Unfiltered Brewing

All posts tagged Unfiltered Brewing

Jiminy Cricket we’re late today! We blame the one who took this week off, the one who barely survived the Tata takeover at Battery Park last night (although the jury’s still out on his dignity), and the one who inexplicably went to bed at 8:30 PM last night and slept clear through until morning. We’ll let y’all try to figure out which one is which. For now, enjoy another 3,000 or so words about beer and beer event news in Atlantic Canada for the last full weekend of summer (*sob*)!!

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing is re-releasing their Belgian Blonde known as Grimdonk today. Described as, “elegantly crisp and golden, with balanced fruit and spice notes,” you’ll find this dry finishing beer available both on tap and in cans (for the first time, we think) at the brewery. And if you’re out and about in the area this afternoon, they’ll be tapping a special cask of this beer that’s been fortified with blackberries at 2 PM. There’s only 20 L of that version, though, so best hook off work a little early if you want to make sure to get a taste.

Staying in Fredericton with the “other” G brewery, Graystone put a new ESB on the taps late last week. Amber in colour, with a medium mouthfeel and a typically English lower carbonation level, Grizzly ESB is a 5.1% and 42 IBU easy drinker. The aroma is sweet and malty with a subtle hop earthiness, and the flavour favours mild caramel and biscuit notes and a slightly spicy finish from the traditional English hops used. It’s still listed as on tap on the brewery website so you should still be able to find it on tap for pints, crowlers and growler fills at the brewery. And in other Graystone news, one of their flagship beer, Patagonia Pale Ale is now available in 473 mL cans at select ANBL locations. See this Instagram post for the full list of locations where you can grab yourself some for the weekend!

Not to be left out, Fredericton’s lords of lupulin, Trailway Brewing have yet another new and interesting beer on the docket today. Featuring a theoretical IBU rating of 0 due to all the hops being added in the fermenter after the beer was chilled, Days Done is a crushable American Pale Ale coming in at 5% ABV. Leveraging hops from both New Zealand and the United States, it has a slight bubblegum character at the front of the palate and a rounded citrus finish. Check it out this afternoon and/or tomorrow afternoon at the brewery where they’ll also have the Gastrognomes food truck going from 3 – 8 PM. It’ll be an ideal beer for pre-gaming the Harvest Jazz & Blues Fest downtown!

Hanwell’s premier brewery, Niche Brewing, has a brand new beer out this week, the latest in their Persuasion Series (if it’s not a thing yet, maybe it is now?). Grasping hold of the last days of Summer, they have released Boysenberry Persuasion, a 4.2% ABV fruited sour. Using the same base as their Pineapple Persuasion, they added boysenberry puree during secondary fermentation, resulting in big raspberry- and blackberry-like flavour and aroma, all on a tart base. It is available around Fredericton and Moncton, including on tap at Grimross, which means you’ll be able to grab growlers of it (and their Riptide Rye Session IPA). Rejoice the weekend!

Down the road from the capital, outside Moncton in MacDougall Settlement, NB, Valonray Farmhouse Brewery has now achieved their previously stated (and lofty!) goal of producing only mixed fermentation beers! With only about 50 bottles of clean-fermented beer left on hand as of earlier this week, they’ve fully committed to mixing bacteria and yeast to produce tasty beers in the Continental style. They’re also planning six or so releases in the next few months, with some special treats already settled down for some (much) longer term aging. In the near term, though, they’ve got two releases to tell you about this week. The first is Terroir, a farmhouse ale with 70% Horton Ridge pale malt to which wheat, oats, and some sugar were added to round out the grist. The yeast used was from Escarpment Labs (although Valonray’s next fermentation goal is to use only their own yeast) along with Brettanomyces. Described as “unlike any Brett beers we’ve tasted,” it’s earthy, with a honey-like finish and little to no fruit or funk detectable. Their second new release is Farmhouse 2 which started as an experiment but turned out just fine. With 70% pale malt matched with 30% Vienna in the grist, some residual sweetness and malt body is to be expected. Fermentation-wise, this one’s a bit crazy, with 6 Brett strains, including 2 sources of Brett B, one Brett C, one Brett Q, and two wild Bretts from Terroir all in the mix along with Lactobacillus. The result is a beer where the Lacto is not prominent, so it’s not as tart as the first iteration, but there are prominent grapefruit and berry notes. Look for both of these beers to be available at select ANBL locations in the Moncton area soon.

Moving across the Bay of Fundy to Nova Scotia, Annapolis Brewing Co. has a brand new small batch specialty beer available this week. Called Calientide, the key ingredient was 4 pounds of honey provided to the brewery by the Halifax Honey Company. But this wasn’t just any honey, this is what they call “Stingin’ Hot Honey” which is their chili-infused product. Added to the kettle at flameout, it made for a rather spicy wort initially, but ended up producing a subtly spicy and slightly hot beer. The heat and spicy character were also boosted by the addition of the chilis that had been used to infuse the honey to the secondary fermentation vessel along with some roasted jalapeños. The result is a 4.7% ABV beer with 21 IBUs that features light peppers on the nose and a subtle spiciness on the finish. Look for this one at the brewery and very possibly tomorrow morning at their market stall.

From the Valley into the City, we’ll start on North Street with Unfiltered Brewing who have brought back a beer not seen for many months, Play With Fire. At 7.5% ABV, this Smoked Imperial Schwarzbier is jet black, and features smoke flavour and aroma, perfect for the waning warm days and cool nights of late summer. Drop by the brewery and Charm School taproom to grab a pint and growler today.

