Bishop’s Cellar

All posts tagged Bishop’s Cellar

What a difference a week makes! From dreary drizzly weather, to beautiful 20C+ weather in all 4 Atlantic provinces, this is definitely the weekend to get outside and enjoy it. Whether that means hitting a local taproom patio, or grabbing cans, bottles, or growler fills from your local brewery and hitting the lake, we hope you have an awesome safe beer-filled weekend!

Gahan’s Halifax location opened on the weekend, in the downtown Nova Centre at Argyle/Prince/Market/Sackville streets. After closing their Harbourfront location in the spring, they upgraded the brewing equipment with some sweet new brewhouse gear (increasing capacity from their former cramped location), as well as some 1,000 litre foeders from PEI’s own New World Foeders. While the ‘fax-brewed-beers haven’t hit the taps quite yet, they are pouring the full complement of Island beers from their core lineup, beers from the other Gahan locations in PEI and New Brunswick, as well as guest taps. Keep an eye on their social media (Fb / Ig / Tw ) and here, of course, for updates on their next big releases brewed by roving Gahan Brewer Spencer Gallant. One of those releases is the return of Sin Bin, their 4.4% ABV German Kolsch in celebration of the PEI Mudmen Rugby Team, of which Gallant is a member. Look for the beer on tap and in cans at the PEIBC locations on the Island, and further afield soon, no doubt.

Speaking of Mr. Gallant, we have great news to share on his plans to branch out (pun intended). Gallant is teaming up with friends and business partners Jared Murphy and Dillon Wight to bring another Island brewery to life later this year. Lone Oak Brewing Company will have its home base in Borden-Carlton, at 103 Abegweit Blvd in the Gateway Village, with a brewery, taproom, and retail location opening in the fall. As their name implies, wood will be a big component of the beers available, with their barrel-aged line set to be released in Spring 2020. In the meantime, peep their progress on all of the media (Fb / Ig / Tw ) and ready yourselves to a new place to stop on your way to, or from, the Island.

It’s pretty grand cider weather out there lately, and Annapolis Cider Company has released the latest entry in their Something Different series, just in the nick of time! This latest cider is Cherry & Coriander, which is made from a blend of their flagship Crisp & Dry (featuring fresh-pressed juice from Northern Spy, McIntosh, and Cortland apples) and the juice of Montmorency cherries (a sour cherry variety). This 7.3% ABV blend was then cold-steeped with crushed coriander seeds, contributing “lemony citrus aromas” to the final product, which also has notes of tart cherry, citrus, and spice. And as with all Something Different ciders, $0.50 from each refill goes towards a local charitable recipient; this cider’s contribution will support the Wolfville School Activity Park

Attention, Milkshake IPA fanatics! Big Spruce Brewing is pouring fresh samples of their latest, I Scream, You Screamsicle, a 7.2% ABV IPA sweetened with lactose in the boil, hopped and dry-hopped with high levels of Nugget, Mosaic and El Dorado, and featuring an addition of vanilla and organic blood orange concentrate. Swing on by the taproom this weekend while touring beautiful Cape Breton, grab yourself a pint of this silky smooth brew, and take in the citrus and vanilla flavours… and the view! If you can’t make it to the brewery, we kinda sorta understand, and fear not: kegs will also be making their way to some of your favourite Big Spruce licensees. Also, good news for those of you who missed the limited run of The Hour of Sour when it was released back in March, as this mixed-fermentation sour conditioned on organic raspberries is back on tap. At 6.3% ABV, they like to describe it as The Silver Tart’s “cool grown-up Aunt” – funky, lots of raspberry, with a subtle lavender presence.

Now that it’s finally getting hot out there, you’ll probably notice an increase in fruity, refreshing, “summery” beers from the breweries in our region, and Dartmouth’s North Brewing is no exception. Today sees the release of Nordic Tea Saison, an interesting-sounding beer that was brewed with a small amount of honey, and fermented with the Ebbegarden Kveik Blend from Escarpment Labs. The finished beer was also conditioned on fresh lemon and grapefruit zest (with the emphasis on lemon), and received an addition of an Earl Gray tincture, made with tea from the World Tea House. Coming in at 5.4% ABV, you can grab cans at the North bottle shops, and seek it out on tap at several North accounts, including Battery Park, Stillwell, and the Board Room Game Cafe.

St. John’s, Newfoundland’s new brewery on the block, Bannerman Brewing, has wasted no time getting into the collaboration game with a beer coming out this week that they brewed with the fine folks from Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery. Dream Time is being called a Lactose DIPA, no doubt thanks to an addition of lactic sugar. Hops-wise this one features a “healthy amount” of Galaxy and Sabro, which should provide aromas and flavors of tropical fruit and coconut, a perfect complement to the sweetness of the sugar. They celebrated the release of this one at the brewery by inviting the gang from Landwash down for a tap takeover last night with 6 Landwash brews and 6 of Bannerman’s own taps running, and some Brackish cask action. Hopefully, if you were in the St. John’s area yesterday evening you took advantage of an awesome chance to try some beer from two of Newfoundland’s newest! Otherwise, maybe think about heading down today and seeing what leftovers might be pouring! And for those looking for even more, Landwash will be releasing their version of this home-and-home collaboration shortly, with a full can release to boot.

On the other side of the Rock, in Port au Port East, Secret Cove Brewing also has a new beer on tap this week. Described in style as a “Devoted Pale Ale,” Oat to Newfoundland is inspired by Newfoundland’s official anthem, which is usually publicly performed by singing the first verse and the last; this beer is intended to be delicious from the first sip to the last. At 4.9% ABV you’ll be able to have a few and still sing clearly. It’s got a smooth and silky mouthfeel, a distinctive orange color, and has been triple dry hopped with classic American varieties perfect for a light and hoppy summer ale. You’ll find it on tap at the brewery now alongside the return of their Hard Case in Your Face DIPA.

