Friday, November 29, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - November 29, 2013.

Hello and welcome to the November 29th, the Canadian Craft Beer Day eve edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

The New Brunswick Home Brew Challenge Gala is in Fredericton on Sunday. Good Luck to the five finalists. I'll try to have the results next week.

Pump House Brewery ‏released its Premium Pilsner in a 750 ml swingtop bottle gift box today. The pilsner is brewed using just barley, hops, yeast and water. Cold aged and matured for more than six weeks, there are no adjuncts, or artificial carbonation - resulting in a 100% natural lager.  There will be only 2000 bottles so buy it early.

Fredericton Craft Beer Festival tickets went on sale today. Some of the brewers involved from the maritimes are Big Tide Brewing Co., Boxing Rock Brewing Co, Garrison Brewing Co., Moosehead Breweries Ltd., Pump House Brewery and Shiretown Beer. Unfortunately the VIP tickets are sold out with a few Ladies Beer League VIP tickets left and lots of regular. The Pub magazine mentioned they will be giving a pair of VIP tickets away in January so watch for that.

Garrison Brewing is participating in Small Business Saturday on Saturday Swing by tomorrow, spend $10 on merchandise, & get a free sample on them.

Propeller Brewing Company announced today that Revolution Russian imperial Stout is now available at the Propeller Shop in 500ml bottles & Growlers. This is one of my favorite beers so definitely try one if you can find it.

Greg Nash tweeted that Rockbottom Brewpub has Wreckoning Russian Imperial stout that was brewed a few weeks back and a good portion of the batch was barrel aged in 12 yr Glen Breton barrels. It is available now while it lasts.

Rogue's Roost ‏announced that their Raspberry Wheat is back on tap joining their current line up of Razz, Cream, Red, IPA, Bitter and Porter. There is also a rumor going around that they are closing, this isn't true but their neighbor Second Cup is.

On a sad note, Sleeman Breweries Ltd announced the closure of its Dartmouth brewery after failing to find an interested buyer. The company said the brewery would close at the end of business yesterday putting the final 15 employees out of work.

Canadian Craft Beer Day is tomorrow, November 30th. It is a day for celebrating Canada's incredible and diverse craft breweries, brewpubs, brewers, and homebrewers from coast to coast. Get out and support it and let me know where you went.

That is all for this week, so until next time enjoy responsibly and take care.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beer Review - Propeller Brewing Pumpkin Ale

This ale is made with the world famous Howard Dill pumpkins. It has 5% ABV and is very light in color almost a straw. A good amount of carbonation but a slight head on it. I get mostly  spice in the aroma and maybe a hint of pumpkin. The body is light as is the carbonation. In tasting it I get a lot of the spice flavor but not much pumpkin. It is a litlle heavy on the spice for my liking. It isn't a bad beer and would probably compliment a pumpkin pie. It isn't too bad but not my favorite this year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Beer Review - Sea Level Punkin' Grinner Ale

Most if not all the ingredients are grown in the Annapolis Valley for this 5 % ABV beer. The spice and pumpkin comes through right away and also a bit of sweetness in the aroma. The ale has a deep copper color and has a thin head. There is a nice pumpkin and spice taste but not overwhelming and a sweet toffee aftertaste and a slight dry finish. It is a top Nova Scotia pumpkin ale in my opinion.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - November 22, 2013

Hello and welcome to the November 22, 2013 edition of the Maritime Beer report.

We start in northern new Brunswick today. Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault announced they have 2 jobs available for brewers. Check out the postings on their facebook page if you are interested

Picaroons has released an Ember Ale, a smoked porter, available for a limited time only  and ONLY at the King Street Ale House. On the local front you can now get a large selection of Picaroons here in Halifax at Harvest Wines and Spirits as well as Cristall Wine Merchants now. Thanks for the tweet Krissy.

Pumphouse Brewery have released some details on its soon to be released Premium Pilsner. It is a new German style Pilsner, pale straw color, unfiltered, medium to low bitterness with Saaz hops and a 5.7% ABV. Look for this one in a special gift box soon.

Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company has successfully launched their Rare Bird Pale Ale into NSLC stores and at least one private store. Reports I am hearing are very positive. Watch for a review coming soon.

Big Spruce announced Left Breton Organic Conspiracy Imperial IPA. Deeply aromatic, and weighing in at 7.4% ABV and 81 IBU, this is an extremely limited release, single batch of original beer. Come get yours while supplies last. They are also pleased to announce that their competition is now an officially certified BJCP event. Should make it more fun for everyone involved. Beer needs to be dropped off at brewery by December 2nd or to Chris MacDonald in HRM.

Bridge Beer were at the Alderney Market in Dartmouth last week end. Good news for Dartmouth beer lovers to pick up some of their Belgian beers without crossing the bridge.

Meander River Farms reports that today they are doing a spruce harvest with Garrison Brewing Co. We know what is coming soon.

Paddys Irish Brewpub in the valley have a new seasonal brew on the way. The Frost Biter Winter Warmer 6% is on route to the fermenter and a growler or glass soon. Look for this one.

Schoolhouse Brewery is looking for a multi-talented individual to help establish and grow the Nano-Brewery in Falmouth Nova Scotia. Look for details on their facebook page or on 

Sea Level Brewing has released another seasonal beer, Crossing Muddy Waters Brown Ale. The Brown Ale comes in at 5.5% ABV and is available at the usual spots.

Fredericton Craft Beer Festival 2014 tickets on sale next Friday. It should be awesome and they make a great Christmas gift.

If you missed the Ladies Beer League Cask Event last Sunday at the Stubborn Goat, check out the recap from Krista Spurr on the blog

There are a lot of new places opening and taps opening up so check some out this week end and tell where you went. I hope to check out a few this week end with some of the Avoiding Chores crew Until next week, enjoy responsibly.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ladies Beer League Cask Event - November 17, 2013

I could not make the cask event as I was unfortunately on a boat in the Caribbean ;) I did asked my friend Krista Spurr to cover this event for the Maritime Beer Report and I think she did a great job. Thanks Krista.


I’m a recent beer enthusiast, however, my formal beer knowledge consists of “I like it!” or “I don’t like it!” To improve this dire situation, I’ve been attending Ladies Beer League events in Halifax since the summer, made some friends with more learned beer drinkers, and I’ve learned one thing: supporting local craft beer is an awful lot of fun.

On an otherwise dreary Sunday afternoon, ladies and dudes took over the upper level at the Stubborn Goat, Halifax’s newest gastropub, to experience Cask Fest. And what great fun it was!

A terrific selection of craft brews, mostly from Nova Scotia, greeted us. Attendees were given handy passports-ballots. You check off each of the seven beers on offer as the afternoon wore on, and the eighth sample was obtained by presenting your completed passport to your favourite beer.
The Stubborn Goat has only been open for about a month, but it’s already a favourite. Warm lighting, a spacious interior full of cozy spaces, and a food menu that is divine. They have a terrific selection of beers, including plenty of local craft brew options, which made it an ideal setting for Cask Fest.

In the spirit making good choices, my friend and I made a strategic decision to drink lightest to darkest. As best as we could tell the lighter beers from the darker ones, with no cask beer knowledge to rely on:
1.     Propeller Brewing Dry-hopped IPA

2.     Bridge Brewing Belgian Apricot IPA

3.     Boxing  Rock Brewing English Brown Ale

4.     Hell Bay Brewing Dark Cream Ale

5.     Big Spruce Brewing Glenora-infused Cereal Killer Stout

6.     Picaroons Brewing Smoked Porter

7.     Garrison Brewing Winter Warmer

Even through it was the middle of a Sunday afternoon, the crowd was lively. The Stubborn Goat’s space was really ideal for moving around, grabbing a seat and chatting, or just leaning on the bar. Throughout the afternoon, the merriment was on the rise as the beer flowed. I learned a little bit and enjoyed a lot. Like the hint of apricot on the nose of Bridge Brewing’s Belgian Apricot IPA. The rich creaminess of Hell Bay’s Dark Cream Ale. The little bit of patience required to enjoy the hearty stout from Big Spruce, because warming up the glass brought out the Glenora whisky. Garrison’s Winter Warmer was a welcome strong beer companion for a chilly November afternoon. In short, there was a lot to love.
When the weather changes, I usually move from my white wine and summery beers to a steady routine of dark, heavy red wines, leaving beer off the schedule until the first sun of spring. I think a lot of this is because I simply don’t know much about more complex beers, which made Cask Fest an ideal experience for someone like me.

