Breton Brewing

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Another beautiful week on the East Coast, with the cooler temperatures inspiring the brewers to release more harvest-themed beers, and leading into the dark and warming beers of winter. But first, we have a bit of information on a pair of new breweries now serving beer in New Brunswick:

• After several months operating as a pub (under the name Buddha Bear Cafe) serving craft beer in Alma, New Brunswick, Holy Whale Brewery is finally serving their own beer! Think of this as a soft-opening, giving them an opportunity to test out various styles and batches, including an American Pale Ale, Session IPA, and Irish Red, all of which should be pouring at the cafe by this weekend. Stay tuned for a Q&A we’ll be posting next week to give you a full update on the brewery, with a grand opening hopefully happening by mid-December. In the meantime, if you’re in the area, drop by the cafe (located at 8576 Main St.) this weekend to try out their beers!

CAVOK Brewing, located in Dieppe, NB, has their first few beers now available in the Moncton and Fredericton region. Brewing on a pilot system while they secure a location for their full-sized brewery, their Petitcodiac Rye IPA and S&S Altbier are available now at the Tide & Boar in Moncton and James Joyce in Fredericton, respectively. We’ll have a full profile with the folks behind CAVOK next week to get you up to speed on their current operations, and future plans!

• Nyanza’s Big Spruce has two brand new beers out in the wild right now! First up is their annual wet-hop beer, brewed with 100% organic hops from the brewery’s own hopyard. Fortune Frazer’s the Bold (6.2% ABV) is an American IPA hopped with Cascade, Mt. Hood, Nugget, and a little bit of Chinook. You may remember past year’s iterations going under the names Craig Goes Yard, and Hoppily Married. This year’s brew was named after Frazer MacGregor, a neighbour of Big Spruce who was the primary architect of the reconstruction of the brewery’s hop trellis system earlier this year. As a debt of gratitude, the beer was named after him. Next is S’il Vous Plait, a Saison brewed with 100% organic Pilsner malt from Germany, and fermented with the Old World Farmhouse Blend (which contains two Saison strains) from Escarpment Labs. A Brettanomyces strain also played a role in primary, with the 6% ABV, ~20 IBUs brew being further conditioned in stainless for 4 weeks after fermentation was complete. Find both of these beers on tap at the brewery, and at a few lucky Big Spruce tap accounts in Nova Scotia (you probably already know where to look).

• And keep your eyes peeled for the return of Big Spruce’s One Hundred, a beer produced with 100% local ingredients, from hops grown on their own farm, barley and grain grown and then malted at Horton Ridge Malt, and fermented with a yeast isolated from the fruit of a pin cherry tree. For the first time, however, the batch will be available in both draft and cans, allowing drinkers a chance to take a little piece of Nova Scotia with them wherever they go.

• And Cape Breton’s other craft brewery, Breton Brewing in Sydney, is putting more things in cans these days, with three of their seasonal brews getting the full package treatment. Already available are their summer swigger Island Time Lager, a Munich Helles that weighs in at 4.3% ABV and 14 IBU and their Storm Chaser, an oatmeal stout with added vanilla that tips the scales at 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU. And next week should see the release of Seven Years, a very hop forward pale ale reminiscent of New England IPAs, but coming in at a much more approachable 5.2% ABV and 25 IBU. Obviously the new cans will be available at the brewery, but they’ll also be making their way to the private stores in Halifax, some of whom, like Bishop’s Cellar, will ship anywhere in NS (just sayin’…). While these beers will all maintain their “seasonal” tag for now, who knows what might happen if they prove to be big sellers in this run?

• Halifax’s Tidehouse emailed us (last night, even) to let us know that they’ve got a new brew on tap now at their Tiny Tasty Beverage Room. Impeccably named, Bruno Puntz Jones is a brown ale built from a base of Canadian 2-Row, with kiln coffee and Munich malts providing character and an auburn hue. Traditional English hop varieties East Kent Goldings and Fuggles complete the overall picture like a perfect white linen suit and matching Panama hat. At 4.4% ABV this should be a very quaffable brew, with light roast flavors underlying nutty and mocha notes, and a fruity and herbal hop character. And we have it on good authority that at some point Tidehouse will give us a Francesca Fioré beer, which is only proper – when you see Bruno Puntz Jones you know that it’s only a matter of time before Francesca Fioré shows up.

• Hold on to your hop hats, Rothesay, as Foghorn is releasing their first Imperial IPA today at the brewery! Model 21 Double IPA is kind of a souped-up version of their Constable Winchester IPA, in that it’s the same light-copper colour, with some medium Crystal malt in the grist… but the similarities end there. Model 21 was bittered with Centennial to 75-80 IBUs, with plenty of Azacca added after the boil. Naturally, a very large dry-hop addition was incorporated, featuring crowd- and brewer-favourites Amarillo, Citra, and Galaxy. Coming in at a hefty 9% ABV, it’s not for the faint of heart… but we know you hop heads out there will love it! You’ll be able to find it on tap at Foghorn today, and it will most likely appear on tap at your other favourite Foghorn accounts.

• Speaking of big, hoppy beers, today at noon TrailWay is releasing their first Triple IPA, Trippa. Coming in at a massive 10% ABV (no word back on the IBUs), the brewery was – naturally – pushed to the limit in terms of malt, hops, and equipment! The hop bill was made up of copious amounts of Ella, Idaho 7, and Vic Secret, giving this big beer plenty of juicy, tropical qualities, to go with its “super silky mouthfeel and pillowy body”. Limited supplies are available, with cans only at the brewery; growlers and pints will also be pouring there, as well as at a few select licensees in New Brunswick.

• If you listened in to the latest podcast from the 902BrewCast crew, where they interviewed Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery, you would have been privy to some expansion news. Oh well, you’ll just have to get it from us, some equally-handsome devils! That’s right, Brightwood has announced their expansion to a 10 bbl (~1150 L) system, with a pair each of both 10 and 20 bbl fermentors, as well as a canning line. They’ll be opening their location (and taproom) on Portland St., sharing a space with a new cidery that will be launching. We’ll keep you updated on their progress, but in the meantime, here’s a new beer from Brightwood to hold you off: Dartmouth Commons is a “late season lawnmower beer” brewed with 2-row, Vienna, and Rye malt, and hopped with Citra and Galaxy. Basically a light, crisp lager with “lots of citrus and tropical fruit” character, it comes in easy-drinking (as it should) at 5% ABV. Look for it at the Alderney Farmers Market this weekend, with a keg possibly popping up at Schoolhouse over the next day or two as well.

