Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New website supports local craft alcohol producers during COVID-19 crisis.



(Fredericton, NB) - DrinkNB.ca launches zero-contact craft alcohol delivery through web service to maintain social distancing efforts whilst supporting local businesses.

A new online store launches today in Fredericton with the goal of providing customers with a solution to the issue of how to maintain social isolation and/or social distancing whilst supporting all local craft alcohol businesses. At DrinkNB.ca customers can shop for all their favourite craft alcohol products and have a single order delivered directly to their home using a zero-contact protocol.

Adam Clawson, owner of Red Rover Craft Cider, came up with the idea for DrinkNB.ca following the recent announcement that many businesses would begin closing to the public in the effort to fight the spread of covid-19. He explains: "Breweries and other small alcohol producers are struggling to reach customers, many of whom are now practicing social isolation for the safety of themselves and their communities. The DrinkNB service allows them to support their favourite craft alcohol businesses without leaving their homes and maintains social distance for everyone involved."

The website at launch will offer:
● Over 40 unique products.
● Items from ten local producers including Flying Boats, Graystone, Grimross, Long Bay, Maybee, Red Rover / Coastliner, Trailway and 3Flip with more to come.
● Twice weekly delivery schedule in Fredericton and the surrounding area.

The project was able to come together rapidly, with only a few short days from concept to today's launch. Clawson notes: "Everyone I contacted about drinknb.ca was enthusiastic about the idea. It couldn't have gone live so quickly without the support of others in the industry."

Drinknb.ca is operated by Red Rover Craft Cider in Fredericton, NB. Red Rover is New Brunswick's first craft cider producer and a founding member of the New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Broue du Païen Opens in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, NB



If you have been in some ANBL stores in southeastern New Brunswick you may have seen Bouctouche Pale Ale on the shelf. Broue du Païen started up after new years and I got to ask owner and brewer a few questions. 

MBR: Who is behind Broue du Païen? 
BDP: My name is Maxime Sonier, I’m 30 years old and I do everything from the brewing, the canning and the delivering of the product. It’s pretty much a one man operation thus far plus the occasional volunteer helper. 



MBR: What is the significance behind the name? 
BDP: Païen is a word that, when growing up in the Acadian peninsula, I would hear a lot to describe someone who could be considered a ‘’small town hick”. When I decided to leave my job as a mechanic and take on brewing full time, I grew out my beard and my wife started jokingly calling me a Païen. I wanted to pick a name that would be representative of my heritage, but also light-hearted and comedic. Broue du Païen just translates to ‘’Païen’s Brew’’ but I’m also happy to have anyone refer to it as ‘’BDP’’. Seeing as the beard helped inspire the name, I included it on the can. I have plans on changing up the ‘’Hops Beard’’ on the can to represent the IBU of each style (i.e. the Païen character on the can will be sporting a Mustache for a Lager and a long Gandalf beard for a DIPA). 

What made you want to open a brewery? 
I had been making Home Brew for about 9 years. I started off with a cheap Mr. Beer kit, moved up to partial mash kits and kept modifying the kit instructions to improve on them. Couples years after I decided to go all grain and start making my own recipes from scratch using the BeerSmith software. After multiple successful recipes I decided to take the plunge and try doing this professionally. I have always been a beer fanatic and my goal was to make beer that everyone could enjoy. To this day, I still brew for the people and not for myself. Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone enjoying my creations.

How big is your brewhouse? 
I currently have a fairly small brewhouse using a 2bbl Blichmann System, 4x 2bbl Conical Fermenters and a single 2bbl Brite Tank from Stout. As of now I’m limited to around 4000 Cans a month but I’m already looking into adding an extra 2 bbl Unitank. 

How do you plan on just selling your beer via ANBL or will there be kegs?
At the moment I’m just focusing on can sales through ANBL since I don’t have much volume but I’m not turning down the idea of potentially doing keg sales. If the demand is there, I will have to look into it. 

What styles of beer are you planning to make beyond the pale ale? 
I have lots of ideas and tailored recipes I would like to release, but realistically, it can’t all happen at once with my small set up. I’d love to have an Irish Red, IPA/Session IPA and possibly a nice crisp Lager out within the next year. I want to name each style after an Acadian Town. I started with Bouctouche seeing as it’s the nearest town to me with an ANBL. 

Anything else you would like to add? 
ANBL just provided local vendors with a letter on January 22nd indicating that they will be applying Sale Targets and Thresholds for Local products as of April 1st 2020. Some local businesses could end up off the shelves as a result of this, especially ones just starting out. It will be more important than ever to support your favourite local breweries, wineries and distilleries. Being such a small start-up business myself, I sincerely hope that this change will not affect my growth potential and my ability to try out new recipes and products. I am incredibly grateful to all who have supported me so far and hope I can continue to do what I love!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

2019 Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards Results

(Halifax,NS) - The sixth annual Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards were held on November 16th in Halifax with a gathering at Hopyard Halifax. The judging of 400 entries from 52 breweries and cideries had taken place previously in Halifax. 

Atlantic breweries and cideries shared the 53 medals awarded in 15 categories as well as eight special awards ( To see full medal counts see Table 1 and category details see Table 2). 

The big winner of the evening was Bogside Brewing taking four medals, including two gold, Brewery of the Year as well as New Brewery of the Year with Moosehead Breweries nabbing Beer of the Year with their Small Batch Rauchbier Smoked Lager.

In the Cider category there was a tie between No Boats On Sunday and Gagetown Distilling and Cidery for New Cider House of the Year and Red Island Cider captured New Cider House of the Year. 

