Rudder’s Brewpub

All posts tagged Rudder’s Brewpub

We’re entering the last week of August and, assumedly, most of us have our summer vacations behind us. That’s fine, there’s still plenty of gorgeous weather and beautiful beer to enjoy, not necessarily in that order. So grab a pint of your favourite local brew and let’s see what’s going down in the local scene this week.

Split Rock Brewing has opened their doors at 119 Main Street in Twillingate, NL. Their 500 litre (4 BBL) system has been working overtime, and they are ready to welcome thirsty visitors to the Northernmost brewery in Atlantic Canada. The brewery and Stage Head Pub are open daily 2-11pm (until midnight Friday and Saturday, Sunday hours TBA). They are fully licensed for sample flights, pints, and growler fills of their six beer: Combines Ale, 5.3%; Bluff Head Bitter, 4.6%; Gateway IPA, 6.7%; Red Sky Red Rye, 4.9%; Alli’s Big Brown Ale, 5.6%; Black Island Stout, 6.1%. Keep an eye out for our Profile of them coming next week, and check their FB, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news. Congratulations, Team Split Rock!

• Shediac’s Flying Boats Brewery has been in operation for a little over two years now, since officially launching in July of 2015. Owner/brewer Marc Melanson has confirmed that the brewery will be expanding in the future, moving from a 2 bbl (230 L) brewhouse in his garage to a much larger brewery in a commercial space in nearby Dieppe. Renovations are currently underway, with the goal being a brewery with an attached taproom for pints and growler fills; a canning line will also be purchased. Other details are being kept silent for now, but stay tuned to their social media accounts for updates. Congratulations to the Flying Boats team!

• After obviously slacking off and only releasing two new beers last week, the crew at 2 Crows is back at it with a bevy of bevvies coming your way. Released earlier this week is Invisible Touch, a 4.9% Brett Saison, a light-bodied beer fermented using a blend of several strains of Brettanomyces yeast. Dry hopped with Azacca and Simcoe, resulting in a citrusy and stonefruit notes to complement the dry body and funky notes from the wild yeast. This small batch is only available at the brewery’s tasting room, so best drop by today (and you can check out what the heck they’re doing with 200kg of peaches!!).

• Promising to hit the taps at 2 Crows today or tomorrow (once a draught line comes clear), is the final keg of Smackwater Jack, an American Farmhouse Ale, conditioned on quince fruit. Featuring a grist of Pilsner malt with Wheat (both malted and raw) and a touch of Oats, lightly hopped with Calypso and Centennial, the beer was fermented with an American Farmhouse blend of yeasts and has sat for seven months on the fruit to allow the farmhouse/barn funkiness to develop. This final keg was allowed to carbonate naturally using Champagne yeast, allowing a tighter carbonation. Keep an eye on their social media for the tapping announcement. Ed note: it was tapped Friday at 1PM, so get down there now!

• And as soon as there are two taps available (we’re guessing late this weekend/early next week, depending on how thirsty y’all are), there will be a pair of brand new pilot brews available.  Pancho and Lefty are both Pale Ales fermented with Brett, with the same malt bill (Pilsner, Wheat, Spelt and Oats), and kettle-hopped with Belma and Simcoe. The specs are also identical, at 6.2% ABV and 23 IBU, but the similarities end there. Pancho was conditioned on whole mangoes, and dry-hopped with AzaccaLefty skipped the fruit, and was heavily dry-hopped with Enigma. Both beers end up being quite dry and funky with tropical notes, with Pancho taking it to another level with the stonefruit and tangerine flavours, and Lefty picking up berry notes from the Enigma. Again, these will be for on-site enjoyment only, and announced via social media.

• And rounding out the 2 Crows news this week is a preview of their Promiseland Double IPA. Dropping next Friday, Sept 1, this seasonal beer features a Pale malt base (with Oats and Honey Malt), fermented with London Ale III, heavily hopped late in the boil, active fermentation, and then dry hopped with Citra and Simcoe. At 8.3% ABV and 64 IBU, “This beer is a juice bomb!” proclaims Brewmaster Jeremy Taylor. Citrus, stonefruit, tangerine are found throughout, with a soft mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, and smooth bitterness. As with their other seasonals (Fantacity and Midnight Mood), the beer will be available at the brewery in pints, growlers, and cans, and will likely be available at the private beer stores in HRM as well.

• After the success of their first Milkshake IPA, Liquid James Brown, Big Spruce is following up with a new variation of the same beer. For Peach’s Sake! features the addition of, you guessed it, organic peach puree. Generously hopped with Cascade, Centennial and El Dorado, with an addition of lactose powder to slightly boost the mouthfeel and sweetness of the beer, it clocks in at 6.5% ABV and 52 IBUs. Available for pours and growlers at the Sprucetique in Nyanza, you should also be able to find it on tap at Stillwell, Battery Park, and the Saint John Ale House. Look for two more iterations to come in the near future, each featuring a different fruit addition.

• And speaking of Big Spruce, a couple more things to pass on this week: owner Jeremy White sat down with the gents from the 902 BrewCast (happy now, guys?) recently, and the first part of that chat dropped on Tuesday. Learn about the origins of the brewery, from buying the farmstead using a Nicaraguan Phone Call (also a possible future beer name?), their first beers, their homebrew competition, White’s open letter to Nova Scotia (what’s changed and what’s not since its publication 10 months ago), and much more! Listen to the first half now, and prepare yourself for the second half, coming September 5th.

• And as if you need another reason to visit Nyanza, drop by next Saturday, September 2nd, as there will be another screening of the Nova Scotia craft beer documentary Sociable!, at Big Spruce at 7PM. It will be taking place at their new production brewery across the road from their original brewery and beer patio. Filmmakers Helen and Chris will be on hand, and you can enjoy some beer and food while you watch the film. And stay the night nearby, so you can pop back to the brewery on Sunday the 3rd for a Pig Roast, 12-5PM.

• Halifax’s Chain Yard Cider released a new cider blend late last week at their Agricola Street taproom. The Fuzz features their Foundation apple blend at its base, with the final 25% of the volume comprised of cryo-extracted peach wine. For the uninitiated (we count ourselves in that boat!), the cryo-extraction process entails freezing the peach juice to gently remove water, while maintaining the great aromatic and flavour profile and increasing the sugar (aka fermentable) content. And unlike many apple/fruit blends that feature blending of the secondary fruit after fermentation (diluting the cider and adding sweetness), the higher gravity peach juice was fermented first, and then blended and cold conditioned with the finished cider for two weeks. Before packaging, the cider was fizzified first using Nitrogen, and then CO2, with the aim to create a smaller bubble and lighter carbonation level. All of these extra steps result in a smooth 6.5% ABV cider with soft mouthfeel and flavour and aroma of not only peach, but also apricot and pineapple. Grab a glass today!

• Some beer drinkers at the Foghorn taproom in Rothesay have been asking for “the lightest one you’ve got” since the brewery opened, and they’ve now got the perfect beer as an answer! A Kölsch, Leitest Von Veigott (if you don’t get it, say the name with your worst German accent) was brewed with Pilsner malt, and hopped to 18 IBUs with Perle and Magnum. Pale-coloured and easy-drinking as planned, at 5.5% ABV, you can find it at Foghorn for growlers and pints, and at select accounts. Also recently, the brewery introduced Lola, a “Tropical Pale Ale” featuring 90 lbs of mango puree (20% in the boil, 80% in secondary) and dry-hopped with Citra and Vic Secret for even more tropical fruit character. Kegs of this beauty sold out extremely fast, so you may be able to find it on tap if you’re lucky (hint: seen at the James Joyce in Fredericton last night).

• Bottles of Hammond River beer are officially here! Both the Hop Flash IPA and Blood Orange Hefeweizen are now available in 500 mL bottles at the taproom, as well as at the KV ANBL and some stores in Saint John. Don’t worry if you don’t live in the SJ area – a recent delivery was sent out to ANBL stores in Fredericton, Moncton and Sussex, so expect to see these pop up very soon, with this weekend being extremely likely. Look for distribution to expand with time, and other beers will be bottled very soon as well.

