Good morning! We hope everyone is recovering from a busy past week – with the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival last Saturday and yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day, there’s probably some recuperating to be done! Well, sit back and have a read…
• This year’s fourth annual FCBF was a huge success, as usual! Here’s a few stats to sum it all up for those of you who unfortunately were not able to attend:
– 1500+ attendees over two sessions (afternoon and evening), 50 volunteers.
– 52+ breweries, 200+ beers, ciders and mead, and 200 brewers and suppliers on-hand to pour and chat.
– $2000 raised for Mosaic Down Syndrome, and $20,000 to Team Diabetes.
– A new FCBF app was launched and very-well received.
Next year’s Fest Week has already been set, and will run March 5-12, 2017. Aims for next year are to build up the afternoon session even more, and offer more events throughout the week leading up to the festival, with several tap takeovers tentatively planned for across the city (think: NB, NS, and PEI pavilions of beer). And if you’re an FCBF Alumni (i.e. have attended all four FCBFs), look out for something special coming your way in 2017!
• Fredericton’s second cidery, York County Cider, officially opens for business today! After debuting their ciders at last Saturday’s FCBF, the storefront to their cidery – located at 418 York St. – will open to the public today from 4-7 pm. They will be selling 1.89 L growlers of their ciders, and will also be filling 1.89 L, 1 L, and 750 mL clean growlers from other breweries (prices for fills are $15, $7.50, and $6, respectively). Five different products will be available:
– In The Beginning, an original dry
– Sweet William, a semi-dry
– An Apple a Day, cider hopped with Falconer’s Flight
– Ginger Snap, made with real, fresh ginger
– Like an Academic, featuring 100% New Brunswick-grown blueberries
All of the ciders are made with locally-grown apples, and come in at 6.5% ABV. Glassware and t-shirts will also be available for purchase, and the storefront will be open all weekend (Friday 4-11pm, Sat noon-11 pm, and Sun noon-6pm). Be sure to drop by to fill a growler or two!
• And while on the subject of Fredericton cider, Red Rover opened their new storefront location last weekend. The Abbey Cafe is located downtown at 546 Queen St., and will have multiple RR ciders on tap for 5 oz samples, 12 oz pours, and flagon fills, along with a tap dedicated to guest cider in the future, and one tap dedicated to craft beer. Open 12-9 pm Monday through Saturday, the location also has equipment dedicated to 1500 L fermentation capacity, acting as the cidery’s pilot system, allowing RR to experiment with new styles. Note that the original Ciderhouse (880 Hanwell Rd) will still be the home of the majority of the cider-making and equipment, but will no longer be a location for flagon fills. If you’re downtown this weekend, head on in and check out the new spot!
• Even more cider news! Annapolis Cider Company has announced that they will be opening this April in Wolfville, NS. Co-founded by Gina Haverstock, winemaker at Gaspereau Vineyards, and Sean Myles, Dalhousie University apple researcher, the cidery and accompanying tasting room will be found on Main St. in Wolfville, where their ciders will be available for samples and in refillable bottles. Also on the team is manager Katie Barbour and cidermaker Melanie Eelman, who also has a PhD in Chemistry. Their first two releases will be Juicy & Sweet, a 5.6% ABV cider that combines dry-fermented cider with freshly-pressed apple juice, and Crisp & Dry, a 7.7% ABV cider that leans more heavily on cider, but still includes a “touch” of apple juice. Visitors will be invited to enjoy tours and tastings, and will be able to view the cider making process directly from the tasting bar. We’ll keep you updated on their progress; in the meantime, be sure to follow along with their Twitter account for more news.
• Grimross has a new beer out, Brett Saison. Fermented and conditioned for over a month with a blend of a Belgian Saccharomyces strain and a Brettanomyces strain, it’s a light golden, dry beer that exhibits “rustic” Saison characteristics, along with some light funk and fruity character from the Brett. If you’re able to purchase a growler to hold on to, you’ll most likely notice the Brett character increasing over time, as the yeast will continue to eat some leftover sugars. Weighing in at 6% ABV and 21 IBUs, this light and refreshing beer is available for growlers fills and pints at the brewery, and is on tap at select locations.
• There’s some new-beer news coming from Pump House this week. First off, they’re releasing two more beers in bottles at ANBL stores next week, one of which is Muddy River Stout: a long-time tap-only beer, it’s an Oatmeal Stout featuring lots of roast, Espresso, and chocolate in the aroma and flavours, and still manages to weigh in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV. The other is Best Friend Märzen Lager; not to be confused with their Oktoberfest seasonal, this is a different beer altogether that uses Hallertau hops for bittering (18 IBUs) and aroma to complement the “strong nose of sweet malt aromas” and a “pleasant sweetness from Vienna and aroma-friendly malts”, according to the brewery; it clocks in at 5.5% ABV. Finally, PH released a Black Irish IPA yesterday for St. Patrick’s Day. A big beer at 8% ABV and 65 IBUs, this dark IPA was dry-hopped with Warrior. On tap at the brewpub while supplies last, it can also be found at the new SJ East ANBL growler station this weekend.
• Halifax’s Good Robot has released their latest CommuniBrew beer in the SMaSH Bros series: Rakauchu IPA. SMaSH beers feature a Single Malt and Single Hop, and for his beer, local homebrewer Miles Bishop chose Munich malt for a light body with a touch of toast/bread/caramel flavours, and New Zealand Rakau hops. The hops were added throughout the brew, including first wort, and several additions late in the boil, for a pleasing bitterness and big nose of berry, citrus, and pear. As with all of the CommuniBrew beers, they are brewed on GR’s Sabco Brew Magic system, so there will only be one keg of the beer available, at the Taproom. And at a very sessionable 5.5% ABV, we suspect it won’t last long!
