There are several new beer releases this week, plus some events worth attending, coming up in the next couple of weeks. Let’s get right to it!
• Tatamagouche Brewing has been busy recently, and we all get to reap the rewards. Firstly, they have released an additional number of bottles from their Giant Beer series, featuring Giantess Barleywine, Baltic Porter, and Rum Barrel Aged Dreadnot Black IPA, joining the last few Russian Imperial Stout bottles they had released last month. These are the last bottles from the initial run, and would do very well with a few months of cellaring due to the higher alcohol content. We received word that a new batch of barrel-aged Dreadnot will be out shortly, after spending some time in Ironworks rum barrels.
• Another specialty beer from Tata out again is their Horns Over Hooves Double IPA, brewed with the crew from Stubborn Goat. For the first time, this 8.0% ABV and 80 IBU beer will be available on tap, in growlers, AND cans, with the latter available soon at the private stores in Halifax. And, in another first, Tata has sent a shipment of beer to the NSLC. Cans of their North Shore Lagered Ale will be available throughout the province in the coming weeks, allowing drinkers from Yarmouth to Sydney to enjoy their wares. Hopefully this helps to continue the trend of greater access to NS craft beers at the NSLC.
• And finally in Tatamagouche news, their latest new beer was released yesterday. Ging’ Sync : Rye, Rye, Rye is a 5.5% ABV and 17 IBUs ale. On top of the spicy rye notes from the malt bill and Cascade and Willamette hops in the base beer, 6 kg of ginger and sweet orange peel was added in the kettle and hopback, for a ginger spice and citrus aroma. Another kilo of ginger was added during the conditioning stage to amp up the ginger aroma and bite, for a true Rye and Ginger character. Their firkin for Cask Days (more on that below) features even *more* fresh ginger, along with caraway seeds, for a heightened Ging’ Sync experience. And keep an eye open for a barrel-aged version of the brew, Giant Beer: Dark n’ Stormy, out in the coming months.
• Unfiltered Brewing is releasing another SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) Double IPA today at the brewery. All Falc’d Up was brewed with 2-row base malt and plenty of Falconer’s Flight hops; Falconer’s Flight is actually a combination of several different varieties, giving heavy amounts of tropical, citrus, and floral notes. Weighing in at 7.5% ABV and a calculated 100+ IBUs, this should be the perfect beer to replace the extremely-popular previous SMaSH DIPA, Double Orange Ale. Hop on down to the brewery today to get your growlers filled!
• Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza is holding a beer lunch/beer launch today. Starting at noon, they will be serving up slow-roasted pig, courtesy of local farm Forever Green Organic Farm. This 80kg heritage breed pig will be paired with Apple/cabbage slaw, Gallo Pinto featuring Big Spruce-farm grown beans, along with pico de gallo and tomatillo sauces, mole and others. And to wash it down, the Smokin’ Jack It Pumpkin Beer will be launched at noon. Joining the taps will be their latest specialty brew, Gimme Nelson, a conspiracy brew with Bar Stillwell. In the same vein as their Gimme Citra beer from the summer, this 5.7% ABV and 34 IBU American Pale Ale features loads of the New Zealand hop, Nelson Sauvin, late in the boil and in dry hopping, for an emphasis on the aroma and flavour of the hop, rather than the bitterness. And speaking of launching, throughout the afternoon, they will be using their trebuchet to launch pumpkins into the Bras d’Or lake (or as close as they can get them ;)). From 2pm, their house band, Asaph Deuce, will be keeping everyone entertained. Don’t worry if the weather doesn’t look too friendly, there is a tent set up in the parking lot just in case. As such, people are asked to park on Yankee Line Rd.
• Over in New Brunswick, Picaroons has released a couple of new beers for growler fills at the Brewtique. First up is Ginger Ale; consisting of a “wide and varied malt bill” made up primarily of Pilsner, Wheat malt, and Rye malt, along with “significant amounts” of Munich and Vienna, it was lightly hopped with Amarillo and Mt. Hood. In addition, real ginger root was added both in the boil and the hop percolator, along with generous helpings of lemon peel and Rooibos tea. All this comes together to give the beer a slightly sweet taste, similar to a fall ginger tea, with a “pleasant herbal finish” according to the brewery. This amber-coloured ale weighs in at 6% ABV and ~20 IBUs. Pics has also just put out their Magnum PEI, a hop-forward American Amber Ale that has been hopped with fresh Magnum from My Father’s Farm in Pownal, Prince Edward Island. Only a single batch was made; as mentioned, it’s available at the Brewtique for growler fills until it’s gone.
• Speaking of Picaroons, they’re holding a Harvest Ale Dinner at Lion & Bright in Halifax on Sunday, October 25th from 6 – 9 pm. The $50 ticket price includes three courses with beer pairings, with all food featuring freshly-harvested local ingredients. Picaroons’ Tony Goss will be hosting the dinner, telling the story behind every beer that will be paired throughout the evening. Only 45 tickets are available; they can be purchased at the event link above.