Around the corner on Robie Street we turn to Good Robot who have their usual two releases this week. Tuesday’s release for Beta Brewsday is the result of a visit from Marci of Horton Ridge Malt & Grain, who, in a shocking turn of events, brought her own malt to the party! Using organic rye and 2-row as the base with a little bit of roasted barley, the intention was to turn out a Rye IPA, but brewer Kelly Costello couldn’t bring herself to mask the lovely rich malt flavours with the planned dry hop. So Pretty Fly for a Rye Guy will be listed as a Rye Pale Ale with an ABV of 4.0% and a low/medium bitterness that still features hop flavors from late additions of Vic Secret, Enigma, and Saphir hops. On the GR Alpha system this week we have the return of their Gose-inspired Goseface Killah, a sour german wheat ale featuring Sorachi Ace hops. At 4.8% ABV and 11 IBU, this tart and refreshing beer with coriander aroma and lemony acidity might be just the thing to help it keep feeling like summer as the temperatures start to drop.

And two streets over, Propeller has a new Gottingen Small Batch on the go today, to go along with their usual Friday cask. Which isn’t their usual cask. We can explain. The small batch is called Tropical IPA and it features both some very tropical hops in the form of orange-y and grapefruit-y Citra and passionfruit-y and pineapple-y Galaxy, along with additions of real fruit, including peach, apricot and mango. The result is a 6.2% ABV beer with a complex tropical fruit character that still manages to sport a crisp finish. This one is on tap at the brewery for fills and pints and is also already on tap at all ANBL Growler Stations. As for today’s cask, in lieu of a beer they’ll be sporting a Shandy instead! From late afternoon onwards, come down to the brewery and try a take on a classic concoction comprised of beer (Propeller’s classic ESB in this case) blended roughly one-to-one with lemonade (hand-pressed by Assistant Brewer Denys Ploughman). No growler fills of this one, so you’ll have to sit and have a pint. Rough life, wha?

Around back from the Propeller tap room in their small batch brewery / warehouse, Stillwell Brewing is releasing the second batch of Solo tomorrow. With a base recipe of PIlsner, Wheat, and Oats, it was hopped in the kettle and barrel with German hops, and fermented with Stilly’s house blend of yeasts and bacteria. This batch of Solo was brewed at the same time as the first (which was released in February), and has been bottle conditioning for an extra few months. LIke batch 1 (and you could probably guess from the name), Solo b2 is a single-barrel beer, as opposed to a blend of several barrels. The barrel character comes through a bit more in the final beer, as well as a little additional bitterness, as compared to batch 1, but still expresses the delicate and funky yeast character. Drop by the brewery 12 – 4 PM tomorrow to grab your bottles, around the back of 2015 Gottingen Street.

And our last hop (hah!) in Halifax this week is to Tidehouse Brewing downtown on Salter Street where they’ve got a brand new bottled offering. BIG Bruiser IIPA is a double/imperial IPA weighing in at a brawny 10% ABV. Medium to light in body and with a deep orange color, it was hopped entirely with Cryo hops, specifically the Simcoe and Ekuanot varieties. To finish, the Japanese citrus known as Yuzu was added for an extra kick. Dank, boozy, and hoppy, it’s available at the Tidehouse Tiny Tasting Room in 340 mL bottles (maximum 6 to a customer) and 4 oz samples only, no growler fills. Probably for the best, this one’s going to hit like a brick.

Heading down the 102 from Halifax and then swinging onto the 104 at Truro will eventually get you to Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing has put together a couple of variations on a theme. Last week we told you about The Edge, an IPA featuring Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops. This week they’ve upped the ante with fruit! The Edge Volume 2 is that same beer after having sat on pineapple for a while and ditto for The Edge Volume 3 except swap in mango. These extra-tropical bad boys are available only by the glass at the Backstage taproom and we suspect that where they were released on Wednesday they may not last much longer; so if you’re lucky enough to be close by, maybe swing by Bridge Ave for a taste!

And lastly for Nova Scotia, following the 104 to Cape Breton and opting for North on the 105 will eventually get you to Nyanza, where Big Spruce Brewing will be waiting with open arms and a brand new beer. Can You C’est Brut IPA is BS’s entry into the 1.000 Final Gravity fray, the defining characteristic of the Brut- or Champagne-style IPA that’s come out of nowhere in the last few months. Featuring “bonkers aromatics” from the use of large amounts of El Dorado hop hash (don’t worry, this hash is legal even before October 17th), it comes in at 7.0% ABV and an almost mild (for an IPA, anyway) 24 IBU. Bone-dry, crisp and effervescent, we remind you that it’s beer, so maybe forego the sipping from a flute and head straight to the swilling from a real glass. Pinky extension is negotiable. If that’s not your thing, with the hop harvest just finishing, you can no doubt expect another new beer from Big Spruce in the coming weeks featuring their homegrown fresh hops, and keep your eyes open as we’ve heard hints that a new batch of all-hyper-local One Hundred is on the way. Or just check back here for news, because, as always, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s hop the ferry to Newfoundland to round out the new beer news of the week! Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing has a new beer on tap this week, the bigger and hoppier brother to their popular Gateway IPA. Oathkeeper IPA features the same base malt recipe, but fermented on their English yeast strain, leading to a beer with more body and a touch of residual sweetness at the same 6.4% ABV. As is the case with many of our favourite IPAs, though, this one is all about the hops! Cascade, Amarillo, and Citra come together to give you a ton of great hop flavour and aroma, with citrus, specifically grapefruit, shining through.Oathkeeper is on tap at Stage Head Pub in Twilingate now, but we’ve been told it may hit one of the great Nfld-beer-friendly spots in St. John’s as well. Keep an eye on their social media to see.

