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Wow, what a #NSCraftBeerWeek so far! Aaron and Chris had a blast competing in the Stillwell Open last Sunday and hosting Craft Beer Trivia on Wednesday night at Timber Lounge, and everyone is getting excited for this weekend’s conclusion, the Full House Craft Beer Fest in Halifax, which will see beer from 30+ breweries from across the province! Here’s your latest news on what to keep an eye open for this weekend in Nova Scotia, and across our region:

• Starting off the Nova Scotia new beers, uh, news, North Brewing released a couple earlier this week. Midnight, their Glenora barrel-aged Belgian Strong Dark Ale (aged with Brett Q, a Brettanomyces strain isolated from a barrel-aged sour beer from Quebec), was re-released yesterday in 650 mL bottles. This 10.5% ABV monster has notes of dark chocolate, tart cherry, stone fruit, oak, vanilla, and whisky, and is one of those beauties you know will benefit from picking up an extra or two for aging; it’s available at both bottle shops. And last Sunday saw the release of Betroth Ale, a Braggot (think beer and mead mixture) created for North employee Brad’s wedding. Brewed with honey, heather, and yarrow, this was North’s Stillwell Open entry last weekend. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV and 9 IBUs, it’s available in bottles and for growler fills at both locations.

• Another debut at Sunday’s well-attended event was from Breton Brewing. They teamed up with homebrew collective extraordinaire Brathair Brewing to put together the winner in the Amber category, Seven Years, a New England Amber Ale hopped to the gills to produce notes of juicy tropical fruit, citrus and pine. Although more heavily hopped than Breton’s flagship Black Angus IPA, it’s less bitter, at only 25 IBU. And at 5.2% ABV it’s fairly sessionable, with slightly sweet flavours and soft mouthfeel contrasting with the hops to give an overall gentle impression that suggests, “maybe I’ll have another one of those…” This one won’t be canned, but it will be available in kegs and growlers from the brewery, and likely for growler fills in the HRM at some point. You’ll also see it appear at various tap accounts throughout the city as well.

• Also claiming a win at the Stillwell Open, this time in the pale category, was the collaboration between Annapolis Valley upstarts Lunn’s Mill and South Shore stalwarts Boxing Rock, April, May and Juniper, a saison style ale. This brew features juniper berries, a primary component in gin, with an aromatic profile that marries nicely with the classic French Saison yeast used for fermentation. This 6% ABV beauty sold out awfully quickly at the Open, but is available in bottles at the private liquor stores in HRM, and for growler fills at Boxing Rock’s Seaport Market and Alderney Farmer’s Market stalls (both formats are available at the brewery in Shelburne, natch).

• Let’s continue on with Schoolhouse, who will be releasing their latest beer, Staffroom Stout, at this weekend’s Full House Craft Beer Fest. Brewed with 40 L of cold-brewed coffee from local roasters T.A.N. Coffee, the brewery describes it as a “rich and smooth Oatmeal Stout, full-bodied with a mild coffee bitterness”. Quite drinkable at 5.5% ABV, it should also be available starting today at the brewery’s taproom (open 3:20-8 pm today, 11-8 Saturday and Sunday) for samples and growlers, and in bottles. Schoolhouse will also be re-releasing their previous collaboration with Good Robot, Scratch Plaskett – Electric Tambourine Wheat Ale, next Wednesday, also in bottles and on tap. And hopefully joined by their patio shortly thereafter! And be sure to drop by their booth at the Full House event Friday and/or Saturday, as they will be making a big announcement to their loyal fans!

• Debuting late last week, and pouring at this weekend’s Fest, is a brand new offering from Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing. Brier Rose is a 4.5% fruit beer, featuring rose hips harvested from Brier Island. The malt bill uses a combination of Pale and Munich malts (totaling 85%) from Horton Ridge, and the beer was fermented European Ale yeast. The combination of fruit and malt come together for a vibrant hue to enjoy while sipping the beer. If you’re not able to catch the Full House, it will also be available at their booth at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Winter Market Saturday morning.

• Reminding us that it’s not always about beer, Annapolis Cider Company has released the latest in their Something Different series. Earl Blue is a blend of cool-fermented dry cider made from local apple varieties (including Golden Russet and McIntosh), along with juice from NS-grown wild blueberries, and freshly-pressed apples. Not stopping there, the blend was cold-steeped with Earl Grey tea leaves (a black tea flavoured with the addition of oil of bergamot), “to add tannins and structure”, according to Annapolis. The result is a sparkling, “blush-hued cider with aromatic notes of citrus and earthy, wild blueberries that finishes with a hint of bitterness from the tea”. Coming in at 6.8% ABV, it’s available now at the cidery. The recipient of the $0.50 from each refill will be the Wolfville School Playground Fundraiser.

• One of the grand-daddies of Nova Scotia craft beer, Propeller Brewing in Halifax, announced yesterday the hiring of a new Head Brewer. Cameron Crerar is a native of Tasmania, Australia, where he cut his teeth as an Assistant Brewer with Moo Brew . From there, he travelled halfway (or more!) around the world to take a spot as Brewer with Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in the hamlet of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. The Propeller gig is Cameron’s first as a Head Brewer and he brings with him from his previous positions a combination of creativity and large-scale brewing experience. Look for him to continue the 20-year tradition begun by Propeller President John Allen while bringing new ideas and interesting limited edition beers to the taps. We suspect Cameron might be somewhat recognizable by an accent…if you run into him, consider buying him a beer and asking about his celebrity beer story that features Justin Timberlake.

• On Robie Street, Good Robot is bringing a new beer out this week that’s geared for the hot summer weather (which we’re assuming will happen; at some point; eventually). Koji Kondo named for the man who composed many of Ninendo’s classic video game themes, is a “Sake Beer” containing a preponderance of rice, with only a small portion of barley (2-row and Pilsner) in the mash. It’s also a single hop beer, leveraging the divisive Japanese variety Sorachi Ace for bittering and flavor/aroma in the kettle, as well as whirlpool and dry hop additions. And if that wasn’t Faaaar East Coast enough for you, the yeast used to ferment this beer is the same used to ferment sake, Japanese rice wine. We don’t suggest you drink this beer warm though. At 5.2% it’s fairly sessionable, and it’s certainly not a bitter bomb at a paltry 9 IBUs. What it is likely to be is an exceptionally crisp, dry, fruity and light, possibly non-beer-like beer that might be just the thing for a sweltering summer day on the Gastroturf.

• If you’ve been worried about a lack of three-brew release and double tap takeover weeks from 2 Crows, you can rest easy. Jeremy and the gang are still up to all kinds of no good, starting with the release of In Theory, the kettle-soured, Brett-fermented, dry-hopped (with Dr. Rudi) 5.8% ABV beer brewed with the crew from 902 BrewCast. This pilot batch will only be available for on-site enjoyment, and at this weekend’s Full House, and not much of it, so be sure to drop by today. But good news, the guys dropped by earlier this week to brew a full batch of In Theory, which will be available in wider distribution next month. And if you drop by soon enough, you may be able to grab a pint of Nervous Waters before it kicks, a 6.6% Belgian Dubbel released during last weekend’s Open Brewery Day. Also look for a couple of small canning runs of two of their seasonal beers, the Fantacity (note pronunciation) Witbier and the Midnight Mood porter. You’ll find these on the shelves in the fridge at the brewery as long as supplies last.

• During your drive/walk/toktok to 2 Crows, listen to the latest podcast of theirs to drop, featuring Peter Burbridge, Emily Tipton, and Brian Titus of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, during which they talk about the mandate and goals of the CBANS, NS Craft Beer Week, and plans their respective breweries have for the near future. After getting your fill at 2C, take a turn towards the water and hit Bishop’s Cellar, who the 902BC gang partnered with for the release of a curated 7-pack of beer, including an exclusive run of Cedric the Great Double IPA from Bad Apple Brewhouse.

• In bigger news, however, and news that is shared with both 2 Crows and new kids on the block Stillwell Brewing, the next time you find yourself on Brunswick Street, poke your head in and check out the beautiful wooden vessels now on display in the brewery. These are foeders, big-ass wooden barrels previously used to age spirits. 2 Crows have four, two of which formerly held cognac and two that housed the classic French apple brandy Calvados (for 65 years!). Stillwell Brewing have two, both from cognac. And you know what folks? These things are going to be filled with beer. And then that beer is going to sit there in those barrels while we wait. And wonder. And wait. And wonder some more. Chances are it’s going to come out even tastier than it was when they put it in. And then that beer is going to be made available for sale and we are going to be a happy, happy beer-loving region. FULL STOP.

• Pivoting away from Nova Scotia now, Fredericton’s TrailWay has released another brand new small-batch beer this week, their second iteration of a Hoppy Sour Ale. El Generico was kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus pitch, and heavily-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a German variety that has been referred to as the country’s version of Galaxy. Expect notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and a unique flowery-fruity character from this hop, to go along with the sourness and crispness of the beer. At 3.8% ABV, it’s available right now at the brewery only, in cans and on tap for pints and growler fills. Expect this brew to change constantly for awhile, as the brewers at TW experiment with the hop profile.

• Beer fans in New Brunswick have likely noticed Tatamagouche Brewing beers popping up on tap at various bars and restaurants across the province. If you’ve been upset you haven’t been able to take Tata home with you, good news! The first Tata cans should be appearing in ANBL stores any day now. The brewery’s Kolsch, North Shore Lagered Ale, will be the first brand to hit. While it may be awhile before other Tata beers follow, rest assured it WILL be happening!

• In St. John’s, Mill Street Brewpub has been busy getting some beers ready to go – three offerings hit their retail counter earlier this month, and have been moving to the main draught system ever since. The first was Rowhouse, a lager in the Czech Amber style. It features big aromas of caramel, coffee, and graham crackers in a 5.5% ABV and 12 IBU package. The subtle hop aroma from the noble continental Saaz variety should complement the malt flavours nicely. This one is named for the famous “Jellybean” row houses in downtown St. John’s and might be just the thing to get you through Sprinter.

• Next is the Round Da’ Bay, an American Pale Ale, which will hit the taps earlier this week. This style emerged as a New World adaptation of the classic English Pale and Mill Street’s version has big American hop aromas of Pineapple and Grapefruit thanks to a hefty addition of Mosaic hops. It’s 5.3% ABV and a fairly hefty 50 IBU, with a solid malt bill and some sweetness characteristic of the style; it’s also got a touch of wheat to smooth things out and provide some extra body, perfect for a day of dreaming about camping out “Round Da Bay”.

