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Hey, it’s Friday again! Just when we were getting back into the groove after a three-day break, they decided to send another weekend our way, how about that! We’ve got brand new beers, and plenty of events to tell you about across our region, so grab your sandwich in one hand, your beer in the other, and scroll along with us today…

• Down in Lawrencetown in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, the gang at Lunn’s Mill decided to do something special for their 50th batch. Reaching into their trove of favourite recipes, they came up with a double dry-hopped SMaSH beer featuring current darling of North American brewing Mosaic hops. Called Canada Day SMaSH for the simple fact that it was released just in time for the big day last weekend, it leverages a new school technique for dry hopping, namely the addition of the first charge before the completion of primary fermentation, which helps to provide a “juicy” character. The result is a showcase of the hop, with tropical fruit followed by citrus and then a dank finish. There wasn’t a huge batch of it to begin with and it’s going fast, so if you want to get your hands on it you’ll have to get down there for a sample or a growler fill. That said, we’ve been advised that it might very well make another appearance in the future. Meanwhile, in other Lunn’s Mill news, they’re getting the paperwork together to allow for pouring full pints in their hospitality room, which should hopefully happen in the next few weeks. And their 5 BBL Brew-in-a-Conical is ramping up to full production, with a couple of batches already done, including Charming Molly. More beer brewed should mean more availability in other parts of the province.

• Southwestern Nova Scotia’s newest brewery, Heritage Brewing Co in Yarmouth also released a single hop beer for Canada Day, their Citra Session IPA. Cited as one of their own favourites in our profile back in mid-June, it’s now available. Featuring the extremely citrusy Citra hop variety, this beer has just enough base and specialty malt to bring it up to 5% ABV and balance the flavour brought by hops. At 42 IBU it should have a firm, but not distracting bitterness, and dry-hopping should ensure that it’s got a healthy aroma. Grapefruit, melon, gooseberry, passionfruit and lychee are all represented in this easy-drinking summer quaffer. It’s definitely available at the brewery for growler fills and 4oz tasters; hopefully it will appear at tap accounts as well.

• Hopping across the Bay of Fundy finds us in Saint John, NB, where Loyalist City Brewing has released Pink Dwarf, the first of their “Summer Sour” series of beers. Brewed in the Berliner Weisse style with a German Wheat and Pilsner malt grist, it was soured with their own blend of four Lactobacillus strains. Pink Dwarf gets its name from the Dwarf Cherries used in the beer, giving it a lovely pink hue. The tartness of the cherries only serve to enhance the acidity of the Lacto, and provide the unfiltered beer with a sour cherry flavour and aroma. It is currently available at a couple of LCBC’s accounts in Saint John, and on tap at the ANBL growler* stations in Saint John/KV and Fredericton this weekend, along with their Wurttemberg Weissbier. *The growler document is slow to update this week, double-check the date in case it’s not been updated when you read this…

• Also in Saint John, Big Tide Brewing has a very special ale on tap for the second time. Originally designed with Gilliane Nadeau of Uncorked Tours and her husband-to-be for their engagement party, a new batch has been brewed to celebrate the actual nuptials this weekend. ALEtar MatrimoniALE was brewed in the Altbier style, with traditional Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, top-fermenting ale yeast, and hopped lightly with Hallertau Magnum and Saazer hops before being aged for 5 weeks. Light copper in colour, it comes in at 5.2% ABV and a light 20 IBU, smooth as the style goes and easy-drinking enough to be sessionable. Also on the board as of Canada Day is another summery fruit beer that they’re calling Long Reach Strawberry Rhubarb Blonde. Starting with a blonde ale recipe using 2-row and pale malts along with Libery hops to the tune of 20 IBU, they added over 60 lbs. of local rhubarb and strawberries. The result is a 5.4% ABV refreshing beer that walks a fine line between tart and sweet. As long as they last, you’ll find both of these beers available for pints in the taproom and growler fills to go.

• Heading up Highway 7 will get you to Fredericton, where TrailWay Brewing calls home. They have released a pair of new beers in the past seven days, so let’s get you up to speed: Last Friday saw the release of Adore Double IPA, a hazy, juicy, aromatic beer featuring plenty of late- and dry-hopping from AmarilloCitraEl Dorado, and Ella. Smooth and supremely drinkable, despite its 8.0% ABV. Joining Adore is the latest in Trailway’s “Seeing” series, this time featuring Ekuanot (formerly known as Equinox). Seeing Ekuanot is a 6.0% IPA, and for the first time, TW used lupulin powder for half of the dry-hop. On hop cones, the resiny yellow powder are lupulin glands, containing the essential oils and Alpha and Beta acids that are the primary ingredients for which hops are so highly prized. Extraction of the lupulin powder brings out these positives, but without any of the plant material to get in the way. We couldn’t say it any better than TrailWay, “The result is massive flavour and aroma without the vegetative and astringency that can be introduced when dryhopping at these rates with pellets or whole cone.” Both of these beers are available now at their North Side taproom on tap for samples, pints, and growlers, and in cans (but in more limited fashion).

• Still in Fredericton, Grimross Brewing has hopped (see what we did there) on the Summer Dad Beer trend with their new Braunschweig German Pils. Crystal clear and brilliant yellow, it weighs in at a lovely and light 4.5% ABV and features the complex flavour you’d expect from the style. Kegged yesterday, it is already available in the Grimross Taproom and should be making an appearance at the Picaroons Brewtique. And don’t worry if you don’t think you can pronounce Braunschweig, it’s just the German form of Brunswick!

• Heading back down to Saint John and environs, there are two breweries looking to complete their teams for their imminent opening/expansion. Hammond River Brewery is hiring folks for their taproom in Rothesay at 141 Old Hampton Road (adjacent to the Barrel’s Head), which is slated to open next week (all signs point to July 10th later in the week). Contact them via social media for more details.

• The second brewery is Gahan House Port City, which will soon be calling 87 Prince William St home. They are hiring Assistant General Managers, a Head Chef and Sous Chefs. Check out their Careers page and email for more information, and you can expect their location to open this fall.

• The three-bearded beer-banging beast known as 902 BrewCast dropped episode #17 last week, this time with Chad Steeves of Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub talking about craft beer, food, and operating their own brewery. Meanwhile, the boys hit the road this week to the South Shore to visit and record episodes with Bridgewater’s Firkinstein and Shelburne’s Boxing Rock. So if you haven’t already, grab the T&B episode and give it a listen while you anticipate what’s coming down the pike this coming Nine-Oh-Tuesday.

• And speaking of Boxing Rock, word came out this week that the latest beers in their Barrel Aged series have arrived: Barrel Aged Battery Rock and Barrel Aged U-889 made their debut this week after both spent some six months in barrels formerly used at Ironworks Distillery for their gold medal-winning Bluenose Rum. If you’ll recall, Battery Rock was an India Brown Ale specially brewed in collaboration with North Brewing for Boxing Rock’s takeover of Battery Park back in November. What was already a big beer at 9% ABV is now a certified heavy-hitter at 11%. And if you’re worried you’ll miss the hops half a year later, fear not, as a new round of dry-hopping with Citra and Huell Melon took place between the barrel and the bottle. That said don’t expect the hops to express themselves as they would in a young beer. As for the U-889, it also saw a jump from 9% ABV (well, 8.89%, allegedly) to the 11% range after its time in the barrel. A bigger-bodied beer to begin with, expect the vanilla and coffee to have mellowed somewhat and melded with the wood and spirit character. And if you missed the first of BR’s Barrel series, the Barrel Aged Triskaidekaphobia Brown Ale last April, it turns out there are a few of those left as well, now with a year of bottle aging to boot. If you’re interested in any of these beers, the only place we’re sure you can get them is at the brewery, but if we hear tell of them appearing at the private stores in Halifax or one or more of the province’s farmers markets we’ll be sure to let you know!

• Further up the South Shore, Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company has a couple of beers in the works. The first is the return of their Loyalist ESB, a 5.9% ABV and 38 IBU beer that inhabits the upper end of the scale for English Bitters. It’s hopped with the classic English Fuggle hops and Nottingham yeast for a very traditional experience. They’re hoping to keg it tomorrow, so you should find it available in the coming week at the brewery for fills and pints, and later at tap accounts. Meanwhile they’re also putting the finishing touches on their Rhubarb Berliner Weiss, a 4.8% ABV beer that was soured with some 10 – 15 pounds of rhubarb along with Lactobacillus in the fermenter. They’re hoping to have that one available early next week, also by the pint in the taproom and growler fills to go, but this one is also expected to see some distribution for growler stations in the private stores in Halifax. And if you’re looking for something delicious to go with that beer, Saltbox will also be welcoming Backoos Korean Togo for a pop-up tomorrow and Sunday.

• Things are swinging at Horton Ridge Malt and Grain Co. with the advent of their new on-site brewery and tap room. This week they had a new beer of their own pouring, the Island Wheat. Lightly hopped with Mosaic and Azacca for hints of tropical fruit and citrus, the wheat should make it a refreshing sipper for summer weather. And a reminder to check in regularly on Horton’s social media accounts for their tap list. Their own beers are small batch and can rotate fairly frequently as can their guest taps, which have seen some killer brews already in the short time they’ve been open!

