Well, now that the Canadian Brewing Awards are officially over, it looks like things have died down – slightly – in the beer world this week, as brewers and beer lovers recuperate from all of the celebrations in Halifax last weekend. But it IS June 1st, and this time of year means that things are going to be picking up sharply, very soon… so we know we’re going to enjoy this slight lull while we can! And there’s still a fair amount to talk about, so here we go…
Speaking of the CBAs, in case you missed our live tweeting of the results, breweries in the Atlantic Provinces had a great showing at the awards, earning 20 total medals in a wide variety of categories. The full results are available on the CBA website, and here are the local winners for your perusal:
Foghorn Brewing earned Bronze for Golden Grover in English-style Pale Ale and Bronze for Esty Special Bitter in English Bitters – Best Bitter or ESB.
Grimross Brewing earned Gold for their Apres Lager in the European Style Amber to Dark Lager, Bronze for their Pugnacious Porter in Porter, Bronze for Maritime Cream Ale in Cream Ale, and Silver in American-style Black Ale for their Maritime Black IPA.
Brasseurs Petit-Sault earned Gold for Col. John Baker Dubbel in Belgian-Style Dubbel.
Pump House Brewing captured Bronze for their Muddy River Stout in the Dry Stout category.
2 Crows Brewing earned a trio of medals that evening: Silver for their Dynamo Rustic Saison in the French and Belgian Style Saison category, Silver for Never Again (Foedre-Aged Brett Pale with Peaches), and Gold for Bonanza! (Foedre-Aged Wheat Wine).
Boxing Rock captured Silver for their Temptation Red in North American Style Amber/Red Ale.
North Brewing Company captured Silver for their Little Beast in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category, Silver in the Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale category for their Gus’ 65m Ale, Bronze in American-style Brett Beer for Oh My Darlin’-Clementine Brett Pale Ale
Meander River grabbed Bronze for their Smoky Chipotle Porter in Experimental Beer.
Tatamagouche Brewing took Silver for their Giantess Barley Wine in Barley Wine-Style Ale – American-Style.
PEI Brewing Company earned a pair of awards: Bronze for their Hell Street in the Bock – Traditional German Style category and Bronze for their Vic Park in the Session India Pale Ale category.
Quidi Vidi Brewing earned Silver in the Dry Stout category for their Cry Havoc.
After some delays over the winter, Gander, Newfoundland finally has a brewery they can call their own. Scudrunner Brewery opened earlier this week on Roe Avenue right by the airport (fitting for a brewery owned by pilots!), with their initial offering of four beers being offered for samples and pints. Stop by to grab their Frequent Flyer Ordinary Bitter (3.8% ABV), Good Morning Shanwick Irish Amber (5% ABV), Scudrunner Red (5% ABV), and Test Flight #1 American Bitter (5% ABV). Growlers are in the works, but not *yet* available (soon, we understand!). The taproom is open from 11AM every day (except closed Mondays for the time being). Congratulations!
Tidehouse released a new beer last Friday, and we missed it! It actually can’t be blamed entirely on them (THIS time), as things got pretty hairy with all the CBA stuff going on, but better late than never, right? And there’s still some left, so we’re happy to mention it now! Keep Your Chin Up is an American IPA with a grain bill of Wheat malt, Vienna, and Kiln Coffee malt, that was hopped late in the boil (and in the dry-hop, of course) with Chinook. Fermented with a neutral American yeast strain, it weighs in pretty high at 7.7% ABV, and has lots of pine and spice flavours from the Chinook, along with a “slight” presence of coffee from the Kiln Coffee malt. You can find it on tap now for 4 oz pours and growler fills at the Tidehouse TinyTastyBeverageRoom on Salter St.
