Big Spruce Brewing

All posts tagged Big Spruce Brewing

Check it, we’ve got MORE RAIN coming this weekend. Whodathunkit? So grab your bee costume, queue up some Blind Melon (yes, we’re old) and grab some beer from your favorite Atlantic Canada producers. And if you’re looking for some suggestions, well, read on!

Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse has a brand new beer out this week. Citronella is a 6.5% ABV amping up of the hazy New England IPA style with the essence of a bitter & resinous West Coast IPA. A base of light malts, with lots of Citra and Summit hops throughout, the beer was fermented with a blend of the Conan and Coastal Haze yeasts for an easy drinking beer with a big nose of citronella. Grab cans of this brand new killer beer at Bad Apple’s brewery in Somerset, or at their taproom in Wolfville, The Core, at 3 Elm Avenue, open from noon daily.

Hampton New Brunswick’s Matchstick Beer Factory is undergoing a name change today, so we wanted to be sure we get you up to speed. Their name is an ode to the Flewelling Saw Mill & Match Factory that used to operate in Hampton, but it being a significant landmark in town means that other businesses in the area can take inspiration from the historical building. In order to reduce confusion, the brewery is changing their name. And so, Gridiron Brewing is born! Named after the Gridiron, a small set of rapids located on the Tusket River inYarmouth County, NS, and located near the old family homestead of Head Brewer Luke MacGregor. So be sure to update your links to include their new addresses on the web and social media (Web / Fb / Ig / Tw ), as they are going live today. And be sure to follow them on social media, as they are running a contest for tickets to the Beer on the Bridge Festival in Fredericton, July 6th. Plus another exciting development coming later this month that will definitely having you pop in to Hampton for a visit!

And while we have you, let’s talk about a brand new beer that Match…. Gridiron debuted at last week’s Sussex Rotary Brew Festival. Luckily for those of us unable to attend, they’ve sent some kegs of it out in the wild to local licensees. Moose Draw Session is a Session IPA, featuring hops from nearby Moose Mountain Hops in the Upper Saint John River Valley, and grain from Island Malt House in New Glasgow, PEI. Weighing in at 4.5% ABV and a hefty 70 IBU, you can/soon find it on tap at Cask and Kettle, Peddlers Creek, Sussex Ale Works, and the Match Factory in Hampton.

Let’s head up the Number 1 Highway to Dieppe, where CAVOK Brewing calls home. They have debuted a brand new light summer sipper this week in the taproom, Soleil d’Ete. Dubbed a “New England Summer Ale”, this 4.5% ABV beer was fermented with an iconic yeast often used in NEIPAs to keep it juicy, which is only enhanced by the generous use of Mosaic and New Zealand Wakatu late in the brewing process to reduce bitterness and enhance aromatics, to the tune of about 15 IBU. The best place to grab a sample or pint is at the brewery, though we’re sure there will be kegs of it on tap at CAVOK’s accounts across NB soon.

As almost everyone knows, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing largely makes their bones with big and bold beers, usually featuring irresponsible hopping levels. But lest you think that limits them to IPAs and West Coast Stouts, they’ve got a new beer this week that should disabuse you of that notion. Helles Bock, or Maibock, is a German style traditionally brewed in the Spring as a shift from the very malt-forward “bread-in-a-bottle” beers that dominate the winter months. Enter Hellevator, brewer Greg Nash’s take on the style. Consistent with the tradition of the style being pretty big (and perfect for Unfiltered), it comes in at 7.0% ABV and was brewed with malt, yeast and noble hops all sourced from Germany. We don’t reckon that many German brewers have ever described a Helles Bock as “juicy” but this one is, while still having a malt-forward character befitting a Maibock. Look for this one at the brewery starting today at noon, with pints, fills and cans all on offer.

Our buddies at Big Spruce have a new barrel-aged bottle release for us, and it’s one that sounds perfect for enjoying with a little hot, sunny weather. Wild Wild Wheat is a light-bodied wheat beer that was fermented with the brewery’s Farmhouse yeast (specifically, Pin Cherry 2 of their Scotia Sauvage), and aged in Chardonnay barrels for five months. Expect plenty of floral and peppery characteristics in this 4.9% ABV beer, along with some nice oak character. It’s currently available only at the Sprucetique in Nyanza, in 650 mL bottles. And while you’re there grabbing yours, Sublime – their double-dry-hopped-with-Mosaic 5% Session IPA, conditioned on organic lime juice – is back, so you might as well pick up some of that one as well!

Breaking their tradition of ping ponging between styles from release to release, Niche Brewing’s followup to last week’s Paradox is another ultralight offering coming in at an extremely sessionable 2.9% ABV. But lest you think the guys have lost their flair for changing things up, Living Reflection isn’t another Session IPA, no, it’s a fruited Brettanomyces beer that trades hops for funk. Leveraging a Niche favorite, the Amalgamation blend of 6 Brett strains from The Yeast Bay, you can absolutely expect plenty of varied Brett character from this one. Managing to avoid a too-thin body for the weight with a grist largely composed of Pilsner and wheat malt, tangerine puree was added in the secondary for a delightful citrusy and fruity kick along with a touch of tartness. This one is on its way to Niche tap accounts in New Brunswick, with a chance of an appearance at Stillwell (HQ and/or BG) in Halifax.

