Friday Wrap-Up

Just a quick intro a mostly-newsbite edition (Chris’ loquaciousness cannot be contained!) as your three faithful authors are traveling across the region soaking up the sun and beers before real life sets back in (aka school and work).

Let’s kick off the week with the brand newest beer to go on tap at Port Rexton Brewing, the latest of their Continuum IPA series. Continuum – Down Under features boatloads of Aussie and New Zealand hops, by the name of Enigma, Galaxy, Vic Secret, and Wakatu. The latter features a lovely lime zest nose and palate, with mango and pineapple coming through from the other additions. Hazy, juicy, and just a touch bitter, this 6.2% ABV brew is on tap for pints and growlers at the brewery, and is/was also available along with a handful more at their St. John’s Retail Shop. While you’re in the area for Trinity Days, pop by for some great beer, grilled cheese from Oh My Cheeses!, and a lovely night out.

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has released the latest in their Something Different line this week, Raspberry & Russet. This 6.8% ABV blend features a base of crisp and dry Golden Russet cider (with a touch of Bosc pear juice to lend some weight) with fresh-pressed raspberry juice to accent. The tart juice adds its own complexity and lovely pink hue. As with all of their Something DIfferent releases, $0.50 from each fill goes to a local charity, this time around Children’s Wish Foundation, Nova Scotia Chapter.

Speaking of continuing beer or cider series, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is continuing their Hop Trip exploration of IPAs with Hop Trip: Mosaic & Citra IPA. At 6.2% ABV, this is solidly in the middle of the ABV range for the style, with the hazy golden colour hinting at the mounds of hops inside. The two hall-of-fame hops shine through with citrus, tropical and stone fruit notes, underlied by a light 30 IBUs bitterness. Oat and Wheat malts help to keep it hazy and a smooth mouthfeel. Available now at the brewery in a 355 mL 4-pack, these will also be launching at the NSLC at the end of the month. 

The Church Brewing Company has passed another milestone this week as they have opened their retail shop at 329 Main Street in Wolfville. Cans of all of their releases are available to take away, as well as a full line of shirts, hats, and other breweriana. They’ll be open from 11 AM until 11 PM every day except Sunday when they close at 9 PM. And, giving you even more options to enjoy onsite or take away, they have released 3 new beers over the past 7 days, with their Silver Lining Witbier (5.1% ABV), Congregation Pilsner (4.7% ABV), and Married to the Sea German Porter (5.6% ABV) all available to go, joining their Mayflower White IPA, Sanctuary Enkel, and Eight Bells Belgo Pale Ale.

Halifax’s 2 Crows has a pair of special beers coming out tomorrow, both of which have been a long time coming… The first is Saddle Up, a foedre-aged Farmhouse Ale, featuring rye malt and with hay (yes, hay!) added to the mash. That addition was supposed to act as a filter in the tun (similar to the husks and other malt pieces), but instead the hay and rye (known already to gum up the works) led to the brew day from hell, clocking in at 15 hours, more than double a usual brew day length. Hopping in the boil with East Kent Golding, Azacca, and Huell Melon, it was transferred to foedre to receive a dosing of their house cultures, before being canned still (flat) and allowed to carbonate naturally in that package. Pick up the 5.4% ABV Saddle Up and drink to their epic brewday beginning tomorrow!

Also out tomorrow is the 4.5% ABV Sunrise, another beer with quite the story. Beginning life as a golden sour beer brewed 18 months ago, it was aged in tequila barrels, and conditioned with pomegranate arils (the fleshy bits incorporating the seeds), juice, and pom molasses, as well as the zest and juice of a box of oranges. Despite the multiple fruit additions, they complement rather than overshadow the base sour, raising the bar of the bevvie overall. Grab the bottles at the brewery tomorrow from noon.

Stillwell Brewing is releasing their first new beer in a little while with one that’s been nearly two years in the making. Rieslinger is a blend of Pineau des Charentes barrel-aged saison and white wine barrel-aged saison that was then re-fermented on some 2018 harvest Riesling skins from Blomidon Estate Winery before the whole works was bottle conditioned for “a good, long while.” You’ll find it for sale at Stillwell from opening today.

With their turn to the Dark Side almost complete now, North Brewing is hitting their stride with frequent releases once again. This week is another iteration of their Breakwater series of sours, but with a slightly tweaked recipe from last year. Breakwater Mango-Lime Sour, the 4% ABV tropical thirst quencher with tons of mango and lime character, will be available at both North cold beer stores as of today. And stay tuned for it to hit the shelves at the NSLC at the end of the month.

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has a new version of their Milkshake IPA, Velvet Fog, out today, this time with some very summery additions. Blackberry purée, Key Lime juice and Lime zest were added to the usual vanilla, lactose, and hop doses yielding berry fruitiness and bright lime tartness from this 6.5% ABV brew available today at the brewery on tap and in cans.

