PEILCC

All posts tagged PEILCC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As July winds down, we’ve been blessed with some great drinking weather, which means the region’s brewers are hard at work to keep us happy. Be sure to raise a toast to them as you grab a pint on the patio or at the cottage this weekend!

• International IPA Day is next week (Thursday, Aug. 3rd), and Upstreet will be releasing a brand new beer to celebrate. Island Hopspitality 2017 may share the same name as last year’s release, but this one goes in a completely different direction, as a “Sour IPA”. Kettle-soured via Lactobacillus to ~3.4 pH, plenty of Azacca, Centennial and Sorachi Ace were added in both whirlpool and dry-hop additions, giving lots of citrus and tropical fruit in the aroma and flavour to complement the tartness, but minimal bitterness (at only 10 IBUs). As expected, this 4.5% ABV beer won’t be released until next Thursday, where it will be available for pints and growlers at the brewery, and on tap at other Upstreet accounts.

• While on the topic, TrailWay has released a new iteration of their kettle-soured hoppy ale, El Generico. This pale, sessionable (3.8% ABV) brew is constantly-changing, and made it’s first appearance in early May with a Hallertau Blanc dry-hop. This newest release was dry-hopped with El Dorado, an increasingly-popular hop variety at the brewery that has fruity, Jolly Rancher-like qualities. In addition to the hops, Apricot puree was added to the batch (at a rate of ~51 g/L) to boost the taste even more, giving the impression of “Welch’s fruit snacks and sour peach candy”, according to the brewery. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery only, this was a limited batch so won’t last long.

• Plenty of beer news coming from Newfoundland this week! Let’s start with the Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s, who have two new beers for your enjoyment. First up is Townie Triple, a Belgian Tripel which comes in heavy at 8.7% ABV, and was hopped generously with Czech Saaz (to 30 IBUs) for balance. With aromas of “banana, cloves, orange zest, and honey”, and a flavour profile that includes “notes of chai tea, peaches, and pear”, it’s definitely meant to be enjoyed as a sipper, and is available at the Brewpub for pours and grunters.

• Next up from Mill Street is Chocolate Lab, a collaboration with the Newfoundland Chocolate Company. A “dark ale base beer” was brewed up, which then had 8 kg of cacao nibs – provided by the NCC – added and cold-steeped. While dry, light, and easy-drinking, the nibs give “big aromas of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, a slightly oakey flavour, and a touch of honey”. At 4.5% ABV and 32 IBUs, this one is a bit more sessionable than the first beer! You can find it on tap now at the Brewpub for pints and growlers.

• Let’s move on to Yellowbelly, who have a new beer on tap that is going fast! Big Land Lager is a “Labrador tea rice Lager” that was mashed in birch sap, according to the brewery. While only 4.8% ABV, it’s big on flavour, with subtle notes of pine, spice, and lemon coming through, and a “slight minty vanilla in the finish”. It’s on tap at the brewpub (but on it’s last keg or two, so may not be around when this post is published), with a very small supply also available for purchase in 1 L bottles at the brewpub only. And for those of you attending the Halifax Seaport Beerfest, a couple of kegs were sent over from the Rock, so this will be your chance to give it a try!

• Heading Northwest to the Bonavista Peninsula, you will find yourself at Port Rexton Brewing, who celebrated their first anniversary last weekend, and have released a slew of new beers for visitors to enjoy. Shed Session is a 4.4% ABV Session IPA, featuring a bevvy of late-hopping on a straw-coloured light base. East Meets West is a 5.0% ABV Saison, featuring Honey Dew melon and Black Pepper, and was brewed as a Cross-Country Simultaneous Collaboration with Port Moody, BC’s Moody Ales. And rounding out the newest arrival is Spruce Wayne, a 5.4% ABV amber ale with spruce tips added.

• Let’s finish off our tour of the Rock with a trip to the West Coast, namely Pasadena, home to Western Newfoundland Brewing Company. Their small and agile system has been working overtime lately, giving locals and visitors alike plenty of new flavours. The newest beer to be released is Green Gardens Haze, an “Oat Forward Pale Ale”, with flaked oats accounting for one third of the malt bill. The resultant base beer is creamy and hazy, with a nod to the New England IPA style. At 5.0% ABV and 25 IBUs, the late hop additions offering more in terms of flavours and aroma, than bitterness. It is currently on tap at the officially unofficial WNLBC taproom, Galliott Studios in Woody Point, Bonne Bay. And while the pilot batch of Tuckamore Spruce just kicked, we can report that there are several hundred litres of the beer set to be released in the next week or two. Inspired by the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s cartographic survey of Newfoundland, this is their take on a historically-inspired Spruce Beer, a 6.0% Amber with plenty of Munich malt to offset the resinous character of the spruce tips (added near the end of the boil). When released in early August, it will be available at restaurants in Corner Brook and Gros Morne National Park.

