540 Kitchen & Bar

All posts tagged 540 Kitchen & Bar

Oh hey, it’s Thanksgiving. Already. Given that many of you folks will probably be spending time with family and friends this weekend, don’t be surprised if the staff at your favorite breweries and/or taprooms are given some time to do the same. As always, check social media before you make any special trips to get beer lest you find yourself disappointed. Provincial liquor authorities will definitely be closed on Monday, so if your plan includes one of them, plan to stock up by Sunday afternoon. We should also mention that with two of our three authors away on vacation for the next two weeks (and the third consumed by seething resentment at the other two), chances are extremely high that we won’t be posting much, if at all, on the next two Fridays; these posts are definitely not a one person job! Breweries who have big news that they really really want to share are welcome to contact us and we’ll do our best to provide a bump via social media. Cheers!

This weekend is the 2nd Anniversary for Tanner & Co. Brewing (2 years already, when the hell did that happen?), and that pretty much means in this industry that you’ve got to release a special beer for the occasion! Enter Reserve Sauvage, a special version of their Sauvage, a “Nova Scotian Ale” that is most-closely aligned with a Saison. Brewed with local malts from Horton Ridge (Pale, Vienna, and Wheat), and fermented with NS yeast from Big Spruce in Chardonnay barrels, where it was aged for about three weeks. The beer is giving notes of “pineapple, banana, buttery Chardonnay, and a bit of spice and straw in the finish”. It’ll be available this weekend at the brewery on tap (as well as at Battery Park with some other Tanner goodies), with bottles following sometime next week. And keep an eye on their social media for big announcements coming soon regarding their town of Chester Tasting Room!

Two new beers comin’ ‘atcha from TrailWay this week, one of which is a play on their house Pilsner, Yada Yada. This new iteration, named Yoo Hoo (Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm reference? And, go!) features a dry-hop addition of European Mittelfruh, giving the 5% ABV Lager an aroma of “subtle floral, herbs, and delicate spices”, according to the brewery. Their next beer is yet another iteration, being the next entry in their rotating Kveik IPA, Oculus. This time around they decided to employ Citra, Cashmere, and Idaho 7 hops, lending lots of tropical fruit and citrus character (which is upped even more thanks to the warm fermentation with Kveik yeast). This one comes in at 6% ABV; cans/pints/growlers of both beers will be available at the brewery as of today, and look for cans of Yoo Hoo to start appearing at various ANBL locations.

If you’re in the mood for something fruity, jammy, and sour this weekend, 2 Crows has got the cure for what ails ya. Paradise is their latest foedre-aged sour, brewed with Barley, Wheat, Spelt, and a touch of Rye malt. Lightly hopped with Nelson Sauvin (to just 6 IBUs) and some aged noble hop varieties, the wort was fermented and soured in one of their foedres with a blend of their house cultures. After conditioning for several months, they added a whole whack of raspberries (560 lbs), and a lesser amount of passionfruit (210 lbs, keeping in mind that a little passionfruit can go a long way). Once the secondary fermentation (thanks to all the sugar from the fruit) was complete, they packaged the beer in 355 mL cans, where it was allowed to carbonate naturally over two months. Tasting “super jammy, lush, bright, and lovely”, it has a strong tartness, a touch of funk, and a bit of mineral character. The raspberry comes through in the extreme, with the passionfruit backing it up. Super drinkable at just 4.7% ABV, you can drop by the brewery this weekend to pick up some cans; it’s also available on tap, and will likely be popping up at a few better beer establishments in the HRM.

In Hanwell, NB, Niche Brewing is releasing a new IPA this week that reaches back a little bit to a time before IPAs were hazy and juicy. Described as more of a “West Coast” IPA, North Park features a classic American hop profile, with citrusy notes of grapefruit and orange meeting a bit of dankness thanks to the liberal use of Columbus and Simcoe hops. The ABV is up a little (6% ABV) and bitterness is moderate (45 IBU), and specialty malts bring the maltier character that one would expect from a beer in this style. Find it soon, if not already, at  The Joyce Pub, 540 Kitchen & Bar, CAVOK Brewing Co., Tide and Boar Gastropub, Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub, Peppers Pub, and at Stillwell in Halifax.

Nova Scotia’s Tatamagouche Brewing is switching from a Continental-heavy first half of October (with their German-inspired Lagerhosen and Daybreak Kellerbier released over the past two weeks) to an English release this week. English Dark Mild features the use of complex malts in the brew for a wide variety of toast and biscuit character, complemented with yeast-derived esters reminiscent of jam and currants. Light residual sweetness keeps this 3.6% ABV from being too thin, and is the perfect accompaniment to a quiet evening by the fire in a cozy pub. Look for it on tap at Tata now, and around the province this weekend.

Propeller is once again getting a little funky with it, with the release today of their newest beer, Harvest Brett Saison. This 6% ABV mixed fermentation brew – featuring a blend of Saison and Brettanomyces yeast strains – is described by the brewery as having “complex spice, dried red fruit and citrus flavours, balanced by subtle earthy and funky Brett characteristics”. It finishes very dry, as any good Saison should, with a slight tartness. This is one of their Gottingen Small Batch beers, meaning you can find it at both Prop shops for growlers, pints, and flights (no bottles/cans, sorry). And P.S., tonight’s Friday cask is ESB w/ Coffee, tapped at 5 PM to kick off your weekend with a jolt!.

Two new beers from Yankee Line Road just outside of Nyanza to tell you about this week. Big Spruce has a hop farm onsite, and are releasing their ode to the hops harvest, and hops harvester, this week. Passion of the Chris is named in celebration of landscaper and hopyard guy Chris, who spends many an hour trimming, weeding, training, and overall caring for the plants during the growing season. The hops using in PotC were picked and then promptly added to the boil, with nary a minute to allow for any of that fresh hop goodness to escape. The resulting 7.9% ABV Harvest IPA features a wide blend of hop varietals used, and the aroma and flavour reflects that, with orange and lemon zest, floral notes, fresh pine, and cut grass. The beer is full bodied and light in bitterness, remaining well balanced. This beer is only available at this time of year, so be sure to grab a growler or pint wherever you run across it!

