Sunday, January 4, 2015

Maritime Craft Beer Outlook for 2015

This is the best information I could gather from public sources as well as a few tidbits from the brewers that were able to reply to me.

New Brunswick

As I normally do lets start in New Brunswick. Last year the province grew by five breweries and will grow again next year with at least two new breweries and several expansions. Distillerie Fils Du Roy who have been making world class spirits in Petit-Paquetville was set to start selling beer in 2014 but was not granted the necessary licence by ANBL, look for their Caraquet Flyer coming early this year. If they bring the same quality from their spirits to their beer we all have something to look forward to. 
Next stop is in Riverview where AWOL Brewery who tried a crowdfunding last year. After regrouping and winning 1st place in the 2014 Sjporr challenge they have been hard at work. January will see them ordering equipment and starting renovations on their new location. If all goes well look for the beer in second quarter 2015.
Picaroons new brewery in Fredericton North will come online this year. Until then it will be business as usual as far as year round beer and seasonals. Look for the odd cask, hopefully a collaboration or two and hopefully adding one more full time beer if the new brewery start up goes well.
Shiretown Beer says they have been having too much fun serving the New Brunswick, they do say they'll continue business as usual as they continue to fulfill the potential of their little brewhouse, believe it or not, still has room to grow. Seasonal and one off's will continue as usual. A few that you can expect this coming year are; Venezuelan Express porter, Hops on for Nowhere IPA, Black Currant Wheat, Honey House Ale and Runnin' down the Road Amber, They also have some great local wild blueberry's that they are real eager to use. 
Lastly one of 2014s start-ups, Hammond River Brewing, which opened in February and had to expand shortly after has a lot of exciting news for this year. They have a couple of collaborations planned, a Black IPA with Railcar Brewing, who announced expansion plans, and and one beer to be named later with Big Axe Brewing. Also, and more importantly, They are in the planning stages of expanding.  The plan is to move to a commercial space and have a 15bbl brewery. HRB says with the size of the size of the project, it's not going to happen overnight.

Prince Edward Island

Not a lot of news from PEI save one big item. A group are opening a new brewery in Charlottetown. I don't have a lot of details but look for Upstreet Craft Brewing coming in 2015.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia grew by by three in 2014 but could easily see double that in 2015. Starting in the Halifax area we have three new breweries. On Robie Street in central Halifax we have Wroughtiron Brewing who hopes to be opening in the spring assuming equipment supplier is on time and operational. For the first few months, they'll just be selling growlers and grunters out of their retail space and come summer, their taproom should be open. 
Around the corner on North Street master brewer Greg Nash and partners are opening a microbrewery called Unfiltered Brewing. It is a 15 bbl system and look for this one opening late second quarter.
Across the harbour look for a new brewery in Burnside with brewer Kellye Robertson, formerly of Garrison, at the helm. There will be more details coming out over the winter with an opening hopefully in early summer. 
Rounding out the province, in the Annapolis valley there are two groups working on breweries, neither of which I currently have a lot of details on. There are a few others working aroun the province but are somewhat doubtful for this year.
North Brewing are at least two expansions last year are planning another expansion in 2015. No details right now but I will keep you up to date.
Boxing Rock Brewing is the king of seasonals and after releasing five since September - Unobtanium Amber, Merci Biere Stillwell Anniversary Ale, The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale, U-889 Russian Imperial Stout, and Blue Toboggan, they are working on two more seasonals to come out early in 2015.Boxing Rock  recently sent 40 kegs of beer to six locations in New Brunswick, and hope to keep that going.
The newly formed Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia is holding a Craft Beer Week in Nova Scotia from May 8th to the 17th. It is going to include many events including an open brewery day on May 9th and the flagship event on May 16th. 

This year is looking exciting in the Maritimes and I look forward to bringing it to you.