Local Connections Halifax

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We may have had a few days of nasty weather, but that certainly hasn’t slowed down the brew news in our region! Stay warm with all of the details on the goings-on in our local beer world.

North Brewing released a brand new beer late last week, Belgian Milk Stout. Brewed with 2-Row, Roasted Barley, Chocolate and De-bittered Chocolate malts, they also used lactose (milk sugar), for a bit of sweet character (lactose is not fermentable by most yeasts). Northern Brewer hops were used for bittering, and a light dose of Willamette was used late in the boil for aroma. A Belgian Stout yeast strain was used to ferment this first-in-the-region creation. The beer weighs in at 5.5% ABV, and will be available until spring in growlers, on tap, and in a North first, bottles! That’s right, North beers will now be available in 650 mL bottles from the private beer stores. The Milk Stout joins existing beers Strong Dark Belgian and Belgian IPA as the initial bottles available at Bishop’s Cellar and the other private stores. From a self-made 3-head counter pressure bottle filler, they are able to fill about 200 bottles in an hour, and are now using this gear to fill their 750 mL flip-top bottles. The benefit of using a counter-pressure filler is less foaming while filling, leading to less product loss, and better carbonation retention in the bottle.

Last month, we reported on a new beer being brewed by PEI Brewing Co. after the lifting of the limit on ABV for beers brewed in the province. Well, 8 Cord is being canned today (473 mL), and the 8.5% ABV beer should be ready for purchase at the brewery by the end of this weekend. This is a limited-edition Imperial IPA, so make sure you get some before it’s gone! Keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter accounts for exact release details. And remember, this is only the beginning of high-ABV beer styles from PEI Brewing – they’ve just brewed a Doppelbock, a strong, malty German lager. More on that new beer next week!

• And in other high-ABV-beer news from the Island, BarNone Brewing has just released THEIR Imperial IPA, The Little DIPA. Co-owner/brewer Don Campbell is still being a bit secretive on details (we’re not sure if this new beer has similar hop varieties to BarNone’s IPA), but he has indicated that “the hop load is definitely bumped up quite a bit over the IPA“. With an ABV of approximately 8%, expect a hefty amount of hop aroma and flavor in this beer!

• On the other end of the spectrum, BarNone has also released another new beer, Orbit Session. Similar to the regularly-available Summer Sessions (at 4.8% ABV), this new beer features Orbit, a blend of New Zealand hop varieties. Part of the “Hops With a Difference” aroma breeding program, the hops are selected “on their unique aroma and flavor characteristics, and brewing quality”. Both the Orbit Session and Little DIPA were supposed to be released at last night’s weekly Growler Night; however, due to weather conditions, the event was cancelled. Look for both beers at the brewery next Thursday evening for growler and grunter (their new 32 oz bottles) fills.

Tatamagouche Brewing Company has released another new beer this week, RR#2 Lager. It was brewed using only Crystal hops from their hop field on Rural Road #2 in Malagash. This 4.7% ABV beer was fermented as a lager, features a light body, and is very drinkable. It is available in growlers and kegs at the brewery, and in bottles at the brewery and Truro Farmers’ Market, and will be on tap at Stillwell, Obladee, and Stubborn Goat. Their North Shore Lagered Ale will also be making an appearance in 650 mL bottles, but for a limited time only. And once this beer is gone, it’s gone! We also have a little bit more information on their Festive Beer: it will be released in bottles and growlers at the brewery on Thursday, December 11th, and their Halifax launch will be a “Festive Brunch” at Stillwell on Sunday the 14th, in collaboration with the Ladies Beer League. We’ll share more details on the beer, and how to take part in the launch, as they become available.

Grimross had their first brew day on their brand new 10 bbl (~11 hL) system earlier this week, at their new location at 600 Bishop Dr. in Fredericton. A Belgian Blond Ale was the lucky beer style to be brewed; look for it to be released sometime in mid-December in growlers and select bars/restaurants in the area, when we’ll have more details on the beer. Also, the retail area and tasting room of the brewery should be open before Christmas, and they’re hoping to have their canning line installed soon. Hopefully we’ll be seeing canned Belgian-style beers released early in the New Year!

