PEI BeerFest

All posts tagged PEI BeerFest

We start off this week with the release of the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay Brewing’s constantly rotating fruited kettle sour. The latest version features the addition of both mango and pineapple purée, giving an aroma and flavour that is definitely heavy on the pineapple side, with the mango present in the background to complement. Slightly sweet due to an addition of lactose powder, to balance the tartness, the 3.8% ABV beer is available now at the brewery on tap and in cans. They’ve also got another new release hitting their taps/shelves today, Donnie Had Me Up At 4. Named after an employee’s cat’s annoying habit, think of this beer as a 4% ABV Session IPA, hopped with Idaho 7 and Southern Cross, with further additions of lime and orange zest. Refreshing and citrusy, it will also be available on tap and in cans.

Bootleg Brew Co., which opened in Corner Brook, Newfoundland at the beginning of this year, is releasing their first Gose, a style that will likely be the first time that residents in Corner Brook have been able to try a local version of. The Way She Gose was kettle soured with a pitch of Lactobacillus; after souring for 48 hours, the wort was boiled, and a pound of sea salt from the province’s Newfoundland Salt Company was added. The brewery purposely left out the usual addition of coriander, to let the salt come through front and center. At 4.1% ABV, it has a definite salinity, and a lemon-like tartness. It’s available now at the brewery’s taproom for pints.

Meander River Farm and Brewery in Ashdale, NS will be launching a returning Small Lot cider this weekend, featuring some extra special ingredients from their farm. Lavandula is a 5.5% ABV dry cider, with honey from hives on their property, as well as estate-grown lavender. This is the second year release for this expression, and last year’s was a top-seller, so be sure to pick up bottles and seek it out post haste. You can get your first tastes at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market and at the Brewery itself this weekend (Friday 4-6, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 11-5). And when better than coming by Sunday morning (from 9AM) to help out with the 2018 hop harvest, while they brew their Homegrown Wet Hopped Ale. The taps and stories will be flowing as they process the hops grown on the property, and add them directly to the brew in progress. If can’t make it out to the brewery, keep an eye on the rotating taps at ChainYard in Halifax, as they have delivered a few kegs to the Urban Cidery.

In Chester Basin, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, you’ll find Tanner & Co Brewing, at 50 Angus Hiltz Rd. And when you drop by this weekend (open Thurs & Fri 2-8, Sat 12-8, Sun & Mon, 12-6), you’ll see a few new beers pouring to take away. You may be lucky to catch their Gose, Kottbusser (an ancient German style brewed with Barley, Wheat, and Oats, and finished with molasses and honey), Sticke Altbier, Dunkel, and Porter with Burgundian Red Wine yeast and finished with London Ale yeast. And look for the return of Nelson Saison, a Saison brewed with exclusively Nelson Sauvin hops in the boil and post-fermentation. But releasing this week is Lemon Lavender Saison. Starting with a malt bill of mostly Pilsner with a bit of wheat, lemon rind, ginger, and Lavender were added late in the boil. The lavender was grown by a neighbour to the brewery, and after a very successful test brew last year, was able to grow enough for a couple of larger batches. Fermentation was completed with a traditional Saison yeast strain, and the fruit and spices flow beautifully throughout the beer. The result is a 6.5% ABV, and 30 IBU beer, that is ready for enjoyment now, so drop by the brewery, or keep an eye at their local tap accounts to try it.

There’s a new entry in the one-off After Hours series from the PEI Brewing Co. that you may want to check out if you’re on the Island (or heading that way!), Cryo Hop IPA. Brewed with a fairly simple grist of 2-row, Vienna, and Red Wheat, it was mashed “intensively”, with the intention of the yeast finishing the beer off low, to keep it “dry and crisp”. Hopped with the fairly new Cryo hop pellets (cryogenically concentrated hop product to maximize flavour and aroma), the brewery went with equal amounts of both Cascade and Citra. It’s a combination of old-style IPA and new, as it finishes quite bitter (80 IBUs), but big on hop aroma/flavour. It weighs in at 7% ABV, and is available exclusively on tap, right now.

