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Jiminy Cricket we’re late today! We blame the one who took this week off, the one who barely survived the Tata takeover at Battery Park last night (although the jury’s still out on his dignity), and the one who inexplicably went to bed at 8:30 PM last night and slept clear through until morning. We’ll let y’all try to figure out which one is which. For now, enjoy another 3,000 or so words about beer and beer event news in Atlantic Canada for the last full weekend of summer (*sob*)!!

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing is re-releasing their Belgian Blonde known as Grimdonk today. Described as, “elegantly crisp and golden, with balanced fruit and spice notes,” you’ll find this dry finishing beer available both on tap and in cans (for the first time, we think) at the brewery. And if you’re out and about in the area this afternoon, they’ll be tapping a special cask of this beer that’s been fortified with blackberries at 2 PM. There’s only 20 L of that version, though, so best hook off work a little early if you want to make sure to get a taste.

Staying in Fredericton with the “other” G brewery, Graystone put a new ESB on the taps late last week. Amber in colour, with a medium mouthfeel and a typically English lower carbonation level, Grizzly ESB is a 5.1% and 42 IBU easy drinker. The aroma is sweet and malty with a subtle hop earthiness, and the flavour favours mild caramel and biscuit notes and a slightly spicy finish from the traditional English hops used. It’s still listed as on tap on the brewery website so you should still be able to find it on tap for pints, crowlers and growler fills at the brewery. And in other Graystone news, one of their flagship beer, Patagonia Pale Ale is now available in 473 mL cans at select ANBL locations. See this Instagram post for the full list of locations where you can grab yourself some for the weekend!

Not to be left out, Fredericton’s lords of lupulin, Trailway Brewing have yet another new and interesting beer on the docket today. Featuring a theoretical IBU rating of 0 due to all the hops being added in the fermenter after the beer was chilled, Days Done is a crushable American Pale Ale coming in at 5% ABV. Leveraging hops from both New Zealand and the United States, it has a slight bubblegum character at the front of the palate and a rounded citrus finish. Check it out this afternoon and/or tomorrow afternoon at the brewery where they’ll also have the Gastrognomes food truck going from 3 – 8 PM. It’ll be an ideal beer for pre-gaming the Harvest Jazz & Blues Fest downtown!

Hanwell’s premier brewery, Niche Brewing, has a brand new beer out this week, the latest in their Persuasion Series (if it’s not a thing yet, maybe it is now?). Grasping hold of the last days of Summer, they have released Boysenberry Persuasion, a 4.2% ABV fruited sour. Using the same base as their Pineapple Persuasion, they added boysenberry puree during secondary fermentation, resulting in big raspberry- and blackberry-like flavour and aroma, all on a tart base. It is available around Fredericton and Moncton, including on tap at Grimross, which means you’ll be able to grab growlers of it (and their Riptide Rye Session IPA). Rejoice the weekend!

Down the road from the capital, outside Moncton in MacDougall Settlement, NB, Valonray Farmhouse Brewery has now achieved their previously stated (and lofty!) goal of producing only mixed fermentation beers! With only about 50 bottles of clean-fermented beer left on hand as of earlier this week, they’ve fully committed to mixing bacteria and yeast to produce tasty beers in the Continental style. They’re also planning six or so releases in the next few months, with some special treats already settled down for some (much) longer term aging. In the near term, though, they’ve got two releases to tell you about this week. The first is Terroir, a farmhouse ale with 70% Horton Ridge pale malt to which wheat, oats, and some sugar were added to round out the grist. The yeast used was from Escarpment Labs (although Valonray’s next fermentation goal is to use only their own yeast) along with Brettanomyces. Described as “unlike any Brett beers we’ve tasted,” it’s earthy, with a honey-like finish and little to no fruit or funk detectable. Their second new release is Farmhouse 2 which started as an experiment but turned out just fine. With 70% pale malt matched with 30% Vienna in the grist, some residual sweetness and malt body is to be expected. Fermentation-wise, this one’s a bit crazy, with 6 Brett strains, including 2 sources of Brett B, one Brett C, one Brett Q, and two wild Bretts from Terroir all in the mix along with Lactobacillus. The result is a beer where the Lacto is not prominent, so it’s not as tart as the first iteration, but there are prominent grapefruit and berry notes. Look for both of these beers to be available at select ANBL locations in the Moncton area soon.

Moving across the Bay of Fundy to Nova Scotia, Annapolis Brewing Co. has a brand new small batch specialty beer available this week. Called Calientide, the key ingredient was 4 pounds of honey provided to the brewery by the Halifax Honey Company. But this wasn’t just any honey, this is what they call “Stingin’ Hot Honey” which is their chili-infused product. Added to the kettle at flameout, it made for a rather spicy wort initially, but ended up producing a subtly spicy and slightly hot beer. The heat and spicy character were also boosted by the addition of the chilis that had been used to infuse the honey to the secondary fermentation vessel along with some roasted jalapeños. The result is a 4.7% ABV beer with 21 IBUs that features light peppers on the nose and a subtle spiciness on the finish. Look for this one at the brewery and very possibly tomorrow morning at their market stall.

From the Valley into the City, we’ll start on North Street with Unfiltered Brewing who have brought back a beer not seen for many months, Play With Fire. At 7.5% ABV, this Smoked Imperial Schwarzbier is jet black, and features smoke flavour and aroma, perfect for the waning warm days and cool nights of late summer. Drop by the brewery and Charm School taproom to grab a pint and growler today.

Around the corner on Robie Street we turn to Good Robot who have their usual two releases this week. Tuesday’s release for Beta Brewsday is the result of a visit from Marci of Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, who, in a shocking turn of events, brought her own malt to the party! Using organic rye and 2-row as the base with a little bit of roasted barley, the intention was to turn out a Rye IPA, but brewer Kelly Costello couldn’t bring herself to mask the lovely rich malt flavours with the planned dry hop. So Pretty Fly for a Rye Guy will be listed as a Rye Pale Ale with an ABV of 4.0% and a low/medium bitterness that still features hop flavors from late additions of Vic Secret, Enigma, and Saphir hops. On the GR Alpha system this week we have the return of their Gose-inspired Goseface Killah, a sour german wheat ale featuring Sorachi Ace hops. At 4.8% ABV and 11 IBU, this tart and refreshing beer with coriander aroma and lemony acidity might be just the thing to help it keep feeling like summer as the temperatures start to drop.

