Happy Friday! There’s lots of new beers – and some other beer-related news – out this week for our region; time to start getting caught up…
• Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing released a brand new beer this past weekend. Bockman-Turner Overweiz is a Weizenbock, meaning a dark wheat beer (Dunkelweizen), but brewed to a higher ABV (hence the “bock” moniker). The BTO weighs in at 7.6% ABV, and was brewed with a grain bill of half wheat malt, with the remainder composed of German Munich, Bohemian Pilsner, Crystal and a touch of chocolate malt for colour and roast flavour. Hallertauer hops were used throughout, and a top fermenting German Wheat Ale yeast was used to bring out the characteristic banana and clove aromas to round out the brew. It is available on tap now at the brewpub, and in growler fills to go; it was a small batch, so it won’t last much longer… drop by today!
• Big Spruce Brewing has brought back their very popular The Whole 9 Yards Scotch Ale. First released in April 2014 as a beer celebrating their First Anniversary, this latest version again features the addition of Glenora Glen Breton Rare 10 year Single Malt Whisky to the batch to enhance the roast, peat, and smoke characteristics of the underlying Scotch Ale. Available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and on tap at better beer bars in the province. And don’t forget, time is quickly running out on Big Spruce’s Third Annual Home Brew Challenge. If you haven’t already brewed up your Red IPA (or Dark Czech Lager or Altbier), you might be able to squeeze it in under the wire this weekend!
• Last night, the second Meet Your Makers tap-takeover event was held at the James Joyce Irish Pub. Red Rover Craft Cider was featured, with a total of ten taps pouring various regular-release and special one-off ciders. Two brand new ciders made their debut at the event: first off is their Tinderbox, a semi-dry cider featuring notes of vanilla, that has been aged with the addition of bourbon and oak (this one was brewed specifically for the Guy Fawkes Day-themed tap takeover). Next up was the Bee for B, another semi-dry blend which was made with honey produced on the roof of the Crowne Plaza hotel; this one will continue to be on tap exclusively at the James Joyce for the foreseeable future. Also, the White Witch made its triumphant return last week and was on tap last night; first released last fall, it features plenty of fresh orange zest and locally-grown cilantro out of Wellwood Farm in Saint John. All three ciders are, as usual for Red Rover, 7% ABV.
• Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a few returning favourites on tap at the brewery these days. Their award-winning Mosaic Double IPA is back on tap at the brewery now. This 8% ABV big IPA is brewed to showcase the Mosaic hop, and it does that in spades, featuring big aromas and bitterness. All of the proceeds from Mosaic are donated to attend camp at Brigadoon Village and other community projects, to support families and those living with Mosaic Down Syndrome. This is something very close to the Bad Apple family, as one of owner Jeff Saunder’s children has Mosaic Down Syndrome. In addition to the brewery (where a limited number of bottles will also be available), the beer will be on tap at Lion & Bright, Stubborn Goat, and La Torta Pizzeria in Wolfville, as well as few spots in New Brunswick.
• Also available from Bad Apple is their Operation Green Ring, a 5.0% ABV Cucumber Mint Wheat Ale. It was brewed with Delta Force Brewery, two members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club. Using fresh local mint and cucumbers, this field beer features lots of mint aroma and cucumber flavour, coming together with a great Wheat base. It is available now at the brewery for growler fills. And keep your eyes peeled for the return of their Russian Imperial Stout, currently conditioning and waiting for release closer to Christmas. As in some previous releases, a good amount of this brew is being barrel aged in Glenora casks.
• There’s a new beer from Flying Boats currently hitting taps; Beach Cruiser DIPA is a test batch of sorts that came in at 7.2% ABV and 72 IBUs. Featuring a “generous” dry hop, it was also hopped at several points throughout the boil with four different varieties: Magnum, Centennial, Amarillo and Chinook. It’s currently on tap at the James Joyce, and should be on a rotating tap at Marky’s Laundromat later this month. The newly-installed pilot system at the brewery is also up and running, with the first test batch currently undergoing active fermentation. More on that beer, soon!