Feels like it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a hop bomb-type beer from 2 Crows… oops, it has been, I just checked Untappd. Well, don’t worry, because tomorrow they’re releasing what may just be their hoppiest beer yet! Perfect Situation is a New England IPA brewed with a simple grist of Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malt. Hopped in the whirlpool stage with lots of Simcoe and Vic Secret, it was then fermented with the English strain, London Fog, from White Labs. Of course, that wasn’t the last of the hopping, as the beer was finally dry-hopped with a very high amount of Vic Secret and Idaho 7. The result is just what you want in this style: a soft and fuzzy mouthfeel thanks to the yeast, and aromas/flavours described by 2C as “super fruity, lush, tropical, pillowy, and juicy, with massive notes of pineapple, passion fruit, apricot, red grapefruit, and papaya”. Sounds pretty good to us! They’re releasing it at the brewery tomorrow at noon, where it will be available on tap and in cans. And if you stick around till 2 pm, Luke’s Fried Chicken will be on hand to help you find something to pair with all that delicious beer!

Moving over to Saint John’s Loyalist City, who are releasing their own new beer this weekend on tap in the city (and likely beyond). This one is called 50/50, and is a hoppy American Wheat beer brewed with equal amounts 2-row and Wheat malt. Hopped plentifully with both Centennial and Ekuanot (also equal amounts!), two well-loved American varieties, the hazy, golden yellow beer exhibits a “blend of tropical fruit, apple, floral, and citrus hop aromas, and a sweet, bready malt character”. Medium-bodied, with a residual sweetness thanks to the Wheat malt and high mash temperature, get out this weekend to your favourite Loyalist tap account to try a pint!

Elsewhere in the city, Hammond River Brewing continues to experiment with their small batch brewery (the 1 BBL system originally used when the brewery opened in 2012), as they just put Pretty Fly For A White Rye on tap earlier this week. A “White Rye IPA” hopped entirely with the Aussie Vic Secret variety, expect plenty of tropical, fruity flavours in this 6.6% ABV, 66 IBUs brew. As usual for the small batch beers, it’s available on tap at the HR taproom only, for a limited time.

Tap accounts in Fredericton and Saint John will have the latest Niche Brewing beer on tap very shortly (if not already!), Riptide. This Rye Session IPA comes in at 4.2% ABV, and as the name implies, features a healthy dose of Rye malt in the grist bill. Together with Wheat, these two malts help to boost the mouthfeel of this smaller beer, and enhance the flavour profile. Hopping of Chinook and Mosaic were performed late in the boil (plus a large addition of El Dorado for the dry-hop), extracting more oils (for flavour and aroma) than acids (bitterness), resulting in hearty citrus and fruity flavours, and a blast of tangerine on the nose.

Back in July, we wrote about Port Rexton celebrating their second birthday with a number of new beer releases; at this time, we only lightly touched on one of these beers, High Fives, a foeder-aged, Brettanomyces kettle sour. Well, there’s a few kegs left that are currently pouring at the brewery, so this is the perfect time to dive into the details! The second beer from PR’s Calvados foeder, it was fermented with the brewery’s house culture (a blend of Saison and Brett strains), and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. The result from the combination of both is a beer with “an evolving fruity, funky, and delicious flavour profile”, and a “lemonade-y tartness and delicate white wine and gooseberry notes”. We don’t think you’re going to want to miss out on this 5.4% ABV beauty, so get down to Port Rexton now for a taste!

Stellarton, Nova Scotia’s musically-inclined Backstage Brewing has a new beer for y’all, The Edge IPA (see, we told you they were musically-inclined). Brewed in the American IPA style, and hopped heavily with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic, we think you can expect a whole lotta fruity, citrusy, piney, and dank goodness in this 6.1% ABV, 75 IBUs beer… and likely a firm bitterness to finish it off, as well. Drop by Backstage to give ‘er a go.

Brasserie Retro Brewing is opening this afternoon, after a brief hiatus to re-stock their fridges. Their retail location at Motel and Campground Colibri on Blvd des Acadiens in Bertrand is open today 4-9PM, tomorrow 1-6PM, and Sunday 1-5PM. They will have their three core beers available to take away, namely the Tapisserie Laide Pale Ale, Tricycle Rouge Amber Ale, and Arcade 2001 IPA. For a refresher on Retro, their location, and beers, check out our Profile with them from early August.

