Big Axe Brewery

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Happy long weekend! Whether you have your Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday or Monday, early afternoon or evening, deep fry your turkey or roast it, we can’t think of a better way to lead into it than beer! We’re not saying one absolutely needs a beer or three before sitting down with multiple family members to stuff yourselves full off tryptophan-laden food… but it certainly helps (especially if the conversation veers towards politics… Canadian OR American). Our usual reminder about holiday weekends bears repeating: check your favorite brewery’s hours before planning your supply run, especially on Sunday and Monday; brewers have families too!! With that being said, read on for the latest goings-on in the Atlantic Canadian beer world… and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Nackawic, New Brunswick’s Big Axe will soon be celebrating the official opening of their brand new taproom, with a party scheduled for Saturday, October 13th. Along with live music, free tours, and food trucks, they’ll also be launching a new beer for the event, Hops and Sickle Pale Ale. Brewed with Pale and Honey malts, fermented with an American Ale strain, and hopped with a blend from Darlings Island Farm – which appears to mainly feature Dr. Rudi – the final beer has aromas of pine, citrus, stone fruit, and spice. It comes in at 5% ABV, and will be available at Big Axe during their celebrations (along with several other of their beers), and throughout the following days, while supplies last.

Those crazy kids at Niche Brewing in Hanwell (pronounced “Fredericton” by most people), NB, just can’t help themselves. They’ve got yet another new beer for us this week to whet our appetites for their tap takeover at Stillwell next weekend. Listed as a Brett IPA, this one is likely to be quite a bit different from the last, as it uses a Brettanomyces strain from the Yeast Bay hitherto unknown to Niche (and possible the rest of Atlantic Canada). Purported to bring a character that is “reminiscent of Sweet Tarts” candy, that’s pretty much exactly what it did, providing a slightly tart finish and a fruity palate with plenty of funk on the nose. Because this is Niche, and because it’s an IPA, there were also a lot of hops involved, including Azacca and Galaxy, which amped up the fruity character even more. Dubbed Space Oddity, it’s 5.6% ABV and hazy as hell; you can find it soon at The Joyce and the King Street Alehouse in Fredericton, and Peppers Pub, Lock Stock & Barrels, and the Saint John Alehouse in Saint John, and it might (possibly, potentially, maybe) be available at the Stillwell next weekend as well (see below).

There’s a refreshing, salty new beer pouring at the Port Rexton taproom right now… and if you guessed Gose, you’d be exactly right! Drifter is the brewery’s 4.1% ABV take on the sour, German Wheat beer, with salt from the Newfoundland Salt Company added in the boil. As is usual for the style, coriander was also added, with the final beer exhibiting the perfect balance between sour and spice; don’t let anyone tell you Gose is just a summer beer, as these low-alcohol, refreshing brews are perfect throughout the entire year! Best to drop by Port Rexton ASAP to give it a try, as there is a limited amount of kegs available – half of the batch was transferred to a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, along with a pitch of Brett D (we’re looking forward to hearing how that turns out!).

North Brewing is hoping that you like beers that are hard to pronounce, maybe, ‘cause they’re releasing Des Pêches Rooib today. Don’t let the name intimidate you, as it sounds plenty tasty! The base beer was aged for 7 months in one of the brewery’s neutral oak barrels at Battery Park, where it was conditioned on Peach Rooibos tea from the World Tea House. After bottling, the 5.4% ABV beer was allowed to condition further for another 5 months, and now it’s finally available for sale! Peachy, effervescent, and with a light amount of oak character, there’s about 700 bottles available at both North bottle shops; maybe grab a couple for Thanksgiving dinner?

We’re used to seeing a variety of wet-hopped beers this time of year, but how often do you see a wet-hopped Belgian Pale Ale? That’s what Tatamagouche Brewing has done with Hopback Hustle (4.4% ABV), their latest beer that is currently on tap at the brewery. Featuring Cascade and Crystal hops grown at the brewery’s farm in Malagash, both varieties were added at several stages of the brew – in the mash, the kettle, and hop back (twice!). Fermented with a dry, Belgian ale yeast, the beer has a nice balance of light, spicy yeast character, combined with “bright, floral, earthy aromas” from the hop additions. A few kegs will likely be popping up in the HRM, but the majority of it will be found at Tatabrew for pints and growlers. And while we have you here, now’s a good time to mention that Blue Bales, Tata’s wheat beer conditioned on 350 lbs of organic blueberries, is back on tap and in cans, and Deadeye DIPA, their Imperial IPA hopped heavily with Hallertau Blanc (and a little bit of Nelson Sauvin in the dry hop) will return this weekend, also in cans and on tap.

