Hello, everyone! It’s been another great week of weather in Atlantic Canada… what better way to end it than with some local news on our favourite beverage?
• Boxing Rock has released a new beer that is an interesting twist on the commonly-found Blonde Ale style – it’s a “Blonde Rye Ale” named Bottle Blonde. Brewed with the summer months in mind, the grain bill consists of a whopping 35% Rye Malt (large amounts of Rye can be tricky to brew with due to the sticky consistency it often lends to the mash), complementing the 5% ABV. Hopped mainly with East Kent Goldings and Saaz, it has a fairly-low bitterness at about 20 IBUs. The brewery is describing it as very drinkable, with a nice balance between the spicy notes from the hops and the spicy notes from the Rye. You can find it now at the brewery and on tap at select beer bars/restaurants, and in bottles at several NSLC stores sometime next week. It should be around until September, when the temperatures inevitably start to drop!
• Earlier this week, Grimross released a new beer, Strab Cream Ale. Brewed for the Canadian Association of Optometrists Congress 2015 (held this week in Fredericton), the name comes from the short form of “strabismic”, which refers to double-vision, often resulting from too much drinking! The beer itself is a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) ale featuring Pale malt and Centennial. Featuring a low hop bitterness at 18 IBUs, it’s light-bodied and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV, and is described by the brewery as a “great lawnmower beer, refreshing with a little grassiness”. Stop by the brewery today for a pint and/or growler fill; it is also available at select bars/restaurants in the city.
• Speaking of Grimross, they’ve announced their first Grimross Hops Festival, to be held on Saturday, August 22nd. A “celebration of New Brunswick hops, microbreweries, and music”, it will take place in the back lot of the brewery at 600 Bishop Dr. from 3 pm – 11 pm. Details are slim at the moment, but they promise plenty of NB beer, food, and talent! Advance tickets ($30 each) will go on sale soon, and include entry and three 5 oz beer samples, with additional drink tickets available for purchase at the event; the price at the door will be $35. For more details on the bands scheduled, check out the event page. We’ll keep you updated on the breweries/beers pouring as that information is released.
• Big Axe has released a new American IPA, Firefly IPA. With a lighter body than their Double Bit IPA, this beer should also be drier and more refreshing, as there are no caramel notes in the aroma or flavour, according to the brewery. Brewed with several hop varieties including Chinook and Galena, it features a “prominent hop aroma, with both floral and citrus notes”. It clocks in at 5.7% ABV and 50 IBUs, and has a “very clean and crisp finish”. You can find it on tap now at the brewery in Nackawic, and at the James Joyce in Fredericton.
• The Gahan House – Charlottetown has released the winning entry in this year’s Home Brewer’s Challenge, and it’s on tap now at the brewpub. Summer in New Zealand comes from the homebrewing brains and talent of Ryan Palmer (who also won last year’s inaugural event); an American Wheat Ale hopped with Wakatu, it also features Grains of Paradise and lemon and lime zest. Palmer and Gahan brewmaster Trent Hayes brewed the recipe on the Gahan system; the beer comes in at approximately 5.1% ABV and 30 IBUs. Get to the brewpub and try it while you can!
• In some sad news, the popular Windsor, NS pub and friend to local craft beer, The Spitfire Arms, was severely damaged in a fire on Tuesday morning. Happily, they already have plans to open in a temporary location next week on Gerrish St.; in the meantime, work will begin soon on the original location to have it back up and running ASAP. As well, local musician Hal Bruce is organizing a music event to help raise funds for the Spitfire; the tentative date is currently set for Sunday, August 23rd. Here’s to a speedy recovery for this wonderful establishment!
• Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub recently released an exclusive line-up of highly-rated and hard-to-find American craft beers, featuring breweries such as Allagash, Maine Beer Co., Dogfish Head, and Cascade Brewing, to name a few (the full list is available here). Bottles of these beers are on sale now; they’re available in limited quantities only, so be sure to stop in for a chance to try some excellent beers, complemented by the more than a dozen craft beers on tap from Atlantic Canada and Quebec.
• This year’s PEI Beer Festival has been confirmed for September 11th and 12th at the Delta Prince Edward. This year’s event will once again offer two evening sessions (Friday and Saturday), and one Saturday afternoon session. Full details and a brewery/beer list have not been released yet, but expect live music and food pairings to accompany many samples of beers. Tickets are on sale now; they’re priced at $47.60 for each evening sesson, and $36.20 for the afternoon session.
• The crew from Bar Stillwell made a visit to Big Spruce in Nyanza yesterday, to brew up a conspiracy beer. They put together a Pale Ale, hopped generously (understatement of the year!) with Citra, all late in the boil. This will give the beer a big blast of citrus and melon in aroma and flavour, without an aggressive bitterness. Look for this on tap at the Beergarden by early August.
• Distillerie Fils du Roy in Petit-Paquetville, N.B. has brewed up their Summer Seasonal this week, to be released in the coming weeks. La Messe Blanche is named in memory of the Acadians fleeing deportation who would settle in existing communities, and would still hold Sunday Mass, but without a priest overseeing it (thus named Messe Blanche/White Mass). For the label, local artist Raynald Basque was commissioned to paint Alexis Landry, who had built Chapel de Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage in Caraquet, leading one of the Messe Blanches. Fils du Roy will soon be offering their beers in a new format – growlers from local producer Jym Line.
We hope you have a great weekend! A final reminder that Breton Brewing is having their launch party at Flavor on the Water tomorrow, with music, food and beer all night. Tickets are available online. Propeller has another One Hit Wonder on the go: English Mild is now available at both Prop Shop locations, and comes in at 4% ABV and 22 IBUs.