902 BrewCast

All posts tagged 902 BrewCast

We’ve got another week chock-full of new and returning releases, as well as another new brewery opening in the region. A reminder that with Remembrance Day Monday, the provincial liquor stores will be closed, and many of the private stores will be as well. Breweries and taprooms may be adjusting their hours, to allow their employees time to observe the day, so please keep an eye on their social media to avoid disappointment.

For the second time in less than a month, we are thrilled to announce the opening of a new brewery in Newfoundland and Labrador! RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company is opening their doors today in St Anthony, in the Northwest region of the island. Located at 223-227 West Street, the brewery features a taproom where you can enjoy a sample, flight, or pint, and then fill up a 0.95 or 1.89 litre growler for further enjoyment at home. Four of their own beers will be complemented by four more from their closest brewery neighbour, Crooked Feeder located in 400 km south in Cormack. And to keep you happy and able to go all day/night, the Northern Wings food truck will be serving burgers, wings, and a few other snacks. The taproom will be open today 2 PM – 12 AM, and open again for the rest of the weekend, keep an eye on their FB page above for details. Congratulations to the RagnaRöck family! This brings the number of breweries in the province to 16, with a couple more slated to open before the end of the year!

Hot off the heels of their tap takeover at Battery Park last night, we have further details on two new releases from Propeller Brewing this week. First up is a Propeller-only beer, NZ Pils. You’ve probably noticed a few different beers in Atlantic Canada popping up over the last year or two with the style name “New Zealand Pilsner”, and this is one of those, hopped entirely (and heavily, compared to your poppy’s Pilsner) with New Zealand varieties… in this case, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. These wonderful hops have topped up this beer with lots of gooseberry, white wine, and fresh citrus in the aroma, with a “light malt body” to balance. Clean and refreshing, it comes in at a pretty-sessionable 5.2% ABV, and releases today at both Prop Shop locations in cans and on tap. It should be appearing in the private stores in the HRM shortly, as well as at NSLC The Port next week. Finally, NZ Pils will also be making an appearance at Propeller’s cask night at 5 pm today, accompanied by an extra Nelson Sauvin addition.

Continuing with Propeller, their next beer is a collaboration with North Brewing, Wing & Ding Lithuanian Pale Ale. This one is a 5% ABV Saison brewed with Shoreline Pale malt, hopped with Amarillo and El Dorado, and fermented with Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast, which has given the beer “aromas and flavours of passionfruit, orange zest, and guava, with a light Farmhouse funk”; they’re also describing it as “a fusion of tropical fruit and spice, with a lightly tart finish”, which sounds pretty good to us! Now, while you can find cans of this baby at both Propeller and North retail shops, North will be selling theirs under the name of Ding, and Propeller under Wing. Confused? Well, there’s a method behind their madness: there is a code on the can labels for you beer-lovers to crack, and you’ll need both cans to decode it. The first person to do this and DM either Propeller or North will win a prize pack from both breweries. The beer releases today, so get cracking!

Keeping up with collaboration news, Port Rexton Brewing teamed up with Brasserie Artisanale de l’Anse of St.Pierre-et-Miquelon, an overseas collectivity of France located near Newfoundland (just 25km!). Port Rexton believes this may be the first France-Canada craft beer collab, and we’re going to defer to them, because the thought of researching that right now is exhausting! The beer is named French Pale Ale, and was brewed with French Pale, Pilsner, and Biscuit malts. Hopped with French hop varieties (Strisselspalt, Mistral and Bouclier), the final beer has “notes of rose, melon, herb and grass with subtle spicy/floral undertones and a lingering bitterness”. Available on tap and in cans at the taproom, this 5.1% ABV brew was released yesterday; you’ll also be able to grab cans at the brewery’s St. John’s Retail Shop. And in other PR news, you should be able to find some of their beers in cans at select NLC stores across the province; availability will be limited, of course, and styles will vary from week to week.

