Big Spruce Brewing

All posts tagged Big Spruce Brewing

Welp, we’re definitely in the thick of winter now, with all four provinces in the region now officially getting snowfall this week. We suggest putting off the inevitable hard work and hellish drive home for just a few more minutes and join us in getting up-to-date with the important beer news in the region. Here we go!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and this weekend the good folks at Stillwell are celebrating their Fifth Anniversary in style. Their celebratory annual beer release continues with Stillwell Five, produced at their sister Stillwell Brewing on Gottingen. The beer started with a grist of Vienna and Pilsner malts, with Oats and Wheat added, and hopped with primarily Tettnang in the kettle. Brewed in Summer 2017, it was fermented in a puncheon (700 litres) that had recently been emptied of Pineau de Charentes, a french appertif/vin de liquor. The wort was fortified with honey as it was transferred, and the Stilly House Blend™ was pitched, giving rise to a light, dry, and tart final beer. After 10+ months in the first-use-post-spirit wood, it has picked up some serious wine and spirit notes, as well as light notes of honey, rounding out the full drinking experience. Since fermentation completed this spring, it has been bottle conditioning for six months, and is ready to enjoy now. As with all of the Stillwell Brewing releases, the best way to get a bottle is by visiting the brewery around back of 2015 Gottingen Street, during their weekly bottle sale tomorrow, 12 – 4 PM. You can pick up 500 mL bottles of the 6.9% ABV at that time, and then scoot on over to Barrington St to put your name in a hat to win the opportunity to buy one of the few magnums (1.5 litre) of Five that were prepared.

So, about the party… Also kicking off at noon tomorrow, the Stillwell crew is celebrating with a full complement of beer from some of their favourite breweries and ciderhouses across the province, country, and world, with options that will satisfy lovers-of-good-drinks of all stripes. Plus free cake! Local DIPA, funky stuff, Quebec Saisons, perhaps the world’s best Gueuze (Cantillon), Pet Nat Applewine, etc, etc. You get the idea: when Stillwell throws a party it’s definitely not half-assed. If you must, here is the opening taplist. There will no doubt be some fun and cool beers on the handpump and flowing from bottles as well, plus Chef Ruppel and crew will be busy out back with some special accompaniments. We’ll see you there to toast this major driving force to the enjoyment and promotion of Good Beer.

The celebratin’ continues as Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom Brewing is turning one this week! And is there a better way to celebrate an anniversary/birthday than with a new beer? Apparently not, because they’re launching two of them this week! First is Ken’s Stout, the brewery’s latest seasonal. Co-owner/head brewer Ken Spears had dreamed up and brewed this Oatmeal Stout back in the very early stages of the brewery (as in, pre-opening), and apparently couldn’t be happier with the final result, so now gets to share it with the rest of us. Brewed with Maris Otter, Chocolate malt, Munich, Flaked Oats, and Roasted Barley, the 5% ABV beer was hopped lightly with Columbus (to 25 IBUs). Dark, rich, and full-bodied, with “notes of chocolate and lightly-roasted coffee”, the oats add a silky mouthfeel, increasing the beer’s drinkability. This one will be available all winter long; look for it in cans, growlers, and on tap around the Island over the next couple of weeks.

Next up from Copper Bottom is Birthday Beer, which we assume needs no explanation as to its intentions! This one is a Brut IPA, brewed entirely with Pilsner malt and Mosaic hops. As with many beers in this ever-growing-in-popularity style, amylase enzyme was added in order to dry the beer out even further. Coming in at 7.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, the beer is “ultra pale and effervescent, with big notes of blueberries, stone fruit, and a bit of mango”. It’ll have a limited run in cans, and will join Ken’s Stout on tap at the brewery’s big birthday party – 1 Year of Beer – happening tomorrow, November 17th, in Montague. It’s a full-day party, with live music, a food truck on-site, tarot card reading, and beer by the boatload! Be sure to drop by and raise a pint to the fine folks at Copper Bottom!

Another weekend approacheth, which normally means new 2 Crows beer… among other things. And don’t worry, they’re not letting us down this week! Two new beers are about to reach your eager little hands, one a “big” release, and the other a limited, draught-only beauty. The full-batch beer is Lil’ Miguel, a 5.6% ABV, 39 IBUs “Aztec Stout”. Inspired by Mexican Hot Chocolate, this isn’t your grandpappy’s Stout – it includes additions of lactose, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and a “blend of various hot peppers”. Not only does this one sound really tasty, they’ve canned it…. in 355 mL cans! Say it ain’t so! Wait, that’s not it… it was canned ON NITRO. Beer nerds, you may commence squealing. Cans and nitro draught pours will be available at the brewery today at noon; it’ll also pop up on tap around the HRM with regular CO2 carbonation (pfft!).

As for that draught-only beer, it’s a NEIPA named Maybe Tomorrow, concocted by Assistant Brewer Grant. With a grist comprised of Pilsner malt, Wheat, and Flaked Oats, the wort was very-lightly-bittered with Columbus at first wort, followed later by a heavy addition of Galaxy, Simcoe, and Azacca in the whirlpool. These same hops were then used for two separate dry-hop additions, giving a final beer with “a touch of grapefruity bitterness, washed away by bright tropical and citrus notes”. Only 40 L of this one exist, so grab a pint at the 2C taproom today (assuming it’s lasted this long) when you’re picking up your Lil’ Miguel cans!

Big congratulations are in order for the winner’s of Gahan’s Maritime Home Brew Challenge, announced last Saturday. From a field of 50 entrants, the top beers in the Lager/ Pilsner, Hoppy, and Saison categories, as well as Best Name, Bravest Beer, Best Use of Local Ingredients, and Rookie of the Year were crowned, plus an overall winner, whose beer will be scaled up and canned for enjoyment across the Maritimes, was announced. The full results are available here, but kudos to Brathair Brewing, the Orange Tub Brewing Collective, and Derek Wood for taking top honours for their beers. Look for Wood’s D-Rocks Dunkel to be in wide release, including cans!, in the coming months.

And while you’re in a Gahan type of mood, grab their Shortest Day Spiced Milk Stout, now available across the region in cans and on tap. This 4.3% ABV beer features vanilla, coffee, lactose, and a variety of spices to keep you warm in these colder months. For some, it came just in time for this week’s first snowfall! Available at Gahan locations, as well as the liquor stores in PEI, NB, and NS.

Speaking of homebrew competitions, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing has released the full details and registration forms for their upcoming Home Brew-Off. This year’s style is Dunkles Bock, a malty German style originating in Einbeck, and later brought back to life in Munich. Check out the BJCP Guidelines for 6C here for more details on recipe development and final tasting notes, plus the Brewnosers Home Brew Club has started a thread for folks to share ideas on how to tackle the recipe.

Plus we have two new beers from Garrison to tell you about. Last week saw the full release of their Lucky Punk Sour IPA. First debuting in the Summer, this 5.5% ABV, 50 IBU hybrid of the hazy IPA and kettle sour is now also available in bottles around the region. Featuring “aromas of grass, peaches, and tart pineapple”, the kettle souring technique provides a refreshing mouthfeel and zing to complement the beer.

And new on shelves from Garrison today is All Lit Up, a Festive Strong Ale. Clocking in at 7.0% ABV, and a relatively low 20 IBU, the star of the show is the malt (2-Row, Munich, Caramel with a touch of Roasted Barley) and spicing, courtesy of Cinnamon, Cloves, and Demerara sugar. Grab your cans (which glow in the dark!) from the brewery today, and from your local good beer emporium soon.