We mentioned last week that Garrison is finishing up their annual Oktoberfest this weekend, with Das Big Party happening on Saturday, October 6th. We can now confirm that they’ll also be releasing a new beer for the event, a Marzen named Gettin’ Ziggy. This 6% ABV German Lager was brewed with Pilsner and Munich malt, and hopped with Hallertau to 21 IBUs. Malty and clean, you know the drill with this style of beer… it’s meant to go down easy, and go down often, preferably in large quantities, with lots of people around and live music playing. Hey, sounds like it fits the party where it’s debuting! Meanwhile, the gang at Garrison happened upon an unexpected discovery in their cellars this week: a trove of Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Autumns past. A scant 32 of the 2016 and 35 of the 2017 vintages will be available on Saturday at the brewery, so if a strong pumpkin ale with a little age on it is your thing, you’d best get there early.

Let’s move over to Dartmouth, where New Scotland Brewing has two new beverages out for our enjoyment, a beer, and a cider. We’ll start with the cider, so we don’t make ourselves look TOO biased. Blueberry Apple Cider doesn’t have an “official” name yet, but we’re ok with that, because it kinda speaks for itself right now, no? Made using apples from Stirling Fruit Farms, and blueberries and honey from Glenmore Farms, it was fermented with the naturally-occurring yeast on the apples, before the addition of commercial yeast to take it the rest of the way. Unfiltered, this dry, English-style cider has a dry, tannic, wine-like flavour, and weighs in at 6.2% ABV.

New Scotland’s beer is Heads Will Roll, a Red IPA. Brewed with a grist made up mainly of Maris Otter, and a touch of Pale Chocolate malt, it was late-hopped and dry-hopped with Centennial, Amarillo, and Mandarina Bavaria, to provide plenty of fruity and citrusy character to the beer. This fruitiness was bumped up even further by fermenting the beer with Vermont ale yeast, which brought the beer to 6.5% ABV. At just 35 IBUs, the finishing bitterness should be in the moderate range.

Halifax’s Chain Yard has us moving right back into cider territory with their habanero-infused Hot Mess. Looks like this one is actually a blend of several other Chain Yard ciders, including Foundation, Intrepid, Highway Strobbery, and Drunken Cherry. The final blend was then dry-hopped with Cascade, and steeped with habaneros. Those of you with any type of hot pepper experience will know that habaneros are right up there with some of the hottest peppers readily-available; luckily, the final product isn’t too crazy, with Chain Yard describing it as a “subtle but intensifying heat”. Sound doable? Maybe have some bread nearby, just in case! It’s 7.5% ABV and currently on tap at their taproom.

Way down near the Southern tip of Nova Scotia is Tusket Falls Brewing, and they’ve got a new beer to tell you about this week. Called District 34 after the local lobster fishing grounds (Lobster Fishing Area 34 – Southwest NS), the timing for it is just right, as the fisherman are just getting ready for this year’s season. An American Porter, the grist was composed of pale and caramel malts along with roasted barley and oats. Bittered with American hop varieties, it features toffee aromas and roasted coffee flavors while maintaining a full body and a soft and creamy mouthfeel. Dry on the finish, this 7% ABV beer is dark brown with a coffee-colored head, and though it’s available at the brewery now in cans and at select tap accounts in NS, it will also be part of the Maritime Beer Box that will be found at Harvest, Rockhead and WestSide in Halifax later this fall (and, perhaps, also as a single). And if you’re interested in learning more about Tusket Falls Brewing, be sure to check out the latest episode of the 902BrewCast wherein your intrepid podcasters embark upon a jaunt down to the brewery and discover it to be a most welcoming place.

So dedicated to keeping us informed is Kelly of Halifax’s Good Robot that she was even kind enough this week to let us know that nothing’s going on! Fear not, gentle soul, we’re sure there is plenty of the usual work-a-day mirth to be had at the taproom, but we are honor bound to advise that there will be no BetaBrewsday release this coming Tuesday, owing to GR being closed for a staff day. Later in the week will also see the return, after a brief hiatus, of Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie Pale Ale which is once again being lovingly packaged in cans. And we think we caught an Instagram photo of Kelly brewing a beer with Emily Tipton a few blocks away at Boxing Rock’s experimental small-batch brewery at Local Source. We’re sure there’s a story (and a beer!) behind that photo and we hope to have it for you in the coming weeks.

Quick! Beer nerds! Off the top of your head do you know what a bière de coupage is? We didn’t either, but it turns out it’s the result of the time-honored technique of blending some old (“mature”) beer into quite a bit more young beer. Practiced quite extensively in Europe, where Flanders Reds and lambic and even farmhouses are often produced using this technique, it was also common in the UK in times past for porters and stouts (and, depending on who you believe, a form of it is still used to produce Guinness). Why are we telling you this? Because of course a local brewery is releasing a beer that leverages this technique, and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s Stillwell Brewing. Make 1, 2 started with a batch of fermenting Easy, which comprised 3/4 of the volume, to which a barrel of very old sour beer was added. The coup de grace on this bière de coupage was a dry hop with a floral and spicy variety just prior to bottling. You’ll find the resulting concoction on sale this weekend at the usual spot on Gottingen Street behind Propeller Brewing.

