Ladies Beer League

All posts tagged Ladies Beer League

 

After a brief lull in the new beer releases last week (we figure the brewers in Atlantic Canada may have needed time to fully recover from the holiday festivities), we are back with a full complement of news in the region, ready to fill your growlers and glasses with the best beer going.

• Fredericton’s Grimross has the ninth entry in their Scratch series available for pints and growlers at their taproom on Bishop Drive. Scratch #9: Golden Ale is “light, earthy, and dry”, and was hopped with all-Maritime-grown hops. Dry-hopped with Chinook to give some spice and pine to go with the floral notes, the brewery describes the beer as well-balanced between malt and hop flavours. Coming in at just 4.7% ABV, like all Golden Ales it’s meant to be enjoyed in quantity.

• Halifax’s Ladies Beer League has teamed up with Lunn’s Mill to add yet another collaboration beer to their ever-growing list. Hopper’s Bazaar is a Belgian Dubbel brewed with Pilsner, Amber, Dark Munich, Special B, and Chocolate Wheat malt, with an addition of Dark Belgian Candi sugar. Hopped lightly with Saaz and Tettnang, they even threw in a late addition of Garam Masala, an Indian blend of spices, for good measure. This very dark Belgian Ale comes across as “rich, semi-sweet, and spicy, with hints of cumin and cardamom”, and weighs in at 6.7% ABV. It’s available right now at the brewery, and select licensees for pints.

• While it may feel a heck of a lot warmer now than it did a few days ago, no mistake, it’s still winter! Which means you can still enjoy Trider’s newest beer, an 8.5% ABV Winter Warmer called Hibrrnation. Described as a “deep chestnut brown”, the beer was brewed with demerara sugar and unfiltered local honey, to give it extra sweetness to go with the warmth from the alcohol. Hopped with earthy Willamette to prevent it from getting too sweet, this is a one-batch wonder until next year, so grab it while you can!

• We have a new beer alert for this week for Ol’ Biddy’s Brew House, as they will be releasing their Patrick O’Neil’s Irish Red. Brewed with Pale malt, Melanoiden, Crystal 30 and 60 L, and a bit of Black Malt for colour adjustment, the beer was hopped to 28 IBUs with Columbus and Willamette to help balance the sweetness from the malts. Coming in at 4.0% ABV, this reddish-coloured brew is medium-bodied with a “caramel, biscuit, and light roast finish”. Look for it to hit the taps at Battery Park and Stillwell very, very soon. New batches of Orange American Bastard and Funktown APA will also be popping up at local tap accounts, as well as Disco Inferno Red IPA and Saturday Night Fever IPA within a couple of weeks. And for OBB fans in Halifax, look for them to be available at another location before the end of January, we’re hoping to reveal exactly where that is next week.

• Your favourite Halifax brewery named after a duet of birds (that would make a great trivia question) is releasing a brand new beer tomorrow. That’s right, 2 Crows launches Forever Young on Saturday, a beer brewed with Pilsner, Wheat and Vienna malt. Hopped in the boil with Sterling and Hallertau Blanc, it was fermented in their cognac foedre with their house Saison culture, along with TYB 207, an experimental Brettanomyces strain. Further conditioned for 3 months on local rosehips, the beer was then transferred back to stainless for further conditioning on a small amount of rosewater, and then finally carbonated and packaged. Cans of this 8.5% ABV, 29 IBUs beauty will be available at the brewery and private stores, and a few kegs will be popping up at Stillwell (and probably a couple other lucky places). Described by the brewery as “earthy, floral, lightly funky and dry”, don’t miss out on your chance to try this one!

• Hanwell, NB’s recently opened Niche Brewing is releasing their third beer today, but actually the first one they brewed, and one of their expected flagship brews. Called Something Different, the name acknowledges that this isn’t a style we see a lot of in our region: the table beer. Low in ABV and considered excellent for accompanying a meal, this is a classically Belgian style that is usually balanced towards the malty side. Niche’s offering takes the style in a slightly different direction, using the Amalgamation blend of Brettanomyces strains from the Yeast Bay to provide a citrus and slightly funky character to a fairly dry beer accented by Hallertauer Blanc in the kettle and a small dry hop of Amarillo.  At 3.6% ABV and 20 IBU you’ll be able to have a few without too many effects, which should give you plenty of opportunity to savour the interesting combination of yeast and hop characters. It’s available to Niche licensees as of today, with the Saint John Ale House already confirming that they’ll be taking a keg.

• Northern Nova Scotia’s Tatamagouche Brewing has a couple of new beers to tell you about this week that each feature a different unique ingredient. First is Mussed Up, a Double IPA in the Northeast style. Starting with a grist of pale malt from Horton Ridge and some oats and hopped with Enigma and Hallertau Blanc, this beer was dosed with the must of Petit Milo grapes after two days of fermentation. Although the hop varieties were chosen specifically to drive the wine character of this beer, they also add plenty of pineapple and other tropical notes characteristic of the style. At a hefty 7.9% ABV and 60 IBU, it’ll pack a punch in more ways than one. Look for it at the brewery for pints, fills, and in cans, at tap accounts in NS and some in NB, and next week in the private stores in Halifax. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who has a ticket, you’ll also find it being served next week at the Halifax Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration!

• Tata’s second new beer announcement this week is on the other end of the spectrum, a “breakfast” Porter called Crack of Dawn. Coming in at 8.4% ABV and 35 IBU, this is a big beer built on a solid base of Horton Ridge pale malt and plenty of oats, with color, character, and mouthfeel provided by chocolate rye and chocolate wheat malts. It was hopped with Chinook and with some lactose added in the kettle for a balancing sweetness, but the feature ingredient of this beer is cold-brewed barrel-aged coffee. The gang took 150 lbs of green Ethiopian coffee beans and aged them in a rye whiskey barrel for 3 months before taking them down the road to Meeting Waters coffee, where they were given a dark and smooth roast. The coffee was then cold-brewed to maximize flavour and smoothness and keep the bitterness under control; this cold brew was added to the finished beer before packaging. The resulting brew is big-bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel providing counterpoint to the acidity and roastiness of the coffee and the darker malts, with definite notes of whisky and fruit from the coffee aging process. Our own Chris McDonald and homebrewer extraordinaire Brian Harvey were part of the prototyping process for this beer, assisting with the process of figuring out the coffee dosing level and also helping brew the production batch (ed: no really, we did work!). Look for kegs of this one to start appearing late next week, with 500 mL bottles on their way as well, after its debut along side the Mussed Up at the aforementioned event next week (in cask, with an additional special secret ingredient added for the evening’s festivities).

• Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing just put a new beer up on the board today, a New Zealand Pilsner named Captain Cook’s Goat. A crisp, 5.5% ABV lager hopped with New Zealand (of course) hop varieties including Rakau, Motueka, and Pacific Jade to 20 IBUs. In case you’re wondering about the name, our Foghorn source says it was inspired by the story of a Captain Cook who supposedly brewed the first beer in New Zealand, but more importantly, traveled the world with his beer-drinking (we assume) goat companion. If that’s not worth a beer name, we don’t know what is! It’s on tap at Foghorn right now, and will be at licensees sometime next week.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has brought back a pair of beers this week, at the two ends of the flavour and ABV spectrum. Their Hopyard American Pale Ale has returned, melding the hoppy focus of a West Coast IPA (thanks to Amarillo and Cascade hops in both the boil and dry-hop) with an East Coast/British-influenced sensibility (featuring Maritime Malt with 2 Row and Carastan). The 5.5% ABV beer is available for the next few months in six-packs at the brewery and NSLC stores across the province. And launching today is the next in their Cellar Series (big and bold beers that are usually wood-aged and worthy of enjoyment now or in a few months/years), Rum Barrel-Aged Spruce Beer. Last year’s release of this historically-inspired beer spent 12 months in Ironworks Rum barrels, picking up plenty of spirit character, combining with the bold flavours of spruce, and touch of molasses. This barrel-aged edition also picks up a significant amount of alcohol from the wood, increasing from 7.5% ABV for the standard release, to 11.0% ABV for its bigger sister. 650mL bottles are available today at the brewery, with a $15.95 price tag.

• We’ve got Alpha and Beta news from Good Robot Brewing Company this week. First off, Extra Big-Ass Oktoberfest Camacho Lager is once again available on tap for pints and fills (and, no doubt, making appearances at GR tap accounts). Just remember to order it (respectfully, mind) in ALL-CAPS. This week’s Beta Brewsday, on the other hand, is a feelgood brew dreamt up and brewed by Kelly and Glee Club member Rebecca, along with Rebecca’s brother Joseph. Dubbed Cuddle Up, this coconut porter started with a grain bill of 2-row barley, flaked oats and Vienna malt, with both roasted and black barley for color and deep roasted flavour. Bittered to 26 IBU and very lightly kettle hopped with East Kent Goldings before being fermented with London Ale yeast to preserve a malty character, toasted flaked coconut was added for a lingering coconut flavour. Everything about this 4% ABV beer was designed to be comforting, so if that’s your jam, grab your favourite blankie and head on down to Good Robot this Tuesday when it’s tapped.

• Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom Brewing has announced that they will officially be releasing their third flagship beer, The Rabble Rouser Red, next Thursday. Brewed “with a rich malt profile in mind”, this 5% ABV, 25 IBUs American Amber Ale has a grist made up of five different malts, giving a flavour of slightly-toasted malt, “with a residual sweetness to round out the body”. Check out their Facebook page for the back story on where the name came from, and plan to drop by the taproom on January 18th, from 6 – 10 PM for the launch party, which will feature live fiddle music and Sneaky Cheats BBQ, with a custom-created food menu to pair with the beer.

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain in Hortonville, NS, has another new beer coming out next weekend, brewed on their small system. Beer of Fundy celebrates the Bay of Fundy and the Annapolis Valley by being made with malt, hops and water that are all from that region. The barley (75%) and rye (25%) were grown and malted by Horton Ridge and the hops used were Galena and Centennial sourced from Fundy Hops down the road in Berwick. At 6% ABV and 63 IBU, this beer is admittedly the hoppiest to come out of Horton Ridge and treads “perilously close” to IPA territory. This is a nod to Fundy Hops, who will be at the malthouse and brewery to celebrate the launch of this beer a week from tomorrow on Saturday, January 20th from 2 PM, at an event that’s being called Songs and Suds of the Valley. Look for lots of musical entertainment from Space Paddy Bog People and artists featured on This Place, Songs from the Annapolis Valley, along with lots of beer, of course!

