902 BrewCast

All posts tagged 902 BrewCast

A happy Bon Jovi Friday to all our readers who are working today. The holiday tomorrow has breweries and taprooms around the region all going their own way in terms of opening or not or adjusting or not adjusting their hours, and we’re getting out in front of the madness by posting today. So read on for the usual coverage of beers, events and other beer-related items in Atlantic Canada this week.

• The annual Saint John Beer Fest had another successful run last Saturday, and now that the dust has settled, one of the special one-offs brewed for the event is available for those of us not able to attend. Big Tide brewed Crystal One FifTEA with Pilsner and Wheat malt, and added both Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey tea, from New Brunswick’s King Cole Tea, in the boil. These tea additions complement the 5.9% ABV light-golden ale with “delicate and citrusy flavours”. Late-hopped to 12 IBUs with Crystal and Saaz from Darlings Island Farm, this “light and refreshing” beer is currently on tap at the brewpub for a limited time.

• Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing has a delicious-sounding beer newly released in the province. Chasing Sun falls into the ever-growing-in-popularity style category of a New England IPA (hazy, wonderfully hoppy, smooth, lower bitterness). With a grist featuring a “healthy dose of wheat and oats” to provide a smooth mouthfeel and soft finish, plenty of hops – Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook – were added late in the boil, to help boost those fruity, juicy aromas and flavours, while cutting back on the higher bitterness expected in your typical (but not so typical anymore?) American IPAs. Fermented with the Vermont Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, even more hops were added in the dry-hop, to turn the hop experience up to 11. It should be on tap at PRB accounts in St. John’s soon, as well as at the brewery’s seasonal taproom when it re-opens in the near future. And why not drop by this weekend? They’ll be open this Friday 4-10pm, and Saturday from 2pm, and Oh My Cheeses serving up grilled cheese sammies both days.

• In other hazy, hoppy beer news, North Brewing released their own take on the “style” yesterday, Malternate Reality. Brewed with spelt, oats, and wheat to really guarantee haziness/cloudiness and a smooth mouthfeel, the beer was fermented with The Yeast Bay’s Funktown Pale Ale, a blend of a Vermont Ale yeast strain and a “wild” Saccharomyces strain. Dry-hopped with Azacca, Belma, and Columbus, expect a juicy-tasting beer with notes of peach, pineapple, and passion fruit. Coming in at 6.3% ABV and 51 IBUs, you can find it at both bottle shops in swing tops and growlers, and will likely pop up on tap at Battery Park and other licensees over the weekend. And next time you’re at your local NSLC store, keep your eyes open for North’s Gus’ 65m (available in bottles the last couple of weeks) and Priority Pale Ale (coming to NSLC shelves soon).

• Scudrunner Brewing, a brewery in development in Gander, NL, provided a progress update this week. They’ve secured a location and will be taking possession on June 1 and, fortunately, are not expecting to have to do a whole lot with the space to turn it into a brewery and taproom. They’ve got their equipment picked out and their suppliers set up, and they’re working on getting their design and branding completed. As they wait for their home to be ready they’re continuing to brew test batches and believe they’ve nailed down their selection for launch day, but they invite folks to continue to provide feedback on their Facebook page and let the team know what styles the public would like to see. We’ll keep you posted with further updates and we’ll look to do a complete profile as their opening day approaches.

• In Truro, the Nook & Cranny is rebranding the brewery part of the operation to Salty Dog Brewing Company. While the beer will still be brewed on the system in the brew pub, it will now bear the new name in house, for local licensees, and at the brand new retail location they’re building next door. Soon, hopefully by mid-to-late May, you’ll be able to taste their offerings and purchase cans or have your growlers filled. They’re also taking advantage of this opportunity to provide a wider lineup, including Vanilla Porter, White IPA, Coffee Stout and Cider, as well as a couple of house favourites like the Blueberry Wheat and the Pale Ale.

• Those fine gents over at 902 BrewCast have done a public service by releasing their monthly tasting episode a day early. Available as of this morning, this podcast will take you through the line of beers being poured for the 2 Crows Tap Takeover at Battery Park this afternoon. And who better to do that with than Brewmaster Jeremy Taylor, the special guest for the session? Have a listen through the day and plan your flight(s) ahead of time! Rumour has it you might (MIGHT) hear news of an upcoming 902 BrewCast/2 Crows collaboration beer. And mark your calendars for next nine-oh-Tuesday (April 18) when the guys sit down with local brewing legend Greg Nash and his non-silent partner at Unfiltered Brewing, Andrew Murphy! We’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that headphones may be in order when you’re listening to that one.

Just a few new events to let you know about this week, as we prep our May 5-14 NS Craft Beer Week Event Calendar for a near-future release:

• Tonight at 7pm, Upstreet is hosting Art + Craft, a roof-top rock show, plus walk through an art installation. Perched on top of Confederation Centre Mall on Grafton Street, Stabbing Joy will be playing a set, before attendees will grab their flashlights and walk The Goblin Path to Upstreet, keeping an eye out for monsters along the way. Assuming everyone makes it there safely, they’ll be able to celebrate with Upstreet’s latest release, Go Devil IPA.

• Late addition to the blog, today: Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing are holding another Growler Day tomorrow at 11, featuring the return of their Peach Shake Ale, the Milkshake IPA (lots of late hops with lactose and vanilla) with 10 kg! of peaches added to the brew, and Method IPA, their hazy Citra bomb. Joining those are two new beer: Stowe IPA, featuring their standard grain bill but with AmarilloColumbus, and Simcoe; and Porter, featuring lots of roast and chocolate character from the dark malts used in the grain bill.

Good Robot has a new Beta Brew in the works for next weekend’s Earth Day celebration. They’ll be doing a Day of Beer & Vinyl event on actual Earth Day, April 22nd, and this beer will be tapped the next day at their Earth Day Hangover event on April 23rd. A gruit-style ale that features only organic summer and winter pale 2-row malt from Horton Ridge and only Nova Scotia hops (Centennial and Chinook from Fundy Hops). It’s also packed full of other ingredients foraged by GR’s own Eri Mycelia, including red maple sap and buds and white and yellow birch bark (both toasted). Scottish Heather tips round out the mix. While you’re sipping on a pint of this wholesome brew, you’ll be able to pet goats brought in by Moo Nay Farms, experience the magic of charging your phone with a solar charger from If You Build It, take part in a plant exchange, and more! Check the event out on Facebook for a complete list of activities and the day’s schedule.

• Down in Windsor, Schoolhouse Brewery is finally ready for their Graduation! They will be opening the doors to their new location at 40 Water Street in Windsor later this month, on April 29th. Regular retail hours will be 3:20pm (when school lets out) to 8pm on weekdays (closed Mondays) and 11am-8pm on weekends. Expect to find their regular offerings like the Principal Ale Pale Ale, Chequers Ale Robust Porter and Scotian Export Scottish Export to be available for growler fills and 650ml bombers. You might also find Skratch Plaskett Electric Tambourine Ale (developed as a collaboration with Good Robot last summer) available for growler fills, and Big Red Schoolhouse in bombers. There will be a soft opening of the retail store on April 26th and 27th from 7-9pm. And stay tuned for an announcement of the opening of Schoolhouse’s brand new tap room, where you’ll be able to sit and have pints of your favorites and no doubt some new brews, come May! Keep your eyes on Schoolhouse’s Facebook Page for events to be posted in the next few days that you can slot into your calendar.

• On April 29th, the Whycocomagh Waterfront Centre is hosting an East Coast Dinner Party, featuring a 3-course meal prepared by Son of a Sea Cook, paired with Nova Scotia beers, chosen by brewer Karen Allen, formerly of Gahan House Harbourfront, and frequent collaborator with Boxing Rock. Warren MacIntyre will provide some musical entertainment to enhance the evening. Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to grab yours today, either online or at MacKeigan’s Pharmacy.

A few more mentions from around the region:

Big Spruce is buttressing their forces for the upcoming busy season, and looking for full-time Sales Desk staff from May to September. It’s always busy on Yankee Line Road in the summer, so consider getting in on the fun! Drop them a note with your résumé to apply and/or learn more.
Good Robot has new batches of both their Goseface Killah Gose and Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn beer available now at the brewery, and to enjoy on their Gastroturf.
– Hoping to kickstart spring, Nine Locks has brought back their Watermelon Blonde Ale, a 5.0% light-bodied and crisp Blonde Ale, dosed with lots of deconstructed (aka smashed) fresh watermelons added in the mash, as well as after primary fermentation, for a pleasant hint of aroma and flavour to the warm weather style. Look for it at the brewery in Dartmouth, at the private stores, as well as select NSLC locations now. And for our readers on The Rock, 9L has just sent over a pallet of beer to the NLC, so expect it to hit shelves of the core locations around the end of the month.

And a final public service announcement: Some breweries and taprooms will be closed or running with modified hours tomorrow and/or Sunday due to Easter weekend, so be sure to check before venturing out. And others will be opening their patios (Saturday is looking particularly nice), so a quick scan of social media will set you up for a good day out.

Happy Friday folks, we hope that digging out wasn’t too much of an ordeal for those of you who got snowed on last night. We’ll warn you now that this is a ridiculously long post; you may want to plan a second lunch to finish reading it. Possibly one that includes a beer. We’ve got some suggestions below as to how you might make that happen along with some new brewery news and some options for those who might want to center their Valentine’s Day around their love for beer. Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.

• South Shore’s FirkinStein Brewing has released their first foray into the Double IPA style, with Cut of Our Jib. Weighing in at 8.6% ABV, it was hopped exclusively with Cascade and Citra throughout the boil, and into the dry-hop, for a solid 100 IBU bitterness, but with plenty of citrus aroma and flavour. Grab the beer at their Farmers’ Market stall in Lunenburg on Thursdays, and by appointment at the brewery in the evenings (but be sure to reach out via Facebook or Twitter first). It may even make it on tap on the South Shore or HRM; keep an eye on their social media feeds for the latest information.

• Heads up west-island Newfoundland beer drinkers: a pair of fellow beer fans are looking to open a brewery this summer, and would love to get you involved! Bootleg Brew Co has announced that they are in the process of getting their licensing and brewing system, with the plan to open a location in Corner Brook in the next six months. While working in the food industry, Matt Tilley and Morgan Turner tried their hand at homebrewing, and were extremely pleased with the results, and after encouragement from family and friends, are looking to turn it into a business. Planning on a 3.5 hl (3BBL) system, they have turned to crowdfunding to assist with some of the costs. Check out more details in a recent CBC article, and check out their IGG campaign, on until March 1st. We’ll share updates as they progress in their transition to professional beer producers.

• Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing is releasing a brand new beer today, Fathom Double IPA. The name may sound a bit familiar, but it is a brand new beer, based loosely on Rockbottom Brewpub Fathom IPA, winner of the Gold Medal at the 2016 ACBAs in the IPA category. The hazy orange Double IPA clocks in at 8.0% ABV, and has a hefty 90 IBU, derived from Centennial, Citra, El Dorado, and Summit added throughout the brewing and conditioning, for notes of citrus and melon on the nose, and orange and stone fruit flavour. Grab it in growlers and cans at the brewery at noon, and in cans at the private stores, including at Cristall Wine, where they will be pouring samples of it today from 4-6pm.

Moth Lane Brewing, in Ellerslie, PEI, has recently released a Hefeweizen, the iconic unfiltered wheat beer, originating in the Bavarian region of Germany. Refreshing and juicy thanks to the yeast clove and banana characteristics, Weizen Up B’ye is 5.0% ABV, with a light 11 IBU bitterness. Grab a pint or growler this weekend at the brewery, including tomorrow evening, when The Galley Food Truck will be set up slinging food, and there will be an open mic/jam session in the brewery taproom.

• There’s a new Belgian Dubbel available from Petit-Sault, Colonel John Baker. This is a different beer altogether from their first Dubbel, Simone Hébert, which was originally released in the fall of 2015. Brewed with lots of Dark Belgian Candi Syrup to give the classic-Dubbel notes of “dark fruit and mild chocolate”, some Chocolate malt was also used in the grist to accentuate these characteristics. Described as “rich, malty, and fruity, with a surprisingly-dry finish”, it weighs in at 6.8% ABV. It’s available for pints and growler fills at the brewery in Edmundston, and should be available at all ANBL growler stations this weekend. Look for it to pop up in bottles, soon!

• Fredericton’s Grimross has just released the first beer in their new Scratch series, which will be a realm for the brewery to experiment with new recipes and one-offs. Scratch #1: Lager is the brewery’s first venture into Lager territory, with a “simple, clean-yet-flavourful Lager”. With all-Pilsner malt in the grist, it was hopped with Magnum, Saaz, and New Brunswick-grown Cascade, and fermented cool with a Lager yeast strain. It pours with a pale straw colour, and a “slightly grainy and honey aroma with a crisp, dry finish”, according to owner/brewer Stephen Dixon. Supremely drinkable at 4.7% ABV, it’s available on tap now at the brewery taproom. Expect to see their next release in this series, Scratch #2: Belgian IPA, soon!

• Staying with Fredericton, there’s a couple of new beers out from Graystone this week, and we have a few details on both of them. First up is Bushwhack Bitter, their take on the sessionable English style, Ordinary Bitter (aka Standard Bitter). Ordinary in name only, this is meant to be an easy-drinking, fairly-bitter beer with some pleasant malt complexity. Bushwhack Bitter was hopped to 30 IBUs with U.K. Fuggles and New Brunswick Goldings, and comes in at 3.9% ABV. Next is their Single Track Pale Ale, a 5.2% ABV, 30 IBUs American Pale Ale hopped primarily with Citra, an American variety well known to beer geeks everywhere. Described by the brewery as “light, refreshing, and flavourful with citrus and peach flavours”, it’s available at the brewery for pints, growlers, and crowlers, along with the new Bitter.

• Graystone is also re-releasing their White IPA, Mont Blanc, today. This collaboration with soon-to-open Gore Farm Brewery (out of St. Stephen), was originally released in late December, and is returning due to popular demand. Check out our previous post here for more details on the beer, and the Gore Farm link above for a Q&A we published with the brewery, yesterday.

• Over in Moncton, Tide & Boar Brewing continues to experiment with new beers. They have just tapped Mute Saison, their first take on the classic Saison, a wonderful Belgian style that is open for multiple interpretations by brewers. Hopped with New Zealand Wakatu and U.S. Lemondrop, it finishes very dry, with “floral and lemon notes”, and at 6.8% ABV may sneak up on you, so sip wisely! T&B have also released version 2 of their Lemondrop IPA, an American IPA hopped entirely with, yes, Lemondrop. Look for both on tap at the brewpub. And if you’re in Saint John and are aching to try some T&B beer, good news – the Cask & Kettle has a keg of their Forum Pale Ale, a new version fermented with a Vermont yeast strain.

• Meanwhile, at the Université de Moncton’s Bar Le Coude, Acadie-Broue has two beers that were just tapped last night. Let’s start with Tricole – a Belgian Tripel, it was named after the Acadian term to describe someone who staggers/stumbles from having too much alcohol. Fittingly, it’s a strong beer at 8% ABV, which is typical for the Tripel style. Made with all Pilsner malt (many Tripels are brewed with the addition of sugar) and hopped with German Hersbrucker, it was fermented with a high gravity Trappist yeast, resulting in a very dry beer with “candy-like and pepper” qualities, and is quite drinkable despite it’s high ABV.

• Next up from Acadie-Broue is another strong one, Kazakh, inspired by the Russian Imperial Stout style. Named after another Acadian expression, synonymous to “daredevil”, it was brewed with plenty of specialty malts, including Chocolate, Crystal 120 L, Victory, Midnight Wheat, and Oats, to give a dark, roasty beer that will leave you plenty warm, thanks to its 8% ABV. Hopped with Magnum for a bittering charge only (to 50 IBUs), it was fermented with a neutral American yeast strain. This is actually the 3rd batch for this beer, as demand has greatly exceeded the brewery’s expectations!

Roof Hound Brewing and Tatamagouche Brewing have teamed up for their first collaboration brew, Chocolate Sauced, brewed at Roof Hound a couple of weeks ago. This is a big beer at 9% ABV, and was brewed with four different types of chocolate (!): dark Chocolate malt, Chocolate Rye, and Chocolate Wheat in the mash, and cocoa added in the kettle (along with some lactose powder and Dark Candi Sugar). Both RH and TataBrew will be releasing the beer at their breweries tomorrow, with both holding special launch parties featuring live music to celebrate this “Chocolate Imperial Stout”.

• Speaking of Tatamagouche, they released the latest of their Giant Beer Series this week, Quad.  Their take on the Belgian Quadrupel style, this 10.3% ABV beer features a base of Pilsner malt, with Vienna, CaraAroma, and Chocolate for some complexity, with Dark Candi Syrup for the iconic colour and dark fruit component to the aroma and flavour. A modest 35 IBU (for the ABV) is achieved using Saaz and Hallertau Mittelfruh, to partially offset the high alcohol and body. The beer was bottle conditioned in 650mL bottles, and is available exclusively at the brewery now (with a very small part of the batch available in kegs soon). They will be pouring a special casked version of the Quad, aged on Muscat grape skins Saturday, during the Chocolate Sauced launch event.

• Tata has also released Deadeye Double IPA, with a few tweaks since last year’s release. It now features Vermont Ale yeast, resulting in a slightly hazy beer. It still showcases lots of Hallertau Blanc hops, for a light grape and passionfruit and pineapple aromatics, with Cascade and Chinook lending their hand to the recipe. Kegs have been delivered to their HRM accounts, and the beer will be available on tap and in cans beginning today at the brewery, and at the private stores very shortly.

TrailWay has released their Black IPA in cans for the first time. Black Hops (yes, the “1” has been dropped from the name) has been changed slightly from its last release, with an adjustment to the grain bill to allow for a “softer chocolate flavour”, as well as… more hops! Lots of Citra and Mosaic were added to boost the citrus and tropical flavours and aromas, it comes in at 7% ABV. Available at the brewery now, and in select ANBL stores soon.

• And while on the topic of TrailWay, we forgot to mention the results of their 1st annual Homebrew Challenge last Friday… sorry ’bout that! Local homebrewer Pierre Gagnon took the top spot in the American IPA contest, with his Hoppy McHazy winning out among close to 30 entries. This 7% ABV IPA is hopped with Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe; Pierre will be brewing his beer on TW’s system next week. When released, a portion of the beer will be available in cans, so be prepared to stock up! Congrats, Pierre!

Flying Boats will be releasing this year’s take on their Lover’s Quarrel IPA next week… a little later than planned, thanks to one of the lovely ice storms we’ve been receiving. With a grist that includes some Flaked Wheat to boost the mouthfeel of the beer, several late boil additions of both Galaxy and Citra hops provide a “floral, citrusy aroma”. This should come in at 6% ABV and close to 60 IBUs; look for it to be released late next week, with 16 kegs being sent to the Dieppe ANBL growler station for Thursday… just a couple of days after Valentine’s Day. With beer, as with love, better late than never!

• Today, Garrison is launching their newest Star Trek/CBS release at the brewery. Red Shirt Ale is an American Red brewed in honour of the many Star Trek crew members unlucky enough to be fitted in a red tunic… usually a good sign that they would be meeting an untimely, violent death. With a “deep copper colour and rich malt flavour”, the beer was hopped with Citra, El Dorado, and Millenium. You’ll be able to find Red Shirt Ale at Garrison and Halifax’s private liquor stores as of this weekend, and NSLC stores later this month. It will also be popping up at ANBL growler stations in two weeks’ time. And for our homebrewing readers, be sure to submit your Wee Heavy this weekend!

• Gahan House Harbourfront in Halifax put a new beer on tap this week. Captain Falcon’s IPA is a SMaSH brew that sees big citrus hop flavor from generous late boil and whirlpool additions of Falconer’s Flight meet the fruit flavor of real blackberries added in the secondary. It’s got a hazy, purplish pink color and is a very dry brew with a fairly light bitterness (for an IPA) at 40 IBU and a very reasonable 6% ABV – the Falcon Punch is in the flavor, not the weight.

• In the valley, a new cider in the Something Different series became available this week at Annapolis Cider Company. Muscat Infusion weds apples and grapes to produce a 7.1% ABV sparkling cider with a copper colour, apple tartness, and tropical and floral aromas from Nova Scotia’s most aromatic grape variety. The skins of Muscat grapes were added during active fermentation, and a technique known as “punching down” commonly used in red wine fermentations ensured flavor, color, aroma and tannin extraction. Finished with freshly-pressed apple juice to balance it before packaging, it is available at the cidery in Wolfville where $0.50 of each bottle fill will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Annapolis Valley.

• What do you do when one of your business neighbours leaves your street for a newer, bigger spot a few blocks away? If you’re North Brewing you celebrate your friend’s achievement with a special beer. White Lightning is the nickname of Renée Lavallée, chef of The Canteen, formerly a lunch counter on Ochterloney Street and now a restaurant on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth. It is now also a kettle sour from North that’s been dry-hopped with Cascade and Amarillo, coming in at 4.8% ABV and 12 IBU. The label received North’s Artist Series treatment with Renée’s likeness rendered in comic book style by Rob Hansen. White Lightning is available in 650ml bottles from the North bottle shops and private liquor stores in HRM and you should expect to see kegs of it appear in bars and restaurants in the coming days and weeks.

