902 BrewCast

All posts tagged 902 BrewCast

Well, this is definitely a different week than usual on the blog. First off, for those of you in health care and other essential businesses, keeping us and our family and friends safe, the lights on and trucks moving, a massive thank you from the ACBB family.

For many, beer is a happy diversion from work, while for others, it is their work! Kudos to those who are still able to support the brewers and cidermakers by ordering beer for delivery and pickup safely, but most important at this time is to keep everyone safe and healthy.

A logistical note: to keep from having to update multiple pages several times per day as the situation and the way breweries are dealing with it changes, we’re going to stick to one: last week’s Wrap-Up will be our itemization of what breweries and cideries across the region are doing in light of the current situation. It will be our reference for what’s open and closed, how to safely pick up product from their location, and order beer delivery at home. It’s been updated a ton since we sent it out last week, so do take a look for the latest details. And if there is anything missing or out of date, we’d appreciate a quick nudge via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred, Fb often gets missed).

Let’s start our day in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where Church Brewing calls home. They are shining a light through the darkness this week with Illuminate Kveik Pale Ale. Light-coloured and -tasting malts offer a base for the bounty of hops used in this beer, starting from a light bittering addition of Magnum, before massive dry-hopping of Mosaic and Vic Secret. These offer big flavour and aroma of citrus, tropical notes of mango and papaya, which are only enhanced thanks to the kveik yeast employed. As a refresher, this family of yeasts originated in Norway, and after thousands of generations of use (yeast, not people), has become something totally distinct from other brewer’s yeast: very high temperature tolerant (traditional ale yeasts tend to give off some unpleasant flavours when fermented too warm, whereas as kveik thrives in it), with some lovely fruity characteristics presented, thanks to its production of esters. This particular yeast was sourced through Guelph’s Escarpment Labs, who have been researching the history and microbiology of this family for a while, and have the nerdy ahem important information on it. This beer used their Voss Kveik which gave them plenty of those juicy characteristics, and stays a bit hazy. At 5.0% ABV, and low bitterness, this is a beer you can use to light your way in these uncertain times… Available at their retail shop for 

Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom brewery likes to celebrate spring with a saison they call Better Weather. Although they’re not able to celebrate the coming season in the same way as usual this year, they’re still bringing that farmhouse ale to market for folks to enjoy. This year, they went with a French Saison yeast for a very crisp and dry beer, highlighting their use of Shoreline Malting 2-row. With some fruity esters completing the picture, expect this 5% ABV and 25 IBU beer to be refreshing but still interesting on the palate. You can get it from them via their webstore for pickup as well as via walk-in (social distancing enforced) at their retail location. You can also get it via delivery island-wide from their delivery service (check their Fb page for details on that!). And when this whole mess blows over, you can safely expect it to be on the shelves at select PEILC stores too.

In Yarmouth, Heritage Brewing has a new beer available for delivery in the tri-county area. They took their Blueberry Grunt, a lightly sour blueberry ale they released last fall, and replaced a portion of blueberries with cranberries, to give us Cranberry/Blueberry Sour Wheat. A mix of lightly tart and lightly sweet (but tipping more towards tart, thanks to the cranberry addition), this 5% ABV brew is refreshing and light, just the thing to get you into the Spring mood as you sip it on your deck. Check out our details from last week on how you can get some of this brew delivered to your door; their taproom is also open for retail sales.

Sea Level’s Port Williams location may be closed, but they are still working hard to produce great beer at their Millstone Harvest location in nearby Sheffield Mills. The latest to be released is also one of the first that features the sole us of their own malt and hops, grown right onsite. Millstone Harvest Pale Ale uses their own farm grown barley, malted at nearby Horton Ridge malt, to create Pilsner, Pale, and Honey malts. And from their hopfield comes Cashmere, Cascade, and Glacier hops, coming together for a “light, refreshing, everyday beer”. While they will be sending cans to NSLC locations across the province soon, you can grab growler fills at Millstone Harvest at 9146 Hwy 221 in Sheffield Mills today. Just remember to call (902-582-2337), email (sealevelbrewing@gmail.com) or DM them on their social media accounts in advance, and take advantage of their “Card in the Yard” pickup option. Hit them up the same way for more details on their delivery options.

For those of you in Sussex, you may already be taking advantage of the beer-to-go option at Sussex Ale Works. If so, great! If not, we encourage you to do so, and want to take the opportunity to also point out that they are still brewing new beers, and have just released their latest, a Belgian Dubbel named 13 Fathoms. Details on this brew are extremely light; however, we can tell you that they’re describing it as “sweet and smooth”. We wish we had more, but maybe it’s enough to pique your interest? Who doesn’t love a good Dubbel, right? Anyhoo, it’s 7.8% ABV and can be ordered online and picked up at the brewpub; check out last week’s post for further details on making your order. 

Back to Nova Scotia, where Backstage Brewing has launched Photograph, what was supposed to be a new beer for the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival. An American IPA hopped entirely with Mosaic, at least those of you in the Stellarton area may be able to give it a try! At 6.6% ABV and 60 IBUs, expect lots of delightful Mosaic character – tropical and stone fruit, citrus, mango, etc. – available for growler exchange at the brewery, 12-6 pm Monday to Saturday. They also hope to have bottles in the near future.

