2014 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival

All posts tagged 2014 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival


Let the beer tasting begin!

Along with about 998 other people, acbbchris and acbbshawn were lucky enough to be in attendance at the 2nd Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival at the Fredericton Convention Centre last Saturday, March 8th. With a bigger venue, more ticket-holders, and more brewers and beers than last year, the event was an even bigger success this time around!


To recap, there were 700 “regular” admission ticket-holders, who were allowed unlimited 2 oz samples of the beers available, from 7:30 pm to 10 pm. The 250 VIP ticket-holders were allowed entry an hour earlier, beginning at 6:30 pm. On top of this, there were also about 50 “Women’s VIP” tickets sold; ladies with these tickets had some beer education starting at 6 pm, and they also received a larger keepsake glass.


With a combined 28 brewers and distributors at this year’s festival, there were approximately 150 beers pouring on Saturday night. There were lots of standout beers being served! Representing the Atlantic provinces were Bad Apple Brewhouse, Barnone Brewing, Big Spruce, Big Tide, Boxing Rock, Garrison Brewing, Grimross, Moosehead, North Brewing, PEI Brewing Co., Picaroons, Pump House, Red Rover, Shiretown, Sunset Heights Meadery, and Uncle Leo’s. That’s NINE more Atlantic Canada breweries than last year! Goes to show how much the beer world is changing in our region!


As for food, there were free samples of Magzy’s Kettle Korn, salmon from Miramichi Smoked Salmon, and chili from Good Apple Culinary (using all local products, including Picaroons beer, beef from Yerxa’s Meats, and beans from VanDine’s in Red Bridge).


All proceeds from the festival will be donated to Team Diabetes (who also had a booth at the fest, selling tickets for their Beer for a Year drawing… more details on that in last Friday’s post). Approximately $14,000 was raised for this well-deserving charity, along with an additional $1200 from the Beer for a Year ticket sales!


Steve Dixon of Grimross Brewing

We had a great time at the festival, and were very impressed with the improving quality of beer brewed and available in our region. Stay tuned later in the week, when the crowd-selected Best of the Festival will be announced! Next year’s festival has already been determined to be on Saturday, March 7th, 2015.

And don’t forget, there’s less than a month (April 5th) until the Saint John Beer Festival… tickets are selling fast, so don’t wait much longer to get yours! We’ll have more details on the SJBF soon.

Special thanks to Ahmed Dassouki for providing all of the pictures in this post. You can check out the full album of FCBF 2014 pictures at his Facebook page! Also, head to this link for a special news broadcast on the festival from CTV News.

Happy Friday, everyone! Today also marks the last day of February. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun/beer! Lots of beer news for you this week, so let’s dive right in!

• As part of next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, there is a separate fundraiser going on, to benefit the Fest’s charity, Team Diabetes. Check out the Golden Growler Auction! There are only twenty of these snazzy Golden Growlers available, screenprinted with the list of breweries and suppliers attending the 2014 FCBF. To win one, you must put in your bid before 11:59PM on Friday, March 7th. The twenty highest bids will get a growler (sorry, not full, but it can be filled down the street at the Picaroons Brewtique), as well as a charitable donation receipt. What a no-brainer! If you’re not on Facebook, you can also submit your bids via Twitter and email. Right now, the minimum bid to win is somewhere around $30, so don’t be shy! Be sure to mention how many growlers you’d like, as you can bid in multiples, as well. If you won’t be able to pick up the growler at the Fest, they will make arrangements to get it to you.

