Grimross Brewing

All posts tagged Grimross Brewing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey! We heard you missed us, we’re back! We trust you all kept yourselves well hydrated while we took a hiatus, and are ready to hit the ground/taps running this weekend as we round up the news of the week’s releases. There’s always a danger that when we take some time off, we’ll miss some important news, and this time was no different, so let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the important news for your first day of November (wow times flies)!

Great news for those of you in Labrador City, you finally have a brewery that you can call your own! Iron Rock Brewing Company opened their doors on October 19th, and have been going great guns ever since! They are currently pouring five beers, for enjoyment onsite, or to go in growlers, including: Lawn Sweeper Cream Ale (4.3% ABV), Shabogamo Sour (4.0% ABV), Railbender Red Ale (5.5% ABV), Spike Maul IPA (6.9% ABV), and Overburden Oat Stout (4.9% ABV). We’ll have plenty more information on Iron Rock, and the folks behind it in the coming days, but in the meantime, get out to the brewery at 118 Humphrey Rd in Lab City this weekend to toast their arrival! Hours are Friday 4 PM – 12 AM, Saturday 2 PM – 12 AM, and Sunday 2 PM – 10 PM.

Propeller Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new location in The Keep, a mixed use building at the corner of Quinpool and Vernon Streets in Halifax. It will feature a pilot system for experimentation, a taproom where samples, flights, and pints can be enjoyed, and a full retail shop to keep the local community well stocked. They’ll be offering cans and bottles, as well as growler fills. Watch this space for more details, as they aim for an early-2020 opening. For those who can’t wait that long for their Propeller fix, tonight’s cask at their Gottingen Street taproom is their Porter on rum-aged oak.

While we were away, Nova Scotia South Shore’s Tanner & Co were able to cap their second anniversary celebrations this month with the opening of their new Tap Room, in the heart of Chester. With a small batch brewery onsite for testing out some of the wilder side of brewing, visitors to “Tanner & Co on Duke St” (that’s 59 Duke Street) can grab a flight or pint, and then take their favourites home in bottles or growlers. The tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 – 9 PM. With the opening of the tap room, the brewery at 50 Angus Hiltz in Chester Basin is adjusting its hours to be open Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6 PM. At either location, you can pick up their latest releases, including the Barrel-Aged Porter with Berries, and Reserve Sauvage, a barrel-fermented (French oak Chardonnay barrels) version of their Sauvage, brewed with Horton Ridge Malt and the Scotian Sauvage yeast first isolated at Big Spruce.

Fredericton’s York County Cider is happy to announce their newest product to hit the shelves at ANBL, their first seasonal to be widely available. Previously only available at their taproom, Apple Pie is a spiced cider, but still crisp, with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and apple, perfect for the fall. Available in 355 mL bottles, this 5.8% ABV bevvy should pair well with an afternoon of raking leaves or a walk in the crisp fall air.

We were very sad to hear of the passing earlier this month of Jennifer Defreyne, one of the co-owners and founders of Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery. An Engineer, she was critical in the location searching, planning, development, and construction of the brewery, and many of her aesthetic and practical choices are part of what is making Landwash so successful to this day. In celebration of her life, raise a pint of your favourite beverage tonight. Her family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Landwash has a pair of new beers out recently that we’d like to mention, to keep you Mount Pearlers happy. First up is Rock and Willow, a 6.0% Amber Saison. Featuring Munich malts for strong bread and toast character, and then fermented with Escarpment’s Saison Maison yeast, for some spicy pepper character and a dry-as-a-bone finish. The beer was brewed to showcase and pair with restaurant Fork. in Mobile, just south of Witless Bay, who are competing in the Newfoundland stop of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party this evening. Their dish features partridge, hence the name – Rock and Willow – two common breeds of ptarmigan. The beer will pair with whatever you want to drink it with, even if that’s solitude, and is available in cans and growler fills at the brewery now. And while you’re there, you can grab the other recent release, Pearliner 2019. This Munich-style Helles was dry hopped with Ekuanot (formerly Equinox), for a blend of citrus, bread, and honeysuckle vibes in a crispy 4.5% ABV package. This is the first of their rotating fall lager they’ll be releasing annually, playing on whatever they’re into at the time. Stop by the brewery for a sample, pint, growler fill, or can of the good stuff.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has a new big and dark beer out, one named after the local term for a big storm. Tan Toaster is a Baltic Porter, full of smooth and sweet malt character paired with elements of dark fruit with a touch of spicy Magnum hops providing balance. Brewed in early September, it’s had plenty of time to rest and relax and for the flavors to integrate. Look for it at all the private stores in Halifax as well, of course, from the brewery shops in Halifax and Shelburne themselves, but be careful, at 7.5% ABV this one could very well blow you over. 

