Happy Friday! We’ve got a summary of last weekend’s ACBAs, plus lots of new brews, so let’s get right to it!
• Last weekend’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards celebrated the high quality beers and ciders in our region. We reached out to ACBA organizer Mark DeWolf (Manager – Custom Content, Food & Drink at The Chronicle Herald) for his thoughts on the event:
“We were very pleased with the number of entries and overall quality of the beer and ciders entered into this year’s competition. This year’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards drew over 200 product submissions from more than 30 breweries and cideries from across Atlantic Canada. With 21 different producers picking up an award, it was clear that there is a high level of brewing and cider making in all corners of the region. It was great seeing some old favourites and some new surprises take home awards. As an organizer, you can never predict what products and producers will win awards, all we can do is ensure that there is an equal opportunity for all the participants. To that end, the BJCP judges and volunteers should be commended. They were exceptionally professional in the manner with which they carried out their duties. Congratulations, of course, goes out to Garrison Brewing Company
for winning their title as Brewery of the Year
, Red Rover
from New Brunswick for winning our newly created Cidery of the Year
award, Rockbottom Brewpub
for winning the title of Brewpub of the Year
and Bad Apple Brewhouse
for collecting the title of Beer of the Year
for their exceptional Box Cutter IPA
. We look forward to a bigger and better competition in 2016.”
Here are the winners in the individual categories:
#1) N.A. / European Style Lager
Gold Hop City Barking Squirrel Moosehead Breweries Ltd.
Silver Bohemian Style Pilsener Propeller Brewing Company
Bronze Alpine Moosehead Breweries Ltd.
#2) German Specialty Ales
Gold Rise ‘n’ Stein Heffewiezen Garrison Brewing Company
Silver Uncle Leo’s Altbier Uncle Leo’s Brewery
Bronze Stirling Hefeweizen Breton Brewing Co.
#3) UK Specialty Style Ales
Gold Bulldog Brown Ale Rockbottom Brewpub
Silver Raven Ale Paddy’s Brewpub
Bronze Uncle Leo’s Red Ale Uncle Leo’s Brewery
#4) N.A. Specialty Ales
Gold Bitter Get’er India Black IPA Big Spruce Brewing
Silver Ol’ Fog Burner Garrison Brewing Company
Bronze Sir John A Honey Wheat PEI Brewing Company
#5) Belgian Style Specialty Ales
Gold Simone et Hebert Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault
Silver La Buckdjeuve Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault
Bronze Maxime Albert Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault
#6) N.A. Amber / Red Ales
Silver Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter Sea Level Brewing Co.
#7) Fruit & Field Beers
Gold Thai Wheat Pump House Brewery
Silver Rhuby Social Upstreet Craft Brewing
Bronze Smashed Pumpkin Paddy’s Brewpub
#8) Pale Ales
Gold Vic Park PEI Brewing Company
Silver English Ale Hell Bay Brewing Co. Ltd.
Bronze Gimme Citra Big Spruce Brewing + Stillwell
# 9) Stout / Porter
Gold La Vaca Loca Barnone Brewing
Silver Revolution Russian Imperial Stout Propeller Brewing Company
Bronze Oatmeal Stout Rockbottom Brewpub
#10) India Pale Ale
Gold Box Cutter IPA Bad Apple Brewhouse
Silver Deception Bay IPA Tatamagouche Brewing Company
Bronze Fathom IPA Rockbottom Brewpub
Gold IPA Gastronome Garrison Brewing Company
Silver Surf & Turf Meander River Farm & Brewery
Bronze Uncle Leo’s Smoked Porter Uncle Leo’s Brewery
#12) Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer
Gold Barrel Aged Grand Baltic Porter Garrison Brewing Company
Silver Zirable Acadie-Broue Inc.
