Holy Whale Brewery

All posts tagged Holy Whale Brewery

Hi again. At least the weather is getting better? Y’know, as if we were allowed to go out and really enjoy it? Welcome to week 5 (or is it 6?) of COVID-19-related isolation and social distancing. At this point we figure most people are either totally fed up with being alone or totally fed up with the people they’re living with. And everybody’s fed up with the rules. That all said, we’re pretty sure that beats the hell out of getting sick and our sympathies go out to anyone who’s directly dealing with COVID-19 in their lives, whether it be themselves or a friend or a family member. And a huge thanks to all of those front line personnel who are keeping things going in these difficult days.

On that happy note, please find below all the new news we could find for you this week. Plus, we’ve done a total update across the entire region on our delivery/curbside pickup options for breweries and cideries. We think we’ve hit every producer out there who has changed their practices since last time! So spread a little love to them, if you’re able, and we’d appreciate a quick nudge via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred) if anything is out of date.

The Delta Force is an elite and elusive group, composed of only the top members of their chosen field, who use whatever means necessary to fulfill their mission. For some, that may be military in nature, extracting key targets and keeping the world safe. In today’s world, having great beer flowing could perhaps be considered a critical need, hence the upcoming launch of Delta Force Brewing. Comprising a small yet capable team, Delta Force will soon be launching their first beers to the public, brewed at a classified location in the Annapolis Valley. To maintain that Top Secret information, they will however be able to bring their beer to you. For those in the Wolfville and Halifax regions, and along the 101, they will be doing deliveries once the beer is available, in the coming weeks. We will also be revealing what we can about the beers, the team, and their plans for world domination (currently on hold) sooner to launch, but you can keep an eye on their website and social media to see if any more can be deciphered. Dismissed!

Those of you who participated in donating some of your homegrown (whether intentionally or not!) apples to Chain Yard Urban Cidery last fall for a special cider… your waiting for the final product is over! After many generous donations from a variety of orchards and yards, The Backyard Project – a 6.4% ABV wild-fermented cider – is ready. Chock-full of “ripe orchard fruit and a crisp, dry finish, plus lingering herbaceous and earthy notes,” it’s a great expression of the many varieties of apples that Nova Scotia has to offer. And aside from being able to drink it, you’ll also be supporting Feed Nova Scotia, which will be receiving a portion of the proceeds. Check out their online store to order your 750 mL bottle(s).

The folks at North Brewing have been keeping busy in order to keep the beer flowing and our mouths/livers happy, re-brewing favourites such as Malternate Reality, Lawrencetown Surf Session, and others. While you can expect to see these canned and released again in the near future (MR hits the shelves yesterday), they DO have a brand new Double IPA available as of this week, HiFi. More of a West Coast take on the style as opposed to the super-hazy, less-bitter New England versions, HiFi was brewed with a large amount of Maris Otter base malt. Dry-hopped with El Dorado and Chinook, the total IBUs come in at around 65-70. Full of citrus and pine character, with a “balanced bitterness”, it weighs in at a hefty 8.5% ABV. Available at the brewery for ordering online now, it should also be at close to forty NSLC stores throughout next week. And a quick note that North’s sister bar and resto Battery Park is now open for curbside take-away. The details are on their site, but the Coles Notes are you submit your burger and side and beer and wine order via email before 11AM, for pickup that evening, Wed – Sat, 3 – 8 PM.

As we mentioned on social media earlier this week, Tidehouse has a couple of new beers canned and out for delivery today (yes, they’ve hopped onboard the home delivery train, to make sure you can get your TH fix even easier than before). The first beer is TV Party, a 7% ABV American IPA hopped with Idaho 7, Galaxy and Mosaic. With a firm bitterness in the finish, expect lots of orange notes, some juiciness, and a little bit o’ pine. Next is Shrug Emoji (you know, this thing ->  ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯), an American Pale Ale moderately-hopped with Czech Saaz. Meant to be a crushable beer to enjoy while you wait this all out (you may want to buy a few, then), it comes in at 5.6% ABV. This post is a little late to get you beer today, as you’re meant to call in your order on Thursday for Friday delivery (free for orders of 4+ cans), but … Great news, as there’s just enough leftover to run their curbside pickup tomorrow! Starting at noon at their spot on Salter, call (902-407-2550) and then pop your trunk to accept the beer!

Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co brewing are continuing to put out new beers and make them available despite current challenges. They also continue to leverage the oenological knowledge of head brewer Dan Tanner and take inspiration from wine styles around the world. This time up, the inspiration came from the Torrontés wines of Argentina and they’ve elected to express it in the Brut IPA style. TM Brut weighs in at 6.9% ABV and features notes of lime, pineapple, grapefruit and lychee thanks to plenty of Topaz and Motueka hops. No hops were added in the kettle until the very end of the boil, ensuring low bitterness (15 IBU) but plenty of flavour! More of the same hops were also added in not one, but two dry hop additions. This one is now available for pickup, delivery, and growler fills; check their online shop for more information on grabbing this one for consumption.

Alma, New Brunswick’s Holy Whale Brewery and Buddha Bear Cafe have been taking the opportunity to experiment in the brewery a little more these days, and have a quartet of sour beers available this week. Playing in the Cocktail realm, they took inspiration from four popular drinks, all starting from a Berliner Weisse base. Their Bellini Sour features loads of peach, thanks to the addition of white peach puree, and some Prosecco for a little extra zip. Not surprisingly, the Blue Lagoon Sour owes its colour to some Blue Curacao, and is extra citrusy thanks to orange zest added to the batch. Pina Colada Sour saw the addition of pineapple puree to this iteration, as well as coconut for the full “down South” drink, and finally Guava Sour, which showcases the puree of the eponymous fruit. All of these are 4.0% ABV, and are in short supply, so we suggest grabbing the one based on your favourite cocktail(s), or better yet, get a couple of each for a full Tiki Bar night in! Their Alma location is open for pre-order and pick up Friday to Sunday, and they are also running deliveries Thursday to the Greater Moncton Area, or pick up at their Riverview bar, via pre-order, with the details on their FB event page.

If you’re in St. John’s, you should check out Quidi Vidi’s online store to order up cans of their latest New England IPA, Unlucky #13. While we can’t provide details on where the name came from (something tells us there’s a story there), we can tell you that it was brewed with a grist of 2-row, Maris Otter, Flaked Oats, Wheat malt, Honey malt, and Acidulated malt. Hopped with a wide variety of… varieties, including Cascade, Cluster, Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe, we don’t have official tasting notes on the beer, but can assume it’s a hazy one with tropical and citrus notes, as well as some pine and dank character. It weighs in at 6% ABV and 28 IBUs, keeping the bitterness on the lower end, as is typical for the style. 

Ashdale Nova Scotia’s Meander River Brewing has a new beer out this week, and another set to launch next week, so we figured we’d give you a double dose today. First up is the return of Sour Mood, their dry-hopped sour. This 4.2% ABV golden beer was soured with Lactobacillus before completing fermentation with a traditional yeast, and then was dry-hopped with Citra hops (their previous version had used Mosaic). Thanks to both the souring and the hops, there’s plenty of great notes of tropical fruit like passion fruit, mango, and lemon, with a refreshing kick. And coming out soon, is Ploughman’s Pilsner, MR’s entree to a light and easy drinking lager, perfect for those looking for an accompaniment to a simple lunch enjoyed in the field, taking a break between working the rows of vegetables or grain. Another 4.2% ABV brew, the pale brew was hopped with New Zealand-grown Pacific Gem hop, a higher alpha acid (higher potential bitterness) relative of the classic Cluster and Fuggle hops. This one will hit the virtual shelves soon, but the Sour Mood, as well as a half-dozen more beer and cider, are available for ordering now on their online shop, and could be part of their Saturday delivery in HRM, Truro, Wolfville, and most parts in between, as well as for safe pickup.

