Picaroons Traditional Ales

All posts tagged Picaroons Traditional Ales

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.

Happy April everyone! We made it! Old Man Winter is finally fading away, and the melting has begun in earnest. Before long, it will be time to plant those hop rhizomes…

• Late last week, Grimross announced that they were releasing a new beer on tap that day for growler fills and tastings at the brewery. Currently unnamed, it’s described as a “Single Abbey”; this type of beer was traditionally brewed by Belgian monks to be lighter and lower alcohol, specifically for consumption at the Abbey during their down-time. Featuring Pilsner and Munich malt from the Frontenac Malting Co. in Quebec, it was lightly hopped with Bobek to 23 IBUs, and fermented with the Abbaye yeast from Fermentis, a strain that is new to Grimross. This light-copper-coloured beer is described by the brewery as having an aroma of banana and bubblegum, with flavours including earthiness, crabapple and lemon zest. It finishes quite dry, and comes in at 5.1% ABV. They’ve announced that this beer will be the second in their Serendipity series (the first being their Summer Serendipity), and they’re looking for help naming it! Tweet or comment on Facebook your idea with the hashtag, #serendipityseries; if your name is selected, you will win a free growler and fill. The contest ends today at 5 pm.

Propeller Brewing has released their latest One-Hit Wonder this week, Peated Scotch Ale. A very robust, full bodied beer at 7.2% ABV, Peated Malt was used to reinforce the flavour and aroma in their traditional Scotch Ale with greater smoke and peat characteristics. Willamette and Warrior hops were used to balance the body of the beer, and hopped to 19 IBUs. As with all of their One-Hit Wonder releases, these are available for growler fills and samples at the brewery while supplies last (which won’t be long!), and in short supply on tap around HRM, so if you spot it, be sure to grab a pint before it’s gone! This will surely be a winning beer for fans of Islay-region Scotches (Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, for example), which also use Peated Malt.

Tatamagouche Brewing just brewed up a new beer that will be ready in time for NS Craft Beer Week in May! Sunrise Trail India Session Ale is shaping up to be a highly-sessionable (4.1% ABV), hoppy beer featuring Ahtanum and Azacca (a very new, hard-to-get, extremely tasty variety). Based on what these hops have to offer, expect this easy-drinking beer to have lots of citrus, tropical, and stone fruit flavours and aromas. TataBrew will also be re-releasing their Stubborn Goat collaboration brew, Horns Over Hooves DIPA, during the week as well.

Railcar Brewing should have a new beer on tap tomorrow at their new location for growler fills. Orange Rye IPA is brewed with several types of malt, including – of course – Rye, coming in with a dark copper color. Hopped entirely with Cascade to about 65 IBUs, the beer weighs in at 7.7% ABV. Fresh orange peel was added in secondary to help boost the citrusy flavors and aromas from the hops. Railcar has also confirmed that they’ve had the final inspection of their new tasting room, so look for them to be able to serve pints of their beer very soon!

• We mentioned a few weeks ago that the brewers at TrailWay were experimenting with casks… well, luckily for us, these cask beers will be available to the thirsty public, soon! They plan on having two casks to be tapped at the King Street Ale House on Friday, April 10th; both their Whitney Coffee Stout and Primetime APA will be featured that night. After that, they hope to have a different cask available at the KSAH on a weekly basis.

• Last week, we reported that Hammond River had brewed up their final batch of Breakfast Stout for the season. They’ve since confirmed that a small portion of this batch (approximately 20 L) will be aged for several weeks in a white oak barrel; owner/brewer Shane Steeves will be testing the beer periodically until it develops the character he’s looking for, at which point the beer will be kegged and sent to one lucky location! We’ll keep you updated on its release.

Stillwell Beer Bar has released a beer of their own creation, Crush. Contract-brewed at North Brewing, this is a 6.1% ABV SMaSH lager, featuring pilsner malt and Nelson Sauvin hops. The SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) recipe lets the characteristics of the chosen malt and hop shine through. The pilsner malt (and the fact that it was fermented and conditioned as a lager) is a clean, crisp base upon which to build, and the Nelson Sauvin hops lend a white wine-like flavour, with fruity aromas reminiscent of peach and gooseberry. The lager is unfiltered, and may retain a bit of haze while on tap, allowing more flavour and aroma to come through that would otherwise be filtered out. The beer is available exclusively on tap at the bar (and they’ve blown through two kegs already!), be sure to check their Twitter feed for updates of the next keg tapping.

• Picaroons is ramping up to release one of their summer seasonals, Melon Head, in June… which means they want your cat pictures again! If you think your cat has what it takes to be featured on this year’s label, send in an email with a hi-resolution picture of him/her (no actual melons needed). You have until Friday, April 24th to have a chance at making your cat famous. And take note that the annual Prohibition Repeal Party & Tap Takeover will be Saturday, April 18th at Wilser’s Room, where all 12 taps will feature Picaroons beer; it starts at 7 pm (no cover if you go before 10:30), and features live music, as usual.

