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We trust that everybody’s now comfortably back at work after the holidays, rested and refreshed and ready for whatever winter can dole out (residents of Northern NS, Cape Breton and Newfoundland may have already been well-tested on that front, but we trust we’ll all get our share before the season’s over). And a big shout out to all of those doing that whole Dry January thing; you’re now a third of the way to insanity success! For the rest of you, we’ve got plenty of news as always about new breweries, new beers, and all the other news we could gather.

Let’s kick off this week’s news with another opening in our region, New Maritime Beer. After launching their brand with a pair of beers this summer, they are now ready to welcome folks to their taproom at 55 Newcastle Blvd in Miramichi. The taproom is opening Saturday at 1 PM (until 11 or later if the party is still rockin’!), and open daily going forward (except for Mondays). They will be pouring an American Pale Ale, IPA, and Stout, brewed elsewhere while they complete the installation and commision of their brewhouse. The new equipment was manufactured by Saint John’s Copper Leaf Brewing Equipment, an 1800 litre brewhouse, and should be in full force next month. The 90 seat taproom features plenty of cozy touches like a fireplace, and plenty of comfortable seating. While they do not yet have food onsite, you can feel free to bring or order your own in. Keep an eye here, and on their Social Media (Fb/IG) for news of new releases (we’ve already heard tell of Juicy and West Coast IPAs, as well as more Pale Ales, Stouts, and Session IPAs coming down the pipeline once they are fully open).

Sea Level Brewing at Millstone Harvest Brewhouse in Sheffield Mills has a brand new release on the taps (and coming soon to cans) these days. A Light in the Dark is a 4.0% ABV Kolsch Ale, the latest of their beer releases to use barley grown at their farm, and malted at nearby Horton Ridge Malt & Grain. Opting for a light-coloured and sessionable beer at a time many seasonals are going dark and heavy, there is still plenty going on in the glass. The beer also features Cascade grown at the farm, complemented by Glacier grown by Fundy Hops. The beer is available now on draught at the Brewhouse (for onsite enjoyment or to go), with growlers, and soon cans, at their Port Williams location as well.

Speaking of Horton Ridge, they have a new beer available this week as well. When you’re a combination malt house/brewery and you’re looking to use up a previous crop of grain, you build a beer around it! That’s exactly what they’ve done with The Ridge Rosé, a Farmhouse-inspired Pale Ale. The grist was made up mostly of Queens Pale Malt, a variety of barley developed in PEI that gives an earthy malt profile, which works well in Farmhouse styles, according to Horton Ridge. Also brewed with a touch of Rye malt, and hopped with Saaz, the goal was to brew a base beer that would provide a good amount of malt character, yet also allow the secondary ingredient to shine through – in this beer, Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge and Luckett Vineyards. After aging on the skins for close to two months, the 5% ABV beer has taken on tart, fruity flavours, as well as a subtle maltiness. It’s pouring on tap at the brewery, where you can also pick up some cans to take home.

Last summer, Off Track Brewing released a pilot batch of Boatload of Nerve, an experimental DIPA. Availability was obviously quite limited, and the beer went over very well, so luckily for us they’ve scaled it up and brewed a full batch! Hopped with a blend of El Dorado and Mosaic, this 8% ABV, 95 IBUs DIPA sports “notes of pear and mango, with a slight hint of pine”, as well as a touch of herbal/earthy character. Slightly hazy, it’s only available on tap… however, future batches MAY be bottled if the demand is there. For now, your best bet to find it is at the brewery .

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has a new release out this week, sure to satisfy the hop lover on your list (in addition to yourself, of course!). The latest in their Hop Trip series, Southern Hemisphere IPA is 6.0% ABV, and while it is 30 IBU on paper, the hops are certainly the star of the show. Using loads of Galaxy, Topaz, and Vic Secret, three Australian-grown hops. Intense aromatics of passion fruit, melon, grapefruit, and pineapple come through thanks to the generous use of hops throughout. The beer is available on draught for samples, pints, and growler fills at their brewery at the Seaport, as well as the Oxford Taproom, with cans available at those locations as well as a few NSLC and private stores. And for the month of January, all sales/donations through Popcorn with a Purpose, a charitable endeavour at the Oxford where popcorn sales are donated, will be going towards the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery.

Friendly alert for those of you in or around Liverpool NS: local brewery Hell Bay has just released Barrel-Aged Brown Ale, a 9.5% ABV Brown that was aged for six months in Bourbon and rum barrels from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery. Featuring a “rich, brown malt body with distinctive rum flavour”, it’s sure to pack a punch with that high ABV, despite the alcohol character being nicely hidden. Bottles are limited, so don’t wait to pick up a couple, as no doubt they’ll age in your cellar perfectly!

Something new and hoppy fresh out of 2 Crows this week, a 5.4% ABV, 31 IBUs New England IPA named Merida. Hopped very heavily with Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and experimental hop Bru-1, you can expect plenty of juiciness in this one, along with “Tang, pineapple, stone fruit, and cantaloupe vibes”. Available on tap and in cans right now at the brewery. And hey, even more good news – while there, why not grab some cans of the latest batch of Waltz, their German Pilsner? This batch was tweaked slightly, as the beer was brewed with 100% PEI grown-and-malted Shoreline Malting Pils malt. They’ve played with the dry-hopping technique as well, making this iteration “extra bright”, with more floral and lemon notes than usual.

Hanging nearby Rothesay, NB this weekend? Pop on over to the Hammond River taproom, where they’ve tapped a brand new experimental beer. Another entry in the brewery’s Dry-Hopped series, Dry Hopped Sour (Sorachi Ace). The base beer is a Berliner Weisse, kettle-soured with HR’s house Lactobacillus strain. This particular batch was dry-hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace from local Moose Mountain Hop Farm, giving the beer plenty of lemon notes in the aroma and flavour, to complement the tartness in the finish. And hey, if you can’t get to Rothesay, you should be able to find it on tap at The Joyce in Fredericton. And at only 3.5% ABV, you can have a couple and not feel too guilty!

