King Street Ale House

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Wow, it’s December already! Time flies when there’s so much beer news to collect and share across our region! This week’s news is a mix of new and returning beers, some holiday-themed events, and hints of new breweries set to open in the New Year. Crack open that Advent Calendar beer or chocolate, and let’s dive right in.

• We lead off with lots of new beer news from Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing, who actually sent all this info in days ahead of the post going up (we’re still a bit dizzy with shock)! To start off, they have a new brew on tap at their tiny taproom, a Saison named Sylvan Specter. Featuring some noticeable malt flavours thanks to the use of Munich and Melanoiden malts in the grist on top of a base Pale malt, as well as some Wheat malt to boost the mouthfeel, this 4.9% ABV was hopped with Enigma and Saaz at the end of the boil, for “a blend of earthy, fruity, and herbal components”. Fermented with two Saison strains (Farmhouse Ale and French Saison), expect a very dry beer with some spicy phenolics, in addition to the flavours mentioned above.

• Continuing with the rest of the Tidehouse news, they have brewed three other new beers to celebrate the opening of new restaurant aFrite, which opens tomorrow at 1360 Lower Water St. in Halifax. They are the following, with each designed to pair with specific plates: Bishop’s Porter, a 6.2% ABV “Raspberry American Porter”, the raspberry presence is fairly light to pair with aFrite’s sous vide Side of Beef with Frites and Bernaise sauce; Salter Saison, a 5.4% ABV amber-coloured Saison hopped heavily with Perle and Tettnanger featuring lots of herbal notes, to pair with their Donair Gnocchi; and Morris Ale, a 5.3% ABV American Pale Ale hopped with Citra, with fresh lime zest also added, paired with Fried Cauliflower in curry sauce (featuring cilantro, cumin, ghee, and lemon).

Roof Hound has a new Sour that incorporates a different approach to the souring method, compared to previous releases of theirs in this style. They actually made their own yogurt with a bacteria culture used by a local Nova Scotian family for close to 100 years, according to owner/brewer Les Barr. Built up over several weeks in coconut milk, the resulting coconut yogurt (therefore dairy-free) was added directly to the wort to lower the pH (to just barely above 3). Shredded coconut had also been added to the mash, and the whole thing was fermented with a blend of five yeast strains. Named Dooflicker Tropical Brown Sour, the resulting 5.3% ABV beer hits you “with a jaw-cramping mouth pucker, followed by a good remaining body, and a slight chocolate and coconut finish”.

• The crew at Port Rexton Brewing has had a busy fall, and are ready to unveil several new and returning beers this weekend. At this evening’s 12 Beers of Christmas in St. John’s (more details below), they are debuting Rewind Saison, which is a take on their previously-released Mixed Opportunity mixed-fermentation Saison. The Rewind, however, is fermented solely with Sacchromyces yeast (no Brett here), for a different profile. Light-to-medium in body, with a mild sweetness with herbal notes in the flavour, and fruity esters and spicy phenolics on the nose, the beer ends up at 5.5% ABV. If there’s any left after this evening’s event, it will be available tomorrow at the brewery. Speaking of which, for the next four Saturdays (Dec 2, 9, 16, and Tibb’s Eve), the brewery will be open 2-10PM for all of your sample, pint, and growler needs.

• Also available this weekend at the brewery will be a trio of their beers in cans, following their successful, and sold out, release of Blazing Sun NE-DIPA mid-November. Baycation BlondeT-Rex Porter, and Chasing Sun NEIPA will all be available at opening, and the only spot to grab them is at the brewery.

• And debuting next Thursday, December 7, is a fundraising collaboration in support of the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium. The beer was brewed with the folks from the Aquarium, as well as Motion Bay Brewing Company, opening next year in Petty Harbour, as well as the folks from Jack AxesOceans & Orchards is a truly Axe-perimental brew, as the base beer (grist of 2 Row, Oats, Honey, Vienna and a touch of Crystal 60 malts) features 50 litres of fresh-pressed apple juice courtesy of Newfoundland Cider Company (debuting their ciders in 2018 as well). The resultant 4.5% ABV graf (that is, beer/cider hybrid) features notes of honey and apple, enhanced by the El Dorado and Huell Melon dry hopping. O&O is debuting at the December 7th event at 7PM at Jack Axes on Water Street, for an evening of throwing axes and sipping on this and other beers, all while benefiting the new aquarium in PH. More details are available at the FB Event page.

• Ashdale Nova Scotia’s Meander River has a new cider available this weekend, in celebration of their expanded production space. Two 2,000 litre fermenters, and one brite tank, all dedicated to cider production, have been added to their brewery, so as not to inhibit their brewing pipeline, and increase their cider availability. The fermenters have already been filled, so stay tuned for those releases in the New Year. In the meantime, the latest release is Perry Noel, a 5.5% ABV perry cider, made with 100% Nova Scotia pears from Davison Farm in Falmouth. A light and dry cider (no back sweetening used), aromas of earthiness and tropical fruit are present on the nose. Available at the brewery today for growler fills, kegs have been delivered to bars and restaurants in Hants County and HRM, so keep an eye out as you make your way around the area.

• And you can learn even more about the brewing and cider plans if you listen to the latest episode of the 902 BrewCast, as the gents visited Alan and Brenda Bailey (and Angus) to learn about their farm, brewery, cider production, and plans for the future. The latest episode can be streamed directly at their site, or downloaded for offline enjoyment.

• Like clockwork, our pals at 2 Crows in Halifax have got a bunch of new beers to tickle your tastebuds this week and next, so let’s get you the details post-haste. Released earlier this week is their latest small batch brew, Shoreline. A 4.6% ABV Pale Ale, with a base of 2 Row and Oat malts, and hopped with Azacca and Huell Melon, before fermentation with a blend of a dozen different strains of Brettanomyces yeasts, before dry-hopping with Vic Secret, and a final keg conditioning with champagne yeast. Phew! The resultant beer is dry, funky, and fruity, with notes of guava, tangerine, and pineapple. As with all of these small batch brews (the Attempted Murder Series name still hasn’t caught on), this one is only available by the glass.

• Tomorrow, 2C is unleashing the latest of their full canned releases, brewed by Jeremy Taylor in collaboration with a fellow former-BC brewer, and current Manitoba brewery owner, Miguel Cloutier, of Kilter Brewing. Firmly in the Milkshake IPA territory, Hawaiian Ivory has a slew of light-coloured malts at its base, including Pilsner, Wheat, Oat, and Honey, along with the heavy dose of lactose and vanilla, iconic for the style. Playing up on the milkshake idea, bananas, dried coconut, lime zest, mango and pineapple purée were added in the boil and conditioning tank. The hops chosen are also quite fruity and tropical, with AzaccaCitraHuell Melon, and Simcoe in the boil, with all but Huell Melon also added in a dry hop for another aromatic blast. Hawaiian Ivory will be available from opening at noon tomorrow, by the glass and can, and in a first, Kilter and 2 Crows fans in Manitoba will be able to purchase this collaboration in Winnipeg later this month.

• And in upcoming beer news, 2C’s Linnea Finnish Imperial Stout will be released next Wednesday, December 6th. Brewed in celebration of Finland’s 100th anniversary Independence Day, the beer incorporates popular flavours from Finnish cuisine, including cardamom and salty liquorice. Taylor lived in Finland for a time, and his brother still lives in the country, raising a family. Linnea is named after Taylor’s niece. Using 95% Finnish-grown and -produced malt from Viking Malt (courtesy of local company Nordic Malz), it features Pale, Oats, Crystal, Chocolate Malts and Roast Barley, with molasses, to 9.1% ABV. Moderately hopped to 60 IBU with Columbus, and Golding (and a touch of Centennial for a light, bright, nose), it features additions of sea salt, liquorice root, star anise and cardamom pods. Drop by the brewery Wednesday to celebrate all things Finnish, and grab a pint to celebrate. And it may even be available to those outside of the province thanks to some holiday-themed boxes many folks have started opening today… Kippis!

• And we’re already behind schedule with today’s publishing, so we do not have time to tell you about the details on the next releases, but rest assured you’ll want to keep an eye out for their next canned release mid-month, as well as the beers they have cooked up for their First Anniversary in January.

• This weekend marks the third straight week of new releases from Stillwell Brewing, with the latest, Gosh, dropping first at Stillwell Beer Bar tomorrow, followed by a bottle release at the brewery on Sunday from 12-4. A pale Farmhouse Ale aged in a red wine barrel, Gosh is described as “bone-dry, with a tropical fruit fermentation character and grippy finish”. Dry-hopped with Mosaic to help boost that tropical fruit character, we’re sure this one will sell out as quickly as the last two, so show up early on Sunday!

• There’s two new beers coming out of TrailWay this week, with the first one being a new winter seasonal. Parallel is a “Session Ale” with a grain bill made up of 100% German Pale malt, and hopped entirely with Mosaic. The brewery describes it as “super-balanced”, with the hop-focus not being quite as strong as in many of their other beers. Indeed sessionable at just 4% ABV, expect a “rather subtle tropical fruitiness with a solid, crackery-malt profile”. It’s available on tap now around Fredericton, as well as in cans (both at the brewery and ANBL stores). The next beer, Good Times in the Fridge, is another hop bomb that released today at noon. A pale-coloured American IPA with minimal bitterness, it was hopped with Galaxy and Motueka. At 6% ABV, cans of this one are available at the brewery only.

• Now that Fredericton’s Bogtrotter is back to full-brewing mode, they’re releasing a brand new beer this week. Cranky Crab Coconut Porter is a 5% dark ale brewed with toasted coconut (added in the mash, boil, and secondary) and chocolate nibs. Also featuring hints of vanilla in the flavour (thanks to the addition of pure extract in secondary), it weighs in at 5% ABV and will soon be available on tap at the James Joyce and Cask and Kettle.

Rockbottom Brewpub on Spring Garden Road in Halifax has a new beer available, an American Wheat that was dosed with raspberries they’re calling Witty Pun. With his feet now firmly under him in RB’s cramped brewing quarters, brewer Ian Kean is starting to exert himself on the beer menu more and though it might not seem “seasonal” in November, this beer is certainly accessible, with a solid wheat presence underlying a lovely raspberry aroma and flavour. Clean American yeast yields an otherwise fairly dry finish to this 5.0% ABV beer, which also sports 12 IBU worth of balancing hop bitterness. As of yesterday, it was available for growler fills and pints at the pub.

Good Robot released a new Alpha Brew, Steambot Willie, earlier this week. With a grist made up of Maris Otter, Amber malt, Carapils, Red X, and Rye, it was hopped with Mt. Hood, Perle, and Magnum to 32 IBUs, and dry-hopped with more Perle, and Tettnang. Fermented with a Mexican Lager yeast strain, think of this one as an Ale-Lager hybrid, similar in a way to a California Common. At 5.5% ABV, and described as an “earthy, malty Lager with a bitter finish”, it’s available on tap now at GR, and will likely pop up around the HRM. And for next Tuesday’s Beta Brew release, we have Alien From Next Door, an American Pale Ale brewed by Kelly C. and Lianne Lessard. Brewed with 2-row, Vienna, Red X and Crystal 30, Polaris was used for bittering (to 27 IBUs), with later hop additions including Galaxy and Willamette, and then a dry-hop with more Polaris. And finally, note that cans of GR’s Extra Big ASS Lager and bottles of Barrel-Aged Mississippi Goddamn can now be purchased at the Halifax private liquor stores.

Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House in Lower Sackville continues to round out their line of easy-drinking beers with a light wheat ale they’re calling Orange American Bastard (we’ve no idea what, or who, that name could be referring to). Boasting orange peel, both sweet and bitter varieties, along with coriander, all added late in the boil for a Belgian flair, it was fermented (we think) on an American yeast for a clean ester profile. This 4.7% ABV beer is built on a base of wheat and pale malts with a little bit of Vienna for character. Crisp and clean with a nice mouthfeel, this is, according to brewer Keith Forbes, “a Summer beer heading into Winter.” It’s available now, but only on one of the guest taps at Good Robot on Robie Street in Halifax.

Heritage Brewing has a follow-up to their popular Citra Session IPA, meaning if you like hops, you should have no problem with this one! White Sands Milkshake IPA was brewed with a “touch” of lactose and ample amounts of Ekuanot and Citra hops, giving lots of “fruity, citrusy, and tropical” aromas and flavours. Available now, it comes in at 6.7% ABV and 60 IBUs.

• Darmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing has announced that they have a new brewer working alongside Head Brewer Jake Saunders. Connor MacLeod is originally from Bridgewater, and has studied in the Certified Brewmaster course at the prestigious VLB Berlin. Previously working at Garrison Brewing in Halifax, he brings several years of experience of homebrewing and passion to his commercial work, which started in part thanks to his father, who is also a beer fan. Welcome aboard, Connor! And perhaps to celebrate their new arrival, 9L has brought back their Vanilla Porter, a 5.0% ABV porter with a touch of vanilla for a light sweetness and aromatic meld with the chocolate and dark malt character. Available in cans and growler fills at the brewery today!

• Last weekend was the party and announcement for the Sober Island Brewing Foraged Homebrew Competition, at the brewery in Sheet Harbour. From 15 entries, Andrew Deveaux’s entry Raspberry Beer Eh! took top honours. Brewed with 95% malt from Horton Ridge, Deveaux’s beer featured late-season raspberries foraged from his own backyard added to a Wheat Beer base. Congratulations to Deveaux, and we expect to see a full release of the winning beer once raspberries make their return next year. In the meantime, look for SIBC’s Winter Rye to debut this month.

• Last Sunday saw an excellent turnout at the Dartmouth location of the Wooden Monkey for the 5th Annual Big Spruce Homebrew Challenge. As announced back in September, this competition was wide open style-wise, as it was instead entered around the use of the “Pin Cherry #1” yeast strain harvested from the property of Big Spruce in Nyanza, Cape Breton. This yeast was identified to have somewhat of a Belgian character, in the Trappist vein of being somewhat spicy and phenolic, with a medium flocculation and attenuation. As organized by ACBB’s own Chris McDonald, 39 entries fermented on the yeast were evaluated and scored by 12 judges, with the assistance of 4 stewards, over the course of the afternoon, culminating in a Best of Show round where the 9 favorites were slowly winnowed down to a top 3 with an honorable mention. Top prize went to Justin Clarke’s Split Personality a North American Saison that was fermented with both the Big Spruce yeast and a blend of Brettanomyces strains before being aged on wood chips. The variety of beers entered was vast, with classic Belgian, North American and even English styles competing against more outré beers featuring additional ingredients as varied as lime zest and tomatillo, habanero peppers, pineapple and coconut, peach and sage, and applewood tea. There was even a mead entry from local meadmaker Nancy Hartling that was not able to be accepted into the competition but which was tasted at the gala and turned out very nicely. The overall quality, according to the judges, was top notch, especially considering the range of beers and the fact that not a single brewer had previously used the yeast. Congratulations to all those who entered, and especially those who placed, and many thanks to Jeremy and the team at Big Spruce, and all those involved in helping reach the result. Sláinte. We look forward to tasting Justin’s winning entry when a production batch is brewed sometime in the future. And don’t forget the Big Spruce tap takeover at Battery Park this coming Thursday, November 7th!

• The Murphy Hospitality Group – owners of the PEI Brewing Co. / Gahan House – have announced that they will be opening yet another Gahan House Restaurant & Brewery location, this time in downtown Fredericton. They have purchased Vault 29, a restaurant/bar at 426 Queen St., for the new brewpub, which will have a 120-seat dining room, oyster bar, two seasonal patios, and a 5 bbl (600 L) brewhouse onsite. The plan is for the brewpub to open sometime in the spring, making it the fifth Gahan location (Charlottetown, Halifax, Saint John, and soon-to-open Moncton). The full press-release can be read here.

• As we’ve mentioned previously, the ambitious “East Coast Crafted” was released earlier this week, and is available for purchase at book stores across the region, as well as many of the breweries featured in the book. Learning more about the 80+ breweries in our region, authors Christopher Reynolds and Whitney Moran interviews and visited many of these spots to speak face-to-face with those behind the breweries we talk about weekly. The book also features dozens of photographs by Jessica Emin. Don’t forget that the authors will be celebrating the book with a launch December 9th at Stillwell, with beers from all four Atlantic Provinces pouring, where you can meet the authors and many of the brewery folks featured in the book.

Another weekend full of events for you to enjoy across our region:

• As mentioned above, the 12 Beers of Christmas is taking place this evening in St. John’s. At Club One on New Gower, from 7:30PM, attendees will be greeted with a full glass of beer, plus tokens to enjoy samples of the other 11 onsite. In addition to the debut of Port Rexton’s Rewind, Mill Street YYT is debuting their Crooked Cow Latte Stout, and you will be able to enjoy many beers not otherwise available in the province (Big Spruce Cereal Killer, 2Crows Pollyanna, Upstreet Eighty Bob and White Noize, and Maybee Stone House Tripel. Check this page for the full list of what will be pouring. After you’ve tried them all, you can purchase more tokens for samples or full pours of your favourites. Grab your tickets now, dust off your ugly Christmas sweater, and head out for a party!

• Good news, thirsty Cape Bretoners! The 2nd Annual Cape Breton Beer Fest is happening tomorrow, December 2nd, at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion in Sydney. VIP tickets are sold out, but there are still some general admission tickets available ($55 + tax, each), which gets you entry into the festival at 7-9:30 pm. A special glass and unlimited beer samples are included, and many local breweries will be on hand to pour their creations, and chat beer! Note that Designated Driver tickets ($15 + tax) are also still available; all tickets can be purchased from the event website above.

Tidehouse Brewing is turning one, and are celebrating in style with a Tap Takeover at Tom’s Little Havana next Saturday, December 9th. All eight taps will be dedicated to Tidehouse, which they’ll be filling with some of their best beers brewed over the past year. The fun starts at 5 pm and will continue until close; stay tuned to their event page for a full taplist release next week.

• Christmas is just around the corner, with Boxing Day of course right behind it; if you’re in the Fredericton area, what better way to celebrate Boxing Day than a Boxing Rock Tap Takeover? Being held on Tuesday, December 26th at the King Street Ale House, there’ll be tons of BR beers pouring, starting at 5 pm. You can just show up and pay by the pint, but if you reserve your spot now for $15, you’ll get a flight of beer and a pound of wings. Sounds like a good deal to us! Tickets can be purchased on the event page.

And a couple more returning favourites this week:

– Following last week’s release of Midnight, their Glenora Distillery Barrel-aged Strong Dark Belgian beer, HRM’s North Brewing has teed up the non-barrel version. Dark Sky is available today in 650 mL bottles at both their Halifax and Dartmouth bottle shops.
– And down the road on Gottingen Street, Propeller has a new cask for us this evening, a version of their Double IPA dry hopped with Idaho 7 and Ekuanot hops. They’ll be cracking into that at 5 PM as usual.
Red Rover has brought back their festive Jingleberry Cider, featuring additions of wild blueberry, cardamom, and nutmeg paired with notes of caramel, you’ll find it at the Ciderhouse and ANBL locations around the province.

Maybe it was the unseasonably warm September, but October seems to have come out of nowhere and slapped us around a little with fall temperatures, wet hopped and pumpkin beers, and Oktoberfest celebrations. Those themes definitely continue this week as we slide into the long weekend. Here’s an update on some of the new beers you might want to consider bringing to your Thanksgiving dinner, and the events you might slip away to when the pressures of “family time” get to be too much.

• It is a near-weekly occurrence recently, but we never get tired of writing it: we are happy to announce that Crooked Feeder Brewing will be joining the Atlantic Canadian Beer scene in the near future. Located in Cormack, just outside of Deer Lake, Newfoundland, the 3 BBL (375 litre) brewery is located in a disused lumber mill. Three homebrewers are taking their passion to the next level and will be offering their beer to the wider public in the coming months. In the meantime, they have launched an Indiegogo campaign, giving you a chance to grab some Crooked Feeder swag ahead of their official launch. Hoodies, hats, t-shirts, and growlers, there’s plenty to choose from the perks. Take a look at the offerings, and keep an eye on their social media pages (and here) for more details on when Crooked Feeder’s first beers will be available.

• The PEI Brewing Co. has released the latest entry in their After Hours Series, Winola, a “German-inspired IPA”. A collaboration of sorts with their brewing friends from Stone City Ales out of Kingston, ON, this is a new-school IPA made up of 100% German ingredients. Pale ale and Wheat malt straight from Germany made up the grist; the beer was then hopped with Huell Melon, Magnum, and Mandarina Bavaria in the boil (to ~40 IBUs), and dry-hopped heavily with Hallertau Blanc, and more Huell Melon. Fermented with a Kölsch yeast, this hazy brew weighs in at 6.2% ABV and has aromas and flavours of “tropical fruit, white grape skins, dried orange peel, and some spice”, with a medium bitterness in the finish. You can find it on tap now at various PEIBC accounts, as well as on tap at many ANBL growler stations over the weekend.

• Staying on the Island for the next new beer, Moth Lane Brewing has released a beer inspired by a childhood family pet. Owner Eric Wagner’s Aunt had purchased a monkey from a bloke at the Bloomfield Legion in the 1960s (how’s that for a setup?). While playing, Louie the monkey jumped on Wagner’s shoulder and got comfortable. When Wagner began to descend the stairs, the monkey circled his head and neck a few times, the leash getting caught and holding back the monkey. Thinking Wagner was the one restraining him, Louie wrapped himself around his head and bit him on the cheek! Monkey Bite is a Belgian/German-inspired IPA, with 50% Wheat Malt, fermented warm for plenty of banana and bubble gum, to 4.8% ABV. Taking a turn from the traditional, however, is the high hopping rate, weighing in at about 90 IBUs. This beer with bite is available at the brewery, and check out their market stall this weekend.

Hammond River Brewing has released some early details on the HRB Beer Club, which should be going live in roughly two weeks. There are a ton of advantages to joining the yearly club: a free 5 oz HRB pour for every pint purchased in the taproom, a free growler fill with every 10 filled, a 15% discount on all HRB merchandise, a bottle of beer for any new beer that the brewery bottles, free flight on your birthday, a HRB-branded Belgian chalice, your choice of a HRB-branded ball cap or toque, and insider info on tastings of select special beers before they’re released to the public. Wow! For only $50 a year, that seems like a pretty sweet deal to us! If you’d like to sign up in advance, drop by the taproom today.

• Earlier this week, TrailWay released their latest new hop-bomb, Keejay. Like many TW beers, this one was heavily-hopped – this time with Cashmere, Idaho 7, and Mosaic – but also features the addition of lactose powder, to up the mouthfeel a bit, providing a “pillowy, creamy, juice-like body”. Extremely sessionable at just 4.2% ABV, the bitterness is kept low, like many TW beers. It’s available now at the brewery only, for a limited run of pints, growlers, and cans. As for next week, they’ve provided a sneak peek as to their next new beer, and it’s looking like another fruit beer (likely… grape?)… we’ll have more details next Friday.

• After a summer hiatus, Tide & Boar is bringing back their Growler Fill Day tonight from 5-7 pm. Three beers will be pouring at the brewpub, and it looks like all of them are new. We don’t have a lot of details on the beers, but we can tell you they are Blaster IPA, Herbie’s Lumberjack Stout (brewed with coffee and maple syrup), and Peach Muffin Sour (we’re pretty sure the name gives away the ingredients for this one). As always, all growler sizes will be accepted, and you can order pints as well, in the bar/restaurant. Keep an eye on their social media sites for updates as to beer availability.

