Well, just like the title says, hot on the heels of buying the Hart & Thistle, PEI's Murphy Group has also purchased Rogues Roost, a longtime-popular craft brew destination in Halifax. The article says they plan to maintain the staff and brewer, and hope to work on / build the brand, perhaps even growing it in Nova Scotia, PEI, and bottling their beer at the PEI Brewing Company in Charlottetown. They plan to stay at the current location, even after the upcoming development of the block.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Good news here today. The PEILCC is going to change the regulations on how strong brewers can brew their beers. Up until now, the limit has been 6.5%. The article says we're supposed to be on par with other provinces in the future. Good news for our two existing breweries, the brewery-in-progress in town, and the rumored one in the Montague area.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Left to right:
Smiling Irish Bastard - with a name like this, you'd expect some sort of stout, or maybe a red ale, it's actually an American Pale Ale, brewed with Cascade - "American strong, like Officer Bernie Welch, a legend in the Bangor Police Force." It was OK - light grapefruit and bitterness.
Dad's Oatmeal Stout - Made with Chinook and U.S. Goldings, this was an easy-drinker. Smooth, but not too thick. Nice enough stout.
Bangor Tiger - Maine River Drivers (you know, the guys that rode logs on the rivers) were known as Bangor Tigers. This is supposed to reflect them - a strong 6.5% ale, 62 IBU, not for the faint of heart. It was bitter, with a bit of citrus. A bit one-dimensional.
Wake Up Wheat - they say this was their take on an American Adjunct Dunkel (which they made up). For me, it was the clear winner of the bunch. It was a total chocolate coffee porter, but light. Sumatra coffee, oats, fresh-brewed coffee, vanilla beans, choc malt... pretty involved, but darn tasty.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Halifax…we're coming for ya! #gahanhouseexpansion #spreadtheword #mgrstory pic.twitter.com/9y4KOpmy2WI'd like to put this out there for folks, to confirm that they are indeed taking over the place that was once the beloved Hart and Thistle. As far as I know at the moment, no brewing staff from PEI are slated to make the move. It sounds like most / all staff there will be new to the company. I wish them the best of luck there - I'm sure they'll make it a highly successful / quality destination, which should please the beer-loving folk who miss the old H&T.
— Gahan House (@GahanPub) August 1, 2014
Saturday, August 2, 2014
I'd like to highlight some spots that I went to, and beers that I tried, in a series of posts, starting today.
Before we even went down, the first thing I had to figure out was what my limit was in terms of bringing back beer. I even went so far as to talk to a customs agent at the airport to clarify a couple of things for me that the online rules didn't point out. Basically, in terms of beer, the rule is:
- if you stay in the US for 48 hours or more, each person is allowed to return to Canada with 8.5L of beer (no matter what the ABV is)
- if you go over that amount, you'll have to pay tax / duty on whatever the overage is, not your first 8.5L
Basically, all of the beer they carry is good, well-rated, or really really good / well-rated. It's just some refrigerated shelves on one wall, the refrigerated shelves at the ends of two rows, and one two-sided (and fairly short) row of shelving that has all their beer. The selection, especially for someone like me, from somewhere like here, is mind-blowingly good. All the Maine breweries - Allagash, Maine Brewing Company, Smuttynose, Rising Tide, etc., brewers like Dogfish Head, Jolly Pumpkin, Clown Shoes, Victory, Founders, Evil Twin... and European brews like Fantome, magnums of St. Bernardus... Christmas beers I want... meads in stoneware... just so much to pick from.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to make it to the Bier Cellar in Portland, but I wouldn't have had room for anything anyway. Next time, I'll try to balance out visits to both places.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
I haven't been to too many beer fests over the years (five or six, maybe), but last year's Brewer's Bash stands out as the best one. Why? Well I'll give you a few reasons:
- It's twelve hours long, and you can come and go as you please.
- It's only Canadian beer, and includes beer from every province and one territory.
