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.

Happy Friday, folks! It was another busy week in Atlantic Canada Beer News, with the announcement of new breweries, beers, and events. Here’s what you need to know:

• This year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival was last Saturday, and as usual, a terrific time was had by all! Almost 200 beers, ciders and mead were pouring that night, and more than half of them were brewed right here in Atlantic Canada! Here’s some highlights from what was new from our region:

TrailWay Brewing had three new beers for the festival: Orbit Pale Ale is their regular-release 5.5% ABV Primetime APA hopped exclusively with the Orbit varietal, from New Zealand. Hugh John Hops, a DIPA, was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row and Munich malts, to let the hops shine. Weighing in at 7.3% and ~100 IBUs, the Cascade, Comet, and Apollo hops used provide lots of citrus and fruity characters, with a dry finish. It should be on tap now at 540 Kitchen & Bar, if you want to try it/have it again. Finally, Double-Double, a 6.5% ABV “Imperial Coffee Milk Stout”, features lots of roasted malt, lactose powder, and coffee from local Whitney Coffee Company; it also should be available soon at James Joyce Irish Pub.

The Next Chapter, the collaboration beer brewed by Boxing Rock and former Picaroons head brewer Andrew “Esty” Estabrooks, was a huge hit! This 6.3% ABV Rye IPA was brewed with New Brunswick-grown malt, and highly hopped with Columbus, Mosaic and Simcoe. If you didn’t get to try it, good news – it’s still on tap at the King Street Ale House, and will be released at select ANBL stores very soon (if our sources are correct) in 650 mL bottles. Don’t miss out on this NB-release-only beer! More on The Next Chapter in our previous post here.

Also officially launched at the Fest was Bad Apple Brewing’s Mosaic Double IPA. As mentioned previously, all proceeds of this beer will go towards ensuring any and all children will be able to attend the Down Syndrome Camp at Camp Brigadoon June 13-15. For those that want another taste of this beer (or try it for the first time), it is currently available at the brewery in Somerset in growlers and bottles, and will be on tap early next week at Tom’s Little Havana, Lion & BrightStillwell, and Stubborn Goat.

Big Spruce debuted their newest beer, UnRYEvaled Chocolate Rye IPA. A dark brown, slightly spicy ale that was heavily hopped with Simcoe, Citra and Amarillo, it exhibited lots of citrus and pine in both the aroma and flavour, as promised! More on this beer from our write-up a few weeks ago. It should be available now at the brewery for growler fills, as well as at the Antigonish Winter Farmers’ Market tomorrow. Look for it on tap at better beer bars/restaurants throughout Nova Scotia, too.

Big Tide brought their new Bavarian Lager, Bucht Bock. Brewed with 2-row and CaraMunich malts, this smooth, malty lager was lightly hopped with Hallertauer Tradition, a German-grown variety, to 25 IBUs. Coming in at a fairly-hefty 7% ABV, this beer will likely not be pouring at the brewpub, but will be making an appearance at next month’s Saint John Beer Fest.

While BarNone had their three staples on tap (Summer Sessions, Pale Ale, and IPA), they also brought their brand new American Wheat. Brewed-to-style with a good portion of Wheat malt, this light-coloured and easy-drinking ale clocks in at 5.5% ABV, and is hopped a little heavier than normal for this style, to about 30 IBUs.

Over $10,000 was raised from ticket sales and the FCBF Grunter Auction for the Canadian Diabetes Association; also, over $1000 was raised through coat check tips for the Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society.

For those of us who attended the fest, remember to cast your vote for Best of the Fest. Check your inbox for an email from Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (via Eventbrite), entitled “Thank You from Fredericton Craft Beer Festival 2015” for your unique link. Voting ends Sunday, so don’t delay!

And great news for New Brunswick (and other Maritime province) beer fans, next year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival will be Fredericton Craft Beer Week! The tentative dates are March 9-13, with Beer Dinners, guided tastings, brunches, and other events all around Fredericton & vicinity joining the Saturday evening Festival. Of course, we’ll be sharing details once they are available, but best to mark your calendar now!

