All posts for the month May, 2015

Good afternoon! Looks like things aren’t slowing down in the beer world in Atlantic Canada this week, as we’ve got lots of new news to share with you all!

• There’s a big Canada Day event scheduled in Fredericton this summer, brought to you from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival! The Canada Day Bash will be held on July 1st from 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm at the Lighthouse on the Green downtown, and will feature fifteen 4 oz samples of various beer, meads and ciders brewed in New Brunswick: Big Axe, Grimross, Railcar, Red Rover, Sunset Heights Meadery, and TrailWay will all be pouring. There will be a large variety of food included – all of which will be prepared by Food at the Crowne – such as cornbread, various salads, and a carved, slow-cooked suckling pig. Tickets just went on sale a couple of days ago, but are already over 50% sold out! They’re $76 + fee, and can be purchased online.

Garrison Brewing has released a new beer this week, brewed during Open Brewery Day, held May 9th. Wry & Ginger IPA was the runner-up in the 2012 Ultimate Brew-Off homebrewer competition, and ever since tasting it, Brewmaster Daniel Girard had been threatening to have homebrewer David Bardsley brew a full scale batch. The beer features 15% Rye malt, with the remaining grist bill consisting of Maritime Pale Malt. The beer is hopped with Millenium and Willamette to 52 IBUs. Four kilograms (!!) of fresh ginger was peeled, chopped, and added to the boil. The result is a refreshing ginger aroma, medium body, and moderate spicy taste from the hop, ginger, and rye. This beer is only available on tap at the brewery and select bars, while supplies last.

Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville and Kentville have a few new beers now on tap at both locations, for purchase in the pint, or to take home in a growler. A Helles Lager is now on tap, which was the first time performing a step mash on their system, which introduces some malt complexity from the different enzymes favoured at different mash temperatures, leading to a more diverse range of sugars produced in the mash, and an overall increase in the fermentable sugars in the wort. The resultant beer is a crisp and refreshing gold-coloured Euro-style lager, weighing in at 5.7% ABV and 20 IBUs. Due to the success with this first experiment, look for the step mashing technique to make a return in future brews. Paddys’ Porter is a malty beer, featuring notes of coffee and chocolate (from malts, not flavour additions), brewed in the Brown Porter style. Not quite as dark or heavy as a stout, this will be a perfect dark beer for the warmer months. It clocks in at 5.3% ABV and 30 IBUs. And finally, their customer-favourite Raspberry Ale has returned. It starts from a straw-coloured crisp Cream Ale base, with an addition of raspberry extract for a pleasant raspberry flavour. 5% ABV and 4 IBUs.

• Last Friday, TrailWay released a new beer as one of their two casks at the King Street Ale House. American Stout is described by the brewery as actually falling somewhere between an American Stout and Sweet Stout, since it had a small lactose addition during the boil. Brewed with seven different malts to give lots of roasted and chocolate flavour/aromas, it weighs in at about 6% ABV and 50 IBUs. You may still be able to find it on tap around Fredericton, but if you missed it, fear not – they DO plan on brewing it again sometime in the future. And keep your eyes open for the return of their fruit beer, Raspberry Wheat, which should be available now. And look for a cask of Black Hops One to be tapped at the KSAH tonight.

Sunset Heights Meadery has been raising bees (and, of course, cultivating their honey) on the rooftop of the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook hotel in downtown Fredericton since 2014. They have used that honey to brew a special batch of mead, Crowne Jewel Rooftop Mead, which is now on sale at the hotel (including the James Joyce Pub, Terrace, and Maverick Room) by the glass or bottle. This is the first time a hotel keeping bees on their roof have had a mead made from it, and available to the public.

Good Robot Brewing is releasing their fourth brew shortly, and we want to be sure you’re in the know! Crown on the Ground is their take on a California Common, with a few Nova Scotia alterations. The malt bill features Amber and Rye malts, for a toast and light spice character, with Cara and Red X malts used to increase malt sweetness. Perle, Mt. Hood, and Magnum hops were used for clean bittering and aroma, more akin to a German lager, punching the bitterness up to 34 IBUs (though the big malt body masks some of that). Just like the original Steam Beer, it was fermented cooler than most ales (12.5 deg C), allowing the yeast to take their time working, fermenting for over a month, and then conditioning for another week before the beer was ready for carbonation and kegging. The final ABV of this release is 4.2%. The “Crown on the Ground” name was inspired by a trip by the three founders to Bonnaroo, a festival held near Nashville, and one of the acts that played that night, Sleigh Bells. The Good Robot Crew will be hosting a mini Festival next Sunday afternoon to launch the beer, featuring music, art, games, and a Food Truck.

• As part of their Historical Brown Ale series, Picaroons has re-branded their 104th Regiment, a 4.2% ABV English Brown Ale, as The Connell Stamp. The newly-labelled beer should be available now at ANBL stores across the province; 25 cents from every bottle purchased will go to the Carleton County Historical Society & Connell House in Woodstock. Picaroons owner Sean Dunbar recently presented a cheque for $10,000 to the Fredericton Region Museum, which was raised over the last year through sales of 104th Regiment.

Railcar Brewing is planning on hosting a series of summer beer tasting sessions at their brewery in Florenceville; the first session is scheduled for Saturday, June 13th from 6-9 pm, and will feature IPAs. Owner/brewer Mitch Biggar will be hosting the tasting, where he will be discussing the history and development of the India Pale Ale in recent years, including the differences and similarities between East and West coast versions of the style. IPAs from Railcar, Garrison, Picaroons, Propeller, and Pump House will be pouring, and there will also be an info session on brewing IPAs. Tickets are $20 each, and will be available at the door.

• And while in the area, be sure to drop by Big Axe Brewery in Nackawic on the 13th to celebrate their First Anniversary. Beginning at 1pm, the celebration will include tours of the brewery and several special local beers and ciders on tap. That’s right, they will be pouring Red Rover Cider in their taproom with the extended draught line-up. Local band Julio’s Garage will be playing from 8-11pm.

• Last weekend, the judging of the final six entries in the Gahan House – Charlottetown Home Brewer’s Challenge took place, and homebrewer Ryan Palmer took the top spot for the second year in a row! His Summer in New Zealand American Wheat Ale features Wakatu hops, with Grains of Paradise and Lemon & Lime zest. The beer weighed in at 5% ABV and 31 IBUs, and the judges agreed that it was an excellent beer. Palmer and Gahan brewmaster Trent Hayes are planning the brewday for next week, and expect the beer to be released before July 1st. Congratulations Ryan!

• Speaking of Gahan, they have also released a brand new beer, Milk Money Vanilla Milk Stout. A Milk/Sweet Stout get its name from the lactose sugar addition to the beer, which is largely unfermentable by the yeast. The result is a sweeter beer, but not sickeningly so. The beer weighs in a 5.25% ABV and 20 IBUs. And for a chance to win a Gahan Brewery Tour for yourself and 10 co-workers, share this picture from the Gahan Facebook page. The draw happens this afternoon.

• Cross a bridge, a ferry, or both, and you’ll hit Gahan House -Harbourfront in Halifax. Brewster Karen Allen has released their latest seasonal, The Thing Session Ale. Based on an American Wheat Ale, the beer weighs in at 4.7% ABV and a robust 53 IBUs, but the numbers only tell a small part of the story. Tons of late additions of Cascade and Sorachi Ace hops give a blast of citrus aroma to complement the wheat character and dry finish, to complete this easy-drinking bevvy.

North Brewing has released a new beer this week, a Belgian Pale Ale. First teased and tasted during their Brooklyn Warehouse dinner during NS Craft Beer Week, the beer is now available at the brewery and at the private beer stores in town, as well as on tap. Featuring Belgian Pale Ale, Vienna and Carapils malts, and a lime finish from Wakatu hops, it weighs in at 5% ABV and 35 IBUs.

The Nook & Cranny in Truro launched their first beer late last week, Blueberry Wheat. Produced with DME’s SmartBrew system, it uses an addition of  100% pure NS Blueberry Juice for a great fruit flavour and aroma. The base Wheat Ale recipe used Southern Cross hops to a light 10 IBUs bittering, and the beer boasts a sessionable 5% ABV. It has been a hot seller on tap and in growlers since its release. Their Spitting Alpaca Pale Ale and Black Beer’d Black IPA are coming out very soon, and we’ll share details next week. Cheers!

