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We’ve got a ton of great beery news to share with you this week, from breweries expanding into new territories, new Beer Gardens opening, as well as at least a dozen new beers to wet your whistle. Let’s do away with the formalities, and get you the good word!

We’ve got big news from Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing, who are making the trek across the Northumberland Strait, and will be partnering with Chef Bill Pratt (of Cheese Curds and Habaneros) to open a restaurant and brewery at 612 Windmill Rd in Dartmouth, NS, as Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse. This address may sound familiar to HRM beer fans, as it is the former location of the Sleeman’s Brewery and Down East Beer Factory. Upstreet’s Brewmaster Mike “Hogie” Hogan will be in charge of brewing operations on the mainland, brewing up both full-time Upstreet offerings like Commons, Do Gooder, Rhuby Social, and White Noize, and will also flex his imaginative muscles to bring other new brews to life to pair with the restaurant offerings. Speaking of food, the Upstreet crew is drawing inspiration fact-finding missions to Kansas City, and bringing home some best practices for their own pit crew for an authentic BBQ experience, made with, and to pair with, their beer. They are currently looking to hire a General Manager for the location, and will continue the hiring ahead of their opening in September.

And in more immediate Upstreet news, they have a bevy of new bevvies for us to talk about this week. Out today is the latest in their Neon Friday series, Neon Friday 008: Huell Melon India Pale Lager. Weighing in at 7.0% ABV, this German-malt base was fermented low and slow with lager yeast, but bumped up with a darling of the newer German hops Huell Melon, known for melon (natch), strawberry, and apricot fruit aroma and flavour. Available at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner on tap and in growlers and 4-packs of cans to go.

Debuting this Sunday is Upstreet’s ode to Pride PEI 2018, Rainbrew Farmhouse Saison. Featuring ingredients of all colours of the rainbow, including PEI Strawberries (red), PEI-grown 2-Row and Vienna Malts (orange), Yeast (yellow), Belma hops (green), Water (blue), and PEI Lavender (violet). And this beer isn’t just another pretty face, the sale of each pint, growler, or crowler at the Taproom or CBC will mean $1 donated to Pride PEI.

And we may have missed the boat with this beer, released right after publishing last week, but we did want to let you know that they’ve released the first beer aged in their PEI-built foeder. Foeder-aged Sour Saison is 6.5% ABV, and lightly hopped (and then dry-hopped) with Nelson Sauvin to 15 IBUs. Flavours coming through include pineapple, lemon, and white pepper, thanks to the mixed fermentation and wood-aging. If you did miss out on the first iteration from the foeder, fear not, as they’ve filled it with another Saison (not sour this time, though it will almost certainly pick up some of those flavours while it hangs out). And to learn more about foeder production and what projects are next for the Island workshop building them, be sure to follow New World Foeders for the latest scoop.

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has a new IPA being released today at the brewery. Featuring 48 vanilla beans, 80 kg of raspberry purée, and lactose, Send It! is a fruited milkshake IPA coming in at 5.7% ABV and 46 IBUs. The hops are “mostly Amarillo” but we’ve been advised that there is also some Cascade and Centennial in there. With the current price of vanilla we can understand why this beer is being released draught-only at the brewery for pints. We also suspect it might not last very long, so if it sounds like your jam put Maybee on your itinerary for the weekend!

Tatamagouche continues with new releases this week with their latest Berliner Weisse-style kettle sour, Soaked. Those who have enjoyed previous Tata kettle sours like Jitney and Philaroma should be excited by this one. Starting with a simple and ultra sessionable 3.3% ABV base beer, Hallertau Blanc and Enigma hops were added and the beer was finished with a rest on passion fruit. This one will be packaged into kegs and cans. Look for it on tap at Tata licensees, in cans at the private stores, and, of course, at the brewery.

Also available at Tata this week is the Fish Hawke double-dry hopped IPA that we told you about last week. This one had an extremely limited canning run, and all the cans will be sold from the brewery directly. While you’re grabbing some of those, you’ll also find the newly-released bottles of Saltwater Cowboy, which was the tequila barrel-fermented gose brewed for Tata’s 4th birthday celebration last month. This 4.4% ABV refreshing easy drinker was packaged in 500 mL bottles of which a few should make it to the private stores in the city this week.

