PEI Brewing

All posts tagged PEI Brewing

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.

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve got a handful of new beers and ciders, and several great events to announce, but let’s start with the return of a small brewery in Northern New Brunswick.

• Rumours have been circulating for several weeks, but we’ve been able to confirm that Shiretown, a nanobrewery in Dalhousie, then Charlo, NB that closed last summer, is planning to re-open this coming August. Owner/brewer Derek Leslie, who had been working as a sales rep for Picaroons in northern NB the past ten months, says that he has upgraded with a new, 2 bbl (230 L) brew system, about twice as large as what he had been using in the past. The new brewery will be located at 363 Chaleur St. in Charlo, with a storefront onsite. Shiretown’s three flagship beers – Blonde du Quai, Siren’s T’ale, and Big Brown Ale – will once again be in the regular lineup, with production focusing on bottles. The brewery’s former website and Facebook page are still currently offline, but their Twitter account still exists. We’ll keep you updated on Shiretown’s progress over the coming weeks!

Big Tide is bringing back a previous favourite, Chocolate Amaretto Porter. Brewed with Pale Ale malt as the base, Chocolate Wheat malt and CaraMunich malts were added to increase complexity. In addition, after primary fermentation was complete, cocoa, vanilla, and Amaretto were added to the beer, resulting in a 5.5% ABV “slightly sweet” ale with a “biscuity flavour and a hint of almond”. Originally released once in 2015, brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos was inspired by the flavours of biscotti (Italian almond biscuits) when putting together the recipe. Look for this one to be available at the brewpub sometime around the weekend of June 18th.

Bulwark is releasing a new limited-edition cider today, Raspberry Cider. This red-coloured, “crisp and off-dry” beverage features the usual freshly-pressed apples from the Valley, and unites them with fresh raspberries grown on Bulwark’s winery property. Think of it as a follow-up to the cidery’s very popular Sour Cherry Cider from last summer, except this time it will be available in bottle format! Coming in at 7.5% ABV, bottles are available now at their retail shop, and hitting NSLC shelves within the next week, when it will also be available on tap at select accounts around the province.

• Truro’s Nook and Cranny is releasing a new beer at the restaurant today, a Rhubarb Wheat. More than 25 lb of locally-harvested fresh rhubarb was added to a 300 litre batch of wheat ale, for a light acidic bite to complement the smooth base beer. With a low bitterness and 4.7% ABV, this beer will be a hit as the days get a bit warmer, and the evenings even longer. As with all of their beers, they can be enjoyed by the pint, or sampler, at the bar, and in a growler to go.

Good Robot debuted their latest CommuniBrew yesterday: Mikey’s Chocolate Orange IPA was brewed on GR’s pilot system by homebrewer Mike Orr during last month’s Open Brewery Day. The 6.6% ABV and 56 IBU IPA includes several rounds of hopping in the boil, whirlpool, and dry-hop, featuring Amarillo, Cascade, AmarilloCascadeCentennialCrystalMagnum, and Simcoe. During conditioning, a tincture of cacao nibs was added for a healthy chocolate nose and flavour. The result is like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, with the chocolate complementing the citrus characteristics of the hops, on top of a solid beer with a smooth mouthfeel. As with all of the CommuniBrew releases, these are for sale on draught in the taproom only, and they do not last long, so drop by today!

Petit-Sault has expanded their Brewtique and taproom, featuring the addition of a very large communal table that seats up to 24, with additional seating to accommodate 50+ patrons. There are now 12 taps in the taproom, some of which will be used to pour products from other local breweries and cideries. If you’re in the Edmundston area, be sure to stop in for a pint and growler fill! The brewery will be announcing their summer hours soon, allowing more time to visit and enjoy their beer.

• After a very successful release of their Gut View Amber, Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove, NS is ready to release their second beer, Bear Bones IPA. This is a beta version of a bigger batch coming soon, as they dial in the intricacies of their unique brewhouse. Look for a few more details on the beer when they post in their blog later today. Both beers will be available at tomorrow’s Annapolis Royal Farmers Market, 8:00-1:00.

York County Cider has released another batch of their Ginger Snap blend after a brief hiatus. Made with 30 pounds of fresh ginger in a 700 litre batch, the aroma, taste, and zip of the eponymous ingredient complement the 6.5% ABV base apple blend. Blending the Ginger with their Blueberry or Hopped Cider is also a popular occurrence with the cider’s fans. It is available in growler fills and bottles, at their storefront at 418 York St.

• Fredericton’s Lighthouse on the Green re-opened to the public yesterday, in preparation for the summer season. Operated by the Crowne Plaza, the location will once again focus on food and craft beer, similar to when they first opened last summer. They have upgraded their bar to have a total of ten taps pouring, featuring Red Rover cider, Pollen Angels mead, and a rotating selection of beer from various New Brunswick breweries. Now that summer is finally here (kind-of), be sure to drop by and enjoy a local beer on the Lighthouse patio! They are open everyday 11am-sundown, and as it is an outdoor venue, check their Facebook page for closure in case of poor weather.

• And in a late addition to the blog, Maybee Brewing’s retail location has now received their taproom license. Enjoy samples and pints of their beer onsite, before grabbing a growler to go. Open 10-6 Mon-Wed, 10-8 Thurs-Sat, and 12-5 Sundays.

Now, let’s get caught up on events in our region:

• Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is launching their Food Truck Fridays today at noon, by inviting the crew from Cruisin’ Cuisine to the brewery. As today is Day of Portugal, they are concentrating on famous dishes from that nation, made with local ingredients. Grab some fresh food with your samples and growlers from noon to 6pm, and enjoy the musical stylings of Asaph Deuce starting at 3pm. Big Spruce will keep the Food Trucks coming in for the rest of the summer, Friday through Sunday every weekend until October. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the day’s visiting vendor.

• On Saturday, June 11th, Garrison is hosting their Backlot Bash!, in support of the Ecology Action Centre. Held in the parking lot of their new production brewery on Marginal Rd (about 100 metres from their retail and storefront location), the event features headliner July Talk, joined by Alert the Medic, The Brood and Three Sheet as amazing local opening bands. Tickets are still available, and Garrison beer, as well as local cider, will be served, with food trucks keeping people satisfied.

• This Sunday, June 12th at 12 pm, Good Robot will be hosting Mom Day Afternoon, giving local Moms a chance to have some time to themselves and socialize with other mothers. Massage therapists from Urban Retreat Massage Therapy Ltd. will be on hand, a baby/maternity clothing swap will be going on, and members of the Ladies Beer League will be there to talk all things beer. A late brunch will be served by The Coastal Cafe at 2 pm, and Caesareans – a Good Robot cocktail with Clamato and corn beer – will be pouring. No charge to attend, just pay by the beer/cocktail/massage/brunch.

Upstreet has their first birthday coming up, and they’re putting on the Upstreet Birthday Weekend to celebrate! Held on Friday and Saturday, June 24th & 25th, there’s plenty going on:
Friday, 6 pm: Anniversary Beer Launch & Vinyl Party – featuring the release of a limited-edition, 750 mL, bottle-conditioned anniversary beer, where it will also be available on tap at the brewery; guest DJs are welcome to bring in your favourite party records! Dancing will be welcome, but not necessarily required.
Saturday, 6 pm: The Upstreet Field Trip – a tour of four of Charlottetown’s “finest eating establishments”, with food and Upstreet beer pairings, ending at the fifth stop, The Alley, for bowling and dancing. Your $65 ticket (available at link above) includes all of the above-mentioned, a special edition Upstreet Field Trip t-shirt, and free admission to…
Saturday, 10 pm – Upstreet Birthday Party – happening at The Alley, the official birthday bash will feature live music from Halifax’s Party Boots, as well as a street magician, tarot card reader, silent disco, free bowling, a pinata, party games and more. Cover is $10 (unless you’re lucky enough to be on the Field Trip).

