Grimross Brewing

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If you’ve been paying attention to the calendar, you know that Spring has arrived in Atlantic Canada. That said, if you’ve been paying attention to the actual weather, what with school closures twice this week in parts of the province and some bitter cold towards the end of the week, you may be considering taking a Caddyshack approach to the groundhog’s report next year. Embarrassingly stereotypical carping aside, the weather hasn’t stopped our region’s breweries from continuing to pound out tasty beers to soothe our chapped lips and frostbitten livers. We’re going to start this week’s report with news from the amateur side of brewing, where a couple of local homebrew competitions have announced their winners…

• This past Sunday afternoon, Bar Stillwell was taken over by the finale of the Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge 2017. Six finalists, whose beers had been previously selected by beer judges from a pool of 23 (of a possible 25) entries, showed up to make a case for why they should take home the coveted trophy this year. The presentations ranged from the straight-up and matter-of-fact to a brewday video, to a two-man sound effect-laden comedy sketch and a mandolin-soaked musical performance. In the end, and for the second year running, the trophy went to Halifax home brewer Brian Harvey (aka 1029 Brewing). His beer was a Orange peel-infused kettle-soured ale entitled Grafted. Also placing were Jayme Keddy and Gavin Stewart (aka Delta Force Brewing) with their Northeastern IPA, Bad Example for the Others in second place, and Steve Crane with a Bière de Garde he called Meteor that Killed the Dinosaurs in third. Rounding out the top six were Kelly Costello (of the Good Robot family), who’s been brewing a scant 21 weeks but who achieved the highest tasting score for her Belgian IPA Grand Mariner, the kilted Jason Currie and his Jeepers Peepers Springtime Stout in the rare Tropical Stout style, and Marc Perry and Dave Wamback of Shelburne, one of whom was brewing all-grain for the first time and the other who had never brewed before, with their Black IPA, Fish Cop Pop. As is traditional, the winner’s beer will be brewed at Boxing Rock’s production brewery and made available to the public; but if you were paying attention last year you know that the top three were all brewed and this year Boxing Rock President Henry Pedro suggested he was impressed enough that he may not stop at three! We’ll be sure to keep you appraised of releases of any and all Black Box Challenge 2017 brews here.

• In more homebrewing news, Garrison Brewing’s 2017 Home Brew-Off Gala was last night, and we have all of the results. This year’s style was Wee Heavy, and from more than forty entries, three rounds of judging, Fredericton homebrewer Roger Ringuette took home top honours. Second Place went to Mark Power, Third to Ashley Kinsman, and Runner-Up Steve Proulx, all scoring well in yesterday afternoon’s final round of blind judging. Roger will be brewing his recipe on Garrison’s brewhouse early next year, for release in March 2018.

• Last night also served as the launch of the 2016 Garrison Home Brew-Off winning Experimental IPAInfusion Confusion Chamomile IPA brewed by local home brewer Mark Power (yes, a finalist in this year’s competition as well!). Featuring Maritime Pale Ale malt, along with Honey, Munich, and Carapils malts to round out the grain bill, the 6.3% ABV beer uses Amarillo, Cascade, and Citra hops to achieve 50 IBUs. The mind-bending chamomile flowers were added during the brew-day, as well as conditioning (post-fermentation), to preserve the unique flavour and aromatic characteristics. It is available at the brewery retail shop in 650ml bottles today, with stock at the NSLC, and NLC,  in the near future.

• Rounding out the Garrison news are a pair of returning favourites: In Session ISA (India Session Ale) has returned to the lineup for the year. This 4.5% ABV beer is light in alcohol, but big in citrus and tropical fruit flavour with lots of late hopping from BelmaCrystal, and El Dorado, for 30 IBUs of bittering. Remember that the later hops are used in the brewing process, the less bitterness is achieved, but more aroma and flavour is kept. Grab a sixpack at the brewery today, or from your local NSLC in early April. Also returning is the Backlot Bash, Garrison’s epic all-evening concert event in the backlot of their production brewery. This year’s event is happening June 17th, and features headliners The Sheepdogs, with Port Cities, Garret Mason, and The Royal Volts, and is coinciding with Garrison’s 20th birthday. Onsite there will plenty of games, Food Trucks, and of course Garrison beer, plus local cider. The whole event is in support of the Ecology Action Centre, and Early-Bird Tickets are on sale now!

• Continuing with more from the world of homebrewing, last week we told you that HRM homebrew supply store Everwood Avenue Brewshop is moving to a new retail storefront and this week we’ve got more details to share with you. The new space is located at 731 Old Sackville Road in Lower Sackville and will be sporting regular retail hours six days a week, 10-6 on most days Tuesday to Sunday, with extended hours into the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Everwood owner Dave Gillette says the space is close to twice as large as his previous digs, an expansion he expects will help him increase the demographics served by the business as well as the product lines. Expect to see more beginner equipment (especially introductory kits), commercial kegs, stainless steel conicals in the range of 7 gallons to a full 1 barrel and, later in the year, the possibility of full-on turnkey brewing systems. Dave is hoping to open the doors on Tuesday, April 4th, so if you’re a homebrewer and especially a fan of Everwood, give a thought to heading out and saying hi to Dave in his new spot! And a quick note that Dave is still looking to hire a retail associate, be sure to reach out to him via email, phone, or social media to find out more.

And now for your regularly scheduled beer release news…

• Listen up, 2 Crows fans – there’s several new beers out/coming out from Halifax’s newest brewery, so let’s start plowing through! First up is Linnea, a “Finnish Imperial Stout” (history buffs may get that) weighing in at a heavy 9.1% ABV (and 62 IBUs). Aside from having the typical jet black appearance, thick mouthfeel, and plenty of roasted flavours seen in Imperial Stouts, some liquorice root, star anise, salt, and cardamom pods were added at flameout to mimic Salmiakki, a popular Finnish candy that is essentially very salty black liquorice. Linnea was tapped early this week as a very limited supply, so it may already be gone… but if not, grab some, quickly! Rumour has it a couple more small kegs may pop up at future events…

• Next up from 2 Crows is Fantacity, a dry-hopped Witbier. Described by the brewery as “citrusy, bright, juicy, and refreshing”, it was fermented cool with the Saison strain (grown up from a bottle of De Blaugies La Moneuse) used for the brewery’s Innisfree. With coriander and orange peel added at the end of the boil, and a heavy dry-hop addition of Citra, we probably don’t have to tell you what aromas and flavours to expect with this one! Highly quaffable at 5.1% ABV and 13 IBUs, this was brewed as a larger batch, so is available for pints and growlers at the brewery. Look for it to pop up at several bars in the HRM as well, if it hasn’t already.

• This coming weekend, 2 Crows will be releasing *another* new brew, Midnight Mood. Described as an American dry-hopped Porter, this 6.6% ABV, 39 IBUs beer is “roasty, dank, piney, and smooth”. Hopped with Bramling Cross, Chinook and Columbus, and then heavily dry-hopped with Simcoe, the pine and citrus from all those hops “helps brighten the roastiness” from the dark malts. A Brett-fermented version should be following sometime next week, one that was dry-hopped with Calypso and Citra, and that has an earthy, dry, and slightly funky flavour profile, “with an almost smokey character to it”. Be sure to get down to the brewery to give these beers a try! Also, keep your eyes on the 2 Crows social media – and this blog, of course – for more updates from the brewery, as they plan on releasing new pilot batches fairly regularly for the next while, including one keg of a “Sunflower Seed Brett Saison” that features a kilo of sunflower seeds that were home-malted by brewmaster Jeremy Taylor!

Meander River released a new beer late last week, and we’ve got the details for you now. Barn Swallow Farmhouse Ale was brewed entirely with Horton Ridge malt, a 70/30 mix of Pale and Munich. Mashed “long and slow” over a wide temperature range, the beer was fermented with a dry Belgian yeast strain, and then dry-hopped with Pacific Gem, a New Zealand variety. The result is a 5.5% ABV, dry, golden-coloured ale with fruit and spice in the aroma and taste, “alongside a mild-but-present hop character”. Look for it this weekend at the brewery and Forum Farmers Market.

Hammond River owner/brewer Shane Steeves may be away in sunny Cuba this week, but luckily for us he brewed up a new American IPA before he left us in the cold! Mount Carleton Grapefruit IPA was named after the highest summit in the Maritimes, and was fittingly hopped entirely with the Summit variety, bringing “citrus aromas of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit”. The beer also features the addition of freshly-zested grapefruit peel, to boost that characteristic even more. Coming in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, it’s available at select HR accounts now.

• Fredericton’s Graystone has a new beer on tap to join their 10+ offerings brewed in-house – Lost Pale is being described as an American Pale Ale that is “light, easy-drinking, with some spicy notes”, thanks to the addition of Czech Saaz hops. Also hopped with Fuggles (no American varieties were used in this beer), it comes in 4.9% ABV and 50 IBUs; you can grab it on tap now at the brewery, and likely find it at a few establishments in the city.

• Since we spotted a tease about trial batches on their Instagram a month or so ago, we’ve been doing our best to get Lazy Bear Brewing to tell us about their latest brew. The time has finally come to give you the goods on Folly, a wild IPA expected to be available this coming week. Using a yeast from South Carolina wild yeast purveyors SouthYeast Labs, who also provided a different yeast strain for the Carolina Saison a few weeks back, this brew comes in at 6.2% ABV and a solid 54 IBU. The yeast provides some fruity characteristics, although more muted that those in the Carolina, and features Ontario-grown Perle and Wild Turkey in a generous dry-hop along with Nelson Sauvin. It’s got a fruity aroma, with elements of peaches, mangoes and berries complementing citrus notes from the hops. It’s hazy and deliciously fruity with a clean, refreshing finish. Look for the official announcement sometime next week on the brewery’s Instagram and/or Facebook pages. We’re told some kegs of this one might make their way to the city, but the only sure way to try it is to head down to the brewery and get it from the source! Brewmaster Erin also tells us they’ve got a third brew using a SouthYeast strain on the go right now, so look for news on that one in the coming weeks.

• In cider news this week, Annapolis Cider Company released the latest offering in their Something Different series yesterday. Toasted Oak & Maple began with their signature dry and cool-fermented cider that was then aged on French Oak and balanced with freshly-pressed juice from the Golden Russet and McIntosh varieties. A touch of Annapolis Valley-sourced maple syrup provided the finish, yielding a 7.9% ABV sparkling cider with notes of toasted oak, caramel and vanilla contrasting with tart apples and a hint of sweet maple on the finish. As always with the Something Different ciders, $0.50 from each refill will support a local cause, in this case the local Acadia University Chapter of Global Brigades, a student-led mobile health and dental initiative that provides annual clinics in Honduras.

• Making their debut at this month’s Fredericton Craft Beer Fest was the Moncton Craft Brewers Collective. The group of breweries and ciderhouses in southern New Brunswick is comprised of Acadie-BroueBeckwith RoadBore CityCeltic KnotFlying BoatsPump HouseScow Cider by Belliveau Orchard, and Tide & Boar Brewing. Their mission is to bring together the local craft brewing community, to support each other and elevate the support of local products. Look for them, and their members at next month’s Saint John Beerfest (April 8th) and Atlantic Beer Festival (May 27 & 28th). The Tide & Boar Gastropub will be the site of the MCBC’s Tap Takeover on April 22nd, featuring beer and cider from their members flowing all day.

• Great news for local beer fans on the South Shore of Nova Scotia! Currently located just outside of Bridgewater, FirkinStein Brewing has announced that they will be opening a satellite location on Bridgewater’s King Street. Aiming for a June opening, the second location will feature a 300 litre pilot system for more fun and experimental small batch brewing, *and* a storefront where folks can purchase bottles and growlers of their beer, and sit for a spell enjoying their selections on tap. We’ll keep you up-to-date with their progress as they aim for a late-spring opening.

