Atlantic Beer Festival

All posts tagged Atlantic Beer Festival

Happy Friday everyone! We’ve got news on new brewery openings and plans, as well as a few new beers and events in our region.

TrailWay Brewing‘s new brewery and taproom location officially opens to the public tomorrow, with the opening party beginning at noon! Located at 280 Main St. (on Fredericton’s North Side), the brewery houses their new 10 bbl (~12 hL) DME system, including four fermentors, as well as a taproom where the public can enjoy a pint, flight, and have their growlers filled. They will happily fill any clean 1.89 L growler (and will of course be selling their own), with smaller sizes likely being available in the near future. Four beers will be pouring, including their Primetime Pale Ale, Session IPA, D’Under, and Raspberry Wheat. Milda’s Pizza and More will be there from 4:30-8:00 pm, serving up some specially-concocted pizzas to go with your beer. The taproom will remain open tomorrow until 10 pm; tentative hours for the coming weeks will be Wed and Thurs 11 am-9 pm, Fri and Sat 11 am-11 pm, and Sun 12 pm-5 pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Look for their outdoor patio, which should provide seating for an additional 50-70 patrons, to open within a couple of weeks. Congrats to the TrailWay crew!

• A new brewery is in development in the town of Montague, PEI. Local businessman Dave McGuire is aiming to open Beer Island Brewery in the downtown area in Spring 2017. The 15 bbl (18hL) brewhouse will feature a retail space and taproom, where patrons will be able to enjoy the beer while savouring locally-harvested food. Currently on the lookout for a brewer, the brewery plan includes a canning line, for packaging their beer for local and out-of-province distribution. “I’m a resident and I look forward to establishing a new business in town and supporting the development and growth of Montague,’’ says McGuire.

• From one new Island brewery to another, the Newfoundland Provincial government announced a major investment in Western Newfoundland Brewing Company, to be opened later this summer in Pasadena, NL. The brewery has been in development for more than two years, and plans on local distribution in the Corner Brook and Gros Morne region. Jennifer Galliott, Director of Marketing and Sales, says, “People can look forward later this summer to seeing Killdevil Pale Ale and Wild Cove Cream Ale on tap at Galliott Studios in Woody Point, The Cat Stop in Norris Point, and other select venues throughout the Gros Morne region. We hope this venture bolsters opportunity throughout Western Newfoundland to foster growth in our beloved region.” We will share more details of the brewery and availability once we have them. Congratulations to both new breweries coming to small towns on the Island provinces soon!

BarNone released not one, but two new beers at their weekly growler night at the brewery last night. First up is Outback Blonde, a light, sessionable ale (at 4.7% ABV) that features a simple 2-row malt base, and is hopped with Citra and Australian Galaxy, for a delicious tropical hop character. Next is Amber, an American Amber Ale that is also easy-drinking (5% ABV), with a lower bitterness than their flagship Pale Ale. Hopped with Centennial, you can also expect some fruity aromas and flavours as a result. Look for both beers to pop up at various BarNone tap accounts in the near future, and drop by the brewery in Rose Valley next Thursday for Growler Night, which may feature some local musicians taking the stage.

Pump House is releasing their first Radler, a style that involves mixing flavoured soda with a strong beer. Originally created about a century ago in Germany, the resulting beverage is usually fruity, refreshing, and easy-drinking. Pump House’s take, Crafty Radler, includes a mix of in-house-made grapefruit and tangerine soda, providing an aroma of “ripe, freshly-sliced grapefruit with sweet notes of ripened tangerines”. Lightly hopped with Willamette to only 5 IBUs, it weighs in at 4.7% ABV. Look for it to be launched at this weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival (more details below), and should follow at tap accounts and in cans by sometime next week.

• Drop by Good Robot today to celebrate Crop Top Tolerance (#CroToTo)… After some complaints and negative comments were made about one of their servers who favours wearing a crop-top, Robie and the Robots have deemed today Crop Top Tolerance day. All patrons are invited to share their support by wearing their own Crop Top (or not), and celebrating the lovely weather we’ve been enjoying. And beginning this Monday, they are hosting weekly “Goodwill Bot” events, by inviting local non-profit organizations to set up shop and inform their patrons of their group. From 5-8pm May 30th, Hope Cottage will be dropping by to spread the word of their community meal services in Halifax. Plus, $1 of each pint sale will go to the Charity Case, which will be split among the participating nonprofit groups.

Here’s the info you need on upcoming beer events…

• This weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 27th and 28th, the 11th Annual Atlantic Beer Festival takes place at the Moncton Coliseum. Featuring three tasting sessions – Friday, 7:30-10 pm, Saturday, 2:30-5 pm and 7:30-10 pm – there will be 70 breweries pouring over 150 different beers, including many not otherwise available in the region. This year’s fest will include a West Coast Pavilion featuring brewers from the Western provinces; also, all attendees will get the chance to win tickets to the 2016 Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria, B.C. this coming September. There will be live music in the form of The Royaltones and Superlove. There are still tickets available to all three sessions, here; the evening sessions are $54.50 per ticket, with the afternoon session going for $44.50 each.

• A reminder that the very first Florenceville-Bristol Beer Run is being held tomorrow, May 28th, and is brought to you by those who organize the annual Fredericton Beer Run. Due to the location, the featured brewery will be, of course, Florenceville-Bristol’s own Railcar Brewing. The 6 km run begins at 10 am sharp, with registration occurring from 8 – 9:45 am. After the run, drop by Railcar’s tasting room for beers from Railcar and several other NB breweries, in a custom-designed beer glass to keep.

