Big Spruce Brewing

All posts tagged Big Spruce Brewing

It’s been a blazing hot week in our region (remember all of our jokes back in spring about winter never ending and summer never getting started? Haha.), with temperatures that can only be mitigated by proper hydration. Fortunately, our Atlantic Canada beer producers specialize in tasty liquids to help keep your fluids up. With more hot weather in the forecast, we suggest you might want to stock up on your drive home today or at your favorite beer-enabled farmers market in the morning. And if you’re in the HRM region, maybe check on the status of our newest brewery, The Harbour in Musquodoboit Harbour, as their plans were to open this weekend. Either way you can check our profile from yesterday here in anticipation of their grand opening.

Speaking of new breweries, we wanted to get you up to speed with the progress of ShipWright Brewing in Lunenburg. Located in the same building as The Grand Banker on Montague Street, ShipWright will be launching in August, the first brewery in this picturesque South Shore town. With a 1 BBL (120 litre) brewhouse, and three 400 litre fermentation tanks, they are starting small in their current space, but plans are already in the works to expand to a separate facility on Victoria Road in 2019. With a separate tasting bar located upstairs in the brewery space, the ShipWright beers will add four more taps in the restaurant downstairs, joining the more-than-a-dozen NS Craft Beers currently flowing at Grand Banker. Given their size, production will focus on in-house draught and growler sales, with their expansion offering the possibility of keg sales to licensees and small-format packaging in the future. The brewery is a homecoming for Brewer Kellye Robertson, who grew up in the area before moving to Ontario to take the Niagara Brewmaster’s program, and working at Garrison and launching Spindrift. And for Grand Banker owner Adam Bower, opening a brewery on site is a natural progression of his passion for local beers, as demonstrated in the extensive taplist and events showcasing producers from across the province. Stay up to date with ShipWright’s progress here (including a full profile closer to launch, as well as on their social media pages (FB, IG, Tw).

From a brewery Coming Soon, to one that’s been established for a while, Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing is celebrating their Third Anniversary this Sunday, July 29th. And to mark the occasion, they are looking to release a beer with a bit of history behind it, thanks to Brewmaster Greg Nash. Dementia is an 8.2% Double IPA with some underlying malt presence, but as the name implies, an insane amount of hops added in the boil, as well as dry-hopped three times during conditioning. Long-time beer fans may remember a Nash beer of the same name brewed elsewhere in the region, so this is sure to stir up some happy memories (or maybe erase them completely!). Grab pints and fills of Dementia from noon today, and then come back from noon Sunday for an all-out bash with $5 pints, bottles of the 2017 Commissar and 2018 Mise en Garde, and Chef Joe Martin working the grill and serving up some great food worthy of pairing.

Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill Beer Co. has brewed up a new beer to celebrate the achievements of one of their local patrons, Danny Frame. Danny recently set the Guinness World Record for most caber tosses in 3 minutes (check out the video on Lunn’s Mill’s Facebook page), and is now aiming to travel to Germany to compete in the Masters World Championships. To help him in his goal, the brewery has released Caber Crusher Stout, a 4.3% ABV, 33 IBUs Dry Stout that they describe as “roasty, rich and smooth”. For every glass sold, Lunn’s Mill will donate $1 to Danny’s fund to compete in Germany. If you’re in the area, drop by and order up a pint to show your support!

While Valonray Farmhouse Brewery, located in MacDougall Settlement, NB, just opened a few months ago, they’ve been busy brewing up a variety of Belgian-style beers. This Saturday, they will be holding another of their bottle releases, from 10am-5pm. This launch will be the first batch (labelled 001) of their Farmhouse Ale, a mixed fermentation Saison. After being brewed, the beer was fermented in stainless for one week with Saccharomyces, before being transferred to a larger stainless tank for an extended aging period, before finally being bottled with a Champagne yeast strain for 3 weeks prior to release. Total time from brewing to your eager hands is about 5 months. Future batches of this Saison will feature rotating yeast strains (both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces), as well as rotating adjuncts (which make up 30% of the grain bill). Coming in at around 6% ABV, batch 001 is showing a tasting profile that includes “funk, slight tropical flavours, and overripe strawberry”. And keep your eyes peeled for another bottle release in August, which will be a limited edition Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel, at over 10% ABV.

Near Fredericton in Hanwell, NB, Niche Brewing has both a newish release and a re-release to talk about this week. First up is a beer that was initially poured at the Big Axe Craft Beer Festival back on July 14th in Nackawic, NB. The second entry in their one-hop Session IPA series dubbed You Had Me At… Mosaic, this 4.7% ABV light and hoppy beer is packed with, you guessed it, Mosaic hops for a fruity and dank flavor profile with plenty of pineapple character. You’ll find this one on tap at The Joyce Pub, Wilser’s Room, and Buddha Bear Coffee Roaster & Holy Whale Brewing Co. (and also at the Buddha Bear Riverview location). It will also be on tap on August 2nd at the King Street Ale House for their IPA Day celebration. Also coming out of Niche this week is a re-release of their popular Belgian-American Pale Ale that they’ve titled Bruges Afternoon. Marrying a Belgian Trappist yeast to modern American hop varieties Azacca and Mosaic yields a light and refreshing beer at 5.2% ABV with both spicy and fruity notes from the yeast, and stone fruit and a tropical presence from the hops. Look for this one at The Joyce, KSAH, Snooty Fox, Graystone Brewing, Tide & Boar, and the Laundromat Espresso Bar.

Down in Liverpool, Hell Bay Brewing has a brand new draught-only beer to quench your summer thirst. Lime and Black Pepper Ale features two ingredients that we’re pretty darn sure you can guess if you think really hard! With a grist that includes Barley, Corn, Wheat and Oats (to help boost the mouthfeel), the brew was hopped with Jarrylo to 28 IBUs. In addition, lime zest and peppercorns were added late in the boil, to give “a refreshing lime flavour and aroma throughout, followed by a slight black pepper kick”, to accompany the otherwise-light beer. It weighs in at 5.8% ABV and can be found at Hell Bay now, for consumption on their outside deck. There IS a chance this beer will pop up in bottles in the future; keep an ear to the ground for that.

