Maybe it was the unseasonably warm September, but October seems to have come out of nowhere and slapped us around a little with fall temperatures, wet hopped and pumpkin beers, and Oktoberfest celebrations. Those themes definitely continue this week as we slide into the long weekend. Here’s an update on some of the new beers you might want to consider bringing to your Thanksgiving dinner, and the events you might slip away to when the pressures of “family time” get to be too much.
• It is a near-weekly occurrence recently, but we never get tired of writing it: we are happy to announce that Crooked Feeder Brewing will be joining the Atlantic Canadian Beer scene in the near future. Located in Cormack, just outside of Deer Lake, Newfoundland, the 3 BBL (375 litre) brewery is located in a disused lumber mill. Three homebrewers are taking their passion to the next level and will be offering their beer to the wider public in the coming months. In the meantime, they have launched an Indiegogo campaign, giving you a chance to grab some Crooked Feeder swag ahead of their official launch. Hoodies, hats, t-shirts, and growlers, there’s plenty to choose from the perks. Take a look at the offerings, and keep an eye on their social media pages (and here) for more details on when Crooked Feeder’s first beers will be available.
• The PEI Brewing Co. has released the latest entry in their After Hours Series, Winola, a “German-inspired IPA”. A collaboration of sorts with their brewing friends from Stone City Ales out of Kingston, ON, this is a new-school IPA made up of 100% German ingredients. Pale ale and Wheat malt straight from Germany made up the grist; the beer was then hopped with Huell Melon, Magnum, and Mandarina Bavaria in the boil (to ~40 IBUs), and dry-hopped heavily with Hallertau Blanc, and more Huell Melon. Fermented with a Kölsch yeast, this hazy brew weighs in at 6.2% ABV and has aromas and flavours of “tropical fruit, white grape skins, dried orange peel, and some spice”, with a medium bitterness in the finish. You can find it on tap now at various PEIBC accounts, as well as on tap at many ANBL growler stations over the weekend.
• Staying on the Island for the next new beer, Moth Lane Brewing has released a beer inspired by a childhood family pet. Owner Eric Wagner’s Aunt had purchased a monkey from a bloke at the Bloomfield Legion in the 1960s (how’s that for a setup?). While playing, Louie the monkey jumped on Wagner’s shoulder and got comfortable. When Wagner began to descend the stairs, the monkey circled his head and neck a few times, the leash getting caught and holding back the monkey. Thinking Wagner was the one restraining him, Louie wrapped himself around his head and bit him on the cheek! Monkey Bite is a Belgian/German-inspired IPA, with 50% Wheat Malt, fermented warm for plenty of banana and bubble gum, to 4.8% ABV. Taking a turn from the traditional, however, is the high hopping rate, weighing in at about 90 IBUs. This beer with bite is available at the brewery, and check out their market stall this weekend.
• Hammond River Brewing has released some early details on the HRB Beer Club, which should be going live in roughly two weeks. There are a ton of advantages to joining the yearly club: a free 5 oz HRB pour for every pint purchased in the taproom, a free growler fill with every 10 filled, a 15% discount on all HRB merchandise, a bottle of beer for any new beer that the brewery bottles, free flight on your birthday, a HRB-branded Belgian chalice, your choice of a HRB-branded ball cap or toque, and insider info on tastings of select special beers before they’re released to the public. Wow! For only $50 a year, that seems like a pretty sweet deal to us! If you’d like to sign up in advance, drop by the taproom today.
• Earlier this week, TrailWay released their latest new hop-bomb, Keejay. Like many TW beers, this one was heavily-hopped – this time with Cashmere, Idaho 7, and Mosaic – but also features the addition of lactose powder, to up the mouthfeel a bit, providing a “pillowy, creamy, juice-like body”. Extremely sessionable at just 4.2% ABV, the bitterness is kept low, like many TW beers. It’s available now at the brewery only, for a limited run of pints, growlers, and cans. As for next week, they’ve provided a sneak peek as to their next new beer, and it’s looking like another fruit beer (likely… grape?)… we’ll have more details next Friday.
• After a summer hiatus, Tide & Boar is bringing back their Growler Fill Day tonight from 5-7 pm. Three beers will be pouring at the brewpub, and it looks like all of them are new. We don’t have a lot of details on the beers, but we can tell you they are Blaster IPA, Herbie’s Lumberjack Stout (brewed with coffee and maple syrup), and Peach Muffin Sour (we’re pretty sure the name gives away the ingredients for this one). As always, all growler sizes will be accepted, and you can order pints as well, in the bar/restaurant. Keep an eye on their social media sites for updates as to beer availability.
• Picaroons has brought back their seasonal Harvest Ale, a series-of-sorts of beers that feature local grain and local hops. While the grist remains the same, different batches feature freshly-harvested hops from different hop farms in the Maritimes; just check the batch number on the bottle, then visit this link to learn more about what varieties were used, and where they came from. More batches will be added to the website over the coming days as they become available. And speaking of availability, the eighth in their Double IPA series of beers is available now. PIVOT 8 features local Sorachi Ace (from Moose Mountain Hops), plus Warrior, and Azacca as a dry-hop addition. Weighing in around 8% ABV, this batch is a little drier than previous in the series, as well as notably more bitter. Light floral with cirtrus and tropical hop notes are the name of the game with this beer.
