Happy end of May! It’s hard to believe it, but we’re closing the books on the fifth month of 2019. You’d certainly never believe we’re on the cusp of Summer by looking out your window (or maybe you would, if you were chasing icebergs around Twillingate this week)! Let’s get you up-to-date with the opening of PEI’s first new brewery in 8 months, plus a baker’s brewer’s dozen of new beers and lots of events to keep you happy.

We’re excited to announce that Prince Edward Island’s Beer Scene is expanding today, with the opening of Bogside Brewing in Montague. Located at 9 Brook Street, overlooking the Montague River and Waterfront Park, Bogside features a full restaurant and taproom to complement the brewing operations. While equipment delays have them serving up fellow Island Craft Beers this weekend (with their own beers flowing in the next week or so), there’s no such holdups with the food! Chef Dave Mottershall is running a food program featuring low-and-slow BBQ, a wide variety of cured meats from his Salume Rume meat locker, and plenty of traditionally paired sides (think baked beans, greens, cornbread). The restaurant and taproom is open today 4 – 11 PM, and daily with the same hours, opening just in time for PEI Craft Beer Week (much more on that below!). Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw), and we’ll have a Profile with owner David McGuire and Brewer Mark Patriquin early next week.

We’ve got lots of news from Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin this week, so let’s get right to it! First off, they sat down with our pals at the 902 BrewCast and recorded an episode chronicling the first 18 months of operation down on Angus Hiltz Rd. Topics range from their opening Thanksgiving weekend 2017, to the expansion of their brewing operation from 50 to 500 litres, to their take on traditional and historic German style. Dan and Peggy (but mostly Dan!) took over the rocking chair and aired some grievances about Untappd, beer competitions, and that nasty “s” word, saturation. And you’ll also get the inside scoop on their new taproom on Duke Street in Chester, opening this summer! They’ll be moving their pilot system into the downtown to create more room in the brewhouse (aka garage), and offer locally-brewed beer to visitors and locals alike. And you’ll be the first to hear about a South Shore Beer Bus that will allow beer fans to hop on and off at breweries in Chester, Bridgewater, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg (we’ll have more on that plan soon). At well over an hour in length, the podcast is the perfect length to listen to while driving to/from the brewery to catch the latest release!

Speaking of which, the latest brew coming out from Tanner & Co is Mango Basil Saison. Starting from their traditional Saison base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, and fermented with French Saison yeast, this batch features light usage of Amarillo in the boil (to the tune of 25 IBU) and a light dry-hopping. Added to both the kettle and then again to the conditioning tank was organic mango puree and fresh basil, working to meld with the base beer character, rather than overpower it. Think light tropical and herb notes working with the light fruity esters and phenolic spiciness from the yeast. Bottles of the 6.2% ABV MBS are available at the brewery now, as well as at their Lunenburg Farmers’ Market stall on Thursdays.

Niche Brewing, southwest of Fredericton, NB, is releasing another beer on the hoppy side this week. Dubbed Equanimity (a challenge to say after having a couple), it’s a NE-style Pale Ale, hazy and juicy, and slightly dank, but decidedly lower in ABV than a NE IPA at 5.5%. Expect a smooth body from a grist of 2-row, Golden Promise and flaked wheat and a moderately bitter finish, balancing a hop bonanza from late additions of Ekuanot, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and a very large amount of Vic Secret and more Mosaic in the dry hop. Look for it all over New Brunswick starting this weekend.

New can release from 2 Crows this weekend, and it sounds like a real humdinger! Humdinger (see what we did there? #killingit) was brewed with Pilsner malt and lots of different wheat (including raw, malted, and flaked), as well as a bit of oats and Aromatic malt. Hopped late in the boil with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic “American Noble Hops” (check out our post last week for more on this extremely odd and confusing term) to 15 IBUs, the wort was fermented in one of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of yeasts (including American Farmhouse, a white wine strain, and the multitude of other goodies living in said foedre), and conditioned for over 4 months. The beer was then transferred back to stainless and dry-hopped with Centennial, Huell Melon, and Idaho 7, canned, and conditioned with Champagne yeast for about six weeks. The final beer is tasting “super bright, lively, delicately funky, with citrus, honeydew and orchard fruit vibes”. Sounds great to us! Grab your cans at the brewery tomorrow.

Looks like Spindrift is continuing to play with small batch releases, as they’ve got a new beer hitting their taproom next week. Diabolic Scheme is a “Black Currant Wheat Beer” that was brewed with a grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt. Hopped very lightly (to just 6 IBUs) with Herkules and Cascade, the 5.6% ABV brew features an addition of black currant puree. As you might expect, the black currant is what comes through most prominently in the aroma and flavour of the beer, with a bit of tartness from the fruit coming through as well. You’ll be able to find it on tap at Spindrift on Thursday, June 6th.

The gang at Shipwright Brewing is keeping busy with new beers, as their latest, Fischerdorf Alt, is now available on tap. Named after the German word for “fishing village” (they ARE in Lunenburg, after all!), this is the brewery’s homage to the Altbier, a classic German style. A dark amber brew that was hopped lightly (to 22 IBUs) with Perle, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast. Sporting a “delicate malt-forward presence”, it has a touch of bitterness to balance, along with a crisp finish. This 5.2% ABV beer is currently pouring at the brewery (pints, growlers, crowlers), and is also on tap at the Grand Banker.

Port Rexton Brewing already has the next entry in their Continuum series of hazy IPAs, Continuum w/ Galaxy, available for you thirsty hop-heads out there! As you may have imagined, it’s hopped with loads of Galaxy, that fabulous Australian variety, including additions in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop. Those of you familiar with Galaxy know that that means plenty of “passion fruit, pineapple, peach and mango” in the aroma and flavour, balanced by a moderate bitterness in the finish. It comes in at a low-for-an-IPA 5.1% ABV, meaning you can enjoy a pint or two and not feel loopy (well, that depends on a lot, but… you know). Check out the PR taproom for pints and growlers, or the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s for growler fills only. And when you head out to the taproom, you’ll be able to catch the very small batch of Kveik IPA, their local spin on the Newfoundland Skerwink Haze collaboration they brewed with Red Racer and is part of the Across the Nation 12-pack available in Atlantic Canadian Liquor Corporations/Commissions now.