Down on the South Shore of NS in Lunenburg, Shipwright Brewing has another new beer on tap. Eclipse Dark Saison is what it says on the tin (well, the crowler, anyway), a yeast-driven beer in the saison style, but with a darker and toastier body. Add to that a dose of cranberry from an addition of berries from local producer Terra Beata and you have a lot of interesting things going on in your glass.

Let’s heads back to the Rock to finish off the news today. Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has released their first sour this week, Route 60. This 3.9% ABV sour is based on the granddaddy of many of the recent sours, the German Berliner Weisse. Named after the road that connects Cupids and St. John’s, along the Bay, the best place to grab a pint of growler fill of the beer is at the brewery itself.

And while you’re in CBS, keep going out to Dildo, where there’s been plenty of news this week about their new mayor! And what better place to toast the appointment than with the Jimmy Kim-ale, only available at the Dildo Brewing Company!

Big congratulations to Natalie Dignam, an avid member of The Brewnettes and Queer Beer, who has launched the Newfoundland Beer Podcast this week. The inaugural episode gives an overview of the current beer scene in the province, and more about Dignam, and plans for future episodes. Join us in subscribing to keep up with all of the news and events happening in the province!

Here’s what’s going on this weekend!

Downtown Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery is celebrating the first anniversary of their Brightwood Market on Portland Street. Pop by any time, but from 5 PM they will have cake, snacks, prizes, and live music beginning at 6 PM. Congratulations to Ian, Matt, and the entire Brightwood family!

And speaking of birthday parties, Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing is celebrating their anniversary with an all-weekend extravaganza. Their 4th Annual Bike Rave is happening tonight, kicking off at 7:30 PM at Confederation Landing, and winding its way through downtown. And tomorrow is their Block Party, which kicks off at noon at their Allen Street brewery, with live music, a beer garden, food vendors, a petting zoo featuring goats, and much more! This event is free and open to all ages. And Sunday is Do Good Day PEI, with an aim to celebrate the loveliest of Islands with 300 random acts of good. Stop by the tent at the brewery to pick up your envelope and spread a little love, joy, and good. And pop by their newest location at Founders’ Food Hall and Market on Prince Street for a beer. Check out their Facebook page for more details on this big weekend!

If, like us, you were disappointed by last Saturday’s unfortunate postponement of the Orono & Austin Street tap takeover at Stillwell, your day has arrived. The kegs have now cleared customs and the stage is set for the event to go down tomorrow from noon to close. Sweet, sweet State of Maine beers and plenty of goodies (including some new jams) out of the kitchen. We would also be remiss not to note the excellent substitute takeover Stillwell put together on a wing and a prayer last weekend, with North, 2 Crows, and Stillwell Brewing putting on a local all-star game.

Happy weekend! Sad to say that summer is already creeping towards its end, but that doesn’t mean that this week is any less of a barrage of beer news than usual, as we’ve got a pretty good amount of new beers and ciders to tell you about, as well as a couple of great events happening in Halifax over the weekend. So enough of this idle chit chat… let’s get to it! 

It wouldn’t be a week in the beer world without the release of at least one New England IPA, and Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill has the honour of leading off this week’s blog post with theirs! Bang a Uey 201 (named after the New England term for performing a U-turn) features “stupid amounts” (read: very large) of Mosaic, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria as a whirlpool addition, as well as a triple dry-hop of all three varieties. Fermented with the Årset Kveik yeast blend from Escarpment Labs (at a very hot 40 Celsius!), the result is a super-hazy beer with aromas and flavours of tropical fruit, melon, and tangerine. For right now, you’ll only be able to find this 6.9% ABV, 25 IBUs beer at the brewery, for pints and growler fills; there’s a chance a few kegs may make it to the HRM in the near future. 

The Church Brewing Company in Wolfville has debuted another beer in their taproom this week, as they continue to roll out their initial offerings from their brewhouse. Eight Bells is a 5.2% ABV Belgo Pale Ale, combining the sensibility of an American Pale Ale on a Belgian base. As with their Sanctuary Enkel (a Belgian Singel beer) and Mayflower White IPA, the best place to try the beer is at the source, as they are not yet sending kegs out into the wild. EXCEPT, they will be attending this weekend’s Seaport Cider and Beer Fest, where those in the big city will have a chance to grab a small taste of their offerings. And keep a close eye on their Instagram page, as they will be debuting at least a couple new beers over the next few days, including their Silver Lining Witbier and Congregation Pilsner.

Halifax’s Sourwood Cider will also be attending the Seaport Fest this weekend, and one of the new expressions they’ll be pouring is their second iteration of Wabamo!. This is the latest in their line of hopped ciders, as they play with the flavour available from different varietals. Starting from a base of Northern Spy, the hops (Citra and Simcoe, in this batch) were boiled in the juice, to extract bitterness and change the base cider further. Simcoe was added again during active fermentation (think hazy NEIPA-vibes), with another dosing added post-fermentation for good measure. In addition to Seaport, Wabamo! Is currently pouring at their Cornwallis Street taproom for your tasting and testing pleasure.

