Picaroons General Store

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As we all feel the anticipation of getting a jab in our arms and a spring in our steps, keep that hope alive and support your local bars and breweries! There’s a sense of optimism in the air and we think it’s worth celebrating. We know there have been some slower months in our news over the past few months, but as we all know, supporting local is more important than ever (if it’s within your means!) and we’re all doing a great job of getting through this together. Onto the beer!

Let’s start this week’s news with something that, frankly, we don’t see enough of in Atlantic Canada – beers with eponymous names. Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing Company is releasing Kellyerbier, their take on the German style of Kellerbier. Named after brewmaster Kellye Roberston, Kellyerbier starts with a blend of pilsner and chit malts from Shoreline Malting. Saaz and Saphir hops were used, followed by some time mingling with light Hungarian oak during secondary fermentation. Expect a light graininess, with notes of honey and some minerality. The hops add a citrusy note to round out this pale lager.  The finished beer comes in at 4.7% ABV and 22 IBUs and is available on tap and for crowlers to-go at the brewery now. 

Trailway Brewing Co. has another hazy IPA up its sleeves this week, with the release of SHADES. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, this one is a tribute to some of Trailway’s favorite hops, combining additions of Strata, Idaho 7, Callista, Sultana and Galaxy. Expect hop driven flavours that include citrus, peach  and guava, with dank and piney overtones. SHADES is available now at the brewery and for delivery or curbside pickup through their webstore

A blast from the past is making its return in Dartmouth this weekend. A fresh batch of Gus’ 65M Belgian Blonde is back on the shelves (both physical and virtual) at North Brewing Company. A quick history lesson – when North opened on Agricola Street in 2013 (remember those ceramic growlers?), their first keg account was at Gus’ Pub which just happened to be 65 meters north of North. Over the years, the beer has evolved from its original recipe, winning two Canadian Brewing Awards along the way. This batch comes in at 4.5% ABV and combines peppery Belgian phenols with citrus notes and light spiciness in the finish, and is available in cans and on tap today. 

And while we have you, North is hiring! They are looking for a part-time (3 days a week) delivery driver to service their HRM deliveries (both private citizens and licensees), with the possibility of having that job go full time in the future. No direct brewery experience is necessary, though being 19+ and having a driver’s license is. Peep the full details, and how to apply, on their jobs page. And we have several more job listings later in the post too, as breweries get ready for a busy spring and summer!

Keeping last week’s mead madness going again this week we have, coming out of Smith’s Cove, NS, Lazy Bear Brewing’s take on a mead. Appropriately named Mead, this one comes in at 8.4% ABV. Honey was sourced from Fox & The Bee Farms in nearby Clemonsport and Cosman and Whidden in Greenwich. Expect a crisp and refreshing drinking experience with a touch of tartness. You can grab this now in bottles or growlers from the brewery, and this Saturday at the Annapolis Royal Farmer’s Market. Rumour also has it, with the loosening of public health restrictions on travel, that an HRM delivery run may be in the works. 

From Smith’s Cove, let’s head East along the 101 to Berwick, where we find Smokehouse Nano Brewery. They have a brand new draught-only release pouring at their taproom this week, which will have you feeling like a sharp dressed man…. ZZ Hop is a 6.4% ABV New England IPA, featuring a whole whack of hops, but without a bitter finish. Galaxy, Mosaic, and Citra were added by the bushel-full later in the boil and in dry-hopping additions, for a hazy, juicy blast of citrus and stone fruit flavours. As this is a small release, best to pop by 134 Union St for a taste, they’re open from noon daily.

One last stop in Annapolis Valley this week, at Church Brewing in the heart of Wolfville. They have christened (see what I did there?) their pilot system, and are releasing the first in their Belief System series. Lilith is a 6.7% ABV New England IPA, featuring notes of grapefruit, melon, and hints of floral character. Simcoe and Azacca were used, as well as an addition of orange peel. As is typical for the style, hops are front and centre, but do not come through as overly bitter. As this is a small release, Lilith is only available at the taproom, though if you act quickly, you may be able to grab a crowler to-go in their adjacent Beer Market. Look for more releases in the Belief System series coming soon, allowing Church the ability to explore new styles, brew to historical timelines, and focus on their community support initiative, “Brew Good Do Good”. And if working in a church sounds like a job from heaven (come for the news, get inundated with bad puns), see below in the jobs section for a way you can join their team.

If you find yourself in Cape Breton in the next little while, head to the Westside Cafe (conveniently located on Route 19 as luck would have it) to try out the newest release from Route 19 Brewing. Town Lager is a 4.7% lager-like ale brewed with Krispy, a blend of Kveik yeasts from Escarpment Labs, and hopped with German varietals including Ariana, to the tune of 18 IBU. This one is on tap at Westside only for the time being, while the brewery’s taproom and retail remains closed for the offseason. Look for Town Lager to make an appearance again this summer in cans and for fills. 

Keeping with the signs of an optimistic Spring and the easing of restrictions, Spryfield’s Belgian-inspired Serpent Brewing takes two very big steps forward for their young brewery. Their Patey’s Bier Belgian Single is a refreshing style that is kegged and will be making its way across HRM taprooms in the coming weeks. In even bigger news, they’ll be opening their taproom on Saturday March 20th. We’ll be posting more details as we get them, but keep an eye out on Dentith Road in Spryfield behind the Canadian Tire and you can still check their website for pick-up and delivery options. 