• And finally, we have the return of an old favourite, RDF Hefe. “RDF” stands for the triumvirate of Newfoundland weather, “Rain, Drizzle and Fog.” It’s 5.7% ABV and 25 IBU, same as it ever was, and is a wheat-based ale in the classic Hefeweizen style. With a bright golden color, long-lasting foamy head and classic banana and clove esters from the yeast, this is a malty and refreshing brew. They have also put together a special cask for Mothers Day, with RDF as a base, but adds strawberries and partridgeberries and was primed (carbonated) with an addition of Purity Syrup! Even better, Moms can enjoy a free pour from the pin when they drop by Sunday.

Here are the latest events on our radar:

• The culmination of NS Craft Beer Week is the Full House, taking place at the Halifax Forum Multipurpose Room over the course of three sessions: tonight 6-9PM, and Saturday 1-4, and again at 6-9PM. 32 breweries from across the province will be pouring their best beers, with plenty of great food to keep you happy as well. We don’t have to sell you on this one, we know you’ll want to go! This is your chance to check off beers from across the province that are not normally available in HRM, and to chat with the passionate folks who make them. Also keep your eyes open for booths from Mashed In Beer Gear, The Brewnosers, 902 BrewCast, and Ladies Beer League.

• If you won’t be able to make it into town Saturday for the Full House, we highly suggest dropping by the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish to grab a pint of Half Cocked Brewing’s beer. Located in North Grant, and launching this summer, HC has been brewing up some pilot batch with Terry on the small system upstairs, and is debuting another one Saturday in the Pub. And of course, while you’re there, be sure to grab a pint of Terry’s Bitter, or Stout. Keep an eye on Half Cocked’s Twitter and IG to find out when it goes on tap.

• Whatchagonnado on Sunday morning when the grim reality that Craft Beer week is over and your white charger-pulled carriage has turned back into a pumpkin hits you like the proverbial ton of bricks? We suggest you give some consideration to heading on down to Good Robot where they’re promising to triage that hangover and maybe help you get ready to face interaction with normal people again. Festivities start with Yoga in the beer garden at 11am (Yeah, 11am. You think you’re going to be up before 11? Pffffft.) From there, it’s coffee and beer pairings featuring Bottleneck Coffee Co. (strangely now spelled “Low Point Coffee”) and some of the most crushable and sessionable (read: low alcohol) beers from various NS breweries. Rinaldo’s will be there to help you get some food in that troubled tummy and there will be an oxygen bar to recondition those lungs after that pack of darts that you totally don’t remember buying. This event is “Come as you Are”: wear your hangover outfit, whether that’s bathrobe, pyjamas, loungewear, three-piece suit with tails, whatever. But come out, and lament the end of Craft Beer Week in style.

• Up on the Rock, the ladies of Port Rexton Brewing are planning a big presence for the BBQ tap takeover tomorrow, Saturday, May 13th, at the Merchant Tavern in St. John’s. A bevy of PR beers will be available, along with Texas BBQ from Toronto’s renown Smoke Signals Barbecue, and additional libations from Lot 40 (Canadian Whisky of the Year) and JP Wisers while brand ambassador Dave Mitton teaches a master class on Whisk(e)y. If any of those things strike your fancy, let the Merchant Tavern know, remaining bookings for this one are likely pretty low!

• As if they need to reinforce their status as utterly mad men and women, the motley crew of saucy suds slingers at Stillwell have upped the ante once again by scheduling, get this, a Tuesday Tap Takeover for May 16. Seriously. Tuesday. And this isn’t some mincing, fraidy-cat, “not-sure-how-this-brewery-will-go-over-in-Halifax thing,” this is the very successful, multi-award-winning Sawdust City Brewing Co. out of Gravenhurst, Ontario (“Gateway to Muskoka” is the phrase you’ll recognize if you’ve ever driven that stretch of highway). Bringing core favorites like the Lone Pine IPA and Twin Pines IIPA, as well as collaborations that became regular offerings like Little Norway Pale Lager originally brewed in Norway with Arendals Bryggeri, and some new school collaborations with Southern Ontario bright lights like Burlington’s Nickelbrook, Toronto’s Bar Hop and Ottawa’s Tooth & Nail, Stillwell’s going to do their very best to get you fired on a Wednesday morning. Maybe be careful with the Long Dark Voyage to Uranus (Imperial Stout, 9.5%), the 11.05 (Belgian Tripel w/ Brett, 11%), the Princess Wears Girlpants (American Saison, 9%), and the Old Dirty Bastard (Barrel-aged Saison w/ Brett, 10%)? There’s lots more besides those ones, the full tap list is on Stillwell’s Twitter feed.

• The Moncton Beer League is holding their second Flights ‘n Bites: Whisky and Beer edition on Thursday, May 25th at Bistro 33 in downtown Moncton, from 6:30-9:30 pm. Featuring a variety of pairings of Whisky, Scotch and Bourbon with craft beer, food items from Chef Marc Surette will also play a role. Tickets are $55 each and are available now, and also include a custom-made Belgian-style glass to keep.

• And in other MBL event news, tickets are also now on sale for the next Urban Beer Hike, being held on Saturday, June 17th. This downtown Moncton walking tour will take you to five beer bars where you will sample multiple craft beer and food pairings at each location. The event runs from 1:15-5:30 pm; tickets are $49 each. Follow along on the event page for updates as to which bars will be visited, and where to meet for the beginning of the tour.

A few more beer-droppings to tell you about before signing off this week:

Hammond River has released a new iteration of their Two Rivers Black IPA (originally brewed with Big Axe), with this one being hopped entirely with Citra. Look for this one (7% ABV, 77 IBUs) at your favourite HR tap account.
Petit-Sault now has their summer seasonal Witbier, Tante Blanche (4.7% ABV, 18 IBUs) back on shelves and on tap in local bars, just in time for warmer weather (it IS coming, right?).
– Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has canned up a small run of their Dynamite Trail Hefeweizen, Holy Mackerel Pale Ale, and Nun on the Run Cream Ale. Grab them from the brewery for the perfect cottage accompaniment, and ask for them at your favourite local establishment, including Oh My Cod.
– There are rumors afoot that Stillwell is gearing for the opening of their Beer Garden on Spring Garden Road, possibly as soon as later this month. Stillwell Brewing is also apparently brewing up something special in the lager vein specifically for the venue, and communication with Backoos Korean Food about a Beer Garden pop-up have allegedly taken place. Summer 2017 is fixing to be immense.
Unfiltered‘s monster of a DIPA, Warning Label (10% ABV, 100+ IBUs), has returned; big, bold, and hoppy, this batch differs from the first in that no oak has been added this time around. Drop by Charm School today to get your fill (but go easy, ok?).

The third annual Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week is nearly upon us! It is presented by the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, whose member base includes 34 breweries from across the province. With events scheduled May 5-14 and from Sydney to Yarmouth, we thought it would be helpful to put them into a Calendar that can be added to your favourite app/phone, and a Map to help plan out your travels for the week.

As always, if we’ve missed an event, please hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, we are @ACBeerBlog on all of them, and we’ll add it to our list. Use #NSCraftBeerWeek to stay on top of the latest goings ons. Be sure to say Hi! if you see Aaron or Chris (or both, on Wednesday at The AXEcellent Trivia at Timber Lounge!). Cheers to Local Beers!

NS Craft Beer Week Calendar

Click the top-right to switch views between Week/Month/Agenda.

Add this to Outlook or iCal.

NS Craft Beer Week Map

Click the top-left button to see the legend (there’s a layer for each day, can select only those days you would like).

Click the top-right button to embiggen the map in a new window.

Another week of wild weather in our region, with snow and recording-breaking cold throughout the Maritimes, and a wayward iceberg in Ferryland, Newfoundland. Rest assured warmer weather is on its way, so put off going outside a little longer by reading today’s beer news…

• After launching a few months ago with two flagship beers, Think Brewing (located in Harvey, New Brunswick) has a new brew circulating at their tap accounts in the province. 150 Red IP-eh is, as you’ve probably guessed, a Red IPA brewed in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. With the goal of being “balanced and drinkable” with a bit of roast flavour, this reddish-coloured ale was hopped with Amarillo, Citra and Columbus (with the focus on Citra), providing some citrus and tropical notes to complement. Weighing in at 6% ABV and 53 IBUs, you should be able to find it on tap at the James Joyce, Isaac’s Way, and Hilltop in Fredericton, as well as Lemongrass and Cask & Kettle in Saint John.

• Today, Garrison will be releasing their latest collaboration brew, Mon Cerise. Brewed with Halifax’s own Good Robot, North, and Spindrift, this “Cherry Belgian Lager” is made up of 2-row, Munich, and Crystal malt, and was hopped with Brewers Gold to just 12 IBUs. Aged on sour cherries, the beer is reddish-amber in colour, and has a “slightly tart, mellow cherry aroma, with a  sweet maltiness”, according to Garrison. Effervescent, clean, and crisp, it weighs in at 5.4% ABV and will be available on draft only, at Garrison, Good Robot, Spindrift, and Battery Park.

• In Fredericton, Mama’s Brewpub has re-released their Great White Ale, a crowd favourite of the brewery’s attempt to perfect the Belgian Witbier style. With a grist comprised of 2-row and Wheat malt, as well as a touch of Crystal malt thrown in for color and flavour, the beer is lightly hopped with Perle to 16 IBUs. Plenty of fresh orange zest and ground coriander was added towards the end of the boil; as well, this batch had a new addition – 11 lbs of lactose powder, also at the end of the boil. Brewer Ryan Kingston says the lactose was added to provide a “smooth, silky sweetness” that elevates this batch above others in the past. At 4.3% ABV, this easy-drinking beer is selling fast; it’s still available at the brewpub for pints and crowlers.

• Also in Fredericton, Red Rover released a new cider yesterday, Blossom. This 7% ABV, semi-dry cider was created in collaboration with Flourish Fest, a Fredericton-based music and art festival running from April 20th-23rd. Featuring additions of hibiscus, coconut, pineapple, mango, and lemon, you can definitely expect some interesting flavour experiences with this one! Developed as an exclusive for festival venues (including the Cider House and Capital Complex), it will also be appearing on tap at Graystone, as well as Halifax’s Stillwell, in the near future.

