YellowBelly Brewery

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So it’s spring, eh? Ya right! March came in like a lion, and while it may have taken a nap mid-way, it leaves just as powerful. Let’s hope those April showers wash away the snow and ice, and we can be done with the white stuff for a few months. The poor weather hasn’t kept the brewers down, however, as we’ve got lots of news from around the horn to share with you today. Without further ado, here we go!

• The results of the first Gahan Harbourfront Homebrew competition are in and the winner is none other than Ian Wheatley, who you may remember from his mini-takeover at Tidehouse Brewing earlier this month. According to Gahan brewmaster Kyle Jeppeson, Ian’s Trappist Single was exceptional, well-carbonated and featuring a very pleasant yeast and hop profile. Ian will be brewing a batch of his beer on the 5 bbl system at Gahan at some point to be sold alongside Kyle’s offerings. Congratulations are also in order to Justin Clarke of the Brathair Brewing collective, who placed second. Gahan is promising that the competition will be back next year and Kyle is looking for any suggestions this year’s participants might have towards improving it for next year.

• Travelling up the hill to the base of the Citadel, 2 Crows Brewing is putting yet another new beer on this week. At 6.8% ABV and 39 IBU, Shakedown Brett Porter marries the classic English style (perhaps the brownest of the brown ales) with earthiness and funk from Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast and a decidedly New World nose. Dry-hopped with earthy and fruity Calypso and straight-up orange grove Citra, it’s described by brewmaster Jeremy Taylor as “super earthy, dry, almost mossy in flavour, with a decent layer of funk.” This one wasn’t a big batch, so it’s not likely to be around for a long time. Catch it while you can at the brewery.

• Meanwhile, if you’ve been wondering if maybe there’s been a bit of a method to the madness of all these recent releases from 2 Crows, wonder no more! Thursday, April 13, will see 2 Crows doing their first tap takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth. Promising 10+ taps (although we’ve heard rumours that it could be as many as 14 in total), you’re sure to see your favourite 2 Crows brews alongside some of the interesting limited releases we’ve seen in the last few weeks. And if that’s not enough, knowing Jeremy, there’s sure to be a couple of brand new and interesting brews that will see their first light of day at the event. Plan to kick off your Easter Weekend 2 Crows x Battery Park style. Look for the full tap list to be revealed as the event approaches.

• A hop, skip, and a jump back into the heart of downtown will take you to Tidehouse Brewing on Salter Street at Barrington, who are also releasing a new beer today. Out Like a Lion Hoppy Wheat Ale is a 5.1% ABV Ale, brewed with a blend of Superior Pale, and Wheat malts, for a hazy, straw appearance, and lighter body. Lots of late additions of Centennial and Summit (during the post-boil chilling step, as well as dry hopping), give citrus flavours and aromas, which meld nicely with the banana notes from the yeast blend chosen. Grab a growler at the brewery today, and keep an eye on the board of a North End taproom tomorrow to grab a pint.

• The crew at Trider’s Craft Beer in Amherst have been quite busy, with a pair of new beers out, and a couple more in the pipeline for release soon. Making its debut as last month’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, Maccan Maple is now available to everyone, no plaid required! Rather than using water as the base liquid for the beer, they only used sap from Hidden Mountain Maple Farms in nearby Springhill! After mashing and boiling as usual, they added maple syrup to the wort as they pitched the yeast. The 5.0% ABV beer ends up with a strong maple flavour, and is sweeter than other beers of the same style on the market, making this a perfect dessert beer. The beer is freshly bottled, available at their brewery, as well as in growler fills. Kegs of this, and all of their beer, are also available, so keep an eye out at local watering holes for a tap.

• The second new beer from Trider’s is Brew-Deau Cream Ale, based on their very popular Christmas Cream seasonal, but tweaked the recipe to end up with a lighter appearance, thanks in part to the subbing in of corn, iconic in a Cream Ale grain bill. The 5.0% ABV beer is lightly hopped to 10 IBU, and will be a popular warm weather beer (if it ever arrives!). You can sip on a bit of summer now, however, as the beer is available in growler fills and 500ml stubbies at their Anson Ave location in the Industrial Park.

• There are a pair of other seasonals headed your way from Amherst, including White Ogre, a hybrid between Belgian Witbier and American IPA. What started as a test batch to satisfy co-owner Scott Parker’s want of a hoppier beer has proven quite popular with customers dropping by the brewery. A significant wheat base, with lots of orange peel and coriander added, but with a hoppy kick from CitraColumbus, and Willamette, resulting in a 5.5% ABV, 56 IBU White IPA. The beer is finishing now, and will be available in growler fills and bottles next week. And aiming for late April is Second Breakfast Oatmeal Stout, a 5% roasty dark stout with a creamy mouthfeel thanks to the addition of oatmeal during the brewing. We’ll have more details, including release date, later next month. Plus we’ll have more news to share on Trider’s plans at their current location.

• TrailWay has released the last batch of Good Aura Amber Ale for the season, as they transition to their summer lineup. Featuring lots of Mosaic hops for a stonefruit and tropical aroma, built upon the base of Munich, Caramel, and Ryle malts. Named after brewery rescue dog Aura, part of the proceeds are being donated to the Fredericton SPCA. Don’t forget that the brewery is dog-friendly to friendly dogs (and people!) and they have treats and water to keep them happy while their owners enjoy human treats. Look for the latest batch of their house IPA, Hu Jon Hops, which just dropped at the brewery as well, and will be making it out to the ANBL.

• Mama’s Brew Pub in Fredericton has a pair of new beers on tap these days: German Dunkel is a 4.5% ABV tart, refreshing, beer with a sour fruitiniess and dry finish. Their East Coast Pale Ale is replacing their East Coast Dry Hop American Pale Ale, with a change of recipe to provide more flavour and body to the base beer, with using loads of late- and dry-hop additions of Cascade and Citra for pine and citrus aroma and taste. At 4.8% ABV, you can certainly enjoy a session at Mama’s!

• In Rothesay, Foghorn Brewing has released Bob’s Your Uncle, a 6.5% ABV English IPA, coming in at a significant 65 IBU, with even more hops added after the fermentation, namely iconic English hops Fuggles and Goldings, as well as new kid on the block Jester. Currently only available on tap for pints and growler fills at the brewery on Clark Road, look for it to pop up around the area soon.

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar is holding another Growler Day today, with three beers available to takeaway: Killington IPA is a 7.6% ABV hazy, North East IPA, featuring citrus and tropical notes from the Citra and Mosaic added throughout the brew. Method IPA is 7.0% juicy IPA as well, but in a different flavour and aroma profile than Killington. And finally Peach Shake is a Milkshake-style IPA, featuring lactose (milk sugar) and vanilla beans added to the beer for a sweeter flavour profile, enhanced by the addition of peaches during the brew session.

Good Robot will be releasing a new Beta Brew this Sunday called Brewster Juice. The name, we expect, is a nod to the millennia-long tradition of female brewers, and this beer was brewed on International Womens’ Day by Kelly Costello and two Good Robot Glee Club members, Jenn and Allana. This is a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) brew containing nothing but water, Canadian 2-row malt, Glacier hops from Fundy, yeast, and a “dry hop” of fresh raspberries. It weighs in at a nice and light 4.2% ABV and has an apricot-gold color.

• Up on the North Shore of NS, Tatamagouche Brewing has a new release for us this week from their Staff Series of beers. Tata cellarman Alex Martin developed the concept for a Brown IPA that melds the chocolate and dark fruit flavors of darker malts with big hop flavors and a solid IPA bitterness. Arriving at a husky 7.1% ABV and 80 IBU, the Tweed Wolf was hopped with the dank, piney and citrus-laden Simcoe and the fruity melon and berry subtlety of Huell Melon. The de rigeur IPA dry hop contains those same two varieties along with the very tropical El Dorado that should bolster an already heady nose. Expect this one to strike a nice balance between rich malts, firm bitterness and fruity hops. Cans will be available as of today at the brewery and should arrive at the private liquor stores next Thursday. Meanwhile, you’ll find it coming up soon at tap accounts in Halifax.

• Scuttlebutt in beer circles this week centered around a posting on commercial brewing forum ProBrewer regarding a currently operating Nova Scotia brewery being up for sale. Details are minimal and nobody involved is talking openly, which means that speculation is running rampant about who it is and why it they might be selling. With the Craft Beer industry in Nova Scotia growing as quickly as it has, especially over the last five years or so, one of the areas where we’re possibly a little behind the curve is in brewery turnover. As we look at some of the other markets where there has been a craft beer boom, however, we see that this is one of the hallmarks of a healthy industry. There are lots of reasons a brewery might go up for sale and many (some might argue most) of them don’t have anything to do with beer. While we certainly aren’t immune from kibitzing about it ourselves, as local beer lovers and fans of the scene we’re mostly interested to see who steps up to buy this business and how they approach taking it forward into its next evolution as a brewery. And no, we don’t know who it is either.

Be sure to check out our Events Calendar, as we keep it as up-to-date as we can with all of the goings on in our region. Remember that we don’t always repeat events we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, so your best bet is to check it periodically, or better yet, add it to your own iCal/gCal, and never miss out! Just click the +GoogleCalendar button on the bottom right of the calendar.

• Last week we told you about the 80/- Scottish-style Collaboration Ale created by the various members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia. Today is your chance to check out that contentious brew as it goes on tap for the first time at noon in the Good Robot taproom in North End Halifax. The first 48 patrons will receive a takeaway can of the beer, which will eventually be available in limited supply at Bishop’s Cellar, Harvest Wine & Spirits, and the NSLC. You’ll also be amongst the first to hear the first official events list for the upcoming Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week, ask questions of Nova Scotia brewers, and try a custom Scottish Hot Dog from T DOGS.

• For some beer excitement in PEI, look no further than Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar today. They are hosting a BarNone Tap Takeover, with eight beer from Rose Valley flowing, plus some special beers as chosen by owner and brewer Don Campbell, including Unfiltered’s Fist of God IPA. Drop by from noon to enjoy some blasts from the past, as well as new releases. It also corresponds to the first day of PEI Burger Love, the cross-province month of more than 80 establishments (including HopYard) serving up some creative burgers, from PEI-raised beef.

Today is also a big day in Alma, New Brunswick, as the Buddha Bear Cafe continues their major renovations towards opening Holy Whale Brewing Company in late spring. Located in a former church on Main Street, the Cafe has been open for several months, serving up their own roasted coffee, as well as beer from around the Maritimes. Buddha Bear/Holy Whale owners, brothers Jeff and Peter Grandy, will be closing the cafe during weekdays, and re-opening full-time in a few months. So, what’s happening today at the Cafe? The brothers need your help to Drink the Church Dry! All day today, they are looking to push as many kegs as possible through their nine lines, to help make room in the beer fridge. Every time a keg kicks, they will be lowering the price of a pint by 50 cents, so it pays to stick around and enjoy the return on your investment.