• Propeller Brewing Company is hosting Brew Patriot Love, a Canada-wide toast on July 1st. They are encouraging breweries, and homebrewers, to brew up their take on a “quintessential Canadian lager”, and come together on Canada’s 150th birthday to release and share a bottle, can, pint, or glass (or all of the above). For those who want to partake, they are also holding the Great Canadian Lager Challenge, July 14-15, where a team of celebrity judges will choose the most Patriotic Beer and those beers with the best use of local and iconic ingredients. Check it out and sign up today!

• Planning and event details are trickling in for May’s Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, May 5-14, and we can share that for the first time this year, the CBANS is releasing a special beer to celebrate. Collaboration Ale is an ode to the province’s roots, with an 80/- (Eighty Shilling) Scottish Ale being chosen to represent the more than thirty brewers who are members of CBANS. Brewed at Nine Locks, but with input from many members, the beer is a deep amber colour with caramel sweetness, weighing in at 4.7% ABV and 15 IBUs, and features malt from the province’s very own Horton Ridge Malt & Grain. The beer is pre-launching next Friday, March 31st, at Good Robot Brewing from noon. Drop by to get the first tastes of the beer before its full release, learn more about the full events list for NSCBW, and talk shop with brewers from across the province. Find out more here.

We’ve got lots of events coming in the next few weeks, be sure to check them out!

• Last month we mentioned an event at the Company House in Halifax that featured the beer of Tidehouse Brewing and a night of comedy. As it turns out, the folks at the Company House have been planning this as a regular event. Currently scheduled as a monthly thing, the event is known as Brew Ha-Ha and each time it will see a local brewery paired with comedians booked by Laugh House Comedy. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and entitle you to three 8oz tasters of beer from the featured brewery, a chocolate pairing from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and the comedy show. A designated driver ticket is also available at $10. The featured beers will be available at a discount price for the rest of the night and the pop-up kitchen will be in full effect with flatbreads, specialty tacos, shared plates and more. This month’s event will take place on Thursday, March 30th, and will feature the beers of North End stalwart Unfiltered Brewing along with the comedy stylings of Steve Mackie, Travis Lindsay and Frank Russo. Check out this post on the Brew Ha-Ha page for information on how to attend this months show for $15 if you buy your tickets before Sunday, March 26th. As additional Brew Ha-Ha events are scheduled we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the breweries (and comedians) involved.

• Charlottetown’s HopYard has really been nailing it with tap takeovers lately, and they’ve got another winner coming up soon! Next Friday, March 31st, they’ll be hosting Rose Valley’s BarNone Brewing, who will be pouring 8 of their beers, alongside Unfiltered‘s latest DIPA, Fist of God. The full list includes their Outback Blonde, Pale Ale, IPA, Citra Sessions, Black Eye P.A., RedEye P.A., La Vaca Loca, and Bitter Winter ESB. There will absolutely be a delightful food menu to pair with your beers, and as always, there’s no cost to attend, just pay by the beer/plate.

• In the HRM, Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is holding a cross-harbour launch of the 2017 version of their award-winning Ra Ra Rasputin Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout April 1st. There will be a whole slew of versions and variations of the beer, including a keg of the 2016 release, non-barrel-aged versions of 2017, plus casks of the non-barrel-aged beer with coffee, oak, or a variety of fruit. Starting at 11:30 at Battery Park on Ochterloney, and at noon at Stillwell on Barrington, with each getting at least one unique beer. Check out the event flyer here.

A few more beers have been released, or coming soon, this week:

– Good Robot is bringing back their Extra BIG-ASS Beer, their spin on a Marzen/Oktoberfest lager, with an amber colour, and light bitterness, from Perle and Willamette hops and fermented with an Oktoberfest lager yeast. Look for the re-release of this One-Off (Two-Off, we guess!) next week.
Grimross has added another beer to their canned lineup, Maritime Cream Ale (5% ABV), which joins their Maritime Pale Ale and recently-canned Pugnacious Porter.
Loyalist City‘s flagship Lupulus Interruptus IPA is back, with a slightly-tweaked recipe with even more hops (Cascade, Citra and Simcoe) than before! Look for it at your favourite LC accounts.
– PEI’s newest brewery, Moth Lane, has brewed up a new beer, a Red IPA named Eric the Red. Stay tuned for more details, soon.
– Halifax and Dartmouth’s North Brewing has released version 2.0 of White Lightning, their kettle sour, this time dry-hopped with Belma hops. Brewed in celebration of their super-hero neighbour Renee Lavallee’s The Canteen restaurant, the beer is available in bottles and growler fills on both sides of the harbour.
Pump House has brought back their Best Friend Marzen, which is available now in sixers at ANBL stores across New Brunswick.
Spindrift Blueberry Chai Pils is now available at the brewery, and will see a wider release to the other retail stores in early April.
Unfiltered has brought back their Riddle of Steel, a juicy West Coast-style IPA fermented on Conan yeast.
– Don’t forget that Upstreet will be releasing Go Devil, their American IPA, next Thursday, with a special launch party scheduled at the brewery from 6-8 pm. For more info on the beer, check out our post from a couple weeks ago.

Happy Friday, beer lovers, and welcome to a warm weekend! Whether it’s freezing out or everything is beginning to thaw, there’s always plenty to report on beer news in our region, and this week has been no exception. Let’s get right to it…

• Starting off with some brewery expansion news, Bruce Barton, owner/brewer of Riverview, New Brunswick’s Celtic Knot Brewing, has confirmed that he will be increasing production, from the current 80 L system to a 3.75 BBL (~435 L) within the next couple of months. The current Celtic Knot brewery is located within Bruce’s home, but the new system will be in a separate location in Riverview, where you will be able to drop by to have growlers filled of your favourite CK beers! We’ll be sure to keep you updated on their progress.

Tidehouse will be releasing another of their one-off beers today – Oaked Island is an American Pale Ale, solely and heavily hopped with Centennial, and fermented on French oak (previously soaked in Russian vodka). This unique combination results in flavours of “citrus, pine, and floral notes” from the Centennial, with a “soft, subtle vanilla character” thanks to the oak. Coming in at just 4.9% ABV, it will be available at the TH retail shop on Salter, as well as on tap at Stillwell, Battery Park, and Water & Bone. Look for future one-offs to be released on Fridays in the future – this is a change from previous releases, which have occurred on Wednesdays. Hey, we definitely benefit from that!

• The gang at Good Robot has some news and new beers for us this coming week, but also slipped a new beer onto the taps the other day. Dubbel Trubbel came about when Kelly Costello and a co-worker were inspired by a recipe in a homebrew magazine that included star anise and dates. Leveraging GR’s unofficial beer knowledge program that allows employees to try out brewing for themselves, they put the recipe into action, albeit minus the star anise and the dates. Featuring Pilsner, Aromatic, Munich, Vienna, Special B, and Cara-Munich malts, along with Belgian Candi sugar, the beer weighs in at 5.7% ABV. It was fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast, so a little outside the traditional Dubbel style. Brewed on their Beta System, be sure to drop by right away to avoid missing this limited release.

 

• The big news for Good Robot this week is that they’ve found themselves an assistant brewer. Jake Charles DeWolfe is now on the scene, and to celebrate there will be a twin pack of new releases in the GR taproom on Tuesday. The first is DeWolfe of Wall Street, in the American Pale Ale style, a complementary beer to brewmaster Doug’s Burban Legend, mirroring the yin Jake will bring to Doug’s yang. We presume. With a simple malt bill of 2-row, Pilsner and Vienna underpinning a hop schedule that includes Cascade for bittering, Mount Hood for dry hop and both for aroma during a whirlpool, this 6.3% ABV pale comes in high and hard with citrus hop flavours and a dry, crisp finish, but only 29 IBU. Joining that beer will be a BetaBrewed Mexican Lager for which a suitably Good Robot name has not yet been determined. At a very light 4.7% ABV and a barely there 14 IBU, it’s built around pale malt, flaked corn and Vienna for a touch of biscuity flavor, and agave nectar, all paired with the noble Tettnang hop variety, and fermented with a Mexican Lager yeast. This one is likely to be dangerously crushable and reminiscent of a summer day at the lake.

• Over in Burnside, Spindrift has some releases in the coming months that they’re teasing on social media. The Killick is labeled as a “session lager” but has been referred to elsewhere as a Munich Helles, a classic German style that is fairly low alcohol, light-bodied, malt-balanced and designed to go down easy. This will be their first packaging in 355ml cans and it will be available in six packs from the brewery sometime around mid-March and then the NSLC later on. Spindrift are also going to have a seasonal single serve slot at the NSLC and the first two offerings will be the Blueberry Chai Pils we mentioned last week from April to June (also available a the brewery in mid-March) and the Blood Orange India Pale Lager from July to September. We’ll surely have more details for you about these beers and their availability as their official release dates approach.

• Digby’s Roof Hound has brewed up an interesting new beer, which will be the first in their upcoming Dive Bar Classic Cocktail series, where all the beers will be inspired by well-known cocktails. This first brew is a Mojito Sour – “partially kettle-soured” (meaning half the batch was soured, and then blended with the non-soured half), it will be dry-hopped with Cascade and Centennial, and also feature the addition of fresh mint, and lime zest and juice. The official launch party for this brew will be held on Saturday, March 4th; we’ll keep you updated on the official stats for this one when they’re confirmed.

• Word hit the street last week that Greg Nash has brought his Russian Imperial Stout, Commissar to Unfiltered. Last seen during his time at the Hart & Thistle, many have lamented that it was on tap when that establishment closed and the last batch was never properly finished. This time around, the beer was aged on oak for months and fortified with J.D. Shore Black Rum from Halifax Distilling Co.. Promising a slightly sweet flavour with lots of dark fruit and hints of bitter chocolate, it is said to be reminiscent of rum cake. It will be available as of noon today at the brewery for growler fills, Charm School for pints, and both the brewery and Bishop’s Cellar for bottles ($16/500ml). This one is likely to get even better with age, so definitely consider grabbing a couple bottles for your cellar when you pop in for your first taste. But be aware, at 11.6% ABV and full of rum, this one is likely to have you throwing rocks at your own house if you’re not careful!

Red Rover has a new, very-limited batch cider pouring at the Cider House in Fredericton. Just released earlier this week, Blood Orange is a 7% ABV semi-dry cider infused with blood orange juice. Tart and crisp, yet balanced by the accompanying sweetness, it’s available for pours only (no flagon fills) due to the limited supply; however, if feedback is quite positive, there’s a good chance a larger batch will be made in the future. Look for it on tap at James Joyce and Graystone, as well.

• Look for a new beer to be released from FirkinStein very soon – Project Orange is described as a “light, easy-drinking ale with a slight orange tang” by the brewery, despite weighing in at a fairly hefty 7% ABV. With a slight citrus hop presence in the background thanks to the addition of Cascade, there was also plenty of orange juice added. It will be making its debut at tomorrow’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, and should also be pouring at Battery Park shortly afterwards.

Big Tide and Picaroons have joined forces to brew a collaboration beer, a Doppelbock named The Uphill Battle. The recipe was concocted between the two breweries, and the beer mashed-in on Big Tide’s system (featuring a grist of Bohemian Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich and Carafoam). Half of the resultant wort stayed at Big Tide, and the other half was transported to the Picaroons General Store location; both were then boiled, hopped (with Magnum and Perle), and fermented at their respective homes with a dry Lager yeast. Coming in at 6.5% ABV, this malty, toasty brew will be going on tap at the Big Tide brewpub and the General Store tomorrow.

• Big news in Halifax from what will be one of the smallest breweries in the region by design – brought to you by the folks behind Stillwell Beer Bar, Stillwell Brewing will be focused on small-batch mixed-fermentations and oak barrel aging, and might possibly be the first brewery of its kind in Canada. Taking up some space in the back area of Propeller Brewing in the North End of Halifax, expect very small scale, periodic bottle releases, and very rare keg tappings (most of which will happen at SW and their Beer Garden). We’ll keep you updated on this exciting bit of info as it develops! In the meantime, follow Stillwell Brewing on Instagram for some pics on behind the scenes activity.