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is releasing a new beer to the Capital and Southern NB regions this week (and Halifax), the latest in their small line of Brettanomyces-fermented IPAs. Ramble On is a 5.9% ABV golden-orange hazy beer, late-hopped (think more aroma and flavour than bitterness) with Hallertau Blanc and Idaho 7, two hops known for tropical and fruity characteristics. That is only complemented by fermentation by a blend of Brettanomyces strains from Escarpment Labs, under the Mothership name. A further dry-hopping with these two hop varietals, as well as Vic Secret, seal the deal, with passion fruit and gooseberry notes enhanced by funky Brett notes. Grab it for pints at The Joyce and Peppers Pub, and pints & growlers(!) at Grimross Brewing; it should also be making an appearance at Stillwell very soon. As with all of their releases, they don’t tend to stick around too long, so we suggest checking in on your way home from work (or grab a quick lunch pint!).

If you’re in Saint John, you may want to drop by the Hammond River taproom, as they’re pouring a new beer that they brewed in collaboration from the fine people behind The Manatee (if you’re not sure what that is, we highly suggest clicking on the link and getting caught up!). Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff, co-founders of the Maritimes’ “biggest source of satire”, joined the brewers at HR to create Burning Manatee, a Rauchbier (aka German Smoked Lager). The grist contained a “hefty” amount of Beechwood Smoked malt, to give the final product a “distinctive and extremely tasty smokey flavour”. A beer for fall that can help you move away from all those Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales, it weighs in at 5.7% ABV and 29 IBUs. Aside from directly at the source, you’ll also be able to find it at various Hammond River licensees.

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has their latest beer hitting taps this week, and we’re guessing you’re going to have an idea of what went into this one, based on its name! NB Hops Pale Ale is – wait for it – an American Pale Ale hopped with all New Brunswick-grown hops… specifically, Cascade, Chinook, and Sorachi Ace from Moose Mountain Hops. With another dry hop of all Cascade, the final beer has floral and citrus notes, along with some caramel and earthy qualities from the malt. Finishing at 5.5% ABV, look for it at Marky’s Laundromat right now, and likely at other O’Creek accounts very shortly. 

Moving back over to Newfoundland, Port Rexton Brewing has their latest, a 5.3% ABV “Black New England IPA” named Chasing Moon. Dark as dark can be, thanks to the addition of a variety of dark malts in the grist, lactose was added to the boil to help round out the hop character from dry-hop additions of Mosaic and Vic Secret. With aromas of pine, blackberry, and tropical fruit, look for “dark chocolate-covered berries/coffee beans and tropical fruit” on the palate. This one is now available on tap at the taproom and their St. John’s retail shop location. And speaking of their taproom, now is a good time to remind you about their reduced hours, which will take place until Spring returns (sob). They’re now open Fridays and Saturdays 4-10 pm. The one exception to this is this weekend, when the Ales for Trails event is happening. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a fundraising initiative for Hike Discovery, a non-profit committed to the development of a hiking trail network on the Bonavista Peninsula. The event is happening on Saturday, and the brewery has some live music and beer planned for everyone after the run/hike; as a result they’re open 12-10pm Saturday, and 10:30-4 on Sunday. 

In St. John’s, YellowBelly is pouring a brand new sour beer, Blueberry Cheesecake Sour. If you assumed that this beer was kettle soured with Lactobacillus, you’d be correct, but you may be wondering how exactly they went about getting the blueberry cheesecake part of the beer to work. The answer is graham flour (added to the mash), lemon zest and vanilla in the boil, and lactose and 200 lbs of blueberries added while the beer was conditioning. The final, 5.4% ABV beer is finally ready, and currently available on tap at the brewpub for pints and growlers.

Over in Good Robot Land, they’ve just released Thompson and Thomson, a beer they’re categorizing as a “Belgian Party Ale” (that sound you heard was the BJCP exploding). Originally planned as a collaboration, but cancelled when the other party couldn’t show (some party!), they started with the idea of a Belgian Tripel with fruit, and created what you’ll be seeing on tap at the brewery’s taproom… a 6.8% ABV, 32 IBUs beer with “splashes” of blueberry and kiwi. Next week will see the return of Bingo Bronson, a 6% ABV Chocolate Porter, so keep your eyes and mouths open for that one.

