Happy Friday, everyone! Yet another busy week of beer news for our region, so let’s get to it!
• Meander River Farm and Brewery is back with another one-off beer. After the great success with their first special brew, Honey Brown, they have quickly followed it up with their Wheat Ale. An American-style wheat beer weighing in at 3.8%, the beer features the newer Belma hop, giving citrus and strawberry characteristics. Much like their Honey Brown, it won’t be around for very much longer. Take a drive out to the brewery today (4-7pm) and this weekend (11-5 both Saturday and Sunday) for a taste of it and their Lunchbox Pale Ale, and keep an eye out at your favourite watering holes in Halifax (Stillwell and Lion & Bright). Once it’s gone, it won’t be back until next summer!
• September 3rd will mark the 15th Anniversary of the Pump House Brewery, and they’re celebrating it with a new endeavour! On Sept. 3rd, they will be brewing a Stein Beer at the brewery in true fashion. During the Middle Ages, there were very few options for heating wort (the malty, sugary liquid that will become beer) to a boil, due to the lack of modern-day brewing equipment and direct-heating techniques. Luckily, German brewers discovered the method of heating granite rocks (“stein” is German for “rock”) to superhigh temperatures, then dropping them in the wort in wooden kettles to produce a vigorous boil over several minutes. This is the exact method that the Pump House will use to brew their new ale, Steinbier, on their Anniversary. The beer will eventually be bottled as a limited release of approximately four thousand 750 mL bottles sometime in October. Keep an eye on their Facebook page, as they’re holding contests for chances to win an invite to their “Rock Drop” Launch Party on Sept. 3rd.
• Celtic Knot Brewing is re-releasing one of their inaugural brews, Not Joe Average Pale Ale. This American Pale Ale has had some revisions, according to owner/brewer Bruce Barton. While still coming in at 5% ABV, the bitterness has gone up slightly, with the IBUs increased from 19 to 30. Also, the aroma and flavor hops are now made up of Cascade and Centennial (well known for their fruity and citrusy characteristics). The beer finishes slightly drier than the original version, according to Barton. Look for it soon at bars/restaurants that carry Celtic Knot beers, including new account Plan b Lounge (with one rotating tap) in Moncton.
• Barton is also brewing up the new Ring of Fire beer today, featuring 40% Smoked Malt (along with 2-Row, Munich, Cara Aroma and Roasted malts to an Amber colour, 16 SRM), and hopped to 18 IBUs with Tettnang and Fuggle hops. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! For the heat, Barton will be using Habanero and Jalapeno peppers in the boil, and might add some in secondary as well, depending on the results. Look for this one on tap mid- to late-September.
• Rare Bird Craft Beer has released their latest seasonal, Spruce Beer. It is their modern take on this style of beer with some history in our region, both on shore, and on the ships that visited Guysborough harbour. Building on a medium-bodied Pale Ale base of 5.5% and 47 IBUs (from Cascade and Galena hops), Black Spruce buds were added to the boil for a bright spruce nose. Currently on tap at the Rare Bird Pub, look for it in bottles at the private stores soon.
• In the brewing world, the approach of fall means one thing… the brewing of pumpkin beers, and the PEI Brewing Co. just brewed theirs! The grist contains Canadian 2-row malt, Munich, Victory, Extra Special Roast, Caramunich 60 L, and some malted rye, and the beer is hopped exclusively with Comet hops to 25 IBUs. As for the most important part, the pumpkin, 30 lbs of yellow summer squash were sourced from MacKenzie Produce in Stratford, PEI, with the balance made up of unspiced, canned pumpkin and squash due to limited availability of pie pumpkins this time of year. Luckily, brewmaster Chris Long was able to find many high quality spices from Kate the Spice Lady for the brew, including “150 cinnamon sticks, about 80 cloves, almost 100 allspice pods, 10 whole nutmeg, and 10 lbs of fresh ginger” for each batch. The beer clocks in at 5.8% ABV; look for it in bottles and kegs in the near future across Atlantic Canada.
• Next Friday, August 29th, Edmundston’s Resto-Bar Le Deck will be holding a Picaroons tap takeover that will also feature guest taps from Brasseurs du Petit-Sault and live entertainment from The Carson Downey Band. No word yet on exactly which Picaroons beers will be pouring (they will have 5 taps dedicated to their brews), but we can confirm that both flagship beers – Tante Blanche and Bob LeBoeuf – from Petit-Sault will be present, as well as the recently-released limited edition of their collaboration brew with Acadie-Broue, L’effrayab’ Tintamarre. There’s no cover at the door; it all starts at 10:00 pm.
