2 Crows Brewing

All posts tagged 2 Crows Brewing

Another week of positive news in the region’s response to the pandemic, with very few new and ongoing cases, the provinces continue to relax restrictions and allow more businesses to re-open, including big news from Newfoundland, where they entered Alert Level 3 of COVID recovery this week. That means folks can enlarge their social interactions beyond their double bubble, engage in some outdoor sports and recreation, and restaurants are allowed to open (while still maintaining physical distancing for patrons). This means the local breweries are able to send beer out to licensees, and for those able, can open their own on-site dining and taproom spaces, so be sure to keep an eye on your local’s social media page.

Let’s kick off this week’s post with news from breweries across Newfoundland, including Western, Eastern, and Bonavista regions. Let’s start in Deer Lake, where Rough Waters Brewing calls home. They have just released their first Double IPA, simply named Pandemic. The label sports a picture of The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, a name Newfoundlanders have learned over the past three months, giving guidance and advice, reporting on the recovery efforts, and sometimes having to put folks in their place when looking for loopholes. The beer brewed in celebration of Haggie’s efforts is 7.7% ABV, and features loads of Azacca, Centennial, and Chinook, including 3 separate dry-hopping additions, resulting in big tropical and citrus aromatics, and a little bit of haze (that’s how you know it’s working!). This is a limited release, available at their retail shop at 83 Wights Road with new hours established today (1 – 5 PM, Tuesday to Saturday). You can organize a no-contact curbside pickup (email info@roughwatersbrewing.com or message them through Facebook or Instagram), or if you can’t make it there in person, via delivery to Norris Point and Rocky Harbour (reach out the same way), with this week’s deliveries going out Friday (but maybe if you get in ASAP there will be some for the next delivery). Sorry, no Pandemic DIPA heading East, though you can find five other RWBC options at St. John’s NLC locations for purchase.

Let’s head East to the Bonavista Peninsula, where Port Rexton Brewing Company has recently released their version of the All Together world-wide collaboration. Hosted by Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn, this New England IPA was conceived with the goal of supporting the service and hospitality industries in breweries’ regions, hit very hard by the closures mandated to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. PRBC joins TrailWay in Fredericton, and 2 Crows in Halifax to take part (more info on that one below). Read more about it here. Ensuring even more proceeds go to the deserving parties, White Cactus Branding and Maritime Labels donated design and printing of the labels, which features an amazing picture of a recent visitor to Port Rexton, taken by Danielle Lethbridge. Port Rexton’s version stays true to the original, weighing in at 6.5% ABV, and featuring boatloads of whirlpool- and dry-hopping, resulting in massive tropical fruit punch flavour and aroma, with very little bitterness. They have also brought back a few favourites, including a re-stock of their Sea Buckthorn Sour, a collaboration with St. John’s Toslow restaurant. Not sitting on their laurels, the crew added an extra 25% sea buckthorn puree to the beer, giving even more character than the previous batch. And returning after a few months off is Long Trek Lager, their 5.0% ABV Munich Helles, ready to be stowed in your backpack for the adventures ahead. All of these releases are available for ordering and pick up now! A note, there are new instructions for their St. John’s Retail Shop: Online stock is refreshed each Thursday morning, so you can set your order for the weekend, and pick up at  286 Torbay Road Thursday and Friday, 12 – 7 PM, or Saturday, 12 – 5 PM. To grab it at the source, check this link, and pop by Friday and Saturday, 12 – 6 PM. And they are joined once again by Oh My Cheeses! food truck (open the same hours), giving you the perfect lunch or dinner accompaniment. No inside dining for the time being, b’ys!

Let’s head Southeast, to Mount Pearl, to be precise… where Landwash Brewery released a “Tiny Pale Ale” earlier this week, named after some very Tiny Fish. The stickleback, also known as prickly fish, are found all around Newfoundland, hanging out in brackish waters and tidepools, and have spines along their dorsal fins (you know, sticky backs…). Prickly Fish is a 4.5% ABV Session APA/IPA sorta thing, featuring hopping in the boil and conditioning tank with Sorachi Ace, Ekuanot, and Bru-1, giving great harmonious notes of coconut, orange, and other tropical fruit on a hazy base. It is joined by the return of their Green Nap Hazy IPA series, with this release featuring Simcoe and Amarillo hops, giving off dank citrus, mango skin, and dried apricots, with a bit more bite than their That Much Ocean NEIPA. Both are available for order and pickup through their online store, now open 12 – 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and we highly recommend coordinating your timing to grab something from Saucy Mouth, who continue their residency at the brewery the same days, 4- 8 PM. And keep your eyes open for news on the in-taproom enjoyment front, as the Landwash folks are busy making some moves in the direction, to be able to welcome you inside real soon.

