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 Ale, Brasseurs 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 Brown, Red 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!