Happy Friday everyone! We’ve got news about the newest brewery to launch in our region, as well as much more on two new NB breweries launching this fall. Plus our usual rundown of the new beers hitting the taps and shelves in our region. It’s another chock-full edition of the blog!
• Moncton-based Beckwith Road Brewing has launched this week, with a pair of their beers now available on tap in town. Founded by cousins Mark and Mitch Symes, Beckwith Road is named after the farm their family has owned for generations, north of Moncton. Mitch is the brewer, currently using a 1/2 BBL (50L) system, while scouting out locations and equipment for possible expansion in the future. Mark is no beer slouch himself, taking the Ultimate Three Month Beer Road Trip with his dog across North America earlier this year, clocking more than 22,000km. During that time, he explored the best that beer has to offer, and both cousins are working hard to bring that to Beckwith Road’s offerings. They have launched with two beers, Boston George and Aunt Martha. Boston George is a hybrid of their favourite styles, Pale Ale and IPA, straddling the line in both alcohol and bitterness, at 6.3%ABV and 53 IBUS, respectively. Named after their grandfather’s cousin, it features floral and fruit notes, including banana, mango, pineapple and citrus on the nose and flavour. Aunt Martha is a 4.3% ABV, 31 IBUs, American Blonde Ale, named after their aunt who enjoys light lagers, and they have brewed an approachable beer for craft and industrial beer lovers alike. Light hopping from Chinook and Palisade round out the light body and crisp finish. Both beers are currently on tap at the Tide & Boar on Main Street, and will be joined by Campfire, a 5.2% ABV, 40 IBUs, American Amber early- to mid-next week. The use of Pale Chocolate and Crystal Malts impart some roast and sweet character, with notes of caramel being offset with light hopping from the Cascade, Centennial, and Nugget. Congratulations on the launch, and welcome to the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada Beer!
• Two weeks ago, we reported on Fundy Bay Brewco, a new brewery planning to open soon in the town of Sussex, NB. After talking to Paul Robertson, one of the three people who have been working on opening the brewery since last October, we can now confirm that they will be starting out by brewing on a 2 BBL (225 L) Blichmann system. A small tasting was held for local Sussex residents in early July, where their three core brands – an American IPA, Belgian Dubbel, and Session IPA – were sampled (for more info on these beers, check out our previous post); initial plans also involve the release of 1-2 seasonals per season. Their plans right now are to supply local bars and restaurants with kegs, which should hopefully begin sometime in late fall of this year, with the opening of a taproom to follow sometime later. As always, we’ll keep you updated on their progress!
• Rumours have been circulating for months, but it was officially confirmed earlier this week that Foghorn Brewing Company will be opening this fall in Rothesay, NB. Located at 47 Clark Rd., the brewery is co-owned by Business Manager Steve Russell and Andrew ‘Esty’ Estabrooks, who will also serve as brewmaster. The 7 BBL (~800 L) brewery will have an attached taproom for patrons to enjoy a pint and fill growlers to go. Information is a little slim at the moment, but follow along with their Facebook and Twitter accounts as development progresses, and we’ll be sure to post a Q&A with them in the near future.
• After an incredibly busy first week, Digby’s Roof Hound is releasing their second beer this weekend. With just a bit of Lil Pup Pale Ale left (but more coming soon!), Rooftop Rye-It is making its debut. Featuring a load of rye malt for a pleasant spicy character, this 4.8% ABV beer is full bodied and a great complement to the pizzas and sandwiches coming from the kitchen (both prepared with dough made on-site with a touch of beer in the recipe). Drop by daily from 11am.
• There’s not one, but two new beers available now from Nyanza’s Big Spruce. First up is This is Complexified, a big, bold Baltic Porter. A dark beer fermented cool with Bohemian Lager yeast, it was then cold-conditioned for an additional 4 weeks, and then split into two barrels: Bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace, and Glenora single-malt whisky barrels. Aged for four months, then blended, the result is a beer that puts the “complex” in Complexified (a perfectly cromulent word)! Your options to try this 11.5% ABV monster are limited: either at the brewery for samples and Yapper fills, or you might be able to get a pour at one of three Halifax establishments – Stillwell, Battery Park, and Good Robot – all of which received/will receive a single, 20 L keg.
