Moosehead Breweries

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Well, it’s official…September is here. Unofficially, summer is over, the days of Pumpkin Ales are upon us, and wet-hopped beers are approaching soon! If you’re not a fan of one of these (or both), don’t worry…while this week may be a bit slower in the new beer department compared to the last few, there’s still some interesting brews newly released or coming soon that we’d love to get you caught up on…

• Charlottetown’s St. Paul’s Church will be celebrating their 250th Anniversary in 2019, and they’ve partnered up with Upstreet to have a special beer brewed as a means of fundraising for this important milestone. Head brewer Mike Hogan decided to brew a beer similar in style to one you’d see in England in the 18th century…hence, Red Stone Stock Ale was born. The grist is made up of English Pale malt, Medium Crystal, and Chocolate malt. A 60 L grain-soured starter was whipped up, and added to half of the 30 BBL (3500 L) batch, resulting in a pH drop that gave some, but not too much, sourness. After boiling the wort and hopping it with English Fuggles, this half was then blended with the other, non-soured half (brewed with the same hop schedule), and the resulting wort was fermented. Afterwards, house-toasted PEI oak cubes were added, with the final product exhibiting an “oaky and sharp finish similar to the aged beers of the time”. This brew will be released on September 17th, on tap at the brewery and a few select accounts, and in bottles, with all proceeds going to St. Paul’s.

• There’s a new beer flowing at the Foghorn taproom in Rothesay, an Extra Special Bitter named after its proud brewer, Andrew Estabrooks. Esty Special Bitter is a 5.5% ABV, 38 IBUs beer hopped with three new-to-Foghorn varieties: Challenger, Target, and Olicana. Fermented with, of course, an English yeast strain, expect a dry, slightly fruity brew that goes down easy. Available now for pints and growlers, it’s also popping up at a few tap accounts in Saint John.

• More breweries in our region are working with Escarpment Labs – a company in Guelph, Ontario, that produces liquid yeast cultures for breweries – to develop their own unique cultures for fermenting wort. Tatamagouche Brewing has joined this list, with the release of a new Saison, Edel, yesterday. The grist of this new beer is comprised of 70% Pilsner malt, and 20% raw wheat and 10% raw Rye from Horton Ridge, to 5.2% ABV. Hopped with organic French Strisselspalt to 21 IBUs, the wort was fermented with a special blend of yeast that Tatabrew worked on with Escarpment, that incorporates both a traditional Saison yeast, and a North American Brettanomyces strain. The resulting beer was split into two batches; the first, being released today, was dry-hopped with more Strisselspalt, while the second has moved on into Tempranillo wine barrels and will be getting an addition of wine must this fall (look for this half to be released next spring). Edel is a keg-only beer, so look for it at the brewery for growlers and pints, as well as on tap at both Stillwell locations, and Battery Park. Next spring’s barrelled version, however, will also be released in bottles. We’ll be sure to remind you when it’s available!

Loyalist City Brewing has released a variety of hoppy beers since they opened last fall, and this week they launched their third American IPA, Point Blanc IPA. This is a “New England IPA” brewed with a blend of Maris Otter in the grist, which provides a “light toasted malt presence” to balance the hop character provided from large whirlpool additions of Citra, Centennial, and Mandarina Bavaria, along with a heavy dry hop of CentennialHallertau Blanc, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fermented with the brewery’s Vermont yeast strain, expect lots of citrus and grapefruit, and a high bitterness in the finish. Seek it out on tap at your favourite Loyalist City account!

Good Robot is bringing back version 2.0 of their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale today; to remind you, this is the one featuring the addition of Kenyan Nyeri Gatina coffee beans, roasted by Java Blend Coffee Roasters and brewed by Low Point Coffee Co. The resultant cold brew was added to the beer, along with hop additions of Falconer’s Flight and Cascade, giving you interesting flavours of coffee, chocolate, slight fruit, and some acidity. Look for it on tap at Good Robot, and, of course, other GR-friendly establishments in the HRM. Also, next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday (brewed by Robyn, Heather, and Kelly C.) will be Low Hanging Fruit Milkshake IPA (6.6% ABV, 54 IBUs)- hopped with Mosaic Cryo hops, as well as pelletized Amarillo, Citra and Columbus. It was then rested on fresh Ontario peaches for a week; the fruity notes from both the hops and fruit help balance the slight sweetness from the addition of lactose powder. And finally, note that there will be no Cask in the Sun release today.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe has finally confirmed that they will be expanding their 1 BBL brewery, which has been operating since April, 2014 out of co-owners’ Peter and Tatiana Cole’s Bed and Breakfast under the same name. The Big Axe Brewery and Saloon will be housed in a “wild west-style log home”, built on the banks of the Saint John River in Nackawic. Scheduled to open in April, 2018, the 10 BBL (1150 L) brewhouse is being built by Charlottetown’s DME. With 20 BBL fermentors also being constructed, expect plenty more Big Axe beer, including bottle and can distribution. The two-level saloon will have a wrap-around deck overlooking the Saint John River; food will be served as well. We’ll be sure to update you as their progress continues. Congratulations to the Coles!

