We’re back with our weekly trip across the region and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to get back out and visit what the great breweries have to offer. In the meantime, check your local restrictions, support your breweries and before you know it, we’ll be springing forward. Wait, it’s still January? Holy Hannah, better have another beer! Onto the news from our friends, and as always, please check their websites and socials to check on in-person, delivery and pick-up options. 

Let’s kick off this week’s news with one of the smaller breweries, Rough Waters in Deer Lake, Newfoundland. Since their opening a couple of years ago, locals and visitors alike have been asking for a Red Ale. As time went on, they’ve had the chance to brew a few smaller pilot batches while they hone in on a perfect recipe, and they are now ready to share with the world! Good Intentions is a 5.0% Irish Red Ale, showcasing the malt-forward and slight roast barley character that is indicative of the style. Light body with a dry finish makes this brew perfect for enjoying one or two (or three) during a session with friends. And with cans of Good Intentions adorned with a Claddagh, the symbol of friendship, love, and loyalty, there’s no excuse not to partake! Available at the brewery for retail sales, as well as local delivery (just message them through Fb or Ig to get the full details!).

The Hub of Nova Scotia, connecting travellers, residents and all comers to the province, Truro Brewing Company looks to take inspiration from the French Heroine with their latest beer release. Joan of d’Ark is an Oatmeal Stout perfect for the season. Rich, robust and full-bodied, expect a nutty, earthy, well balanced sweetness with just a bit of added vanilla at 5.8%. This is available at the brewery in their classic stubby bottles or on tap. 

On theme with the latest storms to hit Halifax, Good Robot is back with their second release in their lineup of single hop New England IPAs. Tropical Storm: El Dorado showcases El Dorado hops that bring flavours of pear, pineapple and watermelon. It’s hazy, juicy and 7.0%. This is available now from the brewery in 473ml cans and true to form for the GR folks, it is gluten-reduced. 

Beer drinkers of Dartmouth/Woodlawn/Cole Harbour (and let’s be honest, your favourite beer bloggers have driven here from much further afield) rejoice! The North Brewing taproom on Portland Street has officially reopened. North is now operating the kitchen and after teasing some individual items over the last few weeks on social media, have released all of the details. You can expect classic pub/dinner food, but with an East Indian twist and also lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options to accommodate hungry beer drinkers of all dietary needs and preferences. This is just the first step in North expanding its operations further into the hospitality realm; their Timberlea taproom/kitchen is also under construction with plans to open in the coming months.

Fredericton’s own Trailway has a returning favourite this week, let’s roll the dice and see which delicious IPA will it be?! Oh hey, South Island is back! An IPA starring Nelson Sauvin hops, this IPA is bitter, soft, very fruity with grape, gooseberry and grapefruit flavours. Looking to showcase one of the most complex hops, this is a 6% single hop release available today in 473ml cans from the brewery. There is also a $9.99 shipping special from Trailway on until Monday, perfect for our readers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Ontario.

If you could somehow pair a Newfoundland brewery with Trailway (by name only, like us), you’ll think of Landwash! “Trail” pairs with “Land” and “Way” pairs with “Wash”, right? They’re also both great breweries! Okay, onto the new beer. Branch is a Session IPA named after the “small community on the Cape Shore which is home to the beach we call the Landwash.” A 4.5% easy drinking beer, this is packed with hop flavour, aroma and bitterness and a very drinkable ABV. Using a blend of Cashmere and Citra as the main hops, Cali Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs brings this all home. It’s available now from the brewery and heading out across to their usual outlets over the weekend in 473ml cans. 

Sticking on the rock, it’s wintertime and people love to head to Marble Mountain, so Boomstick Brewing made a beer with them! Yard Sale is a West Coast Pale Ale aimed to make a 5% sessionable, flavourful and bright pale ale perfect for aprés ski.  Giving a bit of pine, citrus and fruit on the nose and in the mouth, a dry hop of Ekuanot and Simcoe helps bring the flavour forward. Look for this in cans at the brewery, at the hill, and, soon, across the island!

