Graystone Brewing

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Maybe it was the unseasonably warm September, but October seems to have come out of nowhere and slapped us around a little with fall temperatures, wet hopped and pumpkin beers, and Oktoberfest celebrations. Those themes definitely continue this week as we slide into the long weekend. Here’s an update on some of the new beers you might want to consider bringing to your Thanksgiving dinner, and the events you might slip away to when the pressures of “family time” get to be too much.

• It is a near-weekly occurrence recently, but we never get tired of writing it: we are happy to announce that Crooked Feeder Brewing will be joining the Atlantic Canadian Beer scene in the near future. Located in Cormack, just outside of Deer Lake, Newfoundland, the 3 BBL (375 litre) brewery is located in a disused lumber mill. Three homebrewers are taking their passion to the next level and will be offering their beer to the wider public in the coming months. In the meantime, they have launched an Indiegogo campaign, giving you a chance to grab some Crooked Feeder swag ahead of their official launch. Hoodies, hats, t-shirts, and growlers, there’s plenty to choose from the perks. Take a look at the offerings, and keep an eye on their social media pages (and here) for more details on when Crooked Feeder’s first beers will be available.

• The PEI Brewing Co. has released the latest entry in their After Hours Series, Winola, a “German-inspired IPA”. A collaboration of sorts with their brewing friends from Stone City Ales out of Kingston, ON, this is a new-school IPA made up of 100% German ingredients. Pale ale and Wheat malt straight from Germany made up the grist; the beer was then hopped with Huell Melon, Magnum, and Mandarina Bavaria in the boil (to ~40 IBUs), and dry-hopped heavily with Hallertau Blanc, and more Huell Melon. Fermented with a Kölsch yeast, this hazy brew weighs in at 6.2% ABV and has aromas and flavours of “tropical fruit, white grape skins, dried orange peel, and some spice”, with a medium bitterness in the finish. You can find it on tap now at various PEIBC accounts, as well as on tap at many ANBL growler stations over the weekend.

• Staying on the Island for the next new beer, Moth Lane Brewing has released a beer inspired by a childhood family pet. Owner Eric Wagner’s Aunt had purchased a monkey from a bloke at the Bloomfield Legion in the 1960s (how’s that for a setup?). While playing, Louie the monkey jumped on Wagner’s shoulder and got comfortable. When Wagner began to descend the stairs, the monkey circled his head and neck a few times, the leash getting caught and holding back the monkey. Thinking Wagner was the one restraining him, Louie wrapped himself around his head and bit him on the cheek! Monkey Bite is a Belgian/German-inspired IPA, with 50% Wheat Malt, fermented warm for plenty of banana and bubble gum, to 4.8% ABV. Taking a turn from the traditional, however, is the high hopping rate, weighing in at about 90 IBUs. This beer with bite is available at the brewery, and check out their market stall this weekend.

Hammond River Brewing has released some early details on the HRB Beer Club, which should be going live in roughly two weeks. There are a ton of advantages to joining the yearly club: a free 5 oz HRB pour for every pint purchased in the taproom, a free growler fill with every 10 filled, a 15% discount on all HRB merchandise, a bottle of beer for any new beer that the brewery bottles, free flight on your birthday, a HRB-branded Belgian chalice, your choice of a HRB-branded ball cap or toque, and insider info on tastings of select special beers before they’re released to the public. Wow! For only $50 a year, that seems like a pretty sweet deal to us! If you’d like to sign up in advance, drop by the taproom today.

• Earlier this week, TrailWay released their latest new hop-bomb, Keejay. Like many TW beers, this one was heavily-hopped – this time with Cashmere, Idaho 7, and Mosaic – but also features the addition of lactose powder, to up the mouthfeel a bit, providing a “pillowy, creamy, juice-like body”. Extremely sessionable at just 4.2% ABV, the bitterness is kept low, like many TW beers. It’s available now at the brewery only, for a limited run of pints, growlers, and cans. As for next week, they’ve provided a sneak peek as to their next new beer, and it’s looking like another fruit beer (likely… grape?)… we’ll have more details next Friday.

• After a summer hiatus, Tide & Boar is bringing back their Growler Fill Day tonight from 5-7 pm. Three beers will be pouring at the brewpub, and it looks like all of them are new. We don’t have a lot of details on the beers, but we can tell you they are Blaster IPA, Herbie’s Lumberjack Stout (brewed with coffee and maple syrup), and Peach Muffin Sour (we’re pretty sure the name gives away the ingredients for this one). As always, all growler sizes will be accepted, and you can order pints as well, in the bar/restaurant. Keep an eye on their social media sites for updates as to beer availability.

Picaroons has brought back their seasonal Harvest Ale, a series-of-sorts of beers that feature local grain and local hops. While the grist remains the same, different batches feature freshly-harvested hops from different hop farms in the Maritimes; just check the batch number on the bottle, then visit this link to learn more about what varieties were used, and where they came from. More batches will be added to the website over the coming days as they become available. And speaking of availability, the eighth in their Double IPA series of beers is available now. PIVOT 8 features local Sorachi Ace (from Moose Mountain Hops), plus Warrior, and Azacca as a dry-hop addition. Weighing in around 8% ABV, this batch is a little drier than previous in the series, as well as notably more bitter. Light floral with cirtrus and tropical hop notes are the name of the game with this beer.

• We have more details on the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge: your yeast is now available for pickup! Drop by the Noble Grape in Burnside, or contact Big Spruce owner Jeremy White to pick up your yeast at the brewery. You must have registered and paid to be able to pick up the yeast (due to its limited nature), but fear not, there are still some spots open! Send an email to Jeremy to grab a registration form, and check out the yeast specs and homebrew chatter on Facebook and The Brewnosers.

