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All posts for the month August, 2015

Recently, we were invited to check out some breweries and beer-centric special events in Maine, and we were thrilled with the opportunity to take part. Chris and his partner Erin made the trip south for an extended weekend of fun, food, and of course beer. We wanted to share our adventures with you, in the hopes of inspiring you to make a visit south to Maine to discover their exciting beer locations and events.

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Our three days in Maine kicked off in Bangor. After a leisurely drive in from Fredericton, we checked into our room at Fireside Inn & Suites on Main Street, enjoyed our complimentary whoopie pie, and went directly to our first beer destination. Thankfully, it was in the same building! Geaghan’s Pub is an Irish pub, opened in 1975 by John and Arline Geaghan. In 1983, John passed away, and the business was purchased from Arline by several of their children. In 2011, they added on-site brewing to the pub, focusing on American-style beers with an Irish twist, quickly growing a faithful following. Andrew Geaghan (John’s grandson) and Ryan Power are in charge of the brewing operations, sharing co-head-brewer titles. Both started out as home brewers, and had been working elsewhere in the Pub before taking on these roles. In fact, working at the pub is certainly a family affair, with owners Larry, Pat, and Peter Geaghan all working in the kitchen or bar.

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We met up with Lisa Sturgeon, who joined us in a tour of their beers and tasty pub food, including their famous boneless wings. Insider tip: Ask for the “Reserve Sauce” with your wings. You won’t find it on the menu, but the locals have been ordering it for years. It’s hot and sweet, much like a sriracha and brown sugar combination.

GeaghansFlight

In our first flight, we enjoyed their Refueler Unfilitered Wheat, Presque Isle Honey Blonde Ale (made with local honey), Higgins Irish Red Ale, and Smiling Irish Bastard APA. All were very well-made examples of their styles, and quenched our thirst quite nicely on a warm summer afternoon. All of their beers are named in celebration of the local culture, region, and family history of clan Geaghan. The Smiling Irish Bastard, for instance, is named after Police Officer Bernie Welch, a relative of the Geaghans, who was a serious man patrolling the streets of Bangor, but had a dry, Irish sense of humour.

GeaghansBrewhouse

After the great food and drink, Lisa took us on a tour of the on-site brewery. Their Criveller-built brewhouse is a 5BBL (6 hectolitre) system, with four fermenters of the same size. They do well to pack everything in the narrow footprint of the brewery, with enough room to manoeuvre, but without wasted space. The day we visited, they were doing a 24-hour sour mash for an upcoming release. The walls of the brewery are finished in white plastic, perfect for dry erase markers. The brewers use that to their advantage, taking tally of the number of beers brewed (37 different beers so far this year), volume tally (they are well on their way to overtake the 717 barrels [841 hl] they brewed last year), and motivational sayings (“Don’t be that guy”, featuring a picture of the chemical formula for diacetyl). They are brewing three times a week to keep up with demand, serving eight different brews on tap, and for growler fills, at any given time.

GeaghansBreakfast

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the stellar breakfast we enjoyed at Geaghan’s the next morning before leaving town. Co-owner Larry Geaghan is onsite at 4am every morning baking bread and pastries (we loved the Thick-Cut White and Oatmeal Brown), and Chris couldn’t get enough of the Bacon Cinnamon buns, prepared French Toast style! They also feature “Paddy Cakes”, An Irish potato pancake made with bacon, cheese & onion. And their Oatmeal Stout makes a perfect breakfast beer (so we’ve heard).

Thanks very much to Tom Palmer of the Fireside Inn & Suites, and Lisa Sturgeon of Geaghan Brothers Brewery for having us for a visit, be sure to visit them both at 570 Main Street in Bangor, and stay up to date with new beer releases and Mug Club events on their Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Stayed tuned as we continue our adventures to a few more locations in and around Bangor, as we hop on The Growler Bus for a fun Friday night, and then hit the road for the Carrabassett Valley and The Forks for some outdoor adventures (and beer)!

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Happy Friday everyone! Sadly, this marks the last Wrap-Up of August, but that doesn’t mean that the beer news is slowing down at all.

• TrailWay released a new beer yesterday – this one was actually brewed by Catherine Saunders and Alex Sorenson under the watchful-eye of their significant others, Jake Saunders and Dan Mason (owners and brewers of TrailWay). Appropriately-named Better Half, it’s a Blueberry-Lime Fruit Beer that had real lime zest and 35 lbs of local blueberries added after fermentation was complete. With a simple grain bill consisting of mostly Pilsner malt, and very minimal hopping, it’s a refreshing and easy-drinking (at 4.5% ABV) end-of-summer beer, with some sweetness and tartness from the fruit. You can find it on tap now (or very soon) at the King Street Ale House, James Joyce Pub, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Vault 29.

