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 Head, Bourbon 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 & Tettnang, Saaz & 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 Blonde, Dooryard, 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.