If you happen to be in the Ashdale area of Nova Scotia this long weekend, why not drop by Meander River, where they’ve released a new, small batch cider, Blueberry. This dry cider was blended with local, fresh blueberries, giving it a purple colour and “fleshy, ripe blueberry flavour with a crisp apple finish”. Sounds like a good pairing with a certain annual dinner involving turkey, no? It’s available right now in 500 mL bottles, but in a very limited quantity and only direct from the source.

The email came in just in the nick of time, allowing us to give you all the info on the latest Something Different release from Annapolis Cider Co. Spiced Plum is a 6.3% ABV sparkling cider made up of a blend of cider (from Northern Spy and Paula Red apples) and perry (from Flemish Beauty pears). This blend was then cold-steeped with cinnamon sticks, green cardamom pods, sliced fresh ginger, whole nutmeg and allspice (do some of these spices make you think of your favourite pie?). Finally, fresh juice from locally-grown golden Shiro plums was added for balance, and to give a hint of tartness. Sounds like a fantastic cider for Thanksgiving! As with all Something Different releases, $0.50 of every fill will go towards a local charity; in this case, the Wolfville Farmers’ Market’s Nourishing Community Food Bucks Program.

There are a few events coming up that we think you might be interested in hearing (more) about:

We mentioned the Niche Brewing takeover at Stillwell above and we’re happy to report that we’ve now got a list of what we’re likely to see next Saturday on October 13 from 4 PM (note the later opening than usual for Stillwell on a Saturday). If you weren’t already excited about the event, this should get you over the hump, and if it doesn’t, we’re not entirely sure why you’re reading this. Here’s the twelve taps that are expected to open the afternoon:

  1. Tafelbier – Mixed-fermentation Table Beer, 3.6%
  2. Lucid Dreams – Mixed-ferm Saison w/ pineapple, pink guava, and apricot, 6.3%*
  3. Cilantro Lime Gose, 4.2%*
  4. Boysenberry Persuasion – Kettle sour w/ boysenberry puree, 4.2%
  5. Ruby Tuesday – Kettle sour w/ hibiscus, 4.4%
  6. Hold Fast – Dry-hopped Sour (El Dorado & Citra), 4.2%*
  7. Evolution – Barrel-aged Saison, 6.3%*
  8. Space Oddity – Brett IPA hopped w/ Azacca & Galaxy, 5.6%
  9. Mahalo – Pineapple Milkshake IPA, 6.4%
  10. Day Tripper – Belgian Tripel, 8.4%
  11. Receding Darkness – Dark Brett beer, 6.4%
  12. Wake-up Call – Sweet Stout w/ barrel-aged coffee and vanilla bean, 5%*

Note that the beers marked with an asterisk (*) are special editions brewed specifically for this event and the Mahalo is a brand new beer. This will also be the first (and only) appearance of Evolution before the rest of the batch is eventually bottled. But WAIT, there’s MORE!! We’ve also got a list of the beers lined up as replacements when (not if) the above kegs kick:

  1. Single Origin – Coffee Sweet Stout, 5%
  2. Constellation – Dark, sour Saison w/ black currant, 4.7%
  3. Ethos – Mixed-ferm saison, 6.3%
  4. Island in the Sun, Grisette w/ Galaxy hops, 3.6%
  5. Moderation – Passion Fruit Milkshake IPA w/ Enigma & Mosaic, 5.5%*

We suggest gameplanning for this one, folks, as we think you’re going to want to try all of these. And meanwhile, Chef Graeme Ruppel will be putting out some special treats from the kitchen with a bit of an Asian flare, including a Tandoori Chicken Wrap (mint raita, smashed cucumbers, iceberg lettuce), Tuna Crudo (blackberry-jalepeno conserva, smoky puffed rice, raddichio), General Tso’s Eggplant (Vegetarian, possibly Vegan, with kimchi fried rice and shoots), and Gulab Jamun with green and black cardamom syrups for dessert. Also, a reminder that Shawn and Rob of Niche will be on hand to answer all of your questions about their brewery and their beers and to wax poetic on the subtle minutiae of mixed fermentations. Or maybe they’ll just get loaded and tell naughty jokes. Either way, it’s bound to be entertaining!!