• North is also joining with another neighbour this week, this time on the Halifax side, where they’ve lent their expertise with Belgian styles to a new Tripel from the gang at Good Robot. Moo Nay is a tribute to the farm that reuses Good Robot’s post-brewing spent grain, Moo Nay Farms near Shubenacadie. Although the body is well in line with the style, with Pale and Pilsner malts and some sugar to dry it out, the twist this time is the use of a very non-traditional hop, namely the New Zealand variety Nelson Sauvin, known for its fruity, white wine-like character. Big and boozy at 8.5% ABV, but not overly bitter at 30 IBU, late hop additions bring a New World aspect to a decidedly Old World beer. Moo Nay will be available at Good Robot as of today, both in the tap room and the store for growler fills.

• Those who don’t remember the days before NASH started slinging hop bombs at Unfiltered might not be aware that he’s got a full slate of styles at his disposal, but this week’s release should make that abundantly clear to all and sundry. Play with Fire is a Smoked Imperial Schwarzbier, featuring tons of dark fruit, roasted malt and smokey phenols. At only 34 IBU, it’s not a bitter bomb, but it will certainly pack a wallop at 8% ABV. Growler fills and pints will be available as of noon today at the brewery and Charm School Pub, respectively. As they say down on North Street, get on it!

• The latest episode of the 902 BrewCast went live earlier this week, where the beer chums sat down with Schoolhouse Brewery‘s Cam Hartley. They went into the history of Schoolhouse, where it is now, and where it’s heading next. Learn all about it by downloading and listening to the episode today!

Port Rexton Brewing on Newfoundland’s Bonavista Peninsula will be releasing their first bottled offering next week. Named the Ten Eighty Series, the annual small run of bottles will make their debut in winter, and lean toward higher ABV, perfect for warming you up from the inside out. The inaugural release is Belgian Tripel, an 8.2% ABV beer featuring the iconic clove aromatics and light spiciness, with a dry finish. This run of only 800 bottles will be available exclusively at the brewery, so reach out to them today to pre-order and get yourself on the list!

Check out these events for the weekend…

• As mentioned above, both Roof Hound and Tatamagouche are celebrating the release of their collaboration Chocolate Sauced tomorrow, February 11th. In Digby, drop by at 9pm for the first pours of the new beer, and at 10pm, enjoy live music by singer/songwriter Elizabeth Wright and Tide and Timbre ($6 cover). In Tatamagouche, the fun kicks off at 7pm, with Eric Fresia playing while you enjoy the new beers they are featuring, with chocolates paired with CS, shucking oysters to pair with Oyster Cloister, and that special cask of Quad. Your $5 cover gets you your first sample of Chocolate Sauced for free.

• Good Robot has a fairly full slate planned for the taproom next week, with three events in the works. Monday will see another Goodwill Bot event, where $1 of every beer sold goes to a local non-profit cause. This week it will be Halifax Cycling Coalition, who will be celebrating Winter Bike Week and crafting Valentine’s Day cards. On Tuesday you’ll find Blue Valentine , “a sad and sexy Valentine’s Day event.” Get there before 6:30pm and enjoy $5 pints and a Tom Waits playlist. After that, enjoy local artists and businesses as they take the floor to talk about sex. Look for participation from Ballonicorns , Turn Me On Podcast , Venus Envy and The Coast. And on Wednesday grab a book, head on down to Good Robot, grab a beer and shut the hell up for the return of Silent Reading. As always, no phones, no talking.

• Next Thursday, February 16th, the Cask & Kettle will be hosting a Maybee Brewing Tap Takeover, with all of their taps being turned over to the Fredericton brewery from 4 pm-close, including Maybee’s newest, currently unreleased beer, a DIPA (more on that next week). There will be, of course, food and Irish music to accompany the many beers pouring, with no charge to attend; just show up and pay by the pint!

• The Craft Beer Cottage Party returns to Halifax’s Seaport Farmers’ Market February 25th. With 30 breweries from the Maritimes in attendance, it is sure to be a blast of summer in the dead of winter. Washer Toss, live music, and plenty of chairs to lounge on, the summer vibes will be strong during the event. Tickets are $60 +fees ($75++ for VIP access), and are available now. Check out our Calendar for more details, including the full brewery list.

A few more things this week…

Mil Street St John’s brewed North American Brown Ale earlier this week, featuring El Dorado hops. The 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU beer is named after Black Bart, a pirate who terrorized Newfoundland, starting in the 17th century. Look for the beer to be released at the end of the month, or early March.
Picaroons has re-released their Valentine-themed Afterglow Aphrodisiac Ale, a 5.2% ABV dark beer brewed with chocolate, chili peppers, ginseng, and licorice root. Look for it at all Picaroons locations, and select establishments throughout NB.
TideHouse Brewing invited in local home brewer Ian Wheatley to brew on their system last week, to be released next month. The brew was a kettle sour, low in ABV, but with plenty of lactic bite. We’ll have much more on the beer closer to its release, around March 10th.

We’re firmly into 2017 and we’ll all hopefully be able to stop typing 2016 any day now. Though the we haven’t quite reached the dead of winter, the beer scene in the region is still showing plenty of signs of life and it’s not looking like that will slow down any time soon. Read on for all the news on new beers, re-releases, and beer- and brewery-related events throughout our corner of the country. And don’t forget, the first kegs from Harvey, NB’s Think Brewing will be available this weekend. We have confirmation that they will be on tap at the James Joyce Pub and 540 Kitchen in the next day or two. To learn more, check out Tuesday’s Profile with Think. And now on to the rest of the beer news!

• A little over a year ago, Flying Boats released Double Oatmeal Stout, an easy-drinking beer with plenty of oatmeal and roast character. Recently, owner/brewer Marc Melanson has changed the recipe, with the result being Station Master Stout. Over 10% of rolled oats, along with specialty malts including Chocolate and Roasted varieties, makes up the grist, giving “slight chocolate, coffee, and roastiness” in the flavour, along with a full-bodied mouthfeel. Hopped with East Kent Goldings to 28 IBUs, expect this one to weigh in at approximately 5.2% ABV; look for it at Flying Boats tap accounts sometime within the next couple of weeks.

• Saint John’s newest brewery, Loyalist City, released another of their flagship beers for the first time late last week. An American Pale Ale, Three Sisters Pale Ale (6% ABV, 60 IBUs) features a blend of three popular American hop varieties – Centennial, Citra and Mosaic – to give “an assertive mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavor and aroma”. The high majority of the hops were added in the whirlpool, after the boil was complete, to maximize the deliciousness of these varieties, without adding too much bitterness in the finish. The grist was kept simple, with a mix of two base malts, to complement the hops but not overpower them. Fermented clean with an American Ale yeast strain, more Mosaic was included in not one, but two, dry-hop additions, resulting in even more tropical fruit in the aroma. For historians, the beer was named after the Three Sisters Lamp, which was erected in 1842 at the end of Prince William Street “to welcome visitors to the Saint John Harbour by guiding them safely into port”. Look for Three Sisters on tap at select accounts in the city, including Cask & Kettle and Five & Dime, and at the ANBL Growler program starting Jan 26 at the three SJ-region locations. Details are thin, but look for LCBC’s Extra Special Bitter to hit the taps this weekend, we’ll share more details when we have them.

YellowBelly Brewpub in downtown St John’s has released a new cider this week, featuring partridge berries. Twenty kilograms of the extremely ripe fruit were used for a subtle sweetness and tannic tartness. From Brewmaster Liam McKenna, “It’s like our regular cider with a bit of pink lemonade and the merest hint of wintergreen, methinks.” Grab a pint at the pub, and look for bottles at a few St. John’s NLCs next week.

• Still on the Rock, Mill Street Brewpub has been serving a beer since late 2016 that we seem to have missed the boat on. St. John’s ESB is in the English Pale Ale family, with a balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness enhancing its drinkability. It comes in at a very reasonable 4.8% ABV and 27 IBU with biscuit, caramel and lightly toasted malt notes and floral and earthy hop flavours. Look for it the next time you’re by for a pint or a growler fill.​

• Fans of Moncton’s Bore City Brewing can look forward to their first new beer release in a while, a currently-unnamed “lower-ABV Belgian style Ale” (think roughly along the lines of an Abbey Single or Table Beer). With a grist of mainly Pilsner malt and Munich II, it was hopped with East Kent Goldings and Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, White Labs’ Belgian Golden Ale. This one should come in around 5.6% ABV; it won’t be ready for another few weeks, according to the brewery, but we’ll have more information to release before then!

Graystone Brewing has their first Lager on tap at their taproom and elsewhere in Fredericton. The North is a Pilsner that was “amply hopped” with two varieties, German Perle and Czech Saaz, giving distinctive floral and spicy notes to the beer. Fermented cool at 13 C with a European Lager yeast, the beer was further lagered at cold temperatures for six weeks. It clocks in at 5.3% ABV and 40 IBUs, and is available now for pints, and crowler/growler fills.

• Graystone also released another new beer yesterday, Shiver Stout, to coincide with this year’s Shivering Songs Festival. With an addition of a cold-brewed medium roast blend from Whitney Coffee Company added directly to the beer, there’s plenty of smooth coffee flavour (without any harshness) in this one. On the lighter-ABV end for a stout (4.7%), it clocks in at 30 IBUs; while exploring around Fredericton for the festival, be sure to seek this one out!

• Continuing with Fredericton, Bogtrotter has a new beer popping up around the city. Drunken Newt Red Rye Ale was brewed with Rye malt in the grist, with nutmeg added late in the boil. This deep red-coloured beer comes in at 5% ABV, and features “aromas of fresh rye bread, caramel malt and hops”, according to the brewery. Expect flavours of caramel, toffee, and a hint of, naturally, nutmeg. It’s available on tap around Fredericton, and is also in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL locations.

• Now firmly in the middle of winter, it’s time for the return of one of last year’s favourites, Big Spruce Brewing‘s Coade Word: Snowmaggedon, an ode to local meteorologist Peter Coade, who retired in September 2016, after a record-breaking 54 year career. This Winter Warmer is 7.4% ABV, and features Gila Squash grown at their brewery farm. It was oven roasted with organic cane sugar before being added to the mash, extracting some extra sweetness and complexity. After primary fermentation, the beer was conditioned with a dark rum tincture of local ginger with organic cinnamon and vanilla. This release is draft/growler only, while the next release will be aged in barrels and will be available on draft, and in bottles.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has released their first Double IPA, Make and Break. Clocking in at 7.5% ABV, the beer features Amarillo and Millennium hops, to the tune of 60 IBUs, balancing the sweet, malty aroma. Grab a pint or growler fill at the brewery, and look for it at their tap accounts shortly.

• Be sure to grab today’s episode of the 902 BrewCast, with Kyle, Phil, and Tony tasting through a selection of Nova Scotian and New Brunswick IPAs (including a look at the medal winners of the 2016 ACBAs). They even invited along our very own acbbchris for a nerdier approach to the whole thing. Be sure to share your feedback on their social media feeds, or in a comment below.