One last stop on the Rock, as Quidi Vidi has a pair of small batch releases available for sale at their Hops Shop this week. First up is the Imperial Baltic Porter, an 8.0% ABV beast of a beer with plenty of chocolate and roast notes, with a bit of toffee and dried fruit character. Joining it is the Czech Pilsner, a 5.0% ABV continuation of the Continental European styles they’ve been dabbling in lately, opting for an unfiltered version, with light grain notes and a touch of bread crust and toast, with a slightly bitter finish. How do you get hold of these? Head to their online shop and choose “Pick Up Order” (both of these new ones are small batch releases, in the Hop Shop only), fill out your request, give them some time to pack it together, then head down for pick up. They are also running deliveries for other cans and bottles, Tuesday – Saturday afternoons, accessible from the same page, choosing the “Home Delivery Order” button. Be sure to keep any “Pick Up Only” items out of your cart, or you’re gonna have a bad time. 

We’ve heard of a brand new beer in the wild from Hanwell’s Niche Brewing, so let’s get you up to speed on this one. A “return to hoppiness” for them, Peaks Island is a 6.0% ABV hoppy hazy NEIPA. Named after the island in Casco Bay just offshore of Portland, Maine, a town home to many well-made NEIPAs (and sometimes you just need to escape them all for an afternoon!). Starting with a base of 2-row and Pilsner malts, with additions of flaked oats and wheat, as well as a touch of CaraHell, the star of the show is definitely the hops, with a variety used throughout. First hopped in the kettle with Chinook and El Dorado, it was dry-hopped with plenty of Ekuanot and Galaxy. The combination leads to a low- to mid-range bitterness, with a ton of tropical fruit on the nose and tongue, complemented with a bit of green pepper character from the Ekuanot. You can grab the first pints of these in Fredericton at The Joyce Pub and in Saint John at Peppers Pub, and may be picked up elsewhere if you’re lucky!

The worldwide collaboration brew started by New York City’s Other Half Brewing to support hospitality professionals during COVID-19 times, All Together, continues to be brewed by breweries, and late last week 2 Crows is releasing their iteration. This 6.5% ABV American IPA was brewed with 2-row, flaked oats, and Carapils; hopped in the boil with Columbus, and lots of Mosaic and Cascade in the hopback, it was later heavily dry-hopped with more Mosaic and Cascade, along with Simcoe and Citra. As you may be guessing… hoppy juice bomb alert! Specifically, “overripe mango, passion fruit, clementine, papaya, and a touch of pine”, if you’re into that sort of thing (you are). Some of the ingredients in this brew were graciously donated by local suppliers, and a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to Halifax’s Laing House, a non-profit organization that helps youth facing mental health challenges. In addition, 2C is also giving a portion of proceeds to their taproom employees, who have seen a reduction in hours as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ⁣You can grab it in cans and on tap at the brewery. And in other 2C news, their non-alcoholic carbonated water, Hop Water, is back in stock… refreshing, guilt-free, and with a nice hop presence of Citra, it’ll go down even easier in this warmer weather than it did before!

Elsewhere in the province, Roof Hound’s Kingston location is launching a new beer today when they open at noon, Fuzzy Navel IPA. Inspired by the cocktail of the same name, this hazy, juicy brew was hopped with lots of Summit, and features additions of orange juice and housemade peach purée. It comes in at 6.5% ABV, and is definitely tasting reminiscent of that drink you may have tried when you were younger, only it’s better, because it’s beer, you know? Available on tap and in bottles to go; the brewery is still doing home deliveries, so that’s an option as well.

These Kveik yeast strains are all the rage now, ain’t they? Luckily, there’s lots of good reasons for that, and Hampton Brewing is betting that you’ll love their latest beer, Koselig (pronounced “koos-uh-lee”), which was fermented with the Ebbegarden Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Brewed with the malt base of a previous release of theirs, Mosaic Blonde, they’ve increased the dry hop (we’re betting it’s Mosaic!) with this beer; that and the yeast combine to give “flavours of guava and mango, and aromas of tropical and stone fruit”. Definitely not your typical Blonde Ale! Coming in around the mid-5% ABV range, the first kegs can be found pouring at Grass Roots Grill and the Hampton Golf Course.

In Lunenburg, NS, Shipwright Brewing has a new beer available that they’d love you to try. Shoreline Export Ale is a 5.2% ABV Golden Ale brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Light Munich malts, and hopped with Saaz and Hallertau Blanc. Featuring notes of honey and biscuit, with a balanced bitterness (22 IBUs), it’s meant to be one of those easy-drinking styles, yet with a lovely mix of hop and malt character, all in a clean package. You can grab crowlers to go from the brewery right now, and it should be pouring on tap soon at the Grand Banker

Riverdale Orchard in Bonshaw is open today, and this weekend, for retail sales of bottles and baked goods, and are also running a hot meal take-out special this afternoon and evening, featuring pulled pork in Scottish Rolls. The best way to success is via pre-orders on their site, and you will receive an email with a day/time confirmation. In addition to their award-winning 2 Scots 3 Apples flagship, they now have 2 Scots Go Wild, their low-intervention cider made with solely wild apples grown right on their property, and fermented with the naturally-occurring yeasts during a low and slow process, and has been maturing for 5 months before bottling. No sulphites added either! This 5.5% ABV dry cider features a heavy fruity undertone, letting the apple shine through.