• In other TrailWay news, they should be releasing a new Double IPA (currently unnamed) sometime next week. Clocking in at about 8.1%, it was hopped heavily (to ~75 IBUs) with Centennial, Comet, Galaxy and Mosaic, so expect plenty of tropical, citrus, and dank notes in this beer! Like most of their hoppy beers, the malt bill was kept relatively simple to allow the hops to shine through.

• PEI’s newest craft brewery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, is holding a Block Party on Saturday, September 5th. This free event will be held outdoors in the Upstreet parking lot, and will feature local food vendors, live music (including Wrong Planet Band), lawn games, activities (big and small, for kids and adults), and a “pop-up barber shop” for all your hair-trimming needs; guided brewery tours will also be going on throughout the day. It’s family-friendly, so bring the kids! The party will continue inside the taproom after 8 pm. They’ll be releasing their highly-anticipated Boxing Rock collaboration beer, Rumble in the Alley: Round 1, a SMaSH India Pale Lager, and there MAY be a special guest or two on hand for the tapping! And in other good news, brewmaster Mike Hogan has confirmed that he will be brewing another batch of their Wheat IPA, White Noize in the next few days; look for that one to be released again in September.

• It’s Hop Harvest time in our region! Yesterday, the crew from North Brewing made the trek to Shelburne to visit Boxing Rock Brewing for their own harvest collaboration brew. Many Hands 3.0 features loads of freshly-harvested Cascade, Chinook, and Willamette, all from North brewer Josh Herbin’s Lazy Acres hop farm. This Pale Ale will weigh in just shy of 6% ABV, and be available at both breweries and their market and restaurant accounts in September.

• Several other breweries have/will be brewing up wet hopped beers. Hammond River will be brewing up some with their own home-grown hops next week, Rockbottom Brewpub is brewing up a Pale Ale today with some Annapolis Valley fresh hops, and Picaroons has started the brewing of their multiple Harvest Ales, sourced from hop farms across the Maritimes. Big Spruce will be harvesting their own farm-grown hops Wednesday, September 2nd, and Meander River will be harvesting theirs Saturday September, 5th, with brews to follow quickly thereafter (if you’re able to help pick in Nyanza or Ashdale, keep an eye on their respective social media feeds for details and rain dates, if necessary).

• Meander River has a few new beers on tap recently, and we wanted to keep y’all up-to-date with their releases. Summer Solstice IPA is a 4.5% ABV Session IPA featuring a balanced hoppy flavour and aroma thanks to Amarillo and Citra; it was further dry-hopped with Cascade. A lower alcohol, but full-flavoured beer, perfect for summer afternoons and evenings. Gristmill Wheat Beer is an unfiltered wheat beer, featuring a forward bitterness with lots of citrus and strawberry, with a characteristic banana aroma. This is a lighter 3.8% ABV. Their Dusty Road Hard Apple Cider is a bit bigger, at 5.5% ABV, but just as refreshing, as it finishes quite dry and crisp. This is a different blend of Annapolis Valley apples than their Shack Wacky release in the spring, and as such will have a different profile. Their 5.2% ABV Ashdale Honey Brown is also available now, featuring honey harvested right on the farm, and added to the lightly-hopped Brown Ale, for a slightly sweeter finish and notes of toffee. Look for these beers at the brewery, or their accounts around the province.

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s, NL has released an alcoholic Apple Cider this week. Weighing in at 7% ABV, it is an off-dry cider, featuring some perceived bitterness from the high tannin content of the apples. It was fermented with champagne yeasts for a crisp and acidic bite. It is now on tap at the brewery and public house, and will be available in bottles next week.

Red Rover has brewed up their first Perry; similar to a cider – in that it is an alcoholic beverage from fermented apple juice – it also incorporates juice from pears. Featuring a single variety of pear from Cocagne, NB, it was balanced with juice from Cox’s Orange Pippin apples. The batch has been maturing for the last six months, and is exhibiting a “sweet, floral nose, and softer palate than a cider”, according to co-owner/brewer Adam Clawson; it should come in at around 7% ABV. It will be released at the Cider House next Thursday for flagon fills, and will also make a limited appearance at the Farmer’s Markets that Red Rover frequents.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Pub has announced details on their Mug Club, the first of its kind in the city. A yearly membership of $59.95 + tax gets you a personally-numbered mug with plenty of entitlements, including 24-oz pours for the price of 20-oz, food discounts, email updates on new beers tapped at the pub, and invitations to Mug Club-exclusive events. Only 30 mugs will be sold; check out the link for more details. The official launch will be October 1st, but you can head into the pub now to reserve your mug.

• Good news for beer fans in New Brunswick: the ANBL has announced that they have over 30 award-winning beers from this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards that will be available for sale at select stores this Monday, August 31st. The “Ultimate Beer Run” includes multiple styles from breweries all across the country; check out the full list (and participating ANBL outlets) here. Quantities are limited, so be sure to drop by on Monday if you have particular beers that you would like to try.