• Attention large AtlCan breweries! The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service is taking a handful of Canadian breweries on a tour of five US cities next month, and the opportunity to sign-up is now open. Visiting Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami Feb 27 – Mar 2, brewers will have the chance to meet local vendors, check out the potential markets, and learn about the benefits (and potential) drawbacks to doing business abroad. More details can be found here, including contacts on how to sign up before the application window closes January 25th.

A few events have popped up on our radar; check out what’s happening in your neck of the woods:

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar are holding another Growler Pop-Up today, 10-6pm (or when the beer runs dry). Look for the return of Herbies Oatmeal for Breakfast Stout, Sour Otis Fruit Cake Kettle Sour, as well as two new IPAs: Calling Method IPA (featuring Citra) and Nelson IPA, single-hopped with Nelson Sauvin. The first few folks through the door will receive a free T&B growler (empty) – the early birds get the worm!

• A reminder of tomorrow’s Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover at Ducky’s in Sackville. In addition to their core lineup, and special beers that they’ve been saving, it will serve also as the sneak preview of their Barrel-aged Barleywine, being released next Thursday. We’ll have more details on that beer next week. In the meantime, learn more about the evening, and live music, on the FB Event page.

• Join Port Rexton Brewing and Quidi Vidi at White Hills Resort in Clarenville, NL next weekend, January 27th and 28th, for Eat the Hill. Pairing their beers with plates from several different chefs, there will be plenty of food, beer, and cheer to go around after a day on the slopes. Tickets are available now.

Mill Street is hosting a Brewmaster’s Dinner at the brewpub on February 8th. Hosted by Joel Manning, Head Brewmaster for the Mill Street family, and Dan Boldrini, Head Brewer at the St. John’s location, it will feature five of beers paired with five courses from the kitchen. The event will take place the evening of Wednesday, February 8; tickets are $60 and are apparently going fast, so if you’re interested, don’t wait.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing will be opening their doors next Saturday, January 28th, for a soft launch of their beers and tap room. Featuring their core line-up on tap, as well as several special tap-room-only beer produced on their pilot system, the fun kicks off at noon. Take a gander at this week’s The Coast newspaper for an article with Kelly, Mark, and Jeremy, and we’ll have a full profile with the crew early next week, to whet your whistle.

• Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be holding a Nano Brewery Tap Takeover, featuring four of Nova Scotia’s smallest craft breweries, on Thursday, February 9th. All sixteen taps will be dedicated to beer from Brightwood, Schoolhouse, Sober Island, and Tidehouse. Drop by from 2:00 pm to taste the beers from these small operations, including a few special one-offs casks, and meet the folks behind the beers.

• On February 16th, Battery Park is hosting Pop-Up Love Party, an event with live performers expounding on love, paired with local beer and a menu designed by Daniel Burns. It also serves as the launch of just the second beer brewed at North‘s Dartmouth location (in BP’s foyer), Zuppa Symposium. It is a Milk Stout aged on local blackberries and cherry wood, and will be available on tap (both standard and nitro versions), and in bottles. More details are available here, and tickets here.

 • Like to drink beer and curl? Or even just drink beer and slide around on the ice with a broom? Well, good news! Good Robot is holding their 1st Annual Tournament of Broken Hearts on Saturday, February 18th at the Mayflower Curling Club. Teams of four can sign up here ($80 per team), with all participants receiving GR toques, plenty of GR beer on tap, prizes to the winners, and an after-party. The fun starts at 1 pm and will continue all day and evening.

• It’s a ways away on May 27th, but early bird tickets are already on sale for the first annual Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival. Taking place at the Rodd Grand Hotel in Yarmouth, it will feature breweries from around Nova Scotia. There will be two tastings, in the afternoon at 2:30pm and in the evening at 7:30pm. The $30 package includes a commemorative glass and 5 sampling tickets, with additional sampling tickets available both online when you register and at the event itself. VIP and Designated Driver packages are also available: the VIP is priced at $45 and includes 10 sampling tickets, access to a VIP lounge and early access (30 minutes) to the tasting; the DD package gives 5 sampling tickets for food and non-alcoholic drinks and access to the VIP lounge and is priced at $15. Early bird registrants (until February 15th) save $5 on any package, while late registrations will see prices $5 higher. More information, including participating breweries will be available as the event gets closer.

• The YBF will also feature the first annual Hop Run. This event marries drinking beer and running and features both individual and relay formats. Individuals will run between 1 and 3 miles, with a beer at the starting gun and another after each mile completed to a maximum of three laps and four beers per person. The relay will see teams of three each running one lap and drinking 4 beers. Included in all registrations is a Hop Run pint glass and a finisher’s medal for each runner. Pricing for individuals is based on number of miles ($45/50/55 for 1, 2 and 3 miles, respectively), while relay pricing is $150 for the team. Again, early bird and latecomer pricing is in effect. So if you know you’re interested, get your registration in early and save a few dollars.​

And finally today:

Big Tide currently has an “extra-strong” batch of their Karnival Kölsch on tap at the brewpub; weighing in at 6.3% ABV (vs. its usual 4.5%), it also features Hallertau hops from Darlings Island Farm.
Boxing Rock Carbon-14 is back, Professor Jason MacDougall’s second-place winner from the first Boxing Rock Black Box challenge last year is available once again. It’s a big beer, a strong dark Belgian that should be perfect for a cold winter night.
Unfiltered: Deity SMaSH DIPA is back! The same blast of hoppy juiciness with spicy, herbal notes from the Columbus hops as the first time ’round. 7.5% ABV 100+ IBU 10 SRM
– Johnny Jacks Brewery in Oromocto has a new beer headed to local ANBL shelves soon, Pond Hockey Winter Ale. The 5.4% ABV, 33 IBU beer will be released in 750 ml bottles.
Hammond River S’mores Graham Cracker Imperial Stout is kegged and will be popping up at local tap accounts this weekend.

Welcome to the weekend, and another warm Friday! Unfortunately, that looks like it’s going to change quickly and drastically (which seems to be a common trend this winter), so grab a beer and a blanket for later (or now), and get ready for another long read, as there’s lots going on in beer news in our region this week…

• We start today’s post in Newfoundland, where Port Rexton Brewing has released The One with the Citra, an American Pale Ale, hopped with, not surprisingly, Citra (with some assistance from Centennial, too). The resulting 5.2% ABV and 45 IBU beer shows plenty of citrus and tropical fruit goodness. Look for it on tap at PR’s familiar tap accounts shortly, including Adelaide Oyster HouseEVOO, The Fifth Ticket, Mallard Cottage, and Merchant Tavern in  St John’s, and White Hills Ski Resort in Clarenville.

• Let’s stick to The Rock for the next beer, another debut from Mill Street’s St. John’s location. Danimal S.M.A.S.H. is a 6.4% ABV, 63 IBU, Pale Ale, with plenty of character from its Single Malt And Single Hop choice, namely Wild Turkey hops from Clear Valley Hop Farm in Nottawa, Ontario. This unique hop is only available from Clear Valley, as it began life growing wild on their farm, and tested very high in Alpha Acid (useful in the bittering) and is quite aromatic (notes of mango and passionfruit), making it a great dual-purpose crop. Learn more about the hop here, and pick up a pint or growler of the beer at Mill Street’s Harbour Drive location.

• The latest 902 BrewCast went live earlier this week, and the gents sat down with Andy, Chris, and Laura from Stillwell Beer Bar. Be sure to give it a listen to learn more about their beginnings, the first three years in business, and what special beers are headed their way to Barrington soon! Case in point, be sure to head to Stilly tomorrow for Part 2 of the Mikkeller Tap Takeover, featuring a dozen taps from the Danish gypsy brewery, plus Copenhagen-inspired snacks. It will be a great showcase of the brewery’s offerings, with a selection of their flavoured Berliner Weisses, Spontan-family, big IPAs, and massive stouts. Back to the podcast, our own acbbchris sat down with the 902 Brew Dudes for an IPA tasting, which will be released January 20th. And learn more about the gents behind the podcast in the latest The Coast weekly newspaper.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has released a pair of beers recently, both in the IPA category. Sweet Little SIPA is a 4.8% Session IPA, a style known for pale colour, light body, and low ABV, but still brimming with hop flavour and aroma. This recipe features lots of Cascade and Columbus, for citrus and floral notes. The bigger brother of the SIPA is the Big Stink IPA, a 6.4% IPA with Columbus and Mosaic hops, added throughout the brewing process for a medium bitterness and plenty of citrus and fruit character. Both beers are available at the brewery now, and can be found on tap in HRM at your favourite beer bar.

• And keep your eyes peeled for a new collaboration beer brewed at Roof Hound with Tatamagouche’s Matt Kenny. A currently-unnamed 9.4% ABV Imperial Chocolate Porter will be released February 11th, complete with launch party and live music from Tide n Timbre. More details on the event and beer in a few weeks.

• Making its debut last night at last night’s Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration – alongside a Hop Fritter from Primal Kitchen in which it was featured – was a collaboration IPA from Tatamagouche Brewing and the Ladies Beer League . Mrs. Magouche is a 7.7% ABV brew with 75 IBU worth of bitterness and layers of flavors from dank and juicy Simcoe, El Dorado, and Amarillo hops. This one is quite tropical, with notes of stone fruit and peach owing to both the hops and the choice of Escarpment Labs’ Vermont Ale yeast (a.k.a., the “Conan” strain made famous by the Alchemist brewery in Vermont). Tap accounts will be receiving kegs today, with some availability for growler fills from the source and the remainder being put into cans next week.​

• Also in the works from Tata are the Oyster Cloister, featuring lots of Malagash-grown oysters and the Deadeye DIPA, which was brewed this time on that same Vermont Ale yeast strain as the Mrs. Magouche. Look for more information on these as their releases approach later in the month or into February. They’re also planning a couple of winter bottle releases, namely a Glenora Barrel-aged Barleywine on the 26th of this month and a Belgian Quad (also known as a Belgian Strong Ale) on February 9th. We’ll confirm these dates as the releases approach, and provide more detail on the beers themselves.

• Last night’s event was also the debut of Spindrift’s new Duplicitous Imperial Pilsner; Big Spruce doubled the love with two new beers, Risky Biscuits Dark Mild and Liquid James Brown, a Milkshake IPA. Check out last week’s post for more details on these beers, and they will all be available at your favourite bar or growler filling station starting today!

• Also attending the Celebration was Sober Island, pouring their new British IPA. This 6.3% ABV beer features a blend of four hops: Bramling CrossClusterEast Kent Golding, and Willamette. They come together to give 40 IBU of bitterness, and notes of woodiness, earthiness, and light fruit, to balance the nice malt body from the grain. The British IPA joins the core line-up, along with the Oyster Stout, Golden Rye, and Bitter.