Big Spruce is also debuting a second beer this week, decidedly on the lighter side of things. Festival Club is a 4.2% ABV Session Ale, light-bodied, displaying a touch of haze, and finishing dry. Wild flowers and grass dance on the nose and palate, finishing in a crisp fashion, encouraging a second sip (or pint!). Festival Club is on tap at the brewery for pints and growlers, as well as in cans, perfect for grabbing for a hike or taking you to your next kitchen party.

And for those homebrewers interested in this year’s 7th Annual Big Spruce Homebrew Challenge that we told you all about last week, the Voss Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs that’s being used exclusively for the competition beers this year has landed at both the brewery and Everwood Ave Brewshop in Lower Sackville (registration fees must be paid in order to get yeast). If you can’t make it to one of these locations to pick it up, go ahead and contact the brewery and they’ll help you figure something out.

One of Newfoundland’s newest breweries, Bannerman Brewing on Duckworth Street in the city of St. John’s, has a new beer pouring, their first in the Porter style. Late Shift is a 6.0% dark ale featuring a blend of caramel and roasted malts for sweetness and a bit of roasty bite along with plenty of flaked and malted oats that no doubt lend a soft mouthfeel and smooth body. Described as “thick and creamy with notes of coffee and chocolate,” you should be able to find it on tap at the brewery. And stay tuned for news of another beer in the works, as Mike “Hogie” Hogan, of Upstreet Brewing fame, was spotted at the brewery this week wearing his brewing overalls (although to be honest we’re not sure he doesn’t wear those everywhere…). We’ll be sure to tell you all about that one as soon as we know more!

One of St. John’s most-regarded seafood restaurants,  The Adelaide Oyster House, is celebrating their 5th Anniversary this month, and have teamed up with Port Rexton Brewing (a brewery that the restaurant has supported since their early days) to concoct up a birthday beer, Mango Guava Sour. The beer, a 5% ABV  kettle sour, features additions of mango and pink guava puree, giving a mixture of fruit punch and “sour cocktail” notes. It’s available now, exclusively at the brewery’s taproom in Port Rexton, and at TAOH, naturally. And great news for those patiently awaiting their return: cans are now available for sale at the brewery and the St. John’s Retail Shop on Torbay Road, so be sure to grab some before you head to your turkey dinner Sunday (or Monday!). And big congratulations to PRBC team members Terra and Nicole, who were awarded scholarships for the Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone®︎, as awarded by the Canadian Brewing Awards. Only a handful of folks across the country were selected, clearly there’s something special in the water in Port Rexton!

Sticking within the Rock, Quidi Vidi Brewing has completed a collaboration brew of their own. They recently teamed up with Ontario’s Muskoka Brewery to brew Chocolate Orange Kveik, which… kinda tells you a lot from the name. Unfortunately, we don’t have a whole lot of details for this one, but we can tell you that it’s a hazy beer was fermented with a Kveik yeast strain, and weighs in at a pretty-hefty 8% ABV. Exhibiting “roasted notes of chocolate swirled with zesty orange”, it definitely sounds to be on the interesting side! Best way to get it is probably dropping by this weekend at QV.

And switching to NL cider from NL beer, Newfoundland Cider Company up in Clarenville, NL, is releasing four, count’em FOUR, new small batches of cider this weekend that would seem to suggest they’ve got a real appreciation for seasonal flavors and some serious foraging skills (or know someone who does). The ciders in question are: Strawberry + Chuckley Pear, Gooseberry, Pin Cherry, and Chuckley Pear. What’s a Chuckley Pear? We don’t know either, but Wikipedia says it’s a family of shrubs and small trees in the rose family that’s also known by many other names, including Saskatoon Berry. All feature the same base cider, and then the berry additions, a perfect way to see the expression those offer. If you’re in the area and like cider, this sounds like quite a lineup to try (and note that they also have their Honey Cyser, Old Tilt and Hopped Cider available to go). Also, this weekend will be your last chance to enjoy their taproom before they close for the season; they’re open Saturday from 2 – 7 PM, with five different ciders pouring. But don’t worry, their retail shop will still be open Mon-Sat, 11 – 4:30 PM, all winter, with a rotating selection of 8 on the go right now.

Though at this point it’s probably more pertinent to breweries than to the region’s beer drinkers, the registration process for this year’s Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards is now in full swing. Breweries are welcome to submit pretty much as many beers as they like (the official scale goes from 1 to Big Spruce), although they must limit themselves to a single beer in each official sub-category. Registrations will be accepted until October 25th at which point the door will be closed and let the best beers win! Judging will take place on November 2nd and 3rd, with the gala awards ceremony happening at HopYard Halifax mid-November. As always, we’ll do our level best to get the results to you as soon as possible after they’re announced. If you’re a brewery from Atlantic Canada and you’re interested in entering, check out that first link, or shoot an email to suzanne@withzest.ca

Some beery things happening this weekend and beyond:

Halifax’s Stillwell never ceases to disappoint with their seemingly-endless number of brewery tap takeovers, ranging from local breweries to those that are decidedly *not* local! And starting tomorrow, October 12th at noon, they’ll be featuring one of Maine’s finest craft breweries, Oxbow Brewing, from Newcastle (although it should be noted they also now have locations elsewhere in the state, in Portland and Oxford). For those of you lucky enough to be able to drop in tomorrow, you can expect six taps and ten different beers in bottles, several of which are debuting at Stillwell! While not a complete takeover, exactly, we’re fine with it! Don’t miss out, Oxbow has been brewing some delightful Farmhouse Ales since they opened years ago, and this is a great excuse to give a bunch of them a try! 

