Friday, September 26, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - September 26, 2014

Hello and welcome to September 26th edition of the Maritime Beer Report. 

Oktoberfest is in the air and the PEI Brewing Company has several events planned. The 2nd Annual Growler Challenge and the first Art Battle of the season all happening on October 18th. Watch here for more details. PEIBC also announced new growler prices, it will now cost 11 dollars for a regular fill and 13 to top up with a seasonal.

AWOL Brewery is to be congratulated on taking number one for Canada in the SJPORR Challenge for his D.A.G. Red and is now going to the internationals. The DAG Red is an amber ale with Rye Soaked Oak chips. Good luck and that judging will be in December. 

Big Axe Brewery has released their new Rusty Axe Amber Ale. From Big Axe "Rusty Axe Amber ale is brewed with brown sugar glazed carrots, roasted squash and homemade brittle, it boasts mild flavours of fall vegetables, hints of vanilla and cinnamon. This beer erupts with soft caramel flavour, mild hoppy taste, followed by a well rounded malty middle and finishes off with a hint of the harvest spices like nutmeg and clove". This is a 5.6% ABV and 28 IBUs ale and will soon be available at pubs in Fredericton.

Big Tide Brewing Company says its Indian Beach Pumpkin Ale smells "soooo good in the brew house this morning. All of the spicy warm flavors of the pumpkin ale brewing and the aroma of fresh Cascade and hallertau hops". Watch for this one soon.

Picaroons Traditional Ales announced a couple of "surprise" beers this week. Page Turner is an amber session ale, made with Gooseberries, brewed in celebration of Goose Lane Editions 60th Anniversary. It will be available on tap at The Brewtique beginning October 3rd, coinciding with Goose Lane's anniversary celebrations and UNB's celebrated "Poetry Weekend". It will also be available at Goose Lane's anniversary events in Toronto on September 30 and at James Joyce Irish Pub Fredericton on October 3rd. Picaroons will be donating proceeds to Laubach Literacy New Brunswick. 
Picaroons also announced the Tabulator. It is a "conservative Extra Special Bitter that's been dry-hopped quite liberally with an uncountable amount of green hops". It is a limited edition small batch brew and was tapped at 10 AM at The Brewtique in Downtown Fredericton. They also say it may possibly some other places too

Railcar Brewing Company has a couple of items this week, first they are looking for a part time cashier / growler filler. To apply email resume to Second Mitch says "after today’s ANBL visit it could be another 2 to 4 weeks before we are open for growler sales. As the next Board of Directors meeting is not until October 10th. All inspections are now done and we are just awaiting listings and Brewery Agency Store agreement. Will keep everyone updated as we know more. Thanks for your support and patience" 

Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company had pictures up this week of employees spicing and roasting pumpkins for their Rare Bird Craft Beer Pumpkin Ale. Look for this one probably next month.

Garrison Brewing Company released Sweet Rye'd Harvest Wheat Ale, its collaboration beer with  Beau's All Natural Brewing that I talked about a couple of weeks ago. They say that this tasty harvest ale features Rye and Beau's own Bog Myrtle.  They also say "Spicy and aromatic, this is the fall brew you have been waiting for! $12.95 here at the brewery and Private Stores. This beer weighs in at 6.0% ABV, and 40 IBUs.They also tell me that a couple of beers will be released next week end during City Harvest, There perennial favorite 3 Fields as well as a 8% ABV pumpkin brew called Double Jack.

Meander River Farm released their wet-hopped pale ale, Meander River Homegrown. All of the hops in this one batch, seasonal brew were grown on the Farm in Ashdale. 

Propeller Brewing Company release two of their seasonals this week, Pumpkin Ale and Nocturne Dark Lager. These are available at both Propeller shops now and the pumpkin at least a few select locations.

Tatamagouche Brewing Company says their first seasonal, Lagerhosen, is now available. It is available in growlers, kegs and 650mL bottles as well as at all THREE Oktoberfest events this weekend.

Tickets are now on sale for New Brunswick Beer Tours, On November 1st spend a full day exploring brewers up the Saint John River valley north of Fredericton. This trip starts and ends at King Street Ale House and visits three breweries with cider samples and a lunch included. Tickets available now on eventbrite. 

If you are in the Portland Hills area of Dartmouth stop by Piez Bistro for Sociables for Prostates. For 10 dollars you get three Piez bites and three Nova Scotia Craft Beer samples. Best of all five bucks goes to help research a cure that affects 1 in 8 men in Canada.

