Grand Monk Ales

All posts tagged Grand Monk Ales

Jiminy Cricket we’re late today! We blame the one who took this week off, the one who barely survived the Tata takeover at Battery Park last night (although the jury’s still out on his dignity), and the one who inexplicably went to bed at 8:30 PM last night and slept clear through until morning. We’ll let y’all try to figure out which one is which. For now, enjoy another 3,000 or so words about beer and beer event news in Atlantic Canada for the last full weekend of summer (*sob*)!!

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing is re-releasing their Belgian Blonde known as Grimdonk today. Described as, “elegantly crisp and golden, with balanced fruit and spice notes,” you’ll find this dry finishing beer available both on tap and in cans (for the first time, we think) at the brewery. And if you’re out and about in the area this afternoon, they’ll be tapping a special cask of this beer that’s been fortified with blackberries at 2 PM. There’s only 20 L of that version, though, so best hook off work a little early if you want to make sure to get a taste.

Staying in Fredericton with the “other” G brewery, Graystone put a new ESB on the taps late last week. Amber in colour, with a medium mouthfeel and a typically English lower carbonation level, Grizzly ESB is a 5.1% and 42 IBU easy drinker. The aroma is sweet and malty with a subtle hop earthiness, and the flavour favours mild caramel and biscuit notes and a slightly spicy finish from the traditional English hops used. It’s still listed as on tap on the brewery website so you should still be able to find it on tap for pints, crowlers and growler fills at the brewery. And in other Graystone news, one of their flagship beer, Patagonia Pale Ale is now available in 473 mL cans at select ANBL locations. See this Instagram post for the full list of locations where you can grab yourself some for the weekend!

Not to be left out, Fredericton’s lords of lupulin, Trailway Brewing have yet another new and interesting beer on the docket today. Featuring a theoretical IBU rating of 0 due to all the hops being added in the fermenter after the beer was chilled, Days Done is a crushable American Pale Ale coming in at 5% ABV. Leveraging hops from both New Zealand and the United States, it has a slight bubblegum character at the front of the palate and a rounded citrus finish. Check it out this afternoon and/or tomorrow afternoon at the brewery where they’ll also have the Gastrognomes food truck going from 3 – 8 PM. It’ll be an ideal beer for pre-gaming the Harvest Jazz & Blues Fest downtown!

Hanwell’s premier brewery, Niche Brewing, has a brand new beer out this week, the latest in their Persuasion Series (if it’s not a thing yet, maybe it is now?). Grasping hold of the last days of Summer, they have released Boysenberry Persuasion, a 4.2% ABV fruited sour. Using the same base as their Pineapple Persuasion, they added boysenberry puree during secondary fermentation, resulting in big raspberry- and blackberry-like flavour and aroma, all on a tart base. It is available around Fredericton and Moncton, including on tap at Grimross, which means you’ll be able to grab growlers of it (and their Riptide Rye Session IPA). Rejoice the weekend!

Down the road from the capital, outside Moncton in MacDougall Settlement, NB, Valonray Farmhouse Brewery has now achieved their previously stated (and lofty!) goal of producing only mixed fermentation beers! With only about 50 bottles of clean-fermented beer left on hand as of earlier this week, they’ve fully committed to mixing bacteria and yeast to produce tasty beers in the Continental style. They’re also planning six or so releases in the next few months, with some special treats already settled down for some (much) longer term aging. In the near term, though, they’ve got two releases to tell you about this week. The first is Terroir, a farmhouse ale with 70% Horton Ridge pale malt to which wheat, oats, and some sugar were added to round out the grist. The yeast used was from Escarpment Labs (although Valonray’s next fermentation goal is to use only their own yeast) along with Brettanomyces. Described as “unlike any Brett beers we’ve tasted,” it’s earthy, with a honey-like finish and little to no fruit or funk detectable. Their second new release is Farmhouse 2 which started as an experiment but turned out just fine. With 70% pale malt matched with 30% Vienna in the grist, some residual sweetness and malt body is to be expected. Fermentation-wise, this one’s a bit crazy, with 6 Brett strains, including 2 sources of Brett B, one Brett C, one Brett Q, and two wild Bretts from Terroir all in the mix along with Lactobacillus. The result is a beer where the Lacto is not prominent, so it’s not as tart as the first iteration, but there are prominent grapefruit and berry notes. Look for both of these beers to be available at select ANBL locations in the Moncton area soon.

Moving across the Bay of Fundy to Nova Scotia, Annapolis Brewing Co. has a brand new small batch specialty beer available this week. Called Calientide, the key ingredient was 4 pounds of honey provided to the brewery by the Halifax Honey Company. But this wasn’t just any honey, this is what they call “Stingin’ Hot Honey” which is their chili-infused product. Added to the kettle at flameout, it made for a rather spicy wort initially, but ended up producing a subtly spicy and slightly hot beer. The heat and spicy character were also boosted by the addition of the chilis that had been used to infuse the honey to the secondary fermentation vessel along with some roasted jalapeños. The result is a 4.7% ABV beer with 21 IBUs that features light peppers on the nose and a subtle spiciness on the finish. Look for this one at the brewery and very possibly tomorrow morning at their market stall.

From the Valley into the City, we’ll start on North Street with Unfiltered Brewing who have brought back a beer not seen for many months, Play With Fire. At 7.5% ABV, this Smoked Imperial Schwarzbier is jet black, and features smoke flavour and aroma, perfect for the waning warm days and cool nights of late summer. Drop by the brewery and Charm School taproom to grab a pint and growler today.

Around the corner on Robie Street we turn to Good Robot who have their usual two releases this week. Tuesday’s release for Beta Brewsday is the result of a visit from Marci of Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, who, in a shocking turn of events, brought her own malt to the party! Using organic rye and 2-row as the base with a little bit of roasted barley, the intention was to turn out a Rye IPA, but brewer Kelly Costello couldn’t bring herself to mask the lovely rich malt flavours with the planned dry hop. So Pretty Fly for a Rye Guy will be listed as a Rye Pale Ale with an ABV of 4.0% and a low/medium bitterness that still features hop flavors from late additions of Vic Secret, Enigma, and Saphir hops. On the GR Alpha system this week we have the return of their Gose-inspired Goseface Killah, a sour german wheat ale featuring Sorachi Ace hops. At 4.8% ABV and 11 IBU, this tart and refreshing beer with coriander aroma and lemony acidity might be just the thing to help it keep feeling like summer as the temperatures start to drop.

