Happy early end of the work week! With tomorrow being Good Friday, we thought we’d post this week’s Wrap-Up a day early, to give most of you something to read to break up your work day. Let’s get to it, there’s lots to go over!
• Sunset Heights Meadery once again had some entries in last weekend’s Mazer Cup International Mead Competition in Colorado, and once again, they came away victorious! They swept the Session Mead category, winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for their Scuttlebutt, Cinfully Yours, and Punky Pie, quite a feat considering the Mazer Cup is the world’s largest mead competition. Congratulations to the Sunset Heights family!
• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing released a beast of a beer late last week. 1-1-9 is a barrel-aged American-style barleywine, coming in, you guessed it, at 11.9% ABV. Despite the high alcohol content, the beer is very smooth (dangerously so?), thanks to the barrel character and assertive 100+ IBU bitterness to balance it into a praise-worthy brew. Due to its limited nature, this beer is *only* available at Unfiltered’s taproom, Charm School, located adjacent to the brewery, so best drop by soon to grab a glass.
• Dartmouth’s newest brewery, Nine Locks, has added two new beers to their core lineup this week. The Dirty Blonde and Porter are both now available, joining their ESB and IPA. The 5.0% ABV Dirty Blonde is a light and crisp brew featuring lots of wheat, for a pleasant easy-drinking beer with a quenching character. The Porter features lots of chocolate and biscuit notes thanks to the darker kilned malts used in the beer, but is still a very light and enjoyable 5.0% ABV beer. The four beers are currently available at the brewery for growler fills and cans, and are in the wild at neighbouring Mic Mac Bar and Grill, and at spots around HRM.
• Spindrift’s Seventh Wave Series continues today, with another small-batch release. Gross Michel is a 4.6% ABV Hefeweizen, an unfiltered German-style traditional wheat beer. Featuring a light 10 IBU bitterness, the wheat malt gives a cloudy appearance and robust white head, with notes of clove and banana from the yeast. As usual, the beer will be available for growler fills only, starting today at noon, and won’t last long.
• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has released a pair of beers this week; one brand new, and one a returning favourite. Hug A Ginger is a 4.2% SMaSH beer, featuring Maritime Pale Ale Malt and Cascade hops, as well as ginger root, for an enjoyable melding of citrus and ginger aromas, and malt and light ginger with a bitter finish. This limited release is only available at the brewery, on tap for samples and growler fills. This week also marks the return of In Session ISA, Garrison’s take on a Session IPA. Big hop-derived tropical fruit and citrus flavour and aroma dominates this beer, from the copious additions of Belma, Crystal, and El Dorado. All of that in a small, 4.5% ABV package, means that you can drink a couple in a single session, without it slowing you down. In Session is available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and in six-packs province-wide at the NSLC.
• Tatamagouche Brewing is releasing a new beer today: The Grog. A small, hoppy, Belgian Ale (think Belgian Session IPA), The Grog is part of a Parti-gyle brewday, where two (or more) beers are created from the same grain bill/mash, with a higher alcohol beer from the first runnings (due to the higher sugar content), and a smaller beer from the later runnings, and boiled separately. In this case, the higher ABV beer will be a Belgian entry to their Giant Beer series, with The Grog weighing in at 3.0% ABV. Just because the alcohol is low, however, does not mean it is lacking in flavour. This beer’s focus is on the hops, using Hallertau Blanc and experimental hop ADHA-529 (lending flavours of coconut and lime) in the boil, and was further dry-hopped with both of these, plus Centennial. This batch will be on draft and growlers only, with it available at the brewery now, and pouring soon at Battery Park, Lion and Bright, and Stillwell, as well as the four private beer stores in HRM for growler fills (Bishop’s Cellar, Cristall Wine, Harvest Wine, RockHead; check their website or social media for the current growler line-up).
