2014 Canadian Brewing Awards

All posts tagged 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards

Happy Friday everyone, another big week in craft beer in our region, so let’s get right to it.

• Last month, we reported on the announcement of a collaboration beer between Picaroons and Toronto’s Great Lakes Brewery for this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards in Fredericton. We now have a few more details on the beer, as both breweries just brewed the beer earlier this week. Brewers Andrew Estabrooks (Picaroons) and Mike Lackey (Great Lakes) decided on an American IPA they’ve named Eastbound and Down IPA; it’s brewed with Maritime Malt made from New Brunswick-grown Newdale barley and “a number of delicious hop varieties” (including Citra and Sorachi Ace) often featured in Great Lakes beers. We can also confirm that a California Common yeast was pitched for fermentation, rather than the Ringwood strain commonly employed by Picaroons. Both breweries were linked via Skype on their brew day since they weren’t able to physically brew together. Look for the beer to be released at the end of May when the CBAs are here; it will be available for growler fills at the Brewtique, and in restaurants and bars in the area.

• Speaking of Picaroons, they’re joining up with The Shadow Lawn Inn in Rothesay, NB for a special beer-pairing dinner on Saturday, May 3rd. This “Offaly Good Dinner” includes six carefully-selected courses by Chef Markian, each of which is paired with a different hand-picked Picaroons beer. Tickets are $75 (tax and gratuity included); call (506) 847-7539 to reserve, or send them an email.

• If you’re in the Sackville area today and have always wondered what makes PEI Brewing Co. beers tick, now’s your chance to find out! Ducky’s Bar is hosting a “Meet & Greet” with PEIBC brewer Karen Allen at 5:00 pm. Karen will be on hand for about an hour to answer questions and provide info on their beers, four of which will be on tap: Blueberry Ale, Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Cole’s Cream Ale, and Beach Chair Lager. Be sure to keep an eye on their News page for behind-the-scenes updates directly from the brewers.

• Beginning today, White Point Beach Resort  is hosting a Beer and BBQ weekend. Boxing Rock and Hell Bay will be taking over White Point’s taps all weekend long, with Boxing Rock bringing their Hunky Dory, Temptation Red Ale and The Vicar’s Cross  and seasonals Crafty Jack English Ale and Alewife’s Revenge, and Hell Bay will have three more beers to complete the lineup. Boxing Rock is kicking off the fun Saturday afternoon at 1:00, with a guided tasting and virtual brewery tour. At 4pm, Hell Bay and the White Point culinary team will be doing some pairing of their beer with barbecued treats. Both tastings are included with an overnight stay.

• Progress continues at the soon-to-open Railcar Brewing Company in Florenceville-Bristol, as owner/brewer Mitch Biggar has confirmed that he has been busy putting on the final touches – cleaning, painting, sanitizing, and receiving new equipment, with currently eight 50-gallon (~187 L) fermentors being installed. With some test batches being brewed this weekend, we hope to see the brewery open for growler fills by the end of this month! Look for a grand-opening party to follow shortly thereafter, probably sometime in the summer.

• Living in Moncton? If so, you’ve probably been drinking Grimross Belgian Rye IPA at the Tide & Boar over the past few months. If that has left you wanting more Grimross beer, good news… owner/brewer Stephen Dixon confirmed that he has delivered some of his Pugnacious Porter, a 5% Belgian-style Porter conditioned on pure cocoa and whole vanilla beans, to the Tide & Boar this week, so look for it soon.

• The Rockbottom Brewpub SMaSH India Pale Lager that we mentioned in late March has been tapped at the brewpub in Halifax. Brewed solely with Superior Pale Ale Malt and Galaxy hops (including multiple dry-hop additions), Intergalactic SMaSH’d Lager finished at 7.1% ABV and 70 IBUs (calc). Get down to the brewpub to give it a try, it won’t be around for long!

• A reminder that The Stubborn Goat is keeping up their Cask Friday event, when they have a special beer tapped each Friday at 4pm. This week’s  is Big Spruce’s Cereal Killer Sideways, their Oatmeal Stout, fortified with Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch.

• The Chronicle Herald has a nice article about Jeff and Kari of Bad Apple Brewhouse, on their history, as well plans for the future. It also mentions an upcoming Mosaic Double IPA, which will be released around Father’s Day, that will serve as a fundraiser towards the Brigadoon Children’s Camp Society. We’ll have more details on the beer closer to release time.

In closing, we thought we should mention another story reported by The Chronicle Herald concerning a 21-metre Labatt blimp that crashed northeast of Saint John. Nice to see that Big Beer is finally starting to evacuate Atlantic Canada, what with the increasing number and quality of local craft breweries!

Good morning, everyone! Lots of craft beer news to get into this week; unfortunately, we have to start with some sad news…

• Earlier this week, owner Bruce Keith announced the closure of the Hart & Thistle Brewpub in Halifax. Unfortunately, their beautiful waterfront location sees a drastic slowdown outside of the summer months, and that was not enough to sustain the business year-round. It’s also unfortunate that we are losing a place where Brewmaster Greg Nash was given free reign to put together some experimental and wild beers, including the Hop Mess Monster (and her annual offspring) and Commissar RIS (which was still on tap upon closing, the beer’s fate is sad to think about). Thank you for five great years, H&T!

