Happy Friday! After some great weather on the Canada Day weekend, we are back to the reality of Atlantic Canadian weather, so best to grab a growler, can or bottle, and stay inside to read the latest beer news from our region.
• Red Rover released a new fruit cider earlier this week – Dragon Slayer is named after Saint George, well-known for his dragon-slaying abilities and Targaryen-thwarting. The cider was co-fermented with locally-sourced cranberries, giving it a crimson hue. Subtly sharp and rather tannic, as described by the cidery, it finishes quite dry and weighs in at 7% ABV. It’s available at the Cider House and farmers’ markets for growler fills, and should be on tap at a few select bars/restaurants in New Brunswick, including 540 Kitchen & Bar and Snooty Fox in Fredericton, and Ducky’s in Sackville.
• Gahan House – Charlottetown has taken their Belgian Blonde Ale, Belgium Blue, and tweaked it a bit for some lucky New Brunswick beer drinkers! They added a special roast of local Receiver Coffee sourced from Tomila, Columbia, resulting in Coffee Belgian Blonde. The coffee is described by PEI Brewing Co. brewmaster Chris Long as “juicy, acidic, and fruity, with a mild chocolate flavour”. The original beer is light enough to let the coffee flavours shine through, “but complex enough to enhance the amazing aromas of this particular batch”. Clocking in at ~7.5% ABV, it’s available at all five ANBL growler stations this weekend. If you’re in Charlottetown and feeling left out, fear not – a couple of kegs were also sent to HopYard.
• And in other PEIBC news, the brewery has installed a used 7 BBL (~800 L) fermentor that will serve a dual purpose: growing up different yeast strains for seasonal batches, and for experimenting! Look for several new beers to be test-brewed over the coming weeks, including a dry-hopped version (with Ella and El Dorado) of their Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, a double-dry-hopped 1772 (Cascade first, then Simcoe and Mosaic), and a Saison dry-hopped with Goldings. And to celebrate their recent four Gold medals at the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards, they have released The Gold Pack at the PEILCC, featuring cans of their Rogues Roost IPA, Setting Day Saison, Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, and Vic Park Pale Ale.
• Hammond River just brewed a new beer last night, and it’s one we’re confidant in saying hasn’t been attempted in these parts before! Rum Raisin Belgian Dubbel was brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Munich, Special B, Crystal, and Aromatic malts, and lightly hopped to 24 IBUs with Tettnang. Eight pounds of raisins were soaked in Eldorado 12 Rum, and then pureed and added to the end of the boil, along with plenty of Chapmans vanilla ice cream and dark Belgian Candi Syrup. Wait, there’s more – Madagascar vanilla beans will also be added during secondary fermentation. The targeted ABV is 7.1%, and on top of everything else, some of the beer may end up being barrel-aged! Look for the beer to be released over the next few weeks; we’ll keep you updated!
• Tatamagouche Brewing just canned and released their Cellar Slammer ISA, a new Session IPA brewed with the crew from Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax. Hopped with Mosaic, Hallertau Blanc and a small addition of Amarillo, look for lots of tropical fruit aromas and flavours in this 4.7% ABV summer sipper. It is available in growlers and cans at the brewery, and in cans at Bishop’s Cellar now.
• TrailWay has recently re-released two hoppy ales that they haven’t had out for awhile. First up is their American IPA, Hugh John Hops; heavily hopped (with Mosaic in particular) to come in “dank, fruity and piney”, it comes in at 6.8% ABV. Next is the return of Patio for the first time since its initial release last summer. An American Wheat Ale hopped entirely with Topaz – with almost all of it being added at flameout and the dry-hop, to give a huge blast of tangerine and citrus, without a lot of bitterness – it’s very sessionable at 4.7% ABV. Both beers are available now for pints and growler fills at the brewery, as well as on tap at select accounts across Fredericton.
• FirkinStein Brewing just released a new beer yesterday at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market, Anchors Aweigh Pale Ale. Described by the brewery as “light and refreshing, with a crisp, mild hoppy taste, and mild bitterness in the finish”, it weighs in at 6% ABV. It should be available at tomorrow’s Bridgewater Farmers’ Market in growlers and grunters, with 500 mL bottles following next week. They will also be attending tomorrow’s Food Truck Rally at the Hubbards Barn & Community Park, from 4-8pm.
• Propeller Brewing is bringing out their latest One Hit Wonder today, Citrus Pale Ale. Brewed with a grist of Pale and Wheat malts, this beer features a big citrus nose and flavour, thanks to generous addition of Curaçao orange peel and Ahtanum hops added during the whirlpool phase (after boiling is complete). Cascade and Centennial hops help to balance the malt, with the final beer details coming in at 5.8% ABV and a light 25 IBUs. The beer will be available on tap and in growlers at the Gottingen location this afternoon (drop by after work), and on Windmill later this evening, or first thing tomorrow. As always, a few of these OHW kegs do make it into the wild at select bars, so if you spot it, grab a pint!