Port Rexton Brewing has a brand new beer available, and the only place to find it is at their brewery taproom. 9:30 Knockout is a new style for them, a Hopfenweisse. Think of it as a hopped-up of German Weissbier, featuring the iconic wheat and yeast aromas of banana and clove, along with great stone fruit and tropical hop notes, courtesy of Enigma, Mosaic, Chinook, and Simcoe. In case you were wondering, the 9:30 Knockout name comes from the fact that the mash rest of this beer, while typically 60-90 minutes in length, was 5 hours long, pushing their usual knockout time (when the boil is stopped and the wort is cooled and transferred to the fermenter) to 9:30 PM, rather than their usual 4:00. Talk about a full brew day! Get yourselves out to the brewery to toast the hardworking women and men of PRBC. And as summer closes out, please note that their Retail Shop on Torbay Road in town has shifted their hours to Fridays 4 – 8 PM and 12 – 6 PM on Saturdays. Drop by this afternoon for fills of their Horse Chops West Coast IPA, Chasing Sun New England IPA, and T-Rex Porter.

We have big news for those brewers among you who may be looking to move (back to, or within) our region for a job, as we know of several positions that are needing to be filled:

In Montague, PEI, Bogside Brewing will be opening this winter, and are looking to hire a Head Brewer and a Production Brewer for their 1200 litre (10 BBL) system. That team will be responsible for all aspects of the production, testing, inventory, and quality control of the beer and cider they will be making. Check out the full Job Posting here and get in touch with them now!

And in Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing is also looking to fill their Head Brewer position. Brewing on a 1200 litre system as well, the Head Brewer will be responsible for all of the ingredient inventory, beer making, and QC at all points in the process. Check out the Job Posting for more details. Drop them a letter/resume to continue your brewing career on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

We’ve got plenty of events to keep you busy over the next few weeks!

Speaking of Saltbox, drop in tomorrow to help them celebrate their Second Anniversary! Who knew partying in a former service station could be so fun! Open from 10 until 10, they will be doing door prizes every hour for Saltbox gear and gift cards, and they’ll have Curry Express Food Truck onsite to keep you happy. No party is complete without some live music, and they’ve got that in spades, with The Paul Buchanan Band onsite from 3 – 5 PM, followed by Collage from 7 – 9 PM. And!! Guys!!! They are hosting Beer and a Backrub, where folks from South Shore Chair Massage will help you unwind after a long week, and you don’t even have to put down your beer. Congratulations to the Saltbox family!

We have more info on the beer list for the Grand Monk Pokes The Bear, with Grand Monk (formerly known as Bore City) taking over the taps at Buddha Bear’s Riverview location, Wednesday to Sunday (Sept 19-23) of next week. From Grand Monk:
Marécage Belgian Style Saison (7.0% ABV) – We’ve started brewing it again after a bit of a hiatus. Hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc, it has citrus/peppery notes to start and finishes dry. At 7%, it’s surprisingly light!
Vent d’âme Belgian Style Pale Ale (5.9% ABV)  – A light and refreshing ale you would find in a Belgian bar. “Vent d’âme” literally translates to “soul wind” but is an homage to the muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Dirty Black Summer (5.8% ABV)- a well balanced Black IPA with a mix of tropical and piney hops. Tons of Chinook, Vic Secret and Ella, to the tune of 80 IBUs.
Spacetime Odyssey Porter (6.5% ABV) – Our coffee infused porter brewed since the beginning. Chocolatey, roasty, coffee-y.
Koalatee Pale Ale (5.0% ABV) -Our pale ale hopped entirely with Australian varieties – Vic Secret, Ella, Topaz. Lots of hop aroma (pineapple, citrus), light bodied and completely crushable. Summer’s not over!
AND, during the Saturday afternoon party 4 – 8 PM, when the Grand Monk crew will be onsite, they hope to debut a brand new beer; that afternoon/evening, Red Stone Eatery will be onsite with food offerings.

In Halifax, Good Robot is hosting the second of their Hair of the Dog events September 22nd and 23rd. Taking over the Garrison Grounds, dogs and their people are invited to hang out to meet other like-minded individuals, drink a bit of beer, and check out the animal-centric vendors. The party goes 11 – 11 each day, and the proceeds for the event go to the NS SPCA Dartmouth Shelter and Halifax Pop Explosion. Check that first link for the list of vendors who will be onsite.

Garrison Brewing is hosting a three-week Oktoberfest celebration this year, starting next Saturday, September 22nd, and repeating again the next two Saturdays (the 29th and October 6th). They will have Asado Wood Fired Grill onsite from 11AM each day, and have live music from an Oompah band starting at 2PM. The event is free, and their spot is dog and family friendly, so your pup could take you to two events on the 22nd! And on the 6th, they’re cranking it up for Das Big Party, with Dave Sampson playing a live show in the brewery that evening, so stick around!

There are still a few tickets available for the Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, being held at the Moncton Lions Club on September 29th. Featuring more than 40 breweries, cideries, and mead producers, this event also raises funds for the United Way. Many of the producers will be on hand themselves, making it a great opportunity to chat with them and learn more about their products (and bend their ear to talk about new possible ones!). Grab your ticket for the 7:30 – 10 PM session here, and learn more about other events on their website.

Lastly, in Halifax, the Stillwell Beergarden will be getting a big facelift on September 29th, as they host an Oktoberfest event on Spring Garden Road. Open as usual from noon, they’ll be featuring NS-brewed German style beers, as well as some fresh brews from Germany, all to celebrate one of the most influential countries in the beer world. Of course, they will have some great Oktoberfest-inspired food, and a must-have for any Oktoberfest event, a live oompah band from 3:30PM on. There will be a cover charge for the afternoon to pay for the band, which you can pre-pay at either location to be added to the list, $7 in advance or $10 at the door. So grab your dirndl or lederhosen, and we’ll see you there. Prosit!