Niche Brewing, located in the New Brunswick Capital region, has gone hazy and sweet again this week, with the release of Lush. Their latest in the Milkshake IPA theme, the 6.5% ABV Lush features lactose powder and vanilla beans, fermentation with a hazy IPA yeast strain, and conditioning on mango purée before packaging. Fruity and tropical from both the hops and fruit addition, vanilla and milk sugar keep it a bit sweet to complete the milkshake experience. Look for it on draft at The Joyce and Graystone Brewing in Fredericton, Saint John Ale House, Peddler’s Creek, and Ducky’s elsewhere in the province, The Auction House in Halifax (along with the recent batch of Niche’s Single Origin Coffee Sweet Stout), and at ANBL Moncton North for growler fills

We’ve got some news on the latest beer comin’ out of Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing, a Rye IPA named Rye’T Some Good IPA (the rye beer puns are never ending, eh, Tony?). As you probably figured, there’s a good portion of Rye malt in the grist of this one, and the classic Simcoe hop variety was used in abundance to provide aromas of grapefruit and pine, which always pair well with this style of IPA. There’s a bit of sweetness upfront as well, along with moderate bitterness and “a cleansing stone fruit counterbalance”. You can only find this one at the brewery (pints, growlers and crowlers), so those of you who are Rye IPA fans, get in your cars! Or on your horse, if you have a horse and don’t mind longer road trips.

We know that pretty much all of you don’t want to hear it, but sorry, Bootleg Brew Co. is going to remind you with their new beer… CHRISTMAS IS COMING (anyone got one of those handy Ned-from-Game of Thrones memes hanging around?). Anyway, the beer. Tis the Saison is a 5.5% ABV Farmhouse Ale that they’ve spiced with nutmeg, allspice, cloves and cinnamon. On the nose, expect “apple/orchard fruit Saison characteristics” with a touch of spice; the spices do come through more prominently on the palate, however, along with the orchard fruit and a bit of bubblegum. Available at the brewery right now on tap and in bottles, so drop on in (Santa costumes optional). 

Have you been itching for a new supremely-hoppy beer from 2 Crows Brewing? If the answer is a resounding “Of course YES so just get to the damn news about the beer already!”, then FINE, EXCUSE US FOR TRYING TO MAKE THIS A LITTLE LESS THAN MONOTONOUS. Anyway, the beer is Another Iteration, brewed with Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malt. Hopped with puh-lenty Simcoe and Ella in the hopback, they fermented it with an English yeast strain and then dry-hopped it twice with puhhhhhhhhh-lenty Enigma, Vic Secret, and Huell Melon (16 g/L, to be specific… and for those of you who aren’t familiar with brewing specifics, that is a lot of hops). It came out pretty juicy and tropical, as you might imagine, “with big stone fruit, passionfruit, and tangerine vibes”. Grab this 6.1% ABV beauty on tap and in cans at the tasting room starting tomorrow; fresh is best!

With Remembrance Day happening on Monday, Tatamagouche Brewing has just released a Flanders-inspired beer to honour those who have given so much in sacrifice for our country and our freedoms. Muse is a 6.5% ABV blend of sour red ales that was refermented and aged on cherries for four months. Bottle-conditioned (in 500 mL bottles), the beer has tart blackberries and crabapples in the flavour, “tempered by a slight sweetness evocative of sour candy”. Finishing with a lingering dryness, this is a fine way to enjoy now, or age for further development. Looks like you’ll have to swing by the brewery right now to get it, but let’s hope some bottles see some wider distribution, soon! Plus, look out for cans and draught of their Blue Bales, a 4.8% ABV Wheat Ale absolutely filled with early harvest Organic blubes from North of Nuttby Farm.

Halifax’s Good Robot never really stops and they’re always kind enough to let us know what’s going on during any given week. This time around they’re on a journey into darkness. First up is reminding folks that their Summer Stout brewed in collaboration with Portland, Maine’s Lone Pine Brewing Company is still pouring at the tap room for the moment, although they’re down to their last kegs. But if you happen to miss that, there’s also the impending return of Bingo Bronson, their 6% ABV, 25 IBU smooth, dark and rich Chocolate Porter. And coming back next week is a favorite of many, their Tom Waits for No One American Stout, which returns next Thursday. A big ‘un that’s been around since they opened their doors, it’s a beefy 7.9% ABV and 58 IBU.

