The Nook and Cranny

All posts tagged The Nook and Cranny

A happy Bon Jovi Friday to all our readers who are working today. The holiday tomorrow has breweries and taprooms around the region all going their own way in terms of opening or not or adjusting or not adjusting their hours, and we’re getting out in front of the madness by posting today. So read on for the usual coverage of beers, events and other beer-related items in Atlantic Canada this week.

• The annual Saint John Beer Fest had another successful run last Saturday, and now that the dust has settled, one of the special one-offs brewed for the event is available for those of us not able to attend. Big Tide brewed Crystal One FifTEA with Pilsner and Wheat malt, and added both Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey tea, from New Brunswick’s King Cole Tea, in the boil. These tea additions complement the 5.9% ABV light-golden ale with “delicate and citrusy flavours”. Late-hopped to 12 IBUs with Crystal and Saaz from Darlings Island Farm, this “light and refreshing” beer is currently on tap at the brewpub for a limited time.

• Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing has a delicious-sounding beer newly released in the province. Chasing Sun falls into the ever-growing-in-popularity style category of a New England IPA (hazy, wonderfully hoppy, smooth, lower bitterness). With a grist featuring a “healthy dose of wheat and oats” to provide a smooth mouthfeel and soft finish, plenty of hops – Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook – were added late in the boil, to help boost those fruity, juicy aromas and flavours, while cutting back on the higher bitterness expected in your typical (but not so typical anymore?) American IPAs. Fermented with the Vermont Ale yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, even more hops were added in the dry-hop, to turn the hop experience up to 11. It should be on tap at PRB accounts in St. John’s soon, as well as at the brewery’s seasonal taproom when it re-opens in the near future. And why not drop by this weekend? They’ll be open this Friday 4-10pm, and Saturday from 2pm, and Oh My Cheeses serving up grilled cheese sammies both days.

• In other hazy, hoppy beer news, North Brewing released their own take on the “style” yesterday, Malternate Reality. Brewed with spelt, oats, and wheat to really guarantee haziness/cloudiness and a smooth mouthfeel, the beer was fermented with The Yeast Bay’s Funktown Pale Ale, a blend of a Vermont Ale yeast strain and a “wild” Saccharomyces strain. Dry-hopped with Azacca, Belma, and Columbus, expect a juicy-tasting beer with notes of peach, pineapple, and passion fruit. Coming in at 6.3% ABV and 51 IBUs, you can find it at both bottle shops in swing tops and growlers, and will likely pop up on tap at Battery Park and other licensees over the weekend. And next time you’re at your local NSLC store, keep your eyes open for North’s Gus’ 65m (available in bottles the last couple of weeks) and Priority Pale Ale (coming to NSLC shelves soon).

• Scudrunner Brewing, a brewery in development in Gander, NL, provided a progress update this week. They’ve secured a location and will be taking possession on June 1 and, fortunately, are not expecting to have to do a whole lot with the space to turn it into a brewery and taproom. They’ve got their equipment picked out and their suppliers set up, and they’re working on getting their design and branding completed. As they wait for their home to be ready they’re continuing to brew test batches and believe they’ve nailed down their selection for launch day, but they invite folks to continue to provide feedback on their Facebook page and let the team know what styles the public would like to see. We’ll keep you posted with further updates and we’ll look to do a complete profile as their opening day approaches.

• In Truro, the Nook & Cranny is rebranding the brewery part of the operation to Salty Dog Brewing Company. While the beer will still be brewed on the system in the brew pub, it will now bear the new name in house, for local licensees, and at the brand new retail location they’re building next door. Soon, hopefully by mid-to-late May, you’ll be able to taste their offerings and purchase cans or have your growlers filled. They’re also taking advantage of this opportunity to provide a wider lineup, including Vanilla Porter, White IPA, Coffee Stout and Cider, as well as a couple of house favourites like the Blueberry Wheat and the Pale Ale.

• Those fine gents over at 902 BrewCast have done a public service by releasing their monthly tasting episode a day early. Available as of this morning, this podcast will take you through the line of beers being poured for the 2 Crows Tap Takeover at Battery Park this afternoon. And who better to do that with than Brewmaster Jeremy Taylor, the special guest for the session? Have a listen through the day and plan your flight(s) ahead of time! Rumour has it you might (MIGHT) hear news of an upcoming 902 BrewCast/2 Crows collaboration beer. And mark your calendars for next nine-oh-Tuesday (April 18) when the guys sit down with local brewing legend Greg Nash and his non-silent partner at Unfiltered Brewing, Andrew Murphy! We’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that headphones may be in order when you’re listening to that one.

Just a few new events to let you know about this week, as we prep our May 5-14 NS Craft Beer Week Event Calendar for a near-future release:

• Tonight at 7pm, Upstreet is hosting Art + Craft, a roof-top rock show, plus walk through an art installation. Perched on top of Confederation Centre Mall on Grafton Street, Stabbing Joy will be playing a set, before attendees will grab their flashlights and walk The Goblin Path to Upstreet, keeping an eye out for monsters along the way. Assuming everyone makes it there safely, they’ll be able to celebrate with Upstreet’s latest release, Go Devil IPA.

• Late addition to the blog, today: Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing are holding another Growler Day tomorrow at 11, featuring the return of their Peach Shake Ale, the Milkshake IPA (lots of late hops with lactose and vanilla) with 10 kg! of peaches added to the brew, and Method IPA, their hazy Citra bomb. Joining those are two new beer: Stowe IPA, featuring their standard grain bill but with AmarilloColumbus, and Simcoe; and Porter, featuring lots of roast and chocolate character from the dark malts used in the grain bill.

Good Robot has a new Beta Brew in the works for next weekend’s Earth Day celebration. They’ll be doing a Day of Beer & Vinyl event on actual Earth Day, April 22nd, and this beer will be tapped the next day at their Earth Day Hangover event on April 23rd. A gruit-style ale that features only organic summer and winter pale 2-row malt from Horton Ridge and only Nova Scotia hops (Centennial and Chinook from Fundy Hops). It’s also packed full of other ingredients foraged by GR’s own Eri Mycelia, including red maple sap and buds and white and yellow birch bark (both toasted). Scottish Heather tips round out the mix. While you’re sipping on a pint of this wholesome brew, you’ll be able to pet goats brought in by Moo Nay Farms, experience the magic of charging your phone with a solar charger from If You Build It, take part in a plant exchange, and more! Check the event out on Facebook for a complete list of activities and the day’s schedule.

