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M-m-m-my Fiona. Welcome to the AC Hurricane Blog where we’ll give you all the details about Hurricane Fiona! In all seriousness, we wish nothing but safety for all beer drinkers and even the non-beer drinkers in PEI, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia this coming weekend as we’ve seen lots of events and plans changed this coming weekend due to the upcoming weather impacts. Stay safe, get some beer, check on your friends and family and why not share this blog with a friend or two? There’s a bit of news this week, so we’ll get on with it. Stay alert, stay safe and like North Brewing says, Cheers Your Neighbour!

New Brewery Alert! While The Brewery by Quinns has been open at 6273 Quinpool Road for a couple of months now, they have just begun serving their own beer in the past week. Brewed on their 400 litre system located adjacent to the large taproom, there are three TBbQ beers on tap right now, thanks to Brewer Adam Campbell. Harvard St is a 4.3% Session Ale, featuring lots of ripe tropical fruit, including passion fruit, while remaining light on the palate, thanks in part to its dry finish. Tommy’s Tipple is a 5.0% Blonde Ale, with a bready malt character supporting the light ester fruitiness from the yeast, on a med-light body with a nice finish. The biggest of the bunch is the Armdale 8 IPA, a 6.0% IPA, with plenty of citrus and pine character from the hops used throughout the brew, sustained by a medium body and dry finish. Available on draught for onsite consumption only, for now. We’ll have plenty more with Adam in a profile of The Brewery by Quinns on the blog early next week, so keep your eyes peeled to this page!

Fresh off a new brewery and retail opening, Stillwell Brewing has Kompakt available now! You may recognize the name of this from its delicious 355ml Kölsch-inspired brew from 2 years ago (and the lovely branded stange glasses). Now with an even more traditional recipe and a fancy new can, Kompakt is a 4.8% lagered ale. Previously 5%, this classically cellared ale with 2 months of lagering uses German-grown and -processed Pilsner malt, complete with decoction mash now it’s possible on their new kit, is deliciously hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh, and Kölsch yeast that behaves just as expected in this hybrid fermentation schedule (including natural carbonation for max old school vibes). Pick this one up in 473ml cans directly from the Stillwell Brewing retail spot at 3670 Kempt Road, or order it for delivery or shipping. They’ve got 4 beers cold in the fridge, so check their hours online and swing by when you can!

New from Propeller (in a super secret limited release pilot batch) is Secret IPA. This IPA only uses late addition hops, using Vic Secret, Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin with a crispy base of Pilsner malt. These punchy hops bring the citrus, peach and passionfruit in flavour and aroma. This is 6% and 60 IBU and look for this at the brewery and there may be a few other kegs floating around some other establishments. 

There’s a new brew from the Antigonish-based Candid Brewing, as we’re in full swing with the harvest season and Oktoberfest, the brewery is releasing Tilt-a-Whirl, an Oktoberfest-inspired Amber Lager. This is 5.8% and should bring those copper, malt flavours with a very clean finish. Highly drinkable and perfectly paired with a pretzel! Tilt your glass and give this beer a whirl!

Sticking with the Bavarian inspiration, Quidi Vidi Brewing is releasing their own Oktoberfest beer. This is a Marzen and this lovely amber German lager has a touch of bitterness to join that nice toasty, sweet malt profile. This 5.5% lager is canned and available at their hops shop, NLCs and convenience stores across the lovely province of Newfoundland. 

Delta Force Brewing has some sneaky Marzen of their own out this week, available in a mixed trio: their OG Baurenhofschuppen Marzen, previously only available on draught, is now in bottles. It is joined by the returning crowd pleasing Baurenhofschuppen mit Brett, the same beer but undergoing a secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces for some funky and fruity notes (this one is available on its own, btw). These are joined by the all-new, and possibly blasphemous, Brett version with Apples, thanks to aging on apple pomace (what remains after juicing). Check out their website for ways to buy these today.

