Bad Apple Brewhouse

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Sigh, this last Friday in August is always bittersweet: it’s a long weekend, but pretty much feels like the last weekend of the summer. Luckily, one thing exists to make everything happier, fuzzier, and just better overall. No, not family! Yeesh. Beer, of course! And there’s a whole whack of new beers and related things in Atlantic Canada this week, so take a read and see what you have to do/buy this weekend to make everything better! Oh, and keep in mind that not every beer store/taproom will be open on Labour Day, so check ahead before venturing out later in the weekend.

Let’s kick off this week with a round-up of the going ons (goings on? goings ons? … happenings) from the various Gahan locations around the Maritimes:
– At Gahan Port City in Saint John, there are a trio of new beers on tap these days. We told you previously about the Hoppy Stone Fruit Pale Ale, a 5.2% ABV New England style Pale Ale, brewed to celebrate Sculpture Saint John, which is on until September 22nd on the Saint John waterfront. Wheat and oats in the malt bill keep it light and hazy, but still dry and crisp, with plenty of fruit flavour and aroma. Also on tap is Brunswick Bitter, a North Americanized/amped up version of a traditional Extra Special Bitter. At 6.3% ABV, it still showcases a caramel malt backbone with lots of classic American hop character (to the tune of 70 IBUs). And as can be gathered from their taproom downstairs (aka the Barrel Room), there are plenty of projects in the works in those barrels, including a Chardonnay-aged Belgian Tripel likely to be released around Christmas, and a Farmhouse Saison resting in Pinot Noir barrels to be released in 2019. Look for more funky beers to hit the taps in Saint John, including a 100% Brettanomyces-fermented beer in the coming months
– At Gahan Riverside in Fredericton, they’ve managed to grab a few kegs of Port City’s Hoppy Stone Fruit, but have plenty of their own goodies to chat about this week too. A 4.5% ABV kettle sour named Blueberry Sour, featuring loads of blueberries from Terry Nabuurs of Terry’s Berries (and more recently of The Wheelhouse in Georgetown). The beer was also dry-hopped with Mosaic to enhance the tropical and berry flavours throughout. Those on the Island will soon be able to enjoy pints of their own version of this, as it was brewed at Gahan House Pub recently. Also new on tap in Fredericton is Dry Hopped Wit, a 5.5% ABV Belgian Witbier that was enhanced with an American dry hop after fermentation. And debuting on tap in a couple of weeks is a locally-brewed batch of Gahan classic Harvest Gold, releasing to celebrate the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, held in town September 11-16.
– At the original Gahan House Pub in Charlottetown, keep your eyes open for a coming-soon canned release from the Sydney Street location. Brewed in collaboration with Huck-It Disc Golf in Middleton, PEI, Bangin’ Chains is a New England Style Pale Ale, weighing in at 4.6% ABV and 29 IBU. Featuring mostly Cashmere hops, there will be a limited amount of cans, numbering just over 1200, which will be perfect for tossing into your disc, or old-fashioned, golf bag to enjoy while out for a round.
– And finally, the Gahan House Hub City location in Moncton is getting closer to a reality, as the builders are making good progress at the FiveFive building at 55 Queen Street. They are currently hiring for plenty of positions, and anticipate an opening date in mid-October.

We might as well stick with the Prince Edward Island theme, as Upstreet has released a couple new beers recently. Last week (just past our deadline, but fear not, there’s still plenty available!) saw the launch of Say Yes Mocha Porter, a collaboration of sorts, brewed with the brewery’s first “Artist in Residency”, Röra Blue. Featuring the addition of coffee (steeped directly in the fermentor) from local Receiver Coffee Co., this 6% ABV beer has a “super delicious cafe mocha flavour”, according to the brewery, and is available on tap, in growlers, and in bottles, for a limited time. Their next beer launches today, and is the next entry in their Neon Friday series. Neon Friday 010: Pale Ale with New Zealand hops was actually brewed in collaboration with Calgary’s stellar Dandy Brewing Co., a four-year-old brewery that has been making waves in Alberta with their many beer styles. As the name implies, the beer was hopped with all New Zealand varieties, including Wai-Iti, Pacifica, and Dr. Rudi. At 5.5% ABV and 40 IBUs, the brew is “light and refreshing, with a chill citrus and stone fruit hop flavour combo”. You can find it today on tap, in growlers and crowlers, and in cans, at both Upstreet locations. And keep an eye out at your local NSLC, as Upstreet’s Do Gooder American Pale has hit the shelves, available in 35 stores from Yarmouth to North Sydney. Just a limited listing at this time, also peep Upstreet’s social media for the location of some pop-up tastings over the next month, including the Portland Street location today, and Barrington Street location tomorrow, both 4-8PM. And be sure to add/follow along with the Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse progress (FB, Tw, IG), as they work towards opening in late September, with the first of their Dartmouth-brewed batches (and favourites from the Island).