If you’re feeling more cidery this weekend (is that a thing? It should be!), Annapolis Cider Company has you covered. They’ve launched the latest in their Something Different series, a sparkling cider and wine blend named Harvest Rosé. Marechal Foch (a hybrid French red wine grape) was locally harvested, with the juice co-fermented with fresh-pressed Gravenstein apple juice. This dry, cider-wine blend was then FURTHER blended with small batch, dry Gravenstein ciders which were prepared by the Annapolis Cider retail staff, fermented using four different yeast strains. Still following along ok? Great! Finally, fresh-pressed Geneva Crab apple juice, a “red-fleshed apple variety”, was added to finish it all off. The result? An “elegant, off-dry rosé cider with bright acidity, and notes of red berries and fresh apples”. It comes in at 7.2% ABV, and $0.50 from each refillable bottle purchases will go towards Ronald McDonald House Charities Atlantic

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing isn’t slowing down one bit as we’ve moved into 2020, and they’ve got two new beers pouring at their taproom to prove it. The first is Captain’s Orders Hopfenweizen, their take on the hoppy Hefeweizen style. Brewed with a 50/50 blend of German Pale and Wheat malt, it was hopped with Magnum and Hallertau Blanc in the boil (to 35 IBUs). Fermented with a Weizen strain, the 6.5% ABV beer was then lightly dry-hopped with Amarillo. It’s showing classic Weizen aromas of banana and clove, along with some citrus thanks to the dry-hop addition. Medium-bodied and refreshing, it’s a great reminder of why this style shouldn’t only be brewed during warmer seasons! The next brew is Cross Island Common, a “modern take” on the California Common style. The malt bill includes Munich, Vienna, English Cara and Flaked Barley, with Perle hops going in the boil (to the tune of 30 IBUs). Dry-hopped with Eureka, the 5.5% ABV brew is exhibiting “herbaceous, hop-forward aromatics, with a candied orange undertone that leads to a palate of red berry fruits and toffee”. Finishing bitter and crisp, it joins the several other beers currently on tap at Shipwright. 

And in more Lunenburg brewery news, Saltbox Brewing will be opening a taproom and pilot brewery in the town this summer, under the moniker Lightship Beer and Cider. Located at 93 Tannery Road, the brewery and taproom will have an unobstructed view of Lunenburg Harbour from its place on the point. While the building design is still being finalized, we can tell you that it will feature indoor seating for 50 people, and a large deck with space for four times that number. A 2 BBL (230 litre) pilot brewhouse will be onsite, focusing on traditional German and other European styles, as an ode to the countries of origin of the early settlers in the region. In addition to those, a complement of beer from Saltbox’s main brewery in Mahone Bay will also be available on tap. The brewery space will also house some foeders which are perfect for long-term aging of some special brews. While the details of the kitchen and food offerings are still being ironed out, there will certainly be tasty offerings to pair with the beers pouring. We’ll keep you up to date on Lightship’s progress over the next months, and you can sign up to learn more on their website.

And in “a brewery we haven’t spoken about in a little while” news, we have some updates for you thirsty New Brunswickers looking for more beer (and info) regarding Valonray Brewing in the Shediac River area. Just over a year ago, they switched focus from clean European- (mostly Belgian-) inspired beers to those with mixed cultures and taking much longer to produce, and therefore their regular debuts stopped. The first of that line was Rouge Provision, a 5.0% ABV light-coloured beer first fermented with a clean ale yeast strain (familiar friend US-05), but underwent a secondary (and tertiary, etc, etc) ferm with a pitch of both Escarpment Labs’ Belgian sour blend, as well as a house culture of other Brett and Lacto strains built up onsite. The beer spent twelve months in a second-use Bourbon American Oak barrel, and then 6 months conditioning in the bottle. Available exclusively at the Picaroons shops in Fredericton and Saint John, we believe there are still a few bottles left on the shelves there. Bottles of their previous releases may still be available at your local ANBL locations. Future releases by Valonray are in the barrel and bottle now, as they continue their exploration of the Flanders Red Ale style. 

Don’t go waiting until Tuesday to wander over to Good Robot for a taste of their latest Beta Brew, as they’ll be closed for a staff day. However, they will be releasing Alternative Roots, their latest BB, on Sunday, January 12th. This one is billed as a Fruit Beer, with beet chiffonade added at the end of the boil, giving the final beer a “wild pink colour and a deep, earthy aroma”. Coming in at 5% ABV and 20 IBUs, drop in at the end of the weekend for your taste.

There are some very cool beer-focused events coming up over the next little while that we thought you should know about:

Halifax’s Stillwell Beer Bar is hosting an event with Toronto’s Burdock Brewery tomorrow, Jan 11th, at their Barrington Street location. Featuring 3 draught offerings, and more than a dozen canned and bottled brews available as well, there will be something to satisfy everyone’s palate. And as is routine for Stilly, they will have some special menu items on the go, including Mac & Cheese Arancini. The featured beers are available from opening at noon tomorrow, and around until… well, we’re not exactly sure, so your best bet is to visit earlier in the day!