Up in Inverness, Nova Scotia, Route 19 Brewing is on the hunt for a brewmaster. Ideally they’re looking for someone with plenty of experience in the industry and is ready to take on a wide variety of tasks in their shiny new brewhouse, including recipe research and development, ingredient selection and purchasing, inventory management, and production. If this sounds like you and you’re interested in working in a quiet, but beautiful part of the region, you’ll want to check out the full job posting and send in an application. And they’re also searching for a Salesperson, to help move all of the beer that new Brewer will be making, so check out the job posting here, and send your enquiries to evan@route19brewing.com for either opening.

We’ve got a few events to tell/remind you about today, including the Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, happening tomorrow at the Moncton Coliseum. Grab tickets/sign up/mark your calendars, and we’ll see you out there!

As the local beer cognoscenti are aware, the Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards were judged last weekend, but the results have been encrypted and hermetically sealed and are quietly awaiting revelation. When will we find out which beers are big winners this year? Next weekend, in fact. HopYard Halifax will be hosting this year’s ACBA Awards (presented by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers – Atlantic Canada Chapter) Gala on Saturday, November 16th, from 6 – 9 PM. Changing it up from previous years, this will be a “stand-up mingling occasion” without the formality of a sit-down dinner and allowing the drinking public to attend rather than just brewery and industry folks. Tickets are $57.50 and are available through EventBrite. Come on down and find out whose beer reigned supreme in our region this year!

If one of your personal markers for November is Stillwell’s annual Birthday Party, congratulations, you’re probably beer-obsessed. But that’s okay, so are we! Going down on Sunday, November 17 from noon ‘til late, Stillwell turns SIX. You can, as always, expect tasty goodies on tap from breweries both within and without our region including some debuts. Add to that some lambic bottle pours and some cask conditioned treats as well and you’ve got a recipe for a good time. But wait, there’s more! Food-wise, pig head poutine is going to be a thing, a hoagie platter will be around to share with friends or punish yourself (or maybe both), and to the utter delight of one AC Beer Blogger, Trinidadian Doubles (with proper pepper sauce, we’ll warrant) will be coming out of the kitchen. Also, oyster happy hour from 4 – 7 PM and FREE CAKE! This is a non-ticketed event and we expect the joint to be hopping, so plan your appearance wisely. And while there’s no date yet publicized, keep an eye on social media for opening details of The Stillwell Freehouse, Team Stilly’s English Pub-inspired location opening soon on Agricola Street. Think even more beer engines/handpumps, cozy nooks and benches, and pies and pasties and even some bartop games. We’ll have lots more to say real soon, too!

Are you one of those beer drinkers who doesn’t get the attraction of wild and/or sour beers? Or are you the type who sees that certain breweries are releasing a new one and put the release date and time in your calendar? Somewhere in-between? If you’re into learning more about such beers, where they came from, how they’re made, and why you may be missing out if you avoid them, the Ladies Beer League in Halifax has an event for you. Wild & Sour Beer: A guided tasting with Jeremy Taylor is happening on Tuesday, November 19th from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at 2 Crows. As brewmaster at 2C, Jeremy has been making some of the region’s finest beers in this category since the brewery opened (and before that at other breweries) and has a wealth of knowledge to share. For $30 you’ll have a chance to glean some of this info from him as you sip 4 samples, each with cheese pairing, and a full pint from the taps. We don’t know how many tickets there are, but we’re pretty sure it’s not a ton, so if this event interests you head on over to EventBrite and grab yours ASAP. As with all of the LBL events, this is open to everyone cool, no need to be a member.

Just a few parting words before we dismiss you today. Check out the last few new and returning beers, and a heads up for some new ear-candy coming Tuesday.

