Another Friday, another busy week in beer news in Atlantic Canada. Grab your coffee, or coffee stout, and get up to speed with the latest info.
• Dartmouth’s newest nano, Brightwood Brewery has added to their lineup this week with their McNabs Pure, a rye IPA. Golden-hued, this 6.3% ABV beer uses rye in combination with Bramling Cross hops to give it an earthy spiciness that should pair nicely with crisp fall air and the scent of fallen leaves. Further additions of the classic noble hop Hallertauer will present with an herbal and spicy but restrained aroma as well as bolstering the flavour and complementing the solid bitterness of 50 IBUs. You’ll find it at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market this weekend along with Brightwood’s other offerings.
• Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s is joining in the seasonal fun this fall with Cobbler Path, an unfiltered blueberry wheat ale that’s been cold-aged on 70 pounds of wild Newfoundland blueberries. The aroma features subtle berry, ripe fruit, and melon notes, while on the palate a slight sweetness is balanced by tartness from the berries. A judicious bitterness rounds out this beer through the use of Mosaic hops to the tune of 25 IBUs. At 5% ABV expect it to go down easy, with the creamy, smooth mouthfeel characteristic of a wheat beer and a dry finish that should make this a fine pint to toast an early autumn afternoon or evening.
• There’s a new beer on tap at the Grimross taproom this week – Petite Grim is actually a scaled down version of another fairly-recent Grimross beer, Grimdonk. Categorized by the brewery as a “Belgian Blonde Session Ale”, the grist, hops (Southan Farms Goldings) and Belgian yeast strain are the same, but it comes in at a more-sessionable 4.6% ABV (vs. the 7% ABV of Grimdonk). Available now for growler fills and pints at the brewery. And look for the return of their Abbey Dubbel, on tap at the brewery just this morning, and around the city soon!
• There’s a new small batch beer on tap at Propeller‘s Halifax location these days, E = MC Yummy. This Honey Lager weighs in at 4.8%, and a light 20 IBUs, and features a light dosing of honey on top of a lager base. This beer is only available on Gottingen, so be sure to drop by soon to grab a sample and growler fill. You may be smarter for it! And for all you pumpkin fans, keep your eyes peeled for a special cask of their Double IPA, dosed with pumpkin spicing, that should be tapped soon, either at the Gottingen taproom, or at a local bar.
• After making its debut at last weekend’s Cask Beer Throwdown, North Brewing released Priority Pale Ale yesterday, a 5% American IPA featuring all Belgian malt, fermented with an American yeast, for a light honey character in the base. Upon that, a bevvy of American hops were added to the boil, namely Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus, for a solid balancing bitterness of 30 IBUs. A further dry-hop with Cascade and Chinook help to bring out the floral and citrus aroma to complement the light sweetness and biscuit from the malt, and deliver notes of apricot and grapefruit. The beer is also meant for people to pause and see where their priorities lie, and the following poem/APA beer description was written in collaboration with Tanya Davis, local singer and songwriter, and former Halifax Poet Laureate.
If your priorities go crooked, dazzled by masses and billboards, remember that balance is yours to restore. Start here. This beer has aroma to wake you, a captivating flavour to encourage sips and contemplation, and a nourishing bitterness, righteous and mild. Find the symmetry your life requires and align your people with your efforts. It’s not more things; it’s more things better
• With their Watermelon Blonde soon to fade into the memories of the summer just past, Nine Locks Brewing is bringing us a new seasonal with a style that is a favourite of many (and a bête noire of some). Pumpkin, a dark amber ale features a full body and residual sweetness from the use of pumpkin, the classic spicing known to anyone who loves pumpkin pie or PSLs, and a malty backbone that completes the palate with a fullness to balance the sweet and spice. The 12 IBUs won’t interfere with the feature flavours and aromas, and coming in at an easy-drinking 5.2% ABV, this one is expected to be available next Tuesday at the brewery. Nine Locks’ social media accounts will surely be the best place to find out the exact timing of this release.
• Attention Fredericton and surrounding areas – Red Rover wants your apples! During the weekend of October 15th-16th, they’re hosting the 1st Annual Scrumping for a Cause. A special cider will be created from all of the apples brought in, as long as they’re picked from apple trees, as opposed to collecting them from the ground (i.e. no bruised or beaten apples, please). For every two bushels (max 8 per person, dropped off at 880 Hanwell Rd., Unit 305), you’ll receive a 750 mL bottle of the cider that your apples are helping to create! All of the profits of this special release will be donated to the Fredericton Region Museum, and participants can choose to donate their allotted bottle directly to the cause as well. And check in the Events section below for more details on what they are pouring at tomorrow’s Fredericton Cider Festival!
• Over at Maybee Brewing, their Harvest Ale – a wet-hopped SMaSH brewed with Maris Otter malt and Southan Farms Columbus hops – should be available on tap and in cans sometime next week. In the meantime, they’ve brewed up another brand new beer, Forage Rye IPA. The grist features a “Crystal Rye malt” from Quebec, giving the beer a dark, ruby-red colour. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Columbus, expect this one to come in somewhere around 7.2% ABV and 72 IBUs; it should be available on tap and in cans by mid-October.
• And speaking of Harvest Ale, Picaroons has released their series of the annual brew this week. There are three versions of the 5.5% Pale Ale, each featuring hops from a different Maritimes hop field. Batch 144 features Mt. Hood from Nova Scotia’s Wallace Ridge Farm, 145 was brewed with Willamette from PEI’s My Father’s Farm, and 157 uses ferals hops from Moose Mountain, in Maplehurst, NB. Look for the beer on tap and on shelves in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia now, and learn more about the hop growers at Picaroons’ site. And a fourth batch, brewed with hops from LunaHop Farm in Cornhill, New Brunswick will be brewed and released in October.