• Bringing us one step closer to tasting their beer, Railcar Brewing is opening their merchandise section, located at the brewery at 9172 (Unit 6) Main St. in Florenceville-Bristol, NB. Stop by to check out the renovated location, and pick up a variety of Railcar merchandise for sale – including four different logoed glasses, men and women’s shirts, hats, railway spike bottle openers, and six-pack craft beer holders. The hours will be Tuesday – Friday, 5:30 pm – 8 pm, and Saturdays 9 am – 5 pm.

• Last September, we posted about reLiSH (a popular gourmet hamburger franchise that originated in Fredericton) planning on opening a new restaurant that featured craft beer. Well, after a few delays, it looks like that restaurant will finally be opening tomorrow in the Knowledge Park complex of Fredericton! They plan on having 9 beers on tap, up to eight of which will be craft beers from Atlantic Canadian breweries (including Picaroons, Pump House, and PEI Brewing Co. when they first open). One of these beers is going to be designated as “people’s choice”; the next keg tapped will be chosen by popular vote through reLiSH’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. They also plan on having multiple bottled craft beer choices available.

• We mentioned last week that Picaroons would soon be releasing their seasonal Maple Cream Ale, a 5% ABV beer brewed with local maple syrup from Briggs Maples. Details for the official launch party are now available: it will be held on Saturday, March 1st at the York St. Train Station, from 11 am – 3 pm. Featuring all maple, all the time, there will be samples of the beer available, as well as maple food and “maple music” (no, I’m not exactly sure what that means). The beer will then be available at the ANBL, Brewtique, and restaurants/bars in the area.

• While on the topic of Picaroons, they’re going to be having a tap takeover at Bar Stillwell in Halifax on Saturday, March 15th from noon – 5 pm. Details on specific beers are still being kept under wraps, but we know that there’ll be 12 taps and 3 casks devoted entirely to Picaroons, so rest assured they’ll be bringing something special! Brewmaster Andrew Estabrooks will be on hand to answer questions and talk beer. Tickets are $10 each, and include a one-off glassware for the event and your first taste. Reserve your tickets at the bar, or email tix<at>barstillwell.com.

• On July 1st, 2013, Grimross Brewing released their first beer, Cheval D’Or, a ~5.2% ABV Saison. Brewer/owner Stephen Dixon has confirmed that he has recently re-brewed this beer; equipment upgrades have provided better temperature control while brewing, so that recipe targets have been hit more efficiently. He also mentions that the carbonation of the beer has been improved over the first batch. Look for this beer to be available soon on tap at the King Street Ale House, and in 750 mL re-fillable growlers at the Brewtique. It will also be making an appearance at the sold-out Fredericton Craft Beer Festival in two weeks!

• This week, Garrison Brewing released their popular seasonal Black IPA. Weighing in at 6.2% and 48 IBUs, this beer is the best of their hoppy and bitter IPAs, together with the roast character of their Martello Stout. This beer won gold at the 2010 Canadian Brewing Awards, and is available at the private beer stores in the HRM, as well as at the brewery.

Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams, NS is releasing their El Rojo Diablo Double IPA late next week. Brewmaster Randy Lawrence chose a New Zealand hop as the centrepiece of this bold, hoppy brew. Its bitterness is balanced with a tropical fruit sweetness and the levels of taste boasts crushed black pepper. The beer weighs in at 7.666% ABV and 88 IBUs, and will be available in the Halifax private stores, as well as on tap at the Port Pub. It may also make it to Stillwell in Halifax.

• Congratulations to Paddys Irish Brewpub & Rosie’s Restaurant, who won Best Bar/Lounge at the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce “Valley’s Best” event earlier this week. Well done! Their Fitz’s Belgian Dubbel is still on tap, but is going fast, so now is the time to enjoy it – the flavours are really nicely matured now. They also have an IPA in the works, so stay tuned for more details on that.

• The German Bock we mentioned previously is now on tap at Rogues Roost, and is tasting great. The final specs are 6.8% ABV and 24 IBUs, with lots of malt backbone, and some dark fruit notes. Their Pilsner will be released next week, as well as a new batch of their Porter.

• The folks at North Brewing (formerly Bridge) had a busy first week under their new moniker. Using their new fermenters and modifications to their original Psycho Brew system, they were able to push through a massive brew day: 1330 litres of their Saison! Congratulations, and we’re sure this will mean more access to their beer on tap and in growlers at the brewery and Alderney Market.

• CTV Atlantic highlighted the explosion of interest in Cask-conditioned and Real Ale in Halifax this week with a piece on their news hour. Lots of familiar faces and places are highlighted in the piece; just remember that Kevin Keefe at Granite Brewery has been brewing Cask Conditioned beer in our city for 30 years. Cheers to great beers!

• While the specific conference talk/presentation/gala schedule has yet to be released, we have confirmation that the 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards are being held May 29th-31st. This is the first time the CBAs have been held in the Atlantic Provinces, and will be at the Fredericton Convention Centre. While the conference may not be open to everyone, there will certainly be some events in town that will highlight the great brewers and beers from our area, as well as around the country. As the event gets closer, we’ll be posting more information on what they have planned for this year.