If you instead find yourself 260km Northwest of Halifax tomorrow, may we suggest dropping into Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub for their own takeover/feature, where they are showcasing the beers of Alberta. The Alberta Craft Beer Tap Takeover will have beers from more than a half-dozen breweries across the province, including Alley Kat, Banded Peak, Blindman, Brewsters, Grizzly Paw, New Level, and Troubled Monk

HopYard’s original location in Charlottetown, PEI, is hosting a Battle of the PEI Breweries 2020 event over the course of the next couple of months that will see eight breweries compete for Island supremacy, with the champion being crowned at the Finale on Thursday, February 20th. But to get to that point there first needs to be a tournament, and that tournament started last night as recent ACBA Brewery of the Year Bogside Brewing squared off against PEI’s OG brewery, PEI Brewing Co, with Bogside pulling out a slim victory by 9 glasses. The next 3 Thursdays will see the remaining battles in the first round, with Moth Lane taking on Copper Bottom on January 16th, Lone Oak battling Evermoore on January 23rd, and Barnone taking on Upstreet on January 30th. The two Thursdays after that (February 6th and 13th) will be the two semi-finals before the final showdown a week later. So whether you’re local to Charlottetown or just find yourself on the Island on a Thursday night over the next six weeks, HopYard will be an excellent place for a fun night of drinking beer and voting with your tastebuds.

And speaking of PEI beer and Lone Oak in particular, the brewery and taproom have been open for a little while now, but they haven’t had themselves a proper party to make it all official-like. That will change on Saturday, January 25th, starting at 4 PM when they’ll be hosting a big Grand Opening celebration. One musical act, Max Koughan and The Poets has been confirmed, with two more surprise musical headliners to be announced the evening of. Cover charge will be $20 per person at the door, and the beer will also be flowing, of course. So make your plans to be in Borden-Carleton in two week’s time (but we’ll very likely give you a reminder nudge the day before).

And we leave you, as always, with a few brief beery mentions:

Firkenstein Brewing has a new brew joining their regular tap lineup – Chili & SubLime (6%) is “light and refreshing, with a bit of zest, along with just a hint of chili spice”.

Flying Boats may still be pouring Black Currant Blonde Ale at their taproom; this latest one-keg-only Brewer’s Test Recipe is brewed with local black currants.

Iron Rock Brewing has a pilot batch available exclusively at their taproom – Farmer’s Junction Red Saison is their Railbender Red fermented with Old World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs. Caramel and toffee notes abound, along with spice and herbal character; only two kegs available, so get in, quickly!

Team TataBrew has released Triple Beam Lagerbier, a 6% ABV Lager dry-hopped with Cascade and Aramis. Easy-drinking and crisp, you can find it at homebase in Tatamagouche, and we hear that it’s been spotted at the Stillwell Freehouse as well!

We are officially in holiday season, which means the breweries in our region are working overtime to keep you well stocked for however you celebrate, or don’t, the season. Check out what should be in your mug or glass below, in between pints of eggnog.

Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester has a pair of new beers on our radar, available for purchase at both their taproom at 59 Duke Street right in town, as well as their Chester Basin brewery on Angus Hiltz Rd. The first is Field Blend, the second of their Harvest Release lime featuring Nova Scotia grape skins (the first being Millot, which is still available in limited quantities). Field Blend is a Belgian Saison fermented on a blend of 50 kg of Riesling & Viognier grapes skins from Planters Ridge in Port Williams. Spicy notes from the yeast meld with notes of pear and apple, in a nice and dry finishing 6.8% ABV beer. And released last week is Cherry Almond Milk Stout. No, it doesn’t contain Almond Milk, but cherries, almond, and lactose (aka, milk sugar). After initial fermentation with London Ale yeast, this beer spent time in rum barrels from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery. This 8.0% ABV beauty is available in bottles and on tap at the brewery and taproom.

Fredericton’s Picaroons Brewing Company dropped a bomb on the Capital City last week with the release of five different barrel-aged beers. All of them are available in limited quantities in bottles, with a pair of them also available on draft. Here’s the lowdown:
#1: Their Plaid to the Bone Scotch Ale aged for 12 months in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels. Plenty of bourbon character, and will be available in kegs for draught at select licensees as well as in bottles.
#2: Their Plaid to the Bone Scotch Ale aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels for several months, but showing the spirit less-so than #1. Also available on draught and in bottles.
#3: This is the Plaid to the Bone from a single Jim Beam barrel, showing a bold and unique character from the blend found in #2, and so they wanted to highlight it on its own. One keg was packaged, complementing the bottles.
#4: This is a departure from the PttB, as they’ve taken their Winter Warmer and aged it in a Jim Beam Rye barrel. Something different also happened during the aging process, as this beer has turned lightly acidic, with a tart quality on the nose palate. Just one barrel, so this is limited to bottles.
#5: The only blend of the releases is two-thirds Winter Warmer aged in barrels, blended with one-third 2019 Winter Warmer. Plenty of the dried fruit and spice notes from the base beer, with lighter oak and vanilla notes than the other releases.
All bottles are available at their retail locations in Fredericton, Saint John, and St Stephen, with select kegs of a few of these at their own taprooms and a couple of licensees around the province.
Also keep an eye out for a pair of Holiday themed releases out now, their Blitzen Coffee Stout, made with Java Moose Coffee’s Hazelnut and French Vanilla beans, and Xmas Tree IPA, a take on their Pivot brewed with spruce tips.

Sticking not-too-far-from-Fredericton, the town of Harvey is home to Off Grid Ales, who has done their first canning run, and promptly sent the brand new release to ANBL shops. Morning Light is a 4.2% ABV English Amber Ale, featuring a base of Maris Otter malt and hopping from traditional Noble hops to the tune of 25 IBUs. Light and nutty malt is complemented by spice and woody notes from the hopping. In addition to being their first canned offering, it’s actually a can exclusive, with the majority of the beer sent to local ANBLs in six-packs of 355s. Find it close to you by checking this link, with it now available in Fredericton, Oromocto, and Saint Andrews, with ANBLs in Saint John and Moncton coming soon. Plus Black’s Grocery & Cafe in Harvey Station.