And two streets over, Propeller has a new Gottingen Small Batch on the go today, to go along with their usual Friday cask. Which isn’t their usual cask. We can explain. The small batch is called Tropical IPA and it features both some very tropical hops in the form of orange-y and grapefruit-y Citra and passionfruit-y and pineapple-y Galaxy, along with additions of real fruit, including peach, apricot and mango. The result is a 6.2% ABV beer with a complex tropical fruit character that still manages to sport a crisp finish. This one is on tap at the brewery for fills and pints and is also already on tap at all ANBL Growler Stations. As for today’s cask, in lieu of a beer they’ll be sporting a Shandy instead! From late afternoon onwards, come down to the brewery and try a take on a classic concoction comprised of beer (Propeller’s classic ESB in this case) blended roughly one-to-one with lemonade (hand-pressed by Assistant Brewer Denys Ploughman). No growler fills of this one, so you’ll have to sit and have a pint. Rough life, wha?

Around back from the Propeller tap room in their small batch brewery / warehouse, Stillwell Brewing is releasing the second batch of Solo tomorrow. With a base recipe of PIlsner, Wheat, and Oats, it was hopped in the kettle and barrel with German hops, and fermented with Stilly’s house blend of yeasts and bacteria. This batch of Solo was brewed at the same time as the first (which was released in February), and has been bottle conditioning for an extra few months. LIke batch 1 (and you could probably guess from the name), Solo b2 is a single-barrel beer, as opposed to a blend of several barrels. The barrel character comes through a bit more in the final beer, as well as a little additional bitterness, as compared to batch 1, but still expresses the delicate and funky yeast character. Drop by the brewery 12 – 4 PM tomorrow to grab your bottles, around the back of 2015 Gottingen Street.

And our last hop (hah!) in Halifax this week is to Tidehouse Brewing downtown on Salter Street where they’ve got a brand new bottled offering. BIG Bruiser IIPA is a double/imperial IPA weighing in at a brawny 10% ABV. Medium to light in body and with a deep orange color, it was hopped entirely with Cryo hops, specifically the Simcoe and Ekuanot varieties. To finish, the Japanese citrus known as Yuzu was added for an extra kick. Dank, boozy, and hoppy, it’s available at the Tidehouse Tiny Tasting Room in 340 mL bottles (maximum 6 to a customer) and 4 oz samples only, no growler fills. Probably for the best, this one’s going to hit like a brick.

Heading down the 102 from Halifax and then swinging onto the 104 at Truro will eventually get you to Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing has put together a couple of variations on a theme. Last week we told you about The Edge, an IPA featuring Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops. This week they’ve upped the ante with fruit! The Edge Volume 2 is that same beer after having sat on pineapple for a while and ditto for The Edge Volume 3 except swap in mango. These extra-tropical bad boys are available only by the glass at the Backstage taproom and we suspect that where they were released on Wednesday they may not last much longer; so if you’re lucky enough to be close by, maybe swing by Bridge Ave for a taste!

And lastly for Nova Scotia, following the 104 to Cape Breton and opting for North on the 105 will eventually get you to Nyanza, where Big Spruce Brewing will be waiting with open arms and a brand new beer. Can You C’est Brut IPA is BS’s entry into the 1.000 Final Gravity fray, the defining characteristic of the Brut- or Champagne-style IPA that’s come out of nowhere in the last few months. Featuring “bonkers aromatics” from the use of large amounts of El Dorado hop hash (don’t worry, this hash is legal even before October 17th), it comes in at 7.0% ABV and an almost mild (for an IPA, anyway) 24 IBU. Bone-dry, crisp and effervescent, we remind you that it’s beer, so maybe forego the sipping from a flute and head straight to the swilling from a real glass. Pinky extension is negotiable. If that’s not your thing, with the hop harvest just finishing, you can no doubt expect another new beer from Big Spruce in the coming weeks featuring their homegrown fresh hops, and keep your eyes open as we’ve heard hints that a new batch of all-hyper-local One Hundred is on the way. Or just check back here for news, because, as always, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s hop the ferry to Newfoundland to round out the new beer news of the week! Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing has a new beer on tap this week, the bigger and hoppier brother to their popular Gateway IPA. Oathkeeper IPA features the same base malt recipe, but fermented on their English yeast strain, leading to a beer with more body and a touch of residual sweetness at the same 6.4% ABV. As is the case with many of our favourite IPAs, though, this one is all about the hops! Cascade, Amarillo, and Citra come together to give you a ton of great hop flavour and aroma, with citrus, specifically grapefruit, shining through.Oathkeeper is on tap at Stage Head Pub in Twilingate now, but we’ve been told it may hit one of the great Nfld-beer-friendly spots in St. John’s as well. Keep an eye on their social media to see.

Port Rexton Brewing has a brand new beer available, and the only place to find it is at their brewery taproom. 9:30 Knockout is a new style for them, a Hopfenweisse. Think of it as a hopped-up of German Weissbier, featuring the iconic wheat and yeast aromas of banana and clove, along with great stone fruit and tropical hop notes, courtesy of Enigma, Mosaic, Chinook, and Simcoe. In case you were wondering, the 9:30 Knockout name comes from the fact that the mash rest of this beer, while typically 60-90 minutes in length, was 5 hours long, pushing their usual knockout time (when the boil is stopped and the wort is cooled and transferred to the fermenter) to 9:30 PM, rather than their usual 4:00. Talk about a full brew day! Get yourselves out to the brewery to toast the hardworking women and men of PRBC. And as summer closes out, please note that their Retail Shop on Torbay Road in town has shifted their hours to Fridays 4 – 8 PM and 12 – 6 PM on Saturdays. Drop by this afternoon for fills of their Horse Chops West Coast IPA, Chasing Sun New England IPA, and T-Rex Porter.

