Sunset Heights Meadery

All posts tagged Sunset Heights Meadery

Happy Friday, beer lovers! November is quickly winding down, and the stores are getting busier every day; when Christmas gets closer, stress levels tend to rise, and there’s plenty of ways to help relieve that stress. We like to recommend three easy methods to remedy that stress… sit back, open a good beer, and read about beer! You can’t deny that it’s a hell of a lot better than Black Friday shopping! Unfortunately, we have to start off this week’s reading with some sad news…

• Charlo River, New Brunswick’s Shiretown has confirmed that they will be closing their doors at the end of this month, with owner Derek Leslie breaking the news in a Facebook post a few days ago. Shiretown first opened in nearby Dalhousie in 2011, becoming one of the province’s first small commercial breweries. Originally a 1 bbl (120 L) brewery, Shiretown closed down in the summer of 2015, before re-opening a year later with a larger 2 bbl (240 L) brewhouse. Bottles of their beers have been in ANBL stores for some time now, and no doubt there will be some remaining for several weeks for fans of the brewery to pick up. We wish all the best to Derek and the rest of the Shiretown team in the future.

• Today, North will be releasing Reverb, the latest in their Finite Series of one-off beers. This latest brew is a 5.9% ABV, 13 IBUs wine-barrel aged American Wheat Ale; aged in the barrels for 2 months, before undergoing bottle conditioning, the beer has tasting notes of “lemon, grapefruit, peach, light funk and a refreshing effervescence”, according to the brewery. There’s a very limited number of 750 mL bottles available – just 292 – so make sure to drop by either of the North bottle shops to pick up yours, before they’re gone. And while there, note that their Darmouth Dark – a 4.5% ABV Dark Lager – has returned, and is available for growler fills and can purchases.

• If you’re in the Mahone Bay area this weekend, you might as well keep your eyes open for a returning Saltbox brew, and a new iteration on one of their other beers. For the returning brew, their seasonal Balsam Blue is back… billed as a “Specialty Lager”, it’s a celebration of Lunenburg County being labelled as the Balsam Fir Christmas Tree capital of the world (we’re going to take them on their word for that one!). That’s right, real balsam tips were added to this 6.3% ABV beer, along with pureed blueberries, giving it a purplish hue and lots of Balsam on the nose. As for the new take on a previous beer, they’ve taken their Old Foundry stout and aged it in a Bourbon barrel. The result is a higher ABV (7.9% ABV vs. 6.3%), an flavors of bourbon and oak to go along with the roasted, coffee characteristics already in the beer.

• After a hugely successful first-bottle release of Four, their fourth Anniversary beer, last Sunday, Stillwell Brewing is releasing their second beer-in-bottles this weekend… and it sounds equally as delicious! Sport is a “Tart Farmhouse Ale” brewed with sea salt and lime zest. Brewed this past spring, it was moved to oak barrels and matured for several months, before being bottled in early July. At 4.7% ABV it’s very easy-drinking, but still has complex aromas and flavors of “zippy, spicy hops, lime, and barrel notes of coconut and vanilla”. You’ll be able to buy it at Stillwell for on-site consumption starting tomorrow, and then you can hop on down to the brewery on Sunday to buy some bottles to take home. They’re open 12-4 pm, and please keep in mind a limited amount of 30 cases are available, and all of Four sold out before closing last week.

• Up on the Bay of Fundy, Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill has a new beer called Tribute, a tropical session IPA. Featuring two ultra fruity hops in Northern Hemisphere orange bomb Citra and Southern Hemisphere tropical delight Galaxy it’s got a “lively bitterness” and “zingy mouthfeel” coming in at a very quaffable 5.1% ABV but a hefty 73 IBU. It’s on tap at the brewery now for pints and growler fills, and kegs have already gone to Dartmouth’s Battery Park and Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing, although only time will tell when the beer will be tapped at those locations.

• Over to TrailWay, who will be releasing another new beer today at noon, Dank Williams. Named after Travis Tritt, this is – as you may have guessed from the name, and a few of their previous releases – a hop bomb, featuring a selection of some of their favorite dank hops, as well as some that are also in the fruity and spicy zone of the wheel. Columbus, Enigma, and Summit are the focus here, with all three varieties coming together in a perfectly-hoppy 6% ABV package, an American IPA with “a ton of complexity and character”, according to the brewery. Available at the brewery in cans and growlers, alongside the return of their Red IPA, Good Aura, which is back for the season (currently in cans only).

• Down in Antigonish, Half Cocked Brewing has a new beer, this one an IPA called Bury’d Son. Sitting at 6.4% ABV and 50 IBU, it’s got a light golden color and a fruity citrus aroma. American Azacca and Australian Ella hops were used for first wort hops and early kettle additions, while Topaz, Citra and more Azacca and Ella were added late, giving the beer a sharp, even bitterness and a delicate hop aroma. The latest batch of Horton Ridge 2-row malt served as the base of the grist. This is a limited edition brew, not likely to be made again, so if it sounds like something you’d like, head down to the brewery and get yourself a fill.

• The Beta Brews just don’t stop over at Good Robot, with yet another new one being released next Tuesday (and note that Beta Brews can now be filled up in the 0.89 L growler), Chicka Cherry Kölsch. Brewed by Kelly and Georgie, it has a simple grist of Pilsner malt and a bit of Vienna, and was hopped lightly to 19 IBUs with Tettnang. Fermented with a Kölsch yeast, cherry juice was added in secondary, resulting in a clean-tasting beer with a “tart black cherry flavour”. Pretty sessionable at 4.9% ABV.

• It appears that YellowBelly has no intentions of slowing down in the one-off beer department, as there’s yet another new one newly on tap at the brewpub this week. I’se da’ Rye is a Rye Pale Ale brewed with Pale malt, Rye malt, Rye flakes, and CaraVienne. Bittered with Cluster and El Dorado 40-45 IBUs, it was then dry-hopped with more El Dorado, as well as some Citra. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, expect notes of “candy, watermelon, pear, lychee, and red berry, with a bitter finish”, according to YB. You can pick it up in growlers and pints at the brewpub, and bottles should be for sale early next week.

Holy Whale Brewing in Alma, New Brunswick got some wonderful news recently, as they were notified that were successful in their bid for a grant to open a café in a customized shipping container along the Petitcodiac River in Riverview, NB. Competing against four other plans from local businesses, they were selected on the basis of the business concept, plans for the future and business experience. The funding comes from a grant provided by the provincial government to the municipality to help commemorate Canada’s 150th Birthday. Although licensing and permitting is expected to take some time, they’re hoping to be operational as early as late January, serving a full lineup of Buddha Bear coffee, a local-based menu and Holy Whale beer from a take-out window facing the boardwalk. And for those folks who can’t wait that long for their Holy Whale fix, we can report that HW is now licensed to sell growlers and crowlers from their brewery and taproom, at the Eastern entrance to Fundy National Park, and that should mean kegs will be making their way to licensees in the province soon.

• Amherst’s Trider’s Craft Beer recently took a previous 10 gallon pilot brew and scaled it up to a full-sized batch. Featuring a grist of largely pale ale malt, with some crystal to give it color and 10% Canadian Rye for spiciness, Commander Rye-Ker Imperial Rye IPA was heavily hopped with Amarillo at a rate of 2 lbs or so every 15 minutes through a 75-minute boil. Three quarters of the way through fermentation even more Amarillo was added as a dry hop. Clean American ale yeast ensured a neutral yeast character to show off the malt and, especially, the hops. Although it’s pushing the 8% ABV mark and sporting a hefty estimated IBU range of 80-100, it’s a sneaky one that’s likely to creep up on you. It’s available at the brewery for fills for sure, but given that it’s a full-size batch you might reasonably expect it to show up at tap accounts and who knows, possibly other packaging formats.

• Teensy-tiny Tidehouse in downtown Hal-town has another new beer for us this week, this time a Hopfenweisse called Cloud Shadow. Coming in at a very sessionable 4.6% ABV, it’s based on a grist of half wheat male and half pale malt. Fruity and citrusy Mandarina Bavaria hops from Germany were paired with earthy, floral and also citrusy Ahtanum hops from the USA to provide notes of mandarin orange and a lemony, tart finish. You’ll find it at the Tiny Tasty Beverage Room on Salter Street for fills and 4oz pours. And stay tuned for news of Tidehouse’s 1st Birthday Celebration coming up in December!

Garrison in Halifax is looking for everyone to pucker up this week, releasing two new draught-only sours. First is Holy Gose, a thirst-quenching brew with light fruit flavors of apple, peach and orange zest paired with a light saltiness typical of the style. Built on a base of Pilsner and wheat malts, and eschewing hops entirely, additions of orange zest and sea salt finished this brew. It weighs in at a fairly light 5.4% ABV. And joining it on the board is La Menta, a beer brewed with mint (“menta” is Spanish for “mint”) provided by local home brewer and beer judge Tim Fletcher. Similar in concept to the Saison Froide made by brewmaster Daniel Girard a few years ago, the mint provides a “cooling” character intended to be refreshing. Using the same grist as the the Holy Gose, there’s no hops in this one either, but the aforementioned mint along with apple and lime juices provide flavour notes to pair with the acidity of this 5.2% ABV sour. As mentioned, these are draught-only releases that you can find now at the brewery or by times at Garrison tap accounts. If you’re super duper keen, you can specifically seek it out using their website’s On Tap feature.

• Bridgewater’s FirkinStein Brewing has a pair of new/returning beer that you will want to check out this weekend, plus a heads up on one coming next week. Returning from a summer off, Set Sail Pale Ale is back in the rotation. At 6.0% ABV, this light-bodied beer receives a heavy dose of hops, but very little in the kettle. The resultant beer has tons of citrus aroma and hop flavour, but very low bitterness. A brand new debut is a pepper beer, Hot as Firk (which is what you’ll be exclaiming after you drink a pint of it, we imagine!). Featuring multiple peppers, including Thai Bird’s Eye, Cayenne, and the infamous Carolina Reaper, this beer is a must-try for chili-heads. No waiver needed to sign before you try it, but best to have one of their other beers nearby in case you need some relief. HaF is only available at their King Street location. And keep an eye out for their as-of-yet-unnamed Black IPA, debuting next week. Weighing in at 7.0% ABV, it features lots of hops, with CascaseChinook, and Simcoe coming through with citrus and pine notes, melding with the light roast character of the dark roasted malts. Keep an eye on their social media for the release date!

2 Crows Brewing in Halifax, who recently released a delightful little number known as Amateur Hour that you should totally drink, released another new beer from their pilot system on Tuesday of this week. The brainchild of their tasting room’s Graeme, it’s his take on the Dutch Bokbier (differentiated from a German Bock by the use of ale yeast instead of lager yeast) but with a twist. Leveraging hearty Munich as a base malt, to which was added Pilsner, Caravienne, along with small amounts of Wheat and Flaked Oats and some Chocolate malt for color, this beer was hopped with Magnum for bittering and Sterling later in the boil. But the real twist is the use of 2 Crows’ house strain of Brettanomyces for the fermentation, which is likely to balance what would otherwise be a fairly prominent maltiness. If you’re lucky enough to try it, look for notes of toffee, caramel and plum complementing a residual sweetness and finished by the Brett. It’s a hefty 8.2% ABV and 35 IBU. Proost!

• In Yarmouth, Heritage brewing has a new beer available as of last night. Freezing Spray is an IPA that packs a solid hop flavour and aroma thanks to a blend of Chinook, Citra and Equanot hops. At 6.5% ABV and 60 IBU this is right in the sweet spot for IPAs. And we’re told the batch is already half sold, so you best be moving quickly if you want a taste. Available at the brewery as well as select tap accounts in the region, including the Good Robot taproom as of last night.

• After going on hiatus for the summer, Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing has brought back their popular Seventh Wave Series this week. Smaller batches, brewed on their 50l pilot system, give the brew crew a chance at testing out new recipes that may make it onto the big system, try out new ingredients, or just play around with ideas they have. We’re not sure which category the latest brew falls into, but this week’s release is Altbier, an ale from Germany, traditionally known for their lagers, that tends to undergo a long conditioning (lagering) period after primary fermentation. Copper in colour, and usually well-hopped, details are light on Spindrift’s release. That means you’ll have to go and try it for yourself! With the small volume available, we expect Altbier to sell out before they close at 6pm today.

