All posts for the month July, 2015

Happy Friday, Beer Fans! The weather is finally improving around our parts, and we’ve got lots of hoppy news to go with it; let’s dive right in!

• Unfiltered Brewing opened earlier this week at 6041 North Street in Halifax. They currently have three beers pouring in their retail location, Hoppy Fingers APA (4.8% ABV and 25 IBUs), Exile on North Street IPA (6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs), and Twelve Years to Zion DIPA (8.0% ABV, 100+ IBUs). For those with celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities, their Exile on North Street was treated to reduce the gluten present in the final beer, and has been tested to be less than 5ppm. Their retail location is open 12-8pm Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6pm Sunday. And for those who are getting anxious to enjoy some pints of Unfiltered AT Unfiltered, fear not, work continues on their tap room adjacent to the brewery. Congratulations on the opening, to the entire Unfiltered Family!

• To celebrate next week’s upcoming annual International IPA Day (Thursday, August 6th), Upstreet will be releasing their first IPA. White Noize is being dubbed a “Wheat IPA” (think hoppy American Wheat Ale), as half of its grist is Wheat malt. Hopped with plenty of ‘C’ hops (including Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus) to 70 IBUs, this 7% ABV ale should feature plenty of citrus and dank notes. Look for it to be released next Thursday at the brewery’s taproom for growler fills and pints; they’ll also have it on cask, along with their regular-release APA, Do-Gooder.

Pump House Brewery in Moncton has released a new seasonal beer, Rose Hip Ale. This 4.5% ABV beer was brewed with rose hips, local to the region, with a distinct floral and citrus aroma, and full of vitamin C. Orange peel was also used in the brew to complement the hips. The colour is a golden copper tone, stemming from specialty malts and the orange colour of the rose hips – no artificial colourings were used. The beer will be available at both the the ANBL and NSLC shortly.

• Also new from Pump House this week, is Strawberry Wheat Ale. This is a limited-supply, “German-style, unfiltered wheat beer” that features “banana-like” esters, similar to your typical Hefeweizen. However, the beer also had an addition of over 40 kg of real strawberries, giving it a “lingering, strawberry-tart finish”, according to the brewery. Coming in at 5.2% ABV, it has a very low bitterness at 9 IBUs. You can find it on tap at the brewpub in Moncton, select beer bars and restaurants across NB and NS, and at the Dieppe ANBL growler station this weekend.

• There’s a new beer on tap from Picaroons at the Brewtique in Fredericton, which was just released yesterday. ESB-231 was brewed to celebrate the New Brunswick Day long weekend (starting… today!), and features all NB malts and hops. This Extra Special Bitter is “moderately-malty, and moderately-hopped” with both Cascade and Centennial. Recipe-wise, it’s actually quite similar to their regular-release Best Bitter, but aside from all-local ingredients, this batch was also dry-hopped in the fermentor. This quite-limited 6.2% ABV British-style ale will also be pouring at all four ANBL growler stations this weekend.

• While on the topic of the NB Day long weekend, let’s review what’s going on, beer-wise, in the province over the next few days! The James Joyce “18 Lines, 18 NB Breweries” event starts today at 3 pm, and it has actually been increased to 19 taps, as newcomer Half Cut released their first beer last Friday! No tickets for entry required, just be sure to show up over the weekend to try a plethora of NB-brewed beers! Keep in mind they’re also open on Sunday for this weekend. There’s still some tickets left for the 3rd annual Fredericton Beer Run; with 18 breweries pouring around 40 beers, cider, and mead after the running portion of the event, it’s the perfect way to exercise and indulge at the same time! Check out our previous post for more details. And to top it off, all four ANBL growler stations will feature NB-brewed beers, including Hammond River Covered Bridge ESB at the KV location, Railcar Grapefruit Pale Ale in Fredericton, and Fils du Roy Caraquet Flyer in Sackville, to name a few. Check the full list here.

• If you hadn’t pre-ordered tickets for the Sunset Heights Meadery Autumn Mead Release Party (being held Saturday, October 24th from 5-9 pm at the Crowne Plaza), good news! They will be releasing the few remaining tickets online this Sunday, starting at 9 am. The event features special-release meads, a “Local Harvest Meal”, a collectible glass, and the right to purchase up to 24 bottles of mead. Tickets are extremely limited (only seven remaining), so be sure to grab yours while you can!