Down in Southwest Nova, Tusket Falls Brewing are continuing their Experimental Brew series, with something dark and sweet this week. Chasing the Pastry Stout is an 8.0% ABV Dessert Beer, that they say will pair nicely with a chocolate fudge brownie. No word yet if any of those treatas are available in the taproom, but that *is* the only spot you’ll be able to grab this brew, so be sure to pop in this weekend before it disappears!

Big news for fans of beer and coffee in Rothesay: the Long Bay Brewery taproom is now also a full-service cafe, opening at 7:30 AM on weekdays, 10:00 AM on Saturdays and 11:00 AM on Sundays. Look for baked goods from Eb Coffeeshop and beans from Piccadilly Coffee Roasters out of Sussex, who’ve developed the Long Bay Morning Brew blend just for the cafe/taproom. And since they’re a licensed tap room, what’s to stop you from adding a little Baileys to that coffee, or pairing it with a beer? The correct answer is: nothing, you should totally do that.

The fine folks at Good Robot want you to know that they’ve missed seeing your face (at least the part not covered by a mask) at their taproom on Robie Street. And while, no, they’re not open yet, they’re happy to tell everyone that the planning is afoot for a resumption (conditional upon COVID-19 restrictions, of course) of in-person dining and service on Friday, March 12th!

And in “Future Beer News”, we have a couple of cool collaborations to chat up this week that see some of our local breweries partnering up with some of our region’s cultural touchstones. First up, you may be aware that The East Coast Music Association has historically seen participation by local breweries during their traditional week of events surrounding the annual East Coast Music Awards. This year they’ve announced that they’re formalizing the next five years of partnerships. Starting in May of this year, when the (largely virtual, sadly) ECMAs will be held in Sydney, NS, a partner brewery will brew up a collaboration beer called East Coast Music Ale to be released in the weeks leading up to the event, with $0.50 of each can sold going directly to the association. This year’s partner is Sydney’s own Breton Brewing, and we’re sure to have more information on their beer when its release approaches. From there, the schedule includes Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing in 2022, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing in 2023, Charlottetown’s Upstreet Craft Brewing in 2024, and up on the Rock, Quidi Vidi’s Quidi Vidi Brewing in 2025.

And down on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, folks are gearing up to celebrate one of the great icons of Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada, and indeed, Canada itself. The famed schooner Bluenose was launched on March 26th, 1921, and, as you can imagine, there will be some commemorative activity going on. Enter Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company who have been officially approved to make and distribute an official commemorative ale as part of the celebrations. The brewery is working hard to ensure that the beer achieves distribution throughout the province via the NSLC, but will also be supplementing that distro on the South Shore. Consistent with Saltbox’s history of community involvement, they’ll also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the beer to the Bluenose Heritage Trust. We’ll have details on the beer once they’re available and keep you apprised of when and where you can get your landlubbing hands on it.

Obviously we’re still not in a place where big events full of lots of people are a thing that can happen in our region, but we’ve still got one humdinger to tell you about:

If you’re like us and you’ve had a bit of a taste of sunny and vaguely warmish weather in the last week and that made you think about kicking back at the Stillwell Beergarden with a pint of local lager and a plate of tacos from Beverley Taco Service, we’ve got some big news for you. Although it won’t be out in the sun with the hum of Spring Garden Road in the background, this coming Sunday, March 7th, and the Sunday after next, March 21th, from 2 PM to 10 PM, the fine folks of Bar Stillwell will be hosting Tacos & Lager at Stilly HQ on Barrington Street!! Featuring some of the best in NS lagers on tap (Tatamagouche Dekorum, Spindrift Killick and Toller, Good Robot El Espinazo del Diablo, and 2 Crows Dos Cuervos and Refresh) as well as some crushable cans, you’ll be able to pair those lovely palate refreshing liquids with Beverley Taco Service’s Carnitas or Birria Tacos, a special Stilly/Beverley collab taco, Chilaquiles, or simple Chips and Salsa. And for dessert? Churros and Chocolate con Chilli!! Consistent with summer Sunday afternoons at the BG, there will be vinyl spinning throughout the afternoon. What more could you ask for than a taste of summer in late winter?

This week, as restrictions ease and things slowly (slowly and hopefully!) get back to normal, we’re seeing three new job postings from around our region in addition to the North posting mentioned above:

First from Church Brewing, they’re looking for a Packaging Operator to work with beer packaging, quality control and preventative maintenance. If you’re looking to get a start in the great area of Wolfville, this full-time gig would be right up your alley. Check out the full job posting here

Spindrift has a new posting for a Production Brewer, working with and reporting to the Head Brewer, this is an excellent opportunity for someone with post-secondary education along with previous brewing industry experience could be a perfect fit. Or not, as we know many breweries will take passion and an ability to learn, with some relevant knowledge. It can never hurt to apply. For the full details and application instructions, check out this link

Rolling into the spring and summer, downtown Moncton favourite Tide and Boar is hiring multiple positions for taproom staff and kitchen employees for their soon-to-open stand-alone brewery and taproom location at 1355 Main Street. Shoot them an email with your resume at admin@tideandboar.com

March is International Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day coming up on Monday, March 8th. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and many breweries are taking the day and theme to heart, brewing and releasing beers over the next few days to commemorate it. 

The International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day is a worldwide annual event that takes place on IWD, open to all women “working, or interested, in beer, to learn, network, and make friends”. No requirements on style, ingredients, or packaging, only a love of beer! This year’s theme is Unite Compassion, which we can all use more of these days! As of publishing, Foghorn Brewing in Rothesay and Four Rivers in Bathurst NB, and Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl NL have announced they will be taking part, but there’s still time for interested brewers to sign up to the event.