And two streets over, Propeller has a new Gottingen Small Batch on the go today, to go along with their usual Friday cask. Which isn’t their usual cask. We can explain. The small batch is called Tropical IPA and it features both some very tropical hops in the form of orange-y and grapefruit-y Citra and passionfruit-y and pineapple-y Galaxy, along with additions of real fruit, including peach, apricot and mango. The result is a 6.2% ABV beer with a complex tropical fruit character that still manages to sport a crisp finish. This one is on tap at the brewery for fills and pints and is also already on tap at all ANBL Growler Stations. As for today’s cask, in lieu of a beer they’ll be sporting a Shandy instead! From late afternoon onwards, come down to the brewery and try a take on a classic concoction comprised of beer (Propeller’s classic ESB in this case) blended roughly one-to-one with lemonade (hand-pressed by Assistant Brewer Denys Ploughman). No growler fills of this one, so you’ll have to sit and have a pint. Rough life, wha?

Around back from the Propeller tap room in their small batch brewery / warehouse, Stillwell Brewing is releasing the second batch of Solo tomorrow. With a base recipe of PIlsner, Wheat, and Oats, it was hopped in the kettle and barrel with German hops, and fermented with Stilly’s house blend of yeasts and bacteria. This batch of Solo was brewed at the same time as the first (which was released in February), and has been bottle conditioning for an extra few months. LIke batch 1 (and you could probably guess from the name), Solo b2 is a single-barrel beer, as opposed to a blend of several barrels. The barrel character comes through a bit more in the final beer, as well as a little additional bitterness, as compared to batch 1, but still expresses the delicate and funky yeast character. Drop by the brewery 12 – 4 PM tomorrow to grab your bottles, around the back of 2015 Gottingen Street.

And our last hop (hah!) in Halifax this week is to Tidehouse Brewing downtown on Salter Street where they’ve got a brand new bottled offering. BIG Bruiser IIPA is a double/imperial IPA weighing in at a brawny 10% ABV. Medium to light in body and with a deep orange color, it was hopped entirely with Cryo hops, specifically the Simcoe and Ekuanot varieties. To finish, the Japanese citrus known as Yuzu was added for an extra kick. Dank, boozy, and hoppy, it’s available at the Tidehouse Tiny Tasting Room in 340 mL bottles (maximum 6 to a customer) and 4 oz samples only, no growler fills. Probably for the best, this one’s going to hit like a brick.

Heading down the 102 from Halifax and then swinging onto the 104 at Truro will eventually get you to Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing has put together a couple of variations on a theme. Last week we told you about The Edge, an IPA featuring Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops. This week they’ve upped the ante with fruit! The Edge Volume 2 is that same beer after having sat on pineapple for a while and ditto for The Edge Volume 3 except swap in mango. These extra-tropical bad boys are available only by the glass at the Backstage taproom and we suspect that where they were released on Wednesday they may not last much longer; so if you’re lucky enough to be close by, maybe swing by Bridge Ave for a taste!

And lastly for Nova Scotia, following the 104 to Cape Breton and opting for North on the 105 will eventually get you to Nyanza, where Big Spruce Brewing will be waiting with open arms and a brand new beer. Can You C’est Brut IPA is BS’s entry into the 1.000 Final Gravity fray, the defining characteristic of the Brut- or Champagne-style IPA that’s come out of nowhere in the last few months. Featuring “bonkers aromatics” from the use of large amounts of El Dorado hop hash (don’t worry, this hash is legal even before October 17th), it comes in at 7.0% ABV and an almost mild (for an IPA, anyway) 24 IBU. Bone-dry, crisp and effervescent, we remind you that it’s beer, so maybe forego the sipping from a flute and head straight to the swilling from a real glass. Pinky extension is negotiable. If that’s not your thing, with the hop harvest just finishing, you can no doubt expect another new beer from Big Spruce in the coming weeks featuring their homegrown fresh hops, and keep your eyes open as we’ve heard hints that a new batch of all-hyper-local One Hundred is on the way. Or just check back here for news, because, as always, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s hop the ferry to Newfoundland to round out the new beer news of the week! Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing has a new beer on tap this week, the bigger and hoppier brother to their popular Gateway IPA. Oathkeeper IPA features the same base malt recipe, but fermented on their English yeast strain, leading to a beer with more body and a touch of residual sweetness at the same 6.4% ABV. As is the case with many of our favourite IPAs, though, this one is all about the hops! Cascade, Amarillo, and Citra come together to give you a ton of great hop flavour and aroma, with citrus, specifically grapefruit, shining through.Oathkeeper is on tap at Stage Head Pub in Twilingate now, but we’ve been told it may hit one of the great Nfld-beer-friendly spots in St. John’s as well. Keep an eye on their social media to see.

Port Rexton Brewing has a brand new beer available, and the only place to find it is at their brewery taproom. 9:30 Knockout is a new style for them, a Hopfenweisse. Think of it as a hopped-up of German Weissbier, featuring the iconic wheat and yeast aromas of banana and clove, along with great stone fruit and tropical hop notes, courtesy of Enigma, Mosaic, Chinook, and Simcoe. In case you were wondering, the 9:30 Knockout name comes from the fact that the mash rest of this beer, while typically 60-90 minutes in length, was 5 hours long, pushing their usual knockout time (when the boil is stopped and the wort is cooled and transferred to the fermenter) to 9:30 PM, rather than their usual 4:00. Talk about a full brew day! Get yourselves out to the brewery to toast the hardworking women and men of PRBC. And as summer closes out, please note that their Retail Shop on Torbay Road in town has shifted their hours to Fridays 4 – 8 PM and 12 – 6 PM on Saturdays. Drop by this afternoon for fills of their Horse Chops West Coast IPA, Chasing Sun New England IPA, and T-Rex Porter.

