NS Craft Beer Week

All posts tagged NS Craft Beer Week

So it’s spring, eh? Ya right! March came in like a lion, and while it may have taken a nap mid-way, it leaves just as powerful. Let’s hope those April showers wash away the snow and ice, and we can be done with the white stuff for a few months. The poor weather hasn’t kept the brewers down, however, as we’ve got lots of news from around the horn to share with you today. Without further ado, here we go!

• The results of the first Gahan Harbourfront Homebrew competition are in and the winner is none other than Ian Wheatley, who you may remember from his mini-takeover at Tidehouse Brewing earlier this month. According to Gahan brewmaster Kyle Jeppeson, Ian’s Trappist Single was exceptional, well-carbonated and featuring a very pleasant yeast and hop profile. Ian will be brewing a batch of his beer on the 5 bbl system at Gahan at some point to be sold alongside Kyle’s offerings. Congratulations are also in order to Justin Clarke of the Brathair Brewing collective, who placed second. Gahan is promising that the competition will be back next year and Kyle is looking for any suggestions this year’s participants might have towards improving it for next year.

• Travelling up the hill to the base of the Citadel, 2 Crows Brewing is putting yet another new beer on this week. At 6.8% ABV and 39 IBU, Shakedown Brett Porter marries the classic English style (perhaps the brownest of the brown ales) with earthiness and funk from Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast and a decidedly New World nose. Dry-hopped with earthy and fruity Calypso and straight-up orange grove Citra, it’s described by brewmaster Jeremy Taylor as “super earthy, dry, almost mossy in flavour, with a decent layer of funk.” This one wasn’t a big batch, so it’s not likely to be around for a long time. Catch it while you can at the brewery.

• Meanwhile, if you’ve been wondering if maybe there’s been a bit of a method to the madness of all these recent releases from 2 Crows, wonder no more! Thursday, April 13, will see 2 Crows doing their first tap takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth. Promising 10+ taps (although we’ve heard rumours that it could be as many as 14 in total), you’re sure to see your favourite 2 Crows brews alongside some of the interesting limited releases we’ve seen in the last few weeks. And if that’s not enough, knowing Jeremy, there’s sure to be a couple of brand new and interesting brews that will see their first light of day at the event. Plan to kick off your Easter Weekend 2 Crows x Battery Park style. Look for the full tap list to be revealed as the event approaches.

• A hop, skip, and a jump back into the heart of downtown will take you to Tidehouse Brewing on Salter Street at Barrington, who are also releasing a new beer today. Out Like a Lion Hoppy Wheat Ale is a 5.1% ABV Ale, brewed with a blend of Superior Pale, and Wheat malts, for a hazy, straw appearance, and lighter body. Lots of late additions of Centennial and Summit (during the post-boil chilling step, as well as dry hopping), give citrus flavours and aromas, which meld nicely with the banana notes from the yeast blend chosen. Grab a growler at the brewery today, and keep an eye on the board of a North End taproom tomorrow to grab a pint.

• The crew at Trider’s Craft Beer in Amherst have been quite busy, with a pair of new beers out, and a couple more in the pipeline for release soon. Making its debut as last month’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, Maccan Maple is now available to everyone, no plaid required! Rather than using water as the base liquid for the beer, they only used sap from Hidden Mountain Maple Farms in nearby Springhill! After mashing and boiling as usual, they added maple syrup to the wort as they pitched the yeast. The 5.0% ABV beer ends up with a strong maple flavour, and is sweeter than other beers of the same style on the market, making this a perfect dessert beer. The beer is freshly bottled, available at their brewery, as well as in growler fills. Kegs of this, and all of their beer, are also available, so keep an eye out at local watering holes for a tap.

• The second new beer from Trider’s is Brew-Deau Cream Ale, based on their very popular Christmas Cream seasonal, but tweaked the recipe to end up with a lighter appearance, thanks in part to the subbing in of corn, iconic in a Cream Ale grain bill. The 5.0% ABV beer is lightly hopped to 10 IBU, and will be a popular warm weather beer (if it ever arrives!). You can sip on a bit of summer now, however, as the beer is available in growler fills and 500ml stubbies at their Anson Ave location in the Industrial Park.

• There are a pair of other seasonals headed your way from Amherst, including White Ogre, a hybrid between Belgian Witbier and American IPA. What started as a test batch to satisfy co-owner Scott Parker’s want of a hoppier beer has proven quite popular with customers dropping by the brewery. A significant wheat base, with lots of orange peel and coriander added, but with a hoppy kick from CitraColumbus, and Willamette, resulting in a 5.5% ABV, 56 IBU White IPA. The beer is finishing now, and will be available in growler fills and bottles next week. And aiming for late April is Second Breakfast Oatmeal Stout, a 5% roasty dark stout with a creamy mouthfeel thanks to the addition of oatmeal during the brewing. We’ll have more details, including release date, later next month. Plus we’ll have more news to share on Trider’s plans at their current location.

• TrailWay has released the last batch of Good Aura Amber Ale for the season, as they transition to their summer lineup. Featuring lots of Mosaic hops for a stonefruit and tropical aroma, built upon the base of Munich, Caramel, and Ryle malts. Named after brewery rescue dog Aura, part of the proceeds are being donated to the Fredericton SPCA. Don’t forget that the brewery is dog-friendly to friendly dogs (and people!) and they have treats and water to keep them happy while their owners enjoy human treats. Look for the latest batch of their house IPA, Hu Jon Hops, which just dropped at the brewery as well, and will be making it out to the ANBL.

• Mama’s Brew Pub in Fredericton has a pair of new beers on tap these days: German Dunkel is a 4.5% ABV tart, refreshing, beer with a sour fruitiniess and dry finish. Their East Coast Pale Ale is replacing their East Coast Dry Hop American Pale Ale, with a change of recipe to provide more flavour and body to the base beer, with using loads of late- and dry-hop additions of Cascade and Citra for pine and citrus aroma and taste. At 4.8% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a session at Mama’s!

• In Rothesay, Foghorn Brewing has released Bob’s Your Uncle, a 6.5% ABV English IPA, coming in at a significant 65 IBU, with even more hops added after the fermentation, namely iconic English hops Fuggles and Goldings, as well as new kid on the block Jester. Currently only available on tap for pints and growler fills at the brewery on Clark Road, look for it to pop up around the area soon.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar is holding another Growler Day today, with three beers available to takeaway: Killington IPA is a 7.6% ABV hazy, North East IPA, featuring citrus and tropical notes from the Citra and Mosaic added throughout the brew. Method IPA is 7.0% juicy IPA as well, but in a different flavour and aroma profile than Killington. And finally Peach Shake is a Milkshake-style IPA, featuring lactose (milk sugar) and vanilla beans added to the beer for a sweeter flavour profile, enhanced by the addition of peaches during the brew session.

Good Robot will be releasing a new Beta Brew this Sunday called Brewster Juice. The name, we expect, is a nod to the millennia-long tradition of female brewers, and this beer was brewed on International Womens’ Day by Kelly Costello and two Good Robot Glee Club members, Jenn and Allana. This is a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) brew containing nothing but water, Canadian 2-row malt, Glacier hops from Fundy, yeast, and a “dry hop” of fresh raspberries. It weighs in at a nice and light 4.2% ABV and has an apricot-gold color.

• Up on the North Shore of NS, Tatamagouche Brewing has a new release for us this week from their Staff Series of beers. Tata cellarman Alex Martin developed the concept for a Brown IPA that melds the chocolate and dark fruit flavors of darker malts with big hop flavors and a solid IPA bitterness. Arriving at a husky 7.1% ABV and 80 IBU, the Tweed Wolf was hopped with the dank, piney and citrus-laden Simcoe and the fruity melon and berry subtlety of Huell Melon. The de rigeur IPA dry hop contains those same two varieties along with the very tropical El Dorado that should bolster an already heady nose. Expect this one to strike a nice balance between rich malts, firm bitterness and fruity hops. Cans will be available as of today at the brewery and should arrive at the private liquor stores next Thursday. Meanwhile, you’ll find it coming up soon at tap accounts in Halifax.

• Scuttlebutt in beer circles this week centered around a posting on commercial brewing forum ProBrewer regarding a currently operating Nova Scotia brewery being up for sale. Details are minimal and nobody involved is talking openly, which means that speculation is running rampant about who it is and why it they might be selling. With the Craft Beer industry in Nova Scotia growing as quickly as it has, especially over the last five years or so, one of the areas where we’re possibly a little behind the curve is in brewery turnover. As we look at some of the other markets where there has been a craft beer boom, however, we see that this is one of the hallmarks of a healthy industry. There are lots of reasons a brewery might go up for sale and many (some might argue most) of them don’t have anything to do with beer. While we certainly aren’t immune from kibitzing about it ourselves, as local beer lovers and fans of the scene we’re mostly interested to see who steps up to buy this business and how they approach taking it forward into its next evolution as a brewery. And no, we don’t know who it is either.

Be sure to check out our Events Calendar, as we keep it as up-to-date as we can with all of the goings on in our region. Remember that we don’t always repeat events we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, so your best bet is to check it periodically, or better yet, add it to your own iCal/gCal, and never miss out! Just click the +GoogleCalendar button on the bottom right of the calendar.

• Last week we told you about the 80/- Scottish-style Collaboration Ale created by the various members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Today is your chance to check out that contentious brew as it goes on tap for the first time at noon in the Good Robot taproom in North End Halifax. The first 48 patrons will receive a takeaway can of the beer, which will eventually be available in limited supply at Bishop’s Cellar, Harvest Wine & Spirits, and the NSLC. You’ll also be amongst the first to hear the first official events list for the upcoming Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, ask questions of Nova Scotia brewers, and try a custom Scottish Hot Dog from T DOGS.

• For some beer excitement in PEI, look no further than Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar today. They are hosting a BarNone Tap Takeover, with eight beer from Rose Valley flowing, plus some special beers as chosen by owner and brewer Don Campbell, including Unfiltered’s Fist of God IPA. Drop by from noon to enjoy some blasts from the past, as well as new releases. It also corresponds to the first day of PEI Burger Love, the cross-province month of more than 80 establishments (including HopYard) serving up some creative burgers, from PEI-raised beef.

Today is also a big day in Alma, New Brunswick, as the Buddha Bear Cafe continues their major renovations towards opening Holy Whale Brewing Company in late spring. Located in a former church on Main Street, the Cafe has been open for several months, serving up their own roasted coffee, as well as beer from around the Maritimes. Buddha Bear/Holy Whale owners, brothers Jeff and Peter Grandy, will be closing the cafe during weekdays, and re-opening full-time in a few months. So, what’s happening today at the Cafe? The brothers need your help to Drink the Church Dry! All day today, they are looking to push as many kegs as possible through their nine lines, to help make room in the beer fridge. Every time a keg kicks, they will be lowering the price of a pint by 50 cents, so it pays to stick around and enjoy the return on your investment.