• Our favourite beer podcast buds at 902 BrewCast are celebrating their First Anniversary today, with the release of their November tasting episode. They threw caution to wind and decided to embark on a Garrison Ol’ Fogburner Barleywine vertical. Joined by our very own acbbchris, and fellow frequent shout-out receivers Damian and Duncan, the six drank all years of OFB from 2009-2016 (except for 2014, as there was no release that year). The discussion also turned to how the beer scene has changed since 2009 (and even since 902BC launched in 2016), favourite beers, trends to expect in the future, and everything in between. Tune in, and let them know if you agree if Barleywine Is Life.

Lots of events on the go this weekend, including two brewery anniversary parties!

• We’ll keep it brief since we mentioned it last week, but it bears repeating: tickets for the next Fredericton Craft Beer Festival went on sale today at 11 am. If you forgot to get VIP tickets, you’re likely already out of luck, but remember there’s two sessions (afternoon and evening), and lots of fun to be had! Grab your tickets here.

• In Port Williams, The Port Pub and Sea Level are celebrating their 10th Anniversary tomorrow, November 25th, with a party and new beer release! Kicking off at 10AM with Ice Carving Demonstrations, food and beer discounts, music all day and night, and hourly giveaways from 5PM until close, it will be one heck of a good time! And kicking it up a notch will be the release of The Devils Backbone, the first barrel-aged beer from Sea Level (from our memory). This 8.5% ABV Baltic Porter was fermented in a pair of Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels for nine months, before conditioning and packaging. Available on tap at the Port and in bottles at the brewery to take away, this limited edition beer is sure to be a special gift for the beer lover who has *almost* everything (hint hint blog wives). Congratulations Sea Level and Port Pub!

Foghorn is celebrating one year in business with their Fog the Parade 1st Anniversary Party tomorrow. The party will be held all day, and includes open mic from 3-6 pm (sing a song and they buy you a beer!); live music not-sung-by-you; beer snacks, cake, and other treats; and, of course, lots of beer! In addition, with every pint or growler purchase during the day, you can enter a contest to win 52 growler vouchers for 2018!

Sober Island is celebrating their line of Foraged Beers with a joint event this Sunday. The judging has already been done, but the winners will be announced for their Foraged Homebrew Competition. Featuring entries from across the province (and even an entry flown in from Calgary), the top beers will be celebrated (and maybe even poured), at the Henley House in Sheet Harbour, from 1PM. Joining the finalists will be their Chanterelle Mild Ale (now in short supply, so if you were hoping to try it, time is running out), and the debut of their Juniper IPA. At 7.0% ABV and 58 IBU, the beer features local whole leaf hops from Wicked Hops in Stewiacke, to the tune of CascadeCentennialChinook, and Magnum. But the star of the beer may be the Juniper berries, with 1.5 kg macerated and added late in the boil, with another kilogram added during conditioning. All of the beers will be available in “Foraged Flights”, along with a small menu of foraged food items. After its debut, keep an eye out for cans and kegs of Juniper across the province.

Big Spruce will be taking over the taps at Battery Park December 7th, featuring more than 15 different beers, with plenty of food and cheer to go around. The taplist has not yet been released (but should be added to this event as it is), but we’re sure there will be a good mix of new and cellared beers, and maybe even a new release or two. And prepare yourself, as Bis Spruce is offering a delivery service for those fans unable to make it up to Nyanza to grab their wares. Scheduled to hit HRM December 16th, flats of cans can be ordered in advance, with any combination of Kitchen Party Pale Ale, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Bitter Get’er India Black IPA, Tag! You’re It! NEIPA, and One Hundred – Cape Breton Wild Ale. A minimum of one flat is required, and it is attractivel priced at only $98.40 (all in). Bottles of two of their barrel-aged brews are also up for grabs, Ra Ra Rasputin Whisky Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, and Complexified Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter (both $16 all in). Get your orders in before the 15th to avoid disappointment! Keep an eye out on this page for any updates.

And before you go…

Picaroons has released PIVOT #9 (8% ABV), the latest in their Imperial IPA series, with this one showcasing Zythos, as well as “some home-grown Moose Mountain hops”. Available in bottles and on tap, also note that their long-running Yippee IPA is now available in cans, for the first time.
Propeller fans will be ecstatic to hear that their big, dark, and tasty Russian Imperial Stout (8% ABV, 60 IBUs) is back; you can find it pretty much all bottle stores in Halifax, at the brewery, and on tap.
– Fredericton’s Sunset Heights Meadery has some of their holiday meads arriving at ANBL stores, with Queen’s Nectar, Scuttlebutt, Latifah, Punky Pie, and Cinfully Yours – a chocolate cinnamon mead – making the list. Some of these are in quite-limited supply, so be sure to check with your nearby ANBL to make sure they have some in stock.

Well, it’s official…September is here. Unofficially, summer is over, the days of Pumpkin Ales are upon us, and wet-hopped beers are approaching soon! If you’re not a fan of one of these (or both), don’t worry…while this week may be a bit slower in the new beer department compared to the last few, there’s still some interesting brews newly released or coming soon that we’d love to get you caught up on…

• Charlottetown’s St. Paul’s Church will be celebrating their 250th Anniversary in 2019, and they’ve partnered up with Upstreet to have a special beer brewed as a means of fundraising for this important milestone. Head brewer Mike Hogan decided to brew a beer similar in style to one you’d see in England in the 18th century…hence, Red Stone Stock Ale was born. The grist is made up of English Pale malt, Medium Crystal, and Chocolate malt. A 60 L grain-soured starter was whipped up, and added to half of the 30 BBL (3500 L) batch, resulting in a pH drop that gave some, but not too much, sourness. After boiling the wort and hopping it with English Fuggles, this half was then blended with the other, non-soured half (brewed with the same hop schedule), and the resulting wort was fermented. Afterwards, house-toasted PEI oak cubes were added, with the final product exhibiting an “oaky and sharp finish similar to the aged beers of the time”. This brew will be released on September 17th, on tap at the brewery and a few select accounts, and in bottles, with all proceeds going to St. Paul’s.

• There’s a new beer flowing at the Foghorn taproom in Rothesay, an Extra Special Bitter named after its proud brewer, Andrew Estabrooks. Esty Special Bitter is a 5.5% ABV, 38 IBUs beer hopped with three new-to-Foghorn varieties: Challenger, Target, and Olicana. Fermented with, of course, an English yeast strain, expect a dry, slightly fruity brew that goes down easy. Available now for pints and growlers, it’s also popping up at a few tap accounts in Saint John.

• More breweries in our region are working with Escarpment Labs – a company in Guelph, Ontario, that produces liquid yeast cultures for breweries – to develop their own unique cultures for fermenting wort. Tatamagouche Brewing has joined this list, with the release of a new Saison, Edel, yesterday. The grist of this new beer is comprised of 70% Pilsner malt, and 20% raw wheat and 10% raw Rye from Horton Ridge, to 5.2% ABV. Hopped with organic French Strisselspalt to 21 IBUs, the wort was fermented with a special blend of yeast that Tatabrew worked on with Escarpment, that incorporates both a traditional Saison yeast, and a North American Brettanomyces strain. The resulting beer was split into two batches; the first, being released today, was dry-hopped with more Strisselspalt, while the second has moved on into Tempranillo wine barrels and will be getting an addition of wine must this fall (look for this half to be released next spring). Edel is a keg-only beer, so look for it at the brewery for growlers and pints, as well as on tap at both Stillwell locations, and Battery Park. Next spring’s barrelled version, however, will also be released in bottles. We’ll be sure to remind you when it’s available!

Loyalist City Brewing has released a variety of hoppy beers since they opened last fall, and this week they launched their third American IPA, Point Blanc IPA. This is a “New England IPA” brewed with a blend of Maris Otter in the grist, which provides a “light toasted malt presence” to balance the hop character provided from large whirlpool additions of Citra, Centennial, and Mandarina Bavaria, along with a heavy dry hop of CentennialHallertau Blanc, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fermented with the brewery’s Vermont yeast strain, expect lots of citrus and grapefruit, and a high bitterness in the finish. Seek it out on tap at your favourite Loyalist City account!

Good Robot is bringing back version 2.0 of their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale today; to remind you, this is the one featuring the addition of Kenyan Nyeri Gatina coffee beans, roasted by Java Blend Coffee Roasters and brewed by Low Point Coffee Co. The resultant cold brew was added to the beer, along with hop additions of Falconer’s Flight and Cascade, giving you interesting flavours of coffee, chocolate, slight fruit, and some acidity. Look for it on tap at Good Robot, and, of course, other GR-friendly establishments in the HRM. Also, next Tuesday’s Beta Brewsday (brewed by Robyn, Heather, and Kelly C.) will be Low Hanging Fruit Milkshake IPA (6.6% ABV, 54 IBUs)- hopped with Mosaic Cryo hops, as well as pelletized Amarillo, Citra and Columbus. It was then rested on fresh Ontario peaches for a week; the fruity notes from both the hops and fruit help balance the slight sweetness from the addition of lactose powder. And finally, note that there will be no Cask in the Sun release today.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe has finally confirmed that they will be expanding their 1 BBL brewery, which has been operating since April, 2014 out of co-owners’ Peter and Tatiana Cole’s Bed and Breakfast under the same name. The Big Axe Brewery and Saloon will be housed in a “wild west-style log home”, built on the banks of the Saint John River in Nackawic. Scheduled to open in April, 2018, the 10 BBL (1150 L) brewhouse is being built by Charlottetown’s DME. With 20 BBL fermentors also being constructed, expect plenty more Big Axe beer, including bottle and can distribution. The two-level saloon will have a wrap-around deck overlooking the Saint John River; food will be served as well. We’ll be sure to update you as their progress continues. Congratulations to the Coles!

• After backing out of their original plan to open a small batch brewery in downtown Saint John early this year, Moosehead has announced that they will indeed be adding a 20 BBL (2300 L) brewhouse and taproom to the company’s original brewery at 89 Main St. West in Saint John. A 3 BBL (350 L) pilot brewery will also be constructed, with the idea behind both smaller brewhouses being experimentation, according to Moosehead. Current plans are for the new location to be up and running in May, 2018.

• And speaking of crafty (and pumpkin ales!), A. Keith’s Historic Brewery has a new batch out of their pilot system. Brewmaster Stefan Gagliardi, a self-proclaimed pumpkin head, perfected this recipe as a home brewer over many iterations and it’s one of his favorites. Ingredients include Vienna and Munich malts from Horton Ridge, pumpkin purée, and pumpkin pie spices including fresh ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Look for malty, toasty and sweet pie crust elements to meet a full body and smooth mouthfeel highlighted by the spices. This is a small batch, with only three kegs going on the growler station at the brewery today.

• Those who have hops growing on their property are surely aware that the time is nigh for harvesting. Hop flowers, or cones, are starting to sound papery when squeezed, are going a little brown around the edges, and smell of the resinous lupulin that contains the essential oils and acids hops are known and loved for. We know that a couple of hop growing breweries in the region, including Meander River and Big Spruce, have already had their picking parties and other producers will no doubt harvest soon if they haven’t already. Most of the hops harvested in our region will no doubt be processed normally: dried with warm, moving air, before being baled or pelletized and stored cold. But some hops are destined for nearly immediate use with a special technique known as “wet hopping”, “fresh hopping” or “green hopping” – adding freshly-picked, undried hops to a batch of beer during the brewing process. For best effect, wet hops have to be as fresh as possible, ideally within hours of picking, so that they do not spoil. Cold storage and shipping, if necessary, should not exceed 48 hours before the hops hit the beer. This gives breweries with their own on-site hop farms a leg up on making wet hopped beers. Using wet hops is much more risky than processed hops; with no laboratory analysis, alpha acid and essential oil levels are completely unknown. Because of this, to keep some control over the result, some breweries will use processed hops with known alpha levels for bittering and will save the fresh hops for flavour and aroma additions. When picked, hops are ideally still roughly 80% water and aren’t nearly as potent as dried, so significantly higher hop amounts must be used in wet hopping, often as much as 5 or 10 times the dried equivalent. Meanwhile, compounds that lose their potency during the drying process are still present and can make significant, and sometimes unwelcome, flavour contributions. Wet hopped beers, at their best, present a different side of hops, earthy and somewhat grassy, with a more subtle presentation of other flavour and aroma characteristics than usual. Look for wet hopped beers, often termed harvest ales to start appearing in the region over the next month or so!

