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We start off this week with the release of the latest iteration of El Generico, TrailWay Brewing’s constantly rotating fruited kettle sour. The latest version features the addition of both mango and pineapple purée, giving an aroma and flavour that is definitely heavy on the pineapple side, with the mango present in the background to complement. Slightly sweet due to an addition of lactose powder, to balance the tartness, the 3.8% ABV beer is available now at the brewery on tap and in cans. They’ve also got another new release hitting their taps/shelves today, Donnie Had Me Up At 4. Named after an employee’s cat’s annoying habit, think of this beer as a 4% ABV Session IPA, hopped with Idaho 7 and Southern Cross, with further additions of lime and orange zest. Refreshing and citrusy, it will also be available on tap and in cans.

Bootleg Brew Co., which opened in Corner Brook, Newfoundland at the beginning of this year, is releasing their first Gose, a style that will likely be the first time that residents in Corner Brook have been able to try a local version of. The Way She Gose was kettle soured with a pitch of Lactobacillus; after souring for 48 hours, the wort was boiled, and a pound of sea salt from the province’s Newfoundland Salt Company was added. The brewery purposely left out the usual addition of coriander, to let the salt come through front and center. At 4.1% ABV, it has a definite salinity, and a lemon-like tartness. It’s available now at the brewery’s taproom for pints.

Meander River Farm and Brewery in Ashdale, NS will be launching a returning Small Lot cider this weekend, featuring some extra special ingredients from their farm. Lavandula is a 5.5% ABV dry cider, with honey from hives on their property, as well as estate-grown lavender. This is the second year release for this expression, and last year’s was a top-seller, so be sure to pick up bottles and seek it out post haste. You can get your first tastes at the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market and at the Brewery itself this weekend (Friday 4-6, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 11-5). And when better than coming by Sunday morning (from 9AM) to help out with the 2018 hop harvest, while they brew their Homegrown Wet Hopped Ale. The taps and stories will be flowing as they process the hops grown on the property, and add them directly to the brew in progress. If can’t make it out to the brewery, keep an eye on the rotating taps at ChainYard in Halifax, as they have delivered a few kegs to the Urban Cidery.

In Chester Basin, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, you’ll find Tanner & Co Brewing, at 50 Angus Hiltz Rd. And when you drop by this weekend (open Thurs & Fri 2-8, Sat 12-8, Sun & Mon, 12-6), you’ll see a few new beers pouring to take away. You may be lucky to catch their Gose, Kottbusser (an ancient German style brewed with Barley, Wheat, and Oats, and finished with molasses and honey), Sticke Altbier, Dunkel, and Porter with Burgundian Red Wine yeast and finished with London Ale yeast. And look for the return of Nelson Saison, a Saison brewed with exclusively Nelson Sauvin hops in the boil and post-fermentation. But releasing this week is Lemon Lavender Saison. Starting with a malt bill of mostly Pilsner with a bit of wheat, lemon rind, ginger, and Lavender were added late in the boil. The lavender was grown by a neighbour to the brewery, and after a very successful test brew last year, was able to grow enough for a couple of larger batches. Fermentation was completed with a traditional Saison yeast strain, and the fruit and spices flow beautifully throughout the beer. The result is a 6.5% ABV, and 30 IBU beer, that is ready for enjoyment now, so drop by the brewery, or keep an eye at their local tap accounts to try it.

There’s a new entry in the one-off After Hours series from the PEI Brewing Co. that you may want to check out if you’re on the Island (or heading that way!), Cryo Hop IPA. Brewed with a fairly simple grist of 2-row, Vienna, and Red Wheat, it was mashed “intensively”, with the intention of the yeast finishing the beer off low, to keep it “dry and crisp”. Hopped with the fairly new Cryo hop pellets (cryogenically concentrated hop product to maximize flavour and aroma), the brewery went with equal amounts of both Cascade and Citra. It’s a combination of old-style IPA and new, as it finishes quite bitter (80 IBUs), but big on hop aroma/flavour. It weighs in at 7% ABV, and is available exclusively on tap, right now.