We’ve got a multi-province home brewing competition to tell you about this week, hosted by the Gahan House locations across our region. It’s the Maritime Home Brew Challenge, and is may be one of the most ambitious yet. Open to amateur brewers in PEI, NB, and NS, they are looking for entrants to put together their best beer in 3 wide categories: Lager/Pilsner, Hoppy Ale, and Saison. As the names imply, these are open to interpretation however the brewer would like. The entries will be judged on the beer itself, the name, the “level of ambition”, and will receive bonus points for using local hops and malt. Entries are due at the local Gahan locations in Charlottetown, Saint John, Fredericton, and Halifax by October 27th. The winning beers will be announced in early November at the PEI Brewing Company, with the winning beer taking home $1000 cash, and the knowledge that their beer will be brewed and canned for release. There are plenty more details on the other prizes, and schedule of the “Brewers’ Feedback Session”, where you can chat with the Gahan brewers about your entry and ask for help, on the competition website, so don’t delay!

Good Robot has a pair of new releases coming next week, plus an invite to other breweries to take part in an innovative event, so let’s get to those details now! Next Tuesday, for their Beta Brewsday, multi-talented homebrewer Matt McNair and friend Cory Cauvier brewed up a lightly dry-hopped farmhouse ale, named The Bee’s Needs. The beer features a malt bill of Pilsner, Wheat, Rye, and Oats, and was hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh and Saaz. Just as the boil ended, during the whirlpool phase, dandelion petals and honey from Cauvier’s own hard working bees were added to the wort. Fermentation was performed using a house culture that McNair has been curating, with a secondary fermentation kicked off with yeast and bacteria isolated from Cauvier’s honey. The beer then spent some time on oak cubes and a little more hops were added before being packaged. For the launch event at 4PM on September 11, Matt, Cory, and friends from Hivetronics will be bringing live bees to the taproom to educate the public on these extremely important animals. Don’t worry, they’ll have them in special people- (and bee-) safe enclosures!

On Thursday, September 13th, they will be releasing the latest batch of Tom Waits For No One, their 7.9% ABV American Stout. Full of dark roast, coffee, and chocolate flavour, on a full-bodied base, the 58 IBUs from American hops help to keep it easy-drinking.

And in a heads up to Maritime breweries, on April 27, 2019, Good Robot is launching FemmeBot Beer Fest. Highlighting Women-Identified Brewers in the region, they are looking for 15 breweries to join them in Halifax for this event. Beers brewed by female brewery employees, and/or with female members of the public is the focus of this event. The Fest will be held at the Mayflower Curling Club, and have two sessions on that Saturday: 2-5PM and 6-9PM, with 200 attendees per session. More information on taking part at the FemmeBot Beer Fest can be found here. And we’ll share ticket details once available. [ed note: adjusted date]

Here are the next big events coming up in our region:

The Third Annual Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover is happening at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, September 13. From 11:30AM, TataBrew will be taking over the 18 taps with lots of their current releases, favourite kegs held especially for the event, and several new releases. One of which we can tell you about today, Cahoots! This is a Tart Saison that is a blend of two batches that have been aged in wine barrels: one 16 months old, and one 4 months old. Using a healthy dry-hop of Nelson Sauvin, the wine barrel character is front and centre, and works well to enhance the base beer acidity and Brett funk. In addition to its release on tap, bottles of Cahoots will be available at the brewery that same day. Tata (FB, Tw, IG) and BP (FB, Tw, IG) will be releasing the rest of the tap list over the next week, so be sure to check their social media in order to plan your beer enjoyment.

For the sixth year running (according to our extensive records), the 2018 PEI BeerFest will be taking place in Charlottetown at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel on the weekend of September 22. As always, the event is part of the annual PEI Fall Flavours Festival, celebrating the best of food and drink on the island, and this year’s lineup has 31 confirmed breweries and cideries from all over Eastern Canada and some from beyond. There will be three sessions, starting with an evening session (1830h – 2130h) on Friday, September 21, followed by two sessions, one afternoon (1400h – 1630h) and one evening, on Saturday, September 22nd. Tickets are available on-line through TicketPro and include a Designated Driver option, which gives access to a DD lounge with free (non-alcoholic, of course) refreshments. Come down and sample the over 100 beers and ciders that will be pouring at this year’s event.

