All posts for the month August, 2016


Loyalist City Brewing Company is a new brewery, opening this fall in Uptown Saint John. Located on Water Street, the brewery overlooks the Saint John Harbour and Bay of Fundy. Named to honour Saint John’s Loyalist roots, the brewery is the brainchild of three friends and homebrewers from the region. We chatted with Ryan, Mark, and Dave of Loyalist City to learn more about their brewery.

ACBB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Ryan: We are three homebrewers who were raised and live in Saint John, NB. Our friendship began around 2011 and our mutual trust, along with a passion for brewing beer, has grown to the point that it was natural for us to enter the competitive craft beer brewing market.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?
Mark: Sam Adams Boston Lager would have been the first craft beer I tried back in my university days. At the time there wasn’t much available locally but you could find the odd keg of Boston Lager on tap at the local bars. After that Picaroons began to appear on the scene more often and my love of craft beer has taken off since then. By the time I had began brewing partial mash kits my love of craft beer had taken full hold.
Ryan: During a period of time when I travelled and worked in the NorthEast US I was exposed to the broad craft beer selection and styles available.
Dave: My adventures with craft beer started after university. Picaroons and Pumphouse were my first exposure to craft beer. They were the two larger craft breweries in the province and introduced me to some styles of beer that I didn’t even know existed at the time. Since then, I have tried many different styles of beer and keep the adventure going by even planning vacations around beer festivals and great beer cities. 

Care to share some info on your homebrewing history?
Mark: I brewed my first batch of homebrew from a Coopers extract kit in 2004. At the time I was living at home and was able to pilfer some equipment from my dad who made wine. I had brewed a few Coopers kits and progressed to some Mr Beer kits but I was never excited about the end result. I shelved my brewing equipment for a few years before being introduced to partial mash brewing in 2011. I progressed quickly from partial mash to all grain brewing on a 3 vessel keg system and Dave and Ryan started brewing with me when I switched to all grain. Since then we have brewed over 100 batches and progressed through a few different equipment setups all using the single vessel approach.
Ryan: My parents homebrewed so it was natural for me to make my own clones of the great beer that weren’t available in New Brunswick at the time. 
Dave: In university, I experimented with some Festa Brew kits and some extract brewing. At the time, I had not done any research on brewing and did not know the importance of fermentation temp and other processes, so my results were mixed and I gave up on the kits. As I started diving into the world of craft beer, I got the urge to brew my own beer and jumped straight to All Grain brewing on Mark’s recommendation. My initial all grain setup consisted of a 5 gallon pot on a stovetop, doing BIAB batches in 590 square foot condo, which got messy at times Ha! I was surprised by the quality of beer that could be produced by such simple equipment and applying consistent approaches and methods. I have since moved on to brewing on a 5 gallon electric system at home and brewing with Mark and Ryan on the half barrel pilot system. 

What made you decide to take the step into brewing professionally?
Mark: I have always enjoyed sharing my beer with other people that appreciate a good pint. As I progressed as a homebrewer and started entering competitions I found myself brewing many styles of beer that I wasn’t able to buy in New Brunswick. I really enjoyed learning the history of a style, tracking down some modern examples, and recreating it with the best ingredients I could find. I had decided long ago that doing this on a larger scale would be a more challenging and more rewarding endeavor.
Ryan: We’ve observed first hand the growth of the NB craft beer market over the past 5 years and decided that we wanted to participate in the growing market with the goal of being the best rated nanobrewery in New Brunswick. Quality and not quantity will be our primary goal.
Dave: Jumping into the world of professional brewing seemed to be the natural next step in our brewing progression. As the batches rolled on, we found ourselves experimenting more and more with yeast strains, quality of grain, and different hop varieties. We improved our processes and methods in order to get our batch consistency to a high standard. We want our beer quality and consistency to be the cornerstone of our brewery and we are are ready to share it with the craft beer community!

What size/manufacturer/type of system will you be brewing on?
Our brewhouse is a ~6 bbl (200 US gallon) PLC system from Colorado Brewing Systems. The three of us have been brewing for years using the BIAB method and decided early on in the planning stages that we wanted our commercial system to leverage the benefits of BIAB. Colorado’s systems are among the best single vessel brewhouses available today on the commercial scale and after speaking with the owner of Colorado Brewing Systems we decided to move ahead with their largest system. Initially our plan is to brew 4 batches a month to fill our four fermenters and allow our beer time to mature in a controlled environment before being released to our accounts.  