• Over on the Rock, YellowBelly has a new beer on tap – Robert the Spruce is a Pale Ale that has been brewed with spruce tips. Golden-amber in color, it clocks in at 5.5% ABV. While having a calculated bitterness of only 28 IBUs, the perceived bitterness is actually much higher due to the use of the spruce tips, according to the brewery. Look for bottles of this one to be available at the brewery and select NLC stores by the end of next week.

Garrison Brewing has a pair of new brews on at their Marginal Rd location these days. The first is Trop Yard Radler, a blend of their Hop Yard Pale Ale and with fresh lime and orange juice. Despite the low ABV (3.4%), the blend packs a punch of tropical fruit character and solid bitterness. It is available at the brewery for growler fills and on-site sampling. The second beer is called Fluffernutter. It is a special batch of their Nut Brown Ale, infused with marshmallows, which lend a slight sweetness to the beer, as well as their distinctive aroma and taste. The Fluffernutter is 5% ABV, and due to its limited availability, is only available for onsite consumption at the brewery. Get down there today for a taste before its all gone!

The Nook and Cranny in Truro has brewed up a new beer. NovelTea Passionfruit Ale is based on their Wheat Ale, with some special additions. After fermentation, 22 litres of steeped Satya Tea blend Berry Bliss was added to the beer. It is a blend of dried chamomile, chicory root, hibiscus flowers, rose hips, and strawberries. In addition to the tea, puréed passion fruit is added to the beer for additional tart, bitter, and citrus characteristics. Look for the beer to be on tap shortly, for pints in the pub, and growlers to go.

• The brewery and beer list for next weekend’s Seaport Beerfest (Aug 7-8) was released this morning. They will be featuring plenty of Maritime, Quebec, Ontario, and Maine breweries, as well as several Irish breweries again this year. The extremely popular Cask Beer Pavillion will be making a return, with an expanded lineup. The Ladies Beer League will be operating that Pavillion, and the Fest and LBL will be donating to Adsum House. This year’s special guest is Gráinne Walsh of Metalman Brewing in Waterford, Ireland. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, you are not too late! Tickets for all sessions are still available, including the Friday night VIP session, which includes a limited edition sampling glass and opener, participation in a Q&A session with a brewer’s panel, guided tasting of a few brews, and early access to the Fest. For those of you who like to travel in packs, tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of the group discount option, for groups of 15 or more. Email Joanne for more information.

• The Moncton Beer League is holding another beer and food pairing that features Nova Scotia beer, on Friday, August 28th from 7-10 pm. Early-bird tickets are on sale now until August 4th, and are $39 + fee. They also have some other events planned for the future, including an Oktoberfest event in the fall, and a group cruise next May. More on those events, soon!

Enjoy your weekend! And be sure to stock up on some locally-brewed IPAs for next Thursday!

Happy Friday folks! We’ve got lots of new beers (and a couple of breweries!) to keep you satisfied today.

• Fredericton beer lovers were alerted this morning to yet another new brewery in their city… and it’s open now! Half Cut Brewing is owned by Matt Corey, an employee at Picaroons; Matt will be brewing his first beers on the 7 BBL system at the Brewtique on Queen St. This isn’t the first time that Picaroons have lent their space and equipment to a new brewery – Grimross initially had their start there when they first opened two years ago. Half Cut has released their first beer this morning for growler fills at the Brewtique – Alter Ego is a 5% ABV Düsseldorf Altbier, a copper-coloured German ale/lager hybrid that features clean and malty flavours, and is balanced by a firm bitterness (47 IBUs). Head down to the Brewtique ASAP to give this new beer a try! In the meantime, we’ll have more info on Half Cut in the near future.

Hammond River owner/brewer Shane Steeves was at the Big Tide brewpub last Saturday with brewmaster Wendy Papadopoulos for their first collaboration beer! They decided to focus on both a style and ingredient that neither of them had brewed/used before, and settled on a “Rhubarb Saison”. With a fairly simple grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt, plus a little Munich and Crystal 60 L, it was hopped lightly with Hallertau to about 28 IBUs. Seventy pounds of locally-sourced rhubarb was added to the beer in several stages – the boil, during primary fermentation, and when fermentation is complete – which should provide significant tartness to the finished product. Fermented with a dry Saison yeast, expect this Belgian ale to weigh in at around 6% ABV; it should be available on tap at Big Tide within a couple of weeks, and will hopefully pop up at several of Hammond River’s accounts as well!