• Meander River will be releasing their latest batch of cider this weekend: First Frost Hard Apple Cider is a 5.5% ABV apple blend featuring juice from Fair Acres Farm. “A touch sweeter and juicier” than their original dry cider releases, according to the brewery, it still finishes very crisp. It will be released this weekend at the brewery, and at Christmas at the Forum (Fri-Sun) in Halifax. And speaking of Meander River, the crew from Garrison dropped by yesterday to collect spruce boughs for their Spruce Beer winter seasonal. Look for that beer in the coming weeks.
• Over at Granite Brewery in Halifax, they have a new beer on tap for pints and growler fills. Described as a “Red Ale” by the brewery, Flander’s Fields was brewed with honey and ginger to give it extra aroma and flavour to go with the maltiness from the grist. It weighs in at an easy-drinking 5.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery until it’s gone (approximately three weeks).
• Fredericton’s Half Cut Brewing (operating out of the brew system located at the Picaroons Brewtique) recently released their second beer, an American Brown Ale named Belligerent Brown. Described as roasty and hoppy with “notes of dark chocolate and dried dark fruit”, it was hopped heavily with Centennial and Chinook. While technically on the higher end of bitter with a calculated 74 IBUs, it comes in at an easy-drinking 5.4% ABV. It’s available for growler fills at the Brewtique, and should be on tap around the city at the King Street Ale House, James Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Snooty Fox.
• It’s getting closer to the official ticket-release for the 2016 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, and those behind it all have been releasing some sneak peeks for what they have in store for the Fourth Annual event! Organized by Lloyd Chambers, this will be the first time the event has been stretched into Fredericton Craft Beer Week, featuring plenty of beer-related activities from March 9th-12th, finalizing with the beer festival on Saturday. There will be two sessions this time around (afternoon and evening), both of which will feature the largest gathering of Atlantic Canadian craft beer yet – 45 confirmed breweries pouring over 160 different types of beer, cider and mead. We’ll have lots of information as we get closer to the events, but for now, keep in mind that tickets for the festival will go on sale at 11 am on Friday, November 27th through their website. Stay tuned for more!
• Rudder’s Brewpub in Yarmouth has released a new beer this week, Runic Stone IPA. Weighing in at 5.6% ABV and 46 IBUs, it was brewed with a load of late hopping in the boil by Cascade, Columbus, Saaz and Sorachi Ace hops, and was further dry hopped with more Saaz and Sorachi Ace. This hop schedule allows for a big hop aroma, without the beer being too bitter. It is named after the Runic (or Fletcher) Stone in the local museum, thought to be a Norse artifact, discovered in the early 19th century. While the exact origins of the stone are unknown, it is certainly part of Yarmouth’s history. Grab its namesake beer on tap at Rudder’s while it lasts!
• TrailWay has brewed up a fresh batch of their popular Session IPA, and next week it’ll be a little easier for those in Fredericton to get their “fill”! As of next Thursday, 250 L of this hoppy, ~4.3% ABV beer will be making its way to the Prospect St. ANBL for growler fills. This will be TrailWay’s first time at the ANBL growler station since last March. And in other TrailWay news, Dan Mason and Jake Saunders of TrailWay Brewing have officially signed the lease on the location for their new brewery when they expand in 2016; located at 280 Main St. on Fredericton’s North Side, they hope to be producing beer on their 10 BBL system by Spring.
• Grimross has added two new fermentors to their existing line-up, and with this minor expansion comes the need for more assistance in the brewery! As a result, they are currently looking to hire a full-time brewer. Interested parties can find the full list of requirements here, and resumes should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope everyone has a great weekend! Petit-Sault‘s award-winning La Buckdjeuve has returned; it’s currently on tap at the brewery for growler fills. Picaroons has brought back their popular seasonal, Winter Warmer; you can find it on tap at the Brewtique, at select beer bars/restaurants across the province (and beyond?), and in 500 mL bottles at ANBL stores. PEI Brewing Co. will be re-releasing their Transmitter Coffee Stout later this month; featuring a new blend of beans from Receiver Coffee. And don’t forget to grab a bottle of their Hell Street barrel-aged Doppelbock on sale at the brewery now. While there, grab a pint of their latest cask, SmOAKed Brown, a smoked version of their Iron Bridge Brown, aged on oak chips. Storm Brewing in Newfoundland has brought back their winter seasonal Coffee Porter, available at their usual licensee and retail locations. Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax has released a new seasonal themselves, Strawberry Blonde, a 5.0% ABV fruit beer.