We have big news for those brewers among you who may be looking to move (back to, or within) our region for a job, as we know of several positions that are needing to be filled:

In Montague, PEI, Bogside Brewing will be opening this winter, and are looking to hire a Head Brewer and a Production Brewer for their 1200 litre (10 BBL) system. That team will be responsible for all aspects of the production, testing, inventory, and quality control of the beer and cider they will be making. Check out the full Job Posting here and get in touch with them now!

And in Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing is also looking to fill their Head Brewer position. Brewing on a 1200 litre system as well, the Head Brewer will be responsible for all of the ingredient inventory, beer making, and QC at all points in the process. Check out the Job Posting for more details. Drop them a letter/resume to continue your brewing career on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

We’ve got plenty of events to keep you busy over the next few weeks!

Speaking of Saltbox, drop in tomorrow to help them celebrate their Second Anniversary! Who knew partying in a former service station could be so fun! Open from 10 until 10, they will be doing door prizes every hour for Saltbox gear and gift cards, and they’ll have Curry Express Food Truck onsite to keep you happy. No party is complete without some live music, and they’ve got that in spades, with The Paul Buchanan Band onsite from 3 – 5 PM, followed by Collage from 7 – 9 PM. And!! Guys!!! They are hosting Beer and a Backrub, where folks from South Shore Chair Massage will help you unwind after a long week, and you don’t even have to put down your beer. Congratulations to the Saltbox family!

We have more info on the beer list for the Grand Monk Pokes The Bear, with Grand Monk (formerly known as Bore City) taking over the taps at Buddha Bear’s Riverview location, Wednesday to Sunday (Sept 19-23) of next week. From Grand Monk:
Marécage Belgian Style Saison (7.0% ABV) – We’ve started brewing it again after a bit of a hiatus. Hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc, it has citrus/peppery notes to start and finishes dry. At 7%, it’s surprisingly light!
Vent d’âme Belgian Style Pale Ale (5.9% ABV)  – A light and refreshing ale you would find in a Belgian bar. “Vent d’âme” literally translates to “soul wind” but is an homage to the muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Dirty Black Summer (5.8% ABV)- a well balanced Black IPA with a mix of tropical and piney hops. Tons of Chinook, Vic Secret and Ella, to the tune of 80 IBUs.
Spacetime Odyssey Porter (6.5% ABV) – Our coffee infused porter brewed since the beginning. Chocolatey, roasty, coffee-y.
Koalatee Pale Ale (5.0% ABV) -Our pale ale hopped entirely with Australian varieties – Vic Secret, Ella, Topaz. Lots of hop aroma (pineapple, citrus), light bodied and completely crushable. Summer’s not over!
AND, during the Saturday afternoon party 4 – 8 PM, when the Grand Monk crew will be onsite, they hope to debut a brand new beer; that afternoon/evening, Red Stone Eatery will be onsite with food offerings.

In Halifax, Good Robot is hosting the second of their Hair of the Dog events September 22nd and 23rd. Taking over the Garrison Grounds, dogs and their people are invited to hang out to meet other like-minded individuals, drink a bit of beer, and check out the animal-centric vendors. The party goes 11 – 11 each day, and the proceeds for the event go to the NS SPCA Dartmouth Shelter and Halifax Pop Explosion. Check that first link for the list of vendors who will be onsite.

Garrison Brewing is hosting a three-week Oktoberfest celebration this year, starting next Saturday, September 22nd, and repeating again the next two Saturdays (the 29th and October 6th). They will have Asado Wood Fired Grill onsite from 11AM each day, and have live music from an Oompah band starting at 2PM. The event is free, and their spot is dog and family friendly, so your pup could take you to two events on the 22nd! And on the 6th, they’re cranking it up for Das Big Party, with Dave Sampson playing a live show in the brewery that evening, so stick around!

There are still a few tickets available for the Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, being held at the Moncton Lions Club on September 29th. Featuring more than 40 breweries, cideries, and mead producers, this event also raises funds for the United Way. Many of the producers will be on hand themselves, making it a great opportunity to chat with them and learn more about their products (and bend their ear to talk about new possible ones!). Grab your ticket for the 7:30 – 10 PM session here, and learn more about other events on their website.

Lastly, in Halifax, the Stillwell Beergarden will be getting a big facelift on September 29th, as they host an Oktoberfest event on Spring Garden Road. Open as usual from noon, they’ll be featuring NS-brewed German style beers, as well as some fresh brews from Germany, all to celebrate one of the most influential countries in the beer world. Of course, they will have some great Oktoberfest-inspired food, and a must-have for any Oktoberfest event, a live oompah band from 3:30PM on. There will be a cover charge for the afternoon to pay for the band, which you can pre-pay at either location to be added to the list, $7 in advance or $10 at the door. So grab your dirndl or lederhosen, and we’ll see you there. Prosit!

With the weather forecast looking pretty dang fine for most of our region, and now that we seem to have finally reached the magical, “hot days, cool nights” portion of the summer, all we need is for our local beer producers to step up and keep things interesting. And wouldn’t you know it, it appears they have! Read on for the latest beer news from around Atlantic Canada, including plenty of new and re-appearing beers, a new venue in Halifax, and not one, but TWO homebrew competitions.