Nothing brand-spanking-new from TrailWay this week, but we will mention that their very popular DIPA, Sensible Nonsense, has been freshly-canned and is now available for delivery to anywhere in Fredericton, or pick-up at the brewery (and further distro across the province soon). Citrusy and dank, 7.6% ABV, and all sorts of hoppy.

In Halifax, 2 Crows Brewing has brought back one of their more subtle beers, the Refresh Lager. This delicate 4.8% ABV lager is a full two month process, starting from Shoreline Malting Pilsner (along with a lil bit of chit malt and flaked rice), dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, then krausened (using new beer to give the yeast some reinforcements), before lagering for 8 weeks. Like great BBQ, this one is done low and slow. And like great BBQ, it’s worth the wait! It’s available now at their retail shop with click-and-collect, as well as online delivery within HRM, as well as province-wide, and also elsewhere in Canada (yup!). And for those homebrewers looking to try and recreate this at home, there are no secrets when Jeremy Taylor is behind the wheel, here are all the details you need. Maybe drop him off a bottle/growler when it’s safe to do so, wouldja? Oh, and if you’re looking for a fun way to spend your afternoon, listen to Jeremy and Nick who appeared on the latest episode of Rival & Queen, getting hosts Ashley and Sarah up to speed on all things beer.

Speaking of podcasts, our favourite local beer podcast 902 BrewCast may be respecting the social distancing order, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still releasing episodes! Their March 2020 Tasting Episode is a great summary of how breweries are dealing with the shutdown of their licensee customers, closure of their own taprooms, and change in buying options for customers. Plus, they chatted about dipping into their beer cellars to enjoy something solo or with pals (you know, sometime in the future). You can stream it on their website, or check your favourite podcast app this morning, because you already subscribe to it, right? Right?!?

During all this craziness, expect to see a serious drop in collaboration brews, for obvious reasons! On the bright side, a collab brewed before the sh*t really hit the fan, will be available over the next week. Scotia Lager was brewed as a collaboration between Off Track, Propeller, and Spindrift at Propeller’s brewery. Featuring a simple malt bill of Superior Pilsner and a little bit of Crystal, it was hopped throughout the boil with Loral and Tettnang, to 38 IBUs. Fermented with a classic German lager strain, and then lagered for a period of time, it weighs in at 5% ABV. Expect some spicy, floral, and herbal notes thanks to the hop varieties used, all in an approachable and easy-drinking package. This beer was submitted as the annual Made Here By Us beer for the province; it didn’t get selected, but the breweries decided to brew it anyway, and now you get to try it! It will be available in cans at all three breweries over the next few days (whether for delivery or pickup, however they’re operating), and will be popping up at NSLCs as well, with the official launch coming Monday!

We at the ACBB had been planning to hold a big Trivia Night at the Auction House next Friday, in part to help kick off Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month, but with restaurants and bars closed, we obviously won’t be doing that! However, we still want to get together with all of you, share some beers, give away a ton of prizes, and have a fun time. Sooooo, we’re going to give online trivia a shot! Next Wednesday, April 1st, at 8 PM, we will be holding the trivia remotely/virtually! We’ll have plenty of head scratching questions, of course plenty of amazing prizes from our brewery pals. For those, we’ll mostly be connecting you with the brewery directly, to ensure no contact. OK, the way to win is to sign your team up in advance, and that way we can keep track of everyone. Click the link here! Plus there’s more info on the FB page for the event. We can’t wait to see you Wednesday!

The last gasps of February have brought some truly awful weather to Atlantic Canada, but as we all know, March can always be counted on to be worse, right?! Well, wetter, for sure. And if that thought leaves you crying a little bit, might we suggest you acquire for yourself a suitable beverage in which to capture your tears? You might not be surprised to learn that for this purpose (and pretty much all others), we favour beer. Fortunately, we’ve got all kinds of breweries kicking out choice liquids in our region, and plenty of them have something new to tell you about today. We’ve even got another all-new brewery and a solid slate of beer-related events! So quit your crying and start reading; but definitely do what you can to get beer involved in your weekend!

Great news for those looking for beer in downtown Truro, you now have a great brewery to visit! Truro Brewing Company, located at 53 Inglis Place, is just a stone’s throw from Victoria Park and the Prince Street main drag. Opening their doors to the public today (and every day except Monday) at 2 PM, you can pop in for pints of their Willow Street Wheat, a 4.0% ABV American Wheat Ale, Hub Town Honey Brown, 5.2% ABV, Cobequid Bay IPA, 6.3% ABV, and Exit 14 Porter, 4.6% ABV. We are also offering Trackside American Pale Ale, 4.9% ABV, and then grab growlers of any of those to take away, to keep the good beer vibes humming. To learn more about Jana and Trish, the dynamic duo behind the brewery, check out the Profile we ran on TBC yesterday. Congratulations!

Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing has a big beer out this week to help us shake off the late-February ice and snow. The name VSOP rightly conjures ideas of spirits, specifically Cognac, with special care taken to the selection and age of the liquor in the bottle. The same goes with Big Spruce’s VSOP, which is a Cognac Barrel Aged Barleywine, their first release of the kind. The deep amber beer features massive aromatics of oak and spirits thanks to the aging process in the freshly-emptied barrel, and follows through on the tongue as well, with a sweet warmth from the 11% ABV, finishing with dark fruit notes. VSOP is available on draught at the brewery, and soon in 330 ml bottles, the perfect size for tackling this big beer solo in front of a cozy fireplace. And yes, Halifax peoples, bottles will be heading your way in the near future.

