NSLC

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As we enter the first day of fall, and head into the end of September, the breweries in Atlantic Canada haven’t slowed down a bit! After one heck of a crazy week last week (as you may have noticed from our 4500+ word Wrap-Up last Friday), we have almost as much news to share with you today. So enough with the chit chat; let’s get to the beer!

• For those of you who were fans of the fourth in the Scratch series of beers from Fredericton’s Grimross, we have some good news… Vienna Lager is back as of today. Brewed with a grist that consists of 80% Vienna malt, and hopped with German noble varieties, it’s a copper-coloured beer with “floral and spicy notes from the hops to complement the yeast and malt bill”, coming in at a drinkable 5.1% ABV. Available on tap now at Grimross, as well as local accounts, look for this one to quite possibly be re-brewed periodically.

• If you’ve noticed a new beer popping up on tap around Saint John last week from Loyalist City, you’re not crazy! Rustic Ryed is the latest release from the brewery; a reddish-amber-hued Rye IPA brewed with Maris Otter and Rye malt, it was hopped with “copious amounts” of Cascade, Equinox and Simcoe. Expect an “intense aroma of citrus and pine, complemented by a hint of peppery malt”. More Cascade and Equinox were used in a whirlpool addition, to up the citrus flavour even more. With high carbonation and a moderate bitterness in the finish, you can find this 6% ABV, 55 IBUs brew on tap at your favourite LC account. And if they don’t have it… ask for it!

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing just released their latest beer, a special one created to recognize the traditions of Maritime sailors of the past. They took their Old Foundry Stout, a 6.3% ABV, chocolatey beer, and aged it in rum casks from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery, for five months. The result was Fog Bank, a big (9% ABV), rich beer boasting notes of vanilla and dark fruit, all thanks to the rum casks. While high in alcohol, the aging helps bring a “smooth, mellow finish” to the beer, to give you a pleasant sipping experience. It’s available now (as of 10 AM) on tap at the brewery only, as well as in 750 mL bottles for you to take away (wouldn’t hurt to age one or two for later, right?).

Tatamagouche Brewing has been busy lately (ok, they’re always busy!), as they have two returning favourites hitting shelves and taprooms this week. First up is their Pale Euro Lager, Lagerhosen, a 4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs brew that’s perfect for the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest, happening this weekend. Just the type of beer you want to drink in quantity (hey, it IS Oktoberfest), the grain bill and yeast are the same as the batches for the last couple of years, but the hops have changed, with Hallertau Mittlefruh and Hersbrucker being used this time around. Look for it on tap at select licensees this weekend; it’s also available for growler fills and in cans at the brewery now. Next is their New England IPA, Fog Lights, a 6.4% ABV, 50 IBUs hop bomb featuring large additions of Azacca, Huell Melon, and Mosaic. With a mix of Pale and Pilsner malt as the base of the grist, along with some Spelt and Oats to make up the difference, it’s enough to keep the colour light, yet the mouthfeel slightly fuller and soft, for the perfect NEIPA experience! Releasing today at the brewery (growlers and cans), a couple of kegs should be in Halifax this weekend, with the rest shipping next week. Finally, their Ace of Lace Witbier was re-released last week; not your typical Wit, it features the addition of Queen Anne’s lace (aka wild carrot), Indian plum berries, and orange peel in the hop back, followed by a big dry-hop of Sorachi Ace; also available on tap and in cans.

2 Crows continues to make good use of their foedres, with the release of yet another beer in the “series” tomorrow at noon. Chaos Ghost is a Calvados Foedre-aged Belgian Tripel brewed with Belgian Pilsner malt and Belgian candi sugar. Hopped with Goldings, Hallertau Blanc, and Sterling to 31 IBUs, it was fermented with an Abbey yeast strain to give some of the spicy/peppery phenolics and fruity esters expected in the style. The foedre adds, of course, some of its own character, including “a hint of oaky tannins, and an apple brandy sweetness”. Drop by the brewery tomorrow for cans or pours of this 9.3% ABV beauty, and keep your eyes peeled for it on tap at other establishments in the HRM.

• And while you’re at 2 Crows checking out that barrel-aged goodness, and assuming it’s not all gone, you can also grab a taste of another big beer, this one a Russian Imperial Stout released earlier this week. Brewed with a variety of crystal and roasted malts, Black Magik is big, at 10.4%, but not at all cloying and pushing a potent 80 IBU. A touch of peated malt brings a smoky flavor to the palate as it warms, while the nose features a prominent anise note that also manifests in the flavor. Roasted malt flavors round out the overall impression. Only three kegs of this one were made, with two staying in the brewery for pints only (no fills) and one going to the 2 Crows/Tata takeover at Jamieson’s Irish Pub this weekend.

TrailWay has released yet another new hop-bomb one-off, Off-Topic. Featuring both an American hop variety (Idaho 7) and an Australian one (Vic Secret), the blend of these two gives the beer a flavour profile of “banana, pineapple, orange/citrus, and bubblegum”, according to the brewery. The hops may be the star, as usual for a TW beer, but “some experimental techniques” were used in brewing it, so if you notice a change, it may not be entirely due to the two hops that were used! Available in a limited supply on tap and in cans, at the brewery only,  it weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. And to get off-topic a little bit (ha! I kill me), TW’s summer seasonal Dunder, their APA heavily hopped with South Pacific varieties, is now a regular-release beer, so you can pick up cans and growlers all year round!

Good Robot has been working on a new beer, and it definitely follows along the “weird” vein that the brewery started long ago! Golden Goomba is a mixed fermentation sour beer; originally brewed as an attempt to recreate their “Sake beer”, Koji Kondo, that was originally released in May, the Sake yeast used for fermentation stalled out before completing its important job. After a second brew to give it another shot, the yeast stalled again, so they decided to add some Lactobacillus bacteria; after souring, a Lager yeast was pitched and the temperature brought down, to dry the beer our further. Think they stopped there? Nope! Yuzu juice was finally added, to “boost the extra Japanese citrus flair”. Hopped with Sorachi Ace for a little more lemon and citrus character, it’s also tart thanks to the lower pH, and features some “floral and yogurt notes”. No word yet on the exact release date (it was to be today), but we’ll keep you in the loop when we hear.

• And while we have you in a Good Robot state of mind (our favourite Billy Joel song), we also have the details for next Tuesday’s BetaBrewsday: Uncle Schmengie Bohemian Pilsner was brewed by Brent Braaten, Kenneth Persson, and Kelly C.; described as “very pale and very light”, it’s only 4.3% ABV, and was hopped with Czech Saaz to 29 IBUs. And for an insight into what your fellow Robots are thinking and drinking, check out their latest blog post with anonymous survey results.

• You may recall that in the early days of Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing they had something called the 7th Wave series. Named for the myth that waves travel in sets of seven and the seventh one is the big’un, these were small batch beers made on the pilot system that let the brewing team expand their horizons a little bit. Although the series has not “officially” returned, last week we saw the first brew in a long time come off that pilot system (American Pale Lager) and this week we’re seeing two more. First we have Wizard of Aus, an Australian Pale Ale featuring Ella and Vic Secret hops, considered younger siblings of the mighty Galaxy variety that has become so popular in the last year or so. Look for citrus fruit, pine, and floral notes, with lemon curd and mango coming through in particular. The grist is light to highlight the late kettle additions and dry hop. At 4.9% ABV and 30 IBU, this is a sessionable and surely hoppy taste of the summer just past. Second is Dancing Shoes, also on the lighter side at 4.8% ABV (they’re calling it a Session Pale Ale), but boasting quite a bit more bitterness at 40 IBU. It also features a more complex grist: to a base of Pilsner, some rye, wheat and light Munich were added to provide character. And the hops in this one are distinctly North American, traversing a continuum from the dank Simcoe through piney and fruity Mosaic and into the stone fruit and tropical El Dorado. Both of these beers are available in severely limited quantities at the brewery only for tasters and growler fills. Get there or miss out.

• Around this time every year Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewery has been known to collect locally grown hops (and other ingredients) and do a collaboration beer with their friends from North Brewing in HRM. This year is no different, as they’ve reached their fifth iteration and they’re calling it Many Hands MK-5. Taking inspiration from Gruit, a blend of herbs and other plants used to bitter a flavour beer before hops were adopted for the purpose, this beer contains sweet fern leaves, bayberry leaves and berries, and sweet gale (bog myrtle) berries. They did, however, continue the tradition of using fresh Nova Scotia grown hops in their brew, including Crystal, Cascade, Willamette and Mount Hood. The grist was largely also largely comprised of Nova Scotia products, with organic 2-row and Munich malts from Horton Ridge along with a small amount of German Vienna malt. You can read more about the brew day and see some pictures of both the ingredients and the participants on Boxing Rock’s blog. We’ll be sure to let you know when the beer is finished, packaged and ready for release to the wild.

• In the wake of last weekend’s Oktoberfest celebrations you’d think Halifax’s Garrison might slow it down just a touch. But no, there’s plenty of doings going on in there this week, with three new beers on the go. First we have Lemondrop, part of the kettle sour series brewmaster Daniel Girard has been whipping up at the old plant. It features aromas and flavours reminiscent of lemons and lemon meringue pie, with a peppery finish. Part of that lemon aroma no doubt comes from a dry hop with the Lemondrop variety. It’s 5.0% ABV and 0 IBU and is a draft-only release, currently available for tasters (with growler fills hopefully to come) at Garrison’s Seaport location and on the way to licensees across the province.

• Next up is a collaboration brew done with Sawdust City Brewing Co. from Gravenhurst, ON, a big ol’ beer in the rarely seen Imperial Brown category. Leroy is big and bad, weighing in at 10% ABV and carrying a solid 41 IBU. Brewed to celebrate the naming of Halifax as the host city for the 2018 Canadian Beer Awards, it boasts aromas of molasses bread and milk chocolate, with a palate that features coffee and molasses before yielding to a finish that’s full of dark chocolate. A great beer for the impending fall weather, it will pair as well with sweet as with savoury dishes, especially if they’re brown! Think beef stew or roasted lamb, chocolate cake or molasses bread. This one is currently available through ANBL’s growler program and is expected to be bottled in the coming weeks for a very limited release in Nova Scotia.

• And lastly, Garrison is once again bringing a brew sanctioned by the Federation of Beer to this weekend’s Hal-Con (where they’ll also be serving up their non-alcoholic Sweet Nelson Raspberry Ginger Ale). Borg Ale is “the most advanced black ale in the entire Delta Quadrant,” with a grist of Munich, Dark Munich, Pale Ale and Black Malts and hopped solely with German Hallertauer Tradition hops. It’s 5.6% ABV and 25 IBU, and is available for samples at the con before being bottled next week for regular release at the brewery and in the private liquor stores in Halifax.

• But wait, there’s more! Though we’ve reached the end of their beer releases for the week, Garrison has one more piece of news to share: they’ve implemented the Kegshoe system to track their kegs and you can now visit a handy interactive map to find out who has which Garrison brews on tap throughout Atlantic Canada. So if you’ve got a hankering for a Juicy or just want to know the closest spot to grab something from Garrison, they’ve got you covered.

• The new beers continue to trickle in for tomorrow’s BEE-r Garden in Fredericton, with Picaroons weighing in with their Little Honey. A one-off, 3000 L batch, the brewery is describing it as a brown-coloured, full-bodied ale brewed with a “generous amount” of Rye malt, and a bit of honey from local Sunset U-Pick. Featuring a “lingering sweetness” backed up by toasted, graham cracker-like notes, it’s quite sessionable at just 4.5% ABV. Aside from pouring at the BEE-r Garden tomorrow, you can find this one on tap at all Picaroons locations in New Brunswick. And speaking of tomorrow’s event, there are still tickets available online, as well as at the door when it kicks off at 10 am.

Coastliner Craft Cider will be on tap at ANBL stores participating in the growler program this weekend, with a brand new cider, Castaway. Infused with tropical fruit and hibiscus, this 5.4% ABV creation will be pouring through to next Wednesday (depending on availability), and will be following in bottles across New Brunswick later in the year.