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has debuted the latest in their Belgian lineup this week with the Solstice Saison. The 6.0% ABV straw-coloured beer started with a simple malt bill of Pilsner and Wheat, and fermented with a traditional Saison strain from France. However, the brewers took a left turn when it came to hop choices, opting for higher levels, and more New World varieties. Amarillo, Topaz, Enigma, and Idaho 7 were added to the boil (to the tune of about 40 IBUs), with more Enigma and I7 added in a devil-may-care way post-fermentation. Waves of tropical, citrus and juicy notes meld with the phenolic spiciness from the yeast, and finishing dry. Solstice is pouring now in Fredericton, and will be popping up in Saint John any day now, so keep your eyes (and mouth) open to try it! And for those attending the Seaport in Halifax, grab their Wander Dry Hopped Sour at the Brewnosers table at all three sessions.

Maybee Brewing snuck in another bottle release at the end of last week (after the blog was published… we’re off the hook!), the third in their series of barrel-aged beers. Barrel-Aged Saison (Cab. Sauv. Version) is just that, a Saison that was aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, for eight months. This 7% ABV Farmhouse Ale is golden-coloured, with aromas of “oak, grape, black pepper, pear, and apple”, according to the brewery. This follows through on the palate as well, with a bit of heat in the finish. As with their previous bottle releases, it’s available at the brewery only; they also have it on tap, if you’d like to try a pint to go with your 750 mL bottle purchase (no growler fills). Look for a future release of the same recipe aged in different barrels. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has a new beer pouring in the Moncton area these days, L’Aboiteau (a sluice gate used to reclaim marshland). This 5.3% ABV beer is a mouthful, in more ways than one! It’s a Peanut Butter Milk Stout, meaning it features lactose (milk sugar) for a touch of sweetness in the base beer, along with a pleasant peanut butter flavour over top (thanks to an addition of peanut butter powder late in the boil). The grist itself was made up of 2-row, Roasted Barley, Chocolate malt (hence the chocolate flavour and aroma in the beer), and a healthy amount of oats. As many know, milk chocolate and peanut butter go incredibly well together, so now’s your chance to grab a pint and continue the love affair! L’Aboiteau is currently pouring at Le BarBu in Dieppe.

Big Spruce Brewing has released another beer in their one-hop series, Beverly’s Hill 902. You can bet that they’ve gone to town with the description of this one, with somewhere around 26 references to that multiple-award winning TV show of the 90s (and rebooted this week), Beverly Hills, 90210 (ps, Razzies count as awards, right?). But we’re going to spare you all of that, don’t worry… so put your vomit buckets away! The beer was hopped with an experimental hop, HBC 472, which is commonly described as having characteristics that are “coconut and woody”. Big Spruce is describing this particular beer as being heavily aromatic, “deeply piney, with hints of juniper poking through”. We suggest that you try it yourself! It weighs in at 7.2% ABV and 58 IBUs. Available on tap at BS, and local tap accounts.  

Continuing on to Newfoundland with the punny beer names (because, why not?), where Port Rexton Brewing has a new beer out, and it’s a great style for summer sipping. This Czech Pilsner, which they’ve named Czech Out the Whales (!), was brewed with a grist made up almost entirely of Pilsner malt. Hopped with Saaz, and fermented with the Czech Lager yeast strain from Escarpment Labs, it was cold-conditioned (lagered) for over seven weeks. It’s now ready for you, and smelling and tasting like a classic example of the style, with herbal, floral, and spicy notes, and a “delicate but present bitterness”. Truly a great style of beer to cleanse your palate between all those hop bombs and sours that you may be craving, and at 5% ABV, it goes down right some easy. Grab some for the weekend at the brewery taproom, or their retail shop in St. John’s. 

Bannerman Brewing, in St. John’s, NL, has a couple of new beers on the go this week, one style from each side of the pond. On the Continental side, they’ve got Casual Acquaintance, a German-style Pilsner that they hopped with classic noble Saaz and somewhat more modern Ella for herbal, grassy, and fruity flavors. Crisp, easy-drinking, and no doubt refreshing, it comes in at a nice and light 5% ABV. Back on the North American side comes Tan Lines, an American Wheat beer that’s been double-dry-hopped with tropical El Dorado hops. Also light in body, but slightly heftier at 6% ABV, look for notes of candy and citrus along with an assertive and lingering hop profile.

Staying in Newfoundland, next up is Crooked Feeder, who have been very busy this summer. Their brewery in Cormack is fully operational, and now so is the taproom, serving those in the Deer Lake region and folks taking the trip to Gros Morne with in-house pints and flights and growler fills to go. But they’ve also got things going on in Corner Brook, where they opened a pub in late June and are now working on a retail location to join it. That means you’ll be able to have the same CF experience in Corner Brook, having a few pints in the pub or getting  a growler fill to go. Keep an eye on social media for updates on the CB retail outlet as well as some other things they’ve got on the go, no doubt including some new beers!

