Rudder’s Brewpub

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Happy Friday the 13th! We don’t want to jinx anyone right before Love Day, so let’s get to the beer news…

Hammond River has released the commercial version of the winning entry of their 1st Annual Homebrew Competition. First-place winners Mike Hebert and Jason Dobbelsteyn brewed the beer – a Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer appropriately named F@#K Winter – with owner/brewer Shane Steeves; it was released late last week at Bourbon Quarter Restaurant & Bar… and quickly sold out in less than a day! A Winter Warmer brewed with 2-row, two different Crystal malts, Special B, and Roasted Barley, it was also spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and all-spice. A big beer at 7% ABV and 38 IBUs, it’s back on tap now at Bourbon Quarter and the Saint John Ale House, and should follow soon at the Barrel’s Head. Sounds delicious… if not a bit awkward to order! And this weekend, Hammond River’s award-winning American IPA, Hopflash, is available for growler fills for the first time at the Kennebecasis Valley ANBL.

Red Rover is celebrating their 1st Anniversary by serving up some new and aged ciders at the Cider House! Starting yesterday and continuing into today, they’ll be pouring one-year-aged versions of their Spring, Summer, and Scrumpy, as well as their FROSTival-inspired brew, Fire Cider. Also pouring is the return of Dark Cider, a 7% ABV, 3-month-aged Black Velvet featuring a blend of Spring cider and Picaroons‘ Stout, Timber Hog. As well, a special “surprise” cider will be tapped at 4 pm; details are slim, but we can tell you that a certain black, curranty berry may be featured! With new ciders and an expansion planned for the future, we can’t wait to see where Red Rover takes us in their second year!

• In sad news, Railcar Brewing announced yesterday that they are currently undergoing a hiatus in brewing and are now closed until further notice. Due to “production problems”, at least one current batch of beer had to be disposed of. As brewer/owner Mitch Biggar stated on Railcar’s Facebook page, “We want to make sure our product is top-notch, and if it isn’t, we won’t serve it; our latest batch did not meet quality guidelines”. On the BRIGHT side, however, Biggar has confirmed that Railcar will be moving to a new location just across the street from the current spot, to 2 Curtis Rd (below A.C. Sharkey’s Pub), where a grand re-opening is planned for March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day). The new, 2500-square-foot area will feature a bar, couches, and tables for a total seating capacity of 25; full pints will be able to be served in this environment. With the brewery behind glass, patrons will be able to view the brewing process while enjoying their beer! They’re also expecting some new equipment, specifically five additional 50-gallon fermentors, two 100-gallon fermentors, and a new brite tank. This will all make it much easier to keep up with demand when they re-open; we’ll keep you updated on their progress!

• Attention, Fredericton! As the James Joyce Irish Pub continues to add new local craft beer to their expanded tap selection, Celtic Knot is now pouring for the first time in the city since a brief appearance at last year’s Burgers n’ Beer event. Their Black IPA, Dubh Loki, was just tapped yesterday; there’s also a keg each of the Hopicide IPA and Dark Passage Oatmeal Stout waiting in the wings! In addition, Grimross Pugnacious Porter and Shiretown Big Brown Ale are now pouring, making a grand total of EIGHT New Brunswick breweries currently on tap! Also, Red Rover cider and Sunset Heights Meadery are on tap, making for a fantastic local selection!

• PEI Homebrewers, take note: The Gahan House in Charlottetown has opened entry for their second Annual Home Brewer’s Challenge. Registration for the brewing is open until February 27th, brewers must email Gahan (or drop by the Pub) to sign up to receive their entry forms. Brewers must submit their beer by 5pm on May 15th, after which it will be judged by a panel of experts. The winner will have the opportunity to brew their beer with Gahan Brewmaster Trent Hayes, and see their beer on tap at the Gahan House. This year’s style is “Summer Seasonal Fruit Beer”, which leaves the door wide open for a lot of creativity… perhaps a Lime Wheat Beer, or Orange Cream Ale, or Strawberry IPA? The competition is for PEI-based Homebrewers only, and doesn’t cost a dime, so register today!