We have big news for those brewers among you who may be looking to move (back to, or within) our region for a job, as we know of several positions that are needing to be filled:

In Montague, PEI, Bogside Brewing will be opening this winter, and are looking to hire a Head Brewer and a Production Brewer for their 1200 litre (10 BBL) system. That team will be responsible for all aspects of the production, testing, inventory, and quality control of the beer and cider they will be making. Check out the full Job Posting here and get in touch with them now!

And in Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing is also looking to fill their Head Brewer position. Brewing on a 1200 litre system as well, the Head Brewer will be responsible for all of the ingredient inventory, beer making, and QC at all points in the process. Check out the Job Posting for more details. Drop them a letter/resume to continue your brewing career on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

We’ve got plenty of events to keep you busy over the next few weeks!

Speaking of Saltbox, drop in tomorrow to help them celebrate their Second Anniversary! Who knew partying in a former service station could be so fun! Open from 10 until 10, they will be doing door prizes every hour for Saltbox gear and gift cards, and they’ll have Curry Express Food Truck onsite to keep you happy. No party is complete without some live music, and they’ve got that in spades, with The Paul Buchanan Band onsite from 3 – 5 PM, followed by Collage from 7 – 9 PM. And!! Guys!!! They are hosting Beer and a Backrub, where folks from South Shore Chair Massage will help you unwind after a long week, and you don’t even have to put down your beer. Congratulations to the Saltbox family!

We have more info on the beer list for the Grand Monk Pokes The Bear, with Grand Monk (formerly known as Bore City) taking over the taps at Buddha Bear’s Riverview location, Wednesday to Sunday (Sept 19-23) of next week. From Grand Monk:
Marécage Belgian Style Saison (7.0% ABV) – We’ve started brewing it again after a bit of a hiatus. Hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc, it has citrus/peppery notes to start and finishes dry. At 7%, it’s surprisingly light!
Vent d’âme Belgian Style Pale Ale (5.9% ABV)  – A light and refreshing ale you would find in a Belgian bar. “Vent d’âme” literally translates to “soul wind” but is an homage to the muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Dirty Black Summer (5.8% ABV)- a well balanced Black IPA with a mix of tropical and piney hops. Tons of Chinook, Vic Secret and Ella, to the tune of 80 IBUs.
Spacetime Odyssey Porter (6.5% ABV) – Our coffee infused porter brewed since the beginning. Chocolatey, roasty, coffee-y.
Koalatee Pale Ale (5.0% ABV) -Our pale ale hopped entirely with Australian varieties – Vic Secret, Ella, Topaz. Lots of hop aroma (pineapple, citrus), light bodied and completely crushable. Summer’s not over!
AND, during the Saturday afternoon party 4 – 8 PM, when the Grand Monk crew will be onsite, they hope to debut a brand new beer; that afternoon/evening, Red Stone Eatery will be onsite with food offerings.

In Halifax, Good Robot is hosting the second of their Hair of the Dog events September 22nd and 23rd. Taking over the Garrison Grounds, dogs and their people are invited to hang out to meet other like-minded individuals, drink a bit of beer, and check out the animal-centric vendors. The party goes 11 – 11 each day, and the proceeds for the event go to the NS SPCA Dartmouth Shelter and Halifax Pop Explosion. Check that first link for the list of vendors who will be onsite.

Garrison Brewing is hosting a three-week Oktoberfest celebration this year, starting next Saturday, September 22nd, and repeating again the next two Saturdays (the 29th and October 6th). They will have Asado Wood Fired Grill onsite from 11AM each day, and have live music from an Oompah band starting at 2PM. The event is free, and their spot is dog and family friendly, so your pup could take you to two events on the 22nd! And on the 6th, they’re cranking it up for Das Big Party, with Dave Sampson playing a live show in the brewery that evening, so stick around!

There are still a few tickets available for the Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, being held at the Moncton Lions Club on September 29th. Featuring more than 40 breweries, cideries, and mead producers, this event also raises funds for the United Way. Many of the producers will be on hand themselves, making it a great opportunity to chat with them and learn more about their products (and bend their ear to talk about new possible ones!). Grab your ticket for the 7:30 – 10 PM session here, and learn more about other events on their website.

Lastly, in Halifax, the Stillwell Beergarden will be getting a big facelift on September 29th, as they host an Oktoberfest event on Spring Garden Road. Open as usual from noon, they’ll be featuring NS-brewed German style beers, as well as some fresh brews from Germany, all to celebrate one of the most influential countries in the beer world. Of course, they will have some great Oktoberfest-inspired food, and a must-have for any Oktoberfest event, a live oompah band from 3:30PM on. There will be a cover charge for the afternoon to pay for the band, which you can pre-pay at either location to be added to the list, $7 in advance or $10 at the door. So grab your dirndl or lederhosen, and we’ll see you there. Prosit!

We start off this week with the release of the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay Brewing’s constantly rotating fruited kettle sour. The latest version features the addition of both mango and pineapple purée, giving an aroma and flavour that is definitely heavy on the pineapple side, with the mango present in the background to complement. Slightly sweet due to an addition of lactose powder, to balance the tartness, the 3.8% ABV beer is available now at the brewery on tap and in cans. They’ve also got another new release hitting their taps/shelves today, Donnie Had Me Up At 4. Named after an employee’s cat’s annoying habit, think of this beer as a 4% ABV Session IPA, hopped with Idaho 7 and Southern Cross, with further additions of lime and orange zest. Refreshing and citrusy, it will also be available on tap and in cans.

Bootleg Brew Co., which opened in Corner Brook, Newfoundland at the beginning of this year, is releasing their first Gose, a style that will likely be the first time that residents in Corner Brook have been able to try a local version of. The Way She Gose was kettle soured with a pitch of Lactobacillus; after souring for 48 hours, the wort was boiled, and a pound of sea salt from the province’s Newfoundland Salt Company was added. The brewery purposely left out the usual addition of coriander, to let the salt come through front and center. At 4.1% ABV, it has a definite salinity, and a lemon-like tartness. It’s available now at the brewery’s taproom for pints.

