The Pub Magazine

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Hello, craft beer fans! As the weather finally starts to improve a little in our region, let’s warm up your weekend even more with some beer news…

Boxing Rock has released details on their newest brew, a Biere de Garde; this marks the first time this malty, lagered, French beer style has been brewed by a brewery in Nova Scotia. La Rive du Sud is brewed with base malts and dark caramelized sugar; it clocks in at 7.5% ABV. With “notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, as well as tangerine, peach, nutmeg, clove and allspice”, the beer has a dry finish with a “lingering spicy aftertaste”, according to the brewery. Available in 650 mL bottles at the private stores in HRM Saturday, on tap at select bars/restaurants, and in bottles and 1 L growler fills at the brewery, get it while you can! You can read more about this new beer on the Boxing Rock blog, here.

Hammond River Brewing has announced that they’re brewing a new beer today, an Imperial IPA (aka Double IPA) named Too Hop to Handle. Brewer/owner Shane Steeves has confirmed that the beer should come in at about 8.4% ABV and 101 IBUs (calc); all of the flavor and aroma hop additions will incorporate the Zythos hop, a hop blend that has been described as strongly aromatic, with “tangerine, lemon, grapefruit, and pine notes”. We’ll keep you updated on it’s release; it should be available sometime next month in the Saint John area.

• Over in PEI, BarNone Brewing has also brewed up a new beer. Details on Summer Solstice are pretty slim, but we do know that the strongly-aromatic Citra hop is involved. BarNone recently had a vote on its Facebook page as to whether the beer should be filtered or unfiltered; unfiltered was the strong favorite, so look for the beer to be slightly hazy, but exhibiting more hop aroma and flavor as a result.

Picaroons has announced that they will be having their Brewer’s Bash beer festival again this year, on Saturday, July 12th from 11am – 11pm. Like last year, the event will be held at Officer’s Square in downtown Fredericton; ticket prices will remain at $25 each, with 500 more being sold this year. The date of ticket sales has not been determined yet; keep your eyes on their Twitter feed for an announcement next Tuesday. With about 60 breweries and 300 beers featured in last year’s sold-out festival, expect at least as many this year. In the meantime, they are looking for volunteers; send them an email if you’re interested! We’ll post more details on the festival as they become available.

• To celebrate the 1st anniversary of the opening of their new brewery, the PEI Brewing Co. is putting on their 1st Annual Taps & Tunes Music Festival. This 4-day festival will take place from Tuesday, May 14th to Saturday, the 17th, and involves multiple bands at multiple venues (including the PEI Brewing Co. and Gahan House locations); check out their link for full music details. No details yet on if they’re brewing up something special for the festival, but there MAY be a special cask released!

• Speaking of the PEI Brewing Co., this Saturday they will be hosting their fourth Art Battle (an event that features live competitive painting). For this battle, they plan on releasing a British Pale Ale dry-hopped with whole cone hops… that’s all we know for now, but if you’re in the area and want to give it a try, drop by for a taste!

Red Rover Brewing has added a couple new accounts to their growing list, as their Spring Brew is now available at two new locations. Look for it on tap in Fredericton at reLiSH Gourmet Burgers at their uptown location, and in Moncton at the Tide & Boar.

Rogues Roost has brewed up an exciting new beer, set to hit the taps late next week: a Dunkel Weizenbock. Combining the best characteristics of several styles, this 7.5% ABV beer will taste like the chocolate banana split of beer, thanks to the melding of malt, hops and yeast character. It was lightly hopped with Saaz and Hersbrucker, though these flavours and aromas take a back seat to the rich melanoidins and sour-dough breadiness. We’re looking forward to this one!

• Paddy’s Pub in Wolfville is hosting a Brewery Tour this Saturday, May 10th, at 5:30pm. Visitors will be able to learn the art and science behind brewing, by learning about the ingredients that go into your pint, the brewing process, and how to taste the beer. Tickets are $10 (available at the bar), and include a 16oz beer. We are not sure if this will be a regular event, so be sure not to miss it!

