540 Kitchen & Bar

All posts tagged 540 Kitchen & Bar

We received a wide variety of weather across the region this week, with unseasonal highs, lots of wind and rain, and maybe even a dusting of snow in some places. Welcome to fall in Atlantic Canada! If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes…. and it will probably get worse. Worry not, beer fans, as we have plenty of new beers to keep you going no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. Plus a new brewery in Newfoundland is opening their doors, which is a great reason to take a #Baycation. A reminder that the provincial liquor stores will be closed Sunday for Remembrance Day, and some breweries and bars will be showing their respects by closing or adjusting hours, so be sure to check before you make the trip.

We’ve got great news for beer lovers on/near The Bay, as Baccalieu Trail Brewing in Bay Roberts, NL, is opening their doors this weekend! Open 12 – 11 PM Saturday, drop by their location at 1 CBS Highway (just before the causeway to Spaniard’s Bay) to grab samples, pints, and growlers of four of their beers. Look for their Blonde, ESB, Porter, and New England IPA to be pouring, plus lots of merch to show off your Bay Brewery pride! We hope to have a full Profile on Baccalieu Trail in the very near future, but until then, we’ll have to live vicariously through your pictures, so be sure to tag them and us (@ACBeerBlog) so we can follow along! Congratulations to the entire Baccalieu Trail family!

Out in Harvey, New Brunswick, Think Brewing has a new beer for you to sample, their first in several months. Forest Reflections (named, perhaps, to encourage some contemplative time when outside of the city… or maybe just because it sounds cool!) is an American IPA brewed with 2-row, Flaked Wheat, Oats, and a bit of Munich malt. This beer is all about the late-addition and dry hops, including Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, and a small amount of Galaxy. As you would likely expect when you see those names, this beer has a good amount of juicy, tropical fruit in the aroma and flavour, with a moderate bitterness in the finish. It weighs in at 6.8% ABV, and can be currently found on tap at The Joyce and 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton, Cask and Kettle in Saint John, and the Tide & Boar in Moncton. And who knows, maybe if the beer goes over well (and it should!), maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see it join the other members of the Think bottle line-up!

There’s been lots of activity at a couple of the Gahan House locations in the Maritimes; let’s start off with Gahan Port City, in Saint John. They’ve got two new beers hitting taps at this location, both of which are named pretty straightforward, so you know what you’re getting! Rye IPA is a copper-coloured, dry, Rye IPA that was hopped with Azacca and Mosaic, giving some tropical fruit flavours to complement the touch of spice character from the Rye malt. The bitterness is firm at 52 IBUs, and it clocks in at 5.9% ABV. Next up is Brett Table Beer, an easy-drinking (4.1% ABV, 18 IBUs) brew fermented with “a blend of Brettanomyces strains” from Escarpment Labs. Hopped solely with Mosaic to give “tropical fruit notes of pineapple, guava, and lime”, the beer was modelled after one of the brewer’s favourite beers (we’re going to guess Allagash Little Brett, another low-ABV, Brett beer hopped entirely with Mosaic). Look for both beers to be currently pouring at Port City.

Moving over to PEI, Gahan Charlottetown has not one, not two, but THREE new beers now on tap! The first beer, Maritime Homegrown Lager, was brewed to celebrate the Maritime brewing community. Brewed with Vienna malt from Horton Ridge (NS), Santiam hops from Darlings Island Farm (NB), and water from PEI, the simple recipe yielded a “crisp, drinkable” 4.5% ABV, 23 IBUs Vienna Lager. Second-up is XXL Saison, a collaboration with Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing. As the name suggest, this is a strong Saison – at 8.3% ABV – which was brewed with 2-row and Wheat malt, with additions of Ultra hops from NB (Darlings Island, again), and honey from PEI. The beer, fermented with a dry Saison strain (BE-134, specifically), has “aromas of fruit and spice, with a mild honey aroma, and a snappy and refreshing dryness”. It finishes moderately bitter to help offset the larger grain bill. While pouring at Gahan Ch’town, it’s also available on tap at Foghorn, and on tap at a few locations in Fredericton, including Gahan Riverside and The Joyce. And last but not least is a New England IPA brewed in honour of longtime Gahan brewer Trent Hayes, who has been with Gahan Charlottetown for 20 years. Trent Hayes’y IPA (get it?) was hopped with Citra and Columbus in the kettle, and dry-hopped heavily with more Citra, and Huell Melon. Wheat and Oats were used in the grist to give a smooth mouthfeel (and up the haziness), going great with with the beer’s “notes of overripe strawberry, honey dew, and navel oranges”. It’s pretty low-ABV (5.1% ABV) for an IPA, with 44 IBUs to provide a bit of bitterness. There’ll also be a limited can run of this one; look for that in the next few weeks.

From one Island to another, let us tell you about the newest release from Sydney’s Breton Brewing. They have just released a winter seasonal beer, the Gingerbread Holiday Ale. Starting with a base of a London ESB, at 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU, with notes of ginger and cinnamon to evoke feelings of winter. The beer is available at the NSLC and brewery as a holiday gift pack, with two beautifully-designed cans and a Breton glass, perfect for gifting or enjoying now with a friend. There are a select few kegs to be distributed in the wild, as well.

