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All posts for the month June, 2015

Happy Friday, folks! Breweries are in full Summer mode now, so there’s lots of news and new beers to share with y’all! And be sure to grab a growler or two of something tasty Tuesday, so that you can be sipping on local suds to celebrate Canada Day Wednesday! Can you tell we’re excited? Yup, we are!

• Earlier this week, PEI Brewing Company launched their Cask Program at their Kensington Street location. Throughout the summer, they will be rotating through special casks of beer on their hand pump at the bar. Currently on is the “BourbAnne of Green Gables”, their Island Red dosed with bourbon-soaked wood chips. These local casks will not take away from the special beers that they’ve been sending to Bar Stillwell, however, and we have heard that there are two new sour beers heading across the Northumberland soon: one was casked with dandelion wine must and another with cold extracted Receiver coffee.

• And speaking of PEI Brewing, these Island Brews have taken over the Board Room Game Cafe‘s taps this weekend, with seven different brews pouring. Staple brews 1772 IPA and Iron Bridge Brown are joined by seasonals Blueberry Ale, Sydney Street Stout, and special brews Blood Orange IPAVic Park APA, and Setting Day Saison. More details can be found at the Facebook event page. But be warned, there’s only one of each keg, so visit early to avoid disappointment! Flights of four beers can be purchased for $7.95.

Bulwark is releasing a new cider, Sour Cherry Cider.  The Cider weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and features their signature blend of Annapolis Valley-grown apples, with a special sour cherry base added (including some Valley-grown cherries) for a great sour cherry blast, and rich red colour. This celebratory Canada Day cider is only available on tap at the following locations in Halifax (sorry, no bottles): Economy Shoe Shop, Gahan House, Lion & Bright, Old Triangle, RockHead [for growler fills], Scanway Cafe, Stillwell (both Barrington and the Beergarden), and Stubborn Goat. Keep an eye on their social media feeds to check when this treat is flowing! And keep an eye out for Bulwark’s new branding, with their Original blend now being available in 6-packs at the NSLC and private stores.

• There’s a beer on tap at the Big Tide brewpub in Saint John that hasn’t been available for awhile – Gesner’s Deluxe Copper Ale. Only available about once every year or two, it’s brewed with 2-row and Pale Ale malts for the base, with lots of CaraMunich and some Carafa specialty malts to add caramel and bready notes to the aroma and flavour of the beer. This particular batch was hopped with Simcoe to about 50 IBUs, adding some pine and citrus notes. Quite drinkable at 4.8% ABV, it won’t be around long, so be sure to drop by the brewpub for a pint and/or growler fill!

• And in other exciting Big Tide news, they will once again be hosting Acadie-Broue owner/brewer Patrice Godin this weekend for another collaboration brew. This time around, they’re tackling Gose, an increasing-in-popularity, tart German style that usually features the addition of salt and coriander. Godin and Big Tide brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos have decided to use Bay of Fundy water to provide the salty flavour typical to this style (Godin’s day job as a water microbiologist comes in handy at times!). The beer will also be sour-mashed to provide the signature sour and tart flavours expected in the style. Stay tuned for more info on this beer in the near future.

• There’s a new beer currently fermenting at Grimross, a “Table Oat Saison”. Featuring a grist made-up entirely of oats, owner/brewer Stephen Dixon was naturally preparing for a very challenging mash, as the oats would no doubt cause issues, as they take much longer on their own to convert their starches to sugars (3 hours, in this particular case) than other grains. Magnum hops were used for the bittering addition, and Hallertau for taste and aroma. Fermented with the Grimross house yeast, the beer should come in around 4% ABV and 25 IBUs, making it a true “Table” beer. We’ll let you know when this beer is pouring at the brewery!

• Earlier this week, TrailWay released the second iteration of Patio, one of their summer seasonals. As the name implies, this 4.5% ABV ale is meant to be a sessionable and refreshing beer to enjoy outdoors in the summer weather. A “Session Wheat Beer”, the first version was hopped with Chinook and Cascade, and had some orange zest added after primary fermentation. This time around, the beer was hopped a little heavier, solely with Comet (a citrusy/grapefruit-y variety that is found in many TrailWay hoppy beers), with no orange zest added. It can currently be found at several establishments in Fredericton that serve TrailWay beers. Look for future versions to feature further changes, until the beer is retired at the end of the season.

• It’s Petit-Sault‘s first anniversary, and they’re celebrating in style! Tomorrow, June 27th, they will be hosting a free open house at the brewery in Edmundston from 1 – 6 pm, featuring beer tastings and pulled pork sliders. A terrace will be open for drinking and socializing, and when you purchase your first full pour, you get to keep the glass! A special surprise birthday firkin will be tapped at 4 pm, and there will be a short ceremony at 6 pm. Live music from Les Bagosseux will start shortly after, at 6:30. Happy anniversary to all the hard workers at the brewery, and cheers to many more years!

