Big Spruce Brewing

All posts tagged Big Spruce Brewing

Here we are heading into the the last week of July in Atlantic Canada and despite the strangeness brought on by COVID-19, the beer certainly still seems to be flowing, just via some different routes than we’ve been used to in previous years. While it’s still a bit of a complicated undertaking to sit and have a pint in a taproom or beer bar, with so many breweries keeping delivery offerings available, it’s gotten a whole lot easier to get beer to your home. We encourage folks to take advantage of this by maybe putting in an order from a further away brewery that they haven’t tried, maybe even across a Provincial border? Even better, get some friends together and do a few orders from a few breweries and have a little beer tasting party! THE FUN NEVER ENDS!! But seriously, ordering beer helps keep breweries afloat during times when tap room and keg sales are hurting. Ordering for pickup or delivery is convenient, usually quite quick, and a great way to help keep your thirst slaked and our scene surviving.

Sydney, Nova Scotia’s Breton Brewing celebrated their 5th Anniversary at the end of June, and are releasing five new beers to celebrate! The third in the series was released yesterday, joining Shipwreck DIPA and Right Some Good Dry-Hopped Sour. Ol’ Mick’s Grapefruit IPA is a 5.8% ABV American IPA which uses a splash of grapefruit juice to bump up the citrus and pithy character. Homebrewer Mike Morrison helped brew a similar beer with the Breton crew back in 2014, and now the rest of us can enjoy it too! Using malted wheat and oats on top of the base barley to get that soft mouthfeel, bittered in the kettle to about 45 IBU with a blend of American hops, and dry-hopped during active fermentation, Ol’ Mick’s pours like orange juice, with a brilliant colour and solid body. The beer is available at their 364 Keltic Drive taproom and retail shop, as well as online ordering for pickup, next day delivery within the CBRM, Halifax next week, and available province-wide as well (along with the last bit of Right Some Good).

If you’re making a break for the mainland from Sydney, you’ll be well-served to make a quick detour up the Yankee Line Road in Nyanza to Big Spruce Brewing. They are pouring two brand new beers this week, sub-5% ABV, perfect for enjoying in quantity. The first is The Inhaled Affirmative, lovingly named after the Cape Breton practice. This 4.1% ABV is firmly rooted in the Czech tradition, using Pilsner malt, natch, and plenty of Saaz hops for a blend of spicy and herbaceous aromatics on a base of bread and crust. Available on tap at the brewery, and soon at licensees around the province, it will also be on the shelves at Bishop’s Cellar in a cute 330 ml bottle, which means those across Nova Scotia will be able to partake (free shipping province-wide for orders over $150!).

And speaking of a cute beer, the Spruce has released Lilliputian, a Nano IPA weighing in at a very crushable 3.5% ABV. Speaking of “crushable”, we’re not sure how many Lilluputians were crushed in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, but we can assure you they won’t be as tasty as the 6” tall bottles coming this weekend. Despite its diminutive stature, this is a bold expression of pineapple, candied fruit, and more, thanks to the Idaho Gem and Citra hops used in the brew. In addition to the brewery, look for it to be pouring at Battery Park before too long! 

Hanwell’s hometown brewery is bringing back a couple of favourites these days, including one from the archives that’s been months in the making. First up from Niche Brewing is Empty Garden, their 5.4% ABV Kveik-fermented APA, which they had the misfortune of releasing mid-April, when the province was pretty much closed. Their timing this batch is much better, now that most restaurants and bars have re-opened to safely serve customers. Featuring Nelson Sauvin and Enigma hops in the boil, with more of these, plus Galaxy, in a dry-hopping addition, the Ebbegarden strain of Kveik yeast (care of Escarpment Labs) was allowed to play in the wort at a toasty warm temperature, meaning a quick fermentation and lots of fruity character. Kegs of Empty Garden are at The Joyce Pub and 540 Kitchen and Bar in Fredericton, as well as Peppers Pub and Cask & Kettle in Saint John, and at CAVOK Brewing in Moncton, with a couple slipping across the border to Halifax’s Stillwell.

The second returning Niche beer is Golden Flair, their collaborative brew with Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing. First released in April 2019, this is a 5.9% ABV Saison fermented with a blend of the house cultures from both breweries. After primary, the beer was dry-hopped with El Dorado and Ekaunot, and conditioned on apricot puree for a spell, before spending 6 months in a Chardonnay barrel to round out and pick up a touch more character. A natural bottle conditioning interval allowed it to carbonate before release, with everything coming together in a tart, fruity, funky, and dry package. So, enough chatter, how can you grab the beer? They can be found at your local ANBL, with Fredericton’s York Street and the Moncton North locations jumping on the orders right away. If you don’t see it at your shop, see if they’ll order it in, as the managers have plenty of discretion for what is added to the shelves. CAVOK will also be selling some bottles at their taproom next week. For those who’d rather not leave home, DrinkNB will be adding Golden Flair to their roster very soon, check to see if you are within their delivery area! And for those wondering, that Chard barrel has already been filled with another beer, hanging out for a few months before release this fall.

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery recently released a special beer that has been flying off the shelves since it became available. Brewed in honour of Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, who was aboard the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that crashed in April of this year, BMac Hazy IPA is a Session IPA that was hopped with one of the newer experimental varieties, HBC-692. Developed from a hybrid pollination from Sabro and open pollination, HBC-692 has been reported as showing “intense flavours of citrus, flowers, and wood”. Brightwood has confirmed lots of grapefruit flavours throughout BMac, all in a sessionable package. With $1 from each can and 15% of all draught sales going to the MacDonald family, the first run of cans sold out very quickly; luckily, more have been packaged and are now available at the brewery (and on their online shop any minute now, where you can also make a directed donation to the MacDonald family). Drop in quickly to pick up yours, and support a great cause while also being able to enjoy a tasty beer!