Looks like Propeller Brewing has another of their Gottingen Small Batch beers coming out today. Saison is named after the style it emulates, naturally, and has a range of flavour characteristics, including “subtle, spicy tones of clove and black pepper than complement citrus peel and subtle fruit characteristics”. Carbonated high as the style demands, it finishes moderately dry and refreshing. It’s pretty drinkable at 5.5% ABV, and is available at the Gottingen taproom for pints and growlers. And for those of you who love their Cask Fridays, today’s cask will be their Pilsener with peach and hibiscus, enhancing the base beer with stonefruit, floral, and a lovely pink hue. Drop by from 5 PM for a pour!

Following up on releases earlier in the month, Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing has released a pair of bottles from their barrel-aging program, both of which were many months in the making. The first is Golden Brett Beer – Dry Hopped, a variation on one of previous debuts. As a reminder, this 6.2% ABV beer was finished with Brett Brux Vrai in a red wine French oak barrel, with this portion of the beer dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc. An extremely limited run of just 100 bottles of this beer were released at the brewery yesterday, and we don’t expect them to last very long. Joining this beer is Champagner Hell, a 4.7% ABV unfiltered Helles beer, with some light dry-hopping from Czech Saaz. Bottle conditioned to a very high carbonation level, akin to Champagne, just 220 bottles of this beer were released yesterday. And returning after a hiatus is their Riptide IPL, a 6.5% ABV India Pale Lager. Borrowing the high hopping from the IPA style (using Mandarina Bavaria, Hallertau Blanc, and Hell Melon late in the kettle and again with two rounds of dry-hopping), the fermentation was done low and slow with a lager yeast to keep other characteristics in check. Cans are available at the brewery and private stores in NS, with growler fills at the ANBL this weekend.

TrailWay Brewing has another new hoppy brew releasing today, one that tips its hat to “the hop that started a beer revolution”, Cascade. Veja Du was hopped entirely with this classic American varietal, this 6.5% ABV American IPA was brewed with the intention of giving a medium-bodied, and slightly-drier beer, compared to most of the other hoppy releases from TW. With “notes of juicy citrus, and floral”, you can grab some cans or growlers at the brewery when they open at noon; it’ll also be making its way to other tap accounts, including the Stillwell 5th Anniversary party we talked about earlier. We should also mention that Parallel, the brewery’s “winter hoppy session ale” is back for the season. This 4% ABV Session IPA has a “sweet and slightly toasty male profile”, with a “hop-forward, tropical fruit and berry hop character” to follow along the TW line.

If you happen to be travelling around the Moncton area over the weekend, you’ll have a good opportunity to pick up some of Grand Monk’s latest beer, Hop Fin Vice. For those of you more familiar with German beer styles (and their pronunciation), it may be fairly obvious that this beer is the brewery’s take on a Hopfenweisse. Pilsner and Vienna malts were used in the grist, along with a large portion of Wheat malt. Hopped in the boil with Czech Saaz, and then moving over the Atlantic with some Cascade and Columbus at knockout, the wort was fermented with a Kolsch yeast strain (as opposed to the regular use of a Weizen strain). Dry-hopped with more Cascade and Columbus, the final clean, “lager-like” 6.6% ABV beer is “very citrus-forward in aroma, with a bit of breadiness from the wheat”. It’s currently on tap at the Pump House Fill Station for growler and crowler fills, and if it isn’t on at the Laundromat already… it should be very soon!

Dieppe’s Flying Boats Brewing has a new beer available from their pilot system. Test Pilot No. 2 Winter Warmer is a rich and malty beer with additions of seasonal spices, including cloves, ginger, nutmeg, orange peel and cinnamon. Tipping the scales at a healthy 7.0% ABV and a gentle 18 IBU, it’s no doubt the kind of beer that would be very welcoming on a wintry day (oh look, you’re in luck!). Being a small batch, it’s only available at the tap room.

Halifax’s littlest brewery that could has another bottle release for us this week on Salter Street. Tidehouse is releasing In on the Kill Taker today at 2 PM. A double-dry hopped black IPA, it’s extremely bitter, almost discordantly so, and a reminder of the days when craft breweries routinely engaged in IBU wars. Described by 902BrewCast’s Tony as, “like licking a beer tree,” you would be well-advised not to look for balance in this one. Built on a base of flaked grains, 2-row, Carafa II and Midnight Wheat, the hops in the kettle included Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, and Simcoe so look for a dank, piney, and resinous presence underlying the 100+ IBUs worth of bitterness. A thoroughly irresponsible double dry hop using Cryo hops completed the process, although there’s some question amongst the brewers as to whether it was Simcoe or Ekuanot that was used. Coming in at 7.3% ABV, it’ll kill your straight edge cred, and it’s a minor threat to burn out your tastebuds, but it ain’t no fugazi — this one’s the real, bitter, deal. You can learn more about this beer, plus listen to the ranting of 4 madmen and one sane woman, in today’s 902 BrewCast release, which sees the East Coast craft beer podcast celebrating their second anniversary. Congratulations, buds!

When breweries collide, sometimes fine things can happen, and the brewing minds behind Hammond River and Maybee Brewing are hoping that has happened with their first collaboration! They’re officially releasing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice today at Maybee, and despite the name (am I the only one that thinks Mickey Mouse?), this ain’t no little beer. It’s a “Double Belgian Stout with Salted Caramel”, which was brewed at both breweries (yep, same recipe). This very dark beer is a firm 9% ABV for the Maybee version, and even a bit higher (10%) for Hammond River’s. With aromas of “salted caramel, toffee, and clove”, as well as “plum, raisin, and some malt sweetness and general spice”. Medium-bodied, with high carbonation, expect “raisin, plum, and prune, along with toffee and caramel, with a hint of salinity” on the palate. The beer debuts at Maybee today at noon, on tap, with the Hammond River brewers on hand (thank you, weather!) for a release party starting at 4 pm. Drop on by for a pour and a chat! If you plan on doing more than sampling, it may not hurt to plan ahead for a drive home, know what I mean? The beer will be hitting other tap accounts across New Brunswick over the next week. As for the Hammond River version, which is named Sultans of Sweet, you’ll be able to grab it on tap at their taproom, as well as local accounts in the province. They plan on bottling some of their batch next week as well, and there’s even about 450 L currently aging in whiskey barrels!

Annapolis Cider Co. is following up their successful tap takeover at Stillwell from a couple weeks ago with a brand new entry in their Something Different series, Wine & Blackcurrant. Fresh-pressed Gravenstein apple juice with blended with the juice of two grape varieties – Leon Millot and L’Acadie Blanc – to undergo a “co-fermentation”, creating what Annapolis is calling a “unique cider-and-wine blend”. Blackcurrant juice was added afterwards to give a deep, red hue, along with some tannin presence. Finally, the blend was infused with bay leaves, rosemary, sage, and winter savoury, giving a medium-bodied cider “with subtle herbal aromatics and bright notes of tart blackcurrants”. As always, this 7.2% ABV cider is available at the cidery; $0.50 of each refill will be donated to Enactus Acadia University.

The guys and gals at Upstreet in Charlottetown have been churning out the hoppy beers in their Neon Friday releases for several months now, and they’ve decided to release a “VIP pack” of their four favourites. Hitting shelves today, the collection includes DDH IPA with Azacca, West Coast Session IPA, NEIPA with Simcoe, and DDH Oat IPA with Idaho 7; you’ll be able to purchase the packs at both Upstreet locations (taproom and Craft Beer Corner), as well as select PEILCC stores. These will also be on tap at Dartmouth’s Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse! They’re also planning to celebrate with a Neon Friday Dance Party tonight at the Upstreet taproom, from 10pm-2am. The fun will include a Neon Friday tap takeover, DJs, neon lights (of course!), and lots of other neon-themed decorations! No charge to attend, just pick out your brightest clothes and drop in to cut a rug (kids still say that, right?).