With the weather forecast looking pretty dang fine for most of our region, and now that we seem to have finally reached the magical, “hot days, cool nights” portion of the summer, all we need is for our local beer producers to step up and keep things interesting. And wouldn’t you know it, it appears they have! Read on for the latest beer news from around Atlantic Canada, including plenty of new and re-appearing beers, a new venue in Halifax, and not one, but TWO homebrew competitions.

Halifax fans of local beer got some great news this week, as Boxing Rock unveiled their plans in the big city. The Shelburne brewery has opened up Test Kitchen, a pilot brewery in the Local Source Market space at 2530 Agricola Street. Brewing on a 120 litre (1BBL) system (with a pair of fermenters), this smaller brewhouse will allow them the opportunity to test out some brand new and innovative recipes, before possibly scaling them up to a full-sized batch of several thousand litres. They anticipate brewing a couple of times per month, with Tuesday’s inaugural brew being a collaboration with two-time Black Box Challenge winner Brian Harvey. Brewing onsite also gives Local Source the ability to sell Boxing Rock beer, as an extension of BR’s Retail license. With a dozen different full-time, seasonal, and test batch beers available in bottles, growler fills using their futuristic-looking Pegas CrafTap system, and a couple on tap at adjoining Lion & Bright, Agricola just got a little more South Shore. To accomodate all of us thirsty visitors, they’ve extended the hours of the shop a little later in the evening: M-W 9-7, Th 9-8, F 9-9, Sat 10-9, Sun 10-6. The beers are available at their retail location now, and they are holding a Grand Opening next Saturday, September 1 to celebrate. From 10AM, the first 250 folks to visit the location will receive a free limited-edition Boxing Rock growler (just pay for the fill). This is your key to savings, as it give the owner $2 off each 1.89 litre fill in both Halifax and Shelburne, for the life of the growler. You can also tour the brewery space out back to see what’s bubbling away, and maybe get a hint of what’s coming next. For those unable to attend next Saturday’s event, they are holding an online contest for their followers, you can learn more here. Congratulations to the Boxing Rock Crew!

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is back with a brand new beer this week, the latest object of their love and appreciation of traditional styles and modern ingredients. New World is a Saison fermented with The Yeast Bay’s Saison Blend, which features two clean-fermenting Saison yeasts, and marks the first time they’ve used this blend. The simple malt bill consists of Pilsner and Wheat, with the yeast offering some spiciness and light minerality. The hops took a decidedly updated turn, with Citra and Ekuanot used lightly in the boil (sub-20 IBUs), with a larger dry-hopping of the same for citrus and tropical flavours and aromatics to complement the yeast. Kegs of this 5.1% ABV have been delivered around Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton, so keep an eye out for it as you hit the patios and barstools in the province this weekend.

Looks like the third entry in Breton Brewing’s Sour Sessions popped up on tap earlier this week; the latest in their rotating-fruit kettle sours brew features the addition of kiwi and passion fruit puree. The low IBUs (4) and sessionable ABV (4.2%) allow you to be able to drink this one in quantity, so you can enjoy the “crushable tartness and fruity finish” in what’s left of our beautiful summer weather. Drop by the brewery for a pint or growler, or look for it at a few select accounts in Halifax (including the Stubborn Goat and Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar).

Fresh off the opening of their expanded location and taproom earlier this month, Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has a brand new beer to follow up with. The Little Lift is described by the brewery as a Session IPA, based at least in part on their The Big Lift IPA. Brewed with 2-Row, Munich malt, and a touch of Wheat, it was hopped late in the boil with Citra, Northern Brewer, and Palisade. Fermented with the East Coast yeast strain, it was then dry-hopped with more Palisade. Expect “lots of citrus aromas and flavours, with a crisp, full body” in this 5.6% ABV brew; drop by the new taproom to give it a try or fill up a growler.

In Dieppe, New Brunswick, Flying Boats has decided to experiment a little, by launching a Test Pilot Series. The first beer in said series is Test Pilot No. 1 – APA, a “hop-forward” American Pale Ale that features large whirlpool and dry hop additions of Azacca and Citra, two very expressive American varieties. The 5.6% ABV beer is a deep golden colour, and has “intense, tropical and citrusy flavours and aromas, with a lingering, soft, citrusy finish”, according to the brewery. It’s been on tap for the last few weeks, and is now also available in cans at the brewery, select ANBL stores, and Picaroons retail locations.

Looks like Good Robot has even more beer news than usual this week, to tag along with their Beta and Alpha releases. Let’s start with the “usual” – next Tuesday’s Beta will be Ringside Imperial, an Imperial Red Ale brewed with Pat King. Weighing in at 7.3% ABV and 42 IBUs, we don’t really have anything in terms of recipe details for you, but can confirm from GR that it’s a golden-amber coloured beer that leaves a “mild alcohol heat at the back of the palate”. As for next week’s Alpha brew, it’s the return of Leave Me Blue, the brewery’s award-winning 4.5% ABV Cream Ale. You’ll also see cans of El Espinazo del Diablo, their 5.7% ABV Mexican-style Lager with lime and jalapeno flavours, available as of today.

