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All posts for the month September, 2017

With the summer heat holding on across our region earlier this week, it is now beginning to feel a little more like fall. There’s a new brewery for us to announce, plus the usual tidal wave of new beers and events for you to check out. Grab a pint and settle in!

• There’s a new brewery coming this fall to the town of Hanwell, just outside of Fredericton. Niche Brewing will be operating a 2 BBL (230 litre) brewhouse, and concentrating on keg sales to licensees in the area. The two folks behind the brewery will be familiar to readers, as they are Rob Coombs and Shawn Meek, two long-time Fredericton-area homebrewers who are looking to share their award-winning homebrews with a larger audience. Their location has been secured, but most of the gear is still on its way, so look for their beers to be available at local bars and restaurants in a few months. We’ll have the full details on beer styles and where to find them, with a Q&A closer to launch. In the meantime, follow along with them at their Facebook page above (a website will be popping up in the future), as well as on Twitter and Instagram. Congratulations, Rob and Shawn! And for those wondering, acbbshawn will keep up his blogging duties (both here and on his own Meek Brewing Co. blog) for now, until he realizes he’s way overworked and smartens up, because we frankly can’t afford to lose him with all of the news in our region. 😐

• On Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, Sober Island has a few new things on the go. The first is the Harvest Rye we told you about a couple weeks ago, a 7.4% ABV and 40 IBU amber-colored brew featuring spicy rye and an assertive hop presence. It will make its first appearance at Cavicchi’s Meats for the Fall edition of their Bangers & Beer event from 4 – 8 PM this evening that features live music, sausages, beer and a campfire. After that it will be found at the brewery in growlers and at the usual Sober Island Farmers Market locations. Next up is a small batch beer only available at neighbouring Henley House: Belgian Single was brewed with a couple of malts (Maris Otter and Vienna) from a new provider in the region. These malts, paired with classic Czech Saaz hops and the Belle Saison yeast, produced a 4.7% ABV beer with 25 IBU. Look for a noble character from the hops, a fair amount of maltiness from the malt selections and a definite yeast presence. Only 40 L was produced and it’s all at Henley House, so go there if you want to try this beer. Lastly we have another beer designed to test out that same Maris Otter malt, British Golden. Similar in specs to the Belgian Single, the hops in this one are the classic English East Kent Goldings and the yeast used was the very British S-04. Look for a spicy and citrus hop character with floral undertones as well as some fruity yeast esters. There will also no doubt be a detectable malt presence, although this is a lighter beer at 4.5% ABV with a solid bitterness of 30 IBU. We’re not sure how much of this one there is, but we do know it’s on tap at the Henley House right now!

• If you’re able to pop down to the 2 Crows tasting room today (and why wouldn’t you? Who are you to waste that opportunity, huh?), it’d be a good idea to follow through on that, as they’re releasing another brand new small batch beer as we speak. Rookie Move is the brainchild of brewery coordinator Mitch Gilbert, but don’t let the beer name fool you… this is no simple beer recipe, here. Brewed with Pilsner malt, with some malted and rye Wheat thrown in, it was hopped to 20 IBUs with Calypso, and then fermented with a blend of the brewery’s house Saison culture, along with an “experimental Brett strain”. After fermentation was complete, the beer was further conditioned on a “healthy dose” of yellow plums for one month, before being keg-conditioned with a Champagne yeast strain. Described by the brewery as “bright, funky and effervescent, with notes of barnyard, bright plum, and earthy tea”, it weighs in at just 5.1% ABV, making it the perfect pour for you to enjoy on a mid-work-on-a-Friday kind of day. Heck, maybe even have two! (Disclaimer: we would never condone drinking during a work day; who do you think we are, anyway?)

• Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing has a new brew out for the dog days of summer with their recently released Crush, a German-style Hefeweizen brewed with over 150 lbs of blood oranges. Built off of their base Weizen recipe, Württemberg Weissbier, blood oranges aren’t the only star, as an additional several pounds of orange zest were also thrown in. Hopped lightly with Summit to 15 IBUs, this 5% ABV brew is hazy-orange in colour, with lots of fresh orange flavour thanks to the combination of the blood oranges and zest. With a touch of clove from the fermentation with a Bavarian yeast strain, it’s sure to refresh your palate as summer continues to linger. On tap now at your local LC licensee.

• Coming off their presence at last weekend’s HalCon, Garrison made a couple of announcements this week. The first is that their pumpkin beer, the venerable Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale, is back as of today, exclusively at the rewery and private liquor stores in Halifax. Packaged in 650 mL bombers, this is one of the bigger pumpkin offerings in the region, coming it a 8.0% ABV. Complex and nutty on the malt side, the body is augmented with Cinderella pumpkins from the Dill family farm in Windsor. Pumpkin pie spices and hopping with Millennium to 30 IBU complete the picture, and it arrives just in time to pair with the crisp fall air. Homebrewers following Garrison’s Facebook page surely took note earlier this week when the style for their upcoming 2018 Home Brew-off was revealed to be Kölsch. Though the dates of the competition have not yet been decided, classically the entry date is in late February/early March. Why reveal so early? With the Kölsch style, developed in Cologne, Germany, timing is everything. Generally top-fermented at warm temperatures with an ale yeast, it is then lagered at cooler temperatures to achieve a characteristic crisp finish that balances its soft, rounded palate. Best served fresh, this style challenges the brewer to bring a fairly light, but characterful ale that displays some characteristics associated with lagers. Plus, this extra time will give keeners the chance for a test batch or two to nail down a recipe and technique. Check out the Kölsch Style Guidelines for inspiration. And finally, if you’re looking for something to do (read: warmup beers!) tomorrow afternoon in the lead-up to the Cask Beer Throwdown, head on down to Garrison’s SeaPort location and bring your Wiener Dog (if you’ve got one). In support of the Atlantic Canadian Dachshund Rescue, you’ll find the Wunderbar Wiener Dog Rally going on, with fun, games, and a BBQ. Oh! And don’t forget the home-and-home tap takeovers Garrison and Breton are doing this week. Tonight at the Stubborn Goat in Halifax expect to find a bevy of Breton brews and coming up next Thursday, look for Garrison to bring their wares to Governor’s Pub in Sydney. Both events start at 6 PM and go ’til late!

• Speaking of Pumpkin beer, Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing has released their Pumpkin Ale, brewed with plenty of home-grown ingredients. Featuring pumpkins from Fullerton Farms in Kingston, and hops from Darlings Island Farm in Darlings Island, this 6.3%, 28 IBU autumn seasonal is truly a taste of the Kennebecasis Valley!

Western Newfoundland Brewing has announced that their beers are now available in packaged format to grab and enjoy at home (or one of the amazing trails in nearby Gros Morne). While their brewery retail shop is not quite open full time, visitors can drop in Thursday and Friday from 12-7PM to grab crowlers of their beer. Currently available are the Killdevil Backcountry Pale Ale, and Stout. Drop by the back entrance at Unit 8 at 23 Stentaford Ave to check out the brewery and buy a few cans for later.

• Do you find yourself constantly hanging out at Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing, ordering pints, filling growlers, and just enjoying the atmosphere? Well, you might as well join the new KV Beer Club! For just $30 you get a t-shirt, free growler fill, a members-only mug, and $1 off all pints until 2018. Sound good? Well, there’s only 50 spots available, so you best get down to the brewery to sign up, ASAP!

Breton Brewing has brought back two of their fall seasonals, just in time for, well, fall! The first beer is a style that is always expected aplenty this time of year, their Pumpkin beer, Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale (5.5% ABV, 20 IBUs). Brewed with over 100 lbs of roasted, locally-grown pumpkins, it was also spiced with their secret blend to pump up the pumpkin presence (I did that on purpose). Joining this beer at the taproom is their other fall favourite, Celtic Colours Maple Lager (5.5% ABV, 15 IBUs), brewed with local maple syrup. Both of these beers are available now at Breton for pints and growler fills, for a limited time only.

• Down at the gateway to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley in Windsor, Schoolhouse continues to pump out the beer from their expanded 10 BBL system. The latest version of their Vice Principal ale is currently fermenting, this time a harvest version featuring a wet hop of 6 kg of Zeus grown on Bremner Farm, very close to the original Schoolhouse location in Falmouth. Also in the works is a new entry in the local hop series, keeping the name The Big Red Schoolhouse. It’s an imperial red ale that will have lots of locally grown Centennial, Cascade, Magnum, Brewers Gold and Zeus. We’ll have more information on that one when it hits the taproom in the late October/early November timeframe. This week’s Cask Friday beer with be the Scotian Export with a dry hop of East Kent Goldings available from 4 PM today for tasters, pints and growler fills.

• Halifax’s Good Robot has a few things on the go this week (seems to be a theme this week, actually). First, DeWolfe of Wall Street, their “alternative” APA is back in their taproom. They’ve also let us know what they’ll be pouring at tomorrow’s Cask Throwdown: they took the base beer for their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie, a mix of Pilsner, Red X, rye and flaked barley, and to it added various combinations of wild-foraged and other off-the-beaten-path ingredients, including roasted dandelion root, elderberry, ginger and freshly-picked rose petals. They’ll have 5 different variations pouring in all. Next, we’ve been advised that the wackiness we told you about last week known as Golden Goomba did eventually make the taps and is still available. It ended up with a pile of fresh ginger to go with the Yuzu juice, sour culture and two different yeasts we described last week. And this week’s offering for Beta Brewsday is called Reclaiming My Time. Brewed, as always, by Kelly C., this time with help from Evelyn White, it’s an attempt to recreate one of Evelyn’s favourite beers, Mackeson Milk Stout, a beer first brewed in Hythe, Kent, in 1907. It’s heavy on the chocolate and honey malts, with some dark crystal, all on top of a base of 2-row barley. The hopping is Willamette for early additions and Vic Secret in very limited amounts later in the boil. Cold-steeped malt was added in the fermenter to punctuate things. Coming in at 4.5% ABV, this should be a very sessionable beer, likely to be dark, sweet and roasty, with a bitterness in the 25 IBU range. It will be tapped in Beta Brewsday tradition, this coming Tuesday.

• Continuing to bring some truly interesting cider experiences to Halifax, we have more information on a blend we mentioned briefly last week. Chain Yard has another interesting offering available this week. Orange is the New Wild started with a wild fermentation of juice mixed apple blend. Noticing “pleasant floral notes…with a citrus element” developing during fermentation, the cider makers encouraged further development of these aromatics through a nutrient strategy. Close to the end of the fermentation, orange blossom water was added to highlight the aroma before a temperature drop was applied to slow the final stages. In the end, a crisp and refreshing, easy drinking, high-ABV (7.7%) cider was produced.