• Be sure to drop by the Wolfville Farmers Market for Blossom Brew Night, also being held May 28th. Part of the Apple Blossom Festival, it will feature beers from Bad Apple BrewhousePaddy’s Irish Brewpub, and Schoolhouse Brewery, plus ciders from Bulwark, Noggins, Shipbuilders, and Stutz. Running 4-8pm, tickets are just $32, which include your first 4 drink tickets and a souvenir tasting glass. Local BJCP Certified Judge Andrew Newton will be leading a tasting tutorial at 4:45, and Alex MacLean of East Coast Lifestyle will be spinning tunes from 6-8pm. Tickets are available at the Acadia Box Office, and online here.

• The finale of the Rare Beer Series at Stillwell is this weekend. Featuring four beers in bottles and draught from Portland, OR’s Upright Brewing, the lineup will be filled out with some great beers from Great Lakes, Indie Ale House, and Le Trou du Diable, whose brewer Stephane Thibodeau will be onsite Sunday to chat. From noon Saturday and 4pm Sunday, May 28 & 29.

• The Saint John Ladies Beer Club has officially been formed, and you’re invited to their next meeting (provided you’re female, of course)! Held at the Big Tide brewpub next Thursday, June 2nd at 7 pm, there will be an information session with brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos on the Big Tide beer lineup, followed by the opportunity to enjoy some of these beers with fellow beer lovers. There’s no charge to attend, just pay by the pint or flight as you go. Be sure to show up a bit early to secure your spot!

Red Rover is celebrating the recent opening of their new CiderHouse location with an official launch party on Friday, June 3rd, from 7 pm-11 pm. They’ll have cider on tap, of course, as well as live music. Stay tuned to their social media for more details as the date gets closer.

• Early-bird tickets are now on sale for Local Connections Halifax’s Cask Beer Showdown, being held at the Olympic Community Centre September 24th. Featuring both an afternoon and evening session, each 3 hour event will feature cask-conditioned beers from local breweries, along with entertainment and food to pair. Tickets include a souvenir glass and your first 12 samples, with more available for purchase.

That’s it for this week! A few parting notes…

– One of Petit-Sault‘s first flagship beers, Tante Blanche, will be returning next week. This 4.7% ABV Belgian Witbier became a summer seasonal last year, so it’s returning just in time! Look for it at the brewery for growler fills, on tap at better beer establishments across NB, and in bottles at ANBL stores next Wednesday.
Big Axe’s Chanterelle Cream Ale is back on tap at the brewery, and their tap accounts, now that the harvest of these mushrooms is on again.
– Saint John community and college radio station Local 107.3FM is hosting a beer-naming competition. Local beer writer Craig Pinhey has designed an English Session Ale, 4.5% ABV, that Picaroons will brew and release at their Saint John General Store on June 30th. Until June 15th, the public can submit their ideas for the beer name to brian@cfmh.ca with the subject line: “Picaroons Traditional Ales – Radio Beer.” The winner will receive a growler of the beer.
– Best of luck to the Atlantic Canadian breweries who submitted and/or are in attendance at this weekend’s Canadian Brewing Awards in Vancouver! We’ll be sure to share the details on the winning beers after Saturday’s Award Presentation.

Good morning! Before we dive into your weekly helping of beer releases, events, and more, we need to address a pressing issue that has developed in New Brunswick over the last week…

Last Friday evening, the CBC reported the story that the ANBL had implemented new policies for craft breweries in New Brunswick. While these policies, in fact, have not been implemented yet, they will be in the near future. Grimross founder and New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association (NBCAPA) president Stephen Dixon was interviewed by the CBC in the story, and mentioned that while some of the changes in policy benefited small craft breweries, most of them did not, and were in fact detrimental to their business. Brewers are unhappy with the tiered system that increases the amount of mark-up paid to ANBL per litre of beer, based on increasing production, for beer sold out of brewery agency stores (BAS), i.e. brewery taprooms/storefronts. In addition, the mark-up charged per litre of beer sold to licensees (bars/restaurants) has increased from $0.73/L to $1.05/L, with cideries paying $1.60/L, increased from $1.29/L.  At the same time, the mark-up for bottled/canned products sold through ANBL has decreased; however, 15 breweries in the province currently do not package their beer outside of kegs, and therefore would not see this benefit.

Another change in policy will limit the number of BAS outlets a brewery can open, based on their annual production. Many breweries see this as another step in limiting their ability to grow; for example, if you increase production, but can not open a new store in another city to sell more beer, your only option would be to sell more beer through licensees, where the mark-up has increased significantly.

There is a lot more to this developing story, with NBCAPA and ANBL still negotiating. Hopefully an agreement can be reached soon that would see NB craft breweries in a position where growth in the industry is truly encouraged. We plan on having more details sometime next week.

Now, on to our regular beer news…

Hammond River has a brand new beer that we’ll call an early-release summer seasonal! Blood Orange Hefeweizen features a grist made up mainly of Pilsner and Wheat malt, with a low percentage of Munich for good measure. Hopped lightly with Goldings to 12 IBUs, the beer had 21 lbs of pure Blood Orange puree added in secondary, expect plenty of citrus aroma and flavours to back up the classic fruity esters and spicy phenols from the Hefeweizen yeast strain. Easy-drinking and refreshing at 5.1% ABV, it should be hitting HR tap accounts as early as today. Plus, keep your eyes open for another new HR beer in the future; owner/brewer Shane Steeves is planning a Belgian Dubbel that will feature plenty of fresh raisins, aged rum, and Chapmans ice cream… we’ll keep you posted!

