2nd Annual Hammond River Homebrew Competition

All posts tagged 2nd Annual Hammond River Homebrew Competition

Happy Friday, loyal beer fans! Grab a pint and get your weekend started with some light beer reading.

• After receiving their license to brew just a few weeks ago, Bore City Brewing in Moncton have sold their first kegs. One of their first three flagship beers, Marécage (a 7% ABV Belgian Saison), will be on tap tonight at the James Joyce in Fredericton, just in time for the Joyce’s One Year Anniversary of their expanded keg fridge! For those of you in Moncton, fear not… the beer will also be on tap this weekend at Les Brumes du Coude, with other tap accounts following in the near future. We’ll have a Q&A post on this 1/2 BBL brewery for you very soon!

• More details on James Joyce’s event: It is the one year anniversary of their expanded keg fridge (allowing them to carry beer from every brewery in New Brunswick), and they will be fully stocked tonight – with Happy Hour pricing on Fredericton breweries’ beers – serving birthday cake, and having a grand time! New Saint John brewery First City will have their Chocolate Coffee Stout available. Drop by for the fun, beginning at 5pm. And keep an eye out for their Wassailing event February 6th with Red Rover, similar to their “Meet Your Maker” event, where they will be pouring multiple ciders during the evening. Red Rover’s Bee Cider, made with honey from the hives on James Joyce’s roof, is currently available in the pub.

• And speaking of Red Rover, their cider is now available at the ANBL Growler filling stations for the first time this weekend. After a very successful launch of their bottles last week, their Fire Cider is on tap at the Dieppe, Fredericton, Sackville and Saint John growler stations while supplies last. And check out ANBL’s page for availability of their bottles.

Meander River recently released their newest seasonal, Cold Porridge Oatmeal Stout. Featuring 20% rolled oats in the grain bill, the 5% ABV Stout features an aromatic coffee and cocoa profile. As the brewery puts it, “The breakfast of champions!” On tap now at the brewery and the Flying Apron Cookery, kegs were also sent to Battery Park.

• Also out this week from Meander River is their latest seasonal cider, Winterlude.  This unique blend features McIntosh, Northern Spy, Russet, and GoldRush apples, all sourced from Davison Farms in Falmouth. The 5.5% ABV cider has a semi-dry finish, crisp character, is cleanly fermented, and lightly carbonated. As with all of their ciders, the recipe blend changes with the seasons and apple availability, so if you’re a cider fan, it’s always a good idea to try the latest release.

• The new beer from Grimross that we mentioned a few weeks ago is now available on tap at the brewery. Ryes-N-Shine was brewed with approximately 40 kg of Tangelos (both the fruit and zest were used) and a “significant amount” of Rye malt. Fermented with two yeast strains (one a Belgian Saison strain, one American), this light-coloured ale comes in at 4.9% ABV and 23 IBUs. Owner/brewer Stephen Dixon describes the beer as “light and crisp, with a clean palate”, with the rye and citrus being subtle, but present. Look for it on tap at Grimross tap accounts in the province as well.

• Judging for the Hammond River 2nd Annual Home Brew Competition took place last Sunday at the Saint John Ale House. The style was Strong Scotch Ale (aka Wee Heavy); judges were impressed with the quality of the entries received, but ultimately a winner had to be selected. Nova Scotia homebrewers Keith Forbes and Mike Orr received the top prize with their Tilted Kilt, and actually came in second with their other entry, Kilted Tilt! Third place went to Newfoundland’s Mark McGraw, with his More Than Just a Wee Heavy. Both Forbes and Orr will be travelling to Hammond River soon, to brew a full-sized batch of their beer with owner/brewer Shane Steeves, to be released at select HR accounts. Congratulations to the winners!

Spindrift is continuing their series of weekly brews on their Pilot system (their 7th Wave series), with this week’s new beer being released today at the brewery at noon. Knotty Buoy is another interesting one: it’s a sour mashed Wheat Lager that has been aged on chopped rhubarb, cranberries, and hibiscus tea. Described by the brewery as “pouring ruby red, with a clean tartness complimented by bright fruit aromatics”, it comes in at a sessionable 4.3% ABV (and 10 IBUs). As always with the 7th Wave beers, there will be a very limited amount available when released, and only for growler fills, so get there quickly to fill up!

• Charlottetown’s Gahan House has released a new dark lager this week. Cast Iron is 5% ABV and 36 IBUs. Dark brown in colour thanks to Blackprinz malt on top of a 2-Row, Munich, and Cara60 grain bill. The beer features a moderate malt and slight roast character, leads into a medium hop bitterness, making this an easy to drink take on the European style. It is on tap at the brewery now, and can be taken away in growler fills as well.

