Good morning! Looks like there’s some hot weather coming our way for this weekend… what better way to cool off than with news about our favourite beverage?
• Last weekend, PEI’s Upstreet Craft Brewing had a special visitor: Emily Tipton, Boxing Rock‘s co-owner and Beer Engineer. Tipton and Upstreet brewmaster Mike Hogan brewed their first collaboration beer on Upstreet’s system, a SMaSH IPL (single-malt and single hop India Pale Lager) named Rumble in the Alley: Round 1. Featuring a grist of 100% Maritime malt, and hopped entirely with Amarillo to 50 IBUs, it was fermented with Upstreet’s house Pilsner yeast and should clock in at about 6% ABV. Islanders can expect to see this one become available before the end of August; look for a couple of kegs to also pop up in Halifax sometime in the future. This should be just the first of many collaborations between these two breweries; they already have a history of working together, including when the Upstreet crew visited Boxing Rock last winter, and ended up lending a hand to help brew Cinnamon Spin.
• The hop plants at Sunset Heights Meadery are growing strong, and owner/brewer John Way already has plans for them! He’s brewed up a single 120 L batch of mead, which will be separated into eight 15 L “mini-batches”, each of which will be wet-hopped with a different variety (including Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Fuggles, Galena, Magnum, Nugget, and Willamette). These small batches will be bottled and sold as 8-packs (200 mL per bottle), allowing the consumer to sample each type. If you’re attending the Autumn Mead Release Party on October 24th (there are only a few tickets left), you’ll have guaranteed access to purchase one set; leftovers – if any – will be available via their soon-to-go-live online store.
• The itinerary has been finalized for the next trip from New Brunswick Beer Tours, which will be held on Saturday, October 17th. The River Valley Tour is actually a rehash of their first highly-successful tour last fall, and includes stops at Petit-Sault in Edmundston, Railcar in Florenceville-Bristol, and Big Axe in Nackawic. The tour bus leaves the King Street Ale House in Fredericton at 9 am, and should return around 6 pm later that day. Beer samples from all three breweries are included, as well as many sampling opportunities on the bus itself, and a box lunch. Tickets are now available; an early-bird price of $88 (taxes and fee included) will apply until September 1st.
• After opening just a couple of weeks ago, Unfiltered Brewing is releasing their first seasonal today at noon. Daytimer is a kettle-soured Berliner Weisse that has been dry-hopped with plenty of Mosaic, a variety well-known for providing high levels of tropical fruitiness. Combined with the natural tartness of this style and it’s high drinkability at 3.4% ABV, Haligonians should be looking at the perfect beer for hot-weather consumption. And drop by Unfiltered anytime after 3pm today to pair your growler with a dog from the T-Dogs hotdog stand.
• Speaking of dogs (and T-Dogs specifically), details are being released for this year’s Sausage Fest, put on by the Local Connections Halifax crew. A preview of the event is happening tomorrow, during Sausage Fest Roadshow on the pedestrian-only (on the weekend) Argyle Street. T-Dogs will be there to serve up some pizza- and donair-dogs; many other community groups and vendors will be attending as well. Sausage Fest begins in earnest Sept 19th, with a day-time Sausage Throwdown, and an evening Sausage O’ The Night event, with both events hosting at least nine NS breweries and a half-dozen restaurants with their sausage creations. In fact, several breweries will be releasing special brews for the week: Boxing Rock is releasing Kerfuffle APA, a dry-hopped malt-balanced Pale Ale; Bulwark will have Hopped Citrus Cider, an apple cider featuring Cascade and Comet hops; Garrison is releasing Hammerschlagen Brau, a Marzen; and Propeller will be bringing Wind Swell Wheat, a Cascade-hopped American Pale Wheat beer. And on Friday, Sept 25th, the waterfront will host a Hops & Brats event to kick off Halifax Oktoberfest, with many NS breweries in attendance to share their beers to pair with different German fare. And just a note, LCH’s Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration is returning January 14th at the Marriott Harbourfront, and Early Bird tickets are on sale now.
• AND, speaking of Dogs, Dawgs, and Dogg, the folks at Good Robot are hosting a Hair of the Dog event Sunday. Grab your puppy(ies) and drop by after 11am for a dog spa treatment by the folks at All 4 Paws Pet Services; while there, enjoy a custom-made T-Dogs hot dog, grab a pint of GR beer, and listen to some Snoop Dogg. $20 will get you a dog wash, hot dog, and 12oz beer (the music is free). $2 from each combo package will be going to ElderDog Canada. While on-site, grab a taste of their Goseface Killah Gose v1.1, dubbed Sour Soul, which was brewed using more acidulated malt than the first release, for an additional acidic character. And with their Tap Room slated to open this fall, they are now taking applications for servers and bartenders, so be sure to bug Josh while you’re there!