Testing your ability (and more importantly, your desire) to throw yourself back into the late 1990s, Secret Cove Brewing tries to pull you back with their latest beer, which they’ve named A Night at the Raspberry (fine, if you’re too young… here). This 4% ABV kettle sour was conditioned on lots of wild raspberries, with two additions – during the latter part of fermentation, and again once fermentation was completed. “Slightly tart and very crushable”, with some pleasant raspberry notes on the nose, you can find it pouring for pints and growlers at the brewery, and it’s also available in cans (some of which are being distributed to several NLC stores in the area).

In more sessionable beer news (summer is great for these low-ABV beers; heck, it’s awesome having them all year long!), Tanner & Co. has their very own to share with you thirsty Chester, NS folks. Hello Session Rye IPA is a 4.5% ABV SIPA brewed with – we feel safe assuming – a portion of Rye malt in the grist. Hopped with Simcoe, Cascade and Mosaic, the beer has aromas and flavours of pineapple, mango, and orange. Easy-drinking and lightly bitter, it’s available for purchase in growlers and bottles at the brewery and the Duke St. taproom. They’re also still doing home deliveries in the area, and are bringing the beer to the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market

In St. John’s, Bannerman Brewing has released their take/twist on an American Blonde Ale with their latest beer, Neon Lights. Brewed with a grist of Pilsner, Pale and Wheat malts, they lightly hopped the wort with Mosaic (not exactly commonplace for a Blonde Ale, but we doubt that anyone is complaining!). The final beer was conditioned on a large amount of lime, lemon, and orange zest, giving this light-bodied brew plenty of fruity flavours to bump up the refreshment factor. Very drinkable at 4.5% ABV, it’s available at the brewery on tap now, and should be in cans either today or over the weekend. 

Just in time for PEI’s 2020 Pride Week, Upstreet is re-releasing their annually-brewed Lavender Saison, Rainbrew. This popular beer is brewed with ingredients that represent the colours of the pride flag: strawberries (red), orange (PEI 2-row and Vienna malt), yellow (yeast), green (Belma hops), blue (water), and purple (lavender). The lavender and strawberries come through lightly in the aroma of this 5.5% ABV bright purple beer (come on, Anne, give it a try!), and this time around it is being released in cans! Drop by Upstreet or Craft Beer Corner to grab yours, so you can celebrate Pride in style. 

Keeping in the fruit-forward vein, there’s a new collaborative brew out from Dartmouth’s Lake City Cider and North Brewing. North’s B.Y.O.B, a light beer with lemon and lime zest, met Lake City’s Cider and blueberry and dark currant wines in a dark alley secondary fermenter and the result is Burst, a 5.3% ABV snakebite. Unlike a standard snakebite, which is a 1:1 blend of beer (usually lager) and cider each poured from the taps and possibly dosed with liqueur or cordial, the co-fermentation on this one could potentially make for a deeper integration of cider and beer flavors. You can be the judge of that; this one is available in cans from both Lake City and North as of this morning.

Bar Stillwell is hosting a 12-tap takeover from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham tomorrow, July 25th. In addition to tasty, funky, hoppy, fruity, and sour beers, Stilly HQ is also turning over the keys to their kitchen to the fine folks behind CODA Ramen. Previously operating at Water & Bone, CODA has been doing at-home Ramen kits for a few months, and are popping up on Barrington to offer a few options for ramen as well as the necessary accompaniments. Due to physical distancing requirements, seating is being done by reservation only, in 2 hour slots, beginning at noon. Reserve your place at the table by emailing Sam with your party size and preferred arrival time. We hear there may not be many spots available, but maybe ask if there’s a waitlist? 😬

A few beer and cider notes before we call it quits today:

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has brought back their Dump Run Saves, the 4.0% ABV summer ale, featuring loads of peach, mango, and passion fruit, bumped up just a touch with a subtle El Dorado addition. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery right now!

Also in Freddy Beach, Coastliner Cider has done a major re-branding and introduced several new blends of cider, now in cans,  including the Maritime Original, Raspberry Rose, and Cherry Vanilla. Their full offering is available through DrinkNB, pop over there for satisfaction.

We’ll leave you with a tale of two provinces this week… New Brunswick opening up the ability for small breweries without a Brewers Agency Store license, to sell direct to customers. Details are still trickling out, but opening up avenues for producers to get their product in front of consumers is definitely a step in the right direction. A bit more info here, we’ll have more soon.

On the other hand…. The NSLC has changed the markup structure to aid one industrial brewery. The latest version of the Local Beer Production Policy, available here along with all of the Manufacturers’ Policies, now leads with the following text “To ensure fairness amongst all local beer producers, it is the policy of the Corporation that beer produced within the province by commercial, craft, and nano breweries, shall be subject to the same markup structure.” The problem is, the playing field is never fair when dealing with multi-national, multi-billion-dollar corporations, who have immense buying power, their claws into all aspects of the supply chain (anyone remember the South African hop fiasco a few years back?), and deep pockets to entice/induce sales of their product. It’s almost like the NSLC is thumbing their nose at the Auditor General’s report released last month. We’ll share more on this real soon, but encourage reading the new policies, and a good article and quick CBC bit from this week’s news.

Happy Friday everyone! Another week in the bubble, and we hope to give you a few solid ideas on what/where to enjoy a beer or cider this weekend! Be sure to say “Hi!” if you see us out, or tag us in your beery posts this weekend, we love to see what you get up to! Now, without further ado, today’s post!

