Garrison 2014 Home Brew-Off Challenge

All posts tagged Garrison 2014 Home Brew-Off Challenge

Good morning, beer lovers! We hope everyone had a great week… how about some local beer news to lead you into the weekend, and a St. Patrick’s Day Monday?

The YellowBelly Brewery and Public House has re-released their Paddy’s Pale Ale. This 6.2% ABV beer is actually a Rye IPA; brewed with rye malt, Carastan, Munich, and a large percentage of Canadian Pale Ale malt, it is hopped with Galena and Cluster varieties – including two dry-hop additions – to about 60 IBUs. Described by Brewmaster Liam McKenna as having a very fruity aroma, slight peppery rye character in the taste, and a bitter finish, it’s on tap now; bottle availability is still up in the air.

Picaroons is planning a tap takeover at Plan b Lounge in Moncton on Friday evening, March 28th. All of the taps will feature Picaroons beers, one of which should include a special dry-hopped version of their Yippee IPA. Gravity Strike will also provide live music. Just a reminder, too, that the sold-out Picaroons tap takeover at Stillwell is tomorrow, March 15th; more info on that event in our previous post.

• While on the topic of Picaroons, they’re holding a special event at the Saint John Ale House on Saturday, March 22nd. “Maple Mania” starts at 6:30 pm, and features a multiple-course, maple-infused dinner from chef Jesse Vergen (who also took part in Top Chef Canada). There will also be live traditional fiddle music, followed by other entertainment. Of course, there will also be Picaroons Maple Cream Ale pouring… on cask! Tickets are $60 (price includes at least one beer) and can be purchased at the Saint John Ale House; there are a limited number available, and the event is close to sold out.

• For those of you living in PEI, there’s some good – albeit, odd – news if you’re looking for bottled beer after the PEILCC has closed their doors for the evening. CBC News reports that restaurants on the Island are now allowed to sell takeaway PEI-brewed beer (after they’ve applied for the appropriate licence, of course), up to 12 bottles per person (or two bottles of wine or spirits). The catch? Well, you have to actually “purchase and consume a full-course meal” before you can take away the beer. Whether this means you have to clean your plate, we’re not sure! And we won’t even get into the whole “Is soup a meal?” argument. Hours of sale are restricted from 9 am to midnight.

The Coast is currently conducting their annual Best of Halifax awards, where readers get to vote for their favorite eating and drinking establishments in Halifax, and more. Make sure you check out the online survey, and vote for your favorite beer-related categories, such as Best Brew Pub, Best Craft Brewery, Best Beer Selection, etc.

• Speaking of The Coast, they’ve just released their annual Beer Guide Edition, highlighting the important place beer plays in the city’s identity. Look for great articles about learning to drink and enjoy beer (hint, try many styles and brewers before deciding you don’t like a certain type of beer), Stillwell Beer Bar, the continued rise of women in the beer industry, a breastfeeding mother’s search for new beers, and much more.

The Pump House Brewery is getting ready to release their seasonal Maple Ale again. Brewer Scott MacLeod says that this year’s batch is very smooth, and a bit less sweet than last year’s; it has an ABV of 5%. All of the maple syrup used in the brew was locally-sourced, from Maritime maple sugar camps. It will be available on tap at the brew pub location, and will be available in bottles across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, within the next two weeks.

• Nyanza Cape Breton’s Big Spruce has brewed up a Scotch Ale to celebrate their first anniversary. Brewmaster Jeremy White has designed it to be a true Scotch Ale, hopped to about 26 IBU with Goldings, with lots of Roast Barley goodness on the palate. From Jeremy, “We intend to cask as much of it as possible, and age/fortify it with Glenora single malt. All Cape Breton, all local.” Once we have details on the beer’s release, we’ll be sure to pass it along.

• Yesterday, Propeller Brewing Company released their newest seasonal beer, Irish Red Ale. Weighing in at 5% ABV, and hopped with Willamette, the beer is meant as  “a tribute to the classic red ales of Ireland”, according to new Brewmaster Josh Adler. It is available now in 650mL bottles and growlers at both Propeller locations, and as well as the private stores. It will also be on tap around Nova Scotia.

• A reminder that the Ladies Beer League will be brewing with Emily Tipton at Boxing Rock tomorrow, taking part in the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. They’ll be brewing up the “Alewife’s Revenge”, their take on the Unite Pale Ale, featuring local cranberries. The fruits of their labours will be available beginning April 17th in growlers and bottles at the brewery and markets, and in bottles at the private stores, along with a few kegs around the province. The charities benefitting from a portion of the sales will be the Pink Boots Society and Shelburne County Women’s FishNet. The FishNet is a non-profit support network for Shelburne County women, seniors and youth. Its mission is to support women and their families in reaching their full potential as community citizens.