In Fredericton, TrailWay Brewing has announced that their bottle program will officially kick off today with the release of El Tipico. Similar to their draught/can beer El Generico, El Tipico will be an ever-changing sour beer series. Unlike EG, however, ET is not a kettle-soured brew, meaning that while it was indeed soured with Lactobacillus (in this case, a blend from Escarpment Labs), the wort was not boiled afterward in order to kill the Lactobacillus before fermentation. Instead, it was fermented with the brewery’s house ale yeast, and then allowed to age on tart cherries for four weeks. The beer was then carbonated via CO2 (although it did pick up some natural carb thanks to the refermentation from the fruit addition) and packaged in kegs and 500 mL bottles. The final product exhibits “an increased complexity and softer acidity”, compared to EG, according to the brewery, along with plenty of citrus fruit on the nose and palate, with a “refreshing, smooth sour/tartness” in the finish. Bottles are available at the brewery as of 11 am this morning, and it’ll also be pouring on tap for pints (no growler fills). 

Hold on, TW isn’t content to stop there this week! They’re also bringing us a brand new canned beer to help you through these hot summer days, Fandango. It’s a 4% ABV brew that was dry-hopped with a new-to-TW hop combo (including a new hop that they’re keeping a secret for now… although we have a good guess!), and then hit with an addition of mango puree. Showing notes of “coconut, tangerine, mango and papaya”, it’s hitting taps/shelves at the brewery at the same time as El Tipico. Finally, TW’s Citra-only American IPA, Seeing Citra, is also freshly available, so you’ve got a wide variety to keep you interested when you drop in this weekend. 

Hopping back over to Nova Scotia, or more specifically, Stellarton, where Backstage Brewing Co. has a new Session IPA out to help you beat the summer heat. Stiff Hopper Lip was brewed with a hefty portion of oats in the grist, helpful in low ABV beers (in this case, 4.3%) to boost the mouthfeel and add a silkiness that demands another sip or six. Hopped in the whirlpool with Centennial, Columbus, Citra and Simcoe, it was then dry-hopped with all four varieties, as well as some Amarillo. Fermented with two different IPA yeast strains, you can probably expect all sorts of fruit/citrus flavours, and maybe even some dank in there, too. If you’re out for a drive this weekend and passing by the brewery, we suggest dropping in to pick some of this one up!

And staying in Pictou County, across the causeway from Stellarton (or down the 104 and up Highway 376 if you like the alternative inland scenic route), Uncle Leo’s Brewery has a new beer pouring in Lyon’s Brook that they just tapped yesterday. Although largely known for their classic American and German styles, this one has its roots in another European country. The aptly-named Odin’s Summer Ale is a table beer in the Norwegian style, leveraging the (very) warm-fermenting Kveik yeast that’s been all the rage lately along with some traditional juniper, in ground form. Ultra-light, at just 3.8% ABV, this coppery-colored beer with spicy and fruity notes is a perfect patio beer for this weekend’s heat wave. Come by the brewery and grab a growler (big or little), as it’s not in cans yet, but will be shortly. And while your there, by all means grab a few of Uncle Leo’s other award-winning offerings – their Ceilidh Kolsch and Sunburst Pale Ale are both lovely summer crushers as well and Encore IPA will make any hophead sit up and take notice.

The fine folks behind Halifax’s Bishop’s Cellar have been involved in several collaborating brews since they opened sixteen years ago, and today marks yet another notch in their collab cap with a release from Garrison Brewing. Boardwalk Empire is being billed as a hoppy Hefeweizen, and was brewed recently with the staff from Bishop’s. With a classic Weizen grist of Pilsner and wheat malts, it was hopped not-so-classically with decent amounts of German varietals Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria (to 14 IBUs). Another great summer sipper, it’s showing aromas of banana, clove, and bubblegum (expected in a Weizen), as well as melon, pear, grapefruit and pine (maybe not expected!), all supported by a “lingering earthy, resinous, and peppery bitterness”. Sound tasty? Well, the 5.5% ABV beer available as of today in 473 mL cans, exclusively at Bishop’s Cellar and Garrison now. 

Down in Lunenburg, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Shipwright Brewing continues to put out new stuff on a fairly frequent basis, especially for a small operation. Slipway Brut IPA is exactly what it says in the name, an IPA brewed to dry out almost completely. For additional interest, though, brewer Kellye Robertson applied two yeasts: first, a primary fermentation with Northwest Ale and then a krausening with the Belgian Ardennes strain, a technique bound to provide some extra complexity in a beer designed to be light in body. Also a hop showcase, it was hopped solely with Hallertau Blanc, known for white wine characteristics that should be complemented nicely by the extra yeast character. With notes of banana, lemongrass, gooseberry and passionfruit, the beer comes in at 6.6% ABV and 30 IBU with a dry finish and a “bright, but balanced bitterness.” Find it on tap at the Grand Banker and for pints or to go (Crowlers & Growlers) from the brewery itself.

Upstreet has teamed up with the Inn at Bay Fortune – a long-running restaurant/inn located in Bay Fortune, PEI – to brew a special beer, FireWorks Farmhouse Saison. Brewed with “fresh flavours from their farm and fires”, it features Herkules and Calypso hops, was fermented with a custom yeast blend of Kveik and French Saison from Escarpment Labs, and was based on a grist of 2-row barley malt and wheat malt from Shoreline Malting along with some Golden Naked Oats and rye malt. But wait, there’s more! Locally foraged elderberries and sumac, sea salt produced at the Inn, and some applewood from the Inn’s property and toasted on-site provide all kinds of complexity to this well-carbonated brew. You might notice any or all of apple, pear, banana, soft black pepper and white bread on the aroma, and flavors of orchard fruit, and zesty black pepper, with hints of vanilla and golden toast rounding out the palate. Hazy, very lightly bitter at only 10 IBU, and boasting a 6% ABV, it will be available in bottles only at the Inn, as well as Upstreet’s taproom and the Craft Beer Corner, starting tomorrow

If you’re of a certain age in Nova Scotia (not sure about the other Atlantic Canadian Provinces), you might have memories of a product called Golden Glow. Well, let’s be really really honest about it, if the name “Golden Glow” means something to you, any associated memories are probably EXTREMELY hazy at best. Originally produced from the 1930s (yes, you read that right) to the 80s by Chipman Wines in Kentville, NS, it was a (very) hard cider coming in at 15.5% ABV. The last pressing took place in 2007 under the banner of Andres, who bought the brand in 1983 and moved production to Truro. We like to think there’s some bottles of the original still out there, immune to the ravages of time and ready to spice up somebody’s evening in a dramatic way. But even if there’s not, Bad Apple Brewhouse has come to the rescue! Claiming to have finally cracked the code and developed an apple blend that is worthy of the name. Somerset’s Golden Glow Revival is a new hard cider with a taste of the past. Available in small and sleek cans from The Core in Wolfville and, we expect, the brewery in Somerset, we don’t have an ABV listing on this, but given the clear reverence they’ve got for the original (and their decision not to provide growler fills), we’d be surprised if it wasn’t in the same neighborhood as its forebearer. Grab a couple and remember what you forgot!!

