Hello! This is an introduction to a weekly post about the craft beer industry in the Atlantic provinces. Below you’ll read about new beers, events, news and anything your loyal beer bloggers get their hands on through the week. Read below, share with a friend and we hope you get to partake in some of the new happenings in your area. 

We kick off the week on PEI, as Village Green has a brand new release. NZ Haze is a azy IPA from the Cornwall crafter. At 6% it’s soft and pillowy, backed by Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. Adding Citra and Mosaic hops to the mix brings in fruity, tropical, and citrus flavours. This is available in cans and on tap now. 

Staying on the Island, Gahan has a new Vienna Lager out now. Ripple Effect Brew is brewed in the traditional style of the malty, sweet, caramel lager. This beer is brewed in support of the PEI Watershed Alliance with contributions from every sale going directly to the environmental group. The 5.2% beer is available in cans and on tap from Gahan Beer Stores and PEI Brewing Company’s taproom.

Over to Fredericton where Trailway has two new smoking hot releases. First up is Smoke and Mirrors, an 11.1% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout that is on tap only at the brewery. The barrel itself housed a peated Whiskey, whichl brings a rich and smoky flavour to this robust stout.

New to cans is Lagerfeuer, a 5.6% rauchbier (which is a smoked märzen). This lager is brewed with beechwood smoked malt, which adds to the caramel and biscuity flavour of a märzen, bringing a gentle bit of smoke to the palate. This is canned and available at both Trailway locations. 

Over to the West Coast of Newfoundland Deer Lake’s Rough Waters has two brand new releases to keep you warm in the winter months. First up is Grounded, a Coffee Stout that is 5% and canned and ready to roll out across NLCs next week. Second up is their belgian Tripel. This is a big release for the brewery as they’ve been wanting to brew and bottle this style of beer for a long time. Brewed in collaboration with Escarpment Labs, using their West Abbey yeast strain for an authentic flavour that is true to the style. Using a blend of malts and European hops, it was bottle conditioned before release. This one will also ship out over the weekend and should be around NLCs and Marie’s over the next week. 

A few bits of news out of Stillwell Brewing, the Halifax brewery who have had a busy start to the year. First up, Saturday February 24th, they’re hosting Big Speaker Freakout 8, a daytime dance for the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. Tickets are available here.

On the beer side, Czech-heads will be happy to hear that 10° Czech-Style Pale Lager is back in cans and on tap at the brewery. It will be back at Barrington HQ and the Freehouse soon, if not already by the time you’re reading this!

The team at North Brewing is adding to their back of house with a line and prep cook to work primarily out of Timberlea, but who will need to work shifts in Cole Harbour as well. As we can speak first hand to the culture and inclusion at the brewery, we encourage any and everyone to apply if possible. Check this link for more details, including pay, benefits and how to apply. 

A few more things before we let you go this week…

The Libra brand keeps pumping out the volume as they have a new entry coming out to their low alc lineup. Lemongrass Ginger Saison is their newest release, with the characteristics of a dry-finishing saison but with lemongrass and ginger to bring some more flavour. This will be available on March 1st for general distribution and is 0.4% ABV and packaged in the same 355ml format as their other offerings. 

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer has a full-bodied and smooth beer out this week, Repaired Wee Heavy. At 7.2%, this is sure to warm you up as you enjoy it, and features just a hint of smoke for a lovely complement to the caramel and raisin notes. Available on tap and in cans at their taproom, and check out their stall at this weekend’s Wolfville Farmers’ Market if you are in the area.

New Maritime Beer in Miramichi is going dark for their latest release this week, with Golden Ticket Chocolate Brown. Dark malt is enhanced with the use of chocolate in the beer, and at 6.0% ABV, is good for one entry to good times! Available now at their spot at 55 Newcastle Boulevard, and coming to select ANBL and BAS locations across the province.

