Ducky’s Bar

All posts tagged Ducky’s Bar

We’re firmly into 2017 and we’ll all hopefully be able to stop typing 2016 any day now. Though the we haven’t quite reached the dead of winter, the beer scene in the region is still showing plenty of signs of life and it’s not looking like that will slow down any time soon. Read on for all the news on new beers, re-releases, and beer- and brewery-related events throughout our corner of the country. And don’t forget, the first kegs from Harvey, NB’s Think Brewing will be available this weekend. We have confirmation that they will be on tap at the James Joyce Pub and 540 Kitchen in the next day or two. To learn more, check out Tuesday’s Profile with Think. And now on to the rest of the beer news!

• A little over a year ago, Flying Boats released Double Oatmeal Stout, an easy-drinking beer with plenty of oatmeal and roast character. Recently, owner/brewer Marc Melanson has changed the recipe, with the result being Station Master Stout. Over 10% of rolled oats, along with specialty malts including Chocolate and Roasted varieties, makes up the grist, giving “slight chocolate, coffee, and roastiness” in the flavour, along with a full-bodied mouthfeel. Hopped with East Kent Goldings to 28 IBUs, expect this one to weigh in at approximately 5.2% ABV; look for it at Flying Boats tap accounts sometime within the next couple of weeks.

• Saint John’s newest brewery, Loyalist City, released another of their flagship beers for the first time late last week. An American Pale Ale, Three Sisters Pale Ale (6% ABV, 60 IBUs) features a blend of three popular American hop varieties – Centennial, Citra and Mosaic – to give “an assertive mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavor and aroma”. The high majority of the hops were added in the whirlpool, after the boil was complete, to maximize the deliciousness of these varieties, without adding too much bitterness in the finish. The grist was kept simple, with a mix of two base malts, to complement the hops but not overpower them. Fermented clean with an American Ale yeast strain, more Mosaic was included in not one, but two, dry-hop additions, resulting in even more tropical fruit in the aroma. For historians, the beer was named after the Three Sisters Lamp, which was erected in 1842 at the end of Prince William Street “to welcome visitors to the Saint John Harbour by guiding them safely into port”. Look for Three Sisters on tap at select accounts in the city, including Cask & Kettle and Five & Dime, and at the ANBL Growler program starting Jan 26 at the three SJ-region locations. Details are thin, but look for LCBC’s Extra Special Bitter to hit the taps this weekend, we’ll share more details when we have them.

YellowBelly Brewpub in downtown St John’s has released a new cider this week, featuring partridge berries. Twenty kilograms of the extremely ripe fruit were used for a subtle sweetness and tannic tartness. From Brewmaster Liam McKenna, “It’s like our regular cider with a bit of pink lemonade and the merest hint of wintergreen, methinks.” Grab a pint at the pub, and look for bottles at a few St. John’s NLCs next week.

• Still on the Rock, Mill Street Brewpub has been serving a beer since late 2016 that we seem to have missed the boat on. St. John’s ESB is in the English Pale Ale family, with a balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness enhancing its drinkability. It comes in at a very reasonable 4.8% ABV and 27 IBU with biscuit, caramel and lightly toasted malt notes and floral and earthy hop flavours. Look for it the next time you’re by for a pint or a growler fill.​

• Fans of Moncton’s Bore City Brewing can look forward to their first new beer release in a while, a currently-unnamed “lower-ABV Belgian style Ale” (think roughly along the lines of an Abbey Single or Table Beer). With a grist of mainly Pilsner malt and Munich II, it was hopped with East Kent Goldings and Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, White Labs’ Belgian Golden Ale. This one should come in around 5.6% ABV; it won’t be ready for another few weeks, according to the brewery, but we’ll have more information to release before then!

Graystone Brewing has their first Lager on tap at their taproom and elsewhere in Fredericton. The North is a Pilsner that was “amply hopped” with two varieties, German Perle and Czech Saaz, giving distinctive floral and spicy notes to the beer. Fermented cool at 13 C with a European Lager yeast, the beer was further lagered at cold temperatures for six weeks. It clocks in at 5.3% ABV and 40 IBUs, and is available now for pints, and crowler/growler fills.

• Graystone also released another new beer yesterday, Shiver Stout, to coincide with this year’s Shivering Songs Festival. With an addition of a cold-brewed medium roast blend from Whitney Coffee Company added directly to the beer, there’s plenty of smooth coffee flavour (without any harshness) in this one. On the lighter-ABV end for a stout (4.7%), it clocks in at 30 IBUs; while exploring around Fredericton for the festival, be sure to seek this one out!

• Continuing with Fredericton, Bogtrotter has a new beer popping up around the city. Drunken Newt Red Rye Ale was brewed with Rye malt in the grist, with nutmeg added late in the boil. This deep red-coloured beer comes in at 5% ABV, and features “aromas of fresh rye bread, caramel malt and hops”, according to the brewery. Expect flavours of caramel, toffee, and a hint of, naturally, nutmeg. It’s available on tap around Fredericton, and is also in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL locations.

• Now firmly in the middle of winter, it’s time for the return of one of last year’s favourites, Big Spruce Brewing‘s Coade Word: Snowmaggedon, an ode to local meteorologist Peter Coade, who retired in September 2016, after a record-breaking 54 year career. This Winter Warmer is 7.4% ABV, and features Gila Squash grown at their brewery farm. It was oven roasted with organic cane sugar before being added to the mash, extracting some extra sweetness and complexity. After primary fermentation, the beer was conditioned with a dark rum tincture of local ginger with organic cinnamon and vanilla. This release is draft/growler only, while the next release will be aged in barrels and will be available on draft, and in bottles.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has released their first Double IPA, Make and Break. Clocking in at 7.5% ABV, the beer features Amarillo and Millennium hops, to the tune of 60 IBUs, balancing the sweet, malty aroma. Grab a pint or growler fill at the brewery, and look for it at their tap accounts shortly.

• Be sure to grab today’s episode of the 902 BrewCast, with Kyle, Phil, and Tony tasting through a selection of Nova Scotian and New Brunswick IPAs (including a look at the medal winners of the 2016 ACBAs). They even invited along our very own acbbchris for a nerdier approach to the whole thing. Be sure to share your feedback on their social media feeds, or in a comment below.

• Attention large AtlCan breweries! The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service is taking a handful of Canadian breweries on a tour of five US cities next month, and the opportunity to sign-up is now open. Visiting Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami Feb 27 – Mar 2, brewers will have the chance to meet local vendors, check out the potential markets, and learn about the benefits (and potential) drawbacks to doing business abroad. More details can be found here, including contacts on how to sign up before the application window closes January 25th.

A few events have popped up on our radar; check out what’s happening in your neck of the woods:

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar are holding another Growler Pop-Up today, 10-6pm (or when the beer runs dry). Look for the return of Herbies Oatmeal for Breakfast Stout, Sour Otis Fruit Cake Kettle Sour, as well as two new IPAs: Calling Method IPA (featuring Citra) and Nelson IPA, single-hopped with Nelson Sauvin. The first few folks through the door will receive a free T&B growler (empty) – the early birds get the worm!

• A reminder of tomorrow’s Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover at Ducky’s in Sackville. In addition to their core lineup, and special beers that they’ve been saving, it will serve also as the sneak preview of their Barrel-aged Barleywine, being released next Thursday. We’ll have more details on that beer next week. In the meantime, learn more about the evening, and live music, on the FB Event page.

• Join Port Rexton Brewing and Quidi Vidi at White Hills Resort in Clarenville, NL next weekend, January 27th and 28th, for Eat the Hill. Pairing their beers with plates from several different chefs, there will be plenty of food, beer, and cheer to go around after a day on the slopes. Tickets are available now.

Mill Street is hosting a Brewmaster’s Dinner at the brewpub on February 8th. Hosted by Joel Manning, Head Brewmaster for the Mill Street family, and Dan Boldrini, Head Brewer at the St. John’s location, it will feature five of beers paired with five courses from the kitchen. The event will take place the evening of Wednesday, February 8; tickets are $60 and are apparently going fast, so if you’re interested, don’t wait.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing will be opening their doors next Saturday, January 28th, for a soft launch of their beers and tap room. Featuring their core line-up on tap, as well as several special tap-room-only beer produced on their pilot system, the fun kicks off at noon. Take a gander at this week’s The Coast newspaper for an article with Kelly, Mark, and Jeremy, and we’ll have a full profile with the crew early next week, to whet your whistle.

• Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be holding a Nano Brewery Tap Takeover, featuring four of Nova Scotia’s smallest craft breweries, on Thursday, February 9th. All sixteen taps will be dedicated to beer from Brightwood, Schoolhouse, Sober Island, and Tidehouse. Drop by from 2:00 pm to taste the beers from these small operations, including a few special one-offs casks, and meet the folks behind the beers.

• On February 16th, Battery Park is hosting Pop-Up Love Party, an event with live performers expounding on love, paired with local beer and a menu designed by Daniel Burns. It also serves as the launch of just the second beer brewed at North‘s Dartmouth location (in BP’s foyer), Zuppa Symposium. It is a Milk Stout aged on local blackberries and cherry wood, and will be available on tap (both standard and nitro versions), and in bottles. More details are available here, and tickets here.

 • Like to drink beer and curl? Or even just drink beer and slide around on the ice with a broom? Well, good news! Good Robot is holding their 1st Annual Tournament of Broken Hearts on Saturday, February 18th at the Mayflower Curling Club. Teams of four can sign up here ($80 per team), with all participants receiving GR toques, plenty of GR beer on tap, prizes to the winners, and an after-party. The fun starts at 1 pm and will continue all day and evening.

• It’s a ways away on May 27th, but early bird tickets are already on sale for the first annual Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival. Taking place at the Rodd Grand Hotel in Yarmouth, it will feature breweries from around Nova Scotia. There will be two tastings, in the afternoon at 2:30pm and in the evening at 7:30pm. The $30 package includes a commemorative glass and 5 sampling tickets, with additional sampling tickets available both online when you register and at the event itself. VIP and Designated Driver packages are also available: the VIP is priced at $45 and includes 10 sampling tickets, access to a VIP lounge and early access (30 minutes) to the tasting; the DD package gives 5 sampling tickets for food and non-alcoholic drinks and access to the VIP lounge and is priced at $15. Early bird registrants (until February 15th) save $5 on any package, while late registrations will see prices $5 higher. More information, including participating breweries will be available as the event gets closer.

• The YBF will also feature the first annual Hop Run. This event marries drinking beer and running and features both individual and relay formats. Individuals will run between 1 and 3 miles, with a beer at the starting gun and another after each mile completed to a maximum of three laps and four beers per person. The relay will see teams of three each running one lap and drinking 4 beers. Included in all registrations is a Hop Run pint glass and a finisher’s medal for each runner. Pricing for individuals is based on number of miles ($45/50/55 for 1, 2 and 3 miles, respectively), while relay pricing is $150 for the team. Again, early bird and latecomer pricing is in effect. So if you know you’re interested, get your registration in early and save a few dollars.​

And finally today:

Big Tide currently has an “extra-strong” batch of their Karnival Kölsch on tap at the brewpub; weighing in at 6.3% ABV (vs. its usual 4.5%), it also features Hallertau hops from Darlings Island Farm.
Boxing Rock Carbon-14 is back, Professor Jason MacDougall’s second-place winner from the first Boxing Rock Black Box challenge last year is available once again. It’s a big beer, a strong dark Belgian that should be perfect for a cold winter night.
Unfiltered: Deity SMaSH DIPA is back! The same blast of hoppy juiciness with spicy, herbal notes from the Columbus hops as the first time ’round. 7.5% ABV 100+ IBU 10 SRM
– Johnny Jacks Brewery in Oromocto has a new beer headed to local ANBL shelves soon, Pond Hockey Winter Ale. The 5.4% ABV, 33 IBU beer will be released in 750 ml bottles.
Hammond River S’mores Graham Cracker Imperial Stout is kegged and will be popping up at local tap accounts this weekend.

Welcome to the weekend, and another warm Friday! Unfortunately, that looks like it’s going to change quickly and drastically (which seems to be a common trend this winter), so grab a beer and a blanket for later (or now), and get ready for another long read, as there’s lots going on in beer news in our region this week…

• We start today’s post in Newfoundland, where Port Rexton Brewing has released The One with the Citra, an American Pale Ale, hopped with, not surprisingly, Citra (with some assistance from Centennial, too). The resulting 5.2% ABV and 45 IBU beer shows plenty of citrus and tropical fruit goodness. Look for it on tap at PR’s familiar tap accounts shortly, including Adelaide Oyster HouseEVOO, The Fifth Ticket, Mallard Cottage, and Merchant Tavern in  St John’s, and White Hills Ski Resort in Clarenville.

• Let’s stick to The Rock for the next beer, another debut from Mill Street’s St. John’s location. Danimal S.M.A.S.H. is a 6.4% ABV, 63 IBU, Pale Ale, with plenty of character from its Single Malt And Single Hop choice, namely Wild Turkey hops from Clear Valley Hop Farm in Nottawa, Ontario. This unique hop is only available from Clear Valley, as it began life growing wild on their farm, and tested very high in Alpha Acid (useful in the bittering) and is quite aromatic (notes of mango and passionfruit), making it a great dual-purpose crop. Learn more about the hop here, and pick up a pint or growler of the beer at Mill Street’s Harbour Drive location.

• The latest 902 BrewCast went live earlier this week, and the gents sat down with Andy, Chris, and Laura from Stillwell Beer Bar. Be sure to give it a listen to learn more about their beginnings, the first three years in business, and what special beers are headed their way to Barrington soon! Case in point, be sure to head to Stilly tomorrow for Part 2 of the Mikkeller Tap Takeover, featuring a dozen taps from the Danish gypsy brewery, plus Copenhagen-inspired snacks. It will be a great showcase of the brewery’s offerings, with a selection of their flavoured Berliner Weisses, Spontan-family, big IPAs, and massive stouts. Back to the podcast, our own acbbchris sat down with the 902 Brew Dudes for an IPA tasting, which will be released January 20th. And learn more about the gents behind the podcast in the latest The Coast weekly newspaper.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has released a pair of beers recently, both in the IPA category. Sweet Little SIPA is a 4.8% Session IPA, a style known for pale colour, light body, and low ABV, but still brimming with hop flavour and aroma. This recipe features lots of Cascade and Columbus, for citrus and floral notes. The bigger brother of the SIPA is the Big Stink IPA, a 6.4% IPA with Columbus and Mosaic hops, added throughout the brewing process for a medium bitterness and plenty of citrus and fruit character. Both beers are available at the brewery now, and can be found on tap in HRM at your favourite beer bar.

• And keep your eyes peeled for a new collaboration beer brewed at Roof Hound with Tatamagouche’s Matt Kenny. A currently-unnamed 9.4% ABV Imperial Chocolate Porter will be released February 11th, complete with launch party and live music from Tide n Timbre. More details on the event and beer in a few weeks.

• Making its debut last night at last night’s Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration – alongside a Hop Fritter from Primal Kitchen in which it was featured – was a collaboration IPA from Tatamagouche Brewing and the Ladies Beer League . Mrs. Magouche is a 7.7% ABV brew with 75 IBU worth of bitterness and layers of flavors from dank and juicy Simcoe, El Dorado, and Amarillo hops. This one is quite tropical, with notes of stone fruit and peach owing to both the hops and the choice of Escarpment Labs’ Vermont Ale yeast (a.k.a., the “Conan” strain made famous by the Alchemist brewery in Vermont). Tap accounts will be receiving kegs today, with some availability for growler fills from the source and the remainder being put into cans next week.​

• Also in the works from Tata are the Oyster Cloister, featuring lots of Malagash-grown oysters and the Deadeye DIPA, which was brewed this time on that same Vermont Ale yeast strain as the Mrs. Magouche. Look for more information on these as their releases approach later in the month or into February. They’re also planning a couple of winter bottle releases, namely a Glenora Barrel-aged Barleywine on the 26th of this month and a Belgian Quad (also known as a Belgian Strong Ale) on February 9th. We’ll confirm these dates as the releases approach, and provide more detail on the beers themselves.