• From one Island to Another, the Newfoundland Artisanal and Craft Beer Club (aka Beerthief) will be hosting a Dieu du Ciel! tasting Thursday, February 26th, at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Folks will get to enjoy a QV beer of their choosing t begin, and then 100 ml each of Blanche du Paradis, Route des épices, Aphrodisiaque, Disco Soleil, and Moralité. Snacks will also be provided. Mike Buhler, the Beerthief and Certified Cicerone, will lead the tasting of the five beer. The event starts at 7:30pm, and tickets must be reserved by emailing Mike.

• Speaking of Newfoundland, Garrison Brewing has sent over another shipment of beer on the Beer Dory, scheduled to be on the shelves this weekend. It includes the Chocolate Imperial Stout, brewed specifically for the Beerthief crew. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to a fund for the family of Sarah Turpin, a member of the Beerthief group, who passed away in the fall.

• If you’re taking in the second (and last) weekend of Fredericton’s Winterfesthiver tomorrow, be sure to check out the Craft Beer Bar at the Rocks the Night concert in the evening. Several NB breweries will be pouring: Grimross (Cheval D’Or and Pugnacious Porter), Big Axe (Big Axe Blonde and Chocolate Orange Stout), Picaroons (Blonde Ale and Irish Red), Red Rover (Fire Cider), and Sunset Heights Meadery (Cozy and Shipwreck). Featuring live music from Angry Candy, it’s a great combination of local beer and entertainment!

• Rudder’s Brewpub has just released Blonde Rock, a Blonde Ale brewed with a malt bill consisting of Canadian 2 Row barley, Wheat, and Munich Malt. They used Cascade hops, which shine through in the aroma. Head on down to the brewpub soon to test it out!

Have a fantastic Valentine’s Day weekend! Look out for the return of Tatamagouche’s Dreadnot India Black Ale, available in growlers at the brewery and RockHead in Halifax, and bottles as well. Boxing Rock has also re-released their Cascadian Dark Ale, The Darkness, also in growlers and bottles. And good news for fans of Schoolhouse Brewery – they’re looking to expand their production, and are soon expecting the delivery of a four hectolitre fermentor, which will allow them to brew and ferment double batches.

Good morning, beer fans! As August begins (try hard not to think about summer ending), it’s time for more local beer news…

Boxing Rock has released a new beer – Sessionista, a “Bold Session Ale”. Brewed to be available as an easy-drinking summer beer (and at 3.5% ABV, it certainly is very sessionable), it has a heavy malt aroma “reminiscent of an English Bitter” with hints of lemon blossom and orange, according to the brewery, along with “roasty malt notes on the palate followed by a pithy lemon-lime finish”. This is a limited-release beer, so pick some up while you can. It’s available in 650 mL bottles at private liquor stores in Halifax, in one-litre growlers every Saturday at the Halifax Seaport Market and the Shelburne Farmers’ Market, and at the brewery, while supplies last. Look for it on tap at select beer bars in Halifax, as well.

• This weekend (August 1st-3rd), the 9th annual Sappyfest (an independent music festival) is being held in Sackville, and Picaroons has brewed up a special beer for the event. Currently going by Secret Show Ale, this 4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs beer will be served during the festival on tap in the main tent, and afterwards should be available at both Ducky’s and Thunder & Lightning. With a malt base of Pilsner and a little wheat malt for head retention, it’s hopped with Tettnanger and Saaz, and brewed “in a Kolsch frame of mind”, according to brewmaster Andrew Estabrooks; that is, fermented cool to minimize production of fruity esters and diacetyl.

• There’s a new beer on tap at the Pump House brewpub, their Raspberry Wheat. A great style for the warm weather of summer, the brewery describes the beer as a German style wheat beer, “bombarded” with 40 kg of raspberries. “Tart and refreshing”, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. It won’t last long, so get down to the brewpub (and select restaurants/bars around Moncton) for a taste.

