A happy Friday to all the beer lovers in the region; we hope everyone had a happy (and hoppy) IPA Day yesterday! With a long weekend looming in all four provinces, we hope we have the news you need to plan your weekend in the best way possible: around beer and beer-related events!
• After many months in the making, Hammond River Brewing‘s new taproom will officially open today at 4 pm. With live music and food available on site, and seven taps of HR beer flowing for pints and growler fills, can you think of a better way to spend your Friday evening? We can’t either! Congrats to owner/brewer Shane Steeves and everyone else involved in the transition; we look forward to what HR will be brewing up in the near future. And keep your eyes out for the first bottles of HR beer, the first of which, their Hop Flash IPA should be available next week!
• Late last week, Nine Locks released their latest brew, Apricot Blonde, which they’re describing as a “North American Weizen” (read: American Wheat Ale). Flavoured with, yes, apricot, it finishes dry and refreshing, and at a light 5.1% ABV and 15 IBU, is another beer fit for these dog days of summer. The entire batch of this beer was canned, so drop by Nine Locks’ location to grab a handful of cans before hitting the cottage this weekend.
• Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing has released another pair of beers this week, in order to keep their Farmers’ Market and “Tidehouse Tiny Tasty Beverage Room” (aka on-site 8-seat taproom) customers happy. The first to hit the taps was 2Market2Market, a German Helles beer, featuring a light body and spicy and flavourful hop character from a combination of Perle and Saaz hops. This beer proved to be extremely popular with the patrons at the Tantallon and Hubbards Farmers’ Markets, with it selling out within the past week, but we’ve been assured it will be returning before too long. Hungry Ryes, we can attest, is still pouring and will be available this weekend… A 5.6% ABV Pale Ale, it features a healthy dose of Rye malt for a light spicing, and a blend of Columbus and Northern Brewer hops for a complementing flavour profile. And watch this space, and their social media, for the launch of one or two brand new brews in the coming days.
• Were you a fan of the recent release of 2 Crows‘ Crosswired, their first foedre-aged beer? Hey, so were we! Well, good news, they’ve got another foedre beer coming out tomorrow, and it sounds like a doozy (doozy meaning “good”)! Fandango is a 6.8% ABV, 54 IBU Milkshake IPA that was heavily hopped and dry-hopped with Azacca, Citra and Galaxy. Conditioned in the Calvados foedre for approximately 2 weeks, the beer was then transferred back to a stainless fermenter, where the 2 Crows crew added some lactose powder, whole vanilla beans, 220 kg of mango purée and 30 kg of peaches. Oh yeah, and they dry-hopped it, AGAIN. Hazy, orange-coloured, creamy, and tasting “like pure juice, with a touch of tannin and bright fruitiness from the Calvados”, we’re betting that this one will be popular! Luckily, a full batch was brewed (maybe the 220 kg of mango purée gave that away), and it will also be available in cans, as well as on tap, so be sure to pick some up Saturday from noon! Note: no growler fills.
• As we promised a few weeks ago, Red Rover is releasing their third Summer Series cider today with Barrel Reserve #2. This is a “Bourbon Oaked Blueberry Cider” that was originally entered in the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition in April, where it won 2nd Best in Class in the Specialty Cider & Perry category. RR describes this 7.2% ABV cider as having “lots of vanilla and oak up front, with a fresh blast of blueberry and bourbon on the finish”. As with their other special releases, it will be available at the Cider House today at 5 pm in 750 mL bottles, in a very limited supply, and may pop up at some Farmers markets this weekend as well.
• While on the topic of Red Rover, they also released a brand new cider this week, Siesta. This 7% ABV semi-dry cider was infused with fresh lime and mint, giving some delicious complementary flavours to go with all the hot weather we’ve been having. It’s available now at the Cider House for pints and flagon fills, and should pop up at a few RR tap accounts.
• After initially launching late last year in Harvey, NB with four flagship beers, Off Grid Ales is officially releasing their first new beer, Smooth Sailing Pale Ale. Described by the brewery as light-bodied and mildly spicy, it was hopped with Warrior and Chinook to 30 IBUs, with late additions of Centennial and Mosaic to give flavours of citrus and tropical fruit. It comes in at 5.5% ABV, and will be available in bottles only for the first few weeks, at select ANBL stores. Look for it to follow in kegs by the end of the summer, where it will likely pop up at one or more of the ANBL growler stations.