• Sober Island is also releasing a new beer in a couple of weeks, a Winter Rye. This 6.8% ABV beer features a hearty 15% rye in the malt bill, joining Marris Otter, Munich, and Crystal malts, for a spicy kick on a big body and mouthfeel. Hops-wise, Northern Brewer and Tettnang come together for 30 IBU to offset some sweetness and enhance the rye spice character. This beer will be launched during a collaborative Tap Takeover at Bishop’s Cellar January 28th, joined by Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery. Folks from both breweries will be in store 1-3pm to chat beer, their breweries, whatever you’d like! Installation and commission of their big brewing system at Henley House in Sheet Harbour is coming along nicely, and they expect to be brewing on a larger scale in the next 6-8 weeks, with lots of great news coming in Spring.

• There’s three new beers out from Fredericton’s TrailWay since last Friday’s post, and two of these brews have also been released in cans. First up is Ellipse (6.5% ABV, ~50 IBUs), a new IPA featuring heavy additions of Amarillo, Citra and Chinook. As with most of TW’s hoppy beers, this one is light-coloured, very hazy, and extremely juicy! Available only in growlers and pints, it’s hitting all ANBL growler locations this weekend, so you don’t have to come directly to Fredericton to get it!

• Moving on, TW released Mo-Joe, an Imperial Milk Stout (6.3% ABV) earlier this week in both growlers and 16 oz cans. Aside from the addition of lactose powder to slightly increase the sweetness and body of the beer, a special blend of coffee was also added in secondary, in the form of beans. These beans are the new “TrailWay Blend”, from the local Whitney Coffee Company, designed to be “particularly fruity and full of character” (1-lb bags of the beans are available for purchase at the brewery). According to TW, Mo-Joe is “chocolate-forward in flavour”, and is the perfect beer to balance the coffee character from the beans.

• Finally, TW is about to release their latest sour beer, Cerasus. While kettle-soured with Lactobacillus, like their first attempt, Sour 1, Cerasus was hopped only minimally, and was refermented on a “huge amount” of cherries. This “cherry sour” is supremely-sessionable at just 3.6% ABV, with a bright-red colour, and lots of cherry in the aroma and flavour, along with the expected tartness/sourness from the work of the Lactobacillus. Available in 16 oz cans at the brewery tomorrow, along with a small amount that was kegged for growler fills at the same location.

• It’s easy to forget on mild days like today that we’re still in the dead of winter, but there’s been no shortage of well-below-zero temperatures. Luckily, Garrison has brewed up a beer with the aim of helping ease our pain – Wintervention, an Imperial Chocolate Stout. This is a big beer, brewed with lots of Maritime Pale Ale, Chocolate and Munich malt, resulting in a 10.5% ABV beer… making it extremely warming! Hopped exclusively with Millennium to 60 IBUs, the beer was conditioned for a month on cocoa nibs, giving “rich, bittersweet chocolate aromatics, with dark dried fruits and vanilla underneath”, according to the brewery. It’s available in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and private liquor stores in the HRM starting today. And for those of you who are keen on barrel-aged beers (and who isn’t?), they are currently aging some Wintervention in barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery, but you’ll have to wait a while for that release.

• Celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year, Propeller Brewing is looking to spice things up a bit. Their Gottingen location will be undergoing some renovations and upkeep during the next two months, which means events and brewery tours will not be available. Fear not, however, as the Prop Shop will still be open for all of your growler, cans, and bottle needs. During their twentieth, keep an eye out for plenty of special One-Hit-Wonders (like their Vanilla Porter, pouring now), a light branding refresh, plenty of parties, and a whole lotta fun!

• Today sees the return of the v3.0 variant of a Good Robot signature, the Burban Legend APA. This one, with a big Citra dry-hop, is a favourite of Good Robot Josh, who loves the interplay of the layers of fruit from the hops with the malty sweet body. And on Sunday a small batch off the Sabco BrewEasy will be available at the taproom, a BetaBrew from GR’s own Kelly and Erica who call it an ode to their pre-teen red-headed fem inspiration (Ginger Spice) and their ancestral heritage. Scottish Spice Ginger Ale leverages Scottish Ale yeast to enhance a solid malt body that features a touch of rye spiciness and some biscuity notes from Victory malt. Perle and Chinook hops provide the balance along with organic ginger root for additional spice and locally-harvested sumac for a hint of lemony citrus. At 4% ABV and 29 IBU this beer shouldn’t overwhelm, but it may titillate; you’ll have to decide for yourself this weekend.

• PEI Brewing Co.‘s first DIPA, 8 Cord (8.5% ABV, 70 IBUs), is returning in both growler and can form, officially re-releasing at the brewery next Thursday, January 19th. Brewed with 2-row and Wheat malt, it’s hopped with plenty of Azacca, Mosaic, and Simcoe – all hop varieties that are hard to find, but for a good reason, as they impart lots of juicy, tropical fruit characteristics when used. Most of the 16 oz cans will actually be shipping to New Brunswick (where it should be available sometime after the 23rd); there will also be a small amount of kegs going to select locations in both NB and NS. And in other PEIBC DIPA news, be sure to visit your local ANBL growler station this weekend, as all will be carrying the brewery’s new Mango Lassi DIPA that we reported on last Friday.

• With the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival and its week of events is fast approaching (March 8th-12th), they have just announced the launch of the Down East Brewing Awards. All licensed breweries in the Maritimes are invited to submit their beers for entry; many awards will be presented at FCBF, including 10 beer awards, one each for cider and mead, and Brewery of the Year and New Brewery of the Year awards. Judging will take place on February 28th among a panel of certified judges, brewers and industry professionals. The winning entries will be showcased at FCBF, where they will be enjoyed by the more than 1700 attending. The details are still being ironed out, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated over the coming weeks.

Gahan Harbourfront Halifax is holding their very first Homebrewer’s Challenge, and the entry period starts today! Open to all amateur homebrewers in the province, they are looking for your best Trappist Single (BJCP Style 26A). You must pre-register by emailing Gahan Brewmaster Kyle Jeppesen before Feb 17, and your four bottles are due March 10th. The winner will get to brew with Jeppesen and have their beer served at Gahan, and will win a dinner and a few beers for their hard work and accomplishment. Check out the information poster for a few more details. Good luck to all entrants!

• And speaking of brewing awards, the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards registration opens on Monday. From then until March 10th, breweries can register their beers for judging, with sample delivery to be scheduled March 13-24th. More details on how to enter are here, and the Style Guidelines are available online now. Let’s hope for another strong showing from Atlantic Canadian breweries in 2017!

We’ve got a few events that we’d like to highlight this week:

Right now, Friday morning, the gang at Moncton’s Tide & Boar has set up their Growler Pop-Up Shop, with a pair of beers available: Galaxy Double Dry-Hopped Forum Pale Ale and Sour Otis Fruit Cake (A Kettle Sour brewed with 20lbs of assorted dried fruit). As with their last go of it in December, we suggested getting there early, as these beers are sure to sell out.

• The gang at Good Robot has a busy week ahead, starting with one of their extremely popular Silent Reading nights on Tuesday, and continuing with some ticketed events that are part of the In the Dead of Winter Festival: the Pre-Festival Party on Wednesday, and song circles on Thursday and Friday.​

Upstreet Brewing is re-releasing their Top Stamp Honey Brown Lager, and is holding a talent show (of sorts!) to celebrate. On Thursday, January 19th from 6-10 pm at the brewery, the Top Stamp Gong Show will highlight the “talents” of Islanders, by inviting all those interested to perform their talent on stage, in front of a packed house. There will be two official judges – if they like what you’ve got, you’ll move on to the finals, and if not… you’ll be gonged off stage. No pressure! The event is free to attend; if you are interested in performing, you can fill out the form here.

• New Brunswick has recently been privy to some beers from Tatamagouche Brewing (finally!), but Saturday, January 21st will see a true Tata-celebration at Ducky’s in Sackville, with a Tatabrew tap takeover! Starting at 7 pm, there will be a grand total of 15-20 Tata beers pouring, ranging anywhere from flagship beers, to seasonals, to special one-offs. Tatabrew’s own Christiane Jost and Matt Kenny will be on-hand to chat about the brewery and their beers, and probably just about anything else! Tickets ($15 each) will be available in advance, and will allow you seven 5 oz drink tickets, including a commemorative glass to keep (you can also pay at the door, but you will be limited to five drink tickets); a portion of ticket sales will go to Enactus MtA, out of Mount Allison University. Further 5 oz pours will also be available at a discount price. Contact the bar directly to reserve your tix, which can be picked up before the event at 6:30 pm.

• On Wednesday, January 25th, Liverpool’s Hell Bay will be celebrating Robbie Burns Day in style. Burns Night will be held at the brewery, and will feature poetry, haggie, bagpipes, and – of course – plenty of beer. If you’re going to celebrate the life of Scotland’s most famous poet and lyricist, you might as well show up in a kilt! Those that do will receive discounts on pints, so you’ll have that going for you, too. The brewery will be open at 10 am, with the haggis being served at 6 pm.

• The next Burgers n’ Beer event in Fredericton has been announced, and will take place on Saturday, February 11th at the King Street Ale House. As always, your ticket ($25) will include four different hand-crafted sliders, paired with four different local craft brews (5 oz pours). The event is held from 1:30-3:30 pm, and will also announce details on this year’s YFC Burger Battle (running from March 25th-April 8th).

A few more things before we sign off:

– Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has new beer available for pints and growlers, Jeezus Murphy Irish Red. A malt-forward 4.8% ABV brew, it features some roasted notes and subtle fruit character from the hops.
– Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing will be releasing Fathom Double IPA shortly, an 8.0% ABV showcase for plenty of American-grown hops. We’ll have more details when they’re available.
– Beau’s Brewery, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario, is looking to expand their presence in Eastern Canada, and as such, are hiring a Brand Ambassador as a local representative.

Despite the cooler temperatures and extensive snow our region received this week, the brewers are still hard at work releasing new beers and brewing up some special winter seasonals. Take a look at what’s new on tap and in bottles in Atlantic Canada!

• Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has released the first truly Made In Nova Scotia beer this week, One Hundred. Brewed with 100% Organic ingredients grown in the province, the beer’s grain bill features barley from TapRoot Farms in Port Williams and 25% rye from nearby Stewart’s Organic Farm, both malted at Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. The Golding and Willamette hops used are from Big Spruce’s very own Breton Fields organic hop farm (adjacent the brewery), and the unique yeast used to ferment it all was isolated from a wild Eastern Canadian Pin Cherry on the  property. The resulting beer has an unmistakable Belgian character, with yeast aromas and flavours enhancing the spiciness from the rye malt. The 4.9% ABV, 24 IBU beer is available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and in rotation in HRM at Battery Park, Brooklyn Warehouse, Lion & Bright, and Stillwell.