2 Crows released a special brewery-taproom-only beer yesterday afternoon, sure to kick soon if you’re not careful. Crosswired is a straw-coloured, 5.3% ABV and 27 IBU hazy brew, with a grain bill featuring pilsner malt, along with malted oats and wheat. Columbus was used for first wort hopping, with late- and dry-additions of Citra and Hallertau Blanc, lending serious citrus, fruity, and floral aromatics. The real fun comes from the yeasts used to ferment the beer, as a hybrid of beer and wine yeasts were employed to get the job done: Sacch Trois and Lalvin 71B (Narbonne). Sacch Trois is a Sacchromyces yeast formerly thought to be Brettanomyces, based on the acidity and unique funky, mango, and pineapple aromatics that can develop. The classification was corrected after the producer, White Labs, did further genetic testing, and concluded that while the yeast displays many Brett-like characteristics, it was in fact Sacchromyces. Lalvin 71B is a wine yeast, isolated by the INRA in Narbonne, France, and is particularly well-suited for use in Pinot Gris, Rosé and Riesling wines, due to its high and long-lasting ester (fruit aroma) production. The resulting beer has plenty of wild “funky” character to it, with light floral and earthy notes as well. Do not wait to try this beer, as the only 20 litre keg of the beer is on now at the taproom, available for enjoying onsite only.

• 2 Crows is also bringing back one of their early launch beers, Brettango Mango. This 7.5% ABV, 64 IBU IPA was fermented solely with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, a strain originating from Brussels, Belgium, and classically found in lambics and other “wild” beers. After primary fermentation, mangoes were added to the fermenter, as well as a big blast of Citra for more citrus character. The batch size was ramped up from their initial release, but at only 300 litres, it won’t be around for too long. Look for the announcement on their social media this weekend, with a Saturday evening/Sunday afternoon most likely.

• Finally in 2C news this week, they have brewed up a beer with The Barrowdowns, an alt-folk band from Halifax. The 6.3% ABV American Pale Ale features a load of West Coast hops, including CentennialChinookCitraColumbus, and Simcoe, but at a light 43 IBUs. The only way to grab a pint of the beer is at one of The Barrowdowns shows, the first of which is tomorrow, at the Seahorse Tavern. The first 40 people through the door will receive a pint of the beer with their cover charge, and will also have a chance to name the beer. The winner will receive tickets to their May 19 Album Release Party, the next time the beer will be available, plus a copy of the album. More details on the tomorrow’s lineup are here.

Pump House has released their first new beer in a while, Albert County Maple Ale. Marketed as a “malty amber ale with a twist”, this one features the addition fenugreek seeds and locally-produced dark maple syrup. Coming in at 5.2% ABV and 8 IBUs, the brewery describes it as having a “medium mouthfeel with a smooth, clean finish”, with hints of maple. It appears to be available on tap only, so drop by the brewpub in Moncton today to give it a try; it may pop up at select PH accounts as well.

• Digby’s Roof Hound is bringing out the second entry in their series of Dive Bar Cocktail-inspired beers. Back in March they gave us a preview of summer with their Mojito Dry-hopped Sour and now they’re giving us the other barrel of seasonal longing with the Fuzzy Navel IPA. Featuring a tropical burst from the Australian hop variety Vic Secret played against fruit flavours from peach purée and pomegranate juice, this is a juicy and hazy IPA in the New England style. With fruit flavours and hops reminiscent of summer, the 6.25% ABV is likely to sneak up on you if you’re not careful. You’ll find it this weekend at the brewery and also in the city for fills at Bishop’s Cellar and on tap at Stillwell, Good Robot and 2 Crows, with Stubborn Goat expecting to have it next week. A perfect opportunity to give the Fuzzy Navel a try will come tomorrow night at Roof Hound’s Night of Colour event. The Sounds of Colour will be entertaining from 9pm – 12am while artist David Gorman will do a live painting that is destined to grace the walls at Roof Hound on a permanent basis. Admission is $5.

• And if you’re considering working in the beer or beer-related hospitality industry and you’re local to Digby, NS, Roof Hound might want to talk to you. After less than a year in business, Les and company are more than doubling their brewing production and nearly doubling their seating capacity. They’ll also be bottling their beer in the near future. To make this expansion possible, they’ll be needing to supplement their staff with part time workers (19 years of age or more) to fill positions as Brewery Assistant, Kitchen Assistant, Dishwasher and Beverage Room Server. If you’re interested, hit up the Roof Hound web page and send a message via Facebook, Instagram or Email.

• In Shelburne, Boxing Rock brought out a new beer this week to celebrate the pending launch of Finest Kind Food, a new mobile food trailer set to take up regular residence at the brewery this summer. Sheila Bird, who has been making bread from Boxing Rock’s spent grain for several years, will be officially opening the window of her mobile trailer for business on Open Brewery Day, May 6th, featuring a menu of simple, healthy, local and fun food. Food that pairs nicely with Nova Scotia craft beer. Nova Scotia craft beer like the new Finest Kind Pale Ale (note: Finest Kind, two words) brewed as a collaboration with Sheila. At 5.3% ABV and 35 IBU, it sits solidly in the sweet spot for the American Pale Ale style and features biscuity malt from Horton Ridge providing a solid counterpoint for a tropical, piney and citrusy blend of new world hops. So give it a try, and look forward to enjoying a few beers accompanied by spent grain pretzels and pizza (and more!) on the Boxing Rock deck this summer.

• Today, TrailWay is re-releasing their very popular D’under, a 5.5% ABV seasonal American Pale Ale brewed with loads of Australian hops. This release will be the first time this beer is available in cans, with a small portion also being kegged for licensees. This first batch was a small one, so be sure to drop by the tasting room to pick up some cans of this tropical beauty! And don’t worry, we can expect even more TW beer soon, as they’ve recently added another 30 BBL (3500 L) fermentor to the brewery.

Tatamagouche Brewing has a popular seasonal of their own on the shelves these days, their Russian Imperial Stout. This 8.5% ABV roasty, chocolately, full-bodied beer won a Gold medal at the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards. As a member of their Giant Beer series, this beer is packaged in 650ml bottles, and available now at the brewery. And joining the RIS this week is the latest batch of their Deadeye Double IPA, a 8.0% ABV, 90+ IBU American-style IPA. Featuring lots and lots of Hallertau BlancCascade, and Chinook hops, the yeast has returned to its original american ale strain, after a foray into Vermont territory. This full release means the beer is available for growler fills at the brewery (and maybe at some Halifax-based private stores), as well as cans. Look for it to hit the taps at Tata’s licensees this weekend. Or, better yet, drop by the brewery tomorrow for some sampling, and check out the Tattoo Brew event going on all day. Rolling Sea Tattooery will be setting up their chair and bringing their ink guns to help people (permanently) declare their love of Tata Beer. Eager clients have snapped up all of the spots, but the possibility of cancellations or quicker-than-anticipated tats means you could still grab one. Check out the options available on the FB events page, and drop by 11-6pm to check out the action (and beer!).

• Today at noon marks the return of two favorites from Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing. Striking while the iron is hot after their star-turn (as in, the transcript is full of *’s) this week on the 902 Brewcast (Blue-cast?) Greg Nash and Andrew Murphy made the magic happen to bring back both Front Line Rocker and Daytimer Berliner Weisse ahead of schedule. Still the fastest-selling beer in Unfiltered’s history, the Front Line Rocker is a massively juicy and mind-shatteringly hoppy DIPA that comes in at 8% ABV and 100+ IBU. At the other end of the spectrum is the Daytimer, a summer favourite in Haligon for the past couple of years, an extremely light 3.4% ABV brew that pairs a thirst-quenching sourness with a blast of tropical aroma from a healthy Mosaic dry-hop. And don’t think for a second that the boys rushed these out the door: listen to the episode via iTunes for their unvarnished take on several topics, including particularly pertinent words about the importance and value of a brewery’s reputation.

• Halifax’s Good Robot has a busy weekend ahead of them. Buoyed by the return of Whackity Schmackity Brew!, their American Wheat Beer, and imminent return of Tom Waits For No One Stout (most likely Sunday), there will also be a pair of events (and accompanying releases) in the next couple of days. Tomorrow is a Day of Beer and Vinyl, celebrating National (did we ever figure out which nation this is?) Record Store Day. Hitting the taps will be Mississippi Goddam, a five-month-old 11.0% ABV Barleywine, which is “dark, rich, vinous, with a super caramel-fruitcake nose”, according to the brewery. Hitting the taps Sunday, celebrating the day after Earthy Day, is Work With Whatcha Got Gruit Earth Day Ale, made with 100% Horton Ridge Malt (both the summer and winter maltings), Nova Scotia-grown hops (Centennial and Chinook) from Fundy Hops, with maple sap and maple buds, as well as toasted paper and yellow birch from HRM. Grab this, along with Organic guest taps from Tatamagouche (Hippie Dippie Pale Ale) and Big Spruce (The Whole 9 Yards Scotch Ale) from noon during their Earth Day Hangover.

It’s a busy weekend ahead for us thirsty beer fans in #AtlCanBeer land!

• The 2 Crows crew are at it again, with a Tap Takeover taking place tonight at The Stubborn Goat. From 7pm on, look for 10+ 2C beers to be flowing, with special pricing available for flights of their beer, so you can try them all (and then grab a pint of your favourite!). Folks from 2 Crows will be there to chat beer, brewing, this crazy weather we’re having, whatever you want! And when you do grab that flight, you’ll receive a ballot to win tickets to the next day’s Brewer’s Brunch. Jeremy Taylor of 2 Crows has paired up four of their beer with four dishes from the Goat, for a great hangover cure. The ticketed event runs 1-3pm on Saturday, and can be reserved via email or in person.

• Those looking for a bit of a different event this weekend may enjoy checking out Saltscapes East Coast Expo at the Halifax Exhibition Centre. Running today until Sunday, the event showcases crafts, destinations, and food and drink made in the Maritimes. There will be ten breweries and distilleries in attendance providing plenty of samples, so at $14.50 (or less with this coupon), it could be the cheapest inadvertent beer fest you hit up this spring! One great reason to visit will be to help Sober Island Brewing celebrate their First Anniversary! They will be pouring the Oyster Stout, Bitter, and launching a new core beer, their Blonde, all of which are early batches from their massively-expanded brewhouse. At 5.0% ABV, this “gateway beer” features a twist on the theme, using a dash of Honey Malt in the grain bill, which carries through to a pleasant flavour in the finished beer. Lightly hopped to 20 IBU with Cascade and Mount Hood, it is sure to be a great summer sipper. In addition to samples of all three beers, visitors can buy crowlers to go, as well as plenty of merch. Happy birthday SIBC!

