Good morning, beer lovers! It’s the end of another week, and it’s absolutely chock-full of Atlantic Canadian beer news… let’s get right to it:
• Propeller has released their newest One Hit Wonder, Point Pleasant Pale Ale. An APA hopped entirely with the Columbus variety, the brewery describes it as “crisp and balanced”. It weighs in at 5% ABV, and at only 27 IBUs, expect a beer that isn’t quite as bitter as others of the same style. As always, it’s available for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations, and on tap at better beer establishments throughout Halifax.
• As we promised last week, we have some info on two new beers currently on tap at The Nook and Cranny. First off is their Black Beer’d IPA, a Black IPA that is very dark as per the style (thanks to a grist including Carafa Special II, along with Carapils and CaraMunich for specialty malts). Weighing in at 5.8% ABV and 38 IBUs, it’s dry-hopped with plenty of Centennial, Cascade and Galaxy for lots of tropical and citrus aromas/flavours. Next is the Spitting Alpaca, an American Pale Ale hopped with Pacific Jade and Cascade, and dry-hopped with Galaxy; this one comes in at 5.2% ABV and 18 IBUs. This is the first iteration for both brews, so expect some recipe tweaking over the next few batches until they’ve settled on what they (and customers) like best. In the meantime, get down there for a pint and/or growler fills! Also, look for another fruit-based wheat beer in July (their Blueberry Wheat is currently the most-popular beer on tap).
• Their first beer, Caraquet Flyer, was only released last month, but Distillerie Fils du Roy now have a second brew available, and it’s at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend! Stella Maris (named after the star in the Acadian flag, representing Mary, the patron of mariners) is inspired by the French style, Bière de Garde, which means “beer that has been kept or lagered”. A fairly-strong (7.5% ABV), malty beer, it was brewed with French malts and hops. The brewery/distillery is referring to it as a “Bière de Garde Régions d’Acadie”, not unlike some French styles of alcohol being specific to where they are made (e.g. Champagne). If you’re in the Petit-Paquetville region, you can also find 750 mL bottles of both beers available at their store, open 10-5, Mon-Sat; the Caraquet Flyer is also available in bottles in select ANBLs.
• Big Axe has a new rendition of their Blonde Ale currently available on tap and at the brewery for growler fills and pints. The Hatchet has the same grist as the previous Blonde Ale, but has been hopped more heavily (with Perle and El Dorado) later in the boil, to boost the aroma of the beer. It still comes in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV, and 30 IBUs. Look for it at the usual Big Axe accounts to enjoy it on tap, including new addition Isaac’s Way, where it will be part of their summer beer menu.
• Earlier this week, on June 1st, Picaroons released their seasonal Watermelon Wheat, MelonHead; this day also marked the revealing of the winning cat in their Melon Head label contest. Sir Winston Snaggletooth (!), owned by Jordan Stephens, takes the honour of gracing every bottle of MelonHead released this season. MelonHead is available now at the Brewtique for growler fills, and should be on tap at select bars/restaurants across the province, and in bottles at ANBL stores this weekend.
• Hell Bay Brewing has released a new beer this week, with a bit of a twist. Their OPA (Oatmeal Pale Ale) is now on tap at the brewery and soon at select bars, and weighs in at 5.0% ABV. While oats are used occasionally in Stouts to impart a fuller mouthfeel and some residual sweetness, they are seldom used in other beer styles. The smooth mouthfeel offered by the oats pairs well with the crisp hop character (weighing in at 49 IBUs), for a balanced and easy- drinking summer beer. The OPA will be available all summer, with the possibility of bottles into the private stores later. Hell Bay also teased the label for a beer coming in July, Hell’s Anvil!. This Smoked Dry Stout is being brewed in collaboration with the CanIron X Blacksmiths Conference being held in Baddeck, Cape Breton, July 2-5. Beware, Smithing is thirsty work, and we civilians may have to wait for a re-brew of the beer, perhaps in the fall.