• Last night’s event was also the debut of Spindrift’s new Duplicitous Imperial Pilsner; Big Spruce doubled the love with two new beers, Risky Biscuits Dark Mild and Liquid James Brown, a Milkshake IPA. Check out last week’s post for more details on these beers, and they will all be available at your favourite bar or growler filling station starting today!

• Also attending the Celebration was Sober Island, pouring their new British IPA. This 6.3% ABV beer features a blend of four hops: Bramling CrossClusterEast Kent Golding, and Willamette. They come together to give 40 IBU of bitterness, and notes of woodiness, earthiness, and light fruit, to balance the nice malt body from the grain. The British IPA joins the core line-up, along with the Oyster Stout, Golden Rye, and Bitter.

• Sober Island is also releasing a new beer in a couple of weeks, a Winter Rye. This 6.8% ABV beer features a hearty 15% rye in the malt bill, joining Marris Otter, Munich, and Crystal malts, for a spicy kick on a big body and mouthfeel. Hops-wise, Northern Brewer and Tettnang come together for 30 IBU to offset some sweetness and enhance the rye spice character. This beer will be launched during a collaborative Tap Takeover at Bishop’s Cellar January 28th, joined by Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery. Folks from both breweries will be in store 1-3pm to chat beer, their breweries, whatever you’d like! Installation and commission of their big brewing system at Henley House in Sheet Harbour is coming along nicely, and they expect to be brewing on a larger scale in the next 6-8 weeks, with lots of great news coming in Spring.

• There’s three new beers out from Fredericton’s TrailWay since last Friday’s post, and two of these brews have also been released in cans. First up is Ellipse (6.5% ABV, ~50 IBUs), a new IPA featuring heavy additions of Amarillo, Citra and Chinook. As with most of TW’s hoppy beers, this one is light-coloured, very hazy, and extremely juicy! Available only in growlers and pints, it’s hitting all ANBL growler locations this weekend, so you don’t have to come directly to Fredericton to get it!

• Moving on, TW released Mo-Joe, an Imperial Milk Stout (6.3% ABV) earlier this week in both growlers and 16 oz cans. Aside from the addition of lactose powder to slightly increase the sweetness and body of the beer, a special blend of coffee was also added in secondary, in the form of beans. These beans are the new “TrailWay Blend”, from the local Whitney Coffee Company, designed to be “particularly fruity and full of character” (1-lb bags of the beans are available for purchase at the brewery). According to TW, Mo-Joe is “chocolate-forward in flavour”, and is the perfect beer to balance the coffee character from the beans.

• Finally, TW is about to release their latest sour beer, Cerasus. While kettle-soured with Lactobacillus, like their first attempt, Sour 1, Cerasus was hopped only minimally, and was refermented on a “huge amount” of cherries. This “cherry sour” is supremely-sessionable at just 3.6% ABV, with a bright-red colour, and lots of cherry in the aroma and flavour, along with the expected tartness/sourness from the work of the Lactobacillus. Available in 16 oz cans at the brewery tomorrow, along with a small amount that was kegged for growler fills at the same location.

• It’s easy to forget on mild days like today that we’re still in the dead of winter, but there’s been no shortage of well-below-zero temperatures. Luckily, Garrison has brewed up a beer with the aim of helping ease our pain – Wintervention, an Imperial Chocolate Stout. This is a big beer, brewed with lots of Maritime Pale Ale, Chocolate and Munich malt, resulting in a 10.5% ABV beer… making it extremely warming! Hopped exclusively with Millennium to 60 IBUs, the beer was conditioned for a month on cocoa nibs, giving “rich, bittersweet chocolate aromatics, with dark dried fruits and vanilla underneath”, according to the brewery. It’s available in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and private liquor stores in the HRM starting today. And for those of you who are keen on barrel-aged beers (and who isn’t?), they are currently aging some Wintervention in barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery, but you’ll have to wait a while for that release.

• Celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year, Propeller Brewing is looking to spice things up a bit. Their Gottingen location will be undergoing some renovations and upkeep during the next two months, which means events and brewery tours will not be available. Fear not, however, as the Prop Shop will still be open for all of your growler, cans, and bottle needs. During their twentieth, keep an eye out for plenty of special One-Hit-Wonders (like their Vanilla Porter, pouring now), a light branding refresh, plenty of parties, and a whole lotta fun!

• Today sees the return of the v3.0 variant of a Good Robot signature, the Burban Legend APA. This one, with a big Citra dry-hop, is a favourite of Good Robot Josh, who loves the interplay of the layers of fruit from the hops with the malty sweet body. And on Sunday a small batch off the Sabco BrewEasy will be available at the taproom, a BetaBrew from GR’s own Kelly and Erica who call it an ode to their pre-teen red-headed fem inspiration (Ginger Spice) and their ancestral heritage. Scottish Spice Ginger Ale leverages Scottish Ale yeast to enhance a solid malt body that features a touch of rye spiciness and some biscuity notes from Victory malt. Perle and Chinook hops provide the balance along with organic ginger root for additional spice and locally-harvested sumac for a hint of lemony citrus. At 4% ABV and 29 IBU this beer shouldn’t overwhelm, but it may titillate; you’ll have to decide for yourself this weekend.

• PEI Brewing Co.‘s first DIPA, 8 Cord (8.5% ABV, 70 IBUs), is returning in both growler and can form, officially re-releasing at the brewery next Thursday, January 19th. Brewed with 2-row and Wheat malt, it’s hopped with plenty of Azacca, Mosaic, and Simcoe – all hop varieties that are hard to find, but for a good reason, as they impart lots of juicy, tropical fruit characteristics when used. Most of the 16 oz cans will actually be shipping to New Brunswick (where it should be available sometime after the 23rd); there will also be a small amount of kegs going to select locations in both NB and NS. And in other PEIBC DIPA news, be sure to visit your local ANBL growler station this weekend, as all will be carrying the brewery’s new Mango Lassi DIPA that we reported on last Friday.

• With the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival and its week of events is fast approaching (March 8th-12th), they have just announced the launch of the Down East Brewing Awards. All licensed breweries in the Maritimes are invited to submit their beers for entry; many awards will be presented at FCBF, including 10 beer awards, one each for cider and mead, and Brewery of the Year and New Brewery of the Year awards. Judging will take place on February 28th among a panel of certified judges, brewers and industry professionals. The winning entries will be showcased at FCBF, where they will be enjoyed by the more than 1700 attending. The details are still being ironed out, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated over the coming weeks.

Gahan Harbourfront Halifax is holding their very first Homebrewer’s Challenge, and the entry period starts today! Open to all amateur homebrewers in the province, they are looking for your best Trappist Single (BJCP Style 26A). You must pre-register by emailing Gahan Brewmaster Kyle Jeppesen before Feb 17, and your four bottles are due March 10th. The winner will get to brew with Jeppesen and have their beer served at Gahan, and will win a dinner and a few beers for their hard work and accomplishment. Check out the information poster for a few more details. Good luck to all entrants!

• And speaking of brewing awards, the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards registration opens on Monday. From then until March 10th, breweries can register their beers for judging, with sample delivery to be scheduled March 13-24th. More details on how to enter are here, and the Style Guidelines are available online now. Let’s hope for another strong showing from Atlantic Canadian breweries in 2017!

We’ve got a few events that we’d like to highlight this week:

Right now, Friday morning, the gang at Moncton’s Tide & Boar has set up their Growler Pop-Up Shop, with a pair of beers available: Galaxy Double Dry-Hopped Forum Pale Ale and Sour Otis Fruit Cake (A Kettle Sour brewed with 20lbs of assorted dried fruit). As with their last go of it in December, we suggested getting there early, as these beers are sure to sell out.