• We warned you a few weeks ago that, like winter to Westeros, wet-hopped and pumpkin beers were coming. And the flow is steady now, with two more of each being released this week. At the “far” end of the Annapolis Valley (from a city-dwelling perspective, anyway), both Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill and Lazy Bear in Smith’s Cove’s had wet-hopped beers come to the taps this week. Lazy Bear’s is a version of their Once-Over, normally an IPA at 5.8% ABV dry hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Wild Turkey, but this time featuring all the Cascade, Centennial, Galena, Magnum and Nugget grown in their yard. Lunn’s Mill, on the other hand, went the SMaSH route, with a malt side of the classic British barley variety Maris Otter paired with Chinook hops grown down the road at Four Horses Farm. This is a 5.5% ABV offering, with a piney, tropical feel and a mild bitter finish. And at the eleventh hour (literally, the timestamp on the email is 11:14 AM; c’mon guys…) we’ve heard tell of a third harvest ale to complete the trifecta, this one in Halifax at Tidehouse. With a grain bill of 100% Horton Ridge Munich malt, this is a malty ale, bittered with woody and herbal Northern Brewer and then hit hard with fresh picked Cascade hops from the backyard of one of Halifax’s original beer nerds, Jeff Pinhey. Although only 4.7% ABV, expect this to have a hearty body and a rugged hop flavour. And on the gourdian side, Propeller is re-releasing their pumpkin beer for the start of the fall season. A familiar site in the region for the past several years, it’s a gentle 5% ABV and 15 IBU beer featuring Howard Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkins and a special blend of spices.

Lots going on this weekend and next, keep an eye on our Calendar, as we update it as often as we hear about new things coming down the pipeline. You can even add it to your phone’s or PC’s calendar app to be constantly reminded of everything on the go in our region. As always, hit us up here or social media if you have the scoop on something cool.

• There are still a few tickets available for this evening and tomorrow‘s Craft Beer Attraction at the St John’s Curling Club. 7-10PM both evenings with a chance to try over a hundred different beers, most of which are not otherwise available at the NLC. Check out the full details here, if you’re still on the fence.

• A reminder that tomorrow, September 23rd will feature the First Town Craft Beer Festival, Woodstock, NB’s first beer fest. There are still some tickets left for both tasting sessions (1:30-4:00 pm, and 7:00-9:30 pm), and it’s looking like the weather will be just about perfect for an indoor/outdoor beer fest. You can read our complete write-up from late July here; in the meantime, grab your $55 tickets at this link (or in person at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Woodstock).

• Remember last year’s Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover at Battery Park? Ah… memories. Well, luckily for us, it’s looking like it’s going to be an annual event, as the 2nd Tata Tap Takeover is scheduled for next Thursday, September 28th. We don’t know the full line-up yet, but there’ll be a whopping 19 taps of Tata beers flowing, including at least two new ones, with one of them a collaboration brew with the folks at Battery Park. It all starts when they open at 11:30 am, and you’ll be sure to seem some of the fine people from the brewery on hand anxious to talk beer!

• The spirit of collaboration continues with a pair of “Home and Home” tap takeovers in Halifax and Sydney over the next two weeks. On Friday, September 29th, Breton Brewing and Garrison will be taking over the taps at the Stubborn Goat. From 6PM, the crew from both breweries will be on hand to talk shop, pour a few pints, enjoy live music, and maybe even release a new beer or two. And then both breweries will do it all over again in Sydney on Thursday October 5th, at Governor’s Pub on Esplanade. Learn a bit more here!

• The second running of the Falmouth TrALE Run is happening next Saturday (September 30) at Castle Frederick Farms in Windsor, with both a 5km and 10km option. With beer (rather than/in addition to water) stops along the way, you can enjoy Schoolhouse and Roof Hound beers, as well as cider from Sid’s, Noggins, and Davison Farms. Advance registration is strongly suggested.

• The 2nd Annual Cask Beer Throwdown is happening at the Olympic Centre in Halifax on September 30th. With cask-conditioned and -served beer, breweries will often stray from the norm, willing to be a bit more adventurous with processes and ingredients, and us drinkers will be the beneficiaries of these cool experiments. Learn more about cask beer in a feature in Local Connections. With a dozen breweries and cider houses pouring their wares, plus plenty of food vendors onsite, it is sure to be a great time. Grab your tickets here.

September 30th also marks this year’s Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest, being held at the Moncton Lions Club. Doors are open 7:30-10PM (or 6PM with your VVIP ticket), and you’ll be able to enjoy beers from all over the Maritimes, with more than 30 breweries, cideries, and mead houses on hand, topping 100 different products. There will be food onsite as well to keep you going all evening. Tickets are still available, grab yours today!

• As they did last year, Muwin Estate, the folks behind the popular Bulwark brand of ciders, is encouraging anyone who has apples on their property that they don’t know and/or don’t use to contribute them to a special collaborative effort known as The People’s Cider. Since September 8th, they’ve been accepting apples at Muwin Estate’s New Ross location at 7155 Highway 12 and they’ll continue to do so until their open house on October 14th, which runs from 10 AM to 4 PM. And if you’ve got a variety that ripens later, arrangements can also be made for later drop-off. If you’ve got too many to transport yourself, they’ll even make arrangements to come pick them up. Many of the apples sought after for cider are varieties that don’t work well for eating. These are often heritage varieties from England and Germany whose names have been lost to time, but whose juice could still make an important contribution to a truly local product. So if you’ve got apples on your property that you haven’t known what to do with, now you know! More detail and updates on the project can be found on the Facebook Event Page.

• The NSLC is putting on a series of events designed to showcase local craft beer and cider. Dubbed the Discover Series, there will be four sessions held at The Port by NSLC on Clyde Street in downtown Halifax. Every Wednesday through the month of October you’ll have a chance to hear from local craft beer brewers and cider makers talking about a specific aspect of their craft. In Week 1, on October 4th, wine and cider maker Alex Boivin will talk about the cider-making process at Bulwark Ciders where freshly-pressed juice from Annapolis Valley apples are used at their cidery in New Ross. He’ll also be mixing up some cider cocktails and present some fall food pairings. A week later, on October 11th, Peter Burbridge of North Brewing and Mark Huizink of 2 Crows will present on the topic of barrel-aging beer and how the unique character of wood can be imparted to beer. Session 3, on October 18th will see the founders of Boxing Rock, Emily Tipton and Henry Pedro talking about the seasonal beers of autumn and encourage participants to think outside the box when it comes to beer styles. Finally, on October 25th, Jeremy White of Big Spruce brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, will talk about making beer using locally grown hops and mineral-rich water at his certified organic brewery. Each session runs from 7 PM to 10 PM. Tickets are a package deal for all four sessions and run $60 each. They’re available in person at The Port, or online through Eventbrite.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy this week…

– Halifax’s Chain Yard Cider has released a new blend this week. Orange is the New Wild is a new blend, featuring a portion of wild-fermented Baldwin apples and orange blossom, which was then dry-hopped during the conditioning process. Drop by their Agricola Street location for a taste and growler fill today.
Picaroons in New Brunswick has a new entry in their Pivot series of Imperial IPAs. This time the feature hop is Equinox (now known by the trade name Equanot), but the dry-hop also featured the Azacca, Lemondrop, Calypso, Ella, and Experimental 7270 varieties.
– In Windsor, Schoolhouse continues their Cask Friday tradition this week with a dry-hopped version of their Scotian Export ale. The cask will be tapped at 4 PM this afternoon and is not likely to last the night.
– Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their Riddle of Steel IPA, one of their best-selling brews. It’s 7% ABV and 80 IBU and is the perfect way to toast your devotion to Crom.

With September upon us, a reminder that grain and hop harvests have started around the region, which means it will only be a few weeks until those Wet-hopped beers will be available. With a vibrant hop farm scene here in the region, we expect to see Pale Ales and IPAs made with fresh hops in all four provinces. Until then, enjoy the rest of the new arrivals and returning favourites below…

• Speaking of the hop harvest, Meander River Farm is calling for all hands on deck tomorrow morning at 9AM to help pick their hops. Drop by the farm at 906 Woodville Rd in Ashdale that morning to help out, and you may even earn yourself a sample or two!

• It’s also a busy time for the folks at Horton Ridge, harvesting their own rye grain, grown adjacent to the Malt House and Taproom, which will be hitting the malt floor shortly. And we imagine the trucks filled with raw grain from other farms will be headed their way shortly! Luckily, they’ve released a new beer this week to keep the delivery folks happy. PEI SMaSH is a 4.9% ABV Pale Ale, whose recipe features a Single Malt and Single Hop. The malt bill consists entirely of Queens Two-Row Barley, developed at Agriculture Canada’s Charlottetown location in the 1990’s. While not developed with malting as a priority (its higher beta glucan content undergoes the malting process a little slower than “malting grains”), but the grain thrives in our climate, making it a great choice for local farming. That slower malting process also allows Horton Ridge to take their time and work their magic. Mandarina Bavaria makes up the entire hop bill, which is used in moderation to balance the malt sweetness and add citrus aromatics, but as with all Horton Ridge beers, malt is the focus. The PEI SMaSH is also a nice contrast to their Rye’s Up Pale Ale, which features a mixed grist of 50% PEI Barley, with 25 % PEI Wheat, and 25% Rye (grown at the Malt house), showcasing the flavour profile from this special malt. As with all of the HR beers, the best place to enjoy them is at their Hortonville taproom, whose patio is still open, and you may be able to catch them harvesting the grain this weekend.

• Summer may be just about over, but it’s not too late to report on one of the latest beers from PEI Brewing Co.Sin Bin. A Witbier brewed in collaboration with the PEI Mudmen, a local rugby team, the grist contains a majority of the very-light Heidelberg malt, along with small amounts of Malted and Torrified Wheat. Hopped to 15 IBUs with Tettnanger and Mt. Hood, the wort was spiced with Indian coriander seed and orange peel, in true Witbier fashion. Outside of the norm for the style, however, the beer was dry-hopped, on Day One of fermentation, with another hop variety that they don’t want to tell you about (hint: it was used due to its similar qualities to coriander). Dry and spicy, and coming in at 5.7% ABV, you can find it on tap at several PEIBC accounts in PEI, as well as at Battery Park in Dartmouth.

• Up on Agricola Street in Halifax’s North End, Chain Yard Urban Cidery released another new blend this week. Aptly called Wild Flower, it’s a blend of apple, fruit and flowers complemented by the use of wild yeast. Cider maker Jay Hildybrant started by making a wild blueberry wine, arresting the fermentation when it reached a point where spice notes were emerging and the berry flavour was “distant”. He also created a wild apple cider base using the same indigenous wild yeast and the juice blend from Chain Yard’s Foundation (McIntosh, Northern Spy and Jonagold). From there, the cider was used to macerate lavender from Meander River Farms, just to the point before any soapy or off flavours were extracted. Lastly, the wine and the cider were blended to yield a “perfectly floral”, smooth, and easy-drinking cider that features spice and floral notes. It’s available for samples and pints at the cidery.

• There’s a new easy-drinking beer from Loyalist City hitting tap accounts in Saint John and Fredericton… Barefoot Blonde is a “New Zealand Blonde Ale” that takes your typical Blonde Ale a couple of steps further with the addition of fresh pineapple, as well as a dry-hop punch with Nelson Sauvin. A simple grist of 2-row and Wheat malt provides a light, sweet malt character, backing up the pineapple and grape notes from the fruit and hop additions. With a light bitterness to round off the finish, this 5% ABV brew should hit the spot during these last warm days of summer.

• Following the releases earlier this summer of their tasty fruited Berliner Weisse series, Guava Heist (guava) and Philaroma (cherry), Tatamagouche Brewing has another fruited Berliner available for your immediate enjoyment! Rushton’s Peach is another light (3.5% ABV), tart, kettle-soured brew, but this time it’s been aged on 100 lbs of organic apricots and 300 lbs of peaches. Sound like another perfect beer for the end of summer? Even better news: like the previous two, it’s available in cans, as well as growler fills and pints at the brewery, and at Tatabrew tap accounts.