While the love-it-or-hate-it Brut IPA style has experienced a bit of a decline in production lately, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely gone! In fact, Tanner & Co. is launching their own take on the style today, and it’s definitely a different approach than that taken by most breweries. Their goal was to create a Brut IPA that emulated a Nova Scotia Muscat wine (thanks to a challenge on a 902 BrewCast post), which has given us Musqué. Brewed mostly with Pilsner malt, with small additions of corn and wheat, they threw in some fresh peaches in the boil, along with grapefruit and orange peel. Some Galaxy and Mosaic hops were used as a whirlpool addition, with fresh strawberries added to the wort before fermentation began. Amylase enzyme was added the dry the beer out (all the way down to 1.000), with a dry-hop of more Galaxy and Mosaic, as well as Amarillo. The resultant 6.5% ABV, 10 IBUs beer has a multitude of flavours (as you may expect), with none of them being “over the top”… a blend of experiences, if you will. You can find this one on tap and in bottles, both of which are available at the brewery only, for now.

Montague, PEI’s newest brewery, Bogside Brewing, has been keeping busy at their taproom this summer, with lots of beer (and BBQ!) flowing for their thirsty customers. And they’ve just added another two new ones to their menu, both of which are kettle sours. The two beers are actually the same base beer, which was soured with Lactobacillus before being boiled. The first, Sun of a Beach, was consequently dry-hopped with mostly Mosaic, and a touch of Simcoe, giving “big hits of lemon with some tropical notes”. The second beer, Roadside Attraction, had an addition of fresh strawberries, for those of you who prefer your beer fruitiness from actual fruit, instead of hops! Both beers are 4% ABV and available on tap only, at the brewery and licensees. 

And while on the topic of Bogside, they’ve teamed up recently with Tatamagouche Brewing to brew up a DIPA named Holiday Island. Tata is where Bogside Brewer Mark Patriquin cut his teeth before a stint in British Columbia, so a collaboration was inevitable. West Coast in nature, with a dry and light body, and fairly bitter thanks to massive additions of Galaxy and Mosaic throughout for citrus, stone fruit, and plenty of tropical notes. The 8.3% ABV, 83 IBUs, beer is available now on tap, and soon in cans. And for those unable to make the trip to Montague (shame on you, you’re missing out on some killer BBQ), cans of Bogside will be available at both of the Markets in Charlottetown on Saturday and Sunday.

Dartmouth’s North Brewing is releasing a sour of their own today, the latest in their Breakwater series. Breakwater Passionfruit Sour was soured in the kettle with two strains of Lactobacillus, boiled, and then fermented with Vermont Ale yeast. Once complete, a very large amount of passion fruit puree was added to the beer to give it a “quenchingly tart, juicy, super-refreshing” character. Thankfully, they’ve canned this one for us, meaning you can cart it around with you on your travels this weekend! You can grab your cans at both North shops, as well as Harvest Wines, WestSide, and RockHead.

Secret Cove Brewing has a new beer available this week in Port au Port, NL, a tribute to the island they’re calling Come Home Beer. A summer seasonal in the form of an “Apricot Beach Wheat Ale”, its aroma might have you thinking of jam, as it’s full to the gills with apricots, giving it a tropical, fruity, and somewhat tart presence. Hazy, as is typical for a beer with plenty of wheat, it weighs in at 5% ABV and is surely going to be a super refreshing summer sipper. Look for it at their taproom in Port au Port where they’re featuring their summer hours of 1 – 9 PM Mondays to Thursdays, noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 – 6 PM on Sundays.

If you’re a fan of the Creature Feature beers from Good Robot – a series of “biotransformation IPAs” that they’ve been brewing – you may want to hang around their taproom this weekend, as they’ll be putting on their latest, Creature Feature VI – as soon as a line is freed up. The first in the series to be assertively bitter (at 50 IBUs), this 5.6% ABV entry features additions of a mish mash of varieties, including Mt. Hood, Dr. Rudi, Ella, Wakatu, and Cascade. They’ll also be throwing on their watermelon-and-kiwi Radler, Pink Flamingo (4.6% ABV), when yet another tap is available.

Rounding out the news this week is great news coming out of the Annapolis Valley. During their Third Anniversary celebration on the weekend, Les Barr of Roof Hound Brewing in Digby announced that they will be opening a second location this fall. 573 Main Street in Kingston will be the location of “Roof Hound Kingston”, which will feature a full retail space, live music, and a full food and beer menu in the 60 seat taproom inspired by what you have grown to love at their original location outside of Digby. Kingston will also be the site of their new Barrel project, allowing them to age some beers for a little while longer, experimenting with new flavour profiles. They are looking to hire kitchen and bar staff in preparation, both full- and part-time positions are available, so contact them with your CV to apply.