• The Celtic Oktoberfest is returning on October 24th for their second year in Port Hawkesbury. A “celebration of local food, music, and beer”, attendees can expect plenty of all three, with the four hour event featuring beer from ten different Nova Scotia breweries, food from ten Cape Breton restaurants, and live music from many local musicians. So far, Big Spruce, Breton Brewing, Boxing Rock, Garrison, and Hell Bay are confirmed to be pouring, with others likely being announced soon. Tickets are now on sale, with early-bird pricing at $50 (+ fee) available until September 1st.
• The folks from North Brewing and Brooklyn Warehouse have announced plans for their new spot in Dartmouth. Battery Park beer bar & eatery will open in October at 62 Ochterloney Drive in Dartmouth. In addition to the bar and restaurant, it will feature a brewing system on-site, with North’s current 5 BBL (600 litre) brewhouse making the trip across the bridge. Beers brewed in Dartmouth will be special brews available only at Battery Park, or for growler fills at the brewery shop. In its place at North’s Agricola St location, a new 10 BBL (1200 litre) steam-fired system will be commissioned. This brew-house from DME will incorporate a boiler capable of burning biodiesel, taking a big step towards North’s plan of reducing their environmental footprint. As part of the launch of this new endeavour, Battery Park is running a crowdfunding campaign.
• Stillwell Beer Bar will be hosting an exciting pair of out-of-province breweries September 1st. Brasserie Dunham from Quebec’s Eastern Townships and Jester King from just outside of Austin, TX, are two breweries at the forefront of innovative recipes and techniques, both with extensive barrel- and mixed-fermentation beers in their roster. They recently brewed up a collaboration beer, and are meeting again in Quebec for another brew day and the release celebration. Part of the celebration will include a brewers’ visit to Stillwell, where the two breweries will be taking over the taps, as well as bringing a load of bottles. Tickets for the event go on sale today at noon, and will offer first sips of the beers in a 6-8pm session, after which the doors will be open to all. A warning that many of the beers will be in short supply, and some will almost certainly run our during the initial early session. For more information on the breweries and which beers will be pouring, check out Stillwell’s Blog.
• The Maritime Hop Growers Co-op are hosting Open Hop Yard Days this month, giving NS beer enthusiasts a chance to check out a few of the farms growing hops in the province. For the next three Sundays, from 1-4pm, folks can visit Breton Fields, High Tide, Meander River, Wallace Ridge, Wentworth Creek, and Wysmykal Farm hop farms to learn about the process of growing hops, as well as the business of hop growing. For those already growing hops, or looking to start, there is an information session presented by Perennia August 19th in Aylesford, with information on best practices for harvesting and drying hops. With many of the members in attendance, it will be a great opportunity to talk about the opportunities available. The Co-op has been around since 2009, and has 15 farm members (ten in NS, three in NB, and two in PEI). Those interested in more information on joining the Co-op, growing hops as a hobby, or buying hops, should check out their Facebook page.
• YellowBelly Brewery in St John’s has released a new IPA this week, Deep South. Hopped to 60 IBUs with varieties from the Southern Hemisphere (specifically, Pacific Gem from New Zealand and Mosaic from Australia), the beer comes across as “dry and bitter, with serious overtones of lychee and grapefruit”, according to the brewery. YellowBelly decided to ferment this IPA with an American ale yeast, as opposed to their British house strain, which should allow the fruity hop characteristics to shine through even more. It weighs in at a manageable 6% ABV; get down to the brewpub to give it a try!
Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend, and keep cool with some good, local beer! Garrison Brewing’s Honey Lavender is back for another year. This 6.3% ABV ale features loads of lavender from Meander River Farms, and honey from Cosman & Whidden; it’s available in 650 mL bottles at the brewery. Stubborn Goat Gastropub has added grunters to their repertoire. This new ability to offer 0.95 litre pours is a continuation of their “social dining” concept, encouraging groups to share a few glasses of several different craft beer options during their meal. Breton Brewing is looking to hire some folks in their retail space, as well as for delivery and assistant brewer positions. Contact them for details. Finally, Picaroons is starting to see some of their new brewery equipment coming in, with the arrival of several new tanks this week in Fredericton. Stay tuned for more updates…