morALE Brewsters

All posts tagged morALE Brewsters

It’s looking like a mild-ish weekend coming in most of our region and what better time to venture out of your lair to stock up on beer? We’ve got lots of news about what’s new and notable at your local breweries this weekend along with the official launch of another New Brunswick brewery, the goings-on this weekend in Halifax at the 2 Crows 2nd Anniversary party and a few other items that might catch your eye and inform your beer drinking and/or social calendar this weekend and beyond. Let’s get to it!

We’ve got great news for those in the Capital region of New Brunswick. 3Flip Brewing, which we told you about late last year, is now officially open for business! Located in Douglas, just a few minutes West of the Northside of Fredericton, they are brewing on a 1 BBL (120 litre) system in a residential area. 3Flip is focusing on supplying the local bars and restaurants, keeping them flush with great beer. You can be among the first to try their beer tomorrow night at The Joyce at the Crowne Plaza on Queen Street. From 7 – 9 PM, drop in for samples and pints of their Anonymous Amber Ale, Oat Cold Oatmeal Stout, and Pretty Fly for a White IPA, and of course meet the 3Flip crew. More details are available on their FB Event page. Congratulations to Nick and Alicia, and keep an eye on their social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) for more beer releases around the capital region, and as they expand their tap accounts. BTW, we updated their Profile with the full details on their launch beers, maybe not a bad time to check it out again/for the first time? 🙂

2 Crows is turning two, and of course they had to go and plan a big party and release a crapload of new beers that someone gets stuck writing up and NO I’M NOT BITTER, OK? All good, it’s all good. And in all seriousness, this party – happening tomorrow – is going to be pretty kick-ass, and the beers are sounding spectacular. Let’s start off with those beers, shall we? All six of these will be released tomorrow at opening:

  • Hollywood (4.6% ABV, 4 IBUs) – Brewed with Pilsner malt and three forms of wheat, this beer was very-lightly hopped with Calypso. Soured with Lactobacillus, and then fermented in one of the brewery’s oak foedres (with both Sacch and Brett strains), it was conditioned for 4 months before they added 150 kg of blood orange puree. They also threw in some Tonka beans, which are highly-coveted, “aromatic seeds of a giant tree from deep in the Amazon rainforest”. Yikes! Along with the character from the blood orange, the beans give notes of “vanilla, marzian, cherry, and almond” to this beer.
  • 408 Months (4.9% ABV, 15 IBUs) – Collaboration with Calgary’s Annex Ale Project, the wort of Pilsner, Spelt, and flaked oats was hopped with two Southern Hemisphere varieties, Enigma and Nelson Sauvin. Fermented in stainless with a white wine yeast strain, it was then fermented again, in a foedre, with a blend of Sacch and Brett strains. Once fermentation was complete, 200 kg of grape pomace (from Benjamin Bridge and L’Acadie Vineyards) was added, giving some tannic character to this bright, funky, slightly tart beer.
  • Brettango (7.9% ABV, 66 IBUs) – This one is a Brett IPA with mango (you may have actually been able to guess that one!), with a grist of Pale malt, Oat malt, CaraVienna, and flaked barley. Heavily-hopped in the hopback with Belma, Hallertau Blanc, and Citra, it was then fermented with Amalgamation, a blend of six different Brett strains. Then came the mango puree, all 225 lbs of it, before a heavy dry hop of Vic Secret and Citra. As expected, it’s tasting very tropical and juicy, with some light funk. It’ll be on tap Saturday, and for sale in cans.
  • Showtime (4.7% ABV) – Another collaboration, this time with Newfoundland’s The Third Place Cocktail Co. The base wort was hopped lightly with Calypso and Bramling Cross, then soured in 2C’s gin barrels with Lactobacillus, and fermented with, you guessed it, a blend of Sacch and Brett strains. After four months, the barrels were blended and transferred to stainless, where TPCC tonic – featuring cinchona bark, citrus, lemongrass, lime leaves, cardamon, lavender, and green tea – was added. Bottle-conditioned with Champagne yeast for two months, it’s tasting “tart, lively and fun, with subtle juniper, pine, and herbal notes, a light quinine bitterness and a bright lime and citrus kick from the tonic”. Available in bottles, as well as on tap Sunday.
  • Chime (4.9% ABV) – The barrel-aged sour fun continues with Chime, who’s wort made up of a base of Pilsner malt, Spelt, and oats was not boiled. Instead, a touch of Azacca and Galaxy hops were added for a brief, warm whirlpool session, before it was all transferred to stainless for fermentation with a blend of Lactobacillus, Brett, and Sacch strains. Once complete, the beer made its way to Sauvignon Blanc barrels for five months. Fresh lemongrass and pink Himalayan sea salt was added, and then the beer made its way back to stainless again for packaging in bottles with Champagne yeast, where it was allowed to condition for two months. With a surprisingly-full mouthfeel, it’s “lively, fresh, with big Sauv Blanc notes, reinforced with a subtle lemongrass brightness”, and some minerality thanks to the sea salt. In bottles tomorrow, and on tap Sunday.
  • Silence (5.8% ABV) – This beer is a bit of a turn (even for 2 Crows), as it’s a Golden Sour… that is uncarbonated. Aged in one of their foedres, samples taken over time were tasting so good with no carbonation that they decided to package it (in 750 mL wine bottles) just like that. Fans of Belgian styles will recognize that many Lambic beers aren’t carbonated (if you’re thinking of high carbonation, you’re likely thinking of Gueuze, a blend of different years of lambics that is definitely very lively), and will likely be drawn to Silence, which is showing “an assertive tartness, complex minerality, with lemony and herbal notes”. A grand total of 204 bottles will be available tomorrow, and it’ll be on tap Sunday.