• The Shediac Lobster Festival is hosting their inaugural Ales & Tails event on Friday, July 8th at the Shediac Multi- Functional Centre from 7 PM – 9:30 PM. NB micro and nano breweries will be well represented with Flying Boats Brewing, Celtic Knot Brewing, Bore City Brewing, Acadie-Broue, Beckwith Road (pending license), Pump House, Brasseurs Petit-Sault, Maybee Brewing, Picaroons, Scow Cider and Moosehead Brewery. A lobster half tail and lobster samples will accompany a great evening of craft beer sampling from the breweries in attendance. Tickets (limited to 250) went on sale yesterday at the Shediac Co-Op, Jean Coutu and Sobeys locations. Check out the Festival’s website for more details.

• Tickets for Halifax Seaport Beerfest are on sale today. Being held at the Cunard Centre August 5 & 6th, the Fest will feature beers from producers big and small from around the Maritimes, as well as Quebec and Ontario, that are otherwise not available in the province. Approximately 300 beers and ciders will be available, though the final brewery and product list has not yet been finalized. Friday and Saturday evening sessions run 7:00-9:30, and a Saturday afternoon session runs from 2:00-4:30, with tickets costing $49 plus tax and fees. VIP tickets ($70 plus taxes and fees) will also be available for each session, giving visitors a special tasting glass and opener, as well as early entry to take part in a panel discussion and guided beer tasting. Designated Driver and Group Rates are also available. In addition to online ticket sales, they can be purchased at select NSLC and Ticket Atlantic locations (saving some fees).

• Tickets for the 2016 PEI Beer Festival, September 2 & 3, will also go on sale today. Being held at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, there are three sessions for your tasting enjoyment: Friday 6:30-9:30, and Saturday 2:00PM – 4:30 and 6:30-9:30. Evening tickets are $40 plus tax and fee, while the afternoon session is $30 plus taxes and fee. While the general tickets are on sale today, they will be rolling out Designated Driver tickets shortly, as well as details on the preferred rate to stay at the Fest hotel. Discussion and a few more details are available on Facebook.

A few more beer notes before we sign off today:

Picaroons has re-released their 506 Logger, this time in 6-packs of 12-oz bottles, the first time the brewery has packaged in this format. Coming in at 4.6% ABV and 15 IBUs, bottles are available at both Picaroons locations (Fredericton’s Brewtique and Saint John’s General Store) along with growler fills, with bottles also being found at ANBL stores.
Yellowbelly has re-released their East Coast Cream Ale, an easy-drinking, 5% ABV pale beer that is a popular seasonal during the warmer months. It’s available now at the brewpub only, on tap and with a small amount of bottles, for a limited time.
– PEI Brewing has released a new cask this week: Lactic Soured Apricot Lager. A tart take on their 4.5% ABV lager, using Lactobacillus to sour the wort for a refreshing bite, along with apricot for a pleasant stone fruit character. As with all of their casks, this is for on-site enjoyment in their taproom only.

Happy Friday, beer fans! A brewery launch, plenty of beer launches and events, and the start of Fredericton Craft Beer Week. Let’s go!

• Nine Locks Brewing launched this week in Dartmouth. Located at 219 Waverley Rd, adjacent to the Mic Mac Tavern, they opened their doors Monday afternoon. They are currently selling two beers, an IPA, and an ESB. The India Pale Ale is 6.9% ABV and 70 IBUs, featuring loads of citrus and floral hop character and smooth bitterness, from first wort hopping, hop bursting (adding the majority of hops in the last 20min of the boil, retaining most of the aromatic oils), and dry hopping. The Extra Special Bitter is 5.6% ABV and 35 IBUs, featuring English East Kent Golding and Fuggles hops for a subtle Noble hop spiciness. The beers are currently available in growlers to go at the brewery (both 1L flip-top and 1.89L), with canning beginning before the end of March. When that happens, look for cans at the private beer stores in HRM, as well as a selection of NSLCs around the province. Also look for the full release of their Dirty Blonde and Porter before the end of March. The storefront is open Mon-Fri 12-9pm, Sat 11-9pm, and Sun 12-5pm 12-9. Congratulations to the entire Nine Locks family!

• It’s been a busy week at Halifax’s Garrison Brewing! The Awards Gala for the 8th Annual Home Brew-Off were last night. The 45 entrants, plus family, friends, and members of the public, gathered at Garrison’s tasting room to hear the results in the Experimental American IPA category. This year’s winning beer was Honey Chamomile, brewed by Mark Power. Using honey malt to complement the chamomile herb, it featured nice hop additions to give it the necessary bitterness and aroma the judges were looking for. Rounding out the Final Four were a Toasted Coconut IPA, Earl Grey Tea IPA, and Parmesan & Jalepeno IPA. Congratulations!

• Attendees were able to taste the top 3 winners, as well as get the first pours of last year’s winning beer, Mr. Robusto. Brewed by Dave Martin and the Garrison crew, this Robust Porter is 6.5% ABV and 33 IBUs. Notes of sweet chocolate are prominent, along with vanilla and caramel, but with enough hops to balance. Mr. Robusto is available for purchase in bottles and growler fills at the brewery now, and will be available at the private beer stores and NSLCs shortly.

• Last night also served as the release party for the final beer in the Cellar SeriesTo Prussia With Love. This big beer is a blend of their Grand Baltic Porter, along with Barrel-Aged Coast to Coastless Imperial ESB (their collaboration with Le Trou du DiableFlying Monkeys, and Phillips). The barrels were from Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg, and had previously held rum. The beer weighs in at 10% ABV and 35 IBUs, and is available for purchase in bottles now at the brewery, as well as previous Cellar Series beers Ol’ Fog Burner and Grand Baltic Porter, the former being available at the private stores soon.

• Garrison Brewmaster Daniel Girard will be facing off against wine maker Pete Luckett March 31st at the Harbourstone Sea Grill and Pourhouse, in a Beer vs Wine Showdown. Five Courses of food are being prepared, with a wine and beer paired with each, with attendees voting on their favourites. Tickets are available through the Harbourstone now, via email or phone (902-428-7852).

• Fredericton’s Mama’s Brew Pub will be releasing their fifth beer early next week, an American Amber Ale. A slightly bigger beer at 6.1% ABV than their other releases, it’s lightly hopped with East Kent Goldings to 15 IBUs. The grist features Maris Otter, Crystal 70 L, Carafa and Wheat malt, lending the beer “toasted malt flavours and a pleasant fruitiness”, according to brewer Ryan Kingston. They’ve also brought back their Session IPA, at 4.2% and 24 IBUs, it features lots of dry-hopping with Citra and Comet for a great blast of citrus hop character.

• Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing will be continuing their Seventh Wave release today with Blueberry Phie. This 5.0% ABV Wheat Ale was aged on loose leaf Masala Chai Tea and PEI blueberry puree. Pouring with a thick white head (thanks to the high percentage of wheat in the malt bill), it features notes of blueberries, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla, for an experience like tasting savory blueberry pie. As with all of their Seventh Wave series, this beer is only available at the brewery in growlers, and in extremely limited amounts (they tend to sell out Friday afternoon), so grab some now to avoid disappointment.

• Gahan House Halifax released a brand new beer last night, Cranberry Sour. The beer was produced using a 48 hour sour mash, allowing the Lactobacillus on the grain to produce lactic acid for a sour bite, and then the fermentation was completed with brewer’s yeast. Cranberries were added after fermentation was complete, for a fresh aroma and tart character to complement the 3% ABV base beer. It is available on tap at the brewpub for pints, as well as growler fills.

Gahan House Charlottetown’s Brewmaster Trent Hayes will be hosting a Brewmaster dinner at Fishbones Oyster Bar on Friday, March 11. Beginning at 7pm, Hayes will lead the four course meal of food and beer pairings, featuring local products in a beer-inspired presentation. Tickets are available now at both Fishbones and Gahan House.

• Details on the Cape Breton Beer Fest were announced yesterday. Scheduled for Saturday, November 19th at the Cruise Pavilion on Esplanade in Sydney, there will be both an afternoon and evening session, each 2.5 hours (with evening VIP tickets allowing early entry). Featuring primarily craft breweries, including Cape Breton’s own Big Spruce and Breton Brewing, the organizers are aiming for about 35 breweries in attendance, from Nova Scotia, the Maritimes, and beyond. Food vendors will be onsite to provide sustenance to keep the party going, and other vendors will be invited to set up tables to showcase the best Cape Breton has to offer. Early bird tickets (at a $10 savings) are now available online, and regular-priced tickets will be online, and in NSLCs shortly. We will update you with a brewery list when it is available.

• The ANBL will be opening a new location in Saint John today. Located at East Point Shopping, this location will also be the first expansion of the very popular Growler program since Sackville in late 2014. To celebrate the opening, Big Tide Tidal Wave Double IPA, Flying Boats Dixie Clipper IPA and Hammond River Nut Your Everyday Red Ale will all be available, with the three head brewers onsite. The store is open now, with a celebration at 1pm this afternoon, check out the East Point ANBL’s page for their current inventory and details.

• The Fredericton Craft Beer Fest Week kicks off today with an event at the James Joyce Pub: The 4th Will Be With You! A Star Wars themed evening, attendees are encouraged (but not required) to come in Cosplay, and there may even be members of the 501st Legion in attendance. The fun continues with a Beer and Cheese tasting at ANBL York Saturday afternoon, and the Johnny Be Good Pub Crawl that evening. Keep on top of it all with our Calendar, as well as the FCBF App, available for both Android and iOS. The app will be updated with the floor plan of the festival, in order to plan your afternoon or evening session most efficiently. Don’t forgot to drop by the King Street Ale House next Thursday for our Trivia Night! We’ll be putting your beer, brewing, and general knowledge skills to the test, and handing out great prizes courtesy of the breweries attending the Fest. And there are still a few tickets available for the Afternoon Session of the main Fest March 12, grab them now before they sell out.

A few parting shots this week:

– Distillerie Fils du Roy has brought back their spring seasonal, Stella Maris. This 7.5% ABV Biere de Garde is named in honour of the star in the Acadian flag. Look for it along the East coast of the province, and Fredericton, and check out Fils du Roy’s other offerings through the ANBL.
North Brewing has brought back their Dartmouth Dark, with v2.0 hitting the shelves and taps today. This batch features Cannon espresso from Anchored Coffee, on top of their dark lagered ale. Look for it at both the Halifax and Dartmouth stores.
PEI Brewing Company has released their Transmitter Coffee Stout, featuring coffee from Charlottetown’s Receiver Coffee. Available now at the brewery, look for it to hit Nova Scotia in the near future as well.
Picaroons has released their Maple Cream Ale this week, available now at the Brewtique, and soon at ANBL locations.

Good morning, and welcome to the start of the long weekend! Before diving into cottage-time, family-time – whatever you have planned, as long as it involves some good beer! – let’s get cracking at a big pile of beer news…

• Cider lovers, we have some good news! This fall will bring the first Fredericton Cider Festival on Saturday, October 24th. Brought to you by those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, the afternoon event will be held at Brewbakers in downtown Fredericton, and will feature unlimited tasting (4 oz pours) of up to 30 different ciders. With several local craft cideries attending (including New Brunswick’s Red Rover, Scow Craft Cider, and Gagetown Cider Co.), as well as other big brands, there will be plenty of different offerings to sample! There are two ticket options: regular tickets ($56.50) will get you a tasting glass and unlimited pours from 1-4 pm, while a limited number of VIP tickets ($65) will allow for early entry at noon, plus a special information session on cider production. The event will be held outdoors on Brewbakers’ partially-covered deck; food from the restaurant will also be available for purchase. Attendees can expect to see some extra-special products at the fest, quite-possibly including New Brunswick’s first exposure to cask cider! Tickets go on sale online today at noon. We’ll have more info on the festival, soon!

Unfiltered Brewing has a new beer out today, starting from their opening at noon. Double Orange Ale is a 7.5% ABV SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer featuring 2-Row Malt and Citra hops. Despite the rather low-lovibond colouring inherent in 2-Row Malt, the final beer colour is a beautiful orange, thanks to some special Nash-magic during the brewday. The beer is calculated at over 100 IBUs for bitterness, but the hops mostly shine through in a big, bold, and juicy aroma and flavour, without being brashly bitter. Pick up the beer in growlers at their North St location, or look for it on tap at bars and restaurants around the city.

Flying Boats has released a new beer, Penny Wreck ESB. This moderate-strength (5.5% ABV) Extra Special Bitter exhibits a “significant caramel malt sweetness” with plenty of “biscuity, toasty, nutty malt character”, according to the brewery. Hopped to 37 IBUs with Warrior and Willamette (with some added later in the boil for flavour), it’s named after an incident in the late 19th-century, where a CPR train carrying 900,000 pennies derailed just outside of Dorchester, NB on its way to Montreal. You can currently find the beer on tap at Ducky’s in Sackville. And congrats to Flying Boats on their official launch party last night at Marky’s Laundromat in Moncton!

Garrison Brewing released their three-way collaboration beer last night, Not So Gentle Tickle, brewed in early August when the folks from Metalman Brewing in Waterford City, Ireland and Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto were in town for the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. This 7.0% IPA was brewed with loads of whole leaf AmarilloCitra, and Columbus hops throughout the boil, whirlpool, and with a generous dry-hop charge as well, for a 55 IBU final product. The hops give the beer a citrus, floral, and grassy aroma, and help to enhance the pleasant bitterness. A bit of Wheat and Carapils malts, along with the Pale Ale base malt, give the beer an orange hue with a vibrant and persistent head. Grab the Tickle on tap and in 650 ml bottles at the brewery and around Halifax now.

• And speaking of Garrison, more details have been released for their Hops ‘n’ Brats event taking place September 25th in collaboration with the Sausage Fest folks, and as the first event in the Halifax Oktoberfest weekend. Joining Garrison for the Hops at the event are Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Bulwark Cider, Gahan House, Good Robot, Meander River, Propeller, and Rare Bird. The Brats will be courtesy of Harbourstone, Scanway and T-Dogs. The event is from 5-11pm at the Sands on Salter location on the Halifax Waterfront, with tickets now available. Your $16 entry includes a sampling cup to keep and five drink tickets (with additional samples available at $2 each).