Up in Northern New Brunswick, in Bathurst to be specific, Four Rivers is quite pleased to announce the availability of their first barrel-aged beers. Both based on a stout (the same one, we think), they got different barrel treatments for 7 months before 2 additional months of conditioning in the bottle: La Grande Hermine spent it’s time in a Shiraz barrel and Eau de Vie was cognac. Both beers finished at 5.5% ABV and due to the size of the barrels and the aging process, there’s only 200 (or so) 750 mL of each, so they’ll have bottle limits per customer per day and they won’t be accepting reservations. They will, however, be opening an hour early tomorrow specifically for the release, so if you’re in that area of NB and have a hankering for some barrel-aged goodness a trip to the brewery is probably better done earlier than later!

Let’s end this week’s main stories the same place we started, in Newfoundland! Split Rock Brewing in Twillingate has recently released their newest one-off brew, Dry-Hopped Rye Ale. They started with a grist chock full of rye malt, and added a hefty amount of Willamette and East Kent Goldings hops in the boil. Fermented with the brewery’s house English yeast, the final beer was dry-hopped with more Willamette and EKG, before packaging. At 6.3% ABV, it’s tasting “slick and full-bodied, with notes of spice, earth and honey”. Available right now at the brewery in 473 mL cans.

Well, the week got away from us (Chris!), and we didn’t get to put together the big list of re-openings that we had hoped to. For those in Nova Scotia, please check out Kim Hart Macneill’s guide to brewery reopenings and we aim to add our own deep dive into all Atlantic provinces this weekend. If you want to tell us if we’ve missed anything (y’know, like the entire province of New Brunswick), fire us an email! A few notable spots that popped up on our radar:

Newfoundland:

Bannerman Brewing has opened their cafe and restaurant today, with coffee and beer from 8:30 AM until midnight daily (closed Mon and Tues). Baked goods in the morning, with their kitchen operating with a reduced menu 3 – 9 PM. They have suspended their Curbside and To-Go service, as well as filling growlers (this one should just be temporary).

Dildo Brewing has opened their brewery taproom and restaurant for the year, open daily from 11 AM, closing at 8 PM Fri and Sat, 7 PM Sun – Thurs.

Nova Scotia:

Bar Stillwell Barrington is now open, Tuesday – Thursday 4 – 11 PM, Friday – Sunday 12 – 11 PM. RSVP required (902-421-1672). The Spring Garden Beergarden is also open, weather permitting, 12 – 11 PM daily. No resos needed. Canned beers (and other packaged product) can be added to a takeout food order. No word yet on the Freehouse’s re-opening. 

Battery Park is now open for in-person dining, from 3 PM during the week, and noon on weekends. The North Brewing shop onsite follows the same guidelines, check here for more details.

Big Spruce Brewing is opening their taproom, as well as their on-site food truck today, with pints and flights, as well as a full menu of options.

HopYard Halifax is now open for onsite and takeout, 12 – 9 PM daily. Reservations recommended.

Stubborn Goat’s location on Grafton Street is open from 11:30 AM until late Monday – Friday, and from 10:30 AM on the weekend. Their rooftop patio is open, weather permitting. The Beer Garden is open 11 – 11 daily, weather permitting.

Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse is back open for dining, from 11:30 AM until 8 PM, Tuesday through Saturday (closed between 2 and 4 PM, Tues through Thursday, and open until 9 PM Fri and Sat).

North Brewing has resumed in-store retail purchases, to complement their contact-less pickup and delivery options. The taproom is also open again, for on-site enjoyment and eats thanks to the folks at Side Hustle Snack Bar.

Prince Edward Island:

HopYard is open 11:30 AM – 11 PM daily, for sit-down or take-out options.

Bogside Brewing has re-opened their taproom and patio for onsite dining and imbibing, with The Wheelhouse providing food options for folks. They are open daily (except Monday), 12 – 7 PM.

Lone Oak Brewing has re-opened the taproom for pints and flights, and have the Terry’s Berries Food Truck set up onsite noon til 7 PM daily. And are working towards a more permanent kitchen setup inside, for year-round food service.

And if you’ve been missing the shorter newsbites section you’re in luck, as we’ve got a bunch for you today:

Grimross has a fresh batch of Hop Blonde (6% ABV, 23 IBUs) on tap at the brewery today; you can grab it in prefilled 750 mL and 1.89 L bottles/growlers, and it should also be popping up at restaurants and bars across NB. Look for the next batch to be available in cans.

Lazy Bear just released their latest beer, Balancing Rock Ale, at the brewery for growlers and pints. Brewed with a blend of Vienna malts and lightly-hopped, it weighs in at just 4.5% ABV.

Newfoundland’s Secret Cove Brewing is now canning, and have re-released their Come Home Beer, an Apricot Wheat Ale, with a temporarily-new name, Stay Home Beer (we’re sure you can figure out why). “Tart and juicy”, you can grab cans at the brewery’s Curb Shop, which means you do have to leave home…. *brain explodes*

If you’re looking for a job this summer, why not consider applying at your local brewery for a position? If you leave in or near the Chester area of Nova Scotia, Tanner & Co. is currently hiring for the summer; check out this link for more details.