• The Good Robot gang on Robie Street in Halifax is keeping up with their Friday Cask in the Sun pledge this week with another variant on their Goseface Killah, this week again featuring arctic kiwis but replacing last week’s watermelon with pineapple. Should make for a super-refreshing and tropical afternoon and evening of sipping on the Gastroturf. And we’d love to tell you about the beer for this coming Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday, but it turns out we already did last week, so go read it there. Due to a last minute change of plan, the Re:Drella brewed by Kelly Costello with Dan Hendricken was bumped to coincide with Dan’s involvement in GR’s next Just Vorlaufs! event also slated for this coming Tuesday. Meanwhile, last week’s beer ended up being the Calypso White IPA brewed by Kelly with new Robot Giovanni Johnson. It was 4.6% ABV, with Cascade, Centennial and Nelson Sauvin hops and a misleading 91 IBUs because it was “definitely still crushable”. So crushable, in fact, that it was gone by 8:30pm.

• For those interested in learning a little more about what it’s like on the business side of taking the plunge and opening a brewery, look no further than the Startup Canada Podcast with Rivers Corbett. Their latest episode, #93, is a chat with Mitch Cobb, co-founder and CEO of Upstreet Brewing in Charlottetown, PEI. Upstreet represents Mitch’s third foray into start-up businesses, so he’s got lots of experiences to share along with, we expect, some hints as to what’s coming down the pipe for Upstreet. Check Mitch’s episode out on iTunes and Soundcloud, preferably with an Upstreet brew in hand.

• We have more detail to add to the previous call for analytical beer testing by the CCNB: ‘‘Free chemical and microbiological testing! The CCNB-BTSC is collecting finished craft beer samples for a study on beer biochemical quality and local ingredients. This is for licensed craft breweries only. The testing includes: %ABV, SRM, IBU, sugars, organic acids, pH, anaerobic/aerobic Lactobacillus strains, etc. Selection will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, so contact them as quickly as possible, as they are collecting a limited amount of samples. If you are interested in participating in the study and getting some free beer analysis and data interpretations that could help optimize your product and/or your brewing process, please contact Jared Christensen (jared.christensen@ccnb.ca 506-475-4029) to get filled in on the specifics of the project.’’ We are also able to share this one-page primer on the project.

Another busy beery weekend is upon us. Shine up your drinking shoes, it’ll be a large few days! As usual, check out our Calendar for everything on the go in AtlCanBeer events, and be sure to let us know if we’ve missed anything!

• Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar is welcoming back Portland’s Liquid Riot Bottling Co this weekend, after their eye-opening visit last summer. With a full range of beers from light wheat beers to hazy IPAs and big stouts, they are taking over the taps at the Barrington Mothership today from 6pm, and tomorrow at the Spring Garden Beer Garden from noon. The LRBC crew will be on hand to chat about their brewery, and have special insight into the Maine brewing scene, through their must-visit sister bar Novare Res. Keep an eye out for the other events Stillwell’ll be hosting over the next couple of months, including a tap takeover by Vankleek Hill, Ontario’s, Beau’s All Natural on August 10th; Le Trou du Diable from Shawinagan and an two-day epic Belgianfest, dates of those are still TBD. Rest assured we’ll be keeping you informed of all of the details as soon as we know!

• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock is celebrating their Fourth Birthday Party all day tomorrow. Open from 11AM, they’ll be featuring brewery tours (2 for 1 discount), live music, washer toss and beer pong all day, plus hosting Axe Throwing from 1:00-3:00 ($15), Finest Kind Food will have a BBQ and corn boil from 1:30-3:30, and at 3:00, there will be cake and the name of their new beer celebrating Shelburne’s Tall Ship Event be will announced (you’ll have to wait until the event mid-August for the beer itself!). More details are available here, be sure to drop by 78 Ohio Road in Shelburne for a great day food, beer, and fun.

• Also happening all day tomorrow, July 8th, is Propeller’s Gottingen Street Block Party in celebration of their Twentieth Anniversary! It’s gotten even more epic and fun and outrageous since we first mentioned it last month, with several more artists signed on, and an expansion of the venues. The fun kicks off at 1:00PM at The Local, just down the block from Propeller, and then at 5:00PM in the parking lot of Seven Bays Bouldering adjacent to Propeller. Both of those shows will run into the afternoon and early evening, with the main event starting at 10:00 PM at the Marquee, where Skratch Bastid & Friends take the stage to keep the street bumping until late. The afternoon events are free and family-friendly, with the tickets for the evening show just $20. All proceeds are going to the  North End Community Health Centre, and donations will be collected at the events (and you can donate online here). Check the full lineup details here. This weekend is also the perfect time to check out the latest Gottingen Small Batch releases, two versions of a California Common, either Sacramento Common (5.5% ABV, 39 IBUs) or San Diego Common (4.0% ABV, 35 IBU). Try them both, and let them know if you’re a NorCal or SoCal kinda drinker.

• In Fredericton, the Ladies Beer Connection is holding their Six Month anniversary celebration next Wednesday, July 12th. The King Street Ale House will be hosting the crew from 6:30 to 8:00, and for just $22.50 (+tax), you’ll receive ten 4 ounce samples of whatever they have on tap. And if you’d like to keep sampling, addition purs are just $2.00 each. It’s a great way to come out and spend time with fellow beer fans from the area, taste your way through KSAH’s offerings, and have a fun evening. Please RSVP today to reserve your spot, and check out more details here.

• On July 13th, as part of the Whycocomagh Summer Festival, the Whycocomagh Waterfront Centre is hosting the Inaugural Whycocomagh Craft Beer Festival. From 8:00 to 10:00 PM, your $20 entry (pay at the door) gets you ten 4oz samples and a souvenir glass. More 4oz samples can be purchased for $1 each. Enjoy live music while sampling beer from Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Gahan House Halifax, Garrison, and Tatamagouche. There will be food to purchase from Crusin’ Cuisine, Laura’s Pretzels, Little Asia, and Sam’s Point Oysters. The WWC is located at 9650 NS-105 in Whycocomagh, NS.

• Next weekend, Picaroons is hosting a Craft Beer Village on Downing Street in Moncton, as part of Festival Inspire. From 4:00-12:00 Friday July 14th, and 2:00-12:00 Saturday July 15th, enjoy plenty of Pics’ offerings, mead from fellow Fredericton business Sunset Heights/Pollen Angels Meadery, plus local members of the Moncton Craft Brewers Collective: Acadie-Broue, Bore City Brewing, Celtic Knot Brewing, Flying Boats Brewing, The Pump House Brewery and Restaurant, Scow Cider du Verger Belliveau, and Tide and Boar. The event is pay-as-you-enjoy, and 19+.

• Stretch your New Brunswick Day (Monday August 7th) into three fun days by running around Fredericton! Hosted by the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, three runs are being held that long weekend: the Sprited Dash on Saturday, Wine Run on Sunday, and Beer Run on Monday.
Fredericton Spirited Dash, Aug 5th 2017: 1 mile dash followed by Cocktail sampling.
Fredericton Wine Run, August 6th 2017: 5 km or 5 Miler followed by Wine sampling.
Fredericton Beer Run, August 7th 2017: 4, 6, & 12 Km run followed by a Beer, Cider and Mead sampling.
Sign up for all three and receive a special gift plus a free carb-loading pasta meal after the Fredericton Spirited Dash Saturday night.
Sign up at RaceRoster today to secure your spots! For those not willing to run for their beer, tickets are available for the post-run Beer, Cider, and Mead sampling on Monday the 7th.

Before you head out today…

– Congratulations to Riverview’s Celtic Knot who brewed up the first batch of beer on their new 4.5 hl (3.75 BBL) brewhouse this week. Look for that beer, and plenty more, in growlers when they open their retail location later this summer, and on tap at more spots in the region thanks to the expanded capacity.

– Oromocto’s Johnny Jacks Brewery have released a new beer, Farmhouse Ale. A Belgian-inspired 5.4% ABV light summer beer, it is available at a couple of ANBL locations, and on tap in their neighbourhood.

Mill Street St John’s has released a new beer this week, Best Kind IPA. Hopped solely with Mosaic throughout the brewday as well as dry-hopping, the finished beer features plenty of citrus and pineapple flavours and aroma, on top of an unfiltered light body. At 6.5% ABV and 58 IBUs, this juicy beer is on tap for samples, pints, and growlers now.

– Halifax’s new cidery on the block Chain Yard had a new offering hit the taps on Wednesday. Lime-Stone Sessional is a lower-ABV offering at 4.8% that features lots of citrus and stone fruit presence, perfect for a hot day on their Agricola Street patio.

– Nothing says summer quite like maple syrup! At least that’s what the folks at Authentic Seacoast (aka Rare Bird) are thinking, as they have released their Maple Ale at the NSLC’s The Port location. The beer is brewed using locally-collected sap in place of all of the water, and the beer finishes at 6.5% ABV. You can also grab a taste of the beer at their brewery at 75 Ferry Road in Guysborough all summer.