• Picaroons is releasing another special collaboration brew today, Spudnik Potato Stout. Yes, you read that correctly, potatoes! Teaming up with the CCNB and BioNB, the 4.7% ABV beer was brewed with lots of Russet potatoes grown from Toner Farms in Grand Falls. Hopped with Golding and Willamette, the epic 17-hour brewday has resulted in a smooth and full-bodied brew. The beer is now on tap now at the Fredericton Brewtique for growler fills, so drop by today grab one (and a bag of locally-produced chips to complement).
• Drop by Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing for a slew of new wet-hopped suds on the board. Their Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale is on now, which features additions of real pumpkin, and is wet-hopped with freshly-harvested Cascade from Dunhams Run. As always, the beer also has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove added to boost the pumpkin pie presence, resulting in an interesting flavour combination for this 5% ABV brew. They have also brewed a wet-hop version of their FogBound Hemp Pale Ale, swapping out Cascade for Dunham Run’s Hallertauer and Nugget. This batch weighs in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs. And a brand new beer is right around the corner! Golden Hawk White IPA was brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malts, and wet-hopped with Super Alpha hops from Darlings Island Farm. The combination Belgian Witbier and IPA features lots of citrus and coriander notes (typical of the wit), and a balancing bitterness and citrus kick of hops of an American IPA. The beer weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 72 IBUs, and is named after the hawk who watch the hopyard from atop his perch all summer.
• Moncton’s Acadie-Broue brought back a pair of favourites at last weekend’s Atlantic Craft Beer Oktoberfest, and will have them also at least one of them pouring at Le Coude shortly. Their Sour Wheat Kiebitz Coti and Gose were both available, using the same base, but the Gose was infused with coriander seeds and sea salt. The Gose was previously brewed in collaboration with Big Tide Brewing in 2015 (called Marée Montante), using Bay of Fundy seawater. The next batch of the Gose will also be brewed with seawater, and will probably be released under the name Reflux. Keep an eye hear for details when it is released. And look for the Valdrague Weizen Wheat Beer, on tap at Le Coude now.
Be sure to head out for some drinking fun this weekend!
• Don’t forget to head to the Fredericton Cider Festival tomorrow! Held at Brewbakers downtown, there will be unlimited 4 oz samples of more than 25 different varieties of cider, with local cideries such as Red Rover, York County, Gagetown Cider Company, and Scow being the main stars of the show. We have some advance notice of what Red Rover will be bringing, which includes their regular line-up and old favourites of Fall, Summer, Spring, Fire and Blues along with more recent addition specialty cider, Dragon Slayer. Hopped, Tinderbox, and the first 2016 White Witch will also be served (although it won’t be available for purchase until later in October). They are also planning on tapping the last keg of 2014 VeRRy Perry in celebration and anticipation of receiving juice to begin our first batches of 2016 Perry. They will also be serving three specialty ciders, to be served from cask. These are: The Matador, a fruity still cider with high acidity reminiscent of Spanish Sidra; Motown, a cider-wine hybrid made from Fredericton grapes, and an oak-aged Scrumpy. From Red Rover, “This will be the largest selection of Red Rover cider that has ever been available at a single location and we’re very excited to be able to share it with everyone tomorrow.” Tickets are still available ($56.50, tax included), which get you a tasting glass and samples from 1:00-3:30 pm; VIP tickets, which allow for early entry at noon, are sold out (though there is a waitlist).
• Also happening October 1 is the Marion Bridge Oktoberfest, running from 3-10pm. As in previous years, Big Spruce has released their specialty beer for the event, Spruce Bringstein. This American Amber is 6.2% ABV and a light 27 IBUs, and will be available at the Oktoberfest, as well as on tap at the brewery now, and at better beer bars around the province. And be sure to drop by Big Spruce this weekend for the last Farm to Fork Food Truck weekend of the season.
A few more beers and news items worth reading about today, before we sign off:
– Two Canadian brewery equipment manufacturers, Charlottetown’s DME Brewing Solutions and Abbottsford, BC’s Newlands Systems, have announced that they are joining forces into one company. While keeping their respective offices and operations, they will be opening a joint 50,000 sqft manufacturing location in South Carolina in the new year. Read more in the official press release.
– Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their Flat Black Jesus American Stout today. At 7% ABV and more than 100 IBUs, this black ode to hops is available for growler fills and pints right now, like leave work and head there now, now.
– Sheet Harbour’s Henley House is winding down their season with a big weekend, so be sure to make a trip to this cozy pub soon. That also means that Sober Island Brewing, who usually have two or more of their beers on tap at the Henley, will be able to send more of their beer to thirsty drinkers in HRM. Early next week, look for their Oyster Stout on tap at The Press Gang (what better way to wash down freshly shucked Sober Island oysters?), followed shortly by a tap at Argyle Street’s Lot Six.
– Today is the last day to register for the Gahan House Charlottetown Home Brewer’s Challenge. Fire them an email, then brew up your best Winter Warmer! Details on their Facebook page.
– Congratulations to Downtown Halifax’s two new breweries, 2 Crows and Tidehouse, who both received their brew systems this week. Things are well on track for both breweries to be opening in the next couple of months!