Timber Ship Brewing has announced that they are re-releasing their popular How She Goin’, a “Honey Session Ale” again very soon (if not now!). Brewed with wildflower honey from My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm in Napan, NB, it’s light and crisp, with some slight aromas and flavours from the honey. 

We mentioned it last week, and now it’s a reality, Upstreet Brewing continues their Million Acres series this week with the release of Gamay Noir Saison, a saison aged on grape pomace. And we also mentioned the introduction of their Rewind vodka soda line of 5% ABV and 100 calorie alcopops; these are now available in 6 packs of 355 mL cans with the initial flavors of Raspberry Lemon Zest and Key Lime Sea Salt available now with Blood Orange Grapefruit coming soon!

Lots of good news stories of taprooms and restaurants opening back up again in New Brunswick, and that possibility coming in the next week in PEI with Phase #3 coming into effect June 1st, and June 5th in Nova Scotia, barring any major outbreaks in the next while. Physical distancing and safe practices make this a little more complicated than throwing the doors wide open, so we are encouraged by the innovations some businesses have already put together and are prepared to be impressed even more in the coming weeks. But news from Northern NB reminds us just how fragile the situation remains, so please be mindful of that! Enough Debbie Downer for now, let’s get onto the new beers!

Let’s start this week in the Hub of Nova Scotia, where Truro Brewing Company calls home. After a brief hiatus, they are back today with a full complement of canned products this week, including fresh batches of their Willow Street Wheat, Daytripper Session Ale, and Cobequid Bay IPA. And joining these offerings is Fortis, a Belgian Golden Strong. Weighing in at 8.6% ABV, this is a strong beer, much like the spirit of Nova Scotians who have been through so much lately. Featuring a grain bill of Pilsner malt, hopped with Ahtanum, and fermented with an Abbey-style yeast, to encourage some of those iconic fruity ester notes. Proceeds from sales of Fortis are being donated to support a bursary for women entering the trades, in honour of Emily Tuck, who was passionate about carpentry, welding, and playing violin. To get your own can of Fortis, or TBC’s other offerings, you can pop-by the brewery today and Saturday, 2 – 6 PM, using Click & Collecton their webstore, or delivery within the province for just $10.

It’s looking like some Halifax breweries are super keen this week, releasing several new beers all in one whack. One of these breweries is, of course, 2 Crows, who have four new beers coming out today… three of them in bottles, one in cans, all brewed as the same base beer, and all of them low-ABV! And hey, they’re even as much fun to say as they are – we assume – to drink! Let’s dive right in to this series of Berliner Weisses…

Zip (2.8%) – Brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, as well as some raw wheat, this brew was hopped with a small amount of aged East Kent Goldings… but was not boiled. Initially fermented with German Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs, the brewery also added two strains of Lactobacillus bacteria (brevis and plantarum for you beer geeks out there). After primary fermentation was complete, the beer was dry-hopped with a bit of Huell Melon, and a pitch of Escarpment’s Berliner Brett I was also added; the beer was then allowed to condition for several months. It was finally packaged in cans and conditioned with Champagne yeast. It’s tasting “super bright and dry, and drinks like a combo of Pet-Nat and lemon Sanpellegrino”. 

Zap (3.2%) – For this beer, a gin barrel-aged Berliner w/ raspberry, the wort underwent primary fermentation in a gin barrel with Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast. After conditioning in the barrel for 4 months, the beer was transferred onto 90 kg of raspberries for 8 weeks, then bottle-conditioned for 9 weeks. 

Zop (3.2%) – See the pattern here? This one was fermented the same as Zap, but in a freshly-emptied Mezcal barrel, and conditioned on 90 kg of black currants. Exhibiting lots of rich fruit character, it was bottled as well.

Zoup (3.2%) – Same again, but in a Sauvignon Blanc barrel and dry-hopped with 2 kg of dried woodruff for a week before bottling. 

Sounds great, no? The three latter beers are all bottled in clear bottles as well, exhibiting their beautiful colours even more easily! All four beers are available at the brewery today, and are a limited supply. Apologies to anyone who is suddenly thinking of aliens and elementary school French class.

Couple new beers coming out of Tidehouse this week as well; great timing, considering that they’re having their curbside pick-up for two days in a row, today and tomorrow. Their newest beer is Ocean Perle (5% ABV, but you can pretend it’s 5.440% if you like), brewed with Pilsner malt, hopped “assertively” with Perle, and fermented with Escarpement’s KRISPY, a blend of two different Kveik strains. It’s tasting dry, and yes, crispy, and is meant to be crushed in quantity. They’ve also got Rad Vlad, an 11.4% ABV Imperial Stout that is the same base beer as their Bad Vlad, but with some small changes to the fruit additions. Expect “far less raspberry, and a touch of blackberry/blueberry”, all on a roasty, chocolatey, boozy base. In addition to cans of both of these new beers, they’ve also got more cans of Noon Gun (a 3.4% hazy Session IPA w/ Vic Secret and Ella) and For Greg About It (7% American IPA with Citra, Galaxy and Mosaic). So, how can you get your hands on them? Today between 1-6PM, and tomorrow between 12 – 5 PM, call (902-407-2550) to place your order, pay by CC, debit, or EMT; wait 15 minutes or so for them to prep your order, then drop by Salter Street for a contactless grab and go! Easy peasy!

