Fredericton Craft Beer Festival

All posts tagged Fredericton Craft Beer Festival

Welcome to our first Friday Wrap-up of 2019 (Whoot! Got the year right!!). Although we took last week off, it’s clear that the breweries in our region did no such thing, giving us plenty to catch up on from the holidays as well as news of a few new releases hitting the taps and the shelves this weekend. We’ve also got a couple new breweries open in Nova Scotia and the sad news of the demise of Fredericton’s stalwart craft beer destination, the King Street Ale House. So have a read and plan your purchases for the weekend; it’s fixing to be a snowy one in much of Atlantic Canada, so maybe grab a couple extra this afternoon to help soothe yourself after any shovelling that needs to be done. And breweries take note! Entries are now open for the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards. This year’s event will be in Toronto, but judging takes place in April. Atlantic Canadian breweries had a strong showing at last year’s event; hopefully we’ll see some of the fantastic brews being produced out East continue that trend in 2019!

Let’s kick off the news with the details of two new breweries opening in Nova Scotia since our last Wrap-up…

Hill Top Hops has operated as a hop farm in Scotch Village, Nova Scotia, since 2016, supplying hops for two  Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery annual harvest brews (Hants County Wet Hopped Pale Ale in 2016 and Annapolis Hop Field Pale Ale in 2017). Now, the family behind the farm have opened a small brewery to showcase their hops and love of the industry. Located at 7232 Hwy 14 in Newport, their brewery and taproom is now open for pints and growler fills. Operating on a 2 BBL (240 litre) brewhouse, they have currently have six beers available: Blonde Ale, Cream Ale, IPA, American Pale Ale, Pilsner, and Red Ale, as well as a full complement of merch to show your HTH pride. They will be celebrating their Grand Opening January 19th from noon, and until then, the taproom and brewery is open on a “by chance” status as they complete small renos and brew. Best to check with them on social media (Fb / IG / Tw) or by phone (902-791-0776) to be sure. They are currently operating by cash/EMT for the moment, and will update their social media when that changes. Congratulations to the Peters family on the opening, and we look forward to sharing a full Profile with them soon.

Congratulations also go out to the crew at Shipwright Brewing who opened their doors in Lunenburg on December 30th. Owner Adam Bower has long been a fan and promoter of local beer while managing, and then buying, the Grand Banker at 82 Montague Street in Lunenburg. Shipwright Brewing is located in the same building, and Brewer Kellye Robertson is using a 1 BBL (120 litre) system to create their own beers. The brewery and taproom is open 12 – 10 PM daily, and they are currently serving three beers to enjoy onsite or to take away in growler or crowler fills. They can also be enjoyed at the Grand Banker, who recently expanded their all-local draught offerings. Cutwater is a 4.8% ABV and 18 IBU traditional German Kolsch (hybrid of lager and ale), First Sail Banker Roast is a 4.5% ABV and 21 IBU Blonde Ale with coffee beans added, and Icebreaker is a 5.3% ABV and 40 IBU New England Pale Ale. Congratulations to Adam, Kellye, and the entire Shipwright family on their opening! Keep an eye on their social media (Fb / IG / Tw) for more updates.

Let’s get caught up with a few beers that were launched over the last two weeks…

Brightwood Brewery released John’s Punch at their brewery taproom last Friday. This 7.5% ABV NEIPA was generously hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon, and is full of citrus and juicy bright notes on the nose and palate. It is currently on tap at the Brightwood Market, with kegs on their way to The Auction House, Battery Park, and HopYard, with cans coming later this month.

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co released a pair of new beers late last year (we can say that!) that should still be around for your liquid enjoyment. First up is Gin & Spruce, a 5.0% ABV kettle sour, dry-hopped with Citra. However, the real fun is in the other ingredients added to the beer, which were spruce tips and juniper berries, soaked in gin from the Newfoundland Distillery Company in Clarke’s Beach. They followed that release up with another the following day, a style they’ve nicknamed “Snowball Stout”, after the eponymous cookies. In keeping with the rap theme, this one is named Untitled 02 | 12.28.18. The 5.0% ABV stout was brewed with plenty of cocoa powder and coconut to match the baked treat’s flavour profile, on a creamy smooth base. Look for these on draught at their taproom, and keep your eyes peeled in St. John’s at your favourite good beer spot.

Speaking of stouts, Quidi Vidi Brewing released their own back in December, which is back now in a limited re-release. Cappuccino Stout is a 6.5% ABV stout featuring 2-Row and Crystal malts, accented with Flaked Barley, Chocolate Malt and Roasted Barley for a smooth mouthfeel and dark brown appearance, but brought to the next level with the use of lactose (milk sugar) and coffee from Trinity Roastery. These extra ingredients balance each other with sweetness, a touch of bitterness, and nutty dark roast, like a well pulled and blended capp. The beer is available at the brewery now, and at NLCs this weekend.

Earlier in December, Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing released Beaufort 10, a 10% ABV, Doppelbock. This traditional German style is malt-forward, taking advantage of the roast, bread, and dark fruit character of the malts used in the mash, while keeping it lightly hopped to just over 20 IBU. A long fermentation period followed by more than a month of lagering lead to a smooth and deceptively easy-drinking beer for the alcohol level, a solid choice for these colder months. Beaufort 10 is available at the brewery and HRM private stores in cans.

Chester’s Tanner & Co. released a new beer over the holidays that’s actually a bit of an older beer, but in a good way. Bottle-aged Wheat Wine is similar to a barleywine in style, big and boozy, but with 50% wheat malt in the grist. Fermented with an American Ale yeast strain, the result is a 10% ABV bruiser with plenty of molasses, caramel and toffee character. Brewed way back in February of 2018, it was bottled and set aside until now, giving it some time to smooth out and for the flavors to come together. There wasn’t a ton of this one available to begin with and it was released just before Christmas, so you might want to check with the brewery before heading down, as that’s the only place to grab this one.