• After backing out of their original plan to open a small batch brewery in downtown Saint John early this year, Moosehead has announced that they will indeed be adding a 20 BBL (2300 L) brewhouse and taproom to the company’s original brewery at 89 Main St. West in Saint John. A 3 BBL (350 L) pilot brewery will also be constructed, with the idea behind both smaller brewhouses being experimentation, according to Moosehead. Current plans are for the new location to be up and running in May, 2018.

• And speaking of crafty (and pumpkin ales!), A. Keith’s Historic Brewery has a new batch out of their pilot system. Brewmaster Stefan Gagliardi, a self-proclaimed pumpkin head, perfected this recipe as a home brewer over many iterations and it’s one of his favorites. Ingredients include Vienna and Munich malts from Horton Ridge, pumpkin purée, and pumpkin pie spices including fresh ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Look for malty, toasty and sweet pie crust elements to meet a full body and smooth mouthfeel highlighted by the spices. This is a small batch, with only three kegs going on the growler station at the brewery today.

• Those who have hops growing on their property are surely aware that the time is nigh for harvesting. Hop flowers, or cones, are starting to sound papery when squeezed, are going a little brown around the edges, and smell of the resinous lupulin that contains the essential oils and acids hops are known and loved for. We know that a couple of hop growing breweries in the region, including Meander River and Big Spruce, have already had their picking parties and other producers will no doubt harvest soon if they haven’t already. Most of the hops harvested in our region will no doubt be processed normally: dried with warm, moving air, before being baled or pelletized and stored cold. But some hops are destined for nearly immediate use with a special technique known as “wet hopping”, “fresh hopping” or “green hopping” – adding freshly-picked, undried hops to a batch of beer during the brewing process. For best effect, wet hops have to be as fresh as possible, ideally within hours of picking, so that they do not spoil. Cold storage and shipping, if necessary, should not exceed 48 hours before the hops hit the beer. This gives breweries with their own on-site hop farms a leg up on making wet hopped beers. Using wet hops is much more risky than processed hops; with no laboratory analysis, alpha acid and essential oil levels are completely unknown. Because of this, to keep some control over the result, some breweries will use processed hops with known alpha levels for bittering and will save the fresh hops for flavour and aroma additions. When picked, hops are ideally still roughly 80% water and aren’t nearly as potent as dried, so significantly higher hop amounts must be used in wet hopping, often as much as 5 or 10 times the dried equivalent. Meanwhile, compounds that lose their potency during the drying process are still present and can make significant, and sometimes unwelcome, flavour contributions. Wet hopped beers, at their best, present a different side of hops, earthy and somewhat grassy, with a more subtle presentation of other flavour and aroma characteristics than usual. Look for wet hopped beers, often termed harvest ales to start appearing in the region over the next month or so!

• Speaking of which, if you’ve got hops growing on your property that you’re not planning to use, and you can get them to Fredericton quickly after picking, Graystone Brewing has put out a call for hops to be used in their Harvest Ale. Proceeds from the beer with go towards the United Way of Central New Brunswick’s campaign.

A bit of a quiet week for beer events and event announcements this week:

• A reminder to those in Halifax that Stillwell is bringing one of the big (but little!) guns of American Farmhouse styles for a two-stage takeover this weekend as Maine’s Oxbow Brewing comes to town. Starting at 4 PM today some of the best Belgian-inspired beers you can imagine will be pouring at Stillwell HQ on Barrington Street. And tomorrow starting at noon the party moves on up to The Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden Road. The full tap and bottle list is now available for this evening’s festivities and chef Graeme Ruppel has put together a burger-focused menu that’ll melt your butter. If you’ve found yourself going into withdrawal after the Stillwell Belgian Takeover two weeks ago, if you’re curious how American Farmhouse compares to the original, or if you just like really great beer, you owe it to yourself to get out today or tomorrow. No tickets required at either session.

