Thursday, December 31, 2015

Boxing Rock Brewing kicks off 2016 with Sunken Ledge Porter

(Shelburne, NS) - After a busy year of brewing, collaborating and expanding Boxing Rock Brewing is kicking off the new year with a brand new beer. Sunken Ledge Porter is 5% ABV and 21 IBUs and is a tribute to their good friend Toby Chambers, who was instrumental in the construction of Boxing Rock. Sunken Ledge is named for a shoal in Shelburne Harbour, the same harbour that has Boxing Rock.

It pours a deep mahogany colour with a persistent tan head and there is a subtle molasses aroma as you bring the glass to your lips. The flavours that follow are of dark chocolate and coffee, in fact the coffee taste lingers pleasantly.

Sunken Ledge will be available at select NSLC Stores and Private Wine Stores next week, Seaport and Alderney Farmers Markets starting Saturday January 2nd and direct from the brewery now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gray Stone Brewing finds a home

(Fredericton, NB) - Gray Stone Brewing has announced it found a home in downtown Fredericton at 221 King Street. 

Wes Ward from Gray Stone says they will be starting with a 10 BBL brewhouse and creating american ales and hopes to open in late spring 2016.

They will be joining six other breweries in the capital city as well as two craft cideries making Freddy Beach one of the most exciting craft beer cities in Canada.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dartmouth from craft beer have not to craft beer have lots

Dartmouth seemed to have been left behind as across the harbour Halifax rode a craft beer wave that grew and grew. Let me first go back a dozen and a half years to get a little history.

Back in 1998 when Nova Scotia craft brewing was still quite small Maritime Beer built a very large brewing facility and restaurant on Windmill Road. Unfortunately it declared bankruptcy in 2000 and the assets eventually were purchased by Sleemans later that year. The plant operated for several years until it was shuttered in 2013 and the brewing gear sent to Collective Arts Brewing in Hamilton.

Shortly before the Maritime Beer facility was shut Propeller Brewing opened it new production facility on Windmill Road. This made them the lone craft brewer in Dartmouth until they were joined by Spindrift Brewing in Burnside in September this year with its production facility, retail store and tap room. 

Earlier this month North Brewing moved its 5 BBL system to Battery Park Beer Bar, their collaboration with Brooklyn Warehouse. They also put in fifteen taps at Battery Park of which thirteen pour Nova Scotia craft beer for Dartmouthians as well as an outstanding small plate menu. 

More good beer coming it 2016, Nine Locks Brewing is opening at 219 Waverley Road in Montebello with its 20 BBL facility, 6 flagship beers and a retail store in January. Harold MacKay, who was a major player in Maritime Beer, is bringing  Downeast Beer Factory a production brewery with a taproom back to where he started at 612 Windmill Road. 

So needless to say Dartmouth has quickly become a beer city in the Nova Scotia  craft beer revolution.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

NB Strategic Program Review may see part of ANBL sold off

(Fredericton, NB) - The government of New Brunswick is going through a review of what and how they deliver products and services in New Brunswick. This exercise is to develop sustainable finances in the province and to maintain important services they deliver. 

The portion regarding Monetization of NB Liquor is as follows "Government has been exploring multiple options to maximize the return to taxpayers from NB Liquor. These options could include the partial sale of the business, the sale of a minority stake in the business, or making strategic changes to how NB Liquor operates to increase revenues." They also go on to say "Not all choices contained within this report will be implemented, but the status quo is not an option." 

It seems like changes are coming and some are probably needed but on the surface selling it off all or in part looks short sighted.

Read full report here Choices To Move New Brunswick Forward

Schoolhouse Brewery releases Locally Hopped Series

(Falmouth, NS) - The brewmaster was given a selection of Annapolis Valley grown hops. He provided four beers each true to their beer style. There is Big Red Schoolhouse, a 7.5% ABV Imperial Red, DesBarres Reserve a 6.8% ABV Biere de Garde, Scotian Export a 5.8% ABV Scottish Ale and Kings Row Chequers a 6.5% ABV Strong Porter. The series will be released December 19, 2016 at the Wolfville Farmers Market in 650ml bottles "Bombers". 

