Rockhead Wine & Beer Market

All posts tagged Rockhead Wine & Beer Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good morning! We’ve got a bit of beer news for you this week (as usual), just in time to end off your October…

• Today, Garrison Brewing is releasing the second beer in their Star Trek-themed series, just in time for this weekend’s Halifax sci-fi convention, Hal-Con. Vulcan Ale – Genesis Effect is a “Red Session IPA” that has been hopped with Comet, Galaxy and Warrior. Described as “hoppy and spicy” by brewmaster Daniel Girard, this 5.4% ABV beer will be jointly released in the U.S. by Shmaltz Brewing (out of upstate New York), in the Federation of Beer line of officially licensed Star Trek beers. It’s available in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, all four private liquor stores in the city, and select NSLC stores. Also out in celebration of Hal-Con is Raspberry Ginger Ale, hitting the shelves today as well.

• In other Garrison news, we have some more details on the Gastronome IPA they brewed as an exclusive release at harbourstone sea grill & pour house. Proud Rose-Mary was inspired by the restaurant’s Chef Trevor Simms’ approach to food, and features the addition of fresh orange juice and rosemary. It comes in at an ABV of 6.5%; you can find it on tap now at the harbourstone. Look for the Gastronome beer to change quarterly, in conjunction with the menu changes at the restaurant.

Movember starts Sunday, and Quidi Vidi Brewing in St. John’s are releasing a special beer in collaboration with Fogtown Barber, to celebrate the hairiest of months. Fogtown Lager will be released 2pm Sunday afternoon at Quidi Vidi, during a “Shave Down” event to kick off the month, complete with food from Mallard Cottage and live music. For those that sign up to the QV Mo Team before Sunday, they’ll receive a free Fogtown Lager t-shirt (while supplies last), and if they raise more than $250 before the end of Movember, a free hat, in addition to other great perks. Check out the details on their Facebook page. The beer itself is a 5% ABV pale lager featuring Crystal hops, and will be hitting the shelves and taps in St John’s and region beginning Monday.

• The PEI Brewing Co. is getting ready to release their next barrel-aged beer. The beer is named Hell Street, and is their Reanimator Doppelbock that has spent some time in the PEIBC barrels. It has been bottled, capped, and wax-sealed, and is all ready for its official release next Thursday at the brewery. PEIBC also tapped Scared Wit-Less earlier this week, their latest cask at their tasting room; it’s described as a 7.5% ABV Pale Ale that has had coriander and chamomile added, to boost the spicy and flowery aromas and flavours.

Picaroons released a new beer of sorts yesterday at the Brewtique – Gourd Browny is a reiteration of their Connell Stamp, an English Brown Ale. Hopped with Fuggles and Goldings, and infused with a “special blend” of pumpkin pie spices from local bakery/cafe the Chess Piece, this one is available only for growler fills at the Brewtique, while supplies last. And Picaroons is looking to hire a manager to run their Uptown Saint John location, which will be opening in 2016. Send along resumes to beerguy@picaroons.ca.

• Good news for Upstreet fans – they’re now officially selling some of their beers in bottles! Both their Commons (Bohemian Pilsner) and Do-Gooder (American Pale Ale) are available for purchase in a 500 mL format at the brewery (starting today at noon) for takeaway, and should follow at PEILCC stores later next month. Look for their Rhuby Social and White Noize to follow in the near future, along with other seasonals to be brewed over time.

Spindrift Brewing will be opening the doors at their storefront at 21 Frazee Drive in Dartmouth this Wednesday. From 11am-6pm, they will be celebrating their grand opening with schwag, samples, cans, and growler fills of their Coastal Lager. Drop by to meet the gang, and get a peek inside the brewery. Going forward, their storefront will be open Monday to Friday, 11am-6pm for all of your Spindrift needs.