And coming next week to the North shore is something entirely new to our region. You may or may not know that breweries in Nova Scotia are limited to a maximum of 11.9% alcohol by volume (ABV) in any beer product they make and sell. While most beers aren’t even in the ballpark of this limit, bigger, heavier styles like barleywine, Belgian quad and imperial stout can graze it, especially when barrel-aging in spirit barrels comes into play. Further, it turns out that occasionally a brewery will conceive of a beer that doesn’t just bump up against the limit, it shatters it. How can that beerbe sold? It turns out that one answer is for the brewery to get a distiller’s license, which Tatamagouche Brewing has done. And their first beer to take advantage of that drops next week: Man-o-War is an extra strong ale at a staggering (for beer, anyway) 15.2% ABV. Intended to be a sipping beer, it began with an English-style barleywine recipe that was fermented with an extremely alcohol-tolerant Norwegian Kveik yeast strain to create a base beer that clocked in at 13%. From there it went into grape brandy barrels for 4 months of conditioning, where it picked up the additional 2.2%. Look for this one to appear in 500 mL bottles at the brewery next Thursday. Try it as an aperitif before a big meal or share a bottle around and raise a toast to big beers, you might also consider grabbing a second to put down to see how it develops over a few months or years.

Speaking of the North shore of NS, beer lovers in Pictou County now have a new place to enjoy a few malt beverages. The team behind Uncle Leo’s brewery in Lyons Brook have opened up a new Craft Beer Garden in the town of Pictou called Quayside Beer Garden. Next to the replica of the Ship Hector that brought some of the first settlers to our province, the patio is right on the water and has spectacular views of the harbour. The facility sports 8 taps, through which they’ll be rotating a wide variety of beers from regional producers. Their opening list included Unfiltered, North, Garrison, Chain Yard, and red and white wines from Jost Vineyards. Quayside is located at 33 Caladh Avenue in Pictou and has its own social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram) where you’ll find updated info on the current taps and any events that might be in the works.

Mahone Box’s Saltbox Brewing is launching a new beer today, another in their line of charitable beer releases. Dory Racer is a 5.8% ABV Northeast IPA, featuring that iconic hazy appearance, fruity hop aroma, and tropical citrus aroma with low bitterness. Available on tap at the brewery and licensees, as well as for growler fills and in cans, a portion of the proceeds from every can purchase will go to the Canadian Dory Racing Association based in Lunenburg. And drop by brewery tonight at 6 pm to try the new brew and for the presentation of Saltbox’s donation to SHAID, as a result of their previous charity beer, Homeward Bound. And you can use Dory Racer as inspiration to enter the Dory Racing Challenge as part of Mahone Bay Heritage Boatyard Weekend, August 3-5th.

We’ve got two kinda-sorta-brand-new-debut-launch bottle releases from Stillwell Brewing to tell you about this week. The first is Easy, which we’ve told you about previously when it debuted by-the-glass at Stillwell Beer Bar, but it will be for sale “to go” for the first time this weekend. To catch you up, this 4.7% ABV Saison spent a couple of months in their largest foeder, during fermentation with their house blend of yeast and bacteria, for a more sour take on their Stillwell 2 Saison, with a mix of lactic and acetic acid coming though, complemented with some floral and spicy hops. This one will be in 750 mL bottles. This weekend is also the debut of Merryweather, a blend of 10- and 5-month old oak-fermented farmhouse ales, aged with wild rosehips and blue juniper berries, foraged by FD WildFoods & Fine Products, before bottle conditioning for the past four months. It made its debut during SBC’s trip West to Farmhouse Fest in BC, it is now available on the yEast Coast. The Stillwell Brewing retail pop-up, located around the back of 2015 Gottingen Street, will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 12-3PM, with these two, as well as a handful of other recent bottle releases, plus label-inspired t-shirts, and branded hats.

[Ed note: at 5:30PM we learned that Vaquero’s release is being delayed by a month due to THP being detected in the beer. We are leaving the post up, but please note that the beer and Mexi-food pop-up have been delayed until further notice. More details here.]

Hot on the heels of their first bottle release a couple of weeks ago (and there are still bottles of Dandy left, folks!), Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing has another bottle release set for tomorrow. Vaquero is a 5.3% ABV Tequila barrel aged sour, featuring black lime and agave, that has been months in the making. With Pilsner, Wheat, Spelt and a bit of Rye malts making up the grist, the beer was lightly hopped in the boil with Hallertau Blanc. First soured with a blend of Lactobacillus cultures, the beer was co-fermented with Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeasts. After primary fermentation was complete and the beer reached terminal gravity in stainless steel, the beer was transferred to a freshly-emptied Tequila barrel, with fermentation re-started thanks to the addition of several litres of agave nectar. After that, black limes were added for a conditioning phase, adding bright citrus as well as a lightly smoked character. Fresh lime zest was also added to increase that flavour. At bottling, champagne yeast was dosed in order to finish the entire package with bright, light, and spritzy carbonation. As you may have gathered from the description, there was only one Tequila barrel used in the production of this beer, which means this beer is available in short supply, and ONLY in bottles at the brewery. It will be available to takeaway from noon tomorrow, or better yet, grab a bottle pour at the bar and hang out while Chef Joe Martin slings some Mexican-inspired food, including Elote salad, shrimp tacos, grilled quesadillas, and Mexi dogs, from 12-7PM. Full info on 2C’s insta page.