• Good news for cider fans in Nova Scotia! John Brett, of Tideview Cider, has been hard at work, and a first trial cider debuted at Bar Stillwell last weekend. The 7.2% ABV still (uncarbonated) cider was served from a cask on the bartop, and featured a blend of apples that features a celebrated variety known as the Hyslop crab apple, for an enjoyable dry and tannic finish. Brett’s plans going forward will focus on smaller batches, sourcing primarily from his own orchard in the Annapolis Valley. Keep an eye out for Tideview Ciders once they get back into commercial production, which could be as early as next year.
• Bad Apple Brewhouse from Somerset, NS, has debuted a new beer this week. Just Rockin’ IPA is the 6% ABV, lower alcohol brother of The Impresser Double IPA. But just because it is lower in ABV, does not mean it is lacking in flavour! Fermented with Conan yeast for some great apricot and fruit ester character, and hopped generously in both the boil and dry-hop for a big blast of hop flavour and aroma. JR made its debut at Stillwell last night.
• Petit-Sault has just released their Pink Boots Society brew, Buzz, a “Honey Rye Ale”. This is the second year that the brewery has participated in the annual multi-brewery Big Boots Brew Day, initiated to raise the profile of women in the beer industry. Five women were involved in the brew day, led by Petit-Sault brewer Julie Long, with the end-result being this 6.1% ABV beer, which was brewed with Rye, Munich, and Honey malt, along with 60 lbs of pure, NB honey. Hopped with Magnum and Saaz to 21 IBUs, this copper-coloured ale is “full-bodied, sweet and malty, with floral notes of NB wildflower honey and a hint of pepper, and flavours of light honey and caramel”, according to Long. It’s available on tap now at the brewery taproom for growler fills, and can also be found this weekend at three of the four ANBL growler stations (KV excluded). A portion of the proceeds from sales of this beer will go towards a scholarship for women studying biotechnology at NBCC. And in other PS news, they’ve hired a new brewer to join their team – Patrick Dionne is an Edmundston native who has recently completed a Masters in Biochemistry from the Université de Moncton.
• Moncton’s Bore City has a new beer on tap in the city, an APA named Equilux. Heavily-hopped with two truly delicious varieties – Equinox and Citra – the beer has “prominent tropical/citrus notes, with plenty of grapefruit”, according to the brewery. Clocking in at 5% ABV and 50 IBUs, it’s on tap now at the Tide & Boar (but is going fast) and should be following soon at Marky’s Laundromat.
• Fredericton’s Mama’s Brew Pub will be releasing a new beer on tap tomorrow, aptly named for the holiday weekend. Hoppy Easter is an American Pale Ale that was generously hopped with Comet, Citra and Amarillo, both in the boil and in the dry-hop addition. With these three varieties, expect lots of fruit, citrus, and dank character in the beer. It comes in at 65 IBUs, and a sessionable 4.9% ABV.
• Picaroons and Railcar have teamed up for their very first collaboration brew in support of the Ministers Island Barn Raiser taking place Friday, April 1st. Raisin D’Roof is a, experimental, “darker brew” that was brewed with 2-row, Crystal 20 L, and Chocolate and Wheat malts, along with 30 lbs of Golden raisins that were blended and added to the boil. Hopped with local Cascade, Centennial, and Goldings, the beer weighs in at 6% ABV. Look for it on tap at the Brewtique in Fredericton and at the Railcar tasting room on April 1st. It will also be pouring at the fundraiser in St. Andrews; if you’d like tickets to that event, there’s a few left here.
• And, speaking of Railcar, they’ve debuted a new beer, the 7% ABV Columbus Wreck IPA. Their hoppiest beer ever, it features a heavy dosing of Columbus hops mid- and late-boil, for a nice blast of both flavour and aroma, on top of a medium-bodied base. It is currently available at their Florenceville-Bristol brewery and taproom for pints and growler fills. And look for further distribution of Railcar’s beer in the coming months, as they look to expand to a 6 hectolitre system.
