Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest

All posts tagged Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest

As we enter the first day of fall, and head into the end of September, the breweries in Atlantic Canada haven’t slowed down a bit! After one heck of a crazy week last week (as you may have noticed from our 4500+ word Wrap-Up last Friday), we have almost as much news to share with you today. So enough with the chit chat; let’s get to the beer!

• For those of you who were fans of the fourth in the Scratch series of beers from Fredericton’s Grimross, we have some good news… Vienna Lager is back as of today. Brewed with a grist that consists of 80% Vienna malt, and hopped with German noble varieties, it’s a copper-coloured beer with “floral and spicy notes from the hops to complement the yeast and malt bill”, coming in at a drinkable 5.1% ABV. Available on tap now at Grimross, as well as local accounts, look for this one to quite possibly be re-brewed periodically.

• If you’ve noticed a new beer popping up on tap around Saint John last week from Loyalist City, you’re not crazy! Rustic Ryed is the latest release from the brewery; a reddish-amber-hued Rye IPA brewed with Maris Otter and Rye malt, it was hopped with “copious amounts” of Cascade, Equinox and Simcoe. Expect an “intense aroma of citrus and pine, complemented by a hint of peppery malt”. More Cascade and Equinox were used in a whirlpool addition, to up the citrus flavour even more. With high carbonation and a moderate bitterness in the finish, you can find this 6% ABV, 55 IBUs brew on tap at your favourite LC account. And if they don’t have it… ask for it!

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing just released their latest beer, a special one created to recognize the traditions of Maritime sailors of the past. They took their Old Foundry Stout, a 6.3% ABV, chocolatey beer, and aged it in rum casks from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery, for five months. The result was Fog Bank, a big (9% ABV), rich beer boasting notes of vanilla and dark fruit, all thanks to the rum casks. While high in alcohol, the aging helps bring a “smooth, mellow finish” to the beer, to give you a pleasant sipping experience. It’s available now (as of 10 AM) on tap at the brewery only, as well as in 750 mL bottles for you to take away (wouldn’t hurt to age one or two for later, right?).

Tatamagouche Brewing has been busy lately (ok, they’re always busy!), as they have two returning favourites hitting shelves and taprooms this week. First up is their Pale Euro Lager, Lagerhosen, a 4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs brew that’s perfect for the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest, happening this weekend. Just the type of beer you want to drink in quantity (hey, it IS Oktoberfest), the grain bill and yeast are the same as the batches for the last couple of years, but the hops have changed, with Hallertau Mittlefruh and Hersbrucker being used this time around. Look for it on tap at select licensees this weekend; it’s also available for growler fills and in cans at the brewery now. Next is their New England IPA, Fog Lights, a 6.4% ABV, 50 IBUs hop bomb featuring large additions of Azacca, Huell Melon, and Mosaic. With a mix of Pale and Pilsner malt as the base of the grist, along with some Spelt and Oats to make up the difference, it’s enough to keep the colour light, yet the mouthfeel slightly fuller and soft, for the perfect NEIPA experience! Releasing today at the brewery (growlers and cans), a couple of kegs should be in Halifax this weekend, with the rest shipping next week. Finally, their Ace of Lace Witbier was re-released last week; not your typical Wit, it features the addition of Queen Anne’s lace (aka wild carrot), Indian plum berries, and orange peel in the hop back, followed by a big dry-hop of Sorachi Ace; also available on tap and in cans.

2 Crows continues to make good use of their foedres, with the release of yet another beer in the “series” tomorrow at noon. Chaos Ghost is a Calvados Foedre-aged Belgian Tripel brewed with Belgian Pilsner malt and Belgian candi sugar. Hopped with Goldings, Hallertau Blanc, and Sterling to 31 IBUs, it was fermented with an Abbey yeast strain to give some of the spicy/peppery phenolics and fruity esters expected in the style. The foedre adds, of course, some of its own character, including “a hint of oaky tannins, and an apple brandy sweetness”. Drop by the brewery tomorrow for cans or pours of this 9.3% ABV beauty, and keep your eyes peeled for it on tap at other establishments in the HRM.

• And while you’re at 2 Crows checking out that barrel-aged goodness, and assuming it’s not all gone, you can also grab a taste of another big beer, this one a Russian Imperial Stout released earlier this week. Brewed with a variety of crystal and roasted malts, Black Magik is big, at 10.4%, but not at all cloying and pushing a potent 80 IBU. A touch of peated malt brings a smoky flavor to the palate as it warms, while the nose features a prominent anise note that also manifests in the flavor. Roasted malt flavors round out the overall impression. Only three kegs of this one were made, with two staying in the brewery for pints only (no fills) and one going to the 2 Crows/Tata takeover at Jamieson’s Irish Pub this weekend.

TrailWay has released yet another new hop-bomb one-off, Off-Topic. Featuring both an American hop variety (Idaho 7) and an Australian one (Vic Secret), the blend of these two gives the beer a flavour profile of “banana, pineapple, orange/citrus, and bubblegum”, according to the brewery. The hops may be the star, as usual for a TW beer, but “some experimental techniques” were used in brewing it, so if you notice a change, it may not be entirely due to the two hops that were used! Available in a limited supply on tap and in cans, at the brewery only,  it weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. And to get off-topic a little bit (ha! I kill me), TW’s summer seasonal Dunder, their APA heavily hopped with South Pacific varieties, is now a regular-release beer, so you can pick up cans and growlers all year round!