• Tickets for the Atlantic Beer Festival are now on sale. Being held at the Moncton Coliseum May 29th-30th, this is the Fest’s Tenth anniversary, and they are celebrating by introducing a Friday evening session (7:30-10pm), in addition to the Saturday afternoon (2:30-5pm) and evening (7:30-10pm) sessions. They are also introducing a Belgian Pavillion, highlighting some beers and breweries not otherwise available in New Brunswick, and Fest-goers will be entered in a contest for a free beer-fueled trip to Belgium. We’ll have more details on the beers and other Fest events available closer to the date, of course. Tickets are $45 for the Saturday afternoon session, and $55 for the evening sessions (taxes and fees included), and available at the Moncton Tickets website.

• Like last year, the Moncton Beer League will be hosting a VIP experience for the Saturday afternoon session. VIPers will meet at the Pump House Restaurant and Brewery on Orange Lane at noon, and enjoy beer and Tapetizers to prepare for the afternoon. A limousine will take people to the Coliseum, where they will skip the line and begin the session right at 2:30pm. After the session, the limos will return people to the downtown area to visit the Old Triangle or other bars. Part of the VIP ticket price will be going to local charity. Tickets are $70, and there is already a waitlist, but email them to be added, just in case more become available.

Horton Ridge Malt have successfully funded their CEDIF, and are now extending the  offering until May 30th. Just shy of $400,000 has been raised toward the Malt House, opening in the fall to process this year’s harvest. Congratulations to Horton Ridge, and soon NS and other Atlantic breweries will be using “Malt Less Travelled”.

• There are still a handful of tickets available for next Saturday’s Sunset Heights Spring Release Party, and they have begun to release details on the expressions to be tasted (and available for purchase), and their food pairings. Here are a few teases: an Elderflower mead paired with strawberry-rhubarb crumble, a Petunia mead paired with brie, and Marigold mead with hot smoked salmon. Attendees will try eight of these pairings, and then have the chance to create their own (or repeat their favourites) from the available offerings. The event is 2:30-5pm April 11 at the Grad House on the UNB campus, and tickets can be purchased online.

Most of our favourite breweries, bars and restaurants are open regular hours this holiday weekend, but be sure to check before heading out, just to be sure. The NSLC, ANBL, PEILCC and NLC are closed Friday and Sunday. The Townhouse in Antigonish is closed for a short break while owners Rose and Terry do some R&D in England. You can follow along with their adventures on Facebook. The Townhouse will be re-opening Tuesday April 14th. The Picaroons Brewtique is hoping your Saturday is Hoppy, and they are helping with four dry-hopped variants on tap tomorrow for your tasting pleasure: Man’s Best Friend dry-hopped with Tettnang, Yippee IPA dry-hopped with Amarillo, their Blonde dry-hopped with Cascade, and Irish Red dry-hopped with Goldings.

Look at that, it’s the weekend again already! And as usual, there’s lots going on in the beer world…

• There’s a new beer on the way from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault; coming out in a few days, it honours the departure of the KB882 Lancaster Bomber from Edmundston. The plane, which was responsible for many allied runs to occupied Europe during World War II, is being dismantled and moved to the Alberta Aviation Museum this summer. Lancaster KB882 is a special-edition “Amber Lager” brewed in the style of a Marzen/Oktoberfest. Starting off a bit sweet but finishing dry, it features a bready malt backbone, and is hopped to 23 IBUs with Hallertauer, a German noble variety, providing a light, supporting bitterness. Lagered for 6 weeks, it’s an easy-drinking beer with a sessionable 4.6% ABV. Look for this one to be released this Monday, March 30th, at the brewery for growler fills; it should follow shortly at select ANBL growler stations as well.

YellowBelly Brewery has released their Unite Red Ale, brewed as part of the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. The guidelines from the Pink Boots Society suggested a 4.5% Red Ale with 50 IBUs using Willamette, but creative license was encouraged. To achieve these targets, Maris Otter and Extra Dark Crystal were used in the mash, along with a bit of Briess Midnight Wheat™ for colour. As wheat has no husk, there is no astringency or grain-based bitterness that may arise from other dark roasted cereals. To increase the hop bitterness level, higher alpha acid Mosaic hop was used early in the boil, to accompany the lower AA Willamette (with Mosaic also being used in the dry-hop). The resultant aroma is reminiscent of fruit punch, with notes of passionfruit and lychee up front, and lingering pink grapefruit. Overall, the beer tastes like more! The brewday report from Brewmaster Liam McKenna describes the many enthusiastic participants enjoying a beer brunch, taking turns in the brewhouse during the process, and even having a chance to do a hop drop. Money was raised for the Newfoundland Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, and there are already plans to make this an annual event. The Unite Red Ale is on tap now at the brewery, with bottles coming to the brewery and NLC early next week. And a quick note that the next batch of YellowBelly Pale Ale, expected to hit the taps on Wednesday, also incorporates Mosaic for late- and dry-hopping, as a treat for the Island’s fruit juicy hop lovers.