• La sixième édition de l’Oktoberfest des Acadiens se passe du 3 au 6 Septembre à Bertrand, NB. Avec de la musique et un ambiance bavaroise dans les après midi, et des spectacles avec des artistes de renoms les vendredi et samedi soirs. C’est une fin de semaine de plaisir et de divertissement pour toute la famille. Jeudi soir l’on vous propose une dégustation dirigée par Patrice Godin d’Acadie-Broue, intitulé “Le Tour du Monde avec de la Bière”, mettant en vedette certains accords mets et bières spéciales. La Grande Dégustation se déroule le samedi et le dimanche de 13h à 18h, où les visiteurs pourront déguster une centaine de bières différentes du Nouveau-Brunswick (y compris Acadie-Broue, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, Pump House, Savoie’s Brewhouse), le Canada (Glutenberg et Red Racer et beaucoup plus), ainsi que l’Europe (Chimay, Chouffe, et Weihenstephan par exemples). Pour plus de détails sur les billets et l’horaire complet Vous pouvez visiter leur site et leur page Facebook.

• The Sixth Annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is happening September 3-6 in Bertrand, NB. Featuring live music daily, and major concerts Friday and Saturday evening, it is a full weekend of family fun and entertainment. Thursday evening features a tasting led by Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin, entitled “Around the World with Beer”, featuring several special beer and food pairings. The beer garden will be open Saturday and Sunday 1-6pm, where visitors can sample from over 100 different beers from New Brunswick (including Acadie-Broue, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, Pump House, Savoie’s Brewhouse), Canada (Glutenberg and Red Racer and many more), as well as Europe (Chimay, Chouffe, and Weihenstephan for example). Ticket details and the full schedule is available on their website and Facebook page.

• Homebrewers, fire up those kettles, the 3rd Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge is back! This year is a bit of a departure from previous competitions, as beers are being accepted in three different styles: Czech Dark Lager (3D), Altbier (7B), and Red IPA (21B). They will be judged using the new 2015 BJCP style guidelines. The top three beers in each category will win prizes, and the Best in Show beer will be brewed at Big Spruce, and released at the Third Annual Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration in January. Homebrewers may enter a beer in one, two, or all three categories for the same $25 entry fee. That fee also entitles entrants to a limited edition t-shirt, and new this year, entry to the post-judging party at the Wooden Monkey Alderney Landing November 28th. To take part, be sure to email Big Spruce for the official entry form before November 23rd, and drop off the beer before the 27th at the brewery or the Halifax drop-point. There are more details on the event’s Facebook page. As there are a couple of lagers in there, best to get brewing soon!

Enjoy your weekend! All four ANBL growler stations are pouring summery beers this week, including Petit-Sault‘s new John Stadig (an “Orange Ginger White ale”), Picaroons Dooryard, and Le Trou du Diable Blanche de Shawi. Be sure to drop by Rockbottom this weekend and next week as they host several acts from the Halifax Urban Folk Festival, and catch their FizzGig Ladies Beer League Imperial Red, and Farmer’s Daughter Farmhouse Ale before they are replaced by an English Brown Ale and a traditionally-brewed Marzen (featuring imported malts and the Hochkurz Double-Decoction mash technique). Cheers!

Howdy, beer lovers! Time for your weekly dose of Atlantic Canadian beer news. Unfortunately, we have to lead off with some sad news…

Shiretown Beer, first operating out of Dalhousie, and then Charlo, New Brunswick since 2011, has officially closed their doors. Their regular-release beers (including Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale, and Siren’s t’Ale) have been available in bottles at ANBL stores for some time, and have been pouring on tap (along with multiple seasonals and one-offs) at several accounts across the province, including the Heron’s Nest Pub, located next door to the brewery. Graduating from just 40 litre batches up to 1.5 hL, all while using their Sabco Brew-Magic system, Derek and company have been working with local producers (Southan Farms hops, for instance), and promoting the craft beer movement in Northern New Brunswick for many years. On the bright side, we understand that owner/brewer Derek Leslie will still be working in the industry, and we look forward to catching up with him in the near future!

• In good news for New Brunswick, however, there’s a new brewery opening this fall in Fredericton! Maybee Brewing Co. will be owned and operated by Paul Maybee, an avid home brewer (and NBCBA member) based in the city. Construction on the 10 BBL brewery and tasting room (located at 559 Wilsey Rd.) has already begun. The brewery will focus on hoppy American ales and Belgian styles (including an American Amber, American IPA, Pale Ale, and Belgian Tripel as their initial launch beers), and coming up with their own twist on other styles of beers. Along with pints and growler fills at the tasting room, their beers will be available at select beer bars/restaurants throughout Fredericton, and in cans at ANBL stores. You can follow along with the brewery construction progress on their Facebook and Instagram pages, and we will have a Q&A posted in the coming months.