Bronze Rum Barrel Aged Dreadnot Tatamagouche Brewing Company
#13) Standard Cider & Perry
Gold Ship Builders Cider Cider House
Silver VeRRy PeRRy Red Rover Craft Cider
Bronze Stutz Original Cider House
#14) Specialty Cider & Perry
Gold Fire Cider Red Rover Craft Cider
Silver The Blues Red Rover Craft Cider
Bronze Stutz Wild Blueberry Cider House
Beer of the Year/Best of Show: Box Cutter IPA – Bad Apple Brewhouse
Brewery of the Year: Garrison Brewing Company
Brewpub of the Year: Rockbottom Brewpub
Cidery of the Year (new): Red Rover Craft Cider
Congratulations once again to the winners, and to all of our local breweries and cider houses for continuing to step up their game and improving the environment for local beer fans. Now on to the rest of our scheduled program…
• We finally have some news on the new IPA from Pump House; SPCA IPA was brewed in support of the Greater Moncton SPCA, and was officially released at the brewery yesterday. Heavily-hopped (with almost four times the amount of hops as their regular-release IPA) with a blend of “atypical hops”, this amber-coloured beer has an aroma of “grapefruit and citrus, paired with subtle hints of dark berries and a touch of phenol”, according to the brewery. The bitterness comes across as intense, yet with a “pleasingly palatable” flavour. Weighing in at 7% ABV and 50 IBUs, it’s available now in 500 mL bottles, exclusively at the brewpub in Moncton; a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to the GMSPCA. And Pump House’s Pumpkin Ale is out again; you can find it on tap at the brewpub, and possibly at select accounts in the province.
• The first annual Fredericton Cider Fest is being held tomorrow at Brewbakers, starting at 12 or 1 pm (depending on your ticket). Featuring approximately 25 different ciders from six producers (including Fredericton’s own Red Rover, winners of Cider House of the Year at last weekend’s ACBAs), the sold-out VIP tickets allow early entry at noon, as well as access to an info session, but there ARE still some regular-entry tickets left, which include unlimited samples and a special tasting glass. Red Rover will have two different cask ciders, one of which is their Hop Back in Time, a 7% ABV semi-dry cider that has been dry-hopped with a secret blend of varieties. With earthy and citrus notes in the nose, including hints of apple, the hops mix perfectly in the flavours to provide a slight bitterness and grassy notes on the finish. This one-off was brewed specifically for Cider Fest, so be sure to get your tickets if you haven’t already, so that you don’t miss out! For more info, check out our earlier post.
• Railcar Brewing will be celebrating their 1st Birthday on Saturday, October 31st. Drop by the brewery from 12 – 10 pm for cake and special pricing on pints and pitchers; the first 50 customers will also receive a free growler with purchased fill. Railcar has also just released Shogomac Stout, brewed with plenty of dark, roasted malts for a jet-black colour and coffee/chocolate aromas and flavours. Hopped with two additions of Southan Farms Goldings and one of Fuggles (to a total of 44 IBUs), it comes in at 5.8% ABV; you can find it now at the brewery and the James Joyce in Fredericton.
• Speaking of Railcar, they’ve had a guest brewer drop by and brew up a batch of Pale Ale, which is currently being poured as a guest tap at the brewery. Al Bannister is the owner of River Valley Micro, a homebrew shop in Woodstock, NB, who plans on opening his own brewery sometime in 2016. He recently brewed his Trout Pout Pale Ale on Railcar’s system, a 6.6% ABV and 43 IBUs beer hopped with Amarillo and Centennial. Bannister hopes to brew a Blonde Ale and American IPA (both with hops from Southan Farms) at Railcar in the near future, with other styles to follow. Drop by Railcar if you’re in the area, and get a sneak peek from this upcoming brewery!
• The season’s creeping to a close, but there’s still some Harvest beers hitting the shelves! Hell Bay has just released their High Tide Harvest Ale, hopped entirely with locally-grown hops from High Tide Hops Farm in Dayspring, NS. This 5% ABV ale showcases a “rich, malty body”, and “peppery notes” from the European yeast strain used for fermentation. It’s currently available at the brewery for growler fills, as well as on tap at Stillwell and White Point Beach Resort, and this weekend’s sold out Celtic Oktoberfest.
• Yellowbelly Brewery in St John’s is celebrating Oktoberfest with their newest beer … Oktoberfest! This is the first time YB has brewed a lager, taking a detour from their standard ale offerings. Brewed in the traditional Fest Bier style, this 6% ABV grain bill features Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, and was hopped with Styrian Goldings and Saphir to about 28 IBUs, and then allowed to ferment and condition cold for a month before hitting the taps. The resultant beer is very smooth with a nice noble hop character to complement the malt base, and as such is very easy to drink. And while at the pub, be sure to grab some of their Deep South, now in bottles to take away.