Feels like it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a hop bomb-type beer from 2 Crows… oops, it has been, I just checked Untappd. Well, don’t worry, because tomorrow they’re releasing what may just be their hoppiest beer yet! Perfect Situation is a New England IPA brewed with a simple grist of Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malt. Hopped in the whirlpool stage with lots of Simcoe and Vic Secret, it was then fermented with the English strain, London Fog, from White Labs. Of course, that wasn’t the last of the hopping, as the beer was finally dry-hopped with a very high amount of Vic Secret and Idaho 7. The result is just what you want in this style: a soft and fuzzy mouthfeel thanks to the yeast, and aromas/flavours described by 2C as “super fruity, lush, tropical, pillowy, and juicy, with massive notes of pineapple, passion fruit, apricot, red grapefruit, and papaya”. Sounds pretty good to us! They’re releasing it at the brewery tomorrow at noon, where it will be available on tap and in cans. And if you stick around till 2 pm, Luke’s Fried Chicken will be on hand to help you find something to pair with all that delicious beer!

Moving over to Saint John’s Loyalist City, who are releasing their own new beer this weekend on tap in the city (and likely beyond). This one is called 50/50, and is a hoppy American Wheat beer brewed with equal amounts 2-row and Wheat malt. Hopped plentifully with both Centennial and Ekuanot (also equal amounts!), two well-loved American varieties, the hazy, golden yellow beer exhibits a “blend of tropical fruit, apple, floral, and citrus hop aromas, and a sweet, bready malt character”. Medium-bodied, with a residual sweetness thanks to the Wheat malt and high mash temperature, get out this weekend to your favourite Loyalist tap account to try a pint!

Elsewhere in the city, Hammond River Brewing continues to experiment with their small batch brewery (the 1 BBL system originally used when the brewery opened in 2012), as they just put Pretty Fly For A White Rye on tap earlier this week. A “White Rye IPA” hopped entirely with the Aussie Vic Secret variety, expect plenty of tropical, fruity flavours in this 6.6% ABV, 66 IBUs brew. As usual for the small batch beers, it’s available on tap at the HR taproom only, for a limited time.

Tap accounts in Fredericton and Saint John will have the latest Niche Brewing beer on tap very shortly (if not already!), Riptide. This Rye Session IPA comes in at 4.2% ABV, and as the name implies, features a healthy dose of Rye malt in the grist bill. Together with Wheat, these two malts help to boost the mouthfeel of this smaller beer, and enhance the flavour profile. Hopping of Chinook and Mosaic were performed late in the boil (plus a large addition of El Dorado for the dry-hop), extracting more oils (for flavour and aroma) than acids (bitterness), resulting in hearty citrus and fruity flavours, and a blast of tangerine on the nose.

Back in July, we wrote about Port Rexton celebrating their second birthday with a number of new beer releases; at this time, we only lightly touched on one of these beers, High Fives, a foeder-aged, Brettanomyces kettle sour. Well, there’s a few kegs left that are currently pouring at the brewery, so this is the perfect time to dive into the details! The second beer from PR’s Calvados foeder, it was fermented with the brewery’s house culture (a blend of Saison and Brett strains), and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. The result from the combination of both is a beer with “an evolving fruity, funky, and delicious flavour profile”, and a “lemonade-y tartness and delicate white wine and gooseberry notes”. We don’t think you’re going to want to miss out on this 5.4% ABV beauty, so get down to Port Rexton now for a taste!

Stellarton, Nova Scotia’s musically-inclined Backstage Brewing has a new beer for y’all, The Edge IPA (see, we told you they were musically-inclined). Brewed in the American IPA style, and hopped heavily with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic, we think you can expect a whole lotta fruity, citrusy, piney, and dank goodness in this 6.1% ABV, 75 IBUs beer… and likely a firm bitterness to finish it off, as well. Drop by Backstage to give ‘er a go.

Brasserie Retro Brewing is opening this afternoon, after a brief hiatus to re-stock their fridges. Their retail location at Motel and Campground Colibri on Blvd des Acadiens in Bertrand is open today 4-9PM, tomorrow 1-6PM, and Sunday 1-5PM. They will have their three core beers available to take away, namely the Tapisserie Laide Pale Ale, Tricycle Rouge Amber Ale, and Arcade 2001 IPA. For a refresher on Retro, their location, and beers, check out our Profile with them from early August.

