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All posts for the month April, 2016

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s hope that was the absolute last throes of winter this week, and we can proceed into spring now.

Red Rover recently launched a new hopped cider, Hop to It, that is currently available in a very limited supply. Similar to their Hop Back in Time cask cider which was released at last fall’s Fredericton Cider Festival, this batch was “hopped with English varieties, blended to enhance the apple aromas, providing a slight citrus taste in the flavour”. As mentioned, only a very small amount of this 7% ABV cider was produced (400 L total); you can find it available for flagon fills at the Ciderhouse (at their new location at The Abbey on Queen St.) and at Red Rover market accounts, with one keg going to both the James Joyce and Saint John Ale House. If feedback is good, there’s a good chance we’ll see this pop up again, in bottles at ANBL stores.

Big Spruce recently filled some Glenora Single Malt whisky barrels with their Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, and that beer is ready for the world. Available exclusively at the Nyanza brewery, the stout features great aromas from the barrel on a base of the lovely coffee and chocolate stout, with a big of an alcohol jump to 5.5% ABV. Growlers and samples are available at the brewery now.

• A sure sign of warmer weather to come is Big Spruce’s other release this week, Silver Tart! This 4.5% ABV sour ale features loads of raspberries, for a great combination of aroma, flavour, and an acidic kick. Available on tap at the brewery, it will also be on tap at Battery ParkGood RobotPrimal, and Stillwell in the coming days. And keep an eye on Bishop’s Cellar’s Beer Page to see when they tap their shipment for growler fills.

Picaroons has released the first beer in their Staff series in over a year, Iain’s CanadIain Stout.  Brewed by Iain Brannigan (one of the brewery’s cellarmen), this 7% ABV ale is “assertively roasty, with a well-balanced hop bitterness which goes down quite smooth due to the velvety nature of the generous helping of oats in the recipe”, according to the brewery. It will be available for growler fills only at both the Brewtique and General Store.

• Over on the Island, the PEI Brewing Co. has a new cask tapped at the brewery taproom; Way She Gose is, yes, a Gose, a slightly tart/sour ale brewed with coriander, and sea salt made by their own Al Douglas, from sea water off the north shore of the Island. If there’s any of this 4.5% ABV beer left, it won’t last long, so get down to the brewery to give it a try! Also, later today the brewery will be officially releasing their latest seasonal, Setting Day Saison, in cans. Light-bodied and golden-coloured, with high carbonation, this 3.5% ABV Belgian ale exhibits aromas and flavours of spicy phenolics and fruity esters. Feel free to show up at the brewery between 5-7 pm to celebrate its release with cans, taps, and music! It will also be popping up on tap at select PEIBC accounts.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a pair of new beers out this week. Their Sugar Moon Maple Ale is made with maple syrup from Sugar Moon Farm, adding to a base of Maritime Malt and some darker malts, for a toast and caramel character from this amber-coloured beer, lightly hopped with Millenium and Willamette. It is available at the brewery in bottles now.

• Returning today is Garrison’s Klignon Warnog Roggen Dunkel, a Dunkelweizen (German dark wheat) featuring a healthy addition of rye malt. This is an official Star Trek beer, brewed under the Federation of Beer name, featuring clove and banana aromas and flavours, along with a light sweetness from Munich malt. Available at the brewery in bottles beginning today.

• Guysborough’s Rare Bird has brought back their Maple Ale this week. Brewed not with water, but exclusively with maple sap as the base liquid, the beer celebrates the running of the sap with the cool evenings and warm days. Additions of syrup bump up the flavour (and alcohol, slightly, to 6.5%), and hops offset the sweet character, for a well balanced brew.  It is currently available at the brewery, and will be at Harvest Wines & Spirits this weekend.

• There’s lots going on at Halifax’s Rockbottom: they recently launched their latest new beer, Rye Pale Ale. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, the beer feature rye malt in the grain bill, for a light spicy character, and experimental hop ADHA-529, for flavours of orange and black tea. It is available on tap, and in growler fills to take away. Look for a pair of new beers in the coming weeks, with Japanese Lager debuting next week. This 4.5% ABV beer was brewed with rice, and the lagering process leaves the beer with a clean, crisp, and snappy character, with notes of peach and lemon in the finish. Mid-May will usher in their Maibock, a higher ABV blonde lager, coming in at 7.2% ABV. The pilsner base malt shines through, as well as some toasty/caramel character, from light specialty malts. And for fans of their Fathom IPA, look for a variation in the hops used, which will alter the flavour profile slightly. The batch on tap now features massive amounts of Amarillo hops at flameout and dry-hop, lending a big citrus aroma. The next batch will feature Summit for a dank resinous base, with Cascade and Falconer’s Flight for grapefruit hop blast, and finshing “with a huge El Dorado/Mandrina Bavaria fruit-loop dance party”, according to Brewmaster Jake Saunders. All of these late- and dry-hop additions preserve the volatile essential oils in the hops, promoting flavour above bitterness (enhanced by the isomerization of the alpha acids in the boil). Be sure to get on both batches to get the full experience!

• Soon-to-open Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay has launched their Pioneers Club. For your $40 enrollment fee ($10 per year subsequent), you will receive an exclusive t-shirt, early notification of new beer releases, invitations to educational seminars, and a 10% discount on merchandise (beer excluded). Also this week, Sb announced that their brewmaster has been hired, Jeremy Fehr, a graduate of the Niagara College Brewmaster program. Also a highly-decorated homebrewer, he was most recently brewing at Neustadt Springs Brewery in Neustadt, Ontario. Look for the brewery to launch on Main Street Mahone Bay this summer.

• In a story with repercussions for beer lovers nation-wide, the judge is ruling today in the case of Gerard Comeau, the man charged in 2012 when he brought a dozen cases of beer into New Brunswick from Quebec. CBC had a reporter in the courtoom, live-tweeting the proceedings. He had been charged under the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act, limiting the amount of alcohol to “liquor not in excess of one bottle or beer not in excess of twelve pints “. He pleaded not guilty, and went to court to fight the law, which is in opposition to the Constitution Act of 1867. Section 121 of the Act states, “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.” In the judge’s ruling, he concluded that the Fathers of Confederation intended inter-provincial free trade, and that evidence presented in the trial has altered the nature of the debate on the term “admitted free”. The announcement was just made, and the charges against Comeau have been dismissed.