It can’t all be beer today, so let’s insert more apple content thanks to the Annapolis Cider Company. They are launching the latest in their Something Different series today, Starberry. Bright red in colour, it features plenty of fresh raspberry character, plus spicing from infusions of star anise and fennel seed. Offering a character that works perfectly for the changing of the seasons, we’re wondering if trying it warm may take it to the next level? As with all of their Something Different releases, this has a charitable component, with $0.50 of each refill will support the Micmac Benevolent Society, whose goal is to “assist Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal Peoples of Nova Scotia to flourish, prosper and live decent lives as enjoyed by the majority of non-Aboriginal Nova Scotian society, having regard to their social, cultural and economic differences”.

We’re starting a little trio of Harvest-themed beers, and we’re starting the trio with Copper Bottom Brewing and their release of Tanglewood. Brewed for the Harvest Home Festival, Hurricane Fiona has ruined the festival plans, but have no fear, the beer is still coming out! This is a 4% sessionable Harvest ale, which is really a hazy session beer, using fresh Azacca hops, a malt bill of 2-row, wheat and oats and S-04 yeast to bring it all together. This is 25 IBU and bringing those lovely Azacca flavours of pineapple, mango and citrus. Proceeds from this beer’s sales will go to support Atlantic Canadian artists through the Tanglewood Rising Tides program from the brewery. Find this beer in 473ml cans directly from the brewery.  

Next up on the harvest train is Maybee Brewing with a straight up Harvest Ale. A 6% showcase featuring local New Brunswick ingredients, this ale features 2-row malt from Monquart Maltouse and fresh, whole-cone Cascade hops from Lakeview Hops. These hops are as fresh as they come as they were picked and brought to the brewery on the same day. These hops bring this ale to 45 IBU and well balanced. Harvest Ale is canned and available from the brewery now!

Bringing up the rear of the triple-Harvest club is Big Spruce Brewing, with a 2022 update of Major Hop Lips. After a huge hop harvest day, the Nyanza folks picked a massive load of Cascade, Mt Hood, Chinook and Challenger hops and went into this IPA minutes later with some of that wet hop, fresh picked, whole cone magic. This Fresh hopped Harvest Pale ale comes in at 5.7% and is available on tap now and in cans. You’ll want to get this and drink it to make it as fresh as possible, may we suggest checking their online shop for shipping and local delivery? MHL joins Don’t Make Me Tap The Sign, the Hazy IPA collaboration with Beer. Diversity.’s Ren Navarro, now out in cans as well. And check below for details on their Tap Takeover at Battery Park scheduled for October 1st (postponed from tomorrow)!

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has been busy preparing a trio of fall-themed releases, just in time for its Oktoberfest event that we’ll tell you about in a second. First up is Dunkel Breakin My Heart, a dark German-style lager that comes in at 5.2% ABV. Look for clean malt flavours that include notes of chocolate and coffee. Next up is their take on the Marzen style, SchitzenGiggles, a copper-hued lager that has a light hop bitterness and comes in at 5.7% ABV. Both of these German-style lagers will be available exclusively on-tap at the Seaport and Quinpool taprooms, in addition to the Oktoberfest event. Lastly, is the annual release of their HefeWeizen. This take on the Bavarian wheat ale features the traditional notes of banannance and clove, and pours with a fluffy white head. The 5% ABV hefe has been canned for those looking to bring something Oktoberfest vibes home.

Despite the poor weather during the next 24-36 hours, there are still some events we encourage folks to keep in mind if they find themselves with some extra time post-cleanup. While this weekend’s PEI Beer Festival has been re-scheduled to February 2023 (click through before Sept 30 for more details on getting your money back, if necessary), perhaps you’re close enough to check the second weekend of TAPestry Beer Bar’s Oktoberfest, or one of these other events…

More on the Garrison Oktoberfest event, taking place at The BG aka Halifax Beer Garden at Summit Place on the Halifax waterfront. Starting Sunday at 12 PM (or as soon as they can open, should there be more cleanup time needed), and running all week until next Sunday, October 2nd, there will be a full complement of Garrison German-inspired beers on the taps, joined by German food features, live music from The Roving Steins and The Swell Guys, games, and much more. We suggest showing up in time to enjoy the kickoff party and cask-tapping at 2:30 PM Sunday, a great way to shake off the Fiona Blues!

Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be kicking off their Fall with the first in the monthly Tap Takeovers October 1st, with Big Spruce taking over the space for the day. With some current favourites, cellared choices, as well as a sneak peek at a couple of “Coming Soon” offerings, there is something for everyone on the go. DJ Douvet will be on the Ones and Twos from 7 PM for some great curated tunes. Amongst the 19 taps and casks are The Inhaled Affirmative Bohemian Pilsner, Lilliputian Nano IPA, Altruism Awaits Altbier, Black is Beautiful Toasted Coconut and Jamaican Rum Barrel-Aged Stout, with the yet-to-be-released Cosecha Spiced Ale in the mix. 

Exact tap details are a bit light on this one, but mark your calendars that Stillwell Beer Garden is holding their annual Oktoberfest celebration Sunday, October 2nd. From previous years, we can attest that it’s always a blast with roving musicians encouraging thirsty attendees, plenty of games on the go, and of course some great German-style beer and food on offer, starting a noon. Peep their social media in the link above to learn more next week!

Just one job posting to tell you about this week, and it’s in the Front of House at Good Robot’s Robie Street Retail and Taproom location. They are looking for a General Manager, working with both Retail and Taproom teams, to keep everything running smoothly and everyone on both sides of the counter/bar are happy. Learn more, and apply, through their Indeed posting.

And if you’re looking to listen to something in the dark this weekend, be sure to grab the latest release from the 902 BrewCast, as Tony sat down with Richard and Joseph of Escarpment Labs during their recent trip to Halifax, to learn more about what the company has to offer its customers, and what Richard and Joseph are brewing up themselves these days. Special appearance by the disembodied voice of Kyle, too! Grab the episode here, or better yet, subscribe in your favourite podcast app.

Friday, here we are again! We’ve made it another week, so let’s drink a local beer to celebrate. Here are just a few suggestions of what’s new and returning in the fridges and on draught in our region.

Unfortunately, the Russian Invasion of Ukraine marked its 6th month anniversary this week, with many casualties and more than 6.5 million Ukrainians displaced by the continuation of the Russo-Ukrainian War. On a happier note, this week also saw the Independence Day of Ukraine, celebrated on August 24th. In Halifax, that meant a flag raising ceremony to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the country’s independence from the Soviet Union. And in Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery launched Stand with Ukraine, a lagered ale with a major charitable component. Through the UNITED 24 platform, Brightwood is donating $4 from every can of Stand with Ukraine to urgent medical aid and the rebuilding of the country, which will take decades. Currently only available in their brewery and retail shop at 35 Portland Street, it may be available for delivery or shipping on August 29th, should there be any stock remaining.

Paradise NL’s Banished Brewing is continuing their Puffin series with the baby chick version of their core Space Puffin, with this week’s release of Space Puffling. In the same hazy and juicy New England IPA vein, it forgoes a bit of alcohol in the tin (4% ABV), without sacrificing anything else. Massive mango and citrus on the tongue and in the nose, with only a hint of bitterness on the palate. Both Space Puffling and Space Puffin are available at their retail shop on Maverick Place in Paradise, and at local retailers around St. John’s and beyond.

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing is celebrating the warmer days with the release of Tan Lines, a 6.7% Apricot Milkshake IPA. Stone fruit character abounds in this smooth beer, with a sweet finish thanks to the vanilla and milk sugar in the brew. On tap at their taproom spot, and look for it around the way this weekend too. And now for something completely different… Hoom is Where the Heart is is their 4.9% English Pub Ale, brewed with local ingredients, including a high portion of the malt coming from Horton Ridge Malt House, and all of the Challenger, Goldings, and Fuggles hops grown in Big Spruce’s own Organically-farmed hop yard. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery and online, look out for (or demand!) this on a beer engine/hand pump the next time you visit your local pub!

Tanner & Co in Chester Nova Scotia has another expression in their search for interesting and unique flavours, opting for a return to honey as the fermentable. Just Honey is 5.9% ABV sparkling mead, made with locally sourced product from The Little Bee Farm in Auburndale just a few kilometres down the 103. Light and spritzy, bottles of Just Honey are available at Tanner’s locations in town and at the brewery down Hiltz Road. At both locations you’ll also be able to enjoy the return of their dry-hopped Czech Pils, Most. Using the eponymous hop throughout the brewday, and then again for an extra burst on the nose, the 5.7% Most is available on tap and in cans for pickup at their spots, or place an order for delivery at their online shop.

