Happy entry into the long weekend! We naturally decided that the best place to grab your attention is while you’re at work, so that’s why we’re posting today, instead of tomorrow (that and we don’t really feel like working on a holiday either). So sit back with a coffee or beer and enjoy the latest in Atlantic Canadian beer news. Oh, and remember, Sunday is April 1st, so mentally prepare yourself… just a fair warning.

• Bootstrap BrewPub opens tomorrow at 184 Hampton Rd in Quispamsis. With a 240 litre brewing system onsite, the four brewers are launching with thirteen of their own beers to start, ranging from Blonde and Amber Ales, to NE and traditional IPAs, ESB and Stouts. Rounding out their 25 taps are a dozen guest ciders and beers from around the province. In addition to the beers, they will be serving small plates of food, ala food truck, to keep you satisfied. Concentrating on their own location, the only spot to try Bootstrap is at Bootstrap, and with so many different beers on the go and their small system size, you’ll want to keep an eye on their social media for frequent rotation (FB and IG). Help celebrate their opening from noon tomorrow, and stay tuned for a full Profile with them very soon. Congratulations to the Bootstrap crew!

• And in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the long-awaited opening of Scudrunner Brewing will soon be a reality. Owned by a group of pilots, the brewery is named after the practice of adjusting a plane’s altitude to avoid cloud and other poor weather. Their taproom at 131 Roe Ave in Gander is expected to be fully licensed and open for business next week, pouring the beers brewed on their 10 BBL (1200 litre) system. Pouring next week will be an Ordinary Bitter, an American Pale Ale (citrusy with a touch of haze), a hoppy Red Ale, and a mild-in-bitterness Dark IPA. When given the “cleared for takeoff” sign on social media (FB, Tw, IG), drop by for samples and pints, and take home a growler of your favourite brews. Congratulations to this crew on their inaugural flight!

• And in the “coming soon” category, New Scotland Brewing now has a home in downtown Dartmouth. Those who are familiar with New Scotland Clothing Co. might know from some of their social media that they’re getting into the craft brewing game. For everyone else, consider this your notice! Scott and Kevin Saccary, who founded the clothing company, are teaming up with their friend Mike Gillespie to bring New Scotland Brewing Co., a 5 hectolitre (4.5 BBL) brewery and 40-seat taproom to downtown Dartmouth, at 91 Alderney Drive. With an assortment of fermenters ranging from 150 to 1200L comprising their total fermentation capacity of 56hL, they intend to produce 5 “signature” brews alongside a wide range of “fun and sometimes experimental projects.” This will include various beer styles, with traditional Scottish and English styles represented, as well as more modern American styles (including wild ales and sours), and even ciders and meads (the term “session mead” was even mentioned)! Focus will be placed on sourcing ingredients locally, from malt to hops, fruit and vegetables, honey, herbs and even sea salt. Mike has also spent the last few years isolating wild microbes and is looking forward to leveraging those skills for the brewery. Sales will be largely through the taproom, with pints and growler fills available, although the occasional keg may escape captivity to other local establishments, and they do have access to a single-head canner for special limited edition runs. And in keeping with all three principals being active musicians, the taproom has been designed with the capacity for live music in mind, where local and out of town artists can come in and play an intimate show for a small audience. We’ve talked to enough folks who have set up breweries to know that things don’t always go as planned, but right now Mike, Kevin and Scott are hoping to open their doors in late summer; you can follow them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to see how that’s going and certainly check back here for a profile as the official opening day approaches.

• Switching from “opening soon”, to “recently opened”, Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin, NS, has two new beers on the go this week, both part of the Small Lot Series they use for experimentation and recipe refinement. The first is Sauvin Saison featuring the elusive Nelson Sauvin hop variety known for its white wine-esque qualities and a natural for pairing with the dry, often citrus and phenolic character of saison yeast. Built on a grist of largely Pilsner with some Vienna and wheat malts added, the result is a very dry beer with a lemon character from the yeast and gooseberry, mango and citrus notes from the hops. Reminiscent of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it comes in at 45 IBU and 6.8% ABV. Also available this week is a new Belgian Tripel, a big’un tipping the scales at 37 IBU and a hefty 9.3% ABV. Using a different yeast and hopping regime than the last version of this beer has resulted in a more integrated beer than the last batch. That said, the beer is so popular that a grassroots campaign has been started amongst Tanner’s customers to generate enough pre-orders to justify a full-size 3 BBL batch! Look for both of these brews to be available at the brewery this weekend, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 12-5.

• Charlottetown’s Upstreet will be releasing the second in their new Neon Friday series (bi-weekly, hop-focused beers), Amarillo Orange Milkshake IPA. The name kind of gives it away, but we can fill in a couple of details! A Milkshake IPA featuring the usual addition of lactose in the boil (to provide a touch of residual sweetness, as well as additional mouthfeel), it was dry-hopped with the ultra-fruity Amarillo, and also features orange zest and vanilla extract added to the beer post-fermentation. At 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs, you’ll be able to find this one on Friday (of course!), on tap only at Upstreet for pints and growlers, and the new Craft Beer Corner for more of the same (plus crowlers!).

• Over in Newfoundland, Bootleg Brew Co. recently tapped their latest, SMaSH ’em Up. As you may have guessed, this is a Single-Malt-and-Single-Hop brew, featuring 2-row and Mosaic, respectively. Interestingly, the hops were added continuously over a 60-minute boil, with three dry-hop additions featured as well. The result of all this Mosaic is a “super fruity and bright IPA with pineapple, mango, and citrus aromas and flavours, and not a lot of bitterness”. The brewery also describes the beer as quite drinkable, despite an ABV of 7.6% ABV (and 56 IBUs). And for those thirsty fans not on the West coast of the province, we’ve got great news! For the first time, Bootleg’s beers are available in St. John’s! , with a keg of their Winter Ale on tap at Chinched Bistro, and the SMaSH ’em Up will be available soon at SETO Kitchen + Bar. And look for some coming soon at Quidi Vidi’s taproom, set to open in the next couple of weeks.

• Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing has a new IPA to share this week called The Big Deal. Packed with Amarillo and Simcoe hops for a grapefruit and resinous punch, it’s 6% ABV, 70 IBU, and available at their taproom now along with a selection of their other hop-happy offerings and some guest taps as well. They’ll also be open tomorrow from noon ’til midnight for all your Good Friday beer needs!

• Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing has added a new Assistant Brewer to their team, Steve Crane. With a solid homebrewing background over the past many years, and working and managing at local homebrew shop Noble Grape, this is Crane’s first foray into the commercial side of beer. And you don’t have to wait long to taste his first beer, First Kraken Brown Porter. The latest in the their Seventh Wave Series (small batch beers out every Thursday), this 5.5% ABV Porter features notes of coffee and roast on the nose, with flavours of raisin, plum, and caramel. Due to the batch size, First Kraken, and all others in the Seventh Wave, are only available on tap at the brewery on Frazee Avenue, so drop by today on your way home from work.

• The gang at Niche Brewing has yet another new beer for us this week (although we’ve been promised a little break in the debut action coming up) and once again it sees them taking a well-known style, IPA, and taking it a little bit off the beaten path. The Best of Both Worlds brings a Belgian flair, with Pilsner, Aromatic and Wheat malts forming the grist and a Southern Hemisphere twist from the use of Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin hops at the the end of the boil and for two dry-hop additions. Fermented with a combination of two different yeast strains, it’s got a light spice character, a complex mix of fruit notes that includes passion fruit and stone fruit, and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel all leading to a dry finish. They’re calling this light orange 6.4% ABV beer a “Belgian IPA” but it’s certainly open to interpretation. Look for it to appear at Niche accounts in the region and order a pint so you can decide for yourself! And for a glimpse behind the taps at Rob and Shawn from Niche Brewing, grab this week’s 902 BrewCast, when Kyle and Tony dropped by their Hanwell brewery to talk about all things brewing (homebrewing and commercial), cleaning (there’s a lot of that!!), and the future of Niche.

• Next week’s Good Robot beer releases are locked and loaded, so let’s start off with their latest Alpha beer, which will see the light (of your stomach?) next Thursday, April 5th. But Wait, There’s More! IPA involved some new ingredients and techniques for the GR crew, including experimental hop HBC 342, the aroma of which has been described as “mild, pleasant, citrusy and tropical, with some notes of melon” (hops don’t get those catchy names until they’re widely available for sale). The brewing staff also played with the method of biotransformation, where dry hops are added during active fermentation, as opposed to afterwards. In a nutshell, it involves active yeast ingesting hop oils and turning them into different compounds, resulting in an entirely new hop profile in the finished beer. It’s a method that has been increasing in popularity in homebrewing and professional brewing circles for the last couple of years. Good Robot’s take clocks in at 6.6% ABV and 91 IBUs.

• And for Good Robot’s Beta brew, they bring us Como Bailamos. The brainchild of employee Nicki Brown, the idea was to mimic Mexican chocolate. The beer itself is a Porter brewed with plenty of dark malt, along with cocoa nibs, chocolate malt, chocolate extract and Bird’s Eye peppers (7-8 times higher on the Scoville scale than jalapenos). The result? A spicy (surprise!), chocolatey beer with lots of roast character; 4.6% ABV, 26 IBUs. Look for it on tap at the brewery this coming Tuesday.

• Moving through Halifax to Tidehouse, who will be releasing the poignantly-named Honeypepper Don’t Give a Frig this weekend. A 6.4% ABV American IPA brewed with 2-row, Honey malt, Melanoidin and Vienna, some real honey and black peppercorns were added at the end of the boil, along with a “goodly dose” of Centennial hops. With a “sweet, malty taste and a light, spicy note topped with Centennial citrus/floral hoppiness”, it still finishes quite dry. Look for it in tiny pours and growler fills at the brewery taproom. But that’s not all! They’ll also soon be releasing this year’s version of their Baltic Porter, Baltimax. With a base of Munich malt, and additions of Crystal Wheat, Crystal 120 L, and Midnight Wheat in the grist, this iteration was hopped entirely with Saaz. Weighing in at 7% ABV, look for this one on tap, soon.

• Good Friday isn’t stopping the folks at TrailWay from releasing their newest weekly creation, as Mood Ring – their latest Imperial IPA – available on tap and in cans tomorrow. Hopped with two of the brewery’s favourite varieties – Ella and Mosaic – this 8% ABV beer has a “unique, distinct dank fruitiness, and massive tropical fruit”. Light-coloured and smooth like most of their hoppy releases, this one is going to be available at the brewery only.

• This past weekend marked the finals of the Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge, with homebrewers from across the Maritimes sharing their skills in recipe creation and execution, with all starting from the same box of ingredients. With 25 entries, the competition was stiff, but after blind judging earlier in the week, and then a great round of presentations and more judging Sunday, there could only be one winner. Our own acbbaaron was the victor, with his Oh Snap! American Brown Ale with Ginger taking high points in both the presentation and creative use of ingredients (that ginger was separated piece by piece from the allotment of green tea, and he made his own inverted sugar from the dextrose provided). An extremely close second was Derek Woods’s Bursted IPA, which had taken top honours in the blind tasting, and was helped by Wood’s debut in the East Coast rapping scene during his presentation. Third place went to Derek Gates and Aaron Hebb for their Oatmeal Stout, who bribed the judges (and the rest of the attendees) with homemade oatmeal stout cookies. Always a great time catching up with fellow members of the homebrewing community, the event was very well attended, and beside a few nervous presenters, everyone was in high spirits. Look for Oh Snap!, and maybe a few others in the finals), to make their debut in the coming months.