Tomorrow is the HRM celebration of Big Spruce‘s 4th Anniversary, and the launch of the 2017 edition of Ra Ra Rasputin, with several variations of the Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout pouring from 11:30am at Battery Park, and noon at Stillwell. Look for non-barrel-aged versions (in keg and on nitro), 2016 vintage, plus several unique casks with fruit, coffee, and/or wood additions right in the firkin for an extra level of flavour. You may need to hit both locations for the full experience! Check out the event flyer here.

• Sunday April 2nd, is the BC Tap Takeover at Stillwell, postponed from the original March 25th date due to shipping delays. Enjoy a dozen beauties from Brassneck Brewery in Vancouver, Dageraad of Burnaby, and Four Winds Brewing from Delta. Featuring a wide variety in styles of beer, including Brassneck’s Stockholm Syndrome Saison, Sri Lanka Dubbel from Dageraad, and Four Winds’ Nectarous Dry-hopped Sour. No tickets required for the event, and the doors open at noon (unusual for a Sunday). The full taplist is available here.

• Also coming up at Good Robot is Latin@ Night, a celebration of Latin American Culture on Thursday, April 6 that will feature the release of Cerveza Latina, a Beta Brew in the Vienna Lager style that was created in collaboration with some of GR’s patrons from various South and Central American countries. It’s got a bready nose, lemony citrus on the palate, and a clean, crisp lager finish. The night also promises to feature broken Spanish, South American-influenced dishes from Black Sheep, a playlist designed to inspire dancing and the Mexican beer cocktails known as micheladas.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is celebrating National Beer Day on April 7th. Only the 7th, how strange, we figured any/every day was a great day to drink beer! But who are we to argue? They will be showing off their expanded tap selection, including a very limited edition of Big Brown Pure Maple. Only one keg will be served at Roof Hound,  so best to not miss the event that evening. Live music from Tide & Timbre will kick off the festivities at 9pm, plus they will have guest taps from their neighbour breweries Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove, and Lunn’s Mill from Lawrencetown. Check out the FB Events Page for more details.

Before we let you go, a couple more things…

– As the grand opening of their new digs in Windsor approaches, Schoolhouse Brewing is now preparing their “First Draughts” on the new system! We’ll certainly have more information as it becomes available, but for now we can tell you that Cam and Co. are looking for a Retail Manager to help run the new storefront operation. The details are at the bottom of their webpage.
Garrison is bringing back a big ‘un today as part of their Cellar Series, the Barrel Aged Ol’ Fog Burner barleywine. Weighing in at an hefty 11.5% ABV, it spent time in oak barrels from Glen Breton Rare Single Malt Whiskey from Glenora Distillery. It’s available in 650ml bottles costing $15.95 at the brewery and quantities are severely limited.
Picaroons’ Winter Warmer is done for the year, but they have just released a batch of it that has been aged on French Oak for two months. Available only on tap at their Roundhouse and Brewtique locations in Fredericton, General Store in Uptown Saint John, and The 5 Kings Brewhouse in St. Stephen.
YellowBelly in St. John’s has brought back their East Coast Cream Ale, a 5.0% ABV, 22 IBU beer brewed in collaboration/celebration of Top Shed Brewery on Australia’s East Coast. Featuring Pacific Gem and Mosaic hops from Australia, the beer is on tap at the brewery now, and in bottles to take away.

As a last mention this week, maybe be a little wary of any wild or unexpected claims made by local bars and breweries tomorrow…check your calendar before jumping to conclusions; we wouldn’t want anyone to worry about breaking a nail.

Happy Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week! We hope those of you in the province, or nearby, will make it out to one or more of the events happening all week, including the Cape Breton Kitchen Party in Sydney, or the Beer & Beethoven in Halifax. Check out the #NSCBW Guide we published yesterday for the scoop on the next 10 days of beer fun! And keep your eyes open for plenty of new beer alerts throughout the week; we’ll do our best to retweet and FB-share them so you won’t miss out!

• After a sneak peek at this year’s Saltscapes Expo, Sober Island is officially open, and serving beer! Their current home in Sheet Harbour, Henley House, opened yesterday for the season, so Eastern Shore fans will now have access to a steady supply of their beers. Drop by for a pint of their Oyster Stout, English Golden Rye Ale, or their very own Henley House Private Ale. This 4.8%, 34 IBUs Ordinary Bitter features all late-addition East Kent Goldings hops, and is fermented with an English yeast for a taste of the UK. Sober Island will also have a brew on at this weekend’s Stillwell Open, and is gearing up for festival season, with plans to attend the Cold Waters Seafood Festival June 4-5, and NorthumBeerFest at Pictou Lodge June 11. They are also in the process of finding a Farmers Market location for the summer, so stay tuned for that. While set up at the market, instead of growlers, they will be using Crowlers, the can-on-demand system popular in the US. These 950mL cans are great for taking on the boat, camping, hiking, or to the beach, where glass can be dangerous/forbidden. They will be installing the system in their rolling beer trailer, and will eventually institute Crowler Delivery runs to town.

• Turning now to another Island, there’s a couple of new beers on tap at the Gahan House Brewpub in Charlottetown, PEI. First up is ESB, an Extra Special Bitter that comes in at 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs. Featuring late hop additions of East Kent Goldings and Fuggles to boost the herbal and earthy aroma, this classic British style has been pouring for awhile now. More recent is Belgium Blue, a strong (7.6% ABV) Belgian style that was fermented with a blend of yeasts, giving it a “spicy banana” aroma and flavour, according to brewmaster Trent Hayes. Be sure to stop by the brewpub soon to give both a try! And swing by the PEI Brewing Co. taproom for a taste of their newest cask, Chocolate Cherry Lager, a 4.5% ABV beer that has cocoa nibs and organic tart cherry juice added in-cask.

• In other brewpub news, Big Tide also has a new beer pouring at their location in Saint John. Cascade SMaSH IPA features a grist of German Pilsner malt, and lots of late- and dry-hop additions of the well-loved Cascade hop variety, sourced from local Darlings Island Farm. Weighing in at 5.25% ABV and 39 IBUs, this “very drinkable” beer has a “beautiful citrusy flavour and aroma”, according to the brewery. It’s available now at the brewpub for pints and growler fills. And coming soon from Big Tide is their Wild Weed Summer Ale, a 4.9% ABV, 15 IBUs Wheat ale enhanced with sweet gale, yarrow, lemongrass, cardamom, and coriander.

• Back to Nova Scotia now, Meander River has re-released their Summer Solstice Session IPA, a hoppy and sessionable beer perfect for when the warmer weather decides to stay for good! Hopped with Amarillo and Citra in the boil, it was further dry-hopped with Cascade to provide even more fruit and citrus characteristics in the aroma and flavour. This 4.5% ale is available at the brewery and Forum Farmers’ Market while it lasts. Meander River has also brought back their Scotch Ale, Surf & Turf, just in time for Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week. A silver medal winner at the 2015 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards, it was brewed with peated malt and seaweed to give it a “smooth, savoury taste with an earthy scotch finish”; it weighs in at 6.2% ABV.

Propeller Brewing has released their newest One Hit Wonder this week. Lil’ SIPA is a 4.4% Session IPA, with 27 theoretical IBUs, but as is often the case in beer, the numbers do not tell the whole story! Massive late hopping favours aroma and flavour over bitterness, so this small package packs a massive taste wallop. As always, the OHW beers are ONLY available for growler fills at their Gottingen and Windmill locations, with select kegs sometimes sneaking out to local bars.

• After a brief hiatus, Spindrift‘s Seventh Wave Series returns this weekend. These smaller, pilot batches allow the creative minds at the brewery to run a bit wild, and brew up beers that would otherwise be impractical, or not feasible. The series continues Saturday during Open Brewery Day, with Raspberry Session Saison, a 5% beer with 6 kilograms of raspberries added to the batch. And if that wasn’t enough, it was dry-hopped with whole leaf Citra hops. Grab this beer starting at 11am tomorrow. And Spindrift will keep the Seventh Wave going all week, with a new one debuting every day (or whenever the previous beer empties). Next up is India Session Lager, a 4.4% light lager with massive amounts of Citra and Simcoe at flameout and whirlpool (while the beer chills), for a seemingly-low 25 IBUs, but with plenty of flavour and aroma from the volatile hop oils that would otherwise be boiled off if added earlier in the process. They have several 7W beers locked and loaded to release during NS Craft Beer Week, so be sure to follow their Twitter feed for the announcements.

• Fresh off the great announcement of $436,000 of ACOA funds destined for Cape Breton, Sydney’s Breton Brewing took delivery of a Cask canning machine this week, and will be packaging their core brands of beer in the coming weeks. Look for their cans to hit the shelves of the NSLC, and private stores in the first week of June. And be sure to drop by Breton tomorrow during Open Brewery Day, as they will be launching Crazy Angus DIPA. With the malt bill being an amped-up version of their Black Angus IPA, this 7.4% ABV beer features a massive citrus punch from 85 IBUs worth of hops, including the always-lovely Australian Galaxy.

• With little fanfare, Downeast Beer Factory opened Sunday. Located in the former Brewdebakers location at 612 Windmill Road, the bar and grill is currently serving product from across the province, with 14 beers and ciders on tap. In the coming weeks, they will be adding their own house-brewed beers to the lineup, including Mylde Wylde Blonde, Fiddler’s Irish Red and Game Changer IPA. Their unique building location features a drive-thru beer shop, which will allow them to sell beer to go from other Nova Scotia breweries, when it opens later in the spring.

• Speaking of openings, Stillwell has announced the new location of their mobile Beergarden: the vacant lot at 5688 Spring Garden Rd. Nestled between Bookmark and Eastlink and across the corner from the Public Gardens, it will feature their iconic converted shipping container slinging local and imported beer (upgraded to 10 taps) and handheld “Summertime BBQ” food. Their friends from Manual Food & Drink will be joining them in the space, for some sweet relief from the hot weather (think ice cream and pastries). Construction has already begun at the location, and they look to launch the space in early June.

In addition to NS Craft Beer Week, here are a few more beer events worthy of your attention in the next little while:

• Tomorrow, May 8th, Stillwell is holding the second of their Rare American Beer Series, with several bottles from Mystic Brewery in Massachusetts popping all day. The En Garde, Connards! Biere de Garde, Flor Ventus Barrel-aged Wild Beer, Saison Renaud Saison (also available on tap), and Table Beer will be available by the full bottle, or 5-7oz pours. Look for some special accompanying beers on tap, and, as always, great food from the kitchen.

• The next Meet Your Maker event at the James Joyce will feature Big Tide, and has been scheduled for next Friday, May 13th at 7:30 pm. As always, there is no charge to attend, just show up for some Big Tide beers (there will likely be four different ones on tap) and have a chat with brewer Wendy Papadopoulus!

• As part of this year’s Festival Inspire in Moncton, they will be holding a Craft Beer Village June 18th. We are still getting all of the ticket details, but we do know that Bore City, Celtic Knot, Flying Boats, Maybee, and Picaroons will all be in attendance.