• If you’re feeling a bit overheated and need to get out of the sun, or just want to head downstairs for some beer and grub, the Rockbottom just tapped a new beer, The Aristocrats. A 100%-fermented Brett IPA, it combines the hop characteristics of “tropical fruit, hard candy and citrus” with the “pineapple, pear, wet hay, overripe berry, and an understated Brett funk” from the yeast. At 7% ABV and 60 IBUs, it’s available now at the ‘Bottom, while supplies last.

• If you missed it the first time around, Grafted, the orange peel-infused kettle sour from Boxing Rock is back. Created by Brian Harvey, this beer won the 2017 Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge. Thanks to some process tweaks at the brewery we’re promised a deeper sourness and more orange flavour in this batch, but otherwise it’s still a 5.5% ABV beer with low bitterness, a refreshing sourness and and sweet orange finish. This is a limited release of 650 mL bottles in the province, available at the brewery and making an appearance at the private liquor stores in Halifax. We’re told that later in September it will also make its way to Prince Edward Island via the PEILCC so folks can get a taste outside Nova Scotia. In other Boxing Rock news, they’re rocking an all-new website, featuring a modern and responsive design, a list of their current beers, and online ordering for their swag shop and keg club. Check it out!

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing should be releasing Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat, their last summer seasonal for the year, sometime today. A light American Wheat Ale, it was fermented for two weeks before 45 lbs each of locally-harvested rhubarb and strawberries were added to secondary. Described by the brewery as being “light and refreshing, with a naturally tart flavour and a hint of sweetness”, this 5% ABV brew will be available for growler fills and samples at the brewery only. Keep your eyes peeled for a slew of other new beers from Heritage in the near future, including a single-hop Session IPA featuring Experimental Hop #07270, a new IPA with Chinook, Citra, and Ekuanot, and a wet-hopped ale.

• Sit down, and prepare yourselves – Good Robot does NOT have a new beer release this week on the alpha brew side of things. No, no one is dead (that we know of), but don’t worry, it sounds like there will be plenty coming through the pipeline next week! And there’s still a new Cask in the Sun entry for today at 4 pm: Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie Pale Ale (damn, that’s a lot of typing for a beer name) with Low Point cold brew, cherries, and “very, very toasted oats”. And next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday is Hard Corgi Black Lager (4.2% ABV, 34 IBUs), brewed by Drella Green-Simony and Johnny ‘Burger’ Heighton, with Kelly Costello. Fermented with California Lager yeast to keep it clean, it’s a slightly-roasty beer hopped with Cascade and Mosaic.

• There has been a passing of the torch at Mill Street St. John’s this week, with Head Brewer Dan heading off to the Toronto Mill Street location. In his place, Matt Chevrier has taken over the reigns. However, Dan’s legacy lives on with a new release this week, Tic-N-Tuff Hopfenweisse. At 6.0% ABV and 32 IBU, this hybrid German style features banana and clove from a Weisse, with a healthy dose of hops, in this case Wild Turkey, lending Passionfruit-like character. Grab a sample or pint today, and keep an eye out for its debut on the growler station this weekend.

• The NSLC recently released their first quarter financial results for Fiscal Year 2018 and the results continue to be encouraging for fans of craft beer in the province. You might be aware that the quarter being reported here corresponds to the period starting this past April when the number of Nova Scotia Craft Beer listings at many NSLC stores jumped considerably. What impact did that have? Although overall beer sales were down 1.2% to $74.6 million and volume was down 2.7%, both significant declines over the same quarter last year, NS Craft Beer sales were up an impressive 48% to $3.2 million, a growth rate matching Q1 last year. Further, this implies that NS craft beer accounted for 4.3% of overall beer sales this quarter compared to 3.3% last year. After watching year-over-year quarterly growth decline over the course of FY 2017, it will be interesting to see whether that trend is mirrored this year or whether the wider selection will have a lingering impact. The news was also good for NS spirits and cider producers, with local spirits more than doubling sales over last year and the ready-to-drink category, which is mostly ciders when it comes to NS products, up 75.7%. Hopefully this continued growth will encourage the NSLC to continue the trend of adding SKUs and shelf space for local products, and maybe soon we’ll even see them supporting the smaller, non-bottling/non-canning producers through an in-store growler program.

• Attention AtlCan Brewers: the invitations for the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards have gone out this week, so if you have not received them, let us know! Submissions are due in Halifax October 2nd-6th, with the judging taking place October 13-15th. The announcement and Gala is happening the next Sunday, October 22nd, at the Stubborn Goat.

We’ve got brand new events, as well as updates and reminders for a whole slew of them coming this month. We strive to keep our Calendar up-to-date, and you can help us by sending heads up emails or tweets our way!

• After a wildly successful Lambic-fest last weekend, the Stillwell crew are inviting the fine folks from Oxbow in Newcastle, Maine to take over their taps next Friday and Saturday (September 8 and 9). “Loud beer from a quiet place”, Oxbow launched in 2011 and has been brewing farmhouse and eccentric beers in the woods of coastal Maine (and recently at their blending location in Portland) ever since. Featuring a full twelve-tap-takeover on Barrington on Friday, and ten taps at the Beer Garden Saturday, both locations will also receive a healthy number of Oxbow bottles to complement.

• Get ready, Charlottetown… Unfiltered is coming your way! And not just a couple of beers, but the most Unfiltered beer that has ever hit PEI at one time. Starting Thursday, September 14th, Unfiltered will be taking over all 10 taps at Hopyard. And it’s not just beer you’ll be enjoying, head brewer Greg Nash has paired with HopYard master chef Jane Crawford to create a fully collaborative food menu, to go with all those tasty beverages. Tickets for the 7pm kickoff event are available now, and be sure to keep an eye on their social media pages as hints on the food and beer pairings drop. If you’re not able to make the Thursday night event (shame on you!), be sure to drop by Friday, as there will certainly be enough great Unfiltered beers to keep C’town happy for a couple of nights!

• If you’re planning your September weekends, you might want to pencil in a little time with Garrison as their annual Oktoberfest extravaganza is coming up down at the brewery. Friday, September 15th, from 6:30 PM to 11 PM is Hops ’n Brats, a celebration of Nova Scotia Craft Beer and Sausages. A $25 ticket will get you entry, 8 sample tickets, and a commemorative glass. Additional sample tickets can be purchased on-site. Designated Driver tickets are also available at the door for $10 that include a non-alcoholic beverage. Bringing their best beers will be Garrison, of course, 2 CrowsBig Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Good RobotNine LocksNorth, SpindriftTatamagouche, and Tidehouse. The next day, Saturday, September 16th, is the original all day, all night Oktoberfest celebration in Halifax. Garrison Oktoberfest Halifax starts with a day long all-ages free-entry party from 11 AM to 5 PM featuring traditional German food, 3 bands worth of oompah music (The Swell Guys, Die Brew-misters, and The Roving Steins) and, of course, Garrison beer! At 5 PM the kids go home and the ticketed portion of the proceedings start. For $16 you’ll get your first beer (12oz) and entry to the rest of the evening’s proceedings, scheduled to go until 11 PM. There will be dancing, games, and food will be served throughout the evening. And of course, MOAR BEER. Proceeds from the event will benefit Cystic Fibrosis research and care through CF Atlantic Canada.

• There are still tickets available for Newfoundland’s Craft Beer Attraction, presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal & Craft Beer Club. With Grand Tastings taking place 7-10 PM Friday and Saturday, Sept 22 & 23 at St. John’s Curling Club on Mayor Avenue. There will be more than 100 different beers available on a pay-per-pour basis. The Premium Tour is taking place at 12:30 Saturday, hosted by Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler, and will feature 21 beers from across the world. A guided tasting of Sam Adams Utopias, and a Brewmaster’s Luncheon featuring Trou du Diable, round out the events on the weekend. Check out the full beer list and grab your tickets before they sell out!

• The Canada Beer Run is happening in Halifax on Sunday, September 24th. Held in several cities across the country, the Halifax Beer Run involves non-competitive running to four different breweries (approximately 10 km total). With a pre-drink at 11 am, runners will then proceed to Propeller, Garrison, Spindrift and Good Robot, with 20 minute breaks at each stop for some beer sampling. Sound crazy? Well, we’re pretty sure that’s what they’re going for! It costs $65 to participate, which includes a shirt and swag, race bib, brewery party favours, beer run buff, and a finishing medal. For more details on specifics, check out the link above. Registration is open now.

• The James Joyce’s first-ever sour beer tap takeover, Tarte Diem, was a huge success last weekend, with Big Axe‘s Seaberry Sour taking first place from the panel of three judges. Following up with second and third place were Acadie-Broue‘s Tête de Cochon Lichtenheiner and Unfiltered‘s Daytimer, respectively (and an honourable mention to Upstreet‘s Island Hopspitality 2017). If you missed out on the fun, don’t worry… they’ve already set the date for next year’s event, Tarte Diem II – 2 Sour 2 Acidulous, on Saturday, August 25th.

A few returning favourites, new releases, and casks to let you know before we sign off today

– As we teased last week, 2 Crows has a new beer dropping today at noon, Promiseland Double IPA. This juicy, hop-forward beer, features Citra and Simcoe late in the boil, during active fermentation (biotransformation for the win!) and during final conditioning. Grab the 8.3% ABV, 64 IBU, DIPA at 2 Crows today on tap (samples, pints, and growlers) and in cans, with cans also hitting the HRM private stores shortly.
– Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co has dropped a new beer today, Roadside Attraction Pale Ale. A 5.0% American Pale Ale featuring 100% Cascade hops, the lighter malt body lets the hop floral and citrus characters shine through, with medium bitterness. Grab it at their taproom today!
– Fredericton’s Picaroons has released the latest in their Pivot DIPA Series, with Pivot #6. Keeping to the 8.0% / 80 IBU specs as previous releases, this version features Mosaic and Warrior hops for tropical and candy-like aromas. As with all of these releases, they can be found at their locations in Fredericton, Saint John, and St. Andrews, with delivery to the ANBL expected early next week.
TrailWay has re-released their Green Island American IPA (6% ABV), with some slight tweaks to the hop additions, resulting in strong pineapple flavours, according to the brewery; available on tap and in cans at the brewery.
Unfiltered releases their Front Line Rocker DIPA (8% ABV) at Charm School today, for growlers and pints; look for it to pop up around the HRM on tap as well, and select establishments in PEI and NB.
Upstreet‘s seasonal Pumpkin Ale (yes, it’s that time again), Gravedigger (6.5% ABV), drops today (bottles and kegs);
– At Schoolhouse in Windsor, NS, their Cask Friday beer this afternoon is their witbier, Summer Break, with blackberries and raspberries. Sounds like a lovely beer to sip on the first day of September.
– And not to be outdone on the cask front, Halifax’s Propeller will have some of their Organic Blonde Ale aged on the Japanese citrus fruit Yuzu on tap this evening at 5 PM. But wait, there’s more! Tomorrow at 2 PM they’re tapping a special 20 L keg of their Cascade Pale Ale that will be dosed with fresh Cascade hops picked less than 24 hours before. You won’t find beer with fresher hops than that.
– And on the Rock, Yellowbelly has their East Coast Cream Ale, a collaboration with Top Shed Brewery in Goonengerry, NSW, Australia, back on tap and available at the brewery in bottles as well. Limited bottles will also be going to the NLC tomorrow. Kangamoose is on the loose!

Happy Friday, beer lovers, and welcome to a warm weekend! Whether it’s freezing out or everything is beginning to thaw, there’s always plenty to report on beer news in our region, and this week has been no exception. Let’s get right to it…

• Starting off with some brewery expansion news, Bruce Barton, owner/brewer of Riverview, New Brunswick’s Celtic Knot Brewing, has confirmed that he will be increasing production, from the current 80 L system to a 3.75 BBL (~435 L) within the next couple of months. The current Celtic Knot brewery is located within Bruce’s home, but the new system will be in a separate location in Riverview, where you will be able to drop by to have growlers filled of your favourite CK beers! We’ll be sure to keep you updated on their progress.

