It’s been another busy week in the Atlantic Region! Another new brewery has launched in Nova Scotia, a new cidery will be opening soon in New Brunswick, and there are more new beers (and return of seasonal releases) than you can shake a stick at; not to mention several great events for you to check out this weekend. Let’s get to it!
• Spindrift Brewing in Dartmouth now has beer available for purchase. While their storefront is not yet open, their Coastal Lager is available now in several NSLCs around the province (with that list growing daily). This 5.0% ABV Amber Lager has an initial province-wide launch in cans, with tap accounts soon, and growler fills at their Burnside location upon its opening in the coming weeks. Look for our profile of them early next week, and go grab a can now!
• There’s a new cidery coming to Fredericton – York County Cider recently got the final approval to move into 418 York St downtown. They’re hoping to launch by the end of October; their first five products should include a Dry, Semi-Dry, Hopped, Ginger, and Blueberry version. Plans right now are to distribute in 12 oz bottles, along with one confirmed tap account in the city (with likely more to follow); growler fills are also a strong possibility. We’ll keep you updated on their progress, and should have a Q&A with owner/brewer Ed Teale in the near future!
• Meanwhile, the string of wet-hopped seasonal beers continues! First off is a “Harvest ale version” of Celtic Knot‘s American IPA, Hopicide. Owner/brewer Bruce Barton was generously given a large amount of fresh Cascade from Amherst, NS homebrewer Jeff Smith, all of which were used as a single dry-hop addition in the already-brewed beer. Look for this batch to pop up on tap at various Celtic Knot accounts very soon. And in other Celtic Knot news, they will be brewing an Oyster Stout version of their Oatmeal Stout, Dark Passage, soon; this one will feature the addition of oyster shells at the beginning of the boil, followed by the meat and juices added near the end. We’ll keep you updated on its release.
• Moving on to Hammond River, they’ve once again released their Harvest Ale. This season’s batch was wet-hopped with a large amount of fresh Cascade that was harvested at the home of owner/brewer Shane Steeves. A West-Coast style IPA, it weighs in at 70 IBUs and 7% ABV and features a “simple grain bill” to let the hops shine through. It’s been popping up at selects bars/restaurants over the last week or two; only two batches were brewed, so if you haven’t tried it yet, find it quickly before it’s gone!
• Big Spruce has released their annual hop harvest beer, Craig Goes Yard. An American IPA clocking in at 6.7% ABV, and features a combination of wet and freshly-dried hops, all harvested from their on-premise hop farm. East Kent Goldings and Mt Hood were used wet, while a healthy dose of dried Chinook made it into the boil, and the beer was further dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria. The multiple hops give a great combination of complex aromatics, with the brewery describing the final product as “deeply flavourful”. Look for it on tap at the brewery during today’s Food Truck Friday, around Halifax and Sydney, and at tonight’s Hops n’ Brats event (more details below).
• Unfiltered will be releasing their first single-varietal fresh-hopped beer, Hop Riot India Red Ale, at the brewery today at noon. This one features the addition of a total of 272 kg (!!) of wet Centennial hops, grown locally and sourced through the Maritime Hop Growers Cooperative. The hops were used within 6 hours of harvesting in PEI, so expect a blast of fresh hop aromas and flavours in this 7.3% ABV Red IPA. We can only imagine how much work this brew day must have been, with the sheer weight and volume of hops in their brew system.
• Big Tide has released three hop harvest beers, all part of their Indian Beach series. The three varieties used in these beers – Cascade, Hallertau, and Nugget – were grown locally at Dunhams Run Estate Winery at Gorham’s Bluff on the Kingston peninsula, historically known as Indian Beach. The first beer is Indian Beach Kolsch-style, which is their regular-release Karnival Kolsch (4.8% ABV) brewed with fresh Cascade. The Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale (5.2% ABV) also uses Cascade, along with fresh local pumpkin that has been cut up and roasted with several spices, and added to the mash of Pale Ale malt. Both beers are available on tap now at the brewpub. Coming early next week is the final beer, Indian Beach Harvest Ale. With a grist of 2-row and CaraMunich, it was hopped with all three of the fresh varieties, and comes in at 5% ABV.