Moving back to the Island, and on to Summerside, where the city’s first brewery has a new beer out for thirsty locals. Batten Brown is Evermoore’s fifth beer release, and the first venturing on the darker side of things. With a grist of 2-row, 6-row, and Caramel malt, it was also hopped lightly with Amarillo, and weighs in at 5.5% ABV. They’re describing it as “on the lighter side of Browns”, with light aromas of coffee and caramel. This one is available only at the Evermoore taproom,  but should be travelling to other locations in the hopefully-near future.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is launching their latest kettle-soured beer today, Dark Berry Sour. After souring with Lactobacillus, they “packed” the beer with vine-ripened blackberries, black currants, and black raspberries. Dry-hopped with Mosaic to “heighten the dark fruit aroma”, it weighs in at an easy-drinking 5% ABV. Look for it at both Propeller locations starting today for growler fills, with 473 mL cans appearing next week (also in private stores). And hey, if you’re at the Gottingen location grabbing a growler, stick around til 5 pm, when they’ll be tapping their weekly cask; this week is Stone Fruit with lemon zest. As for those of you who aren’t into beer… why the hell are you even reading all of this? Ok, ok: Propeller is also releasing a Beer Cocktail today, Perfect Storm, made with their own Ginger Beer, rum (from Steinhart Distillery), and a hint of lime. It’s 7% ABV and packaged in cans, and can also be found at both Prop locations, and private stores. Now move on before we have to start shaking our fists in a menacing matter!

Elsewhere in Halifax, Garrison has released Hot Fuzz, a “Peach Witbier” that is only available on draft. Brewed just in the nick of time before the cool weather starts rolling in (by “cool” we mean sub-25 C), it contains both peach juice and extract, which nicely complement the fruitiness and spiciness from the Belgian yeast. Refreshing and light, and highly drinkable at 4.8% ABV, check with your local Garrison tap account to see if they have it on tap.

In Fredericton, Graystone has a new brand new beer on at their taproom, one that they’re referring to as a “mild blueberry Sour”. Fisher Fields Sour is Graystone’s first sour beer, a 5.4% ABV, 11 IBUs kettle sour brewed with a good amount of Wheat malt. Over 80 kg of whole blueberries from Oxford, NS were pureed and added to the beer after fermentation was complete, giving it a deep, ruby-red colour. Don’t be expecting too much tartness with this one, as the sour character was deliberately restrained to allow the fruit flavour to come through. And if you’re dropping by the brewery to have a pint/fill a growler, they’re eagerly waiting for your homegrown hops to be dropped off at the same time! As usual, they’ll be used in the brewing of this year’s Harvest IPA, whose sales will benefit United Way Central New Brunswick. If you’d like to learn more, send an email to info@graystonebrewing.com.

Straight outta Hanwell, NB, comes another Belgian inspired hoppy beer from Niche Brewing. Island in the Sun is a small beer at only 3.6% ABV, but there’s plenty of flavor packed in there, with a light tartness and a hint of funk playing against a saison yeast. On top of that, this beer was dry hopped entirely with Galaxy, an Australian hop that’s probably one of the most popular varieties of the last few years and one which presents with prominent tropical flavors, especially passion fruit. So fine [you] can’t control [your] brain, this Grisette has not quite yet all been spoken for, but confirmed purveyors include 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton, Tide & Boar Gastropub in Moncton, Peppers Pub, Saint John Ale House, and Eighty Three Bar Arcade in Saint John, and Ducky’s in Sackville. Check out Niche’s social medias (FB, Tw, IG) for further announcements regarding where this one will be available.

After a bit of a release-date hiccup (hey, ya gotta give breweries credit when they make the decision not to release a beer when it isn’t ready!), 2 Crows will be selling bottles of Vaquero, their tequila-barrel-aged Sour with black lime and agave, today at 4 PM. Described as “bright, tart, lightly smoky, with soft honey notes and a firm minerality”, it comes in at 5.3% ABV and will be available for purchase in 375 mL bottles.Only one barrel of this beer was produced, so as you may have guessed, quantities are extremely limited. It won’t be on tap, but bottle pours will be available for purchase in the taproom. Joe Martin from Stillwell Beergarden will be on hand from 4 pm as well, grilling up some Mexican-inspired food items to pair with the beer, so why not stay and make a couple hours of it? And great news for those of you living in Nova Scotia that aren’t exactly close to Halifax – also at 4 pm, 2C is launching their new web shop, where a bunch of their current beers (including a few bottles of Vaquero) can be purchased and delivered within the province. Head to the brewery website for more info.

The gang over at New Scotland Brewing Co in Dartmouth are settling into their new digs nicely and while the little details continue to be refined, they’re already filling the slate with musical acts and keeping the beer flowing. With the capacity for 16 taps when they’re going full bore, right now, during a crazy busy time of year (especially for a brand new brewery), they’re floating in the 8 to 10 range. Of particular note is their St. Andrews Cross Extra Pale Ale, a beer that’s destined for their ‘Signature Line’ of core brews. An easy drinking XPA, it tips the scales at 6% ABV and features an impressive floral and citrus aroma. They’re also continuing to show their affinity for mead, currently carrying two honey-based beverages on tap. The first is Mojito Mo Problems, a 5% ABV “mojito mead” that we expect carries flavors of mint and lime. Along with that is Slippery Slope, a root beer mead at 7% ABV; we feel fairly assured in expecting a bit of root beer flavor on that one. Cider is also represented, with Train Bell dry-hopped cider (6.3% ABV) and Bush Berry Cider featuring Haskap berries (6.2% ABV). Back on the beer side you’ll also find their Bonnie Kölsch (5.1% ABV), Coat of Arms 80 Shilling Amber Ale (5.1% ABV), and All the Fuss Wild Sour Gose (3.8% ABV). They’ve also got their Broun-eyed Lass Brown Ale (6.2% ABV) pouring on Nitro and look for the return of the Lowlander Stout (5% ABV) real soon now. So if your plans include Dartmouth this Labour Day weekend, maybe give a thought to checking out New Scotland; or maybe even make some plans, that works too!