With their recent purchase of the Bowl-a-Drome, a long-standing (>50 years) bowling institution in Fredericton, TrailWay has created a new beer intended to be the house brew for their latest acquisition… and prepare yourselves, for it’s not a hoppy style! Candlepin Kolsch is, of course, a Kolsch, a clean, crisp, easy-drinking German style that has been brewed and enjoyed for centuries. TrailWay’s take on the style involves all-German ingredients: German Pilsner malt, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops, and a German Ale yeast strain. Since this style of beer is traditionally crystal clear, TrailWay made use of fining agents for the first time, and the result is decidedly-different from what we’re used to seeing from the haze-enamored brewery. Expect “a fantastic sweetness that is balanced by an attenuated fermentation, and a low-but-present hop character”, according to the brewery. It’s an easily-drinkable-in-quantity 4.5% ABV; while it will be available on tap at TW starting today, along with a small amount in cans, this beer will regularly be exclusive to the Drome.

More bottle goodness coming your way today from Tidehouse Brewing in the form of two different barrel-aged-coffee beers, both of which were brewed in collaboration with the fine folks at Low Point Coffee. The base beer is about the same for both brews (think: Brown Ale with Oats, Flaked Barley, Pale Chocolate, Crystal 30 L and Midnight Wheat in the grist, and a bit of lactose in the boil), but the coffee beans have a different origin. Invicta! (6.7% ABV) features Colombia Tolima coffee beans that were aged in Tawny port barrels, giving the beer “tart cherry on the nose, with dark chocolate, subtle peach, and light oak, backed up by dark fruit, tangerine and cranberry, with a hazelnut finish”. Meanwhile, Quetzalcoatl! (7.1% ABV) has Mexico Tapachula Chiapas beans, aged in tequila barrels; expect “black currant and red licorice” in the aroma, “with notes of vanilla, spice, and red apple” on the palate, all with a light-bodied, silky mouthfeel package. Both beers are available by the bottle only (limit of 6/person), starting today at 2 pm. Drink ‘em fresh, to fully experience the coffee!

After a brief hiatus, Good Robot’s Beta Brews are back, with their next entry, Tainted Love, hitting their taproom next Tuesday. Brewed with Carly B, this one is a Black Lager hopped lightly with Hersbrucker (to just 9 IBUs), and fermented with an American Lager yeast strain. In true Beta Brew fashion, the experimentation continued, this time in the form of additions of vanilla and ginger. Just 4.5% ABV, as always you’ll have to swing by the GR taproom to give it a taste. And a couple of days later, kegs of El Espinazo del Diablo will officially be out and about, at GR and local tap accounts.

Boxing Rock in Shelburne is releasing a special Double Bill gift pack this year, the continuation of their Fisticuffs Series. The first in the series was a barrel-aged Barleywine, released back in March 2018. This time around, they have two big beers that will be available at the brewery, their Local Source Market retail location, as well as select NSLC stores around the province. The first is Chardonnay Barrel Aged Barley Wine, weighing in at 11.0% ABV, which began life as an English Barleywine, before spending several months in an oak Chardonnay wine barrel, enhancing the malt character with notes of dark fruits like plum, prune, and fig, with hints of vanilla. Post-barrel-aging hopping increases the light fruit notes, which finishes with a soft carbonation. The second is Barrel Aged Tripel, also tipping the scales at 11.0% ABV. A classic Tripel (think light-coloured malt with Noble hops and a fairly clean Belgian yeast), then spent 8 months in oak, bringing out bread and biscuit flavours to play off of the lightly bitter and spicy base beer, as well as more dried stone fruit. The dual gift pack will be available very soon at the brewery, and the individual beers *may* be available as well, but we suggest buying both for a great night in by the fire.

And while we have you, be sure to drop by Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, November 15th, as Boxing Rock is taking over the taps with 12+ taps of core beers, brand new releases, special cellared kegs, and much more! The event kicks off at 11:30 AM, and the Boxing Rock crew will be on hand to chat beer, and will have merch to share.

Coming soon to Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, is Landwash, a brewery with a strong pedigree. Co-owners Chris Conway and Christina Coady were the founding brewers at Folly Brewing in Toronto. The third piece of the ownership and development puzzle is Jennifer Defreyne, a engineer with 20 years of project management experience. They’re building a 15 bbl system with PEI’s DME Brewing Solutions that is expected to produce 1,000 hL per year. While they’ve got the brewing side of the operation sorted, at least for now, they’re looking for some folks to fill taproom and retail positions. Beer knowledge and a love for beer are key, as is previous experience in serving and hospitality. As they’re hopefully opening by early December, you’ll want to get your boogie on the application process if you’re interested. Resumes should be emailed to info@landwashbrewery.com. And if you’re not looking for work but are interested in learning more about Landwash, we’re working to have a profile of the brewery in the coming weeks.