• It looks like PEI Brewing Co. is continuing to brew new beers for the one-off After Hours series, with their newest brew – Cuvée La Joye – also being the first of the series to be bottled. Falling in the Belgian Golden Strong style (think Belgian Tripel, but a usually a bit stronger, paler, and drier), this particular brew was aged for 8 months in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, and then blended with a younger, non-barreled beer to dampen the barrel character slightly. With lots of Pilsner malt in the grist, the beer was hopped with European varieties to add some spiciness to go with the yeast character. It’s available in 750 mL bottles at the brewery taproom starting today, and at 9% ABV, is probably best shared with one or two others! Expect more After Hours beers (specifically, three of them) to be released soon, over time.

• After almost two years of great success, Charlottetown’s HopYard – a beer bar focusing on regional beers, an excellent, rotating food menu, vinyl, and relaxed vibes – has announced that they will be opening a Halifax location, at 2103 Gottingen Street. Co-owner Mike Ross has assured us that the same HopYard experience will carry over to the Halifax location, with a simple-yet-eclectic menu that changes every two weeks, and plenty of vinyl supplied by Back Alley Music in an environment with approximately 125 seats. And, naturally, beer! Ten rotating taps will feature you favourites from across the Maritimes. An exact date for the grand opening hasn’t been set, but expect to see their doors open sometime this summer. Peep their HopYard Halifax FB page for details along the way.

• It’s a homebrew kind of week here in the region, as Garrison Brewing is also celebrating these amateurs brewers with the announcement Gala for their 10th Annual Home Brew-Off this evening. From 45 entries in the Kolsch category, the top 4 have been decided, with the ultimate winner announced this evening at the brewery. That also means that last year’s winning beer will be debuting at the brewery this evening. Rowdy Roger Piper is the winning recipe brewed by Roger Ringuette to win the 2017 edition of the competition, and was re-brewed in the fall on Garrison’s system, with Ringuette joining Brewmaster Daniel Girard and Brewer Kellye Robertson on the day. With a malt bill of 2-Row Maritime Pale, Amber, and Crystal malts, plus Flaked Oats and Roasted Barley, this 7.8% ABV dark brown beer lets the malt shine through with caramel, dried fruit and licorice flavours, lightly hopped to 22 IBU with Willamette. From Girard, “You don’t need to know how good this beer is to know how good this beer is. With its sweet maltiness & full bodied flavour, 2017 Home Brew-Off Winner Roger Ringuette delivered the goods & now its time to pay the piper.” 650 mL bottles of Rowdy Roger Piper will be available to the public tomorrow at the brewery, and eventually at NSLC locations across the province.

• Launching on Monday is the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia‘s community beer, Made Here By Us. Released to celebrate the CBANS Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, April 27 to May 6, this 5.0% ABV was brewed at Tatamagouche, at the end of February, with more than 25 member breweries in attendance to take part in the fun, all while swapping stories (and beers). The beer features Pale, Vienna, Wheat, and Cara malts, all from the valley’s Horton Ridge Malt, for an amber colour and clean malt character. The Crystal hops for the beer came from Tata’s hop farm in Malagash, with a light addition of Tettenang for a Noble spicy character. As for the yeast, the brew team used a wild yeast collected from a Pincherry on Big Spruce in Nyanza (and isolated and grown up by Escarpment Labs). This Amber Table Beer’s yeast character shines through nicely, with spiciness characteristic of Belgian Dubbel or Blonde beers, enhanced by the Noble hops. The beer is being released in cans at the NSLC province-wide April 2nd, as well as at Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar.  $1/can is going to CBANS efforts to improve the brewing scene for all in the province, through promotion and increasing the voice of the local brewing community. Keep an eye on their (and our) social media as the schedule for next months’ NS Craft Beer Week is finalized, and we encourage you to grab a few cans of Made Here By Us to help support the cause.

What’s on the go this weekend?

Boxing Rock will be taking over the taps at Lion and Bright from 5PM today. With 7 taps flowing at a time (plus extra kegs to rotate in during the evening), there will be a mix of Classic BR beers, as well as some new favourites, recently released. Chef Tyrone will have plenty of beer-friendly bites to serve up, and DJ Loukas Stilldrunk will start spinning tunes starting at 9PM. Come chat with the cool cats from Boxing Rock (and wish co-owner/-brewer Henry Happy Birthday!) all evening long.

• A reminder that Stillwell is welcoming a bevvy of London-area breweries to take over their taps on Saturday, March 31st. From Bitters, Session IPAs, to hazy NEIPAs there should be something for everyone on tap from noon. And for those of the cider persuasion, mark your calendars for April 7th, as Revel Cider from Guelph will be featured on tap. Revel’s motto seems to be “less [interaction] is more”, as their ciders are spontaneously fermented and barrel-aged and blended at packaging, making them an easy sell for those of us who enjoy the wilder side of beer.

• Garrison has announced the line-up for their Backlot Bash, taking place Saturday June 16th. Juno Award-winning The Glorious Sons will be joined by The Motorleague and Hello Delaware. And fans can help shape the rest of the line-up by taking part in Live 105’s Battle for the Bash Contest. More details on their website. As usual, proceeds are going to the Ecology Action Centre, and tickets went on sale this morning!

