Happy Friday, beer buddies! Time for another Friday Wrap-Up…
• The PEI Beer Festival is only two weeks away (Sept. 6th and 7th)! We’re partnering with the PEI Brewing Co. to put on a contest for 2 VIP tickets to the festival, through Twitter. All you have to do is take a picture of one of the 75 beers that will be poured at the festival (check the list here) and post it on Twitter, with the hashtag #PEIBeerFest. The winning photo will be selected by the PEI Brewing Co., and we will announce the winner Monday through our Twitter account. Good luck, everyone! Also check back for a full post with all of the details on the Fest early next week.
• Earlier this week, Grimross Brewing released their fourth beer in downtown Fredericton. “Bayard Belgian Blond” comes in at 7% ABV, and has a lot of fruitiness and spiciness to complement its Belgian character. Brewed using the same hops as the recent “Ben’s Bitter Pale Ale”, it’s also fermented with the same yeast strain, but comes across as a sweeter, less bitter beer that is “approachable, with lots of flavor”, according to brewer Stephen Dixon. It’s currently available in 750 mL growlers at the Picaroons Brewtique.
• Meanwhile, Shiretown is also releasing a new beer… the “Black Currant Bitter Wheat” is brewed with their “base wheat recipe” and local black currants, according to brewer Derek Leslie. With an ABV of 5%, it will be available only at the brewery for growler fills, for a very limited time. The launch will be next Thursday, so hurry over if you’re in the area!
• More new beer! Halifax brewpub Rogues Roost has a pair of new beers available on tap: a light and refreshing Blueberry Wheat (their first ever of this style), and a 6% Baltic Porter, with notes of smoke and chocolate. Both are also available in growlers to go, but enjoying the beer on their street-level patio on one of our few-remaining summer days is a good idea too.
• In support of the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, Picaroons will be re-releasing their “Upstream Ale” for a limited time. Described as a “crisp and clean golden ale”, it has a sessionable ABV of 4.5%, and should be available in ANBL stores by early September. Twenty-five cents from every bottle purchased will go towards the ASCF.
• Greg Nash, has released another new beer in town. Hop Candy II, on tap now at the Hart & Thistle, is a 6.5% IPA, hopped at 3.6lbs/bbl with Centennial, Cascade and Falconer’s Flight. As with most hop-forward beers, the younger the beer the better, as the flavour and aroma can drop off significantly over time.
• What a busy week for new beer releases! And with hop harvest arriving soon in the Atlantic Region, we’ll be seeing some special beers coming through the pipeline soon. If you are in the Cabot Trail area today, drop by Big Spruce as they pick hops from their field and brew up a ~6% Harvest IPA. They are using the wet hops (picked minutes before use, only having to travel feet from field to brewery) continuously in the mash tun, kettle and a hopback. It should be a fun day out!
• Originally available only at Marky’s Laundromat, Celtic Knot Brewing beers will now be available at another location in Moncton. As of this week, The Tide & Boar Gastropub will begin pouring a rotating selection of Celtic Knot beers (based on availability), including their Hopicide IPA and “Not Joe Average” Pale Ale, as well as future releases such as the Loki Black IPA, Robert the Spruce, and Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout.
• Yesterday, Barnone Brewing had something special for those dropping in for their weekly Thursday growler fill from 6-8 pm – an opportunity to touch and smell their glorious hops! Barnone has been growing hops all season which are just about ready to be harvested for use in brewing, so they graciously allowed customers to experience up-front what fresh hops look, smell, and feel like.
• After we spotted a teaser picture of some excavation work posted on their Facebook page, we contacted Meander River Farm for an update on their upcoming brewery. Alan Bailey was kind enough to get us up to speed with their current situation: after four months of waiting on the NS Dept. of Environment, they will be able to operate as a farm-based microbrewery. Hooray! They will be brewing on a 3 barrel system, focusing on American-style Ales, using hops and other products from their 186 acre property (including honey and lavender, which, along with their hops, have all been used in Garrison beers). They plan to be selling beer by December, and we will certainly be keeping you up-to-date with all of the news! One exciting plan of theirs is to offer CSB (community-supported brewery) shares, similar to the CSA shares popular in the province. This allows for a more personal connection between the consumer and farmer/brewer.
• And more great news for beer lovers in Nova Scotia: as mentioned in our profile in June, the Antigonish Townhouse is ready to serve up their in-house-made beer! They’ve been working hard on perfecting the recipe and techniques, and even harder on getting all of the licensing and legal stuff in place. Within the next week or so, they will be serving it exclusively at the pub. A cask-conditioned English Bitter brewed with 2-Row, Crystal and a touch of Black and Flaked malt, the beer clocks in at 4.5%. The 42 IBU beer uses Challenger for bittering, and great English hops East Kent Goldings and Fuggles for flavour and aroma (including Fuggles for dry-hopping). The only thing this beer is missing is a name, which is where you come in! Send them a message on Twitter or Facebook with your suggestion for a name, and you could win a prize! It probably helps to be able to taste it first, but I have faith you folks can come up with some great names. We’ll let you know the moment the beer hits the hand pump!
• It’s still months away until the second annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (March 8th, 2014), but a new website has just been launched for the event. Keep an eye on the site (and this blog) for details on the festival, and follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on breweries, beers, ticket availability, and more. They might be making some changes to the fest format, so weigh in to let them know what you think!
Lots of beer news this week… hopefully the trend continues! Have a great weekend!