Moosehead Breweries

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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 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 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 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  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.