Grimross Brewing

All posts tagged Grimross Brewing

As many are aware, it’s a big weekend of beer in New Brunswick, but it’s a bigger weekend for women around the world. International Women’s Day is on Sunday and we’re happy to say that lots of breweries around our region have made an effort to recognize women, usually in the best way they know how: with beer. We truly hope that the celebration of women’s contributions by breweries and beer-related businesses extends past this Sunday and pervades all aspects of our industry. #EachForEqual #IWD2020.

Before we get on to our usual bevy of bevvy news, we’d like to thank everyone who came out for beer trivia at The Joyce last night hosted by our own acbbchris. We’re assured a good time was had by all, and how could it not be with all that great swag donated by so many breweries from around the region; thanks to everyone who sent prizes along for us to distribute, as well as to our gracious hosts The Joyce and 2 Crows.

Now let’s tell you about some beer, shall we?

We’ll kick it off with a beer made for IWD by a brewery started by women: Port Rexton brewed their new Violet Femmes using a very special ingredient that gives it a truly amazing color. Starting with a kettle sour, they added butterfly pea flower. Butterfly pea has bright blue petals that are often used as a natural dye, but the color depends on the pH of the liquid it’s added to. In this case, the acidic nature of the sour beer resulted in a lovely violet hue, perfect for IWD. The beer was then dry-hopped for fruity and floral notes that attempt to capture the taste of the color purple. At 4.6% ABV, you’ll be able to savour more than one as you consider how close they came to that goal. And there’s another good reason to have a couple: $1 from every pint sold (and $0.50 for each half-pint) will be donated to Stella’s Circle and their Naomi Centre, an emergency shelter for women aged 16 – 30 in St. John’s. You’ll also find bins at the taproom and shop if you’d like to make a separate cash donation. This special beer became available yesterday and will be on sale at the taproom and for fills at the PR St. John’s Retail Shop as long as it lasts.

Also brewing up something special for IWD is Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing, who will also be celebrating the occasion with a full slate of events on the evening of March 8th. Tide Breaker is a black currant gose brewed by the women of Upstreet. With a grist of 50% pale and 50% wheat malts, flavored with salt, coriander and hibiscus, it was hopped with Ekuanot and finished with black currant purée. We’ve no doubt that the combination of hibiscus and currant resulted in a rather purple colour. Named for the notion that sometimes you can’t just go with the flow and that, “Redirection can equal balance,” they’ll be donating $1 from every pint sold to Blooming House, a Charlottetown shelter dedicated to keeping women safe. It’ll go on tap at opening (11 AM) on Sunday. The evening will see some remarks from Upstreet and representatives from Blooming House at 4:45 PM, followed by an hour of open mic (open to anyone and anything), and then Kierrah Celeste + Band will take over for the night at 6 PM.

Those dialed into the global beer scene, or at least the North American beer scene, may remember a bit of a blip a couple years ago when suddenly there were beers appearing that were, for lack of a better term “sparkly.” Glitter beer was definitely a thing, but a thing that managed to almost totally miss our region (as far as we remember, Big Axe’s Northern Lights Glitter Stout was the only one, way back in mid-2017). Some might even say it was a good thing, and that such an adulteration of our sacred (pfft) beverage by a purely cosmetic (hah!) addition is somehow “wrong.” We’re sure those folks are no fun at parties.

Well good news for anyone who feels that they missed the boat on glitter beer never having much of a presence on our shores, as one has finally arrived, and it was brewed at Foghorn by a collection of ladies from across New Brunswick that included brewers, restaurant and bar owners, general managers, and servers, as well as folks from Loyalist City, Uncorked Tours, Craft Coast Canning, and ANBL, specifically for IWD 2020. Sparkölsch is a 5.1% ABV beer in the classic Kölsch style. Brewed with an ale yeast, to 20 IBU and 5.1% ABV, it was cold conditioned not unlike a lager to help encourage a clean and crisp finish. Edible glitter was added at kegging time using the novel technique of adding it to the sight glass on the way to the keg. Most of the batch went into kegs that will be tapped in various locations across the province, but a small amount was packaged into 60 bottles that was available at Red Rover Cider in Fredericton (sorry folks, they sold out!). In addition to the camaraderie of women coming together and making something unique and interesting, there is also a significant giving component to the enterprise. A portion of the proceeds from every pint, growler fill and bottle sold of this beer will go to various community organizations that support women. Foghorn’s in particular will go to the United Way as part of their Quarter Club membership, with the funds ultimately going to support mental health research and survivors of domestic violence. But other participants will decide what project they are supporting with their sales of the beer. You’ll be able to get your glitter on this weekend at the below list of venues in the Province, so go forth and get sparkly!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS is debuting a new release this Saturday, in celebration of their third anniversary. A fairly clean saison with a little bit more of what you’re looking for, Extra Season was brewed back in February when our own acbbchris made a visit to the Annapolis Valley and helped to brew up this collaboration. Starting with a base of Belgian Pale malt, along with a decent percentage of oats for added mouthfeel, and Aromatic, Vienna, CaraVienne/Special B for added complexity. The kettle saw an early addition of Bravo for bittering, and then plenty of lovely Loral added later in the boil, as well as in a subsequent dry-hop (with Azacca as well). At 5.6% ABV, it is floral, fruity, and tropical, with just a touch of funk from the yeast, and finishes nice and dry. You will be able to grab this beer when it debuts tomorrow at noon in their taproom, as well as at March 21st’s Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival, and spots around HRM (maybe even a cask,eyes peeled everyone!), as well in cans at the end of the month. As if a brand new beer wasn’t enough to get you in the car to Lawrencetown Saturday, the LM crew is throwing a heck of a party! The first 100 people through the door will get a special gift, the kitchen will be rocking all day, a slideshow of the entire history of Lunn’s Mill will be playing in the Boiler Room all day (shots of the wood shop before renos started, growler fills at the garage door, home deliveries, right up to today), and Incoming are playing from 8 PM. Drop by to help them celebrate, have a beer or two, eat a steak taco or two, and rock out!