We all suspected it was only a matter of time before Shipwright Brewing released their first Lager, being that their head brewer, Kellye Robertson, was originally with Spindrift back in their Lager-only days. Kellye was finally able to delve into that realm again when she brewed Peninsula Pilsner, a German-inspired Pils brewed with Pilsner and Chit malt from Shoreline Malting. Hopped to 32 IBUs with Magnum and Tradition from Island Hop Company, the beer was fermented with the Autobahn Lager strain from Escarpment Labs, and lagered for 7 weeks. At 5.2% ABV and 32 IBUs, the Pilsner has a “distinctive grain profile” with some floral notes from the hop additions, as well as a moderate bitterness in the finish. They’re offering this one in crowlers at the brewery to-go, or for delivery within Lunenburg (with options for Chester to Bridgewater likely coming next week). Rest assured there’ll be more Lagers from Shipwright in the future, but don’t miss out on your chance to try their first! 

Tusket Falls Brewing is continuing to release new canned beers (such as their Strawberry Milkshake IPA, which unfortunately – or not, depending on where you’re standing! – sold out in less than 24 hours), but they’ve also added a growler fill option. They’re selling pre-filled growlers from the taproom, and if you have a TF growler already, you can exchange yours for a full one for a cheaper price than buying a new one. They’ve got a brand new Session IPA – hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Motueka – available right now for you to test out; at just 4.6% ABV, and with flavours of lemon and white grape, sounds like a good way to creep into your weekend, no?

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has taken part in a worldwide collaboration kicked off by Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing, where all breweries taking part brew the same American IPA recipe to raise funds for local hospitality professionals. Appropriately-named, All Together is a 6.5% ABV brew hopped with Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe and Cascade. Cans of this juicy, fruity beer will be available next Wednesday, with 30% of the proceeds of TW’s version going to the Fredericton Resilience Fund. The FRF will be allocating this donation specifically to those in need within the hospitality industry (of which there is no doubt many). You can do your part next week by grabbing some cans; remember that TW is doing deliveries within Fredericton at certain days of the week, so check out their website for more details.

Lots of folks are getting into the swing of trying to bring a little levity to this lonely hellscape difficult time that we’re living in and we especially like to see it when it benefits a good cause as well. Enter Elmsdale’s Jym Line Glassware, who are stepping up with both. As we’ve mentioned in the past, Jymline are one of the businesses that helps make our regional industry what it is: even if you’ve never heard of them directly, chances are you’ve drank from a glass or poured from a growler that was branded in their facility. They’ve got a new glass they’re making available with a somewhat NSFW image and the now-ubiquitous slogan, “Stay the Bl🔥zes Home!” And lest you think this is merely a cynical cash-in, they’re donating $5 from every glass sold (that’s half the proceeds) to various charities around Elmsdale. The first batch of glasses sold out in a day, which means $535 is going to Caring & Sharing/Angel Tree Foodbank. They’re doing another run, though, that they’re hoping to have ready for next Thursday. No shipping is available, just contactless pickup at the shop in Elmsdale. Glasses are $10 and you can order yours by emailing dale@jymline.com; payment is by e-transfer to that address.

 

We’re now one week into December with holiday decorations up and Christmas music pretty much everywhere. Thankfully the region’s brewers are doing their part to help us ease the stress of the holiday season by continuing to pump out new beers and bring back some seasonally appropriate seasonals. So without further ado, here’s what going on in Atlantic Canada beer news!

Tusket Falls Brewing Company will be opening their doors next Saturday, December 16th. Located at 20 Slocomb Crescent in Tusket (mere seconds off the 103 Highway), their taps will be full with 4 of their core beers, available in flights and pints for enjoyment onsite, as well as to takeaway in growlers (and maybe even cans if everything comes together in time). We will have a full profile with the TFBC crew early next week, with all of the important information on their brewery, beers, and plans for the future.

Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown is launching a new family of beer this week called Million Acres. Named in acknowledgment of PEI’s nickname as a “Million Acre Farm”, this line is definitely a departure from their Upstreet beers, often featuring mixed yeast/bacterial fermentation, primary fermentation and aging in barrels, hyper-local fruit and other ingredients, that can only be achieved on a small scale. The first MA release is Twice Hopped Sour with Centennial and Chinook, the first beer brewed with PEI-grown barley (specifically, 2-row malt) from Spring Valley Farms in Kensington. Kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus culture started from a handful of the Spring Valley Farms grain, the beer was kettle-hopped and dry-hopped (at double the rate of any previous dry-hopped beer at Upstreet) with Centennial and Chinook from New Brunswick hop growers Moose Mountain and Southan Farms. Packaged in 750 mL corked bottles, the resulting beer is “pleasant and punchy in aroma, with a quenching and complex tartness”. The beer is officially being released today: you can pick up bottles at Upstreet, and there will be a limited amount on draft popping up here and there; bottles should be making their way to New Brunswick sometime next month.

• Just a stone’s throw from Upstreet’s Allen Street location is Charlottetown’s Atlantic Superstore at 465 University Avenue. While not normally beer-news-worthy, it is the site of a brand new retail location for PEI Brewing/Gahan House, opening today/this week (after a slight delay from its planned Wednesday opening). Visitors to “The Beer Store” will be able to purchase all of Gahan’s core brands, as well as a selection of seasonals, including Shortest Day. Bottles, cans, and growler fills of the brews will be available. While the Superstore is a 24/7 operation, the Gahan shop opens at 11AM daily, and operates until 7 or 8 (hours are still being determined). And speaking of PEIBC’s retail location, their “Beer Station” on Milky Way (adjacent to the Cows Ice Cream factory) has recently adjusted to winter hours, meaning it will be open 12-7PM Thursday through Saturday. Their selection will be similar to that of the Beer Store.

• In PEIBC beer news, their winter seasonal Ice Boat is available again this year after a hiatus in 2016. With a Stout as the base, the beer spent several months of aging in fresh Tennessee Whiskey barrels to impart vanilla, caramel, and spirit notes, while allowing the roast malt character to shine through. Bottles of the 6.9% ABV beer are available at the Taproom currently, and at select PEILCC locations shortly. And the brewery is continuing their holiday-themed Growler releases today, with The Christmas Growler Countdown. Releasing today at 4PM at the PEIBC Taproom, each week features either a new beer, or a small batch seasonal take on a current favourite. Last week’s Beach Chair Cran-gerine sold out in one day, and we expect the same from this week’s offering, Candy Cane Red, which is their Island Red with a blend of spearmint and peppermint added. Remember these are in growlers only, so pop by after work to grab it for the weekend’s festivities.

• One of Nova Scotia’s newest breweries, Tanner Brewing has a bunch of news for us this week, catching us up with what they’ve been doing down in Chester Basin. First off, although they have previously told us of their plans to use their own grapes in some of their beers in the future, focus this year has been getting the brewery up and running and not so much on the vineyards. In the spirit of exploring grape flavor profiles in beer without actually using grapes, brewer Dan Tanner is doing up some batches where he focuses on assembling a recipe reminiscent of a particular grape variety. The first one of these batches will be a dry Saison that reflects Nova Scotia Muscat grapes, with their grapefruit, orange, rose and pine notes. Look for this one to be ready and available in the coming weeks and for more beers in this vein to appear over the next year.