This week at Good Robot in Halifax they’re doing things a little differently, with a beta brew release on MONDAY for a change. Doc Rauch was brewed with Lee MacDonald and his mentor Chris Thomas to celebrate Lee’s dissertation defense, which will take place Monday morning. That afternoon you’ll find the beer, a smoked lager (Rauchbier) reminiscent of beers that Lee and Chris enjoyed in Germany, on tap, during several research-related trips. Smoky, smooth, and balanced, it used Pilsner, Vienna and Smoked malts along with Tettnanger hops. Brewed June 4th, primary fermentation took roughly three and a half weeks before it was transferred into two casks. So if you miss this 4.7% ABV and 29 IBU beer on Monday, you might be able to get in on the second cask due to be tapped on Tuesday afternoon, on their normal Beta Brewsday schedule.

In other GR news, up for release this week is another lager, this one in the Vienna-style, smooth and malty with a touch of sweetness, a nutty smokiness and a touch of herbs and rye. Leveraging both Vienna and dark Munich malts along with Perle, Mandarina Bavaria, and Willamette hops, we don’t know the name of this 5% ABV and 24 IBU beer, but we can tell you it’ll be hitting the taps on Thursday. And if you’re a fan of GR’s Leave me Blue, their pre-prohibition Kentucky Corn Beer, you’ll find it on tap for Halifax Pride Week events including Comedy Night at Spatz on Thursday, the Bump at Garrison Grounds on Friday, and the Pride Parade on Saturday, among others. If the stocks somehow aren’t drunk dry from all of that, anything that remains will likely be put on tap at GR’s own taproom on Robie Street (but if you want to make sure you get some, we highly recommend checking out those Pride events!).

Down on the south shore of NS in Shelburne, Boxing Rock has a new beer out now, a collaboration with Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co called Floor to Shore! Using a grist of 100% Horton Ridge malt, this 4.5% ABV beer is a dry-hopped Hefeweizen which means it no doubt contains a significant portion of wheat. Look for a smooth, possibly almost creamy mouthfeel, and a distinct hop aroma from the dry hopping. This one is in bottles, so look for it at the brewery, possibly the private stores in Halifax, and no doubt in growlers at BR’s usual farmers market locations as well. And look for it to join several other Boxing Rock beers (featuring their malt) at Horton Ridge during a Tap Takeover July 28th from 12-8PM, with live music 3-5PM, and an Open Mic starting at 7PM.

And up towards the Valley in Digby Roof Hound has a new beer they’re calling Lucille. Described as a “Rhubarbed Mojito Sour”, it’s known to have quite a bite. You’ll be able to find it in bottles next week, but for now it’s only on tap at the brewery. Roof Hound was unfortunately broken into this past week, with damage done and things stolen. A new and interesting beer is another great reason to head down and show your support for Les and his hard-working team!!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co has a new beer available now, Breaker Room Grisette. This 4.3% ABV little sister to the Saison was brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, hopped with Strisselspalt, and fermented with New World Saison Yeast from Escarpment Labs. Brewed for French and Belgian miners, looking for a beer after their shifts underground, the style is ideal for delivering flavour and refreshment in a small package. Drop by their 92 West Street location for a pint of this and their other beers this weekend!

In cider news, Halifax’s ChainYard has a new and interesting cider hitting the taps that’s called Drunken Cherry. Featuring both house-made cherry wine and “rhumb” (unaged white rum) from neighboring Compass Distillers, it’s a 9.4% ABV robust and earthy brew with a hint of sour cherry. Fermenting juice to make wine before blending it into cider is a technique that’s fairly unique to Chain Yard and helps encourage a nuanced product that can be quite different from one where juice is added for primary or secondary fermentation. Look for the cherry to have brought cinnamon and nutmeg notes. You can try it for yourself on tap on Agricola Street where it’s pouring now!

Just one event to tell you about this weekend, but it’s a big one!

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, with Saturday being an all-day-party-and-new-beer-release-extravaganza! From noon until 12, there will be live music, magic shows, pop-up shops, fresh food, and more, plus the debut of not one, not two, not three, but four new beers!
New-Foeder-Land is the first foeder-aged beer to be released in Newfoundland (and Canada’s most Easterly), an Imperial Farmhouse Ale
High Fives is a Foeder-Aged Brettanomyces Kettle Sour
Oatmeal Stout is a barrel-aged Oatmeal Stout, aged on local Partridgeberries
Kölsch is the winning beer from the Newfermenters Home Brew Competition, brewed by Bill and Ryan late last month
Congratulations to the entire Port Rexton Family! And due to all hands needed at the brewery, their St John’s retail shop will be closed this weekend. But fear not, they’ll be open again next weekend, Friday 12-8PM and Saturday 12-6PM.

