All posts for the month November, 2015

Happy Friday, dear readers! We hope your Friday the 13th turns out better than the one in those movies. At least you’ll be drinking great beer if you grab a few of the ones mentioned below!

Propeller Brewing released their latest One Hit Wonder late last week, named Down East North West IPA (DENWIPA). This 6.8% unfiltered IPA is an ode to West Coast IPAs, with a solid bitterness and a full blast of pine and citrus aroma. The orange-hued beer features a creamy white head, and a touch of sweetness to round out the big hopping. As with all of their One Hit Wonders, it is available at both their Gottingen and Windmill locations in growler fills only, and on rotating taps in the city, but not for long!

• Expanding on the popularity of the brew, Propeller’s Rye IPA is now available in six packs, as well as bombers. The 6.8% IPA features a generous addition of rye malt for a spicy character to accentuate the citrus aroma from the Pacific Northwest hops. For when you don’t want to drink a full 650ml of the beer, six packs are available at the Prop Shoppe, and the private beer stores, while the NSLC will continue to carry the bombers.

• And great news for those of us who attended the Prop’r Cask Nights in 2013 and 2014, they will be making a return! Propeller will be partnering with a local kitchen to cater their Gottingen St tasting room for an evening of food and fun, featuring special one-off casks and special blends for the occasion. We’ll let you know once the details are released.

• Big Spruce released their very popular Crazy Ivan Double IPA late last week. Brewed with 100% imported German malts, this orange-hued DIPA comes in at 8% ABV and over 100 IBUs, with a beautiful full hop blast on the nose. Due to the sheer volume of hops in the boil, the yield for this brew is less than standard Big Spruce brews, so don’t delay in grabbing a sample or growler at the brewery, or on tap at their accounts.

• And not shying away from the hoppier branch of beers, they recently brewed their Left Breton Organic Conspiracy IPA. This beer uses their own farm-grown organic hops, showcasing their 2015 harvest Cascade, among others. This brew first made its debut in 2013, when their good friends Brian and Rebecca from Crannóg Ales brought some of their own farm-grown organic hops. While they weren’t able to join them for this brew day, they were there in spirit.

• And look out for another conspiracy beer in the coming weeks and months, as the Big Spruce crew is invading Boxing Rock in Shelburne today for a special brewday. Taking a cue from today’s date, they are scaring up an Imperial Brown Ale named Triskaidekaphobia. This fear-inducing 9% beer will be then be conditioned on cherries and vanilla beans, with both non- and Glenora-barrel-aged versions seeing their release. A few members of the Ladies Beer League are in attendance today; follow along on their Twitter to get a peek at the mayhem.

Distillerie Fils du Roy have released another new beer, North Shore Regiment. The beer was named after the Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army that was founded in Chatham, New Brunswick; they participated in many notable battles of World War II, including the Juno Beach landing on D-Day. The beer is an English Barleywine, a Strong Ale that is rich and malty, with complex flavours that may include toffee, toast, caramel, and molasses. Fils du Roy’s take on the style IS a strong one, clocking in at a whopping 12% ABV! Bittered to 45 IBUs to help balance the strong malt character, it’s available now in 750 mL bottles at the brewery and select ANBL stores; it’s also currently on tap at all four ANBL growler stations.

• Garrison Brewing has announced the style details of their 2016 Home Brew-Off Competition, and it is American IPA with Experimental Feature. This is category is wide open to individual interpretation: as long as it uses an American IPA as its base, and falls within those style guidelines (Style 21A from 2015 BJCP details here), it’s fair game! Novel ingredient additions are encouraged, including fruits, herbs, spices, etc, with your imagination as your only limit, as long as the Am IPA characters still shine through. From the brewery, “If it clearly fits one of the 21B – Specialty IPA sub-styles, then it probably isn’t what we have in mind”. The registration forms will be available shortly (be sure to mark down which special ingredient(s) were used!), and the beers will be due February 11th, with the Awards Gala held March 3rd. So, get brainstorming on recipes, and fire up your kettles for some test batches, Maritime Homebrewers! Post your brewday, and follow along with others as they brew, using the #GHBO16 tag on Twitter.

