Local Connections

All posts tagged Local Connections

Welcome to the weekend, and a beautiful Friday! Beer news in our region is a bit slower this week, but there’s still plenty to talk about…

• Prince Edward Island should soon be expanding options for enjoying craft beer, as the Island’s first outdoor beer garden is being planned for downtown Charlottetown, as reported by the Guardian late last week. Business partners Steve Barber and Jacob Hiemstra, owners of local restaurants such as Hunter’s Ale House, hope to have the location open on the corner of Prince and Kent streets by late June. The Charlottetown Beer Garden and Seafood Patio should have about 25 taps, with 12 dedicated to craft breweries and another several reserved for imports. While local, Island breweries will naturally be a big focus, Barber is in talks with PEILCC to feature other craft breweries from the Maritimes. Live music and fresh, local seafood will also be a feature of the restaurant, as well as other beer-pairing favourites such as sausages and pretzels. Stay tuned for more info…

• But that’s not all! HopYard, a craft beer bar focusing on “local Island beer, regional breweries, and beers from across the continent”, is set to open downtown at 151 Kent St. on Monday, May 9th. Owned by Mike Ross and Brett Hogan, the bar will feature draught beer only, with 10 always-rotating taps. Award-winning Chef Jane Crawford will be in charge of the food menu, with all items priced at under $8 (note that while bar snacks will stay the same, all menu entrees will also be rotating). Cider, wine and spirits will also be available, and a “vast vinyl selection” will be on-hand for customers to look through and make selections to be played on the bar’s sound system. Open every day at 11 am, the bar’s simple motto – “Beer. Food. Vinyl.” – perfectly sums up their mission statement!

• Halifax’s Granite Brewery has released their latest seasonal beer, Granite IPA. Light copper in colour, the 5.5% ABV beer was brewed with healthy doses of East Kent Goldings and Cascade hops, to 55 IBUs. Grab a growler at the brewery, or a pint at better beer bars in the city.

Back in March, we reported on a new beer being brewed by YellowBelly that involved the addition of a large amount of stale bread from neighbouring Rocket Bakery, as a statement to support those who minimize the wasting of food. Well, that beer, named Brewis Hard Tack Ale, is now on tap at the brewpub. The brewery describes the brown, 4% ABV beer as showing notes of “pepper from the rye, a lactic bite from the sourdough, and figs and raisins as backnotes”, along with some herbal and spiciness from the Willamette hops. Bottles will be available shortly at both the brewery and NLC, as well. Learn more about the ingredients, process, and beer, at YB’s site.

Unfiltered is releasing another new beer today (and those at yesterday’s punk album evening got a sneak peek) – Riddle of Steel is an American IPA described as “bright and juicy, with a serious New England influence on top of the usual San Diego roots”. Coming in at 7% ABV and 70 IBUs, this very-pale-coloured hoppy beer will be on tap for growler fills at the retail store at noon, by the pint at Charm School at 4 pm, and in the wild at local bars shortly.

•  Good Robot has released what they’re referring to as “a damn good cup of beer”, their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie Pale Ale. Brewed with a grist including Pilsner, Red X, and Rye malt, plus some Flaked Barley, it was hopped with Falconer’s Flight and Cascade to 40 IBUs. In addition, approximately 3.5% of the beer volume comes from the addition of cold-brewed Java Blend Ethiopian Guji coffee, which is “grown in cherry soil and known for its berry character”, according to the brewery. The resultant 5.1% ABV Pale Ale is described by the brewery as exhibiting notes of coffee and caramel, with a chocolate forefront; slight acidity and tartness come from the Guji coffee as well, as the beer starts off as creamy before turning slightly sharp/acidic. Grab a pint or growler at Good Robot now, and look for it in rotation at taps around HRM.

Saltbox Brewery, currently in development in Mahone Bay, has confirmed that they have successfully purchased the building on Main Street that will serve as their brewery and storefront. With their 12 hL DME brewhouse to be delivered in May, they are planning on a mid-summer launch. Read more on their site.

There are a few events coming up in the next bit that are worth checking out. And remember, NS Craft Beer Week kicks off in just two weeks, May 6th! Check out our Calendar and Map for all of the events, and we’ll be adding more as details are announced.