• There’s yet another new brewery in the works for New Brunswick! Savoie’s Brewhouse, owned by Rodney Savoie, is located in Charlo; they’ve received their licenses, and will be brewing test batches in the near future. Stay tuned for more info, as we’ll be posting a Q&A with them soon!

Enjoy the hopefully-nice weather this weekend! If you’re near one of the four ANBLs with growler stations, keep in mind it’s all NB breweries featured this week, including Pump House Biere de Garde, Petit-Sault Soeur Catherine, and the Connell Stamp from Picaroons mentioned above. And keep your eyes open for Boxing Rock Crafty Jack, which should be available in ANBL stores for the first time, soon. Red Rover has added another market to their weekly flagon sales, as they will be available every Saturday at the Kingston Farmers Market from 8 am – 1 pm. Sea Level‘s popular seasonal, Apple Blossom Ale, is now available once again at the Port Pub on tap, celebrating the 83rd Apple Blossom Festival. And congratulations to the Fredericton Beer Run, which was listed in a recent DRAFT Magazine article as one of the seven Beer Runs to participate in in this country! This year’s event will be held on August 3rd; there are still some tickets available.

Howdy! Now that we’ve all had a chance to recover from last week’s excellent Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week… it’s time to dive into more beer news! Hair of the dog, right?

• Following up on last week’s news, we now have all the information on the third beer from Upstreet Craft Brewing. Joining Commons Pilsner and Do-Gooder APA as the inaugural-release beers, Rhuby Social is definitely a new style to the Island – a Strawberry-Rhubarb Witbier. Brewed with a simple malt bill and lightly hopped to 12 IBUs, it features several “traditional and non-traditional” spice additions at the end of the boil. It’s then fermented with a “subtly-flavoured” Belgian yeast, adding character while allowing the Maritime-sourced rhubarb and strawberries (which are added post-fermentation) to shine through. This all results in a tart (but not sour), refreshing, and easy-drinking (at 5% ABV) ale. Looking forward to when all of us can sample these beers for the first time!

Celtic Knot has recently rebrewed For Shore, their popular seasonal from last year. A Session IPA, this year’s batch features some slight changes: where the first version of this beer was hopped with two Australian varieties, Ella and Waimea, the new batch will feature Ella and two other varieties, Galaxy (Australia) and Mandarina Bavaria (Germany), both of which are known for being highly tropical and citrusy. Most of the hop additions came during the end of the boil and in the dry-hop, to maximize flavour and aroma while minimizing perceived bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV and 35 IBUs, it should be available sometime in June; we’ll keep you updated on its release!

Big Spruce Brewing has released their first Blonde Ale, named Jilted Blonde. Weighing in at 5% ABV and 30 IBUs, this beer features the Australian Topaz hop exclusively. A renowned multi-purpose hop, with excellent bittering, flavour and aroma properties, Brewmaster Jeremy White decided to only use it in the later stages of the boil. The result is a great example of the hop’s characteristics. For an additional blast of Topaz aroma, a portion has been cask conditioned with a extra dry-hop charge, and will be available at Stillwell soon.

• This year’s Fredericton Burger Battle (organized by Eat New Brunswick) is quickly approaching (June 8th-21st), and to coincide, New Brunswick Beer Tours will be launching the first ever YFC Burger Battle Walking Tours. A series of four, 3-hour walking tours, each will feature six different sliders paired with a different Picaroons beer (8 oz per pour), at a different location (the key word here is “different”). Confirmed spots include the King Street Ale House, Brewbakers, Vault 29, The Blue Door, and Delta Fredericton. The type of sliders available will change from tour to tour (there are four dates, June 11th, 13th, 18th and 20th), and will vary from beef tenderloin, to chorizo, to pulled pork, and beyond! Each Thursday tour will start at 6 pm, while the Saturday tours begin at 1 pm; tickets can be purchased for $49 (all included) on the NB Beer Tour site now. Exercise, beer, and burgers… the perfect combination!

• Speaking of Picaroons, it’s been announced that they will eventually be opening a Brewtique-like location in Uptown Saint John, at 30-38 Canterbury St. Details are slim at the moment, but it is confirmed they will be occupying space at this address sometime in the future, where locals can expect to see several taps for growler fills, merchandise for sale, and a small brew system on-site. It’s also possible they will dedicate some taps to local, small breweries in the future. Stay tuned!

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s has released a summer seasonal this week, dubbed Summer Wheat. It is a light American Wheat Ale, brewed with 30% wheat malt, with the remainder of the grain bill being Canadian and English Pale Ale malts (2-row and Maris Otter). It is very light in appearance and slightly hazy due to the wheat content. It weighs in at 4.5% ABV, and is lightly bittered to 14 IBUs with Nugget and Cluster. It is also triple dry-hopped with Cascade, Topaz and Mosaic, for a substantial fruity aroma. From Brewmaster Liam McKenna, “I was worried it may turn into a sort of hop tea but the hop flavours have integrated well. It works perfectly as a taste of summer. It is light and hoppy but finishes extremely clean. A perfect patio beer.” Cheers to that! It is on tap at the brewery now, but won’t last long!

• There was some action at Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville this week, as they took delivery of a new 7 BBL fermenter from DME. The expanded capacity will allow them to increase their draught and growler line-up to eight varieties, and to make lagers a regular part of their offerings. Speaking of which, look for their Helles lager on tap shortly.

• The very popular Cerberus IPA conspiracy brew between Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche breweries will make another appearance in bottles this morning, with a limited run available at Bishop’s Cellar. It has also been available on tap for growler fills at all three breweries (and occasionally at the growler stations at the private stores), and their stocks are getting low, so be sure and snag this one today!

• The Obey Convention VIII has kicked off in Halifax, and to celebrate, Garrison has brought back OBEY This Brew. Available in bottles now, and on tap shortly at the brewery for samples and growlers, this 5% ABV & 40 IBU Pale Ale will also be available at all of the OBEY shows (licensing permitting).

• As part of next weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, several spots in Moncton will be taking part in “Belgian Beer Week”, kicking off Sunday. Daily dinners and Belgian beer tastings at the Pump House Brewpub, Marky’s Laundromat, St James Gate and Plan B will feature different beers and breweries. Check the Festival’s Facebook page for exact details. Tickets are still available online for all three sessions of the Fest.

• Tickets for the NLC Beer Expo, being held June 5th and 6th at the Delta St. John’s Hotel, are on sale now. Priced at $82, they include unlimited tasting of more than 100 different beers and ciders (pamphlet with beer list is available here), pub grub, and a $10 taxi voucher. The show runs from 7-10 pm both Friday and Saturday, and tickets are available online here.

• The Gahan House Charlottetown Homebrew Competition has been narrowed down to the final 6 entries, with the judging happening this weekend. Judging will also take place for the Brewnosers Homebrew Competition this weekend. Good luck to all that entered!

As always, thanks for reading! The Acadie-Broue/Big Tide collaboration beer, La Gaboteuse II, is now available at the Big Tide brewpub for pints and growlers; this Belgian IPA won’t last long, so get down there quick to give it a try! This weekend, all four ANBL growler stations have a new version of Picaroons’ Blonde Ale… this batch has been dry-hopped with lots of Cascade. They’re calling it Selection Blonde Ale; you can also find a limited quantity at the Brewtique for growler fills. Picaroons is also holding a tap takeover tomorrow, May 23rd, at the Red Herring Pub in Saint Andrews; there’s no cover, and there should be lots of live music and beer! Petit-Sault‘s IPA, Soeur Catherine, is back once again at the brewery for growler fills, and is expected to be available in bottles, soon. TrailWay is holding another Cask Night at the King Street Ale House this evening, starting at 5 pm; they’ll have two casks pouring – their Hugh John Hops (DIPA), and a new American Stout (which should follow soon after on tap around Fredericton). And finally, in other Fredericton news, rumours have been circulating for months about Gray Stone Brewing, a brewery/taproom planning to open downtown (behind Wilser’s Room) in the near future. Recent artist renderings of the building have surfaced, and the city’s planning advisory committee have approved zoning. We’ll have more information on this new brewery for you, soon!