Our North friends have been busy brewing new beers, while keeping up with their regular releases, and this week is no exception! Coming out today is Perseid IPA (named after the Perseid meteor shower currently taking place, and scheduled to peak sometime around August 11th-13th), their latest American IPA. This 7% ABV brew was hopped with Jarrylo, ADHA 529, and Simcoe cryohops and Mosaic cryohops (which are starting to become popular around these parts). With notes of “mango, melon, and pineapple”, it’s a super-refreshing hop bomb for summer drinking, and is available in cans as well as on tap in the HRM. Drop by either of the two North locations to pick up a four-pack!

Staying with North, they’ve teamed up with Propeller to brew Whip It!, a “Lemon Meringue Pie Sour”. A 4% ABV Sour Ale inspired “by diner pies of days gone by”, it had several special additions while brewing, including graham crackers, lactose powder, and lemon zest. It’s going to be released next Thursday, August 2nd, at the Propeller Tap Takeover at Battery Park, where you’ll also find a wide variety of Propeller classics and rare/limited edition beers. Note that Whip It! will also be available in cans on that date.

Big news from Northern New Brunswick this week, so let’s start off with a few beers recently released. Distillerie Fils du Roy in Petit-Paquetville is continuing their line of historically-inspired beers with Grande Barbe, La Beausoleil, and 732.
Grande Barbe is a 5.5% ABV Wheat Beer, brewed in the Belgian tradition with spicy phenolics and fruit esters, telling the story of Nicolas Denys, a French aristocrat who explored and founded towns and villages throughout New France in the Seventeenth Century.
La Beausoleil is made in honour of Joseph Broussard, one of many heroes of the Acadian resistance in the Eighteenth Century. Born in Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal), NS, and died in Louisiana, he fought against the British in many skirmishes in what are now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI, alongside fellow Acadians and First Nations fighters. Today, La Beausoleil is a 5.0% ABV Oyster Stout, made with oysters from Néguac’s Maison Beausoleil, located nearby. Bottles are available at the brewery retail shop now, and should soon be available at the ANBL as well.
732 is an American Standard Lager, made in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of Grande-Anse. In reality, Grande-Anse was founded in 1808 by Acadian Simon Landry, borrowing from the Mi’kmaq name of Walayik (Big Cove or Grande-Anse in French). At just 500 bottles of this 4.5% ABV beer, this release will only be available at the brewery.

And big news for all of the breweries of Fils du Roy’s region, as this week saw the launch of the Northern New Brunswick Beer Trail/ Route de la Bière du nord du Nouveau-Brunswick. Featuring 9 breweries from Edmundston to Tracadie the 320 kilometre route also marks the four tourist information offices and 21 restaurants, cafes, and bars that serve the products made nearby. The breweries are, from West to East,  Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, Savoie’s Brewhouse, AKA Beer at Au Bootlegger, Four Rivers Brewing Co, 13 Barrels Brewing (coming this fall), Distillerie Fils du Roy, Brasserie du Village (brewing at Village Historique Acadien with the help of Fils du Roy), Brasserie Retro Brewing, and Brasseux d’la Côte. We have the map here for your perusal or printing, or pick one up at one of the many spots along the way. And you can celebrate the official launch at any one of the breweries next Friday, August 3rd, from 5-7PM, to join your fellow beer travellers.

Over at Quidi Vidi Brewery, just outside of St John’s, they’ve got a pair of new beers on the shelves these days. Three Seasons Saison (playing on the “fact” that Newfoundland celebrates fall, winter, winter again, and then spring… although we’re starting to think this may apply to all of Atlantic Canada) was brewed along the lines of a “classic” Saison. Pale-coloured, dry, crisp, and lightly tart, it comes in at a very manageable 5.1% ABV, and 26 IBUs. Next is Folk’d Up, an American Pale Ale brewed in celebration of the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival (happening August 3-5 in Bannerman Park). Hopped solely with Cascade (to 28 IBUs), it has “subtle malty notes, light citrus aromas, and a slight apricot finish”, and clocks in at 5% ABV. Both of these beers were canned, and are/will be on the shelves of your local NLC, so grab a few before heading out this weekend. And for fans of their Iceberg beer, and its iconic blue bottles, the QV Crew is sending out a friendly, but urgent reminder: they are running low on empties, so please return them to your local depot, or direct to the brewery, ASAP. If you do, they may even give you a peek at their on-site bottle washer/sanitizer, which is a massive engineering feat in its own right.

We’ll stick with Newfoundland, as there’s a couple more interesting beers being released there this weekend. In Twillingate, Split Rock Brewing Co. has a new entry in their kettle sour series with Sour Patch B’ys: Squashberry. The squashberry is a red, tart, clustered berry “with a unique flavour, and their aroma might remind you of a walk in the woods”, according to Split Rock. Difficult to find, and locally picked on a recent family hike, they provide the bulk of the flavour in the latest entry in this series (as well as the bright red colour), balanced by the tartness of the lactic acid produced in the souring process. Only a limited supply of this brew is available; you can find it on tap at the Stage Head Pub.

Let’s finish off the Rock with Port Rexton Brewing, releasing a new beer designed to help beat the heat (yes, apparently Port Rexton has had a heat warning for a whopping two days in a row!). Some Day on Hops (named after a description Newfoundlanders use to describe the weather…? Here’s a video for an explanation) is a 4.3% ABV Session IPA featuring a heavy dry hop of Azacca, Huell Melon, and Mosaic. Thanks to these three wonderful varieties, expect a “super tropical nose with a light, mango, pineapple punch, and a light pine vibe giving a tingly-but-present bitterness”. Drop by the retail shop in town this weekend for a growler; they’ll also be pouring Blue Steel, T-Rex Porter, and Chasing Sun (oh, the irony).