The weekly, shaming, last-minute-entry award for November 16th goes to… Good Robot! Rather than scold, however, we’ll just tell you about their latest beers (we’re good like that!). Next Tuesday’s Beta Brew is Frostenweizen, a hoppy Hefeweizen brewed with Rockbottom’s Ian Kean. Cryo hops were used in this brew, including Mosaic, Simcoe, and Loral (as well as a tasty dry-hop addition of Citra), giving a beer that they describe as “like floating away on a tangerine cloud, while snacking on mango and peach” (gotta admit, probably more eloquent than we could have done). It’s 4.3% ABV and 22 IBUs; seek it out early next week. As for next week’s Alpha Brew, it’s a special collaboration for the upcoming FemmeBot celebrations. Jana and Meg from Tatamagouche Brewing made the trip to Halifax to help brew The Witching Hour, a red ale with cranberry and lemon. The ABV and IBUs are still MIA, but rest assured it will be released next Thursday, with its Tata counterpart coming out sometime in the next few months.

Here’s what’s happening around our region over the next few weeks!

Don’t forget to drop by Maritime Express Cider tomorrow evening to help celebrate their Grand Opening. While they’re open all day, the fun kicks off at 8 PM with live music, small bites and appetizers, and of course cider (plus some guest taps devoted to beer)! More details on their Facebook Event page above, including special stuff on the go by their neighbours in the railway hotel.

Do you live in/near Moncton? Are you a fan of The Bruery, from Orange County, California? If you’re both of these things, the Tide & Boar has some very good news for you – they’re holding a Bruery Tap Takeover on Saturday, November 24th. We probably don’t need to tell you this, but this is a brewery who have been releasing tasty, fascinating beers for quite some time, and to have 15 different ones on tap – yes, 15! – at one time, in New Brunswick, is kind of a big deal. Check out the event link for the full taplist; it’s going to include several barrel-aged options, as well as sours, hoppy beers, and more. Oh, and definitely plan on cabbing/walking/whatever-that-isn’t-driving home… a lot of these beers are 8% ABV and higher! The T&B will also be serving up food from a special “Californian-inspired” menu (eating is a good idea; did we mention many of these beers are strong?). They open at 11 am sharp, and the beer will be flowing all day. There’s also a concert that night, at 10 pm, which will require a cover charge if you plan on heading there late.

Quidi Vidi Brewery is launching a truly Newfoundland Beer project later this month, with some very special partners. Bog and Barrens is a true collaboration between QV’s Brewmaster Einer Holtet, and local chefs and restaurateurs Jeremy Charles and Jeremy Bonia, of Raymond’s and The Merchant Tavern. Foraging wild ingredients from across the Newfoundland and Labrador, Holtet has created a trio of unique beers: Imperial Bake Apple Gose, Pineapple Weed NEIPA, and Smoked Alderberry Porter. The Gose features sea salt from Bonavista Bay, and bakeapples from Labrador, and is set for release in cans in a fortnight. The other two beers are in extremely low quantity, and will only be available on draught. To celebrate these releases, there will be three beer pairing events held at Raymond’s and Merchant Tavern, paired with other ingredients and game who forage on these iconic plants and herbs. On Tuesday November 27th, Raymond’s is hosting a five-course meal to pair with these beers. Tickets are now available by calling Raymond’s at 709-579-5800, only 60 available. At The Merchant Tavern, there will be a special tasting menu to pair with these beers from November 28-30th, available while supplies last. No tickets required, but we strongly suggest making resos to guarantee your seat at the table. Call 709.722.5050 or visit OpenTable. More details on the beers and pairing are available here. And we’ll remind you about the Bake Apple Gose when it’s released in cans!

Winter may be approaching/already here, but don’t let that make you think the beer festivals have dried up in our region. In fact, the 3rd Annual Cape Breton Beer Fest is coming up fast, happening on Saturday, December 1st, at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion in Sydney. There’s over 15 breweries that will be on-site pouring their tasty beverages, from 7:00-9:30 pm (VIP ticket holders get entry at 6:00 pm); check out the current list of vendors here. There are still general admission tickets available, for $55 + tax; you can purchase them online.

A few more things to leave you with before you break out the shovel today…

Start making your list, and check it twice… Big Spruce will once again be doing its Holiday Delivery mid-December, where you can receive to-the-door delivery of your favourite bottles and/or cans. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for ordering and delivery details.

Hell Bay has brought back the seasonal Tannen Bomb (yep, it’s time for Christmas-pun beers!), a 5% ABV, 19 IBUs Blonde Ale infused with honey and balsam fir. It’s currently available at the brewery, and select NSLC stores.

In other seasonal beer news, Oromocto’s Johnny Jacks has re-released their Holiday Cheer, a Red IPA. Described by the brewery as “malt-flavoured, and full-bodied”, it should be available in bottles now at the Oromocto ANBL, with other select stores in New Brunswick receiving stock over the coming weeks.

Lazy Bear Brewing wants to remind you that the seasons shouldn’t necessarily dictate what you drink (and they’re right!), and they released a new beer last week to doubly remind you! Louis is a 5.4% Wheat Beer, brewed in celebration of Louis, their “beer loving helper” from Trinidad who spent the summer in Smiths Cove. It is available at their regular Thursday night growler/pint nights, as well as the Annapolis Royal Market tomorrow.

Hanwell’s Niche Brewery has sent out another wave of their Single Origin Coffee Stout to the local bars and restaurants, so fans of the dark stuff will soon get their fix again. And keep an eye out at these same spots for a brand new kettle-soured beer to be hitting the taps late next week. Moonage Daydream features a nice level of dry-hopping, and with the addition of hibiscus, a lovely floral note and beautiful pink hue. Keep an eye on their Social Media for when it’s tapped, it may even be available for growler fills!

We hope you’ve all recovered from your turkey, ham, or whatever food you used to celebrate Thanksgiving on the weekend. The brewers certainly had a good rest, because they’ve got a metric crap-ton of new beers and events to keep you satisfied this weekend. Let’s skip the small talk and get right to the good stuff!

In case you missed our heads-up post, the Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse brewery and restaurant opened in Burnside yesterday. Sporting a 10 BBL (1200 litre) brewhouse, and a full BBQ pit straight from the South, the Upstreet crew teamed up with Chef Inspired (of the Cheese Curds and Habaneros restaurants) to do a One-Two punch on food and beer. Drop by daily (except Monday) from 11 AM for food and beer to enjoy there or takeaway. Speaking of beer, there are a pair of new releases from Upstreet on the shelves and taps in Dartmouth and Charlottetown this week. Launching yesterday was the Major Tom Sour, a 5.0% ABV dry-hopped sour, featuring a grapefruit citrus aroma and flavour thanks to New Brunswick-grown Centennial and Chinook, with a refreshing underlying acidity. Bottles are available in Dartmouth, as well as the brewery and Craft Beer Corner in Charlottetown. And launching today is the twelfth in their Neon Friday series, Tropic IPA. This 6.0% ABV 40 IBU IPA features Amarillo, Citra, and Ekuanot hops for heavy tropical notes of orange, papaya and mango, with a touch of floral aroma from the hibiscus added to the beer. While it begins with a sweet flavour, it has a dry finish and high carbonation, clearing the palate quickly (and inviting you back for another sip!).

We have a few big news items to tell you about Berwick’s Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse. First off, last month they released cans of their extremely popular Box Cutter IPA. This 6.9% ABV ode to hops has been winning awards in the region for years, but this was the first time available outside of draught or growler-if-you-visit-the-brewery format. And not only is BC now available in an easy-to-grab format, it is also available at NSLC locations all across the province. 3 pallets of the good stuff was distributed from Yarmouth to Sydney, and should be found at your local shop (if not, ask the manager to bring it in!). And we’ve heard it’s been super-successful on their shelves, and they’ve requested another delivery from Bad Apple.