Meander River Farm and Brewery in Ashdale, NS will be launching a returning Small Lot cider this weekend, featuring some extra special ingredients from their farm. Lavandula is a 5.5% ABV dry cider, with honey from hives on their property, as well as estate-grown lavender. This is the second year release for this expression, and last year’s was a top-seller, so be sure to pick up bottles and seek it out post haste. You can get your first tastes at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market and at the Brewery itself this weekend (Friday 4-6, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 11-5). And when better than coming by Sunday morning (from 9AM) to help out with the 2018 hop harvest, while they brew their Homegrown Wet Hopped Ale. The taps and stories will be flowing as they process the hops grown on the property, and add them directly to the brew in progress. If can’t make it out to the brewery, keep an eye on the rotating taps at ChainYard in Halifax, as they have delivered a few kegs to the Urban Cidery.

In Chester Basin, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, you’ll find Tanner & Co Brewing, at 50 Angus Hiltz Rd. And when you drop by this weekend (open Thurs & Fri 2-8, Sat 12-8, Sun & Mon, 12-6), you’ll see a few new beers pouring to take away. You may be lucky to catch their Gose, Kottbusser (an ancient German style brewed with Barley, Wheat, and Oats, and finished with molasses and honey), Sticke Altbier, Dunkel, and Porter with Burgundian Red Wine yeast and finished with London Ale yeast. And look for the return of Nelson Saison, a Saison brewed with exclusively Nelson Sauvin hops in the boil and post-fermentation. But releasing this week is Lemon Lavender Saison. Starting with a malt bill of mostly Pilsner with a bit of wheat, lemon rind, ginger, and Lavender were added late in the boil. The lavender was grown by a neighbour to the brewery, and after a very successful test brew last year, was able to grow enough for a couple of larger batches. Fermentation was completed with a traditional Saison yeast strain, and the fruit and spices flow beautifully throughout the beer. The result is a 6.5% ABV, and 30 IBU beer, that is ready for enjoyment now, so drop by the brewery, or keep an eye at their local tap accounts to try it.

There’s a new entry in the one-off After Hours series from the PEI Brewing Co. that you may want to check out if you’re on the Island (or heading that way!), Cryo Hop IPA. Brewed with a fairly simple grist of 2-row, Vienna, and Red Wheat, it was mashed “intensively”, with the intention of the yeast finishing the beer off low, to keep it “dry and crisp”. Hopped with the fairly new Cryo hop pellets (cryogenically concentrated hop product to maximize flavour and aroma), the brewery went with equal amounts of both Cascade and Citra. It’s a combination of old-style IPA and new, as it finishes quite bitter (80 IBUs), but big on hop aroma/flavour. It weighs in at 7% ABV, and is available exclusively on tap, right now.

Feels like it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a hop bomb-type beer from 2 Crows… oops, it has been, I just checked Untappd. Well, don’t worry, because tomorrow they’re releasing what may just be their hoppiest beer yet! Perfect Situation is a New England IPA brewed with a simple grist of Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malt. Hopped in the whirlpool stage with lots of Simcoe and Vic Secret, it was then fermented with the English strain, London Fog, from White Labs. Of course, that wasn’t the last of the hopping, as the beer was finally dry-hopped with a very high amount of Vic Secret and Idaho 7. The result is just what you want in this style: a soft and fuzzy mouthfeel thanks to the yeast, and aromas/flavours described by 2C as “super fruity, lush, tropical, pillowy, and juicy, with massive notes of pineapple, passion fruit, apricot, red grapefruit, and papaya”. Sounds pretty good to us! They’re releasing it at the brewery tomorrow at noon, where it will be available on tap and in cans. And if you stick around till 2 pm, Luke’s Fried Chicken will be on hand to help you find something to pair with all that delicious beer!

Moving over to Saint John’s Loyalist City, who are releasing their own new beer this weekend on tap in the city (and likely beyond). This one is called 50/50, and is a hoppy American Wheat beer brewed with equal amounts 2-row and Wheat malt. Hopped plentifully with both Centennial and Ekuanot (also equal amounts!), two well-loved American varieties, the hazy, golden yellow beer exhibits a “blend of tropical fruit, apple, floral, and citrus hop aromas, and a sweet, bready malt character”. Medium-bodied, with a residual sweetness thanks to the Wheat malt and high mash temperature, get out this weekend to your favourite Loyalist tap account to try a pint!

Elsewhere in the city, Hammond River Brewing continues to experiment with their small batch brewery (the 1 BBL system originally used when the brewery opened in 2012), as they just put Pretty Fly For A White Rye on tap earlier this week. A “White Rye IPA” hopped entirely with the Aussie Vic Secret variety, expect plenty of tropical, fruity flavours in this 6.6% ABV, 66 IBUs brew. As usual for the small batch beers, it’s available on tap at the HR taproom only, for a limited time.

Tap accounts in Fredericton and Saint John will have the latest Niche Brewing beer on tap very shortly (if not already!), Riptide. This Rye Session IPA comes in at 4.2% ABV, and as the name implies, features a healthy dose of Rye malt in the grist bill. Together with Wheat, these two malts help to boost the mouthfeel of this smaller beer, and enhance the flavour profile. Hopping of Chinook and Mosaic were performed late in the boil (plus a large addition of El Dorado for the dry-hop), extracting more oils (for flavour and aroma) than acids (bitterness), resulting in hearty citrus and fruity flavours, and a blast of tangerine on the nose.

Back in July, we wrote about Port Rexton celebrating their second birthday with a number of new beer releases; at this time, we only lightly touched on one of these beers, High Fives, a foeder-aged, Brettanomyces kettle sour. Well, there’s a few kegs left that are currently pouring at the brewery, so this is the perfect time to dive into the details! The second beer from PR’s Calvados foeder, it was fermented with the brewery’s house culture (a blend of Saison and Brett strains), and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. The result from the combination of both is a beer with “an evolving fruity, funky, and delicious flavour profile”, and a “lemonade-y tartness and delicate white wine and gooseberry notes”. We don’t think you’re going to want to miss out on this 5.4% ABV beauty, so get down to Port Rexton now for a taste!