Tomorrow is the HRM celebration of Big Spruce‘s 4th Anniversary, and the launch of the 2017 edition of Ra Ra Rasputin, with several variations of the Barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout pouring from 11:30am at Battery Park, and noon at Stillwell. Look for non-barrel-aged versions (in keg and on nitro), 2016 vintage, plus several unique casks with fruit, coffee, and/or wood additions right in the firkin for an extra level of flavour. You may need to hit both locations for the full experience! Check out the event flyer here.

• Sunday April 2nd, is the BC Tap Takeover at Stillwell, postponed from the original March 25th date due to shipping delays. Enjoy a dozen beauties from Brassneck Brewery in Vancouver, Dageraad of Burnaby, and Four Winds Brewing from Delta. Featuring a wide variety in styles of beer, including Brassneck’s Stockholm Syndrome Saison, Sri Lanka Dubbel from Dageraad, and Four Winds’ Nectarous Dry-hopped Sour. No tickets required for the event, and the doors open at noon (unusual for a Sunday). The full taplist is available here.

• Also coming up at Good Robot is Latin@ Night, a celebration of Latin American Culture on Thursday, April 6 that will feature the release of Cerveza Latina, a Beta Brew in the Vienna Lager style that was created in collaboration with some of GR’s patrons from various South and Central American countries. It’s got a bready nose, lemony citrus on the palate, and a clean, crisp lager finish. The night also promises to feature broken Spanish, South American-influenced dishes from Black Sheep, a playlist designed to inspire dancing and the Mexican beer cocktails known as micheladas.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is celebrating National Beer Day on April 7th. Only the 7th, how strange, we figured any/every day was a great day to drink beer! But who are we to argue? They will be showing off their expanded tap selection, including a very limited edition of Big Brown Pure Maple. Only one keg will be served at Roof Hound,  so best to not miss the event that evening. Live music from Tide & Timbre will kick off the festivities at 9pm, plus they will have guest taps from their neighbour breweries Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove, and Lunn’s Mill from Lawrencetown. Check out the FB Events Page for more details.

Before we let you go, a couple more things…

– As the grand opening of their new digs in Windsor approaches, Schoolhouse Brewing is now preparing their “First Draughts” on the new system! We’ll certainly have more information as it becomes available, but for now we can tell you that Cam and Co. are looking for a Retail Manager to help run the new storefront operation. The details are at the bottom of their webpage.
Garrison is bringing back a big ‘un today as part of their Cellar Series, the Barrel Aged Ol’ Fog Burner barleywine. Weighing in at an hefty 11.5% ABV, it spent time in oak barrels from Glen Breton Rare Single Malt Whiskey from Glenora Distillery. It’s available in 650ml bottles costing $15.95 at the brewery and quantities are severely limited.
Picaroons’ Winter Warmer is done for the year, but they have just released a batch of it that has been aged on French Oak for two months. Available only on tap at their Roundhouse and Brewtique locations in Fredericton, General Store in Uptown Saint John, and The 5 Kings Brewhouse in St. Stephen.
YellowBelly in St. John’s has brought back their East Coast Cream Ale, a 5.0% ABV, 22 IBU beer brewed in collaboration/celebration of Top Shed Brewery on Australia’s East Coast. Featuring Pacific Gem and Mosaic hops from Australia, the beer is on tap at the brewery now, and in bottles to take away.

As a last mention this week, maybe be a little wary of any wild or unexpected claims made by local bars and breweries tomorrow…check your calendar before jumping to conclusions; we wouldn’t want anyone to worry about breaking a nail.

You might think that the last week of February/first week of March would see a bit of a slowdown in beer news — winter’s not quite over, March break is yet to come and the University students are back in class. But if you write a beer blog and you try to keep up with it all, you know better. There are plenty of things to tell you about as the region prepares for one of its biggest annual events, the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. As well, seasonal beers are being released, plenty of events going on, another new brewery has opened its doors and we’ve received word of another brewery in the works! We’re starting to think there might possibly be something to this whole “Craft Beer Industry” thing.

• The wait is over for local beer fans in Lawrencetown, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley! Lunn’s Mill Beer held their first growler session yesterday afternoon, with their four core beers available (Charming Molly Blonde Ale, Brickyard Red Red Ale, Lunn’s Pub Ale English Ale, and XPA #1 IPA). For those who contact them ASAP, there will be the first Growler Delivery happening this afternoon, for folks in the Annapolis Royal to Greenwood region. For now, Growler Nights and Delivery will be the best way to get your hands on Lunn’s Mill beer, and we will be sure to let you know when the brewery is set up for samples and pints, as well as draft available at local pubs and restaurants. Congratulations to Mark, Sean, and the whole Lunn’s Mill Crew!

• We’ve received word of another new brewery on the way for New Brunswick, with Valonray Farmhouse Brewing (changed from the initial name, “46th Parallel Brewing”) scheduled to open later this summer in MacDougall Settlement. Founded by Phil and Allison Fontaine, they plan on launching with a small line-up of American-style ales – brewed by Phil on a 1 BBL (115 L) electric system – with Belgian-style barrel-aged ales following within a few months, thanks to the acquisition of twenty 225 L oak barrels. The initial beers will be available at select licensees, as well as some being bottled and sold through the ANBL. The couple will be using 100%-locally sourced ingredients, with some being grown directly on-site. A tap room is also in the planning stages, and will hopefully be open by the summer of 2018. The eventual goal is to become an authentic Belgian-style, Farmhouse brewery within the first few years, including expanding to barrel-aged sour beers. Look for a Q&A with Allison and Phil from us in the near future.

• Early this week, Maybee Brewing released Mars Madness, a Bière de Mars. This style is closely related to the Bière de Garde, a French style traditionally brewed in the early spring, and then cellared for several months to be enjoyed during warmer weather. Bière de Mars, on the other hand, is usually brewed in March and released immediately. It is in some ways similar to a Belgian Saison, especially in that the yeast provides a lot of the character, with a malty backbone from the grist. Mars Madness was fermented at a low temperature to keep the fruity esters in check, and had a lengthier conditioning time than usual for Maybee brews. Described by the brewery as a crisp, refreshing beer, it has “fruity notes of banana and bubble gum, and subtle hints of noble hop spice and clove”. Clocking in at 6.7% ABV and 30 IBUs, this one is available on tap only. For those of you attending the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival next week, it will be available on cask at both the afternoon and evening sessions.

• Dartmouth’s Downeast Beer Factory has a new beer on tap, perfect for the approaching St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Nitro Irish Stout was brewed with plenty of Roasted Barley and Midnight Wheat in the grist, to give lots of the roasted aromas and flavours expected from the style. Both Cascade and East Kent Goldings hops were added, with “a generous amount” of EKG at the end of the boil. Served on a 75/25 nitrogen/CO2 blend to boost the creamy mouthfeel, it’s easy-drinking at 4.8% ABV, and on tap right now at the brewpub.

• With the 2017 Brier kicking off this week in St John’s, YellowBelly Brewpub has released a new beer to celebrate. They’ve released the quintessential American Pale Ale, weighing in at 4.5% ABV and 40 IBU, featuring two dry-hopping rounds with Cascade. The beer is on tap now (and only on tap, no plans for bottles), but they need your help to name it! Hit them up on Twitter or Facebook with your best curling pun name to win a $100 gift certificate. And once this small batch APA kicks, their St Patrick’s Day celebration Patrick’s Pale Ale will hit the taps. This year’s version features Sorachi Ace as the sole hop in the 6.0% ABV, 45 IBU beer.

• After two straight releases of the decidedly less hoppy variety, Unfiltered Brewing is bringing out a beer today to remind everyone just who punches the hoppy dance cards in HRM. And speaking of dancing, the beer is being released in conjunction with the film Goon: Last of the Enforcers, which will be screened in Halifax on March 9 a week ahead of its March 17 release date. Fist of God is a NASHian DIPA in the Northeast IPA style with 100+ IBU and featuring a mix of Citra, Simcoe, Columbus and Mosaic hops for big citrus, tropical and dank aromas and flavors. At 8% ABV, it’s also likely to leave you in a bit of a FoG if you’re not careful. Look for it at the brewery and Charm School pub for pints and fills as of noon today, as well as on tap at Primal Kitchen, Stillwell (from Friday open), and Tom’s Little Havana (who will keep it on tap as long as Unfiltered can supply it).

• And while you are grabbing a pint and/or growler at Unfiltered today, be sure to try the other latest addition to their taps, kombucha from Mad Boocha. Brewed in small batches in the Unfiltered brewhouse, kombucha is produced using yeast and bacteria, fermenting sweet tea into a lightly acidic and refreshing low-, or no-, alcohol drink. Mad Boocha has released several styles of the drink, with a Hibiscus Ginger version available currently for both pints and take-away in growlers at Unfiltered. Keep an eye on their social media pages for more details on the next releases.

North is releasing a new beer today, a Belgian Dubbel named Doki Doki Dubbel. Not your typical Dubbel, this one had a secondary fermentation on black cherries, gives notes of cherry, raisin, and dark fruit in the flavour, along with a light spiciness in the finish. Weighing in at 7.4% ABV, it will be available for growler fills, as well as in 750 mL swing tops. Battery Park will have it on tap, and it will be available at tonight’s North Tap Takeover at Good Robot; it may also appear at other beer establishments in the HRM in the near future.

• Earlier this week Boxing Rock in Shelburne brought a new beer to market in a style not common around these parts, and certainly not one we’ve seen from a local brewery any time recently. Stayin’ Alive is a malty lager in the traditional bock style, fairly high in alcohol and hopped very mildly for a satisfying and filling experience. Originating in the town of Einbeck some 700 years ago, it was commonly brewed and consumed by monks as a means of maintaining nutrition during pre-Easter fasting. Though they eschewed the de rigueur billy goat on the label, Boxing Rock’s version stays true to the style, coming in at 6.8% ABV, with biscuit, bread and roast flavours, smooth bittering and just a touch of noble hop flavor. You can find it now at the brewery, at private stores in HRM, and on tap at tap accounts throughout Nova Scotia. And speaking of taps, Boxing Rock has announced their Legendary Keg Club contest, where the winner will see a beer tap installed in his or her home and Boxing Rock will supply 6 months of beer to stock it! To enter, simply go to the contest page and fill in the blanks appropriately.

