Good morning, all! Welcome to yet another beautiful Friday, and another week chock-full of local beer news. Let’s get right at it, which really saves me from having to think of something clever to say, anyway!
• Bagtown Brewing, Sackville’s local brewery formed and brought to market by Mount Allison University students, has been granted their Brewery Agency Store licence, meaning that they are now able to sell growlers of their beer at their brewery location on 62 Main St. They had their official opening yesterday, where they filled their branded grunters (0.95 L) and other brewery’s clean growlers (in both sizes) with their Wobbly Duck English Pale Ale. They also debuted a new beer, an unnamed Belgian Pale Ale (4% ABV, 22 IBUs) that has “toasty, earthy, and light citrus” notes; they held a naming contest during their opening, but we still haven’t heard on what they decided to go with. There were also rumours that they may have gotten to tapping another new one, a 3.9% ABV, 45 IBUs session British Golden Ale named SubtleTEA, which was brewed with green tea leaves. If you missed the launch party, no worries! In the future, they’ll be open every Thursday and Friday from 4-10pm, Saturday 9am-2pm, and Sunday 5pm-midnight; keep an eye on their social media pages for when these hours go into effect. They’re also accepting keg orders, so be sure to bug your local bar/restaurant to get some Bagtown on tap.
• Next Tuesday, August 15th is National Acadian Day, and Moncton’s Bore City is once again releasing their Fricot Belgian Pale Ale to celebrate. Based on the Acadian chicken stew of the same name, the grist is made up of Pilsner malt, CaraRed, and Munich II, along with dehydrated potato flakes (10% worth!). Hopped with Summit, Czech Saaz and Hallertau Blanc to 50 IBU, a “generous amount” of Summer Savoury spice is steeped at the end of the boil to give even more of those Fricot aromas you Acadians crave! Finally, the beer was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain to produce spicy phenolic character to complement the rest of the brew. The final beer clocks in at 6.5% ABV Only three kegs are available, with two heading to the Laundromat, and one to Les Brumes du Coude… both locations will be tapping the beer on August 15th.
• Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has a new entry in their “Seeing” series of one-hopped American IPAs, with Seeing Enigma (6% ABV). An Australian hop variety, Enigma has only been around a couple of years in quantity, and has some interesting descriptors that include raspberries, redcurrant, and tropical fruit. Drop by the brewery to try it on tap or pick up some cans; like the other beers in this series, it’s a limited release and won’t be around for too long.
• Halifax’s dainty downtown destination, Tidehouse Brewing, released two new beers this week and have another on the way. The first, in the historical Belgian farmhouse style known as Grisette, sees a simple grain bill of Pilsner and wheat malts coming together with Perle hops for an easy-drinking, hazy brew they’re calling Grisette Family Vacation. Utilizing multiple Saison yeast strains to bring out appropriate flavours for the style, it clocks in at 5.1% ABV and hit the taps earlier in the week. Next, tapped yesterday, and with a name beer fans of a certain age might associate with a Wise Old Owl, To-wit! To-woo! is a Witbier given both traditional orange peel and coriander and non-traditional Citra hops at the end of the boil. At a light 4.6% ABV, it’s based on a grist of mostly Pilsner and wheat malts, with some flaked oats and Horton Ridge Munich malt added for good measure, making for a refreshing beer with a pleasant mouthfeel and a light citrus finish. And possibly as early as late this weekend, the gang will release a new “somewhat” Northeastern-style IPA called El Galaxarillo into the world. Hit hard with El Dorado, Galaxy and Amarillo hops at both whirlpool and a few days into primary fermentation, it features Canadian 2-Row malt and Horton Ridge Munich. Although light-bodied, it boasts 55 IBU, with passion fruit and other tropical flavours, and it packs a punch at 7.5% ABV. Look for these and other fine beers on tap in the Tidehouse tasting room and for growler fills besides.
• And speaking of Horton Ridge, the Bearded Beer Trio from 902 BrewCast sat down with Al Stewart, Connor Stewart, and Stephen Mastrioanni to learn about this important local malt producer’s origins and first year, as well as their new endeavour of a small brewing system to showcase the wide variety of flavours available from their malts. An exciting tidbit mentioned during the episode is the shift from malting barley from the Prairies to grain grown in our region, with PEI being at the forefront of that movement. And toss the 902 boys a vote in the Coast’s Best of Halifax poll going on now.
• Tatamagouche’s Tatamagouche Brewing has brought back a sour old friend this week, Philaroma. Continuing their line of Berliner Weisse beers, this kettle-soured wheat beer was aged on Organic dark cherries to give a deep pink colour and plenty of fruit character. Available on tap at the brewery for samples and growler fills, it has also been released in cans, available now at the brewery and at the private stores in HRM. And while you are visiting the brewery this weekend, be sure to grab a taste of their pilot batch of a Stout with a little something special added in: barrel-aged cold brew coffee. Using a barrel from the the distillery, green coffee beans were aged for several weeks, before being roasted and used to prepare a cold brew concentrate. That was added into the conditioning stout, and gives a blast of roast and coffee, as well as plenty of vanilla and spirituous flavours and aromatics. This beer is available in only a very small amount, so a little taste will have to do, until a future larger batch will be released.