In Bay Roberts, Baccalieu Trail Brewing is welcoming back their Wintermen’s ESB. Harkening back to their opening in 2018, this “Extra Special Bitter” is light, has a touch of caramel on the palate, and despite the name, uses hops judiciously and is not very bitter at all. It is extra special, though! This 5.3% quaffer is available now at their taproom and in St. John’s, with cans (yay! after some delays with a breakdown in the canning machine) heading across the island before too long.

In the Gut, Quidi Vidi has a returning favourite of their own this week, their Imperial Coconut Porter. This 9.0% beaut is full of nutty, toasty, and dark caramel flavours, with the added benefit of toasted coconut to complete the package. Look for it at their taproom and Hops Shop location, as well as convenience stores and NLCs.

Finally this week, we wanted to share the news of the sale and ownership change of Dieppe’s Flying Boats Brewing. First started by Marc Melanson in his Shediac Bay garage in 2015 (learn more about the history in our Profile with Melanson), he expanded into a much larger space in Dieppe three years later, operating on a 1,500 litre system, serving an on-site taproom and retailers across the province (and Alberta). JALT Beverage Co was founded in 2023, with three of its four principals being the group that acquired Pump House in December 2020 (more on that sale here, here, and here). With JALT’s acquisition of Flying Boats, CEO Alex Noel says that they will continue the brand as previously, including retaining staff, with an eye to expand into the non-alcoholic market. We are excited to follow along and see what Flying Boats and JALT continue to do in the local craft beer and beverage scene. The full press release is here.

Here we are most of the way through February and it feels a little like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. With both the big sportsball game and everyone’s (least?) favourite Hallmark holiday firmly in the rearview mirror, a three-day weekend coming up for many, it feels like maybe we’re on our way to surviving another winter (unless you’re in Cape Breton, maybe, where they’re probably on the fence about that). Pull up a chair, grab yourself a pint, pat yourself on the back, and read on for all the news we could find in Atlantic Canadian Beer for this week.

We’ll start this week on the South Shore of Nova Scotia where Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin has been quite busy of late. Two weeks ago we told you about their new Best Bitter, made with a new malt (the Maris Otter-esque “The Otter Guys” from the folks at Horton Ridge). Last week it was their new dark and creamy Oatmeal Stout. This week they match those two with a brace of new releases. Up first is Hazy Belgian IPA, which marries the yeast-driven aromas of a Belgian ale with the juicy hop presence and haze of an NEIPA. Coming in at 6.8% ABV, you can safely expect Tanner’s usual care and attention to finding a balance between these two bold characters. This one is 6.8% ABV and 60 IBU and has been canned, but the labels were storm-delayed until yesterday; hopefully it’ll be available later today, but it could be a little later this weekend. On the other end of the spectrum from a hoppy beer intended to be consumed young is their other new release, a dark beer that’s already been hanging around for six months. Tanner’s stalwart Porter has been around for over five years now and features plenty of dark malt character with roasty chocolate and coffee notes balanced against sweeter caramel and malt flavors in a 5.7% package. Last fall, 100 liters or so from a batch of that Porter was fed into a Hungarian oak barrel from Grand Pré Winery that was previously used to age apple brandy. This week that beer came out of the barrel so that it can be enjoyed. What will six months in oak, no doubt with a touch of apple brandy, do to a Porter? The only way to find out is to try it!

That brings us neatly to our last piece of Tanner news, that they will be featured from open ‘til close tomorrow at Battery Park in Dartmouth for a tap takeover. Tanner has one of the broadest oeuvres of any brewery in the region and their full range will be on display. Foch saison fermented on grape skins, German styles, British styles, Belgian styles, and meads will all be represented. This will also be the first opportunity to try the barrel aged Porter (although some will also be canned for release, possibly as early as next week). A full tap list can be found here. Hope to see you there!