• There’s a new beer fermenting over at YellowBelly, and it’s definitely an interesting experiment! Brewmaster Liam McKenna wanted to make a statement of sorts in support of those who try to prevent the wasting of food in the world, so he took a crack at making beer from stale bread. While the majority of the grist was made up of some typical malts such as 2-row, Munich, Carastan, and a little Midnight Wheat, there were also five malt bags of stale, sliced, and lightly toasted bread from local Rocket Bakery. Featuring some white, rye, and multigrain bread, as well as some bread with raisins, keep in mind this beer may contain traces of nutes. Hopped entirely with Willamette, they’re expecting the beer to be low in alcohol at ~4% ABV, and mildly bitter at ~25 IBUs. We’ll keep you updated on the release of this one!
We’ve got several new events to let you know about this week, with a couple happening this evening:
• The Ladies Beer League are holding a “Beer and Banh Mi” tasting tonight. Certified Cicerone Angeline MacLennan will lead attendees through three pairings of beer with spicier fair at Indochine Banh Mi. The event starts at 7pm, and there are still a few tickets available for purchase.
• Schoolhouse Brewery will be taking over the guest taps at Good Robot this Saturday, bringing a selection of six of their small-batch beers. Featuring their “Locally Hopped” series, including Big Red Schoolhouse Imperial Red Ale, Debarrs Reserve Biere de Garde, and Scotian Export Scottish Ale, as well as the new Schoolhouse Red Lager, and flagships Chequers Robust Porter and Principal Pale Ale. The event kicks off at noon, with fun schoolhouse games and snacks throughout the afternoon and evening.
• Gahan Halifax is holding a Brewmaster’s Dinner next Wednesday, March 30th from 7-9 pm. Featuring four courses of locally-sourced food, paired with four different seasonals/one-offs created by brewmaster Karen Allen, there will also be a one hour meet-and-greet starting at 6 pm, where Allen will be on hand to talk Gahan beer! Tickets are available at the brewpub now.
• Halifax’s Auction House will be hosting their latest Beer School March 30th, with special guests Meander River. The event begins at 7pm, and there are food pairings made specifically for the evening. Folks from Meander Rover will be giving a presentation, and moving throughout the bar chatting with patrons. Contact Auction House for more tickets.
• Fredericton’s James Joyce will be hosting another in their series of Meet Your Maker events, this time featuring Shediac’s Flying Boats. Brewer/owner Marc Melanson will be attending, and is keen to answer any questions you have concerning his beers! The event will be held on Friday, April 1st, starting at 8 pm, and will feature four FB beers on tap: Dixie Clipper IPA, Empress Irish Red Ale, S-55 Special Mission Pale Ale, and Double Oatmeal Stout. Expect fun and games, with some Flying Boats swag to be won. As always, there is no cost to attend, just pay by the glass!
• There are still tickets available for Propeller’s next Prop’r Cask Night, April 1st, featuring Black Sheep restaurant. Your $30 ticket allows you to tour Propeller’s offerings, as well as Gottingen St brewery, and enjoy some specially-prepared appetizers from their food partners.
• No tickets necessary, but a reminder that Stillwell is hosting a Tap Takeover so massive, it is two days long: Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel! brewery. Join the crew from the brewery on both April 1st and 2nd for a dozen rare and special beers, paired with Montreal-inspired food from Chef Ruppel and crew. There are a *different* special kegs locked and loaded to go for both Friday and Saturday, so multiple visits may be required this weekend!
• Details are now available for the release of Barrel-Aged Triskaidekaphobia, the collaboration brew between Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, and Ladies Beer League. On April 9th, Stillwell will be hosting a launch party, with the folks from CKDU spinning tunes all day, from noon. While the event is open to all, there will be a select number of special tasting glasses available, which come filled with your first pour of the 11%.0% ABV Triska. Grab them here, with the proceeds going to support CKDU.
• This is the last week for Early Bird Tickets to the NS Craft Beer Week Full House event. The culmination of 9 days of celebrating beer across the province, with more than 20 NS breweries in one spot. Your ticket will get you in the doors, and your first dozen samples. Grab them now, before the price goes up April 1st.
A reminder that the provincial liquor stores will be closed Friday and Sunday, and may have reduced hours Monday, but many of the brewery and private stores will be open for your holiday beer needs. Best to double-check online/by phone, to avoid possible disappointment. Have a great long weekend!