Good Robot has been working on a new beer, and it definitely follows along the “weird” vein that the brewery started long ago! Golden Goomba is a mixed fermentation sour beer; originally brewed as an attempt to recreate their “Sake beer”, Koji Kondo, that was originally released in May, the Sake yeast used for fermentation stalled out before completing its important job. After a second brew to give it another shot, the yeast stalled again, so they decided to add some Lactobacillus bacteria; after souring, a Lager yeast was pitched and the temperature brought down, to dry the beer our further. Think they stopped there? Nope! Yuzu juice was finally added, to “boost the extra Japanese citrus flair”. Hopped with Sorachi Ace for a little more lemon and citrus character, it’s also tart thanks to the lower pH, and features some “floral and yogurt notes”. No word yet on the exact release date (it was to be today), but we’ll keep you in the loop when we hear.

• And while we have you in a Good Robot state of mind (our favourite Billy Joel song), we also have the details for next Tuesday’s BetaBrewsday: Uncle Schmengie Bohemian Pilsner was brewed by Brent Braaten, Kenneth Persson, and Kelly C.; described as “very pale and very light”, it’s only 4.3% ABV, and was hopped with Czech Saaz to 29 IBUs. And for an insight into what your fellow Robots are thinking and drinking, check out their latest blog post with anonymous survey results.

• You may recall that in the early days of Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing they had something called the 7th Wave series. Named for the myth that waves travel in sets of seven and the seventh one is the big’un, these were small batch beers made on the pilot system that let the brewing team expand their horizons a little bit. Although the series has not “officially” returned, last week we saw the first brew in a long time come off that pilot system (American Pale Lager) and this week we’re seeing two more. First we have Wizard of Aus, an Australian Pale Ale featuring Ella and Vic Secret hops, considered younger siblings of the mighty Galaxy variety that has become so popular in the last year or so. Look for citrus fruit, pine, and floral notes, with lemon curd and mango coming through in particular. The grist is light to highlight the late kettle additions and dry hop. At 4.9% ABV and 30 IBU, this is a sessionable and surely hoppy taste of the summer just past. Second is Dancing Shoes, also on the lighter side at 4.8% ABV (they’re calling it a Session Pale Ale), but boasting quite a bit more bitterness at 40 IBU. It also features a more complex grist: to a base of Pilsner, some rye, wheat and light Munich were added to provide character. And the hops in this one are distinctly North American, traversing a continuum from the dank Simcoe through piney and fruity Mosaic and into the stone fruit and tropical El Dorado. Both of these beers are available in severely limited quantities at the brewery only for tasters and growler fills. Get there or miss out.

• Around this time every year Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewery has been known to collect locally grown hops (and other ingredients) and do a collaboration beer with their friends from North Brewing in HRM. This year is no different, as they’ve reached their fifth iteration and they’re calling it Many Hands MK-5. Taking inspiration from Gruit, a blend of herbs and other plants used to bitter a flavour beer before hops were adopted for the purpose, this beer contains sweet fern leaves, bayberry leaves and berries, and sweet gale (bog myrtle) berries. They did, however, continue the tradition of using fresh Nova Scotia grown hops in their brew, including Crystal, Cascade, Willamette and Mount Hood. The grist was largely also largely comprised of Nova Scotia products, with organic 2-row and Munich malts from Horton Ridge along with a small amount of German Vienna malt. You can read more about the brew day and see some pictures of both the ingredients and the participants on Boxing Rock’s blog. We’ll be sure to let you know when the beer is finished, packaged and ready for release to the wild.

• In the wake of last weekend’s Oktoberfest celebrations you’d think Halifax’s Garrison might slow it down just a touch. But no, there’s plenty of doings going on in there this week, with three new beers on the go. First we have Lemondrop, part of the kettle sour series brewmaster Daniel Girard has been whipping up at the old plant. It features aromas and flavours reminiscent of lemons and lemon meringue pie, with a peppery finish. Part of that lemon aroma no doubt comes from a dry hop with the Lemondrop variety. It’s 5.0% ABV and 0 IBU and is a draft-only release, currently available for tasters (with growler fills hopefully to come) at Garrison’s Seaport location and on the way to licensees across the province.

• Next up is a collaboration brew done with Sawdust City Brewing Co. from Gravenhurst, ON, a big ol’ beer in the rarely seen Imperial Brown category. Leroy is big and bad, weighing in at 10% ABV and carrying a solid 41 IBU. Brewed to celebrate the naming of Halifax as the host city for the 2018 Canadian Beer Awards, it boasts aromas of molasses bread and milk chocolate, with a palate that features coffee and molasses before yielding to a finish that’s full of dark chocolate. A great beer for the impending fall weather, it will pair as well with sweet as with savoury dishes, especially if they’re brown! Think beef stew or roasted lamb, chocolate cake or molasses bread. This one is currently available through ANBL’s growler program and is expected to be bottled in the coming weeks for a very limited release in Nova Scotia.