Picaroons has brought back their seasonal Harvest Ale, a series-of-sorts of beers that feature local grain and local hops. While the grist remains the same, different batches feature freshly-harvested hops from different hop farms in the Maritimes; just check the batch number on the bottle, then visit this link to learn more about what varieties were used, and where they came from. More batches will be added to the website over the coming days as they become available. And speaking of availability, the eighth in their Double IPA series of beers is available now. PIVOT 8 features local Sorachi Ace (from Moose Mountain Hops), plus Warrior, and Azacca as a dry-hop addition. Weighing in around 8% ABV, this batch is a little drier than previous in the series, as well as notably more bitter. Light floral with cirtrus and tropical hop notes are the name of the game with this beer.

• We have more details on the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge: your yeast is now available for pickup! Drop by the Noble Grape in Burnside, or contact Big Spruce owner Jeremy White to pick up your yeast at the brewery. You must have registered and paid to be able to pick up the yeast (due to its limited nature), but fear not, there are still some spots open! Send an email to Jeremy to grab a registration form, and check out the yeast specs and homebrew chatter on Facebook and The Brewnosers.

• Up in Lyon’s Brook on Nova Scotia’s North Shore, Uncle Leo’s has a new beer to share, another traditional German style, this time a Schwarzbier. One of the darkest lagers, it usually features dark, but not necessarily roasty flavors in an easy-drinking package. And Uncle Leo’s new NACHTical Illusion certainly fits that bill, at 5.0% ABV, expect a quaffable brew with notes of chocolate, coffee, and maybe even some vanilla. It’s available now from the brewery, but also as part of an excellent 4-pack of German styles that Uncle Leo’s has put together for the fall. Featuring the Schwarzbier along with the Ceilidh Ale (Kölsch), the 2016 ACBA Gold Medal-winning Altbier and Silver Medal-winning Vohs Wiezenbier, all in 473 mL cans, you’ll also get some information about where in Germany these styles originated and Brewmaster Karl Whiffen’s particular takes on each style. It’s selling for $16.60 at select NSLC stores until November 19th (or while supplies last), and Bishop’s Cellar will be carrying it as well. And you can certainly also pick up a pack at the Brewery if you’re in the area!

• In St. John’s the folks at Mill Street are pouring a new beer for the season. Hailing from the Koln (Cologne) region of Germany, Kölsch is a great style for the fall, known for a lovely yellow straw color, grainy malt character, a slightly fruity presence and a smattering of noble hops. Mill Street’s version, called Cabot Kolsch is being featured in 1 L steins at the bar and limited release in growlers. It’s got a golden straw color and a soft mouthfeel, coming in at 5% ABV and 26 IBU. Prost!!

• Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing has released their annual community brew, United Hops. Featuring plenty of hops donated by the public, plus bumped up with El Dorado and Idaho 7, this 6.2% ABV and 80 IBU beer is on tap at the brewery now. For every pint, crowler and growler sold, Graystone is donating $1 to the United Way.

• There’s a tasty-sounding new cider pouring over at Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville – Currant & Cardamom is an unfiltered, sparkling cider made with early-harvested apples, including Vista Bella, Paula Red and Jersey Mac. A 6.8% ABV dry cider that was fermented at cool temperatures, it was blended with fresh blackcurrant juice and green cardamom pods. As you might expect, the resulting product is quite purple in colour, with “notes of tangy blackcurrant and subtle aromatic autumn spice, with a hint of bitterness in the clean, dry finish”. Available at the cidery now, 50 cents from each fill will go to support the Valley Hospice Foundation.

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing released their Wet Hop Pale Ale yesterday. Only 180 L of this one were made, so act fast if you want to try it. It contains fresh hops from the Annapolis Valley and Yarmouth used within hours of harvesting. Fitting nicely into the pale style, with a light grain presence to show off the hops and a sessionable 5% ABV, it was bittered to a hearty 50 IBU. You can expect fresh floral and citrus aromas from the wet hopping. Heritage is open tonight from 4-8 PM and tomorrow 11 AM to 5 PM for you to come in and grab a taste or a fill (or sample some of their other offerings). And stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on three more new beers they’ve got on the way!

• Moving back to Newfoundland, YellowBelly has Yes B’y, a new small-batch brew, pouring at the brewpub. An American IPA brewed with Wheat and Oats in the grist, it was hopped in the kettle with Columbus and El Dorado, then dry-hopped with more El Dorado, as well as some Citra. Copper-coloured, with a firm bitterness in the finish, this 5.9% ABV, 60 IBUs brew was brewed, as mentioned, as a small batch only, so won’t be making it into bottles. Which really means, get down to the brewpub now before it’s gone!

• If you’re into cider and maybe just a little sick of everything-pumpkin, York County Cider has you covered! Head to the cidery on 418 York St. in downtown Fredericton to pick up some Can’t Catch Me, a “gingerbread-inspired cider”. Their base cider was infused with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and “the right amount of molasses” to provide all the aromas and flavours you require to remind you of a sassy gingerbread man who kind of gets what’s coming to him when he decides it’s ok to use a fox as a boat (I’m not the only one who feels that way, right?).

• And in Halifax cider news, Chain Yard Cidery is pouring their new Cherry 3.14, a blend of two fermentations: the wild version of their foundation cider and a wild-fermented cherry. At 5.5% ABV it should be easy drinking, a blend of refreshing crisp cider meeting a big cherry flavor with accents of spiced cherry pie. It’s available at the cidery now.

• While “harvest season” to beer usually means wet hops or pumpkins, to Nackawic’s Big Axe it means cucumbers! While in the beginning stages of their expansion, they’ve brewed up Cucumber Saison, a pale orange, light-bodied beer brewed with New Brunswick-grown cucumbers. Bittered with noble hops to give a bit of spiciness, the cucumbers offer a “freshness” to the beer that complements the pepper character (we assume from the fermentation). Look for this 5.6% ABV Saison at your favourite Big Axe tap account, or right at the source in Nackawic (which very well may BE your favourite Big Axe tap account… makes sense, no?).

• Things may be a tad slower in the brewery at Good Robot this week, as head brewer Doug is off cavorting in South Africa (see, just become a brewer if you want to be a rich jet-setter!), but that’s not stopping next week’s BetaBrewsday from happening! Stingy Jack Coffee Pale Ale was brewed by Julian Carvery and Kelly C, and features a grist of Pilsner, Crystal 15, and “Toasted malt”. Hopped to 20 IBUs with Willamette, and fermented with an American Ale yeast strain, a special coffee roast from Low Point Coffee Co. was added in secondary. Pretty easy-drinking at just 4.4% ABV, you know when and where to find it (ok, Good Robot, next Tuesday)! And if you’ve been waiting for Leave Me Blue Kentucky Common, it should be back on tap next week.

• Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery has released their first IPA, and they’re going hazy! Using tons of Citra and Mosaic hops during the boil and in the dry hop, this big and juicy New England-style hop bomb is sure to satisfy your hop cravings. Currently unnamed (as they say, “It will have to earn one!”), it weighs in at 7.0% ABV and 60 IBUs. It is available now for growler fills and kegs, only at the brewery. However, we understand that LB may begin bottling soon (maybe even this beer), which will mean wider availability to grab their brews. Of course, we’ll get you up to speed when that happens!

• Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing is looking to add to their crew, with a job posting for a Brewer. This full-time position is for those who already have brewing experience, and are able to work independently to get the beer flowing on time, while keeping quality high. More details are available on ProBrewer.

Plenty going on this weekend, including the launch of Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin (full details here), plus, there are not one, not two, but three Oktoberfest celebrations in our region tomorrow!

• First we have the OktoBEERfest at Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS that we first tipped you off about back in September. It will feature two new brews, a true-to-style Vienna Lager that finished just in time and a Hefeweizen that features the characteristic notes of banana and clove the style is known for. They’ll also be serving their Berliner Weisse with (or without!) locally grown and homemade Sweet Woodruff Syrup. And several of their usual beer lineup as well. Tickets are $45 and are available from their website. They include a commemorative glass, a meal, your first pour, and live music. There’s also a shuttle running from Bridgetown to Middleton from 3-5 PM to get you there and again from 7-10 PM to get you home.

• Meanwhile, the Lunenburg Oktoberfest will take place at the Lunenburg Community Centre, from 6-11 pm. Tickets are $25 each, and include entry, a special Oktoberfest glass, and your first 5 oz pour. Food and additional beers may be purchased onsite, of course ($2 per 5 oz ticket); local breweries Boxing Rock, FirkinStein, Hell Bay, North, and Saltbox will be pouring their beers. Live music and dancing is also included with your ticket, with all proceeds going to the Boxwood Festival Society. Tickets can be purchased online through the event link above.

• Last but not least, the Cape Breton community of Marion Bridge will be celebrating with their own, Marion Bridge Oktoberfest, tomorrow. Entry is just $5 at the door, with the event offering live music, a variety of sausages and other German-inspired food for purchase, and Big Spruce beers (including their Oktoberfest Ale Spruce Bringstein Amber) on tap.

• If you’re more into beer than wine (and we assume if you’re reading this, you must be), and don’t feel like attending the Fredericton Wine Festival in two weeks’ time, why not take part in Fredericton’s Wine-NOT Beer Tour? Held on the same day – Friday, October 20th – ticket holders will hop on a bus leaving from the Delta Fredericton at 6:45 pm. You’ll be taken to both TrailWay and Maybee over the next couple of hours, for 4 samples at each taproom, before ending up at the King Street Ale House for a full pint. Tickets are $46.50 each and can be purchased through the link above.

• Moving along with even more Oktoberfest news, Horton Ridge is putting on their own Oktoberfest in Hortonville on Saturday, October 21st, from 11am-8pm. The all-day event will feature live music, ranging from polka to rock, with plenty of food available for purchase, including sausages and sauerkraut. As well, Horton Ridge will be releasing their very first collaboration beer, brewed with Sea Level Brewing. We’ll keep you updated on that beer as the date approaches.

Just a couple of things left to tell you about:

– The beer brewed by Garrison under license from the Federation of Beer for Hal-Con this year, Borg Ale, is now generally available. A 5.6% ABV black ale prominently featuring Munich and black malts and hopped with Hallertauer Tradition to 25 IBU, you’ll find it at the brewery now and in the private stores in Halifax soon.
Petit-Sault has brought back their Oktoberfest, La Padrix (5.6% ABV, 25 IBUs), just in the nick of time; it’s available right now on tap at the brewery and licensees, and at ANBL growler stations this weekend.

Good afternoon, and welcome to another weekend! Lots of beer news to dive into this week, as per usual, but let’s start off with the announcement of another new brewery opening in PEI later this year…

Copper Bottom Brewing has been announced to open in Montague, a town located on the eastern end of the Island. Owned by husband and wife team Ken Spears and Ashley Condon, the 10 bbl (~1100 L) DME system will be housed in the town’s Eastern Graphic building. Ken has been homebrewing for years on a self-built pilot system at the couple’s home in Sturgeon (just outside Montague), where he has been testing many batches of beer in order to perfect them for commercial production. Details on what types of beers the brewery will be releasing are being kept secret for now, but we do know that the location will also house a taproom for both pint and growler sales, as well as plenty of live music events. Kegs will also be sent to licensees across PEI, with cans following sometime after the initial launch. Copper Bottom should be open sometime this coming summer; we’ll have a full Q&A with Ashley and Ken next week!