• Last, and certainly not least, the gala for the Garrison Brewing Home Brew-Off was held last night at the brewery. There was a great turn-out for the event, that saw 76 different Weizen’s vie for the title of best in show. This year’s winner was Jason McDougall of Halifax, congratulations! This homebrewer has been brewing for more than ten years, but this was the first time brewing a Weizen (and also the first time entering a contest!). Chris had a chance to try the winning beer, and it was certainly worthy! All of the four finalists’ beers were great, and Kirsten & Keely, Roger, and Ed were very deserving of their Final Four placement. One noted absence was the winning beer from 2013’s Home Brew-Off. Unfortunately, while winning brewer Peter Welton was in attendance, his Saint Peter’s Belgian-Style Strong Ale was not quite ready for primetime. As Brian and Daniel said at the festivities, you cannot rush a beer, so they decided to let the fermentation and conditioning finish in due time. Look for this 7.5% ABV Blonde to hit stores and bars late next week. Brian also spilled the beans that they will be doing their first brews at their new location across the street next week. This 30hL brewhouse will effectively triple their production, and allow for continued expansion across the country. We’ll have more details soon.

• A late addition to the blog: The winners of the “Best of the Fest” for the 2014 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival have been announced. Several hundred ballots were cast electronically after the fest, and the favourite Breweries of the Fest were Le Naufrageur (Carleton-sur-mer, Quebec), Boxing Rock Brewing (Shelburne, NS), and Bad Apple Brewhouse (Somerset, NS). Congratulations to the winners, and all breweries in attendance!

Have a great weekend, and a great St. Paddy’s Day! Remember, say “no” to died-green beer, and celebrate the holiday by drinking some good, local craft beer!

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!

Happy Friday everyone! After a couple of slow weeks due to the holidays, we are back and bigger than ever! Lots of news this week, so let’s get right to it.

• Last month, we mentioned the Great Canadian Beer Expo, a travelling beer festival, would be coming to six different cities in the Maritimes, starting in late January. While we had never been able to get solid details or a beer list from them (which we had contacted them for several times, in hopes of doing a full write-up), we thought it was worthy of a quick mention on the blog. In the past week, thanks to some detective work begun by members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club, it has been determined that the event might have been nothing more than a work of fiction dreamed up by a single man, Jonathan Brett. He had previously organized “Mud Immortal“, a fall event in St. John’s, Newfoundland, that came under fire for poor management, dangerous conditions, and not following through on promises of charitable donations. In the last couple of days, the events have “officially” been canceled, and people who have purchased tickets should have received information on how to get refunds.

• On a happier note beer-festival-wise, we are looking forward to two legitimate and ANBL-approved events taking place this spring: the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival being held at the Fredericton Convention Centre March 8th, and the Saint John Beer Fest at Market Square April 5th. Tickets for both are still available, we hope to see you there!

• As the initial launch of Red Rover Brewing Company gets closer, co-owner/brewmaster Adam Clawson has confirmed that the plan is to have up to four varieties of cider available when the Ciderhouse opens towards the end of the month. With a spring, summer, and fall cider pouring, along with a “surprise” variety, there should be plenty to satisfy the palates of cider fans in New Brunswick! Look for their ciders to be available for growler fills at their Ciderhouse location, as well as on tap at various bars/restaurants in the area. Check back here for more details, and keep an eye on the Ciderhouse Twitter page for the latest availability.

• It’s been a busy first two weeks at the Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS. The first customers arrived mid-morning December 31st, eager to pick up the American Pale Ale from Atlantic Canada’s newest brewery, and the visitors haven’t slowed down since (even during the nasty weather last week). As promised, the Black and Tackle Russian Imperial Stout is being released Saturday, on sale in bottles and growlers at the brewery. This robust beer features a boatload of roast coffee and chocolate flavour and aroma, with a nice hop bitterness to balance it out. It weighs in at 9%ABV and 110 IBUs (calc). Look for it on sale in HRM soon. BAB-branded glasses join t-shirts and decals in the shop. At 20oz, they are a proper glass for a proper beer! Drop by today, the brewery hours are 3-8pm Mon-Thurs and 1-10pm Fri-Sun.

The Lunar Rogue Pub in Fredericton will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. For this special event, Picaroons is brewing up a series of seasonal beers that will be available exclusively on tap at the Rogue; the first beer should be pouring sometime during the week of January 27th. The style of beer has not yet been announced; however, they ARE looking for some help in naming it. If you think you’ve got a catchy title for this new beer, post it to the Facebook page of either Picaroons or the Lunar Rogue – if your entry is selected, you’ll win a Picaroons Draught & Dinner Party for six, valued at $300. Enter as many names as you like; deadline for submissions is next Friday, January 17th. We’ll keep you updated on details of the new beers as they become available!