Over in Montague, PEI, newly-opened Bogside Brewing has a new one-off that they’ve added to their taplist, to go with their flaships. Named after the salty, sour, German style that we all know and love, Gose is a 4% ABV salty, sour… oh wait, I guess you probably figured that out from the first part of this sentence. But it is! Coriander is also typically added to this style of beer, but in Bogside’s case, the coriander presence is minimal. Easy-drinking with “some nice grainy notes”, you can grab it at the brewery’s restaurant/taproom (along with some BBQ!) over the weekend, in sample, pint, or growler form.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing continues to surprise and delight with their willingness to bring new beers to their seasonal lineup with their summer lineup of NE IPA, Galaxy, Session IPA, Azacca, and Summer Fruit Beer, Stone Fruit, all winning plenty of fans in the region. This week, though, they’ve upped the ante even a little more with a special limited release of a beer that’s been quite a while in the making. Brett IPA doesn’t have a fancy name, but it’s sure to be a complex beer. Coming in at 6.0% ABV, with some wheat in the grist and plenty of Mosaic and Azacca, as befits the IPA aspect, it was also aged for more than 8 months in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Look for plenty of hop character, with notes of tangerine, papaya and passionfruit, some complex barnyard funk, and no doubt some further complexity and tannins from the barrel. Bottle conditioned in 750 mL bottles with cork and cage and a gorgeous label courtesy of Densley Design, only 200 of these are available in total starting tomorrow at both Propeller locations. The question is, do you drink it now and get the full effect of the hops, or do you cellar it for a year or two and let the Brett develop even further? Let’s be honest, the answer is probably to buy two and do both!! A quick warning from the brewery, though, the corks used for this bottling were somewhat sub-optimal and will likely require a corkscrew to remove; they’re addressing this issue with different corks on future limited releases. And if you’re considering hitting up Propeller (or the Propeller Arcade) tonight for a pint or two, we think that knowing that tonight’s cask is their Rye IPA with Grapefruit might help you make your decision.

Bannerman Brewing, located in St. John’s, has been up and running for a couple months now, and while they’re still working at ramping up production to keep up with demand, they DO have two brand new beer releases for us all this weekend. Let’s start with Hard Yes, a dry-hopped kettle sour. Brewed with a good percentage of wheat, this tart beer was dry-hopped with heavy amount of Citra and Galaxy, which, as you can probably imagine if you’re familiar at all with hops, results in a lot of citrus and tropical character, all supported by a biscuity finish. At 5.2% ABV, you’re probably ok to enjoy one or two of these without going overboard (results may vary)! Next up is Medium Cool, a malt-forward American IPA brewed with Golden Promise, Pilsner, and Crystal malts. Dry-hopped with large amounts of Mosaic, Simcoe and Columbus, the 7% ABV beer has “notes of honey, with a rounded bitterness and a resinous, earthy hop profile”. Both of these beers should be available at the brewery right now, for pints and growler fills. And if it happens to be nice out while you’re there, take a minute and enjoy a beer on their newly-opened deck!

New beer coming out from TrailWay today, a beer they’re referring to as an “Oatmeal IPA”. Overnight was brewed with “near maxed-out recommended dosages of both malted and flaked oats”, according to the brewery. Hopped – likely intensely with, being TrailWay and all! – with El Dorado and Citra, two American varieties that TW has used with many of their other hoppy offerings, expect “melon, berries and cantaloupe” in the aroma/flavour. The oaty grist comes through in spades in the mouthfeel, lending a creamy, soft body to the beer, without being cloyingly sweet. And as with most TW beers, there’s very little bitterness in the finish of this 6% ABV brew. It’s available right now (because there’s no way this post is published before noon… NO WAY) at the brewery on tap and in cans. While there, you can also grab some Good Weather, another of their popular summer American IPAs.

If you’re around the Corner Brook area of Newfoundland this weekend, you might just want to head over to Bootleg Brew Co. They have released a special collaboration beer they cooked up with St. John’s beer bar Toslow, kinda-sorta in time for their first anniversary. Starting from a Berliner Weisse (sour wheat beer) base, the piece de resistance was a whole whack of Newfoundland berries, donated by Toslow co-owner Chris Scott’s grandmother, with partridgeberries, blueberries, marshberries and cranberries. Hence the name, A Nan Jam, seems quite fitting to thank her! 🙂 Tart from the berries as well as the souring technique, plus aromatic from the fruits as well as a generous Galaxy dry hopping, this is a complex and beautiful pink beer that we’re sure won’t last long. It’s available right now at Bootleg’s taproom, and very soon on the other side of the province at Toslow, hopefully this weekend.

The team at Halifax’s Good Robot has certainly been enjoying the sunnier weather this week, and given the glorious space that is the Gastroturf (with more taps added this week care of Beer Tech), why wouldn’t they? They’ve got a new beer out this week that’s just right for enjoying some sun, assuming we get more at some point, and they’re calling it Viking Holiday. Fermented with a kveik yeast strain, a great choice for this time of year when temperature control gets more difficult and a quick turnaround is paramount, it was built on a grist of two-row barley and wheat and gets a delightful zing from an addition of pineapple. Reminiscent of the ever so rare Pineapple Creamsicle™, it aims to be light and refreshing at 4.2% ABV and a gentle 15 IBUs and with a fairly spritzy carbonation. Look for it on tap at the brewery for pints and fills.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet is continuing their “Do Good Resident Artist” program with the release of their newest beer, Orange Mandarin Gose. Brewed with their current RA, Peter Christenson (hailing from the state of Washington), the grist is simply made up of 2-row and malted wheat, and hopped very lightly to 5 IBUs with Herkules. While this kettle sour features the normal-for-a-Gose additions of sea salt and coriander, they’ve also added orange peel and mandarin, which contributes some nice citrus notes to go along with the tart, salty flavours of the beer. And at just 4% ABV, the refreshment factor increases even higher! If you’d like to check out Peter’s artwork, they’ll be holding an Artist Talk/Beer Release this Sunday at 2 pm, in the white building adjacent to Upstreet’s taproom, which will be followed by a trot over to the taproom to try the beer!

