Red Rover Brewing

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Happy Friday, everyone. It’s too beautiful of a day to be stuck reading some hilarious and insightful introduction paragraph, so let’s get right to the beer news, and get you on your way out the door for a beer!

• This week saw the launch of FirkinStein Brewing, a small brewery based in Bridgewater, NS. While not available on tap in bars or restaurants just yet, they have begun direct delivery of growlers to the public in their region. They currently have their Nor’easter Ale on offer, a 7.5% ABV Strong Ale, with lots of citrus aroma and flavour from Cascade hops (to about 55 IBUs). To take part in the fun, visit their Facebook page and send them a message with your name, address, and request. And yes, direct growler deliveries ARE legal, don’t worry! Growler fills are $12, with a growler cost of $8. Look for more details on the brewery and the folks behind it very soon, and welcome to the neighbourhood, FirkinStein!

• Despite the warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately, October is just around the corner, which can only mean… pumpkin beers! Petit-Sault has just released their Bonhomme Sept-Heures (roughly translated as “Bogeyman”), and as pumpkin beers go, it’s a big one! Weighing in at a whopping 8.6% ABV, the batch included the addition of more than 60 lbs of fresh pumpkin and squash, and 2 lbs of spices. Described by the brewery as having a “hint of caramel, with a slight biscuit sweetness” to go along with the pumpkin and spice flavours, it features a “warm finish” from the deceptively-hidden alcohol. It’s available now for growler fills at the brewery, on tap at select locations, and will also be at ANBL growler stations by next Thursday, Sept. 24th. And for those of you in PEI, Petit-Sault is now selling several of their beers at select PEILCC locations!

• Things are hopping over at Tatamagouche Brewing, as there’s lots of beer news to report! First off, their Russian Imperial Stout (the next beer in their Giant Beer Series) is now available; a monster of a beer at 8.5% ABV and over 100 IBUs, it was brewed with Frontenac Organic Pale Malt, Munich, Chocolate malt, and Roasted Barley to provide lots of dark colour and roasted flavours, and a bit of Flaked Barley to boost the body and head retention. Hopped with Pacific Gem and Chinook, it’s available in 650ml bottles now at the brewery, and at the Truro Farmers Market Saturdays.

• Tatabrew is also releasing a brand new IPA next Thursday, Sept. 24th: Deception Bay IPA is a 6.2% ABV “West Coast-inspired IPA” that was bittered with Magnum, and features large late-hop additions of Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria and Citra for intense juiciness in both the aroma and flavour, and a big 63 IBUs. This beer will be available in growlers and cans, and on tap as well, so be sure to grab a pint when you spot it in the wild!

• AND, Tatabrew will soon be re-releasing a couple of old favourites; their seasonal Oktoberfest, Lagerhosen, will be released on Sept. 24th. Brewed specifically for the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest (Sept. 25th-26th), it was hopped solely with Hallertau, and weighs in at a very-drinkable 4.5% ABV. And their DIPA, Horns Over Hooves, was brewed earlier this week; it should be available for release around Oct. 8th.

• It’s Harvest Jazz & Blues week in Fredericton, so there’s plenty going on in the city. In terms of beer, the Capital Complex is holding a Saturday Matinee tomorrow, from 12-4 pm, at Wilser’s Room. Tickets are $15 each at the door, and get you a plate of BBQ (roast pig, while available), live music (starting at 1 pm), and a pint of craft beer. Both TrailWay and Gray Stone will be pouring; while not yet officially open, this will be Gray Stone’s second official appearance on the scene, with another preview of some of the beers they should be releasing when construction is completed on their brewery. They will have their American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, American Stout, and Brown Ale on hand, and will be pouring at Wilser’s Room for the rest of the day until the beer is gone! TrailWay will be bringing their Primetime APA, and a new version of their D’Under – this batch was hopped entirely with a fairly new (and hard to come by!) Australian variety, Vic Secret (known for giving plenty of pineapple and pine characteristics). We hope to see you there!