The women of Foghorn teamed up with those of Big Tide Brewing and Loyalist City to bring back the style-bending Sparkölsch. As a reminder, this is a 5.0% ABV Kölsch-style hybrid ale/lager, with an addition of edible sparkles for a truly shimmering final product! Available in bottles and on tap at the participating breweries now, plus other friendly spots around Saint John, Fredericton, and beyond. The full list of bars and retailers can be found here. Foghorn’s donations from sales of Sparkölsch are going toward their membership in the United Way Quarter Fund, a group of small businesses who have pledged to donate $250,000 over five years. These funds are in turn directed to organizations that support survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence and to mental health research.

In Bathurst, Becca and Lani of Four Rivers developed and brewed an Oatmeal Stout, which will be launched Monday as part of the IWD celebration. At 5.5% ABV, Dark Horse Oatmeal Stout is full of Chocolate and Sherry notes, with Coffee and Cocoa on the tongue to complement. Light mouthfeel, and not too sweet. Keep an eye on their social media for the full details on the beer Monday!

Landwash Brewery’s Christina Coady is leading the women of Newfoundland and Labrador breweries in a massive collaboration on Monday. While originally planned to have the collaboration take part in person in Mount Pearl, this time they’ll be leveraging the power of technology to stay connected. The crew thus far has representation from coast to coast to coast, with brewers from Boomstick, Bootleg BrewCo, Dildo Brewing, Iron Rock, Port Rexton, RagnaRöck, and Split Rock all taking part (and it’s not too late to message LW to join the list!). They will be using the 2021 Pink Boots hop blend from Yakima Chief (Ahtanum, Cashmere, Citra, Loral, and Sabro) to make an IPA with Passion Fruit, which will be released later in the month. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will be donated to The Gathering Place, a community centre offering meals, clothing, and health services to those in the community.

At Truro Brewing Company, owner Jana brewed up some awesome beer ladies in the province in February, and are releasing their Ginger Lime Gose today. You’ll be familiar with many of these names, with Kelly Costello, Chelsea Meisner, Kim Hart Macneill, Meg Foote, Shannon Dalberg, and some members of the Truro Pride Society. At 4.8% ABV, this slightly tart ale features a bold aroma from the fresh lime zest, and fresh ginger added, which is complemented by sea salt from Pure Atlantic Harvest in Halifax. It is on tap now, and given how well it turned out, they may be doing another batch for bottle release in the future!

You may recall that Port Rexton Brewing, a 100% women-owned business with a majority of women employees, released a beer last year for IWD that they called Violet Femmes and which sported a lovely hue due to the addition of butterfly pea flower. Well they’ve done it again this year! Once again a dry-hopped sour ale, the acidic pH influencing the shade of pink/purple expressed by the flower, this year it’s been packaged in cans (with artwork by Molly Margaret Art) for wider enjoyment. You’ll be able to find it available for purchase starting today at noon for online ordering and pick up at their St. John’s retail shop as well as in Port Rexton at the brewery and the Port Rexton Foodex. They will also be sending the beer out to some more locations, so keep an eye on social media (Fb/Ig/Tw) to find out where. Meanwhile, like last year, they’ll be donating proceeds from this beer to a worthy cause, this year it will be Transition House Association of NL.

Sydney’s Island Folk Cider House has debuted a new release this week, Choosing to Challenge. Embracing this year’s IWD theme to IFCH means “calling out gender bias and inequality”, “seeking out and celebrating women’s achievements”, and “working collectively to create an inclusive world”. The Choosing to Challenge is a 6.5% ABV Honey Lavender cider, and features a special cross-stitched theme on the label, by Alison Uhma of On Paper Books, responsible for all of their illustrations. From Island Folk, “$1 from every bottle sold will go to the Every Woman’s Centre – a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the enhancement of women’s lives in Cape Breton – Unama’ki.”

Keeping with the theme, Breton Brewing is launching a showcase ale for the great women of their brewery. A beer brewed by three of their female employees, with one of them also designing the label. Releasing Pink Boots Pale Ale for IWD, this bright and floral pale uses the Pink Boots blend which has helped to create a light and hoppy 4.6% ABV brew with fantastic floral, lemon, and citrusy aromas. It is now available in the taproom and online for home delivery in the CBRM & HRM. A portion of sales from every can sold will be donated to a local women’s charity. This is Breton’s third iteration of Pink Boots, as it was out last year for International Women’s Day and again in June of 2020, supporting scholarships for women in the brewing industry. The previous release was a Session IPA, but they’re back with a Pale Ale for 2021 and it sounds as delicious as ever.

Quidi Vidi Brewery released Stronger Together Strawberry Blonde Ale this week, with recipe, artwork, and name, all the brainchild(ren) of women who work in the brewery. “Today we raise a glass to Tiffany, Sam, Ashley, Meredith, Becca, Olivia, Vic and Grace who exemplify the spirit of Stronger Together! ♥️” Ripe strawberry aromatics with hints of cherry, supported by a light malt backbone and crisp finish in a 5.0% ABV package. The QV beer is also an opportunity to give back, with the brewery making a donation of $2000 to NLOWE. “What is NLOWE,” you might ask? From the brewery: “Founded in 1997, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs supports and encourages women entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and take advantage of exciting opportunities to start their venture or grow their existing business.” Stronger Together is available now at their spot at 16 Harbour View Drive, as well as online for local delivery.