• And in more Garrison news, their popular seasonal Martello Stout has returned for the cooler months. This year’s batch features a new recipe with a slightly higher 5% ABV, and a higher percentage of oats for a great smooth and creamy character. The chocolate and espresso notes will keep you happy while you curl up by the fire. Look for it on sale in bombers at the brewery and private stores, and on tap in our local market. Also look for their flagship Irish Red in its new branding and large bottle format at the NSLC shortly.

• Bar Stillwell is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, and there will be a ton of great beers and food to celebrate. They will be pouring a full complement of local and regional beers on their taps and beer engines, including Red Rover’s VeRRy PeRRy and White Witch, aged kegs of Grimross Chantelope and Tatamagouche Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot, a special one-off cask of Extra Special Bitter from The Brewnosers Homebrew Club (brewed at Good Robot), as well as several great sour Quebec beers, including Trou du Diable Oude Blanche, Ze Blend and L’Ours, and Dunham Tropicale and Assemblage #1. In addition to the taps, they will be popping bottles from Jester King, Dunham, and other beauties they’ve been cellaring. Of course, Chef GR will be serving up some killer food to complement the beers, including smoked brisket poutine and the infamous boatzel.  The event kicks off when the doors open at 6pm Sunday, and there are no tickets required. We’ll see you there!

• The anniversary party will also be the debut of Stillwell’s celebratory brew, Two. Brewed at NorthTwo is a 4.5% “rustic farmhouse” beer, inspired by both traditional saison and modern American farmhouse brewing. It was fermented using a mixed blend of yeasts and bacteria, for waves of funky and tart/acidic characteristics, on an effervescent and light base. It was hopped with Saaz and Sterling, for a peppery and fruity nose. From Stillwell, “It was a very experimental brew but we’re extremely pleased with the results; it turned out just as we’d hoped it would. We’re very grateful to Peter at North Brewing for allowing us to brew this beer at his brewery.” The beer will be available in both draft and bottle-conditioned pours. After the party, bottles will be available for purchase at North, and if you spot it, grab it!, as we don’t expect it to last long.

• There’s a new beer fermenting at Grimross Brewing, and it should be ready in plenty of time for the fast-approaching Christmas season. Dubbel Noel is actually the same recipe as their original Dubbel; however, this time around, the beer will be further conditioned on vanilla beans. Owner/brewer Stephen Dixon expects the vanilla to “add depth and richness to the already great flavours of caramel, candy and malt”, providing a subtle – but still enjoyable – contrast to the original beer. The ABV and IBUs (6.8% and 18, respectively) will not change; look for the new beer to be released by early December.

• Speaking of Christmas, next month will feature the first Christmas-themed beer event from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. The Christmas Beer Garden at the Market is currently scheduled for Sunday, December 20th, from 10 am – 3 pm. Visitors to the Boyce Farmers Market will be able to take a break from the shopping and enjoy some brews from Garrison, Grimross, Maybee, Petit-Sault, Red Rover, Sunset Heights Meadery, and TrailWay. Both 4oz samples and 12oz pours (9oz for cider and mead) will be available, and there is no ticket required to attend. However, those who buy the Early Bird tickets (available at the link above) will receive a special glass which allows for 16oz pours for the price of 12oz, as well as their first four beer tickets on the house. The event will be cash-only, as are many of the Farmers Market vendors, so plan accordingly. And food from the great vendors at the market can be brought into the Beer Gardens area.

• There are two new seasonal beers soon to be brewed over at Hammond River. First off is an old homebrew favourite of owner/brewer Shane Steeves: Foghorn Coffee Porter. Brewed with a grist containing Maris Otter, Crystal 120 L, Chocolate malt, and Roasted Barley, it also features the addition of Foghorn coffee beans from local roasters Java Moose; it should come in at ~6% ABV. Next up is definitely an interesting new experiment: White Stout is brewed with a grist that includes oats and barley, and also features the addition of Foghorn coffee. The beer is further conditioned on cacao nibs, with the intended result being, you guessed it, a pale beer that smells and tastes roasty and chocolatey, like a stout! This one will be targeted at 7.2% ABV and ~37 IBUs. Stay tuned for release details on both beers over the coming weeks.

