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All posts for the month October, 2015

Good morning! We’ve got a bit of beer news for you this week (as usual), just in time to end off your October…

• Today, Garrison Brewing is releasing the second beer in their Star Trek-themed series, just in time for this weekend’s Halifax sci-fi convention, Hal-Con. Vulcan Ale – Genesis Effect is a “Red Session IPA” that has been hopped with Comet, Galaxy and Warrior. Described as “hoppy and spicy” by brewmaster Daniel Girard, this 5.4% ABV beer will be jointly released in the U.S. by Shmaltz Brewing (out of upstate New York), in the Federation of Beer line of officially licensed Star Trek beers. It’s available in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, all four private liquor stores in the city, and select NSLC stores. Also out in celebration of Hal-Con is Raspberry Ginger Ale, hitting the shelves today as well.

• In other Garrison news, we have some more details on the Gastronome IPA they brewed as an exclusive release at harbourstone sea grill & pour house. Proud Rose-Mary was inspired by the restaurant’s Chef Trevor Simms’ approach to food, and features the addition of fresh orange juice and rosemary. It comes in at an ABV of 6.5%; you can find it on tap now at the harbourstone. Look for the Gastronome beer to change quarterly, in conjunction with the menu changes at the restaurant.

Movember starts Sunday, and Quidi Vidi Brewing in St. John’s are releasing a special beer in collaboration with Fogtown Barber, to celebrate the hairiest of months. Fogtown Lager will be released 2pm Sunday afternoon at Quidi Vidi, during a “Shave Down” event to kick off the month, complete with food from Mallard Cottage and live music. For those that sign up to the QV Mo Team before Sunday, they’ll receive a free Fogtown Lager t-shirt (while supplies last), and if they raise more than $250 before the end of Movember, a free hat, in addition to other great perks. Check out the details on their Facebook page. The beer itself is a 5% ABV pale lager featuring Crystal hops, and will be hitting the shelves and taps in St John’s and region beginning Monday.

• The PEI Brewing Co. is getting ready to release their next barrel-aged beer. The beer is named Hell Street, and is their Reanimator Doppelbock that has spent some time in the PEIBC barrels. It has been bottled, capped, and wax-sealed, and is all ready for its official release next Thursday at the brewery. PEIBC also tapped Scared Wit-Less earlier this week, their latest cask at their tasting room; it’s described as a 7.5% ABV Pale Ale that has had coriander and chamomile added, to boost the spicy and flowery aromas and flavours.

Picaroons released a new beer of sorts yesterday at the Brewtique – Gourd Browny is a reiteration of their Connell Stamp, an English Brown Ale. Hopped with Fuggles and Goldings, and infused with a “special blend” of pumpkin pie spices from local bakery/cafe the Chess Piece, this one is available only for growler fills at the Brewtique, while supplies last. And Picaroons is looking to hire a manager to run their Uptown Saint John location, which will be opening in 2016. Send along resumes to beerguy@picaroons.ca.

• Good news for Upstreet fans – they’re now officially selling some of their beers in bottles! Both their Commons (Bohemian Pilsner) and Do-Gooder (American Pale Ale) are available for purchase in a 500 mL format at the brewery (starting today at noon) for takeaway, and should follow at PEILCC stores later next month. Look for their Rhuby Social and White Noize to follow in the near future, along with other seasonals to be brewed over time.

Spindrift Brewing will be opening the doors at their storefront at 21 Frazee Drive in Dartmouth this Wednesday. From 11am-6pm, they will be celebrating their grand opening with schwag, samples, cans, and growler fills of their Coastal Lager. Drop by to meet the gang, and get a peek inside the brewery. Going forward, their storefront will be open Monday to Friday, 11am-6pm for all of your Spindrift needs.

• The crew at Halifax’s Good Robot may have been assimilated and replaced by actual robots after their acquisition by AB InBev-SAB Miller, but at least they’ve been keeping busy in the brewhouse! There are a pair of experimental brews available now, only on tap at the brewery. Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale is a light-bodied and -hopped beer, with loads of cherry character in a golden package. The second beer is de la Rocha, a habanero dark ale, with intense chile heat, again with a light body, and no discernible hop character. Both brews are Beta versions, so be sure to drop by and give the beers a try, and share your feedback with the ‘bots. For those with young ones (or young-at-heart), the brewery will be decorated for Halloween tomorrow, and there will be tricks and treats for visitors of all ages.*

• There is a new brewery in the development and licensing process coming to Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills had been working towards opening a brewery in Truro, NS, but while visiting Mills’ family in Newfoundland, they fell in love with the area and possibilities for a brewery. There is still much to be done, including an environmental assessment of their location and securing final funding, but we are looking forward to trying Port Rexton Brewing Co. beer in their brewhouse next summer.

• There will soon be a pair of different Craft Beer Advent Calendars available in our region. Much like a traditional chocolate or gift advent calendar, the idea is to get a new surprise every day during the first few weeks of December. The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar will feature 24 craft beers from across Canada and the US. Though the beer list is secret (no spoilers, please!), we do know that none of the beers are otherwise for sale in our region, and many of them were brewed specifically for the Calendar. Craft Beer fans are sure to find some new favourites in the box. The calendar will be available at select NSLC locations and NLC locations in the next couple of days, so be sure to drop by your local store to grab one.

• And if one new brew a day isn’t enough for you, some of the private beer stores in Halifax are putting together their own Advent Calendar. Drop by Cristall Wine, Harvest Wines, or RockHead Wine and Beer Market before November 20th to reserve your calendar, for pickup November 30th. The 24 beer in these are a mix of local, domestic, and international beers for a true taste of the World of Beer.

Hammond River has confirmed that they will be holding their Second Annual Homebrew Competition on January 17th, 2016. This BJCP-certified event will focus on Strong Scotch Ale (aka Wee Heavy), a full-bodied, deeply malty, strong Scottish beer style. Brewers will be limited to two entries each (two 12 or 16 oz bottles for each entry required), and entries will be due on January 15th; they can be shipped or dropped off to Hammond River in Quispamsis. Prizes will be given to the top three beers, and the winning entry will also be brewed as a full-size batch on HR’s system; of course, the winning homebrewer will be invited to assist with brewing this batch! Each entry costs $10; get brewing, homebrewers!

That’s just about all we’ve got this week… have a fun (and safe) Halloween tomorrow! Look for North Brewing’s Strong Dark Belgian to make its return shortly. Karl Whiffen from Uncle Leo’s dropped by Halifax brewery Unfiltered this week; we’ll let you know what they brewed up shortly. Boxing Rock underwent an expansion this week, to make room for more capacity in the brewhouse. Celtic Knot’s Caledonia 70/- seasonal is back on tap in the region. Look for it in Moncton and Saint John at your favourite watering hole. And a reminder to drop by Port City Royal tomorrow at 2pm for the tapping of an aged cask of Hammond River’s Sterke Monnik, their 10.3% Belgian Quad.