North Brewing has a new release coming out today, and it sounds like a winner! Ensō is a Sour Brown Ale that was aged in four separate oak barrels, for 4 months. The beer was then bottle-conditioned (in 650 mL bottles), with the corresponding barrel number indicated on the label. With a slightly lower carbonation level than other North beers, expect a “sherry-like vibe” in the finished product, with characteristics of “stone fruit, tart pear, raisin, vanilla, and light molasses” in the flavour. Weighing in at 6.4% ABV, you can find bottles at both North retail shops. Also, cans of their New England IPA, Malternate Reality, are available now!

• Over to Good Robot, where next Tuesday’s BetaBrewsday will be Mordor’s Porter. Aside from a nice little reference to a fantastic trilogy, the beer was brewed with a variety of malt types (Pale, Amber, Brown and Black, along with a bit of Smoked malt) to give complex flavours of “bourbon, plums, apricots, and caramel”. Featuring some Willamette hops for 39 IBUs to balance the malt, this burnt orange-coloured, 4% ABV beer was brewed by Colin MacDonald and Kelly C. Also, you may have noticed through social media that some canning was going on at GR earlier this week; we’ll have more info for you in the next week or two (ok, it was Extra Big Ass Lager), as well as some bottling news!

• After a summer hiatus, Lunn’s Mill has brought back their Eclipse (7% ABV, 60 IBUs), a Black IPA. Dark-coloured and hop-forward, it’s still balanced by plenty of malt character, and a hint of roastiness from the addition of dark malt. And also pouring from Lunn’s Mill is a new beer launched a couple of weeks ago, Lager Driver. This one is a Vienna Lager weighing in at 5.5% ABV and 25 IBUs; initially released at their Oktoberfest event, it is luckily still available. Malty and dry, with a mild bitterness in the finish, the body exhibits a deep-amber colour.

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing will have a pair of new beers available this weekend, just as the temperatures are falling and the leaves are turning colour. New IPA 1.0 is, you guessed it, a brand new IPA that the HB crew has whipped up. Using a blend of three hops that lean toward the citrus and tropical end of the spectrum, this beer weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBU. The second new brew to you is their Robust Porter, featuring plenty of Chocolate and Black malts for a solid roast flavour and aroma, but with a balancing hop charge for enough bitterness to keep it from being too sweet. Grab the new beers, as well as their core lineup, at their Kirk Street location this weekend. And if you want to enjoy a pint of Heritage on tap outside of brewery hours, visit the following local spots: Sip CafeRC’s Restaurant & PubThe Hatfield House Culinary Experiences, and the Red Cap Restaurant & Motel.

• The crew at Half Cocked Brewing, located in North Grant (just outside of Antigonish), have added a new beer to their repertoire this week. A 7.3% American Stout, the pitch black beer features roast and coffee aromatics on top of a rich creamy mouthfeel with hints of chocolate, finishing of in a nice bitter kick, thanks to the 60 IBU. They have decided to name this beer The Darkest One, and if you are a fan of the Tragically Hip or the Trailer Park Boys, you know why.

• The Rock’s Port Rexton Brewing has a new release with a connection back to Nova Scotia’s Big SpruceEcho Chamber is brewed in the American-Belgo style, juxtaposing yeast and grain with old world Belgian vibes against tons of new world hops. Hopped with the AzaccaHuell Melon and Amarillo varieties in whirlpool additions described as “massive”, it was then dry-hopped with even more Azacca and Huell Melon for an explosion of orange and melon aroma. The bitterness is pronounced, yet well-balanced and the finish is slightly dry. The yeast strain used was the Pin Cherry developed by Escarpment Labs for Big Spruce, which lays a base of spice notes that provide the foundation for the rest of the beer. Look for this well-balanced ale on tap at the brewery now.

• We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Horton Ridge would be holding their Oktoberfest in Hortonville tomorrow, October 21st, and we now have details on the collaboration brewed up with Sea Level for the event. An Oktoberfest (natch) named Maltoberfest, it was brewed with Pilsner and Vienna malt, and hopped with local Hallertau in the mash, with more Hallertau and some Mandarina Bavaria in the boil. Fermented with Nottingham yeast and finishing at 4.8% ABV, it will be released at the event tomorrow. Meanwhile, Horton Ridge has released a new beer called Queen’s Smash, a SMaSH beer (obviously) that features a PEI barley variety called Queens after the county where it was developed. Hopped with Calypso to give it a bit of a North/South Island flair, this is a one-off, so you’ll have to head down to the brewery and malt house for a taste!

A few events to tell you about…

• The New Glasgow Farmers’ Market is hosting an All Hallows Ball, at their location next Saturday, October 28th. Featuring beer from Sober Island Brewing and Uncle Leo’s, it will also serve as the coming out party for Stellarton’s Backstage Brewing, with their first beers pouring at the event. Food from Smokinstein Food Truck will keep you happy, plus live music all evening. Costumes are mandatory, so be sure to get planning now, and there are still tickets available here.

• In other spooky event news, Maybee Brewing is bringing back their Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 28th, starting at 7 pm. Tickets aren’t quite on sale yet, but they’ll only be 5$, which gets you in to the event. There’ll be live music all evening, lots of beer for sale (including a special-release cask ale), “haunted brewery tours”, and a costume contest. And when you get hungry, Milda’s Pizzas & More will be on-site, making up some special Halloween-inspired pizzas. There’ll even be a free shuttle heading downtown at the end of the night, to make sure you get home safely… or to your next drinking spot! It’s up to you.

Rounding out the news today…

– Fredericton’s Grimross will soon be releasing another brew in their Scratch series, Scratch #6: Schwartzbier. Featuring roast character with a “light and clean finish”, look for it on tap at the brewery by next week.
PEI Brewing Co. has brought back Hell Street, their 8.1% ABV barrel-aged Doppelbock; you can pick up some bottles at the brewery, Gahan House in Charlottetown, and the Beer Station.
– We may still be having some warm days, but that hasn’t stopped Petit-Sault from bringing back their award-winning Winter Warmer, Buckdjeuve (7.3% ABV)! It’s available now at the brewery taproom on tap and in bottles.
– If you like your Citra SMaSH beers, we have some good news – Unfiltered‘s highly-popular Double Orange Ale (DOA) (7.5% ABV) is back as of today at noon; growlers and pints at Charm School, and on tap around the HRM.
– A. Keith’s Historic Brewery on Lower Water Street in Halifax got some happy news this week, as their Lunenburg Coffee & Cacao Stout was awarded a Four-star Beer designation at The Beer Awards in England. Congrats to brewer Stefan Gagliardi and his team.