Deer Lake’s Rough Waters has debuted a new beer in partnership with the upcoming Rough Waters Gravel Grind. Mechan-Enkel is a low alcohol (4.3%) beer brewed originally by monks, in the Belgian Singel/Single/Enkel style. Pilsner and Wheat Malt make up the grist, with a nice touch of citrus and spice from the belgian yeast, give complexity to this beer fit for enjoyment after a long slog on the bike. Speaking of, registration to the October 1st event is open until September 12th, so if you’re looking for a wild few hours in the woods around Humber Valley, sign up now! And if you suspect you’ll need some liquid encouragement beforehand, cans of Mechan-Enkel are available at the brewery to take-away today.

Let’s get you up to speed on a few returning beers before we let you go this week…

Staying in Newfoundland, we’ve got two returning beers from Bannerman Brewing. First up is Shore Leave, their 5.2% dry-hopped sour that features Mosaic hops and sees conditioning on blood orange and pineapple purree. Expect lots of tropical fruit flavours that meld nicely with the beer’s acidity. This week also sees the return of Negative Space, their take on a cold IPA (fermented with an ale yeast, but cold conditioned like a lager). This one has a distinct west coast hop profile using the three-C’s of Cascade, Centennial, and Citra. Both are available on tap now on Duckworth Street. The brewery’s canning line is currently down for maintenance, so keep on eye on their social channels to see when you may be able to grab these to go.

Despite the unwavering humidity, there are signs everywhere that the turn of the season is around the corner. Christmas displays are out at Costco (!), Halloween stores are popping up in abandoned Sears locations, and pumpkin beers are starting to roll out of the tanks. Potentially first to the finish line is Breton Brewing with their 5.5% ABV Spiced Up Pumpkin Ale. Expect hints of cinnamon sugar with prominent notes of pumpkin pie. Cans are available now at Breton’s two taprooms, for delivery via their online store, and should be hitting the shelves at the government monopoly next week.

Ok, so, we technically have a tie for the earliest pumpkin beer release. Propeller’s Pumpkin Spiced Ale is out today, featuring pumpkins from Windsor farmer Howard Dill. The spice mix for this 5% ABV take on the style includes cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that combine for the comforting pumpkin pie aesthetic. It’s available now at Propeller’s three retail locations, for delivery via their online store, and will also make an appearance at the aforementioned NSLC.

Just one event we heard about this week, but it’s fixing’ to be a doozy!

Last week we teased the Tatamagouche Brewing tap/cask takeover happening at the Stillwell Freehouse this Saturday (August 27). Consider this your official reminder that the Freehouse will be featuring 12 taps and 6 casks of core and special Tata brews, along with some cellared kegs of their big beers rotating through the taps. 

We have two breweries hiring this week, in Moncton and Halifax! If you’re looking to continue your brewing career, or just kicking it off, check these out!

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewery is looking for a Brewer to join their ranks as they expand their facilities this summer and fall on John Street. They are on the search for someone who has brewing experience, and looking for a change of scenery, and flexing their creative juices. There’s always something new in the tanks at Tire Shack, and they are hoping the right candidate will fill that role right away. Offering a competitive salary and plenty of help to get situated in Moncton, they encourage anyone interested to reach out via email with a resume and any questions!

Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is on the search for help behind the scenes, in a Bookkeeper/Admin Assistant role on a part-time basis. Additionally, there are two openings for part-time Taproom Server/Packaging Assistants, especially important jobs to ensure the beer in the taps flows smoothly into cans! Learn much more, including wages and how to apply, on their website.

Hello! Is anyone out there? Is everyone on vacation, enjoying time with friends, family or whatever brings them joy? Well, if you are, and you’re still reading this, or you really just like us so much, we’ll keep the local news flowing. There are a lot of new beers and updates to come this week, so let’s hop right into the latest news.

