Welcome to the weekend, and a beautiful Friday! Beer news in our region is a bit slower this week, but there’s still plenty to talk about…
• Prince Edward Island should soon be expanding options for enjoying craft beer, as the Island’s first outdoor beer garden is being planned for downtown Charlottetown, as reported by the Guardian late last week. Business partners Steve Barber and Jacob Hiemstra, owners of local restaurants such as Hunter’s Ale House, hope to have the location open on the corner of Prince and Kent streets by late June. The Charlottetown Beer Garden and Seafood Patio should have about 25 taps, with 12 dedicated to craft breweries and another several reserved for imports. While local, Island breweries will naturally be a big focus, Barber is in talks with PEILCC to feature other craft breweries from the Maritimes. Live music and fresh, local seafood will also be a feature of the restaurant, as well as other beer-pairing favourites such as sausages and pretzels. Stay tuned for more info…
• But that’s not all! HopYard, a craft beer bar focusing on “local Island beer, regional breweries, and beers from across the continent”, is set to open downtown at 151 Kent St. on Monday, May 9th. Owned by Mike Ross and Brett Hogan, the bar will feature draught beer only, with 10 always-rotating taps. Award-winning Chef Jane Crawford will be in charge of the food menu, with all items priced at under $8 (note that while bar snacks will stay the same, all menu entrees will also be rotating). Cider, wine and spirits will also be available, and a “vast vinyl selection” will be on-hand for customers to look through and make selections to be played on the bar’s sound system. Open every day at 11 am, the bar’s simple motto – “Beer. Food. Vinyl.” – perfectly sums up their mission statement!
• Halifax’s Granite Brewery has released their latest seasonal beer, Granite IPA. Light copper in colour, the 5.5% ABV beer was brewed with healthy doses of East Kent Goldings and Cascade hops, to 55 IBUs. Grab a growler at the brewery, or a pint at better beer bars in the city.
• Back in March, we reported on a new beer being brewed by YellowBelly that involved the addition of a large amount of stale bread from neighbouring Rocket Bakery, as a statement to support those who minimize the wasting of food. Well, that beer, named Brewis Hard Tack Ale, is now on tap at the brewpub. The brewery describes the brown, 4% ABV beer as showing notes of “pepper from the rye, a lactic bite from the sourdough, and figs and raisins as backnotes”, along with some herbal and spiciness from the Willamette hops. Bottles will be available shortly at both the brewery and NLC, as well. Learn more about the ingredients, process, and beer, at YB’s site.
• Unfiltered is releasing another new beer today (and those at yesterday’s punk album evening got a sneak peek) – Riddle of Steel is an American IPA described as “bright and juicy, with a serious New England influence on top of the usual San Diego roots”. Coming in at 7% ABV and 70 IBUs, this very-pale-coloured hoppy beer will be on tap for growler fills at the retail store at noon, by the pint at Charm School at 4 pm, and in the wild at local bars shortly.
• Good Robot has released what they’re referring to as “a damn good cup of beer”, their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale. Brewed with a grist including Pilsner, Red X, and Rye malt, plus some Flaked Barley, it was hopped with Falconer’s Flight and Cascade to 40 IBUs. In addition, approximately 3.5% of the beer volume comes from the addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Ethiopian Guji coffee, which is “grown in cherry soil and known for its berry character”, according to the brewery. The resultant 5.1% ABV Pale Ale is described by the brewery as exhibiting notes of coffee and caramel, with a chocolate forefront; slight acidity and tartness come from the Guji coffee as well, as the beer starts off as creamy before turning slightly sharp/acidic. Grab a pint or growler at Good Robot now, and look for it in rotation at taps around HRM.
• Saltbox Brewery, currently in development in Mahone Bay, has confirmed that they have successfully purchased the building on Main Street that will serve as their brewery and storefront. With their 12 hL DME brewhouse to be delivered in May, they are planning on a mid-summer launch. Read more on their site.
There are a few events coming up in the next bit that are worth checking out. And remember, NS Craft Beer Week kicks off in just two weeks, May 6th! Check out our Calendar and Map for all of the events, and we’ll be adding more as details are announced.