Do you have an approximate launch date?
Mark: If all goes to plan we should be brewing Mid-October, with beer available mid November. We are working with NB Liquor and the Federal Government to navigate through the application process now.

What are your plans for distribution?
Mark: We are currently working through the process to become licensed to sell growlers onsite and distribute directly to bars in the area. We are really looking forward to partnering with some of the amazing local restaurants and bars in our area. Being in the Uptown core was critical for us so we could build a relationship with the many vendors in the area.


Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
Our core line up consists of five beer that we plan on always having available for our accounts, an American IPA, a “Commonwealth” Pale ale, an English pale ale, a German Hefeweizen, and a Dry Irish Stout. We will continually be brewing seasonal variations of our line up and are working on securing hops for our hop series of beer now. We plan to release a series of IPAs featuring hops from different regions in the US, New Zealand, and Australia.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
The craft brewers in our area have all been very supportive. Over the past few years we have been able to have some great talks with Shane at Hammond River Brewing about the experience of running a brewery and distributing in the local markets.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
Mark: Our tastes are pretty broad and like many homebrewers our focus initially was on hoppy styles. We enjoy experimenting with the different styles of IPA and brewing East Coast, West Coast, and Australian style IPAs. We have branched out in the past few years to appreciate the roasted complexity of stouts, and the malt forward english styles.  A personal favorite of mine these days has been sour beer, I have been enjoying trying to create some of the complexity that you find in a well-made Flanders red and Berliner Weisse.

Thank you to Mark, Ryan and Scott for filling us in! Be sure to check out Loyalist City’s website, and keep an eye on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages for progress pics as they work towards their November launch.

Good morning, and welcome to another weekend! As per usual, there’s plenty going on in beer news this week, including yet even more breweries opening up soon in our region. For news on Fredericton’s newest brewery, Bogtrotter Craft Brewery, check out yesterday’s post. We have also posted a profile on Saint John, NB’s new Loyalist City Brewing, late Friday.

• Although the Cherry and Blackberry variation of the Barrel-aged Belgian Golden Strong isn’t quite ready, there’s plenty of action this week from TataBrew; Thursday saw two releases, a new brew of a favourite from the Giant Beer Series and a brand new seasonal offering. First, the CBA Gold Medal-winning Russian Imperial Stout has been brewed again with a similar recipe, but slightly subdued on the hop side and with more richness and mouthfeel. Although it’s ready to drink now, at 8.5% ABV it’s sure to develop in the bottle, so when you head down to the brewery maybe grab a couple and set one aside for a winter night in 2017 or beyond. Second, and coinciding with the Wild Blueberry Harvest Festival underway in the northwestern part of the province, Blue Bales is a blueberry wheat beer featuring 300 pounds of local organic berries from North of Nuttby Farm on which it aged for 5 days. At only 8 IBUs from a single Bramling Cross addition and 4.8% ABV, the blueberries are bound to take center stage.

• As if that wasn’t enough new beer, Friday night will see the release of a brand new IPA, Strikhedonia. A little heavier than the Deception Bay IPA at 6.7% ABV and 70 IBU, this one is bittered with Chinook and features aroma and flavours from late additions of Citra, Huell Melon and Mosaic, that bring a dank and juicy fruitiness along with classic IPA flavors. Both the Blue Bales and the Strikhedonia will be available in growlers from the brewery this weekend and with draft and cans starting next week. There are also pins of each that will be tapped at the brewery over the next two weekends, so keep an eye on social media for announcements from TataBrew and your favourite taproom to see where and when they can be found.

Meander River has a new beer pouring at their brewery in Ashdale, NS – Creamsicle of Wheat is a sessionable (3.9% ABV) Wheat Ale that the brewery is describing as a “light summer beer with a hint of citrus”, thanks to the addition of peeled oranges during the fermentation process. Available for growler fills at the brewery, you can also find it on tap at a few licensees and their table at Saturday’s Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market. In other Meander River news, they will be extracting their raised-on-site honey over the next few weeks for their annual batch of Ashdale Honey Brown, a 5.2% ABV Brown Ale brewed with toasted malts. They also plan on harvesting their locally-grown hops this weekend and again in early September; check out their social media accounts for updates, and feel free to contact them for more details on how you can be involved. And finally, they will be once again participating in Open Farm Day on Sunday, September 18th; if you’re in the area, be sure to drop by for tours and tastings.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewery is releasing their newest beer tomorrow, Wasted Days Chocolate Peanut Butter Wheat. This mouthful of a name is a mouthful of a beer! Building on a 5.1% ABV North American Wheat base, the addition of cocoa, peanut butter, and lactose come together for a wonderful meeting of the minds. Light hopping to 16 IBUs allows the specialty ingredients to take centre-stage. To launch the beer, Roof Hound is inviting several musical guests to the tap room, including Jeremy Outhouse of Tide and Timbre and Curt Leblanc of Rain Over St. Ambrose, whose Wasted Days song inspired the name of the brew. Wasted Days joins Little Pup Pale Ale and Rooftop Rye-It on the taps, with several new beers in the pipeline to be released in the coming weeks.