As for what’s going on in the world of beer events in the coming weeks…

• There will be a special announcement at Breton Brewing today at 1pm. Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria will be making the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. In the spirit of local cooperation, beers from Big Spruce will also be available, taking over half of Breton’s taps. After the announcement, stick around for music from Angelo Spinazzola until 4:30pm, and come back for their Music on Tap! event with Robert White, 6-9pm. UPDATE: The event was an announcement that ACOA will be investing $436,000 in Big Spruce and Breton, to aid in their growth. Big Spruce is constructing a 5000 square foot building to expand their production facilities, while Breton will be purchasing a pair of fermentors, and a canning line. Full details here.

• Propeller’s next Prop’r Cask Night, featuring Krave Burgers, scheduled for tonight at the brewery’s location on Gottingen St. from 6-9 pm. There are still tickets available ($30 each, online or at the brewery), which include appetizers from Krave paired with several samples of Propeller beers, including a sneak-peek cask of their three-way Organic Collaboration DIPA Cerberus (with Big Spruce and Tatamagouche) their special cask ale that will be tapped at approximately 6:30 pm.

• The first in Stillwell‘s Rare American Beer Weekend Series is happening this weekend (April 30th and May 1st); this no-tickets-required event will feature Alaska’s Anchorage Brewing Company, with bottles of several of their “bright, funky, layered beers” being poured. In addition, several kegs of sour beers from Quebec breweries Dunham and Trou du Diable will be pouring.

• It’s not Father’s Day yet, but attention all Dads looking for a day off! Good Robot is holding their first Dad Day Afternoon this Sunday, May 1st at the brewery on Robie St. Featuring lawn games, a MarioKart tournament, haircuts and trims, and BBQ from Black Sheep Restaurant, it’s the perfect excuse for fathers to get together, drink some beers, and enjoy themselves… because they never do that any other time, right? 🙂

Ducky’s Bar is holding a Beer and Food Pairing Dinner on Sunday, May 1st, from 5-7:30 pm. Hosted by Craig Pinhey, there will be four courses paired with four beers from different New Brunswick breweries, including Petit-Sault, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, and Fils du Roy. Tickets are $45 each and are available at Ducky’s and Napul’è, with sales ending tomorrow night.

• Next Thursday, May 5th, Upstreet Brewing will be holding their Charlottetown Invasion tap takeover at Halifax’s Seahorse Tavern. Five Upstreet beers will be pouring from 10 pm to close, paired with live music from Charlottetown bands Sorrey, Raccoon Bandit, Coyote, and Whaleskin.

• Next Friday, May 6th,  is the start of NS Craft Beer Week. Kicking off the week on Friday is the Cape Breton Kitchen Party, hosted by Big Spruce and Breton Brewing, they have invited 10 NS breweries to Sydney for a right good Kitchen Party. Food and live music round out the beers, and the party is sure to keep going elsewhere in town once the event is over! Also on the 6th (and on Saturday, the 7th, too) Beer and Beethoven is returning again this year. With special guests The Irish Descendants, the event will have 6 different breweries in attendance each night, pouring their wares during a sampling period at the beginning of the night, and continuing for sales for the rest of the evening. Saturday the 7th is also Open Brewery Day, where breweries across the province will be opening their doors, holding brewery tours and events all day, to celebrate the local craft. Look for a full post and update to our NS Craft Beer Week Calendar and Map early next week.

A few parting shots this week:

Bore City has been busy brewing, and will be re-releasing three of their beers – Night and Day Black IPA, Equilux APA, and Marécage Belgian Saison – at the Tide & Boar very soon, with both Night and Day and Marécage also pouring at Marky’s Laundromat in the near future. And for our Fredericton readers, look for the return of Equilux APA and Spacetime Odyssey Porter at the James Joyce this weekend.
TrailWay has finished installing their new brewhouse, and will be brewing on the new system for the first time this weekend. Congrats! Look for the brewery and taproom to officially open sometime next month.
– We can expect more Petit-Sault beer to be hitting the market soon, as they’ve recently added two more 60 bbl (~70 hL) fermentors to their brewhouse. These additions will allow the brewery to brew more of their extremely-popular La Kedgwick, a Pilsner that undergoes a 6-week lagering period; meeting this demand will free up space for brewing their other flagship beers, as well as new one-off releases.

Welcome to the weekend, and a beautiful Friday! Beer news in our region is a bit slower this week, but there’s still plenty to talk about…

• Prince Edward Island should soon be expanding options for enjoying craft beer, as the Island’s first outdoor beer garden is being planned for downtown Charlottetown, as reported by the Guardian late last week. Business partners Steve Barber and Jacob Hiemstra, owners of local restaurants such as Hunter’s Ale House, hope to have the location open on the corner of Prince and Kent streets by late June. The Charlottetown Beer Garden and Seafood Patio should have about 25 taps, with 12 dedicated to craft breweries and another several reserved for imports. While local, Island breweries will naturally be a big focus, Barber is in talks with PEILCC to feature other craft breweries from the Maritimes. Live music and fresh, local seafood will also be a feature of the restaurant, as well as other beer-pairing favourites such as sausages and pretzels. Stay tuned for more info…

• But that’s not all! HopYard, a craft beer bar focusing on “local Island beer, regional breweries, and beers from across the continent”, is set to open downtown at 151 Kent St. on Monday, May 9th. Owned by Mike Ross and Brett Hogan, the bar will feature draught beer only, with 10 always-rotating taps. Award-winning Chef Jane Crawford will be in charge of the food menu, with all items priced at under $8 (note that while bar snacks will stay the same, all menu entrees will also be rotating). Cider, wine and spirits will also be available, and a “vast vinyl selection” will be on-hand for customers to look through and make selections to be played on the bar’s sound system. Open every day at 11 am, the bar’s simple motto – “Beer. Food. Vinyl.” – perfectly sums up their mission statement!

• Halifax’s Granite Brewery has released their latest seasonal beer, Granite IPA. Light copper in colour, the 5.5% ABV beer was brewed with healthy doses of East Kent Goldings and Cascade hops, to 55 IBUs. Grab a growler at the brewery, or a pint at better beer bars in the city.

Back in March, we reported on a new beer being brewed by YellowBelly that involved the addition of a large amount of stale bread from neighbouring Rocket Bakery, as a statement to support those who minimize the wasting of food. Well, that beer, named Brewis Hard Tack Ale, is now on tap at the brewpub. The brewery describes the brown, 4% ABV beer as showing notes of “pepper from the rye, a lactic bite from the sourdough, and figs and raisins as backnotes”, along with some herbal and spiciness from the Willamette hops. Bottles will be available shortly at both the brewery and NLC, as well. Learn more about the ingredients, process, and beer, at YB’s site.