As is so often the case in our region and many others, the changing of the seasons tends to bring a change in seasonal offerings from breweries. And although the old saying that “people like dark/heavy/higher alcohol beers more in the winter than the summer” is fading in its influence – Barleywine is for life, not just for Christmas – some seasonal habits are hard to break and, frankly, if your drinking public is used to a beer coming out at a particular time of year, why not play into that expectation sometimes? So it is with Propeller’s Coffee Porter. Using specialty malts for a deep color and Java Blend Fog Burner coffee for an extra kick of flavor, it also features hints of dark chocolate and roasted malt along with a smooth finish. Look for it both in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and NSLC and for pints and growler fills in the Tasting Room on Gottingen Street in Halifax. And if you didn’t get enough of their Pumpkin this year before it disappeared from store shelves, fear not, you’ve got one more chance. A single keg was kept on reserve at the brewery and will go on tap this afternoon for pints and flights only (no growler fills). They’re saying for the weekend, but if you’re into it we wouldn’t wait until Sunday.

Bridgewater’s FirkinStein has a couple of new beers to wet your whistle, both of them variations on a the cream ale style. The first is Door Hinge Cream Ale a 6.8% ABV beer with lactose for some sweetness and (maybe) some orange flavor (say the name quickly). The other, tipping the scales at 7.6% ABV they’re calling Firk-a-Peel Lemon Lime Cream Ale and it features, of course, notes of lemon and lime. These are brewery-only specialties, but it’s an awfully pretty time of year to drive in our region, so now you’ve got two reasons to take a drive to the South Shore.

Local homebrew supplier BrewHQ has decided to make a foray into the ultra-lucrative beer podcast game with their Pitch & Prime Podcast. Don’t worry, though, they’re not competing with your 902BrewCast boyz (and really, who could compete with those be[e/a]rdos?); this one is a podcast targeted at homebrewers or folks who think they might like to become homebrewers. Their first episode, in which they talked to some local pros about their beginnings brewing at home, was released this week and timed to coincide with Learn to Homebrew Day. And speaking of 902BrewCast, you can also check out their latest episode with Grand Monk Artisan Ales (formerly known as Bore City Brewing), the first of their 5-brewery New Brunswick Road Trip of DEWM.

Here’s some beery events you might want to think about taking part in over the next couple of weeks:

We’ve already told you what to drink at Gahan Charlottetown above, but if you need another excuse to get out and try the new beers flowing, consider attending the award ceremony for the Maritime Home Brew Challenge Saturday. Brewers from across the Maritimes submitted their best beers to try and take home the title of Best Beer around, with their beer being packaged for retail distribution, and their piece of the cash and brewing prizes. Starting at 2:30 PM, the awards will be handed out at the Gahan Pub, so all homebrewers who entered, plus fans of good beer (so let’s call it an open invitation!) are welcome to celebrate the homebrewing community, as it is success there that drives many folks to turn pro. And for those homebrewers who want to start the celebration earlier, PEI Brewing is hosting a Beer & Munchies With The Brewers event tonight at 96 Kensington Road: from 6 – 8 PM, grab a beer and some snacks, tour the brewing facilities, and chat with the PEIBC Brew Crew to learn all of their secrets.

Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider is celebrating their Grand Opening next weekend, Saturday November 17th. From 8 PM, they will be celebrating with live music, small bites and appetizers, and of course cider (plus some guest beer taps). In fact, the entire Railway Hotel complex is celebrating an Open House, so you can also throw some axes next door at HaliMac and check out the Phantom Effects workshop. You don’t need to wait that long to enjoy Maritime Express’ newest release, however, as their Roundhouse Rhubarb is flowing now. Using a blend of Annapolis Valley apples, and fresh-pressed Organic rhubarb, this 4.5% ABV cider is clean and tart, with light fruit aroma and flavour. Pop in for a sample, glass, or take home a bottle today!

November 17th is an important day on PEI as well, as it marks the One Year of Beer at Copper Bottom Brewing. Head out to Montague for a full-day party, complete with live music, a food truck, tarot card reading, and of course, beer! They will be launching two brand new ones that day, which we hope to tell you about next week. Check out the link above for more details.

Back in July, The Carleton on Argyle Street in Halifax hosted their first Craft Draught Showdown featuring beers from Garrison and Upstreet paired by the brewers with special dishes out of the kitchen. That one sold out and went so well that they’ve decided to do it again! Coming on November 21st is the second of these events, this time pitting Dartmouth’s Nine Locks against the returning Upstreet. Once again Chef Michael Dolente is bringing some exclusive edibles and once again the brewmasters, Jake Saunders and Michael Hogan, have been tasked with pairing their wares. Five courses, two 4 oz pours each is $60 per person (tip included), with both the brewers and the chef on hand to provide information about the food, the beer, and the pairings. Space is limited, so check out the event page on Facebook for information on how to get a seat.

A few last quick mentions before we return you to your regularly scheduled Friday afternoon:

Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin, NS, has a new beer for all the visitors who have been asking for an IPA to quench their thirst. From the brewery, “A light, malty base, lots of hop character from the Citra, Simcoe, Centennial & Nelson Sauvin used at various stages”. Drop by the brewery this weekend to grab a taste and a growler!