Just a few newsbites today:
– In late-breaking news today, Lunenburg’s Grand Banker has announced that they will be adding a brewery to their location this summer. Shipwright Brewing will start on a small system on the first floor of the building, and expand to another location on Victoria Road later on. Keep an eye on their FB page, and here, for their progress.
Nine Locks has brought back their Watermelon Blonde this week, and the brewery is the only spot to pick it up at this time.
– Brewed as part of Pink Boots Brew Day, Petit-Sault is celebrating the release of Phémie-la-Bootlegger. A 4.6% ABV “maple chocolate truffle” Porter, it features maple syrup from local producer Montagne Verte. Available in bottles and on tap at the brewery in Edmundston, it may also make it to Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing, as Brewer Wendy Papadopoulos took part in the brew day.
Tusket Falls Brewing on the South Shore has released a Kettle Sour this week, Left Right Here. Details on the beer are thin at the moment, but we’ll update once we know more.

A quick reminder to double-check that your favourite brewery or retail location is open before visiting tomorrow/Sunday/Monday, as many are adjusting their hours this Easter Weekend. Cheers!

While it may not exactly look it today, we marked the end of Winter, and beginning of Spring, this week. Apparently no one told the meteorologists! Let’s hope these are the last throes of the white stuff for another 9 months, and the weather can turn a bit warmer, with all of those great local hop and grain crops beginning their journey up from the soil, and (eventually) into our glasses. Cheers!

• Yesterday, Lunn’s Mill introduced two new one-offs to their taproom line-up in Lawrencetown. The first is You Can Call Miel, a Saison brewed with Pilsner malt and hopped with Hallertau. When fermentation with French Saison yeast was about complete, they added some locally-produced honey from Sophie’s Bees to allow the beer to dry out even further. After a long aging period (3 months) the beer was finally packaged, exhibiting “delicate honey aromatics and a soft, funky finish” to go with it’s 7.5% ABV package. Next up is 2×4, the brewery’s 100th batch, and their first Double IPA. Incorporated in the grist was some Rye malt from Horton Ridge, to add just a touch of spiciness to the flavour. The beer was double-dry hopped with four different varieties – Azacca, Ekuanot, Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria – giving “bold notes of resin, orange pith, tropical fruit, and pine”. This is another big beer, at 8.6% ABV and 100+ IBUs, and both one-offs have very limited availability, with samples and pints only pouring at the taproom (no growlers, sorry). Those of you in Halifax just may see a keg or two pop up, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

• There’s a whole lot of Good Robot beer flowing at the brewery’s popular taproom on Robie St., with ten different brews pouring as we speak (read?)! And in new beer news, they’ve got one in Alpha, and one in Beta. Let’s start with Alpha, which is Into the Warmth, their latest collaboration with the gents behind the Sickboy Podcast. Falling loosely in the English IPA category, the grist is made up of Maris Otter and Flaked Barley, with a wide variety of hops (some not-so-traditional for an English IPA) being added, such as Belma, Centennial, and Fusion. Fermented with the classic London ESB yeast, it comes in at 6.1% ABV and approximately 60 IBUs; proceeds will benefit Out of the Cold, an emergency winter shelter in Halifax. In Beta news, The Mac was brewed with local homebrewer John MacPhail. Loosely (again?!) based on a White IPA, the beer was brewed with 2-row, Wheat malt, Flaked Corn, and a touch of Vienna, and hopped with El Dorado, Wai-Iti, Mandarina Bavaria, and Zythos. They also took the “why not?” approach for a change (it’s about time!) and threw in some orange peel and Grains of Paradise, and fermented the whole thing with California Ale yeast. Easy-drinking, dry, and crisp at 4.4% ABV and 60 IBUs.

• Fredericton’s TrailWay has their latest American IPA, Good Weather, hitting taps today. If you’re angered by the name, settle down, it could hit any day now, right? As for the beer, this is another of their pale-coloured, easy-drinking hoppy beers, with some candied melon notes thanks to the addition of one of the brewery’s favourite hop varieties, El Dorado. A new experimental variety, BRU-1, was also thrown in; this Yakima Valley hop has been reported to give characteristics of pineapple and stone fruit, with a bit of spice in the background. Now’s your chance to see for yourself, with cans and growlers of this 6.5% ABV IPA available at the brewery starting today.

• The fine gentlemen at Niche Brewing are bringing out yet another new beer this week, marking four weeks in a row (and six of the last seven!) for Niche beer releases. And if you consider there’s been at least one two-release week in there, they’re averaging at least one new beer a week over that span; we’re starting to think just maybe they had a collection of tried and tested recipes all ready to go when they opened last Fall… This week’s new one, Chromatic by Design is in the Red IPA style, a solid 6% IPA beer that’s dark amber and lightly hazy with some toffee and light caramel notes. The body is balanced by a big, juicy tropical presence brought by Citra, Equanot, and Mosaic. Look for it where you usually find Niche beers, at tap accounts in Fredericton and other New Brunswick environs, but occasionally in Nova Scotia (and PEI soon maybe?) as well.

• Down at the far end of the Valley in Annapolis Royal, small batch specialists Annapolis Brewing have two new beers on the go. The first, M*A*S*H Valley Pale Ale, is sort of named for the old TV show but really for the Mosaic, Amarillo, Simcoe and Horizon hops that went into brewing it. The 5.7% ABV beer sports 41 IBU with a grain bill of mostly 2-row accented by a bit of Maris Otter and some medium crystal. A big addition of Mosaic at flameout defines this beer, giving a hoppy jolt on the nose and palate. The other new beer is a Black IPA they’re calling Big Shot. Weighing in at a hefty 7.1% ABV and 60 IBU, it’s a heavy hitter with Chinook, Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe and Cascade hops all bringing their own characters to the mix. The final hit, a dry hop of Amarillo, accentuates the hint of smoke. The team is confident enough in this beer that it’s been entered for judging in the Canadian Brewing Awards that will be hosted in Halifax in May.