TrailWay has brewed up a new Milk Stout, their first since their original “Imperial Coffee Milk Stout”, Double Double, released last March. Similar in some ways to Double Double, this newer “Experimental Milk Stout” made its first appearance last night at the King Street Ale House Cask Night. In fact, future releases of the same batch will continue to be cask-only; while last night’s was served in a standard cask, the beer’s next appearance will likely be served after conditioning on whisky-soaked oak chips. Featuring a higher percentage of lactose powder added in the boil, to boost the beer’s mouthfeel and perception of sweetness, it comes in at ~6.2% ABV. Keep your eyes on TrailWay’s social media pages for future cask releases! And remember that TrailWay is pouring at the Fredericton ANBL growler station this weekend; their Session IPA is on in limited supply, so get over there quickly!

• One of Fredericton’s upcoming breweries, Gray Stone Brewing, has announced recently that their plans to open in the Capital Complex have been cancelled. Instead, they hope to open in another currently-unconfirmed downtown location, where they will still house both a 10 bbl brewery and tasting room. Currently employing three brewers, they still plan on launching with the four beers we’ve reported on before (an American Pale Ale, American IPA, American Stout and Brown Ale), along with several other styles to follow shortly after. We’ll keep you further updated on their progress; right now, plans are to open the brewery and tasting room to the public in May, 2016.

• The James Joyce Irish Pub has announced the third in their series of tap takeovers, Meet Your Makers, for Thursday, November 26th at 7 pm. After initial offerings from Big Axe and Red Rover, the next event will feature Picaroons. We’re not certain on exactly which beers will be pouring, but have been assured that there will be several one-off beers, including at least one cask. It also sounds like several Picaroons staff members will be on hand, eager to chat beer. As always, there is no charge to attend; just pay by the pour!

• Meander River released their Homegrown Wet Hopped Pale Ale a few weeks ago, but we missed announcing it when it happened. Our apologies! Good news, though, as it is currently on tap for growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar and Harvest Wines. Using a blend of their own farm-grown Cascade and Zeus, the beer was hopped exclusively using the mash tun as a hopback. This allows the characteristic taste and aroma of wet hops to shine through in the 4.2% beer. And for those heading to the brewery this weekend, look for their First Frost Cider and return of Smokey Chipotle Porter.

A few more things before we sign off this week: Speaking of growler fills, Red Rover will be making their debut on a growler filling station early next week. However, it will be not be in New Brunswick, but in Nova Scotia, with RockHead in Halifax pouring their Fall Cider. Charlottetown’s Upstreet has released their Rhuby Social in bottles, joining their Do-Gooder APA and Commons Pilsner, so now you can take their strawberry and rhubarb witbier home in a smaller format. Bulwark’s Winter Cider is back for the season, and will be available at the NSLC shortly. They have also bottled their Hopped Cider, which will be debuting at the NSLC in the next week or two. Though it’s six months away, tickets for next May’s Full House event as part of NS Craft Beer Week have already gone on sale. The event is May 14th, and once again there will be two sessions, 1:30-4pm and 6:30-9pm, and will feature as many NS breweries as can fit in the same room.

Happy Friday! There’s lots of new beers – and some other beer-related news – out this week for our region; time to start getting caught up…

• Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing released a brand new beer this past weekend. Bockman-Turner Overweiz is a Weizenbock, meaning a dark wheat beer (Dunkelweizen), but brewed to a higher ABV (hence the “bock” moniker). The BTO weighs in at 7.6% ABV, and was brewed with a grain bill of half wheat malt, with the remainder composed of German Munich, Bohemian Pilsner, Crystal and a touch of chocolate malt for colour and roast flavour. Hallertauer hops were used throughout, and a top fermenting German Wheat Ale yeast was used to bring out the characteristic banana and clove aromas to round out the brew. It is available on tap now at the brewpub, and in growler fills to go; it was a small batch, so it won’t last much longer… drop by today!

