Well, we’re officially knee-deep into September now, and we have the perfect way to ring in the almost-last day of summer – the announcement of umpteen different returning Pumpkin Ales! Whether that brings you vast excitement or the urge to scream “Nooooooooooooooo……!” at the top of your lungs, there’s no avoiding it. But hey, there’s plenty of other new beers out there, too (including Octoberfests, natch), so let’s stop wasting time being smart about Pumpkin beers and just get into it, shall we?

Might as well dive in with one of those Oktoberfest releases, as the actual Oktoberfest in Germany starts tomorrow, and will run for a little over two weeks. That means Bannerman Brewing is releasing their Oktoberfest/Marzen, Safe Bet, just in time. This 5.5% ABV lager was brewed with a blend of Vienna, Pilsner, and Caramel malts, giving a copper-coloured beer that is “full-bodied, with a pleasant malt sweetness and nutty finish”. You can drop by the brewery in St. John’s to get your fix, where it’s available for pints and growler fills. 

Not to be outdone over in Nova Scotia, Boxing Rock has brewed up Equinox, a “classic Bavarian Lager”. With a grist made up of Pilsner malt, the wort was hopped in the boil with German hop varieties, keeping the beer as close to traditional as possible. After a lagering period at near-freezing temperatures, the final beer is now ready for purchase. Sporting “toasted bread flavours, and a soft spiciness”, as well as herbal notes thanks to the hops used, it finishes clean and dry and is mighty drinkable at 5% ABV. Available on tap and in bottles at the brewery in Shelburne, with bottles following at your local NSLC later in the fall. Also, the brewery’s Kolsch, Puck Off, is back, with their latest batch being released in six packs, each of which comes with a Boxing Rock hockey puck.

If you tend to lean towards the darker side when it comes to beer styles, and maybe you’re just a little over-hopped by all those IPAs and such that continue to be popular at the bars, you’ll be happy to hear that Fredericton’s TrailWay has taken a break from hoppy ales to release their first Stout in some time. Not your everyday stout, Snak-Pak was brewed with banana, chocolate, and vanilla! To be more specific in the details, once fermentation was complete, banana puree, Cholaca (a form of pure liquid cacao) and pure vanilla extract were all added, at different stages. This 5.5% ABV dark beer is “well balanced, but all three flavours can be picked up individually”. Curious? Drop by the brewery today when they open, and grab a pint/growler/cans to render your verdict. 

Elliston, Newfoundland’s fall festival, Roots, Rants and Roars, is happening today and tomorrow, and two of the province’s breweries have teamed up to brew a collaboration beer to celebrate! This “co-fermented” Kveik Ale, named Cellar Season,  was designed with festival organizers and Port Rexton Brewing and Quidi Vidi, and features a blend of PRB’s house Kveik (Ebbegarden) and QV’s house Kveik (Voss), both of which are from Escarpment Labs. This light-bodied Kveik beer came out with plenty of yeast character, including “banana, melon and clove on the nose, with spice, berry, melon, and orange on the palate”. Sounds pretty delicious to us! It weighs in at a moderate 5.4% ABV, and will be available at the festival this weekend. You’ll also be able to grab it on tap at the PRB taproom as of today, if you can’t make it to the festival (but you should!). 

Clarenville and Shoal Harbour are located just off of the Trans-Canada Highway where the Avalon, Burin, and Bonavista Peninsulas meet, and for those heading to the Roots, Rants, and Roar festival from St. John’s, a perfect stopping point. As such, the Newfoundland Cider Company located in the community has teamed up with the RRR festival to release the Roots, Rants and Roars Beet Cider. With Elliston being the root cellar capital of the world, it only makes to play on that and choose a veggie that is found in cellars across the province, and nation. The apple cider base underwent a wild fermentation, and was aged in oak barrels for 3 months. The matured cider was then infused with locally-grown (and -stored) beets before packaging. The result is a lovely rosé coloured cider with a semi sweet and balanced flavour. It is available at the Clarenville bottle shop as well as at the Festival. Be sure your Road to RRR includes a stop by NCC’s bottles shop or tasting room this weekend!

Upstreet has thrown down the gauntlet by announcing that today’s Neon Friday release will be the last new beer in their hoppy series of the year, so they’re under pressure to make it a good one! It IS their biggest Neon Friday to date, as Neon Friday 2.07: Hazy Double IPA is, well… a hazy DIPA. Guess the name kinda stole the blog thunder. But still, it IS a big beer at 8% ABV, and was mega-hopped with Cryo Simcoe, Ekuanot, and Amarillo, giving a very juicy brew with aromas of “fresh-cut pineapple, honeydew melon, and soft mint, as well as flavours of orange, lime, and banana”. Available right now at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner in all forms, and pints only in Nova Scotia. 

In Dieppe, NB, Flying Boats has just launched the latest in their Test Pilot one-off series, Test Pilot No. 6: New England IPA. The grist included a percentage of flaked wheat and oats, which help to add haziness, as well as boost the mouthfeel of the final beer. All hop additions were added in the whirlpool and dry-hop stages, and included large amounts of Vic Secret, Citra, and Mosaic. With 43 calculated IBUs, the beer has lots of tropical fruit flavours and aromas, and comes in at 6% ABV. Available at the brewery taproom in pints, growlers, and cans. 

While we’re in New Brunswick, let’s check in with another brewery that is releasing their take on the seasonal Oktoberfest style. Fredericton’s Grimross is today debuting their Oktoberfest Märzen-bier, a beer they’ve been lagering over the summer to have ready just in time for your home Oktoberfest celebrations (hey, drinking good beer at home is reason enough to celebrate, amirite?)! Brewed with a base of Munich malt, and fermented with the brewery’s house Lager strain, it was packaged after a 2 month lagering period. It’s showing off some “rich, toasted malty notes, with old world herbal hop flavour”, while remaining highly drinkable. Available at the brewery on tap and in cans, it comes in at 5.6% ABV and 27 IBUs. 

Speaking of Grimross, they are currently hiring for the position of Head Brewer. You can check out the full job posting here; of course, brewing experience at a senior level is a requirement. 

Before Hurricane Dorian made landfall in our region a couple of weeks ago, it caused major destruction and loss of life in the Carribean, with the Bahamas being particularly hard hit. With many Bahamians living, working, and going to school here in the Maritimes, there are many stories of tragedy of family and friends back home. This is very true for Gio Johnson, a brewer at Good Robot. In support of him and all those affected by the storm, Good Robot is dedicating their next release to raise awareness, and funds, for recovery efforts. Hope Nation Saison is a light-bodied Saison hitting the taps next week, featuring a bright lemony spritziness, a bit of spicy zing, and light fruit character. For those looking to contribute over and above the portion going from drinking a pint or filling a growler, the Rotary Club of East Nassau and Red Cross are two groups working tirelessly to rebuild the islands after the destruction.

From one of Halifax’s littlest breweries (motto: “we used to be smaller!”) comes a really big bastard of a beer this week, with Tidehouse releasing Mars. Featuring plenty of 2-row and Pilsner malts as a base, “massive” portions of chocolate, pale chocolate, standard and dehusked roasted barley, roasted wheat and flaked barley rounded out the malt side. While there’s a ton of dark specialty malts there you would expect to impart roasty and especially chocolatey flavors, we figure at least some chocolate flavor would also have come from the 198 Mars bars that were added at the end of the boil! But that’s not even all! Non-fermentable lactose was added to bump up the sweetness and the beer was finished with blackberries added at the end of fermentation. The result is an 11.5% ABV beer that’s darker than dark, with a slightly dry, tart and fruity finish to balance the sweetness. You’ll find it available on tap at the brewery starting today (but likely only for a little while), or take it to go in the traditional 650 mL bombers or much more reasonable “single serving” sized 340 mL bottles (yay!)

Every year, tens of thousands of folks descend on Southeastern PEI to check out the 70 Mile Yard Sale. This year’s event takes place this weekend, and what better excuse do you need to release a new beer? Montague’s Copper Bottom has created the way to toast the day’s great finds with 70 Mile Yard Ale, a 5.0% ABV American Wheat Ale. Brewed with 2-row, wheat, and acidulated malt, it was lightly hopped to 15 IBUs with Mandarina Bavaria, Amarillo, and Centennial. Light-bodied, refreshing af, and thanks to the addition of orange peel, bright citrus notes shine through as well, to complement the aromas of bread dough. The beer will be launching tomorrow at the 70 Mile HQ at Wood Islands Village, as well as at the taproom with a kick-off event beginning at 3 PM. Mellow Dough will be on hand slinging donuts, PEI Pop Stand will have their gourmet popsicles, and DJ Logan Roche will be spinning some tunes to soothe while you count your new treasures. Download the booklet to plan your attack of the yard sales in the region! After the release, it will be available on draught and in cans at the brewery, as well as at bars around Charlottetown.

Hanwell, New Brunswick’s favourite brewery has brought back a local favourite that is sure to sell out before you know it. Niche Brewing has been playing in the New England style with plenty of hazy and hoppy offerings, and they’ve got a fresh batch of Intergalactic back on tap in the Capital region, and beyond, this week. At 4.9% ABV, the alcohol may not be high, but the flavour is, thanks to massive additions of Citra and Mosaic added late in boil, and then dry-hopped with more Mosaic as well as Galaxy. Tropical notes of pineapple, mango, and citrus shine through, with the hazy-friendly yeast blend keeping the smooth mouthfeel and restrained bitterness in check. We’ve seen that it’s now pouring at The Joyce in Fredericton and soon at Pepper’s Pub in Saint John, with more kegs hitting the taps in the near future.

As we mentioned above, this is the time of year when we start to see one of the most polarizing phenomena in the brewing industry: pumpkin (spice) beer. Whether you’re a fan of it or not, you can’t deny the simple fact that if these beers didn’t sell nobody would make them. This week we had word of at least 4 (tasty treats/abominations) hitting the taps and/or shelves, all of them return engagements. We thought we’d put them all in one place so it’s easy to (get the news you really want/skip the section). We know the 902BrewCast guys will appreciate that; in fact, let’s call this The 902BrewCast Pumpkin Beer Roundup!! And be sure to check out their September Tasting Episode coming this Tuesday when they feature a totally non-polarizing style, Pilsner! So without further ado, here’s the first batch from the pumpkin patch:

  • A long time favourite for fans of the gourd is Propeller Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale. Using real pumpkins (from Howard Dill’s world famous variety from the Valley), the blend of seasonal spices accent the brew to be a true pumpkin pie in a glass. The 5.0% ABV beer is available at both Prop Shops and the private stores this week, and at the NSLC in the next little while.
  • Nine Locks have been making their Harvest Pumpkin Ale for quite a few years now, and this dark, full-bodied amber ale is a favorite with their customers. Both pumpkin and pumpkin spice are paired with a malty backbone and a crisp finish that’s perfect for Autumn. Available at the brewery for sure, we also see an NSLC listing, although we’re not sure if that’s from last year or for this year, so be sure to check ahead before making any plans to procure it from there!
  • Brasseurs Petit Sault way up in Edmundston has their Bonhomme Sept-heures back on tap this week. A big’un at 8.5% ABV and featuring a suitably seasonal spooky label, this coppery-colored amber ale has hints of caramel and a bit of biscuit sweetness to go along with the familiar pumpkin spices. Get a pint at the brewery or take a bottle (or more!) to go, it will also see distribution in select ANBL stores over the coming weeks.
  • Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewing has their Pumpkin Paddler back as well. Named for the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta, which sees participants paddling giant hollowed-out gourds from the Dill Family Farm across Lake Pisiquid. Unfortunately, due to a terrible growing season and Hurricane Dorion, there weren’t enough 6 – 800 lb pumpkins to hold the regatta this year, but there was enough of a crop to make the beer! Featuring both real pumpkin and the brewmaster’s secret pumpkin spice blend, you’ll be able to wax poetic about Pumpkin Paddles past while enjoying one. Find it on tap and in bottles at the brewery and at select private stores in the city.

The Brewnosers homebrew and beer appreciation club has been around since 1986, advocating for better beer and respect for beer, before some of us were even born. What started with four guys in a kitchen sharing beers has evolved into a group of hundreds who are still sharing beers and homebrew recipes, and advancing the state of good beer in the region. Saturday, September 21st, marks the group’s Hoptoberfest event, where members get to show off their latest brews in a relaxed and fun environment. And it is open to the public! In addition to the beer (so much beer!!), there will be hop- and beer-infused sausages from Cavvicchi’s meats, as well as veggie and vegan snacks (and you are encouraged to bring your own). It is taking place at a private residence on the Halifax peninsula (please check out the forum link for further details). There is no cost to attend, a donation for the meal is requested. If you are looking to chat beer, try some great homebrew, and have a fun evening (pop by any time after 4 PM), we can think of no better place to be! And for those who do make it out for a visit, Hammerhead Hops, a local hop supplier, will be graciously donating a pack of 2019 Canadian Cascade hops for your next brewday!

Old school gamers rejoice: this weekend the Propeller Arcade Levels Up! As we mentioned last week, for one weekend only they’ve expanded the arcade out onto the brew floor, bringing in lots of extra cabinets and games not otherwise on site. Open from 4 PM today and tomorrow, and for the first time, noon Sunday for a Family Day, with food from Hopyard Halifax. We’ll see you there! And don’t forget that Propeller holds a Cask Night every Friday, where they tap a small-batch experiment that the brewers have tried. This week’s new one is their Tropical Sour truly cask-conditioned, allowing a milder carbonation to finish the beer. 

Good news, Woodstock (NB) beer drinkers: the 3rd annual First Town Craft Beer Festival is happening tomorrow, September 21st. This year’s event is one evening session only (6:30-9:30pm), and will be held at a new location, at 205 Tamarack St. They expect to have around 25 vendors on site to pour their products, which include beer, cider, mead, wine, spirits, and coolers. Your ticket will get you unlimited pours for the evening, and there will also be food trucks on site, as well as plenty of games to take part in while you’re imbibing. This year’s festival will also include the debut of Carleton County’s own Cross Creek Brewing, who will be launching with five beers, all of which should be available at the event; be sure to drop by their booth to be one of the first to try their brews! Tickets to the event are still available; the VIP ticket gets you in an hour earlier, and also gives you free admission to the After Party with Wisecracker, which includes a cash bar and continues until 1 am (pace yourselves!).

The annual PEI Beer Festival is happening next weekend, September 27th & 28th, in Charlottetown at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel. With 35 vendors attending, there will be a wide variety of beer and cider to suit your “needs”. There are three sessions: Friday evening 6:30-9:30pm, and two on Saturday (2-4:30pm and 6:30-9:30pm); check out this link to go over your ticket options and prices (note that there are designated driver tickets available as well). While you can buy tickets at the door, there is a strong possibility that some or all sessions will sell out in advance, and tickets are slightly cheaper if you purchase them beforehand. There will also be food available for purchase at the event (including oysters), to keep your tummies full to absorb some of that sweet, sweet alcohol.

Not to be outdone by their peers along Highway 101 who have now done two Highway 101 Tap Takeover events, the brewers and breweries of Highway 103 have announced their own event, the Highway 103 Tap Takeover and Tailgate, happening next Saturday, September 28th, from 4 PM to 8 PM at Boxing Rock’s new taproom on Water Street in Shelburne. Featuring the fine folks and beers from the hosts along with Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing Co, Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing, Mahone Bay’s Salt Box Brewing Co, Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing Co, and Tusket Falls Brewing Co out of Tusket, the party will be tailgate style in the parking lot. Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 if you wait and pay at the door) from the Boxing Rock web store and entitle you to 8 four ounce samples and a commemorative tasting glass. There will also be food available for purchase, games, live music, and more!

Now that Newfoundland is approaching a critical mass of craft breweries, it seems only fitting that we’re starting to see more beer-related events popping up there. Next weekend will see a whole weekend’s worth of events going on at the 1st Annual Oktoberfest.NL event presented by the City of Mount Pearl along with YellowBelly Brewery and taking place at the Reid Community Centre. Starting with the Craft’ernoon Experience on Saturday, September 28th, from 2 PM to 5 PM you’ll find beers from Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co, Dildo Brewing, Landwash Brewery, Ninepenny Brewing, Port Rexton Brewing, Quidi Vidi Brewing, and, of course, YellowBelly as well. Tickets are $29.75 (plus taxes and fees) per person and entitle the bearer to four 5 oz samples and a soft pretzel. Later Saturday evening and into the night is Rocktoberfest, starting at 7 PM, where YellowBelly brews will be pouring along with wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages while Miss Conduct and 709 take the stage to provide live music. Prizes will also be awarded for the best Oktoberfest costume. Tickets for this event are $24.75 (plus taxes and fees) and include one 16 oz YellowBelly brew. And Sunday morning, if you’re not too done in from the afternoon and evening before, starting at 11 AM and going to 2 PM is a family-friendly brunch prepared by YellowBelly and with entertainment from The Swinging Belles. Brunch is included in ticket prices ($19.75 for adults, $9.75 for children, plus taxes and fees) and bar service is available. All tickets, including some combos (Craft’ernoon + Rocktoberfest, Craft’ernoon + Brunch, Rockoberfest + Brunch) are available online.

We have been spouting the community and economic benefits of breweries and cideries revitalizing smaller communities for years, with too many shining examples to mention here. In all four provinces of the region, there are stories of brewery owners moving to (or moving back to) a small town with other businesses, and residents, growing around them, supporting and growing each other. This is seeing amazing effects in Newfoundland especially, with breweries on both sides of the island, and soon Labrador, spawning new businesses, jobs, and vitality. As part of the Sustainable Communities Conference, put on by Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and North Atlantic Forum, there will be a public panel event with members of the brewing and distilling community, as well as those researching and assisting with funding, discussing the impact of these businesses in small towns. Held at The Stone Jug at 232 Water Street in Carbonear, the “Craft Breweries & Distilleries as Drivers of Rural Development” panel takes place 1:00 – 2:45 PM on Thursday, October 3rd. The event is free to attend, though the organizers do request registering in advance. It will be a casual environment, with local beer available for purchase, and a lively discussion and Q&A. And giving those in the region a good excuse to get out of town for some sight seeing around the Bay (and the many breweries in the region!).

Oh hey, it’s us, and we’re really late today. We recommend you demand a full refund!! There’s going to be weather this weekend. What kind? We don’t know. But we have beer news, so read on.

The town of Port Rexton will once again be full of mirth and cheer this weekend as they celebrate Port Rexton Pride Festival, building awareness, support, and education around LGBTQ+ issues in Port Rexton and the local region. With a Pride-themed Trivia kicking off the fun last night, the rest of the weekend is chock full of events at various locations around town (click that link for all of the details). Tonight’s signature event is Queer Anthem Karaoke at Port Rexton Brewing, starting at 8:30PM; rock painting, a local Amazing Race event, and live music in the brewery are on the go Saturday. With such an important event in town, there surely must be a special beer to accompany, right? Well, faithful reader, there surely is! Queer Feeling is a 4.7% ABV Farmhouse Ale fermented with Ebbergarden Kveik from Escarpment Labs. The beer was brewed with the crew from Queer Beer NL, a home brew and beer appreciation group based in St. John’s, who made the trek out to PR last month to help out with the brewday. The beer is on tap at the brewery today, and will be all weekend until it runs out, so it’s best to arrive early, and often, to avoid disappointment! QF joins the 2019 release of Brett Chops, a 100% Brettanomyces-fermented version of their Horse Chops IPA, which has hung out in Bourbon barrels since February 2018. This is a brewery-only release, btw, even more reason to head out to the Bonavista Peninsula this weekend!

Let’s stick to the Rock for the next new beer this week, which is another collaborative effort between a couple of beer powerhouses. The crew from Split Rock in Twillingate invited Landwash of Mount Pearl to come over and play in their brewery last month. More specifically, the Assistant Brewers from both spots took the reins on this project, which was a homecoming of sorts for Lw Assistant Brewer Alex Troke, who began his life in the beer world at Split Rock. He and current Split Rock brewer Ryan went all in for a Brut, known for being dry and effervescent. Rye Not? Brut Ale features Sabro and Simcoe hops, for tropical and tangerine aromatics, with rye malt in the grist bill for light complexity. This 7.0% ABV beer is pouring freely at both the host and visiting brewery this weekend, for pints and samples, and for growlers to go from Split Rock. You’re heading to grab one right now, right? If not, Rye Not??

And one last new release from Newfoundland comes from Conception Bay South, and the taps at 75 Conception Bay Highway, home to Ninepenny Brewing. Keeping those summer vibes alive, they’ve released 10 Bricks Milkshake NEIPA. A grain bill featuring Oats and 2-Row malt, and aided by lactose for a bit of residual sweetness, is the base for tropical and fruit flavours thanks to hops, yeast, and fruits working together for a full-on experience. Ekuanot, Azacca, Galaxy, and Cascade offer some light bitterness and plenty of aroma and taste, which was accentuated by 75 kg of peach puree on the nose, palate, and appearance. Escarpment’s Foggy London keeps it hazy and juicy too. Catch 10 Bricks on tap at the brewery this weekend, and if you’re lucky, it may pop up elsewhere on the peninsula as well.

On the mainland, Tatamagouche Brewing celebrated their Fourth Annual Tap Takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth yesterday. With 20 beers available, it saw the return of a few seasonals as well as the debut of several more beers. Fingers crossed that some last drips remain for a few hours today (BP opens at 11:30 AM folks!), so let’s get you up to speed… Returning after a several-month hiatus is a fresh batch of Kitty Clyde DIPA, a 7.8% ABV celebration of late hops with big blasts of citrus, peach, and passion fruit (but staying low in bitterness) thanks to Vic Secret and Galaxy, named after a wooden brigantine built in Tatamagouche in 1857. KC is on tap at the brewery now, and cans should be available real, real soon. 

In “totally new, so new there aren’t any bottles just yet” beer news from Tata, the crowd at Battery Park were able to enjoy four new brews on tap that will be released in bottles or cans over the next few months. As of writing, we’re not sure which, if any, of these are still available for on tap in Dartmouth, but since the cat is already out of the bag, let’s get you excited for these upcoming bottles and cans.

  • Toro (11.2% ABV) – Quadrupel (aka, Belgian Dark Strong) fermented in stainless steel before transfer to Bourbon barrels for secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces. Will be available on draught and in 500 mL bottles before the end of September.
  • Rooted (6.6% ABV) – Barrel-aged Saison featuring rye malt in the grist. Will be available on draught and in 750 mL bottles in early October.
  • Muse (6.5% ABV) – Sour Red Ale (think Flanders Red such as Duchesse de Bourgogne), mixed fermentation, aged with cherries. Draught and 500 mL bottles, no timeline for release yet.
  • Foeder One (5.5% ABV) – Pale Saison with a grist of Pilsner and Spelt, aged in a red wine foeder. Will see release on draught and in cans later this year.

Undeterred by Dorian, Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza has a pair of new beers out this week, available at the brewery, and a few bars around Nova Scotia. The first is Indigo Borealis, a 6.4% ABV Haskap Saison. Taking its name from a pair of Haskap species added to the beer, this Saison pours a light ruby in colour, and features loads of raspberry and blackberry, with highlights of citrus reminiscent of marmalade. A zesty base beer completes the entire package. The second beer now pouring in the taproom these days will help unlock the secret that many of us are chasing in our beer glasses… The Key to Happiness is a 6.6% ABV Key Lime Pie Milkshake IPA, extending the iconic base style of lactose, vanilla, and hazy tropical feels with the addition of key limes for a light citrus bite. The malt bill even boasts some graham cracker notes, harkening back to the dessert that inspired the beer. Grab both Indigo Borealis and The Key to Happiness on draught for pints and fills at the taproom on Yankee Line Rd outside of Baddeck, and at better beer bars in the province this weekend.

At the opposite end of Nova Scotia you’ll find Tusket, which is home to Tusket Falls Brewing. They have recently released a duo of beers at their taproom, one of which will see wider distribution later in the month. This Moment Is is a 5.5% ABV Porter, light on the hops, allowing the complexity of the malt to shine through, with raisin bread and toffee on the nose, followed by chocolate on the palate, in a medium body and roasty finish. This is currently available at the brewery only, but may see wider draught distro soon. And on the other side of the spectrum, we have A Diversion In Life, a 6.2% ABV hoppy, hazy IPA, featuring Simcoe hops. Tropical and earthy dance together with a touch of dank, in this balanced IPA. Also available on tap at the brewery now, look for cans of ADiL to hit the shelves of your local NSLC in the next couple of weeks, perfect for a grab and go as you look to finish your day (or get it off to a fun start!).

Halifax’s Good Robot has found themselves with a bit of a surplus of beer in the brewery this week, so what is there to do but get it out to thirsty post-hurricane Halifax with a quickness? First up on Monday is a fresh new batch of their Goseface Killah, their long-standing German wheat beer with salt and coriander. Slightly tart and quite refreshing (it’s a nice change-up after a bunch of hoppy IPAs, for instance), it comes in at 5% ABV and 11 IBU. Later in the week, probably Thursday, and assuming a tap opens up for it (that’s a challenge to weekday evening drinkers if ever we heard one), is a new beer but not a new beer. The New Original is, to some degree, based on their much-loved Leave Me Blue in the sense that both beers are in the Kentucky Common style. That said, The New Original hews more closely to the style, with a touch more malty sweetness and a hint of vanilla (* no vanilla actually added, we don’t think), but still a dry and crisp finish. Coming in at 4.3% ABV we suspect it will be popular with fans of Leave Me Blue as well as winning some more folks over to a historic pre-Prohibition style.

On the Eastern side of Prince Edward Island is Copper Bottom Brewing who have a new seasonal beer out this week, a Rye IPA (guess 902BrewCast’s Tony Important is making an unscheduled trip to the Island this weekend…). Inspired by the bear and its symbolism in North American culture, NorthPaw pays homage the the great animal and the wild that surrounds us all. Featuring plenty of Canadian rye malt, PEI-grown 2-row provided the base with Vienna, Acid Malt and Wheat rounding out the malt profile. Bittered to 40 IBU with Warrior, Simcoe and Amarillo were added in the kettle, and a large dry hop featuring more Amarillo along with Cascade. The overall hop impression is of citrus and stone fruit, with a bold orange juice character front and center and finishing with a spicy note from the rye. This one is available for pints at the brewery, but also to go in cans. You’ll also be able to grab cans at PEILCC locations later this fall. And if you’re in the area today, every pint sold will see $1 go to MacPhail Woods, a local forestry stewardship organization in PEI; also Sneaky Cheats will be on site from 6 – 10 PM tonight with some tasty wood-fired eats.

Kentville’s Maritime Express Cider has both a returning cider this week along with a brand new one to tantalize your apple-loving tastebuds. Roundhouse Rhubarb is the returning number, tar and crisp, with a crystalline clarity and light carbonation. Hints of rhubarb complete this 4.5% ABV dry cider. And new to the taproom is Sour Rosé, a 5.5% sour cider fermented with hibiscus and lemon peel and with Sour Patch Kids candy added to balance the sweetness. On the sweeter side, but also sour and funky, this one sounds like an interesting detour from more common everyday ciders. Both of these are available at the taproom now and, it being Friday, a reminder that they’ve got Happy Hour on Friday evenings from 4 – 6 PM; an excellent opportunity to try out one or both of these ciders along with some of their other offerings!

And since we’re speaking of cider in the Annapolis Valley, it’s probably an excellent time to mention that Annapolis Cider Co also has a new one out in their Something Different series. Cascade Charmat had a complex path from juice to bottle, but we suspect the result is well worth it! Starting with fresh-pressed juice (as always!) from McIntosh, Northern Spy and Jonagold varieties, they cool-fermented this one in their usual way. The Charmat method of performing secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank was used to create a fine and persistent carbonation. A dose of Golden Russet cider and Flemish Beauty perry was then layered in, providing additional flavors while preserving the carbonation. Finally, Cascade hops provided a delicate citrus character to this 9.1% ABV unfiltered sparkling cider. Look for it as always at the cidery on Main Street in Wolfville; as always with their Something Different series, $0.50 from every refill sold will benefit a charitable organization, this time it’s CAPRE (Community Association of People for REAL Enterprise).

Shipwright Brewing in Lunenburg is saying goodbye to summer with the final entry in their Summer Belgian series of beers. Brut-Ale Storm is a Brut IPA but also a Belgian IPA. Featuring the clove and pepper phenolic character of Belgian yeast, honey and biscuit malt notes, this beer was then hit with a complex mix of southern hemisphere hops, namely Citra, Galaxy, Topaz, and Enigma to generate flavors and aromas of orange, pine, and mango. Being in the Brut style, you would be correct to expect this one to be dry and crisp on the finish due to a very low finishing gravity. Check it out at the brewery and, very possibly, on tap at the Grand Banker as well!

With Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival on this week and finishing this weekend, we’re maybe a little surprised that we didn’t hear from too many F-town breweries this week. But thinking about it, it’s probably because they went straight from manic summer production to madly trying to be ready for the fest! We recommend if you’re in Freddie or planning to be there for the fest this weekend that you check out your favourite brewery’s social media to see what they’ve got available this weekend and also check out your favorite independent beer-friendly spots for tap lists as well.

With that out of the way, Trailway is the exception to the above this week with a brand new beer to tell you about that’s all ready for the fest. Wizzum is their first real stab at a West Coast IPA, but still keeping true to Trailway’s own house hazy and full-mouthfeel style. Featuring more malt and more bitterness, they also chose more classic West Coast hops like Simcoe and Cascade. The result is spicy, slightly fruity, and definitely resinous, with a definitely kick, coming in at 7% ABV. Look for it in cans and on draft at the Tw taproom all weekend long.

Some events coming up that you might consider attending:

If you’ve been lurking around 899 Portland St. in Dartmouth for a while, eagerly waiting for North Brewing to open their new taproom, your wait is finally over. After teasing us with a previously announced opening date last week (or maybe the week before?) the day is FINALLY here and they’re flouting superstition by opening on Friday the 13th!! From here on in they’ll be open every day from Noon to 7 PM, staying open later on Friday nights until 9 PM. As time goes on you might see some adjustments to that based on the whims of their drinking public, but for now, lock it in. You’ll find all manner of tasty North brews on tap and now food as well, with their catchily-named kitchen, Side Hustle Snack Bar, providing the goods. Today you can also expect ciders from Lake City and Sourwood, and three of Matt Kenny’s favorite beers from Tatamagouche Brewing: Square One, Crack of Dawn, and Dekorum on tap as well. Many congratulations to the team at North for pulling this all together in just about a year. Their journey to the Dark Side is complete; we suggest you head down and celebrate with them!!

This Monday marks a show in town by doom metal gods Sleep, who will be blowing the roof off of The Marquee on Gottingen St. The opening act for the show is Pontiak from the Virginia, who are also happen to be the geniuses behind the brewery Pen Druid in Sperryville, PA. Specializing in spontaneous, barrel-aged, and just plain wild beers, these folks will be taking over the taps at Barrington Street’s Stillwell Beer Bar for a rare Monday event. Kicking off at noon (not the usual 4 PM opening time), 10 beers on draught, along with a few extra bottles, will be pouring at the Official Concert Pre-Drink event. And to further sweeten the pot, a pair of tickets will be given away to lucky visitors through the bar that day, so be sure to pop by for a bevvie before the show. The kitchen crew will be slinging some special food (as usual), and we’re sure there’ll be some killer tunes blasting all day to get everyone in the mood.

If you weren’t already in the know, Propeller’s Gottingen Street location has a pretty special secret hiding just below the retail shop and taproom: Propeller Arcade. With almost a dozen pinball machines, and the same number of modern and retro cabinet games, this underground (literally) spot is a favourite of many who are looking to relive their childhood (and those who may be a little too young to have encountered the joy of bowling alley arcades in the region). To push their spot to the next tier, they are holding a Level Up Weekend, starting next Friday. They are expanding the games available to include air hockey, basketball, and plenty more new offerings, as they take over the brewing that is shared between them, Stillwell, and Granite, so we can almost imagine the fun of shooting hoops amongst the fermenters… The hours of the event are Friday and Saturday from 4 PM – 12 AM, with Sunday (12 – 6 PM) being dubbed Family Day, as the space will be open to those under 19 to enjoy the games, as well as food provided by nearby Hopyard Halifax. Check out the FB link above, and we’ll no doubt see you there!

We don’t always put out work a whole month before an event, but we’re making an exception this week for the next Craft Draught Showdown at The Carleton in Halifax. These events have been going on for a year or so and have proven to be a hot ticket every time. Pitting two breweries head to head each pairing fine of their beers with five courses from Chef Michael Dolente, the eating and drinking public votes at the end on whose beers and pairings they preferred. Coming up on Wednesday, October 9th is Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing vs Tatamagouche Brewing Co and, given both breweries’ penchants for food-friendly mixed-fermentation styles, this one should be extra special. Tickets, as always, are $60 plus HST per person (gratuity included) and can be purchased from the Carleton website. And if you want to get a little ahead of the game, the CDS after THIS one will be Garrison vs Schoolhouse on Thursday, December 5 with tickets for that one available here. And stay tuned, we’re expecting the 2020 slate of showdowns to be announced in November; when they are we’ll be sure to let you know about it!!

Batten down the hatches! Grab your storm beers! We’re in for quite a weekend because of unwelcome visitor Dorian, who has already carved a path of destruction through the Caribbean Sea, hitting The Bahamas especially hard. If you are looking for a way to help out those affected the worst, instead of sending beer, partner with some legitimate charities with people on the ground assisting, such as the Red Cross. We don’t think the storm has anything to do with it, but this week is much-noticeably lighter on beer news for Atlantic Canada; we’re pretty sure brewers are taking a very slight break after the craziness of July and August. And we’re not complaining! There’s still some new beers to chat with you about, so take a break from prepping your home for Dorian and have a read…

(Editor’s Note: Despite their recent popularity, at least in Nova Scotia, this post contains zero spicy beer memes)

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has a new release this week, focusing on family, community, and togetherness. Named Ohana, the Hawaiian word for family, this is a pale-coloured kettle sour featuring pineapple and toasted coconut, two fruits found throughout the Hawaiian islands. And in a unique twist, an addition of Hawaiian lava black salt lends a light salinity to the brew to help temper the tartness and increase its refreshing character. With the tropical fruit reminiscent of pina colada, this 5.4% ABV beer will help to extend those summer vibes. Grab a pint with your family, however you define them, across Fredericton, Saint John, Sussex, and Moncton, as well as Stillwell in Halifax.

Portland, Maine is home to many a fine brewery, and one of those is Lone Pine Brewing, in operation in the city since early 2016 (they also have a tasting room in Gorham, ME). They recently travelled up to Canada and teamed up with Halifax’s own Good Robot to brew S’Kettin’ Dark, a “summer stout” that weighs in at a very reasonable 5.2% ABV. While the beer has the expected roasted aromas and flavours, they also added a “restrained” amount of blueberry and cranberry, to take it in a slightly different direction from your normal stout. The result is a brew that tastes “like a dark chocolate bar, with a hint of dried fruit”. Grab it on tap at the GR taproom this weekend (or the beginning of next week, if you’re staying at home!). 

Over in Newfoundland, the BonRexton Grandondo – a 133 km cycling route around the Bonavista Peninsula – is still scheduled for tomorrow (as of this posting). This year’s race will be ending at Port Rexton Brewing, which has naturally brewed up a special beer just for this event! Headwind is a hop-forward APA that features Galaxy, Mosaic, and Columbus, all in a 4.9% ABV package. With “dank stone fruit, pineapple, and subtle floral notes” in the aroma, backed up by all that goodness – plus a little pine – in the flavour, it’s the perfect, easy-drinking beer to enjoy after a long (and hopefully mostly dry) bicycle race. Don’t worry, you don’t have to bike in order to enjoy this one, as it’s currently on tap exclusively at the PR taproom as of yesterday (growler fills are also available). And while you’re in Port Rexton, keep an eye open for notices of the great events on the go for next weekend’s Port Rexton Pride! With events kicking off next Thursday, we heard from a little birdie (ok, it was Instagram!) that Queer Beer NL teamed up with the PRBC crew to put together a special beer for the weekend, to pair well with the karaoke, their Amazing Race competition, or bands playing Saturday evening.

Elsewhere in the province, Bootleg Brew Co. has a new beer of their own, Pils ‘N’ Acid. Brewed with a simple grist made up of Pilsner and Acidulated malt (hence the beer’s name), the beer was dry-hopped with Huell Melon, Enigma, and Mandarina Bavaria. Billed by the brewery as a “Session Ale” (it’s 5% ABV, so begin your arguments now!), the dry-hop addition provides a “delicate hop profile, with subtle notes of honey dew melon and a slight grassiness on the nose”. Basically a beer brewed for those looking for something light and easy-drinking – without delving into Lager territory – you can find it at the brewery right now for pints, growlers and grunters. 

Propeller’s experimental brews have taken them into the “White Stout” territory with their release of Flat White, hitting taps today. As you undoubtedly know by now (or may have even guessed, if you hadn’t already tried this style), a White Stout is a pale beer that manages to exhibit aromas and flavours that would normally go hand-in-hand with a darker beer… namely, roasted and chocolate characteristics. Flat White was brewed with lots of flaked oats to boost that body, and with the addition of fresh, cold-brewed Java Blend coffee (and cocoa nibs), the chocolate and mocha flavours abound. It comes in at 5% ABV and 30 IBUs; check it out at one of the Prop shop locations (and likely at a few licensees). And good news for those lovers of Prop’s Stone Fruit, it is back now, and returns as a full-time part of the lineup. Cans will continue to be available in the Prop Shops as well as private stores and NSLC. And today’s cask is their Galaxy IPA, with an addition of Black currant, lactose, and vanilla. That, and pies from Humble Pies, are available from 5 PM.

Although Jeremy has run to the other end of the country, no doubt to avoid Dorian, Big Spruce is still putting out new beer. Of course they are, they don’t seem to stop! This week’s release is a Hawaiian-themed number they’re calling Tiki Freak, no doubt after the idol that nearly killed off the Brady Bunch (we’re showing our collective age with that one, aren’t we?). A mixed-fermentation pineapple sour bearing a fairly hefty 6.3% ABV, it’s highly carbonated and refreshing, with a dry finish, a little bit of funk, plenty of tartness, and lots of pineapple flavor. If the gang won’t let you put pineapple on your pizza, this would be a fine workaround. Available for pints at the Spruce-tique, of course, and possibly on tap in the city; if single-serve packaging has taken place you’ll no doubt find it at the places where you usually find Big Spruce’s beers.

If you’re a fan of very bitter DIPAs, Heritage Brewing has the beer for you. Golden Horse is an Imperial IPA brewed with a blend of three hop varieties high in the alpha acid department (no specifics on which three, sorry!). All three were used in early boil additions to impart plenty of bitterness (130 calculated IBUs for this brew), as well as lots more at the end of the boil, and in the dry hop, to give dank, pine, and citrus flavours in the final product. Light, hazy, and 7.6% ABV, look for this one at the source in Yarmouth.

Between keeping up with a busy summer schedule, and launching their new taproom in downtown Shelburne, the fine folks at Boxing Rock have still found time to continue their small-batch brews at their Test Kitchen location in Halifax. Partnering with Local Source Market on Agricola, these batches are all about innovating and pushing the limits. To that end, the latest release on tap is White Hot Whitbier, a 4.8% ABV Belgian-style wheat beer featuring habanero peppers and using the cooling citrus of lime to help put out the fire. As with all of their Test Kitchen releases, this is only available for growler fills, so you’ll want to act quickly to grab it before it is done. And keep an eye out for their next small batch release, a lemon verbena tea-infused IPA, pairing tea and lemon notes with a hazy NEIPA style brew. Peep their social media for the latest news!

Summer is wrapping up, which is bad news for those of you in Dieppe who have been enjoying the beer and atmosphere at the town’s newest beergarden, Le BarBu. On the bright side, however, they are now set up just outside of Moncton at Belliveau Orchard (makers of Scow cider). They’ll have nine taps, four dedicated to Belliveau, and five rotating, and featuring craft breweries in the area. Keep an eye on their social media for their taplist, which will be updated before each weekend. They’ll be at this location until the end of October, when they’ll finally have to take a break until next summer. 

Just one upcoming event to mention this week:

The Rotary Club of Hampton, New Brunswick is hosting the Hampton Hops Festival next Saturday, September 14th. Featuring breweries and cider from across the province, the concentration will be on local, with Foghorn, Gridiron, Hammond River, Hampton Brewing, Long Bay, Loyalist City, Sussex Ale Works, Yip Cider, as well as the Moosehead Small Batch Brewery taking part. Your $45 ticket gets you in the door and sampling the products, along with some snacks. Beer Daddy BBQ will also be onsite, for those needing a little more sustenance to keep them going. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Rotary Club on Facebook, and/or via email.

And lastly, a one bite brownie of a newsbites section:

TrailWay has two returning favourites this week, both of ‘em American IPAs. Ellipse (6.5%), one of their “oldest” recipes, is hopped with lots of Amarillo, giving lots of orange juice notes; available at the brewery on tap and in cans, and cans will also be showing up at ANBL stores across NB. Urban Sabrero (6%), one of their newer beers, features the pretty-new Sabro hop, already well-known for providing beers with interesting coconut flavours and aromas. In cans at the brewery only, and on tap there and at a few bars in the area.