Still in Halifax (sorry Gloria!), this week’s Good Robot double feature once again has Alpha and Beta aspects. On the small batch experimental beta side we’ve got one called Fuzzy Bus. Brewed with Jayson of Noble Grape and his friend Tara, it started as a straightforward, minimally-hopped pale ale that was then fermented with a Belgian Ale yeast. Towards the end of fermentation some gin-soaked wood chips were added, bringing botanicals and brightness to the mix. During its release on Beta Brewsday this coming Tuesday, look for it to have a fairly high carbonation with the littlest bubbles they could find in the CO2 tank which, combined with its other aspects, should make for a light and refreshing beer at 5.1% ABV for you to sip on the Gastroturf. Meanwhile, coming off the big ol’ alpha system to the GR taps is another take on an IPA featuring biotransformation. For those not aware, a simplified explanation is that additional hops are added while primary fermentation is still in fairly full swing, essential oils and acids from the hops get bound up with the yeast via biological and chemical magic, and the result is, ideally, a beer with a popping hop flavor, a hazy appearance, and a soft mouthfeel. This batch, dubbed Creature Feature, boasts juicy stone and tropical fruit hop flavors leading to a dry finish in a 6.4% ABV package that’s been called “dangerously yummy”. Look for it to be tapped later next week, on Thursday.

Does Big Spruce Brewing ever slow down? No, we didn’t think so either. Over the next week, they’re releasing new beers, tweaked beers, and returning beers. So let’s start with, I dunno… the tweaked beer! Refanged is a higher-ABV version of their De-fanged, a “Blood Orange Session IPA”. The new version is still brewed with Azacca hops, and features the addition of organic blood orange juice, but comes in 6.2% ABV (and 40 IBUs),  bringing it comfortably into IPA territory. It’s available now on tap for pints and growler fills. Returning today is their Hugs Bunny, a 3.8% ABV Citra dry-hopped Gose, also on tap and in growlers.

In new Big Spruce brew news, we’ve got two to talk about today. The first is an experimental saison, hopped with Sorachi Ace, which is currently pouring at the brewery in Nyanza. At 7.2% ABV and 35 IBU, this should get you motivated for the long weekend’s activities. And debuting next Tuesday is Can You C’est Brut IPA, the brewery’s first crack at this new-but-quickly-gaining-in-popularity style, a collaboration with Chronicle Brewing (ON). Finishing with a gravity decidedly below the 1.000 mark, it’s plenty dry, with bitterness in the 40 IBU range and an ABV that’s up around 7.0%. Hammered with heckloads of hop hash of the El Dorado variety, expect plenty of tropical and stone fruit presence. Oh, wait, just one more Big Spruce thing: keep an eye on their social media stuff for the annual Big Spruce hopyard harvest, which should be starting next week, currently targeting Tuesday…they always appreciate those of you who can give them a hand! We’ve heard rumours that they pay in beer. Oops, sorry, one FINAL thing (!), we should also mention that the brewery has been cellaring a LOT of beer, so expect to see lots of bottles (as in, 14,000+) of barrel-aged brews coming out soon, as well as over a thousand containing bottle-conditioned Brett Saison. Ok, done!

On Nova Scotia’s North Shore, Tatamagouche used some of their own hops grown in nearby Malagash for a wet-hopped beer on Wednesday, which will be hitting the taps in a few weeks. Using 20kg of Cascade and 10kg of Crystal, they filled every vessel possible with hops during the brew day to extract all of the aroma and flavour possible from the local harvest. The malt bill featured lots of Horton Ridge malts, and the beer will be released during an event hosted by the Maritime Hop Growers Cooperative late in September (more details closer to the event).

But on tap now is the latest batch of Tata’s Rushton’s Peach, their local-peach-and-apricot-infused Sour. Featuring more than 130kg of peaches and 40kg of apricots, this 3.5% ABV Berliner Weisse is available now on draft for pints and growlers, as well as cans. Also keep an eye out for the return of their Lagerhosen, their 4.5% ABV lager brewed in celebration of the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest. The event is celebrating its 39th Anniversary this year, with the weekend events kicking off September 28th. Draft Lagerhosen is available now, with cans available next week. And look for a special limited release of Lagerhosen coming soon, which was dry-hopped with Czech Saaz and Strisselspalt, and will be available in cans and draft next week.

Let’s hop across the water to Newfoundland to round out this week’s news…

Just outside of St. John’s, Quidi Vidi Brewery is putting out a call for anyone who has extra rhubarb to drop it off at the brewery, as they are brewing up a pilot batch of a brand new beer today. Those who do take part will be able to enjoy the fruits (arg) of their labours once a larger batch is brewed and released in the coming months. Just pop by the Hop Shop and look forward to enjoying the beer you helped bring to life! And while you’re there, step upstairs to the taproom and grab some of their latest test batch, a 6.7% ABV Apple Saison.

On the West Coast of the Rock, in Port au Port, Secret Cove Brewing is in the final stages of brewery and taproom work, and are getting excited to open up. The brewery and taproom are located in the former Viking Lounge , which they completely overhauled to bring Secret Cove to life. Their 10 BBL (1200 litre) brewhouse from DME is installed, with the finishing touches on the steam boiler and glycol chilling system happening this week, which means passivation and water brews before any grain hits the stainless. Draft lines in the taproom are being installed, so soon, all will be missing is the beer! Keep an eye on their social media (FB, Tw, IG) for the Grand Opening announcement, which is sure to come soon. And we’ll have a full profile with Jason and Sheila ahead of their opening.