• Speaking of Montague, back in May we reported that local businessman David McGuire was planning on opening a brewery in 2017. We’ve recently confirmed that those plans still exist, with Montague Brewing Co. (formerly announced as Beer Island Brewery) slated to launch by late summer. McGuire has recruited a “proper Bavarian brewmaster” for the 15 bbl (1800 L) brewery, which will feature “German and Austrian style beer with a local twist”. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

• In more soon-to-open local brewery news, Half Cocked Brewing have teamed up with the nearby Townhouse Brewpub in Antigonish to release their first beer. X Marks the Spot is a collaborative Extra Pale Ale, finding itself firmly in between an American Pale Ale and India Pale Ale, in both alcohol, at 5.8%, and bitterness, 42 IBU. There’s only one way to try this single keg of beer, and that’s on tap at the Townhouse during a fundraiser for the local Montesorri School. The fun kicks off at 9pm Saturday, with three live acts: Former Ordinary Horse, Rebecca Wild and Jacob Buckley. A $15 suggested donation will get you in the door, more details are available here. We’ll have much more with the HC crew closer to their launch in spring.

• While we continue to patiently wait for Hammond River‘s expansion to be complete, owner/brewer Shane Steeves is still experimenting in his home-based brewery, as he just brewed up another batch of his Berliner Weisse. The first iteration, Paisley Park, featured the addition of fresh raspberries. The more recent batch – still brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, hopped to 4 IBUs, and kettle-soured with Lactobacillus bacteria – will be a blackberry version, so expect a black-blue colour to go along with the tart, blackberry flavours. Currently unnamed, expect this one to pop up on tap within 2-3 weeks.

• Down in Saint John, the newest brewery in town, Loyalist City, has announced a new series of beers that they hope will help their customers learn about new and interesting hop varieties and compare them to classic varietals, all well enjoying a fine ale. All Hop Series beers begin with a hop-forward sessionable IPA recipe that is designed to land at 5.5% ABV and 60 IBU. On Hop Series brew day two batches are made, each featuring a different hop, with additions at 15 minutes remaining in the boil, at flameout, and during a post-boil whirlpool. The batches are be fermented with the same yeast and under the same conditions, with two dry hops taking place along the way before cold crashing and kegging.

• The first two entries in the series will contrast what has been called the quintessential American aroma hop, Cascade, with a cutting edge variety developed over the past few years in New Zealand, Motueka. Cascade was bred in 1956, but not released to brewers until the 70s and has been the most produced hop in the USA over the past decade. It is the sole hop in Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale, considered by many to be the first post-prohibition IPA, released in 1975. It also features prominently in another American classic, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Cascade brings citrus and floral aromas, often with a significant grapefruit note. It is truly one of the hallmarks of the craft beer revolution in North America. Motueka, on the other hand, is a much newer hop, the result of New Zealand’s burgeoning hop breeding program which has produced some of the most unique hops in the world. Bred from the noble Czech variety Saaz Motueka exemplifies New World hop character with a mingling of crushed lemon and lime citrus flavours with a background tropical note. The Loyalist folks are hoping to have these first two entries in the series available as early as next week at Cask and Kettle; be sure to try them both so you can compare the difference hop variety can make to a beer!

• Halifax’s Tiniest Brewery That Can, Tidehouse Brewing, has released a bigger beer this week. Baltimax is a 6.8% ABV Baltic Porter, sporting a dark brown colour with orange highlights, thanks to a base of Munich malt with some Black malt, and enhanced by darker Crystal malts for dried fruit characteristics and Wheat malt for body and head retention. Named for the maximum dimensions of a ship that can traverse the Danish Straits in and out of the Baltic Sea, this was the fallback name after a Perfect Strangers-inspired name met with some harsh criticism. It is currently available for growler fills at their Salter Street location (one floor down from 2 Doors Down), and at the Seaport Farmers’ Market today and tomorrow (where they fill their own, and other clean growlers on demand), and will be on tap at next Thursday, February 9th‘s, Evolution Nano Tap Takeover at Battery Park, joined by Brightwood, Schoolhouse, and Sober Island.

Boxing Rock has released Henry’s Cream Ale, a light, easy-drinking beer brewed with a grist made up with 100% malt (some Cream Ales are brewed with corn or other adjuncts). Hopped with both Noble and North American varieties, for a light bitterness and mild aroma, and weighs in at 5% ABV. Currently on tap at select locations in Nova Scotia, you can also find it in bottles and growlers at the brewery’s retail store, as well as their market locations and private liquor stores this weekend.

• Attention Home Brewers! Boxing Rock has announced details of the 2017 Black Box Challenge. Open to all amateur brewers in the province, this competition is unique, as it pits brewers against each other to come up with their beer recipe, but all starting from the same list of ingredients. There will be plenty of different hops, malts, and yeasts in the black box (you supply your own water), which you can mix and match (or leave out) to brew a beer worthy to take home the trophy. A blind judging will take place early March, with the top 6 brewers asked to make a short presentation on their beer, inspiration, and brew day on March 19th. Last year’s winning beer, Brian Harvey’s Where There’s Smoke was a dark ale featuring smoked malt and cinnamon. Get in your time machine to grab your entry last Saturday (ie, it is unfortunately sold out), and head to Stillwell to pick up your ingredients today.

• Dartmouth’s Downeast Beer Factory released a new beer late last week, Hibernation Russian Imperial Stout. At 8.5% ABV and 40 IBU, this is one beer that is sure to wake you up from a deep slumber. Featuring loads of roast malt for the iconic black colour, East Kent Golding was used for bittering, with a decent addition of Mosaic in the whirlpool for a blast of fruit aromatics. Also new on tap is Red Dawn, an Imperial Red Ale. The grist is made up up a significant portion of Red X malt, a German malt known for its iconic red colour and ability to be used as 100% of the malt bill. Cascade and El Dorado hops are featured in the boil, with a healthy dry-hopping of Falconers Flight for extra hops on the nose. The ABV is 7.0% and more than 100 IBU. Both beers are available on tap now, for both pints and growlers to go.

• For a few weeks now, the Annapolis Cider Company has been hinting at some big news and today is the day: Heirloom is their new signature cider and it will be available soon at both private liquor stores and the NSLC. This cider will be made from the juice of traditional apple varieties such as Gravenstein, Golden Russet and Northern Spy, fermented cool and then finished with freshly-pressed juice. The exact recipe will vary from batch to batch, with this initial offering having been back sweetened with the heritage variety Cox’s Orange Pippen developed in England in the early 19th century. It arrives at 8.1% ABV, with a golden hue and fresh apple aroma courtesy of the late juice. Although we don’t know exactly when it will appear for wider sale, you can get your fix right away if you visit the cidery on Main Street in Wolfville.​

• In celebration of their 20th year in business, Garrison will be brewing up a series of collaboration beers, with the first one happening today. Using the original 18 hl (15 BBL) equipment from 20 years ago, at their location across from the Seaport Market, this first brew will include Good Robot, North, and Spindrift. No details on the beer have been released yet, but stay tuned for more info over the next few weeks!

Keep an eye open for the following events, in addition to those we’ve already added to our Calendar of Events, including tonight’s launch of Lazy Bear’s Orange Kolsch:

• If you’re in Halifax, be sure to head over to Stillwell tomorrow, February 4th, for some treats on tap from Bad Apple Brewhouse. Three special kegs will be pouring: Smokeshow Imperial Rauchbier (brewed November, 2014; aged on cherrywood for one year; 11.2% ABV), Portified RIS (Black & Tackle aged on cherrywood and fortified with port; 11.5% ABV); and Barrel-Aged Black & Tackle RIS (brewed November, 2015; aged in a 12-year-old Glenora whiskey barrel; 11.6% ABV). They’ll also have some cask-conditioned Black & Tackle and Boxcutter, so make sure to drop by! And, uh, maybe don’t plan on driving, afterwards…

• Starting Monday, February 6th, Upstreet Craft Brewing is partnering with twelve Island restaurants for the Pogey Challenge. Visit one of the participating restaurants (listed here) and order a pint of the brewery’s Top Stamp Honey Brown Lager, and you’ll receive a stamp. Once you’ve collected five stamps (only one stamp per restaurant), you’ll be entered to win a $800 prize pack, which includes $600 in gift cards, a brewery tour and tasting for 10 people, and $100 in Upstreet swag! The contest will run for 3 weeks.

• With this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival happening in just over a month, a couple of more events have been confirmed for the week leading up to the fest. Thursday, March 9th will feature a Nova Scotia Tap Takeover and Trivia Night, at the King Street Ale House. A grand total of 24 taps will be pouring, from a minimum of 10 different breweries. Your $25 ticket gets you a special glass to keep, plus ten 5 oz pours; of course, you’re free to purchases additional beers after that; it all starts at 5 pm. And beginning at 7 pm, there will be beer trivia, hosted be yours truly! Yes, Shawn and Chris are returning for the second straight year, after popular demand… to make the questions easier. We will. We promise. Remember how worthwhile it was last year though, with all those great brewery-swag prizes we gave out? There’ll be lots more of those! No charge for trivia, just show up for some fun, NS beers, and tomato throwing!

• Next is A Day of Beer Education (Friday, March 10th), an all-day event held at the Crowne Plaza downtown, presented by the CCNB. There will be three malt-focused lectures during the Morning Malt Sessions, followed by lunch (provided by the CCNB). The afternoon will consist of sessions on yeast and fermentation, beer off-flavours, and a panel discussion. Everyone will then move to the James Joyce for beer-drinking and… more discussion! Tickets are just $40 each, and can be purchased through the link above (which also has more information on each session). If you’re going to Saturday’s festival (and why wouldn’t you be?), you get $10 off your education ticket… just be sure to use the code FCBF17. And remember, there’s still afternoon tickets available for the big event on Saturday, March 11th.

A couple more beers to keep in your sights:

– It’s that time of year, or perhaps even a little early, for the reappearance of the Irish Red Ale from Propeller. If you make your way one of the two bottle shops this you’ll be able to buy this 5% ABV, 22 IBU beer in 650ml bottles with growler fills available either today or early next week.
– For the third year running, Tatamagouche Brewing has done up their Oyster Cloister oyster stout. This year it features malt from Horton Ridge in addition to 200 salty Malagash & Tatamagouche Bay oysters added during the boil.

Welcome to the last Friday Wrap-Up of January. Plenty of new beers to tell you about, and a slew of events coming up too. Let’s get right to it!

• The judging the first annual TrailWay Homebrew Competition took place last weekend; close to 30 entries in the American IPA category were evaluated by six judges (including our very own acbbshawn). The winner and runner-up will be announced on Sunday, but in the meantime, TW’s newest DIPA, Hop Stains, will be released at the brewery today at 4 pm. Hopped heavily with Azacca, Citra, and El Dorado (with the emphasis, of course, on whirlpool and dry hop additions), expect a smooth IPA with a creamy mouthfeel, with lots of fruit throughout, and a bit of bubblegum. Not too bitter at ~60 IBUs, it clocks in at 8% ABV. A limited number of cans (40 cases) will be available, with the rest going into kegs for lucky tap accounts.

• There’s a brand new beer available now from Port Williams’ Sea Level BrewingCallahan’s Crosstime Irish Ale. The brewery is calling it a “malt-forward, smooth Irish Ale”, but it takes a different direction than the norm, thanks to the addition of Galaxy hops (to 30 IBUs), giving a “sublime, tropical fruit aroma”. Horton Ridge Pale Malt is included in the grist, with the beer coming in higher than your typical Irish Ale, at 7.3% ABV. Available in cans, 1-L growlers, and on tap at select accounts across the province.