• The newly-formed Moncton Craft Brewers Collective is holding a Tap Takeover at Tide & Boar tomorrow, April 22nd, all day. There’s no ticket required, and in addition to full and half pours, flights will be available for purchase. For a full list of breweries attending and beers they’ll be pouring, take a look here. And if you’re anxious to talk beer, many of the brewers themselves will be attending, and are happy to chat! And if they’re not, feel free to keep bugging them until they are. 😉

Picaroons is releasing Dooryard, their popular seasonal Wheat beer, tomorrow, April 22nd, with an accompanying Launch Party to boot. Held at the brewery from 2-7 pm, there’ll be lots going on, including washer toss, music, snacks, and plenty of Dooryard on tap for sampling and purchasing. It will also be available on tap at the other Picaroons locations in the province, and will start shipping out in bottles (with a newly-designed label) on April 24th. For more info, check out the link above.

• Agricola Street’s Lion & Bright is holding their annual Earth Day Celebration this weekend, culminating in a Tap Takeover Party featuring Big Spruce beers. With live music from Saturday at 9pm from The Modern Grass, $1 from each pint of beer will be donated to the Ecology Action Centre. In addition, L&B will be donating $0.50 from each taco sold all weekend long, Check out the FB event page for a bit more information.

• In addition to their beer release this week, Boxing Rock will also be at White Point Beach Resort tomorrow (Saturday, April 22) with representatives from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada , Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site and Friends of Keji for an event entitled Boxing Rock Serves Up the Stars. Starting at 4pm, Boxing Rock’s Emily Tipton will host a beer tasting that features a sneak peek of their yet-to-be-released Dark as Keji Black IPA that they’re dedicating to Kejimkujik as part of the Canada 150 celebrations. This beer will be officially launched on May 20 at Keji, with samples at the sky circle there. A portion of the proceeds from each 6-pack sold will be donated to the Friends of Keji to support education programs related to the Dark Sky Preserve. This weekend you’ll be able to get a taste of that and other Boxing Rock brews as Emily gives a virtual brewery tour. After that, and a few words from RASC and Keji about the partnership with Boxing Rock, some RASC volunteers will lead a family-friendly evening program about the night sky and stargazing.

• On April 29th and 30th, expand your beer knowledge with the next installment of the Certified Beer Server course, presented by CAPS Atlantic. Tuition includes the cost and facilitation of the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam, along with four lectures, text book, brewery tour, and daily tastings. The lectures will be presented by Garrison Brewmaster Daniel Girard, and CAPS President, Certified Beer Server and Sommelier, Peter Goneau. To sign up and learn more, check out the training webpage.

• A reminder that the Fredericton Poutine Festival is happening next Saturday, April 29th, at the Crowne Plaza. This is the 6th time the event has been held in the city, and as always there are three sessions: a family one from 11:30 am-1:30 pm, and two 19+ sessions (2:15-5:15 pm, 7-10 pm) that feature beer, cider, and mead! Participating breweries include Grimross, Maybee, and TrailWay, as well as Red Rover, York County Cider, and Sunset Heights Meadery. There are different ticket options, including a VIP one for the latest session, that gets you in at 6 pm; be sure to check them out here. Tickets are still available, so be sure to get yours soon!

• Friend to local beer, Lunenburg’s Grand Banker will be hosting their fifth Winemaker vs Brewmaster dinner April 29th, featuring Hanspeter Stutz, of Grand Pré Wines taking on Emily Tipton of Boxing Rock. The two local alcohol makers will be choosing the best of their beer or wine to pair with each of the five courses being served that evening. Guests will try both drinks with each dish, and vote for the best pairing with either a wine cork or bottle cap. After the dinner, the winner is crowned based on the number of caps or corks collected. Tickets are still available for the evening.

• Cinco de Mayo is approaching fast, and if you’re in Fredericton, you don’t have to travel to Mexico to celebrate! On Friday, May 5th, Maybee Brewing is holding their Cinco de Mayo celebration, and there’s lots going on! Starting at 5 pm with with happy hour drink specials (till 7 pm) and Milda’s Pizza onsite, a special “Mexican-inspired cask” will be tapped at 6 pm. At 7 pm, a ticket will be required to continue with the fun ($10 each, available here), including piñata smashing, live music, and more beer. A free shuttle will be making several trips from the brewery to downtown, from 11:30 pm-1 am.

• A unique event is coming to the South Shore May 20th, Sip, Savour and Cycle Tour. Riders choose their ride length of choice, whether it be 25, 60, or 104km, and make their way from Mahone Bay at 10am, grab lunch in Lunenburg, and back to Mahone Bay for a wrap-up party. Along the way, stop into Saltbox Brewing, Ironworks Distillery, and more, at your own pace. For lots more information (including the exact route), and to sign up, visit the event’s webpage.

For those of you in Nova Scotia, keep your eyes open for the expanded local beer availability at your local NSLCs, including 2 Crows, Downeast Beer Factory, North, and Trider’s. Here are a few more things that have popped up this week:

Mill Street St. John’s has released Right Off the Hop Double IPA this week, a beer we first mentioned a couple of weeks ago. The 7.5% ABV SMaSH beer features loads of El Dorado, to the tune of 68 IBU, and lots of fruity aromatics. Grab a pint or growler today!
– Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has brought back their Loyalist beer, a 6.7% ABV English-inspired beer, featuring complex malt notes including caramel, coffee, and toffee, with a hint of citrus from the hops. Grab it, plus their other beers (maybe some of their Jam Session Batch 83 Raspberry Pi beer, if it’s still around) at the brewery this weekend.
– A reminder of Stillwell’s busy weekend, starting with the To Øl Tap Takeover Saturday, with 12 taps of Danish Metal pouring from noon. And while tickets for Sunday’s tasting with Stephen Beaumont are sold out, we have it on good authority that there may be a few leftover goodies to enjoy at its conclusion at 4pm.
YellowBelly Brewpub in St. John’s has brought back their Brewis Hard Tack Ale, made with day-old bread from their neighbours at Rocket Bakery. The light-bodied beer is on tap now, and will be available in bottles shortly. Though we do not have confirmation of the exact recipe and breads used, check out our description of the beer when it was released in April 2016, for an idea of the finished product.

So it’s spring, eh? Ya right! March came in like a lion, and while it may have taken a nap mid-way, it leaves just as powerful. Let’s hope those April showers wash away the snow and ice, and we can be done with the white stuff for a few months. The poor weather hasn’t kept the brewers down, however, as we’ve got lots of news from around the horn to share with you today. Without further ado, here we go!

• The results of the first Gahan Harbourfront Homebrew competition are in and the winner is none other than Ian Wheatley, who you may remember from his mini-takeover at Tidehouse Brewing earlier this month. According to Gahan brewmaster Kyle Jeppeson, Ian’s Trappist Single was exceptional, well-carbonated and featuring a very pleasant yeast and hop profile. Ian will be brewing a batch of his beer on the 5 bbl system at Gahan at some point to be sold alongside Kyle’s offerings. Congratulations are also in order to Justin Clarke of the Brathair Brewing collective, who placed second. Gahan is promising that the competition will be back next year and Kyle is looking for any suggestions this year’s participants might have towards improving it for next year.

• Travelling up the hill to the base of the Citadel, 2 Crows Brewing is putting yet another new beer on this week. At 6.8% ABV and 39 IBU, Shakedown Brett Porter marries the classic English style (perhaps the brownest of the brown ales) with earthiness and funk from Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast and a decidedly New World nose. Dry-hopped with earthy and fruity Calypso and straight-up orange grove Citra, it’s described by brewmaster Jeremy Taylor as “super earthy, dry, almost mossy in flavour, with a decent layer of funk.” This one wasn’t a big batch, so it’s not likely to be around for a long time. Catch it while you can at the brewery.

• Meanwhile, if you’ve been wondering if maybe there’s been a bit of a method to the madness of all these recent releases from 2 Crows, wonder no more! Thursday, April 13, will see 2 Crows doing their first tap takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth. Promising 10+ taps (although we’ve heard rumours that it could be as many as 14 in total), you’re sure to see your favourite 2 Crows brews alongside some of the interesting limited releases we’ve seen in the last few weeks. And if that’s not enough, knowing Jeremy, there’s sure to be a couple of brand new and interesting brews that will see their first light of day at the event. Plan to kick off your Easter Weekend 2 Crows x Battery Park style. Look for the full tap list to be revealed as the event approaches.

• A hop, skip, and a jump back into the heart of downtown will take you to Tidehouse Brewing on Salter Street at Barrington, who are also releasing a new beer today. Out Like a Lion Hoppy Wheat Ale is a 5.1% ABV Ale, brewed with a blend of Superior Pale, and Wheat malts, for a hazy, straw appearance, and lighter body. Lots of late additions of Centennial and Summit (during the post-boil chilling step, as well as dry hopping), give citrus flavours and aromas, which meld nicely with the banana notes from the yeast blend chosen. Grab a growler at the brewery today, and keep an eye on the board of a North End taproom tomorrow to grab a pint.

• The crew at Trider’s Craft Beer in Amherst have been quite busy, with a pair of new beers out, and a couple more in the pipeline for release soon. Making its debut as last month’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, Maccan Maple is now available to everyone, no plaid required! Rather than using water as the base liquid for the beer, they only used sap from Hidden Mountain Maple Farms in nearby Springhill! After mashing and boiling as usual, they added maple syrup to the wort as they pitched the yeast. The 5.0% ABV beer ends up with a strong maple flavour, and is sweeter than other beers of the same style on the market, making this a perfect dessert beer. The beer is freshly bottled, available at their brewery, as well as in growler fills. Kegs of this, and all of their beer, are also available, so keep an eye out at local watering holes for a tap.

• The second new beer from Trider’s is Brew-Deau Cream Ale, based on their very popular Christmas Cream seasonal, but tweaked the recipe to end up with a lighter appearance, thanks in part to the subbing in of corn, iconic in a Cream Ale grain bill. The 5.0% ABV beer is lightly hopped to 10 IBU, and will be a popular warm weather beer (if it ever arrives!). You can sip on a bit of summer now, however, as the beer is available in growler fills and 500ml stubbies at their Anson Ave location in the Industrial Park.