Grand Monk Artisan Ales (formerly known as Bore City Brewing) is pairing up with Buddha Bear Riverview to hold their first tap takeover, a multi-day affair, from Wednesday, September 19th until Sunday the 23rd, with Grand Monk Pokes the Bear! While not a complete takeover, there will be at least several taps dedicated to the brewery, known for brewing a multitude of styles (with the focus on Belgian and hoppy). They’re not quite yet ready to share the list of beers they’re bringing, but follow along with their social media pages, as they’ll be posting more details sometime next week. And on Saturday the 22nd, from 4-8 pm, the entire Grand Monk team will be attending, and they’re always happy to chat beer, so don’t be shy! They’ll also be selling glassware, so bring some cash! If you’re hungry, Red Stone Eatery will be on site to suit your needs.

Elsewhere in New Brunswick on Saturday, September 22nd is the second annual First Town Craft Beer Festival. Held in Woodstock at the Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, this year’s indoor/outdoor event will have a single session in the evening. Tickets are still available, with regular admission ($50 + taxes and fees) from 6-9 pm, and VIP ($60 + taxes and fees) getting you in an hour earlier, at 5 pm. Ticket prices include a sampling glass to keep (with the VIP glass being larger), and unlimited samples throughout the event. Note that there are also $15 designated driver tickets available. They’ll be pouring beers from a variety of breweries/cideries/meaderies from across the Maritimes, and live music will be playing throughout the festival. Food will also be available for purchase. Proceeds from the event will help support the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Beer author and overall expert in the craft Stephen Beaumont is returning to Stillwell on Sunday, September 30th for another series of Guided Beer Tastings. Last year’s tasting was a huge success, so this year they’ve kindly added a second session! The first one will be from 12pm-2pm, and the second from 3-5pm; both will feature the chance to drink some “rare, world class beers” with Stephen, who will both entertain and educate with his knowledge and experience. There will also be copies of Stephen’s newest book, Will Travel For Beer: 101 Remarkable Journeys Every Beer Lover Should Experience, on hand for you to buy and have signed. Tickets are $46 and can be purchased here; don’t hold out on picking yours up, as the event is essentially guaranteed to sell out!

It’s Friday again! Things aren’t slowing down much in the way of beer news this month, so we might as well get right to it!

This year’s Halifax Sausage Fest is fast approaching, and as a handful of special beers and a cider are being released in its celebration, we want to share the details:

• Boxing Rock Brewing has released Kerfuffle APA, a 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale. It features MagnumWillamette, and Centennial hop for a bright and fresh hop bitterness and aroma. The hops were sourced from Canadian hop farm Clear Valley Hops, just outside of Collingwood, ON. It is available in growlers now at the brewery, their market stalls at the The Halifax Seaport Market and Alderney Farmers’ Market tomorrow, and on tap at a few spots in Halifax and Lunenburg.

• Bulwark Cider is releasing Hopped Citrus Cider this weekend. The first of its kind in the province, this 6.0% ABV cider uses a special blend of Annapolis Valley apples to complement the hops, and the resultant brew has a distinct citrus character. Cascade and Comet hops make up the majority of the dry-hopping, with some Summit and Hersbrucker as well. The cider is being launched at the Stubborn Goat‘s Sausage & Cider event Sunday (tickets are still available, and will include a pour of the very last keg of Bulwark’s very popular, and long gone, Sour Cherry Cider). Like the Sour Cherry, this will be a limited, draft only release., however, it may return later in the fall in bottles at the NSLC.

• Garrison Brewing is bringing back their Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale today, a collaboration with Beau’s All Natural Brewing. Brewed with Munich, Wheat, Rye, and Pale Malt, this copper-coloured beer weighs in at 6.0% ABV, and 40 IBUs, thanks to CitraCascade, and Columbus hops. The fine folks at Beau’s sent down a special ingredient for the brew: bog myrtle (Beau’s uses this in a couple of their beers).  Thanks to this plant, which is a very common ingredient in the bittering of gruits, a more herbaceous and spiced character comes through. Catch this Sweet Rye’d at the brewery, private stores, and the NSLC very soon.

• Propeller Brewing has released Wind Swell Wheat, an American-style Wheat Ale. At 5.5% ABV and 20 IBUs, the beer features Cascade hops for a floral, citrus, and spice notes, and the wheat offers a smooth, approachable finish. The beer is available in 650 ml bottles and growler fills at the brewery, and will be on tap around the city as well.