A couple of things to tell you about in terms of beery events coming up:

If you’re beer-motivated and looking for something to do on the evening of Saturday, June 29th, consider grabbing one of the remaining tickets for Curated Magazine’s East Coast Craft Beer Festival in the Multipurpose Room at the Halifax Forum. Tickets are $35 (plus taxes and a $1 fee) and will get you 12 tickets, each good for a 4 oz pour from 18 Nova Scotia breweries plus two out-of-province guests: Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub from Saint John and Dominion City from Ottawa. There will also be local food on offer (cash only), live music, and taxi service. Designated Driver tickets are available for $10 at the door.

Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing Company is pleased to announce that they’ve partnered up with the team from Murphy’s on the Water to bring a weekly Brews Cruise on the Tall Ship Silva every Thursday night this summer from 9 – 11 PM featuring live music and New Scotland beer. Tickets are $15 and are available from Ambassatours. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Social Media to see who’s playing each week!

And a few last mentions of new releases, re-releases, and openings to help you figure out where you’re going to buy the beer you’re likely to be drinking inside this weekend:

In case you missed it during your morning commute, fellow beer-crazy cats 902 BrewCast have dropped their June Tasting Episode today. Highlighting their choices for their Nova Scotia Summer Slammers as published in The Coast, they once again curate and fawn over their favourite brews, wines, and news going around our little piece of the beer world. Check into your fave podcast app for the latest episode.

Boxing Rock has brought back Bravo!, their 6% ABV single-hopped American IPA featuring, you guessed it, the Bravo variety. It’s available in six-packs for those of you who enjoy this “perfectly bitter” beer and need more than one. They’ve also revealed that they’re currently building a taproom in Shelburne; stay tuned for more info on that project.

Tracadie, NB’s Brasseux d’la Cote is releasing their Barram Witbier this week, a silver medal winner at this year’s Down East Brewing Awards. Now packaged in cans, it’s a 4.5% ABV Witbier available at the brewery (where we guess you can also grab it on tap).

Congratulations are in order as Dildo Brewing Company has opened their St. John’s retail location today. Located at 332 Water Street, next door to good friend of good beer The Adelaide Oyster House, the retail location will be open from noon today, with sales of growlers, cans, and their deadly popular merchandise. No onsite samples or pints are available, but look as close as next door, or further down the street, to imbibe.

Up on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, in Grant (near Antigonish), Half Cocked Brewing has announced their summer hours and the opening of their patio. In addition to their usual Thursday Growler nights, check them out Fridays from 5 – 8 PM and Saturdays from 2 – 7 PM for fills, pints and flights. Hey, pop in today after you sign off for the work, why dontcha? Bring your own umbrellas if you dare sit on the patio!

Hell Bay has released their own take on a Gose, The Salty Piper (5% ABV). Brewed in collaboration with the White Point Beach Resort, the sea salt used in the brew was actually harvested from the resort. Drop by the brewery and resort for a taste of the final product.

Shipwright’s newest beer, released this week, is an Australian Pale Ale named Aussie Rules (5.5% ABV). Hopped with Galaxy and Enigma, expect aromas of “peach, pineapple, and cantaloupe”, with a touch of malt sweetness. Find it on tap at the brewery, or downstairs at the Grand Banker, both located at 82 Montague Street in downtown Lunenburg.

The weather has certainly taken a turn for the better this week, with patios and beer gardens open more than closed this week! The final couple days of PEI Craft Beer Week are upon us, with events at all 8 Island breweries (no, not 5, PEILCC!), so let’s kick off the week with the latest news from the Fair Isle.

PEI’s Upstreet has been in operation now for close to four years; Gahan, originating and still operating on the Island, for much longer. It’s taken awhile, but the two have finally come together to brew their first collaboration beer, and they’re hoping you will find it worth the wait! Appropriately named, About Time was brewed with Pilsner, raw wheat, and rye in the grist. Hopped (and dry-hopped) with Czech Saaz and Kazbeck, as well as Cascade, it was fermented with a Brettanomyces blend, as well as a Kveik strain. The hazy, yellow beer finished at 5% ABV and 19 IBUs, and has aromas of “fresh hops, lemon zest, fresh mown grass, and undertones of wet hay”, with lots of herbal spice and citrus in the flavour. This one will be available only on tap; you can find it at Upstreet and the Craft Beer Corner, as well as Gahan locations…

In even more Gahan/PEI Brewing Co. news, it looks like they’re releasing another in the series of their bottled Brett beers; you may remember Patience, a dry-hopped Saison with Brett, which was originally released a couple of years ago. Their latest beer, Persistence, follows the same line – it’s also a dry-hopped Saison with Brett – although it definitely has its differences! Persistence was fermented entirely with Brettanomyces (Patience had Brett added for a secondary fermentation) and features a dry hop with a very large amount of Citra. Look for notes of tropical fruit and light funky character in this 6.0% ABV high carb, dry beer. Bottles are available now at the PEIBC and Gahan shops, and at several PEILCC locations across the province. And this week is the kick-off of their Growlers of Summer series of beers, special brews only available at the PEI Brewing Company and Beer Station at the North River Causeway for growler fills, natch. This week’s release is Margarita Gose, a 5.2% ABV beer that was originally released about a year ago. Tart and salty, this take on a Gose has an addition of tequila-soaked lime and orange zest. Crisp and refreshing, grab your growler(s) at the PEIBC taproom starting today at 4pm, or at the North River Causeway.

