Well, you’ve done it! You’ve survived another month of wild weather in the region, with snow, rain, wind, rain, snow, and even t-shirt weather for a short blink of the eye. As the weather turns and stays colder, the breweries and ciderhouses continue to change their focus to products with a bit more heft, so keep those eyes peeled for the bottles and cans below, as well as the many others on the shelves and taps in Atlantic Canada this month!

Why not start this week with some cider love? Beausoleil Farmstead Cidery & Vineyard is located on Church Street in Port Williams, a short drive from the centre of town. A small but mighty family team oversees the cider (and wines) coming together, from tree (and vine) to fruit to glass, keeping true to their philosophy of sustainable farming and cellar experimentation. They are celebrating their First Anniversary this weekend, and releasing two new blends to mark the occasion. Oak’d is a 6.8% barrel-aged cider made from a blend of Annapolis Valley-grown apples, including McIntosh, Cortland, and Golden Russet. After six months of aging in French oak barrels, it was finished with just a touch of fresh-pressed juice, to bring some soft tannins and hint of acidity to the rich notes of toasted spice and baked apple in the base cider. Taking a different approach for the second new release is Mimosa, Beausoleil’s take on the popular brunch (or anytime!) drink. Starting with base of Chardonnay wine, it was infused with fresh oranges, blended with Annapolis Valley cider, and given a touch of effervescence to enhance the experience. Wine, cider, and citrus never tasted so good! Both Oak’d and Mimosa are available this weekend at their tasting room (open 1 – 4 PM both Saturday and Sunda), as well as their online shop for local delivery.

Dark beer lovers rejoice! Propeller Brewing is continuing their foray into the dark and festive beers with the latest take on their Porter, Chocolate Orange Porter. Building on the full-bodied and roast-filled original, the addition of chocolate and orange makes this a lovely festive beer. Available on tap now at the two Propeller tap rooms, cans are also available at their retail locations, online for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping, as well as the private stores in town and at the airport (including in the Harvest Beer and Cider Advent Calendar, where you’ll be drinking that later today [sorry for the spoiler!]).

Back to cider, as Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider Company has the latest in their Something Different Series this week, Arctic Kiwi Rosé. Locally-grown Arctic Kiwis (think miniature hairless kiwis that are capable of handling the local cooler climate) were juiced and fermented with ACC’s signature dry-fermented base, offering bright tropical notes and a little body. This blend was finished off with fresh-pressed Geneva crab apple juice for a bit of acidity and astringency, as well as the signature rosé colour. Available now at their tasting room on Main Street, each bottle refill of the 6.1% sparkling Arctic Kiwi Rosé sees $0.50 donated to support the Wolfville Area Food Bank.

Sackville, Nova Scotia’s very own brewery, Ol’ Biddy’s, has both brew and news for you this week. On the beer side, Merry Rye-solution is, beyond its tortured name, a re-release of a holiday treat from years past. Featuring plenty of rye for a characteristic spiciness along with some demerara sugar to provide seasonal notes of molasses and toffee, it was bittered to 26 IBU to ensure some balance and has a drying finish. Deep copper in color and weighing in at a burly 9.4% ABV, it’s not to be trifled with; you’ll find it at the brewery, of course, along with select NSLC locations. On the news side, the gang at OB is happy to report that they’re going to be making it easier for you to get their beer this busy season by bringing it directly to you! For the next three Saturdays, starting tomorrow, if you’re within 10km of the brewery, you’ll be able to place an order for local delivery. In addition to the 10km limit, you’ve got to be spending $24 to qualify for $5 delivery or $50 for free delivery (we don’t know about you, but we don’t find it difficult to turn a $25 order into a $50 order when beer is involved!!) You’ll also need to be of appropriate drinking age (19, last we checked) and home, with ID handy to accept the delivery. Your order must be received by 6 PM the Friday before the delivery date to qualify. Look for the new “delivery” option when ordering on their site and follow the prompts! You can also order kegs for delivery, but you’ll need to call them brewery directly and talk to Chris about that. Lastly, if you do decide to drop down to their taproom for a pint or to pick some stuff up, why not bring a donation for Feed Nova Scotia? You’ll be doing needy folks some good and meanwhile enter to win a Weber Kettle BBQ.

From Sackville to Spryfield, where Serpent Brewing is releasing a big holiday brew of their own in the next week. Three Kings is a rum barrel aged beer in the Belgian Dark Strong style. “What’s a Belgian Dark Strong,” you ask? Well, it uses Belgian yeast for characteristic spicy and estery character, it’s dark in color, and b’y, she’s strong, at 11% ABV. Aged in barrels from Compass Distillers, it’s got notes of pepper, dark fruits, wood-aged rum, and plenty of warmth. There are three different labels coming for this, and by all means, collect them all, but we wouldn’t recommend drinking them all in one night. Or even one weekend, really. Check Serpent socials (Ig/Fb/Tw) for more on when this one is released.

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider is celebrating the season with the return of their collaboration with Change is Brewing Collective. A little refresher on this one, the fine folks of Change is Brewing visited the Portland Street taproom to put together a winter seasonal to perfectly pair with a hearty holiday meal. Enter Forest Glory, a blend of all Nova Scotian apples and cranberries, infused with locally-grown rosemary, thyme, and juniper. Herbaceous and tart, this 6.8% cider is available again for purchase in the retail store as well as online for local delivery or shipping. All proceeds of sales go toward community-lead non profit organizations working to create space and opportunities for the BIPOC community, both in and out of the drinks industry.