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing Co. will be releasing their first Double IPA, Under the Patio, this weekend. This 7.5% ABV hoppy brew incorporates a simple malt bill that gives “just enough body” to support the heavy hopping rates. Speaking of the hops – and that’s the important point with this style of beer, right? – a blend of five different varieties were used throughout the brew, with the focus falling on Chinook. At 80 IBUs, expect a firm bitterness in the finish, to complement the hop aromas and flavours sure to be found. Look for it on tap this weekend at the brewery, and at establishments serving Heritage beer.
Loyalist City‘s latest summer beer just hit taps yesterday, and we got your details right here! Peach Giant is a Berliner Weisse (a low ABV, sour German beer) that was mash-soured with the brewery’s house strain of four different Lactobacillus strains. Once soured, the brew was then fermented as usual, and once complete, saw the addition of real peaches, which triggered some additional fermentation. Now that it’s finally kegged and ready to go, expect lots of peach aroma and flavour, “complemented by a light, doughy sweetness”, all in an orange, hazy package. At only 4.5% ABV, you should be able to enjoy this one in relative quantity! Look for it today at your favourite Loyalist City tap source.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows had a few special taproom-only beer on the go this week, with Monday’s release of their collaboration with the fine folks from Everwood Ave Brew Shop , Ever Wood Aged, a Double IPA conditioned on wine-soaked oak. As of the time of printing (posting), this beer is still available, but certainly in short supply. The other new beer of note is Swan Fan Makkum, an American Pale Ale featuring loads of Belma, Citra, Hallertau Blanc, and Simcoe, resulting in a supremely smooth and quaffable 5.0% ABV and 13 IBU hazy beer. Pouring as part of the Tall Sips endeavour, the beer is named after a tall ship that co-owner Mark Huinizink worked on as a teenager. As with all of these small batches, they are only available on tap at the brewery, so drop down on Brunswick St for a pint before (or after) checking out the Tall Ships on the Waterfront. And as a heads up, watch this space for the second of 2C’s Foedre beers, to be released in cans mid-August. Featuring lots of mango and a bit of peach, this beer has us (milk)Shaking in anticipation.

Breton Brewing brewed up a light, lovely style that’s perfect for summer drinking, a Munich Helles named Island Time Lager. Featuring malty and bready notes, this is a style that is malt-focused, with an underlying hop bitterness that keeps it from being too sweet. And at 4.3% and 14 IBUs, you’ll be able to enjoy a couple of these in the hot sun. It’s only available in the Sydney area at the moment, but look for kegs to hit Halifax in the next couple of weeks.

• In Digby, Roof Hound has a new brew on the go that we should be seeing in the very near future. Hoppy Seconds is an APA that was brewed to showcase Victory, the brewery’s favourite specialty malt. Dry-hopped in heavy amounts with Columbus and Mosaic, expect similar aromas to their previous hoppy release, The Big Stink (which uses the same hop varieties). It should come in at about 5.5% ABV; look for it at the brewpub and local accounts within the next couple weeks.

• What do you do to up the ante when you’re one of Halifax’s littlest breweries? If you’re Tidehouse on Salter Street, you build one of Halifax’s littlest tap rooms and serve beer in little glasses! Seating seven comfortably, and serving only tasting flights (for now), this as-yet unnamed hideaway could easily become a place where everybody knows your name – and your brand of deodorant. Right now they’re pouring Tidehouse favourites, but will shortly be expanding to eight taps and, hopefully, will be mixing it up with some guest beers. There are also plans to have a turntable playing Shean and Peter’s favourites, although patrons are welcome to bring in their own vinyl for everyone’s enjoyment. Right now, in addition to Tidehouse classics like The Copper and Like a MotorcycALE we know they’ve got some Sumac Smack on the go, which we told you about last week, and the Noon Moon, a citrus-driven little number. There’s also the Fuzzy Sun APA (at least what the Stubborn Goat didn’t snap up), a pale with a round malt flavour from Melanoiding and Munich malts and a smooth mouthfeel from Wheat. It features Citra, Cascade and Simcoe for a very tropical hop profile with additional notes of citrus and pine. And today will also see the appearance of a new beer called City Mouse. This is another pale ale, of the juicy persuasion, featuring Citra and Mosaic hops. You should notice apricot and mango with underpinnings of orange citrus. Honey malt in the grist provides a bit of sweetness to this 5.4% ABV and 26.5 IBU beer, which also uses wheat and oats to create a smooth mouthfeel.