• Speaking of which, if you’ve got hops growing on your property that you’re not planning to use, and you can get them to Fredericton quickly after picking, Graystone Brewing has put out a call for hops to be used in their Harvest Ale. Proceeds from the beer with go towards the United Way of Central New Brunswick’s campaign.

A bit of a quiet week for beer events and event announcements this week:

• A reminder to those in Halifax that Stillwell is bringing one of the big (but little!) guns of American Farmhouse styles for a two-stage takeover this weekend as Maine’s Oxbow Brewing comes to town. Starting at 4 PM today some of the best Belgian-inspired beers you can imagine will be pouring at Stillwell HQ on Barrington Street. And tomorrow starting at noon the party moves on up to The Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden Road. The full tap and bottle list is now available for this evening’s festivities and chef Graeme Ruppel has put together a burger-focused menu that’ll melt your butter. If you’ve found yourself going into withdrawal after the Stillwell Belgian Takeover two weeks ago, if you’re curious how American Farmhouse compares to the original, or if you just like really great beer, you owe it to yourself to get out today or tomorrow. No tickets required at either session.

• If you’re in Charlottetown, PEI, or planning to be there in the next 24 hours, and you don’t already have your tickets for the PEI Beerfest (part of the Fall Flavours Festival) at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, what are you waiting for?! Tickets are still available for tonight’s 6:30 – 9:30 PM session ($48 + taxes & fees) and Saturday afternoon’s 2:00 – 4:00 PM shift ($36.50 + taxes & fees), but tomorrow evening’s session is now sold out! The brewery list is as up-to-date as it’s going to get and the live entertainment is locked-in. A reminder also that Designated Driver tickets ($13.50 + taxes & fees) are available as well to help you arrange to get home safely.

• The Maritime Honey Festival will be taking place in Fredericton in a couple of weeks, and with beer’s popularity continuing to rise, of course it has to take part! On Saturday, September 23rd, the “Bee-R Garden” will be held between 10 am – 3 pm, at the Capital Exhibit Center. At least seven different local craft breweries will be taking part, each of which has been matched up with a beekeeper, and will be brewing a style of beer different from others attending, featuring, of course, honey. Ranging from a “Brett Honey Saison” from Maybee to an “Imperial Honey Porter” from Foghorn, attendees can expect a wide variety of brews! Be sure to check out the link for the list of styles from breweries who have committed to participate. And what honey-centric festival would be complete without mead? Sunset Heights Meadery will be pouring seven different varieties of mead to satisfy your sweet tooth. Drink tickets can be purchased now – $8 for four 4 oz drink tickets, or $45 for unlimited samples – or at the door, where $11 gets you four drink tickets (no unlimited samples option).

And a few last items before you get on with your weekend…

Garrison‘s Rise ‘n Stein Hefeweizen (5.5% ABV, 13 IBUs) has returned, with this year’s batch being available almost-exclusively in bottles at the brewery and HRM private stores; a limited amount may be available on tap, so keep your eyes open.
– PEI’s Moth Lane has released a new beer, The Gorbine Double Black IPA (8.8% ABV, 85 IBUs), that is available now across the Island at Moth Lane tap accounts, and at the brewery.
Nine Locks Brewing led the pack this year with the release of their Harvest Pumpkin Ale earlier this week. It’s available now in cans at the brewery and will appear at the NSLC in October.
– Bad news for fans of Picaroons Dark and Stormy Night: due to an ongoing legal dispute with “a big name in the spirits world”, the beer has been discontinued and will not be brewed again. It doesn’t appear that it will return under a different name, so if this is a brew you’ve enjoyed in the past, you may want to grab a bottle or two if you can find it.
– In Cask Friday news, the Propeller Organic Blonde on Yuzu we told you about last week is actually going on this evening at 5 PM. Schoolhouse’s cask today is called Oaked Grog Chequers obviously their Chequers Robust Porter aged on Oak, but what’s the “grog” angle? Stop by the brewery this evening and find out!

Happy Summer, folks! It sure felt that the warm weather was never going to come, but with temperatures reaching well above 20C in all four provinces this week, we’re finally able to dust off the patio furniture for real, and work on those farmer tans. Let’s get right to the beer(s) you should be drinking!

Lunn’s Mill Beer Company has added a new brew, Anvil, a Porter, to their list of offerings in Lawrencetown, NS. Described by the brewery as being closer to the American Porter style (as opposed to British), it’s smooth and dark, with “hints of roast, chocolate, and dark fruit”. With a moderate bitterness in the finish to balance the malt flavours, it weighs in at 5.8% ABV and 32 IBUs. It was released late last week at the brewery, so only limited amounts are likely still available. But fear not! They’ll be brewing it again soon, and their tasting room has extended their hours (Thursdays 3:30-6:30 and Friday 12:00-6:00). And with three new 5 bbl (580 L) BIACs (Brew-in-a-Conical) arriving, there’ll be a big increase in production at the brewery any day now!

• Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery has released a brand new blend this week, Yard Berry. The base cider of Jonagold and Northern Spy apples was blended with NS High Bush blueberries that underwent an arrested fermentation (aka, stopped short of finishing too dry). The final product features notes of sour cherry, cranberry, and of course plenty of blueberry, with a heavier weight, but clean finish. Drop by their location at North & Agricola and enjoy a glass on their patio.

Western Newfoundland Brewing Company has had a busy spring, brewing up some test batches at their Pasadena location. They currently have three of these smaller batches in rotation (as well as their Killdevil Pale Ale and Wild Cove Cream Ale) at their officially-unofficial taproom, Galliott Studios in Woody Point, located inside Gros Morne National Park. On tap currently is The Hoppin’ McIlroy, a Pale Ale brewed using wild hops from Norris Point, across Bonne Bay from the Studios. Also rotating through are Oat Pale Ale, featuring oats for a creamy mouthfeel and lots of late-hopping for a pleasant citrus and fruit flavour, and the preview for an upcoming wider release, Stout River (formerly Stout #1). Take a drive into the Park, grab a pint and sit on their beautiful wharf, and watch the humpbacks and minke whales that frequent the Bay.

• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is releasing an all-new beer today, the aggressively named Sour M.F. This is a wheat beer, kettle-soured and weighing in at 6.2% ABV. And here we depart from the typical text of an Unfiltered beer release because there’s no IBU number to report, nor are there any hop varieties to name. This ain’t a hoppy beer, it’s a sour, and in typical NASH style, it was rather unsubtly re-fermented on a metric fuckton of tart cherries for a big cherry bouquet. It’s described as acidic, refreshing and bright with a light spicy finish. Probably a beautiful beer for your patio drinking needs on a hot day. Available from noon today for fills at the brewery and pints next door at Charm School Pub.

• Those of us who’ve were lucky enough to share in the beers of Peter Lionais over his homebrewing career have reason to be excited, as there’s a new beer coming out of Tidehouse and it finished at a specific gravity of 1.003. A beer that dry can mean only one thing: Peter’s been into the saison yeast again! Using a blend of two strains, 2 Many Birds is firmly in the saison style, with a balance of earthy and citrus characters from the yeast. A grist of largely Pilsner malt with some Vienna added for character yields a rounded mouthfeel despite the dry finish. Hops in this batch were a blend of the old school Perle, the American darling Amarillo and the Southern Hemisphere newcomer Pacific Jade, for a floral and orange-grapefruity hop presence. The lion’s share of this batch was shipped up to Stillwell‘s Beer Garden on Spring Garden, so look for it to appear there soon, with the balance likely to find a home across the water at Battery Park and for a severely limited number of fills at the retail space on Salter Street.

• Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing put their thinking caps on and developed a “100% Canadian beer”, utilizing ingredients from all four of our favourite provinces. Big Cod Mountain Ridge uses PEI malt (floor malted by Horton Ridge) in the grist, Cascade hops from Moose Mountain Hops in NB, and pineapple weed (tea-infused) harvested in NL by Cod Sounds. Finally fermented by Big Spruce‘s pin cherry-harvested yeast (with some help from Escarpment Labs), the beer – probably best described as a Saison – comes in at 5% ABV and 19 IBUs and exhibits a “Belgian feel”, and finishes very dry.

North Brewing is releasing two beers today, one of which is new, the other, a returning favourite. The new brew is Little Beast, brewed for the North End Runners, a community of local runners who meet every Wednesday at 6 pm at North Brewing for a 6 km run. A 4% ABV “lagered ale”, it was hopped with Huell Melon to 10 IBUs, and features an addition of salt to the boil. North wants you to think of it as a “post-run recovery beer”… sounds right to us! Returning is White Lightning (4.8% ABV), a dry-hopped kettle sour. This time around, the beer is slightly more tart, thanks to the use of a different Lactobacillus starter, and was hopped with Azacca, Huell Melon, and Wai-Iti. Both beers will be available as of today at both North locations, for growler and swing-top fills, as well as in 650 mL bottles.

TrailWay has their brand new automatic canning line up and running, which means more cans for all of us, and less work for the TW crew! It also means new label designs, and packaging dates indicated on each can. Beyond Reality (raspberry Fruit beer) is already out with its new look, and their Rye Pale Ale, Rype, will be available as of today. Finally, the winning American IPA in the first TrailWay Homebrew Challenge is available again (probably for the last time); Hoppy McHazy was brewed by Pierre Gagnon, and features plenty of Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe, for a huge blast of tropical, fruity goodness.

• And the circle of life is complete as we heard from a little birdie this week that the canning line Trailway replaced with their new whizzbang automatic dealio is on its way to Sober Island on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. While we let you consider what that’s going to mean for Rebecca Atkinson and her crew, or, more to the point, for you, gentle beer drinker, we’ll tell you about their latest release, dubbed Kirby’s Canoe Rye Pale Ale. The grist features 11% rye, which will almost certainly provide a spicy note on the finish. We also know that it was dry hopped with both Willamette and Bramling Cross hops, with the Bramling being the focus. This should provide a bright berry character. It’s straw-yellow in colour, with a solid 5.7% ABV and 30 IBU, if you really want to figure this one out, look for it in crowlers at the brewery, on tap at The Henley House in Sheet Harbour and Battery Park in Dartmouth, and appearing at the New Glasgow and Musquodoboit Farmers Markets.

• Heading Southwest along Nova Scotia’s coast, FirkinStein in Bridgewater has their latest experiment on tap and ready for prime time. Sassamanana is a 7.0% ABV Pale Ale, featuring the addition of cranberries and banana to the beer. While the techniques they used are secret (trust us, we asked!), they promise that the light tart character from the berries, and creaminess from the banana will make for a great experience. The beer is debuting at tomorrow morning’s Bridgewater Farmers’ Market. And keep an eye out for the news of their King Street satellite brewery/taproom/retail location, which is poised to open before the end of the month.

• And back to the city, on the waterfront in Halifax, Gahan Harbourfront is now serving up a batch of Flavour of the Monk which was the winning beer in their first annual homebrew competition. Devised (and named) by Ian Wheatley, who you may remember from March’s Lil’Wheatey Tap Takeover at Tidehouse Brewing earlier this year, it’s a Belgian beer in the Trappist Single style, with a pillowy white head and moderate bitterness. The hops used are classic Czech and German noble varieities, giving a floral and spicy nose to balance against the classic peppery and fruity Belgian yeast character. It’s a fairly easy-drinking 5.4% ABV and 35 IBU. Meanwhile, Gahan has quietly become the second brewery in NS to offer crowlers. These 32oz cans let you take beer pretty much anywhere in a convenient package, or let you sock it in the fridge for up to a month. Only Gahan beers are available (no PEIBC or guest taps) and they’re available for $8 from the fridge at the restaurant entrance. Currently available in this format are their Crosscurrent APA, Impatience Sour Brown and Captain Falcon’s IPA.