• As the hop harvest season continues to get underway, more wet-hopped beers are appearing in our region. Railcar will soon be releasing their wet-hopped Harvest Ale, featuring fresh Goldings hops from Southan Farms in Wicklow. Hopped throughout the boil to 68 IBUs, this 6.2% ABV beer will be released on Saturday, September 19th at the brewery’s Corn Boil, from 1-6 pm. Railcar has also begun a Community Supported Brewing program; there are several levels to buy into, each with varying “rewards”, including beer credit in their retail store and tasting room, glassware, brewery tours, and even the chance to shadow a brew day at the brewery. The program will be running until the end of September.

• In more harvesting news, Horton Ridge Malt & Grain did some of their own this week. Organic Hazlet and Danko varietals of rye were collected, and will be stored, tested for viability, and malted once the Malt House construction is completed later this year. The three-step malting process will happen in their building, with the steeping (wetting) of the grain, germination (preparing enzymes and starches for conversion in the mash), and kilning (drying and possibly roasting for flavour and colour). The malt house will be two floors, each of 316 m² (3400 square feet), for the floor malting process. The key malting equipment will be built by local crafts people whenever possible. In addition to their own grain, they will be malting grain from other organic farmers in the region, and, if necessary, meeting demand with western organic grain until the local supply is sufficient. They are looking forward to their first runs in December 2015, and supplying the local commercial and homebrewing communities. Be sure to follow along on their Twitter feed for updates on their progress, and we look forward to visiting when the building it completed.

Schoolhouse Brewery also did some harvesting of their hops this week. Along with other local farmers’ wares, they will be doing a series of three 100% Maritimes-sourced brews, in keeping with their philosophy of using local ingredients whenever possible. While the exact beers have not yet been decided, they do have some ideas for the special release of them. They will be sold in half-cases of 750 ml bottles (two of each style), in December. They will be orderable from their website, and available through their Growler Bus delivery (which may also be available in Halifax for this special release). Stay tuned for more beer details!

Pump House brewed the second iteration of their Stonefire Ale yesterday. Originally brewed last year to celebrate their 15th Anniversary, the 2015 edition has had the recipe “tweaked slightly” by the head brewer. A Stein Beer, it was brewed by immersing extremely-hot stones into the wort, which not only brings it to the necessary boil, but caramelizes the sugars in the process. The beer should be released in bottles by the end of October; we’ll have more information on the recipe changes at that time. For more info on last year’s release, check out our previous post. And in other Pump House news, they plan on releasing a new IPA in the near future; stay tuned for details!

Big Axe has just released a new Fruit Beer, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, to celebrate the end of the summer harvest season. With a grist that includes dark Crystal malts and toasted Wheat, the beer was moderately-hopped (to 22 IBUs) to provide some aroma to blend with the caramel flavours from the malts. The real experience in this light-brown ale, however, comes from the addition of 10 lbs of local strawberries, and freshly-picked rhubarb, giving an aroma of “strawberry ganache”, according to the brewery. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV, and should be available now at the brewery’s tasting room, and soon on tap at Big Axe accounts.

• Over in Truro, The Nook and Cranny brewpub has released a new beer, White IPA. A style that combines the fruity esters and spicy phenolics of a Belgian Witbier with the fruity/citrusy hop aromas and flavours (and high bitterness) of an American IPA, this batch was hopped (and dry-hopped) with Cascade and Centennial to 42 IBUs, and fermented with Abbaye yeast to give it those classic Belgian characteristics. Drop by to grab a pint today!

• A new brewery in the development stage is looking to hire a head brewer! High Tide Brewery, based in Truro, is looking for a Head Brewer for their upcoming 15 BBL (17.5 hL) brewhouse. They are looking for someone immediately for their input and expertise on equipment choice and purchase; ideas for recipe and style choices are also welcome. Investment and partnership opportunities are available, as is an equity bonus program. Check out the ad at brewingwork.com for more details, and apply before the Sept 11 deadline.

Enjoy the long weekend! BarNone Brewing‘s latest batch of IPA is out now, and has been nicknamed the “Broken Scale” IPA, and features a big juicy nose from generous hop additions throughout the process. Halifax’s Gahan House Pub has a new beer on tap, the White Rhino Belgian IPA, weighing in at 6.7% ABV and a solid 55 IBUs. PEI Brewing Company has released their Harvest Time Lager, a 4.0% Golden Lager, and the Harvest Four-Pack (featuring it, the Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Blueberry Wheat Ale, and Black Banks Cascadian Dark Ale) is available at both the PEILCC and ANBL.

And don’t forget to head out to some of the great events happening in our region this weekend: Oktoberfest des Acadiens is happening now until Sunday in Bertrand, NB; Big Spruce and Breton Brewing are both hosting Food Truck Friday events at their breweries today (Cape Breton Brewery Crawl, anyone?); Upstreet in Charlottetown is holding their Block Party starting at noon tomorrow, to celebrate the release of their collaboration brew with Boxing Rock; or if you’re in Nova Scotia, maybe visit Meander River Saturday morning to help harvest their hops? Check their Twitter or Facebook feed for potential scheduling changes.

Happy Friday, folks! Breweries are in full Summer mode now, so there’s lots of news and new beers to share with y’all! And be sure to grab a growler or two of something tasty Tuesday, so that you can be sipping on local suds to celebrate Canada Day Wednesday! Can you tell we’re excited? Yup, we are!

• Earlier this week, PEI Brewing Company launched their Cask Program at their Kensington Street location. Throughout the summer, they will be rotating through special casks of beer on their hand pump at the bar. Currently on is the “BourbAnne of Green Gables”, their Island Red dosed with bourbon-soaked wood chips. These local casks will not take away from the special beers that they’ve been sending to Bar Stillwell, however, and we have heard that there are two new sour beers heading across the Northumberland soon: one was casked with dandelion wine must and another with cold extracted Receiver coffee.

• And speaking of PEI Brewing, these Island Brews have taken over the Board Room Game Cafe‘s taps this weekend, with seven different brews pouring. Staple brews 1772 IPA and Iron Bridge Brown are joined by seasonals Blueberry Ale, Sydney Street Stout, and special brews Blood Orange IPAVic Park APA, and Setting Day Saison. More details can be found at the Facebook event page. But be warned, there’s only one of each keg, so visit early to avoid disappointment! Flights of four beers can be purchased for $7.95.

Bulwark is releasing a new cider, Sour Cherry Cider.  The Cider weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and features their signature blend of Annapolis Valley-grown apples, with a special sour cherry base added (including some Valley-grown cherries) for a great sour cherry blast, and rich red colour. This celebratory Canada Day cider is only available on tap at the following locations in Halifax (sorry, no bottles): Economy Shoe Shop, Gahan House, Lion & Bright, Old Triangle, RockHead [for growler fills], Scanway Cafe, Stillwell (both Barrington and the Beergarden), and Stubborn Goat. Keep an eye on their social media feeds to check when this treat is flowing! And keep an eye out for Bulwark’s new branding, with their Original blend now being available in 6-packs at the NSLC and private stores.