The Picaroons General Store location in Saint John has a one-off beer – Light Speed Lager – currently available for pints and growler fills. A light-to-medium bodied brew, it was hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon, giving some citrus on the nose, as well as “faint, fruity flavours”. Lagered for six weeks to allow these flavours to develop, this 5.1% ABV Lager finishes dry and refreshing. Limited supplies available, only at the General Store.

Hot off the heels of two Scratch beers last week, Scratch #22: Hefeweizen is out today from Grimross. Brewed with lots of Wheat malt (~55%) and a mixture of Pilsner and Melanoiden, as well as a touch of Chocolate Wheat for colour, it was lightly hopped with Magnum and Tettnang to 13 IBUs. Fermented with a Weizen yeast strain to give your classic banana and clove characteristics, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. Refreshing and flavourful, you can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery for you to stock up on for the weekend; look for ANBL stores and tap accounts to receive their own supplies sometime next week.

It wouldn’t be the start of the weekend without at least one new beer from Big Spruce, which goes hand in hand with a cute, punny name! For this week, they’ve actually got two of both for us, starting with Kolsch Encounters of the Third Kind (see?). A light and refreshing, 5.4% ABV lagered ale (fermented with an ale yeast, likely cool, and allowed to lager at cool temps even longer), it’s meant to be easy-drinking, just what you need after yardwork, long hikes, etc. The second release is Apri-Hours, a mixed fermentation sour ale with apricot. Medium-bodied with flavours of apricot and lemonade, it packs a bit more of a punch at 6.8% ABV. Both beers are available on draught only; while you can of course swing by the Sprucetique for pours and growler fills, there will also be some kegs out in the wild (definitely at Battery Park and Auction House, as well as others). And keep your eyes peeled for Big Spruce’s first foray into the canned non-alcoholic realm, with Sparkling Organic Lemonade available now at the brewery and soon in cans across the province.

Halifax’s Good Robot has kegged the latest iteration in their Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs. Leveraging the practice of adding a bunch of hops during primary fermentation (e.g., before the beer is “dry,” so it’s not really a “dry hop”), they’ve also committed to a very 1970s/80s rock album model of roman numeral naming. This one is Creature Feature V, which features the fairly uncommon and somewhat feared Japanese Sorachi Ace hop variety. Known for imparting a lovely bright lemony character, but at the same time often bringing along complex and prominent notes of dill and lemongrass, it’s a bold move for a bold style. Coming in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBU, look for it at the GR taproom and possibly GR tap accounts around Halifax, starting this weekend.

You’ve got a busy weekend ahead of you, folks, so let’s help you plan your moves…

Propeller Brewing is hosting the Awards Gala for the Everwood Ave Home Brew Competition at 7:30 PM at their Gottingen Street taproom this evening. The event is open to the public, and if you have ever thought about taking up homebrewing, you’ll want to drop by to meet some of the keen members of the community, as well as have the chance to speak with homebrew shop owners and professional brewers to talk shop. You’ll also be able to grab a pint from their Friday Cask; this week’s features the returning Stone Fruit, with an extra-special dose of lime in the cask. Plus Real Fake Meats is onsite with Veggie Donair Egg Rolls to keep your tummy satisfied. And with the Arcade open from 4 PM this afternoon, you’d be crazy to miss it!

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is kicking off this weekend, and running from June 1 – 8, 2019. All eight Island breweries will be participating, each hosting events at, and around, their respective breweries. While there is no All-Island Brewery Festival to kick-off or end the week, there will be some big events happening to get you excited that we want to highlight. The first is on the kick-off day Saturday, as a handful of PEI Craft Beer Bus Tours will be crisscrossing the island. You can choose which of your favourite breweries to be picked up at (Copper Bottom, Evermoore, Moth Lane, or Upstreet [PEIBC bus is now sold out]), and you and your closest pals will tour all seven breweries (skipping the Gahan House) in one day. A great way to drink your way across the province and taste everything the fine breweries have to offer! Click that link to grab tickets! Sunday features a Brewer’s Brunch and brewery tours at most of the locations. Check the full schedule here, and if we get our butt in gear (looking at you, Chris!), we’ll have a Map and Calendar posted over the weekend to help you plot your moves over the next 8 days.

It’s been almost five years since Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has been in operation, and the 3rd Anniversary of the opening of their “big” brewery (remember, they started off as a 1 bbl in a basement before opening a much-larger brewery with a taproom) is coming up. You know what that means… an Anniversary Party! So, tomorrow, June 1st, TW is blocking off their side parking lot to include space for food trucks, outdoor games, live music, and a beer garden. They’ll be having free brewery tours throughout the day, swag giveaways, and plenty of beer releases, including the re-release of Bliss, their 4% ABV “Session India Pale Lager”, and a new iteration of their Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA, this one with raspberry and orange. Most of the outdoor activities start at around noon, and there’s no charge to attend… it’ll continue all day and evening!

The 5th Annual Port City Beer Run in Saint John is fast approaching, happening next Saturday, June 1st. This event has been growing since it started, with this year’s run expected to have over 300 runners participating, and 17 breweries and cideries pouring their products. Aside from all that beer and cider to look forward to after your run (there are 3, 5 and 10 km options), there’s also going to be live entertainment, and four restaurants on site serving up food. Almost $50,000 has been raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation over the last four years, so rest assured that besides having a great time and being active, your registration cost will be going to a very good cause. Speaking of that, you still have time to sign up; it costs $65 to register, and if you’d like to take part in all of the non-running fun, you can grab a “fan ticket” for $55. Check out the link above for tickets.

