Bulwark Cider

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Happy Friday, and happy St. Patrick’s Day! If being a Friday wasn’t a good enough excuse to drink, now you have two reasons! But before you reach for that beer (stay away from food colouring!), let’s take a few minutes to get caught up with our local beer news…

• The 2017 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival – the 5th year for the fest – was a huge success, and – as we can personally verify – one hell of a good time! With two sessions on Saturday, there were 58 breweries pouring over 220 beers, ciders, and meads, 5200+ L of beer served to ~1,750 people. Thanks to organizer Lloyd Chambers and 50 loyal volunteers, everything went smoothly, proving that the festival does indeed improve with every year. Several other events were also going on through the week (and even into Sunday), with plenty of beer lovers turning out to take part. This was also the first year for the Down East Brewing Awards, which had close to 140 different beers and ciders entered by commercial breweries in Atlantic Canada. The winners were announced at the FCBF afternoon session, and Fredericton’s TrailWay took home Brewery of the Year, thanks to winning three gold medals and Best of Show (check out the link for the full list of winners). Congratulations! Thanks again to everyone who helped to make FCBF such a success, and we’ll see you next year, with a date of March 10th already set! And don’t forget to vote for Best of the Fest, rewarding your favourite breweries that attended this year’s event.

• Attention Newfoundland Beer Fans! Split Rock Brewing Company is coming soon to Twillingate, on the island’s Northeast shore. Allison and Matt Vincent are residents of the town, and were living and working away from home for several years. In the mid-2000s, while living in Halifax, they caught the craft beer bug, and began homebrewing. Starting with wine and beer kits, they graduated to brewing All Grain in 2010, and haven’t looked back since. Like many avid homebrewers, the idea of starting a brewery in their hometown was always in the back of their mind, but at that time, just a dream. An opportunity for Allison to move back home in 2014 brought them back to Twillingate, and, as Allison puts it, “with the tourism industry booming and many young people moving home, we knew it needed a microbrewery!” Local businesspeople Tim and Robin Vatcher share their vision to bring a growth industry back to the region, and are helping to bring Split Rock Brewing Co to fruition. Brewmaster Matt will be brewing on a 500 litre (4 BBL) system from Colorado Brewing Systems, capable of a full brewday in only four hours, with 3800 litres of fermentation capacity for a wide variety of beers on the go simultaneously. Speaking of which, they are fans of brewing (and drinking) English-style beer, and will be launching with a variety of those, including a Bitter, Red Ale (with Rye), Brown Ale, Stout, and IPA, as well as a Belgian Witbier and Cream Ale. Split Rock will be hitting the local taps late spring; stay tuned to their social media and here for the full scoop!

• Down in Digby, NS, Roof Hound has taken taken one of the truly formative steps in the life of a young brewery by hiring an assistant brewer. Magen Powell is a veteran of the restaurant industry where she has worked on and off since she was 19 years of age, serving, bartending and managing. Her stint with Nova Scotia draught and tap experts BeerTech helped her develop a solid technical understanding and the skills needed to install and maintain dispensing systems. This also helps her bring another perspective to brewing in terms of how beer and other carbonated liquids behave and the influence of different gases (CO2, “beer gas”, Nitro, etc.) in dispensing. Magen’s first foray in the brewhouse is the Dive Bar Classics series, beginning with the Mojito Dry-hopped Sour that was released on March 4th. This series reflects her passion for being a “bar chef” and her interest in craft cocktails featuring local ingredients. The next in the series, Fuzzy Navel IPA was brewed this week and you can expect it to debut in April. We’ll be sure to get more details about that one as the release date approaches.

• Meanwhile, Roof Hound is also putting on something special for your St. Patrick’s day celebration today – they’ve taken their Handsome Devil Coffee Milk Porter and jazzed it up with almonds, vanilla bean and Irish Whiskey. The result is 7% ABV and there’s only one keg of it down at the brewery. So if you’re in the Digby area tonight and fixing for something dark, smooth and sweet, this one sounds like a good bet!

• In other St. Paddy’s Day beer news, Fredericton’s Picaroons just released The Leprechaunundrum, a dark, bitter, 6.5% ABV ale that doesn’t appear to fit into any particular style of beer. Described by the brewery as “dry and full-bodied, yet fruity due to the generous amounts of Galaxy hops”, it’s now on tap at all Picaroons locations across New Brunswick, and may pop up at select bars/restaurants in the near future.

Bulwark Cider’s special People’s Cider Project is ready for prime-time! We first mentioned it in October, when they put out the call for folks with hobby orchards, abandoned orchards, or just some apple trees on their property to bring apples to Ross Farm Museum for Cider Days. The original hope was simply that enough cider would be made to share with all the apple-givers who were issued People’s Cider Memberships in exchange for their apples. In the end things went a whole lot better than that and the first community-driven cider project in Nova Scotia (at least in recorded memory) is a great success. The People’s Cider has arrived and was launched this week. A rustic cider coming in at 7.8% ABV, it features aromas of apple blossom, pear, and clover honey and has a crisp, dry finish. Given the many varieties of apples it contains, some of which have surely been all but forgotten, it expresses true terroir; future versions are bound to be different, but this is your chance to taste the very first. Available in 500ml bottles, you’ll be able to find it at the private liquor stores in Halifax as well as the NSLC Port of Wines store. If you’re not in Halifax, or even in Nova Scotia, and you want to get your hands on this special batch, fear not! Bulwark has now launched an online store shipping cider and branded merchandise country-wide. This is great news for both Bulwark and cider fans across the land; now if only breweries were allowed to do the same thing…

• After a brief hiatus, Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing has brought back their Killick Session Lager this week, but in a big way. The 4.7% ABV Munich Helles-style beer, originally released as Kinobier last fall to celebrate Devour! Film Fest, is now available in six-pack format. The Helles (“Bright” or “Pale”) style is a traditional German style of beer, known to be supremely drinkable, and the local version does not disappoint. Featuring Heidelberg Malt as the sole grain, and a light bitterness from Herkules hops (with Huell Melon for aroma and flavour), these ingredients keep the beer authentically German. Six-packs are available now at the brewery and at Bishop’s Cellar on the Halifax waterfront, and debuting at the NSLC Monday, April 3rd. And in an update for you Blueberry Chai Pils fans (or soon-to-be fans), packaging of this beer will be happening early next week, with release mid-next-week at the brewery, and with the standard Spindrift Tall Boy cans debuting at the NSLC April 3rd.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing is holding another Growler Day today, with a pair of beers available to go. Method IPA is a hazy and juicy, orange hoppy beer with lots of citrus and peach notes, according to the brewery. Clocking in at 7% ABV, the brewery assures us it’s “new and improved”! T&B’s latest sour beer will also be pouring – Sour Otis Tangelo Oranges features, yes, tangelo, a citrus fruit that is a hybrid of tangerine and grapefruit. The details stop there, but assuming this beer follows the trend set by the others in the Sour Otis series, it was likely kettle soured to give plenty of tartness to complement the character from the fruit addition.

• We’ve got lots of news to share about Sober Island Brewing, who are putting the final touches on their major expansion at their brewery (new building, and a 820 litre (7BBL) brewhouse, up from 50 litre). They expect to be brewing on the system before the end of the month, which means an April launch. In the meantime, however, they will be adding a brand new beer to their core lineup, a Blonde Ale very soon. Described as a “bread and butter sort of beer” by owner Rebecca Atkinson, the easy drinking brew uses a different yeast than the rest of their year-round offerings, low in hop profile, but with plenty of character. The approachable beer is meant to introduce local drinkers to the wonderful world of small batch beer. First sips and samples will be available at the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers’ Market this Sunday.

• This week’s edition of The Coast, Halifax’s alt-weekly, is beer-centric, so be sure to grab it to learn about what local brewers are drinking, an interview with Propeller Brewing’s John Allen, and some suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day drinking from the 902BrewCast guys. Speaking of which, they have released their March Tasting Episode this morning, so be sure to grab that in your favourite podcasting method.

• The annual Saint John Beer Fest is coming up fast (Saturday, April 8th), and Flying Boats will be attending with a brand new beer in tow. Brewed in collaboration with local beer writer Craig Pinhey, it’s being stylized as a “hybrid Amber Ale” brewed to feature the Special B malt. Known for imparting raisin-like, dark fruit characteristics when used in brewing, Special B is more often seen in dark, Belgian-style ales. Flying Boats’ beer also has NB-grown Cascade hops added for bittering and flavour, and will come in at around 29 IBUs and 5.5% ABV. If you can’t make it to the SJBF – there are a few tickets still on sale, by the way – fear not! This one will also be on tap at Flying Boats accounts.

• The NB maple beers continue to flow, as Foghorn just released their take on the style. Described by the brewery as a “Maple Rye”, Xylem has a subtle maple flavour thanks to the addition of 20 L of maple syrup from local producer Briggs Maples. Hopped to 35 IBUs with Southan Goldings, giving a moderate bitterness in the finish. The beer weighs in at 5.7% ABV, and is available now for pints and growler fills at the brewery’s taproom; keep your eyes peeled, as it may pop up on tap at your favourite Foghorn licensee, soon. And keep an eye out for more Maple Beers, launched as a Tourism NB partnership between maple producers and brewers. Also on the list is Distillerie Fils du Roy‘s Monseigneur Paquet collaboration with their Pacquetville neighbours, Sucrerie Chiasson.

• In Nackawic, you’ll find Big Axe putting out their Maple Bourbon Porter, a 5.4% ABV brown porter with a light to medium body and a mild bitterness. The maple syrup for this beer came from Dumfries Maples across the river. Bourbon-soaked oak chips were added to the secondary along with a second shot of maple syrup. Continuing the maple theme, Big Axe will also be doing their annual Maple Wheat Amber as soon as the sugaring season starts, with their usual partner Stone Family Maple Products providing the syrup for that one. We’ll update you on that one as the season goes on.

• And speaking of Fils du Roy, they will be releasing a new beer next weekend, as part of an event in Bathurst. Capt. Craig Brown Ale is a 5.5% ABV, 28 IBU beer named after famous/infamous Capt Craig, a maurader in the Baie de Chaleur, and whose phantom ship is thought to sail the Baie to this day. Le Soiree Noir & Blanc is a fundraising supper happening in Bathurst Mar 25th, in support of food security and assistance for the region’s youth. After the launch, bottles of the beer will be more widely available at the region’s ANBL locations.

In addition to today’s excuse to grab a few pints at your local, we’ve got a few more reasons to celebrate local: 

• Happy One Year Anniversary to Fredericton’s York County Cider! Drop by their retail location at 418 York Street this afternoon from 4-7pm for free sampling, snacks, and prizes.