• Down in Windsor, Schoolhouse Brewery is finally ready for their Graduation! They will be opening the doors to their new location at 40 Water Street in Windsor later this month, on April 29th. Regular retail hours will be 3:20pm (when school lets out) to 8pm on weekdays (closed Mondays) and 11am-8pm on weekends. Expect to find their regular offerings like the Principal Ale Pale Ale, Chequers Ale Robust Porter and Scotian Export Scottish Export to be available for growler fills and 650ml bombers. You might also find Skratch Plaskett Electric Tambourine Ale (developed as a collaboration with Good Robot last summer) available for growler fills, and Big Red Schoolhouse in bombers. There will be a soft opening of the retail store on April 26th and 27th from 7-9pm. And stay tuned for an announcement of the opening of Schoolhouse’s brand new tap room, where you’ll be able to sit and have pints of your favorites and no doubt some new brews, come May! Keep your eyes on Schoolhouse’s Facebook Page for events to be posted in the next few days that you can slot into your calendar.

• On April 29th, the Whycocomagh Waterfront Centre is hosting an East Coast Dinner Party, featuring a 3-course meal prepared by Son of a Sea Cook, paired with Nova Scotia beers, chosen by brewer Karen Allen, formerly of Gahan House Harbourfront, and frequent collaborator with Boxing Rock. Warren MacIntyre will provide some musical entertainment to enhance the evening. Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to grab yours today, either online or at MacKeigan’s Pharmacy.

A few more mentions from around the region:

Big Spruce is buttressing their forces for the upcoming busy season, and looking for full-time Sales Desk staff from May to September. It’s always busy on Yankee Line Road in the summer, so consider getting in on the fun! Drop them a note with your résumé to apply and/or learn more.
Good Robot has new batches of both their Goseface Killah Gose and Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn beer available now at the brewery, and to enjoy on their Gastroturf.
– Hoping to kickstart spring, Nine Locks has brought back their Watermelon Blonde Ale, a 5.0% light-bodied and crisp Blonde Ale, dosed with lots of deconstructed (aka smashed) fresh watermelons added in the mash, as well as after primary fermentation, for a pleasant hint of aroma and flavour to the warm weather style. Look for it at the brewery in Dartmouth, at the private stores, as well as select NSLC locations now. And for our readers on The Rock, 9L has just sent over a pallet of beer to the NLC, so expect it to hit shelves of the core locations around the end of the month.

And a final public service announcement: Some breweries and taprooms will be closed or running with modified hours tomorrow and/or Sunday due to Easter weekend, so be sure to check before venturing out. And others will be opening their patios (Saturday is looking particularly nice), so a quick scan of social media will set you up for a good day out.

Happy Friday! After a sweltering last few days, it’s time to get out of the sun and cool off with some Atlantic Canadian beer news, including that from two brand new breweries…

• There is a new nano brewery launching their beer this weekend in Dartmouth, NS! Brightwood Brewery is located in Downtown Dartmouth, and will begin selling their beer at this Saturday’s Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market. Brightwood was started by two enthusiastic homebrewers, Matt McGrail and Ian Lawson, looking to share their craft with the public. Brewing on a very small 1.2 hL (1 BBL) brewery, they will have their The Big Lift American IPA available for purchase at the Market, selling by the growler in 0.75 L and 1.89 L formats, and will also be able to fill customers’ clean growlers on demand. Due to their small size, they will be concentrating on the Market for now, with tap accounts coming soon. The Big Lift is 6.0% ABV and 71 IBUs, and look for the launch of their next beer, a honey smoked ale, in the coming weeks. Welcome Brightwood Brewery to the Atlantic Canadian beer scene!

• In Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewery had a very successful tasting with their Pioneers Club this week, and are getting ready to launch the pilot batches of beer to the general public. During this year’s Mahone Bay Heritage Boatyard Weekend, being held July 30 and 31, they will be set up with a tasting tent, and will be selling their growlers to the public. They will be selling their Dark Cream Ale, a flavourful 4.7% golden orange ale featuring notes of biscuit and toast; their Hefeweizen, a 5.2% classic German wheat beer, with notes of banana and clove, to which they have added dried orange peel; and their IPA, a 5.4% dry-hopped hoppy ale, featuring notes of melon and strawberry. As their 12hL (10 BBL) brewhouse is not yet onsite, the full launch of the brewery and taproom will be later in the summer.

• Last Friday, North Brewing released a new Saison, North Saison. Hopped with Centennial and Huell Melon, it exhibits notes of “lemon, pepper, and melon”, according to the brewery, with a “very-balanced ester and phenolic profile”. Fermented with the Old World Saison Blend (which is made up of two different Saison strains) from Escarpment Labs, the high attenuation results in a beer with an extremely dry finish, appropriate to the style. It’s currently still available for growler fills at the brewery, and on tap at select accounts. And today, the North x Stillwell Gose is returning to the rotation, with some changes from it popular first batch. Still weighing in at 4.5% ABV, this batch’s Lacto souring character came courtesy of locally-produced Horton Ridge Malt, and tweaked water for a crisper finish. It still features salt from Black Whale, harvested in PEI, toasted coriander, and hopped with Saaz and Mandarina Bavaria. And for fans of the cask they released on Canada Day, a significant portion of the next batch will be aged on barberry.

Breton Brewing released their newest seasonal yesterday, Ol’ Mick’s Tart-an Juicy Grapefruit Pale Ale. The recipe was designed by local homebrewer Mike Morrison, it comes in at 15 IBUs and a very-sessionable 4% ABV, perfect for summer-drinking. Approximately 200 L of 100%-pure grapefruit juice was added to the beer after fermentation was complete, to boost the juicy flavours even more. Look for it on tap across Nova Scotia this weekend.

• There’s a new beer pouring at Mama’s Brew Pub in Fredericton – Orange Grove Summer Ale was brewed with 2-row, Pilsner, and Wheat malt, and dry-hopped with Citra, Amarillo and Goldings. Once fermentation was complete, 10 lbs each of both fresh oranges and clementines were added to the brew, so expect this 4.7% ABV ale to showcase plenty of orange, citrus, and tropical fruit in the aroma and flavour. As with the other Mama’s brews, it’s available at the brewpub for pints and samples only.

• Elsewhere in Fredericton, Gray Stone has released their third beer since their grand opening party earlier this month. India Session Ale is their take on the Session IPA style, and is single-hopped to 50 IBUs with the El Dorado variety, known for giving candy-like aromas not dissimilar to Jolly Rancher candy. The brewery describes the beer as “light-bodied and easy-drinking, with tropical notes”. Supremely-sessionable at 4% ABV, it’s available now for pints and crowler fills at the brewery, and will likely pop up on tap across the city.

Annapolis Cider Company’s newest batch of “Something Different” is now available at the Cidery in Wolfville. Their Garden Strawberry builds on their classic base of local fresh-pressed apples, with an infusion of two types of basil, sage, and thyme, and a blending of strawberry juice (just over 10% of the total volume) after fermentation is complete. The resultant 6.9% ABV mixed-fruit cider features pleasant aromas of strawberry and herbs, while still maintaining the underlying apple character. Drop by the Cidery to grab a bottle, and as with all of their Something Different releases, part of the proceeds go to a local charity, with the Wolfville Children’s Center being the beneficiary this batch.