Up the TransCanada Highway, then hang a left at Deer Lake, you’ll find Crooked Feeder Brewing in Cormack. They too can see their opening fast approaching, as they have taken possession of their brewhouse and are working to get it, and their fermenters, ready for some beer. A few more inspections and touches, and the brewery will be complete, and then the focus can turn to the taproom. Keep an eye out for their announcements in the coming weeks as well (FB, Tw, IG).

In Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail has their brewhouse installed, and are finishing up the last few steps of testing there, while they shift focus to starting to brew beer. Keep your eyes peeled for their updates, as it now seems like a race to see which of these breweries will be opening next (FB, IG).

Still well on their way, and definitely opening this year, are a pair of breweries further East. Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has taken possession of their DME brewhouse this week, and will be working hard to have the installed and working over the next month or so. Their social media is full of pictures and updates to keep you salivating (FB, Tw, IG).

And almost back East to the big city, Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl has also taken delivery of their system from DME this week. Work in their large brewery and taproom continues, and they are aiming for a Fall launch. Stay up-to-date on their social media for the latest news and views (FB, Tw, IG).

And in 2019 openings, RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company has set a location for their brewery in St. Anthony. Their five-barrel (600 litre) brewery and taproom will be located at 223-227 West Street in the town, formerly the Clock Shop Building. They are awaiting final environmental approval for that location, but will know soon.

And finally, Union Electric Brewery has announced their plans to open up in the former hydroelectric plant in Port Union. Owner Nardia McGrath, who has previously worked at other breweries including St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery, will be working with Jane Tucker, who is currently brewing at Port Rexton Brewing. There’s lots to do in the building, so follow along on their journey at their FB page.

We’ve got a few events on the go this weekend, so be sure to get out and enjoy some local beers!

You may have read our profile on Oromocto, NB’s newest brewery, morALE Brewsters, published earlier this week. This is just a reminder that the brewery’s official launch is happening today at Griffin’s Pub & Eatery, at 7 pm. They’ll have their first beer, Cornflake Cream Ale, available for pints, with members of the brewery on hand to meet up and chat about their plans.

Oktoberfest des Acadiens kicked off yesterday, and continues all weekend in Bertrand, New Brunswick. With Grand Tastings both Saturday and Sunday afternoon 1-5PM, there will be plenty of local beers pouring to try out, including the debut of a brand new beer from O’Creek Brewing, River of Fire. A 6.2% ABV IPA, it is full of malt and bitterness, but still smooth. Featuring a healthy dose of Simcoe in the dry-hop, it will also be available on tap in Moncton shortly.

A friendly reminder that Boxing Rock is holding the Grand Opening of their Test Kitchen brewhouse and retail shop in Halifax tomorrow, conveniently located on-site at Local Source Market at 2530 Agricola Street. From 10AM, drop by to check out the new pilot brewhouse, try a sample, and grab some beer to go. The first 250 people through the door will receive a free limited-edition 1.89 litre growler, entitling them $2 off fills for the life of that growler. And we can confirm that the first beer brewed on their system will be available to enjoy tomorrow, a Dulse Gose, brewed in collaboration with local homebrewer Brian Harvey, two-time winner of the Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge. Pop-in to see what all the fuss is about!

Big Spruce is holding their annual Pig Roast this Sunday, September 2nd. This is a community, family-friendly event that is the perfect way to send off the summer, featuring plenty of great food, live music, and lots of beer. There’ll also be free lemonade and face painting for the kiddies, free archery lessons and trials (maybe not for the smaller kiddies), and a chance to meet the team from Big Spruce Racing (yep, that’s a thing!). It all starts at noon; check the event page link above to confirm what events are going on when, when your favourite band is playing, and even a full menu! Tickets are sold at the door only, and are $30 (price include food and entertainment all day).

It’s getting to be that time of year again when breweries with hopyards are looking for folks willing to work for the satisfaction of a job well done (and, very possibly, beer) and Meander River Farm is no exception. On Sunday, September 9th, they’ll be looking for beer lovers willing to come out to their place near Ashdale, NS, to pluck the hop flowers off the bines so that they can be used in this year’s batch of Homegrown Wet-hopped Ale. This is the 8th year for the community harvest, so you’ll likely have plenty of chances to meet experienced pickers and talk hops and beer; things get underway at 9 AM, and we’re told that the taps will be flowing.

A few more things to wrap up before we let you get back to your lunch and/or beer today:

– Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a new beer hitting the local taps these days, a Rye IPA named Axe Cutter. Currently on tap at the brewery and at La Torta in Wolfville, and sure to rotate through better beer spots elsewhere in the province shortly, this 6.2% ABV beer features plenty of hops to give it a solid bitterness complementing the Rye malt character.

– Looks like Petit-Sault may be the first brewery in the Maritimes out of the gate with a Pumpkin Ale, as their Bonhomme Sept-heures (8.5% ABV) is now available on tap, with bottles appearing sometime next week. #ohthehumanity

Saltbox Brewery brewed up another batch of their popular Rhubarb Berliner Weiss (4.8% ABV); it’s currently available on tap in limited quantities this week. And make a date to drop by around noon on September 8th to help with the brewing of their wet-hopped beer Blue Nose 1850, all hands on deck needed with hop de-bining. Those who help out will be rewarded with a pint of the beer upon release in September (and probably some goodies on the 8th, too!).

