Hello everyone, and hello fall! For those of you who are saying, “Thank God that all that heat is done with!”, we will try to remember to remind you on that first Friday where it’s freezing cold and there’s snow and ice everywhere that you were WRONG to complain about the heat! Don’t worry, we won’t forget! Where were we… ah, beer! Whole bunch going on this week, and luckily it’s not just all about Pumpkin beer re-releases. Let’s get to it!
Why don’t we begin in Dieppe, New Brunswick, where CAVOK Brewing (that’s pronounced “CAV Okay”) will be having a soft opening of their brand-spanking-new taproom this weekend. Located at 250 boul. Dieppe, there will be seven different CAVOK beers pouring, six of which were brewed on their 1 bbl (120 L) pilot system; these include a Rye IPA, kettle sour, Oatmeal Stout, West Coast IPA, Altbier, and Saison, all of which will be joining their flagship beer, Léger Corner Honey Ale. Expect to see some local breweries featured on guest taps; this practice will continue in the future. A limited selection of CAVOK swag will be available for purchase, and guests are encouraged to bring in/order in their own food. Swing on by to check out their new digs during the following times: Fri 5-11pm, Sat 2-11pm, and Sun 2-7 pm. And remember, keep in mind this IS a soft opening, so be patient as staff gets into the swing of things with crowds and POS operations! Their grand opening will most likely be happening sometime next month.
In what may be a first in Canadian brewery news, Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has purchased a bowling alley on the city’s Northside. And one that is still operational and currently running leagues, to boot! Located at 301 Main St, Bowl-a-Drome is located just 300 metres down the road from TrailWay’s brewery and taproom. The location will remain untouched for the rest of 2018 (as per the former owner’s wishes), allowing time for staff to prepare, and bowling leagues to finish. The Drome will close at the beginning of 2019 to perform renovations, updating the interior, and adding to the bar facilities. Once it re-opens, it will be a craft beer and bowling destination (and we hear you’ll still be able to get a damn fine White Russian), featuring TrailWay and other Fredericton breweries, as well as many from elsewhere in, and outside, the province. Keep an eye on the progress at their Facebook page. Congratulations TW, we think this will be a 7-10 split (or touchdown, hole-in-one, or Diamond Cutter, depending on your metaphors)! And in case you were wondering, there are absolutely no plans to move brewing operations from their current spot, those fermenters are super tall, y’all!
Of course, it IS Friday, which means that TrailWay also has some new hoppy beer news for us. Home is Where the Hops Is was hopped exclusively with Eureka, a fairly new American variety that was originally known as Experimental Pine Fruit… which may help give you an idea of how it comes across in beer. Expect flavours of “citrus, resin, tropical and dark fruit”, according to TW, with “aromas of grapefruit and slight tangerine”. Like most of the brewery’s IPAs it comes in at 6.5% ABV, and no doubt a low number of IBUs. Available on tap and in cans as of today.
Plenty of new/returning beers coming out of Upstreet lately, which I think makes sense to tackle in chronological order, just to make it easier on all of us! Last week saw the release of the brewery’s second foeder-aged beer, Come Pick Me Up, an 8% ABV Saison. Available on tap and in growlers only, at both Upstreet locations (and very possibly Hopyard Halifax next week), the brewery is describing it as having “nice oak, white grape, bubblegum, banana, and pepper notes”. As for today, look for the return of the Gravedigger, Upstreet’s annual fall seasonal Pumpkin Ale. At a fairly-hefty 6.5% ABV, the full-bodied beer is “generously spiced” with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, and has notes of vanilla and graham cracker. This one will be available in bottles, as well as on tap.
Moving on, Upstreet will be launching the second in their “Artist Residency” beer series, an Altbier named Abenteur. The German word for “adventure”, this beer was brewed with the help of local artist Mathieu Leger, and comes in at 5% ABV and 40 IBUs. With “aromas of pine and mint”, and some “light-roast coffee, burnt caramel, and brown bread crust” on the palate, it’ll be available starting tomorrow, on tap and in bottles (featuring artwork by, naturally, the artist behind the beer). Drop by the Upstreet Artist Space (the white building beside the taproom) tomorrow at 2 pm for an ArtTalk with Leger; afterwards, everyone will head over to the taproom for some Altbier and live music, at around 3 pm.