It’s a Big Week for Big Spruce, as they have two new releases to tell us, and y’all, about! Building on the popularity of last year’s From Nova Scotia with Love Collaboration with Boston’s Harpoon Brewery, they’ve done it all over again! For anyone not in the know, after the Halifax Explosion, hundreds of support workers from Northeast US came to help with medical treatment and support. In recognition of that, each year the province of Nova Scotia sends down a Christmas tree to the city of Boston. In 2020, Big Spruce and Harpoon came together for an epid Whiskey Barrel Aged Abbey Ale (read more about it here), and they are one-upping themselves this year, with the Bûche de Nöel Imperial Milk Stout. Taking cues from the holiday Yule Log dessert, the beer itself is big and bold, with plenty of rich Belgian chocolate and fresh-roasted coffee, with cacao nibs and a hint of juniper. Oh, and all of that was aged in a Glenora Single Malt Whiskey Barrel! Cans are available at the Sprucetique and online for delivery now, with kegs delivered and pouring now/shortly at Battery Park, HopYard Halifax, and Bar Stillwell!

Returning favourite, and only available on draught, is Fou D’Amour, a Barbe Rouge-solo-hopped Double IPA. Weighing in at a hefty 8.0% and XXX IBU (your guess is as good as ours!), this French-grown hop is known for tropical and citrus notes, think strawberry and grapefruit and kumquat! Built on a hazy and pillowy base, you’ll be able to grab a pint in Nyanza this weekend, and coming soon to Battery Park and Stillwell at any moment.

Heading from one island to another, up on The Rock in Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland (& Labrador!) Landwash Brewery has a hoppy new brew hitting the taps this week. Frozen Coves is a DIPA in their Limited Series that they’ve hopped generously with Bru-1, Ekuanot, and HBC 586 to give this 7.2% banger a fruity punch of peach, pineapple and tangerine. Available at the brewery for pints to stay and in cans to go, it’ll also be showing up at Marie’s Mini Mart locations and NLC over the next week or so. If hops aren’t your thing, and you lean towards the deeper, darker beers, have no fear, Landwash has you covered there too. Cake Tray, 2021 edition, was inspired by the good old classic Newfoundland Snowball, which if you’re not familiar means you ought to expect lots of chocolatey and coconut character. A stout, of course, plenty of dark malts give it color and body and coconut gives it, well, what you’d expect. At 7% it should have a touch of holiday warmth for you as well. Available now at retail, but if you’ve got a few minutes to sit and enjoy one in the taproom you’ll be rewarded by a pour off the nitro tap, which will impart a super-creamy body that you can’t get any other way. You’ll see this one at Marie’s soon as well.

Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of the annual collaboration between North Brewing and Benjamin Bridge Winery. We told you about these a couple weeks ago (did we jump the gun on that? Ooops!) but we’re sure they’re both available now at all North retail locations. Musqué is a big ‘ol double IPA at 8% fermented on Musqué grape skins, of course, and Blanc is a much smaller and more delicate Grisette fermented on Sauvignon Blanc skins. We recommend experiencing both yin and yang by grabbing both of them. Even better, $0.50 from each can sold of both beers goes to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Meanwhile, North also has two other beers back this week for repeat engagements. Midnight Figgy Pudding is a batch of Midnight, their strong dark Belgian that was split between 4 Glenora Distillery whiskey barrels for over two years before being blended with figs, dates, and vanilla. Be gentle with this one as it’s 10.5% ABV, perfect for an evening by the fire wrapping presents, we’d bet! And if you’re looking for something a little more breakfast-y, Stack o’ Pancakes might have you covered. Nominally a pastry stout (we all agree pancakes are pastry, right? Like, “cake” is right in the name and everything!!) this imperial-strength (9% ABV) beer featured plenty of chocolate malt in the grist for roasty chocolate flavors as well as maple syrup (of course), vanilla, and salt! Grab these two beasts from North the next time you’re there or order for curbside pickup, local delivery, or nation-wide shipping. If you’re a fan of North you may also want to grab one of their Holiday Boxes: 12 North beers (oh, fine, eleven beers and one seltzer), including the exclusive Eisbock, a lovely glass stein from which to enjoy them, and a holiday card and some custom wrapping paper.

Moncton’s Tide & Boar Brewing has a big and bold beer out today, their first special release from their new brewhouse at 1355 Main Street. In A Beautiful House continues their tradition of massive pastry stouts first started from their 1 BBL brewhouse in their original Gastropub location. Brewed with lactose (aka milk sugar), this 11.9% ABV beer was conditioned on toasted marshmallows and Madagascar vanilla beans, to get all of the sticky sweetness and bold flavours. Only a few flats available at the time of publishing, you’ll want to get down there ASAP to avoid disappointment!

Annapolis Brewing in Annapolis Royal has brought back their Fundy Haze, their house New England IPA. Absolutely overflowing with Galaxy, Sabro, and Mosaic, this hazy beer is juicy, tropical, and ready to go now! And their sister cider company, East Coast Cider Company has released a new perry this week named Pear Cider. Made with locally-grown pears, the perry features delicate floral and fruity notes, with a touch of honey-like sweetness. Available at their taproom on draught and in cans.

Good Robot Brewing is celebrating a mainstay of Enfield, Curly Portables, with their new Curly’s Amber. Building on the legend of woodsman Curly, born in Rawdon Hills in 1895, who went on to invent the triple-bit axe and other fantastical feats, Curly’s features biscuit and caramel malts to balance the light hop bitterness, and made for enjoying a few after splitting and stacking wood. Keep your eyes here and on their IG for more details on Good Robot’s progress in Elmsdale, just down the road from Curly’s. And if you are looking to give back this holiday season, drop off donations for the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre at their Robie Street taproom, full details available in this post. And check out their Holiday Gift Pack for the person who has everything/nothing!