TrailWay has brought back Fuzzy Bubbles (6.5% ABV), their India Pale Lager; look for it at the brewery now on tap and in cans, with cans also going to select ANBL stores in the province. They’ve also announced the launch of their barrel program, as they’ve recently acquired some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels. We spotted some light-coloured liquid being transferred into them Thursday, so that’s “many months” minus one day until we can drink them!

February is now in full force and it’s another week with lots of news about beer releases and coming events in our region. Have a read and figure out what tasty treats you’re going to put in your sweetheart’s Valentine’s Basket! Because there’s nothing more romantic than beer, right?!

• Despite winning a gold medal at last year’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards for their American IPA, Big Stink, Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has boldly and bravely gone back to the drawing board to improve on the beer and bring it to the next level. Taking in comments from the judges, they made several procedural changes – including a new carbonation technique – along with some slight recipe adjustments (decreasing the amount of specialty grains), and one “big, bold change” that they’re keeping a secret. It’s still hopped heavily with Mosaic and Columbus, but the brewery is confident that Big Stink 2.0 is better than ever, yet still recognizable to fans of the original. Kegs are going out now to select tap accounts, including for the growler program at Harvest Wines, Rockhead, and WestSide. Bottles will be arriving at those three stores in the near future as well.

• Today, Nine Locks will be releasing the second beer in their Signature Series, Simply A Märzen. As you may have guessed, this one was brewed in the Märzen (aka Oktoberfest) style – a malty, smooth, clean Lager. Head Brewer Jake Saunders brewed this one with malt and hops sourced from Germany, and lagered the beer for six weeks to clean up the beer and allow the flavours to gel. Pouring a copper-red colour, this full-bodied brew has a biscuity aroma and a “rich, elegant malt flavour”, with a restrained hop bitterness in the finish. It weighs in at 5.8% ABV and 22 IBUs, and is available

• Twillingate, Newfoundland’s Split Rock Brewing brought out a new seasonal beer last weekend, their first in the New England IPA style. With a generous amount of oats and flaked wheat in the mash to promote mouth feel and, no doubt, the characteristic New England haze, Lightbringer was fermented with the famous Vermont Ale yeast. Hopped heavily at the whirlpool, active fermentation and dry hop stages with Cascade, Amarillo, and loads of Citra, you should expect plenty of juicy citrus and stone fruit flavours to complement a soft and smooth mouthfeel and some distinct apricot flavours. Designed to be easy drinking, it’s got a “touch” of bitterness and weighs in at 6.4% ABV. You’ll find it at their Stage Head Pub where you can grab a fill or order a pint and raise a glass to the prince that was promised.

• Slowing down a bit after their big 1st Anniversary bash a couple of weekends ago, 2 Crows has nonetheless put a new small-batch beer on tap at their taproom. Universal Mind is a Belgian Pale Ale that was brewed by Assistant Brewer Miles on the brewery’s pilot system. With a grist of Vienna, Wheat, Oats, Spelt, and a little bit of Honey malt, it was hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc to 30 IBUs, giving flavours of “bubblegum, pineapple, and spice”. Fermented with the brewery’s house Saison strain to up the fruity esters and spicy phenolics even more, it comes in at 5.8% ABV. Drop by the brewery ASAP to give it a try, as there’s only a couple of kegs available!

• Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is keeping the new beers flowing in their own right, with their sixth release in just seven weeks, hitting the taps in Fredericton this weekend. Ruby Tuesday is their first foray into the Sour Realm, using a pitch of Lactobacillus plantarum (Lacto for short) in the unhopped wort for 36 hours, before boiling to stop acidification and adding a light dose of El Dorado. Fermentation was completed with Amalgamation (a blend of six different Brettanomyces variants), with hibiscus flowers added during the conditioning phase after. The resulting beer features a bright red colour, with floral and berry character in both aroma and flavour, with the tart acidity from Lacto shining through. The beer will debut tomorrow evening at the James Joyce, and will certainly see wider distribution in the province (and beyond?) beginning next week.

TrailWay is back to American IPAs this week, with the release of a new iteration of one of their more popular beers. DDH Green Island is, as you may have guessed, a double dry-hopped version of the 6% ABV Green Island. Hopped with Cashmere, El Dorado, and Idaho 7, the new version is even more fruity and aromatic than the original, according to the brewery. Releasing today, you can stop by the brewery to pick up your cans for the weekend; it’ll also be available for pints and growlers.

• Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing has just released their first Double IPA, Gemini. Weighing in at a hefty 8.8% ABV, there’s lots of bitterness in this package, at a calculated 100 IBUs. Hopped with plenty of the classic Columbus, Simcoe, and Centennial, expect a dank, piney, fruity beer, with a dry, bitter finish. It’s available at the brewery now, and keep your eyes open for it at your favourite Backstage licensee; we can confirm that a keg was sent to Battery Park this week.

• After being closed for renovations, Sackville’s Bagtown Brewing is back open for business, starting today. Their new business hours are Tuesday to Friday (4-6 pm), Saturday (10am-2pm), and Sunday (4-6 pm); you’ll be able to drop by during these hours for growler fills. They hope to have five taps flowing by the end of the month, quite the increase from the previous set-up. Look for their beers to start popping up at bars and restaurants across New Brunswick, as well.

