The Brewnosers

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Good morning, and welcome to the first Friday of November! The weather is now colder, and winter is around the corner, but the local beer continues to flow…

Propeller recently released a new winter seasonal, Coffee Porter. True to its name, it was brewed with 20 lbs of whole beans and “dry-hopped” (dry-coffeed?) with coffee grounds, also 20 lbs worth. The coffee comes from local roasters Java Blend, and is their Fog City blend – with two roast levels that give a “bold flavour, with sweet, rich tones”, expect plenty of roasted, coffee goodness. At 5.9% and 35 IBUs, it’s available now in growlers and 650 mL bottles. And grab their Russian Imperial Stout, back on tap and in bottles at both Windmill and Gottingen locations.

• Continuing on with coffee beers, FirkinStein Brewing has debuted Rock Your Boat, a Coffee Oatmeal Stout. A smooth beer thanks to the addition of oatmeal, the coffee was provided by Lunenburg’s Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters; the Rock Your Boat coffee is one of their dark roasts, and is described as “a blend of dark, mi-noir, and medium roasted Mexican beans, bolstered by full bodied Sumatra”. While the Hubbard’s Farmers Market has shut down for the season, FirkinStein can be found at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market every Thursday morning.

Big Tide has a brand new beer pouring at their brewpub in Saint John, Barbarossa’s Black IPA. Brewed with Pale Ale, Munich, “dark” CaraMunich, Chocolate Wheat, and Black malts, it was heavily hopped with Hallertau, Magnum, and Citra, to 70 IBUs. A medium-bodied, dark brew exhibiting a “toasty, biscuity malt profile, balanced well with citrusy hop flavours”, it weighs in at 6.8% ABV. Drop by for a pint and/or growler today! Their Barrelled Life Barley Wine is also currently pouring.

• The Boxing Rock/Battery Park/North collaboration, Battery Rock India Brown Ale, was launched at the epic Tap Takeover at Battery Park last night. For those who missed out, it is available on tap around the HRM now, and in growlers and 650 mL bottles at both Boxing Rock and North, and their Farmers’ Market stalls. With a “dark, complex, creamy malt base with notes of coffee, caramel and smoke”, it brings in the IPA side with notes of tropical fruit and citrus in the aroma. Highly drinkable at 5.7% ABV, look for bottles to appear in the Halifax private liquor stores as well, likely by next week.

• The new beers from Tide & Boar Brewing continue to flow at the brewpub in Moncton; this week has featured Strawberry Ale Shake, a style known simply as “Milkshake IPA” that has been quickly growing in popularity with North American breweries. Featuring the addition of lactose to increase the body and add a touch of lingering sweetness, real strawberries were also added, as well as heavy hop additions in the whirlpool, resulting in a fruity and murky brew. A true Double IPA at 8.1% ABV, only 3 kegs were brewed, so it likely won’t last long… if it’s even still on!

• Yesterday was International Stout Day, and Picaroons released a new one-off at Saint John’s General Store to celebrate. Brewed in conjunction with Brú Brewery Meath, out of County Meath, Ireland, Irish Canadian Stout features the addition of Canadian maple syrup and Irish whiskey oak chips, to combine the best of both worlds. Still exhibiting plenty of roasted characteristics you expect to see in a stout, it comes in at 6.2% ABV and is available on tap at the General Store only.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing will be launching two new beers this Saturday, November 5thRoof Hound IPA is a 6.4% hop-bomb, brewed with guidance and assistance from Bad Apple‘s Jeff Saunders, featuring a boat-load of Columbus and Mosaic hops. Big Brown Rum and Raisin Holiday Edition is a 7.5% Brown Ale with a holiday twist. Both beers will be flowing starting at 9pm, with live music from Tide and Timbre and Hannah Morgan starting at 10:00 PM. And while the 7:30pm seating for their upcoming Festive Supper Club on December 1st is sold out, there are a few spots available for the 5:00 PM seating. Email for more details and to reserve your spot.