Big Spruce Brewing has brought back their very popular The Whole 9 Yards Scotch Ale. First released in April 2014 as a beer celebrating their First Anniversary, this latest version again features the addition of Glenora Glen Breton Rare 10 year Single Malt Whisky to the batch to enhance the roast, peat, and smoke characteristics of the underlying Scotch Ale. Available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and on tap at better beer bars in the province. And don’t forget, time is quickly running out on Big Spruce’s Third Annual Home Brew Challenge. If you haven’t already brewed up your Red IPA (or Dark Czech Lager or Altbier), you might be able to squeeze it in under the wire this weekend!

• Last night, the second Meet Your Makers tap-takeover event was held at the James Joyce Irish Pub. Red Rover Craft Cider was featured, with a total of ten taps pouring various regular-release and special one-off ciders. Two brand new ciders made their debut at the event: first off is their Tinderbox, a semi-dry cider featuring notes of vanilla, that has been aged with the addition of bourbon and oak (this one was brewed specifically for the Guy Fawkes Day-themed tap takeover). Next up was the Bee for B, another semi-dry blend which was made with honey produced on the roof of the Crowne Plaza hotel; this one will continue to be on tap exclusively at the James Joyce for the foreseeable future. Also, the White Witch made its triumphant return last week and was on tap last night; first released last fall, it features plenty of fresh orange zest and locally-grown cilantro out of Wellwood Farm in Saint John. All three ciders are, as usual for Red Rover, 7% ABV.

• Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a few returning favourites on tap at the brewery these days. Their award-winning Mosaic Double IPA is back on tap at the brewery now. This 8% ABV big IPA is brewed to showcase the Mosaic hop, and it does that in spades, featuring big aromas and bitterness. All of the proceeds from Mosaic are donated to attend camp at Brigadoon Village and other community projects, to support families and those living with Mosaic Down Syndrome. This is something very close to the Bad Apple family, as one of owner Jeff Saunder’s children has Mosaic Down Syndrome. In addition to the brewery (where a limited number of bottles will also be available), the beer will be on tap at Lion & Bright, Stubborn Goat, and La Torta Pizzeria in Wolfville, as well as few spots in New Brunswick.

• Also available from Bad Apple is their Operation Green Ring, a 5.0% ABV Cucumber Mint Wheat Ale. It was brewed with Delta Force Brewery, two members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club. Using fresh local mint and cucumbers, this field beer features lots of mint aroma and cucumber flavour, coming together with a great Wheat base. It is available now at the brewery for growler fills. And keep your eyes peeled for the return of their Russian Imperial Stout, currently conditioning and waiting for release closer to Christmas. As in some previous releases, a good amount of this brew is being barrel aged in Glenora casks.

• There’s a new beer from Flying Boats currently hitting taps; Beach Cruiser DIPA is a test batch of sorts that came in at 7.2% ABV and 72 IBUs. Featuring a “generous” dry hop, it was also hopped at several points throughout the boil with four different varieties: Magnum, Centennial, Amarillo and Chinook. It’s currently on tap at the James Joyce, and should be on a rotating tap at Marky’s Laundromat later this month. The newly-installed pilot system at the brewery is also up and running, with the first test batch currently undergoing active fermentation. More on that beer, soon!

Meander River will be releasing their latest batch of cider this weekend: First Frost Hard Apple Cider is a 5.5% ABV apple blend featuring juice from Fair Acres Farm. “A touch sweeter and juicier” than their original dry cider releases, according to the brewery, it still finishes very crisp. It will be released this weekend at the brewery, and at Christmas at the Forum (Fri-Sun) in Halifax. And speaking of Meander River, the crew from Garrison dropped by yesterday to collect spruce boughs for their Spruce Beer winter seasonal. Look for that beer in the coming weeks.

• Over at Granite Brewery in Halifax, they have a new beer on tap for pints and growler fills. Described as a “Red Ale” by the brewery, Flander’s Fields was brewed with honey and ginger to give it extra aroma and flavour to go with the maltiness from the grist. It weighs in at an easy-drinking 5.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery until it’s gone (approximately three weeks).

