Friday, October 30, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - October 30, 2015

Welcome to the Halloween edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

PEI Brewing Company have moved their new bock from the barrels to bottles and wax sealed them. Their newest barrel-aged project, Hell Street, gets released next week.

Upstreet Craft Brewing started selling beer in bottles in their taproom. If you remember from the spring, there is 400 "Islandisms" hidden under the caps.

Hammond River Brewing will be hosting their 2nd Annual Homebrew Competition with details being announced very soon. Oh and this one will be open to everyone in the Maritimes.

Picaroons Traditional Ales are hiring. They are looking for the perfect manager to run the Uptown Saint John Picaroons General store. Interested people should check their facebook page.
They also released Gourd Browny this week. They say "A full and complete Brown Ale that has been tragically hopped with Fuggles and Goldings hops and infused with a special blend of Pumpkin Pie spices whipped up from the fine folks at the Chess Piece Pâtisserie & Cafe in Downtown Fredericton. Only available at the Brewtique while supplies last. Lastly they say it's almost time and it's on its sleigh... ‎Winter Warmer‬ coming in ‎November‬.

Big Spruce Brewing's owner is off doing "research" in Vermont but had time to release their third ever batch of Glenora Whiskey infused The Whole 9 Yards. Available now.

As mentioned last week, Garrison Brewing has teamed up once again with the Federation of Beer to create an Official Star Trek licensed brew: Vulcan Ale - Genesis Effect Red Session IPA. This second limited release in the Star Trek-themed series uses "out of this world" hops like Comet, Galaxy and Warrior for a flavour that defies logic, and conquers thirst in the most calculated way. Very limited but available at the brewery, private stores and select NSLC stores.

Sea Level Brewing ‏has released its Wet-hopped Punkin' Grinner Ale. They say "you can just smell the pumpkin, spice & local honey in the air".

Spindrift Brewing will be opening its doors next Wednesday at 11 am to their retail space and tap room on Frazee Avenue. Get your growler ready Halifax.

Thanks for checking out the craft beer news for the Maritimes again this week, have a safe Halloween and until next week enjoy responsibly.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - October 23, 2015

It has been another great week in local craft beer, here is the news I know.

I was at the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards on Sunday. Garrison Brewing was the big winner of the night taking three gold and one silver medal as well as Brewery of the Year. The coveted Beer of the Year or "Best of Show" went to Box Cutter IPA from Bad Apple Brewhouse. For the complete list of winners check out my special blog post.

Big Axe Brewery released a new beer today. The "Anaphylactic Ale" is a strong ale brewed with Rooftop Honey from James Joyce. They are also doing the inaugural "Meet Your Maker" tonight at 730 PM at James Joyce. 

Grimross Brewing has a new beer on tap, a Belgian Abbey SINGEL. It is a session beer at 4.8% and would have been brewed by Abbey Monks for their own use, rarely available to the public. It is very dry with a clean malt aroma and crisp light mouthfeel, available now.

Picaroons says there are still tickets available to the Harvest Ale reception & three course dinner with beer pairings at Lion & Bright. They will begin the night with a Harvest Ale reception with Picaroons' Tony Goss hosting to celebrate the return of Picaroons long-awaited Harvest Ale - made entirely with Maritime-grown hops.  He'll be joining for dinner and will tell the stories of all the beers as they go. On eventbrite until noon Saturday.

River Valley Micro released they now started brewing some of their beer recipes for Railcar Brewing Company. This is a side project for now, the shop still remains open and business as usual. 

Garrison Brewing has been super busy. They release Gastronome IPA last night. It is on tap exclusively at Harbourstone Sea Grill and Pour House. They did a soft launch of its Martello Stout this week at the brewery. Look for its roll out soon. lastly the Vulcan Ale Genesis Effect Red Session Ale has been bottled and will be available next Friday in honor of Hal-Con.

Hell Bay Brewing Company released its newest seasonal, High Tide Harvest Ale. They are using 100% locally grown hops from High Tide Hop Farm outside of  Bridgewater. They say it has a rich malty body and peppery notes from the European yeast gives this 5% ale its fall characteristic.
Available at the brewery, Stillwell and White Point Beach Resort.

I popped into the Auctionhouse last night and renovations have begun to have the Georges Island Brewing Company inside the restaurant. Look for beer probably early next year for this one.
Staying with Auctionhouse, next Wednesday's Beer School will be with Breton Brewing.

That is all I have for this week, have a great week end and until time enjoy responsibly.

