PEI Brewing Co.

All posts tagged PEI Brewing Co.

It’s another busy beer week in the region, with summer literally just around the corner and the weather taking a predictable step or two backwards into spring after a couple of scorchers. This week saw the official opening of Heritage Brewing in Yarmouth and we’ve got a bunch more beer news and events to tell you about, so let’s get you right to what you came here for.

• Although the cat has been out of the bag since late May, an official announcement took place in Halifax this week that the 16th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards & Conference are coming to Halifax in May, 2018. This is the culmination of significant effort on behalf of CBANS and Brian Titus of Garrison Brewing. Part of the announcement is that the event will take place at the brand new Halifax Convention Centre where some 500 delegates are expected to descend to attend the event. This will be the first time the awards have taken place in Nova Scotia, which now leads the nation in craft breweries per capita! It’s a perfect chance to show off both our beautiful province, the quality of our beer and local support for our breweries.

•  The Biorefinery Technology Scale-up Center at CCNB Grand-Falls is putting out a call for beer samples as part of a project with the National Research Council Canada. The BTSC has the methodologies for testing and doing Quality Assurance on hops, malt, water, yeast, and finished beer, using their state-of-the-art instruments. From Jared Christensen of CCNB, “Free chemical and microbiological testing! The CCNB-BTSC is collecting finished craft beer samples for an NRC study on beer biochemical quality and local ingredients. This is for licensed craft breweries only. The testing includes: %ABV, SRM, IBU, sugars, organic acids, pH, anaerobic/aerobic Lactobacillus strains, etc. Selection will be done on a first come first serve basis, so contact us as quickly as possible, as we are collecting a limited amount of samples. If you are interested in participating in the study and getting some free beer analysis and data interpretations that could help optimize your product and/or your brewing process, please contact Jared via email or phone (506-475-4029) to get filled in on the specifics of the project.”

Taste of Nova Scotia has launched the Good Cheer Trail again this summer. Featuring more than 60 alcohol producers from across the province, your passport (both paper and virtual) is your key to a great time touring the province for the best in beer, cider, wine, and spirits. Pick up a copy of the passport at any of the participating locations, and get started on filling it out today! To take part digitally, you’ll need to Register, and then follow this link on your device (this link shows all of the locations if your device can’t see where you are), check into the location you’re visiting, share a photo, and you’re done! After 10 stamps, you’ll be able to send in or apply online for your free t-shirt, when they become available in July.

• Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing Company has a a pair of new beers flowing at their brewery this weekend, giving you yet another reason to visit their beautiful location. First up is Hop Bill IPA, a 6.5% ABV American IPA, with a touch of honey malt for some sweetness to balance out its solid 60 IBUs of bitterness (in addition to tons of whirlpool- dry-hopping for lots of juicy aromas). Hop Bill‘s origin is from the Newfermenters‘ 2016 Home Brew-Off competition, won by Bill Burton, which we wrote up here. The 2017 Home Brew-Off is taking place Sunday at the Lions Club Chalet on Newtown Rd in St. John’s. In addition to live judging of the entries vying for top Kolsch in the region, there will be talks and demonstrations on how to keg beer, the latest and greatest homebrew gadgets, and hang with your fellow homebrewers and professional brewers alike. The event starts at 7PM, be sure to check out the Facebook Event or email the Newfermenters for more details. Grab Hop Bill shortly at PR’s tap accounts around St. John’s.

• Port Rexton has also been putting Assistant Brewer Jane Tucker to work developing some new beers, and she has come through in spades with a line of small batch beers, available exclusively at the brewery in Port Rexton. The latest beer currently available from this series is Sasscot, a 5.6% ABV & 19 IBUs Scottish Ale. A complex malt bill, including Biscuit and Smoked Malts, it features a light smokiness with sweet caramel and rich mouthfeel. And waiting in the wings, possibly on tap this weekend, or early next week, is Metric Heavy Hefeweizen, a true-to-origins German Weissbier with the iconic yeast-derived banana and clove aroma and flavour, with malt-derived soft bready notes. This beer weighs in at 5.6% ABV and a light 16 IBUs.

• Have you been missing the Propeller One Hit Wonder series of the past? Well, good news! It’s undergone an evolution of sorts, and the Gottingen Small Batch series is the result! The brewery’s intention is to roll out a new style on a monthly basis, while “bringing forward a greater variety of true-to-style (but rarely seen) beers”. The first beer in the series, Gratitude, is a 4.5% ABV, 56 IBUs India Session Ale (aka Session IPA) brewed with 2-row, Munich, Crystal, Carapils, and Wheat malt. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo, the melon and citrus notes from the Amarillo come through front and center, followed by a “forward bitterness” in the finish. It’s on tap now at the Gottingen taproom.

• Speaking of new beer series, the PEI Brewing Co. has released the first in their After Hours series, after an initial launch of pilot brews two weeks ago. U-Pick Strawberry Pale Ale was brewed at the Gahan Charlottetown location (their 7 bbl system will be responsible for most entries in the After Hours series) with Vienna malt, bittered to 50 IBUs, and conditioned for a couple of weeks on puréed strawberries. It was then dry-hopped with Comet and Simcoe, resulting in an APA with citrus and tropical fruit on the nose, and “finishing with a hint of strawberry flavour, adding another dimension to a Pale Ale”, according to head brewer Chris Long. Look for it at select tap accounts across the Maritimes, including the PEIBC taproom and all Gahan locations.

• Months ago, we reported that Maybee Brewing had just finished brewing up a Belgian Quad (aka Belgian Dark Strong Ale). Big beers like these often take a lot of extra time to finish fermenting, and to allow the high alcohol levels to smooth out. Well, we’re happy to report that half of the double batch of this beer, named Orion, is being packaged in kegs today! This half includes the addition of maple syrup from Briggs Maples, and clocks in at a whopping 11.5% ABV. Expect flavours of caramel, brown sugar, and a bit of molasses and maple, to accompany the warming sensation from the high alcohol. With a medium bitterness in the finish, this malty-sweet ale may not taste like it’s 11.5%, but you’ve been fairly warned! Watch for this one to be show up at your favourite Maybee tap accounts over the next few days; of course, it will also be on tap at the brewery for pours and growler fills. A portion will eventually be packaged in corked-and-caged bottles in the near future.

• We mentioned last week that The Shocking Pink, Good Robot‘s Gose-Radler hybrid, was being re-released yesterday for the OUTeast Film Festival. On top of that, they now have two new brews on the horizon, both of which will be released mid-next week. First up is a new Beta Brew, Cream Team, a Cream Ale brewed by Kelly Costello and Doug Kehoe. Coming in at 6.56%, slightly higher than your typical Cream Ale, it features an aroma of honey and straw, and a “slightly lemony flavour, and grassy aftertaste”. Lightly hopped with Tettnang, Warrior, and Willamette to 15 IBUs. Next up is the second in their series of SMaSH Pale Ales, Pacifica. Named after the solely-featured hop in the brew, Pacifica is a New Zealand variety known for its orange marmalade character. Featuring a grist of Maris Otter malt, the beer was fermented with the East Coast Ale strain. Flavours of citrus, spice, and resin accompany the orange marmalade notes; it comes in at an easy-drinking 4.7% ABV, and 24 IBUs. And finally, drop by the brewery today for the beginning of Cask Fridays, starting with a series of Goseface Killah re-fermented with a variety of organic fruit purées!

• If you’ve been sad to see all of those entries in the Annapolis Cider Company Something Different series come and go, good news! The cidery has listened to the calls from the public, and have brought back three of the most popular entries to re-release in their new Creative Series. Rhubarb Ginger, Hopped Pear, and Sour Cherry are all now available again, this time in 750 mL bottles, for you to take home and enjoy. Available only at the cidery in Wolfville, for a limited time!

• Summer is right around the corner, and Fredericton’s Graystone has you covered with their latest release, Wild Child. The brewery’s first Radler (a mixture of beer and juice, or fruit soda), it’s light and refreshing, with notes of “subtle citrus” from the addition of both grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Also, the puréed flesh of 50 grapefruits was added, to up your grapefruit love even more! Completely crushable at 4.5% ABV, it’s available now at the brewery for pints, crowlers, and growlers. You’ll also likely see it on tap across the city very soon.

• Halifax’s “Littlest Brewery That Could”, Tidehouse Brewing at Salter and Barrington, has another new beer on tap today. Birthday Sauce IPA is their modern take on a classic American IPA; weighing in at 6.5% ABV, the beer features a solid bitterness (hovering around 60 IBUs), with lots of citrus and pine notes from the CascadePacific Jade, and Simcoe hops used throughout. Grab a growler at their downtown location today 2-9PM (tomorrow, too), or visit their Market locations at Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market every Saturday, Tantallon Village Farmers’ Market every Tuesday 2-6PM, and the fortnightly Spryfield & District Community Market, next held June 25th. Happy Birthday Shean!

St. John’s Mill Street Brewpub has launched their latest beer this week, The 150 S’EH!son!. It was brewed in collaboration with Mill Street Ottawa’s Head Brewer Tim Hulley, during his visit earlier this month. A partial sour mash brings a bright acidity to this Saison, along with notes of Fuzzy Peaches and citrus. The unfiltered straw-coloured beer weighs in at 6.0% ABV and 25 IBUs, and is available on tap at the brewery, and to take home in growlers today. And keep an eye on social media for details of their First Anniversary Celebration, happening June 28th. Live music, plenty of special beers and casks, and lots of fun.

• We have some excellent news for those of you that have been patiently waiting for the Hammond River expansion to be complete… owner/brewer Shane Steeves has confirmed that the first two beers were brewed on the new, 15 bbl (~1700 L) system earlier this week! Both Gammie (a California Common) and Hop Flash IPA are currently fermenting, and will be released to bars and restaurants in kegs within a few weeks. All of the first batches brewed at the new brewery will be packaged in kegs only, to fill all of the tap accounts across New Brunswick; subsequent batches will have a portion bottled as well. Look for the brewery taproom to open within the next month, where you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite HR beers by the pint and/or growler! Congratulations, Shane!

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is gearing up for a big weekend, or at least a big Saturday (followed by a mighty hangover on Sunday, no doubt). Tomorrow afternoon the gang from Central City will be on the Garrison patio from 1 – 4 PM as part of their tour across the country to celebrate their Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration for Canada 150. Central City’s Daryn Medwid, Gary Lohin and James Hume will be pouring samples of their Central City x Garrison Collaboration alongside the Garrison gang. Speaking of which, that beer, ”New” Scottish Ale, is available at the brewery now for pints and growler fills. It’s a 5.7% ABV beer with a moderate bitterness at 38 IBU. It features a smoky aroma from peat malt with some berry notes, and a smooth caramel palate accentuated by a smoky character and balanced against a slightly bitter finish.

• But the big event is tomorrow night, namely Garrison’s third annual Backlot Bash event starting at 5:30 PM. This year’s version is an extra-special, super spectacular edition, as it’s also part of Garrison’s 20th Birthday Celebrations. The event supports the Ecology Action Centre and features musical acts The Sheepdogs, Port Cities, the Garrett Mason Band and The Royal Volts. A plethora of Food Trucks will also be on hand, including The Gecko Bus, Halifax Press, Asado Wood Fired Grill, Cheese Curds and Ol’ School Donuts. There will also be demos and fun from Proskates and Timber Lounge. Tickets are $35 in advance via Ticket Halifax or $40 at the door. A note to those planning to attend: the event was always advertised as rain or shine, and due to the expected weather tomorrow night, the concert has officially been moved indoors to the Cunard Centre, so don’t be shocked if things aren’t where you expected them to be upon your arrival tomorrow night!

Gahan Harbourfront in Halifax has tapped the final keg of their Barrel Aged Golden Ale with Brett, a beer that features Brettanomyces for a distinct yeast character. It was also aged for 8 months in Hungarian Oak, which should give it some barrel notes as well; it weighs in at 5%. They’ve also just released their second batch of Impatience Sour Brown Ale, which was aged on Morello cherries and raspberries, a darker, but still refreshing drink thanks to the fruit. And lastly, they’re also at the end of their Mexican Lager, Cerveza Maritimo, having tapped the last keg this week. You might still find it on the Island later this summer, as The Gahan House in Charlottetown will have some of this light thirst quencher available.

• After an official announcement and press release from Sebastien Roy of Fils du Roy, we have more information on the Acadian Nut Brown style we mentioned last week. Several Acadian breweries united to create a “100% Acadian beer” to mark the 170th anniversary of the poem “Evangeline”, by Henry Longfellow. The style has many descriptors, including “caramel, light coffee, hazelnut, chocolate, fruity, molasses, and licorice”. We already wrote up Petit-Sault‘s entry, La Madoueska, last week, but there’s others to mention as well, as several breweries in Atlantic Canada are participating. Fils du Roy has released their Evangeline (7% ABV), Flying Boats their General’s Armada (5.5% ABV, 23 IBUs), and Savoie’s has a Nut-Brown Ale. As well, Acadie-Broue is including their previously-released La Bringue.

• Big Spruce has their Consiglière Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Saison back on tap at the brewery, first released as part of the Stillwell Open during NS Craft Beer Week. They’ve also released another batch of their One Hundred recently, their all-Nova Scotia beer, featuring Organic malt, hops, and yeast harvested from a Pin Cherry on their farm. Their Food Truck weekends have started for the summer, drop by the brewery for fresh food from Cruisin’ Cuisine from noon Thursday through Saturday until mid-September. And with Beer + Yoga each Saturday from 11AM, there are plenty of reasons to stop in Nyanza this summer.

• This morning both Halifax’s Granite Brewery and Fredericton’s Picaroons mashed in on a very special beer that will celebrate both Canada 150 and the legacy of the great Peter Austin, who was responsible for the creation of the system in use at both breweries, the Peter Austin Brick Kettle Brewing System. Breweries based on this system, over 140 of which have been installed around the world over the last 30+ years, are also known as “Ringwood” Breweries both after Austin’s original Ringwood Brewery and the yeast strain that they generally favour. These two breweries from our region are joining 5 others from across the country, Golden Lion Brewery in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Granite Brewery in Toronto, Ashton Brew Pub and Clocktower Brew Pub in Ottawa and 4 Mile Brewing Co in Victoria, BC. These breweries have come together under the name “The Fathers of Fermentation” to brew Sir John’s Special Eh’le based on a recipe by Alan Pugsley of Pugsley Brewing International, Peter Austin’s good friend and former partner, who was responsible for the design and setup at all of the participating breweries. Everyone is brewing their batch today; the beer will be fermented and then delicately aged and released on July 1st. As you anticipate the final product you can read more about this special collaboration and see some video of the cross country brew days on the The Fathers of Fermentation Facebook page.