They’ll be giving away 100 special anniversary glasses to the first hundred of you that drop in. Lots on tap, three beers for can/bottle pours at the bar, and live music starting at 2 pm and continuing all day (five bands!). Of course, if you plan on hanging around for awhile and having some beers (we hope so, anyway), you’re going to need food. Luckily, Luke from Luke’s Fried Chicken and Highwayman will be on site from 1 pm, serving up four different non-liquid options for your stomach.

In fact, celebrations aren’t just happening Saturday; on Sunday they’ll have some surprise bottle sales (read: some of your favourites from previous releases, so you have a chance to grab some more), and a whopping 13 sour beer on tap. Buttered Bliss will also be around from noon, giving you another chance to grab some tasty munchies. Congrats to 2 Crows on two years of success!

In Amherst, Trider’s Craft Beer is making a habit of keeping three taps on the go featuring beers made in small batches in the 20 – 40 L range, with a new one going on every month or so. Right now they’ve got three such brews on tap and we’ve got the details on all of them. First up is Brewtaur, a Brown IPA weighing in at 5.8% ABV and 55 IBU. With an earthy, “brown” hop profile coming from Willamette and Centennial hops, the brew team focused on making sure that the malt profile of the beer is balanced with the hops, a critical factor for the style. Second, they’ve got Foreign Extra Stout, described as a close relative of Guinness Foreign Extra. At a beefy 7.7% ABV, it’s quite dry, but it’s still got plenty of body. Look for plenty of roasty character and a bit of a boozy kick. And the third small batch tap is currently populated by Saaz Hands, a nice light Czech Pils at 3.9% ABV and 35 or so IBU. As you probably suspected from the name, it’s all Saaz hops from start to finish, lending it a classic Bohemian character. That these small batch beers are available on tap at the brewery only, so if one or more of them tweak your “I gotta try that” bone, best make your way to Trider’s while they last! And keep an eye on their social media (Ig, Tw, Fb) to find out what is going on tap next and when.

Shipwright Brewing Company, Lunenburg’s shiny new little brewery tucked in all cozy cozy with the Grand Banker restaurant, is already starting to make a variety of brews available. This week has already seen a new beer in their First Sail series of very small batches that give the brewers an opportunity to tweak recipes, try new ingredients, and otherwise have some extra fun in the brewery. Lumberjack Dry-hopped Ale was made with Canadian 2-row barley and Simcoe hops before being finished with a dry hop of a new Canadian hop variety called Lumberjack from BC Hop Co. First Sail beers don’t last long and it’s tough to say if this one’s still around, so keep your eyes on SBC’s social media (Ig, Tw, Fb) so you know what they’ve got coming up next in case you fancy a pint or a crowler. And if you’d like to know more about the brewery, be sure to check out the latest episode of the 902BrewCast wherein our intrepid podcasters braved the wilds of the South Shore to get the goods on Lunenburg’s latest hidden gem. You’ll even be able to learn about the latest of their beers to hit the taps yesterday, Tight Quarters IPA, a weighing in at 6.1% ABV and 50 IBU.

Next week’s Betabrew from Good Robot is different than “normal”, at least in terms of the beer’s brew day… it was brewed solo! That’s right, GR’s Kelly Costello had the pilot system all to herself, and brewed up a “Black Ale” named (just to confuse you a little) White Whale. With a grist of 2-row, Chocolate malt, and Flaked Barley, it was hopped with Summit, Vic Secret, and Cascade, to 65 IBUs. Fermented with San Diego Super Yeast, it still comes in at a very-manageable 4.9% ABV, with hints of roast and tropical fruit. Grab some next Tuesday at the taproom. And for Alpha, they’ll be releasing a fresh batch of their Vienna Lager, Infinite Saturday (5% ABV).

Good Robot is also pleased to announce the opening of sign-ups for their third annual FemmeBrew Brewing Competition. Open to all women and woman-identifying home brewers in the region, including first time brewers, the style for this year’s competition is the full BJCP Style #25B category, Saison. That means entrants can brew up a table, standard, or super-strength beer that’s light or dark, and herbs and/or spices can be used as long as they work in harmony with the yeast and other characteristics of the beer. You can check out the full description of the style in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines here. If you’d like to enter, you need to fill out this form by February 20th. You’re then free to brew your best beer and supply a minimum of 4 labeled 341 mL bottles to the brewery by March 2nd. Winners will be announced at the FemmeBot Tap Takeover on March 8th.

TrailWay is sticking with their one-hop Seeing series this week, after just releasing Seeing Double Citra last week. Their latest iteration features Summit, an American hop variety that has been around for about 20 years. A high-alpha acid hop know for its citrus aromas, it was likely used in abundance in Seeing Summit (it is a TrailWay beer, after all), a 6.5% ABV American IPA that the brewery describes as being “full of citrus and stone fruit, but with a solid background of spicy dankness”. It’s in cans at the brewery and a few ANBL stores right now, and should be on tap at the brewery as well, later today.

Dartmouth’s Nine Locks is in a German kinda mood this week with the release of Bock, their take on the Dunkles Bock style, a dark, strong, malty German lager. A variety of malts were used in the brewing of this 6.3% ABV beer, bringing aromas of “fresh-baked bread, with slight fruit overtones”. Copper in colour, it’s medium-to-full bodied, according to the brewery, finishing clean, with enough hop bitterness (25 IBUs) to help the beer from coming across as too sweet. You can stop by the brewery for cans and/or growlers, if you’re so inclined. They’ve also got some of the latest batch of their Pale Ale (5.5% ABV), which has some recipe tweaks to make it “bright, light, and extra refreshing”, with aromas of orange zest and flavours of “grainy malt, orange pith, and a subtle tropical note”.