Port Rexton has brought back a crowd favorite this week; their Blue Steel, a Lactobacillus-soured kettle sour with orange peel will be available at the brewery and the retail shop in St. John’s this weekend. At 4.7% ABV it’s well-balanced and fairly sessionable (and ridiculously good looking), with a light lemonade tartness and a zesty orange character.

Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax has two favorites returning to the taps this weekend, both pouring today from noon. Riddle of Steel IPA (7% ABV) has a NASH-ian tonne of dank Simcoe and Mosaic hops to make your lupulin-loving tastebuds happy. And their Flat Black Jesus American Stout (7% ABV) has risen once again as well. You know what, you know where, you know how.

Happy 2016 everyone! We are starting off the year with one of the longest posts to date, with a new brewery announcement, new inter-provincial beer launches, more than a half-dozen new beers, and the return of some old favourite beers and events. It just goes to show that there is no slowing down the Atlantic Canadian Beer news, and we are sure to stay busy this year, bringing you the scoop!

• We start off this week with the announcement of a new brewery, to open this summer in Smith’s Cove, Digby County, NS. Lazy Bear Brewing is the brainchild of Andy and Erin Norman, a husband and wife team of local homebrewers. They will be focusing on brewing English and American ales on a 3 barrel brewhouse. Both Erin and Andy have been homebrewing for years, Erin’s love of which was sparked during university, while taking a Food Science degree. “That’s where I started to learn about what beer really was. I really got into home brewing a few years ago when I had the space to do so and it has become quite a hobby.” They initially plan to offer direct growler sales, and at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market. Lazy Bear’s name borrows from their proximity to the Bear River and nearby Bear Island, and just taking time to relax, enjoy a beer and your surroundings, and being lazy! Keep an eye on their Twitter and Facebook pages, where they have been posting pictures of their brewery build progress. Welcome to the neighbourhood, Lazy Bear!

• From new brewery to new beer, Propeller has released their newest One-Hit Wonder, an American Amber that showcases a new Australian hop variety, Vic Secret. Vic’s Resolution was brewed with a Pale malt base, along with specialty malts including Crystal, Victory and Chocolate to target an amber colour and provide some malty, caramel sweetness to the beer. Moderately-hopped to 23 IBUs, the late additions of Vic Secret give the beer an aroma of pineapple and pine. Easy-drinking at 5.4% ABV, it’s available for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations, and will be popping up on tap at better beer establishments across HRM. And drop by the Windmill location today from 11-3 to grab some jerk chicken and other island treats from the Jamaica Lee food truck.

• In other Propeller news, they’ve announced the date of their next Prop’r Cask Night; it will be held on Friday, January 29th at the brewery’s location on Gottingen St. from 6-9 pm. While the ticket price includes samples of several Propeller beers, the real star of the show is, of course, the cask. This event will feature a Coffee Porter, which will be tapped at 6:30 pm by one of Propeller’s brewers. Along with the beers, a selection of appetizers from chef Ray Bear of Studio East will be on-hand for sampling. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online.

• After officially launching with their Coastal Lager several months ago, Spindrift is releasing two new beers over the next week. First up is La Niña, a golden, unfiltered Wheat Lager that was sour mashed before being fermented by their house Lager yeast strain. A very small batch (50 L) brewed on their Blichmann pilot system, it’s meant to be a slightly acidic, easy-drinking (4.5% ABV) and refreshing Lager. Dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria for “floral and grassy notes” without a lot of bitterness (less than 10 IBUs), it’s the first of their planned weekly series of pilot batches that will be available only at the Spindrift Taproom for growler fills, for a very short time; it will be released this afternoon. The second new beer is The Abyss, a Schwarzbier. A German-style Black Lager, it features “toasted grains, coffee, and chocolate” in the aroma and flavour, leading to an “elegantly smooth finish”, according to the brewery. Hopped with Magnum and German Hersbrucker to 25 IBUs, it was conditioned for 6 weeks to smooth out the flavours even more, and at just 4.2% ABV, should be another easy-drinking beer. The Abyss will be available on tap only at the Taproom and select bars and restaurants Friday, with a sneak peek available during the Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration Thursday. Look for a barrel-aged version of The Abyss in the coming months, which was amped up with a dosing of Coldstream Clear Distillery’s Classic Coffee spirit to enhance the beers character.

Upstreet has announced some exciting news for beer lovers not living on PEI: they will soon be available in Nova Scotia! Their four bottled beer offerings will be for sale at Bishop’s Cellar next week, including the Commons Pilsner, Rhuby Social, Do-Gooder, and White Noize, and kegs available to licensees through Bishop’s distribution. To celebrate, they’re planning several events to kick off their NS launch:
– Thursday (Jan 14), they’re holding a release party at Stubborn Goat at 10pm. Come meet and greet the Upstreet crew, and learn all about their beer. PEI’sDylan Menzie playing tunes.
– Friday, 12-10pm they will be holding tastings at Bishop’s Cellar. In addition to bottles, Upstreet’s Black Tie Affair Vanilla Cranberry Stout will be available on the growler filling station.
Later on, drop by Stillwell for more pints and fun with the crew, from 7pm to close.
– Saturday, 12-10pm they will be doing more tastings at Bishop’s Cellar.
They will also be taking over the guest taps at Good Robot’s Tap Room, and taking part in a GoodStreet Feats of Strength Mini-Olympics between the two breweries, 2-6pm. Be sure to drop by for this one, as you wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to watch brewers make fools of themselves! If you’re interested in joining a team contact Mikey Woz or Joshua Counsil at the event link above.
– Sunday, they will be holding a beer pairing brunch at Stubborn Goat at 3pm, tickets are now available. Upstreet’s Joey and Hogie will lead a pairing of their four flagship beers with some special food prepared by the Goat’s kitchen.
Keep an eye on their Event Page for further details as they are released.