Picaroons has released another one-off beer featuring an interesting ingredient: kelp! When approached by Dr. Thierry Chopin of UNB-SJ about brewing a beer featuring the brown algae, the Picaroons staff happily took on the challenge. Brewed with organic sugar kelp harvested off the shores near St. George, Kelp on the Way also includes a “strong malt backbone” of Golden Promise, Dark Crystal, Roasted, and Smoked malts. Hopped with Fuggles and Goldings to 22 IBUs to help balance the sweetness, this 5.8% ABV beer is described by the brewery as dark, malty and smokey. It was released earlier this week, exclusively at the Brewtique for growler fills; if there’s still any left, get down there to give it a try before it’s all gone!

• There’s Big things brewing at Big Spruce! Yesterday was the brewday for their first ever lager, and they chose a special style, a Maibock. And if that wasn’t enough, they added the zest of 40 lemons to the boil, and will add the same during conditioning. The grist is primarily Pilsner malt, with Munich added for colour and flavour. The hops used included Magnum in the first wort, some Big Spruce-grown Galena for bittering and Challenger for flavour, for an estimated total 35 IBUs. After fermentation is complete (done using a Bavarian lager yeast), the beer will lager for 4-6 weeks, and be released during NS Craft Beer Week, May 8-17.

• In more Big Spruce news, they teased the upcoming brewing and release of a brand new beer coming in the summer. Based on notes from Alexander Graham Bell, they will be releasing a sour raspberry wheat ale. Bell spent more than 30 years living in Baddeck, and a Parks Canada National Historic Site in Baddeck bears his name. His notes describe an interesting tart drink with raspberries, and Big Spruce was approached to produce something in that same vein. The sour character of the brew will be accomplished using the kettle souring technique, using Lactobacillus to ferment the wort and give a tart and acidic character not available from brewer’s yeast. We will have more on this beer, which will be released in coordination with The Bells of Baddeck, a musical drama running during the month of July.

• And finally in Big Spruce news, their Island Conspiracy, brewed with BarNone Brewing’s Don Campbell, is now available. This Double IPA, weighing in at 8% ABV and 97 IBUs (bittered with Magnum, flavoured with Bravo, Citra and Cascade, with these last two hops also used in aromatic additions) hit the taps at Stillwell last night, and is available on tap today at the brewery today for growler fills. Look for it on tap elsewhere in fine bars across the province, and rumour has it that BarNone may brew it at their brewery for release in PEI at some point.

• While Railcar Brewing‘s opening at their new location had been slightly delayed to around April 1st, they’re still busy brewing new beer. The latest one-off is Smoked Maple Porter, an 8%ABV dark ale with a grist consisting of several malts: 2-row, Chocolate, Black, Brown, Carafoam, Crystal 120 L, and, of course, Smoked. Hopped with Fuggles and Centennial to 22 IBUs, the beer also had 2 L of maple syrup added while in the primary fermentor. Look for this one to be on tap at the new 6-tap tasting room once it opens in the hopefully-near future. And owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has a lot of new beers planned, including an Orange Cranberry Rye, Chipotle Chaga Porter, and an 8-hop version of their Trainwreck IPA; we’ll be sure to keep you updated as these beers are brewed and released. In the meantime, the brewery itself will be open tomorrow-on for growler fills of their Artisan Brown, during regular hours (Mon-Sat noon – 10 pm, Sun noon – 5 pm).

Meander River Farm and Brewery is having a special release this weekend, their first Cider! A blend of Cortland, McIntosh, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples have gone in to this first batch of cider, finishing at 6.5% ABV. Citrus and apple notes are predominant in the cider. This is a very limited release, with only 200 litres available; it is expected to sell out this weekend at the Brewery (though it will make a brief appearance on tap in Halifax, as well). Going forward, they anticipate making cider a part of their rotating offerings, with Meander River’s own fruits and wild apples possibly making it into the recipes.

• This is a busy weekend at Meander River, as it is also the return of their Smokey Chipotle Porter, first released in October 2014. The malt bill features Cherrywood Smoked Malt, along with darker kilned malts for a smoke and roast/chocolate character. Chipotle peppers were added late in the fermentation for an additional smoke character, as well as a spicy punch and pepper flavour. The peppers were left in the beer longer this time for a bit more of a kick. They also announced that they have brought in two additional conditioning tanks, allowing them to brew more often, and effectively triple capacity to 450 hectolitres per year.