Plenty of beery things going on in the next couple of weeks in Atlantic Canada; here’s a few you might want to check out:

It’s FROSTival time in Fredericton, a 2 & ½ week period with a wide assortment of events that celebrate winter (wait, what?). But don’t worry, it’s not all about ice sculptures and snow forts (actually, a lot of it isn’t), there’s also a beer/bowling/burger event scheduled by TrailWay for Saturday, February 2nd. Bowling, Beer & Burgs will be held at the brewery’s Bowl-a-Drome; sign up your team of four for $100, which gets you three strings of bowling, a pint of TW beer, and one of several burger options. There are two time slots available (5:30 pm and 9 pm); reserve your spot by calling 506-472-2361.

And continuing with the winter-themed events in Fredericton (what is wrong with these people?) the folks behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival are putting on an event a week from tomorrow that they’re calling the 2019 Beer Winter Olympics (we suspect the focus there is more on the “beer” part than the “winter” part). From 12 to 3 PM on Saturday, February 2nd, entrants will have the chance to compete in a series of fun, yet challenging events for which Gold, Silver and Bronze placings will be awarded. Even better? Beer is involved! The minimum entrance fee is $40 per person, which includes 3 beer, but the fee is actually a donation to Type One Diabetes Research. Raise more money, get more beer. A cap has been placed on the number of entries, so if you’re interested you might want to get a move on. You can buy a “ticket” here or email frederictonbeer@gmail.com for more details.

Nova Scotia’s South Shore will spend the first two weeks of February celebrating Nova Scotia’s favorite crustacean with the second annual Lobster Crawl. While there will be plenty of events from February 1st to 18th, including Groundhog Day with Lucy the Lobster and the 2019 Best Lobster Roll Challenge, of particular interest to beer lovers will be the Lobster Crawl Craft Beer Festival (Fb) taking place in Bridgewater at the Lunenburg County Lifestyles Centre on February 9th. Three levels of tickets are available, VIP, General and Designated Driver, with VIP ticket holders getting to hit the floor an hour earlier. Organizers have lined up at least 18 breweries, including all your favorites from the South Shore and some from other parts of the province as well. You’ll also find plenty of cider, food options, and some fun and games. Tickets can be purchased online and range in price from $30 to $55. We’d also encourage you to check out the Lobster Crawl site for information about places to stay, restaurants to check out, and all the other events that will be going on over this two-week celebration of everything the South Shore has to offer.

We’re pretty sure we don’t have to tell you that time flies, but when we realized that Hammond River Brewing will be celebrating their 5th Anniversary next month, it hit home even more. To celebrate this milestone, they’re throwing a party on Friday, February 8th at the taproom. As always, there will be plenty of HR beer pouring, but they’re also combining all of their weekly beer specials into the one day, which includes plenty of savings for those of you lucky enough to attend (all beers 50 IBUs+ for $6/pint, all flights $8, etc.). The partying will go on all day and evening, and there will also be live music from 5 pm on. Congrats to the entire Hammond River crew!

It gives us no pleasure to remind you that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but… well, there it is. If you’re not into the typical ways to celebrate Love Day (read: go-karts and petting zoos, or gifts that include items such as Lord Huggington), might we recommend a beer and chocolate pairing? The Ladies Beer League is hosting just that with I Heart Beer at Garrison Brewing on Thursday, February 14th, where there will be five Garrison brews with five carefully-chosen, hand-crafted chocolates from Rousseau Chocolatier. It all starts at 7 pm; tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the event link above.

And, as is tradition, a few items of a brief nature before you get on with your Friday:

Moncton’s Grand Monk has brewed up something new and special for the FLASH festival, happening February 15-16th. In the meantime, you can catch a sneak preview of Grand Monkster Flash, a Kolsch, which will be debuting on tap tonight at the Pink Flamingos Cabaret/Lounge.

If you’re in the Oromocto, NB area and looking for more morALE Brewsters beer in your life, stop by Mingler’s Pub tonight for the brewery’s debut there on tap. Along with beer, they’ll have live music and prizes for the winning.

Niche Brewing has brought back Single Origin again, their Coffee Sweet Stout with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans from local roastery Jonnie Java. At 5% ABV, it’s dark, smooth and slightly creamy, with just enough sweetness to balance the coffee. You’ll be able to find it at regular Niche tap accounts and we’ve heard that a keg is also going to be at Stillwell in Halifax in the near future (along with Zeste and Enkel).

Port Rexton has brought back Mixed Opportunity, a 5.8% ABV Saison fermented with Fruit Bomb Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. The beer is then conditioned with a blend of Brettanomyces strains, resulting plenty of “fruity, spicy, Farmhouse flavours”. Look for the beer in cans at both the brewery and St. John’s retail shop, and on tap at the taproom.

Propeller has somehow managed to find some space in their Gottingen Street location to include an old school arcade and they’re pleased to announce its grand opening next Thursday, January 31st! Featuring some sweet pinball tables and cabinets, both new and old, we’re happy to say it appears to run on quarters — no stupid tokens or ridiculous swipe cards here. It’ll be open Thursday to Sunday nights on the regular, with league nights on Mondays. You can see a sneak preview video and get more info on the Instagram page. Craft beer and pinball; you can’t go wrong.

