Friday, January 31, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - January 31, 2014

Hello and welcome to the January 31st edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

A big congrats go out to Hammond River Brewing tonight as they announced that they now have four beers listed with ANBL. This means that very soon you will be able to get their handcrafted ales on tap at 4 different establishments in the the Saint John and surrounding area.! Look for them soon at Saint John Ale House, Bourbon Quarter, The Barrel's Head, and Shiretown Publicans. The initial offerings are Hop Flash IPA with 66 IBUs and 6.6% ABV, Red Coat India Red Ale with 54 IBUs and 6.5% ABV, Covered Bridge Extra Special Bitter with 40 IBUs and 5.5% ABV and Back In Black Oatmeal Stout with 30 IBUs and 5.2% ABV.

Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company were in Halifax today dropping off our Rare Bird Craft Beer Pumpkin Ale at Premier Wine & Spirits, Stillwell Beer Bar, Bishop's Cellar and Harvest Wines and Spirits. The beer is described on the web site "In the tradition of the colonial brewers, Rare Bird Pumpkin Ale begins with our hardworking hands picking pumpkins and squash in local fields. We spice and roast our harvest bounty before adding it in two stages to our brewing process, creating a full-flavoured craft ale that balances the beer’s hop character with the spiced pumpkin. The result is a crisp ale that is a toast to our ancestors." Sounds yummy and it has a 5.5% ABV

Garrison Brewing Company had students from King's College Beer Culture course join them to make a cask of "Mojito Hop Yard" yesterday. It will be condition for 4 weeks and be served at HMCS King's Wardroom in  late February.

Propeller Brewing Company tapped a couple of casks today at 4 pm at The Stubborn Goat Gastropub. They had a Vanilla Porter and a CITRA Dry Hopped IPA available.

I attended the first Beer Makers Dinner at Rockbottom Brewpub on Monday and loved it. The pairings were perfect and the food delicious. I highly recommend getting tickets for the next one on Feb 25th if you can. I will have a full blog post out this week end on the courses and beer.

Lastly we are getting down to about a month away from the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest and the brewers list is really starting to shape up. Craft brewers attending so far for our region are: 

Bad Apple Brewhouse
Big Spruce Brewing
Big Tide Brewing
Boxing Rock Brewing Co.
Bridge Brewing Co.
Garrison Brewing Co.
Grimross Brewing Co.
Hammond River Brewing
Pump House Brewery
Red Rover Brewing Company
Shiretown Beer

There are many others and the list grows everyday, get you tickets soon so you aren't disappointed. Starting tomorrow there I am running a contest on my twitter and facebook to win 2 VIP ticket to the Fest courtesy of Fredericton Craft Beer Fest. Check everyday for a different entry

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beer Review - Bad Apple Brewhouse American Pale Ale

I am trying my beer from Nova Scotia's newest brewery, Bad Apple Brewhouse. The American Pale Ale is a strong ale coming in at 5.7% ABV. I really like the labelling it is well thought out and I love the saying on the side "It is what it is but a cold beer will help". It is a clear copper colour with a decent amount of carbonation and a nice hop aroma and a hint of floral sweetness. It has a medium mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation. The ale gives the hoppy taste up front with a almost a sweetness before you get the dry finish. I really enjoy this beer as you know I like hoppy beers. I have been watching Greg Nash up there brewing with the owner Jeff so I knew it would be special. It is currently only available at the brewery in Somerset NS. A big thanks to Lori for picking the beer up for me and until next time, enjoy responsibly.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - January 24, 2014

Hello and welcome to the January 24th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Picaroons Traditional Ales shared that the Lunar Rogue Pub's 25th Anniversary beer will be called: A "PARCEL OF ROGUES"!! The name was submitted by Duncan MacSporran and it will be available January.29th at 7PM for a special launch party!!!