While we can’t provide you with a link to the episode as it isn’t up yet, you should set a reminder to visit the 902BrewCast page (or your favorite podcast provider) this coming Tuesday, November 12. You remember earlier this fall when they did their blind tasting of local Pilsners? Well they’re doing the same thing with another style, NE IPAs. Tune in for more mirth and merriment, and Kyle talking about rolling cans (seriously, people do that?). Social media posts suggest that once again the results were a bit of a surprise to the gang themselves, which no doubt will make for an entertaining and educational listen.

Fredericton’s Trailway Brewing has a couple of beers returning this week, one dark and one light. The latest iteration of Beans, their oatmeal coffee stout, has been dosed with cholaca for an additional hit of chocolatey goodness. And the first batch of their winter session ale, Parallel, is also available, with a (for Trailway) subtle hop character of berries and stone fruit sitting pairing with a honey sweetness from a high-quality German Pils malt side. Look for both on tap and in cans shortly, with the latter going to ANBL distribution soon.

And over on PEI, in Charlottetown, Upstreet is having a release party for this year’s Black Tie Affair at the taproom tonight, from 7 PM onwards. Although not strictly black tie, you’re encouraged to dress up for this candlelit soirée where h’ors d’oeuvres will be passed around and background music will be played on piano by Brielle Ansems. Of course you’ll have the chance to enjoy some beer, including the eponymous brew, a sweet and roasty full-bodied stout coming in at 5% ABV and 15 IBU, made slightly tart by an addition of cranberries.

And lastly, staying on the Island, PEIBC has a new beer coming out in their After Hours series of limited edition one-off beers, this one entitled Dry-hopped Sour. With high-quality wheat and Pilsner malts ensuring a crisp and clean base for the sourness and hops to shine, it features citrus and tropical overtones. Low in bitterness like most sours at 14 IBU, it’s 5% ABV and will be hitting the taproom shelves today with full PEILCC distribution coming later. Meanwhile, we’re expecting the results of their Maritime Homebrew Challenge to be announced this weekend; keep an eye on the website and PEIBC and Gahan social media for news on that front!

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’s damn near October; how the heck did that happen?! We’ll let you ruminate on that one whilst you peruse our weekly round-up of beer and beer events news in the region. Plenty of new beers on the go this week as breweries continue their transition from, “dear god make it stop,” summer production to, “let’s have some fun in the brewhouse again,” fall shenanigans. Meanwhile, plenty of Oktoberfest events are still going on or yet to come, and though we didn’t have any submissions this week, we know the pumpkin beers are still flowing. Grab one (…or maybe a Pilsner, if that’s what you prefer) and read on!

Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin has packaged a beer released earlier this month, strongly influenced by one of Brewer Dan Tanner’s favourite wines. Pinotage is one of South Africa’s signature grape varietals, a cross of the Pinot noir and Hermitage varietals, developed in the first half of the 20th century. The wines made with Pinotage are dark red, with smoky and earthy flavours, and sometimes having banana, tropical fruit, and possibly acetone/solvent notes (though these are discouraged and avoided when possible). Starting from their base Porter beer, Tanner aged the beer in highly charred barrels that once held Ironworks Dark Rum, with extra fruit notes from Black Raspberry puree, kicked up with fresh Blackberries and Blueberries. With contribution from the base beer, barrel, and fruit additions, look for vanilla, caramel, light smoke, roast, chocolate, with deep berry character. The 6.3% ABV Porter [Oak Aged & Berry Addition] is available at the brewery and farmers markets now in bottles and limited growler fills, and may be one of the offerings at their Chester taproom, poised to open at the end of October. Tanner & Co on Duke will be located (coincidentally, right?) at 59 Duke Street in the Village of Chester, and feature 20 seats, with a whole bevvy of their own beers, complemented by guest taps from the region, and plenty of excellent wine once the licensing is in place. Another of their beers which *may* still be around at the time of celebration is their Double IPA, back in the lineup after a six-month hiatus. Maxing out their larger system this time around, this 8.0% ABV beer features a dry finish, accentuated with lots of kettle and dry hops (their biggest ever!) to the tune of 60 IBU, with Amarillo, Centennial, and Citra throughout, for a citrus bomb with additional floral and earthy notes. Available now at the brewery as well!