Tatamagouche Brewing released a new beer late last week, Little Russian Parti-gyle Stout. A parti-gyle beer involves running a second (or third) volume of hot water through the grains in the mash tun, and extracting some sugar still left over from the initial mash. The wort is then treated as a completely separate beer, boiled, hopped, and fermented independently from its big sister. In Tata’s case, that initial mash and beer is now fermenting as a Russian Imperial Stout, to be released in September, hence the Little Russian moniker for this beer. The LR is a 3% ABV beer, fairly light in body, but still features some roast flavours thanks to the darker malts used in the grain bill. The beer was hopped with Ahtanum, Centennial, and Magnum. The Little Russian can be purchased in cans and growlers at the brewery, and in growler fills at Harvest Wines and RockHead. Also look for it on tap at Agricola Street BrasserieStillwell, and Stubborn Goat.

• There’s currently a new beer fermenting over at Hammond River, and it’s a big one! Sterke Monnik is the first Belgian-style ale brewed on the HR system. It’s a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that should weigh in at approximately 10.4% ABV. While obviously a strong beer, the goal is one that is smooth, rich, and complex, with lots of malt and dark fruit characteristics, along with some classic Belgian fruity esters and spicy phenolics. Brewed with a Pilsner base malt, some dark Crystal malts, Special B (a specialty malt known for providing raisin and plum characteristics), and plenty of dark Belgian candi syrup, it was hopped with Hallertau to 33 IBUs. Look for this one to pop up at Hammond River’s regular accounts in two to three weeks.

• In other NB Belgian beer news, Grimross just released their Grimross Dubbel. A 6.8% ABV brew that is lightly hopped to 18 IBUs, it exhibits a coppery-brown colour and has notes of dark fruit and caramel, a dry finish, and mild alcohol warmth. Fermented with two yeast strains (a Belgian Abbey strain, and a neutral American strain), the beer had an addition of Demerara sugar, a light-tan, raw sugar with a coarse texture that can add notes of molasses to the final beer. It’s available now for pours and growlers at the brewery, and at better beer establishments across the province.

Petit-Sault released a new seasonal offering earlier this week, and it came just in time for the heat wave we’ve been experiencing! John Stadig is named after a Madawaska counterfeiter who was one of the first civilian inmates at Alcatraz prison, in 1934. An “Orange-Ginger White Beer”, the grist includes 50% Wheat malt that adds a “bready, subtle spiciness, and an almost silky mouthfeel”, according to the brewery. Real, fresh-grated ginger was added at the end of the boil, along with fresh orange peel, to provide lots of aromatics and flavour to the beer; it comes in at a supremely-drinkable 4% ABV. It’s currently available at the brewery for a limited time for growler fills, and will be hitting all four ANBL growler stations next week; you can also find it on tap at the James Joyce in Fredericton. In other Petit-Sault news, their regular-release Witbier (and one of their first two launch beers), Tante Blanche, is now out of circulation until next May; it will be a summer seasonal from this point on.

Sea Level Brewing is looking for a Brewing Assistant at their Port Williams location. Tasks include brewing, running the canning machine, filling growlers, and other tasks in the brewery. Brewing knowledge is preferred, but not required for the position. To apply, drop off a resume to Owner/Brewmaster Randy Lawrence at the brewery, weekdays 10am-4pm.

• Tickets for this year’s Fredericton Poutine Festival, being held Saturday November 21st at the Crowne Plaza, are now on sale, and are going fast! It looks like the evening session is sold out, but there are still some afternoon tickets available (which this year includes beer), as well as the family friendly, 12-2pm session (including free tickets for children under 12). We will have more details next week when the brewery list is finalized, but expect 8 breweries to be pouring, along with at least five establishments serving up more than a dozen styles of Poutine!

Shediac Bay’s Flying Boats Brewing will be holding their Launch Party at the Laundromat Expresso Bar on Thursday, Sept. 3rd, starting at 7 pm. While Flying Boats has been open since early last month, this will be their official launch, and they’re bringing two kegs to be tapped for the event. The first is their S-55 Special Mission Dark Pale Ale, a 5.7% ABV, Cascade-hopped APA that first made its debut during the NB Tap Takeover at the James Joyce during the NB Day long weekend. The other is the Empress Irish Red Ale, a 5.5% ABV, 20 IBUs beer that “focuses on the maltiness and creaminess of the barley malt and wheat that is used”, according to the brewery, and features a “nice, roasted caramel flavour”.

Thanks for reading this week! In Fredericton, TrailWay has rebrewed their D’Under, an American Pale Ale hopped entirely with Australian Galaxy; this time around, they’ve increased the hop additions, so expect even more tropical fruitiness than before! And in Halifax, Good Robot Brewing are now pouring at two of the city’s markets. Catch them at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market Sundays.

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Savoie’s Brewhouse has recently opened in Charlo River, in Northeast New Brunswick. Owner and brewer Rodney Savoie was kind enough to answer a few of our questions regarding his new venture.