Sea Level Brewing has brought back their Southern Cross IPA. The beer weighs in at 6.5%, and features both the New Zealand Southern Cross and Australian Ella hop varietals (in fact, it was dry-hopped in two stages with Ella). The bold hop bitterness clocks in at 80 IBUs, and showcases some nice citrus and subtle pine characters. It is available now at the Port Pub, at Harvest Wines in cans, and Obladee Wine Bar on tap. It will also be pouring at the Bishop’s Cellar growler station shortly.

• Speaking of Bishop’s Cellar, their new 5-tap growler system has been installed by Ken Greer and crew of BeerTech, and the beer is now flowing on the waterfront. Despite their small retail space, they’ve managed to install a cooler to house the direct draw system, with taps mounted directly on the wall. They are focusing on serving beers not otherwise available in the HRM, skipping those that are handily found in bottles or cans. They offer fills of both the 32 oz and 64 oz (0.95 and 1.89 litre) growlers, and customers can either buy a Bishop’s growler, or bring their own clean bottles. They do have a rinse station, for a last blast of water to reduce foaming. At launch, they are pouring Garrison’s Coast to Coastless Collaboration Imperial ESB, Good Robot Crown on the Ground Steam, Granite Brewery Hopping Mad IPA, Propeller Halifornia Common, and Tatamagouche Butcher Block Red. The current lineup will be posted on their Beer page, and that page highlights the new arrivals and specials they are featuring at any given time. To go with their expanded beer offerings, they will be doing more beer tastings as part of their regular events, and have even been sneaking in a beer or two during their regular wine tastings. Drop by today at 5pm for the official public launch, and to fill up your growlers!

• More news on the progress of Savoie’s Brewhouse, the soon-to-open brewery in Charlo, New Brunswick: owner/brewer Rodney Savoie has confirmed that the first two flagship beers, Island Lake Blonde and Chaleur Phantom Amber Ale, have successfully made it through the ANBL tasting panel. Next up is lab testing, followed by an ANBL listing, and then it’s official – their beer will be ready for sale! We’ll continue to keep you updated on their progress.

• The latest beer offering from Newfoundland Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is now open, and this time it focuses on Belgium. Coming to the NLC in October are: Saison Dupont, Halve Maan Brugse Zot Blonde, Oud Beersel Oude Kriek, and DeuS Brut des Flandres. While the beers will be available to all NLC customers, these sign-ups give the Club an idea as to how popular the orders will be, to ensure there’s enough to go around. Your input is much appreciated, please fill out the order form today.

• And speaking of the NLACBC, they are holding a unique beer (or wine, if you prefer) tasting event July 9th. They will be visiting St. Michael’s Printshop on Harbour Drive, and pairing beer or wine with Italian cheese, and different printmaking techniques. A different Trou du Diable beer (or Sauvignon Blanc wine) will accompany each of four stops along the tour. This poster has more info, and email Tom Beckett to sign up today (there are just a few spots left).

• Cristall Wine Merchants in Sunnyside Mall have also begun filling growlers at their location, featuring four taps. Currently pouring are: Cristall Pale Ale (brewed for them by Garrison), Big Spruce Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Tatamagouche Butcher Block Red, and Sea Level Rojo Mojo Red. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for updates to the lineup.

Breton Brewing in Sydney will be opening this weekend! Kegs of their Stirling Hefeweizen and Black Angus IPA have been filled, and being delivered to restaurants and bars as you read this. They will be having a soft opening at the brewery Saturday 10-5pm, so be sure to drop by and grab a growler or two to go. Their tap room, and Sons of Hector Brown Ale, will be open and pouring very soon. Congratulations Andrew and Bryan!

Stillwell Beergarden has been a popular spot during the sporadic lovely days available recently, pouring 10 lines of exclusively-Nova Scotian beer, cider, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks (including cold brewed coffee and lemonade). Now you can keep track of the Beergarden’s status, as it is heavily dependent on the weather. Save http://www.barstillwell.com/beergarden in your list of bookmarks, to stay in the loop.

Tatamagouche Brewing‘s canning line has been busy this week, and these boat- and beach-friendly packages will be available this weekend at the brewery. As their bottle stock decreases, Hippie Dippie Pale Ale, North Shore Lagered Ale, and Butcher Block Red canned versions will be replacing them. Their current seasonal, RR#2, will also be available next week at the brewery. Beginning July 4th, the cans will also be available at their Farmer’s Market stand. Cans will be the package of choice for all but their Giant Beer series (Giantess Barleywine , Two Rivers Baltic Porter, and Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot IBA, all still available for purchase at the brewery) going forward. Folks shopping at the brewery are welcome to mix their own 12-pack, and will save $0.25 per can when buying in 12-packs (or more).

Meander River has released their collaboration with Garrison’s Daniel Girard, Surf & Turf. It is a Strong Scotch Ale, featuring Seaweed and Peated Malt in the mash, giving the beer a “rich, complex flavour of scotch, sweet caramel, slight salt, and roasted malt”, according to the brewery. This 6.2% ABV, deep copper-coloured ale was brewed for the Taste of Nova Scotia “Dinner on the Ocean Floor” event, which starts this weekend. You can also find the beer on tap at the brewery this weekend.