Paddys Irish Brewpub in the Annapolis Valley has released a brand new beer this week, the Tripel Tipple. This Belgian Tripel-style beer was brewed with Belgian Pale malt and sugar, with East Kent Goldings for bittering, and Saaz as later additions. A blend of Abbey and Saison yeasts were used to ferment the beer, and it finished at 7.75% ABV and 25 IBUs. This highly effervescent beer has a golden colour with slight yeast haze, and is sweet, smooth, and very easy drinking, with distinctive Belgian yeast characteristics. It is available at both the Kentville and Wolfville locations, and in growlers to go from either.

A.W.O.L. Brewery continues to inch closer to opening in Riverview, New Brunswick. Owner/brewer Robert Black is expecting to secure some additional financing next month, and should be purchasing his brewery equipment in January. In the meantime, Black has been brewing a lot of test batches, including a Chocolate Mint Stout last week. In addition, one of Black’s other beers, DAG Red Ale (a sweet Amber Ale brewed with rye-soaked oak chips) finished in first place for Canada in the SJPORR Challenge 2014, an international homebrew competition, early in the fall. Don’t worry, we should get to try it eventually – Black has confirmed this will be his first commercially-available brew!

• If you missed out on the inaugural run of New Brunswick Beer Tours that was held at the beginning of this month, good news! They’ve announced that their next tour will take place on Saturday, January 31st. There’s no itinerary set yet (the first tour included visits to Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Railcar, and Big Axe), but we’ll be sure to keep you updated when the schedule and tickets become available.

Meander River’s latest in a line of special brews, Haymaker Imperial India Brown Ale, was released last night. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, this big brown ale features 2-Row, Munich, Carapils, Caramel 120 and Midnight Wheat malts for a dark colour and coffee and black pepper finish. What makes this an “India” beer is the massive amount of hops used throughout the brewing process: Magnum, Cascade, Chinook and Centennial pushed the Meander River kettle to the limit with the sheer volume of hops in the boil. This beer really packs a punch! It launched on tap at Stillwell last night, and will also be available at Lion & Bright Café Wine Bar. Or, take a trip to Ashdale, and visit the farm today 4-6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11-5. The Honey Brown will also be available at the farm for growler fills.

Propeller is releasing the newest beer in their One Hit Wonder series today. Vanilla Porter is a dark beer with a grist containing 2-row, Wheat, Crystal, Melanoidin, Munich, and Roast malts. Coming in at 5.7% ABV and 24 IBUs, it’s hopped with Willamette and Fuggles to add a bit of earthiness to the aroma/flavor. All-natural vanilla is added to the brew to provide a higher residual sweetness than their regular-release Porter. You can find it on tap at both retail locations for growler fills, and it will likely pop up on tap at select bars in Halifax soon.

• In the world of mead, Sunset Heights Meadery is releasing a new limited-edition seasonal today, at Isaac’s Way at 5:30 pm. The name and details are being kept secret for now, but they’ve told us that it “tastes like a Christmas dessert, and is named for how you might feel when wrapped up in front of the fire”. Look for it on tap sometime next week at their other accounts: 540 Kitchen & Bar, The Blue Door, and The Grad House at UNB.

• The Brewnettes and Beerthief Artisanal Beer Club in Newfoundland are hosting a By Women, for Women tasting of Charlevoix beer December 16th, at NLC Howley Estates. The guided tasting will focus on six beers from this Quebec brewery, and include light snacks. Tickets are $25 per person, and will sell out by the end of the weekend, so grab them today. More details, and updates, can be found on the Beerthief forums.

• A reminder to homebrewers that the Inaugural Beerthief Homebrew Competition is being held at the end of December. Full rules have been posted, so be sure to check them and enter. For this first year, BJCP styles 13A. Dry Stout and 14B. American IPA are the focus. Beer must be dropped off in St John’s between Dec 10-15, with the judging taking place the next week.