• Also on Saturday, Halifax is home to Open City, a city-wide event highlighting local beer, food, arts and craft producers. Several beer-centric stops will be on the go, including:
Garrison Brewing will be hosting a pop-up by Getaway Meat Mongers, and are featuring a Test Batch IPA-based mimosa, which will pair well with Getaway’s Philly Cheese Steak.
Stubborn Goat is hosting a Goat Fest with music and Oulton’s Farm Burger (with Ran-Cher Acres goat paneer, Sriracha slaw & bacon fat mayo).
North Brewing is hosting the Food Wolf truck for your K-Dog fix, and featuring special pricing on growler fills.
The Foggy Goggle is featuring $5 Propeller Pints, and Giant Foggy Spud stuffed with bacon, corn, red onion & cheese.
Check out I LOVE LOCAL‘s page for the full list, and be sure and get out and experience Open City!

• Speaking of Garrison, they are releasing a new beer today in advance of the OBEY Convention, being held in Halifax May 22-25. OBEY This Brew is a hopped-up Pale Ale, a blend of their Hop Yard and Tall Ship Amber brews, weighing in at 5.0% ABV and 30 IBUs. It will be sold in 650 ml bombers, available at the brewery, NSLCs, private stores and at hosting licensees during the OBEY Festival.

• Garrison is also one of the breweries taking part in the Local Connections Wine and Spirits Gala, taking place next Thursday, May 15, at the Halifax Club. They will be serving an Elderberry Wheat Ale, dry-hopped with whole leaf Simcoe for a piney, woodsy character melding with the berry aroma. It weighs in at 4.6% and 13 IBU. Joining them in the Craft Brewer’s Room are Boxing Rock Brewing, North Brewing, and Propeller Brewing. There are still a handful of tickets left, so jump on them now if you’d like to attend. These LC events are always a great time, lots of different flavours and tastes under one roof!

• It was a busy week for new breweries in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley: after Meander River’s announcement of their May 17 opening, the soon-to-be-open Schoolhouse Brewery was invaded by local brewer Greg Nash, Beer Tech owner Ken Greer, and The Pub Magazine’s Troy Kirkby. They brewed Principal Ale, their dry-hopped Pale Ale, and are looking to have this on tap in early June. Stay tuned here in the next little while for a full profile on Cam Hartley and the Schoolhouse Brewery!

• Chris had a chance to drop by the Heron’s Nest Cottages & Bistro Pub in Charlo for a food and beer tasting last night. Derek Leslie of Shiretown Beer lead the tasting of 9 different New Brunswick beer, including Shiretown’s Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale (used to cook meat balls), Honey Wheat (made with local Charlo honey, and used in the cooking of a ham), and Siren’s T’Ale (chicken thighs were roasted in this beer). Also featured were three offerings from Big Axe Brewery in Nackawic: Chanterelle Cream AleMaple Wheat Amber Ale, and their Double Bit IPA. The Bistro Pub always has Shiretown beer on tap, and an excellent stock of beer from around our region and around the world, and is definitely worth visiting when in the area.

And, don’t forget… it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday! Thank a Mother near you with some tasty craft beer!

Happy Friday and Valentine’s Day to everyone! We’ve got another busy week’s worth of beer news from our area, so grab a pint and your sweetie, and enjoy.

Garrison Brewing is doing a special event/tasting today, and you can take part! You may have seen the flurry of #3447 or #TestBatch hashtags on Twitter, this is it: Brewmaster Daniel Girard is putting out a small batch of a new IPA, and they want you to give them feedback. From 4-5:30 today, the new beer will be available at Stillwell, Lion & Bright, HMCS King’s Wardroom and the brewery. Garrison crew will be sharing samples of the new beer, in order to get your feedback. Tracy Philippi of Garrison shared some recipe details with us: It clocks in at 51 IBUs and 6.5% ABV, and is a very tropical IPA with hops like Cascade & Citra. Be sure to drop by & let them know what you think! Psst… you could even win a prize for your feedback! The Test Batch will also be available in 650 ml bombers at their retail store, as well as the four private beer stores in HRM.