Earlier this week, Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery launched their first new beer in some time, Freshman, a New England IPA (or Northeast, depending on your fancy). Brewed with a grist of Maritime Malt, Malted Wheat, Maris Otter, and Flaked Oats, over 25 kg of fresh, wet hops were added in the whirlpool, including Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial, all harvested from Stewiacke’s Wicked Hops Farm. The beer was then double dry-hopped with Amarillo, Chinook, and Galena, giving “loads of cloudy, crushable, and juicy freshness”, in a 5.8% ABV, full-bodied package. You can find it right now at the Schoolhouse taproom on tap; a very limited number of kegs will also be going out to local licensees. And next Friday, look for the return on draught of their seasonal Pumpkin Paddler, a 6% ABV Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with pumpkin puree, freshly-diced ginger root, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and a touch of brown sugar, it’s “reminiscent of a Winter Warmer blended with a slice of freshly-baked pumpkin pie”.
We haven’t heard from Gore Farm Brewery – a very small (60 L), irregularly-producing brewery in Charlotte County, NB – for some time now. Well, good news, as they’ve released a new beer that is available now on tap at Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing. The brewers have been experimenting with a Saison recipe, and have scaled it up to give us La Grande Saison, an 8.4% ABV version. With a grist made up of mostly Pilsner malt, some Wheat malt and Munich, and a touch of Acid malt, Crystal, and Aromatic, it’s hopped with East Kent Goldings to 25 IBUs, with some honey, coriander, and orange peel also added at the end of the boil. Expect a combination of fruity esters and spicy phenolics, with a slightly-warming finish, thanks to the high ABV. You can only find it at Graystone, so best stop by there soon, before it’s gone.
Two new beers to mention from Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. today, although we fully admit we’re not entirely sure the first one is still available! But hey, can’t be sure, so no harm in mentioning it, right? Last Saturday, Electric Streal, a kettle-soured Session IPA, hit taps at the brewery. “Lightly kettle soured” and then heavily late-hopped with Amarillo, this one was described as “bright, juicy, and tart, with flavours of tangerine and grapefruit”… it may still be on right now, here’s hoping! And just released yesterday was Rye is it So Cold Out All of a Sudden?, an American Pale Ale brewed with a “touch” of rye malt in the grist. Hopped modestly, according to Bootleg, expect a “mild, fruity aroma, with flavours of dried apricot, stone fruit, slight malt, and a dry finish”. It comes in at 5.6% ABV, and we’re pretty confident you’ll still find that one, at least, this weekend at the brewery!
Despite coming off a busy Harvest weekend in Fredericton, the Niche Brewing gang still found time to put together another release for us this week, and it’s one of their hoppy offerings, a NE IPA they’re calling Future Nostalgia. At only 5.5% ABV, it doesn’t pack a big boozy punch, but you can be sure that the hops will smack you upside the head (and possibly steal your lunch money). Fermented with a blend of haze-friendly IPA yeast strains, before being hopped in the kettle (and heavily dry-hopped) with Enigma and Mosaic, you’re likely to note some dankness along with tropical notes like guava and passion fruit, all supported by a moderate bitterness and a mouthfeel that’s softened by healthy portions of wheat and oats in the grist. You’ll find this one soon at the King Street Alehouse, Peppers Pub, Cask and Kettle and Ducky’s Bar. Meanwhile we’re told that there are still a few kegs of their Rye Session IPA Riptide and their Boysenberry Persuasion out in the wild, with Stillwell in Halifax having one of each, and the latter having hit the taps yesterday afternoon. If you’re a Haligonian and a fan of Niche you might check out the pretty picture of that beer on Stilly’s Instagram and give the caption a little readthrough. Look for more information here, probably next week! (we might know a guy)
In Shelburne, Boxing Rock has a new seasonal out that’s quite…seasonal; but before you go jumping to conclusions, no gourds were harmed in the making of this Vienna Lager. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV, Marzen Oktoberfest is just the kind of beer you’d expect to drink at an Oktoberfest celebration in Germany, but you’ll have to settle for Nova Scotia with this one. Consistent with the style, you can likely expect a deep orange-y amber hue and a bready body with a bit of sweetness and a gentle noble hop character that lead to a crisp finish, perfect for pairing with sausages, sauerkraut and pretzels. Look for this one to appear by today at the brewery, their retail space at Local Source, and the private stores in Halifax.