The gang at Trailway in Fredericton took a step away from their hazy, hoppy standards recently to brew up a rather traditional Berliner Weisse that they’re calling Low Key. Beginning with a grist of 50% German Pilsner malt and 50% wheat malt, it was fermented with a German ale yeast to start, then soured with Lactobacillus. Both kegged and bottled, the bottles were left to condition for six weeks before this week’s release. Inspired by authentic Berliners consumed on a trip to Europe late last year, it’s got a doughy and biscuity malt profile that supports a citric fruitiness. On tap for pints only at the brewery, but no growler fills, it was also packaged into both 500 mL and 750 mL bottles, so you’ll still be able to take some to go. And while at the brewery, pick up cans or fills of the latest batch of their Bliss, their 4.0% ABV India Pale Lager, brewed with Idaho 7 and Amarillo, which will also see wider distro across the province next week.

Two of our smaller Newfoundland breweries recently teamed up to make a special treat for their collective drinking public, Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing Co and Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. The Real McCoy falls into the “White IPA” style, where a largely wheat-based ale is fermented with Belgian yeast for some light spicy and phenolic character before being dosed with hops, in this case Monroe and Enigma for notes of citrus, melon, and tropical fruit. Coming in at 5.6% ABV, it’s crisp, dry and easy drinking, with not a lot of bitterness, a prime example of old world meeting new world. Look for it at Bootleg for sure on tap and in bottles, but possibly at Rough Waters as well.

Like many folks, Moth Lane Brewing in Ellerslie, PEI, wondered what they could do to help the nearby community of Tyne Valley recover from the devastating fire that destroyed their community rink at the end of 2019. Going with what they know, they decided the answer, as is so often the case, is beer. Enter Rink Rat, a 4.75% ABV and 10 IBU light lager that aims to please. Moth Lane will be donating 100% of the sales of this batch of beer to the initiative to rebuild the sports centre in Tyne Valley. It’s already been delivered to Backwoods Burger, Mill River Resort, 511 West, Ansons, The Silver Fox and Brothers. More kegs are going out, however, including to Charlottetown today. Keep an eye on Moth Lane’s Facebook page to find out where you might grab a pint and support this worthy cause. And if you’re in the Ellerslie area, you can of course grab some at the brewery.

Way down on the South Shore near Yarmouth, Tusket Falls looks like they’re coming out of winter hibernation (or just getting good and ready for NSCBM) with three new canned beers coming out all at once. First up is Peach Mint Sour IPA, a beer that no doubt does what it says on the tin, with Citra and Galaxy hops meeting a kettle sour at 6.5% ABV. Next is Take Me to the Other Side, a Vanilla Milkshake IPA landing at 7.0% ABV also featuring Galaxy, but paired this time with El Dorado. And last, but not least, is Hello, Is Anybody Out There, a 6.0% ABV Hazy IPA with Lotus and Simcoe hops. Good times for hop lovers in Tusket, and, we suspect, the city as well, as TF beers are no stranger to private store shelves in Halifax.

Fredericton’s downtown is getting a bit more beery this weekend! The Capital Complex has re-branded as The Cap, and is adding a small brewery onsite to be able to supplement their support for other local breweries and cideries. The brewhouse is a 3 BBL (~350 litre) system from Stout Tanks, with three fermenters of the same size. The focus will be on beers fit for drinking during one of the many live shows to roll through the different venues under The Cap moniker, or perfect for enjoying on their own in their new Record Store opening in the Capital Bar space next Saturday, and operating daily (except Monday), 11AM until 6PM. The store will also be a place suitable for a day-time hang or laptops-out meeting place while listening to tunes. Once completely up and running in the next few months, the brewery, headed by local homebrewing collective “Tough Guy Brewing” (Ian Demerchant, Steven Christie and Mark Budd), will be supplying two taps in each of the Capital Bar and Phoenix and Wilser’s rooms. However, no need to wait to enjoy their first release, brewed as a collaboration at nearby pals Graystone Brewing. Collaborate and Listen Citra Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV American Pale Ale, brewed almost exclusively with Citra, and light and refreshing to enjoy now or on the patio once those are a thing again. In addition to launching today at all three venues in The Cap, they’ll be pouring it this weekend at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival.

Tourism Fredericton has a brand new initiative to get folks out and about drinking good beer and cider made in the city, launching the Fredericton Taproom Trail. Pop by any of the participating spots to get your passport stamped, and win some prizes, and the affection of others, with every stop! Gahan House Riverside, Graystone Brewing, Grimross Brewing, RustiCo.& King West Brewing, Mama’s Brew Pub, Maybee Brew, Picaroons Brewing, Red Rover Cider, The Cap, TrailWay Brewing, and York County Cider.

Tatamagouche is definitely staying busy these days; they’re coming to the city for two events coming up this week. Plus another event you’ll want to attend later this month…

First up, coming on Wednesday, March 11th, at 6:30 PM, is the latest in the Agricola Street Brasserie’s Intimate and Interactive Beer Pairing Dinner series. The 5-course food menu planned by chef Dwayne MacLeod and his team has already been posted up on Instagram, and you can rest assured that the Tata team has been working hard to complement these dishes with suitable pairings from their oeuvre of tasty beers. Tickets are $100 per person, including all fees, taxes, and gratuity, and they can be purchased on-line through Eventbrite. A limited number are available, though, so if you like the looks of that menu or love Tata’s beers, or both, and you’re looking for something delicious to do on Wednesday night in Halifax, maybe grab a ticket or two and head down.

And three days later, on Saturday, March 14th, the Tata gang will be taking over the taps at Stillwell on Barrington, with 12 taps pouring their best draught, 3 casks on the go, and the debut of the collaboration beer brewed by Stillwell staff at (and with!) Tata a little while ago. Don’t be surprised if you see re-releases of some of their longer term cellared offerings available in that mix. Joe Martin will also have some special things coming out of the kitchen specifically for that day. Come out and celebrate with Team Tata and Team Stillwell and drink some fine beers with some great people!