• We have more details on the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge: your yeast is now available for pickup! Drop by the Noble Grape in Burnside, or contact Big Spruce owner Jeremy White to pick up your yeast at the brewery. You must have registered and paid to be able to pick up the yeast (due to its limited nature), but fear not, there are still some spots open! Send an email to Jeremy to grab a registration form, and check out the yeast specs and homebrew chatter on Facebook and The Brewnosers.
• Up in Lyon’s Brook on Nova Scotia’s North Shore, Uncle Leo’s has a new beer to share, another traditional German style, this time a Schwarzbier. One of the darkest lagers, it usually features dark, but not necessarily roasty flavors in an easy-drinking package. And Uncle Leo’s new NACHTical Illusion certainly fits that bill, at 5.0% ABV, expect a quaffable brew with notes of chocolate, coffee, and maybe even some vanilla. It’s available now from the brewery, but also as part of an excellent 4-pack of German styles that Uncle Leo’s has put together for the fall. Featuring the Schwarzbier along with the Ceilidh Ale (Kölsch), the 2016 ACBA Gold Medal-winning Altbier and Silver Medal-winning Vohs Wiezenbier, all in 473 mL cans, you’ll also get some information about where in Germany these styles originated and Brewmaster Karl Whiffen’s particular takes on each style. It’s selling for $16.60 at select NSLC stores until November 19th (or while supplies last), and Bishop’s Cellar will be carrying it as well. And you can certainly also pick up a pack at the Brewery if you’re in the area!
• In St. John’s the folks at Mill Street are pouring a new beer for the season. Hailing from the Koln (Cologne) region of Germany, Kölsch is a great style for the fall, known for a lovely yellow straw color, grainy malt character, a slightly fruity presence and a smattering of noble hops. Mill Street’s version, called Cabot Kolsch is being featured in 1 L steins at the bar and limited release in growlers. It’s got a golden straw color and a soft mouthfeel, coming in at 5% ABV and 26 IBU. Prost!!
• Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing has released their annual community brew, United Hops. Featuring plenty of hops donated by the public, plus bumped up with El Dorado and Idaho 7, this 6.2% ABV and 80 IBU beer is on tap at the brewery now. For every pint, crowler and growler sold, Graystone is donating $1 to the United Way.
• There’s a tasty-sounding new cider pouring over at Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville – Currant & Cardamom is an unfiltered, sparkling cider made with early-harvested apples, including Vista Bella, Paula Red and Jersey Mac. A 6.8% ABV dry cider that was fermented at cool temperatures, it was blended with fresh blackcurrant juice and green cardamom pods. As you might expect, the resulting product is quite purple in colour, with “notes of tangy blackcurrant and subtle aromatic autumn spice, with a hint of bitterness in the clean, dry finish”. Available at the cidery now, 50 cents from each fill will go to support the Valley Hospice Foundation.
• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing released their Wet Hop Pale Ale yesterday. Only 180 L of this one were made, so act fast if you want to try it. It contains fresh hops from the Annapolis Valley and Yarmouth used within hours of harvesting. Fitting nicely into the pale style, with a light grain presence to show off the hops and a sessionable 5% ABV, it was bittered to a hearty 50 IBU. You can expect fresh floral and citrus aromas from the wet hopping. Heritage is open tonight from 4-8 PM and tomorrow 11 AM to 5 PM for you to come in and grab a taste or a fill (or sample some of their other offerings). And stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on three more new beers they’ve got on the way!
• Moving back to Newfoundland, YellowBelly has Yes B’y, a new small-batch brew, pouring at the brewpub. An American IPA brewed with Wheat and Oats in the grist, it was hopped in the kettle with Columbus and El Dorado, then dry-hopped with more El Dorado, as well as some Citra. Copper-coloured, with a firm bitterness in the finish, this 5.9% ABV, 60 IBUs brew was brewed, as mentioned, as a small batch only, so won’t be making it into bottles. Which really means, get down to the brewpub now before it’s gone!
• If you’re into cider and maybe just a little sick of everything-pumpkin, York County Cider has you covered! Head to the cidery on 418 York St. in downtown Fredericton to pick up some Can’t Catch Me, a “gingerbread-inspired cider”. Their base cider was infused with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and “the right amount of molasses” to provide all the aromas and flavours you require to remind you of a sassy gingerbread man who kind of gets what’s coming to him when he decides it’s ok to use a fox as a boat (I’m not the only one who feels that way, right?).
• And in Halifax cider news, Chain Yard Cidery is pouring their new Cherry 3.14, a blend of two fermentations: the wild version of their foundation cider and a wild-fermented cherry. At 5.5% ABV it should be easy drinking, a blend of refreshing crisp cider meeting a big cherry flavor with accents of spiced cherry pie. It’s available at the cidery now.