• Attention Halifax Beer Fans! The Stillwell Waterfront Beergarden is set to open within the next few days. Located at Summit Plaza, steps from “The Wave”, the bar is located in a converted shipping container, and features outdoor, but sheltered, seating. Delivery of the container, built by Halifax’s Skin + Bones Building Desgin Workshop, took place yesterday, with the taps installed by BeerTech Darught Systems shortly thereafter. The seating area is set, and the staff is receiving training today, so look for the big announcement from the Stillwell crew on Twitter later in the weekend, or very early next week. As a reminder, they will be serving beer, cider and wine on tap, and food will focus on easy snacks and sausages, with some being handmade by chef Graeme Ruppel, as well as local producers Sweet William’s, Roselane Farm, with bread and buns from Gingerbread Haus.
• Meander River Farm and Brewery released a new beer last night, launched at the Taste of Nova Scotia 12 Tides event. Summer Solstice IPA is a Session Ale, weighing in at 4.5% ABV. The lower alcohol certainly does not mean lower flavour, as the beer features lots of flavour and aroma from Amarillo and Citra hops, with an extra dry-hopped blast of Cascade. It is available at the Brewery in Ashdale all weekend (along with their Honey Brown), and will make an appearance shortly on tap at Stillwell.
• Earlier this week, Meander River invited Garrison Brewmaster Daniel Girard to Ashdale to brew up a special beer, for a series of special dinners happening this summer. Dining on the Ocean Floor will be taking place four times this summer (June 27, July 25, August 15 and September 12) at Burntcoat Head in the Minas Basin, the site of the world’s largest tides. And during the lowest tides each month, Taste of Nova Scotia is holding a dinner on the beach (which was, just hours earlier, 15 metres underwater!), featuring Flying Apron Cookery, Newell’s Jewels Edibles (foraged food) and Avondale Sky winery. The beer is a strong Scotch Ale, featuring peated malt, with the addition of seaweed.
• And speaking of Garrison, they teased a collaborative Coast-to-Coast release scheduled for later this month, featuring Phillips Brewery in Victoria, Flying Monkeys in Barrie, and Troue du Diable in Shawinigan. We’ll share the details once they’ve been released.
• Tatamagouche Brewing will be installing a canning line later this month. They will be canning their core line of beers (Hippie Dippie Pale Ale, North Shore Lagered Ale, and Butcher Block Red), as well as a rotating seasonal or two, beginning early July. These will supplement their growler and bottles already available, in a more stowable and beach- and boat-friendly package.
• BarNone released a new beer – of sorts – at their weekly growler night last evening, Pale Indian Ale. Described by the brewery as a “variation” on their regular-release IPA, this one was brewed by BarNone assistant brewer Johnny. Details are being kept secret, so all we can recommend is to try it out if you have the chance, and compare it to their regular IPA. Their Route 225 Root Beer (non-alcoholic) made its return at last evening’s Growler Night as well.
• Next Wednesday, June 10th, drinking craft beer in northern New Brunswick will get a whole lot easier! Caraquet’s La Brôkerie is opening a separate craft beer bar, La Chope, which will feature six craft taps. On opening, expect to see three beers from Petit-Sault (La Kedgwick, Louis XVII, and Soeur Catherine), two from Distillerie Fils du Roy (Caraquet Flyer and Stella Maris), and one featuring a Pollen Angels mead.
• This Sunday, starting at 9 am, Sunset Heights Meadery will be selling tickets for their Summer Mead Release Party. If you pre-purchased your ticket at the Spring Mead Release in April, you should be receiving it soon; for those who did not pre-purchase, there will be a limited number of 16 available. The event will take place on Sunday, July 5th, from 2 pm – 6 pm, and will feature six 2 oz pours of new meads (and some past favourites), paired with an appetizer, four different reLiSH sliders, and a dessert. More samples and food repeats will follow. As well, attendees can purchase up to 24 bottles of mead with guaranteed availability (and the possibility of more, depending on availability), and can reserve a ticket to the Autumn party at the current, locked-in price. Tickets are $55 + tax.