And in perhaps even bigger news, if you’ve spotted a new apple-themed bar just off Main Street in Wolfville, your eyes are not deceiving you! The Core by Bad Apple opened on the weekend, with a small pilot brewery onsite, sit down taproom where flights and pints can be enjoyed, and retail beer to go. Eschewing the standard glass growlers, and always innovating to new highs (or lows?), they are instead offering fills in their Bottle Rockets, a reusable high density 2 litre plastic bottle (complete with BAB-stamped paper bag). Drop by their location at 3 Elm Avenue daily from 12 – 8 PM (closed Mondays).

Quidi Vidi brewing in St. John’s, Newfoundland continues their renaissance with three new beers hitting the taps this week. Up first is Open Saison on Rhubarb, a beer with a wittily self-explanatory name. In the saison style, this pale gold beer is said to be “strangely reminiscent of a Jam-Jam.” Grainy-sweetness balances with rhubarb tartness on the palate, while you’ll note red berry and biscuit on the nose. A sharp bitterness and a dry finish complete the picture for this 5.5% ABV and 15 IBU beer. Next is the Metal Kettle Sour, a Berliner Weisse-style sour that might have you longing for the summer just past. Highly-carbonated, light and crisp, there’s still plenty of flavor in this very sessionable beer. With a flavor that is “almost cider-like,” there’s a definite apple tartness along with notes of lemon and sourdough bread. You’ll be able to have a few of these too, as it comes in at a paltry 3.2% ABV and 9 IBU. And finally is Femme Fatale, a beer brewed in collaboration with the St.John’s International Women’s Film Festival running in town from October 17 – 21. A coffee stout, it’s dark as night, with a long lasting cappuccino-toned head, mocha and toasted grain aromas, and burnt caramel and café au lait flavors on the palate that yield to a smooth coffee finish. At 5.7% ABV and 28 IBU, this one won’t knock you over with heat or bitterness, but is more likely to make its mark subtly and sensually. Look for all three of these beers starting today at the brewery with the Open Saison on Rhubarb also available in bottles to go from the brewery, NLC, and some convenience stores.

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery continues to roll out the new hotness since opening their digs on Portland Street. You may recall that part of the plan for the expansion out of the garage and into their own facility was the addition of packaging to the mix. Hitherto only available in growlers, at tap accounts, and then pints at the brewery, Brightwood beer is now available in cans thanks to their new canning line! To this point they’re still working out the kinks and they’ve only processed Made Me Blush, their Belgian IPA with rosehips and hibiscus, but the plan, of course, is to put more of their beers into cans, with the The Big Lift American IPA and Portland St Porter likely the next to be packaged. We’ll be sure to let you know when that happens. For now, if you’d like to experience the novelty of Brightwood Beer in a can, you can grab one with your meal at Stone Pizza or pick some up to go from the brewery and enjoy it in the comforts of your own home. We expect once they get rolling you’ll be able to find their products at the private stores in Halifax as well.

Also doing cool stuff in Dartmouth is New Scotland Brewing. Continuing to differentiate themselves in the HRM market with meads, they’ve got two hitting the taps this weekend, one that’s coming back for a second go-round and one that’s all new. The return engagement is their Slippery Slope, a Root Beer mead that folks requested so much they couldn’t help but make another batch. At 6.6% ABV it packs some punch and, we can’t help but presume, a significant root beer flavor as well. The brand new one is called Steep Curve, which they’re referring to as an “autumn-inspired spiced mead.” Light and drinkable, but carrying a hefty 7.4% ABV to warm you up in the cooler days of October, it features a special blend of teas and spices courtesy of Phil from World Tea House (that guy is everywhere in the NS brewing scene these days!!) Look for both of these meads to hit the taps tomorrow afternoon at the brewery.

Like many smaller breweries in the region, we didn’t hear much from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia’s Heritage Brewing over the past couple of months, as they no doubt were up to their eyeballs keeping up with summer demand, but this week they’ve come out of the woodwork with not one but three things for us to mention. The first, appropriately enough, is a beer. Hopfenweizen is a traditional German wheat beer (Hefeweizen) punched up for the modern palate with plenty of hops. Heavy late and dry hop additions of two modern German varieties, Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria were designed to give fruity and citrus aromas to complement the traditional banana and clove yeast profile. Look for this 5% ABV and 15 IBU brew on tap at the brewery this weekend. Next up is the news that Heritage is another brewery that is getting into the canning game with product soon to be hitting the shelves at the NSLC. And how do we know this? Well, that’s the third bit: Heritage are the brewery featured in the 902BrewCast episode that dropped this past Tuesday. Check out the episode with your favorite podcast app and hear more about the brewery, their beer and their plans for the future.

Halifax’s North Brewing Company is completing their trifecta of sour beers known as the Breakwater Series this week with the release of the third and final installment. Breakwater Pineapple Lime Sour is a summery kettle sour that was tarted up with the Lactobacillus blend from Escarpment Labs. In addition, lime zest and, you guessed it, pineapple were added as well. Weighing in at 5.5% ABV, and with artwork by Josh Horner, you’ll be able to find cans in singles and 4-packs as of this afternoon at both their Halifax and Dartmouth bottle shops. Come get a last little fruity, tart and refreshing taste of summer before the cold weather sets into your bones.

Still in Halifax, and still in the north end, Propeller has a new beer in their Small Batch Series coming out this afternoon, one that’s been a while in the making. Citra Pale Lager is a golden lager that was brewed with Pilsner malt and hopped up with Citra cryo hops for notes of melon, grapefruit and passion fruit. Cold-conditioned for an extended period to achieve a smooth and crisp finish, it will only be available for growler fills and pints in the Propeller Tasting Room. And as we mentioned last week you can also look for Nocturne Black IPA during Saturday night’s Nocturne. They’ve got a handy-dandy mobile-friendly guide website with a map that will help you locate the beer between your visits to the various exhibits around the city. Nocturne will also be featured at this evening’s Cask Night feature, pouring from 5 – 10 PM at the Gottingen Street taproom as a Nocturne Eve celebration. And lastly if you’re in the “pumpkin beer is awesome” camp and especially if you like Propeller’s version, they’ve let us know that this year’s version has been extremely popular and that they’re expecting to be out by Halloween. So if you haven’t gotten your gourd on, you best be making your move; cans are almost gone already, but six packs of bottles are still in fair supply.

We hinted at a new American Pale Ale from Spindrift a few weeks ago, and you may have noticed their campaign both online on social media and in the real world via more traditional formats, but next week will finally see the release of the beer. Dubbed Free Trade, it’s a deep gold and moderately carbonated brew made with a grist of Pilsner, Wheat and Crystal malts and hopped with Magnum, Cascade, and Simcoe hops. Look for pine, grapefruit and floral notes from the hops balanced against a solid malt backbone. Packaged in 473 ml cans, expect this 5.5% ABV, 40 IBU tribute to one of the pillar styles of North American craft beer to be available at NSLC locations around mid-week next week.

In cider news this week, Halifax’s Chain Yard has another new one. Brett to be Determined is more than just a clever name, it’s a wild-fermented Brett cider made using two varieties of apple: Jonagold and McIntosh. Dry, with a tropical fruit nose and a clean finish, it’s been left unfiltered and tips the scales at 6.1% ABV. You’ll find it only at their location on Agricola Street for pints, as part of flights, and for growler fills.

In Fredericton, Trailway is at it again packing as much fruit and hop character as they possibly can into beer before releasing it to a frenzied public. This week’s release is the return of Hopical Trop, their heavily fruited and heavily hopped DIPA. Described by the brewery themselves as the result of “[taking] this beer further than [they’ve] ever taken it,” massive amounts of apricot and mango puree were added in addition to damn near illegal levels of El Dorado hops, yielding a thick and hoppy tropical fruit bomb with a 8% ABV that will sneak up on you if you’re not careful. You can grab it at the brewery starting at opening today, but if you do, be sure to drink it right up while the fruit and the hops are at their absolute peak; this beer isn’t meant to be aged!