Let’s finish today back in Saint John, where the Picaroons General Store invited the fine folks of Big Tide and Uncorked Tours into the brewhouse in February. They brewed up an IPA, which will be hitting the taps Monday. Leaning towards the malty side, but featuring plenty of hops to balance, it will come out around 6.5% when all is said and done. In addition to the taps at Pics, it will also be available for pints and the new growler option at Uncorked’s spot in the City Market on Monday.

 

Happy end of May! It’s hard to believe it, but we’re closing the books on the fifth month of 2019. You’d certainly never believe we’re on the cusp of Summer by looking out your window (or maybe you would, if you were chasing icebergs around Twillingate this week)! Let’s get you up-to-date with the opening of PEI’s first new brewery in 8 months, plus a baker’s brewer’s dozen of new beers and lots of events to keep you happy.

We’re excited to announce that Prince Edward Island’s Beer Scene is expanding today, with the opening of Bogside Brewing in Montague. Located at 9 Brook Street, overlooking the Montague River and Waterfront Park, Bogside features a full restaurant and taproom to complement the brewing operations. While equipment delays have them serving up fellow Island Craft Beers this weekend (with their own beers flowing in the next week or so), there’s no such holdups with the food! Chef Dave Mottershall is running a food program featuring low-and-slow BBQ, a wide variety of cured meats from his Salume Rume meat locker, and plenty of traditionally paired sides (think baked beans, greens, cornbread). The restaurant and taproom is open today 4 – 11 PM, and daily with the same hours, opening just in time for PEI Craft Beer Week (much more on that below!). Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw), and we’ll have a Profile with owner David McGuire and Brewer Mark Patriquin early next week.

We’ve got lots of news from Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin this week, so let’s get right to it! First off, they sat down with our pals at the 902 BrewCast and recorded an episode chronicling the first 18 months of operation down on Angus Hiltz Rd. Topics range from their opening Thanksgiving weekend 2017, to the expansion of their brewing operation from 50 to 500 litres, to their take on traditional and historic German style. Dan and Peggy (but mostly Dan!) took over the rocking chair and aired some grievances about Untappd, beer competitions, and that nasty “s” word, saturation. And you’ll also get the inside scoop on their new taproom on Duke Street in Chester, opening this summer! They’ll be moving their pilot system into the downtown to create more room in the brewhouse (aka garage), and offer locally-brewed beer to visitors and locals alike. And you’ll be the first to hear about a South Shore Beer Bus that will allow beer fans to hop on and off at breweries in Chester, Bridgewater, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg (we’ll have more on that plan soon). At well over an hour in length, the podcast is the perfect length to listen to while driving to/from the brewery to catch the latest release!

Speaking of which, the latest brew coming out from Tanner & Co is Mango Basil Saison. Starting from their traditional Saison base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, and fermented with French Saison yeast, this batch features light usage of Amarillo in the boil (to the tune of 25 IBU) and a light dry-hopping. Added to both the kettle and then again to the conditioning tank was organic mango puree and fresh basil, working to meld with the base beer character, rather than overpower it. Think light tropical and herb notes working with the light fruity esters and phenolic spiciness from the yeast. Bottles of the 6.2% ABV MBS are available at the brewery now, as well as at their Lunenburg Farmers’ Market stall on Thursdays.

Niche Brewing, southwest of Fredericton, NB, is releasing another beer on the hoppy side this week. Dubbed Equanimity (a challenge to say after having a couple), it’s a NE-style Pale Ale, hazy and juicy, and slightly dank, but decidedly lower in ABV than a NE IPA at 5.5%. Expect a smooth body from a grist of 2-row, Golden Promise and flaked wheat and a moderately bitter finish, balancing a hop bonanza from late additions of Ekuanot, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and a very large amount of Vic Secret and more Mosaic in the dry hop. Look for it all over New Brunswick starting this weekend.

New can release from 2 Crows this weekend, and it sounds like a real humdinger! Humdinger (see what we did there? #killingit) was brewed with Pilsner malt and lots of different wheat (including raw, malted, and flaked), as well as a bit of oats and Aromatic malt. Hopped late in the boil with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic “American Noble Hops” (check out our post last week for more on this extremely odd and confusing term) to 15 IBUs, the wort was fermented in one of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of yeasts (including American Farmhouse, a white wine strain, and the multitude of other goodies living in said foedre), and conditioned for over 4 months. The beer was then transferred back to stainless and dry-hopped with Centennial, Huell Melon, and Idaho 7, canned, and conditioned with Champagne yeast for about six weeks. The final beer is tasting “super bright, lively, delicately funky, with citrus, honeydew and orchard fruit vibes”. Sounds great to us! Grab your cans at the brewery tomorrow.

Looks like Spindrift is continuing to play with small batch releases, as they’ve got a new beer hitting their taproom next week. Diabolic Scheme is a “Black Currant Wheat Beer” that was brewed with a grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt. Hopped very lightly (to just 6 IBUs) with Herkules and Cascade, the 5.6% ABV brew features an addition of black currant puree. As you might expect, the black currant is what comes through most prominently in the aroma and flavour of the beer, with a bit of tartness from the fruit coming through as well. You’ll be able to find it on tap at Spindrift on Thursday, June 6th.

