Ironworks Distillery

All posts tagged Ironworks Distillery

Hey, it’s Friday again! Just when we were getting back into the groove after a three-day break, they decided to send another weekend our way, how about that! We’ve got brand new beers, and plenty of events to tell you about across our region, so grab your sandwich in one hand, your beer in the other, and scroll along with us today…

• Down in Lawrencetown in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, the gang at Lunn’s Mill decided to do something special for their 50th batch. Reaching into their trove of favourite recipes, they came up with a double dry-hopped SMaSH beer featuring current darling of North American brewing Mosaic hops. Called Canada Day SMaSH for the simple fact that it was released just in time for the big day last weekend, it leverages a new school technique for dry hopping, namely the addition of the first charge before the completion of primary fermentation, which helps to provide a “juicy” character. The result is a showcase of the hop, with tropical fruit followed by citrus and then a dank finish. There wasn’t a huge batch of it to begin with and it’s going fast, so if you want to get your hands on it you’ll have to get down there for a sample or a growler fill. That said, we’ve been advised that it might very well make another appearance in the future. Meanwhile, in other Lunn’s Mill news, they’re getting the paperwork together to allow for pouring full pints in their hospitality room, which should hopefully happen in the next few weeks. And their 5 BBL Brew-in-a-Conical is ramping up to full production, with a couple of batches already done, including Charming Molly. More beer brewed should mean more availability in other parts of the province.

• Southwestern Nova Scotia’s newest brewery, Heritage Brewing Co in Yarmouth also released a single hop beer for Canada Day, their Citra Session IPA. Cited as one of their own favourites in our profile back in mid-June, it’s now available. Featuring the extremely citrusy Citra hop variety, this beer has just enough base and specialty malt to bring it up to 5% ABV and balance the flavour brought by hops. At 42 IBU it should have a firm, but not distracting bitterness, and dry-hopping should ensure that it’s got a healthy aroma. Grapefruit, melon, gooseberry, passionfruit and lychee are all represented in this easy-drinking summer quaffer. It’s definitely available at the brewery for growler fills and 4oz tasters; hopefully it will appear at tap accounts as well.

• Hopping across the Bay of Fundy finds us in Saint John, NB, where Loyalist City Brewing has released Pink Dwarf, the first of their “Summer Sour” series of beers. Brewed in the Berliner Weisse style with a German Wheat and Pilsner malt grist, it was soured with their own blend of four Lactobacillus strains. Pink Dwarf gets its name from the Dwarf Cherries used in the beer, giving it a lovely pink hue. The tartness of the cherries only serve to enhance the acidity of the Lacto, and provide the unfiltered beer with a sour cherry flavour and aroma. It is currently available at a couple of LCBC’s accounts in Saint John, and on tap at the ANBL growler* stations in Saint John/KV and Fredericton this weekend, along with their Wurttemberg Weissbier. *The growler document is slow to update this week, double-check the date in case it’s not been updated when you read this…

• Also in Saint John, Big Tide Brewing has a very special ale on tap for the second time. Originally designed with Gilliane Nadeau of Uncorked Tours and her husband-to-be for their engagement party, a new batch has been brewed to celebrate the actual nuptials this weekend. ALEtar MatrimoniALE was brewed in the Altbier style, with traditional Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, top-fermenting ale yeast, and hopped lightly with Hallertau Magnum and Saazer hops before being aged for 5 weeks. Light copper in colour, it comes in at 5.2% ABV and a light 20 IBU, smooth as the style goes and easy-drinking enough to be sessionable. Also on the board as of Canada Day is another summery fruit beer that they’re calling Long Reach Strawberry Rhubarb Blonde. Starting with a blonde ale recipe using 2-row and pale malts along with Libery hops to the tune of 20 IBU, they added over 60 lbs. of local rhubarb and strawberries. The result is a 5.4% ABV refreshing beer that walks a fine line between tart and sweet. As long as they last, you’ll find both of these beers available for pints in the taproom and growler fills to go.