Grimross plans on releasing their newest Belgian IPA sometime this morning at the brewery in Fredericton. After the high popularity of their last Belgian IPA, Scratch #2, they took the recipe and tweaked it. Hopped with Amarillo, Cascade, and Columbus, it was fermented with the Belgian strain used in their Cheval D’Or Saison, resulting in spicy phenolics and fruity esters expected in many Belgian styles, and fruity, tropical notes from the use of American hops. Simply named Belgian IPA, grab some by the pour or growler fill at the brewery, or on tap at any fine establishments where Grimross beers are served. And in other Grimross news, they have started their expansion into the unit next door to othe brewery on Bishop Dr., which means more brewing equipment, a larger taproom area, and a patio space.

• Back in June, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing brought us a fruited sour wheat that broke the mold, at least locally, for what kind of weight that style could carry. Originally touted at 6.2% ABV, as of noon today, Sour MFer will be available once again at the brewery and neighbouring tied house Charm School Pub, this time sporting a lab-verified ABV of 6.4%. Still featuring a big bouquet and flavour from aging on tart cherry puree, and still with a super solid body, we expect it to be just as dangerously thirst quenching as the first batch back in early summer. And what better for the dog days of August?

• Lots of action is going on these days up the Eastern Shore of the province at Sober Island Brewery. Firstly, a keg of the 5% ABV smooth and malty Altbier they did up for the Horton Ridge event in May hit the taps at the neighbouring Henley House earlier this week. You’ll have to keep your eyes open on Twitter and Facebook to know when more one-offs like these go on tap. And with limited availability in HRM, for now, anyway, visiting the brewery for a crowler or Henley House for a pint is your best bet to get your mitts on some Sober Island brew. Your next best bet is the Beer Truck, doing the rounds at Farmers Markets, locations in the HRM and elsewhere, its current assignment is also best determined through social media. Hopefully we’ll see some wider availability in the fall, when plans are to start canning beer for distribution, including the private stores in Halifax! And lastly, look for an interesting run of beers to come out of the foraging series now under development; looks like one of the first ones might be a Chanterelle Mushroom-laced Mild. Keep your eyes peeled for these to appear as we move into fall.

• Today, TrailWay is releasing their newest Double IPA, Voyager. This hazy, light-coloured beer was hopped entirely with the Australian Galaxy, a fantastic variety that gives the beer aromas and flavours that are “juicy, pungent, and tropical”. Quite drinkable despite the 7.8% ABV, it will be available in cans exclusively at the brewery taproom as of this morning at 11 am; you can also purchase tasters, pints and growlers there, and it will be popping up at a few TW tap accounts across Fredericton.

• In Good Robot news, they’re releasing The Smashing, the fifth – and last – beer in their SMaSH Pale Ale series. The grist is made up of Golden Promise, a Pale malt from England, and the featured hop is Topaz, an Australian variety gaining in popularity thanks to its light tropical fruit characteristics, as well as resinous notes. Fermented with East Coast Pale Ale yeast to boost the fruitiness even more, it comes in at 7% ABV and 52 IBUs; available at the GR taproom, as always. Continuing on, next week’s Brewsday Tuesday is Virgo Saison, a slightly-stronger-than-planned “Saison/Grisette” brewed by assistant brewer Irene; hopped with Tettnanger, and finishing quite dry thanks to a strong fermentation, it weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 24 IBUs. Finally, today’s Cask in the Sun entry is Corn Chili Sin Carne, which is their Leave me Blue with Yucatan Recado Rojo spice from local coffee shop Cafe Aroma Latino added to the cask, as well as fresh Nova Scotia-grown tomatoes and red peppers from Den Haan Greenhouses.

• Since the release of Cryo Hops – concentrated lupulin powder that gives intense hop aroma and flavour, while at the same time minimizing the amount of beer absorption and loss from the hop additions – breweries in our area have been utilizing them in some recent brews. Tidehouse has added their name to the list with the release of Cryo Me a River. This 7.2% ABV, 35 IBUs IPA was brewed with Canadian 2-row and Wheat malt, and hopped with Mosaic and Simcoe Cryo hops. The brewery describes the Cryo hop character in this beer as having “juicy tangerine, papaya, and pine notes, with a light body and soft bitterness”. It’s available now at the Tidehouse Tiny Tasty Beverage Room only, for growler fills and tasters.

Propeller in Halifax continues its Friday cask series with a double dry-hopped, cask conditioned Double IPA (whose recently tweaked recipe already features three times the dry hops!) all ready to be tapped today at 5 PM at their Gottingen Street location. Drop by for a pint, and you get to keep the glass!

• If you’re into the live music scene here in Halifax, you probably already know that next week (Aug 27 – Sep 3) is the 8th annual Halifax Urban Folk Fest (HUFF), one of the premiere musical events in this city. This year’s lineup features some absolutely huge names in Canadian songwriting: Ron Hawkins, Art Bergman, Moe Berg (totally an adult now), Skydiggers, and John K. Samson as well as many other local and not-so-local artists curated by the Carleton’s Mike Campbell. As presenting sponsor of this great week of live music, Propeller has stepped up and brewed a new beer in their Gottingen Small Batch Series. The official beer of HUFF, it’s in the Festbier style, the classic beer of Munich’s Oktoberfest. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 20 IBU, with a golden colour and deep, malty aroma. Fermented with Czech Pils yeast and given an extended layering, it will have a clean and crisp character for supreme drinkability. You’ll find it starting next week at all HUFF venues, including The Carleton, Timber Lounge, Seahorse Tavern, Marquee Ballroom, Tempo Food + Drink, Stubborn Goat Waterfront, Loose Cannon, The Anchor and Wooden Monkey.

Plenty to do around our region this weekend!

• If you’re planning to be in Truro (the Hub of Nova Scotia!) this evening, you picked a good night! From 4 – 9PM downtown you’ll find an event called BBQ, Beer, & Blues going on at Inglis Place and environs. Featuring eight Nova Scotia craft breweries, each paired up with a local shop, along with BBQ and live music, it’s sure to be a good night. A paltry $15 gets you 8 tickets, each good for a 4 oz sample at any of the craft beer stations. Participating breweries are Nine Locks, Saltbox, Tatamagouche, Sober Island, Meander River, Schoolhouse, Good Robot and Garrison. Even better, 100% of the proceeds will go towards three charitable organizations: the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Wayward Cats Society, and the Colchester Food Bank.

• Attention Belgian Beer Fans!! For those of us who are enjoying the recent foray local breweries have been making into the farmhouse, sour, and wild side of brewing, we would be well served to try the originators of many of these styles from Belgium. We’ve got a hot tip for you that will save you airfare to Brussels: Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar has received a pair of pallets of draught and bottles straight from Belgium, and will be holding a Lambic-fest this Sunday, August 27th. From 1PM until late, the twelve taps will be pouring straight and mixed lambics, Belgian Pale Ales, Saisons, and Quadrupels, with a bottle list putting many bars in Brussels itself to shame, with Cantillon, Boon, De Cam, and even some Trappist Westvleteren XII. Check the full beer list here, and prep yourself for Belgian beer and food all day. For those who are keen to get in early and enjoy a few beers in a quiet environment, there were a handful of Earlybird tickets made available. Oh, and stay tuned to Stilly’s (and ours) social media for the details on the Oxbow Tap Takeover at both HQ and the Beer Garden, now happening Sept 8 and 9.

• Bertrand, NB, will be hosting the Oktoberfest des Acadiens next week, Aug 31-Sept 3. Featuring a Grand Tasting by Acadie-Broue’s Patrice Godin on the 31st, and the Oktoberfest itself on Friday and Saturday, it will be a great weekend of beer, drink, and food. Check out the full program here!