*The folks at Good Robot were not replaced by actual robots.

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FirkinStein Brewing opened recently just outside of Bridgewater, N.S. Co-owned by friends, and Michelin Tire co-workers, Devin Fraser and Adam Sarty, they have started brewing with some self-built and self-improved gear (think Frankenstein’s Monster), and their beer is available in the Bridgewater region. Devin was kind enough to answer a few questions about FirkinStein’s past, present, and future.

ACBB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Devin: Adam and I both work at Michelin Tire Ltd. in Bridgewater, N.S. We work there as troubleshooters in the plant.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?

While I was taking my electronics course about 15 years ago, I was introduced to craft brew by my teacher Ken Wilson (a local homebrew legend). Ten years later, I met Adam. He and I were always talking about making our own beer. He invited me over to show me his “beer in a bottle kit”. When I saw it, I laughed and said if we were to make home brew we need to do it right! So I looked Ken up in the phone book and sure enough he remembered me! He showed us how all grain was done. I am forever grateful to him.

Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?

Home brewing blossomed for us and got friendly-competitive. We have an old ugly mash paddle that we painted gold and have handed it back and forth to whom ever made the best beer. Not that I want to admit it… but it stayed at his house more then mine.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?

We had always dreamed of starting our own business, and brewing seemed to fit. Talk is just talk, however, and little progress came out of it. Then, unfortunately, a colleague of ours became very sick. This changed our perspectives a little bit, and we went for it.

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What size/manufacturer/type of system are you brewing on?

We brew on a system unlike most. We built and found and modified everything here, it truly is built from the ground up! We are using reclaimed dairy tanks for our mash tun and kettle, modified to use steam in their jackets with electrical elements inside. Our mash tun uses a crazy food-grade mixer to help stir. We also filter all our water using slow sand filtering. The entire brewery is covered in wash down plastic. We gutted my garage and did everything ourselves. Adam is a very handy builder, I lack there. 🙂 We have a capacity of 1000l but are limited now, as we only have two 1300l fermenters. We maintain temperatures by using A/C units and temperature controllers.

What are your plans for distribution?

As of now we are doing local growler deliveries. People can send us a message on Facebook or Twitter to place their order. We usually do the deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though that may change due to customer demand. We are also attending a pair of local markets: Lunenburg Farmers’ Market on Thursdays and Hubbards Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. At the markets, we can both fill and exchange growlers, in 0.95 and 1.89l formats.

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?

That is in the works: The Grand Banker, in Lunenburg, is making space, and we will be on tap very shortly at Local Public House in Bridgewater.

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Can you tell us about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially?

Our beer now is the Nor’Easter Red Ale, a a 7.5% ABV Strong Ale, with lots of citrus aroma and flavour from Cascade hops. We plan on three stable varieties and many fun/one-off batches. Belgians are not on our list.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?

In addition to Ken, we asked lots of questions, and received lots of info from Mark at Hell Bay, he was/is a big help. Cam at SchoolHouse Brewery also helped in the early going.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?

Well… Adam is a dreamer, I am a little more “less” positive.. So odds are somewhere in the middle. 🙂

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

I enjoy many… but right now I tip my hat to Temptation Red by Boxing Rock.

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How can people keep up to date on the latest FirkinStein news?

Facebook and Twitter are the best ways to get the latest info.

Anything else you’d like to share, we’d love pass it along.

Just a cheers to you!

Thanks to Devin and Adam for spending some time answering our questions. Stay up to date with their licensee expansion and new beers here and on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Cheers!

 

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Fredericton will soon be welcoming their fifth brewery to the area, as Maybee Brewing Co. plans to open in the city before the end of this year. Originally announced back in August, progress is coming along nicely, as owner/brewer Paul Maybee is currently working hard at the brewery’s location (559 Wilsey Rd., Unit 4) to finish up construction in time to open before Christmas. Originally from Rose Bay, Nova Scotia, Paul has been living in Fredericton for the past 8 years with his wife, Mikey, and their two young boys. He currently has his own business, Kingfisher Distributing, which imports low-level laser therapy equipment for acupuncture, wound healing, etc. A homebrewer for the past decade, Paul is now ready to focus his efforts on his true passion! Now that the opening date is getting closer, we touched based with Paul to get some details on what he has planned for his brewery…

Is there something specific that got you into the world of craft beer?

I think I got my appreciation of craft beer from my brother, Dave. He would always bring over IPAs and Russian Imperial Stouts when I was drinking Oland’s. He made me realize there was more to beer than that, and we could sit down and talk about the beer we were drinking.

Tell me a little about your homebrewing history.

I’ve been homebrewing for 10 years. I started – like most people – doing Festa Brew kits, and that did the trick for me for a while. It was cheaper, better beer and I was young and poor, so it did the trick.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?

My wife, Mikey, really encouraged me to do it. It became a passion that took over most of my free time, and I have experience starting and running a business. So Mikey put the idea in my head and she put a lot of faith in me. I would also credit the beer club here (NBCBA) for making me want to start a brewery. I had always wanted to do it, but never thought I could. I gained a lot of knowledge and confidence being in the club.

What steps have you taken so far getting everything up and running?

It’s been 2 years already, and most of that time is fundraising, paperwork, applications, applications, re-doing applications. You have to prove yourself to a lot of people before you get anywhere, and that can be discouraging. Now that the ball is rolling, we’ve got a fair bit of the construction done, plumbing, floor drains, our walk-in cooler was installed last week, the tanks are here, and now we’re just waiting for the epoxy floors and finishing touches before they can be placed and connected. I’m hoping to be brewing on November 15th.

Do you have any partners in the brewery?

Mikey and I are running the brewery together, with the very important help of our two boys (ages 4 years and 7 weeks). Mikey does all the artwork for the cans, glassware, and website, and will be in charge of our Quality Assurance lab; I’ll be making the beer.

What size/type of system will you be brewing on?

We’re brewing on a 10 barrel DME system. We’re double batching into our 20bbl fermentors, which allows us to do back-to-back brews without the wait. DME is based in Charlottetown, so we were happy that the best system for us was also an Atlantic Canadian company that we could feel good about supporting.

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Do you know when your beers will be available to the public?

We’re aiming for a December 1st opening, with a grand-opening party sometime mid-December.

What are your plans for distribution? Plans for tap accounts, bottles, growlers, etc.?

An important aspect of our plan is having packaged beer in 16 oz cans. This will allow us to distribute through the ANBL stores, as well as exporting our beer to Nova Scotia, PEI, and also hopefully on to Ontario, Quebec and the US markets eventually. We will also have a taproom at our location where customers can fill growlers, buy cans, and enjoy a pint of our beer with a view of the brewery. We will be organizing regular brewery tours, too.

Do you have any beer bars/restaurants in the area lined up to serve your beers?

So far, we are going to be on tap at the James Joyce, King Street Ale House, and 540 Kitchen & Bar.