• After a little break for the holidays and New Year, the Ladies Beer League is back with another great event! They will be hosting a screening of Beer Hunter: the movie, about the life of Michael Jackson, at Lion & Bright Cafe & Wine Bar in Halifax, 7pm March 25th. Your $15 movie ticket also gets you some tasty popcorn, and a pint of a special cask of Uncle Leo’s beer (unsure which of their beers it is, yet). Tickets are only available online, and in short supply, so buy yours today! The movie will actually be introduced and attended by some people who had the opportunity to meet and work with Michael during his career. Sounds like a great date night to me, and there will also be a limited number of copies of the film for sale after, for future viewings. As with all LBL events, everyone is welcome! And be sure to check out LBL’s new website, with an FAQ, and the future possibility of purchasing a membership, which will give discounts at local establishments.

• The Parcel of Rogues that Picaroons brewed up for the 25th Anniversary of the Lunar Rogue is back. This time, in addition to being on tap at the Rogue, it will also be available for growler fills at the Brewtique. And don’t forget, if you’re in the Fredericton area tomorrow (March 1), Picaroons is having the official launch of their Maple Cream Ale at the York St. Train Station, with free food, beer samples, and music, from 11 am – 3 pm.

• As their official launch date gets ever closer, the people over at Les Brasseurs du Petit Sault have started a countdown to opening, estimating at about 95 days. They’re making leeway in the process, as they’ve already chosen the names of their flagship beers (a Belgian Blonde and Witbier… no, they’re not revealing the names yet!), are testing brewing recipes at the NBCC in Grand-Sault, and preparing to have some tastings of their first batch within the next few weeks. Their building is also taking shape quite nicely, with their brewing equipment expected within a month.

• The Pump House Brewery in Moncton is looking to add to their brewing team! They’ve posted a job listing here, looking for someone to fill the position of Head Brewer and add to their brewing talent. Check out the link for the full job requirements; they are looking for someone with 5-15 years of brewing experience. If you’re interested in responding to the posting, you can send them an email.

• For those of you living on PEI who are entering the 1st Annual Homebrewer’s Challenge (we originally posted on the event here), those at the Gahan House have decided to change some of the dates in order to give homebrewers sufficient time to brew their beer. The registration deadline was last Friday, but those registered now have until 5:00 pm, Friday April 4th to pass in their six-pack to the Gahan House. The preliminary judging and other events noted in our post will then be held over the next week, with the judging of the top 5 entries taking place on Saturday, April 12th.

Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza is hosting a special guest brewer in the brewhouse today: Aaron Spinney, head brewer at Sawdust City, in Gravenhurst, ON. They are brewing a big Wheat IPA (You Spin Me White Round Wheat IPA), weighing in around 6.5-7% ABV and with 70 IBUs, and will have loads of dry hopping. The big wheat component will give a different mouthfeel and head from normal IPAs; the beer should be a great addition to the lineup. Aaron has some connections to the Bras d’Or Lake area, so brewing with Jeremy and crew at Big Spruce was a no-brainer! Be sure to follow along with the fun on Big Spruce’s and Aaron’s Twitter accounts for up-to-the-minute details.

• More great news for Big Spruce: In order to keep up with the growing demand for their beer both on and off Cape Breton Island, they got several fermentors and conditioning tanks on the way from DME in PEI. Two 10 bbl fermentors are scheduled to arrive within the next week, and a third will be through the doors shortly thereafter. And then in late spring, they will be adding two more conditioning tanks to the brewery. This will allow them to increase production by about 70%, in order to keep their head above water during the busy summer to come. This will mean some shuffling of things around the brewery, and construction of the Sprucetique, where visitors will be able to sit and enjoy a paddle of samples while deciding which to purchase in a growler, while enjoying their beautiful view of the Bras d’Or lake. All this after just one year of brewing and selling beer! Congrats to Jeremy and the Big Spruce crew, and thanks to you for drinking it!