• The latest One Hit Wonder from Propeller is in the wild! Oat in a Boat is a 5.5% ABV “Oat Pale Ale”, featuring a high percentage of oats in the grain bill, impacting the mouthfeel and fullness in body. As with all OHW releases, the beer is not being packaged, available in only growlers at both the Gottingen and Windmill Prop Shops, and on tap around HRM. Despite that, a special label has been created by local artist Jeremy Hansen. And a reminder when grabbing a OHW growler fill, be sure to fill out a ballot: the winner will receive a free fill once the current OHW runs dry. And who knows, your idea for the next OHW may be brewed! And keep your eyes open for the return of Prop’s Hefeweizen later in the month, which will be available on draft, and in bottles for the first time.

• The Meander River crew have brought back a favourite this week, Shack Whacky Cider. The cider is a made with a blend of apples from Davison Farm, located down the road in Falmouth. It is 5.5% ABV, and is available at the brewery for growler fills this weekend, as well as on tap at Battery Park in Dartmouth, Flying Apron Cookery in Summerville, Library Pub in Wolville, and Spitfire Arms in Windsor. And, for the first time, they will be attending the Halifax Forum Farmers Market, tomorrow 8am-1pm.

• Port Williams’ Sea Level Brewing released their spring seasonal late last week, Düssel-port Altbier. It is a “New World Alt”, using a recipe given to Brewmaster Randy Lawrence by a brewer friend from Brauerei im Füchschen, in Dusseldorf, home of the Alt style. This medium-bodied ale weighs in at 4.8% ABV. It is now available at the brewery in cans, growlers, and kegs, and on tap at the Port Pub and elsewhere.

PEI Brewing Company will be releasing Setting Day Saison in the coming weeks. As a preview of the wider release (in cans!), they have had several different casks of the 5.9% Saison at their Tasting Room, and on draft around the Maritimes (including Halifax’s Stillwell). Look for cans to hit the shelves of the PEIBC, and further afield, before the end of the month.

• This week’s release in the Spindrift Seventh Wave series is Keller Pils, an “unadulterated”, cellar-conditioned Pilsner. Acting as a prelude to the upcoming release of their Knotty Buoy Pilsner, this beer will only be available at the brewery in Burnside for growler fills today.

• Just a quick note that Jamieson’s Irish Pub in Dartmouth has expanded their draft offerings recently, expanding to 16 taps. While keeping Irish favourites Guiness and Harp Lager on tap, they’ve expanded their local beer and cider offerings to over a dozen, rotating in locals from Bulwark, Hell Bay, North, Propeller, Tatamagouche, and more, as well as a pair of special blends from Garrison (under the Jamieson’s name).

As usual, there’s plenty of beer/cider-related events to mention that are coming up over approaching weeks:

• The launch party for the epic conspiracy Barrel-Aged Triskaidekaphobia Imperial American Brown, brewed by Big Spruce and Boxing Rock, is happening tomorrow. After brewing the beer on Friday, November 13th, it was aged on cherries and vanilla beans for the better part of a month, with the release of the 9% beer in bottles taking place in December. Some of the beer was held back, and then spent 3 months in barrels, and is now ready for release! Drop by Stillwell starting at noon to get a taste of this special brew, as well as tasty food to pair, including breakfast sausage corndogs with maple dip. Though the event is open to anyone to stop in off the street, there are tickets available to guarantee yourself a pour of the beer, and a special commemorative glass to keep. Part of the ticket price will be going to support local radio station CKDU, which will be spinning tunes until 5pm.

• It’s getting close to the annual release of Picaroons Melonhead, which means that they’re looking for a new cat to adorn this year’s bottle label! If you think your kitty has what it takes, send in a hi-res picture via email; the deadline for entry is Friday, April 22nd.

• Propeller’s next Cask Night has been announced, and will feature the city’s Krave Burgers. Held at the brewery’s location on Gottingen St. on Friday, April 29th from 6-9 pm, your $30 ticket (available here) entitles you to appetizers from Krave paired with several samples of Propeller beers, including their special cask ale that will be tapped at approximately 6:30 pm. As usual, there are a limited number of tickets available, so don’t wait!

• Tickets for the 11th Annual Atlantic Beer Festival are now on sale; they can be purchased online, by phone (1-888-720-5600), or in person at the Moncton Coliseum Box Office. The two-day event will be held at the Coliseum, and will once again feature an evening session on Friday, May 27th, from 7:30-10 pm, and two sessions on Saturday, May 28th, from 2:30-5 pm and 7:30-10 pm.

• As temperatures start to warm up, planning for a new beer run in New Brunswick is well underway! Saturday, May 28th will showcase the very first Florenceville-Bristol Beer Run, from those who bring you the annual Fredericton Beer Run. Due to the location, the featured brewery will be, of course, Florenceville-Bristol’s own Railcar Brewing. The 6 km run begins at 10 am sharp, with registration occurring from 8 – 9:45 am. After the run, you’ll be supplied with a custom-designed beer glass and fourteen 4 oz-pour beer tickets; there will be many beers pouring from Railcar and several other NB breweries, with all sampling occurring at the Railcar tasting room. Tickets are $55 and are on sale now; drop by Railcar and bring in your ticket receipt, and you’ll receive a $20 gift certificate to be used at the tasting room!