Stellarton, Nova Scotia’s musically-inclined Backstage Brewing has a new beer for y’all, The Edge IPA (see, we told you they were musically-inclined). Brewed in the American IPA style, and hopped heavily with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic, we think you can expect a whole lotta fruity, citrusy, piney, and dank goodness in this 6.1% ABV, 75 IBUs beer… and likely a firm bitterness to finish it off, as well. Drop by Backstage to give ‘er a go.

Brasserie Retro Brewing is opening this afternoon, after a brief hiatus to re-stock their fridges. Their retail location at Motel and Campground Colibri on Blvd des Acadiens in Bertrand is open today 4-9PM, tomorrow 1-6PM, and Sunday 1-5PM. They will have their three core beers available to take away, namely the Tapisserie Laide Pale Ale, Tricycle Rouge Amber Ale, and Arcade 2001 IPA. For a refresher on Retro, their location, and beers, check out our Profile with them from early August.

We’ve got a multi-province home brewing competition to tell you about this week, hosted by the Gahan House locations across our region. It’s the Maritime Home Brew Challenge, and is may be one of the most ambitious yet. Open to amateur brewers in PEI, NB, and NS, they are looking for entrants to put together their best beer in 3 wide categories: Lager/Pilsner, Hoppy Ale, and Saison. As the names imply, these are open to interpretation however the brewer would like. The entries will be judged on the beer itself, the name, the “level of ambition”, and will receive bonus points for using local hops and malt. Entries are due at the local Gahan locations in Charlottetown, Saint John, Fredericton, and Halifax by October 27th. The winning beers will be announced in early November at the PEI Brewing Company, with the winning beer taking home $1000 cash, and the knowledge that their beer will be brewed and canned for release. There are plenty more details on the other prizes, and schedule of the “Brewers’ Feedback Session”, where you can chat with the Gahan brewers about your entry and ask for help, on the competition website, so don’t delay!

Good Robot has a pair of new releases coming next week, plus an invite to other breweries to take part in an innovative event, so let’s get to those details now! Next Tuesday, for their Beta Brewsday, multi-talented homebrewer Matt McNair and friend Cory Cauvier brewed up a lightly dry-hopped farmhouse ale, named The Bee’s Needs. The beer features a malt bill of Pilsner, Wheat, Rye, and Oats, and was hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh and Saaz. Just as the boil ended, during the whirlpool phase, dandelion petals and honey from Cauvier’s own hard working bees were added to the wort. Fermentation was performed using a house culture that McNair has been curating, with a secondary fermentation kicked off with yeast and bacteria isolated from Cauvier’s honey. The beer then spent some time on oak cubes and a little more hops were added before being packaged. For the launch event at 4PM on September 11, Matt, Cory, and friends from Hivetronics will be bringing live bees to the taproom to educate the public on these extremely important animals. Don’t worry, they’ll have them in special people- (and bee-) safe enclosures!

On Thursday, September 13th, they will be releasing the latest batch of Tom Waits For No One, their 7.9% ABV American Stout. Full of dark roast, coffee, and chocolate flavour, on a full-bodied base, the 58 IBUs from American hops help to keep it easy-drinking.

And in a heads up to Maritime breweries, as a celebration of International Women’s Day March 9, 2019, Good Robot is launching FemmeBot Beer Fest. Highlighting Women-Identified Brewers in the region, they are looking for 15 breweries to join them in Halifax for this event. Beers brewed by female brewery employees, and/or with female members of the public is the focus of this event. The Fest will be held at the Mayflower Curling Club, and have two sessions on that Saturday: 2-5PM and 6-9PM, with 200 attendees per session. More information on taking part at the FemmeBot Beer Fest can be found here. And we’ll share ticket details once available.

Here are the next big events coming up in our region:

The Third Annual Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover is happening at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, September 13. From 11:30AM, TataBrew will be taking over the 18 taps with lots of their current releases, favourite kegs held especially for the event, and several new releases. One of which we can tell you about today, Cahoots! This is a Tart Saison that is a blend of two batches that have been aged in wine barrels: one 16 months old, and one 4 months old. Using a healthy dry-hop of Nelson Sauvin, the wine barrel character is front and centre, and works well to enhance the base beer acidity and Brett funk. In addition to its release on tap, bottles of Cahoots will be available at the brewery that same day. Tata (FB, Tw, IG) and BP (FB, Tw, IG) will be releasing the rest of the tap list over the next week, so be sure to check their social media in order to plan your beer enjoyment.

For the sixth year running (according to our extensive records), the 2018 PEI BeerFest will be taking place in Charlottetown at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel on the weekend of September 22. As always, the event is part of the annual PEI Fall Flavours Festival, celebrating the best of food and drink on the island, and this year’s lineup has 31 confirmed breweries and cideries from all over Eastern Canada and some from beyond. There will be three sessions, starting with an evening session (1830h – 2130h) on Friday, September 21, followed by two sessions, one afternoon (1400h – 1630h) and one evening, on Saturday, September 22nd. Tickets are available on-line through TicketPro and include a Designated Driver option, which gives access to a DD lounge with free (non-alcoholic, of course) refreshments. Come down and sample the over 100 beers and ciders that will be pouring at this year’s event.

Grand Monk Artisan Ales (formerly known as Bore City Brewing) is pairing up with Buddha Bear Riverview to hold their first tap takeover, a multi-day affair, from Wednesday, September 19th until Sunday the 23rd, with Grand Monk Pokes the Bear! While not a complete takeover, there will be at least several taps dedicated to the brewery, known for brewing a multitude of styles (with the focus on Belgian and hoppy). They’re not quite yet ready to share the list of beers they’re bringing, but follow along with their social media pages, as they’ll be posting more details sometime next week. And on Saturday the 22nd, from 4-8 pm, the entire Grand Monk team will be attending, and they’re always happy to chat beer, so don’t be shy! They’ll also be selling glassware, so bring some cash! If you’re hungry, Red Stone Eatery will be on site to suit your needs.

