Good morning, beer lovers! What better way to warm up and dry off from this miserable weather than with some beer news from our region?
• The PEI Brewing Co. has a new beer exclusively on tap at the brewery – Scary Saison is a very small test batch that was brewed back in the summer. Featuring a simple malt bill (“Belgian Blonde” style, according to brewmaster Chris Long) fermented with a Saison yeast, the beer went on to have lemon juice added directly to the keg for additional acidity. Coming in at 6.5% ABV and 25-30 IBUs, it has a “crisp and acidic finish, and is fantastic with rich foods”, according to Long. Get down to the brewery to try it out, it won’t last long!
• In other good news for Islanders, CBC news recently reported that changes to the liquor control act will now allow craft breweries on PEI to brew beer above 6.5% ABV. This previous limitation resulted in breweries (and consumers) being boxed-in to a certain number of beer styles. With more choices now being opened up, expect to see more offerings available soon! PEI Brewing Co.’s Chris Long has confirmed that the planning has already begun, and that beer drinkers can expect to see some new styles available from them soon.
• With this news, BarNone Brewing has a new beer scheduled to be brewed tomorrow, when the law change takes effect. What’s up first? An Imperial IPA, naturally! We don’t have many details on this beer yet, but we can tell you it will be named The Little DIPA (because something “even bigger and badder” is being planned for the future, says BarNone brewer/co-owner Don Campbell), and clock in at about 8.5% ABV. Stay tuned for more information!
• North Brewing in Halifax are releasing a special hybrid today, Saison De L’Acadie. This wine and beer hybrid was brewed in collaboration with Ben Swetnam of Avondale Sky Winery. After primary fermentation of 1100 litres of a Saison (brewed with pilsner and wheat malts), they added 200 litres of L’Acadie Blanc grape must and 10 kg of Cosman and Whidden honey to the secondary. Featuring a dominating grape character, with the malt and yeast to balance and complement. Some lucky folks were able to get the first taste of it last night at Stillwell, and it is available today at the brewery, tomorrow at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market, and may make an appearance back on tap (and in cask) shortly.
• More news on the new beer from Hammond River: a “bold” American Brown Ale (style selected by popular vote on their Facebook page) named Switchback, the grist contains Pale Ale malt, Carapils, Caramunich II, and Chocolate malt. Owner/brewer Shane Steeves went on to hop the beer aggressively (in the mash and boil) with Northern Brewer and Falconer’s Flight; when fermentation is complete, it will be dry-hopped with Centennial. It should come in at about 6% ABV and 62 IBUs. We’ll keep you updated when the beer is ready and available. Shane continues to develop new recipes… he’s got a Coconut Porter in mind for the near future!
• Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has a new beer on the way as well. A currently-unnamed Amber Ale brewed with local specialty malts, it will feature “upfront caramel notes with a toasted bread aroma, and hints of toffee, roastiness, and fruitiness”, according to the brewery, and will be “well-rounded with a balanced bitterness”. This amber-colored ale should come in at about 5-5.5% ABV and 27 IBUs when it is ready. Look for it on tap and at the brewery for growler fills in early November, and should be bottled early next year. They’ve also got a special-release Christmas beer planned for early December; more news on both beers soon!
• As the colder days roll in, that means that Picaroons Winter Warmer is on its way! This 7.3% ABV English Barleywine is always a popular slow-sipper in Fredericton, and should be available on tap at bars/restaurants in the province, and in bottles, during the first week of November. Picaroons is planning a special launch party for the beer around that time – more details on that next week.
• The NB brewers have been busy this week! Celtic Knot Brewery has put together a brand new brew this week, Angry Willy. Described as a hybrid of a Scottish Export and American IPA, using the body of his Caledonia, but hopped to excess with New Zealand Waimea for bittering and primarily Amarillo for flavour and aroma. Low alcohol content, but high hopping will make for a tasty beer. Look for this on tap mid-November around Moncton.
• The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is going through a consultation process, in order to modernize the way beer is labelled, identified, and described in the country. Your comments can help shape the way beer is treated in Canada. The 10-min survey can be found here, it closes Nov 17th.
• Looking for something to do after work this evening? If you live in the HRM, Bishop’s Cellar is holding a Craft Beer Tasting today, from 5-7pm. While primarily known for their solid wine selection, in recent months, Bishop’s has been expanding their craft and import beer selection, from Atlantic Canada, the rest of the country, and also imported craft beer. Attendees can look forward to a handful of local and imported beers, each paired with special snacks. Tickets are available online now.
• If you’re in Cape Breton this weekend, remember that the Celtic Oktoberfest is happening in Port Hawkesbury tomorrow evening. This all-=inclusive event with have beer from 9 NS breweries, and 8 local restaurants, each bringing their best to share with you. There are still tickets available for purchase. And be sure to drop by the Port Hawkesbury Yacht Club 2-4pm to witness the Pumpkin Launch! The breweries and other teams have been sharing jabs on social media, as they work to perfect their trebuchets, click here for a video from Big Spruce.
Remember to grab a pint, bottle, or growler of something local this weekend: Red Rover White Witch is now available in flagons at the Ciderhouse, Petit-Sault Bob LeBoeuf is in growlers at ANBL in Fredericton this week, and Boxing Rock’s Unobtanium is available in bottles today at the brewery and private stores. And speaking of the ANBL program, Hammond River will be back on the taps in November, and Big Axe will be taking part for the first time November 5th in Fredericton, with their award-winning Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.
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