• You may recall a “happy accident” occurring at Good Robot last year… What’s that? Which one? We need to narrow it down for you? 😉 During a brew of their flagship Tom Waits For No One, the kettle burner went kaput, and a new beer – The Fermenter Has Been Drinking – was born! Well, version 2.0 of that beer is now on tap at the GR taproom. With a “malty backbone heavy on the dark roast coffee” (thanks to the use of ten different malts in the grist, and the addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Sumatra Gayo coffee), and a dry finish, this 7.5% ABV, 49 IBUs American Coffee Stout will also be pouring at this weekend’s Seaport Beerfest. And in other GR news, next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday will be Copper Top, an Amber Ale of sorts with hop additions of Nelson Sauvin, Vic Secret, and Saaz. Finally, today’s Cask in the Sun will be Corn Light Honey Basil, which is their Leave me Blue with local honey and basil added. Get drinkin’!
• After a very successful launch to their growler evenings yesterday, Half Cocked Brewing in North Grant, NS, have announced that they will keep the good times rolling every week, making Thursday from 4-7 PM the time to drop by the brewery for a tour, a quick sample, and to grab more for enjoying at home. And keep an eye on their social media as their beers have been making appearances on the Guest Tap at Antigonish’s Townhouse Pub.
Lots to keep you busy this weekend (like every other weekend)!
• There are still a few tickets available for tonight and tomorrow‘s Seaport Beerfest, giving attendees the chance to try (or try to try) more than 350 beer and cider from local and out-of-region producers alike. One of the cool things that we are involved with is the Tap Local booth, where breweries not otherwise attending (or those attending have put aside a special keg) will be on rotation throughout the Fest. Put on by the Brewnosers and Ladies Beer League, drop by the table to catch beers from Moncton’s Tide & Boar, Fredericton’s TrailWay, a special collab with 2 Crows and our own accbchris, and much more. We’ll be pinging out over social media as the different kegs are tapped, to get you pumped!
• Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is joining the weekly one-off fun, with a new tradition of Cask Fridays. Every Friday at 4 PM they’ll tap a cask, probably a firkin (41 litres), but possibly a pin (20.5 litres) of something new, special, or just different. For their inaugural edition, this week’s vessel will contain Grapefruit Principal Pale Ale. Due to the limited quantities available (not likely to last beyond the end of the day), pints only of these beauties, no growler fills. So if you’re in Windsor on a Friday afternoon, your post-work pint just took a turn for the interesting.
• Continuing their once-a-fortnight tapping, Propeller Brewing‘s Gottingen Street location will be offering up Cask Night again this evening. From 5 PM, grab a pint of their Pilsner, cask-conditioned and dry-hopped with Strisselspalt hops from France. This hop is in the vein of the iconic Noble hops of Europe, offering spicy and herbal aromas, with a touch of citrus and fruity characters. As always, there is only one cask, so arrive early to avoid disappointment!
• With the crew in town for the Beerfest, the folks from Ontario’s Beau’s Brewery have to decided to make the most of their time here. After yesterday’s fun at Stillwell‘s Beergarden, they will be holding a second Tap Take-over at Good Robot Sunday. From noon, the tractors are pushing the robots off the taps, with plenty of beers not otherwise available in our region. And, in true GR form, there will be fun and games all day. Live music, cartoon and caricature drawing, and much more. Check the Events Page for more info.
• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection have announced their next event, which will take place on Wednesday, August 16th. The Ladies n’ Beer Social will take place at the James Joyce Irish Pub from 6:30-8:00 pm; for $10.50, you will get a flight of six different New Brunswick craft beers. And, of course, you’re encouraged to stick around afterwards for more beers, of which there are always plenty! Space is limited, so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
• Speaking of beer and the fairer sex, the Ladies Beer League turned four a while ago (how is that possible… didn’t they just form that group?), and will be holding a Belated Birthday Party at RockBottom on Wednesday, August 16th (maybe there’s something with that date…). Details are slim at the moment, but the fun starts at 7 pm, and rest assured there will be special beer pricing with your LBL membership!
• The third annual Upstreet Block Party is coming next week on Saturday, August 19th, and it’s looking like a chock-full schedule as usual! There will be no fewer than six bands providing live music, with plenty of activities throughout the day, including a pop-up barber shop, lawn games, retro video games, an artisan market, and more! Of course, there will be a beergarden for the adults, and lots of games, face painting, and a soda bar for the kids. It all starts at noon, and, as always, admission is free, so be sure to drop by and take part in the fun!
• Tickets now on sale for Newfoundland’s next big beer event, Craft Beer Attraction. Put on by the folks behind the Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal & Craft Beer Club, the Craft Beer Attraction will be taking place Sept 22 & 23 at St. John’s Curling Club on Mayor Avenue. The two day event will see Grand Tastings 7-10 PM each evening, with more than 100 different beers available on a pay-per-pour basis, plus three special events and tastings, including a guided tasting of Sam Adams Utopias, and a Brewmaster’s Luncheon featuring Trou du Diable. Grab your tickets today, and get excited!
A couple more notes today:
– Boxing Rock’s Three Sheets Cream Ale was released on Tuesday in celebration of the Tall Ships coming to Shelburne. It’s available at their retail location as well as their Farmers Market stalls.
– Garrison is re-releasing their Honey Lavendar Ale (7% ABV, 16 IBUs), a summer seasonal brewed with English Lavendar from Meander River Farm, and wildflower honey from Shubenacadie’s G.G. Smeltzer & Son. It’s available in 650 mL bottles, with just a few kegs heading out to select accounts.
– Picaroons has released Pivot #5 (8% ABV), with this iteration showcasing El Dorado, Mandarina Bavaria, and Pekko hop varieties, giving “complex herbal and floral aromas, with lighter citrus notes”.