We are just two weeks away from the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival, which serves as the kick-off to Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month in April. The March 21st event will feature more than 40 breweries from across the province, showcasing the latest and greatest from CBANS members. There are two sessions that day, 2 – 4:30 PM and 7 – 9:30 PM, with VIP tickets getting you in an hour early. While only standard tickets remain for both sessions, you’re sure to still have a great time drinking your way from Yarmouth to Sydney,and Amherst to Sheet Harbour, all in one day. We’ll update on the events during NSCB Month as they become available, but we can tell you to mark your calendar for Friday, April 3rd at 7 PM, as we’ll be hosting a Trivia Night at Auction House, which will also serve as the release party for a collaboration brew that saw Propeller host Off Track and Spindrift in their Dartmouth brewery.

As if we haven’t already inundated you with new beers, here are a bunch more to round out your day!

If you like your cider with a bit of beer bite (i.e. you like Snakebite, a mixture of beer and cider), ChainYard has just the ticket with King Crimson Cobra Commander. They blended a cider made with Crimson King apples with North Brewing’s Malternate Reality, kicking off a new fermentation. The result is “tart, funky, and refreshing”, and is only available on tap at ChainYard, for a limited time.

Heritage Brewing has a new brew for your Yarmouth beer needs: El Dorado IPA is a 5% ABV Session IPA brewed with a simple malt bill, and hopped to 40 IBUs (and dry-hopped heavily) with the lovely El Dorado variety, giving plenty of tropical fruit character. 

Iron Rock Brewing has something new to help you cool down after your long trek across Labrador, a refreshing Wheat Ale named Checkpoint 19. Fermented with the Norwegian Voss Kveik yeast, it’s “slightly spicy with notes of citrus on the nose”, and is available for pints only at the brewery.

O’Creek Brewing has launched their latest fruited kettle sour, Berry Mango Sour (5% ABV). Soured with Lactobacillus and fruited with mango, raspberry, and blueberry, the lion’s share of kegs are currently pouring at the Pump House Fill Station in Moncton. And keep your eyes peeled for their Route 117 IPA being released in cans for the first time later this month!

Picaroons has a brand new NEIPA hitting their taps this weekend. North of the Border (7% ABV), hopped with a large amount of El Dorado and a little Cascade, is hazy, juicy, and citrusy, and will be available first at the General Store; look for it to follow at the Roundhouse, shortly.

Sussex Ale Works is taking a crack at the salty, tart Gose style with their latest, Gose Before Bros (so do you pronounce the Gose part incorrectly, or Bros?). Brewed in the traditional style with a blend of Pilsner and Wheat malt, it was kettle-soured with Lactobacillus, hopped very lightly with Perle, and features additions of sea salt and coriander. 

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing would like folks to know that their very popular Citra-inundated DOA is back in cans and on the shelves (also available for fills and pints) as of noon today. Meanwhile they’ve also hinted on social media at the debut of an all-new Nash SMaSH beer coming out in the next little while; we’ll be sure to let you know when that happens. For now, if you’re a fan of the DOA we recommend you don’t wait as this one has a tendency to disappear pretty quickly.

We here at the ACBeerBlog do our best on a weekly basis to pump up the good things happening in our beer scene here in Atlantic Canada and generally try to do so in a way that is free of any bias. But sometimes things happen that bear comment and those comments cannot be made in the opinion-free vacuum that we generally try to inhabit. The recent controversy around the “Dirty Blonde” marketing from Nine Locks is one of those times. We would like to state unequivocally both as a blog and as three people who love this industry and the community that surrounds it, that we fully support all the folks who have brought this issue to light and who have stood up against misogyny and sexism. While only those involved know their own intentions with regards to the marketing campaign, we firmly believe that when folks speak up to say that they not only feel that it encourages and enables bad behavior, but have experienced it, that in turn those who are in a position to do something about it would do well to listen and, hopefully, act. We’re glad that the marketing campaign was changed. We’re disappointed that there are so many out there who feel that since they weren’t affected that nobody else was or since they didn’t care, nobody else should. We’re both flabbergasted and sad that this has led to “counter attacks” on the people and breweries who bravely took a stand on the issue. We know that our scene and the beer industry both locally and worldwide have a ways to go towards being inclusive and supportive of everyone. Nothing will get better if nobody says anything; we cannot improve if nobody listens when people speak up. A wise person once said, “It’s not about the beer, it’s about the beer.” People don’t get together to talk about beer, beer gets people together to talk. We’d like to think that means all people and that beer can be an enabler for social awareness and polite, but meaningful conversations, especially about difficult topics. We’re always happy to have a beer and chat with folks about how we feel about things; try us sometime.

ICYMI, Prince Edward Island is getting a little more beery today! Lone Oak Brewing is opening their taproom and retail space in Borden-Carleton at 4 PM this afternoon. Located at 103 Abegwait Blvd in the Gateway Village, you can make Lone Oak your first and last stop when visiting or venturing from the Island. We had a sneak peek of their space and chat with Spencer Gallant, so check out our Profile with Lone Oak Brewing now! And after tonight’s opening, keep an eye on their Social Media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for the taproom hours and where you may be able to find their beer beyond their doors. Congratulations again Lone Oak Team!

From one new Island Brewery to another, a reminder that Newfoundland’s newest brewery, Rough Waters Brewing, has opened their doors in Deer Lake. Located at 83 Wights Road (a stone’s throw from the junction of Trans Canada and Hwy 430), their beer is available at their retail spot by the bottle only, with their taproom opening in the spring. And for those with tickets to the Newfoundland Craft Beer Fest’s East Coast edition of the 12 Beers of Christmas, you’ll be able to enjoy their beer this weekend! And great news, there are still some available! Keep up to date with Rough Waters’ retail store hours via Instagram.