• Next week’s Good Robot Betabrew, Treat Her Like A Lady, is all set to go for its release on Tuesday. Brewed by Kelly Costello and her sister, Hilary, it’s a 4.7% ABV Porter brewed with both Honey malt and real honey (from Fox Hill Market), and hopped to 30 IBUs with Fuggles to balance the sweetness and roasted malt flavours. Also, Steambot Willie, the brewery’s 5.5% ABV, 32 IBU California Common, has returned as of yesterday, and can be found at the brewery’s taproom and other GR accounts.

Tatamagouche Brewing is bringing back their Oyster Cloister Oyster Stout this weekend, and are throwing a party to celebrate! This Saturday evening, they are holding their own Oyster Cloister party, featuring live music, plenty of oysters from Bay Enterprises (the farm in Malagash that supplies the oysters for this beer), and the launch of the beer. *Tickets are now sold out*, but look for the beer to be available across the rest of province this weekend as well. And keep an eye out for the return of their RR#2 Lager, this year’s batch features hops from their own private hopyard, also in Malagash, with Mount Hood making up the majority of the hopping. And in blatant self-advertising, one of only 2 pins of Crack of Dawn Breakfast Porter (brewed at Tata with acbbchris and 1029Brewing) is in the fridge at Battery Park currently, ready to be put on their nitro tap. This special pin has been aging on bacon for a little bit, to really round out your full breakfast experience.

• More beer in cans seems to be the trend in our region (and probably elsewhere, but we can barely keep up with the local scene at this point!). We saw evidence this week that Bad Apple Brewhouse is packaging their Tom’s Smoked Porter, Propeller their London Porter and Garrison their Pucker Up (this one just in time for Valentine’s Day), all in shiny silver cylinders. And in other packaging news, both Tipsy Toad and Malty Muskrat from Bogtrotter are sporting slick new labels. And the Gahan line from PEI Brewing Company is also getting a brand refresh, modeled after the label change sported for last year’s release of Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale, continuing to their 1772 IPA.

• We received word this week from Spindrift in Dartmouth that they’re on the lookout for another brewer to join Brewmaster Chris Downey on the brewery floor. While an experienced brewer with formal training is preferred, what they are really looking for is an individual who is passionate about both the craft of making beer and the industry. Interested parties are encouraged to peruse the official job posting and submit a résumé.

Lots of new events to keep you busy over the next few weeks!

Hammond River Brewing is celebrating their 4th Anniversary today at the brewery’s taproom in Rothesay. They’ve come a long way in four years… heck, the difference in the last year particularly has been striking! Join them as they’ll have $6.50 pints all day long, $2 off flights and 1 L growlers, and $3 off all large growler fills. Finally, they’ll be tapping a surprise beer at some point during the day as well. Be sure to drop by and toast their success!

• Just a reminder that Niche Brewing will be holding their official Launch Party tomorrow, February 10th, at the James Joyce Irish Pub at 7 pm. They will be pouring five of the first six beers released by the new brewery (including the brand new Ruby Tuesday that we mentioned above, exclusive to the JJ for the launch); all their beers will be on for Happy Hour prices, and of course flights will be available. Rob and Shawn will be on hand, happy to discuss their beers and their plans for the near future, and merchandise – including glasses, T-shirts, and toques – will be available for purchase. Finally, there will be a draw for two VIP tickets for the afternoon session of this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival; if you plan on attending the launch, be sure to enter online before the party!

• The 902BrewCast will be doing something a bit different for February’s Tasting Episode, and they want you to be part of the fun! This episode will feature a panel of women involved in the NS Beer industry, and will be recorded live in front of an audience. The live show will take place at Garrison Brewing February 19th, at 6pm. There are no tickets needed to attend, and the taps will be open during the event ($5 will get you two 12oz pours), so that you can drink along with the hosts and panel. Expect to hear from women involved in all aspects of the beer biz, from brewer to sales folks, to those who just love to drink it! And for those unable to attend, the episode will drop later that week as part of their regular release schedule.

• The team at Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS, is finally getting to do something they’ve been thinking about since the days when they were planning their brewery, a “showcase” night, pitting two variations of the same beer against each other to see how a small change can impact the perception of a beer. The beer, in this case, is a Dark Mild brewed by special guest brewer Ian Dares and is called Myld Stallyns (Excellent! ). The variation in play will be packaging and serving style; there will be one version that, in the standard modern fashion, has been force carbonated and pushed to the tap with CO2, and another that will have been put into a cask without external carbonation, pulled using a special pump called a beer engine, and served at a somewhat warmer temperature. This latter presentation, if executed to a certain standard, is known in the UK as “real ale” and, it is argued by its proponents (such as CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale), presents the beer in the most desirable possible way, as a living product that is unadulterated and which changes over time. Here’s your chance to see whether treatment you prefer. The Myld Stallyns Showcase is scheduled for March 2nd at 6 PM and is being touted as the “first” Showcase for Lunn’s Mill, which hopefully means we’ll be seeing more such events.

• Tickets for this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival are sold out, but good news if you missed your chance! On Friday, March 9th (the day before FCBF), they’re holding their first Newbie Night, from 6-9 pm at the Fredericton Convention Centre. This event will feature breweries new to the Atlantic Canadian beer scene, who were unable to grab a spot at FCBF due to the limited number of spaces. Up to 12 new breweries will be pouring their beers, and your ticket ($57.50, through the link above) will entitle you to unlimited samples and a special glass to keep. And while we’re on the topic of FCBF, you can still vote for your favourite Atlantic Canadian breweries (if you haven’t already) right here; it may be a bit tough to pick your top three, but it should only take a minute!