A few more beers and news to keep you up to date:

Bishop’s Cellar was facing an unscheduled issue with a construction crane moving in their area this weekend, but due to the short notice provided to businesses in the area the move has been rescheduled. To when? We don’t know; but we’ll be sure to give you a head’s up when it’s announced!
– Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill has successfully obtained their taproom license and is no longer limited to serving you tasting glass after tasting glass in your quest to cop a buzz. Full pints are now available in their taproom, so head on down!
Maybee has a new beer in cans and on tap, Owd Bob, a kettle-soured Brown ale (5.9% ABV); we haven’t received any details, but you can grab some cans or a growler at the brewery, and it seems to be popping up on tap at select accounts across NB.
Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s has brought back their crowd favourite Hefeweizen, RDF Hefe (5.7% ABV, 25 IBUs); you can find it on tap now at the brewpub on Harbour Dr.
– As we mentioned last week, Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is ramping up their bottling line (read, home-made filler), and these oversized stubbie bottles are now available to the public. The Average Joe Wheat Beer, Big Stink IPA, and Sweet Little SIPA are all available at the brewery now, and at Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax. Help the RH crew celebrate the launch with some live music at the brewery tomorrow evening, with duo “Just Us” taking the stage at 9PM.
– Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Brewpub has released a new beer this week, Barefoot Sailor Session IPA. The copper-coloured beer was loosely based on the CBANS Collaboration Ale from earlier this year, but lighter in body and hopped up, coming in at 3.7% ABV, and a robust 80 IBU. You’ll have to drop by their Water Street location to find out more!
Schoolhouse is also in full swing with their Cask Friday event, this week they’ll be tapping a test batch of their forthcoming seasonal Pumpkin Ale at today at 4 PM in Windsor.

Good morning, and welcome to a rainy weekend! We can’t really complain too much, considering the beautiful weather we’ve had over the last several months… but if you’d like something to take your mind off the all the wet, why not dive into some of the latest beer news?

Big Spruce is releasing a very special beer this week, fermented using yeast harvested from a Pin Cherry on the brewery’s property. Big Grandma’s Wild uses Horton Ridge malt for the grain bill, and the yeast was isolated, investigated and propagated by the folks at Escarpment Labs out of Guelph, Ontario. Featuring some spicy phenolic notes, thanks to both the malt and yeast choices, this is a big step in creating a true “beer from here”. The 7.4% ABV, 24 IBU beer is named in celebration of Thelma MacLellan of St. Patrick’s Channel, one of Big Spruce’s earliest supporters, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Congratulations to both Big Grandma and Big Spruce on their important accomplishments! Look for the beer at the brewery now, with bars around HRM tapping it this weekend. Also keep your eyes open for Craig Goes Yard, their own Harvest Beer, featuring hops grown right at the brewery. It is on tap at the brewery now, and will be pouring around the province very soon, including Battery Park, Stillwell, and growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar.

• Celebrating the advancement of Canada’s Team to the AL Finals, Halifax’s Propeller Brewing released a new One Hit Wonder brew late last week. Mahogany in colour, it is best described as a maltly Fest-style beer. A hybrid fermentation technique was used, employing both ale and lager yeast strains, for an easy-drinking beer. Using NB-grown Cascade from Moose Mountain Hop Farm, as well as Northern Brewer, the . At 6.0% ABV and 16 IBUs, this malt-forward beer is still around, although the Jays are not. 🙁 Formerly known as Go Jays Go, it has been renamed to Maybe Next Year, and is available for growler fills at both the Gottingen and Windmill brewery locations now, and will be found on tap at select spots around HRM. And we’ve gotten word that they’ve brewed up a brand new winter seasonal yesterday.

Tatamagouche Brewery has released another in their Giant Beer Series this week, Russian Imperial Stout with Cherries. This 8.5% ABV beer spent a month in an Ironworks Distillery barrel, on top of a healthy assortment of dark cherries. After some conditioning and carbonating, it made its way into their large-format 650 ml bottles. As with their other recent GBS beers, these are in short supply and high demand, so be sure to drop by the brewery today to avoid disappointment. And while at the brewery, be sure to grab batch number 3 of Tata’s collab with Bishop’s CellarCellar Slammer India Session Ale, their 4.4% ABV ode to hops. And keep an eye out for the return of Blue Bales Blueberry Wheat next week, this time brewed with berries from the end of the season, lending a juicier and sweeter profile than the tart character of the early harvest berries.

Tide and Boar Brewing is releasing their small batch beers at a break-neck pace. Late last week they tapped a new version of their Sour Otis Sour Beer series, brewed with Field Grapes and Lemon Zest. While still available, it’s sure to sell out quickly, and will be replaced with Sour Otis Plum, featuring local plums from Memramcook, probably on the weekend. In hoppy beer news, keep an eye out for Amarillo, Citra, and Summit Pale Ale to hit the taps any minute now, with a return of their JEENYUS IPA next week.

Garrison Brewing is releasing a new beer today, New Ross Sucker Punch IPA. This 6.9% ABV brew features loads of Cascade and Willamette hops grown at Ross Farm Museum (plus some whole leaf Amarillo and Columbus), to the tune of 65 IBUs. The grain bill builds on a base of Maritime Malt, with some Wheat Malt for additional foam retention. This beer is only available at the brewery for tasters and growler fills, so be sure to drop by for a taste. They will be celebrating City Harvest tomorrow at the brewery with some special visitors. In addition to the new beer, they are inviting Halifax Press to their space to serve up some inspired grilled cheeses, 11-3.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing has been busy lately! Their beers are now available at several spots in HRM, including Battery Park and The Board Room Game Cafe (both pouring the Keltic Devil Pumpkin Spice Latte Strong Porter), as well as Rooftop Rye-It for growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar (they’ll be pouring the KDPSLSP when that’s through). Lunenburg’s Grand Banker will be pouring their beer very shortly, too. Look for a new version of their Little Pup Pale Ale to hit the taps very soon. Fermented with a different yeast, it finishes a little drier, with a lighter body to allow the hops to shine through. It weighs in at 4.8% ABV and 28 IBUs. And after a very successful Harvest Supper Club last night, tickets are on sale for a Festive Supper Club, being held December 1st. Tickets for the two seatings (5:00 and 7:30) are available now via email, and take a sneak peek at the menu here.

Upstreet Brewing announced this week the beginning of their One Way Series, a chance for them to explore and experiment with new styles and recipes. The first release under the One Way banner comes this Friday in the form of the new Black IPA. Described as a middle ground where the dark and roasty chocolate and malt flavours of a porter meet with the resinous citrus blast of an American IPA, this burly brew comes in at 6.5% and a solid 60 IBU. It’s a departure from what Upstreet has released to date and they’re excited to know what folks think. It will be available at the brewery as of today, so if you’ve got a chance to get down and try it out, do so, and be sure to let Hogie and the gang know what you think.

• Great news from Picaroons Traditional Ales in Fredericton this week as they’ve not only got a new beer to share with us, they’re joining the ranks of breweries embracing the convenience of cans. The beer is the brewery’s first attempt at an Oktoberfest, and it comes in at 5% ABV… and a month or so late. 😉 Using a well-known true lager yeast strain from VLB Berlin and dosed with Mt Hood, Hallertau, and Saaz for a classic noble hop flavour and aroma, it will be available only while supplies last and only at Picaroons General Store in Saint John. On the canning front, after starting its life as an occasional summer seasonal, then going year-round earlier this summer and becoming the first Picaroons available in 6 packs, 506 Logger will now become the first Picaroons available in cans. It’s still a mix of German Pilsner and domestic 2-row malt that produces a golden coloured, dry and crisp easy-drinking 4.6% ABV beer, tempered with Amarillo hops. But now you can take it all the places that bottles are a pain to bring. As the brewery says – “IT’S JUST BEER. IN CANS.” You can expect to find it at the ANBL real soon now and you can also expect Picaroons to extend the canning to other beers in the lineup.