• Already pouring at the brewery is Tanner’s Roggenbier, a German style featuring rye malt for a spiciness to contrast an otherwise malt-balanced beer and also the phenolic, clove-like characteristics of the Weizen yeast used to ferment it. We’re told it’s not the clearest beer ever made, but if you can get past its somewhat murky appearance it’s a tasty brew. And coming soon are a couple more news brews, the first a Spiced Weizen (wheat) beer reminiscent of a Hefeweizen, but given more of a winter flair through the use of spices, including allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to complement the clove phenols from the yeast. And also coming is a Sticke Alt, a hoppier and maltier brew than a standard Altbier, that boasts a clean malt character and a stiff bitterness at 50 IBU, finished with a dry hop of noble Tettnang. Lastly, a couple notes on beers that will be available outside the brewery. The Belgian Blonde Ale is being released this week; at 6.3% and 30 IBU, it has to this point been one of their most popular pilot brews. And their Pale Ale will be sent out in kegs next week. Described as, “English Pale meets American Pale,” the first run came in a little higher than the pilot batches at 6% ABV due to efficiency differences on the larger system, but it still shows a happy marriage of English malts with citrusy Amercian hops. Look for it and the Belgian Blonde at tap accounts with some reserved for sale at the brewery.

Backstage Brewing has released Black Dog, a Coffee Stout brewed in collaboration with Stellarton’s local coffee shop, King of Cups. Hopped with Chinook, the addition of espresso from Nova Coffee gives the beer notes of “coffee, chocolate, roast, with a clean finish”, according to the brewery. Coming in at 5% ABV, it’s available at the brewery now, and will likely show up on tap at a few select accounts in the province.

Bulwark Cider from New Ross, NS, has two charitable drives going on now: From now until December 21st, every bottle of People’s Cider 2016 sold will trigger a 10% donation to Feed Nova Scotia. That means for every bottle you buy, FNS can supply a meal for a person in need. Pick up yours today at the ciderhouse, or private stores in HRM. Extending their good deeds to our animal companions, Bulwark has released bottles of their Oak-aged Cider to support the Nova Scotia SPCA. Featuring 12 unique labels, each featuring an adoptable cat or dog, chosen to raise awareness of the many animals available for adoption in the provinces shelters. The 7.5% ABV cider inside is Bulwark’s signature five-apple blend and spent 6 months in American oak barrels. From Bulwark, “The result is a smooth and clean cider with all the best qualities of oak: earthy with warm notes of pear, vanilla and cloves.” Bottles (and cases of bottles featuring all 12 distinct labels) are available at private stores, as well as the NSLC, and a portion of sales is going towards the NSSPCA.

• With Christmas fast approaching, beer lovers in St. John’s can rejoice with the realization that this year’s iteration of Mummer’s Brew from YellowBelly will soon be flowing at the brewpub. The 2017 version is being billed as a “Blackcurrant Milk Stout” reminiscent of a Midnight cocktail (combination of a port and Stout), according to the brewery. Featuring a complex grist of Pale malt, Flaked Oats, Roasted Barley, Pale Chocolate malt, and Carastan, there were, of course, several other ingredients. The extras include apple cider concentrate, lactose powder, and black currants, and the beer was hopped to 35 IBUs with Bramling Cross, Cluster, and Nugget. You should be able to find it at the brewery by early next week; expect aromas of roast, chocolate, and “slight smoke augmented by the currants”, with the tartness of said currants blending with a roasty, malty sweetness from the use of specialty malts. Bottles of this 6.5% ABV brew should be available shortly after its release on tap. Be sure to grab some before or after tomorrow’s Mummer’s Parade!

• Friday in Fredericton usually means another new beer release from TrailWay, and today is no exception, with the launch of Emerald occurring at noon. The brewery’s take on the New Zealand Pilsner – a mid-strength, well-attenuated-but-not-extremely-dry, drinkable Pilsner featuring NZ hop varieties – Emerald features a grist of “complex Pale malts” and was hopped with Motueka and Wakatu. Conditioned on lime zest, the beer has an “upfront juicy-candied-lime character, with a tropical fruit element”, making it “reminiscent of a key lime pie”. Very drinkable as per the style at 5% ABV, as usual cans will be for sale at the brewery only, as well as pints and growlers (with a few accounts in Fredericton getting a keg or two as well).