• Like Boxing Rock, Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay will also be hopping on the seasonal malty German lager train early in March, but with the bigger, beefier version of the bock style, the Doppelbock. Doppel being German for “double”, doppelbock takes the maltiness of the bock to deeper, darker places where more roasty and dark fruit flavours emerge. Doppelbock 1753 pays tribute to the German heritage of the South Shore and is subtitled, “The Winter Beer of Lunenburg County.” This beer features the requisite malty sweetness as well as rich plum flavours, hints of dark chocolate and a slightly warming mouthfeel consistent with the 8.1% ABV. A characteristically low 19 IBU provide slight bitterness to this dark brown brew that finishes with a lingering vinous character.​ A firm launch date has not yet been determined, but watch the brewery’s Twitter feed where it will surely be announced. Late notice addition: Launch Date is March 10th.

• After celebrating their First Anniversary this week, the fine folks at Nine Locks Brewing have decided to give us all the gift of another new beer! Launching this coming Monday, Vanilla Porter will be available on draft and in cans. Featuring three separate additions of vanilla, this full-bodied porter blends dark chocolate and vanilla together in a great brew. At 5.0% ABV and a light 25 IBU, the malt and vanilla are the stars of the show. Keep an eye on their Twitter page for the exact launch details.

• Launching at next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival is a cross-Confederation-Bridge Collaboration, between Charlottetown’s Upstreet and Fredericton’s Picaroons breweries. Brewed using the same malt bill, featuring a healthy dose of Rye malt, Rye’d On is an 8.0% ABV Imperial Rye Beer, but fermented with two different yeasts. Upstreet’s Hogie brewed the beer at his brewery in Charlottetown, and then travelled to Fredericton to assist in brewing the same beer on the Picaroons system. In Fredericton, the beer was fermented using Pics’ own Ringwood ale strain, while in C’town, Upstreet used a pitch of lager yeast normally destined for their Commons Pilsner. The result is two different beers with a common origin. You’ll have the first chance to try the beer at the Fest March 11th, and to a wider release at both ANBL and PEILCC stores, and on draft in both provinces on Monday the 13th.

• Hammond River is brewing a new American IPA next week – single-hopped with Summit, this is a high alpha-acid American variety known for providing plenty of orange, tangerine, and citrus character in beer. Going in the dry-hop with the Summit will be lots of freshly-zest grapefruit zest, so we can likely expect a beer chock-full of citrus character! Expect this one to come in at around 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, and to start popping up on tap in a few weeks.

And the goings-on keep going strong:

• Head out to Digby’s Roof Hound this Saturday, March 4th, for another Beer Launch Music Event. Kicking off their “Dive Bar Classic Cocktail Series”, they are releasing the Mojito Dry Hopped Sour that we told you about last week. Weighing in at 4.8% ABV, the light-bodied tart beer features loads of freshly zested and squeezed limes and fresh mint. To celebrate, they are holding a live music event that evening, with Hannah-Grace playing from 10pm, after the beer starts flowing at 9pm.

• For those of you in Halifax, drop by Lion & Bright Saturday night from 8pm for a Breton Brewing takeover of their taps. Featuring their core lineup, as well as a few seasonal and fun favourites, there will sure to be something for everybody flowing tomorrow night. Find out more on their event page.

Good Robot continues to keep their schedule packed with goings-on. After last night’s tap takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth, tonight sees North-end neighbours North Brewing populating 8 of the GR taps completing a craft beer quid pro quo celebrating the collaboration beer Moo Nay Tripel that we told you about last week. On Wednesday, they bring you FemmeBot, a celebration of International Women’s Day hosted by comedian Megan McDowell. They’ll have three new beers on tap: Red Moon Landing, a Red IPA that celebrates the African American women who were key to NASA space missions (and who inspired the film Hidden Figures); Baba Yaga Chaga Brown, an American Brown Ale featuring Chaga Fungus that invokes a supernatural feminine spirit of Slavic folklore; and, Faster Pussy Hat! Kill! Kill! a hibiscus-infused IPA. The first two of these were brewed by female staff of Good Robot, the third by Glee Club member and home brewer, Robyn Vaughan. There will also be guest taps from other breweries with prominent female brewers, including Sober Island, Boxing Rock, Spindrift and Lazy Bear. Much more information is available on the event’s Facebook page and Thursday’s article in The Coast.

• Next week is Fredericton Craft Beer Week, with plenty of events leading up to the grand finale, the FCBF, on March 11th. In addition to these events, the James Joyce will be hosting a New Brunswick IPA Showdown from Tuesday, March 7th to Thursday, March 9th. During this time period, all 25 taps (and a cask) will be pouring various IPA styles, ranging from American to English, White to Black, and beyond! All of your favourites will be on, as well as some new beers, including the first appearance of Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing, which will have both their Hop Series Cascade and Hop Series Motueka on tap at some point. Be sure to show up and order some flights (and/or full pours) to get your hop fix!

• Also next Thursday, March 9th, don’t forget to stop by the King Street Ale House for their Nova Scotia Tap Takeover and Trivia Night. Lots of great NS beer, lots of easier (we promise) trivia questions from Shawn and Chris… and lots of brewery swag to the winners! Beer starts pouring at 6 pm, with trivia following at 7 pm. No charge to attend, but if you buy a ticket in advance you get a special glass and ten 5 oz pours to get you started. And once you’re done there, maybe you can head down the street to Graystone to sample some beers from their New Brunswick NanoTakeover, where 8 different small NB breweries will have their beers on tap.

Enjoy your weekend, and as always, just a few more things before signing off…

Picaroons seasonal Maple Cream Ale is back; this 5% ale is brewed with maple syrup from local producers Briggs Maples. Available for a limited time on tap at the Roundhouse and Brewtique, and in bottles at ANBL stores.
Tatamagouche Brewing has added a third can to their offerings at the NSLC, their popular Hippie Dippie Pale Ale. Check here for the availability at your local outlet. And watch your podcatching app next #902sday (aka March 7th), as the 902 BrewCast folks (with our own Chris in tow), drop by Tatamagouche to learn about the history of the brewery, and some cool new beers and projects on the horizon.
– Yesterday, TrailWay released the winning American IPA in their first Homebrew Challenge; Hoppy McHazy was brewed by local homebrewer Pierre Gagnon, and is available now on tap and in cans. Only 50 cases of cans were released, but fear not… the beer will be brewed again within a couple of months. Check here for the full details on the beer.

We’re firmly into 2017 and we’ll all hopefully be able to stop typing 2016 any day now. Though the we haven’t quite reached the dead of winter, the beer scene in the region is still showing plenty of signs of life and it’s not looking like that will slow down any time soon. Read on for all the news on new beers, re-releases, and beer- and brewery-related events throughout our corner of the country. And don’t forget, the first kegs from Harvey, NB’s Think Brewing will be available this weekend. We have confirmation that they will be on tap at the James Joyce Pub and 540 Kitchen in the next day or two. To learn more, check out Tuesday’s Profile with Think. And now on to the rest of the beer news!

• A little over a year ago, Flying Boats released Double Oatmeal Stout, an easy-drinking beer with plenty of oatmeal and roast character. Recently, owner/brewer Marc Melanson has changed the recipe, with the result being Station Master Stout. Over 10% of rolled oats, along with specialty malts including Chocolate and Roasted varieties, makes up the grist, giving “slight chocolate, coffee, and roastiness” in the flavour, along with a full-bodied mouthfeel. Hopped with East Kent Goldings to 28 IBUs, expect this one to weigh in at approximately 5.2% ABV; look for it at Flying Boats tap accounts sometime within the next couple of weeks.

• Saint John’s newest brewery, Loyalist City, released another of their flagship beers for the first time late last week. An American Pale Ale, Three Sisters Pale Ale (6% ABV, 60 IBUs) features a blend of three popular American hop varieties – Centennial, Citra and Mosaic – to give “an assertive mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavor and aroma”. The high majority of the hops were added in the whirlpool, after the boil was complete, to maximize the deliciousness of these varieties, without adding too much bitterness in the finish. The grist was kept simple, with a mix of two base malts, to complement the hops but not overpower them. Fermented clean with an American Ale yeast strain, more Mosaic was included in not one, but two, dry-hop additions, resulting in even more tropical fruit in the aroma. For historians, the beer was named after the Three Sisters Lamp, which was erected in 1842 at the end of Prince William Street “to welcome visitors to the Saint John Harbour by guiding them safely into port”. Look for Three Sisters on tap at select accounts in the city, including Cask & Kettle and Five & Dime, and at the ANBL Growler program starting Jan 26 at the three SJ-region locations. Details are thin, but look for LCBC’s Extra Special Bitter to hit the taps this weekend, we’ll share more details when we have them.

YellowBelly Brewpub in downtown St John’s has released a new cider this week, featuring partridge berries. Twenty kilograms of the extremely ripe fruit were used for a subtle sweetness and tannic tartness. From Brewmaster Liam McKenna, “It’s like our regular cider with a bit of pink lemonade and the merest hint of wintergreen, methinks.” Grab a pint at the pub, and look for bottles at a few St. John’s NLCs next week.

• Still on the Rock, Mill Street Brewpub has been serving a beer since late 2016 that we seem to have missed the boat on. St. John’s ESB is in the English Pale Ale family, with a balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness enhancing its drinkability. It comes in at a very reasonable 4.8% ABV and 27 IBU with biscuit, caramel and lightly toasted malt notes and floral and earthy hop flavours. Look for it the next time you’re by for a pint or a growler fill.​

• Fans of Moncton’s Bore City Brewing can look forward to their first new beer release in a while, a currently-unnamed “lower-ABV Belgian style Ale” (think roughly along the lines of an Abbey Single or Table Beer). With a grist of mainly Pilsner malt and Munich II, it was hopped with East Kent Goldings and Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, White Labs’ Belgian Golden Ale. This one should come in around 5.6% ABV; it won’t be ready for another few weeks, according to the brewery, but we’ll have more information to release before then!

Graystone Brewing has their first Lager on tap at their taproom and elsewhere in Fredericton. The North is a Pilsner that was “amply hopped” with two varieties, German Perle and Czech Saaz, giving distinctive floral and spicy notes to the beer. Fermented cool at 13 C with a European Lager yeast, the beer was further lagered at cold temperatures for six weeks. It clocks in at 5.3% ABV and 40 IBUs, and is available now for pints, and crowler/growler fills.

• Graystone also released another new beer yesterday, Shiver Stout, to coincide with this year’s Shivering Songs Festival. With an addition of a cold-brewed medium roast blend from Whitney Coffee Company added directly to the beer, there’s plenty of smooth coffee flavour (without any harshness) in this one. On the lighter-ABV end for a stout (4.7%), it clocks in at 30 IBUs; while exploring around Fredericton for the festival, be sure to seek this one out!