In addition to the beer mentioned above, Good Robot will be the site of much mirth and merriment this weekend with two big events on the docket. First up is the Aquasocks album release tonight at the Mayflower Curling Club (a few tickets are still available) that we’ve mentioned a couple of times over the last few weeks. It will feature a special beer brewed just for the event (that’s been on preview at the GR taproom since last week), a blueberry- and pineapple-laden Pilsner they’ve called Aquakultre’s Legacy Lager.

And following hot on the heels of what will surely be a night of beer drinking and booty shaking comes the latest event under the Flavabot umbrella, called, in typically questionable GR taste, The Great North End Jerk-off. There will be nothing questionable, however, about the taste of the traditional Caribbean Jerk-style cooking that is the heart of this event. The Limestone Group, RumbleFish (GR’s in-house kitchen in partnership with Black Sheep), and HopYard Halifax will be bringing smoke, spice and heat in a competition to crown the Jerk King. Two levels of tickets are available, Silver, which gains you admission only (all food and drink is extra) and Gold, which gains you admission and 5 food samples. And it wouldn’t be a FlavaBot event without some Caribbean-influenced beer, now, would it? Of course not! So Giovanni Johnson is bringing plenty of that. Rake ‘n Scrape originally debuted at the Flavabot Rake ‘n Scrape event back in March. A tropical double IPA with mangoes and pomegranate, it’s plenty juicy, plenty bitter, and tart as well, with an ABV of 6.9% and 70 IBUs. On the small batch side there will be two others, Pineapples and Coconuts (which also debuted at Rake ‘n Scrape), a 5.6% ABV and 27 IBU wheat ale featuring pineapple and coconut, and a brand new one, Conch Style Lager, a light, crisp, and refreshing beer with lime zest and spruce tips that weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 29 IBUs. Festivities start June 1st (that’s tomorrow!) at noon at the Mayflower Curling Club; you can get your tickets online here. So come get your jerk on at the jerk off!! (sorry/not sorry)

Just a few more things before we send you along your way today!

Garrison Brewing already has the second entry in their Hop Trip IPA series, with Hop Trip – Azacca (6.2% ABV). Hopped entirely with, yep, Azacca, expect lots of pineapple and lemon flavours. It’s only available on tap, so stop by the brewery for a growler, or look for it at your favourite Garrison licensee.

If you’re a hop lover in Halifax, you might plan to be in the environs of North Street this weekend, as Unfiltered has brought back their king hell Citra bomb, DOA. As usual, it’s 7.5% ABV, lotsa IBUs, and you’ll belch an orange grove after a glass or two. Cans, fills and pints from today at noon.

Upstreet’s dry-hopped kettle sour, Major Tom (5% ABV) is back as of yesterday. Tart in the finish with notes of grapefruit thanks to the dry-hop addition, you can find it on tap at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner, as well as in bottles.

Well, well, well, another Friday is upon us, which means it’s time to inundate you with the latest beer news from the region. We’ve got more than 20 new and returning beer and cider to tell you about this week, from every province in the region, so let’s dive right in so you know where to head after work today!

Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing dropped a brand new beer late last week, RGB. They’re referring to it as a “German-style Pale Ale”, as they hopped it with three of the “new” hop varieties that hail from Germany: Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and Hallertau Blanc. This 5% ABV, pale gold-coloured brew features “a pronounced fruity aroma of melon, tangerine, and citrus” thanks to the use of these hops (along with a large dry hop of more Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon). The citrus and melon continue into the flavour, complemented by a bit of malt sweetness and a moderate bitterness (60 IBUs, calculated). You can find it on tap right now at your favourite LC destination.

If you were a big fan of the first entry – Dream Island #1 – in Landwash Brewery’s rotating DIPA series, you’ll be happy to know that they have just released Dream Island #2, which is now available for purchase at the brewery. This iteration was hopped with big additions of Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus, giving notes of “marmalade jam on toast, pineapple rings, and dried peach”. They also threw in a bit of lactose to boost the mouthfeel and add just a touch of sweetness to the final product. They’ve done a limited canning run of this 8.3% hop bomb, and it’s on tap for growler fills as well… probably won’t last long, so best to head there ASAP to pick some up. They also have a new batch of their NEIPA, That Much Ocean, so you can really fulfill your hop needs all in one go! Note that Landwash is now open on Wednesdays, in addition to their regular days, with their resident food truck, Saucy Mouth, open daily until 10PM.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a pair of new beers available, to fuel your adventures out and about this weekend. Released late last week was the latest in their Neon Friday series, this one a collaboration with Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing. A 6.5% ABV NEIPA is the result of that mind-meld, with big notes of coconut, orange, and papaya on a smooth base, thanks to generous additions of Sabro and Vic Secret hops. Tall cans are available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations, and on tap there and at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth. Keep an eye out at the HRM private stores as well!

And debuting this week is Rhuby Sour, a new take on their popular Rhuby Social Witbier. Beginning life as a partially-soured witbier, Rhuby Sour receives the same great fruit additions as the OG, with rhubarb and strawberry, to kick up the refreshing character and still maintain plenty of fruit qualities. This 5.0% ABV beer is available on tap and in cans in both Charlottetown and Dartmouth now!

There’s a new Gottingen Small Batch brew pouring at Propeller, and don’t let the name – and the weather! – fool you into thinking it’s Halloween! Spooky Sour Saison is a kettle sour that was fermented with the Spooky Saison yeast strain from Escarpment Labs (as well as a blend of Brettanomyces strains) on fresh apricots. As you might expect, there’s lots going on with this beer, with plenty of fruit and spice characteristics coming through, as well as a dry, sour finish. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV and 8 IBUs, and is available at Propeller for pints, flights, and growlers only, for a limited time.

