Hart & Thistle

All posts tagged Hart & Thistle

Another busy news week in our region, including some regulation change in Nova Scotia that will make your life easier. Let’s dive right in!

• Terrific news, New Brunswick! Hammond River Brewing has had their four flagship beers – an Extra Special Bitter, American IPA, India Red Ale, and Oatmeal Stout (infused with Star Anise) – approved by the ANBL, meaning that they can now be sold to thirsty customers! While the beers should start popping up in the Saint John area any day now, the official launch of all four beers will be at the Saint John Ale House on Thursday, Feb. 13th. You will also be able to find Hammond River beers at Bourbon Quarter, The Barrel’s Head, and The Shiretown Publicans.

• If you live in Fredericton, you probably remember the opening of the King Street Ale House in November, and the Smoked Porter, Ember Ale, released by Picaroons exclusively for that location. Well, good news if you’ve been missing it – the KSAH will be tapping a cask of the original brew tomorrow at 3:00 pm. It’s part of their first “Beer, Bourbon and BBQ” event, where they will be featuring exclusive items from their smoker, bourbon, and, of course, beer! Look for future casks to pop up there from time to time; and who knows… Picaroons MAY brew the beer again in the future!

• In other Picaroons news, earlier this week they put a new beer on tap at the Brewtique. A Pale Ale, the beer is the first of four that were brewed before Christmas with different Engineering groups from the University of New Brunswick. Each group paired up with Picaroons Head Brewer Andrew Estabrooks to create a different beer style. Once the Pale Ale is out, look for the three other beers to follow shortly after; they include a Belgian Wheat, a Coffee and Vanilla Bean Stout, and the crowd-favorite, a Maple Wheat.

• And continuing on, the first beer brewed by Picaroons to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Lunar Rogue was tapped on Wednesday night. A Parcel of Rogues has finally been revealed to be an Amber Ale brewed mainly with Mild malt; some Honey malt was also used to add a “delicate sweetness” as described by Marketing Director Dennis Goodwin. A full-bodied beer, the alcohol level of 4.6% ABV keeps it fairly sessionable and easy-drinking. The beer is, of course, limited, so get down to the Rogue to have a pint or two to help them celebrate!

• With only five weeks to go before the 2nd Annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival on March 8th, the final breweries are now confirmed, and tickets are over 80% sold out. Looks like there’s going to be a great showing from craft breweries in our region; many of these smaller breweries have limited distribution (for now), so this gives a lot of us a terrific opportunity to sample their beers! We should have a list of breweries/beers being served at the festival in the near future – hopefully next week – so stay tuned here for an update!

• Great news for Nova Scotian beer fans: the NS government announced earlier this week that Brewpubs may now fill growlers during opening hours. This means that the pubs will no longer be forced to fill growlers during off-hours, but are permitted to do so on demand. Forget having to call the day before to request a growler, or worry that the pre-filled supply might run out before you visited after work. Different brewpubs will be handling it differently (some will permit you to bring your own, clean growler to be filled, while others will still be exchanging the bottles), so best to call or tweet your local brewpub to confirm. Rogues Roost and Rockbottom Brewpubs had already been selling growlers under the old regulations, and it looks like Hart & Thistle will use the changed regulations to begin to offer them next week.

Rockbottom Brewpub hosted their first Beer Dinner on Monday, to great praise by those in attendance. Three courses of food paired with three beers, for $30+tax and tip? Seems like a good deal to us! If you enjoyed the first one, or missed out, the next monthly dinner will be held Tuesday Feb 25. Call the pub at 423-2938 to reserve your spot now. Brewmaster Greg Nash will be on hand to chat food and beer. And a reminder that the RB has moved Firkin day to Wednesday, with a pin tapped at 4pm. And, beginning this week, they are whipping up a special dish to pair with the beer. This week’s pairing was Dry-hopped Pale Ale, paired with beer Mac & Cheese. Pop by to see what the mind of Nash has come up with next week!

• The Stubborn Goat is continuing their very popular Cask Friday today, with guest brewery Propeller offering up a pair of special brews. There will be a cask of their IPA, dry-hopped with Citra, as well as a cask of Vanilla Porter. The casks are tapped at 4pm, so get there early to avoid disappointment! Also, congratulations are in order for Propeller, as they celebrated the 100 batch of beer brewed at their new facility in Dartmouth. The expansion more than doubles their potential output, with lots of big fermentation and brite tanks to brew their core brand, and the extra space makes doing special recipes not as much of a drag on the system.