• After a tease last Saturday at Ducky’s, Tatamagouche Brewing has released the latest addition to their Giant Beer series. Barrel Aged Barley Wine features a recipe variation from last year’s Giantess Barley Wine, as it now uses Horton Ridge malt as the majority of the grist. According to Brewmaster Matt Kenny, “This change adds some spice and a little more body, which we felt worked well with the spirit and barrel character”. Speaking of which, the beer was aged in freshly-emptied Single Malt barrels from Cape Breton’s Glenora Distillery, picking up plenty of complexity during the process. The 10.5% ABV beer is well-balanced and ready to drink now, or will age gracefully for a new experience. Available exclusively in bottles at their Main Street Tatamagouche location, drop by today to grab a couple (one to enjoy now, and another to enjoy in a few months or a year, if you can keep it that long!). And while you’re there, you’ll be able to spy the expansion underway, as Kenny and Co look to double their fermentation and conditioning capacity to keep up with demand, and have a more permanent solution for their canning line. The building, and resultant improvements, will be online to help with the upcoming summer rush.

• Those in attendance at Stillwell for the debut of Tidehouse Brewing back in December know very well that the India Saison made specifically for that event was a banger and have been eagerly awaiting any hint that it might come back into production. Those people have not been waiting in vain, as that beer has returned with a shiny new name: Enigmatic (“it’s kinda weird).  Dryer than the original version, leading to a significant bump in ABV up to 6.8%, there’s  a whole lot of hops in there, specifically the Ahtanum, Azacca and Amarillo varieties. You’re encouraged to consider an IPA crossed with a Belgian/French yeast profile. If that sounds like something you’d like, or even just something you might like to try, you’re further encouraged to get yourself down to Tidehouse and get some while it’s still around (hint: it won’t be for long!). Shean and Peter also remind us that they’ll fill any size of (clean!) growler you care to bring them. And be sure to grab their interview with the 902 BrewCast guys that dropped earlier this week. Learn about some crazy beer experiments and punny beer names that maybe coming your way soon…

• Gahan Harbourfront in Halifax saw two beers hit the taps this week. Monday was the release of a new beer, the English Golden Ale that features ingredients sourced entirely from the UK. Technically a SMaSH (but not simply for the sake of being a SMaSH), the eminently British Maris Otter is the lone malt, providing a doughy character with honey overtones, while the hops are all Fuggles, a classic for British styles, bringing herbal and floral notes. At only 16 IBU and a fairly light 4.5% this should be an extremely easy-drinking ale with a fairly full flavour profile that belies its weight.

• And on Wednesday, the latest variation of the Crosscurrent American Pale Ale debuted, this time venturing afield of the all-American hop varieties featured to this point. Using Magnum (largely for bittering, we presume) and “a lot of” Dr. Rudi, a New World variety from New Zealand known for bringing a refreshing combination of pine, dry lime and lemon aromas and flavours. Still clocking in at 5.5% ABV and still featuring a malt bill of primarily pale malt with some flaked oats and flaked wheat, the IBUs are a tad lighter on this batch at 32, but we suspect the hops are much more evident in flavor than in bitterness. Both the English Golden Ale and the new Crosscurrent are available for pints and growler fills. And be sure to sign up for their Home Brewer’s Challenge before the Feb 17 deadline by email; they are looking for your best Trappist Single. Check our previous post for more details.

• Sticking with Gahan (and Homebrewing), but skipping across the Northumberland Strait, Charlottetown’s Gahan Pub has released the winner of the PEI installment of the Home Brewer’s Challenge, Green Willy Solstice, a 7.9% ABV Winter Warmer. The winning team of Jonathan Green, Clayton Harding, Will Panting, and Jaime Venturini joined Brewmaster Trent Haynes for the day, using molasses and a blend of spices for a warming profile to the beer. Grab a pint on tap at Sydney Street now.

• Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing is releasing a special beer next week, featuring a unique local ingredient. Bunchberry Orange Kolsch is a 4.5% ABV German hybrid beer (hybrid of ale and lager yeast, more temperature-tolerant), with oranges grown in Nova Scotia. Bunchberry Nurseries were the folks who grew the Poncirus trifoliata, also known as Japanese or Chinese Bitter Orange, a cold-tolerant citrus tree. To celebrate this first for the province, Lazy Bear are holding a public tasting of the beer at Bunchberry in Upper Clements, February 3, 7:00-9:00 pm. To honour the unexpected combination, there will be a beach theme to the evening, and it will feature local food. The beer is in very short supply, so be sure to drop by that evening to avoid disappointment. If there does happen to be any left, it will be available at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market the next morning.

 • Ontario’s Beau’s Brewing is brewing a series of collaboration beers in 2017, to celebrate the 150th birthday of our country. Their first in this series was conceived with the Fogo Island Inn, located on Newfoundland’s Fogo Island. Described by the brewery as a “Myrrh-Smoked Gose”, this one is definitely different! Along with Pilsner, Acid, and Carafoam malt in the grist, Wheat malt that was smoked with myrrh collected from the Island’s pine, spruce, and fir trees was added. The saltiness typical to the Gose style was obtained by the addition of island-foraged sea salt, and Newfoundland partridgeberries were added for tartness (as opposed to the usual practice of introducing Lactobacillus bacteria). This is a higher-ABV than usual for a Gose, at 6.7% ABV; it was hopped with Strisselspalt and Simcoe to 35 IBUs, also high for the style. Beau’s describes the beer as hazy orange, with earthy and woody aromas mingled with mild fruitiness, and smoky and tart flavours. Named 49° 54°, it’s going to be available only at the Inn, with $1500 in sales being donated to the Shorefast Foundation. For more info on this beer, check out Beau’s full description. And be sure to follow along with Beau’s future collaborations, as some more Atlantic Canadian terroir beers are sure to pop up!

In terms of events, we’ve also got plenty to tell you about this week, as brewers and restaurants start to get ahead of the snow and ice…

• In case you missed yesterday’s post, Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing will be opening their doors at 1932 Brunswick Street tomorrow, from noon. Check out the full details in the Profile, but be sure to drop by for the special tap room-only Bakeapple Sour, Aztec Milk Stout, and Mango & Brett IPA, as they will be sure to sell out quickly (and are not available elsewhere).

• After (or before) a stop for that pint and growler fill tomorrow, drop down to Bishop’s Cellar for a co-tap takeover of their growler filling station with Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery and Sheet Harbour’s Sober Island Brewing. The crews from both spots will be on hand from 1:00-3:00pm to chat and pour samples, before you dive in for a growler filling.

• And while you’re in the downtown core tomorrow, be sure to drop by Stillwell Beer Bar on Barrington for pours of three special beers from Toronto brewery Bellwoods. The Plum variant of their Jelly King, a dry-hopped Lacto sour; Jutsu, a Vermont-inspired 5.6% ABV Pale Ale; and Farmhouse Saison, fermented with Brettanomyces Lambicus. These will be on from noon, when you can also take advantage of their “Bottle of the Day”, where they are offering up a bottle from their cellar for pours from the glass, rather than having to spring for the whole shebang.

Tide & Boar Brewing is holding another of their Beer to Go days tomorrow, January 28th, from 10 am-6 pm. Two beers will be available for growler fills: Killington IPA, a 7.6% ABV Northeast IPA featuring plenty of Citra and Mosaic hops, and a new take on their Sour Otis Grapefruit, which has been rebuilt from the ground up, according to brewer Chad Steeves. Twenty-four grapefruits per barrel were added to the beer, making it more acidic than ever. Only a limited supply of these beers (2 kegs each) will be available, so get over early!

New Brunswick Beer Tours is holding their FROSTival Brewery Tour next Saturday, February 4th, and there’s still a few tickets left! They’ll be following their usual itinerary of four brewery stops (this time around, Graystone, Maybee, Mama’s, and TrailWay), before a final stop at the King Street Ale House for a pint with Off Grid Ales‘ Randy Rowe; each brewery stop includes four sample pours. Tickets are $68.50 each, and include – of course – transportation between all stops.

• Sick of winter yet? If you’re in the Fredericton area, Maybee Brewing is offering a cure – of sorts – with their Beat the Winter Blues, scheduled for next Saturday, February 4th. A night of live music and beer (from 7 pm-1 am), your $12 advance ticket ($20 at the door) gets you admission to two live bands, The Tortoise The Hare & The Millionaire, and Keith Hallett. Of course, there will be plenty of Maybee beer on tap, as well as a guest brewery or two, for purchase. A food truck will be on site, and a free shuttle to downtown will be available between 12-1:30 am.

• After a wildly successful debut at TrailWay, the Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection have got their next event scheduled at Maybee Brewing February 8th at 6:30pm. $14 will get you a flight of beer, tour of the brewery, and insightful chat with fellow beer lovers (and those looking to learn more). Check out the FB Event page, and be sure to RSVP in advance.

• This year’s Péché Day – a celebration of one of Canada’s highest-rated beers, Dieu du Ciel!‘s Péché Mortel – is scheduled for Saturday, March 11th. Luckily for all of us, this year three Maritime bars have been selected to participate! What does this mean? It means that these three locations – the King Street Ale House, Stillwell, and Tide & Boar – will have six different variants of the coffee-infused Imperial Stout on tap for you to enjoy (check out the event poster for a list of all expected). It’ll simply be pay-as-you-go, but be warned, this is a big beer!

• Speaking of March 11th, the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival is fast approaching! While the evening session did sell out quickly, there are still afternoon tickets available, which offers the option of a slightly-more-relaxed experience… and the option of continuing afterwards with Péché Day at the KSAH! If you’re an alumni (have attended the last four festivals) and haven’t yet picked up your tickets, be sure to do so with the special alumni code emailed to you by FCBF organizers – aside from all the great local craft beer, you also get a T-shirt, custom glassware, and more!

A couple more things before we let you go this week:

– The crew from Bishop’s Cellar drove up to Nyanza this week to brew up a collaboration at Big Spruce Brewing. Coming next month will be Anaphylactic Choc, a peanut butter and chocolate porter, featuring organic peanut butter added right to the boil, for a blast of nutty goodness. We’ll share more details when the beer is released on February 25th, at a Takeover of Bishop’s growler filling taps.
Breton Brewing has brought back Crazy Angus Double IPA, the amped up brother to their Black Angus IPA. At 7.4% ABV and 85 IBU, it’s sure to cure that hop itch many of us have! Grab it on tap at their taproom, and accounts around the province.
Gahan Halifax will be hosting their first Brewmaster’s Dinner on February 21st, featuring four courses from the chef specifically paired with beers from Kyle Jeppesen’s brewhouse. More details are in the offing and we’ll bring them to you as they become available.
Garrison Brewing is holding a contest on Instagram, celebrating their Dirty Ol’ Town Black IPA. Take a picture of why you love the town, and tag @garrisonbrewing and use the #LoveThisDirtyOlTown hashtag. They will regram all entries, and the one with the most likes by February 9th will win a brewery tour for 10 people.

Although it was a short work week due to the holidays, the yeast never sleep, so we’ve got a few new beers to introduce; and with New Year’s coming up this weekend, there’s also some events we think you’ll want to know about. We’ll start off this week, however, with news of a new brewery that launched late last week:

• It was a Christmas Beer-acle! Moth Lane Brewing, on PEI’s Prince County, opened December 24th to satisfy the thirsty folks in the Western region of the island. The 800 litre (7 BBL) brewhouse offers flights and pints in their tap room onsite, and sells growler fills to go. There are three beers available currently: Motorboat’r Blonde Ale, a refreshing and easy drinking 6.5% ABV light ale; The Answer Imperial IPA, a 7.0% ABV, 70 IBU bitter beer with plenty of pine character; and, Oyster Thief Stout, a 5.5% ABV dry stout, featuring local oysters added in the boil. The brewery, located at 101 Mickie Allen Shore Rd in Ellerslie, is open Mon-Wed 12-5, and Thurs-Sat 5-10pm, including live music Saturday evening. For those not able to get West, Charlottetown’s HopYard has all three beers available. Stay tuned to the blog, as we’ll have a full profile next week. Welcome to the neighbourhood, Moth Lane!

• Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing has two new beers on the go this week. The Crown Winter Warmer was released on Boxing Day and is described as a big-bodied holiday ale with seasonal spices. Built on a base of Maris Otter and Vienna malts for a solid backbone, chocolate and crystal malts are included to provide deep colour and chocolatey and caramel flavours. It also features a portion of Simpsons relatively new DRC (double-roasted crystal) malt, known for enhancing the body of dark beers and bringing complex dark caramel and dark fruit flavours without the bitterness or astringency of traditional heavily roasted malts. At 7.4% ABV you’ll almost certainly feel some alcohol warmth, while an addition of allspice and 30 IBUs worth of NB Goldings round out the flavour profile. It’s available at the taproom for pints, as well as growler and crowler fills.

• And hitting Graystone’s taps today will be a Belgian White IPA that they’re calling Mont Blanc, a collaboration with the in-the-works Gore Farm Brewery of St. Stephen, NB. A simple malt bill of Pilsner and wheat provide a canvas for some “cool” West Coast hops that bring 50 IBUs worth of bitterness and no doubt some citrus flavours. And judging by the name, expect to find some Belgian yeast flavours as well. More on Gore Farm in the near future!

• The folks at Lazy Bear have let us know that they’ll be pouring pints at a New Year’s Eve Dance Party hosted by local musician David Chamberland at the Rebekah Music Hall in Bear River. This will give them the opportunity to bring their regular lineup and also hopefully a brand new California Common-style beer. The as-yet unnamed brew eschews the Northern Brewer hops traditional to the style for Nugget from Ontario and Chinook from New Brunswick. Although the grapefruit aspects of the Chinook flavour profile might be viewed as crossing a stylistic boundary, there’s also every chance it will make for a tasty brew. There’s only one way to find out; grab a pint if you can!

• Also in the works from Lazy Bear is an Irish Red that will feature potatoes in the mash. Obvious jokes aside, care will definitely need to be taken to convert the sugars from the potatoes and to lauter the wort from what will no doubt be an exceptionally sticky grist, but the result should be very unique. We’re definitely looking forward to hearing more about this one as further information becomes available. Lastly, we’re told that LB will be featuring a percentage of Horton Ridge malts in all of their beers for 2017; the celebration of local ingredients continues!

Hammond River has released another iteration in their The Vegas SMaSH series, a Single-Malt and Single-Hop beer that has had four versions prior to this release. The newest beer features Mosaic, a very popular and delicious variety that features plenty of berry character, resulting in a truly fruity-tasting beer. As with previous takes, this one weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs; you can find it on tap now at The Barrel’s Head, and it should be popping up at other HR tap accounts in the near future.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing has released a brand new beer in their Hop Series. Lemondrop IPA is a 7.5% ABV IPA featuring the eponymous Lemondrop hop, an experimental hop featuring big notes of lemon citrus, and keeping in the hazy tradition of T&B’s other IPAs. Grab a pint now, and enjoy it at their Waterfront Craft Beer Garden event tomorrow (details below).

• We teased last week about Upstreet starting a barrel-aging program, with the recent delivery of a set of barrels from Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery. Well, the barrels have been filled with six different beers, which are now undergoing the first of many days of aging, before being bottled and released to the public next fall. Sorry, we can’t share what these beers are yet, but – as always – we’ll be sure to release that info as soon as we can!

Be sure to check the hours of your local brewery and beer store before heading there tomorrow, as some are on reduced hours. Here are some events guaranteed to help you say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017 while enjoying great beer:

• If you’re in the Moncton area, what better way to ring in the New Year than with the NYE Waterfront Craft Beer Garden? Starting at 4 pm on Saturday, December 31st, the Tide & Boar will be hosting seven local breweries, including Acadie-Broue, Beckwith Road, Bore City, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, Scow Cider, and, of course, their own T&B Brewery. The beer garden will run until 9 pm, and have a view of the concert on the waterfront, which will feature several live bands.

• And what about Fredericton? Well, those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival will be hosting their own NYE Craft Beer Garden on Saturday. Held downtown at Officer’s Square and starting at 4 pm, there will be lots pouring from both Maybee and Sunset Heights Meadery until midnight. As well, select products from Bogtrotter, Graystone, Grimross, Picaroons, Red Rover, and TrailWay will be available. A food truck will be on-site, live music will be playing, and there will be two firework shows (8 pm and midnight). Can’t get away from the family? No worries – kids are allowed in the beer garden with their parents. No charge to attend, just pay by the beverage… and be sure to dress warm!

• Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse is celebrating its third anniversary Saturday from 10-6 and will have a small run of bottles of their APA, Mosaic DIPA, and Black and Tackle Russian Imperial Stout available, and will no doubt have some other treats for those who drop by for the fun.

• Although Stillwell probably shouldn’t be part of your plans for New Year’s Eve (owing to them being closed), you should think hard about making them a destination for your hangover on New Year’s Day. They’ll be opening at noon for their New Year’s Day Levée with some brunchy menu options (Smoked Striped Bass Fishcakes, Triple-threat Breakfast Sandwich, Smoked Meat Hash or Toutons with Lonzino and Molasses, anyone?) and a pretty intense wall’s worth of goodies. Do you like stout served on nitrogen? Sure you do! They’ll have three: Granite Keefe’s Irish Stout, Unfiltered Flat Black Jesus and Dieu du Ciel! Aphrodisiaque. How about one of the three existing kegs of Acadie Broue Zirable, the Geueze-style we waxed poetic about in last week’s wrap-up? You know you want to try that. There’s also taps from Les Trois Mousquetaires , Brasserie Dunham , Trailway , Mikkeller and Bad Apple Brewhouse and the bottle list you know and love.

• Don’t worry, PEI, there’s a local New Year’s Day celebration going on for you, too! Upstreet will be starting their 2017 Kick-Off Sunday at 10 am, and it’ll be continuing all day long! A total of six different bands will be playing live, with the first starting at noon; the music will continue through the celebrations until roughly 10 pm. Beer cocktails, brewery tours, $4 pints, and a special brunch menu will also be available. Last year’s event was the biggest party of the year for the Upstreet taproom, so be sure you don’t miss out! Check out the link above the full details on the bands that will be performing.

• The 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival is fast-approaching, and several events have been announced. Returning is ACBB Trivia, alongside a Nova Scotia Tap Takeover, at the King Street Ale House on Thursday, March 9th from 6-9 pm. All 24 taps at the KSAH will be dedicated to a variety of NS breweries; your $25 ticket gets you a special glass to take home, as well as ten 5 oz samples to start off. Trivia starts at 7 pm, and we promise this time the questions will be easier (no drawings of chemical structures, please Chris?)! And for those that haven’t yet grabbed tickets to the main event on Saturday the 11th, there are still a few tickets available for the afternoon (1:30-4:00) session.

A few more notes before you head out today:

– You can celebrate NYE with your very own keg of Garrison beer, and on the cheap, as they are offering a 10% discount on all rentals, and they’ll even include a sleeve of cups. Drop by today or tomorrow, as the sale ends after that.
– It looks like Mama’s Brew Pub has finally got their Crowler machine up and running, meaning that 1-L cans to go of their in-house-brewed beers are now available for purchase.
– The canning continues at TrailWay Brewing, with the latest release being their American Pale Ale, Rype, a 5% ABV hazy hop bomb. As of right now, this one is available only at the brewery, but look for ANBL stores to receive shipments, soon.

And be sure to celebrate the New Year responsibly: with a local beer(s), and a safe ride home! As we close out 2016, we want to thank the breweries and readers that we get to connect with on a weekly basis, and we look forward to spreading the Good News about Great Beer in 2017. Cheers!

You wouldn’t know it by the weather in much of the region, but winter is theoretically on its way and we’re starting to see some seasonal brews in that vein released here on the East Coast. At the same time, there’s plenty of non-seasonal action in the ten-plus brand new beers announced, the craft scene continues grow with another brewery opening it’s doors in New Brunswick, and there’s lots of beer-related news to share and events in the offing. Here’s this week’s attempt to tell you everything you need to know about craft beer in Atlantic Canada.

• Congratulations are in order as Foghorn Brewing in Rothesay officially opens their doors today. Located at 47 Clark Road, immediately adjacent to the CrossFit gym, Foghorn is serving samples, pints, and growlers of five brand new beers, including The Yellow Dart Session IPA (3.9% ABV), Golden Grover British Golden Ale (5.0% ABV), Brian Stout (5.0% ABV), Constable Winchester IPA (6.5%), and Old Forte Winter Warmer (6.5%). Their opening hours are 10-10 daily. For those who want to sit and enjoy a few pints, outside food is welcome, and can be ordered for delivery on-site (using the authentic restored 1950s era payphone). For those in NB, but not *quite* close enough to visit, look for kegs to hit local bars and restaurants late next week. For the latest news, be sure to follow their Facebook and Twitter pages. Check out our Profile of them, published in October.

• Following the maxim that when opportunity knocks one should open the door wide, Boxing Rock recently found themselves saying yes to a batch of malt from local malthouse Horton Ridge that hadn’t proceeded as scheduled due to a power interruption. Assessing this malt as reminiscent of a more rustic, homegrown Pilsner, the next step was to source hops to compliment its biscuity, bready flavour. Enter Clear Valley Hops with both Wild Turkey, a native Ontario variety and Crystal, an American hop with noble German lineage through the Hallertauer family tree. The Wild Turkey brings a smooth bittering profile along with an herbal and floral aroma that matches well with the fruit from this Ontario-grown Crystal. The resultant beer, dubbed Kilnus Interruptus was brewed in the American Pale Ale style at 5.5% ABV. It will be available on tap at select accounts in Halifax, in bottles at all of the private liquor stores in Halifax, in growlers at Boxing Rock’s stalls at the Halifax and Dartmouth farmers markets and, of course, at the brewery retail store in Shelburne. Only one batch of this irreproducible brew has been made, so you’ll want to act fast if you’d like a taste!

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is releasing a new beer this weekend, branching out the variety of their offerings. Grumpy Cranberry Orange Sour is a 3.8% Kettle Sour beer, featuring loads of orange zest in the boil, and further aged on home-made cranberry sauce. To get you up to speed, Kettle Sours are a style of beer heavily inspired by the Berliner Weisse of Northern Germany. Usually featuring wheat malt as a significant portion of the grist, the low ABV and light-bodied beer features a distinctive acidic character from lactic acid. Lactobacillus bacteria are responsible for producing the acid, and are added to the wort in one of several ways: as a pure pitch from a yeast company; via un-mashed grain added to the wort (Lacto is commonly found on raw barley grain); or through Lacto-containing cultures, including yogurt. After addition of the bacteria, the wort is kept warm while the pH lowers, usually to 3.5 or lower (standard beer is in the pH 5 range). Once complete, the beer is heated/boiled to kill the Lacto, and then cooled and further fermented with a more traditional ale or lager yeast. For more beer learnin’, check out Milk the Funk, a resource for commercial and homebrewers alike. Drop by Roof Hound on Saturday, November 19th for the release, with the beer flowing at 9pm, and Tide & Timbre playing a set starting at 10pm.

• PEI’s BarNone has a couple of new beers in the pipeline: first up is SMaSH Ella, a single-malt-and-single-hop beer featuring – you guessed it – Ella, an Australian hop varietal. This relatively-new hop is known for “distinct tropical flavours”, especially when used in the dry-hop, which it definitely was with this brew. Very pale-coloured, it’s easy-drinking at just 4.2% ABV and 23 IBUs; look for it on tap around the Island this weekend. Next is BarNone’s first take on the Extra Special Bitter style, which has been a frequent request by fans of the brewery. Bitter Winter ESB features a grist made up mainly of floor-malted barley from Nova Scotia’s Horton Ridge, and was hopped with U.K. varieties. Fermented, interestingly enough, with an Abbey-style yeast strain, the beer weighs in at 5.6% ABV and 36 IBUs. This one was just brewed recently, so look for it on tap in a couple of weeks.