• The crew at Halifax’s Good Robot may have been assimilated and replaced by actual robots after their acquisition by AB InBev-SAB Miller, but at least they’ve been keeping busy in the brewhouse! There are a pair of experimental brews available now, only on tap at the brewery. Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale is a light-bodied and -hopped beer, with loads of cherry character in a golden package. The second beer is de la Rocha, a habanero dark ale, with intense chile heat, again with a light body, and no discernible hop character. Both brews are Beta versions, so be sure to drop by and give the beers a try, and share your feedback with the ‘bots. For those with young ones (or young-at-heart), the brewery will be decorated for Halloween tomorrow, and there will be tricks and treats for visitors of all ages.*

• There is a new brewery in the development and licensing process coming to Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills had been working towards opening a brewery in Truro, NS, but while visiting Mills’ family in Newfoundland, they fell in love with the area and possibilities for a brewery. There is still much to be done, including an environmental assessment of their location and securing final funding, but we are looking forward to trying Port Rexton Brewing Co. beer in their brewhouse next summer.

• There will soon be a pair of different Craft Beer Advent Calendars available in our region. Much like a traditional chocolate or gift advent calendar, the idea is to get a new surprise every day during the first few weeks of December. The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar will feature 24 craft beers from across Canada and the US. Though the beer list is secret (no spoilers, please!), we do know that none of the beers are otherwise for sale in our region, and many of them were brewed specifically for the Calendar. Craft Beer fans are sure to find some new favourites in the box. The calendar will be available at select NSLC locations and NLC locations in the next couple of days, so be sure to drop by your local store to grab one.

• And if one new brew a day isn’t enough for you, some of the private beer stores in Halifax are putting together their own Advent Calendar. Drop by Cristall Wine, Harvest Wines, or RockHead Wine and Beer Market before November 20th to reserve your calendar, for pickup November 30th. The 24 beer in these are a mix of local, domestic, and international beers for a true taste of the World of Beer.

Hammond River has confirmed that they will be holding their Second Annual Homebrew Competition on January 17th, 2016. This BJCP-certified event will focus on Strong Scotch Ale (aka Wee Heavy), a full-bodied, deeply malty, strong Scottish beer style. Brewers will be limited to two entries each (two 12 or 16 oz bottles for each entry required), and entries will be due on January 15th; they can be shipped or dropped off to Hammond River in Quispamsis. Prizes will be given to the top three beers, and the winning entry will also be brewed as a full-size batch on HR’s system; of course, the winning homebrewer will be invited to assist with brewing this batch! Each entry costs $10; get brewing, homebrewers!

That’s just about all we’ve got this week… have a fun (and safe) Halloween tomorrow! Look for North Brewing’s Strong Dark Belgian to make its return shortly. Karl Whiffen from Uncle Leo’s dropped by Halifax brewery Unfiltered this week; we’ll let you know what they brewed up shortly. Boxing Rock underwent an expansion this week, to make room for more capacity in the brewhouse. Celtic Knot’s Caledonia 70/- seasonal is back on tap in the region. Look for it in Moncton and Saint John at your favourite watering hole. And a reminder to drop by Port City Royal tomorrow at 2pm for the tapping of an aged cask of Hammond River’s Sterke Monnik, their 10.3% Belgian Quad.

*The folks at Good Robot were not replaced by actual robots.

Good morning! What better way to celebrate the end of January, and the beginning of Superbowl weekend, than by reading about beer?

• In addition to the snowstorm blowing outside Tuesday morning, there was a storm erupting on Twitter, with the announcement of a new brewery coming this Spring to Sydney, Cape Breton. Breton Brewing is the collaboration between two homebrewers Bryan MacDonald and Andrew Morrow. We will have more details on their endeavour soon, but we do know that they will be using a 15 barrel (18 hectolitre) steam-fired system, and the 5000 square foot brewery and tasting room will be located on Keltic Drive. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for now, and we’ll update you when their Facebook and website are published.

• There’s a new beer on tap from Pump House at their brewpub in Moncton – Easy Amber 4.3 Session Ale. The name pretty much says it all, as this is a sessionable Amber Ale coming in at 4.3% ABV. While an easy-drinking beer, the brewery describes it as having a “full malt taste” thanks to the addition of kilned Amber and Munich malts, giving both toffee and caramel flavors. It’s also lightly hopped with Tettnang and Saaz, giving only a touch of bitterness at 12 IBUs. It’s also currently pouring at the Dieppe ANBL this week for growler fills, and will be available on tap at select bars/restaurants across the Maritimes in the near future.