Monday, October 19, 2015

2015 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards

The second annual Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards were held over the week end in Halifax. The judging of over 200 entries was on Friday and Saturday at The Old Triangle and the Gala on Sunday evening at The Stubborn Goat

Twenty-one breweries and cideries shared the 40 medals awarded in 14 categories as well as three special awards ( To see full medal counts see Table 1 and category details see Table 2). This year the beer categories were reduced from 15 to 12 and 2 cider categories were added. Further, the People's Choice was removed as well as Brewpub of the Year and a new award of Cidery of the Year was added. 

Garrison Brewing was the big winner of the night taking three gold and one silver medal as well as Brewery of the Year. Another notable item was Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault swept the entire Belgian Style Specialty Ales category taking all three medals. 

The two new cider catergories were were dominated by Cider House and Red Rover Craft Cider who also took Cidery of the Year

Lastly, the coveted Beer of the Year or "Best of Show" went to Box Cutter IPA from Bad Apple Brewhouse 

It was another great success this year, it is a real pleasure to join in the celebration of the best of craft in our region.

Table 1 : Medal counts 

Brewery Gold Silver Bronze
Garrison Brewing 3 1 0
Red Rover Craft Cider 1 2 0
Brasseurs du Petit-Sault 1 1 1
Rockbottom Brewpub 1 0 2
Cider House 1 0 2
Uncle Leo's Brewing 0 1 2
Big Spruce Brewing 1 0 1
Moosehead Breweries 1 0 1
PEI Brewing 1 0 1
Propeller Brewing 0 2 0
Paddy's Brewpub 0 1 1
Tatamagouche Brewing 0 1 1
Pump House Brewery 1 0 0
Barnone Brewing 1 0 0
Bad Apple Brewhouse 1 0 0
Sea Level Brewing 0 1 0
Upstreet Craft Brewing 0 1 0
Hell Bay Brewing 0 1 0
Meander River Farm  0 1 0
Acadie-Broue 0 1 0
Breton Brewing 0 0 1

Table 2 : Full Beer Category Breakdown 

North American & European Style Lagers
Gold:    Moosehead Breweries - Hop City Barking Squirrel
Silver:  Propeller Brewing - Bohemian Style Pilsener 
Bronze: Moosehead Breweries - Alpine

German Style Specialty Ales
Gold:    Garrison Brewing - Rise 'n' Shine Hefeweizen
Silver:   Uncle Leo's Brewing - Uncle Leo's Altbier
Bronze: Breton Brewing - Stirling Hefeweizen

UK Style Specialty Ales
Gold:    Rockbottom Brewpub - Bulldog Brown Ale
Silver:   Paddy’s Brewpub - Raven Ale
Bronze: Uncle Leo's Brewing - Uncle Leo's Red Ale

North American Specialty Ales
Gold:    Big Spruce Brewing - Bitter Get'er India Black IPA
Silver:   Garrison Brewing - Ol' Fog Burner
Bronze: PEI Brewing - Sir John A Honey Wheat

Belgian Style Specialty Ales
Gold:    Brasseurs du Petit-Sault - Simonet Hébert
Silver:   Brasseurs du Petit-Sault - La Buckdjeuve
Bronze: Brasseurs du Petit-Sault - Maxime Albert

North American Amber & Red Ales
Gold:    not awarded
Silver:   Sea Level Brewing - Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter
Bronze: not awarded

Fruit & Field Beers
Gold:    Pump House Brewery - Thai Wheat
Silver:   Upstreet Craft Brewing - Rhuby Social
Bronze: Paddy's Brewpub - Smashed Pumpkin

Pale Ales
Gold:    PEI Brewing - Vic Park
Silver:   Hell Bay Brewing - English Ale
Bronze: Big Spruce Brewing x Bar Stillwell - Gimme Citra

Stout & Porter
Gold:     La Vaca Loca - Barnone Brewing
Silver:   Propeller Brewing - Revolution Russian Imperial Stout
Bronze: Rockbottom Brewpub - Oatmeal Stout

India Pale Ale
Gold:     Bad Apple Brewhouse - Box Cutter IPA
Silver:   Tatamagouche Brewing - Deception Bay IPA
Bronze: Rockbottom Brewpub - Fathom IPA

Experimental Beer
Gold:     Garrison Brewing - IPA Gastronome
Silver:   Meander River Farm & Brewery - Surf & Turf
Bronze: Uncle Leo's Brewing - Uncle Leo's Smoked Porter

Wood & Barrel Aged Beer
Gold:     Garrison Brewing - Barrel-Aged Grand Baltic Porter
Silver:   Acadie-Broue - Zirable
Bronze: Tatamagouche Brewing - Rum Barrel-Aged Dreadnot

Standard Cider and Perry
Gold:     Cider House - Ship Builders Cider
Silver:   Red Rover Craft Cider - VeRRy PeRRy
Bronze: Cider House - Stutz Original

Specialty Cider and Perry
Gold:     Red Rover Craft Cider - Fire Cider
Silver:   Red Rover Craft Cider - The Blues
Bronze: Cider House - Stutz Wild Blueberry

Friday, October 16, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - October 16, 2015

Hello Maritime Craft Beer fans, lots of great news this week ending October 16th.