• Petite Riviere Vineyards has released a new cider in their Stutz lineup: Stutz Chai Spice. Featuring a special blend of Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Madagascar Vanilla, and Star Anise, steeped in the cider post-fermentation. The base cider is 100% Annapolis Valley pressed apples, and uses the same blend as their standard Stutz, but with a lower residual sugar level. The spicing level is quite present, while allowing the bright apple notes and typical cider crispness to shine through. In addition to the pleasant flavour and aromas from the Chai spice blend, there may also be some relaxation and digestion benefits to the spices. The Chai Spice is available at the NSLC, along with the standard and Blueberry blends, as well as their Farmers’ market booths and shop in Petite Riviere.
• Grimross has released their Singel, another beer in their Belgian Abbey series. Brewed as a low-alcohol (4.8% ABV) and easy-drinking, flavourful ale, this beer is along the lines of what the Abbey monks brew for their own consumption, instead of for sale to the public. Very dry, and with a “clean malt aroma and crisp light mouthfeel”, it’s similar to their previously-released Monk’s Choice earlier this year. Look for it on tap at the brewery, and at better beer establishments in New Brunswick.
• There’s been rumours for months now, but TrailWay confirmed late last week that they will be undergoing a move and major expansion over the coming months. They have already ordered their 10 BBL (310 gallons, or ~11 hL) steam-fired system from DME, and will be opening on Fredericton’s north side sometime next spring. We’ll have more info for you as progress continues… cheers to more TW beer 2016!
• Don’t forget today is the first of the Meet Your Makers tap takeovers at the James Joyce; Big Axe will be on hand starting at 7:30 pm with ten taps pouring, including their newest beer, Anaphylactic Ale. Brewed with 3 kg of the rooftop honey produced on top of the Crowne Plaza, it also features the addition of lemon thyme that was picked locally at Big Axe. It comes in at 6.5% ABV and 26 IBUs. After its launch at the James Joyce, it will also be available at the Saint John Ale House and Tide and Boar in Moncton.
• As part of tomorrow’s City Harvest, Garrison has invited the crew from Morris East and their portable wood-fired pizza oven from 10am -4pm to share some great pizza and beer. And to complement that already-winning combination, Miller’s Kettle Corn will also be in the house. To celebrate, Garrison has created a special one-off cask of Sour Cherry Stout. They filled a cask with their Martello Stout, and used the juice from sour cherries to prime/condition the cask. There is only one of these casks, and is therefore only available for onsite consumption. Drop by between 10am to 4pm to enjoy the full pizza, popcorn, and beer experience. And speaking of Garrison, drop by harbourstone sea grill & pour house to get a taste of the Gastronome IPA beer they brewed for them, which debuted last night. Also, check I Love Local’s page (and Twitter) for a full list of City Harvest activities across the HRM, many more of them featuring beer, including a discount on growler fills at North Brewing.
That’s it for this week! Hammond River has just kegged up their latest batch of Too Hop to Handle, their 8.4% ABV and 162 IBUs (calc) DIPA; look for it at their tap accounts any day now. And keep an eye open for a special aged cask of their Sterke Monnik Belgian Quad, being tapped at Port City Royal Saturday, October 31st. Bad Apple Brewhouse teased a picture of them dry-hopping their latest batch of Mosaic Double IPA, we expect it to be released again in November. All of the proceeds from this beer are donated to local support groups for families and those living with Mosaic Down Syndrome, including funding for attendance to Brigadoon Village. Firkinstein Brewing have also begun selling at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market Thursday mornings, in addition to their Hubbards Farmers’ Market stall on Saturdays. While they may not be at this coming week’s market (Oct 29) due to space availability, they will back permanently going forward. Look for them on tap at Bridgewater Local Tap House and the Grand Banker in Lunenburg very soon! Sea Level Brewing has brought back their Port in the Storm Porter for another year, available now at the Port Pub, brewery, and private stores; their Punkin’ Grinner Ale should be out now as well. And Bar Stillwell has announced that their Second Anniversary party will be taking place Sunday, November 15th. No tickets are required, just show up for some special beers they’ve been cellaring, and some great food to match. We’ll have more details on the party once they are available, including a new beer release or two.