Montague’s Copper Bottom Brewing has a brand new kettle sour hitting taps and shelves starting today, just in time for a sunny weekend (kinda). Blueberry Sour was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row (from PEI’s own Island Malt House) and a healthy percentage of wheat malt. Soured with Lactobacillus, and hopped very lightly with Centennial, an addition of over 100 kg of wild blueberry puree (from local Terry’s Berries) is what gives this aptly-named beer its bright purple colour. Lots of blueberry in the flavour, the tartness helps the 5% ABV brew from being too sweet. Grab it on tap and in cans at the brewery today; it should follow at a few PEILCC stores later on in the summer.

Turning to the latest Island Brewery, Bogside Brewing has been welcoming visitors for the past week, serving up some authentic low and slow BBQ thanks to Chef Dave Mottershall (including Pork2BeerFest from 4:00 PM today!). While they’ve been waiting for their beer to be ready, they’ve had a variety of Island ciders and beers on tap. Well, your patience will soon be rewarded, as the final pieces of their serving equipment is almost onsite, which means you’ll soon be able to enjoy Brewer Mark Patriquin’s brews. Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw) for the release details, but you’ll be able to their Session IPA, Hefeweizen, and Brown Ale within the next week, and we’ll have a full Profile with them early next week.

Big Spruce has never been a brewery accused of lack of experimentation, and they’re keeping that up with the latest entry in their experimental hop series of IPAs. This 7.9% ABV brew is named Makes ¢¢¢¢ (considering the first beer in the series was simply named $$$$, you shouldn’t be too surprised!), and features the experimental hop HBC-644 (don’t worry, if the variety catches on it’ll eventually have a much sexier name). The final product is showing plenty of apricot and nectarine in the aroma, with “notes of ripe mango and summer strawberry”, and some pink grapefruit zest on the palate, all with a piney finish. Considering the enthusiasm from beer drinkers for $$$$, this one has a lot to live up to, and it sounds like it may have accomplished that feat! Judge for yourselves… swing by Big Spruce for a taste/growler, or check out one of their many licensees if you’re not in the Cape Breton area.

Couple new beers coming your way this week and next from Good Robot, the first being their collaboration with the Anchor City Rollers, Thick Thighs Save Lives. This American Pale Ale comes in at 5.3% ABV and 39 IBUs, and is described by the brewery as “superbly crushable, with a great bracing bitterness”. Next week’s release is another collaboration, this one with a brewery, and a brewery that pretty much all of us will recognize – Quebec’s Trou du Diable. Beelzebot! Is another APA, but brewed with an addition of spruce tips straight outta Shawinigan (TdD’s home town), and fermented with a Kveik yeast strain. The beer is tasting fruity, with a good amount of spruce popping through in the aroma. It comes in at 6.66% ABV and 47 IBUs; you’ll have to pop by the source (read: Good Robot) to give it a try.

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing is bringing back their very popular La Saison du Nord Saison, but have made some changes to the yeast and hops to switch up the beer. Released to celebrate the lobster fishers in Northern NB, this version of the Saison still weighs in at 7.0% ABV, but features the New World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs, which contains both Sacc and Brett. After fermentation was completed, the beer was dry-hopped with European Saaz and New Zealand Motueka. The resultant beer is a true blend of the contribution from the yeast, malt, and hops, with fruity, funky, spicy, and earthy notes, on a dry beer with plenty of refreshing zip. Grab it on tap at Euston Park Social Beer Garden and CAVOK Brewing.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock is back in action in their Halifax Test Kitchen with a couple of new beers to tell you about, one on tap now and one in the works. Already pouring at Local Source is Shoreline SMaSH, a 5% Pale Ale. By now most dedicated blog readers already know that a “SMaSH” is a “single malt and single hop” beer that shows off the best of both. In this case the grist is composed entirely of malt from PEI’s Shoreline Malting Company; the hop is the grandaddy of American hop varieties, Cascade, known for its citrus, floral, and spicy character (sourced from Ontario’s Clear Valley Hops). You’ll find this one a pleasant and easy-drinking brew with low bitterness and a full mouthfeel, perfect for outdoor drinking on a warm day in late spring. The beer yet to come was inspired and co-brewed by Halifax beer writer Kim Hart Macneill. A Belgian Blonde Ale with peaches, it sounds perfect for patio drinking if summer ever comes. We expect to have more details about this one closer to its release, but for now the folks at Boxing Rock are appealing for name suggestions for this one. Slide into their social media DMs to give them your best ideas that aren’t “Peachy Keen.”

Another week with a new Shipwright beer release (that’s at least a few in a row, no?), a West Coast IPA named after one of many British ships carrying the first IPAs to England, HMS Hop Bombay. Hopped heavily with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe, expect obvious notes of grapefruit and pine throughout, with a firm bitterness to finish it all off. Grab pints and growlers (and crowlers!) of this 6.6% ABV, 60 IBUs IPA at the brewery this weekend; you can also likely find it on tap at the local The Grand Banker.

