Cicerone Certification Program

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Good morning! Welcome to your weekly dose of beer news, let’s kick it off with some new beers and events coming soon…

• Over the past little while, there have been several new beers brewed to be released at the upcoming Fredericton Craft Beer Festival on March 12th. First off is a collaboration brew devised by Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks that included representation from almost every brewery in Fredericton: Grimross, Maybee, Picaroons, TrailWayMama’s Pub, soon-to-open Gray Stone, as well as Red Rover Cider House and Sunset Heights Meadery. The beer brewed was Johnny Be Good, a 5.4% ABV, 21 IBU Nut Brown Ale, in support of local brewer John Evans, who has been undergoing treatment for cancer over the past few months. The brewers teamed up at Grimross to produce the beer; when finished, it will be split between all taking part, and will then be free to put their own individual spin on it. To celebrate the release, a special Pub Crawl (open to the public) will be held next Saturday, March 5th at 6 pm. Starting at the King Street Ale House, attendees will visit several bars, and enjoy the different variations of the beer at each stop. Tickets are $45 + fee and include six 9 oz pours of different variants; proceeds from the pub crawl and sales of the beer will go to Evans.

• Next up, BarNone has brewed up a new iteration of their Little DIPA for the festival. Described as darker than the original version, it was heavily hopped with Cascade and Columbus in the boil, with a large late addition of Amarillo, Cascade, and a bit of Citra. It will, of course, be dry-hopped when fermentation is complete, with an as-yet-undetermined variety. It should clock in around 7% ABV. No need to worry for Islanders not able to attend the festival – while the beer is being released as FCBF, there will be some available at select accounts in PEI afterwards.

• Local Fredericton brewery Picaroons will be taking up permanent residence at Vault 29 in the week leading up the FCBF, March 8-12th. Pics will be taking over half of their 32 taps with a variety of seasonal, specialty, and core brand beers. On the 12th, V29 hosts the official FCBF “Afternoon Session After-Party”, with music from The Hypochondriacs, and food and beer specials starting at 3:30pm. Entry to the event is free, and more details can be found on Facebook.

• Finally, TrailWay teamed up with our local homebrewer and our own Shawn Meek to brew their first Belgian IPA. Currently unnamed, it features a grist made up mainly of Pilsner malt, with some CaraRed, Aromatic, and Wheat malt to bump up the malt character. Hopped in the boil with large whirlpool additions of GalaxyMosaic and Vic Secret, it will be further dry-hopped with Citra and Galaxy for plenty of tropical fruit character. It was fermented with two yeast strains, one Belgian and one American, and should weigh in at ~6.5% ABV. While this one will make its official debut at the fest, look for a possible sneak peak at our ACBB Trivia Night at the King Street Ale House on Thursday, March 10th at 8 pm!

• Back to regular releases, Moncton’s Bore City will be releasing their first Black IPA, Night and Day, in the near future. Described as a very hop-forward version of the style, it was hopped with Cascade, Summit, and Zythos in the boil, and dry-hopped with more Cascade and Summit. Clocking in at 6.4% ABV and 63 IBUs, look for this one to pop up on tap at Marky’s Laundromat any day now. And keep your eyes peeled for the latest version of their Mondo IPA, which should be hitting tap accounts, soon.

Spindrift will be releasing Riptide, their first India Pale Lager, today on tap at the brewery. Described as a Northeast-style hoppy Lager, it has a simple, light grist, complemented by a blend of American and German hop varieties, giving the beer “aromas of pine, prefacing hop flavours of stone fruits and citrus”. Coming in at 6.5% ABV and 40 IBUs, Riptide is joining Coastal Lager and Abyss as a core brand, with this initial release on draft at the brewery and accounts now, and in cans by mid-April.