That is all for this week and however you decide to spend this first week end of autumn, enjoy responsibly.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - September 19, 2014

Hello and welcome to the September 19th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Big Axe Brewery brewed their first batch of  Seasonal Harvest Ale they are kegging it tomorrow and say to stay tuned, what I can say is they showed a bowl of carrots, squash and toffee.

Big Tide Brewing Company brewed Indian Beach Harvest Ale this week with fresh Cascade and Nugget hops grown at Dunhams Run vineyard. Indian Beach Nut Brown is a classic, British style Brown Ale,brewed with a blend of Canadian and European malts.

Hammond River Brewing says that the ANBL contacted them asking if  they would participate in their Growler program at the KV store. This is thanks to you taking time to contact ANBL and request growlers of their beers. HRB beer will be starting October 2nd at the KV store available for Growler fill ups. As a tribute to his Dad, the beer that he is choosing to kick off the program is Gammie California Steam Ale. In other HRB news they are brewing up inaugural Pumpkin Spiced Ale and should be available on tap in about 2.5 weeks. Also, in the next week or so, they'll be brewing up another new beer and it will be an Imperial Vanilla Porter. This beer won a gold medal last year in Calgary in a home brew competition. HRB plans on having two versions of this beer, the Vanilla Porter itself, and another with Bourbon added. 

Picaroons Traditional Ales released seven different batches of Harvest Ale, each brewed with maritime malts, and single hopped with different  fresh, local, hops from their hop farmer friends around the maritimes. One batch will be the Kitchen Sink batch which will have a plethora of all the hops from all farms. You can once again find out about HARVEST ALE's hops and farmers by checking out the batch number on your bottle and going to the Picaroons web  site to check which hops and from where. Cool concept.

The Pump House Brewery released their latest Seasonal Brew, the Oktoberfest Bier. Now available at the Orange Lane location.

Railcar Brewing Company received their brewers licence this week so now they only need to get product listed. Congrats to Mitch.

Shiretown Beer Black Currant Wheat is ready and at the brewery in a very limited quantity. The colour on this one looks fantastic

Big Spruce Brewing is brewing its first pumpkin beer and for this one he is smoking the pumpkin. They also say that their first keg of Harvest Double IPA is on tap at the brewery. Hoppily Remarried is 7.1% ABV

Boxing Rock Brewing Company has been busy these past few weeks. Not only have they commissioned a new fermentation tank, effectively doubling their capacity from this time last year but their Many Hands Harvest Ale collaboration with North Brewing will go on sale tomorrow. It is available on tap in select locations and in growlers.

Gahan House - Halifax reports Karen's upcoming beers with release dates will be Maple Whisky Porter tomorrow, Belgian Pale Ale today and Peach Wit on September 26th. They are also introducing 'Brewster on the Bar' starting next Tuesday, September 23rd. during which they will have a cask of Coffee Porter on the bar.

Meander River Farm had its 5th Annual Hop Harvest last week end. They send thanks to everyone who helped out and their farm yielded 174 pounds of hops this year with 134 pounds for Garrison and 40 pounds for their own brewery.

Propeller Brewing Company says their Organic Ale rolls out to NSLC stores Sept 29th. and their Pumpkin Ale is out now and available at both Prop Shop locations.

Sea Level Brewing's seasonal New Scotland Heather Ale is now on shelves. This hybrid ale uses locally grown heather flowers and a unique combination of wet-hopped Cascade, Fuggles and Hallertau hops grown on Sea Level’s own hop farm. This beer is ABV  5% and approximately 20 IBUs. Their 355ml Cans will also be at Bishops Cellar, Cristall Wine Merchants, Premier Wines and Spirits and Harvest Wines and Spirits and on tap at Stillwell, Obladee Wine Bar, Agricola Street Brasserie, and Auction House. Sea Level is predicting it will be around for two weeks.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS HALIFAX started selling tickets for the Craft Beer & Local Food Celebration at The Halifax Club on January 15th. This was a great event last year and the tickets are going fast, if you want to go don't wait as they will be gone soon. 

Halifax Oktoberfest is tomorrow in Halifax and is always a good time.

Mirella Amato, Canada's only Master Cicerone and author of "Beerology" is coming to Halifax. Please join the Ladies Beer League for a very special book launch and signing with Mirella Amato on October 6th from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Lion & Bright.  Tickets are on sale now and it includes the book. 

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - September 12, 2014

Hello and welcome to the Maritime Beer Report for September 12th.