• Continuing with Fredericton, Bogtrotter has a new beer popping up around the city. Drunken Newt Red Rye Ale was brewed with Rye malt in the grist, with nutmeg added late in the boil. This deep red-coloured beer comes in at 5% ABV, and features “aromas of fresh rye bread, caramel malt and hops”, according to the brewery. Expect flavours of caramel, toffee, and a hint of, naturally, nutmeg. It’s available on tap around Fredericton, and is also in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL locations.

• Now firmly in the middle of winter, it’s time for the return of one of last year’s favourites, Big Spruce Brewing‘s Coade Word: Snowmaggedon, an ode to local meteorologist Peter Coade, who retired in September 2016, after a record-breaking 54 year career. This Winter Warmer is 7.4% ABV, and features Gila Squash grown at their brewery farm. It was oven roasted with organic cane sugar before being added to the mash, extracting some extra sweetness and complexity. After primary fermentation, the beer was conditioned with a dark rum tincture of local ginger with organic cinnamon and vanilla. This release is draft/growler only, while the next release will be aged in barrels and will be available on draft, and in bottles.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has released their first Double IPA, Make and Break. Clocking in at 7.5% ABV, the beer features Amarillo and Millennium hops, to the tune of 60 IBUs, balancing the sweet, malty aroma. Grab a pint or growler fill at the brewery, and look for it at their tap accounts shortly.

• Be sure to grab today’s episode of the 902 BrewCast, with Kyle, Phil, and Tony tasting through a selection of Nova Scotian and New Brunswick IPAs (including a look at the medal winners of the 2016 ACBAs). They even invited along our very own acbbchris for a nerdier approach to the whole thing. Be sure to share your feedback on their social media feeds, or in a comment below.

• Attention large AtlCan breweries! The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service is taking a handful of Canadian breweries on a tour of five US cities next month, and the opportunity to sign-up is now open. Visiting Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami Feb 27 – Mar 2, brewers will have the chance to meet local vendors, check out the potential markets, and learn about the benefits (and potential) drawbacks to doing business abroad. More details can be found here, including contacts on how to sign up before the application window closes January 25th.

A few events have popped up on our radar; check out what’s happening in your neck of the woods:

• Moncton’s Tide & Boar are holding another Growler Pop-Up today, 10-6pm (or when the beer runs dry). Look for the return of Herbies Oatmeal for Breakfast Stout, Sour Otis Fruit Cake Kettle Sour, as well as two new IPAs: Calling Method IPA (featuring Citra) and Nelson IPA, single-hopped with Nelson Sauvin. The first few folks through the door will receive a free T&B growler (empty) – the early birds get the worm!

• A reminder of tomorrow’s Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover at Ducky’s in Sackville. In addition to their core lineup, and special beers that they’ve been saving, it will serve also as the sneak preview of their Barrel-aged Barleywine, being released next Thursday. We’ll have more details on that beer next week. In the meantime, learn more about the evening, and live music, on the FB Event page.

• Join Port Rexton Brewing and Quidi Vidi at White Hills Resort in Clarenville, NL next weekend, January 27th and 28th, for Eat the Hill. Pairing their beers with plates from several different chefs, there will be plenty of food, beer, and cheer to go around after a day on the slopes. Tickets are available now.

Mill Street is hosting a Brewmaster’s Dinner at the brewpub on February 8th. Hosted by Joel Manning, Head Brewmaster for the Mill Street family, and Dan Boldrini, Head Brewer at the St. John’s location, it will feature five of beers paired with five courses from the kitchen. The event will take place the evening of Wednesday, February 8; tickets are $60 and are apparently going fast, so if you’re interested, don’t wait.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing will be opening their doors next Saturday, January 28th, for a soft launch of their beers and tap room. Featuring their core line-up on tap, as well as several special tap-room-only beer produced on their pilot system, the fun kicks off at noon. Take a gander at this week’s The Coast newspaper for an article with Kelly, Mark, and Jeremy, and we’ll have a full profile with the crew early next week, to whet your whistle.

• Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be holding a Nano Brewery Tap Takeover, featuring four of Nova Scotia’s smallest craft breweries, on Thursday, February 9th. All sixteen taps will be dedicated to beer from Brightwood, Schoolhouse, Sober Island, and Tidehouse. Drop by from 2:00 pm to taste the beers from these small operations, including a few special one-offs casks, and meet the folks behind the beers.

• On February 16th, Battery Park is hosting Pop-Up Love Party, an event with live performers expounding on love, paired with local beer and a menu designed by Daniel Burns. It also serves as the launch of just the second beer brewed at North‘s Dartmouth location (in BP’s foyer), Zuppa Symposium. It is a Milk Stout aged on local blackberries and cherry wood, and will be available on tap (both standard and nitro versions), and in bottles. More details are available here, and tickets here.

 • Like to drink beer and curl? Or even just drink beer and slide around on the ice with a broom? Well, good news! Good Robot is holding their 1st Annual Tournament of Broken Hearts on Saturday, February 18th at the Mayflower Curling Club. Teams of four can sign up here ($80 per team), with all participants receiving GR toques, plenty of GR beer on tap, prizes to the winners, and an after-party. The fun starts at 1 pm and will continue all day and evening.

• It’s a ways away on May 27th, but early bird tickets are already on sale for the first annual Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival. Taking place at the Rodd Grand Hotel in Yarmouth, it will feature breweries from around Nova Scotia. There will be two tastings, in the afternoon at 2:30pm and in the evening at 7:30pm. The $30 package includes a commemorative glass and 5 sampling tickets, with additional sampling tickets available both online when you register and at the event itself. VIP and Designated Driver packages are also available: the VIP is priced at $45 and includes 10 sampling tickets, access to a VIP lounge and early access (30 minutes) to the tasting; the DD package gives 5 sampling tickets for food and non-alcoholic drinks and access to the VIP lounge and is priced at $15. Early bird registrants (until February 15th) save $5 on any package, while late registrations will see prices $5 higher. More information, including participating breweries will be available as the event gets closer.

• The YBF will also feature the first annual Hop Run. This event marries drinking beer and running and features both individual and relay formats. Individuals will run between 1 and 3 miles, with a beer at the starting gun and another after each mile completed to a maximum of three laps and four beers per person. The relay will see teams of three each running one lap and drinking 4 beers. Included in all registrations is a Hop Run pint glass and a finisher’s medal for each runner. Pricing for individuals is based on number of miles ($45/50/55 for 1, 2 and 3 miles, respectively), while relay pricing is $150 for the team. Again, early bird and latecomer pricing is in effect. So if you know you’re interested, get your registration in early and save a few dollars.​

And finally today:

Big Tide currently has an “extra-strong” batch of their Karnival Kölsch on tap at the brewpub; weighing in at 6.3% ABV (vs. its usual 4.5%), it also features Hallertau hops from Darlings Island Farm.
Boxing Rock Carbon-14 is back, Professor Jason MacDougall’s second-place winner from the first Boxing Rock Black Box challenge last year is available once again. It’s a big beer, a strong dark Belgian that should be perfect for a cold winter night.
Unfiltered: Deity SMaSH DIPA is back! The same blast of hoppy juiciness with spicy, herbal notes from the Columbus hops as the first time ’round. 7.5% ABV 100+ IBU 10 SRM
– Johnny Jacks Brewery in Oromocto has a new beer headed to local ANBL shelves soon, Pond Hockey Winter Ale. The 5.4% ABV, 33 IBU beer will be released in 750 ml bottles.
Hammond River S’mores Graham Cracker Imperial Stout is kegged and will be popping up at local tap accounts this weekend.

Just when you thought it was safe to take your eyes off the local beer scene and focus on your holiday shopping, the region’s breweries, cideries and tap venues bring you another wild week of brewery openings, beer releases, tap takeovers and other beer-related news. Fortunately we didn’t let ourselves be too distracted by holiday cheer last night, and we’ve got a full report of the goings on in the Atlantic provinces.

• Harvey, New Brunswick’s very first brewery, Off Grid Ales, is releasing their first beers today! The 3 BBL (350 L) brewery is housed in a barn on the property of owners Randy and Denise Rowe, and is both solar- and wind-powered. All four of their flagship beers will be available in 500 mL bottles at the Harvey ANBL outlet, and all four Fredericton ANBL stores; these beers are Campfire Red, an American Amber (5.5% ABV, 23 IBUs); Sunny Day IPA (5.5% ABV, 70 IBUs); High Tower Double IPA (7.8% ABV, 60 IBUs); and Unplugged Porter (5.5% ABV, 34 IBUs). The official launch party will be happening soon, so stay tuned for details! And check out our full post on Off Grid from October.

• The brewery at Moncton’s Tide & Boar is hard at it again, with several new/returning beers now out, or arriving soon! Released earlier this week was the next beer in their Sour Otis series – Sour Otis Cranberry features the addition of 25 lbs of locally-sourced cranberries, resulting in a sour, refreshing, super-sessionable (4.2% ABV) brew. Also look for the return of Forum, their 5.4% ABV, heavily-hopped American Pale Ale that’s big on tropical fruit aromas and flavours. T&B is kegging a new American IPA this weekend, Robot Food IPA, brewed with an “insane amount” of Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops. Finally, yet another new beer should be ready for release next week – Peach Ale Shake is the next addition to their Milkshake IPA lineup. It was brewed with lactose powder to slightly boost the body and sweetness, heavily hopped (of course), and also features the addition of 20 lbs of peaches. As with all the T&B beers brewed on site, they tend to go fast, so be sure to stop by to give them a try!

• There’s a couple of hot news items concerning Tatamagouche Brewing this week. First up is a brand new beer that is being released tomorrow, Adoptor, their take on the Doppelbock style. Named after two adopted dogs in the Tata family, the beer’s grist is made up entirely of German malts, to emulate this strong, malty, German style. A mix of Munich and Vienna make up the majority, with small amounts of CaraAroma and CaraMunich, to enhance the malty goodness in the aroma and flavour. This is another big beer for Tatabrew, as is per the style, clocking in at 7.6% ABV and a low 24 IBUs. It’ll be making its debut in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, with $0.50 from every bottle sold being donated to the Home to Stay animal shelter; expect a few kegs to pop up at select licensees at a later date. And their other recent release, Square One, a dry-hopped Saison, is now available in bottles at the brewery as well.