After that wrap-up of previous releases, let’s share some brand new releases with you…

PEI’s Upstreet Brewing has a new beer called Third Place that has nothing to do with winning a bronze medal. When talking about the places in your life, your first place is home, your second place is work, and your third place is “that special haunt where you come together with your community.” Released on January 1st, this beer celebrates those special places that we all (hopefully) have in our lives. An Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV and 60 IBU, it boasts aromas of mango, clementine and peach, with a distinct piney note thanks to hop additions of Ella, Ekuanot, Azacca, and Simcoe. Look for it both in bottles and on tap at Craft Beer Corner and the Upstreet Taproom, on tap at the Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse and select tap accounts, and in bottles at select PEI Liquor stores. And if you’re at the taproom or CBC, you should check out the available bottles, currently including DeNovos I, II and III, and, from their Million Acres series, Bourbon Barrel-aged Apple Brett Blonde, Chocolate Salted Lager, Spruce Tip Wee Heavy, and Chardonnay Barrel-aged IIPA with Belma, Imperial Saison with Nelson Sauvin, Peach Cream Witbier, and Apricot Cream Witbier.

Halifax’s Good Robot has some big news this week as it has been officially announced that they are getting their first listing with the NSLC. El Espinazo del Diablo Mexican Lager is a fan favorite beer for the brewery with an ABV of 5.7% and 14 IBUs and featuring lime and jalapeño peppers on top of a grist that contains a “perfectly reasonable” amount of flaked corn. Like getting your salsa and your chips in a glass. Look for it at NSLC locations across the province and don’t be surprised if you see it joined by other Good Robot beers as 2019 rolls on.

Meanwhile, back at the farm on Robie Street, there’s plenty in the hopper for the first couple weeks of the year, starting with yesterday’s release of the latest in the Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs. Creature Feature III was hit with Columbus, Simcoe, and Nelson Sauvin hops for an assertive bitterness and a dank aroma. It’s 6.4% ABV and 51 IBUs and available now in the taproom. The first BetaBrew of the year will be released on Tuesday, January 8th, and it’s one made by GR staffer Drella and her father, Tim. An homage to their family’s Russian heritage and love of spicy things, it’s a chili stout they’re calling A Chili Night in Minsk. Big and bold at 7.5% ABV and 32 IBU, it’s rich, roasty, and spicy thanks to an addition of Bird’s Eye chilis after primary fermentation. And two days after that beer is tapped you’ll see another new one hit the lines at GR: The Humans Are Dead is their latest India Pale Lager with a twist of New Zealand hops, namely Azacca, Rakau, and Topaz. A calculated IBU level of 60 provides firm bitterness to this 6.8% ABV beer. Will it be the perfect accompaniment to your favorite binary solo and/or dancing the Robot or the Robo-boogie (which will be the only remaining dances in the distant future)? Affirmative!

A short distance away, on Gottingen Street comes the latest in the Propeller Small Batch series. A black lager in the Schwarzbier style it is called, most appropriately, Schwarzbier. It’s light in body, but with a flavorful punch of chocolate and toasted brown and finished off with noble hops for a subtle earthiness. Moderately dry, with a crisp and clean finish, it’s 5% ABV and is available in limited quantities for pints and growler fills only. Also in limited supply from Propeller is their El Dorado Brett IPA, which has been aging for the past nine months in red wine barrels. A mixed fermentation of classic ale yeast and Brettanomyces Claussenii have created a beer that is complex, funky, spicy, and a little earthy. Finished with a healthy dry hop of El Dorado for a tropical burst, it’s 6% ABV. We’ve confirmed that some of the very few kegs of this have gone to Hopyard Halifax, Stillwell and Battery Park, so keep an eye out for it at those places. Propeller also intends to tap a keg at their own tasting room on Monday (pints only). And lastly, the team has installed a beer engine in the Tasting Room that’ll be perfect for a traditional cask experience! So it makes sense that tonight’s Friday cask will be twist on a British style, their ESB aged on oak. Look for it to be tapped at 5 PM and to keep pouring through the weekend, as long as it lasts, anyway.

Unfortunately, we close out the news portion of today’s Wrap-up with some sad news. It was announced yesterday that Fredericton’s iconic beer-centric restaurant King Street Ale House, has closed. Opening 10 years ago as the Garrison District Ale House, Doug Williams and then-partner Shane Fraser saw that there was a big hole in the market for beer-focused establishments, and curated an impressive tap and bottle list well before the craft beer explosion hit our shores. After a fire destroyed the GDAH in January 2013, they rose from the ashes on King Street that November, with a renewed focus on local beer and great food. Having poured over 400 different beers from the Maritimes and beyond, the Garrison District and King Street Ale Houses were many first people’s introduction to well-made local beer. In fact, it’s where Shawn and Chris first met all of those years ago; we’ve conducted trivia nights during Fredericton Craft Beer Festival for several years; met countless other beery friends there over the years, and so we sincerely thank Doug, Shane, and the entire crew there for the many years of great beer. We wish them all the best in their next endeavours. For more details, check out this CBC article.

Only a couple of events to mention this week, but they’re a couple of doozies:

There are a handful of tickets still available for next Thursday’s, Jan 10th, Eat. Drink. Local. event at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront. Formerly known as the The Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration, this is an all-inclusive evening of local beer and cider, with fresh and innovative food pairings from local restaurants. The event also serves as the launch to several new beers in our region, including the winner of Big Spruce’s Home Brew-Off, this year’s will be Ian Wheatley’s Hefeweizen. 30 different stations of food and drink, along with live music all evening, will surely keep you happy. Grab your tickets now before they disappear!

Do try to keep your wits about you after Thursday’s event, as you’ll definitely want to pop up to Bar Stillwell on Barrington Street for their Belgian Beer Fest on Saturday, January 12th. From noon, the Stilly crew will be pouring Lambics, Saisons, Flanders Red, and a bevy of style-breaking beers from one of the best beer-making regions in the world. A full dozen taps, as well as more than double that in bottles, will give any novice or veteran beer fan something to fawn over. Check out the full list here, and we’ll see you there!