• And great news for those of you who live in Fredericton and would like to try L’effrayab’ Tintamarre… a keg or two has been delivered to the King Street Ale House, and should be pouring now! It won’t last long, however, so best head there for lunch today. :)
• And back to Picaroons, their annual release of UPSTREAM Ale will be hitting shelves at the beginning of September. This 4.5% Pale Ale is crisp and clean, like the wild waters of the famous NB Salmon Rivers. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer will go to the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation to help preserve those rivers. And available shortly thereafter will be Picaroons’ series of Harvest Ales, featuring wet hops grown on local farms.
• This week, brewer Josh Herbin at North Brewing Company started experimenting with cask conditioning and adding flavour infusions to their very popular Saison. He prepared infusions using black peppercorn and candied ginger, and has dosed two of the casks with different concentrations. To a third cask, he added both of the infusions and some of the ginger and pepper to further “dry spice” the beer to measure its effects on the final product. No word yet where they will be available, but when they hit the taps/bar tops mid-September, we’ll be sure to share the details.
• Uncle Leo’s Brewery is launching a new growler format today, a 750ml Flip Top Growler. These new growlers are $5 for the glass, and $5 for a fill of any of their IPA, Smoked Porter, Red Ale and Vohs Weizenbier. Until Sunday, August 24th (or while supplies last), when purchasing two or four 750ml growlers, you will receive a free two- or four-growler tote. Please note that they ask folks to not return their 1.89l growlers until after the weekend, when they re-open on Wednesday, August the 27th.
• The Beerthief Newfoundland Special Order Beer Group is holding a tasting next Thursday August 28th. ShakesBEER in the GUT is a fundraiser for the Shakespeare by the Sea Festival in St. John’s, and will give attendees the chance to try four exclusive international offerings available only at the tasting: after starting with a choice of a Quidi Vidi beer, Certified Cicerone Mike Buhler will guide participants through Sorachi Ace and Local 2 Ale by Brooklyn Brewery, and Hiver and Dorée from Meduz Brewery. Tickets are available online for $50, and include snacks, door prizes and live entertainment.
• Tatamagouche Brewing Co is holding a contest! Their Brew Crew is putting together an Oktoberfest Lager to be released in the coming weeks, and they want you to name it. We don’t have the recipe details just yet, but you can enter by replying to this tweet or instagram with your best shot. The contest is closing soon, so be sure to enter today. The winner will win a free party keg rental from the brewery. Only those 19 years or older may enter.
• New Beer Alert! Big Spruce Brewing has released their International Coffee Conspiracy, the Hoppuccino. As mentioned previously, this beer was brewed with help from Phillips Brewing from Victoria, BC and Cafe Milagro from Costa Rica. Coming in a bit bigger than originally reported, the beer weighs in at 7.3 % ABV and 80 IBUs from Simcoe and Chinook, and features lots of whole bean coffee in the boil, and then a second cold extraction infusion, added post-fermentation. Grab a sample and growler at the brewery today, and ask for it at your favourite local bar.
• After some delays due to ANBL regulation changes that were mostly dropped late last week, Mitch Biggar of Railcar Brewing is back on track! This week he brewed a test batch of the first in his “Derailed” series, a Maple Bacon Porter. Using Chocolate and Cherrywood Smoked Malts in the grain bill for characteristic aroma and taste, he also added New Brunswick Maple Syrup and Smoked Bacon in the boil. Wow!
• And finally, in case you missed yesterday’s post, we’re currently holding a contest to win two tickets to any of the three sessions at this year’s PEI Beer Festival on Sept. 5th and 6th. All you have to do is take a picture of one of the beers that will be pouring at the festival (a list of breweries and beers is available on their website), and Tweet it/share it to our Facebook page, with the hashtag #PEIBeerFest. The contest will continue until next Thursday at 11:59 pm; we’ll announce the winner in next week’s Friday Wrap-Up on August 29th. Only one entry per person, please!
Drink locally this weekend! Head on out to Antigonish Townhouse tonight at 5pm to enjoy another of their one-off casks of British Bitter, to the Stubborn Goat for a Friday Firkin of Boxing Rock‘s The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA, or King’s Arm Pub in Kentville who now have Schoolhouse Brewery on tap. And we hope to see lots of you tomorrow at noon at Stillwell for the launch of Propeller Brewing’s Raspberry Lambic. Folks from Propeller will also be there from 1-3pm taking pre-orders to be picked up at the Gottingen St location Sunday (1 bottle max), before it goes on sale to the general public at both locations on Monday (limit two bottles per person).