The launching of dark beers continues in Fredericton at Grimross Brewing, which just yesterday (hey, it was Halloween, after all) released Tmavý Pivo, named after the Czech style that is most likely unheard of by the majority of beer drinkers in Atlantic Canada. Second in popularity in the Czech Republic to the beloved Pilsner, it’s a dark Lager that’s been around that part of Europe for hundreds of years. Grimross’s take on the style involves a grist made up of floor malted Bohemian dark and pilsner malt, as well as some Carafa Special III. Hopped entirely with Czech Saaz to 20 IBUs and fermented with their house Lager yeast, the beer was lagered for five weeks before packaging. The result is a 4.8% ABV beer that is “dark, hearty and dry, with notes of baked brown bread, roasted nuts, and a touch of creaminess”. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery, with cans following shortly at ANBL stores.

Until recently, those who wanted to experience the taste of beer without risking tipsiness or ingesting too many calories only had a few options and those options weren’t so attractive to those with a taste for flavorful beer. But no such product has emerged here in Atlantic Canada that we can think of. So it’s exciting for us to report that, near as we can tell, this week PEI’s Upstreet Brewing becomes the first brewery in the region to release an ultra-low ABV beer to market. Featuring Amarillo, Citra, and Galaxy hops, Pace Pale Ale has a fresh light citrus aroma, notes of brown sugar and tangerine, and an ABV that hovers around 1%! Even better, if you care about such things, it’s estimated to carry only about 50 calories. In development since Easter of this year, it took three pilot batches dial it in; Upstreet’s Brewmaster Mike “Hogie” Hogan describes it as “a very challenging beer to brew,” especially, “mak[ing] it taste like beer and not just hop water or unfermented wort.” You’ll be able to find it at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner now, with cans expected to go to PEILC in the near future and hopefully the private stores in Halifax soon as well.

If you live in New Brunswick, you’ve probably heard that finding beer to take home has just got a lot easier! No longer limited to ANBL stores and brewery visits, you’ll now be able to find beer at 66 different Sobeys and Loblaws stores across the province. Yes, a good portion of the brands available are “big beer”, but there are a total of ten beers from seven different craft breweries that will also join the mix. These craft offerings include Brasseurs du Petit-Sault (Snap Dickie Cream Ale), Graystone (Patagonia Pale Ale), Grimross (Maritime Cream Ale, Maritime Pale Ale), Maybee (Work Horse IPA), Picaroons (Yippee IPA, Feels Good Imperial Pilsner), Pumphouse (Blueberry Ale, Crafty Radler), and TrailWay (Hu Jon Hops). The “convenience” of having these beers available to you through these outlets means that the price of all these beers is about 7% higher than what you’d pay at ANBL stores. This *is* a trial run, so naturally all of this is subject to change; the program was officially started yesterday, and we haven’t seen the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… yet. Stay tuned!

And in “coming to New Brunswick in early 2020 news”, Uncorked Tours NB is opening a location at the Saint John City Market next year. This new home base will be where you can sign up to take part in their tours of the city, as well as sample and enjoy local beer, cider, and spirits in their space. We’ll share all of the details when they have them, but in the meantime, congratulations on the new venture, Gillian and Crew!

Though we’re all familiar with the breweries in our region and many of the suppliers that support them with things like equipment (brewhouses and tanks), ingredients (malt, hops, yeast), and facilities like canning, there are some unsung folks around who you might not think of when you consider what goes into making our beer scene what it is. Do you have a glass growler (or 6) kicking around your house? How about branded glassware from your favorite local brewery? A couple (or a dozen) tasting glasses from various beer fests and other events? Well chances are that many, if not most of those came out of one facility in the HRM: Jym Line Glassware in Elmsdale, NS. Today marks 50 years since the registration of the company, formed by Jim and Lynda Adams and now capably run by their son, Tom. We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize Jym Line’s contribution to beer culture around these parts and wish them many more successful years. We can’t think of a better way to do that than to grab a favorite glass, whether it be a Becher, a Teku, a tulip, or even a shaker pint, pour a favorite local beer into it, and raise a toast. If you’d like to do something more, why not check out the celebration they’ve got going on this Sunday, November 3rd, from 1 – 4 PM at Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside? Stop by, grab a beer (looks like there might be some fancy celebratory branded glassware to drink it from) and say hello to the Jym Line team!