A reminder that both of the recent Ontario Collaborations hosted by 2 Crows in Halifax are now available, the L’Acadie Draw Sauvignon Blanc IPA with Willibald Farm Brewery and Molten Mirrors Saison/Lager hybrid with BeerLab!. And if you need a reminder on what exactly those are, we gave you all the info you need in last week’s post. Also worth your time is that 2C is having a sale on select 355ml cans in their fridge, which means you can get a flat of Matinee, Tiny Dancer, or Dos Cuervos for just $50. Create your own Advent Calendar on the cheap! Deal is available at the taproom, as well as their online shop, which means free HRM delivery!

Dartmouth’s Spindrift has engaged in a bit of a reinvention over the last year or so, as they pivoted from being the “(almost) all lager, (almost) all the time” brewery to a bit more of an industry standard product range where the primary focus is on ales (don’t worry, though, folks, we’re pretty sure your Toller, Toller Gold, and Toller Light aren’t going anywhere). In the process of these moves they’ve also taken the time to reinvent their branding; you may have noticed their slick designs on the shelves and not realized, at least right away, that you were looking at Spindrift offerings (their old branding was pretty iconic too). Anyways, a few of the things they’ve had come out in the last while that you might keep your eyes out for include:

  • Horizon Blonde Bitter – a light and approachable beer in the classic style, coming in at 4.3% ABV and 27 IBU, with classic British hopping from Northdown and Challenger and notes of orange, tea, and a touch of stone fruit.
  • Grapefruit Spaceship Grapefruit IPA – does what it says on the tin, of course, at 6% ABV, with some very tropical and citrusy hops, namely Galaxy, Comet, and Eureka, boosted by plenty of grapefruit juice, and all balanced with classic West Coast IPA-style sweetness from caramel malt and a blast of bitterness (53 IBU). 
  • Queen Bee Honey Brown – lots of “honey browns” out there, but this one distinguishes itself by being both properly brown and through the use of actual Canadian honey; expect this 4.8% ABV and 25 IBU easy-drinker to be lighter in body than the appearance would suggest, with notes of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and nuts along with a bit of honey on the finish.

Antigonish powerhouses Candid Brewing and Townhouse Pub have come together for a fun collaboration. Kanpai is a Japanese-style Rice Lager, weighing in at a respectable 4.0% ABV. Light, refreshing, and super-crushable, it has a clean and dry finish, making it the perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes, which is right up the alley of these two neighbouring businesses. Find it on tap now at both locations, with cans dropping mid-month.

Back to Portland Street for a new release from Brightwood Brewery. Shy Guy is a flavoured Gose dreamed up and executed by Assistant Brewer Noah, who took a base of a belgian-yeast-fermented wheat ale, with the addition of blackberry puree, orange peels, and a touch of Himalayan salt. Pouring now in their taproom, cans of Shy Guy should be hitting the shelves any minute now!

Hey hey hey, it’s 5PM on a Friday and we’re just getting you your beer news now? What gives? Well, as much as we love beer and talking about beer and writing thousands of words about beer on the weekly, Real Life™ sometimes can’t be denied and you, dear reader, end up having to wait a few extra hours for your beer news. We also know that we weren’t quite able to get everything into the post this week that we knew about; we’ll do our best to cover all those bases next week! Or maybe the week after!! By Christmas we’ll be caught up FOR SURE.

If you’re thinking a trip to PEI is in order, or if you’re in PEI and wanted to make a little getaway to Borden-Carleton, we highly recommend dropping in for a visit to Lone Oak. Ok, sure, we’d recommend that at any time, really, but this weekend they have three new beers available on tap – one that is a returning favourite, and two that are just outright brand new. Let’s get right into all three, shall we?

The first newbie is S’well, a 4.4% ABV Brett Lager. The base beer is a Lager brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, and hopped with noble hops. A two-year-old barrel-aged Brett beer was blended in (at about 15% volume) to give the final brew a nice hit of funk, with the whole thing getting a final dry-hop with the always-lovely New Zealand variety, Nelson Sauvin.  

Next up is one of those beers that is conveniently named in a way that really gets to the heart of the beer… Belgian Table Beer with Marquette Grapes. Another easy-drinker at just 3.8%, it has a grist of PEI Pilsner, spelt, and wheat. Hopped with Mistral, a French variety, the beer was aged on Marquette grapes locally-harvested from Carmody Cove Vineyards (Marshfield). Dry, effervescent, with plenty of citrus and sweet fruit character throughout, this and S’well are both available on tap only, at the brewery.

Finally, returning to local taps (and cans, in the near future) is Boat Traffic, a Foeder-aged Oatmeal Stout that has been tweaked slightly, since its last release. With a little less roast and a little more chocolate than last time, this 5% ABV brew was aged in oak from PEI’s own New World Foeders. Sporting a full body, some roast character, and “notes of chocolate and undertones of coconut and vanilla from the oak”, you’re not going to want to wait on picking some of this up when you can, as it’ll be just perfect for sipping on a hot Christmas morning this year!

Last week we wrote a mini-essay about North Brewing because they had so many things going on. We even took a minute to poke fun at 2 Crows for being outdone. HAHAHA. BOY ARE WE DUMB. Seems like the gang at 2C has been up to further collaborative shenanigans with a couple of Ontario breweries and now we have to type it up so you know what to get excited to drink.