Unfiltered is releasing another new beer today (and those at yesterday’s punk album evening got a sneak peek) – Riddle of Steel is an American IPA described as “bright and juicy, with a serious New England influence on top of the usual San Diego roots”. Coming in at 7% ABV and 70 IBUs, this very-pale-coloured hoppy beer will be on tap for growler fills at the retail store at noon, by the pint at Charm School at 4 pm, and in the wild at local bars shortly.

•  Good Robot has released what they’re referring to as “a damn good cup of beer”, their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale. Brewed with a grist including Pilsner, Red X, and Rye malt, plus some Flaked Barley, it was hopped with Falconer’s Flight and Cascade to 40 IBUs. In addition, approximately 3.5% of the beer volume comes from the addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Ethiopian Guji coffee, which is “grown in cherry soil and known for its berry character”, according to the brewery. The resultant 5.1% ABV Pale Ale is described by the brewery as exhibiting notes of coffee and caramel, with a chocolate forefront; slight acidity and tartness come from the Guji coffee as well, as the beer starts off as creamy before turning slightly sharp/acidic. Grab a pint or growler at Good Robot now, and look for it in rotation at taps around HRM.

Saltbox Brewery, currently in development in Mahone Bay, has confirmed that they have successfully purchased the building on Main Street that will serve as their brewery and storefront. With their 12 hL DME brewhouse to be delivered in May, they are planning on a mid-summer launch. Read more on their site.

There are a few events coming up in the next bit that are worth checking out. And remember, NS Craft Beer Week kicks off in just two weeks, May 6th! Check out our Calendar and Map for all of the events, and we’ll be adding more as details are announced.

Bishop’s Cellar is holding a free in-store tasting hosted by Dartmouth’s Nine Locks this afternoon, 4-6pm. Featuring their four flagship beers, Dirty Blonde, ESB, IPA, and Porter, drop by for a taste and grab a few cans to enjoy on the patio. While there, also check out their extensive beer sale, as they’ve marked down several American and Quebec craft beers, to make room for new arrivals.

• Celebrating Earth Day is an annual event for Lion & Bright and Big Spruce Brewing. In support of Ecology Action Centre, the two companies teamed up to collect funds throughout April, whenever patrons ordered tacos or a pint of Big Spruce beer. Tonight at 6pm, drop by L&B to celebrate Earth Day, with a Big Spruce tap takeover featuring some returning favourites, including Gimme Citra Single-Hop Pale Ale, She’s Maibock Lemon Maibock, and Watchtower Conspiracy Imperial IPA, joining their core lineup of beers. During tonight’s event, $1 from every pint, and order of tacos, will add to the donation coffers. More details here.

• Good Robot Brewery are also celebrating Earth Day today, by encouraging patrons to take part in the North End Cleanup starting at 4pm (prizes for those who collect the most street trash), and are inviting some goats from Moo Nay Farms to “graze” on their (faux) lawn on Robie Street. There will be guided yoga at 3pm to limber up before collecting trash, and when the sun goes down, the tap room will be lit only by tea lights. Moo Nay Farms, by the way, are the proud recipient of Good Robot’s spent grains, reducing the feed requirements, and therefore agricultural resources, needed to keep their animals fed. Check out a video of some Robot/Animal fun.

• Tomorrow, April 23rd, is the Winemaker vs Brewmaster event at the Grand Banker in Lunenburg. Featuring Nyanza’s Big Spruce, squaring off against L’Acadie Vineyards, in a five-course meal, each paired with both a wine and beer. Guests vote with either a beer cap or wine cork, and the winning producer will be crowned at the end of the meal. Tickets are available at the Grand Banker, or by phone (902-634-3300).

• On Saturday, April 30th, Railcar is pairing with the Algonquin Resort to present Maritime Beer & Cheer. Being held from 6-9 pm at the Algonquin in Saint Andrews, NB, there will be five courses paired with five different Railcar beers. Tickets are $55 + tax and gratuity, and will feature such pairings as braised beef brisket and butternut squash ravioli with Smoked Molasses Porter. Reserve your tickets by phone (1-855-529-8693) or in person at the resort.

Local Connections has announced the date for Halifax’s first cask festival, the Cask Beer Showdown. Scheduled for Saturday, September 24th, there will be two sessions (12-3 pm and 5-8 pm) available to attend. Early-bird tickets are now on sale at the above link for $33 each, which includes entry, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and twelve 4 oz samples of a variety of “unique cask-conditioned beers” from local breweries.

That’s all for this week. And, of course, before you go…

Picaroons is releasing their popular summer seasonal, Dooryard, today; this 4.5% ABV “Organic Wheat Ale” will be available on tap at most Picaroons accounts through the end of summer, as well as for growler fills at both retail locations, and in bottles.
– Grimross Brewing is hiring yet again, this time in the Assistant Brewer position. For details on the requirements and work detail, check out their link.
Uncle Leo’s has re-released their Altbier today. 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.
North Brewing has released another batch of their Barrel-Aged Strong Dark Ale, aged for five months in barrels from Cape Breton’s Glenora Distillery.
Bore City‘s Equilux, their APA hopped with the mega-delicious Equinox and Citra, has been sent to the James Joyce in Fredericton; it should be tapped later today, and won’t last long, so head in for a pint!
Tatamagouche Brewery has sent off several pallets of cans of their popular Deception Bay IPA to the NSLC, for distribution across the province. Look for it in the first week of May. Around that same time, just in time for Open Brewery Day on May 7th, they will be opening their larger storefront on Main Street Tatamagouche, with more space for bottles, cans, and growler fills, and they will be offering tasting flights of their beer to visitors. Keep an eye on their Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the progress.