Maybee Brewing is releasing Old Growth, an Extra Special Bitter, sometime today. The slightly-bigger brother to their Slanty Shanty Best Bitter that originally came out last December, the malt and hop profiles have been tweaked slightly. Horton Ridge floor-malted Organic Pale Malt makes up the majority of the grist, with New Brunswick Goldings hops bringing the IBUs to 44. Exhibiting “hints of honey and caramel”, and nicely-balanced with a firm bitterness, this 5.5% ABV beer is available at the brewery for pints, growlers, and cans. Look for cans to likely appear at select ANBL stores in the future; local tap accounts will also be receiving kegs.

• St. John’s YellowBelly Brewpub celebrated the changing of the seasons this week with the release of Summer Solstice Crystal Wheat. A nod to Wexford Wheat, one of their core beers, this beer features a simplified malt bill with just 2-Row and Wheat malts. Unlike WW, it is filtered, resulting in a bright, crystal-clear straw coloured beer. The hops are also unique to this release, with Pacific Gem and Sorachi Ace used in the boil, with more Sorachi and a second hop during dry-hopping. At 5.3% ABV and 18 IBUs, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser on their patio this weekend at the corner of George Street, or to take-away when bottles make an appearance next week.

• Dropping today is YellowBelly’s latest cider, this one is a blend of dry apple cider fermented with Champagne yeast and sweetened with a touch of unfermented cider, then blended with 6% cold-pressed cranberry juice from the Island’s West Coast just prior to filtration. At 6.0% ABV, the resultant cider is juicy and tart, and thirst quenching for the warm weather (enjoy it over ice to extend the pleasure). On tap today, it should also see release in bottles at the Brewpub next week. And for a hint of what’s to come this summer, YB is currently on the look-out for an experience manager for “YellowBelly Take-Away”, to open at 264 Water Street in the coming months. Contact them via email for more details.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe Brewery has been busy crafting up some new sour beers, after the success of their kettle-soured Partridgeberry Sour and Sumac Sour. Coming up next is their next entry, Strawberry Sour. Initially fermented with a “collection of Brettanomyces and bacteria”, a neutral Ale strain (read: Saccharomyces) was used to finish things off. Real strawberries were then added during secondary fermentation, resulting in a “sourness complemented by a strawberry and citrus aroma” in this hazy, light-copper-coloured brew. Easy-drinking at 5% ABV, you’ll be able to find this one on tap at the brewery, as well as in Fredericton at 540 Kitchen & Bar and the Cider House. Next week should also see the release of Seaberry Sour, an amber-coloured kettle sour brewed with NB Sea Buckthorn berries, resulting in lots of citrus aromas, according to the brewery. This very-limited release will pop up at a few tap accounts.

• We have some great news for you New Brunswick Mead fans out there! Fredericton’s Sunset Heights Meadery has a very large shipment of bottles heading to more than 30 different ANBL locations across the province, starting this coming Monday, June 26th. After a few releases at four locations over the past months, the high demand was apparent; the current numbers hitting stores is ten times the amounts from before. Look for plenty of bottles of Queen’s Nectar, Scuttlebutt, ChaChaChaga, and Latifah to be hitting shelves very soon, with another release scheduled for sometime in early September. You can check the ANBL location list here.

Big Tide has announced that they have a beer coming out soon, LaTour, their entry in the Acadian Nut Brown style being seen more and more in New Brunswick (check out our mention of it in last week’s post for more info). The 2 Row base malt is accented by plenty of CaraMunich and Chocolate Wheat malts for a medium-bodied, malt-forward, 6.5% ABV Nut Brown. Hopped to 27 IBUs with Fuggles for a mild bitterness and earthy aroma. A little past the June 9th official launch date, but that’s ok! It’ll be available at the brewpub for pours and growler next week. And grab a pint or growler of their 4.5% ABV Zippy Pale Ale, as it is sure to run out this weekend.

• Last week we told you a bunch of stuff about Good Robot that turned out to be a week too early (we blame contrails and the Illuminati). To save us some typing, you can catch up on that stuff right here (CTRL-F “robot” <enter>). We have it on good authority this week, that you will finally see the Cream Team cream ale appear this coming Tuesday, June 27th. This will mark the first of the Tuesday Beta Brew releases, heretofore and forever known as BetaBrewsDays. Also heading for Tuesday next, assuming kegs can be cleared in time, will be #2 in the SMaSH Pale Ale series, now officially known as Hey Now (you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play). And lastly, but not leastly, today will see the debut of the Cherry Goseface Killah, so head on down to Robie Street and get yourself some sour, salty brew with a fruit kick.

• Breton Brewing in Sydney, NS, has a brand new summer refresher out, the cleverly-named Miami Weiss, a weizen-style beer mixed with 100% organic grapefruit juice to create a Shandy. At a very light 4.0% and barely there 12 IBU it’s likely to be extremely crushable and perfect for a sunny afternoon on a patio somewhere. It’s already available at the brewery for pints and fills and you should see it make taps in the big city within the next couple of weeks. They’ve also got a third batch of the Stillwell Open-winning Seven Years Pale Ale just brewed and have put down their second lager for aging into early July. We’ll have more information on availability for the former and details on the latter in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you’re in Sydney this weekend and you love beer, why not swing by the brewery and check out Breton’s 2nd Birthday Party, which has been in full swing since kicking off last night. The festivities continue tonight with a Music on Tap event from 4 – 10 PM before tomorrow’s 10 hours of live music, food trucks and cake! Check out the Breton Brewing Birthday Bash Facebook event page and plan accordingly!

• Down in the old A. Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, a new beer is on the horizon, this one being labeled Highland Scottish Pilsner. Taking advantage of the similarities (water-chemistry wise) between the Halifax Pockwock water supply and the classic brewing liquor of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, this brew sees light and grainy Pilsner wed to the round sweet maltiness of Scottish Golden Promise. This will no doubt provide the beer with somewhat more body than a truly classic Pils, while preserving the dry and crisp finish characteristic of the style. The hopping also sees an uncommon marriage, with the classic Saaz combined with its descendant variety from New Zealand, Motueka. At 5.5% ABV and 20 IBU, you’ll find it available for growler fills at the brewery.

• Despite our best efforts, we’re always finding out we’re not quite as on top of things as we like to think we are. Case in point, this week we heard about The Groundswell Inn, located on the Fleur-de-lis trail in D’Escousse on Isle Madame, NS, on the south side of Cape Breton. A bed and breakfast with an attached British-style Pub, they’ve been since last year and feature 8 craft beer taps, one of the largest selections of craft beer, if not the largest, in Cape Breton! We’ve added them to the Brewnosers Good Beer Map on this site, but certainly if you’re planning to be in the area or looking for accommodations or a place to have a pint near Isle Madame, check out their website and look for info on their coming events on Facebook and Twitter!

• Those of us patiently waiting for Big Spruce‘s Silver Tart to be available in cans in Halifax, rejoice! After a run on the cans yesterday, we’ve been assured that there are a few hundred more being delivered to Bishop’s Cellar this morning, in time for your post-work pint. Keep an eye on BC’s twitter feed, as they’ll be sure to announce their arrival. Or, why not make a run up to Nyanza, where you can also enjoy some food, live music, and relaxation courtesy of some Beer Yoga.

Looking for a few things to do in the next few weeks? We’ve got lots to keep you busy, no matter where you are!

• The tap takeovers at Charlottetown’s HopYard continue in full force today, June 23rd, with an Upstreet/North Takeover all day. All taps will be dedicated to the two breweries – check out the event link for a full list – including a new collaboration between the two, Northern Light, a 3.5% ABV, 15 IBUs Session IPA brewed with equal amounts 2-row and Wheat malt, and hopped with Cashmere and Mosaic. Launching at this event, Northern Light will also be on tap at the Upstreet taproom in Charlottetown and Battery Park in Halifax, as well as select tap accounts in both cities.

Horton Ridge is holding the Grand Opening of their brewery and taproom tomorrow, June 24th, starting at 11 am. A selection of NS craft beer will be on tap for purchase, including – of course – several of the releases from Horton Ridge, which are only available at the brewery/malt house. Singer/songwriter Caleb Miles will be performing at 6 pm, and the Let’s Eat Beer food truck will be serving up some beer-infused items all day (all proceeds will be going to Atlantic Canadian charities). Games, tours, and door prizes will be rounding out the day, so drop by and bring the family!

• Back to Upstreet, who will be having their 2nd Birthday next week, and like last year, will be celebrating with the launch of a new beer in their annual De Novo series. De Novo II is a Belgian Saison brewed with Maritime malt, New Brunswick Goldings hops, and fermented with a Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces blend. The result is flavours of “light candy and funk”, backed lightly by a dry finish and hop bitterness. This already-dry beer will get more so over time, as the Brett continues to chew away at residual sugars, increasing the amount of funk character in the beer (and, quite possibly, carbonation… you’ve been warned!). The De Novo II Release Party is next Thursday, June 29th, at the taproom, from 6-10 pm. There’s no charge to attend, just drop by for some music, cake, and pick up some hand-bottled De Novo II while it’s available!

• All year, Propeller Brewing is celebrating their 20th Anniversary, with several initiatives and collaborations and events planned. The details of their official Anniversary Party have been announced, taking place July 8th. From 2-8PM, they are taking over the parking lot of their neighbours Seven Bay Bouldering, and inviting some great local bands to play free concerts all day, also featuring games for young and old alike, beer specials, and plenty more surprises. After the day’s fun, the party moves a few feet down the block to the Marquee, where Skratch Bastid and friends will be playing starting at 10PM. With tickets priced at $20, this is a steal of a deal, but even more so when realizing that 100% of profits will be going to the North End Community Health Centre, just down Gottingen from Propeller, and their favourite charity. Check out the FB Events page for more information, and grab your tickets for the show at the Marquee before they sell out.

Good day, and welcome to another beautiful Friday! Before diving headfirst into your long weekend, there is a ton of beer news to get through, so sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy!

• With expansion soon underway at Hammond River, brewing – luckily for fans of their beer – hasn’t slowed down a bit! Two favourites were rebrewed earlier this week: White Walker White Stout (a pale-coloured Stout brewed with Java Moose Foghorn coffee, Madagascar vanilla beans, and cacoa nibs) was brewed on Tuesday, and Imperial Breakfast Stout (featuring more local coffee and cacao nibs, along with Applewood home-smoked bacon) yesterday. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves also has two new beers in the pipeline, to be brewed very soon. First up will be a new Imperial IPA that will be hopped continuously with Simcoe during the 90-minute boil (with a large dry-hop addition as well, of course). With a grist composed of Pale Ale, Pilsner, and Vienna malt, along with some Carapils, expect this 9.2% ABV, 101 IBUs DIPA to be very hop-forward, as expected. Shortly after, Steeves will be brewing a new take on his The Vegas SMaSH, with this iteration featuring the extremely-popular Citra hop variety. We’ll keep you updated as to the release of all four of these beers in the future.

• The beer keeps flowing at Mama’s Brew Pub, as yet another couple of new brews became available on tap earlier this week. Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout features a grist of 2-row and Medium Crystal, with some Carafa III and Chocolate malt to darken the colour and add some roasted notes to the beer. Hopped lightly with Goldings to 20 IBUs, dehydrated chocolate peanut butter powder was added to both the boil and secondary to add the eponymous flavours; it weighs in at 7.1% ABV. Next up is Pumpkin Patch IPA, an interesting take on the love-it-or-hate-it Pumpkin Ale. This 6.7% ABV beer uses 2-row as the only malt, but gains colour from the addition of pumpkin pie filling, brown sugar, and molasses. “Generously spiced with brown baking spices”, and hopping with Cascade, Amarillo and Summit to 37 IBUs, it’s available just in time for the holiday weekend, as it will be released today. Finally, good news for those of you unable to make frequent trips to the Northside brewpub – Mama’s is currently installing three new 3 BBL (350 L) fermentors, and a crowler machine. This means more beer of course, but more importantly, some of this beer will be available for off-site sales at local beer bars/restaurants in Fredericton.

Celtic Knot has released Murky Depths, a new take on their Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout. Featuring the addition of the meat and water from local wild oysters, it’s a great beer to pair with a variety of salty cheeses. Still quite drinkable at 5% ABV, it’s been pouring at a few select locations throughout Moncton; look for it to hit the taps at Tide & Boar very soon (if it’s not on already). If you missed out, fear not – owner/brewer Bruce Barton has confirmed that a new batch has just been brewed, and will be available on tap, soon. And in other Celtic Knot beer news, their 7.5% ABV Toque and Mitts Barleywine should be released this coming December. Perfect for sipping on cold winter nights, this will mark the third year for the annual release of this full-bodied ale.