Let’s start off with our fine friends at Tatamagouche Brewing, where they continue to experiment with Kveik yeast strains (is there any better way to experiment than with yeast? Serious question…). Their latest Kveik (or is it Kviek😘) beer is On Task Export, a beer brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Vienna, and hopped with Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfruh. This one was fermented with Escarpment’s KRISPY, a blend of two Kveik strains rumoured to produce “Lager-like beer in Ale time”. Lagered for a couple of weeks, the beer definitely still has some fruity Kveik characteristics, so while not completely Lager-ish, it’s tasty and easy-drinking. Designed by the brewery’s cellar crew – with a special shoutout to “packaging wizard” Jony Riley – with the idea of brewing a new beer perfect for summer work around the house, it’s a reasonable 5.5% ABV. Available in cans and kegs at the brewery now, with the same heading to the HRM next week, and always available at their online shop

And if classic English beers are more your cup of Earl Grey, we encourage you to seek out some of Tata’s English Bitter, a 4.1% brew with Pale malt for the base, a mixture of caramel malts, and a little bit of Chocolate malt, and hopped with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. A beer just made for being served on cask, you can indeed find it just so at your favourite cask-serving-location (we’ve seen it at the Stillwell Freehouse recently), and kegs will be also hitting bars this week. Finally, Tata is also re-releasing Salt Water Cowboy, their 4.4% ABV Tequila barrel-aged Gose w/ lemon zest; look for kegs and 500 mL bottles to make their appearance over the coming weeks. 

For those of you who adore your hoppy Belgian beers (which truly are a beautiful thing, when you find a proper one), you’ll be happy to read about Stillwell Brewing’s latest beer, Dry. Designed with the intention of bringing you a low-ABV (4.2%, specifically), bone dry beer, it’s a mixed-ferm Saison that was dry-hopped with plenty of fresh Saphir. Packaged and can-conditioned in April, the dry-hop character is coming through at its peak now, giving the beer “a big, grassy, herbaceous character that plays well with the floral Saison fermentation notes”. A touch of tartness is present as well, with a firm bitterness in the finish. All three Stillwell locations will have cans of Dry available to drink on site, with HQ having plenty on hand for retail sale so you can enjoy one or six on your deck some hot, sunny day. Go!

Continuing with more mixed-fermentation fun elsewhere in Halifax, 2 Crows has the latest in their series of cocktail-inspired beers with Negroni. Named after and based on the dark red, Italian cocktail of the same name, this particular beer is actually a blend of three unique beers (very fitting, considering a proper Negroni cocktail typically is made with three different liquors/liqueurs). All three beers feature a golden sour base, but here’s where they differ: one was aged for 9 months in a freshly-emptied Amaro (ex-Bourbon) barrels; one aged in fresh Vermouth barrels; and finally, one aged in a gin barrel. Once all three were blended, 2C conditioned the final beer on a “complex” combination of botanicals (we think they’re being modest with the word complex!): fresh bitter orange peel and lemon peel, dried wormwood, calamus, fennel, sage, orris root, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, thyme, marjoram, juniper, coriander, as well as some hibiscus from World Tea House. At 5.5% ABV, this brilliant red beer is meant to resemble a proper Negroni cocktail, and it sure sounds like it does – the brewery describes the final product has having “orange and grapefruit zest leading the aroma, followed by a serious bitter kick and subtle herbal and woody aromatics”. Look for bottles of this beauty at the taproom starting tomorrow; they’ll also have a single keg pouring, which we recommend trying as well! You didn’t need us to recommend that, but we’re sticking to it.

There’s still plenty of summer left, and Spindrift has announced the details on their summer seasonal for this year, Sundaze Session Ale. Featuring a grist of Pilsner, Maris Otter, and Chit malt, it was hopped late in the boil with a healthy amount of Centennial and Galaxy, and whirlpool-hopped with Galaxy and Sabro. Fermented at cool temps with a neutral ale yeast, the beer was dry-hopped (midway through fermentation) with Centennial and Sabro. Coming in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, the resulting beer shows off both the malt side (with biscuity characteristics) and the hop side (with “big notes of passion fruit, coconut, and tangerine”); expect little bitterness in the finish (20 IBUs, if that’s your thing). You can find 6-packs of Sundaze at the brewery, and in NSLC stores soon. If you’re nearby, they’re having an official launch party at the brewery tomorrow from 11 AM – 3 PM, with Buttered Bliss joining them to pair some scrumptious chicken sandwiches with their beer ($5 pints all day, and $1 off all sixers and growlers). 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Milkshake IPAs are still a thing, and Big Spruce has brewed some tasty ones in the past. They’ve got a brand new one out right now, Tiguido, which is the French Canadian phrase for “just peachy” (we’ll have to trust them on that one). As you may have guessed, this release is a Peach Milkshake IPA, which was hopped and dry-hopped with a proprietary blend of Cryo hops from Yakima Chief (that means it’s a blend where we’re not exactly sure which varieties are used!). Brewed with lactose powder, and conditioned on vanilla and peaches (all organic, natch), it weighs in at 7% ABV and is “super fragrant, bursting with fresh peach flavour, and finishes soft and sweet”. Available right now at the Sprucetique in growlers, pints, and bottles, you can also find it on tap at Battery Park and the Stillwell Beer Garden. And if you’re looking for more fruity IPAs, Big Spruce has also got a new batch of Guava Get Me Some available in a limited supply; El Dorado and Mosaic hops, and lots of guava, all in a 6.4% ABV package.

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing has just launched the latest in their Rock God of Summer beer series, Limes Ulrich. This 6.5% American Wheat Ale was brewed exclusively with malt from PEI’s Island Malt House, and late-hopped in the boil with Amarillo. Conditioned on fresh lime zest in the fermentor, the final beer is light and crisp, “with a bright citrus lime flavour and aroma”. It’s billed as a crusher, but we recommend going easy at that ABV! Kegs should be hitting accounts any day now, and bottles will be available as well; keep an eye on their social media accounts for more details. 

