All posts for the month May, 2015

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!