Just a few more Newsbites to tell you about today before we let you go:

Halifax’s North Brewing has brought back their Alloy Champagne IPA, with the second in this series a 6.0% IPA that is fermented extremely dry (low- to -no-residual sugar), thanks to the addition of an enzyme to break down complex sugars, making them more available to the yeast. This version features Callista, Huell Melon, and Vic Secret hops, and is available now at both their Agricola and Ochterloney Street locations. And speaking of their Dartmouth location, it is now open 7 days a week, from noon, for all of your bottle, cans, and growler needs.

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is releasing their newest IPA today, Inception. Featuring loads of Falconers Flight, this 6.5% ABV IPA features notes of spice, citrus and dank, and is available on tap and in cans to go from the brewery now.

And a final “good news in the right direction” for inter-provincial beer, the provincial leaders agreed to raise the personal exemption limits for bringing beer across provincial borders last night, meaning fans can now move 49 litres of beer between provinces. No changes for breweries looking to ship beyond their provincial borders just yet, even though we’ve seen wineries and cideries in our region who ship country-wide, so maybe it is more of a case of “if no one complains, you can get away with it”. More at CBC News.

Happy Canada Day Weekend! Now that the frost warnings are finally done [uh oh, did I just jinx us?], and we’ve seen the sun poke through a few times, it’s time to leave our home and get out to visit the local breweries and cider houses. We’ve got two new spots we’re excited to share with you today, plus a dozen new beers and events to seek out locally, no matter where you live. As always during holidays, be sure to double-check that the brewery or bar is open, as some are taking a bit of time off to enjoy the much-needed vacation, too!

About an hour outside of St. John’s, the small town of Dildo is now home to the latest brewery to open in our region. While the origin of the town name may be up for some debate, there’s no arguing that they are ready to join the wave of great beer that is now available on the Rock. Located in the same building as the Dildo Interpretive Centre on Front Road, the Dildo Brewing Company and Museum features a beautiful taproom which borrows the same aesthetics, and even some pieces, from the now-closed Centre. Launching with four beers (a Red, Blonde, IPA, and Stout, with a Blueberry Blonde set to be released shortly), visitors can enjoy beer by the pint or sample flight while enjoying a meal, with growlers available to go as well. Their hours are 11AM – 11PM, and we hope to share a Profile with the DBCaM family next week. Congratulations!

Also opening this weekend is a new Winery slash Brewery at the start of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Bent Nail Brewery is located on the grounds of the Bent Ridge Winery, at Daniels’ U Pick on Highway 14 near Martock. Opening this Sunday, they will be pouring their Cream Ale, English Ale, Pale Ale, and IPA, brewed on their 2 BBL (240 litre) system. The taproom features a wood fired pizza oven to complement the beer, and will be open 10AM – 6PM daily, starting Sunday. Congratulations to the Bent Ridge/Bent Nail crew!

Our third “new brewery” news is actually a re-launching and re-branding of a familiar New Brunswick brewery. Bore City Brewing opened in 2015, brewing on a ½ BBL (50 litre) system in the basement of one of their owners in Moncton. Shortly after launching, they realized that they were working very hard to only produce 3 kegs at a time; as a natural result, expansion was on their mind. When building issues stalled their expansion plans for a 10-15 BBL (1200-1800 litre) brewhouse and taproom in 2017, they regrouped. They hired a new brewer in Spring 2017, whose favourite styles to drink and brew lined up nicely with their own: bold IPAs and traditional and modern Belgian beers. They have recently settled into their current location with a 3 BBL (360 litre) system from Stout Tanks, and are ready to unveil their new name. Grand Monk Ales is a portmonteau paying ode to their expansion, their love of Monc(k)ton and Belgian beers. While this new spot is not open to the public, they have been able to send more of their beer further across the province, frequently available on tap at the Laundromat, Tide & Boar, Les Brumes du Coude, as well as at The Joyce in Fredericton and Cask & Kettle in Saint John.  Look out for their favourites, including Causeway IPA (Mosaic/Vic Secret hopped), Mondo IPA (dank and fruity), Vent d’âme Belgian Pale Ale, and Spacetime Odyssey Porter, as well as plenty of new releases throughout the summer. We’ll keep you up to date with all of Grand Monk’s goings ons, including their Launch Party this summer.