• Garrison brewer Kellye Robertson had a crazy idea for a Valentine’s Day beer, so the crew has brewed it up, and we all get to enjoy it: Love Potion #9. The base of this elixir is an amber ale (4.6% and 21 IBUs), but it is infused with cranberries & hibiscus, among other cheeky ingredients. It will also be available for growler fills at Garrison today, and will also appear on tap around Halifax (Kings Ward Room, Dalhousie Grad House, Mothers Pizza, Freeman’s Quinpool, Wooden Monkey (Halifax), Lion and Bright, Stillwell, Stubborn Goat and The Argyle).

• Good news for our Garrison fans on The Rock! Their Spruce Beer has hit the shelves across the province. Check out the NLC page for availability close to you. Tracy has let us know that this is only the first of many Garrison beers that they’ll be sending to Newfoundland, so keep your eyes and ears open for that, likely in the spring.

• Even more Garrison news, their very popular Grand Baltic Porter was brewed earlier this week. We don’t have all of the details yet, but previous years’ batches have weighed in around 9%, and the style is very rich with chocolate and roast characters. This is a bigger beer, so the turnaround is usually a bit longer, so the release will probably be early- to-mid-March.

• And finally in Garrison news, a final reminder that entries for the Home Brew-off are due Thursday, Feb 20th. As we’ve mentioned previously, there has been a big improvement to the judging, in that the first round of judging will be done by BJCP-certified judges, and every entrant will receive a full scoresheet back (rather than just the final four). The gala will be taking place March 13th at the brewery, where the top four beers will be sampled, and last year’s winning Belgian Blonde will be released. It’s always a great time!

• The winning beer brewed by Joe Goodine of Moncton for the 1st Annual New Brunswick Home-Brew Challenge will soon be on tap in Fredericton. This beer, a Standard/Ordinary Bitter, was selected out of 42 entries for the style as the winner at a gala at the King Street Ale House in December. Joe brewed the beer at Picaroons with their head brewer, Andrew Estabrooks. While details of the beer are slim, look for it on tap for growler fills at the Brewtique, and possibly at Marky’s Laundromat in Moncton. You can read more on the contest and gala in our previous post.

• Due to the popularity of the Ember Ale (a smoked Porter) brewed by Picaroons for the opening of the King Street Ale House last November, they’ve decided to brew the beer again! While it was originally for exclusive sale at the KSAH, it will be also be available on tap elsewhere, and at the Brewtique for growler fills.

• And, in other returning-beers-from-Picaroons news, look for their Maple Cream Ale to hit shelves/taps around March 1st. Keep following this blog for news on a launch party for that date; also, stay tuned to Picaroon’s Twitter feed for updates as well.

• Over in PEI, the Gahan House has decided to connect with local homebrewers by holding the 1st Annual Home Brewer’s Challenge. Residents of PEI that are 19 and older are invited to submit a home brewed beer of their own for a chance to brew a full-sized batch of their beer with brewmaster Trent Hayes, to be released on tap as a Gahan seasonal! The beer must be brewed as an all-grain beer (no kits or extract allowed), and the style “must complement the regular line-up of Gahan beers”. There is no charge to enter; just fill out the registration and recipe sheets provided, and send in a 6-pack of your beer to the Gahan House (125 Sydney St., Charlottetown) by 5:00 pm, Friday, March 21st. The judges (including Hayes, another brewer, and others TBD) will narrow the beers down to the top 5; these will then be tasted live on a local radio station over that next week, Monday to Friday, with a different beer featured each day. Finally, on Saturday at Gahan House, there will be a 2:00 pm tasting panel to select the winner. Entrants will be invited to join the event to watch the proceedings. If you want to sign up, send an email to, and they’ll get the forms to you; the deadline to sign up is one week from today, Feb. 21st. Get brewing, Islanders!

• PEI’s other brewery has some news: Barnone Brewing is now offering a new growler for purchase to fill with their three regular beers. This Hydroflask growler is becoming quite popular; made of durable, food-grade stainless steel, it’s capable of keeping beer (and other liquids, of course) cold for up to 24 hours. It’s your typical 1.89 L (64 oz) growler size, and can be purchased for $50 at the brewery. Pick one up during their weekly growler night – Thursdays from 6-8 pm – and fill it with either the Summer Sessions, Pale Ale, or IPA.

