NS Craft Beer Week

All posts tagged NS Craft Beer Week

Wow, what a #NSCraftBeerWeek so far! Aaron and Chris had a blast competing in the Stillwell Open last Sunday and hosting Craft Beer Trivia on Wednesday night at Timber Lounge, and everyone is getting excited for this weekend’s conclusion, the Full House Craft Beer Fest in Halifax, which will see beer from 30+ breweries from across the province! Here’s your latest news on what to keep an eye open for this weekend in Nova Scotia, and across our region:

• Starting off the Nova Scotia new beers, uh, news, North Brewing released a couple earlier this week. Midnight, their Glenora barrel-aged Belgian Strong Dark Ale (aged with Brett Q, a Brettanomyces strain isolated from a barrel-aged sour beer from Quebec), was re-released yesterday in 650 mL bottles. This 10.5% ABV monster has notes of dark chocolate, tart cherry, stone fruit, oak, vanilla, and whisky, and is one of those beauties you know will benefit from picking up an extra or two for aging; it’s available at both bottle shops. And last Sunday saw the release of Betroth Ale, a Braggot (think beer and mead mixture) created for North employee Brad’s wedding. Brewed with honey, heather, and yarrow, this was North’s Stillwell Open entry last weekend. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV and 9 IBUs, it’s available in bottles and for growler fills at both locations.

• Another debut at Sunday’s well-attended event was from Breton Brewing. They teamed up with homebrew collective extraordinaire Brathair Brewing to put together the winner in the Amber category, Seven Years, a New England Amber Ale hopped to the gills to produce notes of juicy tropical fruit, citrus and pine. Although more heavily hopped than Breton’s flagship Black Angus IPA, it’s less bitter, at only 25 IBU. And at 5.2% ABV it’s fairly sessionable, with slightly sweet flavours and soft mouthfeel contrasting with the hops to give an overall gentle impression that suggests, “maybe I’ll have another one of those…” This one won’t be canned, but it will be available in kegs and growlers from the brewery, and likely for growler fills in the HRM at some point. You’ll also see it appear at various tap accounts throughout the city as well.

• Also claiming a win at the Stillwell Open, this time in the pale category, was the collaboration between Annapolis Valley upstarts Lunn’s Mill and South Shore stalwarts Boxing Rock, April, May and Juniper, a saison style ale. This brew features juniper berries, a primary component in gin, with an aromatic profile that marries nicely with the classic French Saison yeast used for fermentation. This 6% ABV beauty sold out awfully quickly at the Open, but is available in bottles at the private liquor stores in HRM, and for growler fills at Boxing Rock’s Seaport Market and Alderney Farmer’s Market stalls (both formats are available at the brewery in Shelburne, natch).

• Let’s continue on with Schoolhouse, who will be releasing their latest beer, Staffroom Stout, at this weekend’s Full House Craft Beer Fest. Brewed with 40 L of cold-brewed coffee from local roasters T.A.N. Coffee, the brewery describes it as a “rich and smooth Oatmeal Stout, full-bodied with a mild coffee bitterness”. Quite drinkable at 5.5% ABV, it should also be available starting today at the brewery’s taproom (open 3:20-8 pm today, 11-8 Saturday and Sunday) for samples and growlers, and in bottles. Schoolhouse will also be re-releasing their previous collaboration with Good Robot, Scratch Plaskett – Electric Tambourine Wheat Ale, next Wednesday, also in bottles and on tap. And hopefully joined by their patio shortly thereafter! And be sure to drop by their booth at the Full House event Friday and/or Saturday, as they will be making a big announcement to their loyal fans!

• Debuting late last week, and pouring at this weekend’s Fest, is a brand new offering from Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing. Brier Rose is a 4.5% fruit beer, featuring rose hips harvested from Brier Island. The malt bill uses a combination of Pale and Munich malts (totaling 85%) from Horton Ridge, and the beer was fermented European Ale yeast. The combination of fruit and malt come together for a vibrant hue to enjoy while sipping the beer. If you’re not able to catch the Full House, it will also be available at their booth at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Winter Market Saturday morning.

• Reminding us that it’s not always about beer, Annapolis Cider Company has released the latest in their Something Different series. Earl Blue is a blend of cool-fermented dry cider made from local apple varieties (including Golden Russet and McIntosh), along with juice from NS-grown wild blueberries, and freshly-pressed apples. Not stopping there, the blend was cold-steeped with Earl Grey tea leaves (a black tea flavoured with the addition of oil of bergamot), “to add tannins and structure”, according to Annapolis. The result is a sparkling, “blush-hued cider with aromatic notes of citrus and earthy, wild blueberries that finishes with a hint of bitterness from the tea”. Coming in at 6.8% ABV, it’s available now at the cidery. The recipient of the $0.50 from each refill will be the Wolfville School Playground Fundraiser.