– Charlo’s Savoie’s Brewhouse is switching their packaging from bottling to canning, thanks to a new acquisition in the brewery. The first beers to be packaged in cans in the coming months will be Island Lake Blonde and Chaleaur Phantom Amber Ale, followed by Charlo Falls Rye IPA, and Heron’s Nest Porter. Also available at the brewery, and at the adjacent Heron’s Nest Pub, are Sugarloaf Mountain Maple Amber, Herons Island Orange Wheat, Bullers Blueberry Wheat, Bon Ami Strawberry Wheat, and Restigouche River Raspberry Wheat. Look for their version of the Acadian Nut Brown to debut in the fall, along with their Fall Fair Harvest Ale.

– The Calvados barrel-aged coffee we told you about last week from Low Point Coffee Co has now been roasted by Halifax’s Java Blend and packaged for sale. We’ve heard there’s only 50 or so bags of this available (and we’ve spoken for two of ’em!) so if you’re keen to try it out we suggest you not wait too long! Contact them on social media, or go see them at their stall at the Alderney Landing Farmers Market.

– We can now report that WestSide Beer Wine Spirits (aka Cristall Wine Merchants’ new name and location) will be opening at 287 Lacewood (in the former Brewdebakers location) early next week, probably Monday, July 10th. Featuring 8 taps for growler fills, several large coolers, and an expanded floor space for other, lesser beverages, it will be growing several times its current size.

Happy Summer, folks! It sure felt that the warm weather was never going to come, but with temperatures reaching well above 20C in all four provinces this week, we’re finally able to dust off the patio furniture for real, and work on those farmer tans. Let’s get right to the beer(s) you should be drinking!

Lunn’s Mill Beer Company has added a new brew, Anvil, a Porter, to their list of offerings in Lawrencetown, NS. Described by the brewery as being closer to the American Porter style (as opposed to British), it’s smooth and dark, with “hints of roast, chocolate, and dark fruit”. With a moderate bitterness in the finish to balance the malt flavours, it weighs in at 5.8% ABV and 32 IBUs. It was released late last week at the brewery, so only limited amounts are likely still available. But fear not! They’ll be brewing it again soon, and their tasting room has extended their hours (Thursdays 3:30-6:30 and Friday 12:00-6:00). And with three new 5 bbl (580 L) BIACs (Brew-in-a-Conical) arriving, there’ll be a big increase in production at the brewery any day now!

• Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery has released a brand new blend this week, Yard Berry. The base cider of Jonagold and Northern Spy apples was blended with NS High Bush blueberries that underwent an arrested fermentation (aka, stopped short of finishing too dry). The final product features notes of sour cherry, cranberry, and of course plenty of blueberry, with a heavier weight, but clean finish. Drop by their location at North & Agricola and enjoy a glass on their patio.

Western Newfoundland Brewing Company has had a busy spring, brewing up some test batches at their Pasadena location. They currently have three of these smaller batches in rotation (as well as their Killdevil Pale Ale and Wild Cove Cream Ale) at their officially-unofficial taproom, Galliott Studios in Woody Point, located inside Gros Morne National Park. On tap currently is The Hoppin’ McIlroy, a Pale Ale brewed using wild hops from Norris Point, across Bonne Bay from the Studios. Also rotating through are Oat Pale Ale, featuring oats for a creamy mouthfeel and lots of late-hopping for a pleasant citrus and fruit flavour, and the preview for an upcoming wider release, Stout River (formerly Stout #1). Take a drive into the Park, grab a pint and sit on their beautiful wharf, and watch the humpbacks and minke whales that frequent the Bay.

• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing an all-new beer today, the aggressively named Sour M.F. This is a wheat beer, kettle-soured and weighing in at 6.2% ABV. And here we depart from the typical text of an Unfiltered beer release because there’s no IBU number to report, nor are there any hop varieties to name. This ain’t a hoppy beer, it’s a sour, and in typical NASH style, it was rather unsubtly re-fermented on a metric fuckton of tart cherries for a big cherry bouquet. It’s described as acidic, refreshing and bright with a light spicy finish. Probably a beautiful beer for your patio drinking needs on a hot day. Available from noon today for fills at the brewery and pints next door at Charm School Pub.

• Those of us who’ve were lucky enough to share in the beers of Peter Lionais over his homebrewing career have reason to be excited, as there’s a new beer coming out of Tidehouse and it finished at a specific gravity of 1.003. A beer that dry can mean only one thing: Peter’s been into the saison yeast again! Using a blend of two strains, 2 Many Birds is firmly in the saison style, with a balance of earthy and citrus characters from the yeast. A grist of largely Pilsner malt with some Vienna added for character yields a rounded mouthfeel despite the dry finish. Hops in this batch were a blend of the old school Perle, the American darling Amarillo and the Southern Hemisphere newcomer Pacific Jade, for a floral and orange-grapefruity hop presence. The lion’s share of this batch was shipped up to Stillwell‘s Beer Garden on Spring Garden, so look for it to appear there soon, with the balance likely to find a home across the water at Battery Park and for a severely limited number of fills at the retail space on Salter Street.

• Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing put their thinking caps on and developed a “100% Canadian beer”, utilizing ingredients from all four of our favourite provinces. Big Cod Mountain Ridge uses PEI malt (floor malted by Horton Ridge) in the grist, Cascade hops from Moose Mountain Hops in NB, and pineapple weed (tea-infused) harvested in NL by Cod Sounds. Finally fermented by Big Spruce‘s pin cherry-harvested yeast (with some help from Escarpment Labs), the beer – probably best described as a Saison – comes in at 5% ABV and 19 IBUs and exhibits a “Belgian feel”, and finishes very dry.

North Brewing is releasing two beers today, one of which is new, the other, a returning favourite. The new brew is Little Beast, brewed for the North End Runners, a community of local runners who meet every Wednesday at 6 pm at North Brewing for a 6 km run. A 4% ABV “lagered ale”, it was hopped with Huell Melon to 10 IBUs, and features an addition of salt to the boil. North wants you to think of it as a “post-run recovery beer”… sounds right to us! Returning is White Lightning (4.8% ABV), a dry-hopped kettle sour. This time around, the beer is slightly more tart, thanks to the use of a different Lactobacillus starter, and was hopped with Azacca, Huell Melon, and Wai-Iti. Both beers will be available as of today at both North locations, for growler and swing-top fills, as well as in 650 mL bottles.

TrailWay has their brand new automatic canning line up and running, which means more cans for all of us, and less work for the TW crew! It also means new label designs, and packaging dates indicated on each can. Beyond Reality (raspberry Fruit beer) is already out with its new look, and their Rye Pale Ale, Rype, will be available as of today. Finally, the winning American IPA in the first TrailWay Homebrew Challenge is available again (probably for the last time); Hoppy McHazy was brewed by Pierre Gagnon, and features plenty of Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe, for a huge blast of tropical, fruity goodness.

• And the circle of life is complete as we heard from a little birdie this week that the canning line Trailway replaced with their new whizzbang automatic dealio is on its way to Sober Island on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. While we let you consider what that’s going to mean for Rebecca Atkinson and her crew, or, more to the point, for you, gentle beer drinker, we’ll tell you about their latest release, dubbed Kirby’s Canoe Rye Pale Ale. The grist features 11% rye, which will almost certainly provide a spicy note on the finish. We also know that it was dry hopped with both Willamette and Bramling Cross hops, with the Bramling being the focus. This should provide a bright berry character. It’s straw-yellow in colour, with a solid 5.7% ABV and 30 IBU, if you really want to figure this one out, look for it in crowlers at the brewery, on tap at The Henley House in Sheet Harbour and Battery Park in Dartmouth, and appearing at the New Glasgow and Musquodoboit Farmers Markets.

• Heading Southwest along Nova Scotia’s coast, FirkinStein in Bridgewater has their latest experiment on tap and ready for prime time. Sassamanana is a 7.0% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the addition of cranberries and banana to the beer. While the techniques they used are secret (trust us, we asked!), they promise that the light tart character from the berries, and creaminess from the banana will make for a great experience. The beer is debuting at tomorrow morning’s Bridgewater Farmers’ Market. And keep an eye out for the news of their King Street satellite brewery/taproom/retail location, which is poised to open before the end of the month.

• And back to the city, on the waterfront in Halifax, Gahan Harbourfront is now serving up a batch of Flavour of the Monk which was the winning beer in their first annual homebrew competition. Devised (and named) by Ian Wheatley, who you may remember from March’s Lil’Wheatey Tap Takeover at Tidehouse Brewing earlier this year, it’s a Belgian beer in the Trappist Single style, with a pillowy white head and moderate bitterness. The hops used are classic Czech and German noble varieities, giving a floral and spicy nose to balance against the classic peppery and fruity Belgian yeast character. It’s a fairly easy-drinking 5.4% ABV and 35 IBU. Meanwhile, Gahan has quietly become the second brewery in NS to offer crowlers. These 32oz cans let you take beer pretty much anywhere in a convenient package, or let you sock it in the fridge for up to a month. Only Gahan beers are available (no PEIBC or guest taps) and they’re available for $8 from the fridge at the restaurant entrance. Currently available in this format are their Crosscurrent APA, Impatience Sour Brown and Captain Falcon’s IPA.