Mahone Bay’s Saltbox has a new beer out today, a Scotch Ale just in time for Rabbie Burns Day. Called Whiskey Jack, we’re not sure of the ABV, but we can tell you that it’s been sitting in a Glenora Distillery single malt whisky barrel for some time, lending it notes of vanilla, toffee and caramel, with peat smoke and oak rounding out the sensory experience. There’s a limited amount on tap, but they’ve also packaged this one for sale in 750 mL bottles, perfect for grabbing one (or more) to take home and pair with your haggis.

Up in Sussex, NB, Sussex Ale Works has a brand new NE IPA kegged this week. Hop To It was made in limited quantities and was tapped on Wednesday, so if you’re looking to get a hop fix for the weekend best make your way there in short order.

Unfiltered has Danko returning today; their Simcoe single-hopped DIPA weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and is chock-full of all of those delicious piney and dank Simcoe-derived flavours that you know and love. Available at the brewery today for pints, growler fills, and in cans.

Sigh, this last Friday in August is always bittersweet: it’s a long weekend, but pretty much feels like the last weekend of the summer. Luckily, one thing exists to make everything happier, fuzzier, and just better overall. No, not family! Yeesh. Beer, of course! And there’s a whole whack of new beers and related things in Atlantic Canada this week, so take a read and see what you have to do/buy this weekend to make everything better! Oh, and keep in mind that not every beer store/taproom will be open on Labour Day, so check ahead before venturing out later in the weekend.

Let’s kick off this week with a round-up of the going ons (goings on? goings ons? … happenings) from the various Gahan locations around the Maritimes:
– At Gahan Port City in Saint John, there are a trio of new beers on tap these days. We told you previously about the Hoppy Stone Fruit Pale Ale, a 5.2% ABV New England style Pale Ale, brewed to celebrate Sculpture Saint John, which is on until September 22nd on the Saint John waterfront. Wheat and oats in the malt bill keep it light and hazy, but still dry and crisp, with plenty of fruit flavour and aroma. Also on tap is Brunswick Bitter, a North Americanized/amped up version of a traditional Extra Special Bitter. At 6.3% ABV, it still showcases a caramel malt backbone with lots of classic American hop character (to the tune of 70 IBUs). And as can be gathered from their taproom downstairs (aka the Barrel Room), there are plenty of projects in the works in those barrels, including a Chardonnay-aged Belgian Tripel likely to be released around Christmas, and a Farmhouse Saison resting in Pinot Noir barrels to be released in 2019. Look for more funky beers to hit the taps in Saint John, including a 100% Brettanomyces-fermented beer in the coming months
– At Gahan Riverside in Fredericton, they’ve managed to grab a few kegs of Port City’s Hoppy Stone Fruit, but have plenty of their own goodies to chat about this week too. A 4.5% ABV kettle sour named Blueberry Sour, featuring loads of blueberries from Terry Nabuurs of Terry’s Berries (and more recently of The Wheelhouse in Georgetown). The beer was also dry-hopped with Mosaic to enhance the tropical and berry flavours throughout. Those on the Island will soon be able to enjoy pints of their own version of this, as it was brewed at Gahan House Pub recently. Also new on tap in Fredericton is Dry Hopped Wit, a 5.5% ABV Belgian Witbier that was enhanced with an American dry hop after fermentation. And debuting on tap in a couple of weeks is a locally-brewed batch of Gahan classic Harvest Gold, releasing to celebrate the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, held in town September 11-16.
– At the original Gahan House Pub in Charlottetown, keep your eyes open for a coming-soon canned release from the Sydney Street location. Brewed in collaboration with Huck-It Disc Golf in Middleton, PEI, Bangin’ Chains is a New England Style Pale Ale, weighing in at 4.6% ABV and 29 IBU. Featuring mostly Cashmere hops, there will be a limited amount of cans, numbering just over 1200, which will be perfect for tossing into your disc, or old-fashioned, golf bag to enjoy while out for a round.
– And finally, the Gahan House Hub City location in Moncton is getting closer to a reality, as the builders are making good progress at the FiveFive building at 55 Queen Street. They are currently hiring for plenty of positions, and anticipate an opening date in mid-October.

We might as well stick with the Prince Edward Island theme, as Upstreet has released a couple new beers recently. Last week (just past our deadline, but fear not, there’s still plenty available!) saw the launch of Say Yes Mocha Porter, a collaboration of sorts, brewed with the brewery’s first “Artist in Residency”, Röra Blue. Featuring the addition of coffee (steeped directly in the fermentor) from local Receiver Coffee Co., this 6% ABV beer has a “super delicious cafe mocha flavour”, according to the brewery, and is available on tap, in growlers, and in bottles, for a limited time. Their next beer launches today, and is the next entry in their Neon Friday series. Neon Friday 010: Pale Ale with New Zealand hops was actually brewed in collaboration with Calgary’s stellar Dandy Brewing Co., a four-year-old brewery that has been making waves in Alberta with their many beer styles. As the name implies, the beer was hopped with all New Zealand varieties, including Wai-Iti, Pacifica, and Dr. Rudi. At 5.5% ABV and 40 IBUs, the brew is “light and refreshing, with a chill citrus and stone fruit hop flavour combo”. You can find it today on tap, in growlers and crowlers, and in cans, at both Upstreet locations. And keep an eye out at your local NSLC, as Upstreet’s Do Gooder American Pale has hit the shelves, available in 35 stores from Yarmouth to North Sydney. Just a limited listing at this time, also peep Upstreet’s social media for the location of some pop-up tastings over the next month, including the Portland Street location today, and Barrington Street location tomorrow, both 4-8PM. And be sure to add/follow along with the Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse progress (FB, Tw, IG), as they work towards opening in late September, with the first of their Dartmouth-brewed batches (and favourites from the Island).