Windsor, NS, will be the site of the 20th annual Pumpkin Regatta a week from Sunday, on October 14. And for the 2nd year in a row, Schoolhouse Brewing will be hosting a Pumpkin Regatta Beer Garden. Take advantage of a vantage point along the waterfront where you’ll be able to relax in dry comfort with a beer in your hand as the regatta entrants navigate across Lake Pesaquid in their hollowed out gourds. Toast them in style with a pint of Schoolhouse’s gourdian Pumpkin Paddler, or one of their many other offerings. The taproom will open at 11 AM and the beer garden will be in full effect from 12 – 8 PM, with live music from 1 – 4 PM. There’s no cover and there will be food specials on the menu. Look for more info on the regatta and other events in town this weekend at the Windsor Pumpkin Festival Website.

There seems to be quite a few multi-brewery tap takeovers going on in the region these days, doesn’t there? We can’t help but think that this is an excellent way for folks to get a taste of the wares from a couple of different breweries, while still being able to try a nice variety from each and maybe see a little bit of friendly competition. Coming up October 18 – 21, Halifax’s Garrison and Dartmouth’s Nine Locks will be taking over all 16 taps at Jamieson’s Irish Pub in Dartmouth for the weekend in another Double Header Tap Takeover. Starting with Thursday for wing night, leading into their usual TGIF Friday night with folks from Nine Locks in the house, Saturday afternoon Ceilidh and Saturday night Kitchen Party when personnel from Garrison will be on hand, and who knows who might show up for Sunday’s finish when the winner is revealed?

And lastly, a few quick mentions of a various and sundry nature:

– Looks like Breton Brewing has again brewed one of their popular summer beverages, Strawberry Rhubarb Sour. Look for this 4% ABV, pinkish-red kettle sour to be available in the not-too-distant future.

Lunn’s Mill wants to let you know that they’ve restocked their shelves with cans of Lager Driver and Anvil Porter; in addition to being available for purchase at their taproom, some of these cans will also be available at the private liquor stores in the HRM sometime next week.

– Two returning beers this week from our friends at Propeller Brewing: Nocturne Black IPA, a 6.7% brew dry-hopped with Amarillo and Falconer’s Flight (on tap and in cans); and Tropical IPA, a 6.2% ABV American IPA dry-hopped with Citra and Galaxy to boost the tropical fruit aromas (growlers and pints at the tasting room, only).

– In Fredericton, TrailWay Brewing is releasing the third iteration of Starblast, their “American Fruited Ale”, today at the brewery. This batch was conditioned on over 300 lbs of strawberry and kiwi purée, and was lightly hopped with El Dorado. It comes in at 5% ABV, and will be available on tap and in cans.

Happy Friday the 13th! Oh, stop complaining, it’s just a silly superstition (knocks wood, tosses black cat over left shoulder). Plenty going on in the world of Atlantic Canadian beer news, as usual, including the opening of two new breweries in our region, one in PEI, and one in Dartmouth. So let’s get into it so we can all go about the rest of our day (read: waiting for the weekend to officially start).

We hinted last year about Summerside, PEI getting their own brewery, thanks to the work of Alex Clark, owner of the OpenEats restaurant in the downtown area. Well, it looks like all of that planning and preparation has worked out, as Evermoore Brewing just opened their brewery and taproom this week at 192 Water St. Featuring a 10 bbl (1200 L) brewhouse from DME, the brewery’s taproom will be open Sunday-Thursday from noon-8 pm, and Friday and Saturday noon-10 pm. They’re currently filling growlers of their first two beers, Summerside Light and Hoppy Lager, and you’re of course welcome to stay onsite to enjoy a pint! Summerside Light is a 4.0% ABV light and easy going lager, while the Hoppy Lager weighs in at 6.0% ABV and features solid citrus and grassy flavour and aroma, with a hoppy aftertaste. Look for food service to be available later in the year. We hope to have more info and a Profile of Evermoore, including specific details on the beers they hope to have in the future, very soon.

After some major renovations at 91 Alderney Drive in downtown Dartmouth, New Scotland Brewing Company is opening their doors tomorrow. Brewing on a 4 BBL (500 litre) system, their beer will be available in the taproom for flights and pints, as well as to take away in growlers. Keep an eye on their social media for musicians (and maybe even the owners and brewers, musicians in their own right!) to take stage in the taproom. Unfortunately, details on what beers will be pouring are scarce, and we haven’t been able to get hold of them for contact. We hope to have more (is this a trend?) in the near future.