Brand new big, super-hoppy beer debuting at 2 Crows tomorrow, if you’re into that sort of thing (newsflash: people are!). Bedlam Bridge Double IPA was brewed with a grist of 2-Row, Golden Promise, Flaked Oats, and Wheat malt. Mash-hopped and first-wort-hopped with Columbus, a “hefty dose” of Azacca was added in the hopback as well. Of COURSE there are dry-hop additions in this beer: first, one with more Azacca during fermentation with Foggy London, a hazy IPA strain from Escarpment Labs, and then two more afterwards, with even more Azacca, along with Citra and Vic Secret. So yeah, triple-dry-hopped, so just get ready to hand over your money. You may be expecting a juicy beer, and you wouldn’t be wrong! Look for notes of “pineapple, mango, tangerine, and grapefruit”, and more. It weighs in at 8% ABV, and is on tap and in cans at opening Saturday. They’ll also be hosting a Real Fake Meats popup at 4 pm at the brewery, and live music at 8 pm. Hops = party!

We’ve got a pair of hoppy beauts to tell you about from Propeller Brewing this week. The first is the latest release from their Pilot system, which is soon to be installed at the Quinpool Road location opening this Spring. With their success in the hazy IPA genre with Galaxy and Sabro DIPA, this release is a return to the old school with West Coast IPA. Describes as “crisp, clear, and assertively bitter”, it was hopped early with Simcoe and Amarillo to a hefty 78 IBU, and these hops shine through in both flavour and bitterness, with citrus, pine, and floral notes from later additions of Citra and Centennial. As this is a small batch release, it is on draught only, and currently, the sole point of sale for this 7.2% ABV beer is in the Propeller Arcade in the basement of their Gottingen Street taproom. Old School Beer with Old School Games, sounds like a great match to us! And if you’re visiting the Gottingen Street taproom today, keep an eye open for their weekly cask release, which is Porter with Cardamom added. Brewer Denys used a delicate approach to the addition, but it is still present and shines through, sure to satisfy even the most savage beast.

And in “returning beer news” from Propeller, they polled the audience late last year to find out which beer they should bring back in February, and the winner is Sasquatch Pale Ale! Featuring the first Canadian-patented hop by the same name, Sasquatch is a medium bodied hazy and juicy pale ale featuring plenty of tropical mango and pineapple character, with just a touch of cedar and fresh grapefruit. Catch a can or fill, while you’re able, at both Prop Shops now. 

And for those Propeller fans not in HRM, we kindly direct you to visit the Antigonish Townhouse for a Propeller Tap Takeover. From 4 PM, Prop will be pouring 8 different beers on draught, including the aforementioned Galaxy and Sabro, as well as a special cask for the event, Porter aged on rum-soaked oak. Pop in and stay for a while! 

Amherst’s Trider’s has taken their first crack at brewing a lager, a “Japanese Lager” they’ve named Dry Senso. Brewed with a “healthy” amount of rice in the grist, it was hopped entirely with Sorachi Ace. Fermented slowly over a period of a couple weeks with the S23 dry Lager yeast, it was then lagered for two more weeks before packaging. Easy-drinking and fairly dry, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. This one will be available on tap only, both at the brewery (where you can also purchase growlers) and select licensees, this coming Tuesday (Mar 3), and for those attending the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival, they’ll be pouring it next weekend as well! 

Speaking of the Capital Region, Niche Brewing has a brand new release they’re touting this week, Kashmir. A new addition to their family of mixed-fermentation beers, Kashmir started life with a base malt blend of Pilsner and 2-Row, along with CaraHell and Wheat malts for fuller body/sweetness, and mouthfeel/head retention, respectively. Lightly hopped in the boil with Hallertau Blanc, the wort underwent fermentation with their house culture of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces strains. With ferm complete, they dry-hopped with loads of Cashmere, to grab all of that melon, tropical, and citrus character. Paired with the tart and funky base beer, this is a winning combination. Kegs of Kashmir are out in the wild in New Brunswick, and loyal Niche fans in HRM will soon be rewarded for their patience, as we understand that and a couple other kegs will be on the board at Stillwell at some point late next week.

Two of New Brunswick’s breweries have come together to create a collaboration beer to showcase a new, experimental hop variety, HBC 586, that they obtained from Hops Connect. Foghorn and TrailWay developed the recipe together and brewed the same beer at each brewery. A 6.5% ABV American IPA brewed with a majority of 2-row malt and a touch of Munich, Undercover Hop was hopped exclusively with HBC 586, and fermented with an American yeats strain. The beer is exhibiting notes of “mango, mandarin-citrus, beerries, and a white wine-like fruitiness”, according to TW. There will no doubt be one or two minor differences in each brewery’s release, as technique/equipment/etc plays a role, so best that you compare the two, if possible! TW is launching theirs today on tap and in cans at the brewery; look for Foghorn’s version to hit their taps sometime early next week.

And while visiting TW, why not grab cans or fills of their latest batch of Good As? Featuring NZ darling hop Motueka, with a touch of Citra added, this 6.6% ABV beer throws off massive citrus zest and stone fruit character. On tap and in cans at the brewery now, it will also see limited distro to ANBLs in the region next week, so pop in and check/demand it!

