2014 Fredericton Beer Run

All posts tagged 2014 Fredericton Beer Run

Happy Friday everyone! Let’s kick your weekend off right with lots of new beers, and some special announcements!

• Announced last Friday, just after the Wrap-Up went out, Gahan House in Charlottetown is expanding to the Halifax Waterfront. They are moving into the former site of the Hart & Thistle, and aim to be open at the end of September. They were holding an open call for Hosts, Servers, Bartenders, Line Cooks and Management today from 10-12, and we expect there to be more shortly. PEI Beer Guy has a summary of his thoughts on the matter, and we hope to have some more information on the brewing side of things soon. CBC News has also picked up the story.

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza has had a busy week! They have finished off their outdoor tasting room, which is now open to enjoy a few samples of their wares onsite. They have also released Pump Le Mousse, a grapefruit wheat. It weighs in at 5.4% ABV and 23 IBUs, fermented quite dry. The zest of 40 organic grapefruit was used in the last 5 minutes of the boil for a real citrus punch. Look for it in growlers and samples at the brewery, and on tap at your favourite joint soon (confirmed accounts tap are Stillwell, Stubborn Goat, Governor’s and Lion & Bright). And, as we mentioned yesterday in the Seaport Beerfest post, their Tip of the Spear Black Spruce IPA will be making its Halifax debut at the Fest, and also on tap at the brewery and better beer bars very soon.

• In more Big Spruce news, they brewed up an International Coffee Conspiracy this week with help from Bryan Druhan of Phillips Brewing (Victoria, BC) and Cafe Milagro (Costa Rica). The as-of-now unnamed beer will weigh in at 6.4% ABV and about 70 IBUs, with loads of late addition Simcoe and Chinook. They used whole bean coffee in muslin bags for last 5 mins of boil, and will add a second infusion of coffee as a cold extraction in the tank post fermentation, in addition to dry-hopping it heavily. The beer will be out at the end of August, and will be on at the brewery and Stillwell.

Picaroons has released a pair of new beers this week. Firstly, a brand new beer to celebrate Fredericton Pride week is being released today. Pride Sally Pride is a 4.5% ABV pale ale brewed with Amarillo hops and natural apricot flavouring, for a great fruit nose and flavour. Look for it at the brewery, and on tap at select bars and restaurants in downtown Fredericton. And be sure to check out the flag raising today at noon at City Hall, and the parade Sunday afternoon through the downtown core.

• Picaroons has also brought back their 506 Logger this week. This Kolsch-style beer is crisp, light and refreshing, and weighs in at 4.5% ABV. Look for it at the Brewtique and on tap around the city.

• Meander River Farm and Brewery has released their second offering, Honey Brown. This 5.2% ABV beer was brewed with toasted malts and local Cosman & Whidden honey. It features notes of coffee, toffee and a smooth honey finish. Stop by the farm today 4-7pm or Saturday and Sunday 11-5 for a taste and growler fill while it lasts!

Grimross Brewing has released a very special beer this week, Chantelope. This beer was fermented solely using Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast, possibly the first commercial 100% Brett beer in Atlantic Canada. This yeast is found naturally occurring in the Senne valley near Brussels, and is a key player in the musty or horse-blanket aromas that are found in Lambic beers. The 6.7% ABV beer started out from a similar grain bill as their Cheval D’Or (with pilsner, rye and wheat malts), and lightly hopped to 20 IBU with Amarillo, Tettnang and Saaz. From brewer Stephen Dixon, “We let the temperature go as high as it wanted to see what compounds our Brett would produce. It has a little less pineapple than expected, but with slightly more phenols, the taste is quite pleasant. It has a slightly musty and rustic nose, not quite barnyard, but close… think flowers, wheat and straw, with a horse over in the corner;-) We’ll call her Gertrude. The taste reminds me of some of our Belgian Farmhouse ales, but with a very slight tart lemon in the background. The hops are subdued and play a supporting role to the yeast and grain. Overall, this beer is not an extreme beer with a good balance with the ABV well hidden. I can imagine having this beer on the deck with pasta and pesto with Manchego cheese.” Sounds great to us! Grab a bottle or two at the Picaroons Brewtique at 422 Queen Street, and look for it on tap at better establishments downtown.