Let’s stick on the Rock for another new beer, and in fact a whole new world, from Port Rexton Brewing. Ever since co-owner and head brewer Alicia MacDonald was diagnosed with Celiac disease a couple of years ago, she has been searching, scheming, and doing trials with gluten-free grains and malts, to better serve other (former) beer drinkers in the same situation. After testing liquid malts of different gluten-free grains such sorgum and rice, the entire PRBC Brew Crew has lent their expertise in crafting their first gluten-free release. Aptly named Fox Island* Fog, it is a 4.3% ABV Hazy IPA made with gluten-free ingredients, including pale buckwheat and millet malts, as well as Vienna-style kilned millet, flaked oats, and flaked quinoa. With plenty of Citra, Simcoe, and Columbus added throughout, you’d never miss the gluten that has skipped this beer, with the orange and mango aroma layered on top of a piney bitterness up front. This release was brewed on their new Gluten-Free pilot system (ie, no gluten-containing malts have ever touched any of the equipment), and you can expect many more to come (we hear the next one will be decidedly darker!). Given then small batch size, Fox Island Fog is only available at the brewery (open today and tomorrow 4 PM – 10 PM) and their retail shop on Torbay Road in St. John’s from noon tomorrow.
* Fox Island is visible from Port Rexton Brewing’s taproom, features on their logo, and is not really an island! The best that folks can tell is that the name is a bastardization of Faux Island, as in False Island… The more you know! 

If you happen to be in Halifax this weekend, be sure to drop by 2 Crows, where they’ll be releasing their latest barrel-aged beer, Bellini. This one is a blend, starting with some unhopped wort that was fermented warm with Ebbengarden Kveik, and dry-hopped during active fermentation with Citra. The beer was then blended with some sour barrel-aged beer and conditioned on 200 kg of peaches (Never Again, my ass!) for nine weeks. Before packaging, it blended once again, with a foedre sour beer to increase the tartness. It weighs in at just 4.7% ABV, and is tasting “bright, lightly tart, and peachy”. You can pick up some bottles at the brewery starting tomorrow. And stay a while and enjoy the grilled cheese and sandy (and hopefully donuts!) pop-up from 2C pals Buttered Bliss.

Back to Newfoundland, where St. John’s YellowBelly celebrated a big milestone – the release of their 1500th brew – last week. Founder’s Reserve Stout, which the brewery has brewed in honour of their loyal customers – Founders, if you will – who have helped support the brewpub over the years. Brewed with a grist that contains multiple dark malts (Midnight Wheat, Roasted Barley, and Chocolate Malt), there was also some lactose powder added in the boil to bring a touch of sweetness to help balance all of that roasted character. With a smooth mouthfeel thanks to the addition of Malted Oats, some cacao was also added to bump up the chocolate presence. Coming in at 6.5% ABV, it’s available on tap and in 1 L bottles at YB; bottles should also be popping up at NLC stores any day (minute??) now.

If you’re looking for a beer with a taste of summer, Crooked Feeder has you covered with their latest small batch, Good Vibrations. This is a 5% ABV Strawberry Rhubarb Gose brewed with real fruit from local farm Mark’s Market. The strawberry comes through prominently in the aroma, with a mild presence on the palate; the rhubarb and salt follow subtly in the finish, along with a dry tartness. If you want to try this one at the brewery’s taproom, you’ll only be able to get it in a flight, as they’re trying to ensure that everyone has a chance for a taste. 

Those of you looking for your next hoppy fix from Propeller after drinking multiple cans of Galaxy may be happy with today’s news: the brewery has their first Triple IPA on tap for this weekend. Simply named Triple India Pale Ale, it was heavily hopped with Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin, giving this beer “intense tropical fruit flavours and aromas”. It’s hazy and packing a punch at 9.9% ABV, and finishes “aggressively bitter” (90+ IBUs). Only available on tap, at the brewery’s taproom, for pints and flights; no growlers, sorry! And hey, if you’re there later today, might as well still around for tonight’s cask, Sure Thing!, which is Cascade dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Falconer’s Flight. Finally, to celebrate Black Friday today, the brewery is offering two of their popular dark beers for a special deal – you can buy a 650 mL bottle of Russian Imperial Stout and a 330 mL bottle of Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter for $10.

Two hoppy brews hitting shelves at TrailWay today, one of which is a brand new American IPA they’ve named Slippery Mind. This 6% ABV hazy IPA was hopped with American Mosaic and Australian Topaz, giving the beer a “big, overripe fruit character with a firm spice and pine backbone”. And returning is their hoppy Amber, Good Aura. Fruity and dank, and 7% ABV, a donation is made to the SPCA every time this beer is brewed. Both of these beers are available in both cans and on tap, starting today. 

Another bottle release from Tidehouse this week, a beer that they brewed with Tony Wight (aka Tony Important… I’m sure there’s a story there!) of 902 BrewCast “fame”. Cherry Important is a Saison that was brewed with cherries (at roughly 5 kg/100 L) picked from a cherry tree in Tony’s yard. The cherries were added in two stages; the first as whole, pitted cherries about one week into fermentation, and the second as puree at the third week. Some hibiscus was added to boost the red colour and tartness, and a touch of lemon zest was thrown in as well. The result is bright and tart, with definite Saison notes coming through. Bottles (340 mL and 750 mL) of this 7% ABV brew are available starting at 2 pm today, with a limit of two per person.