Elsewhere in New Brunswick on Saturday, September 22nd is the second annual First Town Craft Beer Festival. Held in Woodstock at the Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, this year’s indoor/outdoor event will have a single session in the evening. Tickets are still available, with regular admission ($50 + taxes and fees) from 6-9 pm, and VIP ($60 + taxes and fees) getting you in an hour earlier, at 5 pm. Ticket prices include a sampling glass to keep (with the VIP glass being larger), and unlimited samples throughout the event. Note that there are also $15 designated driver tickets available. They’ll be pouring beers from a variety of breweries/cideries/meaderies from across the Maritimes, and live music will be playing throughout the festival. Food will also be available for purchase. Proceeds from the event will help support the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Beer author and overall expert in the craft Stephen Beaumont is returning to Stillwell on Sunday, September 30th for another series of Guided Beer Tastings. Last year’s tasting was a huge success, so this year they’ve kindly added a second session! The first one will be from 12pm-2pm, and the second from 3-5pm; both will feature the chance to drink some “rare, world class beers” with Stephen, who will both entertain and educate with his knowledge and experience. There will also be copies of Stephen’s newest book, Will Travel For Beer: 101 Remarkable Journeys Every Beer Lover Should Experience, on hand for you to buy and have signed. Tickets are $46 and can be purchased here; don’t hold out on picking yours up, as the event is essentially guaranteed to sell out!

Happy Canada Day Weekend! Now that the frost warnings are finally done [uh oh, did I just jinx us?], and we’ve seen the sun poke through a few times, it’s time to leave our home and get out to visit the local breweries and cider houses. We’ve got two new spots we’re excited to share with you today, plus a dozen new beers and events to seek out locally, no matter where you live. As always during holidays, be sure to double-check that the brewery or bar is open, as some are taking a bit of time off to enjoy the much-needed vacation, too!

About an hour outside of St. John’s, the small town of Dildo is now home to the latest brewery to open in our region. While the origin of the town name may be up for some debate, there’s no arguing that they are ready to join the wave of great beer that is now available on the Rock. Located in the same building as the Dildo Interpretive Centre on Front Road, the Dildo Brewing Company and Museum features a beautiful taproom which borrows the same aesthetics, and even some pieces, from the now-closed Centre. Launching with four beers (a Red, Blonde, IPA, and Stout, with a Blueberry Blonde set to be released shortly), visitors can enjoy beer by the pint or sample flight while enjoying a meal, with growlers available to go as well. Their hours are 11AM – 11PM, and we hope to share a Profile with the DBCaM family next week. Congratulations!

Also opening this weekend is a new Winery slash Brewery at the start of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Bent Nail Brewery is located on the grounds of the Bent Ridge Winery, at Daniels’ U Pick on Highway 14 near Martock. Opening this Sunday, they will be pouring their Cream Ale, English Ale, Pale Ale, and IPA, brewed on their 2 BBL (240 litre) system. The taproom features a wood fired pizza oven to complement the beer, and will be open 10AM – 6PM daily, starting Sunday. Congratulations to the Bent Ridge/Bent Nail crew!

Our third “new brewery” news is actually a re-launching and re-branding of a familiar New Brunswick brewery. Bore City Brewing opened in 2015, brewing on a ½ BBL (50 litre) system in the basement of one of their owners in Moncton. Shortly after launching, they realized that they were working very hard to only produce 3 kegs at a time; as a natural result, expansion was on their mind. When building issues stalled their expansion plans for a 10-15 BBL (1200-1800 litre) brewhouse and taproom in 2017, they regrouped. They hired a new brewer in Spring 2017, whose favourite styles to drink and brew lined up nicely with their own: bold IPAs and traditional and modern Belgian beers. They have recently settled into their current location with a 3 BBL (360 litre) system from Stout Tanks, and are ready to unveil their new name. Grand Monk Ales is a portmonteau paying ode to their expansion, their love of Monc(k)ton and Belgian beers. While this new spot is not open to the public, they have been able to send more of their beer further across the province, frequently available on tap at the Laundromat, Tide & Boar, Les Brumes du Coude, as well as at The Joyce in Fredericton and Cask & Kettle in Saint John.  Look out for their favourites, including Causeway IPA (Mosaic/Vic Secret hopped), Mondo IPA (dank and fruity), Vent d’âme Belgian Pale Ale, and Spacetime Odyssey Porter, as well as plenty of new releases throughout the summer. We’ll keep you up to date with all of Grand Monk’s goings ons, including their Launch Party this summer.

Big Spruce has released a new lager, and they need your help in naming it. Fear not, there’s some great prizes for the winner for your hard work! Made in collaboration with Sydney’s Governors Pub, it’s a German lager with a slight North American twist, made with 100% imported Weyermann Pilsner malt and Bohemian Lager yeast, but finishing with a slight citrus bite from the use of classic American Cascade hops. Slowly fermented for 2 weeks before entering a 7 week lagering period, it’s super crispy and perfect for summer lager drinking. Drop by Governors for a pint and check out their new Beer Garden, as it’s the only place you can find the beer outside of the brewery, and submit your idea. The winner will get bragging rights, plus a BBQ Party for Ten on the Governors beer garden patio. You have until July 7th to sip and submit, so don’t delay!

Meanwhile, Jeremy and the gang have a plethora of other beers on the go right now as well, starting with Fake News, a 5.6% ABV and 30 IBU modern American Pale Ale made with Idaho 7 hops and fermented with the Foggy London Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. Gimme Citra, originally developed as a collaboration with Stillwell, is back again, a hoppy beer with a prominent Citra hop character that weighs in at a supremely sessionable 4.8% ABV. Watches & Jet Skis, Big Spruce’s ode to questionable business practices is a new Berliner Weisse, soured in the kettle and finished with Citra. At 3.8% ABV it should be a lovely refresher on hot summer days and all the inducement you need to drink some NS craft beer. Lastly is a shandy (of all things!) comprised of a 50/50 blend of slow-lagered Kölsch with housemade lemonade. The name? Comedy of Errors.