Can you tell me about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially? Are you planning on offering a specific style, or genres (German, English, etc), of beer? Any seasonals, one-offs, or will you stick mainly with a “flagship lineup”?

We plan on having two beers in cans, initially: Roseway Red (6% ABV, 70 IBUs), a crisp and refreshing American Amber, and Workhorse IPA (7.2% ABV, 70 IBUs), an American IPA. They will also be available in the taproom, along with two other rotating beers. Rotating beers will include Birdseye Pale Ale (6% ABV, 55 IBUs), an easy-drinking APA; Elevensies Espresso Stout (5% ABV, 43 IBUs), made with Fair Trade Organic espresso beans; Rye IPA (~7% ABV, 75 IBUs), made with Rye malted in Atlantic Canada; Belgian Tripel (9.2% ABV, 25 IBUs), a golden Belgian ale with a dry, complex, fruity taste; and Belgian Quadrupel (11.5% ABV), which has a very complex flavour, and is a real sipper that should appeal to wine drinkers… I hope to have this one ready by Christmas.

Like with any brewery just getting started, our lineup will change over time. We like to say we are style agnostic, but I really like American and Belgian style beers, and you can expect some sours and Brett (Brettanomyces) beers down the line too.

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Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?

Too many to mention really. When I decided to jump into this project two years ago and approached a few breweries to ask questions, I was blown away by how much they wanted to help. I’ve made a lot of good friends in the industry already. I’ve even visited breweries in British Columbia, Oregon, D.C., and Germany, and everyone has been very helpful.

With the recent increase in the number of new breweries in Atlantic Canada, what will make Maybee Brewing different from the rest?

This is an interesting question. It’s impossible not to be different, really. Every brewery has its own style, and that’s what makes it so interesting for beer fans. We’re offering a wide variety to people with a huge range of preferences. I don’t need my beer to be everyone’s favorite, but it is my favorite, and that’s a quality standard I’ll hold every beer that leaves our brewery to.

Where do you hope to see Maybee Brewing in the next 2-3 years?

Honestly, I want this to be fun for us, our staff, and anyone who drinks our beer. Once I’m satisfied everyone is having fun with it and the quality is there, I will take a very close look at our environmental impact. Maybe not in 2-3 years, but I plan to have a carbon neutral brewery, running solely on renewable energy. This is attainable and something that is very important to us as a family. We will always be expanding our lineup of beers as well, introducing sours (as I’ve mentioned before), barrel-aged beers, and more interesting styles that aren’t easy to get in New Brunswick.

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Do you personally have a favorite beer style? Beer? Brewery?

I’d say right now my favorite beer is Orval.  I love Brett beers done well, and the Trappist monks have perfected the craft.

Do you have a specific ingredient in brewing that you like to brew with? E.g. a specific malt and/or hop variety?

I really like brewing with local ingredients. One of my current favourites are sumac berries. They have a very tart flavour that goes well with a Witbier. It’s a summery beer, so I’ll probably introduce that as a seasonal next summer.

From what/where/whom have you learned the most in respect to brewing?

The people in the NBCBA have a wealth of knowledge and are willing to share it with anyone. For anyone interested in brewing, even just for fun, join the club. It’s the second best thing that ever happened to my brewing.

We’re excited to welcome yet another new brewery to Fredericton; we’ll be keeping you up-to-date over the coming weeks as Maybee Brewing gets closer to their opening day. And stay tuned for news on their Grand Opening party as well! In the meantime, follow the brewery’s progress through their FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts for constant updates.

Happy Friday! We’ve got a summary of last weekend’s ACBAs, plus lots of new brews, so let’s get right to it!

• Last weekend’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards celebrated the high quality beers and ciders in our region. We reached out to ACBA organizer Mark DeWolf (Manager – Custom Content, Food & Drink at The Chronicle Herald) for his thoughts on the event:

“We were very pleased with the number of entries and overall quality of the beer and ciders entered into this year’s competition. This year’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards drew over 200 product submissions from more than 30 breweries and cideries from across Atlantic Canada. With 21 different producers picking up an award, it was clear that there is a high level of brewing and cider making in all corners of the region.  It was great seeing some old favourites and some new surprises take home awards. As an organizer, you can never predict what products and producers will win awards, all we can do is ensure that there is an equal opportunity for all the participants. To that end, the BJCP judges and volunteers should be commended. They were exceptionally professional in the manner with which they carried out their duties. Congratulations, of course, goes out to Garrison Brewing Company for winning their title as Brewery of the Year, Red Rover from New Brunswick for winning our newly created Cidery of the Year award, Rockbottom Brewpub for winning the title of Brewpub of the Year and Bad Apple Brewhouse for collecting the title of Beer of the Year for their exceptional Box Cutter IPA. We look forward to a bigger and better competition in 2016.”

Here are the winners in the individual categories:

#1) N.A. / European Style Lager
Gold Hop City Barking Squirrel Moosehead Breweries Ltd.
Silver Bohemian Style Pilsener Propeller Brewing Company
Bronze Alpine Moosehead Breweries Ltd.

#2) German Specialty Ales
Gold Rise ‘n’ Stein Heffewiezen Garrison Brewing Company
Silver Uncle Leo’s Altbier Uncle Leo’s Brewery
Bronze Stirling Hefeweizen Breton Brewing Co.

#3) UK Specialty Style Ales
Gold Bulldog Brown Ale Rockbottom Brewpub
Silver Raven Ale Paddy’s Brewpub
Bronze Uncle Leo’s Red Ale Uncle Leo’s Brewery

#4) N.A. Specialty Ales
Gold Bitter Get’er India Black IPA Big Spruce Brewing
Silver Ol’ Fog Burner Garrison Brewing Company
Bronze Sir John A Honey Wheat PEI Brewing Company

#5) Belgian Style Specialty Ales
Gold Simone et Hebert Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault
Silver La Buckdjeuve Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault
Bronze Maxime Albert Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault

#6) N.A. Amber / Red Ales
Silver Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter Sea Level Brewing Co.

