Friday, December 27, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas and welcome to the December 27th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

PEI Brewing Company announced the first release in its Chef Series. Dwayne's Dunkel Lager has a delicious aroma w/ hints of oak and vanilla that goes down smooth at 5.7% ABV. I only saw this on their facebook and I am not too sure what this is about, I have a request in for more information.

Acadie-Broue microbrasserie launched a new beer on December 22nd called Valdrague Weizen. This new beer is a Hefeweizen with notes of banana, bubble gum, spices of cloves and a hint of bread. It comes in at 5% ABV and is available at Laundromat Expresso Bar in Moncton.

Bad Apple Brewhouse announced it will be open on Dec 31st from 1-8pm and Jan 1st to 6th from 3pm to 8pm. Only American Pale Ale will be available. If you can't make these hours give them a call, they can be flexible on hours. The first batch of Black and Tackle Stout is happily fermenting away to be released at a later date.

Granite Brewery notes that Hoppingmad is available on cask for the first in Halifax at Stillwell Beer Bar tonight.

Hart & Thistle Gastropub & Brewery offered a new beer just before Christmas. Off the Hop IPA is on tap at 7.4% ABV

Thanks everyone for all the support for my first five months and I look forward to a great 2014. I have plans for lots on new projects and I will be giving away VIP tickets to the Fredericton Beer Fest very soon. Take care, have a great holiday and as always enjoy responsibly.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beer Review - Garrison Brewing East Kent Golding One Hop IPA

The third in a series of "One-Hop" beers, the EKG comes in at 6.5% ABV . It is a light copper color that pours with a thin head. The aroma is a nice hoppy floral smell. It has a decent amount of carbonation with a medium body and nice mouth feel. he taste is floral and sweet with a nice hoppy dry finish. A very nice beer and a great way to try different hops. In limited release .

Friday, December 20, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - December 20, 2013

Welcome to the December 20th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Pump House Brewery announced this week that Muddy River Stout will be in some ANBL stores by the end of the week and in Nova Scotia after Christmas. 

Big Spruce Brewing are giving free growler fill with the purchase of a gift card of $50 or more. Now that is a good deal.

Boxing Rock released information on their limited release U-889 Russian Imperial Stout. "This Russian Imperial Stout is brewed with passion. We used over six hundred kilos of malt to brew it. We then boiled it for two hours to bring out the rich flavours demanded of the style and hopped it with just enough smooth bitterness to balance it’s richness. We then added some strong coffee from our friends at Just-Us!, and then we infused it with plump Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans for over two weeks.
Tasting notes: rich malt, chocolate, caramel, roasted grain, coffee, vanilla. Initial bitterness followed by a long smooth finish. It’s like a dessert in a glass. Ideal serving temperature: 10°C - 12°C Lightly carbonated. 8.89% ABV 65 IBU."

Bridge Brewing Company released their holiday limited edition Glenora barrel aged Strong Dark Belgian on Wednesday. It comes in at 11% ABV. It is very limited so act fast.

Garrison Brewing Company has for a very limited time, Spruce Beer on tap for samples & Growler fills at our retail store. $12 for a Growler fill and $6 for a Growlito fill. 

For the past 10 months Garrison has aged their Grand Baltic Porter in Ironworks rum barrels and now it's available in their retail store for a limited time at $11.95 for a 500 ml bottle.

2014 Garrison Home Brew-Off has been anounced. From Garrison "Home brewers, start your kettles... Our 6th Annual Home Brew-Off is right around the corner!"

Once again they've partnered with The Noble Grape to showcase the talents of our local home brewers. Selected by BJCP Certified Judges, the Gold Medal winner will be invited to join brewmaster Daniel Girard in brewing a full-sized batch of their recipe for packaging and release as a limited edition seasonal beer. 

The 2014 style is 15A : Weizen - A spicey & fruity, refreshing German wheat ale! Submissions are due by February 20th and be sure to save-the-date for the Awards Gala on March 13th. $15 (includes HST) registration fee entitles each beer entry to a long-sleeved-shirt, two tickets to the gala and a Mixed-6 of Garrison beer! Additional shirts will be available for $15.00.

Thanks for joining me again this week. Enjoy responsibly and have a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Last Minute Top Ten Gift Guide for Beer Lovers

As we get down to the  the last few days before Christmas here is my top ten list of ideas for the beer lovers.

1 Glassware Garrison, Propeller, Bridge, Boxing Rock, Hell Bay, Uncle Leo's, Big Spruce, Sea Level, Rare Bird, Picaroons, Pumphouse, Shiretown and PEI Brewing all have branded glasses or steins. It is a simple but great way to drink you favorite beer. Their favorite brewery not nearby well Home Hardware has a set of 6 craft beer glasses so they have the correct glass for every brew they get.

2 Accessories Several of the breweries have bottle openers, fridge magnets, stickers, coasters, reusable bottle and growler totes and a recent trip to Garrison even had beer soap and beer label note pads. A trip to the brewery will reveal more than a few ideas.

