Good morning, and welcome to the start of the long weekend! Before diving into cottage-time, family-time – whatever you have planned, as long as it involves some good beer! – let’s get cracking at a big pile of beer news…
• Cider lovers, we have some good news! This fall will bring the first Fredericton Cider Festival on Saturday, October 24th. Brought to you by those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, the afternoon event will be held at Brewbakers in downtown Fredericton, and will feature unlimited tasting (4 oz pours) of up to 30 different ciders. With several local craft cideries attending (including New Brunswick’s Red Rover, Scow Craft Cider, and Gagetown Cider Co.), as well as other big brands, there will be plenty of different offerings to sample! There are two ticket options: regular tickets ($56.50) will get you a tasting glass and unlimited pours from 1-4 pm, while a limited number of VIP tickets ($65) will allow for early entry at noon, plus a special information session on cider production. The event will be held outdoors on Brewbakers’ partially-covered deck; food from the restaurant will also be available for purchase. Attendees can expect to see some extra-special products at the fest, quite-possibly including New Brunswick’s first exposure to cask cider! Tickets go on sale online today at noon. We’ll have more info on the festival, soon!
• Unfiltered Brewing has a new beer out today, starting from their opening at noon. Double Orange Ale is a 7.5% ABV SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer featuring 2-Row Malt and Citra hops. Despite the rather low-lovibond colouring inherent in 2-Row Malt, the final beer colour is a beautiful orange, thanks to some special Nash-magic during the brewday. The beer is calculated at over 100 IBUs for bitterness, but the hops mostly shine through in a big, bold, and juicy aroma and flavour, without being brashly bitter. Pick up the beer in growlers at their North St location, or look for it on tap at bars and restaurants around the city.
• Flying Boats has released a new beer, Penny Wreck ESB. This moderate-strength (5.5% ABV) Extra Special Bitter exhibits a “significant caramel malt sweetness” with plenty of “biscuity, toasty, nutty malt character”, according to the brewery. Hopped to 37 IBUs with Warrior and Willamette (with some added later in the boil for flavour), it’s named after an incident in the late 19th-century, where a CPR train carrying 900,000 pennies derailed just outside of Dorchester, NB on its way to Montreal. You can currently find the beer on tap at Ducky’s in Sackville. And congrats to Flying Boats on their official launch party last night at Marky’s Laundromat in Moncton!
• Garrison Brewing released their three-way collaboration beer last night, Not So Gentle Tickle, brewed in early August when the folks from Metalman Brewing in Waterford City, Ireland and Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto were in town for the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. This 7.0% IPA was brewed with loads of whole leaf Amarillo, Citra, and Columbus hops throughout the boil, whirlpool, and with a generous dry-hop charge as well, for a 55 IBU final product. The hops give the beer a citrus, floral, and grassy aroma, and help to enhance the pleasant bitterness. A bit of Wheat and Carapils malts, along with the Pale Ale base malt, give the beer an orange hue with a vibrant and persistent head. Grab the Tickle on tap and in 650 ml bottles at the brewery and around Halifax now.
• And speaking of Garrison, more details have been released for their Hops ‘n’ Brats event taking place September 25th in collaboration with the Sausage Fest folks, and as the first event in the Halifax Oktoberfest weekend. Joining Garrison for the Hops at the event are Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Breton, Bulwark Cider, Gahan House, Good Robot, Meander River, Propeller, and Rare Bird. The Brats will be courtesy of Harbourstone, Scanway and T-Dogs. The event is from 5-11pm at the Sands on Salter location on the Halifax Waterfront, with tickets now available. Your $16 entry includes a sampling cup to keep and five drink tickets (with additional samples available at $2 each).
• As the hop harvest season continues to get underway, more wet-hopped beers are appearing in our region. Railcar will soon be releasing their wet-hopped Harvest Ale, featuring fresh Goldings hops from Southan Farms in Wicklow. Hopped throughout the boil to 68 IBUs, this 6.2% ABV beer will be released on Saturday, September 19th at the brewery’s Corn Boil, from 1-6 pm. Railcar has also begun a Community Supported Brewing program; there are several levels to buy into, each with varying “rewards”, including beer credit in their retail store and tasting room, glassware, brewery tours, and even the chance to shadow a brew day at the brewery. The program will be running until the end of September.