The original Hopyard – that’s the Charlottetown, PEI location, for those of you not in the know – has always done an excellent job of not only serving up the best beers on the Island, but also bringing in excellent beers from NB and NS that are otherwise not readily-available to Islanders. Next Friday, October 18th, they’re going even further in Atlantic Canada with their first ever Newfoundland Tap Takeover. Nine taps will be dedicated to Port Rexton (4 beers), Quidi Vidi (3) and Landwash (2) when they open at 11 am. In addition to these fine beers, there will be a special Newfoundland food-themed menu from Chef Jane Crawford, as well as live music in the evening. And mainlander beer fans, fear not! The Halifax location will be hosting their own Newfoundland Tap Takeover on November 2nd, with the same great variety of breweries being represented.

It’s that time of year again soon, when many of Nova Scotia’s breweries throw open their doors and let in massive crowds of adoring fans. Ok, maybe there was a little embellishment there, but next Saturday, October 19th is NS Open Brewery Day! Hosted by the Craft Brewers Association of NS, all breweries affiliated with the organization have planned or are planning events to occur throughout the day, ranging from brewery tours to free samples, special beer releases to small batch brews for you to take part in, live music to food trucks, etc etc etc. We could list everything that is going on, or you could just check out the event link above! We’re going to go with the latter, as we’re already running late here.

And just a couple little newsbites before the long weekend begins!

As we mentioned last week, Good Robot has two new beers on the go this week, the latest in their Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs, and number VII for those keeping track, subtitled, The Storm Beer (5.3% ABV, 50 IBU). Also out is their Scottish Ale brewed with some appropriately Scottish friends, Go Kart Jackass (4.8% ABV, 19 IBU). Check them out at the GR taproom.

Your intrepid beer-swilling pals at the 902BrewCast have released their October Tasting Episode this week, with lots of chat between the guys about beer-related topics like rolling cans, dregs, and their long-promised packaging torture test, as well as some not-exactly beer-related topics including politics. But don’t let that scare you away, check it out at their site or your favorite podcast provider.

It was probably too much to ask for two awesome weather weekends in a row across the Atlantic Provinces, but fear not, our region’s breweries and cideries are gearing up for a good’er anyways to help beat those Vitamin D deficiency blahs. Plenty of new beers available this weekend, some grand openings, and some birthday parties. Plus, there’s apparently some kind of sports championship thinger worth celebrating. Or something.

Sourwood Cider has been producing funky, tart, and dare we say wild, ciders in Halifax for just over a year now, focussing on spontaneous or pitched mixed yeast and bacteria, playing with barrels for primary and secondary fermentation, and incorporating local fruits, berries, and other adjuncts (Chaga, anyone?). After pop-up sales at their spot on Almon Street, they were able to supply the NSLC with Sour City, a 6.2% ABV dry and sour cider available across the province. And today at 4 PM, they will be opening the doors to their new taproom located at 5576 Cornwallis St. Featuring several of their own ciders on tap (as well as guest taps), a small kitchen will provide food perfect for pairing, and a retail sales counter will allow for cans and bottles to go. Pop by today, or throughout the weekend, to get your Sourwood fix. Congratulations to Jake and Kyle on all their hard work!

Last Saturday, Stillwell Brewing had a 3-beer release (two new, one returning) and we kinda, sorta didn’t mention it in the Friday post! Whoopsie! This stuff happens, we’re only human, yada yada yada the beers are still around so let’s just pretend this never happened, shall we? Let’s start off with Shiro, a sour Farmhouse Ale. Made up of a blend of various barrel- and foedre-aged beers brewed between April, 2017 and February, 2018 (including Batch #1, which at about 25% of the beer is the first time it has appeared in a blend), this blend was then re-fermented on 300 g/L (= a lot) of Nova Scotia-grown Shiro plums, for five months. Bottled back in early March of this year, it’s been conditioning ever since, and is finally available for your eager mouths/tummies. Lots of tannic notes in this beer thanks at least in part to those plum skins, the aroma is described as lambic-like (hooray!), “with notes of hay, funk, wet stone and bright, pithy lemon”. Available in bottles at Bar Stillwell, and on tap!

Next up is the brewery’s second stab at their beloved Pilsner style, Prince Pils. Designed to be a different sort of beer than their house Pilsner, Stilly Pils, it was brewed with extra pale premium Pilsner malt and wheat in the grist, and was hopped with Pacific Jade (a New Zealand variety that is a descendent of the oft-used Saaz). The wort was fermented by a Bavarian strain from Escarpment Labs, that has not been used by the brewery in the past. The result is an aroma that is “bigger, more peppery, and herbaceous” compared to Saaz, with a light, fluffy body and firm bitterness. Highly drinkable at just 4.4% ABV, this royal beer is available only on draught, and has been a frequent presence on tap at both Stilly HQ and their Spring Garden Road Beergarden.

Finally, newly-returned is Poptones, the second batch of the brewery’s Farmhouse Pale Ale. Fermented with a clean, Saccharomyces yeast in primary, and then Brettanomyces in secondary, it’s a bright and easy drinking hoppy Pale Ale with funky Brett shining through. All stainless, six months from brewing to the beer’s release, at 5.3% you can approach it as you prefer (you know, like Smarties). Bottles and on tap at Stillwell.

Tatamagouche Brewing has a full weekend of fun ahead of them (and us!), as they are celebrating their Fifth Anniversary all weekend. The details are available in that FB Event, but the highlights include the release of a new beer that was first previewed/teased at May’s NS Craft Beer Full House Festival. Spring is a 6.6% ABV Saison, both sour and funky from the blend of yeast and bacteria used to ferment the wort. The golden yellow beer also features plenty of tropical fruit esters, reminiscent of mandarin oranges, lychee and stone fruit. Bottles of Spring are available at the brewery as of 10 AM today, so we certainly suggest popping by to grab a few bottles and take part in the fun. They have also brought back Guava Heist, their 3.6% ABV guava-infused Berliner Weisse, available on tap and in cans. The Shree Curry Place food truck is onsite for lunch, with live music from Eric Fresia beginning at 6 PM. There are brewery tours at 10, 12, 2, and 4 tomorrow, with a fundraising BBQ lunch starting at 11 AM, and live music from 1 – 4 PM. There’s more live music and a food truck on Sunday, and if you stick around/come back on Monday, you can enjoy cake with the Tata Crew!