First off in PEI there was a new brewery announced. Moth Lane Brewing is opening a 7-barrel brewing facility shore front located along the Conway Narrows in West Prince. To be more precise off of Route 174 Murray Road on a road nicknamed for the brewers father (Moth Lane) or Mickie Allen Shore Road. The building is currently being renovated with the brewing equipment landing around March. Hopefully we'll be enjoying new beer by next summer.

PEI Brewing has announced an exciting new initiative. They will be brewing one-offs every two weeks and select taps will receive kegs. This I believe is as exciting for the fans of the brewery as it is for the brewers getting to try out some new recipes. Look for the biweekly offerings in Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax and of course the brewery. There will likely be other locations and I will try to keep you up to date as I get more information.

Upstreet Craft Brewing says from now until Oct. 31st, bring in a non-perishable food item and get a staff-priced beer. Get way to help out and get a break on beers.

Acadie-Broue is being evicted from the current location. Fear not it sounds like he is landing on his feet in a great new location. I will update you when the details are final. He also been experimenting with barrel-aged sours and I got to try one of his blends last week end and it was delicious.

Big Axe Brewery has released its The Wrath of Putin DIPA again weighing in at 100 IBU and a 7.5% ABV. 

I was talking to Bore City Brewing in Moncton and they are progressing through the process to get listed with the ANBL, expect beer to be flowing early 2016.

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released an new beer and of course a bit of history. In the early 1800s, Simonet Hébert was one of the most important land owners in Petit-Sault (Edmundston's previous name). Simonet also operated a saw mill, a grain mill and a hostel. Strong willed and firmly entrenched on his land, he stood up to American commissioners who, even before the borders were settled, claimed that his lands were on american territory. The indomitable Simonet is, for Petit-Sault, the perfect emblem for Madawaska entrepreneurs: determined, convinced and bad-ass.The new 7% ABV Simonet Hébert Belgian Dubbel is now at the Brewtique.

Flying Boats Brewing is already expanding to a 2 BBL brew system at his space in Shediac. New system should be brewing next week.

Picaroons Traditional Ales is introducing MAGNUM PEI: An amber ale made with a very generous amount of fresh magnum hops from My Father's Farm on PEI. It is now on tap at the Brewtique in Downtown Fredericton and will also be on tap at some select locations throughout the Maritimes. This is a very limited 5.5 % ABV beer.
Ginger Design has  teamed up with Picaroons Traditional Ales to craft a delicious Ginger Ale. For each growler of their ‪#community brew‬ sold at the Brewtique on Queen Street, Picaroons & Ginger Design will each donate $1 to the Community Foundation.
There is a Harvest Ale reception & three course dinner with beer pairings at Lion and BrightThe night will start with a Harvest Ale reception with Picaroons' Tony Goss hosting to celebrate the return of Picaroons long-awaited Harvest Ale - made entirely with Maritime-grown hops.  He'll be joining for dinner and will tell the stories of all the beers as you eat. It  $50 plus tax and gratuity and there is only 45 tickets available.

The Pump House Brewery has released SPCA IPA This hoppy IPA is in support of the SPCA and their incredible efforts to provide care for sick, injured, homeless, lost, and unwanted animals while aiming to prevent and suppress animal cruelty. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this craft beer will be donated to the Greater Moncton SPCA.Please drink and adopt responsibly.

Railcar Brewing is launching a Trout Pout Pale Ale by guest brewer Al Bannister. He will soon be launching River Valley Micro, New Brunswick's newest nano brewery. They will also be launching their new Shogomoc Stout this week as well.

Trail Way Brewing has been busily making 15 000 litres of beer over the last 10 months and have been very happy with the public's response to the beer. Saying that they are moving to a brewhouse on the Northside with a 10 Barrel steam fired brewing system fabricated by DME Brewing Solutions which will include a canning line. I am very happy for their success and look forward to watching their progress. 

