Happy Friday folks! We’ve got lots of new beers (and a couple of breweries!) to keep you satisfied today.
• Fredericton beer lovers were alerted this morning to yet another new brewery in their city… and it’s open now! Half Cut Brewing is owned by Matt Corey, an employee at Picaroons; Matt will be brewing his first beers on the 7 BBL system at the Brewtique on Queen St. This isn’t the first time that Picaroons have lent their space and equipment to a new brewery – Grimross initially had their start there when they first opened two years ago. Half Cut has released their first beer this morning for growler fills at the Brewtique – Alter Ego is a 5% ABV Düsseldorf Altbier, a copper-coloured German ale/lager hybrid that features clean and malty flavours, and is balanced by a firm bitterness (47 IBUs). Head down to the Brewtique ASAP to give this new beer a try! In the meantime, we’ll have more info on Half Cut in the near future.
• Hammond River owner/brewer Shane Steeves was at the Big Tide brewpub last Saturday with brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos for their first collaboration beer! They decided to focus on both a style and ingredient that neither of them had brewed/used before, and settled on a “Rhubarb Saison”. With a fairly simple grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt, plus a little Munich and Crystal 60 L, it was hopped lightly with Hallertau to about 28 IBUs. Seventy pounds of locally-sourced rhubarb was added to the beer in several stages – the boil, during primary fermentation, and when fermentation is complete – which should provide significant tartness to the finished product. Fermented with a dry Saison yeast, expect this Belgian ale to weigh in at around 6% ABV; it should be available on tap at Big Tide within a couple of weeks, and will hopefully pop up at several of Hammond River’s accounts as well!
• TrailWay has added another fruit beer to their summer line-up: Mango Wheat features the same grist as their popular Raspberry Wheat, with real mangoes – 10 lbs worth – added during secondary fermentation. Also hopped with notoriously-tropical varieties Citra and Galaxy (including more Citra in the dry-hop), expect this easy-drinking, 4.5% ABV beer to be perfectly-fruity for summer (even if the weather hasn’t felt like it, lately). It’s available on tap now throughout Fredericton.
• Last night, TrailWay also took part in the recent return of the weekly Thursday Cask Night at the King Street Ale House. Along with two casks of their IPA, Hugh John Hops (one infused with bourbon-soaked oak chips, the other dry-hopped a second time, with Comet), they released… another new beer! Summer Amber is on the lighter side of Amber-coloured, with a grist of 2-row, Munich, Crystal, CaraRed, and a hint of Chocolate malt. Hopped heavily with Centennial (and smaller amounts of Amarillo and Mosaic), it’s easy-drinking at 5% ABV, with a moderate bitterness in the finish.
• Ahead of their participation in the Halifax Seaport Beer Festival August 7-8, the fine folks from Toronto’s Great Lakes Brewery will be taking over the taps at both the Stillwell Beergarden and Barrington St mothership on Thursday, August 6th. Starting at 4pm, a fine selection of GLB beers will be pouring on the waterfront, taking over all of the Beergarden’s lines, with some special sausages and dogs to accompany them. Just one keg of each beer will be on, so once it’s gone, it’s gone! Entry tickets are $5+fees. And then, starting at 6pm, Barrington Street will be pouring a dozen of Brewmaster Mike Lackey’s favourite brews, which will be sure to include some rare-for-even-Toronto GLB brews, perhaps from their mixed fermentation, barrel-aged and other small-batch beers. And Lackey himself will be on hand to meet and greet. Tickets for entry to this event are also $5+fees, and after 8pm, the doors will be open to all (assuming there’s anything left). Tickets are available online now, and are sure to sell out soon!
• Flying Boats Brewing hasn’t been open very long, but that’s not stopping them from experimenting with new beers! First up is Dome Car, a Bohemian or Czech Pilsner that is brewed with plenty of the noble Saaz hop variety, providing lots of its characteristic spicy flavours and aromas. It registers at 36 IBUs and 5% ABV, and is currently on tap at Shediac’s Auberge Gabriele Inn. Owner/brewer Marc Melanson also brewed up a special beer for a special event (mentioned directly below): S-55 Special Mission Dark Pale Ale. Featuring a “rich blend of malted and caramel-based barleys”, the beer is heavily-hopped (and dry-hopped) with Cascade to balance the sweetness from the malts. Named after an aviation feat that took place in Shediac in 1933 (more on that here), it comes in at 37 IBUs and 5.6% ABV.