#7) Fruit & Field Beers
Gold Thai Wheat Pump House Brewery
Silver Rhuby Social Upstreet Craft Brewing
Bronze Smashed Pumpkin Paddy’s Brewpub

#8) Pale Ales
Gold Vic Park PEI Brewing Company
Silver English Ale Hell Bay Brewing Co. Ltd.
Bronze Gimme Citra Big Spruce Brewing + Stillwell

# 9) Stout / Porter
Gold La Vaca Loca Barnone Brewing
Silver Revolution Russian Imperial Stout Propeller Brewing Company
Bronze Oatmeal Stout Rockbottom Brewpub

#10) India Pale Ale
Gold Box Cutter IPA Bad Apple Brewhouse
Silver Deception Bay IPA Tatamagouche Brewing Company
Bronze Fathom IPA Rockbottom Brewpub

#11) Experimental
Gold IPA Gastronome Garrison Brewing Company
Silver Surf & Turf Meander River Farm & Brewery
Bronze Uncle Leo’s Smoked Porter Uncle Leo’s Brewery

#12) Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer
Gold Barrel Aged Grand Baltic Porter Garrison Brewing Company
Silver Zirable Acadie-Broue Inc.
Bronze Rum Barrel Aged Dreadnot Tatamagouche Brewing Company

#13) Standard Cider & Perry
Gold Ship Builders Cider Cider House
Silver VeRRy PeRRy Red Rover Craft Cider
Bronze Stutz Original Cider House

#14) Specialty Cider & Perry
Gold Fire Cider Red Rover Craft Cider
Silver The Blues Red Rover Craft Cider
Bronze Stutz Wild Blueberry Cider House
Beer of the Year/Best of Show: Box Cutter IPA – Bad Apple Brewhouse
Brewery of the Year: Garrison Brewing Company
Brewpub of the Year: Rockbottom Brewpub
Cidery of the Year (new): Red Rover Craft Cider

Congratulations once again to the winners, and to all of our local breweries and cider houses for continuing to step up their game and improving the environment for local beer fans. Now on to the rest of our scheduled program…

• We finally have some news on the new IPA from Pump House; SPCA IPA was brewed in support of the Greater Moncton SPCA, and was officially released at the brewery yesterday. Heavily-hopped (with almost four times the amount of hops as their regular-release IPA) with a blend of “atypical hops”, this amber-coloured beer has an aroma of “grapefruit and citrus, paired with subtle hints of dark berries and a touch of phenol”, according to the brewery. The bitterness comes across as intense, yet with a “pleasingly palatable” flavour. Weighing in at 7% ABV and 50 IBUs, it’s available now in 500 mL bottles, exclusively at the brewpub in Moncton; a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to the GMSPCA. And Pump House’s Pumpkin Ale is out again; you can find it on tap at the brewpub, and possibly at select accounts in the province.

• The first annual Fredericton Cider Fest is being held tomorrow at Brewbakers, starting at 12 or 1 pm (depending on your ticket). Featuring approximately 25 different ciders from six producers (including Fredericton’s own Red Rover, winners of Cider House of the Year at last weekend’s ACBAs), the sold-out VIP tickets allow early entry at noon, as well as access to an info session, but there ARE still some regular-entry tickets left, which include unlimited samples and a special tasting glass. Red Rover will have two different cask ciders, one of which is their Hop Back in Time, a 7% ABV semi-dry cider that has been dry-hopped with a secret blend of varieties. With earthy and citrus notes in the nose, including hints of apple, the hops mix perfectly in the flavours to provide a slight bitterness and grassy notes on the finish. This one-off was brewed specifically for Cider Fest, so be sure to get your tickets if you haven’t already, so that you don’t miss out! For more info, check out our earlier post.

Railcar Brewing will be celebrating their 1st Birthday on Saturday, October 31st. Drop by the brewery from 12 – 10 pm for cake and special pricing on pints and pitchers; the first 50 customers will also receive a free growler with purchased fill. Railcar has also just released Shogomac Stout, brewed with plenty of dark, roasted malts for a jet-black colour and coffee/chocolate aromas and flavours. Hopped with two additions of Southan Farms Goldings and one of Fuggles (to a total of 44 IBUs), it comes in at 5.8% ABV; you can find it now at the brewery and the James Joyce in Fredericton.

• Speaking of Railcar, they’ve had a guest brewer drop by and brew up a batch of Pale Ale, which is currently being poured as a guest tap at the brewery. Al Bannister is the owner of River Valley Micro, a homebrew shop in Woodstock, NB, who plans on opening his own brewery sometime in 2016. He recently brewed his Trout Pout Pale Ale on Railcar’s system, a 6.6% ABV and 43 IBUs beer hopped with Amarillo and Centennial. Bannister hopes to brew a Blonde Ale and American IPA (both with hops from Southan Farms) at Railcar in the near future, with other styles to follow. Drop by Railcar if you’re in the area, and get a sneak peek from this upcoming brewery!

• The season’s creeping to a close, but there’s still some Harvest beers hitting the shelves! Hell Bay has just released their High Tide Harvest Ale, hopped entirely with locally-grown hops from High Tide Hops Farm in Dayspring, NS. This 5% ABV ale showcases a “rich, malty body”, and “peppery notes” from the European yeast strain used for fermentation. It’s currently available at the brewery for growler fills, as well as on tap at Stillwell and White Point Beach Resort, and this weekend’s sold out Celtic Oktoberfest.

Yellowbelly Brewery in St John’s is celebrating Oktoberfest with their newest beer … Oktoberfest! This is the first time YB has brewed a lager, taking a detour from their standard ale offerings. Brewed in the traditional Fest Bier style, this 6% ABV grain bill features Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, and was hopped with Styrian Goldings and Saphir to about 28 IBUs, and then allowed to ferment and condition cold for a month before hitting the taps. The resultant beer is very smooth with a nice noble hop character to complement the malt base, and as such is very easy to drink. And while at the pub, be sure to grab some of their Deep South, now in bottles to take away.

Petite Riviere Vineyards has released a new cider in their Stutz lineup: Stutz Chai Spice. Featuring a special blend of Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Madagascar Vanilla, and Star Anise, steeped in the cider post-fermentation. The base cider is 100% Annapolis Valley pressed apples, and uses the same blend as their standard Stutz, but with a lower residual sugar level. The spicing level is quite present, while allowing the bright apple notes and typical cider crispness to shine through. In addition to the pleasant flavour and aromas from the Chai spice blend, there may also be some relaxation and digestion benefits to the spices. The Chai Spice is available at the NSLC, along with the standard and Blueberry blends, as well as their Farmers’ market booths and shop in Petite Riviere.

Grimross has released their Singel, another beer in their Belgian Abbey series. Brewed as a low-alcohol (4.8% ABV) and easy-drinking, flavourful ale, this beer is along the lines of what the Abbey monks brew for their own consumption, instead of for sale to the public. Very dry, and with a “clean malt aroma and crisp light mouthfeel”, it’s similar to their previously-released Monk’s Choice earlier this year. Look for it on tap at the brewery, and at better beer establishments in New Brunswick.

• There’s been rumours for months now, but TrailWay confirmed late last week that they will be undergoing a move and major expansion over the coming months. They have already ordered their 10 BBL (310 gallons, or ~11 hL) steam-fired system from DME, and will be opening on Fredericton’s north side sometime next spring. We’ll have more info for you as progress continues… cheers to more TW beer 2016!

• Don’t forget today is the first of the Meet Your Makers tap takeovers at the James Joyce; Big Axe will be on hand starting at 7:30 pm with ten taps pouring, including their newest beer, Anaphylactic Ale. Brewed with 3 kg of the rooftop honey produced on top of the Crowne Plaza, it also features the addition of lemon thyme that was picked locally at Big Axe. It comes in at 6.5% ABV and 26 IBUs. After its launch at the James Joyce, it will also be available at the Saint John Ale House and Tide and Boar in Moncton.