Big Tide Brewing is celebrating their 5th Anniversary on August 5th, and they’ve brewed up a special beer to celebrate! Anniversary Amber Ale is a “malty, full-bodied ale” that is brewed with five varieties of specialty malts and five hop varieties (Willamette, EKG, Nugget, Fuggles, and Cascade), and will clock in at 55 IBUs and, yes, 5.5% ABV. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to determine what else Big Tide has in store for their anniversary plans on the 5th, but keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.

• The PEI Brewing Co. is looking to release a new beer, a currently-unnamed Coffee Stout. They’ve brewed two different versions, and need your help in picking out which one is best! Drop into the brewery in Charlottetown, purchase a sample of each, and fill out a ballot indicating your choice for your favorite. Not only will you be helping the brewery decide which beer to brew on a larger scale, but you’ll also be entered to win two VIP tickets to this year’s PEI Beer Festival (Sept. 5th & 6th).

• It looks like last Saturday’s grand-opening for Brasseurs du Petit-Sault in Edmundston was a great success, and we now have a little more info on their Acadie-Broue collaboration beer that we mentioned last week. As previously noted, the beer brewed is from the recipe for Acadie-Broue’s Belgian Saison, Tintamarre. However, with this batch (brewed on a much larger scale on Petit-Sault’s system), Acadie-Broue owner/brewer Patrice Godin has dry-hopped the beer with 5 kg of Amarillo and Simcoe. Along with Amarillo in the whirlpool addition, and the Belgian yeast strain used for fermentation, this should be a very fragrant beer! Due to the slight changes, this batch will be named L’effrayab’ Tintamarre; “L’effrayab” is a local Madawaska county expression that translates to “incredible”. With an ABV of ~6-6.5% and 36 IBUs, it should be ready in time for National Acadian Day on August 15th; it will be packaged in kegs only, so look for it at bars/restaurants in the area. We’ll keep you updated as to where exactly it will be served.

• The new beer news rolls on, with Rudder’s Brewpub announcing that they’ve recently tapped Midnight Crossing Brown Ale. Brewed with Pale Ale malt as the base, along with wheat malt and two other specialty malts, it is hopped with two English varieties and one from New Zealand. Clocking in at 6% ABV and 26 IBUs, it pours with a tan head and a dark brown color in the body, and has “smooth drinking with a slight bitterness in the finish”, according to brewmaster Mike Ferguson.

• A few weeks ago, we reported on a new beer from Hammond River, a California Common named Gammie. Well, that beer is now available! A well-balanced and easy-drinking beer at 5.3% ABV and 37 IBUs, you should be able to find it on tap now at Shiretown Publicans and The Barrel’s Head; it may follow at Hammond River’s other accounts in the near future.

The Antigonish Townhouse is starting something new today… IPA Cask Night! Their first cask ever – Terry’s British IPA – should be tapped at 5 pm, to coincide with the birthday of one of their favorite regular customers. More one-off casks will follow over the coming weeks, to allow the staff to get the whole process down; they hope for it to become a regular bi-weekly event after that. This will give brewer Terry Piercey the freedom to do a bit more experimenting for future brews.

• The Ladies Beer League put together a great-looking event that’s being held during Halifax’s Local Connections Sausage Fest (Aug. 14th – 24th). Unfortunately, it’s already sold out! Dubbed the LBL Roof-top Cask Party at Scanway, there will be three casks tapped: Propeller Pilsner, Garrison Honey Lavendar, and Boxing Rock Hunky Dory Ginger; special sausage morsels from Scanway will also be available. Tickets were $10, and include a take-home glass and first fill (pay-as-you-go afterwards). Looks like the LBL will have to start holding more beer events so everyone can attend!

• And in other Sausage Fest news, both Garrison Brewing and North Brewing are participating in a Sausage Brunch and Beer Brunch at harbourstone sea grill & pour house on Sunday, August 17th. From 10 am – 3 pm, there will be a variety of handcrafted sausages available, along with several beers from both breweries; tickets are $39.

