Happy Friday! With Monday’s holiday, it really snuck up on us here at ACBB, but we’ve still got a pint’s-worth of news to keep you busy this weekend.
• You may know that Muwin Estate Winery (the folks behind Bulwark Cider) have teamed with Ross Farm Museum to bring us Cider Days, coming the weekend of October 22, where you can learn about heritage apples, the proper care of orchards, how cider is made, and cooperage (barrel making). What you may not know is that they are calling on anyone in Nova Scotia with apple trees on their property to pick their apples and bring them along for use in a special batch that will be known as The People’s Cider. This is a chance to see how the heirloom apple varieties that may not be great for eating are sought-after as a key ingredient in cider making. Anyone who provides apples will be provided with a People’s Cider Membership and an invitation to a launch event for the resulting product, where they’re hoping to have some bottles available (depending, of course, on how much is produced). You can even contact them to have your apples picked up from you if you aren’t able to make the event or have more apples than you can easily bring along. If you have an old orchard on your property producing apples that you don’t know what to do with, this is an awesome opportunity to see them become part of a truly Nova Scotian product.
• The brewing team at Good Robot have tweaked one of their more popular beers, and released Damn Fine Coffee v2.0 yesterday. Brewed with Pilsner, Red X, and Rye malts, and an addition of Kenya Gatina coffee (cold brewed by Bottleneck, sourced from Java Blend), this updated iteration was fermented with a highly-attenuating yeast strain (California Ale) to give the resulting beer a “drier, hoppier finish”, according to the brewery. Expect flavours to be fruity, tart, and even vinous, to go along with the floral, citrus, and grassy character from the addition of Cascade and Falconer’s Flight hops. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 40 IBUs, and is available now at the brewery’s taproom, and better beer bars and restaurants across the HRM.
• And speaking of Good Robot, the screening of Sociable! earlier this week was a roaring success, with a full house witnessing the ups and downs of planning, opening, and operating a brewery in Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for details on more screenings, entry to film festivals, and online distribution.
• About a month ago, we reported on the wet-hopped beer brewed by Graystone Brewing; that beer was released at the brewery on Wednesday of this week. Now named United Hops, it was bittered with freshly-harvested Summit to ~80 IBUs, according to the brewery, with other hops added later in the boil, including Perle, El Dorado, Cascade, Idaho 7, and a small portion coming from locally-grown hops donated by people in the Fredericton area. Weighing in at 6% ABV, a portion of the proceeds will go to support United Way. Drop by the brewery this weekend to try a pint, crowler, or growler of this new brew.
• There’s a new Picaroons beer on tap exclusively at the General Store in Saint John – One for the Road Black IPA was brewed to celebrate the recently-renovated Canterbury Street in the city. A small batch brewed on the General Store system, it features a grain bill with plenty of dark, roasted malts, was hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Galaxy, and fermented with an American Ale yeast strain. This 5.6% ale won’t last long, so pop by the General Store to give it a try, while supplies last.
• This week Annapolis Cider Company has a new release in their ‘Something Different’ series, an unfiltered sparkling cider called Peach and Peppercorn. True to its name, it features both freshly cracked peppercorns, with which it’s been infused, and the juice of tree-ripened peaches to the tune of 15% of the batch. On top of the apple base, the peach brings tanginess while the peppercorns provide a subtle heat. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV, you’ll find it available at the cidery, where $0.50 of each bottle refill will be donated to the local 4-H Club.
• Jeremy White of Big Spruce penned a Letter to Nova Scotia this week, detailing some of the struggles and backwards hoops that he, and other breweries, have to go through in that province. A combination of antiquated laws, unfair treatment of breweries versus wineries and distilleries, inequality in tax collection from younger breweries, lead to many frustrations for those looking to earn a living while brewing in the province.
