Friday, September 25, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - September 25, 2015

Hello and welcome to the September 25th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Barnone Brewing notes they have a special release Sub Stanchel Wet hopped harvest Ale. Available now at the Old Triangle and Dublin Pub in PEI.

PEI Brewing Company says its Pumpkin Ale is back. Pumpkin ale seems to be loved or hated but several maritime breweries will have theirs out this month and next.

Big Axe Brewery was brewing some sweetness making a special ale using rooftop honey from Food at The Crowne Downtown in Fredericton. They say look for details coming soon. 

Big Tide Brewing published that this year's fresh hops ale selections include Indian Beach Kölsch that is on tap now, Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale and Indian Beach Harvest Ale.

Celtic Knot Brewing announced that a harvest ale version of the Hopicide IPA will be available very soon. This version is generously wet hopped with Cascade hops thanks to Jeff Smith of  Amherst NS. The oyster stout that they announced over the summer will be out soon. 

Hammond River Brewing's Harvest Ale, brewed with fresh hops grown right there at the brewery . It is a 7.0% ABV and 70 IBUs beer and is available now wherever HRB is served.

Big Spruce Brewing released Craig Goes Yard their annual Hop Harvest American IPA that is 6.7% ABV. This beer use the hops harvested from their farm and for you beer nerds Jeremy says it was a mid-boil Chinook, late addition Nugget, followed by the wet hop addition of Goldings and Mt Hood in hop back. They dry hopped it with some Mandarina. Tasting notes on the beer are "tropical passion fruit flavour, with crisp, wine-like aromatics, this beer truly speaks to the unique terroir characteristics of our farm."

Boxing Rock Brewing have re-released The Darkness Cascadian Dark Ale for a fall release. Soon to appear in your local NSLC.

Garrison Brewing kicked off fall with the release of its pumpkin  seasonal, Double Jack Pumpkin Ale. It is a 8% ABV ale and was one of my favorite pumpkin beers last year, not overly spiced. 

North Brewing launched their second harvest ale "Setting Sun". It is a wet hopped saison aged on sour cherries. Hops from the valley include Cascade, Willamette and Chinook, and they aged the beer on valley grown cherries from Stirling Fruit Farms. The result is a beautiful thing. Aromas that evoke a ripe cherry orchard,notes of tart cherry followed by grapefruit bitterness and rounded out with a peppery finish.

Meander River Farm says its beer Homegrown, their once a year offering of a wet hopped brew made entirely with hops grown on the farm, is ready. The hops are picked fresh and brewed within 24 hours to create a very unique, smooth, extremely tasty golden beer with exceptional hop character. The 4.2% ABV IPA is available at the brewery this weekend alongside the last bit of Summer Solstice IPA.

Rock Bottom Brewpub has a wet hopped APA on tap upstairs at Your Fathers Moustache, it is their regular Duster APA brewed with Nova Scotia grown Centennial hops, which are a bit less piney than their Yakima counter parts with a bit of an orange / tangerine undertone.
At the Rock Bottom in addition to their regulars, and also a traditional British Brown Ale. Light semi-sweet malt body, toasted nut aromas and mild toffee flavour. Lightly hopped with earthy English varietals. Lastly they have a Märzen that is a red German lager, the classic beer of Octoberfest. A malty amber lager with a clean, rich, bready malt flavour, restrained bitterness, and dry finish.

Rudder's Brew Pub is having their 10th annual Brewer's Dinner on October 2nd at 7 PM and reservations are required. It is a 4 course meal each paired with a Rudder's beer. Get details now on their facebook page

Spindrift Brewing saw its beer launched at the NSLC this week. This was earlier than the expected September 28th date and had a lot of buzz on social media. Their flagship beer is an amber lager that weighs in at 5% ABV and is called simply Coastal Lager. 

Tatamagouche Brewing as I mentioned last week released a new IPA this week called Deception Bay IPA that is a 6.2% ABV  beer. On Wednesday Matt was brewing a Rye and Ginger Ale with fresh ginger and orange peel. It smelled fantastic in the brewhouse, look for this in about 3 weeks or so.

Uncle Leo's Brewery released its German Altbier this week at the brewery, get this limited release while it lasts. It is 5.2% ABV.