• Wolfville’s La Torta Pizzeria will be hosting a very special event tomorrow, Saturday the 18th, their first (we think!) tap takeover, as Tatamagouche Brewing comes in from the North Shore. Twelve, count ’em, 12 taps will be flowing with Tata’s signature brews starting at 2pm. There will be door prizes, swag, live music featuring Steve Lee, and no cover charge. The tap list has been slowly revealed this week via social media, with taps 1-4 showcasing the lighter side and taps 5-8 banging the hops. Taps 8-12 are yet to be revealed; check Tata’s Twitter throughout the day for the announcement. And plan to bring an appetite, as La Torta’s Neapolitan-style wood-fired oven will be in full swing.

PEI Brewing Co. will be holding a special Tap Takeover at HopYard on Saturday, March 25th, where they will be launching their dry-hopped Brett Saison. Aptly named Patience, this beer was brewed almost six months ago. With a grist of 2-row, Munich malt, and wheat, it was fermented with a Saison strain, as well as the wild yeast strain Brettanomyces, which can continue to develop funky flavours and aromas when given enough time. Once it was about ready, it was then dry-hopped with the tropical Citra and Mosaic varieties, and primed (carbonated) in the bottle for several weeks. This is the first Brett (and bottle-conditioned) beer for PEIBC, so be sure to grab a few bottles when you can! Aside from the PEIBC tap takeover, the event will feature lots of live music, as well as a limited edition menu collaboration with Chef Jane Crawford and Chef Adam Loo. Bring your appetites! It all starts at 4 pm, with no cover.

• On April 2nd (rescheduled from March 25 due to shipping issues), Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar will be hosting a BC Brewery Tap Takeover, featuring 3 heavy-hitters from the West Coast: Brassneck Brewery in Vancouver, Four Winds Brewing from Delta, and Dageraad of Burnaby. Featuring a wide variety in styles of beer, including Brassneck’s Changeling Raspberry Sour, Four Winds’ Featherweight Session IPA, and Dageraad’s Sri Lanka Dubbel. No tickets required for the event, and the doors open at noon. For the full taplist, check out the Brewnosers Forums for the salivating details.

• Now that FCBF is over, it’s time to start planning for the next beer-themed Fredericton event – Poutine Fest! Scheduled for Saturday, April 29th, like past events it will feature three different sessions, with two of them (late afternoon and evening) pouring over 12 different beers, ciders and meads. There are different ticket options which determine the number of drink tickets you receive (click out the link for details); of course, all tickets include all-you-can-eat poutine, with 12+ different varieties being available! Tickets go on sale today at 11 am; the event has sold out every time since its initial launch, so be sure to grab yours ASAP.

• And if summer doesn’t feel too far away for you, we have news on a new festival coming up! The first Big Axe Craft Beer Festival will be held in downtown Nackawic, NB on Saturday, July 15th from 4-8 pm. Organized by Peter and Tatiana Cole of Big Axe Brewery, exact details are still being ironed out, but there will be 20+ breweries from NB, NS, PEI and Maine on hand, as well as live music (including David in the Dark), and food vendors offering “an assortment of foods grown and sourced in NB”. Tickets are already on sale, and are $50 each; there is also a limited-availability $65 option, which includes a bus ride to and from the festival from Fredericton or Woodstock. Breweries confirmed so far include Grimross, Maybee, Hammond River, Picaroons, Sober Island, Foghorn, Upstreet, Petit-Sault, Red Rover, Sunset Heights Meadery, and Portland, Maine’s Urban Farm Fermentory. Be sure to buy your tickets ASAP, before they’re gone!

And before we go this week…

Good Robot will have their Dave & Morley Coffee Brown back on tap as of today in version 2.0 form, this time featuring Rwanda Kanzu (from Java Blend, of course) as the coffee component. So pull up a stool, order one up, and maybe lift your glass to the late, great Stuart McLean, who inspired this brew. Meanwhile, the gang has installed their Buffalo Trace whiskey barrels and will shortly be pouring things into them; we’ll let you know what when the appropriate time comes.
Mill Street St John’s has brought back their Jigger’s Delight Cali Common (5% ABV, 14 IBUs), a hybrid between lager and ale that is described as “fresh and zingy, with medium body and toasty caramel notes”.
– Needing a Nine Locks Fathom fix? Good news, it’s back in cans again! This 8% ABV DIPA recently won a medal in the Down East Brewing Awards, so stock up while you can!
– Picaroons has announced that they’re looking to fill two brewing positions, one at the Saint John brewery, and one in St. Stephen. Both breweries are 2.5 hL in size, double-batching into 5 hL. For a full list of qualifications and contact info, check out this link.
– The region’s Homebrewers, especially those in the HRM, will be excited to hear that Everwood Avenue Brewshop is relocating out of owner Dave Gillette’s basement and into a retail space in Lower Sackville. This will mean regular retail hours six days a week, and only closing on Mondays. The space is roughly twice as large and will allow the shop to expand its product lines and better cater to different market segments. We’ll have more details before the expected opening on April 5th, but for now can tell you that they’re looking for a full-time employee for the new space. You can find the details of the position posted on the Brewnoser’s forum.

Just when you thought it was safe to take your eyes off the local beer scene and focus on your holiday shopping, the region’s breweries, cideries and tap venues bring you another wild week of brewery openings, beer releases, tap takeovers and other beer-related news. Fortunately we didn’t let ourselves be too distracted by holiday cheer last night, and we’ve got a full report of the goings on in the Atlantic provinces.

• Harvey, New Brunswick’s very first brewery, Off Grid Ales, is releasing their first beers today! The 3 BBL (350 L) brewery is housed in a barn on the property of owners Randy and Denise Rowe, and is both solar- and wind-powered. All four of their flagship beers will be available in 500 mL bottles at the Harvey ANBL outlet, and all four Fredericton ANBL stores; these beers are Campfire Red, an American Amber (5.5% ABV, 23 IBUs); Sunny Day IPA (5.5% ABV, 70 IBUs); High Tower Double IPA (7.8% ABV, 60 IBUs); and Unplugged Porter (5.5% ABV, 34 IBUs). The official launch party will be happening soon, so stay tuned for details! And check out our full post on Off Grid from October.

• The brewery at Moncton’s Tide & Boar is hard at it again, with several new/returning beers now out, or arriving soon! Released earlier this week was the next beer in their Sour Otis series – Sour Otis Cranberry features the addition of 25 lbs of locally-sourced cranberries, resulting in a sour, refreshing, super-sessionable (4.2% ABV) brew. Also look for the return of Forum, their 5.4% ABV, heavily-hopped American Pale Ale that’s big on tropical fruit aromas and flavours. T&B is kegging a new American IPA this weekend, Robot Food IPA, brewed with an “insane amount” of Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops. Finally, yet another new beer should be ready for release next week – Peach Ale Shake is the next addition to their Milkshake IPA lineup. It was brewed with lactose powder to slightly boost the body and sweetness, heavily hopped (of course), and also features the addition of 20 lbs of peaches. As with all the T&B beers brewed on site, they tend to go fast, so be sure to stop by to give them a try!

• There’s a couple of hot news items concerning Tatamagouche Brewing this week. First up is a brand new beer that is being released tomorrow, Adoptor, their take on the Doppelbock style. Named after two adopted dogs in the Tata family, the beer’s grist is made up entirely of German malts, to emulate this strong, malty, German style. A mix of Munich and Vienna make up the majority, with small amounts of CaraAroma and CaraMunich, to enhance the malty goodness in the aroma and flavour. This is another big beer for Tatabrew, as is per the style, clocking in at 7.6% ABV and a low 24 IBUs. It’ll be making its debut in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, with $0.50 from every bottle sold being donated to the Home to Stay animal shelter; expect a few kegs to pop up at select licensees at a later date. And their other recent release, Square One, a dry-hopped Saison, is now available in bottles at the brewery as well.

• And continuing on with Tatabrew… great news, New Brunswick – kegs of Tata beer are heading your way! Along with their core brands, some establishments have also ordered some seasonals/one-offs, including Blue Bales, Philaroma, Square One, Cellar Slammer, and Russian Imperial Stout. Look for Tatamagouche beers at the following licensees: Tide & Boar, Ducky’s, Saint John Ale House, King Street Ale House, Maybee Brewing, and Pepper’s. Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing cans in the province soon…?

 

• There is was a brand-spanking new BetaBrew on tap at the Good Robot taproom; this one was brewed by the brewery’s own Kelly & Jillian. The Ales of Friendship is was a 5.2% ABV British Pale Ale brewed with Maris Otter, Red Wheat, Vienna, and Caramel malts, and features featured the addition of honey and basil from Jillian’s family farm. Hopped with Perle and fermented with a British Ale yeast strain, the beer is described as a well-balanced beer, with a “nice sweetness which isn’t overpowering”, the basil is just present enough so you know it’s there… but aren’t overwhelmed. Unfortunately, GR informed us this morning the beer is already gone, but I’m not about to throw away this beautifully-written post on it!

• Oh, but Good Robot sent us the info on another new beer they’re releasing (thanks?), Dave & Morley, a “Coffee Brown”. Brewed with Pale, Victory, Franco-Belges Kiln Coffee, and Munich Dark malts, as well as some Flaked Oats, and hopped with Magnum and Willamette. A portion of Rwanda Gisuma cold-brewed coffee (from local Bottleneck Coffee) was also added (20 L in a ~2300 L batch), resulting in a wonderful blend of “toast, caramel, and chocolate, with an herbal and coffee finish”. The coffee in particular adds a fruity character, according to the brewery, as well as waffleberries. Look for this 6.3% ABV, 19 IBUs brew to debut early next week.

 

• Wicked week though it be in general, North Brewing may very well take the cake for goings on, with a couple re-releases, a very unique new beer, some extra-special new labels, and a tap takeover to boot! First, Wednesday of this week saw the return of two North beers. On the seasonal front, a December tradition continued with this year’s version of the Glenora Distillery Barrel-aged Strong Dark Belgian Ale, now formally known as Midnight. And in the occasional category, and just in time for the first birthday of Battery Park, the Dartmouth Dark is back, a lagered ale featuring Cannon cold-brew from Anchored Coffee, originally brewed for BP’s opening last year.​

• Next, you’ll find a brand new collaboration between North and Benjamin Bridge. Hinted at back in October by those in the know, Saison de Pinot is a mixed-fermentation beer that leverages 300 litres of must from BB’s pinot noir grapes. This must (sans skins to avoid unpredictable tannin contributions) was added to the beer when fermentation was almost complete, but after it was moved off the lees, giving the brewers maximum control over the blend. The complex inoculation included two Saison strains, with one being a wild isolate, along with a Lacto strain and, if it’s not too much to hope for, possibly some wild critters from the grape must. It comes in at 6.4% ABV and the tasting notes suggest red berry, light rose and hay with a vinous character and a tart dry finish to complement its effervescence. It was bottle conditioned and we’re told it should cellar well, so don’t be afraid to get one for now and one or more for a year or two down the road. North themselves have filled a Benjamin Bridge wine barrel with part of the batch, which they’ll age further before bottling in preparation for Battery Park’s second birthday party in 2017!