The collaboration brews from 2 Crows just keep-a-comin’, with their latest hitting shelves today at noon… and don’t worry, like the high majority of 2 Crows beers, it’s an interesting one! Slam Jam was brewed with Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing, when head brewer Graham With was in Halifax for the Canadian Brewing Awards last month. Brewed with Pilsner, Malted Oats, Wheat malt, and Aromatic, it was hopped in the whirlpool with Huell Melon, Vic Secret, and Azacca. Fermented with two Brettanomyces strains, they dried the beer out further by adding the enzyme glucoamylase (which brought the beer down to a gravity of 0.998… just for comparison, distilled water is 1.000). Once fermentation was complete, 400 lbs of blueberry puree was added for conditioning, and finally a dry hop with more of the three hop varieties mentioned earlier… plus Galaxy! The result is a very dry, fruity, funky, highly-carbed beer with a deep blue/purple colour, with “a ton of aroma from the blueberries and the blend of dry hops”. This 6.7% ABV beauty can be found in cans and on tap at 2 Crows today; cans will likely be on the shelves at the private liquor stores in the HRM, and on tap at a few lucky licensees.

Today, North Brewing is launching the first beer in their new Breakwater series, which will feature a total of three fruited sour beers being released over the summer. Breakwater Coconut-Lime was first soured with Escarpment’s Lactobacillus blend, and then fermented with their Vermont Ale strain. Both lime zest and lime juice were added to the beer after fermentation, along with chunks of coconut, to give the 5.5% ABV brew its two name-worthy flavours. Sounds perfect for summer, no? Drop by either of the North bottle shops to pick up some cans for the weekend; it’ll also be pouring on tap at Battery Park.

Just outside of Fredericton in Hanwell, NB, Niche has another new beer, a sour IPA they’re calling Wayfarer. Leveraging a pure lab culture of Lactobacillus plantarum (a bacteria found in all manner of fermented foods and even human saliva) for souring, and with lactose powder added in the boil, the beer was finished with hefty amounts of Centennial and El Dorado hops from post-boil whirlpool onwards to prevent any untoward bitterness that might clash with the sour profile. The result is a 6% ABV and 14 IBU beer that is bright, refreshing and citrussy. You’ll find it at tap accounts in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. And look for the return of another Niche beer, Ethos, their house culture-fermented saison. It’s got more Brett character this time around, with light fruit and peppery spice notes highlighted against a slightly acidic body and a dry finish. This one weighs in at 6.3% ABV. Expect to see more Niche re-releases in coming weeks, giving you a chance to enjoy those beers again or try ones you might have missed for the first time.

Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing is feeling rhubarb-y lately, so much so that they are planning at least three beers to be featured in a special Rhubarb series from the brewery. This weekend, we’ll see the first beer in the series, Rhubarb Gose. Slightly tart, salty, with some coriander notes like a traditional Gose, a “light addition” of rhubarb was thrown in during fermentation to add “a hint” of rhubarb character. If you’d like to grab a growler or two for the long weekend, be sure to stop by the brewery soon, as there’s only 180 L available (growlers are only available at the 19 Kirk St. location for now). As mentioned, expect to see at least two more rhubarb beers from Heritage over the coming weeks, one of which is the return of their Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat Ale from last year (which sold out in just 90 minutes!). They’ve also just opened up the taproom section of their ongoing expansion at 250 Main Street, so sit and enjoy a pint while you’re there! Finally, they’re expecting their new brewhouse to arrive next week, which means more Heritage beer for the thirsty public in the near future.

Tanner & Co. Brewing, in Chester, NS, have already expanded to a larger brewhouse, and have one of their first bigger-batch beers ready for you to try. Nelson Saison is as you might expect from the name: a Saison hopped with the always-amazing-and-not-so-easy-to-find Nelson Sauvin variety, from New Zealand. This wasn’t just a measly, light hop addition, however; the Nelson was added at several stages throughout the boil, and also in the dry-hop, for “aromas and flavours of gooseberry, pineapple, and lemon”. It weighs in at 6.8% ABV and 30 IBUs, and is available now at the brewery.

This year marks the 20 year Anniversary of the formation of the Mudmen, a rugby team in Charlottetown, PEI, and the PEI Brewing Co. has brewed up a beer in their honour. Sin Bin is a Kölsch brewed in the traditional sense, meaning that it was fermented with a Kölsch yeast strain at temperatures somewhere between those typical for a Lager and Ale, and then lagered for a brief period to allow the flavours to meld together. The final product is “bright and crisp, with some German noble hop character”, with some fruity esters from the yeast. It’s easy-drinking at just 4.4% ABV, with a light bitterness in the finish. You can grab cans of this one at the PEIBC taproom tomorrow from 12-2 pm during their launch party. And drop by the taproom today from 4PM for the last in their Growlers of Summer release, Sangria Pale Ale. Bold, yet easy drinking, it features bright hop flavours with an addition of Blood Orange juice.

In Lawrencetown, NS, Lunn’s Mill has more or less completed their taproom expansion, with only a few tweaks here and there expected as they grow into their new space. Both the new space and their patio are now open with beer pouring and food being served. They’ve also got a new beer they’re hoping to release this week that was brewed in collaboration with their bartender, Chris Williams. In a Pinch started with a base of 100% Horton Ridge malt, including their apple malt, hopped with local Galena and Fuggle hops and then dosed heavily with apple blossoms in the post-boil whirlpool. The yeast chosen for fermentation was the Nova Scotia Sauvage strain from Big Spruce, resulting in a very NS-centric beer. Coming in at a crushable 4% ABV and 16 IBU, it’s described as light, floral and refreshing.

Looks like our friends at Tidehouse have another bottle release for us all! Yesterday saw the release of Houndstooth, a bottle-conditioned 8% ABV “India Saison” (read: hoppy Saison). Brewed with Vienna, Wheat, and Acid malts, they bittered the beer with Warrior, and added Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic for flavour and aroma after the boil was complete. Fermented with a blend of Saison yeasts, more Hallertau Blanc was added for the dry-hop, ultimately resulting in a beer with a dominance of white wine-like flavours, “backed by some tropical fruit and berry notes”. The Saison strains dried this one out right some good, and also contribute some “peppery spice and a hint of banana” to the brew. Drop by the brewery today 2 – 9PM (they’re closed this weekend to enjoy the celebrations) to pick up some 750 mL bottles… they suggest trying one now, and letting another one (or more!) age for six months. And while you’re there, why not try Wharf Speed, a light and easy-drinking 4% ABV summer beer hopped with Cascade, Mandarina Bavaria, and Ahtanum? Available on tap as we speak.