A few more notes before we leave you today…

Boxing Rock released a new beer brewed in their Halifax Test Kitchen in mid-December. Knitwise is a Christmas Cake- Inspired Scotch Ale, weighing in a 7.5% ABV. It was brewed with Kim Hart Macneill, a home brewer and beer writer for Halifax Magazine. Brewed with Nova Scotia cranberries, blueberries and raisins to enhance that Christmas Cake character. It’s on tap for pints in Shelburne and growler fills at their Bottle Shop at Local Source Market in Halifax!

Distillerie Fils du Roy released a new beer in December, in a style they are calling “Sour Mash Brut”. At 10% ABV, Biere Brut is a heavy hitter, and started using the sour mash technique usually reserved for whisky. Also fermented with whisky yeast, and finished extremely dry, at 1.000 gravity. Described as hazy, with a sourness reminiscent of green olives, light body and high carbonation. Bottles are available at the brewery in Petit-Paquetville.

Sussex Ale Works has a new beer pouring in their taproom these days. Piccadilly Pale Ale is a 5.8% ABV American Pale Ale with notes of citrusy Chinook and Cascade hops. Grab a sample or pint at their spot this weekend!

St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has released this ode to the season with Twelfth Night Porter. This 6.5% ABV porter features traditional English ingredients such as Bairds Crystal malt and Thomas Fawcett Roast Barley, along with East Kent Goldings used in the boil and dry-hopping. As described by the brewery, it is “spicy, earthy, warming, roasty, and full bodied with a slight hint of phenol/smokiness”. On tap at the brewery restaurant, in growlers at the YB Takeaway, and in bottles shortly.

We’ve got lots of new news for you this week, including a trio of breweries who have opened in the last seven days, tickets for two great festivals are on sale now, plus close to a dozen new beer and cider releases in the region for you to enjoy. Let’s skip the formalities (we know we’re late!!), and get right to it!

Hampton New Brunswick just got a bit more beery, as Matchstick Beer Factory opened their doors this week. Operating in a private residence close to the former Flewelling Saw Mill and Match Factory in town, they are brewing on a 1 BBL (120 litre) system, and supplying kegs of beer to local restaurants and bars. They have launched with Matchstick Pale Ale, a 4.5% ABV Pale Ale features lots of late- and dry-hopping of Mosaic, Amarillo, and El Dorado for tropical and citrus notes, and their Fired Up Red, at 8.0% ABV, features a solid malt backbone with a touch of Rye malt spice, and finished with an English Ale yeast. Keep an eye on their social media (FB/Tw) for the latest news, and drop into the Match Factory Cafe in Hampton, Bootstrap BrewPub in Quispamsis, and/or Sussex Ale Works to grab a pint this weekend. We’ll give you the full Matchstick story early next week. Congratulations Luke and family!

Drive 300 km due North from Hampton, and you will reach Bathurst, New Brunswick. It is the home to 13 Barrels Brewing, which opened its doors for the first time this week. Built from the ground up at 830 Harbourview Blvd, the 5100 square foot brewery and taproom overlook the Baie de Chaleur. They launched yesterday with their Pabineau Pale Ale, and five guest taps of beer and cider, and will be adding more to their own lineup very shortly. Keep up to date with them on social media (FB/IG/Tw), and we’ll be publishing a Profile with 13 Barrels soon!

From Bathurst, you’ll want to head 625 kilometres Northeast to reach Cormack, Newfoundland, the site of the third brewery opening its doors this week. Crooked Feeder Brewing is located just North of the town of Deer Lake, and is not currently open to the public. The best place to grab their beer is at Newfound Sushi in Corner Brook, where kegs of their Bonne Bay Blonde have been dropped off and are pouring. Look for more releases on their social media (FB/IG/Tw), and we’ll try to pin them down for a Profile very soon!

From brand new breweries, to one that opened a few months ago, let’s turn our attention to New Scotland Brewing, located in downtown Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. They are launching a brand new beer this weekend, brewed with plenty of local ingredients (and love!). Slowburn is a 6.1% ABV Chocolate Porter, that saw the use of locally-grown chilli peppers added during the boil, and later in a pair “dry-peppering” additions over the course of four weeks. The result is a medium/full bodied beer with hints of spice and vanilla, building to chocolate and black cherry, with a building heat as the peppers take hold. Served on nitro, the smooth beer is perfect for enjoying in a cozy nook with friends, and watching the snow fall outside. Slowburn is launching at opening Saturday at the brewery, so drop by for a pint! They’ve got live music by Willie Stratton tonight, and Rob Wigle will be jamming in the taproom Sunday afternoon.

Over in the land of Big Tide Brewing (that’s Saint John, for those of you who aren’t aware), they’ve release their very first New England IPA. The Dickens – hopped in the kettle and during active fermentation (taking advantage of biotransformation) and dry-hopped with generous amounts of Amarillo, Azacca, and Cascade – is currently on tap at the brewpub for pints and growler fills, and is showing off tons of juicy, tropical, and citrusy hop flavour and aroma. It weighs in at 6.3% ABV and 50 IBUs, and since it’s new (and an IPA… all the rage with the youngins these days!), you best drop by sooner rather than later if you’d like to give it a try. And with the cooler months ahead, look for loads of new and returning faves from Big Tide in the coming weeks, including Boiling Point Honey Ginger Saison, Indian Beach Nut Brown, and Sandpiper Pilsener, brewed with Ultra hops from nearby Darlings Island Farm.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock brewed up a beer especially for their Tap Takeover last week at Battery Park but if you missed it there, you’re in luck because there’s still a chance to try it! Head on over to Local Source Market and you can get yourself a growler fill of Hell Bat, a Licorice Imperial Stout. A big, 8.2% ABV beer, it’s got plenty of bitterness and spice from hops that’s balanced by roasty chocolate malt. Add to that a hit of anise aroma and flavor from additions of both real licorice root and star anise, and you have a smooth, complex and substantial beer to work your way through. And in other Boxing Rock Imperial Stout news…we told you last month that the brewery was offering folks the chance to pre-purchase cases and half-cases of their annual release of U-889 Imperial Stout with Coffee and Vanilla at a discount. That deal is in effect for one more week (pickup is November 30th) so if you’re interested it’s time to pull the trigger. Regular price on a bottle is $10.50, but you could be paying closer to $9/btl on 6 for $55 or even $8.33/btl on 12. Pickup can be arranged at the brewery in Shelburne or at Local Source in Halifax. Contact the brewery to place your order; their contact info can be found at the bottom of their web site.