• Big Spruce and frequent co-conspirator Boxing Rock have brought back their Shame on You IPA, a 6.0% ABV beer standing up to the pseudo-“small batch” and craft-y beers that can be found amidst the beers from locally owned and operated breweries. This beer is all about the hops, featuring Bravo for a hefty bittering charge, Centennial and El Dorado for flavour, and Chinook and Citra dry-hopping for lots of aroma. A special 1.0l bottle (courtesy of local supplier Jym Line Glassware) will be available at the four private beer stores in HRM, as well as the two brewery locations in Shelburne and Nyanza. Growler fills are available as well at the Farmers’ Market locations.

• And keep an eye out for two other returning favourites from Boxing Rock – the U-889 Russian Imperial Stout will be available in bottles this weekend at the four private stores and Farmers’ Market locations, as well as a very limited run at the NSLC’s The Port location on Clyde Street in Halifax. And Over the Top!, their Sour Cranberry beer first brewed in May with local brewer Karen Allen, has made its return, also available in bottles at the private stores, and in Shelburne.

• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection is starting up, and looking for women interested in diving into the world of craft beer! This is a group focused on building a community for women in the Fredericton area to come together to drink and learn all about the world’s finest beverage. All are welcome, regardless of your knowledge level and experience with beer. The initial plan is to have monthly meetings at TBD locations, on the second Wednesday of every month, with the first meeting occurring January 11th at TrailWay. More details will follow (be sure to check out their link above), and at the moment there is no membership fee required to attend; we’ll keep you updated, but be sure to reach out on their Facebook page if you’re interested.

• Garrison is launching a new beer this week with a tongue-in-cheek (or perhaps extended at the world) name. Miley Citrus is a hazy New England-style Double IPA in a similar vein to their recent test batch Code Name: Juicy. Packed with flavour from all late and whirlpool additions of the unsubtly-named Citra hop variety, this time it was married to the dank and piney Simcoe and the also dank, but predominantly fruity Australian variety Topaz. Coming in on the lower end for a DIPA, but still a plenty dangerous 7.6% ABV and 66 IBU, this one shouldn’t be a wrecking ball to your palate with bitterness, but may well be with hop flavor. Described as “citrus-forward”, it features matched aromas and flavours of fresh-peeled orange, tangerine and sweet orange marmalade with a grapefruit pith finish. It’s only available on draft at the brewery, at least for now, but keep your eyes peeled as you may very well see it appear at finer establishments around the city.

• Christmas is right around the corner, and fittingly, Big Tide has brought back a couple of their seasonal favourites. First up is Holiday Crazberry Cream Ale, which is their standard Confederation Cream Ale that has been “made festive” with the addition of local cranberry and raspberry juices, providing a pleasant contrast of fruity and tart flavours. Brewed with a light grist of 2-row and Pilsner malts, it’s lightly-hopped with Magnum and Perle, and comes in at 5.6% ABV and 23 IBUs. Also back on tap is Santa’s Chocolate Porter (5.4% ABV, 25 IBUs), which features both 2-row and Chocolate malt, as well as the addition of Madagascar vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa, resulting in a brew with plenty of rich, chocolatey, and spicy flavours. Drop by the brewpub to celebrate Christmas with a pint (or growler) of both brews!

• Bridgewater’s FirkinStein Brewing has a new beer out that beets the competition hands down! Beet This Ale is based on their Anchors Aweigh Pale, featuring a load of beets to give it a brilliant red colour and unique flavour profile. The 6.0% ABV beer features a modest Citra dry hop and bitter finish to underline the unique vegetable addition. Grab the beer at the Hubbards Farmers Market tomorrow, and the Bridgewater Farmers’ Market at Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre on Sunday.

Down on the Halifax waterfront Gahan House Halifax has a new beer slated for release next week, a Christmas Ale called Santa’s Little Helper. We’re told it’s on an Altbier base (presumably similar to the one currently pouring that we reported on last week) but with an addition of mulling spices and aged in a Hungarian oak barrel previously used to age merlot at Bear River Vineyards. The beer is currently conditioning but is expected to be put on tap as a limited release on December 20th.

• There’s a big beer currently fermenting at Maybee Brewing, a currently-unnamed Belgian Quad. The biggest beer brewed yet at the brewery, this style (also known as a Belgian Dark Strong Ale) is a complex, high-alcohol brew that is malty, fruity, phenolic, and warming. The recipe is based on a homebrew that owner/brewer Paul Maybee has brewed in the past; since it will quite likely fall in the 11-12% ABV range, it’s going to require some additional conditioning to allow the flavours to gel and alcohol to smooth out, so don’t expect to see this one until sometime next month. No details on packaging yet, but it will definitely be on tap at the brewery’s taproom and across Fredericton.

• In other Maybee news, they’re sending a cask to the James Joyce to be tapped tonight at around 7 pm. Black Forest Elevensies Stout was fermented on a bad of Vintner’s cherry puree, and then cask-conditioned with roasted cacao nibs and whole vanilla beans soaked in French brandy. Finally, they’ve also brewed up a Best Bitter (5% ABV, 35 IBUs), Slanty Shanty Best Bitter, which will be available on tap only for now. Hopped with New Brunswick Goldings, this one should be available sometime next week.

• Looks like we can expect to see another new Hammond River beer release in the near future, to tide us over until the opening of their new 15 BBL brewery this spring – West Coast Pale Ale is exactly as expected from the name, with lots of fruity and dank aromas and flavours, thanks to heavy late hopping with Summit and Citra, and even more Citra in the dry-hop. Bittered with Chinook to 60 IBUs, it weighs in at a manageable 5.7%. It’s being kegged this weekend, so expect to see it out and about, soon.

That’s not all that’s new and brewing at Hammond River – Quicksand Jesus is the brewery’s first attempt at the Russian Imperial Stout, a gargantuan, bold style big on roast, mouthfeel, and alcohol. The recipe is one used by owner/brewer Shane Steeves in his homebrewing days, featuring a base of Maris Otter malt, with Roasted Barley, Chocolate malt, Crystal 40 L, and Special B thrown in to bring in those wonderful roast characteristics, and more. Expect this one to come in at a whopping 10.2% ABV and 79 IBUs, with a portion being aged in the brewery’s resident oak barrel. Look for it to be on tap around New Year’s, with the barrel-aged version likely popping up the end of January. And speaking of big beers, HR has also confirmed that their Double IPA, Too Hop to Handle (8.4% ABV, 162 IBUs) has been rebrewed and will be re-released soon, with this batch incorporating a portion of Hop Hash from Southan Farms.

• For those of you in Fredericton who have been itching to try some of the interesting new beers coming out of Tide & Boar Brewing in Moncton, the James Joyce Irish Pub has some good news! The T&B are sending the JJ four kegs, the first time they’ve sent beer outside of their own location, the first of which – Peach Ale Shake – should be tapped sometime today. They’ve also received Forum Pale Ale, Robot Food IPA, and Sour Otis Cranberry. For more info on these beers, check out last Friday’s post.

• If you didn’t get a chance to contribute to the Beerocracy successful crowdfunding campaign months ago, you still have the opportunity to grab at least one of the featured perks – they’re currently selling their Beerocracy NB Craft Brewery Map in two sizes; it’s available in two sizes, and available for purchase online. And keep your eyes open for screenings, and ways to watch the film online, once the final cut is produced in the New Year.

• Now that we are soundly in the middle of winter, it’s only fitting that local breweries are celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas. In New Brunswick, Picaroons are continuing their annual tradition with 12 BEERS of CHRISTMAS, where they are releasing a special one-off beer every day Dec 12-23rd. Available at their Brewtique location in downtown Fredericton (growlers only), Roundhouse location on the Northside (in-house pours only), The 5 Kings Restaurant & Brewhouse in St Stephen (in-house only), and the General Store in Saint John (both growlers and pints). With a new beer every day, you’re sure to find a few that jingle your bells!

• On Prince Edward Island, the PEI Brewing Company is celebrating the 12 Growlers of Christmas in their own right, with a new beer every day until next Friday. Check out their Facebook Event page for details on the day’s beer, and remember that once the beer is gone for the day, it’s gone!

• Digby’s Roof Hound is releasing a new wheat ale at their brewery this weekend. Average Joe is a 5.0%, 17 IBU beer, designed for those folks who want to support their local brewery, but may find stouts, IPAs, and porters a bit too far outside their wheelhouse. Named after owner Les Barr’s maternal grandfather, Joe was the owner of the original Roof Hound, Lady. An ode to Joe, as well as Barr’s first foray into drinking and brewing craft beer, wheat ales are the perfect gateway into small batch, local beers. Grab a pint or growler in Digby this weekend, and keep your eyes open as it may be on tap and for growler fills in HRM soon.

We’ve got another slew of events happening in our region this weekend, and beyond, here are a few of them we can fit in here. Be sure to consult our Calendar (which you can add to your own iCal/Google/Outlook calendar, by the way!) to keep up-to-date with them all. And be sure to let us know if we’ve missed something.

• Mikkeller Tap Takeover Day 1 is this Saturday at Halifax’s Bar Stillwell. Featuring a variety of styles, ranging from Session IPA to spontaneously-fermented hoppy beer, all the way up to a 9.2% back coffee beer, the Danish brewery is sure to have something for everyone. Check out the full tap list here, and we’ll see you from noon tomorrow. There will be a whole other dozen beers pouring at MTTD2 on January 14th, by the way!

• After a wildly successful Launch Weekend at Stillwell and Good Robot last weekend, Halifax’s newest nano TideHouse Brewing Company is ready to fling wide the doors to their retail location. Located at 5187 Salter Street in downtown Halifax across from the nether regions of the Maritime Center (that great big brutalist mess on Barrington Street we inherited from the 70s), the boys are aiming to help downtown beer lovers scratch the itch for growler fills. As has become de rigueur for TideHouse to this point, the first week of opening will be a somewhat informal affair, promising to be open at 1pm on Saturday and seeing where the rest of the day takes them. Additional hours before Christmas will be on a “do we have beer?” basis so you’ll have to follow along on social media (Facebook | Twitter) or contact the brewery directly for availability information. After the holidays they’re hoping to have regular hours from 2-6pm on Thursdays, 2-9pm on Fridays, 2-6pm on Saturdays and 2-10pm on Sundays. They’ll fill any clean 1.89L growler and will also be selling their own TideHouse branded pre-filled jugs (non-refundable, for now anyway). Come gaze through the glass to see Shean and Peter in their natural environment, grab yourself a couple of liters of tasty brew and help celebrate all the crazy hard work that’s been put into getting this far!