• Smith’s Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing is releasing a new beer this weekend, Paddler’s Pale Ale. Brewed in celebration of the Clean Annapolis River Project’s Riverfest, being held tomorrow at Jubilee Park in Bridgetown. The 5.0% ABV Pale Ale features a special combination of hops, and a special blend from Yeast Bay with a wild strain to lend some citrus notes. To grab that beer, you’ll have to visit the Pork in the Park, the festival’s food tent with local sausages and ribs, as it may not be released in growlers or on tap at their licensees.

• Truro’s Nook and Cranny Brewpub will be releasing a new product shortly. Made with juice from New Zealand apples, and fermented on-site with a Champagne yeast, this new Cider finishes quite dry and crisp, with a refreshing finish. Grab it on tap, or in growlers to go. And look for the launch of another cider later this summer, this one fermented using 100% PEI cranberry juice.

Acadie-Broue now has their beer back on tap, with several batches already having been brewed on their new system at La Coude, the University of Moncton student bar-turned brewpub. Two of the confirmed beers now available are Valdrague Weizen, a 5% ABV Hefeweizen that has been a popular Acadie-Broue staple for some time, and La Benaise, a Belgian Pale Ale brewed with some “pungent CaraMunich 80” that was sourced from France. If you’re in Fredericton and can’t make the trip to Moncton, good news – the James Joyce has one keg of both beers, with La Benaise pouring currently.

Several new events are on the horizon in the near and distant future:

Picaroons is holding a launch party today, from 4-7 pm at the Picaroons General Store in Saint John, to celebrate the release of their Live Transmission Session Ale. Designed and co-brewed by Craig Pinhey (on the General Store’s 2.5 BBL system), this 4.5% ABV “English Session Ale” was brewed in support of local radio station Local 107.3fm. Along with the beer, the launch will feature live music from local band Regardless.

• The Charlottetown Beer Garden & Seafood Patio is now open! With outdoor seating for 240, and 24 taps (with a slight majority dedicated to craft beer, mostly local), it’s yet another destination for beer lovers on the Island. Their official launch party is scheduled for next Friday, July 22nd, with Upstreet Presents:  Grand Theft Bus, starting at 10:30 pm.

New Brunswick Beer Tours has announced the details for their Fredericton Beer Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 6th. With stops at four breweries (Grimross, TrailWay, Gray Stone, and Maybee) and finishing at Red Rover, ticket-holders will be treated to a minimum of four 4-oz samples per stop, and will get to meet and chat with the people responsible for crafting some of your favourite Fredericton beers and ciders! The fun starts at 11:30 am at Grimross, and finishes at approximately 5:30 pm at Red Rover. Tickets are $77 (taxes and fees included) and are available now.

• The New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association (NBCAPA) has announced that they will be be organizing an annual gala to “recognize the best of what the industry has to offer”, to coincide with the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival every March. While details are understandably very slim at this moment, expect to see monthly contests organized through social media in the months leading up to the event. Of course, we’ll release more information on the gala as it becomes available.

Enjoy the weekend, and stay cool if you can! And a few more notes before you sign off…

Half-Cut Brewing has a new beer out, Numbskull IPA, a 6% ABV, 73 IBU IPA hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace.
– Hammond River is re-brewing their popular The Vegas SMaSH today, however this batch will be single-hopped with Centennial (instead of the previously-used Amarillo); look for this one to be released later in the month.
– Petit-Sault is currently looking for a new head brewer, with the position being available immediately. For all the details on the opening at the 15 BBL (~17.5 hL) brewery, including contact info, check out the official job posting here.
– Picaroons is now officially selling other New Brunswick beer at both their General Store and Brewtique locations, including cans, bottles, AND growler fills (when tap space is available). Many breweries are already being featured, with others sure to join the line-up as time progresses.
– Their Citrus Pale Ale One-Hit Wonder is still available, but as soon as that runs out, Propeller tells us to keep an eye open for a new OHW Pilsener to hit the taps of their two brewery locations. And next month, look for a single hop Mandarina Bavaria IPA.

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.

Good morning! We hope everyone is recovering from a busy past week – with the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival last Saturday and yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day, there’s probably some recuperating to be done! Well, sit back and have a read…

• This year’s fourth annual FCBF was a huge success, as usual! Here’s a few stats to sum it all up for those of you who unfortunately were not able to attend:
– 1500+ attendees over two sessions (afternoon and evening), 50 volunteers.
– 52+ breweries, 200+ beers, ciders and mead, and 200 brewers and suppliers on-hand to pour and chat.
– $2000 raised for Mosaic Down Syndrome, and $20,000 to Team Diabetes.
– A new FCBF app was launched and very-well received.
Next year’s Fest Week has already been set, and will run March 5-12, 2017. Aims for next year are to build up the afternoon session even more, and offer more events throughout the week leading up to the festival, with several tap takeovers tentatively planned for across the city (think: NB, NS, and PEI pavilions of beer). And if you’re an FCBF Alumni (i.e. have attended all four FCBFs), look out for something special coming your way in 2017!

• Fredericton’s second cidery, York County Cider, officially opens for business today! After debuting their ciders at last Saturday’s FCBF, the storefront to their cidery – located at 418 York St. – will open to the public today from 4-7 pm. They will be selling 1.89 L growlers of their ciders, and will also be filling 1.89 L, 1 L, and 750 mL clean growlers from other breweries (prices for fills are $15, $7.50, and $6, respectively). Five different products will be available:
In The Beginning, an original dry
Sweet William, a semi-dry
An Apple a Day, cider hopped with Falconer’s Flight
Ginger Snap, made with real, fresh ginger
Like an Academic, featuring 100% New Brunswick-grown blueberries
All of the ciders are made with locally-grown apples, and come in at 6.5% ABV. Glassware and t-shirts will also be available for purchase, and the storefront will be open all weekend (Friday 4-11pm, Sat noon-11 pm, and Sun noon-6pm). Be sure to drop by to fill a growler or two!

• And while on the subject of Fredericton cider, Red Rover opened their new storefront location last weekend. The Abbey Cafe is located downtown at 546 Queen St., and will have multiple RR ciders on tap for 5 oz samples, 12 oz pours, and flagon fills, along with a tap dedicated to guest cider in the future, and one tap dedicated to craft beer. Open 12-9 pm Monday through Saturday, the location also has equipment dedicated to 1500 L fermentation capacity, acting as the cidery’s pilot system, allowing RR to experiment with new styles. Note that the original Ciderhouse (880 Hanwell Rd) will still be the home of the majority of the cider-making and equipment, but will no longer be a location for flagon fills. If you’re downtown this weekend, head on in and check out the new spot!