• The NSLC released their third quarter financial results covering the three months ending December 31st, 2016, and the news for Nova Scotia Craft Beer continues to be good. While overall beer sales were down 0.4%, craft beer sales continued to grow, with a 29.5% increase to $2.5m over the same quarter in the previous year. Though this increase isn’t quite as large as seen in first (48.4%) and second (39.7) quarters, it shows the industry still has room to grow. It will certainly be interesting to see whether Q4 shows a continuation of this trend and also whether additional shelf space for craft beer will carry the trend into the next fiscal year.

There’s a whole whack of events going on over the next few days, especially in the HRM… take your pick from below and be sure to head out over the weekend!

Tonight, the Stubborn Goat will be holding a tap takeover with Charlottetown, PEI’S Upstreet, in the Flight Night at the Goat. Eight Upstreet beers will be on tap, including Smoked Porter from their One Way series. There’s no cover; just show up for plenty of beer, plus food pairings and flight specials! All of the Upstreet crew will be there, anxious to meet you and chat about everything beer!

• Been too long since the last <insert amazing brewery here> tap takeover at Stillwell for ya? Well, it really hasn’t been that long at all, but good news! Tomorrow, February 25th, they’ll be hosting a Le Castor takeover, with 12 amazing beers pouring all day. One of Quebec’s highest-regarded breweries, they’re bringing some real winners, such as Colorado (a “dry-hopped Wild Ale”) and Sanctuaire (a Tripel aged in red wine barrels with Brett). No charge to attend, just show up and pay by the pour!

Bishop’s Cellar is holding a Big Spruce tap takeover tomorrow, February 25th, which should last all weekend. Their collaboration with Bishop’s, Anaphylactic Choc – a 5.5% ABV “Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter” that features Nutsmith organic peanut butter added in the boil and that was aged on organic cocao nibs – will be pouring. Drop by in the afternoon between 1-4 pm, and don’t forget to bring your growlers! In addition to the new brew, they’ll be have Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout and Liquid James Brown Milkshake IPA available for fills, with samples of some special one-offs while your jugs are being filled.

• Also tomorrow, February 25thHell Bay is holding Cocoa & Malt, a special pairing of dark beer and hand-crafted chocolate desserts and sweets. Originally scheduled for Valentine’s Day, it had to be postponed due to weather… and luckily, there’s still some spots left! It’s $25+tax per person; reserve your spot by calling 902-356-3556.

• Halifax’s Jamieson’s Irish Pub is currently holding a Bad Apple Brewhouse and Propeller tap takeover, which will continue until this Sunday, February 25th. With eight beers from BAB (including their wonderful Mosaic DIPA), and seven from Propeller (including a cask of their ESB), it’s pay-as-you-drink all weekend. BAB’s owner/brewery Jeff Saunders will be on hand for beer questions/chatting tonight, and Propeller’s brewer/sales manager Pat Robichaud will be available on Saturday night. Check out the full tap list here.

• It’s another busy week coming up for Good Robot, starting with their participation at the Craft Beer Cottage Party tomorrow night, followed by an after-party luau featuring beers and buddies from Upstreet Brewing back at the taproom, with Koconut Kings providing musical entertainment. As mentioned above, Tuesday, February 28th, will see the debut of beers from Jake DeWolfe, Assistant Brewer, paired with a Mardi Gras Cajun menu from Black Sheep and a soul playlist on vinyl from Black Buffalo spun by a live DJ. Thursday, March 2nd sees a tap takeover at the taproom by North Brewing, with 8 taps, possibly the most ever for that brewery in a North end pub. The favour is returned the next night, on Friday, March 3rd when 14, count’em 14 Good Robot brews go up at Battery Park in Dartmouth. The most. Ever. Anywhere. We expect to hear more about that this week, so look for more details in next week’s wrap-up.​

That’s the news we’ve got to share this week! Have a great weekend, and be sure to enjoy some of that unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having! Before we head out for good…

– Last night was the first Brew Ha-Ha at the Company House, featuring Tidehouse Brewing and the comedy of Andrew Vaughan, Dan Hendrickson and Frank Russo. We’ll find out more about what sounds like it might be a regular event, and let you know.
– The Craft Beer Cottage Party is tomorrow night at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market at 7pm. Although the VIP passes have sold out it looks like there are still some general tickets available. Come on out to dream of summer and sample the wares of 30 breweries from the region.
– Today, Garrison is welcoming Dave Martin, winner of the 2016 Home Brew-Off, to brew his Chamomile IPA on the Garrison system; the beer will be released at this year’s gala on March 23rd. Judging for this year’s competition is actually happening tomorrow, with almost 40 entries for the Wee Heavy style.
Grimross now has their Pugnacious Porter (6.2% ABV) available in cans; joining their Maritime Pale Ale, it’s available at the brewery and should be following in ANBL stores, soon.
– The Hammond River Blackberry Berliner Weisse we reported on earlier this month is now available on tap; Ram Jam comes in at 3.2% ABV and is circulating on tap around HR accounts.
– March 1st marks one year for Nine Locks Brewing. They’ll be celebrating with draws and in-store specials. If you haven’t been out to see them, it’s probably a good time to rectify that.

 

Happy Friday everyone! What a week of weather for our region! Snow and power outages and cancellations have plagued the region for the past while, but thankfully our local brewers haven’t rested to get us the great beer we all crave. Check out the latest news, and stay warm!

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, responsible for producing malt used in breweries across the province, has announced that they will begin operating a small brewery onsite, slated to open this summer. The 120 litre (1 BBL) system would serve as a testing ground for the different malt varieties they have on offer, in order to give commercial brewers and visitors to the Malt House the chance to taste the different characteristics of their offerings. The beers would be available on-site only, in their tasting room and facility outside of Wolfville, along with other breweries’ offerings showcasing their malts. We’ll have much more on the details of the brewery closer to launch in July. You can learn more in person yourself with a visit to the Malt House for an Open House tomorrow, 2:30-4:00pm.

• Rothesay’s Foghorn recently hosted Patrick Dionne, head brewer at Petit-Sault, for a collaboration brew on their system. Well, that beer is now available on tap, and we’ve got some details to share! Epic Fume is a 5.7% ABV Smoked Porter, featuring beech-smoked malt in the grist to give gentle smoke characteristics in both the aroma and flavour. It’s currently pouring at the Foghorn taproom, and is on tap at the Five and Dime in Saint John. For those of you in the Edmundston area, look for it to start pouring at Petit-Sault sometime next week.

• Sticking with Petit-Sault, they’ll be brewing this year’s Big Boots Brew tomorrow, an annual event sponsored by the Pink Boots Society. This one will actually be a collaboration brew, as Wendy Papadopoulos, head brewer at Big Tide, will be participating, along with four other women from the area. The theme for this year’s international brew is Ancient/Historical Beer, with Petit-Sault and Big Tide deciding on a Gruit for their brew, an un-hopped style of beer that relies on the use of herbs for flavouring and bittering. The collaboration beer will be named Malobiannah Gruit, after a local legend involving a young Malecite woman who sacrified herself to save her people during an Iroquois invasion in the Grand Falls area. The grist will feature 2-row, Pilsner, and Honey malt, and a carefully-chosen mix of herbs that includes yarrow, goldenrod, sweet gale, bayberry and lavender. Some local maple syrup will also be added to the brew, which should come in at 5.2% ABV. The beer will be released on International Women’s Day on March 8th, and we can confirm that it will be making an appearance at this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival on March 11th.

• Although they don’t have anything truly new for us this week, we’re told that Good Robot in Halifax has a batch of their Burban Legend APA coming to the taps, this one of the v2.0 variety (that’s the one dry hopped with citrussy Cascade and stone fruit Amarillo). Knowing they’d have to sweeten the pot to get us to mention that, they also spilled the beans on a special batch brewed up just yesterday with their staff. Red Moon Rising was brewed for their Women’s Day event, FemmeBot, coming up in March. It’s a Red IPA leaning heavily on Bestmalz Red X, a base malt known for imparting a deep red color. Also in the malt bill are Vienna for some toasty/biscuity notes and flaked barley for mouthfeel and body. Hops include their own “GR Blend” (think Falconer’s Flight 7C’s Good Robot-style) at bittering time and Equinox during whirlpool and the planned dry-hop for a tropical and fruity presence. It’s fermenting now on the classic Cal Ale yeast. Look for release details in the coming weeks (we’d bet somewhere around March 8th…).

• Meanwhile in Fredericton, Grimross has already released the second entry in their new Scratch series, Scratch #2: Belgian IPA. This 6.7% ABV, 65 IBUs brew was hopped with Cascade, Columbus, Herkules and Amarillo, most of which were grown in New Brunswick. The brewery describes it as having “a pleasant, citrus hop profile on the nose and palate, and finishes clean and dry”. Fermented, of course, with a Belgian yeast strain to add some classic fruity esters and spicy phenolics to blend with the hop characteristics, it’s on tap at the brewery now for pints and growler fills; you may see it pop up around the city, as well. Grimross has also just brewed a collaboration with Dumfries Maples, featuring a large addition of maple syrup from the Dumfries, NB sugarbush. Details on Dumfries Maples Brown Ale are being kept a secret for now… stay tuned!

• Speaking of beers brewed with maple syrup, TrailWay also has one fermenting right now. No, this isn’t actually a coincidence – the New Brunswick government has been encouraging breweries in the province to collaborate with local maple producers to brew these beers. While we’re not sure of the exact details of this arrangement, we’ve been told there are benefits provided to breweries who do so. TW has brewed an Imperial Stout with maple syrup from Briggs Maples; expect it to come in around 9% ABV. TW has also confirmed that the beer will be packaged in cans, as well as kegs.

• The new DIPA from Maybee Brewing that we teased about a couple of weeks ago is officially being released today. Look Off DIPA is a big beer at 9% ABV, and was hopped mainly with Amarillo and Chinook (to 105 calculated IBUs). Described by the brewery as “super juicy”, it’ll be available at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and at better beer establishments in Fredericton (including the James Joyce and 540 Kitchen & Bar later today). Look for it to also be released in cans sometime next week, and be sure to take note of the updated label designs for Maybee cans at the same time.

Spindrift teased a new beer on Instagram that they’ve just brewed, based on popular casks they have brought to beer festivals in the past: Blueberry Chai Pilsner (featuring Rooibus Chai tea from World Tea House). They’re keeping quiet on the exact specs and details for now, but don’t worry, we’ll have more, soon! In the meantime, they’re taking their Abyss Schwarzbier to the next level, and bottling a batch of it that sat in barrels, on cherries, next week. It should be available for purchase sometime in mid-March.

• The taps at Gahan Harbourfront in Halifax will see a special brew this week as Erebos Porter makes its debut. Starting its life as a batch of Night Vision American Porter, it was aged extensively on figs in Hungarian oak barrels that formerly held Merlot at Bear River Vineyards. According to brewmaster Kyle, the wood and the fruit have rounded out the beer, which is normally quite dry, providing a nice dark fruit character without astringency. With only two barrels (110 litres each) available, this one’s not likely to be available for fills, so plan to hang around the pub and enjoy a pint. And this is the last call for homebrewers interested in taking part in the Home Brewer’s Challenge must contact Kyle to sign up.

Garrison Brewing has released the latest in their test batch series, with Test Batch – Code Name: Juicy 2 today. This hazy East Coast Double IPA comes in at 8.0% ABV and 65 IBU, featuring loads of late hopping featuring CitraCometEkuanot, and Mosaic, for citrus, pineapple and tropical aromatics and flavour, resulting in a, you guessed it, juicy beer. Compared to the first test batch, this one features a softer mouthfeel, suitable for an extended session of enjoyment. Juicy 2 is available now for growler fills and bottles at the brewery, on tap at select bars around town this weekend, and early next week in bottles at the private stores.

• As was reported this week by a legitimate news source (as opposed to three guys with a blog), Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyon’s Brook is the latest brewery in the region to purchase a canning line. Citing their existing bottling setup as a source of inefficiency in their system, the line from Calgary (no doubt from the fine folks at Cask Brewing Systems) is expected to help them output an additional 1,000 litres per week and take the packaging process from 2-3 days down to a couple of hours. The installation of the line in May will allow them to meet orders for two new listings with the NSLC in addition to their IPA, namely their Sunburst Pale Ale and a rotating slot. One item in the article of particular note is the comment by co-owner Rebecca Whiffen that the funds to lease the line are to some extent coming from the savings seen in the reduction of the RSMA this year by the Provincial government. While the overall validity of the RSMA can still be debated (or serve as the basis for a lawsuit), it is certainly telling to see how quickly its reduction has made a positive difference to at least one brewery in the province.​ We won’t be surprised if it’s not the only one.