What’s going on this weekend (and next month)? Here’s the scoop!

St. John’s favourite Inn / Restaurant / Bar, The Guv’nor on Elizabeth Avenue, is hosting a Newfoundland Craft Beer Tap Takeover this weekend, kicking off today at 4 PM. Featuring ten taps from ten Nfld breweries, this is the perfect opportunity to taste your way across the island without leaving home. Find out more details here, including how you can win yourself a stay and breakfast just for supporting your local pub and breweries!

Fredericton’s Beer on the Bridge returns this weekend, and they certainly picked a perfect date for the fun! Tomorrow, Saturday July 6, from 6 – 9 PM, more than 30 Maritime breweries, cideries, and distilleries are taking over the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, pouring their best for you. Tickets are still available here, so grab yours now to avoid disappointment! 

A quick heads up that will have Newfoundland beer fans looking forward even more to next month’s Royal St. John’s Regatta. It was announced that the Newfoundland Craft Brewers Association will be running the beer tent at the Regatta on August 7th. And earlier this week, almost all of the breweries in the province, plus several who are planning on opening later this year, came together at Landwash Brewery to brew up a collaborative beer. This Mexican Lager will be hitting the tents next month, so keep your ears peeled for more details then!

Just a coupla more things today…

Good Robot has re-released their collaboration with the Limestone Group, Flavabot: Pink Flamingo. This watermelon kiwi Radler was originally brewed to honour the national bird of the Bahamas, and at 4.5% ABV and 15 IBUs, is great for summer sipping.

Hammond River Brewing has just released Enkel Tom’s Cabin, a Patersbier (aka Enkel or Belgian Single) that is basically the Belgian form of a lawnmower beer. This refreshing, pale-coloured, hazy beer weighs in at 5.8% ABV and 14 IBUs, and was the winning entry in this year’s annual HRB Homebrew Competition. Originally designed by Fredericton’s Matt Stever, who was on hand for the brew day at HRB, you can find it on tap now at the brewery, as well as local tap accounts.

Bridgewater’s King Street Beer Company (a partnership with Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing Company) are coming through on their promise to invite local homebrewers in to brew a beer on their system under the Lahave River Beers banner. Gillian Crouse and Gillian Varner put together a recipe for a Belgian Blonde Ale infused with Mangoes that they’re calling Man-Goes Wild (see what they did there?). That beer goes on tap tonight at 6:30 PM at the brewery where you can sit on the patio and enjoy this light and refreshing brew. 

Niche Brewing has brought back a lighter beer to beat the heat this weekend, the Grisette they call Mines of Wallonia. At just 3.6% ABV, leaning on a grist of Pilsner, spelt and malted oats, and fairly hoppy thanks to Hallertau Blanc, it was fermented with the French Saison yeast strain. Look for it on tap wherever you’re used to seeing Niche beers.

Nine Locks released their politest beer yet yesterday, an “East Coast IPA” named Frig Off (6.7% ABV, 30 IBUs). Brewed with oats and wheat in the grist and dry-hopped to “massive” proportions, its hazy, silky, with a light bitterness in the finish, and a whole whack of citrus and tropical hop flavour. Available exclusively at the brewery on tap and in cans. 

Petit-Sault has a brand new brewery-only beer pouring for the weekend, a hazy Session IPA named Rock Ways. Dry-hopped with Ekuanot and Azacca, it comes in at a supremely-sessionable 3.3% ABV. Growlers and pints right now!

Rockbottom has their first new beer on tap in awhile, Nova Anglia. A New England IPA that was hopped with lots of Huell Melon and Ekuanot once the boil was complete, this hazy, bright yellow beverage is tasting very juicy, with lots of that lovely, fruity hop flavour that you’re constantly craving.

Tusket Falls released Watch Me Work Now, a 4.2% ABV Gose brewed with additions of grapefruit rind, in early June. Well, it’s back again, and this time there’s plenty of cans headed out to NSLC stores across the province. Tart and refreshing, there’s tangerine, lime, and grapefruit on the palate.

New beer pouring at Yellowbelly, an Amber Lager named Float Your Boat (5.3% ABV, 30 IBUs). Designed by brewer Dave Hale, it’s available for pints and growlers. 

Hi again, it’s us again. And we’re late. Again. We blame the weather. And illness. And day jobs. And too much beer news from all our friends at breweries around the region. So in the interest of getting on with things, we’ll cut this off here and wish you a happy beer-filled long weekend!!

If you caught a mention on the social media pages of Tusket Falls Brewing about a new beer called Bitter Stout, we’re sorry to tell you that this experimental batch has already sold out. Luckily, they’ve got two other new brews on tap at the brewery for you to try! One is a 6.5% ABV Brown Porter with an addition of cold brew coffee, giving aromas of “dark chocolate and fresh coffee grinds, and a creamy, vanilla cappuccino flavour”. The next is a 5% ABV Saison with hibiscus, with “Juicy Fruit gum and floral, carnation-like” notes on the nose, as well as “subtle, tart cherry and floral flavours” to complement. If these go as quickly as the Bitter Stout, you best get into the brewery to try them, quick!

St. Patrick’s Day is still a month away, but Bathurst’s Four Rivers Brewing has released their St. Paddy’s seasonal a bit early as a limited run. Raglan Red is, as you may expect, an Irish Red Ale; the name was inspired by Raglan Road, a local Irish band. The beer itself (5.0% ABV, 25 IBUs), which pours a deep red colour with a creamy, off-white head, is described as having “a slightly sweet biscuit and caramel flavour that finishes dry, with hints of Roasted Barley”. It was fermented with an Irish Ale yeast strain, which “adds a faint aroma of toffee and wildflowers”, according to the brewery. You can currently get it at the brewery on tap and in cans. Next month, however, it should be more readily available, with kegs even hitting some ANBL growler stations around the big day. Four Rivers will also be holding a St. Patricks Day party on March 15th, featuring Raglan Road, with a portion of ticket sales going to the local SPCA; tickets are $15 and are available now at the brewery.