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has a new beer out this week, the West-Coast-inspired Double IPA. No need for fancy names when everything you need to know is right there, I guess! Well, almost everything, let’s fill you in a bit more: Building on their very popular The Vicar’s Cross, DIPA is 8.0% ABV, and thanks to plenty of hops added throughout the process, it features loads of pine, citrus, and tropical notes, and a soupçon of resin, finishing slightly dry, with a nice citrusy bitterness. Along with a half-dozen other recent releases, this fella is available in 473 ml cans at the brewery taproom in Shelburne, and via contactless delivery through their webstore on the South Shore and HRM.

Despite their taproom being closed (but not for much longer!), Propeller is still working on some fun pilot brews, and packaging them into bottles so that there isn’t a wait to enjoy them on tap. Their latest is Kveik Pale Ale, a 5.1% ABV hoppy beer fermented with a blend of Opshaug Kveik and London Fog yeast strains. Hopped heavily with Citra, Falconer’s Flight, and Ekuanot, the resulting beer is extremely aromatic, with plenty of complex fruit and citrus character throughout. With “aromas of peach and tropical fruit, balanced with subtle pine and earthiness” to satisfy all of your hop cravings, it has a “restrained bitterness” to balance, all in an easy-drinking package. There’s limited quantities available (750 mL bottles) in all three Prop Shops, and they’re still doing home delivery runs as well. And good news for Prop fans who were missing the possibility of a late-night beer run: their Gottingen Store has extended their hours to previous, with the shop open until midnight Friday and Saturday, and 10 PM Sundays. All other days are noon until 8 PM, with that 8 PM closing time also in effect at their new Quinpool location, as well as Windmill.

Moving over to Dartmouth, North Brewing has their own easy-drinking brew being released, a Blonde Ale named Gold Sounds. Brewed with a bit of Wheat malt on top of the base, and hopped with Vic Secret and Amarillo (not traditional varieties for your typical Blonde, but who’s complaining!), it’s meant to be refreshing and approachable, while still supplying your taste buds with enough complexity to keep them happy. It weighs in at 5% ABV and is available now for in-store pickup or home delivery.

Unfiltered Brewing has another in their line of 7.5% ABV banger beers, which has brought us DOA, Danko, and more recently, Satisfaction. This beer, Here it Comes… features the classic citrusy Chinook hop, Here it Comes…, plenty bitter as is expected in a big bold Double IPA, Here it Comes…, and is available now by the can and growler fill/exchange, Here it Comes…, either at the brewery for curbside pickup or local delivery. What’s the beer’s name? We’ll never tell!

We mentioned last week that Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co. are getting into the mead game, starting with their Original Mead and this week bringing Orange Ginger Mead. A portion of this one was boiled with, no surprise, fresh orange rind and ginger before being returned to the rest of the batch, which was fermented until dry and then carbonated. The result is a sparkling and crisp 8.9% ABV beverage that no doubt boasts some fruity citrus and spicy ginger character to go with the usual white wine-esque and floral traits that mead lovers know well. And now that we’ve gotten you excited by describing it to you, we’ve got some bad news: although it was only released on Wednesday, it’s already sold out, as is the Original Mead! So well done to Tanner for once again putting together a product that’s in high demand; we know we’ll see more meads from them in the coming weeks and months, and hopefully they’ll be remaking this one so more people can try it!

You may be aware that Halifax’s Good Robot is celebrating (has celebrated? sorry, we’re terrible with dates) their fifth birthday this month. And while COVID-19 restrictions obviously mean that there’s no possibility of having a big party with all their friends, they decided to treat themselves to a pretty big birthday present. Like 6 figures big. As announced last week in their characteristically offbeat way, the gang at GR will be installing a full-on canning line this summer, removing some of their reliance on both growler fills and on-site sales as well as helping bring some of their staff back to work. Although GR ran one of the most popular taprooms in the city and we know lots of folks who are eager to see them re-open, everybody is fully aware that 50% capacity and social distancing are absolutely going to take a bite out of revenue for months to come. So as is their wont, the gang is doubling down in a big way. Without having to engage an external packaging provider, they’ll have a little more freedom with their brew schedules and definitely a lot more opportunity to get product into retail locations other than their own, hopefully creating and maintaining alternative revenue streams until the taproom can go great guns again. And that means hiring back more staff, which is a good thing for all involved. While we understand that they’re likely super busy figuring out what reopening looks like for them as well as getting that new canning line up, running, and shipping out beer, watch this space for more news from GR about their summer releases, including more flavors of The Fizz, their hard seltzer (would you believe they’re going to do Moon Mist? Stay tuned!)

Lake City Cider has cans of Vanilla Ice back on their shelves; this cider features a steeping addition of Tanzanian Fair Trade vanilla beans, to provide some complexity. With tropical notes from the wild fermentation, combining with a whiff of French Vanilla ice cream, and a dry finish, it’s 6.8% ABV and ready for you to grab for this weekend.