• One of the grand-daddies of Nova Scotia craft beer, Propeller Brewing in Halifax, announced yesterday the hiring of a new Head Brewer. Cameron Crerar is a native of Tasmania, Australia, where he cut his teeth as an Assistant Brewer with Moo Brew . From there, he travelled halfway (or more!) around the world to take a spot as Brewer with Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in the hamlet of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. The Propeller gig is Cameron’s first as a Head Brewer and he brings with him from his previous positions a combination of creativity and large-scale brewing experience. Look for him to continue the 20-year tradition begun by Propeller President John Allen while bringing new ideas and interesting limited edition beers to the taps. We suspect Cameron might be somewhat recognizable by an accent…if you run into him, consider buying him a beer and asking about his celebrity beer story that features Justin Timberlake.

• On Robie Street, Good Robot is bringing a new beer out this week that’s geared for the hot summer weather (which we’re assuming will happen; at some point; eventually). Koji Kondo named for the man who composed many of Ninendo’s classic video game themes, is a “Sake Beer” containing a preponderance of rice, with only a small portion of barley (2-row and Pilsner) in the mash. It’s also a single hop beer, leveraging the divisive Japanese variety Sorachi Ace for bittering and flavor/aroma in the kettle, as well as whirlpool and dry hop additions. And if that wasn’t Faaaar East Coast enough for you, the yeast used to ferment this beer is the same used to ferment sake, Japanese rice wine. We don’t suggest you drink this beer warm though. At 5.2% it’s fairly sessionable, and it’s certainly not a bitter bomb at a paltry 9 IBUs. What it is likely to be is an exceptionally crisp, dry, fruity and light, possibly non-beer-like beer that might be just the thing for a sweltering summer day on the Gastroturf.

• If you’ve been worried about a lack of three-brew release and double tap takeover weeks from 2 Crows, you can rest easy. Jeremy and the gang are still up to all kinds of no good, starting with the release of In Theory, the kettle-soured, Brett-fermented, dry-hopped (with Dr. Rudi) 5.8% ABV beer brewed with the crew from 902 BrewCast. This pilot batch will only be available for on-site enjoyment, and at this weekend’s Full House, and not much of it, so be sure to drop by today. But good news, the guys dropped by earlier this week to brew a full batch of In Theory, which will be available in wider distribution next month. And if you drop by soon enough, you may be able to grab a pint of Nervous Waters before it kicks, a 6.6% Belgian Dubbel released during last weekend’s Open Brewery Day. Also look for a couple of small canning runs of two of their seasonal beers, the Fantacity (note pronunciation) Witbier and the Midnight Mood porter. You’ll find these on the shelves in the fridge at the brewery as long as supplies last.

• During your drive/walk/toktok to 2 Crows, listen to the latest podcast of theirs to drop, featuring Peter Burbridge, Emily Tipton, and Brian Titus of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, during which they talk about the mandate and goals of the CBANS, NS Craft Beer Week, and plans their respective breweries have for the near future. After getting your fill at 2C, take a turn towards the water and hit Bishop’s Cellar, who the 902BC gang partnered with for the release of a curated 7-pack of beer, including an exclusive run of Cedric the Great Double IPA from Bad Apple Brewhouse.

• In bigger news, however, and news that is shared with both 2 Crows and new kids on the block Stillwell Brewing, the next time you find yourself on Brunswick Street, poke your head in and check out the beautiful wooden vessels now on display in the brewery. These are foeders, big-ass wooden barrels previously used to age spirits. 2 Crows have four, two of which formerly held cognac and two that housed the classic French apple brandy Calvados (for 65 years!). Stillwell Brewing have two, both from cognac. And you know what folks? These things are going to be filled with beer. And then that beer is going to sit there in those barrels while we wait. And wonder. And wait. And wonder some more. Chances are it’s going to come out even tastier than it was when they put it in. And then that beer is going to be made available for sale and we are going to be a happy, happy beer-loving region. FULL STOP.

• Pivoting away from Nova Scotia now, Fredericton’s TrailWay has released another brand new small-batch beer this week, their second iteration of a Hoppy Sour Ale. El Generico was kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus pitch, and heavily-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a German variety that has been referred to as the country’s version of Galaxy. Expect notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and a unique flowery-fruity character from this hop, to go along with the sourness and crispness of the beer. At 3.8% ABV, it’s available right now at the brewery only, in cans and on tap for pints and growler fills. Expect this brew to change constantly for awhile, as the brewers at TW experiment with the hop profile.