• This weekend Garrison Brewing continues their association with Hal-Con, now in its 7th year as the premier sci-fi, fantasy and gaming convention in Atlantic Canada, with two adult and one all-ages formulations. First, for the grownups, the Klingon Warnog Roggen Dunkel (Dark Rye) is available at the brewery once again. First brewed for Hal-Con 2014 under license from the Federation of Beer, it is fundamentally in the Dunkelweizen style. On a firm base of Munich and Wheat malts a significant addition of Rye provides spiciness, while dark Crystal malt gives it the characteristic colour of the style. Lightly hopped with Cascade to 20 IBUs, this 5.5% ABV brew uses an authentic Weizen yeast to provide clove and banana esters to pair with caramel and chocolate notes from the malt. Also for those of legal age, and making a repeat appearance after being introduced in June of this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the original television series, Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale has been re-released  just in time for the convention. A light and refreshing, 5% ABV, slightly sweet beer featuring only pale and wheat malts along with 20 IBUs and a spiciness provided by the noble Hallertauer hop, it’s filtered sparkling clear and has a solid, long-lasting white head. It’s available in 650 mL bombers from the brewery and at private liquor stores around the HRM area. Lastly, appropriate for both kids and the kid in all of us, is Sweet Nelson Power Soda, a Raspberry Ginger Ale featuring a suitably fantastic lime-green colour. Brewed under the auspices of Garrison division Dockside Soda Co., it is returning to Hal-Con this year after a tremendously popular introduction at last year’s event.

• If your appetite for pumpkin beers doesn’t quite justify a growler fill, or you’re just curious about how the other half lives, the Nine Locks Brewing fall seasonal Pumpkin Ale is now available in cans at the brewery. Still 5.2% and 12 IBUs and still featuring a malty backbone and full mouthfeel balancing the crisp spicing, this amber ale will surely give way soon to a winter offering, so get it while it lasts. Meanwhile, not resting on their gourds, Nine Locks is also releasing another beer this week, Scotch Ale. Inspired by the Scottish ales of the 18th and 19th centuries, it’s a strong beer at 7.5%, and is dark with ruby highlights, and deeply malty. Typical of the style, it comes in at a fairly low 22 IBUs while dark grains and a crisp finish complete the picture. This one will be available in the next couple of weeks for growler fills and in cans, both at the brewery.

Upstreet has teamed up with Ontario’s Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. for a very worthy cause – to help build the first women-owned and operated brewery in Rwanda. Until November 17th, $2 for every pint and growler sold in the Upstreet taproom will go to help this project. For more information on the Rwanda brewery, and to donate yourself directly, check out their Kickstarter campaign.

• There’s a couple of new beers from Graystone on tap for growler fills and pints: Into the Woods Brown Ale, a 5% ABV, 26 IBUs “medium-bodied ale with caramel and chocolate flavours”, and Pitch Stout, a 4.5% ABV American Oatmeal Stout that is full-bodied, “with notes of chocolate and a moderate roast character”.

• Beer lovers in Sackville, NB (aka Bagtown), will be able to enjoy beer brewed in their town in the new year. The just-announced Bagtown Brewing Company is a student project at Mount Allison University, which sees students go through the steps of investing and opening their own business. While still in the licensing phase, they do have a location for their nano-sized brewery, which will set up in the newly-opened Sackville Commons. Follow along on their progress on Twitter and Instagram, and we’ll be sharing more details shortly.

November is a busy month, with loads of newly-announced events in the next few weeks:

Good Robot was recently voted Best Brewery and Best Brewpub by readers of The Coast, and they’re celebrating with a crazy event – a tap takeover at their own taproom, today. A total of 11 different GR beers will be available, the most they’ve ever had on at one time. Check out the event link for full beer details! This self-serving event – 😉 – will continue all weekend.

Stillwell is holding a special all-cider event tomorrow on Saturday, November 5th, featuring Ontario’s West Avenue Cider Company. A bevy of special ciders will be pouring all day (check out the full list here) starting at noon, with no tickets required to attend. In addition, a special food menu has been put together that will optimally pair with all these tasty beverages; be sure to drop by for an epic sampling!