• Our friends at Good Robot are having their usual busy week, running the gamut of a new beer, a new variation on an existing beer, and a re-release on the docket. First, this afternoon’s Cask in the Sun (pay no mind to the weather, they’ll pour it inside and point the lights at you if you insist) takes a break from the Goseface Killah base that has served them so well in previous weeks in favour of the Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer, a summer stalwart on their taps. Corn Light Mojito sees that base adulterated (in the nicest possible way!) with organic lime and garden mint grown right there on the Gastroturf! Meanwhile the taproom has seen the return of the Skratch Plaskett Electric Tambourine Ale, originally a collaboration with Schoolhouse Brewery (who’ve lately been serving and bottling their own version of this very same beer). For those who don’t know, it’s an A/APA, or American/Australian Pale Ale coming in at 5.8% ABV and an enough-to-know-it’s-there 25 IBU. The grist side has 2-row malt, some wheat for mouthfeel and vienna for character, while the hops see high-alpha Warrior for bittering, classic American Cascade in the whirlpool and newcomer Australian Summer for the dry-hop. And finally, on Tuesday GR will remind us that Winter is coming when this week’s Beta Brewsday concoction drops. King in the North is a sessionable Black IPA at 4.5% ABV, but with a pronounced 55 IBU. Local Horton Ridge 2-row (we’re going to guess maybe the “winter” variety) and Maris Otter provide the base for the grist and big, bold, dank and piney Simcoe and citrusy Chinook are the hops.

Boxing Rock, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, has released another in their line of kettle soured beers featuring fruit. Joining Over the Top! (Cranberry), For the Love of Grimace (Blueberries), Grafted (Orange Peel), this week’s release, Turn of Fraise, features strawberries on top of a sour wheat base. Grab the beer in bottles at the brewery now, and look for bottles at their market locations and the private beer stores this weekend.

• We have a pair of returning favourites from Halifax’s Rockbottom Brewpub this week. Recently, they brought back their Freudian Sip Vienna Lager, a light and crisp golden lager, featuring toasted malt with spicy and herbal noble hop characteristics. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, and is available on tap for samples, pints and growlers. Also returning after a several month hiatus is Raspberry Sour, their 4.5% ABV kettle sour, featuring loads of raspberry for a refreshing and flavourful tart beer.

• Time flies when you drink this much beer. That must be the case, as the third episode in a month of the 902 BrewCast has just been released. Continuing their tour of the South Shore, the gents dropped into the hometown of the last remaining Arby’s in Nova Scotia, Bridgewater. They met and chatted with Adam and Devin of FirkinStein Brewing, were are celebrating the opening of their retail and second brewery location. Learn all about their start, the mixed origin of their brewhouse, inspiration for beer recipes, and their plans for the future. And be sure to drop by their new spot on Main Street next time you’re in the neighbourhood. Yes, they allow outside food, including roast beef sandwiches, so just head up Dominion Street and take a left on Hight…

• Craft fans on PEI can now join their New Brunswick brethren in sneering at Nova Scotia and the NSLC. The Island’s liquor control commission, PEILCC, has officially joined ANBL in providing growler fills with an 8-tap station installed at their Gateway location (Officially Store #002, in Borden-Carleton). According to spokesperson Mark Carragher, this is part of PEILCC’s overall strategy to help promote local products and expand their craft beer selection at retail. The focus is on local products, but even now the selection includes breweries from other parts of Canada. Carragher notes that growlers have been successful in other markets and customer feedback so far has been very positive, so there’s a chance that additional stations will be added in the future. For now, you can bring any clean 1.89 L growler to them for a fill in Borden-Carleton, or purchase a growler on-site for $5. And if you’re curious what they’re pouring, you can keep an eye on PEILCC’s Twitter for tweets like this one, or you can visit the dedicated growler station page on their website for a full list.

What’s on the go this weekend and beyond?