• The gang at Good Robot has a busy week ahead, starting with one of their extremely popular Silent Reading nights on Tuesday, and continuing with some ticketed events that are part of the In the Dead of Winter Festival: the Pre-Festival Party on Wednesday, and song circles on Thursday and Friday.​

Upstreet Brewing is re-releasing their Top Stamp Honey Brown Lager, and is holding a talent show (of sorts!) to celebrate. On Thursday, January 19th from 6-10 pm at the brewery, the Top Stamp Gong Show will highlight the “talents” of Islanders, by inviting all those interested to perform their talent on stage, in front of a packed house. There will be two official judges – if they like what you’ve got, you’ll move on to the finals, and if not… you’ll be gonged off stage. No pressure! The event is free to attend; if you are interested in performing, you can fill out the form here.

• New Brunswick has recently been privy to some beers from Tatamagouche Brewing (finally!), but Saturday, January 21st will see a true Tata-celebration at Ducky’s in Sackville, with a Tatabrew tap takeover! Starting at 7 pm, there will be a grand total of 15-20 Tata beers pouring, ranging anywhere from flagship beers, to seasonals, to special one-offs. Tatabrew’s own Christiane Jost and Matt Kenny will be on-hand to chat about the brewery and their beers, and probably just about anything else! Tickets ($15 each) will be available in advance, and will allow you seven 5 oz drink tickets, including a commemorative glass to keep (you can also pay at the door, but you will be limited to five drink tickets); a portion of ticket sales will go to Enactus MtA, out of Mount Allison University. Further 5 oz pours will also be available at a discount price. Contact the bar directly to reserve your tix, which can be picked up before the event at 6:30 pm.

• On Wednesday, January 25th, Liverpool’s Hell Bay will be celebrating Robbie Burns Day in style. Burns Night will be held at the brewery, and will feature poetry, haggie, bagpipes, and – of course – plenty of beer. If you’re going to celebrate the life of Scotland’s most famous poet and lyricist, you might as well show up in a kilt! Those that do will receive discounts on pints, so you’ll have that going for you, too. The brewery will be open at 10 am, with the haggis being served at 6 pm.

• The next Burgers n’ Beer event in Fredericton has been announced, and will take place on Saturday, February 11th at the King Street Ale House. As always, your ticket ($25) will include four different hand-crafted sliders, paired with four different local craft brews (5 oz pours). The event is held from 1:30-3:30 pm, and will also announce details on this year’s YFC Burger Battle (running from March 25th-April 8th).

A few more things before we sign off:

– Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has new beer available for pints and growlers, Jeezus Murphy Irish Red. A malt-forward 4.8% ABV brew, it features some roasted notes and subtle fruit character from the hops.
– Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing will be releasing Fathom Double IPA shortly, an 8.0% ABV showcase for plenty of American-grown hops. We’ll have more details when they’re available.
– Beau’s Brewery, from Vankleek Hill, Ontario, is looking to expand their presence in Eastern Canada, and as such, are hiring a Brand Ambassador as a local representative.

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.

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s hope that was the absolute last throes of winter this week, and we can proceed into spring now.

Red Rover recently launched a new hopped cider, Hop to It, that is currently available in a very limited supply. Similar to their Hop Back in Time cask cider which was released at last fall’s Fredericton Cider Festival, this batch was “hopped with English varieties, blended to enhance the apple aromas, providing a slight citrus taste in the flavour”. As mentioned, only a very small amount of this 7% ABV cider was produced (400 L total); you can find it available for flagon fills at the Ciderhouse (at their new location at The Abbey on Queen St.) and at Red Rover market accounts, with one keg going to both the James Joyce and Saint John Ale House. If feedback is good, there’s a good chance we’ll see this pop up again, in bottles at ANBL stores.

Big Spruce recently filled some Glenora Single Malt whisky barrels with their Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, and that beer is ready for the world. Available exclusively at the Nyanza brewery, the stout features great aromas from the barrel on a base of the lovely coffee and chocolate stout, with a big of an alcohol jump to 5.5% ABV. Growlers and samples are available at the brewery now.

• A sure sign of warmer weather to come is Big Spruce’s other release this week, Silver Tart! This 4.5% ABV sour ale features loads of raspberries, for a great combination of aroma, flavour, and an acidic kick. Available on tap at the brewery, it will also be on tap at Battery ParkGood RobotPrimal, and Stillwell in the coming days. And keep an eye on Bishop’s Cellar’s Beer Page to see when they tap their shipment for growler fills.

Picaroons has released the first beer in their Staff series in over a year, Iain’s CanadIain Stout.  Brewed by Iain Brannigan (one of the brewery’s cellarmen), this 7% ABV ale is “assertively roasty, with a well-balanced hop bitterness which goes down quite smooth due to the velvety nature of the generous helping of oats in the recipe”, according to the brewery. It will be available for growler fills only at both the Brewtique and General Store.

• Over on the Island, the PEI Brewing Co. has a new cask tapped at the brewery taproom; Way She Gose is, yes, a Gose, a slightly tart/sour ale brewed with coriander, and sea salt made by their own Al Douglas, from sea water off the north shore of the Island. If there’s any of this 4.5% ABV beer left, it won’t last long, so get down to the brewery to give it a try! Also, later today the brewery will be officially releasing their latest seasonal, Setting Day Saison, in cans. Light-bodied and golden-coloured, with high carbonation, this 3.5% ABV Belgian ale exhibits aromas and flavours of spicy phenolics and fruity esters. Feel free to show up at the brewery between 5-7 pm to celebrate its release with cans, taps, and music! It will also be popping up on tap at select PEIBC accounts.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a pair of new beers out this week. Their Sugar Moon Maple Ale is made with maple syrup from Sugar Moon Farm, adding to a base of Maritime Malt and some darker malts, for a toast and caramel character from this amber-coloured beer, lightly hopped with Millenium and Willamette. It is available at the brewery in bottles now.

• Returning today is Garrison’s Klignon Warnog Roggen Dunkel, a Dunkelweizen (German dark wheat) featuring a healthy addition of rye malt. This is an official Star Trek beer, brewed under the Federation of Beer name, featuring clove and banana aromas and flavours, along with a light sweetness from Munich malt. Available at the brewery in bottles beginning today.

• Guysborough’s Rare Bird has brought back their Maple Ale this week. Brewed not with water, but exclusively with maple sap as the base liquid, the beer celebrates the running of the sap with the cool evenings and warm days. Additions of syrup bump up the flavour (and alcohol, slightly, to 6.5%), and hops offset the sweet character, for a well balanced brew.  It is currently available at the brewery, and will be at Harvest Wines & Spirits this weekend.

• There’s lots going on at Halifax’s Rockbottom: they recently launched their latest new beer, Rye Pale Ale. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, the beer feature rye malt in the grain bill, for a light spicy character, and experimental hop ADHA-529, for flavours of orange and black tea. It is available on tap, and in growler fills to take away. Look for a pair of new beers in the coming weeks, with Japanese Lager debuting next week. This 4.5% ABV beer was brewed with rice, and the lagering process leaves the beer with a clean, crisp, and snappy character, with notes of peach and lemon in the finish. Mid-May will usher in their Maibock, a higher ABV blonde lager, coming in at 7.2% ABV. The pilsner base malt shines through, as well as some toasty/caramel character, from light specialty malts. And for fans of their Fathom IPA, look for a variation in the hops used, which will alter the flavour profile slightly. The batch on tap now features massive amounts of Amarillo hops at flameout and dry-hop, lending a big citrus aroma. The next batch will feature Summit for a dank resinous base, with Cascade and Falconer’s Flight for grapefruit hop blast, and finshing “with a huge El Dorado/Mandrina Bavaria fruit-loop dance party”, according to Brewmaster Jake Saunders. All of these late- and dry-hop additions preserve the volatile essential oils in the hops, promoting flavour above bitterness (enhanced by the isomerization of the alpha acids in the boil). Be sure to get on both batches to get the full experience!

• Soon-to-open Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay has launched their Pioneers Club. For your $40 enrollment fee ($10 per year subsequent), you will receive an exclusive t-shirt, early notification of new beer releases, invitations to educational seminars, and a 10% discount on merchandise (beer excluded). Also this week, Sb announced that their brewmaster has been hired, Jeremy Fehr, a graduate of the Niagara College Brewmaster program. Also a highly-decorated homebrewer, he was most recently brewing at Neustadt Springs Brewery in Neustadt, Ontario. Look for the brewery to launch on Main Street Mahone Bay this summer.