• In celebration of the upcoming New Brunswick Day long weekend, Fredericton’s James Joyce Pub is pulling out all the stops and dedicating their 18 taps to all 18 breweries in the province. This will mark the first time that every brewery in New Brunswick is available on tap at the same time! Beers from the recently-opened Flying Boats Brewing (including the new brew mentioned above) and Savoie’s Brewhouse will join the line-up, as well as the recent Acadie-Broue/Big Tide collaboration La Gaboteuse, a Belgian IPA. Acadie-Broue will also have a tap for their Hefeweizen, Valdrague Weizen (more on that beer here). The kegs will be tapped at 3 pm on Friday, July 31st, and will continue flowing all weekend until they’re gone. Many of these beers will go quickly, so don’t wait to drop in! This feat likely won’t be accomplished again for quite some time!
• Speaking of Savoie’s Brewhouse, their listing at the ANBL has gone live today, which means this weekend should be the time to pick up their Chaleur Phantom Amber Ale (and their Island Lake Blonde shortly). They will also be participating (along with Charlo neighbours Shiretown Beer) in the Bon Ami Flavour Fest taking place at 7pm July 25th at the Lion’s Club on Adelaide in Dalhousie. Tickets are $35, and include beer, cider, and wine tasting, and finger food until 10pm, when the live music and dancing take over the hall floor.
• Petit-Sault has released Lt. Ingall – Summer Edition, a new take on Lt. Ingall, their “Session Pale Ale”. While the original was brewed entirely with malt from Quebec’s MaltBroue, the new beer features both Canadian 2-row and Munich malt for “more of a smooth maltiness”, according to the brewery. The hop schedule has also been changed, with Chinook and Centennial taking the stage. It’s still a very-sessionable 4.6% ABV; currently available at the brewery, it should also be joining the line-up at the ANBL Growler Stations in the near future. And be sure to drop by their Beer Garden at 45 rue de l’Eglise July 30-Aug 1, for some pre-Foire Brayonne fun.
• Railcar Brewing in Florenceville has a new beer out this week, Celtic Red Ale. This malt-forward 6.2% ABV Red features four different malts in the grain bill, with bittering from Fuggle and Golding from local Southan Farm to 17 IBUs for balance. Railcar has also given us some details on a new beer they’ve brewed especially for their local Festival of Flavour, being held Aug 9-15. Their Sweet Potato Porter features Pale, Munich, Caramel, Carapils and Chocolate malts, along with 8 kg of sweet potatoes in the mash tun. Magnum hops were used both in a first-wort hop and in the boil to balance the malt, and an addition of star anise and cinnamon spices was added to the boil. This 8.2% ABV beer will be available at the brewery beginning August 11, and at the Festival of Flavour Grand Tasting, Aug 15 at 6:30pm. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $35, and available now. And join Railcar’s owner/brewer Mitch Biggar in a tasting of Maritime Craft Beer on Aug 12, complete with a tour of his brewery. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for Railcar’s debut on the ANBL growler program next week, with their Grapefruit Pale Ale on tap at the Fredericton ANBL.
Let’s hope the weather improves over the weekend! Grimross’ Table Oat Saison is now available. Brewed with 100% Oats, this beer is suitable for gluten-conscious drinkers, as oats themselves contain no gluten, but they were not processed in a gluten-free facility, so those with celiac disease should be aware of that. Look for more details on the brew here. PEI Brewing’s latest Vic Park Pale Ale single-hop variant is out, this time using the Australian Galaxy hop. Big Spruce was visited by home brewer Jason Spears to brew up this year’s batch of Tip of the Spear Spruce Tip IPA, look for it to hit the taps mid-August. And drop by today for oysters (until 6:30pm) and music from Keith Mullins (starting at 3:30pm) during their Food, Music, and Beer Friday. Drop by Halifax’s Good Robot for a growler fill of their core lineup this weekend, and you can also grab a taste of some pilot brews that may be released in the coming months. Look for a Lichtenhainer (a sour and smoky low alcohol German style) and Kentucky Common (a pre-Prohibition malt and corn beer from Kentucky). Bishop’s Cellar has received a new shipment from several breweries that is hitting the shelves today, including a handful from Evil Twin, as well as a Summer Wheat from Anchor Brewing, cider from Brickworks Ciderhouse, and a collaboration between Le Trou du Diable & Dieu du Ciel!. A reminder that they take internet orders and deliveries across the province for those who cannot make it into their Halifax shop. Sign up to their Behind the Taps mailing list for the latest details. And Chris will be doing something a little different next weekend, visiting a few Maine beer sites and events, including a Brews & Views Beer Pairing Dinner at Stratton Brook Hut near Kingfield, Maine, and going for a bit of a beer and raft adventure on the Kennebec River, at The Forks, Maine. Keep an eye open for additional info next week.