• Saint John’s First City has released a new beer, Wheat IPA. Approximately half of the grist is made up of Wheat malt, giving the beer a “crisp and light body”, according to the brewery. Hopped primarily with Chinook and Summit to 70 IBUs, it features “strong aromas of pineapple and citrus”, and weighs in at 7% ABV. You can find it on tap now at select First City accounts around the city, and at the James Joyce in Fredericton.

Port Rexton Brewing released a small batch of a brand new beer this week. Nar Bitter Bitter is a 5.7% ABV ESB (Extra Special Bitter), featuring a malt-forward flavour with caramel undertones thanks to the traditional English malts used. As this was a smaller-than-usual batch, you’ll have to enjoy it on tap at the brewery, where you can also grab a pint of their Horsechops IPA, T-Rex Porter (formerly known as Night ‘Bous), and Baycation Blonde. They are open 2:00-10:00pm daily on Ship Cove RoadLate Addition: Well, that didn’t last long! The NBB has finished, so the PR crew have tapped Mr. Wheaty Pants at the brewery. A 4.4% ABV wheat beer with body, and a touch of Centennial bitterness to complete the package. Grab it today.

Mill Street Brewpub in St John’s has a new beer on tap these days. Come From Away IPA is an English-style IPA, with 5.6% ABV. With a hearty 60 IBUs bitterness and floral & fruity hop aromatics, the clean fermented features a balanced body with amber colour and caramel notes. Available by the pint, or in growlers to go now. And a trial batch of a special beer flew like hotcakes earlier this week: Rhuby Cove was a tart beer, aged for 2 months on strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb grown in Portugal Cove – St. Philip’s. Due to its big success, look for this beer to be released in a bigger batch in the future!

Mama’s Brew Pub has been receiving positive customer feedback on two of their latest brews. First up is their Old World Pale Ale, which brewmaster Ryan Kingston brewed in the style of a traditional British Pale Ale. Featuring a grist of Maris Otter and Crystal 70 L, the beer was hopped with Goldings sourced from Southan Farms, as well as the American variety, Amarillo, for an interesting twist to the style; 5.1% ABV, 16 IBUs. Their Blueberry Wheat was also released recently; Kingston brewed a wheat beer and fermented it with a Hefeweizen yeast strain, for plenty of banana, clove, and a “Juicy Fruit bubble-gum aspect”. After fermentation, 50 lbs of blueberries were added to secondary, giving the beer a purple hue and hints of blueberry flavour. Weighing in at 5% ABV, and available now with the Old World, at the brew pub for pints.

• Grimross Brewing is releasing a new beer – Grimdonk – later this afternoon at the brewery. Designated as a Belgian Blond Ale, it was fermented with a new-to-Grimross yeast strain that originates from the Breendonk region of Belgium (hence the beer’s name). It comes in at 7% ABV; expect plenty of fruity esters and spicy phenols, as well as a dry finish, characteristic of this style. Swing by for a pint or growler fill today, and look for it to be hitting taps in the Fredericton area soon.

Lots of new events coming up, and as always, keep an eye on our Calendar of Events page to see what’s on the horizon.

Savoie’s Brewhouse and the Heron’s Nest Pub are holding a Customer Appreciation Day tomorrow, August 27th, at the Heron’s Nest in Charlo. Starting at 3 pm, there will be a free corn boil, live music, and plenty of beer available for purchase – including Savoie’s Buller’s Blueberry Blonde; the first 24 people that order a Savoie’s beer will receive a free glass.

• Big Spruce is kicking up their weekly visits from Cruisin’ Cuisine by hosting a Pig Roast on September 4th. Featuring two 40kg roasting pigs and locally-inspired sides, there will be plenty of food to complement the full taps flowing at the brewery. A few new beers, along with previous rare releases will grace their taps, adding to the solid regular lineup of beer. A massive tent will mean room for more people, and there will be live music all day, with everything kicking off at noon.