• Tickets for the Local Connections Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration are just about gone, so be sure to grab yours now to avoid disappointment. The popular event returns to the Halifax Club January 15th, 2015, and will see beer from 14 different Beer and Cider producers from Nova Scotia. As in previous Local Connections events held at the Halifax Club, each of the Seven Rooms will have a theme, and will feature both beer and food. Updates are being posted to their Facebook page with a description of the rooms, and we can say that this will be the inaugural event for the new Wrought Iron Brewing Company, a new brewery opening in Halifax. Tickets for the Celebration are available online.

• Due to this week’s storm, the third Burgers n’ Beer event scheduled for last night had to be cancelled. Don’t fret, though, it has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 9th, from 8:00 – 10:30 pm. And if you weren’t able to make the original date, good news… there’s still a few tickets left for purchase!

We hope you have a fantastic weekend! While out and about, why not stop by Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston – their new dark seasonal beer, La Buckdjeuve, is now available! Or swing by Shiretown if you’re in their area – they are hosting a tasting this evening at the Heron’s Nest Cottages at 7pm, and will have several beers available, including the re-release of their IPA, Hops on for Nowhere. And don’t forget that the 2015 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival tickets went on sale today at 10:00 am… remember, last year’s VIP tickets sold out in 3 hours, so get on it! And today is Canadian Beer Day, so be sure to celebrate with a bottle or pint of something local.

Happy long-weekend Friday, everyone! After several weeks absolutely chock-full of beer news, it looks like things have slowed down – slightly – as everyone gets ready for Thanksgiving…

• The long wait is almost over… Railcar Brewing should be supplying beer to the thirsty public very soon! They’ve hired their first full-time assistant brewer, and their first commercial brew day will occur this weekend – they’ll be brewing up a batch of their Artisan Brown Ale, a traditional English Brown with an ABV of 5% and 22 IBUs. For every growler of this beer that is sold, Railcar will donate $0.50 to the Andrew and Laura McCain Art Gallery to support art programs for youth in the community. Their Railcar Red (5% ABV, 23 IBUs) will be brewed several days later; look for their beers to be available for growler fills at the brewery soon, and hitting local restaurants/pubs on tap. They’re also expanding into a space behind the brewery, where they’ll be opening a spin-off company named Brew Offs, where they’ll be selling products made with beer ingredients – e.g. spent grain granola, beer soap, beer barbecue sauce, etc. – to avoid wastage as much as possible.

• Railcar will be at the NB Nano Takeover at Stillwell (with their Railcar Red), being held next Saturday, October 18th. During the two sessions (12-3, 4-7), some of the smallest and most innovative breweries in New Brunswick will be pouring their beers and ciders, most for the first time outside of NB. Acadie-Broue, Big Axe, Grimross, Hammond River, Red Rover, and Petit-Sault will also be pouring that day. Tickets are still available for either session, and your $15 entry will snag you a t-shirt and your first pour. If you haven’t booked them by now, you *may* not get the correct sized t-shirt (be sure to specify in your request), but at least you’ll get in the door! And you definitely don’t want to miss out on this very special day.

Big Spruce will be holding their Second Annual Home Brew Competition shortly, so NS homebrewers, fire up your kettles! This year’s style is 6D – American Wheat or Rye. Full registration details will open very shortly, however we can tell you that entries will be due November 26th, and the judging will take place November 29th. Once again, the winning brewer will be invited to step up their homebrew recipe on Big Spruce’s 7 bbl system, and the beer will be launched at the Local Connections Halifax Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration, January 15, at the Halifax Club. With over 6 weeks of lead time, we can look forward to some great beers being submitted (maybe even a chance for a test brew to fine tune the recipe?). As in last year’s, entry is open to all NS homebrewers, and please email Big Spruce for the registration form.

