Good morning! After a couple of very busy beer-news weeks, it looks like things have slowed down a bit… but there’s still quite a bit going on in the Atlantic Canada beer world!
• We have some more info on the new Sweet Stout (aka Milk Stout), La Vaca Loca, brewed by BarNone. This complex, dark beer was months in the making; co-owner/brewer Don Campbell had long wanted to brew a Sweet Stout with cacoa nibs from Island Chocolates in Victoria-by-the-Sea. Brewed with seven different malts, the beer has lactose powder added late in the boil to increase body and sweetness. During secondary, there are additions of the cacoa nibs (which have been soaked in alcohol), vanilla bean (also soaked in alcohol), and Belgian candy. On top of all this, Campbell saved some of the cacoa nibs for a final addition, or “dry-nibbing”. This 6.4% ABV Stout should be available soon! And their Imperial IPA, The Little DIPA, should now be on tap at The Pilot House and Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown… go get some!
• Big Axe, meanwhile, has also provided more details on their newest beer, Wrath of Putin Imperial Pale Ale. A stronger beer at 7.5% ABV, it is hopped to 75 IBUs with two varieties – Centennial and Goldings – from Southan Farms. It is described by the brewery as having a “golden amber color” and “strong hop flavor with a clean malty sweetness”; look for it on tap in Fredericton at 540 Kitchen & Bar and Vault 29. Also note that Big Axe is currently closed for growler fills and retail sales until December 28th.
• Hammond River‘s Chocolate Coconut Porter, Into the Dark, is finally ready! Along with the toasted cacao nibs and toasted coconut, owner/brewer Shane Steeves decided to go ahead and add some steeped coffee from local roaster Java Moose as well. Sounds like a good idea to us! Look for this 6.3% ABV Porter on tap at the usual Hammond River accounts in New Brunswick over the next few days.
• Sea Level Brewing is bringing back one of their seasonals, High Street Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. Brewed to style, it’s a malty beer with a “sweet caramel taste”, accompanied by toasted and roasted flavors. A dark-amber, 6.4% ABV ale, you can find it now at the brewery in cans, and for growler fills. Look for it on tap in Halifax and the Annapolis Valley at select beer bars/restaurants, and in cans at the private liquor stores in Halifax.
• Yellowbelly Brewpub in St. John’s has released their annual Mummer’s Brew seasonal beer. This year’s style is a Chocolate Coffee Porter, and weighs in at 6%. Maris Otter base malt with a healthy dose of Baird’s Black and Thomas Fawcett Roast Barley malts complete the bill. Light additions of East Kent Goldings and Willamette hops were used to balance the beer, to 30 IBUs. After primary fermentation (using a blend of American and British Ale and Champagne yeasts), Newfoundland Chocolate Company cocoa nibs were added to the tank, and Fixed cold-steeped coffee was blended in during transfer to the packaging tank. The resultant dark ruby-coloured beer features roast and chocolate notes, with some noble hop character, and a slight warming characteristic. The beer is on tap now, and bottles should be available next week.
• Coming soon from Yellowbelly is a Christmas Cider. This special release features fresh-pressed cranberry juice from the West Coast of Newfoundland, and is drier than their Yellow Mellow Cider. The cranberries lend a pink hue to the body, and a fruit aroma that melds nicely with the apple character. This cider weighs in at 6.5%, and will only be available in bottles at Yellowbelly and the local NLC locations. Look for it in the next week or so.
• Distillerie Fils du Roi est situé à Petit-Paquetville, sur la Péninsule acadienne de nouveau brunswick. Ils produisent des esprits il y a deux ans, et ont récemment acquis l’équipement supplémentaire pour brasser de la bière. Leur première bière est Caraquet Flyer, nommé d’après un train qui a été utilisé dans la région dans les années 1880. La bière est du style Eisbock, en utilisant un procédure de congélation et l’enlèvement de l’eau de la bière pour permettre le niveau d’alcool se élever à 8,5%. La bière a a été approuvé par Revenu Canada, Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments et de la sécurité publique, mais est maintenant en attente d’approbation de la ANBL, qui malheureusement ne peut être accordée qu’après une réunion du conseil en Février 2015. Nous avons hâte d’essayer cette nouvelle bière, et futur bières saisonniers de la Péninsule acadienne.
• Distillery Fils du Roi is located in Petit-Paquetville, on the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick. They have been producing small batch spirits for two years, and have recently acquired the additional equipment to brew beer. Their first beer is Caraquet Flyer, named after a train that was used in the region in the 1880s. The beer is an Eisbock, using a method of freezing and removal of water from the beer to allow the alcohol levels to rise to 8.5%. The beer has been approved by Revenue Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Safety, but is now awaiting approval from the ANBL, which sadly may not be granted until after a board meeting in February 2015. We look forward to trying this new beer, and future seasonal brews from the Acadian Peninsula.
• Railcar Brewing in Florenceville-Bristol is now offering CSB shares. Community Supported Brewing shares are available from the $125 to $500 level, offering at least 20% bonus return in beer and merchandise, plus invitations to special events, dinners and free brewery tours. Contact Mitch at the brewery for more details, and help support your local brewery!
• Unfortunately, the third Burgers n’ Beer event in Fredericton, which was scheduled for earlier this week on December 9th, had to be cancelled again due to poor weather conditions. However, it has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 6th (still at the uptown reLiSH location from 8:00 – 10:30 pm), and there’s still a few tickets available! Here’s hoping for better weather this time around!
• A reminder that today is the first day of the Picaroons 12 Beers of Christmas; the first beer will be released for growler fills (two per person maximum) at the Brewtique, and the style/beer will be announced online at noon. For those of you outside of Fredericton who are disappointed you won’t be able to take part, good news… Stillwell will be featuring a tap takeover on December 23rd, where all 12 Christmas-themed beers will be on tap at the same time! No charge, just show up to sample one, two, or all twelve beers while you’re out doing your last-minute shopping/trying to get away from the in-laws already.
Here’s hoping your weekend is filled with good beer! Shiretown has their Honey House Ale back on tap for growler fills at the brewery, and Garrison’s Spruce Beer is definitely being released at the brewery this morning (the bottling issues were resolved), and on its way to the private stores and other provinces as well. And congratulations to Jake Saunders, who is now the Brewmaster at Rockbottom Brewpub. Be sure to drop by and wish him a warm welcome, and look out for his first brew on the RB system to be released soon.