Second week of August already??!! Time flies when you’re drinking on the patio, and soaking up every ray of sunshine you can! Thankfully our local cider and beer makers have been working overtime to keep your glasses and mugs full, so let’s get you up to speed on what’s new and coming soon to our Atlantic region, starting with a few releases from last weekend, but still available for purchase at their respective breweries/taprooms around town.
2 Crows Brewing have teamed up once again with the fine folks at Lightfoot & Wolfville, to the bring together the 2021 Harvest Scheurebe Piquette. This 6.2% drink uses freshly pressed Scheurebe grape skins, soaking them in cold water to extract out the residual sugar and tannic acids that remain after the first pressing that Lightfoot used for their wine. After this soaking, the skins were separated from the sugary liquid and allowed to ferment out extremely dry (no complex sugars that are common in beer brewing), and received a light dry-hopping of Eclipse before canning and forming a bright natural carbonation in that package. Tropical, fresh, and dry, cans are available to enjoy onsite at Lightfoot and 2 Crows now! Joining it is the latest in 2 Crows’ Hop Water series, canned yesterday. Cans of Tangerine Hop Water are ready to grab and go with you wherever your travels take you, when you need a break from the booze but are looking for a locally made fizzy drink! Citra hops enhance the bold citrus character, living up to its name.
Coming out of Spindrift Brewing is a vertically integrated special! Kristi White from their team is their quality manager and a production brewer and she’s done everything from recipe creation, brewing and label design for Lavandula. This is a Honey Lavender Saison with additions of blueberry blossom honey, dried lavender buds, paired with a delicate blend of hops to keep it light, bright, sweet and floral. This is 6.2% and available in cans from the Dartmouth and Antigonish locations.
For months now, fans of Stillwell Brewing have been eagerly anticipating the first releases to start rolling out of the tanks of their new production brewery on Kempt Road. Well, the wait is over with their Best Bitter Special hitting the hand pumps at the Freehouse, Stillwell HQ and The Narrows. As a few of your favourite bloggers can attest, expect a very cozy drinking experience with a pleasant carbonation, low ABV, plenty of malt complexity and some earthy hop notes from the Fuggles dry hop. If you can’t make it to any of these Halifax pubs, fear not. Cans and kegs will start rolling out of the brewery by September 1st. The initial line up will include Stilly Pils, their German-style Pilsner, with an updated receipt featuring a single decoction, their Kolsch-style ale Kompakt, and the aforementioned Best Bitter. On top of that, plans are in place to open up the retail space later in the fall, along with an event space that will feature Stillwell Brewing events but will also be open for community bookings. We’ll be sure to share more info in the weeks ahead, along with a feature profile on the brewery.
Off to Newfoundland for the first time this week, as the small town (with a big heart) of Port Rexton is celebrating Port Rexton Pride this weekend! And of course, Port Rexton Brewing is getting in on the fun! They are hosting a whole bunch of crafting, food, and pop-up shopping at the brewery tomorrow, followed by Music and Brews in the evening (more info on Instagram). But what’s Pride without a celebratory beer?? Teaming up yet again with the Queer Beer NL crew, they have released Cascading Pride, a White IPA. The whole crew was onsite to zest kilos and kilos of lemon and lime for a bright zippy and citrusy nose, enhancing the sweet orange peel and touch of coriander spicing. Cascading Pride is available on the Give Back Tap at the brewery now ($1 per pint going to support Port Rexton Pride for the month of August), and cans will be available at the St. John’s Retail Shop and other shops next week! Get on out to PRBC this weekend and show your Pride!
If you’ve got a ticket to Paradise, be sure to check out Banished Brewing anytime, but they’ve got some news this week with a new beer, retail and updates on the taproom and beer garden. First up, the new beer! They’ve got Groundskeeper’s Best Bitter coming out this week and this is a 4.7% classic style with a nod to cask ales. This is available now in their retail shop and will be headed out across stores across the province of Newfoundland.
Their retail shop is open with new devlieres of merch and some glassware on the way, and in the next few months they’ll have their beer garden up and running, as they make their way through the necessary red tape. Keep an eye out for this awesome brewery as they’ll have some new releases in the next few months and more updates about the brewery!
We’ve got a new beer from North Grant’s Half Cocked Brewing to tell you about this week! Looking for big bold tropical flavours of a New England IPA, but in a tiny beer, we’ve got the right beer for you! Lil’ Hug is a light and sessionable 3.2% ABV, but the heavy late hop additions concentrating on papaya and citrus notes that we love in a NEIPA. Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery on Highway 245 just 5 minutes outside of Antigonish.
Nova Scotia’s most mysterious and elusive brewery continues to pile up the good deeds with its fifth release under the Make Peace Not War beer project. Delta Force Brewing is releasing a Belgian Pale Ale, available now through their online store. 40% of proceeds will be donated to the Ukraine Red Cross. And while you’re buying some of this new release, be sure to check out the rest of their brands to take advantage of their August sale of $1 off per bottle.