• Speaking of Big Spruce, they have two new beers in the pipeline; the first one is Das Sprucebier, an Oktoberfest (aka Märzen) brewed with 100% imported German malt, including Vienna, Pilsner, Munich I, and CaraMunich. It clocks in at 5.9% ABV and 23 IBUs, and is hopped with both Magnum and Challenger, the latter of which is grown on-site at the Big Spruce farm. The second beer, Smoking Jack, is their first seasonal Pumpkin ale. Featuring their own farm-grown, organic pumpkins that have been smoked for 5 hours outside the brewery  and added to the mash, the beer was then conditioned on cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg… that had been soaked for 72 hours in Flor de Caña Centenario dark rum. And, of course, the rum itself was then added to the beer for good measure! This one weighs in at 5.4% ABV and 22 IBUs. Das Sprucebier is available now, and the Smoking Jack will be released just in time for the Celtic Oktoberfest, being held October 25th in Port Hawkesbury, NS (more on that later in the post). Both beers will be available for growler fills at the brewery, and at select bars/restaurants in the Halifax area as well.

• The PEI Brewing Co. is holding their annual Oktoberfest celebration next weekend on Saturday, October 18th. Like last year, the event will be held throughout the day, with an artisan market, music, and lots of sausages and beer for purchase. Included in the beer offerings is a new cask brewed for the occasion: Big Jimmy Brown is their Iron Bridge Brown Ale aged on bourbon-soaked oak chips, “primed” with Creme de Cacao; it clocks in at 6% ABV and ~30 IBUs. Their popular Growler Challenge (where contestants compete to see who can hold a full growler of beer at arm’s length for the longest period) begins at 2:00 pm, and later in the evening, starting at 8:00 pm, their first Art Battle of the season will be held. This will be followed by live music starting at 10:30 pm, featuring Rich Aucoin and PS I Love You. Entry is free during the afternoon; tickets for the Art Battle and after party are $10 and can be purchased online.

• And while on the topic of the PEI Brewing Co., their popular Sydney Street Stout is now back in liquor stores across the Maritimes, and on tap at select locations.

Boxing Rock has just brewed a new beer, an Amber Ale fall seasonal hopped with “a very special hop, believed to be unobtainable”. They’re keeping details under wraps for now, but we’ll have more info for you next week! For now, look forward to a beer featuring a hop that “really makes it a special brew”, according to owner/brewer Emily Tipton. They hope to have the beer released before the end of this month. And we see that they are brewing up another batch of U-889 today, which is their ACBA Gold-Medal winning Russian Imperial Stout.

Shiretown recently brewed a revised batch of their Siren’s T’ale; this one was brewed with a new hop variety, Goldings, from Southan Farms. Owner/brewer Derek Leslie has confirmed that this variety may become a permanent substitute in future brews of this particular beer. In the meantime, when the beer becomes available, if you’d like to try it to compare to previous batches, look for bottles with batch #146 indicated on the label.

• We have some more details on the North Brewing Winter Saison. Their popular Saison will now be a year-round beer (weighing in at 5.5% ABV), however the orange and coriander from the Summer brew is being swapped out for Winter’s ginger and black pepper. We had a chance to try it on the weekend, and quite enjoyed it!

Sea Level Brewing has released their latest seasonal,  Punkin Grinner Ale. Brewed for the first time last year, this beer features local produce, including baby pam pie pumpkins grown on the Sea Level farm. It weighs in at 5% ABV, and features local honey and Annapolis Valley hops. We can also confirm that it’s available now at the Port Pub and brewery, and will be in the Halifax Private Stores this weekend.

• A reminder that the Beerthief Special Brew Label Contest closes today. Be sure to send your entry along to Mike to be entered. Garrison Brewing’s special brew will be released in January, to Beerthief members in Newfoundland and Labrador only.

• Toot toot! Final call for East Coast Beer Tour’s Valley Tour! Check out their bus tour to the Annapolis Valley, scheduled for tomorrow, October 11th. Tickets are now only $25, and include transport, three brewery tours complete with beer tastings, snacks and lunch. Now’s your chance to visit Meander River, Paddys Irish Brewpub, and Bad Apple Brewhouse, and leave the driving to someone else!

