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.