PEI Beer Guy

All posts tagged PEI Beer Guy

Welcome to another early-post week! Things have slowed down, understandably, over the last week, but there’s still some action in the beer world that we wanted to be sure you were all updated on…

• Moncton’s newest brewery, Bore City Brewing, has announced that they have received their license to brew, and hope to have beer flowing by mid-to-late January, 2016. Founders Jamie Melanson, Stéphane Cormier (head brewer), and Denis Babineau (assistant brewer) plan on releasing three initial beers: Mondo, a 6.8% ABV American IPA; Spacetime Odyssey, a 6% ABV American Porter brewed with Galaxy hops; and Marécage, a 7% ABV Belgian-style Saison that features clove and pepper in the aroma and flavour. We’ll be talking with them soon for a Q&A; in the meantime, follow them on their Facebook and Twitter pages for more updates!

Boxing Rock welcomed some of the crew from Upstreet to their home in Shelburne on Tuesday for a special storm-day brew. The second collaboration beer for these two breweries, Rumble in the Alley: Round II, is described as a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) Extra Special Bitter. The grist was made up entirely of Munich malt (one of the very few “specialty malts” that can be used on its own, it provides an enjoyable bready character to beer), with the Santiam hop being featured. Chosen for the floral and lemon qualities it imparts, according to Upstreet brewer Mike Hogan, it should nicely complement the fruity esters that will likely be found in the beer as well, thanks to the English yeast strain chosen for fermentation. Round II should come in at about 6% ABV and 45 IBUs; this one will be released by Boxing Rock, and should hit regular tap accounts in the near future (with the possibility of a bottle release as well).

• Sticking with news from Shelburne, Boxing Rock has released Porter this week, Sunken Ledge. Named after a shoal in Shelburne Harbour, this 5% ABV, 21 IBUs beer’s grain bill uses a Scottish Golden Promise base with darker malts for colour and flavour of chocolate, coffee and molasses. The beer features a medium body, smooth mouthfeel, and light carbonation for a truly inviting drink. It is available on tap and in bottles at the brewery now, at the Seaport and Alderney Landing Farmers’ Markets this weekend (including today’s NYE market), and at the NSLC and private stores next week.

Grimross brewed up a new experimental beer earlier this week. This currently unnamed “Rye Session Ale” was an excuse for brewmaster/owner Stephen Dixon to use two boxes of recently-purchased Tangelos. Similar in taste to a tangerine, the juice was added to the wort at the end of the boil, with the zest added during secondary fermentation for extra aroma and flavour. With a light grist containing a percentage of Rye malt, the beer was fermented with two yeast strains, a neutral American strain and a Belgian Saison strain. Hopped lightly to 23 IBUs with Waimea (a New Zealand variety chosen by Dixon due to its rumoured Tangelo character that it adds), the beer should come in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV. We’ll keep you updated on its release over the next few weeks.

• PEI Brewing Co. has a few re-brews coming down the pipeline this winter. They recently brewed up another batch of their Black Banks Cascadian Dark Ale which should be available on tap and in cans by late January; this batch was hopped with AmarilloNelson Sauvin, and Galaxy, all of which provide plenty of tropical aromas and flavours. The very popular ReAnimator Doppelbock will be brewed very soon, and available after an appropriate lagering phase. This beer is also the base to the Hell Street Barrel-Aged Doppelbock, so good news for lovers of that seasonal, which will return in the fall. Late winter/early spring will see the next release of their large-scale barrel program, currently aging in Jack Daniels barrels in the brewery. All of these (and many more!) are part of PEIBC’s ambitious goal of releasing a new beer every month at the brewery and Gahan House in Charlottetown. Some will be test brews for future wide-release and packaged beers, so be sure to follow along on their Social Media pages for those details, and give them feedback as to which you would like to see again in wider release.