- Last year, there was something like 60 breweries and 300+ beers. This year, I counted 64 brewers, and most likely more offerings (don't know how many yet, as there's no pre-bash list this year).
- The breweries don't cheap out - in more than one way, but the one I want to emphasize is that they don't just serve their most mainstream / cheapest stuff. There was (and will be this year) some rarer and more expensive stuff to try out.
- Fredericton's got free WiFi downtown (why doesn't everywhere?!).
- It's a great crowd, complete with interesting people - like the balding guy with the long hair, goatee, lab coat, and glittery ball that he kept rolling in one hand while drinking with the other all day. Don't believe me? Check the picture.
- Nearby eats. King Street Ale House, The Snooty Fox (which provided me with some kind of spring roll-like bacon cheeseburger fried things late that night - just the right thing), that sushi place kitty corner to Officer's Square... all good options.
- The price. $25 for eight samples, plus the musical entertainment later. Last year was a personal fave of mine, the Skydiggers, with Deep Dark Woods. This year, it's
Zeus (another big fave of mine) witha couple of soulful backing acts, Cydni Cain and the Chronos Band, the latter of which sounds like one tight bunch with some serious groove.
- So much variety to imbibe, for everyone from the new-to-beer person to the beer snob/geek.
- It never felt crowded. Lineups were never that long - mind you, there are 50% more people there this year... but I think it should still end up comfortable.
Monday, July 7, 2014
This one is in the middle. On paper, it sounds like an interesting beer - chipotle and lime, in an American red / amber ale.
Well, the chipotle does come through, and is light enough that it won't offend anyone. It's a little smokey, and has the slightest heat at the back of the throat. There's a little zip to it, too but I almost can't tell if it's from the lime or the hops, as there's no easy-to-differentiate lime flavour to it. I think it's there... lightly... but it's not strong, for sure.
What will the next seasonal variety pack hold? Well, I'm sure it'll have a few that are interesting-sounding, and at least a couple that are good, and probably a couple that aren't. The sixer's never a total bust, but it's never a total win, either.
Monday, June 23, 2014
"A Gold Medal winner in 2012’s Canadian Brewing Awards, this GMO-free Pilsner offers a balance of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness that refreshes the palate and quenches thirst. In 2013, Steam Whistle was voted by CityBites (a Toronto based publication) as the best beer to be paired with lobster (see page 26-27). It was the lager’s ability to accentuate the sweetness of the crustacean and the lobster’s ability to bring out the malt of the beer that earned the Pilsner its title."
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Last weekend, somewhat quietly, the (take a deep breath to say it) John Brown Richmond Street Grille opened in the spot that was most recently "The Globe" (as well as Brennan's, Pat's Rose & Gray, etc.). It'll be affectionately known as "Brown's".
I make note of it here because it instantly became the best place to go on PEI if you are looking for off-Island beers on tap. As of last weekend, they have 18 taps, and plan to have up to 21, and to rotate the selection if they can. Most of the beers they have on tap are available in bottles in PEILCC stores, but there are a few that aren't (Garrison's Nut Brown, for example, and Pump House's Pail Ale and Pilsner). Some expected beers didn't make it for the opening (Garrison's Imperial IPA, for example, Hop Bot, as well as a few from Picaroons, and local brewers, Barnone). Hopefully they'll make an appearance some time soon. It would have been nice to see some other brewers included like Propeller (who apparently didn't want to sell here... yet), or some newer quality regional brewers, like Boxing Rock, for example.
Who knows... maybe we'll see them there in the future. I'll keep you posted. Stop on by online to check out their offerings:
Saturday, April 12, 2014
After finding, surprisingly, two offerings, I heard from a brewer at the PEIBC today that Picaroons was to have three listings here, but in the two PEILCC shops I was in today, there was just two (although, in one shop, one brand took up two rows).
I also wanted to mention that, after literally years of sporadic tries, I finally had a Yippee IPA that allowed me to see what people who really like this beer have been talking about.
Congrats to a good guy who made a good, refreshing, and tart ale. The Aleanders are lucky to call you a member. I'll be eager to try the pub version of your brew!