• And not to be outdone, our downtown big city small batch brewery, Tidehouse, has two beers coming out this week as well. The first is an exclusive beer for Tidehouse’s regular tap account showcase, aFrite Restaurant, just in time to accompany their Apple Burger being served up for Halifax Burger Week. Belcher’s ESB was brewed with Maris Otter, Crystal Wheat and Flaked Corn with a touch of Pale Chocolate. Hops-wise, it’s flavoured with the American version of the classic British Fuggle strain, known as Willamette (for the river valley in Oregon in which it took hold) before fermentation with a blend of ester-y British yeast strains. We’re told that it’s “fruity, with a pleasant lightly roasty malt flavour” and that it comes in at a very quaffable 5.5% ABV. Also on the go is a second beer from Tidehouse in the Norwegian Farmhouse style. NORDWAVE is a simple beer, with only a base of 2-row pale malt, a touch of aromatic malt and Warrior hops creating a wort that was fermented by the Sigmund Voss Kveik strain. Super sessionable at 4.4% ABV, it’s got notes of sweet orange on a tart base with a hint of funkiness. This one’s available for tasters and fills at they #TinyTastyBeverageRoom on Salter Street.

Trider’s has brought back one of their most popular beers, Maccan Maple, for the season. With fresh, Cumberland County maple sap replacing water in the brew process, the brewery describes this as an Amber Ale. A sweet-tasting Amber Ale, thanks in part to the addition of pure maple syrup during both fermentation and conditioning, it was hopped with English Fuggles to help complement the “intense earthiness” of the brew. Easy-drinking at just 5% ABV, they brewed twice as much this year compared to last, but it’s still expected to go fast. It’s available now in growlers and bottles, with some kegs being sent out to select tap accounts.

• The folks at Halifax’s 2 Crows brewing have a pair of releases set to launch tomorrow at their taproom. First teased at the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest earlier in the month, Maestro is set to make its full debut. This 4.0% ABV Gose was brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malts, along with a touch of raw wheat. Keeping in line with the tradition of the style, the hopping rate is very low, lightly dosed only in the mash tun. There were boil additions, however, consisting of sea salt and coriander. Transfered directly to one of their foedres (large volume wooden barrels), it was first soured with Lactobacillus Plantarum, and then further fermented with the “Amalgamaton” blend of Brettanomyces strains. After a few months of conditioning, allowing the Brett to express themselves, the beer is now ready for our enjoyment. Maestro will makes its debut tomorrow at noon, available on tap, and in cans to take home.

• 2C’s second beer release this weekend is a by-the-glass only release named Heartbreaker. At 5.2% ABV, this hoppy Brett beer features a malt bill of Pale malt, along with Flaked Oats and Barley. Hopped to 40 IBU with BelmaCitra, and Hallertau Blanc in the boil, it was dry-hopped with healthy dose (2kg/hl) of Galaxy and Simcoe before release. In between all of those hops, the fermentation profile was nothing to scoff at: First fermented with “Hothead” yeast from Omega Yeast Labs, and then conditioned for three months with “All The Bretts”. Originally destined for a canning run, the dry-hopping proved so aggressive that they lost more than anticipated to trub (hop matter), and decided to flip the script and release it on draught only, saving all of those hearts from being broken completely. Grab this tropical, funky, dank, yet dry brew from opening at noon tomorrow. And while you’re grabbing the two new releases, check out the pop-up restaurant, by friends Buttered Bliss, featuring several different grilled sandwiches on their menu.

Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville introduced their Cider Club to the general public earlier this week. Membership allows access to special releases selected by their cidermaker, Melanie Eelman, many in very limited quantity. Twice a year, there will be 6 different ciders made available, either exclusive to the Club, or a re-visit of previous “Something Different” releases. During those bottle pick-up events, a guided tasting of the ciders, as well as discussion and the sharing of ideas on what future releases may be. Open to members across the country, those unable to attend can have their bottles shipped to them. While the initial membership run has filled up, check out their page for further details and to sign up to the waitlist.

Just a few events to tell you about this week, so be sure and get out to support your local brewery and good beer bar!

• A reminder that tomorrow is Peche Mortel Day at Fredericton’s King Street Ale House, Halifax’s Stillwell, and Moncton’s Tide & Boar. Featuring a half-dozen different iterations of the Imperial Coffee Stout, including different coffee, hopping levels or alcohol content, there should be something for everyone looking for a solid pint of stout.

• Halifax’s Lion and Bright will be hosting a Boxing Rock Tap Takeover on March 29th, featuring eight different beers from the Shelburne brewery. While the taplist has not yet been released, we expect to see a wide variety of brew pouring, with the BR crew on hand to chat and share the latest news and views from the South Shore. Check the FB Event page for more details leading up to next Thursday.

 

• On March 31st, Stillwell is welcoming eight (*!) London breweries to their wall, the latest in their efforts to give the local good beers fans exposure to brews from around the world. New wave London breweries including Brixton, Canopy, and Partizan have sent over a slew of kegs for enjoyment from noon on Saturday, so be sure to drop by for a taste from across the pond. Check out the full brewery list here, with the taplist reveal expected next week.

• Due to overwhelming response, a second session of the St John’s BrewFest has been added. Coupling with the Saturday evening session is one from 6-10 PM Friday, April 20th, with all other details being the same. Your $30 ticket gets you in the door, your welcome beer and a couple of tokens to get you going on your next beer. Additional beers will require tokens, sold in books of ten. The beer list is still expanding, but take a gander at their site and Facebook for the latest updates.