Labrador’s Iron Rock Brewing has a returning beer out this week, the annual seasonal they call Banishment. An oat stout that’s been aged in Bourbon barrels, giving the chocolatey notes of the base beer a boost with vanilla and oak, it’s quite smooth, maintaining plenty of body and roast character, and weighing in at 6.0% ABV and 32 IBU. This year’s batch has been crafted in honour of the 2024 running of Cain’s Quest, the world’s longest snowmobile endurance race that covers more than 3,000km around some of the world’s toughest Northern terrain. This year’s race kicks off on March 3rd with 37 teams set to compete. Maybe some of them will relax with a Banishment at the end of it all… we know the spectators will definitely be enjoying a few to keep warm!

Lone Oak of Borden-Carleton, PEI, is coming in hot this week with a brand Double IPA, Elysium. Sneakily debuting at their Battle of the Breweries at Hopyard Beer Bar earlier this month, this 9.1% ABV beast is now available to everyone everywhere all at once. While the yeast is not always the star of the show when it comes to IPAs, it’s definitely worth noting here, as this beer was fermented with the experimental Elysium by yeast darlings Escarpment Labs. Developed in their Guelph facility to promote pineapple aromatics and flavour, that was only enhanced at Lone Oak by their use of Sultana hops as the major addition, to keep the tropical vibes going. On tap and in cans at their four locations across the island (Borden Taproom, Milky Way Brewpub and Cold Beer Store, and Stratford Fox Meadow). If you’re interested in more about Escarpment’s yeast offerings, including Elysium, its new “sister” yeast, Pomona, and how they can help create standout IPAs, check out their latest blog post.

Moncton’s O’Creek Brewing put out a cheeky one earlier this week just in time for Valentine’s Day. HibisKiss is a pale ale low in bitterness at 15 IBU and light on hop character in order to make room for flavors of lemon and hibiscus. Featuring a gorgeous red color, it’s described by the brewery as, “romance in a glass.” But if that’s not your speed and you’re looking for something a little hoppier, check out their Riwaka Loral Hazy Pale Ale. Riwaka is a New Zealand hop variety known for imparting heavy tropical and passion fruit vibes, and Loral is a recently developed American hop that brings citrus and floral character with some peppery spice and some herbal notes. Paired together in a 5%, 25 IBU and very hazy package, we suspect it will be a winner with the hop head crowd. Our best understanding is that both of these beers are draught-only at the taproom, at least for now.

The burgeoning trend towards non-alcoholic options in beer has been progressing nicely for the last couple of years, with some local breweries having strong entries in the segment already. It seems only fitting that the local cideries join the party and recently Halifax’s Chain Yard became the second that we’re aware of. Anytime is a non-alcoholic cider that, like all CY ciders, starts with 100% Nova Scotian apples. All the way down in true NA territory at 0.5% ABV, it’s refreshing and balanced, featuring notes of ripe apple and honey balanced by hints of light citrus and floral overtones. Find it at the tap room for now, but hopefully soon at other places where you find your non-alcoholic options.

One of the other trends that the global beer world has seen in the last while, but that hasn’t had a whole lot of local representation is the “low-carb” offering. Dominated by industrial breweries with equipment that isn’t generally accessible in the craft brewing space, we know of only a couple entries in the category from Canada. Them? Notsomuch with the “craft.” Their parent companies? Notsomuch with the Canadian. Enter Good Robot Brewing, boldly going where very few other craft breweries anywhere have gone. Ultra Light is…ultra…light? A measly three grams of carbs per serving and 4% ABV, but without compromising on flavor, this one is coming out of their state of the art facility in Elmsdale where truly impressive things are possible. You can grab it in 355ml tall cans (the “svelte” ones, natch) at the tap room or order it for home delivery now, or you can wait for it to appear at the NSLC once they’ve got their packaging sorted out.

In addition to the Tanner Tap Takeover at Battery Park tomorrow, there’s some other events coming up shortly.