• There are a pair of other seasonals headed your way from Amherst, including White Ogre, a hybrid between Belgian Witbier and American IPA. What started as a test batch to satisfy co-owner Scott Parker’s want of a hoppier beer has proven quite popular with customers dropping by the brewery. A significant wheat base, with lots of orange peel and coriander added, but with a hoppy kick from CitraColumbus, and Willamette, resulting in a 5.5% ABV, 56 IBU White IPA. The beer is finishing now, and will be available in growler fills and bottles next week. And aiming for late April is Second Breakfast Oatmeal Stout, a 5% roasty dark stout with a creamy mouthfeel thanks to the addition of oatmeal during the brewing. We’ll have more details, including release date, later next month. Plus we’ll have more news to share on Trider’s plans at their current location.

• TrailWay has released the last batch of Good Aura Amber Ale for the season, as they transition to their summer lineup. Featuring lots of Mosaic hops for a stonefruit and tropical aroma, built upon the base of Munich, Caramel, and Ryle malts. Named after brewery rescue dog Aura, part of the proceeds are being donated to the Fredericton SPCA. Don’t forget that the brewery is dog-friendly to friendly dogs (and people!) and they have treats and water to keep them happy while their owners enjoy human treats. Look for the latest batch of their house IPA, Hu Jon Hops, which just dropped at the brewery as well, and will be making it out to the ANBL.

• Mama’s Brew Pub in Fredericton has a pair of new beers on tap these days: German Dunkel is a 4.5% ABV tart, refreshing, beer with a sour fruitiniess and dry finish. Their East Coast Pale Ale is replacing their East Coast Dry Hop American Pale Ale, with a change of recipe to provide more flavour and body to the base beer, with using loads of late- and dry-hop additions of Cascade and Citra for pine and citrus aroma and taste. At 4.8% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a session at Mama’s!

• In Rothesay, Foghorn Brewing has released Bob’s Your Uncle, a 6.5% ABV English IPA, coming in at a significant 65 IBU, with even more hops added after the fermentation, namely iconic English hops Fuggles and Goldings, as well as new kid on the block Jester. Currently only available on tap for pints and growler fills at the brewery on Clark Road, look for it to pop up around the area soon.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar is holding another Growler Day today, with three beers available to takeaway: Killington IPA is a 7.6% ABV hazy, North East IPA, featuring citrus and tropical notes from the Citra and Mosaic added throughout the brew. Method IPA is 7.0% juicy IPA as well, but in a different flavour and aroma profile than Killington. And finally Peach Shake is a Milkshake-style IPA, featuring lactose (milk sugar) and vanilla beans added to the beer for a sweeter flavour profile, enhanced by the addition of peaches during the brew session.

Good Robot will be releasing a new Beta Brew this Sunday called Brewster Juice. The name, we expect, is a nod to the millennia-long tradition of female brewers, and this beer was brewed on International Womens’ Day by Kelly Costello and two Good Robot Glee Club members, Jenn and Allana. This is a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) brew containing nothing but water, Canadian 2-row malt, Glacier hops from Fundy, yeast, and a “dry hop” of fresh raspberries. It weighs in at a nice and light 4.2% ABV and has an apricot-gold color.

• Up on the North Shore of NS, Tatamagouche Brewing has a new release for us this week from their Staff Series of beers. Tata cellarman Alex Martin developed the concept for a Brown IPA that melds the chocolate and dark fruit flavors of darker malts with big hop flavors and a solid IPA bitterness. Arriving at a husky 7.1% ABV and 80 IBU, the Tweed Wolf was hopped with the dank, piney and citrus-laden Simcoe and the fruity melon and berry subtlety of Huell Melon. The de rigeur IPA dry hop contains those same two varieties along with the very tropical El Dorado that should bolster an already heady nose. Expect this one to strike a nice balance between rich malts, firm bitterness and fruity hops. Cans will be available as of today at the brewery and should arrive at the private liquor stores next Thursday. Meanwhile, you’ll find it coming up soon at tap accounts in Halifax.

• Scuttlebutt in beer circles this week centered around a posting on commercial brewing forum ProBrewer regarding a currently operating Nova Scotia brewery being up for sale. Details are minimal and nobody involved is talking openly, which means that speculation is running rampant about who it is and why it they might be selling. With the Craft Beer industry in Nova Scotia growing as quickly as it has, especially over the last five years or so, one of the areas where we’re possibly a little behind the curve is in brewery turnover. As we look at some of the other markets where there has been a craft beer boom, however, we see that this is one of the hallmarks of a healthy industry. There are lots of reasons a brewery might go up for sale and many (some might argue most) of them don’t have anything to do with beer. While we certainly aren’t immune from kibitzing about it ourselves, as local beer lovers and fans of the scene we’re mostly interested to see who steps up to buy this business and how they approach taking it forward into its next evolution as a brewery. And no, we don’t know who it is either.

Be sure to check out our Events Calendar, as we keep it as up-to-date as we can with all of the goings on in our region. Remember that we don’t always repeat events we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, so your best bet is to check it periodically, or better yet, add it to your own iCal/gCal, and never miss out! Just click the +GoogleCalendar button on the bottom right of the calendar.

• Last week we told you about the 80/- Scottish-style Collaboration Ale created by the various members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Today is your chance to check out that contentious brew as it goes on tap for the first time at noon in the Good Robot taproom in North End Halifax. The first 48 patrons will receive a takeaway can of the beer, which will eventually be available in limited supply at Bishop’s Cellar, Harvest Wine & Spirits, and the NSLC. You’ll also be amongst the first to hear the first official events list for the upcoming Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, ask questions of Nova Scotia brewers, and try a custom Scottish Hot Dog from T DOGS.

• For some beer excitement in PEI, look no further than Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar today. They are hosting a BarNone Tap Takeover, with eight beer from Rose Valley flowing, plus some special beers as chosen by owner and brewer Don Campbell, including Unfiltered’s Fist of God IPA. Drop by from noon to enjoy some blasts from the past, as well as new releases. It also corresponds to the first day of PEI Burger Love, the cross-province month of more than 80 establishments (including HopYard) serving up some creative burgers, from PEI-raised beef.

Today is also a big day in Alma, New Brunswick, as the Buddha Bear Cafe continues their major renovations towards opening Holy Whale Brewing Company in late spring. Located in a former church on Main Street, the Cafe has been open for several months, serving up their own roasted coffee, as well as beer from around the Maritimes. Buddha Bear/Holy Whale owners, brothers Jeff and Peter Grandy, will be closing the cafe during weekdays, and re-opening full-time in a few months. So, what’s happening today at the Cafe? The brothers need your help to Drink the Church Dry! All day today, they are looking to push as many kegs as possible through their nine lines, to help make room in the beer fridge. Every time a keg kicks, they will be lowering the price of a pint by 50 cents, so it pays to stick around and enjoy the return on your investment.

Tomorrow is the HRM celebration of Big Spruce‘s 4th Anniversary, and the launch of the 2017 edition of Ra Ra Rasputin, with several variations of the Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout pouring from 11:30am at Battery Park, and noon at Stillwell. Look for non-barrel-aged versions (in keg and on nitro), 2016 vintage, plus several unique casks with fruit, coffee, and/or wood additions right in the firkin for an extra level of flavour. You may need to hit both locations for the full experience! Check out the event flyer here.

• Sunday April 2nd, is the BC Tap Takeover at Stillwell, postponed from the original March 25th date due to shipping delays. Enjoy a dozen beauties from Brassneck Brewery in Vancouver, Dageraad of Burnaby, and Four Winds Brewing from Delta. Featuring a wide variety in styles of beer, including Brassneck’s Stockholm Syndrome Saison, Sri Lanka Dubbel from Dageraad, and Four Winds’ Nectarous Dry-hopped Sour. No tickets required for the event, and the doors open at noon (unusual for a Sunday). The full taplist is available here.

• Also coming up at Good Robot is Latin@ Night, a celebration of Latin American Culture on Thursday, April 6 that will feature the release of Cerveza Latina, a Beta Brew in the Vienna Lager style that was created in collaboration with some of GR’s patrons from various South and Central American countries. It’s got a bready nose, lemony citrus on the palate, and a clean, crisp lager finish. The night also promises to feature broken Spanish, South American-influenced dishes from Black Sheep, a playlist designed to inspire dancing and the Mexican beer cocktails known as micheladas.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is celebrating National Beer Day on April 7th. Only the 7th, how strange, we figured any/every day was a great day to drink beer! But who are we to argue? They will be showing off their expanded tap selection, including a very limited edition of Big Brown Pure Maple. Only one keg will be served at Roof Hound,  so best to not miss the event that evening. Live music from Tide & Timbre will kick off the festivities at 9pm, plus they will have guest taps from their neighbour breweries Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove, and Lunn’s Mill from Lawrencetown. Check out the FB Events Page for more details.

Before we let you go, a couple more things…

– As the grand opening of their new digs in Windsor approaches, Schoolhouse Brewing is now preparing their “First Draughts” on the new system! We’ll certainly have more information as it becomes available, but for now we can tell you that Cam and Co. are looking for a Retail Manager to help run the new storefront operation. The details are at the bottom of their webpage.
Garrison is bringing back a big ‘un today as part of their Cellar Series, the Barrel Aged Ol’ Fog Burner barleywine. Weighing in at an hefty 11.5% ABV, it spent time in oak barrels from Glen Breton Rare Single Malt Whiskey from Glenora Distillery. It’s available in 650ml bottles costing $15.95 at the brewery and quantities are severely limited.
Picaroons’ Winter Warmer is done for the year, but they have just released a batch of it that has been aged on French Oak for two months. Available only on tap at their Roundhouse and Brewtique locations in Fredericton, General Store in Uptown Saint John, and The 5 Kings Brewhouse in St. Stephen.
YellowBelly in St. John’s has brought back their East Coast Cream Ale, a 5.0% ABV, 22 IBU beer brewed in collaboration/celebration of Top Shed Brewery on Australia’s East Coast. Featuring Pacific Gem and Mosaic hops from Australia, the beer is on tap at the brewery now, and in bottles to take away.

As a last mention this week, maybe be a little wary of any wild or unexpected claims made by local bars and breweries tomorrow…check your calendar before jumping to conclusions; we wouldn’t want anyone to worry about breaking a nail.

Happy Friday, beer enthusiasts! The weekend is upon us, and we’ve got a slew of new beers to share with you today. For those of you in and visiting the Fredericton region, we’ll see you at this weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (*ahem* Saturday afternoon tickets are still available), and the accompanying events. Be sure to say hi to Shawn and Chris, especially if you see them at the “Drink Like a Judge” table during the afternoon session. And be sure to bring some non-perishable food items (and/or cash) to the Propeller table, as they are collecting donations for Greener Village. For your donations, you’ll get some great Prop merchandise. And again, thanks for all of you who came out for our ACBB Trivia / NS Tap Takeover at the KSAH last night; we had a blast, and thanks to those breweries who generously contributed prizes!