• Even more cider news! Annapolis Cider Company has announced that they will be opening this April in Wolfville, NS. Co-founded by Gina Haverstock, winemaker at Gaspereau Vineyards, and Sean Myles, Dalhousie University apple researcher, the cidery and accompanying tasting room will be found on Main St. in Wolfville, where their ciders will be available for samples and in refillable bottles. Also on the team is manager Katie Barbour and cidermaker Melanie Eelman, who also has a PhD in Chemistry. Their first two releases will be Juicy & Sweet, a 5.6% ABV cider that combines dry-fermented cider with freshly-pressed apple juice, and Crisp & Dry, a 7.7% ABV cider that leans more heavily on cider, but still includes a “touch” of apple juice. Visitors will be invited to enjoy tours and tastings, and will be able to view the cider making process directly from the tasting bar. We’ll keep you updated on their progress; in the meantime, be sure to follow along with their Twitter account for more news.

Grimross has a new beer out, Brett Saison. Fermented and conditioned for over a month with a blend of a Belgian Saccharomyces strain and a Brettanomyces strain, it’s a light golden, dry beer that exhibits “rustic” Saison characteristics, along with some light funk and fruity character from the Brett. If you’re able to purchase a growler to hold on to, you’ll most likely notice the Brett character increasing over time, as the yeast will continue to eat some leftover sugars. Weighing in at 6% ABV and 21 IBUs, this light and refreshing beer is available for growlers fills and pints at the brewery, and is on tap at select locations.

• There’s some new-beer news coming from Pump House this week. First off, they’re releasing two more beers in bottles at ANBL stores next week, one of which is Muddy River Stout: a long-time tap-only beer, it’s an Oatmeal Stout featuring lots of roast, Espresso, and chocolate in the aroma and flavours, and still manages to weigh in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV. The other is Best Friend Märzen Lager; not to be confused with their Oktoberfest seasonal, this is a different beer altogether that uses Hallertau hops for bittering (18 IBUs) and aroma to complement the “strong nose of sweet malt aromas” and a “pleasant sweetness from Vienna and aroma-friendly malts”, according to the brewery; it clocks in at 5.5% ABV. Finally, PH released a Black Irish IPA yesterday for St. Patrick’s Day. A big beer at 8% ABV and 65 IBUs, this dark IPA was dry-hopped with Warrior. On tap at the brewpub while supplies last, it can also be found at the new SJ East ANBL growler station this weekend.

• Halifax’s Good Robot has released their latest CommuniBrew beer in the SMaSH Bros series: Rakauchu IPA. SMaSH beers feature a Single Malt and Single Hop, and for his beer, local homebrewer Miles Bishop chose Munich malt for a light body with a touch of toast/bread/caramel flavours, and New Zealand Rakau hops. The hops were added throughout the brew, including first wort, and several additions late in the boil, for a pleasing bitterness and big nose of berry, citrus, and pear. As with all of the CommuniBrew beers, they are brewed on GR’s Sabco Brew Magic system, so there will only be one keg of the beer available, at the Taproom. And at a very sessionable 5.5% ABV, we suspect it won’t last long!

• In fact, look for GR’s next CommuniBrew beer to be tapped this weekend, The Cookie Jar. Developed and brewed by homebrewer Keith Forbes, this 8.2% White Stout is a hybrid of styles: the beer features big portions of Wheat malt and Oats to add mouthfeel and complexity to the Pale base, with a light bittering charge of Warrior to balance. The addition of Brown Sugar, Cinnamon sticks, Cocoa nibs, Lactose, Toasted Coconut, and Vanilla Beans take it to the next level, however! The resultant aroma and flavour is reminiscent of a Specialty Stout, with the appearance of a Pale Ale. Taproom only, folks!

Paddy’s Irish Pub has a pair of new beers on tap, at both their Kentville and Wolfville locations. Their Black IPA is a 5.7% ABV dark beer, with a nod to American IPAs, featuring plenty of Falconer’s Flight hops for a robust 67 IBUs, and berry, citrus, and stonefruit characters in both aroma and flavour.  Their very popular Oatmeal Stout has returned: rolled oats give this 5.0% ABV beer a smooth mouthfeel, with the dark kilned malts lending notes of choclate and coffee. Both of these new brews are on tap at both locations, for both pints and in growlers to take away. And keep an eye out for a brand new beer, coming soon: Rye Saison. This 5.0% ABV pale saison was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain for big fruit and spicy characters, with a pepper note enhanced by the addition of malted rye.

• In more Paddy’s news, they will be hosting their second Brewer’s Dinner, Tuesday April 5th, 7-9pm. It will feature four courses of food, each carefully paired with one of Brewer Kirsten MacDonald’s creations from the brewery:
1st course: Spring salad with Blueberry Ale dressing
2nd course: Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa
3rd course: Beef Wellington (veg option: Veggie Wellington)
4th course: Sticky toffee pudding
The event will be taking place in the Brewer’s Hall, upstairs at their Wolfville location. Tickets are available at Paddy’s Wolfville now.

• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has brought back two previous favourites this week. The first is La Rive Du Sud, a 7.5% ABV Bière de Garde. Based on the style originally (and still) brewed in Northern France, it is a malt-forward beer, with light toasted and caramel malt aromas meeting a slightly sweet finish with a touch of Noble hops. It is available at the brewery now in bottles and growler fills, this weekend at the Farmers Market in growlers, and on tap at better beer bars and restaurants. Also re-launching this week is Wild Axe Bohemian Pilsner. This 5.7% ABV is keeping it traditional, brewed with 100% Bohemian Pilsener malt and Czech Saaz hops. The extended lagering process leaves a crisp and refreshing beer that is supremely drinkable. The beer with be launched at Timber Lounge, a new Axe Throwing space on Agricola St, and will also be on tap around HRM, and in bottles at the private beer stores.

• Truro’s Nook and Cranny has released a new brew pouring this week. Their Amber Ale was produced on their DME Smart Brew system, which allows them to ferment beer right on the premises, adding in their own take on base recipes and styles. For the Amber, they dry-hopped the beer with Cascade, Centennial, and Galaxy hops, for a solid hop punch with stone fruit character. This 5.5% ABV and 55 IBUs beer is only available on tap at their pub on Prince Street.

• Attention St John’s (and the rest of the Rock) Good Beer Fans! The Inaugural St John’s Brew Fest is coming your way! Presented by some of the same people behind the Newfoundland Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club (NLACBC, formerly Beerthief Beer Club), they’ve been sharing their passion for great beers to the public for several years, so a Festival is the next logical step. Featuring more than 60 beers from 20+ breweries (and the number is growing weekly), many of which are not otherwise available in the province, the three sessions will feature low entrance fees, and a pay-per-sample pricing scheme. This will encourage thoughtful enjoyment, rather than “trying to get one’s money worth” by drinking as much as possible. The event is being held June 17 & 18, with three sessions (one Friday evening, two Saturday), and tickets will be on sale Monday March 21st.