• The latest Local Connections Halifax Magazine is on its way to the printers, but the digital version is now available for reading. In it, there is an extensive Craft Beer section, featuring Garrison Brewing, Propeller Brewing, Schoolhouse, the Atlantic Canada Beer Awards, and much more.
• Tickets are still available for this month’s Celtic Oktoberfest, being held in Port Hawkesbury on Saturday, Oct 25th. A nice write-up in the Chronicle Herald highlights many of the local food and beer vendors whose products will be offered that evening. Remember that your ticket includes beer AND food, as well as great local entertainment. And be sure to check out the Pumpkin Launch that afternoon on the Port Hawkesbury marina. If you’ve got a team of like-minded designers and builders, sign up to take part!
Barley, Hops and Mash, a workshop for Craft Brewers, is taking place October 24th at Acadia University in Wolfville. The brainchild of Springboard Atlantic, it seeks to pair brewers with scientific researchers, for mutual benefit. Perhaps a brewery has a question about hops utilization in their system, a lab or research group is available with the tools to perform the experiments and analyze the results. Gary McMullen (President and Founder of Muskoka Brewery) and Joel Alex (Founder and President of Blue Ox Malt House) will give Keynote talks, and then brewers and researchers will give short 3 minute/1 slide presentations on their research needs and abilities, respectively. The seminar is free, and is aimed at established or in-development breweries.
• What a weekend! Chris was thrilled to have been one of the organizers for the inaugural Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards held last weekend. Saturday was a long day of judging, with the 18 judges tackling over 170 different beers, submitted by 28 different breweries. The hard working stewards kept the beer moving and the judges busy, going quite late into the night. Once the dust settled, the results were tallied, and announced at the Stubborn Goat, Sunday evening.
Here are the results, and we offer our sincere congratulations to all entrants. What a great celebration of our brewing community!
Brewery of the Year*: Bad Apple Brewhouse
Brewpub of the Year*: Rockbottom Brewpub
Beer of the Year: Pump House Barleywine
Stillwell‘s People’s Choice Award: Big Spruce Cereal Killer Stout
Category Gold Silver Bronze
North American & European Style Lagers Hop City Brewing Co. Barking Squirrel Tatamagouche Brewing Co. Lagerhosen Propeller Brewing Co. Bohemian Style Pilsner
German Specialty Beers Uncle Leo’s Vohs Weizenbier Paddys Irish Brewpub Dom Arthur
UK Specialty Beers PEI Brewing Co. Iron Bridge Brown Gahan House Iron Bridge Brown Paddys Irish Brewpub Raven Ale
North American Specialty Ales Barnone Black Eye Pale Ale Boxing Rock Hunky Dory Pale Ale Barnone Sessions Ale
Belgian Style Specialty Ales Pump House Pompiers à Vos Garde North Brewing Summer Saison Grimross Chantelope
North American Amber & Red Ales Boxing Rock Tempation Red Barnone Substanchel Garrison/Beau’s Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale
Fruit & Field Beers Rare Bird Pumpkin Ale Rogues Roost Raspberry Wheat Bad Apple Brewhouse Operation Green Ring
Pale Ales Bad Apple Brewhouse American Pale Ale Moosehead Boundary Ale Garrison Brewing Hop Yard Pale Ale
Stout & Porter Rogues Roost Oatmeal Stout Big Axe Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout Pump House Muddy River Stout
Strong Stout & Porter Propeller Brewing Co. Revolution Russian Imperial Stout Bad Apple Brewhouse Black & Tackle Rogues Roost Imperial Stout
India Pale Ale Rockbottom Brewpub Fathom IPA Big Spruce Tim’s Dirty American IPA Barnone IPA
Imperial IPA Bad Apple Brewhouse Mosaic Double IPA Boxing Rock The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA Garrison Brewing Imperial IPA
Strong Ale Pump House Barleywine North Brewing Strong Belgian Dark Petit-Sault Bob Le Boeuf
Experimental Beers Boxing Rock U-889 Russian Imperial Stout Garrison Brewing Honey Lavendar Ale Big Spruce Hoppuccino Coffee IPA
Wood & Barrel Aged Beers Propeller Brewing Co. Lambic Garrison Brewing Barrel-Aged Grand Baltic Porter Bad Apple Brewhouse Barrel-Aged Black & Tackle
* Brewery and Brewpub of the year were determined by the number of points earned by four pre-assigned beers (as chosen by the brewery). Both categories were hotly contested!