Moving back to the Island, and on to Summerside, where the city’s first brewery has a new beer out for thirsty locals. Batten Brown is Evermoore’s fifth beer release, and the first venturing on the darker side of things. With a grist of 2-row, 6-row, and Caramel malt, it was also hopped lightly with Amarillo, and weighs in at 5.5% ABV. They’re describing it as “on the lighter side of Browns”, with light aromas of coffee and caramel. This one is available only at the Evermoore taproom,  but should be travelling to other locations in the hopefully-near future.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is launching their latest kettle-soured beer today, Dark Berry Sour. After souring with Lactobacillus, they “packed” the beer with vine-ripened blackberries, black currants, and black raspberries. Dry-hopped with Mosaic to “heighten the dark fruit aroma”, it weighs in at an easy-drinking 5% ABV. Look for it at both Propeller locations starting today for growler fills, with 473 mL cans appearing next week (also in private stores). And hey, if you’re at the Gottingen location grabbing a growler, stick around til 5 pm, when they’ll be tapping their weekly cask; this week is Stone Fruit with lemon zest. As for those of you who aren’t into beer… why the hell are you even reading all of this? Ok, ok: Propeller is also releasing a Beer Cocktail today, Perfect Storm, made with their own Ginger Beer, rum (from Steinhart Distillery), and a hint of lime. It’s 7% ABV and packaged in cans, and can also be found at both Prop locations, and private stores. Now move on before we have to start shaking our fists in a menacing matter!

Elsewhere in Halifax, Garrison has released Hot Fuzz, a “Peach Witbier” that is only available on draft. Brewed just in the nick of time before the cool weather starts rolling in (by “cool” we mean sub-25 C), it contains both peach juice and extract, which nicely complement the fruitiness and spiciness from the Belgian yeast. Refreshing and light, and highly drinkable at 4.8% ABV, check with your local Garrison tap account to see if they have it on tap.

In Fredericton, Graystone has a new brand new beer on at their taproom, one that they’re referring to as a “mild blueberry Sour”. Fisher Fields Sour is Graystone’s first sour beer, a 5.4% ABV, 11 IBUs kettle sour brewed with a good amount of Wheat malt. Over 80 kg of whole blueberries from Oxford, NS were pureed and added to the beer after fermentation was complete, giving it a deep, ruby-red colour. Don’t be expecting too much tartness with this one, as the sour character was deliberately restrained to allow the fruit flavour to come through. And if you’re dropping by the brewery to have a pint/fill a growler, they’re eagerly waiting for your homegrown hops to be dropped off at the same time! As usual, they’ll be used in the brewing of this year’s Harvest IPA, whose sales will benefit United Way Central New Brunswick. If you’d like to learn more, send an email to info@graystonebrewing.com.

Straight outta Hanwell, NB, comes another Belgian inspired hoppy beer from Niche Brewing. Island in the Sun is a small beer at only 3.6% ABV, but there’s plenty of flavor packed in there, with a light tartness and a hint of funk playing against a saison yeast. On top of that, this beer was dry hopped entirely with Galaxy, an Australian hop that’s probably one of the most popular varieties of the last few years and one which presents with prominent tropical flavors, especially passion fruit. So fine [you] can’t control [your] brain, this Grisette has not quite yet all been spoken for, but confirmed purveyors include 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton, Tide & Boar Gastropub in Moncton, Peppers Pub, Saint John Ale House, and Eighty Three Bar Arcade in Saint John, and Ducky’s in Sackville. Check out Niche’s social medias (FB, Tw, IG) for further announcements regarding where this one will be available.

After a bit of a release-date hiccup (hey, ya gotta give breweries credit when they make the decision not to release a beer when it isn’t ready!), 2 Crows will be selling bottles of Vaquero, their tequila-barrel-aged Sour with black lime and agave, today at 4 PM. Described as “bright, tart, lightly smoky, with soft honey notes and a firm minerality”, it comes in at 5.3% ABV and will be available for purchase in 375 mL bottles.Only one barrel of this beer was produced, so as you may have guessed, quantities are extremely limited. It won’t be on tap, but bottle pours will be available for purchase in the taproom. Joe Martin from Stillwell Beergarden will be on hand from 4 pm as well, grilling up some Mexican-inspired food items to pair with the beer, so why not stay and make a couple hours of it? And great news for those of you living in Nova Scotia that aren’t exactly close to Halifax – also at 4 pm, 2C is launching their new web shop, where a bunch of their current beers (including a few bottles of Vaquero) can be purchased and delivered within the province. Head to the brewery website for more info.

The gang over at New Scotland Brewing Co in Dartmouth are settling into their new digs nicely and while the little details continue to be refined, they’re already filling the slate with musical acts and keeping the beer flowing. With the capacity for 16 taps when they’re going full bore, right now, during a crazy busy time of year (especially for a brand new brewery), they’re floating in the 8 to 10 range. Of particular note is their St. Andrews Cross Extra Pale Ale, a beer that’s destined for their ‘Signature Line’ of core brews. An easy drinking XPA, it tips the scales at 6% ABV and features an impressive floral and citrus aroma. They’re also continuing to show their affinity for mead, currently carrying two honey-based beverages on tap. The first is Mojito Mo Problems, a 5% ABV “mojito mead” that we expect carries flavors of mint and lime. Along with that is Slippery Slope, a root beer mead at 7% ABV; we feel fairly assured in expecting a bit of root beer flavor on that one. Cider is also represented, with Train Bell dry-hopped cider (6.3% ABV) and Bush Berry Cider featuring Haskap berries (6.2% ABV). Back on the beer side you’ll also find their Bonnie Kölsch (5.1% ABV), Coat of Arms 80 Shilling Amber Ale (5.1% ABV), and All the Fuss Wild Sour Gose (3.8% ABV). They’ve also got their Broun-eyed Lass Brown Ale (6.2% ABV) pouring on Nitro and look for the return of the Lowlander Stout (5% ABV) real soon now. So if your plans include Dartmouth this Labour Day weekend, maybe give a thought to checking out New Scotland; or maybe even make some plans, that works too!