Your favourite Amherst craft brewery – that’s right, Trider’s – has a new, summer-drinkin’ beer out this week, a Belgian Witbier (one of the finest of the hot weather beers). The Wit Rabbit was brewed with a traditional Witbier grist, a 50/50 mix of Barley and Wheat malt, and fermented with a Witbier. Sweet orange peel was added in the boil, along with a light touch of Cascade hops for a low, balancing bitterness. Taken in a non-traditional direction, they then added a dry-hop of Triskel, a floral/herbal/citrusy variety developed in France. Cloudy, light golden, with moderately-high carbonation, it’s light and refreshing, and at just 4.5% ABV, can be enjoyed in quantity. You can find it at the Trider’s taproom for pints and growlers now, with some kegs heading out to local licensees, soon.

Good Robot has a new American Pale Ale scheduled to be released for next Tuesday’s Beta Brew, Agricola Street Ale. Described as “very, very light” thanks to a grist made up of Pilsner malt, corn, and rice, it weighs in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV. Hopped with Polaris and Perle to 25 IBUs, the beer is “lightly floral, and nicely balanced toward hop bitterness”. And look for the return of the brewery’s flagship Gose, Goseface Killah, next Thursday… or, they tell us, it could be something completely new. For the love of God, why won’t someone think of the bloggers??

Today marks a very small bottle release in the Upstreet Million Acres series, Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Apricot Cream Witbier. Brewed and added to a few Chardonnay barrels in January, the recipe includes lactose powder in the boil, and apricot puree in the barrel; the lactose adds a bit of sweetness, while the puree gives plenty of apricot aroma and a “nice tartness in the finish”. It’s been conditioning in bottles since April, and is now ready to be taken home with you. Bottles of this 5% ABV Witbier will be available only at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner (max 2 bottles per customer); it will also be on tap at both locations for pours only (no growlers/crowlers).

Beer things are going on this weekend, and next, and maybe even the week after!

Beer fans in Nova Scotia who have limited access to beers from New Brunswick take notice! A tap takeover of NB craft brews is currently underway at the Auction House on Argyle Street and will continue today and probably into the weekend (while supplies last)!! You can check the Facebook Event Page for the full tap list and details, but the summary is that you’ll find beers from: Big Tide, Flying Boats, Foghorn, Grimross, Half Cut, Maybee, Niche, Petit-Sault, Picaroons, and Trailway, many of which have never before seen the shores of Nova Scotia. Tapping began last night, so ideally they’ll open with a full slate this afternoon. A few Grimross kegs are en route this afternoon and may not make it on until later tonight, but everything else is in the house and ready to pour. Happy Hour pricing ($5 pints from 4 – 6:30 PM) will be honored all weekend, which we think will make the Auction House an especially popular spot today after work. Come check it out and enjoy some of the high-quality beers that are coming from our neighbors to the west!!

Bar Stillwell returns to their beer-bringing-from-far-flung-fields-ways tomorrow when five selections from Calgary, Alberta’s Dandy Brewing hit the taps at HQ on Barrington Street and at the Beer Garden on Spring Garden. They’re also serving brisket nachos for the occasion (no doubt made with ‘Berta beef) and rumor has it some brewery folk might be in attendance. And as if that wasn’t enough, next weekend, on Sunday, August 5th, you’ll find an event featuring one of the bright lights of farmhouse brewing in North America, Jester King, at the bar. Not seen in these parts since the last time they came to Stillwell in September of 2015 in a joint feature with Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham, this is a reason for beer geeks to get excited. Next week you’ll find 6 taps pouring farmhouse styles and 6 more beers from their SPON series pouring by the glass. As usual, Chef Graeme Ruppel will be serving a topical menu, this time with Texas-inspired snacks on the go. And you might find yourself imbibing elbow-to-elbow with Jester King’s head brewer, Averie Swanson!! Look for more details (we’re thinking tap and bottle lists) to appear on Stillwell social media as next Sunday approaches.

Next Wednesday is Regatta Day in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Well, it should be, but as the only weather-dependent holiday that we’re aware of, we encourage you to play Regatta Day Roulette, and prepare for Wednesday off. Celebrate at Quidi Vidi for another of their Day Boil event, with the Regatta races livestreamed in the taproom, along with music and pints flowing all day. The doors open at 10AM, with music from The Blue Mood, Hot x Proxy, The Daisy Cutters, and Waterfront Fire. May the odds forever be in your favour!

International IPA Day is held on the first Thursday in August every year, which means that it’s crept up on us and is next Thursday, August 2nd! No doubt that there will be celebrations and special beers throughout our region, and Fredericton’s King Street Ale House is no exception, with their IPA Day Takeover. All 32 of their taps will be dedicated to hoppy beers, from a number of breweries throughout Atlantic Canada. You can simply show up and sample as many as you’d like, or you can also pre-purchase a ticket for $35 (+tax), which will get you twenty 5 oz samples! The fun starts at 6 pm (although the beers will likely be pouring all day); you can buy your tickets here (just click on the IPA Day tab under reservations).

If you’re in the Fredericton area and haven’t been to The Joyce since their beautiful renovations earlier this summer… well, we’re not really sure why you haven’t. But we have yet another excuse to drop by soon, as they’re holding a PEI and NS Tap Takeover on Saturday, August 11th. All taps will be dedicated to craft breweries from both provinces, with many sending representatives to mingle and chat beer! There’s no cost to attend, just show up when you can and start imbibing!

And a couple more quick mentions before we leave you to another summer weekend full of delightful local beer:

– Our friends at Big Spruce in Nyanza have tapped another new one, an Altbier without a fancy name. Weighing in at 5.9% ABV and 35 IBU, it’s malty, bready, toasty and a touch bitter, in short, everything we look for in an Alt. Check it out now at the Sprucetique and possibly at tap accounts throughout the province.