Hammond River Brewing has teamed up with Josh Mayich from Darlings Island Farm to brew their first Bohemian Pilsner. Currently unnamed, it features Bohemian Pilsner malt and Carapils, and was bittered with Magnum to 43 IBUs, followed by three later additions of Saaz. As you likely expected, both hop varieties are from Darlings Island. Look for this one to finish at about 5.6% ABV; since it naturally needs to undergo a lagering period, look for this one to hit taps around mid-February. And meanwhile, HRB’s Shane Steeves and Darlings Island’s Josh Mayich are hosting a “Hop Seminar” to talk hops and beer. Want to know which hops match well with which styles of beer or maybe which hops grow well in our region, but especially New Brunswick? These are just the gentlemen to tell you about that! Look for it to happen at the HRB Beer Bar on Sunday, January 21st, at 1 PM: grab a pint and learn a little about what’s in it and where it came from!

And one last mention before we go, you may have heard that Loblaw’s is giving away $25 gift cards as a measure of “atonement” for their bread price-fixing scandal. You may also have heard that there’s been a groundswell of support for collecting those cards and getting them to organizations who can put them to good use. You may not have heard, though, that our pals at the 902 BrewCast have taken it upon themselves to help this process, calling it the #RobinHoodChallenge. Over the past couple of days they’ve been enlisting breweries from across NS to agree to be drop points for the Loblaw’s gift cards, which will help the process by making it easy for the folks who can afford to do so to donate their gift cards, knowing that those cards will make their way to an important organization like Feed Nova Scotia. Be sure to check the 902BrewCast Instagram and Twitter feeds for more details and information about which breweries are participating. And big kudos to the Kyle, Phil and Tony at 902BC for organizing, the breweries for taking part, and everyone who takes the time and makes the effort to help out with such a worthy initiatve!

Good morning, all! Welcome to yet another beautiful Friday, and another week chock-full of local beer news. Let’s get right at it, which really saves me from having to think of something clever to say, anyway!

Bagtown Brewing, Sackville’s local brewery formed and brought to market by Mount Allison University students, has been granted their Brewery Agency Store licence, meaning that they are now able to sell growlers of their beer at their brewery location on 62 Main St. They had their official opening yesterday, where they filled their branded grunters (0.95 L) and other brewery’s clean growlers (in both sizes) with their Wobbly Duck English Pale Ale. They also debuted a new beer, an unnamed Belgian Pale Ale (4% ABV, 22 IBUs) that has “toasty, earthy, and light citrus” notes; they held a naming contest during their opening, but we still haven’t heard on what they decided to go with. There were also rumours that they may have gotten to tapping another new one, a 3.9% ABV, 45 IBUs session British Golden Ale named SubtleTEA, which was brewed with green tea leaves. If you missed the launch party, no worries! In the future, they’ll be open every Thursday and Friday from 4-10pm, Saturday 9am-2pm, and Sunday 5pm-midnight; keep an eye on their social media pages for when these hours go into effect. They’re also accepting keg orders, so be sure to bug your local bar/restaurant to get some Bagtown on tap.

• Next Tuesday, August 15th is National Acadian Day, and Moncton’s Bore City is once again releasing their Fricot Belgian Pale Ale to celebrate. Based on the Acadian chicken stew of the same name, the grist is made up of Pilsner malt, CaraRed, and Munich II, along with dehydrated potato flakes (10% worth!). Hopped with Summit, Czech Saaz and Hallertau Blanc to 50 IBU, a “generous amount” of Summer Savoury spice is steeped at the end of the boil to give even more of those Fricot aromas you Acadians crave! Finally, the beer was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain to produce spicy phenolic character to complement the rest of the brew. The final beer clocks in at 6.5% ABV Only three kegs are available, with two heading to the Laundromat, and one to Les Brumes du Coude… both locations will be tapping the beer on August 15th.

• Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has a new entry in their “Seeing” series of one-hopped American IPAs, with Seeing Enigma (6% ABV). An Australian hop variety, Enigma has only been around a couple of years in quantity, and has some interesting descriptors that include raspberries, redcurrant, and tropical fruit. Drop by the brewery to try it on tap or pick up some cans; like the other beers in this series, it’s a limited release and won’t be around for too long.

• Halifax’s dainty downtown destination, Tidehouse Brewing, released two new beers this week and have another on the way. The first, in the historical Belgian farmhouse style known as Grisette, sees a simple grain bill of Pilsner and wheat malts coming together with Perle hops for an easy-drinking, hazy brew they’re calling Grisette Family Vacation. Utilizing multiple Saison yeast strains to bring out appropriate flavours for the style, it clocks in at 5.1% ABV and hit the taps earlier in the week. Next, tapped yesterday, and with a name beer fans of a certain age might associate with a Wise Old Owl, To-wit! To-woo! is a Witbier given both traditional orange peel and coriander and non-traditional Citra hops at the end of the boil. At a light 4.6% ABV, it’s based on a grist of mostly Pilsner and wheat malts, with some flaked oats and Horton Ridge Munich malt added for good measure, making for a refreshing beer with a pleasant mouthfeel and a light citrus finish. And possibly as early as late this weekend, the gang will release a new “somewhat” Northeastern-style IPA called El Galaxarillo into the world. Hit hard with El Dorado, Galaxy and Amarillo hops at both whirlpool and a few days into primary fermentation, it features Canadian 2-Row malt and Horton Ridge Munich. Although light-bodied, it boasts 55 IBU, with passion fruit and other tropical flavours, and it packs a punch at 7.5% ABV. Look for these and other fine beers on tap in the Tidehouse tasting room and for growler fills besides.

• And speaking of Horton Ridge, the Bearded Beer Trio from 902 BrewCast sat down with Al Stewart, Connor Stewart, and Stephen Mastrioanni to learn about this important local malt producer’s origins and first year, as well as their new endeavour of a small brewing system to showcase the wide variety of flavours available from their malts. An exciting tidbit mentioned during the episode is the shift from malting barley from the Prairies to grain grown in our region, with PEI being at the forefront of that movement. And toss the 902 boys a vote in the Coast’s Best of Halifax poll going on now.

• Tatamagouche’s Tatamagouche Brewing has brought back a sour old friend this week, Philaroma. Continuing their line of Berliner Weisse beers, this kettle-soured wheat beer was aged on Organic dark cherries to give a deep pink colour and plenty of fruit character. Available on tap at the brewery for samples and growler fills, it has also been released in cans, available now at the brewery and at the private stores in HRM. And while you are visiting the brewery this weekend, be sure to grab a taste of their pilot batch of a Stout with a little something special added in: barrel-aged cold brew coffee. Using a barrel from the the distillery, green coffee beans were aged for several weeks, before being roasted and used to prepare a cold brew concentrate. That was added into the conditioning stout, and gives a blast of roast and coffee, as well as plenty of vanilla and spirituous flavours and aromatics. This beer is available in only a very small amount, so a little taste will have to do, until a future larger batch will be released.

• You may recall a “happy accident” occurring at Good Robot last year… What’s that? Which one? We need to narrow it down for you? 😉 During a brew of their flagship Tom Waits For No One, the kettle burner went kaput, and a new beer – The Fermenter Has Been Drinking – was born! Well, version 2.0 of that beer is now on tap at the GR taproom. With a “malty backbone heavy on the dark roast coffee” (thanks to the use of ten different malts in the grist, and the addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Sumatra Gayo coffee), and a dry finish, this 7.5% ABV, 49 IBUs American Coffee Stout will also be pouring at this weekend’s Seaport Beerfest. And in other GR news, next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday will be Copper Top, an Amber Ale of sorts with hop additions of Nelson SauvinVic Secret, and Saaz. Finally, today’s Cask in the Sun will be Corn Light Honey Basil, which is their Leave me Blue with local honey and basil added. Get drinkin’!

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing is looking to expand their roster, adding folks to all facets of the brewing and serving of beer. If you are the right person for the job, inquire here.

• After a very successful launch to their growler evenings yesterday, Half Cocked Brewing in North Grant, NS, have announced that they will keep the good times rolling every week, making Thursday from 4-7 PM the time to drop by the brewery for a tour, a quick sample, and to grab more for enjoying at home. And keep an eye on their social media as their beers have been making appearances on the Guest Tap at Antigonish’s Townhouse Pub.

Lots to keep you busy this weekend (like every other weekend)!

• There are still a few tickets available for tonight and tomorrow‘s Seaport Beerfest, giving attendees the chance to try (or try to try) more than 350 beer and cider from local and out-of-region producers alike. One of the cool things that we are involved with is the Tap Local booth, where breweries not otherwise attending (or those attending have put aside a special keg) will be on rotation throughout the Fest. Put on by the Brewnosers and Ladies Beer League, drop by the table to catch beers from Moncton’s Tide & Boar, Fredericton’s TrailWay, a special collab with 2 Crows and our own accbchris, and much more. We’ll be pinging out over social media as the different kegs are tapped, to get you pumped!

• Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is joining the weekly one-off fun, with a new tradition of Cask Fridays. Every Friday at 4 PM they’ll tap a cask, probably a firkin (41 litres), but possibly a pin (20.5 litres) of something new, special, or just different. For their inaugural edition, this week’s vessel will contain Grapefruit Principal Pale Ale. Due to the limited quantities available (not likely to last beyond the end of the day), pints only of these beauties, no growler fills. So if you’re in Windsor on a Friday afternoon, your post-work pint just took a turn for the interesting.

• Continuing their once-a-fortnight tapping, Propeller Brewing‘s Gottingen Street location will be offering up Cask Night again this evening. From 5 PM, grab a pint of their Pilsner, cask-conditioned and dry-hopped with Strisselspalt hops from France. This hop is in the vein of the iconic Noble hops of Europe, offering spicy and herbal aromas, with a touch of citrus and fruity characters. As always, there is only one cask, so arrive early to avoid disappointment!

• With the crew in town for the Beerfest, the folks from Ontario’s Beau’s Brewery have to decided to make the most of their time here. After yesterday’s fun at Stillwell‘s Beergarden, they will be holding a second Tap Take-over at Good Robot Sunday. From noon, the tractors are pushing the robots off the taps, with plenty of beers not otherwise available in our region. And, in true GR form, there will be fun and games all day. Live music, cartoon and caricature drawing, and much more. Check the Events Page for more info.

• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection have announced their next event, which will take place on Wednesday, August 16th. The Ladies n’ Beer Social will take place at the James Joyce Irish Pub from 6:30-8:00 pm; for $10.50, you will get a flight of six different New Brunswick craft beers. And, of course, you’re encouraged to stick around afterwards for more beers, of which there are always plenty! Space is limited, so please RSVP to freddyladiesbeerconnection@gmail.com if you’re interested.

• Speaking of beer and the fairer sex, the Ladies Beer League turned four a while ago (how is that possible… didn’t they just form that group?), and will be holding a Belated Birthday Party at RockBottom on Wednesday, August 16th (maybe there’s something with that date…). Details are slim at the moment, but the fun starts at 7 pm, and rest assured there will be special beer pricing with your LBL membership!