• In PEI, BarNone has just released a batch of their award-winning Sub Stanchel Amber that has been wet-hopped with Cascade grown on their farm, with some wild PEI native hops grown nearby in Stanchel (or directly under it). It’s currently available at the brewery, and on tap at the Olde Dublin Pub and Old Triangle in Charlottetown. BarNone is also releasing a new beer that was brewed in tribute to co-owner Hugh Campbell, who passed away last month. 333 Somewhat Irish Red is brewed in the style of an Irish Red, but features more hops… specifically, 3.33 kg of freshly-dried whole hops were added as a dry-hop addition. Both beers will be pouring at a special music event being held at the brewery tonight, featuring Nudie’s Country Duets with Hannah Rose, plus Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar. The show begins at 8 pm; tickets are available online.
• In case you didn’t know, there are always a few in-house brewed beers on at Your Father’s Moustache in Halifax, courtesy of Rockbottom in the basement. The latest to hit the taps is a wet-hopped version of their Red Duster American Pale Ale. This 5.5% ABV Pale Ale was brewed with a healthy dose of locally-grown Centennial hops, but instead of typical floral or piney aromatics, these wet hops deliver a massive orange and sweet citrus aroma and flavour.
• Downstairs at Rockbottom, they have a couple of seasonals in addition to their four core lineup: Bulldog Brown Ale is a 4.5% ABV English Brown with a light and semi-sweet body, toasted aromas, and mild toffee flavour. It’s lightly hopped to 25 IBUs using traditional earthy English varietals. The Märzen Red Lager is a malty, amber German lager traditionally brewed for Oktoberfest. At 5.9% ABV and 25 IBUs, it features a bready malt flavour, restrained bitterness, and a dry finish. Be sure to drop down for a pint of each, and don’t forget their Wednesday weekly firkins for a taste of something different (this week’s was a Schwartz Bier Black Lager).
• Finally in harvest beers this week, North Brewing has released their second of the year (after the Many Hands collab with Boxing Rock): Setting Sun. This wet-hopped version of their Saison features brewer Josh Herbin’s own Cascade, Chinook and Willamette hops. If that wasn’t enough, the beer was aged on 12 kg of sour cherries from Stirling Fruit Farms in the valley. The cherries come through brilliantly in the aroma, coupled with a citrus flavour and bitterness, and pepper finish from the yeast. The beer is available now at the Agricola St brewery for growler fills, and will make it on tap at just a few spots around the city shortly. And the crowdfunding for their new partnership with Brooklyn Warehouse, Battery Park Beer Bar, is entering its last week. Things are definitely taking shape at the new location in Dartmouth, with the grand opening happening in the coming weeks.
• PEI Brewing Co. has re-released their Pumpkin Ale seasonal. An Amber Ale that includes the addition of plenty of local pumpkins and squash, it’s also spiced with whole nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cassia, and fresh ginger. The grist also features Victory malt for a “toasty sweetness”. Hopped with Magnum to 25 IBUs, it clocks in at 5.8% ABV. It’s available now at the brewery in bottles and on tap, and will be at the PEILCC and licencees shortly, and select ANBL and NSLC stores, soon.
• Next week should also mark the arrival of Rogues IPA, which was brewed at the PEI Brewing Co. Brewed “in the style of an American IPA”, it actually features a lot of British ingredients, such as Maris Otter malt (along with Crystal 40 L and Torrified Wheat), Goldings and Target hops, and was fermented with Burton Ale yeast. This 6% ABV, 70 IBUs ale should be released in cans at the brewery next week, with PEILCC and NSLC stores to follow shortly afterwards; ANBL stores should eventually be seeing some, too. The beer is based on the IPA served at Rogues Roost brewpub in Halifax, which closed last week, due to the building being demolished for renovations. Be sure to raise a can of Rogues IPA to toast the life of this Halifax institution.