• There’s an interesting new brew available now from North Brewing: Sauer Sagen Hat is a kettle-soured SMaSH beer brewed with Pilsner malt and Sorachi Ace hops. From North owner Peter Burbridge, “When we asked our four-year-old son Noah what we should call this beer, he yelled: ‘Sauer Sagen Hat! It means sour super hero hat!’ … It actually means “has to say sour” in German, but we like Noah’s translation better.” And so do we! Combining the grapefruit- and pineapple-like acidity/tartness from the bacteria-souring process with the lemongrass characteristics from the hops, it comes in at 4% ABV and 15 IBUs. It’s currently available at both store locations on Agricola and Ochterloney in both bottles and growlers, and will be on tap around HRM, including in rotation on their new nitrogenated tap at Battery Park.

• Over in St. John’s, NL, YellowBelly Brewpub has a couple of returning favourites to talk about. First off, Top Shed Cream Ale is back on tap at the brewpub. An interesting take on the style, it was originally brewed as a collaboration with Top Shed, a brewery in Australia, late last year. The recent brew was tweaked slightly, with a lighter malt grist and shorter dry-hop period. Still with a light body, and brewed with plenty of corn and wheat (as per the style), it was lightly hopped with Pacific Gem and Mosaic, with a “gentle” dry-hop of more Mosaic. This batch will also be available in bottles in a limited run, which should be at YellowBelly and the NLC within a week or so. Second, their Paddy’s Pale Ale – a 5.7% ABV, ~45 IBUs American Pale Ale – will be returning soon. Hopped entirely with Cascade – including multiple dry-hop additions – it should be kegged sometime next week, with bottles following shortly after. And in other bottle news, YB’s cider, Crooked as Sin, should be available for purchase any day now, at NLC stores only.

• Last month, Big Spruce brewed a “simultaneous collaboration” with Stone City Ales out of Kingston, ON. Well, that beer is now available, and it sounds delicious! Watchtower Conspiracy DIPA is a big beer (9% ABV, 85 IBUs) featuring “piles” of late addition AmarilloGalaxy, and Waimea hops, giving lots of tropical fruit character in the aroma and flavours. In addition, the beer was fermented with Vermont Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. Better known as “Conan” to homebrewers everywhere, it’s a strain well-known for accentuating hop flavours. Available for growler fills now, and on tap at select locations, it will also be pouring at FCBF.

Last week, we reported that this year’s edition of Ice Boat, PEI Brewing Co.‘s barrel-aged stout, would be released this week. However, after some tasting sessions with staff, they’ve determined that the beer is not yet ready for release, and will be allowed to age in whiskey barrels for a longer period (approximately 6-8 months). Kudos to the PEIBC for allowing the beer to reach its greatness with more time! We’ll keep you updated as to its eventual release. Luckily, the next round of Transmitter Coffee Stout will be released March 1st (including a release in Nova Scotia), ReAnimator (their Doppelbock) will be released shortly thereafter, and a new Saison is in the works. Stay tuned!

• There’s a new beer joining the lineup at Maybee Brewing, an “Espresso Stout” named Elevensies. Brewed with lots of organic Italian Roast coffee from Just Us!, a coffee roasters co-op, it weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 41 IBUs. You can find it on tap now for growler fills at the brewery.

• Good news if you’re nearby Unfiltered Brewing today: they’re releasing two beers at noon! The first is the return of the popular SMaSH DIPA, Double Orange Ale, brewed with all Citra hops (7.5% ABV). Next is an oak-aged version of their regular-release DIPA, Twelve Years to Zion. Coming in at 8% ABV, it was aged on oak for 6 weeks to bring out lots of oak flavour. Drop by the brewery and/or Charm School today to fill up your growlers, and then yourself.

• Looking to expand your beer knowledge? The Atlantic Chapter of CAPS is running a training course, designed to prepare you to take the Certified Beer Server exam, which is part of the Cicerone certification program. Running on four subsequent Thursdays, beginning March 10th, the classes are designed to introduce students to the ingredients involved in beer making, style guidelines, history of brewing, and flavour profiles. Class size is limited, so sign up today.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is releasing the second in their Cellar Series of beers today, Grand Baltic Porter. Black in colour, this lager has a complex body aided by the addition of blackstrap molasses and whole dates, and is balanced with German hops. Like last week’s Ol’ Fogburner Barleywine, and next week’s unnamed release, the Baltic Porter’s robust 9.5% ABV will allow it to be set aside for cellaring and enjoyment for years to come. It is only available in bottles, launched at the brewery today.