• There’s a beer on tap at the Big Tide brewpub in Saint John that hasn’t been available for awhile – Gesner’s Deluxe Copper Ale. Only available about once every year or two, it’s brewed with 2-row and Pale Ale malts for the base, with lots of CaraMunich and some Carafa specialty malts to add caramel and bready notes to the aroma and flavour of the beer. This particular batch was hopped with Simcoe to about 50 IBUs, adding some pine and citrus notes. Quite drinkable at 4.8% ABV, it won’t be around long, so be sure to drop by the brewpub for a pint and/or growler fill!

• And in other exciting Big Tide news, they will once again be hosting Acadie-Broue owner/brewer Patrice Godin this weekend for another collaboration brew. This time around, they’re tackling Gose, an increasing-in-popularity, tart German style that usually features the addition of salt and coriander. Godin and Big Tide brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos have decided to use Bay of Fundy water to provide the salty flavour typical to this style (Godin’s day job as a water microbiologist comes in handy at times!). The beer will also be sour-mashed to provide the signature sour and tart flavours expected in the style. Stay tuned for more info on this beer in the near future.

• There’s a new beer currently fermenting at Grimross, a “Table Oat Saison”. Featuring a grist made-up entirely of oats, owner/brewer Stephen Dixon was naturally preparing for a very challenging mash, as the oats would no doubt cause issues, as they take much longer on their own to convert their starches to sugars (3 hours, in this particular case) than other grains. Magnum hops were used for the bittering addition, and Hallertau for taste and aroma. Fermented with the Grimross house yeast, the beer should come in around 4% ABV and 25 IBUs, making it a true “Table” beer. We’ll let you know when this beer is pouring at the brewery!

• Earlier this week, TrailWay released the second iteration of Patio, one of their summer seasonals. As the name implies, this 4.5% ABV ale is meant to be a sessionable and refreshing beer to enjoy outdoors in the summer weather. A “Session Wheat Beer”, the first version was hopped with Chinook and Cascade, and had some orange zest added after primary fermentation. This time around, the beer was hopped a little heavier, solely with Comet (a citrusy/grapefruit-y variety that is found in many TrailWay hoppy beers), with no orange zest added. It can currently be found at several establishments in Fredericton that serve TrailWay beers. Look for future versions to feature further changes, until the beer is retired at the end of the season.

• It’s Petit-Sault‘s first anniversary, and they’re celebrating in style! Tomorrow, June 27th, they will be hosting a free open house at the brewery in Edmundston from 1 – 6 pm, featuring beer tastings and pulled pork sliders. A terrace will be open for drinking and socializing, and when you purchase your first full pour, you get to keep the glass! A special surprise birthday firkin will be tapped at 4 pm, and there will be a short ceremony at 6 pm. Live music from Les Bagosseux will start shortly after, at 6:30. Happy anniversary to all the hard workers at the brewery, and cheers to many more years!

Sea Level Brewing has brought back their Southern Cross IPA. The beer weighs in at 6.5%, and features both the New Zealand Southern Cross and Australian Ella hop varietals (in fact, it was dry-hopped in two stages with Ella). The bold hop bitterness clocks in at 80 IBUs, and showcases some nice citrus and subtle pine characters. It is available now at the Port Pub, at Harvest Wines in cans, and Obladee Wine Bar on tap. It will also be pouring at the Bishop’s Cellar growler station shortly.

• Speaking of Bishop’s Cellar, their new 5-tap growler system has been installed by Ken Greer and crew of BeerTech, and the beer is now flowing on the waterfront. Despite their small retail space, they’ve managed to install a cooler to house the direct draw system, with taps mounted directly on the wall. They are focusing on serving beers not otherwise available in the HRM, skipping those that are handily found in bottles or cans. They offer fills of both the 32 oz and 64 oz (0.95 and 1.89 litre) growlers, and customers can either buy a Bishop’s growler, or bring their own clean bottles. They do have a rinse station, for a last blast of water to reduce foaming. At launch, they are pouring Garrison’s Coast to Coastless Collaboration Imperial ESB, Good Robot Crown on the Ground Steam, Granite Brewery Hopping Mad IPA, Propeller Halifornia Common, and Tatamagouche Butcher Block Red. The current lineup will be posted on their Beer page, and that page highlights the new arrivals and specials they are featuring at any given time. To go with their expanded beer offerings, they will be doing more beer tastings as part of their regular events, and have even been sneaking in a beer or two during their regular wine tastings. Drop by today at 5pm for the official public launch, and to fill up your growlers!

• More news on the progress of Savoie’s Brewhouse, the soon-to-open brewery in Charlo, New Brunswick: owner/brewer Rodney Savoie has confirmed that the first two flagship beers, Island Lake Blonde and Chaleur Phantom Amber Ale, have successfully made it through the ANBL tasting panel. Next up is lab testing, followed by an ANBL listing, and then it’s official – their beer will be ready for sale! We’ll continue to keep you updated on their progress.

• The latest beer offering from Newfoundland Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is now open, and this time it focuses on Belgium. Coming to the NLC in October are: Saison Dupont, Halve Maan Brugse Zot Blonde, Oud Beersel Oude Kriek, and DeuS Brut des Flandres. While the beers will be available to all NLC customers, these sign-ups give the Club an idea as to how popular the orders will be, to ensure there’s enough to go around. Your input is much appreciated, please fill out the order form today.

• And speaking of the NLACBC, they are holding a unique beer (or wine, if you prefer) tasting event July 9th. They will be visiting St. Michael’s Printshop on Harbour Drive, and pairing beer or wine with Italian cheese, and different printmaking techniques. A different Trou du Diable beer (or Sauvignon Blanc wine) will accompany each of four stops along the tour. This poster has more info, and email Tom Beckett to sign up today (there are just a few spots left).

• Cristall Wine Merchants in Sunnyside Mall have also begun filling growlers at their location, featuring four taps. Currently pouring are: Cristall Pale Ale (brewed for them by Garrison), Big Spruce Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Tatamagouche Butcher Block Red, and Sea Level Rojo Mojo Red. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for updates to the lineup.

Breton Brewing in Sydney will be opening this weekend! Kegs of their Stirling Hefeweizen and Black Angus IPA have been filled, and being delivered to restaurants and bars as you read this. They will be having a soft opening at the brewery Saturday 10-5pm, so be sure to drop by and grab a growler or two to go. Their tap room, and Sons of Hector Brown Ale, will be open and pouring very soon. Congratulations Andrew and Bryan!

Stillwell Beergarden has been a popular spot during the sporadic lovely days available recently, pouring 10 lines of exclusively-Nova Scotian beer, cider, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks (including cold brewed coffee and lemonade). Now you can keep track of the Beergarden’s status, as it is heavily dependent on the weather. Save http://www.barstillwell.com/beergarden in your list of bookmarks, to stay in the loop.

Tatamagouche Brewing‘s canning line has been busy this week, and these boat- and beach-friendly packages will be available this weekend at the brewery. As their bottle stock decreases, Hippie Dippie Pale Ale, North Shore Lagered Ale, and Butcher Block Red canned versions will be replacing them. Their current seasonal, RR#2, will also be available next week at the brewery. Beginning July 4th, the cans will also be available at their Farmer’s Market stand. Cans will be the package of choice for all but their Giant Beer series (Giantess Barleywine , Two Rivers Baltic Porter, and Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot IBA, all still available for purchase at the brewery) going forward. Folks shopping at the brewery are welcome to mix their own 12-pack, and will save $0.25 per can when buying in 12-packs (or more).

