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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good morning, beer lovers! We hope everyone had a great week… how about some local beer news to lead you into the weekend, and a St. Patrick’s Day Monday?

The YellowBelly Brewery and Public House has re-released their Paddy’s Pale Ale. This 6.2% ABV beer is actually a Rye IPA; brewed with rye malt, Carastan, Munich, and a large percentage of Canadian Pale Ale malt, it is hopped with Galena and Cluster varieties – including two dry-hop additions – to about 60 IBUs. Described by Brewmaster Liam McKenna as having a very fruity aroma, slight peppery rye character in the taste, and a bitter finish, it’s on tap now; bottle availability is still up in the air.

Picaroons is planning a tap takeover at Plan b Lounge in Moncton on Friday evening, March 28th. All of the taps will feature Picaroons beers, one of which should include a special dry-hopped version of their Yippee IPA. Gravity Strike will also provide live music. Just a reminder, too, that the sold-out Picaroons tap takeover at Stillwell is tomorrow, March 15th; more info on that event in our previous post.

• While on the topic of Picaroons, they’re holding a special event at the Saint John Ale House on Saturday, March 22nd. “Maple Mania” starts at 6:30 pm, and features a multiple-course, maple-infused dinner from chef Jesse Vergen (who also took part in Top Chef Canada). There will also be live traditional fiddle music, followed by other entertainment. Of course, there will also be Picaroons Maple Cream Ale pouring… on cask! Tickets are $60 (price includes at least one beer) and can be purchased at the Saint John Ale House; there are a limited number available, and the event is close to sold out.

• For those of you living in PEI, there’s some good – albeit, odd – news if you’re looking for bottled beer after the PEILCC has closed their doors for the evening. CBC News reports that restaurants on the Island are now allowed to sell takeaway PEI-brewed beer (after they’ve applied for the appropriate licence, of course), up to 12 bottles per person (or two bottles of wine or spirits). The catch? Well, you have to actually “purchase and consume a full-course meal” before you can take away the beer. Whether this means you have to clean your plate, we’re not sure! And we won’t even get into the whole “Is soup a meal?” argument. Hours of sale are restricted from 9 am to midnight.

The Coast is currently conducting their annual Best of Halifax awards, where readers get to vote for their favorite eating and drinking establishments in Halifax, and more. Make sure you check out the online survey, and vote for your favorite beer-related categories, such as Best Brew Pub, Best Craft Brewery, Best Beer Selection, etc.

• Speaking of The Coast, they’ve just released their annual Beer Guide Edition, highlighting the important place beer plays in the city’s identity. Look for great articles about learning to drink and enjoy beer (hint, try many styles and brewers before deciding you don’t like a certain type of beer), Stillwell Beer Bar, the continued rise of women in the beer industry, a breastfeeding mother’s search for new beers, and much more.

The Pump House Brewery is getting ready to release their seasonal Maple Ale again. Brewer Scott MacLeod says that this year’s batch is very smooth, and a bit less sweet than last year’s; it has an ABV of 5%. All of the maple syrup used in the brew was locally-sourced, from Maritime maple sugar camps. It will be available on tap at the brew pub location, and will be available in bottles across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, within the next two weeks.

• Nyanza Cape Breton’s Big Spruce has brewed up a Scotch Ale to celebrate their first anniversary. Brewmaster Jeremy White has designed it to be a true Scotch Ale, hopped to about 26 IBU with Goldings, with lots of Roast Barley goodness on the palate. From Jeremy, “We intend to cask as much of it as possible, and age/fortify it with Glenora single malt. All Cape Breton, all local.” Once we have details on the beer’s release, we’ll be sure to pass it along.

• Yesterday, Propeller Brewing Company released their newest seasonal beer, Irish Red Ale. Weighing in at 5% ABV, and hopped with Willamette, the beer is meant as  “a tribute to the classic red ales of Ireland”, according to new Brewmaster Josh Adler. It is available now in 650mL bottles and growlers at both Propeller locations, and as well as the private stores. It will also be on tap around Nova Scotia.

• A reminder that the Ladies Beer League will be brewing with Emily Tipton at Boxing Rock tomorrow, taking part in the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. They’ll be brewing up the “Alewife’s Revenge”, their take on the Unite Pale Ale, featuring local cranberries. The fruits of their labours will be available beginning April 17th in growlers and bottles at the brewery and markets, and in bottles at the private stores, along with a few kegs around the province. The charities benefitting from a portion of the sales will be the Pink Boots Society and Shelburne County Women’s FishNet. The FishNet is a non-profit support network for Shelburne County women, seniors and youth. Its mission is to support women and their families in reaching their full potential as community citizens.