Tidehouse will be releasing another of their one-off beers today – Oaked Island is an American Pale Ale, solely and heavily hopped with Centennial, and fermented on French oak (previously soaked in Russian vodka). This unique combination results in flavours of “citrus, pine, and floral notes” from the Centennial, with a “soft, subtle vanilla character” thanks to the oak. Coming in at just 4.9% ABV, it will be available at the TH retail shop on Salter, as well as on tap at Stillwell, Battery Park, and Water & Bone. Look for future one-offs to be released on Fridays in the future – this is a change from previous releases, which have occurred on Wednesdays. Hey, we definitely benefit from that!

• The gang at Good Robot has some news and new beers for us this coming week, but also slipped a new beer onto the taps the other day. Dubbel Trubbel came about when Kelly Costello and a co-worker were inspired by a recipe in a homebrew magazine that included star anise and dates. Leveraging GR’s unofficial beer knowledge program that allows employees to try out brewing for themselves, they put the recipe into action, albeit minus the star anise and the dates. Featuring Pilsner, Aromatic, Munich, Vienna, Special B, and Cara-Munich malts, along with Belgian Candi sugar, the beer weighs in at 5.7% ABV. It was fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast, so a little outside the traditional Dubbel style. Brewed on their Beta System, be sure to drop by right away to avoid missing this limited release.

 

• The big news for Good Robot this week is that they’ve found themselves an assistant brewer. Jake Charles DeWolfe is now on the scene, and to celebrate there will be a twin pack of new releases in the GR taproom on Tuesday. The first is DeWolfe of Wall Street, in the American Pale Ale style, a complementary beer to brewmaster Doug’s Burban Legend, mirroring the yin Jake will bring to Doug’s yang. We presume. With a simple malt bill of 2-row, Pilsner and Vienna underpinning a hop schedule that includes Cascade for bittering, Mount Hood for dry hop and both for aroma during a whirlpool, this 6.3% ABV pale comes in high and hard with citrus hop flavours and a dry, crisp finish, but only 29 IBU. Joining that beer will be a BetaBrewed Mexican Lager for which a suitably Good Robot name has not yet been determined. At a very light 4.7% ABV and a barely there 14 IBU, it’s built around pale malt, flaked corn and Vienna for a touch of biscuity flavor, and agave nectar, all paired with the noble Tettnang hop variety, and fermented with a Mexican Lager yeast. This one is likely to be dangerously crushable and reminiscent of a summer day at the lake.

• Over in Burnside, Spindrift has some releases in the coming months that they’re teasing on social media. The Killick is labeled as a “session lager” but has been referred to elsewhere as a Munich Helles, a classic German style that is fairly low alcohol, light-bodied, malt-balanced and designed to go down easy. This will be their first packaging in 355ml cans and it will be available in six packs from the brewery sometime around mid-March and then the NSLC later on. Spindrift are also going to have a seasonal single serve slot at the NSLC and the first two offerings will be the Blueberry Chai Pils we mentioned last week from April to June (also available a the brewery in mid-March) and the Blood Orange India Pale Lager from July to September. We’ll surely have more details for you about these beers and their availability as their official release dates approach.

• Digby’s Roof Hound has brewed up an interesting new beer, which will be the first in their upcoming Dive Bar Classic Cocktail series, where all the beers will be inspired by well-known cocktails. This first brew is a Mojito Sour – “partially kettle-soured” (meaning half the batch was soured, and then blended with the non-soured half), it will be dry-hopped with Cascade and Centennial, and also feature the addition of fresh mint, and lime zest and juice. The official launch party for this brew will be held on Saturday, March 4th; we’ll keep you updated on the official stats for this one when they’re confirmed.

• Word hit the street last week that Greg Nash has brought his Russian Imperial Stout, Commissar to Unfiltered. Last seen during his time at the Hart & Thistle, many have lamented that it was on tap when that establishment closed and the last batch was never properly finished. This time around, the beer was aged on oak for months and fortified with J.D. Shore Black Rum from Halifax Distilling Co.. Promising a slightly sweet flavour with lots of dark fruit and hints of bitter chocolate, it is said to be reminiscent of rum cake. It will be available as of noon today at the brewery for growler fills, Charm School for pints, and both the brewery and Bishop’s Cellar for bottles ($16/500ml). This one is likely to get even better with age, so definitely consider grabbing a couple bottles for your cellar when you pop in for your first taste. But be aware, at 11.6% ABV and full of rum, this one is likely to have you throwing rocks at your own house if you’re not careful!

Red Rover has a new, very-limited batch cider pouring at the Cider House in Fredericton. Just released earlier this week, Blood Orange is a 7% ABV semi-dry cider infused with blood orange juice. Tart and crisp, yet balanced by the accompanying sweetness, it’s available for pours only (no flagon fills) due to the limited supply; however, if feedback is quite positive, there’s a good chance a larger batch will be made in the future. Look for it on tap at James Joyce and Graystone, as well.

• Look for a new beer to be released from FirkinStein very soon – Project Orange is described as a “light, easy-drinking ale with a slight orange tang” by the brewery, despite weighing in at a fairly hefty 7% ABV. With a slight citrus hop presence in the background thanks to the addition of Cascade, there was also plenty of orange juice added. It will be making its debut at tomorrow’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, and should also be pouring at Battery Park shortly afterwards.

Big Tide and Picaroons have joined forces to brew a collaboration beer, a Doppelbock named The Uphill Battle. The recipe was concocted between the two breweries, and the beer mashed-in on Big Tide’s system (featuring a grist of Bohemian Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich and Carafoam). Half of the resultant wort stayed at Big Tide, and the other half was transported to the Picaroons General Store location; both were then boiled, hopped (with Magnum and Perle), and fermented at their respective homes with a dry Lager yeast. Coming in at 6.5% ABV, this malty, toasty brew will be going on tap at the Big Tide brewpub and the General Store tomorrow.

• Big news in Halifax from what will be one of the smallest breweries in the region by design – brought to you by the folks behind Stillwell Beer Bar, Stillwell Brewing will be focused on small-batch mixed-fermentations and oak barrel aging, and might possibly be the first brewery of its kind in Canada. Taking up some space in the back area of Propeller Brewing in the North End of Halifax, expect very small scale, periodic bottle releases, and very rare keg tappings (most of which will happen at SW and their Beer Garden). We’ll keep you updated on this exciting bit of info as it develops! In the meantime, follow Stillwell Brewing on Instagram for some pics on behind the scenes activity.

• The NSLC released their third quarter financial results covering the three months ending December 31st, 2016, and the news for Nova Scotia Craft Beer continues to be good. While overall beer sales were down 0.4%, craft beer sales continued to grow, with a 29.5% increase to $2.5m over the same quarter in the previous year. Though this increase isn’t quite as large as seen in first (48.4%) and second (39.7) quarters, it shows the industry still has room to grow. It will certainly be interesting to see whether Q4 shows a continuation of this trend and also whether additional shelf space for craft beer will carry the trend into the next fiscal year.

There’s a whole whack of events going on over the next few days, especially in the HRM… take your pick from below and be sure to head out over the weekend!

Tonight, the Stubborn Goat will be holding a tap takeover with Charlottetown, PEI’S Upstreet, in the Flight Night at the Goat. Eight Upstreet beers will be on tap, including Smoked Porter from their One Way series. There’s no cover; just show up for plenty of beer, plus food pairings and flight specials! All of the Upstreet crew will be there, anxious to meet you and chat about everything beer!

• Been too long since the last <insert amazing brewery here> tap takeover at Stillwell for ya? Well, it really hasn’t been that long at all, but good news! Tomorrow, February 25th, they’ll be hosting a Le Castor takeover, with 12 amazing beers pouring all day. One of Quebec’s highest-regarded breweries, they’re bringing some real winners, such as Colorado (a “dry-hopped Wild Ale”) and Sanctuaire (a Tripel aged in red wine barrels with Brett). No charge to attend, just show up and pay by the pour!

Bishop’s Cellar is holding a Big Spruce tap takeover tomorrow, February 25th, which should last all weekend. Their collaboration with Bishop’s, Anaphylactic Choc – a 5.5% ABV “Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter” that features Nutsmith organic peanut butter added in the boil and that was aged on organic cocao nibs – will be pouring. Drop by in the afternoon between 1-4 pm, and don’t forget to bring your growlers! In addition to the new brew, they’ll be have Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout and Liquid James Brown Milkshake IPA available for fills, with samples of some special one-offs while your jugs are being filled.

• Also tomorrow, February 25thHell Bay is holding Cocoa & Malt, a special pairing of dark beer and hand-crafted chocolate desserts and sweets. Originally scheduled for Valentine’s Day, it had to be postponed due to weather… and luckily, there’s still some spots left! It’s $25+tax per person; reserve your spot by calling 902-356-3556.

• Halifax’s Jamieson’s Irish Pub is currently holding a Bad Apple Brewhouse and Propeller tap takeover, which will continue until this Sunday, February 25th. With eight beers from BAB (including their wonderful Mosaic DIPA), and seven from Propeller (including a cask of their ESB), it’s pay-as-you-drink all weekend. BAB’s owner/brewery Jeff Saunders will be on hand for beer questions/chatting tonight, and Propeller’s brewer/sales manager Pat Robichaud will be available on Saturday night. Check out the full tap list here.

• It’s another busy week coming up for Good Robot, starting with their participation at the Craft Beer Cottage Party tomorrow night, followed by an after-party luau featuring beers and buddies from Upstreet Brewing back at the taproom, with Koconut Kings providing musical entertainment. As mentioned above, Tuesday, February 28th, will see the debut of beers from Jake DeWolfe, Assistant Brewer, paired with a Mardi Gras Cajun menu from Black Sheep and a soul playlist on vinyl from Black Buffalo spun by a live DJ. Thursday, March 2nd sees a tap takeover at the taproom by North Brewing, with 8 taps, possibly the most ever for that brewery in a North end pub. The favour is returned the next night, on Friday, March 3rd when 14, count’em 14 Good Robot brews go up at Battery Park in Dartmouth. The most. Ever. Anywhere. We expect to hear more about that this week, so look for more details in next week’s wrap-up.​

That’s the news we’ve got to share this week! Have a great weekend, and be sure to enjoy some of that unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having! Before we head out for good…

– Last night was the first Brew Ha-Ha at the Company House, featuring Tidehouse Brewing and the comedy of Andrew Vaughan, Dan Hendrickson and Frank Russo. We’ll find out more about what sounds like it might be a regular event, and let you know.
– The Craft Beer Cottage Party is tomorrow night at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market at 7pm. Although the VIP passes have sold out it looks like there are still some general tickets available. Come on out to dream of summer and sample the wares of 30 breweries from the region.
– Today, Garrison is welcoming Dave Martin, winner of the 2016 Home Brew-Off, to brew his Chamomile IPA on the Garrison system; the beer will be released at this year’s gala on March 23rd. Judging for this year’s competition is actually happening tomorrow, with almost 40 entries for the Wee Heavy style.
Grimross now has their Pugnacious Porter (6.2% ABV) available in cans; joining their Maritime Pale Ale, it’s available at the brewery and should be following in ANBL stores, soon.
– The Hammond River Blackberry Berliner Weisse we reported on earlier this month is now available on tap; Ram Jam comes in at 3.2% ABV and is circulating on tap around HR accounts.
– March 1st marks one year for Nine Locks Brewing. They’ll be celebrating with draws and in-store specials. If you haven’t been out to see them, it’s probably a good time to rectify that.