• If you’re in Charlottetown, PEI, or planning to be there in the next 24 hours, and you don’t already have your tickets for the PEI Beerfest (part of the Fall Flavours Festival) at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, what are you waiting for?! Tickets are still available for tonight’s 6:30 – 9:30 PM session ($48 + taxes & fees) and Saturday afternoon’s 2:00 – 4:00 PM shift ($36.50 + taxes & fees), but tomorrow evening’s session is now sold out! The brewery list is as up-to-date as it’s going to get and the live entertainment is locked-in. A reminder also that Designated Driver tickets ($13.50 + taxes & fees) are available as well to help you arrange to get home safely.

• The Maritime Honey Festival will be taking place in Fredericton in a couple of weeks, and with beer’s popularity continuing to rise, of course it has to take part! On Saturday, September 23rd, the “Bee-R Garden” will be held between 10 am – 3 pm, at the Capital Exhibit Center. At least seven different local craft breweries will be taking part, each of which has been matched up with a beekeeper, and will be brewing a style of beer different from others attending, featuring, of course, honey. Ranging from a “Brett Honey Saison” from Maybee to an “Imperial Honey Porter” from Foghorn, attendees can expect a wide variety of brews! Be sure to check out the link for the list of styles from breweries who have committed to participate. And what honey-centric festival would be complete without mead? Sunset Heights Meadery will be pouring seven different varieties of mead to satisfy your sweet tooth. Drink tickets can be purchased now – $8 for four 4 oz drink tickets, or $45 for unlimited samples – or at the door, where $11 gets you four drink tickets (no unlimited samples option).

And a few last items before you get on with your weekend…

Garrison‘s Rise ‘n Stein Hefeweizen (5.5% ABV, 13 IBUs) has returned, with this year’s batch being available almost-exclusively in bottles at the brewery and HRM private stores; a limited amount may be available on tap, so keep your eyes open.
– PEI’s Moth Lane has released a new beer, The Gorbine Double Black IPA (8.8% ABV, 85 IBUs), that is available now across the Island at Moth Lane tap accounts, and at the brewery.
Nine Locks Brewing led the pack this year with the release of their Harvest Pumpkin Ale earlier this week. It’s available now in cans at the brewery and will appear at the NSLC in October.
– Bad news for fans of Picaroons Dark and Stormy Night: due to an ongoing legal dispute with “a big name in the spirits world”, the beer has been discontinued and will not be brewed again. It doesn’t appear that it will return under a different name, so if this is a brew you’ve enjoyed in the past, you may want to grab a bottle or two if you can find it.
– In Cask Friday news, the Propeller Organic Blonde on Yuzu we told you about last week is actually going on this evening at 5 PM. Schoolhouse’s cask today is called Oaked Grog Chequers obviously their Chequers Robust Porter aged on Oak, but what’s the “grog” angle? Stop by the brewery this evening and find out!

CBAC logo

The 15th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference was held this weekend in Ottawa, featuring brewing and branding seminars, an exhibition floor with suppliers and manufacturers, and culminating in the Gala event on Saturday night where this year’s winners were announced. The results are in, and our local brewers fared quite well in the 60 categories of beer and cider. Congratulations are in order to Mt. Begbie Brewery in Revelstoke, BC, for taking home Brewery of the Year honours, and to Indie Ale House, whose Spadina Monkey Cherry Sour Mash took home Beer of the Year.

Also during the Gala, Halifax was announced as the 2018 CBAC host city, and so we will be welcoming the country’s best beer and breweries to our region for first time since Fredericton hosted in 2014.  Emily Tipton, CBANS President, had this to say, “After just hosting a successful craft beer week showcasing our breweries from all over Nova Scotia, having this national event come to Nova Scotia next year is a testament to the growth of the industry here, and the great support for great craft beer by Nova Scotians.” We’ll share all of the dates and registration details when they become available.

Here is a summary of the local winners for 2017; the entire list of winners is available here. Congratulations again to the winners!

