beer, a core piece of our business is also built around a strong sense of social responsibility and creating meaningful initiatives that will benefit the Island community. This is something that is really important to us.

Where do you hope to see Upstreet Craft Brewing in the next 2-3 years?

Early on, we hope our beers permeate through the local restaurant scene and that our tasting room becomes a favourite neighbourhood hangout. Over the next 2-3 years, we hope to expand our lineup of beers and have them available across the Maritimes, and hopefully further. We can’t wait for the day Upstreet is first on tap at one of the beer bars “on the mainland.”

Do you personally have a favorite beer style? Beer? Brewery?

I enjoy all beer styles and I’ve taken inspiration from all of the breweries I’ve visited, big and small. I won’t list them all, but some of the highlights include: Chimay, Pilsner Urquell, Stone, The Alchemist, Allagash, Garrison, Boxing Rock, and here at home, BarNone and PEI Brewing Company.

Do you have a specific ingredient in brewing that you like to brew with? E.g. a specific malt and/or hop variety?

Not really… anything’s fair game for me. I’ll brew anything, with anything. I may refer to my basement as Hogie’s Brauhaus but I’m no Reinheitsgebot purist.

From what/where/whom have you learned the most in respect to brewing? 

There are a couple of people I’d like to thank for helping make the move into professional brewing. One is Greg Nash. We’ve exchanged a few candid texts, emails, and calls these past several months about brewing. He doesn’t mess around, tells it like it is, and knows what works and what doesn’t.

The other is Michel Gauthier. The three Upstreet guys travelled to Ottawa-Gatineau in October and attended Michael’s week-long intensive brewing course. We not only covered the fundamentals, we also got to pick his brain and learned so much about optimizing the brewery process and brewing equipment. I’ve been applying that knowledge every brewday since then and can’t wait to get him down to Upstreet in the Spring so he can help make our system “go like hell!”

Is there something specific that got you into the world of craft beer?

Long before the days of Untappd, I was still drinking craft beer, but just not sharing my exploits with my beer nerd friends. One of the first craft beers I had was Rogues Roost Raspberry Wheat shortly after I moved to Halifax in 2001. It was quite a novelty for me. A little sweet though, so I starting mixing it half and half with their Cream Ale. It’s safe to say I started “crafting” my own flavours with beer right away.

Congratulations to Hogie, Mitch and Joey; we look forward to trying their beers when Upstreet officially opens in the near future! We’ll be sure to keep you updated on their progress. Also, keep an eye on Upstreet’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for news and more information as it’s released.

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Happy Friday, everyone! We haven’t quite escaped Old Man Winter’s clutch just yet, so grab a coffee, or coffee stout, and let the beer news warm you up!

• There’s a new beer in the works at Celtic Knot Brewing: Terminus will be the first in a series of one-hop IPAs planned by owner/brewer Bruce Barton. Featuring the El Dorado hop, the beer should come in at 6.5% ABV and approximately 67 IBUs. El Dorado is a fairly new hop variety that exhibits notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and orange candy aromas and flavors. We’ll be sure to let you know more about this beer when it’s released!

• The Ladies Beer League will be brewing up another collaboration with Boxing Rock Brewing this month, and they want you to be a part of it! Open to any & all LBL members, they are holding a draw for a few spots on the brew team for the day. Fire them an email with your name, contact info, LBL Membership number, and answer to the following trivia question, “What was the name of the Ladies Beer League/Boxing Rock 2014 collaboration beer?”. If you are picked, you’ll be joining the crew in Shelburne to help brew the Cinnamon Challenge Robust Porter later this month. Transportation to/from Shelburne and food will be provided. If you’re not a member yet, you can apply online.

• The 7th Annual Garrison Brewing Home Brew-off Gala was last night, and once again many in the local homebrewing and beer appreciation community were in attendance. From a record 84 entries, the judging panel whittled it down to 14. From there, Brewmaster Daniel Girard and his crew picked out the top four, concentrating on adherence to style, drinking pleasure, and carbonation. Yesterday, the final round of judging took place, and a winner picked. acbbchris was one of the judges in the final, and can honestly say that it was quite difficult: all of the finale beers were very well crafted, enjoyable, and great examples of the style. However, there can be only one winner, and David Martin was crowned as this year’s victor. Congratulations to the finalists, and all who entered their beers.

