Saturday, March 29, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - March 28, 2014

Hello and welcome to the March 28th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault are teaming up with Edmundston's Book Fair to present two beer workshops on April 4th and 5th with Mario D'Eer. The one Saturday is a cheese and beer pairing and Sunday is a beer tasting and appreciation event. Tickets for each event will go fast, so act soon if you're interested and you get to keep the glass.

Big Spruce Brewing has released You Spin Me White Round, a wheat IPA they brewed together with Sawdust City Brewing from Ontario. It comes in at 79 IBUs and 6.4% ABV. Jeremy says it is dry hopped and big body. Available now at the brewery. Limited tap releases coming soon.

Garrison Brewing Co. released Saint Peter's Belgian-Style Strong Ale this week. They describe it as "smooth and spicy with notes of vanilla and banana". It is $4.25 at the brewery today and coming soon to private stores and the NSLC.

Propeller Brewing Company has released their Double IPA in Growlers & 500ml single serve bottles at both Prop Shops and will work its way through channels to the other usual spots.

Rockbottom Brew Pub Brewers Blog reports that their Balticus is getting low so it will be gone soon. The barrel aged version the their Wreckoning Russian Imperial Stout is a "stunner". A Double IPA fermented on the 'Conan' (VPB1188) yeast strain is coming soon. as is a Galaxy hopped S.M.a.S.H. lager. Their latest beermakers dinner is on Monday, they are a lot of fun.

Rogues Roost ‏announced that for the first time in six years they're brewing Oatmeal Stout. They promise to keep us posted on availability.

Schoolhouse Brewery opening has been pushed back a few weeks to get some additional paperwork in order. They are now aiming it having it in the pubs May 2nd. I will try to keep everyone posted on developments.

Sea Level Brewing posted they have a new beer, The New World Alt, a Düsseldorf Altbier. It is currently available in growlers at the brewery and on tap at the Port Pub. They go on to say cans will be ready next week or so.

Fredericton Craft Beer Festival are not resting on their laurels as they join forces with reLiSH for Burgers n' Beer on Tuesday April 15 2014 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The event will pair rarely sampled beer/cider with delicious sliders prepared by the fine chefs at reLiSH's new Fredericton Uptown location. Adam Clawson from Red Rover Brewing will join them to chat about his new local NB Craft Cider. You will receive six 8oz beer or cider samples each paired with a unique slider and a custom tasting glass. The tentative sample list includes Hammond River Brewing, Red Rover Cider, Red Racer, Grimross Brewing and Celtic Knot. Tickets on sale now.

Saint John Beer Fest announced a couple of days ago that their event is officially sold out and due to the nature of the venue, there will be no more tickets released. They thank everyone for the support and looking forward to seeing everyone at the show.

Myself and some of the Avoiding Chores crew went to a craft beer and food event put on by Local Connections Halifax on Thursday. The event was at Charcuterie Ratinaud who also did the food except for DeeDee's ice cream and beer by Boxing Rock Brewing. It was a great intimate event and brewer Henry Pedro's anecdotes were spot on. Look for a full report coming soon

That is all for this week and see you next week for the Belgian Beer Day edition. Until then enjoy responsibly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fredericton Craft Beer Fest Wrap-up - March 8, 2014

I attended and had a great time at the 2nd annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (FCBF) on March 8th at the Fredericton Convention Centre. This years event attracted 30 brewers and suppliers toting in 160 different beers from the all the maritime provinces, Quebec, Maine, Saskatchewan, Europe and beyond. In true maritime fashion it didn't matter where you were from as all the brewers were all intermingled. 

There were a few food options available that were included. I enjoyed the salmon and beer chili and made several trips to the popcorn table (boy I bet the guy who vacuums must have hates those guys).

The layout of the FCBF worked really well having the event on the second floor. Entry was past ticket takers and a coat check with an escalator up. The festival was in a large main room with lots of area to go sit in a more quiet setting if you needed a break or wanted a chat with friends.