• The co-flagship events for the Sausage Fest are the Sausage Throwdown (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) and Sausage O’ The Night (5:30-10:00pm), next Saturday, Sept 19th. The $51.75 ticket price includes 12 four ounce samples (with more being available for purchase for $2), a Belgian glass to keep, plus $20 in food allowance to spend at the many great food vendors on-site (including T DOGS, Obladee, Getaway Farm and several more). Breweries taking part are: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Bulwark Cider, Gahan House, Garrison, Good Robot, North Brewing, Propeller, Sea Level (afternoon only), and Tatamagouche (evening only).

• During the week, Local Tasting Tours will be running a Sausage Crawl each day (2-4pm, Sunday-Friday, Sept 20-25), visiting multiple stops in the downtown area, with plenty of sausages and/or beer at every stop. Tickets are still available.

• The Sausage Fun continues with the Hops ‘n’ Brats event taking place Friday September 25th, as the kick-off to the Halifax Oktoberfest weekend. For the first time, multiple breweries will be taking part in the German fun: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton Brewing, Bulwark Cider, Gahan House, Good Robot, Meander River, Propeller, and Rare Bird. The Brats will be courtesy of Harbourstone, Scanway and T-Dogs. The event is from 5-11pm at the Sands on Salter location on the Halifax Waterfront, with tickets now available. Your $16 entry includes a sampling cup to keep and five drink tickets (with additional samples available at $2 each). We know of a couple special casks being put together for this event, including a pin of dry-hopped-wet-hops Hefeweizen from Garrison.

• In other new brews from the above breweries, look for the Boxing Rock & North Brewing collaboration Many Hands Pale Ale (version 3.0) out this week. This annual celebration of local wet hops was brewed with this year’s harvest from North brewer Josh Herbin’s Lazy Acres farm in the Valley. More than 35 kilos of fresh-picked CascadeChinook, and Willamette organic hops went in at all stages of the brewday, for a floral aroma and mild bitterness. This 5.6% ABV beer is available at the Boxing Rock brewery, as well as both Boxing Rock and North’s market booths, and on tap around Halifax, but for a limited time only.

• Propeller Brewing has released this year’s Nocturne Lager, in celebration of the Nocturne: Art at Night event, scheduled for October 17. A 4.8% Munich Dunkel (Dark Lager), it features rich and malty flavours, balanced with traditional German Noble hops. It is available now at both the Halifax and Dartmouth breweries, as well as the private stores shortly.

• Switching gears from the Sausage Fest, Big Axe has just released a new IPA at their brewery/taproom in Nackawic. Therapy Session IPA comes in at an easy-drinking 5.2% ABV, and is single-hopped with Topaz, an Australian variety that can exhibit characteristics of lychee, tangerine, citrus, and resin. The calculated IBUs are about 50, so expect a firm bitterness in the finish of this deep gold-coloured beer. It should also be on tap at the Saint John Ale House soon, and likely at the James Joyce and 540 Kitchen & Bar in Fredericton shortly.

• Over in Cape Breton, Big Spruce announced the release of a new beer… sort of. Ivana Drinkalot is an American IPA that came into existence quite accidentally, during a planned brew day of Big Spruce’s Crazy Ivan DIPA. Due to a slight miscalculation when scaling up the batch size, the beer came in at a lower OG (original gravity). A bag of Munich malt was also missed in the batch, so owner/brewer Jeremy White decided to roll with it, and completely changed the dry-hop! Details on WHICH hop(s) was/were used here are being kept a secret, but the brewery describes the new beer as “deeply aromatic”, with “lots of gooey hop flavour”. It weighs in at 7.1% ABV and 89 IBUs; it’s available now at the brewery, and should follow soon at Halifax’s Bar Stillwell and the Stubborn Goat.

Picaroons will soon be releasing their annual Harvest Ale, their 5.5%-ABV British-style Pale Ale that features several batches, all hopped with a different, locally-harvested variety. This year, there are six different batches, all single-hopped with one of the following varieties: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Crystal, Goldings, or Nugget. When the beer is released later this month, each bottle will have a four-digit code that signifies which hop was used, and where the hop was cultivated (farms include three from NB, two from NS, and one from PEI); that info can be obtained online. Look for the beer to be released in 2-3 weeks!