While not a brand new brewery, it is certainly worth mentioning that St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has opened their new location in the newly expanded Departures level at the St. John’s International Airport. The restaurant and bar is open from early until late (6AM until 11PM) to satisfy both the early business flyers for breakfast, and the rest of us looking for a pint and decent meal before leaving the Island. The restaurant continues the tradition set at their downtown locations of offering freshly-prepared pizza and a full menu, as well as casual bites. Borrowing from the aesthetics of their building at the corner of Water and George Streets downtown, the 150 seat bar and lounge features historical wood and stone features throughout. And, now for what you’re really interested in knowing: what about the beer? They will be pouring their core group of four beers, Yellowbelly Pale Ale, Wexford Wheat, St. John’s Stout and Fighting Irish Red, as well as a brand new beer, the YYT Cream Ale. Their Crooked as Sin cider will also be pouring. They will also be pouring a rotating line or two from other Newfoundland and Labrador craft breweries, as available, showing their love and support for the great shift happening in the province in the past few years. These will be announced on social media as they are tapped. Also available for sale will be YellowBelly merchandise and local treats, and there may even be the possibility of packaged beer available to go in the future (we’ll let you know when that happens!). Congratulations on the launch of the new location, it certainly proves that local beer in Newfoundland is taking off!

Tatamagouche Brewing is bringing back a favourite brew of theirs that first debuted at the start of 2018, their Crack of Dawn. This Breakfast Porter features a Horton Ridge Pale malt base, along with Chocolate Wheat and Oats to offer roast character and mouthfeel. The pièce de résistance is the addition of a cold brew preparation of barrel-aged coffee, this time around featuring Ethiopian green beans aged in a Bulleit Bourbon barrel before getting a light roast treatment from Tata’s neighbours at Meeting Waters Roastery just a few doors down Main Street. The resultant beer is 8.4% ABV, with significant coffee roast and barrel character complementing the full-bodied base Porter. This version, as well as the original release, was brewed with assistance and guidance from homebrew guru Brian Harvey (aka 1029Brewing) and our own acbbchris (former homebrewer, full time drinker). Due to the batch size, this version will only be available on tap, including at the brewery this weekend, as well as Battery Park and Stillwell in HRM, and at Tata’s tent at this weekend’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.

Tata is also debuting a brand new beer this weekend, one for the hop heads among us. Fish Hawke is an 8.4% ABV double dry-hopped Double IPA, featuring a variety of new school and old classic hops, all added after the boil is complete. Chinook and Centennial meet Azacca and Vic Secret insubstantial whirlpool and subsequent temperature-drop additions (this is the period while the wort rests post-boil, and helps to reduce the amount of trub is transferred to the fermenter). After fermentation is complete, two rounds of dry-hopping while conditioning were also undertaken with the same hop blend. Though the bitterness is tough to calculate, there will be some, but the flavour and aroma is the goal in this brew. Looks for Fish Hawke to debut on tap at the brewery and a couple of spots over the weekend, with a small number of cans being released at the brewery on Monday.

The fine folks at Big Axe Brewery have been extremely busy prepping for their second annual Big Axe Craft Beer Festival happening tomorrow (more on that in the events section below), but that hasn’t stopped them from brewing some new beers on their brand-spanking-new 10 bbl system in Nackawic! Launched this week if their Lumberjack East Coast Lager, a “Czech Amber Lager” brewed with summertime drinking in mind. Featuring a grist of Pilsner and Vienna malt, the brew was fermented with a Lager yeast strain and then allowed to lager at cool temperatures for four weeks. Richly malt, with bready and biscuity notes, it has a medium body to help support the sessionable 4.1% ABV, letting you enjoy a couple of these without feeling out of control (YMMV). On tap now at your favourite Big Axe tap account!

Fredericton’s TrailWay is releasing the latest iteration of El Generico, their constantly-changing fruited kettle sour. This time around, the 3.8% ABV beer had raspberry puree and lime juice added after fermentation, giving plenty of bright fruit aromatics, along with a high level of lime in the flavour. Look for it on tap and in cans at the brewery today at opening (11 am), and likely on tap at several licensees across the city. And in other TW news, they won a coolship (long, shallow, open-top vessel used to cool wort) at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, TN, which recently arrived at the brewery; they’ll be using this new addition to kick off their barrel-aged, sour beer program (naturally, don’t be looking for these beers anytime soon… it’s a long process!).

Heading over to Newfoundland, Port Rexton is putting two beers on tap at their taproom this weekend; while these beers aren’t new, exactly, they have been difficult to find in the past, making appearances at both Stillwell locations over the CBA weekend in May, and sporadically at Port Rexton. First up is Tyrannosaurus Brett, a Brett Porter brewed with acbbchris. Fermented entirely with Brett D, this one was aged for six months in fresh red wine barrels (one American, one French), giving aromas of “red wine, dark chocolate, berries and oak”, with fig and red grape notes as well. Finishing clean and dry, it weighs in at 5.9% ABV. Next is Brett Chops (6.3% ABV), which is the brewery’s flagship Horse Chops IPA, aged in red wine barrels (the very same used for Tyrannosaurus Brett) for six weeks with Escarpment Lab’s Brett D. The finishing beer has a light acidity, an aroma of “light barnyard funk, overripe mango, mild strawberry, and red grapes”, and stone fruit and a “pop rocks/candy” presence in the flavour, along with some wonderful Brett character. Stop by the brewery this weekend to satisfy your funk crave! Note that the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s has extended their hours for the summer, Friday 12-8 pm and Saturday 12-6 pm.