• Fredericton’s Half Cut Brewing (operating out of the brew system located at the Picaroons Brewtique) recently released their second beer, an American Brown Ale named Belligerent Brown. Described as roasty and hoppy with “notes of dark chocolate and dried dark fruit”, it was hopped heavily with Centennial and Chinook. While technically on the higher end of bitter with a calculated 74 IBUs, it comes in at an easy-drinking 5.4% ABV. It’s available for growler fills at the Brewtique, and should be on tap around the city at the King Street Ale House, James Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Snooty Fox.

• It’s getting closer to the official ticket-release for the 2016 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, and those behind it all have been releasing some sneak peeks for what they have in store for the Fourth Annual event! Organized by Lloyd Chambers, this will be the first time the event has been stretched into Fredericton Craft Beer Week, featuring plenty of beer-related activities from March 9th-12th, finalizing with the beer festival on Saturday. There will be two sessions this time around (afternoon and evening), both of which will feature the largest gathering of Atlantic Canadian craft beer yet – 45 confirmed breweries pouring over 160 different types of beer, cider and mead. We’ll have lots of information as we get closer to the events, but for now, keep in mind that tickets for the festival will go on sale at 11 am on Friday, November 27th through their website. Stay tuned for more!

Rudder’s Brewpub in Yarmouth has released a new beer this week, Runic Stone IPA. Weighing in at 5.6% ABV and 46 IBUs, it was brewed with a load of late hopping in the boil by Cascade, Columbus, Saaz and Sorachi Ace hops, and was further dry hopped with more Saaz and Sorachi Ace. This hop schedule allows for a big hop aroma, without the beer being too bitter. It is named after the Runic (or Fletcher) Stone in the local museum, thought to be a Norse artifact, discovered in the early 19th century. While the exact origins of the stone are unknown, it is certainly part of Yarmouth’s history. Grab its namesake beer on tap at Rudder’s while it lasts!

TrailWay has brewed up a fresh batch of their popular Session IPA, and next week it’ll be a little easier for those in Fredericton to get their “fill”! As of next Thursday, 250 L of this hoppy, ~4.3% ABV beer will be making its way to the Prospect St. ANBL for growler fills. This will be TrailWay’s first time at the ANBL growler station since last March. And in other TrailWay news, Dan Mason and Jake Saunders of TrailWay Brewing have officially signed the lease on the location for their new brewery when they expand in 2016; located at 280 Main St. on Fredericton’s North Side, they hope to be producing beer on their 10 BBL system by Spring.

Grimross has added two new fermentors to their existing line-up, and with this minor expansion comes the need for more assistance in the brewery! As a result, they are currently looking to hire a full-time brewer. Interested parties can find the full list of requirements here, and resumes should be sent to

We hope everyone has a great weekend! Petit-Sault‘s award-winning La Buckdjeuve has returned; it’s currently on tap at the brewery for growler fills. Picaroons has brought back their popular seasonal, Winter Warmer; you can find it on tap at the Brewtique, at select beer bars/restaurants across the province (and beyond?), and in 500 mL bottles at ANBL stores. PEI Brewing Co. will be re-releasing their Transmitter Coffee Stout later this month; featuring a new blend of beans from Receiver Coffee. And don’t forget to grab a bottle of their Hell Street barrel-aged Doppelbock on sale at the brewery now. While there, grab a pint of their latest cask, SmOAKed Brown, a smoked version of their Iron Bridge Brown, aged on oak chips. Storm Brewing in Newfoundland has brought back their winter seasonal Coffee Porter, available at their usual licensee and retail locations. Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax has released a new seasonal themselves, Strawberry Blonde, a 5.0% ABV fruit beer.

spindrift logo

Spindrift Brewing Co is a new brewery in our region, a partnership between co-founders Andrew Bell, Andy Armstrong, and Rob Green. Their Coastal Lager has been available at NSLC locations across the province since mid-September, and this week they will be celebrating the Grand Opening of their storefront at 21 Frazee Drive in Dartmouth. Kellye Robertson heads up the Brew Team, and brews on a DME Brewing 20bbl (24hl) 3-vessel system.

Co-Founders Andrew Bell, Andy Armstrong, and Rob Green were kind enough to answer some questions about themselves and the brewery.