The gang at Shipwright Brewing is keeping busy with new beers, as their latest, Fischerdorf Alt, is now available on tap. Named after the German word for “fishing village” (they ARE in Lunenburg, after all!), this is the brewery’s homage to the Altbier, a classic German style. A dark amber brew that was hopped lightly (to 22 IBUs) with Perle, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast. Sporting a “delicate malt-forward presence”, it has a touch of bitterness to balance, along with a crisp finish. This 5.2% ABV beer is currently pouring at the brewery (pints, growlers, crowlers), and is also on tap at the Grand Banker.

Port Rexton Brewing already has the next entry in their Continuum series of hazy IPAs, Continuum w/ Galaxy, available for you thirsty hop-heads out there! As you may have imagined, it’s hopped with loads of Galaxy, that fabulous Australian variety, including additions in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop. Those of you familiar with Galaxy know that that means plenty of “passion fruit, pineapple, peach and mango” in the aroma and flavour, balanced by a moderate bitterness in the finish. It comes in at a low-for-an-IPA 5.1% ABV, meaning you can enjoy a pint or two and not feel loopy (well, that depends on a lot, but… you know). Check out the PR taproom for pints and growlers, or the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s for growler fills only. And when you head out to the taproom, you’ll be able to catch the very small batch of Kveik IPA, their local spin on the Newfoundland Skerwink Haze collaboration they brewed with Red Racer and is part of the Across the Nation 12-pack available in Atlantic Canadian Liquor Corporations/Commissions now.

The Picaroons General Store location in Saint John has a one-off beer – Light Speed Lager – currently available for pints and growler fills. A light-to-medium bodied brew, it was hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon, giving some citrus on the nose, as well as “faint, fruity flavours”. Lagered for six weeks to allow these flavours to develop, this 5.1% ABV Lager finishes dry and refreshing. Limited supplies available, only at the General Store.

Hot off the heels of two Scratch beers last week, Scratch #22: Hefeweizen is out today from Grimross. Brewed with lots of Wheat malt (~55%) and a mixture of Pilsner and Melanoiden, as well as a touch of Chocolate Wheat for colour, it was lightly hopped with Magnum and Tettnang to 13 IBUs. Fermented with a Weizen yeast strain to give your classic banana and clove characteristics, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. Refreshing and flavourful, you can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery for you to stock up on for the weekend; look for ANBL stores and tap accounts to receive their own supplies sometime next week.

It wouldn’t be the start of the weekend without at least one new beer from Big Spruce, which goes hand in hand with a cute, punny name! For this week, they’ve actually got two of both for us, starting with Kolsch Encounters of the Third Kind (see?). A light and refreshing, 5.4% ABV lagered ale (fermented with an ale yeast, likely cool, and allowed to lager at cool temps even longer), it’s meant to be easy-drinking, just what you need after yardwork, long hikes, etc. The second release is Apri-Hours, a mixed fermentation sour ale with apricot. Medium-bodied with flavours of apricot and lemonade, it packs a bit more of a punch at 6.8% ABV. Both beers are available on draught only; while you can of course swing by the Sprucetique for pours and growler fills, there will also be some kegs out in the wild (definitely at Battery Park and Auction House, as well as others). And keep your eyes peeled for Big Spruce’s first foray into the canned non-alcoholic realm, with Sparkling Organic Lemonade available now at the brewery and soon in cans across the province.

Halifax’s Good Robot has kegged the latest iteration in their Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs. Leveraging the practice of adding a bunch of hops during primary fermentation (e.g., before the beer is “dry,” so it’s not really a “dry hop”), they’ve also committed to a very 1970s/80s rock album model of roman numeral naming. This one is Creature Feature V, which features the fairly uncommon and somewhat feared Japanese Sorachi Ace hop variety. Known for imparting a lovely bright lemony character, but at the same time often bringing along complex and prominent notes of dill and lemongrass, it’s a bold move for a bold style. Coming in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBU, look for it at the GR taproom and possibly GR tap accounts around Halifax, starting this weekend.

You’ve got a busy weekend ahead of you, folks, so let’s help you plan your moves…

Propeller Brewing is hosting the Awards Gala for the Everwood Ave Home Brew Competition at 7:30 PM at their Gottingen Street taproom this evening. The event is open to the public, and if you have ever thought about taking up homebrewing, you’ll want to drop by to meet some of the keen members of the community, as well as have the chance to speak with homebrew shop owners and professional brewers to talk shop. You’ll also be able to grab a pint from their Friday Cask; this week’s features the returning Stone Fruit, with an extra-special dose of lime in the cask. Plus Real Fake Meats is onsite with Veggie Donair Egg Rolls to keep your tummy satisfied. And with the Arcade open from 4 PM this afternoon, you’d be crazy to miss it!

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is kicking off this weekend, and running from June 1 – 8, 2019. All eight Island breweries will be participating, each hosting events at, and around, their respective breweries. While there is no All-Island Brewery Festival to kick-off or end the week, there will be some big events happening to get you excited that we want to highlight. The first is on the kick-off day Saturday, as a handful of PEI Craft Beer Bus Tours will be crisscrossing the island. You can choose which of your favourite breweries to be picked up at (Copper Bottom, Evermoore, Moth Lane, or Upstreet [PEIBC bus is now sold out]), and you and your closest pals will tour all seven breweries (skipping the Gahan House) in one day. A great way to drink your way across the province and taste everything the fine breweries have to offer! Click that link to grab tickets! Sunday features a Brewer’s Brunch and brewery tours at most of the locations. Check the full schedule here, and if we get our butt in gear (looking at you, Chris!), we’ll have a Map and Calendar posted over the weekend to help you plot your moves over the next 8 days.