Maybee Brewing is releasing Old Growth, an Extra Special Bitter, sometime today. The slightly-bigger brother to their Slanty Shanty Best Bitter that originally came out last December, the malt and hop profiles have been tweaked slightly. Horton Ridge floor-malted Organic Pale Malt makes up the majority of the grist, with New Brunswick Goldings hops bringing the IBUs to 44. Exhibiting “hints of honey and caramel”, and nicely-balanced with a firm bitterness, this 5.5% ABV beer is available at the brewery for pints, growlers, and cans. Look for cans to likely appear at select ANBL stores in the future; local tap accounts will also be receiving kegs.

• St. John’s YellowBelly Brewpub celebrated the changing of the seasons this week with the release of Summer Solstice Crystal Wheat. A nod to Wexford Wheat, one of their core beers, this beer features a simplified malt bill with just 2-Row and Wheat malts. Unlike WW, it is filtered, resulting in a bright, crystal-clear straw coloured beer. The hops are also unique to this release, with Pacific Gem and Sorachi Ace used in the boil, with more Sorachi and a second hop during dry-hopping. At 5.3% ABV and 18 IBUs, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser on their patio this weekend at the corner of George Street, or to take-away when bottles make an appearance next week.

• Dropping today is YellowBelly’s latest cider, this one is a blend of dry apple cider fermented with Champagne yeast and sweetened with a touch of unfermented cider, then blended with 6% cold-pressed cranberry juice from the Island’s West Coast just prior to filtration. At 6.0% ABV, the resultant cider is juicy and tart, and thirst quenching for the warm weather (enjoy it over ice to extend the pleasure). On tap today, it should also see release in bottles at the Brewpub next week. And for a hint of what’s to come this summer, YB is currently on the look-out for an experience manager for “YellowBelly Take-Away”, to open at 264 Water Street in the coming months. Contact them via email for more details.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe Brewery has been busy crafting up some new sour beers, after the success of their kettle-soured Partridgeberry Sour and Sumac Sour. Coming up next is their next entry, Strawberry Sour. Initially fermented with a “collection of Brettanomyces and bacteria”, a neutral Ale strain (read: Saccharomyces) was used to finish things off. Real strawberries were then added during secondary fermentation, resulting in a “sourness complemented by a strawberry and citrus aroma” in this hazy, light-copper-coloured brew. Easy-drinking at 5% ABV, you’ll be able to find this one on tap at the brewery, as well as in Fredericton at 540 Kitchen & Bar and the Cider House. Next week should also see the release of Seaberry Sour, an amber-coloured kettle sour brewed with NB Sea Buckthorn berries, resulting in lots of citrus aromas, according to the brewery. This very-limited release will pop up at a few tap accounts.

• We have some great news for you New Brunswick Mead fans out there! Fredericton’s Sunset Heights Meadery has a very large shipment of bottles heading to more than 30 different ANBL locations across the province, starting this coming Monday, June 26th. After a few releases at four locations over the past months, the high demand was apparent; the current numbers hitting stores is ten times the amounts from before. Look for plenty of bottles of Queen’s Nectar, Scuttlebutt, ChaChaChaga, and Latifah to be hitting shelves very soon, with another release scheduled for sometime in early September. You can check the ANBL location list here.

Big Tide has announced that they have a beer coming out soon, LaTour, their entry in the Acadian Nut Brown style being seen more and more in New Brunswick (check out our mention of it in last week’s post for more info). The 2 Row base malt is accented by plenty of CaraMunich and Chocolate Wheat malts for a medium-bodied, malt-forward, 6.5% ABV Nut Brown. Hopped to 27 IBUs with Fuggles for a mild bitterness and earthy aroma. A little past the June 9th official launch date, but that’s ok! It’ll be available at the brewpub for pours and growler next week. And grab a pint or growler of their 4.5% ABV Zippy Pale Ale, as it is sure to run out this weekend.

• Last week we told you a bunch of stuff about Good Robot that turned out to be a week too early (we blame contrails and the Illuminati). To save us some typing, you can catch up on that stuff right here (CTRL-F “robot” <enter>). We have it on good authority this week, that you will finally see the Cream Team cream ale appear this coming Tuesday, June 27th. This will mark the first of the Tuesday Beta Brew releases, heretofore and forever known as BetaBrewsDays. Also heading for Tuesday next, assuming kegs can be cleared in time, will be #2 in the SMaSH Pale Ale series, now officially known as Hey Now (you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play). And lastly, but not leastly, today will see the debut of the Cherry Goseface Killah, so head on down to Robie Street and get yourself some sour, salty brew with a fruit kick.

• Breton Brewing in Sydney, NS, has a brand new summer refresher out, the cleverly-named Miami Weiss, a weizen-style beer mixed with 100% organic grapefruit juice to create a Shandy. At a very light 4.0% and barely there 12 IBU it’s likely to be extremely crushable and perfect for a sunny afternoon on a patio somewhere. It’s already available at the brewery for pints and fills and you should see it make taps in the big city within the next couple of weeks. They’ve also got a third batch of the Stillwell Open-winning Seven Years Pale Ale just brewed and have put down their second lager for aging into early July. We’ll have more information on availability for the former and details on the latter in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you’re in Sydney this weekend and you love beer, why not swing by the brewery and check out Breton’s 2nd Birthday Party, which has been in full swing since kicking off last night. The festivities continue tonight with a Music on Tap event from 4 – 10 PM before tomorrow’s 10 hours of live music, food trucks and cake! Check out the Breton Brewing Birthday Bash Facebook event page and plan accordingly!

• Down in the old A. Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, a new beer is on the horizon, this one being labeled Highland Scottish Pilsner. Taking advantage of the similarities (water-chemistry wise) between the Halifax Pockwock water supply and the classic brewing liquor of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, this brew sees light and grainy Pilsner wed to the round sweet maltiness of Scottish Golden Promise. This will no doubt provide the beer with somewhat more body than a truly classic Pils, while preserving the dry and crisp finish characteristic of the style. The hopping also sees an uncommon marriage, with the classic Saaz combined with its descendant variety from New Zealand, Motueka. At 5.5% ABV and 20 IBU, you’ll find it available for growler fills at the brewery.

• Despite our best efforts, we’re always finding out we’re not quite as on top of things as we like to think we are. Case in point, this week we heard about The Groundswell Inn, located on the Fleur-de-lis trail in D’Escousse on Isle Madame, NS, on the south side of Cape Breton. A bed and breakfast with an attached British-style Pub, they’ve been since last year and feature 8 craft beer taps, one of the largest selections of craft beer, if not the largest, in Cape Breton! We’ve added them to the Brewnosers Good Beer Map on this site, but certainly if you’re planning to be in the area or looking for accommodations or a place to have a pint near Isle Madame, check out their website and look for info on their coming events on Facebook and Twitter!

• Those of us patiently waiting for Big Spruce‘s Silver Tart to be available in cans in Halifax, rejoice! After a run on the cans yesterday, we’ve been assured that there are a few hundred more being delivered to Bishop’s Cellar this morning, in time for your post-work pint. Keep an eye on BC’s twitter feed, as they’ll be sure to announce their arrival. Or, why not make a run up to Nyanza, where you can also enjoy some food, live music, and relaxation courtesy of some Beer Yoga.

Looking for a few things to do in the next few weeks? We’ve got lots to keep you busy, no matter where you are!

• The tap takeovers at Charlottetown’s HopYard continue in full force today, June 23rd, with an Upstreet/North Takeover all day. All taps will be dedicated to the two breweries – check out the event link for a full list – including a new collaboration between the two, Northern Light, a 3.5% ABV, 15 IBUs Session IPA brewed with equal amounts 2-row and Wheat malt, and hopped with Cashmere and Mosaic. Launching at this event, Northern Light will also be on tap at the Upstreet taproom in Charlottetown and Battery Park in Halifax, as well as select tap accounts in both cities.

Horton Ridge is holding the Grand Opening of their brewery and taproom tomorrow, June 24th, starting at 11 am. A selection of NS craft beer will be on tap for purchase, including – of course – several of the releases from Horton Ridge, which are only available at the brewery/malt house. Singer/songwriter Caleb Miles will be performing at 6 pm, and the Let’s Eat Beer food truck will be serving up some beer-infused items all day (all proceeds will be going to Atlantic Canadian charities). Games, tours, and door prizes will be rounding out the day, so drop by and bring the family!

• Back to Upstreet, who will be having their 2nd Birthday next week, and like last year, will be celebrating with the launch of a new beer in their annual De Novo series. De Novo II is a Belgian Saison brewed with Maritime malt, New Brunswick Goldings hops, and fermented with a Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces blend. The result is flavours of “light candy and funk”, backed lightly by a dry finish and hop bitterness. This already-dry beer will get more so over time, as the Brett continues to chew away at residual sugars, increasing the amount of funk character in the beer (and, quite possibly, carbonation… you’ve been warned!). The De Novo II Release Party is next Thursday, June 29th, at the taproom, from 6-10 pm. There’s no charge to attend, just drop by for some music, cake, and pick up some hand-bottled De Novo II while it’s available!