The 1025 tickets sold were four types Ladies VIP, VIP, regular and designated driver. The Ladies VIP ticket was in partnership with the Ladies Beer League Halifax and was in recognition of International Women's Day. It offered access at 6:00, a Beer 101 with brewmaster Kellye Robertson, special beer samples and a custom glass. VIP tickets granted access an hour earlier than regular holders and of course the designated drivers tickets.

Photo courtesy of Dassouki Photos 
This festival goers were taken care of by 40 volunteers, 80 brewery employees and convention centre wait staff and they all did a great job from start to finish.

FCBF organizer Lloyd Chambers seems like a guy he is not satisfied with status quo and took many notes he said to improve next years event in the same location and noted five more breweries are planning on attending.

For me I got to try and some awesome Maritime beers and ciders, meet the brewers, and some very nice people. I had too hits to mention them all. A nice ending was that two Nova Scotia breweries, Boxing Rock Brewing and Bad Apple Brewhouse, won Best of Fest.

I am looking forward to attending next for an even bigger and better show.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - March 21, 2014

Hello and welcome to the March 21st edition of the Maritime Beer Report

Barnone Brewing is working on a very special creation this week. They are brewing a Red IPA called Red Eye PA using 150 oz hops, 150 kg's malt and 150 IBU's for 150 hr music Jam session at Baba's lounge on April 1-7.

Hammond River Brewing have been busy this week kegging a batch of Covered Bridge ESB and working on a batch of Hop Flash IPA. They did something different with the Hop Flash IPA and dry hopped it with different hops. When available on tap in a couple of days, anyone that can guess the two different hops it was dry hopped with will get a free HRB ball cap.

Smoke's Poutinerie Fredericton has introduced a new poutine, that's exclusive to Fredericton, that uses Picaroons Traditional Ales 104th REGIMENT braised local beef. Man that sounds awesome.

Garrison Brewing Co. released their Grand Baltic Porter today at the  brewery and all four private stores in HRM. It must be spring. I also see they are brewing the next iteration of their test brews called #3459. On one last note their St Peters Belgian Style Strong Ale will hit the shelves next week.

Granite Brewing says that their Dunkelbock is back on for the spring. It is a dark German lager at 6.0% ABV and 30IBUs. It is available in growlers at the brewery.

Hell Bay Brewing Company also has their next release out. The R.I.P.(A.) Ver. 2.0 is now available at the brewery in growlers, and kegs are being sent to the city. They say it is basically the same as the first version, but we tripled the hops. 

I had a nice chat with Authentic Seacoast Brewing rep today and things are busy in Guysborough, they are getting more space for storage and looking at some uniquely Maritime seasonals and distilling as well. Certainly exciting times for the town.

I would also like to thanks Fredericton Craft Beer Fest for giving me a great growler and Chris MacDonald for bringing it to Halifax for me.

That is all I have for this week, thanks for joining me and until next time enjoy responsibly.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beer Review - Bad Apple Brewhouse Black & Tackle Russian Imperial Stout

Bad Apple Brewhouse is currently Nova Scotia's newest brewery. The Black & Tackle is one other their two original beers and quickly became a favorite of mine. I also got to help make a batch of this 9.0% ABV stout.

The Black & Tackle is as the name states black with a tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

There is a distinct chocolate and coffee aroma with a slight berry like sweetness.

The coffee and chocolate are dominant in the beginning with a nice dry finish.

Medium mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation. There is a slight alcohol feel but not much surprisingly for this high alcohol brew.

It is a nice beer to sip for a evening or to have with food. It can be purchased at the brewery in Somerset Nova Scotia or occasionally on tap at Stillwell. I guess the bottomline on this is a great beer brewed here.

Beer Review - Propeller Irish Red Ale

Propeller recently released their new seasonal Red Ale. They wanted to develop a recipe that was unlike other Irish Ales available locally. I love the label on this 5% ABV ale too. This is what I thought of the Irish Red.

It is a dark copper color with a thin white or beige head that dissipates quickly.

Has a malty aroma with a sweetness almost a fruity sweetness.