It’s been almost five years since Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has been in operation, and the 3rd Anniversary of the opening of their “big” brewery (remember, they started off as a 1 bbl in a basement before opening a much-larger brewery with a taproom) is coming up. You know what that means… an Anniversary Party! So, tomorrow, June 1st, TW is blocking off their side parking lot to include space for food trucks, outdoor games, live music, and a beer garden. They’ll be having free brewery tours throughout the day, swag giveaways, and plenty of beer releases, including the re-release of Bliss, their 4% ABV “Session India Pale Lager”, and a new iteration of their Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA, this one with raspberry and orange. Most of the outdoor activities start at around noon, and there’s no charge to attend… it’ll continue all day and evening!

The 5th Annual Port City Beer Run in Saint John is fast approaching, happening next Saturday, June 1st. This event has been growing since it started, with this year’s run expected to have over 300 runners participating, and 17 breweries and cideries pouring their products. Aside from all that beer and cider to look forward to after your run (there are 3, 5 and 10 km options), there’s also going to be live entertainment, and four restaurants on site serving up food. Almost $50,000 has been raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation over the last four years, so rest assured that besides having a great time and being active, your registration cost will be going to a very good cause. Speaking of that, you still have time to sign up; it costs $65 to register, and if you’d like to take part in all of the non-running fun, you can grab a “fan ticket” for $55. Check out the link above for tickets.

In addition to the beer mentioned above, Good Robot will be the site of much mirth and merriment this weekend with two big events on the docket. First up is the Aquasocks album release tonight at the Mayflower Curling Club (a few tickets are still available) that we’ve mentioned a couple of times over the last few weeks. It will feature a special beer brewed just for the event (that’s been on preview at the GR taproom since last week), a blueberry- and pineapple-laden Pilsner they’ve called Aquakultre’s Legacy Lager.

And following hot on the heels of what will surely be a night of beer drinking and booty shaking comes the latest event under the Flavabot umbrella, called, in typically questionable GR taste, The Great North End Jerk-off. There will be nothing questionable, however, about the taste of the traditional Caribbean Jerk-style cooking that is the heart of this event. The Limestone Group, RumbleFish (GR’s in-house kitchen in partnership with Black Sheep), and HopYard Halifax will be bringing smoke, spice and heat in a competition to crown the Jerk King. Two levels of tickets are available, Silver, which gains you admission only (all food and drink is extra) and Gold, which gains you admission and 5 food samples. And it wouldn’t be a FlavaBot event without some Caribbean-influenced beer, now, would it? Of course not! So Giovanni Johnson is bringing plenty of that. Rake ‘n Scrape originally debuted at the Flavabot Rake ‘n Scrape event back in March. A tropical double IPA with mangoes and pomegranate, it’s plenty juicy, plenty bitter, and tart as well, with an ABV of 6.9% and 70 IBUs. On the small batch side there will be two others, Pineapples and Coconuts (which also debuted at Rake ‘n Scrape), a 5.6% ABV and 27 IBU wheat ale featuring pineapple and coconut, and a brand new one, Conch Style Lager, a light, crisp, and refreshing beer with lime zest and spruce tips that weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 29 IBUs. Festivities start June 1st (that’s tomorrow!) at noon at the Mayflower Curling Club; you can get your tickets online here. So come get your jerk on at the jerk off!! (sorry/not sorry)

Just a few more things before we send you along your way today!

Garrison Brewing already has the second entry in their Hop Trip IPA series, with Hop Trip – Azacca (6.2% ABV). Hopped entirely with, yep, Azacca, expect lots of pineapple and lemon flavours. It’s only available on tap, so stop by the brewery for a growler, or look for it at your favourite Garrison licensee.

If you’re a hop lover in Halifax, you might plan to be in the environs of North Street this weekend, as Unfiltered has brought back their king hell Citra bomb, DOA. As usual, it’s 7.5% ABV, lotsa IBUs, and you’ll belch an orange grove after a glass or two. Cans, fills and pints from today at noon.

Upstreet’s dry-hopped kettle sour, Major Tom (5% ABV) is back as of yesterday. Tart in the finish with notes of grapefruit thanks to the dry-hop addition, you can find it on tap at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner, as well as in bottles.

Welcome to the first ACBB post of 2017! Today’s post marks the start of our sixth year writing the blog, keeping you up to date with all of the craft beer goings-ons in the region. When we started in 2012, there were fewer than 20 breweries in Atlantic Canada; in 2017 we may surpass 100! It just goes to show the level of interest in great beer has exploded in our region, and drinking and supporting local breweries, brewpubs, and cider houses by enjoying their products and visiting their premises is becoming a popular pastime, while also supporting local economies. Hopefully 2017 will see the continuation of some of the trends we’ve seen in the past twelve months: breweries opening in small communities to serve their local population, wider range of styles and experimentation to broadening our horizons, a measurable impact on tourism by the craft beer sector, expansions to larger brewhouses as small breweries realize financial success, and continued reform by provincial governments. Now on to today’s news!

• Shane Steeves, owner/brewer of Hammond River Brewing, is once again harkening back to his homebrew days, as he just recently brewed up a batch of S’mores Graham Cracker Imperial Stout. This is a big beer with plenty of ingredients: six types of malt, a hefty amount of crushed graham crackers in the mash, plus honey, molasses, cacao nibs, and cinnamon in the boil. Nope, we’re not done yet – toasted marshmallows and vanilla bean were also added to the beer (in primary and secondary, respectively) to boost the aroma and flavour even more. Bittered to ~50 IBUs with Willamette, this very dark beer should come in at about 8.3% ABV; expect it to hit taps by the end of the month. Also, HR’s new Russian Imperial Stout, Quicksand Jesus, is now available (with the barrel-aged version coming out in about a month), as well as their Java Moose Coffee Porter (after a several-month hiatus) and Too Hop to Handle (with this batch featuring Hop Hash from Southan Farms).