• All year, Propeller Brewing is celebrating their 20th Anniversary, with several initiatives and collaborations and events planned. The details of their official Anniversary Party have been announced, taking place July 8th. From 2-8PM, they are taking over the parking lot of their neighbours Seven Bay Bouldering, and inviting some great local bands to play free concerts all day, also featuring games for young and old alike, beer specials, and plenty more surprises. After the day’s fun, the party moves a few feet down the block to the Marquee, where Skratch Bastid and friends will be playing starting at 10PM. With tickets priced at $20, this is a steal of a deal, but even more so when realizing that 100% of profits will be going to the North End Community Health Centre, just down Gottingen from Propeller, and their favourite charity. Check out the FB Events page for more information, and grab your tickets for the show at the Marquee before they sell out.

Heritage Brewing Company celebrated its soft opening this past weekend at 19 Kirk Street in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Heritage is the brainchild of four friends from the Yarmouth area, who, after years of homebrewing and toying with the idea of going pro, decided to make good on their plans. We caught up with partner Jason Murphy to learn more about Heritage’s past, present, and future.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are four friends who decided to get together and open this brewery, all hailing from the Yarmouth area. Jeff and Albert are both teachers, Jason is a vice principal, and Drew works in heating and ventilation.

How did you get into the world of beer?
Albert and I (Jason) went to an NSTU function, where various businesses were invited to come and promote their products. The Yarmouth Brewing Centre (an excellent homebrew supply shop in town) was there, and sold us on the idea of “Just Add Yeast And Water” boxed beer kits. We thought we were making great, cheap, beer and were feeling pretty good about ourselves until we went to Rudder’s and had their IPA! It was an excellent beer, and we decided we needed to do better than our boxed kits. We bought two turkey fryers, a mesh bag for BIAB and some grains, hops, and yeast. Over time, we have slowly built up from a 5 gallon homebrew BIAB system with plastic bottles for packaging, to a 55 Gallon Blichmann RIMS system and kegs.

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
We have been talking about it for years, we love the craft beer we have tried around the province, but one thing we kept saying was that our beer was as high quality as some of the bigger craft breweries. I (Jason) have always been a bit self-conscious about our beer, but as we kept giving more and more out, to more and more people, we kept feeling more confident and encouraged to move forward with it.

What is the ethos of Heritage Brewing Company?
We want to show our pride in our community ,and our love for beer. All of us are from Yarmouth; some of us moved away for a number of years, and have come back to settle down and have families.
I think our logo is a play on the idea of our love for beer combined with a well-known Yarmouth landmark. We had a friend who came up with the idea, and a great local artist (Danielle Mahood) who drew it up for us.
We, like other small breweries, believe every town should have a locally-owned and -operated brewery. We want people to buy beer, and talk about beer, with the people that actually make their beer! We want to be a part of a positive change in our downtown area and help build the economy in our home town.
As we start to release names for our beer you will also see many of them reflect the history and culture in Yarmouth.

Do you have an approximate opening date?
After our soft opening this past weekend, we will be open Thursday afternoons 4-8PM and Saturdays 10AM-4PM. We will make it a rather quiet affair, to see what kind of kinks we run into, before we do a grand opening in the next couple weeks.

Can you tell us about the beers you currently have available?
We are starting with an Amber Ale, Blonde Ale, Session IPA and a Stout. As a small brewery, we believe we have the flexibility to respond quickly to our customers’ tastes and we have excellent Cream Ale, Double IPA, Porter, Brown, Red, and Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat recipes all ready to go. (In fact, we have our Red and Cream Ale in fermenters at the moment, along with Rhubarb in the freezer).
We are really excited to offer our Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat. We made it last summer, it was so much work and so messy we swore we would never make it again no matter how good it was. After tasting and giving some away, the feedback was so positive we have already started freezing rhubarb and tracking down strawberries.

What are your plans for distribution? How can folks enjoy your beer?
We are offering growler fills (both 0.95 and 1.89 litres) on site, along with tasters (4oz). We have been in discussion with local establishments to have our beer available to customers on tap and in bottles, distributing bottles to restaurants in the coming weeks. We do not have a tap room at this time, but we do have hopes and plans for expansion.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
Yes, I think it is really important to thank the guys at Tidehouse Brewing Company. We have sent them an awful lot of messages and questions and they have been extremely helpful and quick to give advice.
Alan from Meander River Farm and Brewery allowed us to spend a day there talking beer while he gave us tips and pointers, which were really helpful in completing our business plan.
As fellow teachers, we made contact with Schoolhouse Brewery as well, and Cam was more than willing to talk beer with us, and give us advice that we really appreciated.
We have been blown away with the support other craft brewery have been willing to give us and are really excited to be part of this industry.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next few years?
We hope that our system will be too small to keep up, and we will be able to expand rather quickly and add a taproom to our brewery.

What type of system are you be brewing on?
Currently we have an electric 180 litre (1.5 BBL) system, with 8 fermenters. We hope to produce and sell at least 350 litres per week.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
I think all four of us have slightly different favourites, though our single hop Citra Session IPA is one of our personal favourites.
Between the four of us, we have been to a lot of craft breweries, especially between Yarmouth and Halifax, and we have found something we like at each one.

How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
I am a fan of heavily-hopped beers, and dark roasty beers. The Citra and Chinook hops are my favourite to work with, and our customers will taste that with our Citra Session IPA. We will also start off with a great Stout followed by a Porter and Brown ales, that will showcase my passion for dark beer.

Thanks to Jason and the Heritage crew for sitting down with us and giving us a behind-the-scenes look at their new brewery. As mentioned above, drop by the brewery today (and every Thursday) from 4-8PM and Saturdays 10-4PM to grab a taster and growler, and keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook and Twitter pages, where they’ll be sharing the newest beers available, and the details of their Grand Opening Party. Congratulations!

The NB Liquor Corporation has announced that they will be reducing the price of 24-packs of several domestic beers later this month. The prices of Alpine, Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Moose Light, and Sleeman Clear will all drop by $7 to $35.99. While a trial period of discounts on multiple 24-packs was implemented last year, this new change will be permanent. The drop in price is being financed solely by the ANBL, with revenue losses of $7,000,000 expected annually.

We spoke with ANBL’s Mark Barbour for how they expect these changes to affect the local beer producers. Barbour shared data that during last year’s trial run, sales in craft beer was up more than 20% over the same period in 2015, the solid growth apparently undeterred by deep discounts in domestic beer. “There are two distinct beer drinking profiles in the province, those who choose domestic beer, and those who choose craft,” he went on to say. He suggested the possible spillover effect of a cheaper domestic beer might even allow the value drinker a few extra dollars to try the local beer offerings. When asked if discounts would be applied to locally-produced craft beer, he responded that they would not, but added, “The ANBL is very invested in the development of the Craft Beer Industry in New Brunswick, providing circa $2M annually in subsidies annually in the form of a reduced Markup Structure.” Both last year, and with this announcement, the ANBL denies that it is reducing the price to compete with lower-priced beer in Quebec and Maine, but as the sole retailer of domestic beer in the province, it is difficult to deny the reality of the situation.

We also reached out to Stephen Dixon, owner of Grimross Brewing, and  President of the NB Craft Alcohol Producers. He expressed concerns that these price reductions were done without any consultation with the small local producers, who learned of the price change through the media like the general public. “Part of ANBL’s mandate is to participate in the development of the liquor industry in the province,” Dixon says, “The province in general would reap more benefit if ANBL and the New Brunswick Government worked towards creating a better environment for the development of NB-based producers.” The delineation between value and craft beer drinkers is not so cut and dry, Dixon believes. “Those that currently drink either (craft or macro industrial beer) will be enticed to the macro beer with these big discounts”, he explains.

The implementation of the permanent price change is puzzling: as last year’s trial wound down, the ANBL stated (from a CBCNews article in October 2016), “Although profitable, the beer promotion had a negative impact on overall profit margins”. And that was with the price reduction shared with the participating breweries, not solely a burden on the ANBL. With this move costing ANBL something like $7M annually, we feel it important to note who the likely beneficiaries are. Certainly not the average New Brunswicker, who will potentially see a reduction in the Government’s coffers. Licensed establishments who serve the same macro beers might not be happy to see the discrepancy between what a patron pays per beer at home vs. what is paid at a bar grow even wider. The “value drinker” will surely see a benefit, we suppose, but we believe it will more likely be viewed as, “It’s like getting every 7th case free,” rather than, “I’ll take that $7 and buy something I wouldn’t normally buy.” The ANBL’s stated mission is, “To responsibly manage a profitable liquor business for New Brunswick,” which certainly seems countermanded by a seven million dollar writedown, unless you buy the argument that they are fending off competition, which is an interesting notion for a company that effectively operates as a monopoly in their market. Perhaps this is anticipation of the provincial trade barriers being lowered, but we also note that the Canadian Free Trade Agreement only specifies a working group to provide guidance around interprovincial alcohol trade and they’ve got a year to develop it. So their recommendation isn’t due until June 30th, 2018, let alone any resultant action. The real winners here then, are the producers of the beer being discounted. While one, Moosehead Light, is a NB product, the others are all owned by multinational conglomerates who will likely see sales increase at no extra cost to them. So more money is potentially leaving the province than before. Meanwhile, craft producers will now be competing with even cheaper mass produced products readily available in every market around the province. We suspect it would cost much less than $7 million to eliminate all excise duties on craft producers in the province, a move that would likely see more money staying within the borders of the province. It’s interesting that ANBL chose instead to stimulate sales for out-of-province producers instead.