ACBB: How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Rodney: I have only been into craft beer for about 4 to 5 years now, and that is approximately how long I have been brewing. A HUGE thanks goes to Derek Leslie from Shiretown Beer who had piqued my interest, but also has been like a mentor and guide for me in this endeavour!

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
I always wanted to get into business. I first looked into micro distilling, but as time went on, I started home brewing and enjoyed the beer that was being made. Others have as well, so that is why I decided to move towards the beer business.

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Savoie’s 75l electric brewing system


What size/manufacturer/type of system are you be brewing on?
I am using a 75 litre electric brewhouse, with a control panel from High Gravity Brew, and hot liquor tank, mash tun and kettle from Ontario Beer Kegs.

Can you tell us about the beers you are offering initially?
I started with an Amber beer which now is called Chaleur Phantom Amber Ale. Not long after, the Blonde Ale was created, Island Lake Blonde. Both are lightly hopped beers. The next beer is going to be a Rye IPA called Charlo Falls IPA, named after a well known local swimming spot, and a popular spot for photographers.

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Chaleur Phantom and Island Lake Blonde are available at the ANBL


What are your plans for distribution? Plans for tap accounts, bottles, growlers, etc.?
I am starting with bottles in the ANBL locations near Charlo, including Bathurst, Campbellton, Dalhousie, and Tracadie-Sheila. We will be supplying the James Joyce Pub in Fredericton with kegs when possible, and will be on tap at the Heron’s Nest Pub in Charlo very soon. Due to the small volume, we don’t plan on offering growlers for the time being.

 

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Primary Fermenters at Savoie’s Brewhouse


Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?

As of right now my favorite beer would be an Amber beer with mild to medium hop bitterness. I also enjoy an IPA from time to time.

What are your plans for the future?
There are no real plans: we are just going to brew, fill orders as best as we can, and see where this will take us.

Thanks again to Rodney for answering our questions. You can follow along on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the ANBL availability and new beers as they are released. 

Good morning! Looks like there’s some hot weather coming our way for this weekend… what better way to cool off than with news about our favourite beverage?

• Last weekend, PEI’s Upstreet Craft Brewing had a special visitor: Emily Tipton, Boxing Rock‘s co-owner and Beer Engineer. Tipton and Upstreet brewmaster Mike Hogan brewed their first collaboration beer on Upstreet’s system, a SMaSH IPL (single-malt and single hop India Pale Lager) named Rumble in the Alley: Round 1. Featuring a grist of 100% Maritime malt, and hopped entirely with Amarillo to 50 IBUs, it was fermented with Upstreet’s house Pilsner yeast and should clock in at about 6% ABV. Islanders can expect to see this one become available before the end of August; look for a couple of kegs to also pop up in Halifax sometime in the future. This should be just the first of many collaborations between these two breweries; they already have a history of working together, including when the Upstreet crew visited Boxing Rock last winter, and ended up lending a hand to help brew Cinnamon Spin.

• The hop plants at Sunset Heights Meadery are growing strong, and owner/brewer John Way already has plans for them! He’s brewed up a single 120 L batch of mead, which will be separated into eight 15 L “mini-batches”, each of which will be wet-hopped with a different variety (including Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Fuggles, Galena, Magnum, Nugget, and Willamette). These small batches will be bottled and sold as 8-packs (200 mL per bottle), allowing the consumer to sample each type. If you’re attending the Autumn Mead Release Party on October 24th (there are only a few tickets left), you’ll have guaranteed access to purchase one set; leftovers – if any – will be available via their soon-to-go-live online store.

• The itinerary has been finalized for the next trip from New Brunswick Beer Tours, which will be held on Saturday, October 17th. The River Valley Tour is actually a rehash of their first highly-successful tour last fall, and includes stops at Petit-Sault in Edmundston, Railcar in Florenceville-Bristol, and Big Axe in Nackawic. The tour bus leaves the King Street Ale House in Fredericton at 9 am, and should return around 6 pm later that day. Beer samples from all three breweries are included, as well as many sampling opportunities on the bus itself, and a box lunch. Tickets are now available;  an early-bird price of $88 (taxes and fee included) will apply until September 1st.

• After opening just a couple of weeks ago, Unfiltered Brewing is releasing their first seasonal today at noon. Daytimer is a kettle-soured Berliner Weisse that has been dry-hopped with plenty of Mosaic, a variety well-known for providing high levels of tropical fruitiness. Combined with the natural tartness of this style and it’s high drinkability at 3.4% ABV, Haligonians should be looking at the perfect beer for hot-weather consumption. And drop by Unfiltered anytime after 3pm today to pair your growler with a dog from the T-Dogs hotdog stand.