• Good news, Lazy Bear fans! They’ve just released a brand new beer, Carolina, a Belgian Saison. With a simple grist of Pilsner malt and wheat, it was fermented with a special Farmhouse yeast strain that was isolated from South Carolina blueberries by Southyeast Labs. Producing “notes of straw and spice”, there is also a subtle tartness thanks to the light production of acid by the yeast. It was also hopped with Hallertau, and comes in at 5.5% ABV. It was pouring at Good Robot‘s Femmebot event earlier this week, as well as in growlers at the brewery; it may pop up at other tap accounts in the near future. In other Lazy Bear news, we’ll be seeing another beer from them soon, also featuring a wild yeast from South Carolina, but in the IPA style. We’ll definitely have more on that one once it has an official name and full details are available.

• Breweries around the region are using more and more Horton Ridge Malt these days and the Paddy’s Pub locations in Kentville and Wolfville just up Highway #1 are no exception. Horton Ridge Rye IPA was brewed using not only barley malted at Horton Ridge, but Rye that was grown, malted and brewed within a 7 kilometre radius. “A juicy, fruity IPA with a light rye spiciness,” according to brewer Kirsten MacDonald, the Horton Ridge malt provides an aromatic element not as present with other malts. The hops are a mixture of the classic American Cascade, the recent new world favourite Amarillo, and relative newcomers El Dorado and Triple Pearl, all blending together for a citrusy nose and flavour. It comes in at 7.2% ABV and a healthy, but not overpowering, 65 IBU.

• Halifax nano Tidehouse wanted to head up to Fredericton to enjoy the FCBF, but when you’re a 3-person show and everyone’s hitting the road, how do you keep the shop open and not miss a weekend of sales? Enter local home brewer and friend of Tidehouse, Ian Wheatley, and his pal Nick Snell. They’ll be minding the store on Salter Street starting today, providing growler fills to thirsty patrons. To sweeten the deal, Ian was offered the opportunity to do production runs of two of his own beers on the Tidehouse system and sell them alongside two regular TH offerings. You may even see Ian’s beers available on taps around town in the coming weeks; if we hear anything more on that we’ll be sure to let you know.

• The first brew from Lil’Wheatey is The Bellhop, a classic American IPA. This beer took a bronze medal in Hamilton, Ontario, at the Because Beer National Homebrew Competition this past summer. With a restrained malt bill to showcase the hops, and featuring prominent stone fruit and citrus flavorus, the beer weighs in at 6.2% ABV and a reasonable 60ish IBU.

• Ian’s other contribution to the lineup, Tic Lac Toe, is a kettle sour based on a Belgian wheat beer recipe that traditionally uses spice and fruit additions. Blueberries provide a characteristic pink colour and provide a complement to the sourness of the style. A pure strain of Lactobacillus buchneri was used to achieve a very clean sourness. Additional fermentables were added post-souring to bring the ABV into the 5% range, while maintaining a low final gravity for a crisp finish. As with many examples of the style, some spicy hops were added, but with a light hand, resulting in a very mild 7-8 IBU.

• A brand new beer will be available at the PEI Brewing Company today with a solid slate of events to mark the occasion. Big Don Coffee Belgian Blonde juxtaposes a pale, yeast-forward style with coffee flavours more commonly associated with darker brews. The PEIBC team worked with their friends at Receiver Coffee Co to select a bean and roast that would accentuate the fruity and spicy notes of the beer while adding chocolate and citrus elements to the finish. This 7.5% ABV brew will be available in cans from the brewery and, to celebrate the release, Receiver will be running a pop-up shop in house from 11am to 5pm, followed by a sampling of Big Don and a Songwriter’s Circle from 5-7pm. And keep an eye on local PEILCCs for the return of cans of their 8 Cord Double IPA this week, and a special new release coming in a couple of weeks (hint, this required quite a bit of Patience to put together).

• There’s two brand new beers coming out of TrailWay Brewing this week, both of which will be appearing at FCBF. First up is Maple Drip, a 9% ABV “Maple Imperial Stout” released a couple of days ago. We initially mentioned this beer in an earlier post, in conjunction with the NB government providing benefits to breweries that produce beer made with local maple syrup. TW used approximately 60 L of syrup from Briggs Maples, and also added some bourbon-soaked oak chips to complement to give “subtle maple, oak and bourbon undertones”. Next up is a new American IPA, Green Island. It weighs in at 6% ABV and features large additions of three relatively-new-to-TW hop varieties: Cashmere, El Dorado, and Idaho 7. Based on this, we can likely expect citrus, melon, and candy-like notes in the beer, but we won’t know for sure till we try it! In addition to being at FCBF (where they’ll also have Hoppy McHazy and Hu Jon Hops) and tap accounts across Fredericton, both beers are available in cans (Green Island is releasing today).

• There’s a new beer out from Saint John’s Loyalist City, and it should still be pouring in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Fittingly, Black 47 is an “Irish Coffee Stout” that was brewed with Maris Otter and Flaked Barley; the sweet wort from this mash was then blended with wort from another mash of Roasted Barley and black-kilned malt. A small portion of Chocolate malt was added as well, with the resulting blend receiving hop additions of both East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, to 35 IBUs. Fermented cool with an Irish yeast strain, the beer then had some freshly-ground, dark roasted coffee beans added in secondary, along with some cacao nibs. The result of all this work? A jet-black, “medium-bodied dry Stout with a pronounced roasted flavor, reminiscent of coffee and dark chocolate that complements a moderate bitterness and a hint of sweetness on the finish”. Easy-drinking at 4.7% ABV, look for it on tap at the Cask & Kettle, as well as at the Uptown, Eastpoint, and KV ANBL growler stations next week for fills.

• There are two new small batch beers available at 2 Crows Brewing this week, available only on tap at the taproom on Brunswick Street. Neon Nights is an 8.5% ABV Brettanomyces-conditioned beer, featuring some funky and tart characteristics, which was conditioned on burnt orange peel. (Luckily for you FCBF-folks, they will be pouring this one tomorrow) The next truly taproom-only release (can we coin the Attempted Murder Beer Series??) is Panhandle Slim, a Grisette. Grisette is the little sister to Farmhouse Saisons, originally brewed to satisfy miner’s thirst after a long day working underground. Panhandle Slim features a variety of grains in the malt bill, including spelt, wheat, oats and rye, and has been conditioning for 7 months on Brettanomyces, resulting in a refreshing beer with a light body and funkiness. With only one small keg available, this beer will be sure to kick this weekend.

• Does your palate and/or nose like to be challenged when drinking beer? If so, Boxing Rock‘s latest beer, My Mate, may be what you’re looking for! Billed as a “Secret Recipe Stout”, this was brewed as a collaboration with former Gahan/Rogue’s Roost head brewer Karen Allen. As advertised, it contains a secret ingredient; your job is to identify it. Tweet a picture of the beer with your guess of the secret ingredient, and you win a – of course – “secret” prize! The contest closes this Monday at noon. This “savoury, sweet, and well-seasoned” Stout is available at the brewery, and should also be available in bottles today at Rockhead, Bishop’s Cellar today or tomorrow, and on tap this weekend at the Henry House, Battery Park, and Stillwell. (We’re pretty sure they won’t mind you bringing in a box of oranges or rolls of cinnamon or bushel of cucumbers to capture that pic 😉  )

Upstreet will be at the FCBF this weekend, pouring their latest collaboration beer, Rye’D On, brewed in conjunction with Picaroons. That beer will be released next week in PEI, and we can also expect another new one at the end of the month. Go Devil is an American IPA that was brewed with a single malt, Maritime Pale, and generously hopped with Citra, El Dorado, and Simcoe. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, the brewery promises that it packs a “juicy, tropical, piney, and citrus punch”; with those hop varieties, we’re not surprised! Islanders can expect this one to be released at the end of the month, on March 30th.

• Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing is also releasing a brand new beer at this weekend’s FredCraftBeerFest, Patagonia IPA. Based on their Patagonia Pale Ale, they boosted the body, bitterness, and alcohol to bring it up to what they look for in an IPA style. Featuring plenty of tropical fruit and piney resin from the hops, the full-bodied 6.6% ABV, 80 IBU beer is launching tomorrow, with it hitting draft lines at the taproom shortly as well.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe has been very busy lately! They have four new beers, all of which that will be debuting at FCBF tomorrow. First up is their Sumac Sour (4.8% ABV), a kettle-soured beer that has locally-harvested sumac berries added after fermentation was complete. Dark amber with a crimson hue, this tart beer was also dry-hopped to add some fruity hop notes on the nose.

• Let’s move on to their first Lager. Currently unnamed, this is an amber-coloured beer that was fermented cool with a Lager yeast strain, before being lagered at cold temperatures for a period. With a light maltiness in the flavour, it has more hop flavour than expected, thanks to a dry-hop addition. It still comes out with very good clarity, and is quite refreshing at 5% ABV and 25 IBUs.

• The third beer Big Axe will be pouring is a variation on a special one-off brew they poured at last year’s festival, Bootlegger v 2.0 Imperial Stout. The 8.0% ABV beer was brewed with molasses and bitter orange peel, to complement the big body and roast character from the underlying Stout. A pair of casks have been further aged on American oak chips, with those being tapped at the James Joyce Saturday as well.

•  Last, but not least from B.A., is Oatmeal Cream Ale, featuring Extra Pale malt and Oats for a light straw colour, notes of hazelnuts, and a full, silky mouthfeel thanks to the oats. Extremely drinkable, with nice character to keep you wanting more. After the Festival, all four beer will be available at their taproom in Nackawic, and at their tap accounts in Fredericton.

• In important news for Nova Scotia breweries, the lawyer representing Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing appeared in court earlier this week, following up on their challenge of the legality of the Retail Sales Markup Allowance (RSMA) collected by the NSLC. Arguing that the NSLC (a) does not take part in the production, packaging, or delivery of the beer that Unfiltered (and many other breweries in the province) brews, and (b) does not have the authority to collect what is effectively a tax, lawyer Richard Norman requested the refund of more than $35,000 in funds that had been paid, and that the RSMA be declared invalid. The judge has yet to render a decision, and will do so within the next six months. You can rest assured we’ll pass along information as we receive it, as this will affect all breweries and beer drinkers in the province! You can read more about the original filing, and this week’s hearing online.