• And as if the beers themselves weren’t enough, North is also launching an entirely new look for their bottled offerings, the result of an ongoing project involving five local artists. Six brews will be seen in an entirely new light by early next week (four are in production now, the Farmhouse Red is on the way) with the new Artist Series of labels. Local painter and illustrator Julianne Harnish took on the Priority Pale and Headline Milk Stout. Graphic designer and artist Amy Corbett handled the Dark Sky Strong Dark and Midnight barrel-aged Strong Dark. Jillian Jackson of Jill & Jack Paper designed the new look for Gus’ 65m Ale that, for the observant, reveals shoutouts to many of the businesses in the area the North relies on. And Nicole G, who works in North’s bottle shop, but who is also a textile artist dabbling in watercolours and illustration, produced a new look for the Farmhouse Red Bière de Garde. Lastly, but not leastly, each label includes a short poem by 2011/12 Halifax Poet Laureate and artist/actor/musician/creator Tanya Davis. From now on, when you pick up a bottle of North beer, you’ll be picking up a piece of local art and culture.

• Those of you in the Fredericton area, keep your eyes peeled for a new beer from local brewery Bogtrotter – they’ve just released a small amount of 1/2 Cracked Nut Brown. This rich, full-bodied ale has a “moderate, persisting head” and features a “sweet, nutty-caramel flavour, with a hint of vanilla”, thanks to the addition of sliced almonds, crushed hazelnuts, and real vanilla bean in the fermentor (take note, those of you with nut allergies!). Weighing in at a very-drinkable 5% ABV, you should be able to find this one on tap at the James Joyce and the Hilltop, and will follow in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL stores within a few weeks.

• For fans of Picaroons who have been missing out on all the one-off beer releases at their Saint John General Store lately, good news – they brewed a new beer at their main brewery in Fredericton, which was launched late last week. The Vinyl Cut Black IPA is described as “full-bodied, roasty and hoppy”, taking the approach of blending characteristics of both an American IPA and a Stout. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook, it comes in at 8% ABV and ~90 IBUs. It’s now pouring on tap at the Roundhouse, the Picaroons taproom located at their brewery location in Devon, which opened last Friday. Currently serving pints and counter-service munchies and coffee, they’re not filling growlers for the time being, but should be in the very near future. Look for The Vinyl Cut to be pouring at other local establishments as well, soon.

• St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has released the 2016 edition of their annual Mummer’s Brew beer. 2016’s release is an Imperial Oyster stout, an 8.5% ABV, 50 IBU brew perfect for those cold winter nights of mummering. The base malt is enhanced with Carastan, Roast, and Black Patent malts for a jet-black colour and lots of roast, with a significant bittering charge from Pacific Gem hops. Featuring local adjunct ingredients, including buckwheat honey from G&M Family Farm in Placentia and PEI oysters provided by The Adelaide Oyster House, the beer also features figs, raisins, dates and prunes soaked in Lamb’s Dark Navy Rum added late in the process. Grab the beer on tap at YellowBelly and Adelaide now, with bottles available at the brewery and local NLCs today.

Gahan House Halifax has a new beer on tap, a German hybrid lager/ale Altbier. The 6.0% ABV beer uses some specialty malts for bread-like character and light chocolate notes. The use of Tettnang hops impart their characteristic spicy Noble properties. Grab the Alt on tap or in growlers to go from Gahan today, and check out their line-up of other seasonals including the Tommy’s Chocolate Orange and Night Vision Porter.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has released a new beer with local iconic ingredients throughout. Balsam Blue is a 6.3% ABV lager, featuring the addition of Balsam to the brew, which shines through in both the flavour and aroma. Local blueberries were also added, imparting a light flavour finish to the beer. It is available on tap at the brewery for pints and takeaway (in a fliptop bottle), and can also be found on tap at Grand Banker in Lunenburg and 2 Downs Down in Halifax. And don’t forget to sign up for the Home Brewers Competition, as registration closes next Saturday.

Sober Island Brewing Company has been busy getting their expanded location at Sheet Harbour’s Henley House ready for the delivery of their DME 8 hl (7BBL) brewhouse in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Henley House will be open Thursday-Sunday this week from 4pm, for a few more pints of Christmas cheer. Catch their Oyster StoutBitter, and Mild Ale on tap, and celebrate with Henley’s annual Christmas Tea, Sunday 2-4pm. You can also catch Sober Island at the New Glasgow Farmers Market Saturday 9:00 – 1:00, and the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers Market Sunday 9:00 – 1:00.

Mill Street St. John’s has released a new seasonal this week, Downtownor Doppelbock. Originally brewed for monks to drink during fasting in lent (those tricky monks!), Mill Street’s take on the Doppelbock style resulted in a hefty 7.7% ABV dark lager, which boasts sweet malty and dark fruit flavours, but finishes fairly dry. The lower 24 IBU bitterness means that several can be enjoyed in a session without burning your taste buds. Grab a pint or growler waterside today.

Bulwark Cider is releasing a brand new offering next week, Rum Cider. Their Traditional cider was blended with barrel-aged dark rum to boost the flavour and ABV to the next level. The rum makes its presence felt through spicing and light caramel notes, building on the bright cider base. The 8.8% ABV blend is in the NSLC warehouse now, and will be available at their retail locations next week.

• Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear saved some late-harvest local oranges from the cold this week, and are using them in a special small-batch brew today, which also features local wild hops and malt from Horton Ridge Malt. The yet-unnamed brew will be available in the New Year at their retail and Farmers’ Market locations, as well as select taps in the Valley and HRM.

We’ve got yet another jam-packed weekend in the region. Be sure to check out our Calendar of Events Page for all of the scheduled events in our region, and if we’re missing anything, let us know!

• The tiniest brewery in Halifax is launching this weekend with a pair of pouring parties. Tidehouse will be on tap at Bar Stillwell today from noon, featuring their four core beers (Like a Motorcyc-ale, The Copper, Mild Thing, Golden Glacier), as well as a house-special 5.25% India Saison. And they’ll be doing it all over again at Good Robot tomorrow from noon with the Core Four, and a Spruced Red Ale. Learn more about Tidehouse from our Q&A with them in the summer, and stay tuned for the launch of their retail space, which could be as early as next weekend.

• While at Stillwell today, look for the return of Tideview Cider, with their Hyslop Crab Apple Cider. First introduced in March, the 7.2% ABV still cider will be served from the bartop, and features their own apples.

• As alluded to above, North Brewing will be celebrating their partnership with Battery Park today by kicking off BP’s first birthday weekend with a tap takeover. Those who have been following social media this week already know at least the first three taps and we expect to see the Saison de Pinot there as well. More taps may very well have been posted by the time you read this, so do check out Twitter (@BatteryBeerBar | @NorthBrewing ) and Facebook ( Battery Park Beer Bar | North Brewing Company) for more details. And congratulations to the folks at Battery Park on their first (of hopefully many) birthdays!​

• After plenty of teasing and anticipation, Saturday will mark the Maine Event Tap Takeover at Stillwell, featuring Bissell Brother Brewing and Orono Brewing each bringing 6 beers north to Halifax. From Bissell, expect to see Bucolia, LUX, Reciprocal, Substance, Swish, and Umbra, and OBC will be pouring Amorica, AOK, Dr. Quince, Ozone, Pocatello, and Van Life. Doors open at noon, and while no tickets are required, your $15 entrance fee includes a glass to keep and your first pour. The whole acbb gang will be there, so be sure to say hi!

• There’s a new event being hosted by New Brunswick Beer Tours in the New Year – BEERexploration Downtown Fredericton, on Saturday, January 28th. This 3-1/2 hour walking tour (1:00-4:30 pm) will include stops at several of Fredericton’s best beer-drinking establishments, with a total of six local beers (8 oz each) being poured. The cost of this event is by donation only, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Diabetes Association. If you plan on attending, please register here and make your donation in advance; a tax receipt will follow. Remember, this is a walking tour in January, so dress accordingly!

And a few more things…

– Moncton’s Acadie-Broue has a new beer on tap at their Bar Le Coude location at Universite de Moncton, Kacho Kolsch. The German-influenced hybrid lager/ale is only available on tap, so drop by for a pint.
– Breton Brewing has brought back their seasonal Storm Chaser Vanilla Stout, available on tap at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and in licensees shortly.
– Shelburne’s Boxing Rock‘s U-889 Russian Imperial Stout is now available, with bottles at the brewery and hitting the shelves of the private stores shortly. Featuring coffee and vanilla, this is a perfect beer for sharing with friends around a cozy fire.
Petit-Sault has brewed up a fresh batch of their Canon Franchetti, a “Cappuccino Stout” (4.6% ABV, 25 IBUs) brewed with organic and fair trade coffee beans; look for its return sometime in January, with more details on distribution to follow, soon.
Red Rover‘s popular blueberry cider, Jingle Berry (7% ABV), is back just in time for the holidays; even better news, it’s now available at local ANBL stores in bottle form (750 mL).
River Valley Micro has a new beer, Rye Pale Ale, available exclusively on tap at the James Joyce Pub these days. At 6.1% ABV, it features light spicing from the aforementioned malt, and some citrus aromatics.
– Speaking of James Joyce, they recently tapped a special collaboration braggot, Axius Clay. At 7.5% ABV, it features a mixture of Honey Ale and Queen’s Nectar from Big Axe Brewery and Sunset Heights Meadery, respectively. It carbonated naturally in the cask over the course of several weeks, and the experiment was a glowing success. Expect to see more collaborations from these Fredericton-region producers in the future.
– And this evening at 6:00, JJ will be tapping the first casks of the Moosehead beers on the premises, including a Gingerbread Ale, and their popular Cask Ale, an English-style Bitter.

Good morning, and welcome to a rainy weekend! We can’t really complain too much, considering the beautiful weather we’ve had over the last several months… but if you’d like something to take your mind off the all the wet, why not dive into some of the latest beer news?