Big Spruce Brewing released Gimme Nelson this week, their second in a series of single hopped collaborations with Bar Stillwell. The Nelson Sauvin hop is noted for fruity flavor and aroma, this should be an interesting ale. Look for the 5.7% ABV 34 IBU beer at the brewery and Stillwell. 
Big Spruce will also launch this years Smokin' JackIt Pumpkin Beer at noon during a full day of music and a pig roast. 
Lastly they posted a teaser showing 45 lbs of Cape Breton grown ginger from LocalMotive Farm saying they have a new beer in the works. 

Boxing Rock Brewing U-889 fans will be happy to know this years edition was brewed last week. Look for this delicious seasonal in late November. Also to help better meet demand for their beer they are working on a 1000 square foot expansion at their Shelburne plant. 
They are also having a Harvest Party tomorrow at the brewery. Free tours a science of beer demo and lots more, check their facebook for all the details.

Garrison Brewing released they are not brewing their Klingon Warnog Roggen Dunkel this year for Hal-Con. Instead they are making Vulcan Ale Genesis Effect Red Session Ale. Look for this 5.4% ABV beer in the coming weeks. 

Tatamagouche Brewing released the beer I got to see them making a few weeks ago. Ging'Sync Rye, Rye, Rye is their new 5.5% ABV seasonal that is now available. They say it is "A zesty, unique rye ale, this beer has 6 kg of organic ginger added in the kettle and hopback, along with Willamette and Cascade hops, and sweet orange peel. This brew uses an additional 1 kg of ginger dry hopped creating strong ginger notes complimented by the spicy rye, a fresh take on a Rye and Ginger. Available in growlers. Cans coming soon".
They also shipped off their first shipment of North Shore Lagered Ale cans to the NSLC. Look for this throughout the province soon. 
Finally they current have a limited release of all four versions of their Giant Series available. The series consists of Two Rivers Baltic Porter, Rum Barrel Aged Dreadnot, Giantess Barley Wine, and Russian Imperial Stout.

Unfiltered Brewing released another one off today. It is called All Falc'd Up DIPA and is a SMaSH of  2-row base malt and Falconer's Flight hops. It is 7.5% ABV and 100+ IBUs. As Nash says, get on it.

Man that is a lot of great craft beer news. Get out and enjoy our great beer and as always enjoy responsibly. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - October 9, 2015

It has been a beautiful week here in Halifax, I hope you had a chance to enjoy some of it, now for the beer highlights of the past week.

Upstreet Craft Brewing says today at 6PM following the pumpkin drop, the Gravedigger Imperial Pumpkin Ale will be available. it is a 7.5% ABV and 30 IBU beer.. This recipe originated with home brewer Ryan Palmer 2 years ago and became something of legend last Fall when Hogie and Ryan brewed the next version.

Big Spruce Brewing is having live music every afternoon between today and next Saturday except for Sunday for Celtic Colours. They will also have a food truck onsite during that time and next Friday a pig roast. If you are a leaf peeper and in the area even more incentive to drop by and tap your toes and enjoy the brewery.

Breton Brewing is releasing its Celtic Colours Maple Lager today, to be specific it is a German Munich Helles Lager that has 20 liters of pure Nova Scotia maple syrup. Only one batch was produced  so get it while it lasts

FirkinStein Brewing will be selling Growlers at Hubbards Barn Farmers Market tomorrow from 8 AM to Noon. This is a great chance to try beer from the areas newest brewery.

Garrison Brewing did a soft launch of its 3 Fields Harvest Ale this week. It is a 6.3% ABV beer made with 8 varieties of fresh hops from Meander River Farm, Fiddlehop Farm and Ross Farm Museum. Available now at the NSLC, private stores soon and at the brewery.

Granite Brewery is selling Black and Tan in growlers from the beer store on Stairs Street. It is a blend of the Best Bitter and Keefe's Irish Stout. They also said the Honey Ginger is gone for the season but will return next summer.

It was reported in The Coast that Nine Locks Brewing will be opening at 219 Waverley Road in the same building as Mic Mac Tavern late next month. The microbrewery is an homage to the nine locks of the Shubenacadie Canal and the 7000 square foot brewhouse will house a 20 BBL DME system , Rockbottom brewmaster Jake Saunders and Chris Downey, formerly of Montreal's Brutopia, will be initially brewing 6 beer styles:
 - IPA
- Extra Special Bitter
- White Ale
- Porter
Early in 2016 they plan to have their beer available in growlers at the brewery as well as in 473 ml cans that will be at the brewery, NSLC, restaurants and private liquor stores.

The Nook and Cranny in Truro has switched it up and now have their own Pumpkin Spiced Ale on tap with a sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg rim. The beer is 4.5% ABV and the aroma is more all spice oriented, just like a fresh baked pumpkin pie.