• Summer is still a few months away (and let’s be honest, it feels even longer than that), but there’s some good news for beer fans living in Fredericton for the season: those behind the recently-redefined James Joyce Pub are planning a summer craft beer garden at the Lighthouse on the Green downtown. Right now, plans are to have 3 taps pouring – two Picaroons, and one NB-brewery rotating tap – along with a BBQ on the deck for food purchases. Details are still being ironed out, but expect the beer garden to open with limited hours around mid-June, and then all day (11 am – 10 pm) in July and August. We’ll keep you updated on its progress; be sure to follow the Facebook link for the Lighthouse above, as all updates/beer notices/etc. will flow through there.

• Calling all Islanders… PEI’s newest craft brewery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, needs your help! In preparation for their grand opening later this spring, they’re looking to include something “different” in each bottle when they begin packaging their beers: “Islandisms” (“Islanderisms?”) under every cap! They’re asking for your assistance; any PEI-specific phrases, quotes, jokes, etc. you can think of are fair-game, as long as they’re relatively clean! You can suggest as many as you like via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; just be sure to include the hashtag #UnderTheCap. The best 250 will garner laughter and fame in future bottles of Upstreet beer! Get cracking, you have until next Friday to submit your ideas.

• Congratulations are in order to Sunset Heights Meadery, producers of the Pollen Angels line of sparkling meads available in the Fredericton area. Their Bee Mine chocolate and cherry expression took home a Silver medal in the Session Mead – Sweet category at the 2015 Mazer Cup. They have celebrated the win by releasing a limited number of bottles to several restaurants and bars in the area (The Grad House at UNB, Isaac’s Way, Relish, James Joyce Pub, Wolastoq Wharf, and McGinnis Landing). Available by the glass only,

• Tickets go on sale today for Sunset Heights’ first Still Mead release, scheduled for the afternoon of April 11th. The event will feature Mead pairing with chocolate and cheese, and first availability to buy one of their four new still meads released at that time. Each attendee is able to purchase up to two cases, and will have first access to tickets to the upcoming Summer and subsequent release and tasting events. Be sure to check their Twitter feed to get first crack at the tickets when they go on sale at noon, as they are limited to only 36!

Tom’s Little Havana announced earlier this week that they will be hosting their first Tap Takeover, and it will be by perennial favourite Bad Apple Brewhouse. Over four days, beginning May 14th, there will be five different BAB beers on tap, with a special cask being released each day. No tickets required for the event, just show up to enjoy great beer and food.

Rockbottom Brewpub has released their newest beer, Freudian Slip Vienna Lager. A light and crisp golden lager, it features toasted malt and spicy and herbal noble hop characters. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs.

Boxing Rock has brought back their very popular La Rive du Sud, first released in May 2014. This Biere de Garde style beer is a malty, lagered beer (though initially fermented with an ale yeast), with origins in France, where the summer months were too hot for brewing, so beer was brewed and stored in the cellar during the cooler months to enjoy once the weather warmed. It features light base malts and dark caramelized sugar, and is 7.5% ABV. Available at the brewery now in bottles and growler fills, bottles will be available this weekend in Halifax (and growlers at the Seaport Market), and on tap at select bars soon. And their The Next Chapter Rye IPA has finally hit store shelves this week, and is moving fast. Check here for availability at your local ANBL.

Hammond River’s Switchback Brown Ale is being featured at the ANBL Growler fill program this week. This is the first time in a while that Hammond River has brewed the hoppy American Brown; the same recipe has been used, since the beer was so well-received during its first run. Head to the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL to pick up a growler, as the beer will be available exclusively at this location. And they’ve recently brewed the last batch for this season of their Breakfast Stout; this brew features the Java Moose coffee, oats, cacao nibs, and home-smoked bacon as before, along with a few eggs being added this time (to the mash) to make your “breakfast” complete! Finally, look for their Hawaiian Pale Ale (brewed with fresh pineapples) to be available again soon (it will be debuting for the season at this year’s Saint John Beer Fest on April 11th).

Enjoy your weekend! Garrison has a new one-off beer, Cranberry Hibiscus Wit, available at the brewery for growler fills; tart and sessionable at 4% ABV. Big Tide has an unfiltered version of their Seaworthy IPA (featuring Nugget and Cascade hops) on tap at the brewpub. Shiretown’s Black Currant Wheat is back, available for growlers fills at the brewery, and on tap at the Heron’s Nest Pub. And the new batch of TrailWay Brewing‘s Session IPA is now available at King Street Ale House, James Joyce, and at their newest account, Brewbakers.