What about the fans of locally-produced, small, independent beer? We don’t anticipate those drinkers to switch to the bigger brands because of a cost savings; if a difference in price was the primary issue, we wouldn’t have been drinking craft beer for all this time anyway. We drink craft beer because we like the taste, and having it produced in the Atlantic provinces is just another positive aspect. However, everyone has to start their love of craft beer somewhere, and for those who are currently drinking macro, this cost reduction is just one more reason for them to stay away from craft beer, stifling the amount of growth that could potentially be seen in the craft beer market. This means that local breweries (and other businesses associated with them, such as hop growers, beer tour companies, etc) may not flourish as well as they should. If the ANBL can’t see that, it doesn’t seem to us that they’re standing behind local breweries as they claim to be doing.

And for those readers in PEI and NS, PEI Liquor has said they have no plans to reduce the price of domestic beer to compete with the ANBL*; there has been no specific response from the NSLC as of yet, only that they are “assessing their options”.

*Update (June 6): PEILC has reduced the price of Alpine, Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light, Canadian, and Moose Light to $39.99, “for a limited time, while supplies last”.

Welcome to June, loyal beer readers and drinkers! It’s already been a busy week, with the announcement of the winners at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and the opening of Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Company’s taproom and pilot brewery. We’ve got plenty more news to share with you today, so grab that coffee stout and take a few minutes to get up to speed. Look for our take on the ANBL domestic beer price reduction shortly.

• Kicking off the beer release news is FirkinStein, located just outside Bridgewater in Mount Pleasant, who have released a new beer this week, called Tempus Fugit IPA. At 8.0% ABV, many would consider it a Double IPA (and it is packed to the gills with hops like one), including Cascade, Citra, Perle, Saaz, and Mosaic! It’s got a strong bitterness and prominent hop aroma, and is a touch drier and quite a bit lighter in colour than their flagship IPA, Cut of Our Jib. Tempus Fugit will only be available at the brewery and their market stalls. Meanwhile, Bishops Cellar in Halifax has been carrying the first bottled offerings from FirkinStein and have sold out of the Rock Your Boat Oatmeal Coffee Stout. But fear not, you should see their Amber, Nor’Easter appear there sometime in the coming week. And watch this space in the coming weeks for news of a new retail space for the brewery.

• Over to New Brunswick, where Shediac’s Flying Boats Brewing is releasing the first in a series of beers for the summer. Galaxy Session IPA kicks off the lineup by featuring a very popular hop of late, the Australian variety Galaxy, which is known for a blast of tropical passion fruit and citrus characteristics. The beer comes in at a very sessionable 4.7% ABV, which should make for easy drinking in the summer sun. This one will appear on tap at the James Joyce Pub in Fredericton as well as at ANBL growler stations (probably Dieppe and/or Moncton). Keep an eye on Facebook for Growler Alerts to find out when it’s coming up in rotation! Brewer Marc Melanson will be introducing more beers in this series as the summer goes on featuring either single hop varietals or blends, and we’ll try to let you know about every one of them!

• And moving across the Northumberland Strait to the Island, we told you last week about the North Brewing Taproom Takeover this afternoon at Upstreet. One of the beers you’ll find if you’re lucky enough to be at that event in Charlottetown is a beer co-brewed by Upstreet’s Mike Hogan when he was in Halifax a month or two back. Holiday Island is an IPA in the session range, at 5.1% ABV, with pale, honey, and kiln amber malts making up the grain bill. It was hopped to 35 IBU with Azacca, Belma, and Pekko, three recently released American varietals that promise to provide a big hop character. And if you happen to see the gang from North at this event or back in the HRM, be sure to congratulate them on their twin gold medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards!

• Saint John’s Loyalist City released their latest single-hop IPA to the wild this week, El Dorado. Ther El Dorado hop varietal lends an intense tropical fruit aroma of mango and stone fruit, and a light tweak to the base recipe gives a lighter body and slight sweetness to match the hop character. The beer is available now at Cask & Kettle, and a few other spots in the Uptown area.

• Dartmouth’s Nine Locks released a new one earlier this week, a red ale they’re calling Brewer’s Choice Ginger Rye. This is a dusky red ale that is full-bodied and features subtle caramel notes and hints of ginger on the palate. It’s got a long finish enabled by the astringency of the rye and wheat malts used and an assertive spiciness that we suspect comes from both the rye and the ginger. It’s not a big beer at 5.6% ABV and certainly not overly bitter at 15 IBU, so expect it to be on the malty side of the spectrum. This is a limited release, so you’ll only find it at the brewery for now and possibly appearing at licensed taps around the city over the coming weeks.

• Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has a special small-batch this week, made with oft-overlooked apple varietals. Geneva Crab Rosé is an 8.6% ABV blend made with a blend of dry cider from 100% hand-picked local Golden Hyslop crabapples, with fresh-pressed juice from Geneva Red crabapples added post-ferment for a brilliant colour and tannic character. The resulting cider has a significant tart finish, and is only available at their cidery on Main Street for a limited time.

• In addition, Annapolis has released their latest Something Different, Sangria Cider. The 7.0% abv Sparkling Cider was created by blending cool-fermented dry cider with a dry red wine from locally sourced Frontenac Red grapes. This blend was then finished with fresh-pressed apple juice, as well as juice from oranges, lemons and limes. From Annapolis, “With aromatic notes of citrus and crisp apple and the characteristic hints of cherry, blackcurrant and plum from the wine, this lively and refreshing rosé-hued cider is the perfect patio sipper.” As with all of their Something Different releases, $0.50 will be donated to a local charity. This releases beneficiary is L’Arche Homefires in Wolfville, who provide meaningful work opportunities for adults with special needs.

• Fredericton’s Red Rover Craft Cider released a “very limited” batch of a special treat yesterday. Wyld is a cider that will appeal to those who are drawn to farmhouse funk and sour styles. Fermented with wild yeast, this is a still cider, which should accentuate the yeast character, and also quite dry, weighing in at 7% ABV. This small batch is only available at their cider house for pints or flagon fills to go, so get it before it’s gone. Meanwhile, Red Rover has plans for some more special treats in the next month that we’ll be sure to tell you about as their respective releases approach.

• And in even more cider news, Muwin Estate Wines in the Annapolis Valley, the folks who bring you Bulwark Ciders, are launching a new line of fruit-forward ciders under the label 7 Shores that will appeal to both regular cider drinkers and those who are new to cider. Like their Bulwark products, these are built on a base of freshly-pressed 100% Annapolis Valley apples, but one with slightly less tannins for a smoother palate. They also sport a significantly lower ABV, at a very quaffable 4.8%. Two flavours are available out of the gate, Peach Vanilla Bean and Strawberry Lime; look for them to appear soon at NSLC stores around the province.

• It’s been almost six months since we’ve had a new SMaSH from Greg Nash at Unfiltered Brewing, when the Simcoe-laden Danko was released back in November; so today’s release of Hops & Dreams is a special day. This one features Amarillo, one of the brewing industry darling hops of the 2010s and a varietal known for imparting a juicy orange, grapefruit, and stone-fruit character. In short, a perfect hop for another East Coast/West Coast DIPA marriage that no doubt features the magic of Mr. Nash’s proprietary SMaSH technique. It’s 8% ABV and 100+ IBU, but like its five brethren, it probably drinks a whole lot easier than the numbers would suggest. So as you wobble back to the fridge for glass number 4 from that growler, don’t say we didn’t warn you! It’ll be available for pints and fills from noon today on North Street at the brewery and Charm School Pub.

• Those who attended the Friday session of the CBANS Full House event earlier this month had a chance to try a brand new collaboration beer from 2 Crows and 2/3 of the motley crew from 902 BrewCast (1/3 had his beard caught in a rocking chair). And those folks liked it so much that they drained the keg that night, leaving none for the Saturday attendees, who are clearly not bitter about it. In ACBB exclusive news, there’s good news afoot: 2 Crows is releasing a limited run of cans of that beer, In Theory, a Galaxy and Azacca dry-hopped sour fermented with wild yeast, this coming Tuesday! Bright, tart, tropical, juicy and eminently crushable at 5.1% ABV and 18 IBU, you’ll also find it on tap at the brewery the day cans are released. So plan to grab a pint and see what all the fuss was about before you grab some cans to go!

• And speaking of the 902 BrewDudes, they released the fifth of their May #902sday episodes earlier this week, featuring a sitdown with Brian Titus, Daniel Girard, and Jeff Green of Garrison Brewing. At over 2 hours in length, there is plenty to digest about their 20 years in operation, including false starts, the lean years, and their expansion(s) to the Halifax Seaport. Grab the podcast, and a can of the much-lauded JUICY! Double IPA, which is now available at the brewery, and releasing shortly at the private stores (and NSLC in a couple of weeks). From the brewery, “Dank, hazy, and lushly tropical. This double IPA delivers waves of mango, tangerine and pineapple without the bitter hit.”

