We start off this week with the release of the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay Brewing’s constantly rotating fruited kettle sour. The latest version features the addition of both mango and pineapple purée, giving an aroma and flavour that is definitely heavy on the pineapple side, with the mango present in the background to complement. Slightly sweet due to an addition of lactose powder, to balance the tartness, the 3.8% ABV beer is available now at the brewery on tap and in cans. They’ve also got another new release hitting their taps/shelves today, Donnie Had Me Up At 4. Named after an employee’s cat’s annoying habit, think of this beer as a 4% ABV Session IPA, hopped with Idaho 7 and Southern Cross, with further additions of lime and orange zest. Refreshing and citrusy, it will also be available on tap and in cans.
Bootleg Brew Co., which opened in Corner Brook, Newfoundland at the beginning of this year, is releasing their first Gose, a style that will likely be the first time that residents in Corner Brook have been able to try a local version of. The Way She Gose was kettle soured with a pitch of Lactobacillus; after souring for 48 hours, the wort was boiled, and a pound of sea salt from the province’s Newfoundland Salt Company was added. The brewery purposely left out the usual addition of coriander, to let the salt come through front and center. At 4.1% ABV, it has a definite salinity, and a lemon-like tartness. It’s available now at the brewery’s taproom for pints.
Meander River Farm and Brewery in Ashdale, NS will be launching a returning Small Lot cider this weekend, featuring some extra special ingredients from their farm. Lavandula is a 5.5% ABV dry cider, with honey from hives on their property, as well as estate-grown lavender. This is the second year release for this expression, and last year’s was a top-seller, so be sure to pick up bottles and seek it out post haste. You can get your first tastes at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market and at the Brewery itself this weekend (Friday 4-6, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 11-5). And when better than coming by Sunday morning (from 9AM) to help out with the 2018 hop harvest, while they brew their Homegrown Wet Hopped Ale. The taps and stories will be flowing as they process the hops grown on the property, and add them directly to the brew in progress. If can’t make it out to the brewery, keep an eye on the rotating taps at ChainYard in Halifax, as they have delivered a few kegs to the Urban Cidery.
In Chester Basin, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, you’ll find Tanner & Co Brewing, at 50 Angus Hiltz Rd. And when you drop by this weekend (open Thurs & Fri 2-8, Sat 12-8, Sun & Mon, 12-6), you’ll see a few new beers pouring to take away. You may be lucky to catch their Gose, Kottbusser (an ancient German style brewed with Barley, Wheat, and Oats, and finished with molasses and honey), Sticke Altbier, Dunkel, and Porter with Burgundian Red Wine yeast and finished with London Ale yeast. And look for the return of Nelson Saison, a Saison brewed with exclusively Nelson Sauvin hops in the boil and post-fermentation. But releasing this week is Lemon Lavender Saison. Starting with a malt bill of mostly Pilsner with a bit of wheat, lemon rind, ginger, and Lavender were added late in the boil. The lavender was grown by a neighbour to the brewery, and after a very successful test brew last year, was able to grow enough for a couple of larger batches. Fermentation was completed with a traditional Saison yeast strain, and the fruit and spices flow beautifully throughout the beer. The result is a 6.5% ABV, and 30 IBU beer, that is ready for enjoyment now, so drop by the brewery, or keep an eye at their local tap accounts to try it.
There’s a new entry in the one-off After Hours series from the PEI Brewing Co. that you may want to check out if you’re on the Island (or heading that way!), Cryo Hop IPA. Brewed with a fairly simple grist of 2-row, Vienna, and Red Wheat, it was mashed “intensively”, with the intention of the yeast finishing the beer off low, to keep it “dry and crisp”. Hopped with the fairly new Cryo hop pellets (cryogenically concentrated hop product to maximize flavour and aroma), the brewery went with equal amounts of both Cascade and Citra. It’s a combination of old-style IPA and new, as it finishes quite bitter (80 IBUs), but big on hop aroma/flavour. It weighs in at 7% ABV, and is available exclusively on tap, right now.
Feels like it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a hop bomb-type beer from 2 Crows… oops, it has been, I just checked Untappd. Well, don’t worry, because tomorrow they’re releasing what may just be their hoppiest beer yet! Perfect Situation is a New England IPA brewed with a simple grist of Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malt. Hopped in the whirlpool stage with lots of Simcoe and Vic Secret, it was then fermented with the English strain, London Fog, from White Labs. Of course, that wasn’t the last of the hopping, as the beer was finally dry-hopped with a very high amount of Vic Secret and Idaho 7. The result is just what you want in this style: a soft and fuzzy mouthfeel thanks to the yeast, and aromas/flavours described by 2C as “super fruity, lush, tropical, pillowy, and juicy, with massive notes of pineapple, passion fruit, apricot, red grapefruit, and papaya”. Sounds pretty good to us! They’re releasing it at the brewery tomorrow at noon, where it will be available on tap and in cans. And if you stick around till 2 pm, Luke’s Fried Chicken will be on hand to help you find something to pair with all that delicious beer!