Eagle-eyed social media savants may have noticed a month or two back some Insta clips featuring the brewers of Tatamagouche Brewing and 2 Crows spending some time with the team at PEI’s Lone Oak (eventually, once everyone had their breakfast and stuff). The result of that collaboration is now ready to share. Taking some cues from an all-world beer, Taras Boulba by Brussels’ Brasserie de la Senne, this beer features the use of three yeast strains: Foggy London by Escarpment Labs, a French Saison blend to finish and dry the beer out, and the White Labs product Metschnikowia reukaufii, a yeast that has evolved to specialize in consuming nectar, but which also provides enhanced aroma and modulated bitterness in malt co-fermentations. Hopped generously with three Alsatian varieties, Aramis, Mistral, and Barbe Rouge, it saw additions in the mash, the kettle, the whirlpool, and a dry hop as well. Finishing at 5.5%, and somewhat hazy, it’s almost certainly a beer without too many analogues in the region. Bière d’Amis hits the taps next Thursday for the first time amidst a tap takeover featuring all three breweries at HopYard in Charlottetown on Thursday, February 22nd. Three beers from each brewery plus the collab will be on offer, and folks from all three will be in attendance as well. This event is the perfect kick-off to what will almost certainly be a fun- and beer-filled weekend for PEI Beer Fest.

Wait, did we say, “PEI Beer Fest?” We sure did! This year’s event will go down at the Delta Prince Edward by Marriott next weekend and will feature three sessions, one on Friday evening, one Saturday afternoon, and one Saturday evening. For general admission, evening sessions are three hours, Saturday afternoon is two and a half but there are VIP tickets available offering a start time 30 minutes earlier and a take-home souvenir glass. There are also, appropriately, Designated Driver tickets available to ensure that folks can plan a team effort in getting home safely. Some twenty-five producers across beer, cider, and ready-to-drink spaces will be represented. There will be live music and local food pairings as well. Tickets are still available for all sessions, although VIP for Saturday evening is now sold out. You can find out more about the fest, the breweries that will be represented, and find links to purchase tickets at the PEI Beer Festival Official Website.

A few more things before we sign off this week. Thanks, as always for reading!

In Big Spruce news, on the heels of the judging of their 11th annual Home Brew Challenge (results next weekend!) is the re-release of last year’s winning beer, Alex Hunt’s Under the Mountain, a cascadian dark ale (aka “Black IPA”) at 6.8% and packed with Chinook, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Grab it from the source now, and we suspect other places where you find Big Spruce in the coming weeks.

Heading down the 104 we get to Truro, NS, where Truro Brewing Company has their annual collab with Port Rexton Brewing back on the go. Quiet Company is a Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine tipping the scales at a hefty 9% and packaged in 650ml bombers, you’ll probably want to take this one on sitting down. Rich and boozy, there’s plenty of malt there to sip quietly, perhaps by a warm fire with the best of friends. Also available by the pint at the tap room.

Continuing down that very same highway, we reach New Brunswick, and then Dieppe in particular, where CAVOK has a new twist on a hazy style this week. Soleil  is a New England-style hazy pale ale aged with Brettanomyces in an oak foeder. Hops and brett can go together beautifully in our opinion, and the oak should provide some lovely tannic contrast. Check out this 4.8% ABV number for yourself at the source.

Up in St. John’s, NL, Bannerman has their cold IPA back on tap and in cans. Negative Space is brewed and hopped like an IPA, but fermented and conditioned like a lager, giving a crisp and clean finish beneath a generous hop character. Cascade, Centennial, and Citra, make sure you’re getting your classic West Coast hop character in this 6.0% beer.

!!Attention all Atlantic Canadian Homebrewers!! You are just a couple of weeks out from the deadline for the Fifth Annual Atlantic Homebrew Challenge, your chance at hundreds of dollars in prizes, and seeing your beer being brewed and distributed by Gahan Beer across the region. This year’s beer styles are Best Bitter and Spice, Herb, and Vegetable, so you truly do have time to brew one or both styles in time for judging later in March. Visit the website above for all of the details on styles, rules, and be sure to drop off your beer before March 2nd at your local Gahan pub!