• And continuing on with Tatabrew… great news, New Brunswick – kegs of Tata beer are heading your way! Along with their core brands, some establishments have also ordered some seasonals/one-offs, including Blue Bales, Philaroma, Square One, Cellar Slammer, and Russian Imperial Stout. Look for Tatamagouche beers at the following licensees: Tide & Boar, Ducky’s, Saint John Ale House, King Street Ale House, Maybee Brewing, and Pepper’s. Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing cans in the province soon…?

 

• There is was a brand-spanking new BetaBrew on tap at the Good Robot taproom; this one was brewed by the brewery’s own Kelly & Jillian. The Ales of Friendship is was a 5.2% ABV British Pale Ale brewed with Maris Otter, Red Wheat, Vienna, and Caramel malts, and features featured the addition of honey and basil from Jillian’s family farm. Hopped with Perle and fermented with a British Ale yeast strain, the beer is described as a well-balanced beer, with a “nice sweetness which isn’t overpowering”, the basil is just present enough so you know it’s there… but aren’t overwhelmed. Unfortunately, GR informed us this morning the beer is already gone, but I’m not about to throw away this beautifully-written post on it!

• Oh, but Good Robot sent us the info on another new beer they’re releasing (thanks?), Dave & Morley, a “Coffee Brown”. Brewed with Pale, Victory, Franco-Belges Kiln Coffee, and Munich Dark malts, as well as some Flaked Oats, and hopped with Magnum and Willamette. A portion of Rwanda Gisuma cold-brewed coffee (from local Bottleneck Coffee) was also added (20 L in a ~2300 L batch), resulting in a wonderful blend of “toast, caramel, and chocolate, with an herbal and coffee finish”. The coffee in particular adds a fruity character, according to the brewery, as well as waffleberries. Look for this 6.3% ABV, 19 IBUs brew to debut early next week.

 

• Wicked week though it be in general, North Brewing may very well take the cake for goings on, with a couple re-releases, a very unique new beer, some extra-special new labels, and a tap takeover to boot! First, Wednesday of this week saw the return of two North beers. On the seasonal front, a December tradition continued with this year’s version of the Glenora Distillery Barrel-aged Strong Dark Belgian Ale, now formally known as Midnight. And in the occasional category, and just in time for the first birthday of Battery Park, the Dartmouth Dark is back, a lagered ale featuring Cannon cold-brew from Anchored Coffee, originally brewed for BP’s opening last year.​

• Next, you’ll find a brand new collaboration between North and Benjamin Bridge. Hinted at back in October by those in the know, Saison de Pinot is a mixed-fermentation beer that leverages 300 litres of must from BB’s pinot noir grapes. This must (sans skins to avoid unpredictable tannin contributions) was added to the beer when fermentation was almost complete, but after it was moved off the lees, giving the brewers maximum control over the blend. The complex inoculation included two Saison strains, with one being a wild isolate, along with a Lacto strain and, if it’s not too much to hope for, possibly some wild critters from the grape must. It comes in at 6.4% ABV and the tasting notes suggest red berry, light rose and hay with a vinous character and a tart dry finish to complement its effervescence. It was bottle conditioned and we’re told it should cellar well, so don’t be afraid to get one for now and one or more for a year or two down the road. North themselves have filled a Benjamin Bridge wine barrel with part of the batch, which they’ll age further before bottling in preparation for Battery Park’s second birthday party in 2017!

• And as if the beers themselves weren’t enough, North is also launching an entirely new look for their bottled offerings, the result of an ongoing project involving five local artists. Six brews will be seen in an entirely new light by early next week (four are in production now, the Farmhouse Red is on the way) with the new Artist Series of labels. Local painter and illustrator Julianne Harnish took on the Priority Pale and Headline Milk Stout. Graphic designer and artist Amy Corbett handled the Dark Sky Strong Dark and Midnight barrel-aged Strong Dark. Jillian Jackson of Jill & Jack Paper designed the new look for Gus’ 65m Ale that, for the observant, reveals shoutouts to many of the businesses in the area the North relies on. And Nicole G, who works in North’s bottle shop, but who is also a textile artist dabbling in watercolours and illustration, produced a new look for the Farmhouse Red Bière de Garde. Lastly, but not leastly, each label includes a short poem by 2011/12 Halifax Poet Laureate and artist/actor/musician/creator Tanya Davis. From now on, when you pick up a bottle of North beer, you’ll be picking up a piece of local art and culture.

• Those of you in the Fredericton area, keep your eyes peeled for a new beer from local brewery Bogtrotter – they’ve just released a small amount of 1/2 Cracked Nut Brown. This rich, full-bodied ale has a “moderate, persisting head” and features a “sweet, nutty-caramel flavour, with a hint of vanilla”, thanks to the addition of sliced almonds, crushed hazelnuts, and real vanilla bean in the fermentor (take note, those of you with nut allergies!). Weighing in at a very-drinkable 5% ABV, you should be able to find this one on tap at the James Joyce and the Hilltop, and will follow in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL stores within a few weeks.

• For fans of Picaroons who have been missing out on all the one-off beer releases at their Saint John General Store lately, good news – they brewed a new beer at their main brewery in Fredericton, which was launched late last week. The Vinyl Cut Black IPA is described as “full-bodied, roasty and hoppy”, taking the approach of blending characteristics of both an American IPA and a Stout. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook, it comes in at 8% ABV and ~90 IBUs. It’s now pouring on tap at the Roundhouse, the Picaroons taproom located at their brewery location in Devon, which opened last Friday. Currently serving pints and counter-service munchies and coffee, they’re not filling growlers for the time being, but should be in the very near future. Look for The Vinyl Cut to be pouring at other local establishments as well, soon.

• St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has released the 2016 edition of their annual Mummer’s Brew beer. 2016’s release is an Imperial Oyster stout, an 8.5% ABV, 50 IBU brew perfect for those cold winter nights of mummering. The base malt is enhanced with Carastan, Roast, and Black Patent malts for a jet-black colour and lots of roast, with a significant bittering charge from Pacific Gem hops. Featuring local adjunct ingredients, including buckwheat honey from G&M Family Farm in Placentia and PEI oysters provided by The Adelaide Oyster House, the beer also features figs, raisins, dates and prunes soaked in Lamb’s Dark Navy Rum added late in the process. Grab the beer on tap at YellowBelly and Adelaide now, with bottles available at the brewery and local NLCs today.

Gahan House Halifax has a new beer on tap, a German hybrid lager/ale Altbier. The 6.0% ABV beer uses some specialty malts for bread-like character and light chocolate notes. The use of Tettnang hops impart their characteristic spicy Noble properties. Grab the Alt on tap or in growlers to go from Gahan today, and check out their line-up of other seasonals including the Tommy’s Chocolate Orange and Night Vision Porter.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has released a new beer with local iconic ingredients throughout. Balsam Blue is a 6.3% ABV lager, featuring the addition of Balsam to the brew, which shines through in both the flavour and aroma. Local blueberries were also added, imparting a light flavour finish to the beer. It is available on tap at the brewery for pints and takeaway (in a fliptop bottle), and can also be found on tap at Grand Banker in Lunenburg and 2 Downs Down in Halifax. And don’t forget to sign up for the Home Brewers Competition, as registration closes next Saturday.

Sober Island Brewing Company has been busy getting their expanded location at Sheet Harbour’s Henley House ready for the delivery of their DME 8 hl (7BBL) brewhouse in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Henley House will be open Thursday-Sunday this week from 4pm, for a few more pints of Christmas cheer. Catch their Oyster StoutBitter, and Mild Ale on tap, and celebrate with Henley’s annual Christmas Tea, Sunday 2-4pm. You can also catch Sober Island at the New Glasgow Farmers Market Saturday 9:00 – 1:00, and the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers Market Sunday 9:00 – 1:00.

Mill Street St. John’s has released a new seasonal this week, Downtownor Doppelbock. Originally brewed for monks to drink during fasting in lent (those tricky monks!), Mill Street’s take on the Doppelbock style resulted in a hefty 7.7% ABV dark lager, which boasts sweet malty and dark fruit flavours, but finishes fairly dry. The lower 24 IBU bitterness means that several can be enjoyed in a session without burning your taste buds. Grab a pint or growler waterside today.

Bulwark Cider is releasing a brand new offering next week, Rum Cider. Their Traditional cider was blended with barrel-aged dark rum to boost the flavour and ABV to the next level. The rum makes its presence felt through spicing and light caramel notes, building on the bright cider base. The 8.8% ABV blend is in the NSLC warehouse now, and will be available at their retail locations next week.

• Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear saved some late-harvest local oranges from the cold this week, and are using them in a special small-batch brew today, which also features local wild hops and malt from Horton Ridge Malt. The yet-unnamed brew will be available in the New Year at their retail and Farmers’ Market locations, as well as select taps in the Valley and HRM.

We’ve got yet another jam-packed weekend in the region. Be sure to check out our Calendar of Events Page for all of the scheduled events in our region, and if we’re missing anything, let us know!

• The tiniest brewery in Halifax is launching this weekend with a pair of pouring parties. Tidehouse will be on tap at Bar Stillwell today from noon, featuring their four core beers (Like a Motorcyc-ale, The Copper, Mild Thing, Golden Glacier), as well as a house-special 5.25% India Saison. And they’ll be doing it all over again at Good Robot tomorrow from noon with the Core Four, and a Spruced Red Ale. Learn more about Tidehouse from our Q&A with them in the summer, and stay tuned for the launch of their retail space, which could be as early as next weekend.

• While at Stillwell today, look for the return of Tideview Cider, with their Hyslop Crab Apple Cider. First introduced in March, the 7.2% ABV still cider will be served from the bartop, and features their own apples.

• As alluded to above, North Brewing will be celebrating their partnership with Battery Park today by kicking off BP’s first birthday weekend with a tap takeover. Those who have been following social media this week already know at least the first three taps and we expect to see the Saison de Pinot there as well. More taps may very well have been posted by the time you read this, so do check out Twitter (@BatteryBeerBar | @NorthBrewing ) and Facebook ( Battery Park Beer Bar | North Brewing Company) for more details. And congratulations to the folks at Battery Park on their first (of hopefully many) birthdays!​

• After plenty of teasing and anticipation, Saturday will mark the Maine Event Tap Takeover at Stillwell, featuring Bissell Brother Brewing and Orono Brewing each bringing 6 beers north to Halifax. From Bissell, expect to see Bucolia, LUX, Reciprocal, Substance, Swish, and Umbra, and OBC will be pouring Amorica, AOK, Dr. Quince, Ozone, Pocatello, and Van Life. Doors open at noon, and while no tickets are required, your $15 entrance fee includes a glass to keep and your first pour. The whole acbb gang will be there, so be sure to say hi!