Sorry, you other guys (you know who you are!), but it looks like North Brewing is the first out of the gate with a Champagne IPA brewed professionally in Nova Scotia! Also known as Extra Brut IPA, it’s a new style that is going up against the popular hazy version, NEIPA. Incorporating the addition of extra enzymes to break the sugars in wort down even more, which allows the yeast to do their job better, creating a higher alcohol level and a very dry beer. The grist is usually very simple, and the beer should be light-coloured and very clear. North’s first attempt is Alloy, and it sounds like they’ve ticked all the boxes in the Champagne IPA category with this one. Featuring a grist of all-Pilsner malt, enzymes were added to allow the yeast to ferment the wort all the way down to a final gravity of 1.000. Whirlpool-hopped with Ariana (a new German variety that exhibits characteristics of grapefruit, gooseberry, citrus, and vanilla) and Citra, it was further dry-hopped with plenty more Ariana. With a minimal grist and a bone-dry beer, the hops – in theory – are allowed to shine even more, and the bitterness is perceived more (Alloy’s IBUs come in at 23). This 6% ABV beer is being released today in cans (at both bottle shops) and kegs (at Battery Park, and likely other accounts soon); make sure you grab a taste somewhere/somehow, as this is a style that is sure to evolve!
Spindrift Brewing is branching off their Seventh Wave series, those pilots beers only appearing on tap at their retail location for growler fills, with the Ride the Wave series, inviting in guest brewers to take part in the fun. The first in that series launched yesterday, and is named Ocean Perle, a low-ABV Belgian Saison. At 4.5% ABV and 22 IBU, this extremely quaffable beer is the brainchild of homebrewer Ian Wheatley, who is familiar to our readers from his frequent work with the Tidehouse crew under the Lil’ Wheatey moniker. Named after his dog and one of his favourite hop varietals, OP is nice and dry, and highly carbonated for a refreshing and spritzy mouthfeel. As with all of the beers in this series, the only spot to grab it is at Spindrift’s Frazee Ave location, so stop by this afternoon to grab it before it sails away.
The latest Neon Friday release from Upstreet is out today, NEIPA with Simcoe. True to its name, it’s a New England IPA brewed entirely with the classic Simcoe hop, a much-loved American variety that has managed to hold onto its popularity over the years, despite the barrage of new hops being released every day (ok, maybe not that often, but you get it). At 7% ABV an 40 IBUs, it’s a pale-straw coloured, hazy brew with “notes of heavy citrus and a piney dankness”… yep, sounds like Simcoe to us! Available as of today, on tap and in cans at Upstreet and the Craft Beer Corner.
Two beers from TrailWay are hitting cans and taps this week, one new and one returning. The new brew comes out today, and is a 6.5% ABV American IPA released in honour of the Scrum Lurkers segment of the Jay and Dan show. Through the constant tweaking with the many one-off IPAs released by TrailWay, Scrumlurkers was brewed with a hop schedule that gives “intense tropical and citrus fruit, with a sweet candy and vanilla character that ‘lurks’ in the background”, according to the brewery. And returning is Emerald, TW’s 5% ABV New Zealand Pilsner that is hopped with Wakatu, and has “generous” additions of both lime juice and zest, giving a “dry tartness and complementary candied lime” character. Drop by the brewery today to pick up some of each, and maybe stick around for their anniversary celebration (more on that in the events section below).
For those of you who are fans of Hammond River’s ongoing series of Berliner Weisses, you’ll be happy to hear that they have a new entry that they released this week. Fragarian Fields uses the same kettle-soured base recipe, with this iteration being fruited with strawberry and mango. Coming in at their usual 3.2% ABV for this series, it pours slightly hazy with a light orange colour and is lightly fruity, refreshing, and definitely easy-drinking. Available now at the taproom for pints and growlers.