• The cask list for Saturday’s Ladies Beer League 2nd Birthday at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth has been finalized: Big Spruce Brewing‘s Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Boxing Rock Collaboration Rule 42 English IPA Garrison Brewing Dry-Hopped Imperial IPA, and North Brewing Company Summer Saison with Sour CherriesTickets are still available for the pizza, beer, and cake extranvaganza.

Have a great weekend, and Canada Day Wednesday! Speaking of, it’s your last chance to snatch up the few remaining tickets for the Canada Day Bash in Fredericton at the Lighthouse on the Green, featuring lots of local craft beer, BBQ, and fireworks! Hell Bay has released their Hell’s Anvil Smoked Stout, brewed for the CanIRON X event, and have a very limited number of bottles available at their Liverpool brewery. Red Rover has announced that they will now be at the St. Andrews Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 8 am – 1 pm for flagon fills.  The Moncton Beer League is hosting a NS Craft Beer BBQ Deck Party on Saturday, July 11th, which will feature a four-course dinner, with each course being paired with a different Nova Scotia beer; check the link for tickets and more details. Keep an eye out early next week for the next iteration of PEI Brewing Co.’s Vic Park Pale Ale; this version will feature the wonderful Nelson Sauvin hop. Several new beers are on tap at Paddys Irish Brewpub in the Valley. Drop by for a taste of their Scotian Tartan Export Sour, Porter,  and Lime beers. For those of you lucky enough to be near the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL, you’ll be able to find Hammond River‘s popular seasonal, Hawaiian Pale Ale, on tap for growler fills there next week (July 2-5). Finally, keep your eyes on Upstreet Craft Brewing‘s social media outlets, as they’ll be opening this weekend!

Hooray, another Friday! Which means… hooray, more Atlantic Canadian beer news! Things have slowed down a bit this week, but there’s still plenty of beer-related items to tackle:

• After the release of their Maritime Pale Ale last month, Grimross has released a darker variation of the beer that they’re calling Maritime Amber Ale. Featuring a brand of Pale Malt (sourced from Quebec) with a darker colour (i.e. longer roast), the beer is amber-coloured and features more toffee flavours as a result. That’s not the only difference, however; while the Pale Ale was hopped relatively equally with both British and American varieties, the Amber Ale hopping is skewed more towards the British side, meaning less citrus and more earthiness in the aroma, and more of a “perceived hoppiness”. Like the Pale Ale, it’s still an easy-drinking beer at 5.6% ABV.

• Earlier this week, TrailWay welcomed back their D’Under Pale Ale, and as promised when they first released this beer in early May, the second iteration involves some slight changes. The first go-around, this light-coloured Pale Ale was hopped solely with Galaxy, a popular Australian variety; this time, another Australian hop, Ella, was thrown into the mix. Actually related to Galaxy (half-sister… no, we’re not kidding), Ella is known to be a bit more subtle, and offers floral, spice, and tropical notes when used. The beer still weighs in around 5.5% ABV, but the IBUs have been decreased slightly to around 35, with the high majority of those coming from a whirlpool hop addition at the end of the boil. It’s available on tap now at 540 Kitchen & Bar, and will likely be seen at all of their Fredericton accounts within a week. Make sure you get some of this delicious beer before it’s gone! Also note that their Black IPA, Black Hops One, has returned, and is on tap now at the King Street Ale House.

• Quickly following the successful launch of their on-site taproom, Big Axe has released a new beer: Lizzie Borden Red Ale is an appropriately-named Amber Ale that incorporates a “mixture of Crystal malts” and some Roasted malt to give a “significant malt and toffee aroma”, along with a slight, “roasted-grain finish”. Hopped lightly with English Goldings, it comes in at 5% ABV. You can find it at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and should be on tap at their various accounts in the near future.

• Sticking with New Brunswick beer news, a new festival has been announced for Fredericton this summer. On Saturday, July 11th, the first Tasting NB event will be held from 7 – 10 pm at the Capital Complex downtown. With the purpose of “bringing together New Brunswick craft alcohol producers of all varieties for the first time”, the festival will feature many (if not all) beer, cider, mead, and even wine producers in the province. The full list of participants has not been determined yet, but it looks like a great way to sample what New Brunswick has to offer this summer! Tickets are on sale now; they’re $55.99, and include unlimited 6 oz pours during the event. Afterwards, there will be an after party with live music and a NB Tap Takeover at Wilser’s Room; we’ll keep you updated on the festival as it nears. Get your tickets now!