• The Pump House Brewery just tapped another new beer at their brewpub location in Moncton. Pompier à Vos Garde is in the style of Biere de Garde (meaning “beer which has been kept or lagered”), a farmhouse ale originating in Northern France. The style ranges from blond to brown; Pump House’s take is of the brown variety, and is brewed with 2-row, Crystal, and Carafa dark malts. Described by the brewery as being lightly hopped with “three distinctive hops”, the beer should have some fruity esters noticeable in the taste, and be quite smooth despite the 7% ABV. Get down to the brewpub before it’s gone!

• Tomorrow, Jan. 11th, is Sir John A. MacDonald’s birthday, and the PEI Brewing Co. is celebrating with two separate events. First, there will be free live entertainment and birthday treats available at the brewery from 1 pm – 5 pm, along with brick-oven pizza and beer. At 8 pm that evening, the doors will open for more music, food and beer, with live bands starting to play at 9 pm. Cover for the evening session will be $10 per person. While there are no one-off beers planned for the event, all of the regular PEI Brewing Co./Gahan beers will be pouring, with special emphasis, of course, on their Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale.

• Speaking of the PEI Brewing Co., they’re partnering with PEI 2014 to help celebrate the province’s 150th anniversary, or sesquicentennial (and yes, I did have to re-check the spelling on that word). The brewery is releasing a Fathers Commemorative Beer Pack, a 4-pack of some of their regular-release beers that have been re-branded and re-labelled for this packaging. Included will be Blueberry Ale (re-named 1864), Coles Cream Ale (Premier George Coles; note that this beer was previously only available on tap), Iron Bridge Brown Ale (Colonel John Hamilton Gray), and, of course, Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale. Four-packs should be available at PEILCC stores and at the brewery today; look for them in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Ontario in the coming weeks.

• Today, the Stubborn Goat Gastropub is starting up a new series, Cask Fridays. They want to showcase this special way of  serving beer that is especially friendly to one-off or unique twists on regular beer (sometimes with added fruit, whisky, oak, or other interesting ingredients). Today’s first event will feature Garrison Brewing, with cask-conditioned versions of their Winter Warmer and Spruce Beer, tapped at 4pm. The Goat has also put out the call for other breweries interested in taking part in the first of many events; contact Geir to be a part of it!

• Speaking of Garrison, were you considering entering the 2014 Garrison Home Brew Off? If you need a little push, Steven Haynes from Noble Grape will be at Garrison from 10am-2pm on Saturday the 18th doing an all-grain brewing demonstration of a Weizen (this year’s competition style). It’s the perfect opportunity for home brewers of all experience levels to drop by and learn about brewing this style of beer. Entries are due Feb 20th, plenty of time to brew, but don’t wait much longer! Entries can be dropped off at Garrison or your local Noble Grape.

• Also in Garrison news, they are partnering with a University of King’s College professor to bring the students of his Brewing Science course some special experiences this term. They will be hosting lectures (at the brewery) and leading some short seminars (Cask Ale and sensory workshops), ensuring a new generation of good beer lovers. Where were these courses when we were in school!? I wonder if I could audit it?

• Next Saturday, January 18, Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar is hosting a tap/cask takeover featuring Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing and Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing. It is a closed event, from 12-5pm, requiring a ticket (available at the bar or by email), after which the bar is open to all. Your $10 will get you first crack at some great beer and food, a special glass to take home, and a drink ticket. From Boxing Rock: Many Hands Pale Ale (their collaboration with Halifax’s Bridge Brewing, and the last keg around!), Hunky Dory Pale Ale, Temptation Red Ale, Crafty Jack English Brown, U-889 RIS with Vanilla beans, Vicar’s Cross IIPA. From Big Spruce: Tim’s Dirty (recent homebrew competition-winning IPA), Blackout Conundrum (brewed over two days when the power went out at the brewery), Organic Conspiracy IIPA (collaboration with Crannóg), Regatta Red (first time on tap at Stillwell), Bitter Get’r India Black IPA, Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. And the brewers from both breweries will be there to talk shop and answer all of your questions.

• Monday, January 13th, Halifax brewpub Rogues Roost is hosting their second Brewmaster Monday event. For $15, attendees will receive a sample of all six beers currently on tap (including their Blueberry Wheat, just released this week), and have a chance to chat with brewer Jake Saunders about the process of brewing, from recipe development to brewday to serving. These events serve as a great way to introduce folks to the art and great taste of craft beer. Contact Husky Communications on Twitter or Facebook to grab tickets. This edition of the event is almost sold out, but have no fear, they will be doing it again on January 27th!

• And if you’re looking for even MORE beer events in Halifax, the Rockbottom Brewpub is planning a series of monthly beer dinners, with the first being held on January 27th. Starting at 6 pm, the meal will consists of three courses, paired with three separate Nash beers. Tickets are $30; the menu and beer list will be posted on Rockbottom’s Facebook and Twitter pages soon.