Definitely some fine looking events coming up in the next couple of weeks:

You may recall that we mentioned a Newfoundland tap takeover at Charlottetown’s HopYard a few weeks ago; if you live in Halifax and were feeling a little left out, no reason to sulk any longer! That’s right, the Halifax HopYard location will be holding their own event tomorrow, November 2nd. All ten taps (we see nine on their page, but maybe there’s an extra surprise?) will be dedicated to Newfoundland beers: four from Port Rexton, three from Quidi Vidi, and two from Landwash (check out their FB page for the actual beer list). In true HopYard fashion, they’ve got a special Newfoundland Night food menu, featuring Johnny & Mae’s Food Truck, direct from St. John’s! And if that wasn’t enough, there’ll be live entertainment from Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset. That’s gotta be enough for you, right? It all starts when they open at noon, and continues until closing that evening.

TrailWay’s latest venture, The Drome – a bowling alley on Fredericton’s North Side that they took ownership of months ago, and recently renovated – is having it’s official Grand Opening tomorrow, November 2nd. Aside from bowling and food (if you’d like to bowl, you should likely call and reserve a lane, as they’re filling up fast), they’ll have happy hour pricing on beer all day long. And since you’ll be in the area, you might as well wander a little further down Main St. to the brewery’s taproom, where they’ve got El Generico (raspberry version) back on tap and in cans, along with last week’s new American IPA, Good As (hopped with Motueka and Citra).

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing will be taking over the taps at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, November 7th, with a wide selection of core brands, favourites from the vault (we’ve got our fingers crossed for some Framboise, but won’t hold our breath), as well as a new collaborative brew they put together with BP’s sister North Brewing. Details are hush-hush on that right now, but we’ll have the full info next week, assuming there’s any left. Check the FB Event link to take part in a contest they’ll be launching soon. The fun goes all day, kicking off at 11:30AM, so drop by to enjoy a selection from their extensive library of offerings, as well as food to pair. 

The Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest is turning five this year and is set to go next weekend, on Saturday, November 9th at the Moncton Coliseum. Benefiting United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB and organized by the Moncton Beer League and Cox & Palmer, this year’s event features products pouring from more than 35 breweries, cideries, meaderies and distilleries, all from the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The regular session runs in Hall C from 7:30 to 10 PM, with tickets costing $58 (plus taxes and fees) and entitle you to unlimited samples in your event-branded glass. VIP tickets are sold out, but there’s a VVIP tier at $78 that runs from 5:45 to 10 PM, gets you a special glass, entrée to an industry panel discussion, and early entry onto the pouring floor. There’s also a designated driver ticket available for $20 that doesn’t come with a glass, but gets you into the event with access to water and non-alcoholic options. Tickets are available on the Facebook event page or via Eventbrite

The day before, on Friday, November 8th, from 8:30 to 5 PM, there will also be a Business of Brewing Conference at the Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown geared towards industry business owners looking to transform their businesses. Featuring a full slate of speakers, plus panels and round tables, it’s an opportunity for folks to learn from others about how to grow and improve. Tickets and registration are available through Eventbrite.

This is the time of year in Nova Scotia when tourism starts to flag and harvest season is winding down, leaving our more rural areas to look forward to the next year’s flurry of activity. What better time, then, thought the folks at Sober Island and Lunn’s Mill, to start putting on an annual event? Combine that with both breweries’ love for traditional English styles served in the traditional style on cask, and you’ve got the first annual Cask in the Sticks coming up on Saturday, November 23rd from 1 – 5 PM. The event will rotate between rural breweries on a yearly basis, and the first host will be Lunn’s Mill, who will be tasked with showing off their rural location and organizing a great time. The event will be inside/outside, so dress warmly; to encourage that, they’re having a onesie competition with the prize being tickets to next year’s event. They’ll also have a s’mores station! Tickets are $25 and will get you a Cask in the Sticks branded glass (from Jym Line, of course!) you can take with you at the end of the day; there are no beer tickets at this one, just present your glass and it will be filled. Eight casks will be pouring from Lunn’s Mill, Sober Island, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Meander River Farm, Tatamagouche, Roof Hound, and Annapolis Brewing, with a special 9th cask from homebrewing friends the Roscoe Brothers. Only about 70 spots are available; you can pre-pay for your tickets from any of the participating breweries.

Well, we’re officially knee-deep into September now, and we have the perfect way to ring in the almost-last day of summer – the announcement of umpteen different returning Pumpkin Ales! Whether that brings you vast excitement or the urge to scream “Nooooooooooooooo……!” at the top of your lungs, there’s no avoiding it. But hey, there’s plenty of other new beers out there, too (including Octoberfests, natch), so let’s stop wasting time being smart about Pumpkin beers and just get into it, shall we?