• Cunning schemers that they are, those crazy kids at Stillwell are already planning for Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week in May. As they announced on twitter Valentine’s Day (feel the love, people), they’re committing to pouring the best NS Craft Beer Taplist possible all week long during Craft Beer Week. What’s “the best NS Craft Beer Taplist” you ask? Why, it’s the one assembled from YOUR votes! Fling your interweeb device over to this page right here and cast your votes in the four categories provided. Stillwell will apply patented algorithms and serious business to generate a top 12 which will grace the wall at the start of the week. From there cult favourites will rotate in. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing what that wall looks like come May.

For those of you fully shovelled out, we’ve got a few events on the go that are worthwhile checking out:

• This Sunday, February 19th, up in Nyanza, Big Spruce will be hosting an information session for FarmWorks, an Investment Co-operative founded in 2011 that operates as a Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF). The time has come for another round of investment and this is a chance for you to learn how the organization works to support food-related businesses in the region. Meanwhile, beer samples and snacks will be served and you’ll have the opportunity to tour the new Big Spruce Brewery! More information is available here.

• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection has scheduled their next event for Wednesday, March 8th. This one will be held at Grimross Brewing from 6:30-8 pm, and will feature a brewery tour, a discussion on Grimross and the beers they brew, and of course a tasting flight, with additional pours available for purchase afterwards. It only costs $8.75 to attend; send an email to freddyladiesbeerconnection@gmail.com to hold your spot.

• Good Robot has a couple events on the go this week. Thursday, February 23rd sees the latest in the Good Robot Tiny Pub Concerts series, with Villages, Kim Harris, and Daniel Walker (of Owen Meany’s Batting Stance) coming out to give you an intimate night of Celtic, folk, soul and banter. “Less of a kitchen party and more of a Saturday night at home with friends.” Then on Saturday, February 25th, look for the GR gang at the Craft Beer Cottage Party and consider heading down to the taproom afterwards for their luau after-party with the fine folks from Upstreet Brewing and the dulcet tones of Hawaiian-influenced steel guitar swing band Kokonut Kings.

And before we head out for the weekend…
– There is a new beer from Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery, Nor’Easter Cascadian Dark Ale. At 7.7% ABV and 100 IBUs, it features Cascade and Chinook hops from Moose Mountain and Columbus from Southan Farms, both located along the Saint John River in New Brunswick. It is available at the brewery on Lower Water Street. And look out for a Nitro version of their Lunenburg Coffee & Cacao Stout, available at Lower Deck locations across the province.
– Although we reported on the release of Fathom from Nine Locks last week, it only showed up on tap and for growler fills, not in the promised cans. But keen eyes noticed the good word on Facebook this week that Fathom hit the canning line. Look for it at the private liquor stores around HRM in the near future.
– We previously mentioned a new blackberry Milk Stout from North Brewing being released for Zuppa Theatre’s Pop-up Love Party that started last night and goes until Sunday. The 5.7% ABV beer was aged in the tank at Battery Park and will be available in 650ml bottles at both North bottle shops and the private stores in Halifax. Look for in on tap as well at Battery Park, including two nitro kegs.

Happy Friday folks, we hope that digging out wasn’t too much of an ordeal for those of you who got snowed on last night. We’ll warn you now that this is a ridiculously long post; you may want to plan a second lunch to finish reading it. Possibly one that includes a beer. We’ve got some suggestions below as to how you might make that happen along with some new brewery news and some options for those who might want to center their Valentine’s Day around their love for beer. Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.

• South Shore’s FirkinStein Brewing has released their first foray into the Double IPA style, with Cut of Our Jib. Weighing in at 8.6% ABV, it was hopped exclusively with Cascade and Citra throughout the boil, and into the dry-hop, for a solid 100 IBU bitterness, but with plenty of citrus aroma and flavour. Grab the beer at their Farmers’ Market stall in Lunenburg on Thursdays, and by appointment at the brewery in the evenings (but be sure to reach out via Facebook or Twitter first). It may even make it on tap on the South Shore or HRM; keep an eye on their social media feeds for the latest information.

• Heads up west-island Newfoundland beer drinkers: a pair of fellow beer fans are looking to open a brewery this summer, and would love to get you involved! Bootleg Brew Co has announced that they are in the process of getting their licensing and brewing system, with the plan to open a location in Corner Brook in the next six months. While working in the food industry, Matt Tilley and Morgan Turner tried their hand at homebrewing, and were extremely pleased with the results, and after encouragement from family and friends, are looking to turn it into a business. Planning on a 3.5 hl (3BBL) system, they have turned to crowdfunding to assist with some of the costs. Check out more details in a recent CBC article, and check out their IGG campaign, on until March 1st. We’ll share updates as they progress in their transition to professional beer producers.

• Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing is releasing a brand new beer today, Fathom Double IPA. The name may sound a bit familiar, but it is a brand new beer, based loosely on Rockbottom Brewpub Fathom IPA, winner of the Gold Medal at the 2016 ACBAs in the IPA category. The hazy orange Double IPA clocks in at 8.0% ABV, and has a hefty 90 IBU, derived from Centennial, Citra, El Dorado, and Summit added throughout the brewing and conditioning, for notes of citrus and melon on the nose, and orange and stone fruit flavour. Grab it in growlers and cans at the brewery at noon, and in cans at the private stores, including at Cristall Wine, where they will be pouring samples of it today from 4-6pm.

Moth Lane Brewing, in Ellerslie, PEI, has recently released a Hefeweizen, the iconic unfiltered wheat beer, originating in the Bavarian region of Germany. Refreshing and juicy thanks to the yeast clove and banana characteristics, Weizen Up B’ye is 5.0% ABV, with a light 11 IBU bitterness. Grab a pint or growler this weekend at the brewery, including tomorrow evening, when The Galley Food Truck will be set up slinging food, and there will be an open mic/jam session in the brewery taproom.

• There’s a new Belgian Dubbel available from Petit-Sault, Colonel John Baker. This is a different beer altogether from their first Dubbel, Simone Hébert, which was originally released in the fall of 2015. Brewed with lots of Dark Belgian Candi Syrup to give the classic-Dubbel notes of “dark fruit and mild chocolate”, some Chocolate malt was also used in the grist to accentuate these characteristics. Described as “rich, malty, and fruity, with a surprisingly-dry finish”, it weighs in at 6.8% ABV. It’s available for pints and growler fills at the brewery in Edmundston, and should be available at all ANBL growler stations this weekend. Look for it to pop up in bottles, soon!

• Fredericton’s Grimross has just released the first beer in their new Scratch series, which will be a realm for the brewery to experiment with new recipes and one-offs. Scratch #1: Lager is the brewery’s first venture into Lager territory, with a “simple, clean-yet-flavourful Lager”. With all-Pilsner malt in the grist, it was hopped with Magnum, Saaz, and New Brunswick-grown Cascade, and fermented cool with a Lager yeast strain. It pours with a pale straw colour, and a “slightly grainy and honey aroma with a crisp, dry finish”, according to owner/brewer Stephen Dixon. Supremely drinkable at 4.7% ABV, it’s available on tap now at the brewery taproom. Expect to see their next release in this series, Scratch #2: Belgian IPA, soon!

• Staying with Fredericton, there’s a couple of new beers out from Graystone this week, and we have a few details on both of them. First up is Bushwhack Bitter, their take on the sessionable English style, Ordinary Bitter (aka Standard Bitter). Ordinary in name only, this is meant to be an easy-drinking, fairly-bitter beer with some pleasant malt complexity. Bushwhack Bitter was hopped to 30 IBUs with U.K. Fuggles and New Brunswick Goldings, and comes in at 3.9% ABV. Next is their Single Track Pale Ale, a 5.2% ABV, 30 IBUs American Pale Ale hopped primarily with Citra, an American variety well known to beer geeks everywhere. Described by the brewery as “light, refreshing, and flavourful with citrus and peach flavours”, it’s available at the brewery for pints, growlers, and crowlers, along with the new Bitter.

• Graystone is also re-releasing their White IPA, Mont Blanc, today. This collaboration with soon-to-open Gore Farm Brewery (out of St. Stephen), was originally released in late December, and is returning due to popular demand. Check out our previous post here for more details on the beer, and the Gore Farm link above for a Q&A we published with the brewery, yesterday.

• Over in Moncton, Tide & Boar Brewing continues to experiment with new beers. They have just tapped Mute Saison, their first take on the classic Saison, a wonderful Belgian style that is open for multiple interpretations by brewers. Hopped with New Zealand Wakatu and U.S. Lemondrop, it finishes very dry, with “floral and lemon notes”, and at 6.8% ABV may sneak up on you, so sip wisely! T&B have also released version 2 of their Lemondrop IPA, an American IPA hopped entirely with, yes, Lemondrop. Look for both on tap at the brewpub. And if you’re in Saint John and are aching to try some T&B beer, good news – the Cask & Kettle has a keg of their Forum Pale Ale, a new version fermented with a Vermont yeast strain.

• Meanwhile, at the Université de Moncton’s Bar Le Coude, Acadie-Broue has two beers that were just tapped last night. Let’s start with Tricole – a Belgian Tripel, it was named after the Acadian term to describe someone who staggers/stumbles from having too much alcohol. Fittingly, it’s a strong beer at 8% ABV, which is typical for the Tripel style. Made with all Pilsner malt (many Tripels are brewed with the addition of sugar) and hopped with German Hersbrucker, it was fermented with a high gravity Trappist yeast, resulting in a very dry beer with “candy-like and pepper” qualities, and is quite drinkable despite it’s high ABV.

• Next up from Acadie-Broue is another strong one, Kazakh, inspired by the Russian Imperial Stout style. Named after another Acadian expression, synonymous to “daredevil”, it was brewed with plenty of specialty malts, including Chocolate, Crystal 120 L, Victory, Midnight Wheat, and Oats, to give a dark, roasty beer that will leave you plenty warm, thanks to its 8% ABV. Hopped with Magnum for a bittering charge only (to 50 IBUs), it was fermented with a neutral American yeast strain. This is actually the 3rd batch for this beer, as demand has greatly exceeded the brewery’s expectations!

Roof Hound Brewing and Tatamagouche Brewing have teamed up for their first collaboration brew, Chocolate Sauced, brewed at Roof Hound a couple of weeks ago. This is a big beer at 9% ABV, and was brewed with four different types of chocolate (!): dark Chocolate malt, Chocolate Rye, and Chocolate Wheat in the mash, and cocoa added in the kettle (along with some lactose powder and Dark Candi Sugar). Both RH and TataBrew will be releasing the beer at their breweries tomorrow, with both holding special launch parties featuring live music to celebrate this “Chocolate Imperial Stout”.

• Speaking of Tatamagouche, they released the latest of their Giant Beer Series this week, Quad.  Their take on the Belgian Quadrupel style, this 10.3% ABV beer features a base of Pilsner malt, with Vienna, CaraAroma, and Chocolate for some complexity, with Dark Candi Syrup for the iconic colour and dark fruit component to the aroma and flavour. A modest 35 IBU (for the ABV) is achieved using Saaz and Hallertau Mittelfruh, to partially offset the high alcohol and body. The beer was bottle conditioned in 650mL bottles, and is available exclusively at the brewery now (with a very small part of the batch available in kegs soon). They will be pouring a special casked version of the Quad, aged on Muscat grape skins Saturday, during the Chocolate Sauced launch event.

• Tata has also released Deadeye Double IPA, with a few tweaks since last year’s release. It now features Vermont Ale yeast, resulting in a slightly hazy beer. It still showcases lots of Hallertau Blanc hops, for a light grape and passionfruit and pineapple aromatics, with Cascade and Chinook lending their hand to the recipe. Kegs have been delivered to their HRM accounts, and the beer will be available on tap and in cans beginning today at the brewery, and at the private stores very shortly.

