Welcome to another early-post week! Things have slowed down, understandably, over the last week, but there’s still some action in the beer world that we wanted to be sure you were all updated on…
• Moncton’s newest brewery, Bore City Brewing, has announced that they have received their license to brew, and hope to have beer flowing by mid-to-late January, 2016. Founders Jamie Melanson, Stéphane Cormier (head brewer), and Denis Babineau (assistant brewer) plan on releasing three initial beers: Mondo, a 6.8% ABV American IPA; Spacetime Odyssey, a 6% ABV American Porter brewed with Galaxy hops; and Marécage, a 7% ABV Belgian-style Saison that features clove and pepper in the aroma and flavour. We’ll be talking with them soon for a Q&A; in the meantime, follow them on their Facebook and Twitter pages for more updates!
• Boxing Rock welcomed some of the crew from Upstreet to their home in Shelburne on Tuesday for a special storm-day brew. The second collaboration beer for these two breweries, Rumble in the Alley: Round II, is described as a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) Extra Special Bitter. The grist was made up entirely of Munich malt (one of the very few “specialty malts” that can be used on its own, it provides an enjoyable bready character to beer), with the Santiam hop being featured. Chosen for the floral and lemon qualities it imparts, according to Upstreet brewer Mike Hogan, it should nicely complement the fruity esters that will likely be found in the beer as well, thanks to the English yeast strain chosen for fermentation. Round II should come in at about 6% ABV and 45 IBUs; this one will be released by Boxing Rock, and should hit regular tap accounts in the near future (with the possibility of a bottle release as well).
• Sticking with news from Shelburne, Boxing Rock has released Porter this week, Sunken Ledge. Named after a shoal in Shelburne Harbour, this 5% ABV, 21 IBUs beer’s grain bill uses a Scottish Golden Promise base with darker malts for colour and flavour of chocolate, coffee and molasses. The beer features a medium body, smooth mouthfeel, and light carbonation for a truly inviting drink. It is available on tap and in bottles at the brewery now, at the Seaport and Alderney Landing Farmers’ Markets this weekend (including today’s NYE market), and at the NSLC and private stores next week.
• Grimross brewed up a new experimental beer earlier this week. This currently unnamed “Rye Session Ale” was an excuse for brewmaster/owner Stephen Dixon to use two boxes of recently-purchased Tangelos. Similar in taste to a tangerine, the juice was added to the wort at the end of the boil, with the zest added during secondary fermentation for extra aroma and flavour. With a light grist containing a percentage of Rye malt, the beer was fermented with two yeast strains, a neutral American strain and a Belgian Saison strain. Hopped lightly to 23 IBUs with Waimea (a New Zealand variety chosen by Dixon due to its rumoured Tangelo character that it adds), the beer should come in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV. We’ll keep you updated on its release over the next few weeks.
• PEI Brewing Co. has a few re-brews coming down the pipeline this winter. They recently brewed up another batch of their Black Banks Cascadian Dark Ale which should be available on tap and in cans by late January; this batch was hopped with Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, and Galaxy, all of which provide plenty of tropical aromas and flavours. The very popular ReAnimator Doppelbock will be brewed very soon, and available after an appropriate lagering phase. This beer is also the base to the Hell Street Barrel-Aged Doppelbock, so good news for lovers of that seasonal, which will return in the fall. Late winter/early spring will see the next release of their large-scale barrel program, currently aging in Jack Daniels barrels in the brewery. All of these (and many more!) are part of PEIBC’s ambitious goal of releasing a new beer every month at the brewery and Gahan House in Charlottetown. Some will be test brews for future wide-release and packaged beers, so be sure to follow along on their Social Media pages for those details, and give them feedback as to which you would like to see again in wider release.
• And staying on the Island, Murphy’s Community Centre at 200 Richmond St has recently totally renovated their lounge and bowling centre. Now called The Alley – 200 Richmond, is now serving up craft beer from all three island craft breweries; BarNone, PEI Brewing, and Upstreet. To celebrate, they will be hosting a Brewer’s Ball: Balls Unleashed on January 30th. Beginning at 8pm, brewers, owners, supporters, and employees from each of the three breweries will be competing in a friendly tournament. The professionals will also be joined by members of the PEI Aleanders, the PEI homebrewing and beer appreciation group. There is room for the public to join in the fun as well, as all three local breweries’ beers will be flowing, food service available, with entertainment that evening. Be sure to drop by 200 Richmond Street for a great night of bowling and brews!
• Another friend of PEI beers and breweries is Baba’s Lounge. Beginning Jan 3, PEIBeerGuy will be hosting a Sunday Trivia night at the lounge, from 8-10pm. Enjoy specials on pints, beer (and other) trivia, and the trivia-exclusive $10 Shawarma Nachos, perfect for sharing. There are prizes for the weekly winners, with possibly some giveaways from the breweries for all attendees. A great excuse to shake off the New Year’s hangover, and enjoy some (more) Island craft beer! As we previously mentioned, don’t forget to pick up tickets for their BarNone beer dinner, January 24th at 6pm. Four courses of food and beer pairing, plus a glass to keep, for only $49 (includes tax and tip). And then stick around for that evening’s trivia!
• The experimental beers keep coming from Good Robot. Released this week is a Smoked Molasses Port’r, available only at their Tap Room. Brewed on their Sabco Brew-Magic system, these guest and experimental brews are perfect for testing out new recipes, techniques, and having a bit of fun. Stop by today for a pint!
A reminder that several breweries and bars in the region are holding special events tonight and tomorrow, check last week’s post for more details (and you will want to double check that places are open before going for a drink or to fill your growler). That’s all of the news for this week, and this year! Thanks to all of you for following along and reading this year. The beer scene in our region shows no sign of slowing down, with at least a dozen new breweries and brewpubs opening in 2016. Cheers!