• In more harvesting news, Horton Ridge Malt & Grain did some of their own this week. Organic Hazlet and Danko varietals of rye were collected, and will be stored, tested for viability, and malted once the Malt House construction is completed later this year. The three-step malting process will happen in their building, with the steeping (wetting) of the grain, germination (preparing enzymes and starches for conversion in the mash), and kilning (drying and possibly roasting for flavour and colour). The malt house will be two floors, each of 316 m² (3400 square feet), for the floor malting process. The key malting equipment will be built by local crafts people whenever possible. In addition to their own grain, they will be malting grain from other organic farmers in the region, and, if necessary, meeting demand with western organic grain until the local supply is sufficient. They are looking forward to their first runs in December 2015, and supplying the local commercial and homebrewing communities. Be sure to follow along on their Twitter feed for updates on their progress, and we look forward to visiting when the building it completed.
• Schoolhouse Brewery also did some harvesting of their hops this week. Along with other local farmers’ wares, they will be doing a series of three 100% Maritimes-sourced brews, in keeping with their philosophy of using local ingredients whenever possible. While the exact beers have not yet been decided, they do have some ideas for the special release of them. They will be sold in half-cases of 750 ml bottles (two of each style), in December. They will be orderable from their website, and available through their Growler Bus delivery (which may also be available in Halifax for this special release). Stay tuned for more beer details!
• Pump House brewed the second iteration of their Stonefire Ale yesterday. Originally brewed last year to celebrate their 15th Anniversary, the 2015 edition has had the recipe “tweaked slightly” by the head brewer. A Stein Beer, it was brewed by immersing extremely-hot stones into the wort, which not only brings it to the necessary boil, but caramelizes the sugars in the process. The beer should be released in bottles by the end of October; we’ll have more information on the recipe changes at that time. For more info on last year’s release, check out our previous post. And in other Pump House news, they plan on releasing a new IPA in the near future; stay tuned for details!
• Big Axe has just released a new Fruit Beer, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, to celebrate the end of the summer harvest season. With a grist that includes dark Crystal malts and toasted Wheat, the beer was moderately-hopped (to 22 IBUs) to provide some aroma to blend with the caramel flavours from the malts. The real experience in this light-brown ale, however, comes from the addition of 10 lbs of local strawberries, and freshly-picked rhubarb, giving an aroma of “strawberry ganache”, according to the brewery. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV, and should be available now at the brewery’s tasting room, and soon on tap at Big Axe accounts.
• Over in Truro, The Nook and Cranny brewpub has released a new beer, White IPA. A style that combines the fruity esters and spicy phenolics of a Belgian Witbier with the fruity/citrusy hop aromas and flavours (and high bitterness) of an American IPA, this batch was hopped (and dry-hopped) with Cascade and Centennial to 42 IBUs, and fermented with Abbaye yeast to give it those classic Belgian characteristics. Drop by to grab a pint today!
• A new brewery in the development stage is looking to hire a head brewer! High Tide Brewery, based in Truro, is looking for a Head Brewer for their upcoming 15 BBL (17.5 hL) brewhouse. They are looking for someone immediately for their input and expertise on equipment choice and purchase; ideas for recipe and style choices are also welcome. Investment and partnership opportunities are available, as is an equity bonus program. Check out the ad at brewingwork.com for more details, and apply before the Sept 11 deadline.
Enjoy the long weekend! BarNone Brewing‘s latest batch of IPA is out now, and has been nicknamed the “Broken Scale” IPA, and features a big juicy nose from generous hop additions throughout the process. Halifax’s Gahan House Pub has a new beer on tap, the White Rhino Belgian IPA, weighing in at 6.7% ABV and a solid 55 IBUs. PEI Brewing Company has released their Harvest Time Lager, a 4.0% Golden Lager, and the Harvest Four-Pack (featuring it, the Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Blueberry Wheat Ale, and Black Banks Cascadian Dark Ale) is available at both the PEILCC and ANBL.
And don’t forget to head out to some of the great events happening in our region this weekend: Oktoberfest des Acadiens is happening now until Sunday in Bertrand, NB; Big Spruce and Breton Brewing are both hosting Food Truck Friday events at their breweries today (Cape Breton Brewery Crawl, anyone?); Upstreet in Charlottetown is holding their Block Party starting at noon tomorrow, to celebrate the release of their collaboration brew with Boxing Rock; or if you’re in Nova Scotia, maybe visit Meander River Saturday morning to help harvest their hops? Check their Twitter or Facebook feed for potential scheduling changes.