• The third annual Upstreet Block Party is coming next week on Saturday, August 19th, and it’s looking like a chock-full schedule as usual! There will be no fewer than six bands providing live music, with plenty of activities throughout the day, including a pop-up barber shop, lawn games, retro video games, an artisan market, and more! Of course, there will be a beergarden for the adults, and lots of games, face painting, and a soda bar for the kids. It all starts at noon, and, as always, admission is free, so be sure to drop by and take part in the fun!

• Tickets now on sale for Newfoundland’s next big beer event, Craft Beer Attraction. Put on by the folks behind the Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal & Craft Beer Club, the Craft Beer Attraction will be taking place Sept 22 & 23 at St. John’s Curling Club on Mayor Avenue. The two day event will see Grand Tastings 7-10 PM each evening, with more than 100 different beers available on a pay-per-pour basis, plus three special events and tastings, including a guided tasting of Sam Adams Utopias, and a Brewmaster’s Luncheon featuring Trou du Diable. Grab your tickets today, and get excited!

A couple more notes today:

Boxing Rock’s Three Sheets Cream Ale was released on Tuesday in celebration of the Tall Ships coming to Shelburne. It’s available at their retail location as well as their Farmers Market stalls.
Garrison is re-releasing their Honey Lavendar Ale (7% ABV, 16 IBUs), a summer seasonal brewed with English Lavendar from Meander River Farm, and wildflower honey from Shubenacadie’s G.G. Smeltzer & Son. It’s available in 650 mL bottles, with just a few kegs heading out to select accounts.
Picaroons has released Pivot #5 (8% ABV), with this iteration showcasing El Dorado, Mandarina Bavaria, and Pekko hop varieties, giving “complex herbal and floral aromas, with lighter citrus notes”.

Welcome to the first ACBB post of 2017! Today’s post marks the start of our sixth year writing the blog, keeping you up to date with all of the craft beer goings-ons in the region. When we started in 2012, there were fewer than 20 breweries in Atlantic Canada; in 2017 we may surpass 100! It just goes to show the level of interest in great beer has exploded in our region, and drinking and supporting local breweries, brewpubs, and cider houses by enjoying their products and visiting their premises is becoming a popular pastime, while also supporting local economies. Hopefully 2017 will see the continuation of some of the trends we’ve seen in the past twelve months: breweries opening in small communities to serve their local population, wider range of styles and experimentation to broadening our horizons, a measurable impact on tourism by the craft beer sector, expansions to larger brewhouses as small breweries realize financial success, and continued reform by provincial governments. Now on to today’s news!

• Shane Steeves, owner/brewer of Hammond River Brewing, is once again harkening back to his homebrew days, as he just recently brewed up a batch of S’mores Graham Cracker Imperial Stout. This is a big beer with plenty of ingredients: six types of malt, a hefty amount of crushed graham crackers in the mash, plus honey, molasses, cacao nibs, and cinnamon in the boil. Nope, we’re not done yet – toasted marshmallows and vanilla bean were also added to the beer (in primary and secondary, respectively) to boost the aroma and flavour even more. Bittered to ~50 IBUs with Willamette, this very dark beer should come in at about 8.3% ABV; expect it to hit taps by the end of the month. Also, HR’s new Russian Imperial Stout, Quicksand Jesus, is now available (with the barrel-aged version coming out in about a month), as well as their Java Moose Coffee Porter (after a several-month hiatus) and Too Hop to Handle (with this batch featuring Hop Hash from Southan Farms).

• Amherst’s Trider’s Craft Beer has some great news for their thirsty fans: now that their 8 hl (7 BBL) brew system from Charlottetown’s DME is up and running, they’ve been able to better keep up with demand, and fully opened their retail location at 46 Anson Avenue (Unit 3). Hours are Wed 4-8pm, Thurs and Fri 4-9pm, and Sat 12-9. If you can’t make it in then, fear not! They are now on tap full-time in the region, including Duncan’s Pub in Amherst, and Sociables Pub in Springhill, and that list will continue to expand this winter. Keep an eye out for the Rod’s Red (Irish Red Ale that took Silver at the ACBAs), Scotian Pale Ale (an English Golden Ale), and brand new Justin Brew-deau, a Canadian Cream Ale. Their Yellow Beer’d Blonde Ale will be returning at the end of the month, along with some seasonals.

• After the highly-successful launch of their first beer, Lupulus Interruptus, Saint John’s Loyalist City has brewed their second beer, which will be released at tap accounts within the next couple of weeks. Parrtown Pale Ale is best described as an English Bitter, a malt-forward style also known as an English Pale Ale. With a grist that includes Simpson’s Maris Otter malt (imported from England), expect the beer to have a “rich, full-bodied, biscuity malt flavour characteristic to the style”. The malt is balanced with a “firm bitterness” from the addition of East Kent Golding, a popular U.K. hop variety that exhibits spicy, herbal aromas and flavours. This beer holds a special place in the heart of brewer/co-owner Mark McGraw, as it was the first recipe he entered in a competition as a homebrewer in 2013, and consequently his first medal… with many to follow!

Annapolis Cider Company has a new release in their “Something Different” series, Cranberry Clementine. This is an unfiltered, sparkling beverage that combines a dry cider with fresh-pressed, local cranberry and apple juices. This blend was then infused with clementine zest, giving a 6.3% ABV cider with a deep-blush hue and a “freshing cranberry tartness augmented with aromatic notes of citrus”. It’s available now in refillable bottles at the cidery; as always with this series, $0.50 from each sale is donated to a local charity. This time, the recipient is SMILE, a Wolfville-based volunteer-driven program “that provides persons with varying disabilities a unique physical activity experience in order to improve their total development”.

• Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has released their first collaboration beer, with Big Tide Brewpub’s Head Brewer Wendy Papadopoulos (and consulting assistance from local beer, wine, and spirits writer, Craig Pinhey). Humbuggery Best Bitter is a 5.1% ABV English Ale, hopped with Golding and Jester, a little-known UK hop with tropical fruit and citrus notes, distinguishing it from most other in that region. It is available at both the Foghorn and Big Tide brewery spaces, as well as Uptown Saint John’s Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub. But be sure to drop by soon, as there’s not much of the 8hl batch left!

• For the first time in a year, Unfiltered has brewed up a batch of their Hyper-Galactic SMaSH (single malt and single hop) India Pale Lager. With specs spot-on with NASH’s other SMaSH beers (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU and a color of 4.1 SRM) this beer features Topaz hops, a variety from Australia known for bringing a palette of tropical flavours including lychee and passionfruit along with some spicy and resiny notes. The use of a bottom-fermenting lager yeast and, no doubt, a low-temperature lagering period, should make for a crisp and clean finish to compliment a huge hop flavor. Available for fills and pints today at noon, you are encouraged, as always, to get on it!

Mama’s Brew Pub has brewed up a couple of batches of their first stout served on nitrogen. Fittingly named Nitro Stout, the grist is made up of Maris Otter, Crystal 70 L, Carafa III, and Chocolate and Wheat malt, giving lots of roasted flavours and aromas. Hopped with Golding and Cascade (both sourced from Southan Farms) to 22 IBUs, this sessionable ale (4.4% ABV) fermented with a neutral British Ale yeast, before being slowly nitrogenated over 5 days.

• Yesterday saw the release of a collaboration between the fine folks at Good Robot and the gentlemen of Sickboy Podcast, a media company that promotes and celebrates open and honest discussion of sickness and disability. Cystic Fibrewsis is described as a Strong American Bitter, essentially an ESB, the favourite style of Sickboy, but more highly attenuated and brewed with American breeds of European hop varieties (Perle, Tettnang and the Fuggle-descended Willamette). The grist is based on the classic British malt Maris Otter, but there’s also some Simpson’s DRC (double-roasted crystal) for caramel flavor and body, a touch of smoked malt and some demerara sugar to encourage a drier finish. It carries some weight at 5.8% ABV, supported by roughly 30 IBU. Good Robot will be donating $10 for each keg sold to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, an organization near and dear to Sickboy’s Jeremie. The guys recorded a live podcast at the Good Robot taproom last night; look for it to be posted to their usual podcast sites (SoundCloud and the iTunes) in the near future.

• PEI Brewing Co. has a new variation on an existing beer coming next week to the ANBL’s growler program and a few select tap accounts: Mango Lassi DIPA takes PEIBC’s 8 Cord to North India with fermentation having taken place on ripe mango and green cardamom pods. This will give the beer a big mango flavor along with the distinctive spicy aroma of cardamom. The hops used – Azacca, Mosaic and Simcoe – should complement the fresh mango flavor with citrus, piney and dank notes. The bitterness is a solid 70 IBU and the ABV gets a boost from the fresh fruit to a hefty 9.3%. If you’re craving the original, 8 Cord will also be available in cans (in New Brunswick and PEI) and kegs (maritime-wide) in a couple of weeks.

• Halifax’s Rockbottom Brewpub released a new lager yesterday, Dortmunder Export Helles. At 5.3% ABV and 27 IBUs, this pale-coloured lager features light Noble bittering to complement the faint grain aromatics, with a medium body and crisp finish. Grab a pint today, or in a growler to go (let’s be honest, it’s best to do both!).

• Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery will be debuting a brand new beer at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market tomorrow morning. Portland Porter is a 5.3% ABV, 31 IBU Porter, featuring Roast, Chocolate, and Honey Malts, along with a small percentage of Smoked Malt, culminating in a rich coffee aroma and flavour. Drop by 8am – 1pm to try a sample, and get a fill of your growler to enjoy more at home. Keep your eyes peeled for possible tap accounts in the near future.

• Last September, we reported that Moosehead was not only planning on opening a new small-batch brewery to coincide with their 150th Anniversary, but that they had also settled on the location on Water St. in downtown Saint John. However, this week they confirmed that they will not be proceeding with these plans, due to costs being “more than anticipated”, according to the announcement on their website. They do insist that developing a location to brew small batches of beer, and “build [their] relationship with [their] customers in a more personal way” is still something they intend on doing.