As for the other Good Robot snippets, they’re releasing two other Beta releases on Sunday for Flavabot, their “All-Day Island Party” that will feature plenty of food, games, music, and, naturally, beer. Back to that, the first beer is Stag A Lee (6% ABV, 20 IBUs), brewed with toasted coconut flakes. They then took some more toasted coconut flakes and soaked them in coconut rum, before adding to the beer after fermentation was complete. They’re describing it as a “rich, dark, tropical Porter”. Next is Calypso Gator (5.8% ABV, 81 IBUs), a White IPA with “hints of pineapple, grapefruit, and mangoes, with a nice, hoppy balance”. Be sure to drop by the event on Sunday to give these new beers a taste, and take part in the fun!

Do you remember the tasty, tasty release of Glou from Stillwell Brewing back in April? We sure do! It was a 6.2% ABV foedre-aged sour beer that had been aged on New York muscat pomace. In the forum of great news, bottles of Blend 2 of Glou will be released this Saturday at the brewery from 12-4 pm. The base beer for this blend is a sour that had been aging for almost a year in a foedre, atop the very same pomace used for Blend 1. Described as “floral and peppery on the nose, and deep and round in the middle, with a dry and snappy finish”, it sounds like they probably have another winner!

Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove debuted a new beer during their Growler Night at the brewery Thursday. My Old Friend is the barrel-aged version of their Hello Darkness Dark Saison. Sitting for 6 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, the beer picked up some vinous notes, as well as a touch of oak from the barrel itself, which complement the dark malt characteristics in the base beer. The resultant brew is 6.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery and Annapolis Royal Farmers Market tomorrow, with a lone keg being tapped soon at Dartmouth’s Battery Park.

TrailWay is bringing back an old favourite today, with a twist that they’ve brought to some of their other more-popular beers. DDH Dunder is a double-dry hopped version of their “Australian Pale Ale”, Dunder, a 4.8% ABV brew featuring Australian hop varieties. The extra dose of dry hops has increased the “overripe fruit, dank, extremely tropical” qualities in the beer, according to the brewery. You can find cans exclusively at the taproom as of today; it’s also on tap there, and will likely be at a few tap accounts around New Brunswick.

In the heart of downtown Halifax, and brewing on a system barely larger than most homebrewers (😉), Tidehouse Brewing is releasing a pair of brand new beers today. The first is ESB Rights & Peace. Featuring traditional English hops East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, this 6.5% ABV brew is described by the brewery as “Simple and Crushable”. And the second beer joining it is Brew Swayne, a 5.0% ABV light and supremely easy drinking “Lawnmowing beer”, featuring Athanum, Belma, and Cascade hops, though added more for aroma and flavour than bitterness. You’ll be able to judge for yourself beginning at 2PM, when you drop by for a sample, glass, or growler fill at the brewery at 5187 Salter St. Just be sure to park legally while you pop in…

We have two homebrew competitions to tell you about this week, so all of you amateur brewers, pay particular attention!

The first is from Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing, whose competition is named “May the Best (Wo)Man-Darina Win!”. This competition is wide open to any style of beer, but offers a neat twist on traditional competitions: Spindrift wants to supply you with the hops! Wanting to shaowcase three new German hops, your $20 entry fee will include all of the Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, or Mandarina Bavaria you may need for your recipe. We checked, and they say there’s no limit to the amount of hops they’ll send your way! Other hops can absolutely be used in the recipe, but the new-world Germans should make up more than 60% of the total hop mass. The deadline to register is September 14th, and you will need to include your recipe plan with your application form, so they can prepare your hops in advance. The beers are due Friday October 3rd, with the judging by Spindrift employees and BJCP judges happening before the Gala and bottle share on October 13th. The top 3 beers will receive prizes, with the top brewer having the opportunity to recreate their recipe on the Spindrift pilot system for later release, and plenty more hops and SD swag. Grab the Poster, Info Sheet, and Recipe sheet now.

The second homebrew competition is being held this fall by Quidi Vidi Brewery, in collaboration with the Newfermenters Homebrew Club. QV is looking to celebrate the great, and growing, homebrew community by releasing a 4-pack of amateur-brewed beers across the province. There are no restrictions on the style you can brew, and entrants will be welcomed to the brewery to present your recipe, beer, and passion for the craft. Submissions are due October 20th, with the presentations and Awards happening at a later date. The winners’ pack will be available in the NLC in early 2019. You can learn more here, and by emailing your intent to enter (and ask questions) to newfermenters@gmail.com.

Speaking of Quidi Vidi, they are looking for an experienced Operations Manager to join their team, to oversee all of their production. Managing the brewing, packaging, storing, and distribution of their beer is a monumental task, so they are looking for an exceptional candidate to take this on. Supply-chain management experience is an asset, as well as previous brewery and management experience. Check out the full posting here, and fire an email to jobs@quidividibrewery.ca by September 6th to apply.

Just one event to tell you about this weekend, but don’t be shy: get out and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

Fredericton’s The Joyce Pub is holding their second annual sour beer event, Tarte Diem II – 2 Sour 2 Acidulous, tomorrow, August 25th. At least 25 of the bar’s taps will be pouring sour beers from breweries in NB, NS, and PEI; for a sneak peek, check out this photo. There’s no charge to attend the event, just plan your attack and order by the pint or flight! It starts at 3 pm when the pub opens, and goes all day. As always, they’ll be serving their full menu to accompany your beers.

Just a couple more bits to tell you about before we let you go:

After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered has brought back their immensely popular DOA Double Orange Ale, their 2-Row and Citra SMaSH. HOWEVER, Nash has adjusted the grain bill slightly, and while you may not be able to tell right away, there is a second malt in there, so they’re calling it a DMaSH. Either way, the 7.5% ABV Double IPA, 100+ IBU beer is back on tap for pints and growler fills. No cans this time around, we thirsty patrons keep drinking it too quickly to give them a chance to restock! (Original version of the post did not include the DMaSH info, as it was not available at the time of posting)

In Clarenville, Newfoundland, the Newfoundland Cider Company has released their widest variety of blends so far. As part of their Forager series, they are now carrying a limited supply of Elderflower & Rhubarb, Wild Cherry & Rose, Lavender & Black Currant, Lilac, and Spruce Tip blends. In addition, growler fills of their Farm house and Cloudy Scrumpy, as well as 375 ml of Wild & Dry and Cloudy Scrumpy are also available. Drop by their spot at 24 Balbo Drive today and tomorrow, open Friday 1 – 6PM and Saturday 1 – 5PM.