• The date for the second annual Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest has been set for Saturday, September 24th at the Lion’s Club in Moncton. Featuring many local breweries pouring beer alongside local food stations, the 7:30-10 pm session (tickets $58+fee) will allow unlimited beer samples and a custom take-home glass; VIP tickets ($68+fee) will get you in at 6 pm, along with a special glass, guided beer tasting, and access to an industry panel discussion; a portion of the proceeds will go to the United Way. Keep your eyes on the event page, as tickets will go on sale sometime in July.

And in closing this week:

– Congratulations to Red Rover for winning medals at this year’s Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition! Their Blues, Fall, Fire, and White Witch all took home bronze medals at this competition. In celebration, they have (or had!) all these award winners available at their Cider House on Queen Street.
Maybee Brewing has released their new Birdseye Pale Ale and recent Elevensies Espresso Stout in cans; a currently-ongoing issue with ANBL’s ordering system has prevented cans from hitting ANBL stores this week, but there’s still lots available at the brewery’s location on Wilsey Rd, so drop in to pick some up this weekend!
– The James Joyce recently registered their venue on the popular beer app/website Untappd, which means their entire draught list, event schedule, and more is available and updated in real time! Check it out here.
– Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing a new batch of the Double Orange Ale (DOA) today. This batch of the 7.5% ABV SMaSH was fermented with a famous Vermont yeast for even more juicy goodness. Grab a growler when the brewey opens at noon, or a glass at Charm School from 4pm.

That’s it for this week; have a great weekend!

NS CBW 2016 splash

The 2016 NS Craft Beer Week starts this Friday. A presentation of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, the aim of the week is to showcase the innovative products of its members, and collaborations with bars, restaurants and licensees. With so many different events to keep track of, we thought it would be beneficial to have them all in one place. Scroll all the way to the bottom for a handy calendar and map.

But first, with all of these events going on over the coming days, we can expect to see several new beers (and some returning favourites) from many of the participating breweries. Here’s a taste of what will be joining the many regular-release beers that will be pouring all week…

Big Spruce, Propeller & Tatamagouche…

These three breweries came back together for an organic conspiracy of epic proportions…. Cerberus American IPA. This Certified Organic beer weighs in at 7% ABV, and features massive additions of Ahtanum, AmarilloCentennial, Chinook, Citra, Simcoe and Zythos hops for an assertive, but not offensive, aroma and flavour. After a sneak peek at Propeller’s Prop’r Cask Night last week, it will be available around the province beginning Friday, including the two Signature events kicking off the week, as well as on tap for growler fills at each of the conspiring breweries. There will also be a limited number of bottles available at Big Spruce and Tatamagouche.

“South” and “North” Collaboration Grogs

There will be two new “Grogs” at the Race the Kegs event on Sunday, May 8th at the Gahan House Harbourfront. Both are collaboration beers – one from the “South” team (Boxing Rock, Garrison, Hell Bay, Propeller, and Schoolhouse), and one from the “North” (Big Spruce, Good Robot, North, and Uncle Leo’s). Details are under wraps on each of these beers for now; you’ll have to attend the event that afternoon to find out for yourself!

We’ve heard rumours of more than a dozen other new beers being launched this week from all over the province, but many of the breweries are keeping mum about the details until after the Stillwell Open or Stubborn Goat Royal Rumble. Keep your eyes open for the 2016 launch of Big Spruce’s Silver Tart, Boxing Rock’s brand new Where There’s Smoke, Meander River’s returning Surf & Turf Strong Scotch Ale, Rudders’ brand new Sweet Georgia Brown Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, a whole gamut of Seventh Wave beers from Spindift, the return of Tata’s Deadeye DIPA, and many more.

NS Craft Beer Week Events

Throughout the week

NS Craft Beer @ Roy’s Lounge at Westin Nova Scotia
Daily, throughout the week
Roy’s Lounge is hosting several NS Craft Beer specials throughout the week, including specials on samples all day, May 6-15 ($5 gets you five samples of their NS beer); Craft Beer & Curds Happy Hour 5:00-7:00pm daily; Under the Clock on Us! on Friday & Saturday May 6,7,13,14, with live music and free menu samples.

Free Beer Tastings each afternoon at the private beer stores around town
Check the Social Media of Bishop’s Cellar, Cristall Wine, Harvest Wines, and RockHead.

Friday, May 6

Cape Breton Kitchen Party at Centre 200
7:00-10:00pm
Hosted by Cape Breton’s own Breton Brewing and Big Spruce Brewing, they’ve invited 10 mainland breweries to join them for a night of local live music, Nova Scotia Craft Beer, with Cape Breton restaurants creating some awesome food. More than 10 breweries, food vendors and three musical acts.
Tickets are $60, $30 for designated drivers.

Beer & Beethoven with The Irish Descendants at Halifax Forum (Friday Session)
7:00pm-10:30pm
Beethoven in jeans, a pint in hand? The master would revel in the rousing!
Wear your jeans and come on out for Symphony Nova Scotia’s 25th annual end-of-season fundraising party! Hear great music, sample local craft beer, and try out an instrument at Long & McQuade’s Fun Zone – all in a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of pints and loads of fun. Featuring orchestral music from classical to Celtic, special guest performers The Irish Descendants, and a delightful selection of the Nova Scotia Craft Brewers’ finest, it’s sure to be a rollicking good time for all. Come thirsty!
Breweries taking part in sampling May 6th: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing, Gahan House, Granite Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, Tatamagouche Brewing
Plus beers from these breweries will be available for purchase: Meander River Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, North Brewing, Propeller Brewing, Spindrift Brewing
Tickets are $43.99.

Kitchen Party After-Party at Commoner Table and Tap
10:00pm-2:00am
After the Cape Breton Kitchen Party, drop by the Commoner for more music and great beer. Big Spruce and Breton Brewery are taking over their taps for the evening.
No tickets required.

Saturday, May 7

Craft Beer Week Dinner at Sugar Moon Farm
6:00-9:30pm
Field Guide Restaurant will present a seasonally themed three course meal, thoughtfully paired with the North Shore’s delicious craft beer, including Tatamagouche Brewing and Uncle Leo’s – taking place at the ever charming Sugar Moon Farm.
$55 per ticket, $12 for flight of 4 North Shore Craft Beer

Beer & Beethoven with The Irish Descendants at Halifax Forum (Saturday Session)
7:00pm-10:30pm
More great music by the Irish Descendants and Symphony Nova Scotia!
Breweries taking part in sampling May 7: Gahan House, Meander River Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, North Brewing, Propeller Brewing, Spindrift Brewing
In addition, beer from these breweries will be available for purchase: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing, Granite Brewing, Nine Locks Brewing, Tatamagouche Brewing
Tickets are $43.99.

Open Brewery Day: Many of the breweries in Nova Scotia will be open for tours and tastings, and a few have some special events planned as well. Drop by and show them some love! May 7th also coincides with National Homebrew Day, so several breweries have invited members of the Brewnosers in to set up their brewing gear to chat about this fun and rewarding hobby!

Open Brewery Day at Big Spruce
12:00pm-4:00pm
They will be hosting Rolling Bricks Pizza, who will be bringing their roving Wood Fired Pizza Oven for free food, with live music by Angelo Spinazolia. Samples of all of their beers will also be available.

Open Brewery Day at Boxing Rock
12:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by Boxing Rock for free brewery tours and tastings, charity-run BBQ, free cake, music and lots of other fun! Maybe even some axe throwing if the weather holds…

Open Brewery Day at Breton Brewing
9:00am-10:00pm
Breton Brewing is inviting homebrewer Mike Morrison into the brewery for the day. Come by to chat beer, learn the process of brewing, and pick up tips and tricks on brewing your own at home. Free brewery tours all day, as well.

Open Brewery Day at Gahan House Harbourfront
11:30am-4:30pm
Brewmaster Karen Allen will be on-site discussing various brew topics, and local homebrewer Tim Gregory will be helping to brew a batch on their system.

Open Brewery Day at Garrison Brewing
10:00am-5:00pm
Home brewer Mike Edwards demoing the Grainfather all-in-one home brew setup, brewing up a Gluten free Rauchbier. Asado will be on their patio cooking some awesome food, and there will be Maple Beer Bacon Cupcakes for sale!

Open Brewery Day at Good Robot
10:00am-10:00pm
Join Good Robot for the grand opening of the GastroTurf at noon, their new beer garden and frolicking space. Plus, local homebrewer Mike Orr to brew a Chocolate IPA LIVE for your viewing and brewing pleasure. This is a great chance to tour the brewery FREE, meet the cofounders and ask any beer questions you may have!

Open Brewery Day at Granite Brewery
10:00am-8:00pm
Drop by Stairs Street to see what Kevin Keefe is brewing up today!

Open Brewery Day at Hell Bay Brewing
12:00pm-5:00pm, 7:00-9:00pm
Drop by Hell Bay for Open Brewery Day! And stick around for Beer School for Beginners in the evening, 7:00-9:00pm (reservations are required).

Open Brewery Day at Meander River Farm
11:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by the Farm to meet your local brewer and farmer! There will be tours, tastings, and the patio is open!

Open Brewery Day at Nine Locks
10:00pm-5:00pm
Tastings, prizes and tours every hour on the hour 10-5. Bring the family and have some fun!

Open Brewery Day at North Brewing
12:00pm-9:00pm
Drop by North’s locations for a new beer launch, and $2 off growler fills, $1 off 750 fills.
In Dartmouth, brewer Josh Herbin will be on hand from 12:00-3:00 to chat brewing, there will have a home brewing demo going on inside the store.

Open Brewery Day at Propeller Brewing (Gottingen)
12:00pm-3:00pm
Drop by Propeller to watch they brew up the next One Hit Wonder beer, chat with their brewers, tour the facilities, and try some samples of their brews.

Open Brewery Day at Rockbottom
4:00pm-8:00pm
Drop by Rockbottom to learn about brewing ingredients and the brewing process, and check out their sweet brewing system!

Open Brewery Day at Rudder’s Brewpub
12:00-4:00pm
Drop by Rudder’s for tours of their three-floor brewing system, and reduced-price samples.

Open Brewery Day at Spindrift Brewing
11:00am-5:00pm
Drop by Spindrift to check out their brewery, and watch local homebrewers Derek and Kevin brew up something special! There will be sausages from Sweet Williams, and they will be launching the next Seventh Wave that day, Raspberry Session Saison.

Open Brewery Day at Tatamagouche Brewing
10:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by TataBrew for self-guided tours of the brewhouse, and to check out their expanded storefront. They will be selling flights of their beers, and have homebrewer Mark MacKay brewing a pilot batch.

Sunday, May 8

Stillwell Open at Stillwell Beer Bar
12:00-8:00pm
Stillwell invited brewers and homebrewers from across the province to put together their best Session and Imperial beers. During two sessions, each featuring twelve unique beers, look for one-off small batches and brand new beers being launched. They will be served blind (unknown brewer or style), and the public will vote on their favourites. The beers will be revealed as the voting closes, with the favourite beer taking home the title!
12-4pm: Session Beers
4-8pm: Imperial Beers
No tickets necessary, pay-as-you-go.