Hey, if you’re in the Rothesay area of New Brunswick right about now, you really should drop by the Hammond River Brewing taproom (ok, you should probably drop by there anytime that you’re in Rothesay, to be honest), as they’ve got a couple new beers pouring… well, one new, one returning favourite. The new brew is The Unforgiven, an Imperial IPA hopped entirely with the fabulous, delicious, not-so-easy-to-get, and pricey Australian variety, Galaxy. At 8.3% ABV, it’s no wee beer, but the “wonderful flavours of citrus and passion fruit” come through front and center, so it’s easy to get carried away and drink this one a little faster than you should! The returning beer is the Glenora Whiskey Barrel-Aged Vanilla Imperial Porter; this one’s coming in at over 8% ABV as well, so you’re receiving your second warning! You know you’re going to want to have both of these beers on tap – because they won’t last long – so why not get dropped off and make an evening (or day!) of it?

The Harbour Brewing Company in Musquodoboit Harbour has a brand new release this week, as they move into the big and dark beers. Dreadnought Stout is a 5.6% ABV full-bodied stout, featuring loads of chocolate and dark fruit flavour, with a smooth finish of roasted grain. Look for it on tap in the area, or better yet, drop by their brewery along Highway 7 for a taste and growler fill!

This weekend brings us/you lucky Haligonians yet another 2 Crows barrel-aged bottle release, this time in the form of Mellarium. Brewed with Pilsner, Spelt, Wheat, Flaked Oats, and Aromatic malt, it was lightly hopped with Calypso, Hallertau Blanc, and Bramling Cross. The wort was soured with Lactobacillus, and then fermented with a blend of several Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces strains (the very same blend used in the new and delicious Glamour) in a single Sauvignon Blanc barrel. It spent a nice long time in said barrel (6 months) before being transferred onto 60 kg of Apricot puree, as well as some honeycomb, and allowed to referment/age for another 6 weeks. Finally, they decided to dry-hop it with Saffron (dry-Saffron?) before finally bottle conditioning with Champagne yeast. Now, it’s finally ready for you to eagerly purchase, and – hopefully – drink! They’re describing it as “bright, lively, and opulent, with smooth honey notes, fuzzy peach, and floral”. You can grab these bottles (5.3% ABV, btw) tomorrow at the brewery at opening. Eeek! We heard from 2 Crows this afternoon that this release has been slightly delayed until Saturday, December 1st. So you’ll have to wait a week for that barrel-aged, sour, funky, fruity, honey goodness!!

Halifax’s North Brewing has a pair of releases we’re keen to mention today. First up is another release of their Champagne-style IPA, Alloy. Inspired by the extremely dry and effervescent sparkling wine, Brut or Champagne IPAs feature very little body, low residual sweetness (gravity readings are often at or below 1.000 specific gravity), but tons of hops, and Alloy is no different. This batch features loads of Amarillo, Callista, and Vic Secret, and a low body, to really let them show off. As in previous releases, you can grab a single or 4-pack of cans, and can also fill growlers in both Halifax and Dartmouth. And if one IPA wasn’t enough for you, grab some of their Divination today too. This is a Double Dry Hopped (DDH) American IPA, in the tropical/stonefruit/citrus vein, with a touch of dank character. This 7.2% ABV beaut is also available in cans, either singles or a 4-pack, and on both sides of the harbour.

We teased it last week, but now have more information on Niche Brewing’s Moonage Daydream. The latest in their bevvy of sour offerings, this 4.4% ABV beer is generously dry-hopped with El Dorado and Citra, and features hibiscus in the secondary for a lovely pink hue. It is available on tap in Fredericton at 540 Kitchen & Bar, King Street Ale House, and The Joyce, Peppers Pub in Saint John, and in the Moncton region at CAVOK Brewing and at the Pump House Fill Station. If you drop by the latter location, you’ll be able to grab a growler or crowler to take home with you!

You probably guessed from their name that it was only a matter of time before Sourwood Cider released a barrel-aged cider… and if you did indeed guess that, you are now proven correct! While the beginning of the life of this cider occurred in a tote, it was then moved to a total of eight barrels; two of those barrels (which previously held red wine in Niagara) have produced Cherry Blaster, which is available now. As the name indicates, cherries were used in this release – 77 lbs, to be exact, all of them hand-picked from Dempsey’s Corner Orchard in Aylesford. Several different varieties of cherries were incorporated, including a type used in the making of sour pie, as well as “white/rose-fleshed sweet cherries”. Weighing in at 5.6% ABV, Sourwood is describing the cider as “naturally sour, tart, dirty rose in colour, and puckering”; overall, refreshing! Drop by their spot and Market stalls if you’d like to pick up some bottles. As for those other six barrels, as you’re probably wondering… they’ve had Haskap berries added, and will be bottled and released in the very near future!

The bottle releases continue with Halifax’s Tidehouse, with this week’s technically being a re-release. To-Wit! To-Woo! is, as you may have guessed if you’re a child of the 80s, the brewery’s little ode to Mr. Dressup… in Belgian Witbier form! Judging from the beer’s label (which you can check out here), they’ve upped the ABV this time around, to 6.1% ABV, bringing it slightly out of your classic Witbier range (but we’re ok with that!). With sweet orange peel, coriander, and Citra hops in the boil, expect aromas and flavours of all three. It’s available by the 340 mL bottle at the brewery, starting today at 2 pm.