• Up in Lyon’s Brook on Nova Scotia’s North Shore, Uncle Leo’s has a new beer to share, another traditional German style, this time a Schwarzbier. One of the darkest lagers, it usually features dark, but not necessarily roasty flavors in an easy-drinking package. And Uncle Leo’s new NACHTical Illusion certainly fits that bill, at 5.0% ABV, expect a quaffable brew with notes of chocolate, coffee, and maybe even some vanilla. It’s available now from the brewery, but also as part of an excellent 4-pack of German styles that Uncle Leo’s has put together for the fall. Featuring the Schwarzbier along with the Ceilidh Ale (Kölsch), the 2016 ACBA Gold Medal-winning Altbier and Silver Medal-winning Vohs Wiezenbier, all in 473 mL cans, you’ll also get some information about where in Germany these styles originated and Brewmaster Karl Whiffen’s particular takes on each style. It’s selling for $16.60 at select NSLC stores until November 19th (or while supplies last), and Bishop’s Cellar will be carrying it as well. And you can certainly also pick up a pack at the Brewery if you’re in the area!

• In St. John’s the folks at Mill Street are pouring a new beer for the season. Hailing from the Koln (Cologne) region of Germany, Kölsch is a great style for the fall, known for a lovely yellow straw color, grainy malt character, a slightly fruity presence and a smattering of noble hops. Mill Street’s version, called Cabot Kolsch is being featured in 1 L steins at the bar and limited release in growlers. It’s got a golden straw color and a soft mouthfeel, coming in at 5% ABV and 26 IBU. Prost!!

• Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing has released their annual community brew, United Hops. Featuring plenty of hops donated by the public, plus bumped up with El Dorado and Idaho 7, this 6.2% ABV and 80 IBU beer is on tap at the brewery now. For every pint, crowler and growler sold, Graystone is donating $1 to the United Way.

• There’s a tasty-sounding new cider pouring over at Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville – Currant & Cardamom is an unfiltered, sparkling cider made with early-harvested apples, including Vista Bella, Paula Red and Jersey Mac. A 6.8% ABV dry cider that was fermented at cool temperatures, it was blended with fresh blackcurrant juice and green cardamom pods. As you might expect, the resulting product is quite purple in colour, with “notes of tangy blackcurrant and subtle aromatic autumn spice, with a hint of bitterness in the clean, dry finish”. Available at the cidery now, 50 cents from each fill will go to support the Valley Hospice Foundation.

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing released their Wet Hop Pale Ale yesterday. Only 180 L of this one were made, so act fast if you want to try it. It contains fresh hops from the Annapolis Valley and Yarmouth used within hours of harvesting. Fitting nicely into the pale style, with a light grain presence to show off the hops and a sessionable 5% ABV, it was bittered to a hearty 50 IBU. You can expect fresh floral and citrus aromas from the wet hopping. Heritage is open tonight from 4-8 PM and tomorrow 11 AM to 5 PM for you to come in and grab a taste or a fill (or sample some of their other offerings). And stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on three more new beers they’ve got on the way!

• Moving back to Newfoundland, YellowBelly has Yes B’y, a new small-batch brew, pouring at the brewpub. An American IPA brewed with Wheat and Oats in the grist, it was hopped in the kettle with Columbus and El Dorado, then dry-hopped with more El Dorado, as well as some Citra. Copper-coloured, with a firm bitterness in the finish, this 5.9% ABV, 60 IBUs brew was brewed, as mentioned, as a small batch only, so won’t be making it into bottles. Which really means, get down to the brewpub now before it’s gone!

• If you’re into cider and maybe just a little sick of everything-pumpkin, York County Cider has you covered! Head to the cidery on 418 York St. in downtown Fredericton to pick up some Can’t Catch Me, a “gingerbread-inspired cider”. Their base cider was infused with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and “the right amount of molasses” to provide all the aromas and flavours you require to remind you of a sassy gingerbread man who kind of gets what’s coming to him when he decides it’s ok to use a fox as a boat (I’m not the only one who feels that way, right?).

• And in Halifax cider news, Chain Yard Cidery is pouring their new Cherry 3.14, a blend of two fermentations: the wild version of their foundation cider and a wild-fermented cherry. At 5.5% ABV it should be easy drinking, a blend of refreshing crisp cider meeting a big cherry flavor with accents of spiced cherry pie. It’s available at the cidery now.

• While “harvest season” to beer usually means wet hops or pumpkins, to Nackawic’s Big Axe it means cucumbers! While in the beginning stages of their expansion, they’ve brewed up Cucumber Saison, a pale orange, light-bodied beer brewed with New Brunswick-grown cucumbers. Bittered with noble hops to give a bit of spiciness, the cucumbers offer a “freshness” to the beer that complements the pepper character (we assume from the fermentation). Look for this 5.6% ABV Saison at your favourite Big Axe tap account, or right at the source in Nackawic (which very well may BE your favourite Big Axe tap account… makes sense, no?).

• Things may be a tad slower in the brewery at Good Robot this week, as head brewer Doug is off cavorting in South Africa (see, just become a brewer if you want to be a rich jet-setter!), but that’s not stopping next week’s BetaBrewsday from happening! Stingy Jack Coffee Pale Ale was brewed by Julian Carvery and Kelly C, and features a grist of Pilsner, Crystal 15, and “Toasted malt”. Hopped to 20 IBUs with Willamette, and fermented with an American Ale yeast strain, a special coffee roast from Low Point Coffee Co. was added in secondary. Pretty easy-drinking at just 4.4% ABV, you know when and where to find it (ok, Good Robot, next Tuesday)! And if you’ve been waiting for Leave Me Blue Kentucky Common, it should be back on tap next week.

• Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery has released their first IPA, and they’re going hazy! Using tons of Citra and Mosaic hops during the boil and in the dry hop, this big and juicy New England-style hop bomb is sure to satisfy your hop cravings. Currently unnamed (as they say, “It will have to earn one!”), it weighs in at 7.0% ABV and 60 IBUs. It is available now for growler fills and kegs, only at the brewery. However, we understand that LB may begin bottling soon (maybe even this beer), which will mean wider availability to grab their brews. Of course, we’ll get you up to speed when that happens!

• Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing is looking to add to their crew, with a job posting for a Brewer. This full-time position is for those who already have brewing experience, and are able to work independently to get the beer flowing on time, while keeping quality high. More details are available on ProBrewer.

Plenty going on this weekend, including the launch of Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin (full details here), plus, there are not one, not two, but three Oktoberfest celebrations in our region tomorrow!

• First we have the OktoBEERfest at Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS that we first tipped you off about back in September. It will feature two new brews, a true-to-style Vienna Lager that finished just in time and a Hefeweizen that features the characteristic notes of banana and clove the style is known for. They’ll also be serving their Berliner Weisse with (or without!) locally grown and homemade Sweet Woodruff Syrup. And several of their usual beer lineup as well. Tickets are $45 and are available from their website. They include a commemorative glass, a meal, your first pour, and live music. There’s also a shuttle running from Bridgetown to Middleton from 3-5 PM to get you there and again from 7-10 PM to get you home.

• Meanwhile, the Lunenburg Oktoberfest will take place at the Lunenburg Community Centre, from 6-11 pm. Tickets are $25 each, and include entry, a special Oktoberfest glass, and your first 5 oz pour. Food and additional beers may be purchased onsite, of course ($2 per 5 oz ticket); local breweries Boxing Rock, FirkinStein, Hell Bay, North, and Saltbox will be pouring their beers. Live music and dancing is also included with your ticket, with all proceeds going to the Boxwood Festival Society. Tickets can be purchased online through the event link above.

• Last but not least, the Cape Breton community of Marion Bridge will be celebrating with their own, Marion Bridge Oktoberfest, tomorrow. Entry is just $5 at the door, with the event offering live music, a variety of sausages and other German-inspired food for purchase, and Big Spruce beers (including their Oktoberfest Ale Spruce Bringstein Amber) on tap.

• If you’re more into beer than wine (and we assume if you’re reading this, you must be), and don’t feel like attending the Fredericton Wine Festival in two weeks’ time, why not take part in Fredericton’s Wine-NOT Beer Tour? Held on the same day – Friday, October 20th – ticket holders will hop on a bus leaving from the Delta Fredericton at 6:45 pm. You’ll be taken to both TrailWay and Maybee over the next couple of hours, for 4 samples at each taproom, before ending up at the King Street Ale House for a full pint. Tickets are $46.50 each and can be purchased through the link above.

• Moving along with even more Oktoberfest news, Horton Ridge is putting on their own Oktoberfest in Hortonville on Saturday, October 21st, from 11am-8pm. The all-day event will feature live music, ranging from polka to rock, with plenty of food available for purchase, including sausages and sauerkraut. As well, Horton Ridge will be releasing their very first collaboration beer, brewed with Sea Level Brewing. We’ll keep you updated on that beer as the date approaches.

Just a couple of things left to tell you about:

– The beer brewed by Garrison under license from the Federation of Beer for Hal-Con this year, Borg Ale, is now generally available. A 5.6% ABV black ale prominently featuring Munich and black malts and hopped with Hallertauer Tradition to 25 IBU, you’ll find it at the brewery now and in the private stores in Halifax soon.
Petit-Sault has brought back their Oktoberfest, La Padrix (5.6% ABV, 25 IBUs), just in the nick of time; it’s available right now on tap at the brewery and licensees, and at ANBL growler stations this weekend.

Well, it’s official…September is here. Unofficially, summer is over, the days of Pumpkin Ales are upon us, and wet-hopped beers are approaching soon! If you’re not a fan of one of these (or both), don’t worry…while this week may be a bit slower in the new beer department compared to the last few, there’s still some interesting brews newly released or coming soon that we’d love to get you caught up on…

• Charlottetown’s St. Paul’s Church will be celebrating their 250th Anniversary in 2019, and they’ve partnered up with Upstreet to have a special beer brewed as a means of fundraising for this important milestone. Head brewer Mike Hogan decided to brew a beer similar in style to one you’d see in England in the 18th century…hence, Red Stone Stock Ale was born. The grist is made up of English Pale malt, Medium Crystal, and Chocolate malt. A 60 L grain-soured starter was whipped up, and added to half of the 30 BBL (3500 L) batch, resulting in a pH drop that gave some, but not too much, sourness. After boiling the wort and hopping it with English Fuggles, this half was then blended with the other, non-soured half (brewed with the same hop schedule), and the resulting wort was fermented. Afterwards, house-toasted PEI oak cubes were added, with the final product exhibiting an “oaky and sharp finish similar to the aged beers of the time”. This brew will be released on September 17th, on tap at the brewery and a few select accounts, and in bottles, with all proceeds going to St. Paul’s.

• There’s a new beer flowing at the Foghorn taproom in Rothesay, an Extra Special Bitter named after its proud brewer, Andrew Estabrooks. Esty Special Bitter is a 5.5% ABV, 38 IBUs beer hopped with three new-to-Foghorn varieties: Challenger, Target, and Olicana. Fermented with, of course, an English yeast strain, expect a dry, slightly fruity brew that goes down easy. Available now for pints and growlers, it’s also popping up at a few tap accounts in Saint John.

• More breweries in our region are working with Escarpment Labs – a company in Guelph, Ontario, that produces liquid yeast cultures for breweries – to develop their own unique cultures for fermenting wort. Tatamagouche Brewing has joined this list, with the release of a new Saison, Edel, yesterday. The grist of this new beer is comprised of 70% Pilsner malt, and 20% raw wheat and 10% raw Rye from Horton Ridge, to 5.2% ABV. Hopped with organic French Strisselspalt to 21 IBUs, the wort was fermented with a special blend of yeast that Tatabrew worked on with Escarpment, that incorporates both a traditional Saison yeast, and a North American Brettanomyces strain. The resulting beer was split into two batches; the first, being released today, was dry-hopped with more Strisselspalt, while the second has moved on into Tempranillo wine barrels and will be getting an addition of wine must this fall (look for this half to be released next spring). Edel is a keg-only beer, so look for it at the brewery for growlers and pints, as well as on tap at both Stillwell locations, and Battery Park. Next spring’s barrelled version, however, will also be released in bottles. We’ll be sure to remind you when it’s available!