TrailWay has released their Black IPA in cans for the first time. Black Hops (yes, the “1” has been dropped from the name) has been changed slightly from its last release, with an adjustment to the grain bill to allow for a “softer chocolate flavour”, as well as… more hops! Lots of Citra and Mosaic were added to boost the citrus and tropical flavours and aromas, it comes in at 7% ABV. Available at the brewery now, and in select ANBL stores soon.

• And while on the topic of TrailWay, we forgot to mention the results of their 1st annual Homebrew Challenge last Friday… sorry ’bout that! Local homebrewer Pierre Gagnon took the top spot in the American IPA contest, with his Hoppy McHazy winning out among close to 30 entries. This 7% ABV IPA is hopped with Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe; Pierre will be brewing his beer on TW’s system next week. When released, a portion of the beer will be available in cans, so be prepared to stock up! Congrats, Pierre!

Flying Boats will be releasing this year’s take on their Lover’s Quarrel IPA next week… a little later than planned, thanks to one of the lovely ice storms we’ve been receiving. With a grist that includes some Flaked Wheat to boost the mouthfeel of the beer, several late boil additions of both Galaxy and Citra hops provide a “floral, citrusy aroma”. This should come in at 6% ABV and close to 60 IBUs; look for it to be released late next week, with 16 kegs being sent to the Dieppe ANBL growler station for Thursday… just a couple of days after Valentine’s Day. With beer, as with love, better late than never!

• Today, Garrison is launching their newest Star Trek/CBS release at the brewery. Red Shirt Ale is an American Red brewed in honour of the many Star Trek crew members unlucky enough to be fitted in a red tunic… usually a good sign that they would be meeting an untimely, violent death. With a “deep copper colour and rich malt flavour”, the beer was hopped with Citra, El Dorado, and Millenium. You’ll be able to find Red Shirt Ale at Garrison and Halifax’s private liquor stores as of this weekend, and NSLC stores later this month. It will also be popping up at ANBL growler stations in two weeks’ time. And for our homebrewing readers, be sure to submit your Wee Heavy this weekend!

• Gahan House Harbourfront in Halifax put a new beer on tap this week. Captain Falcon’s IPA is a SMaSH brew that sees big citrus hop flavor from generous late boil and whirlpool additions of Falconer’s Flight meet the fruit flavor of real blackberries added in the secondary. It’s got a hazy, purplish pink color and is a very dry brew with a fairly light bitterness (for an IPA) at 40 IBU and a very reasonable 6% ABV – the Falcon Punch is in the flavor, not the weight.

• In the valley, a new cider in the Something Different series became available this week at Annapolis Cider Company. Muscat Infusion weds apples and grapes to produce a 7.1% ABV sparkling cider with a copper colour, apple tartness, and tropical and floral aromas from Nova Scotia’s most aromatic grape variety. The skins of Muscat grapes were added during active fermentation, and a technique known as “punching down” commonly used in red wine fermentations ensured flavor, color, aroma and tannin extraction. Finished with freshly-pressed apple juice to balance it before packaging, it is available at the cidery in Wolfville where $0.50 of each bottle fill will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Annapolis Valley.

• What do you do when one of your business neighbours leaves your street for a newer, bigger spot a few blocks away? If you’re North Brewing you celebrate your friend’s achievement with a special beer. White Lightning is the nickname of Renée Lavallée, chef of The Canteen, formerly a lunch counter on Ochterloney Street and now a restaurant on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth. It is now also a kettle sour from North that’s been dry-hopped with Cascade and Amarillo, coming in at 4.8% ABV and 12 IBU. The label received North’s Artist Series treatment with Renée’s likeness rendered in comic book style by Rob Hansen. White Lightning is available in 650ml bottles from the North bottle shops and private liquor stores in HRM and you should expect to see kegs of it appear in bars and restaurants in the coming days and weeks.

• North is also joining with another neighbour this week, this time on the Halifax side, where they’ve lent their expertise with Belgian styles to a new Tripel from the gang at Good Robot. Moo Nay is a tribute to the farm that reuses Good Robot’s post-brewing spent grain, Moo Nay Farms near Shubenacadie. Although the body is well in line with the style, with Pale and Pilsner malts and some sugar to dry it out, the twist this time is the use of a very non-traditional hop, namely the New Zealand variety Nelson Sauvin, known for its fruity, white wine-like character. Big and boozy at 8.5% ABV, but not overly bitter at 30 IBU, late hop additions bring a New World aspect to a decidedly Old World beer. Moo Nay will be available at Good Robot as of today, both in the tap room and the store for growler fills.

• Those who don’t remember the days before NASH started slinging hop bombs at Unfiltered might not be aware that he’s got a full slate of styles at his disposal, but this week’s release should make that abundantly clear to all and sundry. Play with Fire is a Smoked Imperial Schwarzbier, featuring tons of dark fruit, roasted malt and smokey phenols. At only 34 IBU, it’s not a bitter bomb, but it will certainly pack a wallop at 8% ABV. Growler fills and pints will be available as of noon today at the brewery and Charm School Pub, respectively. As they say down on North Street, get on it!

• The latest episode of the 902 BrewCast went live earlier this week, where the beer chums sat down with Schoolhouse Brewery‘s Cam Hartley. They went into the history of Schoolhouse, where it is now, and where it’s heading next. Learn all about it by downloading and listening to the episode today!

Port Rexton Brewing on Newfoundland’s Bonavista Peninsula will be releasing their first bottled offering next week. Named the Ten Eighty Series, the annual small run of bottles will make their debut in winter, and lean toward higher ABV, perfect for warming you up from the inside out. The inaugural release is Belgian Tripel, an 8.2% ABV beer featuring the iconic clove aromatics and light spiciness, with a dry finish. This run of only 800 bottles will be available exclusively at the brewery, so reach out to them today to pre-order and get yourself on the list!

Check out these events for the weekend…

• As mentioned above, both Roof Hound and Tatamagouche are celebrating the release of their collaboration Chocolate Sauced tomorrow, February 11th. In Digby, drop by at 9pm for the first pours of the new beer, and at 10pm, enjoy live music by singer/songwriter Elizabeth Wright and Tide and Timbre ($6 cover). In Tatamagouche, the fun kicks off at 7pm, with Eric Fresia playing while you enjoy the new beers they are featuring, with chocolates paired with CS, shucking oysters to pair with Oyster Cloister, and that special cask of Quad. Your $5 cover gets you your first sample of Chocolate Sauced for free.

• Good Robot has a fairly full slate planned for the taproom next week, with three events in the works. Monday will see another Goodwill Bot event, where $1 of every beer sold goes to a local non-profit cause. This week it will be Halifax Cycling Coalition, who will be celebrating Winter Bike Week and crafting Valentine’s Day cards. On Tuesday you’ll find Blue Valentine , “a sad and sexy Valentine’s Day event.” Get there before 6:30pm and enjoy $5 pints and a Tom Waits playlist. After that, enjoy local artists and businesses as they take the floor to talk about sex. Look for participation from Ballonicorns , Turn Me On Podcast , Venus Envy and The Coast. And on Wednesday grab a book, head on down to Good Robot, grab a beer and shut the hell up for the return of Silent Reading. As always, no phones, no talking.

• Next Thursday, February 16th, the Cask & Kettle will be hosting a Maybee Brewing Tap Takeover, with all of their taps being turned over to the Fredericton brewery from 4 pm-close, including Maybee’s newest, currently unreleased beer, a DIPA (more on that next week). There will be, of course, food and Irish music to accompany the many beers pouring, with no charge to attend; just show up and pay by the pint!

• The Craft Beer Cottage Party returns to Halifax’s Seaport Farmers’ Market February 25th. With 30 breweries from the Maritimes in attendance, it is sure to be a blast of summer in the dead of winter. Washer Toss, live music, and plenty of chairs to lounge on, the summer vibes will be strong during the event. Tickets are $60 +fees ($75++ for VIP access), and are available now. Check out our Calendar for more details, including the full brewery list.

A few more things this week…

Mil Street St John’s brewed North American Brown Ale earlier this week, featuring El Dorado hops. The 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU beer is named after Black Bart, a pirate who terrorized Newfoundland, starting in the 17th century. Look for the beer to be released at the end of the month, or early March.
Picaroons has re-released their Valentine-themed Afterglow Aphrodisiac Ale, a 5.2% ABV dark beer brewed with chocolate, chili peppers, ginseng, and licorice root. Look for it at all Picaroons locations, and select establishments throughout NB.
TideHouse Brewing invited in local home brewer Ian Wheatley to brew on their system last week, to be released next month. The brew was a kettle sour, low in ABV, but with plenty of lactic bite. We’ll have much more on the beer closer to its release, around March 10th.

Despite the cooler temperatures and extensive snow our region received this week, the brewers are still hard at work releasing new beers and brewing up some special winter seasonals. Take a look at what’s new on tap and in bottles in Atlantic Canada!

• Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has released the first truly Made In Nova Scotia beer this week, One Hundred. Brewed with 100% Organic ingredients grown in the province, the beer’s grain bill features barley from TapRoot Farms in Port Williams and 25% rye from nearby Stewart’s Organic Farm, both malted at Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. The Golding and Willamette hops used are from Big Spruce’s very own Breton Fields organic hop farm (adjacent the brewery), and the unique yeast used to ferment it all was isolated from a wild Eastern Canadian Pin Cherry on the  property. The resulting beer has an unmistakable Belgian character, with yeast aromas and flavours enhancing the spiciness from the rye malt. The 4.9% ABV, 24 IBU beer is available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and in rotation in HRM at Battery Park, Brooklyn Warehouse, Lion & Bright, and Stillwell.

• Big Spruce and frequent co-conspirator Boxing Rock have brought back their Shame on You IPA, a 6.0% ABV beer standing up to the pseudo-“small batch” and craft-y beers that can be found amidst the beers from locally owned and operated breweries. This beer is all about the hops, featuring Bravo for a hefty bittering charge, Centennial and El Dorado for flavour, and Chinook and Citra dry-hopping for lots of aroma. A special 1.0l bottle (courtesy of local supplier Jym Line Glassware) will be available at the four private beer stores in HRM, as well as the two brewery locations in Shelburne and Nyanza. Growler fills are available as well at the Farmers’ Market locations.

• And keep an eye out for two other returning favourites from Boxing Rock – the U-889 Russian Imperial Stout will be available in bottles this weekend at the four private stores and Farmers’ Market locations, as well as a very limited run at the NSLC’s The Port location on Clyde Street in Halifax. And Over the Top!, their Sour Cranberry beer first brewed in May with local brewer Karen Allen, has made its return, also available in bottles at the private stores, and in Shelburne.

• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection is starting up, and looking for women interested in diving into the world of craft beer! This is a group focused on building a community for women in the Fredericton area to come together to drink and learn all about the world’s finest beverage. All are welcome, regardless of your knowledge level and experience with beer. The initial plan is to have monthly meetings at TBD locations, on the second Wednesday of every month, with the first meeting occurring January 11th at TrailWay. More details will follow (be sure to check out their link above), and at the moment there is no membership fee required to attend; we’ll keep you updated, but be sure to reach out on their Facebook page if you’re interested.

• Garrison is launching a new beer this week with a tongue-in-cheek (or perhaps extended at the world) name. Miley Citrus is a hazy New England-style Double IPA in a similar vein to their recent test batch Code Name: Juicy. Packed with flavour from all late and whirlpool additions of the unsubtly-named Citra hop variety, this time it was married to the dank and piney Simcoe and the also dank, but predominantly fruity Australian variety Topaz. Coming in on the lower end for a DIPA, but still a plenty dangerous 7.6% ABV and 66 IBU, this one shouldn’t be a wrecking ball to your palate with bitterness, but may well be with hop flavor. Described as “citrus-forward”, it features matched aromas and flavours of fresh-peeled orange, tangerine and sweet orange marmalade with a grapefruit pith finish. It’s only available on draft at the brewery, at least for now, but keep your eyes peeled as you may very well see it appear at finer establishments around the city.