Propeller Brewing has a brand new IPA out on the streets (well, by “streets” we mean, you know, at Propeller), Galaxy IPA. While Galaxy hops were indeed used in abundance in this beer, they were also partnered with the no-less-delicious Citra and Mosaic varieties. Since most of you reading this are likely personally familiar with all three of these hop varieties in some way or another, it may not surprise you to hear that the final 6.5% ABV product has “rich pineapple, peach, and tropical/citrus aromas”… but that doesn’t make it any less tasty! This is indeed a one-off, so get it while it lasts (cans are available). And drop by their Gottingen Street taproom tonight for a cask of their Russian Imperial Stout, which will be tapped at 5 PM.

We want to be sure all of you commercial brewers reading this know about next Friday’s Maritime Craft Malt Workshop, being held in Moncton. Organized by Chemical and Agricultural Scientists who have been bringing you the great Beer School events during the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, this event will focus on the art and science of understanding malt reports, how to maximize yield and flavour from malts, and which steps maltsters follow (and why) to provide you with the best possible product. Learn from maltsters, brewers, and the folks who analyze the product, all to help you incorporate Maritime-grown and -processed malt into your recipes. Check out the full schedule here. The session takes place next Friday, November 30th, at the Crowne Plaza in Moncton. Reserve your seat today!

We’ve got lots more events on the go to tell you about today, including tickets for a pair of favourite beer events happening next year, but are on sale now, and sure not to last!

Tickets for March 8 and 9, 2019’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival are on sale today, and we highly recommend grabbing yours ASAP. With the Friday Night event, nicknamed Newbie Night last year, a smaller collective of 10-15 breweries will be pouring 50+ beers in the Convention Centre March 8th. This is a great way to ease into the weekend, as we’ve been told none of these beers will be available during the Saturday sessions. Speaking of which, there are two sessions on Saturday, 1:30 – 4:00 PM and 7:00 – 9:30 PM, where you’ll have your choice of 300+ beer and cider from 50 producers across the region, Maine, and beyond. VIP tickets are always the first to go, which offer you an early entry to get a quick lay of the land before the rest of the visitors arrive. Do not miss your chance to have a heck of a time in the beginning of March in Fredericton, grab your tickets now! Closer to the date, we’ll have more details on our Trivia Night, the Drain the Keg 5K race the Sunday morning, and the other cool events on the go leading up to the Fest.

In Nova Scotia, the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia has announced the dates, and ticket availability for their Full House Festival, the signature event of NS Craft Beer Week. Being held May 4th, 2019 at the Halifax Forum, more than 30 breweries from across the province, along with food vendors, will be slinging drinks and bites to the thirsty crowd. The afternoon session is 1:30 – 4:00 PM, and the evening session is 7:00 – 9:30 PM, with VIP tickets allowing you entry 30 minutes early. Pick your session, and grab your tickets today, while early bird pricing is still in effect!

Now that you’ve grabbed your tickets for future events, let’s get back to the present with a “Home and Home” Tap Takeover by Halifax and Sydney breweries, Garrison and Breton. Tonight, Breton will be visiting Halifax and joining Garrison in taking over the taps at Stubborn Goat in Halifax, with eight beers from each brewery pouring. And they’ll be doing the same at Retro 67 in Sydney, next Friday, November 30th. At each event, folks from both breweries will be there to chat and give out swag. And debuting tonight is Rye’d or Die IPA, a collaboration between the two breweries. A 6.0% ABV American Rye IPA, it features 50 IBUs thanks to Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria. Aroma of pine, citrus, and a touch of grain, lead to a solid bitterness with a touch of spice from the Rye malt.

Those in the region familiar with the great beer scene in Portland, Maine, will no-doubt know about the killer beers available from Bissell Brothers Brewing. They began life in the Portland Industrial park (one of a half dozen breweries that have called One Industrial Way home over the years), and now have their own space in Thompsons Point. And Peter Bissell, one of the aforementioned brothers, has more recently launched Highroller Lobster Co. on Exchange Street. Why are we telling you all of this? We promise, not just to tease you with some serious FOMO. We mention this because the Bissell Brothers and Highroller crews will be taking over the taps and kitchen at Stillwell Beer Bar on December 8th. A dozen bangers from Maine will be available on tap, and we’re sure that there will be some real magic going on in the kitchen that day thanks to the melting of minds (that’s a butter joke). No tickets necessary, but you’ll definitely want to show up early to avoid missing out!

And a few last notes to inform your beer- and cider-acquisition plans for the weekend:

Four Rivers Brewing in Bathurst, NB, is happy to report that they’ve canned their Timbership Milk Stout and that those cans will be available this weekend at ANBL stores in major centres across the province. This 5.5% ABV and 25 IBU American-style stout with lactose has a clean and easy-drinking flavor with notes of freshly roasted coffee, caramel and dark chocolate. Available on Nitro in the taproom as well.

Chain Yard Urban Cidery in Halifax has announced that they’re going to be doing some limited bottle runs of some of their most creative and ambitious small batches and fan favorites. Only one hundred 750 mL bottles are available of each and they’re only available at the retail store on Agricola Street. The first two to be released are Country Rose Mead (Rose wine and mead which was on tap in September), and Brett To Be Determined (blend of Jona Golds & Mac’s, dry , unfiltered wild ferment and second ferment with brettanomyces which is also on tap now).

Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar had some big news hit the wire this week. They’ve announced that they will be expanding into the 1,400 sq. ft. space next door, almost doubling their size! This will allow them to provide an even better selection (hard to imagine!) of beer, wine, cider and spirits, including more products from afar, more cold beer storage, and more tasting room. Look for the expansion to take place after the holiday season, with a grand opening by Spring, 2019. Until then, you can continue to take advantage of their already awesome selection on Lower Water Street.