Returning to Nova Scotia, we head down the South Shore to Tanner Brewing. Bringing back a favourite from last Spring, Blueberry Brown is back! Originally released as a small batch, this time it’s canned (!) and available in wider release. Inspired by a blueberry crisp dessert, Tanner used the base of their malt-forward brown ale recipe and added blueberry puree, cinnamon, and vanilla after fermentation. Resulting in a 5.2% and 30 IBU balanced delicious treat, this is in 473ml cans and is available at both Tanner locations and for delivery.  

Sackville’s finest, Ol’ Biddy’s Brewhouse has an on-tap only release available in their taproom. Triple Chocolate Stout is pouring now and should be a tasty, malty, sweet, and not-too-roasty chocolate treat. We’re not sure what the titular three sources of chocolate were, but we’d bet one of them was chocolate malt. You’ll just have to head down to the brewery to grab a pint and see if your tastebuds can figure out what the other two are! Expect a smooth and delicious offering available only on tape in Lower Sackville at 7.2% and 26 IBU. 

Just a quick hitter here for those that love the crispy stuff, Stillwell Brewing has their latest release of Stilly Pils coming out soon. Be sure to follow their socials for the latest on their brewery, but in the meantime, you can grab fresh cans of this classic German-style Pilsner from Stillwell HQ, the Stillwell Freehouse, Chainyard, Cafe Good Luck, Bishops Cellar, Harvest, Rockhead and Westside!

A reminder that the month-long celebration of 2 Crows Brewing’s 5th Anniversary continues, with this week’s release of the super-limited Big Turk and Nanaimo Imperial Pastry Stouts, as well as the wider release of two other dark beers. Mountain Shadow is a 10.3% Baltic Porter that was brewed last year, and allowed to lager and develop over several months, before seeing the addition of Marquette pomace from the 2021 harvest of Lightfoot & Wolfville winery. Notes of cherry, blackcurrant, and blackberry shine through, complementing the coffee, roast, and chocolate notes (which were further enhanced by the addition of cacao nibs). Would you believe Black Forest cake vibes? because we would, and we’re salivating. Thankfully canned in the 355ml small format, it debuted on their shelves and site yesterday. 

And debuting today at noon is Dark Cuts, a collaboration with the fine folks at New Westminster BC’s Steel and Oak. This 5.1% Czech Dark Lager is an ode to this uncommon style, which started life with a decoction mash of floor-malted barley from Europe, the addition of traditional Czech-grown Saaz hops, and a loooong lagering process. Look for more nerdy details on 2C’s instagram page, if you’re like us and want to fully immerse yourselves. Online and on Brunswick Street from opening today!

These two, as well as the full complement of their celebratory beers, including two more to come next week, are also available as a bundle for taproom pickup, free local delivery, or Canada-wide shipping, next Friday. And for those who sign up for their newsletter before then, you’ll be able to join in on a live virtual tasting on the 28th, or Feb 11, as you are guided through the story of each release by the 2C crew.

As Lobster fishing is such an important part of the region’s economy, it’s no surprise there’s a month dedicated to celebrating the fact. The 2022 Lobster Crawl is being held during the month of February, highlighting those fishers, producers, and restaurants on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. And what’s a Crawl without a beer? Nothing, says we! Returning next month is Saltbox’s Crustacean Elation, a 5.5% beer that saw the addition of whole lobsters and fire-roasted lobster shells directly to the boil, imparting just a soupçon of arthropod essence to the beer, complemented by hints of citrus and a touch of salinity. While those with allergies will need to steer clear, others with a taste for crustacean will have to give it a try to wash down their lobster roll or seafood chowder!

Let’s sign off today with a pair of barrel-aged beers from Montague PEI’s Bogside Brewing. Bourbon Street is a velvety rich Porter that was aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels (from a distillery featuring a close relative of the bison). At 10% ABV, be sure to sip slowly if you manage to find yourself atop one of these beasts! Nellie J is an ode to the Nellie J. Banks, the last rum running schooner seized in 1938, which attempted to keep those on Prince Edward Island well stocked during the province’s dark days of Prohibition, which did not end until 1948. Also 10%, this Porter has taken on notes of molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, as well as that of the rum from the first use barrel. Both are available for retail sale in their taproom, as well as for delivery.

We’re heading for a weekend of weather and COVID restrictions across the Atlantic region, so we strongly encourage you to read quickly and make your moves if you haven’t already stocked up on beer for the weekend. After you’ve checked your fave brewery’s social media to make sure they’re open, of course. Hopefully they are, because plenty of them have new beers on the go that you’re sure to want to try. So read on!