In Good Robot world, Chris Joharchy has returned for another Beta Brew, Giantsbane Red IPA. You may recall (or not, there’s been a lot of Good Robot beers!) last year’s King in the North (End) Black IPA from Chris; well, this is another GoT-named beer, hopped with Polaris, Warrior and Hallertau. At 6.1% ABV and 43 IBUs, it exhibits a “mild honey sweetness, grapefruit zing, and a little melon in the finish”, accompanied by a lingering bitterness. Look for it at the brewery next Tuesday. And on Thursday, that week’s Alpha Brew is a brand new’un, Swearwolves IPL. This India Pale Lager was hopped with Green Bullet, Ella, and Wai-iti to 63 IBUs, and fermented with the brewery’s oft-used Mexican Lager yeast. It weighs in at 6.7% ABV, and has aromas of “melon, lemony citrus, and cherry”.
Cideries in the HRM aren’t letting the breweries have all the fun; this week we’ve got three new concoctions to tell you about. First, at Chain Yard Urban Cidery in Halifax we have not a cider, but a mead. Starting with a mead made from Brandt’s Bees honey, they blended with rose petal wine to produce a sparkling rosé mead with a floral nose and notes of citrus that they’ve dubbed Country Rose. Coming in at 7% ABV it’s only available in the Chain Yard taproom for 12 oz pours. Up next is Sourwood Cider, who released their Young’ster, a wild-fermented young single varietal dry cider made from Jonagold apples last week. At 4.9% ABV it was can conditioned, but without any sugar additions, meaning all fermentation would be from residual sugars remaining after fermentation. Be sure to check Sourwood’s Instagram for news on when their next sale or appearance at the Halifax Brewery Farmers Market or the Halifax Forum Farmers Market will be. And finally, Lake City Cider also released a new cider last week, The Red Head. A blend of Lake City cider maker Poet Comeau’s house made strawberry wine with their cider, it’s a hefty 8.5% ABV but complex and interesting with a “great body.” Assuming it’s still around, you can find it only at the cidery in downtown Dartmouth for fills, pints, or as part of a flight.
Can you believe that this November will mark the 6th Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Challenge? SIXTH! Touted as a “Battle of the Wits”, this year’s challenge will feature two categories: German Weissbier and Belgian Witbier. If you’re an interested homebrewer, email email@example.com for an entry form. Your $25 entry fee allows you to enter a beer in either category, or one in each (effectively battling yourself, isn’t that fun?). Entries are due in HRM and Cape Breton November 23rd, with the announcement of winners and follow-up party at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth on November 25th. The top 3 beers in each category will be announced, with the Best in Show brewer being invited to Big Spruce to brew their beer on the brewery’s 7 bbl system, where it will eventually be packaged in kegs and sold across Nova Scotia (including its main release at the Eat. Drink. Local. festival in Halifax on January 10th). Good luck to all entrants!
Amherst’s Trider’s Craft Beer is launching the first in what they intend to be a long line of small batch beers this week. The Sheriff of Nottingham gets its name, no doubt, from the use of Lallemand Brewing’s classic Danstar Nottingham yeast strain. Used by commercial brewers and homebrewers alike for years, “Notty” is known for being an English strain with very neutral characteristics when fermented cool, but brings some classic esters when used closer to the top of its temperature range. The beer is described as a “smooth ale” with “crisp green apple tones” and a fairly sessionable ABV of 5.5%. You’ll only find it on tap at the brewery for pints and flights.