Back over to Rothesay, where Foghorn has a new beer on tap, named after a Billy Madison reference that I was supposed to Youtube, but forgot (oops!). The Blue Duck is a dark lager brewed along the lines of a Munich Dunkel. With a grist made up mainly of Pilsner malt, along with some CaraMunich, CaraAroma, and Melanoiden, it was fermented with a dry Lager yeast strain, and then lagered for over a month before its release. Bready, with a touch of caramel, it finishes light, clean, and easy-drinking at just 4% ABV. Enough malt character to satisfy your needs, but not too heavy to scare of those of you afraid of dark beers (stop it!). On tap at Foghorn now for pints and growler fills, at a few accounts in New Brunswick, and pouring at this weekend’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.

Propeller promised us last week that they’d have a new variation of their summer-favourite Hefeweizen this week, and staying true to their word, they’ve released Azacca Hopfenweisse, their latest Gottingen Small Batch.The brewery is describing the beer as a “fusion” of Hefeweizen with a “New World IPA”; while staying at a very-drinkable 4.8% ABV, the Azacca hop is featured prominently, providing aromas of tropical fruit and citrus, to complement the typical banana and clove character found in all good Hefeweizens. Highly carbonated, with a medium-light finish, you can find it on tap at Propeller starting today, where it will be available for growler fills only.

Remember when we told you last week that Good Robot would be re-releasing their Burban Legend this week? Well, turns out they decided to hold off on that, therefore turning the ACBB into a house of lies. Being the fine, fine people that we are, however, we’ll still tell you all about their latest Beta Brew, Pink Flamingo. This “Watermelon Kiwi Radler” was brewed with Giovanni, and has fresh watermelon and kiwi added, giving the 5% ABV beverage a pink colour, and a light, refreshing tartness. An infusion of tea from David’s Tea was also added; Look for it on tap at GR next Tuesday. Look for Leave Me Blue this week as well, which will mostly be available at various Pride events.

After many months of renovations and other preparations, Alma’s Holy Whale Brewing has opened their Riverview taproom location. Located in a former shipping container along the Petitcodiac River, you can find it at 391 Coverdale Rd., in the parking lot of the Riverview’s Chocolate River station. They’ll be pouring on 12 taps, with six dedicated to Holy Whale beers, and six to guest beers, with a focus on New Brunswick craft. They’ve also taken their small, test brewery equipment from Alma and installed it in the shipping container, so expect to see some very small-batch one-offs on tap over the coming weeks! Everything sold at the location will be for consumption on-site only, where there is seating capacity for 70, including space on the boardwalk to enjoy your beer(s). They’re open Wed-Thurs 5-9, Fri 4-9, Sat 1-9, and Sun 1-6.

A few beer related things you might get up to in the coming week:

Tickets have been sold out for some time, but the 2nd Annual Big Axe Craft Beer Festival – the largest outdoor craft beer fest in Atlantic Canada – is happening tomorrow, July 14th, from 4-8 pm in Nackawic. Those of you lucky enough to have grabbed your tickets will be treated to a gargantuan (I’ve always liked that word… so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence) number of vendors pouring their tasty beers, ciders, mead, and vodka, as well as five food trucks, 3 live bands, and one mechanical bull (BYO pen to sign the waiver, and BYO neck brace!). On top of all that, there’s outdoor drinking during a beautiful day, and free boat rides from 3-7 pm. The 40 attending breweries, cideries, etc. will be from across the Maritimes, as well as Ontario and Maine. One thousand people will be attending… have a great time!

The third “In Concert With” dinner from The Carleton will be partnered with Garrison Brewing and Upstreet, and is happening on Thursday, July 19th. “Chef Dolente’s Craft Draught Showdown” will involve five courses, each paired with two 4 oz beers (one from each brewery). Both Daniel Girard of Garrison and Mike Hogan of Upstreet will be in attendance to speak about the pairings, along with Chef Michael Dolente. Those of you attending will vote on your favourite beer at the end of the night. The event also includes live music; tickets are $55 + HST and can be purchased here.

