After an amazing long weekend that saw the first real sign of summer (Stillwell Beer Garden opening in Halifax, of course), we’re back to more typical Spring weather, at least in Halifax, where hot cocoa may be more apropos than a cold beer on this chilly and rainy Friday. But there’s still plenty of beer news to take your mind forward to sunnier and beerier days, so let’s get to it!
• Let’s kick off today’s post with a bit of cider news: after launching their Foundation cider to NSLC and other retail locations earlier this month, Halifax’s Chain Yard Urban Cidery has opened their taproom and retail location on Agricola Street. Pouring a handful of their own ciders, plus a few taps devoted to other guest ciders and beer, the taproom also features a full kitchen (food shots here). At the taproom right now, visitors can enjoy their Foundation, the 6.0% flagship off-dry blend; Intrepid, a 6.0% dry cider made with all Nova Scotian Northern Spy apples; Hopped Up, the dry-hopped version of Intrepid, featuring Cascade and Centennial; Kings R Wild, a 7.5% wild-fermented blend of King and Russet apples; and sOaked, a lightly-oaked dry cider, featuring Cox Orange Pippin, Jonagold, and Russet. The taproom is open from 11AM daily, closing at 10PM Sunday through Wednesday, with extended hours Thursday through Saturday. Congratulations!
• Saint John’s Big Tide Brewpub has released a new batch of their Tidal Wave Double IPA this week, tweaking the recipe slightly to extract an extra bit of juiciness from the heavy dosing of Cascade and Columbus added during the boil, and then Cascade and Summit added as a dry-hop for serious citrus vibes. The resultant 7.8% ABV beer is 110 IBUs, but still features a well balanced body.
• Big Tide is releasing the second collaboration they’ve brewed with Greg Hemmings and Dave Veale of the Boiling Point Podcast. Building on the first release, Hemmingsway Veally Great Ale, version two has been dubbed Boiling Point Honey Ginger Ale. Employing a malt bill of 2-Row, Munich, and Honey malts, the 4.7% ABV beer was hopped to 30 IBUs using Crystal hops from nearby Darlings Island Farm. Fresh ginger root was added throughout the brewing process (during the mash, in the boil, and during fermentation), along with some lemongrass also added late in the process. The resultant beer features lots of ginger flavour and aromatics, with a nice sweet character from the Honey malt. Grab a pint and/or growler today!
• Fredericton’s TrailWay is celebrating their first year of operation at the Main Street location this week, and we’re the ones getting presents! Earlier this week, they dropped a fresh batch of Dunder, their Australian-hopped Pale Ale. The 5.5% ABV brew features tons of tropical fruit aroma and flavour thanks to the generous amount of fresh Southern-hemisphere hops. And launching later today is the latest batch of Hop Stains, their 8.0% ABV Double IPA. Featuring lots of El Dorado hops in the blend, look for a candy/sweet juiciness to balance the bright hop character on the beer, with a lower bitterness than many DIPAs (roughly 50). Available in limited quantities (those hops are expensive!!), and probably not to be brewed again for a while, grab this while it’s hot/cold. Drop by the brewery this afternoon for both beers, as we do not expect them to be available outside of their retail location (another great reason to visit their taproom, which has expanded hours for summer starting this week). Happy First Anniversary!
• Not backing down from their ambitious goal of releasing five episodes this month, the 902 BrewCast crew released another tasting episode on Tuesday. They welcomed special guest Kim Hart Macneill of Halifax Magazine, as well as our own Chris, to chat beer (both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), homebrewing, and a bit of everything, while sipping on some old standards and brand new releases to our region. Check out Kim’s article in this edition of Halifax Mag while you listen to the episode. And subscribe to 902BC today to get next the #902day release with Garrison Brewing automagically at 12:01AM on the 30th.
• Do you have some rhubarb growing in your garden (or elsewhere on your property) that you don’t have a use for? After the great response they received last year, Garrison in Halifax is once again putting out the call for folks to bring in their extra rhubarb for inclusion in the brewery’s seasonal Rhubarb Saison. It’s got to be fresh (not frozen), local (not store bought) and clean (washed and leaves removed). In return for your haul, you’ll get a free sampler of beer and $1 in-store credit per pound up to a maximum of $10 for 10 pounds. Brewery staff is ready and waiting for your contribution and the brewhouse team is gearing up to start on the beer once they’ve got enough. Meanwhile, we’ll look forward to the final product; we’ll be sure to let you know here when it’s ready.
• PEI’s Moth Lane Brewing has released a new beer this week, which is their first foray into the Tart Side of brewing: a Kettle Sour. Using a Lactobacillus culture, they soured the beer, and then aged the fermented beer on cranberries for several weeks, before adding some hibiscus flowers and a touch of dry-hopping. The resultant beer features a beautiful pink colour, and tart character from the process and berries. The beer is available now, but they need your help naming it! Drop by their Facebook or Instagram page to check out the beer, and suggest a name there. If yours is chosen, you’ll win a ML gift certificate.
• Hell Bay Brewing has released a brand new beer this, available only at their Liverpool taproom. Barrel-Aged Brown is a 9.5% ABV that spent time in Bourbon barrels, imparting lots of sweet bourbon and oak flavour and aromatics. This one is on tap for your enjoyment at the brewery, and available to go in small-growler fills.