With Fredericton Craft Beer Fest now almost a week in the past, we suspect some of the hangovers it generated are finally starting to ease, just in time to figure out where the next hangover might come from. We’re willing to bet that for many the phrase “St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday” might figure heavily into that calculation. Here’s the latest in beer releases, brewery news and beer-related events for the week that Spring, uh, springs (sprungs? sprongs? steens?) in 2018!

Quidi Vidi Brewery, located Northwest of downtown St John’s, has seen a lot of change in the past several months. With the end of their legal issues, they are back to focusing on what should be most important in a brewery: beer! With the explosion of small breweries on the island, the reach of well-made flavourful beers is expanding across the province. Recent releases like the Calm Tom’s Double IPA and Mad Mike’s Big Bad Belgian (both award winners at last weekend’s Down East Brewing Awards) signal a sea change in the company, ready to provide exciting beers beyond their traditional offerings. With a 3 BBL (450 litre) pilot brewing system to complement their 20 BBL (2400 litre) brewhouse, and serious renovations happening to accommodate their new taproom, they are looking to expand the width and breadth of their offerings, while not disappointing their loyal fans. With this refocusing, they are looking to hire an assistant brewer, with an attitude on the same wavelength as their Brewmaster Einar Holtet. Check out the job listing here, and be sure to drop them a note soon!

• We’re not sure how much of this will be left, given that it was released last Friday, but Annapolis Cider has a new entry in their Something Different series. Arctic Kiwi combines the juice of locally-harvested Arctic Kiwis with a dry cider made up of McIntosh, Cortland, and Hyslop Crab apples. Unfiltered and sparkling, the resulting cider is quite aromatic, with “bright, tangy notes of fresh kiwi, with a crisp finish”. Best to check with Annapolis to make sure they still have some left! If they do, $0.50 from each refill will go to support Acadia’s S.M.I.L.E. program.

• Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom launched a new beer last week – their first sour – just in time to pour off-Island at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Citra SMaSH Kettle Sour is just what you’d expect it to be – a single-malt (2-row), single-hop (Citra, obviously!) beer that was kettle-soured with Lactobacillus. With a firm tartness that is balanced/complemented very well by the fruity and citrus characters from the Citra, it weighs in at 5.4% ABV. FCBF is over (boo!), but you can still find this one on tap at the brewery, and possible still at HopYard, in Charlottetown.

• Speaking of PEI, there’s puh-lenty going on over at Upstreet these days. Let’s start with new beer… first up is the release of the third beer in their Flipside series, Belgian Pale Ale. This one is definitely a different take on the classic Belgian style, with a light malt bill (including some Flaked Oats), and a dry-hop of Cashmere and Citra. Fermented with a Belgian Witbier yeast, this hazy beer has a light bready character, with notes of “citrus, melon, and coconut” in the aroma and flavour. At 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, it’s available now in bottles and on tap. Their other new beer is the first in yet ANOTHER series, Neon Friday, a bi-weekly (hopefully!) release that will focus on hops – more specifically, IPAs – in beers that will be released on tap only. Today will see the release of DDH IPA with Azacca (6.5% ABV, 50 IBUs) which was, yes, double-dry-hopped with the wonderful Azacca, giving high levels of mango in this particular beer. Look for it on tap at the Upstreet taproom, and the Craft Beer Corner. That’s right, the latest Upstreet venture should be opening today in downtown Charlottetown on the corner of Great George St. and Kent St. This beer destination will feature 24 taps (12 Upstreet, 5 for other Island breweries, 4 sodas, 2 Heart Beet Organics Kombuchas, and one Receiver cold brew coffee), with all Upstreet and non-alcoholic options available for growler and crowler fills (the first on the Island?). Food will also be available… think munchies like calzones, pretzels, jerky, etc. that will be prepared at Upstreet and cooked to order onsite. Be sure to check it out over the weekend!

• The FCBF saw all kinds of new beers pouring and we did our best to give you a preview of each in our post last week so you’d know what to look for. Some breweries, however, didn’t release the entire list of what they’d have until after last week’s post, with some beers ending up as a partial surprise. Niche Brewing’s Bruges Afternoon fit one of these descriptions, but it also fits another, that of a hybrid Belgian style that can best be described as a Belgian-American Pale Ale. Starting with a rather Belgian grist of Pils, Aromatic and Wheat, almost all the hops were added after the boil, namely lots of Azacca and Mosaic. It was back to Belgium for a Trappist style yeast to promote fruity esters and then, post-fermentation, back across the pond for a large dry hop of more Azacca and Mosaic. Fruity esters, tropical hops, and a medium mouthfeel in a 5.2% ABV package. As always you’ll find it at Niche tap accounts where you might also bump into their Mines of Wallonia, their lovely light Grisette hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau Blanc, which should see its re-release early next week.

• While lots of breweries do up special beers for St. Patrick’s day, and many of them involve food colouring or wild and wonderful green-tinged ingredients, we suspect that a new beer from Horton Ridge has got to be the greenest green beer that ever greened. Excepting that it’s not green. In colour, anyway. Horton Ridge has made a beer using green malt directly off the malt floor, with no kilning step to remove all the water added to germinate the grain and with the protein-rich rootlets left intact. The only other ingredient in the grist was a few pound of their own malted oats. Trading traditional toasty and malty flavors for fruity ones, this beer has notes of peach and fresh cantaloupe with a red apple nose. More brown than beer made from kilned malt, it’s also quite hazy from the additional protein. Hopped with Saaz, Hallertau, Cascade and Perle, Green Malt Beer weighs in a quaffable 5.5% ABV and a gentle 22 IBU that lets the malt shine. Not green enough for you? Consider this: the barley was grown in the region (Winsloe, PEI), so transport was minimized. Not kilning means 90% of the energy normally put into the malting process was saved. And with so much water left in the grain, much less was needed for the mash! Served on-site (no additional transportation), the environmental footprint of this beer is likely to be amongst the smallest of any in Canada. Now is it green enough?! Launched yesterday at the brewery, it will be flowing freely tomorrow starting at noon for Paddy’s Day at the Malt House and also available in growlers (pre-filled, we believe). Keeping with the theme, you’ll also fine Granite Brewery Greenman Pale Ale along with offerings from Big Spruce and Tatamagouche Brewing. Traditional Irish music from Space Bog Paddy People round out the event starting at 8 PM (tickets for the evening are $5). And we’ve been told to keep our eyes out for more beers from Horton Ridge featuring green malt in the future!