Big Spruce is releasing a very special beer this week, fermented using yeast harvested from a Pin Cherry on the brewery’s property. Big Grandma’s Wild uses Horton Ridge malt for the grain bill, and the yeast was isolated, investigated and propagated by the folks at Escarpment Labs out of Guelph, Ontario. Featuring some spicy phenolic notes, thanks to both the malt and yeast choices, this is a big step in creating a true “beer from here”. The 7.4% ABV, 24 IBU beer is named in celebration of Thelma MacLellan of St. Patrick’s Channel, one of Big Spruce’s earliest supporters, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Congratulations to both Big Grandma and Big Spruce on their important accomplishments! Look for the beer at the brewery now, with bars around HRM tapping it this weekend. Also keep your eyes open for Craig Goes Yard, their own Harvest Beer, featuring hops grown right at the brewery. It is on tap at the brewery now, and will be pouring around the province very soon, including Battery Park, Stillwell, and growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar.

• Celebrating the advancement of Canada’s Team to the AL Finals, Halifax’s Propeller Brewing released a new One Hit Wonder brew late last week. Mahogany in colour, it is best described as a maltly Fest-style beer. A hybrid fermentation technique was used, employing both ale and lager yeast strains, for an easy-drinking beer. Using NB-grown Cascade from Moose Mountain Hop Farm, as well as Northern Brewer, the . At 6.0% ABV and 16 IBUs, this malt-forward beer is still around, although the Jays are not. 🙁 Formerly known as Go Jays Go, it has been renamed to Maybe Next Year, and is available for growler fills at both the Gottingen and Windmill brewery locations now, and will be found on tap at select spots around HRM. And we’ve gotten word that they’ve brewed up a brand new winter seasonal yesterday.

Tatamagouche Brewery has released another in their Giant Beer Series this week, Russian Imperial Stout with Cherries. This 8.5% ABV beer spent a month in an Ironworks Distillery barrel, on top of a healthy assortment of dark cherries. After some conditioning and carbonating, it made its way into their large-format 650 ml bottles. As with their other recent GBS beers, these are in short supply and high demand, so be sure to drop by the brewery today to avoid disappointment. And while at the brewery, be sure to grab batch number 3 of Tata’s collab with Bishop’s CellarCellar Slammer India Session Ale, their 4.4% ABV ode to hops. And keep an eye out for the return of Blue Bales Blueberry Wheat next week, this time brewed with berries from the end of the season, lending a juicier and sweeter profile than the tart character of the early harvest berries.

Tide and Boar Brewing is releasing their small batch beers at a break-neck pace. Late last week they tapped a new version of their Sour Otis Sour Beer series, brewed with Field Grapes and Lemon Zest. While still available, it’s sure to sell out quickly, and will be replaced with Sour Otis Plum, featuring local plums from Memramcook, probably on the weekend. In hoppy beer news, keep an eye out for Amarillo, Citra, and Summit Pale Ale to hit the taps any minute now, with a return of their JEENYUS IPA next week.

Garrison Brewing is releasing a new beer today, New Ross Sucker Punch IPA. This 6.9% ABV brew features loads of Cascade and Willamette hops grown at Ross Farm Museum (plus some whole leaf Amarillo and Columbus), to the tune of 65 IBUs. The grain bill builds on a base of Maritime Malt, with some Wheat Malt for additional foam retention. This beer is only available at the brewery for tasters and growler fills, so be sure to drop by for a taste. They will be celebrating City Harvest tomorrow at the brewery with some special visitors. In addition to the new beer, they are inviting Halifax Press to their space to serve up some inspired grilled cheeses, 11-3.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has been busy lately! Their beers are now available at several spots in HRM, including Battery Park and The Board Room Game Cafe (both pouring the Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spice Latte Strong Porter), as well as Rooftop Rye-It for growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar (they’ll be pouring the KDPSLSP when that’s through). Lunenburg’s Grand Banker will be pouring their beer very shortly, too. Look for a new version of their Little Pup Pale Ale to hit the taps very soon. Fermented with a different yeast, it finishes a little drier, with a lighter body to allow the hops to shine through. It weighs in at 4.8% ABV and 28 IBUs. And after a very successful Harvest Supper Club last night, tickets are on sale for a Festive Supper Club, being held December 1st. Tickets for the two seatings (5:00 and 7:30) are available now via email, and take a sneak peek at the menu here.

Upstreet Brewing announced this week the beginning of their One Way Series, a chance for them to explore and experiment with new styles and recipes. The first release under the One Way banner comes this Friday in the form of the new Black IPA. Described as a middle ground where the dark and roasty chocolate and malt flavours of a porter meet with the resinous citrus blast of an American IPA, this burly brew comes in at 6.5% and a solid 60 IBU. It’s a departure from what Upstreet has released to date and they’re excited to know what folks think. It will be available at the brewery as of today, so if you’ve got a chance to get down and try it out, do so, and be sure to let Hogie and the gang know what you think.

• Great news from Picaroons Traditional Ales in Fredericton this week as they’ve not only got a new beer to share with us, they’re joining the ranks of breweries embracing the convenience of cans. The beer is the brewery’s first attempt at an Oktoberfest, and it comes in at 5% ABV… and a month or so late. 😉 Using a well-known true lager yeast strain from VLB Berlin and dosed with Mt Hood, Hallertau, and Saaz for a classic noble hop flavour and aroma, it will be available only while supplies last and only at Picaroons General Store in Saint John. On the canning front, after starting its life as an occasional summer seasonal, then going year-round earlier this summer and becoming the first Picaroons available in 6 packs, 506 Logger will now become the first Picaroons available in cans. It’s still a mix of German Pilsner and domestic 2-row malt that produces a golden coloured, dry and crisp easy-drinking 4.6% ABV beer, tempered with Amarillo hops. But now you can take it all the places that bottles are a pain to bring. As the brewery says – “IT’S JUST BEER. IN CANS.” You can expect to find it at the ANBL real soon now and you can also expect Picaroons to extend the canning to other beers in the lineup.

• As we continue through fall, more and more homebrew competitions are being announced. TrailWay is no exception, as they recently released the details for their 1st Homebrew Challenge! The style to be submitted is American IPA; your homebrew entry (3 x 450-750 mL bottles) can be dropped off/mailed to the brewery in Fredericton between January 11th-20th. Judging will take place between January 21st-25th, with the winner and runner-up being announced on Sunday, January 29th at the brewery. The entry fee is $20, which gets you a t-shirt and glass, a 12-oz pour of a new TW DIPA (at the January 29th event), as well as preferential drink pricing for the remainder of the event. The winning entry will receive a $100 gift card, and will get to brew their beer on the TW 10 BBL system for resale across Fredericton; the runner-up will receive a $50 gift card. For more details, check out their Facebook page. Good luck, homebrewers! And in other TW news, they’ve received their three new 30 BBL (35 hL) fermentors and 30 BBL brite tank, so expect to see more TW beer (and cans) soon!

Sober Island Brewing continues to spread their offerings across HRM, now appearing on tap at The Press Gang, Primal Kitchen, and Battery Park (on rotation), with a few more spots scheduled. Their Kickstarter campaign rolls on, with just two weeks left to get in on helping to build their brewery in Sheet Harbour. The rewards range from stickers, to insulated backpacks (perfect for picnics on the go), to taking part in a brewday at SIBC. Be sure to check it out. Keep an eye out for new brews from Sober Island to launch in the coming weeks, including a British IPA. Next weekend, be sure to drop by the New Glasgow Farmers Market (Saturday) and/or Musquodoboit Farmers Market (Sunday) to grab crowlers and merchandise from their beer trailer.

• This week, Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove has released a new brew, Braunbär, a medium-bodied honey brown ale. Honey was added to the fermentor in order to maintain some of the honey aromatics that would tend to be lost in the boil. For hops, they’ve chosen the Santiam variety, an American hop which brings some classic noble characteristics. The flowery and peppery spice aromas from the hops should play nicely with the roasted and caramel malt flavours, while an undertone of sweetness from some residual sugars from the honey completes the palate. You can find this 5% ABV brew at the brewery, or potentially in Halifax this weekend.

• Newfoundland’s newest brewery, Port Rexton Brewing, tapped a new beer late last week, Sweater Weather Double IPA. This SMaSH beer was brewed entirely with Canadian 2-row malt, and single-hopped quite heavily with Simcoe, a very popular variety well known for its characteristics of citrus, berries, and pine. Very hoppy, but well-balanced, this 7.6% beer is available now at the brewery, and may make an appearance on tap in Town, but why risk it?? And if you’re dropping by the brewery tomorrow (Saturday, October 22nd), they’re hosting a “Yoga, Lunch, Hike & Beer” from 9:30 am – 3 pm; it’s $45 to take part, and you can register by emailing here.

Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery has launched a brand new beer, hitting the taps this weekend. Hants County Hop on Harvest Ale was brewed using more than 45kg of wet hops from Hill Top Hops in Scotchville, NS.  Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus were added late in the boil, to preserve the piney and green notes these fresh hops deliver. The grain bill of Golden Promise, Caramunich III, Vienna and Toasted Wheat lend a golden colour to this Fest/Marzen beer, with biscuit and bready character on a medium-low body. 6.0% ABV and a moderate 35 IBUs. It is on tap now at Stubborn Goat, Red Stag Tavern, and The Lower Deck.

As usual, there are plenty of beer-related events happening in our region; here are some of the bigger ones to take note of:

• Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Brewpub is holding their 11th Annual Brewers Dinner tomorrow evening at 6pm. Featuring 4 courses, each paired with a Rudder’s beer, it with be a filling – and fulfilling – evening. Reservations are required, and tickets for the dinner are available at the brewery, or by phone (902-742-7311). More details on the menu and beers on their Facebook page.

• For those on the other end of the province, the Celtic Oktoberfest is being held in Port Hawkesbury this Saturday. Featuring unlimited sampling from nine Nova Scotia breweries, one winery, and ten local restaurants, along with live music all evening, it’s sure to be a great evening out.

• Now that Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing is releasing full-size batches from their 10hL DME system (Holy Mackerel, their Pale Ale was released this week, with Nun on the Run Cream Ale to be released next week) they are now also sending kegs of beer out into the wild. Some of the first have gone to Grand Banker in Lunenburg, who will be hosting a Tap Takeover next Friday, October 28th. Featuring their full lineup, and some beer-steamed mussels, the evening is sure to be a fun time. Learn more about Saltbox’s offerings here, and the Tap Takeover here.

Railcar Brewing will officially have been open for two years on November 1st; to celebrate, they’re holding an Open Brewery Day next Saturday, October 29th. Drop by the brewery’s taproom in Florenceville-Bristol for free samples and brewery tours, and enjoy two-for-one growler fills all day. Happy birthday, Railcar!

• Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing Co has released a new beer in celebration of the Devour! Film Festival (running November 2-6 in Wolfville). Kinobier is a 4.7% Munich Helles, a German-style light blonde lager, brewed with 100% German Heidelberg Malt. Lightly hopped to 16 IBUs, it features Herkules and Huell Melon German varieties, for a citrus highlight to the grain profile. The beer will be pouring around Wolfville during the festival, with some spots in the Valley, and HRM, pouring it now, including the brewery.