• In fact, look for GR’s next CommuniBrew beer to be tapped this weekend, The Cookie Jar. Developed and brewed by homebrewer Keith Forbes, this 8.2% White Stout is a hybrid of styles: the beer features big portions of Wheat malt and Oats to add mouthfeel and complexity to the Pale base, with a light bittering charge of Warrior to balance. The addition of Brown Sugar, Cinnamon sticks, Cocoa nibs, Lactose, Toasted Coconut, and Vanilla Beans take it to the next level, however! The resultant aroma and flavour is reminiscent of a Specialty Stout, with the appearance of a Pale Ale. Taproom only, folks!
• Paddy’s Irish Pub has a pair of new beers on tap, at both their Kentville and Wolfville locations. Their Black IPA is a 5.7% ABV dark beer, with a nod to American IPAs, featuring plenty of Falconer’s Flight hops for a robust 67 IBUs, and berry, citrus, and stonefruit characters in both aroma and flavour. Their very popular Oatmeal Stout has returned: rolled oats give this 5.0% ABV beer a smooth mouthfeel, with the dark kilned malts lending notes of choclate and coffee. Both of these new brews are on tap at both locations, for both pints and in growlers to take away. And keep an eye out for a brand new beer, coming soon: Rye Saison. This 5.0% ABV pale saison was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain for big fruit and spicy characters, with a pepper note enhanced by the addition of malted rye.
• In more Paddy’s news, they will be hosting their second Brewer’s Dinner, Tuesday April 5th, 7-9pm. It will feature four courses of food, each carefully paired with one of Brewer Kirsten MacDonald’s creations from the brewery:
1st course: Spring salad with Blueberry Ale dressing
2nd course: Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa
3rd course: Beef Wellington (veg option: Veggie Wellington)
4th course: Sticky toffee pudding
The event will be taking place in the Brewer’s Hall, upstairs at their Wolfville location. Tickets are available at Paddy’s Wolfville now.
• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has brought back two previous favourites this week. The first is La Rive Du Sud, a 7.5% ABV Bière de Garde. Based on the style originally (and still) brewed in Northern France, it is a malt-forward beer, with light toasted and caramel malt aromas meeting a slightly sweet finish with a touch of Noble hops. It is available at the brewery now in bottles and growler fills, this weekend at the Farmers Market in growlers, and on tap at better beer bars and restaurants. Also re-launching this week is Wild Axe Bohemian Pilsner. This 5.7% ABV is keeping it traditional, brewed with 100% Bohemian Pilsener malt and Czech Saaz hops. The extended lagering process leaves a crisp and refreshing beer that is supremely drinkable. The beer with be launched at Timber Lounge, a new Axe Throwing space on Agricola St, and will also be on tap around HRM, and in bottles at the private beer stores.
• Truro’s Nook and Cranny has released a new brew pouring this week. Their Amber Ale was produced on their DME Smart Brew system, which allows them to ferment beer right on the premises, adding in their own take on base recipes and styles. For the Amber, they dry-hopped the beer with Cascade, Centennial, and Galaxy hops, for a solid hop punch with stone fruit character. This 5.5% ABV and 55 IBUs beer is only available on tap at their pub on Prince Street.
• Attention St John’s (and the rest of the Rock) Good Beer Fans! The Inaugural St John’s Brew Fest is coming your way! Presented by some of the same people behind the Newfoundland Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club (NLACBC, formerly Beerthief Beer Club), they’ve been sharing their passion for great beers to the public for several years, so a Festival is the next logical step. Featuring more than 60 beers from 20+ breweries (and the number is growing weekly), many of which are not otherwise available in the province, the three sessions will feature low entrance fees, and a pay-per-sample pricing scheme. This will encourage thoughtful enjoyment, rather than “trying to get one’s money worth” by drinking as much as possible. The event is being held June 17 & 18, with three sessions (one Friday evening, two Saturday), and tickets will be on sale Monday March 21st.
• From one Island to another, Upstreet Brewmaster Mike Hogan (from Prince Edward Island) is visiting Cape Breton Island’s Breton Brewing today for a collaboration brew. Inspired by the upcoming East Coast Music Awards, being held in Sydney April 13-17, they are having a jam session of their own today. An Extra Special Bitter, it features Maritime Malt, and New Brunswick-grown Golding hops. The beer will be launched at Breton at the start of ECMA weekend, and the Upstreet team, along with several of their beers on Breton’s guest taps, will be onsite to celebrate.
That’s it for this week! As usual, a few final notes:
– Picaroons had several variants of their Timberhog stout (such as Ginger, Coffee, and Chocolate Vanilla) available for growler fills at the Brewtique yesterday for St. Paddy’s Day; there may still be some available, so be sure to stop by if you missed out.
– Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day beer releases, there will be no 7th Wave series release at Spindrift today, as they did a special release of Dry Irish Stout yesterday for the holiday.
– Gahan House Halifax is on the lookout for a Brewer at their Historic Properties location. There are a few details on their Facebook page, and interested folks should contact them ASAP, in order to work with Karen Allen before she leaves.
– YellowBelly Patrick’s Pale Ale was released this week, featuring Cascade hops throughout the process. It is available on tap, as well as in bottles at the bar, and the NLC.
– PEI Brewing Co. has brought back their 8.1% ABV Doppelbock, Reanimator, which is available now in cans at the brewery; it will follow soon at PEILCC stores, with the ANBL not far behind.
– Nine Locks is starting to release some of their beers in cans: ESB is available now at the brewery, with IPA following shortly on Monday evening, and their Porter and Blonde Wednesday evening.
– Due to a trademark dispute, Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse will now be selling their beer outside of Nova Scotia under the name Mosaic Brewing Co.; but if you’re in NS, don’t worry, the BAB name still stands! Check out their link for more details.