• Congratulations to the 40+ entries in this year’s Home Brew-Off, in the Experimental IPA category. The Top 10 has been chosen by a team of BJCP and industry judges, with the Garrison crew now having the tough job of choosing the Final Four. The winners will be chosen next Thursday, and announced that evening at a Gala at the brewery. There are a few tickets available to the public who wish to take part in the fun, including tasting the finalists’ beers, and perhaps the first sips of last year’s winning beer, Mr. Robusto, from NS homebrewer Dave Martin. Contact the brewery for more details.

• Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has brought back their Irish Red Ale, and it is available in bottles and growler fills at both Prop Shops now. This 5% ABV, 25 IBU Red Ale features a pleasant toast character from the Crystal and Melanoidin malts, with a light balancing bitterness from Willamette. And the IRA will be the feature cask at tonight’s Prop’r Cask Night at their Gottingen location, featuring  The Other Bean & Rinaldo’s Italian American Specialties. The last few tickets just sold this morning, so hopefully you’ve already grabbed yours!

• Halifax’s Good Robot Brewery brewed up a beer to celebrate Nova Scotia’s African Heritage Month, putting their spin on the Ale to the Chief Honey Porter recipe released by President Barack Obama’s administration in 2012. Converting the extract recipe to all-grain, they used Annapolis Valley honey and Maritime malt, with Hallertau and Nugget hops, and switching to the clean-fermenting Cali Ale yeast to allow the malt and hops to shine through. Sadly (for those not in attendance), the beer was so popular that they blew through the entire pilot-system batch during Tuesday’s launch party! That is certainly an ode to the recipe, brewers, and community involvement behind the release. Want another great excuse to visit GR’s Taproom? Their monthly Silent Reading at the Imbibrary event will be happening this Wednesday, March 2nd, from 6-8pm. Previous evenings have been absolutely full, so be sure to arrive before 6pm, put down your cell phones, and pick up a book.

• A reminder that tomorrow is Péché Mortel Day, and two bars in our region will be taking part: Moncton’s Tide and Boar, and Halifax’s Stillwell. Starting at 11am in Moncton, and noon in Halifax, both bars will be pouring Dieu du Ciel!’s Péché Mortel Imperial Coffee Stout, plus several variants. Look for other rarities like Péché Mortel Dry (higher ABV due to a lower finishing gravity), Péché Mortel Véniel (lower ABV, with a special coffee blend), Péché Mortel Bourbon 2015 (last year’s batch aged in Bourbon barrels for six months), and Péché aux pêches (the original Péché Mortel with an addition of peaches). No tickets are required, and both locations will be offering small pour sizes, to accommodate the wide variety, and high ABV, of brews on tap. A special food menu will also be available at both locations.

• The NSLC has released stats on the three months of 2015, and it was another period of great growth in the local beer segment. Sales of NS-produced craft beer rose by 25% over the previous quarter, while the overall beer market rose less than 1%. While out-pacing the overall segment is heartening, it does highlight the fact that NS-produced beer accounts for just $2.0M in a $66.2M beer market, or 3.0%. Coupled with the fact that there are only 50-odd listings for the 23 local breweries (many do not sell through the NSLC stores for a variety of reasons), there’s still lots of room for growth in the province! The full details are available here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! As usual, a few parting notes…

– BarNone is currently fermenting a new addition in the ‘Sessions’ line; this one, Summer Sessions, is hopped entirely with Summer, an Australian variety that is light on citrus, melon and apricot.
– Edmundston’s Brasseurs du Petit-Sault is hosting an evening of beer and beer-friendly bites tonight at their location on rue de l’Eglise. Drop by at 6pm for the fun, including a tour of the brewery.
Horton Ridge Malt and Grain are approaching the deadline of their second CEDIF offering. With the first malting rounds to take place in the next month or so, look for their products to be available to brewers (commercial- and home-) soon!
– Details are coming into focus for this year’s Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, being held May 6-14. Early Bird tickets for the Saturday’s Full House Main Event are on sale now, be sure to snap them up now to avoid disappointment.