Propeller Brewing is continuing their 25th Anniversary Celebration with the release of a funky and tart beer in bottles today. Brewed in the before times (2019), the Lambic Style is an ode to the spontaneously-fermented and multi-year blended beers from the Senne Valley in Belgium, for hundreds of years. While Prop’s version was not fermented by the wild yeast in Burnside, they did even better, by using the yeast left in the bottom of some freshly-emptied Belgian lambic beers as the starting point, keeping them in several oak barrels for a couple of years. This permeable vessel allows some oxygen in, and excessive carbon dioxide out, keeping the yeasties happy and chewing away on the complex sugars and starches in the low-hopped wort. After they finished their main fermentation, a few barrels were tapped (with an eye to a different fate for the others left full) and the 6.5% ABV beer was transferred to bottle, where it conditioned further, leading to a lively final product that is ready to drink now, or can be held onto for years to come. It’s available at all of Propeller’s three locations, as well as their online store, as well as Bishop’s Cellar and other private stores in HRM.

Warm up your way-back machine, and point it to Summer 2014 and Spring 2015, and you’ll have a reminder that this is not the first time Propeller has delved into the Lambic-inspired beer, as they have previously released Raspberry, Blackberry, and non-fruited versions of these funky and tart beers. And in case you haven’t already taken our advice, be sure to listen to the 902 BrewCast episode with Cam and Pat from Propeller to learn even more about this release, and some hints as to what is coming for Propeller as they celebrate 25 years, and look to (at least) 25 more! And if you act now, you may be able to snag one of the last tickers for the Propeller Arcade-hosted screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, happening in the parking lot of their Gottingen Street location, Sunday, July 24th. And those looking to nerd out at their Windmill location can sign up for a VIP tour of the brewery for Friday, July 29th.

Keeping with some Dartmouth ties, we’ll move to Spindrift Brewing next, as they go with a brand new release in a fun and unique style. Available now is Otto, a Hemp IPA, named after a certain animated bus driver, dude. We’ll run through the grain bill here and some nerdy details to get you a sense of what’s going on. The malt bill uses pilsner malt, carapils, wheat malt and hemp seed flour. The hops is a dank blend of Simcoe, Columbus and HS Sitiva used in the boil and dry hopping. American Ale Yeast is chosen as the vessel here to carry the two terpene-intensive plants of hops and hemp. Some natural hemp flavours were added to to add some more pungency to this 5.5% IPA. There is no THC or CBD in this beer and it’s available in cans, pints and growlers at both Spindrift locations (Dartmouth and Antigonish). 

Shipping over to Sheet Harbour, Sober Island is releasing Lil’ Skipper, a light summer ale that is 4.3% with a nice dose of flavour. Lower in bitterness, but big in flavour, you’ll find lots of mango and tropical flavour along with a nice dry-hopping of Mosaic to bump up that aroma. This is 23 IBU and will be a staple throughout the summer directly from the brewery or the private stores in HRM.

Plus they’ve got events happening throughout the summer, including a Kitchen Party July 30th in their Beer Garden in Sheet Harbour, and a Boil-up August 3rd. And The Stanfields are lighting up the Beer Garden August 27th. Check their website and social media for tickets and more details.

Going over to Port-au-port, Newfoundland, we’ve got a pair of releases coming out of Secret Cove Brewing. First up is a twist on an existing beer. They’ve turned their flagship Apricot Wheat beer (they’ve dubbed the unofficial “Come Home Beer”) into a sour!  Come Home Beer, an Apricot Mango Sour (now with Mango!) is still 5% but is slightly tart and easily drinkable and refreshing for the summer. This is available at the taproom now and will be canned and ready for distribution across the Island in the coming weeks

Next up from Secret Cove is The Newfie Bullet. This is a lagered ale, Kolsch-inspired, that is easy drinking with a nice touch of fruity esters. It’s 4.5%  and being canned for availability across the island. It’s available now in the taproom

Once in Newfoundland, you might as well stay! Sticking with the island double-release theme, Quidi Vidi Brewing has a new release with the name of My Neighbours’ Helles. This is the 4th year of a collaboration between Newfermenters (Newfoundland homebrewing club) and QV.  This is a traditional Munich Helles with spicy German hop bite and bready, doughy malt flavour. This is a limited release, so get it while you can. It’s available now at the brewery, but will be shipped to the usual stores and NLC across the island.