Happy 1st Anniversary to Bridge Brewing and congrats on winning the new business of the year at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce

Garrison Brewing Co. will be at The Stubborn Goat Gastropub at Friday at4:00 with casks of our American Red and Mango IPA and at HMCS King's Wardroom with a Caribbean Hop Yard next week . Finally at Ceilidh's Pub with a Keg (Frikin) of special brew of Scots ale at 4 PM tomorrow

Hart & Thistle Gastroub now has the Commissar Russian Imperial Stout is on tap, From Greg Nash "Rich and luscious with notes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, raisins and figs. Complex and full-bodied with excellent balance. Sexy, leggy, deliciousness in your glass" It comes in at 11.0% ABV

Rudder's Seafood Restaurant & Brew Pub announced this coming weekend is POUTINE WEEKEND. Friday and Saturday only come in and enjoy a full menu of outrageous poutine's! Choose from the classic Cheese curds and gravy, Nacho poutine, Double cheeseburger poutine or Chili poutine.

Rogue's Roost will host another Brewmaster Monday on thw 27th, its a great way to get to know them and their beer. 

I have a couple of blog posts on the Local Craft Beer abd Food celebration and the Stillwell tap takeover. Stop by and have a read if you missed the events.

One last  note starting February 1st I will be running a draw for 2 VIP tickets to Fredericton Beer Fest on March 8th. I will be releasing details next week

That is it for now, until next week enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stillwell Beer Bar - Tap Takeover January 18, 2014

     I went to Stillwell Beer Bar's first Tap takeover featuring Boxing Rock Brewing and Big Spruce Brewing. Ten dollars got you an awesome custom snifter glass to keep and your first drink. I arrived just before noon to find a small line of ultra-passionate beer nerds. As we waited and peered in the window the noon gun roared which was followed Chris MacDonald knocking on the door and asking to be let in. 
     There were six taps for each brewery with Boxing Rock bringing Hunky Dory Pale Ale, Many Hands Imperial Pale Ale (collaboration with Bridge Brewing), Temptation Red American Red Ale, Vicars Cross Imperial IPA, Crafty Jack English Brown Ale, U-889 Russian Imperial Stout with Coffee and Vanilla Beans and Big Spruce Spruce bringing Kitchen Party American Pale Ale, Tim's Dirty American IPA (recent competition-winning IPA), Organic Conspiracy Imperial IPA (collaboration with Crannóg), Blackout Conundrum Bucket Sparged Pale, Bitter Get'r India Black IPA, and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. To top off the afternoon there were 4 casks to choose from with Boxing Rock providing Vicars Cross and Crafty Jack and Big Spruce bringing Kitchen Party infused with Bowmore and Blackout Conundrum.
     It was a great event giving my an opportunity to try Organic Conspiracy, Many Hands (again I thought this one was gone), Blackout Conundrum (love the story with this one) and the cask offerings which bring a different experience this the beers. 
     Beyond the beers themselves the brewers were there for chats including Emily Tipton and Henry Pedro, owners of Boxing Rock and Jeremy White of Big Spruce as well as Tim Gregory whose recipe is now Tim's Dirty American IPA. As the afternoon wore on many of the brewers in metro came in for a drink, always good to check out the competition especially when it is delicious craft beer. 
     Nothing much else to say other than a good time was had by all, great service from the Stillwell staff and I even squeezed in a Diner Burger. 
     Lets hope this happens again soon.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration by LOCAL CONNECTIONS HALIFAX

     I looked forward to the Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration for quite sometime. I was so happy when it arrived. After wading through the line to enter, hang up my coat and grab my mug and beads I made my way up to the cask room. As a beer nerd this had to be my first stop. The room was full of one-off casks made by some of Nova Scotia's top brewmasters including Bridge Brewing, Garrison Brewing and Big Spruce Brewing. Their offerings were a Belgian Brown Coffee Ale from Bridge, Mint Wheat and a Black IPA from Garrison and Ready Yer Knot Red and Tim's Dirty IPA. There was some others I didn't get to try as I visited other rooms. An interesting note that Big Spruce's Tim's Dirty IPA, which was the contest winner of their home brew-off, was launched at this event. The food for this room was from the recently opened Agricola Street Brasserie and was salmon, pate, pastrami and pickled vegetables, all of which were delicious.