• Another busy week at Garrison Brewing in Halifax, punctuated with a home brewing flavour: Last Saturday, the first round of judging was performed in this year’s Home Brew Off competition. Seventy-six homebrewed Weizens were judged by a panel of 10 BJCP-certified judges (acbbchris was among them), narrowing down the field to a top 13 best beers. This week, that lucky thirteen was further reduced down to a final four of beer awesomeness, by Brewmaster Daniel Girard and his crew. Those four beers will be further tasted and tested (again by certified judges), and the winning beer will be crowned the 2014 Home Brew Off Winner! 2013’s Home Brew Off winner, Peter Welton, was in the brewery for a long day Monday, in order to brew his Belgian Blonde. This beer will be released at the Gala event, March 13th. The beer name is a closely guarded secret (only revealed at the Gala), but we can tell you that the beer will weigh in at 7.5% ABV and 24 IBUs.

The Stubborn Goat in Halifax is inviting Propeller Brewing for today’s Firkin Friday, and Propeller has answered the call with a cask of Black IPA, dry hopped with Simcoe! They brewed up a special batch of this beer specially for the Goat, and will be releasing a full batch in the spring, so be sure to grab a pint. As always, the casks are tapped at 4pm, and once it’s gone, it’s gone, so best to get there promptly.

• A quick reminder that Beerthief Offering #10 from Brooklyn Brewery closes Sunday, March 2nd. Check the full details here, but the quick summary is that members can order East India Pale Ale, Brooklyn Pennant, Local 1, Local 2 or Sorachi Ace beers, to be delivered at their local NLC. As always, contact Tom to place your order.

• In other Beerthief news, on Sunday March 16, there will be a combination tasting and presentation about their March 2015 River Cruise to the Netherlands and Belgium. There will be an assortment of excellent Belgian beers served (including Saison Dupont to start), and the presentation will go over the itinerary and beer specifics of the cruise. Mike Buhler will be part of the planning process of the cruise, and will be leading the tasting (both on the 16th, and during the cruise). Seating for the presentation/tasting is very limited, so reserve your spot with Tom today!

Rogues Roost Brewpub in Halifax has released their latest seasonal, a Porter. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all of the recipe details before press time, but we can assure you it will be worth a visit!

• And finally, coming back to the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, we’re having a contest for you to win two VIP tickets to the sold-out event! Starting today, take a picture of a beer brewed by any of the breweries that will be at the festival (check out the full list here), and tweet it or share it to the FCBF Facebook page, with the hashtag #FCBF14. The contest will run until next Thursday, March 6th, at 11:59 pm; the lucky winner will be announced in next week’s Friday Wrap-Up. Extra points for creativity! And if you already have tickets to the fest, feel free to still participate; the FCBF will refund the cost of your 2 VIP tickets if you win!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

photo 4

The second annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (FCBF) will be taking place on March 8th at the Fredericton Convention Centre downtown. With about 1000 tickets being sold, the event will see almost twice as many beer lovers as last year’s festival. I was able to sit down with Lloyd Chambers, organizer of the FCBF, to discuss what will be offered at this year’s event.

What brought on the change in venue this year [last year’s festival was held at the Delta Fredericton]?

With about 550 people attending last year’s festival, the Delta Fredericton’s space worked out perfect. This year, however, we’ll see almost twice that many, so we needed to move to something bigger. The Convention Centre was able to provide us with that space, and also has the advantage of being right downtown, close to other beer-friendly spots such as the King Street Ale House.


Fredericton Convention Centre

Do you have any sponsors for this year’s festival?

Yes; major sponsors include the King Street Ale House, Massive Graphics, and The Pub Magazine (Atlantic Canada edition).

Tell me about the different ticket offerings you’ve been selling.

There’s about 700 “regular” admission tickets that JUST sold out yesterday. These $50 tickets include a custom tasting glass, and unlimited 2 oz samples of the beers at the festival from 7:30-10:00 pm.

We also sold 250 “VIP” tickets this year; for $60, you get entry into the festival an hour earlier. They were extremely popular when they went on sale in late November; they sold out in about 4 hours!