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve been swept up in the fun and excitement that is #NSCraftBeerWeek, with lots of great events, dinners, and tap takeovers. There are still a few events this weekend, including tonight’s Brews Cruise on the tall ship Silva and Tap Takeover at Windsor’s Spitfire Arms (featuring Meander River, Schoolhouse and Sea Level), tomorrow’s sold out Full House Craft Beer Fest, and Sunday’s Brewer’s Brunch at the Stubborn Goat, so be sure to take them in.

• The Race the Kegs event will take place tonight at the Gahan House Harbourfront. Racing in from the Bedford Yacht Squadron on 24-foot sailboats, the North and South teams will be competing to see who can get their kegs tapped and pouring first. The event kicks off around 6:30pm. The “South” team (Boxing Rock, Gahan House, Hell Bay and Sea Level) are releasing Rule 42 – brewed with all English hops (Challenger, Phoenix, and Bramling Cross), the beer was named after the the boat-racing rule (stating that only the wind and water can be used to increased, decrease, or maintain a craft’s speed). It clocks in at 5.3% and 50 IBUs. As for the “North” team (Big Spruce, Good Robot, North Brewing, and Uncle Leo’s), their Northern Bight was brewed with plenty of Crystal 120 L for colour, and to boost the “spicy body”. Hopped entirely with UK Goldings in the boil, and dry-hopped with… well, that’s a secret, and we can’t tell you! This 6.3% ABV, 60 IBUs ale was fermented with Nottingham, a dry English yeast. May the best beer win! No tickets are necessary to come take part in the fun, and there will be plenty of other NS Craft Beer on tap as well to celebrate the event. These two beers will then be available for growler fills at their participant breweries, and on tap at bars around the province.

• With their opening day getting closer and closer, Upstreet Craft Brewing has announced details on their first three beer releases. The first is Commons Pilsner; brewed in the Bohemian style, the beer was named after its birthplace – in the 18th century, the brewery location used to be known as the “Commons”, or the outskirts of Charlottetown proper. Fermented with a lager yeast strain, this Czech-style beer is brewed with real Czech ingredients, including Bohemian floor-malted pilsner malt, and lots of Czech Saaz hops (with plenty being added late in the boil to increase the spicy aroma/flavour indicative to the style). Coming in at 4.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, this “balanced and crisp” Lager is the perfect style for summer-drinking!

•  Next up is an American Pale Ale named in honor of all those who helped the brewery come to fruition… Do-Gooder APA. Proudly brewed using 50% Maritime Malt, it features a malty backbone and medium bitterness, with a blast of citrus and fruitness in the aroma, thanks to hop bursting (adding most of the hops very late in the boil). Something to satisfy the hopheads but also accessible for those who don’t think they like hoppy or bitter beers. The Do-Gooder weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 45 IBUs. And we’ve heard a rumour about a Belgian-inspired fruit beer to be revealed shortly!

Sea Level has released their returning summer seasonal, Summer Blonde Pilsner. Brewed with 100% Maritime Malt, this “crisp, refreshing” Lager is hopped with the aptly-named Australian variety, Summer. Coming in at a sessionable 4.8% ABV, the beer finishes with a fairly-firm bitterness, at 40 IBUs. You can find it at the brewery now for growler fills and can purchases; look for it at private liquor stores across Halifax, soon.

• The folks behind Lake of Bays, a craft brewery from Baysville, ON, are coming to New Brunswick, and there will be a a series of beer dinners to celebrate:

In Fredericton, the Lake of Bays’ owners will be dropping by the King Street Ale House on May 27th, and Chef Aaron Fraser will be putting together a four course meal to pair with their offerings. The beers will be Rock Cut LagerCrosswind Pale Ale, Spark House Red Ale10 Point IPAOld North Mocha Porter, and a special Cask beer brewed for the event. Tickets will be going on sale very soon, keep on eye on the KSAH Facebook and Twitter feeds for details.

In Moncton, they are partnering with the  Moncton Beer League and local Chefs Dan & Cheryl McLenaghan for an event at La Teraz, on May 28th. A four course menu will be paired with four different Lake of Bays beer, plus a few others, and a souvenir glass. The dinner begins at 7:30 (doors at 6:30), and tickets are available now. The last Moncton Beer League dinner sold out well before the event, so don’t delay! Early bird tickets are available until May 20th for a $10 savings, ticket sales close May 23rd. Sales from this event will help support the Humanity Project. Keep up with the event on Facebook or Twitter.

The Brewnettes and Beerthief Artisanal and Craft Beer Club are putting on a tasting of Evil Twin beers next Thursday at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Starting at 7:30, attendees will have a chance to taste four beers from this Danish gypsy brewery: Low Life Pilsner, Freudian Slip Barleywine, I Love You With My Stout Imperial Stout, and Molotov Cocktail Imperial IPA. Pretzels and hummus will be provided, and the Quidi Vidi bar will be open throughout the event. To reserve your spot, please do so via email before Tuesday. This is a members only event, but membership is free, and open to all beer-loving women in Newfoundland.

• Sunday’s Stillwell Open was a great event, with a dozen breweries and homebrewers competing in a blind tasting, with attendees voting on their favourite Backyard BBQ beers. The competition was fierce, with the winning beer revealed around 7pm. And, believe it or not, our very own Chris McDonald was the winner! He brewed a Lemon & Ginger Witbier on the pilot system at Good Robot, and the crowd seemed to enjoy the combination of lemon aroma with ginger spice and “snap”. Tatamagouche’s Sunrise Trail Session Ale,  Boxing Rock’s Sessionista, and Big Spruce’s Silver Tart all finished extremely close in the voting, with less than 0.5 points (out of 40) separating the top four. We’re looking forward to next year’s event already!

•  The event also served as the launching pad for a few new beers in our region,  Propeller Brewing’s latest One Hit Wonder, The S’Wheat Life. This 4.5% ABV Wheat Beer is light in bitterness, at 10 IBUs, and is available now at both the Dartmouth and Gottingen breweries for growler fills. Garrison Brewing released Le Saison Froide, a Saison brewed with Mint, Japanese Tea, and Lime, weighing in at 4.2% ABV, and will be available shortly at the brewery for growler fills. They have also released the next in their “Pucker Up” series, Apricot Saison, and their Sugar Moon Maple will be available at the brewery this weekend. And as mentioned above, Big Spruce’s Silver Tart is now available for growler fills, and select bars across the province. They used 125 pounds of raspberries to achieve the wonderful flavour and striking colour, and used Lactobacillus bacteria to achieve the acidic character of the beer. A little more on the background here.

Have a fabulous long weekend… it’s looking like some nice weather, so get out there and enjoy it with some local craft beer! The seasonal Pump House Weizen (~5.2% ABV) is back on tap at the brewpub, and is also available for growler fills at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend. The Bad Apple Brewhouse Tap Takeover continues into the weekend at Tom’s Little Havana, and includes two brand new beers, Honey Wagon Honey Pale Ale, Tom’s Smoked Porter, and returning favourites Mosaic DIPA, Box Cutter IPA and APA. The Grimross Maritime Pale Ale (more info here) is now pouring at the brewery for both growler fills and on-site consumption. Those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have been hinting at an upcoming Canada Day event; all we know at the moment is that it will be a smaller, exclusive event, but we’ll have more info on that (and other plans up their sleeves) very soon! The SmartBrew system at the Nook & Cranny is in place, and they are fermenting their Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale Ale now. And homebrewers, today is the last day to register and drop off your entries for the Brewnosers Homebrew Competition at your local Noble Grape.

Good morning! Today marks the start of the very first Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week; on top of these events and special beers, there’s still plenty of other news happening in our region. Here we go!

• Patrice Godin, owner/brewer of Acadie-Broue, recently travelled to Big Tide in Saint John to re-brew La Gaboteuse, a Belgian IPA. This beer was brewed for the first time as a collaboration between the two breweries on the Big Tide system, back in 2012. Since then, Godin has brewed the recipe several times at his brewery, but this is the first time in three years that the two breweries have come together to brew the beer again. With a simple grist of mostly-Pilsner malt and a bit of Carafoam, it was hopped to about 70 IBUs with an early addition of Warrior, and a later whirlpool addition of Amarillo. The beer will then be dry-hopped for four consecutive days – Amarillo each day for the first two, followed by two days of Simcoe. Expect an intensely hoppy (read: fruity/piney) beer… even hoppier than the previous versions! Fermented with a dry Belgian yeast at not-too-warm temps (to keep the phenolics in check), it should clock in at about 7.5% ABV. Look for it on tap at the Big Tide brewpub within a couple of weeks.