First up is fermented beverage nerd alert (we are beer nerds after all). There’s a product new to the market out of New Zealand that they call “Phantasm” and it’s a powdered Sauvignon Blanc grape derivative that happens to be very rich in thiols. “But ACBB,” you say, “that sounds like a wine thing.” Well, yes, Sauvignon Blanc is grapes, but thiols are one of the (naturally occurring) chemicals that give hops (and grapes, and cannabis) their fun fruity aromatics. So what do you think 2C did when they got their hands on some of this stuff? They put it into some beer! They also had some L’Acadie grapes available from their friends at PEI’s Carmody Cove Vineyard, where the team traveled to pick about 500lbs and put it through carbonic maceration, before pressing it (thanks to a hand from Sourwood Cider’s press) and fermenting with wine yeast. The result of that went into the beer too! But what beer? Well, back to the beer brewing part, they collaborated with Ayr, Ontario’s Willibald Farm Brewery (‘member them from the Stillwell takeover a few weeks ago?) to make a super pillowy IPA from Pilsner and Golden Promise malts, raw wheat, and Golden Naked Oats, a lot of mash hops, and some late kettle hopping with Bru-1, Hallertau Blanc, and the aforementioned Phantasm. Once fermentation was complete, they hit it with intense amounts of Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and more (MOAR!) Hallertau Blanc and Nelson Sauvin. When you consider that Hallertau Blanc and Nelson are two of the hops known for their “wine-iness” you can imagine that this is an IPA that fairly reeks of that character: “grapey, [with lots of] gooseberry, citrus, and tropical punch vibes.” Cans of this one, known as L’Acadie Draw will be available to the general public tomorrow, Saturday, November 27th, at noon!

So that’s this week. Next week comes another collaboration that 2C put together with Beerlab from London, ON. Billed as a “Saison/Lager hybrid,” Molten Mirrors sees the ester profile of a Saison married to the dry crisp finish of a lager, with the overall drinkability of both styles well represented. Made from local barley, some rice, a little spelt, and hopped in a restrained fashion with “modern Continental” varieties Saphir and Huell Melon, it was fermented fairly warm with their house Saison yeast which, if you’re familiar with the properties of various yeast strains, is going to give you a rather estery and somewhat phenolic (spicy) character, but it’s not likely to be what you’d call “dry.” So then the beer was chilled down to the sort of temperature that lager yeast likes (10ºC-ish) and it was krausened, which is basically the German way of saying, “we added some more actively fermenting beer to it.” That beer was a smaller volume of the same beer, but one that had been fermenting with a nice clean German lager yeast. After giving the result time to completely ferment out, the temperature was dropped again, this time to long-term lagering temperatures, where it stayed a full 8 weeks. The result is crisp and dry, with some saison spice and fruitiness. This one will be on sale to the general public next Thursday, December 2nd at Noon, but newsletter subscribers will already have received an email with a special code allowing them to get it early by ordering online for delivery or pickup. If you’re not a subscriber, but would like to get access to new beers from 2C before everyone else does, you’d best be signing up right here.

Those of you who remember a little show called The Raccoons, raise your hands. Haha, you people are old! For the rest of you, this beloved Canadian animated show debuted in 1985, and was about the exploits of several raccoons in the wilderness and their run-ins with a local greedy industrialist, uh, aardvark… wait, what was the point of that show, again? Either way, it was truly loved there for awhile (even if it IS still difficult to get this news story out of your head, from long after the show ended), and Propeller has teamed up with their EQUALLY-beloved Propeller Arcade for a collaboration beer brewed in honour of this Canadian treasure. The beer is named Run With Us (go ahead, hum it, we won’t judge), a 4.8% “Watermelon and Cherry Sour”. Fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Lactic Magic – a wild, sour yeast strain – the beer has flavours and aromas of, yes, watermelon and cherry, complemented by some tartness. This refreshing brew is on tap exclusively at Propeller Arcade, with 500 mL bottles also available at all three Prop Shops (and online home delivery). 

We’re used to seeing collaborations between North Brewing and Benjamin Bridge; these beers have covered a wide range of styles, and sometimes some of the releases are brewed again, so that we have another chance to experience them with some light changes. This week, they’ve brought back Musqué DIPA, an 8% DIPA that is re-fermented with Chardonnay Musqué grapes from BB. This year’s batch also features some more hop varieties than last time, with Vic Secret being joined by Galaxy, Callista, and Enigma. Expect lots of tropical fruit qualities, balanced by a “delicate acidity” thanks to the grape skins. You can grab some bottles at all of the North locations (remember, there’s three of them now!); save some for Christmas gifts, and some for drinking all by your lonesome!

It’s a big weekend in Chester, as the Chester Village Christmas weekend kicks off over the next three days, Tanner Brewing has a few things on the go. On Friday, they’re releasing their annual barrel reserve beer in store on Friday. The brewery got some fresh barrels from Ironworks and this will be a taproom release on Friday and available all weekend. This year it’s Oak Aged Porter with Berries releasing in Chester and available for delivery. They used their usual recipe for their hour Porter but fermented on black currant and blueberry puree. After fermentation, they used the fresh Ironwork dark rum barrels to age through the fall and summer. Ths beer, available in 500ml bottles is 6.2% ABV and 25 IBU. They’ll also have Cove FM on-site Friday evening with Trip Hazard broadcasting in the taproom. On Sunday, their usual friends from The Old Black Forest little German restaurant will be doing a pop-up for a nice Sunday dinner. 

As Cape Breton and the Northern part of Nova Scotia still recover from the storm earlier this week, Breton Brewing is hoping to bring some Caper pride to the region. Partnering with Cape Breton University, CBU Lager is a light and crisp lager in honour of the whole CBU alumni and family. A portion of the sales from each beer is donated towards student programs and scholarships at the university. At 4.0% and 20 IBU this is crispy and refreshing and available in 473ml cans. Today (Friday) may be the last day you have to get this delivered or online, otherwise, you’ll have to check the brewery and also the Pit Lounge on CBU campus. 

