All posts for the month August, 2014

Good morning! As August comes to an end and the long weekend begins, beer news in our region has slowed down… but only slightly. Let’s get right into what’s going on in our region!

Picaroons is releasing a new beer next week, their first Double IPA! Selection Double IPA is brewed with no less than seven hop varieties: Pride of Ringwood, Bramling Cross, Cascade, Orbit, Galaxy, Sorachi Ace, and Slovenian. Coming in at around 80 IBUs and 7.9% ABV, this new beer will be released next Thursday, Sept. 4th for growler fills only, at the Brewtique when it opens. It will also be a part of the ANBL pilot program for growler fills; no word yet if this will be at all three ANBL stores participating in the program, or just the Prospect Street location.

• Distribution for Brasseurs du Petit-Sault is expanding, as one of their two inaugural beers, Tante Blanche (a Witbier) is now available at ANBL stores in Fredericton (York St. location), Dieppe (Régis St.), and Moncton (Vaughn Harvey Blvd.). Also, their Belgian Blonde, Bob LeBoeuf, should be following at the same locations sometime next week. Look for both beers to continue to make their way across the province; we’ll be sure to keep you updated as to their availability.

• Speaking of Petit-Sault, they’re currently hiring for the position of Sales and Marketing Rep. Are you in good physical shape, bilingual (a must for the position), and want to hang out with a very friendly staff (we can attest to this)? Well, now’s your chance! The position includes ordering, promotional events, ongoing relationships with bars/restaurants and ANBL stores, making deliveries, rotating inventory, etc. If you’re interested, send your resume to them via email, no later than September 5th. More info on the position is available here.

• And while on the topic of job-hunting, Garrison is also looking to fill some part-time positions at their retail store and promotional events in Halifax. If you’re hard-working and enthusiastic (read: love craft beer), send a resume via email to Jeff Green ASAP.

• With the grand opening of the new Gahan House location on the Halifax waterfront approaching, the Ladies Beer League is holding a special sneak peek on Monday, Sept. 8th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. During this time, ticket-holders will be given a “Beer 101” and introduction to Gahan’s expansion to Halifax. They will then be led through a guided tasting of 10 different Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. beers by brewmaster Karen Allen. Tours of the new brewery will also be offered, and attendees are encouraged to stick around after to order food and more beer. The beer will be a combination of unique offerings brewed onsite by Allen, as well as those in the PEI Brewing lineup. Only 30 spots were available, and they sold out within 24 hours (sorry)! We understand this is just the beginning of an enduring relationship between the Ladies Beer League and Gahan, and we can look forward to a beer dinner this winter, as well as other exciting events from the LBL this fall. Keep an eye on their Events page for more details.

Shiretown has another beer hitting shelves at the ANBL this week. Big Brown Ale has been available on tap at certain bars/restaurants across the province, and on tap for growler fills at the brewery, and is now joining Blonde du Quai and Siren’s T’Ale in 500 ml bottles. As usual, it should be hitting stores in the Charlo area first, but will spread to other outlets in the very near future.

Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax is releasing their latest new beer today, Rhubarb π. This beer weighs in at 4.6% and very low IBUs (from East Kent Golding), but the highlight here is the sour character imparted by the choice of Lactobacillus bacteria as the fermenting workhorse, which produces lactic acid for an acidic and tart flavour, hence the rhubarb name. Grab a pint of it at the ‘bottom today! This is the second lacto sour done by brewer Greg Nash, the first being last year’s Synaptic Illusion.

Hell Bay Brewing has sent the final few kegs of their new India Brown Ale to Bar Stillwell for the city folks to enjoy (the rest was sold to thirsty locals in the Liverpool region). The beer is sweet and malty upfront, and leads to hints of rum and molasses with a dry finish, and weighs in at 6.5% and 45 IBUs.  Brewer Mark Baillie tells us that the next version of the R.I.P.(A.) will be out soon, and will make its debut in bottles for the first time (will also be available in kegs and growlers, as were previous versions). We’ll have more recipe details closer to the release.

• It’s Hop Harvest Time in our region! While several breweries in the Atlantic Provinces will be brewing up Wet Hop beers in the next couple of weeks, we believe the first to do so was Big Spruce in Nyanza. With help from some volunteers, they picked their own farm-grown Magnum, Cascade and Mt Hood hops, and brewed up Hoppily Remarried earlier this week. While the IBUs are not available, they used enough hops to get them into Imperial IPA range, with an expected ABV of 8.4%. Look for this beer at the brewery and select tap accounts in September.