Later in the afternoon, it was time to choose my eighth sample and cast my vote. The preceding seven samples had fuelled plenty of spirited conversation at my table, but in the end, I went with the beer that left the biggest impression: Hell Bay Brewing’s Dark Cream Ale. It was a nice balance of flavours, hearty but not overwhelming, rich, but just enough.

For more information about the Ladies Beer League, check them out on Twitter or like their Facebook page find out about upcoming events. For more information about what I eat, drink, see and do, visit me at

Krista Spurr
Twitter: @krisp131 and @bitesizedtravel

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Beer Review - Gahan Island Red Premium Red Ale

From the island of red mud comes this red ale with a 5.3 % ABV and is copper, almost brown, in color. It pours with a decent head and has a sweet malty aroma. It has a medium body and a medium amount of carbonation. It is a little different than other reds I have had, it has a carmel sweet toffee taste with a short dry finish. It was quite a nice red even though I am not fond of reds but I did really enjoy this one. Look for it if you are looking for a decent beer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - November 8, 2013

Hello and welcome to the November 8th, International Stout Day, edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Big Tide Brewpub in Saint John has the Tidal Wave Double IPA  on tap again coming in at around 9% ABV.

Big news for Hammond River Brewing, they just received it's Provincial Brewer's License so let the brewing begin.

Shiretown Brewing now has available at the brewery Choke Cherry Wheat, Five Rivers golden ale, Siren's T'ale and of course Blonde du Quai. The choke cherry is their base wheat recipe made with local choke cherries, woody with tannins up front with a nice clean finish. Siren's t'ale is their new, bitter sweet red ale slated for release in stores this coming December. Five Rivers is a golden ale full body with subtle hop sweetness. Go get 'em.

Grimross Brewing has a new beer in the fridge, the "Pugnacious Porter" coming in at 6.2% ABV. I don't have the details on it but I am sure it is another hit.

Pumphouse brewery released the Schwarzbier lager on tap yesterday, nice chocolate and coffee flavors  and a 7% ABV.

Two big items for Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company. First they were picking pumpkins on the weekend to make some Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company Rare Bird Pumpkin Ale and, drumroll please, they shipped their Rare Bird Pale Ale to the NSLC this week for a launch later this month. I can not wait, I had a great time visiting them last summer and they told me then it should be in NSLCs by Christmas and sure enough.

Garrison brewing have a couple of interesting items this week. Their Citra One Hop IPA is making her last appearance on their retail draught line and they have Black Raspberry on tap at the retail store. The Black Raspberry is 25% raspberry Wheat and 75% Martello stout. 

Boxing Rock Brewing have released their new seasonal, Crafty Jack, an English Brown Ale with a rich, roasty malt profile and classic English hop flavours. It is a smooth and easy drinking at 4.2% ABV. They hope to have some in bottles next week.

The Devour Craft Beer Film Festivalis at Paddys Brewpub in Wolfville from Nov 13 to Nov 17. It is 5 Days of Celebrating Craft Beer with 3 Great Beer Films . Tickets are $10 and includes finger food buffet, pint of craft beer, brewery tour and screening of three great beer movies. Check out the face book page for all the details.

Rogues Roost announced that their Porter is now on tap. Dark, smokey and a little peat with about 5.5% ABV.

Ladies Beer League has confirmed their Cask-Conditioned Ales for their event on November 17th:

- Hell Bay Brewing - Dark Cream Ale
- Propeller Brewing - Dry-hopped IPA
- Garrison Brewing - Winter Warmer
- Picaroons Brewing - Smoked Porter
- Big Spruce Brewing - Glenora-infused Stout
- Boxing Rock Brewing - English Brown Ale
- Bridge Brewing - Belgian Apricot IPA
With the evening sold out and the afternoon almost it is safe to say we will see another one. Watch here for a special report on the event by local blogger Krista Spurr.