• Halifax’s Good Robot has teamed up with Falmouth’s Schoolhouse Brewery to release a special beer ahead of this weekend’s Evolve Festival. Skratch Plaskett – Electric Tambourine Ale is a light-bodied 5.8% ABV Pale Ale, featuring a set of American and Australian hops: Warrior for bittering (contributing to most of the 25 IBUs), Cascade in the whirlpool for some flavour and aroma, and Summer as a dry hop for an Aussie aroma of stone, tropical, and citrus fruits. Skratch Plaskett is the result of 8 test batches and iterations, as the characteristics were honed in on their desired recipe for a crushable beer with lots of character. Much like the name implies, it is a true collaboration of a beer! The beer will be available at the Evolve Festival (happening near Moncton), as well as on tap/growlers at Good Robot and Schoolhouse’s market location shortly.
• And in more Good Robot news, keep your eyes peeled for the return of The Shocking Pink, their Gose blended with pink lemonade and hibiscus tea, as well as Burban Legend American Pale Ale v6.0, dry-hopped with currently-unnamed experimental hop 342 from Hop Breeding Company. This hop lends a floral, citrus, and melon characters to the beer. And for those loved, or missed and wanted to try, the New Zealand IPA Beta Brew that debuted at the Tap Room this week, the single keg is all gone, but will be returning in another iteration soon.
• Maybee Brewing has started canning another of their flagship beers – Stone House Tripel is now available in 500 mL cans for purchase at the brewery in Fredericton; they also should be for sale at the Picaroons General Store in Saint John by sometime next week. Also note that Maybee recently doubled their number of taps to 12, which means more new beers in the future, as well as several taps dedicated to other NB breweries for taproom purchase.
• Unfiltered has released another batch of Front Line Rocker, their 8% Double IPA brewed with the famous Conan yeast. It’s back on tap at the brewery and Charm School, at noon and 4pm today, respectively, and will be delivered to local bars very shortly. Be sure to drop by Charm School tomorrow afternoon for an Indochine Bahn Mi pop-up. Featuring Pork Belly marinated in Unfiltered’s Flat Black Jesus American Stout, they will be serving from 4-9pm (assuming the tasty treats last that long)
• Congratulations to the winners at last weekend’s Newfermenters Brew-Off! Bill Burton took Best-in-Show out of the 25 submissions, and will have a chance to brew his winning recipe with the crew at Port Rexton later in the summer. And speaking of which, PR has brewed the first beers on their new system, and are aiming to open in the next month or so!
As for what’s going on in the events section over the coming days and weeks…
• Annapolis Cider Company is throwing their grand opening party this weekend (Friday to Sunday), and to help celebrate, they’ll be offering tasting paddles – three 3 oz pours – of their three currently-available ciders for only $3. They’ll also be giving free tours of the cider cellar all three days, at 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm.
• A final reminder that the second annual Tasting NB event happens tomorrow (Saturday, July 9th) in Fredericton at the Capital Complex, from 7-10 pm. Featuring 17 different producers of beer, cider, mead, spirits, and wine, your $55 ticket (if purchased in advance; $60 at the door) gets you unlimited samples for the evening.
• The Moncton Beer League is holding their second Urban Beer Hike on Saturday, July 23rd. The downtown walking tour will begin at Marky’s Laundromat at 1:45 pm, with several stops at various craft beer destinations in the city, before finishing at the Pump House brewpub around 5:30 pm. Each stop will feature beer and food samples, along with info sessions. Tickets are $49+fees, and are available online. Also note that ticket holders will receive $5 off their ticket for this year’s Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest (Saturday, September 24th).
• It’s a few months away, but the date has been announced for the 2nd Annual Fredericton Cider Festival: Saturday, October 1st, on the Brewbakers covered patio. Tickets are on sale now, with two options available: regular tickets are $56.50 each and get you a custom sampling glass and unlimited 4 oz samples from 1:00-3:30 pm, while the $65 VIP ticket gets you the same, plus early entry at noon. Both local and larger cideries will be pouring, with over 25 different types likely to be available to sample.
A few more notes before signing off this week:
– Big Spruce has re-released their Meek Thy Maker, a Red IPA hopped with Amarillo, Columbus and Citra (which is replacing Cascade this time around). It’s on tap at the brewery now, with growlers available at supplied Farmers’ Markets, and many tap accounts in Nova Scotia.
– Railcar has brewed up another batch of their Smoked Molasses Porter; it’s available now at the brewery, and will be hitting the Fredericton ANBL growler station (Prospect St.) at the end of the month.
– Petit-Sault brewed up a SMaSH beer yesterday, featuring ingredient sourced nearby: Pale malt from Malt-Broue South-East Quebec and Cascade hops from nearby Aroostook Hop in Northern Maine. Look for it to hit the taps at the end of July.
Despite the weather, enjoy your weekend! In closing, Atlantic Business Magazine is running an online poll where you can vote for your favourite Atlantic Canadian brewery; it runs until July 29th, and the winner will be featured in the September edition of the magazine.