• Amherst’s Trider’s Craft Beer has brewed up Blue me Away!, a blueberry beer. Incorporating locally-grown blueberries, absolutely no extracts were harmed in the making of this beer. Bluish-purple in colour, and with a subtle blueberry flavour and aroma, it weighs in at just 5% ABV and 14 IBUs. Drop by their Anson Avenue location for a growler fill today, and maybe chat with the folks about helping to fill the Part-Time Sales and Packaging position they currently have open.
• Those Good Robots are up to it again, with the latest, and last (so they tell us!), in their SMaSH Pale Ale series. With all of the Smash Mouth banter within the GR community, it is only fitting that the California-based band actually named the beer, Beer Mouth. At 5.5% ABV and 39 IBU, the Single Malt featured is Marris Otter, and the Single Hop is Wakatu, a New Zealand hop. The straw-coloured beer features a tropical fruit aroma, on top of a lightly herbal and grassy flavour, with a touch of lime. Beer Mouth is on tap now, for pints and growler fills both. Today’s Cask in the Sun is a Leave Me Blue Creamsicle, a sweeter take on their Kentucky Corn beer, and next week’s small-batch BetaBrewsday is Ale for Seaware. Brewed by staff members Pat King and Kelly Costello, this 4.5% ABV Golden Ale features maple syrup in the boil and added after fermentation. A light dose EKG was added for a touch of floral character and offsetting bitterness (low, at 16 IBU). This week’s Brewsday is pushed back to Wednesday the 9th, as many of the Good Robot crew with be on Prince Edward Island to celebrate their Tap Takeover at Upstreet on Monday, August 7th.
• Speaking of Upstreet, massive congratulations to them on achieving B Corp certification! This independent certification recognizes businesses that meet a rigorous standard of social and environmental performance, and using their business to make positive changes in the world. Learn more about Upstreet’s road to B Corp Certification here.
• Halifax’s Propeller Brewing continues to bring out regular entries in their Gottingen Small Batch series. This week, brewer Cameron Crerar brings us a beer named for the Tasman Sea, which lies between his homeland, Tasmania, and New Zealand, home of the primary hop variety used, Motueka. Tasman Pale Ale is 5.2% ABV and 38 IBU, with a hoppy and citrus aroma from the aforementioned hops, hints of malt and caramel, and a crisp and clean finish. You’ll find it on tap at the Propeller Tasting Room for pints by 5 PM today, with growler fills available starting early next week.
• Bad Apple Brewhouse has never had problems with their beers’ popularity, but according to owner/brewer Jeff Saunders, their recently-released Black Currant Gose has been their fastest-selling beer yet! Brewed as a classic Gose – tart and salty – black currants obtained from local farms were also added, and at a sessionable 4% ABV, it sounds like a great summer beer. It’s available at the brewery for growler fills, but probably won’t last through the weekend, so hurry up if you want to grab some! It’s also on tap at a few of the better beer establishments in Halifax.
• Grimross has released the 5th one-off in their Scratch series this morning at the brewery. Scratch #5: Nut’n Abbey is a 7% ABV ale fermented with an Abbey yeast strain, giving this brown-coloured brew some Belgian phenolics and esters to go with the nutty, malty flavours from the grist. Drop by the taproom for a pint or growler, and check out your favourite Fredericton watering hole to see if it’s on tap.
• In Saint John, NB, Loyalist City released a new beer this week to celebrate International IPA Day. Building on the experiences developed through their One Hop Series, this time they’ve made a New England style IPA that features El Dorado, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops. A New England-style water profile aids in big hop aroma and flavour, with citrus, pineapple and mango prominent, a hazy yellow appearance, and a slight sweetness. Dubbed Backslide IPA, it’s loaded with tropical fruit flavours but is still balanced enough to be a refresher on a hot summer day. You should see it springing up at Loyalist tap accounts this weekend and you’ll find it at the brewery from now on, as it’s being added to the regular lineup!
• Earlier this week, a story in the Guardian confirmed that Summerside will be opening its first brewery sometime in the near-ish future. Alex Clark, owner of the OpenEats restaurant in downtown Summerside, is planning to open a brewery in the former train station location (currently the Summerside Rotary Library) on Central St. Many details still need to be ironed out and confirmed, but the initial plan is to open the brewery on its own before eventually adding a taproom and adjoining dining room. Check out the story above for more details, and as always, we’ll keep you updated!
Some notable events for beer lovers are coming up in the region as well, this weekend and beyond!