Bishop’s Cellar is holding a free in-store tasting hosted by Dartmouth’s Nine Locks this afternoon, 4-6pm. Featuring their four flagship beers, Dirty Blonde, ESB, IPA, and Porter, drop by for a taste and grab a few cans to enjoy on the patio. While there, also check out their extensive beer sale, as they’ve marked down several American and Quebec craft beers, to make room for new arrivals.

• Celebrating Earth Day is an annual event for Lion & Bright and Big Spruce Brewing. In support of Ecology Action Centre, the two companies teamed up to collect funds throughout April, whenever patrons ordered tacos or a pint of Big Spruce beer. Tonight at 6pm, drop by L&B to celebrate Earth Day, with a Big Spruce tap takeover featuring some returning favourites, including Gimme Citra Single-Hop Pale Ale, She’s Maibock Lemon Maibock, and Watchtower Conspiracy Imperial IPA, joining their core lineup of beers. During tonight’s event, $1 from every pint, and order of tacos, will add to the donation coffers. More details here.

• Good Robot Brewery are also celebrating Earth Day today, by encouraging patrons to take part in the North End Cleanup starting at 4pm (prizes for those who collect the most street trash), and are inviting some goats from Moo Nay Farms to “graze” on their (faux) lawn on Robie Street. There will be guided yoga at 3pm to limber up before collecting trash, and when the sun goes down, the tap room will be lit only by tea lights. Moo Nay Farms, by the way, are the proud recipient of Good Robot’s spent grains, reducing the feed requirements, and therefore agricultural resources, needed to keep their animals fed. Check out a video of some Robot/Animal fun.

• Tomorrow, April 23rd, is the Winemaker vs Brewmaster event at the Grand Banker in Lunenburg. Featuring Nyanza’s Big Spruce, squaring off against L’Acadie Vineyards, in a five-course meal, each paired with both a wine and beer. Guests vote with either a beer cap or wine cork, and the winning producer will be crowned at the end of the meal. Tickets are available at the Grand Banker, or by phone (902-634-3300).

• On Saturday, April 30th, Railcar is pairing with the Algonquin Resort to present Maritime Beer & Cheer. Being held from 6-9 pm at the Algonquin in Saint Andrews, NB, there will be five courses paired with five different Railcar beers. Tickets are $55 + tax and gratuity, and will feature such pairings as braised beef brisket and butternut squash ravioli with Smoked Molasses Porter. Reserve your tickets by phone (1-855-529-8693) or in person at the resort.

Local Connections has announced the date for Halifax’s first cask festival, the Cask Beer Showdown. Scheduled for Saturday, September 24th, there will be two sessions (12-3 pm and 5-8 pm) available to attend. Early-bird tickets are now on sale at the above link for $33 each, which includes entry, a Belgian-style take-home glass, and twelve 4 oz samples of a variety of “unique cask-conditioned beers” from local breweries.

That’s all for this week. And, of course, before you go…

Picaroons is releasing their popular summer seasonal, Dooryard, today; this 4.5% ABV “Organic Wheat Ale” will be available on tap at most Picaroons accounts through the end of summer, as well as for growler fills at both retail locations, and in bottles.
– Grimross Brewing is hiring yet again, this time in the Assistant Brewer position. For details on the requirements and work detail, check out their link.
Uncle Leo’s has re-released their Altbier today. This traditional German style features a copper colour, and a light body with a significant bitterness and flavour hop presence. At 5.2% ABV, it is available at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select bars in the province.
North Brewing has released another batch of their Barrel-Aged Strong Dark Ale, aged for five months in barrels from Cape Breton’s Glenora Distillery.
Bore City‘s Equilux, their APA hopped with the mega-delicious Equinox and Citra, has been sent to the James Joyce in Fredericton; it should be tapped later today, and won’t last long, so head in for a pint!
Tatamagouche Brewery has sent off several pallets of cans of their popular Deception Bay IPA to the NSLC, for distribution across the province. Look for it in the first week of May. Around that same time, just in time for Open Brewery Day on May 7th, they will be opening their larger storefront on Main Street Tatamagouche, with more space for bottles, cans, and growler fills, and they will be offering tasting flights of their beer to visitors. Keep an eye on their Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the progress.

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.