We’ve got a multi-province home brewing competition to tell you about this week, hosted by the Gahan House locations across our region. It’s the Maritime Home Brew Challenge, and is may be one of the most ambitious yet. Open to amateur brewers in PEI, NB, and NS, they are looking for entrants to put together their best beer in 3 wide categories: Lager/Pilsner, Hoppy Ale, and Saison. As the names imply, these are open to interpretation however the brewer would like. The entries will be judged on the beer itself, the name, the “level of ambition”, and will receive bonus points for using local hops and malt. Entries are due at the local Gahan locations in Charlottetown, Saint John, Fredericton, and Halifax by October 27th. The winning beers will be announced in early November at the PEI Brewing Company, with the winning beer taking home $1000 cash, and the knowledge that their beer will be brewed and canned for release. There are plenty more details on the other prizes, and schedule of the “Brewers’ Feedback Session”, where you can chat with the Gahan brewers about your entry and ask for help, on the competition website, so don’t delay!

Good Robot has a pair of new releases coming next week, plus an invite to other breweries to take part in an innovative event, so let’s get to those details now! Next Tuesday, for their Beta Brewsday, multi-talented homebrewer Matt McNair and friend Cory Cauvier brewed up a lightly dry-hopped farmhouse ale, named The Bee’s Needs. The beer features a malt bill of Pilsner, Wheat, Rye, and Oats, and was hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh and Saaz. Just as the boil ended, during the whirlpool phase, dandelion petals and honey from Cauvier’s own hard working bees were added to the wort. Fermentation was performed using a house culture that McNair has been curating, with a secondary fermentation kicked off with yeast and bacteria isolated from Cauvier’s honey. The beer then spent some time on oak cubes and a little more hops were added before being packaged. For the launch event at 4PM on September 11, Matt, Cory, and friends from Hivetronics will be bringing live bees to the taproom to educate the public on these extremely important animals. Don’t worry, they’ll have them in special people- (and bee-) safe enclosures!

On Thursday, September 13th, they will be releasing the latest batch of Tom Waits For No One, their 7.9% ABV American Stout. Full of dark roast, coffee, and chocolate flavour, on a full-bodied base, the 58 IBUs from American hops help to keep it easy-drinking.

And in a heads up to Maritime breweries, as a celebration of International Women’s Day March 9, 2019, Good Robot is launching FemmeBot Beer Fest. Highlighting Women-Identified Brewers in the region, they are looking for 15 breweries to join them in Halifax for this event. Beers brewed by female brewery employees, and/or with female members of the public is the focus of this event. The Fest will be held at the Mayflower Curling Club, and have two sessions on that Saturday: 2-5PM and 6-9PM, with 200 attendees per session. More information on taking part at the FemmeBot Beer Fest can be found here. And we’ll share ticket details once available.

Here are the next big events coming up in our region:

The Third Annual Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover is happening at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, September 13. From 11:30AM, TataBrew will be taking over the 18 taps with lots of their current releases, favourite kegs held especially for the event, and several new releases. One of which we can tell you about today, Cahoots! This is a Tart Saison that is a blend of two batches that have been aged in wine barrels: one 16 months old, and one 4 months old. Using a healthy dry-hop of Nelson Sauvin, the wine barrel character is front and centre, and works well to enhance the base beer acidity and Brett funk. In addition to its release on tap, bottles of Cahoots will be available at the brewery that same day. Tata (FB, Tw, IG) and BP (FB, Tw, IG) will be releasing the rest of the tap list over the next week, so be sure to check their social media in order to plan your beer enjoyment.