Can you tell us about yourselves?
Andrew Bell
 – Co-Owner of Spindrift Brewing Company, is the grandson of Charles R. Bell whom championed the St. John’s, NL based Bavarian Brewing Company with the Hickman family back in 1945. Eventually purchased by Labatt Breweries in 1962, The Bavarian Brewing Company aimed to make the best German-type and quality beer for the competitive market of the day. Bavarian produced two of the nostalgic Newfoundland beer brands, Jockey Club Lager and Blue Star Beer Lager, still in market today. For Andrew, there was a longing to pick up the brewing legacy of this grandfather, much as he has with taking over the Charles R. Bell group of companies he is now managing, and get back to his roots of making great local beer.

Andy Armstrong – Co Owner of Spindrift Brewing Company has over 30 years in the beverage alcohol industry, dating back to his university days at Laurentian, where he was both Campus Rep and Summer Rep for Labatt. Ever since those early days, it has been his dream to someday open a brewery of his own… Spindrift is the realization of this dream. Andy brings a tremendous amount of industry expertise to this venture, having worked at field level, management and in an ownership capacity for the last 25 years, in Ontario, the Prairie Provinces and, Atlantic Canada. He has worked with suppliers of spirits, wines, beers and RTD, providing experience across all categories. He has successfully introduced countless brands, providing for a structured and well learned brand launch approach. He resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, allowing for considerable focus and a deep understanding of the Atlantic Canada Craft Brew Marketplace.

Rob Green – Co-Founder and  General Manager of Spindrift was born and raised in St. John’s NL, and has resided here in Nova Scotia for over 25 years. One of the three founders of Spindrift, Rob came to the team in February 2012 after a 26 year career in the Royal Canadian Navy, and began building the dream that you see and taste today. Rob completed his Executive Certification in Brewing Technology through the Siebel Institute in Chicago (World Brewing Academy) in 2013. As General Manager, Rob is responsible for the overall operations of Spindrift, including the coordination of the Production, Accounting and Sales teams.


How did you get into the world of beer/craft beer?
Andrew and Andy have long been fans and followed closely the craft beer scene. They started Atlantic Spirits and Wines (ASW) together, an alcoholic beverage distribution company. After years of development of ASW, the logical next step was into the craft beer market with Spindrift, using ASW as the sales arm for the company. Many years were spend to the lead up of Spindrift. In fact, the idea for the company happened over a few beer in South Carolina with Co-Founder Rob Green back in the early days of 2011. From that moment, Andrew and Rob continued to pursue the venture, carefully laying out the business plan and the style of beer that would be Spindrifts flagship. From there, Rob completed his Executive Certification in Brewing Technology through the Siebel Institute in Chicago (World Brewing Academy) in 2013. Shortly thereafter, the location was determined and a Brewmaster found.

Can you tell us about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially? Are you planning on offering a specific style, or genre (German, English, etc), of beer?
Much like Jockey Club lager, Spindrift’s flagship beer is a tip of the hat to his grandfather’s enterprise. Coastal Lager is a German style Fest-bier that is bright amber in colour with a frothy head that lingers to the last drop. It has unique toasted and earthy qualities that are gained by using specialty European and Canadian malts, with noble German hops to create a very clean finish. It has an ABV of 5.0% and an IBU of 30. We’ll take the time to brew a lager the old fashioned “35 days” way. We are not going to stick to making any particular style of beer, only to making great beer that is fills a gap in the market. We’re not going to brew your everyday beer. We’re coming with something different.

What are your plans for distribution? Plans for tap accounts, bottles, growlers, etc.?
Spindrift Coastal Lager is available through the NSLC province-wide, and on tap select licensees. The NSLC will have single 473 ml cans priced right at $3.60 while a 4 pack is $13.99. We’ll also operate via store front at our brewery located at 21 Frazee Ave, Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth. Our storefront will also offer growler fills for $11, initial growler purchase of $20 (includes bottle deposit). We’ll also fill other brewery growlers for the same price, but we ain’t cleaning them. They must come in clean to be filled with our tasty brew. In addition to cans and growler fills, we’ve got samples available, as well as kegs for private sales. For licensee distribution, we’ve partnered with Bishop’s Cellar.

sampling counter

Do you have any beer bars/restaurants in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We are currently on tap at The ArgyleAuction House, Moxie’s Bayers Lake Halifax (and Dartmouth Crossing next week), Bar Stillwell, with more licensees signing on to serve our beer constantly.