Elsewhere in Bathurst, newly-opened 13 Barrels Brewing has released their second beer, Tall Tales IPA. We don’t have too many details to share, but we can tell you that this copper-coloured brew is a 6% ABV, 55 IBUs American IPA that the brewery is describing as “crisp and malty, with an aroma that has hints of spice and orange bouquet”. It joins their first beer, Pabineau Pale Ale, on tap for pints and growler fills, and a half-dozen guest beers that can be enjoyed in their cozy taproom.

Back to Nova Scotia, and Annapolis Royal, for our next new release. Annapolis Brewing Company has released their first Hefeweizen, an iconic German beer style that features a hefty amount of wheat in the malt bill, and a special yeast strain. Capital Hefeweizen is 5.2% ABV, and shows off the characteristic blend of banana and clove aromatics, along with light bubble gum and vanilla flavour compounds. Lightly hopped to 11 IBU with Liberty and Nugget hops, this quaffable beer features high carbonation for an effervescent pint. The name is an ode to Annapolis Royal’s distinction of being the former provincial capital. Available on tap at their St George Street taproom, those in the current capital city can enjoy it tomorrow evening at the Craft Beer Cottage Party at the Seaport Farmers Market, joining their W&A Rye IPA and Dry Dock Dry (Brut-style) Pale Ale.

We’ve seen Bishop’s Cellar team up with local breweries to create collaboration brews before, and based on those results, we’re excited about the latest one! Bloom was brewed with our friends at North Brewing, and will be dropping tomorrow for your drinking pleasure. A 5.0% ABV Saison, it features the addition of lactose powder in the boil. Hopped with Saaz, Hallertau Blanc, and Galaxy, they decided to step things up and throw in even more of that delicious Galaxy in the dry hop. We’re guessing here, but are thinking there’ll be a good mix of tropical fruit and spice in this one, all in a dry-but-not-too-dry-finish-package. You can grab your cans at both North bottle shops, as well as at Bishop’s Cellar (natch); it’ll also be pouring at tomorrow’s Craft Beer Cottage Party.

Niche Brewing just outside of Fredericton aren’t slowing down their release schedule these days, despite the crappy weather, and have a brand new beer out late this week. Counting Stars was brewed with a base of Golden Promise along with oats and chit in the malt bill, and fermented with a mix of low-flocculating yeast strains, resulting in a hazy golden-coloured brew. This 6.7% ABV New England IPA is all about the hops, of course, with Galaxy, Topaz, and Amarillo taking centre stage in the boil, with the former two also being added as dry-hops after fact, along with Vic Secret. Hop notes of tropical, fruit, and lightly dank are followed up with a firm bitterness on the palate. Keep an eye on Niche’s social media (or better yet the bar and restaurants), to see when Counting Stars hits the tap at The Joyce Pub (ed: it’s on now!), Hilton Garden Inn Fredericton Downtown, and Saint John’s Peppers Pub.

While the cats are away, the mice will play. Or in this case, while Matt and Christiane of Tatamagouche Brewing are making us jealous with their honeymooning in Europe, the rest of the crew are busy working and releasing four (4!!) beers this week. Returning is the Oyster Cloister Stout, their 5.3% ABV stout named in celebration of the annual oyster shucking party that has been a part of local tradition for years. Roasted barley and Carafa malts create a rich chocolate and roasty base to the beer, with a light dose of hops, and finally a salty kick from the Malagash oysters added in. They’ve taken the party from the kitchen, and invited the rest of us to take part, as it kicks off tonight at 7 PM at the brewery.

In the first of the brand new beer at Tatamagouche this week, the women in the brewery got together with another female-strong brewery in the province, Good Robot, and brewed up Maltriarchy. This “strong beer for strong women” weighs in at 8.6% ABV, is a Golden Strong Ale, with a light and effervescent mouthfeel, dangerous for a beer this size. Leveraging a Belgian yeast strain and Saaz hops for a fairly traditional take on the style, with some fruity esters from the yeast and a classic noble hop character.

Nelson’s Park Pale Ale is the second of the new brews out in Tata, and as the name would imply, the New Zealand hop Nelson Sauvin features prominently in the brew. This 5.1% ABV hoppy and hazy beer is named after Nelson Memorial Park, overlooking Tatamagouche Bay. Tropical and stone fruit character are complemented by the white wine notes often found in Nelson, and the bitterness is enough to balance without becoming too harsh.

And finally, we’ve got Mingle. This 4.7% ABV Ale is simply categorized as a “Hazy Organic Ale”. Details are a bit light on the one, but we’ve been assured it sports a light body with notes of apple and pear, and is dangerously drinkable. It, like all of the Tatamagouche beer we’ve mentioned today, are available at the brewery now on tap for samples, pints, and growlers, with cans available there, and at select private stores in HRM in the next week or so.

Seamount Saison is a brand new release at Mount Pearl’s newest brewery, Landwash. Admittedly released a little out of saison (season, sorry!), they fell into some good luck with a special yeast perfect for the style, and could not pass up the opportunity. Returning to the roots they set down at Folly Brewing in Toronto, this is a Belgian-inspired beer that lets to yeast blend to shine through, with zesty citrus notes, with pepper aroma and flavour. A medium bitterness and dry finish will have you ordering your second pint. This is a one-off brew, for now, as Seamount will return in the spring when the temperatures are a little warmer. But for now, grab it on tap this weekend for pints and growler fills, as well as in cans in their retail shop. Also in the shop this weekend is the return of Home and Away, the 5.6% ABV American Pale Ale they first released in late December. Showcasing Cascade and Citra, this beer is all sorts of hoppy goodness, with massive orange and grapefruit on the nose and palate, with a medium bitterness to tickle your tongue. It too is available for flights and pints at the bar, with growlers and cans to take away. If you’re ever wondering which Landwash beers are available, we highly encourage you to check out the Availability section on their site. And keep your eyes peeled in town, as we’ve seen kegs of Landwash available at better beer spots in St. John’s, including Merchant Tavern and Jack Axe’s. If you *don’t* see them at your favourite watering hole, ask the staff about maybe bringing them, wouldja?