The taste is a sweet malty start with perhaps a bit of carmelness  and a dry finish. Quite well balanced.

Medium to light bodied and decent amount of carbonation 

It is a drinkable beer with malty sweetness and a dry finish. Enjoyable to drink.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Picaroons Tap Takeover at Stillwell Beer Bar - March 15, 2014

Stillwell hosted their second tap takeover on Saturday, this time it was Picaroons ruling the 12 taps and 3 casks to boot. The sold out event crowd was loud but well behaved at the Barrington Street watering hole. Picaroons brought many of their staples as well as a couple of seasonals including their newly released Maple Cream Ale. On cask was Timber Hog, Yippee IPA and Afterglow Aphrodisiac. I got to sample The Maple Cream Ale, is is a very sweet maple ale and the Ember Ale Smoked Porter with a lovely smoked goodness. On cask I had the Timber Hog stout and Yippee IPA, both were a slightly different experience from the regular bottled versions I have had and were good.
What makes the tap takeovers great for me is not only the beers but talking to the brewers. I had a great chat with Picaroons Head Brewmaster Andrew Estabrooks who is an awesome guy.
Well done Stillwell, keep up the great work.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - March 14, 2014

Hello and welcome to the Pi Day edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

In Halifax we are looking forward to the Picaroons Tap take-over at Stillwell tomorrow but Picaroons already announced a another tap takeover in Moncton. Join Picaroons at Plan B Lounge on Friday March 28th with Gravity Strike. 

PEI Brewing Company will be tapping a green Double-Hopped Cask/ described as a "punch in the face by hoppy goodness" tomorrow, Saturday, at the brewery. Drop by if you get a chance. They are also developing a Custom Cask Program where you can create your own casks for events held at 96 Kensington Road in 20 and 50 litre sizes. Details on this and a new beer are going to be released soon.

Ye Olde Argyler Lodge in Argyle NS is having a Boxing Rock Brewers Dinner. Join the Brew Master from Boxing Rock and Chef Jonathan Joseph for a three course craft beer and culinary experience on Saturday April 5 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are going for $35 per person plus tax. Call the Lodge for tickets.
Ladies Beer League and Boxing Rock did a collaboration brew for International Women's Collaboration Brew Day. The beer will be released April 17th at Stillwell Beer Bar. The beer is a sessions with some changes such as using the fruity, floral Amarillo hop instead of Cascade, cranberries, sourced locally in Shelburne and orange peel. The name given to the beer is Alewife's Revenge which as with most of Boxing Rock's beers has an interesting story.

The Garrison Home Brew-off 2014 winner was crowned last night and it was Jason McDougall. It was his first time brewing a Weisen and his first time entering a brewing competition. Well done. They also hope to be brewing in their new facility within 10 days.

Paddys Irish Brewpub announced that their Brewer is kegging up “Solo Citra”, their latest seasonal ale. They go on to say "You’re first met with the sweet pleasing flavor of grapefruit that wakes up your mouth, and following fast behind is a pleasant grapefruit bitterness that leaves your palate asking for a refresher, painted on a canvas of dry grain." It comes in at  50 IBSs and 5.3% ABV. It is available in Kentville now and in Wolfville on Paddys Day, Monday March 17th.

Just in time for St Patrick's Day Propeller released a new beer, Irish Red coming in at  5% ABV. Propellor describes it as "a full-bodied yet refreshing ale with a complex malt aroma and character". It will be available in 650 ml bottles and growlers at Propeller shoppes,  private liquor stores in Nova Scotia, and at select watering holes. They are also doing a small expansion by adding a 60 bbl tank to the Windmill road plant as well as new yeast propagators.

Rock Bottom Brewpub announced their menu for theit March Brewmakers Dinner on March 31st

Brown ale, bacon, potato & leek soup
Crisp leek
12oz Balticus

Hop smashed bangers & mash
Mushy peas | pork jus
12oz Fathom IPA

RIS & chocolate cheesecake
Sour cherry compote
7oz Wreckoning

Three course menu with beer $35 + Tax & Gratuity

Sea Level Brewing released their El Rojo Diablo Double IPA in cans this week. Look for them in the private stores this weekend.

