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.