Race the Kegs at Gahan Waterfront
1:oo-4:00pm
Join the arrival party for collaboration brews from the North and South of Nova Scotia. Craft breweries from across the province have teamed up to face off for this challenge, which includes racing the kegs of their collaboration brews to Halifax Harbour by sail. Live music, pirate-themed food, and pirates, all while enjoying the competing Grogs.
No tickets necessary, pay-as-you-go.

Monday, May 9

Pints and Poses at Boxing Rock Brewing
6:00-8:00pm
The experience will start with 60 minutes of all-levels yoga delivered by Brittany Hachey of Yoga Room of Essence followed by a 60 minutes brewery tour and tasting!  A heads up – the beer doesn’t have to wait until the end!  So come early, grab a pre-pose pint, and stay to socialize and relax afterwards!  It is sure to be an amazing, relaxing night that you wont want to miss!
Tickets are $30, pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, May 10

A Walk In the Park at Battery Park Beer Bar
5:00-10:00pm
This is a new Craft Beer Week Signature Event hosted by the newly opened Battery Park in Downtown Dartmouth. The event begins with an oyster and beer reception, followed by a 5 course dinner where a local chef, brewer and farmer work together to pair each dish. This event will feature new and unique brews. Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Garrison, Meander River, Nine Locks, North, Propeller, Spindrift, and Tatamagouche will all be pouring special beers.
Only 40 tickets are to be sold and the price is $75.

Wednesday, May 11

Beer Cocktail Face-Off at The Auction House
7:30pm-10:00pm
Nova Scotia Craft Brewers and some of the province’s best mixologists converge for a night of revelry that will expand your beer boundaries. Representatives from 10 cocktail bars will be paired with 10 Nova Scotia Craft Breweries and challenged to come up with the ultimate craft concoction. Attendees will vote on their favourites and a winner will be crowned!
Big Spruce with Kyle Macaskill (The Auction House)
Boxing Rock with Mark Bradbury (The Bicycle Thief)
Breton with Bret Dodson (Durty Nelly’s)
Garrison with Matt Conway (Stubborn Goat)
Good Robot with Neil Daoust (Shuck)
Hell Bay with Kyla Wright (Gahan House)
North with Steven Cross (Temple Bar)
Propeller with Shane Beehan (Lot 6)
Spindrift with Josh Jackman (Stubborn Goat)
Tatamagouche with Liam Mcneil (Good Robot Tap Room)
Tickets are $20, and include 6 samples, with more cocktails available for purchase once you pick a favourite(s).

Thursday, May 12

NS Craft Beer Royal Rumble at Stubborn Goat
8:00pm-2:00am
A wrestling themed blind showdown of Nova Scotia’s finest Craft Breweries hosted by the Stubborn Goat in Halifax. Breweries will bring their best one-off creations to battle it out in an all out “vote with your throat” showdown. The first keg emptied will win the title of being Nova Scotia’s Craft Beer Heavyweight Champion. In this challenge, if you ain’t 1st, you’re last. This event will run from 8pm – close.
Tickets are now sold out, BUT it is open to the public as a pay-as-you-drink event.

Unfortunately, The Science of Beer at the Discovery Centre has been cancelled due to low ticket sales.

Friday, May 13

Craft Beer Week Brews Cruise – Silva
7:00pm-8:30pm
Sailing and beer: the ultimate Nova Scotia pairing.
Halifax’s beer enthusiasts will be in and out of bars all week to celebrate Craft Beer Week. In connection with the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia‘s Craft Beer Week, Murphy’s is excited to be hosting the ultimate beer experience – by bringing you out on the water.
The purchase of your ticket will include a delicious craft brew of your choice, and a 1.5 hour sail. Cruise through the harbour on the Tall Ship Silva while you enjoy craft beer from around Nova Scotia.
Tickets are $23.50.

Saturday, May 14

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Afternoon Session) at the Cunard Centre
1:30pm-4:00pm
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be available for purchase, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.
You will be able to taste craft beers from the 21 following Nova Scotia Craft Brewers: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing Company, Breton Brewing Co., Gahan House, Garrison Brewing Co., Good Robot Brewing Company, Granite Brewery, Hell Bay Brewing Company, Meander River Farm, Nine Locks Brewing Co., North Brewing Company, Paddy’s Irish BrewPub, Propeller Brewing Company, Rare Bird Craft Beer, Rockbottom Brewpub, Rudder’s Brew Pub, Schoolhouse Brewery, Sea Level Brewing, Spindrift Brewing Company, Tatamagouche Brewing Co., and Uncle Leo’s Brewery.
Tickets are $35, $15 for designated drivers.

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Evening Session) at the Cunard Centre
6:30pm-9:00pm
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be available for purchase, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.
You will be able to taste craft beers from the 21 following Nova Scotia Craft Brewers: Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing Company, Breton Brewing Co., Gahan House, Garrison Brewing Co., Good Robot Brewing Company, Granite Brewery, Hell Bay Brewing Company, Meander River Farm, Nine Locks Brewing Co., North Brewing Company, Paddy’s Irish BrewPub, Propeller Brewing Company, Rare Bird Craft Beer, Rockbottom Brewpub, Rudder’s Brew Pub, Schoolhouse Brewery, Sea Level Brewing, Spindrift Brewing Company, Tatamagouche Brewing Co., and Uncle Leo’s Brewery.
Tickets are $35, $15 for designated drivers.

Sunday, May 15

Nova Scotian Kitchen Party Brunch at elements on hollis
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Join elements on hollis for a very special Sunday Brunch on Sunday, May 15. Brunch will literally be a kitchen party, allowing you to join the chefs in the kitchen as you dine.
Sip at a selection of craft beers throughout your meal. elements on hollis‘ culinary team will be serving up delicious Cape Breton inspired dishes. Join us for an Islander’s spin on our Halifax brunch.
Tickets are $35.00.  Reservations are recommended (902) 496-7960.

#NSCraftBeerWeek Calendar and Map

For those of you looking for an easy way to carry this list in you pocket, add the following calendar to your to Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCal.

Full-sized map on a separate page.

Looks like it’s going to be a great, fun-filled week! Keep an eye on this page, as we’ll be updating the list and calendar as last-minute events are announced. Be sure to get out there and support your local breweries, drink some awesome beer, and be sure to say “hi” if you see us around!

Good morning! Once again, things are really hopping this week with beer news in Atlantic Canada. We might as well get used to it, as it’s only going to continue to rise!

• Attention South Shore residents, we’ve got details of a new brewery heading your way! Saltbox Brewing will be opening this summer at 363 Main Street in Mahone Bay. The 12 hectolitre brewhouse will be producing beer for restaurants and pubs, Farmers’ Markets in Lunenburg County, and with distribution into HRM as well. While they haven’t settled on exact recipes yet, they expect to launch with a Wheat Ale, Pale Ale, and IPA. Renovations continue at their location, which will include retail sales and a taproom. We’ll keep you up-to-date on their progress.

Grimross has brewed up a new beer in their Maritime series, which should be released soon. Maritime Black IPA will feature “lots of chocolate and coffee on the nose and palate”, thanks to the addition of dark, roasted malts to the grist. Hopped and dry-hopped with all-New Brunswick-grown Cascade and Chinook (from Moose Mountain Hops), expect some serious fruitiness on the nose with this beer! Like the other beers in this series, it was fermented with a neutral American Ale yeast strain, to let the malt and hops shine through. Weighing in at 6.7% ABV and 61 IBUs, it should be available on tap and for growler fills by next week or so. Grimross also announced that they have just brewed their popular Rye IPA this week, after a hiatus of over a year; look for that one to return sometime in February.

• After some feedback from customers and tap accounts, Flying Boats will be bringing back their Kissing Rock Blonde Ale, their self-described “almost-session-like” beer at 5.3% ABV. With a grist made up mostly of Canadian 2-row base malt (and a little specialty malt for a bit of complexity), the beer is hopped to 32 IBUs with Centennial. A “clean” and easy-drinking beer, it’s meant to please craft beer lovers, while easing beginners out of mass-produced light Lagers. It will be pouring tomorrow at Fredericton’s NB HopSpiel, and will be available at select accounts soon as well.

First City continues to test the waters with new styles, as they released another new beer earlier in the week. Rye Pale Ale was brewed with a “significant amount” of Rye malt to give the beer its characteristic spiciness, and was hopped with Mt. Hood and Columbus throughout the boil, resulting in a “citrusy/floral aroma”, according to the brewery. It comes in at 6.8% ABV, and was first tapped at the James Joyce in Fredericton. Look for kegs to be tapped at Bourbon Quarter and the R-Bar in Saint John any day now.

• The winning entry for this year’s Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge is now available. Czech Out Eric, a Czech Dark Lager brewed with competition winners Eric Gautier and Justin Clarke, was step-mashed and fermented cool (the historically-correct approach to brewing this style), and then lagered for a period to allow the flavours to smooth out even more. A malt-forward beer, it’s easy-drinking at 5.4% ABV and 25 IBUs. You can find it at the brewery now for growler fills, and it should be hitting taps soon/now at Stillwell, Battery Park, and the Good Robot taproom.

• The PEI Brewing Co. brewed up a Russian Imperial Stout a while back; this is the beer that went into barrels a couple of months ago. While that portion of beer is still taking in barrel character, the un-barreled version – named Tide She RISes – has been released at select locations on tap (at PEIBC and Gahan House in Charlottetown, as well as Stillwell in Halifax, and the Saint John Ale House and Lemongrass in Saint John). It weighs in at a hefty 8% ABV and 70 IBUs. They plan on emptying the barrels and bottling that version in 4-6 weeks, which will be released as this year’s Ice Boat. Also, keep an eye out for the return of Black Banks, which was canned this week and will be shipping to the PEILCC and ANBL shortly. This 5.2% ABV, 50 IBUs Black IPA/India Black Ale was hopped with AmarilloNelson Sauvin, and Galaxy.

• One of the brewers from PEI Brewing Co posted a great introduction on some of the Quality Control steps the beers at PEIBC go through before it leaves their brewery. With even a small lab, they are able to confirm proper carbonation, ensure low dissolved oxygen (to prevent oxidization), and make sure that the beer contains no spoiling yeasts and bacteria, via plating. Sending out a proper product is important to the brewery, and drinkers, to be sure you are enjoying the beer the way the brewery intended! Check it out here.

• Speaking of PEI breweries, drop by The Alley this Saturday, where BarNone, Gahan, PEI Brewing, and Upstreet will be facing off in a winner-take-all battle for bowling domination. Each brewery will have a team or two, and there will several lanes available for the public to take part in the fun. They will be pouring beer from all of the local breweries, and after the bowling is done, there will be live entertainment from Adam MacGregor and The Foes. The fun kicks off at 7:30 pm; check out the details here.

• Oromocto’s Johnny Jacks has brewed up a pair of new beers that are out now/hitting the taps soon. Sassy Blonde Ale is a 3.9% ABV, 20 IBUs Blonde Ale, with a slightly sweet, biscuity character from the malt, and light fruit character from hops. This beer has been spotted on tap at the James Joyce. The second new beer is Viking Ale. Brewed in the spirit of the style of ale brewed by Vikings centuries ago, this amber-coloured beer features additions of Heather tips, mugwort, and unpasteurized honey for spicy aromas and flavours. Backed up by “earthy, aromatic hops”, this one should be available on tap at the Sour Grape Cafe by mid-February.

