Hello, and welcome to an early edition of our weekly Friday Wrap-Up! Tomorrow is Canada Day, so we wanted to be sure to catch all of you – and keep you updated on beer info – before the long weekend hits and the beer-enjoying begins!
• Earlier this week, Gahan Halifax released Berliner Weisse, named after the iconic German style known for being lightly sour, refreshing, and easy-drinking. Brewed with a grist of 60% Pilsner malt and 40% Wheat malt, a sour mash was performed to give a light acidity. During the boil, there was a small hop addition of Magnum for a low bitterness (5 IBUs), as befits the style. Described by the brewery as “slightly hazy with a thick white head that dissipates quite quickly”, it exhibits “lemony, citrus notes” to go along with the tartness from the sour mash. In addition, they’ve made a raspberry simple syrup that can be added to the beer (a practice still in use in Berlin today), for those who prefer to cut the acidity a tad. A supremely sessionable 4% ABV, it’s a perfect style for drinking during the summer! Look for more summer-themed seasonals coming soon, all of which are fermented with either their house American yeast strain, or a German Hefeweizen strain. Speaking of which, their summer Beer Bar (extra patio location) is now open, where all Gahan core brands and two Halifax seasonals are available on tap, as well as a limited food menu. As its opening is weather-dependent, be sure to check their social media for the latest news.
• Flying Boats will be releasing a new beer over the long weekend, their first Session IPA. Hopped entirely with Galaxy – a delicious Australian variety with characteristics of passionfruit and citrus – it comes in at an easy-drinking 4.7% ABV, and 44 IBUs. Currently unnamed, it will be on tap this weekend at Marky’s Laundromat, and sometime next week at the Tide & Boar and James Joyce.
• North Brewing is continuing with the interesting beer releases, this time with Wiley Boys, a Black Saison aged on currants that will be released tomorrow. Brewed with Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate, and Black malts, it was lightly-hopped with Galena and Willamette to 20 IBUs. Clocking in at 6% ABV, this one will first be available at North retail locations for growler fills, and on tap at Battery Park, until next week’s release to a few other lucky tap accounts in the HRM. The beer will be launched as North takes over the Battery Park patio at 11:30AM tomorrow, also pouring a pair of special casks of their Stillwell collaboration Gose, one batch aged on barberries, the other on mango, as well as blasts from the past Sauer Sagen Hat Sour and Belgian Milk Stout.
• The Big Tide / Boiling Point Podcast beer that we originally reported on last month is now on tap at the brewpub, and we have all the details. Brewed to celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast that stars Greg Hemmings and Dave Veale, Brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos was charged by the voting public to brew a beer that was “golden, citrusy, sweet, potent, local, spicy, and sessionable”… not exactly an easy task! Not one to fail to rise to the challenge, however, Wendy settled on a Honey Ginger Ale, named Hemmingsway Vealey Great Ale. Brewed with Pale Ale and Wheat malts, and hopped with all NB-grown varieties (EKG from Southan Farms, and Cascade and Hallertau from Darlings Island Farm), fresh ginger was also added during the mash, boil, and fermentation. Lemon rind, lemongrass, and honey were all added to the boil as well, resulting in a 7.5% ABV, 38 IBUs beer. And good news for those of you attending next week’s Tasting NB in Fredericton – this one may just pop up at the event on Saturday!
• Also last month, Garrison put a call out for all patrons to bring in as much rhubarb as they could, to be used for a special beer, and to be exchanged for brewery credit. That beer – It’s Rhubarb Saison! – is now available as of today. A “refreshing wheat beer brewed in the Saison style”, over 500 lbs of fresh, local rhubarb were added to give a “clean, tart character” to the pale, hazy-orange brew. Available on tap only at the brewery for tasters and growler fills, it comes in at 5.7% ABV.
• Garrison has also released their ACBA Gold-medal-winning Rise n’ Stein Hefeweizen today. This 5.5% ABV classic German style features a significant amount of wheat in the malt bill, and is fermented using a traditional Hefe yeast for notes of clove and banana on the hazy beer with a pillowy white head. The beer is available at the brewery now on tap and in bottles, with bottles also at the private stores, and hitting NSLC shelves in a couple of weeks. The beer was first brewed in celebration of the Halifax Oktoberfest, with this year’s event taking place Sept 16 & 17, 2016. September 17th also marks the first time the Canada Beer Run will hit Halifax. The 11.4 km run starts at Garrison, and features a route that will take racers to Good Robot and Propeller Brewing for bevvies, as well as a “satellite” set up from Spindrift. The run finishes back at Garrison, to take part in the Oktoberfest-ivities.
• Big Spruce‘s “Wheat IPA”, You Spin me White Round, is back for the season. Originally brewed “in conspiracy” with Sawdust City Brewing (Gravenhurst, ON) in February, 2014, it features plenty of malted organic Wheat in a “traditional American-style IPA” grist. First-wort hopped with Magnum, with later additions of Chinook and Amarillo for plenty of citrusy, grapefruit aromas and flavours, it weighs in at 6.5% ABV.