In recognition of March 8th also being International Women’s Day, we decided to partner with the Ladies Beer League in Halifax and offer “Women’s-only VIP” tickets. These 50 tickets (also sold out) were a great deal, giving ticket-holders 90-minute early entry into the festival, with a larger, custom tasting glass, “Beer 101” with Garrison Brewer Kellye Robertson and Pam Crouse (Co-Executive director of the LBL), samples from local “beerlebrities” Stephen Dixon of Grimross Brewing and Adam Clawson of Red Rover Brewing, and an extra beer sample from Quebec brewery Unibroue. Investors Group will make a donation on behalf of the FCBF to a local women’s charity.

Any options for Designated Drivers?

Yes, there are $15 tickets available, which include unlimited bottled water and soda (and the snacks below), including a Root Beer made by Garrison Brewing Co.

Are there any food options available during the festival?

There will be a few different food samples available, such as popcorn from Magzy’s Kettle Korn, and salmon from Miramichi Smoked Salmon; there may be one or two other options as well. I should also note that on Saturday, before the festival begins, The Lunar Rogue will be offering 15% off food when you show your FCBF ticket.

Are any hotels in the city offering discounted rates for the festival?

Yes, the Crowne Plaza Fredericton/Lord Beaverbrook is currently offering a festival rate of $109/night for both Friday and Saturday, March 7th and 8th. [note: the link for the discounted rate is here]

It looks like you’re expecting more breweries and beer for this year’s festival, compared to last year?

Absolutely. Last year we had 18 breweries and 91 beers; this year, we have a combination of 28 brewers and distributors, with about 150 different beers being poured. Specifically, we’ve got a larger showing from the Maritimes this year, including newer breweries such as Grimross Brewing, Red Rover Brewing, and Sunset Heights Meadery from New Brunswick; Bad Apple Brewhouse, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Bridge Brewing, and Uncle Leo’s from Nova Scotia, and Barnone Brewing from PEI. We’ve got a couple of non-Maritime breweries coming – Saskatchewan’s Bushwakker will be returning this year (including owner Bev Robertson), and Le Naufrageur from Quebec will be making their first appearance.

Will there be many brewers and/or representatives from each brewery to provide information about their beers, answer questions, etc.?

Luckily, just about every brewery (except one or two) will have brewers or brewery reps coming to the festival, pouring their beers and providing info. We’ll also have about 35-40 volunteers helping out.

Before we get to the most important information – the brewers/beer list – anything else you’d like to add?

Just that we’re really happy to be able to build on the success of last year’s festival by opening the event to even more people, and bringing even more beers than before. As our tagline says, “It’s all about the beer. Pure. Simple.”

The following is a list of the breweries and distributors that will be attending the festival, along with the products they have indicated that they are bringing. Keep in mind these products are subject to change, and some have not been announced yet. We will continue to update this list as we find out more information:

Atlantic Spirits &Wines (Dartmouth, NS) – Somersby Cider, Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, Mill Street Organic, Lake of Bays Brewing Old North Mocha Porter

Bad Apple Brewhouse (Berwick, NS) – Barrel-Aged Black and Tackle RIS, Double IPA

Barnone Brewing (Rose Valley, PEI) – IPA, Pale Ale, Summer Sessions

Big Spruce Brewing (Nyanza, NS) – Bitter Get’er India Black IPA, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout

Big Tide Brewing Company (Saint John, NB) – Simms Pale Ale, Whistlepig Stout

Boxing Rock Brewing (Shelburne, NS) – Temptation Red Ale, Hunky Dory Pale Ale, The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA

Bruce Ashley Group (Markham, ON) – Faxe Premium, Chechvar Bitburger, Tiger Beer, Belhaven Best, Greene King Abbot Ale, Wells Banana Bread Beer, Duchy Original Organic Ale, Bitburger Wernesgruner Pils, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Central City Red Racer IPA

Bushwakker Brewing Company (Regina, SK) – Missiletow Ale, Stubblejumper Pilsner, Palliser Porter