And we’ll finish the week back in Halifax with a bit of a PSA. 2 Crows is recalling cans of one of their anniversary beers, Alright Alright Alright due to some issues with can liners. If you’ve got some on hand you’re advised to empty and dispose of them, but also to reach out to eric@2crowsbrewing.com to arrange a refund or replacement with an alternative product. Kudos to the 2C gang for doing the right thing for their customers in response to a quality issue.

We don’t know about you folks, but we blinked and somehow we’re already a third of the way through February; maybe last weekend’s snow did something to accelerate that. Speaking of which, many breweries in the region lost some business days to getting dug out, so bear that in mind when you’re picking up beer for the big foosball game this weekend (see more on that below). Also coming up soon is Valentine’s Day, which really has nothing to do with beer unless you want it to. Anyways, enjoy this week’s round up of beer news in Atlantic Canada.

Chester Basin’s darling, Tanner & Co has a brand new beer available this week, dipping into the dark and delicious end of the spectrum. At 5.7% ABV, Oatmeal Stout is robust, with roast, coffee, and chocolate notes coming though thanks to the dark malts used in the mash. The addition of oats helps smooth out the mouthfeel, lending a wonderful creamy texture. The ensemble will have you looking forward to that next sip (and next pint!). Available now in both their Chester Basin brewery location, as well as their Chester taproom, and for delivery online through their shop, too!

Speaking of dark and roasty beer, Moncton’s Tire Shack has brought back their Belgian Coffee Quad this week. Melding the biggest of the Belgian styles, known for its dark fruit, caramel, and a bit of sweetness, with some great coffee roasted by nearby Down East Coffee. That combination, as well as the 9.0% ABV, will have you praising the heavens for this lovely brew. Pop by 190 John Street to see their recently expanded taproom, and grab a pint and cans before this seasonal disappears.

On to Corner Brook, where Boomstick Brewing calls 55 West Street home. They’ve decided to kick up the hops in a big way with the release of Double Knit ImperialIPA. A light base of Pilsner malt and flaked wheat supports the absolute jumbo weight of hops used in the beer. Idaho 7, Simcoe, and Mosaic have been knitted together for multiple layers of tropical, citrus, resin, and much more. On tap right now, available in cans as well, with those being distributed on the Good Beer Highway across the province soon!

It being February, the annual Nova Scotia Lobster Crawl is up and running on the South Shore of the province, and, as is traditional, the craft brewers in the area are getting involved. This week we can tell you that Boxing Rock Brewing has put together a new brew for the occasion this year, with a name that’s a riff on one of their most popular beers. Shuck Off is a blonde ale coming in at 5% ABV. Although they’re describing it as “LOBSTERIFIC” it contains no actual lobster. That said, with a light and crisp body, it’s the perfect refreshing pairing for rich, and often garlic-butter-soaked lobster! Check out all the events at the official website linked above and grab yourself some Shuck Off at all Boxing Rock locations.

It’s time for the Superb Owl Section of this post. Many breweries have some deals on now until Sunday February 11th. You like deals? We like deals. You like the Superb Owl? We do, too! Check out your favourite local craft breweries offering some special deals for the big game. These deals are directly from the breweries, so go to the source for your stuff if you can. 

Breton Brewing

  • Lager –  Mixed 4 Pack (473ml) for $12
  • Lager – Mixed Flat (24 x 473ml) for $50
  • Black Angus IPA – Two 355ml 6 Packs for $30

2 Crows Brewing

  • AC Light Lager – Flat (24 x 473ml) for $50

Garrison Brewing

  • Tall Ship Light – Case (12 x 355ml) for $25

Propeller Brewing

  • Prime Lager – Flat (24 x 355ml) for $40
  • Azacca – Flat (24 x 355ml) for $50

Burnside Brewing

  • Toller Lager, Gold & Lite – Case (12 x 355ml) for $22

Trailway Brewing

  • Fetch Lager – $4 off a Case (12 x 355ml)

North Brewing

  • 15% Off – Newsletter code

REMINDER: Not every brewery is big enough to produce beers like this that can be brewed in quantity and sold at minimal margin or even a loss to drive cash flow. So by all means, spend some of your craft beer dollars on these deals, but maybe save a couple of simoleons to pick up something from a smaller producer for whom every can counts?

