All posts tagged homebrewing

Welcome to November! I hope all of last night’s tricks were fun, and your treats were Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer.
• Big Spruce Brewing is holding a homebrew competition as part of their contribution to the Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration event, put on by Local Connections in January (we’ll have a full post on it soon). The full information is available on their Facebook event, but the important details are: The competition is open to all Nova Scotian homebrewers. The style of beer is an American IPA, BJCP style 14B, one entry per brewer. Registration of intent closes November 7th, and beers are due at the brewery by December 2nd. Registration is $25, and that includes a Big Spruce t-shirt. The brewer of the winning beer, as chosen by the judging panel, will brew their beer on the 7 barrel system at Big Spruce, and be released at the event in January. So, homebrewers, start your kettles, and be sure to email Big Spruce to receive and complete the registration form.
Celtic Knot Brewing has a new beer in the pipeline – an English Barleywine, “Toque and Mitts” was brewed with Maris Otter, Chocolate Malt, Wheat Malt, and Crystal 120 L. A dark and malty beer coming in at about 7.5% ABV, it has approximately 33 IBUs and is brewed with Willamette, East Kent Golding, and Belma hops. We’ll keep you updated as to when this beer is available; it should be out around the beginning of December, available where other Celtic Knot beers can be found, The Tide & Boar and Marky’s Laundromat.
• Details for the beers being poured at the Fredericton Poutine Festival next weekend are now available on the event’s ticket site. Grimross Brewing will be serving their recently-released Belgian Rye IPA, as well as a new beer, their Belgian Porter (details below). Picaroons will be pouring their Yippee IPA, Blonde Ale, Winter Warmer, and 104th Regiment. McAuslan Brewery will have their Pale Ale, Apricot Wheat, and Oatmeal Stout, and McClelland Premium Imports will be bringing Steigl, Erdinger Dunkelweizen, Affligem Blond, and Fruli. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet as to what beers Pump House will have at the event. There’s still some tickets to the festival available; remember, the regular ticket gets your four 4 oz beer samples, while the “Beer Experience” gives you twelve samples.
• Back to Grimross Brewing, their Belgian Porter is just about finished and ready for release. A dark brown beer best thought of as a Brown Porter fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, it is described by owner/brewer Stephen Dixon as having a roasted aroma with hints of chocolate and dark candy, and flavours that start with roast and finish with chocolate and syrup. As mentioned, it should be pouring at the Fredericton Poutine Festival, and will likely be available in growlers at the Picaroons Brewtique soon!
• And in even more Grimross news, their beers are starting to make their way to Moncton! The Belgian Rye IPA has recently been available on tap at the Tide & Boar, and has reportedly been selling very well. Dixon has confirmed that this beer will continue to be sold at the T&B for the time-being, so if you’re in Moncton and haven’t tried it yet, now’s your chance! Check out their latest blog post for more thoughts from the Grimross Team.
• Continuing with new-beer news, Hell Bay Brewing has released their new seasonal beer, Wee Heavy. A Strong Scotch Ale brewed with six different malts, it’s described by the brewer Mark Baillie as “a slightly sweet, rich and malty beer with caramel flavours and hints of smoke”. Coming it at 8% ABV and just under 20 IBUs, it’s currently available in bottles at the brewery, and should be arriving at Premier Wine & Spirits in Halifax this weekend.
Paddy’s Pub in Wolfville has released their newest seasonal beer, S’Mashed Pumpkin Ale. Weighing in at 5.2% ABV, the beer features a bright orange colour and hints of pumpkin pie spice, backed up by clean malt flavours of pilsner, Vienna and crystal malts. Like their Acadian Cream, Raven Scottish Ale, Annapolis Valley Ale and Blueberry Ale, the S’Mashed is also available in growlers at the pub. Unfortunately, their Chimney Swift Stout is not available in growlers, as it is served on nitrogen, and this technique does not fare well in bottles.
• Meanwhile, it looks like the Gahan House Pub plans on having a new beer to release soon. Details are extremely slim, but it appears to be brewed with locally-grown hops; where exactly the hops are from, however, remains to be revealed. It appears that the beer has been brewed at the pub, and not at the PEI Brewing Co.
• If you’ve been itching to get your hands on one of those hand-crafted Shiretown Beer steins, they’re available again! This is the third release of the mugs, which are made by Monique (Bujold) Brown of Barlicoco Pottery. Only 15 were made; at $35 each, they’re going fast. They can be purchased at the brewery, or check out their Facebook page for availability.
• A reminder that Garrison Brewing is serving up some special beers as part of their King’s Wardroom Wednesday Firkin events. This week’s beer was “Jack’O’Dubbel”, a Belgian Dubbel style Pumpkin Ale. If you are a King’s student, alumni or friend of one, don’t miss out on these special one-off releases, tapped promptly at 4:30pm.
The Antigonish Townhouse is catching up with the great demand for their in-house brewed beer, and Terry’s Best Bitter is in steady supply these days. The beer is treated like a traditional Real Ale and is cask conditioned and on hand-pump, so best drunk fresh, right at the bar, we figure. 🙂 We’ve not had a chance to try it yet, but reports are very favourable.
Stillwell Beer Bar is hiring a couple more people for their soon-to-be-open location. They are looking for both kitchen and front-of-house folks to round out their excellent team. Check their Kijiji ad for more details. Number one requirement: must love beer! There’s been a ton of work done at Stillwell since our visit last month; we’re looking forward to sitting down for a great pint soon!
• Finally this week, tomorrow is Learn to Homebrew Day. Organized by the American Homebrewers Association, this event is aimed at new (or soon-to-be-new) homebrewers looking to learn a bit more about their hobby, but all are welcome to take part. Despite its name, the AHA is an international organization, and there are events taking place in Atlantic Canada. Support your local homebrew shop and ask if they’ll be putting on an event. If not, why not offer to do one to share the great hobby with your friends and family? Sure, they always appreciate that bottle of homebrew you bring to the party/wedding/wake, wouldn’t they like to know how you made it? In Nova Scotia, Noble Grape is showing off a partial mash brewday at their Burnside store beginning at noon, and the Brewnosers are hosting a full mash brewday in Halifax, beginning at 10am (yes, it does take a bit longer to do a full mash, but the results speak for themselves!). Come on by if you are interested in learning more.
And stay tuned early next week, as we’ve got a great interview with a couple of members of the Ladies Beer League regarding the Cask Event taking place at the Stubborn Goat Gastropub November 17th.