Big Spruce Brewing and Boxing Rock Brewing release Triskaidekaphobia Imperial Brown Ale

(Nyanza, NS & Shelburne NS) - Big Spruce Brewing and Boxing Rock Brewing are releasing Triskaidekaphobia Imperial Brown Ale on Saturday December 19, 2016 at both breweries, select taps and private wine and beer stores. This collaboration was brewed on November 13th by the two breweries and Ladies Beer League in Shelburne. The beer, whose name means "a fear of the number 13", was slow conditioned on Nova Scotia cherries and rum soaked vanilla beans. The limited release is 9% ABV and 40 IBU and will disappear quick.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hammond River Brewing releases White Walker White Stout

photo by
Nicholas Lowe Photography
(Quispamsis, NB) - Hammond River Brewing released its latest creation, a white stout called White Walker. This homage to Game of Thrones is brewed with Java Moose Foghorn coffee beans, fresh cacao nibs, Madagascar vanilla beans and lots of oats and barley. This 7.2% ABV and 37 IBU beer will look like a pale ale but have all of the taste and creamy mouthfeel of a stout. Brewer Shane Steeves says it is "a unique beer that was very fun to brew and will be on tap at Hammond River Brewing's tap accounts in the Saint John area very soon". 

Maritime Beer Report - December 18, 2015

Hammond River Brewing released their newest beer, a 7.2% ABV White Stout called White Walker. This pale beer has a creamy mouthfeel and has a nice smoky flavour complimented by Coffee, Chocolate, and a subtle hint of Vanilla. Look for it at HRB's tap accounts soon.

Big Spruce Brewing and Boxing Rock Brewing are releasing Triskaidekaphobia Imperial Brown Ale tomorrow at both breweries, select taps and private wine and beer stores. This collaboration done between the two breweries and Ladies Beer League is a complex, warm vanilla and cherry notes make this a winter winner. There isn't much of this 9% ABV strong beer and once it is gone, it's over.
Big Spruce also released Cold Remedy this week, their first ever Belgian. A lemon ginger wit, they brewed with homebrewer Chris McDonald, that has Cape Breton grown ginger from LocalMotive farm, and the zest of 60 lemons. 
Big spruce was very busy with guest brewer Justin Andrew Clarke making a co-developed Sour IPA for release at the Local Connections Food and Craft beer festival in Halifax Jan 14th. 
Lastly they made a Pine Needle IPA collaboration with Sawdust City Beer, should be interesting. 

Breton Brewing released Storm Chaser a Vanilla Oatmeal Stout, 5.5% ABV,  and is on tap now at the brewery. 

Garrison Brewing has its Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards Gold Medal winner for Experimental: Gastronome IPA on tap this week end. It has fresh orange juice and rosemary and comes in at an ABV of 6.5%.

Good Robot Brewing opened its taproom today. They have 12 taps on and several food options and will be open everyday at Noon except Monday. 

Schoolhouse Brewery used a selection of Annapolis Valley grown hops to make four beers each true to their beer style.
- Big Red Schoolhouse, Imperial Red, 7.5% ABV
- DesBarres Reserve, Biere de Garde, 6.8% ABV
- Scotian Export, Scottish Ale, 5.8% ABV
- Kings Row Chequers, Strong Porter, 6.5% ABV
They will be releasing them in 650ml bottles this Saturday at the Wolfville Farmers Market.

That brings us to the end of of this weeks report and and the year 2015. There well be no report for the next two weeks and will resume January 8th. Look for the 2015 Maritime recap and 2016 synopsis reports over the hiatus as well as a couple of other blog posts. I hope you all have a great holiday season and a very happy new year and as always enjoy responsibly.

Good Robot Brewing Taproom Opens

After seven months of operating Good Robot Brewing  are opening a taproom Friday December 18th at 12:00 PM next to the brewery at 2736 Robie Street. The taproom will be open every day of the week except Mondays. There are 12 taps behind the bar that will have their own beer, guest brews, experimental and other breweries. The food options will be from a variety of suppliers and will not be the typical pub fare. 

The room itself is two levels that is open and light. Around the bar was comfy two person chairs with many other tables.The upstairs area I found quiet and cozy.

Coming in the future there will be casks and events until probably late winter but until then enjoy the beer.