So, what’s got us excited this weekend? Beer, beer, and more beer!

Halifax, get ready for an even larger influx of beer than normal, as the annual Seaport Cider & Beerfest is this weekend at the Cunard Centre. With over 300 different beers and ciders pouring from breweries from 20 countries, you’re bound to find puh-lenty of beverages to keep you happy! This year’s event could easily be the best yet, as this is the first time they’ve brought in the Maine Beer Box, a 40’ shipping container that will be pouring 78 (yes, 78!) different Maine craft beers. The event is stretched out over both Friday and Saturday, with an evening session tonight (7-9:30), and two sessions tomorrow (2-4:30, 7-9:30). Note that there are also VIP options for each evening session (afternoon VIP is sold out), which gets you into the event an hour earlier. Tickets are still available, and range in price from $51 to $79.75; you can purchase yours right here

Two highly-regarded breweries and a restaurant from the State of Maine are making appearances in Halifax this week: Austin Street from Portland and Orono Brewing from Orono are joined by Portland’s Thirsty Pig, purveyor of fine sausages. Today at 3 PM in downtown Halifax at 2 Crows you’ll find a food pop-up from Thirsty Pig, while the gang from Orono finish off a collaboration brew day with the hosts. Expect some delicious sausages on offer, as their mission is to provide the finest sausage and beer pairings that there ever were. You can check the event’s Facebook page for details on what they’ll be serving up.

And of course there’s going to be some beer from these fine folks! Formerly Saturday, but rescheduled to a later date, both Austin St. and OBC will be taking over the taps (six each) at Stillwell, pouring a wide variety of beers, ranging from sours and Saisons to Sweet Stouts and hoppy offerings. Stillwell’s kitchen will also be serving up a couple of new food items to pair with your beer, including fried green tomato sandwiches and disco fries. Couple of great breweries at a great location, don’t miss it! The event has been postponed to a later date, due to issues with beer delivery. Stay tuned for more info!

Just a few last things before we release you for the weekend…

Landwash Brewery has been *extremely* busy since they’ve opened, but they’ve been brewing like mad, and want you to know that they now have plenty of beers back on tap and in cans, including their very popular NEIPA, That Much Ocean. Grab them quick before they’re gone again!

Propeller Brewing has brought back their Call Me Blondie Dry-Hopped Blonde for another round of fun this week. Brewed with the Ladies Beer League and first released in March around International Women’s Day, this 5.0% ABV brew features loads of Simcoe dry-hopping, for melon and citrus aromatics. Catch it on tap at the LBL table at the Seaport this weekend!

Tatamagouche Brewing has a couple of returning one-offs for you to grab when you see ‘em: Rushton’s Peach Berliner Weisse (3.5%), a kettle sour aged on organic apricots and peaches, and Deadeye DIPA (8%), a hop-heavy brew featuring a double dry-hop of Hallertau Blanc, Columbus, and Centennial

Trider’s Craft Beer is keeping up their spirit of innovation with a bevvy of new bevvies on tap at their taproom these days. The list is always rotating, but we’ve recently seen word of a new 6.5% ABV Rye IPA (D-Rye Ice), as well as two new takes on American Wheat, with Pango Tango, a pineapple and mango wheat (4.9% ABV), and American Orange, at 5.5% ABV, dry-hopped with Triskel hops and featuring sweet orange peel. Pop by their taproom at 46 Anson Ave in the Amherst Industrial Park to get your growler, pint, or flight of these and more!

International Beer Day, Natal Day, New Brunswick Day, Regatta Eve Eve Eve, no matter what your reason for celebrating this weekend, we hope you do it with a fresh local beer or cider in your hand! Due to the holiday, be sure to check first that your favourite shop or brewery is open, btw! Here are the latest releases to get you thirsty this Friday morning…

As usual, Big Spruce shows no sign of slowing down! After last week’s Stanfest and the release of two new beers, they’re releasing *another* two beers this week. Their first beer is from one of the original lawnmower beer styles, a Cream Ale called Day Boil. Named after the Newfoundland term that describes the wonderful act of getting slightly buzzed in the afternoon, it comes in at a not-too-heavy, not-too-light 5.1% ABV. With a portion of Organic long grain rice used in the grist, the beer has a creamy mouthfeel, and “is reminiscent of light sake and big brew”. Only lightly-hopped, to 10 IBUs, it’s refreshment and easy-drinking to the max (kids say that, right?)! Their next newbie is their latest American Pale Ale, hopped entirely with that ever-popular variety, Citra. Named Ankle Biter, this 5.5% ABV APA does show some bitterness in the finish, but it’s preceded by aromas and flavours of grapefruit and tropical fruit. Expect both of these beers to be available on tap only, at Big Spruce and your favourite Big Spruce-pouring establishments.