We just told you about Shipwright’s first kettle sour last week, and they’re keeping the train rolling in that department, as their second sour just went on tap a couple of days ago! Surf Side is a 5% ABV kettle sour that was brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Honey malt, and once soured and fermented, was dry-hopped with a 50:50 blend of Bru-1 and Citra. Featuring “aromas of grapefruit and lychee, leading to pleasantly-tart flavours of peach, citrus and pineapple”, it’s currently pouring at Shipwright’s taproom, and available to take-away in crowler format. 

Dieppe’s O’Creek has three brand new beers being released this week, providing two completely different tastes for the senses. First up are two of the latest in their DUOH series (NEIPA hopped with two varieties), DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy and DUOH: Sabro/Enigma. Both beers were fermented with the Foggy London strain, and hopped and dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy, and Sabro and Enigma, respectively. Both are 6% ABV, hazy af, and showing off big hop aromas and flavours (of course, with those varieties!). Look for DUOH: Nelson/Galaxy at CAVOK Brewing and Euston Park Social, DUOH: Sabro/Enigma at Traffik in Shippagan. And if hoppy beers aren’t your thing, their next beer is Czech Affaire, a 5.5% ABV Czech Pilsner brewed with Pilsner malt and a bit of Munich and Carapils. Hopped with Sladek and Saaz, it was fermented with Escarpment’s Premium Pils, and lagered for over 2 months. Tasting clean and crisp, with a “fresh, bready aroma” and a firm bitterness, you can find it on tap soon at CAVOK. 

Propeller has gone ahead and released their IPA Day (Aug 6 this year) beer a little early, and it’s a tweaked version of one of their classics. They’ve taken their IPA recipe and double-dry-hopped it with Ekuanot and Citra, to give you DDHIPA. It’s still 6.5% ABV like before, but with the dry-hop additions it’s showing off aromas and flavours of pine, mango, and citrus, with a “slightly herbal taste and smooth, citrus finish”. It comes in their 360° cans, where the lid can be removed and the can used as a glass, and should be available at all three Prop shops today (and online for home delivery).

Head a bit further North in Halifax, and you’ll pass Good Robot Brewing on Robie Street. They are taking full advantage of their new canning system by packaging up another fresh batch of their award-winning El Espinazo Del Diablo Jalapeno and Lime Mexican Lager, as well as a brand new release, Purple Haze. The latter is a 5.9% American Pale Ale starting life as any other, but received a dosing of terpenes at packaging to skyrocket the smell and flavour to the next level. What are terpenes, you may be asking? These are the super-aromatic naturally occurring compounds that give pine needles, citrus fruit, lavender, etc, etc, their distinctive character. They’re also found in hops (a lot of the time when we talk about “biotransformation”, it’s these terpenes being transformed into another form), and its funkier and more potent cousin, cannabis. Centering on these, a blend of terpenes was used in this beer to mimic the distinctive aroma of the Purple Haze and Grandaddy Purp strains of weed, producing great aroma but without the high (sorry!). Think pine, citrus, melon, field berry on the nose, bumping up the contribution from the hops already in the beer. Cans of Purple Haze are available now in their retail shop, and online. And while you’re checking them out, keep in mind that there’s still a bit of their Blackberry Freedom Ale available, brewed with the Change is Brewing Collective, and benefiting BIPOC groups in the community. And there are more great beers coming from the Collective, but we’ll keep those under wraps for now.

Let’s hop across the water for our last brewery visit this week. In Deer Lake, Rough Waters Brewing celebrated the opening of their patio yesterday, at their 83 Wights Road location. Expanding their seating capacity just means more room for you all to visit on your way to/from Gros Morne, but also worthy of a visit specifically, of course! Plus, you can bring your pup to hang out with Ruffwaters’ own mascot. So, what can you be enjoying while there? Well, they released Wanderlust, a 5.0% Blonde Ale, featuring delicate floral aroma dancing on the light malt, in a crisp and refreshing package. Next up is the continuation of their Sour Series, this being Sour IPA. Galaxy hops lend a load of citrus and tropical fruit to the beer, with the clean acidity cleans the palate and keeps you coming back for more! This fella is 5.3% ABV, and available both on tap and in bottles, but for sale only at the brewery. And finally, just back today is Down South, their Pineapple Pale Ale, featuring 20 kilograms of pineapple puree added during conditioning. Again, exclusively available at the brewery, so we think you’d better start making your plans now! The retail, taproom, and patio (weather depending, unless you bring your ‘brelly) is Thursday through Monday, 2 – 10 PM.

On the cider side of things, Annapolis Cider has the details on the latest one-off in their Something Different series, Strawberry & Mint. Created with the intention of celebrating the Valley’s berry harvest season, it’s a blend of their dry-fermented cider with a “splash” of Perry, along with freshly-pressed strawberry and apple juices. Infused with locally-grown mint, this 6.2% ABV sparkling cider has “a bright effervescence and balanced acidity”, and is chock-full of strawberry and mint flavours for a very refreshing beverage. For this week’s release, they will be donating $0.50 from each refill of Strawberry & Mint to the Valley Regional Hospital Foundation

Not one, but TWO Beer Gardens opened this week!

Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery has opened up their Waterfront Beer Garden at Alderney Landing, adjacent to the Alderney Gate ferry terminal. Featuring seating for 64 (plus dogs!), the converted shipping container has both a draft system for draught sales to be enjoyed on-site, as well as a retail side with cans to take-away. For those grabbing pints, it is a BYOF establishment, with Brightwood is teaming up with Port City Cafe to offer bar snacks like nachos and dips to be ordered from their website and enjoyed there. In addition to Brightwood’s full complement of beers, the container bar will also be serving their new house cider, Brightyard. This single varietal (Northern Spy) is a semi-dry cider produced with Chain Yard Urban Cidery, where the cider starts life in Halifax before finishing up in Dartmouth. And look for super-special releases coming from the water-side ½ barrel, 60 litre, system also hanging out in the shipping container. The Waterfront Beer Garden is open 11:30 AM til 11 PM daily until the end of September, weather-dependent, of course.

And Bedford just got a little more beer-y with the opening of Birch and Anchor yesterday. Open 11 – 11 daily, the former site of China Town restaurant has been transformed into a sprawling beer garden with 15,000 square feet of space, a dozen draught taps (Breton, Garrison, Propeller are on the board currently) and two dozen varieties of bottles and cans. The food is prepared on-site, with pizzas, charcuteries boards, and BBQ courtesy of Asado Wood Fired Grill.

Just one event to tell you about this week!

Normally held in March, Péché Day is the celebration of Dieu Du Ciel!’s Péché Mortel, a 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with coffee. Since *something* got in the way of celebrating 4 months ago, the Stillwell Freehouse is taking another stab at it tomorrow, July 18th. Pouring PM plus 5 variations, including a Bourbon-barrel aged version, “Mexican Stout” (ancho & guajillo peppers with cinnamon and vanilla), Cassis (black currants), “Sidama” (infused with Ethiopian Sidama Howolso coffee), and Nanatsu No Taizai which is Péché Mortel fermented with lager yeast, rather than ale. Complementing these big coffee beers will be another touch of Montreal, with Smoked Meat Toasties, and a bring-your-own vinyl DJ situation, all kicking off at noon. No tickets, no reservations, so we suggest arriving promptly to secure your spot!

A couple more beer and brewing related job postings this week, for those looking to get into the industry!

Inverness, Nova Scotia’s Route 19 Brewing is looking for a motivated individual to join their team, working in two key roles as both a Brewery Assistant and Delivery Driver. In the brewery, assisting Head Brewer Dallas in all aspects of brewing, including recipe planning, ingredient handling, brewing, fermenting, conditioning, packaging, and everything in between. And then you’ll be able to help get that beer to customers across the province as a cargo van delivery driver, servicing Cape Breton and the Halifax region. While no formal brewing training is required, a thirst for knowledge is key! Fire an email with your resume and questions to Stefan Gagliardi. And for those who recognize that name, Stefan has joined Route 19 as the CBO, Chief Beer Officer, overseeing all things beer from Brewing Operations to Sales & Marketing. Congratulations, Stefan!

And on the serving side of things, Dartmouth’s Battery Park Beer Bar is looking to add some permanent part- and full-time servers to their team. Must love beer! Learn more here, and send along your resume!

And in “so you want even more beer details and information in your life” for this week

The fellas of the 902 BrewCast made a run for the border (and bridge) last weekend, visiting the other 902 province, Prince Edward Island. While there, they managed to fit in a handful of brewery, malting, and hop operation visits and interviews in just a couple of days. The first interview, with Spencer Gallant of Lone Oak Brewing in Borden-Carleton, hit the virtual airwaves earlier this week. Learn about his progression through the local brewing industry, the latest release of theirs (the Duet Saison that we are still in search of), and what can be expected from the tanks and barrels the rest of this year. Better than waiting for us to tell you about the latest Eps (or in this case, forgetting!), be sure to subscribe however you listen to podcasts. Find out how on the link above!

We’re back! Did you miss us? We missed you! That week of vacation has e-invigorated us to keep spreading the gospel of good local beer, and we even managed to switch our web-hosting provider to something that fits our criteria better (ie, cheaper, seeing as we do this for nothing). So grab a coffee or pint and get back up to speed with the beers goings on (going ons? goings ons?)  in the region.

Happy 7th Anniversary to Shelburne Nova Scotia’s Boxing Rock Brewing! The landscape has certainly changed in the region in the last seven years, with the number of breweries operating in the region increasing 5-fold since their launch in 2013. You missed this week’s cake at their taproom, but the good vibes continue with a brand new release of theirs, Aldeia Portuguese Pilsner. At 5.2% ABV,  this straw coloured clear pilsner is a “modern interpretation of an old world classic style”. Taking its time fermenting at low temperature, this crisp beer features a light dry-hopping of “modern varietals of old world hops” (we’re not exactly sure what that means either 😉). In all seriousness, this ode to Portugal is celebrating the country’s embracing of modernity with human rights and environmentalism, while still maintaining respect for the ancient architecture and traditions. But good news, you don’t have to just read about the beer, you can find out for yourself by dropping into the Boxing Rock Taproom at 218 Water Street in Shelburne for a pint or grab some cans to go! They’ve also let us know about Indigo, a sour beer with blueberries from the Parrsboro region to be released in the next little bit. 5.2% ABV, mildly tart, and showing a lovely bright colour. And they are now introducing a few other neat things on the go, including getting your own Taproom Experience, with several options including a guided tasting and pairing with food, Beer 101, or a look at the barrel aging program. Congratulations to the Boxing Rock team!

So, this is what happens when you take a week off… Jeremy and the crew at 2 Crows in Halifax decide to release three new beers. We really need to get our calendars synced up! 😘 OK, let’s get you up to date with these new beers they’ve got on offer. First released was Dreamworld, a 5.6% ABV foedre Saison. Starting from a base of Shoreline Malting Pilsner, Wheat malt and raw wheat, as well as spelt malt, it was whirlpool (aka, after the boil, but before transferring to the fermenter) hopped with Galaxy and Huell Melon, and underwent primary fermentation in one of their foedres, with a blend of house Brettanomyces cultures. More Galaxy and HM were added during active fermentation (biotransformation galore), and hung out in the foedre for another 4 months. At that point, the beer was dry-hopped yet again, and transferred to cans where it spent the last 7 months carbonating and conditioning. Bright and zesty, with grapefruit on the nose with passion fruit and spiciness, on a juicy base thanks to the adjunct malts. This one is in 473 mL cans now.