Loyalist City Brewing has released a variety of hoppy beers since they opened last fall, and this week they launched their third American IPA, Point Blanc IPA. This is a “New England IPA” brewed with a blend of Maris Otter in the grist, which provides a “light toasted malt presence” to balance the hop character provided from large whirlpool additions of Citra, Centennial, and Mandarina Bavaria, along with a heavy dry hop of CentennialHallertau Blanc, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fermented with the brewery’s Vermont yeast strain, expect lots of citrus and grapefruit, and a high bitterness in the finish. Seek it out on tap at your favourite Loyalist City account!

Good Robot is bringing back version 2.0 of their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale today; to remind you, this is the one featuring the addition of Kenyan Nyeri Gatina coffee beans, roasted by Java Blend Coffee Roasters and brewed by Low Point Coffee Co. The resultant cold brew was added to the beer, along with hop additions of Falconer’s Flight and Cascade, giving you interesting flavours of coffee, chocolate, slight fruit, and some acidity. Look for it on tap at Good Robot, and, of course, other GR-friendly establishments in the HRM. Also, next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday (brewed by Robyn, Heather, and Kelly C.) will be Low Hanging Fruit Milkshake IPA (6.6% ABV, 54 IBUs)- hopped with Mosaic Cryo hops, as well as pelletized Amarillo, Citra and Columbus. It was then rested on fresh Ontario peaches for a week; the fruity notes from both the hops and fruit help balance the slight sweetness from the addition of lactose powder. And finally, note that there will be no Cask in the Sun release today.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe has finally confirmed that they will be expanding their 1 BBL brewery, which has been operating since April, 2014 out of co-owners’ Peter and Tatiana Cole’s Bed and Breakfast under the same name. The Big Axe Brewery and Saloon will be housed in a “wild west-style log home”, built on the banks of the Saint John River in Nackawic. Scheduled to open in April, 2018, the 10 BBL (1150 L) brewhouse is being built by Charlottetown’s DME. With 20 BBL fermentors also being constructed, expect plenty more Big Axe beer, including bottle and can distribution. The two-level saloon will have a wrap-around deck overlooking the Saint John River; food will be served as well. We’ll be sure to update you as their progress continues. Congratulations to the Coles!

• After backing out of their original plan to open a small batch brewery in downtown Saint John early this year, Moosehead has announced that they will indeed be adding a 20 BBL (2300 L) brewhouse and taproom to the company’s original brewery at 89 Main St. West in Saint John. A 3 BBL (350 L) pilot brewery will also be constructed, with the idea behind both smaller brewhouses being experimentation, according to Moosehead. Current plans are for the new location to be up and running in May, 2018.

• And speaking of crafty (and pumpkin ales!), A. Keith’s Historic Brewery has a new batch out of their pilot system. Brewmaster Stefan Gagliardi, a self-proclaimed pumpkin head, perfected this recipe as a home brewer over many iterations and it’s one of his favorites. Ingredients include Vienna and Munich malts from Horton Ridge, pumpkin purée, and pumpkin pie spices including fresh ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Look for malty, toasty and sweet pie crust elements to meet a full body and smooth mouthfeel highlighted by the spices. This is a small batch, with only three kegs going on the growler station at the brewery today.

• Those who have hops growing on their property are surely aware that the time is nigh for harvesting. Hop flowers, or cones, are starting to sound papery when squeezed, are going a little brown around the edges, and smell of the resinous lupulin that contains the essential oils and acids hops are known and loved for. We know that a couple of hop growing breweries in the region, including Meander River and Big Spruce, have already had their picking parties and other producers will no doubt harvest soon if they haven’t already. Most of the hops harvested in our region will no doubt be processed normally: dried with warm, moving air, before being baled or pelletized and stored cold. But some hops are destined for nearly immediate use with a special technique known as “wet hopping”, “fresh hopping” or “green hopping” – adding freshly-picked, undried hops to a batch of beer during the brewing process. For best effect, wet hops have to be as fresh as possible, ideally within hours of picking, so that they do not spoil. Cold storage and shipping, if necessary, should not exceed 48 hours before the hops hit the beer. This gives breweries with their own on-site hop farms a leg up on making wet hopped beers. Using wet hops is much more risky than processed hops; with no laboratory analysis, alpha acid and essential oil levels are completely unknown. Because of this, to keep some control over the result, some breweries will use processed hops with known alpha levels for bittering and will save the fresh hops for flavour and aroma additions. When picked, hops are ideally still roughly 80% water and aren’t nearly as potent as dried, so significantly higher hop amounts must be used in wet hopping, often as much as 5 or 10 times the dried equivalent. Meanwhile, compounds that lose their potency during the drying process are still present and can make significant, and sometimes unwelcome, flavour contributions. Wet hopped beers, at their best, present a different side of hops, earthy and somewhat grassy, with a more subtle presentation of other flavour and aroma characteristics than usual. Look for wet hopped beers, often termed harvest ales to start appearing in the region over the next month or so!

• Speaking of which, if you’ve got hops growing on your property that you’re not planning to use, and you can get them to Fredericton quickly after picking, Graystone Brewing has put out a call for hops to be used in their Harvest Ale. Proceeds from the beer with go towards the United Way of Central New Brunswick’s campaign.