Just a couple more things to let you know about this week:

– Riverview’s Celtic Knot is releasing a new variant of their Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout tomorrow. Irish Kiss features additions of cherry and chocolate to the brew, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It will be available in both growler fills and 500ml bottles at the brewery at 23 Biggs Drive. And those who want to celebrate Riverview Winter Carnival with locally-produced beer should drop by the brewery tonight from 8-10 for free samples and $10 growler fills to kick off the final weekend of the event.

– Great news for the folks at Bedford’s Off Track Brewing in Bedford, they have received their full-sized system this week. After brewing on sub-100 litre gear for a couple of months, their 600 litre (5 BBL) system is now on-site and being installed as you read this. Look for the first batches from the big brewhouse to debut in March, with their taproom still open as normal on the weekends (check their FB page for the latest details, of course).

Here we are at the last Friday Wrap-up of 2017; time flies when you’re drinking beer and taking names. The past 52 weeks have seen our regional scene continue to develop and evolve, with a couple breweries closing up shop, many more than that opening across all 4 provinces, and tons and tons of new beers released, from easy-drinking, lightly-hopped, low-ABV session beers, to intensely complex barrel- and foedre-aged mixed fermentations occasionally featuring fruit, and everything in between. We’ve attended some incredible events at our favourite venues, stood in line for beer releases and even had the chance to read a book about beer in our little corner of the world. And it looks like 2018 is going to bring even more of the same. Halifax will host the Canadian Beer Awards in May, we know of several more breweries in the works with plans to open in the coming year, and we’ve no doubt the regions brewers will continue to up the ante in terms of quality and innovation. Thanks to everyone who continues to read our weekly scrawl (as unwieldy as it sometimes gets when there’s 4,000 words to get through) and we’ll be sure to toast you all with some of our favourite local beers on New Years Eve.

• We’ve mentioned Hanwell, NB’s, Niche Brewing previously, and we can now announce that their beer is available to the public! Their Single Origin is a Coffee Sweet Stout, and hit the taps at a few spots across the province for the first time last night. This 5.0% ABV Stout features lactose in the recipe for a light sweetness (lactose is not fermentable by most yeasts) to enhance the roast and chocolate character of the malt as well as mouthfeel, with an addition of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans from Fredericton’s Jonnie Java Roasters after primary fermentation was complete, to lock in the coffee flavour and aroma. The beer is now available at Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub and Saint John’s Cask and Kettle, with Moncton’s Tide & Boar looking to tap it at any moment. Keep an eye on Niche’s social media for the latest buzz on the beer, and we’ll have a full profile with the gang behind Niche in the next day or two. Congratulations Rob and Shawn!

• A little while ago, Propeller released the latest of their Gottingen Small Batch beers, Hazelnut Oatmeal Stout. This 5.5% ABV stout was brewed with flaked oats, chocolate malt, and roasted barley, and features hazelnuts added to the recipe as well. Chocolate, roast, and nut flavours and aromas punctuate the underlying creamy semi-sweet beer. It is available in growler fills at both Propeller locations, and by the pint at the Gottingen Street taproom, and at a few spots across HRM. And keep an eye open for cans of their Double IPA and Extra Special Bitter on the shelves of an NSLC near you!

• Capping off the Second Anniversary celebration of their sibling beer spot Battery Park, North Brewing released the 2017 edition of Saison de Pinot yesterday. The 7.1% ABV beer/wine hybrid features a Saison as the beer base, with 220 litres of Benjamin Bridge‘s own Pinot Meunier grape must added in secondary. This year’s grape harvest lends a more notable tart acidity to the must, which does translate to the final product. Fermented using two different Sacc. yeasts (Cerevesiae and Boulardii), the finished beer was lightly dry hopped with Hallertau Blanc, and has been bottle conditioning for the past 8 weeks, and is a perfect candidate for further aging in a cellar, to enjoy the flavours and aromas that develop over time. We suggest buying a pair (or more) and enjoying one now, and another in several months when the hops will have faded (maybe even wait until BP’s Third Anniversary!).

• Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has announced that they are holding their first homebrew competition in Spring 2018. GRBC is already well-known known for encouraging those sometimes passed over or left behind by the modern brewing scene with their CommuniBrews and Goodwill Bot events, and this competition is no different. Female Brewsters are credited with promoting and keeping alive the art and science of brewing, before often being barred from activities involving the production of alcohol. To celebrate the earlier times, they are presenting the The Good Robot FemmeBrew Competition. Open to all women, and female-presenting, non-professional brewers, entrants are encouraged to dig into the past with “pre-prohibition” style recipes, choosing beer styles from before the industrialization of brewing. No “can and kilo” kits, please, an original recipe is the way to go (but modern ingredients such as malt extract are OK to enhance the beer!). There is no fee to enter, and you are asked to register online by Feb 1, with your entries (four 341ml bottles preferred) due March 1 at the Good Robot Retail Shop (aka Beer Later). This is a BJCP-registered competition, and entrants will receive feedback on their entries. For those women previously interested in the hobby, this may be just the nudge needed to try their hand at recipe development and brewing! Winners will be announced at Good Robot’s FemmeBot celebration on March 7th, and there are plenty of prizes up for grabs. If you have any more questions, please contact Kelly C for more details.