Meander River has released their collaboration with Garrison’s Daniel Girard, Surf & Turf. It is a Strong Scotch Ale, featuring Seaweed and Peated Malt in the mash, giving the beer a “rich, complex flavour of scotch, sweet caramel, slight salt, and roasted malt”, according to the brewery. This 6.2% ABV, deep copper-coloured ale was brewed for the Taste of Nova Scotia “Dinner on the Ocean Floor” event, which starts this weekend. You can also find the beer on tap at the brewery this weekend.

• The cask list for Saturday’s Ladies Beer League 2nd Birthday at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth has been finalized: Big Spruce Brewing‘s Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Boxing Rock Collaboration Rule 42 English IPA Garrison Brewing Dry-Hopped Imperial IPA, and North Brewing Company Summer Saison with Sour CherriesTickets are still available for the pizza, beer, and cake extranvaganza.

Have a great weekend, and Canada Day Wednesday! Speaking of, it’s your last chance to snatch up the few remaining tickets for the Canada Day Bash in Fredericton at the Lighthouse on the Green, featuring lots of local craft beer, BBQ, and fireworks! Hell Bay has released their Hell’s Anvil Smoked Stout, brewed for the CanIRON X event, and have a very limited number of bottles available at their Liverpool brewery. Red Rover has announced that they will now be at the St. Andrews Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 8 am – 1 pm for flagon fills.  The Moncton Beer League is hosting a NS Craft Beer BBQ Deck Party on Saturday, July 11th, which will feature a four-course dinner, with each course being paired with a different Nova Scotia beer; check the link for tickets and more details. Keep an eye out early next week for the next iteration of PEI Brewing Co.’s Vic Park Pale Ale; this version will feature the wonderful Nelson Sauvin hop. Several new beers are on tap at Paddys Irish Brewpub in the Valley. Drop by for a taste of their Scotian Tartan Export Sour, Porter,  and Lime beers. For those of you lucky enough to be near the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL, you’ll be able to find Hammond River‘s popular seasonal, Hawaiian Pale Ale, on tap for growler fills there next week (July 2-5). Finally, keep your eyes on Upstreet Craft Brewing‘s social media outlets, as they’ll be opening this weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! In case you thought last week’s busy post was a fluke, fear not! It’s been another busy week in Atlantic Canadian Beer News. And that means more tasty bevvies out now, and cool events coming our way! Let’s get right to the action!

Paddys Irish Brewpubs in Kentville and Wolfville have a few new beers on tap that are worth checking out! First up is their Extra Special Bitter, weighing in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs. It’s brewed with a traditional English malt bill and English Ale yeast for a light caramel character, and traditional East Kent Goldings hops exclusively give a light bitterness and a taste of England in the Annapolis Valley. Their Irish Stout is also on tap, an easily sessionable, light-bodied beer, but with a roast-forward character. This beer weighs in at 5% ABV and 33 IBUs, and is a fan favourite. Also keep an eye out for two lagers to be making their debut at the pubs in the next while: a Helles, which incorporated step mashing on their full 7 barrel system (sounds like quite a task!), and a Red Lager. We’ll have more details on both when they are available.

• There’s lots going on at PEI Brewing Co. these days! First off, they just sent over a new cask to Bar Stillwell in Halifax: Rais’n Sais’n is a bit of an experiment, consisting of their Iron Bridge Brown Ale fermented with a Saison yeast (Belle Saison, from Danstar, the same strain used in last year’s Lobster Saison). The beer was then transferred to a cask with a quantity of sultana raisins (a sweet, golden-coloured variety); it comes in at 5.1% ABV. Get down to Stillwell to try a pour before it’s gone!

• Moving on, they’ve also brewed a new Saison. Currently unnamed, it’s a completely different brew from the Lobster Saison. Brewed with all 2-row malt and hopped with Saaz and UK Goldings, it was then fermented “very warm” with the Belgian Dupont yeast strain from White Labs. With this yeast, expect lots of spicy flavors and aromas, accompanied by some fruitiness and a dry finish. The beer should be hitting taps at select locations sometime early next month; we’ll be sure to keep you updated on its release.

• Finally, a bit of a teaser: PEIBC brewmaster Chris Long has confirmed that we can expect to see a series of small batch (8 bbl) single-hop beers this summer at the brewery tasting room, and at Fishbones Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill in Charlottetown. We look forward to hearing more about this series when better weather arrives!

• Moving on to the Gahan side of PEIBC, they’ve released a new beer just in time for the Island’s annual (and extremely popular) PEI Burger Love. Angus Pale is a single-hop APA featuring the fairly-new Belma variety, and fermented with an English yeast strain. The beer is lightly filtered, with a “slight citrus aroma and a fruity/berry-like finish”, according to the brewery,

• It’s time to join the Club! Ahead of their opening later this Spring, Unfiltered Brewing have announced the details of their Club, available at launch. There are three levels available to those able to get in: The first level is an annual membership ($250 for the first year, $175 to resubscribe, plus HST), which gets the member an Unfiltered-branded Stainless Steel growler (full of beer, of course!), plus another free fill on their birthday (and $1 off all subsequent growler fills Mon-Wed), a branded glass and limited edition t-shirt, a pair of bottles of Russian Imperial Stouts (perfect for cellaring), and early access and first right of refusal to subsequent releases and swag. The second level is a lifetime membership in the Club, with all of its benefits, but with an even better growler. The cost to enroll is $1000 (plus tax). The third level is $5000, and is identical to the second level, but will offer the member the opportunity to brew a beer with Brewmaster Greg Nash, and leave with 20 litres of it after your hard day(s) of work. Full details on the Club, including how to sign up, are available here, and we’re happy to report that their brewhouse from DME was delivered this week, which means it won’t be long until the brewing begins!

TrailWay has brewed a new beer, and it’s their first collaboration! Staying true to their roots, they formulated a recipe with two homebrewers from the New Brunswick Craft Brewers Association, Adam Jones and Roger Ringuette. The beer, Sensible Nonsense, is a DIPA hopped with Apollo, Magnum, Orbit, Centennial, and Mosaic, to approximately 95 IBUs. Supported by some malty sweetness thanks to some Vienna and CaraRed malt in the mash, expect this hoppy beer to exhibit lots of fruity, piney, and dank notes. It should come in around 7.5% ABV; look for it to hit taps around Fredericton within the next couple of weeks. They’re also planning on experimenting with some casks of this beer, so stay tuned for that (and remember, their inaugural cask release at the King Street Ale House starts tonight at 6 pm!).

Picaroons released a new experimental beer earlier this week, an unnamed “Belgian Scotch Ale”. Definitely a bit of an orphan beer, think of it as a low-ABV Scotch Ale (featuring Roasted, Crystal, and Smoked malts) fermented with a Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, and hopped with Goldings and Fuggles. The beer came about from two batches of another experiment, a stronger Scotch Ale, where the weaker run-offs of each batch were combined for this release. The stronger batches were combined and are now being aged for a future release (and possibly some barrel-aging). Coming in at around 4.5% ABV, it features lots of clove and banana aromas and flavors, in conjunction with the smokiness and sweetness from the malt, according to the brewery. It’s on tap now, exclusively at the Brewtique for growler fills.