• Speaking of New Brunswick beer events, the next NB Beer Tour has been announced: a May 16-17 overnight bus trip to Carleton-sur-Mer, QC’s brewery, Le Naufrageur! The bus leaves from the King Street Ale House in the morning, and then stops for lunch, sampling, and a brewery tour (all included in your ticket price) at Shiretown Beer in Charlo. The bus then continues on to Carleton, where folks can check into their hotel (just a 10 minute walk away from the brewery), and then meet at Le Naufrageur for more sampling, a brewery tour, and supper with the Brew Crew (all included). After an optional trip to picturesque Mont Saint-Joseph to watch the sunset, it’s back to the brewery for a concert (Dan Livingstone and The Griffintown Jug Addicts, tickets included) and a few more drinks. Leaving Carleton Sunday morning, with a lunch stop in Miramichi, will have folks back at the Ale House before 4pm. Tickets are $195 and $220 (quad and dbl occupancy, respectively), and are available online now.

• In more TrailWay news, beer drinkers in Fredericton can expect to see another one-hop APA available through the city this weekend. Apollo Pale Ale is hopped with, you guessed it, the Apollo varietal (known for its orangey/resiny qualities); like their other APAs, it weighs in at 5.5% ABV. You should be able to find this one on tap now/soon at TrailWay’s newest account, The Blue Door. And they’ve got some new beers in the works, hopefully for next week… a new IPA, and their first Black IPA! We’ll have more info on these beers for you next Friday. And it looks like they’re beginning to experiment with casks, too, so expect more news on that end as well!

• Tonight, Picaroons is once again holding a Tap Takeover at Plan b Lounge in Moncton, starting at 7 pm. All six taps will feature Picaroons beers, with one acting as a rotating “Stout” tap, where different versions of their Timber Hog will be pouring throughout the night, including one dry-hopped with Willamette hops, one infused with coffee, one with ginger, and a Chocolate Vanilla version. There’s no cover, and there will be live music from Force Fields and Heavy Doobie as well. The special Timber Hog varieties will also be available at the Picaroons Brewtique in Fredericton, beginning at 4pm.

Granite Brewery in Halifax has brought back their very popular India Pale Ale for the first time in a couple of years. It is a lighter IPA, weighing in at 5.5% ABV. The beer features a lot of Cascade and East Kent Golding hops for a solid bitterness, but is not over-the-top hoppy. It will be a staple in the Stairs Street Beer Store when it is released early next week, and at a few specialty tap locations around HRM for the Spring.

Pump House has re-released their Red Leaf Lager seasonal. Featuring a nutty malt character from a similar malt bill to their Fire Chief Red Ale but brewed using a lager yeast, this 5.0% ABV beer features a medium bitterness and is dry-hopped with whole leaf hops for additional aroma. It is available at all four ANBL Growler locations this weekend, and will be available at select bars and restaurants in NB, NS and PEI.

Garrison Brewing has released a brand new beer to their line-up, In Session ISA (India Session Ale). Though the beer is lower alcohol at 4.4%, there is still plenty of citrus and tropical fruit hop flavour and aroma packed into the small package, thanks to lots of El Dorado, Belma, and Crystal hops. The lighter body and lower alcohol will make this a truly sessionable beer. Look for it at the brewery and private beer stores now, and at the NSLC and on tap at favourite beer bars shortly.

Propeller Brewing has released the latest in their One-Hit Wonder series, Oatmeal Stout. With a hint of oats on the nose to complement the roast character, this 5.8% ABV beer is pitch black, not too bitter, and well balanced. 2 Row, Wheat, Chocolate, Oats, Black Prinz and Roast Malts make up the grain bill, with Willamette and Cascade hops delivering 29 IBUs. As with all of the OHW brews, the best place to buy the beer is in growlers at both the Gottingen St and Windmill Rd locations, with a few kegs available on tap around Halifax.

• Attention Homebrewers: The Brewnosers are hosting their first open homebrew competition! Open to all Canadian Homebrewers, and accepting all BJCP beer styles, this competition will also be a part of the Canadian Amateur Brewer of the Year circuit. Registration is now open, and beer samples must be sent/dropped off at the Noble Grape in Burnside before May 15th, with the judging taking place the next weekend.

