Howdy, beer fans! Hope everyone has had a good week, and that you’re ready for your long weekend! Here’s what’s currently happening in beer news in Atlantic Canada this week…
• Good news, residents of Digby County, NS! Lazy Bear Brewing is set to launch this weekend, with growler sales commencing this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market, on St. George St, open from 8am – 1pm. Their Gut View Amber Ale, an “English-style beer rich with malt overtones and subtle aromas from Canadian-grown English hops” will be available, along with brewery-logoed t-shirts and glasses. The Amber clocks in at 4.9% ABV and 32 IBUs, and should be followed next weekend by their India Pale Ale. Look for the Lazy Bear retail space to open at the brewery in June, in Smith’s Cove.
• Attention all rhubarb growers! Garrison is kicking off their new “U-Pick Series” with an as-yet undetermined rhubarb beer, and they need plenty of the tart stalks from this herbaceous perennial (don’t worry, this won’t be part of next year’s ACBB Trivia!) from the beer-drinking public. For every pound of clean, fresh local rhubarb that you bring to the brewery, you will receive in-store credit! We’ll be sure to provide more info on the beer as it’s determined; in the meantime, get foraging! And keep an eye out for their Brewhouse Cider, which will be back on tap at the brewery this weekend. Made in collaboration with Bulwark, it features a blend of NS apples, and clocks in at 5.8% ABV.
• We have some details on Mango Lassi Pale Ale, the latest cask pouring at the PEI Brewing Co. taproom this week. This single-release is their already-delicious Vic Park Pale Ale, along with the addition of mangos and cardamom during fermentation; the beer is then further dry-hopped with Citra and Sorachi Ace. It weighs in at 5% ABV; if you’d like to try it, get down there fast, as these cask releases usually don’t last very long!
• Good Robot has a pair of new beers pouring at their taproom currently. Beta versions 1 and 2 of an American Wheat were brewed on their pilot system; the two beers feature altered malt and hopping schedules, while they do both feature Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria. Best to try both to find your favourite! The scaled up Alpha version of the American Wheat, Wackity Shmackity Doo, features the best qualities of both, with an addition of Honey malt for a slight sweetness, but crisp finish with the addition of Magnum for bittering, plus a 7-day dry-hopping with Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria. The beer comes in at 5.8% ABV and 25 IBUs. WSD will be released Tuesday, May 24th, as part of their Just Vorlaufs! live outdoor comedy show on their Gastroturf/Green Room.
• Upstreet has released a brand new beer this week, launching their “One Way Series”, on tap at the brewery for pints only due to the extremely small volume. The first release is Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, a 6% ABV Smoked Porter brewed with smoked malt in the grist, to give the beer just enough of a smoky aroma and flavour to make you feel “like you’re already sitting around a backyard bonfire eating BBQ’ed burgers”. Hopped with Chinook from New Brunswick to add some balance, be sure to drop by the brewery taproom for a pint ASAP!
• A new beer was brewed at Hammond River late last week to honour the beloved Duck Tolling Retriever of owner/brewer Shane Steeves and his family, Vegas, who passed away earlier this month. HR’s 200th batch, The Vegas SMaSH IPA was brewed with Pale Ale malt and plenty of the wonderfully-fruity Amarillo hop. Steeves expects the beer to come in at 6.5% ABV and approximately 60 IBUs; we’ll keep you updated as to its release. And expect to see the return of HR’s Blood Orange Hefeweizen, which was re-brewed the same day.
• Today marks the return of Unfiltered’s Daytimer Berliner Weisse. Featuring an assertive tart acidity from lactic acid formed naturally during a warm incubation period, the beer features no hops in the boil, but is generously dry-hopped with Mosaic. The resultant 3.4% ABV is quite refreshing and perfect for the warmer days we’re finally receiving. Grab it today in growlers at noon at the brewery, or in your glass at 4pm at Charm School next door. And for the next several months, Charm School’s doors will be open from noon on both Saturday and Sunday.
• Big Tide brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos is in the planning stages for a new one-off collaboration beer, and your help is needed in designing and naming it! Brewed with David Veale and Greg Hemmings to celebrate the upcoming 100th episode of their Boiling Point Podcast, the beer style and details are open to suggestion. Simply fill out the online survey by June 1st (it’s short, so will only take a minute or two), and the winner will be announced at the brewpub on Thursday, June 23rd at 5:30 pm during the podcast celebrations. Good luck! For more info, check out this video.
• Shediac Bay’s Flying Boats has a pair of beers now back in their rotation, in time for the warmer months. Humpyard is a 5.8% ABV Steam Ale (also known as California Common), originally brewed by German immigrants in the San Francisco area, as a pale hybrid lager/ale (lager yeast but at an elevated temperature). FB’s version features the iconic Northern Brewer hops for a medium bitterness to offset the characteristic caramel malt flavour. Picnic Train is a Witbier, a Belgian wheat beer with the additions of coriander and bitter orange peel for an easy-drinking beer for the summer. Both are currently on tap at Moncton’s Tide and Boar, and will be available at FB’s other tap locations soon.
• Tomorrow and Sunday, drop by Stillwell for the latest edition of the Rare Beer Series, featuring the Belgian-Saison-inspired Saint Somewhere of Tarpon Springs, FL. Featuring twelve different beers, many of which are on tap, including Anne (Saison with elderflowers), Caitlin (Saison with oranges), Caroline (aged on coffee), and Beached Wood, a collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal. Drop by starting at noon Saturday, and 4 pm Sunday.
• Stubborn Goat’s waterfront Beer Garden location will be opening tomorrow. Located at Summit Plaza, it features a shipping container housing a beer cooler, bar counter and service bay, and a separate trailer with a kitchen, allowing them to offer a wide variety of food choices. Both bar and sit-down table service will be available, and there will be plenty of beer available, focussing entirely on Nova Scotia breweries: 12 taps, with the emphasis on craft. As well, expect to see a small selection of NS bottled beer, and locally-made non-alcoholic products. As it is an outdoor space, it is weather dependent, so be sure to keep an eye on their Twitter feed for the latest information.
• Next Wednesday, May 25th, there will be a special launch party for this summer’s Fredericton Beer Run, held at the King Street Ale House patio. If you’ve purchased tickets for the August 1st run, or would like to show up to buy your tickets in person, there will be beer included! Several kegs of local breweries will be pouring at the party next Wednesday; hope to see you there!
Have a great long weekend! In closing, here’s a few snipits of some other beer releases out now or coming up soon…
– One of North Brewing‘s original releases, their 7.5% ABV Farmhouse Ale, is back on tap at the brewery for growler fills; look for it to appear at better beer establishments across HRM as well.
– Grimross has a new beer on tap at their taproom, ESB, a 5.3% ABV English-style ale that they describe as “woodsy, caramel, peppery, hop finish”.
– Picaroons‘ popular fruit beer seasonal, Melon Head, is set to return on Wednesday, June 1st. This 4.5% ABV summer ale will be available on tap and in bottles throughout the warmer months.