• In a story with repercussions for beer lovers nation-wide, the judge is ruling today in the case of Gerard Comeau, the man charged in 2012 when he brought a dozen cases of beer into New Brunswick from Quebec. CBC had a reporter in the courtoom, live-tweeting the proceedings. He had been charged under the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act, limiting the amount of alcohol to “liquor not in excess of one bottle or beer not in excess of twelve pints “. He pleaded not guilty, and went to court to fight the law, which is in opposition to the Constitution Act of 1867. Section 121 of the Act states, “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.” In the judge’s ruling, he concluded that the Fathers of Confederation intended inter-provincial free trade, and that evidence presented in the trial has altered the nature of the debate on the term “admitted free”. The announcement was just made, and the charges against Comeau have been dismissed.

As for what’s going on in the world of beer events in the coming weeks…

• There will be a special announcement at Breton Brewing today at 1pm. Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria will be making the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. In the spirit of local cooperation, beers from Big Spruce will also be available, taking over half of Breton’s taps. After the announcement, stick around for music from Angelo Spinazzola until 4:30pm, and come back for their Music on Tap! event with Robert White, 6-9pm. UPDATE: The event was an announcement that ACOA will be investing $436,000 in Big Spruce and Breton, to aid in their growth. Big Spruce is constructing a 5000 square foot building to expand their production facilities, while Breton will be purchasing a pair of fermentors, and a canning line. Full details here.

• Propeller’s next Prop’r Cask Night, featuring Krave Burgers, scheduled for tonight at the brewery’s location on Gottingen St. from 6-9 pm. There are still tickets available ($30 each, online or at the brewery), which include appetizers from Krave paired with several samples of Propeller beers, including a sneak-peek cask of their three-way Organic Collaboration DIPA Cerberus (with Big Spruce and Tatamagouche) their special cask ale that will be tapped at approximately 6:30 pm.

• The first in Stillwell‘s Rare American Beer Weekend Series is happening this weekend (April 30th and May 1st); this no-tickets-required event will feature Alaska’s Anchorage Brewing Company, with bottles of several of their “bright, funky, layered beers” being poured. In addition, several kegs of sour beers from Quebec breweries Dunham and Trou du Diable will be pouring.

• It’s not Father’s Day yet, but attention all Dads looking for a day off! Good Robot is holding their first Dad Day Afternoon this Sunday, May 1st at the brewery on Robie St. Featuring lawn games, a MarioKart tournament, haircuts and trims, and BBQ from Black Sheep Restaurant, it’s the perfect excuse for fathers to get together, drink some beers, and enjoy themselves… because they never do that any other time, right? 🙂

Ducky’s Bar is holding a Beer and Food Pairing Dinner on Sunday, May 1st, from 5-7:30 pm. Hosted by Craig Pinhey, there will be four courses paired with four beers from different New Brunswick breweries, including Petit-Sault, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, and Fils du Roy. Tickets are $45 each and are available at Ducky’s and Napul’è, with sales ending tomorrow night.

• Next Thursday, May 5th, Upstreet Brewing will be holding their Charlottetown Invasion tap takeover at Halifax’s Seahorse Tavern. Five Upstreet beers will be pouring from 10 pm to close, paired with live music from Charlottetown bands Sorrey, Raccoon Bandit, Coyote, and Whaleskin.

• Next Friday, May 6th,  is the start of NS Craft Beer Week. Kicking off the week on Friday is the Cape Breton Kitchen Party, hosted by Big Spruce and Breton Brewing, they have invited 10 NS breweries to Sydney for a right good Kitchen Party. Food and live music round out the beers, and the party is sure to keep going elsewhere in town once the event is over! Also on the 6th (and on Saturday, the 7th, too) Beer and Beethoven is returning again this year. With special guests The Irish Descendants, the event will have 6 different breweries in attendance each night, pouring their wares during a sampling period at the beginning of the night, and continuing for sales for the rest of the evening. Saturday the 7th is also Open Brewery Day, where breweries across the province will be opening their doors, holding brewery tours and events all day, to celebrate the local craft. Look for a full post and update to our NS Craft Beer Week Calendar and Map early next week.

A few parting shots this week:

Bore City has been busy brewing, and will be re-releasing three of their beers – Night and Day Black IPA, Equilux APA, and Marécage Belgian Saison – at the Tide & Boar very soon, with both Night and Day and Marécage also pouring at Marky’s Laundromat in the near future. And for our Fredericton readers, look for the return of Equilux APA and Spacetime Odyssey Porter at the James Joyce this weekend.
TrailWay has finished installing their new brewhouse, and will be brewing on the new system for the first time this weekend. Congrats! Look for the brewery and taproom to officially open sometime next month.
– We can expect more Petit-Sault beer to be hitting the market soon, as they’ve recently added two more 60 bbl (~70 hL) fermentors to their brewhouse. These additions will allow the brewery to brew more of their extremely-popular La Kedgwick, a Pilsner that undergoes a 6-week lagering period; meeting this demand will free up space for brewing their other flagship beers, as well as new one-off releases.

Another week, another fresh batch of beer news to get you up to speed! Let’s go!

• After announcing plans to start brewing on-site in late November, Mama’s Pub on Brookside will officially have beer for sale starting tonight! Brewer Ryan Kingston has all three of their first flagship brews ready for consumption: Mama’s Golden Ale, a 5% ABV, 17 IBUs pale ale that is “light, crisp, and really easy to drink”; Mama’s Session IPA, a 4.2% ABV, 23 IBUs ale, dry-hopped with Comet and Citra; and Mama’s Vanilla Bean Stout, a 5.7%, 19 IBUs dark beer with “tons of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes”, featuring real vanilla beans that were pre-soaked in Kahlúa liqueur prior to being added to the fermentor. These beers will currently be available only at Mama’s Pub for pints, so drop in to give them a try, and be sure to check out the brewery behind the new 9×6 window in the restaurant! UPDATE: Unfortunately, Mama’s has let us know that the beers will NOT be pouring tonight as originally planned; look for them to be available sometime next week.

• This weekend, Flying Boats is launching a special one-off IPA for Valentine’s Day. Lovers Quarrel IPA came to be thanks to a short in the heating element of the brewery’s electric brew panel; after over two hours of troubleshooting, brewer/owner Marc Melanson decided to change his brewing plans and concoct something new. The beer was bittered with Columbus, with several late additions of Chinook and Cascade; dry-hopped with Amarillo and Centennial, expect aromas and flavours of dank, citrus, and tropical fruit. Weighing in at 6.4% ABV and 76 IBUs, look for this one on tap at select accounts, including Ducky’s in Sackville, and Fredericton’s James Joyce Pub.

• Speaking of beers perfect for Love Day, Breton Brewing just launched their third seasonal brew: Cocoa Envy, a Robust Chocolate Porter. With fresh cocoa nibs from the U.S., coffee beans from Costa Rica, and a hint of added cinnamon, this complex brew should be just what you need to get you in the mood… to have another. Available now for growler fills and at select Breton accounts; 6.5 % ABV and 37 IBUs.

• There’s a new beer on tap at the YellowBelly brewpub, a 5.3% ABV British Pale Ale named Landsmen. Featuring a simple grist of Maris Otter and Dark Crystal malt, it was hopped solely with Brewer’s Gold to ~50 IBUs; two dry-hop additions were made to allow its “earthy, spicy, and berry fruit character to shine”, according to the brewery. Grab it on tap at the pub/restaurant today, and in bottles to go next week, as well as on NLC shelves.

Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin has made another trip to Edmundston, which is good news for all of us… it means that there’s another collaboration beer in the works with Petit-Sault! While we aren’t privy to the name yet, we can give you some other details on this strong, dark and malty lager: it should come in at about 7.5% ABV and 23 IBUs, and will feature “bready, chewy malt flavours with hints of chocolate and dark fruit, along with a slight nuttiness from toasted buckwheat”, according to Petit-Sault. Cold-conditioned, or lagered, for six weeks to help smooth out the flavours further, this one should be ready sometime in early April. It should be available on tap AND in bottles, for a limited time; we’ll keep you updated on its progress!