The PEI Brewing Co. has had a lot of employees over the years, so you know when they brew a beer in honour of one of them, it means something. Mike Ross, now the co-owner of both the Charlottetown and Halifax HopYard locations, was once the brewery’s Sales Manager, and is as least as much now a strong advocate for craft beer as he was during his days at the PEIBC. In a nutshell, he’s well-deserving of having his picture on cans of El Bolito De Coraje (Spanish translation “little ball of courage”). The beer is billed as a 6.2% ABV “Mexican Chocolate Stout”, and was brewed with organic cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and “a blend of spicy peppers”. The brewery tells us that the beer isn’t TOO spicy, more providing a touch of heat, while allowing the other ingredients to come through. You can find it on tap at both Hop Yard locations, and in cans at the PEIBC taproom this coming Monday, February 18th.

Halifax’s Garrison is the latest brewery in our region to explore the satellite taproom and pilot brewery concept; there was plenty of social media excitement when it was announced this week that they’ll be opening up in the Oxford Theatre building at the corner of Quinpool and Oxford Streets. Although there was certainly some chagrin from the arts community that an independent cinema or performance space was not on the docket, Garrison’s plan is consistent with the stated goal by the Nahas family, who purchased the building last year, to renovate and maintain the property as a landmark and community friendly space on Quinpool Road. Plans for Garrison’s part of the facility will include a 1 BBL electric brewhouse with a couple of 1 BBL unitanks for fermentation and conditioning all on a very small visible footprint (~150 ft2). The taproom side of the mix will include 13 Garrison brews and 1 cider (Bulwark), with two additional taps for beers brewed on site. Expect 2 to 4 brews a month to be done in-house, with the team using it as an opportunity for experimentation with ingredients, techniques and recipes, as well as potentially for collaboration brews with other brewers and potentially folks from the community. Some snacks will be available, but patrons will also be welcome to order in food from neighboring restaurants, and look for the occasional pop-up or catered event as well. Set to open in Spring 2019, we’re definitely excited to see what else Garrison has in the works for this concept.

Meanwhile, in more Garrison beer news, they also have some new brews coming out today, a trio of Winterventions: Bourbon Barrel-aged Wintervention, Whiskey Barrel-aged Wintervention, and plain ol’ Wintervention are joining the Cellar Series this week, where Cherry Bourbon Barrel-aged Wintervention has been hanging out all by its lonesome for a couple of weeks. Those who’ve been around for a while know that Wintervention is a Chocolate Imperial Stout brewed to 10.5% ABV and conditioned for a month on cacao nibs. A deep dark beer for deep dark winter nights, you can now try the original formulation and/or compare and contrast the different barrel treatments. Available now in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and, we expect, you’ll see at least some of them pop up at private stores in Halifax over the coming weeks. And look for one more variant to be released before the season’s over. Oh, the suspense!!

Plenty going on in beer events over the next couple weeks and beyond:

Nothing seems to ever be able to stop Stillwell from holding wonderful tap takeovers, and we’re not complaining! Coming up this Saturday, February 16th, Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery will take over your favourite beer bar with nine beers on tap and three in cans. And we’re not talking about your daddy’s beer, here, unless your daddy is into Smoked Pilsners, Green Tea IPAs, and Peated Scotch Lagers (and if he is, can we trade daddies?). Check out Stilly’s Facebook page for a full list of what will be pouring. And because it’s Stillwell, of course there will be some excellent food to pair with all these tasty beverages, featuring sushi and appetizers from Sushi Shige. It all starts at noon, and will continue all day (based on availability).

Battery Park is continuing their run of tap takeovers by inviting Pictou County’s two most prominent breweries to line their wall with beers. Next Thursday, February 21, you’ll find the best offerings from Lyon’s Brook’s Uncle Leo’s and Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing flowing in Dartmouth. Beer will begin flowing at their usual 11:30 AM opening time. Consistent with other takeovers, we suspect it’s fair for you to expect some stone cold classics along with some new and/or limited editions in the house. Keep an eye on social media for potential hints as to the beers that will be pouring.

In case you find yourself in Vancouver next Friday, February 22, and maybe thirsting for a taste of home, you might be in luck: 2 Crows will be doing a tap takeover presented by UntappedBC at 12 Kings Pub. Brewer Jeremy Taylor and Brewery Coordinator Mitch Gilbert will be in full effect and knowing 2C, they’ll have some favorites as well as some rarities and one offs. The event starts at 6 PM (yes, that’s Pacific time). If you’re not going to be in Vancouver, but have been telling your West Coast peeps about how good you’ve got it on the East side with 2 Crows, you might let them know this is happening so they can see for themselves!

Do you like rare, delicious Belgian beer? Do you live in or around the Moncton area (or are willing to travel for good beer)? If you answered “yes” to these questions, we have some very good news for you – the Tide & Boar is getting a shipment of hard-to-find Belgian beers and they’re holding an event on Saturday, March 2nd for you to try them! They’ll be pouring bottles of Cantillon, De Cam, Drie Fonteinen, and more, and some of these will be extremely limited due to their rareness (including a single bottle of Cantillon Fou Foune); check out the event page for a more thorough listing of what beers will be available. They’ll be offering special flights of four, 3 oz pours, as well; they’re not legally allowed to post prices of the flights or any of the beers, but are encouraging you to message them directly if you’d like to know (hint: bring your wallet). T&B will also be offering a special Belgian-themed food menu for the event. We don’t see these beers around here very often (as in, hardly ever), so if some of these beers are on your lifelong must-try list, you best show up early! They open at 11 am.

Speaking of Tide & Boar, they – along with Halifax’s Stillwell – have been selected yet again to be one of a handful of bars in the world to host Peche Day on Saturday, March 23rd. For the two of you unfamiliar with this event, it’s a celebration of one of Canada’s most-loved beers, Peche Mortel, from Quebec’s Dieu du Ciel! Bars lucky enough to take part will have 6-7 kegs of different variants, as well as the original, of this beer available, and usually offer flights of each to customers for purchase. If you live near either T&B or Stillwell, we highly suggest you drop in on the 23rd to give one, two, or all variants (and the original!) a try.

