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Tire Shack Brewing is located at 190 John Street in downtown Moncton, New Brunswick, and is poised to open within the next few days. Ahead of their opening, we had the opportunity to visit the space and speak with owners Alan Norman and Jerica Kennedy, and Brewer Henrique (Henry) Soares. While they await the last i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed before opening, let’s learn more about them, their beers, and their unique space!

– Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Alan and Jerica: We are so excited to open this brewery and share our love of beer with the East Coast! We grew up in Riverview, NB but have been away for far too long. We are so stoked to be back! Work took us to Toronto for the past 16 years and allowed us to travel and experience some incredible breweries throughout North America and beyond, not to mention some pretty great ones in Toronto. We were really fortunate to live next door to Bellwoods Brewery and watch them go from renovations/start-up to the incredible brewery they are now. We really learned a
lot from them.
Brewer Henry Soares has had a busy beer-filled career since getting into homebrewing almost a decade ago. First studying Biophysics in University in his native Brazil, he switched gears and attended a VLB Berlin-accredited Brewing program in his home country, before moving north and completing the two-year Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Program at Niagara College. During, and after, graduation, he worked at a couple of breweries in Ontario, before the opportunity to run the brewing program at Tire Shack in Moncton arose.

– What made you decide to take the step into opening a brewery?
We thought, “What was crazier? Buying a house in Toronto or opening a craft brewery?” We are still not sure about the correct response 🙂
To make it even harder on ourselves, we decided to turn an old abandoned auto-garage into a craft brewery…a gargantuan task…believe me!
Joking aside, we love our location and knew it was the perfect spot the moment we laid eyes on it. We are very proud of the work we have done on the space and can’t wait to share it with all of the AC Beer Blog readers 🙂

– What is the culture or ethos of the brewery?
It’s all about community and guest experience. We want to create an engaging place that allows you to connect with friends over a shared experience…great beer. Our large taproom will allow you to be directly connected to our on-site brewery, guaranteeing the freshest beer possible as well as a great atmosphere to enjoy a few pints.

– Can you tell us more about the brewery and taproom space?
Our brewery will be located in an old auto-garage that was once operating as ‘The Tire Shack’ that everyone seems to have a story about. We love the idea of breathing new life into such a wonderful building that has been a part of the city landscape and community for so long. The name ‘Tire Shack Brewing Co.’ made perfect sense to us.

– Can you tell us about the beers you plan on offering initially?
Now why would we go ahead and do that? That would ruin the surprise. Rest assured, we are very excited about the beers we will be producing and we plan to rotate our selection a lot! We are really looking forward to experimenting on our pilot system… and I do mean experimenting. Eventually we plan to get a bit ‘funky’ too (that reference is for the true beer connoisseurs…you know who you are).

– Ok smart guy, how can people drink these mystery beers?
We have a fairly large brewing system and fermentation capacity so we will do a little bit of everything. The best way to get our beer will be via our on-site taproom. At the taproom you will be able to enjoy a pint, fill growlers, purchase cans, and buy great merch. Basically, we’ve got you covered when you visit the brewery. We also plan on distributing to other bars and restaurants that might be interested in selling our product. We will also be available on the shelf of the ANBL.

– Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada (or elsewhere)?
This is another great reason why we are so happy to be back in the Maritimes…incredibly friendly people who are happy to help. We have bugged a lot of breweries over the past year and a half and they’ve all been so kind. The list is too long to name names…so to all of you THANK YOU!!! WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT!!

– Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
We love all beer styles (yes, we even love lagers). It all depends on the seasons when it comes to favorite beer to drink for us. Three breweries that have had a profound influence on us are the aforementioned Bellwoods Brewery, Other Half Brewing and Blood Brothers Brewing.

– Let’s get nerdy and chat about the brewery itself…
We are brewing on a 15BBL (1700 litre), 2-vessel brewhouse, with a 30BBL (3500 litre) Hot Liquor Tank from Criveller. Our current fermentation situation is 1 x 15BBL and 3 x 30BBL fermenters, plus a 30BBL Brite tank. We also have a 1BBL (117 litre) pilot system with 2 x 1BBL SS Brewtech fermenters, for those experiments we talked about.

– Do you have an approximate opening date?
If the stars align with the sun and the moon at the exact specific time of the highest tide during the fullest moon and the groundhog sees his shadow then it will most likely be sometime in early November. In all seriousness though we are hoping for early November, but converting an abandoned auto-garage into a craft brewery has been a daunting task which has made us paranoid and allergic to timelines. I promise though that we are working overtime to open those doors.

Thanks again to Alan, Jerica and Henry for spending their time getting us up to speed on Tire Shack. Keep up to date on their Facebook and Instagram pages, which will have all of the Opening Day details as they are set. Which will be soon. Very, very soon. And kick the tires (sorry, first pun of the story, so you’ve gotta give us that!) of their website to track their retail and taproom hours and where in the future you could grab a pint of their beer at local licensees.