• In other Petit-Sault news, their annual brew day on March 5th for the Pink Boots Society is approaching fast, and ladies, they need your help! Led by Petit-Sault brewer Julie Long, the style being brewed is a “Honey Rye Ale”; two other currently-unindentified women will be helping with the brew, and they’re accepting volunteers for the fourth and final team member! If you’re interested in participating, send an email to the brewery’s own Mychèle Poitras. The winner will be chosen randomly on Feb 19th.

Grimross recently acquired some new yeast strains from a Canadian yeast lab, Escarpment Laboratories, located in Guelph, ON. Stephen Dixon of Grimross has been wanting to do a Saison fermented with Brettanomyces, a “wild” strain that is well-known for the funky, fruity, barnyard characteristics it imparts in beer. Several strains were ordered, including variations of their “New World Saison Blend”, which contains both a Brett strain and Saccharomyces strain. If Dixon is happy with the results, he plans to continue to harvest and repitch the yeast, allowing the culture to evolve into a Grimross house blend. The first beer brewed will also feature local hops from Southan Farms. We’ll be sure to keep track of this interesting experiment!

• Moncton’s newest brewery, Bore City, has released their third flagship beer, a 6% ABV American Porter named Spacetime Odyssey. Brewed with dark roast coffee and hopped with the super-tropical, Australian variety Galaxy, you can expect an interesting blend of roasted, coffee flavours, along with the fruitiness from the hops… if you can find some. Two kegs were sent to Marky’s Laundromat on Monday, and there was a bit still available last night, so we suggest heading there today for lunch to finish it off. In doing so, you’ll help to bring BC’s next been on tap, Marécage, their Belgian-style Saison. At 7% ABV, it features a yeast-driven palate of cloves and spices, with a bit of pepper taste to finish. Again, we expect these to be drained quickly, but don’t worry though, more Bore City beer is on its way, and may find its way to Fredericton in the near future.

• We have some details on the collaboration beer brewed between Tatamagouche Brewing and Bar Stillwell, Englishish, which is being described as an “English-ish Golden Ale”. While the beer features a simple malt profile and is low in bitterness, it “draws inspiration from the aromatic North American Pale Ales that we love” according to Tata brewer Christiane Jost, as plenty of English variety hops were added (Fuggles and East Kent Goldings) to give earthy, floral and spicy aromas. British hops, American malt and brewing technique = “English-ish”. Easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV, it will make its debut this Sunday during the Tatabrew tap-takeover event at Stillwell for Valentine’s Day (a few tickets are still available), with cans to follow sometime next week.

Red Rover will soon be celebrating their 2nd Anniversary, and they have a big announcement to do it in style… they’re opening a new Ciderhouse in the near future! Details are being kept under wraps for now, but we can tell you that the new location will still be located within Fredericton, and will provide an outlet “unlike any other in New Brunswick”, according to owner/brewer Adam Clawson. Stay tuned for more, soon!

• Tomorrow at 5 pm, Big Axe is holding a Mediterranean/African food and beer pairing event at the brewery/B&B in Nackawic. Three courses of  Mediterranean and African fusion food will be paired with three Big Axe beers, with Red Rover cider, Sunset Heights sparkling mead, and wine being offered at an additional cost. Tickets went on sale in late January and sold out in two days; however, there WILL be similar food and beer pairings at the brewery in the future, so keep your eyes on their Facebook page for announcements!

• It’s been a busy week at Halifax’s Garrison Brewing! With entry closing for the 8th Annual Home Brew-Off yesterday, it was time for 2015 winner Dave Martin to brew up his winning beer. Martin joined Brew Master Daniel Girard and Head Brewer Jonathan Harris on Marginal Rd to put together Mr Robusto, last year’s winning Robust Porter. It will be released at the gala party where this year’s Experimental IPA winner will be crowned, March 3rd. Returning to the brewery this week is Pucker Up, a pink-hued pomegranate-hibiscus wheat beer. Joining it is a brand new brew, Shack Wacky. This 5.2% ABV Radler is built on an APA base, features loads of orange aroma and finish, along with hints of lemon and other citrus. This is another brewery-only product, for samples and growler fills.

Stubborn Goat have announced the details of their next in the series of beer events. Beer Social with Big Spruce will be taking place next Sunday, February 21st. The Big Spruce himself, Jeremy White, will be in attendance and introducing the food and beer pairings for this four course meal. Among the beers pouring that day will be one of only four kegs of the just-released Ra Ra Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, the 10.5% ABV Glenora barrel-aged beauty (remember, bottles will only be on sale at the Nyanza brewery, and there are not many available!). Grab tickets for the Beer Social today!

BarNone has released their latest in the “Sessions” series: Vic’s Secret Sessions made its debut at Growler Night yesterday, featuring the dual-purpose Australian hop Vic Secret. At 4.8%ABV, this beer is low in alcohol, but big in flavour and aroma, perfect for an all-day session.

• There’s another new style to try at Spindrift today, with their weekly 7th Wave beer being a Lichtenhainer. While there is some discussion as to whether traditional Lichtenhainers contained wheat, modern interpretations tend to be a hybrid of Berliner Weisse and Rauchbier, resulting in a tart, smoky, sessionable beer. Either way, it’s a style rarely seen around these parts. Spindrift’s Lichtenhainer is a light 5%ABV and 15 IBUs. As with all of their 7th Wave brews, it will be on sale today at the brewery today at noon for growler fills only.

Good Robot has introduced a “Glee Club” at the brewery and taproom. Members receive their own custom 18oz mug at the taproom (and receive larger pours at regular price), discounts on growler and grunter fills and merchandise, specials on their birthday, access to exclusive members-only events, and a chance to be a part of a brewday with Doug. Registration is now open for this $100/yr club, and more details are available on their site.

Liquid Assets, the NS beer, cider, wine, and spirits store opening this spring at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, is hiring. Full- and part-time associates with knowledge of the local scene (or a thirst to learn), are encouraged to apply. The job skills include inventory control, customer assistance in choosing the right product, leading tastings, and everything in between. The job posting is here, and open until the end of the month. Construction at their storefront, located beyond security at the Airport, has begun, with an anticipated opening of April.

• For brewers (and potential ones) looking for insight into the “next step”, Springboard Atlantic is hosting a Liquid Courage event at Acadia University next Thursday, February 18th. An event highlighting the potential partnerships available between the brewing and scientific community for quality control, taste panels, and R&D, as well as insights into exporting beyond provincial and national borders, from local successful businesses. It will feature presentations from brewers and wine makers, scientists and academics from across the Maritimes, and business development agencies to aid in making it all happen. Registration is still open for the full day event.

Have a great beer- and love-filled weekend! Not because it’s Valentine’s Day, but just because! A few last news items…

Big Tide‘s Sandpiper Pilsner is back on tap at the brewpub; a 5.5% ABV Bohemian Pilsner hopped with Hallertau and Saaz to 50 IBUs, it’s available for both pints and growler fills while supplies last.
– Boxing Rock has re-released The Next Chapter Rye IPA; first brewed in 2015 with Andrew Estabrooks and released at last year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, this brew is available now in bottles and growlers, and will be seeing release in New Brunswick.
North is re-releasing their popular Belgian Milk Stout today, after a long hiatus. The 5.0% ABV beer was out of rotation for a period, due to their expansion to Dartmouth through Battery Park, as well as the birth of Brewer Josh Herbin’s child in the fall. Look for more special beers to be released in due time, now that the brewhouse has settled down.
PEI Brewing has brought Black Banks Black IPA back for another year. It is currently available at the brewery’s taproom, and many PEILCC stores. It has also been sent to New Brunswick, and should be appearing on ANBL shelves in the next few days. Check inventory here.
– Petit-Sault’s Canon Franchetti, their Cappucino stout, is back, currently on tap and in bottles at the brewery, and will be pouring at ANBL growler stations next Friday, Feb 19th.