Unfiltered Brewing released its next beer today. Hop Riot India Red Ale is Nash's first single-varietal fresh-hopped beer, made with 200 kg of Centennial. In their pursuit of trying to source as much as possible locally they were very happy to find that the Maritime Hop Growers Cooperative could provide all the hops they needed for the batch. The hops were in the mash-tun within about six hours of harvesting, and they say you can taste the fresh hoppiness and roasted malt. It is a 7.3% ABV beer.

The Moncton Beer League is proud to bring you the first Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest on Friday, October 9th at the Crowne Plaza Moncton downtown in support United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick. This event will be set up like a trade show – similar to a beer festival, but food stations will be interspersed between craft beer stations.
The regular session from 7:30-10pm allows you unlimited beer samples in your custom take-home glass from Jym Line Glassware. The VIP ticket gets you a special glass, along with an industry panel discussion and exclusive guided beer tasting in addition to the regular session. Regular session tickets are on sale for $58+fees and VIP tickets are $68+fees and are available now on eventbrite.

Thanks for checking out the news again this week and supporting local craft brewers and until next time, enjoy responsibly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sneak peek at Spindrift Brewing

I had the pleasure of getting an early tour of the Spindrift's brewery that is tucked away on Frazee Avenue in Dartmouth's Burnside Park. Brewmaster Kellye Robertson, who is a native Nova Scotian and worked previously at Beau's Brewing and Garrison Brewing, was my guide. As you enter the front door it is not hard to envision the bright southern facing space being inviting to patrons buying beer, getting growlers filled and sitting enjoying a beer after work.

Passing through the space you enter a hall and pass the cooler and a window which allows a view into their lab. As you walk into the expansive brewhouse I was impressed with towering fermenters and size of the start-ups 25 BBL brewing area. Rob Green, the General Manager, is quite proud that all the brewing equipment from DME is Canadian made and the canning and kegging system is from Cask Brewing Systems of Calgary. In fact Spindrift tries to source as much as they can locally.

The plant is state of the art and will support quality brewing and a great deal of control to Kellye during her brewing days. Spindrift plans to do things a little different. They are producing one beer year-round and perhaps 5 or 6 seasonals which is quite different than what we have seen in our region. Their flagship beer is Coastal Lager that weighs in at 5% ABV. It was shipped to the NSLC last week and hit the shelves this week at four stores so far if 473 ml cans available as singles and four packs.  

Other plans on the drawing board are a barrel aging program, which I for one am excited about, a few other secret items and believe it or not expansion if things go as planned. 

Welcome Spindrift Brewing to the Nova Scotia craft beer community. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - September 18, 2015

Hello and welcome to September 18th edition of the Maritime Beer Report

Big Tide Brewing's head brewer says it is just about time for her favorite brewing day that uses fresh hops, and fresh pumpkin and soon their Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale will be on tap.

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault released Bonhomme Sept-heures Pumpkin Ale this week. They used more than 60 lbs of pumpkin and squash, 2 lbs of spices and all kinds of other good stuff. It clocks in at 8.6% ABV and is the strongest beer they have made. Available now at the Brewtique.

Hammond River Brewing Company were making the season's first Breakfast Stout. Oats, Java Moose Coffee, Chocolate, Cacao Nibs, Applewood Bacon smoked right here at HRB, and a few Eggs and Grits to top it off. This delicious 8% ABV Imperial Stout will be available soon.

Picaroons Traditional Ales says their 2015 Harvest Ales will start pouring next week. This year they have 7 different batches from 6 different local farmers, all made with a different local hops, all with the same local grain. Once again you will be able to find out about your Harvest Ale by checking out the batch code on the side of your label and going to

Big Spruce Brewing says that its collaboration with Stillwell Gimme Citra is back. It is described as a nice hoppy beer and comes in at 4.7% ABV. Available now at the brewery and select taps.

Breton Brewing were busy this week brewing their first seasonal called Celtic Colours Maple Lager. Look out for this beer around Cape Breton during the Celtic Colours festival! The Maple Syrup they added came from Acadian Maple Products in Nova Scotia. 

FirkinStein Brewing started selling their beer this week. It is not available at bars yet but they have opted to start with home delivery in the Bridgewater, Mount Pleasant and Conquerall Mills areas. They are charging $8 for the bottle and $12 for the beer then you own the bottle and refills are just $12 after that. They're beer is called Nor'easter Ale and is a strong beer weighing in at 7.5% ABV.

Garrison Brewing says they got a boatload of Cinderella Pumpkins from their friends at Howard Dill's Pumpkin Farm in Windsor for the next batch of  their Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Good Robot Brewing is introducing the 5th addition to their lineup, Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer. In celebration of this on Sunday, October 4th, they will be hosting a good ol' fashioned hootenanny at the brewery complete with pig roast, bluegrass music and of course beers.