– Fans of Stillwell Brewing’s blended funky farmhouse styles will no doubt be happy to hear that they’re beginning regular retail hours every Saturday at least until the end of the summer, from 12 – 4 PM at their 2015 Gottingen Street location (rear entrance). This week (that’s tomorrow) will feature their two newest releases, Easy and Merryweather, along with some other previous releases and mercy!

– This week Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing sees the return of their popular Shannon Rockwell-brewed Hibiscus City, a dark pink sour brew featuring flavors of cranberry, pomegranate, field berry and lemon with a pinch of salt. This is Volume 2, Number 2 of this beer and limited quantities are available by the bottle and by the glass at the Tiny Tasty Beverage Room on Salter Street.

TrailWay is bringing back their DDHHJH (that’s Double Dry-Hopped Hu Jon Hops), an extra-hopped version of their flagship IPA, today. This is only the second time this beer has hit the market, due to the amount of delicious, pricey hops that go into a batch. This one is going to be available on tap and in cans at the brewery only, so be sure to drop by ASAP to grab some before it’s gone.

Finally, we have to close with some sad news. New Brunswick’s Bogtrotter, a 1 BBL (120 L) brewery that opened two years ago, is closing. Owner/brewer Rod Croucher made a recent announcement on the brewery’s Facebook page concerning his difficult decision. Bogtrotter beers were available on tap at several locations in Fredericton, with 500 mL bottles available for purchase at select ANBL stores in the area as well. We wish Rod the best of luck in his future endeavours.

Happy Canada Day Weekend! Now that the frost warnings are finally done [uh oh, did I just jinx us?], and we’ve seen the sun poke through a few times, it’s time to leave our home and get out to visit the local breweries and cider houses. We’ve got two new spots we’re excited to share with you today, plus a dozen new beers and events to seek out locally, no matter where you live. As always during holidays, be sure to double-check that the brewery or bar is open, as some are taking a bit of time off to enjoy the much-needed vacation, too!

About an hour outside of St. John’s, the small town of Dildo is now home to the latest brewery to open in our region. While the origin of the town name may be up for some debate, there’s no arguing that they are ready to join the wave of great beer that is now available on the Rock. Located in the same building as the Dildo Interpretive Centre on Front Road, the Dildo Brewing Company and Museum features a beautiful taproom which borrows the same aesthetics, and even some pieces, from the now-closed Centre. Launching with four beers (a Red, Blonde, IPA, and Stout, with a Blueberry Blonde set to be released shortly), visitors can enjoy beer by the pint or sample flight while enjoying a meal, with growlers available to go as well. Their hours are 11AM – 11PM, and we hope to share a Profile with the DBCaM family next week. Congratulations!

Also opening this weekend is a new Winery slash Brewery at the start of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Bent Nail Brewery is located on the grounds of the Bent Ridge Winery, at Daniels’ U Pick on Highway 14 near Martock. Opening this Sunday, they will be pouring their Cream Ale, English Ale, Pale Ale, and IPA, brewed on their 2 BBL (240 litre) system. The taproom features a wood fired pizza oven to complement the beer, and will be open 10AM – 6PM daily, starting Sunday. Congratulations to the Bent Ridge/Bent Nail crew!

Our third “new brewery” news is actually a re-launching and re-branding of a familiar New Brunswick brewery. Bore City Brewing opened in 2015, brewing on a ½ BBL (50 litre) system in the basement of one of their owners in Moncton. Shortly after launching, they realized that they were working very hard to only produce 3 kegs at a time; as a natural result, expansion was on their mind. When building issues stalled their expansion plans for a 10-15 BBL (1200-1800 litre) brewhouse and taproom in 2017, they regrouped. They hired a new brewer in Spring 2017, whose favourite styles to drink and brew lined up nicely with their own: bold IPAs and traditional and modern Belgian beers. They have recently settled into their current location with a 3 BBL (360 litre) system from Stout Tanks, and are ready to unveil their new name. Grand Monk Ales is a portmonteau paying ode to their expansion, their love of Monc(k)ton and Belgian beers. While this new spot is not open to the public, they have been able to send more of their beer further across the province, frequently available on tap at the Laundromat, Tide & Boar, Les Brumes du Coude, as well as at The Joyce in Fredericton and Cask & Kettle in Saint John.  Look out for their favourites, including Causeway IPA (Mosaic/Vic Secret hopped), Mondo IPA (dank and fruity), Vent d’âme Belgian Pale Ale, and Spacetime Odyssey Porter, as well as plenty of new releases throughout the summer. We’ll keep you up to date with all of Grand Monk’s goings ons, including their Launch Party this summer.

Big Spruce has released a new lager, and they need your help in naming it. Fear not, there’s some great prizes for the winner for your hard work! Made in collaboration with Sydney’s Governors Pub, it’s a German lager with a slight North American twist, made with 100% imported Weyermann Pilsner malt and Bohemian Lager yeast, but finishing with a slight citrus bite from the use of classic American Cascade hops. Slowly fermented for 2 weeks before entering a 7 week lagering period, it’s super crispy and perfect for summer lager drinking. Drop by Governors for a pint and check out their new Beer Garden, as it’s the only place you can find the beer outside of the brewery, and submit your idea. The winner will get bragging rights, plus a BBQ Party for Ten on the Governors beer garden patio. You have until July 7th to sip and submit, so don’t delay!

Meanwhile, Jeremy and the gang have a plethora of other beers on the go right now as well, starting with Fake News, a 5.6% ABV and 30 IBU modern American Pale Ale made with Idaho 7 hops and fermented with the Foggy London Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs. Gimme Citra, originally developed as a collaboration with Stillwell, is back again, a hoppy beer with a prominent Citra hop character that weighs in at a supremely sessionable 4.8% ABV. Watches & Jet Skis, Big Spruce’s ode to questionable business practices is a new Berliner Weisse, soured in the kettle and finished with Citra. At 3.8% ABV it should be a lovely refresher on hot summer days and all the inducement you need to drink some NS craft beer. Lastly is a shandy (of all things!) comprised of a 50/50 blend of slow-lagered Kölsch with housemade lemonade. The name? Comedy of Errors.