• The Gala also served as the launch party for the 2014 winner, Jason McDougall‘s beer: Professor McDougall’s Weisse-Guy Hefeweizen. Jason talked about his great brew day with Daniel and co., and had this advice for anyone thinking of opening their own brewery, “Be sure to buy a house beside the brewery, because you’ll be spending a lot of time there!” This 5.4% ABV Hefeweizen gives off a powerful banana nose, thanks to the Weihenstephan yeast used to ferment the beer. Low bitterness from Hallertauer hops has the balance slightly sweet, which also plays well in the style, and will go perfectly with the approaching patio weather. Available now at the Brewery store, it will also be in the private stores & NSLC, and on tap shortly. And remember, Beer & Science are Sexy!

• The Beerthief Artisanal Beer Club is hosting a Beer & Food tasting next week. On March 11th, Executive Chef Peter Anthony of Magnum & Steins is putting together a four course meal to pair with Quidi Vidi beer. QV’s Iceberg, 1892 Traditional Ale, British IPA, and Winter Ale will be paired with a great selection of food prepared especially. RSVP by calling  709-576-6500 or emailing Magnum & Steins.

• The event details for Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week continue to trickle in. The latest one announced is the 2015 Stillwell Open. The theme is “Backyard BBQ Beer”, and breweries are encouraged to brew a beer in this vein, to pair with Chef Ruppel’s BBQ creations. The unique part of the event is that the entries will be poured blind, without attendees knowing which brewery, or exact style, they are drinking. Folks are encouraged to vote for their favourites, and as beers are eliminated as crowd favourites, their identity will be revealed, until only one beer remains, and is crowned the champion. Tickets are now available to get in on the first pours and food from 12-5, and then the doors will open to the public for the last hour of voting. Starting at 6pm, the beers will be revealed, one per half-hour.

Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released a new beer they’re describing as a “Session Pale Ale”. Named Lt. Ingall (after British soldier Lieutenant Frederick Lenox Ingall, who led troups from Fredericton to Edmundston in 1837 to defend the territory from the Americans), it was brewed entirely with malt from MaltBroue, a maltser from Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, QC (very close to the brewery). This brew was a sort of “test project” with MaltBroue and the NBCC in Grand Falls; they also had brewing engineer Jean Michel LeGraux, former head brewer for Belgian Trappist brewery Chimay, on hand during the process. Hops used in this beer include Columbus, Chinook, Citra and Willamette; quite drinkable at 4.6% ABV, it’s on tap now at the brewery for growler fils, and at the Sackville, Dieppe, and KV ANBL growler stations this week.

• We have some more details on the new beers now available from Big Axe Brewery. The first one is Partridgeberry Belgian Wheat, a 5.6% ABV Belgian Witbier brewed with “a mixture” of Pale malts, and hopped with Saaz and “other aroma hops”. Featuring the addition of orange peel and coriander – standard for the Witbier style), they also added five pounds of partridgeberries in secondary fermentation, giving the beer a “mild but complex tartness, and a wild berry aroma”, according to the brewery. Beer #2 is Chaga Porter, a 5.4% ABV dark brown ale featuring chaga, a variety of mushroom harvested locally in birch forests by Fiddlehead Heaven Forest Products. Featuring “traditional English aroma hops” and dark malts, the beer has “mild roastiness and a pleasant caramel character”, along with the flavors offered from the chaga. Big Axe has also revised their recent Big Axe Blonde; it’s now hopped with Perle and El Dorado, and the ABV has been decreased slightly to 4.6%. All three beers should be available at the brewery, and will be pouring at the FCBF tomorrow.

• To celebrate this weekend’s sold-out Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, the ANBL growler program is going all New Brunswick! For the first time since its launch, all four of the locations will be pouring only beer produced in the province. It is also the first time that newcomer TrailWay Brewing will be available for growler fills (check out their tasty Primetime APA at the Prospect St Fredericton location). And the price across the board is a very reasonable $10, whether you are buying Grimross’ Cheval D’Or, Railcar’s Artisan Brown Ale, or Pump House’s IPA. We expect them to whip through these beers quite quickly, so be sure to fill up your growler today! And the charity auction for 32oz FCBF-branded growlers is closing at noon today, so be sure to get your bids in now!

And finally today, in case our brewing brothers and sisters missed it, the official call for entries for the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards is open! Last year’s competition saw almost 1000 entries, and they are hoping to break that barrier this year. There were several winning beers from the Atlantic Provinces in 2014, so let’s show the rest of the country that the beer quality continues to be as good as anywhere else in the country. Forms can be downloaded here, and are due April 1st. The beer must be delivered between April 7-18, with the judging taking place at the end of April. This year’s Awards & Conference are taking place June 4-6, 2015 in Niagara Falls, ON.