Happy Friday, everyone. It’s too beautiful of a day to be stuck reading some hilarious and insightful introduction paragraph, so let’s get right to the beer news, and get you on your way out the door for a beer!

• This week saw the launch of FirkinStein Brewing, a small brewery based in Bridgewater, NS. While not available on tap in bars or restaurants just yet, they have begun direct delivery of growlers to the public in their region. They currently have their Nor’easter Ale on offer, a 7.5% ABV Strong Ale, with lots of citrus aroma and flavour from Cascade hops (to about 55 IBUs). To take part in the fun, visit their Facebook page and send them a message with your name, address, and request. And yes, direct growler deliveries ARE legal, don’t worry! Growler fills are $12, with a growler cost of $8. Look for more details on the brewery and the folks behind it very soon, and welcome to the neighbourhood, FirkinStein!

• Despite the warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately, October is just around the corner, which can only mean… pumpkin beers! Petit-Sault has just released their Bonhomme Sept-Heures (roughly translated as “Bogeyman”), and as pumpkin beers go, it’s a big one! Weighing in at a whopping 8.6% ABV, the batch included the addition of more than 60 lbs of fresh pumpkin and squash, and 2 lbs of spices. Described by the brewery as having a “hint of caramel, with a slight biscuit sweetness” to go along with the pumpkin and spice flavours, it features a “warm finish” from the deceptively-hidden alcohol. It’s available now for growler fills at the brewery, on tap at select locations, and will also be at ANBL growler stations by next Thursday, Sept. 24th. And for those of you in PEI, Petit-Sault is now selling several of their beers at select PEILCC locations!

• Things are hopping over at Tatamagouche Brewing, as there’s lots of beer news to report! First off, their Russian Imperial Stout (the next beer in their Giant Beer Series) is now available; a monster of a beer at 8.5% ABV and over 100 IBUs, it was brewed with Frontenac Organic Pale Malt, Munich, Chocolate malt, and Roasted Barley to provide lots of dark colour and roasted flavours, and a bit of Flaked Barley to boost the body and head retention. Hopped with Pacific Gem and Chinook, it’s available in 650ml bottles now at the brewery, and at the Truro Farmers Market Saturdays.

• Tatabrew is also releasing a brand new IPA next Thursday, Sept. 24th: Deception Bay IPA is a 6.2% ABV “West Coast-inspired IPA” that was bittered with Magnum, and features large late-hop additions of Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria and Citra for intense juiciness in both the aroma and flavour, and a big 63 IBUs. This beer will be available in growlers and cans, and on tap as well, so be sure to grab a pint when you spot it in the wild!

• AND, Tatabrew will soon be re-releasing a couple of old favourites; their seasonal Oktoberfest, Lagerhosen, will be released on Sept. 24th. Brewed specifically for the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest (Sept. 25th-26th), it was hopped solely with Hallertau, and weighs in at a very-drinkable 4.5% ABV. And their DIPA, Horns Over Hooves, was brewed earlier this week; it should be available for release around Oct. 8th.

• It’s Harvest Jazz & Blues week in Fredericton, so there’s plenty going on in the city. In terms of beer, the Capital Complex is holding a Saturday Matinee tomorrow, from 12-4 pm, at Wilser’s Room. Tickets are $15 each at the door, and get you a plate of BBQ (roast pig, while available), live music (starting at 1 pm), and a pint of craft beer. Both TrailWay and Gray Stone will be pouring; while not yet officially open, this will be Gray Stone’s second official appearance on the scene, with another preview of some of the beers they should be releasing when construction is completed on their brewery. They will have their American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, American Stout, and Brown Ale on hand, and will be pouring at Wilser’s Room for the rest of the day until the beer is gone! TrailWay will be bringing their Primetime APA, and a new version of their D’Under – this batch was hopped entirely with a fairly new (and hard to come by!) Australian variety, Vic Secret (known for giving plenty of pineapple and pine characteristics). We hope to see you there!