We’ll take a minute to highlight one big party going on Sunday evening, up in Paradise, NL, where Banished Brewing is doing up The Banished Bowl, with tailgate starting at 6pm leading into a private watch party. Tickets for the event are $45 each, which includes entry, 2 beer tickets, 1 meal ticket, a take-home mug, and exclusive access to additional beers from Toronto’s Bellwoods and Halifax’s 2 Crows. One of the Banished joints you’ll be able to enjoy this weekend is the return of Makes Sense, their hazy IPA, which is, “ultra fresh and tasting insane.” So Making Sense is nonsensically good, apparently!!

Here’s our last few quick hits to send you on your way for the weekend. Go Ninefs!! Yay Chiefers!! Happy Tay Tay!!

If you know anything from the last couple of years of craft beer trends, it’s that Lager is Life. Tusket Falls Brewing have two locations in Tusket and Halifax, and both are featuring three new lagers. While they brew up a new one in the tank now, they currently have Czech Pils, German Pils and Helles all on tap. The Czech is featured on a Lukr side pull and all beers are available at both locations. Let your noses and tongues pick up the classic hops of Saaz and Hallterteauer Mittelfruh along with classic continental malts from Raven and Weyermann. They’re hoping to have these available all the time, so check them out if you’re around either location.

As mentioned above, there’s a deal on some Breton Brewing lagers for a football game. If you’ve been following along with their Light Lager series, you’ll be happy (or sad) that this is the fourth and final release. Breton Lager #4 is a Light Lager at 4%. That’s all we can tell you! It’s crisp and light and available now, and as part of one of their Superb Owl deals mentioned above. We’re looking forward to seeing which of the light lager variants will be the go-to for a bigger batch to feed summer thirsts across Cape Breton Island and beyond.

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has a re-release a few years after its debut in 2021. This is a memorial brew to the late Paul McKinnon and Battleship PM-67 is back and available now as a tribute and memorial to the brewery’s late friend and patron. This double IPA is made with the Cryo Pop hop blend (from Yakima Chief) and is packed with tropical tastes and flavours, including pineapple, peach, and grapefruit. This is 7.5% and available at the brewery on tap and in cans. 

Break out the Silver and Black (no the Raiders aren’t in the big game!) because Bearstream is back: Trailway Brewing’s tasty West Coast IPA is back with some tweaks. Still using classic West Coast hops, this new batch beefs up the malt bill to add some toastiness and doughy body not traditionally in the style. Still piney, resinous, and citrusy, it still has the West Coast bitterness, but with a bit more malt balance in a 7% package. It’s available now from the brewery and online. 

Faithful patrons of Nyanza’s Big Spruce will be excited about the latest beer returning to taps and cans. Amärzen Grace is back and this Märzenbier is true to the traditional German lager style. German for “March Beer”, this beer is a malty, full-bodied lager that is very drinkable with notes of toffee and dried fruit. It is 6% and available on tap for growlers and pints and in cans from the brewery (in-person or online!).

The returning favourites keep on rolling as Village Green brings back one of their classic brews, Dark Mild. Forever drinkable at 3.5%, the beer has a good body with notes of chocolate and a nice sweet malty-drinkable everlasting flavour. Get this one on tap or cans to go from the Cornwall, PEI brewery.  

From the Saltbox Brewing crew, we’ve got news of a brand new location launching this summer. In addition to their other Nova Scotia taprooms in Wolfville, Mahone Bay, Bridgewater, and Lunenburg, this will be a Tantallon Taproom at the Shining Waters Marina. More details will be arriving soon, but this planned partnership will launch later this year.