Howdy, beer lovers! Time for your weekly dose of Atlantic Canadian beer news. Unfortunately, we have to lead off with some sad news…
• Shiretown Beer, first operating out of Dalhousie, and then Charlo, New Brunswick since 2011, has officially closed their doors. Their regular-release beers (including Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale, and Siren’s t’Ale) have been available in bottles at ANBL stores for some time, and have been pouring on tap (along with multiple seasonals and one-offs) at several accounts across the province, including the Heron’s Nest Pub, located next door to the brewery. Graduating from just 40 litre batches up to 1.5 hL, all while using their Sabco Brew-Magic system, Derek and company have been working with local producers (Southan Farms hops, for instance), and promoting the craft beer movement in Northern New Brunswick for many years. On the bright side, we understand that owner/brewer Derek Leslie will still be working in the industry, and we look forward to catching up with him in the near future!
• In good news for New Brunswick, however, there’s a new brewery opening this fall in Fredericton! Maybee Brewing Co. will be owned and operated by Paul Maybee, an avid home brewer (and NBCBA member) based in the city. Construction on the 10 BBL brewery and tasting room (located at 559 Wilsey Rd.) has already begun. The brewery will focus on hoppy American ales and Belgian styles (including an American Amber, American IPA, Pale Ale, and Belgian Tripel as their initial launch beers), and coming up with their own twist on other styles of beers. Along with pints and growler fills at the tasting room, their beers will be available at select beer bars/restaurants throughout Fredericton, and in cans at ANBL stores. You can follow along with the brewery construction progress on their Facebook and Instagram pages, and we will have a Q&A posted in the coming months.
• Tatamagouche Brewing released a new beer late last week, Little Russian Parti-gyle Stout. A parti-gyle beer involves running a second (or third) volume of hot water through the grains in the mash tun, and extracting some sugar still left over from the initial mash. The wort is then treated as a completely separate beer, boiled, hopped, and fermented independently from its big sister. In Tata’s case, that initial mash and beer is now fermenting as a Russian Imperial Stout, to be released in September, hence the Little Russian moniker for this beer. The LR is a 3% ABV beer, fairly light in body, but still features some roast flavours thanks to the darker malts used in the grain bill. The beer was hopped with Ahtanum, Centennial, and Magnum. The Little Russian can be purchased in cans and growlers at the brewery, and in growler fills at Harvest Wines and RockHead. Also look for it on tap at Agricola Street Brasserie, Stillwell, and Stubborn Goat.
• There’s currently a new beer fermenting over at Hammond River, and it’s a big one! Sterke Monnik is the first Belgian-style ale brewed on the HR system. It’s a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that should weigh in at approximately 10.4% ABV. While obviously a strong beer, the goal is one that is smooth, rich, and complex, with lots of malt and dark fruit characteristics, along with some classic Belgian fruity esters and spicy phenolics. Brewed with a Pilsner base malt, some dark Crystal malts, Special B (a specialty malt known for providing raisin and plum characteristics), and plenty of dark Belgian candi syrup, it was hopped with Hallertau to 33 IBUs. Look for this one to pop up at Hammond River’s regular accounts in two to three weeks.
• In other NB Belgian beer news, Grimross just released their Grimross Dubbel. A 6.8% ABV brew that is lightly hopped to 18 IBUs, it exhibits a coppery-brown colour and has notes of dark fruit and caramel, a dry finish, and mild alcohol warmth. Fermented with two yeast strains (a Belgian Abbey strain, and a neutral American strain), the beer had an addition of Demerara sugar, a light-tan, raw sugar with a coarse texture that can add notes of molasses to the final beer. It’s available now for pours and growlers at the brewery, and at better beer establishments across the province.
• Petit-Sault released a new seasonal offering earlier this week, and it came just in time for the heat wave we’ve been experiencing! John Stadig is named after a Madawaska counterfeiter who was one of the first civilian inmates at Alcatraz prison, in 1934. An “Orange-Ginger White Beer”, the grist includes 50% Wheat malt that adds a “bready, subtle spiciness, and an almost silky mouthfeel”, according to the brewery. Real, fresh-grated ginger was added at the end of the boil, along with fresh orange peel, to provide lots of aromatics and flavour to the beer; it comes in at a supremely-drinkable 4% ABV. It’s currently available at the brewery for a limited time for growler fills, and will be hitting all four ANBL growler stations next week; you can also find it on tap at the James Joyce in Fredericton. In other Petit-Sault news, their regular-release Witbier (and one of their first two launch beers), Tante Blanche, is now out of circulation until next May; it will be a summer seasonal from this point on.
• Sea Level Brewing is looking for a Brewing Assistant at their Port Williams location. Tasks include brewing, running the canning machine, filling growlers, and other tasks in the brewery. Brewing knowledge is preferred, but not required for the position. To apply, drop off a resume to Owner/Brewmaster Randy Lawrence at the brewery, weekdays 10am-4pm.
• Tickets for this year’s Fredericton Poutine Festival, being held Saturday November 21st at the Crowne Plaza, are now on sale, and are going fast! It looks like the evening session is sold out, but there are still some afternoon tickets available (which this year includes beer), as well as the family friendly, 12-2pm session (including free tickets for children under 12). We will have more details next week when the brewery list is finalized, but expect 8 breweries to be pouring, along with at least five establishments serving up more than a dozen styles of Poutine!
• Shediac Bay’s Flying Boats Brewing will be holding their Launch Party at the Laundromat Expresso Bar on Thursday, Sept. 3rd, starting at 7 pm. While Flying Boats has been open since early last month, this will be their official launch, and they’re bringing two kegs to be tapped for the event. The first is their S-55 Special Mission Dark Pale Ale, a 5.7% ABV, Cascade-hopped APA that first made its debut during the NB Tap Takeover at the James Joyce during the NB Day long weekend. The other is the Empress Irish Red Ale, a 5.5% ABV, 20 IBUs beer that “focuses on the maltiness and creaminess of the barley malt and wheat that is used”, according to the brewery, and features a “nice, roasted caramel flavour”.
Thanks for reading this week! In Fredericton, TrailWay has rebrewed their D’Under, an American Pale Ale hopped entirely with Australian Galaxy; this time around, they’ve increased the hop additions, so expect even more tropical fruitiness than before! And in Halifax, Good Robot Brewing are now pouring at two of the city’s markets. Catch them at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market Saturday 8am-1pm, and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market Sundays.