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.