We start off this week’s Wrap-Up with some disheartening news, and a call to action. But fear not, there’s lots of positive news to report on as well!

• Railcar Brewing has been planning to set up shop in Florenceville-Bristol, NB. After a change in plans in which their original planned location in the Shogomoc Historical Railway Site was scrapped, they have now opened their retail shop and brewery just a few minutes down Main Street. However, they are facing a brand new major hurdle from the ANBL. They’ve just received notice that a late-June board meeting has decided that before a Brewery Agency Store licensee may sell any beer at their location for off-premises consumption (by means of bottles or growlers), they must first sell 10,000 litres of product through the ANBL network within 12 months (whether it be kegs delivered to bars, or bottles sold at ANBL stores). For a very small 1 BBL (Beer Barrel, 117 litres) brewery like Railcar, this would mean brewing, fermenting, conditioning, kegging and/or bottling, selling, and delivering to the ANBL or to restaurants and bars (possibly not in their home region) two full batches per week, assuming no spillage or spoilage. For a very small brewery whose business plan concentrated on sales direct from the brewery (including investing several thousand dollars in growlers that may become unusable), this is disastrous, and may handcuff them from opening. Railcar owner Mitch Biggar has been on CBC Radio and TV spreading word of how this will affect his small business, but keep in mind this will affect all future NB breweries as well. Mitch will be meeting with the ANBL next week, and we hope that he will still be able to open the week of Aug 10, which coincides with the Florenceville Festival of Flavour.

• When we heard of this change, we contacted ANBL president Brian Harriman for comment. He was kind enough to respond, and he assured us, “We are going to have discussions with stakeholders who were in process of starting breweries prior to development of this new strategy. We want to do all we can to support industry development to see the micro brewery industry prosper in NB”. While this is encouraging to hear, we feel the consultations with stakeholders should have taken place before these new rules were implemented.  Mr Harriman goes on, “We believe that our new policy will serve to strengthen our business. We also feel that the 100 HL requirement is a manageable number for new brewers.” While we understand that the ANBL’s goals are to generate income and control the sale of alcohol in the province, we believe that these requirements are not manageable for new brewers who may be transitioning into this industry as a part-time endeavour, or are trying to generate the least amount of debt possible. Dozens of kegs for licensees and hundreds of bottles for the ANBL are not cheap!

• So, what can you do about this? We encourage you to read and sign an online petition created by friends and neighbours (and potential suppliers) of Railcar, Kathryn and Nick Southan of Southan Farms in Wicklow. While this petition is specific to Railcar’s issue (and others that may be in the middle of licensing), we feel that signing it shows your support for the idea that before any rules are implemented, discussions with breweries, big and small, should be taking place. We suggest that either different production tiers are implemented in the licensing strategies, or allowances for breweries to sell primarily (or exclusively) for off-site consumption at their brewery locations. To assist with the extra financing he will need to comply with these restrictions, he has just launched a crowd-funding plumfund page.

And now on to the happy part of the week, new beers and other news…

Rockbottom Brewpub has released their newest beer, Bloodletter Belgian IPA. From Brewmaster Greg Nash, they are giving their Belgian-style brew the West-Coast treatment! Weighing in at 6.3%, and with a calculated 217 IBUs, this is a light-coloured but not light on flavour beer! In addition to the characteristic yeast flavour, the beer was spiced with coriander and cumin at flame-out, and generously hopped throughout with Bravo (in the mash and first wort), Dana (at flame-out) and Kohatu (dry-hopped). As Nash put it, “MMmm West-Coast-Belgian-American-NewZealand-Slovenian-hopped-spiciness in a glass.” They will also be putting on a coffee-infused version of this beer, so check out that blend. And be sure to drop by Wednesday for the tapping of the Firkin at 4pm. Lots of exciting blends and beers start their life out in a Firkin, so it’s a great to get a sneak peak of what Nash is up to in the brewery!