We’ve added some more events to the Atlantic Canada Beer Events Calendar, be sure to check it out to be sure you don’t miss the many happenings in our region in the coming weeks and months. Included are this weekend’s events at Good Robot and Upstreet, and upcoming events like Craft Beer Cottage Party (Feb 27), and Fredericton Craft Beer Week (March 4-13). If you have a beer-centric event to add, please fire us an email.

G’day! Along with your weekly dose of regional beer news comes the announcement of yet another new brewery in Atlantic Canada. Let’s get to it!

• Fredericton will soon be seeing the launch of the city’s very first brewpub, as Mama’s Pub (a local establishment that has been operating on Fredericton’s North Side for 23 years) plans to start brewing on a 2 BBL (~225 L) system in the near future. Manager Ryan Kingston will be the brewer, and has developed several “flagship beer” recipes with the help of brewer/consultant Andrew ‘Esty’ Estabrooks. They plan on launching their first three beers – an American Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and Session IPA – by Christmas, with Estabrooks staying on as consultant to see the brewery through its initial developing stages. All beers will be available on tap at Mama’s only, with four seasonal rotating beers to follow in 2016. Plans currently include growler fills onsite sometime in the future, and there will be 15 other taps in addition to the Mama’s beers. We’ll have a Q&A posted in the near future; stay tuned!

Picaroons has announced future plans to open a brewery and retail space in downtown St. Stephen. Located at 5 King St., the establishment will be in collaboration with an “experienced chef”, who will run a co-joined but separately-operated brewpub. Still in the development phase, the current working name is The Five Kings. We’ll have more details in the future as they become available!

• We also have details on the opening date plans for Battery Park Beer Bar in Dartmouth. This joint venture between Brooklyn Warehouse and North Brewing will be opening their doors December 10th. Why December 10th? Owner Leo Christakos is a board member of the Slow Food NS association, and their annual Terra Madre Day is on that date, celebrating the founding of Slow Food in 1989. The Terra Madre initiative is a celebration of local food (including beer) through community events, including meals, festivals, workshops and more. BPBB’s opening will be a culmination of their months of preparation, and so it is fitting to hold it on that date. They will be pouring several new beers and current favourites, both brewed onsite and at North’s Agricola Street location. As the exact timing and beer details are announced, we’ll be sure to share them. And drop by North today after noon to pick up a bottle of Two, the beer brewed in celebration of Stillwell’s second anniversary.

• Moncton’s Pump House Brewery has released the 2015 edition of their Stonefire Ale. It was brewed using the Steinbier technique, which involves heating the wort not by heating a kettle, but by super-heating rocks to 700C and dropping them directly into the wort. This leads to lots of sugar caramelization, and even a faint hint of smokiness in the final product. The bitterness of the beer is very low, under 10 IBUs, leaving lots of room for the 6.5% ABV, with the beer coming through slightly sweet. It is widely available at the ANBL in bottles now. Pump House has also brought back their Bière de Garde seasonal, a 6.5% ABV amber beer with Belgian yeast character spiciness, and balancing hop bitterness from Chinook and Golding.

Garrison Brewing is coming to Sackville, New Brunswick in the form of a massive tap-takeover at Ducky’s Bar! Starting tomorrow, November 21st, at 7 pm, there will be 18 taps pouring various Garrison beers, many of which are special releases such as Not So Gentle Tickle IPA, Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 3 Fields Harvest, Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale, and their Proud Rose-Mary, the “Gastronome IPA” normally exclusive to the harbourstone sea grill & pour house in Halifax. There is no cover charge, but if you purchase a ticket for $10, you will receive a specially-branded Belgian-style glass and five 5 oz drink tickets; sign up in advance at the bar, and you get an additional two drink tickets. Those with the branded glass will be able to purchase additional 5 oz pours for the special price of $2.25.

• In additional Garrison news, their seasonal Winter Warmer is back, starting today. Just in time for colder temperatures, this 7% ABV dark beer is perfect for sipping, and, new this year, is available in 6-packs, perfect for sharing (or not!). And next Saturday, the 28th, will see the launch of this year’s Spruce Beer, with a cask of both the Spruce Beer and Winter Warmer, as well as mulled cider, on at the brewery.

PEI Brewing Co. has officially set the date for this year’s Transmitter Coffee Stout release. A delicious beer that was brewed in collaboration with local Receiver Coffee Co., last year’s batch featured plenty of roasted coffee flavour and aroma, and was more than worth the Herculean task of getting the wax off the bottle cap! The 750 mL bottles will be available for purchase at the brewery starting at 5 pm next Tuesday (November 24th); there will be live music from Dave Woodside until 7pm, and both PEIBC brewers and Receiver employees will be on hand to answer questions about the beer and coffee (with samples of both available for sampling). Like last year’s batch, supplies will be limited, so load up while you have the chance! And for you procrastinators, there are still a few bottles available of Hell Street, their barrel-aged Doppelbock, at both the brewery and PEILCC.

• The seasonal beer re-release news doesn’t stop there, as Propeller‘s very popular Russian Imperial Stout, Revolution, is back for another year. Already in bottles and on tap at their Halifax and Dartmouth brewery shops, it will also be popping up soon at NSLC stores in the next few weeks. This dark, strong (8% ABV), complex ale features plenty of roasted and chocolate notes, along with a smooth, warming finish from the higher alcohol. For the first time, it will also be available at select ANBL locations by early 2016.

Big Spruce has just released Gimme Simcoe, the latest in the “Gimme” line of single-hop Pale Ales, with Bar Stillwell as conspirators. Weighing in at 5.0% ABV, this light-bodied brew showcases the Simcoe hop, added especially late in the process to magnify the hop’s aroma and flavour over bitterness. On tap now at the brewery, and shortly at Stillwell and elsewhere in our region. And one final reminder, entry forms for the Home Brew Challenge are due via email Nov 23rd, and beers must be submitted to the brewery, or the Halifax drop-point, no later than Friday the 27th.

• The Nook and Cranny in Truro has a new beer on tap at the pub. Their first dark beer is a 4.7% ABV Milk Stout, brewed on-site on their SmartBrew system. Smooth-drinking, with a bit of roast and sweetness, it should be a great beer for the cooler months. Like the rest of their beers, it’s currently available at the pub for pints and growler fills.

• The Ladies Beer League is holding a Holiday Brunch at Stillwell on December 6th. The party starts at noon with the launching of the Boxing Rock/Big Spruce collaboration Triskaidekaphobia, plus some great brunch food from Chef Graeme Ruppel, including Eggs Benedict, Frittata, and Biscuits & Gravy. Tickets are $32.40, and include food and first pour of Tris, and LBL members receive a $5 discount. Doors open at 4pm to the public.

That’s it for this week! If you’re in Charlottetown, BarNone‘s award-winning Black IPA, Black Eye P.A., has returned; you can find it on tap at Baba’s Lounge and The Old Triangle. And another award-winning beer, La Buckdjeuve from Petit-Sault, is currently pouring at all four ANBL growler stations, is available in bottles at the brewery now and in select ANBL locations starting next week (if you don’t see it, ask for it!), for a limited time only. Grimross has re-released their Maritime Amber Ale, a 5.6% ABV beer hopped towards the British side of the spectrum (earthy instead of fruity/citrusy). Finally, tomorrow is the third annual Fredericton Poutine Festival; the sold-out event will feature 11 breweries pouring approximately 25 different different beers, ciders and mead, served with unlimited samples of over 12 different styles of poutine! Hope to see you there!

Happy Friday folks! Another busy week in our region, with plenty of new beers, and new news to share. Grab a pint of bitter or mug of coffee, and let’s dive right in!

Shiretown has a new beer available exclusively for growler fills at the brewery. Runnin’ Down the Road Amber Ale comes in at 5% ABV and 30-35 IBUs, and was hopped entirely with an unknown variety grown at the brewery. Featuring “a beauty grapefruit aftertaste” according to the brewery, the beer was brewed as a small batch only, so won’t last long.