• Heading up Highway 7 will get you to Fredericton, where TrailWay Brewing calls home. They have released a pair of new beers in the past seven days, so let’s get you up to speed: Last Friday saw the release of Adore Double IPA, a hazy, juicy, aromatic beer featuring plenty of late- and dry-hopping from AmarilloCitraEl Dorado, and Ella. Smooth and supremely drinkable, despite its 8.0% ABV. Joining Adore is the latest in Trailway’s “Seeing” series, this time featuring Ekuanot (formerly known as Equinox). Seeing Ekuanot is a 6.0% IPA, and for the first time, TW used lupulin powder for half of the dry-hop. On hop cones, the resiny yellow powder are lupulin glands, containing the essential oils and Alpha and Beta acids that are the primary ingredients for which hops are so highly prized. Extraction of the lupulin powder brings out these positives, but without any of the plant material to get in the way. We couldn’t say it any better than TrailWay, “The result is massive flavour and aroma without the vegetative and astringency that can be introduced when dryhopping at these rates with pellets or whole cone.” Both of these beers are available now at their North Side taproom on tap for samples, pints, and growlers, and in cans (but in more limited fashion).

• Still in Fredericton, Grimross Brewing has hopped (see what we did there) on the Summer Dad Beer trend with their new Braunschweig German Pils. Crystal clear and brilliant yellow, it weighs in at a lovely and light 4.5% ABV and features the complex flavour you’d expect from the style. Kegged yesterday, it is already available in the Grimross Taproom and should be making an appearance at the Picaroons Brewtique. And don’t worry if you don’t think you can pronounce Braunschweig, it’s just the German form of Brunswick!

• Heading back down to Saint John and environs, there are two breweries looking to complete their teams for their imminent opening/expansion. Hammond River Brewery is hiring folks for their taproom in Rothesay at 141 Old Hampton Road (adjacent to the Barrel’s Head), which is slated to open next week (all signs point to July 10th later in the week). Contact them via social media for more details.

• The second brewery is Gahan House Port City, which will soon be calling 87 Prince William St home. They are hiring Assistant General Managers, a Head Chef and Sous Chefs. Check out their Careers page and email for more information, and you can expect their location to open this fall.

• The three-bearded beer-banging beast known as 902 BrewCast dropped episode #17 last week, this time with Chad Steeves of Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub talking about craft beer, food, and operating their own brewery. Meanwhile, the boys hit the road this week to the South Shore to visit and record episodes with Bridgewater’s Firkinstein and Shelburne’s Boxing Rock. So if you haven’t already, grab the T&B episode and give it a listen while you anticipate what’s coming down the pike this coming Nine-Oh-Tuesday.

• And speaking of Boxing Rock, word came out this week that the latest beers in their Barrel Aged series have arrived: Barrel Aged Battery Rock and Barrel Aged U-889 made their debut this week after both spent some six months in barrels formerly used at Ironworks Distillery for their gold medal-winning Bluenose Rum. If you’ll recall, Battery Rock was an India Brown Ale specially brewed in collaboration with North Brewing for Boxing Rock’s takeover of Battery Park back in November. What was already a big beer at 9% ABV is now a certified heavy-hitter at 11%. And if you’re worried you’ll miss the hops half a year later, fear not, as a new round of dry-hopping with Citra and Huell Melon took place between the barrel and the bottle. That said don’t expect the hops to express themselves as they would in a young beer. As for the U-889, it also saw a jump from 9% ABV (well, 8.89%, allegedly) to the 11% range after its time in the barrel. A bigger-bodied beer to begin with, expect the vanilla and coffee to have mellowed somewhat and melded with the wood and spirit character. And if you missed the first of BR’s Barrel series, the Barrel Aged Triskaidekaphobia Brown Ale last April, it turns out there are a few of those left as well, now with a year of bottle aging to boot. If you’re interested in any of these beers, the only place we’re sure you can get them is at the brewery, but if we hear tell of them appearing at the private stores in Halifax or one or more of the province’s farmers markets we’ll be sure to let you know!

• Further up the South Shore, Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company has a couple of beers in the works. The first is the return of their Loyalist ESB, a 5.9% ABV and 38 IBU beer that inhabits the upper end of the scale for English Bitters. It’s hopped with the classic English Fuggle hops and Nottingham yeast for a very traditional experience. They’re hoping to keg it tomorrow, so you should find it available in the coming week at the brewery for fills and pints, and later at tap accounts. Meanwhile they’re also putting the finishing touches on their Rhubarb Berliner Weiss, a 4.8% ABV beer that was soured with some 10 – 15 pounds of rhubarb along with Lactobacillus in the fermenter. They’re hoping to have that one available early next week, also by the pint in the taproom and growler fills to go, but this one is also expected to see some distribution for growler stations in the private stores in Halifax. And if you’re looking for something delicious to go with that beer, Saltbox will also be welcoming Backoos Korean Togo for a pop-up tomorrow and Sunday.