Two new beers from 2 Crows this week, one a draught-only release that is on right now (we hope!), and another a very special can release. Let’s start with the draught beer, shall we? Named Pony Up, it’s a Brett Pale Ale from brewer Miles Bishop. A parti-gyle brew using the leftovers (the remaining sugary wort, that is) of an Oat Wine which should be released in several months, the original grist included a whopping ~70% mixture of malted, flaked, and golden naked oats. Hopped lightly to 13 IBUs with Nelson Sauvin and Citra, the wort was fermented with a Brett strain from The Yeast Bay that showcases “strong barnyard funk and backing notes of peach and strawberry”. Coming in at 5.8% ABV, the final beer has a grainy texture, smooth body, and “a pleasant white wine and affirmative citrus aroma” to go with all that funk. There is only a single keg available, so pony up for some Pony Up (ha!) at the 2C taproom right now… assuming it isn’t all gone already.

Beer number two is an international collaboration, of sorts. The online Saison, Biere de Garde, and Farmhouse Ale Appreciation Society arranged the collab between about 40 breweries, all of who brewed a recipe for a Biėre de Garde that was determined by the society and a number of brewers. While some of the brewing techniques were also predetermined, each brewery had the freedom to determine fermentation, and the possibility of oak aging. The 2C version of L’Internationale Vol II was brewed back in December with 90% six-row malted barley and 10% raw wheat from PEI’s Shoreline Malting. They used a turbid mashing technique (spoiler: it takes a long time) and a 5-hour boil (ok, that makes the day even longer!), hopping the wort with Saaz and Strisselspalt to 17 IBUs. Fermented in one of the brewery’s oak foedres (with a variety of microflora), the beer was finally packaged in early May to condition in the can, and it’s being released at the brewery tomorrow. Rich and complex, 2C’s house cultures have added “a distinct tartness and funk, which play well with the rich malt backbone and deep honey vibes). Grab your cans on Saturday!

Propeller Brewing is releasing a brand new beer this week, a limited release that may be your next summer sipper. Azacca Session IPA is a 4.5% ABV ale, which showcases the unique Azacca hop. Used in combination with El Dorado and Citra, aromatics and flavours of mango, pineapple, and tangerine dance on top of this light and hazy easy-drinking beer. Azacca is available today on draught and in cans at the Prop Shops on both sides of the harbour, and in cans at the four private stores in HRM now/very soon. And pop by their Gottingen Street taproom for a cask of Azacca, featuring real pineapple added to the cask. It will be tapped at 5 PM (or earlier if you ask real nice), and make the perfect accompaniment to a round of pinball downstairs in the Arcade.

New Brunswick’s Niche Brewing continues their longtime trend of zagging after every zig with this week’s release. After a big bruiser of a Belgian Tripel last week in Day Tripper, this week brings a much smaller, hoppier beer that you can fearlessly have a few of without worrying about stumbling away from your barstool or patio chair. Paradox is a session IPA fermented with a hazier strain and heaped with Columbus, Simcoe, and Topaz late additions and a huge dry hop of more Simcoe as well as Enigma. Weighing in at a super (duper!) sessionable 3.0% ABV it’s plenty light, but not to the point of being watery, with enough citrusy and juicy hop aroma and flavor to satisfy your need for hops. This one is heading out to tap accounts this week, with Pepper’s Pub, The Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Graystone at the head of the line. Hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend and you’ll be able to enjoy a pint (or a few) of this in all its refreshing glory outside in the sun.

Hampton Brewing has delivered kegs of their latest beer, an American Pale Ale named Big Shoes. The brewery’s first new beer since April, it’s a Pale Ale brewed more towards the New England side of the style. With a grist made up of 2-row, Vienna, a touch of Crystal malt, and a “healthy” dose of wheat, it was hopped aggressively in the whirlpool and a two-stage dry hop with a combination of American ‘C’ hops and Amarillo. This hazy 5.6% ABV, 45 IBUs beer is sporting plenty of tropical fruit and citrus in the flavour and aroma, with low bitterness. You can find it on tap at Peppers, The Joyce, and the Hampton Golf Club.

Port Rexton is celebrating the local release of their Across the Nation collaboration with Red Racer this weekend, Skerwink Haze. Named after the nearby Skerwink Trail, a must-visit when visiting the brewery, Skerwink Haze is a 6.4% ABV New England IPA fermented with Kveik yeast. Using the Escarpment Labs Ebbegarden Kveik blend, this incredibly hearty and temperature-resilient yeast (in fact, it thrives at high temperatures [think 35C and higher] that many yeasts would produce some serious off-flavours) chews through most any wort that’s thrown at it. Expect a soft mouthfeel, and juicy vibes from the Belma, Galaxy, and Vic Secret hops used late in the brew to favour flavour and aroma over bitterness. To celebrate the release, their friends from Jack Axes in town are coming out for pop-up axe throwing from 2 PM today, and tomorrow will see a guided hike of the Skerwink Trail, leaving the brewery at 11 AM (free cake after!), and live music from 8 PM.

Skerwink Haze joins the PRBC taps as the second new IPA this week, after launching the latest in their Continuum series last week. Continuum w/ Zythos is a 5.5% ABV hazy IPA, which features loads of, you guessed it, Zythos in the whirlpool (post-boil in the kettle), hop back (out of the kettle and into the fermenter) and dry hop (in the fermenter). Getting a little help from its friend Azacca, tropical, citrus, and stone fruit vibes shine through with an orange-pith bitterness. If you can’t make it out to the brewery to take part in the fun this weekend, you’re in luck! Look for Continuum, and seven more Port Rexton brews taking over the taps at Jack Axes in downtown St. John’s, kicking off today at 6 PM, and running all weekend/until the kegs kick. Or find Skerwink Haze at Toslow’s One-Year Anniversary party Saturday.