Guess what? It’s Friday again! And what does that mean? Plenty of news on the great beers now available in our region. We figure you don’t need an excuse to drink IPA, or “beer”, so we skipped right over those days and hope you drank whatever the heck you wanted to. And with most of us having Monday off, we encourage starting your long weekend now!

Let’s start this week off on the Rock, as we have plenty of news to share from the Eastern part of our region this week. A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned several new beers released by Port Rexton Brewing for their second Anniversary party; details were brief at the time of writing, and now we’ve got some more information regarding one of the beers, that we feel deserves mentioning! The beer in question is New-Foeder-Land, Newfoundland’s very first foeder-aged beer. Last Spring, Port Rexton received a 9.4 hL foeder from France; previously used to hold Calvados (apple brandy), it was filled by PR with a blend of beers. The first beer was brewed last fall and aged in red wine barrels for 8 months, fermented with New World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. Then, they brewed an “Imperial Farmhouse Ale”, blended it with the barrel-aged beer in the foeder, and pitched their house yeast blend. The result? An 8.4% ABV beer with “a light bitterness, tartness, and lively carbonation”, completed by the Calvados and oak character from the foeder. “Lots of apricot, dried peach, and a subtle fruitiness with a hint of funk”. The only way to get to try this one is to drop by the brewery, so get down there before it’s all gone!

And available now at both the brewery, and their St. John’s retail shop, is Some Day on Hops, a light bodied, touch hazy, easy drinking Session IPA, bursting with tropical fruit on the nose and palette. It joins the Blue Steel Kettle Sour and T-Rex Porter on tap at 286 Torbay Road for growler fills today, 12-8PM, and tomorrow, 12-6PM.

Yellowbelly Brewery has released a beer celebrating this week’s Royal St. John’s Regatta, named Up The Pond. This 5.0% ABV Cream Ale is a new take on their East Coast Cream Ale, this time dry-hopped with Citra and Motueka hops. Available on tap at the brewery, it can also be found in bottles, the label sporting the official artwork celebrating the 200th anniversary of one of the oldest sporting events in North America. We sure hope all of you had a blast Wednesday (and didn’t have too hellish of a Thursday morning)!

Twillingate’s Split Rock Brewing has continued their sour beer releases with a pair of releases over the past few days. Both Sour Patch B’ys: Blueberry and Partridgeberry were both made with locally foraged fruit, with the Blueberry finishing quite dry, and with a pleasant berry-wine-like character, and the Partridgeberry, a tart berry in its own right, complementing the sour base beer quite nicely, and the fruit adding a jam character to the aroma. Sadly, as with the previous Sour Patch B’ys releases, these were in very small quantities, and have been and gone from the brewery in record time. Fear not, however, as there may be a keg of the Partridgeberry on tap at the Stage Head Pub, Split Rock’s taproom, during their birthday later this month. And for all you townies who have been sad to miss out on the recent fruited versions due to small batch size, they’ve got great news! The next Sour Patch B’ys (number 5 in the series) is due out in the next couple of weeks, and should be available in town. This release is an Amarillo dry-hopped version, no fruit this time. Keep an eye on Split Rock’s Social Media (fb/ig/tw) for the full details.

And now for “absolutely, definitely, available today at the brewery” beers, Split Rock’s Nar Day American Pale Ale is here/back. Previously released as an unnamed APA (and whose name is obvious to locals but us CFAs could definitely use some help), Nar Day is akin to saying “Wow, what a day we’re having today!”, as a nod to the beautiful weather they’re seeing currently in Central. At 5.7% ABV, this beer features lots of Cascade and Columbus hops in the boil, as well as a generous dry-hopping, on top of a dry finish and cleanly fermented beer. Grab a pint or growler from the brewery and crack it on the patio or campsite.

And finally in Newfoundland (for this week), Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. just released a new beer yesterday, albeit a very small batch. Curmudgeon is a Berliner Weisse, soured with Lactobacillus over two and a half days, before being fermented with Escarpment’s New World Saison yeast. This 3.7% ABV brew has a “strong, clean lactic sourness with a weaker background of doughy, bready, and grainy wheat flavours”. Hop bitterness and flavour is negligible (typical for classic versions of the style), and the effervescent carbonation helps this light brew come across as extra refreshing. It’s available at the taproom for pints only.

International IPA Day was yesterday, and Lunn’s Mill helped celebrate the occasion with the release of a small batch of Soma SMaSH, a 6% ABV, 82 IBUs American IPA brewed entirely with Maris Otter, and double-dry hopped with Mosaic. The first dry-hop was added at the tail-end of fermentation, allowing for some bio-transformation thanks to the interaction of the yeast with the hop oils, with the second addition occurring once fermentation was complete. Both additions give the beer plenty of that Mosaic character most of us know and love: “tropical fruit, citrus, and a dank/piney finish”. It’s available now for pints and growlers in the Lunn’s Mill taproom, with a keg or two making their way to Stillwell in the very near future.