• If you’re in Halifax, we naturally assume that you’ll be heading to the book launch for East Coast Crafted at Stillwell on Saturday (more on that in the events section below); if you didn’t need another reason to head that way, here’s another – the fourth in as many weeks new beer launch from Stillwell Brewing will take place on Saturday as well! SAAZBIER is a blend of two hoppy Saisons fermented in white wine barrels over the summer (making SAAZBIER SB’s first beer fermented entirely in oak). Both beers used in the blend were hopped mostly with Sterling, with some Magnum and Tettnang joining the party. After aging, they were both dry-hopped with a healthy dose of – you guessed it – Saaz hops. The beer was then bottled and conditioned for several more months before its release, where it will finally be ready for your eager mouth (or pie-hole, whichever you prefer). Described by the brewery as “bitter, aromatic, and lightly tart”, and “very aromatic with the yeast and hop aromas”, think of this one as similar to Stillwell 3, but barrel aged. Like the recent releases you’ll be able to buy it by the bottle at the brewery on Sunday. Luckily, they have more bottles of this release than their previous beers, but it’s still a good idea to get there on Sunday to pick your bottles up!

• With the Tidehouse Tap Takeover tomorrow evening at Tom’s Little Havana to celebrate the brewery’s One Year Anniversary, of course one of the eight taps would include a new beer! The brewery got experimental and created Idea of Nord, a “Norwegian Farmhouse Ale”. Brewed with a grist of all-Vienna malt, and hopped with Northern Brewer, they followed the Norwegian tradition of steeping all of their brewing water with juniper boughs. Fermented with the Yeast Bay’s Sigmund’s Voss Kveik strain, the beer has some spicy, herbal flavours, as well as a “pronounced orange flavour” that is common with that particular yeast strain. The rest of the lineup of the Tap Takeover is also now available through the event’s Facebook page, so take a gander and plan your attack!

• Yesterday’s Big Spruce Tap Takeover at Battery Park was a massive success, featuring 15 taps and one cask, with a mix of old favourites, seasonals, new releases, and teases of what’s to come. Their popular Blood Donair made its return, a 7.1% ABV Stout that featured several kilos of donair meat in the brew, and then aged on raspberries. Not related, except by name, is a new small release of Blood Juniper, a 6.0% ABV IPA featuring Blood Orange and Juniper for an extra citrus and piney kick. A small batch Experimental Sour Brett Saison also made its debut yesterday, and details are currently murky as to when it will see wider release. The latest batch of their tribute beer, Coadeword: Snowmageddon Winter Warmer, was pouring from a cask through a handpump, and will be released soon, and a tease of 2018’s Ra Ra Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout was available on nitro as well. Look for several of these to be available today at opening in case you missed out, and in wider release in the coming weeks.

• Alma’s Holy Whale and Buddha Bear Cafe have launched their latest beer, a kellerbier. Keller Whale is 5.3% ABV brew that has been conditioning for quite a while (keller is “cellar” is German), smoothing out any harsh character and dropping clear without the use of filtering. Drop by their spot for a taste today, with $0.50 of each pint being donated to The Fundy Biosphere Reserve.

• Pre-ordering on Red Rover’s website is available today for a line of cider/spirit collaboration with Distillerie Fils du RoyThe Spirits of Christmas. Available for the next three Saturdays, Past, Present, and Future, are ciders and spirit blends from these two craft alcohol producers. Check out their brand new online store for more details!

Another round of events coming up in the region!

Tomorrow is the launch of East Coast Crafted book at Stillwell, and there will be a full complement of fun to be had! A fully Atlantic Canadian tap list with many breweries pouring for the first time outside of their home province, and many of the brewers and other folks (*cough* *cough* even us) interviewed for the book will be on hand to chat beer, sign babies and kiss books. There are no tickets necessary for entry, but buying the book there will get you your first drink and snack for free! And the first ten folks to take advantage deal will receive a bonus branded glass, t-shirt, and coaster. Check the full taplist and other details here, it all kicks off at noon. See you there!