Beerocracy will be debuting at the Silver Wave Film Festival, at 7pm November 3rd. Passes for the entire festival are only $40 ($20 for students), which get you into every screening and event, and are available now. For those looking to only attend Beerocracy, there will be limited first-come, first-serve tickets available at the door (cash only). There will be a reception at the James Joyce following the film, for the chance to enjoy beer from the breweries profiled in the film. And look for details after the festival regarding the official opening screening of Beerocracy, and how VIP backers can take advantage of that perk. Congratulations to Shauna and Alex!

• For those in Halifax, there will be an equally beery event to keep you happy on November 3rd: Battery Park is hosting the second in their Nova Scotia Tap Takeover series, featuring more than a baker’s dozen of beers from Shelburne’s Boxing Rock. It will be a mixture of core favourites, blasts from the past, and at least a couple of brand new beers, one of which is the collab between BP and BR, an India Brown Ale, as well as the recently re-released Hop Springs Eternal White IPA. We’ll have more on the beers pouring closer to the date, but in the meantime, book Friday the 4th off so you can full enjoy the evening before.

• Due to quick sales on tickets for their Christmas Brewery Tour this December, New Brunswick Beer Tours have added two additional tours for the month: one on Saturday, December 3rd, and a second tour on Saturday, December 17th. Both events will go from 11:30 am – 4 pm, and feature stops and samples at four different Fredericton breweries. Tickets for both go on sale this weekend. For more details, check out their Facebook page (link above).

That’s it for this week, have a great weekend! And before we go…

Bulwark‘s Winter Cider has been bottled and has started to make its appearance in stores; this 7% ABV cider is infused with cinnamon and nutmeg, perfect for those nights by a fire (which aren’t too far off).
– A small batch of Toasted Coconut Porter is now available at Gahan House Harbourfront – Halifax, available on cask into the weekend.
Graystone recently released their Ridgeback IPA, a 5.5% ABV, 94 IBU West Coast IPA that they have described as “full-bodied, with notes of citrus and pine”. This is the first time this beer has been brewed on their new, large system; it’s available now for pints and growlers at the brewery, and like several of their other brands now, should be on tap across Fredericton.
Hammond River has re-brewed their Black IPA, Two Rivers India Black Ale (7% ABV, 77 IBUs), which should be available on tap by the end of the month. Stay tuned next week, as we’ll have details on their third annual Homebrew Competition, which will feature three different styles this year: Imperial IPA, Sweet Stout, and English Porter.
– The Forage Rye IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBUs) from Maybee that we talked about a few weeks ago is now available; brewed with Crystal Rye Malt and hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus, you can find it in growlers and cans at the brewery.
Shiretown Hops On For Nowhere I.P.A is now available for purchase at the brewery in Charlo, marking the first time in over a year that it’s been available. Due to the small batch size, it will only be available in bottles from the source.
– With temperatures cooling, TrailWay has re-released their Black IPA, Black Hops One (7% ABV, 70 IBUs). Hopped with Comet, Mosaic, and Galaxy, it’s got a great balance between fruity, citrusy hops, and dark roasted malt character.
– Details are very slim right now, but we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with a special hybrid wine/beer in the works by North Brewing. They visited Benjamin Bridge this week, and managed to leave with a few hundred litres of grape must, and a barrel. We’ll be sure to share the info when available!

Happy Friday! With Monday’s holiday, it really snuck up on us here at ACBB, but we’ve still got a pint’s-worth of news to keep you busy this weekend.

• You may know that Muwin Estate Winery (the folks behind Bulwark Cider) have teamed with Ross Farm Museum to bring us Cider Days, coming the weekend of October 22, where you can learn about heritage apples, the proper care of orchards, how cider is made, and cooperage (barrel making). What you may not know is that they are calling on anyone in Nova Scotia with apple trees on their property to pick their apples and bring them along for use in a special batch that will be known as The People’s Cider. This is a chance to see how the heirloom apple varieties that may not be great for eating are sought-after as a key ingredient in cider making. Anyone who provides apples will be provided with a People’s Cider Membership and an invitation to a launch event for the resulting product, where they’re hoping to have some bottles available (depending, of course, on how much is produced). You can even contact them to have your apples picked up from you if you aren’t able to make the event or have more apples than you can easily bring along. If you have an old orchard on your property producing apples that you don’t know what to do with, this is an awesome opportunity to see them become part of a truly Nova Scotian product. 

• The brewing team at Good Robot have tweaked one of their more popular beers, and released Damn Fine Coffee v2.0 yesterday. Brewed with Pilsner, Red X, and Rye malts, and an addition of Kenya Gatina coffee (cold brewed by Bottleneck, sourced from Java Blend), this updated iteration was fermented with a highly-attenuating yeast strain (California Ale) to give the resulting beer a “drier, hoppier finish”, according to the brewery. Expect flavours to be fruity, tart, and even vinous, to go along with the floral, citrus, and grassy character from the addition of Cascade and Falconer’s Flight hops. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 40 IBUs, and is available now at the brewery’s taproom, and better beer bars and restaurants across the HRM.

• And speaking of Good Robot, the screening of Sociable! earlier this week was a roaring success, with a full house witnessing the ups and downs of planning, opening, and operating a brewery in Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for details on more screenings, entry to film festivals, and online distribution.

• About a month ago, we reported on the wet-hopped beer brewed by Graystone Brewing; that beer was released at the brewery on Wednesday of this week. Now named United Hops, it was bittered with freshly-harvested Summit to ~80 IBUs, according to the brewery, with other hops added later in the boil, including Perle, El Dorado, Cascade, Idaho 7, and a small portion coming from locally-grown hops donated by people in the Fredericton area. Weighing in at 6% ABV, a portion of the proceeds will go to support United Way. Drop by the brewery this weekend to try a pint, crowler, or growler of this new brew.

• There’s a new Picaroons beer on tap exclusively at the General Store in Saint John – One for the Road Black IPA was brewed to celebrate the recently-renovated Canterbury Street in the city. A small batch brewed on the General Store system, it features a grain bill with plenty of dark, roasted malts, was hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Galaxy, and fermented with an American Ale yeast strain. This 5.6% ale won’t last long, so pop by the General Store to give it a try, while supplies last.

• This week Annapolis Cider Company has a new release in their ‘Something Different’ series, an unfiltered sparkling cider called Peach and Peppercorn. True to its name, it features both freshly cracked peppercorns, with which it’s been infused, and the juice of tree-ripened peaches to the tune of 15% of the batch. On top of the apple base, the peach brings tanginess while the peppercorns provide a subtle heat. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV, you’ll find it available at the cidery, where $0.50 of each bottle refill will be donated to the local 4-H Club.

• Jeremy White of Big Spruce penned a Letter to Nova Scotia this week, detailing some of the struggles and backwards hoops that he, and other breweries, have to go through in that province. A combination of antiquated laws, unfair treatment of breweries versus wineries and distilleries, inequality in tax collection from younger breweries, lead to many frustrations for those looking to earn a living while brewing in the province.

There are a few events this weekend, and in the coming weeks, worth checking out. Here are a few that we wanted to highlight:

• Drop by the Cabot Links Public House tonight for a Big Spruce Tap Takeover. Featuring the core line-up of Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, Kitchen Party Pale Ale, and Tim’s Dirty American IPA, plus seasonals Bitter Get’er India Black IPA and Spruce Bringstein Amber, plus the BS/Boxing Rock For the Love of Grimace Berliner Weisse aged on blueberries. The event starts at 9pm, with live music kicking off at 9:30. The first 48 folks in the door will receive a free glass to take home with them.

• While the weather in Halifax has been beautiful for the past few weeks, it’s time to face reality: the best days of outdoor dining and drinking are behind us. As such, both the Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden, and Stubborn Goat‘s Waterfront location are both winding down for the season this weekend. Drop by for one last hoorah tomorrow before/during/after Nocturne. Good Robot is hosting an interactive art display on their Gastroturf fro Nocturne, so be sure to drop by to take part. And today marks the first day for Stillwell’s new noon-time opening at Barrington. Start the weekend early with some great food and beer on Barrington!

• On Saturday, October 22nd, Sackville’s Ducky’s Bar will be holding a tap takeover featuring PEI Brewing Co., at 7:00 pm. A total of 15 different beers will be flowing, with no cover charge to attend. However, if you pay $20, you will receive a 13-oz branded Belgian-style beer glass, and five 5-oz beer tickets, with 5$ going towards the Tantramar Breast Cancer Organization. Reserve your glass before the 22nd by signing up at the bar, and you’ll receive an addition two 5-oz tickets. Finally, those with the special glass will be able to purchase additional 5 oz pours for the rest of the evening for $2.25. More details, including which beers will be available, will be coming soon; stay tuned to the event page for updates.

• Halloween is fast approaching, and with it comes the first Halloween Bash at Maybee’s, on Saturday, October 29th. Starting around 7 pm at Maybee Brewing Co., there’s all sorts of ghoulish things planned, including haunted brewery tours, a costume contest (with prizes), a dance party with live music and, of course, candy! There’s no cover, and Milda’s Pizza & More will be on-site to provide tasty food for purchase. In addition, a special, super-secret beer will be released by the brewery at the event; we can’t give anything away, but we CAN assure you that it’s NOT a Pumpkin Ale!

• For those interested in learning to make cider, a Continuing Education course at NSCC Kingstec will be kicking off November 3rd. Running for four weeks, Hard Cider Made Easy explores all steps of the cider-making process, including apple selection, pressing, fermenting, and packaging of the final product.

A few more drips and drops before you head out today:

– The Third Annual Hammond River Home Brew Competition will be coming up soon; we’ll have more details for you next week, but in the meantime, raise a glass to Shane Steeves and family as expansion on the new, 15 BBL HR brewhouse located adjacent to The Barrel’s Head has officially begun this week!

– In addition to their regular Thursday night growler evenings, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing will be attending the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmer’s Market, beginning this weekend. Drop by the Historic Gardens location Saturday 9-12 to grab your fills. And while there, be sure to sign up and compete in the 5th Annual North American Conker Championship, taking place that morning. Try, if you dare, to dethrone last year’s winner, Simon Bonnington. Registration and mandatory drug testing starts at 9am.

– Look for more beers and availability at Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing shortly: their 10 BBL (1200 litre) DME brewhouse is working overtime to keep their thirsty fans satisfied. The first batches from their big system should be hitting the taps in Mahone Bay, and elsewhere in the province, very soon.