• In other Harvest news, Red Rover is re-releasing their Blueberry Cider under the name The Blues. This batch features a change in the apple blend, but with the same 7% ABV. The name, flavour, and colour come from the addition of 55 kg local wild blueberries to the batch. Grab a growler at the Ciderhouse, and look for it on tap at bars and restaurants around Fredericton. And keep your eyes open for the return of their popular Fall in a couple of weeks.

• The crew at Good Robot in Halifax have announced the release of a new beer, so of course they will be holding a party to celebrate it! On October 4th, they will be releasing Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer, their take on the Kentucky Common pre-prohibition style beer. Brewed with corn and rye, this beer will be another departure from the mainstream for GR. The Sowr Soul party looks to be a fun one, featuring Southern-inspired food, music, and, of course, the beer. Joe Martin of Bar Stillwell will be preparing a feast, centering around a roasted pig (raised by Moo Nay Farms and fed GR spent grain!), with corn on the cob, mac & cheese, collard greens and more. Big Country Ramblers will be playing bluegrass music to keep the party going into the evening. Check the FB Event page for a few more details.

Uncle Leo’s in Lyons Brook, NS are releasing their ode to the hop harvest today, a wet-hopped Pale Ale. The Pictou County Harvest Ale is 5.7% and at 35 IBU beer thanks to 23 kg of Centennial and Cascade fresh hops from local grower Bramble Hill Farm. Grab a growler at the brewery, and look for it on tap at their accounts shortly.

Distillerie Fils du Roy brewed up a one-off beer specifically for the Oktoberfest des Acadiens in Bertrand, NB earlier this month. While it is named Oktoberfest Bieretrand, the beer was actually brewed in the German Hefeweizen style. Exhibiting the banana and clove aromas and flavours expected from this style (thanks to the Weizen yeast strain), this cloudy and light gold-coloured ale has low hop character, and a smooth and creamy texture. Easy-drinking at 5% ABV, expect to see some light bubblegum and candy-like qualities in the taste as well. The leftover kegs are currently at all four ANBL growler stations for growler fills this weekend.

Big Spruce Brewing has brought back the very popular Gimme Citra this week. Brewed in conspiracy with the Bar Stillwell crew, this 4.7% ABV Pale Ale features loads of late hopping exclusively from the Citra varietal, showcasing more in the aroma and flavour than in bitterness (calculated at 36 IBUs). Look for it on tap for growler fills at the brewery and around Cape Breton and Halifax (including tomorrow’s Sausage Fest Sasuage Throwdown and Sausage O’ The Night). Drop by the brewery today for lunch for their Food Truck Friday to grab the assortment of sandwiches prepared with/built to pair with beer, and enjoy some music from their house band, The Asaphs, who go on at 3pm.

• The Antigonish Townhouse recently released a new beer, Old & Bitter. Brewed in the style of an Old Ale, it’s maltier and has a higher bitterness than their regular Best Bitter, which is often pouring at the pub. Also slightly higher in ABV at 5.7%, it was hopped with a higher alpha-acid variety, giving it “more complex, slightly spicy notes” according to the brewery. It ran out just recently, but will be returning in the near future. And next Friday, Sept. 25th, they will be releasing a new experimental beer to celebrate the Antigonight Art After Dark Festival. Incorporating elements of their Best Bitter and the Old & Bitter, expect it to be slightly darker than the two beers on their own, as the Chocolate malt has been increased in the recipe.