• In more exciting traditional Belgian beer news, Propeller Brewing is starting to release their Lambic-style beers. Brewed over three years ago, Propeller Framboise is an ode to the raspberry lambics made very popular by Cantillon and other breweries in the Senne valley. Keeping in that tradition, the grist used unmalted wheat, and only aged hops were added to the boil (used for their preservation characteristics, rather than bitterness or aroma). The beer was fermented using Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus & Pediococcus, and aged in Blomidon Estate oak barrels for a couple of years, with whole raspberries added. After a year in bottles to further condition and generate high carbonation, the beer is 4.2% ABV, and now ready to be released. Expect a tart, musty and fruit-filled effervescent  beer, it is very special indeed! On August 23rd, Stillwell will be the scene for the launch of this very special beer, years in the making. The beer will be available by the glass or bottle, and they are commissioning a special glass to honour the event. No tickets are necessary to attend, simply show up any time after noon to have a try of the beer. And beginning on Monday the 25th, an extremely limited number of bottles will be available at both Propeller brewery locations to enjoy and age in your own cellar.

Red Rover Cider will now be attending Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market on Saturdays! Starting tomorrow, August 9, they will be set up at the market to allow for flagon purchase and exchange, 7am – 1pm. Unfortunately, due to liquor laws, no tasting is allowed at the market. With the increased exposure at the market, they have changed the hours for their storefront at Red’s Ciderhouse, and it will be open Thursday 4-8pm and Friday 2-8pm.

• Brewmaster Greg Nash is holding his annual Nashfest at the Rockbottom Brewpub this weekend. It marks the return of Thulsa Doom Double IPA, back bigger and stronger than ever! This hop bomb weighs in at 8.8 % ABV (up from 7.8% in version 1.0), and features 6.8 pounds of hops per barrel of Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook, and Summit. It is being tapped today at 5pm. Joining the Thulsa Doom are some returning champions Balticus Smoked Baltic PorterInsidious India Black AleWreckoning RIS (2014 Gold for Imperial Stout in Canada), and Barrel-Aged Wreckoning RIS. The fun kicks off at 5pm this evening, with the special beers rotating in the lineup as the Nashty One sees fit (check their twitter feed for tapping details). They join the Bloodletter Belgian IPAFathom IPAJacktar StoutDeadwood Wheat and Big Water Brown.

• The King Street Ale House is hosting a beer and cheese tasting this Saturday, 3-5pm. Tickets are just $25 (inc tax and gratuity), you will have a chance to try a handful of great beer and fantastic cheeses. The full list of both was not available, so best to show up and prepare to be wowed by the pairings, tastes and aromas.

• There’s lots going on at Garrison Brewing in Halifax these days. With their expansion, they are still looking to hire several people in the brewery (brewer, bottle line people and packaging supervisor), so be sure to give them a shout if you’re interested. They are also releasing their Honey Lavender beer this week. This unfiltered beer weighs in at 6% ABV and 15 IBU, and is brewed with lavender from Meander River Farms. You can have a first taste of it at the Beerfest this weekend, or else find it in bottles and on tap at the brewery shortly.

Yellowbelly Brewery in St John’s has released their first Cider. It is on tap now at the brewery, and will soon be in bottles. It is a lightly-filtered, off-dry, backsweetened to 3% with unfermented cider, it weighs in at 5.5%ABV. There is no added sugar. It is fermented with a champagne yeast and has a lovely tart base, and is Yellowbelly’s first gluten free product.

• The Second-Annual Fredericton Beer Run went off without a hitch on Monday. Global News was there, and you can enjoy some of the fun through their report.