We mentioned it was coming last week and now that it’s out we’d like to double-down on a recommendation that you give it a listen. September’s 902BrewCast tasting episode has the gang blind tasting 8 (no wait, 9!) Czech- and German-style Pils(e)ners from around the region (and one from beyond) and documenting their experience as they went. We think it’s an excellent introduction to the practice of throwing away your preconceived notions and tasting blind with others, describing what you’re sensing and talking it through. Whether you’re a budding beer geek or an old palate, it’s an excellent exercise for your senses, your descriptive abilities, and your tasting mindset. It’s also a bunch of fun as you can tell from listening to these jokers do it!

Last Friday Bootleg Brew Co in Corner Brook put on a new beer before closing their doors for the week on Sunday night to head to town for a series of 6 pop-ups on Tuesday at locations around St. John’s. So we’re not entirely sure this beer is still available, but we’re going to tell you about it anyway – if it didn’t sell out, you can go try it, if it did sell out, you know it’s a straight banger and you’ll want to keep an eye out for the next time it’s available. Old Hat is an honest and gimmickless American Pale Ale hopped with Amarillo, Idaho 7, and some BC-grown Cascade. Expect a classic floral, citrus and piney hop character in flavor and aroma, a lowish bitterness and a light body, all in a fairly sessionable 5% ABV package. Only available at the brewery, definitely for fills, possibly for pints.

The bad boys of Niche Brewing in Hanwell have emerged from the summer madness and now seem to be back on the road of new and interesting releases. This week they’ve got one called Colours of Shade hitting the taps, a mixed-fermentation Saison with black currant. As you might expect, this one was fermented with Niche’s own house culture of Saison and Brettanomyces strains, meaning that at some level it’s going to taste like a “Niche beer,” but the very nature of such a blend of microorganisms means that it’s likely to express itself a little differently every time it’s used, so some of the magic is seeing how each beer is different. In this one, the yeast and fruit come together to provide a pleasant tartness, with some Brett funk to complement. The color is a beautiful purple thanks to the addition of black currant puree late in fermentation. Aged briefly in stainless, it comes in at 6.2% and would be a great choice for fruity/funky beer fans and wine lovers alike. Coming soon to  The Joyce Pub, Peppers Pub, Stillwell, The Auction House, Graystone Brewing and the Laundromat Expresso Bar (Marky’s), with a couple of kegs also making their way to the ANBL growler station at their Moncton North store. And if you’re at one of those places you might also find one of the last few kegs of their Intergalactic NEIPA on tap as well! 

Our first Oktoberfest beer this week, as Big Spruce launched Schnitz & Gigglez, their take on the malty-yet-dry amber Lager. Brewed with 100% German malts (including Pilsner, Munich and Vienna) and hopped lightly with GR Magnum and Tettnang, the wort was fermented with Escarpment Lab’s Biergarten (“sourced from a venerable Munich brewery”) and then lagered for about 8 weeks before packaging. With aromas of toffee and brown bread, and “hints of dried apricot and candied orange”, the beer is full-bodied, with a lightly-sweet finish. It weighs in at 6.3% ABV (at the upper end for the style), and is available right now on tap at the Sprucetique in Nyanza (and soon at some of your favourite Big Spruce accounts).  

In Edmundston, Petit-Sault is leaning towards the hoppier side of things with their latest release, Double Vision. This is the brewery’s first crack at the Double IPA style, and it’s a big one at 8.8% ABV. Intensely hopped with Vic Secret, Azacca, Columbus and Mosaic, the beer has plenty of malt backbone to balance, and finishes firmly bitter (60 IBUs). There is only a limited supply available, and it IS in cans… however, the only way to get it is at the brewery, so either get ready for a road-trip, or maybe call in a favour or two to friends/family who live around that area of New Brunswick!