• For those looking to expand their knowledge of beer brewing, serving beer, and pairing food with beer, the Atlantic Chapter of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) is offering training centered around the Cicerone certification program. Local Certified Cicerone Angeline MacLennan (along with formerly-local Certified Cicerone Tracy Phillippi) developed two courses to prepare students to take and pass the Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone exams. Consisting of 4- and 10-week courses, respectively, the course includes information on the history of beer styles, recipe development, caring for draft and bottled beer, and pairing food with beer. The first course launches Tuesday, October 13th, so check out the details and sign up today!

A few parting shots this week: If you haven’t filled your growler with Unfiltered Brewing’s Double Orange Ale yet (or even if you have, and need more), best get down to the brewery *now* to grab it, as it will be out before the end of the day Friday. And look for a special tapping of their core lineup of beers at the James Joyce in Fredericton later in the weekend. The Little Rollin’ Bistro Food Truck set up at Breton Brewing 12-8pm today, who are now also running events throughout the week (Wednesday night 7-11pm is Game Night; Thursday 7-9pm is Trivia Night with wings made with Great Breton sauce, including Sons of Hector Brown Ale). Or, if you are on the other island, drop by Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing for food and music: the Thai Pad Food Truck is set up all day, and drop by after work for free and live music from Al Tuck during their Quittin’ Time Sessions, beginning at 6pm. Don’t forget to check out the Sausage Fest kick-off events at the Olympic Centre tomorrow; check last week’s post for more details. With nine breweries and lots of great food all under one roof, it will sure to be a blast! And be sure to check out the Sausage and Beer Patio Party at Scanway on Wednesday the 23rd. Picaroons’s Harvest Ale series will be hitting the shelves next week. Check their Meet Your Farmer website for information on the folks behind the wet hops used in the seven different beers. And speaking of Picaroons, the latest release of Half Cut‘s Alter Ego (brewed on Picaroons’ pilot system at the Brewtique) is out now, and available at bars around Fredericton. Sea Level has released their 6.5% ABV Hopfazupfa IPA at the brewery today, brewed with local wet hops. And congratulations to North Brewing, who have taken possession of their new 12 hl DME-built brewhouse late last week. The doubling of their brewery capacity is also part of their moving a pilot brewing system into the Battery Park Beer Bar, whose crowdfunding is entering its last couple of weeks. Now, put down your phone, laptop, or raven-delivered scroll, and get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

Happy Friday! Snow continues to fall, temperatures continue to drop… but luckily, the beer news in our region continues to flow in!

• Last weekend, Boxing Rock brewed up a new beer with a special guest – Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks, former head brewer at Picaroons. The Next Chapter is a Rye IPA brewed with New Brunswick-grown malt, and hopped with Columbus, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Coming in at 6.3% ABV, it will feature “rich spicy notes” from the rye malt, and a “great dank bitterness with a fruity middle, and dry, citrusy, piney finish” according to Boxing Rock head brewer Henry Pedro. This collaboration is going to be a special Boxing Rock release, as it’s not only their first IPA, but also their first beer intended for release only in New Brunswick! Lucky attendees of this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival will be able to sample the beer, which will then have an exclusive tap at the King Street Ale House. In addition, right now the plan is for 650 mL bottles of the beer to be available through ANBL; it’s not confirmed yet, but let’s keep our fingers crossed!

• Don’t worry, Nova Scotia, Boxing Rock has a new beer for you, too! A Bohemian Pilsener, Wild Axe is brewed with all Saaz hops (a spicy and floral European variety), fermented cool in true lager fashion, and then aged cold to give the clean, balanced, crisp flavors expected of the style. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, look for this one to be released on tap at the brewery and at better beer bars/restaurants in Nova Scotia today, and by next Wednesday in 650 mL bottles.

Propeller has just released their newest One-Hit Wonder, and they couldn’t have timed it any better! 6 More Weeks is an Indian Brown Ale (aka hoppy American Brown, or Brown IPA) that is brewed with dark malts (including Chocolate, Roast, and Black Prinz) to give “a dash of roast character that adds a delicate creaminess”, and is hopped with Warrior, Centennial, Cascade and Ahtanum. These hop varieties lend an earthy, piney, and spicy hop character to the flavor and aroma, as well as “plenty of bitterness that doesn’t linger”. At 5.5% ABV and 82 IBUs, this dark brown beer can be found at both Prop Shop locations for growler fills, and on tap around the city. No groundhogs were harmed in the making of this beer.

• Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Picaroons will be re-releasing their Afterglow Aphrodisiac Ale. This 5% ABV, full-bodied dark beer is brewed with chocolate, cayenne, ginseng root, and liquorice root. Look for it on tap at the Brewtique for growler fills next week, and at several restaurants throughout Frederiction. Next week also marks the return of their Beer & Chocolate Dinners, which feature several chocolate-infused courses, each paired with a different Picaroons beer. Taking place on February 10th (7:00 pm) at 540 Kitchen & Bar and February 11th (6:30 pm) at Tide and Boar Gastropub, tickets are on sale through both locations now ($50 + tax/gratuity).

• Living in Saint John? Do you like to run, drink local beer, and support a good cause? Well the Port City Beer Run is for you! Being held on Saturday, May 30th at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal, the run will feature your choice of a 3, 5, or 10 km distance (route TBD); afterwards, there will be live music, food from three local restaurants, and beer! There are currently four breweries attending (Big Tide, Grimross, Hammond River, and Moosehead), with an additional 1-2 likely to be announced soon. Each brewery will have two types of beer; you’ll be able to enjoy 1-2 oz samples (to a maximum of 16 oz), and then a full pint of your favourite. Early-bird tickets are $50 and on sale now until April 30th; after that, tickets are $60 each. The price includes the run, food, entertainment and beer, and all funds go to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). The registration page isn’t up quite yet, so keep an eye on their Facebook account; you can also message them your name and email address to reserve a spot.

• We may as well take this opportunity to remind you that tickets are now on sale for the 3rd Annual Fredericton Beer Run! Held this summer on Monday, August 3rd (New Brunswick Day), the 4, 6, or 12 km run features plenty of local beer, cider and mead to be consumed after your hard work – fourteen 4 oz samples of about 30 brands, to be exact! Breweries haven’t been announced yet, but expect a mostly-NB-based turnout. Tickets are on sale now, and are $60 each (a Coach’s ticket can be purchased for $50; you must accompany a runner to buy this ticket).

Rockbottom Brewpub will have three new beers hitting the taps in the next couple of weeks, starting with their Scottish Export, hitting the taps today. This beer is a Scottish malt-forward beer, with Oatmeal added to the recipe. The colour is Mahogany Red, with tan head and lacing. The beer is very malty, with caramel and toasted notes, reminiscent of stewed plums, and oatmeal raisin cookies. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 25 IBUs. They will be tapping a Double Chocolate Stout on February 11th, just in time for Valentine’s Day. A special day deserves a special beer, and this small batch delivers: Roast Barley and dark crystal malts are enhanced with Belgian dark chocolate and Peruvian Cacao nibs. The beer is served on a nitro tap, which will give the beer a very smooth and silky character This beer clocks in at 7.0% ABV and 50 IBUs. And the following Wednesday, February 18th, will see the return of the Wreckoning Russian Imperial Stout. It was awarded the Gold for Imperial Stout at the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards last fall, and we have heard that this is the last batch to be brewed, ever. This beer has incredible complexity, owing to the massive malt bill (the beer is 10.5% ABV and 100 IBUs), with notes of roast, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cherries, caramel, and more. Don’t miss out on these beers, grab a pint at the ‘Bottom.

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. is holding an information session at The Wooden Monkey – Alderney Landing, February 11, 7-9 PM. They are in the middle of raising funds through the Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIF) program to open a Malt House in the Annapolis Valley, and will be sharing the malting outlook and market in our region. They have invited local brewers to talk about using local malt and the benefits of a local malt house. Snacks and samples will be served.