For the sixth year running (according to our extensive records), the 2018 PEI BeerFest will be taking place in Charlottetown at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel on the weekend of September 22. As always, the event is part of the annual PEI Fall Flavours Festival, celebrating the best of food and drink on the island, and this year’s lineup has 31 confirmed breweries and cideries from all over Eastern Canada and some from beyond. There will be three sessions, starting with an evening session (1830h – 2130h) on Friday, September 21, followed by two sessions, one afternoon (1400h – 1630h) and one evening, on Saturday, September 22nd. Tickets are available on-line through TicketPro and include a Designated Driver option, which gives access to a DD lounge with free (non-alcoholic, of course) refreshments. Come down and sample the over 100 beers and ciders that will be pouring at this year’s event.

Grand Monk Artisan Ales (formerly known as Bore City Brewing) is pairing up with Buddha Bear Riverview to hold their first tap takeover, a multi-day affair, from Wednesday, September 19th until Sunday the 23rd, with Grand Monk Pokes the Bear! While not a complete takeover, there will be at least several taps dedicated to the brewery, known for brewing a multitude of styles (with the focus on Belgian and hoppy). They’re not quite yet ready to share the list of beers they’re bringing, but follow along with their social media pages, as they’ll be posting more details sometime next week. And on Saturday the 22nd, from 4-8 pm, the entire Grand Monk team will be attending, and they’re always happy to chat beer, so don’t be shy! They’ll also be selling glassware, so bring some cash! If you’re hungry, Red Stone Eatery will be on site to suit your needs.

Elsewhere in New Brunswick on Saturday, September 22nd is the second annual First Town Craft Beer Festival. Held in Woodstock at the Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, this year’s indoor/outdoor event will have a single session in the evening. Tickets are still available, with regular admission ($50 + taxes and fees) from 6-9 pm, and VIP ($60 + taxes and fees) getting you in an hour earlier, at 5 pm. Ticket prices include a sampling glass to keep (with the VIP glass being larger), and unlimited samples throughout the event. Note that there are also $15 designated driver tickets available. They’ll be pouring beers from a variety of breweries/cideries/meaderies from across the Maritimes, and live music will be playing throughout the festival. Food will also be available for purchase. Proceeds from the event will help support the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Beer author and overall expert in the craft Stephen Beaumont is returning to Stillwell on Sunday, September 30th for another series of Guided Beer Tastings. Last year’s tasting was a huge success, so this year they’ve kindly added a second session! The first one will be from 12pm-2pm, and the second from 3-5pm; both will feature the chance to drink some “rare, world class beers” with Stephen, who will both entertain and educate with his knowledge and experience. There will also be copies of Stephen’s newest book, Will Travel For Beer: 101 Remarkable Journeys Every Beer Lover Should Experience, on hand for you to buy and have signed. Tickets are $46 and can be purchased here; don’t hold out on picking yours up, as the event is essentially guaranteed to sell out!

morALE Brewsters, a nanobrewery located in Oromocto, NB, will be holding a launch party this Friday at Griffin’s Pub. We caught up with co-owner Rémi Lévesque to learn more about this military-owned brewery, their beers, and plans for the future.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
morALE brewsters is a team of 4 serving military members and one military wife. Rémi Lévesque, Nicholas Matheson, Bruno Plamondon, Samuel Roy and Johanna Osborne. We are from different areas within Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, but some of us have been in Oromocto for over 15 years.

How did you get into the world of beer?
Seeing as we are five individuals, we all have a different story. But in the military culture, beer calls, special events or even payday were always all good reasons to share a cold one with friends. Funnily enough, I remember when Jo and I started dating, we both liked beer, and together discovered micro brews initially through PicaroonsSimeon Jones and Irish Red and I think this was a turning point for myself. There was that sweetness I was not able to describe but that I was fascinated with. At that point I was making wine and I figured that it would be great to try to make beer too. So like many, we started with beer kits and progressed all the way to all-grain brewing. And that’s when I realized that I knew nothing! There is so much to learn and to experiment with.

What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
I remember in December 2015, Bruno and I were talking about homebrewing at work, he suggested that it would be fun to gather a small group of craft beer fans to start brewing together. To experiment with different recipes with the idea/hope that if we come up with some good ones, we could transition into a real side business. So we approached some friends and I told my wife the news. By January 2016, we officially sat down and all 5 joined together. In the summer of 2017, we were very happy with our recipes and we decided to get more serious equipment and here we are today! The real reason I think is that we observed the reactions of our friends when we were sharing our beers and their comments were so positive that it convinced us to try one step closer to a real brewery!