• Making its debut at last night’s Tap Takeover is a brand new beer collaboration between Tatamagouche Brewing and Battery Park Beer BarPfiel-Mund is a 5.3%, 23 IBU Dunkelweizen, brewed with Wheat, Munich, Horton Ridge 2 Row, and a touch of Chocolate Malt for colour. Traditional German Hallertau and Tettnang hops were used for a light bitterness, and Escarpment Lab “Weizen 2” yeast completes the authentic package. The resultant amber beer shares a distinct banana and clove aroma with its pale Hefeweizen cousin, with a bit more malt flavour and character from the darker malts. This weekend, the beer will see wider distribution, hitting tap accounts in HRM and at their own brewery on Main Street Tatamagouche.

• Coming in just under the wire (again!), Tidehouse would like us to let you know that they’ll be launching a new “Belgian-inspired Ale” at the Tiny Tasty Beverage Room over the coming weekend. Franco is best-described as a Belgian Amber, and was brewed with 2-row, Munich, Wheat malt, and a touch of Chocolate malt to darken the colour Post-boil-hopped with Ahtanum, Azacca, and Citra to add some tropical and citrus notes, the 6.3% ABV brew was fermented with both a Saison and a Witbier strain, giving plenty of clove character. “Autumnal as all get-out”, according to the brewery, drop by this weekend to give it a try (and maybe firmly suggest they don’t email us at 10:34 am on Friday morning?).

• To celebrate the birthday of Alexander Keith, the Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery will be releasing a new beer, Peated Blueberry Ale. With a grist that includes a small portion of Peated malt, locally-harvested blueberries from Glenmore Farms were also added at various stages of the brew, including in the mash, kettle, and aging tanks after fermentation was complete. The result is a blend of “smoky, earthy woodsy character with the moderate-intense wild fruity blueberry notes”, with a tart finish. At 5.3% ABV and 10 IBUs, this dark purple beer will be released at the brewery’s party on October 5th.

• It was only a matter of time before this happened in our region, but it still feels like a bit of a surprise. This week saw the demise of Downeast Beer Factory in Burnside. Although their website is still operating, Halifax Retales noted yesterday on Twitter that the doors have been locked for several days and there are no signs of life inside. We were able to confirm independently later in the day that the brewery is finished. Though some other breweries in Atlantic Canada have had some hiccups and at least one is on hiatus, this is the first brewery to close permanently since Rogue’s Roost in October of 2015, and, before that, the Hart & Thistle in February of 2014. But both of those establishments had long term runs of 5 years or more, whereas Downeast had only been operating since May of last year. While it is likely that misfortune in the form of equipment failure during the initial startup had a hand to play in the closure, and while there are certainly some fairly well-publicized concerns surrounding the brewery’s ownership and operations, the fact remains that there doesn’t seem to have been much of a business model there. Attempting to put a brewery in an industrial park and make it a destination for food and drink is not a strong play in 2017. Coming to market in a city with more than a dozen established breweries (and more in the works) with a limited and somewhat uninspired product line (blonde, Irish ale and IPA) does not sound to us like a good idea even if the beers are top quality. It is unfortunate that a local business has failed and that, as a result, people are out of work. At the same time it is a reminder that our craft beer industry is maturing. In a previous era Downeast may have been able to limp along for more than a year, possibly even overcoming some of the obstacles it had set for itself. But in today’s market, with the level of competition (however friendly) rising, there is less runway and less margin for error. We wish the staff of Downeast all the best and hope to see their brewer running a mash tun and boil kettle somewhere else soon. But we certainly also feel that there are some important lessons to be learned here for prospective brewery owners. To be clear, this isn’t any kind of tipping point for craft breweries in the province and we’re not expecting any others to fall any time soon, but it’s definitely a signpost on the road to a truly mature industry: the margin for error on starting a brewery in Atlantic Canada has definitely narrowed.

Another busy weekend ahead with both the Cask Beer Throwdown and Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest on Saturday, plus a bunch more new events coming soon!

• The crew from Boxing Rock are visiting HopYard in Charlottetown this week, with a full Vinyl and Tap Takeover. Pouring 10 different BR beers yesterday and today, the visit to the island may also signify the possibility of a return in the Rumble in the Alley series of collaborations between Boxing Rock and Upstreet. Drop by Kent Street today to grab a pint and meet the BR folks!

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is taking over the taps at Lion & Bright tomorrow during MOJO – Indie Dance Night with DJ Loukas Stilldrnk. From 9:30 till late, the 8 taps at L&B will be pouring a wide variety of Roof Hounds beers, including their new Oat of My Mind Double IPA, and at least two sours. Always the overachiever, there will actually be 9 beers flowing, so don’t be afraid to grab a full pint or two of your favourites, as there are reinforcements waiting in the wings!

• A reminder that the second running of the Falmouth TrALE Run (5 and 10 km) is going down tomorrow at Castle Fredericks Farm. You’ll find beers from Schoolhouse and Roof Hound alongside Sid Cider and Davison’s (non-alcoholic) as well. And look out for the Schoolhouse team in the 19th Annual Pumpkin Regatta in Windsor on October 15th! They’ll have an outdoor beer garden from 1 – 8 PM in a great spot to watch the race with lots of great beer including their own Pumpkin Paddler Ale. There will also be food trucks, a corn boil and live music from 3 – 7 PM. Meanwhile a team from the brewery will be participating in the race.

• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection has announced their next event, set for Wednesday, October 11th. This social will be held at Wilser’s Room in the Capital Complex downtown, from 6:30-8 pm, and will feature a flight of beers to sample, for just $9.50. As always, you’re welcome to hang out afterwards and continue chatting – and drinking! – with your fellow beer lovers. If you’d like to secure a spot, you can RSVP to freddyladiesbeerconnection@gmail.com.

And just a couple more things before we let you get back to work…

– The Pumpkin Ales won’t be ending with the ones we’ve mentioned this week; Hammond River has just brewed up their Pumpkin ale, La Maitresse, which should be appearing on tap at the brewery, and at licensees, within the next few weeks.
– The North / Boxing Rock collaboration, Many Hands 5.0, a wet-hopped Gruit/beer hybrid that we mentioned last week, is now available; you can find it in 650 mL bottles and growlers at both North bottle shops and at Boxing Rock.

As we enter the first day of fall, and head into the end of September, the breweries in Atlantic Canada haven’t slowed down a bit! After one heck of a crazy week last week (as you may have noticed from our 4500+ word Wrap-Up last Friday), we have almost as much news to share with you today. So enough with the chit chat; let’s get to the beer!

• For those of you who were fans of the fourth in the Scratch series of beers from Fredericton’s Grimross, we have some good news… Vienna Lager is back as of today. Brewed with a grist that consists of 80% Vienna malt, and hopped with German noble varieties, it’s a copper-coloured beer with “floral and spicy notes from the hops to complement the yeast and malt bill”, coming in at a drinkable 5.1% ABV. Available on tap now at Grimross, as well as local accounts, look for this one to quite possibly be re-brewed periodically.

• If you’ve noticed a new beer popping up on tap around Saint John last week from Loyalist City, you’re not crazy! Rustic Ryed is the latest release from the brewery; a reddish-amber-hued Rye IPA brewed with Maris Otter and Rye malt, it was hopped with “copious amounts” of Cascade, Equinox and Simcoe. Expect an “intense aroma of citrus and pine, complemented by a hint of peppery malt”. More Cascade and Equinox were used in a whirlpool addition, to up the citrus flavour even more. With high carbonation and a moderate bitterness in the finish, you can find this 6% ABV, 55 IBUs brew on tap at your favourite LC account. And if they don’t have it… ask for it!

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing just released their latest beer, a special one created to recognize the traditions of Maritime sailors of the past. They took their Old Foundry Stout, a 6.3% ABV, chocolatey beer, and aged it in rum casks from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery, for five months. The result was Fog Bank, a big (9% ABV), rich beer boasting notes of vanilla and dark fruit, all thanks to the rum casks. While high in alcohol, the aging helps bring a “smooth, mellow finish” to the beer, to give you a pleasant sipping experience. It’s available now (as of 10 AM) on tap at the brewery only, as well as in 750 mL bottles for you to take away (wouldn’t hurt to age one or two for later, right?).

Tatamagouche Brewing has been busy lately (ok, they’re always busy!), as they have two returning favourites hitting shelves and taprooms this week. First up is their Pale Euro Lager, Lagerhosen, a 4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs brew that’s perfect for the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest, happening this weekend. Just the type of beer you want to drink in quantity (hey, it IS Oktoberfest), the grain bill and yeast are the same as the batches for the last couple of years, but the hops have changed, with Hallertau Mittlefruh and Hersbrucker being used this time around. Look for it on tap at select licensees this weekend; it’s also available for growler fills and in cans at the brewery now. Next is their New England IPA, Fog Lights, a 6.4% ABV, 50 IBUs hop bomb featuring large additions of Azacca, Huell Melon, and Mosaic. With a mix of Pale and Pilsner malt as the base of the grist, along with some Spelt and Oats to make up the difference, it’s enough to keep the colour light, yet the mouthfeel slightly fuller and soft, for the perfect NEIPA experience! Releasing today at the brewery (growlers and cans), a couple of kegs should be in Halifax this weekend, with the rest shipping next week. Finally, their Ace of Lace Witbier was re-released last week; not your typical Wit, it features the addition of Queen Anne’s lace (aka wild carrot), Indian plum berries, and orange peel in the hop back, followed by a big dry-hop of Sorachi Ace; also available on tap and in cans.

2 Crows continues to make good use of their foedres, with the release of yet another beer in the “series” tomorrow at noon. Chaos Ghost is a Calvados Foedre-aged Belgian Tripel brewed with Belgian Pilsner malt and Belgian candi sugar. Hopped with Goldings, Hallertau Blanc, and Sterling to 31 IBUs, it was fermented with an Abbey yeast strain to give some of the spicy/peppery phenolics and fruity esters expected in the style. The foedre adds, of course, some of its own character, including “a hint of oaky tannins, and an apple brandy sweetness”. Drop by the brewery tomorrow for cans or pours of this 9.3% ABV beauty, and keep your eyes peeled for it on tap at other establishments in the HRM.

• And while you’re at 2 Crows checking out that barrel-aged goodness, and assuming it’s not all gone, you can also grab a taste of another big beer, this one a Russian Imperial Stout released earlier this week. Brewed with a variety of crystal and roasted malts, Black Magik is big, at 10.4%, but not at all cloying and pushing a potent 80 IBU. A touch of peated malt brings a smoky flavor to the palate as it warms, while the nose features a prominent anise note that also manifests in the flavor. Roasted malt flavors round out the overall impression. Only three kegs of this one were made, with two staying in the brewery for pints only (no fills) and one going to the 2 Crows/Tata takeover at Jamieson’s Irish Pub this weekend.