Good Robot has kindly passed on the info on next week’s new beers for us to tweak to perfection, to pass on to you! Tuesday’s Beta Brew is Wort the Weight, an American Stout brewed by Adam Boone and Emma Cloutier. Brewed with 2-row, Chocolate malt, Roasted Barley and Flaked Oats, it was hopped with Warrior, Saaz, and Hallertauer to 42 IBUs. A “dusting” of lactose powder was also added to the boil, to help balance out the hop bitterness slightly. It comes in a bit lower than expected for the style, at just 4.5% ABV, so that you can enjoy it in quantity. Following on Thursday is Yuk’em Ups, their latest experiment in biotransformation dry-hopping (i.e. adding dry hops when fermentation isn’t quite complete). This 6.6% ABV IPA has a grain bill containing 2-row, Red X, and a little bit o’ Wheat, and was hopped with Mosaic and Ekuanot to a mighty 91 IBUs. It exhibits some “pear and other orchard fruit on the nose”, with plenty of citrus character in the taste. Finally, their latest batch of Espinazo Del Diablo was kegged this week… try it and see if you notice more heat this go-around, as the seeds from the jalapenos were added to the beer. Just try not to get any in your teeth! 😉
Those crazy kids at Niche Brewing have yet another beer coming early next week (does their recipe file have no end?!). Ofelia is an American Pale Ale described to us as reminiscent of many people’s favorite childhood orange drink (that the astronauts took to the moon!). Fermented with a blend of Saccharomyces strains well-geared for IPAs, it’s slightly dank with tropical notes thanks to additions of Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. At 5.4% ABV and 32 IBU expect an easy drinking light orange beer with a smooth mouthfeel and a light bitterness in the finish. If you’re enjoying one in a quiet moment, see if you can guess where the name came from – we can tell you it’s inspired by the name of one of Rob and Shawn’s favourite movie heroines, but nothing to do with Shakespeare.
After closing for a couple of months for major renovations, the bar at Quidi Vidi Brewery is opening tomorrow. While previously only open during brewery tours and their Friday night Kitchen Party, it has transformed into a full-time Tap Room space, open from noon daily. The Grand Opening Party will be kicking off at 7PM Saturday, featuring food from Mallard Cottage and live music from Dave Whitty. There will be plenty of Q.V. beers flowing, including a fresh batch of Calm Tom’s Double IPA, and we suspect some other goodies from their newly installed pilot system. Learn more by checking out their social media.
Next week, Boxing Rock will be releasing the commercial version of the winning beer in their latest Black Box Challenge, which was held in March. Brewed by the ACBB’s own Aaron Spanik, Oh, Snap! was brewed with a variety of malts, including Pale, Chocolate, Aromatic, and Medium Crystal. Belgian Dark Candi syrup was also added in the boil, and the wort was hopped with Magnum for bittering, Cascade for flavour additions in the boil, and some Amarillo at flameout as well as in the dry hop. One of the ingredients in the Black Box was “ginger-infused green tea”. Aaron wanted the ginger without the tea, so painstakingly separated the two, and added the ginger to his beer (worry not, he’s still seeking medication for this disorder). On a large scale, this practice would be, of course, insane, so Boxing Rock obtained some straight ginger from World Tea House (the original provider of the ginger tea blend), which they used to make their own ginger “tea” to add at the whirlpool stage. Fermented with the American strain US-05, it comes in at 6.1% ABV, slightly higher than the homebrew version. Expect it to drink as a fairly dry and refreshing hoppy brown, with a subtle ginger undertone, especially as it warms. Scheduled for release on Wednesday, June 6th, look for this one to hit the taps at BR, private wine store shelves, farmer’s markets, and possibly some tap accounts as well.
And speaking of homebrewers, there’s a new game in town, regionally speaking, for those into the hobby. BrewHQ came online last week with beer and cider kits, brewing equipment, and brewing ingredients available for purchase and shipping anywhere in Canada. They’ve got a BrewHQ Club where purchases earn points that can be used towards discounts as well as an area of the site, the BrewHQ Academy, with tutorials, beer history and style information. For the month of June they’ve got a free shipping promotion on orders over $75 (pre-tax total) until June 30th. Even better, they’re offering our readers 15% off from today until June 14th through the use of the code ACBB15. Check out the new site and follow their social media presence as well (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for news on upcoming promotions.
Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has their Summer seasonal all ready to go. Stone Fruit Summer Ale features some wheat in the grist along with additions of fruit, including peach, apricot and mango, for a light and slightly hazy 5.0% ABV spritzy summer refresher. Look for a special cask with peach purée to be tapped this evening at their Gottingen Street Tasting Room. The beer is available now at Propeller locations and will be available at NSLC stores and the private stores in Halifax as well. And for those who were fans of their Spring seasonal, the pale and hoppy XPA, the last batch is now available in super shiny cans and on tap, but only through Propeller’s stores.
In Liverpool, Hell Bay has a new IPA on the taps that they’re calling Tarnation. Coming in at a healthy 6.2% ABV, it features Millennium hops, a high-alpha variety known for imparting an herbal character. Hopped to 70 IBU, this one definitely packs a bitter punch, with a resinous and almost spicy character complementing an overall dry body. It’s available at the brewery now but will be making its way to tap accounts along the South Shore and in Halifax in the coming weeks.
There’s some news to share about Antigonish’s Townhouse Pub this week: After 6 years of ownership, Rosemary and Terry are handing over the reigns to Caitlin and Ryan Shimozawa, who bring years of experience in the food and drink world to the East Coast. While the Shimozawas are sure to put their own touches into the Townhouse, we have been assured that they share the same passion for local beer as Rose and Terry, and will continue to focus their bar menu the same way. And for those of us fortunate to get to the Townhouse for a pint of Terry’s Best Bitter, fear not, he is passing along his knowledge to the new owners, so expect the house-made beers to continue flowing.
We’ve spotted a few events on the go this weekend (and beyond) that you’re not going to want to miss!
After extensive renovations over the past several weeks, the beer bar in the Crowne Plaza hotel on Queen Street in Fredericton is re-opening today. With a slight change of name to The Joyce, the number of taps with NB beer, cider, and mead has expanded to 36 plus a hand pump, to keep pace with their lofty goal of carrying something from every brewery in the province. You can be amongst the first to test out the taps if you head down today, as they’re re-opening at 12PM. Learn a little bit more from their FB Event page, and enjoy happy hour from 3PM until midnight tomorrow to keep the celebration going.
After, or before, checking out The Joyce on Queen Street today, head across the water to TrailWay Brewing’s 280 Main Street location, to help celebrate their second anniversary of being “ALL IN”. While Dan and Jake opened the brewery in December of 2014, the brewery as it is now opened in June 2016 after both left other jobs to pursue it full time. Pop in from 5-9PM for $5 pints to celebrate their success and plans for the future. Milda’s Pizza will be on hand keeping your tummy satisfied all evening.
It’s already been a year since Horton Ridge opened their brewery and taproom, and they’re celebrating next Saturday, June 9th with a Horton Ridge Turns 1! Event. It’s an all-day party, starting at noon, and will feature plenty (2500 lbs worth of plenty!) of BBQ from Asado Wood Fired Grill, beer, and a variety of live music (starting at 3 pm).
Interested in learning more about brewing science? Well, there’s always plenty to learn, and the Maritime Brewing Science Conference may be just what you’re looking for. It’s being held in Moncton on Friday, June 15th, and will feature plenty of topics and discussions throughout the day, including yeast handling and selection, brewing water, wild hops in Atlantic Canada, and Wild Beers. Your $30 ticket (available here) includes breakfast, lunch, and a wild beer tasting at the end of the day.
Just a bit more before we go…
– If you missed their debut at last weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, fear not – kegs of O’Creek Brewing’s Route 117 (a 6.5% ABV NEIPA) are now pouring at Marky’s Laundromat and Tide & Boar in Moncton.
– Unfiltered is bringing back their Warning Label, a 10% ABV monster of a DIPA, today at noon. This batch was aged on Spanish cedar, so expect a slightly different profile than what you may be used to.
– Big Spruce has a new one pouring called Reboot Ginger Beer, brewed as a witbier with 100% Cape Breton grown ginger in the the boil and as well as in the dry hop, which also included “huge” amounts of Mosaic.