• Christmas is right around the corner, and fittingly, Big Tide has brought back a couple of their seasonal favourites. First up is Holiday Crazberry Cream Ale, which is their standard Confederation Cream Ale that has been “made festive” with the addition of local cranberry and raspberry juices, providing a pleasant contrast of fruity and tart flavours. Brewed with a light grist of 2-row and Pilsner malts, it’s lightly-hopped with Magnum and Perle, and comes in at 5.6% ABV and 23 IBUs. Also back on tap is Santa’s Chocolate Porter (5.4% ABV, 25 IBUs), which features both 2-row and Chocolate malt, as well as the addition of Madagascar vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa, resulting in a brew with plenty of rich, chocolatey, and spicy flavours. Drop by the brewpub to celebrate Christmas with a pint (or growler) of both brews!

• Bridgewater’s FirkinStein Brewing has a new beer out that beets the competition hands down! Beet This Ale is based on their Anchors Aweigh Pale, featuring a load of beets to give it a brilliant red colour and unique flavour profile. The 6.0% ABV beer features a modest Citra dry hop and bitter finish to underline the unique vegetable addition. Grab the beer at the Hubbards Farmers Market tomorrow, and the Bridgewater Farmers’ Market at Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre on Sunday.

Down on the Halifax waterfront Gahan House Halifax has a new beer slated for release next week, a Christmas Ale called Santa’s Little Helper. We’re told it’s on an Altbier base (presumably similar to the one currently pouring that we reported on last week) but with an addition of mulling spices and aged in a Hungarian oak barrel previously used to age merlot at Bear River Vineyards. The beer is currently conditioning but is expected to be put on tap as a limited release on December 20th.

• There’s a big beer currently fermenting at Maybee Brewing, a currently-unnamed Belgian Quad. The biggest beer brewed yet at the brewery, this style (also known as a Belgian Dark Strong Ale) is a complex, high-alcohol brew that is malty, fruity, phenolic, and warming. The recipe is based on a homebrew that owner/brewer Paul Maybee has brewed in the past; since it will quite likely fall in the 11-12% ABV range, it’s going to require some additional conditioning to allow the flavours to gel and alcohol to smooth out, so don’t expect to see this one until sometime next month. No details on packaging yet, but it will definitely be on tap at the brewery’s taproom and across Fredericton.

• In other Maybee news, they’re sending a cask to the James Joyce to be tapped tonight at around 7 pm. Black Forest Elevensies Stout was fermented on a bad of Vintner’s cherry puree, and then cask-conditioned with roasted cacao nibs and whole vanilla beans soaked in French brandy. Finally, they’ve also brewed up a Best Bitter (5% ABV, 35 IBUs), Slanty Shanty Best Bitter, which will be available on tap only for now. Hopped with New Brunswick Goldings, this one should be available sometime next week.

• Looks like we can expect to see another new Hammond River beer release in the near future, to tide us over until the opening of their new 15 BBL brewery this spring – West Coast Pale Ale is exactly as expected from the name, with lots of fruity and dank aromas and flavours, thanks to heavy late hopping with Summit and Citra, and even more Citra in the dry-hop. Bittered with Chinook to 60 IBUs, it weighs in at a manageable 5.7%. It’s being kegged this weekend, so expect to see it out and about, soon.

That’s not all that’s new and brewing at Hammond River – Quicksand Jesus is the brewery’s first attempt at the Russian Imperial Stout, a gargantuan, bold style big on roast, mouthfeel, and alcohol. The recipe is one used by owner/brewer Shane Steeves in his homebrewing days, featuring a base of Maris Otter malt, with Roasted Barley, Chocolate malt, Crystal 40 L, and Special B thrown in to bring in those wonderful roast characteristics, and more. Expect this one to come in at a whopping 10.2% ABV and 79 IBUs, with a portion being aged in the brewery’s resident oak barrel. Look for it to be on tap around New Year’s, with the barrel-aged version likely popping up the end of January. And speaking of big beers, HR has also confirmed that their Double IPA, Too Hop to Handle (8.4% ABV, 162 IBUs) has been rebrewed and will be re-released soon, with this batch incorporating a portion of Hop Hash from Southan Farms.

• For those of you in Fredericton who have been itching to try some of the interesting new beers coming out of Tide & Boar Brewing in Moncton, the James Joyce Irish Pub has some good news! The T&B are sending the JJ four kegs, the first time they’ve sent beer outside of their own location, the first of which – Peach Ale Shake – should be tapped sometime today. They’ve also received Forum Pale Ale, Robot Food IPA, and Sour Otis Cranberry. For more info on these beers, check out last Friday’s post.

• If you didn’t get a chance to contribute to the Beerocracy successful crowdfunding campaign months ago, you still have the opportunity to grab at least one of the featured perks – they’re currently selling their Beerocracy NB Craft Brewery Map in two sizes; it’s available in two sizes, and available for purchase online. And keep your eyes open for screenings, and ways to watch the film online, once the final cut is produced in the New Year.

• Now that we are soundly in the middle of winter, it’s only fitting that local breweries are celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas. In New Brunswick, Picaroons are continuing their annual tradition with 12 BEERS of CHRISTMAS, where they are releasing a special one-off beer every day Dec 12-23rd. Available at their Brewtique location in downtown Fredericton (growlers only), Roundhouse location on the Northside (in-house pours only), The 5 Kings Restaurant & Brewhouse in St Stephen (in-house only), and the General Store in Saint John (both growlers and pints). With a new beer every day, you’re sure to find a few that jingle your bells!

• On Prince Edward Island, the PEI Brewing Company is celebrating the 12 Growlers of Christmas in their own right, with a new beer every day until next Friday. Check out their Facebook Event page for details on the day’s beer, and remember that once the beer is gone for the day, it’s gone!

• Digby’s Roof Hound is releasing a new wheat ale at their brewery this weekend. Average Joe is a 5.0%, 17 IBU beer, designed for those folks who want to support their local brewery, but may find stouts, IPAs, and porters a bit too far outside their wheelhouse. Named after owner Les Barr’s maternal grandfather, Joe was the owner of the original Roof Hound, Lady. An ode to Joe, as well as Barr’s first foray into drinking and brewing craft beer, wheat ales are the perfect gateway into small batch, local beers. Grab a pint or growler in Digby this weekend, and keep your eyes open as it may be on tap and for growler fills in HRM soon.

We’ve got another slew of events happening in our region this weekend, and beyond, here are a few of them we can fit in here. Be sure to consult our Calendar (which you can add to your own iCal/Google/Outlook calendar, by the way!) to keep up-to-date with them all. And be sure to let us know if we’ve missed something.

• Mikkeller Tap Takeover Day 1 is this Saturday at Halifax’s Bar Stillwell. Featuring a variety of styles, ranging from Session IPA to spontaneously-fermented hoppy beer, all the way up to a 9.2% back coffee beer, the Danish brewery is sure to have something for everyone. Check out the full tap list here, and we’ll see you from noon tomorrow. There will be a whole other dozen beers pouring at MTTD2 on January 14th, by the way!

• After a wildly successful Launch Weekend at Stillwell and Good Robot last weekend, Halifax’s newest nano TideHouse Brewing Company is ready to fling wide the doors to their retail location. Located at 5187 Salter Street in downtown Halifax across from the nether regions of the Maritime Center (that great big brutalist mess on Barrington Street we inherited from the 70s), the boys are aiming to help downtown beer lovers scratch the itch for growler fills. As has become de rigueur for TideHouse to this point, the first week of opening will be a somewhat informal affair, promising to be open at 1pm on Saturday and seeing where the rest of the day takes them. Additional hours before Christmas will be on a “do we have beer?” basis so you’ll have to follow along on social media (Facebook | Twitter) or contact the brewery directly for availability information. After the holidays they’re hoping to have regular hours from 2-6pm on Thursdays, 2-9pm on Fridays, 2-6pm on Saturdays and 2-10pm on Sundays. They’ll fill any clean 1.89L growler and will also be selling their own TideHouse branded pre-filled jugs (non-refundable, for now anyway). Come gaze through the glass to see Shean and Peter in their natural environment, grab yourself a couple of liters of tasty brew and help celebrate all the crazy hard work that’s been put into getting this far!

 • A reminder that the Second Annual Christmas Beer Garden at the Market is happening this Sunday, December 18th. Starting early at 10 am, and continuing until 2:30 pm, your $26 ticket (available here) entitles you to a 16 oz glass and four beer tickets; additional beer tickets can be purchased for $7 each. Food will be available for purchase from vendors at the Market and can be taken into the Beer Garden.

• There has been a lot of development at Schoolhouse‘s expanded location at 40 Water Street in Windsor. With their brewhouse now hooked up, and brewing on it starting early next week, they are opening their doors and saying “Class is in Session!”. Next Thursday and Friday (Dec 22 and 23), they are keeping their doors open from 12:00 to 8:00pm daily for growler fills of their core beers (Principal Ale, Chequers, and Scotian Export), as well as bottles of Big Red Schoolhouse. Flights and food will also be available, so be sure to stick around for a spell!

• Tickets are still available (but won’t be for much longer!) for January 12th’s Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration. The premiere event of winter, 16 Nova Scotian breweries (that number may grow, we’ve been told!) will be pouring a wide variety of their beers, including one-offs and launches specially brewed for the event. It’s not only about the beer, however, as each brewery will have a local restaurant/caterer partnered with them, serving up some creations meant for pairing and enjoying. Be sure to grab your tickets today!

• Tickets are available now for next August’s Halifax Seaport Beer Festival. From now until Dec 24th, you’ll enjoy a nice $10 discount off the regular price, with tickets only costing $40 (plus taxes and service charges, $51 final price). With an evening session on Friday Aug 11, and afternoon and evening sessions on Saturday the 12th, there’s plenty of opportunity to grab from the more than 300 beers and ciders on offer. Check this link for the reduced price tickets before the deal runs out next Saturday.

A few more things to check out this weekend before you put down your phone and pick up a beer:

– The latest 902 BrewCast went up early this morning, tasting through a handful of holiday-themed beers available at Bishop’s Cellar. Be sure to grab it today, and take a drink for every shout-out they give! And stay tuned to the end for some very cool news.
– The ANBL has once again expanded their growler program, with a new, 6-tap filling station opening up at the Saint John Uptown location. This week, they’re featuring all NB-based breweries, including Big Tide (Holiday Crazberry Cream Ale), First City (Double IPA), Foghorn (Winchester), Hammond River (Gammie), Moosehead (Boundary Ale), and Picaroons (The Vinyl Cut).
Big Axe has announced that their annual winter take on a flagship, Shakesbeer Chocolate Mint Stout, will be returning to taps (and growler fills at the brewery) in the very near future.
– In other winter seasonal news, Celtic Knot‘s Toque and Mitts is starting to pop up on tap across New Brunswick; this 7.8% ABV Barleywine – infused with cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, oak, and bourbon – is currently on tap at the Cask & Kettle and Ducky’s. If you’re not near those two establishments, fear not – owner/brewer Bruce Barton has confirmed more batches are on the way, so expect to see this beer at other select bars/restaurants, soon.
Grimross Brewing has started a weekly cask series at the taproom in Fredericton; this week’s limited release is a cask of their flagship Cheval D’or, aged on lemongrass.
– Sea Level Wee Heavy returns to their Port Williams location. Grab it on tap at Port Pub, or in growlers and cans to go.
Tatamagouche Brewing‘s Smorter S’Mores Porter has returned for another season, with growlers and cans of this graham cracker/marshmallow/chocolate creation available now at the brewery, and on tap around HRM next week. A 6.5% ABV S’mores-inspired porter brewed with the addition of cinnamon sticks, graham crackers, molasses, honey, and vanilla beans.
TrailWay has been keeping up with the canning (luckily for all of us!), with plenty of Hu Jon Hops and Luster available at the brewery and select ANBL stores. Next week, they’ll be releasing a large amount of Good Aura (their hoppy Red ale) in cans; a small number of Rascal (American Stout) cans will also be available.

