Happy Friday beer fans! A nice variety of beer news again this week, so let’s go!
• Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar has released their latest beer in the farmhouse style. Millie, described as a “Rustic Saison with Beetroot”, was brewed at North Brewing with real, fresh beetroot, and fermented with Stillwell’s house Saison strain. The 5% ABV beer has a vibrant reddish-pink hue and earthy flavour thanks to the beetroot, countered by a “citrus hop character and some very zingy, lemony fermentation characteristics”, and finishes quite dry. While it’s tasting great fresh, it is a beer that should age well, allowing the yeast characteristics to grow with time as the beetroot and hop aromas/flavours fade. Millie is in rotation on tap at Stillwell, as well as 500mL bottles always available at Stillwell for on-site enjoyment, to go at both North locations, and at the four private liquor stores in HRM shortly.
• Big Spruce has brewed up a new beer to be released at next month’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Meek Thy Maker is a Red IPA based on the winning beer in that style category in the 2015 Big Spruce Homebrew Challenge, brewed by our own Shawn Meek, who was at the brewery to assist with the brew day. Hopped with Cascade, Columbus, and Amarillo, it should come in at ~6.7% ABV and 59 IBUs. Big Spruce has also sent out kegs of their seasonal Coade Word: Snowmaggedon, their 8.8% ABV, 25 IBUs Winter Warmer. Conditioned on rum-soaked vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and locally grown ginger, expect tons of aroma and flavour in this strong beer! It is on tap at better beer bars in Halifax and Cape Breton now. And look for a barrel-aged version to be released in a few months.
• PEI Brewing Company will be releasing this year’s edition of Ice Boat, their barrel-aged stout, on Tuesday, February 23rd. Aged in whisky barrels for the past several months, this year’s version is a Russian Imperial Stout, weighing in at 8% ABV (compared to last year’s 5.3%). As before, this will be a limited release, so make sure to drop by the brewery’s taproom on this date to stock up! Follow along with their social media accounts for more details on the launch party. And speaking of returning limited releases, they’re bringing back Transmitter Coffee Stout for a second go-around in the last several months. Blended with a new blend of coffee from Charlottetown’s Receiver Coffee Co., this batch will be released on Tuesday, March 1st, with the brewery promising a “slightly different take” on the beer.
• Tomorrow, February 20th, marks the inaugural voyage of the Halifax Beer Bus, put on by Taste Halifax Food Tours. From 3-6 pm, the bus will take ticketholders to five stops in Halifax (including Gahan House, Garrison, Propeller, Good Robot, and the Stubborn Goat) to sample a total of ten Nova Scotia craft beers. Snacks at two of the stops will be provided, and a guide will be present to educate during the sampling. There will be future tours in the coming months (March 19. Apr. 2, 16, 30); tickets are $59 + tax, and can be reserved here.
• It’s a busy weekend at Halifax’s Garrison Brewing! Today marks the release of Dirty Ol’ Town Black IPA, a 6.5%, 52 IBU hybrid with the roast, chocolate, and coffee characteristics of a stout, and citrus hop character of an IPA. Look for it now at the brewery, with delivery to the private stores, NSLC, and ANBL shortly. Also out today is the first of three beers in the Garrison Cellar Series, Ol’ Fog Burner Barley Wine. An English-style Barleywine, this 11.5% ABV, 60 IBU brew is a complex one, with lots of malt character; the higher alcohol content makes it perfect for setting aside in a cellar for enjoyment in years to come. The Cellar Series will continue next week with the release of Grand Baltic Porter, and the third beer will be out March 4th. The first round of judging for this year’s Home Brew-Off will be tomorrow; best of luck to all entrants!
• Tickets are available for February’s of Auction House Beer School. Held on the last Wednesday of the month, this edition features Tatamagouche Brewing. The Tata crew will be on hand to drop some knowledge about their beers, and share their enthusiasm for their craft. Drop by Auction House to pick up tickets, or call them at 902-431-1726 to secure yours today.