• If you can’t make it to Florenceville for a run, be sure to drop by the Wolfville Farmers Market for Blossom Brew Night, also being held May 28th. Part of the Apple Blossom Festival, it will feature beers from Bad Apple BrewhousePaddy’s Irish Brewpub, and Schoolhouse Brewery, plus ciders from Bulwark, Noggins, Shipbuilders, and Stutz. Running 4-8pm, tickets are just $32, which include your first 4 drink tickets and a souvenir tasting glass. Local BJCP Certified Judge Andrew Newton will be leading a tasting tutorial at 4:45, and Alex MacLean of East Coast Lifestyle will be spinning tunes from 6-8pm. Tickets are available at the Acadia Box Office, and online here.

Be sure to enjoy the weekend with some great craft beer! In closing…

Uncle Leo’s has released their Winterschlaf Kolsch this week. Look for it in bottles at the brewery and private beer stores, and on tap at your local better beer bar.
– Big Axe has brought back their seasonal Maple Wheat Amber Ale, a 5% ABV red-coloured beer brewed with real, local maple sap. It should be available at the brewery and tap accounts this weekend.
– Speaking of maple, Pump House has back their seasonal Maple Ale, which is now on tap for a limited time at the brewpub in Moncton.
– Last Saturday’s fourth Fredericton Poutine Festival was a big hit as usual; the sold-out event had over 600 attending, with Mac’s / King’s Arrow Arena Canteen awarded “Best of the Fest”. Don’t forget that tickets are now on sale for the Moncton Poutine Festival; for more info, check out last week’s post.
– Several weeks after the 2016 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, the results are in for the Brewer’s Choice Best of the Fest, with Boxing Rock taking home the award. Congratulations!
– Sticking with the New Brunswick theme, the trailer for the upcoming film Beerocracy has been released. Focusing on the growth of breweries and interest in beer in the province, which often comes up against regulations from the ANBL, it will be released in the summer.

Howdy! Now that we’ve all had a chance to recover from last week’s excellent Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week… it’s time to dive into more beer news! Hair of the dog, right?

• Following up on last week’s news, we now have all the information on the third beer from Upstreet Craft Brewing. Joining Commons Pilsner and Do-Gooder APA as the inaugural-release beers, Rhuby Social is definitely a new style to the Island – a Strawberry-Rhubarb Witbier. Brewed with a simple malt bill and lightly hopped to 12 IBUs, it features several “traditional and non-traditional” spice additions at the end of the boil. It’s then fermented with a “subtly-flavoured” Belgian yeast, adding character while allowing the Maritime-sourced rhubarb and strawberries (which are added post-fermentation) to shine through. This all results in a tart (but not sour), refreshing, and easy-drinking (at 5% ABV) ale. Looking forward to when all of us can sample these beers for the first time!

Celtic Knot has recently rebrewed For Shore, their popular seasonal from last year. A Session IPA, this year’s batch features some slight changes: where the first version of this beer was hopped with two Australian varieties, Ella and Waimea, the new batch will feature Ella and two other varieties, Galaxy (Australia) and Mandarina Bavaria (Germany), both of which are known for being highly tropical and citrusy. Most of the hop additions came during the end of the boil and in the dry-hop, to maximize flavour and aroma while minimizing perceived bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV and 35 IBUs, it should be available sometime in June; we’ll keep you updated on its release!

Big Spruce Brewing has released their first Blonde Ale, named Jilted Blonde. Weighing in at 5% ABV and 30 IBUs, this beer features the Australian Topaz hop exclusively. A renowned multi-purpose hop, with excellent bittering, flavour and aroma properties, Brewmaster Jeremy White decided to only use it in the later stages of the boil. The result is a great example of the hop’s characteristics. For an additional blast of Topaz aroma, a portion has been cask conditioned with a extra dry-hop charge, and will be available at Stillwell soon.

• This year’s Fredericton Burger Battle (organized by Eat New Brunswick) is quickly approaching (June 8th-21st), and to coincide, New Brunswick Beer Tours will be launching the first ever YFC Burger Battle Walking Tours. A series of four, 3-hour walking tours, each will feature six different sliders paired with a different Picaroons beer (8 oz per pour), at a different location (the key word here is “different”). Confirmed spots include the King Street Ale House, Brewbakers, Vault 29, The Blue Door, and Delta Fredericton. The type of sliders available will change from tour to tour (there are four dates, June 11th, 13th, 18th and 20th), and will vary from beef tenderloin, to chorizo, to pulled pork, and beyond! Each Thursday tour will start at 6 pm, while the Saturday tours begin at 1 pm; tickets can be purchased for $49 (all included) on the NB Beer Tour site now. Exercise, beer, and burgers… the perfect combination!

• Speaking of Picaroons, it’s been announced that they will eventually be opening a Brewtique-like location in Uptown Saint John, at 30-38 Canterbury St. Details are slim at the moment, but it is confirmed they will be occupying space at this address sometime in the future, where locals can expect to see several taps for growler fills, merchandise for sale, and a small brew system on-site. It’s also possible they will dedicate some taps to local, small breweries in the future. Stay tuned!

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s has released a summer seasonal this week, dubbed Summer Wheat. It is a light American Wheat Ale, brewed with 30% wheat malt, with the remainder of the grain bill being Canadian and English Pale Ale malts (2-row and Maris Otter). It is very light in appearance and slightly hazy due to the wheat content. It weighs in at 4.5% ABV, and is lightly bittered to 14 IBUs with Nugget and Cluster. It is also triple dry-hopped with Cascade, Topaz and Mosaic, for a substantial fruity aroma. From Brewmaster Liam McKenna, “I was worried it may turn into a sort of hop tea but the hop flavours have integrated well. It works perfectly as a taste of summer. It is light and hoppy but finishes extremely clean. A perfect patio beer.” Cheers to that! It is on tap at the brewery now, but won’t last long!