Lastly, a couple more quick ones that might influence your weekend beer plans:

Breton Brewing has just kegged the second beer in their Summer Sour Series, Strawberry Rhubarb Kettle Sour (4.2% ABV). It’s available now in their taproom for pints and growler fills, and should be hitting tap accounts in the HRM sometime next week.
Lake City Cider has officially opened their taproom in downtown Dartmouth, at 35 Portland St. They’re open every day from 10am-8pm, so drop by to grab some cider-to-go, or to enjoy a pour at their new location.
Niche Brewing has brought back their “Hibiscus Sour Ale”, Ruby Tuesday (4.4% ABV). This fruity, tart, bright red beer will be pouring at select locations in Fredericton and Saint John, as well as at tomorrow’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.
Upstreet is now selling packaging two of their flagship beers, Do-Gooder and Rhuby Social, in 12 oz cans; the two join their other flagship, Commons, which they started canning a couple of months ago.

With the warm-ish weather we’ve been experiencing in the region this week we’re almost wondering if the Groundhog might have been right this year, which probably means an apocalyptic storm or four is just around the corner. To take your mind off this dreadful inevitability and the zombie apocalypse that will no doubt follow, we’ve once again collected all the beer news we could find in the region this week and put it all in one place.

• It looks like Boxing Rock has been playing around in the brewhouse lately, as they’ve just released Plum Crazy, a “plum-infused sour Porter”. Starting with a slightly-tweaked recipe of their Sunken Ledge Porter, where a portion of the mash was soured in the mashtun for 48 hours, with the remainder of the grist mashed in as normal. The resulting two worts were then combined in the kettle, and boiled as usual. After primary fermentation was complete, 120 lbs of plum puree were added for about a week, where the beer was then carbonated and packaged. The result is a 5% ABV brew that is “smooth, tart, and malty, with a bit of tannic character from the plums”. You should be able to find it in bottles now at the private liquor stores, in growlers at the brewery and farmer’s markets, and on tap at select licensees.

• Late last week, Big Axe managed to release a new beer despite receiving several new pieces of brewing equipment for their expansion. A Rye IPA, Aces & Eights was brewed with two types of rye malt: Flaked Rye and Pale Rye malt. Hopped with Amarillo and Citra, this 5.8% ABV beer is a light amber colour, with “reddish hues” (the picture we saw looked quite red!), and has a “slight peppery aroma” from the Rye additions. Look for it on tap at your favourite Big Axe account, and at the brewery taproom (which very well may BE your favourite Big Axe account, naturally!) for pints and growler fills.

• Halifax’s Propeller has a brand new beer available in cans, XPA. This “Extra Pale Ale” is their latest seasonal, hopped with Citra and Idaho 7, giving the beer “complex hop aromas of orange and apricot, finishing with a backdrop of resiny pine with hints of black tea”, according to the brewery. These 473 mL cans are available right now in both Propeller retail stores, and should be following at the NSLC sometime next week. Of course, it’s on tap at Propeller for growler fills as well, and will likely show up on tap around the HRM very soon.

• There’s another new Alpha Brew being released by our friends at Good Robot this week: All You Can Eat is being billed as a Coconut IPA. Featuring a “boatload” of toasted coconut (meticulously toasted by Kelly Costello herself), the beer has a base of Golden malt, and was hopped with both Topaz and Wai-Iti. It’s “smooth and creamy” and has an aroma matching a tropical fruit salad, with coconut! Keep your eyes open for it around Halifax, and of course you can find this 6.2% ABV, 43 IBUs newbie at the source (read: brewery taproom). But we’re not done… naturally there’s a new Beta Brew coming out next Tuesday! Creamsicale was brewed with local entrepreneur Krishna Parmar, and has a grist made up of Wheat malt, Oats, and barley, and hopped with Magnum, Mandarina Bavaria, and Zythos (to 32 IBUs). At 5.8% ABV, it tastes of “citrus and vanilla ice cream, with a very subtle hop profile”. Finally, the brewery has just finished their second canning run, so you can now pick up Tom Waits For No One American Stout in 16 oz cans at the brewery.

• Bucking tradition slightly, TrailWay released their weekly one-off a bit early this week, on Wednesday. This is their latest rendition of Binary, their rotating SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) brew. Golden Promise is the malt of choice, and this time around they went with the Australian hop variety Ella. This hop has been seeing more and more action in many brews in Atlantic Canada, and is known for the floral and spicy aromas it imparts in beer, along with a grapefruit and tropical flavour. This batch is bigger than their typical one-off, so expect to see some cans of this 6% ABV hoppy brew at select ANBL stores, in addition to at the brewery taproom.

• Today Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is bringing back a summer favourite a little early, possibly in the hopes of inspiring this unseasonably warm weather into even more unseasonable territory. You might remember Sour MFer, the kettle soured wheat beer aged on a metric fuckton of tart cherries. Well it’s back, and this time it spent some time refermenting with Brettanomyces lambicus, which is known for tending to impart a cherry-pie like character. Even better, the beer also spent several months aging on oak. Available from noon for pints and fills at the brewery and/or Charm School Pub next door. Speaking of growler fills, did you know if you bring another brewery’s growler to Unfiltered, they’ll fill it? And they’ll even slap on a high-quality vinyl Unfiltered sticker before they send you on your merry way. How incredibly controversial!!