Chill Street Fresh Beer and Cider Market opened this week in the Elmsdale Sobey’s at Exit 8 of the 102 Highway. Featuring a SmartBrew Ferment-on-Premise system, they are offering cans and growlers of their beer and cider now. Look for their Eh? Light Lager, Hants Down Light Ale, Honey I’m Home Honey Brown, Life’s a Beach Grapefruit Radler Out of the Blue Blueberry Wheat, Skinny Dipping Cider, Storm Day White IPA, and Unplugged Pale Ale. Chill Street is the first grocery store-based brewery in Canada, a business model that could catch on, given the compact size of the SmartBrew system.

• Truro’s Salty Dog Brewing (beer brewed on the system at the Nook and Cranny next door) has released a new beer this week, HOME Brew Session Ale. The 3.5% ABV beer is a collaboration with nearby My HOME Apparel, makers of NS-inspired clothing and merchandise. Drop by the brewery Saturday for a My HOME pop-up, and grab a sampler, enjoy some music, and take home a half-priced branded growler (which gets you a discount off a fill of the Session Ale). And keep your eyes peeled as Salty Dog will soon be canning their offerings.

Another busy weekend ahead:

• A reminder that Maybee Brewing is holding their Summer Pig Roast tomorrow, June 17th, from 5 pm till late. With plenty of food, beer (including a special cask), and live music from house band Extraordinary Measures, it’s sure to be a great time! Tickets ($29.50 each) are still available.

Tatamagouche Brewing is turning 3! Be sure to join them at the brewery for celebrations tomorrow, June 17th for face painting, food truck deliciousness courtesy of Route 6 Food Truck Co., and a draw to win a $150 gift bag or Brew Day Package. And if you’re wearing your Tata Brew gear, you’ll receive 10% off your entire purchase. Happy Birthday! See if they’ll give you a sneak peek at the freshly-bottled

• It’s Father’s Day this Sunday, June 18th (you forgot to send a card? Too late! Worst son/daughter ever!), and Railcar is holding a special event at their soon-to-officially-open new location in Perth. Father’s Day Flight will feature a guided tasting from Railcar’s very own Mitch Biggar, of six 5 oz beers brewed in the Maritimes. The two hour tasting begins at 2 pm; a selection of appetizers will also be served. Only 30 spaces are available, and tickets are $20, first-come-first-served.

• We told you about the new brewery and taproom at Horton Ridge Malt House a few weeks ago, and the taps have been flowing since June 1st, but on Saturday, June 24th, they’ll be having a proper Grand Opening. From 11 AM to 10 PM they’ll be serving up some of their new beers and others from breweries around the province that feature Horton Ridge Malt. Food will be available from a new food truck in the region, Let’s Eat Beer, recently started by the folks at Draught Pro. This truck serves beer-infused food and donate all proceeds from the events it attends to Atlantic Canadian Charities! There will also be some live music, games like washer toss and Mega Jenga, and tours of the brewery and malt house. So maybe give a thought to stopping in at Exit 10 on the 101 next Saturday and celebrating one of the newest breweries in the region!

• Prince Edward Island’s only beer festival, PEI Beer Fest, is returning this September to the Delta Prince Edward. Part of the month-long Fall Flavors Festival, a culinary celebration of the Island, the dates for this years tastings have been set and tickets are on sale now. There will be three tasting sessions this year, one on the evening of Friday, September 8th, from 6:30 – 9:30 PM, and two on Saturday, September 9th, in the afternoon from 2:00 – 4:00 PM and in the evening from 6:30 – 9:30 PM. There will be beer, of course, and some cider options, with live entertainment as well. Tickets for the evening sessions are $40, for Saturday afternoon it’s $30 and they’ve got Designated Driver tickets available as well at $10 each (be aware that various service fees are likely to make those more like $50, $40 and $15 respectively). If you’re interested in attending, don’t delay too long, last year’s event was sold out in advance and no tickets were available at the door! And keep an eye on the web site for news about what breweries will be bringing their wares to the event this year.

And a few more things today:

– Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing has the last keg of their Smoked Cherry India Black Ale on tap now. Brewed in collaboration with the gents at FirkinStein, who actually smoked the malt themselves using Cherrywood, this Black IPA is hopped with Cascade and Falconer’s Flight, with cherries added to the fermenter for a hint of fruit flavour. There isn’t much of the 6.8% ABV, 75 IBUs beer, so be sure to get down to the brewery today! And look for the release of their Privateer Pilsner, which will be returning soon to celebrate next weekend’s Privateer Days.

North Brewing is releasing the Barrel-Aged version of their Milk Stout today. First previewed at the Full House event in May, the Headline Milk Stout spent 5 months in Glenora Whisky Barrels, and has been bottle conditioning for a couple more. The 7.5% ABV special brew is available now at both their Halifax and Dartmouth stores. Insider pro-tip: visitors can show their receipt from Battery Park for a discount at the North store. Tell em ACBB sent ya!

– A quick reminder that the Schoolhouse Graduation and 2017 Grad Party is on tomorrow in Windsor, with the family-oriented Graduation festivities starting at 11am and the ticketed “afterparty” beginning at 8pm (tickets available here).

Welcome to June, loyal beer readers and drinkers! It’s already been a busy week, with the announcement of the winners at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and the opening of Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Company’s taproom and pilot brewery. We’ve got plenty more news to share with you today, so grab that coffee stout and take a few minutes to get up to speed. Look for our take on the ANBL domestic beer price reduction shortly.

• Kicking off the beer release news is FirkinStein, located just outside Bridgewater in Mount Pleasant, who have released a new beer this week, called Tempus Fugit IPA. At 8.0% ABV, many would consider it a Double IPA (and it is packed to the gills with hops like one), including Cascade, Citra, Perle, Saaz, and Mosaic! It’s got a strong bitterness and prominent hop aroma, and is a touch drier and quite a bit lighter in colour than their flagship IPA, Cut of Our Jib. Tempus Fugit will only be available at the brewery and their market stalls. Meanwhile, Bishops Cellar in Halifax has been carrying the first bottled offerings from FirkinStein and have sold out of the Rock Your Boat Oatmeal Coffee Stout. But fear not, you should see their Amber, Nor’Easter appear there sometime in the coming week. And watch this space in the coming weeks for news of a new retail space for the brewery.

• Over to New Brunswick, where Shediac’s Flying Boats Brewing is releasing the first in a series of beers for the summer. Galaxy Session IPA kicks off the lineup by featuring a very popular hop of late, the Australian variety Galaxy, which is known for a blast of tropical passion fruit and citrus characteristics. The beer comes in at a very sessionable 4.7% ABV, which should make for easy drinking in the summer sun. This one will appear on tap at the James Joyce Pub in Fredericton as well as at ANBL growler stations (probably Dieppe and/or Moncton). Keep an eye on Facebook for Growler Alerts to find out when it’s coming up in rotation! Brewer Marc Melanson will be introducing more beers in this series as the summer goes on featuring either single hop varietals or blends, and we’ll try to let you know about every one of them!

• And moving across the Northumberland Strait to the Island, we told you last week about the North Brewing Taproom Takeover this afternoon at Upstreet. One of the beers you’ll find if you’re lucky enough to be at that event in Charlottetown is a beer co-brewed by Upstreet’s Mike Hogan when he was in Halifax a month or two back. Holiday Island is an IPA in the session range, at 5.1% ABV, with pale, honey, and kiln amber malts making up the grain bill. It was hopped to 35 IBU with Azacca, Belma, and Pekko, three recently released American varietals that promise to provide a big hop character. And if you happen to see the gang from North at this event or back in the HRM, be sure to congratulate them on their twin gold medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards!

• Saint John’s Loyalist City released their latest single-hop IPA to the wild this week, El Dorado. Ther El Dorado hop varietal lends an intense tropical fruit aroma of mango and stone fruit, and a light tweak to the base recipe gives a lighter body and slight sweetness to match the hop character. The beer is available now at Cask & Kettle, and a few other spots in the Uptown area.

• Dartmouth’s Nine Locks released a new one earlier this week, a red ale they’re calling Brewer’s Choice Ginger Rye. This is a dusky red ale that is full-bodied and features subtle caramel notes and hints of ginger on the palate. It’s got a long finish enabled by the astringency of the rye and wheat malts used and an assertive spiciness that we suspect comes from both the rye and the ginger. It’s not a big beer at 5.6% ABV and certainly not overly bitter at 15 IBU, so expect it to be on the malty side of the spectrum. This is a limited release, so you’ll only find it at the brewery for now and possibly appearing at licensed taps around the city over the coming weeks.

• Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has a special small-batch this week, made with oft-overlooked apple varietals. Geneva Crab Rosé is an 8.6% ABV blend made with a blend of dry cider from 100% hand-picked local Golden Hyslop crabapples, with fresh-pressed juice from Geneva Red crabapples added post-ferment for a brilliant colour and tannic character. The resulting cider has a significant tart finish, and is only available at their cidery on Main Street for a limited time.

• In addition, Annapolis has released their latest Something Different, Sangria Cider. The 7.0% abv Sparkling Cider was created by blending cool-fermented dry cider with a dry red wine from locally sourced Frontenac Red grapes. This blend was then finished with fresh-pressed apple juice, as well as juice from oranges, lemons and limes. From Annapolis, “With aromatic notes of citrus and crisp apple and the characteristic hints of cherry, blackcurrant and plum from the wine, this lively and refreshing rosé-hued cider is the perfect patio sipper.” As with all of their Something Different releases, $0.50 will be donated to a local charity. This releases beneficiary is L’Arche Homefires in Wolfville, who provide meaningful work opportunities for adults with special needs.

• Fredericton’s Red Rover Craft Cider released a “very limited” batch of a special treat yesterday. Wyld is a cider that will appeal to those who are drawn to farmhouse funk and sour styles. Fermented with wild yeast, this is a still cider, which should accentuate the yeast character, and also quite dry, weighing in at 7% ABV. This small batch is only available at their cider house for pints or flagon fills to go, so get it before it’s gone. Meanwhile, Red Rover has plans for some more special treats in the next month that we’ll be sure to tell you about as their respective releases approach.

• And in even more cider news, Muwin Estate Wines in the Annapolis Valley, the folks who bring you Bulwark Ciders, are launching a new line of fruit-forward ciders under the label 7 Shores that will appeal to both regular cider drinkers and those who are new to cider. Like their Bulwark products, these are built on a base of freshly-pressed 100% Annapolis Valley apples, but one with slightly less tannins for a smoother palate. They also sport a significantly lower ABV, at a very quaffable 4.8%. Two flavours are available out of the gate, Peach Vanilla Bean and Strawberry Lime; look for them to appear soon at NSLC stores around the province.

• It’s been almost six months since we’ve had a new SMaSH from Greg Nash at Unfiltered Brewing, when the Simcoe-laden Danko was released back in November; so today’s release of Hops & Dreams is a special day. This one features Amarillo, one of the brewing industry darling hops of the 2010s and a varietal known for imparting a juicy orange, grapefruit, and stone-fruit character. In short, a perfect hop for another East Coast/West Coast DIPA marriage that no doubt features the magic of Mr. Nash’s proprietary SMaSH technique. It’s 8% ABV and 100+ IBU, but like its five brethren, it probably drinks a whole lot easier than the numbers would suggest. So as you wobble back to the fridge for glass number 4 from that growler, don’t say we didn’t warn you! It’ll be available for pints and fills from noon today on North Street at the brewery and Charm School Pub.

• Those who attended the Friday session of the CBANS Full House event earlier this month had a chance to try a brand new collaboration beer from 2 Crows and 2/3 of the motley crew from 902 BrewCast (1/3 had his beard caught in a rocking chair). And those folks liked it so much that they drained the keg that night, leaving none for the Saturday attendees, who are clearly not bitter about it. In ACBB exclusive news, there’s good news afoot: 2 Crows is releasing a limited run of cans of that beer, In Theory, a Galaxy and Azacca dry-hopped sour fermented with wild yeast, this coming Tuesday! Bright, tart, tropical, juicy and eminently crushable at 5.1% ABV and 18 IBU, you’ll also find it on tap at the brewery the day cans are released. So plan to grab a pint and see what all the fuss was about before you grab some cans to go!

• And speaking of the 902 BrewDudes, they released the fifth of their May #902sday episodes earlier this week, featuring a sitdown with Brian Titus, Daniel Girard, and Jeff Green of Garrison Brewing. At over 2 hours in length, there is plenty to digest about their 20 years in operation, including false starts, the lean years, and their expansion(s) to the Halifax Seaport. Grab the podcast, and a can of the much-lauded JUICY! Double IPA, which is now available at the brewery, and releasing shortly at the private stores (and NSLC in a couple of weeks). From the brewery, “Dank, hazy, and lushly tropical. This double IPA delivers waves of mango, tangerine and pineapple without the bitter hit.”

• One of the Annapolis Valley’s small breweries is fixing to get bigger. After opening in February of this year with a 1.5bbl system, Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill is already planning an upgrade to 5bbl; their new equipment should be on the way from the West Coast by the time you read this. They’re not waiting on delivery to increase their presence, though, as starting today you’ll see them opening Fridays from 12-6pm in addition to their previously established Thursday hours of 3:30-6:30pm. They’ve got growler and grunter fills available, or feel free to try a flight of 5 beers for $10. And if that’s not enough to draw you in, they’ve also got a limited quantity of their Stillwell Open category-winning collaboration with Boxing Rock, April May and Juniper pouring!

•  As first reported by local blog Halifax RetalesCristall Wine Merchants in Bedford has confirmed that it will be closing, and re-opening under a new name, this summer. “WestSide Beer Wine Spirits” will be opening at 287 Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, in the former Brewdabaker’s location. The larger location will allow for bigger selection, expanded cold storage, 8 growlers taps, and the ability to control their opening hours. Stayed tuned for more details and dates.

There’s lots going on in our region this weekend and the next few weeks…

Stillwell is holding a pair of mini-tap takeovers this weekend at both their Beergarden and Mothership on Barrington. Today at BGonSG, there are three West Avenue ciders pouring now, with a Beausoleil Oyster pop-up starting this afternoon. Tomorrow from noon on Barrington, there will be 3 kegs and 5 different bottles from Toronto’s Bellwoods available for enjoyment.