Twillingate is known around Newfoundland as one of the best places in Iceberg Alley to spot bergs. While there, you will most definitely need to stay hydrated, which means a visit to Split Rock Brewing is certainly in order. They are kicking off their summer sour series this week with their Sour Patch B’ys: Mosaic. This 3.4% ABV kettle sour has a medium acidity, with plenty of tropical fruit (think pineapple and mango) from the generous dry-hopping of Mosaic. They also have a pair of new IPA on tap these days, both worth checking out while in the taproom. Skipper D’s is a 6.8% ABV IPA, featuring Cascade and Amarillo hops, used heavily both late in the boil and in dry-hopping, concentrating on flavour and aroma notes, rather than bitterness. And celebrating the impromptu Sunday jam session that often fills the taproom, Sunday Session IPA is a 4.3% ABV light IPA with plenty of late Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic hops for pine, mango, and citrus character. Grab your guitar, mandolin, or squeeze box, and pop by for a session!

Let’s get you up to speed with what’s on the go this weekend…

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is entering its final weekend, which saw all of the breweries in the province taking part in the celebration of beer releases and events. Today, Bogside is celebrating Pork2BeerFest from opening at 4:00 PM, Copper Bottom is celebrating their Sour Blueberry release, Evermoore is hosting live music and continues their Island Tap Takeover, Gahan is holding PEI Tap Takeovers with guest taps gracing their draught all day, PEIBC is hosting a Cask & Comedy event starting at 7:00 PM, and Upstreet is celebrating with an Island Tap Takeover, as well as debuting this year’s release of Go Devil IPA. Saturday sees multiple live music events at the taprooms around the province, giving you yet another excuse to get out and visit. Check the details on the PEICBW site! And celebrating the end of the week, Moth Lane Brewing is releasing a new Pale Ale named Last Kick at the Can on Sunday. Look for more details from their Facebook page.

If you’re in the environs of Pleasantville on Saturday, June 8th, and you like a bit of cidery goodness, you could do worse than grabbing a ticket for the Newfoundland Ciderfest. Brought to you by the same folks behind the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival and taking place at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 56, Pleasantville. Doors open at 7:00 PM and inside you’ll find 45 ciders from 14 producers, both big and small, old and new, from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, BC, and Denmark. Tickets are $65 plus taxes and fees, and include all your tasting samples, an event passport, live entertainment, and a tasting glass to take home. Food will also be available for purchase. Grab a ticket online and get your cider on.

Halifax’s The Carleton has another entry in their Craft Draught Showdown series of friendly beer pairing competitions coming up on Thursday, June 13th, at 7:00pm. As always, you’ll get 5 courses from The Carleton’s Chef Michael Dolente, each paired with two 4 oz pours, one from each of two breweries. Diners will vote on which beers they enjoyed the most and at the end of the night a winner will be announced. This edition of the event will feature two breweries from Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Mahone Bay’s Saltbox and Liverpool’s Hell Bay. Tickets for the event are $60 + tax ($69 all-in) and include gratuity; they’re available online from the event page on The Carleton’s website, which also includes information about the dishes that will be served.

Those who were excited to read about the NL Ciderfest above but were lamenting being in Halifax instead of St. John’s need not fret too much, as there’s a similar event coming up more locally. The Curated Guide is presenting their 3rd annual East Coast Ciderfest next weekend, Saturday, June 15th, at the Halifax Forum Multi-purpose Centre. Two sessions are scheduled, afternoon and evening, but if you haven’t got your tickets already you’ll want to act quickly, as the evening session (6 – 9 PM)  is officially sold out and the afternoon session (1 – 4 PM) is already at 90%! Tickets (available online through the link above) are $35 plus taxes and fees (another $6.25) and include 12 sample tickets and a tasting glass to take home, with additional tickets and food available for purchase on-site. There will be ciders pouring from 19 different Nova Scotia producers as well as a couple from New Brunswick as well. Designated Driver tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

Have you been keeping tabs on the new brewery and tap room build by North Brewing on Portland Street in Dartmouth? We know we have. But somehow it slipped by us (and maybe you too) that, in the grand tradition of Dartmouth, they’ve built themselves a Cold Beer Store!! Scheduled to open next weekend, official hours will be Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 – 7 PM. To celebrate this fabulous development they’ve got a big celebration going on next Saturday, June 15th. Starting at noon will be a BBQ fundraiser for Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum featuring hot dogs and veggie dogs from North friend and partner Side Hustle Snackbar (which will be opening onsite later in the summer). Since it’s Father’s Day that weekend, they’ll be bringing in a bouncy castle from 12 – 3 PM that will be free of charge so you can let the kids run out some energy while you grab a hot dog and your beer-to-go. North would love to have their new neighbours in the area stop by and see what they’re all about, as well as friends and fans from around HRM and beyond. But wait, there’s MORE!! What better way to celebrate the opening of a cold beer store than by releasing a new beer for folks to buy? We do Helium, Lighter Than Air is an ultralight ale weighing in at only 3.5% ABV, with Pilsner malt and flaked corn in the grist and a bright element from lemon and lime zest. This will be a full release, with cans available on Saturday at both the new spot as well as their retail counter at Battery Park on Ochterloney, as well as draught around the city. Congrats to the North Brewing team on this latest development and we look forward to even more good times when the Tap Room is finished!