• TonightPropeller is bringing back their bi-weekly Cask Night, where a new beer will be introduced on cask at their Gottingen St. location, every second Friday. Up tonight will be a Cascade American Pale Ale, dry-hopped in the cask with Falconer’s Flight and Nelson Sauvin. As before, the cask will be tapped at 5 pm; there’s only 20 L available, so be sure to show up early so you don’t miss out! What’s coming up at future Cask Nights? Well, we can give you a few teasers: how about a Pilsner hopped with Strisselspalt, followed by a DIPA, then a Porter with American Oak? As always, we’ll continue to keep you updated!

Taste of Nova Scotia is holding two special events this weekend, on Halifax Harbour’s Georges Island. The Georges Island Dinner Series is running both tonight and tomorrow, with a different theme each evening. Tonight’s event is Nova Scotia Lobster Feast, featuring a feast of local lobster, mussels, oysters, paired with Nova Scotian beer, wine, cider and spirits. Tomorrow’s event is the Good Cheer BBQ, with a more land-based menu with pork and meat pies, and even more breweries in attendance. Your ticket includes your ferry ride to the island, all of the food and drink, and the live music shows from Joel Plasket and Port Cities.

• Saturday marks Unfiltered Brewing‘s Second Anniversary, which means they are inviting the lovers (and the haters) to Charm School for an epic birthday bash to celebrate. With special pricing on all of their beers, as well as the availability of previous favourites (including on- and off-site sales of bottles of their Commissar RIS), there will be plenty to keep folks happy. Their food menu is being expanded for the evening with help from Stillwell’s Joe Martin providing some special plates from 6-9pm.

Tomorrow, July 29th, Stillwell HQ will be hosting New Brunswick brewery Acadie-Broue, which will be pouring four different sour beers (safe to say probably the highest number of Acadie-Broue sour beers in one place, ever?). Look for the following beers to be on: Kiebitz Coti (Berliner Weisse), Reflux (Gose), Tête de Cochon (Lichtenheiner), and Boudeuse, a 5-year-old Lambic-style beer that has been blended with a Baltic Porter. If you needed an excuse to visit SW on a Saturday (we know, you didn’t), you now have one!

• If you are looking for a good excuse to visit the North Shore on Saturday, a reminder that the first North Shore Craft Brew Expo will be held at the North Shore Rec Centre in Tatamagouche from 6-11:30 pm. Tickets are still available, and your entrance fee get you started with five 4 oz drink tickets, live music from 8pm, and access to lots of local food vendors.

• Two weeks ago, we mentioned the upcoming beer from Big Spruce – Tag! You’re It! – a collaboration with Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network. Just a note to let you all know that this American IPA will be launched on Thursday, August 3rd at both Stillwell locations in Halifax (HQ and the Beer Garden), so be sure to drop by for a pint!

• Going down at Good Robot on Sunday from 5 PM – 8PM, is Moo Grass, a benefit event for Moo Nay Farms. For those who don’t know, Moo Nay is a family farm near Shubenacadie focusing on, “promoting nature and natural living conditions for both humans and livestock.” They’re also the destination for the spent grain from Good Robot’s brewing endeavours, ensuring that a large amount of brewing by-product doesn’t go to waste. Moo Nay had an unfortunate incident a few weeks back when it was discovered that someone decided to steal some livestock from their property. This event will directly help Moo Nay recover from this utterly despicable incident. Festivities will begin with a comedy set by GR’s own Dan Hendricken, followed by bluegrass, blues, country and folk from Big Country Ramblers. Food will be available, with Antonio Rinaldo of Rinaldo’s Italian-American Specialties serving up pig parts from a Moo Nay-raised Berkshire pig and, of course, plenty of Good Robot craft beer. There will be a pay-by-donation entrance fee for the event, with all proceeds going directly to Moo Nay farms.

• And attention, PEI! If you were just thinking to yourself the other day, “Dammit, I just can’t get enough Good Robot in my life”, we have some good (?) news for you! On Monday, August 7th, Upstreet will be hosting a Good Robot Tap Takeover at 5 pm. We’re not entirely sure yet what beers they’ll be bringing with them from Halifax, but since they seem to be brewing something new every week, rest assured they’ll have some interesting ones with them! Upstreet says there will be no gimmicks or games at the event, but… we just don’t believe you guys. Sorry! No charge to attend, just show up for some beers and some good times.

• August is just around the corner (gah!), which means that the New Brunswick Beer Run group will be having their annual events soon! First up is the Fredericton Beer Run on Monday, August 7th (New Brunswick Day) at 10 am – as usual, there will be three run distances available (4, 6, or 12 km), with beer available at the END of the run (sorry). Tickets are $60 and are available here. And on Friday, August 18th, the Moncton Beer Run will begin at 6 pm. Details on this one are slim at the moment, but they promise us they will be coming soon, along with a ticket link, so save the date!