• Halifax’s Good Robot has brought back their popular David Lynch-inspired beer, Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie Pale Ale. While light amber in colour (thanks to a Pilsner base with Rye and Red X malts), the beer evokes thoughts of something darker, thanks to the generous addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Ethiopian Guji coffee. The use of Cascade and Falconer’s Flight hops (to 40 IBUs) and California Ale yeast lends a fruit and berry aroma to round out the beer. The 5.1% ABV beer is on tap at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and will be in the wild shortly.
• We have a bit more info on the Grimross expansion we briefly mentioned last week. They have taken over an additional 4000 sq. ft. of space adjacent to the brewery/taproom, doubling their area to a total of 8000 sq. ft. As they continue to add fermentors to allow them to brew more beer, as well as hosting more events in their taproom, the extra space will be a welcome addition to the brewery. Phase one, the expansion of the taproom and warehouse space, is currently underway, with phase two occurring in the near future, which will result in a greater fermentation capacity, addition of a canning ling, as well as an outdoor patio “overlooking a very scenic marshland”.
• As we mentioned last week, Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s has released their second beer, Capelin Hound Session IPA. The 4.0% ABV beer features loads of Cascade and Mosaic in the dry-hop to complement the 50 IBUs. Featuring a melon and citrus aroma, with fruit flavour and a light lingering bitterness that keeps you coming back for the next sip. The low ABV is perfect for those who want to enjoy a few while waiting for the Capelin to roll.
• The Murphy Hospitality Group has confirmed in a recent story by The Guardian that they will be opening a new hotel in downtown Moncton, The Wesley Hotel, in late 2017/early 2018 on the corner of Wesley and Queen streets. In addition, the hotel will house another location for the Gahan House Restaurant and Brewery, making it the third brewpub for the company, joining its sister properties in Charlottetown and Halifax. Featuring a 6 bbl (700 litre) DME brewhouse, the brewpub will have indoor seating for 160 patrons, plus an additional 60-seat seasonal patio. We’ll be sure to update with more information as the brewery nears completion.
• For our homebrewing/small commercial brewery readers in the Saint John region, a new brewing store is opening today to meet your expanding needs. The NB Craft Brewers Market is located in Rothesay, and will be carrying grain, hops, and yeast from White Labs. Owner Michael Hebert is very open to bringing in ingredients for the local community, so be sure to reach out to put in your requests. While not a brick and mortar shop, the online store will be launching this afternoon at 6, and orders are available for pickup within a couple of hours of submission.
• The NSLC released their annual report this week, and local beer sales continue to show excellent growth. Small Nova Scotian breweries’ sales rose by more than 25% to $7.6M, significantly outpacing the overall beer growth of 2.1%. The news is heartening, but small local producers still account for just 4% of the NS beer market, indicating that there is lots of room for continued growth in the years to come. Any worry that the market for small and locally-owned breweries is becoming saturated seems unfounded given these numbers. What is frustrating is that by the NSLC’s own report, there are just “more than 40” listings of NS craft beer at NSLC stores, where most packaged product is sold. Improving the number to capture the dozens more styles and offerings from around the province would see local product continue to increase, employing more in the province.
With tomorrow’s holiday a great excuse to grab a local beer, we reached out to the breweries in our region to see what they have planned. We didn’t hear from everyone, so be sure to check social media for their hours of operation:
ANBL stores will be closed Friday July 1, while some agency stores may be open (contact your local one for the scoop).
– Big Tide will be open Friday.
– Grimross will be open Friday.
– Picaroons’ stores in Fredericton and Saint John will be open regular hours Friday.
– York County Cider will be open Friday, extending their hours to open at noon for growler fills. Stocks of their Sidra, a Spanish-style sour cider, are getting low, so drop by for a growler fill before it runs out.
Newfoundland and Labrador
NLC stores will be closed Friday July 1.
– Mill Street Brewpub will be open regular hours, and have their Long Shore Porter and Capelin Hound Session IPA available for purchase (in addition to the standard Mill Street offerings). They will be celebrating Canada Day with a special offer: 1.89l growler fill and Canada Day t-shirt for $30.
– Quidi Vidi will be open at 11:30 Friday, with tours starting at noon, and a Kitchen Party kicking off at 5:30pm.
NSLC stores will be closed Friday July 1. The private wine and beer stores will be open.
– Annapolis Cider in Wolfville will be open regular hours all weekend (10am – 7pm).
– Big Spruce will be open Friday (and the rest of the weekend) 12 to 7pm. Featuring the Cruisin’ Cuisine Food Truck all weekend, there will also be music each day: Friday, fiddle/guitar duo Rosie MacKenzie and Patrick Gillis at 1pm to 3pm and Asaph Deuce from 3pm to 5pm; Saturday is Jordan Musycyn (singer/songwriter, folk/rock) 1pm to 3pm; Sunday is Maxime Cormier (Acadian guitar) 1pm to 3pm.