Hey, Landwash fans! The brewery has announced they’ll be pouring a whopping seven of their tasty beverages at Rocket Bakery in St. John’s today from 7 PM – 12 AM. If that isn’t enough to excite you, two of these beers will be brand new releases! First up is Silvern Voices, a 5.3% ABV kettle sour that has been dry-hopped with the lovely Cashmere and Azacca varieties; there’s also a touch of lactose powder added to up the sweetness just a tad. They claim that if you’re big on “sour key candy, fruity white wine, and/or passion fruit flavours”, you’re probably gonna enjoy this one! They’ve also got a new hoppy brew that will be making its debut at the event, Green Nap. This 6.3% ABV NEIPA was brewed with plenty of oats and malted oat in the grist, to help give the beer that trademark haze/smooth body you’d expect in the style. Hopped mightily with Bru-1 and Galaxy to give flavours of apricot, pineapple, and lime, don’t be expecting too much bitterness, so it’ll go down plenty easy. Look for future iterations of Green Nap that will feature different hop varieties. We should probably mention that both of these new beers will also be available at the brewery’s taproom this weekend (which starts today at 3 PM, FYI), on tap and in cans.

Let’s stick with the Newfoundland theme we’ve got going to update you on the goings ons (going ons? goings on?) at 90 Duckworth Street in St. John’s. Since opening just over a month ago, the crew at Bannerman Brewing have been working like mad to keep up with demand and interest for their beer and food. And more recently, they have launched the cafe side of things in their taproom, with shots and pour-overs available from 7:30 AM weekdays, and 9 AM on the weekend. While the kitchen does not open until later in the afternoon (4 PM Mon, Wed, Thurs; 1 PM Fri; and 12 PM on the weekend, closed Tues), there are some baked goods onsite for a grab-and-go European breakfast. And while you’re stopping in, be sure to check out their 946 mL cans, filled on demand to take away.

Way out on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, Sober Island Brewing has put together a very special beer, developed in concert with the 5th Canadian Division of the Canadian Army and intended to be their official beer. This one has been in development since December, with Commander Brigadier-General D.A. Macaulay and several members of the division involved in helping Sober Island taste test and guide the development of the recipe. The result is called The 5 and it’s a super-easy drinking blonde ale that’s low in bitterness, but not on flavour. A touch of honey malt gives it a touch of roundness, Magnum, Cascade, and Mt. Hood hops provide a hint of bitterness (only 5 IBU) and some gentle hop flavor, and an American ale yeast ensures a well-attenuated beer with a crisp finish weighing in at a perfectly fitting 5% ABV. You’ll be able to find this at Rockhead, West Side, and Harvest Wines, with in-store tasting events coming tomorrow at Rockhead from 11 – 4 PM and at Harvest on June 22nd from 2 – 4 PM. The 5th Canadian Division covers all of Atlantic Canada, and Sober Island is working to ensure that the beer eventually will too, so hopefully you’ll be hearing of this beer being available in New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland later this year. Hopefully you won’t have any trouble finding it in stores, but be aware that the super swank camouflage can (designed by Pierre Tabbiner) may be hard to spot if you take a few out into the field. You can also find it at the brewery as early as next weekend. Go Mighty Maroon Machine!

In other Sober Island news this week, their blueberry blonde ale known as The Blueberry Express, brewed in collaboration with the Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum is back for the summer, again at Rockhead/West Side Harvest, with $0.50 from every can going to the museum ($1,600 raised last year!). The blueberries for this one came from local producer Glenmore Farms Blueberries. And fans of Beth’s Black Oyster Stout should be aware that Marigold Blonde is replacing it in the seasonal rotation, but that they’ll still be able to grab it through the summer at the brewery and the same private stores as well as at events where Sober Island is pouring beer.

The weekly new releases from Shipwright Brewing continue with a “Rye Session Ale” named Rye’T Aweigh. Featuring rye malt in the grist, of course, the wort was generously hopped with three different Australian varieties: Topaz, Ella and Vic Secret. The addition of rye malt provides some sweetness on the palate, with “flavours of lime zest, honeydew melon and papaya” following suit, thanks to juicy hop additions. Quite sessionable at just 4.6% ABV (and 30 IBUs), if you’re around Lunenburg this week, best drop by the brewery to give this one a taste. It’ll also be pouring at the brewery’s regular tap account, the Grand Banker.

We’ve already told you (last week) about the East Coast Cider Fest and North Brewing’s Retail Spot and Lighter than Air launch, both happening tomorrow (Saturday). We’ve got one more big thing to tell you about this week…

Since opening their doors in late February, Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has been supplying their community with their blend of English, Belgian, and American beers. And this weekend, they are celebrating their Grand Opening, and we’re all invited! The return of their Porter means their taps are once again full, with seven beers for enjoyment onsite or to take away. Plus there is an Open Mic tonight beginning at 4 PM, live music tomorrow from 7 PM, and a Paint Night on Sunday from 6 PM. Full details in their Facebook Events page. Congratulations to the Ninepenny family on their continued success in bringing great beer to folks around the Bay!

And just a few last things to inform your beer buying (and drinking!) excursions this weekend:

Good Robot has a new take on a Mexican-style Lager with the release of El Corazón Del Ángel (5.5% ABV). Like their fan-favourite El Espinazo Del Diablo, there’s plenty of lime zest added, but this newer beer substitutes the jalapeno addition with sweet orange peel. Grab it at the GR taproom today.

It’s been a couple of years since Grimross has brewed their Maritime Amber Ale, but it’s hitting shelves and taps again this week. Hopped with Goldings from Southan Farms, it’s a malty, toasty 5.2% ABV, 32 IBUs brew with hints of caramel and a balancing bitterness. Available at Grimross in cans and on tap, with cans hitting ANBL stores next week; kegs will also be shipping to licensees soon.