• And lastly, Garrison is once again bringing a brew sanctioned by the Federation of Beer to this weekend’s Hal-Con (where they’ll also be serving up their non-alcoholic Sweet Nelson Raspberry Ginger Ale). Borg Ale is “the most advanced black ale in the entire Delta Quadrant,” with a grist of Munich, Dark Munich, Pale Ale and Black Malts and hopped solely with German Hallertauer Tradition hops. It’s 5.6% ABV and 25 IBU, and is available for samples at the con before being bottled next week for regular release at the brewery and in the private liquor stores in Halifax.

• But wait, there’s more! Though we’ve reached the end of their beer releases for the week, Garrison has one more piece of news to share: they’ve implemented the Kegshoe system to track their kegs and you can now visit a handy interactive map to find out who has which Garrison brews on tap throughout Atlantic Canada. So if you’ve got a hankering for a Juicy or just want to know the closest spot to grab something from Garrison, they’ve got you covered.

• The new beers continue to trickle in for tomorrow’s BEE-r Garden in Fredericton, with Picaroons weighing in with their Little Honey. A one-off, 3000 L batch, the brewery is describing it as a brown-coloured, full-bodied ale brewed with a “generous amount” of Rye malt, and a bit of honey from local Sunset U-Pick. Featuring a “lingering sweetness” backed up by toasted, graham cracker-like notes, it’s quite sessionable at just 4.5% ABV. Aside from pouring at the BEE-r Garden tomorrow, you can find this one on tap at all Picaroons locations in New Brunswick. And speaking of tomorrow’s event, there are still tickets available online, as well as at the door when it kicks off at 10 am.

Coastliner Craft Cider will be on tap at ANBL stores participating in the growler program this weekend, with a brand new cider, Castaway. Infused with tropical fruit and hibiscus, this 5.4% ABV creation will be pouring through to next Wednesday (depending on availability), and will be following in bottles across New Brunswick later in the year.

• We warned you a few weeks ago that, like winter to Westeros, wet-hopped and pumpkin beers were coming. And the flow is steady now, with two more of each being released this week. At the “far” end of the Annapolis Valley (from a city-dwelling perspective, anyway), both Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill and Lazy Bear in Smith’s Cove’s had wet-hopped beers come to the taps this week. Lazy Bear’s is a version of their Once-Over, normally an IPA at 5.8% ABV dry hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Wild Turkey, but this time featuring all the Cascade, Centennial, Galena, Magnum and Nugget grown in their yard. Lunn’s Mill, on the other hand, went the SMaSH route, with a malt side of the classic British barley variety Maris Otter paired with Chinook hops grown down the road at Four Horses Farm. This is a 5.5% ABV offering, with a piney, tropical feel and a mild bitter finish. And at the eleventh hour (literally, the timestamp on the email is 11:14 AM; c’mon guys…) we’ve heard tell of a third harvest ale to complete the trifecta, this one in Halifax at Tidehouse. With a grain bill of 100% Horton Ridge Munich malt, this is a malty ale, bittered with woody and herbal Northern Brewer and then hit hard with fresh picked Cascade hops from the backyard of one of Halifax’s original beer nerds, Jeff Pinhey. Although only 4.7% ABV, expect this to have a hearty body and a rugged hop flavour. And on the gourdian side, Propeller is re-releasing their pumpkin beer for the start of the fall season. A familiar site in the region for the past several years, it’s a gentle 5% ABV and 15 IBU beer featuring Howard Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkins and a special blend of spices.

Lots going on this weekend and next, keep an eye on our Calendar, as we update it as often as we hear about new things coming down the pipeline. You can even add it to your phone’s or PC’s calendar app to be constantly reminded of everything on the go in our region. As always, hit us up here or social media if you have the scoop on something cool.

• There are still a few tickets available for this evening and tomorrow‘s Craft Beer Attraction at the St John’s Curling Club. 7-10PM both evenings with a chance to try over a hundred different beers, most of which are not otherwise available at the NLC. Check out the full details here, if you’re still on the fence.

• A reminder that tomorrow, September 23rd will feature the First Town Craft Beer Festival, Woodstock, NB’s first beer fest. There are still some tickets left for both tasting sessions (1:30-4:00 pm, and 7:00-9:30 pm), and it’s looking like the weather will be just about perfect for an indoor/outdoor beer fest. You can read our complete write-up from late July here; in the meantime, grab your $55 tickets at this link (or in person at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Woodstock).

• Remember last year’s Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover at Battery Park? Ah… memories. Well, luckily for us, it’s looking like it’s going to be an annual event, as the 2nd Tata Tap Takeover is scheduled for next Thursday, September 28th. We don’t know the full line-up yet, but there’ll be a whopping 19 taps of Tata beers flowing, including at least two new ones, with one of them a collaboration brew with the folks at Battery Park. It all starts when they open at 11:30 am, and you’ll be sure to seem some of the fine people from the brewery on hand anxious to talk beer!

• The spirit of collaboration continues with a pair of “Home and Home” tap takeovers in Halifax and Sydney over the next two weeks. On Friday, September 29th, Breton Brewing and Garrison will be taking over the taps at the Stubborn Goat. From 6PM, the crew from both breweries will be on hand to talk shop, pour a few pints, enjoy live music, and maybe even release a new beer or two. And then both breweries will do it all over again in Sydney on Thursday October 5th, at Governor’s Pub on Esplanade. Learn a bit more here!