And a final few mentions before you go:

Tracadie’s Brasseux d’la Côte has two new beers pouring at their brewery, a Brut IPA (quite low at just 4.6% ABV) and Tuba (even lower at 2.6%) a “refreshing, light beer low in alcohol, calories, and gluten.

No Beta brew next week for Good Robot (boo!), due to a staff function causing the brewery to be closed on February 19th. However, they are bringing back Bingo Bronson (hooray!) on the following Thursday; it’s their 6% ABV, 25 IBUs Chocolate Porter (psst… it’s also their highest-rated beer on Untappd out of 160 listed beers, if you’re into that sort of thing).

The Harbour Brewing Co. has released Fred, a 5.6% ABV, 48 IBUs, amber-coloured IPA hopped and dry-hopped entirely with Citra; it features a “big malt body with a hint of sweetness, combined with grapefruit and citrus flavours” from the hops.

Propeller wants us to let you know that they’re bringing back a couple of fan favourites, including XPA (which should be released shortly), and Dark Berry Sour (which is now a spring seasonal release, so will see wider distribution compared to its initial release). And if you’re heading there for their Friday Cask this evening, we can let you know that it’s their Porter, hopped with Simcoe.

Spindrift just released two more beers in the Out of the Hold series, Neat and Peanut Butter Inside. Both are Imperial Stouts that were barrel-aged in French Oak, and they both weigh in at a hefty 10% ABV. No other details at this time, but bottles are now available at the brewery for purchase.

Parrsborro’s Two Islands Brewing just launched two new beers for Love Day, so they should still be available. Drop by the brewery to give Chocolate Porter and Mango Weisse Ale a try.

Welcome to February, beer lovers. It’s bastard cold today in much of Atlantic Canada, with a high percentage chance for continued bastard coldness through the weekend. Probably a good idea, then, to stock up on some beer to at least make yourself feel warm, and there’s plenty of new stuff coming this week from our region’s breweries to help you do that. So without further ado, let’s get to it!

Niche Brewing has a brand new beer hitting the taps this week, plus their first much-anticipated bottle release. Let’s start with the new beer, Coalescence. What they describe as a Sour Grapefruit Milkshake IPA began with souring of the wort with Lactobacillus plantarum for a refreshing and clean acidity, before boiling to stop that process, and adding in lactose. Fermentation was completed with a low-flocculating (aka hazy) yeast strain often used in New England IPAs, and generously hopped with Citra, Azacca, and Vic Secret. Completing the “milkshake” theme of the beer with vanilla beans, an addition of grapefruit puree was also added, for a citrus and fruit base to complement the tropical, pineapple, and passion fruit aromatics from the hops, on top of the acidic yet lightly sweet beer. Look for it on tap in Fredericton at The Joyce and 540 Kitchen, Tide & Boar in Moncton, and Peppers Pub and Saint John Ale House in Saint John. Pop into the York Street ANBL growler station to get your fill of their Single Origin Coffee Sweet Stout, pouring this weekend (though we’re sure it won’t last long!).

Evolution is Niche’s first bottle release, and will soon be available at ANBL stores in the Capital region and beyond. Almost a year in the making, this beer started with a malt bill of Pilsner, Rye, Wheat, and Vienna malts, lightly hopped with Huell Melon. Instead of going in their stainless fermenters, this beer went straight into a single Chardonnay barrel, where it was fermented and conditioned with their house culture of yeast strains (a mixture of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces). This process was allowed to continue for 6 months, before bottling still (flat), and conditioning with Champagne yeasts since late last year. The result is an effervescent beer with notes of grape must, a touch of oak, and plenty of funky goodness. If you cannot find these 500 mL bottles at your local ANBL, ask them to place an order, as they’ll be happy to bring it in!

The Church Brewing Company will soon be opening their brewery at 329 Main Street in Wolfville, but in the meantime, their on-site restaurant is now open for food and beers. Located in the deconsecrated St. Andrew’s United Church, the stone building was built in 1914, and had been underused for years before construction of the brewery and restaurant began. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 AM until late, with a varied menu of breakfast/brunch options, ramen, sandwiches, entrees, and more. While they await their own beer to be pouring, they have a variety of Valley and Nova Scotian beers available. You can keep up on their brewery progress on their social media (FB / IG / Tw). And this is where you can make a difference. The Town of Wolfville is making some amendments to their regulations regarding craft beer and cider, and are holding the first reading of that on Monday, February 4th, at 6:30 PM during a special Town Council meeting at Town Hall (359 Main Street). There has been a slew of mis-information surrounding Church’s brewery, including brewing volume, water usage, wastewater disposal, and traffic and parking concerns. We encourage you to learn more about how breweries are helping to bring jobs and visitors back to small towns throughout the region, and maybe even drop by Monday to listen and take part in the public hearing. For those unable to attend, check out the town’s Facebook page, where they livestream all of the council meetings. We will be there lending our support to growth of the industry and of the economy of small towns in Nova Scotia. Big kudos to our buds at the 902BrewCast for raising awareness of this issue and promoting local breweries. Check out their IG page for a contest they’re holding right now, promoting #NSBeerTravel.

It’s not that often that a week of Good Robot Alpha and Beta releases actually jive with one another, but next week will be one of those weeks. It all started with their Alpha release, Tom Waits For No One, one of their flagship – and still one of their most popular – beers, a 7.9% ABV, 58 IBUs Imperial Stout. While transferring the wort for this beer to the boil kettle, it suddenly dawned on the brewers that there was likely a fair amount of sugar still left in the grain bed. This resulted in their choice to go with a parti-gyle – adding another batch of water to the same grain, using the second runnings to create a lower-ABV beer… in this case, Tiny Tom. Same grist as its bigger brother, but fermented with a Lager yeast, it comes in at a more-manageable 4.5% ABV and 14 IBUs. Only one way to find out the taste difference, so you’d better drop by the taproom on Tuesday if you’re curious.