• There was some action at Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville this week, as they took delivery of a new 7 BBL fermenter from DME. The expanded capacity will allow them to increase their draught and growler line-up to eight varieties, and to make lagers a regular part of their offerings. Speaking of which, look for their Helles lager on tap shortly.

• The very popular Cerberus IPA conspiracy brew between Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche breweries will make another appearance in bottles this morning, with a limited run available at Bishop’s Cellar. It has also been available on tap for growler fills at all three breweries (and occasionally at the growler stations at the private stores), and their stocks are getting low, so be sure and snag this one today!

• The Obey Convention VIII has kicked off in Halifax, and to celebrate, Garrison has brought back OBEY This Brew. Available in bottles now, and on tap shortly at the brewery for samples and growlers, this 5% ABV & 40 IBU Pale Ale will also be available at all of the OBEY shows (licensing permitting).

• As part of next weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, several spots in Moncton will be taking part in “Belgian Beer Week”, kicking off Sunday. Daily dinners and Belgian beer tastings at the Pump House Brewpub, Marky’s Laundromat, St James Gate and Plan B will feature different beers and breweries. Check the Festival’s Facebook page for exact details. Tickets are still available online for all three sessions of the Fest.

• Tickets for the NLC Beer Expo, being held June 5th and 6th at the Delta St. John’s Hotel, are on sale now. Priced at $82, they include unlimited tasting of more than 100 different beers and ciders (pamphlet with beer list is available here), pub grub, and a $10 taxi voucher. The show runs from 7-10 pm both Friday and Saturday, and tickets are available online here.

• The Gahan House Charlottetown Homebrew Competition has been narrowed down to the final 6 entries, with the judging happening this weekend. Judging will also take place for the Brewnosers Homebrew Competition this weekend. Good luck to all that entered!

As always, thanks for reading! The Acadie-Broue/Big Tide collaboration beer, La Gaboteuse II, is now available at the Big Tide brewpub for pints and growlers; this Belgian IPA won’t last long, so get down there quick to give it a try! This weekend, all four ANBL growler stations have a new version of Picaroons’ Blonde Ale… this batch has been dry-hopped with lots of Cascade. They’re calling it Selection Blonde Ale; you can also find a limited quantity at the Brewtique for growler fills. Picaroons is also holding a tap takeover tomorrow, May 23rd, at the Red Herring Pub in Saint Andrews; there’s no cover, and there should be lots of live music and beer! Petit-Sault‘s IPA, Soeur Catherine, is back once again at the brewery for growler fills, and is expected to be available in bottles, soon. TrailWay is holding another Cask Night at the King Street Ale House this evening, starting at 5 pm; they’ll have two casks pouring – their Hugh John Hops (DIPA), and a new American Stout (which should follow soon after on tap around Fredericton). And finally, in other Fredericton news, rumours have been circulating for months about Gray Stone Brewing, a brewery/taproom planning to open downtown (behind Wilser’s Room) in the near future. Recent artist renderings of the building have surfaced, and the city’s planning advisory committee have approved zoning. We’ll have more information on this new brewery for you, soon!

Happy April everyone! We made it! Old Man Winter is finally fading away, and the melting has begun in earnest. Before long, it will be time to plant those hop rhizomes…

• Late last week, Grimross announced that they were releasing a new beer on tap that day for growler fills and tastings at the brewery. Currently unnamed, it’s described as a “Single Abbey”; this type of beer was traditionally brewed by Belgian monks to be lighter and lower alcohol, specifically for consumption at the Abbey during their down-time. Featuring Pilsner and Munich malt from the Frontenac Malting Co. in Quebec, it was lightly hopped with Bobek to 23 IBUs, and fermented with the Abbaye yeast from Fermentis, a strain that is new to Grimross. This light-copper-coloured beer is described by the brewery as having an aroma of banana and bubblegum, with flavours including earthiness, crabapple and lemon zest. It finishes quite dry, and comes in at 5.1% ABV. They’ve announced that this beer will be the second in their Serendipity series (the first being their Summer Serendipity), and they’re looking for help naming it! Tweet or comment on Facebook your idea with the hashtag, #serendipityseries; if your name is selected, you will win a free growler and fill. The contest ends today at 5 pm.

Propeller Brewing has released their latest One-Hit Wonder this week, Peated Scotch Ale. A very robust, full bodied beer at 7.2% ABV, Peated Malt was used to reinforce the flavour and aroma in their traditional Scotch Ale with greater smoke and peat characteristics. Willamette and Warrior hops were used to balance the body of the beer, and hopped to 19 IBUs. As with all of their One-Hit Wonder releases, these are available for growler fills and samples at the brewery while supplies last (which won’t be long!), and in short supply on tap around HRM, so if you spot it, be sure to grab a pint before it’s gone! This will surely be a winning beer for fans of Islay-region Scotches (Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, for example), which also use Peated Malt.

Tatamagouche Brewing just brewed up a new beer that will be ready in time for NS Craft Beer Week in May! Sunrise Trail India Session Ale is shaping up to be a highly-sessionable (4.1% ABV), hoppy beer featuring Ahtanum and Azacca (a very new, hard-to-get, extremely tasty variety). Based on what these hops have to offer, expect this easy-drinking beer to have lots of citrus, tropical, and stone fruit flavours and aromas. TataBrew will also be re-releasing their Stubborn Goat collaboration brew, Horns Over Hooves DIPA, during the week as well.