Breton has another limited release available now with their first offering from their holiday lineup, Transatlantic IPA is a blend of English and American IPAs, trying to balance the malt and hop flavours, yeast flavours and bitterness for a full bodied, delicious ale. Using English ale yeast and a complimenting hop aroma, this clocks in at 5.8% and 50 IBU. This is available now in 473ml cans and pints in the taproom, but also home delivery via the online Breton shop. 

Bannerman Brewing just keeps on pumping out the new beers, with this week’s release moving away from the hoppy stuff with Rise or Shine, a Coffee Bock. Taking the standard Bock – a dark, strong Lager – and adding lots of coffee to it sounds like a perfect match to us! Speaking of the coffee, its Heritage, the signature roast from Pilot Coffee Roasters, and it’s giving Rise and Shine “notes of toffee, honey, chocolate, and coffee”, all complemented by a lovely, full body. You can find it on tap and in cans at Bannerman, very soon. 

Back in Halifax, Garrison has a very cool release for the holiday season. If you’re a fan of the classic chocolate minty, chocolatey and delicious After Eight chocolate mint thins, the team at Garrison is brewing you, After Dark, a mint chocolate porter! Using natural mint additions, real chocolate powder and cocoa nibs, you should already have a (delicious) expectation of how this should taste like! Using a malt blend of Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate and Crystal, Magnum hops join the party to balance it all out. This should be a perfect balance of dark chocolate sweetness, slight bitterness and mint freshness and bite. At 5.0% and 18 IBU this beer is available now in 473ml cans at the Oxford taproom and the seaport Garrison HQ, and check out their website for delivery right to your door!

In the wonderful world of cider, Sourwood has a delightful-sounding beverage out now, that you may want to seriously consider adding to your large assortment of beers for the weekend. Juicehoney is a cider aged on Cabernet Franc skins for three months, and was then packaged (in June, 2020!) with raw honey. Naturally carbonated and weighing in at 6.6%, they’re billing this beauty as a pure lactic acid experience: “Think Warhead candies and smooth creamed honey at a rave” was how they started the description… that should give you an idea, no? Only one way to see for yourself, so drop by Sourwood this weekend and grab some cans!

The fine Dieppe folks at CAVOK are hitting us with Reduced Visibility, a brand new New England IPA. Bringing a nice aroma of pineapple and floral notes, leading into a delicious flavour of tangerine, lime and mango with a bit of spice on the finish. With a base of Foggy London yeast to bring it all together and keeping the smooth mouthfeel, a hop profile of Azacca and Idaho 7 to bring the 6.0% IPA to fruition. Available on tap and in 473ml cans at the brewery, this will also be available at ANBL locations across the region. 

We’ve got a treat from Mount Pearl’s Storm Brewing, as they have Newfoundland & Labrador IPA (NLIPA) available now. A bright, bitter and dry-hopped IPA, strongly features homegrown hops from Storm’s our hopyard, they’re calling them Veva hops. Bringing subtle floral, and vibrant pine, citrus aroma and flavor. Bright, bitter and brilliant, this is available in 650ml bottlesat 5.5% this is available at Caine’s, Hallidays, Needs on Miltary and Urban Market.  

Whether it’s an actual Black Friday special or not, you can’t deny a good deal, especially when it comes to beer. Greenwich’s own Delta Force Brewing has got such a deal with the Oak Trio 3-pack, allowing you to grab a 500 mL bottle of each of three of their newest barrel-aged brews for $25 (that’s a savings of $5). Included in this little package is Barrel-Aged Wessex, an English Barleywine that was aged in a mixed culture barrel; Operation Forge!, a Stock Ale that was brewed with invert sugar and aged in a fresh barrel with Brett; and Quercus, a mixed-fermentation, barrel-aged “Super Saison”. Send your order requests to deltaforcebrewing@gmail.com to set up your delivery in the HRM.

Here’s your quick hits on the way out the door!

Grimross’s Abbey Dubbel is making its annual return to Fredericton residents (and across NB, as well) this week. This 7.2% Belgian Dubbel, featuring “strong dark fruit and intense brown sugar flavours” arrives just in time for the holidays, and is available in cans and on tap across the province, and directly at the brewery.

In the Annapolis region of Nova Scotia, Lunn’s Mill has a familiar beer available, SOMA, is a Single Malt and Single Hop IPA, full of juice and double-dry hopped. Using Mosaic hops and Maris Otter as the malt, this is a flavour bomb at 6.6% and 82 IBU. This is available in cans directly from the brewery. 

Tusket Falls is back with one of the tastiest treats you can imagine, as Once Blind, Now I See Clearly is back on tap. This is a Czech-style Pilsner lagered for 90 days and back and tasting better than ever. Crisp with Saaz hops and perfectly balanced at 5.0%, this is available on their side pull tap for that nice, pillowy and soft texture in both their brewery taproom as well as their Halifax location on Gottingen.

One last thing before we send you off this week. Kyle and Tony of 902 BrewCast have released not one, but two episodes this week, as they dig into their fridges and cellars to enjoy some recent, and not-so-recent, beers from North Brewing and Bad Apple Brewhouse. Grab the episodes in your favourite podcatcher, or direct from the website. Congratulations on 5 years, fellas! Here’s to another five! 😘

Good afternoon, beer fans… everyone sick of Christmas music yet? Great, just making sure we’re all on the same page! As usual, there’s lots going on in the wonderful world of Atlantic Canada beer this week, with lots of new brews from all four corners of our region hitting taps and shelves, just itching to be sipped, guzzled, etc. (was about to start thinking hard of other synonyms to go along with these but it’s already getting kind of late in the day as it is), so let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Normally when we’ve got a huge slew of news from a single brewery, that brewery is 2 Crows, but although they do have something on the go this week (of course they do; see below), this week’s belles of the ball are the lovely folks from North Brewing, who have clearly been saving up to make a big ol’ splash with a new location and accompanying celebratory release, a triple-collaboration release, and a “standard” special release all happening this weekend!!