Sea Level Brewing notes that Hopfazupfa is back for fall. This is a 6% ABV American IPA. They are sad to announce that they are not making the New Scotland Heather Ale this year. They couldn't get enough heather & Randy won't compromise.

Tatamagouche Brewing released the next edition in their Giant Series, it is a Russian Imperial Stout coming in at 8.5% ABV. It is hopped with Pacific Gem and Chinook. Also Tatabrew is bringing back its award winning Lagerhosen and a new IPA called Deception Bay IPA that is a hefty 6.2% ABV.

Uncle Leo's Brewery says its Pictou County Harvest Ale made with fresh hops from Bramble Hill Farms. It is a 5.7% ABV limited quantity ale that is available in growlers only. 

Looking for something fun to do in Moncton next week end? Moncton Area Beer League is doing a beer hike that will visit five local watering holes for beer and food samples. Tickets are $49 to join in on the fun.

New Brunswick Beer Tour is running their River Valley Tour again on October 17th from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM . Join King Street Ale House owners Doug Williams, Eat New Brunswick and the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival as they explore NB Craft Beers and Ciders. Along the way you will have samples and food from King Street Ale House and visit and sample at three breweries.

Ever wonder what it would be like to practice yoga inside the serene walls of a brewery, backdropped by massive stainless steel tanks? No? Ok, well even if you haven't thought about it before, here is your chance to do that at Upstreet Craft Brewing on September 26th from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM. For $15 you will get 1-hour practice and a glass of beer. 

Looking to expand your beer knowledge and get certified for personal or professional reasons? CAPS- Atlantic is offering two courses this fall. The Certified Beer Server course is designed to prepare students for the Certified Beer Server exam, the first level of certification in the Cicerone program. It is 1 evening a week for 4 weeks in September and October for $260. The Certified Beer Professional course is designed to prepare students for the Cicerone certification exam. It runs 1 evening a week for 10 weeks and costs $1240. Courses run consecutively, and can be taken individually or as a 14-week package. Check the website for registration forms.

Thanks for letting me share the news again this week, Until next week enjoy responsibly.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - September 11, 2015

Hello and welcome to the September 11th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

PEI Brewing Company says their Vic Park Pale Ale is now in 473ml cans. Brewed with Citra hops for those sunny September days. They also say Pumpkin Ale and Rogues Roost IPA are expected to be out this month. The biggest news is the announcement of a barrel-aged bock titled "HELL STREET". Based on a local boxing legend, this brew will offer a similar smack to the face. Stay tuned for more information on their social media channels.

Upstreet Craft Brewing says White Noize is back for a very limited time grab it fast.

Big Axe Brewery revealed a new beer this week. Therapy Session IPA is now on tap. They say "Beautiful aroma of citrus and passion fruit from Topaz hops," It is a 5.2% ABV beer.

Big Tide Brewing have got Cascade, Nugget and Hallertauer hops from Dunhams Run Winery that will all be used over the next week for their special Indian Beach brews. Watch for them coming soon.

Half Cut Brewing Company have released a slightly boozier version of the of their Alter Ego. The newer one comes in at 6% ABV and is now at the Brewtique.

Picaroons Traditional Ales were bottling their Harvest Ale this week. Look for these popular brews coming soon.

Savoie's Brewhouse have already done one build out on the brewhouse by making a separate fermentation room and they tell me looking to move up from 20 gallon system to 45.

Big Spruce Brewing released a new beer and as always the name is exceptional. Ivana Drinkalot is a new IPA, available at the brewery and soon to arrive Bar Stillwell and The Stubborn Goat. It weighs in at a hefty 7.1% ABV and 89 IBUs. Big Spruce says "Deeply aromatic, and lots of gooey hoppy flavour. We intended to brew Crazy Ivan DIPA, but let's just say that we made a few mistakes."

Garrison Brewing says lasts years popular collaboration with Beau's Brewing, Sweet Rye'd Harvest Wheat Ale is back today, Look for it on sale now.

North Brewing was travelling this week visiting PEI to pick up gear for their brewhouse expansion. They are doubling the size going from a 5 BBL to 10 BBL. 

Propeller Brewing says its seasonal Nocturne Dark Lager has returned to its shops. This beer is in support of Nocturne: Art at Night that returns on October 17th.