• From one Island to another, Upstreet Brewmaster Mike Hogan (from Prince Edward Island) is visiting Cape Breton Island’s Breton Brewing today for a collaboration brew. Inspired by the upcoming East Coast Music Awards, being held in Sydney April 13-17, they are having a jam session of their own today. An Extra Special Bitter, it features Maritime Malt, and New Brunswick-grown Golding hops. The beer will be launched at Breton at the start of ECMA weekend, and the Upstreet team, along with several of their beers on Breton’s guest taps, will be onsite to celebrate.

That’s it for this week! As usual, a few final notes:
Picaroons had several variants of their Timberhog stout (such as Ginger, Coffee, and Chocolate Vanilla) available for growler fills at the Brewtique yesterday for St. Paddy’s Day; there may still be some available, so be sure to stop by if you missed out.
– Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day beer releases, there will be no 7th Wave series release at Spindrift today, as they did a special release of Dry Irish Stout yesterday for the holiday.
Gahan House Halifax is on the lookout for a Brewer at their Historic Properties location. There are a few details on their Facebook page, and interested folks should contact them ASAP, in order to work with Karen Allen before she leaves.
– YellowBelly Patrick’s Pale Ale was released this week, featuring Cascade hops throughout the process. It is available on tap, as well as in bottles at the bar, and the NLC.
PEI Brewing Co. has brought back their 8.1% ABV Doppelbock, Reanimator, which is available now in cans at the brewery; it will follow soon at PEILCC stores, with the ANBL not far behind.
Nine Locks is starting to release some of their beers in cans: ESB is available now at the brewery, with IPA following shortly on Monday evening, and their Porter and Blonde Wednesday evening.
– Due to a trademark dispute, Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse will now be selling their beer outside of Nova Scotia under the name Mosaic Brewing Co.; but if you’re in NS, don’t worry, the BAB name still stands! Check out their link for more details.

G’day! Along with your weekly dose of regional beer news comes the announcement of yet another new brewery in Atlantic Canada. Let’s get to it!

• Fredericton will soon be seeing the launch of the city’s very first brewpub, as Mama’s Pub (a local establishment that has been operating on Fredericton’s North Side for 23 years) plans to start brewing on a 2 BBL (~225 L) system in the near future. Manager Ryan Kingston will be the brewer, and has developed several “flagship beer” recipes with the help of brewer/consultant Andrew ‘Esty’ Estabrooks. They plan on launching their first three beers – an American Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and Session IPA – by Christmas, with Estabrooks staying on as consultant to see the brewery through its initial developing stages. All beers will be available on tap at Mama’s only, with four seasonal rotating beers to follow in 2016. Plans currently include growler fills onsite sometime in the future, and there will be 15 other taps in addition to the Mama’s beers. We’ll have a Q&A posted in the near future; stay tuned!

Picaroons has announced future plans to open a brewery and retail space in downtown St. Stephen. Located at 5 King St., the establishment will be in collaboration with an “experienced chef”, who will run a co-joined but separately-operated brewpub. Still in the development phase, the current working name is The Five Kings. We’ll have more details in the future as they become available!

• We also have details on the opening date plans for Battery Park Beer Bar in Dartmouth. This joint venture between Brooklyn Warehouse and North Brewing will be opening their doors December 10th. Why December 10th? Owner Leo Christakos is a board member of the Slow Food NS association, and their annual Terra Madre Day is on that date, celebrating the founding of Slow Food in 1989. The Terra Madre initiative is a celebration of local food (including beer) through community events, including meals, festivals, workshops and more. BPBB’s opening will be a culmination of their months of preparation, and so it is fitting to hold it on that date. They will be pouring several new beers and current favourites, both brewed onsite and at North’s Agricola Street location. As the exact timing and beer details are announced, we’ll be sure to share them. And drop by North today after noon to pick up a bottle of Two, the beer brewed in celebration of Stillwell’s second anniversary.

• Moncton’s Pump House Brewery has released the 2015 edition of their Stonefire Ale. It was brewed using the Steinbier technique, which involves heating the wort not by heating a kettle, but by super-heating rocks to 700C and dropping them directly into the wort. This leads to lots of sugar caramelization, and even a faint hint of smokiness in the final product. The bitterness of the beer is very low, under 10 IBUs, leaving lots of room for the 6.5% ABV, with the beer coming through slightly sweet. It is widely available at the ANBL in bottles now. Pump House has also brought back their Bière de Garde seasonal, a 6.5% ABV amber beer with Belgian yeast character spiciness, and balancing hop bitterness from Chinook and Golding.

Garrison Brewing is coming to Sackville, New Brunswick in the form of a massive tap-takeover at Ducky’s Bar! Starting tomorrow, November 21st, at 7 pm, there will be 18 taps pouring various Garrison beers, many of which are special releases such as Not So Gentle Tickle IPA, Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 3 Fields Harvest, Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale, and their Proud Rose-Mary, the “Gastronome IPA” normally exclusive to the harbourstone sea grill & pour house in Halifax. There is no cover charge, but if you purchase a ticket for $10, you will receive a specially-branded Belgian-style glass and five 5 oz drink tickets; sign up in advance at the bar, and you get an additional two drink tickets. Those with the branded glass will be able to purchase additional 5 oz pours for the special price of $2.25.

• In additional Garrison news, their seasonal Winter Warmer is back, starting today. Just in time for colder temperatures, this 7% ABV dark beer is perfect for sipping, and, new this year, is available in 6-packs, perfect for sharing (or not!). And next Saturday, the 28th, will see the launch of this year’s Spruce Beer, with a cask of both the Spruce Beer and Winter Warmer, as well as mulled cider, on at the brewery.

PEI Brewing Co. has officially set the date for this year’s Transmitter Coffee Stout release. A delicious beer that was brewed in collaboration with local Receiver Coffee Co., last year’s batch featured plenty of roasted coffee flavour and aroma, and was more than worth the Herculean task of getting the wax off the bottle cap! The 750 mL bottles will be available for purchase at the brewery starting at 5 pm next Tuesday (November 24th); there will be live music from Dave Woodside until 7pm, and both PEIBC brewers and Receiver employees will be on hand to answer questions about the beer and coffee (with samples of both available for sampling). Like last year’s batch, supplies will be limited, so load up while you have the chance! And for you procrastinators, there are still a few bottles available of Hell Street, their barrel-aged Doppelbock, at both the brewery and PEILCC.