• Things are swinging at Horton Ridge Malt and Grain Co. with the advent of their new on-site brewery and tap room. This week they had a new beer of their own pouring, the Island Wheat. Lightly hopped with Mosaic and Azacca for hints of tropical fruit and citrus, the wheat should make it a refreshing sipper for summer weather. And a reminder to check in regularly on Horton’s social media accounts for their tap list. Their own beers are small batch and can rotate fairly frequently as can their guest taps, which have seen some killer brews already in the short time they’ve been open!

• The Good Robot gang on Robie Street in Halifax is keeping up with their Friday Cask in the Sun pledge this week with another variant on their Goseface Killah, this week again featuring arctic kiwis but replacing last week’s watermelon with pineapple. Should make for a super-refreshing and tropical afternoon and evening of sipping on the Gastroturf. And we’d love to tell you about the beer for this coming Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday, but it turns out we already did last week, so go read it there. Due to a last minute change of plan, the Re:Drella brewed by Kelly Costello with Dan Hendricken was bumped to coincide with Dan’s involvement in GR’s next Just Vorlaufs! event also slated for this coming Tuesday. Meanwhile, last week’s beer ended up being the Calypso White IPA brewed by Kelly with new Robot Giovanni Johnson. It was 4.6% ABV, with Cascade, Centennial and Nelson Sauvin hops and a misleading 91 IBUs because it was “definitely still crushable”. So crushable, in fact, that it was gone by 8:30pm.

• For those interested in learning a little more about what it’s like on the business side of taking the plunge and opening a brewery, look no further than the Startup Canada Podcast with Rivers Corbett. Their latest episode, #93, is a chat with Mitch Cobb, co-founder and CEO of Upstreet Brewing in Charlottetown, PEI. Upstreet represents Mitch’s third foray into start-up businesses, so he’s got lots of experiences to share along with, we expect, some hints as to what’s coming down the pipe for Upstreet. Check Mitch’s episode out on iTunes and Soundcloud, preferably with an Upstreet brew in hand.

• We have more detail to add to the previous call for analytical beer testing by the CCNB: ‘‘Free chemical and microbiological testing! The CCNB-BTSC is collecting finished craft beer samples for a study on beer biochemical quality and local ingredients. This is for licensed craft breweries only. The testing includes: %ABV, SRM, IBU, sugars, organic acids, pH, anaerobic/aerobic Lactobacillus strains, etc. Selection will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, so contact them as quickly as possible, as they are collecting a limited amount of samples. If you are interested in participating in the study and getting some free beer analysis and data interpretations that could help optimize your product and/or your brewing process, please contact Jared Christensen (jared.christensen@ccnb.ca 506-475-4029) to get filled in on the specifics of the project.’’ We are also able to share this one-page primer on the project.

Another busy beery weekend is upon us. Shine up your drinking shoes, it’ll be a large few days! As usual, check out our Calendar for everything on the go in AtlCanBeer events, and be sure to let us know if we’ve missed anything!

• Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar is welcoming back Portland’s Liquid Riot Bottling Co this weekend, after their eye-opening visit last summer. With a full range of beers from light wheat beers to hazy IPAs and big stouts, they are taking over the taps at the Barrington Mothership today from 6pm, and tomorrow at the Spring Garden Beer Garden from noon. The LRBC crew will be on hand to chat about their brewery, and have special insight into the Maine brewing scene, through their must-visit sister bar Novare Res. Keep an eye out for the other events Stillwell’ll be hosting over the next couple of months, including a tap takeover by Vankleek Hill, Ontario’s, Beau’s All Natural on August 10th; Le Trou du Diable from Shawinagan and an two-day epic Belgianfest, dates of those are still TBD. Rest assured we’ll be keeping you informed of all of the details as soon as we know!

• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock is celebrating their Fourth Birthday Party all day tomorrow. Open from 11AM, they’ll be featuring brewery tours (2 for 1 discount), live music, washer toss and beer pong all day, plus hosting Axe Throwing from 1:00-3:00 ($15), Finest Kind Food will have a BBQ and corn boil from 1:30-3:30, and at 3:00, there will be cake and the name of their new beer celebrating Shelburne’s Tall Ship Event be will announced (you’ll have to wait until the event mid-August for the beer itself!). More details are available here, be sure to drop by 78 Ohio Road in Shelburne for a great day food, beer, and fun.