Still in Halifax (sorry Gloria!), this week’s Good Robot double feature once again has Alpha and Beta aspects. On the small batch experimental beta side we’ve got one called Fuzzy Bus. Brewed with Jayson of Noble Grape and his friend Tara, it started as a straightforward, minimally-hopped pale ale that was then fermented with a Belgian Ale yeast. Towards the end of fermentation some gin-soaked wood chips were added, bringing botanicals and brightness to the mix. During its release on Beta Brewsday this coming Tuesday, look for it to have a fairly high carbonation with the littlest bubbles they could find in the CO2 tank which, combined with its other aspects, should make for a light and refreshing beer at 5.1% ABV for you to sip on the Gastroturf. Meanwhile, coming off the big ol’ alpha system to the GR taps is another take on an IPA featuring biotransformation. For those not aware, a simplified explanation is that additional hops are added while primary fermentation is still in fairly full swing, essential oils and acids from the hops get bound up with the yeast via biological and chemical magic, and the result is, ideally, a beer with a popping hop flavor, a hazy appearance, and a soft mouthfeel. This batch, dubbed Creature Feature, boasts juicy stone and tropical fruit hop flavors leading to a dry finish in a 6.4% ABV package that’s been called “dangerously yummy”. Look for it to be tapped later next week, on Thursday.

Does Big Spruce Brewing ever slow down? No, we didn’t think so either. Over the next week, they’re releasing new beers, tweaked beers, and returning beers. So let’s start with, I dunno… the tweaked beer! Refanged is a higher-ABV version of their De-fanged, a “Blood Orange Session IPA”. The new version is still brewed with Azacca hops, and features the addition of organic blood orange juice, but comes in 6.2% ABV (and 40 IBUs),  bringing it comfortably into IPA territory. It’s available now on tap for pints and growler fills. Returning today is their Hugs Bunny, a 3.8% ABV Citra dry-hopped Gose, also on tap and in growlers.

In new Big Spruce brew news, we’ve got two to talk about today. The first is an experimental saison, hopped with Sorachi Ace, which is currently pouring at the brewery in Nyanza. At 7.2% ABV and 35 IBU, this should get you motivated for the long weekend’s activities. And debuting next Tuesday is Can You C’est Brut IPA, the brewery’s first crack at this new-but-quickly-gaining-in-popularity style, a collaboration with Chronicle Brewing (ON). Finishing with a gravity decidedly below the 1.000 mark, it’s plenty dry, with bitterness in the 40 IBU range and an ABV that’s up around 7.0%. Hammered with heckloads of hop hash of the El Dorado variety, expect plenty of tropical and stone fruit presence. Oh, wait, just one more Big Spruce thing: keep an eye on their social media stuff for the annual Big Spruce hopyard harvest, which should be starting next week, currently targeting Tuesday…they always appreciate those of you who can give them a hand! We’ve heard rumours that they pay in beer. Oops, sorry, one FINAL thing (!), we should also mention that the brewery has been cellaring a LOT of beer, so expect to see lots of bottles (as in, 14,000+) of barrel-aged brews coming out soon, as well as over a thousand containing bottle-conditioned Brett Saison. Ok, done!

On Nova Scotia’s North Shore, Tatamagouche used some of their own hops grown in nearby Malagash for a wet-hopped beer on Wednesday, which will be hitting the taps in a few weeks. Using 20kg of Cascade and 10kg of Crystal, they filled every vessel possible with hops during the brew day to extract all of the aroma and flavour possible from the local harvest. The malt bill featured lots of Horton Ridge malts, and the beer will be released during an event hosted by the Maritime Hop Growers Cooperative late in September (more details closer to the event).

But on tap now is the latest batch of Tata’s Rushton’s Peach, their local-peach-and-apricot-infused Sour. Featuring more than 130kg of peaches and 40kg of apricots, this 3.5% ABV Berliner Weisse is available now on draft for pints and growlers, as well as cans. Also keep an eye out for the return of their Lagerhosen, their 4.5% ABV lager brewed in celebration of the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest. The event is celebrating its 39th Anniversary this year, with the weekend events kicking off September 28th. Draft Lagerhosen is available now, with cans available next week. And look for a special limited release of Lagerhosen coming soon, which was dry-hopped with Czech Saaz and Strisselspalt, and will be available in cans and draft next week.

Let’s hop across the water to Newfoundland to round out this week’s news…

Just outside of St. John’s, Quidi Vidi Brewery is putting out a call for anyone who has extra rhubarb to drop it off at the brewery, as they are brewing up a pilot batch of a brand new beer today. Those who do take part will be able to enjoy the fruits (arg) of their labours once a larger batch is brewed and released in the coming months. Just pop by the Hop Shop and look forward to enjoying the beer you helped bring to life! And while you’re there, step upstairs to the taproom and grab some of their latest test batch, a 6.7% ABV Apple Saison.

On the West Coast of the Rock, in Port au Port, Secret Cove Brewing is in the final stages of brewery and taproom work, and are getting excited to open up. The brewery and taproom are located in the former Viking Lounge , which they completely overhauled to bring Secret Cove to life. Their 10 BBL (1200 litre) brewhouse from DME is installed, with the finishing touches on the steam boiler and glycol chilling system happening this week, which means passivation and water brews before any grain hits the stainless. Draft lines in the taproom are being installed, so soon, all will be missing is the beer! Keep an eye on their social media (FB, Tw, IG) for the Grand Opening announcement, which is sure to come soon. And we’ll have a full profile with Jason and Sheila ahead of their opening.