European Style Lager (Pilsner)
Bronze: La Kedgwick Pilsner – Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Edmundston, NB

Bock – Traditional German Style
Gold: Stayin’ Alive – Boxing Rock Brewing, Shelburne, NS

Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss)
Gold: Vohs Weizenbier – Uncle Leo’s Brewery, Lyons Brook, NS

Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale
Gold: Gus’ 65m Ale – North Brewing, Halifax, NS

Belgian-Style Brett Beer
Silver: Patience – PEI Brewing, Charlottetown, PE

Porter
Bronze: Porter – Propeller Brewing, Halifax, NS

Dry Stout
Gold: Muddy River StoutPump House Brewery, Moncton, NB
Silver: Keefe’s Irish Stout – Granite Brewery, Halifax, NS (the submitted beer was brewed at their sister location in Toronto, ON)

North American Style Premium Lager
Bronze: Moosehead Lager – Moosehead Breweries, Saint John, NB

Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager
Bronze: Cracked CanoeMoosehead Breweries, Saint John, NB

Session India Pale Ale
Bronze: Vic Park APA – PEI Brewing, Charlottetown, PE

Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Gold: Midnight- Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian – North Brewing, Halifax, NS
Bronze: Hell Street – PEI Brewing, Charlottetown, PE

CIDER

New World Cider
Silver: Bulwark Original – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS

Cider with Other Fruit
Gold: Bulwark Blush – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS
Bronze: Sid’s Wild Blueberry Cider – ShipBuilders Cider, Windsor, NS

Cider with Herbs/Spices
Gold: Sid’s Chai Cider – ShipBuilders Cider, Windsor, NS
Bronze: Bulwark Hopped – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS

Specialty Cider
Gold: Bulwark Rum Cider – Bulwark Cider, New Ross, NS

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, everyone! Our thoughts are now turning to summer, now that patios and outside dining can finally be enjoyed without having to wear our snowsuits! Grab a pint, and let’s talk beer!

• The 13th Canadian Brewing Awards Gala was held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Saturday night. Of the 125 medal-winning beers and ciders, a handful were from our region: Bulwark‘s Gold Cider took home Gold in Specialty Cider,  Garrison Brewing took home Bronze in Barley Wine for their Ol’ Fog Burner, Moosehead earned Gold in North American Style Blonde/Golden Ale with their Pale AleBrasseurs du Petit-Sault‘s La Kedgwick earned a Bronze in European Style Lager (Pilsner), PEI Brewing Company took home Gold in Brown Ale for their Iron Bridge BrownRed Rover‘s Fire Cider took home Gold in Cider with Herbs/Spices, and Tatamagouche Brewing took home Bronze in Kolsch for their North Shore Lagered Ale. The Beer of the Year was Scona Gold Kolsch from Alley Kat in Edmonton, and Four Winds Brewing in Delta, BC, took home Top Brewery honours. Congratulations to all of the entrants and winners!

• It’s almost summer, which means that the Fredericton Beer Run is just around the corner! This is the third year for the annual event, and with more runners – and more beer! – it should be the best one yet. Held on Monday, August 3rd (New Brunswick Day), runners can choose to participate in one of three distances – 4, 6 or 12 km – starting at the Delta Fredericton at 10 am (all running tickets are $60 + fee). After your run, the sampling will begin! Every runner get 14 tickets, each of which is good for a 4 oz pour (runners will receive a custom-designed beer glass) from a selection of at least 30 beers, ciders, and meads in air-conditioned comfort back at the Delta. The brewery list has almost been finalized; expect to see around 15 breweries, most of which will be from New Brunswick. After the sampling is concluded, a bus will bring runners to the King Street Ale House for an after-party, where there will be drink and food specials on for the rest of the afternoon. And if you’re not into the actual “running” of this event, there are Coach’s Tickets available for $42 + fee, which allows you to cheer on your runner, and still sample all of the beer (note that you must attend with a runner)! The event is already over 50% sold (this year’s run will allow for up to 600 attendees), so don’t wait much longer! Tickets can be purchased online.

PEI Brewing Co. has re-released a favourite limited-release beer from last year, with a bit of a twist. Vic Park Pale Ale is an APA with a grist made up of 50% 2-row and 50% Vienna malt; last year’s batch featured late hop additions of Citra and Kohatu hops, which resulted in a very fruity and tropical beer. This year, they’re using this beer in a single-hop series: every 2 weeks, the beer will be released featuring a different hop variety. This week’s Vic Park was hopped (and dry-hopped) heavily with Citra; varieties to follow will include Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Waimea, to mention a few. It weighs in at 45 IBUs and 5.7% ABV (brewer Chris Long has indicated that the ABV will likely decrease with the next batch), and is currently on tap at the brewery for growler fills and pints. You should also be able to find this series of beer on tap at Gahan House – Charlottetown, Fishbones, and a few other select bars/restaurants.