• One of the Annapolis Valley’s small breweries is fixing to get bigger. After opening in February of this year with a 1.5bbl system, Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill is already planning an upgrade to 5bbl; their new equipment should be on the way from the West Coast by the time you read this. They’re not waiting on delivery to increase their presence, though, as starting today you’ll see them opening Fridays from 12-6pm in addition to their previously established Thursday hours of 3:30-6:30pm. They’ve got growler and grunter fills available, or feel free to try a flight of 5 beers for $10. And if that’s not enough to draw you in, they’ve also got a limited quantity of their Stillwell Open category-winning collaboration with Boxing Rock, April May and Juniper pouring!

•  As first reported by local blog Halifax RetalesCristall Wine Merchants in Bedford has confirmed that it will be closing, and re-opening under a new name, this summer. “WestSide Beer Wine Spirits” will be opening at 287 Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, in the former Brewdabaker’s location. The larger location will allow for bigger selection, expanded cold storage, 8 growlers taps, and the ability to control their opening hours. Stayed tuned for more details and dates.

There’s lots going on in our region this weekend and the next few weeks…

Stillwell is holding a pair of mini-tap takeovers this weekend at both their Beergarden and Mothership on Barrington. Today at BGonSG, there are three West Avenue ciders pouring now, with a Beausoleil Oyster pop-up starting this afternoon. Tomorrow from noon on Barrington, there will be 3 kegs and 5 different bottles from Toronto’s Bellwoods available for enjoyment.

PEI Brewing Company has been quietly releasing small pilot brews and special beers through casks and kegs at their brewery taproom and Halifax’s Stillwell for a couple of years, but they are now naming, and officially launching, this line of beers as the After Hours series. According to PEIBC’s Brewmaster Chris Long, “This series is a way for the brewers to scale up ideas that we’ve had for new beers without committing to 50 hectoliters of it. Some start on a pilot system, and we’ll have a 20 litre keg to put out there. Others are lower risk and start out on the 5 or 7 bbl system at one of the Gahan locations. These beers will be available on tap at the PEI Brewing Company taproom, select bars and restaurants in the Maritimes and through the growler programs at your local liquor stores.” In celebration of this, PEIBC is taking over the taps today at the new bar.1911 at 113 Longworth in Charlottetown. From 4 PM, there will be twenty different pilot- or small-batch beers, including favourites like Impatience Sour Brown and Milk Stout, as well as brand new offerings, such as Scimitar Black IPAStrawberry Pale Ale, and Barrel-Aged Brett Pale Ale. The brewers will be onsite to answer your questions (and hear your suggestions for the next brews!), and music will be provided by Bridgette Blanchard, Nudie, and Alex Madsen of The Divorcees. Check out the details on their Facebook page.

• The BrewHopper app has launched in Fredericton, and they are holding their first tours this weekend. Starting today, thirsty visitors can hop on and off the BrewHopper bus as it takes them to the busiest beer spots on both the North and Southside. The app allows all ticketing/tracking to be done electronically, akin to ride-sharing apps available in other areas. Using the BrewHopper App (for iPhone and Android), you can track the bus’ route and exact location, use it to warn you when the bus is getting close, and take care of your payment, too. The River Hop will run every Friday through the summer (including today) 6:00 PM-12:15 AM, and take folks to both North and Southside locations (DJ Purdy’s, GrayStone, King Street Ale House, James Joyce, Picaroons Roadhouse, Mama’s Brew Pub, and Trailway Brewing), while the Hill Hop runs Saturdays 4:00-11:30 PM, and stays on the Southside (DJ Purdy’s, GrayStone, Grimross Brewing, Maybee Brewing , James Joyce, and Red Rover Ciderhouse). There are more maps, and details on the Fredericton page. Even if you will not be going on the tour this weekend, grab the free app to learn more about the stops, and to watch the bus icon scoot around the city. And if all goes well, the BrewHopper will be expanding to other cities, including Halifax and Ottawa. You can learn some more on the BrewHopper Facebook page as well.

• A reminder that the launch of the St. John’s Beer Tours is this weekend as well, with their Scuff & Scoff tour running today, the Ultimate Townie Brew Tour tomorrow, and the Hoppy Highlights Tour Sunday. Check out their calendar page for ticket details and purchase, and we’ll see you out on a tour soon enough! Check out our previous mention of it for more details.

• Drop by the Tide & Boar tomorrow for the launch of a unique beer they brewed onsite. Joined by members of the Moncton Beer League, this Pale Ale features Green Bullet and Pacifica hops, on a Pale and Vienna Malt base, with additions of local Chaga throughout the brew. The flavour of the Chaga comes through as earthy and woody. Pouring from opening at 10AM, visitors can grab a pint in a special Moncton Beer League glass (to keep), do pay-as-you-drink, or grab a growler to go. Speaking of growlers, in addition to Chaga Pale Ale, their Robot Food IPA and Killington IPA will also be available for sale to take away.

• The ANBL is celebrating the new Craft Beer Room at their York Street location with its Grand Opening this Saturday, June 3rd. From 11 AM-3 PM, drop by for free tastings, food pairings, prizes, and drop-bys from local brewery employees. The room is unique within the ANBL system, and features some beers available nowhere else in the province (or the rest of Atlantic Canada, for that matter!). The York Street inventory is available online, skip to the Beer section to spot beers from across the Maritimes, as well as from Dunham, Epic, Evil Twin, FiftyFifty, and more.

A. Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery in downtown Halifax, home of the firm’s small batch beers, will be hosting a Community Party to celebrate the launch of their special edition growlers next Thursday, June 8, 5-10:30 PM at the historic Alexander Keith’s Brewery. No tickets are required for the event, which will feature food and 4 special casks from brewer Stefan Gagliardi: a new Pilsner with Motueka hops, an Extra Pale Ale with experimental hops, a Stout with Heart of Africa coffee from Laughing Whale and an Oak-aged Stout with Vanilla Beans. You’ll be able to tour the brewery, play some pub games and enjoy live music.

• The next Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection event has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 14th. From 6:30-8:00 PM, meet with your fellow beer fans at Graystone Brewing for a flight and tour of their facilities. Tickets are $13, and can be reserved by emailing the organizers. Learn more on their FB page.

The Coast is holding the Summer Launch Food Truck Party on June 15th, at the Museum of Natural History on Summer Street in Halifax. In addition to the 20+ Food Trucks/Vendors, there will be at least six local alcohol producers on-site selling their wares: Chain Yard Cider, Garrison, Good Robot, Meander River, Nine Locks, and Spindrift. The event runs from 4-8 PM, and more details are available here.

• Events celebrating the Central City Across the Nation epic twelve beer collaboration are being finalized, with the Picaroons event happening June 16th, and Garrison’s on the 17th. Look for details on the PEI Brewing Company and Quidi Vidi events next week.

• Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing Company is holding a Pig Roast at the brewery June 17th. They are having the Crowne Plaza taking care of that task, while they cover the beer and entertainment for the evening. Exact details are not yet available, but mark your calendar now, and keep an eye on the FB event page for ticket details.

• While over a month away, tickets to the Big Axe Beer Festival are selling fast, so we wanted to be sure you had the inside info. On July 15th, at the base of the World’s Largest Axe, more than twenty breweries/cideries/wineries from the Maritimes, Ontario, and Maine will be pouring beer in Nackawic. Tickets are available that include bus transportation from/to Fredericton or Woodstock, as well as DD options. Check that link for the full list.

Plenty of parting shots this week before we let you get back to your beer:

– In addition to the In Theory release today, 2 Crows tapped the last keg of their wine ‘n wild yeast-fermented Crosswired earlier this week. If you’re lucky, there’s still a few glasses left!
– Halifax’s Good Robot is re-releasing some favorites this week. Their APA Burban Legend will return to the taps in its v2 form (dry-hopped with Cascade and Amarillo) in the next few days and the Goseface Killah will be back for early summer refreshment as well. We’ll have more news from GR in coming weeks with the second in their SMaSH(mouth?) series and a serious step up in their BetaBrew releases.
– Quispamsis, NB’s Hammond River Brewing is hoping to be brewing in their new expanded brewhouse by the end of next week. Until then, look for the first batch of the season for their Watermelon Wheat on tap at the Barrels’ Head Gastropub & Wine Bar in Rothesay.
Picaroons is also back with watermelon action, as their Melonhead has returned for another year, this time featuring a cat named Whiskey on the label. On tap and in bottles at the Picaroons Roundhouse and The Brewtique and on it’s way to The General Store in Uptown Saint John, The 5 Kings Restaurant & Picaroons Brewhouse in St. Stephen, and to ANBL locations throughout New Brunswick.
– This past Wednesday marked a new era for Propeller fans in Halifax, after 20 years, their Gottingen location is finally licensed for full pints! We’re not totally sure about their serving hours, so you may wish to check ahead, but if you’re in the area definitely stop in, say hello, and grab a pint!
– Down in Digby, NS, Roof Hound is debuting a new menu today, promising to “step things up in every way.” Don’t forget, brewer/owner Les Barr was a finalist on Masterchef Canada, so don’t take that statement lightly. Meanwhile, their non-alcoholic Blueberry Lemonade Soda is once again available for the designated drivers and kids in your crew.
– Eastern Shore’s Sober Island Brewing has announced their next beer to be released in the coming weeks. Kirby’s Canoe is a 5.0% ABV Rye Pale Ale, a light-bodied and -coloured beer featuring floral and citrus aromatics, along with the representative spiciness found in beers featuring rye malt. Look for it to appear on tap at their current home at Henley House, and during the market runs before the end of the month.
– Fredericton hopheads can rejoice that Trailway has a small batch of Green Island available in cans at the brewery, alongside some more of their hoppy wheat ale, Patio. And speaking of patios, they’ve got one at the brewery now and it’s opening today! Drop by Saturday for some beer and wood-fired goodies from Milda’s Pizza.