SoberIslandLogo
Sober Island Brewing Company will be launching at this weekend’s Saltscapes Expo, at Halifax Exhibition Centre (formerly Exhibition Park). Ahead of their entrance to the Atlantic Canadian beer scene, we wanted to catch up with owner Rebecca Atkinson and brewer Jonathan Primack on their brewery, beers, and plans for the future.
ACBB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Rebecca: I’m 26, was born in Cardiff, Wales and moved to the town of Sheet Harbour around age four; so, I’ve really grown up here pretty much my whole life. When I left the community to go to school, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I went into sciences first, then decided to try out the Tourism Management program at NSCC and finally found what I love: food and beverage. I continued my education in a business degree of Tourism and Hospitality management at Mount Saint Vincent University and completed that. For a few years I worked on and off serving at different restaurants, and found a love for beer when I began working at Noble Grape. After moving around different places and always ending up back in Sheet Harbour, I knew that was my home; the plan was to work in the summer and travel in the winter. I went on my first winter travel to Wales, saw an Oyster Stout on tap and that’s where the journey began for me! I love food, drink, and where I live, so this is me wrapping up all of my passions into one opportunity for me and my community.
Jonathan: I have been home brewing for many years, but got into all grain brewing three years ago. I’m also a foodie and love hands-on hobbies including food and beverage.
How did you get into the world of craft beer?
I met Jonathan at Noble Grape when I first started working there. He asked me what type of beer I enjoyed and my response was, “Coors Light, Bud Light Lime”, so as a craft beer drinker he was naturally unimpressed with me. He gave me a Double Oatmeal Stout to try and that’s when I started drinking beer of all different types, and eventually started brewing my own. I love what craft beer offers to the foodie world as well – it can be so complex and interesting, it makes it a lot of fun to pair with food. Brewing is an art, just like cooking.
What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
The Oyster Stout was absolutely the deciding factor for me to get into the craft brewing business; I think it was a little of the foodie in me as well. Putting fresh Sober Island Oysters into a beer, taking two products that I love and bringing them together, it’s just an awesome thing. And this is an opportunity for me and my community. I want to live here so I need to create an opportunity for myself. I want to partner with other businesses in the area to create a thriving rural community.
Sober Island Brew-Magic System, courtesty of @SoberIslandBrewing on Instagram

Sober Island Brew-Magic System, courtesty of @SoberIslandBrewing on Instagram

Tell us about the brewing system you are using.
Right now we are brewing on a Sabco BrewMagic 1/2 bbl (58 L) system and will be brewing three times per week. As soon as we get the building done next to The Henley House Pub and Restaurant (aiming for the fall), we will be brewing on a 7 bbl (~8 hL) system, still aiming to brew at least three times per week.

What are your plans for distribution?
We will be taking the converted horse trailer out to markets where we will sell samples and have a growler style service. We have tap accounts with two establishments within our area: The Henley House Pub and Restaurant (opening for the season May 5th), and the Liscombe Lodge (after their opening, end of May). We are not currently licensed for on-site sales but hope to incorporate that into the expansion in the fall.
SoberIslandBeerTrailer, courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/soberislandbrewing/

Sober Island Beer Trailer, courtesy of @SoberIslandBrewing on Instagram

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
Initially, we are offering the Sober Island Oyster Stout and a 5.1% ABV English Golden Rye Ale. The Oyster Stout is 6.0% ABV, and features whole Sober Island oysters added to the boil, shell and meat!  We will also provide The Henley House with their own private ale, a style you would typically find in Welsh pubs. We are focusing on English styles with an American influence. Once we get into the larger system, we will definitely be offering seasonals and one-offs, but for now, brewing on a small scale system, we want to ensure we can satisfy our tap contracts and still have enough product to take out in the trailer and attend events with.
Trailer

Sober Island Beer Trailer, courtesy of @SoberIslandBrewing on Instagram

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
All of the breweries in the province have been very helpful. We have had to reach out for advice on several things and everyone has been more than willing to help. In the beginning I read the blog on imstartingacraftbrewery.com, which I found very helpful as well. It’s written by one of the men responsible for Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver, B.C. When I get the chance to go to B.C., I’ll definitely be stopping in.
Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
In the next 2-3 years we hope to be building our destination-oriented microbrewery on Sober Island. I would like for us to have contracts for the Oyster Stout in oyster bars as well as restaurants offering oysters, across the province and possibly even the Maritimes at that point. We anticipate having people visit the brewery and spending the day on the Eastern Shore, whether it’s doing some boating, hiking, fishing, camping, or a combination of all of the above! Our area is ideal for anyone wanting to experience the outdoors, nature and culture. I think our shore provides a very authentic “East Coast” feel.
Sober Isalnd Oysters, all ready for the boil

Sober Isalnd Oysters, all ready for the boil, courtesy of @SoberIslandBrewing on Instagram

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Favourite beer style – that’s a tough one. I eat and drink pretty much anything, I like to be open to trying everything. I believe there’s pretty much a time and place for every style of beer, every wine variety, etc. It’s not just about the beer style itself, it’s the atmosphere and the mood that surrounds it as well. I enjoy trying new beer from as many different breweries as possible.
How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
I would have to say my favourite ingredient to brew with is oysters; Jonathan would say Crystal 60 L.
Many thanks to Rebecca and Jonathan for spending some time answering our questions. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for more pictures and to keep on top of their progress. They will even be live-streaming from this weekend’s Saltscape Expo on Periscope. The Expo runs Friday 12-9pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm. Joining Sober Island will be Bulwark CiderGarrison BrewingMeander River, Rare Bird, and many more non-beer businesses (full list here). After this weekend’s launch, catch a collaboration brew between Sober Island and homebrewer Rhiannon Visser at May 8th’s Stillwell Open, to tide you over until regular availability of their beer later in the month on the Eastern Shore.

Happy Friday! Plenty going on in the local beer world this week, so let’s dive right in…

Petit-Sault has released their collaboration with Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin, a Doppelbock named La Renous. Brewed in the traditional German style, using German hops and a base of Munich and 2-Row malts and a touch of chocolate malt for colouring. Lagered for a full four months since the brew on a chilly January weekend, it is supremely drinkable, with a full mouthfeel and balancing bitterness to its 7.5% ABV content. In addition to Petit-Sault’s shop, it is available on tap at Le Coude, Université de Moncton’s student bar, where Acadie-Broue’s brewhouse is now set up. The beer can also be found at ANBL locations across the province, in bottles, and at the five ANBL growler stations this weekend.

• Just in time for this week’s East Coast Music Week, Sydney’s Breton Brewing and Charlottetown’s Upstreet have released a collaboration brew, Island Jams: Vol. 1. This music-themed 5.3% Blonde ale debuted at Breton’s tasting room last night, and will see wider release this weekend. Also tying in with the music theme, there is a downloadable EP of CB- and PE- Island tunes to accompany your drinking. As well, a live showcase of PEI bands will be playing (and beer will be flowing) at Daniel’s in Sydney tonight; more information here. And for visitors to the East Coast Music Week, all four Breton beers will be available at Flavor on the Water’s after parties all weekend.

• Upstreet has brewed up another collab, Top Stamp Honey Brown Lager, with the crew from the PEI comedy series Just Passing Through. An easy-drinking beer at 5% ABV and 15 IBUs, it was brewed with Maritime Malt and New Brunswick-grown Golding hops. A beer that has a sweet beginning and dry finish, it’s like “drizzling honey over lightly-browned toast”, according to the brewery. Scheduled for a release party on Thursday, April 21st at the Upstreet taproom beginning at 6:30, the beer will be bottled and sold at PEILCC locations across the Island by next weekend. Check out the Facebook page for more details on next week’s launch events.