• Quite similarly, Pump House will be releasing Gruit on International Gruit Day this Monday, February 1st. Gruit is a centuries-old style that features the addition of multiple plants to add variety of aromas and flavours. Pump House brewed up a very small batch (one keg only) for release only at their brewpub in Moncton. This beer has had Sweetgale, Woodruff, Mugwort and Wormwood added. It won’t last long in such a limited supply, so be sure to drop by the brewpub this Monday if you’d like a taste!

• We have the details on today’s weekly 7th Wave Series from Spindrift: Signal Fire is described by the brewery as a “Rauch Pils” (think: smoky-Pilsner). Smoked cherry malt was used in the grist to give the light-amber-coloured beer a “distinct smoky flavour” to go along with the sweet and fruity characteristics. It’s 5.7% ABV and 25 IBUs, and – as usual – won’t last long due to the small quantity brewed (last week’s Knotty Buoy sold out before 5pm); drop by the brewery today for a growler fill. And a note for our readers in PEI and New Brunswick: Spindrift will soon be available in your local LCs. No exact dates just yet, but we do know that a shipment was made to the Island, and that the same will be done shortly for New Brunswick. And, in case you didn’t know, their flagship Coastal Lager is already available province-wide in Newfoundland and Labrador.

• Uncle Leo’s is releasing a new beer today, an American Pale Ale named Jam Session. Bittered with Magnum, it features Cascade in both the late additions and the dry-hop, for lots of fruit and citrus in the nose. Quite sessionable at 5% ABV and 35 IBUs, you can find it in bottles at the brewery in Pictou, and at all four private liquor stores in Halifax this weekend. It will also be available at the New Glasgow Farmers’ Market tomorrow, and on tap at better beer establishments in Halifax.

• There’s been lots going on at Paddy’s Irish Brewpub recently, so let’s get you up to speed! There are several new beers available on tap at both their Kentville and Wolfville locations, and Head Brewer Kirsten MacDonald is sharing the details with us:
– Mocha Stout, which was brewed with four pounds of cold-pressed coffee (sourced from local roaster Just Us!). Big roasty coffee flavours are balanced by subtle dark chocolate notes from the addition of chocolate malt. This 5.1% ABV, 25 IBUs ale also has a slight sweetness from the addition of lactose.
– Pilsner is a classic German-style lager. Hopped with Saaz, a noble European variety, to balance its light maltiness, making for a “pleasing and approachable brew”. 5.8% ABV, 30 IBUs.
Extra Special Bitter, Paddy’s latest hoppy beer, is amber-coloured and showcases earthy, piney, and light citrusy hop flavours and a robust bitterness, all of which “complement the caramel malt notes”. 5.5% ABV, 50 IBUs.
– Weizenbock is their seasonal feature this time of year, a hearty, dark German wheat beer. With aromas and flavours of clove and banana to pair with the rich chocolate and caramel maltiness, it’s a great style to be drinking this time of year. This one comes in a bit stronger at 6.8% ABV, and 25 IBUs.

• In more news from Paddy’s, they are holding a Brewer’s Dinner next Wednesday, Feb 2nd. From 7-9pm, upstairs in the Brewer’s Hall at their Wolfville location, the talented chefs have worked directly with Head Brewer MacDonald to create a four-course meal prepared with and to pair with their beers. As MacDonald is vegetarian, those are options for each course as well. Choices of mussels or cheddar ale soup to start, Parmesan risotto as an appetizer, pork tenderloin or marinated seitan with sweet potato puree as an entree, and carrot cake to finish, all paired with different Paddy’s beers. Tickets are only $30+tax and in limited numbers, available at Paddy’s and by phone (902-542-0059).

• Over at Halifax’s Gahan, we can expect to see an upcoming batch of their Kellerbier on tap soon. This malty-sweet beer has a hazy appearance thanks to large, late additions of the Hersbrucker hop, giving the aroma some herbal and floral notes. Carbonation will be low, as the beer was brewed in the traditional sense. It was also infused with oak, “to mimic the wooden barrels it would have been served in back in the day”, according to brewer Karen Allen. It should come in at 5% ABV and 30-35 IBUs.

• After a very popular event earlier this month, the crew at Good Robot are holding another quiet reading event at their Tap Room next week. Drop by The Imbibrary on Tuesday, Feb 2, from 6-8pm, where the music will be turned down, cellphones are to be powered off, and books and beer are the focus. Be sure to arrive early, as the first event ended up being a packed house! While there, or even sooner, grab a pint of their Burban Legend American Pale Ale, back again from a brief hiatus. This version 3.0 features Cascade and Citra used prominently in the brew and dry-hopping, for a big citrus aroma.

• Tickets are now available for the next Beer Tasting at Bishop’s Cellar. Being held next Friday, Feb 5, this informal tasting will give a nice overview of the beers currently available on their shelves. They will be tasting both local and imported beer, for a great variety of tastes and styles. Ever wanted to try one of the neat beers on their shelves before committing to a full bottle? Now’s your chance! As always, these are catered events with snacks to keep you happy. Grab your tickets today!

Stillwell Beer Bar has released their plans for Valentine’s Day, and we’re all invited. They’re sharing the love with Tatamagouche Brewing, who are taking over their taps with a dozen draft beers and three casks. In addition to Tata’s core brands, the expected list will include brews from their Giant Beer series (Giantess Barley Wine, Two Rivers Baltic PorterRussian Imperial Stout, Barrel Aged Ging’ Sync, and both 2014 and 2015 vintages of Barrel Aged Dreadnot), and their recent hoppier beers, Full Circle American Wheat, Deception Bay IPA, and Deadeye DIPA. In addition to these, they will be debuting a SW x Tata collaboration, a hoppy, West Coast version of an English Golden Ale. We’ll share the intimate details of that brew ahead of the party. One of Stillwell’s events would not be complete without some great food, so keep an eye out for some sexy food for “Lovers” and a tongue-in-cheek take on “Loners” food… think solo-sized bucket of chicken, and a tub of cookie-dough ice cream. Tickets are on sale now, for a single session beginning at 4 pm, and the price will include a custom event t-shirt.

• They have also shared their plans for Péché Mortel Day. The famous Coffee Stout from Montreal’s Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! is being released Feb 27, and local bars Stillwell (and Moncton’s Tide and Boar) are taking part. In Halifax, they will be pouring the 9.5% ABV original beer, plus five variants (Péché Mortel Dry, a drier-finishing and higher ABV (10%) version; Péché Mortel Special, with a different type of coffee in the brew; Péché Mortel Bourbon 2015, last year’s release aged for at least 6 months in Bourbon barrels; Péché Veniel, a 6.5% ABV lighter version of the original; Péché aux pêches, the original brew with peaches added to the brews). The party kicks off at noon, no tickets are required, and small pours are available to make it easier to try them all.

• Tickets for the evening session of the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival in March are officially sold out! Luckily, there are some tickets still left for the afternoon session, so if you missed out on evening tickets, now’s your chance to still get in to sample a huge amount of local, craft beer! Events for the days leading up to the festival (making up the first Fredericton Craft Beer Week) are coming together; click here to start planning! We’ve created a calendar to make planning for the week a little easier. It can be added to your own calendar (desktop or on your phone) by clicking the “+ Google Calendar” link in the lower right.

• And in other FCBF news, remember that the first NB HopSpiel takes place tonight/tomorrow in Fredericton. While team registration for the curling is closed, there are still tickets available for the FROSTival Beer Garden tomorrow from 12-6 pm, featuring six different local breweries pouring various samples of beer, cider and mead.

• A reminder that NS Craft Beer Week is coming back in May. One of the events we took part in last year was the Science of Beer event at the Discovery Centre. Good news, the event is back, bigger than ever, and tickets are now on sale! Taking over the DC on May 12 will be six breweries (Boxing Rock, Garrison, Propeller, Sea Level, Spindrift, and Tatamagouche), each giving presentations on different parts of the brewing – and drinking – process. Angeline MacLennan will be joined by our own Chris McDonald to give an introduction/overview talk, and wander around the space causing trouble. Grab your tickets today, it was a fun time last year! We’ve set up a calendar for NS Craft Beer Week as well, and will be sharing more details on the events as we receive them.

A few parting shots this week:
– On the ANBL Growler fills this week: the return of Caraquet Flyer Eisbock from Distillierie Fils du Roy.
BarNone Brewery has a pair of hoppy beers coming our way soon: Vic’s Citra Secrets and Proud Warrior IPA were brewed up this week, and will be released in early March.
Unfiltered has just re-released their extremely popular Double Orange Ale, their SMaSH ale brewed with 2-row and boatloads of the delicious Citra hop.
– Garrison has both their Pucker Up and Pear Hug back on tap at the brewery for growler fills. And don’t forget, homebrewers, that your entries for the 2016 Garrison Home Brew-Off are soon due; bottles of your Experimental IPA need to be dropped off by Thursday, Feb. 11th.

Beer time! Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve been swept up in the fun and excitement that is #NSCraftBeerWeek, with lots of great events, dinners, and tap takeovers. There are still a few events this weekend, including tonight’s Brews Cruise on the tall ship Silva and Tap Takeover at Windsor’s Spitfire Arms (featuring Meander River, Schoolhouse and Sea Level), tomorrow’s sold out Full House Craft Beer Fest, and Sunday’s Brewer’s Brunch at the Stubborn Goat, so be sure to take them in.

• The Race the Kegs event will take place tonight at the Gahan House Harbourfront. Racing in from the Bedford Yacht Squadron on 24-foot sailboats, the North and South teams will be competing to see who can get their kegs tapped and pouring first. The event kicks off around 6:30pm. The “South” team (Boxing Rock, Gahan House, Hell Bay and Sea Level) are releasing Rule 42 – brewed with all English hops (Challenger, Phoenix, and Bramling Cross), the beer was named after the the boat-racing rule (stating that only the wind and water can be used to increased, decrease, or maintain a craft’s speed). It clocks in at 5.3% and 50 IBUs. As for the “North” team (Big Spruce, Good Robot, North Brewing, and Uncle Leo’s), their Northern Bight was brewed with plenty of Crystal 120 L for colour, and to boost the “spicy body”. Hopped entirely with UK Goldings in the boil, and dry-hopped with… well, that’s a secret, and we can’t tell you! This 6.3% ABV, 60 IBUs ale was fermented with Nottingham, a dry English yeast. May the best beer win! No tickets are necessary to come take part in the fun, and there will be plenty of other NS Craft Beer on tap as well to celebrate the event. These two beers will then be available for growler fills at their participant breweries, and on tap at bars around the province.