• Unfortunately, Railcar Brewing will not be open this weekend, as originally planned. In all of the dust-up with the new ANBL regulations, they are still awaiting final approval. However, you can still visit their storefront to join their mug club, merchandise and (empty) growlers. Brewer Mitch Biggar will be leading several events as part of the Festival of Flavour in Florenceville-Bristol next week, so be sure and drop by and say hello.

• Speaking of Railcar and the ANBL, CBC Maritime Noon held a call-in show this week, with special guest Craig Pinhey, regarding supporting local microbreweries. Skip to 9:40 for the pertinent section.

Whether you’re drinking a beer at a festival, local pub or restaurant, or on your deck this weekend, enjoy!

Good morning, beer fans! As August begins (try hard not to think about summer ending), it’s time for more local beer news…

Boxing Rock has released a new beer – Sessionista, a “Bold Session Ale”. Brewed to be available as an easy-drinking summer beer (and at 3.5% ABV, it certainly is very sessionable), it has a heavy malt aroma “reminiscent of an English Bitter” with hints of lemon blossom and orange, according to the brewery, along with “roasty malt notes on the palate followed by a pithy lemon-lime finish”. This is a limited-release beer, so pick some up while you can. It’s available in 650 mL bottles at private liquor stores in Halifax, in one-litre growlers every Saturday at the Halifax Seaport Market and the Shelburne Farmers’ Market, and at the brewery, while supplies last. Look for it on tap at select beer bars in Halifax, as well.

• This weekend (August 1st-3rd), the 9th annual Sappyfest (an independent music festival) is being held in Sackville, and Picaroons has brewed up a special beer for the event. Currently going by Secret Show Ale, this 4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs beer will be served during the festival on tap in the main tent, and afterwards should be available at both Ducky’s and Thunder & Lightning. With a malt base of Pilsner and a little wheat malt for head retention, it’s hopped with Tettnanger and Saaz, and brewed “in a Kolsch frame of mind”, according to brewmaster Andrew Estabrooks; that is, fermented cool to minimize production of fruity esters and diacetyl.

• There’s a new beer on tap at the Pump House brewpub, their Raspberry Wheat. A great style for the warm weather of summer, the brewery describes the beer as a German style wheat beer, “bombarded” with 40 kg of raspberries. “Tart and refreshing”, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. It won’t last long, so get down to the brewpub (and select restaurants/bars around Moncton) for a taste.

Big Tide Brewing is celebrating their 5th Anniversary on August 5th, and they’ve brewed up a special beer to celebrate! Anniversary Amber Ale is a “malty, full-bodied ale” that is brewed with five varieties of specialty malts and five hop varieties (Willamette, EKG, Nugget, Fuggles, and Cascade), and will clock in at 55 IBUs and, yes, 5.5% ABV. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to determine what else Big Tide has in store for their anniversary plans on the 5th, but keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.

• The PEI Brewing Co. is looking to release a new beer, a currently-unnamed Coffee Stout. They’ve brewed two different versions, and need your help in picking out which one is best! Drop into the brewery in Charlottetown, purchase a sample of each, and fill out a ballot indicating your choice for your favorite. Not only will you be helping the brewery decide which beer to brew on a larger scale, but you’ll also be entered to win two VIP tickets to this year’s PEI Beer Festival (Sept. 5th & 6th).

• It looks like last Saturday’s grand-opening for Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston was a great success, and we now have a little more info on their Acadie-Broue collaboration beer that we mentioned last week. As previously noted, the beer brewed is from the recipe for Acadie-Broue’s Belgian Saison, Tintamarre. However, with this batch (brewed on a much larger scale on Petit-Sault’s system), Acadie-Broue owner/brewer Patrice Godin has dry-hopped the beer with 5 kg of Amarillo and Simcoe. Along with Amarillo in the whirlpool addition, and the Belgian yeast strain used for fermentation, this should be a very fragrant beer! Due to the slight changes, this batch will be named L’effrayab’ Tintamarre; “L’effrayab” is a local Madawaska county expression that translates to “incredible”. With an ABV of ~6-6.5% and 36 IBUs, it should be ready in time for National Acadian Day on August 15th; it will be packaged in kegs only, so look for it at bars/restaurants in the area. We’ll keep you updated as to where exactly it will be served.