• Just one event to remind you about this week, but it’s a big one! On Thursday, January 12th, Local Connections Halifax is presenting their Fourth Annual Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration at the Marriott Halifax Harbourside. Sixteen breweries (and two cider houses) from across the province are teaming up with sixteen restaurants for an epic showcase of our province’s offerings. It also serves as the release of several special beers in our region, some of which we are able to share with you today:
Big Spruce Brewing is debuting two beers at the event: Risky Biscuits Dark Mild, the 4.4% ABV winning beer from the Home Brew Challenge held in November, brewed by David Pepper; Liquid James Brown, a 6.1% ABV Milkshake IPA (the first in the province), featuring loads of late hop additions of El Dorado and Mosaic, along with oats, lactose, and vanilla beans, for a smooth mouthfeel bursting with tropical and citrus flavour.
– Good Robot is pouring Daughter of Sin, a Red Double IPA brewed with homebrew collective Brathair Brewing. The 8.1% ABV beer clocks in with 74 IBUs, all introduced post-boil (during the whirlpool while the beer chills) for a flavourful and smooth (but robust!) bitterness with fruitiness from Mosaic hops. This is a CB&LFC exclusive, so be sure to seek it out!
Propeller Brewing will be pouring Vanilla Porter, their next One Hit Wonder, scheduled to hit the brewery’s taps in the next few days. It will be joined by their IPA or ESB, and Krave Lager, as they are paired up with Krave Burger, who are serving Burger Bombs.
Spindrift will be debuting Duplicitous Imperial Pilsner, which was mentioned on the latest 902 BrewCast (shoutout). From Kellye Robertson, “Blend of Canadian and German Pilsner malts make this is a deceivingly light looking lager packing a punch of 8.0% ABV and 70 IBU. Aromatics of melon, citrus and passionfruit are led by generous amounts of Hallertau Blanc, El Dorado and Citra hops. ” After next week’s debut, it will be available at the brewery for growler fills, and around town next weekend.
Tatamagouche will be debuting their Mrs. Magouche American IPA, a collaboration beer brewed the fine people of the Ladies Beer League. They will also be pouring Smorter, their S’mores Porter, and have given a keg of that beer to their partner Primal Kitchen for some epic S’more tarts with beer reduction.
In addition to those mentioned above, check here for the (mostly) full line-up of beer and food. For those who want to enjoy the partying after the event is over, Local Connections has negotiated a rate of $139 at the Marriott, just mention that when booking. There are fewer than 20 tickets remained for the all-inclusive event, so grab your today!

And finally this week:

Tipsy Toad, the 5% Pale Ale from Fredericton’s Bogtrotter, is available now in 500 mL bottles at both the Oromocto and York St. ANBL locations.
– If you live in Fredericton and have been craving some Toque and Mitts (7.8% ABV), Celtic Knot‘s annual-release Barleywine, it’s now on tap at the James Joyce.
– Today, Garrison is re-releasing their Dirty Ol’ Town Black IPA (6.2% ABV, 52 IBUs) at their retail store; this Canadian Brewing Award Gold Winner is “dark, deep, toasty and hop-forward”. It will be available in six packs onsite, and at the NSLC and your local private beer store in the near future. And for our New Brunswick readers, look for it to hit the shelves of the ANBL shortly.
Petit-Sault‘s Canon Franchetti, a “Cappucino Stout” is back; you can find it in bottles and growlers at the brewery in Edmundston, as well as the Picaroons General Store in Saint John. Look for it to be on tap at ANBL Growler stations January 19th (who may also be receiving bottles this month as well).
Picaroons released a new beer at their Saint John General Store location, a Baltic Porter named The Teleporter. It’s just about gone already, but this 6.5% ABV beer was lagered for close to 6 weeks, to allow the alcohol and roasted characteristics to further blend together. And keep your eyes peeled here for details on a collaboration the SJ Picaroons folks did at Big Tide, which will be released mid-month.

Happy Friday, folks! The weather has definitely turned cooler in the region, with some unlucky spots even seeing the first snowfall of the year. Fall was great while it lasted, I guess! Let’s get you warmed up with some beer news from across the region.

• The latest release in the Something Different series from Annapolis Cider Company is now available. Hopped Pear is a dry cider made from different varieties of locally-grown apples, cold-steeped with three hop varieties: Cascade, Mosaic, and Northern Brewer. The cider then went on to be blended with fresh-pressed Flemish Beauty heirloom pear juice, resulting in a “clear and golden cider with the light flavour and aromas of citrusy-hops… balanced out by mellow notes of fresh pear”; it weighs in at 6.5% ABV. The charity recipient of this batch is the Wolfville Area Food Bank, with 50 cents from each refill being donated. And be sure to check out the cidery’s website, as online sales for cases of their Juicy & Sweet and Crisp & Dry ciders have begun, with shipping available throughout Nova Scotia.

Tatamagouche Brewing has an interesting new beer out, Square One, a dry-hopped Saison. Featuring a grist of mainly Pilsner malt, with a small amount of Rye and Spelt thrown in, the beer was fermented with the New World Saison blend from Escarpment Labs. This blend contains a blend of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces strains, to give characteristics of fruit, funk, and “rustic charm”, all of which are perfect for a traditional Saison. This 6.1% ABV, 10 IBU brew was then dry-hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Hallertau Blanc, to give a big boost to the already-present fruit character. It made its debut at Stillwell last week; look for it to pop up at several other tap accounts soon. The remainder of the batch will be bottled (650 mL) and released within the next two weeks.

• The gang at Good Robot Brewing Company apparently didn’t get the memo about it being a quiet week, as they’ve got three beers to talk about (and some events below as well). First off, version 7.0 of their Burban Legend APA hit the taps earlier this week. The grain bill maintains the now-familiar combination of two-row, pilsner, amber, and caramel with a little spicy rye kick, while the hop side still features Cascade but paired now with Falconer’s Flight 7C’s and Amarillo. The big difference this time around is a dry-hop with Mosaic that yields some blueberry, melon and cantaloupe notes. As always, fermented with California Ale yeast for a classic American clean, ester-less profile, you can find it at the taproom and at the brewery for growler fills. Next up, today sees the return of the seasonal Awesome Beer, Great Job! Billed as an “Autumn Saison” and built on a base of Pilsner malt, it also features wheat, dark crystal and rye. Hopping is solely the American Hallertau-descendent Mt. Hood variety to the tune of 22 IBU. The Brewmaster selected the Old World Blend yeast from Escarpment Yeast to do the goo for this brew, yielding roughly 6.4% ABV and aromas of banana, citrus, spice and plum, which also manifest as flavours on the palate. There’s some creamy mouthfeel from the wheat and a sharp finish with a peppery and spicy aftertaste. Lastly on the beer front is a special brew conceived for funky folk groove band Earthbound Trio and available only at their Time Traveller’s Soiree show tonight at The Seahorse Tavern. Dubbed Thyme Hopper, it’s a BetaBrew featuring organic Nugget hops from Lunahop Farm in Cornhill, NB, owned by Earthbound Trio’s bassist, “Big Orange” Bob Fitzgerald. The beer also boasts thyme, grapefruit zest and some additional American hop varieties for a spicy, citrusy kick. The band will also be playing a special sneak peek matinee show this afternoon from 4-6pm at the Good Robot taproom.

• Fredericton’s Bogtrotter has a brand new beer out – Tipsy Toad, an American Pale Ale. Single-hopped with Mosaic – an American variety well-known for having strong characteristics of melon and berries – it’s described by the brewery as a refreshing, easy-drinking, and hoppy brew. Coming in at 5% ABV and 40 IBUs, look for it on tap at select accounts in the city; it should also hit a couple of ANBL stores within a couple of weeks, when it is available in bottles.

• Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing has released a brand new beer this week, in collaboration with the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia. Tannen Bomb is a 5.0% ABV Blonde Ale, with a couple of twists: honey was added to the beer for a light sweetness, and Balsam Fir was added to the end of the boil for a light character of fir flavour and aroma. Lightly hopped to 17 IBUs, the beer is available on tap at the brewery now, and at a couple of spots in HRM this weekend (The Henry House and Downeast Beer Factory). Bottles will be available at the brewery and the Halifax private stores next week (when many of the tree stands will be launching).

• Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing has released a new Belgian-inspired beer, Détourné. This 5.8% ABV ale features floral aromatics, bitter citrus flavour, and has a pleasant dry finish. Currently available for growler fills and pints at the brewery, grab it around the city at better beer bars.

Garrison Brewing is expanding their Cellar Series lineup today with another wood-aged beer: Rum-Barrel Aged Spruce Beer. The 7.5% ABV base beer, featuring loads of molasses and spruce and fir needles and boughs, spent a couple of months in rum barrels from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery, picking up flavour, aroma, and alcohol from the spirit, ending up at 11.0% ABV. Bottles of this special beer are available exclusively at the brewery now, retailing for $15.95 for a large, shareable, 650 ml bottle.

• In other winter-related beer news, Nine Locks will be releasing Chocolate Stout, a smooth, dark, and full-bodied brew, around the beginning of December. Chocolate is definitely the dominating flavour here (real chocolate was added during the brewing process), with notes of coffee and roasted grain balancing things off. Hopped with East Kent Goldings to 28 IBUs, to balance the sweetness from the grist, it comes in at 6.1% ABV. In addition, look for the crowd-favourite Cream Ale (4.8% ABV, 15 IBUs) to make a return very soon.

• St John’s Mill Street Brewpub has released a new brew this morning, RDF Hefe. Named after the favourite local weather of Rain, Drizzle, and Fog, this hazy beer is Mill Street’s first hefeweizen, featuring a bright straw colour and long-lasting head from the generous amount of wheat in the grist bill. The iconic banana and clove aromatics are there, thanks to the German Weisse yeast used. Grab the 5.7% ABV, 25 IBU refreshing beer on tap at the brewery now.

Here are some more events coming up in the next few weeks, as promised!

Tonight‘s the night at Charlottetown’s HopYard, where Hogie, Mitch and the rest of the the Upstreet crew are taking over the taps, kitchen, and music. Drop by for the debut of their 4.5% ABV Mighty Neighbourly SMaTH SIPL (Single Malt and Triple-Hopped Session India Pale Lager), a special keg of their De Novo I Brett Saison, and enjoy Chef Jane’s Upstreet-inspired menu. Check out the full line-up here. See you at 6pm.

• Good Robot gives you the chance to walk the positive karma highway this week with their Toys for Pints + Cookie Decorating Party on Sunday, November 27th, from noon to close at the GR taproom. Bring a new-in-box toy with a $20 (or more) value along with you and you’ll receive a pint on the house while your donation will help support Moms in need through Every Woman’s Centre in Cape Breton. Meanwhile, the fine folks at Rinaldo’s are donating cookies: five bucks buys you two cookies to decorate, with proceeds going to Prescott Group, an organization dedicated to aiding adults with intellectual disabilities. It’s all so simple: bring toy(s), get beer; buy tasty cookies, make them pretty. Either way (or both ways!) you’ll be doing good, having fun and drinking beer. EVERYBODY WINS.