• With the bottles available at Bishop’s Cellar, this also means beer fans from Yarmouth to Sydney to Amherst can also enjoy bottles of Upstreet. For those who did not know, Bishop’s Cellar offers province-wide shipping on all of their products, and is free for orders over $150 of any combination of beer, cider, wine, and spirits. Keep an eye on their Beer page for the latest new arrivals and the current list of beers on tap for growler fills.

• After a soft launch at the Christmas Beer Garden on December 20th, and a “Meet Your Maker” event at the James Joyce on December 30th, Maybee Brewing now has their initial two beers – Roseway Red and Workhorse IPA – on tap at three locations in Fredericton: the James Joyce, King Street Ale House, and 540 Kitchen & Bar. No official announcement has yet been made as to when the brewery’s taproom will be opening at its location at 559 Wilsey Rd, but the brewery has stated on their Facebook page that both of their initial beers should be available for sale in cans at select ANBL locations by next weekend.

• It’s been just about a year since the James Joyce greatly expanded their tap list and seriously embraced local craft beer, and they’re holding a birthday party to celebrate! Starting at 5 pm on Friday, January 22nd, they will be welcoming everyone to drop in for some birthday cake and happy hour prices on select craft beers. As usual, there will be plenty of beers on tap, with a large emphasis on those produced in New Brunswick, with a strong possibility of a new brewery being present. Cheers to year one, and to many more to come!

• And speaking of the Joyce, they will be welcoming their first kegs from Saint John’s newest brewery, First City, this weekend. Two new beers are being sent for the brewery’s first appearance outside of Saint John: a Chocolate Coffee Stout and DIPA. While both are currently unnamed, we do have the details on each! The Chocolate Coffee Stout was brewed with cocoa powder and Jamaican Rum Butter coffee from Java Moose, and comes in at 6% ABV. The DIPA, while of course a lighter-coloured beer, weighs in at 8% ABV and 112 calculated IBUs; hopped with plenty of locally-grown organic Nugget (from Lunahops in NB) as well as Columbus and Mosaic, expect aromas and flavours that are fruity, earthy, resinous, and herbal. Don’t worry, loyal fans in Saint John – Bourbon Quarter, Lemongrass, and the R Bar are each receiving a keg of the Chocolate Coffee Stout; the R Bar also purchased a keg of the DIPA.

• After some unfortunate delays, Fredericton’s newest cidery, York County Cider, is making more progress towards opening in the near future. All of their brewing, fermenting, and storage equipment arrived shortly before Christmas, and set-up is underway! A juice delivery is planned for the end of this month; product should be following sometime later in the winter. We’ll continue to keep you updated on their progress.

Unfiltered is releasing another hoppy one-off beer today at noon: REALLY Falc’d Up is a bigger version of their All Falc’d Up, an already-pretty-big beer that was released last October. Like that beer, this one features the fruity and tropical Falconer’s Flight, a West Coast variety actually made up of several different hops. It weighs in at a calculated 100+ IBUs, and is even stronger than the last beer, at 9% ABV.  Drop by the brewery today for growler fills or a pint next door at Charm School.

Good Robot is continuing their Experimental releases this weekend with the release of Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale (David Lynch tribute), version 2.0. First released in October, 5.8% ABV, 38 IBUs beer features Pilsner and Red X malt to enhance sweetness, and Rye malt for a bit of spiciness. They used the same hops as their Burban Legend APA, for a pleasant citrus, floral, and grapefruit character. To add roast character, this new batch features an addition of two litres of cold-brewed Java Blend Sidamo Guji coffee to the conditioning beer (2lbs of beans in 2.5 litres of water). This technique allows the bean flavour and aromatics to be extracted, without any bitterness or harsh coffee character. As with their other Experimental brews, this will be for on-premise enjoyment at their Tap Room only, and will be out in the next day or two. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for the announcement.

• The Robots also held their first Tap Room event Wednesday evening, Silent Reading. The idea was to encourage folks to put down their cell phones, cut out the din of loud music and talking, and enjoy some quiet time with their favourite tome. The event was extremely popular, filling the bar to capacity. Look for future Silent Reading events in the future, as it may become a monthly event due to the great community adoption. Again, stay tuned to their social media pages for more events.