With the summer heat holding on across our region earlier this week, it is now beginning to feel a little more like fall. There’s a new brewery for us to announce, plus the usual tidal wave of new beers and events for you to check out. Grab a pint and settle in!

• There’s a new brewery coming this fall to the town of Hanwell, just outside of Fredericton. Niche Brewing will be operating a 2 BBL (230 litre) brewhouse, and concentrating on keg sales to licensees in the area. The two folks behind the brewery will be familiar to readers, as they are Rob Coombs and Shawn Meek, two long-time Fredericton-area homebrewers who are looking to share their award-winning homebrews with a larger audience. Their location has been secured, but most of the gear is still on its way, so look for their beers to be available at local bars and restaurants in a few months. We’ll have the full details on beer styles and where to find them, with a Q&A closer to launch. In the meantime, follow along with them at their Facebook page above (a website will be popping up in the future), as well as on Twitter and Instagram. Congratulations, Rob and Shawn! And for those wondering, acbbshawn will keep up his blogging duties (both here and on his own Meek Brewing Co. blog) for now, until he realizes he’s way overworked and smartens up, because we frankly can’t afford to lose him with all of the news in our region. 😐

• On Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, Sober Island has a few new things on the go. The first is the Harvest Rye we told you about a couple weeks ago, a 7.4% ABV and 40 IBU amber-colored brew featuring spicy rye and an assertive hop presence. It will make its first appearance at Cavicchi’s Meats for the Fall edition of their Bangers & Beer event from 4 – 8 PM this evening that features live music, sausages, beer and a campfire. After that it will be found at the brewery in growlers and at the usual Sober Island Farmers Market locations. Next up is a small batch beer only available at neighbouring Henley House: Belgian Single was brewed with a couple of malts (Maris Otter and Vienna) from a new provider in the region. These malts, paired with classic Czech Saaz hops and the Belle Saison yeast, produced a 4.7% ABV beer with 25 IBU. Look for a noble character from the hops, a fair amount of maltiness from the malt selections and a definite yeast presence. Only 40 L was produced and it’s all at Henley House, so go there if you want to try this beer. Lastly we have another beer designed to test out that same Maris Otter malt, British Golden. Similar in specs to the Belgian Single, the hops in this one are the classic English East Kent Goldings and the yeast used was the very British S-04. Look for a spicy and citrus hop character with floral undertones as well as some fruity yeast esters. There will also no doubt be a detectable malt presence, although this is a lighter beer at 4.5% ABV with a solid bitterness of 30 IBU. We’re not sure how much of this one there is, but we do know it’s on tap at the Henley House right now!

• If you’re able to pop down to the 2 Crows tasting room today (and why wouldn’t you? Who are you to waste that opportunity, huh?), it’d be a good idea to follow through on that, as they’re releasing another brand new small batch beer as we speak. Rookie Move is the brainchild of brewery coordinator Mitch Gilbert, but don’t let the beer name fool you… this is no simple beer recipe, here. Brewed with Pilsner malt, with some malted and rye Wheat thrown in, it was hopped to 20 IBUs with Calypso, and then fermented with a blend of the brewery’s house Saison culture, along with an “experimental Brett strain”. After fermentation was complete, the beer was further conditioned on a “healthy dose” of yellow plums for one month, before being keg-conditioned with a Champagne yeast strain. Described by the brewery as “bright, funky and effervescent, with notes of barnyard, bright plum, and earthy tea”, it weighs in at just 5.1% ABV, making it the perfect pour for you to enjoy on a mid-work-on-a-Friday kind of day. Heck, maybe even have two! (Disclaimer: we would never condone drinking during a work day; who do you think we are, anyway?)

• Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing has a new brew out for the dog days of summer with their recently released Crush, a German-style Hefeweizen brewed with over 150 lbs of blood oranges. Built off of their base Weizen recipe, Württemberg Weissbier, blood oranges aren’t the only star, as an additional several pounds of orange zest were also thrown in. Hopped lightly with Summit to 15 IBUs, this 5% ABV brew is hazy-orange in colour, with lots of fresh orange flavour thanks to the combination of the blood oranges and zest. With a touch of clove from the fermentation with a Bavarian yeast strain, it’s sure to refresh your palate as summer continues to linger. On tap now at your local LC licensee.

• Coming off their presence at last weekend’s HalCon, Garrison made a couple of announcements this week. The first is that their pumpkin beer, the venerable Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale, is back as of today, exclusively at the rewery and private liquor stores in Halifax. Packaged in 650 mL bombers, this is one of the bigger pumpkin offerings in the region, coming it a 8.0% ABV. Complex and nutty on the malt side, the body is augmented with Cinderella pumpkins from the Dill family farm in Windsor. Pumpkin pie spices and hopping with Millennium to 30 IBU complete the picture, and it arrives just in time to pair with the crisp fall air. Homebrewers following Garrison’s Facebook page surely took note earlier this week when the style for their upcoming 2018 Home Brew-off was revealed to be Kölsch. Though the dates of the competition have not yet been decided, classically the entry date is in late February/early March. Why reveal so early? With the Kölsch style, developed in Cologne, Germany, timing is everything. Generally top-fermented at warm temperatures with an ale yeast, it is then lagered at cooler temperatures to achieve a characteristic crisp finish that balances its soft, rounded palate. Best served fresh, this style challenges the brewer to bring a fairly light, but characterful ale that displays some characteristics associated with lagers. Plus, this extra time will give keeners the chance for a test batch or two to nail down a recipe and technique. Check out the Kölsch Style Guidelines for inspiration. And finally, if you’re looking for something to do (read: warmup beers!) tomorrow afternoon in the lead-up to the Cask Beer Throwdown, head on down to Garrison’s SeaPort location and bring your Wiener Dog (if you’ve got one). In support of the Atlantic Canadian Dachshund Rescue, you’ll find the Wunderbar Wiener Dog Rally going on, with fun, games, and a BBQ. Oh! And don’t forget the home-and-home tap takeovers Garrison and Breton are doing this week. Tonight at the Stubborn Goat in Halifax expect to find a bevy of Breton brews and coming up next Thursday, look for Garrison to bring their wares to Governor’s Pub in Sydney. Both events start at 6 PM and go ’til late!

• Speaking of Pumpkin beer, Saint John’s Big Tide Brewing has released their Pumpkin Ale, brewed with plenty of home-grown ingredients. Featuring pumpkins from Fullerton Farms in Kingston, and hops from Darlings Island Farm in Darlings Island, this 6.3%, 28 IBU autumn seasonal is truly a taste of the Kennebecasis Valley!