Big Spruce has released a new lager, and they need your help in naming it. Fear not, there’s some great prizes for the winner for your hard work! Made in collaboration with Sydney’s Governors Pub, it’s a German lager with a slight North American twist, made with 100% imported Weyermann Pilsner malt and Bohemian Lager yeast, but finishing with a slight citrus bite from the use of classic American Cascade hops. Slowly fermented for 2 weeks before entering a 7 week lagering period, it’s super crispy and perfect for summer lager drinking. Drop by Governors for a pint and check out their new Beer Garden, as it’s the only place you can find the beer outside of the brewery, and submit your idea. The winner will get bragging rights, plus a BBQ Party for Ten on the Governors beer garden patio. You have until July 7th to sip and submit, so don’t delay!

Meanwhile, Jeremy and the gang have a plethora of other beers on the go right now as well, starting with Fake News, a 5.6% ABV and 30 IBU modern American Pale Ale made with Idaho 7 hops and fermented with the Foggy London Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. Gimme Citra, originally developed as a collaboration with Stillwell, is back again, a hoppy beer with a prominent Citra hop character that weighs in at a supremely sessionable 4.8% ABV. Watches & Jet Skis, Big Spruce’s ode to questionable business practices is a new Berliner Weisse, soured in the kettle and finished with Citra. At 3.8% ABV it should be a lovely refresher on hot summer days and all the inducement you need to drink some NS craft beer. Lastly is a shandy (of all things!) comprised of a 50/50 blend of slow-lagered Kölsch with housemade lemonade. The name? Comedy of Errors.

The collaboration brews from 2 Crows just keep-a-comin’, with their latest hitting shelves today at noon… and don’t worry, like the high majority of 2 Crows beers, it’s an interesting one! Slam Jam was brewed with Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing, when head brewer Graham With was in Halifax for the Canadian Brewing Awards last month. Brewed with Pilsner, Malted Oats, Wheat malt, and Aromatic, it was hopped in the whirlpool with Huell Melon, Vic Secret, and Azacca. Fermented with two Brettanomyces strains, they dried the beer out further by adding the enzyme glucoamylase (which brought the beer down to a gravity of 0.998… just for comparison, distilled water is 1.000). Once fermentation was complete, 400 lbs of blueberry puree was added for conditioning, and finally a dry hop with more of the three hop varieties mentioned earlier… plus Galaxy! The result is a very dry, fruity, funky, highly-carbed beer with a deep blue/purple colour, with “a ton of aroma from the blueberries and the blend of dry hops”. This 6.7% ABV beauty can be found in cans and on tap at 2 Crows today; cans will likely be on the shelves at the private liquor stores in the HRM, and on tap at a few lucky licensees.

Today, North Brewing is launching the first beer in their new Breakwater series, which will feature a total of three fruited sour beers being released over the summer. Breakwater Coconut-Lime was first soured with Escarpment’s Lactobacillus blend, and then fermented with their Vermont Ale strain. Both lime zest and lime juice were added to the beer after fermentation, along with chunks of coconut, to give the 5.5% ABV brew its two name-worthy flavours. Sounds perfect for summer, no? Drop by either of the North bottle shops to pick up some cans for the weekend; it’ll also be pouring on tap at Battery Park.

Just outside of Fredericton in Hanwell, NB, Niche has another new beer, a sour IPA they’re calling Wayfarer. Leveraging a pure lab culture of Lactobacillus plantarum (a bacteria found in all manner of fermented foods and even human saliva) for souring, and with lactose powder added in the boil, the beer was finished with hefty amounts of Centennial and El Dorado hops from post-boil whirlpool onwards to prevent any untoward bitterness that might clash with the sour profile. The result is a 6% ABV and 14 IBU beer that is bright, refreshing and citrussy. You’ll find it at tap accounts in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. And look for the return of another Niche beer, Ethos, their house culture-fermented saison. It’s got more Brett character this time around, with light fruit and peppery spice notes highlighted against a slightly acidic body and a dry finish. This one weighs in at 6.3% ABV. Expect to see more Niche re-releases in coming weeks, giving you a chance to enjoy those beers again or try ones you might have missed for the first time.

Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing is feeling rhubarb-y lately, so much so that they are planning at least three beers to be featured in a special Rhubarb series from the brewery. This weekend, we’ll see the first beer in the series, Rhubarb Gose. Slightly tart, salty, with some coriander notes like a traditional Gose, a “light addition” of rhubarb was thrown in during fermentation to add “a hint” of rhubarb character. If you’d like to grab a growler or two for the long weekend, be sure to stop by the brewery soon, as there’s only 180 L available (growlers are only available at the 19 Kirk St. location for now). As mentioned, expect to see at least two more rhubarb beers from Heritage over the coming weeks, one of which is the return of their Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat Ale from last year (which sold out in just 90 minutes!). They’ve also just opened up the taproom section of their ongoing expansion at 250 Main Street, so sit and enjoy a pint while you’re there! Finally, they’re expecting their new brewhouse to arrive next week, which means more Heritage beer for the thirsty public in the near future.