PEI Brewing Company has been quietly releasing small pilot brews and special beers through casks and kegs at their brewery taproom and Halifax’s Stillwell for a couple of years, but they are now naming, and officially launching, this line of beers as the After Hours series. According to PEIBC’s Brewmaster Chris Long, “This series is a way for the brewers to scale up ideas that we’ve had for new beers without committing to 50 hectoliters of it. Some start on a pilot system, and we’ll have a 20 litre keg to put out there. Others are lower risk and start out on the 5 or 7 bbl system at one of the Gahan locations. These beers will be available on tap at the PEI Brewing Company taproom, select bars and restaurants in the Maritimes and through the growler programs at your local liquor stores.” In celebration of this, PEIBC is taking over the taps today at the new bar.1911 at 113 Longworth in Charlottetown. From 4 PM, there will be twenty different pilot- or small-batch beers, including favourites like Impatience Sour Brown and Milk Stout, as well as brand new offerings, such as Scimitar Black IPAStrawberry Pale Ale, and Barrel-Aged Brett Pale Ale. The brewers will be onsite to answer your questions (and hear your suggestions for the next brews!), and music will be provided by Bridgette Blanchard, Nudie, and Alex Madsen of The Divorcees. Check out the details on their Facebook page.

• The BrewHopper app has launched in Fredericton, and they are holding their first tours this weekend. Starting today, thirsty visitors can hop on and off the BrewHopper bus as it takes them to the busiest beer spots on both the North and Southside. The app allows all ticketing/tracking to be done electronically, akin to ride-sharing apps available in other areas. Using the BrewHopper App (for iPhone and Android), you can track the bus’ route and exact location, use it to warn you when the bus is getting close, and take care of your payment, too. The River Hop will run every Friday through the summer (including today) 6:00 PM-12:15 AM, and take folks to both North and Southside locations (DJ Purdy’s, GrayStone, King Street Ale House, James Joyce, Picaroons Roadhouse, Mama’s Brew Pub, and Trailway Brewing), while the Hill Hop runs Saturdays 4:00-11:30 PM, and stays on the Southside (DJ Purdy’s, GrayStone, Grimross Brewing, Maybee Brewing , James Joyce, and Red Rover Ciderhouse). There are more maps, and details on the Fredericton page. Even if you will not be going on the tour this weekend, grab the free app to learn more about the stops, and to watch the bus icon scoot around the city. And if all goes well, the BrewHopper will be expanding to other cities, including Halifax and Ottawa. You can learn some more on the BrewHopper Facebook page as well.

• A reminder that the launch of the St. John’s Beer Tours is this weekend as well, with their Scuff & Scoff tour running today, the Ultimate Townie Brew Tour tomorrow, and the Hoppy Highlights Tour Sunday. Check out their calendar page for ticket details and purchase, and we’ll see you out on a tour soon enough! Check out our previous mention of it for more details.

• Drop by the Tide & Boar tomorrow for the launch of a unique beer they brewed onsite. Joined by members of the Moncton Beer League, this Pale Ale features Green Bullet and Pacifica hops, on a Pale and Vienna Malt base, with additions of local Chaga throughout the brew. The flavour of the Chaga comes through as earthy and woody. Pouring from opening at 10AM, visitors can grab a pint in a special Moncton Beer League glass (to keep), do pay-as-you-drink, or grab a growler to go. Speaking of growlers, in addition to Chaga Pale Ale, their Robot Food IPA and Killington IPA will also be available for sale to take away.

• The ANBL is celebrating the new Craft Beer Room at their York Street location with its Grand Opening this Saturday, June 3rd. From 11 AM-3 PM, drop by for free tastings, food pairings, prizes, and drop-bys from local brewery employees. The room is unique within the ANBL system, and features some beers available nowhere else in the province (or the rest of Atlantic Canada, for that matter!). The York Street inventory is available online, skip to the Beer section to spot beers from across the Maritimes, as well as from Dunham, Epic, Evil Twin, FiftyFifty, and more.

A. Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery in downtown Halifax, home of the firm’s small batch beers, will be hosting a Community Party to celebrate the launch of their special edition growlers next Thursday, June 8, 5-10:30 PM at the historic Alexander Keith’s Brewery. No tickets are required for the event, which will feature food and 4 special casks from brewer Stefan Gagliardi: a new Pilsner with Motueka hops, an Extra Pale Ale with experimental hops, a Stout with Heart of Africa coffee from Laughing Whale and an Oak-aged Stout with Vanilla Beans. You’ll be able to tour the brewery, play some pub games and enjoy live music.

• The next Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection event has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 14th. From 6:30-8:00 PM, meet with your fellow beer fans at Graystone Brewing for a flight and tour of their facilities. Tickets are $13, and can be reserved by emailing the organizers. Learn more on their FB page.

The Coast is holding the Summer Launch Food Truck Party on June 15th, at the Museum of Natural History on Summer Street in Halifax. In addition to the 20+ Food Trucks/Vendors, there will be at least six local alcohol producers on-site selling their wares: Chain Yard Cider, Garrison, Good Robot, Meander River, Nine Locks, and Spindrift. The event runs from 4-8 PM, and more details are available here.

• Events celebrating the Central City Across the Nation epic twelve beer collaboration are being finalized, with the Picaroons event happening June 16th, and Garrison’s on the 17th. Look for details on the PEI Brewing Company and Quidi Vidi events next week.

• Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing Company is holding a Pig Roast at the brewery June 17th. They are having the Crowne Plaza taking care of that task, while they cover the beer and entertainment for the evening. Exact details are not yet available, but mark your calendar now, and keep an eye on the FB event page for ticket details.

• While over a month away, tickets to the Big Axe Beer Festival are selling fast, so we wanted to be sure you had the inside info. On July 15th, at the base of the World’s Largest Axe, more than twenty breweries/cideries/wineries from the Maritimes, Ontario, and Maine will be pouring beer in Nackawic. Tickets are available that include bus transportation from/to Fredericton or Woodstock, as well as DD options. Check that link for the full list.

Plenty of parting shots this week before we let you get back to your beer:

– In addition to the In Theory release today, 2 Crows tapped the last keg of their wine ‘n wild yeast-fermented Crosswired earlier this week. If you’re lucky, there’s still a few glasses left!
– Halifax’s Good Robot is re-releasing some favorites this week. Their APA Burban Legend will return to the taps in its v2 form (dry-hopped with Cascade and Amarillo) in the next few days and the Goseface Killah will be back for early summer refreshment as well. We’ll have more news from GR in coming weeks with the second in their SMaSH(mouth?) series and a serious step up in their BetaBrew releases.
– Quispamsis, NB’s Hammond River Brewing is hoping to be brewing in their new expanded brewhouse by the end of next week. Until then, look for the first batch of the season for their Watermelon Wheat on tap at the Barrels’ Head Gastropub & Wine Bar in Rothesay.
Picaroons is also back with watermelon action, as their Melonhead has returned for another year, this time featuring a cat named Whiskey on the label. On tap and in bottles at the Picaroons Roundhouse and The Brewtique and on it’s way to The General Store in Uptown Saint John, The 5 Kings Restaurant & Picaroons Brewhouse in St. Stephen, and to ANBL locations throughout New Brunswick.
– This past Wednesday marked a new era for Propeller fans in Halifax, after 20 years, their Gottingen location is finally licensed for full pints! We’re not totally sure about their serving hours, so you may wish to check ahead, but if you’re in the area definitely stop in, say hello, and grab a pint!
– Down in Digby, NS, Roof Hound is debuting a new menu today, promising to “step things up in every way.” Don’t forget, brewer/owner Les Barr was a finalist on Masterchef Canada, so don’t take that statement lightly. Meanwhile, their non-alcoholic Blueberry Lemonade Soda is once again available for the designated drivers and kids in your crew.
– Eastern Shore’s Sober Island Brewing has announced their next beer to be released in the coming weeks. Kirby’s Canoe is a 5.0% ABV Rye Pale Ale, a light-bodied and -coloured beer featuring floral and citrus aromatics, along with the representative spiciness found in beers featuring rye malt. Look for it to appear on tap at their current home at Henley House, and during the market runs before the end of the month.
– Fredericton hopheads can rejoice that Trailway has a small batch of Green Island available in cans at the brewery, alongside some more of their hoppy wheat ale, Patio. And speaking of patios, they’ve got one at the brewery now and it’s opening today! Drop by Saturday for some beer and wood-fired goodies from Milda’s Pizza.

After an amazing long weekend that saw the first real sign of summer (Stillwell Beer Garden opening in Halifax, of course), we’re back to more typical Spring weather, at least in Halifax, where hot cocoa may be more apropos than a cold beer on this chilly and rainy Friday. But there’s still plenty of beer news to take your mind forward to sunnier and beerier days, so let’s get to it!

• Let’s kick off today’s post with a bit of cider news: after launching their Foundation cider to NSLC and other retail locations earlier this month, Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery has opened their taproom and retail location on Agricola Street. Pouring a handful of their own ciders, plus a few taps devoted to other guest ciders and beer, the taproom also features a full kitchen (food shots here). At the taproom right now, visitors can enjoy their Foundation, the 6.0% flagship off-dry blend; Intrepid, a 6.0% dry cider made with all Nova Scotian Northern Spy apples; Hopped Up, the dry-hopped version of Intrepid, featuring Cascade and CentennialKings R Wild, a 7.5% wild-fermented blend of King and Russet apples; and sOaked, a lightly-oaked dry cider, featuring Cox Orange Pippin, Jonagold, and Russet. The taproom is open from 11AM daily, closing at 10PM Sunday through Wednesday, with extended hours Thursday through Saturday. Congratulations!

• Saint John’s Big Tide Brewpub has released a new batch of their Tidal Wave Double IPA this week, tweaking the recipe slightly to extract an extra bit of juiciness from the heavy dosing of Cascade and Columbus added during the boil, and then Cascade and Summit added as a dry-hop for serious citrus vibes. The resultant 7.8% ABV beer is 110 IBUs, but still features a well balanced body.

Big Tide is releasing the second collaboration they’ve brewed with Greg Hemmings and Dave Veale of the Boiling Point Podcast. Building on the first release, Hemmingsway Veally Great Ale, version two has been dubbed Boiling Point Honey Ginger Ale. Employing a malt bill of 2-Row, Munich, and Honey malts, the 4.7% ABV beer was hopped to 30 IBUs using Crystal hops from nearby Darlings Island Farm. Fresh ginger root was added throughout the brewing process (during the mash, in the boil, and during fermentation), along with some lemongrass also added late in the process. The resultant beer features lots of ginger flavour and aromatics, with a nice sweet character from the Honey malt. Grab a pint and/or growler today!

• Fredericton’s TrailWay is celebrating their first year of operation at the Main Street location this week, and we’re the ones getting presents! Earlier this week, they dropped a fresh batch of Dunder, their Australian-hopped Pale Ale. The 5.5% ABV brew features tons of tropical fruit aroma and flavour thanks to the generous amount of fresh Southern-hemisphere hops. And launching later today is the latest batch of Hop Stains, their 8.0% ABV Double IPA. Featuring lots of El Dorado hops in the blend, look for a candy/sweet juiciness to balance the bright hop character on the beer, with a lower bitterness than many DIPAs (roughly 50). Available in limited quantities (those hops are expensive!!), and probably not to be brewed again for a while, grab this while it’s hot/cold. Drop by the brewery this afternoon for both beers, as we do not expect them to be available outside of their retail location (another great reason to visit their taproom, which has expanded hours for summer starting this week). Happy First Anniversary!

• Not backing down from their ambitious goal of releasing five episodes this month, the 902 BrewCast crew released another tasting episode on Tuesday. They welcomed special guest Kim Hart Macneill of Halifax Magazine, as well as our own Chris, to chat beer (both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), homebrewing, and a bit of everything, while sipping on some old standards and brand new releases to our region. Check out Kim’s article in this edition of Halifax Mag while you listen to the episode. And subscribe to 902BC today to get next the #902day release with Garrison Brewing automagically at 12:01AM on the 30th.

• Do you have some rhubarb growing in your garden (or elsewhere on your property) that you don’t have a use for? After the great response they received last year, Garrison in Halifax is once again putting out the call for folks to bring in their extra rhubarb for inclusion in the brewery’s seasonal Rhubarb Saison. It’s got to be fresh (not frozen), local (not store bought) and clean (washed and leaves removed). In return for your haul, you’ll get a free sampler of beer and $1 in-store credit per pound up to a maximum of $10 for 10 pounds. Brewery staff is ready and waiting for your contribution and the brewhouse team is gearing up to start on the beer once they’ve got enough. Meanwhile, we’ll look forward to the final product; we’ll be sure to let you know here when it’s ready.

• PEI’s Moth Lane Brewing has released a new beer this week, which is their first foray into the Tart Side of brewing: a Kettle Sour. Using a Lactobacillus culture, they soured the beer, and then aged the fermented beer on cranberries for several weeks, before adding some hibiscus flowers and a touch of dry-hopping. The resultant beer features a beautiful pink colour, and tart character from the process and berries. The beer is available now, but they need your help naming it! Drop by their Facebook or Instagram page to check out the beer, and suggest a name there. If yours is chosen, you’ll win a ML gift certificate.

Hell Bay Brewing has released a brand new beer this, available only at their Liverpool taproom. Barrel-Aged Brown is a 9.5% ABV that spent time in Bourbon barrels, imparting lots of sweet bourbon and oak flavour and aromatics. This one is on tap for your enjoyment at the brewery, and available to go in small-growler fills.

• Also in Halifax, Propeller Brewing joined some auspicious company this week, becoming the first brewery to ever win an East Coast Music Award! But before you confusedly ask what instrument John Allen plays and when their album drops, we should probably make it clear that they “won” it in a Facebook auction. Local punk band Like a Motorcycle, which features Propeller employee KT Lamond on guitar, decided to make a statement with their 2017 ECMA Rising Star award, pledging to pawn it and put all the proceeds towards Phoenix Youth Programs, a local non-profit that has been supporting youth, families and communities since 1987. A big Cheers to Like a Motorcycle for making such a concrete statement of support for their community and to Propeller for stepping up and making it happen. Organizations like Phoenix always need support, so though you won’t get your own ECMA for it, you’re always welcome to donate some of your beer money to a worthy cause.

There’s a busy weekend of events ahead, check it out!

Northumbeerfest at Pictou Lodge is happening tomorrow evening. Featuring beer from Big Spruce, Garrison Brewing, Good Robot, Sober Island, Tatamagouche, and Uncle Leo’s, there will be live music and food to keep the night going strong. Your $50 ticket can be purchased via email or phone (1-800-495-6343).