Rejoice, Glou fans, as this year’s batch from Stillwell Brewing is now available for purchase in bottles! A blend of oak-aged Saisons (different batches aged from 8-18 months) was transferred to a foeder, along with 1000 lbs of NY Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge, where they were allowed to impart their deliciousness into the beer over a period of about four months. The aroma is huge with this beer, “all candy and fun upfront, with a deep and complex savoury quality on the palate”. Oak and tannins in the finish to leave you wanting more, it’s 6.7% ABV and lovely! Grab some bottles to go at Stillwell, where you may also be lucky enough to find it on tap (and at the newly-opened Beer Garden, too!).

Miramichi’s first brewery, Timber Ship Brewing, has just released How She Goin’, a beer they’re calling a “Honey Session Ale”. Intended to be an easy-drinking style for the summer (it IS coming, right?), it features the addition of wildflower honey from Napan, NB’s My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm. There was also a dry hop addition, featuring hops from Lindsay, NB’s Bloomfield Hops Farm. The final beer is “light and crisp, with a slightly floral aroma and notes of honey”. Very drinkable at just 4.3% ABV and 12 IBUs, you can find the first kegs on tap at the Piping Plover Gastropub and O’Donaghue’s Irish Pub.

We weren’t ALL lucky enough to be able to attend the annual Stillwell Open during Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week (dangit!), but luckily for us, some breweries have been doing larger releases of the single-hop Session IPAs that they entered in the friendly competition. For Tatamagouche Brewing, this means the release of Zaka, a Session IPA fermented with a Kveik yeast strain, and hopped entirely with the wonderful Azacca variety. This 4.4% ABV beer was created and brewed with local homebrewing legend Mark McKay, and is a hazy, aromatic treat, with pineapple and mango coming through in spades, along with “flavours of woody resin and light fennel”. It’ll be on tap at many Tata licensees, as well as directly at the source on draught, of course. They’ve also got a fresh batch of their wildly popular Kitty Clyde DIPA, hopped with Vic Secret and Galaxy, on tap and in cans.

We mentioned last week about the album release party coming up at Good Robot for Aquakultre x Ghettosocks (Aquasocks) on May 31st and that it’s a fundraiser for Akuakultre’s debut album coming next year. We also mentioned that a special beer has been brewed for the event called Legacy. That beer debuted at the GR taproom yesterday for those who’d like an early taste. Nominally a Pilsner coming in at 4.5% ABV and 27 IBU, it apparently also contains blueberries, which provide it a rather purple hue, as well as pineapple, for a pleasant tropical note. Nicer weather that we’re sure just HAS to be coming soon is likely to make this a popular pour on the Gastroturf.

We know this time of year brings a plethora of light beers – hoppy, fruity, etc – but it’s still nice to see darker beers being brewed. We won’t get into a rant, but those beers are still ok to drink during warmer weather, ya know? We can thank O’Creek Brewing for realizing this with the launch of Matchless, a 7.1% ABV Robust Porter. This isn’t your grandpappy’s Porter, however, as it had an addition of raspberry and coconut after fermentation was complete. The raspberry is coming through subtly, with dark chocolate on the palate and the coconut in the finish. You’ll be able to find the first kegs at CAVOK Brewing and the Laundromat.

Baccalieu Trail has just added a new beer to their lineup, and it’s their first kettle-soured brew. A twist on the classic Gose style, Half Hour Ahead does include the addition of sea salt as any Gose should, but they also decided to add blueberries! Specifically, 20 lbs of dehydrated blueberries from Markland Cottage Winery, all of which was added directly into the fermenter. The deep-purple beer is tasting quite tart, with a strong blueberry presence in the flavour. It comes in at 5.3% ABV, and is currently available on tap at the brewery’s taproom, exclusively.

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider continues to put out new and interesting creations in their Something Different series with another entry now available. Rhubarb & Rosehips is a 7.0% ABV sparkling cider based on a juice blend from Golden Russet and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples that was infused with dried rose hips and fermented with rhubarb juice. Refreshing and bright, the rose hips bring a tartness that some might find similar to that of dried cranberry. Floral aromatics, a bit of red berry character, and a dry finish have this one sounding like a delicate delight. As always, $0.50 from every bottle will go to charity, this time it’s Rowan’s Room Respite & Development Centre in Middleton, NS.

Grimross has really been going hard with the Scratch series beers lately, as this week has not one, but two new ones to add to their growing list of one-offs. First up is Scratch #20: Living Roots Saison, a 5.7% ABV, 18 IBUs Saison named after the upcoming Living Root Music Festival in Fredericton (May 30th-June 2nd). Brewed with Pilsner malt and a mixture of flaked and malted Rye, it was hopped lightly with Calypso and Hallertau Mittelfruh. Fermented with a Brett and Saccharomyces blend from Escarpment Labs, the final beer has notes of “spice, considerable tangerine, light pepper, and dandelion”, and finishes nice and dry. You can grab it in pints and growlers, as well as cans, at Grimross, with cans available at ANBL stores any day now.

The next Scratch is on the American side of things, with Scratch #21: Session IPA. With a base of Maris Otter malt, they also blended in Golden Naked Oats, Honey malt, and Flaked Barley, lending some biscuit and granola character to the beer. Hopped late in the boil with Centennial and Delta, it was dry-hopped with a large addition of Calypso. The final beer lives up to its name at just 4% ABV (and 21 IBUs), and has lime, orange and grassiness on the palate, with an assertive bitterness. This one can also be found at the brewery (cans, on tap) starting today, with ANBL stores and licensees receiving it sometime next week.