Another massive news week for you today, as breweries continue to do their best in these extremely tough situations. And with your faithful bloggers dealing with a bunch of their own stuff (read: real work), today’s post is a little late. Sorry ‘bout that, but we’re sure you’ll forgive us. 🙂
We’ve added just a few more updates to our Delivery/curbside pickup options for the region this week, including Breton’s foray into HRM delivery. As always, if we’ve missed something, or just want to chat, get in touch via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred, but Fb exists too). Take care of yourselves! 💙

We have some sad news to report this week, as Halifax’s stalwart Granite Brewery has closed their doors. Ginger’s Tavern owner Kevin Keefe opened Granite in 1985, well before microbrew/craft/local independent beer was a thing. So far before, in fact, that Granite Brewery was the first brewpub in North America east of the Rocky Mountains! It was more than ten years until the next small breweries opened their doors in the province, with Garrison and Propeller not appearing until the late 90s. After moving locations in the downtown core, Granite called Stairs Street home for ten years until the building came down due to redevelopment last year, and they shacked up on Gottingen Street with Propeller and Stillwell Brewing. Brewing traditional cask-conditioned English styles, many a pint was enjoyed at Ginger’s, Henry House, and Lion’s Head, and more recently Stillwell’s HQ and Freehouse, and the style and quality of these beers garnered a fiercely loyal following. At their best we don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that beers like their Peculiar, Best Bitter, Best Bitter Special and Ringwood were some of the best traditional English Ales on this side of the Atlantic. But with the mandated closure of restaurants and bars in the past 2 months and Granite’s nature as a non-packaging brewery, their biggest customers were no longer able to sell their beer. Plenty more details, including comments from Kevin are available on the independent news site AllNovaScotia (note: subscription-based).
We’d like to say a big thanks to Kevin Keefe, his family and all his staff over the years for everything they did to bring good beer to our little corner of the world, and wish him a well-deserved retirement. Our scene will be less for having lost Granite; we can hope that another brewery (or breweries) can fill some of the stylistic holes, but we know nobody can truly replace Kevin and his brewery.

We’re starting to see some new beers lately that are named in an appropriate-for-the-time manner, and Lunenburg’s Shipwright’s latest – Laid Up India Pale Lager – is no exception. Brewed with Belgian Pilsner and Biscuit malt, the wort was generously hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc. Lagered for eight weeks, the final beer is showing flavours of “citrus, pineapple, papaya, and herbaceous pine”, with a refreshing crispness in the finish. Coming in at 6.4% ABV and 42 IBUs, it’s available at the brewery in 32 oz crowlers (to-go, of course), as well as daily deliveries in Lunenburg, and Friday deliveries from Bridgewater to Chester, all accessible by a quick phone call (902-634-3300). Check out our delivery details page for more specifics.

Moving west in the province to Lazy Bear, who also have a new beer out this week. Unprecedented Pale is a 5% ABV American Pale Ale that was brewed with a malt bill made up almost entirely of Pilsner malt. Hopped with Columbus in the kettle, it was later dry-hopped with more Columbus, as well as some Southern Cross, a New Zealand variety, to add some citrus character. At 5% ABV and approximately 30 IBUs, it’s available in 500 mL  bottles and growler fills; a portion of the proceeds will go towards the purchase of a tablet for residents of Tideview Terrace, to be used for communication with loved ones. They’ve also got other beers available for local delivery and contactless pick-up, so check out their online shop to decide on your order.

On to Tatamagouche Brewing, where, thankfully for us, they’ve continued to brew up a storm and even have a couple new beers for us this week! First up is a style we all need more of in our lives, Grisette. Skiff is a 3.3% ABV representation of the style was brewed with a Pilsner malt base, along with Oats and Spelt. Hopped in the kettle with Aramis, Saaz, and Callista, it was fermented with Escarpment’s New World Saison (which contains both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeast strains) in stainless. Dry-hopped with more Callista and Saaz, as well as some Tettnanger, the final beer was conditioned in 500 mL bottles, and has “refreshing aromas of honeysuckle, lychee, and an earthy funk that brings out flavours of honey, mango, and a drying finish”.
Next up in new beer news is First Light Pilsner, a 4.8% ABV, 30 IBUs Czech Pils hopped with plenty of Saaz and Strisselspalt, and fermented with Czech Lager yeast from Escarpment. Expect a crisp, refreshing beer with a healthy amount of earthy/floral hop character; cans can be ordered from Tata’s online store as of today. And while you’re on there, they’ve also got a new batch of their Dusk Schwarzbier, as well as their popular Dekorum, the 2.9% ABV Light Lager, which is one of the newbies on sale at NSLC. Their store is open Mon – Sat 10 AM – 5 PM, but for those not in the Tata’hood, don’t forget about their free shipping/delivery in the Maritimes for orders over $95, and Canada-wide for orders over $150!