First up, we mentioned months ago that North had secured a spot to make their return to the right light West side of the Harbour after beginning their existence near North (natch) and Agricola Streets in North End Halifax. That new location is seeing a soft opening this weekend (today, in fact!!) at 501 Timberlea Village Parkway beginning at noon. The space will be retail-only for now, but rest assured there’s a taproom and kitchen under construction that they’re hoping will be ready just after the holidays (we’ll definitely keep you posted on that). You can head on over this afternoon and grab a celebratory cupcake from Delectable Desserts as you load up on your favorite North packaged beer, cider, and seltzer offerings (no growler fills until they’ve got taps in place, of course) as well as merch. They’re planning to be open noon – 8 on the daily for the foreseeable. One of North’s slogans is, “Cheers your neighbour,” we love that they seem to be on a mission to keep making new neighbours to cheers.

Of course, if you’re going to open a new retail location, it makes sense to give the people something new to come and get. Enter Timberbock, a smooth, dark, and malty German lager with plenty of nutty and caramel character. The North team has been itching to make a bock for some time and this fall opening seemed like a great time for it. Fermented with the Escarpment Labs Isar Lager strain, and lagered for two full months, this 6.2% ABV beer is ideal for the cooler weather; maybe grab a couple to enjoy after raking leaves this weekend? As you would and should expect, if you’re closer to one of North’s other retail locations, Battery Park or Cole Harbour, you can get it there too!

Next up is the “triple collaboration” that’s been quite a while in the making. Several years ago, North’s Rozina brewed Neighbours Saison with Jill from Compass Distilling (back when they were neighbours across the intersection of North and Agricola). That beer was then distilled by compass to produce Neighbours Whiskey, now on sale at Compass. Meanwhile, North brewed up a replica batch of the original saison, using wheat, spelt and oats along with a boutique yeast strain to produce a 5.0% ABV beer that they’ve packaged in cans. If that wasn’t enough, Compass also kindly took possession of some of North’s Midnight strong dark Belgian ale, which they socked away in a Neighbours whiskey barrel for a while. The result is being called Midnight Neighbours of course! We’re a day late to tell you about the release party that took place at Battery Park last night, but you can still try a flight of all three products at North’s Tasting Room on Portland Street, at Compass’ tasting room on Agricola St. Meanwhile, the beers will be available at North locations and the whiskey, should you want a bottle, from Compass.

Last but not least in North news, if you’re a fan of the brewery you already know that they love to leverage their friendly relationship with Benjamin Bridge winery and release delightful hybrid liquids for your drinking pleasure. One of those that has previously been released is Blanc, a grisette refermented on some of BB’s Sauvignon Blanc grapes. That one is back and available at North retail locations and for online orders; even better, and as always, $0.50 from each can of this one sold will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

For you Moncton beer drinkers that have been itching for more Tire Shack in your lives, we have some very good news! The brewery received approval from the city earlier this week, ok’ing their re-zoning plans for an expansion. Sure, this means more beer and space in general, but most importantly it means Tire Shack can finally begin work on their barrel-aging program, which they’ve been passionate about starting for some time. It’s a ways away, naturally, but it IS something to look forward to! We should also mention that the Moncton Chamber of Commerce has awarded Tire Shack with their Small Business of the Year award, so congrats to them on that as well!

Oh, don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave without also bringing some beer news from Tire Shack for the weekend. They’re re-releasing two brews today, the first being their Peanut Butter Porter (sometimes known as PBP). A 6.2% ABV Porter featuring an addition of close to 20 kg of real peanut butter, it’s perfect for those of you who crave some of that delicious spreadable in your alcoholic beverages (maybe just don’t go kissing anyone with a severe allergy directly after, mmmkay?). Second is Roman Road, a 5.5% ABV Italian Pilsner dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Czech Saaz, giving a crisp and refreshing beer with plenty of noble hop presence. You’ll be able to find both beers on tap and (hopefully) in cans sometime today at the brewery.

What do you get when you put two birds on ice? Don’t answer that. But 2 Crows is doing an event in support of 4 curlers, as there is a draught-only release and event in support of Team Daigle, a senior women’s curling team kicking off their season in hope’s to get to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (we assume everyone in Atlantic Canada is familiar with this right? It’s Canada’s national women’s curling championship!). On November 25th, the brewery will release Come Around, a tropical and juicy pale ale, loaded with Galaxy and Citra hops. This beer will only be available in kegs and features the first use at 2 Crows of Verdant, a newer, juicy-friendly yeast strain to complement the tropical and juicy flavours from the hop combination. To get your hands on this first release and to support Team Daigle with their year long travel and expenses, you can buy a $20 ticket to the event which covers your first beer and gets you entered into a draw for a slew of door prizes! Hit the 2C website shop under “events” to purchase your ticket in advance. 

Moving over to PEI, Upstreet is releasing a brand new hoppy beer, one that they plan on keeping in their regular line-up throughout the coming winter months. Blue Meanie is a Blueberry Double IPA that was brewed with lots of blueberry juice, and hopped with both Mosaic and Lemondrop varieties. A definite sipper at 8% ABV (well, try to, anyway), the beer is tasting “tart and semi-sweet, with loads of juicy pineapple, blueberry, and lemon flavour”. While you’ll be able to find cans of this one at PEILCC stores in the very near future, the official launch party will be happening at Upstreet tomorrow, November 20th, with live music from Kailee McGuire from 8-9 pm, trivia with Jesse & Jeff from 9-10:30 pm, and more tunes with DJ Whaleskin directly after that, until 11:30 pm. Of course there’ll be plenty of Blue Meanie pouring on tap, and we can only assume cans to takeaway as well. Now, whether this beer was named after the wrestler, or those creepy buggers from Yellow Submarine… we leave that to you to decide.

More PEI news with Village Green with two new beers, both of the hoppy persuasion (if you’re into that sorta thing). Let’s start on the lighter side of things with Strata Pale Ale, an easy-drinking 5.3% APA hopped entirely with, yes, Strata. With descriptors including “strawberry, passion fruit, grapefruit, and dank,” Strata does appear to be an ideal candidate for a single-hop brew, at least on paper! It’s up to you brave Islanders, however, to make your way to VG to decide for sure. And while you’re there, guess you might as well sample their OTHER newbie, a 6.9% IPA they’re calling DUH IPA. Don’t overthink the name, they simply hopped it with some no-brainer hop varieties – Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy – giving a delicious beverage that is “peachy, danky, and citrusy.” Available on tap and in cans!

If you like your hoppy beers with a little more of the “wild” in them, let’s briefly chat about the newest brew from Tanner & Co. Brux IPA was fermented with Saccharomyces brux-like Trois, a strain that isn’t technically wild (like Brett, for example), yet has “wild-like” qualities to it, helping produce beers that can be quite dry and slightly tart. These are the exact qualities that Brux IPA imparts, and with a generous dry-hopping of both Mosaic and Motueka, you can expect citrus and tropical notes to go with it (which sounds like a perfect combination to us!). Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, you can find bottles of this one at the brewery and taproom right now.

What if you’re feeling more in the mood for a low alcohol, non-hoppy brew for a change? Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has you covered with Temperance, a 3.5% ABV English Brown Ale. This isn’t your typical English Brown, however, as it has some lactose added to give it a touch of extra sweetness, as well as boosting the body somewhat (not a bad idea with a 3.5% beer!). It also features organic Earl Grey tea (HOT!) from World Tea House, to make you feel even more that you’ve travelled over the pond for a cuppa with some old relatives… see, feeling transported already and haven’t even tried the beer! Available on tap and in cans, drop by the brewery for a taste this weekend.

In Newfoundland, Bannerman has teamed up with local advocacy for the music community MusicNL, to design and brew a new beer to help kick off Music Celebration Week in the province, taking place from Nov 29th to Dec 5th. The beer, Music and Friends, is described simply as an American Pale Ale hopped with Strata and Nelson Sauvin (we’re going to assume plenty of lovely, tropical fruit aromas and flavours in the beer). Available at the brewery and select NLC stores today, so you can start to prep for the festival a little early!

Bannerman has more than one rabbit up their sleeve this week, as they’re also launching a new hoppy wonder at the brewery today. If you’re a fan of not just hops, but high ABVs as well, Obscure Reference may just be the beer for you! It’s a Triple IPA (10%!) that was dry-hopped with multiple additions of the ever-popular (to most of us, anyway) Mosaic variety. Expect juiciness, fruitiness, and likely a little bit of warmth as this one heads down into your stomach. Available in cans only; look for it to hopefully pop up on tap sometime later next week.

Sticking on the Rock, let’s move over to Landwash, who are re-releasing one beer and launching a brand new one this weekend. The returning favourite is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5% German Pilsner that undergoes an extended period of cold conditioning (Lagering!) after a cool fermentation with Escarpment Lab’s Isar Lager yeast strain. Refreshing and crisp, it’s just what you need after a long, hard day of dealing with family work. We can now do a complete 180 and move to their newest beer, Cozy Partridgeberry. Designed by head brewer Alex as a tribute to his Nan’s Partridgeberry Pie (which you can find at Twinlingate’s Cozy Tea Room and Bakery during their open season), the malt additions were crafted to mimic pie crust. Lactose powder was also added to the boil, along with Mosaic and Barbe Rouge hops. The completed beer was then conditioned on local Partridgeberries, resulting in a brew that is “very berry, but not too sweet”. Both beers are available at the brewery right now, in cans and on tap; look for them to start travelling to other outlets soon. 

And in Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing have collaborated with the province’s CBN T’Railway, a non-profit group formed to help open and rehabilitate the former railway bed of Conception Bay North. The hard work from these fine folks has led to the 140 km of T’Railway becoming a “vibrant, ecological, and safe route for recreational traffic”. As for the beer that the non-profit and brewery have created, Trail Minder’s Ale is a West Coast Pale Ale brewed with a malt bill containing small amounts of light Caramel and Oat malts, and hopped with Comet, Nugget, Hallertau Blanc, and Eureka. Fermented with a clean American strain, the beer is very dry, “with layers of tropical fruit, but also some classic West Coast pine character”, all followed by a restrained bitterness. You can grab cans at the brewery over the weekend, with $1 from every can being donated to CBN T’Railway to support their continued efforts.  

Would you believe that this year will mark Big Spruce Brewing’s NINTH Home Brew Challenge? While you ponder what that means about how long you’ve been drinking Big Spruce, we’ll tell you that this year’s competition has been announced and it’s a boozy doozy. A style beloved by many beer geeks but relatively uncommon in these parts is the Belgian Dubbel: falling under the category of Trappist Ales, which have been historically brewed in monasteries by Trappist monks, Dubbel is a deep coppery color with plenty of rich malt flavor, some fruity and/or dried fruity ester character, and a light alcoholic heat. Usually coming in around the high 6es for ABV, one of the key aspects of a good one is the fairly dry finish. Warming and comforting, without being cloyingly sweet, a Dubbel may just be the perfect “cold evening in front of the fire” beer and we are certainly excited to think that there will be another one released for us to try coming out of this competition.