• Also happening all day tomorrow, July 8th, is Propeller’s Gottingen Street Block Party in celebration of their Twentieth Anniversary! It’s gotten even more epic and fun and outrageous since we first mentioned it last month, with several more artists signed on, and an expansion of the venues. The fun kicks off at 1:00PM at The Local, just down the block from Propeller, and then at 5:00PM in the parking lot of Seven Bays Bouldering adjacent to Propeller. Both of those shows will run into the afternoon and early evening, with the main event starting at 10:00 PM at the Marquee, where Skratch Bastid & Friends take the stage to keep the street bumping until late. The afternoon events are free and family-friendly, with the tickets for the evening show just $20. All proceeds are going to the  North End Community Health Centre, and donations will be collected at the events (and you can donate online here). Check the full lineup details here. This weekend is also the perfect time to check out the latest Gottingen Small Batch releases, two versions of a California Common, either Sacramento Common (5.5% ABV, 39 IBUs) or San Diego Common (4.0% ABV, 35 IBU). Try them both, and let them know if you’re a NorCal or SoCal kinda drinker.

• In Fredericton, the Ladies Beer Connection is holding their Six Month anniversary celebration next Wednesday, July 12th. The King Street Ale House will be hosting the crew from 6:30 to 8:00, and for just $22.50 (+tax), you’ll receive ten 4 ounce samples of whatever they have on tap. And if you’d like to keep sampling, addition purs are just $2.00 each. It’s a great way to come out and spend time with fellow beer fans from the area, taste your way through KSAH’s offerings, and have a fun evening. Please RSVP today to reserve your spot, and check out more details here.

• On July 13th, as part of the Whycocomagh Summer Festival, the Whycocomagh Waterfront Centre is hosting the Inaugural Whycocomagh Craft Beer Festival. From 8:00 to 10:00 PM, your $20 entry (pay at the door) gets you ten 4oz samples and a souvenir glass. More 4oz samples can be purchased for $1 each. Enjoy live music while sampling beer from Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Gahan House Halifax, Garrison, and Tatamagouche. There will be food to purchase from Crusin’ Cuisine, Laura’s Pretzels, Little Asia, and Sam’s Point Oysters. The WWC is located at 9650 NS-105 in Whycocomagh, NS.

• Next weekend, Picaroons is hosting a Craft Beer Village on Downing Street in Moncton, as part of Festival Inspire. From 4:00-12:00 Friday July 14th, and 2:00-12:00 Saturday July 15th, enjoy plenty of Pics’ offerings, mead from fellow Fredericton business Sunset Heights/Pollen Angels Meadery, plus local members of the Moncton Craft Brewers Collective: Acadie-Broue, Bore City Brewing, Celtic Knot Brewing, Flying Boats Brewing, The Pump House Brewery and Restaurant, Scow Cider du Verger Belliveau, and Tide and Boar. The event is pay-as-you-enjoy, and 19+.

• Stretch your New Brunswick Day (Monday August 7th) into three fun days by running around Fredericton! Hosted by the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, three runs are being held that long weekend: the Sprited Dash on Saturday, Wine Run on Sunday, and Beer Run on Monday.
Fredericton Spirited Dash, Aug 5th 2017: 1 mile dash followed by Cocktail sampling.
Fredericton Wine Run, August 6th 2017: 5 km or 5 Miler followed by Wine sampling.
Fredericton Beer Run, August 7th 2017: 4, 6, & 12 Km run followed by a Beer, Cider and Mead sampling.
Sign up for all three and receive a special gift plus a free carb-loading pasta meal after the Fredericton Spirited Dash Saturday night.
Sign up at RaceRoster today to secure your spots! For those not willing to run for their beer, tickets are available for the post-run Beer, Cider, and Mead sampling on Monday the 7th.

Before you head out today…

– Congratulations to Riverview’s Celtic Knot who brewed up the first batch of beer on their new 4.5 hl (3.75 BBL) brewhouse this week. Look for that beer, and plenty more, in growlers when they open their retail location later this summer, and on tap at more spots in the region thanks to the expanded capacity.

– Oromocto’s Johnny Jacks Brewery have released a new beer, Farmhouse Ale. A Belgian-inspired 5.4% ABV light summer beer, it is available at a couple of ANBL locations, and on tap in their neighbourhood.