• With their opening day getting closer and closer, Upstreet Craft Brewing has announced details on their first three beer releases. The first is Commons Pilsner; brewed in the Bohemian style, the beer was named after its birthplace – in the 18th century, the brewery location used to be known as the “Commons”, or the outskirts of Charlottetown proper. Fermented with a lager yeast strain, this Czech-style beer is brewed with real Czech ingredients, including Bohemian floor-malted pilsner malt, and lots of Czech Saaz hops (with plenty being added late in the boil to increase the spicy aroma/flavour indicative to the style). Coming in at 4.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, this “balanced and crisp” Lager is the perfect style for summer-drinking!

•  Next up is an American Pale Ale named in honor of all those who helped the brewery come to fruition… Do-Gooder APA. Proudly brewed using 50% Maritime Malt, it features a malty backbone and medium bitterness, with a blast of citrus and fruitness in the aroma, thanks to hop bursting (adding most of the hops very late in the boil). Something to satisfy the hopheads but also accessible for those who don’t think they like hoppy or bitter beers. The Do-Gooder weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 45 IBUs. And we’ve heard a rumour about a Belgian-inspired fruit beer to be revealed shortly!

Sea Level has released their returning summer seasonal, Summer Blonde Pilsner. Brewed with 100% Maritime Malt, this “crisp, refreshing” Lager is hopped with the aptly-named Australian variety, Summer. Coming in at a sessionable 4.8% ABV, the beer finishes with a fairly-firm bitterness, at 40 IBUs. You can find it at the brewery now for growler fills and can purchases; look for it at private liquor stores across Halifax, soon.

• The folks behind Lake of Bays, a craft brewery from Baysville, ON, are coming to New Brunswick, and there will be a a series of beer dinners to celebrate:

In Fredericton, the Lake of Bays’ owners will be dropping by the King Street Ale House on May 27th, and Chef Aaron Fraser will be putting together a four course meal to pair with their offerings. The beers will be Rock Cut LagerCrosswind Pale Ale, Spark House Red Ale10 Point IPAOld North Mocha Porter, and a special Cask beer brewed for the event. Tickets will be going on sale very soon, keep on eye on the KSAH Facebook and Twitter feeds for details.

In Moncton, they are partnering with the  Moncton Beer League and local Chefs Dan & Cheryl McLenaghan for an event at La Teraz, on May 28th. A four course menu will be paired with four different Lake of Bays beer, plus a few others, and a souvenir glass. The dinner begins at 7:30 (doors at 6:30), and tickets are available now. The last Moncton Beer League dinner sold out well before the event, so don’t delay! Early bird tickets are available until May 20th for a $10 savings, ticket sales close May 23rd. Sales from this event will help support the Humanity Project. Keep up with the event on Facebook or Twitter.

The Brewnettes and Beerthief Artisanal and Craft Beer Club are putting on a tasting of Evil Twin beers next Thursday at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Starting at 7:30, attendees will have a chance to taste four beers from this Danish gypsy brewery: Low Life Pilsner, Freudian Slip Barleywine, I Love You With My Stout Imperial Stout, and Molotov Cocktail Imperial IPA. Pretzels and hummus will be provided, and the Quidi Vidi bar will be open throughout the event. To reserve your spot, please do so via email before Tuesday. This is a members only event, but membership is free, and open to all beer-loving women in Newfoundland.

• Sunday’s Stillwell Open was a great event, with a dozen breweries and homebrewers competing in a blind tasting, with attendees voting on their favourite Backyard BBQ beers. The competition was fierce, with the winning beer revealed around 7pm. And, believe it or not, our very own Chris McDonald was the winner! He brewed a Lemon & Ginger Witbier on the pilot system at Good Robot, and the crowd seemed to enjoy the combination of lemon aroma with ginger spice and “snap”. Tatamagouche’s Sunrise Trail Session Ale,  Boxing Rock’s Sessionista, and Big Spruce’s Silver Tart all finished extremely close in the voting, with less than 0.5 points (out of 40) separating the top four. We’re looking forward to next year’s event already!

•  The event also served as the launching pad for a few new beers in our region,  Propeller Brewing’s latest One Hit Wonder, The S’Wheat Life. This 4.5% ABV Wheat Beer is light in bitterness, at 10 IBUs, and is available now at both the Dartmouth and Gottingen breweries for growler fills. Garrison Brewing released Le Saison Froide, a Saison brewed with Mint, Japanese Tea, and Lime, weighing in at 4.2% ABV, and will be available shortly at the brewery for growler fills. They have also released the next in their “Pucker Up” series, Apricot Saison, and their Sugar Moon Maple will be available at the brewery this weekend. And as mentioned above, Big Spruce’s Silver Tart is now available for growler fills, and select bars across the province. They used 125 pounds of raspberries to achieve the wonderful flavour and striking colour, and used Lactobacillus bacteria to achieve the acidic character of the beer. A little more on the background here.

Have a fabulous long weekend… it’s looking like some nice weather, so get out there and enjoy it with some local craft beer! The seasonal Pump House Weizen (~5.2% ABV) is back on tap at the brewpub, and is also available for growler fills at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend. The Bad Apple Brewhouse Tap Takeover continues into the weekend at Tom’s Little Havana, and includes two brand new beers, Honey Wagon Honey Pale Ale, Tom’s Smoked Porter, and returning favourites Mosaic DIPA, Box Cutter IPA and APA. The Grimross Maritime Pale Ale (more info here) is now pouring at the brewery for both growler fills and on-site consumption. Those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have been hinting at an upcoming Canada Day event; all we know at the moment is that it will be a smaller, exclusive event, but we’ll have more info on that (and other plans up their sleeves) very soon! The SmartBrew system at the Nook & Cranny is in place, and they are fermenting their Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale Ale now. And homebrewers, today is the last day to register and drop off your entries for the Brewnosers Homebrew Competition at your local Noble Grape.

NSCraftBeerWeek Banner

The Inaugural NS Craft Beer Week starts tomorrow. A presentation of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, the aim of the week is to showcase the innovative products of its members, and collaborations with bars, restaurants and licensees. With so many different events to keep track of, we thought it would be beneficial to have them all in one place. But first, with all of these events going on over the coming days, we can expect to see several new beers (and some returning favourites) from many of the participating breweries. Here’s a taste of what will be joining the many regular-release beers that will be pouring all week…

Big Spruce, Propeller & Tatamagouche…

These three breweries came together for a conspiracy of epic proportions…. Cerberus American IPA. This Certified Organic beer weighs in at 7% ABV, and features massive late additions of Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe and Zythos hops for an assertive, but not offensive, aroma and flavour. It will be released Saturday at noon at Bar Stillwell in Halifax, as well as on tap for growler fills at each of the conspiring breweries. There will also be a very limited number of bottles available.

“South” and “North” Collaboration English IPAs

There will be two new English IPAs at the Race the Kegs event on Friday, May 15th at the Gahan House. Both are collaboration beers – one from the “South” team (Boxing Rock, Gahan House, Hell Bay and Sea Level), and one from the “North” (Big Spruce, Good Robot, Uncle Leo’s and North Brewing). Details are mum on each of these beers for now; you’ll have to attend the event that night to find out the differences yourself!

Good Robot…

Since Good Robot will be making their debut at NSCBW, all of their four beers are brand new! Here’s a brief run-down of their opening offerings (and remember, all beers have had Clarityferm added to significantly reduce their gluten content):

Goseface Killah (5% ABV, 11 IBUs) – Gose is a German style of beer that up until recently was extremely hard to find, but is gaining popularity quite quickly here in North America. A sour and tart ale brewed with coriander and salt water, and fermented with a Belgian Abbey yeast, expect a pale, tart, refreshing beer perfect for the approaching summer days!

Tom Waits for No One (8.1% ABV, 55 IBUs) – This is their big, dark beer, a Stout brewed with plenty of dark malts (Chocolate, Black, and Carafa II) to add all of the roasted and chocolate goodness you expect from this style of beer. Fermented with an English yeast strain, with real chocolate and coffee added in secondary

Burban Legend (5% ABV, 28 IBUs) – A Citrus American Pale Ale featuring several hop varieties (Cascade, Falconer’s Flight and Zythos) to provide the “citrus” that you’d expect in a beer with this name. Along with 2-row, Pilsner, Amber and Crystal 30 L malts, they’ve also added some rye to “spice” things up a little bit.

Crown on the Ground (4.3% ABV, 34 IBUs) – Good Robot’s take on the Steam Beer, this amber-coloured brew is hopped differently than most takes on the style, featuring Mt. Hood, Perle and Magnum varieties. Fermented cool with a California Lager yeast, this sessionable ale should exhibit an enjoyable malt character, backed by a firm bitterness in the finish.

North Brewing…

Belgian Pale Ale (5% ABV, 35 IBUs) – A hop-forward beer of the BPA style, think of it as an American Pale Ale with Belgian yeast character. Brewed with Belgian malt varieties, the beer was first-wort hopped with Columbus, and again during the boil at 30 minutes with the New Zealand Wakatu variety. Featuring further additions late in the boil and in the dry-hop with Amarillo, expect a fruity and citrusy beer! Fermented with the Belgian Abbey II yeast strain to allow the malt character to shine through.

Also note that North will be releasing this year’s version of their popular Glenora Strong Dark Belgian. The second time their Strong Dark Belgian has aged in their Glenora whisky barrels (for 4 months), the long aging period allows the strong flavours to blend nicely. Available only in 650 mL bottles, the beer should continue to mellow as it is aged for months (or years!) to come.

Authentic Seacoast…

Rare Bird Red Ale (5% ABV, 25 IBUs) – With a grist including roasted malts and Canadian Rye malt, this new amber-coloured beer features aromas of toffee and smoke, and similar flavours (including some spiciness from the Rye) that are balanced from the addition of American-style hops.

Tatamagouche Brewing….

TataBrew are launching their Giant Series this week, so keep an eye out for these big brews on tap:

Giantess Barleywine (11% ABV, 90 IBUs) – Named after Anna Swan, Tatamagouche’s famous Giantess, an American Barleywine hopped with Chinook, Centennial, and Columbus.

Two Rivers Baltic Porter (8% ABV, 36 IBUs) – Fermented with Lager yeast and cold-conditioned, and hopped with Czech Saaz, expect this one to be full-bodied, and “very smooth with hints of chocolate”, according to the brewery.

Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot IBA (11.5% ABV, 52 IBUs) – Their standard Dreadnot IBA, but aged in fresh Ironworks rum barrels for an additional 4 months. Jumping from its original 7% ABV after the barrel aging, it’s currently exhibiting lots of rum presence, including vanilla. Hopped with Waimea, El Dorado, and Cascade.

 

NS Craft Beer Week Events

Throughout the week

NS Craft Beer Week Hostile Tap Takeover at The Board Room Game Cafe
Daily, throughout the week
The Board Room is celebrating the first ever NS Craft Beer Week with a unique event. Throughout the week, they will be featuring 8 different craft beers from 8 different Nova Scotia breweries, including: Boxing Rock, Garrison, Meander River Farm, North, Sea Level, Tatamagouche and Uncle Leo’s. However, looming in the shadows is the Propeller Brewing. As each of the kegs from the above breweries runs dry, they’ll be taken over by Propeller until they control all 8 of their draught lines!