The second release is a part of a series from the brewery, with Arts & IPAs 07. This one is a Junior IPA that is low on ABV and high on flavour coming in at 2.9%, this is packed with Sabro, Sultana and Mosaic hops. They call it a little juice bomb with a big punch of hops. On the Arts side, Maggie Rex’s wonderful artwork graces the label of this 473ml can available directly from the brewery and their locations

Elmsdale’s newest brewery, Good Robot, has teamed up with a new charitable group this month for the release of Goodwill Beer – Blood Orange and Field Strawberry Blonde. At 4.4% ABV, the beer description is kinda-sorta right in the name, eh? That means we can skip right to their partner in this endeavour, Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia. $0.50 from the sale of each can is going to support their raison d’etre of supporting LGBTQI+ who are displaced, escaping persecution or violence, as well as creating safer communities throughout Atlantic Canada through advocacy, education, and sponsorship. And a heads up for those in the Elmsdale area, they will be opening their Beer Garden July 30th. Open Fri, Sat, and Sun from noon until 11 PM (10 PM Sundays), there will soon be retail sales Wed-Sun when that opens mid-August. Food from their pals at Beefy Weiner.

We’ve got a few returning beers from Paradise, NL’s Banished Brewing. Paradise Town is back, but adding Passionfruit to the Mango, making it a Mango and Passionfruit Sour! It’s 5.5% and a bit more sour than their original recipe, which was more on the fruited sour end. This is available at their retail space and will be headed out to other locations throughout the week.

Back with another tweaked recipe, Space Puffin, a New England IPA, has a new yeast to bring some more haze, closer to what they originally wanted. This is still 6.0% and is available now and going out to retailers this weekend!

Serpent Brewing in Spryfield has a new beer flowing this week, which will soon be available in cans. Ophidian is a Vermouth and Barrel-aged Black Tea infused English Bitter. That is a mouthful, let us explain… Phil Holman of Halifax’s World Tea House previously aged Kenya Oolong and Black Fusion teas in barrels sourced by 2 Crows Brewing. After grabbing all of the barrel goodness, those teas were blended with Earl Grey, and then steeped in Vermouth for even more boozy character. After three days, that infusion was added to the English Bitter to result in a 6.0% ABV beer. On draught only this weekend, cans will be available next week, and a barrel-aged version of Ophidian will be released in the future.

Our pal Chef Stephen Barrett of Seasoned Plate has started a Pints & Plates 2022 effort to highlight the great beer being produced in the province, and some suggested food pairings with which to enjoy it. You can expect to spot two of these per week over the next 3 months, with Breton Brewing and Big Spruce being the first hits this week. You can follow along on the Seasoned Plate Instagram, as well as the direct link above. Check out the website for Chef Barrett’s reviews of local restaurants and bars as well!

Speaking of Breton and Big Spruce, both have new/returning beers worth seeking out (or save yourself the trouble and just order through their online portals), with the Breton Ol’ Mick’s Grapefruit IPA back in cans and draught, while Big Spruce released a new 5.2% German Helles lager at their Nyanza brewery and taproom. Stop in for refreshment!

Launched last night at King Street Beer in Bridgewater, the folks at Saltbox/Lightship/King Street Beer have released Loud and Proud Beer this week in celebration of Lunenburg Pride. The 5.25% ABV beer is light in colour and full of citrus and fruity notes, with minimal bitterness. The Lunenburg Pride organization is an advocacy group, building a more inclusive community on the South Shore, welcoming for all orientations, identities, and expressions.

In case you’re looking for an event to attend this weekend, look no further!

Happy Second Birthday to Island Folk Cider Company! You can drop by their spot in Sydney tonight, from 7 – 10 PM, to enjoy a cask of their base cider infused with fresh strawberry and rhubarb, during their 90s DJ Party. Or tomorrow, pop by from 3 – 6 PM during Music Matinee, and you can enjoy a second cask with Cranberries harvested in Port Morien and Tamarack from Mira Gut. Congratulations!

Looking for some fresh and funky drinks tomorrow? The Stillwell Freehouse is hosting a tap takeover from Toronto’s Burdock Brewery. Known for both soft and understated fruited beers, as well as hoppy ales, there will be plenty of beers on draught, bottle, and in cans. A/C inside, sunshine outside, it’ll be up to you where to sit when they open at noon on Agricola.