• The new beer news rolls on, with Rudder’s Brewpub announcing that they’ve recently tapped Midnight Crossing Brown Ale. Brewed with Pale Ale malt as the base, along with wheat malt and two other specialty malts, it is hopped with two English varieties and one from New Zealand. Clocking in at 6% ABV and 26 IBUs, it pours with a tan head and a dark brown color in the body, and has “smooth drinking with a slight bitterness in the finish”, according to brewmaster Mike Ferguson.

• A few weeks ago, we reported on a new beer from Hammond River, a California Common named Gammie. Well, that beer is now available! A well-balanced and easy-drinking beer at 5.3% ABV and 37 IBUs, you should be able to find it on tap now at Shiretown Publicans and The Barrel’s Head; it may follow at Hammond River’s other accounts in the near future.

The Antigonish Townhouse is starting something new today… IPA Cask Night! Their first cask ever – Terry’s British IPA – should be tapped at 5 pm, to coincide with the birthday of one of their favorite regular customers. More one-off casks will follow over the coming weeks, to allow the staff to get the whole process down; they hope for it to become a regular bi-weekly event after that. This will give brewer Terry Piercey the freedom to do a bit more experimenting for future brews.

• The Ladies Beer League put together a great-looking event that’s being held during Halifax’s Local Connections Sausage Fest (Aug. 14th – 24th). Unfortunately, it’s already sold out! Dubbed the LBL Roof-top Cask Party at Scanway, there will be three casks tapped: Propeller Pilsner, Garrison Honey Lavendar, and Boxing Rock Hunky Dory Ginger; special sausage morsels from Scanway will also be available. Tickets were $10, and include a take-home glass and first fill (pay-as-you-go afterwards). Looks like the LBL will have to start holding more beer events so everyone can attend!

• And in other Sausage Fest news, both Garrison Brewing and North Brewing are participating in a Sausage Brunch and Beer Brunch at harbourstone sea grill & pour house on Sunday, August 17th. From 10 am – 3 pm, there will be a variety of handcrafted sausages available, along with several beers from both breweries; tickets are $39.

• The 8th Annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest is almost here! It will be held August 8th – 9th at the Cunard Centre, and tickets are still available. While we plan on providing all the information you need sometime next week, we wanted to point out that the full brewery/beer list has been posted on their website. With over 110 breweries pouring about 275 different beers and ciders – including an additional 15 unique casks from eight Atlantic Canadian breweries – it’s shaping up to be another great beer festival for our region. Tune in next week for more details!

Duo Wine Bar is holding a patio beer dinner on Wednesday, August 6th (rain date August 13th) at 6:30 pm. There will be five courses and eight different beers being served, with several beers from American breweries Goose Island and Brooklyn Brewery. More importantly, one of the courses will feature a special release of Celtic Knot Hopicide that has been “additionally hopped”, paired with traditional German Curry Wurst. Tickets are $120 (tax and gratuity included); send them an email to reserve yours.

• Looking for a job in the beer business? Well, with their expansion in progress, Garrison Brewing is hiring… specifically, for the position of Marketing, Retail & Event Coordinator. Two to three years experience in marketing, retail, events, etc. is required; if you’re interested, send a cover letter, resume, and references to Tracy Phillipi.

• This year’s annual Fredericton Beer Run, being held this Monday, August 4th (New Brunswick Day), has sold out! We’ve talked about the event in previous posts, but to re-hash, it involves a 6 km or 12 km run, followed by beer sampling at the King Street Ale House, where participants will be able to try fourteen 4 oz samples of various beers from local breweries. Check out their Race Roster page for a list of participating breweries (Railcar will not be pouring, but they will be present and selling beer swag).