TrailWay has released yet another new hop-bomb one-off, Off-Topic. Featuring both an American hop variety (Idaho 7) and an Australian one (Vic Secret), the blend of these two gives the beer a flavour profile of “banana, pineapple, orange/citrus, and bubblegum”, according to the brewery. The hops may be the star, as usual for a TW beer, but “some experimental techniques” were used in brewing it, so if you notice a change, it may not be entirely due to the two hops that were used! Available in a limited supply on tap and in cans, at the brewery only,  it weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. And to get off-topic a little bit (ha! I kill me), TW’s summer seasonal Dunder, their APA heavily hopped with South Pacific varieties, is now a regular-release beer, so you can pick up cans and growlers all year round!

Good Robot has been working on a new beer, and it definitely follows along the “weird” vein that the brewery started long ago! Golden Goomba is a mixed fermentation sour beer; originally brewed as an attempt to recreate their “Sake beer”, Koji Kondo, that was originally released in May, the Sake yeast used for fermentation stalled out before completing its important job. After a second brew to give it another shot, the yeast stalled again, so they decided to add some Lactobacillus bacteria; after souring, a Lager yeast was pitched and the temperature brought down, to dry the beer our further. Think they stopped there? Nope! Yuzu juice was finally added, to “boost the extra Japanese citrus flair”. Hopped with Sorachi Ace for a little more lemon and citrus character, it’s also tart thanks to the lower pH, and features some “floral and yogurt notes”. No word yet on the exact release date (it was to be today), but we’ll keep you in the loop when we hear.

• And while we have you in a Good Robot state of mind (our favourite Billy Joel song), we also have the details for next Tuesday’s BetaBrewsday: Uncle Schmengie Bohemian Pilsner was brewed by Brent Braaten, Kenneth Persson, and Kelly C.; described as “very pale and very light”, it’s only 4.3% ABV, and was hopped with Czech Saaz to 29 IBUs. And for an insight into what your fellow Robots are thinking and drinking, check out their latest blog post with anonymous survey results.

• You may recall that in the early days of Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing they had something called the 7th Wave series. Named for the myth that waves travel in sets of seven and the seventh one is the big’un, these were small batch beers made on the pilot system that let the brewing team expand their horizons a little bit. Although the series has not “officially” returned, last week we saw the first brew in a long time come off that pilot system (American Pale Lager) and this week we’re seeing two more. First we have Wizard of Aus, an Australian Pale Ale featuring Ella and Vic Secret hops, considered younger siblings of the mighty Galaxy variety that has become so popular in the last year or so. Look for citrus fruit, pine, and floral notes, with lemon curd and mango coming through in particular. The grist is light to highlight the late kettle additions and dry hop. At 4.9% ABV and 30 IBU, this is a sessionable and surely hoppy taste of the summer just past. Second is Dancing Shoes, also on the lighter side at 4.8% ABV (they’re calling it a Session Pale Ale), but boasting quite a bit more bitterness at 40 IBU. It also features a more complex grist: to a base of Pilsner, some rye, wheat and light Munich were added to provide character. And the hops in this one are distinctly North American, traversing a continuum from the dank Simcoe through piney and fruity Mosaic and into the stone fruit and tropical El Dorado. Both of these beers are available in severely limited quantities at the brewery only for tasters and growler fills. Get there or miss out.

• Around this time every year Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewery has been known to collect locally grown hops (and other ingredients) and do a collaboration beer with their friends from North Brewing in HRM. This year is no different, as they’ve reached their fifth iteration and they’re calling it Many Hands MK-5. Taking inspiration from Gruit, a blend of herbs and other plants used to bitter a flavour beer before hops were adopted for the purpose, this beer contains sweet fern leaves, bayberry leaves and berries, and sweet gale (bog myrtle) berries. They did, however, continue the tradition of using fresh Nova Scotia grown hops in their brew, including Crystal, Cascade, Willamette and Mount Hood. The grist was largely also largely comprised of Nova Scotia products, with organic 2-row and Munich malts from Horton Ridge along with a small amount of German Vienna malt. You can read more about the brew day and see some pictures of both the ingredients and the participants on Boxing Rock’s blog. We’ll be sure to let you know when the beer is finished, packaged and ready for release to the wild.

• In the wake of last weekend’s Oktoberfest celebrations you’d think Halifax’s Garrison might slow it down just a touch. But no, there’s plenty of doings going on in there this week, with three new beers on the go. First we have Lemondrop, part of the kettle sour series brewmaster Daniel Girard has been whipping up at the old plant. It features aromas and flavours reminiscent of lemons and lemon meringue pie, with a peppery finish. Part of that lemon aroma no doubt comes from a dry hop with the Lemondrop variety. It’s 5.0% ABV and 0 IBU and is a draft-only release, currently available for tasters (with growler fills hopefully to come) at Garrison’s Seaport location and on the way to licensees across the province.

• Next up is a collaboration brew done with Sawdust City Brewing Co. from Gravenhurst, ON, a big ol’ beer in the rarely seen Imperial Brown category. Leroy is big and bad, weighing in at 10% ABV and carrying a solid 41 IBU. Brewed to celebrate the naming of Halifax as the host city for the 2018 Canadian Beer Awards, it boasts aromas of molasses bread and milk chocolate, with a palate that features coffee and molasses before yielding to a finish that’s full of dark chocolate. A great beer for the impending fall weather, it will pair as well with sweet as with savoury dishes, especially if they’re brown! Think beef stew or roasted lamb, chocolate cake or molasses bread. This one is currently available through ANBL’s growler program and is expected to be bottled in the coming weeks for a very limited release in Nova Scotia.

• And lastly, Garrison is once again bringing a brew sanctioned by the Federation of Beer to this weekend’s Hal-Con (where they’ll also be serving up their non-alcoholic Sweet Nelson Raspberry Ginger Ale). Borg Ale is “the most advanced black ale in the entire Delta Quadrant,” with a grist of Munich, Dark Munich, Pale Ale and Black Malts and hopped solely with German Hallertauer Tradition hops. It’s 5.6% ABV and 25 IBU, and is available for samples at the con before being bottled next week for regular release at the brewery and in the private liquor stores in Halifax.

• But wait, there’s more! Though we’ve reached the end of their beer releases for the week, Garrison has one more piece of news to share: they’ve implemented the Kegshoe system to track their kegs and you can now visit a handy interactive map to find out who has which Garrison brews on tap throughout Atlantic Canada. So if you’ve got a hankering for a Juicy or just want to know the closest spot to grab something from Garrison, they’ve got you covered.

• The new beers continue to trickle in for tomorrow’s BEE-r Garden in Fredericton, with Picaroons weighing in with their Little Honey. A one-off, 3000 L batch, the brewery is describing it as a brown-coloured, full-bodied ale brewed with a “generous amount” of Rye malt, and a bit of honey from local Sunset U-Pick. Featuring a “lingering sweetness” backed up by toasted, graham cracker-like notes, it’s quite sessionable at just 4.5% ABV. Aside from pouring at the BEE-r Garden tomorrow, you can find this one on tap at all Picaroons locations in New Brunswick. And speaking of tomorrow’s event, there are still tickets available online, as well as at the door when it kicks off at 10 am.

Coastliner Craft Cider will be on tap at ANBL stores participating in the growler program this weekend, with a brand new cider, Castaway. Infused with tropical fruit and hibiscus, this 5.4% ABV creation will be pouring through to next Wednesday (depending on availability), and will be following in bottles across New Brunswick later in the year.

• We warned you a few weeks ago that, like winter to Westeros, wet-hopped and pumpkin beers were coming. And the flow is steady now, with two more of each being released this week. At the “far” end of the Annapolis Valley (from a city-dwelling perspective, anyway), both Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill and Lazy Bear in Smith’s Cove’s had wet-hopped beers come to the taps this week. Lazy Bear’s is a version of their Once-Over, normally an IPA at 5.8% ABV dry hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Wild Turkey, but this time featuring all the Cascade, Centennial, Galena, Magnum and Nugget grown in their yard. Lunn’s Mill, on the other hand, went the SMaSH route, with a malt side of the classic British barley variety Maris Otter paired with Chinook hops grown down the road at Four Horses Farm. This is a 5.5% ABV offering, with a piney, tropical feel and a mild bitter finish. And at the eleventh hour (literally, the timestamp on the email is 11:14 AM; c’mon guys…) we’ve heard tell of a third harvest ale to complete the trifecta, this one in Halifax at Tidehouse. With a grain bill of 100% Horton Ridge Munich malt, this is a malty ale, bittered with woody and herbal Northern Brewer and then hit hard with fresh picked Cascade hops from the backyard of one of Halifax’s original beer nerds, Jeff Pinhey. Although only 4.7% ABV, expect this to have a hearty body and a rugged hop flavour. And on the gourdian side, Propeller is re-releasing their pumpkin beer for the start of the fall season. A familiar site in the region for the past several years, it’s a gentle 5% ABV and 15 IBU beer featuring Howard Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkins and a special blend of spices.

Lots going on this weekend and next, keep an eye on our Calendar, as we update it as often as we hear about new things coming down the pipeline. You can even add it to your phone’s or PC’s calendar app to be constantly reminded of everything on the go in our region. As always, hit us up here or social media if you have the scoop on something cool.

• There are still a few tickets available for this evening and tomorrow‘s Craft Beer Attraction at the St John’s Curling Club. 7-10PM both evenings with a chance to try over a hundred different beers, most of which are not otherwise available at the NLC. Check out the full details here, if you’re still on the fence.

• A reminder that tomorrow, September 23rd will feature the First Town Craft Beer Festival, Woodstock, NB’s first beer fest. There are still some tickets left for both tasting sessions (1:30-4:00 pm, and 7:00-9:30 pm), and it’s looking like the weather will be just about perfect for an indoor/outdoor beer fest. You can read our complete write-up from late July here; in the meantime, grab your $55 tickets at this link (or in person at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Woodstock).

• Remember last year’s Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover at Battery Park? Ah… memories. Well, luckily for us, it’s looking like it’s going to be an annual event, as the 2nd Tata Tap Takeover is scheduled for next Thursday, September 28th. We don’t know the full line-up yet, but there’ll be a whopping 19 taps of Tata beers flowing, including at least two new ones, with one of them a collaboration brew with the folks at Battery Park. It all starts when they open at 11:30 am, and you’ll be sure to seem some of the fine people from the brewery on hand anxious to talk beer!

• The spirit of collaboration continues with a pair of “Home and Home” tap takeovers in Halifax and Sydney over the next two weeks. On Friday, September 29th, Breton Brewing and Garrison will be taking over the taps at the Stubborn Goat. From 6PM, the crew from both breweries will be on hand to talk shop, pour a few pints, enjoy live music, and maybe even release a new beer or two. And then both breweries will do it all over again in Sydney on Thursday October 5th, at Governor’s Pub on Esplanade. Learn a bit more here!

• The second running of the Falmouth TrALE Run is happening next Saturday (September 30) at Castle Frederick Farms in Windsor, with both a 5km and 10km option. With beer (rather than/in addition to water) stops along the way, you can enjoy Schoolhouse and Roof Hound beers, as well as cider from Sid’s, Noggins, and Davison Farms. Advance registration is strongly suggested.