Tanner & Co. Brewing, in Chester, NS, have already expanded to a larger brewhouse, and have one of their first bigger-batch beers ready for you to try. Nelson Saison is as you might expect from the name: a Saison hopped with the always-amazing-and-not-so-easy-to-find Nelson Sauvin variety, from New Zealand. This wasn’t just a measly, light hop addition, however; the Nelson was added at several stages throughout the boil, and also in the dry-hop, for “aromas and flavours of gooseberry, pineapple, and lemon”. It weighs in at 6.8% ABV and 30 IBUs, and is available now at the brewery.

This year marks the 20 year Anniversary of the formation of the Mudmen, a rugby team in Charlottetown, PEI, and the PEI Brewing Co. has brewed up a beer in their honour. Sin Bin is a Kölsch brewed in the traditional sense, meaning that it was fermented with a Kölsch yeast strain at temperatures somewhere between those typical for a Lager and Ale, and then lagered for a brief period to allow the flavours to meld together. The final product is “bright and crisp, with some German noble hop character”, with some fruity esters from the yeast. It’s easy-drinking at just 4.4% ABV, with a light bitterness in the finish. You can grab cans of this one at the PEIBC taproom tomorrow from 12-2 pm during their launch party. And drop by the taproom today from 4PM for the last in their Growlers of Summer release, Sangria Pale Ale. Bold, yet easy drinking, it features bright hop flavours with an addition of Blood Orange juice.

In Lawrencetown, NS, Lunn’s Mill has more or less completed their taproom expansion, with only a few tweaks here and there expected as they grow into their new space. Both the new space and their patio are now open with beer pouring and food being served. They’ve also got a new beer they’re hoping to release this week that was brewed in collaboration with their bartender, Chris Williams. In a Pinch started with a base of 100% Horton Ridge malt, including their apple malt, hopped with local Galena and Fuggle hops and then dosed heavily with apple blossoms in the post-boil whirlpool. The yeast chosen for fermentation was the Nova Scotia Sauvage strain from Big Spruce, resulting in a very NS-centric beer. Coming in at a crushable 4% ABV and 16 IBU, it’s described as light, floral and refreshing.

Looks like our friends at Tidehouse have another bottle release for us all! Yesterday saw the release of Houndstooth, a bottle-conditioned 8% ABV “India Saison” (read: hoppy Saison). Brewed with Vienna, Wheat, and Acid malts, they bittered the beer with Warrior, and added Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic for flavour and aroma after the boil was complete. Fermented with a blend of Saison yeasts, more Hallertau Blanc was added for the dry-hop, ultimately resulting in a beer with a dominance of white wine-like flavours, “backed by some tropical fruit and berry notes”. The Saison strains dried this one out right some good, and also contribute some “peppery spice and a hint of banana” to the brew. Drop by the brewery today 2 – 9PM (they’re closed this weekend to enjoy the celebrations) to pick up some 750 mL bottles… they suggest trying one now, and letting another one (or more!) age for six months. And while you’re there, why not try Wharf Speed, a light and easy-drinking 4% ABV summer beer hopped with Cascade, Mandarina Bavaria, and Ahtanum? Available on tap as we speak.

Over at Garrison, they’re releasing their latest kettle-sour, Sour Castro. A new take on the La Menta, a beer they brewed with mint last November. This time they’ve got for a bit more of a Mojito feel with the mint being joined by lime juice and the apple juice being left out. Wholly bereft of any IBUs at all, expect a refreshing beer with a cooling sensation from the mint and coming in at a very sessionable 4.8% ABV, perfect for the scorcher of a weekend that’s expected in Halifax. It could be an excellent beer to server at an event like a pig roast; and lo and behold, that’s what they’re going to do! Asado Grill will be at Garrison on Sunday for a Canada Day celebration starting at 11 AM. They’ll be cooking up a whole hog which you can get in on for $20 per person (including baked potato w/ fixins, market salad and roll).