• Tickets for next summer’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival will go on sale this Sunday, December 10th. Last summer’s inaugural event was a huge success, with plenty of breweries and beer drinkers descending on the town of Nackawic for the outdoor festival. They’re promising next year’s (which will be held on Saturday, July 14th from 4-9 pm) to be even better, as they’ve already confirmed close to double the number of beer and cider vendors at the fest. As well, there are more options for getting to and from the festival next summer, as there are various ticket options that include bus rides from Woodstock, Fredericton and Saint John, and back again after the festival is over. We’ll have more details over the coming months; in the meantime, be sure to grab your tickets ($50 regular admission, $65 for admission + round-trip bus transportation) on Sunday, here.

• Tickets are still available for Winter’s big event in Halifax, the Fifth Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration. Being held ThursdayJanuary 18th at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, 16 breweries from across Nova Scotia will be paired up with restaurants and food suppliers to bring you an all-inclusive evening taking over several rooms of the hotel, effectively the entire first floor! Take a gander at the brewery and vendor list here, and pick up your tickets today!

• The following weekend will see a special night for the new breweries and cider houses in the Annapolis Valley and South Shore getting together at one of their own. South West Nova Craft Beer Tasting Night will be held at Roof Hound Brewing January 24th. From 6:30, beer from Annapolis Brewing CompanyHeritage BrewingLazy Bear, and Lunn’s Mill will take over the taps for the evening. Your $30 ticket includes an appetizer and your first flight of all ten beers on tap (2 from each in attendance), live music from David Chamberland, and a fun meet and greet with this gaggle of brewers. Grab your tickets at Roof Hound today, or email them to get the ball rolling.

And a few more notes before we let you go:

– Next Tuesday’s release of Good Robot‘s Beta Brew will be Rebel Destiny, a 7.6% ABV Double Black IPA hopped with Enigma and Galaxy. Also, DeWolfe of Wall Street is back on tap at the brewery’s taproom, and they’ve just canned their second round of Extra Big Ass Camacho Lager.
Hell Bay has brought back their Tannen Bomb, a 5% ABV “Honey Blonde Ale” infused with balsam fir, for the holidays. It’s on tap at the brewery now, and will be released in bottles sometime next week.
Horton Ridge Malt and Grain has released their latest beer, Kings & Queens SMaSH. From the brewery: “It is a tale of two counties. The barley was developed and grown in Queens County, PEI by Lester Craig; the Centennial hops were grown in Kings County NS by Fundy Hops. A nice light beer, at 4.2% ABV, it has become popular with our taproom regulars. Available in pints/tasters at the Malt House, and in growlers to go.”

Alma, New Brunswick, has just joined the growing ranks of other small towns in the province that have their own brewery. Brothers Jeff and Pete Grandy, originally from Prince Edward Island, have opened Holy Whale Brewery in a former church, which is also home to the Buddha Bear Coffee Roaster & Cafe, a cafe/taproom also owned by the Grandys. We’ve exchanged some emails and met with Jeff to find out what Holy Whale has in store for Alma, and the rest of the province…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Pete and I grew up in PEI. My background prior to our beer venture is in business marketing, and Pete’s is in engineering and teaching. Pete lives next door to the brewery – he needed a place to live and it had a great well (and water tested very favourable for our brewing water) and I just moved to Moncton with my wife and little daughter.

How did you get into the world of beer?
After university, I sort of fell into a job that after about 10 years or so, realized it wasn’t for me (takes me a while). I stumbled upon a brewing operation program at both Niagara College in Ontario, and Olds College in Alberta. I applied to Olds and was luckily accepted. After my first of two years, my wife – who was doing her MBA at the time – and I started our business plan. She was able to use it as her final project, so a fair bit of time and discussion was allotted to the plan. At the beginning of my second year, I approached Pete, who was teaching at a college in Malaysia at the time. As an engineer, Pete had experience with manufacturing QA/QC and thought he may be a good addition. After graduation, I also approached Ian Hillier, who is the engine/muscle behind this project. Ian, having experience as a general contractor, being a generally nice guy, and having the patience in dealing with our arguing was key in allowing us to get this thing off the ground. If it wasn’t for Ian, we’d be opening in a year’s time.