Back to Nova Scotia, where Shipwright Brewing has an American Brown Ale on tap. City Bound was brewed with a blend of Golden Promise, raw oats, and roasted malts, to the tune of 5.2% ABV. Hopped with Simcoe and Eureka (to 32 IBUs), the final beer has “aromas of coffee, molasses, and toasted bread”, along with more coffee (and some brown sugar) on the palate, and finishes with a firm bitterness. This beer was originally launched at the Craft Beer Cottage Party in Halifax a few weeks ago, but it’s now on tap at Shipwright and the Grand Banker in Lunenburg. 

Those of you in the Fredericton area can keep your eyes peeled for a newish beer from 3Flip Brewing next weekend; we say “newish” because it did make an appearance at the brewery’s 1-year birthday party at the Joyce a couple of weeks ago, but the rest of the kegs will be popping up next week. Roggen-Roll All Night Long is the brewery’s take on a Roggenbier, a German rye beer. It’s traditional for beers of this style to be brewed with a minimum of 50% rye malt; for those of you who have brewed with rye before, you will know this is not an easy feat, as more rye typically translates to a higher chance of a stuck sparge (basically meaning that your transfer of wort from your mash tun to your boil kettle slows down… or even stops; lots of swearing usually ensues). 3Flip also incorporated 2-row, Munich and some specialty malts into their grist, and lightly hopped the wort with Willamette (to 16 IBUs). Fermented with a Hefeweizen yeast strain, the final beer has a little sweetness from the malt, some clove and banana, and a “spicy and almost sour-like rye character, with a slightly bitter finish”; it weighs in at 6.3% ABV. 3Flip is also releasing the second batch of their Pilsennial SMaSH IPA, an all-Pilsen malt, all-Centennial hopped, 5.3% ABV brew.

International Women’s Day is just around the corner (Sunday, March 8th), which means we’re starting to see some info trickling in from the annual brewdays to celebrate this day. Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has given us all the deets for their entry, The Bees Knees, a Honey Wheat Ale. Brewed with honey from Meander Farm, this 5.2% ABV, 25 IBUs beer has aromas of “soft, sweet melon, and doughy wheat characters”, accompanied by flavours of honey, melon, wheat, and berries. Finishing with a mixture of light bitterness and honey sweetness, it’s easy-drinking and refreshing. You’ll be able to find it on tap at both Garrison locations in the city starting next Friday, as well as in cans; some cans will also be sold at Bishop’s Cellar and Harvest Wines & Spirits. Look for the beer’s official launch to happen on March 8th; they’ll be hosting some local women vendors at their Seaport taproom for a Makers and Vintage market. Garrison will also be donating $0.50 from the sale of every can to create a Women in Trades bursary with the NSCC. And be sure to stop and admire the artwork on your can of beer, as it was designed by local artist Rachel Brisson. 

Newfoundland’s Secret Cove Brewing has two new fruited beers for you heading into the weekend, both part of the brewery’s new Petite Pilot Program, allowing them to play a bit and exhibit some fun, small batch beers. First off is A Night at the Raspberry, which was released last night. This is a Raspberry Wheat Ale that features an addition of local wild raspberries; it clocks in at an easy-drinking 5.1% ABV. Next up is CherryOake (rhymes with “karaoke”) a beer that will be dropping at the brewery tonight at 9 pm. This is another wheat ale, however, it’s a little more complex than the first beer we mentioned. The beer was aged briefly in a French Oak barrel, along with dark tart and red sweet cherries that had been soaked in Newfoundland Distillery Company gin. This 5.2% ABV beer is tart and fruity, with a slight touch of oak. This one will be available for pints only at the taproom.

Looks like Petit-Sault is having fun playing with hoppy beers lately, as they just released their latest at the brewery, Oat Saint-Jean IPA. This beer is a collaboration with one of the brewery’s original brewers, Jason Dionne, who is currently working at Maine’s Urban Farm Fermentory. Brewed with very high amounts of both malted and flaked oats (so you know this one is going to be hazy), a whole whack of Citra, Vic Secret, and Simcoe hops were used in the brew. The result is a beer chock-full of fruity goodness, including aromas of “citrus, pineapple, and passion fruit”. You can find it on tap at the brewery today, with bottles following sometime next week.

Quidi Vidi Brewing has a new release this week, just in time for the weekend. Session Lager aims to be what it says on the tin, an easy drinking lighter 3.9% ABV beer that’s going to be refreshing regardless of what you’re doing. Light grain character with a frothy white head, sounds like a killer sipper to us. Don’t think that means they’ve just dashed it out, though, this one has been in development at the brewery for over a year! QVBC has done something new with this release, with the addition of Clarex. This additive serves two purposes in the brewing process, by increasing the clarity of the beer by dropping out gluten-containing molecules. While Quidi Vidi has the lab work back to prove gluten is below the normal threshold for detection (less than 5 ppm), they do caution that as it was made from gluten-containing barley, it cannot be considered gluten-free. This means it’s fine for those of you watching your gluten intake, but those with celiac should take heed (we know mileage varies greatly with this disease). What it does mean, however, is more beer for more people! Look for it in QV’s Hop Shop today and NLC locations as early as tomorrow. The brewery would definitely love if those who try it would provide a little feedback on the beer, which can be done by following this link right here.