Hey! We heard you missed us, we’re back! We trust you all kept yourselves well hydrated while we took a hiatus, and are ready to hit the ground/taps running this weekend as we round up the news of the week’s releases. There’s always a danger that when we take some time off, we’ll miss some important news, and this time was no different, so let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the important news for your first day of November (wow times flies)!

Great news for those of you in Labrador City, you finally have a brewery that you can call your own! Iron Rock Brewing Company opened their doors on October 19th, and have been going great guns ever since! They are currently pouring five beers, for enjoyment onsite, or to go in growlers, including: Lawn Sweeper Cream Ale (4.3% ABV), Shabogamo Sour (4.0% ABV), Railbender Red Ale (5.5% ABV), Spike Maul IPA (6.9% ABV), and Overburden Oat Stout (4.9% ABV). We’ll have plenty more information on Iron Rock, and the folks behind it in the coming days, but in the meantime, get out to the brewery at 118 Humphrey Rd in Lab City this weekend to toast their arrival! Hours are Friday 4 PM – 12 AM, Saturday 2 PM – 12 AM, and Sunday 2 PM – 10 PM.

Propeller Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new location in The Keep, a mixed use building at the corner of Quinpool and Vernon Streets in Halifax. It will feature a pilot system for experimentation, a taproom where samples, flights, and pints can be enjoyed, and a full retail shop to keep the local community well stocked. They’ll be offering cans and bottles, as well as growler fills. Watch this space for more details, as they aim for an early-2020 opening. For those who can’t wait that long for their Propeller fix, tonight’s cask at their Gottingen Street taproom is their Porter on rum-aged oak.

While we were away, Nova Scotia South Shore’s Tanner & Co were able to cap their second anniversary celebrations this month with the opening of their new Tap Room, in the heart of Chester. With a small batch brewery onsite for testing out some of the wilder side of brewing, visitors to “Tanner & Co on Duke St” (that’s 59 Duke Street) can grab a flight or pint, and then take their favourites home in bottles or growlers. The tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 – 9 PM. With the opening of the tap room, the brewery at 50 Angus Hiltz in Chester Basin is adjusting its hours to be open Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6 PM. At either location, you can pick up their latest releases, including the Barrel-Aged Porter with Berries, and Reserve Sauvage, a barrel-fermented (French oak Chardonnay barrels) version of their Sauvage, brewed with Horton Ridge Malt and the Scotian Sauvage yeast first isolated at Big Spruce.

Fredericton’s York County Cider is happy to announce their newest product to hit the shelves at ANBL, their first seasonal to be widely available. Previously only available at their taproom, Apple Pie is a spiced cider, but still crisp, with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and apple, perfect for the fall. Available in 355 mL bottles, this 5.8% ABV bevvy should pair well with an afternoon of raking leaves or a walk in the crisp fall air.

We were very sad to hear of the passing earlier this month of Jennifer Defreyne, one of the co-owners and founders of Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery. An Engineer, she was critical in the location searching, planning, development, and construction of the brewery, and many of her aesthetic and practical choices are part of what is making Landwash so successful to this day. In celebration of her life, raise a pint of your favourite beverage tonight. Her family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Landwash has a pair of new beers out recently that we’d like to mention, to keep you Mount Pearlers happy. First up is Rock and Willow, a 6.0% Amber Saison. Featuring Munich malts for strong bread and toast character, and then fermented with Escarpment’s Saison Maison yeast, for some spicy pepper character and a dry-as-a-bone finish. The beer was brewed to showcase and pair with restaurant Fork. in Mobile, just south of Witless Bay, who are competing in the Newfoundland stop of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party this evening. Their dish features partridge, hence the name – Rock and Willow – two common breeds of ptarmigan. The beer will pair with whatever you want to drink it with, even if that’s solitude, and is available in cans and growler fills at the brewery now. And while you’re there, you can grab the other recent release, Pearliner 2019. This Munich-style Helles was dry hopped with Ekuanot (formerly Equinox), for a blend of citrus, bread, and honeysuckle vibes in a crispy 4.5% ABV package. This is the first of their rotating fall lager they’ll be releasing annually, playing on whatever they’re into at the time. Stop by the brewery for a sample, pint, growler fill, or can of the good stuff.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has a new big and dark beer out, one named after the local term for a big storm. Tan Toaster is a Baltic Porter, full of smooth and sweet malt character paired with elements of dark fruit with a touch of spicy Magnum hops providing balance. Brewed in early September, it’s had plenty of time to rest and relax and for the flavors to integrate. Look for it at all the private stores in Halifax as well, of course, from the brewery shops in Halifax and Shelburne themselves, but be careful, at 7.5% ABV this one could very well blow you over. 