• As part of tomorrow’s City Harvest, Garrison has invited the crew from Morris East and their portable wood-fired pizza oven from 10am -4pm to share some great pizza and beer. And to complement that already-winning combination, Miller’s Kettle Corn will also be in the house. To celebrate, Garrison has created a special one-off cask of Sour Cherry Stout. They filled a cask with their Martello Stout, and used the juice from sour cherries to prime/condition the cask. There is only one of these casks, and is therefore only available for onsite consumption. Drop by between 10am to 4pm to enjoy the full pizza, popcorn, and beer experience. And speaking of Garrison, drop by harbourstone sea grill & pour house to get a taste of the Gastronome IPA beer they brewed for them, which debuted last night. Also, check I Love Local’s page (and Twitter) for a full list of City Harvest activities across the HRM, many more of them featuring beer, including a discount on growler fills at North Brewing.

That’s it for this week! Hammond River has just kegged up their latest batch of Too Hop to Handle, their 8.4% ABV and 162 IBUs (calc) DIPA; look for it at their tap accounts any day now. And keep an eye open for a special aged cask of their Sterke Monnik Belgian Quad, being tapped at Port City Royal Saturday, October 31st. Bad Apple Brewhouse teased a picture of them dry-hopping their latest batch of Mosaic Double IPA, we expect it to be released again in November. All of the proceeds from this beer are donated to local support groups for families and those living with Mosaic Down Syndrome, including funding for attendance to Brigadoon VillageFirkinstein Brewing have also begun selling at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market Thursday mornings, in addition to their Hubbards Farmers’ Market stall on Saturdays. While they may not be at this coming week’s market (Oct 29) due to space availability, they will back permanently going forward. Look for them on tap at Bridgewater Local Tap House and the Grand Banker in Lunenburg very soon! Sea Level Brewing has brought back their Port in the Storm Porter for another year, available now at the Port Pub, brewery, and private stores; their Punkin’ Grinner Ale should be out now as well. And Bar Stillwell has announced that their Second Anniversary party will be taking place Sunday, November 15th. No tickets are required, just show up for some special beers they’ve been cellaring, and some great food to match. We’ll have more details on the party once they are available, including a new beer release or two.

There are several new beer releases this week, plus some events worth attending, coming up in the next couple of weeks. Let’s get right to it!

Tatamagouche Brewing has been busy recently, and we all get to reap the rewards. Firstly, they have released an additional number of bottles from their Giant Beer series, featuring Giantess Barleywine, Baltic Porter, and Rum Barrel Aged Dreadnot Black IPA, joining the last few Russian Imperial Stout bottles they had released last month. These are the last bottles from the initial run, and would do very well with a few months of cellaring due to the higher alcohol content. We received word that a new batch of barrel-aged Dreadnot will be out shortly, after spending some time in Ironworks rum barrels.

• Another specialty beer from Tata out again is their Horns Over Hooves Double IPA, brewed with the crew from Stubborn Goat. For the first time, this 8.0% ABV and 80 IBU beer will be available on tap, in growlers, AND cans, with the latter available soon at the private stores in Halifax. And, in another first, Tata has sent a shipment of beer to the NSLC. Cans of their North Shore Lagered Ale will be available throughout the province in the coming weeks, allowing drinkers from Yarmouth to Sydney to enjoy their wares. Hopefully this helps to continue the trend of greater access to NS craft beers at the NSLC.

• And finally in Tatamagouche news, their latest new beer was released yesterday. Ging’ Sync : Rye, Rye, Rye is a 5.5% ABV and 17 IBUs ale. On top of the spicy rye notes from the malt bill and Cascade and Willamette hops in the base beer, 6 kg of ginger and sweet orange peel was added in the kettle and hopback, for a ginger spice and citrus aroma. Another kilo of ginger was added during the conditioning stage to amp up the ginger aroma and bite, for a true Rye and Ginger character. Their firkin for Cask Days (more on that below) features even *more* fresh ginger, along with caraway seeds, for a heightened Ging’ Sync experience. And keep an eye open for a barrel-aged version of the brew, Giant Beer: Dark n’ Stormy, out in the coming months.

Unfiltered Brewing is releasing another SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) Double IPA today at the brewery. All Falc’d Up was brewed with 2-row base malt and plenty of Falconer’s Flight hops; Falconer’s Flight is actually a combination of several different varieties, giving heavy amounts of tropical, citrus, and floral notes. Weighing in at 7.5% ABV and a calculated 100+ IBUs, this should be the perfect beer to replace the extremely-popular previous SMaSH DIPA, Double Orange Ale. Hop on down to the brewery today to get your growlers filled!

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza is holding a beer lunch/beer launch today. Starting at noon, they will be serving up slow-roasted pig, courtesy of local farm Forever Green Organic Farm. This 80kg heritage breed pig will be paired with Apple/cabbage slaw, Gallo Pinto featuring Big Spruce-farm grown beans, along with pico de gallo and tomatillo sauces, mole and others. And to wash it down, the Smokin’ Jack It Pumpkin Beer will be launched at noon. Joining the taps will be their latest specialty brew, Gimme Nelson, a conspiracy brew with Bar Stillwell. In the same vein as their Gimme Citra beer from the summer, this 5.7% ABV and 34 IBU American Pale Ale features loads of the New Zealand hop, Nelson Sauvin, late in the boil and in dry hopping, for an emphasis on the aroma and flavour of the hop, rather than the bitterness. And speaking of launching, throughout the afternoon, they will be using their trebuchet to launch pumpkins into the Bras d’Or lake (or as close as they can get them ;)). From 2pm, their house band, Asaph Deuce, will be keeping everyone entertained. Don’t worry if the weather doesn’t look too friendly, there is a tent set up in the parking lot just in case. As such, people are asked to park on Yankee Line Rd.

• Over in New Brunswick, Picaroons has released a couple of new beers for growler fills at the Brewtique. First up is Ginger Ale; consisting of a “wide and varied malt bill” made up primarily of Pilsner, Wheat malt, and Rye malt, along with “significant amounts” of Munich and Vienna, it was lightly hopped with Amarillo and Mt. Hood. In addition, real ginger root was added both in the boil and the hop percolator, along with generous helpings of lemon peel and Rooibos tea. All this comes together to give the beer a slightly sweet taste, similar to a fall ginger tea, with a “pleasant herbal finish” according to the brewery. This amber-coloured ale weighs in at 6% ABV and ~20 IBUs. Pics has also just put out their Magnum PEI, a hop-forward American Amber Ale that has been hopped with fresh Magnum from My Father’s Farm in Pownal, Prince Edward Island. Only a single batch was made; as mentioned, it’s available at the Brewtique for growler fills until it’s gone.