Way way up in Twillingate, Newfoundland, Split Rock have released a new beer this week as well. 6-String Session IPA an easy-drinking 4.3% ABV beer packed with plenty of hop flavor. Leveraging five hop varieties, it’s easy to see where that flavor comes from, as Magnum, Cascade, Amarillo, Chinook and Mosaic all saw action in the making of this one, but they also added a sixth hop source, in the form of some local wild hops that were also included in the mix! With a citrus and grapefruit aroma leading to a dominant grassy flavor, look for a big hop bite throughout. And with such a low ABV you can maybe have a couple and really take some time to savor all the flavors coming from those hops. 6-String is on tap now at the Stage Head Pub.

On the South Shore of NS, specifically in Chester Basin, Tanner & Co. Brewing has some news for us as well. First off is the first of their fall beer releases, Dunkel Weizen. Translated from the German as, literally, “dark wheat,” this is a (surprise!) dark wheat beer! Featuring the traditional characteristics of clove and banana esters from the yeast paired with a doughy presence from the wheat, there are some non-traditional things going on as well due to a complex grain bill that brought some roastier malt character and even a touch of rye spiciness. At 5.5% ABV and 14 IBUs, expect an easy drinking but complex beer with plenty of yeast character. The other piece of pertinent news from Tanner is that they’re getting into packaging as well, in the form of bottles. To date they have two of their regular offerings, Nelson Saison and Lemon Lavender both available at the brewery with more in the works over the next couple of weeks. Look for them to possibly appear at the private stores in Halifax over the coming weeks as well; we’ll be sure to let you know when that happens.

In the bustling beertropolis that is the Kennebecasis Valley of New Brunswick (seriously, there’s breweries everywhere up there!) Hammond River Brewing has already started to package their first run of this year’s Imperial Vanilla Porter. That 8.2% ABV beauty is seeing kegs and should start to be available at tap accounts in the near future. Just like always, owner and brewmaster Shane Steeves will also be doing a version of Bourbon Imperial Vanilla Porter with Maker’s Mark bourbon that will be released somewhere in the environs of 9.2% ABV. In a bit of a departure this year, we’ve also been advised that he’ll also be doing versions using Bulleit and Tin Cup bourbons as well. But wait, there’s MORE! Shane will also be putting 225 litres of Bourbon Imperial Vanilla Porter into a Glenora Whisky Barrel for a while, which will yield Glenora Barrel-aged Bourbon Imperial Vanilla Porter. You won’t be saying that three times quickly, especially after you’ve had a glass or two. Look for firm release dates for these on social media, especially HRB’s Facebook page.

After a week where Good Robot not having any news for us was news enough to write about, Kelly saved us from having to figure out what we’d do if there were no GR news for a second week in a row by sending us some. First up is a beer that was released yesterday at the brewery, Granddaddy Purp Pale Ale. Nominally a fairly straightforward pale ale in the Good Robot style, this 5.8% ABV and 46 IBU brew was also dosed with terpenes, which are the smelly molecules in lots of plants. Particularly certain plants we love, like hops and cannabis. Not that there’s any cannabis in this beer; that wouldn’t be legal. But there’s a mix of terpenes like there are in cannabis, and not only cannabis, but a particular strain of cannabis called Granddaddy Purp. We ain’t starting the ACWeedBlog though, so that’s where we’ll stop it with the ganja talk. We figure if you really want to you can Google “Granddaddy Purp” and find plenty of interesting things (OMG it’s so PUUUURPLE!!). To recap, Granddaddy Purp Pale Ale is a beer at Good Robot that probably smells like weed but won’t get you high. Drink it anyway.

Launching today in the GR taproom, as well as around the city, is a collaboration they brewed with Gahan House and Garrison in celebration of this month’s Halifax Pop Explosion. The three breweries are co-sponsors of the October 17-20 music festival, taking place at many venues across the city. The beer fit to toast the event is Lizard Queen (cue the Simpsons references), a 4.8% ABV Pale Ale, with a light body (Flaked Wheat and Oats are included in the malt bill), featuring loads of El Dorado, Simcoe, and Mosaic near the end, and after, the boil, for massive citrus and tropical aroma and flavour, and certainly worth crowd-surfing for. It is on tap at Good Robot today, and we believe the same can be said for Gahan and Garrison, and will be available at several of the HPX venues.

Also this coming week is the triumphant return of BetaBrewsday wherein GR taps a keg of a beer brewed by Kelly with someone from the community. This time it was a gentleman named Randy who, recently retired, decided that brewing a beer might be a fun thing to do. We suspect he’s onto something there. Randy and Kelly talked lots about his grandkids while they brewed a Red Ale that came in at 6.4% ABV and 30 IBU that they’re calling Simply Red. You can try it at the brewery on Tuesday starting at 4 PM.

Halifax’s littlest brewery (don’t worry, they’ve got big attitude), Tidehouse, has two re-releases out this week at their Tiny Tasty Beverage Room on Salter Street. First up is The Sex, an itsy bitsy huge honking Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout at 11.9% ABV. Hit with some raspberries and port-fortified, it takes on some chocolate and fruit notes along with an aged character that might make you believe it had spent some time in a barrel. With just enough hop presence and bitterness to keep it on the right side of sweet, you can buy it by the bottle (expect a bottle limit to be in effect) or sit and have a 4 oz glass on site from 2 PM today. Careful though, this one could very well creep up on you like a Russian Dictator on a horse. And previously returning earlier this week was the Cryo Me a River, an NEIPA featuring all Cryo Mosaic and Simcoe hops which were all added towards the end of the boil and in the fermenter. Expect a hazy, bright and hoppy result that you can purchase and take away in growlers or sit and enjoy by the pint or as part of a flight.

As is their yearly tradition, Boxing Rock has announced that they will once again be releasing their U-889 Russian Imperial Stout with Coffee and Vanilla Beans this year. For the first time, however, they are offering the chance for folks to pre-order cases and half-cases and save on the retail price. Twelve bottles can be had for $100 (regular $126) or 6 for $55 (regular $63). If you’re interested you can contact the brewery to place your order and pick it up when it’s ready in late November, either at their HQ in Shelburne or in Halifax at their Local Source location.

On Cape Breton Island, in the little burg of Nyanza, Big Spruce has not one, not two, but FOUR new beers on the taps this weekend. I Love Lucy is their fresh hop offering this year, featuring hops grown right on Big Spruce’s farm. Cascade, Centennial and Chinook varieties were packed into this 7.0% ABV, 40 IBU beer that positively screams with local flavor. Bucklaw Baby is a new NEIPA that also hits the 7.0% ABV mark, but with a slightly burlier 53 IBU. Going a little farther afield for the hops, it includes Amarillo, Waimea, and Mosaic for notes of pineapple and grapefruit and a floral character as well. Rounding out the hoppy offerings is Heavy Handed, a 5.4% ABV and 38 IBU American Pale Ale that was “crammed” with Nugget, Centennial, and Amarillo. This one is expected to be a hit with those who are already fans of Big Spruce’s flagship APA Kitchen Party. And last but not least, and taking a left turn from the hop onslaught, is a collaboration brew done with the gang from Halifax brewing collective Bràthair Brewing. Mostly an authentic Gose, it’s got a twist of lemon, both figuratively, in the form of Lemon Drop hops, and literally, with an addition of fresh lemon zest. Reunited Gose Feels So Good is bright and fruity with an herbal character and a snappy finish. All four of these beers are available at the brewery right now; keep an eye on Big Spruce social media to see where kegs might pop up at tap accounts.