Saturday’s Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival is sure to be a fun time. Tickets are now sold out for the Saturday Evening session (with some DD tickets available), but the 2:30-4:30PM Afternoon session are still available. Tickets are $35 for entry, your tasting glass, and first 5 samples (VIP tickets are $50, allowing 30min earlier entry and more tasting tickets).

• Truro’s newest name in beer, Salty Dog Brewing, the new retail name for beer brewed at the Nook & Cranny Brewpub, will be throwing a Spring Block Party tomorrow, May 27th, with their friends from NovelTea Bookstore Cafe and Clay Cafe Truro. From 2:45 to 4:45 you’ll find family fun activities on Prince Street with free admission. At 5pm food trucks will arrive to serve the area and the Salty Dog Beer Tent will open on the street outside Sauced Wood-fired Pizza, Salty Dog’s soon-to-open retail space, and the Nook and Cranny Brewpub with beer, live music from Floodland, Alert the Medic, Adam Baldwin Band and The Town Heroes, and locally-made spirits from Coldstream Clear Distillery. Tickets for the music and beer tent are $20 and are available at The Nook and Cranny Brew Pub and MacQuarries Pharmasave & Home Health Care Centre. The food trucks will be open from 5-11pm and no tickets are required. Also, stay tuned for word of the Grand Opening of Salty Dog’s retail space and patio some time in June, where they’re expecting to have 2 more beers ready to serve and sell!

• The 15th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards are happening this weekend. Breweries from across to country are in Ottawa to attend seminars, exhibits, local breweries, and then the Gala on Saturday. For those unable to attend, but would like to learn about the winners as they are being announced, you can tune into the livestream here. Best of luck to our Atlantic Canadian entrants!

• Next weekend, on Friday June 2nd, the crew from North Brewing and Battery Park will be going to visit their friends at Upstreet in Charlottetown for a taproom and kitchen takeover. Featuring 10 North beers, including mainstays and recent seasonals/one-offs alike (including Betroth Braggot and their barrel-aged Milk Stout), the kitchen crew will also be bringing a taste of the mainland to PEI with some of their own home favourites, as well as some special one-off items especially for the weekend. The event will also serve as the launch party for the collaboration brew that Upstreet’s Mike Hogan brewed when he was in Halifax several weeks ago. And the visit will also mean the chance for North’s Josh Herbin to take a turn at Upstreet and put together a beer. We’ll have more details on both beers next week, just in time to get you thirsty.

• Although they’ve been serving up beers at their new location in Windsor for a few weeks already, Schoolhouse Brewery is finally ready to have their official Graduation event. The Faculty of Schoolhouse would like to cordially invite you to celebrate with them on Saturday, June 17, rain or shine at their new location, 40 Water St. in Windsor, NS. The day will begin at 11am with what is promised to be the biggest Four Square tournament Nova Scotia has ever seen, along with washer toss, music, food, and of course, #NSCraftBeer. The ceremonies will end with a speech by the Principal of Schoolhouse, Cam Hartley, before the official Grad Party begins at 7:30pm. The daytime event is free to attend, but the gang would love it if you’d RSVP at the EventBrite Page for the event. Tickets are also available for the Grad Party, which will feature music by Basin Brothers, Tony Wood Trio & Special Guests, food from some of the finest food trucks in the province, and of course, more beer! A signup for the Four Square tournament will be made available some time in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes on the event’s Facebook page for more!

Just a couple of parting shots today:

Good Robot has added/adjusted the name of the new Dr. Rudi SMaSH release we told you about last week. Now named How Wude, the beer is out now at GR. The SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) release will be named after bizarre comedians, with this inaugural one paying its respects to Bob Saget (think Full House). And keep an eye open for the latest version of  Dave & Morley Coffee Brown, this version featuring Burundi Kayanza Gacokwe from Java Blend.
– Well, that didn’t take long! After our introduction to PEI Brewing’s Beer Station in last week’s post, they launched this week. Drop by the PEI Factory Shops at Cows Creamery for a pint onsite, or cans or growler fills to go.

Wow, look what happened over the last couple of days… spring/summer actually arrived! Better late than never, right? We’re sure the sunny rays have helped those of you who were lucky enough to indulge in Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week recover, so it’s now time to dive right in to the usual geyser of beer news that’s been going on over the past week…

• The YellowBelly Brewpub has a new beer on tap, released late last week in conjunction with the NLC’s Beer Expo which took place over the weekend. Ryan’s Fancy IPA was brewed with 2-row, Munich and Carastan malts, and hopped with generous amounts of “an assortment of varietals”, both in the kettle and dry-hop additions. Coming in at 6.3% ABV and 60 IBUs, it has a firm supporting malt backbone, and is described as “resinously bitter” by the brewery. It’s on tap now at the brewpub.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewery has one heck of a big beer out, brewed to recognize the traditions of Maritime sailors. Fog Bank is a rich, chocolatey stout that was aged for five months in rum barrels. The result is an 11% ABV monster of a beer, with vanilla and dark fruit notes, and a deceptively “smooth, mellow finish”… that should become even smoother with some age. It’s available at the brewery for 13 oz pours, and also in bottles, giving you the opportunity to pick up a few; try one now, and throw a couple more in your cellar to try again in several months… or even longer!

• Apparently not tired out by NSCBW one bit, Good Robot is releasing a brand new beer, and a new iteration of another. Let’s start with the new one, the first in their new SMaSH series (single-malt and single-hop), SMaSH No. 1: Dr. Rudi. Brewed with 2-row and the Dr. Rudi hop variety (yes, that’s a thing), it was fermented with White Labs East Coast Ale yeast. With aromas of “cantaloupe, citrus, honey, and pine”, and fruity and herbal flavours, it weighs in at 6% ABV and 47 IBUs. Gluten-reduced like all GR beers, it will be available Monday-ish at GR’s taproom, and will be popping up at fine tap accounts in the HRM.

• Moving along, today Good Robot is releasing version 3.0 of their well-loved-but-difficult-to-type Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale.  This take features Kenya Nyeri Mahiga coffee beans from Java Blend, cold-brewed by Low Point Coffee Co., giving the beer “notes of cocoa, citrus and stone fruit”, according to the brewery. Aside from the coffee used, the rest of the brew is similar to previous releases; 5.5% ABV, 32 IBUs, also available at the brewery and at select tap accounts.

• The third and final beer in Roof Hound‘s Dive Bar Classic Cocktail Series is now available. Harvey Wallbanger is an American Wheat Ale brewed with both Pilsner and Wheat malt, with orange and vanilla beans added during the brew process (juice at the end of the boil, and zest and vanilla bean in secondary) to give you the aromas and flavours normally associated with the classic mixed drink (traditionally made with vodka, orange juice, and Galliano liqueur). Easy drinking at just 4.4% ABV and 16 IBUs, it’s on tap now at the brewery; drop by tomorrow, and you can try it in a mini-flight of all three in the Cocktail Series – joining previous releases Mojito Sour and Fuzzy Navel IPA – for just $5.

TrailWay hasn’t been slowing down with their “small-batch” (read: 10 bbl) releases, as they’ve brought back Ellipse, a crowd-favourite 6.3% ABV American IPA that was originally released early this year. Inspired by the “intense orange-citrus character” from large additions of the very popular Amarillo hop variety, some Columbus was also thrown in to provide some “dankness and spiciness” to complement. Luckily, this batch is also available in cans, which can be picked up only at the brewery taproom (along with growlers) for the time-being. Drop by today for your hazy-and-juicy fix!

• In other Fredericton news, Picaroons is launching a new beer series today, showcasing a brew with a static grain bill but ever-changing hop profile. Pivot is an Imperial IPA that will feature a simple grist of Canadian 2-row and a touch of Toasted Wheat (to 8% ABV) that will allow the changing variety of hops to be front and center. Two batches have already been brewed: Pivot #1 will be released today on tap only, at all four Picaroons locations in NB, and was hopped with Warrior, Azacca, and Hallertau Blanc, giving notes of “melon, pineapple, bubblegum, and white grapes”, according to the brewery; Pivot #2 will be released next week in bottles only, throughout the province. The #2 features Warrior and Azacca only, with a larger dry-hop addition this time around. For bottle purchases, look for the batch number on the side of the label; you can head to this site to check out which hops were used in each batch.

• After an initial release at last weekend’s Full House event for NSCBW, Lunn’s Mill is officially launching their latest American IPA, Purple Grain. A gold-coloured brew featuring a “balanced malt body with notes of honey”, it was hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Citra for “tangy and slightly spicy” flavors.  This 5.5% ABV, Prince-themed beer is available for growler fills at the brewery, but only a small amount is left, so drop by during their opening hours (or request a growler delivery)!

• We’d love to tell you about the Jade Moon APA from Tidehouse, but there’d be no point in that because it’s gone already, thanks to its presence at both last weekend’s Craft Beer Full House and the Timeraiser event at the Halifax Central Library this past Monday. While we wait to see whether that one makes a reappearance, however, the gang has two even newer beers for us this week. First we’ve got another in the APA style, ‘Insert Clever Name Here’ Pale Ale, a 5.5% ABV beer with 56 or so IBU, 97% of which came from post-boil additions of pungent Simcoe and Citra hops. The grist sees 2-Row supplemented with Maris Otter and Munich, which should give it a solid malt base against which passionfruit, lemon zest and light pineapple notes will contrast. This one will be available for fills at the brewery this weekend and is also slated to be on tap at Halifax’s new noodle sensation, Water & Bone, posthaste.

• Also debuting this weekend is the first in a new series of beers brewed by Shannon Higgins (née Rockwell), partner of Tidehouse principal Shean Higgins. Rockwell Series vol. I is a truly big DIPA that comes in at 9%. It’s been heavily hopped (“to high heaven”) with modern American hop varieties Simcoe, Amarillo, Mosaic, and Citra giving notes of orange, mango and peaches. Shannon also tells us it has a creamy body and thirst-quenching dry finish and it’s the beer she “wants to drink”. We suspect she won’t be alone on that one. Look for it at the brewery today and Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market tomorrow for fills for sure, and possibly on tap elsewhere, if we don’t drink it all first.

Garrison has hopped aboard the canning train after 20 years of their beers being available exclusively in bottle form (outside of kegs, of course!). One of their first beers, Tall Ship, is available now in 473 mL cans, with several more brands – including Seaport Blonde  available this weekend, and Juicy! DIPA following in the near future. Featuring new label designs, the NSLC and Halifax private stores will be the first to receive all three beers (outside of the brewery), but they will also be selling in NB and Newfoundland (and at least one brand in PEI, and parts West as well) by this summer. We asked Garrison man-about-town Jeff Green about the addition of cans to the Garrison brand, here’s what he had to share: “The people have spoken. Cans, specifically the 473ml (16 oz.) cans continue to grow in popularity and we are pumped to finally be bringing something to the party. Cans allow us to offer some favourites like Tall Ship in a second format, move certain seasonals like Seaport Blonde into a better pack for and serve up some new beauties like Juicy! in a more portable, chillable, crushable (see what I did there) package. We also get to design some cool new labels and have fun with the huge array of textures and design highlights available from the great folks at FastTrack Packaging. After 20 years exclusively in bottle format, we are SUPER excited to see what the future holds with cans!”

• Garrison is also proud to release the first of two special releases to celebrate 20 years of brewing craft beer in Halifax. Launched yesterday at the brewery, 20th Anniversary Triple IPA is a hybrid beer, lying somewhere between an extra-strong Imperial IPA and an American Barleywine. It features a simple grain bill of 100% Maritime Pale Ale Malt, with Glacier, Amarillo, Citra, El Dorado, and Crystal hops in the boil and Crystal and Centennial for dry-hop. Cold conditioned for two full seasons, it weighs in at a hefty 9% and 100 IBU. Despite the very strong malt presence, it still manages to be hop-forward, with earthy, floral, fruity hop flavors, fruity yeast esters, and sweet malt notes, including caramel flavours developed during an extended boil. This beer is available now at the brewery in bottles and you’ll also be able to find it by next week at the private stores in Halifax and, eventually, in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Nine Locks will soon be releasing Ginger Rye, a full-bodied, red-colored ale. Brewed with an unspecified amount of Rye and Wheat malt, it features “subtle caramel malts, and a restrained ginger presence on the palate”, according to the brewery. Finishing with some “assertive spiciness” thanks to the addition of real ginger in the brewing process, it clocks in at 5.6% ABV and 15 IBUs, and will be available soon at the brewery only, on tap. And keep your eyes on this space for upcoming details on their first SMaSH beer, brewed earlier this week.

• Rothesay’s Foghorn has re-released The Yellow Dart, a beer we haven’t seen since the brewery originally launched last fall. This India Session Ale (aka Session IPA) has been tweaked slightly in the hop department, now including Vic Secret, Columbus, and Huell Melon, providing lots of tropical character in the aroma. Out just in time for the hot days we’ve finally been experiencing, it’s the perfect summer slammer you’ve been waiting for. At 4.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, it’s available now at the brewery taproom for pints and growlers; keep your eyes open on your favourite Foghorn tap accounts, as it may pop up there as well.

• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has two new releases out now, and a special launch this weekend for one of them. Dark as Keji is the Black IPA we told you about last month, and is now in wide release. The 6.5% ABV beer is available in sixpacks at the NSLC and private stores, and of course at the brewery in Shelburne. But what better way to enjoy it than under a dark sky in Keji itself? Tomorrow evening at the Sky Circle at Kejimkujik National Park, there will be samples of the beer available from 8PM, followed by a Dark Sky look at the stars at 9:30PM presented by Parks Canada, Friends of Keji, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. And for every sixpack of Dark as Keji sold, Boxing Rock is donating 50 cents to FoK.

• Boxing Rock’s second release this week is the winner of their Second Annual Black Box Challenge. Homebrewer Brian Harvey, who brews under the moniker 1029 Brewing, had used the ingredients provided to put together Grafted, an Orange Peel Sour, which garnered solid marks from the judges, and took the top prize aided by his unique presentation. He visited the brewery in Shelburne last month to brew the full-sized batch, and it is now available to the rest of us. A sour mash was performed to get the beer started on the right foot, with orange peel used in both the mash and the boil for an extra citrus kick. The 5.5% ABV beer has been bottled, and is available now at the private stores in HRM, with growlers available at the Market and brewery. Grab one today to see what all the fuss is about!

Unfiltered‘s popular SMaSH DIPA, Double Orange Ale (7.5% ABV), featuring everyone’s favourite hop, Citra, is back again starting today; drop by Charm School for a pint and/or growler fill.