• The winter beers continue to trickle in, as Flying Boats is releasing their newest seasonal, Fireside Friend, which is their take on the Winter Warmer style. A full-bodied ale exhibiting plenty of malt character, expect flavours of caramel, nuts, and molasses. Further-complemented with the additional of spices such as cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, cloves, and peeled ginger, this is naturally a bigger beer, weighing in at 7.1% ABV and 32 IBUs. This one is going to be available on tap only; expect to see it any day now at the following locations: the Tide & Boar, James Joyce Irish Pub, Graystone, Saint John Ale House, and Ducky’s Pub.

• Taking a left-turn from the winter beers, Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has released Langered Stook, a “Hoppy Half Wit”. Brewed in the Hopfenweisse style (which originated between a collaboration between Schneider and Brooklyn Brewery), it features Belgian Witbier and German Hefeweizen characteristics, with a healthy dose of hops. In this case, lots of late and dry-hop additions of AmarilloCitraEl Dorado, and Mandarina Bavaria, which themselves display notes of fruit and citrus, are enhanced by fermentation using the Fruity Witbier yeast from Escarpment Labs. At 4.8% ABV and 43 IBUs, this isn’t your Uncle Dieter’s Hefe! Look for it on tap in HRM at Battery Park, Lion & Bright and Stillwell, as well as at the Big Spruce and Breton Brewing co-Tap Takeover at Governor’s Pub after Saturday’s Cape Breton Beer Fest.

Picaroons has announced the details on their latest one-off release at their General Store in Saint John – Cranberry Wheat is just as the name suggests, an American Wheat Ale brewed with real cranberries, sourced from Sunberry Cranberry Producers out of Maugerville, NB. Described by the brewery as “sweet, smooth, and just a tiny bit of tart”, it’s quite sessionable at 4.2% ABV. Available on tap now, for a limited time.

• Tuesday of this week saw a new beer available on tap at Yellowbelly Brewery in St. John’s. On the face of it, Labrador Lager is vaguely reminiscent of last year’s Oktoberfest, the brewery’s first lager, which was a festbier made with Pilsen, Munich and Vienna malts and Styrian Goldings and Saphir hops. The Labrador replaces the Vienna with Caramunich, which will bring additional body and some sweetness, and substitutes Super Styrian hops for the Styrian Goldings while featuring “a ton” of the Saphir to bring a sweet citrus character. Billed as 6.5% ABV and in the Helles Bock style, it’s been lagering for weeks now and should be well-balanced and integrated.

• Hot on the heels of last week’s Danko SMaSH comes another new offering from Unfiltered Brewing, this time a devious-sounding DIPA with specs that may very well give prospective hop-lovers a slight pause. Listed at a massive 10% ABV and a typically NASH-ian 100+ IBU, this beer has been aged on white oak for 8 weeks or so and apparently displays none of the warning signs you’d normally detect from such a powerful brew, so they put it in the name. Warning Label is available starting today at the brewery and next door at Charm School for pints and growler fills. Whatever happens, you will not be able to say that you were not warned.

• Those crazy kids at Good Robot Brewing Company are releasing a new beer today: Extra BIG-ASS Beer – Camacho Lager is an amber malty lager in the European style, somewhere in the vicinity of a Märzen or Oktoberfest. The malt bill features Vienna, 2-row, coffee and smoked malts, with some flaked oats to enhance the mouthfeel. On the hops side it marries two varieties developed and released in the 1970s, the German Perle, known for a floral and spicy character, and the American Willamette, which features fruity and floral notes. A true lager, it is bready on the nose and the palate, with prominent roasted flavours, some lingering spice, and a crisp, dry finish. At 5.2% ABV and 24 IBU, it’s gluten-reduced and should be quite crushable. You’ll be able to find its ample hindquarters today at the Good Robot taproom.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is releasing the latest in their Cellar Series today, a Rum Barrel-Aged version of their Honey Lavender. The base beer, produced with lavender grown at Meander River, and wildflower honey, spent several months in Ironworks Distillery barrels, taking on loads of rum and wood character, as well as a few points of alcohol, with this version weighing in at 11.0% ABV (the non-barrelled is 6.5% ABV). Grab a bottle or two (this beer is perfect for aging) at the brewery today, as it is in high demand and short supply!

• Today is the release of Episode 1 of the 902 BrewCast podcast. Kyle, Phil and Tony sit down with Peter Burbridge and Josh Herbin of North Brewing to learn more about how they got to where they are, and what’s next for the brewery. Sharing some beers and chatting beer, sounds like a great way to spend your hour commute home today. Subscribe to the podcast here, iTunes and Google Play links are coming shortly. *Maybe wait until you’re home to crack open that Wiley Boys II.*

As we pass the half-way point of the month, there are plenty of great events coming up on our radar. Here are a select few that we can cram in today:

• New Brunswick-based band (and hop farmers) Earthbound Trio are embarking on a Maritimes Brewery tour today. Starting at Upstreet Nov 18, they will be at the Big Spruce/Breton Brewing after-party November 19th, and Roof Hound Brewing Nov 22nd. There are a few more stops during and after these dates, be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest information.

Cape Breton Beer Fest is tomorrow November 19th, at the Sydney Cruise Terminal (aka The Big Fiddle). It will serve as the official launch of Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Pours of their Table BeerWild NE IPA, and 100% Brett Fermented Golden Ale, all produced on their pilot system, will be available to thirsty attendees. Sober Island Brewing will be debuting their British IPA at the Fest, as well as a cask of their Mild Ale, plus a bevvy of brand new beers mentioned here (and not)… Tickets are still available, and check out the brewery list here.

Salvatore’s Pizza is hosting a two-day tap (and kitchen) takeover by Unfiltered Brewing November 22 and 23, the Garlic & Hops Tastebud Take-Down. Featuring a handful of Unfiltered taps, as well as Greg Nash-smoked brisket, NashBomb sausages from Getaway Butcher Shop, plus plenty of treats and surprises. Be sure to drop by to take part in the fun!

Uncle Leo‘s will be launching a brand new beer November 23rd, Sunburst Pale Ale. The 5.5% ABV golden amber brew is reminiscent of a Sunburst guitar, and hits “all of the right notes”, according to the collaborators Dave Gunning, JP Cormier & Jamie Robinson. Drop by Piper’s for a glass of the beer (from a special cask double dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe) and appetizers. Tickets are $20, and available at Uncle Leo’s (by phone or in person), and are limited to only 60, so act today! Find out more on their FB page.

• The Saint John Ladies Beer Club has announced their next meet-up, being held next Friday, November 25th. Drop by Big Tide Brewing at 7:00 PM for an intro talk on the beer-making process, and meet with fellow ladies who are also enjoying the burgeoning Saint John beer scene. There is no cover to attend (pay as you go for food and beer), but please do pre-register so the organizers know how many attendees to expect.
• Tickets for the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival officially go on sale next Friday, November 25th, at 11 am. Like last year, the festival itself will be just one part of a weeklong series of events, being held from March 6th-12th, 2017. The beer festival will take place on Saturday, March 11th, with McInnes Cooper returning as the presenting sponsor. If you’re planning on attending (and why wouldn’t you be?), please get your tickets early – they regularly go very quickly, with VIP tickets in particular selling out in about an hour. We’ll have plenty of details on the week of events as March approaches!
Upstreet will be hosting a tap takeover at Charlottetown’s Hopyard, next Friday, November 25th. HopUp will begin at 6 pm and continue until close, with all ten taps belonging to tasty Upstreet brews… including a special release brewed specifically for the tap takeover. Upstreet is calling this one a SMaTH SIPL; no, we don’t have a lisp… that’s a “Single Malt and Triple-Hopped Session India Pale Lager”. Brewed with Maritime 2-row malt and hopped with New Brunswick-grown Columbus, Chinook and Nugget, it comes in at 4.5% and 45 IBUs, and is described as “clean, crisp, dank and piney”; the name will be released when the beer is! In addition to all the beer, Hopyard’s Chef Jane has concocted an Upstreet-inspired menu for all your solid-food needs, and the Upstreet staff will be spinning their favourite records all evening.
• Living in Fredericton and looking for something to do with the kids next Saturday, November 26th? Look no more – Crayons n’ Beer is scheduled to take place at the King Street Ale House from 2:00-4:00 pm! This family-friendly event is the brain-child of those behind the FCBF, and features activities for both your child (colouring) and you (colouring and drinking beer!). Colouring sheets and other materials will be provided (although feel free to bring your own as well), and each adult will be treated to two flights of beer. In addition, Red Rover‘s Adam Clawson will do a live reading of one of the best children’s books in modern times, The Day the Crayons Quit. Attendance is by donation (suggested is $20 per adult), with all proceeds going to Team Diabetes (tax receipts will be provided). If you plan on attending, you must donate and register in advance.

• Next weekend, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers -Atlantic Chapter is offering the first module of their Certified Beer Professional Program. November 26 and 27, 10:00-3:00 on both days at the Prince George Hotel. Garrison Brewing’s Brewmaster Daniel Girard will lead attendees through lectures laying out the history, production, styles and service of beer, giving students the knowledge base necessary to take and pass the Certified Beer Server exam from Cicerone. The course includes a textbook, tour of Garrison, tasting of several beers, and the cost and facilitation of the exam. Find out more details, and sign up today!

• A reminder that next weekend is the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge, where homebrewers from across the Maritimes are competing to produce the best Dark Mild, Double IPA, and Experimental Sour. For those entrants who haven’t already mailed in their registration form, or dropped off their beer (at Big Spruce, or with Chris), be sure to reach out today to organize that! And we’ll see you at Wooden Monkey on November 27th for the party and announcement.

• After a brilliantly successful BrewBot takeover by Keith Forbes on Tuesday, the fine folks at Good Robot have invited the next homebrew crew to invade. On December 2nd, Bráthair Brewing will be taking over the taps with six beers, including their Stillwell Open-winning Kissed by Elvis Double IPA, 3 Scots & a Frenchman Scottish ale with Saison yeast, and Daughter of Sin Double IPA with only whirlpool hops. Check out the video to learn a bit more about the Brothers in (Beer) Arms, and drop by that Friday for some well-crafted beer.

• One of the first brewery Christmas parties was announced earlier this week, with Maybee Brewing confirming theirs to take place on Saturday, December 10th. Shake the Shivers will be a semi-formal event, and should begin around 7 pm. Lots of beer will be on tap for purchase, live music will start at 8pm and will be playing throughout the night, and Milda’s Pizzas & More will be on-hand to make sure you don’t go hungry. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12, and will also be available at the door for $20; this price includes the use of a shuttle from 12:30-1:30 am, which will take you downtown to the Tannery, where you can continue your party!

• Details are now available for Stillwell’s Mikkeller Tap Takeover. With two dozen beers coming, it is far too epic for just one weekend (or month!), so they will be holding Part 1 of the Danish Invasion December 17th, and Part 2 January 14th. Mark your calendars now for a blast of innovative collaborative beers coming your way. And in the meantime, drop by this Sunday, November 20th for their Third Anniversary Party, and December 10th for the Bissell Brothers/Orono Brewing Tap Takeover.