• And speaking of the Fredericton Beer Run, the brain behind this event belongs to Lloyd Chambers, who also runs the yearly Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Lloyd has confirmed that planning for next year’s FCBF has already begun; while March 7th, 2015 is still many months away, we can assure you that there’s already something new and special in mind! Looking forward to sharing more as the date gets closer!

We start off this week’s Wrap-Up with some disheartening news, and a call to action. But fear not, there’s lots of positive news to report on as well!

• Railcar Brewing has been planning to set up shop in Florenceville-Bristol, NB. After a change in plans in which their original planned location in the Shogomoc Historical Railway Site was scrapped, they have now opened their retail shop and brewery just a few minutes down Main Street. However, they are facing a brand new major hurdle from the ANBL. They’ve just received notice that a late-June board meeting has decided that before a Brewery Agency Store licensee may sell any beer at their location for off-premises consumption (by means of bottles or growlers), they must first sell 10,000 litres of product through the ANBL network within 12 months (whether it be kegs delivered to bars, or bottles sold at ANBL stores). For a very small 1 BBL (Beer Barrel, 117 litres) brewery like Railcar, this would mean brewing, fermenting, conditioning, kegging and/or bottling, selling, and delivering to the ANBL or to restaurants and bars (possibly not in their home region) two full batches per week, assuming no spillage or spoilage. For a very small brewery whose business plan concentrated on sales direct from the brewery (including investing several thousand dollars in growlers that may become unusable), this is disastrous, and may handcuff them from opening. Railcar owner Mitch Biggar has been on CBC Radio and TV spreading word of how this will affect his small business, but keep in mind this will affect all future NB breweries as well. Mitch will be meeting with the ANBL next week, and we hope that he will still be able to open the week of Aug 10, which coincides with the Florenceville Festival of Flavour.

• When we heard of this change, we contacted ANBL president Brian Harriman for comment. He was kind enough to respond, and he assured us, “We are going to have discussions with stakeholders who were in process of starting breweries prior to development of this new strategy. We want to do all we can to support industry development to see the micro brewery industry prosper in NB”. While this is encouraging to hear, we feel the consultations with stakeholders should have taken place before these new rules were implemented.  Mr Harriman goes on, “We believe that our new policy will serve to strengthen our business. We also feel that the 100 HL requirement is a manageable number for new brewers.” While we understand that the ANBL’s goals are to generate income and control the sale of alcohol in the province, we believe that these requirements are not manageable for new brewers who may be transitioning into this industry as a part-time endeavour, or are trying to generate the least amount of debt possible. Dozens of kegs for licensees and hundreds of bottles for the ANBL are not cheap!

• So, what can you do about this? We encourage you to read and sign an online petition created by friends and neighbours (and potential suppliers) of Railcar, Kathryn and Nick Southan of Southan Farms in Wicklow. While this petition is specific to Railcar’s issue (and others that may be in the middle of licensing), we feel that signing it shows your support for the idea that before any rules are implemented, discussions with breweries, big and small, should be taking place. We suggest that either different production tiers are implemented in the licensing strategies, or allowances for breweries to sell primarily (or exclusively) for off-site consumption at their brewery locations. To assist with the extra financing he will need to comply with these restrictions, he has just launched a crowd-funding plumfund page.

And now on to the happy part of the week, new beers and other news…

Rockbottom Brewpub has released their newest beer, Bloodletter Belgian IPA. From Brewmaster Greg Nash, they are giving their Belgian-style brew the West-Coast treatment! Weighing in at 6.3%, and with a calculated 217 IBUs, this is a light-coloured but not light on flavour beer! In addition to the characteristic yeast flavour, the beer was spiced with coriander and cumin at flame-out, and generously hopped throughout with Bravo (in the mash and first wort), Dana (at flame-out) and Kohatu (dry-hopped). As Nash put it, “MMmm West-Coast-Belgian-American-NewZealand-Slovenian-hopped-spiciness in a glass.” They will also be putting on a coffee-infused version of this beer, so check out that blend. And be sure to drop by Wednesday for the tapping of the Firkin at 4pm. Lots of exciting blends and beers start their life out in a Firkin, so it’s a great to get a sneak peak of what Nash is up to in the brewery!