– There are a pair of new batches on tap at Saint John’s Big Tide Brewpub. It is the return of Karnival Kölsch, as well as their second batch of Indian Beach Pumpkin, this time brewed with all Magnum hops from Darlings Island Farm. And they are down to the last drops of their Hemmingsway Vealy Great Ale, brewed in collaboration with the folks from the Boiling Point podcast.

– Moncton-area Beckwith Road Brewing have released their fourth beer, Upland American Brown. At 6.1% ABV and 40 IBUs, this beer debuted at the Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest last month, and will be found on tap in the city shortly.

Good morning! After a brief hiatus last week, due to vacation on one’s part and work travelling on the other’s, we’re back and ready to continue the work of spreading the love of beer! Good thing nothing happened during that…. oh, crap.

Port Rexton Brewing opened last weekend in … Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Located a few hours Northwest of St John’s on the Bonavista Peninsula, PRB is the first brewery to open outside of the Avalon Peninsula. After a busy opening weekend, they are now in a groove, open daily 2-10pm for samples, pints, and growler fills. They are now pouring a pair of beers, with more on the way very shortly: Horse Chops IPA is a 6% ABV/72 IBUs American-style IPA, featuring lots of West Coast hops (including a dry hop with Mosaic) on a medium body; their Night ‘Bous Porter is 6.5% ABV and 29 IBUs, with lots of chocolate flavours in the “medium-sweet body”. We’ll be sharing more details on the brewery and the great duo behind the beer soon, but in the meantime, take a trip to P.R. for a solid pint this weekend!

• There’s another new brewery opening soon in New Brunswick, and while details are currently very slim, Fundy Bay Brewco currently has a Twitter account started. Sounds like the brewery will be located in Sussex, with three beers listed as “coming soon”: Alma IPA, a 6.5% ABV, 50 IBUs “West-Coast style IPA” with aromas of pine, citrus, and tropical fruit; Digby Dubbel, a 7.2% ABV Belgian Dubbel fermented with a Belgian yeast strain to give aromas of “dark fruits, sassafras, caramel, leather, and toasted grain”; and St. Martin’s ISA, a 4.8% ABV, 25 IBUs Session IPA hopped with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight. We’ll have more details on the brewery soon; in the meantime, be sure to follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date with their progress.

• After a year-long hiatus, Shiretown will be making their return at tomorrow’s Bon Ami Flavor Fest, held at the Dalhousie Lion’s Club from 7 pm – 2 am. They will be pouring two beers: their flagship, Blonde du Quai, a 4.5% ABV Blonde Ale, and Cartier’s Columbus, a new beer the brewery describes as a “Golden IPA”, weighing in at 6.2% ABV, and hopped entirely with Columbus to 60 IBUs. Shiretown is aiming for bottles of both beers to hit select ANBL stores around mid-August; we’ll keep you updated!

• There’s a new beer available from Petit-Sault, a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) Pale Ale named La Glazier. Brewed entirely with Pale malt from Malt-Broue, a nearby Quebec “micromaltery”, and hopped with Cascade from Aroostook Hops in Northern Maine, it comes in at 4.9% ABV and 30 IBUs. Featuring “citrus notes and a slight bitterness”, it’s available on tap at the brewery, and select ANBL growler stations this weekend, as well as select bars/restaurants in the province. And congratulations to Petit-Sault on their recent expansion, thanks to further buying-in by ACOA, the New Brunswick government, and their community investors. More details here.

Distillerie Fils du Roy has released another new beer, Hommage à 1755, a Belgian Strong Ale. A style very similar to the more-commonly-seen Belgian Tripel, it’s a pale-coloured, bitter, effervescent beer that finishes extremely dry (thanks to high attenuation by the Belgian yeast strain), with a “spicy/fruity, resinous hop profile, and a soft, supportive grainy-sweet malt palate”, according to the brewery. Weighing in at 7% ABV and 22 IBUs, it’s available in bottles now, as well as on tap at all of the ANBL Growler filling stations this weekend. As the name implies, it is an homage to 1755, a band that popularized Acadian music in the 70’s/’80’s, and still active today.

Hell Bay has released their first Black IPA, Black Flag IPA. As dark as the name suggests, this 6.1% ABV beer has notes of “roasted malt and rum flavours upfront, followed by earthy and citrus notes”. Hopped with Chinook and Ahtanum (to 55 IBUs), it’s available on tap at the brewery for growler fills, and should pop up on tap at the Port Grocer, Rhubarb, and Stillwell.

Wayfarers’ Ale Society has released the third of their offerings recently at their Port Williams brewery. Thistle Dew is a 4.8% ABV Scottish Ale, described as “a malty ale with a low hop profile”. The rich copper colour leads to a medium body and very light bitterness (20 IBUs). Now on tap at the brewery for samples, pints, and growlers, it joins their Hellene Blonde Ale and Ruby Ale Irish Red Ale. Look for a pair of new beers from them in the coming weeks, their EPA English Pale Ale and One-Eyed River Hog IPA.

Mill Street St John’s has released their latest brew, Caribou Cream Ale. Weighing in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs, this easy-drinking beer is available on tap at Mill Street/Bier Markt and to go in growlers as well. This easy-drinking, thirst-quenching beer was fermented with two yeast strains (first with a British ale strain, then with a German lager strain) “to impart complexity and smoothness”, and exhibits “fresh, cracker malt with a slight hop aroma and yeast undertones”, according to the brewery. Also note that $1 from every growler sale will be donated to the newly-opened Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum.

• Last week, Pump House released a new beer available on tap only at their brewpub in Moncton. Raspberry Wheat is a German-style Wheat beer that has been “bombarded” with 70 kg of fresh raspberries, and is described by the brewery as “tart and refreshing”, with plenty of raspberry in the aroma and flavour. Clocking in at 6.2% ABV, get down to the brewpub for a pint before it’s gone!

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewery is launching this weekend, to coincide with the Mahone Bay Heritage Boat Yard Festival. Visit their tent on the Town Wharf Saturday and Sunday, 1-5pm both days, to grab a taste of their beer or some merchandise. And then visit their brewery (open the same hours) on Main Street to grab growler fills of the beers. They will have their HefeweizenIndia Pale Ale, and Dark Cream Ale available, with a new Light Pilsner possibly making an appearance, if ready. Depending on beer availability, their retail storefront will be open going forward, as they are currently releasing beers brewed on their pilot system, while they await the arrival of their full-sized brewhouse. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for exact details.

Bulwark will be releasing a New Ross 200th Anniversary edition of their Oak Aged Cider. Long in the making, the cider spent more than six months maturing in American oak barrels, and is packaged in a bottle designed by local resident Bonnie Keddy. The barrel is an ode to the many cooperages that were in the New Ross area, thanks to the locally-designed apple barrels needed to support the apple industry. The 7.0% ABV cider is now ready for purchase at their homebase, Muwin Estate Wines (either by phone or email), and will be on sale at the New Ross 200th Anniversary Night Market on Friday, August 5. As a way of giving back to the community and thanking them for all of their support, a portion of the sales will be donated to the New Ross Development Society.

Nine Locks has released their first seasonal, Watermelon Blonde, perfect for the remaining days of summer. Described by the brewery as “light and crisp, with a hint of watermelon”, with whole fresh watermelon added during the mash, as well as in a post-fermentation secondary (as well as some natural extract). This 5.0% ABV, 12 IBU beer is available now for growler fills and cans at the brewery. And congratulations to them on their recent expansion in the brewhouse – with the addition of three 72hl (60 BBL) fermentors, they will be better able to keep up with demand and different seasonal options.

• There’s a new beer on tap at Big Spruce’s tasting room, thanks to a collaboration with Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewery. Stark Craving Mad is an “Amber American IPA” with lots of late-addition hops for a serious hop flavour and nose. The beer weighs in at 7.2% ABV and 65 IBUs, and is currently only available at the Big Spruce tap room, so drop by today! And when you do, grab some grub from the Cruisin’ Cuisine Food Truck, onsite 12-7 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with live music 3-5 pm daily. Check out the FB event page for details on the menu and music schedule.

• And speaking of Boxing Rock, after three years in operation, they just packaged their 1,000,000th bottle this week! To celebrate, they’ve hidden winning tickets in six of their Hunky Dory Pale Ale six-packs, which can be returned to the brewery for some sweet swag. Congratulations! They also did a small tasting of a Gin-infused Pale Ale at Bishop’s Cellar last night, which looks be prelude to a wider release soon.

• After a very successful launch at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market earlier this month, Brightwood Brewery has released their second beer. Smokey the Beer is a Honey Smoke Ale featuring, unsurprisingly, Honey and Smoked malts in the grist, for an aromatic journey of the senses. First smoke, then honey sweetness, with some piney hop notes to complete the campfire feel. Grab this 5.3% ABV beer, and their The Big Lift American IPA, at the Market this Saturday 8am-1pm. You can grab/exchange one of their own growlers, and they will fill personal growlers, provided they are nice and clean.

• There’s a new beer soon to be tapped at the Antigonish Townhouse – brewmaster Terry Piercy brewed up an experimental batch in the style of an English Pale Ale, using Horton Ridge Organic Pale Malt. The light-coloured ale was hopped with UK Fuggles for both bittering and flavour additions, to 43 IBUs. Coming in at a sessionable 4.7% ABV, look for this currently-unnamed brew to be released in a couple of weeks, where it will likely be cask-conditioned and served on the pub’s hand-pump.

There are a whole slew of events coming up in the next little while, so be sure to keep your calendar open for the following opportunities to drink great beer:

Unfiltered Brewing turns one-year-old today, and they’re throwing a celebration at their Charm School Pub, with $5 pints all day (that’s noon till late), and a “special Nash-inspired menu” from 5-10 pm, served by Food Wolf. Happy 1st Anniversary!

• In other 1st Anniversary news, Breton Brewing is celebrating theirs on Saturday, July 30th with a slightly-belated Birthday Breakfast at the brewery from 9 am – 12 pm. The first 100 breakfasts (prepared by local STAND & STUFF Your Face) are free, and live music will be playing. After chowing down on some pancakes, attendees will also be able to take the opportunity to sign up for their new Mug Club, starting at noon. Limited to the first 50 people to sign up, the Club features all sorts of perks, including a personal 18 oz mug that will be kept at the brewery. Membership is $75 for the first year.