• In other Big Tide news, they’ve been pouring a new beer recently, Chocolate Amaretto Porter. With a recipe similar to their seasonal Santa’s Chocolate Porter, this one was an experimental batch where two bottles of amaretto liqueur were added after fermentation was complete, giving the beer some almond notes to go with the rich chocolate flavours (real cocoa and vanilla were also added to the beer). It weighs in at 5% ABV.

• Late last week, Petit-Sault released another new beer, La Kedgwick. The brewery is referring to it as a “Belgian Pilsner”; brewed to be a light, smooth, easy-drinking beer, it has some spicy and herbal notes from the addition of large amounts of noble German hops (Hersbruck and Tettnang). Featuring a “crisp” bitterness in the finish (IBUs are in the high 30s), this 5% ABV beer was fermented with a Lager yeast, and lagered at cold temperatures for 6 weeks to allow the flavours to meld even more. It’s available at the brewery for growler fills, and is at all four ANBL growler-fill locations this weekend as well! We can also expect to see it in bottles across the province by the end of June. As a side note, their Soeur Catherine (IPA) will be returning on tap and in bottles within the next month.

Scared Men Brewing is a new brewery in the developmental stage in Southern New Brunswick. While a physical location is still a ways off, they are having a meet & greet and fundraiser at the Pub Down Under in Saint John, on Friday May 15th, starting at 7:00pm. There will be several bands playing that evening, a 50/50 draw, silent auction (donations for that are still welcome), door prizes and much more. A $10 donation at the door is suggested. SMB is based in Grand Bay, and will be striving to sue local ingredients whenever possible.

• After months of waiting for the ANBL to aprrove it (we first mentioned it in December), Distillerie Fils du Roi have officially released their first beer, Caraquet Flyer. It was brewed in the Eisbock style, “distilled” using a method of freezing and removing water to allow the alcohol level to rise to 8.5%, and was refermented in the bottle for natural carbonation. It is now on sale at their distillery in Petit-Paquetville in limited numbers, so be sure to grab a bottle when on the Acadian Peninsula. This beer is the first in a line of seasonal beers to be released quarterly.

Sunset Heights is releasing a new mead in their Pollen Angels line. Scuttlebutt India Pale Mead is produced exclusively for the Unplugged Board Games Cafe in Fredericton. Developed with the help of the owners and chef of Unplugged, it is “evocative of a time when sail was the main transport for intercontinental travel”. They will be launching the new product at an event Sunday 7-10pm, where the board game of the same name will be played. There will be prizes and other fun things on tap that night, so be sure to drop by!

• And finally in NB Beer News, a sad note: the very popular Picaroons Brewer’s Bash, usually scheduled in July, will not be taking place this year. Due to changes to the ordering process for beers, and concentrating on the construction of Picaroons’ expanded location on the Southside, they were not going to be able to provide the same wide variety of brewery representation that they had previously (breweries from every province and at least one territory!). However, we’ve been assured that they will be back in 2016. In the meantime, stay happy and satisfied with the other summer beer festivals in our region, including the Atlantic Beer Festival May 29-30th in Moncton, and the Seaport Beerfest August 7-8th in Halifax. And don’t forget about the Fredericton Beer Run on August 3rd, as tickets are going fast!

• On to happier things, Rockbottom Brewpub released a new beer this week. Weed Whacker is a big blast of hops in a small package. Weighing in a 4.1% ABV, and 37 IBUs, this is definitely a beer where the numbers don’t tell the whole story. More than 1 kg of hops per hectolitre were added to this beer, for a major West Coast hop flavour and aroma, without bracing bitterness or high alcohol levels. Hops include Amarillo, Cascade, Tomahawk, Falconer’s Flight for a citrus, floral, and tropical fruit aroma.

Gahan House Harbourfront in Halifax has a pair of new beers on tap. Murphy Brown Spiced Belgian Brown Ale was released last week. The malt bill brings through nice chocolate malt flavours, while the Belgian yeast comes through in the aroma. The addition of an extracted spice tonic gives rise to clove, anise, allspice and vanilla. The beer weighs in at 5.7% ABV and a balanced 40 IBUs. Brewmaster Karen Allen has also released For Bitter or Worse English Bitter, version 2.0 this week. This version features a more malt-rich backbone, and Allen believes it is truer to style. The beer is 4.3% ABV and approximately 27 IBUs.

Rogues Roost Brewpub released a new Red Ale last week, based on customer requests looking for a beer with a little less alcohol and bitterness than their IPA, but with enjoyable flavour and aroma. This beer weighs in at 4.3% and 27 IBUs. Look for a Cascadian Lager (think hoppy) to be released at the end of May, as it is happily fermenting away now.

• Speaking of Rogues, the official announcement was made that the building in which they and Tom’s Little Havana are located will be demolished later this year. According to Metro News, Tom’s will be closing at this location, October 1st, but have definite plans to relocate. They have put together a one-question survey that they encourage their patrons to fill out. As for Rogues Roost, they currently have no plans for relocation, and we’ll keep you abreast of the situation.

• The Newfermenters is a Newfoundland-based Homebrew Club that is a hybrid of an online community and in-person meetups. They are hosting their first homebrew competition, open to all amateur brewers on the Rock. The competition is looking for the best English Pale Ale (ESB), and open to any brewing technique (all-grain, kit, partial mash, etc.). Blind judging from two homebrew shop owners in St John’s will determine the winning beer. Keep an eye on their Facebook event page for the submission forms and exact details. Submissions are due June 7th, with the judging happening that evening. Fire up your brew kettles, folks!

• The installation of the brewing equipment at the Nook & Cranny in Truro is progressing nicely. They received all of their SmartBrew gear from DME, and their technicians have been onsite installing this week. They aim to launch their beer for onsite consumption and growler sales by early June. Their initial offerings will be Prince Street Pale Ale, Black Beer’d Black IPA and a rotating Fruit Wheat Ale (this first batch will feature local blueberries).

• Garrison will be throwing a Backlot Bash June 13th to celebrate the opening of their Seaport brewery expansion. The concert will feature Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS), The Town Heroes, Glory Glory and Like a Motorcycle. Concert attendees will have a chance to walk through their new facility when arriving at the concert, and while there, enjoy Garrison brews (including some special releases and seasonals) and local cider. There will also be food trucks onsite. Tickets are on sale now, and are priced at $25 for early bird, $30 regular price, or $65 for VIP tickets, which include access to a VIP area, souvenir cup, 2 drink tickets, and a bottle of a special four-way collaboration brew to be released later in June. The concert is in support of the Ecology Action Centre.

Tourism Nova Scotia has announced the creation of the Good Cheer Trail. Officially launching June 1st, the trail will highlight breweries, wineries and distilleries throughout Nova Scotia. A passport (both physical and virtual) will accompany the Trail, and will offer prizes for those collecting stamps as they travel the province. We’ll be sure to pass along the exact details when they’re available.

That’s it for this week! Keep an eye out for Two Rivers India Black Ale, the Hammond River/Big Axe collaboration beer that we mentioned in a previous post, as it should be hitting taps this weekend at Hammond River’s regular accounts; the one brewed on the Big Axe system should be available in the near future. The new PEI Brewing Co. Saison, Setting Day Saison (more info in our previous post) should be hitting taps next week, at the brewery and select accounts in Charlottetown. Don’t forget that the Bad Apple Tap Takeover at Tom’s Little Havana starts next Thursday; details are mum on exactly which beers will be on, but we do know there will be a few new ones, and the return of some favourites. And stay tuned next week, as we’ll have more information on the first YFC Burger Battle Walking Tour in Fredericton next month, where participants will sample different sliders with different craft beers at several establishments in the city.

NSCraftBeerWeek Banner

The Inaugural NS Craft Beer Week starts tomorrow. A presentation of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, the aim of the week is to showcase the innovative products of its members, and collaborations with bars, restaurants and licensees. With so many different events to keep track of, we thought it would be beneficial to have them all in one place. But first, with all of these events going on over the coming days, we can expect to see several new beers (and some returning favourites) from many of the participating breweries. Here’s a taste of what will be joining the many regular-release beers that will be pouring all week…

Big Spruce, Propeller & Tatamagouche…

These three breweries came together for a conspiracy of epic proportions…. Cerberus American IPA. This Certified Organic beer weighs in at 7% ABV, and features massive late additions of Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe and Zythos hops for an assertive, but not offensive, aroma and flavour. It will be released Saturday at noon at Bar Stillwell in Halifax, as well as on tap for growler fills at each of the conspiring breweries. There will also be a very limited number of bottles available.