• For this year’s Earth Day (April 22nd), the Lion & Bright is once again celebrating with Spruce up the Planet!, a Big Spruce tap takeover. Doors open at 7 pm (the $7 charge will go to the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) to support their Ocean’s Week activities), and there will be live music from The Bluejam Grass Band, as well as “Love Letters to the Ocean”, hosted by Brave Space. For every pint purchased, an additional $1 will be donated to the EAC. Unfortunately, we don’t have a full tap list for you, but we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed with the selection!

• There’s yet another beer event planned for Fredericton from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Let Them Eat Cake… and Drink Beer will pair six different La Naufrageur beers (each pour is 8 oz) with six cake varieties from local bakery Fuller Confections. Scheduled for Saturday, April 25th at 2 pm at the King Street Ale House, it’s going to be a small event, with entry being limited to ten people. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased by sending an email. This is the first of several planned small-pairings; stay tuned for more in the near future!

• Now seems like a good time to mention that the fourth Burgers n’ Beer has been planned for Tuesday, June 9th, from 8:00 – 10:30 pm. Held once again at the uptown reLiSH location, this event is taking on a new twist, featuring an “Ales vs. Lagers” approach. Breweries are currently TBD, but count on six beers (8 oz pours) to be paired with six different reLiSH sliders. It’s a great way to kick off the two-week Fredericton Burger Battle (part of Eat New Brunswick), which begins on June 8th.(Tickets are $48 each, and are available online. We’ll have more info on the breweries participating, soon.

Sea Level Brewing is bringing back their latest seasonal, Düssel-port Altbier. This “New World Alt” uses a recipe given to Brewmaster Randy Lawrence by a brewer friend from Brauerei im Füchschen, in Dusseldorf, home of the Alt style. This medium-bodied ale weighs in at 4.8% ABV. Lawrence used Saphir hops throughout, for an authentic bitterness. It is now available at the brewery in cans, growlers, and kegs, and on tap at the Port Pub and other locations shortly.

• Last month, Boxing Rock brewed up a collaboration brew with the Ladies Beer League: the Cinnamon Spin. While the poor weather kept the LBL crew away, they were there in spirit, and the crew visiting from Upstreet lent a hand in their stead. We now have some information on the beer, and the release details! The base beer is a Robust Porter, weighing in at 6.5% ABV. It featured some first wort hopping, and whole cinnamon sticks added during the boil. Now the important details: how can you taste it? The Ladies Beer League and Boxing Rock folks will be launching the beer April 18th at Bar Stillwell in Halifax. It is an open event, no tickets required, and pay as you enjoy, starting at 6pm. There will be a cask of the Cinnamon Spin tapped at 6:30, and the beer will also be available on tap. There will also be LBL swag and memberships available for purchase that evening. Stillwell will have exclusivity on the kegged beer, but there will be some bottles available at the B.R. brewery, Seaport and Alderney Farmers Markets, and the private beer stores in HRM. As the beer was brewed in celebration of International Women’s Day, there are two charities benefiting from sales of the beer: Halifax Sexual Health Center and Shelburne County Women’s Fishnet Bursary Program.

• And speaking of beer launches at Stillwell, the next Saturday, April 25th, will see the launch party of the third in the line of Propeller Brewing’s Lambic-style beers. This release will be different than the earlier two, in that there was no fruit added during the fermentation and maturation process (raspberries and blackberries were featured previously); this will be the straight wheat beer that was inoculated with wild yeast and bacteria and aged in Blomidon Estate oak barrels, to produce a unique beer not otherwise available in our region. Think of it as a 4.2% ABV Gueuze-style beer, though this will be an unblended 4-year old beer. As in previous releases, the beer will be available by the glass and in bottles (for consumption at the bar) beginning at noon. There will be a signup sheet on site for those who would like to purchase one bottle (and one bottle only) from Propeller the next day, ahead of the general sale on Monday. The last release was so popular that none of the beer made it to Monday, all was scooped up in pre-sales, and we imagine the same will happen again this time. More details on the beer can be seen in a previous post on the first release.

• Details for the Beerthief Ancient Ales tasting in St John’s are now available, being held at The Bella Vista, at 5pm Saturday, May 2nd. Dr. Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist,  will be giving a presentation on the fieldwork and research required to develop the Dogfish Head Brewery for their Ancient Ales series. And through some local collaboration with local brewery Storm Brewing in Newfoundland, Brew Craft Homebrew Shop, Sap World, and gypsy brewers Chad Levesque and Stephen Canning, visitors will be able to enjoy two beers based on ancient recipes:  Levesque Midas Touch Collaborative Clone and Canning Kvasir Collaborative Clone. After the presentation and Q&A session, there will be a supper of lamb shank and flank steak paired by Chef Ian Smith. The tasting will continue with several selections from Garrison Brewing, led by Brewmaster Daniel Girard, and from Storm Brewing in Newfoundland, led by owner and brewer Mike McBride, for a full evening of beer, food and fun. Tickets for the event are $90, and are available by emailing Tom Beckett before April 29th.

Enjoy the weekend, and the (hopefully) warmer temps! While you are out and about this weekend, stop into the ANBL and fill up your growler with Petit-Sault Lancaster KB882 Amber Lager, Picaroons Historical Brown Ale (formerly known as 104th Regiment Ale), and/or (we vote andLe Trou du Diable’s Dubai Pillee Imperial IPA. For the first time, all four fill ANBL filling stations will have the same three beers available. And for those of you in Fredericton, be sure to drop by Grimross to buy a pint and growler of Monk’s Choice, the name chosen from the submissions for their Abbey Ale. In Nova Scotia, Muwin Wines has received a loan from ACOA to expand distribution of Bulwark Cider to the UK, a massive Cider market. The extra funds will go towards additional equipment to expand production, and re-branding their bottled packaged product. Tickets for the Full House Beer Fest, the highlight of the CBANS Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, are now officially sold out, though there is a waiting list available. Tickets for Beer & Beethoven (May 8th at the Halifax Forum), Science of Beer (May 14th at the Discovery Centre) and Brewer’s Brunch (May 17th at Stubborn Goat) are still available, however. We’ll be sharing details on more of the events in the coming weeks. Spindrift Brewing in Dartmouth has taken delivery of their brewhouse recently, and are busy setting it up and preparing for their first brew day in the coming weeks. And finally, in new more brewery news, Trestle Brewing is set to open in Truro in the fall. The brainchild of Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills, it will be located in the downtown area. We’ll share more details when available. And for those of you lucky enough to have tickets to tomorrow’s sold-out Saint John Beer Fest, enjoy the selection of craft beer! With even more breweries and beer than last year, it’s bound to be a great time as usual! And don’t miss their Hair of the Dog Brunch at the Saint John Ale House the next morning.

Welcome to the first day of spring! How about some beer news to read while you sit back and watch all of the snow melt away today?

Hammond River will be brewing a brand new beer early next week to celebrate the return of spring. A Rye IPA, the grist will consist of 2-row, Chocolate and Crystal malts, and roughly 15% rye malt to provide some spicy notes to the beer. Hopped entirely with the El Dorado variety, expect citrus and fruity qualities in the aroma and flavors, along with the classic orange-candy character expected from this hop. The beer should come in at around 55 IBUs and 6.5% ABV. It’s currently unnamed; with the way this weather has been lately, we’d like to suggest (in homage to Hammond River’s recent Winter Warmer): F@#K Spring! Look for this beer to be released at next month’s Saint John Beer Fest.