• There’s a new event being hosted by New Brunswick Beer Tours in the New Year – BEERexploration Downtown Fredericton, on Saturday, January 28th. This 3-1/2 hour walking tour (1:00-4:30 pm) will include stops at several of Fredericton’s best beer-drinking establishments, with a total of six local beers (8 oz each) being poured. The cost of this event is by donation only, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Diabetes Association. If you plan on attending, please register here and make your donation in advance; a tax receipt will follow. Remember, this is a walking tour in January, so dress accordingly!

And a few more things…

– Moncton’s Acadie-Broue has a new beer on tap at their Bar Le Coude location at Universite de Moncton, Kacho Kolsch. The German-influenced hybrid lager/ale is only available on tap, so drop by for a pint.
– Breton Brewing has brought back their seasonal Storm Chaser Vanilla Stout, available on tap at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and in licensees shortly.
– Shelburne’s Boxing Rock‘s U-889 Russian Imperial Stout is now available, with bottles at the brewery and hitting the shelves of the private stores shortly. Featuring coffee and vanilla, this is a perfect beer for sharing with friends around a cozy fire.
Petit-Sault has brewed up a fresh batch of their Canon Franchetti, a “Cappuccino Stout” (4.6% ABV, 25 IBUs) brewed with organic and fair trade coffee beans; look for its return sometime in January, with more details on distribution to follow, soon.
Red Rover‘s popular blueberry cider, Jingle Berry (7% ABV), is back just in time for the holidays; even better news, it’s now available at local ANBL stores in bottle form (750 mL).
River Valley Micro has a new beer, Rye Pale Ale, available exclusively on tap at the James Joyce Pub these days. At 6.1% ABV, it features light spicing from the aforementioned malt, and some citrus aromatics.
– Speaking of James Joyce, they recently tapped a special collaboration braggot, Axius Clay. At 7.5% ABV, it features a mixture of Honey Ale and Queen’s Nectar from Big Axe Brewery and Sunset Heights Meadery, respectively. It carbonated naturally in the cask over the course of several weeks, and the experiment was a glowing success. Expect to see more collaborations from these Fredericton-region producers in the future.
– And this evening at 6:00, JJ will be tapping the first casks of the Moosehead beers on the premises, including a Gingerbread Ale, and their popular Cask Ale, an English-style Bitter.

You wouldn’t know it by the weather in much of the region, but winter is theoretically on its way and we’re starting to see some seasonal brews in that vein released here on the East Coast. At the same time, there’s plenty of non-seasonal action in the ten-plus brand new beers announced, the craft scene continues grow with another brewery opening it’s doors in New Brunswick, and there’s lots of beer-related news to share and events in the offing. Here’s this week’s attempt to tell you everything you need to know about craft beer in Atlantic Canada.

• Congratulations are in order as Foghorn Brewing in Rothesay officially opens their doors today. Located at 47 Clark Road, immediately adjacent to the CrossFit gym, Foghorn is serving samples, pints, and growlers of five brand new beers, including The Yellow Dart Session IPA (3.9% ABV), Golden Grover British Golden Ale (5.0% ABV), Brian Stout (5.0% ABV), Constable Winchester IPA (6.5%), and Old Forte Winter Warmer (6.5%). Their opening hours are 10-10 daily. For those who want to sit and enjoy a few pints, outside food is welcome, and can be ordered for delivery on-site (using the authentic restored 1950s era payphone). For those in NB, but not *quite* close enough to visit, look for kegs to hit local bars and restaurants late next week. For the latest news, be sure to follow their Facebook and Twitter pages. Check out our Profile of them, published in October.

• Following the maxim that when opportunity knocks one should open the door wide, Boxing Rock recently found themselves saying yes to a batch of malt from local malthouse Horton Ridge that hadn’t proceeded as scheduled due to a power interruption. Assessing this malt as reminiscent of a more rustic, homegrown Pilsner, the next step was to source hops to compliment its biscuity, bready flavour. Enter Clear Valley Hops with both Wild Turkey, a native Ontario variety and Crystal, an American hop with noble German lineage through the Hallertauer family tree. The Wild Turkey brings a smooth bittering profile along with an herbal and floral aroma that matches well with the fruit from this Ontario-grown Crystal. The resultant beer, dubbed Kilnus Interruptus was brewed in the American Pale Ale style at 5.5% ABV. It will be available on tap at select accounts in Halifax, in bottles at all of the private liquor stores in Halifax, in growlers at Boxing Rock’s stalls at the Halifax and Dartmouth farmers markets and, of course, at the brewery retail store in Shelburne. Only one batch of this irreproducible brew has been made, so you’ll want to act fast if you’d like a taste!

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is releasing a new beer this weekend, branching out the variety of their offerings. Grumpy Cranberry Orange Sour is a 3.8% Kettle Sour beer, featuring loads of orange zest in the boil, and further aged on home-made cranberry sauce. To get you up to speed, Kettle Sours are a style of beer heavily inspired by the Berliner Weisse of Northern Germany. Usually featuring wheat malt as a significant portion of the grist, the low ABV and light-bodied beer features a distinctive acidic character from lactic acid. Lactobacillus bacteria are responsible for producing the acid, and are added to the wort in one of several ways: as a pure pitch from a yeast company; via un-mashed grain added to the wort (Lacto is commonly found on raw barley grain); or through Lacto-containing cultures, including yogurt. After addition of the bacteria, the wort is kept warm while the pH lowers, usually to 3.5 or lower (standard beer is in the pH 5 range). Once complete, the beer is heated/boiled to kill the Lacto, and then cooled and further fermented with a more traditional ale or lager yeast. For more beer learnin’, check out Milk the Funk, a resource for commercial and homebrewers alike. Drop by Roof Hound on Saturday, November 19th for the release, with the beer flowing at 9pm, and Tide & Timbre playing a set starting at 10pm.

• PEI’s BarNone has a couple of new beers in the pipeline: first up is SMaSH Ella, a single-malt-and-single-hop beer featuring – you guessed it – Ella, an Australian hop varietal. This relatively-new hop is known for “distinct tropical flavours”, especially when used in the dry-hop, which it definitely was with this brew. Very pale-coloured, it’s easy-drinking at just 4.2% ABV and 23 IBUs; look for it on tap around the Island this weekend. Next is BarNone’s first take on the Extra Special Bitter style, which has been a frequent request by fans of the brewery. Bitter Winter ESB features a grist made up mainly of floor-malted barley from Nova Scotia’s Horton Ridge, and was hopped with U.K. varieties. Fermented, interestingly enough, with an Abbey-style yeast strain, the beer weighs in at 5.6% ABV and 36 IBUs. This one was just brewed recently, so look for it on tap in a couple of weeks.

• The winter beers continue to trickle in, as Flying Boats is releasing their newest seasonal, Fireside Friend, which is their take on the Winter Warmer style. A full-bodied ale exhibiting plenty of malt character, expect flavours of caramel, nuts, and molasses. Further-complemented with the additional of spices such as cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, cloves, and peeled ginger, this is naturally a bigger beer, weighing in at 7.1% ABV and 32 IBUs. This one is going to be available on tap only; expect to see it any day now at the following locations: the Tide & Boar, James Joyce Irish Pub, Graystone, Saint John Ale House, and Ducky’s Pub.

• Taking a left-turn from the winter beers, Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has released Langered Stook, a “Hoppy Half Wit”. Brewed in the Hopfenweisse style (which originated between a collaboration between Schneider and Brooklyn Brewery), it features Belgian Witbier and German Hefeweizen characteristics, with a healthy dose of hops. In this case, lots of late and dry-hop additions of AmarilloCitraEl Dorado, and Mandarina Bavaria, which themselves display notes of fruit and citrus, are enhanced by fermentation using the Fruity Witbier yeast from Escarpment Labs. At 4.8% ABV and 43 IBUs, this isn’t your Uncle Dieter’s Hefe! Look for it on tap in HRM at Battery Park, Lion & Bright and Stillwell, as well as at the Big Spruce and Breton Brewing co-Tap Takeover at Governor’s Pub after Saturday’s Cape Breton Beer Fest.

Picaroons has announced the details on their latest one-off release at their General Store in Saint John – Cranberry Wheat is just as the name suggests, an American Wheat Ale brewed with real cranberries, sourced from Sunberry Cranberry Producers out of Maugerville, NB. Described by the brewery as “sweet, smooth, and just a tiny bit of tart”, it’s quite sessionable at 4.2% ABV. Available on tap now, for a limited time.

• Tuesday of this week saw a new beer available on tap at Yellowbelly Brewery in St. John’s. On the face of it, Labrador Lager is vaguely reminiscent of last year’s Oktoberfest, the brewery’s first lager, which was a festbier made with Pilsen, Munich and Vienna malts and Styrian Goldings and Saphir hops. The Labrador replaces the Vienna with Caramunich, which will bring additional body and some sweetness, and substitutes Super Styrian hops for the Styrian Goldings while featuring “a ton” of the Saphir to bring a sweet citrus character. Billed as 6.5% ABV and in the Helles Bock style, it’s been lagering for weeks now and should be well-balanced and integrated.

• Hot on the heels of last week’s Danko SMaSH comes another new offering from Unfiltered Brewing, this time a devious-sounding DIPA with specs that may very well give prospective hop-lovers a slight pause. Listed at a massive 10% ABV and a typically NASH-ian 100+ IBU, this beer has been aged on white oak for 8 weeks or so and apparently displays none of the warning signs you’d normally detect from such a powerful brew, so they put it in the name. Warning Label is available starting today at the brewery and next door at Charm School for pints and growler fills. Whatever happens, you will not be able to say that you were not warned.

• Those crazy kids at Good Robot Brewing Company are releasing a new beer today: Extra BIG-ASS Beer – Camacho Lager is an amber malty lager in the European style, somewhere in the vicinity of a Märzen or Oktoberfest. The malt bill features Vienna, 2-row, coffee and smoked malts, with some flaked oats to enhance the mouthfeel. On the hops side it marries two varieties developed and released in the 1970s, the German Perle, known for a floral and spicy character, and the American Willamette, which features fruity and floral notes. A true lager, it is bready on the nose and the palate, with prominent roasted flavours, some lingering spice, and a crisp, dry finish. At 5.2% ABV and 24 IBU, it’s gluten-reduced and should be quite crushable. You’ll be able to find its ample hindquarters today at the Good Robot taproom.

• Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is releasing the latest in their Cellar Series today, a Rum Barrel-Aged version of their Honey Lavender. The base beer, produced with lavender grown at Meander River, and wildflower honey, spent several months in Ironworks Distillery barrels, taking on loads of rum and wood character, as well as a few points of alcohol, with this version weighing in at 11.0% ABV (the non-barrelled is 6.5% ABV). Grab a bottle or two (this beer is perfect for aging) at the brewery today, as it is in high demand and short supply!