“South” and “North” Collaboration English IPAs

There will be two new English IPAs at the Race the Kegs event on Friday, May 15th at the Gahan House. Both are collaboration beers – one from the “South” team (Boxing Rock, Gahan House, Hell Bay and Sea Level), and one from the “North” (Big Spruce, Good Robot, Uncle Leo’s and North Brewing). Details are mum on each of these beers for now; you’ll have to attend the event that night to find out the differences yourself!

Good Robot…

Since Good Robot will be making their debut at NSCBW, all of their four beers are brand new! Here’s a brief run-down of their opening offerings (and remember, all beers have had Clarityferm added to significantly reduce their gluten content):

Goseface Killah (5% ABV, 11 IBUs) – Gose is a German style of beer that up until recently was extremely hard to find, but is gaining popularity quite quickly here in North America. A sour and tart ale brewed with coriander and salt water, and fermented with a Belgian Abbey yeast, expect a pale, tart, refreshing beer perfect for the approaching summer days!

Tom Waits for No One (8.1% ABV, 55 IBUs) – This is their big, dark beer, a Stout brewed with plenty of dark malts (Chocolate, Black, and Carafa II) to add all of the roasted and chocolate goodness you expect from this style of beer. Fermented with an English yeast strain, with real chocolate and coffee added in secondary

Burban Legend (5% ABV, 28 IBUs) – A Citrus American Pale Ale featuring several hop varieties (Cascade, Falconer’s Flight and Zythos) to provide the “citrus” that you’d expect in a beer with this name. Along with 2-row, Pilsner, Amber and Crystal 30 L malts, they’ve also added some rye to “spice” things up a little bit.

Crown on the Ground (4.3% ABV, 34 IBUs) – Good Robot’s take on the Steam Beer, this amber-coloured brew is hopped differently than most takes on the style, featuring Mt. Hood, Perle and Magnum varieties. Fermented cool with a California Lager yeast, this sessionable ale should exhibit an enjoyable malt character, backed by a firm bitterness in the finish.

North Brewing…

Belgian Pale Ale (5% ABV, 35 IBUs) – A hop-forward beer of the BPA style, think of it as an American Pale Ale with Belgian yeast character. Brewed with Belgian malt varieties, the beer was first-wort hopped with Columbus, and again during the boil at 30 minutes with the New Zealand Wakatu variety. Featuring further additions late in the boil and in the dry-hop with Amarillo, expect a fruity and citrusy beer! Fermented with the Belgian Abbey II yeast strain to allow the malt character to shine through.

Also note that North will be releasing this year’s version of their popular Glenora Strong Dark Belgian. The second time their Strong Dark Belgian has aged in their Glenora whisky barrels (for 4 months), the long aging period allows the strong flavours to blend nicely. Available only in 650 mL bottles, the beer should continue to mellow as it is aged for months (or years!) to come.

Authentic Seacoast…

Rare Bird Red Ale (5% ABV, 25 IBUs) – With a grist including roasted malts and Canadian Rye malt, this new amber-coloured beer features aromas of toffee and smoke, and similar flavours (including some spiciness from the Rye) that are balanced from the addition of American-style hops.

Tatamagouche Brewing….

TataBrew are launching their Giant Series this week, so keep an eye out for these big brews on tap:

Giantess Barleywine (11% ABV, 90 IBUs) – Named after Anna Swan, Tatamagouche’s famous Giantess, an American Barleywine hopped with Chinook, Centennial, and Columbus.

Two Rivers Baltic Porter (8% ABV, 36 IBUs) – Fermented with Lager yeast and cold-conditioned, and hopped with Czech Saaz, expect this one to be full-bodied, and “very smooth with hints of chocolate”, according to the brewery.

Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot IBA (11.5% ABV, 52 IBUs) – Their standard Dreadnot IBA, but aged in fresh Ironworks rum barrels for an additional 4 months. Jumping from its original 7% ABV after the barrel aging, it’s currently exhibiting lots of rum presence, including vanilla. Hopped with Waimea, El Dorado, and Cascade.


NS Craft Beer Week Events

Throughout the week

NS Craft Beer Week Hostile Tap Takeover at The Board Room Game Cafe
Daily, throughout the week
The Board Room is celebrating the first ever NS Craft Beer Week with a unique event. Throughout the week, they will be featuring 8 different craft beers from 8 different Nova Scotia breweries, including: Boxing Rock, Garrison, Meander River Farm, North, Sea Level, Tatamagouche and Uncle Leo’s. However, looming in the shadows is the Propeller Brewing. As each of the kegs from the above breweries runs dry, they’ll be taken over by Propeller until they control all 8 of their draught lines!

NS Craft Beer Week at the Nook and Cranny
Daily, May 10-14
All NS Craft Beer is on special, 16oz pours for 12oz price! Their 9 taps will be pouring Garrison, Propeller, Hell Bay, Tatamagouche & Uncle Leo’s

NS Craft Beer Tap Takeover at RockHead Wine & Beer Market

Daily, May 11-15
RockHead will be featuring a new NS Brewery at their growler filling station each weekday throughout NSCraftBeerWeek: Monday is Sea Level, Tuesday is Boxing Rock, Wednesday is Tatamagouche, Thursday is Big Spruce, and Friday is Hell Bay.

NS Craft Casks at The Stubborn Goat
Daily, throughout the week
Every day, The Stubborn Goat is featuring local beer served on cask. $5 for a 12oz pour.

More coming momentarily!

Friday, May 8

North Brewing X Brooklyn Warehouse Pop-up Dinner at Two If By Sea
To celebrate NS Craft Beer Week, The Brooklyn Warehouse is teaming up with North Brewing Co for a pop-up dinner located at the Dartmouth gem, Two if by Sea Cafe. Mark has put together a 6-course meal with which Peter has paired some of his best brews, including the launch of the new Belgian Pale Ale. Seating for this event is very limited so book your tickets today!
Tickets are $89.87 (plus gratuity).

Beer & Beethoven – NSCBW Kick Off Event at The Halifax Forum Multipurpose Room
Join in on Friday, May 8th at the Halifax Forum for Symphony Nova Scotia’s annual Beer & Beethoven fundraiser and help kick off the first ever Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week! This year they’re staying local –musical guest Dave Gunning takes to the stage with the symphony musicians while you enjoy local craft beer (with sampling included from 7 to 8 pm) and meet the brewers.
Long & McQuade is bringing back their musical instrument zone – be sure to stop by and check out the instruments with some of the musicians. Watch for an on-site fundraiser – funds raised support free community programming and concerts like the Family Series, Symphony Week and the symphony’s work with school children.
Tickets are $40, $45 online.

Saturday, May 9

Open Brewery Day: Most of the breweries in Nova Scotia will be open for tours and tastings, and a few have some special events planned as well. Drop by and show them some love!

Open Brewery Day at the Antigonish Townhouse
Terry will be doing nano-tours of NS’s smallest licensed brewery on Saturday, May, 9th from 5-9pm. Terry & Justin, one of the craft beer fanatics on their kitchen staff, will also be brewing a test batch of a Scottish Wee Heavy this weekend.

Open Brewery Day at Big Spruce
They will be hosting a roving Wood Fired Pizza Oven, with free samples.
From 1-3pm, Angeline MacLennan, the Maritimes’ only Certified Cicerone, will be on hand to talk beer and her husband Donald MacLennan will be entertaining visitors with his musical talents.

Open Brewery Day at Boxing Rock
Drop on by Boxing Rock for free brewery tours and tastings, Beer Sausages and lemonade for sale in support of the local elementary school playground society. Lumberjack games demonstrations, too!

Open Brewery Day at Gahan House Harbourfront
Brewmaster Karen Allen will be on-site discussing all brew topics, and she may even let you sample some of the ingredients.

Open Brewery Day at Garrison Brewing
Step into their brewhaus for a live brew with expert brewers and David Bardsley 2012 Home Brew Off Runner Up as they create his Wry and Ginger IPA. Enjoy Patio Pizza fresh from Morris East Restaurant’s mobile wood fired oven “Maximus” setup on the patio along with a taster of Fire Tap Ale. And be the first to try the newest beer from Garrison, Pucker Up: Apricot.