Western Newfoundland Brewing has announced that their beers are now available in packaged format to grab and enjoy at home (or one of the amazing trails in nearby Gros Morne). While their brewery retail shop is not quite open full time, visitors can drop in Thursday and Friday from 12-7PM to grab crowlers of their beer. Currently available are the Killdevil Backcountry Pale Ale, and Stout. Drop by the back entrance at Unit 8 at 23 Stentaford Ave to check out the brewery and buy a few cans for later.

• Do you find yourself constantly hanging out at Rothesay’s Foghorn Brewing, ordering pints, filling growlers, and just enjoying the atmosphere? Well, you might as well join the new KV Beer Club! For just $30 you get a t-shirt, free growler fill, a members-only mug, and $1 off all pints until 2018. Sound good? Well, there’s only 50 spots available, so you best get down to the brewery to sign up, ASAP!

Breton Brewing has brought back two of their fall seasonals, just in time for, well, fall! The first beer is a style that is always expected aplenty this time of year, their Pumpkin beer, Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale (5.5% ABV, 20 IBUs). Brewed with over 100 lbs of roasted, locally-grown pumpkins, it was also spiced with their secret blend to pump up the pumpkin presence (I did that on purpose). Joining this beer at the taproom is their other fall favourite, Celtic Colours Maple Lager (5.5% ABV, 15 IBUs), brewed with local maple syrup. Both of these beers are available now at Breton for pints and growler fills, for a limited time only.

• Down at the gateway to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley in Windsor, Schoolhouse continues to pump out the beer from their expanded 10 BBL system. The latest version of their Vice Principal ale is currently fermenting, this time a harvest version featuring a wet hop of 6 kg of Zeus grown on Bremner Farm, very close to the original Schoolhouse location in Falmouth. Also in the works is a new entry in the local hop series, keeping the name The Big Red Schoolhouse. It’s an imperial red ale that will have lots of locally grown Centennial, Cascade, Magnum, Brewers Gold and Zeus. We’ll have more information on that one when it hits the taproom in the late October/early November timeframe. This week’s Cask Friday beer with be the Scotian Export with a dry hop of East Kent Goldings available from 4 PM today for tasters, pints and growler fills.

• Halifax’s Good Robot has a few things on the go this week (seems to be a theme this week, actually). First, DeWolfe of Wall Street, their “alternative” APA is back in their taproom. They’ve also let us know what they’ll be pouring at tomorrow’s Cask Throwdown: they took the base beer for their Damn Fine Coffee and Cherry Pie, a mix of Pilsner, Red X, rye and flaked barley, and to it added various combinations of wild-foraged and other off-the-beaten-path ingredients, including roasted dandelion root, elderberry, ginger and freshly-picked rose petals. They’ll have 5 different variations pouring in all. Next, we’ve been advised that the wackiness we told you about last week known as Golden Goomba did eventually make the taps and is still available. It ended up with a pile of fresh ginger to go with the Yuzu juice, sour culture and two different yeasts we described last week. And this week’s offering for Beta Brewsday is called Reclaiming My Time. Brewed, as always, by Kelly C., this time with help from Evelyn White, it’s an attempt to recreate one of Evelyn’s favourite beers, Mackeson Milk Stout, a beer first brewed in Hythe, Kent, in 1907. It’s heavy on the chocolate and honey malts, with some dark crystal, all on top of a base of 2-row barley. The hopping is Willamette for early additions and Vic Secret in very limited amounts later in the boil. Cold-steeped malt was added in the fermenter to punctuate things. Coming in at 4.5% ABV, this should be a very sessionable beer, likely to be dark, sweet and roasty, with a bitterness in the 25 IBU range. It will be tapped in Beta Brewsday tradition, this coming Tuesday.

• Continuing to bring some truly interesting cider experiences to Halifax, we have more information on a blend we mentioned briefly last week. Chain Yard has another interesting offering available this week. Orange is the New Wild started with a wild fermentation of juice mixed apple blend. Noticing “pleasant floral notes…with a citrus element” developing during fermentation, the cider makers encouraged further development of these aromatics through a nutrient strategy. Close to the end of the fermentation, orange blossom water was added to highlight the aroma before a temperature drop was applied to slow the final stages. In the end, a crisp and refreshing, easy drinking, high-ABV (7.7%) cider was produced.

• Making its debut at last night’s Tap Takeover is a brand new beer collaboration between Tatamagouche Brewing and Battery Park Beer BarPfiel-Mund is a 5.3%, 23 IBU Dunkelweizen, brewed with Wheat, Munich, Horton Ridge 2 Row, and a touch of Chocolate Malt for colour. Traditional German Hallertau and Tettnang hops were used for a light bitterness, and Escarpment Lab “Weizen 2” yeast completes the authentic package. The resultant amber beer shares a distinct banana and clove aroma with its pale Hefeweizen cousin, with a bit more malt flavour and character from the darker malts. This weekend, the beer will see wider distribution, hitting tap accounts in HRM and at their own brewery on Main Street Tatamagouche.

• Coming in just under the wire (again!), Tidehouse would like us to let you know that they’ll be launching a new “Belgian-inspired Ale” at the Tiny Tasty Beverage Room over the coming weekend. Franco is best-described as a Belgian Amber, and was brewed with 2-row, Munich, Wheat malt, and a touch of Chocolate malt to darken the colour Post-boil-hopped with Ahtanum, Azacca, and Citra to add some tropical and citrus notes, the 6.3% ABV brew was fermented with both a Saison and a Witbier strain, giving plenty of clove character. “Autumnal as all get-out”, according to the brewery, drop by this weekend to give it a try (and maybe firmly suggest they don’t email us at 10:34 am on Friday morning?).

• To celebrate the birthday of Alexander Keith, the Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery will be releasing a new beer, Peated Blueberry Ale. With a grist that includes a small portion of Peated malt, locally-harvested blueberries from Glenmore Farms were also added at various stages of the brew, including in the mash, kettle, and aging tanks after fermentation was complete. The result is a blend of “smoky, earthy woodsy character with the moderate-intense wild fruity blueberry notes”, with a tart finish. At 5.3% ABV and 10 IBUs, this dark purple beer will be released at the brewery’s party on October 5th.