About the competition itself, once again Big Spruce has partnered with Escarpment Labs to even the playing field with respect to yeast availability, bringing in plenty of pouches of St. Remy Abbey Ale yeast for prospective competitors (but folks are absolutely welcome to use whatever other yeast they choose to procure). Those interested in competing in this year’s challenge should send an email Real Soon Now™ to jeremy@bigspruce.ca. It costs $25 to enter, and if nothing else entrants are guaranteed a competition t-shirt, quality scoresheets per BJCP practices, and an invite to the gala. Entries must be received by February 5th, 2022 (drop off points to be confirmed), with the judging and gala taking place (with all due and necessary COVID protocols in place and as Provincial restrictions allow) from 4 – 6 PM on February 6th at The Wooden Monkey’s Dartmouth location. That’s not a long time for a style like this, so get your emails out if you’re looking to participate!!

As they’ve done several times over the past few years, members of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia have come together to brew a special beer in celebration of Craft Beer in NS and to generate revenue for #nscraftbeer initiatives. This year they did so with the sponsorship of supplier Brew Culture, a relatively new player in the local market, but who are certainly making themselves known through collaborative efforts. Together We Brew is a 5.0% lagered ale that was dry hopped with new school Continental hop Callista, one that marries some noble character with more modern fruity notes. Look for it at NSLC locations throughout the province, but don’t wait too long as this is a limited edition product.

A couple of Beery Birthdays in the region this weekend, but first:

A reminder of the Friday/Saturday tap takeover starting at Bar Brewdock today. In East Duck St. John’s, Dildo Brewing Co is teaming up with Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewing to take over the 24 taps. Look for plenty of new beers from both breweries debuting this weekend, as well as the fine folks at Crumb & Pickle taking over the kitchen with burger, dips, schnitzel and more, all vegan and veggie friendly. More details in last week’s post, plus Social Media.

What do you think of when we say “the mecca of craft beer in Atlantic Canada?” If your answer isn’t Stillwell and if you’re reading this and you haven’t made friends with new humans or sampled new beers and new tastes at any of Stillwell’s various locations over the last few years, we would be surprised. (Heck, even one of us got married at the Stillwell Beergarden) Our beloved beer bar turns EIGHT YEARS OLD (!!) this month and they’re celebrating on Saturday November 20th, at Barrington Street HQ starting at Noon. Celebrating as they normally do with birthday cake (heeeey, free cake!), special bottle pours from places we can’t even mention (on and off-menu in true beer nerd fashion), and lots of featured kegs from breweries such as Willibald, Les Grands Bois, Godspeed, Dieu du Ciel, Crooked Stave, Stillwell Brewing, Bannerman and a few more! Also, Joe will be serving up special kitchen treats as well all day. This is free and fun and no advance reservations are required. 

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing turns the big 0-5 this weekend, and they’re inviting you to the brewery to celebrate Saturday, November 20th. Expect raffles, beer, games, beer, snacks, and beer! They’ll also have Elizabeth Nelson kicking off some live music at 5 pm, followed by Saving Sweet Polly at 7 pm. If you bring in a non-perishable food item for the KV Food Basket (no expired peas, we’re onto you!), you get a ballot for a chance to win an “epic prize”. Our guess is a ride on a stuffed black bear with owner/brewer Esty… let’s hope!

And a few last items to whet your appetite for whetting your whistle:

Always keeping us beer folk satisfied in store and online for delivery, Bishop’s Cellar is getting some goodies from Toronto’s own Bellwoods in store this Saturday. Two variants of Jelly King (their delicious dry-hopped fruited, everyday-drinking fruited sour) along with “drink now or cellar for later” options Vines Gamay and Barn Owl 25. Here’s a quick overview of the four releases:

  • Jelly King Cranberry & Tangerine is the base Jelly King conditioned on a bunch of cranberries and tangerine puree coming in at 5.6%. 
  • Jelly King Pomegranate & Lime is the base Jelly King conditioned on real pomegranate and lime at 5.6%.
  • Vines: Gamay is a 2020 wild ale release. Vines is a series of oak aged wild ales that celebrates wine grapes in all manifestations.This 8.0% blend was inoculated with the wild yeast from 2019 red grape skins, aged for a year in oak, and refermented on 2020 Niagara Gamay skins. 
  • Barn Owl 25 is a Foedre Aged Imperial Stout. This spent 2 years in secondary fermentation in new American oak and is 13.2%. 

These are all 500ml bottles and available Saturday November 25th at 10am. 

Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing has a new Black IPA out, in memory of their former team member, Bob Allen, the brewery’s first hire. Infinity is a 7.2% ABV take on the style that is dry-hopped exclusively with Chinook. You can find it now at the brewery and tomorrow at the Annapolis Royal farmers market.  

New Ross’ Bulwark Cider is teaming up with the SPCA to raise money for furry friends in need of homes. They’ve made Applsecco Rose Cider which was released at NSLC locations earlier this week. Think a combo of cider and red wine characteristics with tartness, dark fruit flavours and some gentle tannins from the Marechal Foch wine used. $2 from every bottle will be donated to the Burnside SPCA location to help stray and abused animals. Win, win.

We’ll leave you with the always welcomed news of re-releases from Unfiltered Brewing. First up is their 7.5% ABV DIPA, Fist of God. If you’re looking for something a bit more sessionable, check out Lifesaver, their 4.25% ABV blueberry sour. Both are now available in cans and for fills at the brewery, and on tap next door at Charm School.