3 Magazine Subscription There a few magazines that are great read on the latest news on beer and and general information. A couple of good ones are TAPS and The Pub Magazine 

4 Beer fest tickets There are several great beer festivals in our area and three are currently selling tickets right now for next spring, The Fredericton Beer Fest , Saint John Beer Fest  and The Great Canadian Beer Expo. They all make great stocking stuffers.

5 Beer books There are many books on the subject from home brewing, beers from around the world and beer cookbooks. A new cookbook that came out in November is Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook that has made many gift lists.

6 Home Brew Kit There are a couple of spots in Halifax area that sell home brew gear that will also ship. Noble Grape has several locations in NS and one in Fredericton has lots of expertise and Everwood Avenue Brew Shop just got a new one gallon starter kits.

7 Gift baskets and sets A few of the breweries are offering prepackaged items. Uncle Leo's has a beer tote with a 650 ml bottle of beer of your choice and and a beer glass for $15.00. Big Spruce, Propeller, Big Spruce and Boxing Rock all have nice prepared baskets for purchase. Picaroons has a gift set with a couple of bottles of Winter Warmer and a glass and Pumphouse has a special bottle of their premium pilsner.

8 Food Big Spruce has a lot of snack offerings available and Rare Bird has cheese. Many of the awesome brewpubs also offer gift cards, as we all know beer lovers are also food lovers.

9 Apparel What is more Canadian than a toque. even one of the Maritimes breweries, Hammond River Brewing, has them. In fact most breweries has t-shirts hats and other gear to show support for your favorite craft beer.

10 Beer!!! 
Merry Christmas 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beer Review - Hell Bay Brewing Wee Heavy Scotch Ale

The is a seasonal from Hell Bay Brewing in Liverpool Nova Scotia, a scotch ale coming in at 8% ABV. It is a dark copper colour with a thin foamy head. Getting a malty aroma from this. The ale has a medium body and light carbonation. On the taste I definitely get smoke right away, it is a sweet nice beer with some smoke and a bit of a malty aftertaste. Very nice beer for this time of the year. Definitely like this beer, try to find it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - December 13, 2013

Hello and welcome to the December 13, 2013 edition of the Maritime Beer Report. 

Big Spruce Brewing's 1st Annual Big Spruce Brewing Home Brew Challenge crowned a winner last Friday. The winner is Tim Gregory of Dartmouth with his Dirty Grain IPA. I look forward to trying it in January.

Boxing Rock Brewing ‏announced Wednesday that they now have U-889 Russian Imperial Stout available at the brewery store and will be at Halifax Seaport Market and Bishops Cellar this weekend. They tell us to think coffee and vanilla.

Garrison Brewing released its seasonal Spruce Beer today in Halifax in bottles and growlers

Hell Bay Brewing Company revealed that once again they are releasing our Black Fog Oatmeal Stout. Hell Bay tells us "This is a dark, rich beer with lots of roasted aroma and flavour with hints of chocolate and coffee along with a silky mouth feel. Available in growlers now and bottles next week." 'Tis the Season!

Paddys Irish Brewpub Kentville shared that "Frost Biter Winter Warmer now available on tap and growlers - Chestnut colour with notes of holiday chocolate and expresses a pleasant warming due to the slightly higher 6% Abv."

Rogues Roost released its Russian Imperial Stout yesterday. I comes in at  8.5% ABV and 55 IBUs. 

Saint John Beerfest is April 5 2014 7:00 PM- 09:30 PM  This event is being held at Market Square. Tickets are VIP - $70 and General Admission - $60.

That is all for this very light news week so until next time, enjoy responsibly

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Beer Review - Garrison Brewing Winter Warmer

This time around I check out Garrison Brewing's seasonal Winter Warmer that came out recently. It is a strong beer coming in at 7.0% and is flavored with cloves, cinnamon and demerara sugar. It is brown in color and pours with a thin head that dissipates quickly. In the aroma is sweetness and and cloves. It the taste you get some spiciness in the beginning and to me the aftertaste is molasses. The Winter Warmer itself has a medium body and a light carbonation. It is a very nice drinking beer at any time and to me more sweet than the taste of cloves and cinnamon. Enjoy responsibly.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beer Review - Boxing Rock Brewing Crafty Jack English Ale

Crafty Jack is a seasonal from Boxing Rock Brewery coming in at 4.2% ABV. It is very dark brown in color almost black and has a good amount of carbonation and a slight head. It has a very slight aroma , The taste is chocolate with slight carbonation. It is well balanced with a slight dryness. It is a pretty good beer from one of my favorite new breweries

Beer Review - Sea Level Brewing Crossing Muddy Waters Brown Ale

Another seasonal from Sea Level Brewing coming in at 5.5% ABV. The name is personal to the brewer which growing up on the opposite side of the Bay Of Fundy I can identify with it too. It is dark brown in color and appears to to have little carbonation. The aroma is of malts and I want to say molasses and a tiny bit of hops. The beer is between a light and a medium body with a light carbonation. The first taste you get chocolate and a smoky dark chocolate aftertaste with dryness on the sides of the tongue. Very interesting beer, get it while it is available.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Maritime Beer Report - December 6, 2013

Hello and welcome to the December 6, 2013 edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Congratulations to Joe Goodine of Moncton NB for winning The New Brunswick Home-brew Challenge. The finalist were Marc Levesque (Busy Day Bitter), Kynan Hughson (Raging Grampa), Mark McGraw (The Bitter End), Jake Saunders (British Bulldog Bitter), Brian Steeves (Broadway Bitter) and Joe Goodine (OB Juan).