• Also in Halifax, Propeller Brewing joined some auspicious company this week, becoming the first brewery to ever win an East Coast Music Award! But before you confusedly ask what instrument John Allen plays and when their album drops, we should probably make it clear that they “won” it in a Facebook auction. Local punk band Like a Motorcycle, which features Propeller employee KT Lamond on guitar, decided to make a statement with their 2017 ECMA Rising Star award, pledging to pawn it and put all the proceeds towards Phoenix Youth Programs, a local non-profit that has been supporting youth, families and communities since 1987. A big Cheers to Like a Motorcycle for making such a concrete statement of support for their community and to Propeller for stepping up and making it happen. Organizations like Phoenix always need support, so though you won’t get your own ECMA for it, you’re always welcome to donate some of your beer money to a worthy cause.
There’s a busy weekend of events ahead, check it out!
• Northumbeerfest at Pictou Lodge is happening tomorrow evening. Featuring beer from Big Spruce, Garrison Brewing, Good Robot, Sober Island, Tatamagouche, and Uncle Leo’s, there will be live music and food to keep the night going strong. Your $50 ticket can be purchased via email or phone (1-800-495-6343).
• Saturday’s Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival is sure to be a fun time. Tickets are now sold out for the Saturday Evening session (with some DD tickets available), but the 2:30-4:30PM Afternoon session are still available. Tickets are $35 for entry, your tasting glass, and first 5 samples (VIP tickets are $50, allowing 30min earlier entry and more tasting tickets).
• Truro’s newest name in beer, Salty Dog Brewing, the new retail name for beer brewed at the Nook & Cranny Brewpub, will be throwing a Spring Block Party tomorrow, May 27th, with their friends from NovelTea Bookstore Cafe and Clay Cafe Truro. From 2:45 to 4:45 you’ll find family fun activities on Prince Street with free admission. At 5pm food trucks will arrive to serve the area and the Salty Dog Beer Tent will open on the street outside Sauced Wood-fired Pizza, Salty Dog’s soon-to-open retail space, and the Nook and Cranny Brewpub with beer, live music from Floodland, Alert the Medic, Adam Baldwin Band and The Town Heroes, and locally-made spirits from Coldstream Clear Distillery. Tickets for the music and beer tent are $20 and are available at The Nook and Cranny Brew Pub and MacQuarries Pharmasave & Home Health Care Centre. The food trucks will be open from 5-11pm and no tickets are required. Also, stay tuned for word of the Grand Opening of Salty Dog’s retail space and patio some time in June, where they’re expecting to have 2 more beers ready to serve and sell!
• The 15th Annual Canadian Brewing Awards are happening this weekend. Breweries from across to country are in Ottawa to attend seminars, exhibits, local breweries, and then the Gala on Saturday. For those unable to attend, but would like to learn about the winners as they are being announced, you can tune into the livestream here. Best of luck to our Atlantic Canadian entrants!
• Next weekend, on Friday June 2nd, the crew from North Brewing and Battery Park will be going to visit their friends at Upstreet in Charlottetown for a taproom and kitchen takeover. Featuring 10 North beers, including mainstays and recent seasonals/one-offs alike (including Betroth Braggot and their barrel-aged Milk Stout), the kitchen crew will also be bringing a taste of the mainland to PEI with some of their own home favourites, as well as some special one-off items especially for the weekend. The event will also serve as the launch party for the collaboration brew that Upstreet’s Mike Hogan brewed when he was in Halifax several weeks ago. And the visit will also mean the chance for North’s Josh Herbin to take a turn at Upstreet and put together a beer. We’ll have more details on both beers next week, just in time to get you thirsty.
• Although they’ve been serving up beers at their new location in Windsor for a few weeks already, Schoolhouse Brewery is finally ready to have their official Graduation event. The Faculty of Schoolhouse would like to cordially invite you to celebrate with them on Saturday, June 17, rain or shine at their new location, 40 Water St. in Windsor, NS. The day will begin at 11am with what is promised to be the biggest Four Square tournament Nova Scotia has ever seen, along with washer toss, music, food, and of course, #NSCraftBeer. The ceremonies will end with a speech by the Principal of Schoolhouse, Cam Hartley, before the official Grad Party begins at 7:30pm. The daytime event is free to attend, but the gang would love it if you’d RSVP at the EventBrite Page for the event. Tickets are also available for the Grad Party, which will feature music by Basin Brothers, Tony Wood Trio & Special Guests, food from some of the finest food trucks in the province, and of course, more beer! A signup for the Four Square tournament will be made available some time in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes on the event’s Facebook page for more!
Just a couple of parting shots today:
– Good Robot has added/adjusted the name of the new Dr. Rudi SMaSH release we told you about last week. Now named How Wude, the beer is out now at GR. The SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) release will be named after bizarre comedians, with this inaugural one paying its respects to Bob Saget (think Full House). And keep an eye open for the latest version of Dave & Morley Coffee Brown, this version featuring Burundi Kayanza Gacokwe from Java Blend.
– Well, that didn’t take long! After our introduction to PEI Brewing’s Beer Station in last week’s post, they launched this week. Drop by the PEI Factory Shops at Cows Creamery for a pint onsite, or cans or growler fills to go.