Rare Bird Craft Brewing in Guysborough has released their Maple Ale this week. Brewed with local maple sap in place of water throughout the brew, this 5.5% beer ends up with a light body and copper colour. Maple syrup is also added to the wort, but the hops help to keep it from being overly sweet, for a nice balance. The beer is in rotation at Stillwell Beer Bar in Halifax and at the Rare Bird Pub in Guysborough, and will be available in the private stores in the near future.

Big Tide Brewpub in Saint John has released a couple of new beers since last week’s post. Tidal Wave Double IPA hit the taps late last week, and was one of the beers poured at the Picaroons Brewer’s Bash last weekend. We’re not sure about this incarnation, but previous versions of this beer weighed in around 9%, and loaded with multiple dry hop additions for a wave of hop flavour and aroma. Also new on tap is a return of the Haffe Wit, a Witbier brewed with a special blend of spices for their own twist on the style.

Grimross Brewing has released their newest beer. Summer Serendipity is now available at the Picaroons Brewtique on Queen Street in Fredericton. Unfortunately, it was released late last night, so we do not have all of the details, but can pass along the tasting notes from brewer Steven Dixon: “Floral sweet lemongrass aroma, tropical fruit taste and subtle hop bitterness.”

Paddys Irish Brewpubs in Kentville and Wolfville have released their newest summer seasonal, Dom Arthur Kolsch. Details are light on their recipe, but this style is a light hybrid between lager and ale, and goes well with beautiful patio weather!

Yellowbelly Brewpub in St John’s has released a summer version of their Wexford WheatSummer Wheat. The base recipe is the same, but uses Topaz dry-hops for a different aroma and flavour. We’re not sure how long it will last, so be sure to drop by!

• There are still a few spots left in this year’s Fredericton Beer Run, to be held August 4th. Runners can choose to participate in a legitimate 6km or 12km run, and then enjoy beer from New Brunswick craft breweries afterwards. You must run to drink the beer, though there are a few “Coach’s Tickets” available (must register with a runner). It is being run by Lloyd Chambers, who also organizes the great Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Sign up today, only a couple more weeks of training!

• The Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax has put together a Nova Scotia Craft Brewery Guide with a description of the brewing process, list of NS breweries (no brewpubs, yet), map of their locations, and amateur tasting notes.

Propeller Brewing Company has re-launched their Open Brewery Tours at their Gottingen St location. While you normally need nine or more friends to book a brewery tour (or pay for strangers to come drink with you), every Wednesday 6-7:30pm in the summer, you can drop by solo or with a handful of friends, and pay the regular $15. During your time there, you’ll have a chance to sample lots of their regular lineup, as there’s usually a seasonal or two on tap as well.

• The Ladies Beer League is looking for your help! They are teaming up with Boxing Rock Brewing to create a special cask for their event during the Local Connections Sausage Fest, held August 14-24. Check out their Facebook page and make your suggestions. If yours gets picked, you will win a t-shirt and bragging rights! Stay tuned for more details on the LBL event, too.

• These new beers won’t be available for a few weeks, but we’ll be keeping our eyes (and mouths) open for Garrison’s Honey & Lavender Beer that was brewed Monday, and Big Spruce’s Pump Le Mousse, a grapefruit wheat beer.

• And Happy Second Anniversary to the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish! They celebrated by releasing a special British IPA brewed on their system upstairs. Fortunately/unfortunately, it sold out in a matter of hours, so if you weren’t there to enjoy Sunday, you’ll have to wait until Terry brews it again (we hope soon!).