Just a few more new and returning beers this weekend.

Grimross has brought back their Bishop Belgian IPA, which will be available at the brewery in cans and on tap starting today. This 6% ABV, 50 IBUs brew is hopped and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, Mandarina Bavaria, and Amarillo; expect spicy phenolics in addition to pineapple, orange, resin, and bubblegum.

Niche has a new batch of their Day Tripper back in circulation, a Belgian Tripel at 8.4% ABV that’s hopped with the classic noble hop Saaz. Look for spicy phenolics, fruity esters, and a dry finish to go along with a little bit of alcohol warmth. This one is being sent out to tap accounts in New Brunswick only at this point.

Tatamagouche Brewing knows how to time a beer release, as they’re re-releasing Cellar Slammer (4.4% ABV), arguably one of the finest Session IPAs brewed in our region. Hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic, giving lots of juicy citrus flavours, it’s refreshing and delicious, and extremely drinkable. Did we mention delicious?

Tuskets Falls Brewing is currently pouring an “Experimental IPA” at the brewery; we’re light on the details, but we can tell you it’s a 6.4% ABV NEIPA with lemon and lime rind added. If you’re nearby the brewery, you can stop in to give it a try this weekend!

Happy end of May! It’s hard to believe it, but we’re closing the books on the fifth month of 2019. You’d certainly never believe we’re on the cusp of Summer by looking out your window (or maybe you would, if you were chasing icebergs around Twillingate this week)! Let’s get you up-to-date with the opening of PEI’s first new brewery in 8 months, plus a baker’s brewer’s dozen of new beers and lots of events to keep you happy.

We’re excited to announce that Prince Edward Island’s Beer Scene is expanding today, with the opening of Bogside Brewing in Montague. Located at 9 Brook Street, overlooking the Montague River and Waterfront Park, Bogside features a full restaurant and taproom to complement the brewing operations. While equipment delays have them serving up fellow Island Craft Beers this weekend (with their own beers flowing in the next week or so), there’s no such holdups with the food! Chef Dave Mottershall is running a food program featuring low-and-slow BBQ, a wide variety of cured meats from his Salume Rume meat locker, and plenty of traditionally paired sides (think baked beans, greens, cornbread). The restaurant and taproom is open today 4 – 11 PM, and daily with the same hours, opening just in time for PEI Craft Beer Week (much more on that below!). Keep an eye on their social media (Fb/IG/Tw), and we’ll have a Profile with owner David McGuire and Brewer Mark Patriquin early next week.

We’ve got lots of news from Tanner & Co Brewing in Chester Basin this week, so let’s get right to it! First off, they sat down with our pals at the 902 BrewCast and recorded an episode chronicling the first 18 months of operation down on Angus Hiltz Rd. Topics range from their opening Thanksgiving weekend 2017, to the expansion of their brewing operation from 50 to 500 litres, to their take on traditional and historic German style. Dan and Peggy (but mostly Dan!) took over the rocking chair and aired some grievances about Untappd, beer competitions, and that nasty “s” word, saturation. And you’ll also get the inside scoop on their new taproom on Duke Street in Chester, opening this summer! They’ll be moving their pilot system into the downtown to create more room in the brewhouse (aka garage), and offer locally-brewed beer to visitors and locals alike. And you’ll be the first to hear about a South Shore Beer Bus that will allow beer fans to hop on and off at breweries in Chester, Bridgewater, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg (we’ll have more on that plan soon). At well over an hour in length, the podcast is the perfect length to listen to while driving to/from the brewery to catch the latest release!

Speaking of which, the latest brew coming out from Tanner & Co is Mango Basil Saison. Starting from their traditional Saison base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, and fermented with French Saison yeast, this batch features light usage of Amarillo in the boil (to the tune of 25 IBU) and a light dry-hopping. Added to both the kettle and then again to the conditioning tank was organic mango puree and fresh basil, working to meld with the base beer character, rather than overpower it. Think light tropical and herb notes working with the light fruity esters and phenolic spiciness from the yeast. Bottles of the 6.2% ABV MBS are available at the brewery now, as well as at their Lunenburg Farmers’ Market stall on Thursdays.

Niche Brewing, southwest of Fredericton, NB, is releasing another beer on the hoppy side this week. Dubbed Equanimity (a challenge to say after having a couple), it’s a NE-style Pale Ale, hazy and juicy, and slightly dank, but decidedly lower in ABV than a NE IPA at 5.5%. Expect a smooth body from a grist of 2-row, Golden Promise and flaked wheat and a moderately bitter finish, balancing a hop bonanza from late additions of Ekuanot, El Dorado, and Mosaic, and a very large amount of Vic Secret and more Mosaic in the dry hop. Look for it all over New Brunswick starting this weekend.

New can release from 2 Crows this weekend, and it sounds like a real humdinger! Humdinger (see what we did there? #killingit) was brewed with Pilsner malt and lots of different wheat (including raw, malted, and flaked), as well as a bit of oats and Aromatic malt. Hopped late in the boil with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic “American Noble Hops” (check out our post last week for more on this extremely odd and confusing term) to 15 IBUs, the wort was fermented in one of the brewery’s foedres with a blend of yeasts (including American Farmhouse, a white wine strain, and the multitude of other goodies living in said foedre), and conditioned for over 4 months. The beer was then transferred back to stainless and dry-hopped with Centennial, Huell Melon, and Idaho 7, canned, and conditioned with Champagne yeast for about six weeks. The final beer is tasting “super bright, lively, delicately funky, with citrus, honeydew and orchard fruit vibes”. Sounds great to us! Grab your cans at the brewery tomorrow.