• Today is the release of Episode 1 of the 902 BrewCast podcast. Kyle, Phil and Tony sit down with Peter Burbridge and Josh Herbin of North Brewing to learn more about how they got to where they are, and what’s next for the brewery. Sharing some beers and chatting beer, sounds like a great way to spend your hour commute home today. Subscribe to the podcast here, iTunes and Google Play links are coming shortly. *Maybe wait until you’re home to crack open that Wiley Boys II.*

As we pass the half-way point of the month, there are plenty of great events coming up on our radar. Here are a select few that we can cram in today:

• New Brunswick-based band (and hop farmers) Earthbound Trio are embarking on a Maritimes Brewery tour today. Starting at Upstreet Nov 18, they will be at the Big Spruce/Breton Brewing after-party November 19th, and Roof Hound Brewing Nov 22nd. There are a few more stops during and after these dates, be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest information.

Cape Breton Beer Fest is tomorrow November 19th, at the Sydney Cruise Terminal (aka The Big Fiddle). It will serve as the official launch of Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Pours of their Table BeerWild NE IPA, and 100% Brett Fermented Golden Ale, all produced on their pilot system, will be available to thirsty attendees. Sober Island Brewing will be debuting their British IPA at the Fest, as well as a cask of their Mild Ale, plus a bevvy of brand new beers mentioned here (and not)… Tickets are still available, and check out the brewery list here.

Salvatore’s Pizza is hosting a two-day tap (and kitchen) takeover by Unfiltered Brewing November 22 and 23, the Garlic & Hops Tastebud Take-Down. Featuring a handful of Unfiltered taps, as well as Greg Nash-smoked brisket, NashBomb sausages from Getaway Butcher Shop, plus plenty of treats and surprises. Be sure to drop by to take part in the fun!

Uncle Leo‘s will be launching a brand new beer November 23rd, Sunburst Pale Ale. The 5.5% ABV golden amber brew is reminiscent of a Sunburst guitar, and hits “all of the right notes”, according to the collaborators Dave Gunning, JP Cormier & Jamie Robinson. Drop by Piper’s for a glass of the beer (from a special cask double dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe) and appetizers. Tickets are $20, and available at Uncle Leo’s (by phone or in person), and are limited to only 60, so act today! Find out more on their FB page.

• The Saint John Ladies Beer Club has announced their next meet-up, being held next Friday, November 25th. Drop by Big Tide Brewing at 7:00 PM for an intro talk on the beer-making process, and meet with fellow ladies who are also enjoying the burgeoning Saint John beer scene. There is no cover to attend (pay as you go for food and beer), but please do pre-register so the organizers know how many attendees to expect.
• Tickets for the 5th Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival officially go on sale next Friday, November 25th, at 11 am. Like last year, the festival itself will be just one part of a weeklong series of events, being held from March 6th-12th, 2017. The beer festival will take place on Saturday, March 11th, with McInnes Cooper returning as the presenting sponsor. If you’re planning on attending (and why wouldn’t you be?), please get your tickets early – they regularly go very quickly, with VIP tickets in particular selling out in about an hour. We’ll have plenty of details on the week of events as March approaches!
Upstreet will be hosting a tap takeover at Charlottetown’s Hopyard, next Friday, November 25th. HopUp will begin at 6 pm and continue until close, with all ten taps belonging to tasty Upstreet brews… including a special release brewed specifically for the tap takeover. Upstreet is calling this one a SMaTH SIPL; no, we don’t have a lisp… that’s a “Single Malt and Triple-Hopped Session India Pale Lager”. Brewed with Maritime 2-row malt and hopped with New Brunswick-grown Columbus, Chinook and Nugget, it comes in at 4.5% and 45 IBUs, and is described as “clean, crisp, dank and piney”; the name will be released when the beer is! In addition to all the beer, Hopyard’s Chef Jane has concocted an Upstreet-inspired menu for all your solid-food needs, and the Upstreet staff will be spinning their favourite records all evening.
• Living in Fredericton and looking for something to do with the kids next Saturday, November 26th? Look no more – Crayons n’ Beer is scheduled to take place at the King Street Ale House from 2:00-4:00 pm! This family-friendly event is the brain-child of those behind the FCBF, and features activities for both your child (colouring) and you (colouring and drinking beer!). Colouring sheets and other materials will be provided (although feel free to bring your own as well), and each adult will be treated to two flights of beer. In addition, Red Rover‘s Adam Clawson will do a live reading of one of the best children’s books in modern times, The Day the Crayons Quit. Attendance is by donation (suggested is $20 per adult), with all proceeds going to Team Diabetes (tax receipts will be provided). If you plan on attending, you must donate and register in advance.

• Next weekend, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers -Atlantic Chapter is offering the first module of their Certified Beer Professional Program. November 26 and 27, 10:00-3:00 on both days at the Prince George Hotel. Garrison Brewing’s Brewmaster Daniel Girard will lead attendees through lectures laying out the history, production, styles and service of beer, giving students the knowledge base necessary to take and pass the Certified Beer Server exam from Cicerone. The course includes a textbook, tour of Garrison, tasting of several beers, and the cost and facilitation of the exam. Find out more details, and sign up today!

• A reminder that next weekend is the Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge, where homebrewers from across the Maritimes are competing to produce the best Dark Mild, Double IPA, and Experimental Sour. For those entrants who haven’t already mailed in their registration form, or dropped off their beer (at Big Spruce, or with Chris), be sure to reach out today to organize that! And we’ll see you at Wooden Monkey on November 27th for the party and announcement.

• After a brilliantly successful BrewBot takeover by Keith Forbes on Tuesday, the fine folks at Good Robot have invited the next homebrew crew to invade. On December 2nd, Bráthair Brewing will be taking over the taps with six beers, including their Stillwell Open-winning Kissed by Elvis Double IPA, 3 Scots & a Frenchman Scottish ale with Saison yeast, and Daughter of Sin Double IPA with only whirlpool hops. Check out the video to learn a bit more about the Brothers in (Beer) Arms, and drop by that Friday for some well-crafted beer.

• One of the first brewery Christmas parties was announced earlier this week, with Maybee Brewing confirming theirs to take place on Saturday, December 10th. Shake the Shivers will be a semi-formal event, and should begin around 7 pm. Lots of beer will be on tap for purchase, live music will start at 8pm and will be playing throughout the night, and Milda’s Pizzas & More will be on-hand to make sure you don’t go hungry. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12, and will also be available at the door for $20; this price includes the use of a shuttle from 12:30-1:30 am, which will take you downtown to the Tannery, where you can continue your party!

• Details are now available for Stillwell’s Mikkeller Tap Takeover. With two dozen beers coming, it is far too epic for just one weekend (or month!), so they will be holding Part 1 of the Danish Invasion December 17th, and Part 2 January 14th. Mark your calendars now for a blast of innovative collaborative beers coming your way. And in the meantime, drop by this Sunday, November 20th for their Third Anniversary Party, and December 10th for the Bissell Brothers/Orono Brewing Tap Takeover.

Just a few more things today…

– Truro’s Nook and Cranny has a new Pale Ale hitting the taps, one dry-hopped with New Zealand’s Motueka. The crisp and clean beer is 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs.
Sea Level has released the 2016 version of Crossing Muddy Waters Brown Ale. This year’s batch features Horton Ridge Malt in the grist, and weighs in at 5.5% ABV. Available now in cans and growler fills.
– Congratulations to Tidehouse Brewing on their inaugural brews last weekend! Look for these to be available to the public late this month/early December.
TrailWay‘s Rype (5% ABV) – a rye-APA hopped with lots of Citra, Comet, and Mosaic – will be featured in this weekend’s ANBL growler program, where it will be available for fills at all five non-Fredericton growler locations (hey, it’s only fair that they spread the love a little!).
– Uncle Leo’s is looking for a part-time production worker, involved in all aspects of the brewing and packaging process, as well as retail customer service. Usual operating hours are Tuesday to Saturday, with the highest need being Thursday through Saturday. Previous brewery experience will be given preference, but is not necessary. Reach out to them on Facebook, or via email.
– Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing has debuted a new beer this week, Burning Rock Red. This 4.5% ABV & 25 IBU is available at the brewery and tap room for pints, and crowler fills to go.
– The family of private beer stores Cristall Wine Merchants, Harvest Wines and Spirits, and RockHead Wine and Beer Market are releasing the “Merry Maritimer’s Christmas Craft Beer Countdown”. Featuring 24 beer and cider from across the Maritimes, with products from Breton, Boxing Rock, Bulwark Cider, Garrison, Nine Locks, Picaroons, Propeller, Spindrift, Tatamagouche, and Upstreet. Pre-order your $125 now, for pick up November 25th.

Happy Friday folks! Before you bolt out the door to don your costume and drink beer straight from a pumpkin, check out the latest beers and events in our region this week.

Good Robot released a new beer earlier this week, the name of which is almost as hard to type as it is to say – HFXtraterrestrials StankoniAle (God bless copy and paste!). Described by the brewery as a “fruity wheat with southern heat”, think of it as a spicy Berliner Weisse. The grist is composed simply of Wheat and Pilsner malt, with a bit of Acidulated malt thrown in to lower the pH. Hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace, further additions of lemon zest, orange zest, and red Thai chilies help round out both the aroma and flavour with more fruit characteristics, as well as heat. This golden, hazy, effervescent beer was launched on Wednesday during their Player’s Ball event, accompanied by music, soul food, and classic cars. Super-sessionable at just 4% ABV, it’s still on tap now at the brewery taproom; you’ll likely see it across the HRM this weekend as well. Be sure to check our Events listing below for GR’s busy weekend.

• There’s a brand new beer on tap at the Big Tide brewpub, ALTar MatrimoniAle, which was brewed with Uncorked Tours‘ own Gilliane Nadeau earlier this month. Launched at Nadeau’s engagement party at the brewpub, it’s an Altbier that was lagered for a short while, in order to mimic how the beer style was originally brewed when it originated in Germany. Amber-coloured, and drinkable in quantity at 4.8% ABV and 42 IBUs, featuring Pale Ale and Caramunich malts, with Noble hops for a well-balanced brew. The beer is available for pints and growlers now, and will be making a return next summer to celebrate Nadeau’s wedding.

TrailWay has brought back Good Aura, hitting taps earlier this week. This hoppy Amber Ale was originally brewed in honour of Aura, the beloved dog of Dan Mason, TrailWay’s co-brewer and co-owner, a rescue pup from the Fredericton SPCA. The beer has a grist with multiple malts, including Crystal, Munich and Rye, giving it an amber-coloured (and, of course, hazy!) appearance. Hopped with plenty of Mosaic and Summit, this 7% ale combines the best-of-both-worlds from both the American Amber and American IPA styles. Every time Good Aura is brewed, TrailWay will make a donation to the Fredericton SPCA.