Another full week of Atlantic Canadian Beer News, and we’ll focus on the Garrison Brewing Home Brew-Off, whose results were announced last night at a great gala.


Kellye Robertson, with some of her 2012 Home Brew-Off winning beer, Kellye R’s Wild Rye’d IPA

Last year’s Brew-Off winner, Kellye Robertson, was in attendance to help launch “Kellye R’s Wild Rye’d IPA”. The beer was on tap, and the double-dose of Citra she and Brewmaster Daniel Girard used really comes through, and it’s great! I can see this beer selling out quickly, so be sure to pick it up soon, where better beer is sold. Brian Titus also announced that after she finishes her diploma at the Niagara College in the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, she will be returning to work at Garrison. Welcome aboard!


Garrison Brewmaster Daniel Girard

Daniel spoke about the challenges of scoring and picking winners from 69 entries. They had to change their plan this year to taste and evaluate the beer in groups of 8, with several folks helping to whittle it down to a final four. The final four were judged the day of the gala, by three BJCP-certified judges, and from them, the winner was chosen. And the winner is… Peter Welton!


2013 Home Brew-Off Winner, Peter Welton. pic courtesy of @NobleGrape

The judges loved the carbonation level and clarity of his beer, and thought it was a great example of the Belgian Blonde style. Peter will be brewing his beer with Daniel in the spring. Congratulations, Peter! Also congratulations to Andrew, Gerald and Dewi for top four finishes. We were fortunate to try all of the beer, and they were all great. Well done!


Former Home Brew-Off winners Brian Harvey, Adam Comeau and Scott Tilford

I was also lucky enough to snap a picture of the 3 previous Brew-Off Winners in front of the trophy now on display at Garrison (only 4 years late). Brian Harvey (2009, Harvey’s Bitter), Adam Comeau (2011, Adam Und Eric’s Neuschottland Schwarz Black Lager), Scott Tilford (2010, Nit-Wit Belgian Wit).

In other important news, next year’s Home Brew-Off style was announced (after much poking and torturing of Mr. Titus), and it is BJCP Style 15A: Weizen/Weissbier. So start your kettles now, homebrewers! This is one of my favourite styles of beer, so I’m looking forward to brewing up a few test batches to perfect a recipe for submission.

In other Garrison news, their next One Hop beer will be released soon, and it will be showcasing the Citra hop. I’ve got word that there might be more than one batch of this made, which means we won’t run into a sold-out situation like we did with the Comet release. As I mentioned above, I’m a big fan of Citra, so I can’t wait!

Hello again beer fans!

A few updates since last week:

  • We had a great time at the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest at the Delta Fredericton Saturday. There were over 100 beers available from lots of local and farther afield favourite breweries, as well as  representatives from some new breweries that will be coming on the scene very soon. We’ll have a full report shortly. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers for a wonderful event! Looking forward to next year (they’ve already got some breweries signed up to return!).
  • Speaking of New Brunswick Beer Fests, the Saint John Beer Fest will be taking place April 13th at the Market Square in Saint John. Their VIP tickets are selling fast, so jump on them now. We’ll have a full write-up, with brewery and beer list, next week.
  • Also in Saint John, taking place at the Saint John Alehouse is Maple Mania, March 23rd. Picaroons Maple Cream Ale on cask along with lots of food cooked with or pairing with maple syrup. Sweet! Get your tickets at the Alehouse.
  • Attention Hop Heads: The Double IPA is back again from Propeller Brewing Co in Halifax. It is at the PropShoppe now, and will be in the private beer stores and NSLCs shortly. Sorry, not available in NB, PEI or NL.
  • It’s been on tap in Port Williams for a week, and Sea Level‘s  Dussel-port Altbier is now available for sale in cans at the brewery in Port Williams, and  Bishop’s Cellar, Harvest Wines, and Cristall Wine Merchants in Halifax.
  • The gala for Garrison Brewing Co‘s Home Brew-Off is next Thursday, when they will announce this year’s winning Blonde beer. We hear that there are at least two Brewnosers in the final four! It also means that last year’s winning beer, Kellye Robertson’s Rye IPA (name TBA at the gala), will be released the same night. We’ll be there for a full report, this event never disappoints!
  • The Coast’s annual Beer Guide is out this week, with lots of good articles on homebrewing for the Garrison Brew-Off, our friends at Bridge Brewing, NS cider and the weekly firkins at Rockbottom Brew Pub. Pick it up across Halifax, or read the digital flip version here.

Finally, you will be seeing another new handle posting articles and profiles soon. Shawn is a homebrewer and lover of all things beer, living in Fredericton. I managed to corner him at the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest, and he has graciously agreed to help Nick and I to keep the info flowing. There’s plenty of beer news in Atlantic Canada to keep us all busy, and only signs of it ramping up further! Thanks Shawn!