 

Good morning! As we enter the final couple of crazy days before Christmas, beer news is winding down (ever-so-slightly) as everyone rushes to fit in some last minute shopping, cooking, baking, and stressing. As an excuse to step away from it all, even for just a few minutes, let’s take some time to get caught up on what’s happening in the beer world this week…

• Just in time for Christmas, Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing has launched their first beer, Lupulus Interruptus. This 7.5% American IPA features loads of late and whirlpool hops, for an assertive 90 IBU bitterness, enhanced by juicy notes of citrus and peach in both the flavour and aroma. This first batch is currently available at Uptown’s Cask & Kettle, as well as for growler fills at the Wellington Row ANBL. Drop in today for a fill/pint, as both spots are moving through the beer quickly! To learn more about Loyalist City, check out our Profile on them from the summer. Look for more LCBC beers to be available in early January, with their retail and taproom location on Water Street to open in the coming months. Keep an eye here, as well as on their social media pages.

• In cider news, Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville has a brand new offering this week in the form of their Old-Fashioned Gravenstein, made with 100% hand-picked local Gravenstein apples, an heirloom variety that’s great for both eating and cooking, but which doesn’t store well on a long-term basis. The apples for this cider were harvested early and pressed soon after picking providing juice that was fermented dry. After fermentation, additional fresh-pressed Gravenstein juice was added for balance and it the cider was finished with a slight effervescence. The final product is pale in colour with a fresh apple aroma and crisp flavor. It comes in at 7.4% and is being sold in a refillable bottle for $19.95; it’s available either on its own or as part of a Holiday 3-Pack for a limited time.

• There’s a whole slew of special one-offs being released right now at Upstreet, and continuing on over the next several weeks. They’ve brewed up another iteration of their Berliner Weisse, with this batch tasting more sour than the first. Still a very-sessionable 4% ABV, four kegs of this one were made available: two plain, and two dry-hopped (one with Centennial, one with Sorachi Ace). They’re available for pints only at the taproom, and they’re going fast!

• Continuing with Upstreet, last week they released Into the Weeds, a “Seaweed Blonde Ale”. This beer was created by employee Jesse H, and featured a simple grist of 2-row and light Crystal malt, with both sea lettuce and dulse added late in the boil, and as a “dry-weed” addition after fermentation. With a blend of “sweet, salty, and umami” flavours, it was another sessionable brew, at 4% ABV. Unfortunately, the two kegs flew out of the taproom even faster than expected! Maybe they’ll brew it again sometime in the future…?

• Finally, expect to see many more one-offs released by Upstreet over the next couple of weeks, including a Vanilla Smoked Porter, Honey Pilsner, and more. And with a fresh delivery of barrels from Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery, there will be some special beers coming in the New Year. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

• If you’re in the Moncton area, you’re in for a special treat – Acadie-Broue officially launched their Lambic-style beer, Zirable, at the Laundromat yesterday evening. Fermented in Hungarian medium-toasted oak barrels, this sour, complex, 5% ABV ale has been maturing for three years. It made a brief appearance at the 2014 Brewer’s Bash as a young release (where, we can attest, it was already tasting pretty fantastic), and at Stillwell in 2015, but the rest of it has been patiently awaiting it’s release to the public, allowing the Brettanomyces bruxellensis and Lactobacillus plenty of time to work their magic. Several batches were actually brewed over this time period, where they were meticulously blended by brewer Patrice Godin, until the perfect balance and blend was found. This award-winning beer (Silver in the 2015 ACBAs) is a very limited release, so don’t miss the chance to try the only Gueuze-style beer (blended lambics) brewed in the Maritimes (to our knowledge, anyway).

• Along with the first can releases of their Good Aura and Rascal earlier this week, TrailWay has a new beer (of sorts) newly available for the holiday. Christmas Rascal is a new take on their Imperial Stout; inspired by Mexican Chocolate, they infused the base beer with Lactose powder, and then aged it (briefly) on cacoa nibs, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom and vanilla. The result? A rich, full-bodied, and full-flavoured 8% ABV beer, with just the right amount of spice and heat. A small amount of this one is on tap for pints and growlers at the brewery’s taproom, with the rest available this weekend at all ANBL growler stations (except Fredericton and Dieppe).

• River Charlo, New Brunswick’s Savoie’s Brewhouse has settled nicely into their new digs next to Heron’s Nest Pub; they tell us it’s great being right next door to the only craft and imported beer pub in the area, with their own beer exclusively on tap and a variety of alternatives in the fridge. This week they’ll be serving up their Holiday Peppermint Blonde, a 5% ABV beer with both peppermint and vanilla added to the secondary for a seasonal flavour kick.​

• Fredericton’s Bogtrotter has their first Stout appearing in ANBL stores this week. Snapping Turtle has a fairly standard grist with darker malts, as well as some Rye malt and oatmeal, all weighing in at only 4.8% ABV. Hopped entirely with Chinook to 25 IBUs, expect to see 500 mL bottles at the Oromocto, York St., and Prospect St. ANBL stores; it’s also currently on tap at the Cask & Kettle. Also, Bogtrotter launched Snowy Spruce last week, which is their Muddy Mayhem IPA with a Christmas twist – spruce buds (harvested from owner/brewer Rod Croucher’s property) were added to boost the beer’s aroma. This one is available on tap only, at better beer establishments in Fredericton.

• In St. John’s, Mill Street pub’s head brewer Dan Boldrini has come up with a new beer that celebrates a native Newfoundland foodstuff, the touton, a pancake of sorts often made with leftover bread dough and traditionally cooked in rendered pork fatback (although more often in canola oil or olive oil and clarified butter these days). Touton Topper is an Imperial Stout infused with Crosby’s Molasses, a favourite go-with for toutons. The beer has a bit of a smoky nose and brings blackstrap molasses flavours with dark chocolate, roasted coffee and 25 or so IBUs providing balance. At a hefty 9.1% ABV it’s not for the faint of heart.​

• Starting yesterday, and continuing today until 4 pm, Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing began selling growlers to go of their beer for the first time. Set up in the adjoining Duo Cafe, a limited supply of kegs have been pouring several beers, including the recently-released Peach Ale Shake and Sour Otis Cranberry, as well as two brand new beers, Herbie’s Oatmeal for Breakfast Stout, and Simcoe IPA. ANBL-branded growlers will be on-hand for purchase, but they will also fill any (clean) 32 oz or 64 oz growler. In addition, branded men and women’s t-shirts will be available, just in case you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for the beer lover in your life (or yourself)!

Graystone has a couple of new beers on tap, bringing the grand total of their beers at their taproom to 10, a new high. Summit IPA (6.9% ABV, 74 IBUs) is not a single-hopped beer, but does feature plenty of Summit for a “subtle, earthy sweetness and clean finish”, according to the brewery. They’re also now pouring their Holiday Stout, which is their Pitch Stout infused with cranberries and cocoa nibs; this one weighs in at an easy-drinking 4% ABV, and 38 IBUs. Both beers are available now for growler and crowler fills, as well as pints, and have been spotted at other beer bars/restaurants in Fredericton.

Earlier this month we told you about Ask & Embla, the first beer in North Brewing’s “Finite Series” of experimental beers, when it was released to local taps. That beer is now available in 650mL bombers at both North bottle shops. It’s the same beer at 5.2% ABV and 16 or so IBU, with 20% oats in the grist, Timothy hay added to the mash, a yeast pitch collected from Saison de Pinot and 3 weeks of aging on driftwood collected from Cow Bay, but now it’s been conditioning in the bottle for an extra month. Given the mixed strain nature of the yeast, the extra fermentables used to bottle carbonate could definitely make some differences to the finished product and make it a candidate for cellar aging as well.

• We also told you a few weeks ago about North’s new Artist Series of labels. One beer in particular, the Farmhouse Red Bière de Garde, isn’t just sporting a new label by Nicole G. (who you may know from the Halifax bottle shop), it’s also rocking a slightly new formulation: although the recipe is essentially the same as their Farmhouse, the new batches of this beer contain malt from Horton Ridge for additional local cred.

• The gang at Good Robot is laying fairly low this week in terms of releases and events, but it sounds like this is the calm before the storm and they’ll be revving back up to full speed in the new year. This week does see the re-release of Whackity Shmackity Brew, a 5.8% ABV and 25 IBU American wheat beer featuring orange zest added to the fermenter and Magnum, Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria hops, brewed in tribute to comedian Patton Oswalt.

• Coming early in the new year, with more info to come, are three new beers: Sickbot Epidemic ESB, a collaboration with Sickboy Podcast, a collaborative brew with North Brewing that might be named 220 Volts, but then again might not be, and an as-yet totally unnamed Barleywine. We’ll have more details as the release dates approach.

• If you’re looking for a place to have a beer on one of the days most bars are closed over the holidays, remember that Good Robot is looking out for you. They’ll be open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, “at the staff’s request.” (Tune in this summer when the staff “requests” the honour of digging a defensive trench around the Gastroturf.) And on New Year’s Eve the GR gang will also be celebrating a No Frills New Year’s with nothing but beer, glasses to serve it in and some finger foods from Rinaldo’s.​

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has a pair of new beers pouring at their taproom on Main Street these days. Irish Red is a 4.8% ABV malt-forward Red Ale, light and easy drinking, with some pleasant fruity hop and light roasted notes. Due to its popularity, it will be joining their flagship lineup. Also drop by for a pint or growler of Batch 56, a light-bodied lager with a nice malt character and light fruity hops. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV, it hits all of the right buttons. Their taproom is open Christmas Eve until 6pm, and will re-open December 27 for a Family Pot-Luck event from noon, bring your leftovers and share with the local beer community.

• Be sure to drop by Schoolhouse Brewing‘s new location at 40 Water Street in Windsor today, as Class is in Session! Grab flights and growlers of their core lineup noon to 8pm, as well as a brand new brew, Vice Principal Pale Ale. The 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale is a bigger take on the Principal Pale Ale, with a crisp finish and lighter aromatics. Look for it to be pouring at the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Event January 12th.

• Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has a new English Ale out now, Slanty Shanty Best Bitter, which we mentioned briefly last week. A higher-proof Bitter at 5.0% ABV, it features authentic Noble spicy hop notes (ending up at 35 IBUs), with a touch of honey and grain in the glass. It is available at the brewery for growler fills, and making its way to better beer bars around the province.

• Nova Scotia’s breweries received some good news earlier this week, with an announcement that there are changes coming to the controversial Retail Sales Markup Allocation. The RSMA is collected by the NSLC on all beer that breweries sell directly to customers and licensees (i.e., not through the NSLC). Promoted as an ostensible means to track the volume of beer sold outside the Corporation, the $0.50/litre tax is charged in addition to excise and other taxes required by legislation. Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing launched a lawsuit against the NSLC in August characterizing the RSMA as a tax and calling its validity into question based on the further question of whether the NSLC has a mandate to tax producers in this way. Unfiltered raised awareness in October with the release of their RSMA Double IPA and has seen support from Big Spruce’s open letter to Nova Scotia as well as a donation of malt from Horton Ridge that they used to brew their most recent batch of DOA. The province says that as of April 1, 2017, the RSMA will be reduced to 5% of wholesale costs, which should lead to a reduction of the overall amount collected from brewers in Nova Scotia to one-third of current levels. While a noble start, and the first time breweries will be treated in the same was as other alcohol producers, many breweries (including Unfiltered) would prefer to see this fee eliminated completely. Credit is certainly due for the inclusion in the press release of Craft Brewer’s Association of NS president Emily Tipton’s comments regarding the extended economic impact of craft beer and brewing in Nova Scotia. The province’s press release can be read here.

That’s all the news fit to print this week, folks! Have a safe and happy holiday, and we’ll see you back here next week with the final Wrap-Up of the year!

Good afternoon, and welcome to a special Thursday edition of the Atlantic Canada Beer Blog! With tomorrow’s holiday, we decided to release this week’s news a day early…

One Way Brewing is coming soon to historic Ginger House, located on Truro’s Prince Street. Three local entrepreneurs will be launching the small brewery in the spring, complete with an on-site tap room, as well as growler and keg sales. Brewing on a 5 hl (4 BBL) system, they will be concentrating on supplying beer fans and bars in the local market. We’ll have more details closer to launch, but in the meantime check out the articles in Truro Daily News and CBC online.