Kicking off this week is an inter-provincial collaboration between two breweries with deep, interconnected roots. Alicia MacDonald of Port Rexton Brewing grew up in Truro, and in fact had originally planned to open a brewery in the town, before co-founding PRBC in 2016. While returning to the area this Labour Day, MacDonald spent the day at Truro Brewing Company with Jana Dellapina, concocting something for the coming months. The result of that wondrous day is available now! Quiet Company is an English-style Barleywine, where the hops take the back seat to bold caramel and malt notes. After fermentation, it spent several weeks in a Bourbon barrel from Raging Crow Distillery in nearby North River, where it took on plenty of great vanilla and spirit notes. Originally conceived as an accompaniment to the Matt Anderson song of the same name, Quiet Company is available now in bottles at TBC’s Inglis Place location.

Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester has a brand new hybrid release available exclusively in their Duke Street taproom/retail spot this week. Maybe even a hybrid of a hybrid, as one half of Ambrosia began life as their Kuhlmann featuring Rye and Vienna malts complementing the base Pilsner malt, which was fermented with the natural wild yeasts of the Lucie Kuhlmann grape pomace that was added to the wort. While some was drawn off for the original release, this portion was allowed to age for an additional year on the skins, grabbing more complexity and drying the beer out further. Blended to it was Original Mead, and the resulting assemblage allowed to develop for longer still. As there were only a few cases of Ambrosia produced, you’ll have to go straight to the source to grab them, but we can attest that the visit is worth your time! Also on the shelves and draught is the returning Dunkelweizen, their take on the classic dark wheat beer, featuring banana and chocolate notes.

Quidi Vidi Brewing is celebrating the latest release in their on-going series of homebrewer contest winners from the Newfermenters competition. Wisdom and Wit is the winning beer from Howard Haby, and is true to the original Belgian Witbier style as it features notes of Coriander and citrus, with a hint of chamomile. This 4.1% ABV can is available at their Hops Shop as well online for same-day delivery. 

Also available online now are memberships for Flight Club. Limited to fewer than 200 people, this membership will allow folks early (and sometimes exclusive) access to new and returning beers, their own 20oz mug (to be stored at the taproom), as well as five private events throughout the year. Check that link for more details!

Not many details on this one, but Grimross Brewing has released the latest in their Scratch series this week, Scratch 26: IPA. At 6.5% ABV, this looks to be a West Coast style IPA, with grapefruit, pine, and floral notes coming through. Also out now is a collaboration with the GTFO Adventure Club, Local Legend. $1 from every pint of this juicy pale ale poured will go to their “Give The F Back” Fund. While the taproom may be closing due to return to Level 3 restrictions, both of these are available for growler fills to take away. Stay safe, NB pals!

Propeller Brewing has three pilot-batch beers out now/coming soon, so let’s get you up to speed with them. Available in growlers today at all three of their retail locations, as well as on tap at the newly-reopened Gottingen Street taproom, is Vic Secret Dry-Hopped Sour. This 4.8% tart and refreshing sour ale features loads of fuzzy peach, tangerine, and grapefruit notes thanks to plenty of Vic Secret hops added post-fermentation, on top of a clean acidic base.

Coming soon to the taps are a couple more from their Quinpool Road 300 litre pilot system, in two totally different styles. Bru-1 IPA showcases the hop of the same name, with a fruit salad of flavours like pineapple, melon, and strawberries, and thanks to the Sacch Brux yeast, it finishes fruity, dry, with a hint of acidity. At 6.0% and 70 IBU, rest assured there’s a lot packed into this one! And at the other end of the spectrum is Pineapple & Banana Hefeweizen, a 4.5% switch on the traditional German wheat style, as it was fermented on pineapple puree to bring out that fruit and complement the banana notes from the yeast. Hopyard Halifax has picked up a keg of this to pour soon, and Dartmouth’s Battery Park has grabbed all three to be tapped sometime soon.