• The PEI Beer Fest begins tonight with a 6:30-9:30pm session, continuing with an afternoon (2-4:30pm) and evening (6:30-9:30pm) session tomorrow. The Fest will feature more than 75 beers from around the world, including several Atlantic Canadian breweries. The beer list can be viewed on their site, and they have encouraged special one-off casks from the local breweries. Upstreet Craft Brewing will be pouring a pair of them: Friday evening, they will be serving Do-Wooder, a cask of their Do-Gooder American Pale Ale, aged with oak cubes for 1 month and double dry-hopped with Amarillo. Citrusy and malty but with a dry finish from the oak. Saturday, they will be serving Poppa Haskap, a pin of their Commons Pilsner, refermented with 5lbs of local Haskap berries. A refreshing, tart beer, but with the colour of a red wine. PEI Brewing Company will also be pouring a few casks during the fest, though the details on those are not yet available.

• There’s a new event coming soon from the Moncton Beer League – the Urban Beer Hike will take place on Saturday, September 26th from 2:30 – 5:30 pm. Featuring a walking tour of several of Moncton’s beer-drinking locations (including Marky’s, Plan b, St. James’ Gate, The Old Triangle, and the Pump House Brewpub), each stop will include two or three 4 oz beer samples, as well as various food items. Tickets ($49 each) are available now on the event page; attendees will be meeting at 2:15 pm at Marky’s to begin the tour.

• In other tasting news, the Ladies Beer League is partnering with Bishop’s Cellar to hold a craft beer and food pairing on Friday, Sept. 25th from 5-7 pm. Tickets are $20 each and are available online. They will be pairing a wide variety of beers with chef-prepared bites.

• The ANBL is marking the one-year anniversary of their growler program this weekend. While they have been hinting at expanded locations for months, it is still only in four locations: Dieppe, Fredericton, Kennebecasis Valley and Sackville. To celebrate, they will be giving away free growlers to the first 100 customers looking for a fill at each of the locations tomorrow. While most brewers we’ve spoken to have had positive experiences with the program, there is much room for improvement. The fact that this week’s offerings at the fill stations are not from New Brunswick, and two of the three are from multi-national brewing conglomerates, illustrate the fact that there are many improvements still needed to the program. Be sure to let the ANBL know your feelings and suggestions for improvement.

Be sure to grab some of the other great new beers out this week. Upstreet and Boxing Rock’s Rumble in the Alley: Round 1 is available now in Charlottetown, as well as the last few kegs of Upstreet’s White Noize White IPA (but don’t worry, there’s more on its way, as it was rebrewed last week). PEI Brewing has released their Vic Park Pale Ale, Citra version in cans, now at the brewery, and at the PEILCC shortly. Coming soon will also be the Rogues Roost IPA in cans, and Hell Street Barrel-aged Doppelbock. Savoie’s Brewhouse is already looking to expand from their 20 gallon system; they’ve built a new fermentation room to increase space, and are hoping to more than double their capacity soon (to 45 gallons). Finally, the James Joyce in Fredericton will soon be expanding their tap selection, as they’re adding another 6 lines to their system, bringing the total to 24! Look for even more NB beers (and beyond) to be available at the Joyce within the next week. And watch this spot for details on the many other wet-hop and harvest beers brewed around our region, including BarNone, Big Tide, Uncle Leo’s, and Unfiltered.

Hello, everyone! It’s been another great week of weather in Atlantic Canada… what better way to end it than with some local news on our favourite beverage?

Boxing Rock has released a new beer that is an interesting twist on the commonly-found Blonde Ale style – it’s a “Blonde Rye Ale” named Bottle Blonde. Brewed with the summer months in mind, the grain bill consists of a whopping 35% Rye Malt (large amounts of Rye can be tricky to brew with due to the sticky consistency it often lends to the mash), complementing the 5% ABV. Hopped mainly with East Kent Goldings and Saaz, it has a fairly-low bitterness at about 20 IBUs. The brewery is describing it as very drinkable, with a nice balance between the spicy notes from the hops and the spicy notes from the Rye. You can find it now at the brewery and on tap at select beer bars/restaurants, and in bottles at several NSLC stores sometime next week. It should be around until September, when the temperatures inevitably start to drop!

• Earlier this week, Grimross released a new beer, Strab Cream Ale. Brewed for the Canadian Association of Optometrists Congress 2015 (held this week in Fredericton), the name comes from the short form of “strabismic”, which refers to double-vision, often resulting from too much drinking! The beer itself is a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) ale featuring Pale malt and Centennial. Featuring a low hop bitterness at 18 IBUs, it’s light-bodied and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV, and is described by the brewery as a “great lawnmower beer, refreshing with a little grassiness”. Stop by the brewery today for a pint and/or growler fill; it is also available at select bars/restaurants in the city.