Red Rover is once again teaming up with the James Joyce for another Guy Fawkes-themed event, Saturday, November 5th. Plenty of Red Rover cider will be pouring, including three special releases, two of which are “James Joyce specialties”, and a mystery cask. It all starts at 8:30 pm; as usual, there is no cover charge.

• There are a plethora of events at various bars, restaurants, and breweries on Tuesday, November 8th, to “celebrate” Election Day in the U.S., when we can finally say, for better, worse, or worser, that this election has finally (hopefully) come to an end. There’s too many to list, but check out Facebook and you won’t have a problem finding one near you. Beer makes bad things better!

Breton Brewing is holding a tap takeover next Thursday, November 10th, at Halifax’s Lion & Bright. There will also be live music from Dave Sampson and Colin Grant. The boys from Breton will be bringing in a full complement of eight beers to pour for you, and the kitchen at L&B will be whipping up Cape Breton-inspired snacks. Look for their core lineup, as well as seasonals Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale, Celtic Colours Maple Lager, and Tart’an Juicy Grapefruit Pale Ale. Plus, a brand new beer, MacAskill’s Revenge Black IPA, which launched last evening. At 7.0% ABV and 80 IBUs, you best stay on MacAskill’s good side!

• Local homebrewer Keith Forbes has been busy brewing up a storm at Good Robot over the past 6 weeks, and will be holding one heck of a party at the GR Tap Room November 15th. The first of their BrewBot – Homebrew Tap Takeover series will feature five beers brewed on GR’s Sabco Brew-Magic system. A very active member of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club, Forbes will be showcasing some award-winning beers, including his Gold Medal-winning Funktown American Pale Ale, and Muddy River Brown, a favourite with family and friends. The party kicks off at 5:00 pm.

• While their beer has been available in Moncton for over a month, Beckwith Road Brewing is taking a breath, and finally holding their Launch Party later this month. Being held at 400 St George St, 7:00 – 11:00 pm, November 26th. Advanced tickets are available now online, or can be purchased in person that evening (subject to availability). Your $10 ticket gets you 2 pints, while the $15 ticket also includes a take-home glass. Additional pints will be available for purchase as well. Keep an eye on the details on their Facebook Event page.

Before we sign off for the day…

– As we mentioned last week, the ANBL new growler station at Moncton North is launching this weekend; be sure to drop by for growler fills of local beers that include Bore City Mondo IPA, Flying Boats Dixie Clipper IPA, and Pump House Scotch Ale, while supplies last.
– Rothesay, New Brunswick’s Foghorn Brewing looks to be launching soon, as they’ve been teasing pictures of filled kegs (we assume!) on social media… if you’re in the area, your wait is almost over!
Hammond River has released the latest iteration of their single-malt-and-single-hop beer, The Vegas SMaSH; this ones features the always-wonderful Citra hop, so be sure to ask your local watering hole if they carry it!
Hell Bay‘s Black IPA, Black Flag IPA (6.1% ABV, 55 IBUs), is now available in 12 oz bottles at the brewery; look for it to pop up at liquor stores in NS in the near future as well.
Meander River is releasing a small run of bottles for events they’ll be attending the next couple weeks. Look out for Homegrown Wet Hop, Shack Wacky Cider, Cold Porridge Oatmeal Stout, Smokey Chipotle Porter, Ashdale Honey Brown, and Surf & Turf Scotch Ale in 500 ml bottles. Meander River will be at the Christmas at the Forum this weekend, and The Guy Show and Saltscapes shows next weekend.
– Winter Warmer season is upon us, which is a bittersweet thing. This means, of course, that Petit-Sault‘s Winter Warmer, Buckdjeuve (7.3% ABV, 29 IBUs), is back for the season. You can find it in growlers and six-packs at the brewery now, and in sixers at select ANBL locations.
– Picaroons Winter Warmer (7.3% ABV, 35 IBUs) is back as well, on tap at both the Brewtique and General Store, select bars/restaurants, and in bottles.
– This year’s edition of the Pump House Stonefire Ale is now available, in a limited number of four thousand 750 mL bottles, at the brewery and soon in ANBL stores. This marks the third year for this 6.5% ABV beer, which was brewed by heating the wort through the addition of extremely hot rocks, as per an ancient German method.
– Saltbox Scottish Ale (5.5% ABV, 15 IBUs) is back on tap this week, but in a very limited quantity, so be sure to drop by and pick some up!
– Today is the last day for the Sober Island Brewing Kickstarter campaign; be sure to check out the link, and their many options for pledges and rewards!