Tusket Falls has a new one out this week in their Experimental Beer series, for fans in both Yarmouth County and HRM. The mysteriously nameless Session IPA comes in at 4.6% and features lots of tropical fruit notes from the auditions of Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe and Columbus hops. You can also expect notes of melon, pear, lime zest and stone fruit to accompany a soft body and moderate finishing bitterness. This one is on tap-only at Tusket’s two taprooms. 

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is ringing in the new year by revisiting one of their core brands with a bit of a refresh. You might have noticed over the past few months that many of Trailway’s products have received the proverbial “lick of paint” in terms of their branding. Today we can tell you that one of their original core brands, Rype has had that treatment, but also a modification to what’s in the can. The name “Rype” was a play on rye malt, which was originally one of the ingredients. Well no more! Both the rye malt and the crystal malt previously present in the recipe are no longer there, and you can think of “Rype” as a nod to the ripe fruit notes provided by the showcased Mosaic hops. A little drier than it was, thanks to the lack of crystal and the addition of bready Munich malt and some wheat as well, and more refreshing, look for the same tropical fruit notes and dankness, but with a more pure hop expression. Look for it to start appearing wherever you get your Trailway fix, it’s already on the shelves at the brewery.

We’ll leave you today with a ton of news coming to you from Brunswick Street in Halifax, as 2 Crows Brewing celebrates their 5th Anniversary this month. Not ones to do anything in half measures, they are releasing 9 new beers in celebration of their Wood Anniversary (fitting, as several of these will have spent time in their barrels and foedres). The first to be released are a pair of grape-heavy beauts, Bunch and Tobeatic Wild. Bunch is a Berliner Weisse, that is a low abv (3.2%) wheat beer, low in hops, and co-fermented with Lactobacillus to give an acidic kick. Starting life back in February 2020 (ah, the Before Times), the beer lived in its Port barrel primary fermentation vessel until the end of the year, when it was transferred to stainless to rest, before the addition of pureed Concord grapes in the summer. After a couple of months on the fruit, the beer was bottled and allowed to carbonate naturally in the bottle. The resultant beer shows a lovely purple hue, is zippy and spritzy due to the acidic component, with the grape notes shining through. Available in 375ml bottles in store and online now.

Tobeatic Wild is also available now, but in the 355ml can format. Its history is a little more recent, starting from the same base beer as Molten Mirrors, a recently-released collaboration with London’s (ON) Beerlab!. MM was billed as a “Saison/Lager hybrid”, with base grains of Pilsner, rice, and spelt, hopped with Saphir and Huell Melon, and fermented with their house Saison culture. After completion, the temperature was lowered, and an actively-fermenting lager yeast was added (krausening technique) and the beer allowed to further condition and develop at cold temperature. After removing the bulk of the volume to package Molten Mirrors, the several hectolitres left were hit with 800kg of freshly-pressed L’Acadie grape skins (aka pomace) from the Valley’s Lightfoot & Wolfville winery. With plenty of sugar and tannic acid still left in those skins, it also picked up a touch of wild yeast which will no doubt show through the delicate 5.4% beer. Carbing was also done in-can, so expect a little bit of (safe to enjoy) yeast residue at the end. Spritzy Saison/Grisette citrus vibes galore with floral and honey aromatics as well. Like Bunch, TW is available for ordering and pick up today. For more on their love affair with grapes, and L&W, check out this post.

2 Crows have also shown their hand for the rest of the Anniversary releases, which can be consulted on their IG page. As a few of them are extremely limited, they opened up early pre-order access to their newsletter subscribers. So if you are keen on getting early/first access to other releases, we figure it’s the second-best beer list you should subscribe to. For those who want to grab one of each of the Anniversary releases (minus the pastry stouts) in a bundle, you can order yourself a bundle now. Note that the bundle is not available for pickup, delivery, or shipping until January 28th, when the final beer will be released. And if you become a subscriber, you can unlock the Newsletter-only version of that bundle, which features a special branded Arome glass in the box.

“Pastry Stouts?”, you say? Yup! Next week will see the release of two extremely limited Pastry Stouts based on Big Turk and Nanaimo bars, both topping the scale at “11.9%” ABV. While half of the bottles were offered and snapped up by newsletter subscribers, the other half (16 bottles of each) will be available at noon, January 20th, split evenly between online and in store options. Think grape, cherry, and chocolate with Big Turk, and vanilla, coconut, and chocolate for the Nanaimo offering. Also releasing on the 20th is Mountain Shadow, a 10.3% Baltic Porter, which was conditioned with Marquette grape pomace, and features cacao nibs for extra dark chocolate character. 355ml cans of this will be available both online and in store.