• As we continue through fall, more and more homebrew competitions are being announced. TrailWay is no exception, as they recently released the details for their 1st Homebrew Challenge! The style to be submitted is American IPA; your homebrew entry (3 x 450-750 mL bottles) can be dropped off/mailed to the brewery in Fredericton between January 11th-20th. Judging will take place between January 21st-25th, with the winner and runner-up being announced on Sunday, January 29th at the brewery. The entry fee is $20, which gets you a t-shirt and glass, a 12-oz pour of a new TW DIPA (at the January 29th event), as well as preferential drink pricing for the remainder of the event. The winning entry will receive a $100 gift card, and will get to brew their beer on the TW 10 BBL system for resale across Fredericton; the runner-up will receive a $50 gift card. For more details, check out their Facebook page. Good luck, homebrewers! And in other TW news, they’ve received their three new 30 BBL (35 hL) fermentors and 30 BBL brite tank, so expect to see more TW beer (and cans) soon!

Sober Island Brewing continues to spread their offerings across HRM, now appearing on tap at The Press Gang, Primal Kitchen, and Battery Park (on rotation), with a few more spots scheduled. Their Kickstarter campaign rolls on, with just two weeks left to get in on helping to build their brewery in Sheet Harbour. The rewards range from stickers, to insulated backpacks (perfect for picnics on the go), to taking part in a brewday at SIBC. Be sure to check it out. Keep an eye out for new brews from Sober Island to launch in the coming weeks, including a British IPA. Next weekend, be sure to drop by the New Glasgow Farmers Market (Saturday) and/or Musquodoboit Farmers Market (Sunday) to grab crowlers and merchandise from their beer trailer.

• This week, Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove has released a new brew, Braunbär, a medium-bodied honey brown ale. Honey was added to the fermentor in order to maintain some of the honey aromatics that would tend to be lost in the boil. For hops, they’ve chosen the Santiam variety, an American hop which brings some classic noble characteristics. The flowery and peppery spice aromas from the hops should play nicely with the roasted and caramel malt flavours, while an undertone of sweetness from some residual sugars from the honey completes the palate. You can find this 5% ABV brew at the brewery, or potentially in Halifax this weekend.

• Newfoundland’s newest brewery, Port Rexton Brewing, tapped a new beer late last week, Sweater Weather Double IPA. This SMaSH beer was brewed entirely with Canadian 2-row malt, and single-hopped quite heavily with Simcoe, a very popular variety well known for its characteristics of citrus, berries, and pine. Very hoppy, but well-balanced, this 7.6% beer is available now at the brewery, and may make an appearance on tap in Town, but why risk it?? And if you’re dropping by the brewery tomorrow (Saturday, October 22nd), they’re hosting a “Yoga, Lunch, Hike & Beer” from 9:30 am – 3 pm; it’s $45 to take part, and you can register by emailing here.

Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery has launched a brand new beer, hitting the taps this weekend. Hants County Hop on Harvest Ale was brewed using more than 45kg of wet hops from Hill Top Hops in Scotchville, NS.  Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus were added late in the boil, to preserve the piney and green notes these fresh hops deliver. The grain bill of Golden Promise, Caramunich III, Vienna and Toasted Wheat lend a golden colour to this Fest/Marzen beer, with biscuit and bready character on a medium-low body. 6.0% ABV and a moderate 35 IBUs. It is on tap now at Stubborn Goat, Red Stag Tavern, and The Lower Deck.

As usual, there are plenty of beer-related events happening in our region; here are some of the bigger ones to take note of:

• Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Brewpub is holding their 11th Annual Brewers Dinner tomorrow evening at 6pm. Featuring 4 courses, each paired with a Rudder’s beer, it with be a filling – and fulfilling – evening. Reservations are required, and tickets for the dinner are available at the brewery, or by phone (902-742-7311). More details on the menu and beers on their Facebook page.

• For those on the other end of the province, the Celtic Oktoberfest is being held in Port Hawkesbury this Saturday. Featuring unlimited sampling from nine Nova Scotia breweries, one winery, and ten local restaurants, along with live music all evening, it’s sure to be a great evening out.

• Now that Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing is releasing full-size batches from their 10hL DME system (Holy Mackerel, their Pale Ale was released this week, with Nun on the Run Cream Ale to be released next week) they are now also sending kegs of beer out into the wild. Some of the first have gone to Grand Banker in Lunenburg, who will be hosting a Tap Takeover next Friday, October 28th. Featuring their full lineup, and some beer-steamed mussels, the evening is sure to be a fun time. Learn more about Saltbox’s offerings here, and the Tap Takeover here.

Railcar Brewing will officially have been open for two years on November 1st; to celebrate, they’re holding an Open Brewery Day next Saturday, October 29th. Drop by the brewery’s taproom in Florenceville-Bristol for free samples and brewery tours, and enjoy two-for-one growler fills all day. Happy birthday, Railcar!

• Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing Co has released a new beer in celebration of the Devour! Film Festival (running November 2-6 in Wolfville). Kinobier is a 4.7% Munich Helles, a German-style light blonde lager, brewed with 100% German Heidelberg Malt. Lightly hopped to 16 IBUs, it features Herkules and Huell Melon German varieties, for a citrus highlight to the grain profile. The beer will be pouring around Wolfville during the festival, with some spots in the Valley, and HRM, pouring it now, including the brewery.

Beerocracy will be debuting at the Silver Wave Film Festival, at 7pm November 3rd. Passes for the entire festival are only $40 ($20 for students), which get you into every screening and event, and are available now. For those looking to only attend Beerocracy, there will be limited first-come, first-serve tickets available at the door (cash only). There will be a reception at the James Joyce following the film, for the chance to enjoy beer from the breweries profiled in the film. And look for details after the festival regarding the official opening screening of Beerocracy, and how VIP backers can take advantage of that perk. Congratulations to Shauna and Alex!

• For those in Halifax, there will be an equally beery event to keep you happy on November 3rd: Battery Park is hosting the second in their Nova Scotia Tap Takeover series, featuring more than a baker’s dozen of beers from Shelburne’s Boxing Rock. It will be a mixture of core favourites, blasts from the past, and at least a couple of brand new beers, one of which is the collab between BP and BR, an India Brown Ale, as well as the recently re-released Hop Springs Eternal White IPA. We’ll have more on the beers pouring closer to the date, but in the meantime, book Friday the 4th off so you can full enjoy the evening before.

• Due to quick sales on tickets for their Christmas Brewery Tour this December, New Brunswick Beer Tours have added two additional tours for the month: one on Saturday, December 3rd, and a second tour on Saturday, December 17th. Both events will go from 11:30 am – 4 pm, and feature stops and samples at four different Fredericton breweries. Tickets for both go on sale this weekend. For more details, check out their Facebook page (link above).

That’s it for this week, have a great weekend! And before we go…

Bulwark‘s Winter Cider has been bottled and has started to make its appearance in stores; this 7% ABV cider is infused with cinnamon and nutmeg, perfect for those nights by a fire (which aren’t too far off).
– A small batch of Toasted Coconut Porter is now available at Gahan House Harbourfront – Halifax, available on cask into the weekend.
Graystone recently released their Ridgeback IPA, a 5.5% ABV, 94 IBU West Coast IPA that they have described as “full-bodied, with notes of citrus and pine”. This is the first time this beer has been brewed on their new, large system; it’s available now for pints and growlers at the brewery, and like several of their other brands now, should be on tap across Fredericton.
Hammond River has re-brewed their Black IPA, Two Rivers India Black Ale (7% ABV, 77 IBUs), which should be available on tap by the end of the month. Stay tuned next week, as we’ll have details on their third annual Homebrew Competition, which will feature three different styles this year: Imperial IPA, Sweet Stout, and English Porter.
– The Forage Rye IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBUs) from Maybee that we talked about a few weeks ago is now available; brewed with Crystal Rye Malt and hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus, you can find it in growlers and cans at the brewery.
Shiretown Hops On For Nowhere I.P.A is now available for purchase at the brewery in Charlo, marking the first time in over a year that it’s been available. Due to the small batch size, it will only be available in bottles from the source.
– With temperatures cooling, TrailWay has re-released their Black IPA, Black Hops One (7% ABV, 70 IBUs). Hopped with Comet, Mosaic, and Galaxy, it’s got a great balance between fruity, citrusy hops, and dark roasted malt character.
– Details are very slim right now, but we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with a special hybrid wine/beer in the works by North Brewing. They visited Benjamin Bridge this week, and managed to leave with a few hundred litres of grape must, and a barrel. We’ll be sure to share the info when available!