Over in Spryfield, Serpent Brewing is releasing Sunspot, a Sour Tropical IPA that comes in at 5.1% ABV. Named after the good boy/pup Sunspot, who liked to laze around in the sunny spots all day, it uses Philly Sour yeast to create a refreshing tart finish, along with some stonefruit esters. The combination of Simcoe and Citra hops also provides a mix of tropical and citrusy fruit notes. Flaked Wheat was added to the base Pilsner malt to provide a rounder mouthfeel that stands up to the hops and tartness. This one is only available on tap, so you’ll need to make a pilgrimage to Spryfield to try it on tap or to fill up your growler.
The fine folks out of Sydney, Nova Scotia are bringing a nice summertime release to the masses this week, with Breton Brewing’s Wee’ Smidgen, a Tiny IPA. A lower ABV release, this is a 3.6% IPA packed with tasty hops. Citra and Mosaic lead the way with big citrus flavours and a base of Ebbegarden yeast brings notes of mango and pineapple. Cans and pints are in the taproom and also available for home delivery in Cape Breton and HRM. This is a seasonal release, so get this while you can.
Staying in Cape Breton, Big Spruce has a new release available now. Irrational Optimist is an Apricot Sour coming in at 5.4%. Packed with stone-fruit aroma and flavour, there is a nice balance of pucker and tartness. This is available now online for free shipping and at the brewery in Nyanza.
A few updates from Tire Shack out of Moncton, with a new beer and a facility update. As always, we start with the beer. Dragonfruit-Watermelon Sour is a very fruity sour with pear, kiwi and watermelon Jolly Rancher flavours. A tasty patio sour (soured with lactobacillus) is 5.5% and is available on tap now and will be in cans any day now.
This award winning brewery also has some expansion plans in the works with construction underway now. They’ll look to complete this in early 2023, but we are excited for Jerica, Alan, and their team, along with the entire Maritime region!
Everyone’s favorite beer bar conglomerate (haha!) sure has you covered for things to do this weekend:.
Your faves (and ours!) at Stillwell are for sure makin’ a weekend of it. We told you last week about the Bar Volo takeover happening today at both Stilly HQ and the Freehouse (a reminder that all the deets can be found in this Ig post), but right after that was announced, another announcement came about what’s happening the rest of the weekend. And the something that’s happening is CIDERAMA
Not since 2018 has the Stillwell gang brought this much juice to the city. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, August 13th, at HQ, where longtime friends of Stillwell, Guelph’s Revel Cider will be taking over all 12 taps on the wall. Meanwhile, at the Freehouse will be “Cellar Unleashed” where twenty of the best American, Canadian, and English bottled ciders will be poured by the glass all day. Look for stuff from Absolem Cider, Cidrerie Chemin des Sept, Olivers Cider & Perry, Cidre Sauvageon, Son of Man, Sourwood Cider, Twin Island Cider, and maybe more! Following that, on Sunday, August 14th, look for the fun to continue at the BeerGarden, with “The Clam Jam” where Joe Martini and friends will be slinging molluscs off the charcoal grill to accompany cans and taps from Chain Yard Cider, Anxo Cider, Son of Man, Absolem Cider, and Revel. So if you’re anti-beer, gluten-free, or just love you some fermented fruit juice beverages, this is your chance to try some local faves as well as some true treats from all over the world.
One job posting on the go this week, this one in PEI:
The fine folks at Lone Oak continue to grow their operations and team, with positions currently available at their original Borden-Carleton taproom and the new Milky Way Brewpub outside of Charlottetown. A variety of bartender, server and kitchen positions are available. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
A couple final things to send you on your way to a weekend of beery bliss:
Antigonish’s Candid Brewing has teamed up with the upcoming Antigonight Art Festival to release Antigonight Czech Dark Lager this week. Light and crisp in body and flavour, with just a touch of roast malt on the palate. Cans were released yesterday in time for last night’s Art Battle, and will be on tap and in that format to go when you head there this weekend!
After spending the last few months focusing on opening their new Elmsdale production brewery and beergarden, Good Robot is back to rolling out the new releases, with the third release from their Tropical Storm single hop series. Tropical Storm Nectaron is a NEIPA featuring the eponymous hop from New Zealand. The rare hop is akin to the more popular Galaxy, and showcases notes of peach, pineapple and grapefruit. Coming in at 7.0% ABV, cans are available now through Good Robots online store and at their two retail locations.
Closing out the blog today with a returning favourite from TrailWay Brewing on Fredericton’s North Side. Imagination IPA is a 6.0% hazy and dank IPA, with this release amped up with a DDH (Double Dry Hop) treatment. Southern Tropic, Sultana, and Citra Lupomax were used in massive quantities late in the process in order to maximize hop aroma and flavour without the corresponding bitterness. Look for great guava, citrus, stone fruit, and pine in the can, which is available now at the brewery and for online ordering.