Unfiltered on North Street in Halifax has once again undertaken a canning run. This time, however, it wasn’t done on a mobile canning line it was done on their own machine. What does this mean? MORE CANS MORE OF THE TIME!! As of this weekend you’ll be able to get the previously announced Riddle of Steel along with Double Orange Apocalypse Ale, Playing With Fire, Hoppy Fingers, and Flat Black Jesus. Bow down to your new aluminum overlords.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, Good Robot has, as always, some beer news to share. This Tuesday’s BetaBrewsday release is called The Black Barrel and it’s a big ol’ bugger at 9.2% ABV and 53 IBU. Imperial Stout is the style, with lots of dark chocolate flavors. Be careful with this one! And on the Alpha side, Creature Feature is back, an IPA in the New England style, hoppy, hazy and juicy without a whole lot of bitterness. It’s 6.2% ABV and 46 IBU and will be available come next Thursday.

With Fredericton Craft Beer Fest now almost a week in the past, we suspect some of the hangovers it generated are finally starting to ease, just in time to figure out where the next hangover might come from. We’re willing to bet that for many the phrase “St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday” might figure heavily into that calculation. Here’s the latest in beer releases, brewery news and beer-related events for the week that Spring, uh, springs (sprungs? sprongs? steens?) in 2018!

Quidi Vidi Brewery, located Northwest of downtown St John’s, has seen a lot of change in the past several months. With the end of their legal issues, they are back to focusing on what should be most important in a brewery: beer! With the explosion of small breweries on the island, the reach of well-made flavourful beers is expanding across the province. Recent releases like the Calm Tom’s Double IPA and Mad Mike’s Big Bad Belgian (both award winners at last weekend’s Down East Brewing Awards) signal a sea change in the company, ready to provide exciting beers beyond their traditional offerings. With a 3 BBL (450 litre) pilot brewing system to complement their 20 BBL (2400 litre) brewhouse, and serious renovations happening to accommodate their new taproom, they are looking to expand the width and breadth of their offerings, while not disappointing their loyal fans. With this refocusing, they are looking to hire an assistant brewer, with an attitude on the same wavelength as their Brewmaster Einar Holtet. Check out the job listing here, and be sure to drop them a note soon!

• We’re not sure how much of this will be left, given that it was released last Friday, but Annapolis Cider has a new entry in their Something Different series. Arctic Kiwi combines the juice of locally-harvested Arctic Kiwis with a dry cider made up of McIntosh, Cortland, and Hyslop Crab apples. Unfiltered and sparkling, the resulting cider is quite aromatic, with “bright, tangy notes of fresh kiwi, with a crisp finish”. Best to check with Annapolis to make sure they still have some left! If they do, $0.50 from each refill will go to support Acadia’s S.M.I.L.E. program.

• Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom launched a new beer last week – their first sour – just in time to pour off-Island at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Citra SMaSH Kettle Sour is just what you’d expect it to be – a single-malt (2-row), single-hop (Citra, obviously!) beer that was kettle-soured with Lactobacillus. With a firm tartness that is balanced/complemented very well by the fruity and citrus characters from the Citra, it weighs in at 5.4% ABV. FCBF is over (boo!), but you can still find this one on tap at the brewery, and possible still at HopYard, in Charlottetown.

• Speaking of PEI, there’s puh-lenty going on over at Upstreet these days. Let’s start with new beer… first up is the release of the third beer in their Flipside series, Belgian Pale Ale. This one is definitely a different take on the classic Belgian style, with a light malt bill (including some Flaked Oats), and a dry-hop of Cashmere and Citra. Fermented with a Belgian Witbier yeast, this hazy beer has a light bready character, with notes of “citrus, melon, and coconut” in the aroma and flavour. At 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, it’s available now in bottles and on tap. Their other new beer is the first in yet ANOTHER series, Neon Friday, a bi-weekly (hopefully!) release that will focus on hops – more specifically, IPAs – in beers that will be released on tap only. Today will see the release of DDH IPA with Azacca (6.5% ABV, 50 IBUs) which was, yes, double-dry-hopped with the wonderful Azacca, giving high levels of mango in this particular beer. Look for it on tap at the Upstreet taproom, and the Craft Beer Corner. That’s right, the latest Upstreet venture should be opening today in downtown Charlottetown on the corner of Great George St. and Kent St. This beer destination will feature 24 taps (12 Upstreet, 5 for other Island breweries, 4 sodas, 2 Heart Beet Organics Kombuchas, and one Receiver cold brew coffee), with all Upstreet and non-alcoholic options available for growler and crowler fills (the first on the Island?). Food will also be available… think munchies like calzones, pretzels, jerky, etc. that will be prepared at Upstreet and cooked to order onsite. Be sure to check it out over the weekend!

• The FCBF saw all kinds of new beers pouring and we did our best to give you a preview of each in our post last week so you’d know what to look for. Some breweries, however, didn’t release the entire list of what they’d have until after last week’s post, with some beers ending up as a partial surprise. Niche Brewing’s Bruges Afternoon fit one of these descriptions, but it also fits another, that of a hybrid Belgian style that can best be described as a Belgian-American Pale Ale. Starting with a rather Belgian grist of Pils, Aromatic and Wheat, almost all the hops were added after the boil, namely lots of Azacca and Mosaic. It was back to Belgium for a Trappist style yeast to promote fruity esters and then, post-fermentation, back across the pond for a large dry hop of more Azacca and Mosaic. Fruity esters, tropical hops, and a medium mouthfeel in a 5.2% ABV package. As always you’ll find it at Niche tap accounts where you might also bump into their Mines of Wallonia, their lovely light Grisette hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau Blanc, which should see its re-release early next week.