A pair of bottles also debuted at 2 Crows late last week, from their barrels prominently displayed in the brewery’s taproom. Monarch is a 5.5% ABV golden sour that spent seven months fermenting in freshly-emptied Pinot Grigio barrels, before a round of Enigma and Bramling Cross hopping just before being bottled back in May. This one definitely has plenty of grapey goodness in the bottle, with the refreshing acidity helping the grape and honeysuckle notes dance and meld. Also debuting was Delight, a 5.6% ABV blended sour with sea buckthorn. This beer is actually a blend of two separate beers, the first beginning life from a 100% heirloom German pilsner malt, aged for a year and a half in Sauvignon Blanc barrels (with a mixed culture of Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus), mixed with a golden sour base beer aged for about a year in neutral (aka, already used a few times) wine barrels. When combined, they received a dose of cold-pressed sea buckthorn juice from New Brunswick, and received a dry-hopping addition of aged Noble hops (think preservation rather than bitterness or aroma), before bottling and conditioning for two months. The fruit’s oils serve to knock out the head retention, but more than make up for it in massive pineapple, fuzzy peaches, and mango character. Both are available for purchase now at the brewery, and online, in 375 mL format. And while you’re checking out their online shop, be sure to grab your raffle ticket for a massive raffle they are holding at this time. Supporting the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, the prize pack is an amazing assortment of 25 unique beer offerings from their cellar, including many historic beers that are long “out-of-print”, as well as sneak peeks at beers yet to be released, worth at least $275 (full bottle and can list available here). You can grab your tickets for the raffle here, with the drawing taking place next Wednesday, July 15th. Enter today, enter often!

There are no areas in the world that haven’t experienced a surge in heartbreak over the past few, difficult months, but Nova Scotia is one area that seems to have received an-even-heavier-than-expected blow. Paying homage to those lives lost in the Canadian Armed Forces Cyclone and Snowbirds crashes that claimed the lives of seven Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Spindrift released NS Love Lager late last week. Described as a 5% ABV, crean, crisp Lager, 100% of the profits of every case sold will go directly to the families of those who were tragically killed in the accidents. The label was designed by Jampy Furniture’s Chris Smith; note that Jampy had previously designed wooden signs with the NS Love logo, with those profits being donated to families of victims of the Portapique mass shooting earlier in the year. Cans are available at the brewery for pick-up, as well as on their online store. 

If you’re a bit overwhelmed with endless releases of hoppy beers, sour beers, big beers, etc., we recommend you head over to Propeller this weekend for a very limited release of Lotus Lager, a “Lagered Ale” inspired by the delicious Kölsch beers of Cologne, Germany. Fermented with an Ale yeast strain at cooler temperatures, as is typical for the style, the brewery added Lotus hops in the boil, providing “a burst of orange, berries, and tropical citrus”, backed by a hint of honey malt flavour. Light, crisp, and refreshing, you can find it on tap for pints at all three Prop stores, as well as in cans (note that growler fills are not available for this one). And in more great news, there’s been a rare sighting of their Sasquatch Pale Ale (this is the first 100% Canadian hop) in cans only at their three retail shops (as well as home delivery), and there’s not much of it, so jump on that while you can. And lastly with the great Prop news, their Quinpool Tap Room location, in The Keep complex, has opened their taps and tables for onsite enjoyment! Open at 10 AM daily (noon Sundays), until 8 PM Mon and Tues, 10 PM Wed, Thurs, and Sun, and 11 PM Fri and Sat.

More Tidehouse cans available this week, as they continue their series of well-received Milkshake IPAs with Big Rent Money. Brewed with malt from Horton Ridge, the beer was hopped with Hammerhead Hops varieties. Cascade, Centennial, and Idaho 7 are the hops in this one, lending a touch of bitterness with a whole heap of fruit character. As always with a Milkshake IPA, it’s not just about hops and vanilla addition, but also the fruit… in this case, plenty of pineapple and mango, as well as orange zest. Thick, creamy, and fruity, cans of this 8.8% ABV beauty are available today at 2 PM at the brewery (and we don’t expect it to last the day), along with a few others, including Sotil 2 (5% ABV Saison with Marquette grape skins), and Two Can Win (7.5% ABV Imperial saison with Loral and Saaz hops). 

Now that Prince Edward Island is open to visitors from the other Atlantic provinces again, most of you will likely be crossing over to the Island via the Confederation Bridge. Conveniently, Lone Oak Brewing is located *right* there when you touch down, so why not stop by their tasting room to have a pint and pick up some growlers/cans? And to celebrate your arrival, they’ve just released a brand new mixed-fermentation Saison, Duet. Brewed with all PEI grain (barley, wheat, and oats from Island Malt House), it was hopped with Saaz and Centennial to 22 IBUs, and fermented with a blend of two strains of Saccharomyces and two of Brettanomyces. Aged for six months in Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc barrels, the final beer is tasting very dry and complex, with some “lemon zest and noble hop characteristics” in the background. Super drinkable at just 4.5% ABV, it’s currently available on tap, and now in 750 mL bottles too! Expect to see other barrel-aged offerings from Lone Oak in the near future, now that the beers have had some time to develop; we’ve heard a rumour that a foedre-aged Grisette could be next!