Red Rover released a new cider yesterday, just in time for Fredericton’s winter celebration, Frostival (Jan 23rd – Feb 15th). Fire Cider is a 7% ABV semi-dry cider brewed with fresh ginger, and is now available for flagon fills at the Ciderhouse. While it can be served cold (like Red Rover’s other brands), they encourage you to drink it warm, to bring a little heat into your life during these cold winter months! Just pop it in the microwave (40 seconds per 300 mL/10 oz), and you’re good to go! Look for it at the Boyce Farmers Market this Saturday, and on tap for a limited time at the King Street Ale House soon.

• We have a few more details on the Cappuccino Stout from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault that we mentioned a couple of weeks ago. They just brewed it last Saturday, and are hoping to have it released by the second week of February! Canon Franchetti is named after pastor/architect Nicolo Franchetti from Edmundston’s St. John the Baptist Church, which was destroyed in a fire last September. The beer was brewed with coffee from three downtown Edmundston cafes, including Cafe Lotus Bleu, Sucré Salé and Boutique Au Bout Du Monde. Look for it on tap soon, and if you’re not in Edmundston, make sure to request it for growler fills at your nearest ANBL growler-filling station!

• It’s sold-out already (within one day!), but we thought we should fill you in on the latest one-off beer from Railcar Brewing, Vanilla Brown Sugar Stout. Brewed with four malts and three hop varieties, this massive dark beer (9.9% ABV) had 6 lbs of brown sugar added at the end of the boil and real vanilla beans in secondary, making this a sweet, strong monster of a beer! But don’t feel bad if you missed out – owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has assured us that he will be brewing it again!

• While on the topic of Railcar, they just announced details on their 1st Annual Railcar Brewing Home Brew-Off. Open to all homebrewers in the Maritimes, the competition style is Scottish Export (14C) from the new 2014 BJCP Style Guidelines. Entries must be all-grain (no kits, extracts or sugars are permitted), and will be evaluated in a blind tasting by a panel of non-BJCP judges. The winner will get the opportunity to brew their beer with Mitch as a full-sized batch on the Railcar system, for commercial release as a Railcar seasonal! Registration is $15; each participant will receive a special 2015 Railcar Brew-Off glass. Entries are due by Thursday, March 26th (six 341 to 500 mL bottles are required); the top four will be selected for final judging. Awards and prizes will be handed out the following Thursday, April 2nd. For more information on rules and prizes, check out the link above. Fire up those kettles, homebrewers!

• In other homebrew competition news, Brasseurs du Moncton Homebrewers are holding one of their own… sort of. The St. Patrick’s Day Beer Challenge is more of an excuse to get Moncton-area homebrewers together to evaluate each other’s beers, specifically in the style of either Dry Stout or Irish Red Ale. There’s no entry fee or official prizes yet (other than bragging rights), and it’s a great opportunity to meet other homebrewers and taste their beers. Keep an eye on the link above for final details on the date and location, but expect the event to occur around March 15th, shortly before St. Patrick’s Day. Six weeks is plenty of time to put together a solid brew, so get to it!

Granite Brewery has released a small batch of Winter Warmer, and it is available now. Malt-forward and “very English”, this strong beer weighs in at 5.8% ABV. We expect that folks who enjoy Peculiar and Old Cardinal will enjoy this beer. It is available in growlers at the brewery, and will make it to finer beer establishments in Halifax soon. And a reminder that time really flies: Granite is celebrating their THIRTIETH Anniversary this year! To celebrate, Brewmaster Kevin Keefe will be bringing back some of their classic, and perhaps forgotten, beers for us local drinkers. Congratulations to the entire Granite family!

• From Nova Scotia’s oldest craft brewery, to one of its youngest, North Brewing is celebrating their second anniversary this weekend. And we get the presents! They are offering their 1.89 litre growler fills for $10, Friday through Sunday. This weekend also marks the release of their Coffee-Infused Belgian Milk Stout cask at Smiling Goat at Bishops Landing. They used Cold-brewed Kenyan Karindundu beans from Java Blend Coffee Roasters. Drop by from 4-6pm to try it out, for only $1/4oz sample. When you drop by the brewery, you may notice a new face, as their retail/bottle-filler/spirit animal Grant is moving on to another local business.