• In other Harvest news, Red Rover is re-releasing their Blueberry Cider under the name The Blues. This batch features a change in the apple blend, but with the same 7% ABV. The name, flavour, and colour come from the addition of 55 kg local wild blueberries to the batch. Grab a growler at the Ciderhouse, and look for it on tap at bars and restaurants around Fredericton. And keep your eyes open for the return of their popular Fall in a couple of weeks.

• The crew at Good Robot in Halifax have announced the release of a new beer, so of course they will be holding a party to celebrate it! On October 4th, they will be releasing Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer, their take on the Kentucky Common pre-prohibition style beer. Brewed with corn and rye, this beer will be another departure from the mainstream for GR. The Sowr Soul party looks to be a fun one, featuring Southern-inspired food, music, and, of course, the beer. Joe Martin of Bar Stillwell will be preparing a feast, centering around a roasted pig (raised by Moo Nay Farms and fed GR spent grain!), with corn on the cob, mac & cheese, collard greens and more. Big Country Ramblers will be playing bluegrass music to keep the party going into the evening. Check the FB Event page for a few more details.

Uncle Leo’s in Lyons Brook, NS are releasing their ode to the hop harvest today, a wet-hopped Pale Ale. The Pictou County Harvest Ale is 5.7% and at 35 IBU beer thanks to 23 kg of Centennial and Cascade fresh hops from local grower Bramble Hill Farm. Grab a growler at the brewery, and look for it on tap at their accounts shortly.

Distillerie Fils du Roy brewed up a one-off beer specifically for the Oktoberfest des Acadiens in Bertrand, NB earlier this month. While it is named Oktoberfest Bieretrand, the beer was actually brewed in the German Hefeweizen style. Exhibiting the banana and clove aromas and flavours expected from this style (thanks to the Weizen yeast strain), this cloudy and light gold-coloured ale has low hop character, and a smooth and creamy texture. Easy-drinking at 5% ABV, expect to see some light bubblegum and candy-like qualities in the taste as well. The leftover kegs are currently at all four ANBL growler stations for growler fills this weekend.

Big Spruce Brewing has brought back the very popular Gimme Citra this week. Brewed in conspiracy with the Bar Stillwell crew, this 4.7% ABV Pale Ale features loads of late hopping exclusively from the Citra varietal, showcasing more in the aroma and flavour than in bitterness (calculated at 36 IBUs). Look for it on tap for growler fills at the brewery and around Cape Breton and Halifax (including tomorrow’s Sausage Fest Sasuage Throwdown and Sausage O’ The Night). Drop by the brewery today for lunch for their Food Truck Friday to grab the assortment of sandwiches prepared with/built to pair with beer, and enjoy some music from their house band, The Asaphs, who go on at 3pm.

• The Antigonish Townhouse recently released a new beer, Old & Bitter. Brewed in the style of an Old Ale, it’s maltier and has a higher bitterness than their regular Best Bitter, which is often pouring at the pub. Also slightly higher in ABV at 5.7%, it was hopped with a higher alpha-acid variety, giving it “more complex, slightly spicy notes” according to the brewery. It ran out just recently, but will be returning in the near future. And next Friday, Sept. 25th, they will be releasing a new experimental beer to celebrate the Antigonight Art After Dark Festival. Incorporating elements of their Best Bitter and the Old & Bitter, expect it to be slightly darker than the two beers on their own, as the Chocolate malt has been increased in the recipe.

• For those looking to expand their knowledge of beer brewing, serving beer, and pairing food with beer, the Atlantic Chapter of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) is offering training centered around the Cicerone certification program. Local Certified Cicerone Angeline MacLennan (along with formerly-local Certified Cicerone Tracy Phillippi) developed two courses to prepare students to take and pass the Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone exams. Consisting of 4- and 10-week courses, respectively, the course includes information on the history of beer styles, recipe development, caring for draft and bottled beer, and pairing food with beer. The first course launches Tuesday, October 13th, so check out the details and sign up today!