Here’s what’s going on this weekend in our region:

• This year’s Péché Day – a celebration of one of Canada’s highest-rated beers, Dieu du Ciel!‘s Péché Mortel – is happening Saturday, March 11th. Luckily for all of us, this year three Maritime bars have been selected to participate! What does this mean? It means that these three locations – the King Street Ale House, Stillwell, and Tide & Boar – will have six different variants of the coffee-infused Imperial Stout on tap for you to enjoy (check out the event poster for a list of all expected). It’ll simply be pay-as-you-go at all three spots, but be warned, this is a big beer!

• After tomorrow’s Beer Fest at the Convention Centre in Fredericton, stumble over to The Snooty Fox for a Tap Takeover by PEI Brewing/Gahan, with live music by The Hypochondriacs starting at 9:30pm. They’ll be bringing ten different beers, including some special releases, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Before we leave you for this week, here are a few parting shots:

– British Columbia’s Central City Brewers and Distillers is releasing a special 12-pack of collaborative brews in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. Atlantic Canadian breweries Quidi Vidi, Garrison, Picaroons, and PEI Brewing are all part of the Red Racer Across The Nation Collaboration, which we expect to be available at local LCs in the spring. We’ll have details on the four local beers when available, in the meantime here’s a bit more information.
Good Robot managed to get a keg of Red Moon Landing on tap for their FemmeBot event on Wednesday, but due to a chiller issue, the remainder of that AlphaBrew batch won’t be available until this coming Wednesday. Meanwhile, you can enjoy their March Madness Cribbage Tournament on Sunday, March 12, with 32 players and a potential $150 pot, or this month’s Silent Reading event on Thursday the 16th.
– For those of you in the Annapolis Valley, be sure to request your Lunn’s Mill Growler Delivery ASAP, and ask for their brand new Eclipse Black IPA. Hoppy, roasty, and with plenty of bitterness, it’ll get you warmed up after shovelling out from the snow that may be coming our way this weekend.
– Mil Street St John’s has released their Black Bart Brown Ale earlier this week, featuring El Dorado hops. The 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU beer is named after Black Bart, a pirate who terrorized Newfoundland, starting in the 17th century. Look for the beer to be released at the end of the month, or early March.
– If you love the DOA from Unfiltered Brewing, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s back at the brewery and next door at Charm School as of today at noon. Same 100+ IBU. Same 7.5% ABV. Double Orange Apocalypse.

Happy Friday everyone! What a week of weather for our region! Snow and power outages and cancellations have plagued the region for the past while, but thankfully our local brewers haven’t rested to get us the great beer we all crave. Check out the latest news, and stay warm!

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, responsible for producing malt used in breweries across the province, has announced that they will begin operating a small brewery onsite, slated to open this summer. The 120 litre (1 BBL) system would serve as a testing ground for the different malt varieties they have on offer, in order to give commercial brewers and visitors to the Malt House the chance to taste the different characteristics of their offerings. The beers would be available on-site only, in their tasting room and facility outside of Wolfville, along with other breweries’ offerings showcasing their malts. We’ll have much more on the details of the brewery closer to launch in July. You can learn more in person yourself with a visit to the Malt House for an Open House tomorrow, 2:30-4:00pm.

• Rothesay’s Foghorn recently hosted Patrick Dionne, head brewer at Petit-Sault, for a collaboration brew on their system. Well, that beer is now available on tap, and we’ve got some details to share! Epic Fume is a 5.7% ABV Smoked Porter, featuring beech-smoked malt in the grist to give gentle smoke characteristics in both the aroma and flavour. It’s currently pouring at the Foghorn taproom, and is on tap at the Five and Dime in Saint John. For those of you in the Edmundston area, look for it to start pouring at Petit-Sault sometime next week.

• Sticking with Petit-Sault, they’ll be brewing this year’s Big Boots Brew tomorrow, an annual event sponsored by the Pink Boots Society. This one will actually be a collaboration brew, as Wendy Papadopoulos, head brewer at Big Tide, will be participating, along with four other women from the area. The theme for this year’s international brew is Ancient/Historical Beer, with Petit-Sault and Big Tide deciding on a Gruit for their brew, an un-hopped style of beer that relies on the use of herbs for flavouring and bittering. The collaboration beer will be named Malobiannah Gruit, after a local legend involving a young Malecite woman who sacrified herself to save her people during an Iroquois invasion in the Grand Falls area. The grist will feature 2-row, Pilsner, and Honey malt, and a carefully-chosen mix of herbs that includes yarrow, goldenrod, sweet gale, bayberry and lavender. Some local maple syrup will also be added to the brew, which should come in at 5.2% ABV. The beer will be released on International Women’s Day on March 8th, and we can confirm that it will be making an appearance at this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival on March 11th.

• Although they don’t have anything truly new for us this week, we’re told that Good Robot in Halifax has a batch of their Burban Legend APA coming to the taps, this one of the v2.0 variety (that’s the one dry hopped with citrussy Cascade and stone fruit Amarillo). Knowing they’d have to sweeten the pot to get us to mention that, they also spilled the beans on a special batch brewed up just yesterday with their staff. Red Moon Rising was brewed for their Women’s Day event, FemmeBot, coming up in March. It’s a Red IPA leaning heavily on Bestmalz Red X, a base malt known for imparting a deep red color. Also in the malt bill are Vienna for some toasty/biscuity notes and flaked barley for mouthfeel and body. Hops include their own “GR Blend” (think Falconer’s Flight 7C’s Good Robot-style) at bittering time and Equinox during whirlpool and the planned dry-hop for a tropical and fruity presence. It’s fermenting now on the classic Cal Ale yeast. Look for release details in the coming weeks (we’d bet somewhere around March 8th…).

• Meanwhile in Fredericton, Grimross has already released the second entry in their new Scratch series, Scratch #2: Belgian IPA. This 6.7% ABV, 65 IBUs brew was hopped with Cascade, Columbus, Herkules and Amarillo, most of which were grown in New Brunswick. The brewery describes it as having “a pleasant, citrus hop profile on the nose and palate, and finishes clean and dry”. Fermented, of course, with a Belgian yeast strain to add some classic fruity esters and spicy phenolics to blend with the hop characteristics, it’s on tap at the brewery now for pints and growler fills; you may see it pop up around the city, as well. Grimross has also just brewed a collaboration with Dumfries Maples, featuring a large addition of maple syrup from the Dumfries, NB sugarbush. Details on Dumfries Maples Brown Ale are being kept a secret for now… stay tuned!

• Speaking of beers brewed with maple syrup, TrailWay also has one fermenting right now. No, this isn’t actually a coincidence – the New Brunswick government has been encouraging breweries in the province to collaborate with local maple producers to brew these beers. While we’re not sure of the exact details of this arrangement, we’ve been told there are benefits provided to breweries who do so. TW has brewed an Imperial Stout with maple syrup from Briggs Maples; expect it to come in around 9% ABV. TW has also confirmed that the beer will be packaged in cans, as well as kegs.

• The new DIPA from Maybee Brewing that we teased about a couple of weeks ago is officially being released today. Look Off DIPA is a big beer at 9% ABV, and was hopped mainly with Amarillo and Chinook (to 105 calculated IBUs). Described by the brewery as “super juicy”, it’ll be available at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and at better beer establishments in Fredericton (including the James Joyce and 540 Kitchen & Bar later today). Look for it to also be released in cans sometime next week, and be sure to take note of the updated label designs for Maybee cans at the same time.

Spindrift teased a new beer on Instagram that they’ve just brewed, based on popular casks they have brought to beer festivals in the past: Blueberry Chai Pilsner (featuring Rooibus Chai tea from World Tea House). They’re keeping quiet on the exact specs and details for now, but don’t worry, we’ll have more, soon! In the meantime, they’re taking their Abyss Schwarzbier to the next level, and bottling a batch of it that sat in barrels, on cherries, next week. It should be available for purchase sometime in mid-March.

• The taps at Gahan Harbourfront in Halifax will see a special brew this week as Erebos Porter makes its debut. Starting its life as a batch of Night Vision American Porter, it was aged extensively on figs in Hungarian oak barrels that formerly held Merlot at Bear River Vineyards. According to brewmaster Kyle, the wood and the fruit have rounded out the beer, which is normally quite dry, providing a nice dark fruit character without astringency. With only two barrels (110 litres each) available, this one’s not likely to be available for fills, so plan to hang around the pub and enjoy a pint. And this is the last call for homebrewers interested in taking part in the Home Brewer’s Challenge must contact Kyle to sign up.

Garrison Brewing has released the latest in their test batch series, with Test Batch – Code Name: Juicy 2 today. This hazy East Coast Double IPA comes in at 8.0% ABV and 65 IBU, featuring loads of late hopping featuring CitraCometEkuanot, and Mosaic, for citrus, pineapple and tropical aromatics and flavour, resulting in a, you guessed it, juicy beer. Compared to the first test batch, this one features a softer mouthfeel, suitable for an extended session of enjoyment. Juicy 2 is available now for growler fills and bottles at the brewery, on tap at select bars around town this weekend, and early next week in bottles at the private stores.

• As was reported this week by a legitimate news source (as opposed to three guys with a blog), Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyon’s Brook is the latest brewery in the region to purchase a canning line. Citing their existing bottling setup as a source of inefficiency in their system, the line from Calgary (no doubt from the fine folks at Cask Brewing Systems) is expected to help them output an additional 1,000 litres per week and take the packaging process from 2-3 days down to a couple of hours. The installation of the line in May will allow them to meet orders for two new listings with the NSLC in addition to their IPA, namely their Sunburst Pale Ale and a rotating slot. One item in the article of particular note is the comment by co-owner Rebecca Whiffen that the funds to lease the line are to some extent coming from the savings seen in the reduction of the RSMA this year by the Provincial government. While the overall validity of the RSMA can still be debated (or serve as the basis for a lawsuit), it is certainly telling to see how quickly its reduction has made a positive difference to at least one brewery in the province.​ We won’t be surprised if it’s not the only one.

• Cunning schemers that they are, those crazy kids at Stillwell are already planning for Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week in May. As they announced on twitter Valentine’s Day (feel the love, people), they’re committing to pouring the best NS Craft Beer Taplist possible all week long during Craft Beer Week. What’s “the best NS Craft Beer Taplist” you ask? Why, it’s the one assembled from YOUR votes! Fling your interweeb device over to this page right here and cast your votes in the four categories provided. Stillwell will apply patented algorithms and serious business to generate a top 12 which will grace the wall at the start of the week. From there cult favourites will rotate in. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing what that wall looks like come May.