• The second running of the Falmouth TrALE Run is happening next Saturday (September 30) at Castle Frederick Farms in Windsor, with both a 5km and 10km option. With beer (rather than/in addition to water) stops along the way, you can enjoy Schoolhouse and Roof Hound beers, as well as cider from Sid’s, Noggins, and Davison Farms. Advance registration is strongly suggested.

• The 2nd Annual Cask Beer Throwdown is happening at the Olympic Centre in Halifax on September 30th. With cask-conditioned and -served beer, breweries will often stray from the norm, willing to be a bit more adventurous with processes and ingredients, and us drinkers will be the beneficiaries of these cool experiments. Learn more about cask beer in a feature in Local Connections. With a dozen breweries and cider houses pouring their wares, plus plenty of food vendors onsite, it is sure to be a great time. Grab your tickets here.

September 30th also marks this year’s Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest, being held at the Moncton Lions Club. Doors are open 7:30-10PM (or 6PM with your VVIP ticket), and you’ll be able to enjoy beers from all over the Maritimes, with more than 30 breweries, cideries, and mead houses on hand, topping 100 different products. There will be food onsite as well to keep you going all evening. Tickets are still available, grab yours today!

• As they did last year, Muwin Estate, the folks behind the popular Bulwark brand of ciders, is encouraging anyone who has apples on their property that they don’t know and/or don’t use to contribute them to a special collaborative effort known as The People’s Cider. Since September 8th, they’ve been accepting apples at Muwin Estate’s New Ross location at 7155 Highway 12 and they’ll continue to do so until their open house on October 14th, which runs from 10 AM to 4 PM. And if you’ve got a variety that ripens later, arrangements can also be made for later drop-off. If you’ve got too many to transport yourself, they’ll even make arrangements to come pick them up. Many of the apples sought after for cider are varieties that don’t work well for eating. These are often heritage varieties from England and Germany whose names have been lost to time, but whose juice could still make an important contribution to a truly local product. So if you’ve got apples on your property that you haven’t known what to do with, now you know! More detail and updates on the project can be found on the Facebook Event Page.

• The NSLC is putting on a series of events designed to showcase local craft beer and cider. Dubbed the Discover Series, there will be four sessions held at The Port by NSLC on Clyde Street in downtown Halifax. Every Wednesday through the month of October you’ll have a chance to hear from local craft beer brewers and cider makers talking about a specific aspect of their craft. In Week 1, on October 4th, wine and cider maker Alex Boivin will talk about the cider-making process at Bulwark Ciders where freshly-pressed juice from Annapolis Valley apples are used at their cidery in New Ross. He’ll also be mixing up some cider cocktails and present some fall food pairings. A week later, on October 11th, Peter Burbridge of North Brewing and Mark Huizink of 2 Crows will present on the topic of barrel-aging beer and how the unique character of wood can be imparted to beer. Session 3, on October 18th will see the founders of Boxing Rock, Emily Tipton and Henry Pedro talking about the seasonal beers of autumn and encourage participants to think outside the box when it comes to beer styles. Finally, on October 25th, Jeremy White of Big Spruce brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, will talk about making beer using locally grown hops and mineral-rich water at his certified organic brewery. Each session runs from 7 PM to 10 PM. Tickets are a package deal for all four sessions and run $60 each. They’re available in person at The Port, or online through Eventbrite.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy this week…

– Halifax’s Chain Yard Cider has released a new blend this week. Orange is the New Wild is a new blend, featuring a portion of wild-fermented Baldwin apples and orange blossom, which was then dry-hopped during the conditioning process. Drop by their Agricola Street location for a taste and growler fill today.
Picaroons in New Brunswick has a new entry in their Pivot series of Imperial IPAs. This time the feature hop is Equinox (now known by the trade name Equanot), but the dry-hop also featured the Azacca, Lemondrop, Calypso, Ella, and Experimental 7270 varieties.
– In Windsor, Schoolhouse continues their Cask Friday tradition this week with a dry-hopped version of their Scotian Export ale. The cask will be tapped at 4 PM this afternoon and is not likely to last the night.
– Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their Riddle of Steel IPA, one of their best-selling brews. It’s 7% ABV and 80 IBU and is the perfect way to toast your devotion to Crom.

Happy Friday, everyone! Here’s hoping that you’re all fully recovered from the beautiful Labour Day weekend we just had; as usual, the local beer news just keeps on truckin’…

• There’s a new beer on tap at Nine LocksCream Ale is a special one-off brewed just in time for the end of summer. This amber-coloured brew is “smooth and full-bodied”, according to the brewery, featuring caramel notes and a “subtle hop finish” provided by the two English varieties, East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. At 15 IBUs, the beer finishes only mildly bitter, and is quite easy-drinking at 5.2% ABV. No cans for this one – it’s available only on tap at the brewery for growler fills, until it’s gone!

Propeller has released their latest One Hit Wonder, Tea Rex Ale. Described as an unfiltered Black Tea-Infused Ale, the beer was infused with organic Assam black tea from DAVIDsTEA, and then further dry-hopped (dry-tead?) with it. Black in colour, with a creamy brown head, the beer was hopped with Ahtanum to 47 IBUs; the hop also provides “bright, distinct notes” in the flavour, to go with the molasses undertones. At 6% ABV, the brewery is describing it as “smooth and approachable”; they also recommend drinking this beer from a tea cup! As with all OHW beers, it’s available on tap at both Prop Shop locations for growler fills, and it will likely appear at select beer establishments in the HRM.