Looks like Spindrift is continuing to play with small batch releases, as they’ve got a new beer hitting their taproom next week. Diabolic Scheme is a “Black Currant Wheat Beer” that was brewed with a grist of Pilsner and Wheat malt. Hopped very lightly (to just 6 IBUs) with Herkules and Cascade, the 5.6% ABV brew features an addition of black currant puree. As you might expect, the black currant is what comes through most prominently in the aroma and flavour of the beer, with a bit of tartness from the fruit coming through as well. You’ll be able to find it on tap at Spindrift on Thursday, June 6th.

The gang at Shipwright Brewing is keeping busy with new beers, as their latest, Fischerdorf Alt, is now available on tap. Named after the German word for “fishing village” (they ARE in Lunenburg, after all!), this is the brewery’s homage to the Altbier, a classic German style. A dark amber brew that was hopped lightly (to 22 IBUs) with Perle, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast. Sporting a “delicate malt-forward presence”, it has a touch of bitterness to balance, along with a crisp finish. This 5.2% ABV beer is currently pouring at the brewery (pints, growlers, crowlers), and is also on tap at the Grand Banker.

Port Rexton Brewing already has the next entry in their Continuum series of hazy IPAs, Continuum w/ Galaxy, available for you thirsty hop-heads out there! As you may have imagined, it’s hopped with loads of Galaxy, that fabulous Australian variety, including additions in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry-hop. Those of you familiar with Galaxy know that that means plenty of “passion fruit, pineapple, peach and mango” in the aroma and flavour, balanced by a moderate bitterness in the finish. It comes in at a low-for-an-IPA 5.1% ABV, meaning you can enjoy a pint or two and not feel loopy (well, that depends on a lot, but… you know). Check out the PR taproom for pints and growlers, or the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s for growler fills only. And when you head out to the taproom, you’ll be able to catch the very small batch of Kveik IPA, their local spin on the Newfoundland Skerwink Haze collaboration they brewed with Red Racer and is part of the Across the Nation 12-pack available in Atlantic Canadian Liquor Corporations/Commissions now.

The Picaroons General Store location in Saint John has a one-off beer – Light Speed Lager – currently available for pints and growler fills. A light-to-medium bodied brew, it was hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon, giving some citrus on the nose, as well as “faint, fruity flavours”. Lagered for six weeks to allow these flavours to develop, this 5.1% ABV Lager finishes dry and refreshing. Limited supplies available, only at the General Store.

Hot off the heels of two Scratch beers last week, Scratch #22: Hefeweizen is out today from Grimross. Brewed with lots of Wheat malt (~55%) and a mixture of Pilsner and Melanoiden, as well as a touch of Chocolate Wheat for colour, it was lightly hopped with Magnum and Tettnang to 13 IBUs. Fermented with a Weizen yeast strain to give your classic banana and clove characteristics, it comes in at 5.5% ABV. Refreshing and flavourful, you can find it on tap and in cans at the brewery for you to stock up on for the weekend; look for ANBL stores and tap accounts to receive their own supplies sometime next week.

It wouldn’t be the start of the weekend without at least one new beer from Big Spruce, which goes hand in hand with a cute, punny name! For this week, they’ve actually got two of both for us, starting with Kolsch Encounters of the Third Kind (see?). A light and refreshing, 5.4% ABV lagered ale (fermented with an ale yeast, likely cool, and allowed to lager at cool temps even longer), it’s meant to be easy-drinking, just what you need after yardwork, long hikes, etc. The second release is Apri-Hours, a mixed fermentation sour ale with apricot. Medium-bodied with flavours of apricot and lemonade, it packs a bit more of a punch at 6.8% ABV. Both beers are available on draught only; while you can of course swing by the Sprucetique for pours and growler fills, there will also be some kegs out in the wild (definitely at Battery Park and Auction House, as well as others). And keep your eyes peeled for Big Spruce’s first foray into the canned non-alcoholic realm, with Sparkling Organic Lemonade available now at the brewery and soon in cans across the province.

Halifax’s Good Robot has kegged the latest iteration in their Creature Feature series of biotransformation IPAs. Leveraging the practice of adding a bunch of hops during primary fermentation (e.g., before the beer is “dry,” so it’s not really a “dry hop”), they’ve also committed to a very 1970s/80s rock album model of roman numeral naming. This one is Creature Feature V, which features the fairly uncommon and somewhat feared Japanese Sorachi Ace hop variety. Known for imparting a lovely bright lemony character, but at the same time often bringing along complex and prominent notes of dill and lemongrass, it’s a bold move for a bold style. Coming in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBU, look for it at the GR taproom and possibly GR tap accounts around Halifax, starting this weekend.

You’ve got a busy weekend ahead of you, folks, so let’s help you plan your moves…

Propeller Brewing is hosting the Awards Gala for the Everwood Ave Home Brew Competition at 7:30 PM at their Gottingen Street taproom this evening. The event is open to the public, and if you have ever thought about taking up homebrewing, you’ll want to drop by to meet some of the keen members of the community, as well as have the chance to speak with homebrew shop owners and professional brewers to talk shop. You’ll also be able to grab a pint from their Friday Cask; this week’s features the returning Stone Fruit, with an extra-special dose of lime in the cask. Plus Real Fake Meats is onsite with Veggie Donair Egg Rolls to keep your tummy satisfied. And with the Arcade open from 4 PM this afternoon, you’d be crazy to miss it!