• The seasonal beer re-release news doesn’t stop there, as Propeller‘s very popular Russian Imperial Stout, Revolution, is back for another year. Already in bottles and on tap at their Halifax and Dartmouth brewery shops, it will also be popping up soon at NSLC stores in the next few weeks. This dark, strong (8% ABV), complex ale features plenty of roasted and chocolate notes, along with a smooth, warming finish from the higher alcohol. For the first time, it will also be available at select ANBL locations by early 2016.

Big Spruce has just released Gimme Simcoe, the latest in the “Gimme” line of single-hop Pale Ales, with Bar Stillwell as conspirators. Weighing in at 5.0% ABV, this light-bodied brew showcases the Simcoe hop, added especially late in the process to magnify the hop’s aroma and flavour over bitterness. On tap now at the brewery, and shortly at Stillwell and elsewhere in our region. And one final reminder, entry forms for the Home Brew Challenge are due via email Nov 23rd, and beers must be submitted to the brewery, or the Halifax drop-point, no later than Friday the 27th.

• The Nook and Cranny in Truro has a new beer on tap at the pub. Their first dark beer is a 4.7% ABV Milk Stout, brewed on-site on their SmartBrew system. Smooth-drinking, with a bit of roast and sweetness, it should be a great beer for the cooler months. Like the rest of their beers, it’s currently available at the pub for pints and growler fills.

• The Ladies Beer League is holding a Holiday Brunch at Stillwell on December 6th. The party starts at noon with the launching of the Boxing Rock/Big Spruce collaboration Triskaidekaphobia, plus some great brunch food from Chef Graeme Ruppel, including Eggs Benedict, Frittata, and Biscuits & Gravy. Tickets are $32.40, and include food and first pour of Tris, and LBL members receive a $5 discount. Doors open at 4pm to the public.

That’s it for this week! If you’re in Charlottetown, BarNone‘s award-winning Black IPA, Black Eye P.A., has returned; you can find it on tap at Baba’s Lounge and The Old Triangle. And another award-winning beer, La Buckdjeuve from Petit-Sault, is currently pouring at all four ANBL growler stations, is available in bottles at the brewery now and in select ANBL locations starting next week (if you don’t see it, ask for it!), for a limited time only. Grimross has re-released their Maritime Amber Ale, a 5.6% ABV beer hopped towards the British side of the spectrum (earthy instead of fruity/citrusy). Finally, tomorrow is the third annual Fredericton Poutine Festival; the sold-out event will feature 11 breweries pouring approximately 25 different different beers, ciders and mead, served with unlimited samples of over 12 different styles of poutine! Hope to see you there!

Happy long weekend! Once again, plenty of beer news to share, including the opening of yet another brewery in Nova Scotia in the near future. Let’s dive right in…

• There is another new brewery coming to our region in the near future. Nine Locks Brewery will be opening near Lake Micmac in Dartmouth, NS in the next couple of months. It is a collaboration between Shaun O’Hearn (owner of Rockbottom Brewpub) and business partner Danny O’Hearn, with current Rockbottom head brewer Jake Saunders moving into the Brewmaster role across the bridge, and former Brutopia Brewmaster Chris Downey joining the team. Nine Locks will be focusing on American and English style beers, launching with an IPA and ESB, with more to follow shortly. Their beer will be available in cans and growlers at their storefront at 219 Waverley Rd, through the NSLC and private stores, and on tap at local bars and restaurants. Their 20 BBL/24hl DME brewhouse is being delivered next week, with launch expected late November/early December. Their website and social media pages will be launched shortly, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with their progress.

• Speaking of new breweries, FirkinStein are expanding their growler delivery program, and will be attending this weekend’s Hubbards Barn Farmers’ Market. From 8am-12pm (if the beer isn’t sold out earlier!), their Nor’easter Ale will be available to purchase in 0.95 & 1.89l growlers, along with their new branded glassware. They will be at the market for the next few weeks, until it closes for the season. And remember that their Bridgewater-area growler delivery service is available a few nights per week, contact them on Facebook or Twitter to get on board!

• YellowBelly Brewery in St John’s has brought back their popular Deep South IPA for a second go ’round. This New Zealand-, Australian- and American-inspired IPA features Pacific Gem hops from New Zealand and Mosaic hops from Australia for tropical fruit, grapefruit, and mint flavours and aromas. Like the previous batch, the Deep South was fermented with an American ale yeast (instead of their house British strain), to allow the hops to shine through even more. The IPA weighs in at 6.0% ABV and roughly 60 IBUs, and is available now on tap, and in take-away bottles shortly.

Grimross has re-released their popular Chantelope, an all-Brettanomyces-fermented “wild ale”. First making its debut in August of 2014, this is the first batch that has been brewed since the brewery opened at their current location on Bishop Drive in Fredericton early this year. While the first brew was fermented with Brettanomyces bruxellensis, owner/brewer Stephen Dixon decided to try a different strain for this current batch: Brettanomyces brux. var. Drie, an isolate from the excellent Belgian brewery, Drie Fonteinen. Dixon says that the new Chantelope is “extremely fruity and flowery”, with lots of pineapple, tropical fruit, and candy-like aromas and flavours, along with a “jasmine-like” character. This light-coloured ale comes in at a lower-ABV (5.4%) than before, with about 23 IBUs. It’s available now at the brewery taproom for pours and growler fills, and at select Grimross accounts in the province. And just this morning, they’ve just released another batch of their Dubbel, back again after a few week hiatus. Look for the beer details here.

• Attention PEI beer lovers! There’ll be a new beer dropping today at 6pm. Literally! Upstreet is releasing their fall seasonal, Gravedigger Imperial Pumpkin Ale today, and are starting it off with a bang. They’ll be dropping a 200kg local pumpkin from 20 metres to make a big splash/splat, to kick-off the release. Before crying foul, they are using the opportunity to kick off a food drive in their tap room, where anyone bringing in a non-perishable food item will enjoy staff-priced pints until Oct 31st. So, what about the beer? It is years in the making, and was first brewed on a homebrew scale by Brewmaster Mike Hogan, along with local homebrewer Ryan Palmer a couple of years ago. The recipe uses a big malt bill, for a solid base to support the pumpkin pie character throughout. The beer weighs in at 7.5% ABV and about 30 IBUs. And while at the brewery, check out the beautiful screen-printed posters from Upstreet label artist Jud Haynes, each one numbered and signed by the artist. And keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter feeds for more details on other upcoming events, including Yoga at the Brewery tomorrow, a fundraiser for Anderson House next Saturday, and their first Comedy Show, featuring Gavin Stephens, on Monday, October 19.