What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
We definitively have a soft spot for our military background. Having all our beer names related to some military expression or slang within the community. We started with “Brewed by the troops for the troops” but we wanted to share our culture with the rest of the population too. Knowing that at any point in life, everybody needs a morale boost!! And there it was, morALE brewsters! Good beer, shared with people that understand that we don’t need to take ourselves too seriously all the time.

Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering?
We are starting with a Cream Ale (Cornflake) because that seems to be the fan favourite and the perfect introduction for us. We actually have 7 registered styles of beer available at this time, that we will soon be able to offer by the keg, limited to local pubs in the Oromocto area. Those include a Red IPA (Red Over Blue), an APA (Hops Honour), a Brown Ale (Boot Camp), a Milk Stout (Bug Out), a Belgian Blonde (PTE Bloggins) and a Seasonal Cucumber Wheat Ale (9ner Domestic). We kept our list within classic styles that we were confident to reproduce with consistency.
morALE Brewsters brewhouse

The morALE Brewsters brewhouse

What are your plans for distribution (aka, how can people enjoy your beer)?
At this time, it is a nano brewery right in Jo and mine’s basement! For now, all we are able to offer is kegs. Local pubs in the Oromocto area is where we want to be involved in the community.

Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
Our first account will be starting Friday August 31st, and will be at Griffin’s Pub in Oromocto, NB. Being very new in this venture, we want to start slow and make sure that we will be able to provide to those we offer our product to.

Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada?
Everybody is so awesome in the craft beer community. There is always someone that knows someone they think you should meet! Recently, Jeff Saunders from Bad Apple Brewhouse in Somerset, NS, was of incredible help with knowledge and introducing other brewers in the area of NS. Keith at Ol’Biddy’s Brewhouse in Sackville, NS, Sean at Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS, Mike Doucet and Francois Chabot at CCNB for all of the Beer Education days! Sébastien Roy at Fils du Roy, NB. And all the brewers at the different breweries are just so awesome at sharing their knowledge. I guess we are still shy at asking for help since we are at a very small and early stage but we are grateful for anyone recognizing and supporting us. (Thanks Atlantic Canada Beer Blog 😉 ) 

Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
Having an actual taproom in Oromocto, NB to serve Growlers and enjoy a pint on location, would be a great next step for us. This includes the expansion of our equipment. We would love to eventually have our product in cans to be seen on the shelves beside all the other great craft breweries. Hopefully we can manage our expansion to occur within the next 3 years. Most likely, our capital will dictate a lot of our developing schedule. Plus add 30%, right?!!
morALE Brewsters full panorama

The morALE Brewsters Brewhouse (click for full panorama)

Tell us about your brewing system
We are currently brewing on a 1 BBL (120 litre), all electric system, with 2 fermenters and one brite tank. We fill and sell in 19 litre kegs. Our expected output for our first year is 5000 litres.

Care to share some info on your brewing history?
All of us started with the fool-proof beer kits. And honestly, we all thought that brewing from scratch couldn’t be much harder…
So I guess you could say, our history could be described as countless hours of trial and error!

Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
We are beer fans that is for sure! In the specifics, it is hard for me to pin point a style or a brewery in particular. All of them! I think that should be the goal, to try them all!

Anything else you’d like to share, we’d love pass it along.
We are very happy to be entering the brewers community and we can’t wait to get to know you all and get your feedback!
Thank you to Rémi for spending some time with us, and getting us up to speed with morALE Brewsters. Drop by Griffin’s Pub in the CANEX Mall at 42 Broad Rd in Oromocto from 7PM for their Launch Party to try their Cornflake Cream Ale, and meet the folks behind the brewery. Stay up to date with the latest releases and goings on at their Facebook Page and Website (launching soon).