• More Signature Events have been announced for May’s Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia NS Craft Beer Week. We’ll have full details shortly, but in the meantime, here are the important dates:

MAY 8 – Beer & Beethoven, 7pm at Halifax Forum Multipurpose Centre. The kick-off event for the Week, and Symphony NS fundraiser.
MAY 9 – Open Brewery Day, all day. All member breweries will be open for tours, tastings, and other events.
MAY 10 – The 2015 Stillwell Open, 12pm-2am at Stillwell (tickets sold out). Backyard BBQ Beer Tasting, served blind to attendees, with the best beer voted upon by the customers.
MAY 13 – Beer Cocktail Face-Off, 7pm at Auction House. Bartenders will be creating their best Beer Cocktails, with live music accompaniment.
MAY 14 – The Science of Beer, 6-9pm at Discovery Centre. A look at the science behind the design, creation, and enjoyment of our favourite beverage. Plus 12 beers from 6 local breweries.
MAY 15 – Brews Cruise. Cruise the Halifax harbour on the Tall Ship Silva, while enjoying NS Craft Beer. Tickets available at Murphy’s Company Store.
MAY 15 – Race the Kegs, 7pm, Gahan House. Collaboration brews from the North and South of the province will race to Halifax by sail, to be tapped at this friendly competition.
MAY 16 – Full House Beer Fest, 12-3pm (tickets here) & 4-7pm (tickets sold out), Olympic Community Centre. All CBANS members together under one roof, for the first time ever.
MAY 17 – Brewers Brunch, 11am-2pm, Stubborn Goat. A hearty brunch buffet and CBANS member beers will help to cure any hangover you might have from the previous days’ imbibing.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend! A reminder that tickets are still available for the Moncton Beer League New Brunswick Craft Beer Dinner at Legends Restaurant (Moncton Coliseum) March 21st, 6-11pm. After being closed for two weeks for renovations, Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Sea Food Restaurant and Brew Pub re-opened this week, just in time for Tuesday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Speaking of which, St. John’s Yellowbelly Brewpub has released Paddy’s Pale Ale this week (details here), with bottles at the brewery and NLC available this weekend. Piez Bistro (Cole Harbour) is celebrating Pi Day Saturday with Pizza and Craft Beer pairing all day. Look for Boxing Rock, Garrison, North and Tatamagouche beers to be paired with their creations. Petit-Sault’s Phémie-la-Bootlegger, the 4.6% Maple Brown Ale brewed as part of the Pink Boots International Women’s Collaborative Brew Day initiative, is on at the ANBL Growler program province-wide this weekend. The Coast’s annual Beer Guide was released this week… grab it for articles on three upcoming HRM breweries: Spindrift, Unfiltered, and Wrought IronAngeline MacLennan (the Maritimes’ only Certified Cicerone); Homebrewer Rob Shortt’s Basement Brewery, and much more.

Good morning! Thankfully, February is just about over, which means winter has to be ending soon… right? Let’s celebrate with some regional beer news…

Big Spruce had a special visitor at the brewery earlier this week: Don Campbell, brewer/co-owner of PEI’s BarNone Brewing; luckily for us, the purpose of the visit was to brew! The two brewers conspired – not collaborated – together to develop a currently-unnamed Imperial IPA expected to come in at around 8% ABV and 97 calculated IBUs. Bittered with Magnum, flavored with Bravo, and lots of aroma/flavor additions of both Citra and Cascade, expect plenty of hoppy goodness! When it’s ready, it will be available on tap at the Big Spruce brewery, and at select establishments in Nova Scotia; BarNone may brew it at their brewery for release in PEI. Stay tuned for more info in the near future!

• A couple of days ago, Picaroons released their first of a new series of beers that are “brewed by, brewed for, and named after” their staff. All 30 Picaroons staff members (ranging from brewers to delivery drivers) will have a chance to develop and brew a recipe of their own, with some help from head brewer Myles MacKenzie and owner Sean Dunbar. They’re even being encouraged to incorporate different yeasts other than their house strain, Ringwood. While there’s no exact schedule to each brew, every batch will be brewed on the smaller system located at the Brewtique in downtown Fredericton. The first beer, Griff, was brewed by longtime Picaroons brewer Ryan “Griff” Griffith. An English Pale Ale, it was “moderately hopped” with Willamette and some Fuggles to 20 IBUs, giving the beer a “nice and pleasant earthy tone”. An easy-drinking beer at 4.8% ABV, it became available in limited supply at the Brewtique for growler fills on Tuesday, Feb. 24th; a single keg was also tapped at the Lunar Rogue last night for a Picaroons staff party celebrating the new beer series. We’ll keep you updated on the staff brew series as more beers are developed and released!