• This coming Monday, August 1st (New Brunswick Day), the 4th annual Fredericton Beer Run will be held, starting at the Lighthouse on the Green at 10 am (registration begins at 8 am). With 4, 6, and 12 km runs available, it’s open to novices and serious runners alike! Afterwards, runners will receive 14 beer tickets, each good for a 4-oz sample, with 15 breweries pouring roughly 40 different beers. There are still a limited number of tickets available ($60 each), so be sure to grab yours now! If you’d like to participate in the drinking, but not the running, tickets ($30) are available for the NB Day Beer Garden, where you can enjoy the beer without the effort. Additional tickets will be available for purchase. Not to be outdone, there is also now a Moncton Beer Run next Friday, August 5th, starting at Centennial Park at 6:30 pm (registration begins at 5 pm). This will be a 6 km run only, also featuring a beer tasting afterwards with 14 beer tickets, and 5 breweries pouring their beers. Tickets ($55 each) for this event are available here.

• Next Friday and Saturday, August 5th and 6th, marks the return of the annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest, which will be celebrating its 10th year since it first launched in 2007. Featuring over 300 different beers and ciders (full list available here), there are three sessions to choose from: one on Friday evening (7-9:30 pm), and two on Saturday (2-4:30 pm, 7-9:30 pm), with each session featuring VIP tickets that get you in a full hour earlier. All sessions will include unlimited samples, with VIP tickets also giving you access to a panel discussion and guided beer tasting. Tickets are $49+tax for regular, and $70+tax for VIP, and are available online. We’ll have more details on the event early next week, including info on a mega-collaboration brewday happening at Garrison with many of the visiting breweries.

Stillwell Beer Bar will be hosting a Tap Takeover by Stillwater Artisanal Brewery Saturday August 6th. With a homebase in Maryland, Stillwater is a gypsy brewery, not owning their own equipment, but rather releasing beers brewed at others’ locations. There will be 10 different Stillwater beers available on tap starting at noon Saturday, and it will be a pay-as-you-go event, no tickets needed. We have the inside scoop on a few of the beers that will be flowing, including Mono, a 5.2% ABV Hoppy Pilsner; As Follows, a 9.0% ABV Belgian Strong Golden; and Vacuum, an 8.0% Black Smoked IPA. For those who can’t wait until Saturday for a taste, Stillwater Classique, a 4.5% ABV farmhouse beer, is currently available in cans at Stillwell’s homebase on Barrington.

• The Ladies Beer League is hosting a special sneak preview party with 2 Crows Brewing, a new 20 BBL (23 hL) Halifax brewery set to open this fall, on Thursday, August 18th. Held at the home of two of the owners from 7-10 pm, all three of their core brands will be available to be sampled, as well as a few surprises. Tickets (available through the link above) are only $10, with all proceeds going to Feed Nova Scotia (and they will be accepting further donations for FNS during the event)

Have a fantastic long weekend, hopefully surrounded by plenty of great beer! For those of you in New Brunswick, note that this weekend, all five ANBL growler stations will be pouring beers that were brewed by NB breweries (FYI, ANBL stores will be closed Monday August 1st). And in closing…

– A reminder that there’s still a few tickets remaining for the Fredericton Beer Tour (Saturday, August 6th) that we mentioned two weeks ago; your $77 ticket (available here) will get you transportation to five breweries/cideries, chat time with the brewers, and a minimum of four 4-oz samples per stop.
– Grimross has officially started canning, as their Maritime Pale Ale is available now in 500 mL cans at the brewery; the beer will hopefully be available at select ANBL stores in the near future. Look for their Saison, Cheval D’Or, to be canned by early fall.
– Maybee has bottled their Long Carry Brett Red in a limited number of 750 mL cork-and-cage bottles; labels are currently being printed, so look for these to be available at the brewery within the next couple of weeks.
– Keep your eyes peeled for a new English Mild from Tatamagouche Brewing. This 3.7% ABV beer has been spotted in the wild at Battery Park and Stillwell, and will surely satisfy the “sessionable” crowd, it’s a flavourful beer in a small package. And on the other end of the spectrum, they are serving an English Barley Wine at the brewery, but details on it are a little slim at the moment.

Phew, that’s it! That’ll teach us to never take a week off again!

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve got a handful of new beers and ciders, and several great events to announce, but let’s start with the return of a small brewery in Northern New Brunswick.

• Rumours have been circulating for several weeks, but we’ve been able to confirm that Shiretown, a nanobrewery in Dalhousie, then Charlo, NB that closed last summer, is planning to re-open this coming August. Owner/brewer Derek Leslie, who had been working as a sales rep for Picaroons in northern NB the past ten months, says that he has upgraded with a new, 2 bbl (230 L) brew system, about twice as large as what he had been using in the past. The new brewery will be located at 363 Chaleur St. in Charlo, with a storefront onsite. Shiretown’s three flagship beers – Blonde du Quai, Siren’s T’ale, and Big Brown Ale – will once again be in the regular lineup, with production focusing on bottles. The brewery’s former website and Facebook page are still currently offline, but their Twitter account still exists. We’ll keep you updated on Shiretown’s progress over the coming weeks!

Big Tide is bringing back a previous favourite, Chocolate Amaretto Porter. Brewed with Pale Ale malt as the base, Chocolate Wheat malt and CaraMunich malts were added to increase complexity. In addition, after primary fermentation was complete, cocoa, vanilla, and Amaretto were added to the beer, resulting in a 5.5% ABV “slightly sweet” ale with a “biscuity flavour and a hint of almond”. Originally released once in 2015, brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos was inspired by the flavours of biscotti (Italian almond biscuits) when putting together the recipe. Look for this one to be available at the brewpub sometime around the weekend of June 18th.

Bulwark is releasing a new limited-edition cider today, Raspberry Cider. This red-coloured, “crisp and off-dry” beverage features the usual freshly-pressed apples from the Valley, and unites them with fresh raspberries grown on Bulwark’s winery property. Think of it as a follow-up to the cidery’s very popular Sour Cherry Cider from last summer, except this time it will be available in bottle format! Coming in at 7.5% ABV, bottles are available now at their retail shop, and hitting NSLC shelves within the next week, when it will also be available on tap at select accounts around the province.

• Truro’s Nook and Cranny is releasing a new beer at the restaurant today, a Rhubarb Wheat. More than 25 lb of locally-harvested fresh rhubarb was added to a 300 litre batch of wheat ale, for a light acidic bite to complement the smooth base beer. With a low bitterness and 4.7% ABV, this beer will be a hit as the days get a bit warmer, and the evenings even longer. As with all of their beers, they can be enjoyed by the pint, or sampler, at the bar, and in a growler to go.

Good Robot debuted their latest CommuniBrew yesterday: Mikey’s Chocolate Orange IPA was brewed on GR’s pilot system by homebrewer Mike Orr during last month’s Open Brewery Day. The 6.6% ABV and 56 IBU IPA includes several rounds of hopping in the boil, whirlpool, and dry-hop, featuring Amarillo, Cascade, AmarilloCascadeCentennialCrystalMagnum, and Simcoe. During conditioning, a tincture of cacao nibs was added for a healthy chocolate nose and flavour. The result is like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, with the chocolate complementing the citrus characteristics of the hops, on top of a solid beer with a smooth mouthfeel. As with all of the CommuniBrew releases, these are for sale on draught in the taproom only, and they do not last long, so drop by today!

Petit-Sault has expanded their Brewtique and taproom, featuring the addition of a very large communal table that seats up to 24, with additional seating to accommodate 50+ patrons. There are now 12 taps in the taproom, some of which will be used to pour products from other local breweries and cideries. If you’re in the Edmundston area, be sure to stop in for a pint and growler fill! The brewery will be announcing their summer hours soon, allowing more time to visit and enjoy their beer.

• After a very successful release of their Gut View Amber, Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove, NS is ready to release their second beer, Bear Bones IPA. This is a beta version of a bigger batch coming soon, as they dial in the intricacies of their unique brewhouse. Look for a few more details on the beer when they post in their blog later today. Both beers will be available at tomorrow’s Annapolis Royal Farmers Market, 8:00-1:00.

York County Cider has released another batch of their Ginger Snap blend after a brief hiatus. Made with 30 pounds of fresh ginger in a 700 litre batch, the aroma, taste, and zip of the eponymous ingredient complement the 6.5% ABV base apple blend. Blending the Ginger with their Blueberry or Hopped Cider is also a popular occurrence with the cider’s fans. It is available in growler fills and bottles, at their storefront at 418 York St.

• Fredericton’s Lighthouse on the Green re-opened to the public yesterday, in preparation for the summer season. Operated by the Crowne Plaza, the location will once again focus on food and craft beer, similar to when they first opened last summer. They have upgraded their bar to have a total of ten taps pouring, featuring Red Rover cider, Pollen Angels mead, and a rotating selection of beer from various New Brunswick breweries. Now that summer is finally here (kind-of), be sure to drop by and enjoy a local beer on the Lighthouse patio! They are open everyday 11am-sundown, and as it is an outdoor venue, check their Facebook page for closure in case of poor weather.

• And in a late addition to the blog, Maybee Brewing’s retail location has now received their taproom license. Enjoy samples and pints of their beer onsite, before grabbing a growler to go. Open 10-6 Mon-Wed, 10-8 Thurs-Sat, and 12-5 Sundays.

Now, let’s get caught up on events in our region:

• Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is launching their Food Truck Fridays today at noon, by inviting the crew from Cruisin’ Cuisine to the brewery. As today is Day of Portugal, they are concentrating on famous dishes from that nation, made with local ingredients. Grab some fresh food with your samples and growlers from noon to 6pm, and enjoy the musical stylings of Asaph Deuce starting at 3pm. Big Spruce will keep the Food Trucks coming in for the rest of the summer, Friday through Sunday every weekend until October. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the day’s visiting vendor.

• On Saturday, June 11th, Garrison is hosting their Backlot Bash!, in support of the Ecology Action Centre. Held in the parking lot of their new production brewery on Marginal Rd (about 100 metres from their retail and storefront location), the event features headliner July Talk, joined by Alert the Medic, The Brood and Three Sheet as amazing local opening bands. Tickets are still available, and Garrison beer, as well as local cider, will be served, with food trucks keeping people satisfied.

• This Sunday, June 12th at 12 pm, Good Robot will be hosting Mom Day Afternoon, giving local Moms a chance to have some time to themselves and socialize with other mothers. Massage therapists from Urban Retreat Massage Therapy Ltd. will be on hand, a baby/maternity clothing swap will be going on, and members of the Ladies Beer League will be there to talk all things beer. A late brunch will be served by The Coastal Cafe at 2 pm, and Caesareans – a Good Robot cocktail with Clamato and corn beer – will be pouring. No charge to attend, just pay by the beer/cocktail/massage/brunch.