     Once I left the Cask Room I descended the stairs to the Halifax Room to indulge in some seafood. This room contained the Halifax Club's Chef Nelson Francis cooking scallops and Phillip Dockers shucking ShanDaph Oysters. The oysters were served raw on the half shell and many went into my belly and the scallops were fried in a pan. Both offerings well very good and serving beer was Sea Level Brewing. Sea Level had a bit of a mis-step but recovered quickly and I tried the High Street Wee Heavy Scotch Ale which was delicious.

     Next stop was across the hall in the Orchard Room was pork and cider. Here I tried the Stutz, Shipbuilder's and Bulwark ciders. The ciders excellently complemented the pork sliders Stubborn Goat Gastropub and Meadowbrook Meat Market were offering. Let me say at this point I was a pork jerky virgin but WOW I will be adding this to my camping trips from now on.

     My next room had to be the Craft Brewer's room or as I call it heaven. In this room was all of Halifax's craft brewers including Granite Brewing, Bridge Brewing, Garrison Brewing, Hart & Thistle Gatropub, Propeller Brewing, Rockbottom Brewpub and Rogues Roost. I sampled something from all the brewers, a little more heavy on my favorites. As good as the beer was, and it was very good, two of my favorite food offerings sat at at the end of this room. I "sampled" several of the Tuna Tartar from Harbourstone Sea Grill & Pour House and it was delicious although I would like a little spice in it. Next to them and my bead recipient was Durty Nelly's serving up Pulled Lamb Sliders. Craft beer and lamb sliders, I told you this was heaven.

     By this point you can imagine I am getting a little drunk and full but my next stop was a whole lot of steps to get to the Plan B Karoke Experience. I was not drunk enough to sing so I stuck to visiting the two brewers in this room. Boxing Rock was offering three beers but I stuck with my favorite double IPA, Vicars Cross and a great Oatmeal Stout from Hell Bay Brewing.

     This level also contained the two other rooms so it was a matter of scooting across the landing to the Sausage Fest area, and I seemed to always wind up in sausage fests for some reason. Any way Pete's had their own store made sausages which I had never tried before. Again this was delicious, I never knew they made sausages but I know where I will be getting them in the future. And what goes with sausage? How about a nice Red Ale from Uncle Leo's and a Dirty IPA from Big Spruce, yes please.

     The Sweet room was a little depleted by this time I got there but there was loads of beer ice cream from Dee Dee's Ice Cream. I tried the Boxing Rock and Propeller infused ice creams, I found the beer flavors didn't come through but it was still a delicious sweet ending to a wonderful evening.

     I this was a perfect event to beat the January blues and enjoy some cheer. Some pro tips if you attend next time:
   - Make a list of what you really want and try to go there early
   - If a room is busy try another one and come back, standing in line is no fun
   - Enjoy the tasting, let the people know you enjoy it
   - Have fun :)

     Great time, great event and I will be back next year

Friday, January 17, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - January 17, 2014

Hello and welcome to the Maritime Beer Report for January 17, 2014

Bridge Brewing released a collaboration brew with Java Blend Coffee Roasters today. A Belgian Coffee Brown Ale, made with 2 kg of Guatemalan El Injerto Pandora del Carmen. I tried some last night and it was good. It is in limited supply so get some early.

Thinking of signing up for the Garrison Brewing's 2014 Home Brew Off or do you want to brush up on your Weizen-brewing skills? On Saturday from 10 am - 2 pm, Steven Haynes from Noble Grape will be at Garrison doing an all-grain demonstration. Best of it's free so swing by and check it out.

Hell Bay Brewing Company has released a new new IPA the R.I.P.(A.). Hell Bay will be doing a different version each month for the next few months, and having a taste off at the end to determine which IPA version will be added to their regular line up. This version is pale, dry, 7.2% ABV and moderately hopped for the style.In version #2, they are saying more hops.

Paddys Irish Brewpub released details on their new Fitz's Belgian Dubbel Ale, now on tap at Paddys in Wolfville and coming soon to Kentville location. From Paddy's "Fitz’s Belgian Dubbel: bronze, light body and lively carbonation; complex, fruity and spicy notes, 7% ABV".