• There’s a new beer fermenting over at Maybee Brewing, Birdseye Pale Ale. A 5.5% ABV American Pale Ale, it was hopped with Cluster and Columbus. Brewed with the intention of being crisp and refreshing for the upcoming summer months, it features floral and spicy notes from the Cluster, which “brightens up the dank, juicy flavours from the Columbus”, according to owner/brewer Paul Maybee. Look for this one to be available in a couple of weeks; it’s going to be canned right out of the gate, and will also be available for growler fills at the brewery. Also, Maybee’s Elevensies Espresso Stout should be available in cans shortly.

North Brewing has just released their newest beer, Golden Stout. Golden-coloured as advertised, it was brewed with 2-row, flaked oats, and Pale Chocolate malt. Despite the lack of dark, roasted malts, it features plenty of chocolate and roasted character thanks to the addition of Sumatran Dark from local Java Blend Coffee Roasters, and cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier. It weighs in at 6.7% ABV and is available now at the brewery for growler fills, and should be on tap at North accounts as we speak.

Gahan Halifax released a new beer yesterday at the brewpub; Session IPA is a low-alcohol (3.7% ABV), 65 IBUs hop bomb that showcases a “big floral, fruity aroma” from plenty of late-addition Saphir hops. It joins the Kellerbier which was tapped late last week; weighing in at 5% ABV and 36 IBUs, featuring an “oaky, vanilla aroma and flavour”, balanced with a large addition of Hersbrucker hops, a floral and spicy German variety. And though there is just a little bit of their Cranberry Sour left, fear not, this sour-mashed tart beer will return during NS Craft Beer Week with wider distribution under the name Over the Top, a collaboration between Gahan’s Karen Allen and Boxing Rock’s Emily Tipton.

• In other new beer news, Tatamagouche released their newest ale yesterday, Tweed Wolf Brown IPA. This is their second “employee beer”, brewed by cellarman Alex Martin. Featuring a malty backbone and “chocolate-covered strawberries” in the flavour, it was hopped mainly with Simcoe, along with a bit of Cascade and Huell Melon. Available now at the brewery for growlers, kegs have already been delivered to several accounts in Halifax, including Bishop’s Cellar and Harvest Wines for growler fills, so be sure to give it a try when it pops up! And while on the topic of Tatabrew cellar hands, they’re currently looking for someone to fill the role in a part-time capacity, with the possibility of a full-time position in the future. For more details, send an email here.

• Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Company officially opens today! Their storefront at 388 Main Street will be open seven days a week from 10 am-7 pm. There are several ciders available now in refillable 750 mL bottles at the cidery: Crisp & Dry (7.7% ABV), Juicy & Sweet (5.6% ABV), and Something Different, an unfiltered cider that is described as “very hazy and yeasty”; it comes in at 6% ABV. There is a tasting bar onsite, where customers can order a small flight of all three ciders, 3 oz each, for $5. Tours will be offered in the near future, and their products should be popping up on tap at various accounts within the next couple of months. For more information on this new cidery, check out our post from last month.

Liquid Assets, the Nova Scotian beer, wine, and spirits store located at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, will be opening this Monday, April 18th. Located at the departures level of the HIAA, they will be selling products from eight craft breweries to start: Bad Apple, Boxing Rock, Garrison, Nine Locks, North, Propeller, Spindrift, and Tatamagouche. They will be selling cans in 4- and 6-packs, and single 500 mL and 650 mL bottles. As they are located past the security checkpoint, you can carry your purchases with you on your flight (provided you do not have to go through security again); they will have boxes for multiple purchases. The store will be open 7am-9pm, daily, and will be launching an online store in the near future, so that customers may pre-order beers for a quick pick-up, and plans for shipping of products within Canada are in the works.

• This weekend’s Saint John Beerfest may be sold out, but several breweries are releasing special brews in celebration of the event, and will be making them available to a wider audience. Among them, Big Tide Brewpub has released a Hard Root Beer, Tool Shed Root Porter. Brewed with 2-row, CaraMunich, and Chocolate Wheat malt, it was bittered lightly with Southan Farms hop hash. Freshly-cut white birch bark was added to the boil, along with sassafras, sarsaparilla, vanilla beans and sweet gale. It should come in at ~6.3% ABV, and will be released tomorrow at the Beer Fest (joining their Karnival Kolsch and Valley View Farmhouse Ale), and on tap at the brewpub.

Lots of events coming up, as usual…

• Other events accompanying this weekend’s Saint John Beerfest are several pop-ups and events around the area today:
– Drop by Lemongrass for leftover pours from Garrison’s 14 line tap takeover held last night.
– Saint John Ale House is hosting a “Spindrift Social” 4-6pm, with Kellye and Matt from Spindrift pouring their Coastal Lager, Riptide IPL and the new Knotty Buoy Pils.
PEI Brewing Co is taking over the taps at McGill’s Restaurant this afternoon at 5pm, featuring $5 pints.

• On April 20th, Good Robot will be releasing another of their “Beta Brew” pilot batch beers at the Taproom. The Pusha Man is a Belgian saison brewed with hemp. To celebrate, there will be dank tunes and special munchies.

• Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar has announced a series of Rare Beer events, occurring in subsequent weekends in May. Each weekend will feature bottles (and some will also feature kegs) of beers from outstanding American breweries, not available in the Atlantic provinces. Individual pours will be available for bottled beers, with any bottles not selling out during that weekend available for purchase going forward (by the full bottle).
– April 30 & May 1: Anchorage Brewing, Anchorage, Alaska
– May 7: Mystic Brewing, Chelsea, Massachusetts
– May 14 & 15: Pretty Things, Somerville, Massachusetts
– May 21 & 22: Saint Somewhere, Tarpon Springs, Florida
– May 27 & 28: Upright Brewing, Portland, Oregon

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub is pairing up with Sunset Heights Meadery for their next event, Wenches and Mead, on Saturday, April 23rd. Details are still being ironed out, but we can confirm that they will be offering flights of the three medal-winning meads from the recent Mazer Cup, as well as the 2015 edition of Crowne Jewel, made with honey raised on the roof of the Crowne Plaza hotel. And stay tuned for more details on the Joyce’s next Meet Your Maker event, featuring Big Tide, scheduled for Friday, May 13th.

Lazy Bear Brewing in Smith’s Cove, NS, has announced that they will be attending the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market, when they launch for the year on May 21st. Concentrating on the market at first, they will expand their beers to local bars and restaurants, and open their storefront. Speaking of beers, they have announced one of their launch beers, Gut View Amber Ale. A 4.9% English Amber, it features Canadian-grown English varietal hops for a balancing bitterness, and subtle aromas.