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is releasing a new beer to the Capital and Southern NB regions this week (and Halifax), the latest in their small line of Brettanomyces-fermented IPAs. Ramble On is a 5.9% ABV golden-orange hazy beer, late-hopped (think more aroma and flavour than bitterness) with Hallertau Blanc and Idaho 7, two hops known for tropical and fruity characteristics. That is only complemented by fermentation by a blend of Brettanomyces strains from Escarpment Labs, under the Mothership name. A further dry-hopping with these two hop varietals, as well as Vic Secret, seal the deal, with passion fruit and gooseberry notes enhanced by funky Brett notes. Grab it for pints at The Joyce and Peppers Pub, and pints & growlers(!) at Grimross Brewing; it should also be making an appearance at Stillwell very soon. As with all of their releases, they don’t tend to stick around too long, so we suggest checking in on your way home from work (or grab a quick lunch pint!).

If you’re in Saint John, you may want to drop by the Hammond River taproom, as they’re pouring a new beer that they brewed in collaboration from the fine people behind The Manatee (if you’re not sure what that is, we highly suggest clicking on the link and getting caught up!). Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff, co-founders of the Maritimes’ “biggest source of satire”, joined the brewers at HR to create Burning Manatee, a Rauchbier (aka German Smoked Lager). The grist contained a “hefty” amount of Beechwood Smoked malt, to give the final product a “distinctive and extremely tasty smokey flavour”. A beer for fall that can help you move away from all those Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales, it weighs in at 5.7% ABV and 29 IBUs. Aside from directly at the source, you’ll also be able to find it at various Hammond River licensees.

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has their latest beer hitting taps this week, and we’re guessing you’re going to have an idea of what went into this one, based on its name! NB Hops Pale Ale is – wait for it – an American Pale Ale hopped with all New Brunswick-grown hops… specifically, Cascade, Chinook, and Sorachi Ace from Moose Mountain Hops. With another dry hop of all Cascade, the final beer has floral and citrus notes, along with some caramel and earthy qualities from the malt. Finishing at 5.5% ABV, look for it at Marky’s Laundromat right now, and likely at other O’Creek accounts very shortly. 

Moving back over to Newfoundland, Port Rexton Brewing has their latest, a 5.3% ABV “Black New England IPA” named Chasing Moon. Dark as dark can be, thanks to the addition of a variety of dark malts in the grist, lactose was added to the boil to help round out the hop character from dry-hop additions of Mosaic and Vic Secret. With aromas of pine, blackberry, and tropical fruit, look for “dark chocolate-covered berries/coffee beans and tropical fruit” on the palate. This one is now available on tap at the taproom and their St. John’s retail shop location. And speaking of their taproom, now is a good time to remind you about their reduced hours, which will take place until Spring returns (sob). They’re now open Fridays and Saturdays 4-10 pm. The one exception to this is this weekend, when the Ales for Trails event is happening. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a fundraising initiative for Hike Discovery, a non-profit committed to the development of a hiking trail network on the Bonavista Peninsula. The event is happening on Saturday, and the brewery has some live music and beer planned for everyone after the run/hike; as a result they’re open 12-10pm Saturday, and 10:30-4 on Sunday. 

In St. John’s, YellowBelly is pouring a brand new sour beer, Blueberry Cheesecake Sour. If you assumed that this beer was kettle soured with Lactobacillus, you’d be correct, but you may be wondering how exactly they went about getting the blueberry cheesecake part of the beer to work. The answer is graham flour (added to the mash), lemon zest and vanilla in the boil, and lactose and 200 lbs of blueberries added while the beer was conditioning. The final, 5.4% ABV beer is finally ready, and currently available on tap at the brewpub for pints and growlers.

Over in Good Robot Land, they’ve just released Thompson and Thomson, a beer they’re categorizing as a “Belgian Party Ale” (that sound you heard was the BJCP exploding). Originally planned as a collaboration, but cancelled when the other party couldn’t show (some party!), they started with the idea of a Belgian Tripel with fruit, and created what you’ll be seeing on tap at the brewery’s taproom… a 6.8% ABV, 32 IBUs beer with “splashes” of blueberry and kiwi. Next week will see the return of Bingo Bronson, a 6% ABV Chocolate Porter, so keep your eyes and mouths open for that one.

The launching of dark beers continues in Fredericton at Grimross Brewing, which just yesterday (hey, it was Halloween, after all) released Tmavý Pivo, named after the Czech style that is most likely unheard of by the majority of beer drinkers in Atlantic Canada. Second in popularity in the Czech Republic to the beloved Pilsner, it’s a dark Lager that’s been around that part of Europe for hundreds of years. Grimross’s take on the style involves a grist made up of floor malted Bohemian dark and pilsner malt, as well as some Carafa Special III. Hopped entirely with Czech Saaz to 20 IBUs and fermented with their house Lager yeast, the beer was lagered for five weeks before packaging. The result is a 4.8% ABV beer that is “dark, hearty and dry, with notes of baked brown bread, roasted nuts, and a touch of creaminess”. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery, with cans following shortly at ANBL stores.