Might as well stick with Cape Breton, where Breton Brewing has announced a new series of beers, simply named S.M.A.S.H. By this point, all of you probably know that this is a fairly-common acronym in the brewing world that refers to single-malt-and-single-hop; Breton’s first beer in this series is a Session IPA that will feature Canadian Superior Pilsner and the wonderful, tropical Azacca hop variety. In true Session IPA style, this is a beer that you can have a few off and not be too worried about handling knives and heat at your BBQ, as it weighs in at a comfortable 4.0% ABV (and 20 IBUs). All of that Azacca provides plenty of citrusy, tropical fruit in the aroma, with flavours of “spicy mango, pineapple, tangerine and pine”. The first batch is limited, with cans available at the brewery and a select number of NSLC stores across the province. As of right now, no kegs have been filled, so if you see some cans, grab ‘em quick!

If you have travelled through the Moncton/Dieppe area over the past months, you may have noticed that O’Creek Brewing has been releasing some tasty brews, many of which focus on the hazier, hoppier side of things. If this is right up your alley, you’ll be pleased to find out that they have two new offerings to help satisfy your hop crave. Late last week saw the release of Ti Pruce, a 4.5% ABV Session IPA that they brewed with the intention of focussing on piney flavours. No, pine needles were not used when brewing this one; instead, they used healthy additions of Simcoe, El Dorado, Azacca and Idaho 7. Pouring a hazy golden colour, the final beer is light and refreshing, with a fruity aroma and lots of pine in the flavour – as intended – with a mild bitterness in the finish. And released just yesterday is Magnetic Ale, an American IPA brewed with a simple grist of 2-row, Wheat malt, oats, and Honey malt. Hopped with Simcoe, Galaxy, Mosaic, and El Dorado (and dry-hopped with more Mosaic and SImcoe), and fermented with Escarpment Lab’s Foggy London strain, expect a proverbial fruit salad, with aromas and flavours of “zesty orange, citrus, pineapple, and peach”. Seek out your O’Creek beers at Le BarBu, Tide & Boar, and The Rooftop at Dolma Food

Kegs are running a bit low in Lunenburg for Shipwright Brewing, but they’re trucking along with a brand new release, Mayday, their take on a Belgian IPA. An off-shoot of the more-typical American IPA, the Belgian IPA combines the characteristics of that American hoppy style with a Belgian Golden Strong or Tripel. Shipwright comprised a grist of Pale malt, Vienna, and Light Munich, hopped the wort with healthy doses of Citra and Topaz, and fermented the whole thing with a Belgian Golden Strong yeast strain. The final product has “intense aromatics of orange and grapefruit”, followed with a moderate bitterness, as well as some fruity esters from the Belgian yeast. It weighs in at a strong 6.7% ABV, and 50 IBUs. Pouring right now at the Shipwright taproom, while quantities last. 

Heading back up towards Halifax, or more specifically, Dartmouth, with two new beers from North Brewing. Well, one beer and one sorta… ok, let’s just start with the beer. Cole Harbour Red is their first-of-likely-many takes on the Irish Red style; just a small batch for this go-around, they plan on tweaking the recipe as time goes on, until it’s right where they want it. In the meantime, if you’re looking for an easy-drinking, 5% ABV red ale with light caramel and biscuit notes, and a clean finish, this is your beer! While it’s only available at North for growler fills right now, future iterations should be available in cans. Next up is the sorta-beer, Sunshine Shandy. Your typical shandy is a mixture of beer with a lemon/lemon-lime beverage; North’s take is, in their terms, a grapefruit shandy (shandy vs. radler… discuss). They took a beer brewed with a “very light malt bill” and performed a secondary ferment with grapefruit juice and grapefruit puree, and also added in grapefruit zest to bump the aroma even more. To give a touch of residual sweetness, some honey was also thrown in. Light and refreshing at 4.6% ABV, you’ll be able to grab cans of this one in both bottle shops starting today, just in time for the weekend. 

Yesterday was IPA Day, and Propeller Brewing released a new take on their stalwart IPA that has their fans buzzing. Double Dry-Hopped IPA weighs in at the same 6.5% ABV as its sibling, but turns the hops up to 11 with dry hop additions of Mosaic and Simcoe. Taking advantage of these hops’ dank and tropical characteristics, the flavour and aroma bursts out of the can and overwhelm your senses. Speaking of the can, in a first in Atlantic Canada (we believe), cans of DDH IPA feature a 360 End, meaning most of the top of the can is removed after opening, allowing all of those great hop volatiles to get to your sniffer without having to pour it into a glass (which you can still do, of course!). The new cans are available now at both Prop Shops, and will be hitting the private stores and The Port by NSLC soon. And pop by the Gottingen Street Tap Room for Cask Night today at 5PM for a cask of the DDH, with even more dry-hopping.