PEI Brewing Company acquired some barrels from Jack Daniels to barrel age some Sydney Street Stout. This will give the stout a mild bourbon and wood flavour. They say it will be available around Christmas. They also released a Fall four pack featuring Black Banks Cascadian Dark Ale, Blueberry Ale, Harvest Time Golden Lager and Sir John A Honey Wheat Ale. Sorry for us mainlanders this is only available on PEI. Lastly their Transmitter or Coffee Stout B is now available at the brewery.

Big Axe Brewery is now selling 950 ml Grunters for $5.50 for bottle and $7.50 for a fill. They also say Chanterelle Cream Ale back on tap as well as Simon Saaz Summer Ale and once it is gone that's it until next summer.

Big Tide Brewing Company now has Golden Ale now on tap. It is 5% ABV and uses Two-Row, Munich and Vienna malt and a bit of caramunich. Coming up they will be brewing with fresh hops this week end and next and getting ready for pumpkin ale.

Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault presents their 950 ml cruchette now available at the brewery. The brewers did some wet hopping with  Cascade and Chinook hops from France Yan Desjardins's farm in the Grand-Falls area. Watch for that beer real soon. Speaking of watching for beer their distribution through ANBL continues with stores in northeast NB now stocking their beer.

Celtic Knot Brewing announces due to overwhelming popularity of the Ring of Fire beer they will be brewing two back to back batches, so if you missed it you will still get a chance.

Hammond River Brewing is brewing a wet hopped Harvest Ale with their own hops. They are expecting a 70 IBU and 6.8% ABV beer. More details as I get them.

Picaroons Traditional Ales announced their Harvest Ales will be returning next week using 100% Maritime ingredients including fresh local hops. More details soon.

Red Rover Brewing Company announced that after the success of the Fredericton Farmers Market, they are now expanding their refillable bottle locations. Starting this Sunday they will now be available at Queens Square Farmers Market, a first for Saint John. 

Boxing Rock Brewing Company and North Brewing Company got together again this year to collaborate on Many Hands Pale Ale 2.0. This years will be different though. In addition to using Cascade, Mount Hood, and Centennial hops they harvested from LaHave Natural Farms, and over ten pounds of Chinook hops from Boxing Rock's own hop plants in Shelburne they used one hundred pounds of buttercup squash also from LaHave Natural Farms. To round out the beer they used Two-Row Pale Malt grown in Quebec, Maris Otter and some Kilned Amber Malt for some beautiful colour. They say the buttercup squash comes through nicely in the beer, with a great hoppy flavour that can only be had from a wet hopped harvest beer. They say it will be a 6.5% ABV and 37 IBU beer, look for it in a few weeks.

Garrison Brewing got together with Beau's All Natural Brewing last month when they were in town to create a collaboration brew. Sweet Rye'd Harvest Wheat Ale will be arriving next week at the brewery, private stores and eventually the NSLC. Brewed with rye, wheat and Munich malt this copper-coloured harvest ale is ripe with aroma of herb and black pepper melon and citrus. The addition of bog myrtle from Beau's provides additional herb and spice character. This beer weighs in at 6.0% ABV, and 40 IBUs,

Meander River Farm says their Honey Brown is back on tap at the brewery along side their Lunch Box Pale Ale. They held their first Shareholder Cask Night this week. They hosted an exclusive Cask tapping at the Brewery with farm fresh food. In the cask was their Wheat Beer dry-hopped with Glacier Leaf hops and infused with peaches and ginger and primed with local honey.

North Brewing Company says the last batch of Halifax Common is available for this year so time is running out if you haven't tried this one 

Propeller Brewing Company launched their newest year-round beer, Propeller Organic Ale, in 6 Packs and Growlers today. This 4.5% Blonde Ale has a clean body, subtle malt sweetness and a crisp finish.

Schoolhouse Brewery is excited to announce the Hants County Hop Series. They still haven't chosen all the hops for the beers but they want these beers to focus on the taste of our local hops and maritime grown grain.  All the beers will all be made single Maritime Malt. They go on to say hops will be added to the kettle as well as a hop back to get the most of the aromatics from the hops. They also go on to say brewing with whole hops can be a bit of a wild card. Recipes can be hard to replicate so these will be one of a kind beers. 

Uncle Leo's Brewery says Vohs Weizenbier is a seasonal beer so get it while you can. This has been a favorite of mine this summer and I for one will be sad to see it go.

Fredericton Poutine Festival announced that ticket for the second annual event on November 8th go on sale this coming Tuesday. Last year was a great success so get your tickets early.