Have a great weekend! Just a few closing notes…

– Boxing Rock has brought back their popular Sessionista “Bold Session Ale”, a beer with the big hop character of an IPA, in a small 4.0% ABV package. It is available province-wide in the NSLC now, and on tap at various beer bars as well.
– Flying Boats is once again pouring at ANBL growler stations this weekend, with all five locations offering their Empress Irish Red Ale, while supplies last. Joining them at all 5 locations is PEI Brewing’s Setting Day, a 3.5% ABV Saison.
– In other ANBL growler news, Pump House will be participating in a tap takeover in Saint John this weekend, at the KV location today from 4-7 pm, and the new East Point location tomorrow from 11 am-2 pm. The brewery’s 4 Alarm IPA and various seasonals will be featured.
Spindrift is releasing their Riptide IPL in cans early next week; as a result, there will be no 7th Wave Series release today. However, look for the Riptide cans to be available at the brewery by no later than next Friday.
– Propeller Brewing has released their wildly popular Hefeweizen this week, and it is available in bottles for the first time in a while. And be sure to grab tickets for their next Prop’r Cask Event, April 29th, with Krave Burger taking care of the food at their Gottingen space.
– There have been no major updates in last week’s story concerning policy changes for breweries in New Brunswick by ANBL; they are still communicating with NBCAPA. We will be sure to provide an update once one is announced.

Good morning! Before we dive into your weekly helping of beer releases, events, and more, we need to address a pressing issue that has developed in New Brunswick over the last week…

Last Friday evening, the CBC reported the story that the ANBL had implemented new policies for craft breweries in New Brunswick. While these policies, in fact, have not been implemented yet, they will be in the near future. Grimross founder and New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association (NBCAPA) president Stephen Dixon was interviewed by the CBC in the story, and mentioned that while some of the changes in policy benefited small craft breweries, most of them did not, and were in fact detrimental to their business. Brewers are unhappy with the tiered system that increases the amount of mark-up paid to ANBL per litre of beer, based on increasing production, for beer sold out of brewery agency stores (BAS), i.e. brewery taprooms/storefronts. In addition, the mark-up charged per litre of beer sold to licensees (bars/restaurants) has increased from $0.73/L to $1.05/L, with cideries paying $1.60/L, increased from $1.29/L.  At the same time, the mark-up for bottled/canned products sold through ANBL has decreased; however, 15 breweries in the province currently do not package their beer outside of kegs, and therefore would not see this benefit.

Another change in policy will limit the number of BAS outlets a brewery can open, based on their annual production. Many breweries see this as another step in limiting their ability to grow; for example, if you increase production, but can not open a new store in another city to sell more beer, your only option would be to sell more beer through licensees, where the mark-up has increased significantly.

There is a lot more to this developing story, with NBCAPA and ANBL still negotiating. Hopefully an agreement can be reached soon that would see NB craft breweries in a position where growth in the industry is truly encouraged. We plan on having more details sometime next week.

Now, on to our regular beer news…

Hammond River has a brand new beer that we’ll call an early-release summer seasonal! Blood Orange Hefeweizen features a grist made up mainly of Pilsner and Wheat malt, with a low percentage of Munich for good measure. Hopped lightly with Goldings to 12 IBUs, the beer had 21 lbs of pure Blood Orange puree added in secondary, expect plenty of citrus aroma and flavours to back up the classic fruity esters and spicy phenols from the Hefeweizen yeast strain. Easy-drinking and refreshing at 5.1% ABV, it should be hitting HR tap accounts as early as today. Plus, keep your eyes open for another new HR beer in the future; owner/brewer Shane Steeves is planning a Belgian Dubbel that will feature plenty of fresh raisins, aged rum, and Chapmans ice cream… we’ll keep you posted!

• The latest One Hit Wonder from Propeller is in the wild! Oat in a Boat is a 5.5% ABV “Oat Pale Ale”, featuring a high percentage of oats in the grain bill, impacting the mouthfeel and fullness in body. As with all OHW releases, the beer is not being packaged, available in only growlers at both the Gottingen and Windmill Prop Shops, and on tap around HRM. Despite that, a special label has been created by local artist Jeremy Hansen. And a reminder when grabbing a OHW growler fill, be sure to fill out a ballot: the winner will receive a free fill once the current OHW runs dry. And who knows, your idea for the next OHW may be brewed! And keep your eyes open for the return of Prop’s Hefeweizen later in the month, which will be available on draft, and in bottles for the first time.

• The Meander River crew have brought back a favourite this week, Shack Whacky Cider. The cider is a made with a blend of apples from Davison Farm, located down the road in Falmouth. It is 5.5% ABV, and is available at the brewery for growler fills this weekend, as well as on tap at Battery Park in Dartmouth, Flying Apron Cookery in Summerville, Library Pub in Wolville, and Spitfire Arms in Windsor. And, for the first time, they will be attending the Halifax Forum Farmers Market, tomorrow 8am-1pm.

• Port Williams’ Sea Level Brewing released their spring seasonal late last week, Düssel-port Altbier. It is a “New World Alt”, using a recipe given to Brewmaster Randy Lawrence by a brewer friend from Brauerei im Füchschen, in Dusseldorf, home of the Alt style. This medium-bodied ale weighs in at 4.8% ABV. It is now available at the brewery in cans, growlers, and kegs, and on tap at the Port Pub and elsewhere.

PEI Brewing Company will be releasing Setting Day Saison in the coming weeks. As a preview of the wider release (in cans!), they have had several different casks of the 5.9% Saison at their Tasting Room, and on draft around the Maritimes (including Halifax’s Stillwell). Look for cans to hit the shelves of the PEIBC, and further afield, before the end of the month.

• This week’s release in the Spindrift Seventh Wave series is Keller Pils, an “unadulterated”, cellar-conditioned Pilsner. Acting as a prelude to the upcoming release of their Knotty Buoy Pilsner, this beer will only be available at the brewery in Burnside for growler fills today.

• Just a quick note that Jamieson’s Irish Pub in Dartmouth has expanded their draft offerings recently, expanding to 16 taps. While keeping Irish favourites Guiness and Harp Lager on tap, they’ve expanded their local beer and cider offerings to over a dozen, rotating in locals from Bulwark, Hell Bay, North, Propeller, Tatamagouche, and more, as well as a pair of special blends from Garrison (under the Jamieson’s name).

As usual, there’s plenty of beer/cider-related events to mention that are coming up over approaching weeks:

• The launch party for the epic conspiracy Barrel-Aged Triskaidekaphobia Imperial American Brown, brewed by Big Spruce and Boxing Rock, is happening tomorrow. After brewing the beer on Friday, November 13th, it was aged on cherries and vanilla beans for the better part of a month, with the release of the 9% beer in bottles taking place in December. Some of the beer was held back, and then spent 3 months in barrels, and is now ready for release! Drop by Stillwell starting at noon to get a taste of this special brew, as well as tasty food to pair, including breakfast sausage corndogs with maple dip. Though the event is open to anyone to stop in off the street, there are tickets available to guarantee yourself a pour of the beer, and a special commemorative glass to keep. Part of the ticket price will be going to support local radio station CKDU, which will be spinning tunes until 5pm.

• It’s getting close to the annual release of Picaroons Melonhead, which means that they’re looking for a new cat to adorn this year’s bottle label! If you think your kitty has what it takes, send in a hi-res picture via email; the deadline for entry is Friday, April 22nd.

• Propeller’s next Cask Night has been announced, and will feature the city’s Krave Burgers. Held at the brewery’s location on Gottingen St. on Friday, April 29th from 6-9 pm, your $30 ticket (available here) entitles you to appetizers from Krave paired with several samples of Propeller beers, including their special cask ale that will be tapped at approximately 6:30 pm. As usual, there are a limited number of tickets available, so don’t wait!

• Tickets for the 11th Annual Atlantic Beer Festival are now on sale; they can be purchased online, by phone (1-888-720-5600), or in person at the Moncton Coliseum Box Office. The two-day event will be held at the Coliseum, and will once again feature an evening session on Friday, May 27th, from 7:30-10 pm, and two sessions on Saturday, May 28th, from 2:30-5 pm and 7:30-10 pm.

• As temperatures start to warm up, planning for a new beer run in New Brunswick is well underway! Saturday, May 28th will showcase the very first Florenceville-Bristol Beer Run, from those who bring you the annual Fredericton Beer Run. Due to the location, the featured brewery will be, of course, Florenceville-Bristol’s own Railcar Brewing. The 6 km run begins at 10 am sharp, with registration occurring from 8 – 9:45 am. After the run, you’ll be supplied with a custom-designed beer glass and fourteen 4 oz-pour beer tickets; there will be many beers pouring from Railcar and several other NB breweries, with all sampling occurring at the Railcar tasting room. Tickets are $55 and are on sale now; drop by Railcar and bring in your ticket receipt, and you’ll receive a $20 gift certificate to be used at the tasting room!

• If you can’t make it to Florenceville for a run, be sure to drop by the Wolfville Farmers Market for Blossom Brew Night, also being held May 28th. Part of the Apple Blossom Festival, it will feature beers from Bad Apple BrewhousePaddy’s Irish Brewpub, and Schoolhouse Brewery, plus ciders from Bulwark, Noggins, Shipbuilders, and Stutz. Running 4-8pm, tickets are just $32, which include your first 4 drink tickets and a souvenir tasting glass. Local BJCP Certified Judge Andrew Newton will be leading a tasting tutorial at 4:45, and Alex MacLean of East Coast Lifestyle will be spinning tunes from 6-8pm. Tickets are available at the Acadia Box Office, and online here.

Be sure to enjoy the weekend with some great craft beer! In closing…

Uncle Leo’s has released their Winterschlaf Kolsch this week. Look for it in bottles at the brewery and private beer stores, and on tap at your local better beer bar.
– Big Axe has brought back their seasonal Maple Wheat Amber Ale, a 5% ABV red-coloured beer brewed with real, local maple sap. It should be available at the brewery and tap accounts this weekend.
– Speaking of maple, Pump House has back their seasonal Maple Ale, which is now on tap for a limited time at the brewpub in Moncton.
– Last Saturday’s fourth Fredericton Poutine Festival was a big hit as usual; the sold-out event had over 600 attending, with Mac’s / King’s Arrow Arena Canteen awarded “Best of the Fest”. Don’t forget that tickets are now on sale for the Moncton Poutine Festival; for more info, check out last week’s post.
– Several weeks after the 2016 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, the results are in for the Brewer’s Choice Best of the Fest, with Boxing Rock taking home the award. Congratulations!
– Sticking with the New Brunswick theme, the trailer for the upcoming film Beerocracy has been released. Focusing on the growth of breweries and interest in beer in the province, which often comes up against regulations from the ANBL, it will be released in the summer.

Happy April, everyone! Welcome to your guaranteed April-Fool’s-Day-joke-free beer news post!

• After the very successful launch of their first bottled product, Ra Ra Rasputin Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout, Nyanza’s Big Spruce is releasing another big beer this week: Barrel-Aged Coade Word: Snowmageddon Winter Warmer. The original Coade Word spent a couple of months in Glenora Single Malt Whisky barrels, and has taken on lots of barrel flavour (and a bit of alcohol, bringing it from 8.8% to 10.2% ABV). Bottles of BACW:S are now available for purchase, and like the RRR, *only* available at the brewery. And, in the spirit of keeping good things coming, a 9.0% Baltic Porter has been put into those barrels Glenora barrels, as well as a pair of and Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels, for a couple of months of aging and a release in the spring/summer. And keep an eye out for their Spruce Bringstein, a 6.3% ABV, 23 IBUs Amber hopped with Magnum and Tettnang, which should be pouring at BS tap accounts now/soon.

• Big Spruce is teaming up with Lion & Bright to celebrate Earth Day for the next three weeks. Starting today, and until April 21st, Big Spruce and Lion & Bright will donate $0.50 each per pint of Big Spruce beer served, to Halifax’s Ecology Action Centre. On Earth Day itself, April 22nd, there will be a big celebration at Lion & Bright, with a whole bushel-full of Big Spruce beers flowing, and some locally-grown food to pair. Be sure to drop by Lion & Bright all month to show your support for the EAC!

• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing a beauty today at noon, Front Line Rocker Double IPA. Fermented using Vermont Ale yeast, and loaded with tons of hops, it is a super hoppy and juicy delight in your glass. Boasting 8% ABV and over 100 IBUs, this beer is big, bold, yet balanced. Grab a growler at Unfiltered starting at noon, or a glass at Charm School next door when it opens at 4pm.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is bringing back a cult favourite from the archives today… Jalapeno Ale! This 5.0% ABV pale ale features not just one, but four different peppers in the brew: Jalapeño, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, and Jamaican Hot Pepper, for a unique contrast of big heat, with a refreshing beer backbone. In addition to the bold taste and aroma available when drinking the beer, it is a wiz in the kitchen, where it can be the base for a wicked marinade, or intense broth or beer cheese soup. The beer is available now at the brewery in bottles only, in a very limited supply.