Nine Locks has their latest kettle sour available on tap and in cans at the brewery, Bohemian Raspberry (4.8% ABV). A Berliner Weisse brewed with ripe raspberries, it pours a hazy pink colour and features raspberry in the aroma and flavour, to go with the tartness in the finish.

Tanner & Co. Brewing has hot weather on the mind, and what better beer to enjoy with nice weather than a Kolsch? Their take on the style, which they’ve simply named Kolsch, is 5.2% ABV and 20 IBUs, and is currently available at the brewery on tap and in bottles; stop by this weekend between 12 – 6 PM.

St. John’s YellowBelly has brewed up a special beer to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the very first non-stop transatlantic flight, performed by John Alcock and Arthur Brown in June, 1919. Named after the duo, Alcock and Brown is a 5.5% ABV, 49 IBUs unfiltered Porter, sporting notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and coffee, along with hints of plum. You can grab it at the brewpub this weekend, and bottles and growlers are available at the Takeaway shop down Water Street.

Welcome to February, beer lovers. It’s bastard cold today in much of Atlantic Canada, with a high percentage chance for continued bastard coldness through the weekend. Probably a good idea, then, to stock up on some beer to at least make yourself feel warm, and there’s plenty of new stuff coming this week from our region’s breweries to help you do that. So without further ado, let’s get to it!

Niche Brewing has a brand new beer hitting the taps this week, plus their first much-anticipated bottle release. Let’s start with the new beer, Coalescence. What they describe as a Sour Grapefruit Milkshake IPA began with souring of the wort with Lactobacillus plantarum for a refreshing and clean acidity, before boiling to stop that process, and adding in lactose. Fermentation was completed with a low-flocculating (aka hazy) yeast strain often used in New England IPAs, and generously hopped with Citra, Azacca, and Vic Secret. Completing the “milkshake” theme of the beer with vanilla beans, an addition of grapefruit puree was also added, for a citrus and fruit base to complement the tropical, pineapple, and passion fruit aromatics from the hops, on top of the acidic yet lightly sweet beer. Look for it on tap in Fredericton at The Joyce and 540 Kitchen, Tide & Boar in Moncton, and Peppers Pub and Saint John Ale House in Saint John. Pop into the York Street ANBL growler station to get your fill of their Single Origin Coffee Sweet Stout, pouring this weekend (though we’re sure it won’t last long!).

Evolution is Niche’s first bottle release, and will soon be available at ANBL stores in the Capital region and beyond. Almost a year in the making, this beer started with a malt bill of Pilsner, Rye, Wheat, and Vienna malts, lightly hopped with Huell Melon. Instead of going in their stainless fermenters, this beer went straight into a single Chardonnay barrel, where it was fermented and conditioned with their house culture of yeast strains (a mixture of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces). This process was allowed to continue for 6 months, before bottling still (flat), and conditioning with Champagne yeasts since late last year. The result is an effervescent beer with notes of grape must, a touch of oak, and plenty of funky goodness. If you cannot find these 500 mL bottles at your local ANBL, ask them to place an order, as they’ll be happy to bring it in!

The Church Brewing Company will soon be opening their brewery at 329 Main Street in Wolfville, but in the meantime, their on-site restaurant is now open for food and beers. Located in the deconsecrated St. Andrew’s United Church, the stone building was built in 1914, and had been underused for years before construction of the brewery and restaurant began. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 AM until late, with a varied menu of breakfast/brunch options, ramen, sandwiches, entrees, and more. While they await their own beer to be pouring, they have a variety of Valley and Nova Scotian beers available. You can keep up on their brewery progress on their social media (FB / IG / Tw). And this is where you can make a difference. The Town of Wolfville is making some amendments to their regulations regarding craft beer and cider, and are holding the first reading of that on Monday, February 4th, at 6:30 PM during a special Town Council meeting at Town Hall (359 Main Street). There has been a slew of mis-information surrounding Church’s brewery, including brewing volume, water usage, wastewater disposal, and traffic and parking concerns. We encourage you to learn more about how breweries are helping to bring jobs and visitors back to small towns throughout the region, and maybe even drop by Monday to listen and take part in the public hearing. For those unable to attend, check out the town’s Facebook page, where they livestream all of the council meetings. We will be there lending our support to growth of the industry and of the economy of small towns in Nova Scotia. Big kudos to our buds at the 902BrewCast for raising awareness of this issue and promoting local breweries. Check out their IG page for a contest they’re holding right now, promoting #NSBeerTravel.

It’s not that often that a week of Good Robot Alpha and Beta releases actually jive with one another, but next week will be one of those weeks. It all started with their Alpha release, Tom Waits For No One, one of their flagship – and still one of their most popular – beers, a 7.9% ABV, 58 IBUs Imperial Stout. While transferring the wort for this beer to the boil kettle, it suddenly dawned on the brewers that there was likely a fair amount of sugar still left in the grain bed. This resulted in their choice to go with a parti-gyle – adding another batch of water to the same grain, using the second runnings to create a lower-ABV beer… in this case, Tiny Tom. Same grist as its bigger brother, but fermented with a Lager yeast, it comes in at a more-manageable 4.5% ABV and 14 IBUs. Only one way to find out the taste difference, so you’d better drop by the taproom on Tuesday if you’re curious.

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is marking their 3rd Anniversary this weekend, and have reached another important milestone recently, with the brewing of their 200th batch of beer. Naturally, they decided to brew up something brand new, which is being released today. M is for Mosaic is a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) kettle sour, featuring a grist of Pilsner malt, and dry-hopped entirely with the lovely Mosaic variety. Soured with Lacto plantarum and fermented with an English Ale yeast strain, the 4.7% ABV, 8 IBUs beer has aromas of “lemon, orange, tangerine and passionfruit”, along with more of the same on the palate, with “hints of dough/bread” and an acidic finish. It’s draught-only for now, and will be available at the brewery as of noon today, and at select tap accounts over the next few days. And about that Third Birthday Bash, drop into the brewery tomorrow evening for a big bash including live music, food from GastroGnomes, and tons of fun planned. Montgomery Street Band and YORKS will be jamming from 7 PM until late, $10 cover.