• Over in Newfoundland, the Beerthief and Beckett on Wine are hosting a terrific-looking beer tasting on Wednesday, Feb. 12th, featuring the oldest active brewery in the world – Weihenstephaner, from Germany. After a reception beer from Quidi Vidi, the tasting will begin with the excellent Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, followed by their equally-tasty Dunkelweizen and Vitus (Weizenbock). Each sample will be approximately 250 mL. Afterwards, they’ll be pouring each attendant a sample of the Belgian beer Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel – yes, it’s difficult to say, but it’s an excellent beer as well! The beers will be accompanied by fresh baguette and cold, rare, sliced roast beef; Beerthief and Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler will lead the tasting. The event will be held in the Hospitality Room at the Quidi Vidi Brewery at 7:00 pm; tickets are $28 each, with 75 seats available. To reserve your spot, send an email to tom.beckett@nl.rogers.com.

Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s start your weekend off with a few news stories from around the Atlantic Region.

Two weeks ago, we mentioned the start of the “Name the Beer!” competition that The Lunar Rogue was having in collaboration with Picaroons to celebrate the Rogue’s 25th Anniversary year. Well, the winner for the first beer has been selected – Duncan MacSporran, with his entry of “Parcel of Rogues”, is the proud owner of a Picaroons Draft & Dinner Party for six, valued at $300. Picaroons has already brewed the beer, but they’re still keeping silent on which style it is. However, you won’t have long to wait – the official launch of Parcel of Rogues will take place at the Rogue next Wednesday, January 29th at 7:00 pm.

• And hey, speaking of Fredericton… have you ever thought about knitting your own growler bag? No? Well, neither have we, but now’s the time to learn! This Sunday, January 26th, Yarns on York is having a 3-hour workshop for all levels of knitters to instruct you on how you can make a handy item to carry your growler around. The $50 fee includes materials and taxes; check here for more information.

Paddys Irish Brewpub has released a new beer at both their Wolfville and Kentville locations. Fitz’s Belgian Dubbel follows the style with a bronze-colored body, fruity and spicy aromas and flavors, light bitterness (with 25 IBUs), and “lively” carbonation. At 7% ABV, the beer has a pleasant warming sensation that is perfect for this time of year! Drop in at either location to try this new beer at the brewpub or get your growler filled.

• Looks like the Hart & Thistle has a new batch of brewmaster Greg Nash’s popular Commissar, a Russian Imperial Stout. A full-bodied stout with “notes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, raisins and figs”, it’s nicely balanced with enough bitterness at 117 IBUs (calc) to even things out. At 11% ABV, here’s another beer to warm you on these cold winter days and nights!

• Mike Buhler of the Beerthief Artisanal and Craft Beer group is hosting a Chimay Cheese, Beer and Food tasting at Clinched Bistro, January 29th. Pairing both cheese and beer from the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Scourmont, will be creations from Clinched’s co-owners Shaun Hussey (winner of 2012 Gold Medal Plates) and renowned pastry check Michelle LeBlanc, including Salt Cod and Lobster Bubbly Bake, Chicken and Waffles, and Chocolate, Cherries and Almonds pastries (actually paired with Liefmans Cuvee Brut). Tickets for the event are $165, and can be reserved by emailing Tom Beckett.

Robbie Burns Day is tomorrow, and Garrison Brewing has brewed up a few casks of Scotch Ale to celebrate. They released them to a few of your friendly neighbourhood bars, so be sure to grab a pint or two to celebrate along with fellow fans of The Bard, while enjoying some haggis. Look for it at Stillwell Beer BarCeilidh’s Pub (tapped at 4:00 pm), and at The Loose Cannon (to be tapped at 11:00 am).

• Speaking of Garrison, a little birdy (aka Twitter) has told us that their very popular Spruce Beer will be taking the ferry over to Newfoundland in the next little while. Look for it on the shelves of NLC stores mid- to late-February.

• Big Congratulations to Bridge Brewing in Halifax. In addition to this week being their one-year anniversary, last night they won the New Business of the Year from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. With expanded capacity, thanks to a few larger fermentation vessels, look for Bridge on tap at more and more establishments around the province in 2014. Well done to Peter, Josh and the whole Bridge family!