Churchill Cellars (Toronto, ON) – Bavaria 8.6 (Original), Bavaria 8.6 Red

Creemore Springs Brewery (Creemore, ON) – Creemore Springs Premium Lager, Creemore Springs Traditional Pilsner, Mad & Noisy Hops & Bolts, Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale

Fuller’s Brewery (Chiswick, London, UK) – ESB, London Porter, London Pride, Organic Honey Dew

Garrison Brewing Co. (Halifax, NS) – Hop Yard, Nut Brown, Irish Red, Raspberry Wheat, Imperial IPA, Martello Stout, Glutenberg American Pale Ale, Glutenberg Blonde

Grimross Brewing Company (Fredericton, NB) – Cheval D’Or, Ben’s Bitter Pale Ale, Belgian Rye IPA

Innis and Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Lager, Original Oak Aged Beer, Toasted Oak IPA, Melville’s Ginger Beer

McAuslan Brewery (Montreal, QC) – St. Ambroise Pale Ale, St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat

McClelland Premium Imports (Mississauga, ON) – Erdinger Weissbier, Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel, Affligem Blond, Fruli Strawberry, Stiegl Lager, Stiegl Radler, Mort Subite Kriek, Mongozo Premium Pilsner, Palm Speciale, Delirium Tremens

Molson Coors (Toronto, ON) – Rickard’s Red, Rickard’s White, Rickard’s Blonde, Rickard’s Dark

Moosehead (Saint John, NB) – Moosehead Boundary Ale, Moosehead Cask, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Latitude 48, Sam Adams Cold Snap, Hop City Barking Squirrel, Hop City Big Mouth Pale Ale, Magners Irish Cider, Magners Irish Pear Cider, Blackthorn Cider

Le Naufrageur (Carleton-sur-mer, QC) – Leonne, La Malauze, Colborne, Corte-Real, Saint-Barnabe, Swordfish, Carrick, Penelope, Ale Amerindienne, Ale Amerindienne Double Blanche (Tanaisie)

North Brewing Company (formerly Bridge Brewing, Halifax, NS) – Belgian IPA, Saison, Strong Dark Belgian

Northampton Brewing Company/Picaroons (Fredericton, NB) – Maple Cream Ale, A Parcel of Rogues, Ember Ale, Afterglow Aphrodisiac Ale, Best Bitter, Dark & Stormy Night, Man’s Best Friend

PEI Brewing Company (Charlottetown, PEI) – Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Sydney Street Stout, 1772 IPA, Island Red, Iron Bridge Brown, Beach Chair Lager, Blueberry Ale, and a TBD cask

Pump House Brewery (Moncton, NB) – Fire Chief’s Red Ale, Scotch Ale, S.O.B., Cadian Cream Ale, Premium Lager

Red Rover Brewing (Fredericton, NB) – Spring Cider, Summer Cider, Fall Cider

Shiretown Beer (Rover Charlo, NB) – Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale, Siren’s T’Ale

Sleeman Breweries Ltd (Guelph, ON) – Sleeman Cream Ale, Sleeman Silver Creek Lager, Unibroue Maudite, Unibroue Ephemere Pomme, Okanagan Mild Winter Ale

Sunset Heights Meadery (Fredericton, NB) – Queen’s Nectar Sparkling Mead, Pollen Angels (four flavors: Blueberry-Apple, Raspberry-Kiwi, Iced Tea, and likely Cranberry-Maple)

Uncle Leo’s Brewery (Lyons Brook, NS) – Red, IPA, Smoked Porter

Windward Imports (Halifax, NS) – Grolsch Lager, Pilsner Urquell, Peroni, Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale, Shipyard Export Ale, Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA

For those of you lucky enough to have tickets, you’re in for a great time! We’ll be there representing the ACBB. Stay tuned over the next few weeks leading up to the festival – we’ll be holding a contest to win two VIP tickets. Look for that sometime during the first week of March.