Open Brewery Day at Good Robot
10:00am-10:00pm (or later, knowing these guys!)
This will be Good Robot’s opening day! This is the public’s first chance to walk away with kegs or growlers of their beers, including some that aren’t on tap anywhere. They’ll be BBQing, tasting grub from their taproom, playing tunes, and having a time. They’re also working on something special that will be announced soon.

Open Brewery Day at Granite Brewery
Drop by Stairs Street to see what Kevin Keefe is brewing up today!

Open Brewery Day at Hell Bay Brewing
Drop by Hell Bay for Open Brewery Day!

Open Brewery Day at Meander River Farm
Drop by the Farm to meet your local brewer and farmer.

Open Brewery Day at North Brewing
Drop by North Brewing for $2 off growler fills, and to chat beer.

Open Brewery Day at Paddys Irish Brewpub Wolfville
Brewer Kirsten will be brewing up a storm Saturday, and will be accessible to the public, plus the pub will be open for sampling all day.

Open Brewery Day at Propeller Brewing (Gottingen)
They will be offering tasters in their tour room.

Open Brewery Day at Rare Bird
Drop by the Rare Bird Pub for Open Brewery Day.

Open Brewery Day at Rogues Roost
Drop by Rogues Roost to learn about brewing ingredients and the brewing process, and check out their sweet brewing system!

Open Brewery Day at Sea Level Brewing
Tasting and tours at 12:00pm and 2:00pm.

Open Brewery Day at Tatamagouche Brewing
Drop by TataBrew for a gander at their great brewhouse.

Open Brewery Day at Uncle Leo’s
Cathy Munro, a local hop producer, will be on hand to share her knowledge of hop growing, and answer any questions. The brewery will also be open for those wanting a closer look!


Cerberus Release Party – Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche Tap Takeover at Bar Stillwell
The Cerberus release will be taking place at Stillwell, and Big Spruce, Propeller and TataBrew are taking over their taps! Drop by for some Organic Beer Lovin’!

Celebrating NSCBW Opening Weekend at White Point Beach Lodge
White Point Beach has several events happening this weekend, including a Cooking with Craft Beer class, the official launch of Rare Bird’s Red Ale, and an introduction to NS Crat Beer with Jeff Pinhey. Check out their page for all of the details, and to book a room.

Sunday, May 10

The Stillwell Open 2015 – Backyard BBQ at Bar Stillwell
Stillwell is hosting a very special tasting event. Twelve beers will be served blindly (ie, attendees won’t know the brewery name or style), to pair with Chef Graeme’s BBQ creations. Vote on your favourite to see who wins!
The 1-5pm ticket session is sold out, but after 5, everyone is welcome!
Breweries in attendance: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, The Gahan House, Garrison, Good Robot, North, Propeller, Spindrift, Tatamagouche, plus beers from Homebrewers Jason McDougall (brewed at Boxing Rock), Chris McDonald (brewed at Good Robot), and Kyle McKenzie & Liam Sellers (also brewed at Good Robot). We know that more than half of the beers are brand new or special one-offs brewed for this special occasion, so don’t miss out!

Monday, May 11

Beer Dinner ft. Boxing Rock vs. Big Spruce at Lion & Bright
Four courses. Eight beers. Two breweries.
Check out the first in Lion & Bright’s Brewmaster Dinner series as Big Spruce Brewery & Boxing Rock Brewery go head-to-head to each pair one of their own beer with each course of locally sourced dinner created by Chef Kristy Burgess. Each course will feature one beer from Big Spruce and one beer from Boxing Rock – you decide which pairs better. We know that there will be at least one brand new beer at this event, so don’t pass this by!
Brewers from both breweries will be on-site during the competition to chat about their beer, their company and their passion.
Only twenty tickets available. Please contact the event organizer with any allergies or dietary considerations.

Tuesday, May 12

Craft Beer Tasting with Angeline MacLennan at Antigonish Townhouse
The very first NS Craft Beer Week starts Friday, May 7! In celebration of this auspicious event, Angeline MacLennan, NS’s first and only certified Cicerone, who just happens to be an Antigonisher, is hosting a guided beer tasting here at The Townhouse on Tuesday, May 12, at 8pm! Try 7 Nova Scotia craft beers (including some special NS Craft Beer Week brews and Terry’s London Style Porter), house made patés and preserves, and learn a tonne about why craft beer is taking over in NS!
Tickets only available online! Get yours quick before they’re all gone!

Wednesday, May 13

NS Craft Beer at Dalhousie University Club
Visit the Dal University Club for a glass of NS Craft Beer and complimentary pulled pork sliders.

Beer Dinner ft. Sea Level vs. Propeller at Lion & Bright
Four courses. Eight beers. Two breweries.
This is the second in Lion & Bright’s Brewmaster Dinner series as Sea Level Brewing & Propeller Brewery go head-to-head to each pair one of their own beers with each course of locally sourced dinner created by Lion & Bright Chef Kristy Burgess. Each course will feature one beer from Sea Level and one beer from Propeller – you decide which pairs better.
Brewers from both breweries will be on-site during the competition to chat about their beer, their company and their passion.
Only twenty tickets available. Please contact the event organizer with any allergies or dietary considerations.

Beer Cocktail Face-Off at The Auction House
Your favourite bartenders are pairing up with 8 of your favourite breweries to come up with some signature drinks based on their brews. Try them all! Live music accompanies your imbibing.
Tickets are $15, and available at The Auction House.

Thursday, May 14

NS Craft Beer at Dalhousie University Club
Visit the Dal University Club for a glass of NS Craft Beer and complimentary pulled pork sliders.

The Science of Beer at the Discovery Centre
This fun-filled evening of science is one of the Signature Events during Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week. The event, which will be held at the Discovery Centre in downtown Halifax, will feature a total of 7 “Science of Beer” presentations from a hand-selected roster of local brew experts. Guests will also be treated to 12 different beers from 6 local craft breweries (Boxing Rock Brewing Company​, Garrison Brewing Co.​, Good Robot Brewing Company​, North Brewing Company​, Propeller Brewing Company​, and Sea Level Brewing​), and delicious snacks from 3 local eateries, including The Stubborn Goat Gastropub​, Morris East Restaurant​, and Ace Burger Company​.

Beer Dinner ft. North Brewing at Lion & Bright
Join Lion & Bright for some North End Love with their neighbour North Brewing Co. for a four-course locally sourced dinner, paired with four locally crafted brews. Spend the evening enjoying the menu created by Chef Kristy Burgess, inspired by the beer of North Brewing. Menu items include mussel bouillabaisse, beer pretzels, IPA brined turkey roulade and rum raisin ice cream float. North Brewing will be answering questions about their Belgian inspired beer and how they are working towards creating a zero emission brewery right here in Halifax. Show the North End some love!
Only twenty tickets available. Please contact the event organizer with any allergies or dietary considerations.

Friday, May 15

Masters of Malt: A Beer Tasting for Everyone at Bishop’s Cellar
Bishop’s Cellar may be known for impeccable wine selection and friendly service, but they’re no strangers to a finely crafted brew. They’re dedicated to providing beer full of quality ingredients and distinctive flavours that’s been produced with integrity.
In the spirit of the inaugeral Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, join them for a very special beer tasting as they taste through some of the fun brews on their shelves. As always, they’ll have some delicious, beer friendly bites catered.

NS Craft Beer Takeover at Spitfire Arms
Meander River Farm, Schoolhouse Brewery and Sea Level Brewing will be taking over the taps at The Spitfire Arms.

Race the Kegs at Gahan House Harbourfront
Join the arrival party at Gahan House Harbourfront for conspiracy brews from the North and the South of Nova Scotia. Craft breweries from across the Province have teamed up to face off for this challenge, which includes racing the kegs of their conspiracy brews to Halifax Harbour by sail.
The kegs are expected to arrive around 6:30, and the beers will be tapped at 7pm.
The Fine Tuners will be playing 7pm to midnight.
Happy Hour Pricing will be in effect for the conspiracy IPAs, and the taps will be flowing with other NS Craft Beers!