Will you be releasing any seasonals, one-offs, or will you stick mainly with a “flagship lineup”?
Eventually. We are just a few weeks out of the gate. We intend to satisfy the market with Coastal Lager before we embark on multiple brands and seasonal beer. More great things to come from Spindrift, that you can be sure of!

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
We have found that the craft brewery scene in Nova Scotia is one that is very receptive to assisting each other and promoting each other. We have to give big props to John Allen of Propeller Brewery. He has been an excellent resources and mentor for us at Spindrift. John is definitely a class act. Would also like to thank PEI Brewing for hosting us to learn about their packaging system. Also a big shout out to DME in preparing us for the mechanics of our brewing system, which is quite the Cadillac!

Where do you hope to see Spindrift in the next 5 years?
In the hands of many loyal consumers, of course!


We also caught up with Brewmaster Kellye Robertson, who shared some of her background, and more details on the brewhouse.

Did you start out as a homebrewer? Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
I did start out homebrewing when I was in university, but it wasn’t until my second year into it, that I started to explore in all-grain brewing. Once that happened, it seemed like endless possibilities of styles and ingredients which really took my interest into discovering more about brewing techniques/brewing literature.

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
I believe it was at the point where I found myself spending more time learning about brewing than what I was actually going to school for, that I needed to find out what my options were. I could have gone the “stage” route, however I really wanted a professional brewing education. Once I found out there was a new program that started in Canada (Niagara College), the rest was history.

Do you have assistance in the Brewhouse?
Absolutely! Every great brewery begins with having a solid team. I’ve got Kyle Jeppesen heading up our QA/QC program and also Assistant Brewer, plus Matthew Daye as our in-house “can-whisperer” aka Packaging Manager.

brewing deck

What type of system will you be brewing on?
We have an all-Canadian DME Three Vessel 20 BBL Brewhouse with their brand new integrated Siemens Braumat Compact automation program. It was built to our exact specifications, all at DME’s Charlottetown facility. This steam-driven system features a mash tun, lauter, and kettle/whirlpool vessels. Using steam jacketing allows for great mash temperature control, very useful for step mashes. There are a few special integrated devices that we incorporated into the Braumat control which make consistency in the brewdays easier. We have 40 barrel and 80 barrel tanks for fermentation, to keep up with demand. We have a small lab where Kyle can do some micro work on our yeast, checking for health and purity, as well as testing pH, off-flavours, and forced fermentation of our brews. Our Cask Canning machine gets a workout on packaging day, with Matt in charge of that lofty task.

From where/whom have you learned the most in respect to brewing?
I had a lot of exceptional teachers from Niagara College that gave me a solid foundation in becoming a brewer. In addition to school, the previous breweries I’ve worked at (Beau’s All Natural Brewing, Oast House Brewers & Garrison Brewing Co) all have had a great impact on my professional career and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

canning line

Do you have a specific ingredient in brewing that you like to brew with (whether at home or professionally)?
I believe like most brewers, it’s hard for us to have a favorite anything, hah. I do enjoy experimenting with new or unusual raw ingredients, but I also respect revisiting some of the more traditional components and consider if they could be showcased in a new approach.

Do you personally have a favorite beer style? Beer? Brewery?
Well lately, I have been quite taken with the lager family since it’s a style that isn’t seen as often in the craft beer, however, definitely a growing segment.  My favorite go to beer I’d say is Great Lakes Canuck Pale Ale and favorite brewery without a doubt is von Trapp Brewing in Vermont.

Thanks very much to Andrew, Andy, Rob, and Kellye for taking the time to chat with us. Be sure to drop by for their Grand Opening on Wednesday, Nov 4, from 11-6pm to check out the brewery and grab a growler or can to go. Going forward, the storefront will be open weekdays 11-6pm. Keep up with Spindrift on their websiteTwitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, to find out about their new releases and special events. Cheers!

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