Let’s start off this week’s post with a big congratulations to Brightwood Brewery, who opened their new Brightwood Market location at 35 Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth this week. In addition to a taproom, they have significantly upsized their brewing capacity, expanding to a 1200 litre (10 BBL) brewhouse, with fermenters and brite tanks to match. This will allow them to lengthen their reach beyond the shores of Dartmouth, but for right now they are concentrating on home base. They also took the opportunity to fully launch a new beer, Voice of the Doggos. This 5.0% ABV Saison was brewed with an addition of dried Sweetfern, for light herbal and citrus notes, complementing the clove and spicy character of the Saison yeast and Amarillo and Hallertau Blanc hops. Joining VotD on tap currently is their flagship Smokey the Beer Amber smoked beer, and Made Me Blush Rosé IPA. Drop by their location daily from 10AM-12AM to grab samples, pints, and fill growlers, and they will be expanding their food offerings very soon. Congratulations!

On Agricola Street in Halifax’s North End, Chain Yard continues to deliver interesting things. First up this week is a strong, dry cider that was triple-fermented before being aged in whiskey barrels and oaked to yield a toasty and sweet result. Dubbed Brett-muda Triangle, it’s a burly 8.9% ABV that no doubt carries a lot of character; it’s available for pints, flights and fills at the retail store. Next up is not a regular cider, but a cider kombucha blend, developed with the folks from Solas Kombucha. Scoby Snax began with a wild-fermented strawberry wine using mint from Watershed Farms on the South Shore. The wine was then blended with Chain Yard’s Foundation cider and aged before finally being blended with kombucha. Unfiltered, expect it to be a super light and refreshing beverage that tips the scales at a very quaffable 4.5% ABV.

Down the way on Robie Street, Good Robot has their usual brace of beers to talk about this week, and they’re both, in a sense, Beta Brews. First up is Tuesday’s offering for Beta Brewsday, Dad Jokes. A dark wheat beer, it features wheat, Vienna, Cara 30 and a bit of Black Patent on the malt side, matched with noble Tettnanger for hops. Light in both ABV at 5.3% and IBU at 10, it should be an easy drinker that offers to tell you a joke about paper before saying, “Nevermind, it’s terrible.” Later in the week, on Thursday, you’ll see another small batch beer from Giovanni Johnson and his Limestone Group who are experimenting with bringing Bahamian flavors to beer. Bright, light, and surprisingly dry, Pink Flamingo is a (provisional) 4.5% ABV and 15 IBU radler featuring watermelon and kiwi. Get ready for Good Robot’s Island Time on Sunday by hitting the brewery on Thursday and letting this one take your palate away to the Caribbean.

O’Creek Brewing in Dieppe, NB, has sent out a new beer this week, Saison du Sud, at 6.3% ABV and 32 IBU, dedicated to the lobster fishermen who started their season last week. Look for that one to appear at the Tide and Boar in Moncton. They’ve also got their Summer Hop’Session d’été on the way to Moncton’s Furnace Room. And expect to see their flagship IPA, Route 117, at The Joyce in Fredericton as part of an upcoming NB tap takeover event.

In Newfoundland, Port Rexton has a new summery concoction on the taps, a Citrus Tea-infused Ale. Put together in concert with their friends at The Third Place Cocktail Co., purveyors of artisanal tonic, shrubs and other serious cocktail ingredients. With citrus character including grapefruit, orange peel and fresh zest, meeting herbal notes, it clocks in at 5.4% ABV, with a fog-like haze. Comparisons with an Arnold Palmer have already been made, and what says summer more than that? If that gets your (golf cart) motor humming and you’re in the area, look for it on tap at the brewery and a limited amount has made it to the retail store in St. John’s for growler fills.

Nearby, up in Twillingate, the Split Rock crew is getting ready for their First Anniversary party on Tuesday with a few news releases this week (plus a couple more coming next week). The latest Sour Patch B’ys has hit the taps at the brewery, this time the 4.7% ABV kettle sour was hopped with Amarillo after fermentation, giving loads of pineapple and citrus flavour and aroma. Park Day Pale Ale is also available now, a 5.4% ABV English Pale, with nice light esters, hopped with Willamette and Columbus, for a floral, fruity, and herbal character. Named after local band Park Day, as two of their members are from Twillingate. It is available now at their Stage Head Pub, as well as Jack Axes and Fort Amherst Pub (shortly) in St John’s. And as for Tuesday’s big celebration, drop in all day for live music, free cake, and plenty of prizes to toast their first year, and look out for the return of two very special small batch beers for the occasion.