• And speaking of Picaroons, their seasonal Maple Cream Ale will be available again this coming Monday, March 2nd. This year, however, the ~5% ABV beer – brewed with real maple syrup from Briggs Maples in Riverview – will be available on tap only, no bottles. Look for it at the Brewtique for growler fills, on tap at select bars and restaurants, and likely at ANBL growler stations in the near future.

Bad Apple Brewhouse is bringing back one of their most most popular and often-requested beers, Mosaic Double IPA. Winner of the 2014 Atlantic Canada Brewing Award in the Double IPA category, it will see its 2015 launch at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival next week. The beer weighs in at 8% ABV, features a medium body, and of course, showcases the lovely Mosaic hop varietal, which was extensively added late in the brew, at flame out, and during dry-hopping. Due to the popularity, and more access to Mosaic hops, the beer will be brewed again in the Spring and Summer, with the possibility of a limited release in bottles at that time. The beer is also a passion project for Bad Apple owner Jeff Saunders and his wife Kari Smith, who will again be partnering with the Halifax Down Syndrome Society and donating all income (not just profits) from sales of the brew to ensure that all local children (along with their families and caregivers) will be able to attend the Down Syndrome Weekend at Camp Brigadoon, being held June 13-15. Look for the beer at the brewery, and on tap wherever craft beer lovers come together!

• The University of New Brunswick-Saint John will soon be celebrating their 50th Anniversary, and they’ve asked Hammond River to brew up a special beer for a party on March 19th at Beaverbrook House. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves has fittingly chosen a “Golden Ale” (aka Blonde Ale), brewed with 2-row and CaraRed malts, and lightly hopped with Cascade to 20 IBUs. Expect this beer to be smooth and easy-drinking, at ~5.2% ABV. The UNBSJ party starts at 5:30 pm; there’s no charge to attend, and your first pint of Shane’s new beer is free! Head to the party’s FB page to vote on what the beer should be named. Hammond River’s regular accounts will also be receiving kegs of this new beer once it’s ready, so look for it around Saint John around the same time.

Pump House will soon be releasing their popular Bière de Garde in six-packs; this award-winning beer (it took home a gold medal in the Belgian Style Specialty Ales category in the 2014 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards) has been available on tap periodically at the brewery. A dark-red beer with an aroma of toasted dark bread and hints of spice, juniper berries, and pineapple, it’s allowed time to mature and age to let the flavors develop. Bittered to 15 IBUs with Goldings and Chinook, it’s full-bodied with notes of dark caramel, according to the brewery. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, look for the sixers across NB and NS (and in Alberta!) by the second week of March.

Red Rover continues to celebrate their 1st Birthday, this time with a party at the UNB Grad House, starting tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 pm. There will be several seasonal ciders available on tap, including their newest brew, Winter Blues, a wild blueberry cider. Head to the event page and vote for which of their ciders you’d most like to see on tap, and you’ll receive an official invite to the party, where there will be live music, free birthday cupcakes… and your first cider pour is on the house (while supplies last). They will also be announcing a special collaboration with Big Axe Brewery that they will be introducing at next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival.

• The latest Signature Event of the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, coming May 8-17, has been announced. The Science of Beer will see the CBANS and friends take over the Discovery Centre on Thursday the 14th from 6-9pm, for a night of learning about, and enjoying, our favourite beverage. Seven speakers will be exploring different scientific, and fun, aspects of beer, from the brewing, packaging, and tasting, and many more angles. To keep your tastebuds stimulated while your brain is working, six breweries will be pouring beer (Boxing Rock​, Garrison​, North​, Propeller​, Sea Level, and Wrought Iron​), and food from Ace Burger, Morris East, and Stubborn Goat. We’ll have more details on the speakers and topics soon, but we can tell you that Chris will be giving a presentation. Tickets are available online now, we hope to see you there! And don’t forget to pick up tickets for the Full House Craft Beer Fest on Saturday the 16th, at the Olympic Community Centre. While there are many left for the 12-3pm session, there are only a few tickets remaining for the 4-7pm session. For $25, you’ll have a chance to sample the wares of CBANS members from one end of the province to the other, all under one roof, for the first time.