There’s a new beer coming out from Nackawic’s Big Axe, their first in quite some time. Black Forest Porter was hopped with English varieties to provide some earthiness in the aroma, and “a heaping pile” of Chaga mushrooms to offer some unique flavours. With some mild roastiness and a bit of caramel character, it’s 5.8% ABV and 32 IBUs. You’ll likely see it on tap at some of your favourite Big Axe accounts (as well as at their brewery, of course), and it’s also available in bottles. Bonus points when you pick up a bottle if you can quickly spout your favourite Forrest Gump quote! 😉

This past Sunday at the Wooden Monkey in Dartmouth, 32 beers made with the Voss Kveik yeast strain from Escarpment Labs were poured, smelled, sampled, and judged in the name of finding the winner of the 7th annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge (Kveik the East!). Styles ranged from IPA to Stout and more, with a couple of entries reaching pretty far afield to styles such as Gose and Pilsner (yes, really!). With honorable mentions to David Pepper (sorry for the typo earlier!), for being bold enough to brew that lager, Chill Pils, and Jamie MacEachern and Sandy Smoliak for Sandy’s Last Call, a NEIPA with a hop aroma that damn near knocked the judges over, the top three beers were as follows: 3rd place to Andrew Beaton for his APA End of Shift, 2nd to previous winner Ian Wheatley for his NE IPA Simcoe Slaughter, and the grand champion (AGAIN?!) was Brian Harvey, whose Santa Voss/ Kviek Kringle Winter Warmer with Vanilla Bean and Orange Peel. We understand that the winning beer has already been brewed at the Spruce HQ, so you might reasonably expect to see it for sale come next month. Congratulations especially to the winners, but also to all those who entered and thanks to Jeremy and the Big Spruce team for putting on a great event as always.

Only one event to mention today, but it’s a big’un and important if you’re planning on going to FCBF this year:

It’s that time of year again… time to purchase your tickets for the upcoming annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. While the VIP tickets are undoubtedly sold out already (they go in under a minute, usually, and tickets went on sale at 11 am this morning), there should be other tickets still available for sale. However, they also sell out quickly, so don’t wait (you can purchase yours here)! This is the first year that a full Friday session with 60 breweries will take place, so you’ve got an extra option in addition to the Saturday afternoon and evening sessions. There’s also going to be another conference happening for the couple days leading up to the weekend, so those of you who are in the industry or looking to get into it, keep this open as an option. And we’ll be doing our insanely-popular* ACBB Trivia Night at the Joyce on the Thursday before, so you’ve got that going for you, too!
* your opinion will likely vary

And a few last items to inform your Friday afternoon beer-buying:

Garrison has put Tesoro – an Italian Pilsner – on tap at their Seaport and Oxford locations; it is also available in cans to take home.

If you’ve been missing the weekly Good Robot Beta Brews, we can confirm that they’re officially back as of next Tuesday, December 3rd with The Absolute Unit. This 8.9% ABV, 23 IBUs Belgian Tripel was brewed by Amy and Amber, and features the addition of lemon zest.

Grimross Brewing has brought back their Apres Lager for the season, but due to a “friendly” little poke from another brewery in Canada, the beer has been renamed King’s Horn Vienna Lager. Still the same beer with a “toasty malt backbone, amber colour, restrained bitterness and some background earthy hop tones”, it’s available now on tap at the brewery and licensees, with cans following sometime in early 2020. 

Hammond River has a brand new beer pouring at their Rothesay taproom, Coffee & Coconut Oatmeal Brown Ale. Brewed with locally-roasted coffee beans and coconut, it comes in at 7.4% ABV and 29 IBUs; drop by the brewery for a taste this weekend.

Moderation is back from Niche Brewing, a 5.9% ABV passion fruit Milkshake IPA hopped with American and Australian hops, bolstered with lactose, and conditioned on vanilla and passion fruit puree. At all ANBL growler stations as of yesterday, there will also be kegs hitting Halifax (Auction House and Stillwell) and the usual New Brunswick pubs. If you spill it on your pants at the bar your cab driver will hate you on the shameful ride home; don’t ask us how we know, just get it in your mouth instead.

We certainly had some bracing weather this week in and around the region and wouldn’t you know it, more than a couple of our breweries seem to have just the beers for cold weather coming out right around now. Add to that a couple of openings (one brewery, one taproom), and a slew of events and you’ve got a recipe for a long read today (sorry; not sorry). So without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we?

In case you missed our Profile of Tire Shack Brewing last Friday (ahem, click here now), we can now confirm that they are open and serving beer! Located at 190 John Street in Moncton, the onsite brewery features a large taproom. They have five beers currently on tap to enjoy in their space, which are: The Specialist Blonde Ale (5.0% ABV), Secret Society Toasted Marshmallow Stout (5.5% ABV), Realignment Juicy Pale Ale (6.0% ABV), Full Service Double IPA (7.5% ABV), and Zenith Libation Cardamom Wit Beer (5.5% ABV). While they await the completion of their Retail Space, growlers can be filled at the bar, and cans of The Specialist, Secret Society, and Realignment are available as well. Their kitchen is scheduled to be fully operational in the New Year, so grab take-out from nearby, or order something to be delivered, and check out their new spot! Tire Shack is open 7 days a week: Sun 12 – 10 PM, Mon – Tues 11 – 10 PM, Wed – Thurs 11 – 11 PM, and Fri – Sat 11 – 12AM. Congratulations once again to Alan, Jerica, and Henry!

And speaking of openings, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is officially opening The Oxford Taproom today! This new location is located at the corner of Quinpool and Oxford, in the space formerly occupied by the Oxford Theatre. The interior is an ode to the former tenant, featuring the original movie projector and plenty of movie-themed design elements. The main level features the pilot brewery with 3 BBL (330 litre) of fermentation capacity (details on future pilot experimental and community releases coming when we have them!), full retail store, and taproom with seating for 60. Upstairs features a quieter space with lounge seating and a boardroom. The taproom features 16 draught lines of Garrison goodness, with the full complement of core and seasonal offerings, including their Brewhouse Cider (a collaboration with Bulwark), and a nitro tap. While they will not have a kitchen, patrons are encouraged to grab something from one of the dozens of nearby restaurants and enjoy it in the Oxford. The taproom and retail is open from noon daily (including today!) until 10 PM, and until midnight Friday and Saturday.