Mill Street St John’s has released a new beer this week, Best Kind IPA. Hopped solely with Mosaic throughout the brewday as well as dry-hopping, the finished beer features plenty of citrus and pineapple flavours and aroma, on top of an unfiltered light body. At 6.5% ABV and 58 IBUs, this juicy beer is on tap for samples, pints, and growlers now.

– Halifax’s new cidery on the block Chain Yard had a new offering hit the taps on Wednesday. Lime-Stone Sessional is a lower-ABV offering at 4.8% that features lots of citrus and stone fruit presence, perfect for a hot day on their Agricola Street patio.

– Nothing says summer quite like maple syrup! At least that’s what the folks at Authentic Seacoast (aka Rare Bird) are thinking, as they have released their Maple Ale at the NSLC’s The Port location. The beer is brewed using locally-collected sap in place of all of the water, and the beer finishes at 6.5% ABV. You can also grab a taste of the beer at their brewery at 75 Ferry Road in Guysborough all summer.

– Charlo’s Savoie’s Brewhouse is switching their packaging from bottling to canning, thanks to a new acquisition in the brewery. The first beers to be packaged in cans in the coming months will be Island Lake Blonde and Chaleaur Phantom Amber Ale, followed by Charlo Falls Rye IPA, and Heron’s Nest Porter. Also available at the brewery, and at the adjacent Heron’s Nest Pub, are Sugarloaf Mountain Maple Amber, Herons Island Orange Wheat, Bullers Blueberry Wheat, Bon Ami Strawberry Wheat, and Restigouche River Raspberry Wheat. Look for their version of the Acadian Nut Brown to debut in the fall, along with their Fall Fair Harvest Ale.

– The Calvados barrel-aged coffee we told you about last week from Low Point Coffee Co has now been roasted by Halifax’s Java Blend and packaged for sale. We’ve heard there’s only 50 or so bags of this available (and we’ve spoken for two of ’em!) so if you’re keen to try it out we suggest you not wait too long! Contact them on social media, or go see them at their stall at the Alderney Landing Farmers Market.

– We can now report that WestSide Beer Wine Spirits (aka Cristall Wine Merchants’ new name and location) will be opening at 287 Lacewood (in the former Brewdebakers location) early next week, probably Monday, July 10th. Featuring 8 taps for growler fills, several large coolers, and an expanded floor space for other, lesser beverages, it will be growing several times its current size.

Happy Friday! As we enter the busy month of December, the breweries in Atlantic Canada are firing on all cylinders, as there is lots of beer news this week. Let’s get started…

Big Tide has a new brew on tap at the brewpub: Gasworks Chocolate Honey Wheat was brewed for an event at the Saint John Free Public Library, “Beethoven, Books and Beer”. Brewer Wendy Papadopoulos was aiming to brew a beer that was “light and dark”, and warming and refreshing at the same time. So, she added honey to a light wheat ale base to hopefully give a creamier mouthfeel, and also added both Chocolate and Carafa malts to darken the beer and give some roastiness to the flavor. The IBUs are on the lower end, to keep the malt characters upfront. It clocks in at 5.5% ABV; get down to try it, as it won’t be around for long! They’ve also got another new beer in the works just in time for the holidays, Santa’s Chocolate Porter. More on that one, soon!

Pump House has re-released their own take on the Winter Warmer style… a style which is becoming more and more popular for these colder months. Nor’Easter Winter Warmer is a strong ale at 7.5% ABV, and malty sweet, as the style calls for. The brewers spice the beer with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and lightly hop it to only 20 IBUs. It’s currently on tap at the brewpub in Moncton, and is also available for growler fills at the Dieppe ANBL store this week.

• Along with their first DIPA, 8 Cord, the PEI Brewing Co. also released another new beer yesterday! Ice Boat is the brewery’s Sydney Street Stout that has been aged in Tennessee whiskey barrels for three months (the barrels were rinsed before adding the beer, to temper the alcohol flavor and enhance the softening effects of the oak, according to head brewer Chris Long). Packaged in a limited number – 1000 – of 750 mL, wax-dipped bottles (they assure us the wax is easier to remove than in their Transmitter Stout!), it’s currently available at the brewery, and should hit PEILCC stores sometime next week. We also mentioned a Doppelbock last week; that beer has currently been put on hold, but don’t worry, they still plan on brewing it soon!