• Released last night at the brewery in Rose Valley, BarNone has a brand new beer out, using all Island-grown barley. Grown by the Craig family in Tryon, it was malted by Horton Ridge in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, and sent back across the bridge for use. Hopped as a Pale Ale, the malt is the key in this 5.0% beer, with the subtle earthy character of the base malt shining through nicely, even giving a slight spice character. Grab Try On next Growler Night at the brewery (Thursdays from 6), and look for it at BN’s regular taps on the Island shortly.

• The St. John’s Beer Tours website went live on the weekend, and tickets are selling fast! The first tours of the season will be held Friday, June 2nd, and typically run in the afternoons of Thursday-Sunday each week throughout the summer. There are deep discounts for the first tours of the season, so be sure to snag one today. Depending on the tour type chosen (anything from Axes & Ales, Scuff & Scoff, Ultimate Townie Brew Tour, or Hoppy Highlights), participants visit different spots in St. John’s and nearby Quidi Vidi. They are also holding a contest on Facebook, to win a day in the brewery with Mill Street St John’s Head Brewer Dan Boldrini.

The PEI Brewing Co. will be opening up a new location for pint purchases and growlers-to-go at the PEI Factory Shops at Cows Creamery. The Beer Station will basically act as an extended, miniature version of the brewery’s taproom on Kensington Rd., with six taps available (featuring five PEIBC core beers, and one rotating seasonal), and a small retail section with various clothing products available for purchase. Customers can enjoy a pint on-site, as well as several food items from a limited menu, and can pick up a variety of cans and bottles (as well as growler fills) to take home. Look for the Beer Station to open by the end of this month.

• Earlier this year, Central City Brewing in Surrey, BC, brewed up a collaboration beer with a brewery from each province. Each of the 12 beers has been brewed at Central City’s Surrey brewery specially for this collaboration and embodies the region they represent. A brewer/representative from each collaborating brewery joined the Central City brewers to brew the recipe that they helped design. These have been trickling out to the stores in each province, either at the provincial stores, or private shops. Highlighting the beers produced with our local breweries, with the full list available here:  Picaroons collaborated on Restored Hop(e) ESB, inspired by the province’s motto Spem reduxit, meaning “Hope is restored”. Garrison came in with “New” Scottish Ale, a lightly peated Scottish Ale. PEI Brewing Company brought together local ingredients for Bière d’ici Honey Ale, using PEI honey and Maritimes-grown hops, a lighter take on the Bière de Garde style. Quidi Vidi Brewing Company went German for Hop To The East Hefeweizen, with new tropical-aromatic hops, for a unique twist on this classic style. To celebrate the releases, they will be holding tasting events at each of the participating breweries during the second week of June: Monday June 12th at Quidi Vidi, Thursday June 15th at PEI Brewing Company, Friday June 16th at Picaroons, and Saturday June 17th at Garrison. Look for more details on these events in the coming weeks. And look for the 12-pack of beer at your local ANBL now, and coming some to the PEILCC and NLC. In Nova Scotia, while the NSLC will not be carrying it, Bishop’s Cellar will have it for sale in June.

Remember to check ahead if your local beer store or brewery is open for this long weekend. We suggest stocking up early and often, just to be sure…

• There are no solid details available as of publishing time, but we have it on pretty good authority that Stillwell‘s Beergarden will be opening this weekend. Before you start beating down their door, however, peep an eye to their Social Media page, as well as the Beergarden page on their site, the banner will proclaim the good news. As it is an outdoor spot, it is very weather-dependent.

• Saint John’s Grannan’s Seafood is holding a special tasting with Picaroons on Wednesday, May 24th. Featuring six courses paired with six Picaroons beers – hosted by Chef Johnny High and Picaroons’ Ian Covey – the opening reception starts at 6:30 pm, with dinner starting at 7:00. Tickets are $50 (+ tax and tip), and can be reserved by calling 506-634-1555.

Lion & Bright is holding a Cider Tap Takeover next Thursday, May 25th, from 6-10 pm. Six cider-makers (Annapolis Valley, Bulwark, Chainyard, Meander River, Planters Ridge, and Red Rover) will be pouring a total of  at least 12 different ciders; “fresh bar bites” will be available, with a live DJ providing your tunes. Early bird tickets are $15 each, and include eight 3 oz samples (additional drink tickets will be available at four for $8); during the first hour, and also allow you entry at 6 pm for a one hour meet and greet with representatives from each cider producer. If you don’t pre-purchase tickets, no worries! You can still drop by after 7 pm to buy drink tickets as you go.

• On Thursday, May 25th, the 85th Annual Apple Valley Blossom Festival will be holding Blossom Brew Night at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market from 5-9 pm. Your $25 ticket (buy now online; $35 if purchased at the door) includes a souvenir glass and your first six beer tickets, with more available for purchase at the event. A variety of local breweries, cideries, and distilleries will be pouring. Food will also be available for sale on-site.

• There are still tickets available for next weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, at the Moncton Coliseum. Friday, May 26th 7:30-10PM, and Saturday 2:30-5PM and 7:30-10PM. Your $55 ticket (only $45 for the Sat afternoon session) gets you unlimited sampling of 150 beer from 70 breweries across the Maritimes and beyond. Grab yours today.

Mill Street St. John’s is hosting their Spring Brewmaster’s Dinner May 31st at 6PM. They have invited Mill Street Ottawa’s Brewmaster Tim Hulley to join in the fun, and he will be bringing two new beers with him from the nation’s capital. Tickets are $69.99, and can be reserved by calling 709-383-7070.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar got their hands on a bottle of this year’s Samuel Adams Utopias (the white whale 27% ABV beer), and they are holding a tasting of said beer on Saturday, June 10th at the brewpub. At 10:45 am, before the pub opens, they will be passing out 18 tickets (one ticket per person, first come, first served), which will entitle you to purchase a 1 oz pour of Utopias for $11. When the bottle is empty (which will be shortly after 11 am, when the T&B opens), all tickets will be entered in a draw; the winner will receive the bottle as a souvenir.

• Ticket’s for this year’s Halifax Seaport Beer Festival have gone on sale this morning, being held August 11 & 12. Featuring sessions Friday and Saturday 7-9:30PM and Saturday 2-4:30PM (with VIP tickets available for an extra hour before the event opens), there will be more than 300 products from around Atlantic Canada, and the rest of the world. Brewery details are a bit thin at the moment, but last year’s list should give you an idea on what to expect. The VIP sessions always sell out, so if you’re so inclined, grab those today! Add too a bonus $5 off the entry price if purchased before the end of May.

Looks like that’s “it”… have a great long weekend!

If you’re in NS, we hope you’ve been either resting your liver up or have had it in training, because it’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week is kicking off today and will be in full swing this weekend. It’s every NS beer geek’s favorite 11-day week, although for some it will no doubt feel like 14 (or more!). There’s a ton of beers to tell you about, a ton of events we’ll point you towards, as well as all the other beer-related news going on in the other three Atlantic provinces, so let’s start there…

• It may not really feel like patio season yet, but trust us, it’s coming (maybe?)! In preparation, TrailWay released a new beer – of sorts – yesterday in cans at the brewery. Beyond Reality is a “juiced up” version of their popular summer seasonal, Raspberry Wheat. Even more raspberries were added in this beer (as well as a different technique of getting that raspberry character into the beer), but that’s not all! TrailWay being TrailWay, they decided to go ahead and dry-hop the beer, with the wonderful El Dorado variety. The result? A 4% ABV brew with a “unique, crazy, juicy berry/raspberry character, while remaining dry and crisp”. The cans dropped yesterday at the brewery only; this, like all first batches at TW, is a limited release, so whether it’s sunny or pouring, drop by to pick a few up today!

• There’s a new beer hitting taps from Moncton’s Beckwith Road, that originally appeared at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival in March. Care Package is best described as a New England APA, brewed to be hazy, hoppy, and juicy! Hopped entirely with Citra, this 5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs, downright-cloudy ale has a big aroma of citrus and tropical fruit, with a dry, not-too-bitter finish. It recently made an appearance at the Tide & Boar, and you may still be able to get it at the James Joyce in Fredericton.

Tide & Boar Brewing, another member of the Moncton Craft Brewers Collective, are holding another Growler Day today, offering up three new beers: Robot Food IPA (a hazy NEIPA), a Double-Dry-Hopped version of their Forum Pale Ale featuring Nelson Sauvin, and Layback Lager. Drop by right now to get your fill of these three beers, only available at T&B.

Hammond River Brewing is still picking away at their major expansion, and with construction being completed, equipment arriving and being installed, things are looking great! In the meantime, owner/brewer Shane Steeves doesn’t want to let his loyal fans go thirsty, so there’s not one, but *two* new beers that were brewed earlier this week! First up is Naval Daze, a kettle-soured Berliner Weisse with real peaches added in secondary. Tart, light and refreshing, it comes in at a supremely-drinkable 3.2% ABV and 4 IBUs. Next is yet another iteration of the Vegas SMaSH IPA, with this one featuring the fantastic Galaxy hop, an Australian variety. With aromas of citrus and passion fruit, this 6.5% ABV, 60 IBUs brew should satisfy all of you hopheads out there. Look for both of these newbies at your local HRB account within the next couple of weeks.

• In other nearing-expansion NB news, Celtic Knot is getting closer to receiving their 3.75 bbl (~435 L) brewhouse at their new location, which will also mark the beginning of growler sales from the brewery! Not to be outdone by Hammond River, they’ve also announced the upcoming release of two new beers: Summer Daze is a 5% ABV “lightly hopped” American Pale Ale, brewed with the intention of welcoming non-craft drinkers into the fold; and Ryetious is a 6% ABV, 60 IBUs Rye IPA featuring 18% Rye malt in the grist, and hop additions of Nugget and Simcoe in the boil, as well as Amarillo in the dry-hop. Look for these two to appear at CK accounts very soon!

• As mentioned briefly last week, PEI’s Gahan House Restaurant and Brewery (a subsidiary of sorts of the PEI Brewing Co.) are adding yet another brewpub to join their locations in Charlottetown and Halifax, as well as the upcoming Moncton location. The latest location will open in Saint John on Prince William St. in September, 2017. It will house a 7 bbl (~800 L) DME brewhouse, as well as a 120-seat dining room and 30-seat seasonal outdoor patio. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on its development, but no doubt you can expect to see PEIBC/Gahan favourites on tap, as well as one-offs brewed specifically at the Saint John location.

• The New Brunswick craft beer documentary, Beerocracy, hasn’t been officially released in its entirety yet, but if you have Bell Aliant, you can watch it as a four episode series! Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff have been hard at work over the last 12+ months putting the final touches on their production baby, so be sure to tune in and check it out! Here’s how to find it: “The series can be viewed on Bell Media TV1 Atlantic – Channels 1 and 401 on Fibe TV cable in the ‘Lifestyle’ folder of the VOD store”. If that confuses you as much as it did me, push your On Demand button and search for Beerocracy. There it is! A launch party and screenings of the documentary in full will be coming soon, and if you were one of the many backers on the production’s successful Indiegogo campaign, you’ll be receiving your DVD/digital copy as well.

• Last night, PEI’s Upstreet Craft Brewing held a tap takeover at Battery Park; along with a bunch of goodies, they debuted a very limited brew, Strawberry Banana Milkshake IPA. This one is their White Noize White IPA, but with additions of lactose powder and vanilla, to help give that light sweetness and extra body indicative to the Milkshake IPA “style”, along with the character from the flavours of banana and strawberry. If you’re in PEI and disappointed you missed out, fear not – there are two additional kegs in existence, both of which soon be pouring at the Upstreet taproom. And for you New Brunswick Upstreet fans, good news! Bottles of their White Noize and Do-Gooder APA are on their way to ANBL stores, and should be selling within the next couple of weeks. Look for the Commons Pilsner to appear by the end of the month.

• You may notice some new Shiretown beers popping up at select NBLC stores, with a generic, green label. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you sort this out a bit! The same label is being used for Shiretown’s latest seasonal releases; look closely, and you can see that several beers are listed on the side of the label, with the corresponding beer checked off. In addition, each seasonal has a colour-coded bottlecap. Two new ones have been released: La Vie Continue (yellow cap) is a 4.5% ABV “Summer Wheat Ale” lightly hopped to 9 IBUs, and Cartier’s Columbus (green cap) is a 6.5% ABV, 38 IBUs “hop-forward Golden Ale” hopped entirely with, you guessed it, Columbus. Look for up to four more seasonal releases from Shiretown in the near future.

• There’s a new beer from Foghorn that should be popping up any day (minute?) now at the brewery’s taproom. Raiders of the Night is a Black IPA that could be the brewery’s most heavily-hopped beer yet! Brewed as a classic Black IPA, meaning enough black malts to give some roasted, coffee aromas and flavours (but not too much!), it was hopped with Comet and Azacca in the boil, and dry-hopped with copious amounts of Citra, and even more Azacca. When you’re talking high amounts of those two varieties, you can definitely expect lots of citrus, tropical fruit, and basically lots of other fruit characteristics in the beer! It weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs; this batch will likely be available at the brewery only, for pints and growlers.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe just released their newest kettle-soured beer, Partridgeberry Sour. Thanks to the addition of plenty of local Patridgeberries (which the beer was aged on for four weeks), this 4.5% ABV beer has a beautiful pinkish-red hue, and plenty of fruit flavour, along with a refreshing tartness from the Lactobacillus souring effect. You should be able to find it on tap at the usual Big Axe accounts, as well as at the brewery during their retail hours.

• Also released right about now from Big Axe is Florganic Pale Ale, the brewery’s first 100% organic brew. Brewed with Horton Ridge malt and Centennial hops from Southan Farms, organic lavendar and several types of locally-foraged flowers were added to the beer during the brewing process, including Queen Anne’s lace. Coming in at 5% ABV and 40 IBUs, it should be popping up on tap in Fredericton at 540 and the James Joyce.

• A reminder the Port Rexton Brewing is opening their tap room for the season today! They are open from 2-10pm today and tomorrow, and 2-6pm Sunday. With the new season, it’s the perfect time to launch a new beer, which they’ve done, to the tune of Mixed Opportunity. The mixed fermentation saison features a special blend from Escarpment Labs in Guelph, featuring both Scchromyces and Brettanomyces yeasts. Drop by for that and plenty more beers to kick off the season, and stay a while!

OK, we’ve put it off long enough, time to hit Nova Scotia for the rest of the news this week!