• A reminder of the Big Spruce Tap Takeover of Battery Park, happening next Thursday, December 1. In addition to a solid contingency of BS’s current line-up, this will serve as the launch of the Big Spruce/North/Battery Park conspiracy brew, Blood Donair, the Imperial Stout brewed with a small quantity of rendered, dried, and powdered house-made donair meat, aged on raspberries. Keep an eye on BP’s Instagram feed, as they are releasing the beer list in spurts over the next few days.

• Also, and in spite of the fact that we’ll no doubt bang this gong again next week to really bring it home, a reminder that a week from today, Friday, December 2, from 5pm, is the second Good Robot BrewBot Takeover, this time with Brathair Brewing. On the heels of a wildly successful event (on a TUESDAY, no less) featuring the brews of award-winning home brewer Keith Forbes, Good Robot once again sees half their taps taken over by home brewers (and members of the BrewNosers). Justin, Eric, Rod and Jason take beer (and brotherhood!) seriously and are bringing their ‘A’ game with the Stillwell Open-winning Kissed by Elvis (IPA), the Monty Python sketch-sounding 3 Scots and a Frenchman (Scottish Ale with Saison yeast), Daughter of Sin (DIPA using only whirlpool hops), IPLish (India Pale Lager, sorta), and two variations on a Berliner Weisse, one with raspberries, one with peaches. You may have experienced other Brathair brews brewed by Big Spruce, as Brathair Eric American Wheat was the 2014 Big Spruce Homebrew Challenge Winner and Czech Yo’self Dark Lager took the prize in the 2015 competition. Come experience what they get up to when they’re not entering competitions and are left to their own devices.

Unfiltered Brewing‘s tap room Charm School will be celebrating their First Anniversary on December 4th. Stay tuned for details of what’s pouring, which will surely include at least one new beer, as well as the return of many favourites from Unfiltered’s arsenal.

• The Ladies Beer League will be holding their Annual Holiday Brunch at Stillwell December 11th. Your $30 entry includes three 5 ounce pours from a Picaroons Winter Warmer Vertical (2014, 2015, 2016), as well as your first taste of Chef Ruppel’s specially-created brunch menu items. Tickets for the 12:00 to 3:00 event (normal Sunday hours at from 4:00 pm) are on sale now, and if you have any dietary concerns, be sure to let them know ASAP so alternative items can be prepared.

A few more parting shots today…

– The new Hammond River DIPA that we mentioned last month is now available – The Excavator (8.4% ABV, 106 IBUs) is hopped entirely with Simcoe, and joins the re-released Imperial Vanilla Porter at a few lucky HR accounts in New Brunswick.
PEI Brewing Co. has their barrel-aged Doppelbock, Hell Street (8.1% ABV) returning this Monday at the PEIBC taproom in Charlottetown. Stay tuned to their Twitter and Facebook pages for updates on what they have planned for the release.
Pump House has re-released their black Lager, Schwarzbier (7% ABV), which has “subtle notes of chocolate and coffee, but with a crisp Lager finish”; it’s available on tap now at the brewpub in Moncton.
– After a brief hiatus, the house-brewed beers have returned at Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub. The 5.9% ABV Amarillo, Citra & Summit Pale Ale is back on, featuring predominantly late-addition hops for plenty of aroma and low bitterness.
– Halifax and Dartmouth’s Propeller Brewing has released the next in their line of canned beers: Rye IPA. The 6.8% ABV, 68 IBU beer is now in the easy-to-transport 473ml can format, perfect for those winter days on the beach or in your boat. Hmm, well, OK, maybe a nicer format to stick in the snowbank while shoveling (you know it’s coming, folks!). Grab them on Gottingen or Windmill today. Keep your eyes peeled as they continue releasing more in this package format.
– Charlo’s Shiretown Beer has brought back a favourite seasonal today, Venezuelan Express Porter. A first impression of the name would make you think “coffee”, but it actually refers to a type of crude oil produced in Venezuela at the time, that used to come into Dalhousie for the now-closed Dalhousie Generating Station. Grab bottles of the 5.0% ABV beer at the brewery at 363 Chaleur Street.
– After their launch last Friday, Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has begun to sell kegs to local licensees. Fredericton’s Jame Joyce tapped a keg of Brian Stout last night, and more Fh beer will certainly be flowing around the Saint John River Valley soon. Keep an eye on their social media for the latest deliveries.

Have an excellent weekend! And a final reminder that tickets for the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival went on sale this morning at 11 am (online, or through their app), with VIP tickets selling out immediately! Not to worry, there’s still other options (afternoon and evening), but don’t hesitate! And come drink with us at one of the many events happening during the week leading up to the FCBF.

Happy Friday everyone! We’ve got news about the newest brewery to launch in our region, as well as much more on two new NB breweries launching this fall. Plus our usual rundown of the new beers hitting the taps and shelves in our region. It’s another chock-full edition of the blog!

• Moncton-based Beckwith Road Brewing has launched this week, with a pair of their beers now available on tap in town. Founded by cousins Mark and Mitch Symes, Beckwith Road is named after the farm their family has owned for generations, north of Moncton. Mitch is the brewer, currently using a 1/2 BBL (50L) system, while scouting out locations and equipment for possible expansion in the future. Mark is no beer slouch himself, taking the Ultimate Three Month Beer Road Trip with his dog across North America earlier this year, clocking more than 22,000km. During that time, he explored the best that beer has to offer, and both cousins are working hard to bring that to Beckwith Road’s offerings. They have launched with two beers, Boston George and Aunt MarthaBoston George is a hybrid of their favourite styles, Pale Ale and IPA, straddling the line in both alcohol and bitterness, at 6.3%ABV and 53 IBUS, respectively. Named after their grandfather’s cousin, it features floral and fruit notes, including banana, mango, pineapple and citrus on the nose and flavour. Aunt Martha is a 4.3% ABV, 31 IBUs, American Blonde Ale, named after their aunt who enjoys light lagers, and they have brewed an approachable beer for craft and industrial beer lovers alike. Light hopping from Chinook and Palisade round out the light body and crisp finish. Both beers are currently on tap at the Tide & Boar on Main Street, and will be joined by Campfire, a 5.2% ABV, 40 IBUs, American Amber early- to mid-next week. The use of Pale Chocolate and Crystal Malts impart some roast and sweet character, with notes of caramel being offset with light hopping from the CascadeCentennial, and Nugget. Congratulations on the launch, and welcome to the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada Beer!

• Two weeks ago, we reported on Fundy Bay Brewco, a new brewery planning to open soon in the town of Sussex, NB. After talking to Paul Robertson, one of the three people who have been working on opening the brewery since last October, we can now confirm that they will be starting out by brewing on a 2 BBL (225 L) Blichmann system. A small tasting was held for local Sussex residents in early July, where their three core brands – an American IPA, Belgian Dubbel, and Session IPA – were sampled (for more info on these beers, check out our previous post); initial plans also involve the release of 1-2 seasonals per season. Their plans right now are to supply local bars and restaurants with kegs, which should hopefully begin sometime in late fall of this year, with the opening of a taproom to follow sometime later. As always, we’ll keep you updated on their progress!

• Rumours have been circulating for months, but it was officially confirmed earlier this week that Foghorn Brewing Company will be opening this fall in Rothesay, NB. Located at 47 Clark Rd., the brewery is co-owned by Business Manager Steve Russell and Andrew ‘Esty’ Estabrooks, who will also serve as brewmaster. The 7 BBL (~800 L) brewery will have an attached taproom for patrons to enjoy a pint and fill growlers to go. Information is a little slim at the moment, but follow along with their Facebook and Twitter accounts as development progresses, and we’ll be sure to post a Q&A with them in the near future.

• After an incredibly busy first week, Digby’s Roof Hound is releasing their second beer this weekend. With just a bit of Lil Pup Pale Ale left (but more coming soon!), Rooftop Rye-It is making its debut. Featuring a load of rye malt for a pleasant spicy character, this 4.8% ABV beer is full bodied and a great complement to the pizzas and sandwiches coming from the kitchen (both prepared with dough made on-site with a touch of beer in the recipe). Drop by daily from 11am.

• There’s not one, but two new beers available now from Nyanza’s Big Spruce. First up is This is Complexified, a big, bold Baltic Porter. A dark beer fermented cool with Bohemian Lager yeast, it was then cold-conditioned for an additional 4 weeks, and then split into two barrels: Bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace, and Glenora single-malt whisky barrels. Aged for four months, then blended, the result is a beer that puts the “complex” in Complexified (a perfectly cromulent word)! Your options to try this 11.5% ABV monster are limited: either at the brewery for samples and Yapper fills, or you might be able to get a pour at one of three Halifax establishments – Stillwell, Battery Park, and Good Robot – all of which received/will receive a single, 20 L keg.

• Next from Big Spruce is Dawn Wit Berries, a “Belgian Strawberry Witbier”. Conditioned on 150 lbs of organic strawberries from local Wings of Dawn Farm in Debert, NS, it was fermented with the Fruity Witbier yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, described as producing “lots of complex fruity esters” to go along with the classic Witbier coriander character. This easy-drinking beer will be available at the brewery and at establishments serving Big Spruce beers; at 4.8% ABV and 17 IBUs, it’s a perfect session ale for summer. Drop by this weekend for the “Farm to Fork Food Truck Weekend”, featuring Cruisin’ Cuisine.

• Accidents happen in brewing, as in life, and sometimes they work out for everyone! Good Robot is no exception to this rule, as they proved recently with a new beer, The Fermenter Has Been Drinking. While brewing their Tom Waits For No One Stout, their kettle burner took a turn for the worst, resulting in a lower-gravity wort for fermentation (meaning less alcohol after fermentation). Not to be outdone, the brewing team added some cold-brewed Java Blend Sumatra Gayo coffee, giving a dark-brown beer with notes of roast, dark chocolate, berries, and wood in the aroma and flavour. This American Stout clocks in at 6.7% ABV and 60 IBUs.

• There’s yet another new beer being released at North, Horton Single Malt. This Belgian Specialty Ale was brewed entirely with Vienna malt sourced from Horton Ridge Malt and Grain Co., and dry-hopped with Cascade. Fermented with the Old World Saison Blend (featuring two Saison strains) from Escarpment Labs, it weighs in at 7% ABV. Expect a blend of both fruit and spice, with a dry finish. Look for it to be released today at both their Agricola and Ochterloney locations, and on tap around the HRM.

• There’s a new beer now pouring from Lazy Bear BrewingSissiboo Stout was brewed with a variety of both Chocolate and Roasted malts, as well as some oatmeal to boost the mouthfeel. Added to the brew was a portion of Honduran-sourced Tobiatic Wild from local Sissiboo Coffee Roaster; cold-extracted and added after fermentation was complete, this medium-roast coffee contributes a pleasant level of roast flavours (without being overpowering), as well as a slight hint of orange peel, according to the brewery. A small amount of an unnamed hop variety was added near the end of the boil to complement this orange peel character. This 5.5% ABV, ~30 IBUs beer is available this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market for growler fills, and will likely show up on tap around Digby in the near future.