Testify! Stillwell Brewing has announced that their barrel-aged sour beer with peaches, Preach, is being released today. This year’s version is their most peach-saturated batch yet, featuring a whopping 300 g/L of whole peaches. The “base” beer is a blend of four different barrel-fermented Saisons (who gets to decide which Saisons to use in these blends, and is Stillwell Brewing looking to add people into that role? Asking for a friend…), and went through a refermentation on the peaches (that’s 600 lbs!) and continued aging on the fruit for about five months, before bottling at the beginning of the year. They’re describing the final product as “bright, fresh, soft and fun”, and if it’s similar to the last batch, we can confirm that this is accurate! Grab it on tap and/or in bottles at Stillwell today from noon. And with their Beergarden still closed due to the crane issue during Dorian, be sure to drop by and show them some love at HQ.

Few new/returning beers coming out of Propeller today, proving that they’re continuing to stay very busy at the brewery. Returning is Nocturne, their 6.7% ABV Black IPA that is brewed in celebration of Halifax’s Nocturne, “an evening of art and wonder” in mid-October that Propeller sponsors. Luckily they release the beer weeks ahead of time, giving you many chances to consume a pint or two. Speaking of the beer, it is dry-hopped with Amarillo and Falconer’s Flight, giving “complex tropical fruit and pine hop aromas” to go with the flavours of dark chocolate and coffee. Also out today is a tasting-room only beer, Lagered Ale. The name gives you an idea of what this one will be: “easy-drinking, balanced and refreshing”, according to the brewery, and at just 4.5% ABV, it definitely seems to fit the mould. Expect hints of “sweet melon, stone fruits and citrus” in this one. Finally, tonight’s cask is Pumpkin Ale with Vanilla (4.5% ABV), which will be tapped at 5 pm as usual.

Not too far away, Garrison Brewing has a couple new releases of their own, both brewed in celebration of, yep, Oktoberfest. Let’s start with their Oktoberfest/Marzen, Gettin’ Ziggy. Malty and clean, this 5.5% ABV Lager has “grainy and toffee flavours and a quick and soft bitterness”, and pours a reddish-copper colour. Next is a Wheat Ale named It’s a Wienerful Wheat, which they brewed in collaboration with local radio station Jack 92.9. This 4.6% ABV, 12 IBUs golden-coloured brew is light and crisp, with aromas and flavours of “sweet malt and bready wheat, with spicy notes and a mild, citrusy finish”; each can sold will see $0.50 go to the SPCA. Both beers are available now, at the Garrison taproom and private liquor stores in the HRM.

Lots of news from Tatamagouche Brewing this week, with the return of their Lagerhosen as well as two bottle releases on the go. For those who aren’t familiar, Lagerhosen is an amber lager that Tata has been making for quite awhile (our first mention of it was in 2014). Timed for release in the fall during Oktoberfest season, there are two variants, a regular and a dry-hopped. Running at just about 5% ABV, it’s brewed with Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops for spicy and floral notes. The dry-hopped version features additions of both Strisselspalt and Czech Saaz for an even more intense noble character. Find both of these in cans at the brewery for sure, and hopefully also your other favorite locations for grabbing Tata brews. Or, if you’re planning to be at the 40th North Shore Oktoberfest this weekend you’ll definitely find it there!

Meanwhile, those who missed out on the annual Tata Tap Takeover at Battery Park a couple weeks ago may have been kicking themselves when they read our post that week mentioning some of the special kegs that were pouring that night. Well fear not gentle reader, at least some of those beers are being packaged for wider release and the first two, both considered entries in Tata’s “Weird Beer” series, are ready to go this week! First up is a barrel-aged rye (quick! someone call Tony!) saison they’ve named Rooted. All kinds of things went in to this beer, which started with a rye saison with Brettanomyces that was then blended with a neutral Berliner-style sour for some tartness before being barrel-aged. Described as a beer that “connects you to the earth,” you’ll find plenty of flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel including some spice from the rye, plenty of tart lemon and other citrus, and a pithy bitterness on the finish. Coming in at 6.6% ABV, it pours a bright banana color, and slightly cloudy, with polka dot lacing; if you get your hands on some expect a complex and challenging experience for your senses. Find it in 750 mL bottles at the brewery and hopefully at private stores in the city as well.