• If you’re in a cider kinda-mood, Annapolis Cider Company has a new entry in their one-off Something Different series coming out today. Honey Blossom is a sparkling cider that started with the cidery’s cool-fermented dry apple cider, but with the addition of locally-picked elderflowers and purple lilac blossoms. A “touch” of local wildflower honey was also added at the end, along with some fresh-pressed apple juice, resulting in a 7% ABV cider that is “aromatic and full-bodied, with lush floral notes”. The usual $0.50/refill donation for this one will be going to the Terranaut Club, “a group of passionate and dedicated women in science, unified by the mission to create and provide opportunities for girls to recognize their own interests and seek their own futures in STEM fields and environmental advocacy”.

Quidi Vidi Brewery has a new beer out this weekend, and are hosting an all-day event at their taproom Sunday to celebrate. Day Boil is a 4.5% ABV Session IPA, featuring a light malt base and plenty of hops, starting with a bittering charge of Magnum before plenty of late-boil and dry-hopping of Mosaic. Cans of Day Boil will also be available Sunday in their Hop Shop, the first off of their brand new canning line. Their Day Boil Party kicks off at noon on Canada Day, with $5 pints until 5PM, with live music all day and night. No cover charge. And if you’re looking for a way to get there and avoid the parking woes around the Gut, The Link from Metrobus is running Wednesday to Sunday every week until October, connecting Quidi Vidi Village with downtown St John’s and Signal Hill, and could be the perfect way to get to/from the brewery, Mallard Cottage (and Beer Garden), or before/after the East Coast Trail to Logy Bay.

• Have you been sitting at home, wishing that someone out there would just brew an IPA with doughnuts already? Well, Roof Hound has some good news for you! They’ve teamed up with Halifax’s Vandal Doughnuts to create Vandal Hound Lemon Meringue Doughnut IPA. The grist includes Victory malt, oats, and wheat… along with a few dozen lemon meringue doughnuts from the good people at Vandal. But they didn’t stop there, and went on to add some hand-toasted sugar, along with a “large pot” of house-made lemon pie filling, and vanilla, throughout the brewing process. Looking to add more lemon character to the beer, they dry-hopped it with Lemondrop, resulting in a “sweet and sour quality, with a good dry-hop burst”. The beer is scheduled to be released on July 5th, with special events occurring at Westside and the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, followed by an event at Roof Hound on July 6th. Be sure to follow Roof Hound’s social media pages for more info on those events.

In addition to the events above, don’t miss out on these other things on the go this weekend. You know, in addition to the fun Canada Day things on the go!

It’s a special weekend for in Fredericton as the folks at Grimross, fresh off their 4-medal performance at the Canadian Brewing Awards in May, are celebrating 5 years since they opened their doors on Canada Day in 2013. The party at the brewery will be going pretty much all weekend long, with $5 pints today, tomorrow and Sunday. If you buy one, you’ll be eligible to enter a draw for a special prize at the end of the weekend. Festivities kick off tonight with live music and continue into tomorrow’s comedy night and culminating with their Canada Day party on Sunday with a special cask beer, birthday cake, and GastroGnomes food truck on the scene.

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned the Under the Breton Sky music and beer event being put on by Breton Brewing in Sydney tomorrow. VIP tickets have sold out, but general admission tickets are still available at $55 a pop. That goes up to $65 if you purchase on the day of, so if you’re interested you might want to grab your tickets today!

• And don’t forget about Good Robot’s Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Ground this weekend. From 11-11 Saturday and Sunday, come chill out with your mutt (or meet a new one!), drink some beer, and check out the dog- and beer-friendly vendors. We’ve got more details in last week’s post.

Just a few more things to tell you about this week, with returning favourite beers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Tatamagouche Brewing’s Guava Heist Berliner Weisse is back on the taps and shelves at the brewery this weekend, with cans destined to the Private Stores next week. The 3.6% ABV sour features Organic guava puree added after fermentation for a lovely fruit complement to the base beer’s acidity.
TrailWay’s Hop Stains (8% ABV), one of the brewery’s first DIPAs, is returning today for the first time in awhile. Using the highest amount of hop additions of any beer from TW, the hop schedule was tweaked this time around, featuring a mixture of American and Australian varieties. On tap and in growlers, with cans being available exclusively at the brewery.
Unfiltered brings back Sour Motherfucker, their kettle-sour aged on tart cherries, today at noon. At 6.4% ABV, it’s lightly tart, with plenty of tasty cherry character; available for pints and growlers starting at noon.
– And finally, not to end the post on a sad note, but we wanted to let you know that Motion Bay Brewing, planning to open in the Fisherman’s Co-op in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, will not be proceeding. Having met the people involved with the brewery several times, it was obvious their passion for beer was authentic, and bringing jobs and visitors to a small town was an important part of their brewery. We wish them the best in whatever endeavours they get up to in the future.