The taps will change over time but on opening there will be the available flagship beers as well as:
- Session IPA by Chris McDonald
- Märzen experimental
 - Bad Apple Brewhouse Mosaic DIPA
- Unfiltered 12 Years to Zion DIPA
- Big Spruce Cold Remedy Belgian Wit
- Uncle Leo's Cream Stout
- Shipbuilders Cider
- Stutz Wild Blueberry Cider

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

First City Brewery opens in Saint John, New Brunswick

(Saint John, NB) - Partners Adam McQueen and Jeff Gibbons are the latest to jump into the exciting New Brunswick craft beer scene. The nano brewery is in uptown Saint John and will produce small batch craft ales for local beer lovers in the area. on their 1 BBL system. 

Adam and Jeff have been home brewing for about 4 years and brewed between 40 and 50 batches in preparing to open up. Besides their IPA that sold very well over the week end look for an ESB, DIPA, RPA, Double Coffee Chocolate Stout and many more interesting beers. Currently on tap in the Saint John area including The R-Bar, Peppers Pub, Lemongrass and in talks with James Joyce in Fredericton. 

As with any big project they got a lot of support from family and friends and great help from Enterprise Saint John in making their dream a reality. After only being open a few days they have no huge plans as the brewers plan to balance the brewery in addition along with their full time jobs but shared they have been approached by ANBL to be in their growler program when the open their new store in Saint John. 

I wish them the best of luck and who knows they may be following the footsteps of Trail Way Brewing in the years to come.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - December 11, 2015

Welcome to the December 11th edition on the Beer Report.

Barnone Brewing had on tap last night Pale, IPA and Big O. All those on tap and 'Vaca Loca' Milk stout were in growlers. The Big O is an all new PEI Organic beer. 100% organic Malt. Light in Color, 5% ABV. Low on bitter side, with a pleasant aromatic nose. 

Bore City Brewing says that their brewing license is imminent from ANBL. Bore City Brewing will be on tap in a bar near you early next year.

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault released their authentic Tripel, named in honour of New Brunswicks's most notorious bootlegger, Maxime Albert of St-Hilaire! A complex beer that explodes with flavours and a boozie 9.2% ABV. Next Saturday, December 19th at the Resto-Bar Le Deck they're taking over the taps, with a few surprises. On the 10 taps look for Oaked Strong Scotch Ale, Strawberry Blonde, Rye Saison and Triple Chocolate Chili Stout. 

First City Brewery say it's first kegs are officially listed with ANBL. Their first batch of IPA is currently on tap at the R-Bar and a keg to be delivered to Peppers Pub. The IPA is light in color but big on flavor. It comes it at 6.5% ABV and is brewed using Magnum, Amarillo, Centenntial, Citra and Galaxy hops. Congratulations guys. 

Grimross Brewing released Dubbel Noel which is higher ABV at 8.6% and was conditioned on vanilla beans for 2 weeks - rich caramel, raisins, dark chocolate. Out now and at the growler fill stations in 2 weeks. 

The Pump House Brewery has Nor'easter Beater Winter Warmer back on tap. It is a traditional malty-sweet English style that is brewed in the winter months and spiced with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Deep dark amber coloured with a big malt presence and lingering spicy notes with a 7.0% ABV. 

Trail Way Brewing has gone to the dogs again. Their dog Aura is a 2 year old unknown mix of breeds and was rescued from the Fredericton SPCA this past summer – she’s settling into her new home great and happens to be a 65 lb lap-dog.
Now meet, “Good Aura”, the beer. Similar to Aura the dog, “Good Aura” is a bit of a hybrid of styles. Good Aura is brewed with rye, munich and crystal malts resulting in a 7.1% ABV amber-coloured ale, but with plenty of hop flavour and aroma and slight hop bitterness to balance the malt. Each time Good Aura is brewed a donation will be made to the Fredericton SPCA, so when you’re enjoying this beer, know that you are supporting the SPCA and a good cause. 

Garrison Brewing is adding an 11th beer on tap at the brewery, Pear Hug Weisse. It is a 5.2% ABV flavoured weizen. It is made with pear juice which gives it a fruitiness and sweetness. They also say it is extremely smooth and aromatic. This is on tap now at the brewery along with Spruce Beer, Winter Warmer, Imperial IPA, Risin’ Stein Weissen, Martello Stout and their 5 full time beer!