• While lots of breweries do up special beers for St. Patrick’s day, and many of them involve food colouring or wild and wonderful green-tinged ingredients, we suspect that a new beer from Horton Ridge has got to be the greenest green beer that ever greened. Excepting that it’s not green. In colour, anyway. Horton Ridge has made a beer using green malt directly off the malt floor, with no kilning step to remove all the water added to germinate the grain and with the protein-rich rootlets left intact. The only other ingredient in the grist was a few pound of their own malted oats. Trading traditional toasty and malty flavors for fruity ones, this beer has notes of peach and fresh cantaloupe with a red apple nose. More brown than beer made from kilned malt, it’s also quite hazy from the additional protein. Hopped with Saaz, Hallertau, Cascade and Perle, Green Malt Beer weighs in a quaffable 5.5% ABV and a gentle 22 IBU that lets the malt shine. Not green enough for you? Consider this: the barley was grown in the region (Winsloe, PEI), so transport was minimized. Not kilning means 90% of the energy normally put into the malting process was saved. And with so much water left in the grain, much less was needed for the mash! Served on-site (no additional transportation), the environmental footprint of this beer is likely to be amongst the smallest of any in Canada. Now is it green enough?! Launched yesterday at the brewery, it will be flowing freely tomorrow starting at noon for Paddy’s Day at the Malt House and also available in growlers (pre-filled, we believe). Keeping with the theme, you’ll also fine Granite Brewery Greenman Pale Ale along with offerings from Big Spruce and Tatamagouche Brewing. Traditional Irish music from Space Bog Paddy People round out the event starting at 8 PM (tickets for the evening are $5). And we’ve been told to keep our eyes out for more beers from Horton Ridge featuring green malt in the future!

• On the East side of Newfoundland Port Rexton have a new beer out that invokes both St. Patrick’s Day and meteorology. In Newfoundland, the name Sheila (or Sheelah) is associated with St. Patrick as his wife, and cagey Newfoundlanders caught still tippling on March 18th may claim to be continuing the celebration in the name of Sheelah. Meanwhile, weather-wise, it is extremely common for one last big snow to come through Newfoundland in the back half of March following Paddy’s Day and those storms have come to be known as “Sheila’s Brush.” Enter Port Rexton and their desire for something hoppy and crushable to welcome Spring. Featuring Magnum, Simcoe, Amarillo, Mosaic and Mandarina Bavaria in the kettle and Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra in the dry hop, Sheila’s Crush still only tips the scales at 4.4% ABV, making it a very sessionable IPA. Look for this light and citrusy brew at the brewery’s retail location on Torbay Road just in time for Sheila’s Day.

• Are you a fan of big, boozy Barleywines? Well, we have great news for you, then! Boxing Rock‘s newest beer, Fisticuffs, is just that, and is available now! Weighing in at a monstrous 11% ABV, the beer was aged for four months in Chardonnay barrels, it exhibits “hints of stone fruits such as prunes, plums and figs, melded with a smooth, biscuit malt flavour and hint of vanilla”. With a fruity finish and “soft” carbonation, it’s smooth enough to be enjoyed now, and big enough to be cellared! Bottles are currently on sale at Boxing Rock’s retail show in Shelburne, with some also on their way to select NSLC stores (and perhaps to the private stores in HRM as well). And keep your eyes open next week for their Juniper Saison, April May Juniper, which was originally brewed as a collaboration with Lunn’s Mill last year. This batch was fermented with a different Saison yeast, and the beer will be a rotating seasonal in the NSLC, so you should be seeing bottles very soon. And mark your calendars for March 29th, when Boxing Rock will be taking over the taps at Lion & Bright from 5PM, pouring a wide variety of suds to make your long weekend brighter.

TrailWay is bringing back their Milkshake IPA, Velvet Fog, today at the brewery. This latest release is a new iteration on the same vanilla/lactose-driven IPA – hopped with a “generous amount” of Idaho 7 and El Dorado, it was conditioned on both strawberry and mango puree. Expect plenty of fruitiness thanks to all additions, with a “massive, rich, creamy body” to help support the 6.5% ABV. Available today on tap and in cans at the brewery only.

• We have a couple of pieces from Fredericton’s Picaroons news this week. First up, with the warmer weather approaching (right??), the brewing team at Pics turn their thoughts to one of their most fun and popular seasonals, Melonhead, their Watermelon Ale. And every year, a new cat will get the opportunity to grab the spotlight on the front of the label. If you think your kitty is the next WhiskeySir Winston Snaggletooth, or Ruby, send their picture vial email before March 27th for a chance at fame, fortune, and unlimited catnip. The winning cat, and the beer, will be available June 1st. Picaroons is also looking to hire a Retail Beer Store Manager, who will oversee the operation of the various retail locations, taproom operations, and designing tour information. To learn more, check out Pics’ Facebook page, and apply for the position via email here.

• The Gahan Pub in Charlottetown is hosting their Fourth Home Brewer’s Challenge, inviting eager Aleanders to brew up their best recipe, for a chance to see their beer pouring at the Sydney Street Pub. There are no style requirements/guideline this year, so entrants are free to choose whichever they like. Fire an email to gahan@murphyrestaurants.ca before April 13th to register, and you have until May 28th to brew and deliver your beer to Gahan. The winner will brew their recipe with Gahan Brew Master Trent Hayes, for release in the summer.

• We have more on the latest release from Garrison we teased last week, plus a tease of another new one dropping this weekend. Debuting at the Craft Beer Cottage Party at the end of February, Wicked Good is a North East- / New England- style American Pale Ale (aka, full of hops and haze for dayz). Pale Ale Malt is kicked up with Oats and Wheat (for mouthfeel, head retention, and lending a bit of haze) in the grain bill, resulting in a 5.8% ABV. The star of the show is the hop bill, featuring loads of Idaho 7 and Mosaic early-, late-, and post-boil, plus some super-secret hops that Brewmaster Daniel Girard is keeping under wraps. Currently available on draft only, but will eventually be packaged, grab it at the brewery for samples and growlers, and around town at finer drinking establishments.

• And dropping today, just in time for tomorrow’s drinking holiday, is Oat and About Stout. This is a Strong Stout brewed with students of the NSCC Continuing Education course that visited the brewery in February. As the name would imply, there are oats in the grain bill to complement the 2-Row Pale malt, plus a blend of Crystal with Roasted Barley. At 6.0% ABV and 32 IBUs, it’s a solid alternative to the macro-stouts often touted at the time of year. Be sure to grab all of the details when you drop by today for a sample or growler fill (and tell them the ACBB sent ya!).