• In cider news, Red Rover has just released their newest product, Jingleberry. A semi-dry cider coming in at 7% ABV, it has wild blueberries added during the brewing process to give some tartness in the flavors. And if you’re looking to take home some Red Rover cider in a larger container than their usual 1 L flagons, they now have 5 L “Kitchen Party Kegs” for sale… they’re $64 (taxes included) and are refillable; available for purchase at the Ciderhouse. You can also find their products on tap at Sam Snead’s and Ten Resto in Fredericton, joining several other accounts in the city.

• With Christmas around the corner, it’s good news for Picaroons fans… they’re about ready to start their 12 Beers of Christmas! Starting next Friday, December 12th, they will be releasing a new holiday-themed beer every day at 4:00 pm (noon on Sundays) for 12 days, in growler form at the Brewtique. Like last year, there will be a 2 growler limit per person, and the day’s beer won’t be announced until noon on that day (through Facebook and Twitter). There may be a couple of brand new beers, according to the brewery; most will be re-releases of favorites over the last couple of years. These beers always go quickly, so if you want to grab some, make sure to show up early!

• If you don’t have plans for Saturday, Dec. 20th, we have a great idea for you! Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault is having a tap-takeover at Resto-Bar Le Deck in Edmundston. All 8 taps will be dedicated to Petit-Sault beers, four of which will be “One-Hit Wonders” that have never been released before! These new beers include La Dictée (IPA), La Winding Eddy (Vanilla Bourbon Porter), La Kedgwick (Lager), and La Mud Lake (Brown Ale). It all starts at 7:00 pm; admission is free.

• Tickets for the 2015 Saint John Beerfest are now on sale! The event will be held on Saturday, April 11th from 7:30 – 9:30 pm; general admission tickets are $60, with VIP tickets – which allow you entry to the festival half an hour early, and access to “limited quantity beer, food, and entertainment” are $70. We’ll have some more details on the breweries, beers, and food and entertainment options closer to the date.

Propeller Brewing Co is at it again! They are releasing the second in their four-beer Lambic-style beer series in a couple of weeks. Their Blackberry beer will be released December 22nd at both the Dartmouth and Halifax breweries. This beer started out from the same batch of wort and young beer as the Framboise (and the two other beers to come), and then blackberries were added for a unique Nova Scotia twist on this Senne Valley traditional style. And much like their Framboise release in August, they will be holding a special event at Bar Stillwell on Saturday, December 20th. Beginning at noon, patrons can enjoy the new beer by the glass or bottle before it hits the shelves to the general public Monday morning. No tickets are necessary to drop by and enjoy the beer, and those who do will have the opportunity to sign up for a guaranteed bottle to be purchased at the Gottingen St location Sunday the 21st.

• Another busy week for Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, NS. Last weekend, the Second Annual Homebrew Competition judging took place, and Eric Gauthier’s American Wheat was crowned the best in show! Through stiff competition, Eric’s beer rose to the top, and he will be joining the Big Spruce crew for a brewday in a couple of weeks. His beer will then be released for the first time at the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration at the Halifax Club, January 15, 2015 (sorry, tickets are sold out, but you can sign up to the Wait List). Congratulations Eric, and finalists Keith and Jimmy! Last year’s Homebrew Competition winning beer, Tim’s Dirty American IPA, has made a return to the brewery and tap accounts this week, so be sure to grab it when you see it.

• And in more Big Spruce news, they are releasing a new beer today, an Imperial IPA, brewed with 100% imported German malts. Crazy Ivan weighs in at 8.2% and 108 IBUs, thanks to several different American hops. Due to the wicked amount of hops in the boil, the yield for this Bad Boy is quite low, at just over 500 litres, so don’t delay, and grab this insane beer today. And this is a warning to be on the lookout for Hoppuccino version 2, brewed this week. This version featured a special blend from Just Us! Coffee Roasters, roasted especially for this brew. The beer has more coffee added, and a lower ABV, so the flavour profile will really allow this new coffee blend to shine through.

Boxing Rock Brewing Co has brought back their very popular U-889 Russian Imperial Stout, just in time for the colder days ahead. Weighing in at 8.89% ABV and 65 IBUs, this dark beer features a full body, and significant roast and chocolate character, benefitting from additions of organic, fair trade coffee from Just Us! and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans for a complex flavour and aroma profile. Available in 650 ml bottles at the private beer stores in HRM, at the Halifax Seaport Market both Friday (for the next three weeks) and Saturday, and at select bars on the South Shore and HRM.