TrailWay has added another fruit beer to their summer line-up: Mango Wheat features the same grist as their popular Raspberry Wheat, with real mangoes – 10 lbs worth – added during secondary fermentation. Also hopped with notoriously-tropical varieties Citra and Galaxy (including more Citra in the dry-hop), expect this easy-drinking, 4.5% ABV beer to be perfectly-fruity for summer (even if the weather hasn’t felt like it, lately). It’s available on tap now throughout Fredericton.

• Last night, TrailWay also took part in the recent return of the weekly Thursday Cask Night at the King Street Ale House. Along with two casks of their IPA, Hugh John Hops (one infused with bourbon-soaked oak chips, the other dry-hopped a second time, with Comet), they released… another new beer! Summer Amber is on the lighter side of Amber-coloured, with a grist of 2-row, Munich, Crystal, CaraRed, and a hint of Chocolate malt. Hopped heavily with Centennial (and smaller amounts of Amarillo and Mosaic), it’s easy-drinking at 5% ABV, with a moderate bitterness in the finish.

• Ahead of their participation in the Halifax Seaport Beer Festival August 7-8, the fine folks from Toronto’s Great Lakes Brewery will be taking over the taps at both the Stillwell Beergarden and Barrington St mothership on Thursday, August 6th. Starting at 4pm, a fine selection of GLB beers will be pouring on the waterfront, taking over all of the Beergarden’s lines, with some special sausages and dogs to accompany them. Just one keg of each beer will be on, so once it’s gone, it’s gone! Entry tickets are $5+fees. And then, starting at 6pm, Barrington Street will be pouring a dozen of Brewmaster Mike Lackey’s favourite brews, which will be sure to include some rare-for-even-Toronto GLB brews, perhaps from their mixed fermentation, barrel-aged and other small-batch beers. And Lackey himself will be on hand to meet and greet. Tickets for entry to this event are also $5+fees, and after 8pm, the doors will be open to all (assuming there’s anything left). Tickets are available online now, and are sure to sell out soon!

Flying Boats Brewing hasn’t been open very long, but that’s not stopping them from experimenting with new beers! First up is Dome Car, a Bohemian or Czech Pilsner that is brewed with plenty of the noble Saaz hop variety, providing lots of its characteristic spicy flavours and aromas. It registers at 36 IBUs and 5% ABV, and is currently on tap at Shediac’s Auberge Gabriele Inn. Owner/brewer Marc Melanson also brewed up a special beer for a special event (mentioned directly below): S-55 Special Mission Dark Pale Ale.  Featuring a “rich blend of malted and caramel-based barleys”, the beer is heavily-hopped (and dry-hopped) with Cascade to balance the sweetness from the malts. Named after an aviation feat that took place in Shediac in 1933 (more on that here), it comes in at 37 IBUs and 5.6% ABV.

• In celebration of the upcoming New Brunswick Day long weekend, Fredericton’s James Joyce Pub is pulling out all the stops and dedicating their 18 taps to all 18 breweries in the province. This will mark the first time that every brewery in New Brunswick is available on tap at the same time! Beers from the recently-opened Flying Boats Brewing (including the new brew mentioned above) and Savoie’s Brewhouse will join the line-up, as well as the recent Acadie-Broue/Big Tide collaboration La Gaboteuse, a Belgian IPA. Acadie-Broue will also have a tap for their Hefeweizen, Valdrague Weizen (more on that beer here). The kegs will be tapped at 3 pm on Friday, July 31st, and will continue flowing all weekend until they’re gone. Many of these beers will go quickly, so don’t wait to drop in! This feat likely won’t be accomplished again for quite some time!

• Speaking of Savoie’s Brewhouse, their listing at the ANBL has gone live today, which means this weekend should be the time to pick up their Chaleur Phantom Amber Ale (and their Island Lake Blonde shortly). They will also be participating (along with Charlo neighbours Shiretown Beer) in the Bon Ami Flavour Fest taking place at 7pm July 25th at the Lion’s Club on Adelaide in Dalhousie. Tickets are $35, and include beer, cider, and wine tasting, and finger food until 10pm, when the live music and dancing take over the hall floor.