In downtown Fredericton, the Gahan Riverside has a pair of new one-off brews at their location this week. First up is a dark and weighty beer, Russian Imperial Stout. It’s just that, a RIS that was fermented cool (to keep the alcohol heat as low as possible for this 8% ABV beer) and given a “long, cold aging process” to allow the flavours to develop further. “Intensely malt-forward with a supporting bitterness for balance”, it has “pronounced notes of coffee and chocolate” with a touch of caramel. Weighing in at a hefty 8% ABV, and 63 IBUs, it’s the kind of beer meant for gently sipping during these horribly cold days. The second new release is of the newer Brut IPA style. Known for being extremely dry, it can be seen as a contrast to hazy/juicy IPAs, which tend to have perceived sweetness from the hops and residual sugar. Gahan’s take is 7.7% ABV, and a light 23 IBUs, with notes of melon, berries, and stone fruit. Both new beers are on tap right now at the brewpub’s location on Queen St.

There’s a new Gottingen Small Batch hitting the taps today at Propeller, Coconut Extra Strong Stout. Indeed quite strong at 8% ABV, the coconut flavours combine with “layers of complex, dark fruit, and roasted coffee” to give just a hint of the tropics. While it will be on tap for growlers and pints at the brewery’s tasting room, they’ve also sent some to New Brunswick to go on tap at some of the ANBL growler stations; look for those to appear over the weekend. And as for tonight’s Cask Night offering (tapped just after 5 PM), it’s their Common, dry-hopped with Mosaic and Citra. Why not grab a pint and check out the new Propeller Arcade while you’re at it: they opened to the general public for the first time last night and will be providing a place for you to get your classic pinball and arcade game fix Thursday to Sunday nights (Thu/Sun 4 – 10 PM, Fri/Sat 4 PM – Midnight).

And in other Propeller news, but really Granite Brewery news, word came out this week that Granite would be taking up residence as the third brewery getting cozy in Propeller’s Gottingen Street location. So in addition to Propeller’s own small batch ministrations and Stillwell Brewing’s mixed fermentation madness, Granite will be pumping out their classic beers from the same facility for a while. Why, you ask? Turns out their Stairs Street building was sold by its owner recently, and efforts to secure a new location have so far not panned out. While Granite continue their search for a permanent home, Propeller has stepped up to make sure that fans can continue to get their fix. Look for Granite beers to continue to be on tap at places like Henry House, Stillwell, Lion’s Head Tavern, Obladee, and Tom’s. If you’re not familiar with Granite (hint: you should be) they are the oldest craft brewery in the region and actually were the first brewpub in North America east of the Rockies, when they started brewing their own in 1985. They have also been a very big part of breaking down many of the barriers to opening and operating breweries in Nova Scotia (and probably beyond). Featuring predominantly characterful English-style beers fermented with Ringwood yeast, a pint of Granite’s Best Bitter, Best Bitter Special, Peculiar, Keefe’s Irish Stout, or Traditional IPA is a bit of beer education in a glass. Possibly even better is when Stillwell has a cask of the Best Bitter on the handpump. We encourage existing fans of Granite as well as those who have somehow managed to miss them to show support for the brewery by seeking out their beers at the locations listed above and those listed on their website. Granite has advised us that they’ll be trying to be more active on social media (Fb, Tw) to let folks know where to find their beers (including where it might be possible to grab a growler) and to keep everyone up to date on their hunt for a new home. And much respect to Propeller for showing that camaraderie and looking out for your peers is still very much alive and well in the Nova Scotia craft beer scene!

New Scotland Brewing has not one, but two new releases this week, both of which are officially launching today. First up is a dry-hopped cider, On the Brite. Semi-sweet and unfiltered, the juice was fermented with a Saison yeast; they then dry-hopped the cider with Centennial and Columbus. “Light-tasting and refreshing, with lots of citrus notes”, it comes in at 6.9% ABV. Next is Angus, a Brut IPA that was triple-dry-hopped with the tropical American variety, Azacca. With a bone-dry finish, yet an “unexpected amount of body”, this 7.1% ABV brew shows off “an intense blast of tropical fruit flavour”. Both beers can be found at the brewery at noon today.

Today marks the first El Generico release of 2019 for TrailWay; this iteration of their ever-changing fruited kettle sour features a mixture of plum and raspberry puree (with the emphasis on plum). Always sessionable at just 3.8% ABV, this release is showing “a big, juicy, plum front, with a raspberry background, tasting like a mouthful of sour candies”, according to the brewery. You can find it at the brewery today when they open, on draught and in cans. They’re also releasing a new cask today, a double dry-hopped version of last week’s new release, Seeing Summit (Summit single-hopped American IPA).

Sober Island teamed up with The Harbour Brewing Company to brew Scotch Squall Scotch Ale, a 7.4% ABV “malty, spicy” beer that will be served exclusively on tap at Battery Park; it launches there tonight. The color is described as “rusted penny” and the flavor profile leans heavily towards the malt side, with malt sweetness up front and a spicy finish from all English hop varieties. Very smooth for its weight, this should be a great one to help warm you up on these cold winter days.

Newfoundland’s newest brewing addition, Landwash Brewing in Mount Pearl, has a brand new beer on the go this week. Inspired by German Kölsch, an ale style that undergoes a lagering period, Shining Smiling Land was fermented with a strain from Escarpment Labs. Czech Saaz and German Saphir hops impart notes of spice and citrus to this clean and crisp-finishing refreshing beer. This one is the first batch out of their biggest lagering tank (30 BBL) so they’re hoping it lasts for a little while, but the goal is certainly for it to sell out while it’s still fresh. Look for batches of this one to be available at least into Spring, when they’ve hinted we might see them treat the island to a Northern German Lager.

Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co have a couple brand new beers on the go this week, the first being Brut IPA, a 6.1% ABV in the (surprise!) Brut IPA style. Leveraging extra enzymes to ensure the beer fermented out almost completely dry, Galaxy, Mosaic and Amarillo hops are the stars of this one, giving aromatic notes of grapefruit, lime zest and orange. The grist, interestingly, contains a mixture of Pilsner malt, corn, wheat, and a bit of Munich malt. Expect a very dry beer with hop flavors and aromas taking center stage. Brewer Dan Tanner says he’s excited about the style, so even after this one goes it’s probably safe to hope it won’t be the last Brut IPA from the brewery. And speaking of beer excitement, Tanner is also releasing the first in a series they’re calling Assemblage, reflecting Dan’s two passions, wine and beer. Starting with a beer that’s best described as a Munich Helles, Planters Ridge Winery Chardonnay and Mead were blended in, allowing the fermentation character of both to intermingle with the beer, giving character that cannot be gained from fermenting with beer yeast on grape pomace or honey. With the aspects of the wine and the mead presenting predominantly on the nose in the form of pear and apple from the wine and honey and floral character from the mead, the cereal malt character of the beer side of things blends nicely with the residual sweetness from the mead resulting in a 7% ABV beer with plenty of character. Dan Surette, Assistant Winemaker at Planters Ridge gets credit for the idea of adding mead to the mix. This one is growler fills and pints at the brewery only, as only 2 kegs are available. Look for more interesting beers in the Assemblage Series to appear as we get further into 2019.

Boxing Rock in Shelburne is releasing a brand new beer this week, hoping to up-end what they see as craft beer’s departure from “traditional” beer. Instead of a complex malt or hop bill, they are releasing an uncomplicated, but still flavourful, beer. Eschewing descriptors like dank, juicy, tropical, or hazy, they are embracing the crisp, clear, and drinkable characteristics from a lagered ale. With aromas of white bread and caramel, with light honey, cereal, red apple, and lemon on the palate, with a smooth finish. The New Normal is 4.9% ABV and is seeing a wide release in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and their Test Kitchen on Agricola Street in Halifax, as well as the private beer stores, plus growler fills and kegs to licensees. And keep an eye out later this month for the return of their Rive du Sud Biere de Garde, available shortly.

This week’s winner in the shamefully late email sweepstakes goes to Garrison, who are releasing (earlier than expected, apparently) a new beer just in time for your Superb Owl Sunday beer drinking needs. Georgia Fuzzy Peach is a refreshing pale ale packed with peach flavor, no doubt owing to the heavy use of Huell Melon and Cascade hops. Coming in at 30 IBU and a sessionable (in the modern sense, anyway) 5.0% ABV, the grist is a fairly simple blend of Pale malt, Oats and Wheat. It hasn’t been packaged, so it’s on draft only at the brewery, but you’re welcome to bring a growler or two and get a fill to go! You’re likely to also see it pop up on taps around Halifax as early as this weekend.

Some fun things coming up this weekend and in the next couple of weeks as well:

If you’re one of the few beer fans who haven’t yet tried your hand at making your own beer at home, we have just the event for you! Pop into Brightwood Brewery on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth Sunday afternoon (12 – 2 PM) for a presentation and demo of how to get started. The fine folks from Everwood Ave Brew Shop will be in there to answer all of your questions, and get you excited about crafting your own soon enough. This is Part 1 in their Learning to Brew Series, and we’ll keep you in the loop with the other events as they come up.

Speaking of home-brewing, a friendly reminder to our homebrewing brethren and sistren that registration and beers are due Monday Feb 4 for the 11th Annual Garrison Home Brew-Off. Be sure to get your Dunkles Bock to your local Noble Grape, or Garrison itself, in time for judging, and we’ll see you at the Gala on Feb 28! Details here, Registration/Recipe Form here.

Tickets are now available for Halifax’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, taking place at the Halifax Seaport Market February 16th. With more than 30 breweries and cideries from Nova Scotia and PEI, there will be a wide assortment of offerings pouring that evening. There are sure to be some new releases, and plenty of washer toss, cornhole, and other cottage activities, as breweries dress up their booths to fully embrace the theme. Live music all evening, and food will be available for purchase. Grab your tickets now!

Though we’re still a few months away, tickets for the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival are now on sale. They are doubling down this year, with events on both the West and East coasts of the island. First, on April 6th, they will be taking over the Corner Brook Civic Centre for the evening, for a full evening of beer, live music, food, and fun. Grab your tickets here. And the following weekend they are in the Royal Canadian Legion at Quidi Vidi for two nights, April 12 and 13, to bring the same fun to the East coast. Tickets are available here. All events have VIP tickets available for an hour-earlier entrance. No brewery/beer list available yet, but look for a great mix of Newfoundland, Maritimes, Canadian, and maybe even US and European beer to be flowing in the first couple of weeks of April.

And here be your final bits of beer news; have a great (beer-filled) weekend!!

Stillwell Brewing will be back selling beer at the back door of Propeller’s Gottingen Street location tomorrow from noon to 4 PM. New this week is the latest batch of Easy, their house saison, that’s been napping for quite some time in bottles after 2 months in their biggest foedre. While you’re there grabbing that one, you’ll also have the chance to get your grubby paws on Auld (old ale), Make 1,2 (bière de coupage) and Five (saison with honey fermented in a Pineau des Charentes puncheon).

If you were kicking yourself for missing Kiskadee Sour Porter with Strawberries from Tatamagouche at Curated’s Eat. Drink. Local. event in early January, as we mentioned in our wrap-up the next day that beer was bottled and kegged and is now generally available for your drinking pleasure. Two years in the making, it’s a big ol’ beast at 9.8% ABV with notes of chocolate, spirits and tart strawberries. Available now at the brewery and Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax, and, we suspect, kegs will go out to tap accounts as well.