• The 2nd Annual Cask Beer Throwdown is happening at the Olympic Centre in Halifax on September 30th. With cask-conditioned and -served beer, breweries will often stray from the norm, willing to be a bit more adventurous with processes and ingredients, and us drinkers will be the beneficiaries of these cool experiments. Learn more about cask beer in a feature in Local Connections. With a dozen breweries and cider houses pouring their wares, plus plenty of food vendors onsite, it is sure to be a great time. Grab your tickets here.

September 30th also marks this year’s Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest, being held at the Moncton Lions Club. Doors are open 7:30-10PM (or 6PM with your VVIP ticket), and you’ll be able to enjoy beers from all over the Maritimes, with more than 30 breweries, cideries, and mead houses on hand, topping 100 different products. There will be food onsite as well to keep you going all evening. Tickets are still available, grab yours today!

• As they did last year, Muwin Estate, the folks behind the popular Bulwark brand of ciders, is encouraging anyone who has apples on their property that they don’t know and/or don’t use to contribute them to a special collaborative effort known as The People’s Cider. Since September 8th, they’ve been accepting apples at Muwin Estate’s New Ross location at 7155 Highway 12 and they’ll continue to do so until their open house on October 14th, which runs from 10 AM to 4 PM. And if you’ve got a variety that ripens later, arrangements can also be made for later drop-off. If you’ve got too many to transport yourself, they’ll even make arrangements to come pick them up. Many of the apples sought after for cider are varieties that don’t work well for eating. These are often heritage varieties from England and Germany whose names have been lost to time, but whose juice could still make an important contribution to a truly local product. So if you’ve got apples on your property that you haven’t known what to do with, now you know! More detail and updates on the project can be found on the Facebook Event Page.

• The NSLC is putting on a series of events designed to showcase local craft beer and cider. Dubbed the Discover Series, there will be four sessions held at The Port by NSLC on Clyde Street in downtown Halifax. Every Wednesday through the month of October you’ll have a chance to hear from local craft beer brewers and cider makers talking about a specific aspect of their craft. In Week 1, on October 4th, wine and cider maker Alex Boivin will talk about the cider-making process at Bulwark Ciders where freshly-pressed juice from Annapolis Valley apples are used at their cidery in New Ross. He’ll also be mixing up some cider cocktails and present some fall food pairings. A week later, on October 11th, Peter Burbridge of North Brewing and Mark Huizink of 2 Crows will present on the topic of barrel-aging beer and how the unique character of wood can be imparted to beer. Session 3, on October 18th will see the founders of Boxing Rock, Emily Tipton and Henry Pedro talking about the seasonal beers of autumn and encourage participants to think outside the box when it comes to beer styles. Finally, on October 25th, Jeremy White of Big Spruce brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, will talk about making beer using locally grown hops and mineral-rich water at his certified organic brewery. Each session runs from 7 PM to 10 PM. Tickets are a package deal for all four sessions and run $60 each. They’re available in person at The Port, or online through Eventbrite.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy this week…

– Halifax’s Chain Yard Cider has released a new blend this week. Orange is the New Wild is a new blend, featuring a portion of wild-fermented Baldwin apples and orange blossom, which was then dry-hopped during the conditioning process. Drop by their Agricola Street location for a taste and growler fill today.
Picaroons in New Brunswick has a new entry in their Pivot series of Imperial IPAs. This time the feature hop is Equinox (now known by the trade name Equanot), but the dry-hop also featured the Azacca, Lemondrop, Calypso, Ella, and Experimental 7270 varieties.
– In Windsor, Schoolhouse continues their Cask Friday tradition this week with a dry-hopped version of their Scotian Export ale. The cask will be tapped at 4 PM this afternoon and is not likely to last the night.
– Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their Riddle of Steel IPA, one of their best-selling brews. It’s 7% ABV and 80 IBU and is the perfect way to toast your devotion to Crom.

Buckle up, folks, after giving us a bit of a break for back to school, the region’s breweries seem to have collectively put feet to gas pedals and left us swimming, or perhaps more accurately, drowning, in beer news. We’ve got a tonne of info today about beers that came out this week, beers that are coming out over the next week or so, events that you might want to attend and more! It’s a little silly how long this post is, actually, so maybe grab yourself two beers before you sit down to read it, and for the love of Pete save a tree and don’t print it out!

• Late last week, Big Spruce released Complexified, another brew in their series of bottled, barrel-aged beers. A Baltic Porter, it was aged for 6 months in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels before being packaged in 750 mL bottles. Featuring plenty of Black malt and Roast Barley, expect lots of roast character, a big body, and some heat when it’s going down… at 10.9% ABV, it’s not to be taken lightly! Available right now, at the brewery only. And speaking of Big Spruce bottles, Anaphylactic Choc was released this week. Aged in a Glenora whisky barrel for 6 months, this “Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter” was originally a collaboration brewed with the folks at Bishop’s Cellar. Due to its small batch size, only 250 bottles of this beer have been released – 100 at Big Spruce, and 150 at Bishop’s, so don’t wait to pick one up!

• Finally, in Big Spruce draught news, there’s a new beer out and about that is another take on their first Milkshake IPA, Liquid James Brown. Jackpot Apricot was conditioned on, yes, apricot puree; at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, you can find it on tap at the Sprucetique in Nyanza for growlers and pours, and likely at many of your favourite BS tap accounts. We know that there was talk of another fruited version of the MIPA coming, but it looks like the next fruit is guava and it might go into a slightly different style of beer… stay tuned!

• Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery has been quite busy lately, and have released their ode to the West Hants Pumpkin RegattaPumpkin Paddler. Every autumn, locals and visitors alike paddle their way across Lake Pisiquid in hollowed out giant pumpkins. Schoolhouse’s Classroom (taproom) is a perfect spot to view the action, with this year’s event taking place October 15th. And with Pumpkin Paddler weighing in at 5.7% ABV, featuring the spices that are reminiscent of pumpkin pie, it is a lovely fall sipper. Bottles of PP are available now, with the draught version coming to the taps later this month.

• Cementing the fact that the seasons are changing, Schoolhouse has brought back a small batch of their summer seasonal for a last hoorah, Summer Break Witbier. As fleeting as the warm weather, you can enjoy a cask of it today at 4pm in their Classroom. BlueBEERy Witbier was fermented with fresh local wild blueberries, as is available for samples, pints, and even growler fills. And with their expanded brewing capacity, they are sending students (kegs) further afield, and the Principal Pale AleStaffroom Stout, and seasonals are now in rotation at Charlottetown’s HopYard.

• Schoolhouse will also be at this weekend (and next) Hants County Exhibition Brew Tent, featuring beer, cider, and spirits from across the province. From noon Saturday and Sunday, Sept 16, 17, 23, and 24, taste your way from Hants West to Cape Breton, Halifax to Mahone Bay, there will be more than a dozen producers on-hand pouring their wares. Find the full list here.

• There’s a new can release coming from our friends at 2 Crows in the near future: Chaos Ghost is a Belgian Tripel, and another entry in their Calvodos Foedre-aged beers. Brewed with a grist of Belgian Pilsner malt, it also features the addition of Belgian candi sugar, to lighten the body, boost the ABV, and dry the beer out even more (remember, those Belgian Tripels are meant to be very dry!). Hopped with Sterling, Goldings, and Hallertau Blanc (to 31 IBUs), it was fermented with an Abbey Ale yeast, and then conditioned for several months in a Calvados Foedre. Weighing in at approximately 9.3% ABV, expect some slight spicy/peppery notes accompanied by bright, fruity esters… and more than likely a bit of oak/vanilla character from that Foedre. Look for cans to be released next Saturday, September 23rd.

• And in other 2 Crows news, there was a new draught-only release earlier this week that is – unfortunately – on its last legs by now. House Funk was a Brett Saison brewed with Pilsner and Oat malt, hopped with Chinook and Sterling, and fermented with an “experimental Brettanomyces strain”. Further keg-conditioned with a champagne yeast, the brewery describes it as “spicy, lemony, and bright”. But don’t worry! While only 15 L of this 5% ABV, 28 IBUs gem was released this week, the plans are for a new keg to pop up every 4-6 weeks, so you may get a chance to try it after all (if you plan accordingly… and why wouldn’t you?).

• Speaking of draught-only beers released earlier this week that are probably won’t last the rest of the weekend (or day!), Spindrift has/had the simply-named American Pale Lager on tap at the brewery only, back on Tuesday. Just a pilot batch (for now), it features (featured?) large dry hop additions of Citra, El Dorado, and Simcoe. At 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, we think describing it as easy-drinking and clean, with lots of piney, tropical fruit is a safe bet. If it’s gone by now, well… maybe that’s good, because that would mean it was popular enough for them to brew it again, right?

• There’s some new beers AND re-releases coming out of Maybee Brewing over the next week, so let’s get right to it! We’ll start off with Batch 100, a SMaSH American Pale Ale brewed to celebrate Maybee’s 100th batch of beer; featuring Horton Ridge Pale Malt and Southan Farms Centennial, the brewery describes it as “a light, smooth, Pale Ale perfect for pretending it’s still summer”. This 5.3% ABV, 42 IBU beer is available now, in both cans and on tap around Fredericton. Next up is a “Honey Brett Saison” brewed for next Saturday’s Bee-R Garden in Fredericton (we talked about this event last week). Honey, I Funked the Saison was brewed with honey from Sunset Heights Meadery, and fermented with both a Saison yeast, and Brett D from Escarpment Labs. Coming in at 6.8% ABV, this one will be a draught-only release, but will be available outside of the Bee-R Garden at local accounts. Finally, for re-releases, Maybee’s first DIPA, Look Off, is available again on tap and in cans, and look for their Sumac Witbier, featuring locally-foraged sumac berries, to make a return within a couple weeks.

Long Bay Brewery in Rothesay, NB has added a third beer to their repertoire this week. Joining their Bantham APA and Chalice Belgian Ale is a German Berliner Weisse. Brewed in the traditional style, the beer is quite pale and light-bodied, with a slight grain character. Also true-to-style is a light acidity and clean finish, thanks to the souring of the wort before fermentation. And to complete the authentic experience, be sure to request the beer mit schuss, that is “with syrup”, as one can enjoy in Berlin. Owner Sean Doyle searched high and low and was able to source both woodruff (walmeister) and raspberry (himbier) syrups to dose the beers. The Berliner is only available in growler fills at their Marr Road brewery, so drop by today to grab this limited release.