Red Rover has a brand new cider that will be released next Wednesday, created specifically for local restaurant/bar The Snooty Fox. Made with wild blueberries and tart cherry juice, this 7% ABV cider will be on tap exclusively at the Snooty in celebration of the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival beginning next week in Fredericton. They need your help in naming it, however, and are holding a contest with the Snooty, so send in your best name to win some great prizes! The winner will be chosen on Tuesday. And in other Harvest-related cider news, Red Rover will also be re-releasing The Blues, a 7% ABV cider made with wild blueberries. This one will be available for flagon fills at the Cider House, and on tap throughout the city; if the response is good (which it definitely was last year), The Blues could be bottled and sold at ANBL stores in the near future.

• As they gear up for the revelry of the Halifax Oktoberfest events later in the month, Garrison brings us two fall beers this week: a return engagement and an all new twist on a classic style, both featuring rye. First brewed with Beau’s All Natural Brewing in 2014, the Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale features both wheat and rye malts along with Munich and pale in a 6.0% ABV copper-coloured brew. Hopped to 40 IBUs with CascadeCitra, and Columbus, it also features bog myrtle (Myrica gale) provided by Beau’s. It is available for purchase in six-packs now at the NSLC, and shortly at the ANBL.

• New to Garrison’s lineup is a familiar concept to those who appreciate well shots at dive bars. A brew conceived of during this year’s Seaport Beer Fest, Rye & Ginger IPA takes on a Canadian favourite mixed drink in a beer-centric way. Featuring the grainy spiciness of rye malt, the body yields light caramel, toffee, dark fruit and a kick of ginger. The lemon slice on the rim is provided by the citrus punch of Centennial hops, which also provide a touch of earthy balance. At 6.4% ABV and 56 IBU, it’s solidly in the sweetspot for modern IPAs. Light-amber and hazy in colour, it has a dry, warming finish that should be perfect for crisp fall evenings. Even better, it provides a chance to toast your university days in a more grown-up and refined way. Find it in 650 mL bombers at NSLC and private NS stores, as well as through the ANBL growler program this weekend.

•  Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has been open for a month, and now fans from both near and far can enjoy their beer in a few more venues. This week they launched growler fills at the brewery, allowing patrons to grab a 0.95 or 1.89 L fill of their Little Pup Pale Ale, Rooftop Rye-It Rye Amber, Wasted Days Peanut Butter Chocolate Wheat, and newly launched Big Brown Roof Hound, the 7.0% ABV Brown Ale with raisins and brown sugar, after which the brewery is named (full story here). And for those not able to make a visit to the taproom to enjoy the beer, food, and ambiance, owner Les Barr has delivered a few kegs of beer outside of town. Look out for the tapping of BBRH at Dartmouth’s Battery Park, Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar, as well as the Capital Pub in Middleton in the coming days.

TrailWay is doing some experimenting at the brewery, as they recently began brewing their first go at a kettle-soured beer. Details are slim at the moment, but we can confirm they pitched a strain of Lactobacillus from Escarpment labs, with the goal being to sour the wort to the desired level, before boiling and fermenting the beer afterwards. Expect this one to come in at about 5% ABV; we’ll release more specifics as they become available.

YellowBelly has the third iteration of their East Coast Cream Ale currently pouring at the brewpub in St. John’s. Originally a collaboration beer created with Australia’s Top Shed, the latest beer is “slightly lighter in body”, and was allowed to spend a longer amount of time in secondary, to smooth out the flavours even more than the two previous brews. It comes in at 5% ABV, and should be available in bottles by next Wednesday. In addition, bottles of their Southern Shore Foggy Porter are now available at the brewery, and select St. John’s NLC locations.

Picaroons has brewed up a new beer at their General Store location in Saint John – Hippie IPA is a 6.3% ABV SMaSH beer featuring Maritime Malt, and Nugget hops grown and harvested at Lunahops in Cornhill, NB. Fermented with an American Ale yeast strain, this small batch will be tapped this Sunday, September 11th at 3 pm at the General Store (where it will likely be available exclusively, for pints and growler fills); live music from Earthbound Trio will accompany the release. And keep your eyes open for a unique beer brewed with BioNB for their Sept 30th “Innovation at the Station” event at the York Street Train Station, celebrating 20 years of operation. Tickets are free, but advance registration is suggested.

• We also have all the details on this year’s release of Picaroons’ Harvest Ale. A 5.5% ABV “golden amber ale” (British Pale Ale) brewed every year, there are usually three or more batches brewed, each featuring a different hop variety or varieties that is/are grown in Atlantic Canada. For this season, there will be three larger batches: one using all Mt. Hood hops from Wallace Ridge Farm (Nova Scotia); one using all Willamette from My Father’s Farm (PEI); and one using all “wild hops” from Moose Mountain Hops (New Brunswick). As always, all the details on the farm and hops used can be found by checking the four-digit code on your bottle, and looking it up online. The beer should be released sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Spindrift is bringing back The Abyss, their Schwarzbier, which will be available in cans next week. The gravity is bumped up slightly to 4.8% ABV after a light tweak to the recipe, and fans of the black and lightly roasted lager will be happy to be able to grab it again. It launches at the brewery Thursday; private stores and NSLC outlets will follow in the near future.