Halifax fans of local beer got some great news this week, as Boxing Rock unveiled their plans in the big city. The Shelburne brewery has opened up Test Kitchen, a pilot brewery in the Local Source Market space at 2530 Agricola Street. Brewing on a 120 litre (1BBL) system (with a pair of fermenters), this smaller brewhouse will allow them the opportunity to test out some brand new and innovative recipes, before possibly scaling them up to a full-sized batch of several thousand litres. They anticipate brewing a couple of times per month, with Tuesday’s inaugural brew being a collaboration with two-time Black Box Challenge winner Brian Harvey. Brewing onsite also gives Local Source the ability to sell Boxing Rock beer, as an extension of BR’s Retail license. With a dozen different full-time, seasonal, and test batch beers available in bottles, growler fills using their futuristic-looking Pegas CrafTap system, and a couple on tap at adjoining Lion & Bright, Agricola just got a little more South Shore. To accomodate all of us thirsty visitors, they’ve extended the hours of the shop a little later in the evening: M-W 9-7, Th 9-8, F 9-9, Sat 10-9, Sun 10-6. The beers are available at their retail location now, and they are holding a Grand Opening next Saturday, September 1 to celebrate. From 10AM, the first 250 folks to visit the location will receive a free limited-edition Boxing Rock growler (just pay for the fill). This is your key to savings, as it give the owner $2 off each 1.89 litre fill in both Halifax and Shelburne, for the life of the growler. You can also tour the brewery space out back to see what’s bubbling away, and maybe get a hint of what’s coming next. For those unable to attend next Saturday’s event, they are holding an online contest for their followers, you can learn more here. Congratulations to the Boxing Rock Crew!

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is back with a brand new beer this week, the latest object of their love and appreciation of traditional styles and modern ingredients. New World is a Saison fermented with The Yeast Bay’s Saison Blend, which features two clean-fermenting Saison yeasts, and marks the first time they’ve used this blend. The simple malt bill consists of Pilsner and Wheat, with the yeast offering some spiciness and light minerality. The hops took a decidedly updated turn, with Citra and Ekuanot used lightly in the boil (sub-20 IBUs), with a larger dry-hopping of the same for citrus and tropical flavours and aromatics to complement the yeast. Kegs of this 5.1% ABV have been delivered around Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton, so keep an eye out for it as you hit the patios and barstools in the province this weekend.

Looks like the third entry in Breton Brewing’s Sour Sessions popped up on tap earlier this week; the latest in their rotating-fruit kettle sours brew features the addition of kiwi and passion fruit puree. The low IBUs (4) and sessionable ABV (4.2%) allow you to be able to drink this one in quantity, so you can enjoy the “crushable tartness and fruity finish” in what’s left of our beautiful summer weather. Drop by the brewery for a pint or growler, or look for it at a few select accounts in Halifax (including the Stubborn Goat and Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar).

Fresh off the opening of their expanded location and taproom earlier this month, Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has a brand new beer to follow up with. The Little Lift is described by the brewery as a Session IPA, based at least in part on their The Big Lift IPA. Brewed with 2-Row, Munich malt, and a touch of Wheat, it was hopped late in the boil with Citra, Northern Brewer, and Palisade. Fermented with the East Coast yeast strain, it was then dry-hopped with more Palisade. Expect “lots of citrus aromas and flavours, with a crisp, full body” in this 5.6% ABV brew; drop by the new taproom to give it a try or fill up a growler.

In Dieppe, New Brunswick, Flying Boats has decided to experiment a little, by launching a Test Pilot Series. The first beer in said series is Test Pilot No. 1 – APA, a “hop-forward” American Pale Ale that features large whirlpool and dry hop additions of Azacca and Citra, two very expressive American varieties. The 5.6% ABV beer is a deep golden colour, and has “intense, tropical and citrusy flavours and aromas, with a lingering, soft, citrusy finish”, according to the brewery. It’s been on tap for the last few weeks, and is now also available in cans at the brewery, select ANBL stores, and Picaroons retail locations.

Looks like Good Robot has even more beer news than usual this week, to tag along with their Beta and Alpha releases. Let’s start with the “usual” – next Tuesday’s Beta will be Ringside Imperial, an Imperial Red Ale brewed with Pat King. Weighing in at 7.3% ABV and 42 IBUs, we don’t really have anything in terms of recipe details for you, but can confirm from GR that it’s a golden-amber coloured beer that leaves a “mild alcohol heat at the back of the palate”. As for next week’s Alpha brew, it’s the return of Leave Me Blue, the brewery’s award-winning 4.5% ABV Cream Ale. You’ll also see cans of El Espinazo del Diablo, their 5.7% ABV Mexican-style Lager with lime and jalapeno flavours, available as of today.

As for the other Good Robot snippets, they’re releasing two other Beta releases on Sunday for Flavabot, their “All-Day Island Party” that will feature plenty of food, games, music, and, naturally, beer. Back to that, the first beer is Stag A Lee (6% ABV, 20 IBUs), brewed with toasted coconut flakes. They then took some more toasted coconut flakes and soaked them in coconut rum, before adding to the beer after fermentation was complete. They’re describing it as a “rich, dark, tropical Porter”. Next is Calypso Gator (5.8% ABV, 81 IBUs), a White IPA with “hints of pineapple, grapefruit, and mangoes, with a nice, hoppy balance”. Be sure to drop by the event on Sunday to give these new beers a taste, and take part in the fun!

Do you remember the tasty, tasty release of Glou from Stillwell Brewing back in April? We sure do! It was a 6.2% ABV foedre-aged sour beer that had been aged on New York muscat pomace. In the forum of great news, bottles of Blend 2 of Glou will be released this Saturday at the brewery from 12-4 pm. The base beer for this blend is a sour that had been aging for almost a year in a foedre, atop the very same pomace used for Blend 1. Described as “floral and peppery on the nose, and deep and round in the middle, with a dry and snappy finish”, it sounds like they probably have another winner!

Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove debuted a new beer during their Growler Night at the brewery Thursday. My Old Friend is the barrel-aged version of their Hello Darkness Dark Saison. Sitting for 6 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, the beer picked up some vinous notes, as well as a touch of oak from the barrel itself, which complement the dark malt characteristics in the base beer. The resultant brew is 6.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery and Annapolis Royal Farmers Market tomorrow, with a lone keg being tapped soon at Dartmouth’s Battery Park.