Upstreet has their first birthday coming up, and they’re putting on the Upstreet Birthday Weekend to celebrate! Held on Friday and Saturday, June 24th & 25th, there’s plenty going on:
Friday, 6 pm: Anniversary Beer Launch & Vinyl Party – featuring the release of a limited-edition, 750 mL, bottle-conditioned anniversary beer, where it will also be available on tap at the brewery; guest DJs are welcome to bring in your favourite party records! Dancing will be welcome, but not necessarily required.
Saturday, 6 pm: The Upstreet Field Trip – a tour of four of Charlottetown’s “finest eating establishments”, with food and Upstreet beer pairings, ending at the fifth stop, The Alley, for bowling and dancing. Your $65 ticket (available at link above) includes all of the above-mentioned, a special edition Upstreet Field Trip t-shirt, and free admission to…
Saturday, 10 pm – Upstreet Birthday Party – happening at The Alley, the official birthday bash will feature live music from Halifax’s Party Boots, as well as a street magician, tarot card reader, silent disco, free bowling, a pinata, party games and more. Cover is $10 (unless you’re lucky enough to be on the Field Trip).

• The Shediac Lobster Festival is hosting their inaugural Ales & Tails event on Friday, July 8th at the Shediac Multi- Functional Centre from 7 PM – 9:30 PM. NB micro and nano breweries will be well represented with Flying Boats Brewing, Celtic Knot Brewing, Bore City Brewing, Acadie-Broue, Beckwith Road (pending license), Pump House, Brasseurs Petit-Sault, Maybee Brewing, Picaroons, Scow Cider and Moosehead Brewery. A lobster half tail and lobster samples will accompany a great evening of craft beer sampling from the breweries in attendance. Tickets (limited to 250) went on sale yesterday at the Shediac Co-Op, Jean Coutu and Sobeys locations. Check out the Festival’s website for more details.

• Tickets for Halifax Seaport Beerfest are on sale today. Being held at the Cunard Centre August 5 & 6th, the Fest will feature beers from producers big and small from around the Maritimes, as well as Quebec and Ontario, that are otherwise not available in the province. Approximately 300 beers and ciders will be available, though the final brewery and product list has not yet been finalized. Friday and Saturday evening sessions run 7:00-9:30, and a Saturday afternoon session runs from 2:00-4:30, with tickets costing $49 plus tax and fees. VIP tickets ($70 plus taxes and fees) will also be available for each session, giving visitors a special tasting glass and opener, as well as early entry to take part in a panel discussion and guided beer tasting. Designated Driver and Group Rates are also available. In addition to online ticket sales, they can be purchased at select NSLC and Ticket Atlantic locations (saving some fees).

• Tickets for the 2016 PEI Beer Festival, September 2 & 3, will also go on sale today. Being held at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, there are three sessions for your tasting enjoyment: Friday 6:30-9:30, and Saturday 2:00PM – 4:30 and 6:30-9:30. Evening tickets are $40 plus tax and fee, while the afternoon session is $30 plus taxes and fee. While the general tickets are on sale today, they will be rolling out Designated Driver tickets shortly, as well as details on the preferred rate to stay at the Fest hotel. Discussion and a few more details are available on Facebook.

A few more beer notes before we sign off today:

Picaroons has re-released their 506 Logger, this time in 6-packs of 12-oz bottles, the first time the brewery has packaged in this format. Coming in at 4.6% ABV and 15 IBUs, bottles are available at both Picaroons locations (Fredericton’s Brewtique and Saint John’s General Store) along with growler fills, with bottles also being found at ANBL stores.
Yellowbelly has re-released their East Coast Cream Ale, an easy-drinking, 5% ABV pale beer that is a popular seasonal during the warmer months. It’s available now at the brewpub only, on tap and with a small amount of bottles, for a limited time.
– PEI Brewing has released a new cask this week: Lactic Soured Apricot Lager. A tart take on their 4.5% ABV lager, using Lactobacillus to sour the wort for a refreshing bite, along with apricot for a pleasant stone fruit character. As with all of their casks, this is for on-site enjoyment in their taproom only.

Howdy, beer fans! Hope everyone has had a good week, and that you’re ready for your long weekend! Here’s what’s currently happening in beer news in Atlantic Canada this week…

• Good news, residents of Digby County, NS! Lazy Bear Brewing is set to launch this weekend, with growler sales commencing this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market, on St. George St, open from 8am – 1pm. Their Gut View Amber Ale, an “English-style beer rich with malt overtones and subtle aromas from Canadian-grown English hops” will be available, along with brewery-logoed t-shirts and glasses. The Amber clocks in at 4.9% ABV and 32 IBUs, and should be followed next weekend by their India Pale Ale. Look for the Lazy Bear retail space to open at the brewery in June, in Smith’s Cove.

• Attention all rhubarb growers! Garrison is kicking off their new “U-Pick Series” with an as-yet undetermined rhubarb beer, and they need plenty of the tart stalks from this herbaceous perennial (don’t worry, this won’t be part of next year’s ACBB Trivia!) from the beer-drinking public. For every pound of clean, fresh local rhubarb that you bring to the brewery, you will receive in-store credit! We’ll be sure to provide more info on the beer as it’s determined; in the meantime, get foraging! And keep an eye out for their Brewhouse Cider, which will be back on tap at the brewery this weekend. Made in collaboration with Bulwark, it features a blend of NS apples, and clocks in at 5.8% ABV.

• We have some details on Mango Lassi Pale Ale, the latest cask pouring at the PEI Brewing Co. taproom this week. This single-release is their already-delicious Vic Park Pale Ale, along with the addition of mangos and cardamom during fermentation; the beer is then further dry-hopped with Citra and Sorachi Ace. It weighs in at 5% ABV; if you’d like to try it, get down there fast, as these cask releases usually don’t last very long!

Good Robot has a pair of new beers pouring at their taproom currently. Beta versions 1 and 2 of an American Wheat were brewed on their pilot system; the two beers feature altered malt and hopping schedules, while they do both feature Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria. Best to try both to find your favourite! The scaled up Alpha version of the American Wheat, Wackity Shmackity Doo, features the best qualities of both, with an addition of Honey malt for a slight sweetness, but crisp finish with the addition of Magnum for bittering, plus a 7-day dry-hopping with Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria. The beer comes in at 5.8% ABV and 25 IBUs. WSD will be released Tuesday, May 24th, as part of their Just Vorlaufs! live outdoor comedy show on their Gastroturf/Green Room.

Upstreet has released a brand new beer this week, launching their “One Way Series”, on tap at the brewery for pints only due to the extremely small volume. The first release is Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, a 6% ABV Smoked Porter brewed with smoked malt in the grist, to give the beer just enough of a smoky aroma and flavour to make you feel “like you’re already sitting around a backyard bonfire eating BBQ’ed burgers”. Hopped with Chinook from New Brunswick to add some balance, be sure to drop by the brewery taproom for a pint ASAP!

• A new beer was brewed at Hammond River late last week to honour the beloved Duck Tolling Retriever of owner/brewer Shane Steeves and his family, Vegas, who passed away earlier this month. HR’s 200th batch, The Vegas SMaSH IPA was brewed with Pale Ale malt and plenty of the wonderfully-fruity Amarillo hop. Steeves expects the beer to come in at 6.5% ABV and approximately 60 IBUs; we’ll keep you updated as to its release. And expect to see the return of HR’s Blood Orange Hefeweizen, which was re-brewed the same day.

• Today marks the return of Unfiltered’s Daytimer Berliner Weisse. Featuring an assertive tart acidity from lactic acid formed naturally during a warm incubation period, the beer features no hops in the boil, but is generously dry-hopped with Mosaic. The resultant 3.4% ABV is quite refreshing and perfect for the warmer days we’re finally receiving. Grab it today in growlers at noon at the brewery, or in your glass at 4pm at Charm School next door. And for the next several months, Charm School’s doors will be open from noon on both Saturday and Sunday.

Big Tide brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos is in the planning stages for a new one-off collaboration beer, and your help is needed in designing and naming it! Brewed with David Veale and Greg Hemmings to celebrate the upcoming 100th episode of their Boiling Point Podcast, the beer style and details are open to suggestion. Simply fill out the online survey by June 1st (it’s short, so will only take a minute or two), and the winner will be announced at the brewpub on Thursday, June 23rd at 5:30 pm during the podcast celebrations. Good luck! For more info, check out this video.

• Shediac Bay’s Flying Boats has a pair of beers now back in their rotation, in time for the warmer months. Humpyard is a 5.8% ABV Steam Ale (also known as California Common), originally brewed by German immigrants in the San Francisco area, as a pale hybrid lager/ale (lager yeast but at an elevated temperature). FB’s version features the iconic Northern Brewer hops for a medium bitterness to offset the characteristic caramel malt flavour. Picnic Train is a Witbier, a Belgian wheat beer with the additions of coriander and bitter orange peel for an easy-drinking beer for the summer. Both are currently on tap at Moncton’s Tide and Boar, and will be available at FB’s other tap locations soon.

• Tomorrow and Sunday, drop by Stillwell for the latest edition of the Rare Beer Series, featuring the Belgian-Saison-inspired Saint Somewhere of Tarpon Springs, FL. Featuring twelve different beers, many of which are on tap, including Anne (Saison with elderflowers), Caitlin (Saison with oranges), Caroline (aged on coffee), and Beached Wood, a collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal. Drop by starting at noon Saturday, and 4 pm Sunday.

Stubborn Goat’s waterfront Beer Garden location will be opening tomorrow. Located at Summit Plaza, it features a shipping container housing a beer cooler, bar counter and service bay, and a separate trailer with a kitchen, allowing them to offer a wide variety of food choices. Both bar and sit-down table service will be available, and there will be plenty of beer available, focussing entirely on Nova Scotia breweries: 12 taps, with the emphasis on craft. As well, expect to see a small selection of NS bottled beer, and locally-made non-alcoholic products. As it is an outdoor space, it is weather dependent, so be sure to keep an eye on their Twitter feed for the latest information.

• Next Wednesday, May 25th, there will be a special launch party for this summer’s Fredericton Beer Run, held at the King Street Ale House patio. If you’ve purchased tickets for the August 1st run, or would like to show up to buy your tickets in person, there will be beer included! Several kegs of local breweries will be pouring at the party next Wednesday; hope to see you there!

Have a great long weekend! In closing, here’s a few snipits of some other beer releases out now or coming up soon…

– One of North Brewing‘s original releases, their 7.5% ABV Farmhouse Ale, is back on tap at the brewery for growler fills; look for it to appear at better beer establishments across HRM as well.
Grimross has a new beer on tap at their taproom, ESB, a 5.3% ABV English-style ale that they describe as “woodsy, caramel, peppery, hop finish”.
Picaroons‘ popular fruit beer seasonal, Melon Head, is set to return on Wednesday, June 1st. This 4.5% ABV summer ale will be available on tap and in bottles throughout the warmer months.