The collaboration brews from 2 Crows just keep-a-comin’, with their latest hitting shelves today at noon… and don’t worry, like the high majority of 2 Crows beers, it’s an interesting one! Slam Jam was brewed with Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing, when head brewer Graham With was in Halifax for the Canadian Brewing Awards last month. Brewed with Pilsner, Malted Oats, Wheat malt, and Aromatic, it was hopped in the whirlpool with Huell Melon, Vic Secret, and Azacca. Fermented with two Brettanomyces strains, they dried the beer out further by adding the enzyme glucoamylase (which brought the beer down to a gravity of 0.998… just for comparison, distilled water is 1.000). Once fermentation was complete, 400 lbs of blueberry puree was added for conditioning, and finally a dry hop with more of the three hop varieties mentioned earlier… plus Galaxy! The result is a very dry, fruity, funky, highly-carbed beer with a deep blue/purple colour, with “a ton of aroma from the blueberries and the blend of dry hops”. This 6.7% ABV beauty can be found in cans and on tap at 2 Crows today; cans will likely be on the shelves at the private liquor stores in the HRM, and on tap at a few lucky licensees.

Today, North Brewing is launching the first beer in their new Breakwater series, which will feature a total of three fruited sour beers being released over the summer. Breakwater Coconut-Lime was first soured with Escarpment’s Lactobacillus blend, and then fermented with their Vermont Ale strain. Both lime zest and lime juice were added to the beer after fermentation, along with chunks of coconut, to give the 5.5% ABV brew its two name-worthy flavours. Sounds perfect for summer, no? Drop by either of the North bottle shops to pick up some cans for the weekend; it’ll also be pouring on tap at Battery Park.

Just outside of Fredericton in Hanwell, NB, Niche has another new beer, a sour IPA they’re calling Wayfarer. Leveraging a pure lab culture of Lactobacillus plantarum (a bacteria found in all manner of fermented foods and even human saliva) for souring, and with lactose powder added in the boil, the beer was finished with hefty amounts of Centennial and El Dorado hops from post-boil whirlpool onwards to prevent any untoward bitterness that might clash with the sour profile. The result is a 6% ABV and 14 IBU beer that is bright, refreshing and citrussy. You’ll find it at tap accounts in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. And look for the return of another Niche beer, Ethos, their house culture-fermented saison. It’s got more Brett character this time around, with light fruit and peppery spice notes highlighted against a slightly acidic body and a dry finish. This one weighs in at 6.3% ABV. Expect to see more Niche re-releases in coming weeks, giving you a chance to enjoy those beers again or try ones you might have missed for the first time.

Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing is feeling rhubarb-y lately, so much so that they are planning at least three beers to be featured in a special Rhubarb series from the brewery. This weekend, we’ll see the first beer in the series, Rhubarb Gose. Slightly tart, salty, with some coriander notes like a traditional Gose, a “light addition” of rhubarb was thrown in during fermentation to add “a hint” of rhubarb character. If you’d like to grab a growler or two for the long weekend, be sure to stop by the brewery soon, as there’s only 180 L available (growlers are only available at the 19 Kirk St. location for now). As mentioned, expect to see at least two more rhubarb beers from Heritage over the coming weeks, one of which is the return of their Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat Ale from last year (which sold out in just 90 minutes!). They’ve also just opened up the taproom section of their ongoing expansion at 250 Main Street, so sit and enjoy a pint while you’re there! Finally, they’re expecting their new brewhouse to arrive next week, which means more Heritage beer for the thirsty public in the near future.

Tanner & Co. Brewing, in Chester, NS, have already expanded to a larger brewhouse, and have one of their first bigger-batch beers ready for you to try. Nelson Saison is as you might expect from the name: a Saison hopped with the always-amazing-and-not-so-easy-to-find Nelson Sauvin variety, from New Zealand. This wasn’t just a measly, light hop addition, however; the Nelson was added at several stages throughout the boil, and also in the dry-hop, for “aromas and flavours of gooseberry, pineapple, and lemon”. It weighs in at 6.8% ABV and 30 IBUs, and is available now at the brewery.

This year marks the 20 year Anniversary of the formation of the Mudmen, a rugby team in Charlottetown, PEI, and the PEI Brewing Co. has brewed up a beer in their honour. Sin Bin is a Kölsch brewed in the traditional sense, meaning that it was fermented with a Kölsch yeast strain at temperatures somewhere between those typical for a Lager and Ale, and then lagered for a brief period to allow the flavours to meld together. The final product is “bright and crisp, with some German noble hop character”, with some fruity esters from the yeast. It’s easy-drinking at just 4.4% ABV, with a light bitterness in the finish. You can grab cans of this one at the PEIBC taproom tomorrow from 12-2 pm during their launch party. And drop by the taproom today from 4PM for the last in their Growlers of Summer release, Sangria Pale Ale. Bold, yet easy drinking, it features bright hop flavours with an addition of Blood Orange juice.

In Lawrencetown, NS, Lunn’s Mill has more or less completed their taproom expansion, with only a few tweaks here and there expected as they grow into their new space. Both the new space and their patio are now open with beer pouring and food being served. They’ve also got a new beer they’re hoping to release this week that was brewed in collaboration with their bartender, Chris Williams. In a Pinch started with a base of 100% Horton Ridge malt, including their apple malt, hopped with local Galena and Fuggle hops and then dosed heavily with apple blossoms in the post-boil whirlpool. The yeast chosen for fermentation was the Nova Scotia Sauvage strain from Big Spruce, resulting in a very NS-centric beer. Coming in at a crushable 4% ABV and 16 IBU, it’s described as light, floral and refreshing.