Ladies Beer League says Uncle Leo's Brewing is bringing a cask of their sinfully smooth Smoked Porter to their film screening at Lion & Bright Café Wine Bar. Just $15 gets you a pint, popcorn & a chance to watch The Beer Hunter. This event is open to women and men.

Fredericton Craft Beer Festival last week end was successful with 160 beers and 30 brewers and distributors I had a great time. Look for a full report this week end. I am also happy to say the "Best of the Fest" went to Le microbrasserie le Naufrageur , Boxing Rock Brewing Company and Bad Apple Brewhouse. Awesome guys.

Thanks for joining me again this week, everyone have a great week and a happy St Paddy's day on Monday. 

Garrison 2014 Home Brew-off Gala

I went to the gala at the Garrison brewery. There were a couple of hundred home brewers and guests in attendance all there to see who would be crowned in this years challenge. The road to get here started with a record 76 entries and 10 beer judges to get to 13 qualifiers. Brewers Daniel and Kellye reduced the entries down to the top 4. On the day of the gala 3 beer judges picked the winner. The four finalists in order were:

4. Ed Barkhouse
3 Roger Ringette
2. Kristin MacDonald
1. Jason MacDougall

Jason's winning Weizen was straw colored and cloudy, as is expected with this style, with a white foamy head. There was a distinct banana aroma with a good amount of carbonation and banana flavor. This beer is going to be a hit for sure.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - March 7, 2014

Hello and welcome to the March 7th edition of the Maritime Beer Report. 

PEI Brewing released they are bringing a barrel aged honey wheat to Fredericton Craft Beer Festival as a treat.

Celtic Knot Brewing reminds us that The Laundromat in Moncton always has Celtic Knot beer on tap and they will be releasing a limited edition Oak Bourbon version of the Dark Passage very soon.

Hammond River Brewing had two new fermenters arrive which will double their capacity. Hopefully this will help them keep up with demand.

Picaroons Traditional Ales are bringing Yippee IPA, and Plaid to the Bone on tap to the Fredericton Craft Beer Fest and three casks. Those casks being: Parcel Of Rogues, Maple Cream Ale, and Ember Ale Smoked Porter!
Also O.B. WON is now on tap at the brewtique. This was Joe Goodine's winning beer from last falls NB Home Brew Challenge, Go get this winning brew while you can.

Shiretown Beer says that their Honey Wheat now available at the brewery! Made with Charlo Honey House Buckwheat Honey!! This one comes in at 5% ABV.

Hell Bay Brewing Company Dunkelweizen will be released this week and will be available at the brewery in growlers, and the Argyle in Halifax will have it on tap. Dunkelweizen, the darker, smoother cousin of the Hefeweizen .This beer is a well carbonated wheat beer with a light – medium body. Lightly hopped, with hints of banana and clove, and complex malty flavours ranging from chocolate to caramel. This beer is unfiltered and slightly hazy as traditional wheat beers are meant to be, and desirable for the style. It has a IBU of 16 and ABV is 6%.

Sea Level Brewing has finally released their El Rojo Diablo Double IPA. It is a bold hoppy brew layered with intense herbal aromas. Its bitterness is balanced with a tropical fruit maltiness. It comes in with an ABV 7.666% and an IBU of 88. It is at the Port Pub, in Halifax on tap Stillwell Beer Bar and on the shelf at the brewery in 1 litre growlers.

One last note, The Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery in Antigonish is open again from their winter break.

That is all for this week, I will be at Fredericton Beer Fest if you happen to see me say hi. Until next week enjoy responsibly.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Beer Review - PEI Brewing Co Sydney Street Premium Stout

This beer is made under the Gahan brand and comes in at 5.2% ABV. It is dark brown and a fairly good head on it. The aroma is chocolate and fruitiness. It is a medium beer with a good amount of carbonization. It is a bit sweet to start with a coffee and chocolate after-taste.It is a very good stout. As always, enjoy responsibly