Let’s skip across the water back to Nova Scotia, where 2 Crows is releasing a beer nearly one year in the making is finally seeing the light of day. Smackwater Jack is a Farmhouse Ale that started with a grist of Pilsner malt, raw and malted wheat, and oats, and was lightly hopped with Calypso, Centennial, and Columbus (to 26 IBU), before being fermented directly in one of their foedres with a blend of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeasts. After primary fermentation, the beer received two additions of local quince fruit, totalling 140 kg. With a total of 6 months of aging on the fruit, the beer was carbonated to a high level to allow the fruit and yeast character to shine, and is now available in cans at the brewery. Featuring funk and fruit, and a light acidity, this complex beer is pouring on draught, as well as available in cans to take away.

Another beer to seek out this weekend is Lazy Bear’s newest release, Lazy Lager. An unfiltered German Pilsner, this 4.8% ABV beer is golden, clean, crisp, and supremely refreshing on these hot and humid Maritime days and evenings. It is available at the brewery and at their market tables tomorrow at the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market and Sunday at the Digby Waterfront Market (if it lasts that long!). Sorry townies, it likely won’t leave the area, so you’ll have to take a trip to grab a pint!

Let’s take off for Scudrunner in Gander Newfoundland, who are debuting a new beer today. Thunderhead Stout is a 6.5% ABV stout full of dark roasted malts, and generous additions of locally-roasted Columbian coffee, thanks to Gros Morne Coffee Roasters. Named after the aviation terminology for dense clouds ready to drop thunder, lightning, and rain in the area, this 6.5% ABV beer will get you up and at ‘em every morning. Pouring only at the brewery for samples and pints for now, it will make a wider debut later this month.

And speaking of coffee beers, Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is dropping one of their own today, a new version of their coffee stout, this one is named Vanilla Beans. Taking their base 6.3% ABV coffee stout (beans care of local roasters Whitney Coffee, who sell a proprietary “TrailWay Blend”), it was then conditioned on loads of pure vanilla. The roast, chocolate, and vanilla flavours come together in a lovely meld that is perfect on its own or as a dessert-like experience. The beer is available now at the brewery. And while you’re there, check out the latest release of their Yada Yada Pilsner, weighing in at 5.0% ABV, and dry-hopped with Australian Topaz hops. A blend of New World and Old in a can!

We’ve got a few more newsbites to share before we let you go today:

Garrison has brought back their ever-popular Nit-Wit Belgian Witbier, the first winner of the Home Brew-Off, and appearing now for the first time in cans. Grab it now at the brewery, shortly at the private stores, and soon on tap in restaurants and bars in the region.

Tidehouse in Halifax has Pitcher’s Perfect Pineapple NEIPA once again, a 6.3% ABV IPA in the New England style with pineapple added to the fermenter. And if you missed Tiger Tail Ice Cream Ale last week, fear not, they’ve got another batch ready to go! Available by the glass and in bottles (limit 6/person).

– In Northern New Brunswick, Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault are the latest brewery to try their collective hand at the Northeastern/New England IPA style. Calling their offering la Spoutnique, you can only find it in Edmundston at the brewtique.

Gahan Port City in Saint John has a new beer on tap this week, Hoppy Stone Fruit Pale Ale. At 5.3% ABV and 42 IBU, this beer was conditioned on 20 kg of peaches, lending their flavour and aroma to the overall beer. For an insight into the folks who brew the Gahan beers, as well as from the HQ at PEI Brewing Company, tune into this week’s 902 BrewCast, as Kyle, Phil, and Tony took the bridge to Charlottetown and sat down with Chris and Spencer to get the scoop. Grab the episode here.

– Ciderama continues at Stillwell’s HQ and Beergarden today, with ciders from across North America, and Europe, pouring at both locations. Plus they’ve got several thoughtful small plates made to pair. Check their social media to see the full list and what’s pouring now.