Looks like our friends at Tidehouse have another bottle release for us all! Yesterday saw the release of Houndstooth, a bottle-conditioned 8% ABV “India Saison” (read: hoppy Saison). Brewed with Vienna, Wheat, and Acid malts, they bittered the beer with Warrior, and added Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic for flavour and aroma after the boil was complete. Fermented with a blend of Saison yeasts, more Hallertau Blanc was added for the dry-hop, ultimately resulting in a beer with a dominance of white wine-like flavours, “backed by some tropical fruit and berry notes”. The Saison strains dried this one out right some good, and also contribute some “peppery spice and a hint of banana” to the brew. Drop by the brewery today 2 – 9PM (they’re closed this weekend to enjoy the celebrations) to pick up some 750 mL bottles… they suggest trying one now, and letting another one (or more!) age for six months. And while you’re there, why not try Wharf Speed, a light and easy-drinking 4% ABV summer beer hopped with Cascade, Mandarina Bavaria, and Ahtanum? Available on tap as we speak.

Over at Garrison, they’re releasing their latest kettle-sour, Sour Castro. A new take on the La Menta, a beer they brewed with mint last November. This time they’ve got for a bit more of a Mojito feel with the mint being joined by lime juice and the apple juice being left out. Wholly bereft of any IBUs at all, expect a refreshing beer with a cooling sensation from the mint and coming in at a very sessionable 4.8% ABV, perfect for the scorcher of a weekend that’s expected in Halifax. It could be an excellent beer to server at an event like a pig roast; and lo and behold, that’s what they’re going to do! Asado Grill will be at Garrison on Sunday for a Canada Day celebration starting at 11 AM. They’ll be cooking up a whole hog which you can get in on for $20 per person (including baked potato w/ fixins, market salad and roll).

• If you’re in a cider kinda-mood, Annapolis Cider Company has a new entry in their one-off Something Different series coming out today. Honey Blossom is a sparkling cider that started with the cidery’s cool-fermented dry apple cider, but with the addition of locally-picked elderflowers and purple lilac blossoms. A “touch” of local wildflower honey was also added at the end, along with some fresh-pressed apple juice, resulting in a 7% ABV cider that is “aromatic and full-bodied, with lush floral notes”. The usual $0.50/refill donation for this one will be going to the Terranaut Club, “a group of passionate and dedicated women in science, unified by the mission to create and provide opportunities for girls to recognize their own interests and seek their own futures in STEM fields and environmental advocacy”.

Quidi Vidi Brewery has a new beer out this weekend, and are hosting an all-day event at their taproom Sunday to celebrate. Day Boil is a 4.5% ABV Session IPA, featuring a light malt base and plenty of hops, starting with a bittering charge of Magnum before plenty of late-boil and dry-hopping of Mosaic. Cans of Day Boil will also be available Sunday in their Hop Shop, the first off of their brand new canning line. Their Day Boil Party kicks off at noon on Canada Day, with $5 pints until 5PM, with live music all day and night. No cover charge. And if you’re looking for a way to get there and avoid the parking woes around the Gut, The Link from Metrobus is running Wednesday to Sunday every week until October, connecting Quidi Vidi Village with downtown St John’s and Signal Hill, and could be the perfect way to get to/from the brewery, Mallard Cottage (and Beer Garden), or before/after the East Coast Trail to Logy Bay.

• Have you been sitting at home, wishing that someone out there would just brew an IPA with doughnuts already? Well, Roof Hound has some good news for you! They’ve teamed up with Halifax’s Vandal Doughnuts to create Vandal Hound Lemon Meringue Doughnut IPA. The grist includes Victory malt, oats, and wheat… along with a few dozen lemon meringue doughnuts from the good people at Vandal. But they didn’t stop there, and went on to add some hand-toasted sugar, along with a “large pot” of house-made lemon pie filling, and vanilla, throughout the brewing process. Looking to add more lemon character to the beer, they dry-hopped it with Lemondrop, resulting in a “sweet and sour quality, with a good dry-hop burst”. The beer is scheduled to be released on July 5th, with special events occurring at Westside and the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, followed by an event at Roof Hound on July 6th. Be sure to follow Roof Hound’s social media pages for more info on those events.

In addition to the events above, don’t miss out on these other things on the go this weekend. You know, in addition to the fun Canada Day things on the go!

It’s a special weekend for in Fredericton as the folks at Grimross, fresh off their 4-medal performance at the Canadian Brewing Awards in May, are celebrating 5 years since they opened their doors on Canada Day in 2013. The party at the brewery will be going pretty much all weekend long, with $5 pints today, tomorrow and Sunday. If you buy one, you’ll be eligible to enter a draw for a special prize at the end of the weekend. Festivities kick off tonight with live music and continue into tomorrow’s comedy night and culminating with their Canada Day party on Sunday with a special cask beer, birthday cake, and GastroGnomes food truck on the scene.

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned the Under the Breton Sky music and beer event being put on by Breton Brewing in Sydney tomorrow. VIP tickets have sold out, but general admission tickets are still available at $55 a pop. That goes up to $65 if you purchase on the day of, so if you’re interested you might want to grab your tickets today!

• And don’t forget about Good Robot’s Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Ground this weekend. From 11-11 Saturday and Sunday, come chill out with your mutt (or meet a new one!), drink some beer, and check out the dog- and beer-friendly vendors. We’ve got more details in last week’s post.

Just a few more things to tell you about this week, with returning favourite beers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Tatamagouche Brewing’s Guava Heist Berliner Weisse is back on the taps and shelves at the brewery this weekend, with cans destined to the Private Stores next week. The 3.6% ABV sour features Organic guava puree added after fermentation for a lovely fruit complement to the base beer’s acidity.
TrailWay’s Hop Stains (8% ABV), one of the brewery’s first DIPAs, is returning today for the first time in awhile. Using the highest amount of hop additions of any beer from TW, the hop schedule was tweaked this time around, featuring a mixture of American and Australian varieties. On tap and in growlers, with cans being available exclusively at the brewery.
Unfiltered brings back Sour Motherfucker, their kettle-sour aged on tart cherries, today at noon. At 6.4% ABV, it’s lightly tart, with plenty of tasty cherry character; available for pints and growlers starting at noon.
– And finally, not to end the post on a sad note, but we wanted to let you know that Motion Bay Brewing, planning to open in the Fisherman’s Co-op in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, will not be proceeding. Having met the people involved with the brewery several times, it was obvious their passion for beer was authentic, and bringing jobs and visitors to a small town was an important part of their brewery. We wish them the best in whatever endeavours they get up to in the future.