A bit of a quiet week for beer events and event announcements this week:

• A reminder to those in Halifax that Stillwell is bringing one of the big (but little!) guns of American Farmhouse styles for a two-stage takeover this weekend as Maine’s Oxbow Brewing comes to town. Starting at 4 PM today some of the best Belgian-inspired beers you can imagine will be pouring at Stillwell HQ on Barrington Street. And tomorrow starting at noon the party moves on up to The Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden Road. The full tap and bottle list is now available for this evening’s festivities and chef Graeme Ruppel has put together a burger-focused menu that’ll melt your butter. If you’ve found yourself going into withdrawal after the Stillwell Belgian Takeover two weeks ago, if you’re curious how American Farmhouse compares to the original, or if you just like really great beer, you owe it to yourself to get out today or tomorrow. No tickets required at either session.

• If you’re in Charlottetown, PEI, or planning to be there in the next 24 hours, and you don’t already have your tickets for the PEI Beerfest (part of the Fall Flavours Festival) at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, what are you waiting for?! Tickets are still available for tonight’s 6:30 – 9:30 PM session ($48 + taxes & fees) and Saturday afternoon’s 2:00 – 4:00 PM shift ($36.50 + taxes & fees), but tomorrow evening’s session is now sold out! The brewery list is as up-to-date as it’s going to get and the live entertainment is locked-in. A reminder also that Designated Driver tickets ($13.50 + taxes & fees) are available as well to help you arrange to get home safely.

• The Maritime Honey Festival will be taking place in Fredericton in a couple of weeks, and with beer’s popularity continuing to rise, of course it has to take part! On Saturday, September 23rd, the “Bee-R Garden” will be held between 10 am – 3 pm, at the Capital Exhibit Center. At least seven different local craft breweries will be taking part, each of which has been matched up with a beekeeper, and will be brewing a style of beer different from others attending, featuring, of course, honey. Ranging from a “Brett Honey Saison” from Maybee to an “Imperial Honey Porter” from Foghorn, attendees can expect a wide variety of brews! Be sure to check out the link for the list of styles from breweries who have committed to participate. And what honey-centric festival would be complete without mead? Sunset Heights Meadery will be pouring seven different varieties of mead to satisfy your sweet tooth. Drink tickets can be purchased now – $8 for four 4 oz drink tickets, or $45 for unlimited samples – or at the door, where $11 gets you four drink tickets (no unlimited samples option).

And a few last items before you get on with your weekend…

Garrison‘s Rise ‘n Stein Hefeweizen (5.5% ABV, 13 IBUs) has returned, with this year’s batch being available almost-exclusively in bottles at the brewery and HRM private stores; a limited amount may be available on tap, so keep your eyes open.
– PEI’s Moth Lane has released a new beer, The Gorbine Double Black IPA (8.8% ABV, 85 IBUs), that is available now across the Island at Moth Lane tap accounts, and at the brewery.
Nine Locks Brewing led the pack this year with the release of their Harvest Pumpkin Ale earlier this week. It’s available now in cans at the brewery and will appear at the NSLC in October.
– Bad news for fans of Picaroons Dark and Stormy Night: due to an ongoing legal dispute with “a big name in the spirits world”, the beer has been discontinued and will not be brewed again. It doesn’t appear that it will return under a different name, so if this is a brew you’ve enjoyed in the past, you may want to grab a bottle or two if you can find it.
– In Cask Friday news, the Propeller Organic Blonde on Yuzu we told you about last week is actually going on this evening at 5 PM. Schoolhouse’s cask today is called Oaked Grog Chequers obviously their Chequers Robust Porter aged on Oak, but what’s the “grog” angle? Stop by the brewery this evening and find out!

It’s another busy beer week in the region, with summer literally just around the corner and the weather taking a predictable step or two backwards into spring after a couple of scorchers. This week saw the official opening of Heritage Brewing in Yarmouth and we’ve got a bunch more beer news and events to tell you about, so let’s get you right to what you came here for.

• Although the cat has been out of the bag since late May, an official announcement took place in Halifax this week that the 16th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards & Conference are coming to Halifax in May, 2018. This is the culmination of significant effort on behalf of CBANS and Brian Titus of Garrison Brewing. Part of the announcement is that the event will take place at the brand new Halifax Convention Centre where some 500 delegates are expected to descend to attend the event. This will be the first time the awards have taken place in Nova Scotia, which now leads the nation in craft breweries per capita! It’s a perfect chance to show off both our beautiful province, the quality of our beer and local support for our breweries.

•  The Biorefinery Technology Scale-up Center at CCNB Grand-Falls is putting out a call for beer samples as part of a project with the National Research Council Canada. The BTSC has the methodologies for testing and doing Quality Assurance on hops, malt, water, yeast, and finished beer, using their state-of-the-art instruments. From Jared Christensen of CCNB, “Free chemical and microbiological testing! The CCNB-BTSC is collecting finished craft beer samples for an NRC study on beer biochemical quality and local ingredients. This is for licensed craft breweries only. The testing includes: %ABV, SRM, IBU, sugars, organic acids, pH, anaerobic/aerobic Lactobacillus strains, etc. Selection will be done on a first come first serve basis, so contact us as quickly as possible, as we are collecting a limited amount of samples. If you are interested in participating in the study and getting some free beer analysis and data interpretations that could help optimize your product and/or your brewing process, please contact Jared via email or phone (506-475-4029) to get filled in on the specifics of the project.”

Taste of Nova Scotia has launched the Good Cheer Trail again this summer. Featuring more than 60 alcohol producers from across the province, your passport (both paper and virtual) is your key to a great time touring the province for the best in beer, cider, wine, and spirits. Pick up a copy of the passport at any of the participating locations, and get started on filling it out today! To take part digitally, you’ll need to Register, and then follow this link on your device (this link shows all of the locations if your device can’t see where you are), check into the location you’re visiting, share a photo, and you’re done! After 10 stamps, you’ll be able to send in or apply online for your free t-shirt, when they become available in July.

• Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing Company has a a pair of new beers flowing at their brewery this weekend, giving you yet another reason to visit their beautiful location. First up is Hop Bill IPA, a 6.5% ABV American IPA, with a touch of honey malt for some sweetness to balance out its solid 60 IBUs of bitterness (in addition to tons of whirlpool- dry-hopping for lots of juicy aromas). Hop Bill‘s origin is from the Newfermenters‘ 2016 Home Brew-Off competition, won by Bill Burton, which we wrote up here. The 2017 Home Brew-Off is taking place Sunday at the Lions Club Chalet on Newtown Rd in St. John’s. In addition to live judging of the entries vying for top Kolsch in the region, there will be talks and demonstrations on how to keg beer, the latest and greatest homebrew gadgets, and hang with your fellow homebrewers and professional brewers alike. The event starts at 7PM, be sure to check out the Facebook Event or email the Newfermenters for more details. Grab Hop Bill shortly at PR’s tap accounts around St. John’s.

• Port Rexton has also been putting Assistant Brewer Jane Tucker to work developing some new beers, and she has come through in spades with a line of small batch beers, available exclusively at the brewery in Port Rexton. The latest beer currently available from this series is Sasscot, a 5.6% ABV & 19 IBUs Scottish Ale. A complex malt bill, including Biscuit and Smoked Malts, it features a light smokiness with sweet caramel and rich mouthfeel. And waiting in the wings, possibly on tap this weekend, or early next week, is Metric Heavy Hefeweizen, a true-to-origins German Weissbier with the iconic yeast-derived banana and clove aroma and flavour, with malt-derived soft bready notes. This beer weighs in at 5.6% ABV and a light 16 IBUs.

• Have you been missing the Propeller One Hit Wonder series of the past? Well, good news! It’s undergone an evolution of sorts, and the Gottingen Small Batch series is the result! The brewery’s intention is to roll out a new style on a monthly basis, while “bringing forward a greater variety of true-to-style (but rarely seen) beers”. The first beer in the series, Gratitude, is a 4.5% ABV, 56 IBUs India Session Ale (aka Session IPA) brewed with 2-row, Munich, Crystal, Carapils, and Wheat malt. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo, the melon and citrus notes from the Amarillo come through front and center, followed by a “forward bitterness” in the finish. It’s on tap now at the Gottingen taproom.

• Speaking of new beer series, the PEI Brewing Co. has released the first in their After Hours series, after an initial launch of pilot brews two weeks ago. U-Pick Strawberry Pale Ale was brewed at the Gahan Charlottetown location (their 7 bbl system will be responsible for most entries in the After Hours series) with Vienna malt, bittered to 50 IBUs, and conditioned for a couple of weeks on puréed strawberries. It was then dry-hopped with Comet and Simcoe, resulting in an APA with citrus and tropical fruit on the nose, and “finishing with a hint of strawberry flavour, adding another dimension to a Pale Ale”, according to head brewer Chris Long. Look for it at select tap accounts across the Maritimes, including the PEIBC taproom and all Gahan locations.

• Months ago, we reported that Maybee Brewing had just finished brewing up a Belgian Quad (aka Belgian Dark Strong Ale). Big beers like these often take a lot of extra time to finish fermenting, and to allow the high alcohol levels to smooth out. Well, we’re happy to report that half of the double batch of this beer, named Orion, is being packaged in kegs today! This half includes the addition of maple syrup from Briggs Maples, and clocks in at a whopping 11.5% ABV. Expect flavours of caramel, brown sugar, and a bit of molasses and maple, to accompany the warming sensation from the high alcohol. With a medium bitterness in the finish, this malty-sweet ale may not taste like it’s 11.5%, but you’ve been fairly warned! Watch for this one to be show up at your favourite Maybee tap accounts over the next few days; of course, it will also be on tap at the brewery for pours and growler fills. A portion will eventually be packaged in corked-and-caged bottles in the near future.

• We mentioned last week that The Shocking Pink, Good Robot‘s Gose-Radler hybrid, was being re-released yesterday for the OUTeast Film Festival. On top of that, they now have two new brews on the horizon, both of which will be released mid-next week. First up is a new Beta Brew, Cream Team, a Cream Ale brewed by Kelly Costello and Doug Kehoe. Coming in at 6.56%, slightly higher than your typical Cream Ale, it features an aroma of honey and straw, and a “slightly lemony flavour, and grassy aftertaste”. Lightly hopped with Tettnang, Warrior, and Willamette to 15 IBUs. Next up is the second in their series of SMaSH Pale Ales, Pacifica. Named after the solely-featured hop in the brew, Pacifica is a New Zealand variety known for its orange marmalade character. Featuring a grist of Maris Otter malt, the beer was fermented with the East Coast Ale strain. Flavours of citrus, spice, and resin accompany the orange marmalade notes; it comes in at an easy-drinking 4.7% ABV, and 24 IBUs. And finally, drop by the brewery today for the beginning of Cask Fridays, starting with a series of Goseface Killah re-fermented with a variety of organic fruit purées!

• If you’ve been sad to see all of those entries in the Annapolis Cider Company Something Different series come and go, good news! The cidery has listened to the calls from the public, and have brought back three of the most popular entries to re-release in their new Creative Series. Rhubarb Ginger, Hopped Pear, and Sour Cherry are all now available again, this time in 750 mL bottles, for you to take home and enjoy. Available only at the cidery in Wolfville, for a limited time!

• Summer is right around the corner, and Fredericton’s Graystone has you covered with their latest release, Wild Child. The brewery’s first Radler (a mixture of beer and juice, or fruit soda), it’s light and refreshing, with notes of “subtle citrus” from the addition of both grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Also, the puréed flesh of 50 grapefruits was added, to up your grapefruit love even more! Completely crushable at 4.5% ABV, it’s available now at the brewery for pints, crowlers, and growlers. You’ll also likely see it on tap across the city very soon.