Looking for something to do in Fredericton on Sunday, look into the Fredericton Poutine Festival. The evening Session is 19+ only with all you can sample poutine, non-alcoholic beverages, 4 - 4oz beer samples - Regular Ticket or 12 - 4oz beer samples - beer experience ticket. There will be at least 15 Craft Beer to choose from: PicaroonsPumphouse BreweryGrimross Brewing and McAuslan Brewery.

Lastly in honor of International Stout Day Mothers Pizza on Agricola in Haliax is making a Garrison Martello Stout beer dough. Drop in for lunch and try it out.

That is all for this week thanks for listening. I am off next week so join me in two weeks time for the next report, until then enjoy responsibly.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Beer Review - Gahan India Pale Ale

This ale is a nice copper color and pours with a foamy two finger head. As you would expect with an IPA it has a nice hoppy aroma. It is a medium to light mouth feel with a medium amount of carbonation. It is a great tasting beer with a long lingering dry finish. Nothing complicated about this beer, just a real good IPA. One to try for sure if it is available in your area.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - November 1, 2013

Hello and welcome to the November 1st edition of the Maritime Beer Report

Celtic Knot Brewing in Riverview are brewing their next beer, a winter barley wine called "Toque and Mitts"., how Canadian. They hope to have it to market by December 1st and is described as dark and malty and comes in around 7.5% ABV.

Grimross had a great blog post talking about their first four months. They wondered if the small brewery was too big but quickly found out it was too small and struggled working full time jobs and the brewery 7 days a week to meet demand. They work hard to to keep beer on the shelf at the Grimross fridge at Picaroons Brewtique as well as now selling beer on tap at two bars in Fredericton and one in Moncton. They're next challenge is "to determine how we are going to increase production to keep up with demand". This story is one to follow, best of luck.

Picaroons Traditional Ales now has the anticipated Winter Warmer now on tap at their brewtique in Downtown Fredericton. Cheers

There is a  new microbrewery opening in Edmundston, Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault. They held two information meetings for the public over the last two weeks about the brewery and possibly investing in it. They will move into the old police station in the downtown core of Edmundston, aiming for a May 2014 opening.

The 1st Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Competition was launched last Friday It is open to all Nova Scotian home brewers with the grand prize of spending the day at Big Spruce Brewing creating a single full size batch of your winning brew on their 7 barrel system. Your brew will then be released at the Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration on January 16th, 2014. The style is an American IPA, which is 14B in the BJCP Style Guidelines. Get all the details on the Big Spruce facebook page today.

Bridge Brewing Company will no longer be attending the Historic Farmers' Market on Saturdays. They apologize for the inconvenience but also say they will be attending another market shortly. I'll pass along any details along as I get them.

Hell Bay Brewing Company has released its new seasonal the Wee Heavy. A strong Scotch ale, slightly sweet, rich and malty beer with caramel flavours and hints of smoke. 8% ABV. Sounds like another hit.

Paddy’s Irish Brewpub in Kentville released their newest seasonal beer on tap, S’Mashed Pumpkin Ale. It looks delicious.

Sleeman Breweries laid off 14 more employees this week bringing the workforce down to 9 from a high of 32. Sleeman's , owned by Sapporo Holdings, spokesperson Pierre Ferland says ".. this reduction is the best way to solidify the remaining jobs while we finalize an agreement with a perspective owner". Who is this mystery owner? Rumors abound it is Northhampton Brewing, owners of Picaroons. Mr Ferland will not comment on who it is and Sean Dunbar, Northhampton's prinipal, will not comment either. It is going to be interesting to see who takes this 27,000 hectolitre plant.

Don't forget the Ladies Beer League's Cask event is a little over two weeks away. Please support this event so we get more like it in the future.

That is all for this week, thanks for joining me. Just a note, next weeks show will be earlier than normal and there will be none on the 15th due to other commitments. Good night and enjoy responsibly.