Just a few more things today…

– Truro’s Nook and Cranny has a new Pale Ale hitting the taps, one dry-hopped with New Zealand’s Motueka. The crisp and clean beer is 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs.
Sea Level has released the 2016 version of Crossing Muddy Waters Brown Ale. This year’s batch features Horton Ridge Malt in the grist, and weighs in at 5.5% ABV. Available now in cans and growler fills.
– Congratulations to Tidehouse Brewing on their inaugural brews last weekend! Look for these to be available to the public late this month/early December.
TrailWay‘s Rype (5% ABV) – a rye-APA hopped with lots of Citra, Comet, and Mosaic – will be featured in this weekend’s ANBL growler program, where it will be available for fills at all five non-Fredericton growler locations (hey, it’s only fair that they spread the love a little!).
– Uncle Leo’s is looking for a part-time production worker, involved in all aspects of the brewing and packaging process, as well as retail customer service. Usual operating hours are Tuesday to Saturday, with the highest need being Thursday through Saturday. Previous brewery experience will be given preference, but is not necessary. Reach out to them on Facebook, or via email.
– Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing has debuted a new beer this week, Burning Rock Red. This 4.5% ABV & 25 IBU is available at the brewery and tap room for pints, and crowler fills to go.
– The family of private beer stores Cristall Wine Merchants, Harvest Wines and Spirits, and RockHead Wine and Beer Market are releasing the “Merry Maritimer’s Christmas Craft Beer Countdown”. Featuring 24 beer and cider from across the Maritimes, with products from Breton, Boxing Rock, Bulwark Cider, Garrison, Nine Locks, Picaroons, Propeller, Spindrift, Tatamagouche, and Upstreet. Pre-order your $125 now, for pick up November 25th.

Good morning, and welcome to the weekend! Lots going on in beer news as usual, so let’s get started. First off, some local award winners!

• Big congratulations to the winners in our region at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards in Vancouver, BC, last weekend.
– PEI Brewing was the big winner, taking four Gold medals at the blindly-judged competition. They earned the most medals (of any colour, let alone Gold) of any brewery in the country: Gold in English Style India Pale Ale, Rogues Roost IPAGold in Wheat Beer – North American Style, Gahan Sir John A. Honey Wheat AleGold in Session India Pale Ale, Gahan Vic Park APAGold in Session Ale, Setting Day Saison.
– Tatamagouche had an excellent showing, with three medals awarded. Gold in Imperial Stout, Russian Imperial StoutGold in Barley Wine-Style Ale – American-Style, GiantessBronze in Baltic Porter, Two Rivers Baltic Porter. Clearly they know their big beers, as these brews are all above 8.0% ABV!
– Saint John’s Moosehead Brewery also earned a trio of medals for a few of their lager offerings: Gold in North American Style Lager, Alpine LagerSilver in North American Style Amber Lager, Barking Squirrel LagerSilver in Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager, Cracked Canoe.
– Garrison: Silver in American-Style Black Ale, Dirty Ol’ Town Black IPA.
– Stillwell: Silver in Belgian-Style Brett Beer, Two, their Second Anniversary mixed fermentation Saison (brewed at North Brewing).
Red Rover: Silver in Cider with Herbs/Spices, Fall.
– Pump HouseBronze in Barley Wine-Style Ale – English-Style, Barley Wine.

Be sure to visit your local brewery and grab a bottle, can, and/or pint of these award-winning beers, and show them some love! The full list of winners can be found on the CBA website.

• A new brewery, slated to open in Halifax this fall, has just been announced this week. 2 Crows Brewing will set up shop on Brunswick Street, between Cogswell and Duke. Co-owner and Brewer Jeremy Taylor is an avid homebrewer, and after graduating with an MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, has brewed professionally in British Columbia for several years before making the transition eastward. 2 Crows will feature a core lineup of four beers, with a bevvy of rotating seasonals and one-offs, all brewed on their 20 bbl (23 hL) brewhouse. Keep up-to-date with their progress by following their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Beerocracy, a documentary about the brewing industry in New Brunswick, is in its final stages and getting closer to its planned release in July. In the meantime, directors/producers Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff have started an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help raise some final funds to pay for post-production costs such as audio mastering, translation and French subtitling, graphic design, and more. They’re already about 40% of the way to their $10,000 goal, which ends Thursday, June 16th. If you’d like to donate to the cause, there are plenty of perks available; based on donation, they range from beer glasses, posters, and digital downloads of the film to VIP screenings and even having your name in the credits! Don’t hesitate on your chance to be involved in a piece of NB beer history, and donate today!

• Only 3 weeks after releasing a pair of new brews, North has released yet another two new beers this week. First up is Gestalt, a blend of two different beers. One of the beers is a “Farmhouse Brown Ale” that was fermented with a specialty blend of yeasts, Fruit Bomb Saison (a Saison strain, an “enigmatic” Saccharomyces strain, and a Brettanomyces strain) from Escarpment Labs; the beer was then aged in stainless for over three months. Meanwhile, another batch with a “very simple malt bill” was fermented with another Escarpment blend, Old World Saison (two Saison strains). Both batches were ultimately blended at differing ratios until those at North were happiest with the outcome: a barnyard aroma, with “notes of cherry, tamarind, cola, subtle hay, and a lime zest finish”. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV, it’s available for growler fills now at the brewery, and is on tap at select accounts. Next up is version 2.0 of their Grisette, which comes in slightly stronger at 3.8% ABV, but still remains  supremely sessionable. Some Torrified Wheat was added to the grist, and the hops were changed to Rakau and Ahtanum; also available now at the brewery, so pick them both up while you’re there!

• Fresh off their CBA win, Stillwell released a new beer yesterday that they brewed with the staff at Toronto institution Bar Volo‘s House Ales (a 150 L pilot brewery) earlier in the winter. Pekkolo is a Farmhouse Table Beer named after the hop variety, Pekko, used generously within. This American varietal gives the beer notes of lemon, thyme and mint in the aroma, “all of which dovetail nicely with our funky ‘house’ Saison culture’s flavour profile”, according to Stillwell. Hoppy, with a “soft tartness”, it weighs in at only 3.8% ABV (which allows it to live up to its Table – read: consumable in quantity – status), yet still exhibits a good amount of body, due in part to the sizeable addition of Flaked Barley to the grist. Only a small amount of this beer is available, so it will be available only on tap at Stillwell (with a simultaneous release in Toronto), and won’t last long!

York County has a new cider on tap for growler fills, Sidra. Inspired by traditional ciders made in northern Spain, York County describes it as “very tart, with notes of unripe fruits”; slightly sour, with a cloudy appearance, it is quite still (very minimal carbonation). Intended on being poured from a height “of at least a yard” to give it a bit of froth upon consumption, it clocks in at 6.7% ABV. Drop by today to give this new “Spanish cider” a try!

Federation of Beer is releasing a new beer today, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series. Star Trek 50th Golden Anniversary Ale was brewed at Garrison, using Pale and Wheat malts, and a light touch of Hallertau hops. This 5.0% ABV and 20 IBUs beer features a brilliant golden liquid with light frothy head, light malt body, and a slight fruity aroma, to go along with the spicy character of the noble hops. The bottles will feature one of twelve collectible labels, and are available at the brewery now in six-packs. It joins their Vulcan Red Session Ale and Klingon Warnog Roggenbier in the Star Trek licensed releases.

• Sydney’s Breton Brewing will be celebrating their First Anniversary later this month, and they are marking the occasion by expanding their reach across the province. Beginning Monday, June 6, cans of their Red Coat Irish Red and Black Angus IPA will be available at NSLC locations throughout the province, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and Harvest Wines. From Yarmouth, to Amherst, Halifax, and Sydney, the 473ml cans mean that grabbing a pint at the beach or on a hike will be that much easier. This also means that restaurants and other licencees will be able to stock them, so be sure to request them at your local public house. And be sure to drop by the brewery today from noon for the return of Food Truck Friday, with Little Rollin’ Bistro joining them until 7pm. There will be music starting at 4pm, and there is no cover for the entertainment.

• Shifting gears to another Island, the Newfermenters, Newfoundland’s Homebrew Club, are once again hosting a Brew-Off competition. Open to any amateur brewer on the island, entries can be made in the 21A: American IPA, or 21B: Specialty IPA (consult the BJCP 2015 style guidelines for more details). The beers will be judged by Liam McKenna, brewmaster of YellowBelly, and Raymond Feltham, BJCP-certified judge and owner of BrewCraft homebrew shop. The Best-Of-Show winning brewer will have the chance to visit Port Rexton Brewing after they open this summer, and brew up a full-sized batch for commercial release in the fall! Entrants must fill out a form and send it via email to the group before Monday June 6th, and the judging will take place July 3rd. Further details can be found on the Newfermenters Facebook page (or via email).

Big Spruce has sent a new batch of their flagship Kitchen Party Pale Ale to Halifax tap accounts this week; this batch marks the first time in modern Nova Scotia history that a beer has been brewed entirely with 2-row malted in NS, by Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. According to the brewery, this newest batch differs from previous ones, as the malt lends the beer a “slight bitter orange flavour”. If you’re in Halifax, best track it down to give it a try for yourself!

 

• Moosehead has announced that they will be opening a second location in Saint John, in order to brew smaller batches of beer. Aiming to open in 2017, during their 150th anniversary, the brewery is aiming to produce 5000-6000 hL of beer annually, with a brewhouse somewhere in the range of 25 hL, along with a 1 hL pilot batch system. Karen Cousins, Moosehead’s Director of Communications, says that the major objective of this new brewery is to experiment with new styles, in order to keep up with the growing demand from craft beer drinkers in Atlantic Canada.

There’s a couple of events occurring over the next week that still have space for attendance…

• Tomorrow – Saturday, June 4th – is the first Burgers n’ Beer event to occur in Fredericton in some time, and there’s still a few tickets available! The first time the event will be held at the King Street Ale House, it will feature four different handcrafted sliders, each paired with a different Fredericton-brewed cask ale. Pouring will be TrailWay American Stout, Maybee Birdseye Pale Ale dry-hopped with NB Hop Hash, Picaroons ESB, and a TBD cask from Grimross. The event runs from 2-5 pm, and there are still a few tickets available (only $21 each)!

• Next Saturday, June 11th, Garrison is hosting their Backlot Bash!, in support of the Ecology Action Centre. Held in the parking lot of their new production brewery on Marginal Rd (about 100 metres from their retail and storefront location), the event features headliner July Talk, joined by Alert the Medic, The Brood and Three Sheet as amazing local opening bands. Tickets are still available, and Garrison beer, as well as local cider, will be served, with food trucks keeping people satisfied.

Have a great weekend! And before we leave you for good…

– TrailWay is re-releasing their Whitney Coffee Stout this weekend, marking the first time this popular dark ale has been brewed on their new system. Featuring the addition of cold-brewed coffee from local Whitney Coffee Company, it clocks in at 6.2% ABV, and is available now at their brand-spanking-new taproom, and should follow at select tap accounts sometime next week.
BarNone has just released a new iteration of their IPA; no real details on what’s changed, but it should be popping up at tap accounts across PEI, and may make an appearance for growler fills at tomorrow’s Charlottetown Farmers Market, so best seek it out and judge for yourselves!
– Grimross has a “2nd generation” of their Brett Saison on tap at the brewery; slightly higher in ABV (6.2% vs. 6%), the brewery describes it with the words “crisp, bubblegum, and dry”. The original is also still on tap, allowing side-by-side comparisons to be made.
– Just a note that due to overwhelming response, Lazy Bear will not be attending this week’s Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market. The good news is that the next batch of their Gut View Amber is *just* about ready, and should be back on June 11th. And keep an eye out for their retail hours at the brewery in Smiths Cove, starting later this month.
– Upstreet was bottling up something special this week, to be released in a few weeks. They will be celebrating their First Anniversary with a weekend of events June 24-26 at their taproom, as well as favourite restaurants and bars across the Island.
Propeller is now serving flights of samples at their Gottingen St location. These are always a great way to taste through a brewery’s offerings, so that you can then grab a growler (or three) of your favourites!