Bore City has released an interesting new beer, Fricot, an homage to a popular Acadian dish. To accomplish this, potatoes were added during the mash, as well as the Summer Savory herb at the end of the boil. This hazy, pale-to-golden-coloured ale was hopped with Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a “fruity Belgian yeast strain”, for a real blend of flavours! Best-described as a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, it weighs in at 7.1% ABV and 39 IBUs, and will be on tap exclusively at Marky’s Laundromat.

PEI Brewing Company has put on a brand new cask in their tap room, the brainchild of brewer Spencer Gallant. The Lactic-Soured Peppercorn Wheat builds on the Sir John A Wheat base, but with a sharp, tart character, and pleasant fruit and earth peppercorn flavour and aromatics. This 4.5% ABV, 12 IBU brew is only available for sale at the brewery via handpump, so drop by today for a taste!

• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is bringing back an old favourite, with a new twist. All Falc’d Up! Double IPA returns today at noon. This SMaSH of 2-Row Malt features Falconer’s Flight 7C’s hops, a special blend of citrus and fruit-forward hops developed as an ode to Pacific Northwest brewing legend Glen Hay Falconer. The brew was fermented with Vermont Ale yeast for more tropical aromatics, finishing out this 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs beauty. Grab a pint or growler of it today from noon!

• Port Williams’ Wayfarers’ Ale Society has released a fourth beer this week. EPA is a traditional 5.0% ABV English Pale Ale, favouring a medium malt backbone with a touch of bitterness (coming in around 30 IBUs). Light esters give a pleasant fruity character, completing the English experience. It joins the Thistle Dew Scottish Ale, Hellene Blonde and Ruby Irish Ale for a full complement of European and UK-inspired beers.

• Attention, Johnny Jacks fans – their beer will soon be hitting select ANBL stores! The Oromocto-based nanobrewery will first be bottling their Trench Fighter IPA, followed by their Viking Ale and Smokin’ Amber. Look for the first bottles to hit the Oromocto ANBL outlet by early fall, with Fredericton and Saint John stores following shortly thereafter. The brewery has recently ordered two 1.5 BBL (175 L) fermentors to keep up with production, so look for more JJ beers to be available soon (including a special, bottle-conditioned beer brewed just in time for Christmas!). In the meantime, their beers can be found on tap at the Sour Grape Cafe, James Joyce, Gray Stone, and the Cask & Kettle.

There’s several beer-related events happening over the coming weeks and months:

• Don’t forget to grab tickets to this Thursday (August 18th2 Crows Brewing Sneak Preview Party, hosted by the Ladies Beer League. Tickets are still available, and attendees will be enjoying a half-dozen beers from the 20 BBL (23 hL) Halifax brewery set to open this fall. All ticket proceeds go to Feed Nova Scotia, and they will be accepting further donations for FNS during the event.

• The Upstreet Block Party is returning for its second year on Saturday, August 20th. Featuring plenty of activities, live music, food, and tours at the brewery from 12 pm on, they’ll also be unveiling a new “super-sized beer garden”! As the sun goes down, the party will move into the taproom at about 8 pm for more music (from two local DJs), food, and beer. Admission is free, just drop in anytime to join in the fun!

• Also on August 20th is the next Urban Beer Hike in Moncton, from 1:45 pm-5:30 pm. As always, the walking tour will visit five beer bars in the downtown area of the city, with beer and food samples provided at each stop. Tickets are $49+fees and available here.

• The seventh annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is scheduled from September 1st-4th, in the village of Bertrand, NB. As always, activities include Bavarian music and dancing, live entertainment, games, and plenty of food and beer for sampling. The event is advertising as having over 100 products available for tasting, including both imported and local beers. Entry to the site is only $5, with beer tickets available for purchase at $1 each.

• Tickets are now on sale for the 2nd annual Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest, scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at the Moncton Lions Club. Featuring close to 20 breweries from Atlantic Canada, there are three ticket types available, each including unlimited samples: regular tickets include a custom tasting glass and entry from 7:30 pm-10 pm; the VIP session, which begins a half hour earlier; and a VVIP session which begins at 6 pm and includes a special glass, industry panel discussion, and guided beer tasting. Tickets can be purchased online ($58, $68, and $75 for regular, VIP, and VVIP, respectively). Proceeds will go to support the United Way.

• The next Fredericton Poutine Festival is scheduled for Saturday, November 12th, with tickets going on sale earlier today at 11 am. This is the fifth time the event has been held in the city (and the second in 2016), and has sold out quickly each time. Unlimited poutine (~15 different types) from several establishments will be served up as always, at three different sessions: a family session from 11:30 am-1:30 pm (which also includes unlimited water and soft drinks); and an afternoon session from 2:15 pm-5:15 pm and evening session from 7 pm-10 pm. Both of the latter sessions are 19+ only, where you can purchase either a regular ticket (including four 4-oz samples) or “Beer Experience” ticket (twelve 4-oz samples). The 7-10 pm session also has a limited number of VIP tickets, which gets you in an hour earlier, at 6 pm. Ticket-holders can expect over 20 different beers, ciders and meads to be pouring, with most of them from local Fredericton breweries and producers. Get your tickets ASAP (online), and as always, bring your appetites!

– Don’t forget to drop by Tatamagouche for bottles and growler fills of one of their many new releases this week/weekend. Check out last week’s post for the full rundown, and grab some food from The Food Wolf food truck, set up today 12-8, and tomorrow 11-7. The Strawberry Ginger Golden Strong is out today, and the Tatamagouche Tripel is being released Saturday, joining the other Giant Beers, Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter and Raspberry Golden Strong.
– For those who had a chance and loved it, or missed out, Fredericton’s York County Cider has revealed that their unnamed cider, currently pouring for on-site samples only, is Ribes nigrum, aka Blackcurrant. Drop by for more, and fill up on growlers of their multiple offerings.
Uncle Leo’s in Lyons Brook, NS, has brought back their summer favourite, Voh’s Weizenbier. This 5.0% ABV German Weizen is once again available in bottles at the private stores in HRM, and will be on tap around the province shortly. They have also replenished their bottles of IPA at the brewery, so there are two great reasons to visit!

Good morning! After a brief hiatus last week, due to vacation on one’s part and work travelling on the other’s, we’re back and ready to continue the work of spreading the love of beer! Good thing nothing happened during that…. oh, crap.

Port Rexton Brewing opened last weekend in … Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Located a few hours Northwest of St John’s on the Bonavista Peninsula, PRB is the first brewery to open outside of the Avalon Peninsula. After a busy opening weekend, they are now in a groove, open daily 2-10pm for samples, pints, and growler fills. They are now pouring a pair of beers, with more on the way very shortly: Horse Chops IPA is a 6% ABV/72 IBUs American-style IPA, featuring lots of West Coast hops (including a dry hop with Mosaic) on a medium body; their Night ‘Bous Porter is 6.5% ABV and 29 IBUs, with lots of chocolate flavours in the “medium-sweet body”. We’ll be sharing more details on the brewery and the great duo behind the beer soon, but in the meantime, take a trip to P.R. for a solid pint this weekend!

• There’s another new brewery opening soon in New Brunswick, and while details are currently very slim, Fundy Bay Brewco currently has a Twitter account started. Sounds like the brewery will be located in Sussex, with three beers listed as “coming soon”: Alma IPA, a 6.5% ABV, 50 IBUs “West-Coast style IPA” with aromas of pine, citrus, and tropical fruit; Digby Dubbel, a 7.2% ABV Belgian Dubbel fermented with a Belgian yeast strain to give aromas of “dark fruits, sassafras, caramel, leather, and toasted grain”; and St. Martin’s ISA, a 4.8% ABV, 25 IBUs Session IPA hopped with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight. We’ll have more details on the brewery soon; in the meantime, be sure to follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date with their progress.

• After a year-long hiatus, Shiretown will be making their return at tomorrow’s Bon Ami Flavor Fest, held at the Dalhousie Lion’s Club from 7 pm – 2 am. They will be pouring two beers: their flagship, Blonde du Quai, a 4.5% ABV Blonde Ale, and Cartier’s Columbus, a new beer the brewery describes as a “Golden IPA”, weighing in at 6.2% ABV, and hopped entirely with Columbus to 60 IBUs. Shiretown is aiming for bottles of both beers to hit select ANBL stores around mid-August; we’ll keep you updated!

• There’s a new beer available from Petit-Sault, a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) Pale Ale named La Glazier. Brewed entirely with Pale malt from Malt-Broue, a nearby Quebec “micromaltery”, and hopped with Cascade from Aroostook Hops in Northern Maine, it comes in at 4.9% ABV and 30 IBUs. Featuring “citrus notes and a slight bitterness”, it’s available on tap at the brewery, and select ANBL growler stations this weekend, as well as select bars/restaurants in the province. And congratulations to Petit-Sault on their recent expansion, thanks to further buying-in by ACOA, the New Brunswick government, and their community investors. More details here.

Distillerie Fils du Roy has released another new beer, Hommage à 1755, a Belgian Strong Ale. A style very similar to the more-commonly-seen Belgian Tripel, it’s a pale-coloured, bitter, effervescent beer that finishes extremely dry (thanks to high attenuation by the Belgian yeast strain), with a “spicy/fruity, resinous hop profile, and a soft, supportive grainy-sweet malt palate”, according to the brewery. Weighing in at 7% ABV and 22 IBUs, it’s available in bottles now, as well as on tap at all of the ANBL Growler filling stations this weekend. As the name implies, it is an homage to 1755, a band that popularized Acadian music in the 70’s/’80’s, and still active today.

Hell Bay has released their first Black IPA, Black Flag IPA. As dark as the name suggests, this 6.1% ABV beer has notes of “roasted malt and rum flavours upfront, followed by earthy and citrus notes”. Hopped with Chinook and Ahtanum (to 55 IBUs), it’s available on tap at the brewery for growler fills, and should pop up on tap at the Port Grocer, Rhubarb, and Stillwell.

Wayfarers’ Ale Society has released the third of their offerings recently at their Port Williams brewery. Thistle Dew is a 4.8% ABV Scottish Ale, described as “a malty ale with a low hop profile”. The rich copper colour leads to a medium body and very light bitterness (20 IBUs). Now on tap at the brewery for samples, pints, and growlers, it joins their Hellene Blonde Ale and Ruby Ale Irish Red Ale. Look for a pair of new beers from them in the coming weeks, their EPA English Pale Ale and One-Eyed River Hog IPA.