• The University of Moncton’s brew pub, Le Coude, has been going strong for a couple of months now, ever since Acadie-Broue has set up shop! Lucky residents of Fredericton will be seeing some AB popping up in the city, as they recently sent four different beers to the James Joyce. Included are: Valdrague Weizen, their 5% ABV take on the classic German Hefeweizen style; Tintamarre, a 6.6% ABV Belgian Saison; La Bringue,  a 5% ABV American Brown Ale; and La Picasse, a 7.3% ABV Baltic Porter that hasn’t been brewed since in more than two years. As always, these beers won’t last long, so be sure to keep track of when they’re being tapped!

Mama’s Brew Pub isn’t letting the cool weather prevent them from brewing summer beer styles, as they’ve recently released their take on a Belgian Witbier, White Citrus Bomb. The grist is made up simply of 2-row malt and Flaked Wheat, and lightly hopped to 18 IBUs with Hallertau. Brewer Ryan Kingston also added “a cheesecloth sack the size of a basketball” full of freshly-grated orange zest (for those of you who haven’t grated multiple oranges, this takes awhile!), and a small amount of coriander.  Featuring plenty of citrus aromas and flavours, as the name implies, it comes in at 4.3% ABV. And for Mama’s fans who may not make it to the brewpub as often as they’d like, their Crowler machine and cans have arrived, so look for off-site sales to begin in the near future.

• Today will see the launch of the latest Greg Nash SMaSH at Unfiltered Brewing. Touted as the fourth in the series (although we had counted four already: DOA, All Falc’d Up, Deity, and RSMA), Danko features two-row malt and copious quantities of the Simcoe hop, a variety known for it’s potent, woody, musky-like-cat-pee-but-in-a-good-way aroma and passionfruit, pine and berry flavour notes. The name, credited to the brewery’s own Emily, reflects both the word “dank,” often used when describing Nash’s hop-forward creations, and Rick Danko, bassist for The Band and one of the more famous products of Simcoe, Ontario. As with all Unfiltered SMaSH beers, it comes in north of 100 IBU and somewhere in the vicinity of 7.5% ABV. Given the nature of the hop and the likely quantities involved, this is another that’s likely to flirt with some more savoury notes in flavour and aroma. You’ll have to grab a growler at the brewery or a pint (or three) at Charm School Pub to find out. Get on it!

• Halifax’s (and Dartmouth’s) North Brewing is releasing a special mixed fermentation beer today. Wiley Boys II is the second iteration of Wiley Boys Dark Saison first released in July, in celebration of owner Peter Burbridge’s best friend’s wedding. Six hundred litres of the original brew was given an extra pitch of Brettanomyces from Escarpment Labs, as well as a large addition of Nova Scotia-harvested strawberries from Beet Rouge. This new blend was allowed to further ferment for three months, and has been conditioning for another month in bottles. The Brett adds a leather-like and funky contribution, with the strawberries and underlying dark chocolate notes coming through as well. Available at both locations today, this 7.0% ABV beer is for sale only in bottles, with a special nitro-primed keg to be released at Battery Park‘s First Birthday Party December 9th. The artwork on the label is a photo taken by Trevor Allen.

• Details are now available for Stillwell‘s annual birthday celebration beer. Brewing once again at North in Halifax, Stillwell 3 will be similar to last year’s Stillwell 2, a rustic farmhouse, fermented with their “house blend” of yeasts and bacteria, however the underlying beer is markedly different. From Stillwell’s Christopher Reynolds, “Traditionally, many saisons were quite bitter, quite hoppy in aroma and flavour, and bittered with high quantities of low-alpha acid hops. For Stillwell 3, we found some Styrian Goldings that were a scant 1.8 AA and used them to bitter to 32 IBU.” The higher bitterness lowered the acidity, and allowed the Saccharomyces yeast strains to shine through and show off more classic Saison character with fruity esters and spicy phenolics. The beer was heavily dry-hopped, and if drunk fresh will be reminiscent of traditional Saison beers from Belgium, or if left to age, the hops will fade and Brett will take over, as with the famous Orval. The beer will be launching at Stilly’s party on November 20th, and will be joined by a slew of beers from across the Maritimes and beyond (late update, the draught and special bottle list has been released). Bottles of Stillwell 3 will also be available for sale at North Brewing’s retail stores at that time.

• We now have the details on the 3rd Annual Hammond River Brewing Homebrew Competition, open to all homebrewers living in the Maritimes. This BJCP-certified competition will involve three beer styles: Imperial IPA (category 22A), Sweet Stout (16A), and English Porter (13C). The entry fee is $10, with any or all three styles open for entry for each participant. The first-place finisher will receive a $75 gift certificate for the Saint John Ale House, and will get to assist in the brewing of their beer on the Hammond River system, for release to local tap accounts. There will be 2nd and 3rd prizes offered as well. More details and entry forms can be accessed through the link above; all entries are due at the brewery by February 3rd, with judging taking place on February 5th.

Picaroons has announced that the taproom at their Fredericton brewhouse location (912 Union St.) will be opening later this month. The Roundhouse will be serving pints of Picaroons beer, as well as other New Brunswick craft beer, cider, and mead, and will also have brewery merchandise for sale. Pairing with the taproom will be the Real Foods Café, which will offer “an ever-evolving menu of lighter fare and grab-n-go items”. Growlers will also be filled at the new location and bottles will be available for sale; when opened, expect the taproom to be open seven days a week. We’ll keep you updated on the date, and hours, when known.

• You knew with everything that happened Tuesday night, there had to be an election-themed beverage produced somewhere. Well, Red Rover must have seen the writing on the wall that almost everyone else missed, as they released a new keg of cider yesterday, Trumpty Dumpty. On tap at the Ciderhouse only, this 7% ABV cider was infused with hibiscus, a type of flower often used in tea, providing a tangy flavour; they also added some Thuya Gin, from New Brunswick’s Fils du Roy. No word yet on if the cider is orange or angry; be sure to let us know if you’re lucky enough to have a taste!

• Fredericton’s newest nano-brewery, Bogtrotter, has released Malty Muskrat, their first Imperial IPA. Their biggest beer to-date at 8.2%, it was highly hopped to 100 IBUs with Warrior, Amarillo, and Simcoe. You can find it exclusively on tap at select locations in the city, including the James Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Graystone Brewing.

There’s yet a few more beer-themed events coming up over the next month that we’d like to mention:

Upstreet is bringing back Black Tie Affair, their Vanilla Cranberry Stout, and is holding a Rocking Release Party to celebrate, next Thursday, November 17th from 6-10 pm. A three-course, Prix Fixe menu Black Tie Dinner (featuring Black Tie Affair in the recipes, of course) will start the night at 6 pm, followed by live music at 7 pm. Admission is free, with donations being accepted for the Rwanda Craft Brewery Project. While there, be sure to check out their latest on-tap-only small batch, Berliner Weisse (4.5% ABV, 8 IBUs), which was kettle-soured with grain; future iterations, with various dry-hop additions, will follow.

• The second public presentation of Sociable!, will be taking place next Friday, November 18th, at Boxing Rock Brewing. The party in Shelburne kicks off at 6pm with free brewery tours, with the film starting at 7pm, and following up with a Q&A with the filmmakers. Free snacks and beer samples will be available too! For more information, check out the Event page.

• The Inaugural Cape Breton Beer Fest is happening November 19th at the Cruise Terminal in Sydney. There will be fifteen breweries, cider houses, and distilleries from around the province in attendance for the Afternoon (2:00 to 4:30 pm) or Evening sessions (7:00 to 9:30 pm, with VIP tickets available for 6:00 pm entry). Grab your tickets online today.
• Battery Park will be hosting Nyanza’s Big Spruce on December 1st, in the third in a series of NS Brewery Tap Takeovers. As in the previous editions with Tatamagouche and Boxing Rock, they have also teamed up with the visiting brewery on a collaboration brew. This month’s beer is a Nova Scotia-themed mad scientist’s dream: a Donair Beer, aged on raspberries. The Battery Park kitchen created, cooked, then dried and powdered donair meat, and added it to the mash tun, with the grain required for an Imperial Stout. After primary fermentation, the beer will age on raspberries. Blood Donair is the name of the beer, and it will debut during the tap takeover, along with plenty of Big Spruce’s favourite and award-winning beers.
Have a great long weekend, and tomorrow, remember to think of those who gave – and continue to give – so much, and raise a glass of craft beer in their honour. In closing…
Boxing Rock‘s Bohemian Pilsner, Wild Axe (5.7% ABV), is back again on tap, and in bottles at the HRM private liquor stores.
Hammond River has rebrewed their Into the Dark Hawaiian Porter (6.3% ABV, 38 IBUs), brewed with cacao nibs and fresh, toasted coconut; it should be appearing on tap within the next couple of weeks.
Garrison Brewing has released the next two beers in their winter seasonal portfolio today; their 7.5% ABV Spruce Beer, made with locally-harvested spruce and fir, on a full bodied-ale featuring molasses, and the 7.0% ABV Winter Warmer, brewed with cinnamon and clove spice additions, for a beer worthy of enjoying around the fire. Both beers are available in 650mL bottles at the brewery today, with release to the private liquor stores and NSLC next week.
– Keep your eyes, and ears, open for a local beer-themed podcast dropping next week. 902 BrewCast features three local beer fans, Kyle, Philip, and Tony, talking about the latest releases in our region, and interviewing local brewers and industry folks. Subscribe now, and look for the first pair of episodes in your favourite podcast app next Friday, November 18th.
 – For those who want to try this highly sought-after beer, the PEI Liquor Commission currently has bottles of Sam Adams Utopias on their shelves at two locations. At $200, this is not an everyday-drinker, but certainly something that can be cellared long-term, and pulled out at special occasions. They are also carrying the CRAFT BeerAdvent Calendar, a collection of 24 new-to-Canada beers, to be opened during December.
– Not to be outdone, the NSLC will be releasing eight bottles of Utopias at The Port signature store November 19th, also priced at $200.

Happy Friday everyone! Lots of news this week, so let’s get right to it…

• Leading us off today is a story from Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing: they have filed suit against the NSLC, arguing that the “Retail Mark-Up Sales Allocation” the Crown Corporation is unconstitutional. When Unfiltered’s lawyers consulted the legislation to learn more about the mark-up, none could be found, and the NSLC has been unable to provide documents outlining the details. The $0.50/litre mark-up is applied to all NS-made beer that is sold or given away, whether or not it hits any NSLC retail stores. Unfiltered is claiming that the mark-up is in fact a tax, and that the NSLC is not legislated to collect it. They are requesting reimbursement for the more than $25,000 paid to the NSLC over the last 13 months, and that the mark-up be declared unconstitutional. This case has wide-reaching implications, as all of the more than 35 breweries in the province have been paying this fee for years, and would amount to many millions of dollars that could be at dispute. From the NSLC’s own spokesperson, $954,000 was collected in 2015, of which $50,000 was provided to the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia (the association of 25 member breweries, but Unfiltered is not one of them). The scheduling of the suit is to be decided in early September, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with all of the news. The CBC has a good summary of the details of the suit.

• In new beer news, Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has dropped a new take on their fruit wheat beer this week: Haskap Wheat. With a similar base as their Raspberry Wheat, this beer features 40 kilos of locally-grown Haskap berries added after fermentation. The resultant beer is a hazy purple colour, with notes of blueberry, raspberry, and cranberry, on a pleasant wheat base. A very drinkable 4.3% ABV and 20 IBUs Wheat beer. And speaking of drinkable, their South Pacific-hopped Pale Ale D’under is back again, weighing in at 5.5% ABV and approximately 40 IBUs from late addition hops. Lots of tropical aromas come through from the hops, without a big bitter blast.

Propeller Brewing has released their latest One Hit Wonder this week, and their Brewmaster apparently had a one-track mind when it came to this recipe! 1 Hop IPA is a 6.6% ABV and 56 IBUs beer, featuring nothing but Mandarina Bavaria for the hopping. As the name implies, this hop was developed in Germany, at the Hop Research Institute in Hüll, and is among the recent wave of aromatic hops (higher oil content) coming from Europe. The orange and citrus notes of the hop shine through on top of the robust body and significant bitterness. As with all of their OHW releases, this is only available in draft, or for growler fills at their two brewery locations. And while you’re at the brewery, be sure to check out Prop’s first can release. They have started with their flagship IPA, with cans now available at their retail locations, and will soon be rolling out to the private stores and NSLC shelves.