Uncle Leo’s has released a new seasonal, Winterschlaf, a German Hybrid Beer. This Kolsch-style beer was brewed in collaboration with Matt Vohs, who also assisted with the Weizen last year. Brewed with pilsner malt and a small amount of Munich malt, bittered with German Tettnanger hops, and weighing in at 5.5% ABV. They fermented the beer with an ale yeast, but cold, to keep the yeast character minimal (reduced ester profile). When trying the beer for the first time, Vohs smiled and said it tasted just like the beer he drank while living in Cologne. Well done! Look for growlers at the brewery, bottles at the private stores at the end of next week, and at better beer bars in the province, including Piper’s Landing in Lyons Brook and Apple Seed Diner in New Glasgow.

• RockHead Wine & Beer Market opened yesterday at 2651 Windsor Street, in/adjacent to the Sobeys grocery store. They launched with three beers on their growler station: RockHead Pale Ale (brewed for them by Garrison Brewing), Tatamagouche Brewing’s Butcher Block Red, and Sea Level High Street Scotch Ale. They will be adding a beer from Uncle Leo’s shortly. Their hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-10pm & Sundays 10am-8pm. Their new Twitter, Facebook, and website are up now, to keep an eye on their specials and new arrivals.

• Speaking of Garrison Brewing, they have brought back their Unfiltered Wheat. This hazy American Wheat is 4.6%, and very easy drinking. Don’t forget that their Barrel-aged Spruce Beer is being released tomorrow, along with lots of other Barrel and Cellar-aged beers, at their Cellar Saturday event. Doors open at 10am, and we’ve seen the list, and there are several beers that folks will definitely want to pick up (2009-2013 Ol’ Fog Burner and their Barrel-aged counterparts, 2009 Grand Baltic Porter, aged Winter Warmer, and much more). There may be a ticket or two left for tonight’s Ol’ Fog Burner Vertical tasting (which also allows early access to the Cellar!), contact Justin for more details.

PEI Brewing Co. is bringing back their Spud cask for the second year in a row, to coincide with today’s 2015 Spud Event being held at the brewery. This year’s Spud is their Beach Chair Lager that has been dry-hopped with Citra and Comet, two very citrusy and flavorful hop varieties; it comes in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, and 20 IBUs. The event will also feature live music, food, and trivia; tickets are $10, and the doors open at 7pm.

Muwin Estate Wines, producers of Bulwark Cider, have installed two new 200 hectolitre tanks, with plans to add two more. The extra capacity will allow them to expand their production across more Canadian provinces, as well as into the US and UK markets. Over the past year, they have already doubled both production and staff at their location. In addition to expanding their territory, the extra capacity will allow them to expand their cider line further, and we can share that their next new product will be a hopped cider. We’ll have more details on it closer to the release.

• Good news, Fredericton beer drinkers! The James Joyce Irish Pub (located in the Crowne Plaza downtown) is greatly increasing their craft beer offerings! They’ve added new tap lines to their current selection (for a total of 18) and are in the ongoing process of filling them with new beers, most of which are from local breweries. This week includes the addition of Petit-Sault Tante Blanche and Big Axe Wrath of Putin; keep your eye on the Food at the Crowne Facebook page for updates on their taps!

• There have been some major changes at Rogues Roost this week. Brewmaster Lorne Romano, who has been with the brewpub since its opening in 1999, is no longer with the company. Going forward, Karen Allen will be taking over the brewing responsibilities at the Roost. Allen is the brewmaster at Gahan Halifax Harbourfront (and will remain in that position), and has brewed on Rogues’ system previously, so she will fit right in to the cramped space and high pressure situation of brewing at this busy brewpub. Rogues’ core products will remain untouched, but Allen will bring her own twist to seasonals and one-offs. Keep an eye out for PEI Brewing/Gahan beer at Rogues, as they plan to expand their number of taps, and begin to pour beer from other Murphy Group brands.

• This big change has not slowed down the new beer releases, as there will be a new English IPA out next week at Rogues Roost, and an English Bitter at Gahan House. And next Tuesday’s cask (remember it is Industry Night every Tuesday, where members of the beer business enjoy staff-priced pints) is the Bitter with fresh lemon zest, and lightly dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace.

Enjoy your weekend! For those in the Antigonish area, look for Big Spruce Brewing at tomorrow’s Antigonish Winter Market, at the Antigonish Mall 10am-2pm. Don’t forget that the King Street Ale House Superbowl party (no cover) is all-day Sunday, where a new one-off American IPA from TrailWay Brewing will be pouring.