On North Street in Halifax, a new beer from Unfiltered is out, this one going a step further than their Hellevator from last year in exploring the maltier side of things. Like way malty. Way way malty. Like, as hoppy as a typical Nash beer is, this one is that malty. Okay, maybe not that far (you’d be spitting barley husks if it were), but definitely a change of pace for a brewery usually known for hammering in the hops. A Doppelbock, a German monastic style that falls under the general description of “bread in a bottle,” Isolator, was also aged on oak for a time, no doubt providing some tannins to balance the sweet nature of the beer. And if none of that was enough to get you interested, Unfiltered is also using this big beer (10% ABV!) to help raise funds for an important organization in our community, Adsum House for Women and Children. One dollar from every can sold will go to this very worthy cause that brings comfort and assistance to folks in their darkest times, and for many of those people the current COVID situation has only made times darker. So whether or not you know you’re a fan of big bready beers, this would be a great chance to try one and support a great cause.

Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing is bringing us two brand new hoppy beers during their Salter Street curbside pick up event tomorrow, 12 – 5 PM. Kicking it off is the appropriately named Noon Gun, a little 3.4% ABV beer packed with Vic Secret late in the boil, and bumped up with Ella at both the beginning and end of fermentation (biotransformation, anyone?). Fresh as heck but without the hop burn, hazy and juicy, and in a nice light package, this sounds like a perfect beer for enjoying on a May afternoon lounging on Citadel Hill, sufficiently separated from your neighbour, that is!
And a little bit bigger than NG is For Greg About It! Developed, brewed, and named with their pal Greg in mind, this 7.0% ABV beaut features the deadly combination of Galaxy, Mosaic (added at the very end of the boil), and Citra (added during conditioning). Tropical, dark berry, and pine meld together for a 1 Up by using the “cheat code” in hop combinations.
So, how to get your Tidehouse love? You’ve got a new option this week: call in your order this afternoon between 2 – 5 PM, and then drop by tomorrow 12 – 5 PM for a contactless grab and go. Or, if you prefer, you can call them during the pick up time to order and pay, just give them 15 minutes to put it all together for ya. Either way, 902-407-2550 is your path to success!

Inverness’s Route 19 Brewing recently celebrated their 1st Birthday, and while the official celebrations may be over (and in these current times, were likely less exuberant than they should have been), they’ve still got new beer for us, with this week bringing Supernova, a New England IPA. Double-dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado, it’s a 6% ABV hazy brew with lots of citrus and tropical fruit, a soft mouthfeel, and aromas of pineapple and grapefruit, according to the brewery. You should be able to find it at NSLC stores in Cape Breton now, and it will be available further afield at the private stores and a few more NSLCs in HRM and environs later this month; $0.50 of each can sold in May will be donated to the Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund. And while you’re shopping for Route 19, their Dog Daze Passionfruit Sour just hit the shelves of the HRM NSLCs, and is coming soon to the private shops.

With sightings of American juggernaut hard seltzer brand White Claw in Halifax, and no doubt to follow if not already present in the other provinces here in Atlantic Canada, lots of breweries are taking steps to fend off the potential glut of these fruity and super easy-drinking beverages. While our craft providers have managed to hold their own against lots of similar ready-to-drink products in the last couple of years, given the current situation any deterioration in market is going to be dangerous. So it’s not surprising that we’ve started to see breweries enter that market, with examples so far coming from Trailway, North, Good Robot, and Hell Bay, all of which have brewed with grains and then used techniques to keep “beer” flavor low. Enter Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing, who have stepped up the technical side of things by implementing a proprietary nano-filter resulting in something that they are referring to as a UFO: Ultra-filtered, Fermented Organic beverage. Still “beer-based,” starting with 100% Horton Ridge Pale malt and using clean-fermenting yeast, after the filtering process raspberry essence is added and the result is carbonated yielding a super-crisp and clean fruity bevvie coming in right at 5% ABV. Throw a couple ice cubes in the glass and pour some Bliss in and you’ve got yourself a recipe for relaxing in the sun. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, sure, but we’re not into beverage shaming. We are, however, definitely into pointing folks towards a local option where possible, and this certainly fits the bill. And with Jeremy & Co. promising more flavors coming, we’re happy to keep pointing to Bliss and other local products over megacorporate malternatives.

Back to the mainland, and Garrison Brewing, for a big release of their own this week. Playing off their very popular Juicy Double IPA, but easing back on the alcohol a touch, they have brought us Lil’ Juicy. At a still-solid 6.0% ABV, what it may be lacking in booze, it still keeps up with tons of flavour and aroma from generous hopping from a quartet of lovely hops, namely Citra, Comet, Mosaic, and Simcoe. These meld together for tropical notes, reminiscent of citrus, peach, and pineapple on the nose, and OJ, mango, complemented by a touch of malt sweetness on the palate (that’s 2-row and Oat malt in the grist). Nicknamed the “scrappy little brother” of Juicy, it is available now at their Seaport and Oxford retail locations, delivery in HRM and beyond through the brewery directly, and will be at the NSLC and private stores very soon.