A few parting shots this week: If you haven’t filled your growler with Unfiltered Brewing’s Double Orange Ale yet (or even if you have, and need more), best get down to the brewery *now* to grab it, as it will be out before the end of the day Friday. And look for a special tapping of their core lineup of beers at the James Joyce in Fredericton later in the weekend. The Little Rollin’ Bistro Food Truck set up at Breton Brewing 12-8pm today, who are now also running events throughout the week (Wednesday night 7-11pm is Game Night; Thursday 7-9pm is Trivia Night with wings made with Great Breton sauce, including Sons of Hector Brown Ale). Or, if you are on the other island, drop by Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing for food and music: the Thai Pad Food Truck is set up all day, and drop by after work for free and live music from Al Tuck during their Quittin’ Time Sessions, beginning at 6pm. Don’t forget to check out the Sausage Fest kick-off events at the Olympic Centre tomorrow; check last week’s post for more details. With nine breweries and lots of great food all under one roof, it will sure to be a blast! And be sure to check out the Sausage and Beer Patio Party at Scanway on Wednesday the 23rd. Picaroons’s Harvest Ale series will be hitting the shelves next week. Check their Meet Your Farmer website for information on the folks behind the wet hops used in the seven different beers. And speaking of Picaroons, the latest release of Half Cut‘s Alter Ego (brewed on Picaroons’ pilot system at the Brewtique) is out now, and available at bars around Fredericton. Sea Level has released their 6.5% ABV Hopfazupfa IPA at the brewery today, brewed with local wet hops. And congratulations to North Brewing, who have taken possession of their new 12 hl DME-built brewhouse late last week. The doubling of their brewery capacity is also part of their moving a pilot brewing system into the Battery Park Beer Bar, whose crowdfunding is entering its last couple of weeks. Now, put down your phone, laptop, or raven-delivered scroll, and get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

Happy Friday everyone! Sadly, this marks the last Wrap-Up of August, but that doesn’t mean that the beer news is slowing down at all.

• TrailWay released a new beer yesterday – this one was actually brewed by Catherine Saunders and Alex Sorenson under the watchful-eye of their significant others, Jake Saunders and Dan Mason (owners and brewers of TrailWay). Appropriately-named Better Half, it’s a Blueberry-Lime Fruit Beer that had real lime zest and 35 lbs of local blueberries added after fermentation was complete. With a simple grain bill consisting of mostly Pilsner malt, and very minimal hopping, it’s a refreshing and easy-drinking (at 4.5% ABV) end-of-summer beer, with some sweetness and tartness from the fruit. You can find it on tap now (or very soon) at the King Street Ale House, James Joyce Pub, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Vault 29.

• In other TrailWay news, they should be releasing a new Double IPA (currently unnamed) sometime next week. Clocking in at about 8.1%, it was hopped heavily (to ~75 IBUs) with Centennial, Comet, Galaxy and Mosaic, so expect plenty of tropical, citrus, and dank notes in this beer! Like most of their hoppy beers, the malt bill was kept relatively simple to allow the hops to shine through.

• PEI’s newest craft brewery, Upstreet Craft Brewing, is holding a Block Party on Saturday, September 5th. This free event will be held outdoors in the Upstreet parking lot, and will feature local food vendors, live music (including Wrong Planet Band), lawn games, activities (big and small, for kids and adults), and a “pop-up barber shop” for all your hair-trimming needs; guided brewery tours will also be going on throughout the day. It’s family-friendly, so bring the kids! The party will continue inside the taproom after 8 pm. They’ll be releasing their highly-anticipated Boxing Rock collaboration beer, Rumble in the Alley: Round 1, a SMaSH India Pale Lager, and there MAY be a special guest or two on hand for the tapping! And in other good news, brewmaster Mike Hogan has confirmed that he will be brewing another batch of their Wheat IPA, White Noize in the next few days; look for that one to be released again in September.

• It’s Hop Harvest time in our region! Yesterday, the crew from North Brewing made the trek to Shelburne to visit Boxing Rock Brewing for their own harvest collaboration brew. Many Hands 3.0 features loads of freshly-harvested Cascade, Chinook, and Willamette, all from North brewer Josh Herbin’s Lazy Acres hop farm. This Pale Ale will weigh in just shy of 6% ABV, and be available at both breweries and their market and restaurant accounts in September.