• Speaking of Picaroons, they’re holding a Harvest Ale Dinner at Lion & Bright in Halifax on Sunday, October 25th from 6 – 9 pm. The $50 ticket price includes three courses with beer pairings, with all food featuring freshly-harvested local ingredients. Picaroons’ Tony Goss will be hosting the dinner, telling the story behind every beer that will be paired throughout the evening. Only 45 tickets are available; they can be purchased at the event link above.

Petit-Sault is releasing yet another brand new beer today, Simone Hébert, a Belgian Dubbel named after “an important land owner” in Edmundston in the early 19th century who stood up to American commissioners who claimed his lands were on American territory. Brewed with a little bit of Chocolate malt and plenty of dark Belgian candi syrup to give it the style-classic notes of dark fruit and mild chocolate, it comes through as “rich, malty, and fruity with a surprisingly dry finish”, according to the brewery. Hopped lightly with Willamette and Hallertau to 20 IBUs, it weighs in at 7% ABV. This one will be available only at the brewery for growler fills, so get over there to give it a try!

• Tickets are selling quickly for October 24th’s Celtic Oktoberfest in Port Hawkesbury. Featuring unlimited sampling from seven breweries and one winery (Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton Brewing, Garrison Brewing, Hell Bay, Tatamagouche, Uncle Leo’s, and Eileanan Breagha Vineyards), food from ten different local producers is also included (Barykin Bistro, Buschmann Free Range Bio, Clove Hitch Bar & Bistro, Dancing Goat Cafe & Bakery, Fleur De Lis Tea Room, Governor’s Pub & Eatery, Louie’s Cosy Corner, Martin’s Fine Bakery, Miller’s Tap & Grill, and the NSCC Culinary Program). And of course, live music throughout the evening from Nuallan and Beech Hill. Grab your tickets today, it will be a blast!

• Next week will mark the 11th Anniversary of Cask Days in Toronto. Put on by the family crew that owns Bar Volo, it is a celebration of Cask beer. Thanks to the folks at Bar Stillwell, there will be more than a dozen Maritime beers available at the fest again this year. The full list of beers is available here. We reached out to the breweries to find out more details on which beers they would be sending. There are several new beers on the list that we will share the details of, when they are released in our region.

Big Spruce: Bitter Getter India Black IPA and Gimme Nelson American Pale Ale, collab with Stillwell.

Boxing Rock: The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale and Vicar’s Cross Double IPA

Breton Brewing: Celtic Colours Maple Lager

The Brewnosers: Special Bitter

Garrison Brewing: Imperial Chocolate Stout and Vulcan Ale – Genesis Effect Red Session IPA

Hell Bay: English Ale

North Brewing: TBA

PEI Brewing: Island Vibes American Pale Ale and Roll Out The Barrels (Barrel Aged Lager w/ Brett)

Pumphouse: Thai Wheat

Tatamagouche Brewing: Rye & Ginger

Unfiltered Brewing: Exile on North Street IPA, Flat Black Jesus American Stout, and Twelve Years To Zion Double IPA

Upstreet: Gravedigger Imperial Pumpkin Ale

• Attention Halifax beer fans! Tomorrow marks the last day of the 2015 season for the Stillwell Beergarden, so be sure to drop by for a pint. We reached out to co-owner Andrew Connell for his thoughts on its inaugural year on the waterfront:

“I was personally really surprised at the response from people in and around Halifax. We wanted to create a space for ourselves to hang out, somewhere outside with an awesome view and good beer on tap. When we opened it felt like people had been waiting for that exact thing for way longer than I realized! At the height we were really surprising ourselves with the amount of beer we ordered from individual breweries every week. The problem became not having enough keg room space to have enough beer for a busy weekend! Halifax based breweries saved us, emergency keg deliveries several times a week just to keep up with demand – they were awesome. The response of the community in Halifax was incredible and we definitely put craft beer in to a lot of people’s hands who were completely new to the idea – I’m sure you can appreciate that it always feels great to do that and to be on the front line supporting Nova Scotia craft beer. As far as next year goes, if we are able to do the Beergarden again, we just want to raise the bar for the whole experience. The best selection of Nova Scotia craft beer that we can get our hands on, more variety on the snack side and we’ll invest in making the space more fun (lawn games!) and more comfortable.”

We’re certainly looking forward to seeing them on the waterfront again next year, showcasing the best the NS breweries have to offer, to locals and visitors alike.

Boxing Rock will be hosting a Harvest Party at their Shelburne brewery tomorrow. From 1-4pm, they will be holding free brewery tours, live music, serving up beer sausages, and have pumpkin-themed games for the whole family. At 2pm, co-owner and -brewer Henry Pedro will give a presentation on the Science of Beer. Expanding on his Mash talk at the Discovery Centre event during NS Craft Beer Week, he will go into more detail on the entire process, sure to satisfy both the brewing novice and beer nerd.

Have a fantastic weekend! Hammond River has a couple of favourites that have returned to tap accounts: both the Imperial Vanilla Porter (including the Bourbon-version) and Imperial Breakfast Stout (this time with more bacon!) should be available at better beer bars in the Quispamsis/Saint John region, and hopefully at the James Joyce at some point as well. Red Rover has also re-released their very popular Fall Cider, a 7% ABV semi-dry cider that has real cinnamon sticks added in secondary. If you haven’t tried Petit-Sault’s Oktoberfest, La Padrix, yet, it’s currently at all four ANBL growler stations. Hell Bay‘s
hop harvest beer will be released shortly, featuring fresh hops from local Dayspring hop farm. Also, look for 6-packs of their English and Dark Cream ales at the NSLC, replacing the 500ml format. Best of luck to all entrants in this weekend’s ACBAs. With 200 entries from across the Maritimes, the judges have their work cut out for them! We’ll be sharing the details of the winners next week. And from the folks organizing the ACBAs, a reminder that their Cicerone prep course for Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone are beginning this week. Get in touch with Peter Goneau for more details.

Happy long weekend! Once again, plenty of beer news to share, including the opening of yet another brewery in Nova Scotia in the near future. Let’s dive right in…

• There is another new brewery coming to our region in the near future. Nine Locks Brewery will be opening near Lake Micmac in Dartmouth, NS in the next couple of months. It is a collaboration between Shaun O’Hearn (owner of Rockbottom Brewpub) and business partner Danny O’Hearn, with current Rockbottom head brewer Jake Saunders moving into the Brewmaster role across the bridge, and former Brutopia Brewmaster Chris Downey joining the team. Nine Locks will be focusing on American and English style beers, launching with an IPA and ESB, with more to follow shortly. Their beer will be available in cans and growlers at their storefront at 219 Waverley Rd, through the NSLC and private stores, and on tap at local bars and restaurants. Their 20 BBL/24hl DME brewhouse is being delivered next week, with launch expected late November/early December. Their website and social media pages will be launched shortly, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with their progress.

