Good morning! What better way to celebrate the end of January, and the beginning of Superbowl weekend, than by reading about beer?
• In addition to the snowstorm blowing outside Tuesday morning, there was a storm erupting on Twitter, with the announcement of a new brewery coming this Spring to Sydney, Cape Breton. Breton Brewing is the collaboration between two homebrewers Bryan MacDonald and Andrew Morrow. We will have more details on their endeavour soon, but we do know that they will be using a 15 barrel (18 hectolitre) steam-fired system, and the 5000 square foot brewery and tasting room will be located on Keltic Drive. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for now, and we’ll update you when their Facebook and website are published.
• There’s a new beer on tap from Pump House at their brewpub in Moncton – Easy Amber 4.3 Session Ale. The name pretty much says it all, as this is a sessionable Amber Ale coming in at 4.3% ABV. While an easy-drinking beer, the brewery describes it as having a “full malt taste” thanks to the addition of kilned Amber and Munich malts, giving both toffee and caramel flavors. It’s also lightly hopped with Tettnang and Saaz, giving only a touch of bitterness at 12 IBUs. It’s also currently pouring at the Dieppe ANBL this week for growler fills, and will be available on tap at select bars/restaurants across the Maritimes in the near future.
• Red Rover released a new cider yesterday, just in time for Fredericton’s winter celebration, Frostival (Jan 23rd – Feb 15th). Fire Cider is a 7% ABV semi-dry cider brewed with fresh ginger, and is now available for flagon fills at the Ciderhouse. While it can be served cold (like Red Rover’s other brands), they encourage you to drink it warm, to bring a little heat into your life during these cold winter months! Just pop it in the microwave (40 seconds per 300 mL/10 oz), and you’re good to go! Look for it at the Boyce Farmers Market this Saturday, and on tap for a limited time at the King Street Ale House soon.
• We have a few more details on the Cappuccino Stout from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault that we mentioned a couple of weeks ago. They just brewed it last Saturday, and are hoping to have it released by the second week of February! Canon Franchetti is named after pastor/architect Nicolo Franchetti from Edmundston’s St. John the Baptist Church, which was destroyed in a fire last September. The beer was brewed with coffee from three downtown Edmundston cafes, including Cafe Lotus Bleu, Sucré Salé and Boutique Au Bout Du Monde. Look for it on tap soon, and if you’re not in Edmundston, make sure to request it for growler fills at your nearest ANBL growler-filling station!
• It’s sold-out already (within one day!), but we thought we should fill you in on the latest one-off beer from Railcar Brewing, Vanilla Brown Sugar Stout. Brewed with four malts and three hop varieties, this massive dark beer (9.9% ABV) had 6 lbs of brown sugar added at the end of the boil and real vanilla beans in secondary, making this a sweet, strong monster of a beer! But don’t feel bad if you missed out – owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has assured us that he will be brewing it again!
• While on the topic of Railcar, they just announced details on their 1st Annual Railcar Brewing Home Brew-Off. Open to all homebrewers in the Maritimes, the competition style is Scottish Export (14C) from the new 2014 BJCP Style Guidelines. Entries must be all-grain (no kits, extracts or sugars are permitted), and will be evaluated in a blind tasting by a panel of non-BJCP judges. The winner will get the opportunity to brew their beer with Mitch as a full-sized batch on the Railcar system, for commercial release as a Railcar seasonal! Registration is $15; each participant will receive a special 2015 Railcar Brew-Off glass. Entries are due by Thursday, March 26th (six 341 to 500 mL bottles are required); the top four will be selected for final judging. Awards and prizes will be handed out the following Thursday, April 2nd. For more information on rules and prizes, check out the link above. Fire up those kettles, homebrewers!
• In other homebrew competition news, Brasseurs du Moncton Homebrewers are holding one of their own… sort of. The St. Patrick’s Day Beer Challenge is more of an excuse to get Moncton-area homebrewers together to evaluate each other’s beers, specifically in the style of either Dry Stout or Irish Red Ale. There’s no entry fee or official prizes yet (other than bragging rights), and it’s a great opportunity to meet other homebrewers and taste their beers. Keep an eye on the link above for final details on the date and location, but expect the event to occur around March 15th, shortly before St. Patrick’s Day. Six weeks is plenty of time to put together a solid brew, so get to it!
• Granite Brewery has released a small batch of Winter Warmer, and it is available now. Malt-forward and “very English”, this strong beer weighs in at 5.8% ABV. We expect that folks who enjoy Peculiar and Old Cardinal will enjoy this beer. It is available in growlers at the brewery, and will make it to finer beer establishments in Halifax soon. And a reminder that time really flies: Granite is celebrating their THIRTIETH Anniversary this year! To celebrate, Brewmaster Kevin Keefe will be bringing back some of their classic, and perhaps forgotten, beers for us local drinkers. Congratulations to the entire Granite family!