• While “harvest season” to beer usually means wet hops or pumpkins, to Nackawic’s Big Axe it means cucumbers! While in the beginning stages of their expansion, they’ve brewed up Cucumber Saison, a pale orange, light-bodied beer brewed with New Brunswick-grown cucumbers. Bittered with noble hops to give a bit of spiciness, the cucumbers offer a “freshness” to the beer that complements the pepper character (we assume from the fermentation). Look for this 5.6% ABV Saison at your favourite Big Axe tap account, or right at the source in Nackawic (which very well may BE your favourite Big Axe tap account… makes sense, no?).
• Things may be a tad slower in the brewery at Good Robot this week, as head brewer Doug is off cavorting in South Africa (see, just become a brewer if you want to be a rich jet-setter!), but that’s not stopping next week’s BetaBrewsday from happening! Stingy Jack Coffee Pale Ale was brewed by Julian Carvery and Kelly C, and features a grist of Pilsner, Crystal 15, and “Toasted malt”. Hopped to 20 IBUs with Willamette, and fermented with an American Ale yeast strain, a special coffee roast from Low Point Coffee Co. was added in secondary. Pretty easy-drinking at just 4.4% ABV, you know when and where to find it (ok, Good Robot, next Tuesday)! And if you’ve been waiting for Leave Me Blue Kentucky Common, it should be back on tap next week.
• Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery has released their first IPA, and they’re going hazy! Using tons of Citra and Mosaic hops during the boil and in the dry hop, this big and juicy New England-style hop bomb is sure to satisfy your hop cravings. Currently unnamed (as they say, “It will have to earn one!”), it weighs in at 7.0% ABV and 60 IBUs. It is available now for growler fills and kegs, only at the brewery. However, we understand that LB may begin bottling soon (maybe even this beer), which will mean wider availability to grab their brews. Of course, we’ll get you up to speed when that happens!
• Dartmouth’s Nine Locks Brewing is looking to add to their crew, with a job posting for a Brewer. This full-time position is for those who already have brewing experience, and are able to work independently to get the beer flowing on time, while keeping quality high. More details are available on ProBrewer.
Plenty going on this weekend, including the launch of Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin (full details here), plus, there are not one, not two, but three Oktoberfest celebrations in our region tomorrow!
• First we have the OktoBEERfest at Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS that we first tipped you off about back in September. It will feature two new brews, a true-to-style Vienna Lager that finished just in time and a Hefeweizen that features the characteristic notes of banana and clove the style is known for. They’ll also be serving their Berliner Weisse with (or without!) locally grown and homemade Sweet Woodruff Syrup. And several of their usual beer lineup as well. Tickets are $45 and are available from their website. They include a commemorative glass, a meal, your first pour, and live music. There’s also a shuttle running from Bridgetown to Middleton from 3-5 PM to get you there and again from 7-10 PM to get you home.
• Meanwhile, the Lunenburg Oktoberfest will take place at the Lunenburg Community Centre, from 6-11 pm. Tickets are $25 each, and include entry, a special Oktoberfest glass, and your first 5 oz pour. Food and additional beers may be purchased onsite, of course ($2 per 5 oz ticket); local breweries Boxing Rock, FirkinStein, Hell Bay, North, and Saltbox will be pouring their beers. Live music and dancing is also included with your ticket, with all proceeds going to the Boxwood Festival Society. Tickets can be purchased online through the event link above.
• Last but not least, the Cape Breton community of Marion Bridge will be celebrating with their own, Marion Bridge Oktoberfest, tomorrow. Entry is just $5 at the door, with the event offering live music, a variety of sausages and other German-inspired food for purchase, and Big Spruce beers (including their Oktoberfest Ale Spruce Bringstein Amber) on tap.
• If you’re more into beer than wine (and we assume if you’re reading this, you must be), and don’t feel like attending the Fredericton Wine Festival in two weeks’ time, why not take part in Fredericton’s Wine-NOT Beer Tour? Held on the same day – Friday, October 20th – ticket holders will hop on a bus leaving from the Delta Fredericton at 6:45 pm. You’ll be taken to both TrailWay and Maybee over the next couple of hours, for 4 samples at each taproom, before ending up at the King Street Ale House for a full pint. Tickets are $46.50 each and can be purchased through the link above.
• Moving along with even more Oktoberfest news, Horton Ridge is putting on their own Oktoberfest in Hortonville on Saturday, October 21st, from 11am-8pm. The all-day event will feature live music, ranging from polka to rock, with plenty of food available for purchase, including sausages and sauerkraut. As well, Horton Ridge will be releasing their very first collaboration beer, brewed with Sea Level Brewing. We’ll keep you updated on that beer as the date approaches.
Just a couple of things left to tell you about:
– The beer brewed by Garrison under license from the Federation of Beer for Hal-Con this year, Borg Ale, is now generally available. A 5.6% ABV black ale prominently featuring Munich and black malts and hopped with Hallertauer Tradition to 25 IBU, you’ll find it at the brewery now and in the private stores in Halifax soon.
– Petit-Sault has brought back their Oktoberfest, La Padrix (5.6% ABV, 25 IBUs), just in the nick of time; it’s available right now on tap at the brewery and licensees, and at ANBL growler stations this weekend.