Picaroons' THE "12 BEERS OF CHRISTMAS" are coming back. Starting next Thursday, December 12 , at THE BREWTQUE in Downtown Fredericton, they will be releasing a different festive brew each day, for 12 days. They will announce the day's beers everyday at 12 NOON, and the beer will be ready for your Growlers starting at 3 PM. Sounds fun.

Pump House Brewery ‏have released on tap their seasonal Nor'Easter Beater Winter Warmer. Dark amber color, big malt presence, subtly spiced with clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and 7% A.B.V. 

Shiretown Beer said their Siren T'ale will be in a ANBL store near you in the near future. 

Authentic Seacoast Brewing is spreading holiday cheer across Nova Scotia this month with free Rare Bird Craft Beer tastings in select NSLC stores, check their facebook page for times and locations. The Full Steam Stout has been making its way to private stores this week and the released their pumpkin seasonal will be available real soon. Exciting times in Guysborough.

Big Spruce Brewing's released a Home Brew Challenge Update "We received 17 sets of samples! Judging will be this Friday Dec 6th, with an announcement shortly thereafter to confirm the winner. Thanks to all that participated, and see you for the release of this exciting beer at the Craft Beer and Local Food Festival in Halifax on Jan 16th" 

Garrison is saying the Spruce Beer is bottled and will be out on December 13th in their retail store.

Hell Bay Brewing is now available at Harvest Wine & Spirits and Cristall Wine Merchants in Halifax, great news for us local fans.

Rogue's Roost 1st Brew Master Monday was held this week to a great crowd. It was a chance to sample all their beers, with an opportunity to talk and ask questions with their brewmaster. It didn't appear to be publicized too well but I hope i can let you know when the next one is. 

Cam from Schoolhouse Brewery reported enjoying a beer with master brewer Greg Nash from Rockbottom Brewpub at the soon to open Bad Apple Brewhouse near Berwick. I emailed the Jeff at Bad Apple for some information and will pass it along if I hear anything.

Sea Level Brewing announced its much loved HIGH STREET WEE HEAVY SCOTCH ALE is in the making. An ale with a complex malty body and a slight hint of smokiness in the finish.

Finally this week Yardarm Holdings who is negotiating opening a new brewery in Bayport has applied to also have a distillery at the site of the former Riverport and District Elementary School. It would be nice to see more movement in this project but for now I will keep watching it.

That is all for this week, send all your news tips to and until next time, enjoy responsibly and take care.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beer Review - Rare Bird Pale Ale

This review is the offering from Authentic Seacoast Brewery, it is the Rare Bird Craft Beer Pale Ale. it is a strong beer at 7 % ABV. It is a little darker than I expected being copper in color I didn't see a lot in carbonation and it poured with a thin head. The aroma is hoppy and a slight sweet "fruity" smell. It has light carbonation and a medium body. It has a very slight dry aftertaste but for the most part I get an malty, toffee sweetness and there isn't that alcohol burn you get sometimes from high alcohol beers. It is a great drinking beer and a nice addition to the Maritime craft beer family.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Todd Tapped Out - Stillwell Beer Bar

I had been waiting for the new beer bar in town to open for sometime, especially after meeting the owners at an event earlier in the fall. A trip with friends to Stillwell Beer Bar on Barrington Street in Halifax happened during a Saturday afternoon. 

We arrived shortly after they opened at four o'clock and it was already starting to fill up. On entry you see a low key bar with tables, chairs, light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, and of course the bar. As I explored a little further there was shelves in the corner with a bunch of vinyl records, a collection of "empties" and downstairs there are some old school video games and even some old city bus seats. I liked the decor, it made me feel at home.

The bar takes up the bulk of one of the walls and behind it is twelve taps of primarily Maritime craft beer with an odd wildcard thrown in. The wall containing the taps is used like a chalkboard with each tap labelled with all its information and wiped and the next one added. One thing Stillwell is arrange the taps number one to twelve with the beers going for light to dark.

The snack fare was varied and different from the usual pub grub, the dozen items varied widely and is changed often they tell me. I got the oysters and fries with "atari" sauce and both were absolutely delicious.

The staff and owners were very friendly and attentive and kept us satisfied. My first experience there was extremely positive and I will be back again soon.