And if you lean more (or also) towards the bigger beer styles, Tata’s also got you covered with their second bottle release of the week, Toro. A massive Belgian Quadrupel bourbon barrel-aged with Brett, it’s a monster at 11.2% ABV and, where it’s been packaged in 500 mL bottles we suggest you bring a friend and/or plan for a night in when you try it (as friends of the blog like to say, a “movie beer”: best enjoyed on the couch while checking out the latest superhero flick). Like the Rooted, there’s lots going on in this deep coppery-orange beer, with plenty of dark fruit flavors complemented by sweet and malty notes and maybe even a little bit of toffee and chocolate presence. Although there’s certainly some heat from the alcohol, it’s not overpowering, as it’s been balanced by the malt profile and caramel sweetness. You can also safely expect some additional oak character from the barrels and some of the notes that only brett can provide. Definitely available from the brewery, we hope it’ll be available in the city as well as time goes on.

Speaking of Oktoberfests in the region, the Mount Pearl Oktoberfest is this weekend, and several of the breweries attending have released beers they’ll be pouring at the event, as well as doing wider releases. First up, host brewery YellowBelly has offered up a Helles named Schweine fliegen (we’ll leave the translation as an exercise to the reader). At 5.2% ABV, it features a simple malt bill of Pilsner, Munich, and CaraPils malts, and hopped entirely with Hersbrucker hops. Filtered clear, as is tradition, the light beer leans towards the malt side rather than hops, though both sides shine through with pleasant biscuit notes and Noble-like earth and spice from the hops. In addition to at the Fest, Schweine fliegen is pouring now at the brewpub in downtown St. John’s.

A short taxi or bus ride from George Street is Quidi Vidi, where the brewery by the same name is fully embracing Fest season by releasing Oktoberfest Marzen.This 5.5% ABV beer is malt-driven, and supremely chuggable. While not available in 1 Litre Maß at the brewery overlooking the gut, it is being released in tall cans there and around town. So grab two and make your own Oktoberfest at home (if you can’t make it out to Mount Pearl)! 

A little further out of town is Port Rexton on the Bonavista Peninsula, who are visiting the Avalon this weekend with their own German beer, this one in the Pilsner style. German Pilsner is a 6.2% ABV crisp and clean beer, using Hallertau Mittelfruh, Tettnang, and Strisselspalt hops, and fermented with Escarpment’s Isar Lager yeast. In addition to the Craft’ernoon Experience tomorrow, it will be available in the PRBC Retail Shop on Torbay Road, keep an eye on their social media for when exactly it is tapped, so you can fill up your Siphon or Stuetzla! 

And a couple more notes about PRBC this week: they are hosting a Brewers Dinner at Peach Cove Inn in nearby Trinity East, on October 11th. Featuring 6 courses of food and an accompanying beer (or is it the other way around?), this will surely be a fun intimate environment to sit down with both chef and brewer to talk about the flavours in both food and drink. Limited to just 20 tickets, best to contact your via phone at 709-436-2069. And if working for a brewery has been on your radar, then look no further! PRBC is hiring a part-time delivery driver to join their team. Looking to fill about 20 hours worth of work, though there may be a potential for more hours in a packaging capacity at the brewery. Send Nicole your resume today, or pop by the brewery to learn more!

And while not out quite in time for the Oktoberfest in their backyard, Landwash Brewery has teased that they will be releasing a Munich-style Helles in the next few weeks. More info on that when the time is right, but in the meantime they’re still bringing the German flair this weekend with their One Wave Blonde (which features lots of German Saphir hops), as well as their Brackish Sour Ale (heavily influenced by the German Gose style). Cans of both are available at the brewery if you cannot get out to the Oktoberfest this weekend.