It was another great year for Atlantic craft. 

Table 1 : Medal counts 

Brewery Gold Silver Bronze HM Total
Bogside Brewing 2 1 1 4
Big Spruce Brewing 2 2 4
Nine Locks Brewing 1 1 1 3
Spindrift Brewing  2 2
Copper Bottom Brewing 1 1 2
Graystone Brewing 1 1 2
Tatamagouche Brewing 1 1 1 3
Boxing Rock Brewing 2 1 3
Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault 1 1 2
Trider’s Craft Beer 1 1 2
Alexander Keith’s Brewery 2 2
Breton Brewing  1 1
Good Robot Brewing 1 1
Upstreet Craft Brewing 1 1 2
Moosehead Breweries 1 1
Landwash Brewery 1 1
No Boats on Sunday 1 1
Gagetown Distilling and Cidery 1 1
Bannerman Brewing  1 1
Grimross Brewing  1 1 2
PEI Brewing 1 1
Quidi Vidi Brewery 1 1
Uncle Leo’s Brewery 1 1
Propeller Brewing 1 1
Lunn’s Mill 1 1
Sober Island Brewing 1 1
Saltbox Brewing 1 1 2
Red Island Cider 1 1
Chain Yard Urban Cidery  1 1
Hill Top Hops’ Brewhouse 1 1
North Brewing 2 2
Roof Hound Brewing 1 1
Riverdale Orchard 1 1

Table 2 : Full Beer and Cider Category Breakdown

North American & European Style Lager
Bronze: Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault – La Kedgwick
Silver: Bannerman Brewing – Safe Bet
Gold: Spindrift Brewing – Beaufort 10

German Style Specialty Ales
Bronze: Bogside Brewing – Wheat Kings County
Silver: Uncle Leo’s Brewery – Altbier
Gold: Bogside Brewing – Lighthorse Lagered Ale
Honourable Mention: North Brewing – Gus’ 65m Ale

UK Style Specialty Ales
Bronze: Trider’s Craft Beer – Rod’s Red
Silver: Graystone Brewing – Into the Woods Brown Ale
Gold: Breton Brewing – Red Coat 

North American Style Specialty Ales
Bronze: Big Spruce Brewing – Bitter Get’er India
Silver: Copper Bottom Brewing – Centennial Stock
Gold: Tatamagouche Brewing – Giantess Barley Wine
Honourable Mention: Boxing Rock Brewing – Dark as Keji

Belgian Style Specialty Ales
Bronze: Grimross Brewing – Abbey Dubbel
Silver: Les Brassers du Petit Sault – Colonel John Baker
Gold: Upstreet Craft Brewing – FireWorks Farmhouse Saison
Honourable Mention: Upstreet Craft Brewing – De Novo IV

North American Style Amber/Red Ales
Bronze: Boxing Rock Brewing – Temptation Red Ale
Silver: Quidi Vidi Brewing – 1892 Traditional Ale
Gold: Bogside Brewing – Brudenell Brown
Honourable Mention: Hill Top Hops’ Brewhouse – Red Tail Red Ale

Fruit & Field Beer
Bronze: Boxing Rock Brewing – Arnold’s Apricot Wheat Ale
Silver: Nine Locks Brewing – Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Gold: Good Robot Brewing – El Espinazo Del Diablo

Pale Ales
Bronze: PEI Brewing – Vic Park Pale Ale
Silver: Trider’s Craft Beer – Scotian Pale
Gold: Graystone Brewing – Patagonia Pale Ale
Honourable Mention: Roof Hound Brewing – Ear to the Street

Stout / Porter
Bronze: Big Spruce Brewing – Blood Donair
Silver: Big Spruce Brewing – Cereal Killer
Gold: Spindrift Brewing – Out of the Hold - Neat
Honourable Mention: Grimross Brewing – Pugnacious Porter

India Pale Ales
Bronze: Lunn’s Mill Beer – Purple Grain
Silver: Propeller Brewing – Galaxy
Gold: Copper Bottom Brewing – Parkman Ave

Experimental Beers
Bronze: Alexander Keith’s Brewery – Bisset’s Fancy
Silver: Bogside Brewing – Pitcher in the Rye
Gold: Moosehead Breweries – Small Batch Rauchbier
Honourable Mention: Tatamagouche Brewing – Feronia

Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer
Bronze: Nine Locks Brewing – Russian Imperial Stout
Silver: Big Spruce Brewing – Ra Ra Rasputin
Gold: Nine Locks Brewing – Barley Wine

Sour Beer 
Bronze: Alexander Keith’s Brewery – Backyards
Silver: Tatamagouche Brewing – Spring
Gold: Landwash Brewery – Brackish
Honourable Mention: North Brewing – Breakwater Mango Sour

Standard Cider & Perry
Bronze: Saltbox Brewing – Old Orchard Cider
Silver: Sober Island Brewing – Army Cider
Gold: No Boats on Sunday – Original Cider
Honourable Mention: Riverdale Orchard – 2 Scots 3 Apples

Specialty Cider & Perry
Bronze: Chain Yard Urban Cidery – Hopped Up
Silver: Red Island Cider – Ghost Ship Wild Briar
Gold: Gagetown Distilling and Cidery – Hopped Cider
Honourable Mention: Saltbox Brewing – Haskap Cider

Beer of the Year
Bronze: Spindrift Brewing - Out of the Hold - Neat
Silver: Upstreet Craft Brewing – FireWorks Farmhouse Saison
Gold: Moosehead Breweries – Small Batch Rauchbier