• There’s been a new beer from TrailWay Brewing on tap at the King Street Ale HouseWest Coast Wheat – to get you in the summer mood. Brewed with warmer days in mind, it involves a grist of equal parts 2-row and Wheat malt, with a touch of light Crystal thrown in as well. Hopped to 35 IBUs with Cascade and Chinook, this light, easy-drinking beer (~4.5% ABV) won’t be around much longer (they’re on their last keg already), but no worries… Jake and Dan have confirmed that they will be brewing more in the future! In the meantime, get down to the KSAH if you’d like to try the first iteration of this beer.

• In other TrailWay news, they’ve brewed up another version of their popular Session IPA. This time around, they’ve upped the late hopping (for more flavor and aroma) with Amarillo, Comet and Cascade, and the ABV is slightly higher, at 4.5% ABV. Still a hoppy, sessionable ale, look for this one on tap by next weekend. And they’re brewing their first Black IPA this weekend; look for more info on that one, soon!

• The votes have been counted for the Best of the Fest from the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival two weeks ago, and the winner is… Hammond River Brewing! The People’s Choice awards were also announced: Fredericton’s own TrailWay Brewing came in first, with Hammond River and Boxing Rock following very closely behind in second and third place, respectively. Congratulations to the winners… with the real winners being us festival attendees, who had so many great beers available to them in one room!

• Speaking of Boxing Rock, they brewed up the Cinnamon Challenge Robust Porter on the weekend. Unfortunately, due to the nasty weather in Nova Scotia, the brewing crew from the Ladies Beer League were unable to make the trek. However, the boys from Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing were in town for some stick time on their DME system, and pitched in with the brewday. Look for the beer to be released in early April. And to all of you Boxing Rock fans living in New Brunswick, The Next Chapter Rye IPA will be on the shelves early next week! Check the ANBL site for availability.

Sea Level Brewing has released a second version of their El Diablo Rojo DIPA this week. This version is a slight departure from the previous, with the Australian hop Ella being used throughout the brew (including a double-dose of dry-hopping!). A different yeast was also chosen: a pitch of Ringwood from the fine folks at Propeller. The beer weighs in at 7.666% ABV, and 88 IBUs, and is available in growlers and cans at the Port Williams brewery, and on tap at the Port Pub. The cans will be available later next week at the HRM private stores (they currently have the previous version released a few weeks ago, featuring the New Zealand hop Waimea).

• Speaking of Sea Level, they will be doing a Tap Takeover at the Board Room Game Cafe from March 25-28. They will be pouring seven different Sea Level beers, including this newest batch of El Diablo Rojo, Blooberry Pail Ale, Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Blue Heron ESB, Planters Pale Ale, Rojo Mojo Red Ale, and Port in the Storm Porter.

• Back in early January, we reported that PEI Brewing Co. had brewed up their second “big” beer, a Doppelbock, once the PEI liquor laws had allowed the release of beers  with an ABV higher than 6.5%. The idea was to lager the beer for several months to allow the flavors to smooth out (typical – and recommended – for this style of beer). Well, the initial release of the beer is now here – Re-Animator is now on tap at the brewery and Gahan House Pub in Charlottetown (for both pints and growlers), and has been spotted at Halifax’s Stillwell. Brewed with 2-row, Pale, and Munich malts, along with two varieties of CaraMunich to give the beer its deep red color and “sweet malt aromas”, it has a very low bitterness (25 IBUs from the Tettnang varietal), and a little warmth from the high alcohol (8.2% ABV). Fear not if you are not able to make it to have it on tap, as most of the batch has been canned, and will be released in the first week of April at the brewery and into the PEILCC. We have also heard a rumour that some of the batch was barrel-aged; we’ll be sure to share when that is released.

• The Nook and Cranny in Truro is adding on-site beer to their location! Beginning in May, they will be installing a SmartBrew system from DME and Brian Watson in the Nook, which will allow them to sell their own beer on tap and in growlers. The compact footprint of the four 5 BBL (~600 litre) fermenters will allow them to offer three of their own brews, to complement the other local craft beers they currently pour (including Garrison, Propeller, Tatamagouche, Hell Bay and Uncle Leo’s). While they have not decided on the exact recipes yet, they intend on keeping a light, crisp beer, and a second dark beer on permanently, with a third being a wheat beer with local fruit added. Suppliers for strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, watermelon and apples have already been secured, to ensure this is a versatile and interesting option for local craft beer drinkers. We will be sure to share more details closer to their launch date. Cheers!

• The Beerthief Newfoundland Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is holding a tasting of Evil Twin Beer on Wednesday, March 25th at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Visitors will be greeted with a bottle or half pint of QV beer, and then 3-4 ounces each of Low Life, Freudian Slip, I Love You with my Stout, and Molotov Cocktail. Tickets are $25, and can be secured by emailing Tom Beckett.

• In conjunction with the annual conference of the Canadian Archaeology Association, the Artisanal and Craft Beer Club will also host a tasting of a locally brewed Midas Touch under the direction of Dr. Patrick McGovern on Saturday, May 2. The tasting will start at 7:00 pm. We will share more details on the tasting and beer when available.

• There are several new beers on at the Gahan House Halifax that are worth checking out! Low Ryder IPA is a rye IPA that was dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace hops, for a unique combination of rye spiciness and Sorachi Ace lemon aroma and flavour. This beer weighs in at 6.8% ABV and 73 IBUs. Ahnold Schwartz Bier is, you guessed it, a Schwarzbier, a dark German lager. This 4.9% ABV and 36 IBU beer is clean and easy drinking, with some nice milk chocolate and roast characteristics that are crowd pleasers. And being released this afternoon is an English IPA, weighing in at 5.8% and 55 IBUs. This brew was dry-hopped with the Falconers Flight hop blend, for a bit of tropical and citrus aroma. And if you get down early today, you may also be able to enjoy the last pints of For Bitter Or Worse ESB (5% ABV), before it runs out. As always, their beer can be enjoyed at the bar, and you can then take away a growler fill to enjoy after yet another round of shovelling.

Bulwark Cider is releasing a Hopped Cider! While a new phenomenon in our region, dry-hopped ciders are very popular in the Pacific Northwest. Chinook, Cascade, Comet, and Hersbruker were used for this particular blend, for a lovely citrus aroma and flavour, and offer something different than in beer. On tap only at a few spots now (we’ve spotted it at Bar Stillwell), it will also be making it into bottles at the NSLC shortly. And Bulwark Blush is now available to licensees in 355 ml bottles, so be sure to ask for this fruit blend cider at your favourite restaurant the next time you visit.

We’re sure you don’t need reminding, but make sure to enjoy some tasty, local craft beer this weekend! The new El Dorado IPA from Celtic Knot, Terminus,  has been kegged and delivered to the Tide & Boar in Moncton, so look for that one to start flowing soon (if it hasn’t already). And the Golden Ale, Colonel Tuckers, brewed by Hammond River for UNB-SJ’s 50th anniversary was unveiled last night at Beaverbrook House; look for it on tap at HR’s Saint John accounts next week. And the brewery tanks destined for Wrought Iron Brewing Company have been delivered, despite the 10-foot snowbanks lining Robie Street; great news!