Halifax’s Good Robot is releasing a friendly beer today ahead of their International Friendship Day event on Sunday, the return of a BetaBrew from earlier in the program. Ales of Friendship was originally cooked up by Jill Bernier and BetaQueen Kelly Costello, as a 4.3% ABV Pale Amber featuring honey and an infusion of basil. With Bernier’s help and guidance, it has been stepped up to a full batch so that more of us can enjoy the brew! That should mean it will be available further afield as well, after this weekend’s festivities. Speaking of which, GR’s Friendship Day Event is meant to make it a little bit easier to meet folks and make friends, in a safe and respectful space where all are welcome.

Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery has a new beer on tap this week, with another one set to debut next Wednesday (or Thursday… or Friday… we’ll explain in a second). Out now is Tidepool Pilsner, a 5.0% ABV German Pils, featuring all Weyermann Pilsner Malt, a German lager yeast (℅ Escarpment Labs), and lots and lots of Saphir and Strisselspalt hops. All of these come together for a beer with notes of orange and spicy hops, and a clean and crisp base with some cracker malt flavours as well. On tap now, with cans rolling out today as well (we believe).

And debuting at next week’s Royal St. John’s Regatta will be Garden Party, the collaborative brew between 14 Newfoundland and Labrador breweries and cideries that are open/coming soon. Details are a bit slim on this Mexican Lager, but when great minds come together, we’re sure it’ll be a hit! In a first for the Regatta, the Newfoundland Craft Brewers are running the beer tent, so there will be a great can selection from Landwash, Port Rexton, Newfoundland Cider Company and Quidi Vidi onsite (including a release from them, Crown and Anchor Lager). Proceeds from the beer tent go to The Royal St John’s Regatta Committee, Special Olympics, and the REAL Program (Recreation Experiences and Leisure)

Over in Fredericton, local brewery TrailWay is stepping away from the hoppier side of things with the release of Dump Run Saves. While we can’t with 100% certainty explain to you the exact meaning of that name (TW says the beer is “brewed in recognition of a local area legend and business owner”), we CAN tell you that they’re placing it in a style they call a “Fruited Summer Ale”. Brewed with a very simple grist of Pale malt, and hopped very lightly with Citra, the main stars of the show are additions of passion fruit, peach, and mango purees. As a result, expect intense tropical fruit coming through, with a medium body and barely any bitterness in the finish (the passion fruit does add a touch of tartness). Sessionable at just 4% ABV, you can find it today at the taproom when they open this morning, on tap and in cans. 

Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague, PEI, has plenty of news to share today, all of it resulting in more beer for you! First on the list is their lifting the covers off their in-house R&D line, which has been running for a while, but which hasn’t previously seen its results available to the public. The first of the beers to be released came out yesterday, and it’s a perfect beer for a warm weekend. Pilot Program is a 5.0% ABV kettle sour that’s been dry hopped with the Czech variety Sladek, a relatively recent (for Continental hops, anyway) hop developed in the early 90s. Known for a classic hop aroma and fruity flavor profile, it’s known for notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and peach. Because the pilot batches are, by their nature, small, they’ll only be available by the glass in the tap room, so you’ll want to act quickly if you want a taste. And look for a new pilot batch to be released on or about the first of every month for the foreseeable future. Next up, CB’s Blueberry Sour, surely another great warm-weather beer, will be hitting the shelves at some PEI Liquor locations this week. This 5% ABV beer can be found at Cornwall, Montague, and two Summerside locations. And if you’re at PEI Liquor, you can also pick up another limited edition Copper Bottom brew, their Panmure Island Pilsner, a collaboration with Surrey, BC’s Central City Brewers. This one is only available as part of the annual Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration package of 12 different beers, each brewed by Central City and one brewery from each of the 10 provinces plus the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery is in the (legitimate) news this week, but sadly not for their beer. It seems that their open door policy with respect to four-legged family members has run them afoul of the NS Department of the Environment, specifically the Inspection, Compliance, and Enforcement Branch, responsible for Nova Scotia’s Food Safety laws. Per the inspector, allowing dogs in the taproom puts Brightwood in violation of Section 39 of the regulation, which could result in the loss of their beverage room license. While it would be natural for Brightwood and its dog-loving patrons to focus on the underhanded nature of the anonymous complaint that resulted in the visit from the Inspector, the fact is that the regulations only allow two sorts of live animals to enter food-serving establishments: (a) service dogs and (b) edible fish, crustaceans, and/or shellfish in an aquarium, thus, any random inspection could also have resulted in a similar warning or worse. So, for the moment, Brightwood has had to change their policy and disallow dogs in their taproom. To their credit, however, they are approaching this as a temporary measure while they work on having the offending regulation reviewed and revised, starting with a publicity campaign and a petition on Change.org (probably up over 5,000 signatures by the time you read this). Their goal is simple, to follow the previously established example of provinces such as British Columbia and Alberta who have a third clause in their version of Section 39, to wit, “any other animal that a health officer determines will not pose a risk of a health hazard occurring on the premises.” This seems more than sensible to us and reflects a few ideas that we believe are fairly commonly held: that dogs are family members and a properly-behaved dog presents no more risk in a food-serving establishment than in many of the other places where dogs are already welcome, that there is little difference in this context between a service dog and a properly-behaved family dog, that allergy concerns are myriad in any food-serving establishment and dog allergies are rarely as health-threatening as, say, nut, peanut, or shellfish allergies, and that food-serving businesses should have the right to decide whether to open their doors to dogs as other businesses are free to do as long as they are willing to do any extra work required to maintain compliance with the food safety guidelines as a result and are also willing to do the right thing when it comes to dogs that do not meet behavior standards. If you support changing the Food Safety laws of the province to allow all well-behaved animals to enter food-serving establishments, we encourage you to add your signature to the petition and help bring awareness to this issue! And, if you’re the social media type, you could also make your voice heard on your favorite SM platform, using the hashtag #BrightwoodLovesDogs for maximum visibility.