Railcar Brewing should have a new beer on tap tomorrow at their new location for growler fills. Orange Rye IPA is brewed with several types of malt, including – of course – Rye, coming in with a dark copper color. Hopped entirely with Cascade to about 65 IBUs, the beer weighs in at 7.7% ABV. Fresh orange peel was added in secondary to help boost the citrusy flavors and aromas from the hops. Railcar has also confirmed that they’ve had the final inspection of their new tasting room, so look for them to be able to serve pints of their beer very soon!

• We mentioned a few weeks ago that the brewers at TrailWay were experimenting with casks… well, luckily for us, these cask beers will be available to the thirsty public, soon! They plan on having two casks to be tapped at the King Street Ale House on Friday, April 10th; both their Whitney Coffee Stout and Primetime APA will be featured that night. After that, they hope to have a different cask available at the KSAH on a weekly basis.

• Last week, we reported that Hammond River had brewed up their final batch of Breakfast Stout for the season. They’ve since confirmed that a small portion of this batch (approximately 20 L) will be aged for several weeks in a white oak barrel; owner/brewer Shane Steeves will be testing the beer periodically until it develops the character he’s looking for, at which point the beer will be kegged and sent to one lucky location! We’ll keep you updated on its release.

Stillwell Beer Bar has released a beer of their own creation, Crush. Contract-brewed at North Brewing, this is a 6.1% ABV SMaSH lager, featuring pilsner malt and Nelson Sauvin hops. The SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) recipe lets the characteristics of the chosen malt and hop shine through. The pilsner malt (and the fact that it was fermented and conditioned as a lager) is a clean, crisp base upon which to build, and the Nelson Sauvin hops lend a white wine-like flavour, with fruity aromas reminiscent of peach and gooseberry. The lager is unfiltered, and may retain a bit of haze while on tap, allowing more flavour and aroma to come through that would otherwise be filtered out. The beer is available exclusively on tap at the bar (and they’ve blown through two kegs already!), be sure to check their Twitter feed for updates of the next keg tapping.

• Picaroons is ramping up to release one of their summer seasonals, Melon Head, in June… which means they want your cat pictures again! If you think your cat has what it takes to be featured on this year’s label, send in an email with a hi-resolution picture of him/her (no actual melons needed). You have until Friday, April 24th to have a chance at making your cat famous. And take note that the annual Prohibition Repeal Party & Tap Takeover will be Saturday, April 18th at Wilser’s Room, where all 12 taps will feature Picaroons beer; it starts at 7 pm (no cover if you go before 10:30), and features live music, as usual.

• Tickets for the Atlantic Beer Festival are now on sale. Being held at the Moncton Coliseum May 29th-30th, this is the Fest’s Tenth anniversary, and they are celebrating by introducing a Friday evening session (7:30-10pm), in addition to the Saturday afternoon (2:30-5pm) and evening (7:30-10pm) sessions. They are also introducing a Belgian Pavillion, highlighting some beers and breweries not otherwise available in New Brunswick, and Fest-goers will be entered in a contest for a free beer-fueled trip to Belgium. We’ll have more details on the beers and other Fest events available closer to the date, of course. Tickets are $45 for the Saturday afternoon session, and $55 for the evening sessions (taxes and fees included), and available at the Moncton Tickets website.

• Like last year, the Moncton Beer League will be hosting a VIP experience for the Saturday afternoon session. VIPers will meet at the Pump House Restaurant and Brewery on Orange Lane at noon, and enjoy beer and Tapetizers to prepare for the afternoon. A limousine will take people to the Coliseum, where they will skip the line and begin the session right at 2:30pm. After the session, the limos will return people to the downtown area to visit the Old Triangle or other bars. Part of the VIP ticket price will be going to local charity. Tickets are $70, and there is already a waitlist, but email them to be added, just in case more become available.

Horton Ridge Malt have successfully funded their CEDIF, and are now extending the  offering until May 30th. Just shy of $400,000 has been raised toward the Malt House, opening in the fall to process this year’s harvest. Congratulations to Horton Ridge, and soon NS and other Atlantic breweries will be using “Malt Less Travelled”.

• There are still a handful of tickets available for next Saturday’s Sunset Heights Spring Release Party, and they have begun to release details on the expressions to be tasted (and available for purchase), and their food pairings. Here are a few teases: an Elderflower mead paired with strawberry-rhubarb crumble, a Petunia mead paired with brie, and Marigold mead with hot smoked salmon. Attendees will try eight of these pairings, and then have the chance to create their own (or repeat their favourites) from the available offerings. The event is 2:30-5pm April 11 at the Grad House on the UNB campus, and tickets can be purchased online.

Most of our favourite breweries, bars and restaurants are open regular hours this holiday weekend, but be sure to check before heading out, just to be sure. The NSLC, ANBL, PEILCC and NLC are closed Friday and Sunday. The Townhouse in Antigonish is closed for a short break while owners Rose and Terry do some R&D in England. You can follow along with their adventures on Facebook. The Townhouse will be re-opening Tuesday April 14th. The Picaroons Brewtique is hoping your Saturday is Hoppy, and they are helping with four dry-hopped variants on tap tomorrow for your tasting pleasure: Man’s Best Friend dry-hopped with Tettnang, Yippee IPA dry-hopped with Amarillo, their Blonde dry-hopped with Cascade, and Irish Red dry-hopped with Goldings.