Speaking of Garrison, Sydney’s Breton Brewing teamed up with them for their third annual spring collaboration brew. This year’s entry is West Coast Pale Ale, a 5.4% ABV ode to the classic North American style, featuring bold pine, citrus, and fruit flavours thanks to a ton of classic NA hops Cascade and Simcoe. Breton’s Head Brewer Iain Sutherland, a West Coaster himself, took the lead on this brew, which ended up with “an aggressive bitterness”. In addition to brewing partner Garrison’s shops, Breton is carrying it in their own retail shop on Keltic Drive, as well as through their delivery options in both the CBRM, and now, within HRM! Both are next day delivery, Mon – Fri, with a 12 can minimum (and a discount $0.50 per can discount when ordering more than 24!). The full details are available here!

Looks like there should be two new canned beers freshly available at Tusket Falls Brewing for this weekend. They’ve got a classic Czech Pilsner they’ve named Once Blind, Now I See Clearly; brewed with Czech Pilsen malt and hopped entirely with Saaz, it’s 5% ABV and tasting just like a classic Czech Pils should. The other newbie is While You’re Waiting, a “Peach Mint Sour IPA”, a 6.5% ABV kettle sour that we’re betting you can guess a) some of the ingredients in this beer, and b) what it may taste like. This Sour IPA was hopped with Galaxy and Citra, to add lots of tropical notes to the peach character, thanks to the addition of peach puree. Fresh mint was also added as a dry-hop (“dry-mint”?) to complement. Check out their online shop for delivery options if you can’t make it by the brewery.

For those of you in St. John’s looking for an easy-drinking beer, Quidi Vidi has you covered with American Wheat. Featuring a relatively simple grist of 2-row, Vienna, Wheat malt, and Acid malt, it was hopped with Cascade and Lemondrop to add a touch of citrus character to go with the light wheat presence. Pretty sessionable at 4.9% ABV, you can find it now at their retail shop in the city, and at NLC and convenience stores by this coming Monday. 

Moving on to New Brunswick, where Grimross Brewing has just released their first new beer in awhile, Gose German Wheat. Their first take on this German, salted, sour style, they’re calling it an evolution of their Scratch #18: Session Sour, a kettle sour originally released a year ago. This time around, it has the additions of salt and coriander that are typical for the Gose style, all in a 4.5% ABV refreshing package. Available now at the brewery, you can call them for contactless pickup.

While on the topic of Newfoundland, just a quick note that Bannerman has brought back State of Emergency, their 7.2% ABV American IPA that is heavily dry-hopped with Citra, and conditioned on mango puree. Sounds tasty, no? This batch should also be available in the new, “smaller format” cans (read: 750 mL), for those of you looking to reign it in a little bit. Keep an eye on their online store for full pick up details and availability.

Brightwood Brewery has an early summer crusher for you, Mojito Crushable. They’re calling this one a “Kombucha Sour”, as they used the SCOBY probiotic from kombucha to kettle sour the wort, before fermenting it to 4.7% ABV. With an addition of pureed fresh strawberry and mint, it’s got the best of both worlds, if the worlds we’re talking about are fruit and Mojito minty goodness. It’s available as of today, so be sure to grab some for the weekend.

While Good Robot may be taking a hiatus from their Beta Brews, it doesn’t mean we can’t expect to see new releases every now and then from their alpha brewhouse. This week they’re bringing us Infinite Saturday, a 5% ABV Vienna Lager. Not many notes on the recipe, but they’re describing it as a smooth, malty brew, with “honey sweetness, herbs and rye, with a nutty smokiness”. They’d also like to pass on that starting next month, expect to see more cans coming, as they’ve decided to can more varieties of their beer so that it’s a little more accessible to the public. Stay tuned!

Roof Hound in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley has opened their Kingston location for food take-out, to complement their beer offerings. Starting today, and running Thurs – Sat, 2 – 7 PM going forward, call in your order of one of their burgers, sandwiches, or tacos in advance, to pair with their wide variety of beers on offer. Check out the full menu of both food and beer here, and then call 902-765-0102 to get the process started!

And rounding out the news is a late entry from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing (so you can blame the time of this post on them!), but it sounds like it may have been worth the wait. Their newest beer is a limited batch of a “Brett Pilsner” named Different Kind of Dance. Starting off as a fairly traditional German-style Pilsner, it was hopped with Huell Melon, Saphir, and Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a traditional German Lager yeast. The beer was lagered for nine weeks, and then took a fairly-traditional 2 Crows turn when they inoculated it with the 261 Brett strain from The Yeast Bay. It was allowed to condition for a further 6 months for this secondary fermentation, and was then bottled and conditioned for 5 *more* months. It’s ready to go now, and is tasting “dry, lemony, and herbal, with classic barnyard funk and a bit of zippy guinep [that’s Spanish lime] and a touch of white grape”. They’d also like to point out that the carbonation is extremely lively, so be sure to chill your bottle for a good 24 hours, and have your glass nearby when opening! Only 400 bottles are available (it’s on the webstore now) so grab ‘em while you can.

May the Fourth (be with you) was a big day in Nova Scotia, as it is the launching day for a new round of products in the NSLC. There were no fewer than 50 new beers and ciders from small independent producers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island hitting the shelves for the first time this month. For a quick hit of what’s new, click these links for beer and cider. While certainly not our favourite retailer and licensing monopoly, their reach and popularity is undeniable, so we’re glad to see more shelf space for local producers, to get more eyes on good products.