The crew at 2 Crows have been keeping themselves busy this summer, managing to keep their regular beers in rotation while continuing to release new and exciting brews pretty much on a weekly basis (at least). Included in these new releases are two that are hitting taps/cans today, making your long weekend planning just a bit easier! We’ll start with Ramble, a “Wild Table Witbier”. Brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, and a bit of Flaked Oats, it was lightly hopped with Sterling and Citra in the boil (to just 9 IBUs), with late additions of coriander and orange peel (as is customary for a Witbier). Fermented with a blend of wild yeast strains, and allowed to age to develop some funk, it was finally dry hopped with Citra (and some more orange zest), before being packaged with sugar and Champagne yeast to create a “nice, bright, and tight carbonation”. Maybe best of all, it weighs in at a supremely sessionable 2.9% ABV… the bad news is that only 500 cans are available!

The second 2 Crows release today is Wild Skies, a “Fruited Brett Sour”. Brewed with Pilsner, Spelt, Wheat and Oats, the wort was soured with Lactobacillus plantarum, and then fermented with Amalgamation, a blend of six Brettanomyces strains. Once fermentation was complete, over 1200 lbs of peach, apricot, and blackberry puree were added. Once they realized they had a few dollars leftover, they decided to dry hop the beer with a “substantial” amount of Galaxy and Enigma, two Australian varieties that are equally as wonderful as they are expensive. This 5.2% ABV beer has also been canned, and is tasting “super fruity, tart, and lively, with just the right amount of funk”.

Another brewery continuing to release new beers throughout the summer is the North Shore’s Tatamagouche Brewing. After launching a new fruited sour, a new DIPA and Nova Scotia’s first (official) 12+% beer over the last couple of weeks, they’ve got another one out, one that’s probably a whole lot more subtle than those three. Patterson’s Porter arose from a desire to have an easy-drinking dark beer for the summer months. To that end it eschews too much roastiness, with only chocolate malt providing color and a light roast character to an otherwise quaffable 5.6% ABV beer. This one comes just in time for the other news out of Tata this week, namely that they’re installing a CellarStream nitrogen delivery system. Similar to the unit in place at Battery Park, this device allows the infusion of beer with nitrogen gas on its way from the keg to the glass. Nitrogen is not very soluble in liquid, as any scuba diver who has learned about the bends will know, so it will just push the beer along without dissolving in it, leaving the liquid in a beautiful cascading pattern; meanwhile it does not impart a carbonic “bite” to beer, and therefore yields a softer mouthfeel. It is generally deployed in darker beers, like stouts and sometimes porters, but over the last few years has even found favour with highly-hopped IPAs. Look for Tata to be able to fill your glass or your growler in a new way once it’s in place; and given that they can also apply nitrogen to kegs using the CellarStream, you might keep your eyes open for nitro versions of Tata beers to possibly appear at select tap accounts from time to time!

Sticking to the Northern part of NS, but moving from the Northumberland closer to the Fundy Shore, Meander River Farm & Brewery has a new small batch cider to tell us about, although from what we’ve heard it’s a small enough batch and popular enough that they’re already running shy. Rose Petal Cider is a dry cider using 100% Nova Scotia apples that have been infused with farm-fresh rose petals from the Meander River Farm, of course. Sweet on the nose, and decidedly floral (go figure!), it’s 5.5% ABV and boasts a crisp apple palate and a rosy finish. Only 400 L of this delightful elixir were made, and you won’t be able to find them at their usual Halifax Forum Farmer’s Market this week, so if you want to try it you’ll have to visit them at the farm this weekend. But our roving reporter on the street did happen to witness a couple of kegs being delivered to Battery Park yesterday, so keep an eye on their Untappd feed for when it hits the taps.

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is releasing the latest version of Velvet Fog, their 6.5% ABV Milkshake IPA, today at the brewery when they open. This time around, the beer was hopped with El Dorado, and fruited with “massive additions” of raspberry puree and orange zest. Complemented by lactose powder and vanilla, to cap off that milkshake feel, the beer is “massive and round with juicy hop complexity, sweet raspberry, a bright citrus streak and a candy-like vanilla sweetness”. With the exception of a few tap accounts, you’ll likely only see this one at the brewery, where you can pick it up in cans and on tap for pints and growlers. And while there, pick up some cans of Good Weather, their returning 6.5% ABV American IPA hopped with Vic Secret and Citra.

In Fredericton (although we are contractually obligated to point out that the beer is brewed in nearby Hanwell), Niche is releasing another carefully crafted mixed-fermentation small beer for you to ponder during this impossibly hot couple of weeks. At an eminently sessionable 3.6% ABV, this beer features a very simple grist fermented with Niche’s house blend of Brettanomyces and Saison yeast strains. Aged for a month in stainless, it was then conditioned with pomegranate puree for a light tartness on the finish. Called Tafelbier, which translates to “table beer” or a low alcohol beer generally served with food, we suspect this golden-colored beer’s gentle and subtle tart and funky nature probably bears consideration on its own. You can find out for yourself at tap accounts in Saint John and Fredericton.

If you’re in Halifax and in a Black IPA kinda mood, drop by Good Robot next week for their Beta Brew release, Easy to Love. Brewed with 2-row, Cara 60, Flaked Oats, Black malt, and a touch of CaraAroma, this Black IPA (aka Cascadian Dark Ale) was hopped to 50 IBUs with Cascade, Centennial, and Polaris. Fermented with California Ale, a neutral ale yeast strain, it comes in at a relatively-low-for-the-style 5.8% ABV, and will be pouring at the source starting Tuesday. And two days later, their latest batch of El Espinazo Del Diablo, a 5.7% ABV Mexican-style Lager with jalapenos and limes, will be available (don’t worry, lots of summer left!).