• Halifax’s North Brewing has brewed up a special beer to celebrate Local Source‘s 10th Anniversary. Hang Ten is a refreshing and sessionable 4.5% ABV hybrid beer. Pilsner malt makes up most of the grain bill (with a touch of Crystal 15 for body), with Amarillo hops added to the mash, and a first wort hop addition of Columbus. Late hop additions in the boil feature Columbus again, along with Wakatu and Amarillo. Columbus and Wakatu were also used as a dry hop during lagering, along with a blast of sweet orange peel. The beer was fermented mid-temperature (between traditional lager and ale temperatures, hence the term “hybrid”), and then lagered for 3 weeks. The beer is being released at Local Source’s Who’s Your Farmer Dinner tomorrow (tickets are still available), a celebration of LS’s local farmers and producers. After the launch, it will be available on tap at Lion & Bright and North’s store.

• Speaking of Anniversaries, the Ladies Beer League is celebrating their Second Birthday with a party at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth. Next Saturday, June 27th, they will be pouring casks from Big Spruce Brewing (Pump Le Mousse Grapefruit Wheat), Boxing Rock (Rule 42 English IPA), Garrison Brewing (TBD) and North Brewing (also TBD). The $25 ticket includes five 7 oz pours from the casks, along with pizza and cake. Tickets are available online now. They are currently only available to LBL Members (check out the details on becoming a member here), but will open up to the general public this afternoon. Attendees can also sign up for a membership that night, and pick up some LBL swag. And if you post a picture of yourself in your LBL shirt to their Facebook page, you could win one of their newly-designed shirts.

• Garrison Brewing has teamed up with their pals at Bulwark Cider to release a cider of their own! Brewhouse Cider is made from a blend of five Annapolis Valley apples, and weighs in at 5.8% ABV. Available at the brewery now for sampling and growler fills, and on tap at their licensees shortly, it may also be available in bottles in the future.

• The Rare Bird Pub in Guysborough has opened again for the season. While they brew on-site year-round for release on tap and the NSLC, their pub is only open in the warmer months. They are open daily 11:30-8pm at 80 Main Street, where their Full Steam Stout, Red Ale, Pale Ale, and seasonals can be enjoyed at the source. Look for their Spruce Ale to be re-released soon.

• Beginning next Friday, and for each and every Friday this summer, Big Spruce in Nyanza will host “Food Truck Friday”, where they’ll have have food, music, and of course beer at their brewery and tap room. To mark the occasion, the folks from Free Range Bio Farm in Cleveland, CB will drop by in their food truck. They will be serving their own on-farm raised and processed German-style Berkshire pork sausages, complete with sauerkraut and all the fixings. There will be live music, and of course Big Spruce’s beers, including the tapping of a special cask. Check Big Spruce’s Facebook event for more info, and subsequent weeks’ announcements.

• The NSLC has released their Year-End Report for 2014, and while overall beer sales fell by 1.2%, sales of NS Craft Beer sales grew by 25.4% (outpacing last year’s tremendous growth of 22%!). It now accounts for more than $5 Million is sales in the province. NS Cider also saw major growth, rising by 55% to $1.2M. Craft breweries in NS employ more than 300 people across the province, with more jobs coming soon with the new breweries coming online, and expansion for the successful current breweries. Congratulations and thanks to the NS Craft Brewers and Drinkers!

Have a fantastic weekend! If you’re in the Saint John area, Hammond River‘s DIPA, Too Hop to Handle, is back on tap, and Red Rover cider is now regularly pouring at The Barrel’s Head. The Gahan House has announced that they will be at this year’s Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July 10th-12th), with beer for sale, a pop-up restaurant, and beer and food demos. For those of you taking part in the MudCraft adventure race event next Sunday in Gore, good news, Propeller has brewed up a beer especially for you, MudCraft Brown Ale! And they will release their latest One Hit Wonder, Halifornia Common, today, weighing in at 5.2% ABV. As usual, on tap at their two locations for growler fills, and licensees, only.

Happy Friday, everyone! Our thoughts are now turning to summer, now that patios and outside dining can finally be enjoyed without having to wear our snowsuits! Grab a pint, and let’s talk beer!

• The 13th Canadian Brewing Awards Gala was held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Saturday night. Of the 125 medal-winning beers and ciders, a handful were from our region: Bulwark‘s Gold Cider took home Gold in Specialty Cider,  Garrison Brewing took home Bronze in Barley Wine for their Ol’ Fog Burner, Moosehead earned Gold in North American Style Blonde/Golden Ale with their Pale AleBrasseurs du Petit-Sault‘s La Kedgwick earned a Bronze in European Style Lager (Pilsner), PEI Brewing Company took home Gold in Brown Ale for their Iron Bridge BrownRed Rover‘s Fire Cider took home Gold in Cider with Herbs/Spices, and Tatamagouche Brewing took home Bronze in Kolsch for their North Shore Lagered Ale. The Beer of the Year was Scona Gold Kolsch from Alley Kat in Edmonton, and Four Winds Brewing in Delta, BC, took home Top Brewery honours. Congratulations to all of the entrants and winners!