• Speaking of new breweries, FirkinStein are expanding their growler delivery program, and will be attending this weekend’s Hubbards Barn Farmers’ Market. From 8am-12pm (if the beer isn’t sold out earlier!), their Nor’easter Ale will be available to purchase in 0.95 & 1.89l growlers, along with their new branded glassware. They will be at the market for the next few weeks, until it closes for the season. And remember that their Bridgewater-area growler delivery service is available a few nights per week, contact them on Facebook or Twitter to get on board!

• YellowBelly Brewery in St John’s has brought back their popular Deep South IPA for a second go ’round. This New Zealand-, Australian- and American-inspired IPA features Pacific Gem hops from New Zealand and Mosaic hops from Australia for tropical fruit, grapefruit, and mint flavours and aromas. Like the previous batch, the Deep South was fermented with an American ale yeast (instead of their house British strain), to allow the hops to shine through even more. The IPA weighs in at 6.0% ABV and roughly 60 IBUs, and is available now on tap, and in take-away bottles shortly.

Grimross has re-released their popular Chantelope, an all-Brettanomyces-fermented “wild ale”. First making its debut in August of 2014, this is the first batch that has been brewed since the brewery opened at their current location on Bishop Drive in Fredericton early this year. While the first brew was fermented with Brettanomyces bruxellensis, owner/brewer Stephen Dixon decided to try a different strain for this current batch: Brettanomyces brux. var. Drie, an isolate from the excellent Belgian brewery, Drie Fonteinen. Dixon says that the new Chantelope is “extremely fruity and flowery”, with lots of pineapple, tropical fruit, and candy-like aromas and flavours, along with a “jasmine-like” character. This light-coloured ale comes in at a lower-ABV (5.4%) than before, with about 23 IBUs. It’s available now at the brewery taproom for pours and growler fills, and at select Grimross accounts in the province. And just this morning, they’ve just released another batch of their Dubbel, back again after a few week hiatus. Look for the beer details here.

• Attention PEI beer lovers! There’ll be a new beer dropping today at 6pm. Literally! Upstreet is releasing their fall seasonal, Gravedigger Imperial Pumpkin Ale today, and are starting it off with a bang. They’ll be dropping a 200kg local pumpkin from 20 metres to make a big splash/splat, to kick-off the release. Before crying foul, they are using the opportunity to kick off a food drive in their tap room, where anyone bringing in a non-perishable food item will enjoy staff-priced pints until Oct 31st. So, what about the beer? It is years in the making, and was first brewed on a homebrew scale by Brewmaster Mike Hogan, along with local homebrewer Ryan Palmer a couple of years ago. The recipe uses a big malt bill, for a solid base to support the pumpkin pie character throughout. The beer weighs in at 7.5% ABV and about 30 IBUs. And while at the brewery, check out the beautiful screen-printed posters from Upstreet label artist Jud Haynes, each one numbered and signed by the artist. And keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter feeds for more details on other upcoming events, including Yoga at the Brewery tomorrow, a fundraiser for Anderson House next Saturday, and their first Comedy Show, featuring Gavin Stephens, on Monday, October 19.

• Shediac’s Flying Boats Brewing, which has been operating for the last few months, has just seen a major expansion with the arrival of their 2 BBL/2.4 hectolitre system from Stout Tanks and Kettles. With a hot liquor tank, mash tun, boil kettle, brite tank, and four fermentation vessels, this will allow owner/brewer Marc Melanson to brew significantly more beer than previously able on his original, 10 gallon system. Several small-scale batches will be brewed at first to dial-in the new brewery, with full-size brews to follow shortly afterwards to meet “growing demand”, and supply new accounts who have been eagerly waiting to pour Flying Boats beer!

• Nyanza’a Big Spruce Brewing will be releasing their annual pumpkin beer next week. Smokin’ Jack It features the addition of several home farm-grown pumpkins, apple wood smoked right at the brewery. After fermentation, the beer was aged on rum-soaked cardamom, vanilla and cinnamon. It comes in at 5.5% ABV; look for it on tap at the brewery mid-week, and at better beer bars shortly thereafter. Don’t forget to drop by today starting at 11:30 for some food from Cruisin’ Cuisine Food Truck, with music by Maxim Cormier at 2pm. In fact, every afternoon from Oct 9-17 (except Sunday the 11th) at 2pm, there will be live music as part of the Celtic Colours festival. Check their Facebook page for the exact schedule. And Big Spruce also has an exciting program in the works with the folks at Escarpment Laboratories in Ontario, look for details on that in the coming months.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub has announced the launch of their “Meet your Makers”, an ongoing series of tap takeovers. An opportunity to try several brews from one brewery, each will also provide a chance to chat with the brewer(s) in a quiet setting and ask them questions on their process, ingredients, future plans, etc. A brewery-related food special will also be available at each event. First up is Big Axe on Friday, October 23rd. Starting at 7:30 pm, owners Peter and Tatiana Cole will be bringing at least six of their beers. Details on exactly which beers are not yet known, but they HAVE brewed up something special for this event, featuring the honey produced on the rooftop of the Crowne Plaza. Their latest re-release of the Wrath of Putin “Imperial Pale Ale” (out today) should be appearing as well. There’s no cost to attend, just show up and pay by the beer! Big Axe merchandise will be on hand for purchase.

• And while on the topic, the next Meet Your Makers has already been planned for Thursday, November 5th, to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night. Featuring Red Rover, expect plenty of cider on tap (including one or two new releases), with a good chance of a cask cider as well. A Guy Fawkes effigy will hang out in the pub until 10:30 pm, when it will be taken outside and burned in a bonfire (don’t worry, they have a permit!). More details to come.

Garrison Brewing has a few new beers available now. Their 3 Fields Harvest Ale is out, brewed with fresh hops from Meander River Farm, Ross Farm Museum, and Wyskmykal Farm, added to the brew within hours of harvest. The beer weighs in at a hefty 6.4% ABV. On tap at the brewery only, they have brewed up a special cask of Cranapple Weisse, a cranberry- and apple-infused wheat beer, 5.0% ABV. For those in New Brunswick, look for their American Red on tap at the four ANBL growler filling stations. This blend of their Irish Red and India Pala Ale brings together the best of both worlds. Look out for a second batch of their Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale to be refilling shelves at the brewery, NSLC, and beyond. Finally, Modem Hoperandi, celebrating The Stanfields‘ new album release, is also out now at the brewery.

• The 2nd Annual ACBAs are back, and tickets are now available to purchase for the Awards Gala at the Stubborn Goat. On Sunday, October 18th, the winners will be announced and the celebrations can begin! The Goat’s Chef Tyler Smith will be preparing a multi-course dinner, each course paired with a local beer. Tickets are available online now.

• Early Bird tickets for the Local Connection Halifax’s Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration are moving quickly, so be sure to snap them up soon to avoid disappointment. The Jan 16 event is moving to a larger venue, which means more room for more breweries, restaurants, and attendees. It always features several special casks and special brews, including Big Spruce’s Home Brew Challenge winner (btw homebrewers, just under two months to go until judging, so best get your brew on now!).