• And staying on the Island, Murphy’s Community Centre at 200 Richmond St has recently totally renovated their lounge and bowling centre. Now called The Alley – 200 Richmond, is now serving up craft beer from all three island craft breweries; BarNone, PEI Brewing, and Upstreet. To celebrate, they will be hosting a Brewer’s Ball: Balls Unleashed on January 30th. Beginning at 8pm, brewers, owners, supporters, and employees from each of the three breweries will be competing in a friendly tournament. The professionals will also be joined by members of the PEI Aleanders, the PEI homebrewing and beer appreciation group. There is room for the public to join in the fun as well, as all three local breweries’ beers will be flowing, food service available, with entertainment that evening. Be sure to drop by 200 Richmond Street for a great night of bowling and brews!

• Another friend of PEI beers and breweries is Baba’s Lounge. Beginning Jan 3, PEIBeerGuy will be hosting a Sunday Trivia night at the lounge, from 8-10pm. Enjoy specials on pints, beer (and other) trivia, and the trivia-exclusive $10 Shawarma Nachos, perfect for sharing. There are prizes for the weekly winners, with possibly some giveaways from the breweries for all attendees. A great excuse to shake off the New Year’s hangover, and enjoy some (more) Island craft beer! As we previously mentioned, don’t forget to pick up tickets for their BarNone beer dinner, January 24th at 6pm. Four courses of food and beer pairing, plus a glass to keep, for only $49 (includes tax and tip). And then stick around for that evening’s trivia!

• The experimental beers keep coming from Good Robot. Released this week is a Smoked Molasses Port’r, available only at their Tap Room. Brewed on their Sabco Brew-Magic system, these guest and experimental brews are perfect for testing out new recipes, techniques, and having a bit of fun. Stop by today for a pint!

A reminder that several breweries and bars in the region are holding special events tonight and tomorrow, check last week’s post for more details (and you will want to double check that places are open before going for a drink or to fill your growler). That’s all of the news for this week, and this year! Thanks to all of you for following along and reading this year. The beer scene in our region shows no sign of slowing down, with at least a dozen new breweries and brewpubs opening in 2016. Cheers!

Here’s an overview of Atlantic Canadian beer news and reading from this past week:

Excellent article from Craig Pinhey:  Libations: Brewtopian dining

Brewnoser BPA is available on tap at Rockbottom Brewpub starting today.  So is Blackness, which is a “West Coast-style Robust Porter”, at Hart & Thistle.

Here’s what’s currently available at the Picaroons Brewtique.  Don’t forget about their Easter Keg Hunt and to send them a picture of your cat.

Sample some Propeller Bitter, IPA and Porter as part of this week’s Three Course Thursday at the Foggy Goggle.

The PEI Beer Guy has recently sampled Alchemist Heady Topper and Saint Bernardus’ Grottenbier Bruin.

The guys from Darkside Brewing have tasting notes for the winner of Garrison’s 2011 Ultimate Brew Off, Garrison Schwarz.

Here are tasting notes from Old Brown Shoe from Meek Brewing.

One of the first beer related sites I discovered while doing some research for this blog was the PEI Beer Guy blog.  In it, the PEI Beer Guy writes a variety of beer reviews and provides updates on news related to the PEI beer scene.  His reviews are  concise, very well written and cover off a great variety of beers.  He has quite a collection of beers in his cellar, and it is constantly growing.

Not surprisingly, I’d like to highlight his Atlantic Canadian reviews.  Here they are:

Gahan 1772 IPA, Gahan Iron Horse Brown Ale, Pump House Scotch Ale, Gahan Pumpkin Beer, Barnone (PEI’s in development new brewery) sampled beers, Propeller IPA, Sea Level Planters Pale Ale, Hart & Thistle’s Hop Mess Monster 2.0, Garrison Pils, Garrison Raspberry Wheat Ale, Sea Level High Street Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Pump House BrewerySea Level Rojo Mojo Red Ale, Propeller Revolution Rusian Imperial Stout, Garrison Spruce Beer, Hart & Thistle, Garrison Black IPA, Pump House Cadian Cream Ale, Garrison Oktoberfest Brau, Garrison 3 Fields Harvest Ale, Garrison Harvey’s Bitter and Garrison Blackberry Wheat.

Another link from the site that I think most readers of this blog would enjoy is the “I am a Craft Beer Drinker” video.

I’ve traded emails with the PEI Beer Guy in order to complete the following Q & A.  Here’s the interview:

Atlantic Canada Beer Blogger (ACBB): Tell me about your blog.