Moving over to Saint John’s Loyalist City, who are releasing their own new beer this weekend on tap in the city (and likely beyond). This one is called 50/50, and is a hoppy American Wheat beer brewed with equal amounts 2-row and Wheat malt. Hopped plentifully with both Centennial and Ekuanot (also equal amounts!), two well-loved American varieties, the hazy, golden yellow beer exhibits a “blend of tropical fruit, apple, floral, and citrus hop aromas, and a sweet, bready malt character”. Medium-bodied, with a residual sweetness thanks to the Wheat malt and high mash temperature, get out this weekend to your favourite Loyalist tap account to try a pint!
Elsewhere in the city, Hammond River Brewing continues to experiment with their small batch brewery (the 1 BBL system originally used when the brewery opened in 2012), as they just put Pretty Fly For A White Rye on tap earlier this week. A “White Rye IPA” hopped entirely with the Aussie Vic Secret variety, expect plenty of tropical, fruity flavours in this 6.6% ABV, 66 IBUs brew. As usual for the small batch beers, it’s available on tap at the HR taproom only, for a limited time.
Tap accounts in Fredericton and Saint John will have the latest Niche Brewing beer on tap very shortly (if not already!), Riptide. This Rye Session IPA comes in at 4.2% ABV, and as the name implies, features a healthy dose of Rye malt in the grist bill. Together with Wheat, these two malts help to boost the mouthfeel of this smaller beer, and enhance the flavour profile. Hopping of Chinook and Mosaic were performed late in the boil (plus a large addition of El Dorado for the dry-hop), extracting more oils (for flavour and aroma) than acids (bitterness), resulting in hearty citrus and fruity flavours, and a blast of tangerine on the nose.
Back in July, we wrote about Port Rexton celebrating their second birthday with a number of new beer releases; at this time, we only lightly touched on one of these beers, High Fives, a foeder-aged, Brettanomyces kettle sour. Well, there’s a few kegs left that are currently pouring at the brewery, so this is the perfect time to dive into the details! The second beer from PR’s Calvados foeder, it was fermented with the brewery’s house culture (a blend of Saison and Brett strains), and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. The result from the combination of both is a beer with “an evolving fruity, funky, and delicious flavour profile”, and a “lemonade-y tartness and delicate white wine and gooseberry notes”. We don’t think you’re going to want to miss out on this 5.4% ABV beauty, so get down to Port Rexton now for a taste!
Stellarton, Nova Scotia’s musically-inclined Backstage Brewing has a new beer for y’all, The Edge IPA (see, we told you they were musically-inclined). Brewed in the American IPA style, and hopped heavily with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic, we think you can expect a whole lotta fruity, citrusy, piney, and dank goodness in this 6.1% ABV, 75 IBUs beer… and likely a firm bitterness to finish it off, as well. Drop by Backstage to give ‘er a go.
Brasserie Retro Brewing is opening this afternoon, after a brief hiatus to re-stock their fridges. Their retail location at Motel and Campground Colibri on Blvd des Acadiens in Bertrand is open today 4-9PM, tomorrow 1-6PM, and Sunday 1-5PM. They will have their three core beers available to take away, namely the Tapisserie Laide Pale Ale, Tricycle Rouge Amber Ale, and Arcade 2001 IPA. For a refresher on Retro, their location, and beers, check out our Profile with them from early August.
We’ve got a multi-province home brewing competition to tell you about this week, hosted by the Gahan House locations across our region. It’s the Maritime Home Brew Challenge, and is may be one of the most ambitious yet. Open to amateur brewers in PEI, NB, and NS, they are looking for entrants to put together their best beer in 3 wide categories: Lager/Pilsner, Hoppy Ale, and Saison. As the names imply, these are open to interpretation however the brewer would like. The entries will be judged on the beer itself, the name, the “level of ambition”, and will receive bonus points for using local hops and malt. Entries are due at the local Gahan locations in Charlottetown, Saint John, Fredericton, and Halifax by October 27th. The winning beers will be announced in early November at the PEI Brewing Company, with the winning beer taking home $1000 cash, and the knowledge that their beer will be brewed and canned for release. There are plenty more details on the other prizes, and schedule of the “Brewers’ Feedback Session”, where you can chat with the Gahan brewers about your entry and ask for help, on the competition website, so don’t delay!
Good Robot has a pair of new releases coming next week, plus an invite to other breweries to take part in an innovative event, so let’s get to those details now! Next Tuesday, for their Beta Brewsday, multi-talented homebrewer Matt McNair and friend Cory Cauvier brewed up a lightly dry-hopped farmhouse ale, named The Bee’s Needs. The beer features a malt bill of Pilsner, Wheat, Rye, and Oats, and was hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh and Saaz. Just as the boil ended, during the whirlpool phase, dandelion petals and honey from Cauvier’s own hard working bees were added to the wort. Fermentation was performed using a house culture that McNair has been curating, with a secondary fermentation kicked off with yeast and bacteria isolated from Cauvier’s honey. The beer then spent some time on oak cubes and a little more hops were added before being packaged. For the launch event at 4PM on September 11, Matt, Cory, and friends from Hivetronics will be bringing live bees to the taproom to educate the public on these extremely important animals. Don’t worry, they’ll have them in special people- (and bee-) safe enclosures!