Until recently, those who wanted to experience the taste of beer without risking tipsiness or ingesting too many calories only had a few options and those options weren’t so attractive to those with a taste for flavorful beer. But no such product has emerged here in Atlantic Canada that we can think of. So it’s exciting for us to report that, near as we can tell, this week PEI’s Upstreet Brewing becomes the first brewery in the region to release an ultra-low ABV beer to market. Featuring Amarillo, Citra, and Galaxy hops, Pace Pale Ale has a fresh light citrus aroma, notes of brown sugar and tangerine, and an ABV that hovers around 1%! Even better, if you care about such things, it’s estimated to carry only about 50 calories. In development since Easter of this year, it took three pilot batches dial it in; Upstreet’s Brewmaster Mike “Hogie” Hogan describes it as “a very challenging beer to brew,” especially, “mak[ing] it taste like beer and not just hop water or unfermented wort.” You’ll be able to find it at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner now, with cans expected to go to PEILC in the near future and hopefully the private stores in Halifax soon as well.

If you live in New Brunswick, you’ve probably heard that finding beer to take home has just got a lot easier! No longer limited to ANBL stores and brewery visits, you’ll now be able to find beer at 66 different Sobeys and Loblaws stores across the province. Yes, a good portion of the brands available are “big beer”, but there are a total of ten beers from seven different craft breweries that will also join the mix. These craft offerings include Brasseurs du Petit-Sault (Snap Dickie Cream Ale), Graystone (Patagonia Pale Ale), Grimross (Maritime Cream Ale, Maritime Pale Ale), Maybee (Work Horse IPA), Picaroons (Yippee IPA, Feels Good Imperial Pilsner), Pumphouse (Blueberry Ale, Crafty Radler), and TrailWay (Hu Jon Hops). The “convenience” of having these beers available to you through these outlets means that the price of all these beers is about 7% higher than what you’d pay at ANBL stores. This *is* a trial run, so naturally all of this is subject to change; the program was officially started yesterday, and we haven’t seen the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… yet. Stay tuned!

And in “coming to New Brunswick in early 2020 news”, Uncorked Tours NB is opening a location at the Saint John City Market next year. This new home base will be where you can sign up to take part in their tours of the city, as well as sample and enjoy local beer, cider, and spirits in their space. We’ll share all of the details when they have them, but in the meantime, congratulations on the new venture, Gillian and Crew!

Though we’re all familiar with the breweries in our region and many of the suppliers that support them with things like equipment (brewhouses and tanks), ingredients (malt, hops, yeast), and facilities like canning, there are some unsung folks around who you might not think of when you consider what goes into making our beer scene what it is. Do you have a glass growler (or 6) kicking around your house? How about branded glassware from your favorite local brewery? A couple (or a dozen) tasting glasses from various beer fests and other events? Well chances are that many, if not most of those came out of one facility in the HRM: Jym Line Glassware in Elmsdale, NS. Today marks 50 years since the registration of the company, formed by Jim and Lynda Adams and now capably run by their son, Tom. We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize Jym Line’s contribution to beer culture around these parts and wish them many more successful years. We can’t think of a better way to do that than to grab a favorite glass, whether it be a Becher, a Teku, a tulip, or even a shaker pint, pour a favorite local beer into it, and raise a toast. If you’d like to do something more, why not check out the celebration they’ve got going on this Sunday, November 3rd, from 1 – 4 PM at Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside? Stop by, grab a beer (looks like there might be some fancy celebratory branded glassware to drink it from) and say hello to the Jym Line team!

Definitely some fine looking events coming up in the next couple of weeks:

You may recall that we mentioned a Newfoundland tap takeover at Charlottetown’s HopYard a few weeks ago; if you live in Halifax and were feeling a little left out, no reason to sulk any longer! That’s right, the Halifax HopYard location will be holding their own event tomorrow, November 2nd. All ten taps (we see nine on their page, but maybe there’s an extra surprise?) will be dedicated to Newfoundland beers: four from Port Rexton, three from Quidi Vidi, and two from Landwash (check out their FB page for the actual beer list). In true HopYard fashion, they’ve got a special Newfoundland Night food menu, featuring Johnny & Mae’s Food Truck, direct from St. John’s! And if that wasn’t enough, there’ll be live entertainment from Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset. That’s gotta be enough for you, right? It all starts when they open at noon, and continues until closing that evening.

TrailWay’s latest venture, The Drome – a bowling alley on Fredericton’s North Side that they took ownership of months ago, and recently renovated – is having it’s official Grand Opening tomorrow, November 2nd. Aside from bowling and food (if you’d like to bowl, you should likely call and reserve a lane, as they’re filling up fast), they’ll have happy hour pricing on beer all day long. And since you’ll be in the area, you might as well wander a little further down Main St. to the brewery’s taproom, where they’ve got El Generico (raspberry version) back on tap and in cans, along with last week’s new American IPA, Good As (hopped with Motueka and Citra).

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing will be taking over the taps at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, November 7th, with a wide selection of core brands, favourites from the vault (we’ve got our fingers crossed for some Framboise, but won’t hold our breath), as well as a new collaborative brew they put together with BP’s sister North Brewing. Details are hush-hush on that right now, but we’ll have the full info next week, assuming there’s any left. Check the FB Event link to take part in a contest they’ll be launching soon. The fun goes all day, kicking off at 11:30AM, so drop by to enjoy a selection from their extensive library of offerings, as well as food to pair. 

The Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest is turning five this year and is set to go next weekend, on Saturday, November 9th at the Moncton Coliseum. Benefiting United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB and organized by the Moncton Beer League and Cox & Palmer, this year’s event features products pouring from more than 35 breweries, cideries, meaderies and distilleries, all from the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The regular session runs in Hall C from 7:30 to 10 PM, with tickets costing $58 (plus taxes and fees) and entitle you to unlimited samples in your event-branded glass. VIP tickets are sold out, but there’s a VVIP tier at $78 that runs from 5:45 to 10 PM, gets you a special glass, entrée to an industry panel discussion, and early entry onto the pouring floor. There’s also a designated driver ticket available for $20 that doesn’t come with a glass, but gets you into the event with access to water and non-alcoholic options. Tickets are available on the Facebook event page or via Eventbrite

The day before, on Friday, November 8th, from 8:30 to 5 PM, there will also be a Business of Brewing Conference at the Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown geared towards industry business owners looking to transform their businesses. Featuring a full slate of speakers, plus panels and round tables, it’s an opportunity for folks to learn from others about how to grow and improve. Tickets and registration are available through Eventbrite.

This is the time of year in Nova Scotia when tourism starts to flag and harvest season is winding down, leaving our more rural areas to look forward to the next year’s flurry of activity. What better time, then, thought the folks at Sober Island and Lunn’s Mill, to start putting on an annual event? Combine that with both breweries’ love for traditional English styles served in the traditional style on cask, and you’ve got the first annual Cask in the Sticks coming up on Saturday, November 23rd from 1 – 5 PM. The event will rotate between rural breweries on a yearly basis, and the first host will be Lunn’s Mill, who will be tasked with showing off their rural location and organizing a great time. The event will be inside/outside, so dress warmly; to encourage that, they’re having a onesie competition with the prize being tickets to next year’s event. They’ll also have a s’mores station! Tickets are $25 and will get you a Cask in the Sticks branded glass (from Jym Line, of course!) you can take with you at the end of the day; there are no beer tickets at this one, just present your glass and it will be filled. Eight casks will be pouring from Lunn’s Mill, Sober Island, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Meander River Farm, Tatamagouche, Roof Hound, and Annapolis Brewing, with a special 9th cask from homebrewing friends the Roscoe Brothers. Only about 70 spots are available; you can pre-pay for your tickets from any of the participating breweries.

It’s damn near October; how the heck did that happen?! We’ll let you ruminate on that one whilst you peruse our weekly round-up of beer and beer events news in the region. Plenty of new beers on the go this week as breweries continue their transition from, “dear god make it stop,” summer production to, “let’s have some fun in the brewhouse again,” fall shenanigans. Meanwhile, plenty of Oktoberfest events are still going on or yet to come, and though we didn’t have any submissions this week, we know the pumpkin beers are still flowing. Grab one (…or maybe a Pilsner, if that’s what you prefer) and read on!

Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin has packaged a beer released earlier this month, strongly influenced by one of Brewer Dan Tanner’s favourite wines. Pinotage is one of South Africa’s signature grape varietals, a cross of the Pinot noir and Hermitage varietals, developed in the first half of the 20th century. The wines made with Pinotage are dark red, with smoky and earthy flavours, and sometimes having banana, tropical fruit, and possibly acetone/solvent notes (though these are discouraged and avoided when possible). Starting from their base Porter beer, Tanner aged the beer in highly charred barrels that once held Ironworks Dark Rum, with extra fruit notes from Black Raspberry puree, kicked up with fresh Blackberries and Blueberries. With contribution from the base beer, barrel, and fruit additions, look for vanilla, caramel, light smoke, roast, chocolate, with deep berry character. The 6.3% ABV Porter [Oak Aged & Berry Addition] is available at the brewery and farmers markets now in bottles and limited growler fills, and may be one of the offerings at their Chester taproom, poised to open at the end of October. Tanner & Co on Duke will be located (coincidentally, right?) at 59 Duke Street in the Village of Chester, and feature 20 seats, with a whole bevvy of their own beers, complemented by guest taps from the region, and plenty of excellent wine once the licensing is in place. Another of their beers which *may* still be around at the time of celebration is their Double IPA, back in the lineup after a six-month hiatus. Maxing out their larger system this time around, this 8.0% ABV beer features a dry finish, accentuated with lots of kettle and dry hops (their biggest ever!) to the tune of 60 IBU, with Amarillo, Centennial, and Citra throughout, for a citrus bomb with additional floral and earthy notes. Available now at the brewery as well!

We mentioned it was coming last week and now that it’s out we’d like to double-down on a recommendation that you give it a listen. September’s 902BrewCast tasting episode has the gang blind tasting 8 (no wait, 9!) Czech- and German-style Pils(e)ners from around the region (and one from beyond) and documenting their experience as they went. We think it’s an excellent introduction to the practice of throwing away your preconceived notions and tasting blind with others, describing what you’re sensing and talking it through. Whether you’re a budding beer geek or an old palate, it’s an excellent exercise for your senses, your descriptive abilities, and your tasting mindset. It’s also a bunch of fun as you can tell from listening to these jokers do it!

Last Friday Bootleg Brew Co in Corner Brook put on a new beer before closing their doors for the week on Sunday night to head to town for a series of 6 pop-ups on Tuesday at locations around St. John’s. So we’re not entirely sure this beer is still available, but we’re going to tell you about it anyway – if it didn’t sell out, you can go try it, if it did sell out, you know it’s a straight banger and you’ll want to keep an eye out for the next time it’s available. Old Hat is an honest and gimmickless American Pale Ale hopped with Amarillo, Idaho 7, and some BC-grown Cascade. Expect a classic floral, citrus and piney hop character in flavor and aroma, a lowish bitterness and a light body, all in a fairly sessionable 5% ABV package. Only available at the brewery, definitely for fills, possibly for pints.

The bad boys of Niche Brewing in Hanwell have emerged from the summer madness and now seem to be back on the road of new and interesting releases. This week they’ve got one called Colours of Shade hitting the taps, a mixed-fermentation Saison with black currant. As you might expect, this one was fermented with Niche’s own house culture of Saison and Brettanomyces strains, meaning that at some level it’s going to taste like a “Niche beer,” but the very nature of such a blend of microorganisms means that it’s likely to express itself a little differently every time it’s used, so some of the magic is seeing how each beer is different. In this one, the yeast and fruit come together to provide a pleasant tartness, with some Brett funk to complement. The color is a beautiful purple thanks to the addition of black currant puree late in fermentation. Aged briefly in stainless, it comes in at 6.2% and would be a great choice for fruity/funky beer fans and wine lovers alike. Coming soon to  The Joyce Pub, Peppers Pub, Stillwell, The Auction House, Graystone Brewing and the Laundromat Expresso Bar (Marky’s), with a couple of kegs also making their way to the ANBL growler station at their Moncton North store. And if you’re at one of those places you might also find one of the last few kegs of their Intergalactic NEIPA on tap as well! 

Our first Oktoberfest beer this week, as Big Spruce launched Schnitz & Gigglez, their take on the malty-yet-dry amber Lager. Brewed with 100% German malts (including Pilsner, Munich and Vienna) and hopped lightly with GR Magnum and Tettnang, the wort was fermented with Escarpment Lab’s Biergarten (“sourced from a venerable Munich brewery”) and then lagered for about 8 weeks before packaging. With aromas of toffee and brown bread, and “hints of dried apricot and candied orange”, the beer is full-bodied, with a lightly-sweet finish. It weighs in at 6.3% ABV (at the upper end for the style), and is available right now on tap at the Sprucetique in Nyanza (and soon at some of your favourite Big Spruce accounts).  

In Edmundston, Petit-Sault is leaning towards the hoppier side of things with their latest release, Double Vision. This is the brewery’s first crack at the Double IPA style, and it’s a big one at 8.8% ABV. Intensely hopped with Vic Secret, Azacca, Columbus and Mosaic, the beer has plenty of malt backbone to balance, and finishes firmly bitter (60 IBUs). There is only a limited supply available, and it IS in cans… however, the only way to get it is at the brewery, so either get ready for a road-trip, or maybe call in a favour or two to friends/family who live around that area of New Brunswick!

Testify! Stillwell Brewing has announced that their barrel-aged sour beer with peaches, Preach, is being released today. This year’s version is their most peach-saturated batch yet, featuring a whopping 300 g/L of whole peaches. The “base” beer is a blend of four different barrel-fermented Saisons (who gets to decide which Saisons to use in these blends, and is Stillwell Brewing looking to add people into that role? Asking for a friend…), and went through a refermentation on the peaches (that’s 600 lbs!) and continued aging on the fruit for about five months, before bottling at the beginning of the year. They’re describing the final product as “bright, fresh, soft and fun”, and if it’s similar to the last batch, we can confirm that this is accurate! Grab it on tap and/or in bottles at Stillwell today from noon. And with their Beergarden still closed due to the crane issue during Dorian, be sure to drop by and show them some love at HQ.

Few new/returning beers coming out of Propeller today, proving that they’re continuing to stay very busy at the brewery. Returning is Nocturne, their 6.7% ABV Black IPA that is brewed in celebration of Halifax’s Nocturne, “an evening of art and wonder” in mid-October that Propeller sponsors. Luckily they release the beer weeks ahead of time, giving you many chances to consume a pint or two. Speaking of the beer, it is dry-hopped with Amarillo and Falconer’s Flight, giving “complex tropical fruit and pine hop aromas” to go with the flavours of dark chocolate and coffee. Also out today is a tasting-room only beer, Lagered Ale. The name gives you an idea of what this one will be: “easy-drinking, balanced and refreshing”, according to the brewery, and at just 4.5% ABV, it definitely seems to fit the mould. Expect hints of “sweet melon, stone fruits and citrus” in this one. Finally, tonight’s cask is Pumpkin Ale with Vanilla (4.5% ABV), which will be tapped at 5 pm as usual.

Not too far away, Garrison Brewing has a couple new releases of their own, both brewed in celebration of, yep, Oktoberfest. Let’s start with their Oktoberfest/Marzen, Gettin’ Ziggy. Malty and clean, this 5.5% ABV Lager has “grainy and toffee flavours and a quick and soft bitterness”, and pours a reddish-copper colour. Next is a Wheat Ale named It’s a Wienerful Wheat, which they brewed in collaboration with local radio station Jack 92.9. This 4.6% ABV, 12 IBUs golden-coloured brew is light and crisp, with aromas and flavours of “sweet malt and bready wheat, with spicy notes and a mild, citrusy finish”; each can sold will see $0.50 go to the SPCA. Both beers are available now, at the Garrison taproom and private liquor stores in the HRM.

Lots of news from Tatamagouche Brewing this week, with the return of their Lagerhosen as well as two bottle releases on the go. For those who aren’t familiar, Lagerhosen is an amber lager that Tata has been making for quite awhile (our first mention of it was in 2014). Timed for release in the fall during Oktoberfest season, there are two variants, a regular and a dry-hopped. Running at just about 5% ABV, it’s brewed with Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops for spicy and floral notes. The dry-hopped version features additions of both Strisselspalt and Czech Saaz for an even more intense noble character. Find both of these in cans at the brewery for sure, and hopefully also your other favorite locations for grabbing Tata brews. Or, if you’re planning to be at the 40th North Shore Oktoberfest this weekend you’ll definitely find it there!

Meanwhile, those who missed out on the annual Tata Tap Takeover at Battery Park a couple weeks ago may have been kicking themselves when they read our post that week mentioning some of the special kegs that were pouring that night. Well fear not gentle reader, at least some of those beers are being packaged for wider release and the first two, both considered entries in Tata’s “Weird Beer” series, are ready to go this week! First up is a barrel-aged rye (quick! someone call Tony!) saison they’ve named Rooted. All kinds of things went in to this beer, which started with a rye saison with Brettanomyces that was then blended with a neutral Berliner-style sour for some tartness before being barrel-aged. Described as a beer that “connects you to the earth,” you’ll find plenty of flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel including some spice from the rye, plenty of tart lemon and other citrus, and a pithy bitterness on the finish. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it pours a bright banana color, and slightly cloudy, with polka dot lacing; if you get your hands on some expect a complex and challenging experience for your senses. Find it in 750 mL bottles at the brewery and hopefully at private stores in the city as well.

And if you lean more (or also) towards the bigger beer styles, Tata’s also got you covered with their second bottle release of the week, Toro. A massive Belgian Quadrupel bourbon barrel-aged with Brett, it’s a monster at 11.2% ABV and, where it’s been packaged in 500 mL bottles we suggest you bring a friend and/or plan for a night in when you try it (as friends of the blog like to say, a “movie beer”: best enjoyed on the couch while checking out the latest superhero flick). Like the Rooted, there’s lots going on in this deep coppery-orange beer, with plenty of dark fruit flavors complemented by sweet and malty notes and maybe even a little bit of toffee and chocolate presence. Although there’s certainly some heat from the alcohol, it’s not overpowering, as it’s been balanced by the malt profile and caramel sweetness. You can also safely expect some additional oak character from the barrels and some of the notes that only brett can provide. Definitely available from the brewery, we hope it’ll be available in the city as well as time goes on.

Speaking of Oktoberfests in the region, the Mount Pearl Oktoberfest is this weekend, and several of the breweries attending have released beers they’ll be pouring at the event, as well as doing wider releases. First up, host brewery YellowBelly has offered up a Helles named Schweine fliegen (we’ll leave the translation as an exercise to the reader). At 5.2% ABV, it features a simple malt bill of Pilsner, Munich, and CaraPils malts, and hopped entirely with Hersbrucker hops. Filtered clear, as is tradition, the light beer leans towards the malt side rather than hops, though both sides shine through with pleasant biscuit notes and Noble-like earth and spice from the hops. In addition to at the Fest, Schweine fliegen is pouring now at the brewpub in downtown St. John’s.

A short taxi or bus ride from George Street is Quidi Vidi, where the brewery by the same name is fully embracing Fest season by releasing Oktoberfest Marzen.This 5.5% ABV beer is malt-driven, and supremely chuggable. While not available in 1 Litre Maß at the brewery overlooking the gut, it is being released in tall cans there and around town. So grab two and make your own Oktoberfest at home (if you can’t make it out to Mount Pearl)! 

A little further out of town is Port Rexton on the Bonavista Peninsula, who are visiting the Avalon this weekend with their own German beer, this one in the Pilsner style. German Pilsner is a 6.2% ABV crisp and clean beer, using Hallertau Mittelfruh, Tettnang, and Strisselspalt hops, and fermented with Escarpment’s Isar Lager yeast. In addition to the Craft’ernoon Experience tomorrow, it will be available in the PRBC Retail Shop on Torbay Road, keep an eye on their social media for when exactly it is tapped, so you can fill up your Siphon or Stuetzla! 

And a couple more notes about PRBC this week: they are hosting a Brewers Dinner at Peach Cove Inn in nearby Trinity East, on October 11th. Featuring 6 courses of food and an accompanying beer (or is it the other way around?), this will surely be a fun intimate environment to sit down with both chef and brewer to talk about the flavours in both food and drink. Limited to just 20 tickets, best to contact your via phone at 709-436-2069. And if working for a brewery has been on your radar, then look no further! PRBC is hiring a part-time delivery driver to join their team. Looking to fill about 20 hours worth of work, though there may be a potential for more hours in a packaging capacity at the brewery. Send Nicole your resume today, or pop by the brewery to learn more!

And while not out quite in time for the Oktoberfest in their backyard, Landwash Brewery has teased that they will be releasing a Munich-style Helles in the next few weeks. More info on that when the time is right, but in the meantime they’re still bringing the German flair this weekend with their One Wave Blonde (which features lots of German Saphir hops), as well as their Brackish Sour Ale (heavily influenced by the German Gose style). Cans of both are available at the brewery if you cannot get out to the Oktoberfest this weekend.

Today is “Meet the Motherfuckers” day at Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax as they’ve brought back their pair of aggro-named sour beers. Sour Motherfucker is a little different this time around, with no Brett or barrel-aging involved, but it’s still a tart cherry wheat beer that should be plenty refreshing and a little dangerous, weighing in at 6.5% ABV. Fruity Motherfucker on the other hand is described as a 7% ABV “apricot, pink guava and tangerine IPA,” with plenty of fruit and, since it’s coming from Unfiltered and it’s an IPA, no doubt plenty of hops! Find both of these for fills and pints and in cans at the brewery from noon today along with what’s left of the cans of DOA and also some new branded merchandise.

What’s on the go this weekend? Peep here for the fresh info!

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing is making a foray across the harbour today for a takeover at Hop Yard Halifax on Gottingen Street. Featuring 10 taps from the brewery, including Rampant Lion NEIPA, Karate Laser SIPA, Bush Berry Haskap Cider, Taken for Granted Mead, and their brand new Sound Check West Coast IPA there should be something for everyone. Head down for an afternoon pint or plan to stay for several and a meal, there will be live music starting at 8 PM.

Good Robot’s annual celebration of all things puppers is this weekend, with their Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Grounds in Halifax. From noon daily, there is a beer garden, events throughout the day, food and dog-friendly merchandise and paraphernalia, with the highlight of Saturday night being an airing of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Your $12 entrance fee gets you your first drink (beer or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage), and access to all of the fun. One of those beers may be the brand new Hope Nation Saison, which we mentioned in last week’s post. Good news for dog Aunts and Uncles, no pupper is required, and please note that entry is restricted to those pups and people who play nice with new friends. 

Just a couple more things before we send you on your way today…

Boxing Rock teamed up with frequent collaborator World Tea House’s Phil Holmans to brew up Citrodora, a 6.5% ABV IPA with a healthy dose of lemon verbena tea. Look for that on tap at the Legendary Taproom in downton Shelburne, as well as the Agricola Street bottle shop in Local Source Market in Halifax. In case you haven’t already grabbed your tickets for the Highway 103 Tap Takeover happening tomorrow, now’s your chance to avoid disappointment!

King Street Beer in Bridgewater is releasing the latest of their Lahave River Beers, collaborations with local homebrewers and fans. Hawaiian Explosion is a Pineapple IPA, featuring moderate bitterness and tropical floral hops. Grab it from 6:30PM tonight!

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is Zagging while many are Ziggying (sorry not sorry), and releasing Pony Boy, a British Golden Ale described as “clean and malt-forward beer with a biscuit aroma”. Drop by today to grab a sample, pint, or growler of this one.

Secret Cove in Port au Port Newfoundland is going dark this week, with The Port au Porter. A 6.0% Robust Porter, think chocolate and coffee thanks to the dark German malts used. Smooth as silk, and with a name like that, how can you not take a trip out to grab a pint?!

Sourwood has an interesting new cider available this weekend: Semitone (7.1% ABV) was spontaneously fermented on blueberries that had been used in the making of their last blueberry cider, Denim. Aged on the previously-used fruit for 2 months, it’s tasting slightly acidic, with a “much softer fruiting ad colour profile” compared to the first go-around with the fruit. 

If you’ve been around the Nova Scotia beer scene for a while you know that Uncle Leo’s is known for, among other things, making some fine German-style beers. And if you’re a fan of those you’ll know that this is the time of year when they drop their mixed 4-pack! Featuring Vohs Weizenbier (wheat beer), Nachtical Illusion (Schwarzbier), Ceilidh Ale (Kölsch), and Altbier (Alt, of course!), it’s a pretty great primer for those interested in trying German styles or a treat for those who are already in the know. Find it at NSLC locations in and around the HRM already (hopefully with more around the province added in coming weeks) and, word has it, at ANBL and PEILC locations as well!