Happy Friday everyone! Time for another dose of Atlantic Canadian beer news to finish off the last Friday of the month…

Bad Apple Brewhouse has released a new beer, Smokehouse Lager, a Rauchbier brewed with 100% beechwood-smoked malt. This copper-colored beer comes in at 6.7% ABV with about 27 IBUs, and is described as “smoky, slightly spicy, and malty” by BAB owner/brewer Jeff Saunders. The beer is available in growlers and squealers at the brewery, and might be on tap at your local soon.

• Staying in the Annapolis Valley, Sea Level has released their latest beer, Southern Cross IPA. Inspired by the New Zealand hop, and the Crosby, Stills and Nash song, the beer weighs in at 6.5% and 78.8 IBUs (calc). The Southern Cross hops lend a resiny spiciness and citrus and pine aromas. Available on tap now at The Port Pub, in growlers and cans at the brewery, and this weekend in cans at the private beer stores in Halifax.

• Finally in Valley news this week, both Meander River Farm and Brewery and Schoolhouse Brewery are in the final stretches before opening their doors very soon. At Meander River, they have brewed their inaugural batch of Lunchbox Pale Ale on their 3 barrel system, and are looking forward to opening in the next few weeks. At Schoolhouse, they were going through their inspection for Excise License this week, and are also looking forward to opening in the next little while. Look for profiles from both of these great breweries very soon.

• In the big city, Propeller Brewing has released their latest seasonal beer, Black IPA. Weighing in at 6.7%ABV and 83 IBUs, this unfiltered beer features a healthy amount of bittering, flavour and aroma hops, and is then dry-hopped for an even more explosive nose. The most prominent hop used in the beer is Ahtanum, which gives a great citrusy nose, with a bit of earthy note as well, which fits well with the style. To give the beer its distinctive black colour, Blackprinz and CARAFA malts were used. These choices were very specific, as both are very dark in Lovibond, so that a small percentage in the recipe goes a long way in the colour, but do not transfer any astringency or husky bitterness to the flavour. Pick up 1.89l and 1l growlers of this latest release at both the Gottingen St and Windmill Rd Propeller locations, and look for it on tap around the city (including Henry House, where it was tapped last night).

Big Tide Brewing continues to remain busy in Saint John, as they’ve added two new one-off brews to their tap selection at the brewpub. A single batch was brewed with a base of Canadian Wheat malt, a selection of special Crystal malts, and UK hops, and was then fermented with a dry ale yeast. After fermentation was complete, the beer was split into two vessels. One of these, Ale Mary, was filtered, while the other, Sunset Raspberry Wheat, was not. We think it’s safe to assume that the unfiltered beer also has had some raspberries or raspberry extract added at some point of the brewing process! Both beers are meant to bridge the gap for Big Tide’s return to brewing summer beers; they clock in at 4.5% ABV.

• New Brunswick’s newest brewery, Big Axe, may have just opened last week, but they’ve already added a seasonal beer to their line-up, which is available for growler fills at the brewery now. The beer is named Maple Wheat Amber Ale; specific details on the beer are unknown at the moment, but we’ll be sure to update when we know more.

• We mentioned recently that Ducky’s Bar in Sackville was expanding their tap selection, and would be featuring local breweries. Well, they’ve released their opening tap selection, and it’s looking great! As previously mentioned, two taps will be dedicated to Celtic Knot, starting with their Not Joe Average Pale Ale and Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout. Also pouring will be Hammond River‘s award-winning Hop Flash IPA, PEI Brewing Co. Cole’s Cream Ale and Beach Chair Lager, and Garrison Raspberry Wheat and Nut Brown, with Picaroons Dooryard joining them soon. Kegs will rotate as they empty, so look for more offerings from these breweries, as well as others in our region!

• Tickets are now on sale for the Atlantic Beer Festival, in Moncton, Saturday May 31st. There are two sessions, 2:30-5pm, and 7:30-10pm. Free buses are available to the downtown area after each session of the festival. Tickets are available online, at the Pump House brewpub and Barnyard BBQ, and are priced at $49 (taxes and fees included). We hope to have a full brewery/beer list for you soon.

The Overcast is an arts and culture newspaper based out of Newfoundland. They have an excellent interview with Liam McKenna, brewmaster at Yellowbelly Brewpub in St. John’s. For those of you who do not know Liam’s brewing history (including a time in Dublin), it is a great insight into what makes Liam tick. We hope to share a profile on Liam and the Yellowbelly soon, as we caught up with him on a visit to Newfoundland earlier in the year.

• Don’t forget to pick up bottles of Alewife’s Revenge, the collaboration between Boxing Rock Brewing and the Ladies Beer League. It is now on sale at the private beer stores in Halifax and Dartmouth, on tap around the province (including Antigonish Townhouse), and a special cask of it starting at 4pm for Cask Friday at the Stubborn Goat.

• Speaking of the Ladies Beer League, they’re teaming up with Noble Grape to present an Intro to Beer & Brewing session on Sunday, May 25th from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. This is an introductory course meant to cover the basics of home brewing for beginners and enhance the knowledge of intermediate home brewers, while allowing those interested a chance to also connect with Halifax’s home brewing community. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here; the course will be held at the Noble Grape location on 95 Akerley Blvd in Darmouth. Another session is currently scheduled for Saturday, June 14th.

Stillwell Beer Bar is following up on their first Bellwoods beer releases earlier this month with another deadly trio this weekend. They will be pouring Brettal Head All Brett Pale AleLost River Baltic Porter, and Hellwoods Russian Imperial Stout, beginning at noon Sunday. Be sure to drop by for great beer, food, and company. We might just see you there!