Yesterday was a special day for the Battery Park and North Brewing families, as they celebrated the 4th Anniversary of BP’s opening with a full North Tap Takeover. If you’re lucky, a few gems will still be pouring by the time you read this. No tap takeover is complete without a few special releases, and this was no different, as it marked the latest in the series of collaborations between North and Benjamin Bridge winery in Gaspereau Valley. Saison de Petite Pearl began life as a clean saison, and then got the BB treatment: for the first time, the crew at North received whole grapes (rather than must or pomace) of the Petite Pearl variety, which they crushed by hand (by foot) at the brewery before adding the entire ~220 litres of must and skins to the beer for a second fermentation. After completion, the 7.4% ABV hybrid was bottle conditioned and is now available for purchase at both North retail spots (at Battery Park and their new location at 899 Portland Street). Also available now is the barrel-aged version of last year’s collab release, Saison de Chardonnay. Just a single French oak barrel was filled with last year’s SdC, and sat for 10 months, before packaging and release. This release is in very limited quantities, with just 20 cases available (there’s only so much room in a barrel!), and is also 7.4% ABV and available now at both spots.

This week Propeller in Halifax is releasing a collab between the brewery and the Propeller Arcade called Polybius, named after a mysterious game of that name around which an urban legend involving the FBI and/or CIA developed in the early 1980s. Did US government agencies really create a mind-control experiment in the form of an arcade game in the early 80s? Nobody knows for sure, or if they do, they ain’t talkin’. Regardless, over the past year or so the Propeller Arcade has become an urban legend of its own in a positive way, bridging beer and a love of retro (and not so retro) gaming. Polybius is a hazy and juicy pale ale that’s sure to pair well with blips, bleeps, dings, and dongs. It’s available at the brewery in cans and for fills and pints, as well as in the Arcade itself, of course. This weekend also marks another all-ages afternoon at the Arcade, with kids welcome on Sunday from 12 – 8 PM (ed: we were originally told 12 – 4), as well as the appearance starting tonight of a special surprise game and a corresponding high-score competition that will see the winner go home with a Sega Genesis. And if you’re planning on heading down after work this afternoon, today’s cask will be their Porter with smoked black tea. Lastly, if you know anyone who’s a financial whiz and looking to get into (or stay in) the beer industry, Propeller is advertising for a Controller, responsible for all financial aspects of the business. If that sounds like you (or maybe someone you know), you can check out the full job ad on Career Beacon.

Up in Nyanza, Big Spruce is releasing a beer with a name that’s an ode to one of the colorful expressions of Cape Breton dialect. Conniption Fit is a Golden Ale at a gentle 4.0% ABV, so you can have a couple and not blow your chances at winning Meat Darts. Crisp and refreshing, and only 10 IBU, it’s designed to be an easy-drinking option for the holidays. So really a beer that’s all about kicking back, relaxing, and strictly NOT having a conniption fit. Also in Big Spruce news, they’re once again running their Holiday Home Delivery service this season. December 20th will be the Cape Breton run and 21st will be the HRM. You can order any combination of cases of 24 cans or boxes of 12 bottles (mixing allowed for both!) as well as any swag they’ve got going on from the Sprucetique. Full details on what’s available can be found on the Fb event page and you can place and pay for your order by calling 902.295.ALES (2537). Then all you need to do is wait for the magic yellow van to reach your driveway on the appointed day with all your goodies tucked inside.

Niche Brewing in Haaaanwell, NB, have a new beer on the go this week, a bit of a departure from their usual mix of hoppy and yeast-driven styles. Cocio might very well be named after a chocolate milk drink from Denmark, but what it turns out to be is a 5.5% ABV porter brewed with Chocolate Rye (a “healthy portion”, per their wont). Neutral American yeast was leveraged to ensure that the focus of this beer is solidly on the malt flavors, yielding a beer with strong notes of milk chocolate, an undertone of spicy rye, a smooth mouthfeel, and a slightly sweet, roasty finish. The first pours of this one are most likely to be found at The Joyce, Ringo’s Grill, Peddler’s Creek BBQ and CAVOK Brewing.

Today sees the release of TrailWay Brewing’s first barrel-aged beer, 3rd Room. This particular beer started off in one of the brewery’s stainless steel fermenters, and was then moved to conditioning tanks and inoculated with a blend of Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus strains. The beer was then moved again, this time to Chardonnay barrels where it was allowed to age for a little over a year before packaging in 750 mL bottles. Bottle-conditioned for a further 6 months, the 6.3% ABV beer is exhibiting “moderate acidity, buttery Chardonnay character, plenty of oak; overall quite clean but with some background fruity funk”. There’s only 200 bottles of this one available; they go on sale at the brewery starting today. If you’re grabbing a bottle this weekend, they’ll also have a new iteration of their 8% ABV fruited DIPA, Hopical Trop; this batch was hopped with Mosaic and conditioned on blueberries and oranges. It’ll be available on tap and in cans.

Sticking with beer and wood*, 2 Crows is releasing a new foedre-aged beer this Saturday, Run By Night. This beer, a Grisette, was brewed back in July with Pilsner, wheat malt and raw wheat, and was hopped lightly in the boil with Huell Melon and Azacca. After fermentation with a blend of the brewery’s house cultures in one of their oak foedres, they added 700 lbs of whole Damson plums from Noggins Corner Farm. The beer was allowed to condition on the fruit for eight weeks before packaging in cans, where it carbonated naturally. The final product comes in at a highly-sessionable 3.4% ABV (and 12 IBUs), and is tasting “bright and tangy, with a cool marshmallow and marzipan vibe from the plum pits”. *

Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing has a wood-aged, wild beer release of their own this week, The Vanishing. They started with their Winter Warmer, Old Forte, and aged it for approximately six months in a red wine barrel from Dunhams Run (Kingston, NB). At this point the funk was coming through strongly, and the beer was allowed to sit for another six months before it was moved into a stainless tank… where it was conditioned on 50 lbs each of blueberries and raspberries, along with a pitch of Lactobacillus bacteria for souring. It was finally packaged in 650 mL bottles, and is tasting “funky, fruity, sour and crisp”. These types of beers are understandably difficult to replicate, so best get yourself to the brewery’s taproom to grab a bottle or two, as it’s a very limited release and won’t be available again.