• Several other breweries have/will be brewing up wet hopped beers. Hammond River will be brewing up some with their own home-grown hops next week, Rockbottom Brewpub is brewing up a Pale Ale today with some Annapolis Valley fresh hops, and Picaroons has started the brewing of their multiple Harvest Ales, sourced from hop farms across the Maritimes. Big Spruce will be harvesting their own farm-grown hops Wednesday, September 2nd, and Meander River will be harvesting theirs Saturday September, 5th, with brews to follow quickly thereafter (if you’re able to help pick in Nyanza or Ashdale, keep an eye on their respective social media feeds for details and rain dates, if necessary).

• Meander River has a few new beers on tap recently, and we wanted to keep y’all up-to-date with their releases. Summer Solstice IPA is a 4.5% ABV Session IPA featuring a balanced hoppy flavour and aroma thanks to Amarillo and Citra; it was further dry-hopped with Cascade. A lower alcohol, but full-flavoured beer, perfect for summer afternoons and evenings. Gristmill Wheat Beer is an unfiltered wheat beer, featuring a forward bitterness with lots of citrus and strawberry, with a characteristic banana aroma. This is a lighter 3.8% ABV. Their Dusty Road Hard Apple Cider is a bit bigger, at 5.5% ABV, but just as refreshing, as it finishes quite dry and crisp. This is a different blend of Annapolis Valley apples than their Shack Wacky release in the spring, and as such will have a different profile. Their 5.2% ABV Ashdale Honey Brown is also available now, featuring honey harvested right on the farm, and added to the lightly-hopped Brown Ale, for a slightly sweeter finish and notes of toffee. Look for these beers at the brewery, or their accounts around the province.

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s, NL has released an alcoholic Apple Cider this week. Weighing in at 7% ABV, it is an off-dry cider, featuring some perceived bitterness from the high tannin content of the apples. It was fermented with champagne yeasts for a crisp and acidic bite. It is now on tap at the brewery and public house, and will be available in bottles next week.

Red Rover has brewed up their first Perry; similar to a cider – in that it is an alcoholic beverage from fermented apple juice – it also incorporates juice from pears. Featuring a single variety of pear from Cocagne, NB, it was balanced with juice from Cox’s Orange Pippin apples. The batch has been maturing for the last six months, and is exhibiting a “sweet, floral nose, and softer palate than a cider”, according to co-owner/brewer Adam Clawson; it should come in at around 7% ABV. It will be released at the Cider House next Thursday for flagon fills, and will also make a limited appearance at the Farmer’s Markets that Red Rover frequents.

• Fredericton’s James Joyce Pub has announced details on their Mug Club, the first of its kind in the city. A yearly membership of $59.95 + tax gets you a personally-numbered mug with plenty of entitlements, including 24-oz pours for the price of 20-oz, food discounts, email updates on new beers tapped at the pub, and invitations to Mug Club-exclusive events. Only 30 mugs will be sold; check out the link for more details. The official launch will be October 1st, but you can head into the pub now to reserve your mug.

• Good news for beer fans in New Brunswick: the ANBL has announced that they have over 30 award-winning beers from this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards that will be available for sale at select stores this Monday, August 31st. The “Ultimate Beer Run” includes multiple styles from breweries all across the country; check out the full list (and participating ANBL outlets) here. Quantities are limited, so be sure to drop by on Monday if you have particular beers that you would like to try.

• La sixième édition de l’Oktoberfest des Acadiens se passe du 3 au 6 Septembre à Bertrand, NB. Avec de la musique et un ambiance bavaroise dans les après midi, et des spectacles avec des artistes de renoms les vendredi et samedi soirs. C’est une fin de semaine de plaisir et de divertissement pour toute la famille. Jeudi soir l’on vous propose une dégustation dirigée par Patrice Godin d’Acadie-Broue, intitulé “Le Tour du Monde avec de la Bière”, mettant en vedette certains accords mets et bières spéciales. La Grande Dégustation se déroule le samedi et le dimanche de 13h à 18h, où les visiteurs pourront déguster une centaine de bières différentes du Nouveau-Brunswick (y compris Acadie-Broue, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, Pump House, Savoie’s Brewhouse), le Canada (Glutenberg et Red Racer et beaucoup plus), ainsi que l’Europe (Chimay, Chouffe, et Weihenstephan par exemples). Pour plus de détails sur les billets et l’horaire complet Vous pouvez visiter leur site et leur page Facebook.