Graystone Brewing hasn’t had any trouble breaking in their new brewing equipment – they’ve got several beers in the pipeline, one of which – the first “new” beer brewed on their in-house system – is being released today. Base Camp Idaho is their newest India Session Ale (aka Session IPA), brewed entirely with Idaho 7 (to 60 IBUs), a new experimental hop variety. Described as displaying characters of tropical fruit, stone fruit, citrus and pine, this could very likely be the first time this variety has been used by a brewery in Atlantic Canada. Supremely sessionable at 4.1% ABV, look for it at the brewery for pints and growler fills.

• The bigwigs at Good Robot are a sentimental bunch, and with the departure of Liam, a beloved employee who has returned home to Australia, they’re releasing Chazzwazzers, an “Oceanian Ale” today. Yellow-coloured thanks to a fairly-simple grist of Maritime, Vienna, and Golden Promise malt, plenty of New Zealand and Australian hop varieties were added: Ella and Rakau as whirlpool additions, and Dr. Rudi, Kohatu, and Wakatu in the dry-hop. Expect big aromas and flavours of tropical and stone fruit. Fermented with an American Ale strain to keep the hops front and center, the beer comes in at 7.2% ABV and 46 IBUs. Look for it on tap at Good Robot, and at better beer establishments across the HRM.

• There’s a head-to-head Gose competition underway on PEI, featuring brewers from the PEI Brewing Co. and the Gahan House brewpub, who split up and developed two brand new Gose recipes for draught release only. Let’s start with the PEIBC version, Spiced Gose – brewed with Pilsner malt and a blend of malted and torrefied wheat, it was kettle-soured before being boiled with toasted coriander and a portion of PEI seawater. Hopped-to-style – that is, extremely lightly, to 7 IBUs – with the German Saphir variety, the resulting 3.5% ABV beer is described as “malt-forward, with a balanced salinity and acidity; very drinkable”. A very limited supply will be pouring at the PEIBC taproom and a few regional beer bars, with the rest heading to New Brunswick, where it will be available this weekend at all five ANBL growler stations. Unfortunately, we do not have much information on Gahan’s entry to this friendly competition, but will be sure to share it next week!

Railcar Brewing brewed a special seasonal batch on October 5th that will be hitting the taps in a couple of weeks: Smoked Apple Ale features 25 pounds of locally picked apples added to the mash, a little smoked malt, and a touch of brown sugar at the end of the boil. Look for more details as its release approaches!

• Don’t be surprised if you see a lineup Friday at noon at Unfiltered Brewing, as they bring us another entry in their SMaSH series this week. Spec’d very much like its siblings DOA and Deity, and made with brewmaster Greg Nash’s unique SMaSH technique, the new RSMA is 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU, and features Mosaic hops. This variety, also known as HBC 369, was released in 2012 by the Hop Breeding Company and has become a favourite in hop-forward beers across North America. It’s known to provide a complex combination of floral, fruity, earthy, and especially tropical flavours. If you’re lucky enough to be going to Cask Days in Toronto later this month, you’ll find this one alongside Unfiltered’s Flat Black Jesus West Coast Stout and a bevy of other Maritime brews. If you’re not so fortunate, you can head on over to the brewery or Charm School Pub for a pint or a growler fill. Get on it!

Savoie’s Brewhouse, way up north in River Charlo, New Brunswick, has two items of interest for us this week. The first is the impending release of their new Fall Fair Harvest Ale, containing selected malts from their four main brews into one. This year it uses Chinook, Magnum, Palisade and Cascade (all of which are also featured in their regular line), but going forward it will feature locally grown hops. It is amber in colour and has a slight bitterness. The second piece of news is a move of the brewhouse just down the road to the Heron’s Nest Cottages, home of the Heron’s Nest Pub, where Savoie’s brews are exclusively on tap (where you’ll also find a wide selection of craft and imported beers). This move has also given them the opportunity to follow a welcome trend in the region by expanding their brewhouse capacity from 80 gallons to 160.

Sea Level Brewing is extremely excited to announce the arrival of a true farm-to-glass Nova Scotian beer this weekend. Brewmaster Randy Lawrence has been dreaming of a beer made solely of locally-sourced ingredients since he began growing his own hops in 1983, and the new Indigenous Pale Ale sees his dream become reality. The barley was grown in Port Williams at TapRoot Farms and malted at Horton Ridge Malting Company. The bulk of the hops are of the Cascade variety and were harvested from Sea Level’s own hop farm, while the small remainder comes from other Nova Scotia growers. The beer is 5% ABV, with a smooth malt flavour that allows the floral and citrus notes from the wet-hopped Cascade to shine. A pre-release took place on Thursday at the Port Pub in Port Williams, with cans and 1L growlers available at the brewery today. If you’re in HRM you’ll be able to find this truly Nova Scotian Ale this weekend at Bishop’s Cellar and at select tap accounts around the city. 

• Launched during their epic takeover of Battery Park’s taps last night, there’s a brand new Tatamagouche brew now flowing this week. Batattery Pale Ale has all the hop character of a West Coast IPA, but in a smaller ABV-delivery system, at 60 IBUs and 5.6% ABV. Battery Park’s head bartender Marc Wilson, a native of the West Coast, and BP/North Brewing’s Peter Burbridge made a trip to Tatamagouche to brew up a special collaboration in September. Featuring Malagash-grown Cascade hops added during the mash, with loads more hops added during the boil (namely Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe), and through even more of the local Cascade in a hopback, then with extra dosing of Cascade and Chinook dry hops. Though an ode to hops, the use of Horton Ridge Pale Malt helps to complete the local twist on a West Coast-inspired beer. The beer is available now at Tatamagouche for samples, growler fills, and cans, and will be available at licensees within the next week.

• Attendees to the Tata Takeover were also treated to a sneak peek of their next Berliner Weisse release, Philomenaroma. This 4.0% ABV kettle sour features dark cherries, for a brilliant colour and bright fresh cherry aroma. Look for the full release of this beer next week, on tap and in growlers only. Also launching this coming week is Tata’s collaboration with the crew from Bishop’s CellarCellar Slammer Session IPA; at 4.4% ABV, it features the same light malt recipe from the first release, but is further enhanced, aromatically, with a pass through the hopback with some of their own home-grown whole leaf Cascade. Grab the beer at the brewery in growlers and cans, rotating through the growler station at Bishop’s, and on tap at favourite bars in HRM.

• And speaking of North Brewing, they are releasing a brand new beer today, Headline Milk Stout. It features big chocolate flavour from three different chocolate malts (including debittered chocolate malt), complemented with toasted nut and coffee notes. The addition of lactose lends a creamy and lightly sweet finish to the beer, for a full 360° experience. This 5.5% ABV beer is lightly bittered to just under 30 IBUs for balance. It is available now at their Ochterloney and Agricola locations in 650 mL bottles and 750 mL swing tops, growler fills, and sure to be available at your local watering hole shortly.

• A cross-harbour collaboration was released late last week, between Halifax’s Gahan House and Dartmouth’s Spindrift BrewingYser is a 20 IBU, 5.9% ABV Saison, featuring light amounts of both flaked rye and flaked wheat in the grist for a light spiciness and haze, and persistent head retention. Lemondrop and Meridian hops lend a bright lemon citrus aroma, which is offset with an addition of pink peppercorns late in the boil. With the yeast drying the beer out (taking the final gravity quite low), the wheat and rye help to maintain a pleasant full body mouthfeel. This is one complex beer, perfect for pairing with oysters (the beer was released in celebration of last weekend’s Oysterfest), or your favourite cheese. Grab it on tap at Gahan and Spindrift for growler fills, and there are a few kegs in the wild around the HRM, too.

• There are a pair of other new beers flowing on the Halifax side of the harbour at Gahan as well. Dead Drift Double IPA is definitely American in inspiration and execution, featuring Chinook, Palisade, and Simcoe hops for pine, citrus, and stonefruit flavours and aromatics, but with a restrained 45 IBUs. At 8.2% ABV, the grist is made up solely of 2-Row malt. A light heat does come through, but only serves to deliver more of the hop aromatics directly to the nose.

• The third new beer is Tommy’s Chocolate Orange, a 4.0% ABV Hefeweizen brewed in collaboration with Gahan’s Chef, Thomas Hulford. The aim was to achieve a blonde-coloured beer reminiscent of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, featuring notes of chocolate, citrus, and maybe some banana. The German weizen yeast helps to bring in the banana, while aging on fresh orange zest and cacao nibs bring in the other flavour and aromatic notes. From head brewer Kyle Jesspsen: “While the aromatics are big, the flavour is still very light, quenching and approachable.” Grab all three new beers, as well as core beers Maritime Brine Gose and Night Vision American Porter on tap and in growler fills now, and keep an eye open for a new version of Crosscurrent Pale Ale (this time with Centennial and Comet) releasing Monday.

Mill Street Brewery St. John’s has released a new batch of their Capelin Hound, their 4.0% ABV Session IPA. Plenty of hops are used in this small package, to the tune of 50 IBUs, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story of the big grapefruit and melon aromatics, thanks to a boatload of dry-hopping. While originally brewed to enjoy in great volume while awaiting the Capelin to roll, this beer can definitely be enjoyed into fall. They are also releasing Leder-Helles next week, their Oktoberfest-inspired Munich Helles beer. At 5.2% ABV and 20 IBUs, this golden lager is medium-bodied and malt-forward with a sweet, grainy, and nutty aroma. Light hopping from Hersbruker and Saaz hops give a light spiciness, pairing with the dry finish. Grab these two beers, as well as Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale, on growlers to go, upon release.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is releasing a special collaboration brew this Saturday, brewed with the help of local beertographer and beer fan @kelticdevil (aka Phil Church). Kelticdevil Pumpkin Spiced Latte Strong Porter is an 8.0% Porter, featuring light pumpkin spicing, Sissiboo Coffee Roaster Honduran Coffee, and lactose. The result is more than the sum of its parts, with the cream and coffee coming together with the light spicing for a special seasonal release. To celebrate the release, there will be live music tomorrow night from 10pm, featuring Marc Durkee. Learn more at RHB’s Facebook page.  And there are still a few tickets available for their October 20 Supper Club, more details and the menu are here. And keep an eye out in HRM for their Rooftop Rye-It beer, as kegs were delivered yesterday to Battery Park, Good Robot, Stillwell and Bishop’s Cellar for growler fills.

• Attention homebrewers, the style for this year’s Garrison Home Brew-Off has been announced! Wee Heavy (Category 17C of the 2015 BJCP Guidelines) is a Scottish style of beer, 6.5 – 10.0% ABV, malt-forward and low bitterness, with a full mouthfeel from the crystal and caramel malts. The judging will take place in February with the Gala shortly thereafter. More details will be available soon, and Garrison’s Brew-Off page will updated soon after. Get those test batches on the go now!

• Saint John’s First City has been busy lately, with one recent new beer release and two others on the way. Out now at a handful of beer bars is their American Pale Ale, brewed with “four West Coast ‘C’ variety hops”; it comes in at 5.5% ABV and 42 IBUs. In the next few days, look for Spiced Pumpkin Ale (6% ABV, 25 IBUs) to join the flurry of pumpkin beers currently hitting bars. Finally, their Red IPA (7% ABV, 60 IBUs) will be returning within the next week or so as well.

• In celebration of this year’s Celtic Colours Festival (Oct 7-15), Breton Brewing has just released their Celtic Colours Maple Lager. Featuring more than 20 litres of local maple syrup in the batch, this 5.5% ABV and 15 IBUs Helles is pouring at the brewery and at local bars now. And releasing later today is their Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale, at 5.5% ABV and 20 IBUs, featuring more than 100 kg of roasted pumpkin added to the beer. Today, and into the weekend, they are featuring musicians in their taproom, in celebration of the Festival. Check out the listings here.

