Happy Friday! After a sweltering last few days, it’s time to get out of the sun and cool off with some Atlantic Canadian beer news, including that from two brand new breweries…
• There is a new nano brewery launching their beer this weekend in Dartmouth, NS! Brightwood Brewery is located in Downtown Dartmouth, and will begin selling their beer at this Saturday’s Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market. Brightwood was started by two enthusiastic homebrewers, Matt McGrail and Ian Lawson, looking to share their craft with the public. Brewing on a very small 1.2 hL (1 BBL) brewery, they will have their The Big Lift American IPA available for purchase at the Market, selling by the growler in 0.75 L and 1.89 L formats, and will also be able to fill customers’ clean growlers on demand. Due to their small size, they will be concentrating on the Market for now, with tap accounts coming soon. The Big Lift is 6.0% ABV and 71 IBUs, and look for the launch of their next beer, a honey smoked ale, in the coming weeks. Welcome Brightwood Brewery to the Atlantic Canadian beer scene!
• In Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewery had a very successful tasting with their Pioneers Club this week, and are getting ready to launch the pilot batches of beer to the general public. During this year’s Mahone Bay Heritage Boatyard Weekend, being held July 30 and 31, they will be set up with a tasting tent, and will be selling their growlers to the public. They will be selling their Dark Cream Ale, a flavourful 4.7% golden orange ale featuring notes of biscuit and toast; their Hefeweizen, a 5.2% classic German wheat beer, with notes of banana and clove, to which they have added dried orange peel; and their IPA, a 5.4% dry-hopped hoppy ale, featuring notes of melon and strawberry. As their 12hL (10 BBL) brewhouse is not yet onsite, the full launch of the brewery and taproom will be later in the summer.
• Last Friday, North Brewing released a new Saison, North Saison. Hopped with Centennial and Huell Melon, it exhibits notes of “lemon, pepper, and melon”, according to the brewery, with a “very-balanced ester and phenolic profile”. Fermented with the Old World Saison Blend (which is made up of two different Saison strains) from Escarpment Labs, the high attenuation results in a beer with an extremely dry finish, appropriate to the style. It’s currently still available for growler fills at the brewery, and on tap at select accounts. And today, the North x Stillwell Gose is returning to the rotation, with some changes from it popular first batch. Still weighing in at 4.5% ABV, this batch’s Lacto souring character came courtesy of locally-produced Horton Ridge Malt, and tweaked water for a crisper finish. It still features salt from Black Whale, harvested in PEI, toasted coriander, and hopped with Saaz and Mandarina Bavaria. And for fans of the cask they released on Canada Day, a significant portion of the next batch will be aged on barberry.
• Breton Brewing released their newest seasonal yesterday, Ol’ Mick’s Tart-an Juicy Grapefruit Pale Ale. The recipe was designed by local homebrewer Mike Morrison, it comes in at 15 IBUs and a very-sessionable 4% ABV, perfect for summer-drinking. Approximately 200 L of 100%-pure grapefruit juice was added to the beer after fermentation was complete, to boost the juicy flavours even more. Look for it on tap across Nova Scotia this weekend.
• There’s a new beer pouring at Mama’s Brew Pub in Fredericton – Orange Grove Summer Ale was brewed with 2-row, Pilsner, and Wheat malt, and dry-hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Goldings. Once fermentation was complete, 10 lbs each of both fresh oranges and clementines were added to the brew, so expect this 4.7% ABV ale to showcase plenty of orange, citrus, and tropical fruit in the aroma and flavour. As with the other Mama’s brews, it’s available at the brewpub for pints and samples only.
• Elsewhere in Fredericton, Gray Stone has released their third beer since their grand opening party earlier this month. India Session Ale is their take on the Session IPA style, and is single-hopped to 50 IBUs with the El Dorado variety, known for giving candy-like aromas not dissimilar to Jolly Rancher candy. The brewery describes the beer as “light-bodied and easy-drinking, with tropical notes”. Supremely-sessionable at 4% ABV, it’s available now for pints and crowler fills at the brewery, and will likely pop up on tap across the city.