• Do you live in New Brunswick? Are you a fan of Big Spruce Brewing? Well, great news! The brewery confirmed on Wednesday that they’re sending kegs of their beer to several beer bars/restaurants in the province, including the King Street Ale House in Fredericton, the Tide & Boar in Moncton, and Peppers Pub and Bourbon Quarter in Saint John. Beers being delivered will include some or all of the following favourites: Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, and Regatta Red Ale. They should be available at these locations now (or very soon); welcome to NB, Big Spruce!

• For those in Nova Scotia, Big Spruce will be debuting their newest conspiracy Thursday. JAC the SIPA is a Sour IPA, brewed with homebrewers Justin Clarke and Eric Gautier in early December. The beer was made sour using a kettle sour technique, during which natural Lactobacillus produces lactic acid from the wort in the warm (not hot) kettle; the wort is then boiled to kill the beasts, and then fermented using an ale yeast. This Sour IPA (the province’s first?) weighs in at 6.6% ABV and 55 IBUs, with big Amarillo and Simcoe late-, whirlpool-, and dry-hopping additions for tons of aroma. The beer will debut at the Local Connections event, and be available on tap and for growler fills after.

Tatamagouche Brewing is in a hoppy mood this month, which is good news for the rest of us! They’re re-releasing two of their more-popular hoppy offerings: Deception Bay IPA was just re-released yesterday, and is available in cans, growlers, and on tap; and Dreadnot India Black Ale will be available again next Thursday, January 14th. This version of Dreadnot will be amped up a bit, as the batch was dry-hopped this time around. Finally, TataBrew is introducing a new beer for the Local Connections event next week: Deadeye DIPA is an Imperial IPA hopped with Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, and Hallertau Blanc… and then double-dry hopped with more Hallertau Blanc, for a big blast of “pineapple, grapefruit, and passionfruit”, according to the brewery. Sounds delicious to us! If you can’t make the event, don’t worry; this 91 IBUs, 8% DIPA will be following on tap and in growlers as well, and in cans shortly after. Also pouring at the Local Connections event will be a cask of Barrel Aged Ging’ Sync, their 5.5% Rye IPA. This is the barrel aged version of the cask that was sent to Cask Days, conditioned in the cask with caraway seeds and fresh ginger. Look for additional opportunities to grab this Barrel-aged version on tap at better bars and restaurants around the province next week.

• The organizers of the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival still have room for more teams at their NB Hopspiel event being held Jan 29-30th at the outdoor rink at Officer’s Square. We have details on the event in our previous post, but as a refresher, your team entry ticket includes lessons and practice Friday night, games Saturday, a lunch of chili and rolls, and access to the FROSTival Beer Garden (Saturday, 12-6 pm), along with tickets for six 4-oz samples from seven breweries pouring ~15 different beers, ciders and mead. For those not interested in the curling, you can now buy a ticket for entry into the Beer Garden alone. This includes your first five samples (9 oz for beer, 7 oz for cider or mead), and additional tickets can be purchased at the event; food can also be purchased from outside the event and brought in. Note that while children are welcome to observe the curling, the Beer Garden is a 19+ only event, and tickets MUST be purchased in advance through the link above.

• And speaking of the FCBF, evening tickets are more than 90% sold out, so grab them now if you would like to attend the evening session. There are still plenty of afternoon tickets available as well; it will be a bit quieter, and a great way to kick off an evening downtown… or maybe even a return to the evening session!

Garrison Brewing is bringing back their NiT-WiT Belgian Wheat today. This 4.8% ABV, 12 IBUs Belgian Witbier features orange and coriander for an authentic Wit character. First brewed in 2011, it began life as homebrewer Scott Tilford’s winning recipe for Garrison’s Home Brew-Off. Refreshing citrus and tropical aromas meld with a herbal finish. It is available today at the brewery, and will be released to the liquor stores in the coming weeks. And a gentle reminder to homebrewers, the 2016 Home Brew-Off deadline is just one month away, with beers due Feb 11. Be sure to brew your Experimental IPA now, to leave enough time for proper conditioning and carbonating! More details here.

• Garrison is partnering with Board Room Game Cafe, and holding two nights of competitive Catan tournaments at the brewery, Jan 12 & 13. Beginning at 7pm, your $10 admission fee includes entry in the tournament, as well as a sampling of beer. If you are not a Catan person, Board Room will be bringing along lots of other games to play, and their Board Game Bosses to make recommendations and help with the rules. Advance registration is suggested, check their Facebook page for more details.

• We’ve made mention of it several times above, so just a note that there are still a few tickets available for the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration, being held at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront. There will be 19 breweries and cider houses in attendance, many of which will be serving debuting new beers and/or serving special casks during the event. There are also 17 food vendors to keep you happy. With the expanded space at the hotel, this will be an excellent evening. Tickets are only available online.