Propeller Brewing has brought back their ode to next weekend’s “Art at Night” festival, Nocturne. The 4.8% ABV Nocturne Dark Lager is now available in 500ml bottles and growler fills, and is only available at the Prop Shops on Gottingen and Windmill. And during Nocturne, drop by their Gottingen location from 6 to midnight, when they will be hosting a local artist. A percentage of proceeds of the sale of this beer go to the Nocturne Festival.

Sober Island Brewing has taken to Kickstarter to help fund the next steps in their expansion on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. With rewards ranging from stickers, cooler backpacks for that perfect picnic, to designing and brewing your own custom brew, there are benefits to everyone who takes part. Be sure to check out their campaign and be a part of their exciting future!

• Drop by the Brookside Mall location of ANBL this evening from 5 to 8pm for a taste of some seasonal releases from Sunset Heights Meadery. In addition to Queen’s NectarPunky Pie and several other expressions and still meads will be available. Tomorrow, drop by the Train Station for their “Saturday Sips” from 11 am until 3 pm. They will be serving Queen’s Nectar, Punky Pie, Latifah, BluePrintz, and a new cocktail they’ve temporarily named “Morphine Dance” in honour of author Shelia McPhee’s book The Naked Wine & Morphine Dance, with whom they are sharing the space. It features Queen’s Nectar, Fils du Roy Absinthe, Egg White and Lemonade.

• In case you missed our post earlier this week, Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub is now brewing their own beer onsite. After only a week of availability, they have gone through at least six different flavours, the latest of which, at time of publishing, are: Forum Pale Ale, a 5.8% ABV cloudy hoppy ale with flavors and aromas of melon, lychee and peach; and Amarillo, Citra and Summit Pale Ale, a 5.9% ABV ale featuring loads of the eponymous hops for notes of citrus and apricot.

• Good news for New Brunswickers who are fans of PEI’s Upstreet Brewing – the brewery has confirmed that kegs of several of their beers have been sent to the province for the first time. Look for these to pop up at select bars and restaurants this weekend. If your favourite local watering hole is missing out, be sure to put your request in!

How about some upcoming events to get you inspired?

• The I Love Local Halifax City Harvest is being held October 22nd. This celebration of local businesses is a great excuse to get out and visit the many breweries in our city. Among them, Garrison will be setting up an outdoor bar, sampling some special one-off beers, and will be welcoming Halifax Press to sell grilled cheese sandwiches. Other participants in the event include Bishop’s Cellar and Stubborn Goat.

• November and December are going to be busy for beer and cider fans at Stillwell’s Barrington Street location. On November 5th, they will be hosting their first-ever cider Tap Takeover, featuring West Avenue Cider from Hamilton. Look for a dozen-plus blends to go on tap from opening Saturday. On November 20th, Stillwell will be celebrating their 3rd anniversary with some great blasts from the past, as well as the celebration and release of their latest beer, brewed at North. We now know that the Bissell Brothers / Orono Brewing Co tap takeover will be happening Saturday December 10th, and will be sure to be a Maine-iac of a weekend! And while no date has yet been set, they have announced that Danish gypsy brewery Mikkeller will be sending a full 24 beers to invade their taps during an epic weekend some time in December. Keep your eyes peeled here for the details on this event. And be sure to drop by the Beergarden this weekend, before the outdoor space closes for the year. The crew from Rinaldo’s are serving up some Italian inspired sandwiches and dishes today from 4pm.

Wow, do things seem busier today, or is it just us? Be sure to check ahead on breweries’ and bars’ status over this long weekend, as some may be closed (in addition to the provincial stores). A few more parting shots:

– Bad Apple Brewhouse has released their collaboration with the Delta Force homebrewing collective. Operation Green Ring is a 5.0% Cucumber Mint Wheat beer. Also keep an eye out for their BAB’s Russian Imperial Stout, as the latest batch of this 9.0% ABV roasty beast is hitting local taps shortly. These, as well as a handful of others, are available at their Somerset location now.
Petit Sault‘s Oktoberfest, La Padrix, is back on tap for a limited time; with a “rich malty taste, and light biscuit notes”, it comes in at 5.6% ABV.
– Speaking of Oktoberfest beer, the Pump House Oktoberfest is back out in six packs. At 5.5% ABV and 12 IBUs, this amber-coloured lager can be found at ANBL stores, and likely on tap at the brewpub in Moncton as well.
– Yellowbelly Brewpub have released a brand new beer, Flatrock Freshie. This 5.6% ABV Saison features loads of locally-grown Blackcurrants, and is available on tap and in bottles to go, at both the brewery and NLC stores shortly.

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve got a handful of new beers and ciders, and several great events to announce, but let’s start with the return of a small brewery in Northern New Brunswick.

• Rumours have been circulating for several weeks, but we’ve been able to confirm that Shiretown, a nanobrewery in Dalhousie, then Charlo, NB that closed last summer, is planning to re-open this coming August. Owner/brewer Derek Leslie, who had been working as a sales rep for Picaroons in northern NB the past ten months, says that he has upgraded with a new, 2 bbl (230 L) brew system, about twice as large as what he had been using in the past. The new brewery will be located at 363 Chaleur St. in Charlo, with a storefront onsite. Shiretown’s three flagship beers – Blonde du Quai, Siren’s T’ale, and Big Brown Ale – will once again be in the regular lineup, with production focusing on bottles. The brewery’s former website and Facebook page are still currently offline, but their Twitter account still exists. We’ll keep you updated on Shiretown’s progress over the coming weeks!

Big Tide is bringing back a previous favourite, Chocolate Amaretto Porter. Brewed with Pale Ale malt as the base, Chocolate Wheat malt and CaraMunich malts were added to increase complexity. In addition, after primary fermentation was complete, cocoa, vanilla, and Amaretto were added to the beer, resulting in a 5.5% ABV “slightly sweet” ale with a “biscuity flavour and a hint of almond”. Originally released once in 2015, brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos was inspired by the flavours of biscotti (Italian almond biscuits) when putting together the recipe. Look for this one to be available at the brewpub sometime around the weekend of June 18th.

Bulwark is releasing a new limited-edition cider today, Raspberry Cider. This red-coloured, “crisp and off-dry” beverage features the usual freshly-pressed apples from the Valley, and unites them with fresh raspberries grown on Bulwark’s winery property. Think of it as a follow-up to the cidery’s very popular Sour Cherry Cider from last summer, except this time it will be available in bottle format! Coming in at 7.5% ABV, bottles are available now at their retail shop, and hitting NSLC shelves within the next week, when it will also be available on tap at select accounts around the province.

• Truro’s Nook and Cranny is releasing a new beer at the restaurant today, a Rhubarb Wheat. More than 25 lb of locally-harvested fresh rhubarb was added to a 300 litre batch of wheat ale, for a light acidic bite to complement the smooth base beer. With a low bitterness and 4.7% ABV, this beer will be a hit as the days get a bit warmer, and the evenings even longer. As with all of their beers, they can be enjoyed by the pint, or sampler, at the bar, and in a growler to go.

Good Robot debuted their latest CommuniBrew yesterday: Mikey’s Chocolate Orange IPA was brewed on GR’s pilot system by homebrewer Mike Orr during last month’s Open Brewery Day. The 6.6% ABV and 56 IBU IPA includes several rounds of hopping in the boil, whirlpool, and dry-hop, featuring Amarillo, Cascade, AmarilloCascadeCentennialCrystalMagnum, and Simcoe. During conditioning, a tincture of cacao nibs was added for a healthy chocolate nose and flavour. The result is like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, with the chocolate complementing the citrus characteristics of the hops, on top of a solid beer with a smooth mouthfeel. As with all of the CommuniBrew releases, these are for sale on draught in the taproom only, and they do not last long, so drop by today!

Petit-Sault has expanded their Brewtique and taproom, featuring the addition of a very large communal table that seats up to 24, with additional seating to accommodate 50+ patrons. There are now 12 taps in the taproom, some of which will be used to pour products from other local breweries and cideries. If you’re in the Edmundston area, be sure to stop in for a pint and growler fill! The brewery will be announcing their summer hours soon, allowing more time to visit and enjoy their beer.

• After a very successful release of their Gut View Amber, Lazy Bear Brewing in Smiths Cove, NS is ready to release their second beer, Bear Bones IPA. This is a beta version of a bigger batch coming soon, as they dial in the intricacies of their unique brewhouse. Look for a few more details on the beer when they post in their blog later today. Both beers will be available at tomorrow’s Annapolis Royal Farmers Market, 8:00-1:00.

York County Cider has released another batch of their Ginger Snap blend after a brief hiatus. Made with 30 pounds of fresh ginger in a 700 litre batch, the aroma, taste, and zip of the eponymous ingredient complement the 6.5% ABV base apple blend. Blending the Ginger with their Blueberry or Hopped Cider is also a popular occurrence with the cider’s fans. It is available in growler fills and bottles, at their storefront at 418 York St.

• Fredericton’s Lighthouse on the Green re-opened to the public yesterday, in preparation for the summer season. Operated by the Crowne Plaza, the location will once again focus on food and craft beer, similar to when they first opened last summer. They have upgraded their bar to have a total of ten taps pouring, featuring Red Rover cider, Pollen Angels mead, and a rotating selection of beer from various New Brunswick breweries. Now that summer is finally here (kind-of), be sure to drop by and enjoy a local beer on the Lighthouse patio! They are open everyday 11am-sundown, and as it is an outdoor venue, check their Facebook page for closure in case of poor weather.

• And in a late addition to the blog, Maybee Brewing’s retail location has now received their taproom license. Enjoy samples and pints of their beer onsite, before grabbing a growler to go. Open 10-6 Mon-Wed, 10-8 Thurs-Sat, and 12-5 Sundays.

Now, let’s get caught up on events in our region:

• Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is launching their Food Truck Fridays today at noon, by inviting the crew from Cruisin’ Cuisine to the brewery. As today is Day of Portugal, they are concentrating on famous dishes from that nation, made with local ingredients. Grab some fresh food with your samples and growlers from noon to 6pm, and enjoy the musical stylings of Asaph Deuce starting at 3pm. Big Spruce will keep the Food Trucks coming in for the rest of the summer, Friday through Sunday every weekend until October. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the day’s visiting vendor.

• On Saturday, June 11th, Garrison is hosting their Backlot Bash!, in support of the Ecology Action Centre. Held in the parking lot of their new production brewery on Marginal Rd (about 100 metres from their retail and storefront location), the event features headliner July Talk, joined by Alert the Medic, The Brood and Three Sheet as amazing local opening bands. Tickets are still available, and Garrison beer, as well as local cider, will be served, with food trucks keeping people satisfied.

• This Sunday, June 12th at 12 pm, Good Robot will be hosting Mom Day Afternoon, giving local Moms a chance to have some time to themselves and socialize with other mothers. Massage therapists from Urban Retreat Massage Therapy Ltd. will be on hand, a baby/maternity clothing swap will be going on, and members of the Ladies Beer League will be there to talk all things beer. A late brunch will be served by The Coastal Cafe at 2 pm, and Caesareans – a Good Robot cocktail with Clamato and corn beer – will be pouring. No charge to attend, just pay by the beer/cocktail/massage/brunch.

Upstreet has their first birthday coming up, and they’re putting on the Upstreet Birthday Weekend to celebrate! Held on Friday and Saturday, June 24th & 25th, there’s plenty going on:
Friday, 6 pm: Anniversary Beer Launch & Vinyl Party – featuring the release of a limited-edition, 750 mL, bottle-conditioned anniversary beer, where it will also be available on tap at the brewery; guest DJs are welcome to bring in your favourite party records! Dancing will be welcome, but not necessarily required.
Saturday, 6 pm: The Upstreet Field Trip – a tour of four of Charlottetown’s “finest eating establishments”, with food and Upstreet beer pairings, ending at the fifth stop, The Alley, for bowling and dancing. Your $65 ticket (available at link above) includes all of the above-mentioned, a special edition Upstreet Field Trip t-shirt, and free admission to…
Saturday, 10 pm – Upstreet Birthday Party – happening at The Alley, the official birthday bash will feature live music from Halifax’s Party Boots, as well as a street magician, tarot card reader, silent disco, free bowling, a pinata, party games and more. Cover is $10 (unless you’re lucky enough to be on the Field Trip).