Up the TransCanada Highway, then hang a left at Deer Lake, you’ll find Crooked Feeder Brewing in Cormack. They too can see their opening fast approaching, as they have taken possession of their brewhouse and are working to get it, and their fermenters, ready for some beer. A few more inspections and touches, and the brewery will be complete, and then the focus can turn to the taproom. Keep an eye out for their announcements in the coming weeks as well (FB, Tw, IG).

In Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail has their brewhouse installed, and are finishing up the last few steps of testing there, while they shift focus to starting to brew beer. Keep your eyes peeled for their updates, as it now seems like a race to see which of these breweries will be opening next (FB, IG).

Still well on their way, and definitely opening this year, are a pair of breweries further East. Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has taken possession of their DME brewhouse this week, and will be working hard to have the installed and working over the next month or so. Their social media is full of pictures and updates to keep you salivating (FB, Tw, IG).

And almost back East to the big city, Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl has also taken delivery of their system from DME this week. Work in their large brewery and taproom continues, and they are aiming for a Fall launch. Stay up-to-date on their social media for the latest news and views (FB, Tw, IG).

And in 2019 openings, RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company has set a location for their brewery in St. Anthony. Their five-barrel (600 litre) brewery and taproom will be located at 223-227 West Street in the town, formerly the Clock Shop Building. They are awaiting final environmental approval for that location, but will know soon.

And finally, Union Electric Brewery has announced their plans to open up in the former hydroelectric plant in Port Union. Owner Nardia McGrath, who has previously worked at other breweries including St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery, will be working with Jane Tucker, who is currently brewing at Port Rexton Brewing. There’s lots to do in the building, so follow along on their journey at their FB page.

We’ve got a few events on the go this weekend, so be sure to get out and enjoy some local beers!

You may have read our profile on Oromocto, NB’s newest brewery, morALE Brewsters, published earlier this week. This is just a reminder that the brewery’s official launch is happening today at Griffin’s Pub & Eatery, at 7 pm. They’ll have their first beer, Cornflake Cream Ale, available for pints, with members of the brewery on hand to meet up and chat about their plans.

Oktoberfest des Acadiens kicked off yesterday, and continues all weekend in Bertrand, New Brunswick. With Grand Tastings both Saturday and Sunday afternoon 1-5PM, there will be plenty of local beers pouring to try out, including the debut of a brand new beer from O’Creek Brewing, River of Fire. A 6.2% ABV IPA, it is full of malt and bitterness, but still smooth. Featuring a healthy dose of Simcoe in the dry-hop, it will also be available on tap in Moncton shortly.

A friendly reminder that Boxing Rock is holding the Grand Opening of their Test Kitchen brewhouse and retail shop in Halifax tomorrow, conveniently located on-site at Local Source Market at 2530 Agricola Street. From 10AM, drop by to check out the new pilot brewhouse, try a sample, and grab some beer to go. The first 250 people through the door will receive a free limited-edition 1.89 litre growler, entitling them $2 off fills for the life of that growler. And we can confirm that the first beer brewed on their system will be available to enjoy tomorrow, a Dulse Gose, brewed in collaboration with local homebrewer Brian Harvey, two-time winner of the Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge. Pop-in to see what all the fuss is about!

Big Spruce is holding their annual Pig Roast this Sunday, September 2nd. This is a community, family-friendly event that is the perfect way to send off the summer, featuring plenty of great food, live music, and lots of beer. There’ll also be free lemonade and face painting for the kiddies, free archery lessons and trials (maybe not for the smaller kiddies), and a chance to meet the team from Big Spruce Racing (yep, that’s a thing!). It all starts at noon; check the event page link above to confirm what events are going on when, when your favourite band is playing, and even a full menu! Tickets are sold at the door only, and are $30 (price include food and entertainment all day).

It’s getting to be that time of year again when breweries with hopyards are looking for folks willing to work for the satisfaction of a job well done (and, very possibly, beer) and Meander River Farm is no exception. On Sunday, September 9th, they’ll be looking for beer lovers willing to come out to their place near Ashdale, NS, to pluck the hop flowers off the bines so that they can be used in this year’s batch of Homegrown Wet-hopped Ale. This is the 8th year for the community harvest, so you’ll likely have plenty of chances to meet experienced pickers and talk hops and beer; things get underway at 9 AM, and we’re told that the taps will be flowing.

A few more things to wrap up before we let you get back to your lunch and/or beer today:

– Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a new beer hitting the local taps these days, a Rye IPA named Axe Cutter. Currently on tap at the brewery and at La Torta in Wolfville, and sure to rotate through better beer spots elsewhere in the province shortly, this 6.2% ABV beer features plenty of hops to give it a solid bitterness complementing the Rye malt character.

– Looks like Petit-Sault may be the first brewery in the Maritimes out of the gate with a Pumpkin Ale, as their Bonhomme Sept-heures (8.5% ABV) is now available on tap, with bottles appearing sometime next week. #ohthehumanity

Saltbox Brewery brewed up another batch of their popular Rhubarb Berliner Weiss (4.8% ABV); it’s currently available on tap in limited quantities this week. And make a date to drop by around noon on September 8th to help with the brewing of their wet-hopped beer Blue Nose 1850, all hands on deck needed with hop de-bining. Those who help out will be rewarded with a pint of the beer upon release in September (and probably some goodies on the 8th, too!).