Propeller Brewing has released another One-Hit Wonder, the Cluster Bomb IPA. It weighs in at 7.1% ABV and 64 IBUs, thanks to a ton of Cluster hop in the brew. And what a great Lambic launch event at Stillwell last week! The Framboise Lambic was a big hit, and after selling out at Stillwell, the beer sold like hotcakes on Monday at both the Halifax and Dartmouth locations. Look for the other beer in the Lambic series in the coming months, including a blackberry, cherry, and non-fruited version.

• This weekend, the fifth annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is being held in the village of Bertrand, NB. Starting yesterday and continuing through to Sunday, activities include Bavarian music and dancing, live entertainment, games, and of course, beer! There will be several beer tastings throughout the weekend, including two by Acadie-Broue owner/brewer Patrice Godin (these were by reservation only). Tickets and passes are still available online through their website.

• Our contest to win two tickets to the PEI Beer Festival next weekend has come to an end, and the winner is… Derek Stapleton! Congratulations, Derek! Contact us as soon as possible and let us know which of the three sessions you’d prefer to attend, and we’ll hook you up with the tickets. Since our post last week, they have announced After-Parties for both Friday and Saturday nights. Drop by Fishbones Oyster Bar for more food, drink, and music (Friday: In-Flight Safety + Coyote, Saturday: The North Lakes + Wildcat). Entry is $8 with your Beer Fest mug, $10 without. More details here.

Happy Friday, everyone! Yet another busy week of beer news for our region, so let’s get to it!

Meander River Farm and Brewery is back with another one-off beer. After the great success with their first special brew, Honey Brown, they have quickly followed it up with their Wheat Ale. An American-style wheat beer weighing in at 3.8%, the beer features the newer Belma hop, giving citrus and strawberry characteristics. Much like their Honey Brown, it won’t be around for very much longer. Take a drive out to the brewery today (4-7pm) and this weekend (11-5 both Saturday and Sunday) for a taste of it and their Lunchbox Pale Ale, and keep an eye out at your favourite watering holes in Halifax (Stillwell and Lion & Bright). Once it’s gone, it won’t be back until next summer!

• September 3rd will mark the 15th Anniversary of the Pump House Brewery, and they’re celebrating it with a new endeavour! On Sept. 3rd, they will be brewing a Stein Beer at the brewery in true fashion. During the Middle Ages, there were very few options for heating wort (the malty, sugary liquid that will become beer) to a boil, due to the lack of modern-day brewing equipment and direct-heating techniques. Luckily, German brewers discovered the method of heating granite rocks (“stein” is German for “rock”) to superhigh temperatures, then dropping them in the wort in wooden kettles to produce a vigorous boil over several minutes. This is the exact method that the Pump House will use to brew their new ale, Stonefire Ale, on their Anniversary. The beer will eventually be bottled as a limited release of approximately four thousand 750 mL bottles sometime in October. Keep an eye on their Facebook page, as they’re holding contests for chances to win an invite to their “Rock Drop” Launch Party on Sept. 3rd.

Celtic Knot Brewing is re-releasing one of their inaugural brews, Not Joe Average Pale Ale. This American Pale Ale has had some revisions, according to owner/brewer Bruce Barton. While still coming in at 5% ABV, the bitterness has gone up slightly, with the IBUs increased from 19 to 30. Also, the aroma and flavor hops are now made up of Cascade and Centennial (well known for their fruity and citrusy characteristics). The beer finishes slightly drier than the original version, according to Barton. Look for it soon at bars/restaurants that carry Celtic Knot beers, including new account Plan b Lounge (with one rotating tap) in Moncton.

• Barton is also brewing up the new Ring of Fire beer today, featuring 40% Smoked Malt (along with 2-Row, Munich, Cara Aroma and Roasted malts to an Amber colour, 16 SRM), and hopped to 18 IBUs with Tettnang and Fuggle hops. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! For the heat, Barton will be using Habanero and Jalapeno peppers in the boil, and might add some in secondary as well, depending on the results. Look for this one on tap mid- to late-September.

Rare Bird Craft Beer has released their latest seasonal, Spruce Beer. It is their modern take on this style of beer with some history in our region, both on shore, and on the ships that visited Guysborough harbour. Building on a medium-bodied Pale Ale base of 5.5% and 47 IBUs (from Cascade and Galena hops), Black Spruce buds were added to the boil for a bright spruce nose. Currently on tap at the Rare Bird Pub, look for it in bottles at the private stores soon.