• The Shediac Lobster Festival is hosting their inaugural Ales & Tails event on Friday, July 8th at the Shediac Multi- Functional Centre from 7 PM – 9:30 PM. NB micro and nano breweries will be well represented with Flying Boats Brewing, Celtic Knot Brewing, Bore City Brewing, Acadie-Broue, Beckwith Road (pending license), Pump House, Brasseurs Petit-Sault, Maybee Brewing, Picaroons, Scow Cider and Moosehead Brewery. A lobster half tail and lobster samples will accompany a great evening of craft beer sampling from the breweries in attendance. Tickets (limited to 250) went on sale yesterday at the Shediac Co-Op, Jean Coutu and Sobeys locations. Check out the Festival’s website for more details.

• Tickets for Halifax Seaport Beerfest are on sale today. Being held at the Cunard Centre August 5 & 6th, the Fest will feature beers from producers big and small from around the Maritimes, as well as Quebec and Ontario, that are otherwise not available in the province. Approximately 300 beers and ciders will be available, though the final brewery and product list has not yet been finalized. Friday and Saturday evening sessions run 7:00-9:30, and a Saturday afternoon session runs from 2:00-4:30, with tickets costing $49 plus tax and fees. VIP tickets ($70 plus taxes and fees) will also be available for each session, giving visitors a special tasting glass and opener, as well as early entry to take part in a panel discussion and guided beer tasting. Designated Driver and Group Rates are also available. In addition to online ticket sales, they can be purchased at select NSLC and Ticket Atlantic locations (saving some fees).

• Tickets for the 2016 PEI Beer Festival, September 2 & 3, will also go on sale today. Being held at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, there are three sessions for your tasting enjoyment: Friday 6:30-9:30, and Saturday 2:00PM – 4:30 and 6:30-9:30. Evening tickets are $40 plus tax and fee, while the afternoon session is $30 plus taxes and fee. While the general tickets are on sale today, they will be rolling out Designated Driver tickets shortly, as well as details on the preferred rate to stay at the Fest hotel. Discussion and a few more details are available on Facebook.

A few more beer notes before we sign off today:

Picaroons has re-released their 506 Logger, this time in 6-packs of 12-oz bottles, the first time the brewery has packaged in this format. Coming in at 4.6% ABV and 15 IBUs, bottles are available at both Picaroons locations (Fredericton’s Brewtique and Saint John’s General Store) along with growler fills, with bottles also being found at ANBL stores.
Yellowbelly has re-released their East Coast Cream Ale, an easy-drinking, 5% ABV pale beer that is a popular seasonal during the warmer months. It’s available now at the brewpub only, on tap and with a small amount of bottles, for a limited time.
– PEI Brewing has released a new cask this week: Lactic Soured Apricot Lager. A tart take on their 4.5% ABV lager, using Lactobacillus to sour the wort for a refreshing bite, along with apricot for a pleasant stone fruit character. As with all of their casks, this is for on-site enjoyment in their taproom only.

Happy Friday! Plenty going on in the local beer world this week, so let’s dive right in…

Petit-Sault has released their collaboration with Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin, a Doppelbock named La Renous. Brewed in the traditional German style, using German hops and a base of Munich and 2-Row malts and a touch of chocolate malt for colouring. Lagered for a full four months since the brew on a chilly January weekend, it is supremely drinkable, with a full mouthfeel and balancing bitterness to its 7.5% ABV content. In addition to Petit-Sault’s shop, it is available on tap at Le Coude, Université de Moncton’s student bar, where Acadie-Broue’s brewhouse is now set up. The beer can also be found at ANBL locations across the province, in bottles, and at the five ANBL growler stations this weekend.

• Just in time for this week’s East Coast Music Week, Sydney’s Breton Brewing and Charlottetown’s Upstreet have released a collaboration brew, Island Jams: Vol. 1. This music-themed 5.3% Blonde ale debuted at Breton’s tasting room last night, and will see wider release this weekend. Also tying in with the music theme, there is a downloadable EP of CB- and PE- Island tunes to accompany your drinking. As well, a live showcase of PEI bands will be playing (and beer will be flowing) at Daniel’s in Sydney tonight; more information here. And for visitors to the East Coast Music Week, all four Breton beers will be available at Flavor on the Water’s after parties all weekend.

• Upstreet has brewed up another collab, Top Stamp Honey Brown Lager, with the crew from the PEI comedy series Just Passing Through. An easy-drinking beer at 5% ABV and 15 IBUs, it was brewed with Maritime Malt and New Brunswick-grown Golding hops. A beer that has a sweet beginning and dry finish, it’s like “drizzling honey over lightly-browned toast”, according to the brewery. Scheduled for a release party on Thursday, April 21st at the Upstreet taproom beginning at 6:30, the beer will be bottled and sold at PEILCC locations across the Island by next weekend. Check out the Facebook page for more details on next week’s launch events.

• There’s a new beer fermenting over at Maybee Brewing, Birdseye Pale Ale. A 5.5% ABV American Pale Ale, it was hopped with Cluster and Columbus. Brewed with the intention of being crisp and refreshing for the upcoming summer months, it features floral and spicy notes from the Cluster, which “brightens up the dank, juicy flavours from the Columbus”, according to owner/brewer Paul Maybee. Look for this one to be available in a couple of weeks; it’s going to be canned right out of the gate, and will also be available for growler fills at the brewery. Also, Maybee’s Elevensies Espresso Stout should be available in cans shortly.

North Brewing has just released their newest beer, Golden Stout. Golden-coloured as advertised, it was brewed with 2-row, flaked oats, and Pale Chocolate malt. Despite the lack of dark, roasted malts, it features plenty of chocolate and roasted character thanks to the addition of Sumatran Dark from local Java Blend Coffee Roasters, and cocoa nibs from Rousseau Chocolatier. It weighs in at 6.7% ABV and is available now at the brewery for growler fills, and should be on tap at North accounts as we speak.

Gahan Halifax released a new beer yesterday at the brewpub; Session IPA is a low-alcohol (3.7% ABV), 65 IBUs hop bomb that showcases a “big floral, fruity aroma” from plenty of late-addition Saphir hops. It joins the Kellerbier which was tapped late last week; weighing in at 5% ABV and 36 IBUs, featuring an “oaky, vanilla aroma and flavour”, balanced with a large addition of Hersbrucker hops, a floral and spicy German variety. And though there is just a little bit of their Cranberry Sour left, fear not, this sour-mashed tart beer will return during NS Craft Beer Week with wider distribution under the name Over the Top, a collaboration between Gahan’s Karen Allen and Boxing Rock’s Emily Tipton.

• In other new beer news, Tatamagouche released their newest ale yesterday, Tweed Wolf Brown IPA. This is their second “employee beer”, brewed by cellarman Alex Martin. Featuring a malty backbone and “chocolate-covered strawberries” in the flavour, it was hopped mainly with Simcoe, along with a bit of Cascade and Huell Melon. Available now at the brewery for growlers, kegs have already been delivered to several accounts in Halifax, including Bishop’s Cellar and Harvest Wines for growler fills, so be sure to give it a try when it pops up! And while on the topic of Tatabrew cellar hands, they’re currently looking for someone to fill the role in a part-time capacity, with the possibility of a full-time position in the future. For more details, send an email here.

• Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Company officially opens today! Their storefront at 388 Main Street will be open seven days a week from 10 am-7 pm. There are several ciders available now in refillable 750 mL bottles at the cidery: Crisp & Dry (7.7% ABV), Juicy & Sweet (5.6% ABV), and Something Different, an unfiltered cider that is described as “very hazy and yeasty”; it comes in at 6% ABV. There is a tasting bar onsite, where customers can order a small flight of all three ciders, 3 oz each, for $5. Tours will be offered in the near future, and their products should be popping up on tap at various accounts within the next couple of months. For more information on this new cidery, check out our post from last month.

Liquid Assets, the Nova Scotian beer, wine, and spirits store located at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, will be opening this Monday, April 18th. Located at the departures level of the HIAA, they will be selling products from eight craft breweries to start: Bad Apple, Boxing Rock, Garrison, Nine Locks, North, Propeller, Spindrift, and Tatamagouche. They will be selling cans in 4- and 6-packs, and single 500 mL and 650 mL bottles. As they are located past the security checkpoint, you can carry your purchases with you on your flight (provided you do not have to go through security again); they will have boxes for multiple purchases. The store will be open 7am-9pm, daily, and will be launching an online store in the near future, so that customers may pre-order beers for a quick pick-up, and plans for shipping of products within Canada are in the works.

• This weekend’s Saint John Beerfest may be sold out, but several breweries are releasing special brews in celebration of the event, and will be making them available to a wider audience. Among them, Big Tide Brewpub has released a Hard Root Beer, Tool Shed Root Porter. Brewed with 2-row, CaraMunich, and Chocolate Wheat malt, it was bittered lightly with Southan Farms hop hash. Freshly-cut white birch bark was added to the boil, along with sassafras, sarsaparilla, vanilla beans and sweet gale. It should come in at ~6.3% ABV, and will be released tomorrow at the Beer Fest (joining their Karnival Kolsch and Valley View Farmhouse Ale), and on tap at the brewpub.

Lots of events coming up, as usual…

• Other events accompanying this weekend’s Saint John Beerfest are several pop-ups and events around the area today:
– Drop by Lemongrass for leftover pours from Garrison’s 14 line tap takeover held last night.
– Saint John Ale House is hosting a “Spindrift Social” 4-6pm, with Kellye and Matt from Spindrift pouring their Coastal Lager, Riptide IPL and the new Knotty Buoy Pils.
PEI Brewing Co is taking over the taps at McGill’s Restaurant this afternoon at 5pm, featuring $5 pints.

• On April 20th, Good Robot will be releasing another of their “Beta Brew” pilot batch beers at the Taproom. The Pusha Man is a Belgian saison brewed with hemp. To celebrate, there will be dank tunes and special munchies.

• Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar has announced a series of Rare Beer events, occurring in subsequent weekends in May. Each weekend will feature bottles (and some will also feature kegs) of beers from outstanding American breweries, not available in the Atlantic provinces. Individual pours will be available for bottled beers, with any bottles not selling out during that weekend available for purchase going forward (by the full bottle).
– April 30 & May 1: Anchorage Brewing, Anchorage, Alaska
– May 7: Mystic Brewing, Chelsea, Massachusetts
– May 14 & 15: Pretty Things, Somerville, Massachusetts
– May 21 & 22: Saint Somewhere, Tarpon Springs, Florida
– May 27 & 28: Upright Brewing, Portland, Oregon

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub is pairing up with Sunset Heights Meadery for their next event, Wenches and Mead, on Saturday, April 23rd. Details are still being ironed out, but we can confirm that they will be offering flights of the three medal-winning meads from the recent Mazer Cup, as well as the 2015 edition of Crowne Jewel, made with honey raised on the roof of the Crowne Plaza hotel. And stay tuned for more details on the Joyce’s next Meet Your Maker event, featuring Big Tide, scheduled for Friday, May 13th.

Lazy Bear Brewing in Smith’s Cove, NS, has announced that they will be attending the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market, when they launch for the year on May 21st. Concentrating on the market at first, they will expand their beers to local bars and restaurants, and open their storefront. Speaking of beers, they have announced one of their launch beers, Gut View Amber Ale. A 4.9% English Amber, it features Canadian-grown English varietal hops for a balancing bitterness, and subtle aromas.

Have a great weekend! Just a few closing notes…

– Boxing Rock has brought back their popular Sessionista “Bold Session Ale”, a beer with the big hop character of an IPA, in a small 4.0% ABV package. It is available province-wide in the NSLC now, and on tap at various beer bars as well.
– Flying Boats is once again pouring at ANBL growler stations this weekend, with all five locations offering their Empress Irish Red Ale, while supplies last. Joining them at all 5 locations is PEI Brewing’s Setting Day, a 3.5% ABV Saison.
– In other ANBL growler news, Pump House will be participating in a tap takeover in Saint John this weekend, at the KV location today from 4-7 pm, and the new East Point location tomorrow from 11 am-2 pm. The brewery’s 4 Alarm IPA and various seasonals will be featured.
Spindrift is releasing their Riptide IPL in cans early next week; as a result, there will be no 7th Wave Series release today. However, look for the Riptide cans to be available at the brewery by no later than next Friday.
– Propeller Brewing has released their wildly popular Hefeweizen this week, and it is available in bottles for the first time in a while. And be sure to grab tickets for their next Prop’r Cask Event, April 29th, with Krave Burger taking care of the food at their Gottingen space.
– There have been no major updates in last week’s story concerning policy changes for breweries in New Brunswick by ANBL; they are still communicating with NBCAPA. We will be sure to provide an update once one is announced.