• The gang up at Meander River has a new cider available this week. Lavandula is dubbed for the latin name for lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, and as you might expect, this cider is perfumed with lavender grown at the Meander River farm. But that’s not the end of the local content: the apples used were a 5 apple blend from Falmouth’s Davison Farm (famous for their Corn Maze) and the honey is also a Meander River Farm product thanks to help from Cosman & Whidden Honey in Greenwich! The result is a light-bodied dry cider with a smooth palate, and a crisp apple finish. Coming in at 5.5% ABV it’s fairly light, and we’re told it has a “floral and almost biscuity nose.” It’s been put into 500 mL bottles and is only available in that packaging format. You’ll find it while supplies last at the MRFB table at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market Saturdays from 8 AM – 1 PM or at the brewery. And this Sunday would be a great day to plan a trip out to Meander River Farm & Brewery as they’re one of the farms in Nova Scotia participating in Open Farm Day 2017! They’ll have a river walk, brewery talk and tour, garden walk and talk, hops, lavender, herbs, cut flowers and animals. They’ll also be doing a demonstration of distilling essential oils and botanicals. And, of course, you’ll be able to purchase beer and this cider in their retail store! So come on out and meet your farmer.

• Earlier on Wednesday, TrailWay released a very limited amount of cans of one of their most popular beers, but with a slight tweak: DDH Luster features a second dry-hop addition, made up entirely of the wonderful El Dorado. For the first time that we’re aware of for TW, this entire small batch of beer was canned (absolutely no kegs), with only 40 cases available… as of two days ago. So if you haven’t grabbed any yet, best head over to the brewery ASAP, before it’s all gone!

• Up in Smith’s Cove, NS, Lazy Bear has a newish brew on the go, at least for a little while. An Altbier they brewed earlier in the summer and sold most of at the Wharf Rat Rally earlier this month, they’ve got just a little bit left. Made exclusively with Horton Ridge Munich Malt, it’s a quite sessionable 4.5% ABV and a comfortable 32 IBU. Look for what remains at this week’s Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders market. If you miss it, fear not, as they’ve got plans for some more seasonal brews over the next couple months. And if you’re in the city with no plans to go to the Valley but wishing you could sample some of Lazy Bear’s wares, word has it they’ve got kegs of their Sour Punch on at 2 Crows and Battery Park and they’re hoping to send some other beers to the HRM over fall and winter.

• Hey Hey Mama, Hammond River Brewing has a brand new beer available, with a name inspired by the lead-off tune from Led Zeppelin’s classic fourth album. Black Dog is an India Black Ale brewed with lots of dark malts including Chocolate, Roasted Barley and Carafa III to give it a bold toasty and chocolatey body. Meanwhile, it was hopped exclusively with Citra hops for a tropical and especially citrusy flavour and aroma. It’s a stout 6.9% ABV and a bracing 79 IBU. You’ll find it at the brewery for fills and pints and look for it to appear at HRB’s tap accounts throughout New Brunswick. And keep an eye on their social media today for details on the brewday they are conducting with Third Annual Home Brew Contest winners Jean-Marc Landry and Julien Belliveau, as they put together the soon-to-be-released Black River Sweet Milk Stout. You can follow Belliveau and Landry’s activities on their homebrew page on Facebook, Quiet Revolution Brewing.

• Tickets are still available for next weekend’s Craft Beer Attraction in St. John’s, being held Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23. In case you still needed convincing, the hard working crew at Port Rexton Brewing are going to seal the deal for you. Their Mixed Opportunity is a 6.5% ABV mixed fermentation (featuring both Sacchromyces and Brettanomyces strains of yeast) Saison, with light spiciness and effervescent mouthfeel. For the CBA, they are releasing a special version of the beer that was fermented and aged for three months in red wine barrels, for an extra level of complexity. Marrying the unique characteristics of the barrel with the dose of Sorachi Ace hops added at flame out, this is sure to stand out next weekend. Now that we’ve got you sufficiently thirsty, grab tickets for the main events, or the Brewmaster’s Luncheon with the crew from Trou du Diable at Merchant Tavern Friday at noon (featuring 9 beers poured by Isaac Tremblay and Stephane Thibodeau of TdD, paired with local food), RSVP by phone 709-722-5050.

• There’s a new hoppy beer coming out of Heritage Brewing in Yarmouth, NS – Hop With No Name is a Session IPA brewed with Experimental Hop #07270. A new variety described as having “spicy, resinous, and tangerine notes”, it’s fairly new to the brewing world (as expected, since it doesn’t actually have an official name yet), and Heritage was happy to grab some and experiment! With the majority added at flameout and in a dry-hop addition, the grist of the beer was kept simple, in order to let the hop characters stand out. Why not drop by the brewery during their hours today (4-8 pm) or tomorrow (11 am – 5 pm) to pick up a growler? Only 60 L were brewed, so it won’t hang around too long.

• As those who attended the opening of FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival last night no doubt noticed, Propeller has provided the official beer of that event. Wheat Kings Witbier, no doubt named as a nod to the Tragically Hip documentary film Long Time Running that opened the festival at the Rebecca Cohn. Part of Propeller’s Gottingen Small Batch series, the beer clocks in at 4.8% ABV and a mild 18 IBU, pouring a hazy light gold colour and possessing the crisp wheat character, balanced by orange citrus and coriander spice as is de rigueur for the style. It has a medium body with a dry finish and a moussy white head. Look for it at other FIN events and the Propeller tap room on Gottingen!

• As expected, more news of wet-hopped beers is hitting social media, with local breweries continuing to put the call out for hop-pickers, and some already at the brewing stage of these beers. Antigonish’s newest brewery, Half Cocked, teased earlier this week that they were brewing their wet-hopped beer and would be releasing it within a few weeks. We’ll have more details then, but their Instagram account clearly showed bags of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Galena. Next up is Saltbox Brewery whose Blue Nose 1850 is expected to be released on Saturday at opening (10 AM), while they celebrate their first anniversary. It features local Challenger, Mount Hood, Nugget and Cascade hop varieties blended into a 5% ABV “any time” sort of beer. And joining the fun next week will be Lunn’s Mill, who are currently fermenting their wet hopped offering, a Harvest SMaSH featuring Chinook hops from Four Horses Farm just down the road. They expect to have it available next week.

• And in other Lunn’s Mill news, they’ve joined the ranks of the breweries doing sours with their new kettle soured Berliner Weisse. Hitting the tap room this week, it’s a barely perceptible 4 IBU and a solid 5.2% ABV. It’s a sour, light and refreshing wheat beer with a high carbonation level to give it some bite. If you stop by you’ll be able to sample it straight up, with the traditional Sweet Woodruff syrup, or with less traditional, but surely delicious blackberry or rhubarb syrups! The folks from Long Bay might kick themselves a little when they find out that Lunn’s Mill didn’t have to bring in Woodruff syrup all the way from Germany; instead they found that Bunchberry Nurseries in Upper Clements, NS, was able to help them out! As with all Lunn’s Mill seasonals, this one is available just until it’s gone, so head down to the tap room and give it a go.

• The crew at Good Robot has brought back El Espinazo del Diablo, their corn-based beer, fermented with Mexican Lager yeast, and featuring a healthy dose of lime zest and Jalapeno peppers. Pairing this 5.5%, 14 IBU beer is a breeze, with its light body and slight heat. Look for next Tuesday’s BetaBrewsday drop to be AirWolf Chocolate Milkshake IPA, brewed by Kelly C and Mike M of Everwood Ave Brew Shop. Lots of chocolate and other dark malts, along with the characteristic flaked oats and lactose (milk sugar). As with all Beta releases, this is only available at the brewery, and usually sells out that evening, so don’t delay!

• From deep inside their lair on Salter Street in the shadow of the Maritime Centre, Tidehouse Brewing Company continues to pump out new beers and they’ve got two brand new ones to share with us this week. First up is Strange Meadow Lark, a deep orange 5.5% ABV beer in the Saison style. With a grist made up of mostly Pilsner with a solid dose of Munich, it was initially bittered with Magnum before being finished with a classic British hop, East Kent Goldings, a novel hop choice for a classic Belgian style. Sessionable in nature, the malty Munich paired with the earthy, floral and spicy notes from the hops should make this a lovely beer to welcome the change of season. This one will be pouring tonight at the Garrison Hops ’n Brats event and also at the Tiny Tasting Room for 4 oz pours and growler fills. And coming this weekend or possibly into next week is It’s a Secret, a pale ale featuring the Australian variety Vic Secret, lauded for its fruity and tropical character when used in the whirlpool or for dry hop, which is what Tidehouse has done with this one. Matched with a simple grist of largely 2-row barley and a bit of melanoidin for a balancing malt character, it was fermented on a clean American yeast strain to help accentuate the hops. Expect berry, melon and tropical fruit notes to be prominent when you drop by the tasting room for a 4 oz sample before grabbing a growler fill and going on your merry way.

• Down the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, Sober Island has a new beer available for the Fall season. Harvest Rye is a bigger beer, tipping the scales at 7% ABV and bringing a solid 44 IBU. A deep amber in color, it leverages an English yeast that will no doubt accentuate the malt and possibly provide some contrasting fruity esters to the spiciness of the rye malt. It also features some wheat, which should contribute to a softer mouthfeel and it’s hopped with the noble pair Saaz and Tettnang for earthy and herbal tones and some additional spiciness. Harvest Rye will be available at the brewery in crowlers and also at Sober Island’s usual market presences, and should be a great one to sip as the cooler evenings creep up.

• Attention home brewers, we have two competitions to tell you about this week, each with their own unique diversion from the traditional. Big Spruce Brewing is once again holding their Home Brew Challenge (their 5th year!), but instead of taking entries in only one or two categories, the idea is for all entrants to brew any style they wish, but to use the same yeast. This unique strain is actually a Big Spruce exclusive, isolated from a wild pincherry tree on their brewery farm in Nyanza. After extensive work by them and the fine folks at Escarpment Labs in Guelph (you can learn more about the involved process in last week’s 902 BrewCast), they now have enough of this pure yeast to share with homebrewers. The yeast gives off light spiciness and floral characteristics, so keep that in mind when selecting the base style and recipe. The yeast will be available for pickup at the brewery, and Noble Grapes in HRM, at the beginning of October, but you can learn more (including how to register) by checking out the FB Event page, or by emailing owner Jeremy White. In the meantime, get thinking about which recipe you’d like to brew!

• Also coming across our desk this week is a brand new homebrew competition from Sober Island Brewing. Embracing their love of using native and hyper-local ingredients in their beers (think oysters and chanterelle mushrooms), they are hosting a Foraged Beer Competition. Using a locally-foraged ingredient (either collected yourself or from one of the local foraging groups), and at least a quarter locally-processed malt from Horton Ridge Malt Company, design a beer highlighting the best of local ingredients. Be sure to grab a selfie of you harvesting or using the ingredients, and send that along with your entry. More details on the timeline of the competition can be found on the Event Page, and registration forms can be retrieved by emailing SIBC owner Rebecca Atkinson. The winning beer will be served at the Henley House on November 26th, along with Sober Island’s first in their Foraged Series beer release.

There’s plenty on the go this weekend and the coming weeks, take a look!