• Shediac’s Flying Boats Brewing, which has been operating for the last few months, has just seen a major expansion with the arrival of their 2 BBL/2.4 hectolitre system from Stout Tanks and Kettles. With a hot liquor tank, mash tun, boil kettle, brite tank, and four fermentation vessels, this will allow owner/brewer Marc Melanson to brew significantly more beer than previously able on his original, 10 gallon system. Several small-scale batches will be brewed at first to dial-in the new brewery, with full-size brews to follow shortly afterwards to meet “growing demand”, and supply new accounts who have been eagerly waiting to pour Flying Boats beer!

• Nyanza’a Big Spruce Brewing will be releasing their annual pumpkin beer next week. Smokin’ Jack It features the addition of several home farm-grown pumpkins, apple wood smoked right at the brewery. After fermentation, the beer was aged on rum-soaked cardamom, vanilla and cinnamon. It comes in at 5.5% ABV; look for it on tap at the brewery mid-week, and at better beer bars shortly thereafter. Don’t forget to drop by today starting at 11:30 for some food from Cruisin’ Cuisine Food Truck, with music by Maxim Cormier at 2pm. In fact, every afternoon from Oct 9-17 (except Sunday the 11th) at 2pm, there will be live music as part of the Celtic Colours festival. Check their Facebook page for the exact schedule. And Big Spruce also has an exciting program in the works with the folks at Escarpment Laboratories in Ontario, look for details on that in the coming months.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub has announced the launch of their “Meet your Makers”, an ongoing series of tap takeovers. An opportunity to try several brews from one brewery, each will also provide a chance to chat with the brewer(s) in a quiet setting and ask them questions on their process, ingredients, future plans, etc. A brewery-related food special will also be available at each event. First up is Big Axe on Friday, October 23rd. Starting at 7:30 pm, owners Peter and Tatiana Cole will be bringing at least six of their beers. Details on exactly which beers are not yet known, but they HAVE brewed up something special for this event, featuring the honey produced on the rooftop of the Crowne Plaza. Their latest re-release of the Wrath of Putin “Imperial Pale Ale” (out today) should be appearing as well. There’s no cost to attend, just show up and pay by the beer! Big Axe merchandise will be on hand for purchase.

• And while on the topic, the next Meet Your Makers has already been planned for Thursday, November 5th, to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night. Featuring Red Rover, expect plenty of cider on tap (including one or two new releases), with a good chance of a cask cider as well. A Guy Fawkes effigy will hang out in the pub until 10:30 pm, when it will be taken outside and burned in a bonfire (don’t worry, they have a permit!). More details to come.

Garrison Brewing has a few new beers available now. Their 3 Fields Harvest Ale is out, brewed with fresh hops from Meander River Farm, Ross Farm Museum, and Wyskmykal Farm, added to the brew within hours of harvest. The beer weighs in at a hefty 6.4% ABV. On tap at the brewery only, they have brewed up a special cask of Cranapple Weisse, a cranberry- and apple-infused wheat beer, 5.0% ABV. For those in New Brunswick, look for their American Red on tap at the four ANBL growler filling stations. This blend of their Irish Red and India Pala Ale brings together the best of both worlds. Look out for a second batch of their Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale to be refilling shelves at the brewery, NSLC, and beyond. Finally, Modem Hoperandi, celebrating The Stanfields‘ new album release, is also out now at the brewery.

• The 2nd Annual ACBAs are back, and tickets are now available to purchase for the Awards Gala at the Stubborn Goat. On Sunday, October 18th, the winners will be announced and the celebrations can begin! The Goat’s Chef Tyler Smith will be preparing a multi-course dinner, each course paired with a local beer. Tickets are available online now.

• Early Bird tickets for the Local Connection Halifax’s Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration are moving quickly, so be sure to snap them up soon to avoid disappointment. The Jan 16 event is moving to a larger venue, which means more room for more breweries, restaurants, and attendees. It always features several special casks and special brews, including Big Spruce’s Home Brew Challenge winner (btw homebrewers, just under two months to go until judging, so best get your brew on now!).

• The Nook and Cranny has released a Pumpkin Spiced Ale, which is now on tap at the brewpub. Brewed along the lines of a Wheat Ale, a pumpkin spiced tea (featuring cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin spices) was steeped and added to the beer. Served with a sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg rim, it weighs in at 4.5% ABV. Drop down to try a pint before it’s gone for the season!

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Remember, lots of beer styles pair perfectly with turkey. If you’re in the Moncton area tonight, remember that the Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest starts at 7:30 pm (6:30 for VIP); tickets are still available.

Finally, a few housekeeping notes to end this week’s post: we have added a Growler page to our site this week. We wanted to take stock of all locations in our region selling growlers, and their different filling/return policies. Please let us know if you find a mistake. Also this week, our Facebook page was “upgraded”, which meant we lost the ability to Friend people. Please don’t take it personally! Our Atlantic Canada Beer Pages list had to be rebuilt from scratch, so if we’ve missed anything important, please let us know too. Cheers!

Good morning, and welcome to the start of the long weekend! Before diving into cottage-time, family-time – whatever you have planned, as long as it involves some good beer! – let’s get cracking at a big pile of beer news…

• Cider lovers, we have some good news! This fall will bring the first Fredericton Cider Festival on Saturday, October 24th. Brought to you by those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, the afternoon event will be held at Brewbakers in downtown Fredericton, and will feature unlimited tasting (4 oz pours) of up to 30 different ciders. With several local craft cideries attending (including New Brunswick’s Red Rover, Scow Craft Cider, and Gagetown Cider Co.), as well as other big brands, there will be plenty of different offerings to sample! There are two ticket options: regular tickets ($56.50) will get you a tasting glass and unlimited pours from 1-4 pm, while a limited number of VIP tickets ($65) will allow for early entry at noon, plus a special information session on cider production. The event will be held outdoors on Brewbakers’ partially-covered deck; food from the restaurant will also be available for purchase. Attendees can expect to see some extra-special products at the fest, quite-possibly including New Brunswick’s first exposure to cask cider! Tickets go on sale online today at noon. We’ll have more info on the festival, soon!

Unfiltered Brewing has a new beer out today, starting from their opening at noon. Double Orange Ale is a 7.5% ABV SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer featuring 2-Row Malt and Citra hops. Despite the rather low-lovibond colouring inherent in 2-Row Malt, the final beer colour is a beautiful orange, thanks to some special Nash-magic during the brewday. The beer is calculated at over 100 IBUs for bitterness, but the hops mostly shine through in a big, bold, and juicy aroma and flavour, without being brashly bitter. Pick up the beer in growlers at their North St location, or look for it on tap at bars and restaurants around the city.