O'Creek Logo

 

 

Brewing on a small scale at his house in Dieppe, New Brunswick, Patrice Daigle launched O’Creek Brewing in late May, just in time for the local Atlantic Beer Festival. Daigle was looking for a change in focus, and with the support of his family, found brewing to be the perfect fit. Daigle was kind enough to sit down with us and share the details on his brewery, his homebrewing history, and plans for the future.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in a small fishing village called Pointe-Sapin, this is where the name O’Creek is from. I’ve been in Moncton for over 20 years, working in IT ever since. I am the father of two beautiful young girls and have been married to a supportive wife. I’m mostly involved in the brewery duties but it’s also a family thing. Before brewing, I did wedding photography, and since I stopped, I’ve been brewing non stop and last year I decided to go commercial. It’s a real passion that I would like to share with others.

How did you get into the world of beer?
I wasn’t into beer that much to be honest, I was more a wine drinker. It all started about 10 years ago with friends, buying all sorts of imported beers and that’s where you start tasting different styles. After a summer of drinking just Picaroons, I really got hooked on craft beer. Back then, the craft beer scene wasn’t much, but now we have many choices and great options to pick from.

O'Creek and Beer Glass

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
After I started homebrewing, I liked it so much and couldn’t keep up with giving some to family members and friends. I would get good feedback and would want to brew more and more. I saw, and I still see, a huge potential in our region and I want to be part of this industry and to help other breweries to make a difference.

What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
– I want people to enjoy the final results as much as I enjoy making it!
– Drink and support local

Can you tell us about the beers you have launched with? How about beers in planning?
Most of my beers are American style beer, big flavors like IPA, American Pale Ale, and Stouts, but I’m also a big fan of Belgian Saison so I will have a Saison Series, one called “Saison du Nord” and the other “Saison du Sud”. These names come from back home; we have two lobster seasons which divides the North and South. In summer time I will release some Wheat beer, Belgian and German styles, and in winter time, some stronger beer like Belgian Dubbel, Imperial Stout, etc. This may also change on demand, I’m really open and can’t wait to hear some feedback. This drives me to brew more. One of my launch beers was Route 117 NEIPA, named after the highway which goes from Kouchibouguac to Chatham along the Northern NB shore, via Pointe-Sapin.

What are your plans for distribution?
No taproom, bottles or cans for now. I only do kegs and I will post on social media where it will be available, so stay tuned to O’Creek!

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
No permanent accounts for now, however I have sold some kegs to the Pump House Fill Station, The Laundromat and Tide & Boar in Moncton, and Au Bootlegger in Bathurst. Also, you will soon see us at the ANBL store in Dieppe for growler fills…

O'Creek Family and Friends

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in the region?
Not on site in the brewery, but whenever I need advice on anything, I know I can count on other local breweries, they’ve been great answering all my questions, and continue to do so, and I try to do my part as well. That’s what make this community so great: wanting to help each other out.

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
I can’t say;  I don’t think about it but my goal for now is putting my name out there. I’m happy to start this process since it took almost one year to get ready.

Let’s switch gear to some nerdy details… What size/manufacturer/type of system are you be brewing on?
I have a 1BBL (120 litre) HERMS system from Spike Brewing (Milwaukee, WI) which I bought last year. I brewed my first test batches last fall, and as of now, I’m still learning the system as I ramp up batches. I have three 1BBL fermenters as well as a ½ BBL (mostly to do test batches) from SS Brewtech. I’m hoping to brew once a week for now and see how it goes.

O'Creek Panel and Vessels

Care to share some details on your brewing history?
I started homebrewing like most brewers, and before that, I was a photographer (mostly weddings), and got tired of it and that’s when I decided to get some all grain equipment. After my last gig, I went to Halifax and bought my homebrewing system from Everwood Ave Brew Shop and bought a kit to do a Witbier. For a first brew, it tasted pretty good from what I remember.

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
I cannot lie, I am a hophead, so IPAs are my go to, but it all depends on the season, too. Last winter I was big into stouts. I like to taste any style, but lately there are some styles I don’t care to buy anymore; even my taste in IPAs have changed, now I’d rather have a juicy NEIPA. Overall I’d say IPA, Saison and Stout are my favorite styles. Oh, and let’s not forget Brett beer!

Do you have a website, Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter page?
It’s funny, I don’t have a website, because that’s what I’ve been doing for a living for the past 20 years. Not sure if I want one, I don’t really see the need since Facebook and Instagram have been great so far. That’s how you guys found me right? [Ed: It sure is!]

Thanks again to Patrice for spending time answering our questions. As of publishing, kegs of Route 117 NEIPA have been delivered to the ANBL in Dieppe, to go on their Growler Station next week. Keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest O’Creek news! Felicitations!