• Bishop’s Cellar is holding a free in-store tasting hosted by Dartmouth’s Nine Locks this afternoon, 4-6pm. Featuring their four flagship beers, Dirty Blonde, ESB, IPA, and Porter, drop by for a taste and grab a few cans to enjoy on the patio. While there, also check out their extensive beer sale, as they’ve marked down several American and Quebec craft beers, to make room for new arrivals.
• Celebrating Earth Day is an annual event for Lion & Bright and Big Spruce Brewing. In support of Ecology Action Centre, the two companies teamed up to collect funds throughout April, whenever patrons ordered tacos or a pint of Big Spruce beer. Tonight at 6pm, drop by L&B to celebrate Earth Day, with a Big Spruce tap takeover featuring some returning favourites, including Gimme Citra Single-Hop Pale Ale, She’s Maibock Lemon Maibock, and Watchtower Conspiracy Imperial IPA, joining their core lineup of beers. During tonight’s event, $1 from every pint, and order of tacos, will add to the donation coffers. More details here.
• Good Robot Brewery are also celebrating Earth Day today, by encouraging patrons to take part in the North End Cleanup starting at 4pm (prizes for those who collect the most street trash), and are inviting some goats from Moo Nay Farms to “graze” on their (faux) lawn on Robie Street. There will be guided yoga at 3pm to limber up before collecting trash, and when the sun goes down, the tap room will be lit only by tea lights. Moo Nay Farms, by the way, are the proud recipient of Good Robot’s spent grains, reducing the feed requirements, and therefore agricultural resources, needed to keep their animals fed. Check out a video of some Robot/Animal fun.
• Tomorrow, April 23rd, is the Winemaker vs Brewmaster event at the Grand Banker in Lunenburg. Featuring Nyanza’s Big Spruce, squaring off against L’Acadie Vineyards, in a five-course meal, each paired with both a wine and beer. Guests vote with either a beer cap or wine cork, and the winning producer will be crowned at the end of the meal. Tickets are available at the Grand Banker, or by phone (902-634-3300).
• On Saturday, April 30th, Railcar is pairing with the Algonquin Resort to present Maritime Beer & Cheer. Being held from 6-9 pm at the Algonquin in Saint Andrews, NB, there will be five courses paired with five different Railcar beers. Tickets are $55 + tax and gratuity, and will feature such pairings as braised beef brisket and butternut squash ravioli with Smoked Molasses Porter. Reserve your tickets by phone (1-855-529-8693) or in person at the resort.
• Local Connections has announced the date for Halifax’s first cask festival, the Cask Beer Showdown. Scheduled for Saturday, September 24th, there will be two sessions (12-3 pm and 5-8 pm) available to attend. Early-bird tickets are now on sale at the above link for $33 each, which includes entry, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and twelve 4 oz samples of a variety of “unique cask-conditioned beers” from local breweries.
That’s all for this week. And, of course, before you go…
– Picaroons is releasing their popular summer seasonal, Dooryard, today; this 4.5% ABV “Organic Wheat Ale” will be available on tap at most Picaroons accounts through the end of summer, as well as for growler fills at both retail locations, and in bottles.
– Grimross Brewing is hiring yet again, this time in the Assistant Brewer position. For details on the requirements and work detail, check out their link.
– Uncle Leo’s has re-released their Altbier today. This traditional German style features a copper colour, and a light body with a significant bitterness and flavour hop presence. At 5.2% ABV, it is available at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select bars in the province.
– North Brewing has released another batch of their Barrel-Aged Strong Dark Ale, aged for five months in barrels from Cape Breton’s Glenora Distillery.
– Bore City‘s Equilux, their APA hopped with the mega-delicious Equinox and Citra, has been sent to the James Joyce in Fredericton; it should be tapped later today, and won’t last long, so head in for a pint!
– Tatamagouche Brewery has sent off several pallets of cans of their popular Deception Bay IPA to the NSLC, for distribution across the province. Look for it in the first week of May. Around that same time, just in time for Open Brewery Day on May 7th, they will be opening their larger storefront on Main Street Tatamagouche, with more space for bottles, cans, and growler fills, and they will be offering tasting flights of their beer to visitors. Keep an eye on their Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the progress.