• Tomorrow (June 13th) marks the opening day of the Big Axe taproom in Nackawic, and you’re invited to celebrate! Opening at 2 pm, there will be five Big Axe beers pouring (The Hatchet, White Birch Porter, Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Double Bit, and their new, currently-unnamed English Pale Ale), along with a Red Rover cider and Sunset Heights mead. Souther Ukrainian food will be available for purchase from 5-7 pm, and Julio’s Garage will provide live music from 8-10 pm. Regular summer hours for the taproom will be Thursdays 12-7 pm, and Fri-Sat 12-9 pm.

• The James Joyce in Fredericton has started their new Happy Hour program, Craft Beer at Twilight Happy Hour. Featuring happy hour prices every night from 9-10 pm on a weekly-rotating New Brunswick craft brewery (subject to availability), it will continue for the duration of the summer (and hopefully beyond!). Picaroons is the first brewery currently featured, with TrailWay and Big Axe likely to follow.

• And speaking of the James Joyce/Food at the Crowne, as promised back in March, today marks the opening of their craft beer garden/open air BBQ restaurant at the Lighthouse on the Green in downtown Fredericton. Various barbecued fare will be available, and there will be three taps pouring at all times – two Picaroons beers, with a third tap rotating through different New Brunswick breweries (TrailWay will be featured first). Hours are 11 am – 10 pm; Fri-Sun only for the first two weeks, but daily after that for the entire summer!

• The official website for soon-to-open Upstreet Craft Brewing has launched! It’s chock-full of information on their beers, tasting room, and more, so be sure to check it out. They also released the first 50 memberships to their Mug Club… which quickly sold out. Sorry! No worries, they will be releasing more soon… add your name to the waiting list on the Mug Club link to be sure you get yours. Including your own handmade Upstreet mug (which resides at the brewery), bigger pours, discounts on growler-fills and merchandise, and invitations to member-exclusive events, it’s well-worth the yearly $60 membership fee! Look for their beer release before the end of the month, and Grand Opening in early July.

• A new upcoming brewery in New Brunswick has revealed itself ever-so-subtly on Facebook this week: Flying Boats Brewing, located in Shediac, is currently going through the process of getting their license to brew beer. Details are slim for now, of course, but we’ve been in contact with the owner/brewer, and will have plenty of information for you in the near future!

Railcar Brewing in Florenceville-Bristol, NB has announced that they will soon be offering bottles of their beer for sale at the brewery. These will join their growlers already available for off-site consumption, and supplement the taps and other breweries’ bottles available in their tap room. Shortly after the launch in their retail store, the two initial bottled offerings be will be available at a handful of ANBL locations in their region. They will be using the 500mL format.

Garrison Brewing is releasing their country-wide collaboration early next week, simultaneously brewed (and also to be released) by Phillips Brewing, Flying Monkeys, and Trou du Diable. Coast to Coastless is a 7.6% ABV Imperial ESB, brewed with Pale Ale, Kiln Amber (similar to Biscuit) and Crystal malts, UK hops Bramling Cross, Challenger and Admiral to 50 IBUs. Good news, folks who attend their Backlot Bash tomorrow will get a sneak peak at this new brew! Tickets are still available for the concert/celebration, with proceeds going to the Ecology Action Centre. For those unable to make it, look for it on sale at the brewery store Monday, and at the private stores shortly thereafter. And Garrison will also be launching their re-branded look tomorrow at the Bash, centering on their iconic cannon logo.

• Tickets for August 7&8’s Halifax Seaport Beerfest are now on sale. The 9th Annual Fest will take place once again at the Cunard Centre on the Waterfront. Tickets are $45+fees and tax, available online, and at Ticket Atlantic or NSLC locations (where you can save the fees). VIP options are available for each session as well, allowing festival goers some cool swag and access to the floor early and a Q&A panel with special guests. As in previous years, there will be a Friday evening session, and Saturday afternoon and evening sessions. 300 beers and ciders will be available for tasting (most of which are not normally available in NS), with an expanded Cask Pavillion, as well as Gluten-free and Ciders options. The ticket price includes drinks, and food will be available for purchase from Bramoso Pizza, Stubborn Goat and Waterfront Warehouse, all under $5. We will share more details on the beers pouring when available.