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is marking their 3rd Anniversary this weekend, and have reached another important milestone recently, with the brewing of their 200th batch of beer. Naturally, they decided to brew up something brand new, which is being released today. M is for Mosaic is a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) kettle sour, featuring a grist of Pilsner malt, and dry-hopped entirely with the lovely Mosaic variety. Soured with Lacto plantarum and fermented with an English Ale yeast strain, the 4.7% ABV, 8 IBUs beer has aromas of “lemon, orange, tangerine and passionfruit”, along with more of the same on the palate, with “hints of dough/bread” and an acidic finish. It’s draught-only for now, and will be available at the brewery as of noon today, and at select tap accounts over the next few days. And about that Third Birthday Bash, drop into the brewery tomorrow evening for a big bash including live music, food from GastroGnomes, and tons of fun planned. Montgomery Street Band and YORKS will be jamming from 7 PM until late, $10 cover.

In downtown Fredericton, the Gahan Riverside has a pair of new one-off brews at their location this week. First up is a dark and weighty beer, Russian Imperial Stout. It’s just that, a RIS that was fermented cool (to keep the alcohol heat as low as possible for this 8% ABV beer) and given a “long, cold aging process” to allow the flavours to develop further. “Intensely malt-forward with a supporting bitterness for balance”, it has “pronounced notes of coffee and chocolate” with a touch of caramel. Weighing in at a hefty 8% ABV, and 63 IBUs, it’s the kind of beer meant for gently sipping during these horribly cold days. The second new release is of the newer Brut IPA style. Known for being extremely dry, it can be seen as a contrast to hazy/juicy IPAs, which tend to have perceived sweetness from the hops and residual sugar. Gahan’s take is 7.7% ABV, and a light 23 IBUs, with notes of melon, berries, and stone fruit. Both new beers are on tap right now at the brewpub’s location on Queen St.

There’s a new Gottingen Small Batch hitting the taps today at Propeller, Coconut Extra Strong Stout. Indeed quite strong at 8% ABV, the coconut flavours combine with “layers of complex, dark fruit, and roasted coffee” to give just a hint of the tropics. While it will be on tap for growlers and pints at the brewery’s tasting room, they’ve also sent some to New Brunswick to go on tap at some of the ANBL growler stations; look for those to appear over the weekend. And as for tonight’s Cask Night offering (tapped just after 5 PM), it’s their Common, dry-hopped with Mosaic and Citra. Why not grab a pint and check out the new Propeller Arcade while you’re at it: they opened to the general public for the first time last night and will be providing a place for you to get your classic pinball and arcade game fix Thursday to Sunday nights (Thu/Sun 4 – 10 PM, Fri/Sat 4 PM – Midnight).

And in other Propeller news, but really Granite Brewery news, word came out this week that Granite would be taking up residence as the third brewery getting cozy in Propeller’s Gottingen Street location. So in addition to Propeller’s own small batch ministrations and Stillwell Brewing’s mixed fermentation madness, Granite will be pumping out their classic beers from the same facility for a while. Why, you ask? Turns out their Stairs Street building was sold by its owner recently, and efforts to secure a new location have so far not panned out. While Granite continue their search for a permanent home, Propeller has stepped up to make sure that fans can continue to get their fix. Look for Granite beers to continue to be on tap at places like Henry House, Stillwell, Lion’s Head Tavern, Obladee, and Tom’s. If you’re not familiar with Granite (hint: you should be) they are the oldest craft brewery in the region and actually were the first brewpub in North America east of the Rockies, when they started brewing their own in 1985. They have also been a very big part of breaking down many of the barriers to opening and operating breweries in Nova Scotia (and probably beyond). Featuring predominantly characterful English-style beers fermented with Ringwood yeast, a pint of Granite’s Best Bitter, Best Bitter Special, Peculiar, Keefe’s Irish Stout, or Traditional IPA is a bit of beer education in a glass. Possibly even better is when Stillwell has a cask of the Best Bitter on the handpump. We encourage existing fans of Granite as well as those who have somehow managed to miss them to show support for the brewery by seeking out their beers at the locations listed above and those listed on their website. Granite has advised us that they’ll be trying to be more active on social media (Fb, Tw) to let folks know where to find their beers (including where it might be possible to grab a growler) and to keep everyone up to date on their hunt for a new home. And much respect to Propeller for showing that camaraderie and looking out for your peers is still very much alive and well in the Nova Scotia craft beer scene!

New Scotland Brewing has not one, but two new releases this week, both of which are officially launching today. First up is a dry-hopped cider, On the Brite. Semi-sweet and unfiltered, the juice was fermented with a Saison yeast; they then dry-hopped the cider with Centennial and Columbus. “Light-tasting and refreshing, with lots of citrus notes”, it comes in at 6.9% ABV. Next is Angus, a Brut IPA that was triple-dry-hopped with the tropical American variety, Azacca. With a bone-dry finish, yet an “unexpected amount of body”, this 7.1% ABV brew shows off “an intense blast of tropical fruit flavour”. Both beers can be found at the brewery at noon today.

Today marks the first El Generico release of 2019 for TrailWay; this iteration of their ever-changing fruited kettle sour features a mixture of plum and raspberry puree (with the emphasis on plum). Always sessionable at just 3.8% ABV, this release is showing “a big, juicy, plum front, with a raspberry background, tasting like a mouthful of sour candies”, according to the brewery. You can find it at the brewery today when they open, on draught and in cans. They’re also releasing a new cask today, a double dry-hopped version of last week’s new release, Seeing Summit (Summit single-hopped American IPA).

Sober Island teamed up with The Harbour Brewing Company to brew Scotch Squall Scotch Ale, a 7.4% ABV “malty, spicy” beer that will be served exclusively on tap at Battery Park; it launches there tonight. The color is described as “rusted penny” and the flavor profile leans heavily towards the malt side, with malt sweetness up front and a spicy finish from all English hop varieties. Very smooth for its weight, this should be a great one to help warm you up on these cold winter days.

Newfoundland’s newest brewing addition, Landwash Brewing in Mount Pearl, has a brand new beer on the go this week. Inspired by German Kölsch, an ale style that undergoes a lagering period, Shining Smiling Land was fermented with a strain from Escarpment Labs. Czech Saaz and German Saphir hops impart notes of spice and citrus to this clean and crisp-finishing refreshing beer. This one is the first batch out of their biggest lagering tank (30 BBL) so they’re hoping it lasts for a little while, but the goal is certainly for it to sell out while it’s still fresh. Look for batches of this one to be available at least into Spring, when they’ve hinted we might see them treat the island to a Northern German Lager.