Might as well dive in with one of those Oktoberfest releases, as the actual Oktoberfest in Germany starts tomorrow, and will run for a little over two weeks. That means Bannerman Brewing is releasing their Oktoberfest/Marzen, Safe Bet, just in time. This 5.5% ABV lager was brewed with a blend of Vienna, Pilsner, and Caramel malts, giving a copper-coloured beer that is “full-bodied, with a pleasant malt sweetness and nutty finish”. You can drop by the brewery in St. John’s to get your fix, where it’s available for pints and growler fills. 

Not to be outdone over in Nova Scotia, Boxing Rock has brewed up Equinox, a “classic Bavarian Lager”. With a grist made up of Pilsner malt, the wort was hopped in the boil with German hop varieties, keeping the beer as close to traditional as possible. After a lagering period at near-freezing temperatures, the final beer is now ready for purchase. Sporting “toasted bread flavours, and a soft spiciness”, as well as herbal notes thanks to the hops used, it finishes clean and dry and is mighty drinkable at 5% ABV. Available on tap and in bottles at the brewery in Shelburne, with bottles following at your local NSLC later in the fall. Also, the brewery’s Kolsch, Puck Off, is back, with their latest batch being released in six packs, each of which comes with a Boxing Rock hockey puck.

If you tend to lean towards the darker side when it comes to beer styles, and maybe you’re just a little over-hopped by all those IPAs and such that continue to be popular at the bars, you’ll be happy to hear that Fredericton’s TrailWay has taken a break from hoppy ales to release their first Stout in some time. Not your everyday stout, Snak-Pak was brewed with banana, chocolate, and vanilla! To be more specific in the details, once fermentation was complete, banana puree, Cholaca (a form of pure liquid cacao) and pure vanilla extract were all added, at different stages. This 5.5% ABV dark beer is “well balanced, but all three flavours can be picked up individually”. Curious? Drop by the brewery today when they open, and grab a pint/growler/cans to render your verdict. 

Elliston, Newfoundland’s fall festival, Roots, Rants and Roars, is happening today and tomorrow, and two of the province’s breweries have teamed up to brew a collaboration beer to celebrate! This “co-fermented” Kveik Ale, named Cellar Season,  was designed with festival organizers and Port Rexton Brewing and Quidi Vidi, and features a blend of PRB’s house Kveik (Ebbegarden) and QV’s house Kveik (Voss), both of which are from Escarpment Labs. This light-bodied Kveik beer came out with plenty of yeast character, including “banana, melon and clove on the nose, with spice, berry, melon, and orange on the palate”. Sounds pretty delicious to us! It weighs in at a moderate 5.4% ABV, and will be available at the festival this weekend. You’ll also be able to grab it on tap at the PRB taproom as of today, if you can’t make it to the festival (but you should!). 

Clarenville and Shoal Harbour are located just off of the Trans-Canada Highway where the Avalon, Burin, and Bonavista Peninsulas meet, and for those heading to the Roots, Rants, and Roar festival from St. John’s, a perfect stopping point. As such, the Newfoundland Cider Company located in the community has teamed up with the RRR festival to release the Roots, Rants and Roars Beet Cider. With Elliston being the root cellar capital of the world, it only makes to play on that and choose a veggie that is found in cellars across the province, and nation. The apple cider base underwent a wild fermentation, and was aged in oak barrels for 3 months. The matured cider was then infused with locally-grown (and -stored) beets before packaging. The result is a lovely rosé coloured cider with a semi sweet and balanced flavour. It is available at the Clarenville bottle shop as well as at the Festival. Be sure your Road to RRR includes a stop by NCC’s bottles shop or tasting room this weekend!

Upstreet has thrown down the gauntlet by announcing that today’s Neon Friday release will be the last new beer in their hoppy series of the year, so they’re under pressure to make it a good one! It IS their biggest Neon Friday to date, as Neon Friday 2.07: Hazy Double IPA is, well… a hazy DIPA. Guess the name kinda stole the blog thunder. But still, it IS a big beer at 8% ABV, and was mega-hopped with Cryo Simcoe, Ekuanot, and Amarillo, giving a very juicy brew with aromas of “fresh-cut pineapple, honeydew melon, and soft mint, as well as flavours of orange, lime, and banana”. Available right now at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner in all forms, and pints only in Nova Scotia. 

In Dieppe, NB, Flying Boats has just launched the latest in their Test Pilot one-off series, Test Pilot No. 6: New England IPA. The grist included a percentage of flaked wheat and oats, which help to add haziness, as well as boost the mouthfeel of the final beer. All hop additions were added in the whirlpool and dry-hop stages, and included large amounts of Vic Secret, Citra, and Mosaic. With 43 calculated IBUs, the beer has lots of tropical fruit flavours and aromas, and comes in at 6% ABV. Available at the brewery taproom in pints, growlers, and cans. 