• The 8th Annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest is almost here! It will be held August 8th – 9th at the Cunard Centre, and tickets are still available. While we plan on providing all the information you need sometime next week, we wanted to point out that the full brewery/beer list has been posted on their website. With over 110 breweries pouring about 275 different beers and ciders – including an additional 15 unique casks from eight Atlantic Canadian breweries – it’s shaping up to be another great beer festival for our region. Tune in next week for more details!

Duo Wine Bar is holding a patio beer dinner on Wednesday, August 6th (rain date August 13th) at 6:30 pm. There will be five courses and eight different beers being served, with several beers from American breweries Goose Island and Brooklyn Brewery. More importantly, one of the courses will feature a special release of Celtic Knot Hopicide that has been “additionally hopped”, paired with traditional German Curry Wurst. Tickets are $120 (tax and gratuity included); send them an email to reserve yours.

• Looking for a job in the beer business? Well, with their expansion in progress, Garrison Brewing is hiring… specifically, for the position of Marketing, Retail & Event Coordinator. Two to three years experience in marketing, retail, events, etc. is required; if you’re interested, send a cover letter, resume, and references to Tracy Phillipi.

• This year’s annual Fredericton Beer Run, being held this Monday, August 4th (New Brunswick Day), has sold out! We’ve talked about the event in previous posts, but to re-hash, it involves a 6 km or 12 km run, followed by beer sampling at the King Street Ale House, where participants will be able to try fourteen 4 oz samples of various beers from local breweries. Check out their Race Roster page for a list of participating breweries (Railcar will not be pouring, but they will be present and selling beer swag).

• And speaking of the Fredericton Beer Run, the brain behind this event belongs to Lloyd Chambers, who also runs the yearly Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. Lloyd has confirmed that planning for next year’s FCBF has already begun; while March 7th, 2015 is still many months away, we can assure you that there’s already something new and special in mind! Looking forward to sharing more as the date gets closer!

Good morning beer fans! There’s lots going on in the craft beer world in Atlantic Canada this week, so let’s get started…

Celtic Knot Brewing announced that they have ordered three more 102 L fermentors to keep up with demand for their beers. Currently on tap at Marky’s Laundromat and The Tide and Boar in Moncton, as well as Ducky’s in Sackville, obviously beer drinkers are enjoying what Celtic Knot has been brewing! Their recently-brewed Session IPA, For Shore, featuring New Zealand and Australian hops, should also be appearing soon; for more info on that beer, check out our previous post.

Big Axe Brewery has added yet another new beer to their line-up… Shakesbeer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (named after owners Peter and Tatiana Cole’s chocolate labrador dog, Shakespeare) comes in at 6% ABV and is described as a “full and silky-bodied stout”, with an aroma “rich in caramel malts, chocolate, and hints of vanilla”. With a roasty and earthy hop character in the flavor, the beer is now available for growler fills at the brewery in Nackawic. And if you’re in the Sackville area, you can now find Big Axe beer on tap at Ducky’s; their Chanterelle Cream Ale was just tapped this week!

• It’s been out for a little while, but we wanted to share full details on Yarmouth’s Rudder’s Brew Pub’s latest seasonal beer. Brewmaster Mike Ferguson has brewed up Bunkers Island IPA, named after the peninsula in Yarmouth Harbour where an Irving Oil bunker oil tank farm was located. This Black IPA was hopped using Southern Cross exclusively, by means of five additions all added late in the boil, for a big aroma and flavour blast, and light on calculated bitterness. A generous portion of Midnight Wheat was used to generate the dark hue characteristic of this style. The beer weighs in at 6.3% ABV and 42 IBUs, and is available on tap and growlers and squealers at the pub. If you’re headed to or from Portland, Maine, on the ferry, be sure to drop by for a pint!

Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS, has released their newest beer, The Impresser Double IPA. This massive beer weighs in at 10.2% ABV, and 300 calculated IBUs, thanks to generous hopping throughout the entire process, from using Chinook flowers in the mash, of course lots of hops (including Citra) throughout the boil, and again dry hopped in the fermentation and conditioning tanks. The powerhouse Conan yeast was used to tear through the high-test wort, and will only enhance the hop flavours and aromas with its signature characteristics. The Impresser is available now in Squealers only at the brewery, and may make it on tap at your local watering hole, but will not last long, so jump on it now!