• Speaking of Grimross, they’ve announced their first Grimross Hops Festival, to be held on Saturday, August 22nd. A “celebration of New Brunswick hops, microbreweries, and music”, it will take place in the back lot of the brewery at 600 Bishop Dr. from 3 pm – 11 pm. Details are slim at the moment, but they promise plenty of NB beer, food, and talent! Advance tickets ($30 each) will go on sale soon, and include entry and three 5 oz beer samples, with additional drink tickets available for purchase at the event; the price at the door will be $35. For more details on the bands scheduled, check out the event page. We’ll keep you updated on the breweries/beers pouring as that information is released.

Big Axe has released a new American IPA, Firefly IPA. With a lighter body than their Double Bit IPA, this beer should also be drier and more refreshing, as there are no caramel notes in the aroma or flavour, according to the brewery. Brewed with several hop varieties including Chinook and Galena, it features a “prominent hop aroma, with both floral and citrus notes”. It clocks in at 5.7% ABV and 50 IBUs, and has a “very clean and crisp finish”. You can find it on tap now at the brewery in Nackawic, and at the James Joyce in Fredericton.

The Gahan House – Charlottetown has released the winning entry in this year’s Home Brewer’s Challenge, and it’s on tap now at the brewpub. Summer in New Zealand comes from the homebrewing brains and talent of Ryan Palmer (who also won last year’s inaugural event); an American Wheat Ale hopped with Wakatu, it also features Grains of Paradise and lemon and lime zest. Palmer and Gahan brewmaster Trent Hayes brewed the recipe on the Gahan system; the beer comes in at approximately 5.1% ABV and 30 IBUs. Get to the brewpub and try it while you can!

• In some sad news, the popular Windsor, NS pub and friend to local craft beer, The Spitfire Arms, was severely damaged in a fire on Tuesday morning. Happily, they already have plans to open in a temporary location next week on Gerrish St.; in the meantime, work will begin soon on the original location to have it back up and running ASAP. As well, local musician Hal Bruce is organizing a music event to help raise funds for the Spitfire; the tentative date is currently set for Sunday, August 23rd. Here’s to a speedy recovery for this wonderful establishment!

• Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub recently released an exclusive line-up of highly-rated and hard-to-find American craft beers, featuring breweries such as Allagash, Maine Beer Co., Dogfish Head, and Cascade Brewing, to name a few (the full list is available here). Bottles of these beers are on sale now; they’re available in limited quantities only, so be sure to stop in for a chance to try some excellent beers, complemented by the more than a dozen craft beers on tap from Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

• This year’s PEI Beer Festival has been confirmed for September 11th and 12th at the Delta Prince Edward. This year’s event will once again offer two evening sessions (Friday and Saturday), and one Saturday afternoon session. Full details and a brewery/beer list have not been released yet, but expect live music and food pairings to accompany many samples of beers. Tickets are on sale now; they’re priced at $47.60 for each evening sesson, and $36.20 for the afternoon session.

• The crew from Bar Stillwell made a visit to Big Spruce in Nyanza yesterday, to brew up a conspiracy beer. They put together a Pale Ale, hopped generously (understatement of the year!) with Citra, all late in the boil. This will give the beer a big blast of citrus and melon in aroma and flavour, without an aggressive bitterness. Look for this on tap at the Beergarden by early August.

Distillerie Fils du Roy in Petit-Paquetville, N.B. has brewed up their Summer Seasonal this week, to be released in the coming weeks. La Messe Blanche is named in memory of the Acadians fleeing deportation who would settle in existing communities, and would still hold Sunday Mass, but without a priest overseeing it (thus named Messe Blanche/White Mass). For the label, local artist Raynald Basque was commissioned to paint Alexis Landry, who had built Chapel de Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage in Caraquet, leading one of the Messe Blanches. Fils du Roy will soon be offering their beers in a new format – growlers from local producer Jym Line.

We hope you have a great weekend! A final reminder that Breton Brewing is having their launch party at Flavor on the Water tomorrow, with music, food and beer all night. Tickets are available online. Propeller has another One Hit Wonder on the go: English Mild is now available at both Prop Shop locations, and comes in at 4% ABV and 22 IBUs.