• Amherst’s Trider’s Craft Beer has some great news for their thirsty fans: now that their 8 hl (7 BBL) brew system from Charlottetown’s DME is up and running, they’ve been able to better keep up with demand, and fully opened their retail location at 46 Anson Avenue (Unit 3). Hours are Wed 4-8pm, Thurs and Fri 4-9pm, and Sat 12-9. If you can’t make it in then, fear not! They are now on tap full-time in the region, including Duncan’s Pub in Amherst, and Sociables Pub in Springhill, and that list will continue to expand this winter. Keep an eye out for the Rod’s Red (Irish Red Ale that took Silver at the ACBAs), Scotian Pale Ale (an English Golden Ale), and brand new Justin Brew-deau, a Canadian Cream Ale. Their Yellow Beer’d Blonde Ale will be returning at the end of the month, along with some seasonals.

• After the highly-successful launch of their first beer, Lupulus Interruptus, Saint John’s Loyalist City has brewed their second beer, which will be released at tap accounts within the next couple of weeks. Parrtown Pale Ale is best described as an English Bitter, a malt-forward style also known as an English Pale Ale. With a grist that includes Simpson’s Maris Otter malt (imported from England), expect the beer to have a “rich, full-bodied, biscuity malt flavour characteristic to the style”. The malt is balanced with a “firm bitterness” from the addition of East Kent Golding, a popular U.K. hop variety that exhibits spicy, herbal aromas and flavours. This beer holds a special place in the heart of brewer/co-owner Mark McGraw, as it was the first recipe he entered in a competition as a homebrewer in 2013, and consequently his first medal… with many to follow!

Annapolis Cider Company has a new release in their “Something Different” series, Cranberry Clementine. This is an unfiltered, sparkling beverage that combines a dry cider with fresh-pressed, local cranberry and apple juices. This blend was then infused with clementine zest, giving a 6.3% ABV cider with a deep-blush hue and a “freshing cranberry tartness augmented with aromatic notes of citrus”. It’s available now in refillable bottles at the cidery; as always with this series, $0.50 from each sale is donated to a local charity. This time, the recipient is SMILE, a Wolfville-based volunteer-driven program “that provides persons with varying disabilities a unique physical activity experience in order to improve their total development”.

• Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has released their first collaboration beer, with Big Tide Brewpub’s Head Brewer Wendy Papadopoulos (and consulting assistance from local beer, wine, and spirits writer, Craig Pinhey). Humbuggery Best Bitter is a 5.1% ABV English Ale, hopped with Golding and Jester, a little-known UK hop with tropical fruit and citrus notes, distinguishing it from most other in that region. It is available at both the Foghorn and Big Tide brewery spaces, as well as Uptown Saint John’s Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub. But be sure to drop by soon, as there’s not much of the 8hl batch left!

• For the first time in a year, Unfiltered has brewed up a batch of their Hyper-Galactic SMaSH (single malt and single hop) India Pale Lager. With specs spot-on with NASH’s other SMaSH beers (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU and a color of 4.1 SRM) this beer features Topaz hops, a variety from Australia known for bringing a palette of tropical flavours including lychee and passionfruit along with some spicy and resiny notes. The use of a bottom-fermenting lager yeast and, no doubt, a low-temperature lagering period, should make for a crisp and clean finish to compliment a huge hop flavor. Available for fills and pints today at noon, you are encouraged, as always, to get on it!

Mama’s Brew Pub has brewed up a couple of batches of their first stout served on nitrogen. Fittingly named Nitro Stout, the grist is made up of Maris Otter, Crystal 70 L, Carafa III, and Chocolate and Wheat malt, giving lots of roasted flavours and aromas. Hopped with Golding and Cascade (both sourced from Southan Farms) to 22 IBUs, this sessionable ale (4.4% ABV) fermented with a neutral British Ale yeast, before being slowly nitrogenated over 5 days.

• Yesterday saw the release of a collaboration between the fine folks at Good Robot and the gentlemen of Sickboy Podcast, a media company that promotes and celebrates open and honest discussion of sickness and disability. Cystic Fibrewsis is described as a Strong American Bitter, essentially an ESB, the favourite style of Sickboy, but more highly attenuated and brewed with American breeds of European hop varieties (Perle, Tettnang and the Fuggle-descended Willamette). The grist is based on the classic British malt Maris Otter, but there’s also some Simpson’s DRC (double-roasted crystal) for caramel flavor and body, a touch of smoked malt and some demerara sugar to encourage a drier finish. It carries some weight at 5.8% ABV, supported by roughly 30 IBU. Good Robot will be donating $10 for each keg sold to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, an organization near and dear to Sickboy’s Jeremie. The guys recorded a live podcast at the Good Robot taproom last night; look for it to be posted to their usual podcast sites (SoundCloud and the iTunes) in the near future.