• Halifax’s “Littlest Brewery That Could”, Tidehouse Brewing at Salter and Barrington, has another new beer on tap today. Birthday Sauce IPA is their modern take on a classic American IPA; weighing in at 6.5% ABV, the beer features a solid bitterness (hovering around 60 IBUs), with lots of citrus and pine notes from the CascadePacific Jade, and Simcoe hops used throughout. Grab a growler at their downtown location today 2-9PM (tomorrow, too), or visit their Market locations at Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market every Saturday, Tantallon Village Farmers’ Market every Tuesday 2-6PM, and the fortnightly Spryfield & District Community Market, next held June 25th. Happy Birthday Shean!

St. John’s Mill Street Brewpub has launched their latest beer this week, The 150 S’EH!son!. It was brewed in collaboration with Mill Street Ottawa’s Head Brewer Tim Hulley, during his visit earlier this month. A partial sour mash brings a bright acidity to this Saison, along with notes of Fuzzy Peaches and citrus. The unfiltered straw-coloured beer weighs in at 6.0% ABV and 25 IBUs, and is available on tap at the brewery, and to take home in growlers today. And keep an eye on social media for details of their First Anniversary Celebration, happening June 28th. Live music, plenty of special beers and casks, and lots of fun.

• We have some excellent news for those of you that have been patiently waiting for the Hammond River expansion to be complete… owner/brewer Shane Steeves has confirmed that the first two beers were brewed on the new, 15 bbl (~1700 L) system earlier this week! Both Gammie (a California Common) and Hop Flash IPA are currently fermenting, and will be released to bars and restaurants in kegs within a few weeks. All of the first batches brewed at the new brewery will be packaged in kegs only, to fill all of the tap accounts across New Brunswick; subsequent batches will have a portion bottled as well. Look for the brewery taproom to open within the next month, where you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite HR beers by the pint and/or growler! Congratulations, Shane!

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is gearing up for a big weekend, or at least a big Saturday (followed by a mighty hangover on Sunday, no doubt). Tomorrow afternoon the gang from Central City will be on the Garrison patio from 1 – 4 PM as part of their tour across the country to celebrate their Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration for Canada 150. Central City’s Daryn Medwid, Gary Lohin and James Hume will be pouring samples of their Central City x Garrison Collaboration alongside the Garrison gang. Speaking of which, that beer, ”New” Scottish Ale, is available at the brewery now for pints and growler fills. It’s a 5.7% ABV beer with a moderate bitterness at 38 IBU. It features a smoky aroma from peat malt with some berry notes, and a smooth caramel palate accentuated by a smoky character and balanced against a slightly bitter finish.

• But the big event is tomorrow night, namely Garrison’s third annual Backlot Bash event starting at 5:30 PM. This year’s version is an extra-special, super spectacular edition, as it’s also part of Garrison’s 20th Birthday Celebrations. The event supports the Ecology Action Centre and features musical acts The Sheepdogs, Port Cities, the Garrett Mason Band and The Royal Volts. A plethora of Food Trucks will also be on hand, including The Gecko Bus, Halifax Press, Asado Wood Fired Grill, Cheese Curds and Ol’ School Donuts. There will also be demos and fun from Proskates and Timber Lounge. Tickets are $35 in advance via Ticket Halifax or $40 at the door. A note to those planning to attend: the event was always advertised as rain or shine, and due to the expected weather tomorrow night, the concert has officially been moved indoors to the Cunard Centre, so don’t be shocked if things aren’t where you expected them to be upon your arrival tomorrow night!

Gahan Harbourfront in Halifax has tapped the final keg of their Barrel Aged Golden Ale with Brett, a beer that features Brettanomyces for a distinct yeast character. It was also aged for 8 months in Hungarian Oak, which should give it some barrel notes as well; it weighs in at 5%. They’ve also just released their second batch of Impatience Sour Brown Ale, which was aged on Morello cherries and raspberries, a darker, but still refreshing drink thanks to the fruit. And lastly, they’re also at the end of their Mexican Lager, Cerveza Maritimo, having tapped the last keg this week. You might still find it on the Island later this summer, as The Gahan House in Charlottetown will have some of this light thirst quencher available.

• After an official announcement and press release from Sebastien Roy of Fils du Roy, we have more information on the Acadian Nut Brown style we mentioned last week. Several Acadian breweries united to create a “100% Acadian beer” to mark the 170th anniversary of the poem “Evangeline”, by Henry Longfellow. The style has many descriptors, including “caramel, light coffee, hazelnut, chocolate, fruity, molasses, and licorice”. We already wrote up Petit-Sault‘s entry, La Madoueska, last week, but there’s others to mention as well, as several breweries in Atlantic Canada are participating. Fils du Roy has released their Evangeline (7% ABV), Flying Boats their General’s Armada (5.5% ABV, 23 IBUs), and Savoie’s has a Nut-Brown Ale. As well, Acadie-Broue is including their previously-released La Bringue.

• Big Spruce has their Consiglière Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Saison back on tap at the brewery, first released as part of the Stillwell Open during NS Craft Beer Week. They’ve also released another batch of their One Hundred recently, their all-Nova Scotia beer, featuring Organic malt, hops, and yeast harvested from a Pin Cherry on their farm. Their Food Truck weekends have started for the summer, drop by the brewery for fresh food from Cruisin’ Cuisine from noon Thursday through Saturday until mid-September. And with Beer + Yoga each Saturday from 11AM, there are plenty of reasons to stop in Nyanza this summer.