Big Tide also has a new beer, currently on tap at the brewpub. The Darkening Imperial Stout is a big beer, clocking in at 8.2% ABV and 70 IBUs. Brewed with a grist containing both 2-row and Pale Ale malt, along with lots of Chocolate malt and some Caramunich, the brewery describes the beer as “rich and malty, sure to warm you up” with the high alcohol.

• We have more details on the new Amber Ale brewed by Boxing RockUnobtainium is a 5% ABV beer with a dark-mahogany color, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a “malty-rich backbone supporting some unexpected hop flavors”. The hops used for this brew include Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo, and the hard-to-find Nelson Sauvin variety from New Zealand. Known for its strong fruity flavors and aromas that resemble white wine, or gooseberries, the brewery was able to get their hands on some whole-leaf Nelson… and won’t be able to again anytime soon. So, grab your chance to try this heavily-dry hopped beer! Look for it on tap around Halifax soon, and in 650 mL bottles at all four private liquor stores in the city, and at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market.

• Boxing Rock also hosted some special visitors this week for a big brew day… the crew from Stillwell Beer Bar in Halifax made a visit to the Shelburne brewery to brew up a special collaboration beer, to be released in celebration of their First Anniversary. Details are being guarded closely, but we do know that Merci Biere is an 8.4% ABV Ale, and Smoked Malt was used in the mash. We’ll keep you up-to-date with this and other developments ahead of the Nov. 16th Anniversary party, where it will be launched, and then available in bottles shortly thereafter.

Last month, we mentioned that Hammond River was brewing up a new beer, Imperial Vanilla Porter. Well, that 8.1% ABV beer is now ready, and pouring at The Barrel’s Head, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and the Saint John Ale House, alongside the version that has Maker’s Mark Bourbon added (exclusive to the SJAH).  Look for it to follow soon at Ducky’s in Sackville.

• Speaking of Hammond River, they’re planning another couple of new beers to be brewed in the near future. One will be an American Brown Ale; this style was chosen by popular vote on their Facebook page, beating out Black IPA and Coffee Porter. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves admits the beer will be “a fair bit bolder than other Browns here, and will no doubt be slightly out of style”. Sounds good to us! Not to disappoint Black IPA lovers, Hammond River has also confirmed that they will be brewing this style as a collaboration beer with newly-opened Railcar Brewing. Stay tuned for more news on these two beers soon.

• And while on the topic of Railcar Brewing, they’ve just announced that their retail location will be officially open for growler fills on Saturday, November 1st. Their Railcar Red and Artisan Brown Ale will be available that day; fill prices will be $5 for 1 litre growlers, and $10 for 1.89 litre, and they will happily fill any growler from any brewery!

• The first kegs of mead produced by newly-opened Sunset Heights Meadery has been delivered to Isaac’s Way in Fredericton! Queen’s Nectar is the 7.5% ABV base mead; it can be consumed as-is, or added to a variety of “mixers” to make different flavors of mead (all coming in at 5% ABV), such as Naughtea (Iced Green Tea), Shipwrecked (India Pale Mead), and Tart’n (Cranberry Pollen Angels). They’ll also be serving up some MeadMosa, which is, of course, a mixture of base mead and orange juice.

• If you live in Fredericton, your options for craft cider continue to grow! Red Rover Brewing has paired up with Real Food Connections (a local-foods grocery store) to make their ciders available to order online, to be either picked up at a later date, or delivered to your door (within the Fredericton/Oromocto area). Order by Tuesday to pick it up any time from Thursday  to Saturday.

Grimross has updated us on the progress of their ongoing expansion. Owner/brewer Stephen Dixon is travelling to British Columbia this weekend to check on the progress of the 10 bbl brewing system being built by Newlands Systems, that will soon be shipped to the new location of the brewery at Bishop Dr. in Fredericton. They hope to begin brewing on the new system sometime in November, and open their tasting room the following month, where they will have growlers and cans of beer for purchase, as well as space to enjoy a pint or two. We’ll continue to keep you updated!

• After almost 10 years brewing for Picaroons (with about 4 years as the official Head Brewer), Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks has decided to leave the brewery to spend more time with his family. His position has been filled by one of Picaroons other brewers, Myles MacKenzie, who has been with the brewery now for several years. We wish Esty the best in his future endeavours!

Ducky’s Bar in Sackville is celebrating their 25th Anniversary, and they have lots scheduled for the event! Starting last night and continuing through the weekend, they have several bands providing live music, as well as special cask offerings each night. The cask beers include Picaroons Best Bitter, dry-hopped with Chinook, Gahan Tall Poppy (Sir John A’s Honey Wheat with New Zealand Motueka hops), and a new beer from Garrison, Unfiltered Wheat, a slightly hazy, sweet and malty American Wheat Ale with ~13 IBUs and 5.4% ABV. There will also be lots of other local beers pouring (as usual), including Garrison Double Jack (it’s first appearance outside of NS) and Hammond River Harvest Ale and Imperial Vanilla Porter. Congratulations to Ducky’s on 25 great years!

Rockbottom Brewpub is bringing back their Ultimate White IPA. Brewed in collaboration with Halifax Ultimate, this beer is a hybrid of a Witbier (Belgian Wheat Ale) and IPA (hoppy, hoppy goodness). Brewed with 2-row, Crystal 15, wheat and rolled oats, along with bitter orange peel and coriander, plus a blast of Comet, NZ Cascade, and Magnum hops, this beer features orange and citrus flavours, along with a low, but balancing, bitterness. The beer weighs in at 5.7% ABV and 8 IBUs (calc). To celebrate the new beer, a launch party is taking place tomorrow (Oct 18th), beginning at 4pm at the ‘bottom. In addition to the new beer, Halifax Ultimate member Cyra Belbin will be on hand with her award-winning Mexi Mac n Cheese Bites (as seen on CBC’s Recipe to Riches), raising money for Children’s Charities. We’ll see you there!

Hell Bay Brewing has brought back another batch of their R.I.P.(A.) this week. Available only in growlers and kegs, look for this on tap at better beer bars around the South Shore and HRM shortly. They’ve also released a Honey Blonde recently, available in kegs, growlers and bottles.

Cask Days is a three-day celebration of cask-conditioned beer, held annually in Toronto. Run by the folks behind Bar Volo, breweries from across Canada, and the US and UK, share their best cask beer. For the second year in a row, several Maritime Breweries will be sending up their best wares to take part, with the crew from Bar Stillwell there to serve and show off the great beers from our part of the world. We know many local brewers and good beer fans from the Maritimes will be in attendance, so if you’re free Oct 24-26, it would be worth a trip! Tickets are now sold out for the Fri and Sat sessions, however you can still drop by the Sunday “Last Call for Cask” session, to bat cleanup and grab some tasty beer.

Here are the beers the local breweries are sending up. The full list of beer from the rest of Canada, California, and the UK is also available. The list is subject to change, we know that cask beer can be temperamental!

Bad Apple / Delta Force Operation Green Ring (Cucumber Mint Pale Ale)
Bad Apple Black & Tackle Wine Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout
Big Spruce Mr.IncREDible (Dry Hopped Irish Red Ale)
Big Spruce Cereal Killer (Oatmeal Stout)
Boxing Rock Temptation Red (American Red Ale)
Boxing Rock Crafty Jack (English Brown Ale)
Greg Nash/Bad Apple Terroir Wethop (Harvest IPA)
Grimross Chantelope (100% Brett Saison)
North Brewing Belgian IPA
North Brewing Winter Saison (Saison With Pepper and Ginger)
PEI Brewing Workshop (Wild Ale Barrel-Aged Saison)
PEI Brewing Blood Orange On The Tracks (India Pale Ale W/ Blood Orange)
Propeller Extra Special Bitter
Pumphouse 4 Alarm (American IPA)
Pumphouse Premium Lager (American Lager)
Uncle Leo’s Smoked Porter
Uncle Leo’s Dry Hopped IPA (American IPA)

Get on out for a pint or two this weekend; why not drop by the NBNano Takeover at Stillwell Saturday (tickets still available for the noon session), PEI Brewing Company to grab their re-release of Blood Orange On The Tracks IPA, The Stubborn Goat for their Nocturne Halifax kick-off party, or your other favourite local pub. Remember to drink local this weekend!