• A reminder that the 2017 Hops ‘n’ Brats event is happening today at Garrison’s Seaport Hall (their newly renovated and expanded taproom). Featuring beers from 2 Crows, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Good Robot, Nine Locks, North, Sober Island, Spindrift, Tatamagouche, Tidehouse, and of course hosts Garrison. Tickets are still available, and your $25 include your first 8 samples and a souvenir glass, with more samples available to purchase once inside. And don’t forget that tomorrow is Garrison’s Oktoberfest, with events kicking off at 11AM, and going until late! Check out more details here.

Beerocracy, the independently-created documentary on the beer scene in New Brunswick, is screening tonight at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. In addition to diving into the growing craft beer industry in NB, the film goes further to compare and contrast the benefits and challenges to the same scene in Nova Scotia and Maine. The screening will take place at the Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, at 6:45 pm. If you’d like to purchase your tickets in advance, you can right here. Both Alex Vietinghoff and Shauna Chase, the creators of the documentary, will be attending, and will be hosting a 15 minute Q&A after the show.

Tomorrow in Mahone Bay, NS, Saltbox Brewing will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary of opening. Open from 10 AM to 9:30 PM, they’ll have Backoos Korean BBQ available for purchase all day and a pig roast with all the fixin’s presented by Mateus Bistro from 4 PM – 8 PM. They’ll also have live music and, of course, plenty of fresh beer. So come on out and help celebrate their first successful year!

• If you’re in the Hortonville, NS area (or within driving distance), there’s going to be another screening of Sociable!, the documentary on the craft beer scene in NS, at the Horton Ridge taproom tomorrow, September 16th, at 7 pm. Chris and Helen, who created the film, will be on hand to chat and answer any questions you may have.

• There’s a big tap takeover in the works for next weekend in Dartmouth at Jamieson’s Irish Pub. Two craft heavyweights square off with 8 taps each for a total of 16 lines of top notch local craft beer from 2 Crows and Tatamagouche Brewing. Starting Thursday, September 21st, with “practice night” in combination with Wing Night, continuing on Friday with their TGIF and official launch, and then an afternoon Ceilidh from 2 – 4PM ($2 cover) and Kitchen Party from 7:30 – 10pm ($3 cover) on Saturday and finishing up on Sunday with Industry Night (all taps $6 for industry personnel). Saturday night will also give you an opportunity to Meet the Brewers from these two fine breweries. There is also talk of a trophy presentation, which implies perhaps a touch of (friendly, we’re sure) competition going on. Keep your eyes on Jamieson’s social media (Facebook, Twitter) as the tap list is yet to be revealed.

• The Fall Edition of Keji’s Dark Sky Weekend is happening next weekend, and Boxing Rock will be on hand with samples of their Dark as Keji Black IPA. With events happening both Friday and Saturday, Sept 22 & 23, take advantage of this special Dark Sky Preserve to see and learn more about our place in the universe. The “Gourmet Fall Night Hike to Peter Point” is Friday starting at 6:30PM. Walk to Peter Point, and enjoy a beer and food tasting along the way! Sign-up is required at the Visitor Centre or by calling 902-682-2772.

• Digby’s Roof Hound is coming to Halifax in a big way, as they’ll be pouring on all five taps at Bishop’s Cellar with their Roof Hound Tap Takeover, happening next Saturday, September 23rd. Drop by from noon-5 pm and sample some of the beers, before deciding on which one(s) you’d like to fill your growlers with. The tap list has been released, and includes Average Joe American Wheat, Big Brown, Rye-It, Wasted Days Chocolate Peanut Butter Wheat, and a brand new beer, Oat of My Mind DIPA. Brewed with oats in the grist to increase the mouthfeel, it was hopped with Azacca and weighs in at 7.1% ABV.

• If you’re looking for an Oktoberfest celebration that actually happens in October, look no further than Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown (the one in the Valley!), NS. They’re planning their big OktoBEERfest party for Saturday, October 7th, from 3 PM to 10 PM at the brewery. Tickets are $45 a pop and include a customer 20 ounce beer glass, a beer of your choice, a meal and live music. The beer menu will include two special beers, both German in style, brewed especially for the event. The first is a Hefeweizen and the second a Vienna Lager; there will also be three of the Lunn’s mill regular rotation available. The meal includes sausages (of course!), chicken schnitzel, potato salad, green salad and apple crisp. Four music, four local acts are on the ticket: Two Can Sam, Heather & Caleb, Midnight Genny and Dayliner. Dress for the occasion in your lederhosen and Tirolerhüte so you can take advantage of the photo booth. And best of all, there’s a shuttle running through the Valley to get you there and home safe! It will run from Bridgetown to Middleton from 3-5 PM to take folks to the event and again from 7 – 10 PM to bring them home! Purchase your tickets directly from the Lunn’s Mill website and keep your eye on the event page for any updates.

A few more things to round out the post today…

Petit-Sault‘s big Pumpkin Ale, Bonhomme Sept-heures (8.5% ABV), is back again for the season; currently only available on tap and in bottles at the brewery’s taproom in Edmundston, NB.
Red Rover has re-released their popular blueberry-infused cider, The Blues (7% ABV), semi-dry and “bursting with wild blueberries and a crisp apple finish”; look for it on tap and in flagons.
– Noon today North Street saw the return of Halifax’s hoppy, roasty savior as Flat Black Jesus reappeared at Unfiltered and Charm School Pub next door for fills and pints. And if you’re in Charlottetown, PEI, look for leftovers from Unfiltered’s tap takeover last night at Hopyard!

Well, it’s official…September is here. Unofficially, summer is over, the days of Pumpkin Ales are upon us, and wet-hopped beers are approaching soon! If you’re not a fan of one of these (or both), don’t worry…while this week may be a bit slower in the new beer department compared to the last few, there’s still some interesting brews newly released or coming soon that we’d love to get you caught up on…

• Charlottetown’s St. Paul’s Church will be celebrating their 250th Anniversary in 2019, and they’ve partnered up with Upstreet to have a special beer brewed as a means of fundraising for this important milestone. Head brewer Mike Hogan decided to brew a beer similar in style to one you’d see in England in the 18th century…hence, Red Stone Stock Ale was born. The grist is made up of English Pale malt, Medium Crystal, and Chocolate malt. A 60 L grain-soured starter was whipped up, and added to half of the 30 BBL (3500 L) batch, resulting in a pH drop that gave some, but not too much, sourness. After boiling the wort and hopping it with English Fuggles, this half was then blended with the other, non-soured half (brewed with the same hop schedule), and the resulting wort was fermented. Afterwards, house-toasted PEI oak cubes were added, with the final product exhibiting an “oaky and sharp finish similar to the aged beers of the time”. This brew will be released on September 17th, on tap at the brewery and a few select accounts, and in bottles, with all proceeds going to St. Paul’s.

• There’s a new beer flowing at the Foghorn taproom in Rothesay, an Extra Special Bitter named after its proud brewer, Andrew Estabrooks. Esty Special Bitter is a 5.5% ABV, 38 IBUs beer hopped with three new-to-Foghorn varieties: Challenger, Target, and Olicana. Fermented with, of course, an English yeast strain, expect a dry, slightly fruity brew that goes down easy. Available now for pints and growlers, it’s also popping up at a few tap accounts in Saint John.

• More breweries in our region are working with Escarpment Labs – a company in Guelph, Ontario, that produces liquid yeast cultures for breweries – to develop their own unique cultures for fermenting wort. Tatamagouche Brewing has joined this list, with the release of a new Saison, Edel, yesterday. The grist of this new beer is comprised of 70% Pilsner malt, and 20% raw wheat and 10% raw Rye from Horton Ridge, to 5.2% ABV. Hopped with organic French Strisselspalt to 21 IBUs, the wort was fermented with a special blend of yeast that Tatabrew worked on with Escarpment, that incorporates both a traditional Saison yeast, and a North American Brettanomyces strain. The resulting beer was split into two batches; the first, being released today, was dry-hopped with more Strisselspalt, while the second has moved on into Tempranillo wine barrels and will be getting an addition of wine must this fall (look for this half to be released next spring). Edel is a keg-only beer, so look for it at the brewery for growlers and pints, as well as on tap at both Stillwell locations, and Battery Park. Next spring’s barrelled version, however, will also be released in bottles. We’ll be sure to remind you when it’s available!

Loyalist City Brewing has released a variety of hoppy beers since they opened last fall, and this week they launched their third American IPA, Point Blanc IPA. This is a “New England IPA” brewed with a blend of Maris Otter in the grist, which provides a “light toasted malt presence” to balance the hop character provided from large whirlpool additions of Citra, Centennial, and Mandarina Bavaria, along with a heavy dry hop of CentennialHallertau Blanc, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fermented with the brewery’s Vermont yeast strain, expect lots of citrus and grapefruit, and a high bitterness in the finish. Seek it out on tap at your favourite Loyalist City account!

Good Robot is bringing back version 2.0 of their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale today; to remind you, this is the one featuring the addition of Kenyan Nyeri Gatina coffee beans, roasted by Java Blend Coffee Roasters and brewed by Low Point Coffee Co. The resultant cold brew was added to the beer, along with hop additions of Falconer’s Flight and Cascade, giving you interesting flavours of coffee, chocolate, slight fruit, and some acidity. Look for it on tap at Good Robot, and, of course, other GR-friendly establishments in the HRM. Also, next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday (brewed by Robyn, Heather, and Kelly C.) will be Low Hanging Fruit Milkshake IPA (6.6% ABV, 54 IBUs)- hopped with Mosaic Cryo hops, as well as pelletized Amarillo, Citra and Columbus. It was then rested on fresh Ontario peaches for a week; the fruity notes from both the hops and fruit help balance the slight sweetness from the addition of lactose powder. And finally, note that there will be no Cask in the Sun release today.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe has finally confirmed that they will be expanding their 1 BBL brewery, which has been operating since April, 2014 out of co-owners’ Peter and Tatiana Cole’s Bed and Breakfast under the same name. The Big Axe Brewery and Saloon will be housed in a “wild west-style log home”, built on the banks of the Saint John River in Nackawic. Scheduled to open in April, 2018, the 10 BBL (1150 L) brewhouse is being built by Charlottetown’s DME. With 20 BBL fermentors also being constructed, expect plenty more Big Axe beer, including bottle and can distribution. The two-level saloon will have a wrap-around deck overlooking the Saint John River; food will be served as well. We’ll be sure to update you as their progress continues. Congratulations to the Coles!

• After backing out of their original plan to open a small batch brewery in downtown Saint John early this year, Moosehead has announced that they will indeed be adding a 20 BBL (2300 L) brewhouse and taproom to the company’s original brewery at 89 Main St. West in Saint John. A 3 BBL (350 L) pilot brewery will also be constructed, with the idea behind both smaller brewhouses being experimentation, according to Moosehead. Current plans are for the new location to be up and running in May, 2018.