Yellowbelly Brewery in St. John’s has a new beer on tap today, Black Gold. This 4.5% ABV black ale is balanced with 40 IBUs of the Brewer’s Gold hop (added during the boil as well as dry hopping early during fermentation, and later in cold conditioning). The colour for this brew comes from Midnight Wheat (at about 8% of the grain bill), which imparts the dark colour and chocolate character, without the astringency found in other roasted malts. The wheat also aids in great head retention, and gives a “puffed wheat” character. Grab it on tap beginning today, and pick up bottles at the store and NLC later next week.

• Speaking of Yellowbelly, they are looking for a Brewer and Apprentice in their brewhouse. These positions will be to assist Brewmaster Liam McKenna as they expand their offerings and distribution. The 10 hl brewhouse located in the heart of downtown (on the corner of George and Water Streets) brews for both onsite consumption as well as bottles in the NLC. While the Brewer position requires formal brewing training and/or experience, the apprentice job is the perfect position for those interested in the wonderful world of brewing! Interested candidates should send an email to yellowbellybrewerjob@gmail.com for more details and to submit a résumé.

• Congratulations to Schoolhouse Brewery, as they mark their first anniversary as a commercial brewery! Their Thursday evening growler delivery service continues to be popular with folks in Windsor and Falmouth, so be sure to sign up on their website. Keep up to date with their Southfield Project, where they will be brewing a beer from hops and malt, all harvested from one field, with the malt processed in their brewery.

• Today’s the day! The Stillwell Beergarden will open its sliding doors today, inviting residents and visitors alike to drink great local beer, cider, wine and hand-crafted lemonade right on the water. And they couldn’t have picked a better day for it! Ten taps, local sausages and snacks, get on it! Keep an eye on their Twitter and Facebook feeds for the opening time announcement.

Thanks for tuning in! Another few local beers are back on tap, including Hammond River Blueberry Ale and Shiretown Hop Hash. Petit-Sault‘s award-winning La Kedgwick should be available in bottles at ANBL stores by early July. And don’t forget that there’s still tickets left for Fredericton’s Canada Day Bash… lots of beer, food, and patriotism/fireworks!

Good morning! Yet another week full of beer news in Atlantic Canada…

• There’s another new brewery gearing to start up in New Brunswick! Currently unnamed, the brewery’s origins began in the Grand Tracadie-Sheila area of the province; the brewery itself will be located somewhere in the Acadian peninsula. It will be owned under a joint co-op/private enterprise format, the first of its kind in the province. Money is being raised, boards are coming together, and they’re looking for brewery equipment; the goal is to be brewing somewhere in the range of 5-10 bbl (155-310 U.S. gallons, or roughly 6-11 hL). We plan on having a standalone post on the brewery up soon; in the meantime, they’re currently looking for more investors in the project. If you’re interested, contact Dean Roberts for more information.

• There’s a new variation of one of the favorite beers from Hammond River Brewing out on tap – it’s the Back in Black Oatmeal Stout, but brewed with some Smoked malt to give the beer a bit of smoke in the aroma and flavor. You can currently find it on tap at Bourbon Quarter in Saint John, The Barrel’s Head in Rothesay, and 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton. And speaking of Fredericton, Hammond River beers are now available on tap at the King Street Ale House; currently pouring is the award-winning American IPA, Hop Flash. And, stop by the ANBL in Kennebecasis Valley to grab a growler of the Gammie California Common, tapped yesterday.

Rockbottom Brewpub has tapped a pair of new beers this week. With the last drop of Thulsa Doom II pouring this week, the Insidious India Black Ale has made a triumphant return. Weighing in at 6.9% and 70 IBUs, this beer features 5.8 pounds of hops per barrel (!!), featuring Columbus, Citra, Simcoe, Summit, Centennial, and German Magnum, sure to keep the hop heads satisfied. Restitution Porter is a brand new brew at the ‘bottom this week, at 5.2% ABV, featuring some nice roast, chocolate and toffee and light caramel notes, and is lightly hopped to 30 IBUs with Centennial and German Magnum hops. A smaller batch, this special brew will only last a few weeks on tap. And be sure to drop by Wednesday afternoons for the latest firkin creation from Brewmaster Nash!