And submissions are open for their second year of the Home Chef/Home Brew dinner. They are looking for four amateur chefs to create a small plate to pair with their recently released four-pack of beers chosen in the Newfermenters homebrew competition. These chefs will pair up with the brewers to create plates that will be served at Chinched April 2nd. Submit your recipe entry via email to Chinched, and we’ll remind you of the tasting event closer to the date!

The gang’s all back together again! 902 BrewCast has released their February Tasting Episode this morning, just in time for your commute to/from work this chilly Friday. Catching up on the various ailments and maladies they’ve been feeling the last couple of months, ranting about the impending doom by the name of White Claw hitting the shelves in the region, as well as chatting up their recent foray into beer reviewing. Oh, and they drank some beer on the podcast, too! Listen in to hear what they’re digging, or not, these days, and what’s coming next from them.

Lots of things for beer lovers to do this weekend:

Good news if you’re in Kentville and a big fan of both cider and beer… Maritime Express Cider is hosting a mini-tap-takeover today, with six of their taps going towards beers from Lunn’s Mill. Don’t worry, there will still be Maritime Express cider available, so you’re getting the best of both worlds! They’ll be giving out some prizes as well, so be sure to drop by if you’re in the area.

We’re all for any excuse for a new beer from Tatamagouche Brewing, and with 2020 being a Leap Year, they’ve brewed a new Weird Beer to be released at the brewery tomorrow, February 29th. We have all the info on this newbie, but they don’t want us to give too much away, so too bad! Hmm, let’s see, what to tease… well, it’s big (ABV-wise), it’s barrel-aged, it’s beer… I guess that’s it! You’re just going to have to drop by Tata yourself tomorrow; they’ll launch it at 2 pm and have live music to help celebrate until 5 pm. The official event page is here, but it doesn’t reveal anything more about the beer, so don’t get too excited!

Bar Stillwell in Halifax has a weekend full of fun and cheer, with events both Saturday and Sunday. From noon tomorrow, they are welcoming Toronto’s Blood Brothers Brewing in the house, who will be making their debut on the taps in a big way, bring 9 draught and a handful of bottled offerings. Featuring Blood Light, Inner Eye, and Blood Brotherhood, the wall will also showcase four beers in their Paradise Lost sour series, including Guava, Apricot-Plum, Spiced Cherry, and Blueberry-Vanilla-Spice. And what’s great beer without killer food? In addition to their regularly scheduled menu, Stilly’s Joe Martin will be bringing the heat with a full Southern BBQ feast featuring Briket, Pork Ribs, Crispy Fried Chicken, Cornbread, and more! Check the FB Event for more beer and food detes.

The fun at Stilly continues Sunday, with “Wild West Brunch Bonanza”, the latest event from the Cahoots Cooks Collective. Attendees can expect 6 courses from 6 amazing local chefs who head up or support incredible kitchens in the HRM. Your ticket also includes a bourbon or beer (and then it’s order whatcha’d like from the taps or cocktail menu), plus live music from The Big Country Ramblers. This event is by reservation only, so email Sam to book your seats for the event! Doors open at 12:30, with the food starting at 1 PM.

Dieppe’s Flying Boats Brewing is hosting their second annual Homebrewers Meet & Greet at the brewery tomorrow, Feb 29th. From 2 – 5 PM, it will be a casual drop-in event where you can come chat with other local homebrewers, pick their brains on the latest recipes and gear purchases, as well as see how things are different, and the same, when scaling batches from 20 litres to 2000 litres. Guided brewery tours will take place at 3 and 4 PM, there are door prizes, and no charge for the event.

One final reminder to our pals who live/will be in Fredericton next Thursday. We will be taking over the mics at The Joyce Pub in the Crowne Plaza for everyone’s favourite event, Beer Trivia! Thanks to our amazing brewery friends, we will once again be overflowing with prizes for the brainiest of the bunch of you, and if you’ve been reading the blog for a bit, you’re sure to do well (hint, hint!). If you are still on the fence, here’s what will definitely get you in the door: Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing is in town, and bringing a dozen beers to pour from the taps that evening, a mix of their core beers, beers from the cellar, as well as at least one brand new release even WE don’t know about yet (shocking)! Peep the FB Event to learn more. And we’ll see you all on Thursday, March 5th! And for those breweries looking to donate swag to this fun event, please hit us up on social media or via email!

And a few last brief (or maybe not so brief) things to mention this week before we leave you to it (whatever “it” may be…):

Though they’ve been hinting at it for a couple of weeks, Boxing Rock made it official this week that they’re getting into the cider game. You’ll find their as-yet-unnamed cider on tap and as growlers to-go at Local Source in the city as well as at the tap room in Shelburne. And about that “as-yet-unnamed” bit, they’d love to have some help giving it a moniker; hit them up on social media with your best ideas! They also released The Publican Bitter to Local Source neighbours, the Stillwell Freehouse, earlier this week. Described as, “a 5% balancing act,” with a hint of sweetness and a lingering bitterness, if you’re lucky it’s still pouring there.

Landwash, in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, has reached their hundredth mash! Which is different from their hundredth batch in ways that only a brewer would appreciate… Anyways, their Green Nap, a hazy IPA that sees a rotating variety of hops came back just in time for you to toast this milestone along with them. Plenty of orange, mango skin, and apricot notes bloom from a combo of Simcoe and Amarillo hops. We suggest if you’re a hophead and can get your hands on this one you do so with a quickness. And even if you’re not a hophead, you should check out the current offerings, as their Sour and Salty Brackish is also back, and you can also pick up Smiling Land (Kolsch-style Ale), Home and Away (APA), That Much Ocean (NEIPA), Hazures Rock (Breakfast Stout), and Rock and Willow (Rustic Saison) all at the brewery on tap for growler fills and pints and in cans.