Montague, PEI’s, Bogside Brewing has released the first in their SMaSH series of beers, featuring different malts from the island’s own Shoreline Malting. This week’s release is a Munich Dunkel, incorporating only Munich Malt and Northern Brewer hops. Copper in colour, and a happy 4.7% ABV and 22 IBUs, while the beer is malt-driven in flavour, it finishes dry and crisp, true to the original style. It is pouring from the Bogside taps now, and may hit a couple of licensees across the island over the next week, when cans will also be available thanks to the roving merry band at Craft Coast Canning.

As the air gets colder and the snow starts to fly, the Winter Ciders start to make their appearance across Atlantic Canada. Maritime Express Cider has got you covered with Snowed In, a Winter Cider that is big (8% ABV) and spicy. With notes of “cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and nutmeg”, along with aromas of fresh apple pie, it tips toward the sweet side for a cider, and reportedly goes down just a touch too easy… so drink in moderation! You can find it on tap and in bottles at the cidery; they also recommend giving it a try warmed up (the cider, not you).

Up in Mount Pearl, southwest of St. John’s, NL, Landwash has released the second batch of a beer that they acknowledge as one of the silliest beers they’ve ever brewed (and they’re counting the 100+ brews they did at Folly Brewing in Toronto). Is it a Milkshake IPA? A Pastry-like Pale Ale? A Sour IPA? A Key Lime Pie Sour Pastry Pale Ale? We don’t know either, but it’s something alright. Brewed in collaboration with the Merb’ys (aka the Newfoundland & Labrador Beard and Moustache Club), Bellyshake is oat-heavy, uses a Vermont yeast-strain and contains lactose, so it’s bound to be hazy and very smooth on the palate, but is also hopped with Sorachi Ace, a Japanese hop known for very herbal and lemony notes. And if that weren’t enough, it was conditioned on strawberry puree, vanilla, and “lots” of key lime juice. A true plethora of flavors vying for palate space. You can grab this ones in very swankly labeled cans at the brewery along with One Wave Blonde, Burn Your Boats (Bourbon barrel-aged RIS), and, as of yesterday, their Home & Away APA. We suggest moving quickly though, and/or keeping an eye on Landwash social media, as their beers move fast and holidays are a-comin’.

Back downtown in St. John’s, Bannerman Brewing has released their first dark lager, Only Shadows. Going traditional, they have embraced the Schwarzbier style, choosing Pilsner, Vienna, and dark and roasty malts to complete the grist. As such, big flavours of coffee and chocolate shine through on a light bodied beer with a dry finish. This 4.8% ABV beer is available now by the glass and in growler fills to enjoy there or take away. Take note that they’re closed for a private event this afternoon after 5 PM, so maybe leave work a few minutes early (or heck, we give you permission to take the whole afternoon off) to avoid disappointment.

Let’s keep the Bannerman connection going, but talking about a beer available in Nova Scotia, thanks to Wolfville’s Church Brewing. There’s a strong connection to Nfld as Church’s brewer Andrew Bartle is from Grand Falls, and is friends with Bannerman’s Dave Bridger and Phil Maloney. It only makes sense, then, that they’d team up for a collaboration brew. Enter Best Kind IPA. Playing in the Hazy IPA field, this bright light coloured beer started from pale malts and was fermented with Escarpment Labs’ Voss Kveik yeast, one of the famous Norwegian farmhouse yeasts to emerge in the last couple of years. Already bursting with bright citrus notes thanks to the yeast, these Best Kind pals took it to another level with generous hopping from El Dorado, Mosaic, and Idaho 7, to the tune of 2 kilos per hectolitre. Best Kind is launching at the brewery and restaurant on Main Street Wolfville tomorrow, available on tap for flights and pints, as well as their retail shop in cans and crowler fills, with cans also available at everyone’s favourite retail spot in Halifax, Bishop’s Cellar. And for those pals reading this post in Newfoundland, we have great news: Santa will be delivering a few kegs to Bannerman, so you’ll be able to grab a pint of it there soon enough.

In Halifax, Good Robot has a new beer on the go, but you’ll only be able to get it at the brewery. The first of Kelly Costello’s Beta Brews to be put into a cask, it was brewed with a couple of local beer nerds Steve Crane and Chris McCain who it turns out, like Kelly, are originally from New Brunswick. What better name for this one, then than Drive Thru Province. Nominally an ESB, with an emphasis on the ‘B’, it was brewed with British Pale malt, Flaked Barley, and Brown Malt, hopped with Cluster and Magnum, and fermented with a yeast known variously as London ESB and the Fuller’s strain. At 5.6% ABV, it’s definitely up there for a British style ale, but it’s the 104 (calculated) IBUs that should really set this one apart. Set for tapping on the traditional Beta Brewsday this coming Tuesday, December 17th at the GR tap room on Robie Street in Halifax. And keep your eyes open for Et Tu? Brut IPA which we told you about last week, it’ll actually be tapped next week.

A couple of events happening in Fredericton you should check out this weekend…

The folks behind the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival are once again hosting the Christmas Beer Garden at the Market, taking place this Sunday, December 15th. Between 10 AM – 2:30 PM, pop by Boyce Farmers’ Market for a little break from the hustle and bustle of the season. Your ticket get you a glass to take home and your first 4 beer tickets (refills after that are $5). You can grab food from any of the dozens of vendors and bring it into the beer garden, it seems like the perfect opportunity to graze your way through the market while enjoying a pint! We do not yet have the full brewery list, but do know that Cross Creek Brewing and Big Spruce beers will be pouring, plus a few more New Brunswick breweries. Grab your tickets here right now!