• The Moncton Beer League is partnering with Chef Matthew Pennell (Champion of Chopped Canada), for a 4-course beer and food pairing meal at Legends Restaurant (in the Moncton Coliseum) on March 21st. Each course will be paired with a different NB beer, plus an additional welcome beer in a souvenir glass you can take home. Tickets are available online now, and if you purchase them before March 4th, you will save $10.

• The official announcement has been made, and the website launched: Unfiltered Brewing will be coming to Halifax’s North End this Spring! Greg Nash is partnering with long-time friend Andrew Murphy and opening the brewery on North Street, and a sister pub adjacent, opening in the summer. Follow along with the progress on Twitter and their mailing list, where they will be releasing details on becoming a member of their Growler Club when it launches. We’ll have brewhouse and distribution details shortly. Welcome Unfiltered Brewing!

There are a few seasonal and special beers back to our region this week: Tatamagouche Brewing‘s RR#2 Lager, brewed with their own Mt. Hood and Crystal hops is back on at the brewery; Boxing Rock was able to their hands on more Nelson Sauvin hops, and have brought back a second batch of Unobtainium, available at the brewery and private beer stores starting today; Sea Level has released this year’s version of  El Rojo Diablo Double IPA, brewed with Waimea hops, and it’s on tap at the Port Pub and will be in the private stores shortly. The James Joyce Irish Pub in Fredericton has added yet another NB brewery to their taplist; they should be pouring Railcar‘s Artisan Brown Ale starting tomorrow.

If you missed out on tickets for next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Fest, the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook is holding a contest on Facebook, giving away a pair of tickets and hotel room. Share this post to enter, and be sure to say Hi to Shawn and Chris on Saturday!

Happy Friday everyone! Another busy week in AtlCanBeer News, so let’s get right to it!

• If you caught yesterday’s post on this year’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, you may have noticed that Big Spruce has brewed up something special for the event: UnRYEvaled Chocolate Rye IPA. We now have some more details on this tasty-sounding beer. Brewed with a grist containing 20% Rye malt, and a touch of malted Chocolate Rye, it’s hopped to 54 IBUs… with most of those IBUs (42, approximately) coming from late additions (the final 10 minutes of the boil, and during the whirlpool), which means lots of hop flavor and aroma! In fact, this beer features the largest late hop additions of any Big Spruce beer, according to owner/brewer Jeremy White. Hops used in these late additions include Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo, so expect an extremely-hop forward beer, featuring “layered spicy notes, with complex citrus and pine flavour and aroma”; it weighs in at about 7.2% ABV. While this beer will pour for the first time ever at FCBF, it will later be available at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select locations in Nova Scotia. And in big news for HRM lovers of Big Spruce beer, they sent down a pile of kegs to be poured at RockHead’s popular growler station. Last night saw the debut of Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout available in take-home packaging in HRM, and Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Mr IncREDible are waiting in the wings.

Picaroons has released another one-off beer brewed on their small system at the Brewtique. Scotch Ale comes in at 7% ABV and 28 IBUs, and features a grist containing Golden Promise malt, some Crystal, and a good amount of Roasted Barley. It’s described by the brewery as being full-bodied, with “plenty of roasted characteristics that are all held together by an earthy Fuggles hop undertone”. It should still be on tap at the Brewtique for growler fills; in addition, it can be found this week at all four ANBL growler fill locations.