While we’re in New Brunswick, let’s check in with another brewery that is releasing their take on the seasonal Oktoberfest style. Fredericton’s Grimross is today debuting their Oktoberfest Märzen-bier, a beer they’ve been lagering over the summer to have ready just in time for your home Oktoberfest celebrations (hey, drinking good beer at home is reason enough to celebrate, amirite?)! Brewed with a base of Munich malt, and fermented with the brewery’s house Lager strain, it was packaged after a 2 month lagering period. It’s showing off some “rich, toasted malty notes, with old world herbal hop flavour”, while remaining highly drinkable. Available at the brewery on tap and in cans, it comes in at 5.6% ABV and 27 IBUs. 

Speaking of Grimross, they are currently hiring for the position of Head Brewer. You can check out the full job posting here; of course, brewing experience at a senior level is a requirement. 

Before Hurricane Dorian made landfall in our region a couple of weeks ago, it caused major destruction and loss of life in the Carribean, with the Bahamas being particularly hard hit. With many Bahamians living, working, and going to school here in the Maritimes, there are many stories of tragedy of family and friends back home. This is very true for Gio Johnson, a brewer at Good Robot. In support of him and all those affected by the storm, Good Robot is dedicating their next release to raise awareness, and funds, for recovery efforts. Hope Nation Saison is a light-bodied Saison hitting the taps next week, featuring a bright lemony spritziness, a bit of spicy zing, and light fruit character. For those looking to contribute over and above the portion going from drinking a pint or filling a growler, the Rotary Club of East Nassau and Red Cross are two groups working tirelessly to rebuild the islands after the destruction.

From one of Halifax’s littlest breweries (motto: “we used to be smaller!”) comes a really big bastard of a beer this week, with Tidehouse releasing Mars. Featuring plenty of 2-row and Pilsner malts as a base, “massive” portions of chocolate, pale chocolate, standard and dehusked roasted barley, roasted wheat and flaked barley rounded out the malt side. While there’s a ton of dark specialty malts there you would expect to impart roasty and especially chocolatey flavors, we figure at least some chocolate flavor would also have come from the 198 Mars bars that were added at the end of the boil! But that’s not even all! Non-fermentable lactose was added to bump up the sweetness and the beer was finished with blackberries added at the end of fermentation. The result is an 11.5% ABV beer that’s darker than dark, with a slightly dry, tart and fruity finish to balance the sweetness. You’ll find it available on tap at the brewery starting today (but likely only for a little while), or take it to go in the traditional 650 mL bombers or much more reasonable “single serving” sized 340 mL bottles (yay!)

Every year, tens of thousands of folks descend on Southeastern PEI to check out the 70 Mile Yard Sale. This year’s event takes place this weekend, and what better excuse do you need to release a new beer? Montague’s Copper Bottom has created the way to toast the day’s great finds with 70 Mile Yard Ale, a 5.0% ABV American Wheat Ale. Brewed with 2-row, wheat, and acidulated malt, it was lightly hopped to 15 IBUs with Mandarina Bavaria, Amarillo, and Centennial. Light-bodied, refreshing af, and thanks to the addition of orange peel, bright citrus notes shine through as well, to complement the aromas of bread dough. The beer will be launching tomorrow at the 70 Mile HQ at Wood Islands Village, as well as at the taproom with a kick-off event beginning at 3 PM. Mellow Dough will be on hand slinging donuts, PEI Pop Stand will have their gourmet popsicles, and DJ Logan Roche will be spinning some tunes to soothe while you count your new treasures. Download the booklet to plan your attack of the yard sales in the region! After the release, it will be available on draught and in cans at the brewery, as well as at bars around Charlottetown.

Hanwell, New Brunswick’s favourite brewery has brought back a local favourite that is sure to sell out before you know it. Niche Brewing has been playing in the New England style with plenty of hazy and hoppy offerings, and they’ve got a fresh batch of Intergalactic back on tap in the Capital region, and beyond, this week. At 4.9% ABV, the alcohol may not be high, but the flavour is, thanks to massive additions of Citra and Mosaic added late in boil, and then dry-hopped with more Mosaic as well as Galaxy. Tropical notes of pineapple, mango, and citrus shine through, with the hazy-friendly yeast blend keeping the smooth mouthfeel and restrained bitterness in check. We’ve seen that it’s now pouring at The Joyce in Fredericton and soon at Pepper’s Pub in Saint John, with more kegs hitting the taps in the near future.