And there are still a limited number of tickets for Saturday’s Christmas Brewery Tour of Fredericton, with buses doing tours of both the South and Northside of the city, hitting up perennial favourite breweries and cideries. Your ticket gets you a flight of beers or ciders at each stop, enough to wet your whistle and keep you going. Grab your tickets here!

And just a few more newsbites before we dismiss you from class this week…

Digby’s (and Kingston’s, more recently) Roof Hound Brewing has a pair of new beers pouring this week, on different sides of the flavour spectrum. Philosophers Pineapple Sour is a 3.6% ABV fruity, acidic, yet dry kettle sour bumped up with plenty of pineapple, with a touch of sage on the go as well. And keeping with the season, Chicken Bone Stout, yes, those chicken bones, done with a nitro touch, which you can grab now at Kingston, and at Battery Park sometime very, very soon. In-house enjoyment only, no growlers or bottles. Ed: after posting, we were informed that Roof Hound’s Digby location is open by appointment only over winter, while Kingston is open during the season.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing is releasing their Third Place Imperial IPA this weekend, available for the first time in cans. This 8.5% ABV features loads of Mosaic, Galaxy, Idaho 7, and Azacca, for a mix of tropical notes for those holding on to the last vestiges of nice weather. Grab it tomorrow at Upstreet’s spots on tap and in cans, with cans hitting the shelves of the PEILCC next week. And head into the taproom this evening at 6 PM to see the Upstreet crew light their Christmas Tree, sing some carols, and drink some hot chocolate (and/or beer!).

With the holidays fast approaching, we thought we’d let you know about the new option that breweries and cider houses in our region are exploring, online shops! While you still need to be 19+ to order and receive the goods, and it’s not yet a thing in all provinces, the progress is welcome for those of us not able to visit breweries or better beer shops across the land. We know that these breweries are currently rocking and rolling with online sales, are there any others that we’ve missed? Let us know! 2 Crows, Lunn’s Mill, Stillwell, Tatamagouche

The crew at 902BrewCast have released a new episode this morning, with two active members of the Nova Scotia beer community. Kim Hart Macneill has been writing about beer in the province for several years, with a regular beer column in Halifax Magazine, plus a person. Jesse Hitchcock is a former employee in a Maritime brewery, avid beer fan, and human. They joined Phil and Tony to drink some beer and shoot the breeze about the goings on in the beer scene and beyond. Grab the episode here!

And finally, do you remember the call for wild hops that AgCan scientists Jason McCallum and Aaron Mills made a couple of years ago? Well, they have released that research this week, in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science. Together with Spencer Gallant of Lone Oak Brewing, who was completing his Masters in their lab, they have summarized their work on the characterization of hops, and looked at novel ways to do non-invasive identification of the subspecies of the plant. Or as they put it much more elegantly, “The native lupuloides accessions examined possess only trace amounts of this compound in their leaves (<0.10 total flavonols), suggesting its potential utility as a novel, leaf-derived chemotaxonomic marker for subspecies identification purposes. A leaf-derived taxonomic marker is useful for identifying wild-growing accessions, as leaves are present throughout the entire growing season, whereas cones are only produced late in summer. Additionally, the collection of cones from 10-meter tall wild plants in overgrown riparian habitats is often difficult.” If you’re as keen as we are about learning more, download the article here! Congrats to wortly, spirko, and jaymac (I just made one of those up, you decide which one).

Although November is on the wane, the beer news in Atlantic Canada is showing no signs of slowing down. Last weekend’s Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards Gala celebrated the best beers in the region at HopYard Halifax with all four Provinces represented in the winner’s circle and Montague, PEI’s Bogside Brewing taking home the title of Brewery of the Year. You can check out the full results in our post here and maybe use it as a guide to trying some beers you’ve not had before. Meanwhile, in eagerly anticipated news, especially for beer lovers in Halifax, the latest venture from the gang at Stillwell, The Stillwell Freehouse, is now officially open on Agricola Street in the North End. You can read (and see!) more about what is certainly to become a favorite haunt for many in our profile posted this morning. But that is far from all the news you need to know, read on for plenty more about this week’s releases, re-releases, and events in our little corner of the continent.

Good news if you’re a fan of Port Rexton’s ongoing Continuum series (hazy IPAs that tend to focus mainly on one single hop variety), as they’ve just released their latest entry, Continuum w/ Cashmere. While there’s plenty of the Cashmere variety used in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop additions, they threw in some Columbus as well. Lots of pineapple, lemon, and pine in this one, as well as “a light herbal bouquet on the palate”. Pretty manageable at 5.6% ABV, it finishes with a smooth bitterness. Look for it right now on tap at the taproom, and it’s also available for growler fills at the St. John’s retail shop.

Speaking of the wonderful world of hops, Tatamagouche Brewing has their newest hoppy beauty out this week. Lotus DIPA is an 8% Imperial IPA that is loaded with Lotus (breweries take note, “Loaded with Lotus” is a pretty cool-sounding name for a beer), a quite-new American variety that has popped up in a few beers in our region since its launch. The Lotus is accompanied by Citra and Galaxy, resulting in a hazy beer with “sweet aromas and flavours of strawberry Campino candies, tropical pineapple, and citrus with a slight spice”. It’s available at Tata on tap, with cans hitting the shelves hopefully sometime next week (some of those may make it to some of the private stores in Halifax, too). 