That’s it for now… have a great weekend!

It’s been a hectic week at the ACBB “offices”, here’s the important news you need to know about beer in our area:

• Tonight, Picaroons continues their Plaid to the Bone launch in Perth-Andover. Featuring their Heather Ale, the “Picaroons Castle Ceilidh” will be held at the Castle Inn. The festivities begin at 7 pm, and will include the Southern Victoria Pipe Band and Fredericton’s Highland Dancers, followed by PEI’s Ten Strings and a Goat Skin (who continue to tour New Brunswick for this beer’s launch). There will be a large “Picaroons-infused” pub menu, with food items ranging from Best Bitter-battered onion rings to grilled salmon with Simeon Jones garlic cream. The launch continues Saturday night in Moncton at Plan B (after the beer festival), where Ten Strings will be performing at 10 pm.

Mirella Amato is in New Brunswick this week, taking part in events surrounding the Atlantic Beer Festival. She is hosting two events at The Station in Fredericton today: from 1-3pm, she will be running a mock beer competition, where participants will be able to taste some winning beers from the recent Canadian Brewing Awards, learn how to judge beers, and even do some judging themselves. This event is free and open to the public. Later in the evening (6:30-8:30), Mirella will be leading a five-course tasting, highlighting the style range of beers, and how they can pair with food in some exciting and fascinating ways. Tickets are $25. As mentioned in our previous post, she will also be leading a VIP tour of the Atlantic Beer Festival, including appetizers at Pump House, limo ride to the fest, and a guided tasting of a handful of the best beers on tap at the fest.

• Last Saturday’s grand opening of the new location for the PEI Brewing Company was a great success, with approximately 600 people attending the day’s events, despite less-than-desirable weather. Two new beers were introduced, a Blueberry Ale, and a Mango Wheat. While both beers will continue to be available on tap at the PEI Brewing Company (the Mango Wheat for a limited time only), the Blueberry Ale will also be pouring at some bars/restaurants on the Island, and can also be found in bottles at the brewery and at PEILCC locations.

• Halifax’s The Coast website has published its annual readers’ poll results, and Garrison Brewing Company has been selected as Best Craft Brewery! Runners-up were silver and bronze medal-winners, Propeller Brewing and Bridge Brewing, respectively. As for Best Brew Pub, Rockbottom unseated previous 9-time winner Rogues Roost to win the top prize. Rogues Roost finished second, followed by Hart and Thistle. Congratulations to the winners!

• Speaking of Rockbottom, their Insidious IBA (India Black Ale) is now on tap. This beer won a bronze medal in the American Style Black Ale (also known as Black IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, etc) category at the recent Canadian Brewing Awards. Get it while it’s … cold!

• For those of you looking forward to getting a taste of one of the new Grimross beers tonight in Fredericton, there’s some bad news… the Love Your Balls event has been cancelled. We originally reported on this charity event last Friday. Looks like we’ll all have to wait another few weeks until Grimross is available commercially.

atlbeerfest

The Atlantic Beer Festival is taking place at the Moncton Coliseum this Saturday. There are two sessions: 2:30-5pm, and 7:30-10pm. Tickets are available at the Coliseum Box Office, The Pump House Brewery or BarnYard BBQ, and online at tickets.moncton.ca. The evening session is sold out, however there are lots of tickets still available for the afternoon session. The Beer Fest is partnering with the SPCA and United Way.

Exact details on the beers and breweries are not published online (check the Times & Transcript on Thursday for a full list), but I give you some highlights from the organizers and brewers I’ve contacted.

– Fresh off a CBA medal earlier this month, Acadie-Broue will be there with their Gaboteuse Belgian IPA. However, it will only be at the Afternoon Session, that’s worth buying a ticket for the session alone!

Shiretown from Charlo, NB will be there, pouring their Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale and a one off RodDog’s Amber Ale. Also only there for the afternoon session, I see a trend!

Le Troue du Diable from Shawinagan, QC will be returning, with a pair of beers, that are always hits with the craft beer fans.

– Local (and almost local) breweries Pump House, Picaroons, Big Tide, Garrison and Propeller will also be there, with some special casks and one-off beers that will not be available anywhere else.

– There will be a Maine pavillion, showcasing a over dozen beer that are not available at the ANBL.

We will post the final beer list as soon as it’s available. We expect to see over 140 beers, 30% of which are new offerings not usually available in NB. Some will be launched at the Fest, so this will be your first chance to try them.

In addition to the beer, there will be food vendors (pretzels!), with a BBQ/Smoking station set up with pulled pork and sausages. There will be music by Carey Beck and the 60 LPs. Free shuttle buses leave from the Coliseum to various spots around the city (Downtown, Riverview, etc), so be sure to take advantage and don’t drink and drive!

There is a VIP option at each of the sessions: you will start at the Pump House Brewpub, and meet your guide for the session, Mirella Amato. She is the only Master Cicerone[TM] in Canada, and will be helping folks get the most out of the Beer Festival. After some appetizers and a limo ride to the Coliseum, Mirella will bring you in the VIP entrance and then spend some time tasting some of the great beer available. She will highlight a few of the best beers, do a guided tasting at several of the difference booths, and assist you in hunting down the best beers for your favourites styles. To sign up, contact the ANBL. The ticket price is $99, and that includes your Festival ticket.

We’ll be there, and hope you will too! Cheers!