• And in new beer news at GRBC, the latest iteration of their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie is on tap for growlers and pints now. Version 4.0 is a step in another direction for this Coffee Pale Ale, featuring the use of Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, prepped by the fine folks at Low Point (whoa, twice in one post??). This varietal has notes of honey and citrus, with a floral nose, helping to bring the beer closer to that eponymous “Cherry Pie” flavour, according to the brewery. To launch this latest batch, they are holding a bit of a contest, where a single cherry is hidden somewhere in the taproom every day this week: if you can spot it, you’ll win yourself a gift card for a free beer.

• Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has released a handful of their full time and seasonal offerings in cans recently, thanks to the Craft Coast Canning mobile unit. Now available in the handy format at the brewery (open 1-6PM daily), are: Alternate Ending, a 5.0% ABV Altbier; Black and Tackle, their 9.0% ABV Russian Imperial Stout; a 6.0% ABV Hard Apple Cider, made from local apples; Honey Wagon, a 5.0% ABV American Wheat; and Mosaic, their flagship 8.0% Double IPA. Many of these will also be available in Halifax at Bishop’s Cellar very soon.

• One of the newest breweries in Nova Scotia, in one of the oldest European settlements in the country, Annapolis Brewing Company, has some big plans coming for 2018. First, they’ve already got a production expansion in the works, with four new 5 BBL (roughly 6 hL) unitanks on their way to the brewery now to meet increased demand as the year goes on. They’re also currently looking for a location to build a new building to house the brewery, which will be even shorter on space with the new tanks. The team is also working on developing a Craft Beer Farmers Market concept for the new year, the first of its kind in the Province. It will see breweries and perhaps craft distilleries set up on the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market grounds on Sundays from May 13th to October 14th from 10 AM to 2 PM and provide a one stop shop for patrons in the area to buy beer. Tables will cost $20 per week and any breweries that are interested can reach out to paul@annapolisbrewing.com. Look for more information about the market to be publicized throughout the winter as they prepare for their first Craft Beer Farmers Market in Spring!

• In new beer news, Annapolis have a brew in the works that’s passed out of the testing phase and is scheduled to enter production in 2018. Goodwill Amber is a red-hued beer that strikes a fine balance between malty and hoppy. Vienna malt is featured on the grist side for a bready and toasty character and it’s been hopped with classic American varieties Willamette and Cascade with modern Amarillo completing the picture. Look for it to land on tap at 5.3% ABV and 36 IBU in early 2018. Also in the pipeline, although the recipes haven’t been finalized quite yet, are a Vanilla Coffee Stout and a Hefeweizen.

• On the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co. Brewing has a few new beers on the go these days. Up first is a small batch of their Hefeweizen, this time a little lighter at 4.6% ABV with lots of clove presence and some banana and bready notes. Next up and available is their Milk Stout, a big one at 7.7% ABV with a full mouthfeel and creamy texture. Described as “very filling,” It features aromas of coffee, vanilla and chocolate, with prominent espresso, vanilla, and even a bit of cigar character on the palate. And still available is their Saison, at 6.8% ABV, dry, and with prominent notes of lemon and black pepper. The brewery is considering keeping it in production throughout the year.

What’s going on this weekend???

• Sunday is New Year’s Eve, so expect plenty of extra drinking going on…. just about everywhere. Meanwhile, if you’re in Mahone Bay, drop by Saltbox Brewing for live music from the Eclectic Garage Band. The brewery will also be launching two new ciders on NYE, one made with Russet apples, and the second (being released at midnight) with Burgundy apples.

Hammond River Brewing in Rothesay is also ringing in the New Year with a Beer Dinner, pairing six courses of food with with six of HR’s own creations (plus a pint of your choosing to start the evening). Brewmaster Shane Steeves and Executive Chef Colin McCarten will be on hand to chat about each course and pairing. With only 30 tickets available, it is sure to be an intimate event. The fun kicks off at 6PM, and you can grab your ticket at the Hammond River taproom, or call ahead to reserve yours today. Check Facebook for the full menu.

• With New Year’s Day comes several Levee Day events in Atlantic Canada, which always amounts to several hours, or even up to a full day of drinking, eating, and celebrating… what better way to bring in the New Year? In PEI, both the PEI Brewing Co. and Upstreet are holding their own activities on Monday, January 1st. PEIBC will be serving up beer and live music from noon-2 pm, and has their PEIBC Levee Bus picking up and dropping off at several locations (check their FB page for exact times and where to be). Over at Upstreet, they’re re-releasing Top Stamp, their crowd-favourite Amber Lager, while celebrating Levee Day with their 2018 Kick-Off, a full day of live music, brewery tours, staff-priced pints, brunch, and beer cocktails. They open at 10 am, with music starting at noon.

• Not to be outdone over in Halifax, Stillwell is holding their own Levee Day Celebration, starting at noon. With special beers pouring all day – including the second release of Stilly Pils, as well as Lambic by the glass – expect a special menu featuring new tasty treats to pair with whatever you have in your glass.

Happy New Year! Have a safe and beer-filled evening on Sunday. Before we go, a couple last things…

Ol’ Biddy’s has released their newest American IPA that we reported on two weeks ago; look for Saturday Night Fever (6% ABV) at Stillwell, Battery Park, and the Mount Uniacke Pub.
– The latest iteration of TrailWay‘s ever-changing Kettle Sour, El Generico (3.8% ABV), is available as of today. This one was brewed with orange juice concentrate, lactose and vanilla, and was conditioned on fresh orange zest; slightly acidic and reminiscent of an Orange Creamsicle, it’s available in cans and on tap at the brewery.