 • Gahan House Halifax has a few new beers on tap currently, and a brand new beer hitting the taps next week. Now on tap are: Maritime Brine, a 3.8% Gose with a light acidity and salt character, along with pleasant lemon character, with just enough hops (less than 10 IBUs) to keep it balanced; The Barberrian (which made its cask debut at the Seaport Beer Festival), a 5.0% ABV Red Ale aged on dried barberries and cherries, for a bright fruit flavour and aroma; Summer House Beer, a 4.0% Hefeweizen dry-hopped with Mt Hood for a hoppy-aromatic take on the style; and Crosscurrent, their 5.5% ABV American Pale Ale with El Dorado and Simcoe. On tap for next week is Night Vision, a 6.2% American Porter, using Magnum and Mt Hood hops (to about 30 IBUs), featuring “chocolate and graham cracker notes” as a nice contrast to their roast-forward Stout, according to Brewmaster Kyle Jeppesen. Be sure to follow along with his adventures on Instagram, to keep up-to-date on his brew days and what’s coming up on the waterfront. In fact, Jeppesen just brewed a Sahti, his take on the traditional Finnish brew, featuring locally-harvest juniper branches used in the mash, and a large percentage of rye malt.

North Brewing is releasing a special beer collaboration brew today, Lawrencetown Blonde. This 4.5% ABV beer features 2-Row and Wheat malts, and lightly hopped with Cascade and Saaz to about 20 IBUs. Surfing friends of the brewery, Ian Jackson and Dean Petty (of Anchored Coffee) were also part of the brewday, label design, and recipe development. Ten litres of Ethiopian Yukro cold brew was added to the final beer, courtesy of Anchored, for a light roastiness to complement the peach, citrus, and light ginger aromas. And a nod to the surfers was a little but of Lawrencetown Beach sea water too! Ian’s wife Jill (of Jill+Jack Paper) designed the label, on the bottles which are available on both Agricola and Ochterloney today.

Yellowbelly Brewpub in St John’s has released a new beer this week, Southern Shore Foggy Porter. This deep-ruby-coloured porter features a big roast character, notes of toast and smoke, and dry finish, thanks to the large percentage of roasted barley used in the recipe. Dry-hopped with Brewer’s GoldCascade, and Mosaic to enhance the nose with a touch of spice and fruit. This beer is Brewmaster Liam Mckenna’s tribute to “the finest sort of folks down the Shore who endure weather like no others, [and] will warm the cockles.” The 5.8% ABV, 45 IBUs, beer is on tap at the brewpub now, and may not make it into bottles, so best to drop by for a pint today!

• Garrison Brewing has brought back their popular Honey Lavender Ale today. The 6.5% ABV beer features lavender harvested from Meander River Farms, and its aroma is a pleasant partner to the malt and light honey character. Honey from Shubenacadie’s G.G. Smeltzer & Son helped to bump up the alcohol a bit, aiding the Maritime Malt and Wheat, and does offer a sweet aftertaste. A small dose of Citra hops helps to offset the beer at a light 16 IBUs. Bottles are now available at the brewery and private stores in HRM.

• Nyanza’s Big Spruce has brought back their kettle-soured IPA this week, JAC the SIPA. Featuring loads of AmarilloCitra, and Simcoe hops added during a whirlpool after flame-out, this 6.0% ABV beer features a big aromatic blast of hops with a medium 54 IBUs. The acidic nature of the beer gives a pleasant refreshing sharp character, on a hot afternoon.

Picaroons will be pouring a special beer this weekend, to celebrate The Tragically Hip‘s final concert (and Canada-wide phenomenon). The Tragically Hop’d Pale Ale is a 4.5% ABV Pale Ale with “silly” amounts of some special hops: Galaxy, Saphir, Summit, TopazVic Secret, and Warrior, to 40 IBUs. The beer will be pouring exclusively at the “Fully Completely in the Square” event in Fredericton’s Officer Square, at the Brewtique, and at the General Store in Saint John tomorrow, August 20th.

Speaking of events, there are a whole bunch of them on our radar in the coming weeks. You can check out our Calendar of Events Page for the full listing, and subscribe to it by clicking here. And feel free to let us know about the neat events that we may have missed! We love to hear from you at ACBeerBlog@gmail.com.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing will be opening their retail location August 20 for growler and merchandise sales, 10-4. They will be selling their Dark Cream Ale, a flavourful 4.7% golden orange ale featuring notes of biscuit and toast and their IPA, a 5.4% dry-hopped hoppy ale, featuring notes of melon and strawberry. As they are still awaiting their 12 hl brewhouse to come online (much of it was delivered this week!), they will be concentrating on to-go sales, in both their own, or customer-provided (clean), grunters and growlers. Their current schedule is to be open for take away sales for the next few Saturdays until their launch at the end of September.

• The Upstreet Block Party is returning for its second year on Saturday, August 20th. Featuring plenty of activities, live music, food, and tours at the brewery from 12 pm on, they’ll also be unveiling a new “super-sized beer garden”! As the sun goes down, the party will move into the taproom at about 8 pm for more music (from two local DJs), food, and beer. Admission is free, just drop in anytime to join in the fun!

• On August 26th Quebec Belgian-inspired brewery Unibroue is sending their Beer Sommelier (and Certified Cicerone®) Sylvain Bouchard to The Port, NSLC’s new flagship location at 5485 Clyde Street. He will be helping to launch the release of the 6-litre 17 Grand Reserve Belgian Strong, with a food and beer tasting with several of their products (including Éphémère Apple, Blonde de Chambly, La Fin du Monde, Maudite, in addition to the 17) . There are only 32 bottles of this special beer, in a format best suited for sharing at a wedding or other celebration, and those in attendance will have the first chance at trying and purchasing them. There are only 30 tickets available to the 7-8:30pm event (on sale at The Port now), and we are holding a contest for your chance to win a pair of them! Post a picture to our Facebook page, and/or tag us and @Unibroue on Twitter or Instagram, with a picture your favourite beer and food pairing, and we will announce the winner in our Weekly Wrap-Up next Friday morning.

•  On August 26 & 27, Stillwell Beer Bar is hosting a tap takeover from Portland Maine’s Liquid Riot Bottling Co. Owned by the awesome beer-focused team behind Novare Res Bier Cafe, Liquid Riot brews a wide variety of beers and spirits on the Portland waterfront, and is bringing a great selection to Halifax. The fun starts Friday night at 6pm on Barrington, with a dozen sours, porters, wheats, and IPAs taking over the taps at the Mothership, and continues Saturday from noon at the Beer Garden on Spring Garden, with ten taps of LR goodness (five of which are exclusive to the BG). There are no tickets required for the fun, and there are only single kegs of many of the beers, so be sure and drop by early to avoid disappointment! Check out their Facebook Event page for the full line-up, because it’s too long and awesome to post it all here.

• On September 16th, Garrison and Local Connections Halifax are hosting Hops ‘n’ Brats, as part of Halifax Oktoberfest. From 6:30 to 11, they will be hosting a handful of NS breweries at the Salter Street parking lot, slinging beers and pairing them with a ton of locally-produced sausages. Your entry fee includes your first 8 samples, a token to take part in the beer-centric games, and a souvenir glass. New this year is the ability to trade 3 tickets for a full pour of your favourite brew. There will be a dozen breweries in attendance, including: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Garrison, Meander River, and Spindrift. Tickets are just $24+tax, and are available now.

• September 17th is the main event for Halifax Oktoberfest, with the party kicking off at 11am with traditional German food, music and games, with the evening session kicking off at 6pm with more food, dancing, and Garrison beer a-plenty. The Swell Guys and Die Brew-misters Oompah Bands will be providing music, and Scanway Catering will be serving up lots of sausages, spaetzle and schnitzel, as well as two whole roasted pigs. From 11AM to 5PM the event will be all-ages, admission is $5/adults and free for children. In the evening, the fun continues as a 19+ event with dancing, food, and games. An evening pass can be purchased for $16 which includes entry and one Garrison beer, or a $20 entry that also includes a commemorative Oktoberfest Halifax Stein. Full details are available here, and tickets are on sale now.

Wow, another big week! A few more notes that came in after our deadline:

Gahan Pub Charlottetown have brought back Summer in New Zealand, the NZ-hopped beer with grains of paradise and a touch of lemon and lime zest, the winning recipe by Ryan Palmer in last year’s Gahan Homebrew Challenge.
– Congratulations to Breton Brewing on brewing their 100th batch of beer! They celebrated by…. brewing! More Stirling Hefeweizen coming soon.
Hell Bay has brought a pair of favourites this week, with the O.P.A Oat Pale Ale and R.I.P. (A) IPA.
– After last weekend’s very successful launch, Beckwith Road Brewery has delivered their Campfire Amber at the Tide & Boar in Moncton, and will be going on tap very shortly.
– You can once again pick up Shiretown Beer at the ANBL! Drop by the Dalhousie and Charlo locations to grab bottles of their Blonde Du Quai, Siren’s T’ale and Big Brown Ale.

Apologies for the late posting this week, *someone* decided to take the week off, again! 😉

Hello, and welcome to an early edition of our weekly Friday Wrap-Up! Tomorrow is Canada Day, so we wanted to be sure to catch all of you – and keep you updated on beer info – before the long weekend hits and the beer-enjoying begins!

• Earlier this week, Gahan Halifax released Berliner Weisse, named after the iconic German style known for being lightly sour, refreshing, and easy-drinking. Brewed with a grist of 60% Pilsner malt and 40% Wheat malt, a sour mash was performed to give a light acidity. During the boil, there was a small hop addition of Magnum for a low bitterness (5 IBUs), as befits the style. Described by the brewery as “slightly hazy with a thick white head that dissipates quite quickly”, it exhibits “lemony, citrus notes” to go along with the tartness from the sour mash. In addition, they’ve made a raspberry simple syrup that can be added to the beer (a practice still in use in Berlin today), for those who prefer to cut the acidity a tad. A supremely sessionable 4% ABV, it’s a perfect style for drinking during the summer! Look for more summer-themed seasonals coming soon, all of which are fermented with either their house American yeast strain, or a German Hefeweizen strain. Speaking of which, their summer Beer Bar (extra patio location) is now open, where all Gahan core brands and two Halifax seasonals are available on tap, as well as a limited food menu. As its opening is weather-dependent, be sure to check their social media for the latest news.

Flying Boats will be releasing a new beer over the long weekend, their first Session IPA. Hopped entirely with Galaxy – a delicious Australian variety with characteristics of passionfruit and citrus – it comes in at an easy-drinking 4.7% ABV, and 44 IBUs. Currently unnamed, it will be on tap this weekend at Marky’s Laundromat, and sometime next week at the Tide & Boar and James Joyce.

North Brewing is continuing with the interesting beer releases, this time with Wiley Boys, a Black Saison aged on currants that will be released tomorrow. Brewed with Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate, and Black malts, it was lightly-hopped with Galena and Willamette to 20 IBUs. Clocking in at 6% ABV, this one will first be available at North retail locations for growler fills, and on tap at Battery Park, until next week’s release to a few other lucky tap accounts in the HRM. The beer will be launched as North takes over the Battery Park patio at 11:30AM tomorrow, also pouring a pair of special casks of their Stillwell collaboration Gose, one batch aged on barberries, the other on mango, as well as blasts from the past Sauer Sagen Hat Sour and Belgian Milk Stout.