TrailWay has brought back Fuzzy Bubbles (6.5% ABV), their India Pale Lager; look for it at the brewery now on tap and in cans, with cans also going to select ANBL stores in the province. They’ve also announced the launch of their barrel program, as they’ve recently acquired some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels. We spotted some light-coloured liquid being transferred into them Thursday, so that’s “many months” minus one day until we can drink them!

morALE Brewsters, a nanobrewery located in Oromocto, NB, will be holding a launch party this Friday at Griffin’s Pub. We caught up with co-owner Rémi Lévesque to learn more about this military-owned brewery, their beers, and plans for the future.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
morALE brewsters is a team of 4 serving military members and one military wife. Rémi Lévesque, Nicholas Matheson, Bruno Plamondon, Samuel Roy and Johanna Osborne. We are from different areas within Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, but some of us have been in Oromocto for over 15 years.

How did you get into the world of beer?
Seeing as we are five individuals, we all have a different story. But in the military culture, beer calls, special events or even payday were always all good reasons to share a cold one with friends. Funnily enough, I remember when Jo and I started dating, we both liked beer, and together discovered micro brews initially through PicaroonsSimeon Jones and Irish Red and I think this was a turning point for myself. There was that sweetness I was not able to describe but that I was fascinated with. At that point I was making wine and I figured that it would be great to try to make beer too. So like many, we started with beer kits and progressed all the way to all-grain brewing. And that’s when I realized that I knew nothing! There is so much to learn and to experiment with.

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
I remember in December 2015, Bruno and I were talking about homebrewing at work, he suggested that it would be fun to gather a small group of craft beer fans to start brewing together. To experiment with different recipes with the idea/hope that if we come up with some good ones, we could transition into a real side business. So we approached some friends and I told my wife the news. By January 2016, we officially sat down and all 5 joined together. In the summer of 2017, we were very happy with our recipes and we decided to get more serious equipment and here we are today! The real reason I think is that we observed the reactions of our friends when we were sharing our beers and their comments were so positive that it convinced us to try one step closer to a real brewery!

What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
We definitively have a soft spot for our military background. Having all our beer names related to some military expression or slang within the community. We started with “Brewed by the troops for the troops” but we wanted to share our culture with the rest of the population too. Knowing that at any point in life, everybody needs a morale boost!! And there it was, morALE brewsters! Good beer, shared with people that understand that we don’t need to take ourselves too seriously all the time.

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering?
We are starting with a Cream Ale (Cornflake) because that seems to be the fan favourite and the perfect introduction for us. We actually have 7 registered styles of beer available at this time, that we will soon be able to offer by the keg, limited to local pubs in the Oromocto area. Those include a Red IPA (Red Over Blue), an APA (Hops Honour), a Brown Ale (Boot Camp), a Milk Stout (Bug Out), a Belgian Blonde (PTE Bloggins) and a Seasonal Cucumber Wheat Ale (9ner Domestic). We kept our list within classic styles that we were confident to reproduce with consistency.
morALE Brewsters brewhouse

The morALE Brewsters brewhouse

What are your plans for distribution (aka, how can people enjoy your beer)?
At this time, it is a nano brewery right in Jo and mine’s basement! For now, all we are able to offer is kegs. Local pubs in the Oromocto area is where we want to be involved in the community.

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
Our first account will be starting Friday August 31st, and will be at Griffin’s Pub in Oromocto, NB. Being very new in this venture, we want to start slow and make sure that we will be able to provide to those we offer our product to.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada?
Everybody is so awesome in the craft beer community. There is always someone that knows someone they think you should meet! Recently, Jeff Saunders from Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS, was of incredible help with knowledge and introducing other brewers in the area of NS. Keith at Ol’Biddy’s Brewhouse in Sackville, NS, Sean at Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS, Mike Doucet and Francois Chabot at CCNB for all of the Beer Education days! Sébastien Roy at Fils du Roy, NB. And all the brewers at the different breweries are just so awesome at sharing their knowledge. I guess we are still shy at asking for help since we are at a very small and early stage but we are grateful for anyone recognizing and supporting us. (Thanks Atlantic Canada Beer Blog 😉 ) 

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
Having an actual taproom in Oromocto, NB to serve Growlers and enjoy a pint on location, would be a great next step for us. This includes the expansion of our equipment. We would love to eventually have our product in cans to be seen on the shelves beside all the other great craft breweries. Hopefully we can manage our expansion to occur within the next 3 years. Most likely, our capital will dictate a lot of our developing schedule. Plus add 30%, right?!!
morALE Brewsters full panorama

The morALE Brewsters Brewhouse (click for full panorama)

Tell us about your brewing system
We are currently brewing on a 1 BBL (120 litre), all electric system, with 2 fermenters and one brite tank. We fill and sell in 19 litre kegs. Our expected output for our first year is 5000 litres.

Care to share some info on your brewing history?
All of us started with the fool-proof beer kits. And honestly, we all thought that brewing from scratch couldn’t be much harder…
So I guess you could say, our history could be described as countless hours of trial and error!

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
We are beer fans that is for sure! In the specifics, it is hard for me to pin point a style or a brewery in particular. All of them! I think that should be the goal, to try them all!

Anything else you’d like to share, we’d love pass it along.
We are very happy to be entering the brewers community and we can’t wait to get to know you all and get your feedback!
Thank you to Rémi for spending some time with us, and getting us up to speed with morALE Brewsters. Drop by Griffin’s Pub in the CANEX Mall at 42 Broad Rd in Oromocto from 7PM for their Launch Party to try their Cornflake Cream Ale, and meet the folks behind the brewery. Stay up to date with the latest releases and goings on at their Facebook Page and Website (launching soon).