The George's Island Brewing over at the The Auction House released the names of their first two beer and they had a bit of fun with them. First up is Her Name was Amber, this is an amber beer made from New Zealand malts and is slightly hoppy beer with hints of citrus and a touch of bitterness. Next up is Bob's Your Dunkel, this is a Dunkelweizen (German wheat beer). It is brewed with chai tea giving it a cinnamon/nutmeg flavor. 

Good Robot Brewing is drawing ever closer to its tap room opening and have announced some changes to the beer line-up. The steam and corn beer are going off tap for a while so stock up. Look for experimental, guest brews and one offs coming soon including:
- Coffee Pale Ale v. 2.0
- Märzen
- Smoked Molasses Porter
- Session IPA

North Brewing says to look for their seasonal Milk Stout in January as they have been busy on a couple of projects. One of those projects is Battery Park in Dartmouth which opened yesterday at the former Nectar location. It has a North outlet store, 16 taps of a variety of Nova Scotia Craft Beers and a texture and flavor inspired small plate menu. 
They also have Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian available again. Grab some today at the Halifax or Dartmouth locations while it lasts. 

Sea Level Brewing's Wee Heavy Scotch Ale is now available in cans and will be available in growlers by the weekend.

Spindrift Brewing Company has added Saturday to its opening schedule swinging the doors open from Noon to 4 PM at 21 Frazee Avenue in Burnside. They also hit the shelves at the NLC recently and will be in NB at the ANBL in January.

Unfiltered Brewing now have their taproom open next the brewery on North Street. It is called "Charm School" is open from 4 PM until midnight, closed Monday. 

Bulwark Ciders now has bottles of its oak-aged cider, Cuvée Spéciale on shelves in the NSLC. It comes in a 750 ml flip-top and is 7% ABV. 

Have a great week end and as always enjoy responsibly. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault releases new Tripel Beer

(Edmunston, NB) - Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault released their latest creation yesterday, Maxime Albert Tripel. The 9.3% ABV strong ale is now available at their Brewtique in Edmunston. It is named in honour of New Brunswick's most notorious bootlegger, Maxime Albert of Saint-Hilaire. They note that this authentic tripel is a complex beer that explodes with flavours and was a bronze medal winner at the 2015 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards. Look for it tomorrow at the ANBL growler stations.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Unfiltered Brewing Opens Taproom

(Halifax, NS) - Unfiltered Brewing opened its awaited saloon this past week end. It is called Charm School and is next to the brewery at 6041 North Street. The new pub has eight beers on tap from brewmaster Greg Nash and a small menu of tasty items. There will always have all the beers currently on at the store in the pub as well as a few treats now and look for the food menu to expand soon. Charm School is open Tuesday through Sunday from  4 PM to midnight.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The 12 Beers of Christmas Returns to Fredericton

(Fredericton, NB) - Picaroons Traditional Ales says The 12 Beers of Christmas are returning again this year. Starting on Saturday December 12th at The Brewtique in Downtown Fredericton, They will once again be releasing a different festive brew each day for 12 days. Each day's beer will be annouced at 12 noon and it will be ready for your Growlers starting at 4 PM. (On Sundays the beer will be announced AND tapped at noon). Quantities are still extremely limited but this year but they are lifting the 2 Growlers per person limit but are asking people not to be greedy. 

Upstreet Craft Brewing Brews Up New Seasonal

(Charlottetown, PE) - Upstreet Craft Brewing released a Vanilla Cranberry Stout seasonal yesterday. Its newest beer is called Black Tie Affair and is a sweet and roasty stout, balanced by a touch of cranberry tartness and a hint of rich vanilla that comes in at 5% ABV. They say it is "Just what you need to spruce up the dark winter evenings". 

Propeller Releases Latest One Hit Wonder

(Halifax, NS) - Propeller Brewing released its latest One Hit Wonder yesterday.  Jaromir Lagr, an Imperial Czechoslovakian Pilsner, is now on tap at both Propeller Shops in Halifax and Dartmouth. They had a lot of fun with this one making it an homage to Florida Panthers ageless star Jaromír Jágr of the NHL and his mullet. It is a strong 6.8% ABV beer and will be available while supplies last.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Maritime Beer Report - December 4, 2015

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

Upstreet Craft Brewing is releasing its newest seasonal today. Black Tie Affair is a sweet and roasty stout, balanced by a touch of cranberry tartness and a hint of rich vanilla. Just what you need to spruce up the dark winter evenings. 
Lots of other changes going on at the brewery. They will begin offering a selection of local wine and cider to patrons who aren't beer fans and a full menu. Upstreet in partnership with local chef and caterer John Pritchard will begin offering food four nights a week starting December 9th. JP has prepared a selection of taproom tapas and sharable plates that, definitely won’t be your typical pub food.
Finally, due to the popularity of White Noize, Upstreet has decided to turn the seasonal into a flagship beer that you will be able to buy year-round and will also be available in bottles very soon. 