• It’s almost summer, which means that the Fredericton Beer Run is just around the corner! This is the third year for the annual event, and with more runners – and more beer! – it should be the best one yet. Held on Monday, August 3rd (New Brunswick Day), runners can choose to participate in one of three distances – 4, 6 or 12 km – starting at the Delta Fredericton at 10 am (all running tickets are $60 + fee). After your run, the sampling will begin! Every runner get 14 tickets, each of which is good for a 4 oz pour (runners will receive a custom-designed beer glass) from a selection of at least 30 beers, ciders, and meads in air-conditioned comfort back at the Delta. The brewery list has almost been finalized; expect to see around 15 breweries, most of which will be from New Brunswick. After the sampling is concluded, a bus will bring runners to the King Street Ale House for an after-party, where there will be drink and food specials on for the rest of the afternoon. And if you’re not into the actual “running” of this event, there are Coach’s Tickets available for $42 + fee, which allows you to cheer on your runner, and still sample all of the beer (note that you must attend with a runner)! The event is already over 50% sold (this year’s run will allow for up to 600 attendees), so don’t wait much longer! Tickets can be purchased online.

PEI Brewing Co. has re-released a favourite limited-release beer from last year, with a bit of a twist. Vic Park Pale Ale is an APA with a grist made up of 50% 2-row and 50% Vienna malt; last year’s batch featured late hop additions of Citra and Kohatu hops, which resulted in a very fruity and tropical beer. This year, they’re using this beer in a single-hop series: every 2 weeks, the beer will be released featuring a different hop variety. This week’s Vic Park was hopped (and dry-hopped) heavily with Citra; varieties to follow will include Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Waimea, to mention a few. It weighs in at 45 IBUs and 5.7% ABV (brewer Chris Long has indicated that the ABV will likely decrease with the next batch), and is currently on tap at the brewery for growler fills and pints. You should also be able to find this series of beer on tap at Gahan House – Charlottetown, Fishbones, and a few other select bars/restaurants.

• Tomorrow (June 13th) marks the opening day of the Big Axe taproom in Nackawic, and you’re invited to celebrate! Opening at 2 pm, there will be five Big Axe beers pouring (The Hatchet, White Birch Porter, Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Double Bit, and their new, currently-unnamed English Pale Ale), along with a Red Rover cider and Sunset Heights mead. Souther Ukrainian food will be available for purchase from 5-7 pm, and Julio’s Garage will provide live music from 8-10 pm. Regular summer hours for the taproom will be Thursdays 12-7 pm, and Fri-Sat 12-9 pm.

• The James Joyce in Fredericton has started their new Happy Hour program, Craft Beer at Twilight Happy Hour. Featuring happy hour prices every night from 9-10 pm on a weekly-rotating New Brunswick craft brewery (subject to availability), it will continue for the duration of the summer (and hopefully beyond!). Picaroons is the first brewery currently featured, with TrailWay and Big Axe likely to follow.

• And speaking of the James Joyce/Food at the Crowne, as promised back in March, today marks the opening of their craft beer garden/open air BBQ restaurant at the Lighthouse on the Green in downtown Fredericton. Various barbecued fare will be available, and there will be three taps pouring at all times – two Picaroons beers, with a third tap rotating through different New Brunswick breweries (TrailWay will be featured first). Hours are 11 am – 10 pm; Fri-Sun only for the first two weeks, but daily after that for the entire summer!

• The official website for soon-to-open Upstreet Craft Brewing has launched! It’s chock-full of information on their beers, tasting room, and more, so be sure to check it out. They also released the first 50 memberships to their Mug Club… which quickly sold out. Sorry! No worries, they will be releasing more soon… add your name to the waiting list on the Mug Club link to be sure you get yours. Including your own handmade Upstreet mug (which resides at the brewery), bigger pours, discounts on growler-fills and merchandise, and invitations to member-exclusive events, it’s well-worth the yearly $60 membership fee! Look for their beer release before the end of the month, and Grand Opening in early July.

• A new upcoming brewery in New Brunswick has revealed itself ever-so-subtly on Facebook this week: Flying Boats Brewing, located in Shediac, is currently going through the process of getting their license to brew beer. Details are slim for now, of course, but we’ve been in contact with the owner/brewer, and will have plenty of information for you in the near future!

Railcar Brewing in Florenceville-Bristol, NB has announced that they will soon be offering bottles of their beer for sale at the brewery. These will join their growlers already available for off-site consumption, and supplement the taps and other breweries’ bottles available in their tap room. Shortly after the launch in their retail store, the two initial bottled offerings be will be available at a handful of ANBL locations in their region. They will be using the 500mL format.

Garrison Brewing is releasing their country-wide collaboration early next week, simultaneously brewed (and also to be released) by Phillips Brewing, Flying Monkeys, and Trou du Diable. Coast to Coastless is a 7.6% ABV Imperial ESB, brewed with Pale Ale, Kiln Amber (similar to Biscuit) and Crystal malts, UK hops Bramling Cross, Challenger and Admiral to 50 IBUs. Good news, folks who attend their Backlot Bash tomorrow will get a sneak peak at this new brew! Tickets are still available for the concert/celebration, with proceeds going to the Ecology Action Centre. For those unable to make it, look for it on sale at the brewery store Monday, and at the private stores shortly thereafter. And Garrison will also be launching their re-branded look tomorrow at the Bash, centering on their iconic cannon logo.