Mill Street St John’s has released their latest brew, Caribou Cream Ale. Weighing in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs, this easy-drinking beer is available on tap at Mill Street/Bier Markt and to go in growlers as well. This easy-drinking, thirst-quenching beer was fermented with two yeast strains (first with a British ale strain, then with a German lager strain) “to impart complexity and smoothness”, and exhibits “fresh, cracker malt with a slight hop aroma and yeast undertones”, according to the brewery. Also note that $1 from every growler sale will be donated to the newly-opened Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum.

• Last week, Pump House released a new beer available on tap only at their brewpub in Moncton. Raspberry Wheat is a German-style Wheat beer that has been “bombarded” with 70 kg of fresh raspberries, and is described by the brewery as “tart and refreshing”, with plenty of raspberry in the aroma and flavour. Clocking in at 6.2% ABV, get down to the brewpub for a pint before it’s gone!

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewery is launching this weekend, to coincide with the Mahone Bay Heritage Boat Yard Festival. Visit their tent on the Town Wharf Saturday and Sunday, 1-5pm both days, to grab a taste of their beer or some merchandise. And then visit their brewery (open the same hours) on Main Street to grab growler fills of the beers. They will have their HefeweizenIndia Pale Ale, and Dark Cream Ale available, with a new Light Pilsner possibly making an appearance, if ready. Depending on beer availability, their retail storefront will be open going forward, as they are currently releasing beers brewed on their pilot system, while they await the arrival of their full-sized brewhouse. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for exact details.

Bulwark will be releasing a New Ross 200th Anniversary edition of their Oak Aged Cider. Long in the making, the cider spent more than six months maturing in American oak barrels, and is packaged in a bottle designed by local resident Bonnie Keddy. The barrel is an ode to the many cooperages that were in the New Ross area, thanks to the locally-designed apple barrels needed to support the apple industry. The 7.0% ABV cider is now ready for purchase at their homebase, Muwin Estate Wines (either by phone or email), and will be on sale at the New Ross 200th Anniversary Night Market on Friday, August 5. As a way of giving back to the community and thanking them for all of their support, a portion of the sales will be donated to the New Ross Development Society.

Nine Locks has released their first seasonal, Watermelon Blonde, perfect for the remaining days of summer. Described by the brewery as “light and crisp, with a hint of watermelon”, with whole fresh watermelon added during the mash, as well as in a post-fermentation secondary (as well as some natural extract). This 5.0% ABV, 12 IBU beer is available now for growler fills and cans at the brewery. And congratulations to them on their recent expansion in the brewhouse – with the addition of three 72hl (60 BBL) fermentors, they will be better able to keep up with demand and different seasonal options.

• There’s a new beer on tap at Big Spruce’s tasting room, thanks to a collaboration with Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewery. Stark Craving Mad is an “Amber American IPA” with lots of late-addition hops for a serious hop flavour and nose. The beer weighs in at 7.2% ABV and 65 IBUs, and is currently only available at the Big Spruce tap room, so drop by today! And when you do, grab some grub from the Cruisin’ Cuisine Food Truck, onsite 12-7 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with live music 3-5 pm daily. Check out the FB event page for details on the menu and music schedule.

• And speaking of Boxing Rock, after three years in operation, they just packaged their 1,000,000th bottle this week! To celebrate, they’ve hidden winning tickets in six of their Hunky Dory Pale Ale six-packs, which can be returned to the brewery for some sweet swag. Congratulations! They also did a small tasting of a Gin-infused Pale Ale at Bishop’s Cellar last night, which looks be prelude to a wider release soon.

• After a very successful launch at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market earlier this month, Brightwood Brewery has released their second beer. Smokey the Beer is a Honey Smoke Ale featuring, unsurprisingly, Honey and Smoked malts in the grist, for an aromatic journey of the senses. First smoke, then honey sweetness, with some piney hop notes to complete the campfire feel. Grab this 5.3% ABV beer, and their The Big Lift American IPA, at the Market this Saturday 8am-1pm. You can grab/exchange one of their own growlers, and they will fill personal growlers, provided they are nice and clean.

• There’s a new beer soon to be tapped at the Antigonish Townhouse – brewmaster Terry Piercy brewed up an experimental batch in the style of an English Pale Ale, using Horton Ridge Organic Pale Malt. The light-coloured ale was hopped with UK Fuggles for both bittering and flavour additions, to 43 IBUs. Coming in at a sessionable 4.7% ABV, look for this currently-unnamed brew to be released in a couple of weeks, where it will likely be cask-conditioned and served on the pub’s hand-pump.

There are a whole slew of events coming up in the next little while, so be sure to keep your calendar open for the following opportunities to drink great beer:

Unfiltered Brewing turns one-year-old today, and they’re throwing a celebration at their Charm School Pub, with $5 pints all day (that’s noon till late), and a “special Nash-inspired menu” from 5-10 pm, served by Food Wolf. Happy 1st Anniversary!

• In other 1st Anniversary news, Breton Brewing is celebrating theirs on Saturday, July 30th with a slightly-belated Birthday Breakfast at the brewery from 9 am – 12 pm. The first 100 breakfasts (prepared by local STAND & STUFF Your Face) are free, and live music will be playing. After chowing down on some pancakes, attendees will also be able to take the opportunity to sign up for their new Mug Club, starting at noon. Limited to the first 50 people to sign up, the Club features all sorts of perks, including a personal 18 oz mug that will be kept at the brewery. Membership is $75 for the first year.

• This coming Monday, August 1st (New Brunswick Day), the 4th annual Fredericton Beer Run will be held, starting at the Lighthouse on the Green at 10 am (registration begins at 8 am). With 4, 6, and 12 km runs available, it’s open to novices and serious runners alike! Afterwards, runners will receive 14 beer tickets, each good for a 4-oz sample, with 15 breweries pouring roughly 40 different beers. There are still a limited number of tickets available ($60 each), so be sure to grab yours now! If you’d like to participate in the drinking, but not the running, tickets ($30) are available for the NB Day Beer Garden, where you can enjoy the beer without the effort. Additional tickets will be available for purchase. Not to be outdone, there is also now a Moncton Beer Run next Friday, August 5th, starting at Centennial Park at 6:30 pm (registration begins at 5 pm). This will be a 6 km run only, also featuring a beer tasting afterwards with 14 beer tickets, and 5 breweries pouring their beers. Tickets ($55 each) for this event are available here.

• Next Friday and Saturday, August 5th and 6th, marks the return of the annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest, which will be celebrating its 10th year since it first launched in 2007. Featuring over 300 different beers and ciders (full list available here), there are three sessions to choose from: one on Friday evening (7-9:30 pm), and two on Saturday (2-4:30 pm, 7-9:30 pm), with each session featuring VIP tickets that get you in a full hour earlier. All sessions will include unlimited samples, with VIP tickets also giving you access to a panel discussion and guided beer tasting. Tickets are $49+tax for regular, and $70+tax for VIP, and are available online. We’ll have more details on the event early next week, including info on a mega-collaboration brewday happening at Garrison with many of the visiting breweries.

Stillwell Beer Bar will be hosting a Tap Takeover by Stillwater Artisanal Brewery Saturday August 6th. With a homebase in Maryland, Stillwater is a gypsy brewery, not owning their own equipment, but rather releasing beers brewed at others’ locations. There will be 10 different Stillwater beers available on tap starting at noon Saturday, and it will be a pay-as-you-go event, no tickets needed. We have the inside scoop on a few of the beers that will be flowing, including Mono, a 5.2% ABV Hoppy Pilsner; As Follows, a 9.0% ABV Belgian Strong Golden; and Vacuum, an 8.0% Black Smoked IPA. For those who can’t wait until Saturday for a taste, Stillwater Classique, a 4.5% ABV farmhouse beer, is currently available in cans at Stillwell’s homebase on Barrington.

• The Ladies Beer League is hosting a special sneak preview party with 2 Crows Brewing, a new 20 BBL (23 hL) Halifax brewery set to open this fall, on Thursday, August 18th. Held at the home of two of the owners from 7-10 pm, all three of their core brands will be available to be sampled, as well as a few surprises. Tickets (available through the link above) are only $10, with all proceeds going to Feed Nova Scotia (and they will be accepting further donations for FNS during the event)

Have a fantastic long weekend, hopefully surrounded by plenty of great beer! For those of you in New Brunswick, note that this weekend, all five ANBL growler stations will be pouring beers that were brewed by NB breweries (FYI, ANBL stores will be closed Monday August 1st). And in closing…

– A reminder that there’s still a few tickets remaining for the Fredericton Beer Tour (Saturday, August 6th) that we mentioned two weeks ago; your $77 ticket (available here) will get you transportation to five breweries/cideries, chat time with the brewers, and a minimum of four 4-oz samples per stop.
– Grimross has officially started canning, as their Maritime Pale Ale is available now in 500 mL cans at the brewery; the beer will hopefully be available at select ANBL stores in the near future. Look for their Saison, Cheval D’Or, to be canned by early fall.
– Maybee has bottled their Long Carry Brett Red in a limited number of 750 mL cork-and-cage bottles; labels are currently being printed, so look for these to be available at the brewery within the next couple of weeks.
– Keep your eyes peeled for a new English Mild from Tatamagouche Brewing. This 3.7% ABV beer has been spotted in the wild at Battery Park and Stillwell, and will surely satisfy the “sessionable” crowd, it’s a flavourful beer in a small package. And on the other end of the spectrum, they are serving an English Barley Wine at the brewery, but details on it are a little slim at the moment.

Phew, that’s it! That’ll teach us to never take a week off again!

Happy Friday! Now that everyone has cleared their driveways and warmed up, it’s time to sit back and relax with some local beer news…

• Charlottetown’s Upstreet brewery is releasing a new brew today. Black Tie Affair is a stout with a twist! To help combat the cool nights upon us, they have added a little extra to the traditional stout. Sixty litres of cranberry juice (from local producer PEI Juice Works) was added to the beer after primary fermentation had settled down; the beer was further dosed with some vanilla during the conditioning step. The inspiration for the brew came a few years ago, when Brewmaster (then-homebrewer) Mike Hogan brewed a beer for his brother’s wedding. When his sister-in-law-to-be, a culinary student at the time, was asked for a single ingredient to serve as the spark of a recipe, she chose cranberries. From that, Hogie built the Black Tie Affair. It was also one of the first beers that Joey shared with Mitch (the other two Upstreet owners), which planted the seeds of a future brewery. Black Tie Affair Vanilla Cranberry Stout comes in at 5% ABV and 25 IBUs, and will launch at the brewery this evening, after the Christmas Tree Lighting at 6pm. There will be free hot chocolate, music from Salt Licks, and a prize for the ugliest sweater.