Another Friday, another busy week in beer news in Atlantic Canada. Grab your coffee, or coffee stout, and get up to speed with the latest info.

• Dartmouth’s newest nano, Brightwood Brewery has added to their lineup this week with their McNabs Pure, a rye IPA. Golden-hued, this 6.3% ABV beer uses rye in combination with Bramling Cross hops to give it an earthy spiciness that should pair nicely with crisp fall air and the scent of fallen leaves. Further additions of the classic noble hop Hallertauer will present with an herbal and spicy but restrained aroma as well as bolstering the flavour and complementing the solid bitterness of 50 IBUs. You’ll find it at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market this weekend along with Brightwood’s other offerings.

Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s is joining in the seasonal fun this fall with Cobbler Path, an unfiltered blueberry wheat ale that’s been cold-aged on 70 pounds of wild Newfoundland blueberries. The aroma features subtle berry, ripe fruit, and melon notes, while on the palate a slight sweetness is balanced by tartness from the berries. A judicious bitterness rounds out this beer through the use of Mosaic hops to the tune of 25 IBUs. At 5% ABV expect it to go down easy, with the creamy, smooth mouthfeel characteristic of a wheat beer and a dry finish that should make this a fine pint to toast an early autumn afternoon or evening.

• There’s a new beer on tap at the Grimross taproom this week – Petite Grim is actually a scaled down version of another fairly-recent Grimross beer, Grimdonk. Categorized by the brewery as a “Belgian Blonde Session Ale”, the grist, hops (Southan Farms Goldings) and Belgian yeast strain are the same, but it comes in at a more-sessionable 4.6% ABV (vs. the 7% ABV of Grimdonk). Available now for growler fills and pints at the brewery. And look for the return of their Abbey Dubbel, on tap at the brewery just this morning, and around the city soon!

• There’s a new small batch beer on tap at Propeller‘s Halifax location these days, E = MC Yummy. This Honey Lager weighs in at 4.8%, and a light 20 IBUs, and features a light dosing of honey on top of a lager base. This beer is only available on Gottingen, so be sure to drop by soon to grab a sample and growler fill. You may be smarter for it! And for all you pumpkin fans, keep your eyes peeled for a special cask of their Double IPA, dosed with pumpkin spicing, that should be tapped soon, either at the Gottingen taproom, or at a local bar.

• After making its debut at last weekend’s Cask Beer Throwdown, North Brewing released Priority Pale Ale yesterday, a 5% American IPA featuring all Belgian malt, fermented with an American yeast, for a light honey character in the base. Upon that, a bevvy of American hops were added to the boil, namely CascadeChinook, and Columbus, for a solid balancing bitterness of 30 IBUs. A further dry-hop with Cascade and Chinook help to bring out the floral and citrus aroma to complement the light sweetness and biscuit from the malt, and deliver notes of apricot and grapefruit. The beer is also meant for people to pause and see where their priorities lie, and the following poem/APA beer description was written in collaboration with Tanya Davis, local singer and songwriter, and former Halifax Poet Laureate.
If your priorities go crooked, dazzled by masses and billboards, remember that balance is yours to restore. Start here. This beer has aroma to wake you, a captivating flavour to encourage sips and contemplation, and a nourishing bitterness, righteous and mild. Find the symmetry your life requires and align your people with your efforts. It’s not more things; it’s more things better

• With their Watermelon Blonde soon to fade into the memories of the summer just past, Nine Locks Brewing is bringing us a new seasonal with a style that is a favourite of many (and a bête noire of some). Pumpkin, a dark amber ale features a full body and residual sweetness from the use of pumpkin, the classic spicing known to anyone who loves pumpkin pie or PSLs, and a malty backbone that completes the palate with a fullness to balance the sweet and spice. The 12 IBUs won’t interfere with the feature flavours and aromas, and coming in at an easy-drinking 5.2% ABV, this one is expected to be available next Tuesday at the brewery. Nine Locks’ social media accounts will surely be the best place to find out the exact timing of this release.

• Attention Fredericton and surrounding areas – Red Rover wants your apples! During the weekend of October 15th-16th, they’re hosting the 1st Annual Scrumping for a Cause. A special cider will be created from all of the apples brought in, as long as they’re picked from apple trees, as opposed to collecting them from the ground (i.e. no bruised or beaten apples, please). For every two bushels (max 8 per person, dropped off at 880 Hanwell Rd., Unit 305), you’ll receive a 750 mL bottle of the cider that your apples are helping to create! All of the profits of this special release will be donated to the Fredericton Region Museum, and participants can choose to donate their allotted bottle directly to the cause as well. And check in the Events section below for more details on what they are pouring at tomorrow’s Fredericton Cider Festival!

• Over at Maybee Brewing, their Harvest Ale – a wet-hopped SMaSH brewed with Maris Otter malt and Southan Farms Columbus hops – should be available on tap and in cans sometime next week. In the meantime, they’ve brewed up another brand new beer, Forage Rye IPA. The grist features a “Crystal Rye malt” from Quebec, giving the beer a dark, ruby-red colour. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Columbus, expect this one to come in somewhere around 7.2% ABV and 72 IBUs; it should be available on tap and in cans by mid-October.

• And speaking of Harvest Ale, Picaroons has released their series of the annual brew this week. There are three versions of the 5.5% Pale Ale, each featuring hops from a different Maritimes hop field. Batch 144 features Mt. Hood from Nova Scotia’s Wallace Ridge Farm145 was brewed with Willamette from PEI’s My Father’s Farm, and 157 uses ferals hops from Moose Mountain, in Maplehurst, NB. Look for the beer on tap and on shelves in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia now, and learn more about the hop growers at Picaroons’ site. And a fourth batch, brewed with hops from  LunaHop Farm in Cornhill, New Brunswick will be brewed and released in October.

• Picaroons is releasing another special collaboration brew today, Spudnik Potato Stout. Yes, you read that correctly, potatoes! Teaming up with the CCNB and BioNB, the 4.7% ABV beer was brewed with lots of Russet potatoes grown from Toner Farms in Grand Falls. Hopped with Golding and Willamette, the epic 17-hour brewday has resulted in a smooth and full-bodied brew. The beer is now on tap now at the Fredericton Brewtique for growler fills, so drop by today grab one (and a bag of locally-produced chips to complement).

• Drop by Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing for a slew of new wet-hopped suds on the board. Their Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale is on now,  which features additions of real pumpkin, and is wet-hopped with freshly-harvested Cascade from Dunhams Run. As always, the beer also has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove added to boost the pumpkin pie presence, resulting in an interesting flavour combination for this 5% ABV brew. They have also brewed a wet-hop version of their FogBound Hemp Pale Ale, swapping out Cascade for Dunham Run’s Hallertauer and Nugget. This batch weighs in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs. And a brand new beer is right around the corner! Golden Hawk White IPA was brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malts, and wet-hopped with Super Alpha hops from Darlings Island Farm. The combination Belgian Witbier and IPA features lots of citrus and coriander notes (typical of the wit), and a balancing bitterness and citrus kick of hops of an American IPA. The beer weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 72 IBUs, and is named after the hawk who watch the hopyard from atop his perch all summer.

• Moncton’s Acadie-Broue brought back a pair of favourites at last weekend’s Atlantic Craft Beer Oktoberfest, and will have them also at least one of them pouring at Le Coude shortly. Their Sour Wheat Kiebitz Coti and Gose were both available, using the same base, but the Gose was infused with coriander seeds and sea salt. The Gose was previously brewed in collaboration with Big Tide Brewing in 2015 (called Marée Montante), using Bay of Fundy seawater. The next batch of the Gose will also be brewed with seawater, and will probably be released under the name Reflux. Keep an eye hear for details when it is released. And look for the Valdrague Weizen Wheat Beer, on tap at Le Coude now.

Be sure to head out for some drinking fun this weekend!

• Don’t forget to head to the Fredericton Cider Festival tomorrow! Held at Brewbakers downtown, there will be unlimited 4 oz samples of more than 25 different varieties of cider, with local cideries such as Red Rover, York County, Gagetown Cider Company, and Scow being the main stars of the show. We have some advance notice of what Red Rover will be bringing, which includes their regular line-up and old favourites of Fall, Summer, Spring, Fire and Blues along with more recent addition specialty cider, Dragon SlayerHopped, Tinderbox, and the first 2016 White Witch will also be served (although it won’t be available for purchase until later in October). They are also planning on tapping the last keg of 2014 VeRRy Perry in celebration and anticipation of receiving juice to begin our first batches of 2016 Perry. They will also be serving three specialty ciders, to be served from cask. These are: The Matador, a fruity still cider with high acidity reminiscent of Spanish Sidra; Motown, a cider-wine hybrid made from Fredericton grapes, and an oak-aged Scrumpy. From Red Rover, “This will be the largest selection of Red Rover cider that has ever been available at a single location and we’re very excited to be able to share it with everyone tomorrow.” Tickets are still available ($56.50, tax included), which get you a tasting glass and samples from 1:00-3:30 pm; VIP tickets, which allow for early entry at noon, are sold out (though there is a waitlist).

• Also happening October 1 is the Marion Bridge Oktoberfest, running from 3-10pm. As in previous years, Big Spruce has released their specialty beer for the event, Spruce Bringstein. This American Amber is 6.2% ABV and a light 27 IBUs, and will be available at the Oktoberfest, as well as on tap at the brewery now, and at better beer bars around the province. And be sure to drop by Big Spruce this weekend for the last Farm to Fork Food Truck weekend of the season.

A few more beers and news items worth reading about today, before we sign off:

– Two Canadian brewery equipment manufacturers, Charlottetown’s DME Brewing Solutions and Abbottsford, BC’s Newlands Systems, have announced that they are joining forces into one company. While keeping their respective offices and operations, they will be opening a joint 50,000 sqft manufacturing location in South Carolina in the new year. Read more in the official press release.

Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their Flat Black Jesus American Stout today. At 7% ABV and more than 100 IBUs, this black ode to hops is available for growler fills and pints right now, like leave work and head there now, now.

– Sheet Harbour’s Henley House is winding down their season with a big weekend, so be sure to make a trip to this cozy pub soon. That also means that Sober Island Brewing, who usually have two or more of their beers on tap at the Henley, will be able to send more of their beer to thirsty drinkers in HRM. Early next week, look for their Oyster Stout on tap at The Press Gang (what better way to wash down freshly shucked Sober Island oysters?), followed shortly by a tap at Argyle Street’s Lot Six.

– Today is the last day to register for the Gahan House Charlottetown Home Brewer’s Challenge. Fire them an email, then brew up your best Winter Warmer! Details on their Facebook page.

– Congratulations to Downtown Halifax’s two new breweries, 2 Crows and Tidehouse, who both received their brew systems this week. Things are well on track for both breweries to be opening in the next couple of months!

Good morning, and welcome to another weekend! As per usual, there’s plenty going on in beer news this week, including yet even more breweries opening up soon in our region. For news on Fredericton’s newest brewery, Bogtrotter Craft Brewery, check out yesterday’s post. We have also posted a profile on Saint John, NB’s new Loyalist City Brewing, late Friday.

• Although the Cherry and Blackberry variation of the Barrel-aged Belgian Golden Strong isn’t quite ready, there’s plenty of action this week from TataBrew; Thursday saw two releases, a new brew of a favourite from the Giant Beer Series and a brand new seasonal offering. First, the CBA Gold Medal-winning Russian Imperial Stout has been brewed again with a similar recipe, but slightly subdued on the hop side and with more richness and mouthfeel. Although it’s ready to drink now, at 8.5% ABV it’s sure to develop in the bottle, so when you head down to the brewery maybe grab a couple and set one aside for a winter night in 2017 or beyond. Second, and coinciding with the Wild Blueberry Harvest Festival underway in the northwestern part of the province, Blue Bales is a blueberry wheat beer featuring 300 pounds of local organic berries from North of Nuttby Farm on which it aged for 5 days. At only 8 IBUs from a single Bramling Cross addition and 4.8% ABV, the blueberries are bound to take center stage.