• And speaking of crafty (and pumpkin ales!), A. Keith’s Historic Brewery has a new batch out of their pilot system. Brewmaster Stefan Gagliardi, a self-proclaimed pumpkin head, perfected this recipe as a home brewer over many iterations and it’s one of his favorites. Ingredients include Vienna and Munich malts from Horton Ridge, pumpkin purée, and pumpkin pie spices including fresh ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Look for malty, toasty and sweet pie crust elements to meet a full body and smooth mouthfeel highlighted by the spices. This is a small batch, with only three kegs going on the growler station at the brewery today.

• Those who have hops growing on their property are surely aware that the time is nigh for harvesting. Hop flowers, or cones, are starting to sound papery when squeezed, are going a little brown around the edges, and smell of the resinous lupulin that contains the essential oils and acids hops are known and loved for. We know that a couple of hop growing breweries in the region, including Meander River and Big Spruce, have already had their picking parties and other producers will no doubt harvest soon if they haven’t already. Most of the hops harvested in our region will no doubt be processed normally: dried with warm, moving air, before being baled or pelletized and stored cold. But some hops are destined for nearly immediate use with a special technique known as “wet hopping”, “fresh hopping” or “green hopping” – adding freshly-picked, undried hops to a batch of beer during the brewing process. For best effect, wet hops have to be as fresh as possible, ideally within hours of picking, so that they do not spoil. Cold storage and shipping, if necessary, should not exceed 48 hours before the hops hit the beer. This gives breweries with their own on-site hop farms a leg up on making wet hopped beers. Using wet hops is much more risky than processed hops; with no laboratory analysis, alpha acid and essential oil levels are completely unknown. Because of this, to keep some control over the result, some breweries will use processed hops with known alpha levels for bittering and will save the fresh hops for flavour and aroma additions. When picked, hops are ideally still roughly 80% water and aren’t nearly as potent as dried, so significantly higher hop amounts must be used in wet hopping, often as much as 5 or 10 times the dried equivalent. Meanwhile, compounds that lose their potency during the drying process are still present and can make significant, and sometimes unwelcome, flavour contributions. Wet hopped beers, at their best, present a different side of hops, earthy and somewhat grassy, with a more subtle presentation of other flavour and aroma characteristics than usual. Look for wet hopped beers, often termed harvest ales to start appearing in the region over the next month or so!

• Speaking of which, if you’ve got hops growing on your property that you’re not planning to use, and you can get them to Fredericton quickly after picking, Graystone Brewing has put out a call for hops to be used in their Harvest Ale. Proceeds from the beer with go towards the United Way of Central New Brunswick’s campaign.

A bit of a quiet week for beer events and event announcements this week:

• A reminder to those in Halifax that Stillwell is bringing one of the big (but little!) guns of American Farmhouse styles for a two-stage takeover this weekend as Maine’s Oxbow Brewing comes to town. Starting at 4 PM today some of the best Belgian-inspired beers you can imagine will be pouring at Stillwell HQ on Barrington Street. And tomorrow starting at noon the party moves on up to The Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden Road. The full tap and bottle list is now available for this evening’s festivities and chef Graeme Ruppel has put together a burger-focused menu that’ll melt your butter. If you’ve found yourself going into withdrawal after the Stillwell Belgian Takeover two weeks ago, if you’re curious how American Farmhouse compares to the original, or if you just like really great beer, you owe it to yourself to get out today or tomorrow. No tickets required at either session.

• If you’re in Charlottetown, PEI, or planning to be there in the next 24 hours, and you don’t already have your tickets for the PEI Beerfest (part of the Fall Flavours Festival) at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, what are you waiting for?! Tickets are still available for tonight’s 6:30 – 9:30 PM session ($48 + taxes & fees) and Saturday afternoon’s 2:00 – 4:00 PM shift ($36.50 + taxes & fees), but tomorrow evening’s session is now sold out! The brewery list is as up-to-date as it’s going to get and the live entertainment is locked-in. A reminder also that Designated Driver tickets ($13.50 + taxes & fees) are available as well to help you arrange to get home safely.

• The Maritime Honey Festival will be taking place in Fredericton in a couple of weeks, and with beer’s popularity continuing to rise, of course it has to take part! On Saturday, September 23rd, the “Bee-R Garden” will be held between 10 am – 3 pm, at the Capital Exhibit Center. At least seven different local craft breweries will be taking part, each of which has been matched up with a beekeeper, and will be brewing a style of beer different from others attending, featuring, of course, honey. Ranging from a “Brett Honey Saison” from Maybee to an “Imperial Honey Porter” from Foghorn, attendees can expect a wide variety of brews! Be sure to check out the link for the list of styles from breweries who have committed to participate. And what honey-centric festival would be complete without mead? Sunset Heights Meadery will be pouring seven different varieties of mead to satisfy your sweet tooth. Drink tickets can be purchased now – $8 for four 4 oz drink tickets, or $45 for unlimited samples – or at the door, where $11 gets you four drink tickets (no unlimited samples option).

And a few last items before you get on with your weekend…

Garrison‘s Rise ‘n Stein Hefeweizen (5.5% ABV, 13 IBUs) has returned, with this year’s batch being available almost-exclusively in bottles at the brewery and HRM private stores; a limited amount may be available on tap, so keep your eyes open.
– PEI’s Moth Lane has released a new beer, The Gorbine Double Black IPA (8.8% ABV, 85 IBUs), that is available now across the Island at Moth Lane tap accounts, and at the brewery.
Nine Locks Brewing led the pack this year with the release of their Harvest Pumpkin Ale earlier this week. It’s available now in cans at the brewery and will appear at the NSLC in October.
– Bad news for fans of Picaroons Dark and Stormy Night: due to an ongoing legal dispute with “a big name in the spirits world”, the beer has been discontinued and will not be brewed again. It doesn’t appear that it will return under a different name, so if this is a brew you’ve enjoyed in the past, you may want to grab a bottle or two if you can find it.
– In Cask Friday news, the Propeller Organic Blonde on Yuzu we told you about last week is actually going on this evening at 5 PM. Schoolhouse’s cask today is called Oaked Grog Chequers obviously their Chequers Robust Porter aged on Oak, but what’s the “grog” angle? Stop by the brewery this evening and find out!

With September upon us, a reminder that grain and hop harvests have started around the region, which means it will only be a few weeks until those Wet-hopped beers will be available. With a vibrant hop farm scene here in the region, we expect to see Pale Ales and IPAs made with fresh hops in all four provinces. Until then, enjoy the rest of the new arrivals and returning favourites below…

• Speaking of the hop harvest, Meander River Farm is calling for all hands on deck tomorrow morning at 9AM to help pick their hops. Drop by the farm at 906 Woodville Rd in Ashdale that morning to help out, and you may even earn yourself a sample or two!

• It’s also a busy time for the folks at Horton Ridge, harvesting their own rye grain, grown adjacent to the Malt House and Taproom, which will be hitting the malt floor shortly. And we imagine the trucks filled with raw grain from other farms will be headed their way shortly! Luckily, they’ve released a new beer this week to keep the delivery folks happy. PEI SMaSH is a 4.9% ABV Pale Ale, whose recipe features a Single Malt and Single Hop. The malt bill consists entirely of Queens Two-Row Barley, developed at Agriculture Canada’s Charlottetown location in the 1990’s. While not developed with malting as a priority (its higher beta glucan content undergoes the malting process a little slower than “malting grains”), but the grain thrives in our climate, making it a great choice for local farming. That slower malting process also allows Horton Ridge to take their time and work their magic. Mandarina Bavaria makes up the entire hop bill, which is used in moderation to balance the malt sweetness and add citrus aromatics, but as with all Horton Ridge beers, malt is the focus. The PEI SMaSH is also a nice contrast to their Rye’s Up Pale Ale, which features a mixed grist of 50% PEI Barley, with 25 % PEI Wheat, and 25% Rye (grown at the Malt house), showcasing the flavour profile from this special malt. As with all of the HR beers, the best place to enjoy them is at their Hortonville taproom, whose patio is still open, and you may be able to catch them harvesting the grain this weekend.

• Summer may be just about over, but it’s not too late to report on one of the latest beers from PEI Brewing Co.Sin Bin. A Witbier brewed in collaboration with the PEI Mudmen, a local rugby team, the grist contains a majority of the very-light Heidelberg malt, along with small amounts of Malted and Torrified Wheat. Hopped to 15 IBUs with Tettnanger and Mt. Hood, the wort was spiced with Indian coriander seed and orange peel, in true Witbier fashion. Outside of the norm for the style, however, the beer was dry-hopped, on Day One of fermentation, with another hop variety that they don’t want to tell you about (hint: it was used due to its similar qualities to coriander). Dry and spicy, and coming in at 5.7% ABV, you can find it on tap at several PEIBC accounts in PEI, as well as at Battery Park in Dartmouth.

• Up on Agricola Street in Halifax’s North End, Chain Yard Urban Cidery released another new blend this week. Aptly called Wild Flower, it’s a blend of apple, fruit and flowers complemented by the use of wild yeast. Cider maker Jay Hildybrant started by making a wild blueberry wine, arresting the fermentation when it reached a point where spice notes were emerging and the berry flavour was “distant”. He also created a wild apple cider base using the same indigenous wild yeast and the juice blend from Chain Yard’s Foundation (McIntosh, Northern Spy and Jonagold). From there, the cider was used to macerate lavender from Meander River Farms, just to the point before any soapy or off flavours were extracted. Lastly, the wine and the cider were blended to yield a “perfectly floral”, smooth, and easy-drinking cider that features spice and floral notes. It’s available for samples and pints at the cidery.

• There’s a new easy-drinking beer from Loyalist City hitting tap accounts in Saint John and Fredericton… Barefoot Blonde is a “New Zealand Blonde Ale” that takes your typical Blonde Ale a couple of steps further with the addition of fresh pineapple, as well as a dry-hop punch with Nelson Sauvin. A simple grist of 2-row and Wheat malt provides a light, sweet malt character, backing up the pineapple and grape notes from the fruit and hop additions. With a light bitterness to round off the finish, this 5% ABV brew should hit the spot during these last warm days of summer.

• Following the releases earlier this summer of their tasty fruited Berliner Weisse series, Guava Heist (guava) and Philaroma (cherry), Tatamagouche Brewing has another fruited Berliner available for your immediate enjoyment! Rushton’s Peach is another light (3.5% ABV), tart, kettle-soured brew, but this time it’s been aged on 100 lbs of organic apricots and 300 lbs of peaches. Sound like another perfect beer for the end of summer? Even better news: like the previous two, it’s available in cans, as well as growler fills and pints at the brewery, and at Tatabrew tap accounts.

• If you’re feeling a bit overheated and need to get out of the sun, or just want to head downstairs for some beer and grub, the Rockbottom just tapped a new beer, The Aristocrats. A 100%-fermented Brett IPA, it combines the hop characteristics of “tropical fruit, hard candy and citrus” with the “pineapple, pear, wet hay, overripe berry, and an understated Brett funk” from the yeast. At 7% ABV and 60 IBUs, it’s available now at the ‘Bottom, while supplies last.