• Speaking of malting, later in the month, on February 21st, the CCNB in Edmundston is hosting a day-long seminar, Regional Malts for a Regional Beer. Aimed at brewers, homebrewers, farmers and potential maltsters, the goal of the event is to open dialogue around producing, processing, and brewing with regional malts. From organizer Mike Doucette, “We will give the floor to Jean-Michel Degraux of MaltBroue, who will talk about the possibility of malt house franchises across Eastern Canada. We’ll also talk about the Biorefinery Technology Scale-up Center at CCNB, and the services we offer. I will give a short presentation on Barley field trials in eastern Canada. In the afternoon, Jean-Michel Degraux will give a presentation pertaining to malt varieties and brewing. There will then be a panel discussion around using local malts for brewing local beers. We hope to answer some questions and to extinguish some of the major concerns around using local malts for brewing.” Tickets are available online now, and should prove to be an informative day to those in the beer business.

• There are a couple of events happening in Halifax on February 14th to tie in with your love of beer, no date required! The Le Trou du Diable Tap Takeover Event at Bar Stillwell is almost sold out, however there are a handful of tickets left for the noon-3pm session. More than a twelve draft and bottled beers will make their Atlantic Canadian debut. Plus, visit and chat with the brewers, and grab some TdD schwag/swag. Email them to secure your spot. After that, head on by the Stubborn Goat, to take part in their Speed Dating event. The event kicks off at 6pm, and there will be prizes (plus lots of great local beer)! Check out the details here, and be sure to register with Evan before the 13th.

• The Ladies Beer League crew have another great event coming soon, a Charity Curling-Board Game-Dance Party… with Local Beer! On February 21st at 8pm, the LBL will be taking over the Mayflower Curling Club, and hosting curling lessons and giant games from the Board Room Game Cafe. And then a dance party, supported by CKDU. There will be local beer flowing, and the Food Wolf will be serving up their creations. Entry to the event is free, and all proceeds from the activities go to Stepping Stone.

Big Axe has been brewing some new beers again, after their brief hiatus due to a much-needed vacation in December. First up is their Big Axe Blonde, a light-bodied, golden-colored ale. An easy-drinking style that is perfect for introducing craft beer to those who haven’t made the leap yet, this beer was “modestly hopped” with Cascade and Saaz, and showcases a smooth malt character; it comes in at 5.1% ABV. Next up is a Chocolate Orange Stout; this is their Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (6.5% ABV), but with orange added to the boil. Both beers should be making their debut at 540 Kitchen & Bar this weekend, during Fredericton’s Winterfesthiver 2015. Big Axe has also tweaked their Double Bit IPA; according to brewer Peter Cole, the hop profile has been changed to give a “clean, crisp finish” to the beer.

• Homebrewer Jason McDougall visited Garrison Brewing yesterday, to brew up his 2014 Home Brew-Off-winning Hefeweizen on their system. No word on the exact recipe details quite yet, but we do know that it will be released at this year’s Brew-Off Gala, being held March 5th at the brewery. And a reminder to homebrewers, you must drop off your Robust Porter entries for this year’s competition by Thursday, February 12th.

• The Certified Cicerone® Exam is coming to Halifax, July 14th, at Bar Stillwell. While it might be five months away, it is never too early to get studying! We interviewed Mirella Amato (the first non-US resident to achieve Master Cicerone® status, and the person who will be administering the exam) and Mike Buhler (the first Certified Cicerone® in the Atlantic Provinces) previously about the program; their responses may help you decide whether the program is worth pursuing. For those interested, be sure to take the Certified Beer Server online exam, and then sign up for the exam. There is also a Facebook study group for Canadian Examinees.

Have a great weekend, and stay warm! TrailWay Brewing has added a new account in Fredericton, as their Whitney Coffee Stout (Kenyan) is now available on tap at the James Joyce Irish PubPetit-Sault‘s new Cappuccino Stout, Canon Franchetti, will be hitting all four ANBL growler stations next week, so make sure to drop the one closest to you and give it a try, if you haven’t already! And as a final note, if you’re looking to purchase some Hammond River swag, they now have an online store up and running; toques and glassware are currently available, with more merchandise being added soon!