It’s not only new locations for Garrison this week, as they have the return of two bigger spirits-aged beers just in time for the cooler weather. In “the description is right in the name” news, their Barrel Aged Grand Baltic Porter is a 11.0% ABV Baltic Porter aged in rum barrels from Ironworks & Glenora, enhancing the dark fruit and roast character from the base beer with lovely molasses and spirit notes from the barrel. And To Prussia With Love, which is also 11.0% ABV, and is a blend of their Baltic Porter and Barrel Aged Barley Wine, combining for a complex beer. Both beers are in 650 ml bottles, so we suggest finding a friend (or 3) to share the bottle, or else you may find yourself in the hold of a ship headed to Eastern Europe if tackling these alone! And on the lighter side, they have launched a Holiday Mingler 4-pack of tall cans, with Tall Ship, Pucker Up!, Deja Moo, and Irish Red to their retail spots as well as the NSLC, and is currently the only way to purchase cans of the latter two, if you so desire.

St John’s Bannerman Brewing has a pair of new beers on tap this week that we are excited to tell you about. Dial Up is a 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale, featuring a light-malt base of Pils, Oat, and Wheat Malts, and dry-hopped heavily with Galaxy and Simcoe for big notes of stone fruit, mango, and citrus. And just released Thursday afternoon is Scenic Route, a 5.0% ABV sour dry-hopped with Mosaic hops, and conditioned with blueberry puree and fresh mint. Both beers are on tap now in the taproom, and available to go in growler fills and cans.

Upstreet is releasing a VIP 4-pack of the fan favourite Neon Friday brews from this year. Available in the brewery, and Craft Beer Corner, the four-pack features: Neon Friday 2.01: Session IPA (4.5% ABV with Cashmere, Motueka, & Amarillo), Neon Friday 2.03: Pale Ale (5.9% ABV with Waimea, Sticklebract, & Columbus), Neon Friday 2.04: IPA (7.25% ABV with Citra, Southern Cross, Amarillo, & Wakatu), and Neon Friday 2.07: Double IPA (8.0% ABV with Simcoe, Amarillo, & Ekuanot). These packs will also be available at PEILCC locations next week. Also available rotating on tap at both locations, as well as the Upstreet Pour Authority in Founders Food Hall. And you can celebrate the release at the brewery with a Neon Friday Dance Party tonight! From 9 PM, the lights will be turned down low, and the glow will be turned to eleven, so come in your brightest neon outfits and rock out with DJs Ugly James Franco and Dennison.

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing is returning to their “Belgian-inspired” roots in a big way with today’s release of the Abbey Series, a four-pack of Belgian styles, with all but one beer being completely new brews. Let’s dive in:
Abbey Singel (5.2% ABV, 25 IBUs) – Patersbier (a style often referred to as the “lawnmower beer of Trappist monks”, i.e. this is what the monks drink when they’re putting their feet up, as opposed to actually mowing) brewed with Belgian Pilsner malt and sugar, and hopped with Slovenian Celeia, it was fermented with a Trappist strain. Exhibiting notes of “honey, coriander, and lemon”, it finishes clean and dry.
Abbey Dubbel (7.2% ABV, 20 IBUs) – The one beer in the collection that they’ve brewed before, this iteration does have some differences from earlier releases. The yeast is now a “Chimay-inspired strain”; as a result, the attenuation was higher, resulting in a drier beer. You can still expect “lots of phenols, dark fruit, and toffee character”, however.
Abbey Tripel (9% ABV, 33 IBUs) – Surprised it’s taken Grimross this long to brew a Tripel, but happy to see it! Brewed with a similar – albeit, larger – grain bill as the Abbey Singel, it was also hopped with Celeia and fermented with yeast harvested from that beer. Expect clove, citrus, banana, and some dough character, and higher carb (as is typical for the style).
Abbey Quad (11%, 28 IBUs) – No, that’s not a typo… 11% ABV (and in case you’re wondering, yes, that is the “biggest” beer Grimross has ever brewed). Fermented with that Chimay strain, you’re going to find this a “complex beer full of clove, toffee, plum, fig and banana bread notes”. This full-bodied beer IS boozy, to be sure, but apparently the alcohol is not as pronounced as you’d assume from that 1-1 number. So, go easy!
The four-pack will be available at the brewery today, with select ANBL stores receiving it over the next couple of weeks. All four beers will also be on tap at the taproom for a limited time, and you may see a keg or two pop up at certain Grimross tap accounts, as well.

Over in Cape Breton, Breton Brewing has prepped their annual holiday gift packs for the Christmas season, and they’ve passed on some information on their newest beer, which will be included in those packs. Cranberry Belgian Wit is a 5% ABV, 15 IBUs Witbier brewed with the typical additions of orange peel and coriander; however, it was conditioned on cranberries after fermentation was complete, giving the beer a reddish colour and a slightly tart finish to complement the aromas and flavours of citrus and coriander. While you can find the gift packs at the brewery and NSLC stores, the Witbier can also be found on its own on tap and in single cans at Breton’s taproom.

It’s the season of brewing with grape skins, and Tanner & Co. ain’t gonna be left behind! This week they launched Millot, a Belgian Saison that they fermented on Leon Millot grape skins from Blomidon Estate Winery (in Canning, NS). With about 70 kg of the skins used in the 400 L batch (that’s about 200 grams per litre!), the beer is showing off plenty of “blackberry, blueberry, and dark cherry notes”, with a likely-expected deep red colour. It’s tasting fairly vinous, so this is a great beer for those of you who are also into wine. Coming in at 7.9% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can find it on tap at the brewery right now, and bottles should be available fairly soon as well. 

The Newfoundland Cider Company has a brand new release available in their Shop in Shoal Harbour, the latest in their Forager series. This features local wild blueberries, courtesy of Brown’s Family Farm, with the whole berries fermented with freshly-pressed apple cider. Before transfer and packaging, the blend was then allowed to age on the spent blueberry skins for a month to enhance the colour and aroma. The semi-sweet cider is 5.3% ABV, and is available in kegs as well as bottles at their Balbo Drive location, and soon at NLC locations in the area, joining several other of their offerings.