There are a few events this weekend, and in the coming weeks, worth checking out. Here are a few that we wanted to highlight:
• Drop by the Cabot Links Public House tonight for a Big Spruce Tap Takeover. Featuring the core line-up of Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, Kitchen Party Pale Ale, and Tim’s Dirty American IPA, plus seasonals Bitter Get’er India Black IPA and Spruce Bringstein Amber, plus the BS/Boxing Rock For the Love of Grimace Berliner Weisse aged on blueberries. The event starts at 9pm, with live music kicking off at 9:30. The first 48 folks in the door will receive a free glass to take home with them.
• While the weather in Halifax has been beautiful for the past few weeks, it’s time to face reality: the best days of outdoor dining and drinking are behind us. As such, both the Stillwell Beergarden on Spring Garden, and Stubborn Goat‘s Waterfront location are both winding down for the season this weekend. Drop by for one last hoorah tomorrow before/during/after Nocturne. Good Robot is hosting an interactive art display on their Gastroturf fro Nocturne, so be sure to drop by to take part. And today marks the first day for Stillwell’s new noon-time opening at Barrington. Start the weekend early with some great food and beer on Barrington!
• On Saturday, October 22nd, Sackville’s Ducky’s Bar will be holding a tap takeover featuring PEI Brewing Co., at 7:00 pm. A total of 15 different beers will be flowing, with no cover charge to attend. However, if you pay $20, you will receive a 13-oz branded Belgian-style beer glass, and five 5-oz beer tickets, with 5$ going towards the Tantramar Breast Cancer Organization. Reserve your glass before the 22nd by signing up at the bar, and you’ll receive an addition two 5-oz tickets. Finally, those with the special glass will be able to purchase additional 5 oz pours for the rest of the evening for $2.25. More details, including which beers will be available, will be coming soon; stay tuned to the event page for updates.
• Halloween is fast approaching, and with it comes the first Halloween Bash at Maybee’s, on Saturday, October 29th. Starting around 7 pm at Maybee Brewing Co., there’s all sorts of ghoulish things planned, including haunted brewery tours, a costume contest (with prizes), a dance party with live music and, of course, candy! There’s no cover, and Milda’s Pizza & More will be on-site to provide tasty food for purchase. In addition, a special, super-secret beer will be released by the brewery at the event; we can’t give anything away, but we CAN assure you that it’s NOT a Pumpkin Ale!
• For those interested in learning to make cider, a Continuing Education course at NSCC Kingstec will be kicking off November 3rd. Running for four weeks, Hard Cider Made Easy explores all steps of the cider-making process, including apple selection, pressing, fermenting, and packaging of the final product.
A few more drips and drops before you head out today:
– The Third Annual Hammond River Home Brew Competition will be coming up soon; we’ll have more details for you next week, but in the meantime, raise a glass to Shane Steeves and family as expansion on the new, 15 BBL HR brewhouse located adjacent to The Barrel’s Head has officially begun this week!
– In addition to their regular Thursday night growler evenings, Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing will be attending the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmer’s Market, beginning this weekend. Drop by the Historic Gardens location Saturday 9-12 to grab your fills. And while there, be sure to sign up and compete in the 5th Annual North American Conker Championship, taking place that morning. Try, if you dare, to dethrone last year’s winner, Simon Bonnington. Registration and mandatory drug testing starts at 9am.
– Look for more beers and availability at Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing shortly: their 10 BBL (1200 litre) DME brewhouse is working overtime to keep their thirsty fans satisfied. The first batches from their big system should be hitting the taps in Mahone Bay, and elsewhere in the province, very soon.
– There are a pair of new batches on tap at Saint John’s Big Tide Brewpub. It is the return of Karnival Kölsch, as well as their second batch of Indian Beach Pumpkin, this time brewed with all Magnum hops from Darlings Island Farm. And they are down to the last drops of their Hemmingsway Vealy Great Ale, brewed in collaboration with the folks from the Boiling Point podcast.
– Moncton-area Beckwith Road Brewing have released their fourth beer, Upland American Brown. At 6.1% ABV and 40 IBUs, this beer debuted at the Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest last month, and will be found on tap in the city shortly.