• If you head down to Tidehouse’s tinytastybeverageroom in downtown Halifax this weekend, you’ll find a brand new beer. The Atomium is a Belgian blond that comes in at 6.4% ABV. It was brewed with Pilsner, Vienna and a touch of Aromatic malt, bittered with Perle and flavoured with noble Czech Saaz. Brewmaster Peter Lionais then chose to ferment with a pair of Belgian yeasts to create a beer with a largely fruity profile contrasted with a touch of phenolic spiciness. This beer is also expected to hit the taps at the Stubborn Goat in the coming days.

Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse continues to churn out beer, belying their nano scale. Brewer/owner Keith Forbes has a couple brews bubbling away to keep the tap accounts happy. As mentioned last week (or was it the week before?), there’s a batch of Patrick O’Neil’s Irish Red coming for St. Patrick’s Day and a coffee-less version of Even Gooder Brown will be ready mid-next week, this one with a light-ish body, and chocolate, caramel and nutty flavors and an overall earthy presentation. And if you’ll be at the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest, look for Ol’ Biddy’s to make its debut at Newbie Night on March 9th. They’ll be bringing four beers at the event, Sackvegas Sour, Orange American Bastard, Disco Inferno Red IPA and a brand new one, brewed by Keith’s longtime homebrew buddy Michael Orr, Salty Fog Coconut Porter, a dark roasty beer with hints of chocolate, caramel and coconut, and finished with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.

Maybee Brewing is launching a new beer today, which will be the first of three over the next few weeks. Today’s newbie is Whistle Stop Belgian Pale Ale, a 6.5% ABV twist on the classic Belgian style. Amber-coloured, this brew was fermented with a Saison and Brettanomyces yeast blend, giving “upfront notes of biscuit, stone fruit, and bubblegum, with a European hop spice and citrus hop accompaniment”. Finishing crisp and dry, it will be released in kegs only for now (so look for it on tap at the brewery for growler fills, and at Maybee tap accounts in the province), but will also be available in bottles during Fredericton Craft Beer Week (starting March 5th).

• We mentioned last week (eventually…sorry guys!), that the 902BrewCast boys would be hosting a live recording of their Women in the Beer Industry Panel, an open discussion featuring Meghan Brennan (Garrison Brewing), Rebecca Atkinson (Sober Island Brewing), Laura MacDonald (Stillwell), and Kelly Costello (Good Robot Brewing). The event took place this past Monday evening and the team has already sliced ’n diced the raw tape into an episode available now. Get it direct from their website here, search it out in iTunes or your favourite alternative Podcast app, or twist the dial of your favourite podcast appliance (those exist, right?)

On top of the many events we’ve mentioned over the past couple weeks, there’s a couple new ones to throw out there today:

• Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. is celebrating reopening this week with an all-NL tap takeover. Beginning last night with a ticketed event that sold right out, it will continue into Friday and Saturday. Head down to the brewery during regular hours (4 PM to Midnight) today or tomorrow and find taps pouring from Port Rexton Brewing, Split Rock Brewing Co., Quidi Vidi Brewing Co., Yellowbelly Brewery, Storm Brewing and, of course, the hosts themselves! Flights will be available at $12 per and they’ll have 16oz pints besides. So head on down and experience a taste of the burgeoning beer scene on the Rock!

Battery Park is holding another one of their all-day tap takeovers next Thursday, March 1st, but this one will feature six Nova Scotia breweries, instead of just one. Small but Mighty will bring you kegs from Half Cocked, Lazy Bear, Off Track, Ol’ Biddy’s, Tanner & Co., and The Townhouse. Beers will be pouring from 11:30 am for the whole day, until the beer is gone! As always, there’s no charge to attend, just show up and enjoy some pints from some of the province’s smallest breweries! Many of the brewers will be there to soak up the praise, so don’t be shy!

• Interested in learning more about the brewing process? Saint John’s Big Tide will be hosting a Brunch & Brew on Sunday, March 25th from 10 am-1:30 pm. Head brewer Wendy Papadopoulos will educate attendees on the magic behind brewing, and you’ll also get the opportunity to take part in an actual brew day. Luckily, a two-course brunch and flight of beer is included in the ticket price ($40 + HST and fee), to keep you going! You can book your tickets here.

That’s it for this week!

– Harvey, New Brunswick’s Think Brewing has started bottling, and the first bottles (500 mL) of their Revelation IPA can be found at the Corbett Centre ANBL in Fredericton this weekend, with more locations to follow, soon.