• Annapolis Cider Company’s newest batch of “Something Different” is now available at the Cidery in Wolfville. Their Garden Strawberry builds on their classic base of local fresh-pressed apples, with an infusion of two types of basil, sage, and thyme, and a blending of strawberry juice (just over 10% of the total volume) after fermentation is complete. The resultant 6.9% ABV mixed-fruit cider features pleasant aromas of strawberry and herbs, while still maintaining the underlying apple character. Drop by the Cidery to grab a bottle, and as with all of their Something Different releases, part of the proceeds go to a local charity, with the Wolfville Children’s Center being the beneficiary this batch.
• Smith’s Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing is releasing a new beer this weekend, Paddler’s Pale Ale. Brewed in celebration of the Clean Annapolis River Project’s Riverfest, being held tomorrow at Jubilee Park in Bridgetown. The 5.0% ABV Pale Ale features a special combination of hops, and a special blend from Yeast Bay with a wild strain to lend some citrus notes. To grab that beer, you’ll have to visit the Pork in the Park, the festival’s food tent with local sausages and ribs, as it may not be released in growlers or on tap at their licensees.
• Truro’s Nook and Cranny Brewpub will be releasing a new product shortly. Made with juice from New Zealand apples, and fermented on-site with a Champagne yeast, this new Cider finishes quite dry and crisp, with a refreshing finish. Grab it on tap, or in growlers to go. And look for the launch of another cider later this summer, this one fermented using 100% PEI cranberry juice.
• Acadie-Broue now has their beer back on tap, with several batches already having been brewed on their new system at La Coude, the University of Moncton student bar-turned brewpub. Two of the confirmed beers now available are Valdrague Weizen, a 5% ABV Hefeweizen that has been a popular Acadie-Broue staple for some time, and La Benaise, a Belgian Pale Ale brewed with some “pungent CaraMunich 80” that was sourced from France. If you’re in Fredericton and can’t make the trip to Moncton, good news – the James Joyce has one keg of both beers, with La Benaise pouring currently.
Several new events are on the horizon in the near and distant future:
• Picaroons is holding a launch party today, from 4-7 pm at the Picaroons General Store in Saint John, to celebrate the release of their Live Transmission Session Ale. Designed and co-brewed by Craig Pinhey (on the General Store’s 2.5 BBL system), this 4.5% ABV “English Session Ale” was brewed in support of local radio station Local 107.3fm. Along with the beer, the launch will feature live music from local band Regardless.
• The Charlottetown Beer Garden & Seafood Patio is now open! With outdoor seating for 240, and 24 taps (with a slight majority dedicated to craft beer, mostly local), it’s yet another destination for beer lovers on the Island. Their official launch party is scheduled for next Friday, July 22nd, with Upstreet Presents: Grand Theft Bus, starting at 10:30 pm.
• New Brunswick Beer Tours has announced the details for their Fredericton Beer Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 6th. With stops at four breweries (Grimross, TrailWay, Gray Stone, and Maybee) and finishing at Red Rover, ticket-holders will be treated to a minimum of four 4-oz samples per stop, and will get to meet and chat with the people responsible for crafting some of your favourite Fredericton beers and ciders! The fun starts at 11:30 am at Grimross, and finishes at approximately 5:30 pm at Red Rover. Tickets are $77 (taxes and fees included) and are available now.
• The New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association (NBCAPA) has announced that they will be be organizing an annual gala to “recognize the best of what the industry has to offer”, to coincide with the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival every March. While details are understandably very slim at this moment, expect to see monthly contests organized through social media in the months leading up to the event. Of course, we’ll release more information on the gala as it becomes available.
Enjoy the weekend, and stay cool if you can! And a few more notes before you sign off…
– Half-Cut Brewing has a new beer out, Numbskull IPA, a 6% ABV, 73 IBU IPA hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace.
– Hammond River is re-brewing their popular The Vegas SMaSH today, however this batch will be single-hopped with Centennial (instead of the previously-used Amarillo); look for this one to be released later in the month.
– Petit-Sault is currently looking for a new head brewer, with the position being available immediately. For all the details on the opening at the 15 BBL (~17.5 hL) brewery, including contact info, check out the official job posting here.
– Picaroons is now officially selling other New Brunswick beer at both their General Store and Brewtique locations, including cans, bottles, AND growler fills (when tap space is available). Many breweries are already being featured, with others sure to join the line-up as time progresses.
– Their Citrus Pale Ale One-Hit Wonder is still available, but as soon as that runs out, Propeller tells us to keep an eye open for a new OHW Pilsener to hit the taps of their two brewery locations. And next month, look for a single hop Mandarina Bavaria IPA.