• There’s a new beer festival coming to New Brunswick this fall, and it’s the first one to hit Woodstock! The First Town Craft Beer Festival will be held on Saturday, September 23rd, at the Best Western Plus Hotel. With two tasting sessions available – 1:30-4:00 pm and 7:00-9:30 pm – and twenty local breweries, cideries, and meaderies confirmed to be attending, there’ll be a wide assortment of products to sample! Your ticket gets you a 4 oz souvenir glass to keep, and unlimited pours for your session. There will be live music at the indoor/outdoor festival, Covered Bridge will be supplying chip samples at each session, and local restaurant/bar The River will be on hand, barbecuing up some tasty eats for purchase. Speaking of The River, everyone attending will be able to vote for their favourite beer of the festival; the winning brewery will have their beer on tap at The River for one year (minimum). Tickets are $55 each (tax included) and are available here (note there are also $15 designated driver tickets available). Finally, if you’re in the Woodstock area and able to drop by the Best Western, you can purchase a VIP ticket at the front desk for $65, which gets you into your session an hour earlier, a larger tasting glass, and a beer education session. Get your tickets now!

• We’re just about two weeks away from the annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest and the list of breweries and beers has been released for public consumption. And what a list it is! There are 370 brands represented with a record 113 producers in the mix! This year they’re also nearly doubling the number of Atlantic Canadian beers, which will represent 43% of the total. They’ve also managed to increase ciders by 68%, which along with beer options, has them at 42 gluten-free options available. A full 56% of the brands are not available through the NSLC, so this is a chance for folks, especially those from more rural parts of the region that don’t have a private liquor store or a happening craft beer bar, to sample a wide range of local and non-local products. And you may be used to seeing local organizations like the Ladies Beer League and the Brewnosers Homebrew Club at their information tables, but this year they’ll be serving at the new TAP LOCAL! booth which will see 8 taps rotating through 24 special one-of kegs over the course of the 3 tasting events. Tickets are still available (and there will be some tickets available at the door), but we suspect once folks start perusing the beer list tickets might start disappearing quickly! (We’re honour-bound to point out that the list is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, but we don’t figure it could change drastically).

Finally, one more thing before you head out for your (late) lunch…

Scudrunner Brewing, set to open late summer/early fall in Gander, is looking for an Assistant Brewer and Bartenders to join their team in the near future. Reach out to them via email, or in person at the brewery space to let them know you’re interested. We’ll have all of the news fit to print as they get closer to their launch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good morning, beer lovers! We hope everyone had a great week… how about some local beer news to lead you into the weekend, and a St. Patrick’s Day Monday?

The YellowBelly Brewery and Public House has re-released their Paddy’s Pale Ale. This 6.2% ABV beer is actually a Rye IPA; brewed with rye malt, Carastan, Munich, and a large percentage of Canadian Pale Ale malt, it is hopped with Galena and Cluster varieties – including two dry-hop additions – to about 60 IBUs. Described by Brewmaster Liam McKenna as having a very fruity aroma, slight peppery rye character in the taste, and a bitter finish, it’s on tap now; bottle availability is still up in the air.

Picaroons is planning a tap takeover at Plan b Lounge in Moncton on Friday evening, March 28th. All of the taps will feature Picaroons beers, one of which should include a special dry-hopped version of their Yippee IPA. Gravity Strike will also provide live music. Just a reminder, too, that the sold-out Picaroons tap takeover at Stillwell is tomorrow, March 15th; more info on that event in our previous post.

• While on the topic of Picaroons, they’re holding a special event at the Saint John Ale House on Saturday, March 22nd. “Maple Mania” starts at 6:30 pm, and features a multiple-course, maple-infused dinner from chef Jesse Vergen (who also took part in Top Chef Canada). There will also be live traditional fiddle music, followed by other entertainment. Of course, there will also be Picaroons Maple Cream Ale pouring… on cask! Tickets are $60 (price includes at least one beer) and can be purchased at the Saint John Ale House; there are a limited number available, and the event is close to sold out.

• For those of you living in PEI, there’s some good – albeit, odd – news if you’re looking for bottled beer after the PEILCC has closed their doors for the evening. CBC News reports that restaurants on the Island are now allowed to sell takeaway PEI-brewed beer (after they’ve applied for the appropriate licence, of course), up to 12 bottles per person (or two bottles of wine or spirits). The catch? Well, you have to actually “purchase and consume a full-course meal” before you can take away the beer. Whether this means you have to clean your plate, we’re not sure! And we won’t even get into the whole “Is soup a meal?” argument. Hours of sale are restricted from 9 am to midnight.