Happy Friday! There’s lots of new beers – and some other beer-related news – out this week for our region; time to start getting caught up…

• Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing released a brand new beer this past weekend. Bockman-Turner Overweiz is a Weizenbock, meaning a dark wheat beer (Dunkelweizen), but brewed to a higher ABV (hence the “bock” moniker). The BTO weighs in at 7.6% ABV, and was brewed with a grain bill of half wheat malt, with the remainder composed of German Munich, Bohemian Pilsner, Crystal and a touch of chocolate malt for colour and roast flavour. Hallertauer hops were used throughout, and a top fermenting German Wheat Ale yeast was used to bring out the characteristic banana and clove aromas to round out the brew. It is available on tap now at the brewpub, and in growler fills to go; it was a small batch, so it won’t last much longer… drop by today!

Big Spruce Brewing has brought back their very popular The Whole 9 Yards Scotch Ale. First released in April 2014 as a beer celebrating their First Anniversary, this latest version again features the addition of Glenora Glen Breton Rare 10 year Single Malt Whisky to the batch to enhance the roast, peat, and smoke characteristics of the underlying Scotch Ale. Available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and on tap at better beer bars in the province. And don’t forget, time is quickly running out on Big Spruce’s Third Annual Home Brew Challenge. If you haven’t already brewed up your Red IPA (or Dark Czech Lager or Altbier), you might be able to squeeze it in under the wire this weekend!

• Last night, the second Meet Your Makers tap-takeover event was held at the James Joyce Irish Pub. Red Rover Craft Cider was featured, with a total of ten taps pouring various regular-release and special one-off ciders. Two brand new ciders made their debut at the event: first off is their Tinderbox, a semi-dry cider featuring notes of vanilla, that has been aged with the addition of bourbon and oak (this one was brewed specifically for the Guy Fawkes Day-themed tap takeover). Next up was the Bee for B, another semi-dry blend which was made with honey produced on the roof of the Crowne Plaza hotel; this one will continue to be on tap exclusively at the James Joyce for the foreseeable future. Also, the White Witch made its triumphant return last week and was on tap last night; first released last fall, it features plenty of fresh orange zest and locally-grown cilantro out of Wellwood Farm in Saint John. All three ciders are, as usual for Red Rover, 7% ABV.

• Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a few returning favourites on tap at the brewery these days. Their award-winning Mosaic Double IPA is back on tap at the brewery now. This 8% ABV big IPA is brewed to showcase the Mosaic hop, and it does that in spades, featuring big aromas and bitterness. All of the proceeds from Mosaic are donated to attend camp at Brigadoon Village and other community projects, to support families and those living with Mosaic Down Syndrome. This is something very close to the Bad Apple family, as one of owner Jeff Saunder’s children has Mosaic Down Syndrome. In addition to the brewery (where a limited number of bottles will also be available), the beer will be on tap at Lion & Bright, Stubborn Goat, and La Torta Pizzeria in Wolfville, as well as few spots in New Brunswick.

• Also available from Bad Apple is their Operation Green Ring, a 5.0% ABV Cucumber Mint Wheat Ale. It was brewed with Delta Force Brewery, two members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club. Using fresh local mint and cucumbers, this field beer features lots of mint aroma and cucumber flavour, coming together with a great Wheat base. It is available now at the brewery for growler fills. And keep your eyes peeled for the return of their Russian Imperial Stout, currently conditioning and waiting for release closer to Christmas. As in some previous releases, a good amount of this brew is being barrel aged in Glenora casks.

• There’s a new beer from Flying Boats currently hitting taps; Beach Cruiser DIPA is a test batch of sorts that came in at 7.2% ABV and 72 IBUs. Featuring a “generous” dry hop, it was also hopped at several points throughout the boil with four different varieties: Magnum, Centennial, Amarillo and Chinook. It’s currently on tap at the James Joyce, and should be on a rotating tap at Marky’s Laundromat later this month. The newly-installed pilot system at the brewery is also up and running, with the first test batch currently undergoing active fermentation. More on that beer, soon!

Meander River will be releasing their latest batch of cider this weekend: First Frost Hard Apple Cider is a 5.5% ABV apple blend featuring juice from Fair Acres Farm. “A touch sweeter and juicier” than their original dry cider releases, according to the brewery, it still finishes very crisp. It will be released this weekend at the brewery, and at Christmas at the Forum (Fri-Sun) in Halifax. And speaking of Meander River, the crew from Garrison dropped by yesterday to collect spruce boughs for their Spruce Beer winter seasonal. Look for that beer in the coming weeks.

• Over at Granite Brewery in Halifax, they have a new beer on tap for pints and growler fills. Described as a “Red Ale” by the brewery, Flander’s Fields was brewed with honey and ginger to give it extra aroma and flavour to go with the maltiness from the grist. It weighs in at an easy-drinking 5.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery until it’s gone (approximately three weeks).

• Fredericton’s Half Cut Brewing (operating out of the brew system located at the Picaroons Brewtique) recently released their second beer, an American Brown Ale named Belligerent Brown. Described as roasty and hoppy with “notes of dark chocolate and dried dark fruit”, it was hopped heavily with Centennial and Chinook. While technically on the higher end of bitter with a calculated 74 IBUs, it comes in at an easy-drinking 5.4% ABV. It’s available for growler fills at the Brewtique, and should be on tap around the city at the King Street Ale House, James Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Snooty Fox.

• It’s getting closer to the official ticket-release for the 2016 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, and those behind it all have been releasing some sneak peeks for what they have in store for the Fourth Annual event! Organized by Lloyd Chambers, this will be the first time the event has been stretched into Fredericton Craft Beer Week, featuring plenty of beer-related activities from March 9th-12th, finalizing with the beer festival on Saturday. There will be two sessions this time around (afternoon and evening), both of which will feature the largest gathering of Atlantic Canadian craft beer yet – 45 confirmed breweries pouring over 160 different types of beer, cider and mead. We’ll have lots of information as we get closer to the events, but for now, keep in mind that tickets for the festival will go on sale at 11 am on Friday, November 27th through their website. Stay tuned for more!

Rudder’s Brewpub in Yarmouth has released a new beer this week, Runic Stone IPA. Weighing in at 5.6% ABV and 46 IBUs, it was brewed with a load of late hopping in the boil by Cascade, Columbus, Saaz and Sorachi Ace hops, and was further dry hopped with more Saaz and Sorachi Ace. This hop schedule allows for a big hop aroma, without the beer being too bitter. It is named after the Runic (or Fletcher) Stone in the local museum, thought to be a Norse artifact, discovered in the early 19th century. While the exact origins of the stone are unknown, it is certainly part of Yarmouth’s history. Grab its namesake beer on tap at Rudder’s while it lasts!

TrailWay has brewed up a fresh batch of their popular Session IPA, and next week it’ll be a little easier for those in Fredericton to get their “fill”! As of next Thursday, 250 L of this hoppy, ~4.3% ABV beer will be making its way to the Prospect St. ANBL for growler fills. This will be TrailWay’s first time at the ANBL growler station since last March. And in other TrailWay news, Dan Mason and Jake Saunders of TrailWay Brewing have officially signed the lease on the location for their new brewery when they expand in 2016; located at 280 Main St. on Fredericton’s North Side, they hope to be producing beer on their 10 BBL system by Spring.

Grimross has added two new fermentors to their existing line-up, and with this minor expansion comes the need for more assistance in the brewery! As a result, they are currently looking to hire a full-time brewer. Interested parties can find the full list of requirements here, and resumes should be sent to stephen@grimross.com.