As we mentioned above, this is the time of year when we start to see one of the most polarizing phenomena in the brewing industry: pumpkin (spice) beer. Whether you’re a fan of it or not, you can’t deny the simple fact that if these beers didn’t sell nobody would make them. This week we had word of at least 4 (tasty treats/abominations) hitting the taps and/or shelves, all of them return engagements. We thought we’d put them all in one place so it’s easy to (get the news you really want/skip the section). We know the 902BrewCast guys will appreciate that; in fact, let’s call this The 902BrewCast Pumpkin Beer Roundup!! And be sure to check out their September Tasting Episode coming this Tuesday when they feature a totally non-polarizing style, Pilsner! So without further ado, here’s the first batch from the pumpkin patch:

  • A long time favourite for fans of the gourd is Propeller Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale. Using real pumpkins (from Howard Dill’s world famous variety from the Valley), the blend of seasonal spices accent the brew to be a true pumpkin pie in a glass. The 5.0% ABV beer is available at both Prop Shops and the private stores this week, and at the NSLC in the next little while.
  • Nine Locks have been making their Harvest Pumpkin Ale for quite a few years now, and this dark, full-bodied amber ale is a favorite with their customers. Both pumpkin and pumpkin spice are paired with a malty backbone and a crisp finish that’s perfect for Autumn. Available at the brewery for sure, we also see an NSLC listing, although we’re not sure if that’s from last year or for this year, so be sure to check ahead before making any plans to procure it from there!
  • Brasseurs Petit Sault way up in Edmundston has their Bonhomme Sept-heures back on tap this week. A big’un at 8.5% ABV and featuring a suitably seasonal spooky label, this coppery-colored amber ale has hints of caramel and a bit of biscuit sweetness to go along with the familiar pumpkin spices. Get a pint at the brewery or take a bottle (or more!) to go, it will also see distribution in select ANBL stores over the coming weeks.
  • Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewing has their Pumpkin Paddler back as well. Named for the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta, which sees participants paddling giant hollowed-out gourds from the Dill Family Farm across Lake Pisiquid. Unfortunately, due to a terrible growing season and Hurricane Dorion, there weren’t enough 6 – 800 lb pumpkins to hold the regatta this year, but there was enough of a crop to make the beer! Featuring both real pumpkin and the brewmaster’s secret pumpkin spice blend, you’ll be able to wax poetic about Pumpkin Paddles past while enjoying one. Find it on tap and in bottles at the brewery and at select private stores in the city.

The Brewnosers homebrew and beer appreciation club has been around since 1986, advocating for better beer and respect for beer, before some of us were even born. What started with four guys in a kitchen sharing beers has evolved into a group of hundreds who are still sharing beers and homebrew recipes, and advancing the state of good beer in the region. Saturday, September 21st, marks the group’s Hoptoberfest event, where members get to show off their latest brews in a relaxed and fun environment. And it is open to the public! In addition to the beer (so much beer!!), there will be hop- and beer-infused sausages from Cavvicchi’s meats, as well as veggie and vegan snacks (and you are encouraged to bring your own). It is taking place at a private residence on the Halifax peninsula (please check out the forum link for further details). There is no cost to attend, a donation for the meal is requested. If you are looking to chat beer, try some great homebrew, and have a fun evening (pop by any time after 4 PM), we can think of no better place to be! And for those who do make it out for a visit, Hammerhead Hops, a local hop supplier, will be graciously donating a pack of 2019 Canadian Cascade hops for your next brewday!

Old school gamers rejoice: this weekend the Propeller Arcade Levels Up! As we mentioned last week, for one weekend only they’ve expanded the arcade out onto the brew floor, bringing in lots of extra cabinets and games not otherwise on site. Open from 4 PM today and tomorrow, and for the first time, noon Sunday for a Family Day, with food from Hopyard Halifax. We’ll see you there! And don’t forget that Propeller holds a Cask Night every Friday, where they tap a small-batch experiment that the brewers have tried. This week’s new one is their Tropical Sour truly cask-conditioned, allowing a milder carbonation to finish the beer. 