• It was only a matter of time before this happened in our region, but it still feels like a bit of a surprise. This week saw the demise of Downeast Beer Factory in Burnside. Although their website is still operating, Halifax Retales noted yesterday on Twitter that the doors have been locked for several days and there are no signs of life inside. We were able to confirm independently later in the day that the brewery is finished. Though some other breweries in Atlantic Canada have had some hiccups and at least one is on hiatus, this is the first brewery to close permanently since Rogue’s Roost in October of 2015, and, before that, the Hart & Thistle in February of 2014. But both of those establishments had long term runs of 5 years or more, whereas Downeast had only been operating since May of last year. While it is likely that misfortune in the form of equipment failure during the initial startup had a hand to play in the closure, and while there are certainly some fairly well-publicized concerns surrounding the brewery’s ownership and operations, the fact remains that there doesn’t seem to have been much of a business model there. Attempting to put a brewery in an industrial park and make it a destination for food and drink is not a strong play in 2017. Coming to market in a city with more than a dozen established breweries (and more in the works) with a limited and somewhat uninspired product line (blonde, Irish ale and IPA) does not sound to us like a good idea even if the beers are top quality. It is unfortunate that a local business has failed and that, as a result, people are out of work. At the same time it is a reminder that our craft beer industry is maturing. In a previous era Downeast may have been able to limp along for more than a year, possibly even overcoming some of the obstacles it had set for itself. But in today’s market, with the level of competition (however friendly) rising, there is less runway and less margin for error. We wish the staff of Downeast all the best and hope to see their brewer running a mash tun and boil kettle somewhere else soon. But we certainly also feel that there are some important lessons to be learned here for prospective brewery owners. To be clear, this isn’t any kind of tipping point for craft breweries in the province and we’re not expecting any others to fall any time soon, but it’s definitely a signpost on the road to a truly mature industry: the margin for error on starting a brewery in Atlantic Canada has definitely narrowed.

Another busy weekend ahead with both the Cask Beer Throwdown and Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest on Saturday, plus a bunch more new events coming soon!

• The crew from Boxing Rock are visiting HopYard in Charlottetown this week, with a full Vinyl and Tap Takeover. Pouring 10 different BR beers yesterday and today, the visit to the island may also signify the possibility of a return in the Rumble in the Alley series of collaborations between Boxing Rock and Upstreet. Drop by Kent Street today to grab a pint and meet the BR folks!

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is taking over the taps at Lion & Bright tomorrow during MOJO – Indie Dance Night with DJ Loukas Stilldrnk. From 9:30 till late, the 8 taps at L&B will be pouring a wide variety of Roof Hounds beers, including their new Oat of My Mind Double IPA, and at least two sours. Always the overachiever, there will actually be 9 beers flowing, so don’t be afraid to grab a full pint or two of your favourites, as there are reinforcements waiting in the wings!

• A reminder that the second running of the Falmouth TrALE Run (5 and 10 km) is going down tomorrow at Castle Fredericks Farm. You’ll find beers from Schoolhouse and Roof Hound alongside Sid Cider and Davison’s (non-alcoholic) as well. And look out for the Schoolhouse team in the 19th Annual Pumpkin Regatta in Windsor on October 15th! They’ll have an outdoor beer garden from 1 – 8 PM in a great spot to watch the race with lots of great beer including their own Pumpkin Paddler Ale. There will also be food trucks, a corn boil and live music from 3 – 7 PM. Meanwhile a team from the brewery will be participating in the race.

• The Fredericton Ladies Beer Connection has announced their next event, set for Wednesday, October 11th. This social will be held at Wilser’s Room in the Capital Complex downtown, from 6:30-8 pm, and will feature a flight of beers to sample, for just $9.50. As always, you’re welcome to hang out afterwards and continue chatting – and drinking! – with your fellow beer lovers. If you’d like to secure a spot, you can RSVP to freddyladiesbeerconnection@gmail.com.

And just a couple more things before we let you get back to work…

– The Pumpkin Ales won’t be ending with the ones we’ve mentioned this week; Hammond River has just brewed up their Pumpkin ale, La Maitresse, which should be appearing on tap at the brewery, and at licensees, within the next few weeks.
– The North / Boxing Rock collaboration, Many Hands 5.0, a wet-hopped Gruit/beer hybrid that we mentioned last week, is now available; you can find it in 650 mL bottles and growlers at both North bottle shops and at Boxing Rock.

As we enter the first day of fall, and head into the end of September, the breweries in Atlantic Canada haven’t slowed down a bit! After one heck of a crazy week last week (as you may have noticed from our 4500+ word Wrap-Up last Friday), we have almost as much news to share with you today. So enough with the chit chat; let’s get to the beer!

• For those of you who were fans of the fourth in the Scratch series of beers from Fredericton’s Grimross, we have some good news… Vienna Lager is back as of today. Brewed with a grist that consists of 80% Vienna malt, and hopped with German noble varieties, it’s a copper-coloured beer with “floral and spicy notes from the hops to complement the yeast and malt bill”, coming in at a drinkable 5.1% ABV. Available on tap now at Grimross, as well as local accounts, look for this one to quite possibly be re-brewed periodically.

• If you’ve noticed a new beer popping up on tap around Saint John last week from Loyalist City, you’re not crazy! Rustic Ryed is the latest release from the brewery; a reddish-amber-hued Rye IPA brewed with Maris Otter and Rye malt, it was hopped with “copious amounts” of Cascade, Equinox and Simcoe. Expect an “intense aroma of citrus and pine, complemented by a hint of peppery malt”. More Cascade and Equinox were used in a whirlpool addition, to up the citrus flavour even more. With high carbonation and a moderate bitterness in the finish, you can find this 6% ABV, 55 IBUs brew on tap at your favourite LC account. And if they don’t have it… ask for it!

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing just released their latest beer, a special one created to recognize the traditions of Maritime sailors of the past. They took their Old Foundry Stout, a 6.3% ABV, chocolatey beer, and aged it in rum casks from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery, for five months. The result was Fog Bank, a big (9% ABV), rich beer boasting notes of vanilla and dark fruit, all thanks to the rum casks. While high in alcohol, the aging helps bring a “smooth, mellow finish” to the beer, to give you a pleasant sipping experience. It’s available now (as of 10 AM) on tap at the brewery only, as well as in 750 mL bottles for you to take away (wouldn’t hurt to age one or two for later, right?).