Picaroons Traditional Ales The 12 Beers of Christmas are returning. Starting on Saturday December 12th at The Brewtique in Downtown Fredericton, They will once again be releasing a different festive brew each day for 12 days. They will announce each day's beer at 12 noon and it will be ready for your Growlers starting at 4 PM. (On Sundays the beer will be announced AND tapped at noon). Quantities are still extremely limited but this year they are lifting the 2 Growlers per person limit but are asking people not to be greedy. 

Big Spruce Brewing hit a milestone this week by brewing their 400th batch of beer. In case you were wondering it was their very popular Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. 
The home brew-off judging was last Sunday of Red IPA, Altbier and Dark Czech Lager. There were 50 beers entered and here are the winners. 

3D. Czech Dark Lager
GOLD: Eric Gautier (co brewer Justin Clarke)
SILVER: Derek Stapleton
BRONZE: Justin Clarke (co brewer Eric Gautier)

7B. Altbier
GOLD: Eric Gautier (co brewer Justin Clarke)
SILVER: Keith Forbes and Mike Orr
BRONZE: Andrew Martin

21B. Red IPA
GOLD: Shawn Meek
SILVER: Scott MacLean & Randy Rowe
BRONZE: Josh Armstrong

And the winner of Best in show is "Czech Yo Self" a Czech Dark Lager by Eric Gautier (co brewer Justin Clarke). They will be brewing the beer shortly.

Boxing Rock Brewing says U-889 is on the shelves now for a very limited time.

Propeller Brewing is releasing its next One Hit Wonder today. The Jaromir Lagr Imperial Czechoslovakian Lager. This one is a 6.8% ABV lager. 

Unfiltered Brewing has brought back DOA DIPA. It is crazy with citrus from the Citra and just a bit of malt sweetness and weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 100+ IBUs.

CBC's Land and Sea will be featuring Tatamagouche Brewing, Meander River Farm & Brewery, and Big Spruce Brewing this Sunday, December 6th, at 12 noon. The half hour show is titled “Craft Beer” and will be available online afterwards. 

Have a great week and check out my Facebook this week end for a great giveaway. Until next time enjoy responsibly. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Beer Lover Gift Guide

Do you have someone that loves beer? Beer has had a revival these last few years with the craft beer revolution going. But what do you get for the beer lover in your life and where? I have a few suggestions local and otherwise to help you out. 

Of course buying them their favorite beer is an option if it is available remembering fresh is better and if it is growlers it will need to be kept refrigerated and bought a couple of days before gifting. A lot of people stock up on beer prior to the holidays so merchandise from their favorite brewer is a good option. Many brewers will ship if you call your order in, check out their social media to see what they have.

So the fridge is stocked with beer and they have every shirt hat and bottle opener ever made now what? If you are wanting to stay local there are a few options. 

Mashed In Beer Gear started by making custom-brew-in-a-bag for home brewers and branched out to resin encapsulated grains and hops coasters, tap handles for  kegerators or keezers and business card holders. A bonus id they offer free shipping. 
If your beer fan wants to dip their toe into making beer a great place to call for help find what you need to buy is Everwood Ave Brew Shop . They have everything from starter on up and brew kits.

Maybe a product made from natural material is more to your liking, Ravenview makes wood handles and lots of other cool stuff.

Moving on from local to other items, there are some good books on beer, cooking with beer and pairing. A couple of good Canadian books are Beerology by Mirella Amato and Craft Beer Cookbook by David Ort. There are loads of books out there for whatever the interest in beer may be. 

My last suggestion is glassware. There are many glasses for specific beer styles and tasting sets that give you several glasses that go with many different styles. These are at Canadian Tire, Bed, Bath and Beyond and most kitchen stores. 

I hope this helps and happy shopping.