Here we are on another Friday, with the official start of Summer just a week away – though maybe keep bringing your plants in at night, mkay? – bringing you the latest in beer news for the region. It’s a bit of a quiet week compared to some of the craziness of the last couple of months, but that certainly doesn’t mean there’s nothing exciting to tell you.

• Let’s lead off the news with a good story from Nova Scotia, which was made public by the NSLC and CBANS yesterday. Big changes are being implemented July 1st for NS breweries: those breweries who hold a hospitality license (which is many of the smaller spots) will have the option to pour in glasses larger than 4oz, saving glasses countless trips through the washer. The change comes just months after engagement with the Premier and other members of government during a “Meet Your Brewery” event attended by members of all parties, and the divisive beer brewed by Premier McNeil with one of the most vocal members of the province’s brewing industry, Jeremy White of Big Spruce. It really *is* all about engaging those in power, as well as the general population. Here’s hoping this change is only the beginning, as there are plenty more archaic rules in place that could be eased to further help the brewing industry in the province (and the whole region).

• One Nova Scotia brewery that is most-certainly ecstatic about this recent change is Halifax’s Tidehouse. They’ve been waiting for this day, and now that it’s finally here, they just so happen to have a brand new beer to serve you pints of in their Tiny Tasty Beverage Room! Pitcher’s Perfect Pineapple NEIPA was brewed with multi-hate-wearing-employee Mike Pitcher, and is indeed a NEIPA (at 6.3% ABV) brewed with Pale, Oats, Wheat, Munich, and Acidulated malts. Hopped at the end of the boil with Citra, Amarillo, and Centennial, and then more Citra and Amarillo a couple of days into fermentation, the juice factor was upped even higher by the addition of real pineapple in the fermentor at the tail end of the beer’s completion. Tasting like “hoppy pineapple juice”, you’ll be able to find it on tap and in bottles at the brewery, starting at opening (2PM) today.

• Shelburne’s Boxing Rock and Halifax’s Chain Yard have collaborated on a new beverage, possibly the first packaged example (or at least the first local example) of the classic beer/cider mix known as a “snakebite” to be available in NS. A 50/50 blend of Boxing Rock’s Hunky Dory Pale Ale, which features citrus zest and green tea, and Chain Yard’s Foundation cider, known for its tropical notes and light tannins, Snakebite is a 5.7% ABV product that features the best of both worlds. While it will be available in limited quantities at both Boxing Rock, who have some pre-filled growlers and a keg for 4 oz (or MORE?!) samples, and at Chain Yard, who have it on tap as well as in cans, the prime channel for acquiring some for yourself will be select NSLC stores across the province.

• We don’t know whether many people outside the area are aware, but the location of Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay is very close to a spur of the old Halifax to Yarmouth H&SW rail line – Halifax and South Western, which locals repurposed to “Hellish, Slow & Wobbly” based on the travel experience. This line, whose bed has since been repurposed as a recreational trail, is symbolic of a beer brewed at Saltbox in collaboration with Railway City Brewing in St. Thomas, ON. Railway City’s brewer is Amanda Fehr, sister of Saltbox’s own brewer Jeremy Fehr, and the siblings came together during the week of the Canadian Brewing Awards to brew a New England IPA. Called The Last Spike, this easy drinking 5.8% ABV beer features big citrus and pineapple flavors with very little bitterness. Perfect for sipping on a sunny afternoon on a patio, possibly while watching some soapbox races…Speaking of which, a reminder that the Saltbox Soapbox Derby is tomorrow down Clearway St. in Mahone Bay with all proceeds going to Bayview Community School Breakfast Program. There are 28 entrants across the 4 classes this year with participants ranging in age from 4.5 to 67 years old!!

• Our friends at Tatamagouche Brewing have been gearing up for their big 4th birthday celebration this weekend, and one of the ways they’re celebrating is with a new beer release, Salt Water Cowboy. This one is a Gose that was soured with a co-pitch of a Kolsch yeast strain and a strain of Lactobacillus, and fermented in tequila barrels. The 4.4% ABV beer was aged in the barrels for four months, and then an additional period on lemon peel, to play up the tequila, salt, and citrus character. With a subtle flavour on all fronts (including the barrel character), it’s meant to be easy-drinking and refreshing, as all good Goses should be! You’ll be able to find it on tap at Tata tomorrow, with bottles being released sometime over the coming weeks. And a reminder since last week’s post, they’ll have Route 6 Food Truck onsite all day, live music, social media contests and real-life games, plus a Nothing But The Hits taplist pouring (sorry, still only in 4oz glasses for now!): Amrita, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine, Crack of Dawn Breakfast Porter, Guava Heist, Lagerhosen, and the aforementioned Salt Water Cowboy.

• Hanwell’s Niche Brewing has another brand new beer dropping this week, Into the Wild. Fermented solely with Brettanomyces Claussenii (Brett C rather than Saccharomyces), this IPA straddles the line between “clean” and “wild”, with both the hops and yeast working together for a fruity tropical and juicy beer. In the boil, and again in the fermenter, Azacca and Vic Secret were used to impart citrus, mango, and pineapple flavour and aromatics, which is further enhanced by the pineapple and a touch of funk from the yeast. The 6.6% ABV beer has a soft and smooth mouthfeel and finishes rather dry, setting you up for your next sip (or pint!). The Niche crew have sent the beer to the bars and restaurants in the area, so keep your eyes peeled for its tapping. In Fredericton: The Snooty Fox, King Street Ale House, and The Joyce Pub; in Saint John: Peppers Pub, Lemongrass Thai Fare, and Saint John Ale House.