And rounding out the news this week is more news on the exciting project from Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing and Acadia University. Thanks to a $25,000 grant from NSBI, they are continuing a research project looking at indigenous yeasts. Working with Drs. Russell Easy and Allison Walker of Acadia University, the team collected more than 300 samples from across the province (including some notable landmarks that we’ll tell you about soon!), before isolation and testing to ensure they can ferment wort, are alcohol- and hop-tolerant, and taste good! The research is ongoing, so we’ll update you on the project once more information is available. And for a taste of local hops, their Bluenose 1850 wet-hopped beer is available now in the taproom. Brewed with hops from High Tide Hops Farm, look for lots of green and citrus aroma and flavour thanks to the fresh hops.

Let’s check out the beer events happening in our region over the next little bit…

Nackawic Big Axe Brewing is celebrating the Grand Opening of their new brewery and taproom this weekend. Haddies Fish and Chips will be onsite starting today, but the big party kicks off tomorrow. With a 1PM ribbon cutting, plus brewery tours at 2, 3, and 4PM, and music as well (Oland Monteith starts at 3PM, Crosscut at 8PM). Check the full details on their Facebook Event Page for more info. Congratulations!

Also celebrating their Grand Opening is Halifax’s HopYard. From opening at 11AM tomorrow, they will be slinging some awesome beers from around the Maritimes, thanks to the great breweries on their To Call list. And this is the last weekend of their Fan Favourites menu, so be sure to load up on those dishes you’ve tried before and missed, or want to enjoy for the first time. More details here.

One final reminder that Niche Brewing is taking over the taps at Stillwell on Barrington Street tomorrow. Starting at 4PM, the Cool Kids from Hanwell will be on hand to chat beer, how damn expensive vanilla has become, and the minutiae of Fredericton geography. Check last week’s post for the full taplist (including substitutes as the first kegs are emptied). Great food will accompany, thanks to Chef Graeme Ruppel and Co in the kitchen.

Next Thursday is the latest Tap Takeover in Battery Park’s arsenal, this time from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. Starting at 11:30AM on October 18th, 2C is taking over their 18 taps with kegs of many core beers, past one-off and seasonal favourites, as well as the debut of at least five new beers. We won’t spoil the fun as to what you can expect (in all honesty, we don’t know yet either!), but we can assure you it WON’T be the new beer they brewed on the weekend. They took their pilot system on a bit of a trip to the great outdoors, where they brewed up a traditional lambic-style wort, including Pilsner and raw wheat, and aged hops (used for their preservative qualities more than anything else). Left overnight, it was spontaneously inoculated, with wild yeasts doing the job a lab pitch would normally do. And in keeping with traditional methods, the beer will ferment and condition for many months (maybe even a few years), as the different yeast and bacteria do their job. We’ll be sure to let you know when *this* one is coming out!

Later in the month, on October 30th, Dolma Food in Moncton is hosting an evening of beer knowledge with Patrice Godin of Acadie-Broue. Godin has been brewing on a small scale since 2010, and Acadie-Broue was the first of the nanobreweries (sub-100 litre) in our region. Using knowledge from both professional and brewing life, he will be sharing his insights on the brewing process, how to get started with homebrewing (and scaling up to commercial), as well as tasting through a flight of beer (Godin is also an accomplished BJCP judge). Tickets are available online now, or in store.

Just a couple more things before we let you go this week:

Garrison Brewing has announced the style for their upcoming 2019 Home Brew-Off Competition, the 6C Dunkles Bock. This is the 11th year for this competition, whose winning entry will be brewed on their system and see wide release across the Maritimes. Entries won’t be due until next year (probably mid-February), but we wanted to let you all know so you can start your recipe trials now!

– In Sydney, Breton Brewing has released version 2.0 of a beer in their refreshing and low ABV series of sours: Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Sessions has a hint of up front sweetness and a sour kick at the finish and in between will have you thinking of Grandma’s strawberry rhubarb jam. Available at the brewery only for pints and fills.

Welcome to the first full weekend of fall in Atlantic Canada! As is usual for this time of year, wet-hopped beers brewed after harvest a few weeks ago are starting to appear, we’re seeing continued pumpkin ale encroachment, and Oktoberfest celebrations are going on. Meanwhile, there’s also lots of new releases that have nothing to do with fall, traditionally or otherwise. We note that we’re quite a bit earlier than usual with this week’s post; we suggest you don’t expect to get used to that!

Let’s start this week in Dartmouth with Brightwood Brewery. Now well-ensconced in their new digs on Portland Street, they’ve released a new beer that we think marks them as the only brewery in the region (at least in recent memory) to have released two beers in the California Common style. Described as an homage to surfing in Cow Bay, Minutes takes the healthy body and crisp finish traditional to the style and marries it to some white wine character courtesy of a dry hop with nouveau German hop variety Hallertau Blanc. At 5.5% ABV we suspect it will be an interesting contrast to the traditional European styles like Märzens and Festbiers that are prominent at this time of year. You can find it in the taproom for tasters, pints, and fills. Meanwhile, if you’ve been missing getting your Brightwood fix at the Alderney Market since they started their expansion project, we’ve got some great news for you: they’ll be back this coming Saturday for growler fills in their swank ceramic growlers (or, y’know, your tired and boring brown glass)!

On the other side of the bridges, in the Burnside Industrial Park, Spindrift has a couple things on the go. Of course one of them is the American Pale Ale currently being revealed slowly on social media with a contest, so that one will have to wait a week. The second is a little bit of yin to that one’s yang, an American Lager with 10 IBU and 5% ABV in a light-bodied beer with an “unpronounced bitterness” and a fairly high carbonation level. Made with a moderate percentage of adjuncts, namely rice and wheat, expect it to be very easy drinking, especially when served very cold. Called Toller, it will be available exclusively at Harvest, Rockhead, and West Side, in 8- and 24-packs of 355 mL cans. And after last night’s debut at the Hopyard Halifax takeover, you can start looking for their new DIPA, Hurricane Juan, in stores tomorrow, September 29th, on the 15th anniversary of its namesake storm.

Rothesay’s Long Bay has their first new beer out in some time, and it sounds like a beauty! Full Pleasure is the result of months of experimentation with sour beers; kettle-soured with Lactobacillus to a Baby Bear level of tartness (just right!), the wort was then fermented with the brewery’s house Belgian strain, and given an addition of passion fruit puree. Once complete, they dry-hopped it with two marvelous varieties, Galaxy and Mosaic, before packaging. With lots of fruity hop flavour, complemented by the tartness from the Lacto, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. Look for bottles and growlers to be found at the brewery now, as well as bottles and kegs at select ANBL stores and licensees over the next week.

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill has a new beer out this weekend that will help you harken back to summer even though fall has definitely arrived. A Berliner Weisse featuring rhubarb and raspberry, the recipe was developed by Lunn’s Mill partner and chef Chantelle Webb. Girl, Hold My Earrings has a pinky-orange color and a sparkling effervescent character to match with a tart Berliner character and sassy fruit presence. At 4.4% ABV and a measly 4 IBU, you’ll no doubt be able to slosh back a few of these before you find yourself entangled in a good old scrap. Only available at the taproom it will make its debut at Lunn’s Mill’s second annual Oktoberfest event this evening starting at 5:00 PM. A cover charge of $10 will get you a stein to drink out of (and take home, if you can manage it) and the chance to enjoy a special food menu and the four bands that will be playing on the patio. More information is available on their Facebook Event Page.

We told you about the hop harvests around the region a few weeks ago and it looks like Shelburne’s Boxing Rock have managed to be the first to bring their 2018 wet hopped offering to market (or at least the first one we heard about). Now in its sixth iteration, Many Hands has always been a collaboration beer between Boxing Rock and North Brewing in Halifax, and this year is no different. Released this past Wednesday, this year’s model is a Pale Ale brewed with organic malt from Horton Ridge Malt House and a pile of fresh hops from Wallace Ridge Hop Farm in Malagash, NS. Look for it to be a smooth and easy drinking ale with a malty base and floral and herbal hop notes. You can find it at the retail store in Shelburne and at Local Source, Harvest Wines and Bishops Cellar in the city, along with Liquid Assets at the Stanfield International Airport.

It’s another week chock-full of new beer and re-releases from Big Spruce, who isn’t showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. Beginning with the new beer, A Marzen Grace, which is released just in time for Oktoberfest celebrations across the world (have you ever known a country/city/town to refuse the chance to celebrate with beer?). Billed by Big Spruce as “100% classic and traditional”, it was brewed with all German malt, German hops, and German Lager yeast. Conditioned and lagered for a period of time, as the style calls for, it’s malty and crisp, and even at 6% ABV is meant to be consumed in healthy quantities, if you can! As for returning beers, put your drinking caps on, because there’s a few: Fake News!, a 5.6% APA hopped entirely with Idaho 7, and fermented with the Foggy London Ale strain; Tag! You’re It!, a fresh batch of the brewery’s immensely popular 6.5% ABV NEIPA, with a “hugely late” hop addition (we’re going to assume that means a huge addition, late) giving boatloads of tropical fruit character; and, in truly bittersweet fashion, the last run this season for The Silver Tart, easily one of the brewery’s biggest crowd-favourites, a 4% ABV kettle-soured beer conditioned on organic raspberries. It’ll most assuredly be back next year, but maybe stock up before it’s gone for 2018! And finally, cans of Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout are now more easily found, as NSLC stores finally have them in stock; you can even get it in New Brunswick, as select ANBL locations are also carrying the beer.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a new entry in their Neon Friday series of hoppy beers hitting the taps today. Brut IPA with Hallertau Blanc may have a matter-of-fact name, but it’s no plain-jane beer. Manifesting the new “Champagne” or “Brut” style of low-bitterness and extremely dry (minimal residual sugars) IPAs with high carbonation, this one was hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a modern hop variety known for imparting a white wine character along and notes of grapefruit and lemongrass. It’s 7.0% ABV and a paltry 5 IBU and you can find it on tap starting this afternoon at the Upstreet Taproom and at Craft Beer Corner, both for pints and for growler and crowler fills.

Robie Street in Halifax is home to Good Robot Brewing, which means it’s home to two new beers in the coming week, as per usual. The BetaBrewsday release (as always, scheduled for Tuesday at 4 PM), is called Bittersweet Cocoaphony, an ESB with a little verve in the form of cocoa powder added after fermentation. Formulated and brewed by Andrew Seth and Beta Baroness Kelly Costello, the grist was comprised of 2-row, Cara 30, Cara 120 and CaraAroma, while the hop side was a light dusting of classic UK Fuggles and its American descendant Willamette. Easy drinking at 4.5% ABV, even though it’s not too bitter at 25 IBU, we still suspect it will be extra special.

Meanwhile, from the Alpha system comes a collaboration brew done up just in time for the Halifax Pop Explosion! Lizard Queen was brewed in concert with Garrison and Gahan using flaked wheat, oats and barley along with good ol’ 2-row for a solid ale malt presence with enhanced mouthfeel. Hopped with some very big modern varieties, Simcoe, El Dorado, and an especially large dose of Mosaic, expect it to have a heavy tropical fruit presence and be danker than the air outside the Seahorse. Look for this very sessionable 4.5% ABV and 25 IBU beer to appear next Thursday, October 4th, as the city gets ready for HPX later in the month.

New Brunswick’s Picaroons is joining the Oktoberfest fun with a new beer they’re calling Oom Pah! Pah! Oktoberfest Ale. Amber in color, it’s a crisp ale with a bready character matched with earthy and floral hop notes that were kept on the subtle side no doubt to allow the malt shine. It hit the taps on Tuesday at the Picaroons Roundhouse and the Picaroons Brewtique in Fredericton, on Wednesday it showed up at the Picaroons General Store in Saint John, and look for it starting today at the 5 Kings Restaurant in St. Stephen. You’ll also be able to grab it at all ANBL locations as of tomorrow. We’ll warn you though, although it’s widely available, only one batch was made, so when it’s gone, it’s gone!

Chain Yard Urban Cidery in Halifax has a new and special treat on the go, a plum wine that they made with shiro plums harvested in Nova Scotia. Shiro is a sweet and juicy yellow variety that can often be harvested well before other plums are ready. Plummet saw Chain Yard taking the juice from these plums and doing both wild and Brettanomyces fermentations before dry-hopping the result. A “session” wine, it’s a very light 4.3% ABV with no sulfur dioxide and it’s still fermenting a little bit, which should mean a touch of sweetness is still there to be enjoyed. A very limited run is available by the pint only at the tap room on Agricola Street.

Bootleg Brewing in Corner Brook is displaying their Newfoundland sense of humor again this week with a new beer they’ve dubbed Tits Up. Also displaying their disregard for classic beer styles, they’re calling this one an Imperial Session IPA, which, as oxymoronic as it sounds, makes some sense in context. Extremely light in the body, and without the big bitterness you might expect from an IIPA, it prominently features big tropical fruit aromas. Meanwhile, it also prominently features a leg-wobbling 7.8% ABV. So while it drinks like a session ale, it packs the punch of an imperial. It’s been available on tap since last Friday. Be careful, though, the warning label on this one says, “if you start a day boil with this one you probably will end up Tits Up in da rhubarb.”

You may recall that in fall of 2017 Sober Island Brewing on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia hosted a homebrew contest that focused on locally-foraged ingredients. The winning beer in that competition was called Raspberry Beer, Eh! and it was entered by Andrew Deveaux. Like many homebrew comps, one of the prizes for the winner is the brewing of a commercial batch of the winning beer. Well they finally did that, and the result is available! A Raspberry Wheat Ale using 95% Horton Ridge Malt and local raspberries will be on tap this weekend for crowlers at the Alderney Market and Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers Market. Congratulations again to Andrew on his winning beer!

At Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing, the hops, they’re still a-flowin’, with two hoppy brew releases today. The first is a brand new beer, Almost Nuclear, an American IPA hopped with Mosaic T-45 pellets. Differing from their more commonly seen, less-concentrated T-90 pellets, the T-45s are supposed to give even more hop aroma and flavour. Looks like TrailWay is standing by that, describing the beer as “super fruity and tropical, with a big berry-like aroma”. Weighing in at 6.5% ABV, look for cans and pours of this one at the brewery at opening. The second beer is the latest re-release of Emerald, a 5% ABV New Zealand Pilsner. Fermented with a Czech Lager yeast strain, hopped with Southern Cross and Eureka, it also has an addition of fresh lime zest and lime juice, adding even more lime character to that from the hops. Cans and pints/growlers of this one at the brewery as well, starting today, with cans seeing distribution to ANBL stores next week, as well.

We thought maybe 2 Crows was taking it easy with new beers this week… ha, how foolish we were to let our guards down! Sometimes we suspect maybe they’re just doing this to make us work harder. ANYhoo, of course they have two new beers, so let’s get to it. First up is Dare to Dream, a dark Saison brewed with Vienna malt, Wheat, and a combination of crystal and roasted malts. Dark Belgian Candi sugar was added in the boil, as well as some Sterling and Bramling Cross hops (to 21 IBUs). A combination of spices – including coriander, orange peel, cardamom, lime leaf and black lime – were also added at the very end of the boil; the wort was then fermented at warm temperatures with 2C’s house Saison yeast. The end result is a beer with “dark fruit, prune, and plum notes, a smooth and full body, with moderate roast and a very subtle spice profile”, to go with the classic Saison fruit esters. It comes in at 5.4% ABV and will be available on tap and in cans at the brewery tomorrow, and at bars/restaurants in the HRM.