• After a few-month hiatus, Acadie-Broue will be available once again very soon to their thirsty fans in the Moncton area. Now brewing onsite at the Université de Moncton student bar Le Coude, A-B’s 50 litre system will be putting out more German- and Belgian-inspired beers come September, with their launch party being held September 8th. Drop by for the “5 à 7” (happy hour), being held, not surprisingly, 5-7 pm. Chat with A-B’s Patrice Godin to learn about his beers, and take a peek at the brewery on-site.

Trider’s Craft Beer will be opening soon in Amherst, NS. To celebrate, they are hosting a Pre-Launch party at Sociables Pub in Springhill on September 10th. Featuring live music and appetizers, attendees will be the first to try Trider’s offerings. Tickets are $15 (which includes your first pint) and on sale now at Sociables, and are sure to sell out. More details can be found here. Trider’s storefront will be opening September 20th, and they will be taking part in the Rocktoberfest at the Amherst Fire Hall October 1st. We’ll have all of the details on Trider’s with a full profile next week!

• As part of this year’s Growing Green Festival in Bridgewater, Crave Local: A Taste of Home will be held on Friday, September 16th from 6:30-8:30 pm. Several different juices, wines, and beers (including newly-open Saltbox, as well as Boxing Rock, Hell Bay, and Bulwark) will be available for sampling, as well as appetizers. Held at Wile’s Lake Farm Market, tickets are only $20 (if purchased by September 2nd; $25 after), and can be purchased directly at the market, or by calling 902-543-0434.

• The Halifax Beer Run is taking place September 17th. Mixing many folks’ love of both running and beer, this 11km route takes runners from Garrison Brewery, with four tasting stations along the way. After a sociable at Garrison, runners will make their way to the Good Robot and Propeller breweries for drinks and a quick tour, before visiting a satellite Spindrift location. The run ends with folks returning back to the South end at the Halifax Oktoberfest, already in full swing. The ticket includes a t-shirt, your drinks along the way, and entry to the Oktoberfest grounds. Grab your entry today!

• As mentioned yesterday, the official launch of Bogtrotter Craft Brewery will happen on Saturday, September 24th. With a tasting at the ANBL Train Station at noon, and a TBD second location afterwards, they will finish up with a Meet the Maker event at the James Joyce at 8 pm. All three of their initial beers will be pouring (Muddy Mayhem IPA, Angry Otter Pub Ale, and Osprey’Orange Pale Ale), and owner/brewmaster Rod Croucher will be available to chat all things beer and Bogtrotter.

• The Cask Beer Throwdown is happening at the Olympic Centre on September 24th. Featuring two sessions (12-3 and 5-8), guests will get a chance to try a whole slew of beers served via gravity pins and hand pumps. The entrance fee includes access to the event, a take-home glass, and your first 12 beer sample tickets. Session One (12-3pm) breweries include: Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Garrison, Good Robot, Propeller, Schoolhouse, Sober Island, Tatamagouche, and more TBA. Session Two (5-8pm) breweries include: Big Spruce, Gahan House – Halifax, Garrison, Good Robot, Hell Bay, North, Spindrift, Sober Island,and more TBA. Food courtesy of Bramoso Gourmet Pizzeria, The Food Wolf, and T DOGS will be available as well. Grab your Early Bird tickets now!

• Big Spruce has announced the details for their 4th Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge. Interested homebrewers should email Big Spruce for an entry form, which should be filled out and submitted by November 23rd. The entry fee is $25, which entitles you to this year’s one-of-a-kind T-shirt, as well as entry to the post-judging party in HRM on November 27th. Homebrewers may submit an entry in one, two, or all three of the featured style categories: Double IPA, Dark Mild, and Experimental Sour (check out the 2015 BJCP Guide for details on each style). Three bottles for each style entered are required; these must be submitted to Big Spruce by November 25th for judging (a Halifax drop-off point will be coordinated in the near future). As in last year’s competition, first, second and third-place winners in each category will receive a swag package, and the Best of Show winner will have the opportunity to brew a full-size batch of their beer at Big Spruce, for release at the 4th Annual Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration, put on by Local Connections Halifax, in January. Good luck, homebrewers!