• Moving back to Pumpkin beers: Garrison has re-released their Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with Cinderella pumpkins (a variety regarded as a superior dessert pumpkin) from the Dill Family, the beer was also spiced with cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg. Hopped with Millenium to 30 IBUs for “a light bitterness to offset the malt and spice character”, it weighs in at a might 8% ABV. It’s currently available at select NSLC stores, and will follow shortly at the brewery and tap accounts. And for those heading to the Halifax Oktoberfest this weekend (more details below), you will be able to enjoy three new brews on tap: the Hammer-Schlagen Brau, Nass Hopfenweisse, and Rise ‘n’ Stein Hefeweizen.
• Bulwark Cider will be releasing an Oak-aged blend later this fall, and they’re currently holding a Label Competition for the bottles of this new cider. The competition is open to all artists, and entries should not include any text (name of the brand and cider); the winner will receive a cash prize and TBD cider prize. The deadline for entry is October 6th at 1 pm; eight finalists will be chosen by Oct 12th, and will then move on to final judging in a display at Bar Stillwell. For more information on how to enter, check out the link above.
• Next Friday, October 2nd at 7 pm, Rudder’s Brewpub will be holding their 10th Annual Brewer’s Dinner. Reservations are required, and include a 4-course dinner, with each course paired with a different Rudder’s-brewed beer. Contact the brewpub today to reserve your seat!
• Finally brewers, don’t forget to submit the forms for the second annual Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards. Today is the last day to register, with beers due in a couple of weeks. This year’s Awards has expanded to an entire week of events, including seminars and dinners for both brewers and open to the public.
There are lots of events on the go this weekend, so be sure to get out for some great local beer:
• The Ladies Beer League will be holding a Food and Beer Pairing at Bishop’s Cellar this afternoon, beginning at 5pm. Nine beers from Bishop’s shelves will be paired with some small plates and snacks from a local chef. Tickets are $20, and available online.
• The Tatamagouche Oktoberfest is being held today and tomorrow; this is the 36th year for Atlantic Canada’s largest Oktoberfest, and there’s plenty of events going on both days, including a Beer Garden tonight from 6-11 pm. If you’re attending, keep your eyes open for Tatabrew‘s just-released Lagerhosen.
• The Halifax Oktoberfest is also taking place this weekend, with a craft beer/sausage event, Hops & Brats, taking place today from 5-11 pm. Entry is $16 and includes five beer samples from local craft breweries; of course, plenty of sausages will be available for purchase as well. Tickets are available online. Tomorrow there will be an Oktoberfest & Kinderfest from 11 am – 11 pm, featuring traditional German food, games, music, and plenty of Garrison beer and Bulwark cider. Entry is free until 6 pm; afterwards, it becomes a 19+ event, where entry is $20 and includes a 500 mL Stein to keep, and your first fill.
• Saturday afternoon, the Moncton Beer League will be going on an Urban Hike to five different craft-beer-friendly bars in the downtown area; more details on this event in an earlier post. Those who purchase tickets to the Hike will receive a $5 discount on the upcoming Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest, being held October 9th at the Moncton Crowne Plaza. We’ll have more details on the Oktoberfest next week; in the meantime, tickets are on sale now.
• And for those who are looking for a fun group of homebrewers to hang with, the Brewnosers Hoptoberfest event is being held Saturday afternoon and evening. Check the thread on the forum for details, and though it is a private event, anyone looking to chat, snack, and taste and enjoy great beer, of course, is welcome! There will be at least 20 different homebrew kegs of all types, and hop-infused sausages, especially made for the crew by Cavicchi’s Meats.
Wow, another extremely busy week! There’s even more new beers coming soon, including the first seasonal from Breton Brewing, Celtic Colours Maple Lager, and an Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Upstreet Brewing (actually a collaboration brewed with award-winning homebrewer Ryan Palmer)… more on these beers, soon. Boxing Rock has re-released their Black IPA, The Darkness; it should be popping up, now. If you live in Fredericton and are thinking you’d like to work in a brewery, Maybee Brewing Co. is now accepting resumes for positions in the New Year; send along yours via email. Have a fantastic weekend!