Celtic Knot Brewing has just brewed a new beer, and it’s a style that you don’t usually see in our area: a Scottish Heavy (or 70/), a Scottish session beer that is amber-colored and normally malty with a dry finish, with an optional peaty or earthy character. Owner/brewer Bruce Barton has confirmed that his take on the beer (which he brewed for years as a homebrewer) is brewed with a Maris Otter malt base, several varieties of Crystal malt, and “a wee bit of Chocolate malt”. Named Caledonia, the beer should come in at a very sessionable 3.8% ABV… it should be a great beer to drink several pints of! We’ll let you know when it’s available, which should be later this month.

Bad Apple Brewhouse is releasing two new beers this weekend: Operation Green Ring is a 5.0% ABV Cucumber Mint beer, brewed with two members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club, aka Delta Force Brewery. Terroir is Bad Apple/Greg Nash collaboration Wet-hop beer, weighing in at 7.0% ABV, featuring well over 100 kilos of wet hops used throughout the brew (10 hl). Unique brewing practices have given this beer a very smooth and subtle, yet delicious hoppiness. Kegs will be delivered to Tom’s Little Havana and Stillwell this weekend. It will also be available at the Brewhouse starting today for Growler fills. The Black & Tackle Russian Imperial Stout is back on tap for a limited time, and they’ve filled two red wine barrels with the beer! Look for this unique combination around Christmas.

North Brewing is once again aging some of their Strong Dark Belgian in Glenora barrels. This beer was a big hit when it was first released; subsequent releases also sold out very quickly. Luckily for all of us, they’ve managed to get their hands on more barrels… four times as many! Look for the beer to be released in December, after an appropriate aging period.

• We have more details on the Hants County Hops Series beers from Schoolhouse Brewery. All of the batches will feature Maritime Malt and English yeast, brewed using open primary fermenters. Batch #1 made its debut last weekend, and featured mostly Golding, with some Cascade hops. Batch #2 features mostly Galena, and will be released shortly. Batch #3 will feature Zeus, and Batch #4 features Zeus and Galena. Check out their Twitter and Facebook pages for information on when/where to grab a pint, we understand that they will all be on tap at Bar Stillwell for an event early November. Also keep an eye out for growler sales in the near future.

Rudder’s Brew Pub in Yarmouth is holding their 9th Annual Brewer’s Dinner tonight. It will feature a four-course meal, prepared with some of their beer, and of course paired with beer to drink. The event kicks off at 7pm, and reservations are required (902-742-7311).

Paddys Irish Brewpub has released their Oktoberfest beer this week. Orange in colour with a medium body and balanced hop bitterness, it was brewed using German malt, hops and yeast. It weighs in at 7% ABV, and is very drinkable, thanks to a month of lagering. It is currently available on tap and in growlers in Wolfville, and will be on shortly at the Kentville location.

Propeller Brewing has released a favourite seasonal beer in the past week, the Nocturne Dark Lager. Weighing in at 4.8%, this Munich Style Dark Lager it is available now at both the Halifax and Dartmouth breweries, as well as the private stores. Rich and malty flavours are balanced with traditional German Noble hops to balance. It is brewed in support of Nocturne: Art at Night, taking place October 18th. This is a popular event, which sees the Halifax area turn into an indoor and outdoor art gallery for all styles. If you are interested in volunteering, please check here for more details.

• Garrison Brewing is releasing two beers this weekend: Their annual harvest beer, 3 Fields Harvest Ale, is returning, featuring wet hops from Ross Farm, Meander River, and Fiddle Hop Farm. This beer weighs in at 6.3% ABV. They are also releasing a brand new beer, the Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin, a 8.0% ABV darker brew featuring loads of local pumpkins. Both will be available at the brewery and private stores this weekend, and will be pouring at their stop at City Harvest tomorrow.

East Coast Beer Tours has adjusted their Valley tour departing next Saturday, Oct 11th: they have downsized the bus slightly, and as such are able to pass along the savings to you! The price of a ticket is now only $50+HST, and still includes all of the great beer and food visits: Meander River in Ashdale, Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville, and Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset. At each stop you’ll be treated to a brewery tour and beer samples, and you’ll also have some appetizers at Paddys and a BBQ featuring sausages from Meadowbrook Meat Market at Bad Apple. There will also be local musician CDs and other goodies given away during the trip. Tickets are still available, and you could win a pair of tickets by retweeting this post. Give the tour a try, we think you’ll have a great time!