Elsewhere in PEI, Charlottetown’s Upstreet is keeping local residents hoppy, as they continue to release new entries in their Neon Friday series; maybe not weekly, but pretty darn regular! Today they’re putting out Neon Friday 3.03 DIPA, an 8% ABV beer brewed with Pale and Vienna malts, along with Wheat, Oats and Rye. Hopped with lots of Sabro, Citra and Mosaic, this sandy-gold-coloured beer has aromas and flavours of “toasted coconut, pineapple, and freshly-squeezed orange and clementine”. You can find it on tap and in cans at one of your favourite downtown Upstreet locations. 

A couple weeks ago, we wrote about the first of five 5th Birthday beers from Breton Brewing, and this week they’ve released the second in the line-up. Right Some Good is a kettle sour that was dry-hopped with Idaho 7 and Sabro varieties, giving notes of “pineapple, lime zest, and berries”, complemented by the accompanying tartness. Described as full-bodied despite the 4.2% ABV, it’s hazy-gold in colour and quite refreshing. Like all beers in this series, it will be available in a limited quantity; currently, you can grab it at their taproom or have it delivered if you live in the CBRM, and you should be able to see it around Halifax late next week. Stay tuned for their third birthday beer, dropping two weeks!

Between their brewery operations and their taproom, Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing boasts one of the most diverse staffs in our region’s brewing scene and are way, way above the (admittedly low) bar in that regard. They also continue to be behind some of the most inclusive beer-related events in our region. So it’s no surprise that their Brewer, Giovanni Johnson, one of the few BIPOC brewers in Eastern Canada and one of the folks behind the Limestone Group who have repeatedly brought a taste of Bahamian food and culture to the Halifax, is one of the folks behind the newly formed Change Is Brewing Collective, a group of BIPOC Nova Scotians in the food and beverage industry, to benefit BIPOC youth and community groups and to raise awareness of BIPOC issues. The first fruit of this labor is, appropriately, a fruited beer they’re calling Blackberry Freedom. Available starting tomorrow for takeout and in the taproom, this 5.5% ABV pale ale is designed to, “awaken the senses,” according to GR’s own LaMeia Reddick, a founding member of the collective and one of the folks involved in its design. Gio himself says, “This beer was made to honour the black experience. In collaboration with Good Robot we call for unity and justice at this time.” GR has pledged that 50% of the proceeds from this beer will be donated to BIPOC youth and community groups. The press release for Change is Brewing and Blackberry Freedom begins with the phrase, “Black Lives are Essential.” We believe this is a valid and vital position and they’re making it pretty easy to show your support for it through the purchase of this beer (but hopefully we can all find ways to do more). And look for more information about Change is Brewing and what they’re all about in a future post right here.

In other Good Robot beer news, Little Creature, the “Li’l Sister” to their popular Creature Feature series of NEIPAs is back on the go. Smoother than it is bitter, like its older sibling it features the much ballyhooed and also much debated biotransformation process of hopping during active fermentation, but in a more sessionable 4.5% ABV package. Look for it at brewery and taproom as well as online orders for delivery.

Down in Lunenburg, Shipwright Brewing has just tapped Citrus Got Real, a 4.5% ABV kettle sour. Brewed with Pilsner, Wheat, and Acid malts, the wort was soured with Lactobacillus before fermentation. Once complete, they added fresh lime juice and zest, as well as some raw coconut, giving lots of citrus and, naturally, coconut, backed by some “pleasant bready notes and an overall crisp grain profile”. This is the brewery’s first kettle sour, so make sure you get over there for a pint or crowler fill! It should be on tap, soon, at the Grand Banker as well. 

Couple new and interesting beers available this week from Bannerman Brewing in St. John’s; first they’ve got Good Vibes Only, an American Pale Ale with a twist. Hopped with a blend of South African hop varieties, it was fermented with a “Brettanomyces-like” yeast strain (homebrewers out there, name that strain!). Hops and yeast combine to bring notes of tropical and overripe fruit to this 5.5% ABV beer; it’s available on tap for pints and growlers, and in cans, at the brewery. And if kettle sours are more your bag, they’ve got you covered with their other newbie, Punch Drunk Love. Fruited with a mix of raspberry, pink guava, sweet cherry, and pineapple, you can bet that it’s a tart and fruity flavour bomb! Also available on tap, with cans just hitting their shelves today. 

Moving on to Secret Cove, who have re-released their Newfoundland Light & Sour, which they originally launched last summer. This 3.8% ABV take on the Berliner Weisse style has a change this time around – the first iteration featured an addition of locally-foraged marsh berries, but the newest version crams in local rhubarb, partridgeberry, and strawberries. It’s still tart, light, and easy-drinking, but with a different fruit profile than what you may remember from last year, if you were lucky enough to grab some then. Drop by the taproom this weekend for a pour, with cans coming in the near future.

O’Creek Brewing has updated us on two returning favourites of theirs, one beer on tap, and the other back in cans. For draught beer, their Berry Mango Sour IPA – a 4.5% ABV kettle sour hopped with Citra and Sabro, with some Nelson Sauvin in the dry-hop, conditioned on raspberry and mango puree – is back, and currently on tap at Dieppe’s CAVOK Brewing (remember, CAVOK lets you take home crowlers of guest taps!). And speaking of CAVOK, O’Creek contract brewed another batch of their Route 117 IPA at the brewery, and it’s now canned and ready to go! Hazy and juicy, it’s 6.5% ABV, and available at CAVOK and several ANBL stores (including Moncton North and Mountain Rd.). 