• Tickets for August 7&8’s Halifax Seaport Beerfest are now on sale. The 9th Annual Fest will take place once again at the Cunard Centre on the Waterfront. Tickets are $45+fees and tax, available online, and at Ticket Atlantic or NSLC locations (where you can save the fees). VIP options are available for each session as well, allowing festival goers some cool swag and access to the floor early and a Q&A panel with special guests. As in previous years, there will be a Friday evening session, and Saturday afternoon and evening sessions. 300 beers and ciders will be available for tasting (most of which are not normally available in NS), with an expanded Cask Pavillion, as well as Gluten-free and Ciders options. The ticket price includes drinks, and food will be available for purchase from Bramoso Pizza, Stubborn Goat and Waterfront Warehouse, all under $5. We will share more details on the beers pouring when available.

Yellowbelly Brewery in St. John’s has a new beer on tap today, Black Gold. This 4.5% ABV black ale is balanced with 40 IBUs of the Brewer’s Gold hop (added during the boil as well as dry hopping early during fermentation, and later in cold conditioning). The colour for this brew comes from Midnight Wheat (at about 8% of the grain bill), which imparts the dark colour and chocolate character, without the astringency found in other roasted malts. The wheat also aids in great head retention, and gives a “puffed wheat” character. Grab it on tap beginning today, and pick up bottles at the store and NLC later next week.

• Speaking of Yellowbelly, they are looking for a Brewer and Apprentice in their brewhouse. These positions will be to assist Brewmaster Liam McKenna as they expand their offerings and distribution. The 10 hl brewhouse located in the heart of downtown (on the corner of George and Water Streets) brews for both onsite consumption as well as bottles in the NLC. While the Brewer position requires formal brewing training and/or experience, the apprentice job is the perfect position for those interested in the wonderful world of brewing! Interested candidates should send an email to yellowbellybrewerjob@gmail.com for more details and to submit a résumé.

• Congratulations to Schoolhouse Brewery, as they mark their first anniversary as a commercial brewery! Their Thursday evening growler delivery service continues to be popular with folks in Windsor and Falmouth, so be sure to sign up on their website. Keep up to date with their Southfield Project, where they will be brewing a beer from hops and malt, all harvested from one field, with the malt processed in their brewery.

• Today’s the day! The Stillwell Beergarden will open its sliding doors today, inviting residents and visitors alike to drink great local beer, cider, wine and hand-crafted lemonade right on the water. And they couldn’t have picked a better day for it! Ten taps, local sausages and snacks, get on it! Keep an eye on their Twitter and Facebook feeds for the opening time announcement.

Thanks for tuning in! Another few local beers are back on tap, including Hammond River Blueberry Ale and Shiretown Hop Hash. Petit-Sault‘s award-winning La Kedgwick should be available in bottles at ANBL stores by early July. And don’t forget that there’s still tickets left for Fredericton’s Canada Day Bash… lots of beer, food, and patriotism/fireworks!

Good morning, beer lovers! It’s the end of another week, and it’s absolutely chock-full of Atlantic Canadian beer news… let’s get right to it:

Propeller has released their newest One Hit Wonder, Point Pleasant Pale Ale. An APA hopped entirely with the Columbus variety, the brewery describes it as “crisp and balanced”. It weighs in at 5% ABV, and at only 27 IBUs, expect a beer that isn’t quite as bitter as others of the same style. As always, it’s available for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations, and on tap at better beer establishments throughout Halifax.

• As we promised last week, we have some info on two new beers currently on tap at The Nook and Cranny. First off is their Black Beer’d IPA, a Black IPA that is very dark as per the style (thanks to a grist including Carafa Special II, along with Carapils and CaraMunich for specialty malts). Weighing in at 5.8% ABV and 38 IBUs, it’s dry-hopped with plenty of Centennial, Cascade and Galaxy for lots of tropical and citrus aromas/flavours. Next is the Spitting Alpaca, an American Pale Ale hopped with Pacific Jade and Cascade, and dry-hopped with Galaxy; this one comes in at 5.2% ABV and 18 IBUs. This is the first iteration for both brews, so expect some recipe tweaking over the next few batches until they’ve settled on what they (and customers) like best. In the meantime, get down there for a pint and/or growler fills! Also, look for another fruit-based wheat beer in July (their Blueberry Wheat is currently the most-popular beer on tap).

• Their first beer, Caraquet Flyer, was only released last month, but Distillerie Fils du Roy now have a second brew available, and it’s at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend! Stella Maris (named after the star in the Acadian flag, representing Mary, the patron of mariners) is inspired by the French style, Bière de Garde, which means “beer that has been kept or lagered”. A fairly-strong (7.5% ABV), malty beer, it was brewed with French malts and hops. The brewery/distillery is referring to it as a “Bière de Garde Régions d’Acadie”, not unlike some French styles of alcohol being specific to where they are made (e.g. Champagne). If you’re in the Petit-Paquetville region, you can also find 750 mL bottles of both beers available at their store, open 10-5, Mon-Sat; the Caraquet Flyer is also available in bottles in select ANBLs.