• Over in Nyanza, Big Spruce is releasing their latest “Conspiracy” beer; this one is being described as a “Pine Needle IPA” that was brewed in collaboration with Ontario’s Sawdust City Brewing. Read Between the Pines has a “deep pine needle complexity”, with plenty of tropical fruit and pine thanks to large, late additions (and a dry hop) of both Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe, and a “big splash” of Galaxy as a second dry hop. Weighing in at 7.2% ABV and 48 IBUs, this sounds like a great one! It’s available for growler fills at the brewery right now, and show follow at select accounts very soon. And keep your eyes peeled for the 3rd Annual Big Spruce Homebrew Competition-winning Czech Dark Lager, brewed by Eric Gautier and Justin Clarke at the brewery, to be released next week. Finally, the 2016 version of Coade Word: Snowmaggedon was brewed earlier this week, and will be popping up on tap sometime in February.

• Speaking of embracing homebrewers, Boxing Rock has released a beer brewed with homebrewer Jason MacDougall. MacDougall visited Shelburne in December, and brewed up a Scottish Ale featuring a healthy portion of Peat Malt, and 35 kilos(!) of Heather flowers. To offset the floral kick, local wildflower honey and a light dose of Fuggles was added to the mix. Professor McDougall’s Oban Heather Scottish Ale weighs in at 5% ABV and will be available this weekend at the brewery, Alderney and Seaport Farmers’ Markets, private beer stores, and on tap in Halifax and Antigonish.

• Also released this weekend is their collaboration with Charlottetown’s Upstreet, Rumble in the Alley 2. This SMaSH IPA was brewed with Dark German Munich malt and Ontario-grown Santiam hops from Clear Valley Hops in Ontario. The resultant IPA features malt notes of biscuit and honey, and hop notes of spice and citrus. Rumble in the Alley 2 will be available this weekend at the brewery, and at the private stores, Farmers’ Markets, and on tap, next week.

Good Robot is releasing a new beer today that is definitely on the “different” side. When homebrewing last summer, they discovered a currently-unidentified microbe in the brewery that “generates a lemon-like, funky character” when added to their beers. They’ve investigated with a bit of microscopic viewing, and know that it’s neither Brettanomyces (a wild yeast) or Lactobacillus (a bacteria); they plan on sending it to the professionals for some thorough work. In the meantime, they’ve added it to a batch of their corn beer, and then dry-hopped it with Falconer’s Fight and Cascade to add even more citrus character to the aroma. The final product, Bank of Azealia, should be available at the taproom later today for pints and growler fills.

• Next Tuesday, January 26th, is Australia Day. Needing only the flimsiest of reasons to throw a party (OK, OK, their head bartender is Australian), the crew at Good Robot will be going all out to celebrate. Starting at 4pm, they’ll be blasting the Triple J Hottest 100, playing Australian movies on the projector, and serving kangaroo sausages, meat pies, and holding a meat raffle. While they won’t have Toohey’s or VB, they will have tinnies of Foster’s in the fridge in case their lineup of brews doesn’t quite quench your thirst after your walkabout. For the rest of the details, check out the Event page. And drop by this Sunday at 4pm for some vinyl love, courtesy of Black Buffalo Records, for an event called The Spins.

• The latest season of CTV’s MasterChef Canada begins February 14th, and Digby resident Les Barr will be among the competitors. Les is also the man behind Roof Hound Brewing, a mid-sized brewery slated to open in Digby County later this year. We expect to see Les cooking with beer whenever possible, and flexing his homebrewing muscles during the competition. We wish Les lots of luck, and look forward to following along with the progress of his cooking, and brewing.

• Thinking about opening or expanding a brewery or other beverage business? Springboard Atlantic is hosting a Liquid Courage event Feb 18 at Acadia University. Featuring keynotes from Greg Taylor of Steam Whistle Brewing and Dominic Rivard of Muwin Estate Wines and Bulwark, the seminar will feature presentations on how to build brands, do consumer research, quality testing, and exporting beyond provincial and national borders. More details can be found here. The seminar runs 8:30-4:30, and registration is now open.

• Details on the Craft Beer Cottage Party, part of Savour Food and Wine Festival, are emerging. Being held 7-9:30pm, Feb 27th in the Halifax Seaport Market location, the event will feature twenty local breweries, plus a few others from outside the region. Already lined up, with a list growing daily, are: Bad Apple, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Bulwark, Gahan, Garrison, Good Robot, Hell Bay, Meander River, Nine Locks, North, PEI Brewing, Picaroons, Propeller, Rare Bird, Spindrift, Tatmagouche, Uncle Leo’s, Upstreet. Also in attendance will be Innovative Beverages Agency (representing Muskoka and Central City), Goose Island, and Mill Street. Your $50+HST (or $65+tax to skip the line and take home a gift bag) ticket offers unlimited tasting during the evening. There will be food vendors onsite, including The Stubborn Goat. Entertainment includes live bands, and cottage party games. Tickets are available online now.