We hope everyone has a great weekend! Petit-Sault‘s award-winning La Buckdjeuve has returned; it’s currently on tap at the brewery for growler fills. Picaroons has brought back their popular seasonal, Winter Warmer; you can find it on tap at the Brewtique, at select beer bars/restaurants across the province (and beyond?), and in 500 mL bottles at ANBL stores. PEI Brewing Co. will be re-releasing their Transmitter Coffee Stout later this month; featuring a new blend of beans from Receiver Coffee. And don’t forget to grab a bottle of their Hell Street barrel-aged Doppelbock on sale at the brewery now. While there, grab a pint of their latest cask, SmOAKed Brown, a smoked version of their Iron Bridge Brown, aged on oak chips. Storm Brewing in Newfoundland has brought back their winter seasonal Coffee Porter, available at their usual licensee and retail locations. Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax has released a new seasonal themselves, Strawberry Blonde, a 5.0% ABV fruit beer.

It’s been another busy week in the Atlantic Region! Another new brewery has launched in Nova Scotia, a new cidery will be opening soon in New Brunswick, and there are more new beers (and return of seasonal releases) than you can shake a stick at; not to mention several great events for you to check out this weekend. Let’s get to it!

Spindrift Brewing in Dartmouth now has beer available for purchase. While their storefront is not yet open, their Coastal Lager is available now in several NSLCs around the province (with that list growing daily). This 5.0% ABV Amber Lager has an initial province-wide launch in cans, with tap accounts soon, and growler fills at their Burnside location upon its opening in the coming weeks. Look for our profile of them early next week, and go grab a can now!

• There’s a new cidery coming to Fredericton – York County Cider recently got the final approval to move into 418 York St downtown. They’re hoping to launch by the end of October; their first five products should include a Dry, Semi-Dry, Hopped, Ginger, and Blueberry version. Plans right now are to distribute in 12 oz bottles, along with one confirmed tap account in the city (with likely more to follow); growler fills are also a strong possibility. We’ll keep you updated on their progress, and should have a Q&A with owner/brewer Ed Teale in the near future!

• Meanwhile, the string of wet-hopped seasonal beers continues! First off is a “Harvest ale version” of Celtic Knot‘s American IPA, Hopicide. Owner/brewer Bruce Barton was generously given a large amount of fresh Cascade from Amherst, NS homebrewer Jeff Smith, all of which were used as a single dry-hop addition in the already-brewed beer. Look for this batch to pop up on tap at various Celtic Knot accounts very soon. And in other Celtic Knot news, they will be brewing an Oyster Stout version of their Oatmeal Stout, Dark Passage, soon; this one will feature the addition of oyster shells at the beginning of the boil, followed by the meat and juices added near the end. We’ll keep you updated on its release.

• Moving on to Hammond River, they’ve once again released their Harvest Ale. This season’s batch was wet-hopped with a large amount of fresh Cascade that was harvested at the home of owner/brewer Shane Steeves. A West-Coast style IPA, it weighs in at 70 IBUs and 7% ABV and features a “simple grain bill” to let the hops shine through. It’s been popping up at selects bars/restaurants over the last week or two; only two batches were brewed, so if you haven’t tried it yet, find it quickly before it’s gone!

Big Spruce has released their annual hop harvest beer, Craig Goes Yard. An American IPA clocking in at 6.7% ABV, and features a combination of wet and freshly-dried hops, all harvested from their on-premise hop farm. East Kent Goldings and Mt Hood were used wet, while a healthy dose of dried Chinook made it into the boil, and the beer was further dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria. The multiple hops give a great combination of complex aromatics, with the brewery describing the final product as “deeply flavourful”. Look for it on tap at the brewery during today’s Food Truck Friday, around Halifax and Sydney, and at tonight’s Hops n’ Brats event (more details below).

Unfiltered will be releasing their first single-varietal fresh-hopped beer, Hop Riot India Red Ale, at the brewery today at noon. This one features the addition of a total of 272 kg (!!) of wet Centennial hops, grown locally and sourced through the Maritime Hop Growers Cooperative. The hops were used within 6 hours of harvesting in PEI, so expect a blast of fresh hop aromas and flavours in this 7.3% ABV Red IPA. We can only imagine how much work this brew day must have been, with the sheer weight and volume of hops in their brew system.

Big Tide has released three hop harvest beers, all part of their Indian Beach series. The three varieties used in these beers – Cascade, Hallertau, and Nugget – were grown locally at Dunhams Run Estate Winery at Gorham’s Bluff on the Kingston peninsula, historically known as Indian Beach. The first beer is Indian Beach Kolsch-style, which is their regular-release Karnival Kolsch (4.8% ABV) brewed with fresh Cascade. The Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale (5.2% ABV) also uses Cascade, along with fresh local pumpkin that has been cut up and roasted with several spices, and added to the mash of Pale Ale malt. Both beers are available on tap now at the brewpub. Coming early next week is the final beer, Indian Beach Harvest Ale. With a grist of 2-row and CaraMunich, it was hopped with all three of the fresh varieties, and comes in at 5% ABV.

• In PEI, BarNone has just released a batch of their award-winning Sub Stanchel Amber that has been wet-hopped with Cascade grown on their farm, with some wild PEI native hops grown nearby in Stanchel (or directly under it). It’s currently available at the brewery, and on tap at the Olde Dublin Pub and Old Triangle in Charlottetown. BarNone is also releasing a new beer that was brewed in tribute to co-owner Hugh Campbell, who passed away last month. 333 Somewhat Irish Red is brewed in the style of an Irish Red, but features more hops… specifically, 3.33 kg of freshly-dried whole hops were added as a dry-hop addition. Both beers will be pouring at a special music event being held at the brewery tonight, featuring Nudie’s Country Duets with Hannah Rose, plus Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar. The show begins at 8 pm; tickets are available online.

• In case you didn’t know, there are always a few in-house brewed beers on at Your Father’s Moustache in Halifax, courtesy of Rockbottom in the basement. The latest to hit the taps is a wet-hopped version of their Red Duster American Pale Ale. This 5.5% ABV Pale Ale was brewed with a healthy dose of locally-grown Centennial hops, but instead of typical floral or piney aromatics, these wet hops deliver a massive orange and sweet citrus aroma and flavour.

• Downstairs at Rockbottom, they have a couple of seasonals in addition to their four core lineup: Bulldog Brown Ale is a 4.5% ABV English Brown with a light and semi-sweet body, toasted aromas, and mild toffee flavour. It’s lightly hopped to 25 IBUs using traditional earthy English varietals. The Märzen Red Lager is a malty, amber German lager traditionally brewed for Oktoberfest. At 5.9% ABV and 25 IBUs, it features a bready malt flavour, restrained bitterness, and a dry finish. Be sure to drop down for a pint of each, and don’t forget their Wednesday weekly firkins for a taste of something different (this week’s was a Schwartz Bier Black Lager).

• Finally in harvest beers this week, North Brewing has released their second of the year (after the Many Hands collab with Boxing Rock): Setting Sun. This wet-hopped version of their Saison features brewer Josh Herbin’s own Cascade, Chinook and Willamette hops. If that wasn’t enough, the beer was aged on 12 kg of sour cherries from Stirling Fruit Farms in the valley. The cherries come through brilliantly in the aroma, coupled with a citrus flavour and bitterness, and pepper finish from the yeast. The beer is available now at the Agricola St brewery for growler fills, and will make it on tap at just a few spots around the city shortly. And the crowdfunding for their new partnership with Brooklyn Warehouse, Battery Park Beer Bar, is entering its last week. Things are definitely taking shape at the new location in Dartmouth, with the grand opening happening in the coming weeks.

PEI Brewing Co. has re-released their Pumpkin Ale seasonal. An Amber Ale that includes the addition of plenty of local pumpkins and squash, it’s also spiced with whole nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cassia, and fresh ginger. The grist also features Victory malt for a “toasty sweetness”. Hopped with Magnum to 25 IBUs, it clocks in at 5.8% ABV. It’s available now at the brewery in bottles and on tap, and will be at the PEILCC and licencees shortly, and select ANBL and NSLC stores, soon.