• Up on the Rock this week, YellowBelly Brewery has released a variation on their tried and true namesake Pale Ale. Normally kettle hopped with Nugget, Cluster, and Super Styrians and then dry-hopped with Ahtanum to accentuate piney, floral and citrus notes, this batch is solely smashed with Mosaic (HBC 369) hops from start to finish, yielding heavy resinous, piney, tropical and citrusy flavours. Beautifully described by Brewmaster Liam McKenna himself with the note, “Smells like a frisky ocelot in a pine forest eating a massive tropical and citrus fruit salad,” it has all the hallmarks of the original (a sessionable 4.5% and a reasonable 40 IBU). Speaking of the original, we are assured that the standard YellowBelly Pale Ale will continue to be served alongside this batch, but for those with a nose for the modern, dank, citrus and tropical mashup that is Mosaic, it’s available now in the pub and hopefully next week in bottles.

• The new, experimental beers continue to roll out of the General Store, the Picaroons Saint John headquarters. Now on tap is The Power’s Out Pumpkin Ale, brewed in “honour” of the frequent power issues the location has experienced since opening. Brewed with real pumpkin and “healthy, though not overwhelming” amounts of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, this is quite-sessionable take on the Pumpkin Ale style, weighing in at just 4.7% ABV. As with their other special releases, this is available on tap only at the General Store, and for a very limited time, so drop by for your taste ASAP!

• As we mentioned last week, check the taps, and shelves, for a bevvy of returning favourites from Tatamagouche this week: Blue Bales, their Blueberry Wheat returns with the harvest berries, resulting in a softer and sweeter finish than the earlier batch; Full Circle American Wheat, first brewed last year with help from the crew at Field Guide, featuring Tata’s own Cascade hops, aided by some late Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria for a big candied citrus aroma; and Ging’ Sync: Rye, Rye, Rye, brewed with more than 5 kg of ginger in the kettle and hopback to complement the Horton Ridge Malt Rye used in the grain bill. Growler fills and cans of all three are available now at the brewery, and these will be showing up on the taps around HRM this weekend.

• Nackawic’s Big Axe Brewery has released a new beer this weekend, a Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout. Modeled after the favourite Hallowe’en (and year-round) peanut butter and chocolate cup treat, this 5.2% ABV beer has a lighter body than their Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, with a nice caramel malt and ligth roast, with the addition of lactose gives a slightly sweeter flavour, giving a nice base to the significant PB aroma and flavour. Actual Reese cups were added to the brew, as well as dark chocolate. It will be available in Fredericton at Isaac’s Way and the James Joyce pub, and a single keg heading to Cask and Kettle in Saint John. And for those who make the trip to Nackawic, those who show up in costume this weekend will receive a 10% discount on pints.

Garrison Brewing is launching a pair of beers this weekend. Returning for the season, just in time for International Stout Day on Nov 3, is Martello Stout. Weighing in at 5.0% ABV and 30 IBUs, it features lots of roast, chocolate and coffee characteristics. Available at the brewery now, and at the NSLC and private stores shortly. The second launch of the day is Test Batch – Code Name: Juicy. This 8.0% Double IPA features a tons of CitraElla, and Mosaic hops, to the tune of 75 IBUs, for a floral and fruity blast from these special varietals. This test batch is only available in 650 ml bottles at the brewery now.

• And in upcoming brewery news, Half Cocked Brewing has jumped onto the scene in North Grant, NS, near Antigonish. Local brothers Dave and Greg Oicle, together with partners Matt Thomson and Ryan MacPherson, will set up on an old chicken farm (hence the name…), which they have already prepped to begin growing hops in the spring. Long time homebrewers, they are currently working with a Sabco Brew-Magic system, a favourite for small and pilot breweries in our region. Follow along on their progress toward opening in the spring on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll grab the full scoop from them closer to launch.

Check out these events happening this weekend, and in the near future:

• Happening right now, is the inaugural brewday for the Gander Homebrew Club. Spearheaded by Sam Newman, one of the principals of the in-development Scudrunner Brewing, and David Jerrett, the group and event are a way for local beer enthusiasts to get together and share their love of the hobby. Brewers, and fans, of all skill and interest level are encouraged to drop by to meet, lend a hand, and make plans for future brewdays (and the beer nights that follow). More details can be found at their FB event page, and you can reach out via Twitter to find the location details. And look for Scudrunner to launch their brewery in Gander in Spring 2017.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Irish Pub has an exciting new addition to their 20+ tap lines – cask ale! They’re officially launching the option of purchasing “cask ale” – beer that is packaged in a pin or firkin before fermentation is complete, allowing it to finish and carbonate in the cask from which it will be served. It is usually less-carbed than kegged beer, and served via hand pump. To celebrate the addition to their lineup, they are holding an event tonight, starting at 5:00 pm. A couple of special Maybee Brewing casks will be on, their Work Horse IPA and Stone House Tripel, both of which have been aging with Brettanomyces yeast. The pub plans to run casks on a daily basis, once a steady supply starts trickling in. There’s no cover to attend tonight, just show up and pay by the glass! And be sure to drop by Maybee’s spot Saturday after 6:00 pm for live music, and the launch of their Top Secret Hallowe’en beer, Give up the Gose, a 4.5 % ABV German-style sour, brewed with coriander and sea salt, with a unique twist of Chocolate Wheat malt for an unexpected dark appearance.

• After a busy inaugural summer season, the Port Rexton Brewing tap room will closing this weekend. To ensure they cap the season in style, they are holding a Hallowe’en Bash October 29th. Show up in your best costume at 7pm, and party the night away at your friendly local taproom. And for those making the trip from Town, there are a pair of nearby spots still open for the season, where you can rest your head. Fishers’ Loft (with whom they brewed the Gardener’s Gose) is nearby for your accommodation needs, as is Sherwood Suites. And fear not, PR fans, with the tap room closing, that just means more opportunities to grab a pint in town. Keep an eye on their social media to see when and where their next kegs will drop!

• Halifax’s Good Robot are holding a series of events this weekend to celebrate Hallowe’en as well.
FridayElectric Circuit Party, 10:00 pm. Retro dance party to kick off the weekend.
SaturdayJack-o-Lantern Contest, 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Drop by with your pre-carved pumpkins (or other gourd, veggie, or fruits) between noon and 6 for your chance at some prizes.
N̶o̶t̶ your Granny’s Halloween Party, 7:00pm. Cheesey Costume party and contest, Rinaldo’s sandwiches, and Black Buffalo Records spinning tunes.
Take Sunday off to recover, and then…
MondayEverything’s Fine: An Interactive Halloween Show, 6:00pm. This ticketed event is sold out, but the doors will be open to the public at 10pm. Black Sheep Restaurant will be serving food onsite.

• Those within striking distance of the Metro Halifax area are reminded of the Battery Park Beer Bar’s second tap takeover, this time featuring Boxing Rock Brewing Co., happening in Dartmouth on Thursday, November 3rd. It will feature familiar favourites, fondly-remembered (or possibly forgotten) brews from seasons past and some brand new bangers. You’ll definitely be seeing the return of Hop Springs Eternal White IPA, created as an entry for this year’s Black Box Challenge competition, Over the Top, the Cranberry Sour from this summer and For the Love of Grimace, the Blueberry Berliner Weiss collaboration with Big Spruce Brewing. Rumor has it you’ll also see a brand new collaboration between Battery Park and Boxing Rock, in the form of an India Brown Ale. Plenty more taps are yet to be announced, keep an eye on social media (especially @BatteryBeerBar and @boxingrockbeer) for more tap reveals as the date approaches.

Schoolhouse Brewery is continuing their First Thursday Growler Evening next Thursday, November 3rd, 5 to 9 pm. They will be giving tours of their new facility at 40 Water Street in Windsor, adjacent to the TAN Coffee. Check out their progress, and grab a growler while you’re there!

• Next weekend, on Sunday, November 6th, the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards Dinner & Gala will take place at the Stubborn Goat Gastropub. This is the culmination of the ACBA event and a chance to rub shoulders with both your favourite brewers as well, no doubt, as a few of the region’s beer cognoscenti as they converge for a multi-course dinner expertly paired with some of the region’s award-winning beers. The event starts at 6pm with dinner served at seven. Tickets for the event are $88.50 per person (which includes gratuity, but not taxes and fees, which run about $20 more). Whether you’re up for the gala or not, we’d like to remind everyone of your chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award for the top beer and top cider in the region for 2016. The list has been kept to those beers and ciders entered in the friendly competition, otherwise it would probably top out at 1000 different different offerings.

• The Inaugural Cape Breton Beer Fest is happening November 19th at the Cruise Terminal in Sydney. There will be thirteen breweries and cider houses from around the province in attendance for the Afternoon (2:00 to 4:30 pm) or Evening sessions (7:00 to 9:30 pm, with VIP tickets available for 6:00 pm entry). Grab your tickets online today.

• The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers – Atlantic Canada is holding a few beer courses in Halifax in the coming months. They are holding a Certified Beer Professional Course November 26th and 27th, preparing students to pass the online Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam. An introduction to the history, production, styles, and service of beer. Perfect for professional sales agents, hospitality professionals, or budding enthusiasts. Register online, or email for details. And keep an eye on their Beer Courses page, as they are adding to their portfolio all the time.

A few more parting shots before we sign off this week:

– After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered has once again released their very popular Double Orange Ale (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs), a SMaSH beer featuring 2-row malt and Citra hops; currently on tap for fills and pints at Charm School, and finer beer bars/restaurants in the HRM and beyond.
ANBL Growler stations are featuring a wide array of beers from Garrison, Pump House and breweries from outside the region this week. And they have recently expanded their growler filling station to include Moncton North, located at 1866 Mountain Rd, bringing the count to six locations. Look for their expansion to continue to more locations, as the growler program has certainly been a hit for the ANBL, breweries, and drinkers alike.
Sober Island Brewing‘s Kickstarter campaign is entering its final week, giving you just a few more chances to be a part of their expansion, while grabbing some swag for yourself. Be sure to take part today! Keep an eye on their social media pages to keep abreast of their new brewing location at Henley House.
– Local musicians Dave Gunning, JP Cormier & Jamie Robinson dropped by Uncle Leo’s Brewery this week, and brewed up a new Pale Ale, named Sunburst. Look for more details ahead of its launch mid-November.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How about some upcoming events to get you inspired?

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

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

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

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