• There’s lots of brewing going on at YellowBelly Brewpub in St. John’s, Newfoundland! They will be celebrating International Women’s Day March 8th by brewing up a collaboration brew as part of the IWCBD initiative, and all women are invited to take part! “Brunch, Beer and Brewing” is the theme of their event. Tickets are $50, $20 of which is donated to the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre. For your admission fee, you will enjoy a flight of Brewmaster Liam McKenna and Assistant Brewer Nardia McGrath’s four current offerings: Wexford Wheat, YellowBelly Pale Ale, St. John’s Stout and Fighting Irish Red, as well as a hearty brunch prepared by the kitchen. You will also be hanging out in the Brewhouse with Nardia and Liam, while they (and maybe you!) work to create the Unite Red Ale, mashing, boiling, and transferring the beer (hey, it’s not all fun and games!). Uniting the 75+ breweries taking part in the Collaborative Brew Day will be the recipe, a dark red ale (21 degrees SRM) weighing in at 4.6% ABV and 50 IBUs (from Willamette hops), with some dry-hopping likely happening later in the process. And when *your beer* is released, you will enjoy your first pint of the brew on the house! Tickets are available now at the Brewery, so be sure to pick up yours today to avoid disappointment. The Collab Day kicks off at 10:30, and $1 from every pint sold that day will also be donated to the NLSACPC.

• In more YellowBelly new beer news, they’ve brewed up this year’s version of an annual favourite: Paddy’s Pale Ale was brewed with Maris Otter, Munich malt, and some Light Carastan, and hopped with both Nugget and East Kent Goldings to approximately 45 IBUs. A double dry-hop dose of more EKG should give this English IPA plenty of earthy, floral hop aroma and flavor. Weighing in at 6.2% ABV, look for this one to be released at the brewpub sometime around March 10th, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

• And finally in YB news, Nardia and Liam have just brewed a Saison. Currently unnamed, this dry, spicy/fruity Belgian-style ale was brewed with both Pilsner and Honey malt, as well as an addition of Belgian Blonde candi sugar. Hopped entirely with the Saphir variety, it’s currently fermenting with no temperature control, which is common for traditional takes on the style; the warm fermentation temps allow the Belgian yeast strain to give off plenty of aromatic and flavorful esters (fruity) and phenols (spicy). Once primary fermentation is complete, the beer will be transferred to secondary for an extended aging period… it should be available on tap in the last week of April. While it’s still early in the process, look for it to come in somewhere around 6.3% ABV.

Pump House is releasing a new beer of sorts, just in time for Mardi Gras. Black Voodoo Ale is a 50:50 blend of their 4 Alarm IPA and Muddy River Stout; the combination of the dark roasted malts and hoppy flavors and bitter finish will give a beer somewhere along the line of a Black IPA. This will be on tap only at the brewpub on Orange Lane in Moncton, from today until next Saturday, Feb 28th, so if you’d like to give it a try, get down there!

Propeller Brewing‘s Irish Red Ale has made a return! Brewed with Pale, Crystal, Melanoidin, and Roasted malts, and hopped with Willamette to 25 IBUs, this ruby red-colored ale combines “roasted malt sweetness with an earthy hoppiness for a full-flavoured, yet balanced brew”. This popular beer will be available for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations, on tap at select beer bars/restaurants in the HRM, and in 650 mL bottles at the private stores, and for the first time, the NSLC.

• Also, Propeller has just released another One-Hit Wonder beer, Imperial ESB. Similar to their regular-release ESB, this is a bigger, fuller-flavoured brew, with a “more pronounced malt character”, according to the brewery. Brewed with 2-row, Wheat, Crystal, and Chocolate malts (which give a “subtle malt sweetness blending with hints of chocolate”), and hopped with Warrior, Willamette and Fuggles for an increased hop presence over their regular ESB, this dark amber/copper-coloured ale comes in at 6.2% ABV and 38 IBUs. It’s available today at the Dartmouth Prop Shop for growler fills, and shortly at the Gottingen St location.

• As mentioned briefly last week, Garrison Brewing’s Beer Dory had docked in Newfoundland, and the brews have been flowing ever since. This includes the Imperial Chocolate Stout, brewed specifically for the Beerthief Special Order Beer Club: 10% ABV, featuring lots of dark malts, and Cacao Nibs for a roast and chocolate bomb. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to a fund for the family of Sarah Turpin, a member of the Beerthief group, who passed away in the fall. In addition to that beer, Garrison also sent over their IPA, Red Ale, and Black IPA. To check the Garrison inventory at an NLC near you, visit the NLC’s website. And we can tell you that they kept some Imperial Chocolate Stout for us thirsty locals, and it has been released at the brewery and the four private stores in HRM today.