That’s all of the news for this week. Just a note that we had a wonderful time at the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food event last Thursday. Despite getting sprayed by an over-pressurized cask (not all bad when it’s whiskey-infused Oatmeal Stout), the evening went off without a hitch! Great to see so many craft beer brewers and fans in one place. And then on Saturday, we had a great time for the Stillwell Big Spruce and Boxing Rock tap takeover, and had great conversations again with the brewers and beer fans. Remember that craft beer can be as much about the great people behind the beer, as the beer itself!

Happy Friday everyone! It’s the last Wrap-Up of 2013, so we hope it finds you well. Despite the holiday break, there were a few new beer releases and stories we wanted to share with you.

• The PEI Brewing Co. has started a new beer series, in which they’re collaborating with Island chefs to brew new beers to be tasted and paired with certain foods as various restaurants across the province. They’ve released their first beer with Gahan Pub chef Dwayne MacLeod, a Munich Dunkel called Dwayne’s Dunkel Lager. A dark lager meant to be paired with “hearty winter fare”, this draft-only, 5.5% ABV low-bittered beer was brewed on the 7-bbl Gahan system in the traditional German way, with lots of Munich malt and cold-conditioned (“lagered”) to allow the flavors to mellow out. In the meantime, the brewers aged bourbon on whole vanilla beans and toasted oak chips; the extracted liquid was then added to the final, filtered product to result in an easy-drinking beer than can be enjoyed as a session beer or a slow-sipper. Described by the brewers as easy to enjoy with roasted vegetables, blackened meat, spicy dishes or rich cheeses, the beer mainly shines with desserts such as German strudel and French pastries. It’s currently available at the Gahan Pub in Charlottetown, and will likely pop up at a select few bars/restaurants in PEI and New Brunswick soon. Stay-tuned for more entries in the Island Chef series in the near future!

• Garrison Brewing has released a special beer, almost a year in the making: they aged their Grand Baltic Porter in rum barrels from Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg, NS for ten months. This is a very limited brew, with only 417 bottles available. This beer weighs in at 11% ABV, definitely picking up some tasty rum from the barrel (their regular Grand Baltic Porter is 9%). Tracy Phillipi of Garrison was kind enough to provide us with tasting notes: “With aromas of cherries & caramel, this ruby-brown specialty brew is balanced by flavor notes of coffee, smoke & leather. Not for the faint of heart, Barrel Aged Grand Baltic Porter leaves a dry warming sensation on your palate”. This beer is only available at the brewery, so pop down soon to grab a bottle.

• The story of Garrison’s Spruce Beer was highlighted on last night’s CBC The National program. Watch the video to follow along with the fun, from harvesting the spruce and fir trees, to brewday, bottling and release. Brewmaster Daniel Girard talks about the impetus and recipe development he went through with this beer, and President Brian Titus speaks about his initial hesitance to brew up the beer. There’s still lots left at the brewery and even the ANBL, so pick one up before it vanishes for another year.

• There’s a new beer on at the Hart & Thistle Gastropub, the “Off The Hop” India Pale Ale. Weighing in at 7.4% ABV and 52 IBUs (calculated), this beer features the Magnum, Summit, Cascade and Falconer’s Flight hop varieties, against a dry-bodied beer, allowing the hops to really pop. It joins Hop Mess Monster v4.0 and Dank & Stormy on tap.

Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS has released some details on which beers and swag they’ll have available for next week’s launch: The 5.7% ABV American Pale Ale will retail for $4 a bottle, and $10 a growler fill (on top of the refundable $7 growler fee). When they are available in early 2014, bottles of the 9% Black & Tackle Russian Imperial Stout will retail for $6, and growler fills for $14. The 11.6% Glenora Barrel-Aged version of the RIS will be $8.50 per bottle. Decals will retail for $2, and t-shirts will also be available in limited quantities.

As this is the last Wrap-Up of 2013, we want to thank you for following along with the Atlantic Canadian Beer Blog as we share the news and accomplishments of our local breweries, brewpubs, restaurants and bars. We’d like to thank everyone at these establishments who answer our emails and messages while we look deeper into the details of new breweries, beer releases and events, and wish you all the best in 2014. Remember to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a pint or bottle of beer from our excellent local craft breweries and brewpubs. Cheers from Shawn and Chris!