In addition to the Civic Holiday celebrations around the region, here are a few beer-y things on the go over the next few days!

Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewery is celebrating Avon River Days all weekend long, here are the highlights:

  • At 4 PM today, they are celebrating Cask Friday with an Orange Zest and Coriander-infused version of their Amarillo Wheat. Pints and samples only!
  • At 8 PM this evening, they are inviting SWIG to take over their patio for some live music. No cover charge.
  • Saturday, starting at 1 PM until they sell out, Pigging Out Caterers will be on site offering spit roasted Porchetta and apple pastries. 
  • Saturday night, they are hosting the Beer Garden with The Legendary Goldblooms and Tye Dempsey Band, from 7:30 PM. Cover is $10, with tickets and packages available at the brewery.
  • Sunday, 10 AM – 4 PM, the Avon River Days Car Show is on. Free to watch, $10/vehicle to participate.

Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is celebrating their Third Anniversary tomorrow, so be sure to drop any time after noon for a fresh pint of Big Stink, some live music from local band Tide and Timbre ( 8 PM start), and the taping of an episode of Slainte!

A reminder that it’s Bellwoods Day in Halifax this weekend, kicking off with the release of cans at Bishop’s Cellar at 8 AM Saturday, followed by a 10 tap/bottle/kitchen takeover at Stillwell from noon, and continuing Sunday at the Beer Garden with Sour Pours and their Disco Sunday fun. Peep here for more details!

And just a few more things to catch you up…

Fredericton’s 3Flip Brewing is continuing their plan for world domination by launching a pair of beers in bottles at the ANBL. Their Sassy Cow Root Beer Milk Stout and Anonymous Amber Ale are available at better shops in Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John, so check out their social media for the exact locations to fill up today. Their aim is to keep these two well stocked in the region, in both draught and bottle format, with their variety of rotating offerings popping up as well.

Boxing Rock has a limited release “Lagered Ale” named Puck Off (is this becoming a trend in NS? We’re curious to see Unfiltered’s entry…); “crisp and refreshing”, it’s 5% ABV and available in 340 mL six-packs.

Chain Yard has introduced a brand new hybrid cider this week, just in time for the long weekend. Pie Hard is a 5.5% ABV blend of raspberry and cranberry wine, on top of an apple cider made from MacIntosh, Sonya, and Honey Crisp juices. Aged with French Oak, the resulting cider “tastes like raspberry pie with hints of vanilla and a sharp cranberry finish.” Pie Hard is available now for pints and samples, as well as growler fills to enjoy at home.

Gahan House Port City, in Uptown Saint John, is releasing a brand new beer today. Brett Saison is a 5.1% ABV beer with a Pilsner, Spelt, and Wheat base, with a spicy hop character, with all of the beautiful funk and fruit one can expect from the Brett fermentation. Bottles of the beer are available at all of the New Brunswick and PEI Gahan locations today.

Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider has a new cider out this week, the latest in their line of hopped offerings. ALPHA 3.0 is a bone dry clean cider, dry-hopped with Chinook and Willamette, for a floral, piney, and lightly spicy layer on top of the cider base. Available on tap for flights, pints, and growler fills, with bottles coming soon.

Brasseurs du Petit-Sault have brought back an old favourite this week, just in time for enjoying at the lake or beach this long weekend. Bob Fife is a 4.5% ABV Pale Ale, infused with lots of blood orange for a lovely citrus flavour and kick. Grab cans at the brewery now, and look for it at the Bob Fife Foundation Golf Tournament next weekend!

Trider’s has just re-released their Blueberry Ale, Exit 6, a 4.6% ABV beer that has a Cream Ale base and an addition of real blueberries. Crisp and refreshing, with plenty of blueberry character on the palate, you’ll be able to find it on tap at Trider’s accounts; there’s also a small amount of 330 mL bottles available at the brewery for sale.