 • A reminder that the Second Annual Christmas Beer Garden at the Market is happening this Sunday, December 18th. Starting early at 10 am, and continuing until 2:30 pm, your $26 ticket (available here) entitles you to a 16 oz glass and four beer tickets; additional beer tickets can be purchased for $7 each. Food will be available for purchase from vendors at the Market and can be taken into the Beer Garden.

• There has been a lot of development at Schoolhouse‘s expanded location at 40 Water Street in Windsor. With their brewhouse now hooked up, and brewing on it starting early next week, they are opening their doors and saying “Class is in Session!”. Next Thursday and Friday (Dec 22 and 23), they are keeping their doors open from 12:00 to 8:00pm daily for growler fills of their core beers (Principal Ale, Chequers, and Scotian Export), as well as bottles of Big Red Schoolhouse. Flights and food will also be available, so be sure to stick around for a spell!

• Tickets are still available (but won’t be for much longer!) for January 12th’s Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration. The premiere event of winter, 16 Nova Scotian breweries (that number may grow, we’ve been told!) will be pouring a wide variety of their beers, including one-offs and launches specially brewed for the event. It’s not only about the beer, however, as each brewery will have a local restaurant/caterer partnered with them, serving up some creations meant for pairing and enjoying. Be sure to grab your tickets today!

• Tickets are available now for next August’s Halifax Seaport Beer Festival. From now until Dec 24th, you’ll enjoy a nice $10 discount off the regular price, with tickets only costing $40 (plus taxes and service charges, $51 final price). With an evening session on Friday Aug 11, and afternoon and evening sessions on Saturday the 12th, there’s plenty of opportunity to grab from the more than 300 beers and ciders on offer. Check this link for the reduced price tickets before the deal runs out next Saturday.

A few more things to check out this weekend before you put down your phone and pick up a beer:

– The latest 902 BrewCast went up early this morning, tasting through a handful of holiday-themed beers available at Bishop’s Cellar. Be sure to grab it today, and take a drink for every shout-out they give! And stay tuned to the end for some very cool news.
– The ANBL has once again expanded their growler program, with a new, 6-tap filling station opening up at the Saint John Uptown location. This week, they’re featuring all NB-based breweries, including Big Tide (Holiday Crazberry Cream Ale), First City (Double IPA), Foghorn (Winchester), Hammond River (Gammie), Moosehead (Boundary Ale), and Picaroons (The Vinyl Cut).
Big Axe has announced that their annual winter take on a flagship, Shakesbeer Chocolate Mint Stout, will be returning to taps (and growler fills at the brewery) in the very near future.
– In other winter seasonal news, Celtic Knot‘s Toque and Mitts is starting to pop up on tap across New Brunswick; this 7.8% ABV Barleywine – infused with cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, oak, and bourbon – is currently on tap at the Cask & Kettle and Ducky’s. If you’re not near those two establishments, fear not – owner/brewer Bruce Barton has confirmed more batches are on the way, so expect to see this beer at other select bars/restaurants, soon.
Grimross Brewing has started a weekly cask series at the taproom in Fredericton; this week’s limited release is a cask of their flagship Cheval D’or, aged on lemongrass.
– Sea Level Wee Heavy returns to their Port Williams location. Grab it on tap at Port Pub, or in growlers and cans to go.
Tatamagouche Brewing‘s Smorter S’Mores Porter has returned for another season, with growlers and cans of this graham cracker/marshmallow/chocolate creation available now at the brewery, and on tap around HRM next week. A 6.5% ABV S’mores-inspired porter brewed with the addition of cinnamon sticks, graham crackers, molasses, honey, and vanilla beans.
TrailWay has been keeping up with the canning (luckily for all of us!), with plenty of Hu Jon Hops and Luster available at the brewery and select ANBL stores. Next week, they’ll be releasing a large amount of Good Aura (their hoppy Red ale) in cans; a small number of Rascal (American Stout) cans will also be available.

The 902 BrewCast was recently launched by three Halifax beer fans, Kyle Andrus, Phil Church, and Tony Wight. Having enjoyed (and worked in) the NS beer scene, they’ve decided to share their love of the craft with the rest of us. The podcast is a combination of interviews with local breweries, as well as informal tastings and news reporting. Episode 3 of the show, dropping overnight tonight, will be an interview with Halifax’s soon-to-open 2 Crows Brewing; Episode 4, a Holiday Tasting Episode will come out Friday. We tracked down the boys to learn more about them and the podcast.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? How did you get into beer?
Tony: I started getting into beer a bit more when I was still in university at SMU in the mid 00’s – my brother in law would always bring up different bottles from the US whenever he would travel down there, so I always was trying different beer styles you couldn’t necessarily find here. I spent some time working in the industry from a retail side which got me excited about the scene here, and watching it grow has been pretty exciting for a beer fan like myself. Kyle and I have been friends for a while and share a like minded appreciation for craft beer, and I met Phil via Instagram (he takes such great pictures) when he picked up a bottle of Tatamagouche‘s Rum Barrel Aged Dreadnot for me. The three of us got to chatting about beer and I thought the podcast would be a great way to explore our passion for Craft Beer so I pitched the idea to them and here we are.
Kyle: I went to recording school down the hill from Maxwell’s Plum in 2007, so we always wanted to try everything that they had. We eventually made it around, but by doing so, I started to learn and understand more about the different styles and regions, etc. It kinda went downhill from there. It really exploded for me once Stillwell opened, I think. Seeing all that Canada had to offer that wasn’t available at the NSLC. Been great to meet so many like-minded people there and at other events.
Phil:My dad spoon fed me Keith’s and Schooner. Unibroue, Granite and (now-closed) Maritime Beer Co opened my eyes to the world outside of macro lagers (aka, what we were taught/told was beer).

What is the format of the podcast?
The podcast is focused on having conversations with breweries and brewers about their vision, process, and beer that they put out. We are also hoping to sit down with craft beer focused bar and restaurant owners to see how beer and food are working together to bring a unique experience to their customers. Other than that, we’re also planning on speaking with some other industry related folks – like (hopefully!) Horton Ridge Malt as an example – to get a bit below the surface of the craft beer scene in Atlantic Canada and give others a chance to know the hard working people behind the breweries and their stories.

Will the focus be Nova Scotian breweries, or will others in the region be on the hit list as well?
We’re starting out with Nova Scotia because, at least for the most part, it’s what we know best of the Atlantic Craft Beer scene. Eventually we want to expand beyond NS, we really want to get out to the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest this year and see the best NB has to offer. We’d also love to get the crew from Fredericton’s TrailWay on, and get over to see what they have going on over at Upstreet on PEI – I really like how they’re engaging with the artistic community over there. There’s a lot happening all over Atlantic Canada and we want to see and talk about as much of it as we can.

How often will you be releasing episodes?
We plan on putting an episode out every second Tuesday (#902sday), plus we’ll be doing a monthly tasting episode. I think we’ll also touch on some news during those tasting episodes, but I think we would want the interview episodes to sort of stand alone without coming off as being tied to a specific date or season. After our North Brewing episode, we release one with Good Robot, and after tomorrow’s 2 Crows, we’ve got Spindrift to round out the year (Dec. 27).

Do you have any live or special events planned?
Absolutely! We’d love to be doing some live episodes or doing a Facebook Live kind of thing from different events. Doing something during Fredericton Craft Beer Fest or having a few episodes directed at Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week would be awesome and give us a chance to make some connections.

What are your thoughts on the beer scene in our region?
Kyle: Seems to be blowing up. New breweries opening all over the province every week. I think PEI and NL are still very underserved, but getting there. *Plays “What a Time to Be Alive”* #WATTBA
Tony: There are always new spots popping up, so it’s certainly expanding faster than, I think, a lot of people would have imagined. It’s exciting for me because I am always looking to try something new.
Phil: It’s a great time to be a beer drinker.

Anything else?
Our first couple of episodes are out already (including an Episode 0 Pale Ale Tasting), so check them out however you like to check out podcasts. We had a great time talking with Peter and Josh from North Brewing about all kinds of different things on Episode 1, including that Blood Donair beer with Big Spruce. And of course the fun and almost-about-beer Episode 2 with Good Robot.

Thanks to Kyle, Phil and Tony for taking the time to chat with us. Check out www.902brewcast.com to play the episodes online, or subscribe via iTunes or RSS here. Follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @902brewcast to see what they’re working on (right now it’s their Advent Calendar of recommendations). They love to answer questions, talk about the episodes, and listen to others’ experiences with craft beer. You can also check out their personal IG accounts for the latest shots of the beers they’re drinking right now: Kyle, Phil (aka KelticDevil) and Tony. Subscribe today to get the 2 Crows episode in your sleep tonight!

Well, it’s been a wet and snowy past couple of days, but the weekend – and better weather – is here! There’s plenty going on as usual in the beer world, so let’s dive right in…

Maybee Brewing has a new limited-edition beer in cans and on tap around Fredericton, Sumac Witbier. Brewed in the traditional sense for your typical Belgian Witbier, and fermented with a Witbier yeast strain, this brew features something different to tart things up – Sumac berries. The fruit is a hard, red-coloured berry with oil-rich hairs covering it. Maybee rinsed the oil off the berries to create a tincture, which was then added to the Witbier wort as it boiled; a total of 20 kg of Sumac cones were used in the 10 BBL (~11 hL) batch. A very small amount of cinnamon and cardamom were also added to the beer. The end result? A “very refreshing, light and slightly tart” Witbier, coming in at 5% ABV and approximately 20 IBUs. As mentioned, it’s available in cans at the brewery (as well as in growlers) and the Red Rover Ciderhouse, and you can also find it on tap at select establishments in Fredericton.

• Sticking with Fredericton, TrailWay has a couple of news items this week. For starters, they’ve confirmed that their beer will finally be available in cans, starting today at the brewery with the release of their American IPA, Hu Jon Hops (yes, that is a spelling change!) and hoppy session ale, Luster. More details will follow soon as to their canning schedule (which beers, when, etc.) and further distribution. And in the meantime, they’ve got a brand new beer available for pints and growler fills – Seeing Citra. This American IPA weighs in at 6.7% ABV and was hopped entirely with, yes, Citra, so expect plenty of tropical fruit and citrus. It’s available now on tap at the brewery, and should be popping up at better beer establishments around the city. Expect to see more one-hop “Seeing” IPA series in the future.

• The latest episode of the 902BrewCast podcast dropped earlier this week. The guys sat down with Angus, Doug, and Josh from Good Robot, and chatted everything from Busch Gardens, Short Circuit, Gilmore Girls, and even beer once or twice. Learn more about some cool upcoming beers, how they decide what to send us for tasting notes (“Hey Josh…”), and how to master social media (though it may be in chapter 3 of that book). Grab it from Stitcher, iTunes, or your favourite podcatching software. And subscribe now, so that December 13th’s 2 Crows episode downloads automagically while you sleep.