PEI Beer Guy (PEI): Almost two years ago, I started wondering why I was only submitting beer reviews and other content to BeerAdvocate. I wanted to own my content rather than just putting everything into someone else’s hands. I thought I could also use this information (and how I kept / presented it) as a way to popularize better brews in my own province. Things have gotten a bit better since I started the blog, but, compared to other places, beer selection (and overall culture) is way behind on PEI. I wanted people to see what variety was out there – what flavours could be had… that beer wasn’t just something you pounded back to get a buzz. My hope was that, in even a tiny way, I could help spread the good-beer word here. 

ACBB: How did you develop your interest and knowledge of beer?
PEI:  Practice, practice, practice! Once I found and started to sample some different, off-Island brews, I was hooked. Anything different I could get my hands on was (and still is, good or bad) a good experience. Sites like BeerAdvocate or RateBeer helped to pinpoint new flavours and learn about the roles things like different hops, malts, and yeasts played. I also visited the odd blog. Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher was a favourite read and reference source. Also, meeting other beer fans (some who home-brewed) helped to expand whatever knowledge I had / have. My knowledge base is always growing. 
ACBB: How does an Islander, cut off from good selection, get access to such a wide variety of beer?
PEI: In a few cases, since I started the site, I have been given samples (which I always love). In a couple of cases, some good beer Samaritans have brought me things (in a trade or just things they picked up for me) when coming to the Island. For the most part, though, what beers I have found I have found in stores on the mainland. Halifax, in particular, has a few specialty stores I go to when I’m there.
ACBB: What are some of your all time favourite beers?
PEI: That’s a tough question, given all the different styles. One of my first favourites was Innis & Gunn’s Original oak-aged beer. Lagunitas’ Hop Stoopid gave me my hop epiphany. Some of my other sentimental favourites include the Red Racer IPA, Rochefort 10, and Houblon Chouffe. There is also a special place in my liver for Greg Nash’s Hop Mess Monster 2.0.
ACBB: What is the best time to sample a new beer?  Do you have any particular habits during your tastings?
PEI: I don’t find I have any one time – any free window of time that I can sit and enjoy something for 30 – 60 minutes is great (usually later in the evening). I do enjoy sharing a brew with fellow beer enthusiasts (at a pub or a tasting event), though. For my own blog-bound tastings at home, I generally pick a beer from my collection, get a camera, get a glass, pour, take a few pics, take some notes, and enjoy it – preferably by the fireplace in the basement… preferably with a hockey game on. 
ACBB: Do you have any interesting or unusual experiences related to your blog or beer tastings?
PEI: I haven’t had anything really unusual happen yet. I’m always interested in seeing who follows my site (and what brings them there), the comments that get left, things like that. I like the interactions and the kind things some folks say. I’ve had a few brewers (and I mean few) contact me and send me some brews to review (I review and post anything I receive). That’s always a bit of a buzz, no matter who it is. 
ACBB:  How would you like to see the Atlantic Canada Beer scene improve?
PEI: I wish rules made it easier to make and get good brews. For example, PEI has a law that limits brewers to only brewing beers up to 6.5%. I also wish shipping across borders was easier and cheaper.  I’d like to see more Atlantic brews available in all provinces (Propeller, Yellowbelly, etc. on PEI), but it often makes no sense – Garrison, for example, makes less money on every beer they sell in PEI – it’s why Picaroon’s won’t come here.
ACBB: What are your beer related plans for 2012?
PEI: I don’t have a set amount of things to do this year, but a few that are within reach over the next couple of years are:
  • Go to an off-island beer festival like the Seaport Beer Fest in Halifax
  • Go to New England to do the Maine Beer Trail or just do my own brewery visits in a few states
  • Make my own partial or all-grain brew
  • Make more contacts with breweries & other beer fans
  • Finally try some Westvleteren (should be soon, thanks to a helpful Belgian)
  • Continue to popularize and help develop the local beer scene in any way I can, however small

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I’ve added a RSS feed at the bottom right hand corner of my blog to highlight the PEI Beer Guy’s recent entries on an ongoing basis.  RSS feeds have also recently been added for the Great Canadian Beer Blog and Canadian Beer News as well.