In addition to your regularly scheduled St Patrick’s Day celebrations tomorrow, keep an eye out for these events this weekend and in the near future:

• As part of their Saint Paddy’s Day fun, Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing is hosting a series of tastings in their Stage Head Pub. At 2 PM, 3 PM, and 4 PM tomorrow, try 8 beers from Port Rexton, Quidi Vidi, Storm Brewing, and YellowBelly and take a tour of the brewery, all while learning about Split Rock’s own offerings, too. In addition to the guided tastings, there will be music in the afternoon and evening (4 – 5 PM, and again at 9 PM), and Irish Stew available 5 – 7 PM. And while you’re there, you’ll be able to enjoy their recent addition Flanker, a rich and malty Smoked Porter, weighing in at 5.8% ABV. 30% Beachwood Smoked Malt was used in the grist, but the smoke level is not overpowering. If you’re unable to visit the Stage Head, it may be available in town after the weekend. Saturday will see the release of a pair of new beers as well, with a 3.8% ABV Dry Irish Stout being served on Nitro, and a brand new American Pale Ale with loads of Cascade and Columbus making its debut.

• Feeling hungry and inflexible? Why not come to the King Street Ale House this Sunday, March 18th, for Lazy Yoga n’ Burgers? Starting at 1 PM, there will be 45 minutes of “lighthearted, gentle” yoga (BYO mat), before launching into the main event… food and beer! Over the next two hours, ticketholders will have four gourmet sliders, each paired with a different beer (5 oz) from Niche Brewing. Tickets can be purchased through the event link above; the price is $45.49 for the full experience, but if you just want to go for the burgers and beer, you can purchase a separate ticket for $27.39. Check out the link for more details, and a full beer list.

Big Tide Brewing is hosting a Brunch & Brew event on March 25th starting at 10 AM. Your ticket includes food and coffee/tea, a tour of the brewery with plenty of knowledge and insight into the brewing process, plus the opportunity to take part in a brewday with Head Brewer Wendy Papadopoulos and the folks of Uncorked Tours. Advance tickets are suggested, and are available here.

• The latest edition of the St John’s BrewFest is set to happen April 21, at Club One at 33A Gower Street. Featuring 80+ beer not normally available in the province, the hosts are pushing hard to increase the haze-level on the island by inviting Brooklyn, NYC’s, Other Half Brewing, as well as Half Hours on Earth (Seaforth, ON), Blindman Brewery (Lacombe, AB), Left Field Brewery (Toronto, ON), and Hammond River (Quispamsis, NB). Your $30 ticket gets you in the door, your glass for the evening (and to take home) and your first few pours, after which you can buy tokens to fill her up once again. Tickets are just about sold out, so if you were waiting for a sign to buy, this is it! Check out the beer line-up (they’re adding more to the list daily), and grab your tickets, here.

• We’ve been busy trying to keep up with Escarpment Lab‘s social media over the past week, as co-founder Angus Ross returned to his Nova Scotian roots, brewing up a half-dozen collaboration beers across the province. From Shelburne to Nyanza and points in between, Ross has set a wide variety of yeast-driven beers in motion this week (joining some brewed last summer!), which will culminate in a tap takeover during the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference, being held in Halifax May 24-26. We’ll share more details on the takeover (and the dozens of other events peripheral to the Conference) closer to the date, but rest assured you’ll want to take a few days off of work to stay focused on the mighty task at hand!

Hell Bay Brewing and Liverpool Adventure Outfitters are hosting a Father’s Day Canoe & Brew event June 16th. It kicks off at 4PM when attendees will go for a paddle along the Mersey River, and then enjoying a beer tasting at Hell Bay. Paddlers of all ages are invited, though the tasting restricted to those of age. The LAO is planning more of these outings, so be sure to sign up to their inaugural event to show that there’s plenty of interest!

Just a few more notes to get you up to speed before we let you go today:

– Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing has opened their taproom this week, allowing visitors to enjoy pints and flights of their Headliner IPA, Nunmoar Black, or one of their 4 other beer pouring currently. They are also adding in a healthy dose of guest beers to round out the dozen taps, which started with Garrison’s Pucker Up!, Uncle Leo’s Smoked Porter, and Sober Island Chanterelle Mild. Drop by today 12-8PM, and tomorrow 11-5PM for your draft and growler needs!

Good Robot will be re-releasing El Espinazo del Diablo, their International Pale Lager conditioned on lime zest and jalapeño, next week. With a 2-Row and Vienna malt base, flaked corn is also used in the mash for that iconic flavour contribution. At 5.7% ABV, the beer was solely hopped with Tettnang to a light 14 IBU, letting the fruit and chili dominate the flavours.

Propeller Brewing has brought back their Irish Red this week, just in time for Saturday’s celebration. Available in the 650 mL bomber size, as well as on tap for growler fills and pints at their Gottingen St taproom, it will be available at bars and restaurants around the city shortly.

Unfiltered has brought back their “New England-influenced” American IPA, Riddle of Steel, for release today at Charm School for pints and growler fills (and likely on tap at several Unfiltered accounts, soon).

And before we sign off today, we wanted to once again say thanks to Lloyd Chambers and the whole Fredericton Craft Beer Festival crew of volunteers for a great time last weekend. From the PEI Tap Takeover at the James Joyce, to the Beer School run by Mike Doucette & Co of CCNB Grand Falls, to the breweries who were kind enough to donate goodies for our Trivia Night (which we will re-schedule soon, stupid power outage!), there were plenty of great events surrounding the Friday Night Newbie Session and Saturday Gala Sessions of the Festival. Congratulations to all of the winners in the Down East Brewing Awards, but extra-special Grats to Garrison for winning Brewery of the Year, and 2 Crows for Beer of the Year, for their I Love You Saison with Rosehips. Meeting with the local brewers, bar owners, retailers, hop growers, and beer fans leaves us with no doubt that the Atlantic Canadian Beer Scene is stronger than ever, and the future is looking quite bright!