– Boxing Rock will be open 12-6pm for brewery tours and retail purchases. Call (902) 494 9233 to set up a tour.
– Downeast Beer Factory in Burnside will be open from noon for growler fills of their Lachlan’s Lushious Red and CML IPA beers.
– Garrison will be open for the day, and expanding their taps to more than 15 different brews, including some special one-offs and blasts from the past, including their Cider. They will be expanding their patio seating, and have Maple Bacon Cupcakes from Blue Bird Bakery (plus easy access to the Seaport Market next door).
– Gahan Halifax Harbourfront will be open regular hours Friday, offering a great view of the evening’s fireworks.
– Good Robot will be open regular hours, and will be joined by Rinaldo’s Italian American sandwiches from noon.
– Hell Bay Brewing will be open regular hours, so be sure to drop by and enjoy a pint on their newly-opened patio. They will be serving up Woolly Mountain Farms sausages made with their own English Ale beer, as well as pigs that are fed their spent grain. A beer and sausage will be $10.
– North Brewing will be open and taking over Battery Park’s patio (details above), joined by an Ace Burger pop-up menu, and their Agricola location will be open 12-6pm.
– Propeller’s stores in Dartmouth and Halifax will be open Friday.
– Rudder’s Brewery & Pub in Yarmouth will be open standard hours Friday, and all weekend long. Check out their “Rudder’s Express” train car for some lighter fare and ice cream, now open for the season. And if you are traveling to/from Yarmouth by Ferry, their Blonde Rock Ale is now on tap aboard the Cat Ferry, with plans to increase the variety of offerings in the near future, maybe including the newest batch of their Sweet Georgia Brown Double Chocolate Oatmeal Sweet Stout, brewed this week.
– Spindrift Brewing will be closed Friday through Sunday, so drop by their location today for your liquid refreshment. Their current batch of Abyss Schwartzbier is almost gone, so grab some before it fades to black.
– Tatamagouche Brewing will be open regular hours Friday.
– The Townhouse in Antigonish will be open regular hours Friday, and celebrating with Happy Hour all day.
– Unfiltered’s Charm School will be open from noon for pints and growler fills.
– Wayfarers’ Ale Society in Port Williams will be open for business Friday, with the Hellene Blonde Ale on tap for samples to enjoy on their deck, and to take in growlers, with their The Ruby Irish Red Ale available early this weekend. They will also be open Saturday, and Mon-Sat going forward (11-6 Mon-Wed, 11-8 Thu-Sat).
Prince Edward Island
PEILC stores will be open standard hours, as will the breweries and brewpubs.
More events this weekend:
• Tonight, Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove, NS is throwing open the doors of their retail location for their first Growler Night. From 5-8pm this evening, and future Thursdays, grab refills of their Gut View Amber, and Bear Bones IPA right from the source! They can also be found at the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market Saturday mornings, and have expanded their tap accounts to include Battery Park, where they expect to launch this weekend.
• Also Tonight, Upstreet is launching the first of their Thursday Nights Live, a weekly event featuring live music in the taproom from 8pm-10pm. There’s no charge to attend, just keep checking the brewery’s Facebook page for updated schedules on performing bands.
• The Townhouse in Antigonish is celebrating their Fourth Anniversary this weekend. After Friday’s Canada Day Festivities, Saturday from 4-6pm they will be holding tours of Terry’s Tiny Brewery upstairs, as he puts together the latest brew. Downstairs, they will be holding ‘Appy Hour!, featuring an oyster bar with tastings of three stouts and three Tidal Bay wines. Samples of Terry’s Dry Irish Stout, Granite Brewery Keefe’s Irish Stout, Sober Island’s Oyster Stout, plus 3 oysters, and a pint of your favourite stout, is only $13. The same tasting can be done with the Tidal Bay wines, for those so inclined. And if oysters aren’t your thing, there will be Pulled Pork buns, Lani’s Filipino Ceviché, and plenty of Stout & Ginger birthday cake. After the afternoon events, drop by for $5 pints of craft beer and glasses of Tidal Bay, and celebrate with Vinyl Night. Sunday after 4pm, come back for more birthday cake and Happy Hour, and stick around for the Traditional Irish Music Session and Sunday Roast, starting at 6:30pm. Looks like a fantastic weekend at the Townhouse!
And a few more parting shots before we sign off for a break!
– Pump House has re-released their Weizen for the summer, a 5.2% ABV unfiltered Hefeweizen. Fermented with Weihenstephan yeast, it displays characteristic notes of clove and banana; look for it on tap now at the brewpub in Moncton.
– Upstreet‘s Scottish Export Ale, Eighty Bob, is back after a brief hiatus; a malty brew exhibiting flavours of coffee, caramel, raisins, and a slight nuttiness, it’s smooth and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV. And in a sign of becoming environmentally conscious, they have partnered with Bullfrog Power, offeting Upstreet’s usage with 100% clean energy.
– Grimross Brewing is looking for a full-time brewer to join their team. Drop off or email a resume today to join the expanding brewery!
Happy Canada Day, and have a great weekend!