• In the brewing world, the approach of fall means one thing… the brewing of pumpkin beers, and the PEI Brewing Co. just brewed theirs! The grist contains Canadian 2-row malt, Munich, Victory, Extra Special Roast, Caramunich 60 L, and some malted rye, and the beer is hopped exclusively with Comet hops to 25 IBUs. As for the most important part, the pumpkin, 30 lbs of yellow summer squash were sourced from MacKenzie Produce in Stratford, PEI, with the balance made up of unspiced, canned pumpkin and squash due to limited availability of pie pumpkins this time of year. Luckily, brewmaster Chris Long was able to find many high quality spices from Kate the Spice Lady for the brew, including “150 cinnamon sticks, about 80 cloves, almost 100 allspice pods, 10 whole nutmeg, and 10 lbs of fresh ginger” for each batch. The beer clocks in at 5.8% ABV; look for it in bottles and kegs in the near future across Atlantic Canada.

• Next Friday, August 29th, Edmundston’s Resto-Bar Le Deck will be holding a Picaroons tap takeover that will also feature guest taps from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault and live entertainment from The Carson Downey Band. No word yet on exactly which Picaroons beers will be pouring (they will have 5 taps dedicated to their brews), but we can confirm that both flagship beers – Tante Blanche and Bob LeBoeuf – from Petit-Sault will be present, as well as the recently-released limited edition of their collaboration brew with Acadie-BroueL’effrayab’ Tintamarre. There’s no cover at the door; it all starts at 10:00 pm.

• And great news for those of you who live in Fredericton and would like to try L’effrayab’ Tintamarre… a keg or two has been delivered to the King Street Ale House, and should be pouring now! It won’t last long, however, so best head there for lunch today. 🙂

• And back to Picaroons, their annual release of UPSTREAM Ale will be hitting shelves at the beginning of September. This 4.5% Pale Ale is crisp and clean, like the wild waters of the famous NB Salmon Rivers. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer will go to the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation to help preserve those rivers. And available shortly thereafter will be Picaroons’ series of Harvest Ales, featuring wet hops grown on local farms.

• This week, brewer Josh Herbin at North Brewing Company started experimenting with cask conditioning and adding flavour infusions to their very popular Saison. He prepared infusions using black peppercorn and candied ginger, and has dosed two of the casks with different concentrations. To a third cask, he added both of the infusions and some of the ginger and pepper to further “dry spice” the beer to measure its effects on the final product. No word yet where they will be available, but when they hit the taps/bar tops mid-September, we’ll be sure to share the details.

Uncle Leo’s Brewery is launching a new growler format today, a 750ml Flip Top Growler. These new growlers are $5 for the glass, and $5 for a fill of any of their IPA, Smoked Porter, Red Ale and Vohs Weizenbier. Until Sunday, August 24th (or while supplies last), when purchasing two or four 750ml growlers, you will receive a free two- or four-growler tote. Please note that they ask folks to not return their 1.89l growlers until after the weekend, when they re-open on Wednesday, August the 27th.

• The Beerthief Newfoundland Special Order Beer Group is holding a tasting next Thursday August 28th. ShakesBEER in the GUT is a fundraiser for the Shakespeare by the Sea Festival in St. John’s, and will give attendees the chance to try four exclusive international offerings available only at the tasting: after starting with a choice of a Quidi Vidi beer, Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler will guide participants through Sorachi Ace and Local 2 Ale by Brooklyn Brewery, and Hiver and Dorée from Meduz Brewery. Tickets are available online for $50, and include snacks, door prizes and live entertainment.

Tatamagouche Brewing Co is holding a contest! Their Brew Crew is putting together an Oktoberfest Lager to be released in the coming weeks, and they want you to name it. We don’t have the recipe details just yet, but you can enter by replying to this tweet or instagram with your best shot. The contest is closing soon, so be sure to enter today. The winner will win a free party keg rental from the brewery. Only those 19 years or older may enter.

• New Beer Alert! Big Spruce Brewing has released their International Coffee Conspiracy, the Hoppuccino. As mentioned previously, this beer was brewed with help from Phillips Brewing from Victoria, BC and  Cafe Milagro from Costa Rica. Coming in a bit bigger than originally reported, the beer weighs in at 7.3 % ABV and 80 IBUs from Simcoe and Chinook, and features lots of whole bean coffee in the boil, and then a second cold extraction infusion, added post-fermentation. Grab a sample and growler at the brewery today, and ask for it at your favourite local bar.