Monday, March 31, 2014
PS - while I may expect a lot from the beer, if it was ever bottled and this was the label, it would instantly be the best label a beer on PEI's ever had.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
I'm not exactly sure what is at play, but it seems Sapporo / Sleeman (same company if you didn't know) are putting a push on in these parts to grab a share of the taps at local bars. One pub I like to go to is installing a new draft setup soon, adding three taps: two Sleeman, and Sapporo. I was at another restaurant / pub just over a week ago, and a beer rep was in, dropping off tap handles and Sapporo glasses. A co-owner was talking to servers, enthusiastically, about how they'd like Sapporo, a new-to-them light beer.
I'm always happy to see growth in beer around here at all, but, of course, I always want it my way and figure I may know a little better (come on, what Islander doesn't). Is Sapporo just footing the bill for these expansions? How are they enticing more places to take them on? I can't, off the top of my head, name a bad Sleeman beer, and Sapporo is OK, but, really... they're largely bland. If you want to attract new patrons with something different & good, why go with selections that are much like every other brew from a large commercial operation?
To support those places listed above, they both have two taps from our newest local brewery, Barnone, one has been bringing in good things from Pump House for over a year, and the other tried out some Garrison beers (why didn't they let anyone know they had the Imperial IPA on tap once?). To keep pushing them, though, why not try Unibroue if you're going to go with the Sleeman group of breweries? We have three of their offerings in bottles here now, and, overall, their beers are more interesting, appeal to more different drinkers, and, to be blunt, are just better.
One definition of insanity is doing the same things repeatedly & expecting different results. If you run a bar or restaurant, and want new customers, or more repeat customers, why offer them more of the same unremarkable brews that surround us all?
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Unfortunately, this is my least favourite of the three, I think. First off, like many hoppy beers, this is better drunk from the can - don't follow the poor glass suggestion on the can (suggests some plain Keith's glass). The best glass for this is a goblet or the IPA glass - something with a narrow opening.
The aroma is fairly nice, albeit a little restrained. They definitely didn't go all in with this hop to really let it shine. Mostly pineapple and orange come out, but they don't whack you over the head like they could have. The flavour isn't that great. It's a bit too sweet. It comes across as a little peachy, and will probably give some tasters notions of corn or the use of adjuncts.
Kudos to Keith's for doing this series, and for selecting Galaxy, but to really succeed with this, they need to ramp things up just a bit more before many people will care. On the plus side, this series should help to entice, expose, and educate some folks on the broad topic of what's in their beer.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
The sign up form can be found here.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
What the PEIBC has done is released a money-grab of a four-pack: four beers that already exist, just repackaged, and, in two cases, just renamed. "1864" is the Blueberry Ale (how historic), "Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale" is the same (natch), Iron Bridge has again been renamed, this time as "Colonel John Hamilton Gray", and, in a bewildering but understandable move, their arguably lowest-quality regularly-available beer, Coles Cream Ale has been bottled for the first time as "Premier George Coles".
Sure the labels look nice, sure, it suits the 2014 theme, but what a missed opportunity.
Here's some other ideas for a commemorative pack:
- A "fortified" John A. of some sort. The man was a drunk. Use one of his favourite drinks in some way. Whisky. Brandy. Take your pick. He liked a lot.
- The original conference was just going to be for NS, NB, and PEI. Take some hops or grains from all three and call that "1864" or "Maritime Union".
- Great George's Gose - how about a salty ale for the harbour & street that first welcomed the delegates?
- Slaymaker's & Nichol's Olympic Ale - hello? Crossover! 2014 is also an Olympic year, and Slaymaker & Nichol's Olympic Circus was the circus in town the same time as the conference, taking most hotel rooms and public interest. Make it some sort of strong, sweet, or wild (hell, make it a lambic) ale. The people of the time were more interested in the circus. It was the best thing in town, and hadn't been here in 20 years. Why shouldn't this sneakily-named ale be the show-stealer of the bunch, too?