• With all of the new beers mentioned today, how about a look back at an older one? In a story that first emerged last year, scuba diver Jon Crouse found an intact bottle of beer while diving in Halifax Harbour. He was able to identify the origin by the cork, noting it was from Alexander Keith’s brewery, circa 1870-90. While his original intent was to allow the beer to evaporate, Christopher Reynolds from Stillwell asked for a chance to test, and possibly taste, the beer first! Fast forward to this week, when Crouse and Reynolds visited the Atlantic Canada Fermented Products Institute at Dalhousie University. There, they met with Andrew MacIntosh who extracted some of the beer in a sterile fashion, and has begun analysis on it. In their lab, as well as a partner lab in Scotland, they hope to determine the recipe and brewing techniques used, and MacIntosh and colleagues will be publishing a paper on it in the future. So, how did it taste? “Like beer!” Be sure to tune into Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet on Jan 12 for a look in the lab, and being science nerds ourselves, we’ll be sure to follow up when the results are in.

Phew, that’s all we can muster for this week! In closing, be sure to drop by your local ANBL growler station this weekend, as two NB breweries will be featured: Hammond River‘s Red Coat India Red Ale will be on tap at the KV store, and Flying Boat‘s S-55 Special Mission Pale Ale will be at the other three (Fredericton, Dieppe, and Sackville), while quantities last! Oromocto’s first brewery, Johnny Jacks, has a new beer available on tap at the Sour Grape Cafe; details are slim at the moment, but we can confirm it is a 7.1% ABV American IPA named Trench Fighter. Finally, stay tuned to Red Rover early next week, as they have some big news to announce! Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Sadly, this marks the last Wrap-Up of August, but that doesn’t mean that the beer news is slowing down at all.

• TrailWay released a new beer yesterday – this one was actually brewed by Catherine Saunders and Alex Sorenson under the watchful-eye of their significant others, Jake Saunders and Dan Mason (owners and brewers of TrailWay). Appropriately-named Better Half, it’s a Blueberry-Lime Fruit Beer that had real lime zest and 35 lbs of local blueberries added after fermentation was complete. With a simple grain bill consisting of mostly Pilsner malt, and very minimal hopping, it’s a refreshing and easy-drinking (at 4.5% ABV) end-of-summer beer, with some sweetness and tartness from the fruit. You can find it on tap now (or very soon) at the King Street Ale House, James Joyce Pub, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Vault 29.

• In other TrailWay news, they should be releasing a new Double IPA (currently unnamed) sometime next week. Clocking in at about 8.1%, it was hopped heavily (to ~75 IBUs) with Centennial, Comet, Galaxy and Mosaic, so expect plenty of tropical, citrus, and dank notes in this beer! Like most of their hoppy beers, the malt bill was kept relatively simple to allow the hops to shine through.

• PEI’s newest craft brewery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, is holding a Block Party on Saturday, September 5th. This free event will be held outdoors in the Upstreet parking lot, and will feature local food vendors, live music (including Wrong Planet Band), lawn games, activities (big and small, for kids and adults), and a “pop-up barber shop” for all your hair-trimming needs; guided brewery tours will also be going on throughout the day. It’s family-friendly, so bring the kids! The party will continue inside the taproom after 8 pm. They’ll be releasing their highly-anticipated Boxing Rock collaboration beer, Rumble in the Alley: Round 1, a SMaSH India Pale Lager, and there MAY be a special guest or two on hand for the tapping! And in other good news, brewmaster Mike Hogan has confirmed that he will be brewing another batch of their Wheat IPA, White Noize in the next few days; look for that one to be released again in September.

• It’s Hop Harvest time in our region! Yesterday, the crew from North Brewing made the trek to Shelburne to visit Boxing Rock Brewing for their own harvest collaboration brew. Many Hands 3.0 features loads of freshly-harvested Cascade, Chinook, and Willamette, all from North brewer Josh Herbin’s Lazy Acres hop farm. This Pale Ale will weigh in just shy of 6% ABV, and be available at both breweries and their market and restaurant accounts in September.

• Several other breweries have/will be brewing up wet hopped beers. Hammond River will be brewing up some with their own home-grown hops next week, Rockbottom Brewpub is brewing up a Pale Ale today with some Annapolis Valley fresh hops, and Picaroons has started the brewing of their multiple Harvest Ales, sourced from hop farms across the Maritimes. Big Spruce will be harvesting their own farm-grown hops Wednesday, September 2nd, and Meander River will be harvesting theirs Saturday September, 5th, with brews to follow quickly thereafter (if you’re able to help pick in Nyanza or Ashdale, keep an eye on their respective social media feeds for details and rain dates, if necessary).

• Meander River has a few new beers on tap recently, and we wanted to keep y’all up-to-date with their releases. Summer Solstice IPA is a 4.5% ABV Session IPA featuring a balanced hoppy flavour and aroma thanks to Amarillo and Citra; it was further dry-hopped with Cascade. A lower alcohol, but full-flavoured beer, perfect for summer afternoons and evenings. Gristmill Wheat Beer is an unfiltered wheat beer, featuring a forward bitterness with lots of citrus and strawberry, with a characteristic banana aroma. This is a lighter 3.8% ABV. Their Dusty Road Hard Apple Cider is a bit bigger, at 5.5% ABV, but just as refreshing, as it finishes quite dry and crisp. This is a different blend of Annapolis Valley apples than their Shack Wacky release in the spring, and as such will have a different profile. Their 5.2% ABV Ashdale Honey Brown is also available now, featuring honey harvested right on the farm, and added to the lightly-hopped Brown Ale, for a slightly sweeter finish and notes of toffee. Look for these beers at the brewery, or their accounts around the province.