• Garrison will be releasing another new beer this weekend, This is Radio Wheat! CKDU Anniversary Ale. The 4.6% ABV American-style Wheat Ale features 40% wheat in the grain bill, for a hazy, light-bodied and easy-drinking beer. It was brewed to celebrate CKDU Radio Station’s 30th Anniversary. It will be one of the beers pouring at the Ladies Beer League “Rocks Off” event at the Mayflower Curling Club Saturday night, and will be available in bottles at the brewery and private stores shortly.

• Building on previous events held in Halifax, owner Adam Bower of The Grand Banker Bar & Grill in Lunenburg will be hosting a Winemaker vs Brewmaster event on Saturday, March 7th. Pete Luckett, owner of Luckett Vineyards and Daniel Girard, Brewmaster of Garrison Brewing, will be choosing five of their own wines or beers to pair with the Grand Banker’s five course menu. Attendees will sample the food and beverages, and then vote for their favourite by way of a bottle cap or cork. Tickets for the event are $112 including tax and gratuity, available online, by phone (902-634-3300), or in person at the Grand Banker.

• Taking a queue from successful events held in Fredericton, Halifax will be hosting its own Beer Run April 26th, called Strides & Suds for a Cure, in support of JDRF. This 5 or 10 km run will take place along the First Lake Trail in Lower Sackville and end in a social with samples of craft beer and entertainment. We will have more details for runners shortly, but in the meantime, the JDRF is currently looking for sponsoring breweries to take part. If you are interested, please contact Alanna.

Have a great weekend, and after shoveling, be sure to refresh yourself with some local craft beer! As we mentioned previously, 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards Gold Medal winner The Wreckoning Russian Imperial Stout is back on tap at Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax. Definitely do not delay with grabbing this beauty, as this is the last batch to be brewed, ever. Beer fans in Yarmouth and the surrounding region, take note that Rudder’s Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub will be closed for two weeks while some minor, but necessary, renovations are being made to the kitchen and bar areas. In last minute beer news, Harvest Wines has set up a Growler Station at their Dartmouth location. They have just received their custom-printed growlers from the good folks at Jym Line Glassware, and they will also fill anyone’s clean 1.89l growlers. Currently flowing is: Boxing Rock Vicar’s Cross, and Wild Axe Pils, Tatamagouche Brewery Dreadnot Black IPA and Sea Level Rojo Mojo Red.

Happy Friday the 13th! We don’t want to jinx anyone right before Love Day, so let’s get to the beer news…

Hammond River has released the commercial version of the winning entry of their 1st Annual Homebrew Competition. First-place winners Mike Hebert and Jason Dobbelsteyn brewed the beer – a Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer appropriately named F@#K Winter – with owner/brewer Shane Steeves; it was released late last week at Bourbon Quarter Restaurant & Bar… and quickly sold out in less than a day! A Winter Warmer brewed with 2-row, two different Crystal malts, Special B, and Roasted Barley, it was also spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and all-spice. A big beer at 7% ABV and 38 IBUs, it’s back on tap now at Bourbon Quarter and the Saint John Ale House, and should follow soon at the Barrel’s Head. Sounds delicious… if not a bit awkward to order! And this weekend, Hammond River’s award-winning American IPA, Hopflash, is available for growler fills for the first time at the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL.

Red Rover is celebrating their 1st Anniversary by serving up some new and aged ciders at the Cider House! Starting yesterday and continuing into today, they’ll be pouring one-year-aged versions of their Spring, Summer, and Scrumpy, as well as their FROSTival-inspired brew, Fire Cider. Also pouring is the return of Dark Cider, a 7% ABV, 3-month-aged Black Velvet featuring a blend of Spring cider and Picaroons‘ Stout, Timber Hog. As well, a special “surprise” cider will be tapped at 4 pm; details are slim, but we can tell you that a certain black, curranty berry may be featured! With new ciders and an expansion planned for the future, we can’t wait to see where Red Rover takes us in their second year!