• A reminder that North Grant’s Half Cocked Brewing is holding their launch party this evening at The Townhouse Pub in Antigonish. From 4:00pm, enjoy their five beers, and meet and chat with owners Greg Oicle and Matt Thompson. And look for HC’s growler days and Farmers’ Market visits to ramp up in the coming weeks. Learn more about Half Cocked in yesterday’s Profile post.
• The Stillwell family is welcoming back one of their favourite (and ours) Quebec breweries to take over their taps this weekend. From noon Saturday at the Beer Garden on Spring Garden, and Sunday at 4:00pm at HQ on Barrington, a total of 22 taps and a handful of bottles from Shawinagan’s Trou du Diable will be available to any and all comers. Saturday’s theme is “Hops & Lagers”, featuring a bevvy of lighter beers and hoppy IPAs, with Sunday’s session leaning “Sour & Strong”. The list is too long (and awesome) to post here, so we encourage you to check it out on their IG page, and rest up for a busy weekend.
• There are still tickets available for next weekend’s Halifax Seaport Beerfest, happening at the Cunard Centre. With Friday, August 11th evening session, and Saturday, Aigist 12th afternoon and evening sessions, there are plenty of opportunities to try some of the 350+ beer and cider that will be available. Grab your ticket to fun today!
• Attention, Fredericton… the sour beers are coming! The James Joyce Irish Pub is hosting Tarte Diem, a sour beer tap takeover, on Saturday, August 26th. Featuring a wide assortment of sour beers (ranging from Lambic-style beers to hoppy sour ales) from breweries across the Maritimes, all you have to do as a beer drinker is show up when they open at 3 pm, and pay by the pint or flight! There will also be three different awards given out during the event: a Best of Show based on the decision of a group of judges made up of individuals from the brewing industry, a Best of Show from “uneducated judges” (their description, not ours!), and a People’s Choice, where drinkers like you pick your favourite sour brew. Check out the link above for an up-to-date list on participating breweries, and which beer(s) they’ll be bringing.
• Also in Fredericton on Saturday, August 26th is Ales for Animals, hosted by the Fredericton SPCA. Held from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Picaroons Roundhouse, your $50 ticket will get you a selection of taster beers from Big Axe, Graystone, Grimross, Maybee, Picaroons, Railcar and Trailway. Tickets are available at the FSPCA, Picaroons, Grimross, and at the door. Help support a great cause, and get to sample some local beer at the same time!
Enjoy the long weeked! Before we let you head out of your place of work (go ahead, no one minds!), a couple more quick things to share:
– Celtic Knot has brewed up a batch of their Monkeytown – their 4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs Mango American Pale Ale – on their brand new system; it’s available now at the brewery for growler fills, and should be on tap at your favourite CK licensee. Rounding out their taps today are the Ryetious Rye IPA, Éire Irish Red, and For Shore Session IPA.
– Truro’s Salty Dog is collaborating with local bike shop Bike Monkey to brew up a 7.1% ABV and 70 IBU Double IPA for hop lovers, and they’ve got a contest running to celebrate. You can get in on the draw by filling a growler or buying a can of Bike Monkey DIPA at Salty Dog, or by purchasing a pint at the Nook & Cranny Brewpub or Sauced Wood-fired Pizza. The winner will receive a bike valued at $650 complete with a growler carrier.
– Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery has released a brand new beer this week, Recess Pilsner. Details are light at the moment, but we do know that it is currently available at the brewery on tap and in bottles, and bottles should also be available at the HRM private stores in the coming days.
– And speaking of Schoolhouse, we told you a couple weeks ago about two Brew Ha-Ha! events featuring their beer. The first, two weeks ago at the brewery in Windsor, was a great success. Tomorrow night’s event will be at the Company House in Halifax and we’ve got a promo code for you: buy your tickets in advance using the code “GetSchooled” and get $5 off the regular $20 price.
– In Mahone Bay this evening at 7 PM Saltbox Brewing will be launching a special commemorative can for their Cream Ale to help kick off Heritage Boatyard Weekend.
Just returned from the Tall Ship Festival in Halifax NS. What a great event with so much waterfront entertainment along with fine beer and wine. One disappointment was the beer sold at the Joel Plaskett concert on George’s Island. I have no problem with the limited selection of 2 local beers, but the quality was terribly disappointing. Both were extremely harsh and astringent, with one having a microbial taint. I couldnt finish either one. As a pro brewer for almost 40 years, I wasn’t just being fussy. I overheard a good many attendees echo similar comments. Good concert though!