Over at Garrison, they’re releasing their latest kettle-sour, Sour Castro. A new take on the La Menta, a beer they brewed with mint last November. This time they’ve got for a bit more of a Mojito feel with the mint being joined by lime juice and the apple juice being left out. Wholly bereft of any IBUs at all, expect a refreshing beer with a cooling sensation from the mint and coming in at a very sessionable 4.8% ABV, perfect for the scorcher of a weekend that’s expected in Halifax. It could be an excellent beer to server at an event like a pig roast; and lo and behold, that’s what they’re going to do! Asado Grill will be at Garrison on Sunday for a Canada Day celebration starting at 11 AM. They’ll be cooking up a whole hog which you can get in on for $20 per person (including baked potato w/ fixins, market salad and roll).

• If you’re in a cider kinda-mood, Annapolis Cider Company has a new entry in their one-off Something Different series coming out today. Honey Blossom is a sparkling cider that started with the cidery’s cool-fermented dry apple cider, but with the addition of locally-picked elderflowers and purple lilac blossoms. A “touch” of local wildflower honey was also added at the end, along with some fresh-pressed apple juice, resulting in a 7% ABV cider that is “aromatic and full-bodied, with lush floral notes”. The usual $0.50/refill donation for this one will be going to the Terranaut Club, “a group of passionate and dedicated women in science, unified by the mission to create and provide opportunities for girls to recognize their own interests and seek their own futures in STEM fields and environmental advocacy”.

Quidi Vidi Brewery has a new beer out this weekend, and are hosting an all-day event at their taproom Sunday to celebrate. Day Boil is a 4.5% ABV Session IPA, featuring a light malt base and plenty of hops, starting with a bittering charge of Magnum before plenty of late-boil and dry-hopping of Mosaic. Cans of Day Boil will also be available Sunday in their Hop Shop, the first off of their brand new canning line. Their Day Boil Party kicks off at noon on Canada Day, with $5 pints until 5PM, with live music all day and night. No cover charge. And if you’re looking for a way to get there and avoid the parking woes around the Gut, The Link from Metrobus is running Wednesday to Sunday every week until October, connecting Quidi Vidi Village with downtown St John’s and Signal Hill, and could be the perfect way to get to/from the brewery, Mallard Cottage (and Beer Garden), or before/after the East Coast Trail to Logy Bay.

• Have you been sitting at home, wishing that someone out there would just brew an IPA with doughnuts already? Well, Roof Hound has some good news for you! They’ve teamed up with Halifax’s Vandal Doughnuts to create Vandal Hound Lemon Meringue Doughnut IPA. The grist includes Victory malt, oats, and wheat… along with a few dozen lemon meringue doughnuts from the good people at Vandal. But they didn’t stop there, and went on to add some hand-toasted sugar, along with a “large pot” of house-made lemon pie filling, and vanilla, throughout the brewing process. Looking to add more lemon character to the beer, they dry-hopped it with Lemondrop, resulting in a “sweet and sour quality, with a good dry-hop burst”. The beer is scheduled to be released on July 5th, with special events occurring at Westside and the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, followed by an event at Roof Hound on July 6th. Be sure to follow Roof Hound’s social media pages for more info on those events.

In addition to the events above, don’t miss out on these other things on the go this weekend. You know, in addition to the fun Canada Day things on the go!

It’s a special weekend for in Fredericton as the folks at Grimross, fresh off their 4-medal performance at the Canadian Brewing Awards in May, are celebrating 5 years since they opened their doors on Canada Day in 2013. The party at the brewery will be going pretty much all weekend long, with $5 pints today, tomorrow and Sunday. If you buy one, you’ll be eligible to enter a draw for a special prize at the end of the weekend. Festivities kick off tonight with live music and continue into tomorrow’s comedy night and culminating with their Canada Day party on Sunday with a special cask beer, birthday cake, and GastroGnomes food truck on the scene.

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned the Under the Breton Sky music and beer event being put on by Breton Brewing in Sydney tomorrow. VIP tickets have sold out, but general admission tickets are still available at $55 a pop. That goes up to $65 if you purchase on the day of, so if you’re interested you might want to grab your tickets today!

• And don’t forget about Good Robot’s Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Ground this weekend. From 11-11 Saturday and Sunday, come chill out with your mutt (or meet a new one!), drink some beer, and check out the dog- and beer-friendly vendors. We’ve got more details in last week’s post.

Just a few more things to tell you about this week, with returning favourite beers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Tatamagouche Brewing’s Guava Heist Berliner Weisse is back on the taps and shelves at the brewery this weekend, with cans destined to the Private Stores next week. The 3.6% ABV sour features Organic guava puree added after fermentation for a lovely fruit complement to the base beer’s acidity.
TrailWay’s Hop Stains (8% ABV), one of the brewery’s first DIPAs, is returning today for the first time in awhile. Using the highest amount of hop additions of any beer from TW, the hop schedule was tweaked this time around, featuring a mixture of American and Australian varieties. On tap and in growlers, with cans being available exclusively at the brewery.
Unfiltered brings back Sour Motherfucker, their kettle-sour aged on tart cherries, today at noon. At 6.4% ABV, it’s lightly tart, with plenty of tasty cherry character; available for pints and growlers starting at noon.
– And finally, not to end the post on a sad note, but we wanted to let you know that Motion Bay Brewing, planning to open in the Fisherman’s Co-op in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, will not be proceeding. Having met the people involved with the brewery several times, it was obvious their passion for beer was authentic, and bringing jobs and visitors to a small town was an important part of their brewery. We wish them the best in whatever endeavours they get up to in the future.