• Let’s start our tour of Nova Scotia with one of the first small local breweries, opened 20 years ago, who have big news this week. Propeller Brewing has completed renovations at their Gottingen Street location, and are now set up to serve samples in their newly opened taproom. Featuring more than a dozen taps, they are looking forward to inviting folks to sit down for a drink before grabbing a sixpack or growler, in addition to holding tasting events, educational sessions, and more in the new space. Last night also saw the rollout of their new branding, their first major one in 20 years in business. That also has spilled over to their labels, which now sport the same look, with a different colour for each beer. Learn more about both (and their future plans) in this week’s 902 BrewCast, when owner John Allen, and marketing guy Aaron Emery sat down with Kyle, Phil, and Tony.

• New taproom and brand, new beer! Also debuting last night was the latest One-Hit Wonder, MoppleBock. Using Horton Ridge Malt as the base, the Propeller crew brewed up an Imperial Maibock, their take on the German style. Medium-bodied, and malt-heavy, the beer features the iconic Noble hop peppery/spicy hop flavour and aroma. At 7.5% ABV and 50 IBUs, this is well beyond what may be expected in Bavaria, but still a nod to the original brews in character.

• And leading us into the rest of Nova Scotia is the return of their tri-brewery Organic release, Cerberus Double IPA. With collaboration and assistance from Big Spruce and Tatamagouche, the 7.9% ABV Double IPA features lots of late-addition hops for a solid 60 IBUs, from AmarilloCentennial, Simcoe and Zythos hops in the boil, and a serious dose of dry-hopping of Citra. The beer debuted on tap at Propeller yesterday, will see wider release today (including kegs at all three participating breweries for growler fills), with a portion of it also rolling out in bottles at the private stores this weekend.

• After a bit of a quiet period during their expansion and the installation of their canning line, Nyanza’s Big Spruce is back with a vengeance just in time for Craft Beer Week. First, they’ve advised us that all deliveries of their 3 wide-release canned brands have been made to the NSLC and to all four private stores in the HRM (Bishop’s Cellar, Cristall Wine Merchants, Harvest Wines & Spirits, and Rockhead Wine & Beer Market); that’s the Tim’s Dirty IPA, Kitchen Party Pale Ale and the Bitter Get’er Black IPA. You can start looking for them on the shelves as soon as today, although the scheduled date for the 35 participating NSLC stores is May 8th.

• Jeremy White and the gang also have 4 (count ‘em, four!) beers coming out this week. First we have Un Tabou, a collaboration with Harvest Wines. Fermented using The Escarpment Labs Old World Saison strain, it has copious late additions of tropical New World hop varieties El Dorado and Mosaic along with a healthy dry hop of both. We expect to see this one on tap at Harvest for sure, but as with other Big Spruce collabs, you may well see it appear elsewhere, especially with Craft Beer Week coming up.

• Next we’ve got Tiger Lilly, a session IPL (India Pale Lager) with 70% Horton Ridge malt in the grain bill and single-hopped with “massive” amounts of Mosaic both in the kettle and as a dry hop. This one will make its debut at the Horton Ridge Tap Takeover at Battery Park tomorrow, and hopefully after that at NSCBW events, with tap accounts also a possibility.

• This week marks the return of She’s Maibock, brought out this time every year, made with 100% imported German malt and noble hops it comes in at 6.1% ABV and 26 IBU. This style is a harbinger of spring in Germany and its heavier hop presence and lighter malt balance are heralded as a bit of a relief from the heavier bock styles of the lenten season. The not-so-traditional infusion of lemon zest during both the boil and the lagering process, should accentuate the refreshing nature of the style.

• Last, but not least, Silver Tart, the Raspberry Sour beer that was found on many patios and beergardens last year. Fermented on more than a hundred kilos of local raspberries, the refreshing sour finish keeps you wanting more. Well, want no more, as the 4.5% ABV beer hits the taps in HRM this week. They’ve also ordered the cans for their first canning run in the summer; we’ll keep you posted on where you might expect those to start popping up.

• Keeping the new beers flowing is a full-time job for the folks at Tatamagouche, too! Cellar Slammer, their Session IPA collaboration with Bishop’s Cellar, will be debuting tomorrow at their Tap Takeover (drop by from noon to meet the Tata crew and get first tastes and growler fills of it), with cans of the beer going on sale Sunday at BC. For those in Tata, samples, cans, and fills will be available all weekend.

• Hitting the taps and shelves next week is a brand new one from Tata, Flat Liner English IPA. Inspired by the traditional English hop East Kent Golding, this 5.6% ABV beer features a healthy base of local Horton Ridge Malt, with some Caramel 60 for colour and malt flavour. All EKG throughout the boil, to about 50 IBUs, with another dosing of them in the secondary for a redoubling of the aromatics. This release will no be canned, so be sure to seek it out at the brewery, or at their licensees across the province, starting mid-next-week.

• And also hitting the shelves next week will be the latest in their Giant Beer series, Baltic Porter. The 8.0% ABV full-bodied beer was fermented with a lager strain of yeast, and conditioned (lagered, even) for several weeks before release. Featuring Czech Saaz hops, bottles will be released on Thursday at the brewery.

• Ashdale’s Meander River Farm and Brewery released a new beer recently, Seeing Double IPA. The 8.0% ABV beer features all Citra hops throughout the boil, for a firm bitterness and plenty of citrus and refreshing aroma. Grab it at the brewery this weekend, as well as their Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market table. And for someone in the area looking for a job that will have you working both inside and out of a brewery this summer, they are filling a full-time position assisting in the brewery and retail space, as well as working on the adjacent farm doing landscaping and gardening work. Check out the full details here.

• Good Robot comes screaming into Craft Beer Week with their collective hair on fire, bringing out 3 beta brews thanks to Kelly Costello, who brought a different guest assistant brewer along for each batch. Strangely Black, brewed with Brent Braaten, is a Black IPA with cold-steeped grains that will be released at the Good Robot Taproom today. Later Gator is a White IPA brewed with Dani Alarie that was dry-hopped with Amarillo hops and that will be released on Sunday, May 7. And lastly, Klezmer Kölsch was brewed with members of 2b Theatre Company. This one will be released on Wednesday, May 10, for the company’s Ambassador Night, featuring cast members of Old Stock, A Refugee Love Story, currently running (until May 14) at The Waiting Room. And if that wasn’t enough, this weekend will also see the return of DeWolfe of Wall Street, GR’s other pale ale, this one less bitter, less malty and definitely boozier than their flagship Burban Legend. It’s very crisp, gluten-reduced and comes in at 6.4% ABV.

• In Dartmouth, Spindrift is once again playing, “anything you can do we can do lager,” with their latest release, Plimsoll. Brewmaster Kellye Robertson enlisted a helping hand from former colleague Kyle Jeppesen and the pair took the summer crusher Berliner Weisse style and gently tweaked it into a lager. Featuring a grist of local Horton Ridge Pilsner and German Pale Wheat malts, the mash was soured for three days to achieve a complex fruity, tart and citrusy palate before fermenting and then finishing with a light dry hop of the modern German hop varieties Mandarina Bavaria and Hallertau Blanc. This 3.6% ABV beer should go down extremely easily, a very light 5 IBU of bitterness mingling with tartness and hop character, leading to a crisp lager finish. Available since at the brewery, it’s available for growler fills there and is likely to turn up at licensee taps as well. Given the malt bill it probably wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that it might also be Spindrift’s entry at the Horton Ridge Tap Takeover at Battery Park on Saturday.

• Staying on the Dark Side with another member of #teamdartmouth in this Sunday’s Stillwell Open, Brightwood Brewery is releasing a new beer this weekend. The cleverly-named Halifornia Commons is a California Common-style beer, a style that dates back to the turn of the 20th century and one of the two styles widely held to be truly American. Brightwood went with a grist of 97% Horton Ridge malt and fermented the beer with the classic San Francisco yeast, a lager strain that tolerates ale temperatures. Clean and crisp, it was late- and dry-hopped with Green Bullet hops from New Zealand to provide fruity aromas that complement those coming from yeast esters, and at 6.0% ABV and 49 IBU, it should be a solid, flavourful brew for summer. Available tomorrow at Alderney Market, you’ll also find it on tap at Battery Park if you attend the Horton Ridge Tap Takeover!

• Across the harbour, or not, as the case may be (we note they’re #teamdartmouth in the Stillwell Open…), North Brewing has a new beer that they’re releasing this week. Made with wheat malt from Horton Ridge, it’s a dry-hopped American Wheat they’re calling Reverend Horton Wheat (cue psychobilly riff). Though low in bitterness at 13 IBU, the Simcoe and Cascade used in the dry hop should give this 5.9% ABV beer a noticable hop character. It was also fermented using the same Yeast Bay Funktown Ale blend that was used in their recent Malternate Reality brew, providing a hazy appearance and accentuating the hop presence. If you guessed that this one will be part of the Horton Ridge takeover at Battery Park, go ahead and reward yourself with a beer. It will also be available for growler fills, at least on the Dartmouth side.

• Next Wednesday, on May 10, you’ll also see two bottle releases from North. First is a version of their Midnight Glenora Barrel-aged Strong Dark also aged with the Brettanomyces bruxellensis strain known as Brett Q, which is known to impart a subtle Brett character with ripe fruit notes and underlying funk. You’ll also see their Milk Stout that’s been aged in Glenora Barrels. Both beers will be available in 650ml bottles; expect to see them at the North bottle shops and more than likely at select private liquor stores in the HRM.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows is releasing a brand new pilot batch brew (we like to call it their Attempted Murder Series, can that catch on?) in their taproom tomorrow to celebrate Open Brewery DayPromiseland is a super-juicy 8.3% ABV Double IPA, featuring a next-load of late- and dry-hopping, for a nose- and mouth-full of hoppy goodness, beyond its 64 IBUs datasheet. With all of these releases, they are *only* available at the brewery, so don’t delay in dropping by tomorrow. During OBD, be sure to drop by and have a chat with the Brewery Crew and take a tour of their location. And early next week will mark the release of two of their draft-only beers in cans: Fantacity Witbier and Midnight Mood Dry-Hopped American Porter. Look for those to be on sale at the brewery Tuesday or Wednesday.

• After several test batches, Garrison has finalized the recipe for their (no longer Code Name:) Juicy! Double IPA. With a grist of 2-row pale malt and flaked oats, this hazy Northeastern-style DIPA is hop-heavy, featuring several varieties including CitraCometMosaicEkuanot and at least one “secret” hop. It’s got aromas of citrus, pineapple and tangerine, with tangerine and citrus flavors on the palate. At 8% ABV it’s firmly in DIPA territory, but with a somewhat tame (for the style) 65 IBU, the soft mouthfeel of the style and the fruit flavors it’s likely to go down pretty easily. It’s being released today on tap at the brewery for tasting and growler fills and will head to select licensees later this weekend or early next week. We’ll have more details packaging plans over the next few weeks.

Annapolis Cider Co has some exciting news to share this week: they took home no less than SIX medals from the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP), the world’s largest cider competition! With 1200 ciders entered, competition was stiff, but ACC took home hardware with every product they entered: Their Heirloom and Toasted Oak and Maple were bronze winners, Old-Fashioned Gravenstein and Sour Cherry garnered silver medals, and Muscat Infusion and Hopped Pear took home gold. Even better, both gold medal winners took Best in Class status in their respective groups! You can purchase the Heirloom at your local NSLC and at the private liquor stores in HRM, but you’ll have to visit the cidery in Wolfville to try the others. For most Nova Scotians, truly World Class cider is only a lovely drive to the Valley away!

A few more events to get you excited for the weekend…

• NS Craft Beer Week is in full swing, with tickets still available for this evening’s Cape Breton Kitchen Party at Centre 200 in Sydney. Henley House and Sober Island are hosting two events tomorrow, so make a trip to the Eastern Shore to check out their new digs, and drink some great cask beer. Drop by Stillwell Sunday for the Stillwell Open, a province-wide competition pitting more than a dozen breweries, plus a handful of homebrewers (our own Aaron and Chris brewed up beers for competing teams!) in the quest to produce some killer brand new/one-off brews.  During the week, we are hosting a Trivia Night at Timber Lounge Wednesday evening, and then you can cap it all off with the Full House Craft Beer Festival, during which there will be 32 breweries in attendance. Tickets for Saturday are sold out, but Friday night session is still available!
If all of that is too much to remember, don’t worry! We’ve put together a Calendar of the events happening over the next 9 days to keep you straight, and even mapped them all out, perfect for an epic beery roadtrip across the province. Check that out here, and if we’ve missed anything, let us know!

• With both National Homebrew Day and Nova Scotia Open Brewery Day being celebrated this weekend, one of Halifax’s sources for homebrew supplies is marking the occasion with a homebrewing demo. Maritime Wine & Beer Emporium on Lady Hammond Road will be setting up three different all-grain brewing systems on their front lawn, with three different brewers each doing a different recipe. If you’re at all interested in the hobby, this is an excellent chance to see how it’s done, get a feel for the variety of equipment and techniques that are available to the homebrewer, and to talk to some folks about their passion for the craft. The festivities will start at 9am and are expected to go until 1pm. And if you venture into the store, you’ll find all regular-priced items are 15% off for the duration of the weekend! So stop by and see how water, grain and hops become wort, the first step on the road to beer!

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve read somewhere in the vicinity of 4,000 words. We suggest you mark this achievement with a beer! Crack one open or order one up and see if you can’t push your brain to the point of being totally brimful of beer stuff – we’ve got a few more quick hits to send you on your way.

– Halifax’s Chain Yard Cider has released their first product to the NSLC, Foundation. The 6.0% ABV cider is available across the province, and they are expecting to open their Agricola Street taproom/tasting bar later this month. We hope to share more information on the ciderhouse and their products soon.
First City has re-released their award-winning Fruit Beer, Raspberry Wheat (6% ABV); you can find it on tap now at Pepper’s Pub, as well as other accounts in the near future.
Grimross has added yet another crowd favourite to their available-outside-of-pints-and-growlers lineup, as one of their first beers, Cheval D’Or (5.2% ABV, 18 IBUs), a Saison, is now available in cans.
– In Liverpool, Hell Bay has a new beer available. Sour Apple was kettle soured with organic yogurt before being fermented on Pazzazz apples. At 4.5% ABV it should be a lovely quaffer for the summer patio season. It’s available at the brewery for fills and is on tap at selected licensees, but it’s not (yet) in bottles.
Loyalist City in Saint John has a new beer coming as soon as the paperwork can wend its way through the labyrinthine ANBL licensing process. Their first DIPA, it is as yet unnamed, but they’re already planning a special small batch with their friends at New England Distilling. Watch this space for more information on this release!
Wayfarers’ Ale Society has canned up a few of their offerings, and their One-Eyed River Hog IPA is currently available at the NSLC. You can also grab Hellene, their 4.2% ABV Blonde Ale at the private stores.

