Happy Friday everyone! Another busy week, so let’s dive right in!
• It’s been a busy few weeks at Tatamagouche Brewing, and they’re ready to share the fruits of their labour! Yesterday, they released their first kettle sour beer, brewed in collaboration/conspiracy with Big Spruce. I’m In Love is a 4.0% ABV Berliner Weisse, featuring 70kg of ground cherries added after primary fermentation was complete. The resulting beer has quite a tropical feel, with melon and cantalope notes, aided by light additions of Mandarina Bavaria and Mosaic hops (to 13 IBUs). This beer will be a draft-only release, so grab a growler at the brewery, or a pint at better watering holes in the province. And we have it on good authority that this will not be the last TataWeisse release; we’ll keep you up to date with future releases.
• Launching at TataBrew today, is the third in their Barrel Aged Belgian Golden Strong series of beers. The Blackberry and Cherry spent an extra month in its barrel, as compared to the earlier releases of the Raspberry and Strawberry and Ginger versions. As such, this release, while still clocking in at 7.8% ABV, does show more barrel (vanilla and oak) and fruit (the eponymous blackberry and cherry, but also subtle sherry) characters. As with the other two releases, there are only a dozen cases of this beer available, so be sure to drop by the brewery this weekend to avoid disappointment.
• Tata’s Lagerhosen will be back next week, just in time for next weekend’s Tatamagouche Oktoberfest. The 4.5% ABV lager will be available in cans, as well as growler fills and of course on tap. They are running a contest on Facebook for swag, tickets to Oktoberfest, and a case of beer, so be sure to check it out! And we’ve spotted a new brew in the works with Battery Park, slated to be released at Tatabrew tap-takeover there on Thursday, October 6th, where a grand total of 14 Tatabrew beers will be featured on tap, along with one cask. Keep it dialed here for the details on this West Coast-inspired beer when available!
• The Port Rexton Brewing crew have been busy lately, and will be launching a brand new beer (to both them, and to the Rock, we reckon), a Gose. This 4.0% German-inspired beer features hand-picked and freshly-cracked coriander seed from the gardens and greenhouse at nearby Fisher’s Loft Inn. And in more exciting PRB news, they made their first delivery into St John’s this week: two kegs of T-Rex Porter were delivered to The Adelaide Oyster House Wednesday evening. Expect there to be more deliveries to town when supply allows it.
• Bore City has brewed up their very first Imperial IPA – with a grist made up mainly of 2-row, there’s a decent amount of flaked grains to boost the body (and add haze), and just the tiniest amount of CaraMunich malt. Hopped and dry-hopped with heavy amounts of Equinox, Galaxy and Topaz, those of you lucky enough to try this currently-unnamed DIPA can expect big blasts of citrus and tropical fruit. Fermented with a blend of English and American ale yeasts, it weighs in at 8.5% ABV and 75 IBUs. Your best bet to try this delicious-sounding beer? Next Saturday’s (Sept 24th) Atlantic Canada Craft Brew Oktoberfest in Moncton; tickets are still available here.
• As wet-hopped-beer season continues, Maybee Brewing recently brewed their first, a SMaSH featuring all Maris Otter malt and freshly-harvested Columbus hops from Southan Farms. A hop variety that has been around for years, Columbus offers a pleasant mix of dank, earthy, and resinous aromas and flavours, which should be amped up even more when used fresh. Expect this one to come in between 5.5-6% ABV, and to hit taps in the next week or so. It will also be released in 473 mL cans, which will be available exclusively at the brewery in Fredericton.
• Florenceville-Bristol’s Railcar Brewing has a new brew available at the brewery, and another following soon. Their Biggar’s Extra Special Bitter is an English ESB brewed with 2-row, Munich, Crystal 40 L, and Chocolate malts, and hopped entirely with English Goldings. At 6.2% ABV and 47 IBUs, it’s available now for growler fills and pints. Brewed recently is a Smoked Vanilla Whisky Porter; this 9.9% ABV monster features a combination of roasted and smoked malts, as well as 8 lbs of blackstrap molasses. In addition, whisky-aged oak chips and 35 vanilla beans were added in secondary. Finally, the beer was dry-hopped with Goldings. Look for this one to become available on tap at the brewery within the next couple of weeks.
• We reported last week on TrailWay‘s first sour beer, which was kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus blend from Escarpment Labs. That beer is nearing completion, and should be available sometime next week. We can now confirm that it will be a ~5% ABV hoppy sour ale; it was “generously whirpool-hopped” with Galaxy, and further dry-hopped with Citra. With the IBUs kept extremely low (high bitterness can easily clash in sour beers), expect a quite tart beer with loads of tropical fruit on the nose and palate.
• There’s another new brew on tap at Mama’s Brew Pub, an American Wheat Ale named Atlantic Great White. Featuring a simple grist of 50% each of 2-row and Wheat malt, it was hopped with the tropical/citrus Amarillo variety. Crushed coriander was also added in the boil, followed by fresh apples and oranges in secondary. Easy-drinking at 4.9% ABV and 17 IBUs, this one is – as always – available only at the brewpub for pints and tasters.