• If you missed it the first time around, Grafted, the orange peel-infused kettle sour from Boxing Rock is back. Created by Brian Harvey, this beer won the 2017 Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge. Thanks to some process tweaks at the brewery we’re promised a deeper sourness and more orange flavour in this batch, but otherwise it’s still a 5.5% ABV beer with low bitterness, a refreshing sourness and and sweet orange finish. This is a limited release of 650 mL bottles in the province, available at the brewery and making an appearance at the private liquor stores in Halifax. We’re told that later in September it will also make its way to Prince Edward Island via the PEILCC so folks can get a taste outside Nova Scotia. In other Boxing Rock news, they’re rocking an all-new website, featuring a modern and responsive design, a list of their current beers, and online ordering for their swag shop and keg club. Check it out!

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing should be releasing Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat, their last summer seasonal for the year, sometime today. A light American Wheat Ale, it was fermented for two weeks before 45 lbs each of locally-harvested rhubarb and strawberries were added to secondary. Described by the brewery as being “light and refreshing, with a naturally tart flavour and a hint of sweetness”, this 5% ABV brew will be available for growler fills and samples at the brewery only. Keep your eyes peeled for a slew of other new beers from Heritage in the near future, including a single-hop Session IPA featuring Experimental Hop #07270, a new IPA with Chinook, Citra, and Ekuanot, and a wet-hopped ale.

• Sit down, and prepare yourselves – Good Robot does NOT have a new beer release this week on the alpha brew side of things. No, no one is dead (that we know of), but don’t worry, it sounds like there will be plenty coming through the pipeline next week! And there’s still a new Cask in the Sun entry for today at 4 pm: Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie Pale Ale (damn, that’s a lot of typing for a beer name) with Low Point cold brew, cherries, and “very, very toasted oats”. And next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday is Hard Corgi Black Lager (4.2% ABV, 34 IBUs), brewed by Drella Green-Simony and Johnny ‘Burger’ Heighton, with Kelly Costello. Fermented with California Lager yeast to keep it clean, it’s a slightly-roasty beer hopped with Cascade and Mosaic.

• There has been a passing of the torch at Mill Street St. John’s this week, with Head Brewer Dan heading off to the Toronto Mill Street location. In his place, Matt Chevrier has taken over the reigns. However, Dan’s legacy lives on with a new release this week, Tic-N-Tuff Hopfenweisse. At 6.0% ABV and 32 IBU, this hybrid German style features banana and clove from a Weisse, with a healthy dose of hops, in this case Wild Turkey, lending Passionfruit-like character. Grab a sample or pint today, and keep an eye out for its debut on the growler station this weekend.

• The NSLC recently released their first quarter financial results for Fiscal Year 2018 and the results continue to be encouraging for fans of craft beer in the province. You might be aware that the quarter being reported here corresponds to the period starting this past April when the number of Nova Scotia Craft Beer listings at many NSLC stores jumped considerably. What impact did that have? Although overall beer sales were down 1.2% to $74.6 million and volume was down 2.7%, both significant declines over the same quarter last year, NS Craft Beer sales were up an impressive 48% to $3.2 million, a growth rate matching Q1 last year. Further, this implies that NS craft beer accounted for 4.3% of overall beer sales this quarter compared to 3.3% last year. After watching year-over-year quarterly growth decline over the course of FY 2017, it will be interesting to see whether that trend is mirrored this year or whether the wider selection will have a lingering impact. The news was also good for NS spirits and cider producers, with local spirits more than doubling sales over last year and the ready-to-drink category, which is mostly ciders when it comes to NS products, up 75.7%. Hopefully this continued growth will encourage the NSLC to continue the trend of adding SKUs and shelf space for local products, and maybe soon we’ll even see them supporting the smaller, non-bottling/non-canning producers through an in-store growler program.

• Attention AtlCan Brewers: the invitations for the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards have gone out this week, so if you have not received them, let us know! Submissions are due in Halifax October 2nd-6th, with the judging taking place October 13-15th. The announcement and Gala is happening the next Sunday, October 22nd, at the Stubborn Goat.

We’ve got brand new events, as well as updates and reminders for a whole slew of them coming this month. We strive to keep our Calendar up-to-date, and you can help us by sending heads up emails or tweets our way!

• After a wildly successful Lambic-fest last weekend, the Stillwell crew are inviting the fine folks from Oxbow in Newcastle, Maine to take over their taps next Friday and Saturday (September 8 and 9). “Loud beer from a quiet place”, Oxbow launched in 2011 and has been brewing farmhouse and eccentric beers in the woods of coastal Maine (and recently at their blending location in Portland) ever since. Featuring a full twelve-tap-takeover on Barrington on Friday, and ten taps at the Beer Garden Saturday, both locations will also receive a healthy number of Oxbow bottles to complement.

• Get ready, Charlottetown… Unfiltered is coming your way! And not just a couple of beers, but the most Unfiltered beer that has ever hit PEI at one time. Starting Thursday, September 14th, Unfiltered will be taking over all 10 taps at Hopyard. And it’s not just beer you’ll be enjoying, head brewer Greg Nash has paired with HopYard master chef Jane Crawford to create a fully collaborative food menu, to go with all those tasty beverages. Tickets for the 7pm kickoff event are available now, and be sure to keep an eye on their social media pages as hints on the food and beer pairings drop. If you’re not able to make the Thursday night event (shame on you!), be sure to drop by Friday, as there will certainly be enough great Unfiltered beers to keep C’town happy for a couple of nights!

• If you’re planning your September weekends, you might want to pencil in a little time with Garrison as their annual Oktoberfest extravaganza is coming up down at the brewery. Friday, September 15th, from 6:30 PM to 11 PM is Hops ’n Brats, a celebration of Nova Scotia Craft Beer and Sausages. A $25 ticket will get you entry, 8 sample tickets, and a commemorative glass. Additional sample tickets can be purchased on-site. Designated Driver tickets are also available at the door for $10 that include a non-alcoholic beverage. Bringing their best beers will be Garrison, of course, 2 CrowsBig Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Good RobotNine LocksNorth, SpindriftTatamagouche, and Tidehouse. The next day, Saturday, September 16th, is the original all day, all night Oktoberfest celebration in Halifax. Garrison Oktoberfest Halifax starts with a day long all-ages free-entry party from 11 AM to 5 PM featuring traditional German food, 3 bands worth of oompah music (The Swell Guys, Die Brew-misters, and The Roving Steins) and, of course, Garrison beer! At 5 PM the kids go home and the ticketed portion of the proceedings start. For $16 you’ll get your first beer (12oz) and entry to the rest of the evening’s proceedings, scheduled to go until 11 PM. There will be dancing, games, and food will be served throughout the evening. And of course, MOAR BEER. Proceeds from the event will benefit Cystic Fibrosis research and care through CF Atlantic Canada.

• There are still tickets available for Newfoundland’s Craft Beer Attraction, presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal & Craft Beer Club. With Grand Tastings taking place 7-10 PM Friday and Saturday, Sept 22 & 23 at St. John’s Curling Club on Mayor Avenue. There will be more than 100 different beers available on a pay-per-pour basis. The Premium Tour is taking place at 12:30 Saturday, hosted by Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler, and will feature 21 beers from across the world. A guided tasting of Sam Adams Utopias, and a Brewmaster’s Luncheon featuring Trou du Diable, round out the events on the weekend. Check out the full beer list and grab your tickets before they sell out!

• The Canada Beer Run is happening in Halifax on Sunday, September 24th. Held in several cities across the country, the Halifax Beer Run involves non-competitive running to four different breweries (approximately 10 km total). With a pre-drink at 11 am, runners will then proceed to Propeller, Garrison, Spindrift and Good Robot, with 20 minute breaks at each stop for some beer sampling. Sound crazy? Well, we’re pretty sure that’s what they’re going for! It costs $65 to participate, which includes a shirt and swag, race bib, brewery party favours, beer run buff, and a finishing medal. For more details on specifics, check out the link above. Registration is open now.

• The James Joyce’s first-ever sour beer tap takeover, Tarte Diem, was a huge success last weekend, with Big Axe‘s Seaberry Sour taking first place from the panel of three judges. Following up with second and third place were Acadie-Broue‘s Tête de Cochon Lichtenheiner and Unfiltered‘s Daytimer, respectively (and an honourable mention to Upstreet‘s Island Hopspitality 2017). If you missed out on the fun, don’t worry… they’ve already set the date for next year’s event, Tarte Diem II – 2 Sour 2 Acidulous, on Saturday, August 25th.

A few returning favourites, new releases, and casks to let you know before we sign off today

– As we teased last week, 2 Crows has a new beer dropping today at noon, Promiseland Double IPA. This juicy, hop-forward beer, features Citra and Simcoe late in the boil, during active fermentation (biotransformation for the win!) and during final conditioning. Grab the 8.3% ABV, 64 IBU, DIPA at 2 Crows today on tap (samples, pints, and growlers) and in cans, with cans also hitting the HRM private stores shortly.
– Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co has dropped a new beer today, Roadside Attraction Pale Ale. A 5.0% American Pale Ale featuring 100% Cascade hops, the lighter malt body lets the hop floral and citrus characters shine through, with medium bitterness. Grab it at their taproom today!
– Fredericton’s Picaroons has released the latest in their Pivot DIPA Series, with Pivot #6. Keeping to the 8.0% / 80 IBU specs as previous releases, this version features Mosaic and Warrior hops for tropical and candy-like aromas. As with all of these releases, they can be found at their locations in Fredericton, Saint John, and St. Andrews, with delivery to the ANBL expected early next week.
TrailWay has re-released their Green Island American IPA (6% ABV), with some slight tweaks to the hop additions, resulting in strong pineapple flavours, according to the brewery; available on tap and in cans at the brewery.
Unfiltered releases their Front Line Rocker DIPA (8% ABV) at Charm School today, for growlers and pints; look for it to pop up around the HRM on tap as well, and select establishments in PEI and NB.
Upstreet‘s seasonal Pumpkin Ale (yes, it’s that time again), Gravedigger (6.5% ABV), drops today (bottles and kegs);
– At Schoolhouse in Windsor, NS, their Cask Friday beer this afternoon is their witbier, Summer Break, with blackberries and raspberries. Sounds like a lovely beer to sip on the first day of September.
– And not to be outdone on the cask front, Halifax’s Propeller will have some of their Organic Blonde Ale aged on the Japanese citrus fruit Yuzu on tap this evening at 5 PM. But wait, there’s more! Tomorrow at 2 PM they’re tapping a special 20 L keg of their Cascade Pale Ale that will be dosed with fresh Cascade hops picked less than 24 hours before. You won’t find beer with fresher hops than that.
– And on the Rock, Yellowbelly has their East Coast Cream Ale, a collaboration with Top Shed Brewery in Goonengerry, NSW, Australia, back on tap and available at the brewery in bottles as well. Limited bottles will also be going to the NLC tomorrow. Kangamoose is on the loose!