Good news, Woodstock (NB) beer drinkers: the 3rd annual First Town Craft Beer Festival is happening tomorrow, September 21st. This year’s event is one evening session only (6:30-9:30pm), and will be held at a new location, at 205 Tamarack St. They expect to have around 25 vendors on site to pour their products, which include beer, cider, mead, wine, spirits, and coolers. Your ticket will get you unlimited pours for the evening, and there will also be food trucks on site, as well as plenty of games to take part in while you’re imbibing. This year’s festival will also include the debut of Carleton County’s own Cross Creek Brewing, who will be launching with five beers, all of which should be available at the event; be sure to drop by their booth to be one of the first to try their brews! Tickets to the event are still available; the VIP ticket gets you in an hour earlier, and also gives you free admission to the After Party with Wisecracker, which includes a cash bar and continues until 1 am (pace yourselves!).

The annual PEI Beer Festival is happening next weekend, September 27th & 28th, in Charlottetown at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel. With 35 vendors attending, there will be a wide variety of beer and cider to suit your “needs”. There are three sessions: Friday evening 6:30-9:30pm, and two on Saturday (2-4:30pm and 6:30-9:30pm); check out this link to go over your ticket options and prices (note that there are designated driver tickets available as well). While you can buy tickets at the door, there is a strong possibility that some or all sessions will sell out in advance, and tickets are slightly cheaper if you purchase them beforehand. There will also be food available for purchase at the event (including oysters), to keep your tummies full to absorb some of that sweet, sweet alcohol.

Not to be outdone by their peers along Highway 101 who have now done two Highway 101 Tap Takeover events, the brewers and breweries of Highway 103 have announced their own event, the Highway 103 Tap Takeover and Tailgate, happening next Saturday, September 28th, from 4 PM to 8 PM at Boxing Rock’s new taproom on Water Street in Shelburne. Featuring the fine folks and beers from the hosts along with Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing Co, Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing, Mahone Bay’s Salt Box Brewing Co, Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing Co, and Tusket Falls Brewing Co out of Tusket, the party will be tailgate style in the parking lot. Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 if you wait and pay at the door) from the Boxing Rock web store and entitle you to 8 four ounce samples and a commemorative tasting glass. There will also be food available for purchase, games, live music, and more!

Now that Newfoundland is approaching a critical mass of craft breweries, it seems only fitting that we’re starting to see more beer-related events popping up there. Next weekend will see a whole weekend’s worth of events going on at the 1st Annual Oktoberfest.NL event presented by the City of Mount Pearl along with YellowBelly Brewery and taking place at the Reid Community Centre. Starting with the Craft’ernoon Experience on Saturday, September 28th, from 2 PM to 5 PM you’ll find beers from Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co, Dildo Brewing, Landwash Brewery, Ninepenny Brewing, Port Rexton Brewing, Quidi Vidi Brewing, and, of course, YellowBelly as well. Tickets are $29.75 (plus taxes and fees) per person and entitle the bearer to four 5 oz samples and a soft pretzel. Later Saturday evening and into the night is Rocktoberfest, starting at 7 PM, where YellowBelly brews will be pouring along with wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages while Miss Conduct and 709 take the stage to provide live music. Prizes will also be awarded for the best Oktoberfest costume. Tickets for this event are $24.75 (plus taxes and fees) and include one 16 oz YellowBelly brew. And Sunday morning, if you’re not too done in from the afternoon and evening before, starting at 11 AM and going to 2 PM is a family-friendly brunch prepared by YellowBelly and with entertainment from The Swinging Belles. Brunch is included in ticket prices ($19.75 for adults, $9.75 for children, plus taxes and fees) and bar service is available. All tickets, including some combos (Craft’ernoon + Rocktoberfest, Craft’ernoon + Brunch, Rockoberfest + Brunch) are available online.

We have been spouting the community and economic benefits of breweries and cideries revitalizing smaller communities for years, with too many shining examples to mention here. In all four provinces of the region, there are stories of brewery owners moving to (or moving back to) a small town with other businesses, and residents, growing around them, supporting and growing each other. This is seeing amazing effects in Newfoundland especially, with breweries on both sides of the island, and soon Labrador, spawning new businesses, jobs, and vitality. As part of the Sustainable Communities Conference, put on by Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and North Atlantic Forum, there will be a public panel event with members of the brewing and distilling community, as well as those researching and assisting with funding, discussing the impact of these businesses in small towns. Held at The Stone Jug at 232 Water Street in Carbonear, the “Craft Breweries & Distilleries as Drivers of Rural Development” panel takes place 1:00 – 2:45 PM on Thursday, October 3rd. The event is free to attend, though the organizers do request registering in advance. It will be a casual environment, with local beer available for purchase, and a lively discussion and Q&A. And giving those in the region a good excuse to get out of town for some sight seeing around the Bay (and the many breweries in the region!).