Happy Friday everyone! Grab a mug of coffee, or pint of Coffee Porter, as we’ve got another dose of beer news for you today.

• After a very successful response to their first release of Session IPA, TrailWay Brewing has brewed up another batch that should be released sometime today, or later this weekend. This easy-drinking and low-ABV (~4.4%) beer is hopped a bit differently than the previous one, featuring both Centennial and Comet. They also plan on releasing an Oatmeal Stout this weekend or shortly thereafter; coming in at around 5% ABV, it features up to seven different grain varieties in the mash, including plenty of roasted barley and chocolate malts – giving the beer “intense” flavors – as well as a good portion of organic oats to bump up the body.

• Speaking of TrailWay, they also have a brand new beer that they will be releasing during next Sunday’s Superbowl party at the King Street Ale House. A currently-unnamed American IPA, it was brewed with lots of Comet, Amarillo, Centennial, and Cascade hops, with Comet and Cascade also being used in the dry-hop, to give the beer lots of fruity and citrusy hop aromas. There’s no charge to check out the Superbowl at the KSAH and try this new IPA; just drop in for a pint! They’ll also have happy hour on regional beers, and food specials. And for those of you lucky enough to have tickets for the sold-out New Brunswick Beer Tour next Saturday, you’ll probably be getting a sneak preview of TrailWay’s new IPA at the conclusion of the tour at KSAH!

Railcar Brewing has re-released their SMaSH IPA, and while brewed with the same malt (2-row) and hop variety (Cascade) as before, a different yeast strain was used for fermentation, resulting in a hoppier-tasting beer, according to owner/brewer Mitch Biggar. This very pale ale comes in at 5% ABV and 85 IBUs, and won’t last long, so get to the brewery ASAP! Also, Mitch just brewed an “Orange Rye IPA”, featuring six different malts, Cascade and Goldings hops, and real orange peel in the boil. Weighing in at ~7.7% ABV and 66 IBUs, look for this one to appear for growler fills at the brewery, soon.

Hammond River has announced the results of last Sunday’s judging of their 1st Annual Homebrew Competition: Mike Hebert and Jason Dobbelsteyn brewed the winning entry, and will get to brew a full-size batch of their Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer on the HR system with owner/brewer Shane Steeves today, to be released in the near future. Second and third place were awarded to Marc Melanson and Liam Walsh, respectively. Congratulations to the winners, and we’ll have more info on the winning beer soon! Steeves had this to say about the event, “I was pretty happy with the turnout and had a lot of fun organizing it. I’ll definitely open it to all of the Maritimes next year.” Good news to the rest of the region’s homebrewers. We’ll be releasing details on this when we have them.

• And while we’re on the topic on Hammond River, this is as good a time as any to mention that they’ve confirmed that they will be expanding some time in the future, likely to a 15 bbl (~17 hL) brewery (that’s 15-times larger than their current setup). While the expansion is still in the planning stages, we’re looking forward to having Hammond River beers more readily-available to the masses!

• As mentioned last week, Antigonish Townhouse will once again be featuring Double Pumped Fridays today. Today’s bonus beer, joining Terry’s Bitter on the hand pumps, is Terry’s English IPA. A traditional English IPA, with a focus on balanced bitterness and traditional English hop (earthy and floral, rather than citrus or resinous) and malt (caramel and biscuit) aroma and flavours. This light copper-coloured beer weighs in at 4.9% ABV, and 47 calculated IBUs from some Cascade early in the boil for bitterness, and more traditional English hops Fuggles and East Kent Golding used for flavour and aroma. Complementing the traditional recipe is the cask-conditioned character of the IPA (and Bitter), and the Townhouse’s hand pump helps to deliver the a perfect pint. The beer will be tapped at 4pm, and won’t last long!

• And while you visit the Townhouse, perhaps you can sign up for their Camino de Santiago-inspired communal dinner, being held January 27th. Traditional Spanish fare from regions along the Camino and Spanish wine will be served, as well as photos and lively conversation about the walk from several previous trekkers. Tickets are $35, and can be reserved by email or phone (02-863-2248).