• In sad news, Railcar Brewing announced yesterday that they are currently undergoing a hiatus in brewing and are now closed until further notice. Due to “production problems”, at least one current batch of beer had to be disposed of. As brewer/owner Mitch Biggar stated on Railcar’s Facebook page, “We want to make sure our product is top-notch, and if it isn’t, we won’t serve it; our latest batch did not meet quality guidelines”. On the BRIGHT side, however, Biggar has confirmed that Railcar will be moving to a new location just across the street from the current spot, to 2 Curtis Rd (below A.C. Sharkey’s Pub), where a grand re-opening is planned for March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day). The new, 2500-square-foot area will feature a bar, couches, and tables for a total seating capacity of 25; full pints will be able to be served in this environment. With the brewery behind glass, patrons will be able to view the brewing process while enjoying their beer! They’re also expecting some new equipment, specifically five additional 50-gallon fermentors, two 100-gallon fermentors, and a new brite tank. This will all make it much easier to keep up with demand when they re-open; we’ll keep you updated on their progress!

• Attention, Fredericton! As the James Joyce Irish Pub continues to add new local craft beer to their expanded tap selection, Celtic Knot is now pouring for the first time in the city since a brief appearance at last year’s Burgers n’ Beer event. Their Black IPA, Dubh Loki, was just tapped yesterday; there’s also a keg each of the Hopicide IPA and Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout waiting in the wings! In addition, Grimross Pugnacious Porter and Shiretown Big Brown Ale are now pouring, making a grand total of EIGHT New Brunswick breweries currently on tap! Also, Red Rover cider and Sunset Heights Meadery are on tap, making for a fantastic local selection!

• PEI Homebrewers, take note: The Gahan House in Charlottetown has opened entry for their second Annual Home Brewer’s Challenge. Registration for the brewing is open until February 27th, brewers must email Gahan (or drop by the Pub) to sign up to receive their entry forms. Brewers must submit their beer by 5pm on May 15th, after which it will be judged by a panel of experts. The winner will have the opportunity to brew their beer with Gahan Brewmaster Trent Hayes, and see their beer on tap at the Gahan House. This year’s style is “Summer Seasonal Fruit Beer”, which leaves the door wide open for a lot of creativity… perhaps a Lime Wheat Beer, or Orange Cream Ale, or Strawberry IPA? The competition is for PEI-based Homebrewers only, and doesn’t cost a dime, so register today!

• From one Island to Another, the Newfoundland Artisanal and Craft Beer Club (aka Beerthief) will be hosting a Dieu du Ciel! tasting Thursday, February 26th, at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Folks will get to enjoy a QV beer of their choosing t begin, and then 100 ml each of Blanche du Paradis, Route des épices, Aphrodisiaque, Disco Soleil, and Moralité. Snacks will also be provided. Mike Buhler, the Beerthief and Certified Cicerone, will lead the tasting of the five beer. The event starts at 7:30pm, and tickets must be reserved by emailing Mike.

• Speaking of Newfoundland, Garrison Brewing has sent over another shipment of beer on the Beer Dory, scheduled to be on the shelves this weekend. It includes the Chocolate Imperial Stout, brewed specifically for the Beerthief crew. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to a fund for the family of Sarah Turpin, a member of the Beerthief group, who passed away in the fall.

• If you’re taking in the second (and last) weekend of Fredericton’s Winterfesthiver tomorrow, be sure to check out the Craft Beer Bar at the Rocks the Night concert in the evening. Several NB breweries will be pouring: Grimross (Cheval D’Or and Pugnacious Porter), Big Axe (Big Axe Blonde and Chocolate Orange Stout), Picaroons (Blonde Ale and Irish Red), Red Rover (Fire Cider), and Sunset Heights Meadery (Cozy and Shipwreck). Featuring live music from Angry Candy, it’s a great combination of local beer and entertainment!

• Rudder’s Brewpub has just released Blonde Rock, a Blonde Ale brewed with a malt bill consisting of Canadian 2 Row barley, Wheat, and Munich Malt. They used Cascade hops, which shine through in the aroma. Head on down to the brewpub soon to test it out!

Have a fantastic Valentine’s Day weekend! Look out for the return of Tatamagouche’s Dreadnot India Black Ale, available in growlers at the brewery and RockHead in Halifax, and bottles as well. Boxing Rock has also re-released their Cascadian Dark Ale, The Darkness, also in growlers and bottles. And good news for fans of Schoolhouse Brewery – they’re looking to expand their production, and are soon expecting the delivery of a four hectolitre fermentor, which will allow them to brew and ferment double batches.