And finally, best of luck to all entrants in this year’s Atlantic Canada Beer Awards, taking place in Halifax this weekend! We’ll be sure to give the list of winners next week, including the People’s Choice, whose online voting closes tomorrow.

Happy Friday, dear readers! We hope your Friday the 13th turns out better than the one in those movies. At least you’ll be drinking great beer if you grab a few of the ones mentioned below!

Propeller Brewing released their latest One Hit Wonder late last week, named Down East North West IPA (DENWIPA). This 6.8% unfiltered IPA is an ode to West Coast IPAs, with a solid bitterness and a full blast of pine and citrus aroma. The orange-hued beer features a creamy white head, and a touch of sweetness to round out the big hopping. As with all of their One Hit Wonders, it is available at both their Gottingen and Windmill locations in growler fills only, and on rotating taps in the city, but not for long!

• Expanding on the popularity of the brew, Propeller’s Rye IPA is now available in six packs, as well as bombers. The 6.8% IPA features a generous addition of rye malt for a spicy character to accentuate the citrus aroma from the Pacific Northwest hops. For when you don’t want to drink a full 650ml of the beer, six packs are available at the Prop Shoppe, and the private beer stores, while the NSLC will continue to carry the bombers.

• And great news for those of us who attended the Prop’r Cask Nights in 2013 and 2014, they will be making a return! Propeller will be partnering with a local kitchen to cater their Gottingen St tasting room for an evening of food and fun, featuring special one-off casks and special blends for the occasion. We’ll let you know once the details are released.

• Big Spruce released their very popular Crazy Ivan Double IPA late last week. Brewed with 100% imported German malts, this orange-hued DIPA comes in at 8% ABV and over 100 IBUs, with a beautiful full hop blast on the nose. Due to the sheer volume of hops in the boil, the yield for this brew is less than standard Big Spruce brews, so don’t delay in grabbing a sample or growler at the brewery, or on tap at their accounts.

• And not shying away from the hoppier branch of beers, they recently brewed their Left Breton Organic Conspiracy IPA. This beer uses their own farm-grown organic hops, showcasing their 2015 harvest Cascade, among others. This brew first made its debut in 2013, when their good friends Brian and Rebecca from Crannóg Ales brought some of their own farm-grown organic hops. While they weren’t able to join them for this brew day, they were there in spirit.

• And look out for another conspiracy beer in the coming weeks and months, as the Big Spruce crew is invading Boxing Rock in Shelburne today for a special brewday. Taking a cue from today’s date, they are scaring up an Imperial Brown Ale named Triskaidekaphobia. This fear-inducing 9% beer will be then be conditioned on cherries and vanilla beans, with both non- and Glenora-barrel-aged versions seeing their release. A few members of the Ladies Beer League are in attendance today; follow along on their Twitter to get a peek at the mayhem.

Distillerie Fils du Roy have released another new beer, North Shore Regiment. The beer was named after the Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army that was founded in Chatham, New Brunswick; they participated in many notable battles of World War II, including the Juno Beach landing on D-Day. The beer is an English Barleywine, a Strong Ale that is rich and malty, with complex flavours that may include toffee, toast, caramel, and molasses. Fils du Roy’s take on the style IS a strong one, clocking in at a whopping 12% ABV! Bittered to 45 IBUs to help balance the strong malt character, it’s available now in 750 mL bottles at the brewery and select ANBL stores; it’s also currently on tap at all four ANBL growler stations.