• Last, and certainly not least, the gala for the Garrison Brewing Home Brew-Off was held last night at the brewery. There was a great turn-out for the event, that saw 76 different Weizen’s vie for the title of best in show. This year’s winner was Jason McDougall of Halifax, congratulations! This homebrewer has been brewing for more than ten years, but this was the first time brewing a Weizen (and also the first time entering a contest!). Chris had a chance to try the winning beer, and it was certainly worthy! All of the four finalists’ beers were great, and Kirsten & Keely, Roger, and Ed were very deserving of their Final Four placement. One noted absence was the winning beer from 2013’s Home Brew-Off. Unfortunately, while winning brewer Peter Welton was in attendance, his Saint Peter’s Belgian-Style Strong Ale was not quite ready for primetime. As Brian and Daniel said at the festivities, you cannot rush a beer, so they decided to let the fermentation and conditioning finish in due time. Look for this 7.5% ABV Blonde to hit stores and bars late next week. Brian also spilled the beans that they will be doing their first brews at their new location across the street next week. This 30hL brewhouse will effectively triple their production, and allow for continued expansion across the country. We’ll have more details soon.

• A late addition to the blog: The winners of the “Best of the Fest” for the 2014 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have been announced. Several hundred ballots were cast electronically after the fest, and the favourite Breweries of the Fest were Le Naufrageur (Carleton-sur-mer, Quebec), Boxing Rock Brewing (Shelburne, NS), and Bad Apple Brewhouse (Somerset, NS). Congratulations to the winners, and all breweries in attendance!

Have a great weekend, and a great St. Paddy’s Day! Remember, say “no” to died-green beer, and celebrate the holiday by drinking some good, local craft beer!

It’s been a hectic week at the ACBB “offices”, here’s the important news you need to know about beer in our area:

• Tonight, Picaroons continues their Plaid to the Bone launch in Perth-Andover. Featuring their Heather Ale, the “Picaroons Castle Ceilidh” will be held at the Castle Inn. The festivities begin at 7 pm, and will include the Southern Victoria Pipe Band and Fredericton’s Highland Dancers, followed by PEI’s Ten Strings and a Goat Skin (who continue to tour New Brunswick for this beer’s launch). There will be a large “Picaroons-infused” pub menu, with food items ranging from Best Bitter-battered onion rings to grilled salmon with Simeon Jones garlic cream. The launch continues Saturday night in Moncton at Plan B (after the beer festival), where Ten Strings will be performing at 10 pm.

Mirella Amato is in New Brunswick this week, taking part in events surrounding the Atlantic Beer Festival. She is hosting two events at The Station in Fredericton today: from 1-3pm, she will be running a mock beer competition, where participants will be able to taste some winning beers from the recent Canadian Brewing Awards, learn how to judge beers, and even do some judging themselves. This event is free and open to the public. Later in the evening (6:30-8:30), Mirella will be leading a five-course tasting, highlighting the style range of beers, and how they can pair with food in some exciting and fascinating ways. Tickets are $25. As mentioned in our previous post, she will also be leading a VIP tour of the Atlantic Beer Festival, including appetizers at Pump House, limo ride to the fest, and a guided tasting of a handful of the best beers on tap at the fest.

• Last Saturday’s grand opening of the new location for the PEI Brewing Company was a great success, with approximately 600 people attending the day’s events, despite less-than-desirable weather. Two new beers were introduced, a Blueberry Ale, and a Mango Wheat. While both beers will continue to be available on tap at the PEI Brewing Company (the Mango Wheat for a limited time only), the Blueberry Ale will also be pouring at some bars/restaurants on the Island, and can also be found in bottles at the brewery and at PEILCC locations.

• Halifax’s The Coast website has published its annual readers’ poll results, and Garrison Brewing Company has been selected as Best Craft Brewery! Runners-up were silver and bronze medal-winners, Propeller Brewing and Bridge Brewing, respectively. As for Best Brew Pub, Rockbottom unseated previous 9-time winner Rogues Roost to win the top prize. Rogues Roost finished second, followed by Hart and Thistle. Congratulations to the winners!

• Speaking of Rockbottom, their Insidious IBA (India Black Ale) is now on tap. This beer won a bronze medal in the American Style Black Ale (also known as Black IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, etc) category at the recent Canadian Brewing Awards. Get it while it’s … cold!

• For those of you looking forward to getting a taste of one of the new Grimross beers tonight in Fredericton, there’s some bad news… the Love Your Balls event has been cancelled. We originally reported on this charity event last Friday. Looks like we’ll all have to wait another few weeks until Grimross is available commercially.

 The Coast’s 2012 Beer Guide is now available.  There are several great articles including: