Friday Wrap-Up

With the weather forecast looking pretty dang fine for most of our region, and now that we seem to have finally reached the magical, “hot days, cool nights” portion of the summer, all we need is for our local beer producers to step up and keep things interesting. And wouldn’t you know it, it appears they have! Read on for the latest beer news from around Atlantic Canada, including plenty of new and re-appearing beers, a new venue in Halifax, and not one, but TWO homebrew competitions.

Halifax fans of local beer got some great news this week, as Boxing Rock unveiled their plans in the big city. The Shelburne brewery has opened up Test Kitchen, a pilot brewery in the Local Source Market space at 2530 Agricola Street. Brewing on a 120 litre (1BBL) system (with a pair of fermenters), this smaller brewhouse will allow them the opportunity to test out some brand new and innovative recipes, before possibly scaling them up to a full-sized batch of several thousand litres. They anticipate brewing a couple of times per month, with Tuesday’s inaugural brew being a collaboration with two-time Black Box Challenge winner Brian Harvey. Brewing onsite also gives Local Source the ability to sell Boxing Rock beer, as an extension of BR’s Retail license. With a dozen different full-time, seasonal, and test batch beers available in bottles, growler fills using their futuristic-looking Pegas CrafTap system, and a couple on tap at adjoining Lion & Bright, Agricola just got a little more South Shore. To accomodate all of us thirsty visitors, they’ve extended the hours of the shop a little later in the evening: M-W 9-7, Th 9-8, F 9-9, Sat 10-9, Sun 10-6. The beers are available at their retail location now, and they are holding a Grand Opening next Saturday, September 1 to celebrate. From 10AM, the first 250 folks to visit the location will receive a free limited-edition Boxing Rock growler (just pay for the fill). This is your key to savings, as it give the owner $2 off each 1.89 litre fill in both Halifax and Shelburne, for the life of the growler. You can also tour the brewery space out back to see what’s bubbling away, and maybe get a hint of what’s coming next. For those unable to attend next Saturday’s event, they are holding an online contest for their followers, you can learn more here. Congratulations to the Boxing Rock Crew!

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is back with a brand new beer this week, the latest object of their love and appreciation of traditional styles and modern ingredients. New World is a Saison fermented with The Yeast Bay’s Saison Blend, which features two clean-fermenting Saison yeasts, and marks the first time they’ve used this blend. The simple malt bill consists of Pilsner and Wheat, with the yeast offering some spiciness and light minerality. The hops took a decidedly updated turn, with Citra and Ekuanot used lightly in the boil (sub-20 IBUs), with a larger dry-hopping of the same for citrus and tropical flavours and aromatics to complement the yeast. Kegs of this 5.1% ABV have been delivered around Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton, so keep an eye out for it as you hit the patios and barstools in the province this weekend.

Looks like the third entry in Breton Brewing’s Sour Sessions popped up on tap earlier this week; the latest in their rotating-fruit kettle sours brew features the addition of kiwi and passion fruit puree. The low IBUs (4) and sessionable ABV (4.2%) allow you to be able to drink this one in quantity, so you can enjoy the “crushable tartness and fruity finish” in what’s left of our beautiful summer weather. Drop by the brewery for a pint or growler, or look for it at a few select accounts in Halifax (including the Stubborn Goat and Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar).

Fresh off the opening of their expanded location and taproom earlier this month, Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has a brand new beer to follow up with. The Little Lift is described by the brewery as a Session IPA, based at least in part on their The Big Lift IPA. Brewed with 2-Row, Munich malt, and a touch of Wheat, it was hopped late in the boil with Citra, Northern Brewer, and Palisade. Fermented with the East Coast yeast strain, it was then dry-hopped with more Palisade. Expect “lots of citrus aromas and flavours, with a crisp, full body” in this 5.6% ABV brew; drop by the new taproom to give it a try or fill up a growler.

In Dieppe, New Brunswick, Flying Boats has decided to experiment a little, by launching a Test Pilot Series. The first beer in said series is Test Pilot No. 1 – APA, a “hop-forward” American Pale Ale that features large whirlpool and dry hop additions of Azacca and Citra, two very expressive American varieties. The 5.6% ABV beer is a deep golden colour, and has “intense, tropical and citrusy flavours and aromas, with a lingering, soft, citrusy finish”, according to the brewery. It’s been on tap for the last few weeks, and is now also available in cans at the brewery, select ANBL stores, and Picaroons retail locations.

Looks like Good Robot has even more beer news than usual this week, to tag along with their Beta and Alpha releases. Let’s start with the “usual” – next Tuesday’s Beta will be Ringside Imperial, an Imperial Red Ale brewed with Pat King. Weighing in at 7.3% ABV and 42 IBUs, we don’t really have anything in terms of recipe details for you, but can confirm from GR that it’s a golden-amber coloured beer that leaves a “mild alcohol heat at the back of the palate”. As for next week’s Alpha brew, it’s the return of Leave Me Blue, the brewery’s award-winning 4.5% ABV Cream Ale. You’ll also see cans of El Espinazo del Diablo, their 5.7% ABV Mexican-style Lager with lime and jalapeno flavours, available as of today.

As for the other Good Robot snippets, they’re releasing two other Beta releases on Sunday for Flavabot, their “All-Day Island Party” that will feature plenty of food, games, music, and, naturally, beer. Back to that, the first beer is Stag A Lee (6% ABV, 20 IBUs), brewed with toasted coconut flakes. They then took some more toasted coconut flakes and soaked them in coconut rum, before adding to the beer after fermentation was complete. They’re describing it as a “rich, dark, tropical Porter”. Next is Calypso Gator (5.8% ABV, 81 IBUs), a White IPA with “hints of pineapple, grapefruit, and mangoes, with a nice, hoppy balance”. Be sure to drop by the event on Sunday to give these new beers a taste, and take part in the fun!

Do you remember the tasty, tasty release of Glou from Stillwell Brewing back in April? We sure do! It was a 6.2% ABV foedre-aged sour beer that had been aged on New York muscat pomace. In the forum of great news, bottles of Blend 2 of Glou will be released this Saturday at the brewery from 12-4 pm. The base beer for this blend is a sour that had been aging for almost a year in a foedre, atop the very same pomace used for Blend 1. Described as “floral and peppery on the nose, and deep and round in the middle, with a dry and snappy finish”, it sounds like they probably have another winner!

Lazy Bear in Smiths Cove debuted a new beer during their Growler Night at the brewery Thursday. My Old Friend is the barrel-aged version of their Hello Darkness Dark Saison. Sitting for 6 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, the beer picked up some vinous notes, as well as a touch of oak from the barrel itself, which complement the dark malt characteristics in the base beer. The resultant brew is 6.3% ABV, and will be available at the brewery and Annapolis Royal Farmers Market tomorrow, with a lone keg being tapped soon at Dartmouth’s Battery Park.

TrailWay is bringing back an old favourite today, with a twist that they’ve brought to some of their other more-popular beers. DDH Dunder is a double-dry hopped version of their “Australian Pale Ale”, Dunder, a 4.8% ABV brew featuring Australian hop varieties. The extra dose of dry hops has increased the “overripe fruit, dank, extremely tropical” qualities in the beer, according to the brewery. You can find cans exclusively at the taproom as of today; it’s also on tap there, and will likely be at a few tap accounts around New Brunswick.

In the heart of downtown Halifax, and brewing on a system barely larger than most homebrewers (😉), Tidehouse Brewing is releasing a pair of brand new beers today. The first is ESB Rights & Peace. Featuring traditional English hops East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, this 6.5% ABV brew is described by the brewery as “Simple and Crushable”. And the second beer joining it is Brew Swayne, a 5.0% ABV light and supremely easy drinking “Lawnmowing beer”, featuring Athanum, Belma, and Cascade hops, though added more for aroma and flavour than bitterness. You’ll be able to judge for yourself beginning at 2PM, when you drop by for a sample, glass, or growler fill at the brewery at 5187 Salter St. Just be sure to park legally while you pop in…

We have two homebrew competitions to tell you about this week, so all of you amateur brewers, pay particular attention!

The first is from Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing, whose competition is named “May the Best (Wo)Man-Darina Win!”. This competition is wide open to any style of beer, but offers a neat twist on traditional competitions: Spindrift wants to supply you with the hops! Wanting to shaowcase three new German hops, your $20 entry fee will include all of the Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, or Mandarina Bavaria you may need for your recipe. We checked, and they say there’s no limit to the amount of hops they’ll send your way! Other hops can absolutely be used in the recipe, but the new-world Germans should make up more than 60% of the total hop mass. The deadline to register is September 14th, and you will need to include your recipe plan with your application form, so they can prepare your hops in advance. The beers are due Friday October 3rd, with the judging by Spindrift employees and BJCP judges happening before the Gala and bottle share on October 13th. The top 3 beers will receive prizes, with the top brewer having the opportunity to recreate their recipe on the Spindrift pilot system for later release, and plenty more hops and SD swag. Grab the Poster, Info Sheet, and Recipe sheet now.

The second homebrew competition is being held this fall by Quidi Vidi Brewery, in collaboration with the Newfermenters Homebrew Club. QV is looking to celebrate the great, and growing, homebrew community by releasing a 4-pack of amateur-brewed beers across the province. There are no restrictions on the style you can brew, and entrants will be welcomed to the brewery to present your recipe, beer, and passion for the craft. Submissions are due October 20th, with the presentations and Awards happening at a later date. The winners’ pack will be available in the NLC in early 2019. You can learn more here, and by emailing your intent to enter (and ask questions) to newfermenters@gmail.com.

Speaking of Quidi Vidi, they are looking for an experienced Operations Manager to join their team, to oversee all of their production. Managing the brewing, packaging, storing, and distribution of their beer is a monumental task, so they are looking for an exceptional candidate to take this on. Supply-chain management experience is an asset, as well as previous brewery and management experience. Check out the full posting here, and fire an email to jobs@quidividibrewery.ca by September 6th to apply.

Just one event to tell you about this weekend, but don’t be shy: get out and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

Fredericton’s The Joyce Pub is holding their second annual sour beer event, Tarte Diem II – 2 Sour 2 Acidulous, tomorrow, August 25th. At least 25 of the bar’s taps will be pouring sour beers from breweries in NB, NS, and PEI; for a sneak peek, check out this photo. There’s no charge to attend the event, just plan your attack and order by the pint or flight! It starts at 3 pm when the pub opens, and goes all day. As always, they’ll be serving their full menu to accompany your beers.

Just a couple more bits to tell you about before we let you go:

After a brief hiatus, Unfiltered has brought back their immensely popular DOA Double Orange Ale, their 2-Row and Citra SMaSH. HOWEVER, Nash has adjusted the grain bill slightly, and while you may not be able to tell right away, there is a second malt in there, so they’re calling it a DMaSH. Either way, the 7.5% ABV Double IPA, 100+ IBU beer is back on tap for pints and growler fills. No cans this time around, we thirsty patrons keep drinking it too quickly to give them a chance to restock! (Original version of the post did not include the DMaSH info, as it was not available at the time of posting)

In Clarenville, Newfoundland, the Newfoundland Cider Company has released their widest variety of blends so far. As part of their Forager series, they are now carrying a limited supply of Elderflower & Rhubarb, Wild Cherry & Rose, Lavender & Black Currant, Lilac, and Spruce Tip blends. In addition, growler fills of their Farm house and Cloudy Scrumpy, as well as 375 ml of Wild & Dry and Cloudy Scrumpy are also available. Drop by their spot at 24 Balbo Drive today and tomorrow, open Friday 1 – 6PM and Saturday 1 – 5PM.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another week in paradise! We’ve got many great beers being released this week and next, perfect for grabbing and enjoying on the patio, at the lake, or wherever you like to relax.

Let’s start off with TrailWay Brewing and the release of Buck’s Fizz, the brewery’s first endeavour at the relatively-new Brut IPA style. Also sometimes known as “Champagne IPA”, it’s a beer that’s meant to be very dry, light, and effervescent, with good clarity, and still plenty of hop character in the aroma and flavour (while keeping the bitterness low). For TW’s take on the style, they used a grain bill with no adjuncts, and used the addition of enzymes (a common approach) to help the beer dry out to a final gravity of 1.000 (the same as water). Hopped “moderately” with Idaho 7, they also added fresh orange zest to the beer, giving a final product that is described as “dry, zesty, crispy, tart yet clean, fruity, and incredibly refreshing”. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV, and can be purchased at the brewery in cans and growlers today; look for it on tap at your favourite TW account as well.

In Saint John, Hammond River announced their very first India Pale Lager, Trickle Down. Brewed with 2-row and Munich malt, with a bit of CaraRed and Wheat thrown in for good measure, it was bittered with Columbus hops to 76 IBUs. With late additions of Citra and Mosaic to bring lots of juiciness to the beer, it was fermented with a dry Lager strain (to 7% ABV) and allowed to lager at cool temps for two weeks before packaging. You can find it on tap at HR’s taproom, and at select licensees. And look for the release of Cherry Pie, the latest in the line of fruited Berliner Weisses from the brewery, on tap soon; with the same base as the other beers in the series, it features the addition of plenty of sweet cherry puree. Super sessionable at just 3.2% ABV, it’ll also be on tap at HR.

Niche Brewing in Fredericton (sorry, HAAAAN-well) is tipping their hand a little this week regarding how old they think their customer is. The name of their new beer, Three Little Fonzies will either have you saying “Aaayyyyyyy” or scratching your head wondering what a “Fonzie” might be. Oh wait. Maybe Niche is just telling us to be cool, like Yolanda (aka Honey Bunny), especially after all this hot weather (although you’ve got to be pretty old to get that one too). Aaaaanyway, the beer is a Brett IPA featuring multiple strains of Brettanomyces and hopped and dry-hopped with three super tropical modern hop varieties (no doubt the Fonzies in question): El Dorado, Galaxy, and Vic Secret. Described as tropical, lemony and funky, it’s 6.2% ABV and a firm 50 IBU, with a dry finish, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there’s a little bit of funk showing through on this one. In other Niche news, if you missed their Pineapple Persuasion last time around, great news as it’ll be back early next week for another go round. A 4.7% ABV kettle sour with pineapple puree and milk sugar, also known as lactose. Look for these beers to appear at Niche tap accounts in Fredericton, the rest of New Brunswick, and if some of us are really lucky, in NS as well!

Over in Halifax, Tidehouse has a couple new beers out this week for you to ponder, considering whether maybe you should head downtown to grab a growler or try a pint (you should!). The first one we’d like to mention, mainly because the name is so out there (even for Tidehouse), is Jeff Goldblum Is Watching You Drink. A 7.1% ABV New England IPA (of course, what ELSE would it be with that name!), it was hopped with Cascade and Mosaic Cryo hops. With some spicy aromas, and flavours of “lemony grapefruit with notes of pomegranate and red berries”, it’s hazy and juicy like a good NEIPA should be. Note that consuming this beer at Tidehouse’s tasting room absolutely required your best public Goldblum impression. And in bottles, why not pick up a few Tiger Tail Ice Cream Ale? A 6.5% ABV brew with “big, bright orange notes, combined with a pinch of vanilla and lactose” with a bit of licorice and chocolate to complement, it’s TH’s attempt at recreating your favourite ice cream treat (if you’re old enough… or, if like me, you preferred Spacecicles). 340 mL bottles, limit of six per person.

Tuesday’s going to be a big day at Good Robot Brewing in North End Halifax. First, as almost always, Kelly Costello will be releasing a Beta brew that she teamed up with someone from the community to make. This week it’s the fine folks from The Floatation Centre (also in North End Halifax). Kiss From a Rose is a 4.9% ABV Pale Ale, but a very refined one that features rose petals, ginger root and Galaxy hops. Some additional ingredients were added post-fermentation, but to find out what they are you’ll have to attend the tapping of the keg on Tuesday and ask Lindsay and her team about it, because until then, their lips are SEALed. Sorry (not sorry). And on that very same day Rumble Fish Food Co will officially be opening. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking that the GR taproom would be even better with a full food menu available, and especially if you’ve experienced the culinary delights of Black Sheep on Dresden Row, boy are you in luck. The people behind Black Sheep are the very same behind Rumble Fish; and Rumble Fish will be serving in the GR taproom. If you’re going to lead people, you have to have somewhere to go. As if it wasn’t already, Good Robot is looking like a pretty good destination. But wait, there’s more! Two days after the big Tuesday, you’ll find another new release on Robie Street, this one a table beer they’re cryptically calling Täble Beer. A light Belgian ale constructed from pale, vienna and melanoidin malts with some flaked wheat added into the grist, it was fermented with a Belgian Abbey strain no doubt to encourage a prominent yeast character. Hopped with a combination of Warrior, Wai-iti, and Mandarina Bavaria and tarted up post-fermentation with lemon zest and peel, this 4.2% ABV and 23 IBU beer is perfect for sitting around a table (or täble) and chatting the day or night away.

Staying in the North End of Halifax, Unfiltered Brewing becomes the latest brewery to try their hand at the Champagne IPA style with their classically-named Marcus Junius Brut IPA. Advertised as “Zero sugars, Half the carbs!” this 7.2% ABV beer is described as dry, crisp, hoppy and diet-friendly. Does that mean you can drink twice as much? As long as you were planning to drink half-responsibly we suppose maybe so (note: we are not a source of professional advice, especially about drinking). We’re not 100% sure whether brewer Greg Nash took the amylase enzyme route to a 1.000 finishing gravity, but we do know that he’s conquered the quirks of another enzyme, the one that makes Unfiltered’s flagship Exile on North Street IPA gluten-reduced, so if anyone’s going to tame that wee little bugger it’s him. Look for this one on tap for fills and pints today from noon. Et tu?

And towards the Eastern end of the Province, Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has a new beer and a re-release event this week. First up is a Kölsch that they’re calling Fairchild, named for the intrepid David Fairchild, who was described as both an “Adventure Botanist” and a “Food Spy” (where do you sign up for those job titles?) and who was at least partially responsible for getting cuttings from classic German Noble hop varieties transported and transplanted in North America. And isn’t Kölsch, a style from Cologne, Germany, a perfect beer to show off such hops? Sure is. This 5.6% ABV beer is, we think, only available at the Sprucetique. Meanwhile, back in Halifax, if you’re planning to hit the Stillwell Beer Garden this afternoon and you’ve got IPA on your mind, you may be psychic, as 5 PM today will see the launch of this year’s version of Tag! You’re It. Still a collab with Ocean Tracking Network and still a big ol’ juicy and ubër hoppy IPA, this year’s label features the Electric Torpedo Ray. Shocking!!

And from Cape Breton we move up to Newfoundland, where Port Rexton is proud to be a big part of the the first Port Rexton Pride festival (possibly the first “Bay Pride” event in Newfoundland & Labrador history) and they’ve brewed up a beer just for the occasion. Come Out Wit Ya was brewed with a local homebrew group, @queerbeernl, and it’s a Witbier with the traditional Belgian characters of spicy phenols, light bubblegum and banana with a big nose of coriander leading the parade. Fermented with the Fruity Wit yeast from Escarpment Labs to ensure a healthy dose of yeast character, this is a medium-bodied and refreshing beer that clocks in at 4.7% ABV, perfect for the 1st annual Port Rexton Pride Weekend. Look for it to be available this weekend for growler fills at both the taproom and the retail store.

And completing the journey through the Atlantic Provinces this week are two beers from the Upstreet family. First up, today marks the release of the latest in the Million Acres series, and possibly the most unwieldy named of all the unwieldy named beers in this series, Chardonnay Barrel-aged Peach Cream Witbier. Not designed to be set aside or put down for a nap, this one is all about immediate gratification. Featuring peach puree and lactose, expect it to lead with some sweetness that gives way to drying oak tannins from the barrel treatment. A spritzy carbonation accentuates the light body and, no doubt, some yeast character as well. Ironically, while it’s got name to spare, the beer itself is in fairly short supply with only 90 bottles available at each of the Upstreet Taproom, where pints will also be available on tap, and Craft Beer Corner (though as usual, there’s no growler fills for Million Acres releases). Secondly, although it won’t be available until after next week’s Friday Wrap-up is posted, we feel honor bound to advise you that this year’s version of Upstreet’s De Novo Farmhouse Saison has finally been deemed to be ready to go. Version 3 will be on sale next Saturday, August 18th, at Craft Beer Corner and Upstreet Taproom just in time for their 4th annual Upstreet Block Party. There’s been no word on whether any bottles of this one will make it to the mainland, so if you’ve enjoyed versions 1 and 2 and want to get your hands on some, plan accordingly.

Looks like there’s a brand new beer hitting the taps at Saltbox today, for those of you in/near the Mahone Bay area. Revelation is being referred to as a “Pilsner-style Ale” by the brewery; brewed with Pilsner malt and hopped with “a tangy variety of Czech hops”, it was fermented with a Pilsner yeast strain. The beer soon to be in your glass is described as “light and refreshing, with a snappy hop bitterness, floral hop aroma, a soft, bready malt center, and a clean, dry finish”. Due to fermentor limitations, the beer did not undergo an extended lagering period, hence the “Pilsner-style Ale” description. So, we present the question, is a beer fermented with a Lager yeast strain at cool temperatures, with no lagering period, better described as an Ale, or Lager? Or is it simply a non-lagered Lager? Discuss.

Propeller has a new Gottingen Small Batch brew out this evening, with a name that gets right to the point: Double Dry-Hopped Session Ale. Brewed with Flaked Wheat and Oats to boost the body – a much-welcome addition for a beer that’s just 3.8% ABV – the double dry-hop additions include Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado, “adding complex and expressive hop aromas of tropical citrus, with hints of pine”. Flavourful and sessionable… sounds great for summer, no? As usual, you can find it for growler fills at both Prop Shop locations after 5, for a limited time.

The Island Invasion across the Northumberland continues, as Charlottetown-favourite HopYard has now opened a location in Halifax. With their famous small plates brought to life by Chef Jane Crawford, and a serious vinyl collection, they will be pouring ten rotating taps from the Island and the Mainland. For those who have visited their original location on Kent Street, or folks who haven’t yet had a chance, be sure to drop into their 2103 Gottingen Street location for the latest food and brews. Keep up to date on their offerings, including the food menu as they do a full redesign every two weeks, on the Instagram page.

This weekend is the annual SeaPort Beerfest in Halifax, of course, but there’s at least one other event coming next week in Halifax:

We’ve got some great news for you cider lovers in the HRM, as Stillwell is holding Ciderama, a 3-day event from Thursday, Aug 16th to Saturday, Aug 18th. Both their Barrington St. and Beergarden locations will be taking part, with ciders pouring from a minimum of 16 different vendors. Thursday will feature “Cider and Food”, with special food items being created at the HQ and BG to pair with several different ciders that will be available. On Friday, “Ciders From the Cellar” means just what the name says, as they’ll be opening up a “massive” variety of cider (draught and bottled) that they’ve been cellaring, from cideries in Canada, Spain, and the UK. Finally, Saturday gives us “American Cider Day”, with ciders pouring from East Hollow (NY), Anxo (DC), and Graft (NY); East Hollow’s Seth Jones will even be on hand to chat all things concerning your favourite apply beverage. There’ll be plenty of other ciders and perries pouring throughout these three days, so get ready! No tickets required, just show up and pay by the glass/plate.

And a couple final things to leave you with:

Boxing Rock is re-releasing their hoppy Amber Ale, Unobtainium (5% ABV); hopped with Centennial, Simcoe, Cascade, and Orbit, it has a “malty rich backbone supporting some unexpected hop flavours”.
Tatamagouche Brewing’s Brown IPA, Tweed Wolf (7.1% ABV), has returned; hopped with Simcoe, Cascade and Huell Melon, you can find it on tap and in cans at Tata’s retail store, with cans also hitting select NSLC stores in the near future.