For those of you fully shovelled out, we’ve got a few events on the go that are worthwhile checking out:

• This Sunday, February 19th, up in Nyanza, Big Spruce will be hosting an information session for FarmWorks, an Investment Co-operative founded in 2011 that operates as a Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF). The time has come for another round of investment and this is a chance for you to learn how the organization works to support food-related businesses in the region. Meanwhile, beer samples and snacks will be served and you’ll have the opportunity to tour the new Big Spruce Brewery! More information is available here.

• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection has scheduled their next event for Wednesday, March 8th. This one will be held at Grimross Brewing from 6:30-8 pm, and will feature a brewery tour, a discussion on Grimross and the beers they brew, and of course a tasting flight, with additional pours available for purchase afterwards. It only costs $8.75 to attend; send an email to freddyladiesbeerconnection@gmail.com to hold your spot.

• Good Robot has a couple events on the go this week. Thursday, February 23rd sees the latest in the Good Robot Tiny Pub Concerts series, with Villages, Kim Harris, and Daniel Walker (of Owen Meany’s Batting Stance) coming out to give you an intimate night of Celtic, folk, soul and banter. “Less of a kitchen party and more of a Saturday night at home with friends.” Then on Saturday, February 25th, look for the GR gang at the Craft Beer Cottage Party and consider heading down to the taproom afterwards for their luau after-party with the fine folks from Upstreet Brewing and the dulcet tones of Hawaiian-influenced steel guitar swing band Kokonut Kings.

And before we head out for the weekend…
– There is a new beer from Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery, Nor’Easter Cascadian Dark Ale. At 7.7% ABV and 100 IBUs, it features Cascade and Chinook hops from Moose Mountain and Columbus from Southan Farms, both located along the Saint John River in New Brunswick. It is available at the brewery on Lower Water Street. And look out for a Nitro version of their Lunenburg Coffee & Cacao Stout, available at Lower Deck locations across the province.
– Although we reported on the release of Fathom from Nine Locks last week, it only showed up on tap and for growler fills, not in the promised cans. But keen eyes noticed the good word on Facebook this week that Fathom hit the canning line. Look for it at the private liquor stores around HRM in the near future.
– We previously mentioned a new blackberry Milk Stout from North Brewing being released for Zuppa Theatre’s Pop-up Love Party that started last night and goes until Sunday. The 5.7% ABV beer was aged in the tank at Battery Park and will be available in 650ml bottles at both North bottle shops and the private stores in Halifax. Look for in on tap as well at Battery Park, including two nitro kegs.

Lunn's Mill

Lunn’s Mill Beer Company will be opening later this month in Lawrencetown, in the heart of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Located almost exactly half-way between Digby and Somerset, the brewery will help to serve the population looking to support a small local brewery. Lunn’s Mill is the original name for Lawrencetown, named after John Lunn, who purchased a wood mill lot there in 1760, before being renamed in honour of Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence in 1822. Mark Reid and Sean Ebert, along with Chantelle Webb and Chad Graves, are the force behind Lunn’s Mill, and brewer Mark sat down with us to answer some questions about their plans for opening, their brewing system, and beers they’ll be offering.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Lunn’s Mill Beer Co. is a partnership of 4 people who live in the Annapolis Valley. Sean and I have been homebrewing all-grain beer together for a few years now, and have toyed with the idea of opening a real brewery for some time. The time never really seemed right, so we just decided to do it anyway. We partnered with Chantelle to focus on food in the taproom and Chad to help with the business side to form an A-Team for the modern age.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
My interest in craft beer was sparked by a work trip to Belgium which had an unexpected stop at Delirium Cafe in Brussels. That gave me a chance to try a bunch of beer styles I’d never really thought about before, and finding them very enjoyable, I continued branching out and trying different things when I got back home as well. Around 2012, I started brewing all-grain beer, planted a few hop rhizomes in my back yard, and ever since then, brewing and drinking reinforced each other as fun and rewarding activities.
Sean and I met about three years ago and started brewing regularly together a year later. If I recall correctly, the conversation went something like: “Hey, do you want to brew and drink all the things?” “Sure!”
All four of us have been increasingly delighted with the quality and variety of local craft beer over the past couple of years.

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
I’d been daydreaming about starting a brewery for several years, and after having the “should we? shouldn’t we?” discussion with Sean enough times we decided that the time would never be better than right now. Craft beer is booming, we’ve got a few recipes dialed in, and our home base is smack in the middle of one of the largest remaining brewery-less areas in the province (Annapolis County).
There’s a very strong “support local” culture, and we want to add an excellent local option for beer.

What are your plans for distribution? Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We’re planning to roll things out in phases. First is growler fills onsite at the brewery at 515 Carleton Rd (Highway 201), with weekly subscription-based home delivery in the immediate area (Annapolis Royal to Greenwood). Shortly after that, we’ll be opening a taproom, and eventually we’d like to start canning beer – all the cool kids are doing it. We have spoken to a few establishments about tap accounts, but haven’t finalized anything yet.

Can you tell us about the beers you will have at launch?
Our initial lineup consists of four beers:
Charming Molly – Blonde Ale – Nice and light-bodied, this beer has just a hint of hops and a crisp, slightly sweet malty character. 4.7%, 14 IBU
Brickyard Red – Red Ale – Rich and malty with a deep ruby colour. 6.2%, 20 IBU
Lunn’s Pub Ale – English Bitter – Copper colour with low-medium bitterness and mild hop character. True to style, it has relatively low carbonation so you can pour a full glass without all that pesky foam. 4.5%, 37 IBU
XPA #1 – The first iteration of our ever-evolving (x = experimental) IPA – Hop-forward, bright and citrusy. Very pale, slightly hazy. Highly sessionable. 5%, 80 IBU
We also plan on offering seasonals as capacity permits: harvest brews with hops grown here in the valley, some darker beers for the darker months including a Black IPA and a Porter, easy drinking patio beers for the summer.
One thing I’m particularly excited about is what we’re calling the Showcase Series. This is where we hope to offer small batches of a recipe brewed two ways, showcasing one small variation at a time – Cascade vs. Centennial hops, say, or 2-Row vs. Maris Otter, or US-05 yeast vs. Nottingham – one tweak and folks can try them side-by-side to see what difference it makes in the final beer. The potential items to showcase are nearly endless, and our aim is to let people gain a better understanding of the different facets of beer.

Lunn’s Mill is using a BIAC (Brew In A Conical) system, where the wort drains/lauters out through the bottom of a colander. Related to Brew In A Bag, a popular technique for homebrewers.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada?
You always hear the same answer on this topic – breweries in Nova Scotia are extremely helpful and welcoming – and it’s absolutely true. More specifically though, the folks at Saltbox went above and beyond, giving us a ton of advice early on even when they were extremely busy launching their own business! Boxing Rock graciously invited Sean and I to brew with them after we placed second in last year’s Black Box Challenge (aside: can’t wait to see what this year’s contest brings!) which gave us the bug to take our brewing hobby to the next level. Les Barr at Roof Hound has been great as well with a constant flow of communication, advice, tips and friendly encouragement.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next few years?
We hope to see the overall craft beer industry expand and make further inroads with the broader beer-drinking population. As part of that, we hope to contribute to the diversity and quality of local Nova Scotia products by making exciting beers and building an awesome venue to share them! We’d love to experiment with hyper-local brewing, growing ingredients for the beer (and eventually for the kitchen) right at our facility’s 7-acre riverside property.

Do you have an approximate launch date?
Our initial brews are bubbling as we speak! We are aiming for a soft launch later this month (February) for growler fills, ramping up as our production capacity permits. Expect to see us at your favourite craft beer events this spring!

Emptying the colander after the lauter is complete.

Tell us about the brewing system you are using.
Right now we’re brewing on a 1.5 barrel system from BREWHA Equipment in Vancouver. I’m not aware of anyone else in Nova Scotia using their BIAC systems, but we love ours so far. We plan to expand to a 5 barrel system in the future, keeping the current gear as a pilot system and for brewing up the showcase recipes.

Can you share some info on your homebrewing history?
I’ve been home brewing since my university days, though always from those Cooper’s kits. The goal back then was different of course (cheap and tolerable), and things really shifted as I started to drink and enjoy craft beer – I switched to all-grain to see if I could hit a new goal: something delicious that was hard to find locally. I started with the brown ale recipe from John Palmer’s iconic How to Brew book. That very first batch turned out well, and I was hooked. From there I went on to experimenting with different kinds of ingredients, which really sparked the “showcase” idea; brewing up a ton of different SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop beers) to figure out the flavour profiles of different hops; then designing recipes to combine them in interesting ways.
Sean and I started brewing together about three years ago, brewing our first attempt at a Black IPA. We worked hard on consistency and repeatability, designed several new recipes, and joked about starting a brewery one day.
Last year I entered the Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge, and with Sean’s help came in 2nd place with a White IPA called Hop Springs Eternal. We’d never brewed a White IPA, but it turned out good enough for Henry and Emily to want to brew it at a commercial scale. The experience of brewing there was great (all of the fun, none of the responsibility!) and made Sean and I have some less joking, more serious, discussions about ramping up.

The conical is jacketed, allowing cold water in the double wall to chill the beer during recirculation,

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Between the four of us, we have have quite a broad range of favourite styles. My go-tos are hoppy IPAs and sours. Sean is all over Saisons and IPAs. Chantelle prefers dark beers, but also a good hefeweizen. Chad likes a nice crisp lager or a flavourful pale ale. We are all eager to try a new beer of any style, particularly from here in Nova Scotia.

How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
Hmm, nutmeg? Just kidding, that one’s already taken. We tend to stick with traditional ingredients – hops, barley, yeast and water – keeping adjuncts to a minimum, though we do occasionally use oats or wheat in the grain bill as well. One thing during the harvest season that has been a lot of fun is using fresh hops from a farm that’s within walking distance of my home. It’s very satisfying to go from picking the cones to drinking the result.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to say a big thanks to AIRO – they were a huge early supporter and we wouldn’t have gotten this far without them.
Thanks also to Geordan at Quarrelsome Yeti for the great work designing our logo.

Thanks to Mark and the rest of the Lunn’s Mill crew for spending time with us. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on their progress, and those in the area can sign up now for their soon-to-be-launched Growler Delivery service. We’ll be sure to let you know all of the details on their launch later this month, once announced!