Piez Bistro in Portland Hills in Dartmouth is holding a Sociables for Prostrates that will feature Craft Beer and Cider Tastings that will pair Nova Scotia brewed beer & ciders with PIEZ BITES, samples of Chef Leslie’s prostate healthy food creations. The $10.00 ticket will give you one Tasting Paddle with 3 craft beer samples and 3 PIEZ Bites. $5.00 going to Prostate Cancer Canada. Beers and ciders are tentatively from Garrison, Boxing Rock, Sea Level, Tata Brew, Propeller, Bad Apple, Schoolhouse, Uncle Leo's and Bulwark. This is happening on September 27th. 

Lots of news this week, have a great time whatever you decide to do and enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gahan House Harbourfront - Great new brewpub for Halifax

I had the recent privilege to attend a guided beer tasting at the newly opened Gahan House in Halifax with the Ladies Beer League. The pub is in the heart of downtown sticking out into Halifax harbour in the The Historic Properties. There is an ample outdoor area but entry is in the Historic Properties. You are greeted by a host at the door and you enter into the large airy space with lots of windows and vaulted ceiling, then there is the bar sporting 14 taps and the oyster bar. 

The tasting was led by the new in-house brew master Karen Allen, who is a native of Antigonish. The tasting ran the gamut of Gahan offerings from Beach Chair Lager to Sydney Street Stout, but the two at the end were the two current offerings brewed in the pub. The first was a dry-hopped IPA called Hippy Cousin weighing in at 6% ABV and 65 IBUs, it is hoppy, earthy and delicious. The other one that was available was Beer & Loathing, a strong Belgian ale at 8% ABV, I really enjoyed this one. It was spicy and sweet and even had a little hoppiness to boot.

After the tastings Karen took small groups up, yes the brewing is done up above the main floor (I hate to be the guy to carry the bags of malt up there). She says to look forward to a valley peach lager coming very soon. 
I think Gahan has a winner in the new location and I look forward to many visits here in the future.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Maritime Beer Report - September 5, 2014

Hello and welcome to the September 5th edition of the Maritime Beer Report.

Barnone Brewing in PEI released that they are brewing a Schwartz (Black) IPA soon. They go on to say they will be using  2 row and Black Printz malts. 

Celtic Knot Brewing has been busy and said their Ring of Fire was delivered all four pubs this week. He says to "watch out it's pretty fiery". The brewer also goes on to say for this years Halloween they will unleash Frankenbeer. You've been warned.

Hammond River Brewing has released their last summer seasonal beer, a Watermelon Wheat Ale. It's brewed with all fresh Watermelons, is 20 IBUs, and is 5.6% ABV.Currently on tap at Bourbon Quarter and The Saint John Ale House. They also says it is harvest time and a wet hopped Harvest Ale will be brewed shortly after. They are growing cascade hops and seven other different varieties there at HRB.  In other HRB beer news, a Pumpkin Spiced Ale and their gold medal winner Vanilla Porter will also be brewed in the near future. Sounds like a very busy fall for the brewery.

Picaroons Traditional Ales says that Selection Double IPA is now on tap at the Brewtique in Downtown Fredericton, and at the Alcool NB Liquor Prospect St. location in Uptown Fredericton. It is a limited release so get it while you can for this one. They also announced that the 2014 edition of its Harvest Ales is now being brewed with hops from Southan Farms. They'll be hitting the taps and shelves in a couple of weeks. 

Pump House Brewery in Moncton celebrated its 15th Anniversary this week and did something very special. At their brewery on Mill Road they used a method similar to what was used in the middle ages. They attempted to make a Stein Bier, or Stone beer, where super heat rocks were dropped in to bring the wort to a boil. I was there and it was very interesting to see. Watch for my blog post on this.

Railcar Brewing Company is looking for help, if you remember a while back RBC called for label designs. Well they got 12 great designs and now they are looking for fans to vote what label you like the best for its Railcar Red. To do this go to their facebook page and "like" the design you like the best. You do need to do that before Thursday at 12 noon September 11, 2014. 

Sunset Heights Meadery in New Brunswick have received word that they are approved for a manufacturer's agency store license, which allows them to sell directly to licensees, as well as the public at farmers' markets. Your next chance to sample is at Feast in the Field on Sunday.

Boxing Rock Brewing Company released good news, Crafty Jack is back. It is available in 3 sizes: 650ml, 1l, and 1.89l.

Garrison Brewing Company has release the beer style for this years Home Brew-Off. This years style is Robust Porter, that is 12B in the BJCP style guide. Stay tuned for more information.