• Big congratulations to winners and entrants alike at the two homebrew competitions held on the weekend. Firstly, Gahan House’s Homebrewer’s Challenge winners: Clayton Harding, Jonathan Green, and William Panting, for their outstanding Winter Warmer style beers. Look for the scaled up version to hit the taps at Gahan in the coming months.

• And in Nova Scotia, the winners of the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge were announced on Sunday. From 57 entries, the top three beers were chosen by a panel of local BJCP judges: David Pepper’s Risky Biscuits was the best Dark Mild, Mitch Kehoe’s Big Juice won in Double IPA, and Jeramy Slaunwhite’s Sour Cherry Hefeweizen took home top honours in Experimental Sour. Look for Best-in-Show Risky Biscuits to be brewed in Nyanza in the very near future, with release at January 12th‘s Fourth Annual Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration (tickets available now).

Lazy Bear Brewing is releasing an extremely interesting beer this weekend called, simply, The Norwegian. Brewed according to a traditional Norwegian Farmhouse Ale recipe adapted to the brewery’s equipment, it was mashed using an infusion made from locally harvested juniper sprigs and Hallertauer hops. But the real star of this brew is a unique strain of yeast from Norway known as Kveik that has been preserved and propagated for generations, brought across the sea to Lazy Bear by the eponymous Norwegian. Known to ferment at temperatures that are double what you’d see for most ales (upwards of 35 and in some cases over 40ºC!), it provides orange-peel and Christmas spice aromas and a distinct earthiness on the palate. The resulting beer should be like nothing else in the region. Bittered to 17 IBUs and coming in at 7.0% ABV, it will be available at the brewery and the Lazy Bear stall at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market, and a keg has been sent to Stillwell. It is in limited supply and won’t be brewed again until next year, so if you’re looking to broaden your beer horizons, you’ll want to act quickly on this one.

• Debuting at last night’s Tap Takeover at Battery Park was the conspiracy brew between Big Spruce, BP, and NorthBlood Donair Imperial Donair Meat Stout. At 7.0% ABV, this stout incorporated a small amount of donair meat in the mash, and was aged on 50 kilograms of raspberries. The resulting beer features a great mix of dark chocolate and raspberry notes, with only a hint of spicing from the meat. The idea of a meat-infused beer is grounded in a tradition of fortifying beers to increase essential minerals (Oyster Stout, anyone?), but is certainly a new take on it in our region. Learn more about Meat Stouts at the great Shut up About Barclay Perkins and Zythophile. BD IDMS is available on tap (and growler fills) now at Big Spruce and Battery Park, and will soon be available at your favourite watering hole.

• Following on the heels of last night’s release of the unholy Blood Donair conspiracy brew with Big Spruce and Battery Park, word from North Brewing this week brings us news of the first in their “Finite Series” of one off experimental brews. Not to be outdone by Lazy Bear with the Scandinavian influence (and the use of interesting ingredients!), this beer is called Ask and Embla, after the first humans in Norse mythology. It is a mixed fermentation rustic Saison containing a significant portion of oats in the grain bill, and also a generous amount of Timothy hay in the mash. If that weren’t far enough off the beaten path, it was then aged for three weeks on driftwood foraged in Cow Bay. Not too heavy at 5.2% ABV and 20 IBU, it is said to feature citrus and tropical flavours, with a subtle aroma of hay, a light brine character and a dry finish. Available, for now, only on tap at Battery Park, Stillwell, Little Oak and the Agricola Street Brasserie, the rest of the batch is currently being bottle conditioned and will be released for sale once it’s ready (we will certainly pass on word of its impending arrival when we receive it).

Red Rover has a few special releases planned for the Christmas season, as they’ve teamed up with Distillerie Fils du Roy for three different collaboration ciders. For three consecutive Fridays, starting on December 9th, a different cider will be released in a very limited amount – only 200 bottles for each style. Each will be priced at $16.50 per 750 mL bottle, with customers having the opportunity to pre-purchase all three for $45, on December 9th. All bottles must be picked up at the Ciderhouse in Fredericton, and sets are limited to three per person. Here are the details on the three styles, all of which are named after the three spirits that visit Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:
Past (December 9th) – a 7.3% ABV dry crabapple cider with added vanilla and Crosby’s Molasses, combined with Fils du Roy Fort LaTour brandy.
Present (December 16th) – Red Rover’s wild blueberry cider infused with Gin Thuya; 7.3% ABV.
Future (December 23rd) – a 7.4% ABV, semi-dry floral cider featuring the addition of The Courailleuse, a Fils du Roy absinthe that has flavours of wormwood.

• Fredericton’s Bogtrotter is releasing a new beer on tap today – Bullrush Golden Ale. This “light and crisp”, straw-coloured 4.5% ABV English-style ale was hopped with Saaz and Northern Brewer, giving the beer soft notes of hop spiciness. It was fermented with a British Ale yeast strain, to help add light fruity aromatics. Look for it on tap at the James Joyce, and in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL stores.

•  The Saint John General Store location for Picaroons launched their newest-one off yesterday, a Roggenbier named City on Fire. A German ale traditionally brewed with a hefty portion of Wheat and Rye malts in the grist, Picaroons’ take also features the addition of real ginger. As with all one-offs, this 4.5% ABV brew is available for pints and growlers at the General Store only, while supplies last. Also, a reminder that the 5 Kings Restaurant & Picaroons Brewhouse, located in Saint Stephen, is now open. The inaugural brew on the system there hasn’t been completed yet, but look for that to happen soon.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has announced the details of their inaugural Home Brewing Competition. It is open to all local amateur brewers, though the number of entries is being capped at 20, and registration closes December 17th. One brewer may enter more than one beer ($40 per entry), but only one entry per brewer per style, please! Entrants may choose any BJCP style for their beer, provided they keep it under 9.0% ABV, and do not use any wild yeast. As part of the judging process, brewers will come to the brewery and give a short presentation on their beer, from the style and recipe choice, to the brewday itself. A slideshow with pictures is encouraged. During the presentation, the judging panel (made up of Saltbox Head Brewer Jeremy Fehr and local “experts in the field”), as well as fellow entrants, will be enjoying your beer, so be sure to bring enough to go around! In addition to the judging of the beer, positive remarks from your presentation will ensure you advance to the next round. After the initial rounds of presentations (taking place on subsequent Tuesdays in January at the brewery), the top beers will go onto a Final Five tasting February 7th, where you will present it to the Saltbox’s Pioneers Club, who will sample and give feedback on the beers alongside the judges,. The judge’s scoring, presentation and story, and Pioneers feedback all calculate the winning beer, which will be announced February 15th. The winning brewer will help Fehr to brew it on Saltbox’s big system, for release in the spring, and will be able to direct 10% of the sales of the beer to the charity of their choice. All of the details are available here, and you can download the registration form here. A few notes: the winning entry becomes the sole property of Saltbox brewing, and may not be brewed on a 1.2 hl or larger system going forward. Be sure to keep Feb 7 & 15 open, as you’ll need to be there to talk shop and win, but there will be food and beer, as well as lots of happy and thirsty beer fans!

• Congratulations to Western Newfoundland Brewing, who have now launched and are serving beer to thirsty fans in the region. Their first beer is Killdevil Pale Ale, named after the mountain in nearby Gros Morne National Park. Currently on tap at the Bonne Bay Inn in Woody Point, they will be expanding to other spots in the region in the coming weeks. Be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook to see where they’ll be popping up next!

• And in a last-minute addition, Coastliner Craft Cider, New Brunswick’s newest cidery, is launching soon. They will be announcing the release date of their core brand, a 5.4% ABV cider made with “100% cold-pressed juice”, today at 11 am; we can expect to see bottles of this one available at ANBL stores within a week or two. We’ll have more details in the near future; in the meantime, check them out through the link above, and follow them along on Twitter for more updates.

Lots of events this week, and remember to check out our Calendar for everything on the horizon.

Tidehouse Brewing, our region’s newest (and one of its smallest) breweries, has released the details of its Launch Weekend, happening December 9th and 10th. From noon Friday, they will be taking over half of the taps at Stillwell Beer Bar, just a couple of blocks from Tidehouse. They will be pouring their four core beers (Like a Motorcyc-ale, The Copper, Mild Thing, Golden Glacier), in addition to a special one-off Hoppy Saison special to the Stilly crew. On Saturday, they’ll be doing it all again at Good Robot‘s taproom from noon, with the Core Four, plus a unique Spruced Red Ale for GR. After the draught launch, look for the Tidehouse retail spot to open in another week or so, for growler fills at 5187 Salter St.

• If you live in Fredericton and are looking for an excuse to go for a run this month, good news – The Tasters Craft Brewery Fun Run will take place on Saturday, December 10th. Starting at 2 pm at the King’s Place Mall, runners will run to and stop at several breweries/cideries during the day (Graystone, TrailWay, Picaroons, and Red Rover) before finishing off at the James Joyce. This is a very informal event, with no charge to run… just bring money to purchase beer/flights at each stop!

• Those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have confirmed the date for the Second Annual Christmas Beer Garden at the MarketSunday, December 18th. Starting early at 10 am, and continuing until 2:30 pm, your $26 ticket (available now) entitles you to a 16 oz glass and four beer tickets; additional beer tickets can be purchased for $7 each. Food will be available for purchase from vendors at the Market and can be taken into the Beer Garden.

• Tickets for next Spring’s Saint John Annual Beerfest have gone on sale this week. Being held Saturday, April 8th at Market Square in Uptown Saint John, the festival will feature more than 100 beers from 20+ breweries from across the Maritimes, as well as imports from across the pond. Food is included in your ticket, with a handful of local vendors providing their wares, while roaming entertainment from contortionists, fire eaters and stiltwalkers will keep you on your toes. Grab your tickets now, both general admission and VIP, allowing for entry 30 minutes earlier. The SJBF is a fundraiser for Ducks Unlimited and KV Old Boys, and will include a silent auction and 50/50 draw as well.

And a couple more things this week…

– Saint John’s Big Tide Brewpub has brought back their Gesner’s Deluxe Copper Ale this week. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV and 28 IBU, this beer is named in honour of Abraham Pineo Gesner, Nova-Scotian born physician and geologist, who was the inventor of kerosene, and the father of the modern petroleum industry. He was the founder of the first public museum in Canada, the Gesner Museum, which later became the New Brunswick Museum, in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Unfiltered has once again brought back their DOA (Double Orange Ale, 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs), a SMaSH DIPA brewed with all-Citra hops. This batch, being released at the brewery today at noon, also features 2-row malt from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, donated as a contribution to Unfiltered’s ongoing legal battle with the NSLC. And don’t forget, Charm School’s first Anniversary is being celebrated this Sunday, December 4th, with $5 pints all day, and special treats available from Salvatore’s Pizza.