Tatamagouche Brewing Co had a busy week, with a beer re-release, a new beer style on the horizon, and some visitors to the brewery. They have re-released their Dreadnot IBA (India Black Ale) in 650 ml bottles (for the first time), as well as on tap around the province, and in growlers at the brewery. More details on the beer are available here. Details are light, but we spotted the Tata Crew adding some oysters to a new brew that will debut in early 2015, an Oyster Stout. We’ll be sure to pass along the specs when available, but we can say that it features both local Malagash hops and oysters. And the crew from Stubborn Goat Gastropub paid a visit to the brewery to help out with a collaboration that will be released in early 2015 as well. More details on that beer soon.

• And while we don’t yet have all of the details on Tata’s upcoming festive ale, we do have more information on the Holiday Brunch launch event, being held at Stillwell December 12th, put on in partnership with the Ladies Beer League. Chef Graeme Ruppel has prepared three special menu items for the event, Frittata, Strata and Purgatorio (full details at the link above). Tickets for the noon event are $25, which gets you a glass of the Tata holiday beer and food beginning at noon, before the standard 4pm Sunday opening time. Tickets are available online, and will sell out this weekend, so act fast!

• The North Brewing crew were working their new bottling system hard again this week, busy packaging their Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian. Aged in barrels from Glenora Distillery in Cape Breton for two months, the base beer features dark candy sugar and a long boil for dark fruit flavors and a full mouthfeel, that is only enhanced by the vanilla and whisky flavours and aromas picked up from the barrels. Available in 650 ml bottles at the brewery beginning today.

• Local glassware printer Jym Line received a shoutout in the Herald this week. Chances are good that if you’ve filled a growler, or drunk a beer from a logoed glass from a local brewery, you were using a Jym Line product. Check out the article for more insight into this local business.

• As drinkers, we include local beer in our diet, to support our vibrant community of local breweries. In turn, these breweries are increasing their use of local ingredients, grown or harvested in our region. Hop harvest season is a flurry of activity with breweries teaming up with local hop growers to share the best our land has to offer. Other ingredients just as critical to beer production are the grains and malt. While there are local grain producers, there are no commercial malting facilities in the Maritime Provinces. Though the barley for Maritime Malt is grown in our region, it is malted in Quebec. Enter Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co, a new malt house, located in the Annapolis Valley, NS. President Alan Stewart has been growing certified organic produce in Nova Scotia for over 25 years, so is well aware of the unique character of the land and climate of this region. He wants to bring that passion to begin producing malt and grain for local breweries, distilleries, and homebrewers. To further his knowledge on the art and science of malting, Stewart trained at the Canadian Malt Barley Technical Centre in Winnipeg, completing the Malt Academy course. Plans are in place for the first malting to take place during the 2015 season, including three varieties of rye grown on-site. To involve the wider local community in this new venture, Horton Ridge has launched a Community Economic Development Investment Fund (or CEDIF). Stewart is holding an information session December 11, 2014, at the Wolfville Farmers Market, to learn more about the Malt House plans, and the CEDIF details. If interested in attending, be sure to RSVP. We wish Horton Ridge success, and look forward to tasting beers brewed with their malt soon!

• “The best laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry” … Garrison Brewing Company was to be releasing their much anticipated Spruce Beer today, but sadly some bottling line issues has delayed the release until next week. However, we’ll give you the details today, to get you in the mood. It was all hands on deck for over a dozen staff, family and friends of the brewery who visited Meander River Farm and Brewery, to harvest spruce and fir tips and boughs three weeks ago. A bit of snow fell as they collected the tips, making it all the more magical. Pale, dark crystal, roasted malt, and oat flakes were used in the mash, with Crosby’s Molasses from Saint John, NB added to the wort for additional body, aroma, and fermentable sugars, aiding the beer to reach the 7.5% ABV. To complement the aroma from the nearly 40 bags of boughs used, Citra hops brought the bitterness up to 25 IBUs. This year’s brew will be packaged in 650 ml bottles, just the right size for sharing with your favourite elf. And good news for beer drinkers, the distribution of the beer has now expanded into both New Brunswick and PEI, and will be sent to Manitoba and Alberta, as well. The Spruce Beer goes on sale at the brewery next Friday, the 12th, at 9am. We can also share that some of this year’s Spruce Beer will be aged in barrels that previously held Ironworks Distillery Rum, and that last year’s Barrel Aged Spruce Beer will be released before the New Year.