Rogues Roost has released their Oatmeal Stout this week. Available on tap and in growlers, it weighs in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBUs, and features toasted oats, chocolate and dark crystal malt, and roasted barley.

• Following the release of the Indian Beach Harvest Ale last week, Big Tide has just released another fresh-hopped beer. Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale was brewed with pumpkins grown at Fullerton Farms; they were hand-prepared and roasted for the brew. With a grist featuring Pale, Munich and Carared malts, it is hopped with fresh, local hops from Dunhams Run, similar to the Harvest Ale. Clocking in at about 5.5% ABV, the beer also has cinnamon, orange peel, ginger, nutmeg, clove, molasses and local honey added for more flavor and aroma. It should be on tap at the brewpub now, and won’t last long!

Gahan House Halifax is putting the final touches on their Peach Wit today, for release in the next couple of weeks. Two bushels of peaches from Elderkin’s Farm in Wolfville are being peeled and pitted, and added to the conditioning tank today. To keep you satisfied until then, the Pleasures and Treasures Maple Whiskey Porter and Baby Steps Belgian Ale are still on, and tasting great! Be sure to drop by Tuesday night for their special casks. This week’s will be a Double Dry-hopped IPA, so drop by and chat over a pint with Brewer Karen Allen. And don’t forget that Tuesday is Industry night, where brewery and brewpub staff get a nice discount.

• Congratulations to Big Spruce Brewing who were awarded an Impact Award from Cape Breton Partnership, thanks to their significant impact on the local economy through improvements to local businesses! And speaking of Big Spruce, they are helping to organize the Celtic Oktoberfest, being held Oct 25th. In conjunction with the evening of fun, food and beer, there will be a Pumpkin Launch at the Port Hawkesbury Marina. It’s not too late to sign up your team’s trebuchet or catapult to launch a pumpkin into the Strait!

• In large brewery news, Moosehead has announced that they will be laying off about 70 workers – almost half of their hourly production employees – from their brewery in Saint John at the end of June, 2015. The brewery cites “the loss of a major brewing and packaging contract”, according to a recent story from the CBC, as the reason for the lay-offs.

• A reminder that the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards are this weekend in Halifax, and there are still tickets to take part in the fun, and to meet the special guest, Mirella Amato. She is leading a beer and cheese pairing seminar taking place 2pm Saturday afternoon at the Westin. The Gala Awards are open to everyone on Sunday at 6pm at the Stubborn Goat, followed immediately by a Beer Dinner featuring local food and beer (from North Brewing, Bad Apple and Garrison). Monday night, the Ladies Beer League is hosting a meet and greet with Mirella at Lion & Bright. Purchasing a ticket will get you a copy of her Beerology book and entry at 6pm, and the event is open to all at 7pm. And don’t forget to vote in the Stillwell People’s Choice Award, closing Saturday.

While you’re out and about this weekend, be sure to grab a pint or growler of something local: Meander River Farms has released their Homegrown harvest beer and 540 Kitchen and Bar is pouring Big Axe Rusty Axe Amber Ale.

And just a “behind-the-scenes” note: we expect to be updating the blog address to ACBeerBlog.ca this week. We hope the change will be of minimum impact to our faithful readers, and you can even update your bookmarks to the new address now (currently redirects to the wordpress.com site). Our email subscriber list should follow with us as well. Have a great weekend!

As per its official website, the Seventh Annual Atlantic Beer Festival will take place at the Moncton Coliseum on May 26th.  The event has grown substantially over the years, starting as a small event at Global Festival Place in 2006 with 32 breweries and 78 beers.  The event moved to the Moncton Coliseum for 2007 and has remained there every year since.  In 2011 there was a total of 56 breweries featuring 130 different beers.

There will be two separate sessions to enjoy the beers, one from 2:30 to 5:00 and a night session from 7:30 to 10:00.  Tickets will go on sale in early April and will be available at the Coliseum Box Office, the Pump House Brewery, the Barn Yard BBQ and Greater Moncton Sobey’s stores or online at tickets.moncton.ca.  Ticket prices are not currently available on the website.   Free bus services will be available after each session (the bus ride is a definitely a fun part of the experience).

In 2011 Atlantic attendees included Picaroons, Garrison Brewing Company, Big Tide, Moosehead Breweries, Gahan House, and Pump House Brewery.  There was also a nice selection of Maine, Quebec, Alberta and Ontario craft breweries in addition to well know international beers.

I will post more information as it is available.