• Next from Big Spruce is Dawn Wit Berries, a “Belgian Strawberry Witbier”. Conditioned on 150 lbs of organic strawberries from local Wings of Dawn Farm in Debert, NS, it was fermented with the Fruity Witbier yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, described as producing “lots of complex fruity esters” to go along with the classic Witbier coriander character. This easy-drinking beer will be available at the brewery and at establishments serving Big Spruce beers; at 4.8% ABV and 17 IBUs, it’s a perfect session ale for summer. Drop by this weekend for the “Farm to Fork Food Truck Weekend”, featuring Cruisin’ Cuisine.
• Accidents happen in brewing, as in life, and sometimes they work out for everyone! Good Robot is no exception to this rule, as they proved recently with a new beer, The Fermenter Has Been Drinking. While brewing their Tom Waits For No One Stout, their kettle burner took a turn for the worst, resulting in a lower-gravity wort for fermentation (meaning less alcohol after fermentation). Not to be outdone, the brewing team added some cold-brewed Java Blend Sumatra Gayo coffee, giving a dark-brown beer with notes of roast, dark chocolate, berries, and wood in the aroma and flavour. This American Stout clocks in at 6.7% ABV and 60 IBUs.
• There’s yet another new beer being released at North, Horton Single Malt. This Belgian Specialty Ale was brewed entirely with Vienna malt sourced from Horton Ridge Malt and Grain Co., and dry-hopped with Cascade. Fermented with the Old World Saison Blend (featuring two Saison strains) from Escarpment Labs, it weighs in at 7% ABV. Expect a blend of both fruit and spice, with a dry finish. Look for it to be released today at both their Agricola and Ochterloney locations, and on tap around the HRM.
• There’s a new beer now pouring from Lazy Bear Brewing – Sissiboo Stout was brewed with a variety of both Chocolate and Roasted malts, as well as some oatmeal to boost the mouthfeel. Added to the brew was a portion of Honduran-sourced Tobiatic Wild from local Sissiboo Coffee Roaster; cold-extracted and added after fermentation was complete, this medium-roast coffee contributes a pleasant level of roast flavours (without being overpowering), as well as a slight hint of orange peel, according to the brewery. A small amount of an unnamed hop variety was added near the end of the boil to complement this orange peel character. This 5.5% ABV, ~30 IBUs beer is available this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Market for growler fills, and will likely show up on tap around Digby in the near future.
• Bore City has released an interesting new beer, Fricot, an homage to a popular Acadian dish. To accomplish this, potatoes were added during the mash, as well as the Summer Savory herb at the end of the boil. This hazy, pale-to-golden-coloured ale was hopped with Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a “fruity Belgian yeast strain”, for a real blend of flavours! Best-described as a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, it weighs in at 7.1% ABV and 39 IBUs, and will be on tap exclusively at Marky’s Laundromat.
• PEI Brewing Company has put on a brand new cask in their tap room, the brainchild of brewer Spencer Gallant. The Lactic-Soured Peppercorn Wheat builds on the Sir John A Wheat base, but with a sharp, tart character, and pleasant fruit and earth peppercorn flavour and aromatics. This 4.5% ABV, 12 IBU brew is only available for sale at the brewery via handpump, so drop by today for a taste!
• Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is bringing back an old favourite, with a new twist. All Falc’d Up! Double IPA returns today at noon. This SMaSH of 2-Row Malt features Falconer’s Flight 7C’s hops, a special blend of citrus and fruit-forward hops developed as an ode to Pacific Northwest brewing legend Glen Hay Falconer. The brew was fermented with Vermont Ale yeast for more tropical aromatics, finishing out this 7.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs beauty. Grab a pint or growler of it today from noon!
• Port Williams’ Wayfarers’ Ale Society has released a fourth beer this week. EPA is a traditional 5.0% ABV English Pale Ale, favouring a medium malt backbone with a touch of bitterness (coming in around 30 IBUs). Light esters give a pleasant fruity character, completing the English experience. It joins the Thistle Dew Scottish Ale, Hellene Blonde and Ruby Irish Ale for a full complement of European and UK-inspired beers.