TrailWay is bringing back an old favourite today, with a twist that they’ve brought to some of their other more-popular beers. DDH Dunder is a double-dry hopped version of their “Australian Pale Ale”, Dunder, a 4.8% ABV brew featuring Australian hop varieties. The extra dose of dry hops has increased the “overripe fruit, dank, extremely tropical” qualities in the beer, according to the brewery. You can find cans exclusively at the taproom as of today; it’s also on tap there, and will likely be at a few tap accounts around New Brunswick.

In the heart of downtown Halifax, and brewing on a system barely larger than most homebrewers (😉), Tidehouse Brewing is releasing a pair of brand new beers today. The first is ESB Rights & Peace. Featuring traditional English hops East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, this 6.5% ABV brew is described by the brewery as “Simple and Crushable”. And the second beer joining it is Brew Swayne, a 5.0% ABV light and supremely easy drinking “Lawnmowing beer”, featuring Athanum, Belma, and Cascade hops, though added more for aroma and flavour than bitterness. You’ll be able to judge for yourself beginning at 2PM, when you drop by for a sample, glass, or growler fill at the brewery at 5187 Salter St. Just be sure to park legally while you pop in…

We have two homebrew competitions to tell you about this week, so all of you amateur brewers, pay particular attention!

The first is from Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing, whose competition is named “May the Best (Wo)Man-Darina Win!”. This competition is wide open to any style of beer, but offers a neat twist on traditional competitions: Spindrift wants to supply you with the hops! Wanting to shaowcase three new German hops, your $20 entry fee will include all of the Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, or Mandarina Bavaria you may need for your recipe. We checked, and they say there’s no limit to the amount of hops they’ll send your way! Other hops can absolutely be used in the recipe, but the new-world Germans should make up more than 60% of the total hop mass. The deadline to register is September 14th, and you will need to include your recipe plan with your application form, so they can prepare your hops in advance. The beers are due Friday October 3rd, with the judging by Spindrift employees and BJCP judges happening before the Gala and bottle share on October 13th. The top 3 beers will receive prizes, with the top brewer having the opportunity to recreate their recipe on the Spindrift pilot system for later release, and plenty more hops and SD swag. Grab the Poster, Info Sheet, and Recipe sheet now.

The second homebrew competition is being held this fall by Quidi Vidi Brewery, in collaboration with the Newfermenters Homebrew Club. QV is looking to celebrate the great, and growing, homebrew community by releasing a 4-pack of amateur-brewed beers across the province. There are no restrictions on the style you can brew, and entrants will be welcomed to the brewery to present your recipe, beer, and passion for the craft. Submissions are due October 20th, with the presentations and Awards happening at a later date. The winners’ pack will be available in the NLC in early 2019. You can learn more here, and by emailing your intent to enter (and ask questions) to newfermenters@gmail.com.

Speaking of Quidi Vidi, they are looking for an experienced Operations Manager to join their team, to oversee all of their production. Managing the brewing, packaging, storing, and distribution of their beer is a monumental task, so they are looking for an exceptional candidate to take this on. Supply-chain management experience is an asset, as well as previous brewery and management experience. Check out the full posting here, and fire an email to jobs@quidividibrewery.ca by September 6th to apply.

Just one event to tell you about this weekend, but don’t be shy: get out and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

Fredericton’s The Joyce Pub is holding their second annual sour beer event, Tarte Diem II – 2 Sour 2 Acidulous, tomorrow, August 25th. At least 25 of the bar’s taps will be pouring sour beers from breweries in NB, NS, and PEI; for a sneak peek, check out this photo. There’s no charge to attend the event, just plan your attack and order by the pint or flight! It starts at 3 pm when the pub opens, and goes all day. As always, they’ll be serving their full menu to accompany your beers.

Just a couple more bits to tell you about before we let you go:

After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered has brought back their immensely popular DOA Double Orange Ale, their 2-Row and Citra SMaSH. HOWEVER, Nash has adjusted the grain bill slightly, and while you may not be able to tell right away, there is a second malt in there, so they’re calling it a DMaSH. Either way, the 7.5% ABV Double IPA, 100+ IBU beer is back on tap for pints and growler fills. No cans this time around, we thirsty patrons keep drinking it too quickly to give them a chance to restock! (Original version of the post did not include the DMaSH info, as it was not available at the time of posting)

In Clarenville, Newfoundland, the Newfoundland Cider Company has released their widest variety of blends so far. As part of their Forager series, they are now carrying a limited supply of Elderflower & Rhubarb, Wild Cherry & Rose, Lavender & Black Currant, Lilac, and Spruce Tip blends. In addition, growler fills of their Farm house and Cloudy Scrumpy, as well as 375 ml of Wild & Dry and Cloudy Scrumpy are also available. Drop by their spot at 24 Balbo Drive today and tomorrow, open Friday 1 – 6PM and Saturday 1 – 5PM.

It’s been a blazing hot week in our region (remember all of our jokes back in spring about winter never ending and summer never getting started? Haha.), with temperatures that can only be mitigated by proper hydration. Fortunately, our Atlantic Canada beer producers specialize in tasty liquids to help keep your fluids up. With more hot weather in the forecast, we suggest you might want to stock up on your drive home today or at your favorite beer-enabled farmers market in the morning. And if you’re in the HRM region, maybe check on the status of our newest brewery, The Harbour in Musquodoboit Harbour, as their plans were to open this weekend. Either way you can check our profile from yesterday here in anticipation of their grand opening.