NS Craft Brewers Brews Cruise on the Tall Ship Silva
Sailing and beer: the ultimate Nova Scotia pairing.
Halifax’s beer enthusiasts will be in and out of bars all week to celebrate Craft Beer Week. In connection with the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia‘s Craft Beer Week, Murphy’s is excited to be hosting the ultimate beer experience – by bringing you out on the water.
The purchase of your ticket will include a delicious craft brew of your choice, and a 1.5 hour sail. Cruise through the harbour on the Tall Ship Silva while you enjoy craft beer from around Nova Scotia.

Saturday, May 16

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Session 1) at the Olympic Centre
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be $1/each, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Session 1) at the Olympic Centre
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be $1/each, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.

Sunday, May 17

Brewers Brunch at Stubborn Goat
Join The Stubborn Goat Gastropub for a most delicious brunch experience during the final day of Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week.
Grab your Craft Beer Week branded beer glass, which is yours to keep, and the first fill is included in the ticket price, along with the brunch of course. A special selection of craft brews from members of NS Craft Brewers Association will be featured on tap during this event.


#NSCraftBeerWeek Calendar and Map

For those of you looking for an easy way to carry this list in you pocket, add the following calendar to your to Google Calendar, Outlook or iCal.

Full-sized map on a separate page.


Looks like it’s going to be a great, fun-filled week! Keep an eye on this page, as we’ll be updating the list and calendar as last-minute events are announced. Be sure to get out there and support your local breweries, drink some awesome beer, and be sure to say “hi” if you see us around!

Good Robot Logo - Black Text

Good Robot Brewing Company will be launching this weekend at 2736 Robie Street in Halifax. Angus Campbell, Doug Kehoe and Josh Council are the President, Head Brewer, and Marketing Director, respectively, on paper, but their jobs are certainly more than that! Think trench digger, grain hauler, spirit animal, and so much more. Josh was kind enough to answer a few questions about the guys, the brewery and everything else.

ACBB: Can you tell us about how the Good Robot Crew came together?

Good Robot started with late-night college dorm room chats, the kinda chats buzzed teenagers have while looking at the stars on a wasted summer night. Were we really going to pursue engineering, or were we going to sail a party yacht from Bonaire to Ibiza? Throughout college, we threw parties for a crowd of misfits decidedly different from that of the typical social cliques. We brewed together – disastrously – but our passion for craft beer really took off as Angus, Doug and Josh parted ways and entered the corporate world. To escape the monotony of our white-collar environments, we sought sanctuary in the pubs, dives and comedy clubs where craft beer abounded and misfits roamed. Independently, we became obsessed with craft beer until one day, we finally realized what we needed to do. Good times introduced us. Great beer brought us back together.

What brought you to Halifax?

Angus hails from Whycocomagh and as Maritimers can appreciate, nowhere else quite feels right. Doug has always remained close to his home of Perth, Ontario, preferring the laid back rural lifestyle and community spirit of small towns. After college, Doug visited Angus in Halifax on several occasions and fell in love with its charm. Angus and Doug promised Josh that Halifax bolstered an eccentric personality reminiscent of the big seaboard cities, like Seattle and New York, in which he did business. Halifax’s small-town love with big-city amenities was a natural fit for all three.

Can you tell us about the brewhouse (manufacturer, size, etc)?

DME supplied our 10-bbl brewhouse complete with 120-bbl fermentation capacity (2x 30 bbl and 3x 20 bbl) and one 30-bbl bright tank. We do not filter our beers.

Good Robot - PANO

What beers will you be serving at launch?

We are launching four beers to start: Tom Waits for No One Stout, Goseface Killah Gose, Burban Legend Citrus APA, and Crown on the Ground Steam. Details on each can be found on our website.

Are these flagship beers, or will they be rotating seasonals?

We have been playing with the idea of evolving flagships, almost like software releases. The launch beers are all version 1.0. A future iteration of the Gose, for example, may include rhubarb extract and be updated to version 1.1. Like any living thing, we expect our brewery to grow and adapt with our palates and those of the market. Of course, if one particular release has people drowning in their own saliva, we could bring it back. We also expect to release new seasonals when we’re itching for something fresh.

Can you talk about Good Robot using Clarityferm in the beer?

Of course! We have several friends who have been diagnosed with gluten allergies. We pitied their inability to partake in our fun. We didn’t care for the beers made without cereal adjuncts and began researching Clarityferm as a potential solution. We applied it to several homebrews, performed in-house testing, and served them to our gluten-sensitive friends with great success. Our party posse has always been inclusive. We felt our beers should be likewise.

How can folks enjoy your beer: on tap around the city, and growler fills?

Our beer is best served with good times, whatever that may be. We have several confirmed tap accounts – Stillwell, The Stubborn Goat, The Wooden Monkey Halifax, The Brooklyn Warehouse, 2 Doors Down, The Auction House – with more on the way. Growlers and grunters are to be served at our retail space, and we are slated to open our taproom in late summer, including a dirty driveway space which will eventually evolve into a beautiful beer garden.

Can you tell me a bit about the tasting room plans and progress?

Our tasting room will reflect the house we lived in together during college: eccentric, childish, surreal, nonjudgmental, and above all, fun. We have special events planned that may not reflect a typical craft brewery environment. Hell, they may not reflect any typical environment. We plan to release one-offs at the taproom and maybe host special taps for homebrewers and other breweries we love. Ultimately, we’re beer lovers and want to showcase a variety of styles that we may not be brewing ourselves. Demolition begins this month with opening slated for late summer.

Have you had any assistance from other industry folks in getting started?

Boat-loads! There are few people who haven’t helped, which is part of the reason this industry is just the best. Jeremy from Big Spruce, Don from BarNone and Gary from Muskoka Brewery all deserve special praise for their extra efforts with brewing, commissioning and planning. Lorne, formerly of Rogues Roost, is in nearly every week offering tips and breaking our balls. The Brewnosers are always offering something interesting up at their meetings. Plus, of course, the myriad bars, restaurants, media and other brewers that have made working such a pleasure. There are too many to thank, plus my wrists hurt from typing. Which reminds me, we’d also like to thank our osteopath.

Where do you hope to see Good Robot in the next 5 years?

We love the direction craft beer is going in the States: a small brewery in every neighbourhood (or in the case of the North End, several breweries in every neighbourhood). When we drive to Port Hawkesbury, we don’t want the same beer we can get in Halifax. We want our beers to be ever-evolving, our knowledge ever-growing. The beer should reflect its locale. When weirdos and misfits come to Halifax, they know where to find us. And if we do expand our borders, we want our beer in another location to be wildly different from what we serve here.

Do you guys have a favorite beer, or style, or brewery you reach into the fridge for?

For a long time, we tried to consolidate our thoughts into a singular beer brand direction. This proved difficult since we all became obsessed with craft beer in different locales. Angus’ assertive personality and tour in Fort Mac made him a target for the hop-forward west coast IPAs, especially Mission’s Shipwrecked and Lagunitas’ Maximum. Doug’s well-balanced lifestyle and job locale on the border of Quebec and Ontario drove him to Beau’s Lug-Tread and Bog Water. Josh’s stint in Seattle and affinity for dark, yet sweet, people led to an obsession with rich stouts, including especially Deschutes’ Obsidian, Elysian’s Split Shot Espresso and 21st Amendment’s Marooned on Hog Island. We’re thrilled to be in Nova Scotia among so many styles that weren’t as prevalent out west, and we always make time for the beer that made so many memories for us: the 2012 GABF Gold Winner for American-Style Lager, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Can you tell me about your brewing history and training? Did you start out as homebrewers?

All three of us have homebrewing history. Angus started out with his dad at an age that our counsel has advised us not to disclose and brought that knowledge to college where Doug and Josh joined in the fun. The three pursued continued to pursue homebrewing after college, with Doug and Angus splitting on a Sabco Brew-Magic system to up their game. Doug dove further into the technical side with the Siebel Institute Concise Course in Brewing Technology, classic brewing books, and myriad magazine subscriptions, and later gained commercial brewing experience with Jeremy White at Big Spruce and Lorne Romano, formerly of Rogues, upon moving to Nova Scotia.

Do you have a favourite ingredient that you like to use (ie, specific hop or malt)?

Doug gets heartburn from beers that are high in alpha acids. He has always been a malt guy, and is also increasingly a yeast buff. His favourite malt is amber. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the toastiness imparted by amber malts makes him smile.

Anything else you want to be sure our readers know?

Beer isn’t exclusive – it brings us together. Beer isn’t pretentious – it’s fun. Beer helps us laugh and dance and joke the way social stimulants should. So enjoy yourself. It’s beer.