Tatamagouche Brewing has been busy lately (ok, they’re always busy!), as they have two returning favourites hitting shelves and taprooms this week. First up is their Pale Euro Lager, Lagerhosen, a 4.5% ABV, 20 IBUs brew that’s perfect for the Tatamagouche Oktoberfest, happening this weekend. Just the type of beer you want to drink in quantity (hey, it IS Oktoberfest), the grain bill and yeast are the same as the batches for the last couple of years, but the hops have changed, with Hallertau Mittlefruh and Hersbrucker being used this time around. Look for it on tap at select licensees this weekend; it’s also available for growler fills and in cans at the brewery now. Next is their New England IPA, Fog Lights, a 6.4% ABV, 50 IBUs hop bomb featuring large additions of Azacca, Huell Melon, and Mosaic. With a mix of Pale and Pilsner malt as the base of the grist, along with some Spelt and Oats to make up the difference, it’s enough to keep the colour light, yet the mouthfeel slightly fuller and soft, for the perfect NEIPA experience! Releasing today at the brewery (growlers and cans), a couple of kegs should be in Halifax this weekend, with the rest shipping next week. Finally, their Ace of Lace Witbier was re-released last week; not your typical Wit, it features the addition of Queen Anne’s lace (aka wild carrot), Indian plum berries, and orange peel in the hop back, followed by a big dry-hop of Sorachi Ace; also available on tap and in cans.

2 Crows continues to make good use of their foedres, with the release of yet another beer in the “series” tomorrow at noon. Chaos Ghost is a Calvados Foedre-aged Belgian Tripel brewed with Belgian Pilsner malt and Belgian candi sugar. Hopped with Goldings, Hallertau Blanc, and Sterling to 31 IBUs, it was fermented with an Abbey yeast strain to give some of the spicy/peppery phenolics and fruity esters expected in the style. The foedre adds, of course, some of its own character, including “a hint of oaky tannins, and an apple brandy sweetness”. Drop by the brewery tomorrow for cans or pours of this 9.3% ABV beauty, and keep your eyes peeled for it on tap at other establishments in the HRM.

• And while you’re at 2 Crows checking out that barrel-aged goodness, and assuming it’s not all gone, you can also grab a taste of another big beer, this one a Russian Imperial Stout released earlier this week. Brewed with a variety of crystal and roasted malts, Black Magik is big, at 10.4%, but not at all cloying and pushing a potent 80 IBU. A touch of peated malt brings a smoky flavor to the palate as it warms, while the nose features a prominent anise note that also manifests in the flavor. Roasted malt flavors round out the overall impression. Only three kegs of this one were made, with two staying in the brewery for pints only (no fills) and one going to the 2 Crows/Tata takeover at Jamieson’s Irish Pub this weekend.

TrailWay has released yet another new hop-bomb one-off, Off-Topic. Featuring both an American hop variety (Idaho 7) and an Australian one (Vic Secret), the blend of these two gives the beer a flavour profile of “banana, pineapple, orange/citrus, and bubblegum”, according to the brewery. The hops may be the star, as usual for a TW beer, but “some experimental techniques” were used in brewing it, so if you notice a change, it may not be entirely due to the two hops that were used! Available in a limited supply on tap and in cans, at the brewery only,  it weighs in at 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs. And to get off-topic a little bit (ha! I kill me), TW’s summer seasonal Dunder, their APA heavily hopped with South Pacific varieties, is now a regular-release beer, so you can pick up cans and growlers all year round!

Good Robot has been working on a new beer, and it definitely follows along the “weird” vein that the brewery started long ago! Golden Goomba is a mixed fermentation sour beer; originally brewed as an attempt to recreate their “Sake beer”, Koji Kondo, that was originally released in May, the Sake yeast used for fermentation stalled out before completing its important job. After a second brew to give it another shot, the yeast stalled again, so they decided to add some Lactobacillus bacteria; after souring, a Lager yeast was pitched and the temperature brought down, to dry the beer our further. Think they stopped there? Nope! Yuzu juice was finally added, to “boost the extra Japanese citrus flair”. Hopped with Sorachi Ace for a little more lemon and citrus character, it’s also tart thanks to the lower pH, and features some “floral and yogurt notes”. No word yet on the exact release date (it was to be today), but we’ll keep you in the loop when we hear.

• And while we have you in a Good Robot state of mind (our favourite Billy Joel song), we also have the details for next Tuesday’s BetaBrewsday: Uncle Schmengie Bohemian Pilsner was brewed by Brent Braaten, Kenneth Persson, and Kelly C.; described as “very pale and very light”, it’s only 4.3% ABV, and was hopped with Czech Saaz to 29 IBUs. And for an insight into what your fellow Robots are thinking and drinking, check out their latest blog post with anonymous survey results.

• You may recall that in the early days of Dartmouth’s Spindrift Brewing they had something called the 7th Wave series. Named for the myth that waves travel in sets of seven and the seventh one is the big’un, these were small batch beers made on the pilot system that let the brewing team expand their horizons a little bit. Although the series has not “officially” returned, last week we saw the first brew in a long time come off that pilot system (American Pale Lager) and this week we’re seeing two more. First we have Wizard of Aus, an Australian Pale Ale featuring Ella and Vic Secret hops, considered younger siblings of the mighty Galaxy variety that has become so popular in the last year or so. Look for citrus fruit, pine, and floral notes, with lemon curd and mango coming through in particular. The grist is light to highlight the late kettle additions and dry hop. At 4.9% ABV and 30 IBU, this is a sessionable and surely hoppy taste of the summer just past. Second is Dancing Shoes, also on the lighter side at 4.8% ABV (they’re calling it a Session Pale Ale), but boasting quite a bit more bitterness at 40 IBU. It also features a more complex grist: to a base of Pilsner, some rye, wheat and light Munich were added to provide character. And the hops in this one are distinctly North American, traversing a continuum from the dank Simcoe through piney and fruity Mosaic and into the stone fruit and tropical El Dorado. Both of these beers are available in severely limited quantities at the brewery only for tasters and growler fills. Get there or miss out.

• Around this time every year Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewery has been known to collect locally grown hops (and other ingredients) and do a collaboration beer with their friends from North Brewing in HRM. This year is no different, as they’ve reached their fifth iteration and they’re calling it Many Hands MK-5. Taking inspiration from Gruit, a blend of herbs and other plants used to bitter a flavour beer before hops were adopted for the purpose, this beer contains sweet fern leaves, bayberry leaves and berries, and sweet gale (bog myrtle) berries. They did, however, continue the tradition of using fresh Nova Scotia grown hops in their brew, including Crystal, Cascade, Willamette and Mount Hood. The grist was largely also largely comprised of Nova Scotia products, with organic 2-row and Munich malts from Horton Ridge along with a small amount of German Vienna malt. You can read more about the brew day and see some pictures of both the ingredients and the participants on Boxing Rock’s blog. We’ll be sure to let you know when the beer is finished, packaged and ready for release to the wild.