The other beer from 2C was brewed in collaboration with Kanata, ON’s Small Pony Barrel Works (did you get to have some of their beers at Stillwell in late May? Magnifique!). Thunderdome was brewed with Pilsner, Spelt, Oats, and Aromatic malt, and hopped in the boil with a small amount of aged East Kent Goldings. The wort was soured in stainless with Lactobacillus plantarum, and then transferred to one of 2C’s foedres (over fresh lime leaves on the way, to boot!). At this point, 2C added some of their funky house cultures, along with some house blends from Small Pony (now that’s collaboration!). After fermentation and conditioning in foedre for several months, the beer had an addition of lime leaves, before carbonation and packaging. The beer is tasting “assertively tart, bright, with a fun herbal/lime character and a touch of funk”. There will be cans of this one at 2C tomorrow as well, but the supply is limited to 25 cases, so best get in early and grab stock up on both beers!

Propeller has brought back their Pumpkin Ale (5% ABV) for the season, with this year’s release showing up in cans (473 mL), as well as in bottles (341 mL). With a slightly-tweaked recipe (the same spice blend was used, as well as pumpkin sourced from Howard Dill) to darken the brew slightly, you can still expect a pumpkin-y, spicy beer. Not stopping there, they’re also re-releasing Alpha Dog, a wet-hopped Pale Ale brewed in collaboration with Sea Level. Featuring locally-grown (from Fundy Hops) Galena, Willamette, and Cascade, this one will be draft only, so stop by one of the two Prop shops, or Sea Level if that’s closer to you, to grab a pint and/or growler.

As usual, there’s plenty of beer-related goings-on this weekend and beyond that we think you might be interested in:

If you’re in Halifax tomorrow afternoon and feel like letting your lederhosen down, consider heading down to the Stillwell Biergarten for their first (annual, hopefully) Oktoberfest event. With the turning of the season it may be one of your last chances to get a good outdoor downtown drink on in 2018. The cover charge is $7 paid in advance (available at Stillwell HQ on Barrington or at the Beergarden, weather permitting) or $10 at the door. They’ll have an Oompah band, proper steins to get sloppy with, and a German-inspired menu of snacks from Joe Martini for you to be München on (sorry, not sorry!). The tap list is all Euro-centric beers, with plenty of local entries, both brand new and well-established. Put your peepers on the menü below and plan your attack in advance:

  1. Tatamagouche – Dry-Hopped Lagerhosen (European-style Lager – 4.5% ABV – Tatamagouche, NS)
  2. Spindrift – Killick (Munich Helles – 4.7% ABV – Dartmouth, NS)
  3. Stillwell Brewing – Stilly Pils (Unfiltered Dry Hopped Pilsner – 5% ABV – Halifax, NS)
  4. Dieu Du Ciel! – Sentinelle (Kölsch – 5.2% ABV – Montréal, Quebec)
  5. Propeller – Pilsner (Unfiltered Pilsner – 4.8% ABV – Halifax, NS)
  6. Ritterguts – Urgose Märzen (Märzen-Gose w/ Hallertauer Perle, Taurus, Smoked sea salt, Swiss Stone Pine cones, and Ceylon Cinnamon – 6% ABV – Chemnitz, Germany)
  7. Boxing Rock – Märzen (Festbier – 5.4% ABV – Shelburne, NS)
  8. Big Spruce – A Märzen Grace (see above) (Festbier – 6% ABV – Nyanza, NS)
  9. Uncle Leo’s – Altbier (Altbier – 5.2% ABV – Lyon’s Brook, Nova Scotia)
  10. Revel Cider – Lime Apfelgose (Blended spontaneously fermented cider w/ Sea Salt, Coriander, & Lime – 6.5% ABV – Guelph, Ontario)

If you’re near Moncton and haven’t yet purchased tickets for the fourth annual Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest, you may want to strongly consider grabbing some of the few that are remaining! Happening tomorrow, attendees lucky enough to buy their tickets early had the option of VIP or VVIP, which gets you in earlier, and an industry panel discussion and guided beer tasting, in the case of VVIP. But as mentioned, there are still regular tickets available, with doors opening at 7:30 pm. You’ll have 2.5 hours to sample beer, cider, and mead from over 40 local breweries, with food available for purchase as well. As in the past, proceeds will go to the United Way.

A reminder that the Guided Tasting with Stephen Beaumont is happening this Sunday, September 30th at Stillwell, and there are still a few tickets available for the first session, from 12-2 pm. Tickets are $46 (you can purchase through the event link) and include samples of some rare, world-class beers, all discussed with one of the foremost beer authors around. Beaumont will also have copies of his latest book for sale, which he will happily sign at the event.  

The annual Garrison Oktoberfest is coming up on Saturday, October 6th. The all-day event starts at 11 am at 1149 Marginal Rd with plenty of food from Asado Wood Fired Grill, live Oompah music (starting at 2 pm) and, of course, beer! There will also be a free show later in the day featuring Dave Sampson. Feel free to bring the kids (and dogs!), and drop by to take part in the fun.

We hinted at it last week and this week it was confirmed. Fredericton’s Niche Brewing will be featured in a tap takeover at Stillwell on October 13th! Brewers Shawn Meek (hey, we know that guy!) and Rob Coombs will be on hand and feeling reaaaally social and ready to answer all your questions about their beers, their brewery, and their general philosophies of life. Look for the taplist to be posted as the date approaches along with news on the special menu items that will be coming out of the kitchen that afternoon. They’ve promised some favorites from their first 9 months of operation, some newer releases, and some one-offs brewed specifically for the event. We (well, the Aaron and Chris part of “we”) are pretty excited to finally be able to try some of the beers we’ve only been able to write about since Niche started producing beer. We expect we’re not alone amongst fans of great beer in the HRM in our excitement. Meanwhile, the spoiled folks of New Brunswick will continue to be spoiled by the return of Niche’s Single Origin this week. A coffee-infused milk stout, it’s got the usual lactose addition to provide sweetness, creaminess and mouthfeel to balance the bitterness and dark flavors of the coffee. Look for it to appear on tap over the next week or so at the King Street Alehouse, The Joyce, Graystone, and Isaac’s Way in Fredericton, and Pepper’s Pub in Saint John.

And, finally, a few more quick mentions before you get back to your Friday:

Breton Brewing has their non-Pumpkin (!) seasonal back for fall, Celtic Colours Maple Lager (5.5% ABV); brewed with Acadian maple syrup, it’s available now in the Breton taproom for pints and growlers.

– There’s a new draught-only beer from Garrison this week, Pineapple Express. A Witbier with the addition of pineapple, you can find it at the brewery for pints and growlers, and it should be available on tap around Halifax in the near future.

– Looks like Dooflicker (5.3% ABV), a “Coconut Brown Sour” is pouring again at Roof Hound; drop by soon for pints, growlers, and 500 mL bottles, as supplies won’t last long.

– For those with supplies running low on their supply of lovely mixed-ferm concoctions from Stillwell Brewing, we’re afraid you’re going to have to ration what you’ve got for another week. Due to the Oktoberfest celebration mentioned above, there will be NO bottle sales this weekend on Gottingen Street. To make it up to us, though, they’ve promised a brand new release for next weekend. We’re sure we’ll have the details here next Friday.

– Our friends at Tidehouse have re-brewed their Big Bruiser, a 10% ABV DIPA hopped with cryo versions of Ekuanot and Simcoe. It’s available right now for pours at their taproom, as well as in bottles.