We want to wish Josh, Doug and Angus all of the best with their launch this weekend. NS Craft Beer Week’s Open Brewery Day on Saturday will be their coming out party, with beer, food and fun starting at 10am. Follow their adventures on their website, where Josh has been documenting the planning, construction, name change(!), and final opening details on his blog. Check them out on Twitter and Facebook too. Cheers!

Happy Friday! Looks like some of these rotten weather may be coming to an end; what better way to celebrate than by reading about local beer?

TrailWay‘s newest beer, Sensible Nonsense, will be available this weekend in Fredericton. A collaboration DIPA brewed with two local homebrewers (for more information, check out our post from earlier in April), it should be hitting taps sometime this weekend throughout the city. As well, they’re tapping two casks of the beer at the King Street Ale House today sometime around 5 pm; the first has had some Bourbon-soaked Spanish cedar added, while the second had an additional dry-hop of Mosaic and Centennial. The last casks of TrailWay at KSAH didn’t last long at all, so get there early to give them a try!

• That’s not all for new beers from TrailWay… they’re releasing two more this weekend as well, and both are brewed with warmer temperatures in mind! The first is a Raspberry Wheat Ale; lightly hopped to around 20 IBUs, and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV, it was brewed with 10 lbs of raspberries added after primary fermentation. With “some big raspberry aroma and flavour, with some wheat that comes through, especially in the aftertaste”, expect a dry, crisp, and refreshing beer. It will be making its debut at the Wine Tasting Event for Hailey’s Dreams today at 6:30 pm (check out the link for details and tickets); it should also be available on tap at the KSAH sometime this weekend. The other brew is a new APA named D’under Pale Ale. Brewed without any Crystal malt – to keep the beer light-coloured and dry – it was hopped entirely with Galaxy, an Australian variety that is well-known for its fruity, citrusy characteristics. It should come in at about 40 IBUs and 5.4% ABV; look for it on tap this weekend at 540 Kitchen & Bar. Expect further iterations of this beer to be hopped with other Australian and New Zealand varieties!

• Elsewhere in Fredericton, Grimross Brewing has just brewed up a new beer they’re calling a “Maritime Pale Ale”, which they describe as a hybrid between an English Pale Ale and an American Pale Ale. Featuring a grist with equal parts Pale Ale and Pilsner malts, along with Vienna, Medium Munich, CaraRed and Wheat to give it a light-copper colour. It was then hopped with a mixture of English (Willamette and East Kent Goldings) and American (Centennial and Amarillo) varieties to 38 IBUs (with most of those IBUs coming from later additions in the boil, meaning more hop flavour and aroma). The beer will also be dry-hopped following primary fermentation. Fermented with a neutral American yeast strain, expect this beer to come in at about 5.6% ABV. This one should be ready in around 2 weeks; we’ll be sure to keep you updated on its release!

• There’s a new beer on tap at the YellowBelly brewpub in St. John’s, a Saison named Field Assistant. Brewed in celebration of the Canadian Archaeological Association‘s conference in the city this week, the grist is made up of Pilsner and Honey malt, and the beer was hopped (including a dry-hop addition) entirely with Saphir. It was fermented quite warm (reaching temps as high as 90 F) with a blend of Belgian Saison yeast strains; after primary fermentation, it spent over two months in secondary. Less dry than most beers in this style (due to the addition of the Honey malt), it’s still balanced and easily-drinkable (at 6% ABV), with lots of characteristic spiciness and fruitiness, according to brewmaster Liam McKenna. The beer should also be available in bottles at the brewery this weekend.

• In coordination with the CAA meeting, there will be a free public lecture Saturday, May 2nd, from 1-2:30pm at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland (Fort William Ballroom, Salon B), Archaeology and History of Beer. Visiting biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern will be kicking off the event by giving a lecture on the the composition and reconstruction of ancient brewing techniques and recipes. Yellowbelly Brewmaster Liam McKenna will be speaking about the cultural importance of beer, and its historic development. Stephen Mills, a St. John’s-based consulting archaeologist, will discuss the archaeology of drinking and taverns in 17th century Newfoundland. A discussion and Q&A session will follow. Tickets may still be available for Saturday evening’s Ancient Ales tasting, contact Tom Beckett for details.

Boxing Rock has re-released last year’s Sessionista, with some minor tweaks and improvements! While last year’s beer was in the English Bitter style, this time around it’s a “better, bolder, and hoppier” brew that the brewery likes to refer to as a “Fractional IPA”. With a slightly higher ABV at 4%, it’s still highly sessionable and malty, but with a big nose of floral hops (“lemon blossom, orange, and tropical fruit”, according to the brewery). Exhibiting flavours of biscuit, roasty caramel and toasted bread”, with a “tropical, fruity hop middle”, it’s meant to be enjoyed again and again. Look for it on tap at the brewery and select bars/restaurants in our area; it’s also available in 650 mL bottles in many NSLC stores. It should be around until mid-June, when Boxing Rock’s next seasonal will hit the streets!

• Big Spruce has released their latest seasonal this week, She’s Maibock. This twist on the traditional German style features the zest of 40 lemons in both the boil and conditioning tank, for a blast of citrus aroma. Brewed in March, it has been lagering for a month until its release. Weighing in at 6.1% ABV, and 30 IBUs from Magnum in the first wort, Big Spruce-grown Galena for bittering and Challenger for flavour/aroma. Look for it on tap for growlers at the brewery now, and in widespread distribution throughout NS Craft Beer Week.

• Not to be left out, Sea Level also has a brand new beer available on tap. Acadian Cross Extra Pale Ale is an unfiltered pale ale, clocking in at 5.5% ABV. It was brewed to commemorate the 260th Anniversary of the Expulsion of the Acadians, and named after the Deportation Cross erected in 1924, in Grand Pre. It was brewed with Maritime Malt, and fermented with a neutral American ale yeast. It was bittered with Apollo, with two dry hop additions in the fermentor, and one more addition in the serving tank. It is on tap now at the Port Pub, and for keg sales at the brewery, and will be available soon for growler fills and cans.

• Staying in the Annapolis Valley, Paddys Irish Brewpub has two new beers on tap at their Wolfville and Kentville locations. Their Vienna Lager is a North American interpretation of this Amber-cloured German style. It features a citrusy hop aroma and flavour that complement the complexity of the European malt bill. The beer is 5.1% ABV, and has 17 IBUs. They have also released Citra IPA, a 6.2% ABV beer featuring Citra hops throughout for a grapefruit flavour and aroma, and signifcant 50 IBUs. Grab a pint of each at the bar, or a growler to go!

Hell Bay Brewing has been busy in Liverpool! They have released another batch of their Dark Cream Ale, and it is available for purchase at NSLC locations across the province. The tail end of their 5% traditional Dry Irish Stout is available for growler fills at Harvest Wines in Dartmouth.  And they are looking to release another version of their R.I.P.A. IPA in a couple of weeks, with another tweak on the hops used in the brew.

• Details of the different events are still pouring in for next week’s kickoff for NS Craft Beer Week. Events are being updated on the official page, and we have created a Calendar that you can add to Google Calendar, Outlook or iCal. The events are geolocated, so you can plan your week that way, as well. Please let us know if there are any events that we’re missing! Look for more NSCBW details next week, as we share our guide to the events are beers. Tickets are still available for many of the events, including Signature events like the Beer & Beethoven kick-off, Science of Beer on the 14th, and the Brewers’ Brunch on the 17th. There are several collaboration brews that will be released that week, including a three-way conspiracy between Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche, launching at noon on May 9th at Stillwell. Cerberus American IPA is a 7% ABV Organic IPA, featuring Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, and Zythos hops. It will be available in bottles, as well as growlers at all three breweries after launching.

Enjoy the warmer weather this weekend! The winner of the first annual Railcar Homebrew Competition was announced last Saturday: local homebrewer Pierre Gagnon submitted the winning entry with his Groundskeeper Willie Pish (Scottish Export 80/-), which he will brew with brewmaster Mitch Biggar on the Railcar system in the near future. Railcar has also announced a “He Said Beer, She Said Wine” tasting and pairing event May 23rd at the brewery. Be sure to pick up tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Rare Bird has released a new Red Ale, and it is available at NSLC locations across the province now. This 5% ABV beer features Rye in the malt bill, for a slight spicy character.