One of Picaroons’ long-running beers has been Best Bitter, their take on the Special Bitter English style. This week, they’ve released Extra Special Best Bitter, representing the Extra Special Bitter (ESB), the next up in line for the English Bitter series. Brewed with Maritime malt “from the NB potato belt”, and hopped with local Centennial from Southan Farms, it’s a dark amber-coloured brew, with a “strong hop bitterness balanced by a robust malt backbone”. The 6% ABV beer is available in bottles now, with 32 different labels circulating; each represents a different vintage postcard from New Brunswick. Available at all Picaroons locations, and select ANBL stores.

From one of the oldest and largest breweries in our region, and to one of the newest and smallest, let’s cap the post with a new release from Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing. Just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean that darker beers need get short shrift. That’s the idea behind The Tay Porter, their take on a “Summer Porter”, named after friend of the brewery Taylor P. A 4.6% ABV dry porter, featuring Pale Chocolate, Midnight Wheat, Oats, and Wheat Malts, with East Kent Golding as the most prominent hop. On tap for samples and pints at the Tiny Taproom now, be sure to drop by and toast the beer fans and community that keeps the industry alive and vibrant.

Lots on the go around the region this long weekend, and be sure to check the schedule of breweries and stores before dropping by Monday…

Avon River Days is happening this weekend in Windsor, NS, area and Schoolhouse Brewery is in on the fun again this year. Starting on Friday evening with a Patio Party featuring live music from The Miths from 8 – 11 PM, the fun continues into Saturday when Schoolhouse will be hosting an Avon River Days Beer Garden starting at 7 PM and carrying on until the wee hours. With more live music from Tye Dempsey, Elektrik Boogaloo and The Basement, there will also be plenty of beer to be (responsibly) consumed. Cover is $5, but a crisp $20 bill will pay your cover and also get you your first beverage and a swank limited edition Avon River Days 2018 stainless steel pint glass. Schoolhouse will also be in effect on Sunday for the Hood Automotive Avon River Days Car Show from 10 AM – 4 PM. There’s lots more family friendly events going on, check them out at the Avon River Days website!

There’s a couple of events going on in Fredericton tomorrow, August 3rd, one involving exercise, and one involving beer! Don’t worry, they’re meant to go together. First up is the annual Fredericton Beer Run, which begins at 3 pm (registration from 2-3 pm); with various options available for distance (ranging from 0.5 km all the way to 12 km), your $57.50 ticket includes your running bib, run, water stops, and a custom beer glass with unlimited samples at the Down East Brew Festival, which follows directly from 4-8 pm. This is the first year for the outdoor event, which is being held on Carleton St. There will be roughly 25 vendors pouring a wide variety of beer, cider and mead, and the good news is if you’re not into running, you can still attend the festival! You can purchase your ticket through the link above, which gets you your own glass and unlimited samples.

A reminder that Stillwell is welcoming Austin, TX brewery Jester King to take over their Barrington Street location Sunday afternoon starting at 2 PM. There will be tons of great beers flowing, including a handful from their Spon series, blending several vintages of spontaneously-fermented beers, akin to the wonderfully complex Lambic beers of Belgium, as well as other beers not otherwise available in the region.

Next Friday and Saturday marks the annual Seaport Beerfest, making its 12th appearance on the Halifax waterfront. With more than 300 beers and ciders from across the world, there is surely something to satisfy any fan. With a healthy bunch of Atlantic Canadian breweries in attendance, there will be beers from across the country, and beers also sent over from Ireland, and for the first time, an Icelandic pavilion featuring 16 different offerings. And they’ve increased the gluten-free options again this year, so those who aren’t able to handle that can still have fun. Tickets for all three sessions are still available (Friday 7-9:30PM, Saturday 2-4:30PM and 7-9:30PM), with VIP offerings getting you in the door an hour early with a special tasting glass. And to reward our faithful readers who keep track of the news every week, we’re able to offer a pair of tickets to one of the sessions for you! All you need to do is post a picture of your favourite #AtlCanBeer on twitter or instagram, and tag @ACBeerBlog and @seaportbeerfest. The contest is live now, and we’ll end it with a random draw on Tuesday at 8PM. Good luck!

They’re still ironing out the final details, but Upstreet has scheduled their fourth annual Upstreet Block Party for Saturday, August 18th. The day-long party is always a great way to celebrate the local community, with plenty of beer, food, live music, games, brewery tours… and even a barber shop! It’ll be held at the brewery in Charlottetown as usual, with no cost to attend. Just show up and pay by the beer, haircut, whatever! Keep up with their social media pages for the specifics on bands, vendors, etc.; we’ll be sure to let you know if they have a special beer or two planned for the event as well.

Just a few more things to with this week:
– If you’re angrily wondering why it’s August and a heat wave in Halifax and there’s been no sign of Unfiltered Brewing’s summer crusher of a kettle sour Daytimer, you can stop your cursing and head down to the brewery; fills and pints as of noon today (and, actually, in this case, it’s probably best you keep up with the cursing.)
North Brewing is bringing back the second in their Breakwater series, Breakwater Mango-Lime Sour. It follows up the Coconut-Lime that hit the taps and shelves last month, with a new pairing fruit. It will be available on tap and in cans from noon today at both the Agricola and Ochterloney shops. It will be joined soon by cans of their collaboration with Propeller, the Whip It! Lemon Meringue Sour (also available at Prop’s shops, of course).
– After a slight delay, The Harbour Brewing Company in Musquodoboit Harbour opened this week, at 7955 Hwy 7. Samples and growlers are still available, with their hours being 12-8 pm Thurs-Sat, 12-5pm Sun and Wed. Drop by this weekend to welcome them to the family!