Fellow local-beer advocates Kyle, Phil, and Tony of the 902 BrewCast have a brand new episode out today, their September Tasting Episode. For this one, they teamed up with another local podcast crew, The Drunk Files Podcast. Theirs is a unsolved crime/mystery podcast, fuelled by booze, by Ellen, Jaimee, and Maria, three self-admitted non-experts in the field. The six of them drank their way through a selection of Nova Scotian beers, before moving on to some new and iconic beers from the rest of the world. As with their previous Tasting episodes, the conversation is loose and hits all sorts of topics, not all of them beer-y. Fire up your favourite podcast app and have a listen! And grab the latest episode from The Drunk Files while you’re at it, all about haunted universities!
We have a few more job postings to tell you about in our region this week, to add onto those from last week:
- We’ve mentioned that PEI’s Upstreet Brewing is launching an invasion of Nova Scotia, teaming with the Chef Inspired Group (of Cheese Curds and Habanero’s fame) to open Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth this Fall. They’re currently looking for an Assistant Brewer to help run that operation. What could be better than spending your days brewing beer? It might very well be spending your days brewing beer with the aromas of BBQ wafting around you. Check the posting here!
- The Church Brewing Company will be opening later this year in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Ahead of that date, they are bringing on a team of folks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. They are looking to hire Supervisors, Servers, Bartenders, as well as Back of House staff. Check the list of positions, prep your cover page, and head to the Royal Canadian Legion at 310 Main Street in Wolfville on September 27 or 28 to learn more and apply.
- Route 19 Brewing is opening this year in Inverness, Cape Breton, and have multiple job openings in- and outside of the brewery. Hit up their Facebook page for more details.
- Two Islands Brewing is opening on Main Street in Parrsboro this fall, and are doing some hiring for retail staff at their spot and sister Rising Tides Bakery. Check out the job posting here, and we’ll have more details on their brewery soon.
Here’s what happening in our neck of the woods in the next few weeks…
Patrons Bar & Grill in Bedford is currently holding a dual brewery tap takeover, featuring a trio of beers from each of Big Spruce and Roof Hound. On until Sunday, you can get your fill of both breweries, who are bringing a combination of new beers and fan favourites for the event. Roof Hound will be pouring Big Stink IPA, Rye-It Amber Ale, and Fall From Grace Rose Water and Lychee Sour. As for Big Spruce, they’ll have two of their longest-running beers, Kitchen Party Pale Ale and Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout, as well as a brand new beer, Una Cereza Por Favor. Translated to “A Cherry, Please!”, this is an American Wheat Ale with organic cherry, which weighs in at 4.9% ABV and 10 IBUs. Staff from Big Spruce will be hanging out at Patrons on Saturday evening; if you’d like to talk about Big Spruce beer, or beer in general, they’re game! There’ll also be games, draws, and lots of brewery swag for prizes.
Continuing the spirit of multi-brewery takeovers, Governor’s Pub in Sydney is hosting Rock the Lot, featuring live music from 8 bands starting Saturday the 22nd at noon, and plenty of great beer pouring outside in the parking lot courtesy of Big Spruce, Garrison, and Tatamagouche. Think of it as the best musical three-way tap takeover you may ever get a chance to attend! There will be four food stations set up as well to keep you rocking and bopping all day long. There are no tickets required, just pay as you enjoy.
Quidi Vidi Brewing is launching a new beer this weekend, to celebrate the launch of everyone’s favourite calendar, the MerB’ys. The brainchild of the Newfoundland & Labrador Beard and Moustache Club, this is the second year for this fun and charitable endeavour, this year benefitting Violence Prevention Newfoundland & Labrador. Calendar’s are available for order now, or can be picked up this Saturday at the QV Taproom. From 12-4PM, the MerB’ys will be in the taproom, signing calendars and posing for pictures, and there will be MerB’y-friendly vendors in the area as well. More details are available at the Event’s Facebook Page. And what about the new beer for the event? Salt of the Sea is, as you may have guessed, a Gose. Hazy, golden-coloured, and tart, the beer shows a “sourdough freshness on the nose”, and with the addition of coriander and Newfoundland sea salt, a bright, lingering, dry lemon finish. In a word… refreshing! Also, very drinkable at just 4.6% ABV and 8 IBUs.