• From Nova Scotia’s oldest craft brewery, to one of its youngest, North Brewing is celebrating their second anniversary this weekend. And we get the presents! They are offering their 1.89 litre growler fills for $10, Friday through Sunday. This weekend also marks the release of their Coffee-Infused Belgian Milk Stout cask at Smiling Goat at Bishops Landing. They used Cold-brewed Kenyan Karindundu beans from Java Blend Coffee Roasters. Drop by from 4-6pm to try it out, for only $1/4oz sample. When you drop by the brewery, you may notice a new face, as their retail/bottle-filler/spirit animal Grant is moving on to another local business.
• Uncle Leo’s has released a new seasonal, Winterschlaf, a German Hybrid Beer. This Kolsch-style beer was brewed in collaboration with Matt Vohs, who also assisted with the Weizen last year. Brewed with pilsner malt and a small amount of Munich malt, bittered with German Tettnanger hops, and weighing in at 5.5% ABV. They fermented the beer with an ale yeast, but cold, to keep the yeast character minimal (reduced ester profile). When trying the beer for the first time, Vohs smiled and said it tasted just like the beer he drank while living in Cologne. Well done! Look for growlers at the brewery, bottles at the private stores at the end of next week, and at better beer bars in the province, including Piper’s Landing in Lyons Brook and Apple Seed Diner in New Glasgow.
• RockHead Wine & Beer Market opened yesterday at 2651 Windsor Street, in/adjacent to the Sobeys grocery store. They launched with three beers on their growler station: RockHead Pale Ale (brewed for them by Garrison Brewing), Tatamagouche Brewing’s Butcher Block Red, and Sea Level High Street Scotch Ale. They will be adding a beer from Uncle Leo’s shortly. Their hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-10pm & Sundays 10am-8pm. Their new Twitter, Facebook, and website are up now, to keep an eye on their specials and new arrivals.
• Speaking of Garrison Brewing, they have brought back their Unfiltered Wheat. This hazy American Wheat is 4.6%, and very easy drinking. Don’t forget that their Barrel-aged Spruce Beer is being released tomorrow, along with lots of other Barrel and Cellar-aged beers, at their Cellar Saturday event. Doors open at 10am, and we’ve seen the list, and there are several beers that folks will definitely want to pick up (2009-2013 Ol’ Fog Burner and their Barrel-aged counterparts, 2009 Grand Baltic Porter, aged Winter Warmer, and much more). There may be a ticket or two left for tonight’s Ol’ Fog Burner Vertical tasting (which also allows early access to the Cellar!), contact Justin for more details.
• PEI Brewing Co. is bringing back their Spud cask for the second year in a row, to coincide with today’s 2015 Spud Event being held at the brewery. This year’s Spud is their Beach Chair Lager that has been dry-hopped with Citra and Comet, two very citrusy and flavorful hop varieties; it comes in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, and 20 IBUs. The event will also feature live music, food, and trivia; tickets are $10, and the doors open at 7pm.
• Muwin Estate Wines, producers of Bulwark Cider, have installed two new 200 hectolitre tanks, with plans to add two more. The extra capacity will allow them to expand their production across more Canadian provinces, as well as into the US and UK markets. Over the past year, they have already doubled both production and staff at their location. In addition to expanding their territory, the extra capacity will allow them to expand their cider line further, and we can share that their next new product will be a hopped cider. We’ll have more details on it closer to the release.
• Good news, Fredericton beer drinkers! The James Joyce Irish Pub (located in the Crowne Plaza downtown) is greatly increasing their craft beer offerings! They’ve added new tap lines to their current selection (for a total of 18) and are in the ongoing process of filling them with new beers, most of which are from local breweries. This week includes the addition of Petit-Sault Tante Blanche and Big Axe Wrath of Putin; keep your eye on the Food at the Crowne Facebook page for updates on their taps!
• There have been some major changes at Rogues Roost this week. Brewmaster Lorne Romano, who has been with the brewpub since its opening in 1999, is no longer with the company. Going forward, Karen Allen will be taking over the brewing responsibilities at the Roost. Allen is the brewmaster at Gahan Halifax Harbourfront (and will remain in that position), and has brewed on Rogues’ system previously, so she will fit right in to the cramped space and high pressure situation of brewing at this busy brewpub. Rogues’ core products will remain untouched, but Allen will bring her own twist to seasonals and one-offs. Keep an eye out for PEI Brewing/Gahan beer at Rogues, as they plan to expand their number of taps, and begin to pour beer from other Murphy Group brands.
• This big change has not slowed down the new beer releases, as there will be a new English IPA out next week at Rogues Roost, and an English Bitter at Gahan House. And next Tuesday’s cask (remember it is Industry Night every Tuesday, where members of the beer business enjoy staff-priced pints) is the Bitter with fresh lemon zest, and lightly dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace.
Enjoy your weekend! For those in the Antigonish area, look for Big Spruce Brewing at tomorrow’s Antigonish Winter Market, at the Antigonish Mall 10am-2pm. Don’t forget that the King Street Ale House Superbowl party (no cover) is all-day Sunday, where a new one-off American IPA from TrailWay Brewing will be pouring.