In brewing, as in the rest of life, timing can be everything. And sometimes you think you’ve got your timing dead on and circumstances seem to conspire against you. Such was the case for Hanwell, NB’s Niche Brewing, who released a new beer called Hop Altered right in early March, just before the Government told us all to go home and stay there. As a brewery without a retail outlet, this put quite a crimp in Niche’s ability to move beer. When a big part of your oeuvre is hoppy ales best enjoyed fresh, there’s also no real opportunity to “sit on” such beers for later release. The good news is that Niche is here on the other side of the first (and only, we hope) lockdown and they’ve made that beer again, only a little different. Keeping the grist the same as well as the yeast (Escarpment Labs’ Foggy London blend) and the kettle hops (El Dorado and Mosaic), but tweaking the dry hop a little with Mosaic and Citra, the result is a fairly sessionable (5% ABV) hoppy, juicy hazebomb. Or is that a hazy, hoppy juicebomb? You’ll have to decide for yourself. Grab a pint at one of Niche’s tap accounts; we’ve confirmed that they’ve shipped kegs to The Joyce, Peppers Pub, and the Pump House Fill Station, with the balance on its way to Stillwell (which Stillwell? Hopefully all of them!). And if hops aren’t your thing, but you like a nice German Pilsner on a hot summer’s day, check out The Pickle Jar (at the Hilton Garden Inn) in Fredericton, who have laid claim to the last keg of Lanai.

We’ve actually got a pair of events to tell you about today, for the first time in a few minutes!

One of the most consistent and consistently popular series of beer-related events in our region over the last couple years has been the Craft Draught Showdowns at The Carleton in Halifax. Many music lovers know the Carleton as the best place in the city for intimate and respectful concerts by a wide range of Canadian and International acts, but especially since their relaunch a couple years ago, they’ve cemented their reputation as a destination for excellent food and local beer. CDS events pit two breweries and brewmasters against each other, pairing 4oz pours of their creations with five courses from Chef Mathias Probst. The audience votes on whose beer was a better match for each course and a winner is announced at the end of the night. Just under two weeks from now, on July 22nd, the Craft Draught Showdown returns from exile with two local breweries, Brightwood Brewery and Propeller Brewing, head-to-head with a soundtrack to the evening provided by Almasy (Michael Dalton). Spots are extra-limited due to seating restrictions, but we’ve been told that tickets are still available for this one; cost is $65 ($74.75 with HST) and includes gratuity and can be purchased online.

For our Nova Scotia brewery employee readers, we want to be sure you are aware of this important event coming August 10th. Ren Navarro is Beer. Diversity., consulting those in the beer industry on how to improve diversity in hiring practices, community outreach, in-person interactions, and how to make each more welcoming to all. She will be holding a teleseminar August 10th, 1 -3 PM AST (not EST as originally pormoted), “Committing to Diversity in Our Beer Industry”, welcoming any and all members of the Nova Scotia brewing community to take part, from owners, to brewers, to social media folk, to taproom bartenders. This interactive event will include local brewery folks Christopher Reynolds of Stillwell, Nick Ogden of 2 Crows, and Rozina Darvesh of North Brewing helping moderate the two-hour event. Those in the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia may have already seen the notice, but for those breweries not members (or maybe haven’t seen the call yet), you can check out the tickets at the 2 Crows webshop. Because of the extremely limited number, you’ll need to grab a password from one of the moderators above. 

A few more newsbites for you, and we’ll take this time to mention that the Hard Seltzer Invasion continues unabated in our region, with new releases from Good Robot (Grapefruit and Moon Mist [which sold out in minutes] joining Mint Berry, fermented malt, gluten-reduced), North Brewing (Strawberry Rhubarb, blended seltzer, not from fermented malt, and gluten free), and the return of Big Spruce’s Zesty Lime and Red Raspberry Bliss (fermented malt, but filtered to remove malt flavor and gluten). We’d also like to add that you’re not likely to see too many more mentions of hard seltzers in our future blog posts. We absolutely get it, but between beer (our first love), cider, and the occasional mead, along with brewery openings, events (hah! Remember events?!), and job postings, we already have more than enough to write about on a weekly basis. So we’re tapping out and we’ll simply recommend you stay tuned to your favorite breweries’ social media for information about their alcopop offerings. And with that, let’s wrap this up for another week with a couple of quick hits and a job(s) posting:

Dildo Brewing Co. has a new summer beer for those of you in the area – Island Sunrise is a 5.2% ABV “Blood Orange and Mango Ale”. We’re extremely short on details, but rest assured it must have blood orange and mango in it! Available on tap at the brewery, and in cans. Also, the Dildo Outport Heritage Museum, located in the building, is now open for the summer, so you can drop in and enlighten yourself while buying beer!

Last week Moncton’s Grand Monk Artisan Ales dropped a new one off at Euston Park Social. Little Queenie Pale Ale is a lightweight (4.5% ABV) number with plenty of classic American hops: Chinook, Columbus, and Cascade. Described as “citrus, grassy goodness” you’ll find it on tap now at the aforementioned Euston Park, with a few other spots in the area receiving kegs this weekend.

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their big bad German daddy Hellevator Bock. Featuring German everything (except water, for obvious reasons), it’s on the maltier side for an Unfiltered beer, but still with plenty of Continental hop kick. Get your fills or cans of this 7% ABV Teutonic banger at the brewery from opening today.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has three openings available, but if you’re interested and you haven’t yet applied, your time is limited as the postings close today! First up is a Brewer to operate under the Head Brewer, helping pump out the beer that is the core of their operation. Next is Cellar Person, responsible for the path the beer takes from grain, hops, water, and yeast, to the point where the customer walks it out the door. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, a Warehousing/Packaging Operator who can help make sure that beer packaging is sound and sanitary, ensuring the customer is getting the freshest product possible. Check out the full details of each job posting here and then get your resumes in by email to joel@upstreet.ca. Applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted in the next couple of weeks.