Happy early end of the work week! With tomorrow being Good Friday, we thought we’d post this week’s Wrap-Up a day early, to give most of you something to read to break up your work day. Let’s get to it, there’s lots to go over!

Sunset Heights Meadery once again had some entries in last weekend’s Mazer Cup International Mead Competition in Colorado, and once again, they came away victorious! They swept the Session Mead category, winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for their Scuttlebutt, Cinfully Yours, and Punky Pie, quite a feat considering the Mazer Cup is the world’s largest mead competition. Congratulations to the Sunset Heights family!

• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing released a beast of a beer late last week. 1-1-9 is a barrel-aged American-style barleywine, coming in, you guessed it, at 11.9% ABV. Despite the high alcohol content, the beer is very smooth (dangerously so?), thanks to the barrel character and assertive 100+ IBU bitterness to balance it into a praise-worthy brew. Due to its limited nature, this beer is *only* available at Unfiltered’s taproom, Charm School, located adjacent to the brewery, so best drop by soon to grab a glass.

• Dartmouth’s newest brewery, Nine Locks, has added two new beers to their core lineup this week. The Dirty Blonde and Porter are both now available, joining their ESB and IPA. The 5.0% ABV Dirty Blonde is a light and crisp brew featuring lots of wheat, for a pleasant easy-drinking beer with a quenching character. The Porter features lots of chocolate and biscuit notes thanks to the darker kilned malts used in the beer, but is still a very light and enjoyable 5.0% ABV beer. The four beers are currently available at the brewery for growler fills and cans, and are in the wild at neighbouring Mic Mac Bar and Grill, and at spots around HRM.

Spindrift’s Seventh Wave Series continues today, with another small-batch release. Gross Michel is a 4.6% ABV Hefeweizen, an unfiltered German-style traditional wheat beer. Featuring a light 10 IBU bitterness, the wheat malt gives a cloudy appearance and robust white head, with notes of clove and banana from the yeast. As usual, the beer will be available for growler fills only, starting today at noon, and won’t last long.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has released a pair of beers this week; one brand new, and one a returning favourite. Hug A Ginger is a 4.2% SMaSH beer, featuring Maritime Pale Ale Malt and Cascade hops, as well as ginger root, for an enjoyable melding of citrus and ginger aromas, and malt and light ginger with a bitter finish. This limited release is only available at the brewery, on tap for samples and growler fills. This week also marks the return of In Session ISA, Garrison’s take on a Session IPA. Big hop-derived tropical fruit and citrus flavour and aroma dominates this beer, from the copious additions of Belma, Crystal, and El Dorado. All of that in a small, 4.5% ABV package, means that you can drink a couple in a single session, without it slowing you down. In Session is available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and in six-packs province-wide at the NSLC.

Tatamagouche Brewing is releasing a new beer today: The Grog. A small, hoppy, Belgian Ale (think Belgian Session IPA), The Grog is part of a Parti-gyle brewday, where two (or more) beers are created from the same grain bill/mash, with a higher alcohol beer from the first runnings (due to the higher sugar content), and a smaller beer from the later runnings, and boiled separately. In this case, the higher ABV beer will be a Belgian entry to their Giant Beer series, with The Grog weighing in at 3.0% ABV. Just because the alcohol is low, however, does not mean it is lacking in flavour. This beer’s focus is on the hops, using Hallertau Blanc and experimental hop ADHA-529 (lending flavours of coconut and lime) in the boil, and was further dry-hopped with both of these, plus Centennial. This batch will be on draft and growlers only, with it available at the brewery now, and pouring soon at Battery ParkLion and Bright, and Stillwell, as well as the four private beer stores in HRM for growler fills (Bishop’s Cellar, Cristall Wine, Harvest Wine, RockHead; check their website or social media for the current growler line-up).

• Good news for cider fans in Nova Scotia! John Brett, of Tideview Cider, has been hard at work, and a first trial cider debuted at Bar Stillwell last weekend. The 7.2% ABV still (uncarbonated) cider was served from a cask on the bartop, and featured a blend of apples that features a celebrated variety known as the Hyslop crab apple, for an enjoyable dry and tannic finish. Brett’s plans going forward will focus on smaller batches, sourcing primarily from his own orchard in the Annapolis Valley. Keep an eye out for Tideview Ciders once they get back into commercial production, which could be as early as next year.

Bad Apple Brewhouse from Somerset, NS, has debuted a new beer this week. Just Rockin’ IPA is the 6% ABV, lower alcohol brother of The Impresser Double IPA. But just because it is lower in ABV, does not mean it is lacking in flavour! Fermented with Conan yeast for some great apricot and fruit ester character, and hopped generously in both the boil and dry-hop for a big blast of hop flavour and aroma. JR made its debut at Stillwell last night.

Petit-Sault has just released their Pink Boots Society brew, Buzz, a “Honey Rye Ale”. This is the second year that the brewery has participated in the annual multi-brewery Big Boots Brew Day, initiated to raise the profile of women in the beer industry. Five women were involved in the brew day, led by Petit-Sault brewer Julie Long, with the end-result being this 6.1% ABV beer, which was brewed with Rye, Munich, and Honey malt, along with 60 lbs of pure, NB honey. Hopped with Magnum and Saaz to 21 IBUs, this copper-coloured ale is “full-bodied, sweet and malty, with floral notes of NB wildflower honey and a hint of pepper, and flavours of light honey and caramel”, according to Long. It’s available on tap now at the brewery taproom for growler fills, and can also be found this weekend at three of the four ANBL growler stations (KV excluded). A portion of the proceeds from sales of this beer will go towards a scholarship for women studying biotechnology at NBCC. And in other PS news, they’ve hired a new brewer to join their team – Patrick Dionne is an Edmundston native who has recently completed a Masters in Biochemistry from the Université de Moncton.

• Moncton’s Bore City has a new beer on tap in the city, an APA named Equilux. Heavily-hopped with two truly delicious varieties – Equinox and Citra – the beer has “prominent tropical/citrus notes, with plenty of grapefruit”, according to the brewery. Clocking in at 5% ABV and 50 IBUs, it’s on tap now at the Tide & Boar (but is going fast) and should be following soon at Marky’s Laundromat.

• Fredericton’s Mama’s Brew Pub will be releasing a new beer on tap tomorrow, aptly named for the holiday weekend. Hoppy Easter is an American Pale Ale that was generously hopped with Comet, Citra and Amarillo, both in the boil and in the dry-hop addition. With these three varieties, expect lots of fruit, citrus, and dank character in the beer. It comes in at 65 IBUs, and a sessionable 4.9% ABV.

Picaroons and Railcar have teamed up for their very first collaboration brew in support of the Ministers Island Barn Raiser taking place Friday, April 1st. Raisin D’Roof is a, experimental, “darker brew” that was brewed with 2-row, Crystal 20 L, and Chocolate and Wheat malts, along with 30 lbs of Golden raisins that were blended and added to the boil. Hopped with local Cascade, Centennial, and Goldings, the beer weighs in at 6% ABV. Look for it on tap at the Brewtique in Fredericton and at the Railcar tasting room on April 1st. It will also be pouring at the fundraiser in St. Andrews; if you’d like tickets to that event, there’s a few left here.

• And, speaking of Railcar, they’ve debuted a new beer, the 7% ABV Columbus Wreck IPA. Their hoppiest beer ever, it features a heavy dosing of Columbus hops mid- and late-boil, for a nice blast of both flavour and aroma, on top of a medium-bodied base. It is currently available at their Florenceville-Bristol brewery and taproom for pints and growler fills. And look for further distribution of Railcar’s beer in the coming months, as they look to expand to a 6 hectolitre system.

• There’s a new beer fermenting over at YellowBelly, and it’s definitely an interesting experiment! Brewmaster Liam McKenna wanted to make a statement of sorts in support of those who try to prevent the wasting of food in the world, so he took a crack at making beer from stale bread. While the majority of the grist was made up of some typical malts such as 2-row, Munich, Carastan, and a little Midnight Wheat, there were also five malt bags of stale, sliced, and lightly toasted bread from local Rocket Bakery. Featuring some white, rye, and multigrain bread, as well as some bread with raisins, keep in mind this beer may contain traces of nutes. Hopped entirely with Willamette, they’re expecting the beer to be low in alcohol at ~4% ABV, and mildly bitter at ~25 IBUs. We’ll keep you updated on the release of this one!

We’ve got several new events to let you know about this week, with a couple happening this evening:

• The Ladies Beer League are holding a “Beer and Banh Mi” tasting tonight. Certified Cicerone Angeline MacLennan will lead attendees through three pairings of beer with spicier fair at Indochine Banh Mi. The event starts at 7pm, and there are still a few tickets available for purchase.

• Schoolhouse Brewery will be taking over the guest taps at Good Robot this Saturday, bringing a selection of six of their small-batch beers. Featuring their “Locally Hopped” series, including Big Red Schoolhouse Imperial Red Ale, Debarrs Reserve Biere de Garde, and Scotian Export Scottish Ale, as well as the new Schoolhouse Red Lager, and flagships Chequers Robust Porter and Principal Pale Ale. The event kicks off at noon, with fun schoolhouse games and snacks throughout the afternoon and evening.

Gahan Halifax is holding a Brewmaster’s Dinner next Wednesday, March 30th from 7-9 pm. Featuring four courses of locally-sourced food, paired with four different seasonals/one-offs created by brewmaster Karen Allen, there will also be a one hour meet-and-greet starting at 6 pm, where Allen will be on hand to talk Gahan beer! Tickets are available at the brewpub now.

• Halifax’s Auction House will be hosting their latest Beer School March 30th, with special guests Meander River. The event begins at 7pm, and there are food pairings made specifically for the evening. Folks from Meander Rover will be giving a presentation, and moving throughout the bar chatting with patrons. Contact Auction House for more tickets.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce will be hosting another in their series of Meet Your Maker events, this time featuring Shediac’s Flying Boats. Brewer/owner Marc Melanson will be attending, and is keen to answer any questions you have concerning his beers! The event will be held on Friday, April 1st, starting at 8 pm, and will feature four FB beers on tap: Dixie Clipper IPA, Empress Irish Red Ale, S-55 Special Mission Pale Ale, and Double Oatmeal Stout. Expect fun and games, with some Flying Boats swag to be won. As always, there is no cost to attend, just pay by the glass!

• There are still tickets available for Propeller’s next Prop’r Cask Night, April 1st, featuring Black Sheep restaurant. Your $30 ticket allows you to tour Propeller’s offerings, as well as Gottingen St brewery, and enjoy some specially-prepared appetizers from their food partners.

• No tickets necessary, but a reminder that Stillwell is hosting a Tap Takeover so massive, it is two days long: Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel! brewery. Join the crew from the brewery on both April 1st and 2nd for a dozen rare and special beers, paired with Montreal-inspired food from Chef Ruppel and crew. There are a *different* special kegs locked and loaded to go for both Friday and Saturday, so multiple visits may be required this weekend!

• Details are now available for the release of Barrel-Aged Triskaidekaphobia, the collaboration brew between Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, and Ladies Beer League. On April 9th, Stillwell will be hosting a launch party, with the folks from CKDU spinning tunes all day, from noon. While the event is open to all, there will be a select number of special tasting glasses available, which come filled with your first pour of the 11%.0% ABV Triska. Grab them here, with the proceeds going to support CKDU.

• This is the last week for Early Bird Tickets to the NS Craft Beer Week Full House event. The culmination of 9 days of celebrating beer across the province, with more than 20 NS breweries in one spot. Your ticket will get you in the doors, and your first dozen samples. Grab them now, before the price goes up April 1st.

A reminder that the provincial liquor stores will be closed Friday and Sunday, and may have reduced hours Monday, but many of the brewery and private stores will be open for your holiday beer needs. Best to double-check online/by phone, to avoid possible disappointment. Have a great long weekend!