Boxing Rock Brewing in Shelburne (and Halifax) has several new releases this week, so let’s get right to the juicy details. First up is the winner of their 2019 Black Box Challenge, where amateur brewers are given the same ingredients, but are free to make whatever beer style they’d like. This year’s winning brewer was Jana Dellapina, whose Hello Darkness Schwarzbier took top honours. Dellapina made the trip to Shelburne last month to brew a full batch at Boxing Rock, and now the beer is available for everyone to enjoy! The 5.2% ABV black lager balances the chocolate and roast malt character with a soft bitterness, and a crisp refreshing lager finish. It’s available now in bottles as well as on tap (currently at the tap room in Shelburne). In “now for something completely different” news, BR has a pair of barrel-aged beers in their Fisticuffs line on the shelves currently. Barrel Aged Brett Saison is an 8.0% ABV Saison with “complex, yet approachable” notes of stone fruit and full flavour from the Chardonnay oak barrels. And in turn to the tart and sour, Barrel Aged Over the Top, their cranberry sour beer lived in a barrel for 12 months, and allowed to develop and soak in the wood and wine character. This comes in at 4.2% ABV, and along with the Brett Saison is available in bottles at the taproom as well as Local Source Market on Agricola in Halifax. There you can find the latest Test Kitchen release, Inverse, a white stout, exclusively for growler fills.

Halifax’s Propeller has a couple of new beers hitting the city this weekend, one a returning favorite of sorts and the other a brand new beer celebrating Halifax Taco Week. Russian Imperial Stout was brewed with Propeller’s award-winning Revolution recipe, but is seeing distribution in cans with their modern branding style instead of the old familiar 500 mL bottles with the Soviet-era design. Still boasting a pronounced bitterness at 60 IBU and strong like Russian Bear at 8% ABV, look for a midnight-black pour with an espresso-colored head, with notes of chocolate, dark fruit and coffee and a bit of heat on the finish. And truly new this week is Lima Blonde Lager, which is exclusive to downtown restaurant Antojo Tacos + Tequila. Designed to pair nicely with Antojo’s Taco Week offering, the Maritimer, it’s a light and crisp ale at 4.5% ABV featuring fresh additions of lemon and lime zest. You’ll have to go there to get it though, as this one isn’t being packaged. Lastly, for those who like to visit Prop on Gottingen for a Friday evening tipple, this week’s Cask Friday cask is their Galaxy IPA with an addition of raspberries.

Time to re-enter the world of cider, perhaps? Well, follow us this way to Sourwood Cider, where they’ve just released Wabamo, a “Super-Duper Hopped Cider”. Seems to us that this is a constantly-evolving experiment, but we can tell you that they’re trying different juices as the base, and tweaking the hopping rates, varieties, and temperatures when dry-hopping. For now, this 6% ABV cider is tasting very juicy, with some floral notes joining in. You can find it on tap at the cidery, but if you want to take some cans home, you’ll have to grab them at select NSLC stores soon, or to enjoy with your next meal at Bar Kismet.

Port Rexton Brewing has got a brand new canned beer for ya, The One With the Citra (you Friends fans out there may squeal with delight a little bit louder than everyone else). It’s a 4.8% ABV American Pale Ale that features lots and lots of the always-wonderful Citra hop, which means juiciness galore, or in their more eloquent words, “bright orange, floral, wildflower, and peach skin aroma and flavour”. Bitterness is on the light side, and at that ABV, you can enjoy a couple and not worry about stumbling over yourself too badly (YMMV). Perhaps you should stop by the taproom and grab some cans for the weekend, hmm?

2 Crows has a wide variety of beers that are aging in barrels at the brewery; each beer requires a degree of patience, as any barrel-aged beer isn’t going to have a quick turnaround. But some beers – e.g. those that are slowly soured via microbes such as Lactobacillus and Pediococcus – need quite a bit of time, upwards of 18 months and beyond; but when they come out, they’re usually worth the wait (we think 2 Crows is pretty reliable, anyway). One of these beers is going to be officially released in mid-December, but is going to be making its debut at Stillwell’s Anniversary bash this weekend, so we thought we’d share the details on it now (read: someone here said that we would and now someone ELSE got stuck writing it up)! The beer is Tinto, and it’s a Flanders Red-inspired beer that was brewed in March, 2018. With a grist of Vienna, Munich, Wheat, Spelt, Special B, Special Aromatic, Crystal 65, and Oats, it was hopped in the boil with both aged and new East Kent Goldings, to 11 IBUs. The wort was fermented in freshly-emptied Port barrels with a blend of red wine yeast and the Roeselare blend of Sacch, Brett, and bacteria. After aging for 3 months, dried cherries were added to the barrel (21 g/L), where they sat for over a year. Then, in July, 2019 (~16 months total aging at this point), the beer was transferred to the brewery’s blending tank, where it was allowed to condition on fresh cherries (300 g/L) for 8 weeks, before it was packaged, mostly in 375 mL cork-and-cage bottles. After all this time, the 6.3% ABV beer is “assertively tart, with a touch of acetic character, with very rich and multidimensional cherry character, smooth and vinous”, according to the brewery. There will be a single 20 L keg available at Stillwell for their party Sunday if you’d like a taste before you can finally buy some bottles; it will also be poured from bottles during the Wild and Sour Beer Tasting event (hosted by the Ladies Beer League) at 2 Crows on Tuesday, November 19th

And while we’ve got you focused on 2 Crows, now is a good time to mention that Lil’ Miguel is back! This year’s version is bigger than ever (7.1% ABV), and they’ve increased the amount of peppers (ancho, pasilla, and chipotle) to give the beer even more spicy kick. With a “very smooth chocolate backbone, with just a touch of vanilla and cinnamon”, it has once again been canned on nitro (so pour aggressively!). The brewery is also pouring it on tap on nitro, and other 2C accounts will have it pouring on CO2, if you’re not into the whole stouts-on-nitrogen thing.