Petit-Sault has released Lt. Ingall – Summer Edition, a new take on Lt. Ingall, their “Session Pale Ale”. While the original was brewed entirely with malt from Quebec’s MaltBroue, the new beer features both Canadian 2-row and Munich malt for “more of a smooth maltiness”, according to the brewery. The hop schedule has also been changed, with Chinook and Centennial taking the stage. It’s still a very-sessionable 4.6% ABV; currently available at the brewery, it should also be joining the line-up at the ANBL Growler Stations in the near future. And be sure to drop by their Beer Garden at 45 rue de l’Eglise July 30-Aug 1, for some pre-Foire Brayonne fun.

Railcar Brewing in Florenceville has a new beer out this week, Celtic Red Ale. This malt-forward 6.2% ABV Red features four different malts in the grain bill, with bittering from Fuggle and Golding from local Southan Farm to 17 IBUs for balance. Railcar has also given us some details on a new beer they’ve brewed especially for their local Festival of Flavour, being held Aug 9-15. Their Sweet Potato Porter features Pale, Munich, Caramel, Carapils and Chocolate malts, along with 8 kg of sweet potatoes in the mash tun. Magnum hops were used both in a first-wort hop and in the boil to balance the malt, and an addition of star anise and cinnamon spices was added to the boil. This 8.2% ABV beer will be available at the brewery beginning August 11, and at the Festival of Flavour Grand Tasting, Aug 15 at 6:30pm. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $35, and available now. And join Railcar’s owner/brewer Mitch Biggar in a tasting of Maritime Craft Beer on Aug 12, complete with a tour of his brewery. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for Railcar’s debut on the ANBL growler program next week, with their Grapefruit Pale Ale on tap at the Fredericton ANBL.

Let’s hope the weather improves over the weekend! Grimross’ Table Oat Saison is now available. Brewed with 100% Oats, this beer is suitable for gluten-conscious drinkers, as oats themselves contain no gluten, but they were not processed in a gluten-free facility, so those with celiac disease should be aware of that. Look for more details on the brew here. PEI Brewing’s latest Vic Park Pale Ale single-hop variant is out, this time using the Australian Galaxy hop. Big Spruce was visited by home brewer Jason Spears to brew up this year’s batch of Tip of the Spear Spruce Tip IPA, look for it to hit the taps mid-August. And drop by today for oysters (until 6:30pm) and music from Keith Mullins (starting at 3:30pm) during their Food, Music, and Beer Friday. Drop by Halifax’s Good Robot for a growler fill of their core lineup this weekend, and you can also grab a taste of some pilot brews that may be released in the coming months. Look for a Lichtenhainer (a sour and smoky low alcohol German style) and Kentucky Common (a pre-Prohibition malt and corn beer from Kentucky). Bishop’s Cellar has received a new shipment from several breweries that is hitting the shelves today, including a handful from Evil Twin, as well as a Summer Wheat from Anchor Brewing, cider from Brickworks Ciderhouse, and a collaboration between Le Trou du Diable & Dieu du Ciel!. A reminder that they take internet orders and deliveries across the province for those who cannot make it into their Halifax shop. Sign up to their Behind the Taps mailing list for the latest details. And Chris will be doing something a little different next weekend, visiting a few Maine beer sites and events, including a Brews & Views Beer Pairing Dinner at Stratton Brook Hut near Kingfield, Maine, and going for a bit of a beer and raft adventure on the Kennebec River, at The Forks, Maine. Keep an eye open for additional info next week.

Hello, everyone! It’s been another great week of weather in Atlantic Canada… what better way to end it than with some local news on our favourite beverage?

Boxing Rock has released a new beer that is an interesting twist on the commonly-found Blonde Ale style – it’s a “Blonde Rye Ale” named Bottle Blonde. Brewed with the summer months in mind, the grain bill consists of a whopping 35% Rye Malt (large amounts of Rye can be tricky to brew with due to the sticky consistency it often lends to the mash), complementing the 5% ABV. Hopped mainly with East Kent Goldings and Saaz, it has a fairly-low bitterness at about 20 IBUs. The brewery is describing it as very drinkable, with a nice balance between the spicy notes from the hops and the spicy notes from the Rye. You can find it now at the brewery and on tap at select beer bars/restaurants, and in bottles at several NSLC stores sometime next week. It should be around until September, when the temperatures inevitably start to drop!

• Earlier this week, Grimross released a new beer, Strab Cream Ale. Brewed for the Canadian Association of Optometrists Congress 2015 (held this week in Fredericton), the name comes from the short form of “strabismic”, which refers to double-vision, often resulting from too much drinking! The beer itself is a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) ale featuring Pale malt and Centennial. Featuring a low hop bitterness at 18 IBUs, it’s light-bodied and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV, and is described by the brewery as a “great lawnmower beer, refreshing with a little grassiness”. Stop by the brewery today for a pint and/or growler fill; it is also available at select bars/restaurants in the city.