• The Good Robot new beers continue, with their latest Beta batch being Rosemary Was A Boy, a 5.5% ABV Witbier. Brewed with graphic designer Margot Durling, the simple grain bill of 2-row and Wheat malt was rounded out with boil additions of Mittelfrüh hops, coriander, orange peel, and, of course, rosemary. Expect your typical Witbier experience – fruity and spicy, light and refreshing – with a touch of rosemary character to complement; check it out next Tuesday.

• Over in PEI, Montague’s Copper Bottom is ready to release the collaboration beer they brewed a few weeks ago with L’Espace Public, a Montreal taproom with a brewery in-house. Patio Beer is a 4.5% ABV kettle sour that was brewed with a grist made up of only 2-row malt. Soured with a pure pitch of Lactobacillus, the wort was then boiled and hopped very lightly with Centennial. Later in the process, they added a plethora (such a great word!) of juices, made up of equal parts strawberry, cranberry, tart cherry, and wild blueberry juice. The brewery describes the beer as “light on the sourness” with a present-but-not-overpowering juice presence. Head on over to the taproom tomorrow for a taste; it’ll be available in pints, growlers, and cans. They’ll also be serving up oysters from Chef Robert Pendergast from 4-8 pm to celebrate.

• Meanwhile, in Charlottetown, Upstreet will have cans and kegs of their latest Neon Friday release, Oat Cream IPA with Cashmere. These beer names pretty much describe themselves, meaning less typing for us! But if you’d like us to be clear, it’s an American IPA with Oats in the grist, and lactose powder in the boil. Double-dry hopped with Cashmere (an American variety that exhibits lemon, lime, and melon characteristics), they’re describing the final product as having “an easy-drinking sweetness that’s juicy and clean”. As always, it’ll be available at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner.

• There are three new beers available from Off Track this week, proving that they’re not planning on slowing down with experimenting in the near future. Here are the Cole’s Notes for all of them: Pull the Pin IPA (5.5% ABV, 57 IBUs), an American IPA hopped entirely with Centennial; Base is Loaded (5% ABV, 37 IBUs), an easy-drinking APA hopped with Cascade, Falconer’s Flight, and Belma; and Cherry-BOMB (4.2% ABV, 22 IBUs), a “Cherry Chocolate Kolsch”. This last one was attempted after the release of their Coconut Kolsch for the Stillwell Open in May, with the cherry adding a slight tartness. And there’s more that just beer news going on at Off Track – their patio is now open for the season, they’ve paired up with On the Wedge to offer food options, and they have stainless steel growlers now available for purchase. Finally, this Sunday they will be donating $1 from every pint, grunter and growler fill towards a Father’s Day charity.

Last week we mentioned the Toast the Coast event happening next Thursday at the Stillwell Beer Garden, and we’ve been able to gather a bit more intel to pass along. Here’s what we have on a few of the beers that will be pouring….

This Beer is Toast! (Garrison) – The grist for this one features Pale Ale and Wheat malt… and bread. Yes, 25% of the grist is made up of “fresh-but-past-code” bread from some local bakeries. Hopped with Hallertau and Cascade to 20 IBUs, this 5.5% ABV Saison has “light malt, bready-dough and toasty flavours, with a dry and effervescent finish”. A portion of all sales will go to Feed Nova Scotia.

Sorry (Good Robot) – Speaking of bread, Good Robot teamed up with Stone Hearth Bakery to brew this one, adding some of their toasted, light rye bread that was slightly past its date. The bread went into a second mash, after the first with Pilsner, Flaked Barley, Vienna, and Flaked Oats. Hopped with Ekuanot and Magnum in the boil, they also added some lactose and carob powder. Once fermentation was complete, they went further, and threw in a little coconut, more chocolate, and coffee beans. We’re not really sure if this beer has an official “style”, but it weighs in at 6% ABV and 55 IBUs, and pours  a “pale orangey colour”. A portion of sales will go to Bryony House.

Wheatly Edition (Off Track) – This 4.2% ABV, 22 IBUs American Wheat Ale was hopped with Belma and Huell Melon to “highlight the tropical, honey dew flavours”, and also has notes of pineapple. A portion of sales will got to SPCA Nova Scotia.

You’ll also see products from Propeller, Spindrift, Brightwood, and Boars Back Cider, all supporting other local charities.

There’s a couple of events going on in Nova Scotia over the next couple of weeks that we’d like to point out:

• There are still some tickets left for Garrison’s Backlot Bash, happening tomorrow, June 16th, at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. This fundraiser for the Ecology Action Centre will feature beer and cider, axe throwing, food trucks, skate demos, and plenty of live music. Tickets are $39.10, and can be purchased here.

• Sydney’s Breton Brewing is throwing a big party they’re calling Under the Breton Sky on Saturday, June 30th. Featuring Matt Anderson & the Bona Fide, Dave Sampson with Band, Slowcoaster, The Jordan Muycsyn Band, and The Carmen Townsend Band as well as, no doubt, plenty of Breton beer. Early bird tickets have come and gone, but General Admission are still available at $55 and will also be available the day of the event at $65. If you’re really enthused by the bill, you might consider the VIP Package at $75, which includes access to the beer patio, tap room, and the front of the stage. All tickets are available on-line and be aware that those prices are irrespective of taxes and fees.

And lastly, before we let you go:

Halifax’s Spindrift has been subtly tweaking their core brands (Killick Session Lager, Knotty Buoy Pils, and Coastal Lager) and are encouraging consumers to visit the brewery to try the new versions while they’re fresh for comparison. The new batches are currently being sent to stores, as well. Both Killick and Knotty Buoy are available now, with Coastal Lager appearing on July 4th. Also, look for Keller-Hell, Keller-Pils and Keller-Amber available on draught at the brewery and select bars and restaurants.
TrailWay is releasing their latest American IPA, All Can Phil (6.5% ABV) today at the brewery, featuring some of their favourite hops (no specifics on which ones). They describe it as having a “big, juicy/clean citrus front and a tangerine sweetness to finish it off”; available in cans and on tap at opening today.