• May 11-17, 2015 will be the inaugural Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week! The Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia is hosting this week-long celebration of beer made in the Bluenose province. Events include Open Brewery Day, Tap Takeovers, Beer Dinners and more, capped off by the flagship event Saturday May 16th, the Full House Craft Beer Fest. The Fest will see beer poured by all members of the Association, all under one roof for the first time. There are two sessions of the fest, being held at the Olympic Community Centre, 12-3pm and 4-7pm. Tickets are now available at the Early Bird price of $22, which gets you in the door, a take-home glass, and your first 12 beer samples. After that, samples are only $1. This format allows for a more relaxed environment, without people rushing and overindulging, in the hopes of “getting their money’s worth” of a higher ticket price. Reasonably-priced food options will be available onsite, as well as musical entertainment and a pop-up shop with merchandise from the Association members. Grab your ticket now to avoid disappointment! We will be sharing details of the other NS Craft Beer Week events as they are released, but from what we’ve heard so far, we can assure you that there will be events across the province, and for beer lovers of all stripes.

Wow! Just when you think beer news is slowing down a bit, you get a week like this. Have a fantastic weekend! In addition to all of the new beers mentioned above, Granite Brewery‘s Darkside IPA is now available at their Beer Store for growler fills, so if you’re in Halifax, stop in to pick some up! And there’s some other new beers on the horizon that we weren’t able to get info on for this week… Big Axe has Chocolate Mint Stout and Wrath of Putin Imperial Pale Ale, both of which will be on tap at 540 Kitchen & Bar soon; BarNone announced that they’ve just brewed a Sweet Stout, La Vaca Loca; and Yellowbelly has their latest seasonal, Root Cellar, on tap now, with bottles following shortly. If you haven’t bought your tickets for the 2015 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, don’t wait any longer… VIP tickets are gone, and general admission tickets are already over 50% sold out! Hell Bay has received a new 12 hL horizontal fermenter that will become their new (and bigger) mash tun, so expect more production from them in the near future. Finally, a big congratulations to Cam and Jenn at Schoolhouse Brewery, who welcomed the newest addition to the family/brewery – baby Claire – on Monday!

Hello beer buddies! It’s another Friday, so another Friday Wrap-Up:

  • Shiretown Beer, located in Charlo, NB, should have their flagship beer, Blonde du Quai, for sale in 500 mL bottles at select ANBL stores by the end of next week. A Blonde Ale with more hops than typical, Blonde du Quai recently won a bronze medal at the Saint John Beer Festival on April 13th. Look for it at ANBL locations in Campbellton, Charlo, and Dalhousie, and on tap around the province. Here’s the direct “Find it” link.
  • Railcar Brewing Company, which will be opening by the end of 2013 in the Florenceville-Bristol area, has added an online store to their website. Currently, hats, men’s and women’s t-shirts, and women’s hoodies are available for purchase, with glassware being added soon.
  • The Antigonish Townhouse has been open since July 2012, and have now started brewing test batches on their SABCO Brew Magic system. We’re excited to hear about another brewpub “opening”, and with the success the restaurant is already having, think the locals will enjoy their in-house beer. Stay tuned as we do a profile on them in the coming weeks.
  • Garrison Brewing have done a special release of their 15 Malt Anniversary beer, aged for three months in Glenora Distillery Barrels. This is only available at the brewery, and is very limited, sorry!
  • The Saltscapes Expo is on this weekend at the Halifax Exhibition Park. Not beer-centric per se, but lots of breweries will be in attendance: Propeller Brewing, Garrison Brewing, Ironworks DistilleryPEI Brewing, Prince Edward Distillery.
  • And congratulations once again to Big Spruce! We attended their HRM Launch Party at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth, and sampled both their Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Stout. While we didn’t kick as many kegs at the Sydney party (I blame the poor weather), the beer, food and music was great! Their beer is now on tap in Halifax (Wooden Monkey [Dartmouth], The Argyle Grill and Bar [Halifax], Gabrieau’s Bistro [Antigonish], Bras D’Or Yacht Club [Baddeck], Governor’s Pub and Eatery [Sydney], East Side Mario’s [Sydney]).