And while you are visiting Saturday to take part in the fun, bring in a bag of crabapples harvested from your tree to be a part of a future Quidi Vidi brew. Coming November 1st, QV is releasing a trio of fruited Saisons: Blueberry, Raspberry, and Crabapple. The brewery is looking to add to the crabapples they’ve already collected, and need you to bring in your good quality tree (or, you know, borrow from your neighbour). You will be rewarded with a ticket to the launch party (and this is the only way to get in to the event!) and one of the very limited Open Saison branded growlers. Check out the FB page for more details, and get picking (the deadline to drop off your fruit is October 5th)!
Coming up next Thursday, September 27th in Halifax is a launch party by Spindrift for their newest beer, Hurricane Juan DIPA. Let’s talk about the beer, first, before diving into event details (it’s only fair!). Spindrift’s first DIPA to be packaged outside of a keg, Hurricane Juan is a pale-coloured 8.2% ABV, 55 IBUs DIPA, hopped heavily with Bru-1, El Dorado and Galaxy, lending “dominant notes of pineapple and melon, with hints of stone fruit” to the beer. Brewed to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Juan, cans of this big brew will be released on September 29th, the same day that that monster of a storm slammed into the Maritimes in 2003. As for the event itself, it will be held on the 27th at HopYard Halifax, and will feature a whole slew of Spindrift beers, as well as the star of the show. These beers include Coastal Lager (a tweaked version, less bitter than previous releases), Clarity of Intent (a 4.8% hoppy Pilsner, this is Knotty Buoy dry-hopped with Saaz and Hersbrucker), Nanaimo Adjunct Black Lager (barrel-aged Abyss, aged on cocoa nibs and toasted coconut, with lactose and vanilla, 5% ABV), Coastal Lager w/ Coffee & Oak (aged on Nova Coffee French Roast whole beans and oak), and Smokin’ in the Buoy’s Room (Killick blended with a 100% Rauch malt Rauchbier, 4.7% ABV). That’s a lotta new beer! The party starts when the bar opens at 11 am, and continues all day while there’s beer to flow!
The Ladies Beer League is hosting an evening at the Dalhousie TRoom October 4th, called How to Engineer a Beer. Featuring speakers Emily Tipton of Boxing Rock and CBANS, and Professors Alex Speers and Allan Paulson of Food Science at Dalhousie, there will be information on equipment and recipe development, plus all of the fun things like brewing and cleaning ;). Tours of the research brewery on campus, as well as live music from Ian Keane, plus beer pouring, will make it a fun evening for all. There are no tickets required and being a member of the LBL is not necessary (but you should join!), just show up at 6PM for the event.
And a few last mentions before your weekend begins:
– Pumpkin Ales are returning throughout the region, and Breton Brewing is no exception, as they’ve recently re-released Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale (5.5% ABV); brewed with over 150 lbs of real pumpkin, as well as a blend of pumpkin spices, it’s available now in pints and growlers.
– The Pumpkin beer is flowing in Dartmouth as well, as Nine Locks has released their Harvest Pumpkin Ale this week. At 5.2% ABV, the malty base beer supports the blend of spices (plus real pumpkin) added for the festive seasonal beer.
– We’re a bit early, but look for a new Belgian IPA from Grimross Brewing next week, Bishop Belgian IPA (6% ABV, 50 IBUs), featuring a “complex old world spice, and a balance of bold hops and yeast”.
– Gypsy brewery Half Cut has re-released their Jackhammer APA (5.3% ABV); slightly hazy, with “citrus and mild grass” in the aroma, you can find it on tap at most Half Cut accounts in New Brunswick.
– Unfiltered has RSMA (Ridiculously Superb Mosaic Ale this time, allegedly), their 7.5% ABV DIPA, pouring again; hopped entirely with Mosaic, it’s always a delicious treat, with a whole whack of tropical fruit flavours, thanks to that wonderful hop variety that we love so much.