• Speaking of dogs (and T-Dogs specifically), details are being released for this year’s Sausage Fest, put on by the Local Connections Halifax crew. A preview of the event is happening tomorrow, during Sausage Fest Roadshow on the pedestrian-only (on the weekend) Argyle Street. T-Dogs will be there to serve up some pizza- and donair-dogs; many other community groups and vendors will be attending as well. Sausage Fest begins in earnest Sept 19th, with a day-time Sausage Throwdown, and an evening Sausage O’ The Night event, with both events hosting at least nine NS breweries and a half-dozen restaurants with their sausage creations. In fact, several breweries will be releasing special brews for the week: Boxing Rock is releasing Kerfuffle APA, a dry-hopped malt-balanced Pale Ale; Bulwark will have Hopped Citrus Cider, an apple cider featuring Cascade and Comet hops; Garrison is releasing Hammerschlagen Brau, a Marzen; and Propeller will be bringing Wind Swell Wheat, a Cascade-hopped American Pale Wheat beer. And on Friday, Sept 25th, the waterfront will host a Hops & Brats event to kick off Halifax Oktoberfest, with many NS breweries in attendance to share their beers to pair with different German fare. And just a note, LCH’s Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration is returning January 14th at the Marriott Harbourfront, and Early Bird tickets are on sale now.

• AND, speaking of Dogs, Dawgs, and Dogg, the folks at Good Robot are hosting a Hair of the Dog event Sunday. Grab your puppy(ies) and drop by after 11am for a dog spa treatment by the folks at All 4 Paws Pet Services; while there, enjoy a custom-made T-Dogs hot dog, grab a pint of GR beer, and listen to some Snoop Dogg. $20 will get you a dog wash, hot dog, and 12oz beer (the music is free). $2 from each combo package will be going to ElderDog Canada. While on-site, grab a taste of their Goseface Killah Gose v1.1, dubbed Sour Soul, which was brewed using more acidulated malt than the first release, for an additional acidic character. And with their Tap Room slated to open this fall, they are now taking applications for servers and bartenders, so be sure to bug Josh while you’re there!

• The Celtic Oktoberfest is returning on October 24th for their second year in Port Hawkesbury. A “celebration of local food, music, and beer”, attendees can expect plenty of all three, with the four hour event featuring beer from ten different Nova Scotia breweries, food from ten Cape Breton restaurants, and live music from many local musicians. So far, Big Spruce, Breton Brewing, Boxing Rock, Garrison, and Hell Bay are confirmed to be pouring, with others likely being announced soon. Tickets are now on sale, with early-bird pricing at $50 (+ fee) available until September 1st.

• The folks from North Brewing and Brooklyn Warehouse have announced plans for their new spot in Dartmouth. Battery Park beer bar & eatery will open in October at 62 Ochterloney Drive in Dartmouth. In addition to the bar and restaurant, it will feature a brewing system on-site, with North’s current 5 BBL (600 litre) brewhouse making the trip across the bridge. Beers brewed in Dartmouth will be special brews available only at Battery Park, or for growler fills at the brewery shop. In its place at North’s Agricola St location, a new 10 BBL (1200 litre) steam-fired system will be commissioned. This brew-house from DME will incorporate a boiler capable of burning biodiesel, taking a big step towards North’s plan of reducing their environmental footprint. As part of the launch of this new endeavour, Battery Park is running a crowdfunding campaign.

Stillwell Beer Bar will be hosting an exciting pair of out-of-province breweries September 1st. Brasserie Dunham from Quebec’s Eastern Townships and Jester King from just outside of Austin, TX, are two breweries at the forefront of innovative recipes and techniques, both with extensive barrel- and mixed-fermentation beers in their roster. They recently brewed up a collaboration beer, and are meeting again in Quebec for another brew day and the release celebration. Part of the celebration will include a brewers’ visit to Stillwell, where the two breweries will be taking over the taps, as well as bringing a load of bottles. Tickets for the event go on sale today at noon, and will offer first sips of the beers in a 6-8pm session, after which the doors will be open to all. A warning that many of the beers will be in short supply, and some will almost certainly run our during the initial early session. For more information on the breweries and which beers will be pouring, check out Stillwell’s Blog.

• The Maritime Hop Growers Co-op are hosting Open Hop Yard Days this month, giving NS beer enthusiasts a chance to check out a few of the farms growing hops in the province. For the next three Sundays, from 1-4pm, folks can visit Breton Fields, High Tide, Meander River, Wallace Ridge, Wentworth Creek, and Wysmykal Farm hop farms to learn about the process of growing hops, as well as the business of hop growing. For those already growing hops, or looking to start, there is an information session presented by Perennia August 19th in Aylesford, with information on best practices for harvesting and drying hops. With many of the members in attendance, it will be a great opportunity to talk about the opportunities available. The Co-op has been around since 2009, and has 15 farm members (ten in NS, three in NB, and two in PEI). Those interested in more information on joining the Co-op, growing hops as a hobby, or buying hops, should check out their Facebook page.