• PEI Brewing Co. has a new variation on an existing beer coming next week to the ANBL’s growler program and a few select tap accounts: Mango Lassi DIPA takes PEIBC’s 8 Cord to North India with fermentation having taken place on ripe mango and green cardamom pods. This will give the beer a big mango flavor along with the distinctive spicy aroma of cardamom. The hops used – Azacca, Mosaic and Simcoe – should complement the fresh mango flavor with citrus, piney and dank notes. The bitterness is a solid 70 IBU and the ABV gets a boost from the fresh fruit to a hefty 9.3%. If you’re craving the original, 8 Cord will also be available in cans (in New Brunswick and PEI) and kegs (maritime-wide) in a couple of weeks.

• Halifax’s Rockbottom Brewpub released a new lager yesterday, Dortmunder Export Helles. At 5.3% ABV and 27 IBUs, this pale-coloured lager features light Noble bittering to complement the faint grain aromatics, with a medium body and crisp finish. Grab a pint today, or in a growler to go (let’s be honest, it’s best to do both!).

• Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery will be debuting a brand new beer at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market tomorrow morning. Portland Porter is a 5.3% ABV, 31 IBU Porter, featuring Roast, Chocolate, and Honey Malts, along with a small percentage of Smoked Malt, culminating in a rich coffee aroma and flavour. Drop by 8am – 1pm to try a sample, and get a fill of your growler to enjoy more at home. Keep your eyes peeled for possible tap accounts in the near future.

• Last September, we reported that Moosehead was not only planning on opening a new small-batch brewery to coincide with their 150th Anniversary, but that they had also settled on the location on Water St. in downtown Saint John. However, this week they confirmed that they will not be proceeding with these plans, due to costs being “more than anticipated”, according to the announcement on their website. They do insist that developing a location to brew small batches of beer, and “build [their] relationship with [their] customers in a more personal way” is still something they intend on doing.

• Just one event to remind you about this week, but it’s a big one! On Thursday, January 12th, Local Connections Halifax is presenting their Fourth Annual Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration at the Marriott Halifax Harbourside. Sixteen breweries (and two cider houses) from across the province are teaming up with sixteen restaurants for an epic showcase of our province’s offerings. It also serves as the release of several special beers in our region, some of which we are able to share with you today:
Big Spruce Brewing is debuting two beers at the event: Risky Biscuits Dark Mild, the 4.4% ABV winning beer from the Home Brew Challenge held in November, brewed by David Pepper; Liquid James Brown, a 6.1% ABV Milkshake IPA (the first in the province), featuring loads of late hop additions of El Dorado and Mosaic, along with oats, lactose, and vanilla beans, for a smooth mouthfeel bursting with tropical and citrus flavour.
– Good Robot is pouring Daughter of Sin, a Red Double IPA brewed with homebrew collective Brathair Brewing. The 8.1% ABV beer clocks in with 74 IBUs, all introduced post-boil (during the whirlpool while the beer chills) for a flavourful and smooth (but robust!) bitterness with fruitiness from Mosaic hops. This is a CB&LFC exclusive, so be sure to seek it out!
Propeller Brewing will be pouring Vanilla Porter, their next One Hit Wonder, scheduled to hit the brewery’s taps in the next few days. It will be joined by their IPA or ESB, and Krave Lager, as they are paired up with Krave Burger, who are serving Burger Bombs.
Spindrift will be debuting Duplicitous Imperial Pilsner, which was mentioned on the latest 902 BrewCast (shoutout). From Kellye Robertson, “Blend of Canadian and German Pilsner malts make this is a deceivingly light looking lager packing a punch of 8.0% ABV and 70 IBU. Aromatics of melon, citrus and passionfruit are led by generous amounts of Hallertau Blanc, El Dorado and Citra hops. ” After next week’s debut, it will be available at the brewery for growler fills, and around town next weekend.
Tatamagouche will be debuting their Mrs. Magouche American IPA, a collaboration beer brewed the fine people of the Ladies Beer League. They will also be pouring Smorter, their S’mores Porter, and have given a keg of that beer to their partner Primal Kitchen for some epic S’more tarts with beer reduction.
In addition to those mentioned above, check here for the (mostly) full line-up of beer and food. For those who want to enjoy the partying after the event is over, Local Connections has negotiated a rate of $139 at the Marriott, just mention that when booking. There are fewer than 20 tickets remained for the all-inclusive event, so grab your today!

And finally this week:

Tipsy Toad, the 5% Pale Ale from Fredericton’s Bogtrotter, is available now in 500 mL bottles at both the Oromocto and York St. ANBL locations.
– If you live in Fredericton and have been craving some Toque and Mitts (7.8% ABV), Celtic Knot‘s annual-release Barleywine, it’s now on tap at the James Joyce.
– Today, Garrison is re-releasing their Dirty Ol’ Town Black IPA (6.2% ABV, 52 IBUs) at their retail store; this Canadian Brewing Award Gold Winner is “dark, deep, toasty and hop-forward”. It will be available in six packs onsite, and at the NSLC and your local private beer store in the near future. And for our New Brunswick readers, look for it to hit the shelves of the ANBL shortly.
Petit-Sault‘s Canon Franchetti, a “Cappucino Stout” is back; you can find it in bottles and growlers at the brewery in Edmundston, as well as the Picaroons General Store in Saint John. Look for it to be on tap at ANBL Growler stations January 19th (who may also be receiving bottles this month as well).
Picaroons released a new beer at their Saint John General Store location, a Baltic Porter named The Teleporter. It’s just about gone already, but this 6.5% ABV beer was lagered for close to 6 weeks, to allow the alcohol and roasted characteristics to further blend together. And keep your eyes peeled here for details on a collaboration the SJ Picaroons folks did at Big Tide, which will be released mid-month.