On Thursday, September 13th, they will be releasing the latest batch of Tom Waits For No One, their 7.9% ABV American Stout. Full of dark roast, coffee, and chocolate flavour, on a full-bodied base, the 58 IBUs from American hops help to keep it easy-drinking.
And in a heads up to Maritime breweries, on April 27, 2019, Good Robot is launching FemmeBot Beer Fest. Highlighting Women-Identified Brewers in the region, they are looking for 15 breweries to join them in Halifax for this event. Beers brewed by female brewery employees, and/or with female members of the public is the focus of this event. The Fest will be held at the Mayflower Curling Club, and have two sessions on that Saturday: 2-5PM and 6-9PM, with 200 attendees per session. More information on taking part at the FemmeBot Beer Fest can be found here. And we’ll share ticket details once available. [ed note: adjusted date]
Here are the next big events coming up in our region:
The Third Annual Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover is happening at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, September 13. From 11:30AM, TataBrew will be taking over the 18 taps with lots of their current releases, favourite kegs held especially for the event, and several new releases. One of which we can tell you about today, Cahoots! This is a Tart Saison that is a blend of two batches that have been aged in wine barrels: one 16 months old, and one 4 months old. Using a healthy dry-hop of Nelson Sauvin, the wine barrel character is front and centre, and works well to enhance the base beer acidity and Brett funk. In addition to its release on tap, bottles of Cahoots will be available at the brewery that same day. Tata (FB, Tw, IG) and BP (FB, Tw, IG) will be releasing the rest of the tap list over the next week, so be sure to check their social media in order to plan your beer enjoyment.
For the sixth year running (according to our extensive records), the 2018 PEI BeerFest will be taking place in Charlottetown at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel on the weekend of September 22. As always, the event is part of the annual PEI Fall Flavours Festival, celebrating the best of food and drink on the island, and this year’s lineup has 31 confirmed breweries and cideries from all over Eastern Canada and some from beyond. There will be three sessions, starting with an evening session (1830h – 2130h) on Friday, September 21, followed by two sessions, one afternoon (1400h – 1630h) and one evening, on Saturday, September 22nd. Tickets are available on-line through TicketPro and include a Designated Driver option, which gives access to a DD lounge with free (non-alcoholic, of course) refreshments. Come down and sample the over 100 beers and ciders that will be pouring at this year’s event.
Grand Monk Artisan Ales (formerly known as Bore City Brewing) is pairing up with Buddha Bear Riverview to hold their first tap takeover, a multi-day affair, from Wednesday, September 19th until Sunday the 23rd, with Grand Monk Pokes the Bear! While not a complete takeover, there will be at least several taps dedicated to the brewery, known for brewing a multitude of styles (with the focus on Belgian and hoppy). They’re not quite yet ready to share the list of beers they’re bringing, but follow along with their social media pages, as they’ll be posting more details sometime next week. And on Saturday the 22nd, from 4-8 pm, the entire Grand Monk team will be attending, and they’re always happy to chat beer, so don’t be shy! They’ll also be selling glassware, so bring some cash! If you’re hungry, Red Stone Eatery will be on site to suit your needs.
Elsewhere in New Brunswick on Saturday, September 22nd is the second annual First Town Craft Beer Festival. Held in Woodstock at the Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, this year’s indoor/outdoor event will have a single session in the evening. Tickets are still available, with regular admission ($50 + taxes and fees) from 6-9 pm, and VIP ($60 + taxes and fees) getting you in an hour earlier, at 5 pm. Ticket prices include a sampling glass to keep (with the VIP glass being larger), and unlimited samples throughout the event. Note that there are also $15 designated driver tickets available. They’ll be pouring beers from a variety of breweries/cideries/meaderies from across the Maritimes, and live music will be playing throughout the festival. Food will also be available for purchase. Proceeds from the event will help support the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Beer author and overall expert in the craft Stephen Beaumont is returning to Stillwell on Sunday, September 30th for another series of Guided Beer Tastings. Last year’s tasting was a huge success, so this year they’ve kindly added a second session! The first one will be from 12pm-2pm, and the second from 3-5pm; both will feature the chance to drink some “rare, world class beers” with Stephen, who will both entertain and educate with his knowledge and experience. There will also be copies of Stephen’s newest book, Will Travel For Beer: 101 Remarkable Journeys Every Beer Lover Should Experience, on hand for you to buy and have signed. Tickets are $46 and can be purchased here; don’t hold out on picking yours up, as the event is essentially guaranteed to sell out!