Meander River Farm picked 30 lbs of hops off their yard for their very first one hop, wet-hop seasonal brew. It will be available in a few weeks. They do like a hoppy beer up there.

Propeller Brewing Company has released their latest One Hit Wonder, it is Orbit Ale and  is now available for Growlers at both of our locations in Halifax and Dartmouth. The brew is a 5.6% ABV and 35 IBUs. They were also up at Howard Dills Pumpkin Farm this week hinting at what is coming soon for all you pumpkin ale fans.

Tatamagouche Brewing Company have deliberated and named their Oktoberfest beer. It will be LAGERHOSEN. Sean Stager entered the winning name. This beer will be available at the Tatamagouche 35th Annual Oktoberfest on September 26-27.

Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery are planning to host a local food and beer dinner on September 20th. Join them to celebrate all the wonderful local food we have access to this time of year and two of our great local brewers! This event is part of the 50% Local Club - an organization asking individuals, businesses, and institutions in NS to pledge to make 50% of their meals or grocery bills local food for the month of September. The dinner will be 4 or 5 courses featuring the wares of local producers each paired with a special beer from The Townhouse Brewery or Big Spruce.

I am excited to announce the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards coming this October. The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers is proud to announce the First Annual Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards. Mirella Amato, Canada’s only Master Cicerone, will be in Halifax to host a number of beer related activities, culminating in a Beer Awards gala at The Stubborn Goat on Sunday October 5th. This is a BJCP-sanctioned event with awards for beers in 15 categories, plus "Beer of the Year", "Brewery of the Year" and "Brewpub of the year".

The ACBA is funded by the Canadian Association for Professional Sommeliers - Atlantic Chapter, and sponsored by The Stubborn Goat, Bar Stillwell, The Pub Magazine and Chronicle Herald and in partnership with Ladies Beer League, The Brewnosers and Atlantic Canada Beer Blog

Everyone going to one of sessions at the Prince Edward Island Beer Festival this week end let me know what was your favorite. 

That is all I have for this week so until next week enjoy responsibly and take care. 

Pump House Brewery drops rocks to celebrate 15th Anniversary

When businesses celebrate anniversaries they mark it with events and look back and forward in regards to their business. On September 3rd Pump House did this, but they looked back hundreds of years to replicate an ancient brewing technique used today by only a handful of companies like Port Brewing to make Stein Bier (literally Stone Beer). 

This was an invitation only event at Pump House's production facility on Mill Road in Moncton where brewmaster Andi Bieger clad in traditional lederhosen and Shaun Fraser, Pump House co-owner, officiated the event. This method dates back to middle ages when brewing was carried out in large wooden vessels that needed to have a boiling wort. Necessity being the mother on invention, someone figured heating rocks and dropping in to the wort would not burn the vessel and get the desired result. Pump House heated rocks, specifically greywacke from the Fredericton area and river stones, to between 700 and 1000 degrees Celsius, loaded into steel cages and lowered into a kettle of wort which brought it to a boil and filled the air with steam and a delicious malty aroma. This was repeated several times during the evening. As the rocks cooled it is evident that the sugars caramelized on them making their surface sticky.

I thoroughly enjoyed this hands on demonstration of of beer making and look forward to the limited 4000 750 ml bottle release of the Stonefire Ale in late October at ANBL and NSLC and at the event there was the ABV was estimated to be between 6 and 6.5%. 

For more pictures of the event you can see them here  

NB Liquor adds growlers to its product line

Today I went into the Dieppe ANBL store as I usually do when I am in the Moncton area and low and behold there was a shiny stainless steel counter with growlers and taps on it. The ANBL is running a pilot at three stores in NB, Dieppe, Prospect in Fredericton and KV in the Saint John area. To get a 1.89 litre growlers will cost you 10 dollars to get you started and it is yours to keep. Then to fill it will cost you between 10 and 12 dollars depending on the beer, more on that in a minute. The growler will be refilled each time you bring it back so it is important that it is clean. It is also important to note they will only refill ANBL growler and note any others.

The growler station is not open the same as store hours, mostly evenings and Saturday afternoon and evening. Of the three taps in Dieppe one is dedicated to Pump House, one for Molson craft beer offerings (eg Creemore Springs) and the last tap changes every week to a new offering, to start this week it is Flying Monkey Genius of Suburbia. The stores are all a little different, for the full listing this week see here.
My thoughts on this is it is a good thought but the growlers are really too expensive but the fills are bang on and I am not sure why it isn't open store hours, but I think this is a step in a the right direction.