Speaking of new breweries, we wanted to get you up to speed with the progress of ShipWright Brewing in Lunenburg. Located in the same building as The Grand Banker on Montague Street, ShipWright will be launching in August, the first brewery in this picturesque South Shore town. With a 1 BBL (120 litre) brewhouse, and three 400 litre fermentation tanks, they are starting small in their current space, but plans are already in the works to expand to a separate facility on Victoria Road in 2019. With a separate tasting bar located upstairs in the brewery space, the ShipWright beers will add four more taps in the restaurant downstairs, joining the more-than-a-dozen NS Craft Beers currently flowing at Grand Banker. Given their size, production will focus on in-house draught and growler sales, with their expansion offering the possibility of keg sales to licensees and small-format packaging in the future. The brewery is a homecoming for Brewer Kellye Robertson, who grew up in the area before moving to Ontario to take the Niagara Brewmaster’s program, and working at Garrison and launching Spindrift. And for Grand Banker owner Adam Bower, opening a brewery on site is a natural progression of his passion for local beers, as demonstrated in the extensive taplist and events showcasing producers from across the province. Stay up to date with ShipWright’s progress here (including a full profile closer to launch, as well as on their social media pages (FB, IG, Tw).

From a brewery Coming Soon, to one that’s been established for a while, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is celebrating their Third Anniversary this Sunday, July 29th. And to mark the occasion, they are looking to release a beer with a bit of history behind it, thanks to Brewmaster Greg Nash. Dementia is an 8.2% Double IPA with some underlying malt presence, but as the name implies, an insane amount of hops added in the boil, as well as dry-hopped three times during conditioning. Long-time beer fans may remember a Nash beer of the same name brewed elsewhere in the region, so this is sure to stir up some happy memories (or maybe erase them completely!). Grab pints and fills of Dementia from noon today, and then come back from noon Sunday for an all-out bash with $5 pints, bottles of the 2017 Commissar and 2018 Mise en Garde, and Chef Joe Martin working the grill and serving up some great food worthy of pairing.

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co. has brewed up a new beer to celebrate the achievements of one of their local patrons, Danny Frame. Danny recently set the Guinness World Record for most caber tosses in 3 minutes (check out the video on Lunn’s Mill’s Facebook page), and is now aiming to travel to Germany to compete in the Masters World Championships. To help him in his goal, the brewery has released Caber Crusher Stout, a 4.3% ABV, 33 IBUs Dry Stout that they describe as “roasty, rich and smooth”. For every glass sold, Lunn’s Mill will donate $1 to Danny’s fund to compete in Germany. If you’re in the area, drop by and order up a pint to show your support!

While Valonray Farmhouse Brewery, located in MacDougall Settlement, NB, just opened a few months ago, they’ve been busy brewing up a variety of Belgian-style beers. This Saturday, they will be holding another of their bottle releases, from 10am-5pm. This launch will be the first batch (labelled 001) of their Farmhouse Ale, a mixed fermentation Saison. After being brewed, the beer was fermented in stainless for one week with Saccharomyces, before being transferred to a larger stainless tank for an extended aging period, before finally being bottled with a Champagne yeast strain for 3 weeks prior to release. Total time from brewing to your eager hands is about 5 months. Future batches of this Saison will feature rotating yeast strains (both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces), as well as rotating adjuncts (which make up 30% of the grain bill). Coming in at around 6% ABV, batch 001 is showing a tasting profile that includes “funk, slight tropical flavours, and overripe strawberry”. And keep your eyes peeled for another bottle release in August, which will be a limited edition Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel, at over 10% ABV.

Near Fredericton in Hanwell, NB, Niche Brewing has both a newish release and a re-release to talk about this week. First up is a beer that was initially poured at the Big Axe Craft Beer Festival back on July 14th in Nackawic, NB. The second entry in their one-hop Session IPA series dubbed You Had Me At… Mosaic, this 4.7% ABV light and hoppy beer is packed with, you guessed it, Mosaic hops for a fruity and dank flavor profile with plenty of pineapple character. You’ll find this one on tap at The Joyce Pub, Wilser’s Room, and Buddha Bear Coffee Roaster & Holy Whale Brewing Co. (and also at the Buddha Bear Riverview location). It will also be on tap on August 2nd at the King Street Ale House for their IPA Day celebration. Also coming out of Niche this week is a re-release of their popular Belgian-American Pale Ale that they’ve titled Bruges Afternoon. Marrying a Belgian Trappist yeast to modern American hop varieties Azacca and Mosaic yields a light and refreshing beer at 5.2% ABV with both spicy and fruity notes from the yeast, and stone fruit and a tropical presence from the hops. Look for this one at The Joyce, KSAH, Snooty Fox, Graystone Brewing, Tide & Boar, and the Laundromat Espresso Bar.

Down in Liverpool, Hell Bay Brewing has a brand new draught-only beer to quench your summer thirst. Lime and Black Pepper Ale features two ingredients that we’re pretty darn sure you can guess if you think really hard! With a grist that includes Barley, Corn, Wheat and Oats (to help boost the mouthfeel), the brew was hopped with Jarrylo to 28 IBUs. In addition, lime zest and peppercorns were added late in the boil, to give “a refreshing lime flavour and aroma throughout, followed by a slight black pepper kick”, to accompany the otherwise-light beer. It weighs in at 5.8% ABV and can be found at Hell Bay now, for consumption on their outside deck. There IS a chance this beer will pop up in bottles in the future; keep an ear to the ground for that.

Our North friends have been busy brewing new beers, while keeping up with their regular releases, and this week is no exception! Coming out today is Perseid IPA (named after the Perseid meteor shower currently taking place, and scheduled to peak sometime around August 11th-13th), their latest American IPA. This 7% ABV brew was hopped with Jarrylo, ADHA 529, and Simcoe cryohops and Mosaic cryohops (which are starting to become popular around these parts). With notes of “mango, melon, and pineapple”, it’s a super-refreshing hop bomb for summer drinking, and is available in cans as well as on tap in the HRM. Drop by either of the two North locations to pick up a four-pack!

Staying with North, they’ve teamed up with Propeller to brew Whip It!, a “Lemon Meringue Pie Sour”. A 4% ABV Sour Ale inspired “by diner pies of days gone by”, it had several special additions while brewing, including graham crackers, lactose powder, and lemon zest. It’s going to be released next Thursday, August 2nd, at the Propeller Tap Takeover at Battery Park, where you’ll also find a wide variety of Propeller classics and rare/limited edition beers. Note that Whip It! will also be available in cans on that date.