Today is “Meet the Motherfuckers” day at Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax as they’ve brought back their pair of aggro-named sour beers. Sour Motherfucker is a little different this time around, with no Brett or barrel-aging involved, but it’s still a tart cherry wheat beer that should be plenty refreshing and a little dangerous, weighing in at 6.5% ABV. Fruity Motherfucker on the other hand is described as a 7% ABV “apricot, pink guava and tangerine IPA,” with plenty of fruit and, since it’s coming from Unfiltered and it’s an IPA, no doubt plenty of hops! Find both of these for fills and pints and in cans at the brewery from noon today along with what’s left of the cans of DOA and also some new branded merchandise.

What’s on the go this weekend? Peep here for the fresh info!

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing is making a foray across the harbour today for a takeover at Hop Yard Halifax on Gottingen Street. Featuring 10 taps from the brewery, including Rampant Lion NEIPA, Karate Laser SIPA, Bush Berry Haskap Cider, Taken for Granted Mead, and their brand new Sound Check West Coast IPA there should be something for everyone. Head down for an afternoon pint or plan to stay for several and a meal, there will be live music starting at 8 PM.

Good Robot’s annual celebration of all things puppers is this weekend, with their Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Grounds in Halifax. From noon daily, there is a beer garden, events throughout the day, food and dog-friendly merchandise and paraphernalia, with the highlight of Saturday night being an airing of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Your $12 entrance fee gets you your first drink (beer or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage), and access to all of the fun. One of those beers may be the brand new Hope Nation Saison, which we mentioned in last week’s post. Good news for dog Aunts and Uncles, no pupper is required, and please note that entry is restricted to those pups and people who play nice with new friends. 

Just a couple more things before we send you on your way today…

Boxing Rock teamed up with frequent collaborator World Tea House’s Phil Holmans to brew up Citrodora, a 6.5% ABV IPA with a healthy dose of lemon verbena tea. Look for that on tap at the Legendary Taproom in downton Shelburne, as well as the Agricola Street bottle shop in Local Source Market in Halifax. In case you haven’t already grabbed your tickets for the Highway 103 Tap Takeover happening tomorrow, now’s your chance to avoid disappointment!

King Street Beer in Bridgewater is releasing the latest of their Lahave River Beers, collaborations with local homebrewers and fans. Hawaiian Explosion is a Pineapple IPA, featuring moderate bitterness and tropical floral hops. Grab it from 6:30PM tonight!

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is Zagging while many are Ziggying (sorry not sorry), and releasing Pony Boy, a British Golden Ale described as “clean and malt-forward beer with a biscuit aroma”. Drop by today to grab a sample, pint, or growler of this one.

Secret Cove in Port au Port Newfoundland is going dark this week, with The Port au Porter. A 6.0% Robust Porter, think chocolate and coffee thanks to the dark German malts used. Smooth as silk, and with a name like that, how can you not take a trip out to grab a pint?!

Sourwood has an interesting new cider available this weekend: Semitone (7.1% ABV) was spontaneously fermented on blueberries that had been used in the making of their last blueberry cider, Denim. Aged on the previously-used fruit for 2 months, it’s tasting slightly acidic, with a “much softer fruiting ad colour profile” compared to the first go-around with the fruit. 

If you’ve been around the Nova Scotia beer scene for a while you know that Uncle Leo’s is known for, among other things, making some fine German-style beers. And if you’re a fan of those you’ll know that this is the time of year when they drop their mixed 4-pack! Featuring Vohs Weizenbier (wheat beer), Nachtical Illusion (Schwarzbier), Ceilidh Ale (Kölsch), and Altbier (Alt, of course!), it’s a pretty great primer for those interested in trying German styles or a treat for those who are already in the know. Find it at NSLC locations in and around the HRM already (hopefully with more around the province added in coming weeks) and, word has it, at ANBL and PEILC locations as well!