• As if that wasn’t enough new beer, Friday night will see the release of a brand new IPA, Strikhedonia. A little heavier than the Deception Bay IPA at 6.7% ABV and 70 IBU, this one is bittered with Chinook and features aroma and flavours from late additions of Citra, Huell Melon and Mosaic, that bring a dank and juicy fruitiness along with classic IPA flavors. Both the Blue Bales and the Strikhedonia will be available in growlers from the brewery this weekend and with draft and cans starting next week. There are also pins of each that will be tapped at the brewery over the next two weekends, so keep an eye on social media for announcements from TataBrew and your favourite taproom to see where and when they can be found.

Meander River has a new beer pouring at their brewery in Ashdale, NS – Creamsicle of Wheat is a sessionable (3.9% ABV) Wheat Ale that the brewery is describing as a “light summer beer with a hint of citrus”, thanks to the addition of peeled oranges during the fermentation process. Available for growler fills at the brewery, you can also find it on tap at a few licensees and their table at Saturday’s Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market. In other Meander River news, they will be extracting their raised-on-site honey over the next few weeks for their annual batch of Ashdale Honey Brown, a 5.2% ABV Brown Ale brewed with toasted malts. They also plan on harvesting their locally-grown hops this weekend and again in early September; check out their social media accounts for updates, and feel free to contact them for more details on how you can be involved. And finally, they will be once again participating in Open Farm Day on Sunday, September 18th; if you’re in the area, be sure to drop by for tours and tastings.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is releasing their newest beer tomorrow, Wasted Days Chocolate Peanut Butter Wheat. This mouthful of a name is a mouthful of a beer! Building on a 5.1% ABV North American Wheat base, the addition of cocoa, peanut butter, and lactose come together for a wonderful meeting of the minds. Light hopping to 16 IBUs allows the specialty ingredients to take centre-stage. To launch the beer, Roof Hound is inviting several musical guests to the tap room, including Jeremy Outhouse of Tide and Timbre and Curt Leblanc of Rain Over St. Ambrose, whose Wasted Days song inspired the name of the brew. Wasted Days joins Little Pup Pale Ale and Rooftop Rye-It on the taps, with several new beers in the pipeline to be released in the coming weeks.

• Saint John’s First City has released a new beer, Wheat IPA. Approximately half of the grist is made up of Wheat malt, giving the beer a “crisp and light body”, according to the brewery. Hopped primarily with Chinook and Summit to 70 IBUs, it features “strong aromas of pineapple and citrus”, and weighs in at 7% ABV. You can find it on tap now at select First City accounts around the city, and at the James Joyce in Fredericton.

Port Rexton Brewing released a small batch of a brand new beer this week. Nar Bitter Bitter is a 5.7% ABV ESB (Extra Special Bitter), featuring a malt-forward flavour with caramel undertones thanks to the traditional English malts used. As this was a smaller-than-usual batch, you’ll have to enjoy it on tap at the brewery, where you can also grab a pint of their Horsechops IPA, T-Rex Porter (formerly known as Night ‘Bous), and Baycation Blonde. They are open 2:00-10:00pm daily on Ship Cove RoadLate Addition: Well, that didn’t last long! The NBB has finished, so the PR crew have tapped Mr. Wheaty Pants at the brewery. A 4.4% ABV wheat beer with body, and a touch of Centennial bitterness to complete the package. Grab it today.

Mill Street Brewpub in St John’s has a new beer on tap these days. Come From Away IPA is an English-style IPA, with 5.6% ABV. With a hearty 60 IBUs bitterness and floral & fruity hop aromatics, the clean fermented features a balanced body with amber colour and caramel notes. Available by the pint, or in growlers to go now. And a trial batch of a special beer flew like hotcakes earlier this week: Rhuby Cove was a tart beer, aged for 2 months on strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb grown in Portugal Cove – St. Philip’s. Due to its big success, look for this beer to be released in a bigger batch in the future!

Mama’s Brew Pub has been receiving positive customer feedback on two of their latest brews. First up is their Old World Pale Ale, which brewmaster Ryan Kingston brewed in the style of a traditional British Pale Ale. Featuring a grist of Maris Otter and Crystal 70 L, the beer was hopped with Goldings sourced from Southan Farms, as well as the American variety, Amarillo, for an interesting twist to the style; 5.1% ABV, 16 IBUs. Their Blueberry Wheat was also released recently; Kingston brewed a wheat beer and fermented it with a Hefeweizen yeast strain, for plenty of banana, clove, and a “Juicy Fruit bubble-gum aspect”. After fermentation, 50 lbs of blueberries were added to secondary, giving the beer a purple hue and hints of blueberry flavour. Weighing in at 5% ABV, and available now with the Old World, at the brew pub for pints.

• Grimross Brewing is releasing a new beer – Grimdonk – later this afternoon at the brewery. Designated as a Belgian Blond Ale, it was fermented with a new-to-Grimross yeast strain that originates from the Breendonk region of Belgium (hence the beer’s name). It comes in at 7% ABV; expect plenty of fruity esters and spicy phenols, as well as a dry finish, characteristic of this style. Swing by for a pint or growler fill today, and look for it to be hitting taps in the Fredericton area soon.

Lots of new events coming up, and as always, keep an eye on our Calendar of Events page to see what’s on the horizon.

Savoie’s Brewhouse and the Heron’s Nest Pub are holding a Customer Appreciation Day tomorrow, August 27th, at the Heron’s Nest in Charlo. Starting at 3 pm, there will be a free corn boil, live music, and plenty of beer available for purchase – including Savoie’s Buller’s Blueberry Blonde; the first 24 people that order a Savoie’s beer will receive a free glass.

• Big Spruce is kicking up their weekly visits from Cruisin’ Cuisine by hosting a Pig Roast on September 4th. Featuring two 40kg roasting pigs and locally-inspired sides, there will be plenty of food to complement the full taps flowing at the brewery. A few new beers, along with previous rare releases will grace their taps, adding to the solid regular lineup of beer. A massive tent will mean room for more people, and there will be live music all day, with everything kicking off at noon.

• After a few-month hiatus, Acadie-Broue will be available once again very soon to their thirsty fans in the Moncton area. Now brewing onsite at the Université de Moncton student bar Le Coude, A-B’s 50 litre system will be putting out more German- and Belgian-inspired beers come September, with their launch party being held September 8th. Drop by for the “5 à 7” (happy hour), being held, not surprisingly, 5-7 pm. Chat with A-B’s Patrice Godin to learn about his beers, and take a peek at the brewery on-site.

Trider’s Craft Beer will be opening soon in Amherst, NS. To celebrate, they are hosting a Pre-Launch party at Sociables Pub in Springhill on September 10th. Featuring live music and appetizers, attendees will be the first to try Trider’s offerings. Tickets are $15 (which includes your first pint) and on sale now at Sociables, and are sure to sell out. More details can be found here. Trider’s storefront will be opening September 20th, and they will be taking part in the Rocktoberfest at the Amherst Fire Hall October 1st. We’ll have all of the details on Trider’s with a full profile next week!

• As part of this year’s Growing Green Festival in Bridgewater, Crave Local: A Taste of Home will be held on Friday, September 16th from 6:30-8:30 pm. Several different juices, wines, and beers (including newly-open Saltbox, as well as Boxing Rock, Hell Bay, and Bulwark) will be available for sampling, as well as appetizers. Held at Wile’s Lake Farm Market, tickets are only $20 (if purchased by September 2nd; $25 after), and can be purchased directly at the market, or by calling 902-543-0434.

• The Halifax Beer Run is taking place September 17th. Mixing many folks’ love of both running and beer, this 11km route takes runners from Garrison Brewery, with four tasting stations along the way. After a sociable at Garrison, runners will make their way to the Good Robot and Propeller breweries for drinks and a quick tour, before visiting a satellite Spindrift location. The run ends with folks returning back to the South end at the Halifax Oktoberfest, already in full swing. The ticket includes a t-shirt, your drinks along the way, and entry to the Oktoberfest grounds. Grab your entry today!

• As mentioned yesterday, the official launch of Bogtrotter Craft Brewery will happen on Saturday, September 24th. With a tasting at the ANBL Train Station at noon, and a TBD second location afterwards, they will finish up with a Meet the Maker event at the James Joyce at 8 pm. All three of their initial beers will be pouring (Muddy Mayhem IPA, Angry Otter Pub Ale, and Osprey’Orange Pale Ale), and owner/brewmaster Rod Croucher will be available to chat all things beer and Bogtrotter.

• The Cask Beer Throwdown is happening at the Olympic Centre on September 24th. Featuring two sessions (12-3 and 5-8), guests will get a chance to try a whole slew of beers served via gravity pins and hand pumps. The entrance fee includes access to the event, a take-home glass, and your first 12 beer sample tickets. Session One (12-3pm) breweries include: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Garrison, Good Robot, Propeller, Schoolhouse, Sober Island, Tatamagouche, and more TBA. Session Two (5-8pm) breweries include: Big Spruce, Gahan House – Halifax, Garrison, Good Robot, Hell Bay, North, Spindrift, Sober Island,and more TBA. Food courtesy of Bramoso Gourmet Pizzeria, The Food Wolf, and T DOGS will be available as well. Grab your Early Bird tickets now!

• Big Spruce has announced the details for their 4th Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge. Interested homebrewers should email Big Spruce for an entry form, which should be filled out and submitted by November 23rd. The entry fee is $25, which entitles you to this year’s one-of-a-kind T-shirt, as well as entry to the post-judging party in HRM on November 27th. Homebrewers may submit an entry in one, two, or all three of the featured style categories: Double IPA, Dark Mild, and Experimental Sour (check out the 2015 BJCP Guide for details on each style). Three bottles for each style entered are required; these must be submitted to Big Spruce by November 25th for judging (a Halifax drop-off point will be coordinated in the near future). As in last year’s competition, first, second and third-place winners in each category will receive a swag package, and the Best of Show winner will have the opportunity to brew a full-size batch of their beer at Big Spruce, for release at the 4th Annual Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration, put on by Local Connections Halifax, in January. Good luck, homebrewers!

Believe it or not, there’s even more beer news we want to be sure you read before heading out for a pint:

– Big Spruce’s hoppy collaboration with Stillwell, Gimme Citra, is back for a limited time. Hopped entirely with Citra, it’s tropical, fruity, and extremely quaffable at 4.7% ABV.
Bore City has brewed their last batch of Equilux – an American Pale Ale featuring Citra and Equinox hops – for the year; two kegs have made their way to the James Joyce in Fredericton. If you haven’t tried this one yet, we encourage you to seek it out! It won’t be around again until sometime next year.
– Keep an eye out for Hammond River‘s Too Hop to Handle Double IPA at better Saint John bars now. This 8.4% ABV and 150+ IBUs beer is only brewed a few times a year, and is always a quick seller.
Boxing Rock‘s collaboration with Gahan House – Halifax, Over the Top!, has returned. A 4% ABV “sour mash cranberry wheat ale”, it features an addition of Nova Scotia cranberries to complement the already tart and dry finish. Look for it in growlers and on tap around the province now.
– Upstreet‘s Eighty Bob, their 4.5% ABV Scottish Export Ale, is now in regular rotation, and is also available in bottles for the first time, at the brewery and PEILCC stores, as well as at Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax.
TrailWay just tapped a new batch of their IPA, Hugh John Hops, and it’s tasting super-fresh! Drop by the brewery for a pint and/or growler fill.
– After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered‘s Riddle of Steel is back today. This 7.0% ABV IPA is full of hops, weighing in at approximately 80 IBUs, brewed with the famous Conan/Vermont Ale yeast. Growler fills and pints from noon!

Thanks to all who entered our Beer and Food picture contest, for the Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve Launch @ The Port. We’ve randomly picked our winner, and it is @shawnahazz! For those who’ve missed out, there are still a few spots available for this evening’s food and beer tasting (and first chance to try and buy their 6 litre bottle of the 17 Grande Reserve), grab your tickets at The Port today.

And a big thanks to Aaron for helping out with this week’s blog, we’ll be tapping him for more help going forward.