• In the wake of last weekend’s Oktoberfest celebrations you’d think Halifax’s Garrison might slow it down just a touch. But no, there’s plenty of doings going on in there this week, with three new beers on the go. First we have Lemondrop, part of the kettle sour series brewmaster Daniel Girard has been whipping up at the old plant. It features aromas and flavours reminiscent of lemons and lemon meringue pie, with a peppery finish. Part of that lemon aroma no doubt comes from a dry hop with the Lemondrop variety. It’s 5.0% ABV and 0 IBU and is a draft-only release, currently available for tasters (with growler fills hopefully to come) at Garrison’s Seaport location and on the way to licensees across the province.

• Next up is a collaboration brew done with Sawdust City Brewing Co. from Gravenhurst, ON, a big ol’ beer in the rarely seen Imperial Brown category. Leroy is big and bad, weighing in at 10% ABV and carrying a solid 41 IBU. Brewed to celebrate the naming of Halifax as the host city for the 2018 Canadian Beer Awards, it boasts aromas of molasses bread and milk chocolate, with a palate that features coffee and molasses before yielding to a finish that’s full of dark chocolate. A great beer for the impending fall weather, it will pair as well with sweet as with savoury dishes, especially if they’re brown! Think beef stew or roasted lamb, chocolate cake or molasses bread. This one is currently available through ANBL’s growler program and is expected to be bottled in the coming weeks for a very limited release in Nova Scotia.

• And lastly, Garrison is once again bringing a brew sanctioned by the Federation of Beer to this weekend’s Hal-Con (where they’ll also be serving up their non-alcoholic Sweet Nelson Raspberry Ginger Ale). Borg Ale is “the most advanced black ale in the entire Delta Quadrant,” with a grist of Munich, Dark Munich, Pale Ale and Black Malts and hopped solely with German Hallertauer Tradition hops. It’s 5.6% ABV and 25 IBU, and is available for samples at the con before being bottled next week for regular release at the brewery and in the private liquor stores in Halifax.

• But wait, there’s more! Though we’ve reached the end of their beer releases for the week, Garrison has one more piece of news to share: they’ve implemented the Kegshoe system to track their kegs and you can now visit a handy interactive map to find out who has which Garrison brews on tap throughout Atlantic Canada. So if you’ve got a hankering for a Juicy or just want to know the closest spot to grab something from Garrison, they’ve got you covered.

• The new beers continue to trickle in for tomorrow’s BEE-r Garden in Fredericton, with Picaroons weighing in with their Little Honey. A one-off, 3000 L batch, the brewery is describing it as a brown-coloured, full-bodied ale brewed with a “generous amount” of Rye malt, and a bit of honey from local Sunset U-Pick. Featuring a “lingering sweetness” backed up by toasted, graham cracker-like notes, it’s quite sessionable at just 4.5% ABV. Aside from pouring at the BEE-r Garden tomorrow, you can find this one on tap at all Picaroons locations in New Brunswick. And speaking of tomorrow’s event, there are still tickets available online, as well as at the door when it kicks off at 10 am.

Coastliner Craft Cider will be on tap at ANBL stores participating in the growler program this weekend, with a brand new cider, Castaway. Infused with tropical fruit and hibiscus, this 5.4% ABV creation will be pouring through to next Wednesday (depending on availability), and will be following in bottles across New Brunswick later in the year.

• We warned you a few weeks ago that, like winter to Westeros, wet-hopped and pumpkin beers were coming. And the flow is steady now, with two more of each being released this week. At the “far” end of the Annapolis Valley (from a city-dwelling perspective, anyway), both Lawrencetown’s Lunn’s Mill and Lazy Bear in Smith’s Cove’s had wet-hopped beers come to the taps this week. Lazy Bear’s is a version of their Once-Over, normally an IPA at 5.8% ABV dry hopped with Cascade, Chinook and Wild Turkey, but this time featuring all the Cascade, Centennial, Galena, Magnum and Nugget grown in their yard. Lunn’s Mill, on the other hand, went the SMaSH route, with a malt side of the classic British barley variety Maris Otter paired with Chinook hops grown down the road at Four Horses Farm. This is a 5.5% ABV offering, with a piney, tropical feel and a mild bitter finish. And at the eleventh hour (literally, the timestamp on the email is 11:14 AM; c’mon guys…) we’ve heard tell of a third harvest ale to complete the trifecta, this one in Halifax at Tidehouse. With a grain bill of 100% Horton Ridge Munich malt, this is a malty ale, bittered with woody and herbal Northern Brewer and then hit hard with fresh picked Cascade hops from the backyard of one of Halifax’s original beer nerds, Jeff Pinhey. Although only 4.7% ABV, expect this to have a hearty body and a rugged hop flavour. And on the gourdian side, Propeller is re-releasing their pumpkin beer for the start of the fall season. A familiar site in the region for the past several years, it’s a gentle 5% ABV and 15 IBU beer featuring Howard Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkins and a special blend of spices.

Lots going on this weekend and next, keep an eye on our Calendar, as we update it as often as we hear about new things coming down the pipeline. You can even add it to your phone’s or PC’s calendar app to be constantly reminded of everything on the go in our region. As always, hit us up here or social media if you have the scoop on something cool.

• There are still a few tickets available for this evening and tomorrow‘s Craft Beer Attraction at the St John’s Curling Club. 7-10PM both evenings with a chance to try over a hundred different beers, most of which are not otherwise available at the NLC. Check out the full details here, if you’re still on the fence.

• A reminder that tomorrow, September 23rd will feature the First Town Craft Beer Festival, Woodstock, NB’s first beer fest. There are still some tickets left for both tasting sessions (1:30-4:00 pm, and 7:00-9:30 pm), and it’s looking like the weather will be just about perfect for an indoor/outdoor beer fest. You can read our complete write-up from late July here; in the meantime, grab your $55 tickets at this link (or in person at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Woodstock).

• Remember last year’s Tatamagouche Brewing Tap Takeover at Battery Park? Ah… memories. Well, luckily for us, it’s looking like it’s going to be an annual event, as the 2nd Tata Tap Takeover is scheduled for next Thursday, September 28th. We don’t know the full line-up yet, but there’ll be a whopping 19 taps of Tata beers flowing, including at least two new ones, with one of them a collaboration brew with the folks at Battery Park. It all starts when they open at 11:30 am, and you’ll be sure to seem some of the fine people from the brewery on hand anxious to talk beer!

• The spirit of collaboration continues with a pair of “Home and Home” tap takeovers in Halifax and Sydney over the next two weeks. On Friday, September 29th, Breton Brewing and Garrison will be taking over the taps at the Stubborn Goat. From 6PM, the crew from both breweries will be on hand to talk shop, pour a few pints, enjoy live music, and maybe even release a new beer or two. And then both breweries will do it all over again in Sydney on Thursday October 5th, at Governor’s Pub on Esplanade. Learn a bit more here!