Happy Friday, and happy St. Patrick’s Day! If being a Friday wasn’t a good enough excuse to drink, now you have two reasons! But before you reach for that beer (stay away from food colouring!), let’s take a few minutes to get caught up with our local beer news…

• The 2017 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival – the 5th year for the fest – was a huge success, and – as we can personally verify – one hell of a good time! With two sessions on Saturday, there were 58 breweries pouring over 220 beers, ciders, and meads, 5200+ L of beer served to ~1,750 people. Thanks to organizer Lloyd Chambers and 50 loyal volunteers, everything went smoothly, proving that the festival does indeed improve with every year. Several other events were also going on through the week (and even into Sunday), with plenty of beer lovers turning out to take part. This was also the first year for the Down East Brewing Awards, which had close to 140 different beers and ciders entered by commercial breweries in Atlantic Canada. The winners were announced at the FCBF afternoon session, and Fredericton’s TrailWay took home Brewery of the Year, thanks to winning three gold medals and Best of Show (check out the link for the full list of winners). Congratulations! Thanks again to everyone who helped to make FCBF such a success, and we’ll see you next year, with a date of March 10th already set! And don’t forget to vote for Best of the Fest, rewarding your favourite breweries that attended this year’s event.

• Attention Newfoundland Beer Fans! Split Rock Brewing Company is coming soon to Twillingate, on the island’s Northeast shore. Allison and Matt Vincent are residents of the town, and were living and working away from home for several years. In the mid-2000s, while living in Halifax, they caught the craft beer bug, and began homebrewing. Starting with wine and beer kits, they graduated to brewing All Grain in 2010, and haven’t looked back since. Like many avid homebrewers, the idea of starting a brewery in their hometown was always in the back of their mind, but at that time, just a dream. An opportunity for Allison to move back home in 2014 brought them back to Twillingate, and, as Allison puts it, “with the tourism industry booming and many young people moving home, we knew it needed a microbrewery!” Local businesspeople Tim and Robin Vatcher share their vision to bring a growth industry back to the region, and are helping to bring Split Rock Brewing Co to fruition. Brewmaster Matt will be brewing on a 500 litre (4 BBL) system from Colorado Brewing Systems, capable of a full brewday in only four hours, with 3800 litres of fermentation capacity for a wide variety of beers on the go simultaneously. Speaking of which, they are fans of brewing (and drinking) English-style beer, and will be launching with a variety of those, including a Bitter, Red Ale (with Rye), Brown Ale, Stout, and IPA, as well as a Belgian Witbier and Cream Ale. Split Rock will be hitting the local taps late spring; stay tuned to their social media and here for the full scoop!

• Down in Digby, NS, Roof Hound has taken taken one of the truly formative steps in the life of a young brewery by hiring an assistant brewer. Magen Powell is a veteran of the restaurant industry where she has worked on and off since she was 19 years of age, serving, bartending and managing. Her stint with Nova Scotia draught and tap experts BeerTech helped her develop a solid technical understanding and the skills needed to install and maintain dispensing systems. This also helps her bring another perspective to brewing in terms of how beer and other carbonated liquids behave and the influence of different gases (CO2, “beer gas”, Nitro, etc.) in dispensing. Magen’s first foray in the brewhouse is the Dive Bar Classics series, beginning with the Mojito Dry-hopped Sour that was released on March 4th. This series reflects her passion for being a “bar chef” and her interest in craft cocktails featuring local ingredients. The next in the series, Fuzzy Navel IPA was brewed this week and you can expect it to debut in April. We’ll be sure to get more details about that one as the release date approaches.

• Meanwhile, Roof Hound is also putting on something special for your St. Patrick’s day celebration today – they’ve taken their Handsome Devil Coffee Milk Porter and jazzed it up with almonds, vanilla bean and Irish Whiskey. The result is 7% ABV and there’s only one keg of it down at the brewery. So if you’re in the Digby area tonight and fixing for something dark, smooth and sweet, this one sounds like a good bet!

• In other St. Paddy’s Day beer news, Fredericton’s Picaroons just released The Leprechaunundrum, a dark, bitter, 6.5% ABV ale that doesn’t appear to fit into any particular style of beer. Described by the brewery as “dry and full-bodied, yet fruity due to the generous amounts of Galaxy hops”, it’s now on tap at all Picaroons locations across New Brunswick, and may pop up at select bars/restaurants in the near future.

Bulwark Cider’s special People’s Cider Project is ready for prime-time! We first mentioned it in October, when they put out the call for folks with hobby orchards, abandoned orchards, or just some apple trees on their property to bring apples to Ross Farm Museum for Cider Days. The original hope was simply that enough cider would be made to share with all the apple-givers who were issued People’s Cider Memberships in exchange for their apples. In the end things went a whole lot better than that and the first community-driven cider project in Nova Scotia (at least in recorded memory) is a great success. The People’s Cider has arrived and was launched this week. A rustic cider coming in at 7.8% ABV, it features aromas of apple blossom, pear, and clover honey and has a crisp, dry finish. Given the many varieties of apples it contains, some of which have surely been all but forgotten, it expresses true terroir; future versions are bound to be different, but this is your chance to taste the very first. Available in 500ml bottles, you’ll be able to find it at the private liquor stores in Halifax as well as the NSLC Port of Wines store. If you’re not in Halifax, or even in Nova Scotia, and you want to get your hands on this special batch, fear not! Bulwark has now launched an online store shipping cider and branded merchandise country-wide. This is great news for both Bulwark and cider fans across the land; now if only breweries were allowed to do the same thing…

• After a brief hiatus, Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing has brought back their Killick Session Lager this week, but in a big way. The 4.7% ABV Munich Helles-style beer, originally released as Kinobier last fall to celebrate Devour! Film Fest, is now available in six-pack format. The Helles (“Bright” or “Pale”) style is a traditional German style of beer, known to be supremely drinkable, and the local version does not disappoint. Featuring Heidelberg Malt as the sole grain, and a light bitterness from Herkules hops (with Huell Melon for aroma and flavour), these ingredients keep the beer authentically German. Six-packs are available now at the brewery and at Bishop’s Cellar on the Halifax waterfront, and debuting at the NSLC Monday, April 3rd. And in an update for you Blueberry Chai Pils fans (or soon-to-be fans), packaging of this beer will be happening early next week, with release mid-next-week at the brewery, and with the standard Spindrift Tall Boy cans debuting at the NSLC April 3rd.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing is holding another Growler Day today, with a pair of beers available to go. Method IPA is a hazy and juicy, orange hoppy beer with lots of citrus and peach notes, according to the brewery. Clocking in at 7% ABV, the brewery assures us it’s “new and improved”! T&B’s latest sour beer will also be pouring – Sour Otis Tangelo Oranges features, yes, tangelo, a citrus fruit that is a hybrid of tangerine and grapefruit. The details stop there, but assuming this beer follows the trend set by the others in the Sour Otis series, it was likely kettle soured to give plenty of tartness to complement the character from the fruit addition.

• We’ve got lots of news to share about Sober Island Brewing, who are putting the final touches on their major expansion at their brewery (new building, and a 820 litre (7BBL) brewhouse, up from 50 litre). They expect to be brewing on the system before the end of the month, which means an April launch. In the meantime, however, they will be adding a brand new beer to their core lineup, a Blonde Ale very soon. Described as a “bread and butter sort of beer” by owner Rebecca Atkinson, the easy drinking brew uses a different yeast than the rest of their year-round offerings, low in hop profile, but with plenty of character. The approachable beer is meant to introduce local drinkers to the wonderful world of small batch beer. First sips and samples will be available at the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers’ Market this Sunday.

• This week’s edition of The Coast, Halifax’s alt-weekly, is beer-centric, so be sure to grab it to learn about what local brewers are drinking, an interview with Propeller Brewing’s John Allen, and some suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day drinking from the 902BrewCast guys. Speaking of which, they have released their March Tasting Episode this morning, so be sure to grab that in your favourite podcasting method.

• The annual Saint John Beer Fest is coming up fast (Saturday, April 8th), and Flying Boats will be attending with a brand new beer in tow. Brewed in collaboration with local beer writer Craig Pinhey, it’s being stylized as a “hybrid Amber Ale” brewed to feature the Special B malt. Known for imparting raisin-like, dark fruit characteristics when used in brewing, Special B is more often seen in dark, Belgian-style ales. Flying Boats’ beer also has NB-grown Cascade hops added for bittering and flavour, and will come in at around 29 IBUs and 5.5% ABV. If you can’t make it to the SJBF – there are a few tickets still on sale, by the way – fear not! This one will also be on tap at Flying Boats accounts.

• The NB maple beers continue to flow, as Foghorn just released their take on the style. Described by the brewery as a “Maple Rye”, Xylem has a subtle maple flavour thanks to the addition of 20 L of maple syrup from local producer Briggs Maples. Hopped to 35 IBUs with Southan Goldings, giving a moderate bitterness in the finish. The beer weighs in at 5.7% ABV, and is available now for pints and growler fills at the brewery’s taproom; keep your eyes peeled, as it may pop up on tap at your favourite Foghorn licensee, soon. And keep an eye out for more Maple Beers, launched as a Tourism NB partnership between maple producers and brewers. Also on the list is Distillerie Fils du Roy‘s Monseigneur Paquet collaboration with their Pacquetville neighbours, Sucrerie Chiasson.

• In Nackawic, you’ll find Big Axe putting out their Maple Bourbon Porter, a 5.4% ABV brown porter with a light to medium body and a mild bitterness. The maple syrup for this beer came from Dumfries Maples across the river. Bourbon-soaked oak chips were added to the secondary along with a second shot of maple syrup. Continuing the maple theme, Big Axe will also be doing their annual Maple Wheat Amber as soon as the sugaring season starts, with their usual partner Stone Family Maple Products providing the syrup for that one. We’ll update you on that one as the season goes on.

• And speaking of Fils du Roy, they will be releasing a new beer next weekend, as part of an event in Bathurst. Capt. Craig Brown Ale is a 5.5% ABV, 28 IBU beer named after famous/infamous Capt Craig, a maurader in the Baie de Chaleur, and whose phantom ship is thought to sail the Baie to this day. Le Soiree Noir & Blanc is a fundraising supper happening in Bathurst Mar 25th, in support of food security and assistance for the region’s youth. After the launch, bottles of the beer will be more widely available at the region’s ANBL locations.

In addition to today’s excuse to grab a few pints at your local, we’ve got a few more reasons to celebrate local: 

• Happy One Year Anniversary to Fredericton’s York County Cider! Drop by their retail location at 418 York Street this afternoon from 4-7pm for free sampling, snacks, and prizes.

• Wolfville’s La Torta Pizzeria will be hosting a very special event tomorrow, Saturday the 18th, their first (we think!) tap takeover, as Tatamagouche Brewing comes in from the North Shore. Twelve, count ’em, 12 taps will be flowing with Tata’s signature brews starting at 2pm. There will be door prizes, swag, live music featuring Steve Lee, and no cover charge. The tap list has been slowly revealed this week via social media, with taps 1-4 showcasing the lighter side and taps 5-8 banging the hops. Taps 8-12 are yet to be revealed; check Tata’s Twitter throughout the day for the announcement. And plan to bring an appetite, as La Torta’s Neapolitan-style wood-fired oven will be in full swing.

PEI Brewing Co. will be holding a special Tap Takeover at HopYard on Saturday, March 25th, where they will be launching their dry-hopped Brett Saison. Aptly named Patience, this beer was brewed almost six months ago. With a grist of 2-row, Munich malt, and wheat, it was fermented with a Saison strain, as well as the wild yeast strain Brettanomyces, which can continue to develop funky flavours and aromas when given enough time. Once it was about ready, it was then dry-hopped with the tropical Citra and Mosaic varieties, and primed (carbonated) in the bottle for several weeks. This is the first Brett (and bottle-conditioned) beer for PEIBC, so be sure to grab a few bottles when you can! Aside from the PEIBC tap takeover, the event will feature lots of live music, as well as a limited edition menu collaboration with Chef Jane Crawford and Chef Adam Loo. Bring your appetites! It all starts at 4 pm, with no cover.

• On April 2nd (rescheduled from March 25 due to shipping issues), Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar will be hosting a BC Brewery Tap Takeover, featuring 3 heavy-hitters from the West Coast: Brassneck Brewery in Vancouver, Four Winds Brewing from Delta, and Dageraad of Burnaby. Featuring a wide variety in styles of beer, including Brassneck’s Changeling Raspberry Sour, Four Winds’ Featherweight Session IPA, and Dageraad’s Sri Lanka Dubbel. No tickets required for the event, and the doors open at noon. For the full taplist, check out the Brewnosers Forums for the salivating details.

• Now that FCBF is over, it’s time to start planning for the next beer-themed Fredericton event – Poutine Fest! Scheduled for Saturday, April 29th, like past events it will feature three different sessions, with two of them (late afternoon and evening) pouring over 12 different beers, ciders and meads. There are different ticket options which determine the number of drink tickets you receive (click out the link for details); of course, all tickets include all-you-can-eat poutine, with 12+ different varieties being available! Tickets go on sale today at 11 am; the event has sold out every time since its initial launch, so be sure to grab yours ASAP.

• And if summer doesn’t feel too far away for you, we have news on a new festival coming up! The first Big Axe Craft Beer Festival will be held in downtown Nackawic, NB on Saturday, July 15th from 4-8 pm. Organized by Peter and Tatiana Cole of Big Axe Brewery, exact details are still being ironed out, but there will be 20+ breweries from NB, NS, PEI and Maine on hand, as well as live music (including David in the Dark), and food vendors offering “an assortment of foods grown and sourced in NB”. Tickets are already on sale, and are $50 each; there is also a limited-availability $65 option, which includes a bus ride to and from the festival from Fredericton or Woodstock. Breweries confirmed so far include Grimross, Maybee, Hammond River, Picaroons, Sober Island, Foghorn, Upstreet, Petit-Sault, Red Rover, Sunset Heights Meadery, and Portland, Maine’s Urban Farm Fermentory. Be sure to buy your tickets ASAP, before they’re gone!