The Coast is currently conducting their annual Best of Halifax awards, where readers get to vote for their favorite eating and drinking establishments in Halifax, and more. Make sure you check out the online survey, and vote for your favorite beer-related categories, such as Best Brew Pub, Best Craft Brewery, Best Beer Selection, etc.

• Speaking of The Coast, they’ve just released their annual Beer Guide Edition, highlighting the important place beer plays in the city’s identity. Look for great articles about learning to drink and enjoy beer (hint, try many styles and brewers before deciding you don’t like a certain type of beer), Stillwell Beer Bar, the continued rise of women in the beer industry, a breastfeeding mother’s search for new beers, and much more.

The Pump House Brewery is getting ready to release their seasonal Maple Ale again. Brewer Scott MacLeod says that this year’s batch is very smooth, and a bit less sweet than last year’s; it has an ABV of 5%. All of the maple syrup used in the brew was locally-sourced, from Maritime maple sugar camps. It will be available on tap at the brew pub location, and will be available in bottles across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, within the next two weeks.

• Nyanza Cape Breton’s Big Spruce has brewed up a Scotch Ale to celebrate their first anniversary. Brewmaster Jeremy White has designed it to be a true Scotch Ale, hopped to about 26 IBU with Goldings, with lots of Roast Barley goodness on the palate. From Jeremy, “We intend to cask as much of it as possible, and age/fortify it with Glenora single malt. All Cape Breton, all local.” Once we have details on the beer’s release, we’ll be sure to pass it along.

• Yesterday, Propeller Brewing Company released their newest seasonal beer, Irish Red Ale. Weighing in at 5% ABV, and hopped with Willamette, the beer is meant as  “a tribute to the classic red ales of Ireland”, according to new Brewmaster Josh Adler. It is available now in 650mL bottles and growlers at both Propeller locations, and as well as the private stores. It will also be on tap around Nova Scotia.

• A reminder that the Ladies Beer League will be brewing with Emily Tipton at Boxing Rock tomorrow, taking part in the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. They’ll be brewing up the “Alewife’s Revenge”, their take on the Unite Pale Ale, featuring local cranberries. The fruits of their labours will be available beginning April 17th in growlers and bottles at the brewery and markets, and in bottles at the private stores, along with a few kegs around the province. The charities benefitting from a portion of the sales will be the Pink Boots Society and Shelburne County Women’s FishNet. The FishNet is a non-profit support network for Shelburne County women, seniors and youth. Its mission is to support women and their families in reaching their full potential as community citizens.

• Last, and certainly not least, the gala for the Garrison Brewing Home Brew-Off was held last night at the brewery. There was a great turn-out for the event, that saw 76 different Weizen’s vie for the title of best in show. This year’s winner was Jason McDougall of Halifax, congratulations! This homebrewer has been brewing for more than ten years, but this was the first time brewing a Weizen (and also the first time entering a contest!). Chris had a chance to try the winning beer, and it was certainly worthy! All of the four finalists’ beers were great, and Kirsten & Keely, Roger, and Ed were very deserving of their Final Four placement. One noted absence was the winning beer from 2013’s Home Brew-Off. Unfortunately, while winning brewer Peter Welton was in attendance, his Saint Peter’s Belgian-Style Strong Ale was not quite ready for primetime. As Brian and Daniel said at the festivities, you cannot rush a beer, so they decided to let the fermentation and conditioning finish in due time. Look for this 7.5% ABV Blonde to hit stores and bars late next week. Brian also spilled the beans that they will be doing their first brews at their new location across the street next week. This 30hL brewhouse will effectively triple their production, and allow for continued expansion across the country. We’ll have more details soon.

• A late addition to the blog: The winners of the “Best of the Fest” for the 2014 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have been announced. Several hundred ballots were cast electronically after the fest, and the favourite Breweries of the Fest were Le Naufrageur (Carleton-sur-mer, Quebec), Boxing Rock Brewing (Shelburne, NS), and Bad Apple Brewhouse (Somerset, NS). Congratulations to the winners, and all breweries in attendance!

Have a great weekend, and a great St. Paddy’s Day! Remember, say “no” to died-green beer, and celebrate the holiday by drinking some good, local craft beer!