With all of the good news of new breweries and new releases, it’s important to keep grounded: the brewery business in the Atlantic Provinces is healthy, but that does not mean there will not be closures. Whether related solely to the business side of things or not, we understand now that Valonray Brewing in MacDougall Settlement has closed. The brewery was an ambitious project that opened in Spring 2018, with the goal of brewing beer in the Belgian tradition with ingredients grown on their farm. We had recently reported on their foray into the Flanders Red style, but with their social media, website, and email no longer functioning, we are not able to update on its availability, nor track the age of these previously released bottles at the ANBL, and whether they are still good. Learn more about their plans in our profile of them from March 2018. We wish the Fontaines all of the best with whatever they choose to do next!

Welcome to your last full week of February, 2020, although we’re cynically sure that leap day is going to make it feel like a 31-day month because that’s just the way winter has been this year. We’ve got a ton of news to share with you this week, including another new brewery in Newfoundland, a bunch of other news from the Rock, and the usual catch up with what’s going on in NB, NS and PEI. So settle in comfortably, with a hoppy and/or malty beverage, for preference, as we take you around Atlantic Canada’s beer news for the week.

Attention Corner Brook, your town just got a bit more beery! Boomstick Brewing Company has officially opened their doors this week, with their Growler Shop at 55 West Street. Gracing the shelves of their can fridge are Penstock No. 2 American Pale Ale, Wild Bologna IPA, Veto Power Pilsner, Half Marathon Hefeweizen, Bitter Bird ESB, Lone Flamingo Sour, and The Webber Black Lager. All of these are also available to take away in growlers, except for The Webber. Merchandise and other goodies are also available, and visitors can get a sneak peek of their snazzy taproom which will be opening March 1st. And you’ll soon be able to stay right at the brewery, as the Hew & Draw bootique hotel will be opening early March. But until then, the Shop is open Friday and Saturday 2 – 8 PM, and Sunday – Thursday 4 – 8 PM. Be sure to pop by this weekend and say hi, and we’ll have a full Profile with the Boomstick Crew next week!

And before or after (or both!) you’re visiting Boomstick, be sure to head back up West Street to Bootleg BrewCo, who have a new beer on tap right… about… now! Dr. Schmilsson’s Magical Elixir is a bit of a mouthful to say, and even more of a mouthful when you’re drinking it! The latest in their line of fruited sours, this one features flavours inspired by the Harry Nilsson song Coconut from the Nilsson Schmilsson album (aaah, now it becomes clear!). Coconut and Lime notes aplenty in this sour, to remind you that there will be a break in the cold coming soon (right?). Pouring from 2 PM until late today, and 4 PM tomorrow. And good news for those on the Avalon, you should be seeing this popping on tap at Toslow sometime next week!

And even more Newfoundland beer news (man, they’ve got a lot of breweries there now), Labrador City’s Iron Rock Brewing has a pair of brand new beers on tap exclusively at their taproom, just in time for their Grand Opening festivities (which started on Wednesday, and continue through the weekend). We don’t have a lot of the nitty gritty details on the first beer, unfortunately, but we can tell you it’s a hazy, hop-packed Double IPA named Hop Shocker. “Shockingly juicy”, according to the brewery, they’re describing it as “Sunny Delight for adults”, so yeah, you can probably believe them on the juicy description; it weighs in at a perfect-for-the-style 8% ABV. The second new release of the weekend, launching at 2 PM this afternoon, is Banishment, a Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Weighing in at a modest 5.6% ABV, it packs a punch having been aged in Maker’s Mark barrels for three months, picking up notes of vanilla and oak, complementing the solid roast character from the underlying beer. Grab it on Nitro pours today, with bottles coming soon. As for the rest of their grand opening events, they’ll have live music at the taproom tonight (8:30-11:30) and tomorrow (from 7:30 pm), as well as a Vendor Fair on Sunday (2-5pm) and a Tattoo Expo both days (10am-7pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun). Note that the Tattoo Expo is for ages 19+ only (sorry, kids!), and is first-come, first-serve for pre-drawn tattoos only.

Moving over to St. John’s with Bannerman Brewing (see… there’s a ton of them!), where they’re releasing their own juicy, hoppy beer, State of Emergency. Described as a “Milkshake/Fruited IPA”, it was heavily dry-hopped with the magical Citra variety, and also features a large addition of mango. If you like your hoppy beers super-hazy, with “heavy flavours of tropical and candied fruit”, this is the beer for you! It’s on tap at the brewery for pints and growlers right now, and you can expect to see cans of this 7.2% ABV beer appearing sometime next week. 