And before we go this week…

Good Robot will have their Dave & Morley Coffee Brown back on tap as of today in version 2.0 form, this time featuring Rwanda Kanzu (from Java Blend, of course) as the coffee component. So pull up a stool, order one up, and maybe lift your glass to the late, great Stuart McLean, who inspired this brew. Meanwhile, the gang has installed their Buffalo Trace whiskey barrels and will shortly be pouring things into them; we’ll let you know what when the appropriate time comes.
Mill Street St John’s has brought back their Jigger’s Delight Cali Common (5% ABV, 14 IBUs), a hybrid between lager and ale that is described as “fresh and zingy, with medium body and toasty caramel notes”.
– Needing a Nine Locks Fathom fix? Good news, it’s back in cans again! This 8% ABV DIPA recently won a medal in the Down East Brewing Awards, so stock up while you can!
– Picaroons has announced that they’re looking to fill two brewing positions, one at the Saint John brewery, and one in St. Stephen. Both breweries are 2.5 hL in size, double-batching into 5 hL. For a full list of qualifications and contact info, check out this link.
– The region’s Homebrewers, especially those in the HRM, will be excited to hear that Everwood Avenue Brewshop is relocating out of owner Dave Gillette’s basement and into a retail space in Lower Sackville. This will mean regular retail hours six days a week, and only closing on Mondays. The space is roughly twice as large and will allow the shop to expand its product lines and better cater to different market segments. We’ll have more details before the expected opening on April 5th, but for now can tell you that they’re looking for a full-time employee for the new space. You can find the details of the position posted on the Brewnoser’s forum.

Happy Friday, beer enthusiasts! The weekend is upon us, and we’ve got a slew of new beers to share with you today. For those of you in and visiting the Fredericton region, we’ll see you at this weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (*ahem* Saturday afternoon tickets are still available), and the accompanying events. Be sure to say hi to Shawn and Chris, especially if you see them at the “Drink Like a Judge” table during the afternoon session. And be sure to bring some non-perishable food items (and/or cash) to the Propeller table, as they are collecting donations for Greener Village. For your donations, you’ll get some great Prop merchandise. And again, thanks for all of you who came out for our ACBB Trivia / NS Tap Takeover at the KSAH last night; we had a blast, and thanks to those breweries who generously contributed prizes!

• Good news, Lazy Bear fans! They’ve just released a brand new beer, Carolina, a Belgian Saison. With a simple grist of Pilsner malt and wheat, it was fermented with a special Farmhouse yeast strain that was isolated from South Carolina blueberries by Southyeast Labs. Producing “notes of straw and spice”, there is also a subtle tartness thanks to the light production of acid by the yeast. It was also hopped with Hallertau, and comes in at 5.5% ABV. It was pouring at Good Robot‘s Femmebot event earlier this week, as well as in growlers at the brewery; it may pop up at other tap accounts in the near future. In other Lazy Bear news, we’ll be seeing another beer from them soon, also featuring a wild yeast from South Carolina, but in the IPA style. We’ll definitely have more on that one once it has an official name and full details are available.

• Breweries around the region are using more and more Horton Ridge Malt these days and the Paddy’s Pub locations in Kentville and Wolfville just up Highway #1 are no exception. Horton Ridge Rye IPA was brewed using not only barley malted at Horton Ridge, but Rye that was grown, malted and brewed within a 7 kilometre radius. “A juicy, fruity IPA with a light rye spiciness,” according to brewer Kirsten MacDonald, the Horton Ridge malt provides an aromatic element not as present with other malts. The hops are a mixture of the classic American Cascade, the recent new world favourite Amarillo, and relative newcomers El Dorado and Triple Pearl, all blending together for a citrusy nose and flavour. It comes in at 7.2% ABV and a healthy, but not overpowering, 65 IBU.

• Halifax nano Tidehouse wanted to head up to Fredericton to enjoy the FCBF, but when you’re a 3-person show and everyone’s hitting the road, how do you keep the shop open and not miss a weekend of sales? Enter local home brewer and friend of Tidehouse, Ian Wheatley, and his pal Nick Snell. They’ll be minding the store on Salter Street starting today, providing growler fills to thirsty patrons. To sweeten the deal, Ian was offered the opportunity to do production runs of two of his own beers on the Tidehouse system and sell them alongside two regular TH offerings. You may even see Ian’s beers available on taps around town in the coming weeks; if we hear anything more on that we’ll be sure to let you know.

• The first brew from Lil’Wheatey is The Bellhop, a classic American IPA. This beer took a bronze medal in Hamilton, Ontario, at the Because Beer National Homebrew Competition this past summer. With a restrained malt bill to showcase the hops, and featuring prominent stone fruit and citrus flavorus, the beer weighs in at 6.2% ABV and a reasonable 60ish IBU.

• Ian’s other contribution to the lineup, Tic Lac Toe, is a kettle sour based on a Belgian wheat beer recipe that traditionally uses spice and fruit additions. Blueberries provide a characteristic pink colour and provide a complement to the sourness of the style. A pure strain of Lactobacillus buchneri was used to achieve a very clean sourness. Additional fermentables were added post-souring to bring the ABV into the 5% range, while maintaining a low final gravity for a crisp finish. As with many examples of the style, some spicy hops were added, but with a light hand, resulting in a very mild 7-8 IBU.

• A brand new beer will be available at the PEI Brewing Company today with a solid slate of events to mark the occasion. Big Don Coffee Belgian Blonde juxtaposes a pale, yeast-forward style with coffee flavours more commonly associated with darker brews. The PEIBC team worked with their friends at Receiver Coffee Co to select a bean and roast that would accentuate the fruity and spicy notes of the beer while adding chocolate and citrus elements to the finish. This 7.5% ABV brew will be available in cans from the brewery and, to celebrate the release, Receiver will be running a pop-up shop in house from 11am to 5pm, followed by a sampling of Big Don and a Songwriter’s Circle from 5-7pm. And keep an eye on local PEILCCs for the return of cans of their 8 Cord Double IPA this week, and a special new release coming in a couple of weeks (hint, this required quite a bit of Patience to put together).

• There’s two brand new beers coming out of TrailWay Brewing this week, both of which will be appearing at FCBF. First up is Maple Drip, a 9% ABV “Maple Imperial Stout” released a couple of days ago. We initially mentioned this beer in an earlier post, in conjunction with the NB government providing benefits to breweries that produce beer made with local maple syrup. TW used approximately 60 L of syrup from Briggs Maples, and also added some bourbon-soaked oak chips to complement to give “subtle maple, oak and bourbon undertones”. Next up is a new American IPA, Green Island. It weighs in at 6% ABV and features large additions of three relatively-new-to-TW hop varieties: Cashmere, El Dorado, and Idaho 7. Based on this, we can likely expect citrus, melon, and candy-like notes in the beer, but we won’t know for sure till we try it! In addition to being at FCBF (where they’ll also have Hoppy McHazy and Hu Jon Hops) and tap accounts across Fredericton, both beers are available in cans (Green Island is releasing today).

• There’s a new beer out from Saint John’s Loyalist City, and it should still be pouring in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Fittingly, Black 47 is an “Irish Coffee Stout” that was brewed with Maris Otter and Flaked Barley; the sweet wort from this mash was then blended with wort from another mash of Roasted Barley and black-kilned malt. A small portion of Chocolate malt was added as well, with the resulting blend receiving hop additions of both East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, to 35 IBUs. Fermented cool with an Irish yeast strain, the beer then had some freshly-ground, dark roasted coffee beans added in secondary, along with some cacao nibs. The result of all this work? A jet-black, “medium-bodied dry Stout with a pronounced roasted flavor, reminiscent of coffee and dark chocolate that complements a moderate bitterness and a hint of sweetness on the finish”. Easy-drinking at 4.7% ABV, look for it on tap at the Cask & Kettle, as well as at the Uptown, Eastpoint, and KV ANBL growler stations next week for fills.

• There are two new small batch beers available at 2 Crows Brewing this week, available only on tap at the taproom on Brunswick Street. Neon Nights is an 8.5% ABV Brettanomyces-conditioned beer, featuring some funky and tart characteristics, which was conditioned on burnt orange peel. (Luckily for you FCBF-folks, they will be pouring this one tomorrow) The next truly taproom-only release (can we coin the Attempted Murder Beer Series??) is Panhandle Slim, a Grisette. Grisette is the little sister to Farmhouse Saisons, originally brewed to satisfy miner’s thirst after a long day working underground. Panhandle Slim features a variety of grains in the malt bill, including spelt, wheat, oats and rye, and has been conditioning for 7 months on Brettanomyces, resulting in a refreshing beer with a light body and funkiness. With only one small keg available, this beer will be sure to kick this weekend.

• Does your palate and/or nose like to be challenged when drinking beer? If so, Boxing Rock‘s latest beer, My Mate, may be what you’re looking for! Billed as a “Secret Recipe Stout”, this was brewed as a collaboration with former Gahan/Rogue’s Roost head brewer Karen Allen. As advertised, it contains a secret ingredient; your job is to identify it. Tweet a picture of the beer with your guess of the secret ingredient, and you win a – of course – “secret” prize! The contest closes this Monday at noon. This “savoury, sweet, and well-seasoned” Stout is available at the brewery, and should also be available in bottles today at Rockhead, Bishop’s Cellar today or tomorrow, and on tap this weekend at the Henry House, Battery Park, and Stillwell. (We’re pretty sure they won’t mind you bringing in a box of oranges or rolls of cinnamon or bushel of cucumbers to capture that pic 😉  )

Upstreet will be at the FCBF this weekend, pouring their latest collaboration beer, Rye’D On, brewed in conjunction with Picaroons. That beer will be released next week in PEI, and we can also expect another new one at the end of the month. Go Devil is an American IPA that was brewed with a single malt, Maritime Pale, and generously hopped with Citra, El Dorado, and Simcoe. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, the brewery promises that it packs a “juicy, tropical, piney, and citrus punch”; with those hop varieties, we’re not surprised! Islanders can expect this one to be released at the end of the month, on March 30th.

• Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing is also releasing a brand new beer at this weekend’s FredCraftBeerFest, Patagonia IPA. Based on their Patagonia Pale Ale, they boosted the body, bitterness, and alcohol to bring it up to what they look for in an IPA style. Featuring plenty of tropical fruit and piney resin from the hops, the full-bodied 6.6% ABV, 80 IBU beer is launching tomorrow, with it hitting draft lines at the taproom shortly as well.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe has been very busy lately! They have four new beers, all of which that will be debuting at FCBF tomorrow. First up is their Sumac Sour (4.8% ABV), a kettle-soured beer that has locally-harvested sumac berries added after fermentation was complete. Dark amber with a crimson hue, this tart beer was also dry-hopped to add some fruity hop notes on the nose.

• Let’s move on to their first Lager. Currently unnamed, this is an amber-coloured beer that was fermented cool with a Lager yeast strain, before being lagered at cold temperatures for a period. With a light maltiness in the flavour, it has more hop flavour than expected, thanks to a dry-hop addition. It still comes out with very good clarity, and is quite refreshing at 5% ABV and 25 IBUs.

• The third beer Big Axe will be pouring is a variation on a special one-off brew they poured at last year’s festival, Bootlegger v 2.0 Imperial Stout. The 8.0% ABV beer was brewed with molasses and bitter orange peel, to complement the big body and roast character from the underlying Stout. A pair of casks have been further aged on American oak chips, with those being tapped at the James Joyce Saturday as well.

•  Last, but not least from B.A., is Oatmeal Cream Ale, featuring Extra Pale malt and Oats for a light straw colour, notes of hazelnuts, and a full, silky mouthfeel thanks to the oats. Extremely drinkable, with nice character to keep you wanting more. After the Festival, all four beer will be available at their taproom in Nackawic, and at their tap accounts in Fredericton.

• In important news for Nova Scotia breweries, the lawyer representing Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing appeared in court earlier this week, following up on their challenge of the legality of the Retail Sales Markup Allowance (RSMA) collected by the NSLC. Arguing that the NSLC (a) does not take part in the production, packaging, or delivery of the beer that Unfiltered (and many other breweries in the province) brews, and (b) does not have the authority to collect what is effectively a tax, lawyer Richard Norman requested the refund of more than $35,000 in funds that had been paid, and that the RSMA be declared invalid. The judge has yet to render a decision, and will do so within the next six months. You can rest assured we’ll pass along information as we receive it, as this will affect all breweries and beer drinkers in the province! You can read more about the original filing, and this week’s hearing online.

Here’s what’s going on this weekend in our region:

• This year’s Péché Day – a celebration of one of Canada’s highest-rated beers, Dieu du Ciel!‘s Péché Mortel – is happening Saturday, March 11th. Luckily for all of us, this year three Maritime bars have been selected to participate! What does this mean? It means that these three locations – the King Street Ale House, Stillwell, and Tide & Boar – will have six different variants of the coffee-infused Imperial Stout on tap for you to enjoy (check out the event poster for a list of all expected). It’ll simply be pay-as-you-go at all three spots, but be warned, this is a big beer!

• After tomorrow’s Beer Fest at the Convention Centre in Fredericton, stumble over to The Snooty Fox for a Tap Takeover by PEI Brewing/Gahan, with live music by The Hypochondriacs starting at 9:30pm. They’ll be bringing ten different beers, including some special releases, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Before we leave you for this week, here are a few parting shots:

– British Columbia’s Central City Brewers and Distillers is releasing a special 12-pack of collaborative brews in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. Atlantic Canadian breweries Quidi Vidi, Garrison, Picaroons, and PEI Brewing are all part of the Red Racer Across The Nation Collaboration, which we expect to be available at local LCs in the spring. We’ll have details on the four local beers when available, in the meantime here’s a bit more information.
Good Robot managed to get a keg of Red Moon Landing on tap for their FemmeBot event on Wednesday, but due to a chiller issue, the remainder of that AlphaBrew batch won’t be available until this coming Wednesday. Meanwhile, you can enjoy their March Madness Cribbage Tournament on Sunday, March 12, with 32 players and a potential $150 pot, or this month’s Silent Reading event on Thursday the 16th.
– For those of you in the Annapolis Valley, be sure to request your Lunn’s Mill Growler Delivery ASAP, and ask for their brand new Eclipse Black IPA. Hoppy, roasty, and with plenty of bitterness, it’ll get you warmed up after shovelling out from the snow that may be coming our way this weekend.
– Mil Street St John’s has released their Black Bart Brown Ale earlier this week, featuring El Dorado hops. The 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU beer is named after Black Bart, a pirate who terrorized Newfoundland, starting in the 17th century. Look for the beer to be released at the end of the month, or early March.
– If you love the DOA from Unfiltered Brewing, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s back at the brewery and next door at Charm School as of today at noon. Same 100+ IBU. Same 7.5% ABV. Double Orange Apocalypse.