• YellowBelly Brewery in St John’s has released a new IPA this week, Deep South. Hopped to 60 IBUs with varieties from the Southern Hemisphere (specifically, Pacific Gem from New Zealand and Mosaic from Australia), the beer comes across as “dry and bitter, with serious overtones of lychee and grapefruit”, according to the brewery. YellowBelly decided to ferment this IPA with an American ale yeast, as opposed to their British house strain, which should allow the fruity hop characteristics to shine through even more. It weighs in at a manageable 6% ABV; get down to the brewpub to give it a try!

Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend, and keep cool with some good, local beer! Garrison Brewing’s Honey Lavender is back for another year. This 6.3% ABV ale features loads of lavender from Meander River Farms, and honey from Cosman & Whidden; it’s available in 650 mL bottles at the brewery. Stubborn Goat Gastropub has added grunters to their repertoire. This new ability to offer 0.95 litre pours is a continuation of their “social dining” concept, encouraging groups to share a few glasses of several different craft beer options during their meal. Breton Brewing ‏is looking to hire some folks in their retail space, as well as for delivery and assistant brewer positions. Contact them for details. Finally, Picaroons is starting to see some of their new brewery equipment coming in, with the arrival of several new tanks this week in Fredericton. Stay tuned for more updates…

Happy Friday, thirsty readers! We hope everyone’s recovered from IPA Day, but fear not, there are lots of new beers and events to keep the good times rolling!

PEI Brewing Company have a few new beers out now, or on the horizon. Right now at the brewery, they are pouring a cask of Kiwi IPA – an IPA with freshly-squeeze kiwi juice, and dry-hopped with Citra and Comet. And it was brewed by a Kiwi to boot (their Logistics Manager, Wax, is from New Zealand)! Recent casks have included Happy Hour, a keg of their Beach Chair Lager seasoned with local sea salt, tequila and lime and Peach Chair, which was their Beach Chair with peach added to the keg. Remember that these casks are one-offs, so it’s best to keep up on their Social Media to avoid disappointment. They have also announced that the next version of the Vic Park Pale Ale will be released very shortly (hopefully next week), and will feature the Mandarina Bavaria hop. And good news for fans of the Vic Park, the Citra version will be canned and available next month to wider distribution. Also coming in September will be the barrel-aged version of their ReAnimator Bock. Much like the Ice Boat released last year, the Bock has been aging in the oak barrels for a several months, and will be packaged in 750ml bottles.

• In an update to a story we mentioned a few months ago, the building that Rogues Roost and Tom’s Little Havana call home, will be coming down this fall. While Tom’s had previously found an alternate location, and will be moving in October, it was announced this week that Rogues will be closing mid-September, with the brewery gear going into storage until an alternate location is found. But it’s not all bad news, RR fans! Parent company PEI Brewing has announced that Rogues Roost IPA will be produced at the Charlottetown brewery, and will be available for wide distribution next month. Cans of the IPA will be distributed in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. And be sure to drop by Rogues to grab a pint of their Ruby Porter, a 5.2% ABV porter, with light bittering to 25 IBUs.

• After making a big splash in Spring, Tatamagouche Brewing’s Sunrise Trail India Session Ale is back. Weighing in at a modest 4.1% ABV, the beer packs a solid hop punch from the Azacca and Ahtanum varietals, and is perfect for the beautiful weather we’ve been having. It is available is short supply in cans at the brewery, and look for it on tap Stillwell too.

Big Spruce Brewing has released a pair of new beers this week. The first is the return of Tip of the Spear Spruce Tip IPA. This 6.2% ABV beer is a returning favourite, brewed with Port Hawkesbury homebrewer Jason Spears. It features Black Spruce tips, and bittered to 75 IBUs. Also hitting the taps in Nyanza and Halifax is their all-Citra conspiracy with Stillwell, named Gimme Citra Pale Ale. Weighing in at around 5% ABV, the bitterness on the beer is fairly low but the aroma and flavour are high, as the majority of the hops were added post-boil (during whirlpool, fermentation and conditioning), to preserve the temperature-sensitive oils until they hit your glass. The beer will only be available at the brewery and at Stillwell, both on Barrington and at the Beergarden. And be sure to drop by the brewery today for Mussels Friday, starting at 11:30, for mussels simmered in beer, along with local scallions and garlic scapes, with pita chips and black bean dip. Live music will start at 3:30pm.

Big Tide Brewing and Hammond River Brewing’s collaboration, Rhubarbic Saison is out now. The 7.1% ABV Saison consisted of primarily Pilsner and Wheat malts, and was lightly hopped to 27 IBUs with Hallertau. They also added more than 30 kg of fresh rhubard to the boil, primary fermentation, and during conditioning for a big rhubarb aroma and taste. The beer is available on tap (and in growlers) at Big Tide, and will also be available at The Barrel’s HeadBourbon Quarter, Britt’s Pub & Eatery, and Saint John Ale House soon. And, happy sixth anniversary to Big Tide! Their Anniversary Amber Ale, using six types of malts and six varietals of hops, with an ABV of about 6%, will be out very soon.