Garrison Brewing has announced that they will be releasing a Rum Barrel-aged version of their Spruce Beer next weekend. Their 2013 release aged for 12 months in Ironworks Distillery Rum Barrels, was bottled earlier this month, and will be released Saturday, January 31st. They are holding a special day to commemorate it, Cellar Saturday. Details are a little thin, but we do know that they will be opening up the cellar to allow purchase of some of their bigger beers, worthy of cellaring and storing for months or years. The night before, they are hosting a vertical tasting of Ol’ Fog Burner Barley Wine, where folks can try a few ounces of each of the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015 releases, plus the 2011 Barrel-Aged release. Attendees will also be able to enjoy snacks, and have first dibs on the beers available in the cellar. There are just over a dozen tickets left, so contact Justin at the brewery (902-453-5343 x225) today to secure your spot.

Boxing Rock has announced that they will be celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8th) by teaming up with the Ladies Beer League to brew up something special, with a portion of the proceeds going to two local charities. The base style has not yet been decided, and the brewsters are looking for your input! Vote here for your favourite style. Also a quick note that the LBL has made their memberships available online, in case you haven’t had a chance to attend one of their events. And look for a return of Boxing Rock’s The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale in a few weeks, as they were brewing up another batch of this popular seasonal this week.

• In order to keep up with demand, North Brewing has installed more hardware at their Agricola Street location. They received a 13 hectolitre brite tank this week, and will be taking delivery of a 23 hectolitre fermentor in March. And keep an eye on their Twitter feed for a special one-off cask of cold-brewed coffee-infused Milk Stout to be served at Smiling Goat Coffeehouse & Cafe at Bishop’s Landing later this month.

• There are only a handful of tickets available for the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, March 7th at the Fredericton Convention Centre. Breweries from all over the Maritimes and Quebec and Ontario will be attending and pouring their wares. The festival has also secured discounted rooms at the Crowne Plaza immediately across the street, which will make for a very short trip to the next pub.

• And speaking of beer festivals, tickets for the Full House Craft Beer Fest being held May 16 as part of the NS Craft Beer Week are still available, but the second session (4-7pm) is almost sold out. At $25 for 12 samples (additional samples are just $1), this will be a great opportunity to try almost all of the breweries and brewpubs in Nova Scotia in one place at one time. We expect to have more info on the Week very shortly, and will share the details with you.

rustik magazine wrote a feature on local breweries using local and innovative ingredients in their beers. Check out the article, featuring Tatamagouche Brewing, Bad Apple Brewhouse, and Professor Gordon McOuat of University of King’s College, who teaches a course entitled Brewing Science.
Premier Wines & Spirits is moving! At the end of the month, they will be moving to a new location in the North End of Halifax, at the Sobeys at 2651 Windsor Street (at the corner of North Street). To lighten the amount of inventory they will be moving, they are having a sale on many of their beers, wines, and spirits. We contacted manager Anthony Wight for some details on the sale and move, and he was able to give us the inside scoop: local (Pump House Red six-packs) as well as Canadian (Trou du Diable Grivoise de Noel), American (Anderson Valley Brother David’s Double and Triple) and European (Buxton Special Pale Ale) beers are on sale for 10-20% off. And a bonus for anyone taking part in the moving sale, they will receive a coupon for 15% off at their new location. A new location also means a new name, Rockhead Wine & Beer Market. Premier will be closing Wednesday, January 28th, and RockHead will be open Thursday the 29th. In addition to a more convenient parking setup (ie, they have some!), the new location will be offering growler fills. Their growler station will have four beer on tap at a time, with a focus on Nova Scotia beer. They will be offering their own branded growler, but will also fill other breweries’ 1.89 litre growlers, provided they are clean!
Be sure to track down some tasty and local beers this weekend! Petit-Sault has just released their Amber Ale, Louis XVII, in bottles in NBLC stores across the province. Grimross has been ramping up production to attempt to keep up with the high demand for their beers at their new brewery, and has a couple of old favorites – Pugnatious Porter and Rye IPA – now on tap for pours and growler fills. Picaroons hinted earlier this week that they’ve brewed another test batch of beer on their Brewtique system; they’re keeping details under wraps for now, but their SS Cocoa Beware is available at all four ANBL growler-fill locations this week; as always, check the ANBL list to see what is pouring near you. Tatamagouche Brewing Co’s collaboration with Stubborn Goat GastropubHorns Over Hooves Double IPA, has been spotted in the wild; catch it at the Goat, Bar Stillwell and Lion & Bright.