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s, NL has released an alcoholic Apple Cider this week. Weighing in at 7% ABV, it is an off-dry cider, featuring some perceived bitterness from the high tannin content of the apples. It was fermented with champagne yeasts for a crisp and acidic bite. It is now on tap at the brewery and public house, and will be available in bottles next week.

Red Rover has brewed up their first Perry; similar to a cider – in that it is an alcoholic beverage from fermented apple juice – it also incorporates juice from pears. Featuring a single variety of pear from Cocagne, NB, it was balanced with juice from Cox’s Orange Pippin apples. The batch has been maturing for the last six months, and is exhibiting a “sweet, floral nose, and softer palate than a cider”, according to co-owner/brewer Adam Clawson; it should come in at around 7% ABV. It will be released at the Cider House next Thursday for flagon fills, and will also make a limited appearance at the Farmer’s Markets that Red Rover frequents.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Pub has announced details on their Mug Club, the first of its kind in the city. A yearly membership of $59.95 + tax gets you a personally-numbered mug with plenty of entitlements, including 24-oz pours for the price of 20-oz, food discounts, email updates on new beers tapped at the pub, and invitations to Mug Club-exclusive events. Only 30 mugs will be sold; check out the link for more details. The official launch will be October 1st, but you can head into the pub now to reserve your mug.

• Good news for beer fans in New Brunswick: the ANBL has announced that they have over 30 award-winning beers from this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards that will be available for sale at select stores this Monday, August 31st. The “Ultimate Beer Run” includes multiple styles from breweries all across the country; check out the full list (and participating ANBL outlets) here. Quantities are limited, so be sure to drop by on Monday if you have particular beers that you would like to try.

• La sixième édition de l’Oktoberfest des Acadiens se passe du 3 au 6 Septembre à Bertrand, NB. Avec de la musique et un ambiance bavaroise dans les après midi, et des spectacles avec des artistes de renoms les vendredi et samedi soirs. C’est une fin de semaine de plaisir et de divertissement pour toute la famille. Jeudi soir l’on vous propose une dégustation dirigée par Patrice Godin d’Acadie-Broue, intitulé “Le Tour du Monde avec de la Bière”, mettant en vedette certains accords mets et bières spéciales. La Grande Dégustation se déroule le samedi et le dimanche de 13h à 18h, où les visiteurs pourront déguster une centaine de bières différentes du Nouveau-Brunswick (y compris Acadie-Broue, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, Pump House, Savoie’s Brewhouse), le Canada (Glutenberg et Red Racer et beaucoup plus), ainsi que l’Europe (Chimay, Chouffe, et Weihenstephan par exemples). Pour plus de détails sur les billets et l’horaire complet Vous pouvez visiter leur site et leur page Facebook.

• The Sixth Annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is happening September 3-6 in Bertrand, NB. Featuring live music daily, and major concerts Friday and Saturday evening, it is a full weekend of family fun and entertainment. Thursday evening features a tasting led by Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin, entitled “Around the World with Beer”, featuring several special beer and food pairings. The beer garden will be open Saturday and Sunday 1-6pm, where visitors can sample from over 100 different beers from New Brunswick (including Acadie-Broue, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, Pump House, Savoie’s Brewhouse), Canada (Glutenberg and Red Racer and many more), as well as Europe (Chimay, Chouffe, and Weihenstephan for example). Ticket details and the full schedule is available on their website and Facebook page.

• Homebrewers, fire up those kettles, the 3rd Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge is back! This year is a bit of a departure from previous competitions, as beers are being accepted in three different styles: Czech Dark Lager (3D), Altbier (7B), and Red IPA (21B). They will be judged using the new 2015 BJCP style guidelines. The top three beers in each category will win prizes, and the Best in Show beer will be brewed at Big Spruce, and released at the Third Annual Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration in January. Homebrewers may enter a beer in one, two, or all three categories for the same $25 entry fee. That fee also entitles entrants to a limited edition t-shirt, and new this year, entry to the post-judging party at the Wooden Monkey Alderney Landing November 28th. To take part, be sure to email Big Spruce for the official entry form before November 23rd, and drop off the beer before the 27th at the brewery or the Halifax drop-point. There are more details on the event’s Facebook page. As there are a couple of lagers in there, best to get brewing soon!

Enjoy your weekend! All four ANBL growler stations are pouring summery beers this week, including Petit-Sault‘s new John Stadig (an “Orange Ginger White ale”), Picaroons Dooryard, and Le Trou du Diable Blanche de Shawi. Be sure to drop by Rockbottom this weekend and next week as they host several acts from the Halifax Urban Folk Festival, and catch their FizzGig Ladies Beer League Imperial Red, and Farmer’s Daughter Farmhouse Ale before they are replaced by an English Brown Ale and a traditionally-brewed Marzen (featuring imported malts and the Hochkurz Double-Decoction mash technique). Cheers!