The Inaugural PEI Craft Beer Week is kicking off this weekend, and running from June 1 – 8, 2019. All eight Island breweries will be participating, each hosting events at, and around, their respective breweries. While there is no All-Island Brewery Festival to kick-off or end the week, there will be some big events happening to get you excited that we want to highlight. The first is on the kick-off day Saturday, as a handful of PEI Craft Beer Bus Tours will be crisscrossing the island. You can choose which of your favourite breweries to be picked up at (Copper Bottom, Evermoore, Moth Lane, or Upstreet [PEIBC bus is now sold out]), and you and your closest pals will tour all seven breweries (skipping the Gahan House) in one day. A great way to drink your way across the province and taste everything the fine breweries have to offer! Click that link to grab tickets! Sunday features a Brewer’s Brunch and brewery tours at most of the locations. Check the full schedule here, and if we get our butt in gear (looking at you, Chris!), we’ll have a Map and Calendar posted over the weekend to help you plot your moves over the next 8 days.

It’s been almost five years since Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has been in operation, and the 3rd Anniversary of the opening of their “big” brewery (remember, they started off as a 1 bbl in a basement before opening a much-larger brewery with a taproom) is coming up. You know what that means… an Anniversary Party! So, tomorrow, June 1st, TW is blocking off their side parking lot to include space for food trucks, outdoor games, live music, and a beer garden. They’ll be having free brewery tours throughout the day, swag giveaways, and plenty of beer releases, including the re-release of Bliss, their 4% ABV “Session India Pale Lager”, and a new iteration of their Velvet Fog Milkshake IPA, this one with raspberry and orange. Most of the outdoor activities start at around noon, and there’s no charge to attend… it’ll continue all day and evening!

The 5th Annual Port City Beer Run in Saint John is fast approaching, happening next Saturday, June 1st. This event has been growing since it started, with this year’s run expected to have over 300 runners participating, and 17 breweries and cideries pouring their products. Aside from all that beer and cider to look forward to after your run (there are 3, 5 and 10 km options), there’s also going to be live entertainment, and four restaurants on site serving up food. Almost $50,000 has been raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation over the last four years, so rest assured that besides having a great time and being active, your registration cost will be going to a very good cause. Speaking of that, you still have time to sign up; it costs $65 to register, and if you’d like to take part in all of the non-running fun, you can grab a “fan ticket” for $55. Check out the link above for tickets.

In addition to the beer mentioned above, Good Robot will be the site of much mirth and merriment this weekend with two big events on the docket. First up is the Aquasocks album release tonight at the Mayflower Curling Club (a few tickets are still available) that we’ve mentioned a couple of times over the last few weeks. It will feature a special beer brewed just for the event (that’s been on preview at the GR taproom since last week), a blueberry- and pineapple-laden Pilsner they’ve called Aquakultre’s Legacy Lager.

And following hot on the heels of what will surely be a night of beer drinking and booty shaking comes the latest event under the Flavabot umbrella, called, in typically questionable GR taste, The Great North End Jerk-off. There will be nothing questionable, however, about the taste of the traditional Caribbean Jerk-style cooking that is the heart of this event. The Limestone Group, RumbleFish (GR’s in-house kitchen in partnership with Black Sheep), and HopYard Halifax will be bringing smoke, spice and heat in a competition to crown the Jerk King. Two levels of tickets are available, Silver, which gains you admission only (all food and drink is extra) and Gold, which gains you admission and 5 food samples. And it wouldn’t be a FlavaBot event without some Caribbean-influenced beer, now, would it? Of course not! So Giovanni Johnson is bringing plenty of that. Rake ‘n Scrape originally debuted at the Flavabot Rake ‘n Scrape event back in March. A tropical double IPA with mangoes and pomegranate, it’s plenty juicy, plenty bitter, and tart as well, with an ABV of 6.9% and 70 IBUs. On the small batch side there will be two others, Pineapples and Coconuts (which also debuted at Rake ‘n Scrape), a 5.6% ABV and 27 IBU wheat ale featuring pineapple and coconut, and a brand new one, Conch Style Lager, a light, crisp, and refreshing beer with lime zest and spruce tips that weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 29 IBUs. Festivities start June 1st (that’s tomorrow!) at noon at the Mayflower Curling Club; you can get your tickets online here. So come get your jerk on at the jerk off!! (sorry/not sorry)

Just a few more things before we send you along your way today!

Garrison Brewing already has the second entry in their Hop Trip IPA series, with Hop Trip – Azacca (6.2% ABV). Hopped entirely with, yep, Azacca, expect lots of pineapple and lemon flavours. It’s only available on tap, so stop by the brewery for a growler, or look for it at your favourite Garrison licensee.

If you’re a hop lover in Halifax, you might plan to be in the environs of North Street this weekend, as Unfiltered has brought back their king hell Citra bomb, DOA. As usual, it’s 7.5% ABV, lotsa IBUs, and you’ll belch an orange grove after a glass or two. Cans, fills and pints from today at noon.

Upstreet’s dry-hopped kettle sour, Major Tom (5% ABV) is back as of yesterday. Tart in the finish with notes of grapefruit thanks to the dry-hop addition, you can find it on tap at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner, as well as in bottles.