Rudders Brewpub in Yarmouth tells me they hope to put together a new IPA in a couple of weeks if the hops are available.

Uncle Leo's Brewery brewed their first ever fresh hop beer this week. They got Cascade, Centiennial and Magnum hops from Bramble Hill Farms and Wally Moser. In about two weeks they should have the first limited quantity Wet Hopped Pale Ale. Karl has been busy, he also brewed a German Altbier. That will also be available in two weeks.

Lots of exciting events happening for Sausagefest coming next week end. Two of the beers I spoke about a few weeks ago are in the wild. Boxing Rock Kerfuffle APA and Propeller Wind Swell Wheat are now available.

Thanks for joining me again and until next time enjoy responsibly. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - September 4, 2015

Welcome to the September 4th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Big Axe Brewery has released Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ale. They say it is a delicious light brown ale with red hues and an aroma of strawberry ganache. They brewed it with a mixture of dark crystal malts and a great amount of toasted wheat to add a bit of complexity. A moderate amount of hops add a mild, fruity hop aroma that blends extremely well with caramel notes produced from Carabohemian malt. They used 10 lbs of strawberries from Hoyt's and some freshly picked rhubarb to create the Pie.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie weighs in at 5.5% ABV and has a very mild 22 IBUs.

Hammond River Brewing is currently brewing the first wet hopped Harvest Ale batch of 2015. Lots of fresh hops grown right there at HRB will be added

Railcar Brewing Company says CSB time is now and available to purchase until the end of September. There are three levels $125, 250 and 500, each with great deals attached.

The first Fredericton Cider Festival will be on Saturday, October 24th. Brought to you by those behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, the afternoon event will be held at Brewbakers in downtown Fredericton, and will feature unlimited tasting (4 oz pours) of up to 30 different ciders. With several local craft cideries attending as well as other big brands, there will be plenty of different offerings to sample! There are two ticket options: regular tickets $56.50 will get you a tasting glass and unlimited pours from 1-4 pm, while a limited number of VIP tickets $65.00 will allow for early entry at noon, plus a special information session on cider production. The event will be held outdoors on Brewbakers' partially-covered deck; a small food menu from the restaurant will also be available for purchase. Attendees can expect to see some extra-special products at the fest, quite-possibly including New Brunswick's first exposure to cask cider. Tickets available now on eventbrite. 

I was lucky enough to attend to great events in Moncton last night. I was at Pump House Brewing's production facility for this years Stone Fire Ale's kick off. As they did last year they dunked super heated rocks into the wort to create the unique flavors. The brewer tells me he change the recipe this year by switching up some malts to work better he hopes with the process. They plan on producing 4000 bottles again this year in the flip-top bottles. 
I also went to Flying Boats Brewing's launch at Laundromat Expresso Bar. Brewer/owner Marc Melanson saw all three of his kegs emptied in an hour and twenty minutes. The S-55 Special Mission Pale Ale (5.9% ABV 43 IBUs) and Empress Irish Red Ale (5.5% ABV 20 IBUs) were both great. Look for these beers in Moncton, Shediac and Sackville areas.

Garrison Brewing released its Tri-collaboration yesterday at Stillwell and the Beergarden. Not So Gentle Tickle IPA is a 7.0% ABV and 55 IBUs beer made with whole leaf Amarillo, Citra and Columbus hops in the kettle, whirpool and fermenter . It is described as having “a bold hop flavor with juicy, citrusy and fruity aspects". It is available for a limited time at the brewery in 650 ml bottles.

Propeller Brewing ‏noted that there was a very familiar and special aroma coming from their Brewhouse recently. Pumpkin Ale is on the way.

Unfiltered Brewing is releasing DOA (Double Orange Ale) today. It is a Citra SMaSH (single malt and single hop) Double IPA hits the taps @unfilteredbrews Friday at noon. Greg Nash says it contains NO oranges, it does, however, contain a boatload of citrus-y hop flavour and just the slightest hint of malt sweetness. It is a 7.5% ABV and 100+ IBU beer.

FirkinStein Brewing of Bridgewater says they will have beer very soon. I hope to meet with them in the next week or two to get all the details for you.

Staying with new brewery news, High Tide Brewing is opening a 15 BBL brewery in Truro. They are currently looking for a Head Brewer. I was talking to the owner and said he will meet with me next month to release details.

Thanks for checking out Maritime Beer Report, have a great long week end and as always enjoy responsibly.