• Attention, Johnny Jacks fans – their beer will soon be hitting select ANBL stores! The Oromocto-based nanobrewery will first be bottling their Trench Fighter IPA, followed by their Viking Ale and Smokin’ Amber. Look for the first bottles to hit the Oromocto ANBL outlet by early fall, with Fredericton and Saint John stores following shortly thereafter. The brewery has recently ordered two 1.5 BBL (175 L) fermentors to keep up with production, so look for more JJ beers to be available soon (including a special, bottle-conditioned beer brewed just in time for Christmas!). In the meantime, their beers can be found on tap at the Sour Grape Cafe, James Joyce, Gray Stone, and the Cask & Kettle.
There’s several beer-related events happening over the coming weeks and months:
• Don’t forget to grab tickets to this Thursday (August 18th) 2 Crows Brewing Sneak Preview Party, hosted by the Ladies Beer League. Tickets are still available, and attendees will be enjoying a half-dozen beers from the 20 BBL (23 hL) Halifax brewery set to open this fall. All ticket proceeds go to Feed Nova Scotia, and they will be accepting further donations for FNS during the event.
• The Upstreet Block Party is returning for its second year on Saturday, August 20th. Featuring plenty of activities, live music, food, and tours at the brewery from 12 pm on, they’ll also be unveiling a new “super-sized beer garden”! As the sun goes down, the party will move into the taproom at about 8 pm for more music (from two local DJs), food, and beer. Admission is free, just drop in anytime to join in the fun!
• Also on August 20th is the next Urban Beer Hike in Moncton, from 1:45 pm-5:30 pm. As always, the walking tour will visit five beer bars in the downtown area of the city, with beer and food samples provided at each stop. Tickets are $49+fees and available here.
• The seventh annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is scheduled from September 1st-4th, in the village of Bertrand, NB. As always, activities include Bavarian music and dancing, live entertainment, games, and plenty of food and beer for sampling. The event is advertising as having over 100 products available for tasting, including both imported and local beers. Entry to the site is only $5, with beer tickets available for purchase at $1 each.
• Tickets are now on sale for the 2nd annual Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest, scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at the Moncton Lions Club. Featuring close to 20 breweries from Atlantic Canada, there are three ticket types available, each including unlimited samples: regular tickets include a custom tasting glass and entry from 7:30 pm-10 pm; the VIP session, which begins a half hour earlier; and a VVIP session which begins at 6 pm and includes a special glass, industry panel discussion, and guided beer tasting. Tickets can be purchased online ($58, $68, and $75 for regular, VIP, and VVIP, respectively). Proceeds will go to support the United Way.
• The next Fredericton Poutine Festival is scheduled for Saturday, November 12th, with tickets going on sale earlier today at 11 am. This is the fifth time the event has been held in the city (and the second in 2016), and has sold out quickly each time. Unlimited poutine (~15 different types) from several establishments will be served up as always, at three different sessions: a family session from 11:30 am-1:30 pm (which also includes unlimited water and soft drinks); and an afternoon session from 2:15 pm-5:15 pm and evening session from 7 pm-10 pm. Both of the latter sessions are 19+ only, where you can purchase either a regular ticket (including four 4-oz samples) or “Beer Experience” ticket (twelve 4-oz samples). The 7-10 pm session also has a limited number of VIP tickets, which gets you in an hour earlier, at 6 pm. Ticket-holders can expect over 20 different beers, ciders and meads to be pouring, with most of them from local Fredericton breweries and producers. Get your tickets ASAP (online), and as always, bring your appetites!
– Don’t forget to drop by Tatamagouche for bottles and growler fills of one of their many new releases this week/weekend. Check out last week’s post for the full rundown, and grab some food from The Food Wolf food truck, set up today 12-8, and tomorrow 11-7. The Strawberry Ginger Golden Strong is out today, and the Tatamagouche Tripel is being released Saturday, joining the other Giant Beers, Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter and Raspberry Golden Strong.
– For those who had a chance and loved it, or missed out, Fredericton’s York County Cider has revealed that their unnamed cider, currently pouring for on-site samples only, is Ribes nigrum, aka Blackcurrant. Drop by for more, and fill up on growlers of their multiple offerings.
– Uncle Leo’s in Lyons Brook, NS, has brought back their summer favourite, Voh’s Weizenbier. This 5.0% ABV German Weizen is once again available in bottles at the private stores in HRM, and will be on tap around the province shortly. They have also replenished their bottles of IPA at the brewery, so there are two great reasons to visit!