Rockbottom Brewpub reports that Firkin Saturdays are no more and have been replaced with Firkin Wednesday. They say "every hump-day at 4:00 PM they'll be offering up a 20 L cask (dubbed a 'pin') of unique brew on the bar top".

This past Wednesday was dubbed the "Day of Wreckoning" and coincided with the launch of two seasonal beers to their taps. First was Balticus, a Smoked Baltic Porter. From the Brewers Blog "Mashing with 35% beechwood smoked malt lends a wonderful twist to our otherwise classic Baltic Porter; licorice, roasted malt, raisins, caramel, fruit, smokey phenols, malty richness, and oh-so-smooth. It comes in at 7.8 % ABV and 40 IBUs.

The other seasonal released was Wreckoning, a Russian Imperial Stout.  Again from Greg Nash "This one screams crème brûlée with roasted malts and dark fruit, quickly settling into an amazing complexity of serious flavour. Layer after layer; toffee, dried fruit, hops, vanilla, dark caramel and chocolate. Her luscious bouquet, vinous mouth-feel, alcoholic warmth and silky legs will leave you callin' for more, no doubt. Finishes with superb tannin balance".. This one has a 10.5% ABV and 100+ (112 calculated) IBU. Sounds like dessert in a cup my friends.

Lastly the menu for the RockBottom Brewpub First beer dinner is now ready. Join them on the January 27th at 6:00 pm. For the following menu: 

     Drunken carrot, ginger and goat cheese soup
     Beer batter mini onion rings
     Fathom IPA

     Boilermaker BBQ braised beef short rib
     Pork belly and beer mac & cheese
     Smoked Baltic Porter

     Chocolate & Russian imperial stout pecan pie
     Bourbon sauce
     Russian Imperial Stout

Three courses including beer $30 plus taxes and Gratuity and is limited to 40 guests. It is over 50% full so make your reservation soon.

Sea Level Brewing's latest seasonal, High St Wee Heavy Scotch Ale is out in cans at the usual spots and Bar Stillwell. 

The Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery is having a Craft Beer Tasting on Feb 8th. They're bringing Tracy Phillippi, of The Ladies Beer League, back to town to host another guided craft beer tasting. It will be open to the public, and feature 7-8 Maritime Craft Beers paired with appetizers from Chef Jacob Buckley and the Townhouse kitchen. 

I went to the Local Connections Halifax Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration last night and had a great time. I am going to Bar Stillwell's Tap Takeover tomorrow. I will try to have blog posts on both of these next week.

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Beer Review - Boxing Rock Brewing Co Temptation Red Ale

This red ale comes in at 6.0% ABV with a copper color and a thin head.  It has a hoppy floral aroma and it has a lot of aroma. It is light in carbonation with a medium to light body. It is a very hoppy beer with a floral taste. It is a dry beer, not excessively, but dry and hoppy. It is my favorite red ale in Nova Scotia. Until next time enjoy responsibly. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - January 10, 2014

Hello and welcome to the January 10th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

CBC reported this week that the Great Canadian Beer Expo is cancelled. From
The Nova Scotia installments of a beer tasting event has been cancelled, just one day after CBC ran a story about how the organizer was selling unauthorized tickets.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Great Canadian Beer Expo has to be postponed at this time," reads an email sent to a Maritime brewery set to take part in the event.
"Because we are unable to set new dates, we will be issuing full refunds to all participants. The refund process has already begun and will be completed by January 31st, 2014."
The emailed is signed, "The GCBE Team."

Credit for breaking this story and alerting CBC goes to a group of guys over on the Brewnosers forum, way to go guys.
Unfortunate turn of events, I heard some are getting refunds already look in to it as soon as possible. I would like mention their are several Beer fest that are approved and been around for at least one year so you shouldn't have reservations about supporting them. 

Big Tide Brewing Co. is brewing Bourbon Stock Ale. It is a Stock Ale that is also known as a winter warmer or a strong ale. It is estimated be about 8% ABV and 50 IBU's and should be ready the week of the 20th at the pub and in growlers.