• Speaking of Grimross, they’ve announced their first Grimross Hops Festival, to be held on Saturday, August 22nd. A “celebration of New Brunswick hops, microbreweries, and music”, it will take place in the back lot of the brewery at 600 Bishop Dr. from 3 pm – 11 pm. Details are slim at the moment, but they promise plenty of NB beer, food, and talent! Advance tickets ($30 each) will go on sale soon, and include entry and three 5 oz beer samples, with additional drink tickets available for purchase at the event; the price at the door will be $35. For more details on the bands scheduled, check out the event page. We’ll keep you updated on the breweries/beers pouring as that information is released.

Big Axe has released a new American IPA, Firefly IPA. With a lighter body than their Double Bit IPA, this beer should also be drier and more refreshing, as there are no caramel notes in the aroma or flavour, according to the brewery. Brewed with several hop varieties including Chinook and Galena, it features a “prominent hop aroma, with both floral and citrus notes”. It clocks in at 5.7% ABV and 50 IBUs, and has a “very clean and crisp finish”. You can find it on tap now at the brewery in Nackawic, and at the James Joyce in Fredericton.

The Gahan House – Charlottetown has released the winning entry in this year’s Home Brewer’s Challenge, and it’s on tap now at the brewpub. Summer in New Zealand comes from the homebrewing brains and talent of Ryan Palmer (who also won last year’s inaugural event); an American Wheat Ale hopped with Wakatu, it also features Grains of Paradise and lemon and lime zest. Palmer and Gahan brewmaster Trent Hayes brewed the recipe on the Gahan system; the beer comes in at approximately 5.1% ABV and 30 IBUs. Get to the brewpub and try it while you can!

• In some sad news, the popular Windsor, NS pub and friend to local craft beer, The Spitfire Arms, was severely damaged in a fire on Tuesday morning. Happily, they already have plans to open in a temporary location next week on Gerrish St.; in the meantime, work will begin soon on the original location to have it back up and running ASAP. As well, local musician Hal Bruce is organizing a music event to help raise funds for the Spitfire; the tentative date is currently set for Sunday, August 23rd. Here’s to a speedy recovery for this wonderful establishment!

• Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub recently released an exclusive line-up of highly-rated and hard-to-find American craft beers, featuring breweries such as Allagash, Maine Beer Co., Dogfish Head, and Cascade Brewing, to name a few (the full list is available here). Bottles of these beers are on sale now; they’re available in limited quantities only, so be sure to stop in for a chance to try some excellent beers, complemented by the more than a dozen craft beers on tap from Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

• This year’s PEI Beer Festival has been confirmed for September 11th and 12th at the Delta Prince Edward. This year’s event will once again offer two evening sessions (Friday and Saturday), and one Saturday afternoon session. Full details and a brewery/beer list have not been released yet, but expect live music and food pairings to accompany many samples of beers. Tickets are on sale now; they’re priced at $47.60 for each evening sesson, and $36.20 for the afternoon session.

• The crew from Bar Stillwell made a visit to Big Spruce in Nyanza yesterday, to brew up a conspiracy beer. They put together a Pale Ale, hopped generously (understatement of the year!) with Citra, all late in the boil. This will give the beer a big blast of citrus and melon in aroma and flavour, without an aggressive bitterness. Look for this on tap at the Beergarden by early August.

Distillerie Fils du Roy in Petit-Paquetville, N.B. has brewed up their Summer Seasonal this week, to be released in the coming weeks. La Messe Blanche is named in memory of the Acadians fleeing deportation who would settle in existing communities, and would still hold Sunday Mass, but without a priest overseeing it (thus named Messe Blanche/White Mass). For the label, local artist Raynald Basque was commissioned to paint Alexis Landry, who had built Chapel de Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage in Caraquet, leading one of the Messe Blanches. Fils du Roy will soon be offering their beers in a new format – growlers from local producer Jym Line.

We hope you have a great weekend! A final reminder that Breton Brewing is having their launch party at Flavor on the Water tomorrow, with music, food and beer all night. Tickets are available online. Propeller has another One Hit Wonder on the go: English Mild is now available at both Prop Shop locations, and comes in at 4% ABV and 22 IBUs.