Believe it or not, there’s even more beer news we want to be sure you read before heading out for a pint:

– Big Spruce’s hoppy collaboration with Stillwell, Gimme Citra, is back for a limited time. Hopped entirely with Citra, it’s tropical, fruity, and extremely quaffable at 4.7% ABV.
Bore City has brewed their last batch of Equilux – an American Pale Ale featuring Citra and Equinox hops – for the year; two kegs have made their way to the James Joyce in Fredericton. If you haven’t tried this one yet, we encourage you to seek it out! It won’t be around again until sometime next year.
– Keep an eye out for Hammond River‘s Too Hop to Handle Double IPA at better Saint John bars now. This 8.4% ABV and 150+ IBUs beer is only brewed a few times a year, and is always a quick seller.
Boxing Rock‘s collaboration with Gahan House – Halifax, Over the Top!, has returned. A 4% ABV “sour mash cranberry wheat ale”, it features an addition of Nova Scotia cranberries to complement the already tart and dry finish. Look for it in growlers and on tap around the province now.
– Upstreet‘s Eighty Bob, their 4.5% ABV Scottish Export Ale, is now in regular rotation, and is also available in bottles for the first time, at the brewery and PEILCC stores, as well as at Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax.
TrailWay just tapped a new batch of their IPA, Hugh John Hops, and it’s tasting super-fresh! Drop by the brewery for a pint and/or growler fill.
– After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered‘s Riddle of Steel is back today. This 7.0% ABV IPA is full of hops, weighing in at approximately 80 IBUs, brewed with the famous Conan/Vermont Ale yeast. Growler fills and pints from noon!

Thanks to all who entered our Beer and Food picture contest, for the Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve Launch @ The Port. We’ve randomly picked our winner, and it is @shawnahazz! For those who’ve missed out, there are still a few spots available for this evening’s food and beer tasting (and first chance to try and buy their 6 litre bottle of the 17 Grande Reserve), grab your tickets at The Port today.

And a big thanks to Aaron for helping out with this week’s blog, we’ll be tapping him for more help going forward.


The number of craft breweries in New Brunswick continues to rise, as Bogtrotter Craft Brewing quickly came on the scene earlier this month and announced that it would be opening soon in Fredericton. Owner and brewmaster Rod Croucher has been homebrewing for about 10 years, and has decided to take the first step in turning his hobby into a career. We recently chatted a little with Rod to find out more about the brewery, and his plans for when it launches next month.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I served in the military for 23 years, and I got out about 4 years ago. I retired in Alberta from the PPCLI, and worked as a realtor in the province.  My wife and I then decided to move back home – I grew up in the Fredericton and Oromocto area, and have strong family ties to the area.

How did you get into the world of craft beer?

When I lived in Alberta, there was a huge selection of beers from around the world.

What size/manufacturer/type of system will you be brewing on?

Currently I am running the brewery myself out of my home. I have a 1 BBL (115 L) electric HERMS system, with 7 fermentors.


Brewery control panel

When exactly do you plan on launching next month?

I’m launching with three beers on Saturday, September 24thWe will be starting at the Station (ANBL) downtown with Saturday Sips in the Afternoon, followed by a stop at another establishment (hopefully, still working on the details), and finishing up with an event at the James Joyce at 8:00 pm.

What are your plans for distribution?

My goal is to brew small batches of quality beer. My plan is to start in local restaurants and other licensees in the Fredericton area. We won’t be licensed for on-site sales at this time.

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?

I have talked to a few establishments in Fredericton, and there is definite interest in the products.

Can you tell us about the beer(s) you plan on offering initially?

I will be launching with the following three beers:

Muddy Mayhem IPA, an American IPA, 6.2% ABV, 85 IBUs, and dry-hopped.


Angry Otter Pub Ale, an Extra Special Bitter, 5% ABV, 45 IBUs.

Osprey’ Orange Pale Ale, a light-coloured beer with additions of orange peel and coriander seed, 5% ABV, 40 IBUs.


Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?

I would love to expand to a tap house depending on the response I get to my beers; hopefully this happens within a year or so.

Do you have a favourite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?

I’m a self-proclaimed hop head – IPAs and Imperial IPAs are my favourite styles – so anything with high IBUs and hops flavour works for me.

We wish Rod the best of luck with his new brewery, and look forward to Bogtrotter’s launch next month! We’ll let you know more about the launch-day events in a few weeks; in the meantime, be sure to follow Bogtrotter on Facebook and Twitter, for updates on their progress.