Let’s bring this in for a landing with their plans for the final weekend of the month. On Saturday, Jan 29th, they will have a food pop-up in the brewery, as RNB Kitchen serves up some warming and satisfying soul food, with both dine-in (assuming regs allow it) and take-out options available 2 – 7 PM that day. And the oft celebrated (and almost as oft maligned the next morning) Sour Sunday will be Jan 30, with a full board of recent and returning favourite sours on draught, plus shots of Pepto and Tums in case anyone needs them.

 

Happy Friday folks! You did it! You survived 2021! We hope you were able to figure out on your own what/where to drink these past few weeks as your faithful blog authors took a much-needed break. With big weather hitting the entire region this weekend, let us get you up to speed on what’s newly and recently released in the region from the great breweries and cideries keeping our fridges and bellies well-stocked. With the latest wave hitting our region hard, consider grabbing something quickly from their curbside or take-out options, or take advantage of the local delivery or shipping options some producers have returned to/never stopped.

Let’s start you off with one of those breweries offering local delivery to the HRM region, Delta Force Brewing. Their latest release of Operation Stronghold is available for contact-free delivery right now. First brewed early 2020, and again in 2021, this quasi-West Coast IPA weighs in at 6.0% ABV and features a load of hops throughout, for citrus and tropical aromatics and flavours on a sufficiently bitter base. Grab a few to take advantage of their free-within-1hr-radius-of-HRM delivery, or better yet, build yourself a mixed 6-pack with the other beer available on their site. And a reminder that The Other Bean and Bishop’s Cellar are also carrying a variety in stock, so support those fine folks at the same time. 🙂

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing is continuing their Hip Hop Series today with the release of Hip Hop Version 7: Azacca. This series keeps it simple, focusing on a single hop per release, to allow it to shine through unfettered, allowing both the brewery, and we drinkers, to get a better idea of what it offers. Azacca is coming in hot, with massive flavour and aromatics of mango, pineapple, and other tropical fruit, with a hint cayenne spice. It’s available today at the brewery on tap and to go in cans and growlers. Check their site for their other offerings too!

Catching up on some recent releases from Halifax’s Propeller Brewing, who finished the year off strong with two releases in the second half of December… First released in early 2021, their Denali IPA is back again. Featuring the eponymous Denali hop, think massive citrus character, with a hint of pine, while remaining smooth and drinkable at 6.0% ABV. And surpassing even that massive peak is Leviathan Triple IPA, a 10% beast of a beer, in the extra-big-Hazy style. Tropical and dank on the nose and tongue, its aggressive bitterness is mellowed with the addition of lactose. Both are available in cans at all three Propeller locations and for local delivery and Canada-wide shipping (taprooms are currently closed). Also look out for them at private stores, with the Denali on NSLC shelves any day now.

Tatamagouche Brewing is celebrating the return of ski season at their local Ski Wentworth with Apres Cream Ale. At just 4.5% ABV, it’s supremely quaffable in volume, especially while soaking those sore joints in a hot tub. Available at their shop as well as for delivery and shipping online.

St. John’s Bar Brewdock has a tap feature on the go from Fredericton’s own Trailway Brewing. With 8 different options pouring this weekend, they are featuring those from their hazy/hoppy line (Luster, Hu Jon Hops, Day’s Done), as well as fruited and darker options like Velvet Fog and Beans. Plus Brewdock has the East Duck Block Party 2.0 collab a-pouring, the tea flower Saison, brewed with their pals across the street at Toslow and Bannerman Brewing. You can always check what’s pouring on their website!

Attention Homebrewers, it’s time for another competition! Smokehouse Nano Brewery in Berwick is hosting their inaugural Homebrew Competition, inviting all amateur brewers in the area to put together their best Strong Bitter (BJCP 11C) beer. Your signup gets you a tshirt, glass (full, natch), and 5kg of Maris Otter malt, thanks to their sponsor, Brew Culture. Check out the details on their website, and good luck to all entrants!