TrailWay’s weekly Friday release today is an American IPA, which you may have guessed… however, this is the first beer they’ve fermented with a Kveik strain. Originating from Norway, this type of yeast ferments best at extremely warm – heck, even hot – temperatures, giving a wide variety of flavours and aromas. TW used the Voss Kveik strain from Escarpment Labs, and hopped the beer – which they’ve named Oculus –  “moderately” with Citra and Idaho 7. The result is a 6% ABV, full-bodied beer that is big in the citrus department. Available at the brewery today when they open at noon, on tap and in cans; kegs will be travelling across the province – and to Stillwell – over the coming days.

Lucky Moncton peoples can head on over to Tide & Boar, where the brewery has just released their latest beer, a Sour IPA named Millions of Peaches. This 7% ABV kettle sour features a grist that includes a large addition of oats, with lactose powder added in the boil to up the sweetness/body. Dry-hopped entirely with Citra, the beer was further conditioned on Fuzzy Peach candy (yep!) and peach puree. To tell you that the beer is tasting sour and peachey… well, it does, but we kinda think you could have figured that one out for yourselves! Limited availability, on tap at the brewpub only!

If you’re sight-seeing in the Lunenburg area, check out Shipwright Brewing, which has just tapped “Choc”-A-Block, their latest beer. A “Rye Stout”, it of course includes an addition of Rye malt in the grist, which gives a touch of spice in the finish, which goes well with the cacao and roasted coffee notes from the darker grains used in the brew. 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can grab it at the brewery right now in pints, growler, and crowlers. It should also be available on tap at the Grand Banker.

If you were at the NS Craft Beer Week Full House event, you might have stopped by the Garrison booth and tried a new IPA that they were quietly debuting that uses “American Noble Hops”. Whether you know about hops or not, you might wonder, “What the hell is that?” Well, we’ve mentioned the Cryo hop products from Yakima Chief – Hopunion (YCH) in previous posts, which allow brewers to get significantly more bang for their buck out of high-aroma and -bittering hop varieties by using less hop material and seeing less liquid (beer!) absorbed and lost. As it turns out, however, there’s a byproduct to the cryo extraction process that’s also been released to the market, the leaves and bract from the hop flowers that don’t have the same oil or alpha acid content of the cryo products, but which do maintain quite a bit of aroma and flavor. The name “American Noble Hops” seeks to qualify this product with brewers in terms of the classic low-alpha varieties from Continental Europe. Not a great name, no, but the alternative was apparently “Debittered Leaf” so… Anyway, Garrison has embraced these new hops in the first release in their new Hop Trip IPA series, starting with Hop Trip: American Noble Citra, a 6.2% ABV and 30 IBU beer in the NEIPA-ish style. Smooth and drinkable, thanks to those low alpha acid numbers, the beer still maintains plenty of Citra character, with mandarin, lemon, and lychee coming to the fore. Even better, this beer (and the beers to come in the series) has been canned in 355 mL cans, available this weekend at the Brewery for $2.99 each or 4 for $11.99. So if you’re a hop lover but can’t always justify a tall can, you might have plenty of reason to celebrate this one. Stay tuned for other entries in the series, we’ve been advised that a Hop Trip Brut IPA is in the offing as well.

Not too many beery events to tell you about this weekend, so use this as an excuse to get out and support your local brewery, or local bar who supports your local breweries, and toast their efforts. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give you one last reminder that whether you’re in Moncton or St John’s, there is a Beer Fest in your backyard, which can be a good way to drink your way through the beer landscape. Both events feature local craft beer alongside macro and foreign producers, so if you wanted to try the latest batch of Silver Bullet to see if it still tastes the same now that you’ve left that type of beer behind, now’s your chance.

Next Wednesday, Matt and Dave from Toronto’s Burdock Brewing will be taking over the taps at Stillwell, hot off the heels of a collaborative pairing dinner at Little Oak the evening before (sorry, all sold out, folks!). Featuring the full variety of Burdock’s offerings, including the modern styles like Vermont Blond and IPA, wine-inspired (and -infused) Baby Riesling and a trio of BUMOs, and barrel-aged funky beers like Auko and Flur. Check out Stilly’s social media for the full list (which also includes the debut of a collaboration between Burdock and another brewery (ed. note, we incorrectly said it was with Stillwell Brewing originally), and come prepared to spend some time on May 29th.

Just a handful more beers to tell you about before we send you on your way!

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing is following up the release of last month’s “Pretzel Ale” with Lemon Kilmister. A “Lemon Blonde” that was hopped with Amarillo and given an addition of fresh lemon peel. Look for it on tap at The Joyce, Saint John Ale House, and Fredericton’s York St. ANBL for growler fills.

Sackville, New Brunswick’s, Bagtown Brewing has released a small batch of their take on a Farmer’s Double IPA this week. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, it features the use of Cascade hops from local Wysmykal Farm to the tune of 60 IBU, and was bumped up with blueberries from Blueridge Berries in town. With such a limited production size, we definitely suggest dropping into the taproom and beergarden at 62 Main Street for a taste!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg BrewCo debuted a new beer this week, Brett Who? This 6.0% ABV beer was fermented with both brewer’s yeast and Brettanomyces for a light bodied and dry beer, with the iconic funky character that Brett imparts. Available now on tap for samples and pints in their taproom.

Newfoundland’s Dildo Brewing Company debuted a new one this week, playing on a question we imagine gets asked all over the world …Where the Helles Dildo? For those of us fortunate enough to know the answer, we’ll be rewarded with a German Helles, Dildo’s first Lager. This 6.5% ABV pale lager toes the line with malt and hops playing nicely together for an easily quaffable beer. Drop by the brewery this weekend to grab a pint or growler, and to tell the world, I know where the Helles Dildo!

Niche Brewing has brought back another of their popular beers this week: Ethos is their Brett saison, a lightly tart, dry, and funky beer brewed with their house culture. It’s going out to their usual New Brunswick accounts and will very likely also make an appearance in Halifax at Stilwell and/or the Stillwell Beer Garden.

Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has a brand new beer on tap these days. Belgian Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV brew reminiscent of those in Europe, with notes of toffee and toast from the malt, along with a complementing yeast character. As always, the best place to grab a sample, pint, or growler is at the source, at 75 Conception Bay Hwy, open today from 4 PM.

This weekend marks the return of another one of Greg Nash’s hop hammers at Unfiltered, namely Riddle of Steel. Touted as a hybrid of West Coast and New England IPA styles, it’s 7% and available for fills, pints and in cans, thank Crom!! Also available in cans at the retail shop this weekend are Twelve Years to Zion, All Falc’d Up, and Warning Label.

Crikey. Are we going to mention the weather in our intro this week? Damn skippy we are! It’s been the kind of May that makes you wonder why March hasn’t ended in our region, but that’s not stopping our regional beer scene from plowing forward towards the summer season that we’re sure will arrive for a couple of days, maybe by late August. We’ve got yet another new brewery opening, plenty of new releases and re-releases, and a bunch of lovely-sounding beer-related events to tell you about. So bundle up, strap in, grab a beer, and get reading!

After months of anticipation, Bannerman Brewing in downtown St. John’s opened last weekend. Located at 90 Duckworth Street, the brewery and taproom are located in a former fire station, constructed after the Great Fire of 1892. Named after nearby Bannerman Park, the brewery features a 15 BBL (1750 litre) brewhouse from DME Brewing, and a bright and inviting taproom. They have launched with six beer offerings: a Lager, Saison, Fruited Sour, Pale Ale, IPA, and Double IPA, and have several more waiting in the wings. In addition to beer, their kitchen is open and keeping visitors’ bellies full as well. The concentration is on snacks and street food with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options; tacos available three ways (cod, brisket or veggie), banh mi sandwich, cauliflower steaks, and thai lettuce cups. The taproom is open daily (except Tuesday), Mon, Wed, and Thurs 4 – 11, Fri 3 – 12, Sat 12 – 12, Sun 12 – 11 (with extended hours 12 – 11 Victoria Day Monday). Pop in for a pint and a feed, and leave with a growler of your favourite(s)! Congratulations to the entire Bannerman Family.

Moving from one island to another, we’re happy to announce that Red Island Cider in Charlottetown is opening their doors today. Their fermentory and taproom at 101 Longworth Avenue opens today 2 – 8 PM. They will have three ciders available to visitors: Father Walker’s (a traditional dry cider), The Devonport (hopped cider), and the first of their revolving seasonal Ghost Ship series, a dry semi-sweet cider. With live music from 6:30 PM, and food provided in the taproom from next door’s bar.1911, this will be the place to go this afternoon. They are also open tomorrow 2 – 8 PM, and open Wed to Sat with the same hours. Congratulations!

Let’s skip back to Newfoundland for another new release taking flight in Mount Pearl. We teased it a bit last week, but now have the full details. Teaming up with the nearby Admiralty Museum and their new “Field to Flight” exhibition, the folks at Landwash Brewery have released Field to Flight Pale Ale. Using malted Wheat and Barley from PEI’s Shoreline Malting, and East Kent Golding from England, this is truly a Transatlantic beer. The 5.5% ABV beer features a herbal and spicy hop profile on top of the bread and biscuit malt, and fruity kick from their house yeast. Available at the brewery now for pints and flights and in growlers and cans to go.

If you happen to be near Port Rexton Brewing this weekend, there’s a special, draught-only beer currently pouring that we think you’ll want to try! Do you remember Nor’easter? Released in bottles in late December of 2017, this beer was a Porter that was brewed and aged in two red wine barrels, along with 30 lbs (each barrel) of fresh, local partridgeberries. The first barrel was bottled, while the second barrel spent an additional 16+ months aging… and that’s what you can taste if you get to the taproom right now! This Nor’easter is exhibiting as “beautifully-balanced red wine meets medium-dark chocolate in the aroma and on the palate”. Still showing some tartness from the partridgeberry addition, it has a medium body and weighs in at 7.4% ABV. No growler fills of this one, so bring your drinking boots!

Two South Shore Nova Scotia breweries, namely Shelburne’s Boxing Rock and Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company, have teamed up on a new collaboration IPA they’re calling Swing Thru. With aromas of lemon, apricot, peach and even a bit of coconut, and flavors of pine resin, lemon zest, and grapefruit, this 6.3% ABV beer was quadruple dry-hopped to maximize those aromas and flavors. With an amber-bronze color, it’s slightly hazy and the finish might remind you a little bit of lemon candy. Currently only available at Boxing Rock and Saltbox, fear not, social media is showing a label, so you might reasonably expect it to have been packaged and possibly making its way to other places (like the BR Bottle Shop at Local Source Market in Halifax).

Never a brewery to rest simply because they’re coming down from NSCBW, Big Spruce has two new releases for this week, as well as a returning favourite. The first newbie is Viva la Mandarina, a 7.4% ABV hazy IPA. Intensely-hopped with Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra (who doesn’t love those three hops?), the beer also had an addition of organic (natch!) Mandarin orange juice. Super tropical, as you probably expected, with “notes of sun-ripe pineapple, passion fruit, guava, and light pine”, and orange, cantaloupe and clementine on the nose. Finishing with a “long, tangerine peel bitterness”, it’s available only on tap . The second brew is on the opposite side of the spectrum; Duplicitous is a dark Saison that was hopped with Magnum and Tettnang, and then aged in three Marechal Foch barrels for 8 months, along with sun-dried Bing cherries and fresh sweet cherries. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV, there’s barrel character in the aroma, with “notes of Spanish sherry and fresh cherry pie on the palate”. Some earthiness from the hop additions to complement, this one is available in kegs only as well. Finally, Death Cookies NEIPA is back, but only a limited number of kegs will be pouring, so grab it while ya can! And if you’re looking for another excuse to head to the brewery this weekend, this week they kicked off their Food Truck being open for the season, which is open Wed-Sun, 11:30 – 7 PM.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing Company and Everwood Avenue Brewshop have teamed up on a collaboration beer in a style rarely (if ever) seen in these parts. Would you believe that there’s a German-inspired beer from Brazil? Thanks to a strong German influence dating back to colonial times, brewers took the sour, refreshing nature of Berliner Weisse and married it to the beautiful fresh fruit growing in abundance all around them. This keeps with the tradition of adding fruit syrups to Berliner Weisse, but in a more immediate way. Moderately sour, fully-attenuated, and with little to no grain or hop character, the goal of Catharina Sour is a fruity and refreshing drink for hot weather. The team stayed true to the style, using Passion Fruit and Mango, yielding a fairly light 5% ABV beer they’re calling El Fuego with a tart character and plenty of fruit aromatics and flavor. The official release date is May 22nd, when Everwood will be on hand at the New Scotland taproom for their first Customer Appreciation Night, but you’ll find it already on tap there now and soon at Battery Park.

Most (all?) Canadian breweries involved in the annual Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration 12-pack (featuring a collaboration beer from one brewery from each province/territory brewed at Central City Brewing in B.C.) end up coming home to brew the same beer on their own system (aside: and the winner of worst sentence ever goes to…). Luckily for residents of Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche Brewing – representative of NS of this year’s collaboration pack – is no exception! Ocean’s Playground is a Belgian Tripel brewed with Belgian Pilsner malt, along with a bit of wheat and dextrose. Hopped with Styrian Goldings and Saaz to 30 IBUs, and dry-hopped with a bit more Saaz, it was fermented with Escarpment Lab’s Ardennes strain. It’s kegs only for this 8.2% ABV release, and it’s already going fast! You should be able to find it on tap at Tata, and at a few select accounts (we should also mention that half of the batch is currently aging in barrels, along with some interesting cultures!). The Red Racer version – which won a Bronze medal at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards – will likely be hitting liquor stores in the Atlantic provinces soon, so you should be able to grab cans at that point. When you do, you’ll be also able to enjoy the collabs done with Grimross, Copper Bottom, and Port Rexton.

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing has just released High Water Helles, a German Helles that you may remember as originally being released under the moniker Scratch #15: German Helles last November. Losing the “Scratch” in the name means that this one will be available on a larger scale, but it’s still keeping the qualities of the initial beer, with a few slight tweaks to the recipe. Originally designed in collaboration with Darlings Island Farm, this golden-coloured, medium-bodied beer was brewed with German Pilsner malt, hopped with Santium, and fermented with the brewery’s house Lager yeast. Dry-hopped with more Santium, the beer was lagered for about six weeks before packaging. The final beer is clean and refreshing, “with a moderate amount of herbal, grassy hop character, along with a touch of lemon citrus notes”. Coming in at 5.1% ABV and 21 IBUs, you can grab it on tap and in cans at the Grimross taproom right now, with cans hitting ANBL stores sometime next week.

Halifax’s Good Robot has a couple of returning beers and a brand new in the offing this week. First up, for those who missed them in their brief absence, both Creature Feature I, their hoppy and juicy biotransformation IPA and El Espinazo del Diablo, their Mexican Lager with jalepeño and lime are both back in full effect. Coming up soon is a new beer made in collaboration with Aquakultre to celebrate the release of the album HOLOS with Ghettosocks (Aquakultre + Ghettosocks = Aquasocks) and to help fundraise for Aquakultre’s own debut album, Legacy, coming next year. We’ll have an album release party to tell you about in the near future where you can try the beer and check out the album, but for now we’ve been advised to let you know that Legacy Lager is a Pilsner and you’ll be tasting pineapple. Lastly, for those following the trials and tribulations of the GR Sabco system, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s back up and running and Kelly will be getting the BetaBrew program back on the road Real Soon Now™.

Good news for you Tidehouse fans, as they’re finishing up their expansion to a 5 hL system and will finally be able to start kegging more beers for bars and restaurants in the HRM. You can still drink in their tiny little taproom, of course (in fact, we/they encourage it!), but if you can’t make it there, rest assured that you’ll soon be able to find your TH favourites at other locations. Also as a result of this expansion, they plan on having regular stock of 650 mL bottles of their Hibiscus City (Gose w/ lime zest and hibiscus) available. But not just at the brewery! You can now find bottles at Bishop’s Cellar and Liquid Assets, making it even easier to take home (or travel with) a TH brew.

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery is throwing their hat in the very large NEIPA ring with their first official stab at the style, Vermont is for Lovers. Definitely dangling at the upper end of the ABV range at 8% ABV, the wort was hopped with Mosaic and Citra, and then double-dry-hopped with more of the same, giving a whole whack of citrus flavours and aromas, with a moderate bitterness in the finish (IBUs coming in somewhere south of 40). You can grab it right now at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and it will be available in cans sometime next week.

So, what’s on the go this weekend (and beyond)? Let’s get you up to date right now!

This is certainly the weekend of the Beer Gardens, as the weather has turned positive (and sometimes even breaking into double digits!) and we can’t stay cooped up drinking all year long! Opening for their first year of operation is Euston Park Social, located at 5 Euston Street in Moncton. Featuring the now-popular shipping-container-converted-to-bar setup, they are pouring a dozen beer, cider and kombucha options from across the province, and pairing with a small menu of paired food options. Open Mon – Fri 11 AM – midnight, Sat and Sun 10 AM – midnight, with a brunch menu until 4 PM on the weekend. And be sure to pop by on May 24th for the official Grand Opening celebration.

Also opening in the area is Buddha Bear’s Riverview bar, on the edge of the Petitcodiac River at 391 Coverdale Road. With a dozen beers, including a rotating selection of their own Holy Whale as well as other New Brunswick bevvies, there’s something for everyone. They are opening at 4 PM this afternoon, going until 9 PM. Saturday and Sunday they will be open 2 – 5 PM, and Monday 1 – 5 PM. As with all of the Beer Gardens we’re mentioning today, openings are weather-dependent, so check the skies before you head down.

In Halifax, this weekend also marks the opening of the Stillwell Beer Garden at 5688 Spring Garden Rd. Opening later this weekend (we’re not not exactly sure when so keep an eye on social media and the SBG link above which is updated when they are), they’ll be pouring their favourite stellar selection of beers from across the region (and beyond) on tap and in cans. The food options in the BG has changed this year, with Beverley Taco Service taking over the helm. If you’ve wondered what those cryptic flyers and call-in number were for, now ya know! Freshly-made tortillas, made with heirloom corn that they’ve milled themselves, and a rotating fun and funky list of toppings will make these hand-held-heros the perfect pairing to your sunny afternoon/evening pint.

And finally, hop across the ferry to Battery Park, who opened their backyard patio yesterday, and hopes to have it open all weekend long (rain, rain, go away, come back… in October). With long picnic tables and a mini container with a selection of beer, wine, and cider pouring, a little green respite in downtown Dartmouth is just what the doctor ordered to get over your S.A.D.

We mentioned in our post at the beginning of NSCBW that Meander River is having a big 5th Anniversary Party, but we thought it prudent to remind you that it’s tomorrow, Saturday, May 18th, starting at 11 AM, at the brewery out in Ashdale, NS. Those who visited the Meander Farm Brewery table at the Full House event last weekend got a sneak peek of two products that will be featured at the party, namely Little Big Lager, a “big brewery-style” light lager at 4.2% ABV and the return of Honey’d the small-batch cider at 5.5% ABV that folks can’t seem to get enough of. Both have been packaged in bottles, meaning you’ll also be able to take some to go!

If you live in/near Dieppe and like beer and food (who doesn’t!), there’s going to be a Flying Boats Beer Tasting & Food Pairing next Thursday, May 23rd, at the Oval Lounge in the Hotel Wingate Dieppe. Featuring four different Flying Boats beers, each paired with a different course, head brewer/owner Marc Melanson will be on hand to discuss beer styles, ingredients, etc. Tickets are $35 each; call 506-830-8330 to reserve yours.

Do you like beer? How about Square Dancing? If the answer to both (or either, really) of those is, “yes,” and you’re going to be in the general environs of Mabou, NS, next weekend, consider popping in to the Brook Village Square Dance & Beer Fest hosted by Brook Village Grocery and going down at the Brook Village Hall (in Brook Village!) on Saturday, May 25th, from 6:30 – 9:30 PM. Tickets are $30 plus taxes and are available through EventBrite. There will be lots of music, plenty of dancing, and craft beer and cider from all over Nova Scotia (and a few from PEI)!

Next week marks the beginning of the 14th Annual Atlantic Beer Festival in Moncton, with three separate sessions being held between Friday and Saturday, May 24th-25th. This year’s event will feature more than 70 breweries, with over 175 different types of beer and cider pouring. There will also be live music, as well as several options for food. Tickets are still available for all sessions – Friday 7:30 – 10 PM, Saturday 2:30 – 5 PM and 7:30 – 10 PM – for $59.50 each; check out the event link to purchase yours.

Big Spruce continues their recent trend of beer events in the city, this time partnering up with 2 Doors Down Bar + Bites for a dinner event on Thursday, May 30th at 6:30 PM. Entitled “Bitter v. Bitter” it will feature four unique dishes from Chef Melwyn Chettiar that he has designed to pair with the bitter components of each of four Big Spruce beers selected by Big Spruce head honcho Jeremy White. Chef Chettiar is no stranger to pairing beer and food, having served up at the Eat Drink Halifax event on a couple of occasions, so you can expect well considered pairings. In addition to the 4oz pours of beer accompanying the food, there will also be three cocktails served, beginning with a welcome “Kitchen Party” cocktail as you come in the door and continuing over the evening with two more of 2DD’s Craft Beer cocktails (featuring Big Spruce beer, of course). Steven Heisler, head bartender for the Chives/2DD restaurant group and a beer sommelier, will be the host, Jeremy will be in attendance to providing insight into the beers, and Chef/Proprietor Craig Flinn is also expected to make an appearance. Tickets are $75 per person (includes gratuity) and with 2DDBB being a pretty small space, you’ll want to move quickly as there’s not a lot of them. This would be a great event for a craft beer lover who’s interested in cocktail culture, a cocktail fan who’s curious about craft beer, or someone who just loves good food and drink. Call 902.448.1898 to reserve your spot.

We wouldn’t be us if we didn’t have a couple more quick things for you to read down here at the end of the post:

The hirsute hop-harping hooligans of 902BrewCast have another episode up this week, their May Tasting Episode. Tune in via your favorite podcast player to hear them wax poetic about various and sundry, including their consensus picks for handsomest ACBeerBlog writer (hint: it’s not who you think) and Most Glorious 902BrewCast beard (hint: it’s totally who you think).

Our favourite brewery in Hanwell, New Brunswick, has brought back a bright refreshing favourite for the “warmer” days we’re experiencing. Niche Brewing’s Margarita Gose is a 3.5% ABV kettle sour with lots of wheat in the grist, and no hops to distract, allowing the souring process and other ingredients take centre stage. Those other ingredients, btw, are light additions of salt and coriander to keep the beer true to the Gose style, and then kicked up with a round of conditioning on fresh lime zest (work those forearms, boys!). This zingy sipper is available around Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John, and will pop up in Halifax (including during the Battle of the Breweries Battle at HopYard Halifax next Thursday, May 23rd, when they take on Big Spruce and Roof Hound Brewing).