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.