Flying Boats has released a new beer, Penny Wreck ESB. This moderate-strength (5.5% ABV) Extra Special Bitter exhibits a “significant caramel malt sweetness” with plenty of “biscuity, toasty, nutty malt character”, according to the brewery. Hopped to 37 IBUs with Warrior and Willamette (with some added later in the boil for flavour), it’s named after an incident in the late 19th-century, where a CPR train carrying 900,000 pennies derailed just outside of Dorchester, NB on its way to Montreal. You can currently find the beer on tap at Ducky’s in Sackville. And congrats to Flying Boats on their official launch party last night at Marky’s Laundromat in Moncton!

Garrison Brewing released their three-way collaboration beer last night, Not So Gentle Tickle, brewed in early August when the folks from Metalman Brewing in Waterford City, Ireland and Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto were in town for the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. This 7.0% IPA was brewed with loads of whole leaf AmarilloCitra, and Columbus hops throughout the boil, whirlpool, and with a generous dry-hop charge as well, for a 55 IBU final product. The hops give the beer a citrus, floral, and grassy aroma, and help to enhance the pleasant bitterness. A bit of Wheat and Carapils malts, along with the Pale Ale base malt, give the beer an orange hue with a vibrant and persistent head. Grab the Tickle on tap and in 650 ml bottles at the brewery and around Halifax now.

• And speaking of Garrison, more details have been released for their Hops ‘n’ Brats event taking place September 25th in collaboration with the Sausage Fest folks, and as the first event in the Halifax Oktoberfest weekend. Joining Garrison for the Hops at the event are Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Bulwark Cider, Gahan House, Good Robot, Meander River, Propeller, and Rare Bird. The Brats will be courtesy of Harbourstone, Scanway and T-Dogs. The event is from 5-11pm at the Sands on Salter location on the Halifax Waterfront, with tickets now available. Your $16 entry includes a sampling cup to keep and five drink tickets (with additional samples available at $2 each).

• As the hop harvest season continues to get underway, more wet-hopped beers are appearing in our region. Railcar will soon be releasing their wet-hopped Harvest Ale, featuring fresh Goldings hops from Southan Farms in Wicklow. Hopped throughout the boil to 68 IBUs, this 6.2% ABV beer will be released on Saturday, September 19th at the brewery’s Corn Boil, from 1-6 pm. Railcar has also begun a Community Supported Brewing program; there are several levels to buy into, each with varying “rewards”, including beer credit in their retail store and tasting room, glassware, brewery tours, and even the chance to shadow a brew day at the brewery. The program will be running until the end of September.

• In more harvesting news, Horton Ridge Malt & Grain did some of their own this week. Organic Hazlet and Danko varietals of rye were collected, and will be stored, tested for viability, and malted once the Malt House construction is completed later this year. The three-step malting process will happen in their building, with the steeping (wetting) of the grain, germination (preparing enzymes and starches for conversion in the mash), and kilning (drying and possibly roasting for flavour and colour). The malt house will be two floors, each of 316 m² (3400 square feet), for the floor malting process. The key malting equipment will be built by local crafts people whenever possible. In addition to their own grain, they will be malting grain from other organic farmers in the region, and, if necessary, meeting demand with western organic grain until the local supply is sufficient. They are looking forward to their first runs in December 2015, and supplying the local commercial and homebrewing communities. Be sure to follow along on their Twitter feed for updates on their progress, and we look forward to visiting when the building it completed.

Schoolhouse Brewery also did some harvesting of their hops this week. Along with other local farmers’ wares, they will be doing a series of three 100% Maritimes-sourced brews, in keeping with their philosophy of using local ingredients whenever possible. While the exact beers have not yet been decided, they do have some ideas for the special release of them. They will be sold in half-cases of 750 ml bottles (two of each style), in December. They will be orderable from their website, and available through their Growler Bus delivery (which may also be available in Halifax for this special release). Stay tuned for more beer details!

Pump House brewed the second iteration of their Stonefire Ale yesterday. Originally brewed last year to celebrate their 15th Anniversary, the 2015 edition has had the recipe “tweaked slightly” by the head brewer. A Stein Beer, it was brewed by immersing extremely-hot stones into the wort, which not only brings it to the necessary boil, but caramelizes the sugars in the process. The beer should be released in bottles by the end of October; we’ll have more information on the recipe changes at that time. For more info on last year’s release, check out our previous post. And in other Pump House news, they plan on releasing a new IPA in the near future; stay tuned for details!

Big Axe has just released a new Fruit Beer, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, to celebrate the end of the summer harvest season. With a grist that includes dark Crystal malts and toasted Wheat, the beer was moderately-hopped (to 22 IBUs) to provide some aroma to blend with the caramel flavours from the malts. The real experience in this light-brown ale, however, comes from the addition of 10 lbs of local strawberries, and freshly-picked rhubarb, giving an aroma of “strawberry ganache”, according to the brewery. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV, and should be available now at the brewery’s tasting room, and soon on tap at Big Axe accounts.

• Over in Truro, The Nook and Cranny brewpub has released a new beer, White IPA. A style that combines the fruity esters and spicy phenolics of a Belgian Witbier with the fruity/citrusy hop aromas and flavours (and high bitterness) of an American IPA, this batch was hopped (and dry-hopped) with Cascade and Centennial to 42 IBUs, and fermented with Abbaye yeast to give it those classic Belgian characteristics. Drop by to grab a pint today!

• A new brewery in the development stage is looking to hire a head brewer! High Tide Brewery, based in Truro, is looking for a Head Brewer for their upcoming 15 BBL (17.5 hL) brewhouse. They are looking for someone immediately for their input and expertise on equipment choice and purchase; ideas for recipe and style choices are also welcome. Investment and partnership opportunities are available, as is an equity bonus program. Check out the ad at brewingwork.com for more details, and apply before the Sept 11 deadline.

Enjoy the long weekend! BarNone Brewing‘s latest batch of IPA is out now, and has been nicknamed the “Broken Scale” IPA, and features a big juicy nose from generous hop additions throughout the process. Halifax’s Gahan House Pub has a new beer on tap, the White Rhino Belgian IPA, weighing in at 6.7% ABV and a solid 55 IBUs. PEI Brewing Company has released their Harvest Time Lager, a 4.0% Golden Lager, and the Harvest Four-Pack (featuring it, the Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Blueberry Wheat Ale, and Black Banks Cascadian Dark Ale) is available at both the PEILCC and ANBL.

And don’t forget to head out to some of the great events happening in our region this weekend: Oktoberfest des Acadiens is happening now until Sunday in Bertrand, NB; Big Spruce and Breton Brewing are both hosting Food Truck Friday events at their breweries today (Cape Breton Brewery Crawl, anyone?); Upstreet in Charlottetown is holding their Block Party starting at noon tomorrow, to celebrate the release of their collaboration brew with Boxing Rock; or if you’re in Nova Scotia, maybe visit Meander River Saturday morning to help harvest their hops? Check their Twitter or Facebook feed for potential scheduling changes.