Back on the mainland, we’ve got a couple of important notes to tell you about Hanwell’s Own Niche Brewing. With more than one hundred batches released since their opening in late 2017, they have moved into new territory with this week’s new release, Highroller DIPA. Having played in the Session, American/Standard, and IPA vein before, they’ve chosen to go big into the Double IPA category this go-around. For those who just can’t get enough hops, this sounds like the pint for you! Featuring flaked oats and wheat in the malt bill for a softer mouthfeel, and hopped to 50 IBUs in the kettle with Chinook and Columbus, it was further hopped post-ferment with El Dorado and Enigma. Think melon, stone fruit, and citrus on the palate, finishing moderately dry. At 8.0% ABV, it is one of Niche’s bigger releases, but the massive character masks any alcohol heat. Kegs are now a-pouring at Peppers in Saint John and The Joyce in Fredericton, where it rounds out the dozen beers the Niche fellas will be pouring tomorrow for their second Meet the Maker event. Starting at 7 PM, you’ll be able to try any/all of the twelve offerings from Niche, including faves like Day Tripper, Ethos, The Bear, and Single Origin, as well as two exclusive beers for the evening, Hold Fast Dry-hopped Sour (with Cashmere), and Cordial Sour with Elderflower. Be sure to pop down to chat with Rob, Shawn and Matt, grab a pint, and a pint glass, as they’ll have some merch for sale as well.

Those on the North Shore of Nova Scotia have a special connection to Prince Edward Island, as they share a common love of water, and are counting down the days to when the Wood Islands – Caribou ferry starts up again (May 1st, in case you were wondering!). Well, you don’t need to wait that long to rekindle that connection, as there’s a new beer on the shelves now to celebrate. Ferry Boat Fantasy came about when the folks from Charlottetown’s Gahan Pub dropped into Tatamagouche Brewing over a year ago. This Golden Sour was aged for almost a year in Chardonnay barrels, before receiving a dry-hopping treatment with Vic Secret and Hallertau Blanc, and then natural carbonation in bottles before release. From Tata, “Big tropical aromas of pineapple and mango and bright citrus notes of lemon rind and grapefruit combine with whimsical barrel aromas of butter tart, vanilla and hints of amaretto to create this creamy, tart and bright dreamscape.” Couldn’t say that better ourselves! Draught and bottles are available at TataBrew right now, with selected kegs coming soon to PEI, NB, and around the HRM. And for those not in the immediate region, check out their online store for bottle shipments direct to your door!

We’re thinking that maybe everyone is getting just a tad tired of winter, as the “dreams of summer” theme is starting to pick up with more and more beer releases. Breton Brewing is throwing their hat in the ring here with Tropical Lager, brewed for those of you “dreaming of a sunny escape” from all this snow and cold. Described as light and crisp, the beer was fermented with the Common Lager yeast and lagered for three weeks. Dry-hopped with the pretty-new-and-popular Sabro variety, it has notes of “coconut, pineapple, and mango” in the aroma. This 4.8% ABV beer is a very-limited supply test batch, so it is available at Breton’s taproom only, for pints and growlers. 

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has a surprise batch of Go Kart Jack Ass Scott-ish Red Ale back for your enjoyment. It’s a smooth beer, with a rich amber color, subtle spice notes, and a bit of honey in the aroma. Also (allegedly) blessed by the fae folk of Scotland. Wheeeeeeeee!!! Super easy drinking at 4.8% ABV and 19 IBUs, you’ll find it on tap at the tap room and (probably) available for fills to go. Also on Robie Street, the BetaBrew program is kicking out a new beer this week with Pump Up the Yams, a “candied yamber ale” (oy!). Orangey-red with and off-white head, there’s plenty of caramel flavors no doubt brought by the inclusion of candied yams during the brewing process. It’s also got a crackery presence on the malt side and a bit of noble Tettnanger hops to balance the sweetness. As usual, it’ll be tapped on Tuesday afternoon, so plan to get to GR where the jams will no doubt be pumpin’ and the crowd jumpin’ (maybe also plan to get your booty on the floor that night). 

Dieppe’s Flying Boats is known to release the occasional one-off brew in their ongoing Test Pilot series; sometimes, if a beer is popular enough, it will join their regular line-up. Well, that has happened recently with the brewery’s NEIPA, Test Pilot No. 6, which has been rebranded (thankfully!) as Whoopie Kat NEIPA. Brewed with a considerable portion of flaked wheat and oats to boost the mouthfeel (and haziness), it was hopped with the Aussie Vic Secret variety. At 6% ABV, it has a “clean and bright tropical bouquet of passion fruit and pineapple, along with supporting notes of fresh herbs and pine”. You can find it on tap and in cans at FB’s taproom right now, with cans shipping next week to select ANBL stores.

Yesterday marked the culmination of a month of Brewery Battles at HopYard Charlottetown, with Lone Oak facing Copper Bottom in the final. Both breweries brought their A-game, debuting new beer at the event. Let’s start with Lone Oak’s entry, Hollywood, which may have been a factor in eking out a victory. This West Coast IPA is the first of the style from the brewery, and at 6.7% ABV, brings loads of melon character with a nice bitterness. After its debut last night, you’ll be able to find it on draught at the brewery at Gateway Village this weekend, with cans coming in the next little bit.

As for Copper Bottom, their brand new beer to hit the taps is FLUX: Lotus, the first in their FLUX line of single hop IPAs the brewery is launching next Friday. Think of everything you are hoping to hit in an IPA: hazy, sessionable, and flavourful enough to keep coming back, and this is what they hope to achieve with FLUX. Not surprisingly, this initial release features the Lotus varietal, showcasing “big notes of pineapple and tropical fruit, followed by a candied grape and subtle hint of vanilla”. Weighing in at a very reasonable 4.3% ABV and 30 IBUs, the beer will be available on draught and in cans next Friday.