Rare Bird Craft Brewing in Guysborough has released their Maple Ale this week. Brewed with local maple sap in place of water throughout the brew, this 5.5% beer ends up with a light body and copper colour. Maple syrup is also added to the wort, but the hops help to keep it from being overly sweet, for a nice balance. The beer is in rotation at Stillwell Beer Bar in Halifax and at the Rare Bird Pub in Guysborough, and will be available in the private stores in the near future.

Big Tide Brewpub in Saint John has released a couple of new beers since last week’s post. Tidal Wave Double IPA hit the taps late last week, and was one of the beers poured at the Picaroons Brewer’s Bash last weekend. We’re not sure about this incarnation, but previous versions of this beer weighed in around 9%, and loaded with multiple dry hop additions for a wave of hop flavour and aroma. Also new on tap is a return of the Haffe Wit, a Witbier brewed with a special blend of spices for their own twist on the style.

Grimross Brewing has released their newest beer. Summer Serendipity is now available at the Picaroons Brewtique on Queen Street in Fredericton. Unfortunately, it was released late last night, so we do not have all of the details, but can pass along the tasting notes from brewer Steven Dixon: “Floral sweet lemongrass aroma, tropical fruit taste and subtle hop bitterness.”

Paddys Irish Brewpubs in Kentville and Wolfville have released their newest summer seasonal, Dom Arthur Kolsch. Details are light on their recipe, but this style is a light hybrid between lager and ale, and goes well with beautiful patio weather!

Yellowbelly Brewpub in St John’s has released a summer version of their Wexford WheatSummer Wheat. The base recipe is the same, but uses Topaz dry-hops for a different aroma and flavour. We’re not sure how long it will last, so be sure to drop by!

• There are still a few spots left in this year’s Fredericton Beer Run, to be held August 4th. Runners can choose to participate in a legitimate 6km or 12km run, and then enjoy beer from New Brunswick craft breweries afterwards. You must run to drink the beer, though there are a few “Coach’s Tickets” available (must register with a runner). It is being run by Lloyd Chambers, who also organizes the great Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Sign up today, only a couple more weeks of training!

• The Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax has put together a Nova Scotia Craft Brewery Guide with a description of the brewing process, list of NS breweries (no brewpubs, yet), map of their locations, and amateur tasting notes.

Propeller Brewing Company has re-launched their Open Brewery Tours at their Gottingen St location. While you normally need nine or more friends to book a brewery tour (or pay for strangers to come drink with you), every Wednesday 6-7:30pm in the summer, you can drop by solo or with a handful of friends, and pay the regular $15. During your time there, you’ll have a chance to sample lots of their regular lineup, as there’s usually a seasonal or two on tap as well.

• The Ladies Beer League is looking for your help! They are teaming up with Boxing Rock Brewing to create a special cask for their event during the Local Connections Sausage Fest, held August 14-24. Check out their Facebook page and make your suggestions. If yours gets picked, you will win a t-shirt and bragging rights! Stay tuned for more details on the LBL event, too.

• These new beers won’t be available for a few weeks, but we’ll be keeping our eyes (and mouths) open for Garrison’s Honey & Lavender Beer that was brewed Monday, and Big Spruce’s Pump Le Mousse, a grapefruit wheat beer.

• And Happy Second Anniversary to the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish! They celebrated by releasing a special British IPA brewed on their system upstairs. Fortunately/unfortunately, it sold out in a matter of hours, so if you weren’t there to enjoy Sunday, you’ll have to wait until Terry brews it again (we hope soon!).