Big news from Northern New Brunswick this week, so let’s start off with a few beers recently released. Distillerie Fils du Roy in Petit-Paquetville is continuing their line of historically-inspired beers with Grande Barbe, La Beausoleil, and 732.
Grande Barbe is a 5.5% ABV Wheat Beer, brewed in the Belgian tradition with spicy phenolics and fruit esters, telling the story of Nicolas Denys, a French aristocrat who explored and founded towns and villages throughout New France in the Seventeenth Century.
La Beausoleil is made in honour of Joseph Broussard, one of many heroes of the Acadian resistance in the Eighteenth Century. Born in Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal), NS, and died in Louisiana, he fought against the British in many skirmishes in what are now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI, alongside fellow Acadians and First Nations fighters. Today, La Beausoleil is a 5.0% ABV Oyster Stout, made with oysters from Néguac’s Maison Beausoleil, located nearby. Bottles are available at the brewery retail shop now, and should soon be available at the ANBL as well.
732 is an American Standard Lager, made in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of Grande-Anse. In reality, Grande-Anse was founded in 1808 by Acadian Simon Landry, borrowing from the Mi’kmaq name of Walayik (Big Cove or Grande-Anse in French). At just 500 bottles of this 4.5% ABV beer, this release will only be available at the brewery.

And big news for all of the breweries of Fils du Roy’s region, as this week saw the launch of the Northern New Brunswick Beer Trail/ Route de la Bière du nord du Nouveau-Brunswick. Featuring 9 breweries from Edmundston to Tracadie the 320 kilometre route also marks the four tourist information offices and 21 restaurants, cafes, and bars that serve the products made nearby. The breweries are, from West to East,  Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Savoie’s Brewhouse, AKA Beer at Au Bootlegger, Four Rivers Brewing Co, 13 Barrels Brewing (coming this fall), Distillerie Fils du Roy, Brasserie du Village (brewing at Village Historique Acadien with the help of Fils du Roy), Brasserie Retro Brewing, and Brasseux d’la Côte. We have the map here for your perusal or printing, or pick one up at one of the many spots along the way. And you can celebrate the official launch at any one of the breweries next Friday, August 3rd, from 5-7PM, to join your fellow beer travellers.

Over at Quidi Vidi Brewery, just outside of St John’s, they’ve got a pair of new beers on the shelves these days. Three Seasons Saison (playing on the “fact” that Newfoundland celebrates fall, winter, winter again, and then spring… although we’re starting to think this may apply to all of Atlantic Canada) was brewed along the lines of a “classic” Saison. Pale-coloured, dry, crisp, and lightly tart, it comes in at a very manageable 5.1% ABV, and 26 IBUs. Next is Folk’d Up, an American Pale Ale brewed in celebration of the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival (happening August 3-5 in Bannerman Park). Hopped solely with Cascade (to 28 IBUs), it has “subtle malty notes, light citrus aromas, and a slight apricot finish”, and clocks in at 5% ABV. Both of these beers were canned, and are/will be on the shelves of your local NLC, so grab a few before heading out this weekend. And for fans of their Iceberg beer, and its iconic blue bottles, the QV Crew is sending out a friendly, but urgent reminder: they are running low on empties, so please return them to your local depot, or direct to the brewery, ASAP. If you do, they may even give you a peek at their on-site bottle washer/sanitizer, which is a massive engineering feat in its own right.

We’ll stick with Newfoundland, as there’s a couple more interesting beers being released there this weekend. In Twillingate, Split Rock Brewing Co. has a new entry in their kettle sour series with Sour Patch B’ys: Squashberry. The squashberry is a red, tart, clustered berry “with a unique flavour, and their aroma might remind you of a walk in the woods”, according to Split Rock. Difficult to find, and locally picked on a recent family hike, they provide the bulk of the flavour in the latest entry in this series (as well as the bright red colour), balanced by the tartness of the lactic acid produced in the souring process. Only a limited supply of this brew is available; you can find it on tap at the Stage Head Pub.

Let’s finish off the Rock with Port Rexton Brewing, releasing a new beer designed to help beat the heat (yes, apparently Port Rexton has had a heat warning for a whopping two days in a row!). Some Day on Hops (named after a description Newfoundlanders use to describe the weather…? Here’s a video for an explanation) is a 4.3% ABV Session IPA featuring a heavy dry hop of Azacca, Huell Melon, and Mosaic. Thanks to these three wonderful varieties, expect a “super tropical nose with a light, mango, pineapple punch, and a light pine vibe giving a tingly-but-present bitterness”. Drop by the retail shop in town this weekend for a growler; they’ll also be pouring Blue Steel, T-Rex Porter, and Chasing Sun (oh, the irony).

Your favourite Amherst craft brewery – that’s right, Trider’s – has a new, summer-drinkin’ beer out this week, a Belgian Witbier (one of the finest of the hot weather beers). The Wit Rabbit was brewed with a traditional Witbier grist, a 50/50 mix of Barley and Wheat malt, and fermented with a Witbier. Sweet orange peel was added in the boil, along with a light touch of Cascade hops for a low, balancing bitterness. Taken in a non-traditional direction, they then added a dry-hop of Triskel, a floral/herbal/citrusy variety developed in France. Cloudy, light golden, with moderately-high carbonation, it’s light and refreshing, and at just 4.5% ABV, can be enjoyed in quantity. You can find it at the Trider’s taproom for pints and growlers now, with some kegs heading out to local licensees, soon.

Good Robot has a new American Pale Ale scheduled to be released for next Tuesday’s Beta Brew, Agricola Street Ale. Described as “very, very light” thanks to a grist made up of Pilsner malt, corn, and rice, it weighs in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV. Hopped with Polaris and Perle to 25 IBUs, the beer is “lightly floral, and nicely balanced toward hop bitterness”. And look for the return of the brewery’s flagship Gose, Goseface Killah, next Thursday… or, they tell us, it could be something completely new. For the love of God, why won’t someone think of the bloggers??