We’ve got a few events to tell you about this week, and don’t forget to check out our Calendar Page, as we keep it as up-to-date as possible with all of the events going on in the region, including next weekend’s Halifax Oktoberfest fun.

• A reminder that the launch of Trider’s Craft Beer is happening tomorrow, September 10th at Sociables Pub in Springhill. Tickets are still available in advance, or pay on entry at 8pm. Meet the folks behind Trider’s, and your first pint is included in the ticket price. Trider’s storefront at 46 Anson Avenue will be opening September 16th, and they will be taking part in the Rocktoberfest at the Amherst Fire Hall October 1st.

September 10th also marks the last Urban Beer Hike lead by the Moncton Beer League for a while. Meet at the Laundromat Espresso Bar at 1:45, and visit five spots for food and beer along the way. Tickets are still available, so be sure to check it out!

• For those in PEI (or up for a little drive), be sure to drop by Upstreet Brewing tomorrow for the launch of a brand new beer. Lager Quest came about when an Upstreet fan won a silent auction supporting the Red Cross’ efforts in Fort McMurray. Winner Gavin Hall helped pick the style of the brew, was put to work making it with Brewmaster Mike Hogan, and will have the honour of the first pour in the taproom Saturday at 3pm. Drop by for the fun, and there are more details here.

• The next Moncton Beer League event is September 24th, Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest, being held at the Lions Club on Mark Avenue. Close to 20 breweries from around the Maritimes will be in attendance, pouring their wares to benefit the United Way. Tickets are still available!

New Brunswick Beer Tours has their next event planned, and it’s set up in true festive fashion! The Christmas Brewery Tour is scheduled for Saturday, December 17th; it will follow a similar format as in previous tours, with four brewery visits. Each stop includes a minimum of four 4 oz beer samples, as well as the chance to meet and chat with the people behind your favourite Fredericton beers. The fun starts at 11:30 am at Grimross, followed by stops at TrailWay, Mama’s Brewpub, and another soon-to-be-determined location, before finishing off at the King Street Ale House for one final beer (or more!) at 4:30 pm. Tickets are available now, and are $67.50 each.

As a favourite university professor of mine always used to say – that’s it, that’s all, there ain’t no more! Ok, maybe a couple more short things…

– Bad Apple Brewhouse‘s latest release is Son of a Pitch, a 7.1% ABV Double IPA. It is available exclusively at the brewery and Stubborn Goat. And congratulations to Jeff and Kari on getting hitched in Vegas this week!
Maybee Brewing‘s Long Carry Brett Red, their Roseway Red aged on Brettanomyces, is now available in 750 mL, cork and cage bottles, exclusively at the brewery for now.
Port Rexton Brewing has announced their new hours for September, which will see them closed on Wednesdays, and remain open all other days 2-10pm. And they will be gearing down for the season on Saturday, October 29th, so be sure to drop by the brewery in the next 8 weeks to grab a taste of the Bonavista Peninsula!
Uncle Leo’s is releasing their Harvest Ale today, brewed with malt from Horton Ridge Malt and hops from Bramble Hill Farm. It will be available at the brewery, their table at the New Glasgow Farmer’s Market tomorrow, and on tap at better beer bars in the province.

Happy Friday everyone! We’ve got news about the newest brewery to launch in our region, as well as much more on two new NB breweries launching this fall. Plus our usual rundown of the new beers hitting the taps and shelves in our region. It’s another chock-full edition of the blog!

• Moncton-based Beckwith Road Brewing has launched this week, with a pair of their beers now available on tap in town. Founded by cousins Mark and Mitch Symes, Beckwith Road is named after the farm their family has owned for generations, north of Moncton. Mitch is the brewer, currently using a 1/2 BBL (50L) system, while scouting out locations and equipment for possible expansion in the future. Mark is no beer slouch himself, taking the Ultimate Three Month Beer Road Trip with his dog across North America earlier this year, clocking more than 22,000km. During that time, he explored the best that beer has to offer, and both cousins are working hard to bring that to Beckwith Road’s offerings. They have launched with two beers, Boston George and Aunt MarthaBoston George is a hybrid of their favourite styles, Pale Ale and IPA, straddling the line in both alcohol and bitterness, at 6.3%ABV and 53 IBUS, respectively. Named after their grandfather’s cousin, it features floral and fruit notes, including banana, mango, pineapple and citrus on the nose and flavour. Aunt Martha is a 4.3% ABV, 31 IBUs, American Blonde Ale, named after their aunt who enjoys light lagers, and they have brewed an approachable beer for craft and industrial beer lovers alike. Light hopping from Chinook and Palisade round out the light body and crisp finish. Both beers are currently on tap at the Tide & Boar on Main Street, and will be joined by Campfire, a 5.2% ABV, 40 IBUs, American Amber early- to mid-next week. The use of Pale Chocolate and Crystal Malts impart some roast and sweet character, with notes of caramel being offset with light hopping from the CascadeCentennial, and Nugget. Congratulations on the launch, and welcome to the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada Beer!