• The Sixth Annual Oktoberfest des Acadiens is happening September 3-6 in Bertrand, NB. Featuring live music daily, and major concerts Friday and Saturday evening, it is a full weekend of family fun and entertainment. Thursday evening features a tasting led by Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin, entitled “Around the World with Beer”, featuring several special beer and food pairings. The beer garden will be open Saturday and Sunday 1-6pm, where visitors can sample from over 100 different beers from New Brunswick (including Acadie-Broue, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, Pump House, Savoie’s Brewhouse), Canada (Glutenberg and Red Racer and many more), as well as Europe (Chimay, Chouffe, and Weihenstephan for example). Ticket details and the full schedule is available on their website and Facebook page.

• Homebrewers, fire up those kettles, the 3rd Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge is back! This year is a bit of a departure from previous competitions, as beers are being accepted in three different styles: Czech Dark Lager (3D), Altbier (7B), and Red IPA (21B). They will be judged using the new 2015 BJCP style guidelines. The top three beers in each category will win prizes, and the Best in Show beer will be brewed at Big Spruce, and released at the Third Annual Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration in January. Homebrewers may enter a beer in one, two, or all three categories for the same $25 entry fee. That fee also entitles entrants to a limited edition t-shirt, and new this year, entry to the post-judging party at the Wooden Monkey Alderney Landing November 28th. To take part, be sure to email Big Spruce for the official entry form before November 23rd, and drop off the beer before the 27th at the brewery or the Halifax drop-point. There are more details on the event’s Facebook page. As there are a couple of lagers in there, best to get brewing soon!

Enjoy your weekend! All four ANBL growler stations are pouring summery beers this week, including Petit-Sault‘s new John Stadig (an “Orange Ginger White ale”), Picaroons Dooryard, and Le Trou du Diable Blanche de Shawi. Be sure to drop by Rockbottom this weekend and next week as they host several acts from the Halifax Urban Folk Festival, and catch their FizzGig Ladies Beer League Imperial Red, and Farmer’s Daughter Farmhouse Ale before they are replaced by an English Brown Ale and a traditionally-brewed Marzen (featuring imported malts and the Hochkurz Double-Decoction mash technique). Cheers!

Happy Friday local beer fans! We’ve got a shorter post this week, but that just means there’s more time for you to be out drinking!

Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax has released a brand new beer this week, Raisin Hell Oatmeal Stout. This stout is dark, rich and chocolaty, with coffee and cream notes, and a bittersweet finish reminiscent of oatmeal raisin cookies. Aromas of roasted grains, vanilla and cheerios. This Traditional English Stout is brewed with steel cut oats, which provide a full, velvety body. It is being served on a nitrogenated tap, for even more creamy character. The beer weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 35 IBUs

• And coming next week at Rockbottom is their collaboration with the Ladies Beer League, Fizzgig Imperial Red. At 7.5% ABV and 80 IBUs, this big, bold, and hoppy Imperial Red ale is a marriage of dark English crystal malts and bright punchy New Zealand hops. Ruby coloured, with aromas of blackberry and cut grass. Long bitter lemon-lime finish. The beer will be launched Wednesday evening, and a reminder that all LBL members receive 50% off appetizers Wednesday nights.

Big Tide Brewing has tapped the Marée Montante (Rising Tide) Gose this week, their collaboration with Acadie-Broue‘s Patrice Godin. This sour mashed beer has a light and refreshing body, at 4.6% ABV, and very light hopping, to 15 IBUs. Additions of coriander and Bay of Fundy salt water for that characteristic flavour of this traditional German style. It is available only at the brewery, and won’t last long, so drop by today.

Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston, NB are looking for an Assistant Brewer to join their ranks. While having intimate knowledge of yeast pitch rates and hop flavour profile are not required (but a bonus), this job is perfect for someone looking to learn the craft of brewing on a large scale. Check out the job posting for the full details, and contact them quickly, as the posting closes next Friday.

• Speaking of brewing jobs, Yellowbelly Brewery in St John’s, NL, is still looking for a Head Brewer and Brewer’s Apprentice. These positions will be to assist Brewmaster Liam McKenna as they expand their offerings and distribution. The 10 hl brewhouse located in the heart of downtown (on the corner of George and Water Streets), brews for both onsite consumption as well as bottles in the NLC. While the Brewer position requires formal brewing training and/or experience, the Apprentice job is the perfect position for those interested in the wonderful world of brewing! Interested candidates should send an email to yellowbellybrewerjob@gmail.com for more details and to submit a résumé.

• There are a pair of events happening in NB tomorrow evening. In Fredericton, the Tasting NB Event at the Capital Complex will see ten breweries (including brand new Flying Boats Brewing and Gray Stone Brewing), plus cider, wine, and spirits producers come together to celebrate the New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association. Tickets are still available. Flying Boats will be pouring their Humpyard Steam Ale, a 5.8% and 46 IBU California Common Ale (aka Steam Ale) and their Stove Pipe Gang Black IPA, 6.9% ABV and 96 IBUs. Gray Stone will be pouring their American Pale Ale, featuring tropical hop aromas, balances with a satisfying bitterness; American Stout, with a medium body featuring notes of toffee, roasted barley and coffee with a mocha nose; and India Pale Ale, a balanced beer, but with big bitterness. As their brewery is still months away, the folks at TrailWay Brewing (also in attendance) were kind enough to allow them to brew on their system.

• In Moncton, the Moncton Beer League is taking over La Teraz for a Nova Scotia Beer BBQ Deck Party, featuring beers from Boxing Rock, Garrison, North, and Propeller, each paired with a course of the meal: grilled pineapple glazed salmon, crispy orange marinated chicken thigh with cilantro and pineapple salsa, beer marinated and grilled ribeye, and extra dark double chocolate and coffee brownie with leche cream. Contact the MBL on FB to check for last-minute tickets, if available.

• Details have been announced for another Summer Tasting Session at Railcar Brewing in Florenceville-Bristol. Join brewer Mitch Biggar 6-9pm July 25 for some Stout and Porter talk, including the history, recipe development, and of course some tasting of three of each style. Tickets are $20 at the door.

Real Food Connections in Fredericton is making some unique products with local beer and cider: Freezies! They have taken Picaroons Dooryard Summer Wheat, and lightly simmered it with local honey, lemon, and lime, to make a Dooryard Shandy Sorbet that can be eaten/slurped on the go! They have also experimented with Grimross Pugnacious Porter and strawberry juice, and Red Rover cider for yet another flavour. While most of the alcohol is lost to evaporation during the preparation, the beer flavour remains in the final product. Drop by Real Food Connections in Fredericton for a taste, and you may even see these for sale in Dicke Dee-type rolling freezer chests soon!

Keep an eye out this weekend for Big Axe Brewing‘s Chanterelle Cream Ale, which has made its return this week, with freshly harvested mushrooms from the Nackawic area. Upstreet‘s Quittin’ Time Session is happening again this evening at the brewery, featuring Racoon Bandit‘s Fraser McCallum, and some fresh PEI oysters. Trailway Brewing has sent some Hugh John Hops IPA to Saint John, and it is only available at Bourbon Quarter (and only a pair of kegs). Meander River in Ashdale, NS has released another Cider, Dusty Road Hard Apple Cider. Dry, light, refreshing, 5.5% ABV, drop by the brewery this weekend to pick some up. In Halifax, North Brewing‘s Halifax Common is back on tap at the brewery, and a few local tap accounts.  And in more good news for Halifax beer fans, the inaugural brew from Unfiltered Brewing went on this week, so it won’t be long before Greg Nash’s beer will be flowing again in the city.