Pete and I started by making wine in our high school years. We were very serious about the process, mostly because our older brother was terribly meticulous and was pretty strict in the teaching process. After a year of making wine, we soon had too much product for us to drink and Pete starting selling to others at Colonel Gray High School and Queen Charlotte Junior High (I had nothing to do with this). I eventually got into beer-making in my mid-twenties, and eventually started all-grain brewing a few years after and have been at it since.

What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
We are trying hard to create a space where our customers can relax, and product that they can enjoy. We also hope that our staff enjoys the environment where they work, whether it be in the brewhouse or cafe. Despite being fairly regimented in the brewhouse, we are trying not to take ourselves and what we do in an overly serious way. We’re a taproom/brewery in Alma, NB – not exactly saving the world.

Can you tell us about the beers you’re offering initially? Any seasonals or one-offs in the works? 
Right now, we’re experimenting quite a bit. We just had our soft-opening over the past weekend, which are the following:
– An experimental Irish red (on nitro, 4.2% ABV, 18 IBUs)
– Session IPA (4.1% ABV, 35 IBUs) with flaked oats in the malt bill, bittered with Magnum hops, and Azacca and Mosaic used as late additions, as well as the dry hop.
– American Pale Ale (5.3% ABV, 55 IBUs) bittered with Magnum, and hopped with Amarillo, Cashmere and El Dorado for late/dry hop additions.
Once we have a few more beers tested and have our Brewery Agency Store (BAS) license (for takeaway sales), we’ll likely have our grand opening; we’re hoping mid-December.

What are your plans for distribution? Taproom, keg licensees, bottles/cans, growlers, etc.? Will you be licensed for on-site sales or consumption at the brewery?
We currently operate a cafe featuring 10+ craft beers on tap, with a heavy Maritime focus. We operate the cafe under the name ‘Buddha Bear Coffee Roaster’ and will market the beer under ‘Holy Whale Brewing Co.’ We’ll likely focus on taproom sales; through pints at first, and then eventually crowler fills once we get our BAS.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
A lot of breweries have been great in knowledge sharing — quite a few over the past couple of years.  A couple to note, Jeff and Graham from Tool Shed in Calgary helped out as I was starting my business plan. More recently, advice from Jake and Dan at Trailway, Patrice at Acadie-Broue, Ian Cameron from Bale Breaker in Yakima Valley, and Dave Holowaty from Rebellion in Regina.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
Still existing.

What size/manufacturer/type of system are you be brewing on? Expected output (monthly, yearly, etc)?
We purchased a 10 hectolitre system from a manufacturer in China. A German brewer I met while I was in school at Olds suggested I contact this manufacturer where he had sourced his equipment. My brother Pete, who was in Asia at the time, went to China and inspected the manufacturing warehouse and visited a couple of brewpubs with this equipment in place. Overall, we’re happy with the equipment – a few measurements for our space were off, which caused some initial headaches, but overall we’re pleased after our first few brew days.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
I find Belgian styles and wacky, hop-forward styles the most interesting.  I also have a great deal of respect for any craft brewer who produces a crisp, clean lager.

Do you have a website, Facebook page, Instagram account, and/or Twitter presence?
We’re using our ‘Buddha Bear’ Facebook page as our go-to for info — along with Instagram — @buddhabearcafe

Congrats to Jeff and Pete on their recent launch! Be sure to drop by the Buddha Bear to give their beers – as well as their coffee – a taste. Stay tuned to their social media pages – and this blog, of course – for details on future beers, and their grand opening in December.