• On the East side of Newfoundland Port Rexton have a new beer out that invokes both St. Patrick’s Day and meteorology. In Newfoundland, the name Sheila (or Sheelah) is associated with St. Patrick as his wife, and cagey Newfoundlanders caught still tippling on March 18th may claim to be continuing the celebration in the name of Sheelah. Meanwhile, weather-wise, it is extremely common for one last big snow to come through Newfoundland in the back half of March following Paddy’s Day and those storms have come to be known as “Sheila’s Brush.” Enter Port Rexton and their desire for something hoppy and crushable to welcome Spring. Featuring Magnum, Simcoe, Amarillo, Mosaic and Mandarina Bavaria in the kettle and Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra in the dry hop, Sheila’s Crush still only tips the scales at 4.4% ABV, making it a very sessionable IPA. Look for this light and citrusy brew at the brewery’s retail location on Torbay Road just in time for Sheila’s Day.

• Are you a fan of big, boozy Barleywines? Well, we have great news for you, then! Boxing Rock‘s newest beer, Fisticuffs, is just that, and is available now! Weighing in at a monstrous 11% ABV, the beer was aged for four months in Chardonnay barrels, it exhibits “hints of stone fruits such as prunes, plums and figs, melded with a smooth, biscuit malt flavour and hint of vanilla”. With a fruity finish and “soft” carbonation, it’s smooth enough to be enjoyed now, and big enough to be cellared! Bottles are currently on sale at Boxing Rock’s retail show in Shelburne, with some also on their way to select NSLC stores (and perhaps to the private stores in HRM as well). And keep your eyes open next week for their Juniper Saison, April May Juniper, which was originally brewed as a collaboration with Lunn’s Mill last year. This batch was fermented with a different Saison yeast, and the beer will be a rotating seasonal in the NSLC, so you should be seeing bottles very soon. And mark your calendars for March 29th, when Boxing Rock will be taking over the taps at Lion & Bright from 5PM, pouring a wide variety of suds to make your long weekend brighter.

TrailWay is bringing back their Milkshake IPA, Velvet Fog, today at the brewery. This latest release is a new iteration on the same vanilla/lactose-driven IPA – hopped with a “generous amount” of Idaho 7 and El Dorado, it was conditioned on both strawberry and mango puree. Expect plenty of fruitiness thanks to all additions, with a “massive, rich, creamy body” to help support the 6.5% ABV. Available today on tap and in cans at the brewery only.

• We have a couple of pieces from Fredericton’s Picaroons news this week. First up, with the warmer weather approaching (right??), the brewing team at Pics turn their thoughts to one of their most fun and popular seasonals, Melonhead, their Watermelon Ale. And every year, a new cat will get the opportunity to grab the spotlight on the front of the label. If you think your kitty is the next WhiskeySir Winston Snaggletooth, or Ruby, send their picture vial email before March 27th for a chance at fame, fortune, and unlimited catnip. The winning cat, and the beer, will be available June 1st. Picaroons is also looking to hire a Retail Beer Store Manager, who will oversee the operation of the various retail locations, taproom operations, and designing tour information. To learn more, check out Pics’ Facebook page, and apply for the position via email here.

• The Gahan Pub in Charlottetown is hosting their Fourth Home Brewer’s Challenge, inviting eager Aleanders to brew up their best recipe, for a chance to see their beer pouring at the Sydney Street Pub. There are no style requirements/guideline this year, so entrants are free to choose whichever they like. Fire an email to gahan@murphyrestaurants.ca before April 13th to register, and you have until May 28th to brew and deliver your beer to Gahan. The winner will brew their recipe with Gahan Brew Master Trent Hayes, for release in the summer.

• We have more on the latest release from Garrison we teased last week, plus a tease of another new one dropping this weekend. Debuting at the Craft Beer Cottage Party at the end of February, Wicked Good is a North East- / New England- style American Pale Ale (aka, full of hops and haze for dayz). Pale Ale Malt is kicked up with Oats and Wheat (for mouthfeel, head retention, and lending a bit of haze) in the grain bill, resulting in a 5.8% ABV. The star of the show is the hop bill, featuring loads of Idaho 7 and Mosaic early-, late-, and post-boil, plus some super-secret hops that Brewmaster Daniel Girard is keeping under wraps. Currently available on draft only, but will eventually be packaged, grab it at the brewery for samples and growlers, and around town at finer drinking establishments.

• And dropping today, just in time for tomorrow’s drinking holiday, is Oat and About Stout. This is a Strong Stout brewed with students of the NSCC Continuing Education course that visited the brewery in February. As the name would imply, there are oats in the grain bill to complement the 2-Row Pale malt, plus a blend of Crystal with Roasted Barley. At 6.0% ABV and 32 IBUs, it’s a solid alternative to the macro-stouts often touted at the time of year. Be sure to grab all of the details when you drop by today for a sample or growler fill (and tell them the ACBB sent ya!).