• After some delays due to ANBL regulation changes that were mostly dropped late last week, Mitch Biggar of Railcar Brewing is back on track! This week he brewed a test batch of the first in his “Derailed” series, a Maple Bacon Porter. Using Chocolate and Cherrywood Smoked Malts in the grain bill for characteristic aroma and taste, he also added New Brunswick Maple Syrup and Smoked Bacon in the boil. Wow!

• And finally, in case you missed yesterday’s post, we’re currently holding a contest to win two tickets to any of the three sessions at this year’s PEI Beer Festival on Sept. 5th and 6th. All you have to do is take a picture of one of the beers that will be pouring at the festival (a list of breweries and beers is available on their website), and Tweet it/share it to our Facebook page, with the hashtag #PEIBeerFest. The contest will continue until next Thursday at 11:59 pm; we’ll announce the winner in next week’s Friday Wrap-Up on August 29th. Only one entry per person, please!

Drink locally this weekend! Head on out to Antigonish Townhouse tonight at 5pm to enjoy another of their one-off casks of British Bitter, to the Stubborn Goat for a Friday Firkin of Boxing Rock‘s The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA, or King’s Arm Pub in Kentville who now have Schoolhouse Brewery on tap. And we hope to see lots of you tomorrow at noon at Stillwell for the launch of Propeller Brewing’s Raspberry Lambic. Folks from Propeller will also be there from 1-3pm taking pre-orders to be picked up at the Gottingen St location Sunday (1 bottle max), before it goes on sale to the general public at both locations on Monday (limit two bottles per person).


This year’s Prince Edward Island Beer Festival, produced by the PEI Brewing Co., will be held on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5th and 6th. We recently chatted with Alex Douglas, Director of Branding and Community Engagement with the PEI Brewing Co., to find out a few more details on the festival.

This is the first year that the festival will be held indoors, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel. According to Douglas, this was a natural decision due to the unpredictability of weather and consequent protection from the elements. Also, the new ballroom where the festival will be held has a patio overlooking Peakes Quay, which should provide an enjoyable atmosphere for festival attendees.

There will be three tasting sessions over the weekend; two evening sessions, Friday and Saturday, from 6:30 – 9:30 pm, and a slightly shorter afternoon session on Saturday from 2:00 – 4:30 pm. Evening tickets are $40 (+tax and fee), and the afternoon tickets are $30 (+tax and fee). Tickets are still available; they can be purchased online, or in-person at the PEI Brewing Co. There are also discounted hotel & ticket packages available through the Delta; call to inquire (1-877-450-7752). We’ve been assured that Designated Driver tickets will also become available soon, for $15 online.

What does your ticket get you?

• Unlimited beer samples

• Live entertainment at each session (featuring several local bands; check out the beer fest web page for details)

• Voting in the Cask Contest

• Access to several on-site games

In regards to the Cask Contest, attending breweries have been invited to create a cask beer for the festival; festival goers will have the chance to try all cask offerings and vote on their favorite of the festival. Participating breweries in the contest will include PEI Brewing Co., Garrison, Picaroons, and possibly more. As for the games, we don’t have full details as to what they will entail, but Douglas said to expect “some classic East Coast-style party games to be played”.

There will be food available for purchase from several vendors at the festival. No word as to which vendors will be participating yet, however, details should follow on the festival’s website and social media links soon.

As for the beer, the mostly-completed brewery and beer list has been released on the festival’s website. Atlantic Canadian breweries attending include PEI Brewing Co., Garrison, Picaroons, and Pump House. Like last year, there will be over 75 different beers pouring, so attendees should have plenty to choose from.

Starting tonight, we’ll be holding a contest to give away two tickets to the festival; any session, winner’s choice! It’s easy to enter… take a picture of any of the beers that will be at the festival, and Tweet it or share it to our Facebook page, with the hashtag #PEIBeerFest. Only one entry per person; the contest will begin immediately and continue until next Thursday, August 28th at 11:59 pm. That gives you a whole week, so don’t miss out on your chance to win!

And remember, stay tuned to the festival’s Facebook page and Twitter account for more updates on food, entertainment, and beer over the next couple of weeks!