• After several months delay, Fredericton’s Gray Stone Brewing has finally received and commissioned their 11.5 hL (10BBL) brewhouse. As such, they’ve been brewing like mad this week, with at least three batches currently on the go, including their first wet-hopped beer – American Harvest IPA – which will be brewed this coming Sunday. Bittered with freshly harvested Summit to an approximated 85 IBUs, according to the brewery, the beer is expected to come in at 6.5% ABV. They are also putting out a call for any interested parties growing hops on their property to drop them off at the brewery by closing-time on Saturday, to be used in the brew in the flavour and aroma additions. Look for the first in-house-brewed releases to come late September/early October. Congratulations!
• With the return of fall comes the inevitable return of pumpkin beers. Last year, Upstreet released their Gravedigger, which is returning with a couple of changes: this year’s batch weighs in at a slightly-lower 6.5% ABV (compared to last year’s 7.5%), and exhibits slightly less graham cracker character in the flavour. The beer will officially launch tonight with the Gravedigger Ghost Tour and Beer Release, with a Ghost Tour starting at Captain Jack’s Bar & Grill at 6pm, and ending up at Upstreet at 8pm to join the party in full swing. And big congratulations to them for winning Startup Canada’s Social Enterprise Award, recognizing them for making a difference in, and helping to build, their community.
• And in an interesting mesh where wet-hopped-beers-meet-pumpkin-ales, Big Tide has brewed up their Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale, 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. Look for these beers to hit the taps at the end of the month.
• Charlottetown’s Gahan House has just released the details of this year’s Home Brew Challenge. Amateur brewers from the Island are encouraged to brew up their best Winter Warmer by November 18th, when it will be judged by a panel of beer experts. The winning brewer will then get to brew her/his recipe with Gahan’s Brewmaster Trent Hayes (plus a cash prize!), and will be launched in 2017. Register via email by September 30th, and more details are available on their Facebook page.
We’ve got lots of things for you to do this weekend, including the Hops ‘n’ Brats event tonight, and Halifax Beer Run and Halifax Oktoberfest tomorrow.
• It’s a busy weekend for new Nova Scotia breweries! Trider’s Craft Beer is launching today in Amherst. Their retail location at will be open at noon for growler and merchandise sales, and again tomorrow 12-10pm. In case you missed it, check out the Profile of Trider’s we released earlier this morning.
• In Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing is officially opening the doors of their taproom and retail shop tomorrow, September 17 at 10 am. In addition to merchandise and growlers of their four core beers, their taproom will be open to embibe onsite. Lobster Jo’s Food Truck will be set up to keep folks happy too. Joining Saltbox on tap will be a few beers from Boxing Rock, Firkenstein, and Good Robot, plus ShipBuilders Cider. Learn more about Saltbox in an upcoming Profile post, and drop by 363 Main Street to take part in the fun!
• Continuing through Sunday is the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton. Red Rover is opening a couple of pop-ups where they’ll be selling about six different ciders; they’ll also be accompanied by various beers from Maybee and Grimross. One will take place one the balcony of the Fredericton Region Museum today from 4pm – 12am, and the other will occur on the Isaac’s Way patio tomorrow from 12am – 2am. Cover charge is by donation, with all funds going to the Fredericton Region Museum.
• Drop by Digby’s Roofhound Brewery for Games Night this Saturday. Pitchers of RH beer are discounted by $5, and there will be some special treats available that evening. The fun kicks off at 8pm.
• The Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club is hosting an Oktoberfest at the Bella Vista September 30th. Featuring four German beers and digestif, and food to pair with it, this will be sure to give you a taste of the country. Learn more and register your spot with Matthew by Sept 27th.
• A reminder that the second annual Fredericton Cider Festival is in two weeks, Saturday, October 1st. 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. 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.
• Mark your calendars! Bissell Brothers and Orono Brewing Company will be taking over the taps at Stillwell the weekend of Dec 10-12. These great Maine breweries are killing it in Portland and Orono, respectively (and the rest of the state), and are bringing their great beers North for us to enjoy. Stay tuned for the exact date/time details, as well as teasers of which beers will be available.
Looks like a nice couple of days coming up for the last weekend of summer; get out there and enjoy them (with some craft beer, of course)! In closing…
– PEI Brewing Co. have brought back a pair of seasonal favourites: Harvest Time Lager and Pumpkin Beer.
– For those who like it in the can, Propeller Brewing has expanded their tinnie offering to include the Pilsener and Pale Ale, joining their popular IPA. Cans are available at both their Gottingen and Windmill locations.
– Pump House SPCA IPA is available again, with a portion of proceeds going to the Greater Moncton SPCA.
– Keep an eye out for the first kegs of Fredericton’s Bogtrotter beers in the wild: kegs of Muddy Mayhem IPA, Osprey’orange Pale Ale were delivered to Gray Stone Brewery last night, and will likely be tapped this weekend. To learn more about Bogtrotter, check our Q&A with them, and be sure to visit the James Joyce for their Meet the Maker event next weekend.