Today marks a very small bottle release in the Upstreet Million Acres series, Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Apricot Cream Witbier. Brewed and added to a few Chardonnay barrels in January, the recipe includes lactose powder in the boil, and apricot puree in the barrel; the lactose adds a bit of sweetness, while the puree gives plenty of apricot aroma and a “nice tartness in the finish”. It’s been conditioning in bottles since April, and is now ready to be taken home with you. Bottles of this 5% ABV Witbier will be available only at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner (max 2 bottles per customer); it will also be on tap at both locations for pours only (no growlers/crowlers).

Beer things are going on this weekend, and next, and maybe even the week after!

Beer fans in Nova Scotia who have limited access to beers from New Brunswick take notice! A tap takeover of NB craft brews is currently underway at the Auction House on Argyle Street and will continue today and probably into the weekend (while supplies last)!! You can check the Facebook Event Page for the full tap list and details, but the summary is that you’ll find beers from: Big Tide, Flying Boats, Foghorn, Grimross, Half Cut, Maybee, Niche, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, and Trailway, many of which have never before seen the shores of Nova Scotia. Tapping began last night, so ideally they’ll open with a full slate this afternoon. A few Grimross kegs are en route this afternoon and may not make it on until later tonight, but everything else is in the house and ready to pour. Happy Hour pricing ($5 pints from 4 – 6:30 PM) will be honored all weekend, which we think will make the Auction House an especially popular spot today after work. Come check it out and enjoy some of the high-quality beers that are coming from our neighbors to the west!!

Bar Stillwell returns to their beer-bringing-from-far-flung-fields-ways tomorrow when five selections from Calgary, Alberta’s Dandy Brewing hit the taps at HQ on Barrington Street and at the Beer Garden on Spring Garden. They’re also serving brisket nachos for the occasion (no doubt made with ‘Berta beef) and rumor has it some brewery folk might be in attendance. And as if that wasn’t enough, next weekend, on Sunday, August 5th, you’ll find an event featuring one of the bright lights of farmhouse brewing in North America, Jester King, at the bar. Not seen in these parts since the last time they came to Stillwell in September of 2015 in a joint feature with Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham, this is a reason for beer geeks to get excited. Next week you’ll find 6 taps pouring farmhouse styles and 6 more beers from their SPON series pouring by the glass. As usual, Chef Graeme Ruppel will be serving a topical menu, this time with Texas-inspired snacks on the go. And you might find yourself imbibing elbow-to-elbow with Jester King’s head brewer, Averie Swanson!! Look for more details (we’re thinking tap and bottle lists) to appear on Stillwell social media as next Sunday approaches.

Next Wednesday is Regatta Day in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Well, it should be, but as the only weather-dependent holiday that we’re aware of, we encourage you to play Regatta Day Roulette, and prepare for Wednesday off. Celebrate at Quidi Vidi for another of their Day Boil event, with the Regatta races livestreamed in the taproom, along with music and pints flowing all day. The doors open at 10AM, with music from The Blue Mood, Hot x Proxy, The Daisy Cutters, and Waterfront Fire. May the odds forever be in your favour!

International IPA Day is held on the first Thursday in August every year, which means that it’s crept up on us and is next Thursday, August 2nd! No doubt that there will be celebrations and special beers throughout our region, and Fredericton’s King Street Ale House is no exception, with their IPA Day Takeover. All 32 of their taps will be dedicated to hoppy beers, from a number of breweries throughout Atlantic Canada. You can simply show up and sample as many as you’d like, or you can also pre-purchase a ticket for $35 (+tax), which will get you twenty 5 oz samples! The fun starts at 6 pm (although the beers will likely be pouring all day); you can buy your tickets here (just click on the IPA Day tab under reservations).

If you’re in the Fredericton area and haven’t been to The Joyce since their beautiful renovations earlier this summer… well, we’re not really sure why you haven’t. But we have yet another excuse to drop by soon, as they’re holding a PEI and NS Tap Takeover on Saturday, August 11th. All taps will be dedicated to craft breweries from both provinces, with many sending representatives to mingle and chat beer! There’s no cost to attend, just show up when you can and start imbibing!

And a couple more quick mentions before we leave you to another summer weekend full of delightful local beer:

– Our friends at Big Spruce in Nyanza have tapped another new one, an Altbier without a fancy name. Weighing in at 5.9% ABV and 35 IBU, it’s malty, bready, toasty and a touch bitter, in short, everything we look for in an Alt. Check it out now at the Sprucetique and possibly at tap accounts throughout the province.

– Fans of Stillwell Brewing’s blended funky farmhouse styles will no doubt be happy to hear that they’re beginning regular retail hours every Saturday at least until the end of the summer, from 12 – 4 PM at their 2015 Gottingen Street location (rear entrance). This week (that’s tomorrow) will feature their two newest releases, Easy and Merryweather, along with some other previous releases and mercy!

– This week Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing sees the return of their popular Shannon Rockwell-brewed Hibiscus City, a dark pink sour brew featuring flavors of cranberry, pomegranate, field berry and lemon with a pinch of salt. This is Volume 2, Number 2 of this beer and limited quantities are available by the bottle and by the glass at the Tiny Tasty Beverage Room on Salter Street.

TrailWay is bringing back their DDHHJH (that’s Double Dry-Hopped Hu Jon Hops), an extra-hopped version of their flagship IPA, today. This is only the second time this beer has hit the market, due to the amount of delicious, pricey hops that go into a batch. This one is going to be available on tap and in cans at the brewery only, so be sure to drop by ASAP to grab some before it’s gone.

Finally, we have to close with some sad news. New Brunswick’s Bogtrotter, a 1 BBL (120 L) brewery that opened two years ago, is closing. Owner/brewer Rod Croucher made a recent announcement on the brewery’s Facebook page concerning his difficult decision. Bogtrotter beers were available on tap at several locations in Fredericton, with 500 mL bottles available for purchase at select ANBL stores in the area as well. We wish Rod the best of luck in his future endeavours.