• You may have also noticed a new Garrison beer on the shelves at both the brewery, and NSLC recently, Hoppy Buoy IPA. This 6.5% ABV American IPA features loads of Citra, Columbus, and Galaxy hops for a robust 50 IBU bitterness to build on the Maritime Malt and 2-Row malt bill. The hop-derived citrus and tropical aromas and flavours are enhanced by the addition of Mango juice to the beer, for a great juicy brew. This beer is replacing Garrison’s India Pale Ale in stores and on tap, so grab it today!

• And to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pro Skates, Garrison has released a new non-alcoholic soda, called Pro Cola. Made with 100% natural cane sugar, it features real cola ingredients for a refreshing and tasty ode to this local business. Grab a bottle at the brewery today.

YellowBelly Brewpub has brought back an old favourite brew this week: Black Gold. This 4.5% ABV black ale features a large portion of Midnight Wheat in the malt bill (with the rest being pilsner malt), which imparts the dark colour, but without a lot of roast character. Brewer’s Gold hops were used in the boil, and the beer was dry-hopped with Cascade and Topaz, for high-30s IBUs and a blackcurrant-like character. Black Gold is on tap at the brewery now, with a limited bottle supply available there and at NLC stores starting today.

Bulwark has announced details of their newest creation, Bulwark Uprooted. This 7.0% ABV cider features beets on top of their signature cider blend, for a bright red colour, and interesting earthy yet clean and crisp meld in flavour and aroma. This unique blend is the official cider of East Coast Music Week 2016, being held in Sydney, NS, April 13-17. Featuring plenty of live music all weekend, and the East Coast Music Awards show on Thursday the 14th, there will be lots to do, and drink, while in the area. Look for the blend to be released soon, and will be on tap at some of the ECMW events, as well as wider release to the rest of the province.

• Last weekend, the Picaroons General Store opened in uptown Saint John, located at 32 Canterbury St. Open Monday-Wednesday 10am-10pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-11pm, and Sunday 12-8 pm, all the usual Picaroons products will be sold at this location (plus a new Canterbury Pale on tap), including growlers and fills, bottles, and swag. There’s also seating available if you’d like to relax with a pint, and food can be purchased and brought in from the Real Food Connections next door. Patrons can also expect to see some other local beverages on tap in the future. Check out the East Point ANBL growler station for a tap takeover this weekend, plus a visit from Picaroons’ Ian Covey today from 4-8pm.

Spindrift Brewing’s 7th Wave release today is Ming Tran. A 4.6% ABV Pale Ale, it was fermented with Brettanomyces yeast for a blast of pineapple esters that will kick you right in the face. As with all 7th Wave releases, this one is on tap for growler fills at the brewery only, starting today at noon.

Here’s all the info you need on the many events going on in our region this week:

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar turns five today, and we’re all invited to the party! Featuring some of their most-demanded snacks back on the menu for one day only, Chorizo-stuffed dates, brussel sprouts, and pork belly bites, and plenty of great local and imported beer to wash them down. Drop by today for the celebration, starting at noon.

• Don’t forget that tonight is the latest Meet Your Maker night at the James Joyce in Fredericton, featuring Flying Boats. There’ll be games and five different FB beers on tap; no charge to attend, the fun starts at 8 pm. Check out last week’s post for more details.

• And kicking off today are two days of a Dieu du Ciel! tap takeover at Stillwell. Both today and tomorrow, Stilly will be opening at noon with twelve new, different and rare DDC! beers. The Montreal brewery crew will be in attendance, and Chef Ruppel and team are putting together some tasty Montreal-inspired cuisine, including Tokyo Fries Poutine and Smoked Meat Sandwich.

Good Robot is holding another of their very popular Silent Reading at the Imbibrary events on Thursday, April 7th. The same rules apply as usual: no phones and no talking for two hours (6-8 pm), just show up with your book(s) and a thirst for craft beer on tap, and go to town! They’re hinting that this may be the last silent reading event of the season, so get down there early!

• Saint John, NB’s Grannan’s Seafood is hosting a Beer Dinner April 14th, featuring Fredericton’s Picaroons Brewery. Seven courses will be prepared by Chef Johnny High, with each paired with a different Picaroons beer. Event starts at 6:30pm. RSVP by phone at 506-634-1555.

• The Grand Banker in Lunenburg has released the details of their next Winemaker vs Brewmaster dinner. Being held April 23rd, it will pit L’Acadie Vineyards’ Bruce Ewert versus Big Spruce’s Jeremy White in an all-out competition to win the hearts, and tastes, of those in attendance. The Grand Banker’s kitchen will be preparing 5 courses, and the drinks producers will be responsible for pairing the best beer and wine to complement each course. Diners will vote with a beer cap or wine cork after each course, with the one amassing the most by the end of the evening being crowned the winner. Tickets are available at the Grand Banker, and by phone (902-634-3300) now.

• Tickets for this year’s NLC Beer Expo are on sale today. Being held May 13&14 at the Delta Hotel in St John’s, the event will feature more than 100 beers and ciders, many of which are not otherwise available in Newfoundland. Both sessions also feature an optional Tasting Panel beforehand, where attendees will have the chance to try several products in a more intimate atmosphere, poured by brewery representatives, and with accompanying food pairings. You ticket also includes a $10 taxi chit, to get you home safe.

• Fredericton’s Burgers n’ Beer will be returning on Saturday, June 4th from 2-5 pm. This event will be a kick-off to Fredericton Burger Battle, and will feature four different sliders paired with four locally-brewed cask ales, all from different breweries. The event will be held at the King Street Ale House; tickets are $21 each and can be purchased online.

• Good news, Moncton poutine fans… the first Moncton Poutine Festival is heading your way this fall! Created by Lloyd Chambers (the brains behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival and Fredericton Poutine Festival), planning is well underway for the September 17th event. Tickets will go on sale within the next few weeks, but we can tell you that the format will follow that of the Fredericton festivals: five different establishments serving up several types of poutine each, with five or more breweries present pouring lots of Moncton-area craft beer. The event will take place at the Crowne Plaza on Main St. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the event; in the meantime follow along their Twitter account for more details.

That’s it for this week… have a fantastic weekend! A couple more parting notes before you leave:

Hammond River has re-released their Pineapple Pale Ale to welcome back the warmer weather; look for it on tap at HR accounts in Saint John and Fredericton shortly.
– Halifax’s North Brewing is doing the same, releasing their Summer Saison today at both their Agricola and Ochterloney locations, and on tap around the HRM.