• This morning both Halifax’s Granite Brewery and Fredericton’s Picaroons mashed in on a very special beer that will celebrate both Canada 150 and the legacy of the great Peter Austin, who was responsible for the creation of the system in use at both breweries, the Peter Austin Brick Kettle Brewing System. Breweries based on this system, over 140 of which have been installed around the world over the last 30+ years, are also known as “Ringwood” Breweries both after Austin’s original Ringwood Brewery and the yeast strain that they generally favour. These two breweries from our region are joining 5 others from across the country, Golden Lion Brewery in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Granite Brewery in Toronto, Ashton Brew Pub and Clocktower Brew Pub in Ottawa and 4 Mile Brewing Co in Victoria, BC. These breweries have come together under the name “The Fathers of Fermentation” to brew Sir John’s Special Eh’le based on a recipe by Alan Pugsley of Pugsley Brewing International, Peter Austin’s good friend and former partner, who was responsible for the design and setup at all of the participating breweries. Everyone is brewing their batch today; the beer will be fermented and then delicately aged and released on July 1st. As you anticipate the final product you can read more about this special collaboration and see some video of the cross country brew days on the The Fathers of Fermentation Facebook page.

Chill Street Fresh Beer and Cider Market opened this week in the Elmsdale Sobey’s at Exit 8 of the 102 Highway. Featuring a SmartBrew Ferment-on-Premise system, they are offering cans and growlers of their beer and cider now. Look for their Eh? Light Lager, Hants Down Light Ale, Honey I’m Home Honey Brown, Life’s a Beach Grapefruit Radler Out of the Blue Blueberry Wheat, Skinny Dipping Cider, Storm Day White IPA, and Unplugged Pale Ale. Chill Street is the first grocery store-based brewery in Canada, a business model that could catch on, given the compact size of the SmartBrew system.

• Truro’s Salty Dog Brewing (beer brewed on the system at the Nook and Cranny next door) has released a new beer this week, HOME Brew Session Ale. The 3.5% ABV beer is a collaboration with nearby My HOME Apparel, makers of NS-inspired clothing and merchandise. Drop by the brewery Saturday for a My HOME pop-up, and grab a sampler, enjoy some music, and take home a half-priced branded growler (which gets you a discount off a fill of the Session Ale). And keep your eyes peeled as Salty Dog will soon be canning their offerings.

Another busy weekend ahead:

• A reminder that Maybee Brewing is holding their Summer Pig Roast tomorrow, June 17th, from 5 pm till late. With plenty of food, beer (including a special cask), and live music from house band Extraordinary Measures, it’s sure to be a great time! Tickets ($29.50 each) are still available.

Tatamagouche Brewing is turning 3! Be sure to join them at the brewery for celebrations tomorrow, June 17th for face painting, food truck deliciousness courtesy of Route 6 Food Truck Co., and a draw to win a $150 gift bag or Brew Day Package. And if you’re wearing your Tata Brew gear, you’ll receive 10% off your entire purchase. Happy Birthday! See if they’ll give you a sneak peek at the freshly-bottled

• It’s Father’s Day this Sunday, June 18th (you forgot to send a card? Too late! Worst son/daughter ever!), and Railcar is holding a special event at their soon-to-officially-open new location in Perth. Father’s Day Flight will feature a guided tasting from Railcar’s very own Mitch Biggar, of six 5 oz beers brewed in the Maritimes. The two hour tasting begins at 2 pm; a selection of appetizers will also be served. Only 30 spaces are available, and tickets are $20, first-come-first-served.

• We told you about the new brewery and taproom at Horton Ridge Malt House a few weeks ago, and the taps have been flowing since June 1st, but on Saturday, June 24th, they’ll be having a proper Grand Opening. From 11 AM to 10 PM they’ll be serving up some of their new beers and others from breweries around the province that feature Horton Ridge Malt. Food will be available from a new food truck in the region, Let’s Eat Beer, recently started by the folks at Draught Pro. This truck serves beer-infused food and donate all proceeds from the events it attends to Atlantic Canadian Charities! There will also be some live music, games like washer toss and Mega Jenga, and tours of the brewery and malt house. So maybe give a thought to stopping in at Exit 10 on the 101 next Saturday and celebrating one of the newest breweries in the region!

• Prince Edward Island’s only beer festival, PEI Beer Fest, is returning this September to the Delta Prince Edward. Part of the month-long Fall Flavors Festival, a culinary celebration of the Island, the dates for this years tastings have been set and tickets are on sale now. There will be three tasting sessions this year, one on the evening of Friday, September 8th, from 6:30 – 9:30 PM, and two on Saturday, September 9th, in the afternoon from 2:00 – 4:00 PM and in the evening from 6:30 – 9:30 PM. There will be beer, of course, and some cider options, with live entertainment as well. Tickets for the evening sessions are $40, for Saturday afternoon it’s $30 and they’ve got Designated Driver tickets available as well at $10 each (be aware that various service fees are likely to make those more like $50, $40 and $15 respectively). If you’re interested in attending, don’t delay too long, last year’s event was sold out in advance and no tickets were available at the door! And keep an eye on the web site for news about what breweries will be bringing their wares to the event this year.

And a few more things today:

– Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing has the last keg of their Smoked Cherry India Black Ale on tap now. Brewed in collaboration with the gents at FirkinStein, who actually smoked the malt themselves using Cherrywood, this Black IPA is hopped with Cascade and Falconer’s Flight, with cherries added to the fermenter for a hint of fruit flavour. There isn’t much of the 6.8% ABV, 75 IBUs beer, so be sure to get down to the brewery today! And look for the release of their Privateer Pilsner, which will be returning soon to celebrate next weekend’s Privateer Days.

North Brewing is releasing the Barrel-Aged version of their Milk Stout today. First previewed at the Full House event in May, the Headline Milk Stout spent 5 months in Glenora Whisky Barrels, and has been bottle conditioning for a couple more. The 7.5% ABV special brew is available now at both their Halifax and Dartmouth stores. Insider pro-tip: visitors can show their receipt from Battery Park for a discount at the North store. Tell em ACBB sent ya!

– A quick reminder that the Schoolhouse Graduation and 2017 Grad Party is on tomorrow in Windsor, with the family-oriented Graduation festivities starting at 11am and the ticketed “afterparty” beginning at 8pm (tickets available here).