• In other Upstreet news, their summer seasonal White Noize White IPA is returning to the lineup as one of their flagship beers. This 7% and 70 IBU beer shares the best characters of an American Wheat and IPA. On tap at Upstreet and around the island now, it will also be available in bottles very soon.  Speaking of bottles, several of the PEILCC stores where Upstreet bottles were delivered last week had to be restocked several times over the weekend. Thankfully, the Upstreet Elves are hard at work keeping them stocked, so keep an eye on their Twitter page for details as deliveries are made.

• Also debuting today is Upstreet’s “alternative drinks menu” at the taproom. For those who want to visit Upstreet with their beer-loving friends and family, but aren’t beer drinkers (those people exist?), they now have local wine and cider on the menu. Beginning today, Matos Wine and Bulwark Cider will be available for on-site enjoyment. And beginning December 9th, they will be offering a full food menu in the taproom, four nights a week (4-10pm, Wed-Sat). Local chef John Pritchard will be preparing tapas and shareable plates. And drop by tomorrow afternoon for a Pinball Tournament, hosted by the Charlottetown Pinball League.

Big Spruce will be releasing their Left Breton Organic Conspiracy, a 7.4% Double IPA, next week. It is brewed with loads of Big Spruce’s own home-grown Cascade, Galena, and Mt Hood hops; this makes the bitterness difficult to calculate accurately, but is estimated at 80 IBUs. This brew was originally inspired by a visit in 2013 from their good friends Brian and Rebecca from Crannóg Ales, who had brought some of their own farm-grown organic hops. While they weren’t able to join them for this brew day, they were there in spirit. A cask of Left Breton, double dry-hopped with Citra and Nelson Sauvin, was sent to Stillwell and tapped earlier this week. Look for the wider release to feature additional dry-hopping from more of their own farm-grown Cascade.

• Big Spruce held their Home Brew Challenge on the weekend. 25 homebrewers submitted 45 entries in three categories: Dark Czech Lager, Altbier, and Red IPA. The top beers in each category were selected by a panel of 12 BJCP judges:

Czech Dark Lager Altbier Red IPA
GOLD: Eric Gautier (co brewer Justin Clarke) GOLD: Eric Gautier (co brewer Justin Clarke) GOLD: Shawn Meek
SILVER: Derek Stapleton SILVER: Keith Forbes (co brewer Mike Orr) SILVER: Scott MacLean & Randy Rowe
BRONZE: Justin Clarke (co brewer Eric Gautier) BRONZE: Andrew Martin BRONZE: Josh Armstrong

The Best of Show beer is Czech Yo Self Czech Dark Lager by Eric Gautier and Justin Clarke, and the Brathair Brothers will be visiting Big Spruce to brew up that beer very soon. In fact, owner Jeremy White was so impressed with the quality of the three gold medal beers, that they all may be brewed in Nyanza. Look for at least one of them to make their debut at the Local Connections Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration on January 14th. Big thanks to the judges, stewards, and the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth for hosting the judging and after party.

• Speaking of homebrewing, it was a great year for local homebrewers on the national level. The Brewnosers took home third place in the Homebrew Club standings (behind the CowTown Yeast Wranglers and River City of Manitoba Brewers), as tracked by Brewer of the Year site. This is thanks in large part to the outstanding performance by Annapolis Valley brewer Mark Pennell, who ended up taking home 75 medals at more than fifteen homebrew competitions during the year, and was the second-most decorated homebrewer in Canada. A special shoutout to Mark McGraw, who finished 11th in the 2015 standings with 19 medals, and the dozen-plus other members who entered and placed in the local and national competitions. All of this year’s results are collated here. Look for Pennell’s award-winning Working Man Mild to be brewed at Beau’s in Vankleek Hill in 2016, earned by winning the Best of Show at the Members of Barleyment and Beau’s Oktoberfest Competition.

TrailWay has just released a brand new beer, and it couldn’t have come at a better time! Rascal is their take on a “big American Stout”; think dark, strong, and roasty… perfect for sipping on in the colder, snowy weather that has moved into our region. Named after co-owner/co-brewer Jake Saunder’s Black Labrador, it was brewed with plenty of specialty malts, including oats, flaked wheat, flaked barley, Crystal malt, Munich, and Black malt. Bittered to 40-50 IBUs to balance all that sweetness, it weighs in at ~7% ABV. Look for it over the weekend at King Street Ale House and 540 Kitchen & Bar, as well as Bourbon Quarter in Saint John.

• We also have a sneak preview on a new beer from TrailWay, due to hit taps next week. Currently unnamed, this one has a grist of Crystal, Munich and Rye malts, to go along with the base malt, giving it a reddish hue. Hopped into IPA territory with Warrior, Mosaic, and Summit, think of it as a hoppy Amber Ale, or Red IPA. More on this beer next week!

• It’s December, which means that it’s almost time for the annual Picaroons 12 Beers of Christmas! Starting Saturday, December 12th, a different festive beer will be released daily, until December 23rd, for growler fills at the Brewtique. As usual, each day’s beer will be announced at noon via Picaroons’ Twitter and Facebook accounts, and will officially go on sale at 4 pm (except for Sundays, when it will be launched at noon). Unlike last year, there will be no two growler per person limit; however, they are asking customers not to overdo it, as each batch is extremely limited (~360 L per batch, or approximately 180 standard-size growlers). We can probably expect a mixture of new beers and returning favourites, so keep your eyes peeled! These beers always sell out extremely quickly, so if you’re interested in certain releases, be sure to get to the Brewtique as close to 4 pm as you can.

Hammond River has rebrewed their Two Rivers India Black Ale, a Black IPA that was originally brewed as a collaboration beer with Big Axe. This dark ale shows some roast aromas and flavours from the addition of dark malts, with plenty of hop presence as well, thanks to a bittering addition of Columbus to 77 IBUs, and late additions of Galaxy and a heavy dry-hop of Amarillo; the first batch featured all-Citra after the initial bittering addition with Columbus. It still weighs in at 7% ABV, and is currently on tap at the Saint John Ale House and the Barrel’s Head; look for it to possibly follow at other HR accounts, soon.

• YellowBelly brewpub in St. John’s has released a special brew this week. Top Shed Cream Ale is a collaboration between the crew at YellowBelly and Top Shed, a craft brewery in Bew South Wales, Australia. Eastern Australia meets Eastern Canada! This Cream Ale was brewed in the traditional fashion, using barley malt, malted wheat, and corn; the hops used were Mosaic and Pacific Gem. At 4.8% and 22 IBUs, this beer is the lightest ever brewed at YB, and is immensely quaffable. A little more on the story of East meeting East can be read at Top Shed’s blog.

Unfiltered has brought back the immensely popular Double Orange Ale. The DOA Double IPA features huge citrus aroma and flavour from loads of Citra hops used throughout the process, with a light malt sweetness and orange colour thanks to the special technique Brewmaster Greg Nash uses on the brew. The final specs on this beer are 7.5% ABV and over 100 calculated IBUs. It will be back on tap at the brewery today at noon, and at better bars very soon. Rumours are that Unfiltered’s taproom, Charm School, will be open in the next few days, so be sure to follow their feed for more details. *Update: Charm School opened Saturday, and will be open daily (except Monday), at 4pm.

• Speaking of openings, after a brief hiatus, Tom’s Little Havana and sister restaurant The Fireside have opened in their new location on Birmingham Street. The number of taps has expanded, and now feature at least five local craft brews on the go, including Bad Apple, Boxing Rock, Tatamagouche, and Unfiltered. With many of the wall murals and furnishings transported from their old location, the spirit of Tom’s is alive and well in the new location.

The Auction House on Argyle Street in Halifax has recently expanded their craft beer offerings, in a big way! Already boasting more than twenty local beer options, they recently installed a SmartBrew system in the restaurant, allowing them to produce beer onsite. They are releasing an American Amber (Her Name Was Amber) and Dunkelweizen (Bob’s Your Dunkel) under the George’s Island moniker, with more varieties to follow shortly.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub is opening membership into their Mug Club again, with mugs #31-48 becoming available on January 1st. The yearly membership costs $59.95 + tax, and entitles members to their own mug, 24 oz pours for the price of 20 oz, food discounts, email updates on special beers being tapped, and more. Pre-sales start on Monday, December 7th at 6 pm. And get ready for their Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest later in the month – show up at the pub with your lamest, ugliest Christmas garb between December 20th-24th, snap a photo of yourself and upload it to the Joyce’s Twitter or Facebook page to enter. The selected winner will receive dinner for two at the Terrace.

• A new documentary featuring the Nova Scotia independent beer scene will make its debut this weekend. “Craft Beer” will be airing on CBC’s Land and Sea this Sunday, December 6 at 12 noon. The producers visited several breweries and locations across the province to learn about the craft beer movement, and the people behind it. Good news for those without TVs – it is available now to watch online.

• The latest One-Hit Wonder release from Propeller will be hitting the taps later today. Jaromir Lagr is a 6.8% Imperial Czech Pilsener. Details are a bit thin beyond that, but we can tell you that like all previous OHW brews, it will only be available for growler fills at the brewery and on tap at a few spots in the HRM.

BarNone owner/brewer Don Campbell will be hosting a beer dinner at Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown on Sunday, January 24th at 6 pm. Baba’s has long been a huge supporter of local craft beer on the Island, and this is a perfect way to get your hands on lots of BarNone beer and some authentic Lebanese food! There will be five different BarNone beers sampled, paired with four courses. Campbell will be present as beer host, along with Ryan Abdallah as food host. You can call now (902-892-7377) to reserve your tickets, which are $49 each (price includes tax and tip) and include a sampler glass for you to keep.

That’s about it for this busy week! Good news for fans of Garrison‘s Spruce Beer that live outside of the HRM: it has hit the shelves in several NSLC stores around the province, and will be on shelves in PEI next week, and in Newfoundland and Labrador the following week. And for those in NB, fear not, it will be available on your shelves in the New Year. FirkinStein Brewing will be at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market on Thursday December 10th and 24th, in addition to their regular delivery days. While the Triskaidekaphobia Imperial Brown Ale is not quite ready to pour, there will still be some lovely beery treats at Sunday during the Ladies Beer League‘s Holiday Brunch, including Boxing Rock’s U-889 Imperial Stout. Tickets for the party starting at noon at Stillwell are sold out, but we suspect the beers will still be available when the doors open to the public at 4pm. A reminder that Battery Park Beer Bar in Dartmouth is opening next Thursday, December 10th. The lineup will feature twelve taps, brewed both by partner North, as well as other local breweries, it will increase the local beer availability in downtown Dartmouth. Finally, be sure to drop by to visit the great folks at Good Robot; their new-and-improved Burban Legend Citrus APA, now dry-hopped for more juicy hop aroma, is currently on tap.