In addition to your regularly scheduled St Patrick’s Day celebrations tomorrow, keep an eye out for these events this weekend and in the near future:

• As part of their Saint Paddy’s Day fun, Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing is hosting a series of tastings in their Stage Head Pub. At 2 PM, 3 PM, and 4 PM tomorrow, try 8 beers from Port Rexton, Quidi Vidi, Storm Brewing, and YellowBelly and take a tour of the brewery, all while learning about Split Rock’s own offerings, too. In addition to the guided tastings, there will be music in the afternoon and evening (4 – 5 PM, and again at 9 PM), and Irish Stew available 5 – 7 PM. And while you’re there, you’ll be able to enjoy their recent addition Flanker, a rich and malty Smoked Porter, weighing in at 5.8% ABV. 30% Beachwood Smoked Malt was used in the grist, but the smoke level is not overpowering. If you’re unable to visit the Stage Head, it may be available in town after the weekend. Saturday will see the release of a pair of new beers as well, with a 3.8% ABV Dry Irish Stout being served on Nitro, and a brand new American Pale Ale with loads of Cascade and Columbus making its debut.

• Feeling hungry and inflexible? Why not come to the King Street Ale House this Sunday, March 18th, for Lazy Yoga n’ Burgers? Starting at 1 PM, there will be 45 minutes of “lighthearted, gentle” yoga (BYO mat), before launching into the main event… food and beer! Over the next two hours, ticketholders will have four gourmet sliders, each paired with a different beer (5 oz) from Niche Brewing. Tickets can be purchased through the event link above; the price is $45.49 for the full experience, but if you just want to go for the burgers and beer, you can purchase a separate ticket for $27.39. Check out the link for more details, and a full beer list.

Big Tide Brewing is hosting a Brunch & Brew event on March 25th starting at 10 AM. Your ticket includes food and coffee/tea, a tour of the brewery with plenty of knowledge and insight into the brewing process, plus the opportunity to take part in a brewday with Head Brewer Wendy Papadopoulos and the folks of Uncorked Tours. Advance tickets are suggested, and are available here.

• The latest edition of the St John’s BrewFest is set to happen April 21, at Club One at 33A Gower Street. Featuring 80+ beer not normally available in the province, the hosts are pushing hard to increase the haze-level on the island by inviting Brooklyn, NYC’s, Other Half Brewing, as well as Half Hours on Earth (Seaforth, ON), Blindman Brewery (Lacombe, AB), Left Field Brewery (Toronto, ON), and Hammond River (Quispamsis, NB). Your $30 ticket gets you in the door, your glass for the evening (and to take home) and your first few pours, after which you can buy tokens to fill her up once again. Tickets are just about sold out, so if you were waiting for a sign to buy, this is it! Check out the beer line-up (they’re adding more to the list daily), and grab your tickets, here.

• We’ve been busy trying to keep up with Escarpment Lab‘s social media over the past week, as co-founder Angus Ross returned to his Nova Scotian roots, brewing up a half-dozen collaboration beers across the province. From Shelburne to Nyanza and points in between, Ross has set a wide variety of yeast-driven beers in motion this week (joining some brewed last summer!), which will culminate in a tap takeover during the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference, being held in Halifax May 24-26. We’ll share more details on the takeover (and the dozens of other events peripheral to the Conference) closer to the date, but rest assured you’ll want to take a few days off of work to stay focused on the mighty task at hand!

Hell Bay Brewing and Liverpool Adventure Outfitters are hosting a Father’s Day Canoe & Brew event June 16th. It kicks off at 4PM when attendees will go for a paddle along the Mersey River, and then enjoying a beer tasting at Hell Bay. Paddlers of all ages are invited, though the tasting restricted to those of age. The LAO is planning more of these outings, so be sure to sign up to their inaugural event to show that there’s plenty of interest!

Just a few more notes to get you up to speed before we let you go today:

– Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing has opened their taproom this week, allowing visitors to enjoy pints and flights of their Headliner IPA, Nunmoar Black, or one of their 4 other beer pouring currently. They are also adding in a healthy dose of guest beers to round out the dozen taps, which started with Garrison’s Pucker Up!, Uncle Leo’s Smoked Porter, and Sober Island Chanterelle Mild. Drop by today 12-8PM, and tomorrow 11-5PM for your draft and growler needs!

Good Robot will be re-releasing El Espinazo del Diablo, their International Pale Lager conditioned on lime zest and jalapeño, next week. With a 2-Row and Vienna malt base, flaked corn is also used in the mash for that iconic flavour contribution. At 5.7% ABV, the beer was solely hopped with Tettnang to a light 14 IBU, letting the fruit and chili dominate the flavours.

Propeller Brewing has brought back their Irish Red this week, just in time for Saturday’s celebration. Available in the 650 mL bomber size, as well as on tap for growler fills and pints at their Gottingen St taproom, it will be available at bars and restaurants around the city shortly.

Unfiltered has brought back their “New England-influenced” American IPA, Riddle of Steel, for release today at Charm School for pints and growler fills (and likely on tap at several Unfiltered accounts, soon).

And before we sign off today, we wanted to once again say thanks to Lloyd Chambers and the whole Fredericton Craft Beer Festival crew of volunteers for a great time last weekend. From the PEI Tap Takeover at the James Joyce, to the Beer School run by Mike Doucette & Co of CCNB Grand Falls, to the breweries who were kind enough to donate goodies for our Trivia Night (which we will re-schedule soon, stupid power outage!), there were plenty of great events surrounding the Friday Night Newbie Session and Saturday Gala Sessions of the Festival. Congratulations to all of the winners in the Down East Brewing Awards, but extra-special Grats to Garrison for winning Brewery of the Year, and 2 Crows for Beer of the Year, for their I Love You Saison with Rosehips. Meeting with the local brewers, bar owners, retailers, hop growers, and beer fans leaves us with no doubt that the Atlantic Canadian Beer Scene is stronger than ever, and the future is looking quite bright!