Chester Basin’s Tanner & Co have a couple brand new beers on the go this week, the first being Brut IPA, a 6.1% ABV in the (surprise!) Brut IPA style. Leveraging extra enzymes to ensure the beer fermented out almost completely dry, Galaxy, Mosaic and Amarillo hops are the stars of this one, giving aromatic notes of grapefruit, lime zest and orange. The grist, interestingly, contains a mixture of Pilsner malt, corn, wheat, and a bit of Munich malt. Expect a very dry beer with hop flavors and aromas taking center stage. Brewer Dan Tanner says he’s excited about the style, so even after this one goes it’s probably safe to hope it won’t be the last Brut IPA from the brewery. And speaking of beer excitement, Tanner is also releasing the first in a series they’re calling Assemblage, reflecting Dan’s two passions, wine and beer. Starting with a beer that’s best described as a Munich Helles, Planters Ridge Winery Chardonnay and Mead were blended in, allowing the fermentation character of both to intermingle with the beer, giving character that cannot be gained from fermenting with beer yeast on grape pomace or honey. With the aspects of the wine and the mead presenting predominantly on the nose in the form of pear and apple from the wine and honey and floral character from the mead, the cereal malt character of the beer side of things blends nicely with the residual sweetness from the mead resulting in a 7% ABV beer with plenty of character. Dan Surette, Assistant Winemaker at Planters Ridge gets credit for the idea of adding mead to the mix. This one is growler fills and pints at the brewery only, as only 2 kegs are available. Look for more interesting beers in the Assemblage Series to appear as we get further into 2019.

Boxing Rock in Shelburne is releasing a brand new beer this week, hoping to up-end what they see as craft beer’s departure from “traditional” beer. Instead of a complex malt or hop bill, they are releasing an uncomplicated, but still flavourful, beer. Eschewing descriptors like dank, juicy, tropical, or hazy, they are embracing the crisp, clear, and drinkable characteristics from a lagered ale. With aromas of white bread and caramel, with light honey, cereal, red apple, and lemon on the palate, with a smooth finish. The New Normal is 4.9% ABV and is seeing a wide release in 650 mL bottles at the brewery and their Test Kitchen on Agricola Street in Halifax, as well as the private beer stores, plus growler fills and kegs to licensees. And keep an eye out later this month for the return of their Rive du Sud Biere de Garde, available shortly.

This week’s winner in the shamefully late email sweepstakes goes to Garrison, who are releasing (earlier than expected, apparently) a new beer just in time for your Superb Owl Sunday beer drinking needs. Georgia Fuzzy Peach is a refreshing pale ale packed with peach flavor, no doubt owing to the heavy use of Huell Melon and Cascade hops. Coming in at 30 IBU and a sessionable (in the modern sense, anyway) 5.0% ABV, the grist is a fairly simple blend of Pale malt, Oats and Wheat. It hasn’t been packaged, so it’s on draft only at the brewery, but you’re welcome to bring a growler or two and get a fill to go! You’re likely to also see it pop up on taps around Halifax as early as this weekend.

Some fun things coming up this weekend and in the next couple of weeks as well:

If you’re one of the few beer fans who haven’t yet tried your hand at making your own beer at home, we have just the event for you! Pop into Brightwood Brewery on Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth Sunday afternoon (12 – 2 PM) for a presentation and demo of how to get started. The fine folks from Everwood Ave Brew Shop will be in there to answer all of your questions, and get you excited about crafting your own soon enough. This is Part 1 in their Learning to Brew Series, and we’ll keep you in the loop with the other events as they come up.

Speaking of home-brewing, a friendly reminder to our homebrewing brethren and sistren that registration and beers are due Monday Feb 4 for the 11th Annual Garrison Home Brew-Off. Be sure to get your Dunkles Bock to your local Noble Grape, or Garrison itself, in time for judging, and we’ll see you at the Gala on Feb 28! Details here, Registration/Recipe Form here.

Tickets are now available for Halifax’s Craft Beer Cottage Party, taking place at the Halifax Seaport Market February 16th. With more than 30 breweries and cideries from Nova Scotia and PEI, there will be a wide assortment of offerings pouring that evening. There are sure to be some new releases, and plenty of washer toss, cornhole, and other cottage activities, as breweries dress up their booths to fully embrace the theme. Live music all evening, and food will be available for purchase. Grab your tickets now!

Though we’re still a few months away, tickets for the Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival are now on sale. They are doubling down this year, with events on both the West and East coasts of the island. First, on April 6th, they will be taking over the Corner Brook Civic Centre for the evening, for a full evening of beer, live music, food, and fun. Grab your tickets here. And the following weekend they are in the Royal Canadian Legion at Quidi Vidi for two nights, April 12 and 13, to bring the same fun to the East coast. Tickets are available here. All events have VIP tickets available for an hour-earlier entrance. No brewery/beer list available yet, but look for a great mix of Newfoundland, Maritimes, Canadian, and maybe even US and European beer to be flowing in the first couple of weeks of April.

And here be your final bits of beer news; have a great (beer-filled) weekend!!

Stillwell Brewing will be back selling beer at the back door of Propeller’s Gottingen Street location tomorrow from noon to 4 PM. New this week is the latest batch of Easy, their house saison, that’s been napping for quite some time in bottles after 2 months in their biggest foedre. While you’re there grabbing that one, you’ll also have the chance to get your grubby paws on Auld (old ale), Make 1,2 (bière de coupage) and Five (saison with honey fermented in a Pineau des Charentes puncheon).

If you were kicking yourself for missing Kiskadee Sour Porter with Strawberries from Tatamagouche at Curated’s Eat. Drink. Local. event in early January, as we mentioned in our wrap-up the next day that beer was bottled and kegged and is now generally available for your drinking pleasure. Two years in the making, it’s a big ol’ beast at 9.8% ABV with notes of chocolate, spirits and tart strawberries. Available now at the brewery and Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax, and, we suspect, kegs will go out to tap accounts as well.