• Edmundston’s Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has a job opening for a brewer! From recipe development, brewing, overseeing packaging and quality control, and all things in between, this is a rewarding job in a Belgian-inspired brewery. Folks interested in brewing on their 18 hL system should already have some experience in a brewery, be bilingual, and be prepared to join in to an established working environment. More details are available on their website, and the job posting closes March 4th.
• Grimross Brewing in Fredericton is looking to hire a Brewtique and Taproom Manager for their Bishop Drive location. They will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of both the Brewtique (with merchandise and growlers to go) and Taproom, where folks enjoy pints onsite. Experience in the recruiting and training of employees, as well as budgeting, customer service, and leadership skills are major assets to the position. Interested candidates should check the full posting, and drop off a resume and cover letter at the brewery.
• Hallelujah! Flat Black Jesus is back! Unfiltered’s American Stout returns at noon today for growler fills, and at 4pm at Charm School next door. This non-oak-aged version features a great melding of assertive bitterness and hop aroma from a Nash-brewed IPA, along with roast and dark malt characters of a robust stout. At 7% ABV and about 100 IBUs, your prayers have been answered.
• After an extended decision period, the Halifax Waterfront Development Corporation has announced the successful bid for an outdoor food and beverage venue. Selected from several high quality submissions, Stubborn Goat Gastropub will be setting up shop at the Summit Amphitheatre this spring. They will be serving Nova Scotian wine, beer, and cider exclusively, as well as non-alcoholic sodas from local producers Garrison and Propeller, and their own housemade strawberry lemonade. Food options will be a reflection of their current offerings on Grafton Street, tailored smaller and more outdoor friendly, with a strong emphasis on local growers and producers. The location will offer table- as well as bar-service, to accommodate patrons looking for either a full restaurant experience, or a more casual ambiance. The waterfront location will be opening in May, with expected operation to go until October. This competition was for a three-year period, meaning that it will go to tender again after the 2018 season closes. The HWDC press release also mentions a new area on the waterfront to highlight local businesses in this coveted location, showcasing local food, beverage, tours, and events, to tourists and locals alike, which may mean more opportunities for local breweries. The owners of Stillwell, who had conceived of the outdoor food and beverage venue and ran the very successful Stillwell Beergarden at the Summit Amphitheatre in 2015, are already shopping around different locations for their converted shipping container, and will be returning this spring in a new location.
Another busy week in our region! We had a great time at the Liquid Courage event yesterday at Acadia, look for a summary on that next week. Here are a few more parting shots before you grab a beer and clock out for the week (or the other way around):
– The ANBL Growler program is featuring Petit-Sault’s Canon Franchetti Cappuccino Stout, as well as Spindrift‘s Coastal Lager, at all four locations this weekend.
– Speaking of Spindrift, their Seventh Wave release for today is a Session Saison, available only at the brewery for growler fills today at noon. It features a grist of pilsner and wheat malts, along with flaked rye. At 4.3% ABV and 10 IBUs, it is a light beer worthy of an afternoon and/or evening session.
– Nine Locks have begun brewing at their Waverley Road location. Starting with their ESB and IPA brews, look for their full launch in March.
– Tickets are still available for next Friday’s Prop’r Cask Night at Propeller, featuring food from The Other Bean and Rinaldo’s Italian American Specialties. Your ticket gets you pours of the special cask, plus Propeller’s full complement of beer, plus great nourishment from both providers. At just $30, it is a fabulous deal!
– Finally, a reminder that the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival is approaching fast; the evening session on Saturday, March 12th, has been sold out for some time, but there are still a few tickets left for the afternoon session. Don’t miss out on a great time, and remember there are plenty of great events in the city scheduled for the days approaching the big festival, including our Trivia Night being held at the King Street Ale House Thursday, featuring prizes from many of the breweries attending the festival.