New can release from your buds at 2 Crows, and after a super-hoppy and hazy American IPA, they’re giving us something to dial it back a bit, a Helles they’ve named Milosh. They’ve teamed up with the folks at Shoreline Malting and Darlings Island Farm to design/brew this one, a Lager that features Pilsner malt (from Shoreline) and all NB-grown hops from Darlings Island. Brewed using a low-oxygen, multiple step mash, the wort was hopped with Magnum, Ultra, and Tettnanger is the mash, first wort, and late kettle additions. After fermentation with a traditional German Lager yeast (and krausening with fresh wort and active yeast), the beer was lagered for nine weeks, before packaging. It’s tasting “crisp and smooth, with a bready/doughy aroma, a full malty body and a firm, lingering head”. Some floral and herbal notes accompany, and it finishes with a firm bitterness. Weighing in at 4.5% ABV and 17 IBUs, look for cans and draught pours of this baby at 2 Crows, starting today at noon (we expect it’ll be on tap at several fine establishments across the HRM, as well). 

Waaaay up in Twilingate, NL, Split Rock Brewing Co. has their first lager available on the taps, a beer in the California Common style. Amber in color, it’s clean and malty as one would expect, with spicy and floral hop character owing to the use of American Cluster hops and a dry, bitter finish. Coming in at 5.0% ABV, you’ll find it pouring at their tap room as well as The Guv’nor and Fort Amherst Pub in St. John’s. As far as we know they’ve got no current plans to package it, but never say never, and if it’s a hit with the drinking public it’s certainly possible that future batches will see release in cans.

Moving Southeast down the shore, Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. has teamed up with Tod Perrin, Steve Lee, and the crew  of Mallard Cottage for two new entries in their Bog & Barrens series. If you get up to Mallard you’ll be able to get a sneak peak of these new beers with special food pairings before they are packaged in cans and released to the wider public later this month. The beers in question are Parsnip & Golden Beet Kveik and Partridgeberry Stout, both clearly hewing to the ethos of the Bog & Barrens banner to collaborate with local providers and bring to market beers that could only come from Newfoundland. If you’re interested in this preview, you’d best get your reservation together for tonight or tomorrow by contacting Mallard Cottage directly.

And continuing with Newfoundland beer news, moving West this time to Cormack, Crooked Feeder Brewing has released a new beer as well, a brown they’re calling 12 Mile House Nut Brown Ale. This 5% ABV and 27 IBU beer has a lovely mahogany color and a firm off-white head. It’s available at the brewery, of course (open 6 – 10 PM tonight), and the Crooked Feeder Gastro Pub in Corner Brook, as well as being served at the Corner Brook 12 Beers of Xmas event happening tomorrow and, if you’re in town, on tap at The Guv’nor in St. John’s.

Lastly, before we leave the Rock, we head all the way up to St. Anthony to one of the newest breweries in our region, RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Co. who are celebrating the Norse Goddess of Death with a beer they’re calling Hela’s Fury IPA. We don’t have much in the way of details on this one other than an ABV of 6.9%, but we do remember Atlantic Canada’s Hop Overlord Greg Nash posting pictures from a brewery in St. Anthony a few weeks ago, so we think maybe, just maybe, the gang at RagnaRöck got themselves some superstar help with this one. There’s only one way to find out for sure: head on up and give it a try! Brewery hours are currently Sunday to Wednesday, 3pm – 11pm, and Thursday to Saturday 3pm – 12am.

Good Robot is taking another swing at the wonderful Schwarzbier style, a dark Lager that is meant to be roasty yet smooth (i.e. not acrid), with a lighter body than other dark beers out there. This beer, which they’ve named A Cunning Plan, is a 4.6% ABV, 27 IBUs brew that is dark brown, light-bodied, with a bit of bitter chocolate on the palate and an herbal hop aroma. Finishing crisp and roasty, it was originally supposed to be released at the taproom this week; however, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for it now… look for it to debut at Good Robot next Thursday.

Down in Lunenburg, Shipwright Brewing has a new beer to put the wind in your sails (see what I did there? It’s because they’re a brewery named after ships and such). Hull N’ Boats is an “Irish Extra Stout” that has aromatics of “dark roast coffee, anise, and roasted barley”. There’s a bit of cacao bean on the palate as well with this one, and with the beer being brewed with a healthy addition of oats in the grist, a smooth, silky mouthfeel. It’s 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, and available now at the brewery, along with three other beers of theirs (apparently a first for Shipwright, having four different beers available all at once… that’s a good sign for them!). 

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has a new beer on the go for the holiday season: Christmas on Portland Street is a version of their Portland Street Porter, a porter with plenty of chocolate malt for a dark chocolate-y bitter character, that was aged on raspberries. The result is something they’re describing as raspberry chocolate cake in a can. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, we’re told that it’s one of the beers in the Maritime Craft Beer Countdown box now available at certain private stores in Halifax. But if you’re eager to give it a try, a limited amount is available on tap and to go at the brewery as well!

Moncton’s Pump House Brewery has released a new beer this week, the latest in their limited edition Backdraught series. Now out is KAZAK Russian Imperial Stout. Inspired by co-owner Lilia Fraser’s Russian and Kazakhstani heritage, this 8.7% ABV beer is the perfect accompaniment to the cold days, and colder nights, we are experiencing. Featuring a variety of dark and black malts, the beer is punctuated with bitterness and light citrus notes from Magnum and Celeia hops. Available on draught at the Brewpub and Fill Station, tall cans are also available to go in their retail spot, and rolling out to select ANBL locations.

New bottle release at Tidehouse this weekend, and it’s got the three most profitable words in the beer industry: DDH (yes, we’re counting that as one word, because seriously, those three letters are $$ when used in that order), Milkshake, and IPA. Yep, Milk Trip is an 8.5% ABV DDH Milkshake IPA brewed with lactose, orange zest, and vanilla bean, and heavily-hopped with Citra and Mosaic. Hazy, with a full mouthfeel, and helluva lotta citrus throughout, it’s available today at 2 pm in 650 mL bottles (maximum 2/person). They won’t last long, as it’s a smaller bottling run than usual for TH, so drop by soonish or they may be all gone!