• There are good things coming this spring to the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Currently a craft beer wasteland, a new store carrying Nova Scotia liquor, wine, cider, and beer will be opening in April. Liquid Assets is a subsidiary of Ironworks Distillery, and will be located post-security, on the domestic/international departures level. It will mean being able to grab a bottle before getting on a flight, without having to worry about breakage in checked luggage, or having forgotten a gift while visiting the area. Look for more details on selection and exact opening date soon.

• LATE ADDITON: Propeller has released their latest One Hit Wonder Friday afternoon, Fog City Coffee Porter. This 5.5% ABV, 30 IBUs, Porter was brewed with whole bean coffee from Java Blend in both the boil, as well as “dry-beaned” during fermentation and conditioning. As with all OHW brews, this is a growler- and draft-only release, with it on tap now for growler fills at the Windmill location, and later Friday evening on Gottingen St. And don’t forget to pick up tickets to their returning Prop’r Cask Night, next Friday, Jan 29, 6-9pm. This edition will feature the food catering of friend-to-beer Studio East, and a special cask of Fog City, cask conditioned with even more coffee beans. Tickets are a steal at $30 (all in), which offers unlimited samples of both food and beer at the Gottingen St. Brewery, and lots of fun mingling with fellow food and beer nuts. Tickets are available now!

A few more notes for this week: Breton Brewing has put together a new dark beer, to be released next month. They are staying tight-lipped for now, but we understand this is a Porter to be released around the 14th. We’ll have more details closer to its release. Be sure to drop by The Auction House on Wednesday for their monthly Beer School, where the beers from a particular brewery are paired with special dishes from their kitchen. January’s brewery is Picaroons, with head brewer Myles MacKenzie making the trip himself to share some knowledge. Tickets are now on sale for a pair of Beer and Chocolate Dinner, hosted by Picaroons. Both are being held at 7pm on February 10th, with one at BrewBakers in Fredericton, and the other at Shadow Lawn Inn in Rothesay. This three course meal will feature chocolate-infused dishes, paired with beer.

Good morning! We’ve got a bit of beer news for you this week (as usual), just in time to end off your October…

• Today, Garrison Brewing is releasing the second beer in their Star Trek-themed series, just in time for this weekend’s Halifax sci-fi convention, Hal-Con. Vulcan Ale – Genesis Effect is a “Red Session IPA” that has been hopped with Comet, Galaxy and Warrior. Described as “hoppy and spicy” by brewmaster Daniel Girard, this 5.4% ABV beer will be jointly released in the U.S. by Shmaltz Brewing (out of upstate New York), in the Federation of Beer line of officially licensed Star Trek beers. It’s available in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, all four private liquor stores in the city, and select NSLC stores. Also out in celebration of Hal-Con is Raspberry Ginger Ale, hitting the shelves today as well.

• In other Garrison news, we have some more details on the Gastronome IPA they brewed as an exclusive release at harbourstone sea grill & pour house. Proud Rose-Mary was inspired by the restaurant’s Chef Trevor Simms’ approach to food, and features the addition of fresh orange juice and rosemary. It comes in at an ABV of 6.5%; you can find it on tap now at the harbourstone. Look for the Gastronome beer to change quarterly, in conjunction with the menu changes at the restaurant.

Movember starts Sunday, and Quidi Vidi Brewing in St. John’s are releasing a special beer in collaboration with Fogtown Barber, to celebrate the hairiest of months. Fogtown Lager will be released 2pm Sunday afternoon at Quidi Vidi, during a “Shave Down” event to kick off the month, complete with food from Mallard Cottage and live music. For those that sign up to the QV Mo Team before Sunday, they’ll receive a free Fogtown Lager t-shirt (while supplies last), and if they raise more than $250 before the end of Movember, a free hat, in addition to other great perks. Check out the details on their Facebook page. The beer itself is a 5% ABV pale lager featuring Crystal hops, and will be hitting the shelves and taps in St John’s and region beginning Monday.

• The PEI Brewing Co. is getting ready to release their next barrel-aged beer. The beer is named Hell Street, and is their Reanimator Doppelbock that has spent some time in the PEIBC barrels. It has been bottled, capped, and wax-sealed, and is all ready for its official release next Thursday at the brewery. PEIBC also tapped Scared Wit-Less earlier this week, their latest cask at their tasting room; it’s described as a 7.5% ABV Pale Ale that has had coriander and chamomile added, to boost the spicy and flowery aromas and flavours.