• Beer fans in New Brunswick have likely noticed Tatamagouche Brewing beers popping up on tap at various bars and restaurants across the province. If you’ve been upset you haven’t been able to take Tata home with you, good news! The first Tata cans should be appearing in ANBL stores any day now. The brewery’s Kolsch, North Shore Lagered Ale, will be the first brand to hit. While it may be awhile before other Tata beers follow, rest assured it WILL be happening!

• In St. John’s, Mill Street Brewpub has been busy getting some beers ready to go – three offerings hit their retail counter earlier this month, and have been moving to the main draught system ever since. The first was Rowhouse, a lager in the Czech Amber style. It features big aromas of caramel, coffee, and graham crackers in a 5.5% ABV and 12 IBU package. The subtle hop aroma from the noble continental Saaz variety should complement the malt flavours nicely. This one is named for the famous “Jellybean” row houses in downtown St. John’s and might be just the thing to get you through Sprinter.

• Next is the Round Da’ Bay, an American Pale Ale, which will hit the taps earlier this week. This style emerged as a New World adaptation of the classic English Pale and Mill Street’s version has big American hop aromas of Pineapple and Grapefruit thanks to a hefty addition of Mosaic hops. It’s 5.3% ABV and a fairly hefty 50 IBU, with a solid malt bill and some sweetness characteristic of the style; it’s also got a touch of wheat to smooth things out and provide some extra body, perfect for a day of dreaming about camping out “Round Da Bay”.

• And finally, we have the return of an old favourite, RDF Hefe. “RDF” stands for the triumvirate of Newfoundland weather, “Rain, Drizzle and Fog.” It’s 5.7% ABV and 25 IBU, same as it ever was, and is a wheat-based ale in the classic Hefeweizen style. With a bright golden color, long-lasting foamy head and classic banana and clove esters from the yeast, this is a malty and refreshing brew. They have also put together a special cask for Mothers Day, with RDF as a base, but adds strawberries and partridgeberries and was primed (carbonated) with an addition of Purity Syrup! Even better, Moms can enjoy a free pour from the pin when they drop by Sunday.

Here are the latest events on our radar:

• The culmination of NS Craft Beer Week is the Full House, taking place at the Halifax Forum Multipurpose Room over the course of three sessions: tonight 6-9PM, and Saturday 1-4, and again at 6-9PM. 32 breweries from across the province will be pouring their best beers, with plenty of great food to keep you happy as well. We don’t have to sell you on this one, we know you’ll want to go! This is your chance to check off beers from across the province that are not normally available in HRM, and to chat with the passionate folks who make them. Also keep your eyes open for booths from Mashed In Beer Gear, The Brewnosers, 902 BrewCast, and Ladies Beer League.

• If you won’t be able to make it into town Saturday for the Full House, we highly suggest dropping by the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish to grab a pint of Half Cocked Brewing’s beer. Located in North Grant, and launching this summer, HC has been brewing up some pilot batch with Terry on the small system upstairs, and is debuting another one Saturday in the Pub. And of course, while you’re there, be sure to grab a pint of Terry’s Bitter, or Stout. Keep an eye on Half Cocked’s Twitter and IG to find out when it goes on tap.

• Whatchagonnado on Sunday morning when the grim reality that Craft Beer week is over and your white charger-pulled carriage has turned back into a pumpkin hits you like the proverbial ton of bricks? We suggest you give some consideration to heading on down to Good Robot where they’re promising to triage that hangover and maybe help you get ready to face interaction with normal people again. Festivities start with Yoga in the beer garden at 11am (Yeah, 11am. You think you’re going to be up before 11? Pffffft.) From there, it’s coffee and beer pairings featuring Bottleneck Coffee Co. (strangely now spelled “Low Point Coffee”) and some of the most crushable and sessionable (read: low alcohol) beers from various NS breweries. Rinaldo’s will be there to help you get some food in that troubled tummy and there will be an oxygen bar to recondition those lungs after that pack of darts that you totally don’t remember buying. This event is “Come as you Are”: wear your hangover outfit, whether that’s bathrobe, pyjamas, loungewear, three-piece suit with tails, whatever. But come out, and lament the end of Craft Beer Week in style.

• Up on the Rock, the ladies of Port Rexton Brewing are planning a big presence for the BBQ tap takeover tomorrow, Saturday, May 13th, at the Merchant Tavern in St. John’s. A bevy of PR beers will be available, along with Texas BBQ from Toronto’s renown Smoke Signals Barbecue, and additional libations from Lot 40 (Canadian Whisky of the Year) and JP Wisers while brand ambassador Dave Mitton teaches a master class on Whisk(e)y. If any of those things strike your fancy, let the Merchant Tavern know, remaining bookings for this one are likely pretty low!