• Two weeks ago, we reported on Fundy Bay Brewco, a new brewery planning to open soon in the town of Sussex, NB. After talking to Paul Robertson, one of the three people who have been working on opening the brewery since last October, we can now confirm that they will be starting out by brewing on a 2 BBL (225 L) Blichmann system. A small tasting was held for local Sussex residents in early July, where their three core brands – an American IPA, Belgian Dubbel, and Session IPA – were sampled (for more info on these beers, check out our previous post); initial plans also involve the release of 1-2 seasonals per season. Their plans right now are to supply local bars and restaurants with kegs, which should hopefully begin sometime in late fall of this year, with the opening of a taproom to follow sometime later. As always, we’ll keep you updated on their progress!

• Rumours have been circulating for months, but it was officially confirmed earlier this week that Foghorn Brewing Company will be opening this fall in Rothesay, NB. Located at 47 Clark Rd., the brewery is co-owned by Business Manager Steve Russell and Andrew ‘Esty’ Estabrooks, who will also serve as brewmaster. The 7 BBL (~800 L) brewery will have an attached taproom for patrons to enjoy a pint and fill growlers to go. Information is a little slim at the moment, but follow along with their Facebook and Twitter accounts as development progresses, and we’ll be sure to post a Q&A with them in the near future.

• After an incredibly busy first week, Digby’s Roof Hound is releasing their second beer this weekend. With just a bit of Lil Pup Pale Ale left (but more coming soon!), Rooftop Rye-It is making its debut. Featuring a load of rye malt for a pleasant spicy character, this 4.8% ABV beer is full bodied and a great complement to the pizzas and sandwiches coming from the kitchen (both prepared with dough made on-site with a touch of beer in the recipe). Drop by daily from 11am.

• There’s not one, but two new beers available now from Nyanza’s Big Spruce. First up is This is Complexified, a big, bold Baltic Porter. A dark beer fermented cool with Bohemian Lager yeast, it was then cold-conditioned for an additional 4 weeks, and then split into two barrels: Bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace, and Glenora single-malt whisky barrels. Aged for four months, then blended, the result is a beer that puts the “complex” in Complexified (a perfectly cromulent word)! Your options to try this 11.5% ABV monster are limited: either at the brewery for samples and Yapper fills, or you might be able to get a pour at one of three Halifax establishments – Stillwell, Battery Park, and Good Robot – all of which received/will receive a single, 20 L keg.

• Next from Big Spruce is Dawn Wit Berries, a “Belgian Strawberry Witbier”. Conditioned on 150 lbs of organic strawberries from local Wings of Dawn Farm in Debert, NS, it was fermented with the Fruity Witbier yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, described as producing “lots of complex fruity esters” to go along with the classic Witbier coriander character. This easy-drinking beer will be available at the brewery and at establishments serving Big Spruce beers; at 4.8% ABV and 17 IBUs, it’s a perfect session ale for summer. Drop by this weekend for the “Farm to Fork Food Truck Weekend”, featuring Cruisin’ Cuisine.

• Accidents happen in brewing, as in life, and sometimes they work out for everyone! Good Robot is no exception to this rule, as they proved recently with a new beer, The Fermenter Has Been Drinking. While brewing their Tom Waits For No One Stout, their kettle burner took a turn for the worst, resulting in a lower-gravity wort for fermentation (meaning less alcohol after fermentation). Not to be outdone, the brewing team added some cold-brewed Java Blend Sumatra Gayo coffee, giving a dark-brown beer with notes of roast, dark chocolate, berries, and wood in the aroma and flavour. This American Stout clocks in at 6.7% ABV and 60 IBUs.

• There’s yet another new beer being released at North, Horton Single Malt. This Belgian Specialty Ale was brewed entirely with Vienna malt sourced from Horton Ridge Malt and Grain Co., and dry-hopped with Cascade. Fermented with the Old World Saison Blend (featuring two Saison strains) from Escarpment Labs, it weighs in at 7% ABV. Expect a blend of both fruit and spice, with a dry finish. Look for it to be released today at both their Agricola and Ochterloney locations, and on tap around the HRM.

• There’s a new beer now pouring from Lazy Bear BrewingSissiboo Stout was brewed with a variety of both Chocolate and Roasted malts, as well as some oatmeal to boost the mouthfeel. Added to the brew was a portion of Honduran-sourced Tobiatic Wild from local Sissiboo Coffee Roaster; cold-extracted and added after fermentation was complete, this medium-roast coffee contributes a pleasant level of roast flavours (without being overpowering), as well as a slight hint of orange peel, according to the brewery. A small amount of an unnamed hop variety was added near the end of the boil to complement this orange peel character. This 5.5% ABV, ~30 IBUs beer is available this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market for growler fills, and will likely show up on tap around Digby in the near future.

Bore City has released an interesting new beer, Fricot, an homage to a popular Acadian dish. To accomplish this, potatoes were added during the mash, as well as the Summer Savory herb at the end of the boil. This hazy, pale-to-golden-coloured ale was hopped with Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a “fruity Belgian yeast strain”, for a real blend of flavours! Best-described as a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, it weighs in at 7.1% ABV and 39 IBUs, and will be on tap exclusively at Marky’s Laundromat.

PEI Brewing Company has put on a brand new cask in their tap room, the brainchild of brewer Spencer Gallant. The Lactic-Soured Peppercorn Wheat builds on the Sir John A Wheat base, but with a sharp, tart character, and pleasant fruit and earth peppercorn flavour and aromatics. This 4.5% ABV, 12 IBU brew is only available for sale at the brewery via handpump, so drop by today for a taste!

• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is bringing back an old favourite, with a new twist. All Falc’d Up! Double IPA returns today at noon. This SMaSH of 2-Row Malt features Falconer’s Flight 7C’s hops, a special blend of citrus and fruit-forward hops developed as an ode to Pacific Northwest brewing legend Glen Hay Falconer. The brew was fermented with Vermont Ale yeast for more tropical aromatics, finishing out this 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs beauty. Grab a pint or growler of it today from noon!

• Port Williams’ Wayfarers’ Ale Society has released a fourth beer this week. EPA is a traditional 5.0% ABV English Pale Ale, favouring a medium malt backbone with a touch of bitterness (coming in around 30 IBUs). Light esters give a pleasant fruity character, completing the English experience. It joins the Thistle Dew Scottish Ale, Hellene Blonde and Ruby Irish Ale for a full complement of European and UK-inspired beers.

• Attention, Johnny Jacks fans – their beer will soon be hitting select ANBL stores! The Oromocto-based nanobrewery will first be bottling their Trench Fighter IPA, followed by their Viking Ale and Smokin’ Amber. Look for the first bottles to hit the Oromocto ANBL outlet by early fall, with Fredericton and Saint John stores following shortly thereafter. The brewery has recently ordered two 1.5 BBL (175 L) fermentors to keep up with production, so look for more JJ beers to be available soon (including a special, bottle-conditioned beer brewed just in time for Christmas!). In the meantime, their beers can be found on tap at the Sour Grape Cafe, James Joyce, Gray Stone, and the Cask & Kettle.

There’s several beer-related events happening over the coming weeks and months:

• Don’t forget to grab tickets to this Thursday (August 18th2 Crows Brewing Sneak Preview Party, hosted by the Ladies Beer League. Tickets are still available, and attendees will be enjoying a half-dozen beers from the 20 BBL (23 hL) Halifax brewery set to open this fall. All ticket proceeds go to Feed Nova Scotia, and they will be accepting further donations for FNS during the event.

• The Upstreet Block Party is returning for its second year on Saturday, August 20th. Featuring plenty of activities, live music, food, and tours at the brewery from 12 pm on, they’ll also be unveiling a new “super-sized beer garden”! As the sun goes down, the party will move into the taproom at about 8 pm for more music (from two local DJs), food, and beer. Admission is free, just drop in anytime to join in the fun!

• Also on August 20th is the next Urban Beer Hike in Moncton, from 1:45 pm-5:30 pm. As always, the walking tour will visit five beer bars in the downtown area of the city, with beer and food samples provided at each stop. Tickets are $49+fees and available here.

• The seventh annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is scheduled from September 1st-4th, in the village of Bertrand, NB. As always, activities include Bavarian music and dancing, live entertainment, games, and plenty of food and beer for sampling. The event is advertising as having over 100 products available for tasting, including both imported and local beers. Entry to the site is only $5, with beer tickets available for purchase at $1 each.

• Tickets are now on sale for the 2nd annual Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest, scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at the Moncton Lions Club. Featuring close to 20 breweries from Atlantic Canada, there are three ticket types available, each including unlimited samples: regular tickets include a custom tasting glass and entry from 7:30 pm-10 pm; the VIP session, which begins a half hour earlier; and a VVIP session which begins at 6 pm and includes a special glass, industry panel discussion, and guided beer tasting. Tickets can be purchased online ($58, $68, and $75 for regular, VIP, and VVIP, respectively). Proceeds will go to support the United Way.

• The next Fredericton Poutine Festival is scheduled for Saturday, November 12th, with tickets going on sale earlier today at 11 am. This is the fifth time the event has been held in the city (and the second in 2016), and has sold out quickly each time. Unlimited poutine (~15 different types) from several establishments will be served up as always, at three different sessions: a family session from 11:30 am-1:30 pm (which also includes unlimited water and soft drinks); and an afternoon session from 2:15 pm-5:15 pm and evening session from 7 pm-10 pm. Both of the latter sessions are 19+ only, where you can purchase either a regular ticket (including four 4-oz samples) or “Beer Experience” ticket (twelve 4-oz samples). The 7-10 pm session also has a limited number of VIP tickets, which gets you in an hour earlier, at 6 pm. Ticket-holders can expect over 20 different beers, ciders and meads to be pouring, with most of them from local Fredericton breweries and producers. Get your tickets ASAP (online), and as always, bring your appetites!

– Don’t forget to drop by Tatamagouche for bottles and growler fills of one of their many new releases this week/weekend. Check out last week’s post for the full rundown, and grab some food from The Food Wolf food truck, set up today 12-8, and tomorrow 11-7. The Strawberry Ginger Golden Strong is out today, and the Tatamagouche Tripel is being released Saturday, joining the other Giant Beers, Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter and Raspberry Golden Strong.
– For those who had a chance and loved it, or missed out, Fredericton’s York County Cider has revealed that their unnamed cider, currently pouring for on-site samples only, is Ribes nigrum, aka Blackcurrant. Drop by for more, and fill up on growlers of their multiple offerings.
Uncle Leo’s in Lyons Brook, NS, has brought back their summer favourite, Voh’s Weizenbier. This 5.0% ABV German Weizen is once again available in bottles at the private stores in HRM, and will be on tap around the province shortly. They have also replenished their bottles of IPA at the brewery, so there are two great reasons to visit!