NS Craft Beer Week at the Nook and Cranny
Daily, May 10-14
All NS Craft Beer is on special, 16oz pours for 12oz price! Their 9 taps will be pouring Garrison, Propeller, Hell Bay, Tatamagouche & Uncle Leo’s

NS Craft Beer Tap Takeover at RockHead Wine & Beer Market

Daily, May 11-15
RockHead will be featuring a new NS Brewery at their growler filling station each weekday throughout NSCraftBeerWeek: Monday is Sea Level, Tuesday is Boxing Rock, Wednesday is Tatamagouche, Thursday is Big Spruce, and Friday is Hell Bay.

NS Craft Casks at The Stubborn Goat
Daily, throughout the week
Every day, The Stubborn Goat is featuring local beer served on cask. $5 for a 12oz pour.

More coming momentarily!

Friday, May 8

North Brewing X Brooklyn Warehouse Pop-up Dinner at Two If By Sea
6:30pm-9:00pm
To celebrate NS Craft Beer Week, The Brooklyn Warehouse is teaming up with North Brewing Co for a pop-up dinner located at the Dartmouth gem, Two if by Sea Cafe. Mark has put together a 6-course meal with which Peter has paired some of his best brews, including the launch of the new Belgian Pale Ale. Seating for this event is very limited so book your tickets today!
Tickets are $89.87 (plus gratuity).

Beer & Beethoven – NSCBW Kick Off Event at The Halifax Forum Multipurpose Room
7:00pm-10:00pm
Join in on Friday, May 8th at the Halifax Forum for Symphony Nova Scotia’s annual Beer & Beethoven fundraiser and help kick off the first ever Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week! This year they’re staying local –musical guest Dave Gunning takes to the stage with the symphony musicians while you enjoy local craft beer (with sampling included from 7 to 8 pm) and meet the brewers.
Long & McQuade is bringing back their musical instrument zone – be sure to stop by and check out the instruments with some of the musicians. Watch for an on-site fundraiser – funds raised support free community programming and concerts like the Family Series, Symphony Week and the symphony’s work with school children.
Tickets are $40, $45 online.

Saturday, May 9

Open Brewery Day: Most of the breweries in Nova Scotia will be open for tours and tastings, and a few have some special events planned as well. Drop by and show them some love!

Open Brewery Day at the Antigonish Townhouse
5:00pm-9:00pm
Terry will be doing nano-tours of NS’s smallest licensed brewery on Saturday, May, 9th from 5-9pm. Terry & Justin, one of the craft beer fanatics on their kitchen staff, will also be brewing a test batch of a Scottish Wee Heavy this weekend.

Open Brewery Day at Big Spruce
12:00pm-4:00pm
They will be hosting a roving Wood Fired Pizza Oven, with free samples.
From 1-3pm, Angeline MacLennan, the Maritimes’ only Certified Cicerone, will be on hand to talk beer and her husband Donald MacLennan will be entertaining visitors with his musical talents.

Open Brewery Day at Boxing Rock
12:00pm-6:00pm
Drop on by Boxing Rock for free brewery tours and tastings, Beer Sausages and lemonade for sale in support of the local elementary school playground society. Lumberjack games demonstrations, too!

Open Brewery Day at Gahan House Harbourfront
11:00am-4:00pm
Brewmaster Karen Allen will be on-site discussing all brew topics, and she may even let you sample some of the ingredients.

Open Brewery Day at Garrison Brewing
8:00am-4:00pm
Step into their brewhaus for a live brew with expert brewers and David Bardsley 2012 Home Brew Off Runner Up as they create his Wry and Ginger IPA. Enjoy Patio Pizza fresh from Morris East Restaurant’s mobile wood fired oven “Maximus” setup on the patio along with a taster of Fire Tap Ale. And be the first to try the newest beer from Garrison, Pucker Up: Apricot.

Open Brewery Day at Good Robot
10:00am-10:00pm (or later, knowing these guys!)
This will be Good Robot’s opening day! This is the public’s first chance to walk away with kegs or growlers of their beers, including some that aren’t on tap anywhere. They’ll be BBQing, tasting grub from their taproom, playing tunes, and having a time. They’re also working on something special that will be announced soon.

Open Brewery Day at Granite Brewery
10:00am-8:00pm
Drop by Stairs Street to see what Kevin Keefe is brewing up today!

Open Brewery Day at Hell Bay Brewing
12:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by Hell Bay for Open Brewery Day!

Open Brewery Day at Meander River Farm
11:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by the Farm to meet your local brewer and farmer.

Open Brewery Day at North Brewing
12:00pm-9:00pm
Drop by North Brewing for $2 off growler fills, and to chat beer.

Open Brewery Day at Paddys Irish Brewpub Wolfville
11:00am-6:00pm
Brewer Kirsten will be brewing up a storm Saturday, and will be accessible to the public, plus the pub will be open for sampling all day.

Open Brewery Day at Propeller Brewing (Gottingen)
12:00pm-5:00pm
They will be offering tasters in their tour room.

Open Brewery Day at Rare Bird
12:00pm-2:00pm
Drop by the Rare Bird Pub for Open Brewery Day.

Open Brewery Day at Rogues Roost
12:00pm-4:00pm
Drop by Rogues Roost to learn about brewing ingredients and the brewing process, and check out their sweet brewing system!

Open Brewery Day at Sea Level Brewing
10:00am-5:00pm
Tasting and tours at 12:00pm and 2:00pm.

Open Brewery Day at Tatamagouche Brewing
10:00pm-5:00pm
Drop by TataBrew for a gander at their great brewhouse.

Open Brewery Day at Uncle Leo’s
12:00pm-6:00pm
Cathy Munro, a local hop producer, will be on hand to share her knowledge of hop growing, and answer any questions. The brewery will also be open for those wanting a closer look!

 

Cerberus Release Party – Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche Tap Takeover at Bar Stillwell
12:00pm-2:00am
The Cerberus release will be taking place at Stillwell, and Big Spruce, Propeller and TataBrew are taking over their taps! Drop by for some Organic Beer Lovin’!

Celebrating NSCBW Opening Weekend at White Point Beach Lodge
2:00pm-10:00pm
White Point Beach has several events happening this weekend, including a Cooking with Craft Beer class, the official launch of Rare Bird’s Red Ale, and an introduction to NS Crat Beer with Jeff Pinhey. Check out their page for all of the details, and to book a room.

Sunday, May 10

The Stillwell Open 2015 – Backyard BBQ at Bar Stillwell
1:00pm-12:00am
Stillwell is hosting a very special tasting event. Twelve beers will be served blindly (ie, attendees won’t know the brewery name or style), to pair with Chef Graeme’s BBQ creations. Vote on your favourite to see who wins!
The 1-5pm ticket session is sold out, but after 5, everyone is welcome!
Breweries in attendance: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, The Gahan House, Garrison, Good Robot, North, Propeller, Spindrift, Tatamagouche, plus beers from Homebrewers Jason McDougall (brewed at Boxing Rock), Chris McDonald (brewed at Good Robot), and Kyle McKenzie & Liam Sellers (also brewed at Good Robot). We know that more than half of the beers are brand new or special one-offs brewed for this special occasion, so don’t miss out!

Monday, May 11

Beer Dinner ft. Boxing Rock vs. Big Spruce at Lion & Bright
7:00pm-10:00pm
Four courses. Eight beers. Two breweries.
Check out the first in Lion & Bright’s Brewmaster Dinner series as Big Spruce Brewery & Boxing Rock Brewery go head-to-head to each pair one of their own beer with each course of locally sourced dinner created by Chef Kristy Burgess. Each course will feature one beer from Big Spruce and one beer from Boxing Rock – you decide which pairs better. We know that there will be at least one brand new beer at this event, so don’t pass this by!
Brewers from both breweries will be on-site during the competition to chat about their beer, their company and their passion.
Only twenty tickets available. Please contact the event organizer with any allergies or dietary considerations.

Tuesday, May 12

Craft Beer Tasting with Angeline MacLennan at Antigonish Townhouse
8:00pm-10:30pm
The very first NS Craft Beer Week starts Friday, May 7! In celebration of this auspicious event, Angeline MacLennan, NS’s first and only certified Cicerone, who just happens to be an Antigonisher, is hosting a guided beer tasting here at The Townhouse on Tuesday, May 12, at 8pm! Try 7 Nova Scotia craft beers (including some special NS Craft Beer Week brews and Terry’s London Style Porter), house made patés and preserves, and learn a tonne about why craft beer is taking over in NS!
Tickets only available online! Get yours quick before they’re all gone!

Wednesday, May 13

NS Craft Beer at Dalhousie University Club
4:00pm-6:00pm
Visit the Dal University Club for a glass of NS Craft Beer and complimentary pulled pork sliders.

Beer Dinner ft. Sea Level vs. Propeller at Lion & Bright
7:00pm-10:00pm
Four courses. Eight beers. Two breweries.
This is the second in Lion & Bright’s Brewmaster Dinner series as Sea Level Brewing & Propeller Brewery go head-to-head to each pair one of their own beers with each course of locally sourced dinner created by Lion & Bright Chef Kristy Burgess. Each course will feature one beer from Sea Level and one beer from Propeller – you decide which pairs better.
Brewers from both breweries will be on-site during the competition to chat about their beer, their company and their passion.
Only twenty tickets available. Please contact the event organizer with any allergies or dietary considerations.

Beer Cocktail Face-Off at The Auction House
7:30pm-10:00pm
Your favourite bartenders are pairing up with 8 of your favourite breweries to come up with some signature drinks based on their brews. Try them all! Live music accompanies your imbibing.
Tickets are $15, and available at The Auction House.

Thursday, May 14

NS Craft Beer at Dalhousie University Club
4:00pm-6:00pm
Visit the Dal University Club for a glass of NS Craft Beer and complimentary pulled pork sliders.

The Science of Beer at the Discovery Centre
6:00pm-9:00pm
This fun-filled evening of science is one of the Signature Events during Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week. The event, which will be held at the Discovery Centre in downtown Halifax, will feature a total of 7 “Science of Beer” presentations from a hand-selected roster of local brew experts. Guests will also be treated to 12 different beers from 6 local craft breweries (Boxing Rock Brewing Company​, Garrison Brewing Co.​, Good Robot Brewing Company​, North Brewing Company​, Propeller Brewing Company​, and Sea Level Brewing​), and delicious snacks from 3 local eateries, including The Stubborn Goat Gastropub​, Morris East Restaurant​, and Ace Burger Company​.

Beer Dinner ft. North Brewing at Lion & Bright
7:00pm-10:00pm
Join Lion & Bright for some North End Love with their neighbour North Brewing Co. for a four-course locally sourced dinner, paired with four locally crafted brews. Spend the evening enjoying the menu created by Chef Kristy Burgess, inspired by the beer of North Brewing. Menu items include mussel bouillabaisse, beer pretzels, IPA brined turkey roulade and rum raisin ice cream float. North Brewing will be answering questions about their Belgian inspired beer and how they are working towards creating a zero emission brewery right here in Halifax. Show the North End some love!
Only twenty tickets available. Please contact the event organizer with any allergies or dietary considerations.