James Joyce Pub is hosting the first of a series of "Meet your Makers" featuring Big Axe Brewing. Join them on October 23rd at 7:30 pm with Peter and Tatiana and a tap takeover. Its your chance to meet with them and talk about beer.

Thanks it for this week, everyone have a great Thanksgiving and until next time enjoy responsibly.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - October 2, 2015

Hello craft beer fans, here is October 2nd's Maritime Beer Report.

PEI Brewing Company ‏says its Rogues Roost IPA in now available at ANBL and PEILCC locations and very soon to the NSLC. This IPA is an English IPA for anyone wondering. 

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault says their pumpkin ale disappeared quickly, but they had to get ready for our new seasonal offering anyway. Their new Oktoberfest-style beer is called "La Padrix" (Ruffed grouse),  It will be available at ANBL growler stations as of October 15th. It came out this week and is a fresh and easy-drinking beer that is a bit reminiscent of their Lancaster KB-882 Marzen that came out in the spring. They note that coming up next a dubbel,  Buckdjeuve  and a trippel.

Flying Boats Brewing is changing its brews with fall here. They brewed a Double Oatmeal Stout with a smooth chocolate coffee flavour (5% ABV) and a Double IPA which should come in at 7.5% ABV and 77 IBUs. 

Pump House Brewery released its Seasonal Oktoberfest Beer and is in the ANBL stores now. It is a medium bodied malty brew coming in at 5.5% ABV and 12 IBUs.

Savoie's Brewhouse had a small expansion in its brewing capacity this week and announced two more beers in its line-up. Coming soon is Charlo Falls IPA, it is a rye IPA that will be 5% ABV and Herons Nest Honey Brown that is made with local honey from Jaques honey house in Charlo NB and it is also 5% ABV.

Trail Way Brewing also says with the seasons are changing it means the end of their summer seasonals Dunder Pale Ale and Raspberry Wheat that are currently on tap around Fredericton. They will return next April. To replace them their Coffee Stout and Black Hops 1 are making their way back into the production schedule. Look for them in the coming weeks on tap.

Big Spruce Brewing showed a picture of its hot, apple wood smoked, farm grown pumpkin and says it's time for Smokin' Jack It, their annual pumpkin beer. Additionally they will age this beer on rum soaked cardamom, vanilla beans and cinnamon. Look for it later this month.

Gahan House Halifax has on just in time for Oyster Fest their new Briny Blonde beer that is an ultra pale ale with lemon and sea salt with a bit of rye malt in there for a touch of spiciness. They also have the Pumpkin Spice Beer on tap as well.

Good Robot Brewing is releasing their 5th beer this week end, Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer. The approximate style is a Kentucky Common, a beer prominent in Louisville from the 1850s to Prohibition. German immigrants essentially brewed a variant of their roggenbier (rye beer), though loaded with corn which was prominent in the whiskey distilleries.

Meander River Farm says it is brewing another batch of cider at the brewery. Should be ready for your drinking pleasure around mid October.

North Brewing Company's shiny new brew house is up and running. Their first brew is under their belts and is the Belgian IPA.

Rare Bird Craft Beer says its award-winning Pumpkin Ale is available again at Harvest Wines and Spirits in Dartmouth, Bishop's Cellar in Halifax and the brewery in Guysborough. It is a 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU beer. They have been busy constructing their $8 million brewing and distilling project at Osprey Shores Golf Resort. Construction is running behind schedule, but should be completed in December making their brewery on the harbour one of the largest craft breweries in Atlantic Canada.

The Moncton Beer League is presenting the first Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest on Friday, October 9th at the Crowne Plaza Moncton to 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 local food stations prepared by Chef Brad Strugnell will be interspersed between craft beer stations.
This event is being planned to showcase local Atlantic Canadian products including craft beer and food, all while raising funds for United Way during their 2015 campaign. 
The regular session from 7:30-10pm allows you unlimited beer samples in your custom take-home glass from Jym Line Glassware. A 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. Ticket sales are final. 
Atlantic Canadian Craft Brewers participating are Acadie-Broue, Celtic Knot Brewing, Distillerie Fils du Roy, Grimross Brewing, Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Pump House Brewery, Atlantic Spirits & Wines (Propeller Brewing Co.), Bad Apple Brewhouse, Boxing Rock Brewing, Garrison Brewing and PEI Brewing.
Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite and there is a special room rate at the Crowne Plaza for the evening as well.

That is all for this week, until next time enjoy responsibly.