• The Big Tide / Boiling Point Podcast beer that we originally reported on last month is now on tap at the brewpub, and we have all the details. Brewed to celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast that stars Greg Hemmings and Dave Veale, Brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos was charged by the voting public to brew a beer that was “golden, citrusy, sweet, potent, local, spicy, and sessionable”… not exactly an easy task! Not one to fail to rise to the challenge, however, Wendy settled on a Honey Ginger Ale, named Hemmingsway Vealey Great Ale. Brewed with Pale Ale and Wheat malts, and hopped with all NB-grown varieties (EKG from Southan Farms, and Cascade and Hallertau from Darlings Island Farm), fresh ginger was also added during the mash, boil, and fermentation. Lemon rind, lemongrass, and honey were all added to the boil as well, resulting in a 7.5% ABV, 38 IBUs beer. And good news for those of you attending next week’s Tasting NB in Fredericton – this one may just pop up at the event on Saturday!

• Also last month, Garrison put a call out for all patrons to bring in as much rhubarb as they could, to be used for a special beer, and to be exchanged for brewery credit. That beer – It’s Rhubarb Saison! – is now available as of today. A “refreshing wheat beer brewed in the Saison style”, over 500 lbs of fresh, local rhubarb were added to give a “clean, tart character” to the pale, hazy-orange brew. Available on tap only at the brewery for tasters and growler fills, it comes in at 5.7% ABV.

• Garrison has also released their ACBA Gold-medal-winning Rise n’ Stein Hefeweizen today. This 5.5% ABV classic German style features a significant amount of wheat in the malt bill, and is fermented using a traditional Hefe yeast for notes of clove and banana on the hazy beer with a pillowy white head. The beer is available at the brewery now on tap and in bottles, with bottles also at the private stores, and hitting NSLC shelves in a couple of weeks. The beer was first brewed in celebration of the Halifax Oktoberfest, with this year’s event taking place Sept 16 & 17, 2016. September 17th also marks the first time the Canada Beer Run will hit Halifax. The 11.4 km run starts at Garrison, and features a route that will take racers to Good Robot and Propeller Brewing for bevvies, as well as a “satellite” set up from Spindrift. The run finishes back at Garrison, to take part in the Oktoberfest-ivities.

• Big Spruce‘s “Wheat IPA”, You Spin me White Round, is back for the season. Originally brewed “in conspiracy” with Sawdust City Brewing (Gravenhurst, ON) in February, 2014, it features plenty of malted organic Wheat in a “traditional American-style IPA” grist. First-wort hopped with Magnum, with later additions of Chinook and Amarillo for plenty of citrusy, grapefruit aromas and flavours, it weighs in at 6.5% ABV.

• Halifax’s Good Robot has brought back their popular David Lynch-inspired beer, Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie Pale Ale. While light amber in colour (thanks to a Pilsner base with Rye and Red X malts), the beer evokes thoughts of something darker, thanks to the generous addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Ethiopian Guji coffee. The use of Cascade and Falconer’s Flight hops (to 40 IBUs) and California Ale yeast lends a fruit and berry aroma to round out the beer. The 5.1% ABV beer is on tap at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and will be in the wild shortly.

• We have a bit more info on the Grimross expansion we briefly mentioned last week. They have taken over an additional 4000 sq. ft. of space adjacent to the brewery/taproom, doubling their area to a total of 8000 sq. ft. As they continue to add fermentors to allow them to brew more beer, as well as hosting more events in their taproom, the extra space will be a welcome addition to the brewery. Phase one, the expansion of the taproom and warehouse space, is currently underway, with phase two occurring in the near future, which will result in a greater fermentation capacity, addition of a canning ling, as well as an outdoor patio “overlooking a very scenic marshland”.

• As we mentioned last week, Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s has released their second beer, Capelin Hound Session IPA. The 4.0% ABV beer features loads of Cascade and Mosaic in the dry-hop to complement the 50 IBUs. Featuring a melon and citrus aroma, with fruit flavour and a light lingering bitterness that keeps you coming back for the next sip. The low ABV is perfect for those who want to enjoy a few while waiting for the Capelin to roll.

• The Murphy Hospitality Group has confirmed in a recent story by The Guardian that they will be opening a new hotel in downtown Moncton, The Wesley Hotel, in late 2017/early 2018 on the corner of Wesley and Queen streets. In addition, the hotel will house another location for the Gahan House Restaurant and Brewery, making it the third brewpub for the company, joining its sister properties in Charlottetown and Halifax. Featuring a 6 bbl (700 litre) DME brewhouse, the brewpub will have indoor seating for 160 patrons, plus an additional 60-seat seasonal patio. We’ll be sure to update with more information as the brewery nears completion.

• For our homebrewing/small commercial brewery readers in the Saint John region, a new brewing store is opening today to meet your expanding needs. The NB Craft Brewers Market is located in Rothesay, and will be carrying grain, hops, and yeast from White Labs. Owner Michael Hebert is very open to bringing in ingredients for the local community, so be sure to reach out to put in your requests. While not a brick and mortar shop, the online store will be launching this afternoon at 6, and orders are available for pickup within a couple of hours of submission.

• The NSLC released their annual report this week, and local beer sales continue to show excellent growth. Small Nova Scotian breweries’ sales rose by more than 25% to $7.6M, significantly outpacing the overall beer growth of 2.1%. The news is heartening, but small local producers still account for just 4% of the NS beer market, indicating that there is lots of room for continued growth in the years to come. Any worry that the market for small and locally-owned breweries is becoming saturated seems unfounded given these numbers. What is frustrating is that by the NSLC’s own report, there are just “more than 40” listings of NS craft beer at NSLC stores, where most packaged product is sold. Improving the number to capture the dozens more styles and offerings from around the province would see local product continue to increase, employing more in the province.

With tomorrow’s holiday a great excuse to grab a local beer, we reached out to the breweries in our region to see what they have planned. We didn’t hear from everyone, so be sure to check social media for their hours of operation:

New Brunswick

ANBL stores will be closed Friday July 1, while some agency stores may be open (contact your local one for the scoop).

– Big Tide will be open Friday.

– Grimross will be open Friday.

– Picaroons’ stores in Fredericton and Saint John will be open regular hours Friday.

– York County Cider will be open Friday, extending their hours to open at noon for growler fills. Stocks of their Sidra, a Spanish-style sour cider, are getting low, so drop by for a growler fill before it runs out.

Newfoundland and Labrador

NLC stores will be closed Friday July 1.

– Mill Street Brewpub will be open regular hours, and have their Long Shore Porter and Capelin Hound Session IPA available for purchase (in addition to the standard Mill Street offerings). They will be celebrating Canada Day with a special offer: 1.89l growler fill and Canada Day t-shirt for $30.

– Quidi Vidi will be open at 11:30 Friday, with tours starting at noon, and a Kitchen Party kicking off at 5:30pm.

Nova Scotia

NSLC stores will be closed Friday July 1. The private wine and beer stores will be open.

– Annapolis Cider in Wolfville will be open regular hours all weekend (10am – 7pm).

– Big Spruce will be open Friday (and the rest of the weekend) 12 to 7pm. Featuring the Cruisin’ Cuisine Food Truck all weekend, there will also be music each day: Friday, fiddle/guitar duo Rosie MacKenzie and Patrick Gillis at 1pm to 3pm and Asaph Deuce from 3pm to 5pm; Saturday is Jordan Musycyn (singer/songwriter, folk/rock) 1pm to 3pm; Sunday is Maxime Cormier (Acadian guitar) 1pm to 3pm.

– Boxing Rock will be open 12-6pm for brewery tours and retail purchases. Call (902) 494 9233 to set up a tour.

– Downeast Beer Factory in Burnside will be open from noon for growler fills of their Lachlan’s Lushious Red and CML IPA beers.

– Garrison will be open for the day, and expanding their taps to more than 15 different brews, including some special one-offs and blasts from the past, including their Cider. They will be expanding their patio seating, and have Maple Bacon Cupcakes from Blue Bird Bakery (plus easy access to the Seaport Market next door).

– Gahan Halifax Harbourfront will be open regular hours Friday, offering a great view of the evening’s fireworks.

– Good Robot will be open regular hours, and will be joined by Rinaldo’s Italian American sandwiches from noon.

– Hell Bay Brewing will be open regular hours, so be sure to drop by and enjoy a pint on their newly-opened patio. They will be serving up Woolly Mountain Farms sausages made with their own English Ale beer, as well as pigs that are fed their spent grain. A beer and sausage will be $10.

– North Brewing will be open and taking over Battery Park’s patio (details above), joined by an Ace Burger pop-up menu, and their Agricola location will be open 12-6pm.

– Propeller’s stores in Dartmouth and Halifax will be open Friday.

– Rudder’s Brewery & Pub in Yarmouth will be open standard hours Friday, and all weekend long. Check out their “Rudder’s Express” train car for some lighter fare and ice cream, now open for the season. And if you are traveling to/from Yarmouth by Ferry, their Blonde Rock Ale is now on tap aboard the Cat Ferry, with plans to increase the variety of offerings in the near future, maybe including the newest batch of their Sweet Georgia Brown Double Chocolate Oatmeal Sweet Stout, brewed this week.

– Spindrift Brewing will be closed Friday through Sunday, so drop by their location today for your liquid refreshment. Their current batch of Abyss Schwartzbier is almost gone, so grab some before it fades to black.

– Tatamagouche Brewing will be open regular hours Friday.

– The Townhouse in Antigonish will be open regular hours Friday, and celebrating with Happy Hour all day.

– Unfiltered’s Charm School will be open from noon for pints and growler fills.

Wayfarers’ Ale Society in Port Williams will be open for business Friday, with the Hellene Blonde Ale on tap for samples to enjoy on their deck, and to take in growlers, with their The Ruby Irish Red Ale available early this weekend. They will also be open Saturday, and Mon-Sat going forward (11-6 Mon-Wed, 11-8 Thu-Sat).

Prince Edward Island

PEILC stores will be open standard hours, as will the breweries and brewpubs.

More events this weekend:

• Tonight, Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove, NS is throwing open the doors of their retail location for their first Growler Night. From 5-8pm this evening, and future Thursdays, grab refills of their Gut View Amber, and Bear Bones IPA right from the source! They can also be found at the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market Saturday mornings, and have expanded their tap accounts to include Battery Park, where they expect to launch this weekend.

• Also Tonight, Upstreet is launching the first of their Thursday Nights Live, a weekly event featuring live music in the taproom from 8pm-10pm. There’s no charge to attend, just keep checking the brewery’s Facebook page for updated schedules on performing bands.

• The Townhouse in Antigonish is celebrating their Fourth Anniversary this weekend. After Friday’s Canada Day Festivities, Saturday from 4-6pm they will be holding tours of Terry’s Tiny Brewery upstairs, as he puts together the latest brew. Downstairs, they will be holding ‘Appy Hour!, featuring an oyster bar with tastings of three stouts and three Tidal Bay wines. Samples of Terry’s Dry Irish Stout, Granite Brewery Keefe’s Irish Stout, Sober Island’s Oyster Stout, plus 3 oysters, and a pint of your favourite stout, is only $13. The same tasting can be done with the Tidal Bay wines, for those so inclined. And if oysters aren’t your thing, there will be Pulled Pork buns, Lani’s Filipino Ceviché, and plenty of Stout & Ginger birthday cake. After the afternoon events, drop by for $5 pints of craft beer and glasses of Tidal Bay, and celebrate with Vinyl Night. Sunday after 4pm, come back for more birthday cake and Happy Hour, and stick around for the Traditional Irish Music Session and Sunday Roast, starting at 6:30pm. Looks like a fantastic weekend at the Townhouse!

And a few more parting shots before we sign off for a break!

Pump House has re-released their Weizen for the summer, a 5.2% ABV unfiltered Hefeweizen. Fermented with Weihenstephan yeast, it displays characteristic notes of clove and banana; look for it on tap now at the brewpub in Moncton.
Upstreet‘s Scottish Export Ale, Eighty Bob, is back after a brief hiatus; a malty brew exhibiting flavours of coffee, caramel, raisins, and a slight nuttiness, it’s smooth and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV. And in a sign of becoming environmentally conscious, they have partnered with Bullfrog Power, offeting Upstreet’s usage with 100% clean energy.
– Grimross Brewing is looking for a full-time brewer to join their team. Drop off or email a resume today to join the expanding brewery!

Happy Canada Day, and have a great weekend!