Friday, May 15

Masters of Malt: A Beer Tasting for Everyone at Bishop’s Cellar
5:00pm-7:00pm
Bishop’s Cellar may be known for impeccable wine selection and friendly service, but they’re no strangers to a finely crafted brew. They’re dedicated to providing beer full of quality ingredients and distinctive flavours that’s been produced with integrity.
In the spirit of the inaugeral Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, join them for a very special beer tasting as they taste through some of the fun brews on their shelves. As always, they’ll have some delicious, beer friendly bites catered.

NS Craft Beer Takeover at Spitfire Arms
5:00pm-10:00pm
Meander River Farm, Schoolhouse Brewery and Sea Level Brewing will be taking over the taps at The Spitfire Arms.

Race the Kegs at Gahan House Harbourfront
6:30pm-12:00am
Join the arrival party at Gahan House Harbourfront for conspiracy brews from the North and the South of Nova Scotia. Craft breweries from across the Province have teamed up to face off for this challenge, which includes racing the kegs of their conspiracy brews to Halifax Harbour by sail.
The kegs are expected to arrive around 6:30, and the beers will be tapped at 7pm.
The Fine Tuners will be playing 7pm to midnight.
Happy Hour Pricing will be in effect for the conspiracy IPAs, and the taps will be flowing with other NS Craft Beers!

NS Craft Brewers Brews Cruise on the Tall Ship Silva
7:00pm-8:30pm
Sailing and beer: the ultimate Nova Scotia pairing.
Halifax’s beer enthusiasts will be in and out of bars all week to celebrate Craft Beer Week. In connection with the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia‘s Craft Beer Week, Murphy’s is excited to be hosting the ultimate beer experience – by bringing you out on the water.
The purchase of your ticket will include a delicious craft brew of your choice, and a 1.5 hour sail. Cruise through the harbour on the Tall Ship Silva while you enjoy craft beer from around Nova Scotia.

Saturday, May 16

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Session 1) at the Olympic Centre
12:00pm-3:00pm
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be $1/each, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.

Full House Craft Beer Fest (Session 1) at the Olympic Centre
4:00pm-7:00pm
This event will showcase most members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Your ticket purchase includes access to the event, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and 12 beer samples of your choosing. Additional samples will be $1/each, while food will be available by cash purchase. There will also be entertainment, a pop-up craft beer swag shop, and many other amazing things.

Sunday, May 17

Brewers Brunch at Stubborn Goat
11:00am-2:00pm
Join The Stubborn Goat Gastropub for a most delicious brunch experience during the final day of Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week.
Grab your Craft Beer Week branded beer glass, which is yours to keep, and the first fill is included in the ticket price, along with the brunch of course. A special selection of craft brews from members of NS Craft Brewers Association will be featured on tap during this event.

 

#NSCraftBeerWeek Calendar and Map

For those of you looking for an easy way to carry this list in you pocket, add the following calendar to your to Google Calendar, Outlook or iCal.

Full-sized map on a separate page.

 

Looks like it’s going to be a great, fun-filled week! Keep an eye on this page, as we’ll be updating the list and calendar as last-minute events are announced. Be sure to get out there and support your local breweries, drink some awesome beer, and be sure to say “hi” if you see us around!

Happy Friday! Looks like some of these rotten weather may be coming to an end; what better way to celebrate than by reading about local beer?

TrailWay‘s newest beer, Sensible Nonsense, will be available this weekend in Fredericton. A collaboration DIPA brewed with two local homebrewers (for more information, check out our post from earlier in April), it should be hitting taps sometime this weekend throughout the city. As well, they’re tapping two casks of the beer at the King Street Ale House today sometime around 5 pm; the first has had some Bourbon-soaked Spanish cedar added, while the second had an additional dry-hop of Mosaic and Centennial. The last casks of TrailWay at KSAH didn’t last long at all, so get there early to give them a try!

• That’s not all for new beers from TrailWay… they’re releasing two more this weekend as well, and both are brewed with warmer temperatures in mind! The first is a Raspberry Wheat Ale; lightly hopped to around 20 IBUs, and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV, it was brewed with 10 lbs of raspberries added after primary fermentation. With “some big raspberry aroma and flavour, with some wheat that comes through, especially in the aftertaste”, expect a dry, crisp, and refreshing beer. It will be making its debut at the Wine Tasting Event for Hailey’s Dreams today at 6:30 pm (check out the link for details and tickets); it should also be available on tap at the KSAH sometime this weekend. The other brew is a new APA named D’under Pale Ale. Brewed without any Crystal malt – to keep the beer light-coloured and dry – it was hopped entirely with Galaxy, an Australian variety that is well-known for its fruity, citrusy characteristics. It should come in at about 40 IBUs and 5.4% ABV; look for it on tap this weekend at 540 Kitchen & Bar. Expect further iterations of this beer to be hopped with other Australian and New Zealand varieties!

• Elsewhere in Fredericton, Grimross Brewing has just brewed up a new beer they’re calling a “Maritime Pale Ale”, which they describe as a hybrid between an English Pale Ale and an American Pale Ale. Featuring a grist with equal parts Pale Ale and Pilsner malts, along with Vienna, Medium Munich, CaraRed and Wheat to give it a light-copper colour. It was then hopped with a mixture of English (Willamette and East Kent Goldings) and American (Centennial and Amarillo) varieties to 38 IBUs (with most of those IBUs coming from later additions in the boil, meaning more hop flavour and aroma). The beer will also be dry-hopped following primary fermentation. Fermented with a neutral American yeast strain, expect this beer to come in at about 5.6% ABV. This one should be ready in around 2 weeks; we’ll be sure to keep you updated on its release!

• There’s a new beer on tap at the YellowBelly brewpub in St. John’s, a Saison named Field Assistant. Brewed in celebration of the Canadian Archaeological Association‘s conference in the city this week, the grist is made up of Pilsner and Honey malt, and the beer was hopped (including a dry-hop addition) entirely with Saphir. It was fermented quite warm (reaching temps as high as 90 F) with a blend of Belgian Saison yeast strains; after primary fermentation, it spent over two months in secondary. Less dry than most beers in this style (due to the addition of the Honey malt), it’s still balanced and easily-drinkable (at 6% ABV), with lots of characteristic spiciness and fruitiness, according to brewmaster Liam McKenna. The beer should also be available in bottles at the brewery this weekend.

• In coordination with the CAA meeting, there will be a free public lecture Saturday, May 2nd, from 1-2:30pm at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland (Fort William Ballroom, Salon B), Archaeology and History of Beer. Visiting biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern will be kicking off the event by giving a lecture on the the composition and reconstruction of ancient brewing techniques and recipes. Yellowbelly Brewmaster Liam McKenna will be speaking about the cultural importance of beer, and its historic development. Stephen Mills, a St. John’s-based consulting archaeologist, will discuss the archaeology of drinking and taverns in 17th century Newfoundland. A discussion and Q&A session will follow. Tickets may still be available for Saturday evening’s Ancient Ales tasting, contact Tom Beckett for details.

Boxing Rock has re-released last year’s Sessionista, with some minor tweaks and improvements! While last year’s beer was in the English Bitter style, this time around it’s a “better, bolder, and hoppier” brew that the brewery likes to refer to as a “Fractional IPA”. With a slightly higher ABV at 4%, it’s still highly sessionable and malty, but with a big nose of floral hops (“lemon blossom, orange, and tropical fruit”, according to the brewery). Exhibiting flavours of biscuit, roasty caramel and toasted bread”, with a “tropical, fruity hop middle”, it’s meant to be enjoyed again and again. Look for it on tap at the brewery and select bars/restaurants in our area; it’s also available in 650 mL bottles in many NSLC stores. It should be around until mid-June, when Boxing Rock’s next seasonal will hit the streets!

• Big Spruce has released their latest seasonal this week, She’s Maibock. This twist on the traditional German style features the zest of 40 lemons in both the boil and conditioning tank, for a blast of citrus aroma. Brewed in March, it has been lagering for a month until its release. Weighing in at 6.1% ABV, and 30 IBUs from Magnum in the first wort, Big Spruce-grown Galena for bittering and Challenger for flavour/aroma. Look for it on tap for growlers at the brewery now, and in widespread distribution throughout NS Craft Beer Week.

• Not to be left out, Sea Level also has a brand new beer available on tap. Acadian Cross Extra Pale Ale is an unfiltered pale ale, clocking in at 5.5% ABV. It was brewed to commemorate the 260th Anniversary of the Expulsion of the Acadians, and named after the Deportation Cross erected in 1924, in Grand Pre. It was brewed with Maritime Malt, and fermented with a neutral American ale yeast. It was bittered with Apollo, with two dry hop additions in the fermentor, and one more addition in the serving tank. It is on tap now at the Port Pub, and for keg sales at the brewery, and will be available soon for growler fills and cans.

• Staying in the Annapolis Valley, Paddys Irish Brewpub has two new beers on tap at their Wolfville and Kentville locations. Their Vienna Lager is a North American interpretation of this Amber-cloured German style. It features a citrusy hop aroma and flavour that complement the complexity of the European malt bill. The beer is 5.1% ABV, and has 17 IBUs. They have also released Citra IPA, a 6.2% ABV beer featuring Citra hops throughout for a grapefruit flavour and aroma, and signifcant 50 IBUs. Grab a pint of each at the bar, or a growler to go!

Hell Bay Brewing has been busy in Liverpool! They have released another batch of their Dark Cream Ale, and it is available for purchase at NSLC locations across the province. The tail end of their 5% traditional Dry Irish Stout is available for growler fills at Harvest Wines in Dartmouth.  And they are looking to release another version of their R.I.P.A. IPA in a couple of weeks, with another tweak on the hops used in the brew.

• Details of the different events are still pouring in for next week’s kickoff for NS Craft Beer Week. Events are being updated on the official page, and we have created a Calendar that you can add to Google Calendar, Outlook or iCal. The events are geolocated, so you can plan your week that way, as well. Please let us know if there are any events that we’re missing! Look for more NSCBW details next week, as we share our guide to the events are beers. Tickets are still available for many of the events, including Signature events like the Beer & Beethoven kick-off, Science of Beer on the 14th, and the Brewers’ Brunch on the 17th. There are several collaboration brews that will be released that week, including a three-way conspiracy between Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche, launching at noon on May 9th at Stillwell. Cerberus American IPA is a 7% ABV Organic IPA, featuring Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, and Zythos hops. It will be available in bottles, as well as growlers at all three breweries after launching.

Enjoy the warmer weather this weekend! The winner of the first annual Railcar Homebrew Competition was announced last Saturday: local homebrewer Pierre Gagnon submitted the winning entry with his Groundskeeper Willie Pish (Scottish Export 80/-), which he will brew with brewmaster Mitch Biggar on the Railcar system in the near future. Railcar has also announced a “He Said Beer, She Said Wine” tasting and pairing event May 23rd at the brewery. Be sure to pick up tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Rare Bird has released a new Red Ale, and it is available at NSLC locations across the province now. This 5% ABV beer features Rye in the malt bill, for a slight spicy character.