• The Nook and Cranny has released a Pumpkin Spiced Ale, which is now on tap at the brewpub. Brewed along the lines of a Wheat Ale, a pumpkin spiced tea (featuring cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin spices) was steeped and added to the beer. Served with a sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg rim, it weighs in at 4.5% ABV. Drop down to try a pint before it’s gone for the season!

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Remember, lots of beer styles pair perfectly with turkey. If you’re in the Moncton area tonight, remember that the Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest starts at 7:30 pm (6:30 for VIP); tickets are still available.

Finally, a few housekeeping notes to end this week’s post: we have added a Growler page to our site this week. We wanted to take stock of all locations in our region selling growlers, and their different filling/return policies. Please let us know if you find a mistake. Also this week, our Facebook page was “upgraded”, which meant we lost the ability to Friend people. Please don’t take it personally! Our Atlantic Canada Beer Pages list had to be rebuilt from scratch, so if we’ve missed anything important, please let us know too. Cheers!

Welcome to the first Friday of October! We hope everyone is staying dry, despite the region-wide rain we are getting this week. Why not head out to your favourite watering hole (groan) and order a local craft beer to recharge your spirits? Here are a few new options for you to consider.

• The Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Bonhomme Sept-Heures, released by Petit-Sault two weeks ago is already about gone, but luckily, they’ve just released another seasonal to take its place! La Padrix is an Oktoberfest (their second) brewed with Munich and Vienna specialty malts to provide a “rich malty taste, with light biscuit notes and a clean finish”, according to the brewery. Hopped lightly with Saaz and Northern Brewer to 25 IBUs, this 5.6% ABV lager is smooth and well-balanced, and reminiscent of their Lancaster KB882 Marzen that was released back in March. La Padrix is available on tap at the brewery now, and at ANBL growler stations the week of Oct 15th.

Gahan House Harbourfront in Halifax has released a pair of new beers recently. Brewed for this weekend’s Oyster Festival, the Briny Blond is a hybrid lager/ale, with a twist! It features a light addition of sea salt, along with the zest and juice of 40 lemons. The finished beer does not taste salty, but enhances the other characteristics of the beer, amplifying the mouthfeel and balancing the acidity of the lemon. Brewster Karen Allen designed the beer to pair with oysters and seafood, and this 5.2% ABV and 38 IBU easy drinking brew fits the bit perfectly.

• Also new at Gahan is the Harvest Ale, a 5% Pale Ale, brewed with a variety of wet hops that Brewster Allen picked from Boxing Rock’s Emily Tipton’s yard (yes, she knew!). The hops shine through mostly in the aroma, with a combination of floral and fruity notes, and the characteristic grassy aspect commonly found in wet-hopped beers. Grab this one today before it is gone for another year! And keep your eyes peeled for the return of Allen’s Hopgoblin IRA v2.0 later this month, a malt-forward Red Ale with plenty of body to keep you warm as the temperatures decrease.

• The crew at Breton Brewing is releasing their first seasonal next week, in celebration of Celtic Colours (running Oct 9-17). This Cape Breton Island-wide celebration of music and culture will see musicians and artisans highlight the natural and cultural beauty of the region. And how better to celebrate, than with a beer! Celtic Colours Maple Lager was brewed with maple syrup from local producer Acadian Maple. The final beer weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 15 IBUs, and features a nice maple flavour and light aroma. Look for it on tap at the brewery and around the Island, including Flavor on the Water, Governor’s, Old Triangle, Red Shoe Pub, and Iona Heights Inn.

Authentic Seacoast has released their Rare Bird Pumpkin Ale this week. This 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU beer features fresh local pumpkins and squash, that are then spiced and roasted on site before addition to the beer. These flavours complement and contrast the base beer’s bitter and crisp character, for a lovely meeting of the minds. It is available at the Rare Bird Pub in Guysborough (which is now in fall hours, open for growler and bottle sales 12-5pm, M-F), as well as the private beer stores in HRM and select ANBL stores. And for those looking to learn more about the Authentic Seacoast story, CBC recently visited Guysborough and spoke with Glynn Williams, who is heavily investing in this small Nova Scotia community. Listen to Atlantic Voice.

Meander River in Ashdale, NS released an IPA with their own homegrown hops, named… Homegrown IPA. It was brewed exclusively with their own fresh hops, used within hours of picking. A lighter ABV (4.2%), but lots of hop and malt flavour shines through. Look for another one of their cider releases in the coming weeks, as they have been experimenting with another blend of Annapolis Valley apples.

Uncle Leo’s in Lyon’s Brook, NS has released a new Altbier. This traditional German style features a copper colour, and a light body with a significant bitterness and flavour hop presence. At 5.2% ABV, it is available at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select bars in the province.

• Next Friday, Oct 9th, the Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest will take place in Moncton at the Crowne Plaza downtown. Organized by the Moncton Beer League, the festival will feature beers from six NB craft breweries (Acadie-Broue, Celtic Knot, Fils-du-Roy, Grimross, Petit-Sault, and Pump House), four from Nova Scotia (Bad Apple, Boxing Rock, Garrison, and Propeller), and the PEI Brewing Co., along with six different food stations from local producers. There are two types of tickets available: the regular session ($58 + fee) is from 7:30 – 10 pm and gets you a souvenir glass and unlimited beer samples; the VIP session ($68 + fee) lets you in an hour earlier at 6:30 pm, and includes a special glass, unlimited samples, and access to an industry panel discussion and guided beer tasting. Tickets are on sale online; part of the proceeds will go towards supporting the United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB.

• The James Joyce Irish Pub has officially launched their Mug Club as of yesterday. Limited to 30 members, the sold-out club gives members their own, numbered mug, larger pours, deals on food, and access to exclusive events at the pub. Yesterday’s launch also featured the first-ever cask at the Joyce (Picaroons Yippee IPA); casks will be making more appearances at future Mug Club events, and will likely be available to non-members as well.

Thanks for reading this week! If you’re around Fredericton, TrailWay has brought back their American Stout; look for it on tap around the city. PEI Brewing Co. has released cans of their Rogues Roost IPA in PEI and NB; it is available at the ANBL Growler stations this weekend, and should be following in NS soon. Savoie’s Brewhouse in Charlo, NB, is releasing a pair of new beers in the next few days. Their Charlo Falls IPA and Heron’s Nest Honey Brown (made with local honey) will both be debuting at the Heron’s Nest Pub soon. Both are 5% ABV, and will be released in bottles at the ANBL this fall. Due to poor weather, Good Robot‘s Sowr Soul Pig Roast has been delayed to Saturday, October 17th, however their Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer will still be available beginning this weekend. Pump House Brewery has released their Oktoberfest Lager today. Look for this 5.5% amber lager at the brewpub and ANBL shortly. Finally, congratulations to Picaroons’ Sean Dunbar, who has been elected to the Board of Directors of Beer Canada, in a new position “representing Atlantic small brewers”; you can read the full press release here.