Big Axe has a new rendition of their Blonde Ale currently available on tap and at the brewery for growler fills and pints. The Hatchet has the same grist as the previous Blonde Ale, but has been hopped more heavily (with Perle and El Dorado) later in the boil, to boost the aroma of the beer. It still comes in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV, and 30 IBUs. Look for it at the usual Big Axe accounts to enjoy it on tap, including new addition Isaac’s Way, where it will be part of their summer beer menu.

• Earlier this week, on June 1st, Picaroons released their seasonal Watermelon Wheat, MelonHead; this day also marked the revealing of the winning cat in their Melon Head label contest. Sir Winston Snaggletooth (!), owned by Jordan Stephens, takes the honour of gracing every bottle of MelonHead released this season. MelonHead is available now at the Brewtique for growler fills, and should be on tap at select bars/restaurants across the province, and in bottles at ANBL stores this weekend.

Hell Bay Brewing has released a new beer this week, with a bit of a twist. Their OPA (Oatmeal Pale Ale) is now on tap at the brewery and soon at select bars, and weighs in at 5.0% ABV. While oats are used occasionally in Stouts to impart a fuller mouthfeel and some residual sweetness, they are seldom used in other beer styles. The smooth mouthfeel offered by the oats pairs well with the crisp hop character (weighing in at 49 IBUs), for a balanced and easy- drinking summer beer. The OPA will be available all summer, with the possibility of bottles into the private stores later. Hell Bay also teased the label for a beer coming in July, Hell’s Anvil!. This Smoked Dry Stout is being brewed in collaboration with the CanIron X Blacksmiths Conference being held in Baddeck, Cape Breton, July 2-5. Beware, Smithing is thirsty work, and we civilians may have to wait for a re-brew of the beer, perhaps in the fall.

• Attention Halifax Beer Fans! The Stillwell Waterfront Beergarden is set to open within the next few days. Located at Summit Plaza, steps from “The Wave”, the bar is located in a converted shipping container, and features outdoor, but sheltered, seating. Delivery of the container, built by Halifax’s Skin + Bones Building Desgin Workshop, took place yesterday, with the taps installed by BeerTech Darught Systems shortly thereafter. The seating area is set, and the staff is receiving training today, so look for the big announcement from the Stillwell crew on Twitter later in the weekend, or very early next week. As a reminder, they will be serving beer, cider and wine on tap, and food will focus on easy snacks and sausages, with some being handmade by chef Graeme Ruppel, as well as local producers Sweet William’s, Roselane Farm, with bread and buns from Gingerbread Haus.

Meander River Farm and Brewery released a new beer last night, launched at the Taste of Nova Scotia 12 Tides event. Summer Solstice IPA is a Session Ale, weighing in at 4.5% ABV. The lower alcohol certainly does not mean lower flavour, as the beer features lots of flavour and aroma from Amarillo and Citra hops, with an extra dry-hopped blast of Cascade. It is available at the Brewery in Ashdale all weekend (along with their Honey Brown), and will make an appearance shortly on tap at Stillwell.

• Earlier this week, Meander River invited Garrison Brewmaster Daniel Girard to Ashdale to brew up a special beer, for a series of special dinners happening this summer. Dining on the Ocean Floor will be taking place four times this summer (June 27, July 25, August 15 and September 12) at Burntcoat Head in the Minas Basin, the site of the world’s largest tides. And during the lowest tides each month, Taste of Nova Scotia is holding a dinner on the beach (which was, just hours earlier, 15 metres underwater!), featuring Flying Apron Cookery, Newell’s Jewels Edibles (foraged food) and Avondale Sky winery. The beer is a strong Scotch Ale, featuring peated malt, with the addition of seaweed.

• And speaking of Garrison, they teased a collaborative Coast-to-Coast release scheduled for later this month, featuring Phillips Brewery in Victoria, Flying Monkeys in Barrie, and Troue du Diable in Shawinigan. We’ll share the details once they’ve been released.

Tatamagouche Brewing will be installing a canning line later this month. They will be canning their core line of beers (Hippie Dippie Pale Ale, North Shore Lagered Ale, and Butcher Block Red), as well as a rotating seasonal or two, beginning early July. These will supplement their growler and bottles already available, in a more stowable and beach- and boat-friendly package.

BarNone released a new beer – of sorts – at their weekly growler night last evening, Pale Indian Ale. Described by the brewery as a “variation” on their regular-release IPA, this one was brewed by BarNone assistant brewer Johnny. Details are being kept secret, so all we can recommend is to try it out if you have the chance, and compare it to their regular IPA. Their Route 225 Root Beer (non-alcoholic) made its return at last evening’s Growler Night as well.