Back to cider this week with a late addition from Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Company, with the latest of their Something Different releases. Haskap & Pear is a blend of the signature dry cider, along with juice from local Haskap berries as well as three varietals of pears, Bartlett, Bosc, and Flemish Beauty. The tart haskaps, similar to blueberries, lend some sharpness to the blend, as well as a lovely rose tint to the 7.0% ABV sparkling cider. As with all Something Different releases, $0.50 from each fill goes to a local charity, this time they are supporting Clean Foundation, whose goal is to create a more sustainable society in Atlantic Canada, through work towards clean water and a cleaner climate.

This past Saturday PEIBC announced the winners of this year’s Gahan Maritime Home Brew Challenge competition, an attempt to find the best home brewers in the Maritimes. Entries came from all over the region, with some 60 beers facing final judging. The big winner this year was Chelsea Meisner, brewing under the moniker Lady Scotia Brewing, whose Tingles Sichuan Stout took 1st place in the Stout category and then went on to take the Grand Champion title (and also “Bravest Beer”). Chelsea takes home the top prize of $1,000 and will see her beer brewed in a production batch for public release. Other category winners were Armadillo from the Green Willy Collective (Jonathan Green, William Panting, Clayton Harding, and Tyler Gallant) in the Mixed Fermentation/Sour category, and Brahair Brother Eric Gautier’s Alien Barbarian in the IPA category. You can find the full list of award-winners at the competition website here. A big congratulations to Chelsea and a promise that we’ll be sure to let you know when her beer becomes available for you to try. Meanwhile, we’d like to acknowledge how cool it is to see another win by a woman in a major regional home brew competition.Though the hobby has a reputation for being male-dominated, this is another reminder that female brewers are on the rise and are kicking ass with creative and tasty brews.

Lots on the go for you this weekend, including the Atlantic Canada Brewing Awards Gala Saturday at HopYard Halifax (tickets available and open to everyone), and Bar Stillwell’s Sixth Anniversary on Sunday. Here are some more things to get you excited (and visiting your local spot)!

It’s the month of anniversaries related to beer, and Copper Bottom is in the mix, as they’re celebrating their 2nd Anniversary tomorrow, November 16th with their 2 Years of Beer event at the brewery in Montague. They’re continuing what they started last year, and launching Birthday Beer 2, a 7.5% ABV Brut IPA dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria (last year’s edition was Mosaic). First tastes will be at the party tomorrow; expect “big notes of tangerine and citrus” in a highly-carbonated and dry package. The brewery opens at 3 pm, and that’s when the party starts, with live music scheduled all day. Obviously there’ll be plenty of beer options as well, and food options will include fresh oysters from 4-8 pm, and birthday cake handpies all day/evening.

There’s another brewery birthday going on in Nova Scotia tomorrow as well, with Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider celebrating their first year in business. All day long from opening you’ll find $5 ciders from 10 taps, including Oaked Russet, Sparkling Perry, some experimental batches and, of course, their fan favorites. If you’re planning on stopping by to help them celebrate, bring an appetite, as there’s a good chance there will be some special items coming out of the kitchen as well. Check out the Fb event page for more info!

Nyanza’s Big Spruce is bringing their beer to another special night of food pairings in Halifax with an event entitled “An Organic Evening” going down at the Agricola Street Brasserie (part of their Intimate & Interactive series of events) next Thursday, November 21st at 6 PM. Only 20 seats are available for this celebration of all things organic (including the beer!), so if you’re interested you’d best act quickly. For $100 (includes taxes and gratuity) you’ll get 5 courses from the kitchen, each thoughtfully paired with a beer from Big Spruce. More information can be found on the EventBrite page, where you’ll also be able to secure your tickets.

The Algonquin Resort in Saint Andrews, NB, is holding a Craft Beer Event next Saturday night, Nov 23, featuring breweries from New Brunswick and PEI pouring their best for guests. Breweries on hand will be: Think Brewing, PEI Brewing, Long Bay Brewery, Big Axe Brewery, Picaroons, Trailway Brewing, Hammond River Brewing, Off Grid Ales, Pumphouse, Graystone Brewing, Cross Creek Beer, and Grimross Brewing. Your $45 ticket gets you your first ten 6 ounce pours, a souvenir Stein, light snacks, and live music throughout. You’ll also have access to discounted room rates to make a full weekend of it. Check out this link for tickets, rooms, and more.

It’s that time of year again, with the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival once again hosting their 12 Beers of Christmas fests. Don’t let the name confuse you, there are many, many more than twelve beers available at the fest, with breweries from across the island, and Canada taking part. The West Coast edition of the fest takes place next Saturday, November 23rd at the Corner Brook Civic Centre, while the East Coast edition is a two-day affair Friday Nov 29 and Saturday the 30th at the St John’s Farmers Market. Tickets for both are selling fast, so if you haven’t yet picked them up, delay no longer!

Just a few more things on our desk this week, and then you’re dismissed!

Big Spruce is no stranger to big beers and this week marks the availability of one of their biggest. Coade Word: Snowmageddon 2019 was aged in maple-soaked bourbon barrels (as opposed to the whiskey barrels used in 2018) and features ginger and vanilla. At 10.3% ABV, this winter warmer might be the perfect beverage to soothe your aching bones after a hard shovelling session (or, if you want to raise the difficulty of shovelling, have one before!). As always, brewed in appreciation of meteorologist Peter Coade, who boasted the longest career in the profession as confirmed by Guinness themselves (the record book, not the brewery). Look for it starting this weekend at your favorite place to buy Big Spruce beer.

In Twillingate, NL, Split Rock Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that they’ve packaged some of their beer in cans. Available now at the brewery are Red Sky Red Rye and Nar Dar APA. In coming weeks, with any luck, you’ll also start seeing these both around town and in other parts of the province.

In Pictou County, Uncle Leo’s has brewed up a special beer for the season: Odin’s Winter Ale was made in the Norwegian Farmhouse Ale tradition, with juniper and kveik yeast being key to its production. You’ll find it in the Maritime Craft Beer Countdown Box available at certain private stores in Halifax (hopefully we’ll get some more details on that for next week). But if you can’t wait for the Advent season to try this one, head on down to the brewery or attend the Christmas at the deCoste event going on in Pictou this weekend!