• As if they need to reinforce their status as utterly mad men and women, the motley crew of saucy suds slingers at Stillwell have upped the ante once again by scheduling, get this, a Tuesday Tap Takeover for May 16. Seriously. Tuesday. And this isn’t some mincing, fraidy-cat, “not-sure-how-this-brewery-will-go-over-in-Halifax thing,” this is the very successful, multi-award-winning Sawdust City Brewing Co. out of Gravenhurst, Ontario (“Gateway to Muskoka” is the phrase you’ll recognize if you’ve ever driven that stretch of highway). Bringing core favorites like the Lone Pine IPA and Twin Pines IIPA, as well as collaborations that became regular offerings like Little Norway Pale Lager originally brewed in Norway with Arendals Bryggeri, and some new school collaborations with Southern Ontario bright lights like Burlington’s Nickelbrook, Toronto’s Bar Hop and Ottawa’s Tooth & Nail, Stillwell’s going to do their very best to get you fired on a Wednesday morning. Maybe be careful with the Long Dark Voyage to Uranus (Imperial Stout, 9.5%), the 11.05 (Belgian Tripel w/ Brett, 11%), the Princess Wears Girlpants (American Saison, 9%), and the Old Dirty Bastard (Barrel-aged Saison w/ Brett, 10%)? There’s lots more besides those ones, the full tap list is on Stillwell’s Twitter feed.

• The Moncton Beer League is holding their second Flights ‘n Bites: Whisky and Beer edition on Thursday, May 25th at Bistro 33 in downtown Moncton, from 6:30-9:30 pm. Featuring a variety of pairings of Whisky, Scotch and Bourbon with craft beer, food items from Chef Marc Surette will also play a role. Tickets are $55 each and are available now, and also include a custom-made Belgian-style glass to keep.

• And in other MBL event news, tickets are also now on sale for the next Urban Beer Hike, being held on Saturday, June 17th. This downtown Moncton walking tour will take you to five beer bars where you will sample multiple craft beer and food pairings at each location. The event runs from 1:15-5:30 pm; tickets are $49 each. Follow along on the event page for updates as to which bars will be visited, and where to meet for the beginning of the tour.

A few more beer-droppings to tell you about before signing off this week:

Hammond River has released a new iteration of their Two Rivers Black IPA (originally brewed with Big Axe), with this one being hopped entirely with Citra. Look for this one (7% ABV, 77 IBUs) at your favourite HR tap account.
Petit-Sault now has their summer seasonal Witbier, Tante Blanche (4.7% ABV, 18 IBUs) back on shelves and on tap in local bars, just in time for warmer weather (it IS coming, right?).
– Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has canned up a small run of their Dynamite Trail Hefeweizen, Holy Mackerel Pale Ale, and Nun on the Run Cream Ale. Grab them from the brewery for the perfect cottage accompaniment, and ask for them at your favourite local establishment, including Oh My Cod.
– There are rumors afoot that Stillwell is gearing for the opening of their Beer Garden on Spring Garden Road, possibly as soon as later this month. Stillwell Brewing is also apparently brewing up something special in the lager vein specifically for the venue, and communication with Backoos Korean Food about a Beer Garden pop-up have allegedly taken place. Summer 2017 is fixing to be immense.
Unfiltered‘s monster of a DIPA, Warning Label (10% ABV, 100+ IBUs), has returned; big, bold, and hoppy, this batch differs from the first in that no oak has been added this time around. Drop by Charm School today to get your fill (but go easy, ok?).

The third annual Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week is nearly upon us! It is presented by the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, whose member base includes 34 breweries from across the province. With events scheduled May 5-14 and from Sydney to Yarmouth, we thought it would be helpful to put them into a Calendar that can be added to your favourite app/phone, and a Map to help plan out your travels for the week.

As always, if we’ve missed an event, please hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, we are @ACBeerBlog on all of them, and we’ll add it to our list. Use #NSCraftBeerWeek to stay on top of the latest goings ons. Be sure to say Hi! if you see Aaron or Chris (or both, on Wednesday at The AXEcellent Trivia at Timber Lounge!). Cheers to Local Beers!

NS Craft Beer Week Calendar

Click the top-right to switch views between Week/Month/Agenda.

Add this to Outlook or iCal.

NS Craft Beer Week Map

Click the top-left button to see the legend (there’s a layer for each day, can select only those days you would like).

Click the top-right button to embiggen the map in a new window.

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.