• Coming soon from Bad Apple Brewhouse is their Mosaic Double IPA. Brewed with a generous dose of the Mosaic hop varietal, this beer was brewed to raise awareness of Mosaic Down Syndrome. Donations from the sale of the beer will be made to the Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society, as well as to Brigadoon Village, who run camps throughout the summer, including a camp over the Father’s Day weekend for families with children with Down Syndrome. This 8% ABV, 120 calculated IBU beer will be released at the beginning of June.

• We now have some more details on the new seasonal, Summer Solstice, brewed by BarNone a couple of weeks ago. Designed to respect the longest day of the year, and to celebrate the sun, it’s an unfiltered, moderately-hopped ale that is brewed with several varieties of hops, and dry-hopped with Citra (also the dominant variety in the beer). It weighs in at 4.8% ABV and slightly hoppier than the Summer Sessions. It made its debut last evening at BarNone’s weekly growler night (every Thursday from 6 – 8 pm), with positive feedback from customers, according to co-owner/brewer Don Campbell. Last night also featured some delegates from Ireland and live local music. BarNone has also announced that they’ve brewed a collaboration beer with Bicycle Craft Brewery from Ottawa; that beer was just kegged earlier this week. We’ll have more details on the beer in next week’s Wrap-Up!

Garrison Brewing has announced a special Twelve Cask Bar Top Takeover event at Stillwell Beer Bar on June 21st. Featuring a dozen one-off cask conditioned beers, and highlighting local ingredients, this will be a great event. The day is divided in two: the First Sips event starts at noon, with $10 tickets getting you a special glass and first pour, and these limited number of tickets are available directly from Stillwell. Starting at two, the doors will open again, and as the first wave of folks get their fill, general entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis (for the same $10 deal). We got an inside scoop as to the great beers that will be making an appearance on the 21st: Brewer Kellye Robertson made her first pin a Blueberry Wheat Chai Tea using Oxford Blueberries & Chai from The Tea Brewery in Mahone Bay. We’ll have more details on beer in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

• Also from Garrison, a brand new beer! Building on the feedback and popularity of their Test Batch beers, they are releasing an India Pale Ale. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV and 50 IBUs, Waimea, Citra, Columbus and Amarillo hops lend the beer a citrus and tropical fruit aroma to balance the malt backbone. It is available now in 6-pack format at the brewery, and will soon be in the NSLC and private beer stores. It is joined by a re-release of the the ever-popular NiTWiT Belgian-style Wheat Ale, which started off life as the 2010 Home Brew-off winning beer. The beer weighs in at 4.8% ABV and 12 IBUs, and true to the Witbier style, was brewed with coriander, and offers a orange and tropical fruit aroma from the special yeast.

Sea Level Brewing in Port Williams, NS, has released their very popular seasonal Apple Blossom Ale this week. Brewed with pilsner malt and Nelson Sauvin hops, this beer is infused with fresh Valley apples. The beer is 4.8% ABV, and lightly hopped. Brewed as a celebration of the 82nd Annual Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, being held May 28-June 2, the beer is currently on tap at the Port Pub, in growlers and cans at the brewery today, and early next week in cans in Halifax, and on tap at select spots around the province.

Last week, we mentioned that Pump House will be releasing a new IPA in six-packs at the end of this month, to coincide with the Atlantic Beer Festival on May 31st in Moncton. In related Pump House IPA news, they are looking for a catchy name for their Draft IPA, and they’re holding a contest requesting some help! If you have an idea for a great IPA name, post it to their Facebook page, and you could win a pizza party for four at the brewery, which includes two pitchers of the new beer.

• If you’re a fan of Shiretown‘s Big Brown Ale (currently at the brewery for growler fills, and on tap at select accounts in New Brunswick), good news! They’ve confirmed that it should be available in bottles at ANBL stores in the near future. No official date yet, but expect to see it sometime this year. Coming in at 5% ABV and 28 IBUs, the brewery describes it as “malty, roasty, and chocolatey, with a nice bit of bitterness and a big mouthfeel”.