• Petit-Sault is releasing yet another brand new beer today, Simone Hébert, a Belgian Dubbel named after “an important land owner” in Edmundston in the early 19th century who stood up to American commissioners who claimed his lands were on American territory. Brewed with a little bit of Chocolate malt and plenty of dark Belgian candi syrup to give it the style-classic notes of dark fruit and mild chocolate, it comes through as “rich, malty, and fruity with a surprisingly dry finish”, according to the brewery. Hopped lightly with Willamette and Hallertau to 20 IBUs, it weighs in at 7% ABV. This one will be available only at the brewery for growler fills, so get over there to give it a try!
• Tickets are selling quickly for October 24th’s Celtic Oktoberfest in Port Hawkesbury. Featuring unlimited sampling from seven breweries and one winery (Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton Brewing, Garrison Brewing, Hell Bay, Tatamagouche, Uncle Leo’s, and Eileanan Breagha Vineyards), food from ten different local producers is also included (Barykin Bistro, Buschmann Free Range Bio, Clove Hitch Bar & Bistro, Dancing Goat Cafe & Bakery, Fleur De Lis Tea Room, Governor’s Pub & Eatery, Louie’s Cosy Corner, Martin’s Fine Bakery, Miller’s Tap & Grill, and the NSCC Culinary Program). And of course, live music throughout the evening from Nuallan and Beech Hill. Grab your tickets today, it will be a blast!
• Next week will mark the 11th Anniversary of Cask Days in Toronto. Put on by the family crew that owns Bar Volo, it is a celebration of Cask beer. Thanks to the folks at Bar Stillwell, there will be more than a dozen Maritime beers available at the fest again this year. The full list of beers is available here. We reached out to the breweries to find out more details on which beers they would be sending. There are several new beers on the list that we will share the details of, when they are released in our region.
Big Spruce: Bitter Getter India Black IPA and Gimme Nelson American Pale Ale, collab with Stillwell.
Boxing Rock: The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale and Vicar’s Cross Double IPA
Breton Brewing: Celtic Colours Maple Lager
The Brewnosers: Special Bitter
Garrison Brewing: Imperial Chocolate Stout and Vulcan Ale – Genesis Effect Red Session IPA
Hell Bay: English Ale
North Brewing: TBA
PEI Brewing: Island Vibes American Pale Ale and Roll Out The Barrels (Barrel Aged Lager w/ Brett)
Pumphouse: Thai Wheat
Tatamagouche Brewing: Rye & Ginger
Unfiltered Brewing: Exile on North Street IPA, Flat Black Jesus American Stout, and Twelve Years To Zion Double IPA
Upstreet: Gravedigger Imperial Pumpkin Ale
• Attention Halifax beer fans! Tomorrow marks the last day of the 2015 season for the Stillwell Beergarden, so be sure to drop by for a pint. We reached out to co-owner Andrew Connell for his thoughts on its inaugural year on the waterfront:
“I was personally really surprised at the response from people in and around Halifax. We wanted to create a space for ourselves to hang out, somewhere outside with an awesome view and good beer on tap. When we opened it felt like people had been waiting for that exact thing for way longer than I realized! At the height we were really surprising ourselves with the amount of beer we ordered from individual breweries every week. The problem became not having enough keg room space to have enough beer for a busy weekend! Halifax based breweries saved us, emergency keg deliveries several times a week just to keep up with demand – they were awesome. The response of the community in Halifax was incredible and we definitely put craft beer in to a lot of people’s hands who were completely new to the idea – I’m sure you can appreciate that it always feels great to do that and to be on the front line supporting Nova Scotia craft beer. As far as next year goes, if we are able to do the Beergarden again, we just want to raise the bar for the whole experience. The best selection of Nova Scotia craft beer that we can get our hands on, more variety on the snack side and we’ll invest in making the space more fun (lawn games!) and more comfortable.”
We’re certainly looking forward to seeing them on the waterfront again next year, showcasing the best the NS breweries have to offer, to locals and visitors alike.
• Boxing Rock will be hosting a Harvest Party at their Shelburne brewery tomorrow. From 1-4pm, they will be holding free brewery tours, live music, serving up beer sausages, and have pumpkin-themed games for the whole family. At 2pm, co-owner and -brewer Henry Pedro will give a presentation on the Science of Beer. Expanding on his Mash talk at the Discovery Centre event during NS Craft Beer Week, he will go into more detail on the entire process, sure to satisfy both the brewing novice and beer nerd.
Have a fantastic weekend! Hammond River has a couple of favourites that have returned to tap accounts: both the Imperial Vanilla Porter (including the Bourbon-version) and Imperial Breakfast Stout (this time with more bacon!) should be available at better beer bars in the Quispamsis/Saint John region, and hopefully at the James Joyce at some point as well. Red Rover has also re-released their very popular Fall Cider, a 7% ABV semi-dry cider that has real cinnamon sticks added in secondary. If you haven’t tried Petit-Sault’s Oktoberfest, La Padrix, yet, it’s currently at all four ANBL growler stations. Hell Bay‘s
hop harvest beer will be released shortly, featuring fresh hops from local Dayspring hop farm. Also, look for 6-packs of their English and Dark Cream ales at the NSLC, replacing the 500ml format. Best of luck to all entrants in this weekend’s ACBAs. With 200 entries from across the Maritimes, the judges have their work cut out for them! We’ll be sharing the details of the winners next week. And from the folks organizing the ACBAs, a reminder that their Cicerone prep course for Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone are beginning this week. Get in touch with Peter Goneau for more details.