• Next Wednesday, June 10th, drinking craft beer in northern New Brunswick will get a whole lot easier! Caraquet’s La Brôkerie is opening a separate craft beer bar, La Chope, which will feature six craft taps. On opening, expect to see three beers from Petit-Sault (La Kedgwick, Louis XVII, and Soeur Catherine), two from Distillerie Fils du Roy (Caraquet Flyer and Stella Maris), and one featuring a Pollen Angels mead.

• This Sunday, starting at 9 am,  Sunset Heights Meadery will be selling tickets for their Summer Mead Release Party. If you pre-purchased your ticket at the Spring Mead Release in April, you should be receiving it soon; for those who did not pre-purchase, there will be a limited number of 16 available. The event will take place on Sunday, July 5th, from 2 pm – 6 pm, and will feature six 2 oz pours of new meads (and some past favourites), paired with an appetizer, four different reLiSH sliders, and a dessert. More samples and food repeats will follow. As well, attendees can purchase up to 24 bottles of mead with guaranteed availability (and the possibility of more, depending on availability), and can reserve a ticket to the Autumn party at the current, locked-in price. Tickets are $55 + tax.

• There are still tickets available for Northumbeerfest Craft Beer & Music Festival, being held this Saturday at Pictou Lodge. It features entertainment by Meaghan Blanchard, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys and Tim Chaisson. Beers will be available from Big Spruce, Garrison, Tatamagouche and Uncle Leo’s. The event doors open at 5pm, tickets for the Fest are $40+tax, and are available by phone (902-485-4322) or email.

• As we reported previously, the building that houses Rogues Roost and Tom’s Little Havana will be demolished in the fall. We can now report that Tom’s new location has been chosen, in the City Centre Atlantic Mall, using the entrance located adjacent to former tenant Premier Wines & Spirits and Top Cuts (which is moving elsewhere in the mall). This will now lead directly into Tom’s and The Fireside (when it moves from Brunswick St), both of which will share a common kitchen. No word yet on Rogues Roost’s new location.

• Speaking of moving, North Brewing owner Peter Burbridge is teaming up with the Brooklyn Warehouse crew, and taking over the Nectar Restaurant location when it closes at the end of the month. Their beer-centric project will be opening in the fall, at the 62 Ochterloney Street location. Details are slim beyond that at the moment, but stay tuned for more details as they are revealed.

Breton Brewing brewed the inaugural batches of three beers this week, for release in a few weeks. We are able to share the historically-inspired names of the beers, but we’ll have to wait a little while before tasting these beauties. Black Angus IPA is named after Giant Angus MacAskill, who lived in Englishtown. Stirling Hefeweizen is named after William Alexander, the first proprietor of what is now Nova Scotia. Sons of Hector Brown Ale is named after the famous ship Hector, which brought Breton’s owners’ ancestors to Pictou from Scotland in 1773. Look for a full profile of Breton Brewing in the next couple of weeks, and their beer release shortly thereafter!

• The Good Cheer Trail officially launched in Nova Scotia June 1st. This is Canada’s first winery, craft brewery and distillery trail, and encourages visitors to get on the road and visit the producers of our local beverages. An accompanying passport can be picked up at your local brewery or brewpub, or an online passport can be used to check-in along your journey. There are a few of the province’s breweries not listed (due to onsite tasting limitations), but don’t let that stop you from visiting them all this summer! In addition to enjoying the great products each stop is offering, as a bonus incentive, a free t-shirt will be offered to those who collect 10 stamps on their passport (while supplies last). We’ll see you out on the Trail!

• This weekend is the 13th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Craft Brewers Conference, being held in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We wish all of the Atlantic Canadian breweries and ciderhouses taking part the best of luck! The Awards Gala will be taking place Saturday night at 7:30 pm AST, and we’ll be tuning in live to cheer on our local breweries. You can too, by following the stream link on the front page, and by following the @CdnBrewAwards or #CBAs2015. And for those that can’t tune in live, the winners will be updated on this page Sunday or Monday.

That’s it for this week! Good Robot‘s Crown on the Ground Steam Beer Mini-Festival, featuring music, Halifax Press Food Truck, and other fun times, is taking place Sunday [changed from Saturday], starting at noon. Be sure to drop by for a taste of the new beer, and their other three offerings. Tonight, starting at 10:30 pm, Resto-Bar Le Deck will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary with a Picaroons and Petit-Sault tap-takeover; there will be live music as well, so be sure to check it out if you’re in Edmundston. PEI Brewing Company has been serving their popular Blood Orange IPA at their Kensington Road location, but hurry in, it sells out quickly! Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown has been undergoing renovations over the past week, and will be returning on June 7th (hopefully) with lots of taps (12) to serve lots of craft beer (including soon-to-open Upstreet)! And finally, voting is now open for The Coast’s Best of Halifax 2015. Be sure to let them know what your favourite Brewery, Bar, and Restaurant are!