• Speaking of Barnone, they’ve added a new account to their growing list in Charlottetown. The Olde Dublin Pub on Sydney Street will now be serving Barnone’s Pale Ale.

• The Antigonish Townhouse is going on hiatus for awhile – the brewpub is closing for a mid-winter break from Feb 17th to March 3rd. After allowing their staff this period of rejuvenation, they plan on being back better than ever, with fresh beer and food flowing! Check out their announcement here. Terry has brewed up a Northern English Brown for sale at the pub, to complement the Bitter, so be sure to try that next time you’re in.

Bridge Brewing Co. in Halifax has recently changed their name to North Brewing Co. According to owner Peter Burbridge, this was done to avoid confusion with Bridge Brewing Co. in Vancouver, B.C.: “… we felt it was best to claim a name that was all our own. North is such a strong word with a lot of meaning for us. We brew and sell our beer in the North End of Halifax and we also have a strong sense of the direction we want to take North Brewing Company and so the word ‘North’ really resonates with us.” The brewery has graciously offered to exchange any Bridge merchandise for newer North merchandise; or, you can choose to keep the Bridge swag as collector’s items! The very popular brewery is currently undergoing an expansion… look for them to soon double and then quadruple their capacity!

• A few weeks ago, the crew from Stillwell Beer Bar made a visit to Bad Apple Brewing in Somerset, and brewed up a batch of beer with Brewmaster Jeff Saunders. A little birdie has told me the beer should be available starting this weekend, on tap only at Stillwell. You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled to their twitter feeds (@BadAppleBrewing and @BarStillwell), as you don’t want to miss this little stunner!

Rogues Roost Brewpub in Halifax is getting ready to release a Bock in the next week or so. Brewer Jake gave us an insight into the recipe: It was brewed with a Munich malt base with a bit of Vienna; also Melanoidin, Cara 80, and a touch of Black malt. Bittered with mostly Tettnanger hops, O.G. 1.068 F.G. 1.016, for an ABV of 6.8%. Jake also let us know that he’s got a Pilsner in the works as well. It is a Czech Pils insofar as water and gravity (soft water with low mineral content, ABV around 4.5-5%) are concerned, but hopped using Hersbrucker (a German hop as opposed to Czech Saaz),  because, as Jake put it, “Hersbruckers are awesome”. Sounds like a good enough reason to us!

• The Beerthief Newfoundland and Labrador Artisanal and Craft Beer Club have published a Club Status Report this week, giving details on their membership base, current and upcoming beer offerings. With over 2400 all across Newfoundland and Labrador, they are having a measurable impact on the beers offered and available at the NLC. The province has recognized that the local beer lovers were being under-served, and by partnering with Mike and Tom of the Club, are making changes to the selection. We encourage you to read the report to get an idea of how YOU can influence the beer selection in your neck of the woods. Congratulations!

• Chris had a great time at the Saint John Ale House last night, celebrating the launch of Hammond River Brewing. Despite the poor weather, the restaurant was packed with folks trying (and then buying) Shane’s four beers. SJAH will have two Hammond River beers on permanently, and the beers can also be found at the Bourbon Quarter, The Barrel’s Head, and Shiretown Publicans. Shane was also featured in a few interviews this wee; go check them out for more information on HRB: SJAH TV, CBC Information Morning, CBC TV. Congratulations once again, Shane!

• The Moncton Beer League is having their first event at the Pump House Brewery (131 Mill Rd.) next Friday, Feb. 21st. The first meeting will include a brewery tour of the Pump House, followed by tasting samples of five beers on tap, plus a special barrel-aged or cask-conditioned beer brewed specifically for the League. Tickets can be bought in advance here for $15 per person, or purchased at the door for $20 when the event begins. It all begins at 7 pm, and should continue until 10 pm.

• And, to close things off, just a quick note to officially welcome The Pub Magazine – Atlantic Canadian Edition to the beer world! They’ve been very active over the past few months on Twitter and Facebook, but just published their first edition online a few days ago (and the magazine will be in your favourite pub and bar soon). We look forward to seeing what Troy and company do next!

That’s it for now, you bunch of romantics… see you next week!