Picaroons released a new beer of sorts yesterday at the Brewtique – Gourd Browny is a reiteration of their Connell Stamp, an English Brown Ale. Hopped with Fuggles and Goldings, and infused with a “special blend” of pumpkin pie spices from local bakery/cafe the Chess Piece, this one is available only for growler fills at the Brewtique, while supplies last. And Picaroons is looking to hire a manager to run their Uptown Saint John location, which will be opening in 2016. Send along resumes to beerguy@picaroons.ca.

• Good news for Upstreet fans – they’re now officially selling some of their beers in bottles! Both their Commons (Bohemian Pilsner) and Do-Gooder (American Pale Ale) are available for purchase in a 500 mL format at the brewery (starting today at noon) for takeaway, and should follow at PEILCC stores later next month. Look for their Rhuby Social and White Noize to follow in the near future, along with other seasonals to be brewed over time.

Spindrift Brewing will be opening the doors at their storefront at 21 Frazee Drive in Dartmouth this Wednesday. From 11am-6pm, they will be celebrating their grand opening with schwag, samples, cans, and growler fills of their Coastal Lager. Drop by to meet the gang, and get a peek inside the brewery. Going forward, their storefront will be open Monday to Friday, 11am-6pm for all of your Spindrift needs.

• The crew at Halifax’s Good Robot may have been assimilated and replaced by actual robots after their acquisition by AB InBev-SAB Miller, but at least they’ve been keeping busy in the brewhouse! There are a pair of experimental brews available now, only on tap at the brewery. Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale is a light-bodied and -hopped beer, with loads of cherry character in a golden package. The second beer is de la Rocha, a habanero dark ale, with intense chile heat, again with a light body, and no discernible hop character. Both brews are Beta versions, so be sure to drop by and give the beers a try, and share your feedback with the ‘bots. For those with young ones (or young-at-heart), the brewery will be decorated for Halloween tomorrow, and there will be tricks and treats for visitors of all ages.*

• There is a new brewery in the development and licensing process coming to Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills had been working towards opening a brewery in Truro, NS, but while visiting Mills’ family in Newfoundland, they fell in love with the area and possibilities for a brewery. There is still much to be done, including an environmental assessment of their location and securing final funding, but we are looking forward to trying Port Rexton Brewing Co. beer in their brewhouse next summer.

• There will soon be a pair of different Craft Beer Advent Calendars available in our region. Much like a traditional chocolate or gift advent calendar, the idea is to get a new surprise every day during the first few weeks of December. The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar will feature 24 craft beers from across Canada and the US. Though the beer list is secret (no spoilers, please!), we do know that none of the beers are otherwise for sale in our region, and many of them were brewed specifically for the Calendar. Craft Beer fans are sure to find some new favourites in the box. The calendar will be available at select NSLC locations and NLC locations in the next couple of days, so be sure to drop by your local store to grab one.

• And if one new brew a day isn’t enough for you, some of the private beer stores in Halifax are putting together their own Advent Calendar. Drop by Cristall Wine, Harvest Wines, or RockHead Wine and Beer Market before November 20th to reserve your calendar, for pickup November 30th. The 24 beer in these are a mix of local, domestic, and international beers for a true taste of the World of Beer.

Hammond River has confirmed that they will be holding their Second Annual Homebrew Competition on January 17th, 2016. This BJCP-certified event will focus on Strong Scotch Ale (aka Wee Heavy), a full-bodied, deeply malty, strong Scottish beer style. Brewers will be limited to two entries each (two 12 or 16 oz bottles for each entry required), and entries will be due on January 15th; they can be shipped or dropped off to Hammond River in Quispamsis. Prizes will be given to the top three beers, and the winning entry will also be brewed as a full-size batch on HR’s system; of course, the winning homebrewer will be invited to assist with brewing this batch! Each entry costs $10; get brewing, homebrewers!

That’s just about all we’ve got this week… have a fun (and safe) Halloween tomorrow! Look for North Brewing’s Strong Dark Belgian to make its return shortly. Karl Whiffen from Uncle Leo’s dropped by Halifax brewery Unfiltered this week; we’ll let you know what they brewed up shortly. Boxing Rock underwent an expansion this week, to make room for more capacity in the brewhouse. Celtic Knot’s Caledonia 70/- seasonal is back on tap in the region. Look for it in Moncton and Saint John at your favourite watering hole. And a reminder to drop by Port City Royal tomorrow at 2pm for the tapping of an aged cask of Hammond River’s Sterke Monnik, their 10.3% Belgian Quad.

*The folks at Good Robot were not replaced by actual robots.