• Garrison Brewing has announced the style details of their 2016 Home Brew-Off Competition, and it is American IPA with Experimental Feature. This is category is wide open to individual interpretation: as long as it uses an American IPA as its base, and falls within those style guidelines (Style 21A from 2015 BJCP details here), it’s fair game! Novel ingredient additions are encouraged, including fruits, herbs, spices, etc, with your imagination as your only limit, as long as the Am IPA characters still shine through. From the brewery, “If it clearly fits one of the 21B – Specialty IPA sub-styles, then it probably isn’t what we have in mind”. The registration forms will be available shortly (be sure to mark down which special ingredient(s) were used!), and the beers will be due February 11th, with the Awards Gala held March 3rd. So, get brainstorming on recipes, and fire up your kettles for some test batches, Maritime Homebrewers! Post your brewday, and follow along with others as they brew, using the #GHBO16 tag on Twitter.

• And in more Garrison news, their popular seasonal Martello Stout has returned for the cooler months. This year’s batch features a new recipe with a slightly higher 5% ABV, and a higher percentage of oats for a great smooth and creamy character. The chocolate and espresso notes will keep you happy while you curl up by the fire. Look for it on sale in bombers at the brewery and private stores, and on tap in our local market. Also look for their flagship Irish Red in its new branding and large bottle format at the NSLC shortly.

• Bar Stillwell is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, and there will be a ton of great beers and food to celebrate. They will be pouring a full complement of local and regional beers on their taps and beer engines, including Red Rover’s VeRRy PeRRy and White Witch, aged kegs of Grimross Chantelope and Tatamagouche Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot, a special one-off cask of Extra Special Bitter from The Brewnosers Homebrew Club (brewed at Good Robot), as well as several great sour Quebec beers, including Trou du Diable Oude Blanche, Ze Blend and L’Ours, and Dunham Tropicale and Assemblage #1. In addition to the taps, they will be popping bottles from Jester King, Dunham, and other beauties they’ve been cellaring. Of course, Chef GR will be serving up some killer food to complement the beers, including smoked brisket poutine and the infamous boatzel.  The event kicks off when the doors open at 6pm Sunday, and there are no tickets required. We’ll see you there!

• The anniversary party will also be the debut of Stillwell’s celebratory brew, Two. Brewed at NorthTwo is a 4.5% “rustic farmhouse” beer, inspired by both traditional saison and modern American farmhouse brewing. It was fermented using a mixed blend of yeasts and bacteria, for waves of funky and tart/acidic characteristics, on an effervescent and light base. It was hopped with Saaz and Sterling, for a peppery and fruity nose. From Stillwell, “It was a very experimental brew but we’re extremely pleased with the results; it turned out just as we’d hoped it would. We’re very grateful to Peter at North Brewing for allowing us to brew this beer at his brewery.” The beer will be available in both draft and bottle-conditioned pours. After the party, bottles will be available for purchase at North, and if you spot it, grab it!, as we don’t expect it to last long.

• There’s a new beer fermenting at Grimross Brewing, and it should be ready in plenty of time for the fast-approaching Christmas season. Dubbel Noel is actually the same recipe as their original Dubbel; however, this time around, the beer will be further conditioned on vanilla beans. Owner/brewer Stephen Dixon expects the vanilla to “add depth and richness to the already great flavours of caramel, candy and malt”, providing a subtle – but still enjoyable – contrast to the original beer. The ABV and IBUs (6.8% and 18, respectively) will not change; look for the new beer to be released by early December.

• Speaking of Christmas, next month will feature the first Christmas-themed beer event from those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. The Christmas Beer Garden at the Market is currently scheduled for Sunday, December 20th, from 10 am – 3 pm. Visitors to the Boyce Farmers Market will be able to take a break from the shopping and enjoy some brews from Garrison, Grimross, Maybee, Petit-Sault, Red Rover, Sunset Heights Meadery, and TrailWay. Both 4oz samples and 12oz pours (9oz for cider and mead) will be available, and there is no ticket required to attend. However, those who buy the Early Bird tickets (available at the link above) will receive a special glass which allows for 16oz pours for the price of 12oz, as well as their first four beer tickets on the house. The event will be cash-only, as are many of the Farmers Market vendors, so plan accordingly. And food from the great vendors at the market can be brought into the Beer Gardens area.

• There are two new seasonal beers soon to be brewed over at Hammond River. First off is an old homebrew favourite of owner/brewer Shane Steeves: Foghorn Coffee Porter. Brewed with a grist containing Maris Otter, Crystal 120 L, Chocolate malt, and Roasted Barley, it also features the addition of Foghorn coffee beans from local roasters Java Moose; it should come in at ~6% ABV. Next up is definitely an interesting new experiment: White Stout is brewed with a grist that includes oats and barley, and also features the addition of Foghorn coffee. The beer is further conditioned on cacao nibs, with the intended result being, you guessed it, a pale beer that smells and tastes roasty and chocolatey, like a stout! This one will be targeted at 7.2% ABV and ~37 IBUs. Stay tuned for release details on both beers over the coming weeks.

TrailWay has brewed up a new Milk Stout, their first since their original “Imperial Coffee Milk Stout”, Double Double, released last March. Similar in some ways to Double Double, this newer “Experimental Milk Stout” made its first appearance last night at the King Street Ale House Cask Night. In fact, future releases of the same batch will continue to be cask-only; while last night’s was served in a standard cask, the beer’s next appearance will likely be served after conditioning on whisky-soaked oak chips. Featuring a higher percentage of lactose powder added in the boil, to boost the beer’s mouthfeel and perception of sweetness, it comes in at ~6.2% ABV. Keep your eyes on TrailWay’s social media pages for future cask releases! And remember that TrailWay is pouring at the Fredericton ANBL growler station this weekend; their Session IPA is on in limited supply, so get over there quickly!

• One of Fredericton’s upcoming breweries, Gray Stone Brewing, has announced recently that their plans to open in the Capital Complex have been cancelled. Instead, they hope to open in another currently-unconfirmed downtown location, where they will still house both a 10 bbl brewery and tasting room. Currently employing three brewers, they still plan on launching with the four beers we’ve reported on before (an American Pale Ale, American IPA, American Stout and Brown Ale), along with several other styles to follow shortly after. We’ll keep you further updated on their progress; right now, plans are to open the brewery and tasting room to the public in May, 2016.

• The James Joyce Irish Pub has announced the third in their series of tap takeovers, Meet Your Makers, for Thursday, November 26th at 7 pm. After initial offerings from Big Axe and Red Rover, the next event will feature Picaroons. We’re not certain on exactly which beers will be pouring, but have been assured that there will be several one-off beers, including at least one cask. It also sounds like several Picaroons staff members will be on hand, eager to chat beer. As always, there is no charge to attend; just pay by the pour!

• Meander River released their Homegrown Wet Hopped Pale Ale a few weeks ago, but we missed announcing it when it happened. Our apologies! Good news, though, as it is currently on tap for growler fills at Bishop’s Cellar and Harvest Wines. Using a blend of their own farm-grown Cascade and Zeus, the beer was hopped exclusively using the mash tun as a hopback. This allows the characteristic taste and aroma of wet hops to shine through in the 4.2% beer. And for those heading to the brewery this weekend, look for their First Frost Cider and return of Smokey Chipotle Porter.

A few more things before we sign off this week: Speaking of growler fills, Red Rover will be making their debut on a growler filling station early next week. However, it will be not be in New Brunswick, but in Nova Scotia, with RockHead in Halifax pouring their Fall Cider. Charlottetown’s Upstreet has released their Rhuby Social in bottles, joining their Do-Gooder APA and Commons Pilsner, so now you can take their strawberry and rhubarb witbier home in a smaller format. Bulwark’s Winter Cider is back for the season, and will be available at the NSLC shortly. They have also bottled their Hopped Cider, which will be debuting at the NSLC in the next week or two. Though it’s six months away, tickets for next May’s Full House event as part of NS Craft Beer Week have already gone on sale. The event is May 14th, and once again there will be two sessions, 1:30-4pm and 6:30-9pm, and will feature as many NS breweries as can fit in the same room.

Happy Friday! There’s lots of new beers – and some other beer-related news – out this week for our region; time to start getting caught up…

• Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing released a brand new beer this past weekend. Bockman-Turner Overweiz is a Weizenbock, meaning a dark wheat beer (Dunkelweizen), but brewed to a higher ABV (hence the “bock” moniker). The BTO weighs in at 7.6% ABV, and was brewed with a grain bill of half wheat malt, with the remainder composed of German Munich, Bohemian Pilsner, Crystal and a touch of chocolate malt for colour and roast flavour. Hallertauer hops were used throughout, and a top fermenting German Wheat Ale yeast was used to bring out the characteristic banana and clove aromas to round out the brew. It is available on tap now at the brewpub, and in growler fills to go; it was a small batch, so it won’t last much longer… drop by today!

Big Spruce Brewing has brought back their very popular The Whole 9 Yards Scotch Ale. First released in April 2014 as a beer celebrating their First Anniversary, this latest version again features the addition of Glenora Glen Breton Rare 10 year Single Malt Whisky to the batch to enhance the roast, peat, and smoke characteristics of the underlying Scotch Ale. Available now at the brewery for samples and growler fills, and on tap at better beer bars in the province. And don’t forget, time is quickly running out on Big Spruce’s Third Annual Home Brew Challenge. If you haven’t already brewed up your Red IPA (or Dark Czech Lager or Altbier), you might be able to squeeze it in under the wire this weekend!

• Last night, the second Meet Your Makers tap-takeover event was held at the James Joyce Irish Pub. Red Rover Craft Cider was featured, with a total of ten taps pouring various regular-release and special one-off ciders. Two brand new ciders made their debut at the event: first off is their Tinderbox, a semi-dry cider featuring notes of vanilla, that has been aged with the addition of bourbon and oak (this one was brewed specifically for the Guy Fawkes Day-themed tap takeover). Next up was the Bee for B, another semi-dry blend which was made with honey produced on the roof of the Crowne Plaza hotel; this one will continue to be on tap exclusively at the James Joyce for the foreseeable future. Also, the White Witch made its triumphant return last week and was on tap last night; first released last fall, it features plenty of fresh orange zest and locally-grown cilantro out of Wellwood Farm in Saint John. All three ciders are, as usual for Red Rover, 7% ABV.

• Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a few returning favourites on tap at the brewery these days. Their award-winning Mosaic Double IPA is back on tap at the brewery now. This 8% ABV big IPA is brewed to showcase the Mosaic hop, and it does that in spades, featuring big aromas and bitterness. All of the proceeds from Mosaic are donated to attend camp at Brigadoon Village and other community projects, to support families and those living with Mosaic Down Syndrome. This is something very close to the Bad Apple family, as one of owner Jeff Saunder’s children has Mosaic Down Syndrome. In addition to the brewery (where a limited number of bottles will also be available), the beer will be on tap at Lion & Bright, Stubborn Goat, and La Torta Pizzeria in Wolfville, as well as few spots in New Brunswick.

• Also available from Bad Apple is their Operation Green Ring, a 5.0% ABV Cucumber Mint Wheat Ale. It was brewed with Delta Force Brewery, two members of the Brewnosers Homebrew Club. Using fresh local mint and cucumbers, this field beer features lots of mint aroma and cucumber flavour, coming together with a great Wheat base. It is available now at the brewery for growler fills. And keep your eyes peeled for the return of their Russian Imperial Stout, currently conditioning and waiting for release closer to Christmas. As in some previous releases, a good amount of this brew is being barrel aged in Glenora casks.

• There’s a new beer from Flying Boats currently hitting taps; Beach Cruiser DIPA is a test batch of sorts that came in at 7.2% ABV and 72 IBUs. Featuring a “generous” dry hop, it was also hopped at several points throughout the boil with four different varieties: Magnum, Centennial, Amarillo and Chinook. It’s currently on tap at the James Joyce, and should be on a rotating tap at Marky’s Laundromat later this month. The newly-installed pilot system at the brewery is also up and running, with the first test batch currently undergoing active fermentation. More on that beer, soon!

Meander River will be releasing their latest batch of cider this weekend: First Frost Hard Apple Cider is a 5.5% ABV apple blend featuring juice from Fair Acres Farm. “A touch sweeter and juicier” than their original dry cider releases, according to the brewery, it still finishes very crisp. It will be released this weekend at the brewery, and at Christmas at the Forum (Fri-Sun) in Halifax. And speaking of Meander River, the crew from Garrison dropped by yesterday to collect spruce boughs for their Spruce Beer winter seasonal. Look for that beer in the coming weeks.

• Over at Granite Brewery in Halifax, they have a new beer on tap for pints and growler fills. Described as a “Red Ale” by the brewery, Flander’s Fields was brewed with honey and ginger to give it extra aroma and flavour to go with the maltiness from the grist. It weighs in at an easy-drinking 5.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery until it’s gone (approximately three weeks).

• Fredericton’s Half Cut Brewing (operating out of the brew system located at the Picaroons Brewtique) recently released their second beer, an American Brown Ale named Belligerent Brown. Described as roasty and hoppy with “notes of dark chocolate and dried dark fruit”, it was hopped heavily with Centennial and Chinook. While technically on the higher end of bitter with a calculated 74 IBUs, it comes in at an easy-drinking 5.4% ABV. It’s available for growler fills at the Brewtique, and should be on tap around the city at the King Street Ale House, James Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Snooty Fox.

• It’s getting closer to the official ticket-release for the 2016 Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, and those behind it all have been releasing some sneak peeks for what they have in store for the Fourth Annual event! Organized by Lloyd Chambers, this will be the first time the event has been stretched into Fredericton Craft Beer Week, featuring plenty of beer-related activities from March 9th-12th, finalizing with the beer festival on Saturday. There will be two sessions this time around (afternoon and evening), both of which will feature the largest gathering of Atlantic Canadian craft beer yet – 45 confirmed breweries pouring over 160 different types of beer, cider and mead. We’ll have lots of information as we get closer to the events, but for now, keep in mind that tickets for the festival will go on sale at 11 am on Friday, November 27th through their website. Stay tuned for more!

Rudder’s Brewpub in Yarmouth has released a new beer this week, Runic Stone IPA. Weighing in at 5.6% ABV and 46 IBUs, it was brewed with a load of late hopping in the boil by Cascade, Columbus, Saaz and Sorachi Ace hops, and was further dry hopped with more Saaz and Sorachi Ace. This hop schedule allows for a big hop aroma, without the beer being too bitter. It is named after the Runic (or Fletcher) Stone in the local museum, thought to be a Norse artifact, discovered in the early 19th century. While the exact origins of the stone are unknown, it is certainly part of Yarmouth’s history. Grab its namesake beer on tap at Rudder’s while it lasts!

TrailWay has brewed up a fresh batch of their popular Session IPA, and next week it’ll be a little easier for those in Fredericton to get their “fill”! As of next Thursday, 250 L of this hoppy, ~4.3% ABV beer will be making its way to the Prospect St. ANBL for growler fills. This will be TrailWay’s first time at the ANBL growler station since last March. And in other TrailWay news, Dan Mason and Jake Saunders of TrailWay Brewing have officially signed the lease on the location for their new brewery when they expand in 2016; located at 280 Main St. on Fredericton’s North Side, they hope to be producing beer on their 10 BBL system by Spring.

Grimross has added two new fermentors to their existing line-up, and with this minor expansion comes the need for more assistance in the brewery! As a result, they are currently looking to hire a full-time brewer. Interested parties can find the full list of requirements here, and resumes should be sent to

We hope everyone has a great weekend! Petit-Sault‘s award-winning La Buckdjeuve has returned; it’s currently on tap at the brewery for growler fills. Picaroons has brought back their popular seasonal, Winter Warmer; you can find it on tap at the Brewtique, at select beer bars/restaurants across the province (and beyond?), and in 500 mL bottles at ANBL stores. PEI Brewing Co. will be re-releasing their Transmitter Coffee Stout later this month; featuring a new blend of beans from Receiver Coffee. And don’t forget to grab a bottle of their Hell Street barrel-aged Doppelbock on sale at the brewery now. While there, grab a pint of their latest cask, SmOAKed Brown, a smoked version of their Iron Bridge Brown, aged on oak chips. Storm Brewing in Newfoundland has brought back their winter seasonal Coffee Porter, available at their usual licensee and retail locations. Rockbottom Brewpub in Halifax has released a new seasonal themselves, Strawberry Blonde, a 5.0% ABV fruit beer.