 

Horton Ridge Logo

The Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Company opened in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley in 2016, the first commercial malt house in Atlantic Canada. Owner Alan Stewart has been farming and running Stewart’s Organics for more than 30 years. Malting Organically-grown grains from their own fields, as well as other farms, their variety of malts and adjuncts have found buyers across the Maritimes. On Thursday, June 1, they are opening a small brewery and taproom at the Malt House, to showcase their malts in beers brewed onsite, as well as by their customers. Six taps have been installed, three of which will feature Horton Ridge brews. For the other three, Organic stalwarts Tatamagouche Brewing and Big Spruce Brewing will have dedicated taps, and the final spout will rotate through beers from other breweries that use Horton Ridge malts. We caught up with Alan to ask him some questions about how they decided to start brewing, their initial offerings and plans for the future.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am sixth generation farmer in Hortonville, with the oldest certified organic farm in the Province. I ran away from the farm after high school to get several engineering degrees, but beat it back to Hortonville upon graduation.

How did you get into the world of beer?
We came into the beer business by way of its most important ingredient, malt. We opened Atlantic Canada’s first craft malt house a year ago.

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
Malting always made sense to me, it is a farming maneuver; we are harnessing the natural processes that occur during the germination of the seed. I did not know much about brewing, but what I did find out after a while that our malt was significantly different from macro malt that the craft brewing industry depends on. Recipe substitution was not the answer, replacing industrialized macro malt with floor malt is like replacing industrialized enriched white flour with stone ground whole wheat flour. We wanted to be part of the process whereby recipes were developed around our malts. It also did not hurt that we have a highly visible location next to Highway 101 in Nova Scotia’s bread basket with a quickly developing culinary scene.

What is the culture of the brewery?
Our brewery tag line is “From Grain to Glass”, we will be making beers from malts made on-site. We consider ourselves a malt house first, and a brewery second. Our goal is to highlight the role of agriculture in brewing by showcasing the growing and malting of grains. Another important aspect of what we do is to increase the economic footprint of brewing by allowing brewers to replace imported malts by those made here. In the fullness of time, the economics will get even better as we develop our malting grains growing capabilities. We have been able to access regionally grown grains (mostly from PEI) more quickly than we had anticipated, very happy for that. Since we have been farming organically for so long, we did not hesitate to have the organic philosophy extend to our malting and brewing operations. In our opinion we are providing the opportunity for brewers to extend their “craft” value chain. There is a cultural discontinuity of a “craft” brewing industry that relies on industrialized macro malt.

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially? Any seasonals or one-offs in the works?
We have two beers nailed down. The first is Malt House Ale, it is made of equal parts of our Two Row, Vienna & Munich malts. It is hopped with Summit. It is intentionally malty with a pronounced bready finish. The second is Rye’s Up Local, made from 50% PEI barley, 25% PEI wheat & 25% of rye that we grew ourselves. We would like to round out the pan Atlantic aspect of this beer by accessing a suitable hop from New Brunswick. We have recently started malting oats from PEI, so we are working on an Oatmeal beer. We have a good working relationship with our neighbour Just Us! Coffee, so you can look for beers finished on coffee, tea and chocolate.

Where will people be able to enjoy your beer?
We will be selling our beers out of our taproom only. We will sell them in flights, pints & growlers & bottles.

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We have absolutely no plans to sell our beers outside of our taproom, with the possible exception of winter growler sales at the Wolfville Farmers Market (where I was a vendor for 23 years). We purposely undersized our brewery to leave room to bring in beers that our brewery customers make with our malts. At least half of our taps will be those beers. All of the beers served out of our taproom will be based on our malts.

Have you had any assistance from breweries in Atlantic Canada?
We did not want to get drawn into the “beer style” thingy right off the bat, we wanted to let the beers end up where our malts took them. To that end we employed the DIY approach. We certainly appreciate the support from our largest malt customers, Big Spruce and Tatamagouche Brewing.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
At the moment we have no plans to scale up, we want to continue to highlight malt forward beers to our taproom patrons and malt customers, and to provide an outlet for the beers made by our customers.

Switching gears to the brewing system, what type of system will you be brewing on, and what is your expected output?
We have a 120 litre system from Stout Tanks & Kettles, brewing 3-4 times per week during the summer.

Can you tell us about who will be running the brewhouse?
Our brewer Stephen Mastrioanni has been brewing for 2 years, and has been brewing with our malts from day one. He has a good handle on the malt.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
I do happen to like malty beers, have gotten over hops. My “go to” brewery is Sea Level, it is close by, and I appreciate Randy’s support along the way. I also look forward to the offerings of Tata & Big Spruce that we bring back after making deliveries there.

How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
Of course, for us, it’s all about the malt.

Thanks to Alan for answering our questions and sharing the details on the new brewery and taproom! Current plans are to have the taproom open 7 days a week from 11am to 8pm. Bar snacks will be available, including pickled eggs “powered by” free range hens who are fed a malt-based chicken feed sourced from Horton Ridge. They’ll also be offering 1 liter growler fills (Horton Ridge beers only) – they’re happy to sell you one or you can bring your own (clean!) one to be filled. So if you’re in the area or planning a trip that way, be sure to drop by 2504 Ridge Rd in Wolfville (the Malt House is visible from Exit 10 on the 101), and keep your eyes peeled to their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the latest news and events.

CBAC logo

The 15th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference was held this weekend in Ottawa, featuring brewing and branding seminars, an exhibition floor with suppliers and manufacturers, and culminating in the Gala event on Saturday night where this year’s winners were announced. The results are in, and our local brewers fared quite well in the 60 categories of beer and cider. Congratulations are in order to Mt. Begbie Brewery in Revelstoke, BC, for taking home Brewery of the Year honours, and to Indie Ale House, whose Spadina Monkey Cherry Sour Mash took home Beer of the Year.

Also during the Gala, Halifax was announced as the 2018 CBAC host city, and so we will be welcoming the country’s best beer and breweries to our region for first time since Fredericton hosted in 2014.  Emily Tipton, CBANS President, had this to say, “After just hosting a successful craft beer week showcasing our breweries from all over Nova Scotia, having this national event come to Nova Scotia next year is a testament to the growth of the industry here, and the great support for great craft beer by Nova Scotians.” We’ll share all of the dates and registration details when they become available.

Here is a summary of the local winners for 2017; the entire list of winners is available here. Congratulations again to the winners!

European Style Lager (Pilsner)
Bronze: La Kedgwick Pilsner – Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Edmundston, NB

Bock – Traditional German Style
Gold: Stayin’ Alive – Boxing Rock Brewing, Shelburne, NS

Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss)
Gold: Vohs Weizenbier – Uncle Leo’s Brewery, Lyons Brook, NS

Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale
Gold: Gus’ 65m Ale – North Brewing, Halifax, NS

Belgian-Style Brett Beer
Silver: Patience – PEI Brewing, Charlottetown, PE

Porter
Bronze: Porter – Propeller Brewing, Halifax, NS

Dry Stout
Gold: Muddy River StoutPump House Brewery, Moncton, NB
Silver: Keefe’s Irish Stout – Granite Brewery, Halifax, NS (the submitted beer was brewed at their sister location in Toronto, ON)

North American Style Premium Lager
Bronze: Moosehead Lager – Moosehead Breweries, Saint John, NB

Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager
Bronze: Cracked CanoeMoosehead Breweries, Saint John, NB

Session India Pale Ale
Bronze: Vic Park APA – PEI Brewing, Charlottetown, PE

Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Gold: Midnight- Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian – North Brewing, Halifax, NS
Bronze: Hell Street – PEI Brewing, Charlottetown, PE

CIDER

New World Cider
Silver: Bulwark Original – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS

Cider with Other Fruit
Gold: Bulwark Blush – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS
Bronze: Sid’s Wild Blueberry Cider – ShipBuilders Cider, Windsor, NS

Cider with Herbs/Spices
Gold: Sid’s Chai Cider – ShipBuilders Cider, Windsor, NS
Bronze: Bulwark Hopped – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS

Specialty Cider
Gold: Bulwark Rum Cider – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS