Friday Wrap-Up

We hope this week’s post finds you well, as we start the holiday weekend. Plenty of new beers to have delivered to your home this weekend, or if you’re able to venture out safely (masked up!), this is a grand time to visit a few breweries in our region. If you’re so inclined, remember that we’ve got a map listing the breweries and cideries in the region, as well as the craft-centered bars and shops. Check it out here! And remember to keep your designated driver happy at all times, to maximize your imbibing enjoyment. 🙂

Ok, we know for a fact that some of you beer geeks out there have been clamoring for an authentic Mexican Lager to be brewed in Atlantic Canada. Well, here we are smack-dab in the middle of summer (roughly), and 2 Crows has got what we need with their take on a Mexican Lager, Dos Cuervos (vetoed names include Crow-na and Crowdelo). Featuring a low oxygen mash of Pilsner and Chit malt from Shoreline Malting, plus a bit of Vienna and lots of flaked corn, they mash-hopped with Sterling, threw in some more at first wort, and finally went with a late boil addition of Motueka. Fermented nice and cool with a Mexican Lager yeast strain, they actually brewed another half batch and krausened with that one (adding some actively fermenting beer to restart the process and generate carbonation naturally). Finally adding a light dry-hop of more Motueka, they capped the tank, and eventually lowered the temperature slowly, allowing the beer to lager for 8 weeks. The final beer is tasting clean and crisp, with a little lime character thanks to the Motueka. It weighs in at a delightfully sessionable 4% ABV and 17 IBUs; you can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery, starting today.

And good news from 2C in the bakeapple world – they’ve got a brand new batch of Cloud 9 that should be ready in time for the weekend! This 5.2% ABV brew is slightly different from last year’s release, but no doubt equally as delicious. One part light hoppy base beer aged for 18 months in Sauvignon Blanc barrels with a bunch of Brett, Sacch, Lacto and Pedio cultures, another part golden sour base aged for a year in neutral ex-wine barrels, the whole blend was conditioned on the elusive bakeapple (picked by their hardworking friend Paul Smith of Conception Bay South, NL). They’re describing this batch as more wine-like than last year’s, “with smooth apricot and honey notes”. Maybe some of you even held onto a bottle or two from 2019 to compare? If not, it’s still worthwhile grabbing some, of course (try to show a little restraint this time, would ya, and hang onto some?)!

Miramichi’s Timber Ship Brewing did their best to take advantage of the slower sales period during the worst of the pandemic (well, for now, anyway), taking the opportunity to brew a beer style that requires more patience than most of your typical styles. The beer we’re talking about – Looshtauk Helles Lager – is now available on tap around town. Named after a 19th century Tall Ship that carried Irish emigrants to New Brunswick (check out the brewery’s Instagram page for more details on the history of that vessel), the beer was brewed with German-style malts, and hopped with Hallertau Mittelfruh to 18 IBUs. Fermented nice and cool, and lagered for six weeks, it’s 5% ABV and tasting clean and refreshing. You can find it on tap around Miramichi at Vera Kitchen and Bar, Apero Lounge, and possibly still at Mikes Bar and Grill

Looks like Tidehouse Brewing is back open for retail sales this week, (Thursday to Saturday) with several brand new beers available in cans for you to take home for the weekend. We may not have extreme details on these ones, but we definitely have enough to whet your thirst:

  • Turtles All the Way Up – Not to be confused with a previous Tidehouse release, Turtles All the Way Down, this is a 6.6% ABV Saison that was heavily-hopped with Saaz late in the boil, and conditioned on lychee.
  • Yankee Hotel Zulu – Billed by the brewery as a “simple and balanced” 6.3% ABV IPA hopped with Chinook.
  • Drive to the Sun –  Not 100% sure on the style of this one, they’re calling it a “5.2% ABV crusher” that they hopped with Tettnang.

In addition, they still have some cans of Two Can Win, a 7.5% ABV “India Saison” hopped with Loral and Saaz. They’re open 2 – 8 PM, head on over to stock up!

There’s a whole whack of news coming from Lunn’s Mill this week, if you’re looking for a Lawrencetown beer et al. fix. Let’s start with the beer portion of their news, shall we? They’ve got two new ones available in cans at the brewery, starting with a Berliner Weisse named Girl, Hold My Earrings. This one was actually originally brewing for the Brewster Fest in April of 2019, to celebrate women in the beer industry. Brewed with fresh rhubarb and raspberries, it’s a pinkish-red colour and comes in at just 4.3% ABV. Next up is Bang A Uey NEIPA, back again after a brief appearance last summer. This juicy 6.8% ABV NEIPA features “great tropical notes of melon and tangerine”, thanks to fermenting hot with Årset Kveik Blend from Escarpment Labs, and the heavy hop additions throughout the brew process (Bravo early in the boil; Mosaic, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria in the whirlpool; and dry-hopped with the same trio before packaging). Lovingly named after the driving technique oft-used outside of the brewery due to it being missed by visitors the first time popping in, they tell us proceeds will be going into their “sign fund”. Both beers are also available on tap for pints at the brewery, and we’re hearing reports of them both being available in HRM. In addition to these two beers, Lunn’s Mill has also created their own entry in the growing trend of hop-infused water with Hoppy Water, a non-alcoholic beverage made of carbonated water infused with freshly-squeezed lemon and Mosaic hops. Gluten-free, cans of this one are also available, if you’d like to round out your beer purchase (perfect for your fabulous Designated Driver to sip!).

If you happen to be traveling around Newfoundland this weekend, keep your eyes open for Baccalieu Trail Brewing on the Conception Bay Highway, as they’ve just released their first Double IPA, Loud Crowd. Brewed with late boil additions of Centennial and Chinook, and then dry-hopped with massive amounts of Citra and Mosaic, it’s big on bitterness, as well as juiciness, with “some floral and piney notes” to complement. Available in 500 mL bottles and on tap at the brewery, it’s on the lower end of the scale for a DIPA at 7.5% ABV, but should still be consumed responsibly!⁣

Or maybe you’re driving around beautiful PEI, and plan on traveling through Montague to check out the two craft breweries located there? If so, Bogside Brewing has cans and pints of their latest, Open Saison. With a grist made up of a large percentage of malted wheat, the wort was fermented with a Belgian Saison strain. Dry-hopped with Hersbrucker, expect the classic floral/fruity Saison characteristics, along with “some subtle herbal/orange aromas from the dry-hop”. Slightly tart, with a very dry finish (yet significant body, surprisingly), it’s quite drinkable at just 5% ABV. You can make a trip for the whole family out of it, thanks to the two food providers slinging great food onsite: Famous Peppers has moved from down the street to set up their pizza oven and provide some banging pies, and Thatcher’s Eatery, run by the folks at the Wheelhouse in Georgetown, with killer fried chicken sandwiches and lobster rolls. Open daily from noon, pop by this weekend for a pint and a scoff!

And speaking of Bogside, they were visited recently by both acbbaaron and acbbchris, but before that (possibly even before it was cool) by the motley crew of miscreants known as the 902 BrewCast, who sat down with Bogside’s Dave McGuire and Mark Patriquin for a chat during their (Prince Edward) Island getaway. Listen to it here at their podcast homesite or find it on your favorite podcast platform listed as Episode 82. And look for Episode 83 to drop in the next week or two; we believe they’ve still got some more PEI fun on tap/in the can.

If West Coast IPAs are more your thang, good news from Good Robot – they’ve brought back their Blanket Fort IPA, a classic West Coast IPA that they originally released on tap several months ago. Remember Blanket Fort? Well, it’s back… in can form*. That’s right, they’ve brewed up a fresh batch, with lots of Falconer’s Flight, Cascade, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria hops, and they canned it just so you can enjoy it at home. Wasn’t that sweet (hoppy?) of them? This 6.9% ABV brew has “an erratic mix of bright citrus and West Coast dank”, with some malt backbone to balance (thanks to a grist of Pale Ale, Vienna, and Cara 120 malt). Cans are, of course, available directly at the source… you know, the brewery.

*If you have to click on this, shame.

Parrsboro’s Two Islands Brewing has a new beer on tap this week, calling you to make the visit to their lovely location. Named simply Blueberry Weisse Ale, this 5.3% ABV beer showcases a whole lot of locally-grown and -processed blueberries, on top of a classic wheat beer base. Rich in colour and flavour, it joins a handful of other beers available on tap and in cans at their 169 Main Street location, with the sister Rising Tides Bakery right next door. The brewery is open Friday and Saturday, 1 – 9 PM, and Sunday and Monday, 1 – 6 PM. Look for the beer on tap at Bistro on Prince in Truro, Briny Bay Cafe in Five Islands, and BlackRock Restaurant in Parrsboro.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has a new one out, but just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s not old too! Spooky Saison has been in development for a year now (who do they think they are? 2 Crows? Stillwell Brewing?!) but it’s finally ready to meet you. Soured in the kettle before being fermented on apricots using a blend of Saison and Brettanomyces yeasts, it was then aged in white wine barrels for a full 12 months before packaging. Sour and funky, there’s also plenty of oak presence from the barrels, spicy yeast notes, a stone fruit presence from the apricots, and some white wine character. Despite this complexity and a 6.8% ABV, it still sounds to us like a lovely tipple for a hot summer’s day! And since those kinds of days seem to be in good supply lately, it should provide plenty of opportunity to put that theory to the test. Available today in 750 mL bottles from all three Prop shops as well as for home delivery.

Have you heard? Pilsners are all the rage in the Atlantic Canada beer scene this year after years of being somewhat of an underappreciated style in these parts. On a grander scale, our region is a little ahead of the game in that regard, which is why you may not have actually “heard” anything, but you definitely may have noticed a bunch of crisp and refreshing lagers on the shelves at your favorite brewery or other source of local independent beer. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying them too; we truly believe the overall quality has been stellar! The latest brewery to bring out a Pils is Uncle Leo’s up in Lyon’s Brook, NS. Now if you know Uncle Leo’s you no doubt know that one of their great strengths is traditional German ales like their award-winning Vohs Weizenbier and Altbier and their Ceilidh Kölsch. So you might expect their first entry into the Pilsner market to be in the German style. Well you’d be wrong about that, as they’ve decided to start with a Bohemian Pilsner they’re calling, aptly, Czech Mate. Very traditional, featuring Saaz hops and coming in at 5% ABV, you’ll find it at the brewery now in cans for takeaway or growler swaps or for home delivery via their online store!

Up in Bathurst, Four Rivers Brewing has debuted a new beer, perfect for those hitting the links, or maybe fibbing their score after the fact… Mulligan is a 5.0% ABV Golden Ale, clean, crisp,with a nice malt character and medium mouthfeel. Look for it on tap at the golf course, naturally, and of course at the brewery for pints and growler fills. If you pop into the latter, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to pick up their two newly released barrel-aged beers, as there are a few bottles still available (but they won’t last long!). Their first foray into barrel aging, they opted for a stout beer as the base, and chose two very different approaches to the barrels. La Grande Hermine is the stout aged in a Shiraz barrel, allowing the bold character from the wine to give the stout bold grape and lightly tannic character. Eau de Vie saw the stout aged in a Cognac barrel, with notes of vanilla and spirits enhancing the base beer. We suggest picking up a couple of bottles of each and sharing amongst your bubble! 

Miramichi’s New Maritime Beer Company has a couple of new beers pouring in their taproom this weekend, which will also be alive with music and comedy this weekend. First, the beers! Beaubears Chocolate Brown is named after nearby Beaubears Island, and features pleasant chocolate notes enhancing the base Brown Ale. New Maritime was also part of Isolation Nation, a nationwide effort by BSG Canada, Rahr Malting, and Hops Connect, to brew a beer to help out during these difficult times. Using Canadian-grown 2-row and Sasquatch hops, this 5.0% ABV SMaSH will be popping up at a few more breweries in our region over the next little bit, too. The New Maritime taproom will be hopping all weekend long, with DJ L’Arkadien spinning live on the patio tonight 5 – 9 PM, an acoustic set by Dillon Ryan tomorrow 6- 9 PM, and a double-header comedy show Sunday evening at 7 PM with Jimmy MacKinley and Matt Richardson (tickets needed for that one). And we’ve got a Profile with New Maritime coming next week, after our visit earlier this week, so stay tuned to learn more about them!

With COVID-19 ruining all the things, we are sad to report that Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing will not be holding their annual birthday party at Charm School Pub this year. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to celebrate. And because they love us (or at least some of us), part of that celebration is giving us a break on beer this weekend. Tomorrow at the brewery you’ll find $1 off cans, $2 off snarls, and $4 off growlers (glassware is trade-in of Unfiltered-branded jugs only), and they’ve got a full slate of beers on offer including the return of their Mosaic-laden RSMA (Ridiculously Superior Mosaic Ale because to hell with the Provincial liquor “authority” and their stealth taxes). Smooth, tropical, and 7.5% ABV, same as it ever was, which is a good thing.

A few more beers to get you excited for the weekend (is it 5 o’clock yet??)

For those who’ve been missing their fix from Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing, the beers are definitely starting to flow again. Up this week is the return of In Limbo, their light and refreshing 3.8% ABV mixed-ferm Grisette. An excellent showcase of their house culture and a wonderful beer to crush in the sun. Find it in Fredericton at The Joyce, in Saint John at Peppers pub, and in Moncton at the Tide & Boar.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing is celebrating Pride PEI with an in-person and online Trivia going down this evening. Kicking off at 7 PM, you can play along online, or reserve your table and move your bubble onto their extended patio. Check out the FB page for more info,and here’s the direct link to reserve a spot. We highly recommend making the trip in, that way you can enjoy the Rainbrew Strawberry Lavender Farmhouse Saison, coloured with the vibrant butterfly pea flower, or the latest batch of their Commons Pilsner, tasting great if we do say so ourselves!

And finally this week, back in Halifax, Garrison Brewing has brought back the modern version of one of their longest-running brews, Razzberry Wheat. Still 4.6% ABV and 12 IBU, still refreshing, and still tasting of raspberries, it’s on tap at Seaport and Oxford Taprooms, in cans, and as part of their “Summer Fun Pack” of four beers (only at their retail locations). And in other Garrison news, sales of their Stay the Blazes Home beer and glassware have managed to raise $28,158 for Feed Nova Scotia!!

Here we are heading into the the last week of July in Atlantic Canada and despite the strangeness brought on by COVID-19, the beer certainly still seems to be flowing, just via some different routes than we’ve been used to in previous years. While it’s still a bit of a complicated undertaking to sit and have a pint in a taproom or beer bar, with so many breweries keeping delivery offerings available, it’s gotten a whole lot easier to get beer to your home. We encourage folks to take advantage of this by maybe putting in an order from a further away brewery that they haven’t tried, maybe even across a Provincial border? Even better, get some friends together and do a few orders from a few breweries and have a little beer tasting party! THE FUN NEVER ENDS!! But seriously, ordering beer helps keep breweries afloat during times when tap room and keg sales are hurting. Ordering for pickup or delivery is convenient, usually quite quick, and a great way to help keep your thirst slaked and our scene surviving.

Sydney, Nova Scotia’s Breton Brewing celebrated their 5th Anniversary at the end of June, and are releasing five new beers to celebrate! The third in the series was released yesterday, joining Shipwreck DIPA and Right Some Good Dry-Hopped Sour. Ol’ Mick’s Grapefruit IPA is a 5.8% ABV American IPA which uses a splash of grapefruit juice to bump up the citrus and pithy character. Homebrewer Mike Morrison helped brew a similar beer with the Breton crew back in 2014, and now the rest of us can enjoy it too! Using malted wheat and oats on top of the base barley to get that soft mouthfeel, bittered in the kettle to about 45 IBU with a blend of American hops, and dry-hopped during active fermentation, Ol’ Mick’s pours like orange juice, with a brilliant colour and solid body. The beer is available at their 364 Keltic Drive taproom and retail shop, as well as online ordering for pickup, next day delivery within the CBRM, Halifax next week, and available province-wide as well (along with the last bit of Right Some Good).

If you’re making a break for the mainland from Sydney, you’ll be well-served to make a quick detour up the Yankee Line Road in Nyanza to Big Spruce Brewing. They are pouring two brand new beers this week, sub-5% ABV, perfect for enjoying in quantity. The first is The Inhaled Affirmative, lovingly named after the Cape Breton practice. This 4.1% ABV is firmly rooted in the Czech tradition, using Pilsner malt, natch, and plenty of Saaz hops for a blend of spicy and herbaceous aromatics on a base of bread and crust. Available on tap at the brewery, and soon at licensees around the province, it will also be on the shelves at Bishop’s Cellar in a cute 330 ml bottle, which means those across Nova Scotia will be able to partake (free shipping province-wide for orders over $150!).

And speaking of a cute beer, the Spruce has released Lilliputian, a Nano IPA weighing in at a very crushable 3.5% ABV. Speaking of “crushable”, we’re not sure how many Lilluputians were crushed in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, but we can assure you they won’t be as tasty as the 6” tall bottles coming this weekend. Despite its diminutive stature, this is a bold expression of pineapple, candied fruit, and more, thanks to the Idaho Gem and Citra hops used in the brew. In addition to the brewery, look for it to be pouring at Battery Park before too long! 

Hanwell’s hometown brewery is bringing back a couple of favourites these days, including one from the archives that’s been months in the making. First up from Niche Brewing is Empty Garden, their 5.4% ABV Kveik-fermented APA, which they had the misfortune of releasing mid-April, when the province was pretty much closed. Their timing this batch is much better, now that most restaurants and bars have re-opened to safely serve customers. Featuring Nelson Sauvin and Enigma hops in the boil, with more of these, plus Galaxy, in a dry-hopping addition, the Ebbegarden strain of Kveik yeast (care of Escarpment Labs) was allowed to play in the wort at a toasty warm temperature, meaning a quick fermentation and lots of fruity character. Kegs of Empty Garden are at The Joyce Pub and 540 Kitchen and Bar in Fredericton, as well as Peppers Pub and Cask & Kettle in Saint John, and at CAVOK Brewing in Moncton, with a couple slipping across the border to Halifax’s Stillwell.

The second returning Niche beer is Golden Flair, their collaborative brew with Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. First released in April 2019, this is a 5.9% ABV Saison fermented with a blend of the house cultures from both breweries. After primary, the beer was dry-hopped with El Dorado and Ekaunot, and conditioned on apricot puree for a spell, before spending 6 months in a Chardonnay barrel to round out and pick up a touch more character. A natural bottle conditioning interval allowed it to carbonate before release, with everything coming together in a tart, fruity, funky, and dry package. So, enough chatter, how can you grab the beer? They can be found at your local ANBL, with Fredericton’s York Street and the Moncton North locations jumping on the orders right away. If you don’t see it at your shop, see if they’ll order it in, as the managers have plenty of discretion for what is added to the shelves. CAVOK will also be selling some bottles at their taproom next week. For those who’d rather not leave home, DrinkNB will be adding Golden Flair to their roster very soon, check to see if you are within their delivery area! And for those wondering, that Chard barrel has already been filled with another beer, hanging out for a few months before release this fall.

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery recently released a special beer that has been flying off the shelves since it became available. Brewed in honour of Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, who was aboard the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that crashed in April of this year, BMac Hazy IPA is a Session IPA that was hopped with one of the newer experimental varieties, HBC-692. Developed from a hybrid pollination from Sabro and open pollination, HBC-692 has been reported as showing “intense flavours of citrus, flowers, and wood”. Brightwood has confirmed lots of grapefruit flavours throughout BMac, all in a sessionable package. With $1 from each can and 15% of all draught sales going to the MacDonald family, the first run of cans sold out very quickly; luckily, more have been packaged and are now available at the brewery (and on their online shop any minute now, where you can also make a directed donation to the MacDonald family). Drop in quickly to pick up yours, and support a great cause while also being able to enjoy a tasty beer!

Testing your ability (and more importantly, your desire) to throw yourself back into the late 1990s, Secret Cove Brewing tries to pull you back with their latest beer, which they’ve named A Night at the Raspberry (fine, if you’re too young… here). This 4% ABV kettle sour was conditioned on lots of wild raspberries, with two additions – during the latter part of fermentation, and again once fermentation was completed. “Slightly tart and very crushable”, with some pleasant raspberry notes on the nose, you can find it pouring for pints and growlers at the brewery, and it’s also available in cans (some of which are being distributed to several NLC stores in the area).

In more sessionable beer news (summer is great for these low-ABV beers; heck, it’s awesome having them all year long!), Tanner & Co. has their very own to share with you thirsty Chester, NS folks. Hello Session Rye IPA is a 4.5% ABV SIPA brewed with – we feel safe assuming – a portion of Rye malt in the grist. Hopped with Simcoe, Cascade and Mosaic, the beer has aromas and flavours of pineapple, mango, and orange. Easy-drinking and lightly bitter, it’s available for purchase in growlers and bottles at the brewery and the Duke St. taproom. They’re also still doing home deliveries in the area, and are bringing the beer to the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market

In St. John’s, Bannerman Brewing has released their take/twist on an American Blonde Ale with their latest beer, Neon Lights. Brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Pale and Wheat malts, they lightly hopped the wort with Mosaic (not exactly commonplace for a Blonde Ale, but we doubt that anyone is complaining!). The final beer was conditioned on a large amount of lime, lemon, and orange zest, giving this light-bodied brew plenty of fruity flavours to bump up the refreshment factor. Very drinkable at 4.5% ABV, it’s available at the brewery on tap now, and should be in cans either today or over the weekend. 

Just in time for PEI’s 2020 Pride Week, Upstreet is re-releasing their annually-brewed Lavender Saison, Rainbrew. This popular beer is brewed with ingredients that represent the colours of the pride flag: strawberries (red), orange (PEI 2-row and Vienna malt), yellow (yeast), green (Belma hops), blue (water), and purple (lavender). The lavender and strawberries come through lightly in the aroma of this 5.5% ABV bright purple beer (come on, Anne, give it a try!), and this time around it is being released in cans! Drop by Upstreet or Craft Beer Corner to grab yours, so you can celebrate Pride in style. 

Keeping in the fruit-forward vein, there’s a new collaborative brew out from Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider and North Brewing. North’s B.Y.O.B, a light beer with lemon and lime zest, met Lake City’s Cider and blueberry and dark currant wines in a dark alley secondary fermenter and the result is Burst, a 5.3% ABV snakebite. Unlike a standard snakebite, which is a 1:1 blend of beer (usually lager) and cider each poured from the taps and possibly dosed with liqueur or cordial, the co-fermentation on this one could potentially make for a deeper integration of cider and beer flavors. You can be the judge of that; this one is available in cans from both Lake City and North as of this morning.

Bar Stillwell is hosting a 12-tap takeover from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham tomorrow, July 25th. In addition to tasty, funky, hoppy, fruity, and sour beers, Stilly HQ is also turning over the keys to their kitchen to the fine folks behind CODA Ramen. Previously operating at Water & Bone, CODA has been doing at-home Ramen kits for a few months, and are popping up on Barrington to offer a few options for ramen as well as the necessary accompaniments. Due to physical distancing requirements, seating is being done by reservation only, in 2 hour slots, beginning at noon. Reserve your place at the table by emailing Sam with your party size and preferred arrival time. We hear there may not be many spots available, but maybe ask if there’s a waitlist? 😬

A few beer and cider notes before we call it quits today:

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has brought back their Dump Run Saves, the 4.0% ABV summer ale, featuring loads of peach, mango, and passion fruit, bumped up just a touch with a subtle El Dorado addition. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery right now!

Also in Freddy Beach, Coastliner Cider has done a major re-branding and introduced several new blends of cider, now in cans,  including the Maritime Original, Raspberry Rose, and Cherry Vanilla. Their full offering is available through DrinkNB, pop over there for satisfaction.

We’ll leave you with a tale of two provinces this week… New Brunswick opening up the ability for small breweries without a Brewers Agency Store license, to sell direct to customers. Details are still trickling out, but opening up avenues for producers to get their product in front of consumers is definitely a step in the right direction. A bit more info here, we’ll have more soon.

On the other hand…. The NSLC has changed the markup structure to aid one industrial brewery. The latest version of the Local Beer Production Policy, available here along with all of the Manufacturers’ Policies, now leads with the following text “To ensure fairness amongst all local beer producers, it is the policy of the Corporation that beer produced within the province by commercial, craft, and nano breweries, shall be subject to the same markup structure.” The problem is, the playing field is never fair when dealing with multi-national, multi-billion-dollar corporations, who have immense buying power, their claws into all aspects of the supply chain (anyone remember the South African hop fiasco a few years back?), and deep pockets to entice/induce sales of their product. It’s almost like the NSLC is thumbing their nose at the Auditor General’s report released last month. We’ll share more on this real soon, but encourage reading the new policies, and a good article and quick CBC bit from this week’s news.

Happy Friday everyone! Another week in the bubble, and we hope to give you a few solid ideas on what/where to enjoy a beer or cider this weekend! Be sure to say “Hi!” if you see us out, or tag us in your beery posts this weekend, we love to see what you get up to! Now, without further ado, today’s post!

Let’s start off with our fine friends at Tatamagouche Brewing, where they continue to experiment with Kveik yeast strains (is there any better way to experiment than with yeast? Serious question…). Their latest Kveik (or is it Kviek😘) beer is On Task Export, a beer brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Vienna, and hopped with Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfruh. This one was fermented with Escarpment’s KRISPY, a blend of two Kveik strains rumoured to produce “Lager-like beer in Ale time”. Lagered for a couple of weeks, the beer definitely still has some fruity Kveik characteristics, so while not completely Lager-ish, it’s tasty and easy-drinking. Designed by the brewery’s cellar crew – with a special shoutout to “packaging wizard” Jony Riley – with the idea of brewing a new beer perfect for summer work around the house, it’s a reasonable 5.5% ABV. Available in cans and kegs at the brewery now, with the same heading to the HRM next week, and always available at their online shop

And if classic English beers are more your cup of Earl Grey, we encourage you to seek out some of Tata’s English Bitter, a 4.1% brew with Pale malt for the base, a mixture of caramel malts, and a little bit of Chocolate malt, and hopped with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. A beer just made for being served on cask, you can indeed find it just so at your favourite cask-serving-location (we’ve seen it at the Stillwell Freehouse recently), and kegs will be also hitting bars this week. Finally, Tata is also re-releasing Salt Water Cowboy, their 4.4% ABV Tequila barrel-aged Gose w/ lemon zest; look for kegs and 500 mL bottles to make their appearance over the coming weeks. 

For those of you who adore your hoppy Belgian beers (which truly are a beautiful thing, when you find a proper one), you’ll be happy to read about Stillwell Brewing’s latest beer, Dry. Designed with the intention of bringing you a low-ABV (4.2%, specifically), bone dry beer, it’s a mixed-ferm Saison that was dry-hopped with plenty of fresh Saphir. Packaged and can-conditioned in April, the dry-hop character is coming through at its peak now, giving the beer “a big, grassy, herbaceous character that plays well with the floral Saison fermentation notes”. A touch of tartness is present as well, with a firm bitterness in the finish. All three Stillwell locations will have cans of Dry available to drink on site, with HQ having plenty on hand for retail sale so you can enjoy one or six on your deck some hot, sunny day. Go!

Continuing with more mixed-fermentation fun elsewhere in Halifax, 2 Crows has the latest in their series of cocktail-inspired beers with Negroni. Named after and based on the dark red, Italian cocktail of the same name, this particular beer is actually a blend of three unique beers (very fitting, considering a proper Negroni cocktail typically is made with three different liquors/liqueurs). All three beers feature a golden sour base, but here’s where they differ: one was aged for 9 months in a freshly-emptied Amaro (ex-Bourbon) barrels; one aged in fresh Vermouth barrels; and finally, one aged in a gin barrel. Once all three were blended, 2C conditioned the final beer on a “complex” combination of botanicals (we think they’re being modest with the word complex!): fresh bitter orange peel and lemon peel, dried wormwood, calamus, fennel, sage, orris root, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, thyme, marjoram, juniper, coriander, as well as some hibiscus from World Tea House. At 5.5% ABV, this brilliant red beer is meant to resemble a proper Negroni cocktail, and it sure sounds like it does – the brewery describes the final product has having “orange and grapefruit zest leading the aroma, followed by a serious bitter kick and subtle herbal and woody aromatics”. Look for bottles of this beauty at the taproom starting tomorrow; they’ll also have a single keg pouring, which we recommend trying as well! You didn’t need us to recommend that, but we’re sticking to it.

There’s still plenty of summer left, and Spindrift has announced the details on their summer seasonal for this year, Sundaze Session Ale. Featuring a grist of Pilsner, Maris Otter, and Chit malt, it was hopped late in the boil with a healthy amount of Centennial and Galaxy, and whirlpool-hopped with Galaxy and Sabro. Fermented at cool temps with a neutral ale yeast, the beer was dry-hopped (midway through fermentation) with Centennial and Sabro. Coming in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, the resulting beer shows off both the malt side (with biscuity characteristics) and the hop side (with “big notes of passion fruit, coconut, and tangerine”); expect little bitterness in the finish (20 IBUs, if that’s your thing). You can find 6-packs of Sundaze at the brewery, and in NSLC stores soon. If you’re nearby, they’re having an official launch party at the brewery tomorrow from 11 AM – 3 PM, with Buttered Bliss joining them to pair some scrumptious chicken sandwiches with their beer ($5 pints all day, and $1 off all sixers and growlers). 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Milkshake IPAs are still a thing, and Big Spruce has brewed some tasty ones in the past. They’ve got a brand new one out right now, Tiguido, which is the French Canadian phrase for “just peachy” (we’ll have to trust them on that one). As you may have guessed, this release is a Peach Milkshake IPA, which was hopped and dry-hopped with a proprietary blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (that means it’s a blend where we’re not exactly sure which varieties are used!). Brewed with lactose powder, and conditioned on vanilla and peaches (all organic, natch), it weighs in at 7% ABV and is “super fragrant, bursting with fresh peach flavour, and finishes soft and sweet”. Available right now at the Sprucetique in growlers, pints, and bottles, you can also find it on tap at Battery Park and the Stillwell Beer Garden. And if you’re looking for more fruity IPAs, Big Spruce has also got a new batch of Guava Get Me Some available in a limited supply; El Dorado and Mosaic hops, and lots of guava, all in a 6.4% ABV package.

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing has just launched the latest in their Rock God of Summer beer series, Limes Ulrich. This 6.5% American Wheat Ale was brewed exclusively with malt from PEI’s Island Malt House, and late-hopped in the boil with Amarillo. Conditioned on fresh lime zest in the fermentor, the final beer is light and crisp, “with a bright citrus lime flavour and aroma”. It’s billed as a crusher, but we recommend going easy at that ABV! Kegs should be hitting accounts any day now, and bottles will be available as well; keep an eye on their social media accounts for more details. 

We just told you about Shipwright’s first kettle sour last week, and they’re keeping the train rolling in that department, as their second sour just went on tap a couple of days ago! Surf Side is a 5% ABV kettle sour that was brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Honey malt, and once soured and fermented, was dry-hopped with a 50:50 blend of Bru-1 and Citra. Featuring “aromas of grapefruit and lychee, leading to pleasantly-tart flavours of peach, citrus and pineapple”, it’s currently pouring at Shipwright’s taproom, and available to take-away in crowler format. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek has three brand new beers being released this week, providing two completely different tastes for the senses. First up are two of the latest in their DUOH series (NEIPA hopped with two varieties), DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy and DUOH: Sabro/Enigma. Both beers were fermented with the Foggy London strain, and hopped and dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy, and Sabro and Enigma, respectively. Both are 6% ABV, hazy af, and showing off big hop aromas and flavours (of course, with those varieties!). Look for DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy at CAVOK Brewing and Euston Park Social, DUOH: Sabro/Enigma at Traffik in Shippagan. And if hoppy beers aren’t your thing, their next beer is Czech Affaire, a 5.5% ABV Czech Pilsner brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Munich and Carapils. Hopped with Sladek and Saaz, it was fermented with Escarpment’s Premium Pils, and lagered for over 2 months. Tasting clean and crisp, with a “fresh, bready aroma” and a firm bitterness, you can find it on tap soon at CAVOK. 

Propeller has gone ahead and released their IPA Day (Aug 6 this year) beer a little early, and it’s a tweaked version of one of their classics. They’ve taken their IPA recipe and double-dry-hopped it with Ekuanot and Citra, to give you DDHIPA. It’s still 6.5% ABV like before, but with the dry-hop additions it’s showing off aromas and flavours of pine, mango, and citrus, with a “slightly herbal taste and smooth, citrus finish”. It comes in their 360° cans, where the lid can be removed and the can used as a glass, and should be available at all three Prop shops today (and online for home delivery).

Head a bit further North in Halifax, and you’ll pass Good Robot Brewing on Robie Street. They are taking full advantage of their new canning system by packaging up another fresh batch of their award-winning El Espinazo Del Diablo Jalapeno and Lime Mexican Lager, as well as a brand new release, Purple Haze. The latter is a 5.9% American Pale Ale starting life as any other, but received a dosing of terpenes at packaging to skyrocket the smell and flavour to the next level. What are terpenes, you may be asking? These are the super-aromatic naturally occurring compounds that give pine needles, citrus fruit, lavender, etc, etc, their distinctive character. They’re also found in hops (a lot of the time when we talk about “biotransformation”, it’s these terpenes being transformed into another form), and its funkier and more potent cousin, cannabis. Centering on these, a blend of terpenes was used in this beer to mimic the distinctive aroma of the Purple Haze and Grandaddy Purp strains of weed, producing great aroma but without the high (sorry!). Think pine, citrus, melon, field berry on the nose, bumping up the contribution from the hops already in the beer. Cans of Purple Haze are available now in their retail shop, and online. And while you’re checking them out, keep in mind that there’s still a bit of their Blackberry Freedom Ale available, brewed with the Change is Brewing Collective, and benefiting BIPOC groups in the community. And there are more great beers coming from the Collective, but we’ll keep those under wraps for now.

Let’s hop across the water for our last brewery visit this week. In Deer Lake, Rough Waters Brewing celebrated the opening of their patio yesterday, at their 83 Wights Road location. Expanding their seating capacity just means more room for you all to visit on your way to/from Gros Morne, but also worthy of a visit specifically, of course! Plus, you can bring your pup to hang out with Ruffwaters’ own mascot. So, what can you be enjoying while there? Well, they released Wanderlust, a 5.0% Blonde Ale, featuring delicate floral aroma dancing on the light malt, in a crisp and refreshing package. Next up is the continuation of their Sour Series, this being Sour IPA. Galaxy hops lend a load of citrus and tropical fruit to the beer, with the clean acidity cleans the palate and keeps you coming back for more! This fella is 5.3% ABV, and available both on tap and in bottles, but for sale only at the brewery. And finally, just back today is Down South, their Pineapple Pale Ale, featuring 20 kilograms of pineapple puree added during conditioning. Again, exclusively available at the brewery, so we think you’d better start making your plans now! The retail, taproom, and patio (weather depending, unless you bring your ‘brelly) is Thursday through Monday, 2 – 10 PM.

On the cider side of things, Annapolis Cider has the details on the latest one-off in their Something Different series, Strawberry & Mint. Created with the intention of celebrating the Valley’s berry harvest season, it’s a blend of their dry-fermented cider with a “splash” of Perry, along with freshly-pressed strawberry and apple juices. Infused with locally-grown mint, this 6.2% ABV sparkling cider has “a bright effervescence and balanced acidity”, and is chock-full of strawberry and mint flavours for a very refreshing beverage. For this week’s release, they will be donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry & Mint to the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation

Not one, but TWO Beer Gardens opened this week!

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has opened up their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing, adjacent to the Alderney Gate ferry terminal. Featuring seating for 64 (plus dogs!), the converted shipping container has both a draft system for draught sales to be enjoyed on-site, as well as a retail side with cans to take-away. For those grabbing pints, it is a BYOF establishment, with Brightwood is teaming up with Port City Cafe to offer bar snacks like nachos and dips to be ordered from their website and enjoyed there. In addition to Brightwood’s full complement of beers, the container bar will also be serving their new house cider, Brightyard. This single varietal (Northern Spy) is a semi-dry cider produced with Chain Yard Urban Cidery, where the cider starts life in Halifax before finishing up in Dartmouth. And look for super-special releases coming from the water-side ½ barrel, 60 litre, system also hanging out in the shipping container. The Waterfront Beer Garden is open 11:30 AM til 11 PM daily until the end of September, weather-dependent, of course.

And Bedford just got a little more beer-y with the opening of Birch and Anchor yesterday. Open 11 – 11 daily, the former site of China Town restaurant has been transformed into a sprawling beer garden with 15,000 square feet of space, a dozen draught taps (Breton, Garrison, Propeller are on the board currently) and two dozen varieties of bottles and cans. The food is prepared on-site, with pizzas, charcuteries boards, and BBQ courtesy of Asado Wood Fired Grill.

Just one event to tell you about this week!

Normally held in March, Péché Day is the celebration of Dieu Du Ciel!’s Péché Mortel, a 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with coffee. Since *something* got in the way of celebrating 4 months ago, the Stillwell Freehouse is taking another stab at it tomorrow, July 18th. Pouring PM plus 5 variations, including a Bourbon-barrel aged version, “Mexican Stout” (ancho & guajillo peppers with cinnamon and vanilla), Cassis (black currants), “Sidama” (infused with Ethiopian Sidama Howolso coffee), and Nanatsu No Taizai which is Péché Mortel fermented with lager yeast, rather than ale. Complementing these big coffee beers will be another touch of Montreal, with Smoked Meat Toasties, and a bring-your-own vinyl DJ situation, all kicking off at noon. No tickets, no reservations, so we suggest arriving promptly to secure your spot!

A couple more beer and brewing related job postings this week, for those looking to get into the industry!

Inverness, Nova Scotia’s Route 19 Brewing is looking for a motivated individual to join their team, working in two key roles as both a Brewery Assistant and Delivery Driver. In the brewery, assisting Head Brewer Dallas in all aspects of brewing, including recipe planning, ingredient handling, brewing, fermenting, conditioning, packaging, and everything in between. And then you’ll be able to help get that beer to customers across the province as a cargo van delivery driver, servicing Cape Breton and the Halifax region. While no formal brewing training is required, a thirst for knowledge is key! Fire an email with your resume and questions to Stefan Gagliardi. And for those who recognize that name, Stefan has joined Route 19 as the CBO, Chief Beer Officer, overseeing all things beer from Brewing Operations to Sales & Marketing. Congratulations, Stefan!

And on the serving side of things, Dartmouth’s Battery Park Beer Bar is looking to add some permanent part- and full-time servers to their team. Must love beer! Learn more here, and send along your resume!

And in “so you want even more beer details and information in your life” for this week

The fellas of the 902 BrewCast made a run for the border (and bridge) last weekend, visiting the other 902 province, Prince Edward Island. While there, they managed to fit in a handful of brewery, malting, and hop operation visits and interviews in just a couple of days. The first interview, with Spencer Gallant of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton, hit the virtual airwaves earlier this week. Learn about his progression through the local brewing industry, the latest release of theirs (the Duet Saison that we are still in search of), and what can be expected from the tanks and barrels the rest of this year. Better than waiting for us to tell you about the latest Eps (or in this case, forgetting!), be sure to subscribe however you listen to podcasts. Find out how on the link above!