Unfiltered Brewing’s Pubkegs are now in the wild! Grab a pint of their Hoppy Fingers APA, Exile on North Street IPA, and Twelve Years to Zion DIPA at Agricola Street Brasserie, PRIMAL Kitchen, Roy’s Lounge at Westin Nova Scotian, The Stubborn Goat, and Tom’s Little Havana, and is also in the rotation at the Bishop’s Cellar growler filling station. And keep your eyes open for Unfiltered’s first seasonal, coming mid next week.

• Fredericton’s Picaroons is having a busy weekend! Yesterday, in celebration of IPA Day, they had three different versions of their Yippee IPA on at the Brewtique (and there may be a bit of each left to try today). They were each dry-hopped with a pair of different hops: Cascade & TettnangSaaz & Fuggles, and Amarillo & Rakau. Out today is Pride Sally Pride Apricot Ale. This 4.5% Pale Ale was brewed in collaboration with the Fredericton Pride Week. The Pride Week events kick off today with a flag raising at city hall at noon, and a festival (featuring a beer garden) at Officer’s Square Sunday at noon, and parade at 1pm.

• Picaroons is also taking advantage of being in Halifax for the Seaport Beerfest, and will be taking over the taps at Lion & Bright Saturday evening. They will be pouring their BlondeDooryard, Dark and Stormy Night, ESB-231, Melonhead, Simeon Jones, and Yippee IPA. New brewery Half Cut Brewing (who brew at their Queen Street Brewtique location) will also be available, pouring their Alter Ego Altbier. The taps will switch over at 6pm, and the Pics crew will be coming by after the Beerfest around 10pm to join in the fun, as well as DJ Jules Bangsworth, starting at 10pm. There is no cover for the event, pay as you go.

Stutz Cider has released a new product, Blueberry Cider. Using of juice from 7 varietals of NS apples and 100% wild NS blueberries, this special blend comes in at 6.5% ABV. As the juice used was 1/3 blueberry, 2/3 apples, the fresh blueberry flavour shines through nicely, with crisp apple character in the background. It will be available next week at the NSLC, in 750 ml bottles.

Distillerie Fils du Roy has released their summer seasonal beer, La Messe Blanche. A 7% ABV Weizenbock, it features strong phenolic (pepper and clove) and banana aromas from the yeast, as well as wheat and yeast character in the flavour. This unfiltered beer features the characteristic cloudiness of this style, thanks to the wheat-derived proteins (also aiding in the thick, fluffy head), and low-flocculating yeast. Bottles are available at the Petit-Pacquetville brewery now, and will be available in select ANBL locations shortly.

• Speaking of the ANBL, in a press release out earlier this week, President Brain Harriman confirmed that their Growler Program has been a great success, with over 80,000 litres of beer flowing through the four locations. The program is “here to stay”, and they are looking to expand it to a few more locations, dependent on retail space and craft beer sales. All of the local breweries we’ve spoken with have been very happy with the results and are looking forward to the expanded reach. This week’s list of offerings has not been released, as it is being dubbed a “Wildcard Week”, with many different beers available throughout the week at each location. Best to call your local store to find out what’s pouring at the time.

Upstreet has released their White Noize, a 7% ABV Wheat IPA (hoppy American Wheat Ale), hopped to 70 IBUs with Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus. Drop by for their Quittin’ Time Sessions today at 6pm for beer, music from a new, all-female trio named Aster, and food from their friends at Hush Puppies, including a limited number of andouille corn dogs, made with Upstreet beer. And drop by on Sunday for the Weekend Wrap-Up, featuring music concerts on the big screen and community board games in full effect.

• The Grand Banker in Lunenburg has come up with a unique way to serve their beers in-house. They had not been selling pitchers of beer previously, but now have the option to purchase a 1.89l growler or 0.95l grunter of beer to drink and share (or not) in the restaurant. These are for in-house enjoyment only, though the empty growlers are for sale as souvenirs. Drop by today to grab one, or try a sampler of their expanded craft beer offerings.

• A reminder that the Seaport Beerfest starts today, with a 7-9:30pm session, and 2-4:30pm & 7-9:30pm sessions tomorrow. While VIP tickets are sold out, there are still general entry tickets available. With several out-of-provinces visiting, look for upcoming collaborations brews to celebrate. Today, the folks from Toronto’s Great Lakes Brewery and Waterford, Ireland’s, Metalman brewing dropped by Garrison to brew up something special.

In sad local brewery news, Hugh Campbell from Bar None passed away earlier this week. We had the opportunity to visit with him in his library above the brewery, and he was always quick with a smile and story, and full of life and love for PEI. Our sincere condolences to the Campbell family. We raise a pint in honour of Hugh today.