The Pump House Brewery have a new beer called Pompier à vos garde. From facebook "The style is biere de garde and is brewed in the style of northern France. Biere de garde or Beer to Keep is a traditional french farmhouse beer. Our deep chestnut brown ale is brewed with Crystal malt, Cara dark and good Canadian 2 row malt, Brew master Glenn lightly hops his ale with his own combination of 3 distinctive hops. Fruity esters are evident and despite a 7% ABV there is no noticeable alcohol taste." 

PEI Brewing Company are introducing the new Fathers 2014 Commemorative 4 Pack. The new 4 pack will be shipped to PEI and New Brunswick, sorry Nova Scotia. The four types of beer included in the pack are their Blueberry Ale named 1864, their Coles Cream Ale branded Premier George Coles, their signature Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale and Colonel John Hamilton Gray representing their Brown Ale.

Bad Apple Brewhouse has announced their next beer, Black & Tackle, will be available tomorrow at the brewhouse. It is a Russian Imperial Stout that comes in at 9% ABV and as they put it, "it will definitely help with the winter chills!"

Big Spruce Brewing will be releasing a brand new beer at The Craft Beer and Local Food Celebration next Thursday. Tim's Dirty, an American IPA. This was the winning recipe from the winner of the 1st Annual Big Spruce Homebrew Challenge, Tim Gregory. 

Hell Bay Brewing Company released that its English Ale is coming to a participating NSLC near you by the end of the month. Good news for Nova Scotians

Rockbottom Brewpub ‏has set a date for their first beer dinner. It will be January 27th at 6pm. Three courses of food paired with three beers. It will $30 and the menu will be released soon.

Rogue's Roost ‏is having their 2nd Brewmaster Monday event on the 13th with the next one scheduled for January 27th.  Ticket info will be posted next week and i will try to pass it along.

The Stubborn Goat Gastropub has announced their first Cask Friday to go today. They will have a firkin of Garrison Winter Warmer, and a pin of Garrison Spruce Beer. It starts at 4 PM and goes until they are gone. I will report them as I get information.

Stillwell Beer Bar has released the details on their Tap takeover featuring Boxing Rock Brewing and Big Spruce Brewing on January 18th. $10 gets you a glass to take home and a drink ticket. The event starts at noon and runs until 5 pm. Featuring, from Boxing Rock: Many Hands Pale Ale (collab with Bridge Brewing), Hunky Dory Pale Ale, Temptation Red, Crafty Jack English Brown, U-889 Russian Imperial Stout and Vicar's Cross DIPA. From Big Spruce: Tim's Dirty American IPA, Blackout Conundrum, Left Breton Organic Conspiracy Imperial IPA (collab with Crannóg), Regatta Red , Bitter Get'r India Black IPA, Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout. In addition cask ales from both breweries. Tickets are at the bar or for information email .

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

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Beer Review - Picaroons Traditional Ales Simeon Jones Amber Ale

This is my brother-in-laws favorite beer. Simeon Jones Amber Ale coming in at 4.5% ABV. This beer is an homage to Simeon Jones, a brewer and mayor of Saint John whose beer became well known throughout the Maritimes in the 1800's. The beer is copper color with a slight head. There is a malty aroma with a little yeast perhaps. It is light in carbonation and in mouth feel. It has a malty and bread flavour with minimal aftertaste and a very slight dryness, I enjoyed this beer, I could see this as a good warm weather beer. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - January 3, 2014

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 3rd edition of the Maritime Beer Report. Between the holidays and weather the news is a little light this week.

Nova Scotia's newest brewery, Bad Apple Brewhouse in Berwick, has announced their hours. They are Monday to Thursday 3pm-8pm and Friday to Sunday 1pm-10pm

Rock Bottom Brewpub is now opening on a daily basis at 4pm and closing on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at Midnight and Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 2 AM.

Big News for beer lovers in Halifax. On January 18th Bar Stillwell will give over their taps and hand pumps to two of the best new breweries in the province, Big Spruce Brewing and Boxing Rock Brewing. I saw Big Spruce commented saying they will also be bringing some special one offs. It sounds awesome.

Well that is all that is happening for the first week of January 2014. Thanks for joining me so until next week enjoy responsibly.