• Next week should also mark the arrival of Rogues IPA, which was brewed at the PEI Brewing Co. Brewed “in the style of an American IPA”, it actually features a lot of British ingredients, such as Maris Otter malt (along with Crystal 40 L and Torrified Wheat), Goldings and Target hops, and was fermented with Burton Ale yeast. This 6% ABV, 70 IBUs ale should be released in cans at the brewery next week, with PEILCC  and NSLC stores to follow shortly afterwards; ANBL stores should eventually be seeing some, too. The beer is based on the IPA served at Rogues Roost brewpub in Halifax, which closed last week, due to the building being demolished for renovations. Be sure to raise a can of Rogues IPA to toast the life of this Halifax institution.

• Moving back to Pumpkin beers: Garrison has re-released their Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with Cinderella pumpkins (a variety regarded as a superior dessert pumpkin) from the Dill Family, the beer was also spiced with cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg. Hopped with Millenium to 30 IBUs for “a light bitterness to offset the malt and spice character”, it weighs in at a might 8% ABV. It’s currently available at select NSLC stores, and will follow shortly at the brewery and tap accounts. And for those heading to the Halifax Oktoberfest this weekend (more details below), you will be able to enjoy three new brews on tap: the Hammer-Schlagen Brau, Nass Hopfenweisse, and Rise ‘n’ Stein Hefeweizen.

Bulwark Cider will be releasing an Oak-aged blend later this fall, and they’re currently holding a Label Competition for the bottles of this new cider. The competition is open to all artists, and entries should not include any text (name of the brand and cider); the winner will receive a cash prize and TBD cider prize. The deadline for entry is October 6th at 1 pm; eight finalists will be chosen by Oct 12th, and will then move on to final judging in a display at Bar Stillwell. For more information on how to enter, check out the link above.

• Next Friday, October 2nd at 7 pm, Rudder’s Brewpub will be holding their 10th Annual Brewer’s Dinner. Reservations are required, and include a 4-course dinner, with each course paired with a different Rudder’s-brewed beer. Contact the brewpub today to reserve your seat!

• Finally brewers, don’t forget to submit the forms for the second annual Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards. Today is the last day to register, with beers due in a couple of weeks. This year’s Awards has expanded to an entire week of events, including seminars and dinners for both brewers and open to the public.

There are lots of events on the go this weekend, so be sure to get out for some great local beer:

• The Ladies Beer League will be holding a Food and Beer Pairing at Bishop’s Cellar this afternoon, beginning at 5pm. Nine beers from Bishop’s shelves will be paired with some small plates and snacks from a local chef. Tickets are $20, and available online.

• The Tatamagouche Oktoberfest is being held today and tomorrow; this is the 36th year for Atlantic Canada’s largest Oktoberfest, and there’s plenty of events going on both days, including a Beer Garden tonight from 6-11 pm. If you’re attending, keep your eyes open for Tatabrew‘s just-released Lagerhosen.

• The Halifax Oktoberfest is also taking place this weekend, with a craft beer/sausage event, Hops & Brats, taking place today from 5-11 pm. Entry is $16 and includes five beer samples from local craft breweries; of course, plenty of sausages will be available for purchase as well. Tickets are available online. Tomorrow there will be an Oktoberfest & Kinderfest from 11 am – 11 pm, featuring traditional German food, games, music, and plenty of Garrison beer and Bulwark cider. Entry is free until 6 pm; afterwards, it becomes a 19+ event, where entry is $20 and includes a 500 mL Stein to keep, and your first fill.

• Saturday afternoon, the Moncton Beer League will be going on an Urban Hike to five different craft-beer-friendly bars in the downtown area; more details on this event in an earlier post. Those who purchase tickets to the Hike will receive a $5 discount on the upcoming Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest, being held October 9th at the Moncton Crowne Plaza. We’ll have more details on the Oktoberfest next week; in the meantime, tickets are on sale now.

• And for those who are looking for a fun group of homebrewers to hang with, the Brewnosers Hoptoberfest event is being held Saturday afternoon and evening. Check the thread on the forum for details, and though it is a private event, anyone looking to chat, snack, and taste and enjoy great beer, of course, is welcome! There will be at least 20 different homebrew kegs of all types, and hop-infused sausages, especially made for the crew by Cavicchi’s Meats.

Wow, another extremely busy week! There’s even more new beers coming soon, including the first seasonal from Breton Brewing, Celtic Colours Maple Lager, and an Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Upstreet Brewing (actually a collaboration brewed with award-winning homebrewer Ryan Palmer)… more on these beers, soon. Boxing Rock has re-released their Black IPA, The Darkness; it should be popping up, now. If you live in Fredericton and are thinking you’d like to work in a brewery, Maybee Brewing Co. is now accepting resumes for positions in the New Year; send along yours via email. Have a fantastic weekend!

Good morning, craft beer fans! It’s another very busy week in the world of Atlantic Canadian beer news, so let’s get cracking…

• New Brunswick, Red Rover Brewing needs your help! As explained by owner/brewer Adam Clawson in a recent CBC interview, the company has had increasing difficulty turning a profit in the province, despite excellent demand for their ciders. Right now, there isn’t a set policy for cider; while there is one for beer, and one for wine, cider falls into a “grey area” where the mark-up set by the ANBL is not pre-determined. As a result, Red Rover has to pay a much higher mark-up for every keg and flagon of cider that they produce. Here’s a few numbers to make it all a bit clearer:

– For a 20 L keg of beer, breweries pay a $0.76/L mark-up, while Red Rover pays $1.29/L

– For bottles at ANBL stores, breweries pay $1.23/L; Red Rover would pay $2.90/L if their ciders were listed (which they are trying to accomplish)

– Many styles of beer can be brewed and packaged within a matter of weeks, while cider takes 2-3 months before it’s ready; during that extended period, temperature control and storage space increase the time, effort, and cost required for the batch

– Depending on the beer, a 20 L keg could be brewed for $20 or less; the cost in ingredients, time, etc. to Red Rover for the equivalent amount is about $50-55

Clawson understands that this is not an easy fix, and respects that there is currently no policy under ANBL for his business. What he’s asking for is that the ANBL temporarily let Red Rover join one of the current policies, or even better, create a new policy specifically geared towards cider, where the mark-ups are fair, and set-in-stone.

We also spoke with Brian Harriman, CEO of the ANBL; he acknowledges that the policy for cider was never clear, and that they had always made it their goal to work with Red Rover to help them (and other ciderhouses) succeed. Harriman went on to say that they currently have a “project team” made up of people from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Tourism, and ANBL, with the goal to “streamline processes and to create a policy that fosters growth of micro producers from all categories in New Brunswick”.

What can you do? Call and make your opinion clear to ANBL and to your MLA. If a new, fair policy is created, Red Rover will be able to expand, which will only be good news for the province. If nothing is done, they may be forced to either a) shut down, or b) leave the province and set up shop elsewhere. Neither is good for New Brunswick. This isn’t just a matter of keeping an excellent product in the province; this is about showing the proper support for a small, local business that is asking for nothing more than the opportunity to grow. Here’s hoping for a quick resolution.

Propeller Brewing has two new beers out this week. First up, their next One-Hit Wonder All Tapped Out is an India Pale Ale brewed with 6 different hop varietals, and will take any hophead down for the count. Victory, Wheat, and Crystal malts bump up the 2 Row base malt, lending colour and flavour, while the Warrior, Centennial, Columbus, Cluster, Ahtanum and Cascade hops pack a punch of bitterness and grassy, citrus, and resiny aromas. The beer weighs in at 6.9% ABV and 72 IBUs, for a bit more alcohol than their standard IPA. As with all other One-Hit Wonders, this beer is for growler sales only (on now at both the Gottingen and Windmill locations), with the rare keg sneaking out to friendly HRM bars and restaurants.

• Prop’s second new beer this week is their Spring Seasonal, Rye IPA. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV and 72 IBUs, the malt bill features a healthy dose of Rye malt to spice up the brew, and a secret blend of hops for bittering and aroma. Released today in bottles at both brewery locations, it will also be available in the NSLC and private beer stores, and on tap for growlers and at HRM bars soon.