Your pals and ours, the 902 BrewCast triumvirate of Tony “Important” Wight, Phil “KelticDevil” Church, and Kyle “I don’t need no stinking nickname” Andrus, have somehow managed to survive three years of visiting breweries, drinking beer and talking (at length) about it all for your (presumed) education and entertainment! Head on over to their podcast homepage or check them out on your favorite podcasting app for their most recent episode, which dropped today, their Third Anniversary tasting episode where they reminisce about the antics of the last few years and no doubt toast to more in the next one, we also expect they busted out some bangers from their cellars in celebration. Congrats to the guys on managing to get this far and we look forward to hearing more from them in the future!

If you’re the type to keep abreast of trends in the beverage alcohol industry, especially the US markets, you might know that Hard Seltzers are currently hotter than a Times Square Rolex. Although they’re generally coming out of beer breweries, these very accessible products, low in carbs and calories, generally don’t feature much, if any, beer flavor at all, but boast bubbly effervescence, fruity flavors, moderate alcohol levels, and catchy slogans like, “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws.” As is very often the case, trends tend to push north across the border and this one is no exception, as we’ve now got a brewery in our region with a release that’s ticking a lot of the same boxes (hopefully not the slogan part though, mmkay?). Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing is releasing Raspberry Bubbly today at the brewery, which they’re calling a “seltzer-style ale” no doubt owing to the portion of malt included in the recipe. “Super zippy, clean and ultra dry” you can expect this 4% ABV beer-adjacent beverage to be a low carb option for those looking to imbibe without paying a penalty in the waistline department and/or a more fruit-forward option for those who aren’t into hoppy or beer-flavored beer. If you’re curious, you can grab cans, pints, or fills starting today at the brewery. And stay tuned, Tw social media posts about this one certainly seem to imply that raspberry won’t be the limit of their explorations of the style, so it’s very possible that in coming months you’ll be able to taste the rainbow.

So, what’s on the go around the region this weekend?

Starting right …. about …. an hour ago (sorry!), Stillwell HQ on Barrington kicked off their tap takeover by St. John’s newest brewery, Bannerman Brewing. This is the first time these new favourites have been available outside of Newfoundland (maybe even outside of St John’s?), and we can’t think of a better place to hold it. Phil Maloney and Dave Bridger (Co-owner and Brewer, respectively) will be in the bar chatting with folks. Six Bannerman beers will be pouring this afternoon, including their All Hands Helles, Thirst Trap APA, Island Time DIPA, as well as brand newbies Nervous State Milk Stout (collab with Hogie from Upstreet), Medium Cool IPA, and Scenic Route Sour with blueberry and mint. We’ve heard you may also be able to pick up some merch when you drop by, so best visit early!

Don’t forget that Cask in the Sticks is being held at Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, this Saturday. This roving beer festival is moving cask beer into the country, with 8 breweries (and one homebrew collective) sharing some old standards and new to the format. Your $30 ticket ($25 if you buy one at one of the participating breweries ahead of time) gets you your own take-home glass, and fills all afternoon long. Dress up in your favourite onesie to take part in the competition, and build your own S’mores too. Breweries in attendance are: Lunn’s Mill Beer Co., Sober Island Brewing Company, Big Spruce Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing Company, Meander River Farm, Tatamagouche Brewing Co., Roof Hound Brewing Co., and Annapolis Brewing Company.

Just a couple more things to woo you with before we send you on your way:

Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar is having a large weekend, with plenty of new beers available on their shelves. Available from noon today, is SpontanBasil, a totally unique unique collaboration between Lindemans and Mikkeller. Their take on a gueuze, with one- and two-year old lambic blended and added with fresh basil at bottling. After conditioning and a final fermentation, the beer is now available for sale at their shop, as well as online. And dropping tomorrow morning are three releases from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewing, Fruit Jelly King PTG, Saison Pizazz, and Yeehaw Y’All. Available from 8 AM in store and online, we suspect these won’t last long, so set your alarms now! Probably a good excuse to get out to peep their newly expanded location in Bishop’s Landing, eh?

Propeller Brewing has brought back a seasonal favourite, their Coffee Porter. Using Fog City coffee from Java Blend Coffee Roasters, this 5.9% ABV beer is full of chocolate, coffee, and light toffee notes as well. This year’s batch is a bottle exclusive, and only available at the NSLC, so pop by your local to grab some!

Have you found yourself with an orange hop bomb-sized hole in your beer drinking life lately? Well we’ve got good news from Unfiltered about getting you what you’re missing. DOA (Double Orange Apocalypse) is back at the brewery in all formats (fills, pints, and cans) starting from noon today. As always, 7.5% ABV, hoppy as hell, and leaving you happily belching an orange grove.

North Brewing, formerly of Halifax, now firmly ensconced in Dartmouth, has two returning beers to mention this week. First up is a brand new version of their Sunshine Shandy, this time made with Meyer lemons and local honey, a tart and lemony brew with a teensy bit of residual sweetness from the honey. And also returning is the OG tiramisu version of their Twinkle Pony Pastry Stout, which features lady fingers and chocolate malt on the grist side, lactose and vanilla for some sweetness, and cold brew coffee for an espresso kick. Both are available at the brewery and the Twinkle Pony can be had on nitro pours at Battery Park on Ochterloney.

And in late-late-late breaking news, Rough Waters Brewing is opening their retail space in Deer Lake this Sunday. Located at 83 Wight’s Road, the space will be open 1 – 6 PM Sunday, and will have four beers available: their Selkie Wheat, Scallywag IPA, Sou’wester Sour, and Singaler Porter. You can also get a sneak peek of their beer at this weekend’s Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival in Corner Brook. We’ll have lots more details on Rough Waters very soon! Congratulations!