If you’re in the Yarmouth area, you may want to drop by Heritage Brewing, where they’ve just dropped their latest beer, Cranberry Sour Wheat. We’re betting you’ve put together a few of the details on this beer already, but that’s not going to stop us from telling you that it’s a kettle sour that was brewed with a portion of Wheat malt. Already quite tart thanks to the souring process, they added a generous amount of real Nova Scotia cranberries during fermentation, giving this cloudy, 5% ABV beer even more tartness, as well as a red colour. Check out Heritage this weekend for a taste.

Secret Cove Brewing up in Port au Port East (NOT to be mistaken for Port au Port West-Aguathuna-Felix Cove), has a new beer on the taps that pushes the boundaries of good taste. Not actual taste, we’re sure it’s a delicious beverage, but the name, dear lord the name. Blueberries Crying in the Grain pays homage to “Berry Head,” an area of Secret Cove’s home region that was made part of Port au Port (but would you believe there’s ANOTHER “Berry Head” on the East side of the Rock?! Newfoundland geography is a trip.) Aaaanyway, you should not be surprised to hear that there are both blueberries and grain in this fruited wheat beer, which weighs in at 5.1% ABV. Featuring a “vibrant purple hue” with an aroma that is both tart and sweet, the blueberries are definitely prominent. So if you’re in the area, whether you’re a local who knows all about Berry Head or a visitor who might wonder where exactly it is, stop by and give a taste of the local flora a try.

Sussex Ale Works is bringing back their Notorious APA, a 7.3% ABV, 66 IBUs American Pale Ale hopped with Sasquatch in the whirlpool. Juicy, with a supporting malt character, this is the second time this beer has been brewed. Find it on tap at their bar in Sussex this weekend.

The beery beardos of the 902BrewCast seem to maybe be hitting the gas again after a couple of slow months of soul searching and heavy drinking. Now it’s just heavy drinking. We kid! At the very least they’ve been managing to get the band back together at least a little more, with Kyle Andrus actually being spotted out in public at the Craft Beer Cottage Party a couple weeks ago, and rumours swirling of tapings with all three members in attendance. For now you’ll have to make do with a quick 30-minute or so bonus ep that dropped today featuring a few conversations Tony and Kyle had that night at the CBCP, but get ready for a Podcast that involves an actual brewery (!!) coming in March as well as a February tasting episode that we think might drop this coming Tuesday (as always, full refund on this blog post if we’re wrong about that). So grab the Bonus ep at their web site or via your favorite podcast provider and start looking forward to more content from a rejuvenated and less baby-beholden crew.

Not to be outdone by Tatamagouche and Big Spruce with their job postings last week, the news out of Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing is that they, too, are on the prowl for brewery staff. But in a classic case of the Island one-upping the mainland (or maybe being better at “finding efficiencies”), Upstreet is looking for someone to be a Brewer AND Cellarperson. Currently listed as a full-time summer/seasonal position, it has the potential to turn into a permanent gig. Production experience as a brewer is obviously highly valued, but brewing experience of all kinds will no doubt be considered. As always when it comes to making good beer, attention to detail is a major must along with an understanding of quality and how to achieve it consistently. If you think you’d be a good fit for this and are interested in spending at least a summer in Charlottetown, you can check out the full job posting on the Upstreet site for full details and information on how to apply.

Plenty on the go around the region this weekend, check it out!

The Guv’nor on Elizabeth Ave in St. John’s is hosting another round of their Newfoundland Craft Beer Tap Takeover all weekend. Kicking off yesterday, they are showcasing beer from a dozen Newfoundland breweries and cideries during the course of the next couple of days, as kegs kick and more come online. You can peruse the list of offerings here, but we suggest you don’t wait too long, as some options are in short supply!

Normally, beer festival season starts in New Brunswick with the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival in early March, but this year Saint John is kicking things off with the first KV Craft Beer Festival tomorrow, February 22nd. Happening at the QPLEX, there will be one evening session, with two sets of tickets available: VIP ($69) from 6:30-9:30 pm, and general admission ($49), 7:30-9:30. Your ticket gets you unlimited samples from close to 20 different breweries, cideries, and one distillery; there’ll be live music as well. Tickets are still available; you can get yours through the event link above.

As we mentioned above, this cold and snowy season often has us dreaming of warmer weather… but ya gotta admit, winter is a helluva nice time to really sit back and appreciate a good Stout. Luckily our friends at Stillwell are well aware of this, and have created a special event, STOUT SZN, that will be happening this Sunday, February 23rd, from 4pm to close. They’ll have nine different stouts on tap for your roasty needs, eight of which are from local, NS breweries, and one from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham (Total Disrespect, a Pastry Stout w/ pecans, black cherries, and cocoa nibs). They’ll also be serving up some oysters from Sober Island, if that’s your thing! Check out the event page up there for a full brewery/beer list.⁣

Looking for a fun time this coming Monday, February 24th? Happy Hour Co is hosting their first event at Tire Shack Brewing on John Street in Moncton. Brewery Tour and Tasting kicks off at 7 PM, and will feature a tour of the brewery facilities, and then a guided tasting of Tire Shack’s lineup of beers, thanks to owners Jerrica and Alan. No need to sign up in advance, just show up and look for the other thirsty folks!