• Tickets to PicaroonsBrewer’s Bash beer festival went on sale earlier this week, and a few more details on the event have trickled in. The $25 ticket price gets you a 5 oz tasting mug, and eight beer tickets; additional tickets are $1 each. Like last year, the event will be all day from 11 am – 11 pm, and you can come and go as you please. Expect several food options, live music, and a heck of a lot of beer from breweries all across Canada. Once we find out more details on that end, we’ll be sure to let you know! And keep in mind, they’re still looking for volunteers… shoot them an email if you’re interested.

The King Street Ale House in Fredericton is hosting another beer and food pairing, this time featuring Quebec brewery Unibroue. Featuring five courses from Chef Aaron Fraser, and five different Unibroue beers (including their popular anniversary beer, 17 Grande Réserve), tickets are $65 and can be purchased online. It all takes place next Wednesday, May 28th, from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. And just before that event (3-4:30pm), Beer Sommelier Sylvain Bouchard of Unibroue will be hosting a free tasting at the York Street ANBL location. There are a limited number of seats, so RSVP today.

• Moncton’s Tide and Boar Gastropub will be hosting a special visitor from Trou du Diable next Thursday, May 29th. In the province for the Canadian Brewing Awards, Isaac Tremblay from the brewery will be on hand to pour a keg or two of their beer (including MacTavish in Memoriam Pale Ale), as well as having some special bottles for purchase. No tickets necessary, just drop by to say hello, grab a pint, and chat about beer!

Big Tide Brewpub in Saint John, NB, recently released Fogbound Hemp Pale Ale. An original recipe of theirs, this is a West Coast style Pale Ale, weighing in at 5% ABV and 50 IBUs, thanks to Cascade and Tradition hop varietals. Hemp oil was used during the brew, imparting a lovely nutty flavour to complement the big hop aroma. It is on tap and available in growlers now. Speaking of growlers, they have lifted the temporary weekly limit on growler sales, as they were were having a bit of trouble keeping the beer on tap. Great news, be sure and drop by this weekend to celebrate!

Rockbottom Brewpub has announced that the very popular Thulsa Doom Double IPA has run out, however they are rewarding their fans with a very special 20L pin of Oak-Aged Double Hoppelganger. This 10% ABV beer was first released in August 2013, but has been cellared with love and care by Brewmaster Greg Nash, and it will be interesting to see the changes in the beer over time. On tap soon will be HaliLager a Euro-style lager at 4.5% ABV brewed with Hersbrucker and Cascade hops to 17 IBU. Crispy.

• Unfortunately, the Ladies Beer League / Noble Grape Home Brew Workshops scheduled for this weekend and June have been postponed until July. Scheduling conflicts are to blame, but fear not, ticket holders will be reimbursed, and will have first dibs on tickets for the next Workshop. Stay tuned here for more details. Stay tuned, too, for details on the next LBL special event, to celebrate their first anniversary. We know it’ll be a fun one!

• The results from this year’s “Best of Halifax” food awards via The Coast are now in! Here’s a summary of the beer-related awards, with Gold, Silver and Bronze listed, respectively:

Best New Bar: Stillwell, The Stubborn Goat, Lion & Bright

Best Beer Selection: Stillwell, Maxwell’s Plum, The Stubborn Goat

Best Brewpub: Rockbottom, Rogue’s Roost, Henry House

Best Craft Brewery: Garrison, Propeller, North Brewing

Congratulations to all the winners!

Phew, that was a long one today! As the weather improves and folks are hitting the decks and patios, as well as a few new breweries opening in our region, we’re sure the good beer news will keep on flowing in! Thanks for joining us this week, and until next week, Cheers!

Late addition: We were overwhelmed with stories this week, and totally forgot to announce the random lucky winner of tickets to next weekend’s 2014 Atlantic Beer Festival. Congratulations to the crew from the Drink N Brew blog! We’ll be in touch to give you details. We’ll be starting another contest next week, so stay tuned.