TrailWay Brewing just delivered some kegs of their newest beer, a Black IPA named Black Hops One. This particular style of beer is often interpreted differently from brewery to brewery; look for TrailWay’s version to have significant roast and chocolate character (thanks to the addition of both Roasted and Chocolate malts in the mash). Of course, there will also be lots of hop character, as this beer includes Apollo, Centennial, Mosaic, Chinook and Comet. As the style dictates, it comes in fairly bitter at around 90 IBUs, with an ABV of 7.1%. There should be a limited quantity available this weekend at both the King Street Ale House and 540 Kitchen & Bar.

Big Axe is re-releasing their Maple Wheat Amber Ale, first introduced last year. Brewed with both Pale and Caramel malts, it also features maple sap tapped from Big Axe’s very own maple trees, as well as some sourced from Nackawic’s own Stone Family Maple Products. Hopped with the Orbit variety, the beer comes in at 5% ABV and features a light-to-medium body, and lots of sweet, caramel and maple aromas, according to the brewery. Look for it on tap at the brewery and possibly select accounts by this weekend. And stay tuned for more news soon on their 1st Anniversary party, which sill take place at the brewery  in June; they’re planning on lots of live music, beer, and NB cider and mead (from Red Rover and Sunset Heights Meadery). They’ve also announced plans to build a taproom at their location in the future; we’ll keep you updated on their progress!

• There’s a new beer on tap at the Big Tide brewpub in Saint John, an India Pale Lager (read: hoppy Lager) named Sea Legs. Originally brewed for last Saturday’s Saint John Beer Fest (more on that below), a lot of the recipe is similar to their regular-release Seaworthy IPA, except it was fermented – of course – with a Lager yeast. It also followed a step-mash technique (more than one temperature rest during the mashing process), and was aged cool (or “lagered”) for a month before packaging. The beer was hopped with Cascade, Columbus, and Hallertau, and dry-hopped with Saaz. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and about 60 IBUs, and is on tap for both pints and growler fills. Their Bucht Bock – another festival beer – is still available for pints for a limited time only, so be sure to get to the brewpub to sample both!

• Shortly after last week’s experimental Belgian Scotch Ale, Picaroons has released the “other half” of that beer; that is, the first runnings from the brew day, which were fermented with their house Ringwood yeast to make The Brick ISA, an “Imperial Scotch Ale”. With a grist consisting of Pale malt, Golden Promise, Torrified Wheat, and Roasted and Smoked malts, the beer exhibits plenty of fruity esters, along with a “subtle smokiness” and some expected warmth from the high ABV (11.5%). It was hopped lightly to 28 IBUs with Goldings and Fuggles; as with last week’s beer, it is available only at the Brewtique for growler fills. And stay tuned for the second beer from their “Employee Series”, which should be released in the near future!

• In other Pics news, next week will mark the return of their popular summer seasonal, Dooryard, a 4.5% ABV American Wheat Ale. To celebrate, they’re having a Dooryard Launch Party at the ANBL Train Station next Wednesday, April 22nd (Earth Day). Along with free Dooryard samples, they’ll have food from Isaac’s Way and live music from the Alan Jeffries Duo. There’s no charge to attend; it all starts at 4 pm.

Grimross has re-brewed one of the beers originally brewed shortly after they opened in the summer of 2013. Bayard Blond is a 7% ABV Belgian Blond, a stronger style that exhibits both spiciness and fruitiness, thanks to the expressive Belgian yeast. With “notes of pear and grass”, and a “very fresh character” according to the brewery, it was likely brewed with the warmer temperatures of spring in mind! Stop by the brewery to try this refreshing ale; it’s available for both pints and growler fills now.

• Next Saturday, April 25th, Railcar Brewing is holding a Craft Beer and Cheese Pairing at their newly-opened tasting room. Held from 6 pm – 9 pm, there will be six cheeses from Jolly Farmer, paired with six different craft beers, including two each from Railcar (Irish Red and Chocolate Maple Stout), Picaroons (Yippee IPA and Dark and Stormy Night), and Propeller (ESB and Double IPA). Tickets are $20 each and can be bought at the door, or purchased in advance by contacting owner/brewer Mitch Biggar through the brewery’s Facebook page.

• And coming back to the Saint John Beer Fest, last Saturday’s event was a great success; the festival was sold-out, and featured more breweries and more beer than last year. The People’s Choice votes were tallied, and Hammond River Brewing won first place for the second year in a row! Silver went to Big Tide, and bronze to first-time attendee TrailWay Brewing. Congrats to the winners, and to the SJBF on another successful event!

Rogues Roost has a new Double IPA on tap at the brewpub now. Weighing in at 7.2%, this is a big beer with big hops to balance: 90 IBUs coming from several different hop varietals, finished with a large aroma addition of the Falconer’s Flight blend, lending tropical and citrus characteristics. This is actually the second Double IPA that Brewster Karen Allen has released in recent months, and like the first one, it will probably sell quickly, so be sure to pop down soon!

Rudder’s Brew Pub & Restaurant in Yarmouth has brewed up a lager for the coming warmer months. Lighthouse Lager 2.0 was brewed this week, and will be fermenting and conditioning until June. A lighter lager, the grain bill has changed slightly since the last time it was brewed in 2013. And this batch has been hopped with New Zealand Southern Cross and UK Fuggles varietals.

• For those not able to visit Rudder’s in Yarmouth, look for them in the Yarmouth Town Exhibit at the Saltscapes Expo next weekend at Halifax Exhibition Grounds. They will be sampling a couple of their beers, along with local restaurants and artisans. Other breweries attending the Expo include Propeller and Garrison, and local homebrew/winery shop Noble Grape.

Bar Stillwell in Halifax shared some great news this week: they will be setting up Stillwell Beergarden on the waterfront, set to open in about 6 weeks. Based in a custom-built shipping container, the Stilly Satellite Spot will be located at the Summit Plaza, steps from “The Wave”. The taps will be primarily NS beers (with a Nova Scotian cider and wine also on tap), with a focus on lighter-bodied, more “sessionable” beers. The food will also focus on NS, with chef Graeme Ruppel cooking up homemade sausages, complemented with other local fare, like sausages from Sweet William’s, Rose Lane, and bread and buns from Gingerbread Haus. It will operate into the fall, so that locals and tourists alike will have plenty of chances to drink and taste the best Nova Scotia has to offer. We understand that there are already some exciting events scheduled for the space, including Tap Takeovers that would be seen at both Stillwell HQ and the Beergarden, plus the special beers that show up on a regular basis.

Schoolhouse Brewery has a very cool project in the works, The Southfield Project: One Field, One Beer. They will be using a two-acre plot of land and growing barley and hops for a truely local NS beer. The ingredients will be hand planted and tended to, with the barley malted and hops harvested and dried right at the brewery. Those interested can follow along with the progress of the project on Facebook, and we look forward to taking part and drinking the resulting beer in the fall.

• Several more events for NS Craft Beer Week May 7-18 have been announced, including a series of Brewmaster’s Dinners at Lion & Bright: Boxing Rock vs Big Spruce on Monday, Sea Level vs Propeller on Wednesday, and North Brewing on Thursday. Beer Cocktail Face-Off, The Science of Beer, and Brews Cruise tickets are still available, and new events are being announced daily. Keep up with them using the #NSCraftBeerWeek tag on Twitter.

Enjoy your weekend! BarNone has rebrewed their Milk Stout, La Vaca Loca, and it should be available for their weekly growler night next Thursday at the brewery, and is expected to be on tap at the Pilot House next week as well. And speaking of Milk Stouts, it looks like there’s one being brewed at the Gahan House, too; we’ll have more on that beer for you next week. After a 10-day break the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish re-opened this week, so local beer fans can resume their place at the bar for a pint of Terry’s Bitter. And don’t forget that tomorrow is the launch of the Ladies Beer League and Boxing Rock beer, Cinnamon Spin. The event starts at 6pm at Stillwell, with the official tapping at 6:30. Happy 1st Anniversary to BeerTech Draft System Technologists, keeping many bars, restaurants and breweries’ taps and lines clean! And Happy 30th Anniversary to Granite Brewing, who continue to push the NS beer scene forward!

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.