• There are still tickets available for Northumbeerfest Craft Beer & Music Festival, being held this Saturday at Pictou Lodge. It features entertainment by Meaghan Blanchard, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys and Tim Chaisson. Beers will be available from Big Spruce, Garrison, Tatamagouche and Uncle Leo’s. The event doors open at 5pm, tickets for the Fest are $40+tax, and are available by phone (902-485-4322) or email.
• As we reported previously, the building that houses Rogues Roost and Tom’s Little Havana will be demolished in the fall. We can now report that Tom’s new location has been chosen, in the City Centre Atlantic Mall, using the entrance located adjacent to former tenant Premier Wines & Spirits and Top Cuts (which is moving elsewhere in the mall). This will now lead directly into Tom’s and The Fireside (when it moves from Brunswick St), both of which will share a common kitchen. No word yet on Rogues Roost’s new location.
• Speaking of moving, North Brewing owner Peter Burbridge is teaming up with the Brooklyn Warehouse crew, and taking over the Nectar Restaurant location when it closes at the end of the month. Their beer-centric project will be opening in the fall, at the 62 Ochterloney Street location. Details are slim beyond that at the moment, but stay tuned for more details as they are revealed.
• Breton Brewing brewed the inaugural batches of three beers this week, for release in a few weeks. We are able to share the historically-inspired names of the beers, but we’ll have to wait a little while before tasting these beauties. Black Angus IPA is named after Giant Angus MacAskill, who lived in Englishtown. Stirling Hefeweizen is named after William Alexander, the first proprietor of what is now Nova Scotia. Sons of Hector Brown Ale is named after the famous ship Hector, which brought Breton’s owners’ ancestors to Pictou from Scotland in 1773. Look for a full profile of Breton Brewing in the next couple of weeks, and their beer release shortly thereafter!
• The Good Cheer Trail officially launched in Nova Scotia June 1st. This is Canada’s first winery, craft brewery and distillery trail, and encourages visitors to get on the road and visit the producers of our local beverages. An accompanying passport can be picked up at your local brewery or brewpub, or an online passport can be used to check-in along your journey. There are a few of the province’s breweries not listed (due to onsite tasting limitations), but don’t let that stop you from visiting them all this summer! In addition to enjoying the great products each stop is offering, as a bonus incentive, a free t-shirt will be offered to those who collect 10 stamps on their passport (while supplies last). We’ll see you out on the Trail!
• This weekend is the 13th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Craft Brewers Conference, being held in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We wish all of the Atlantic Canadian breweries and ciderhouses taking part the best of luck! The Awards Gala will be taking place Saturday night at 7:30 pm AST, and we’ll be tuning in live to cheer on our local breweries. You can too, by following the stream link on the front page, and by following the @CdnBrewAwards or #CBAs2015. And for those that can’t tune in live, the winners will be updated on this page Sunday or Monday.
That’s it for this week! Good Robot‘s Crown on the Ground Steam Beer Mini-Festival, featuring music, Halifax Press Food Truck, and other fun times, is taking place Sunday [changed from Saturday], starting at noon. Be sure to drop by for a taste of the new beer, and their other three offerings. Tonight, starting at 10:30 pm, Resto-Bar Le Deck will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary with a Picaroons and Petit-Sault tap-takeover; there will be live music as well, so be sure to check it out if you’re in Edmundston. PEI Brewing Company has been serving their popular Blood Orange IPA at their Kensington Road location, but hurry in, it sells out quickly! Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown has been undergoing renovations over the past week, and will be returning on June 7th (hopefully) with lots of taps (12) to serve lots of craft beer (including soon-to-open Upstreet)! And finally, voting is now open for The Coast’s Best of Halifax 2015. Be sure to let them know what your favourite Brewery, Bar, and Restaurant are!
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