• The second running of the Falmouth TrALE Run is happening next Saturday (September 30) at Castle Frederick Farms in Windsor, with both a 5km and 10km option. With beer (rather than/in addition to water) stops along the way, you can enjoy Schoolhouse and Roof Hound beers, as well as cider from Sid’s, Noggins, and Davison Farms. Advance registration is strongly suggested.

• The 2nd Annual Cask Beer Throwdown is happening at the Olympic Centre in Halifax on September 30th. With cask-conditioned and -served beer, breweries will often stray from the norm, willing to be a bit more adventurous with processes and ingredients, and us drinkers will be the beneficiaries of these cool experiments. Learn more about cask beer in a feature in Local Connections. With a dozen breweries and cider houses pouring their wares, plus plenty of food vendors onsite, it is sure to be a great time. Grab your tickets here.

September 30th also marks this year’s Atlantic Canadian Craft Beer Oktoberfest, being held at the Moncton Lions Club. Doors are open 7:30-10PM (or 6PM with your VVIP ticket), and you’ll be able to enjoy beers from all over the Maritimes, with more than 30 breweries, cideries, and mead houses on hand, topping 100 different products. There will be food onsite as well to keep you going all evening. Tickets are still available, grab yours today!

• As they did last year, Muwin Estate, the folks behind the popular Bulwark brand of ciders, is encouraging anyone who has apples on their property that they don’t know and/or don’t use to contribute them to a special collaborative effort known as The People’s Cider. Since September 8th, they’ve been accepting apples at Muwin Estate’s New Ross location at 7155 Highway 12 and they’ll continue to do so until their open house on October 14th, which runs from 10 AM to 4 PM. And if you’ve got a variety that ripens later, arrangements can also be made for later drop-off. If you’ve got too many to transport yourself, they’ll even make arrangements to come pick them up. Many of the apples sought after for cider are varieties that don’t work well for eating. These are often heritage varieties from England and Germany whose names have been lost to time, but whose juice could still make an important contribution to a truly local product. So if you’ve got apples on your property that you haven’t known what to do with, now you know! More detail and updates on the project can be found on the Facebook Event Page.

• The NSLC is putting on a series of events designed to showcase local craft beer and cider. Dubbed the Discover Series, there will be four sessions held at The Port by NSLC on Clyde Street in downtown Halifax. Every Wednesday through the month of October you’ll have a chance to hear from local craft beer brewers and cider makers talking about a specific aspect of their craft. In Week 1, on October 4th, wine and cider maker Alex Boivin will talk about the cider-making process at Bulwark Ciders where freshly-pressed juice from Annapolis Valley apples are used at their cidery in New Ross. He’ll also be mixing up some cider cocktails and present some fall food pairings. A week later, on October 11th, Peter Burbridge of North Brewing and Mark Huizink of 2 Crows will present on the topic of barrel-aging beer and how the unique character of wood can be imparted to beer. Session 3, on October 18th will see the founders of Boxing Rock, Emily Tipton and Henry Pedro talking about the seasonal beers of autumn and encourage participants to think outside the box when it comes to beer styles. Finally, on October 25th, Jeremy White of Big Spruce brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, will talk about making beer using locally grown hops and mineral-rich water at his certified organic brewery. Each session runs from 7 PM to 10 PM. Tickets are a package deal for all four sessions and run $60 each. They’re available in person at The Port, or online through Eventbrite.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy this week…

– Halifax’s Chain Yard Cider has released a new blend this week. Orange is the New Wild is a new blend, featuring a portion of wild-fermented Baldwin apples and orange blossom, which was then dry-hopped during the conditioning process. Drop by their Agricola Street location for a taste and growler fill today.
Picaroons in New Brunswick has a new entry in their Pivot series of Imperial IPAs. This time the feature hop is Equinox (now known by the trade name Equanot), but the dry-hop also featured the Azacca, Lemondrop, Calypso, Ella, and Experimental 7270 varieties.
– In Windsor, Schoolhouse continues their Cask Friday tradition this week with a dry-hopped version of their Scotian Export ale. The cask will be tapped at 4 PM this afternoon and is not likely to last the night.
– Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing has brought back their Riddle of Steel IPA, one of their best-selling brews. It’s 7% ABV and 80 IBU and is the perfect way to toast your devotion to Crom.

As July winds down, we’ve been blessed with some great drinking weather, which means the region’s brewers are hard at work to keep us happy. Be sure to raise a toast to them as you grab a pint on the patio or at the cottage this weekend!

• International IPA Day is next week (Thursday, Aug. 3rd), and Upstreet will be releasing a brand new beer to celebrate. Island Hopspitality 2017 may share the same name as last year’s release, but this one goes in a completely different direction, as a “Sour IPA”. Kettle-soured via Lactobacillus to ~3.4 pH, plenty of Azacca, Centennial and Sorachi Ace were added in both whirlpool and dry-hop additions, giving lots of citrus and tropical fruit in the aroma and flavour to complement the tartness, but minimal bitterness (at only 10 IBUs). As expected, this 4.5% ABV beer won’t be released until next Thursday, where it will be available for pints and growlers at the brewery, and on tap at other Upstreet accounts.

• While on the topic, TrailWay has released a new iteration of their kettle-soured hoppy ale, El Generico. This pale, sessionable (3.8% ABV) brew is constantly-changing, and made it’s first appearance in early May with a Hallertau Blanc dry-hop. This newest release was dry-hopped with El Dorado, an increasingly-popular hop variety at the brewery that has fruity, Jolly Rancher-like qualities. In addition to the hops, Apricot puree was added to the batch (at a rate of ~51 g/L) to boost the taste even more, giving the impression of “Welch’s fruit snacks and sour peach candy”, according to the brewery. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery only, this was a limited batch so won’t last long.

• Plenty of beer news coming from Newfoundland this week! Let’s start with the Mill Street Brewpub in St. John’s, who have two new beers for your enjoyment. First up is Townie Triple, a Belgian Tripel which comes in heavy at 8.7% ABV, and was hopped generously with Czech Saaz (to 30 IBUs) for balance. With aromas of “banana, cloves, orange zest, and honey”, and a flavour profile that includes “notes of chai tea, peaches, and pear”, it’s definitely meant to be enjoyed as a sipper, and is available at the Brewpub for pours and grunters.

• Next up from Mill Street is Chocolate Lab, a collaboration with the Newfoundland Chocolate Company. A “dark ale base beer” was brewed up, which then had 8 kg of cacao nibs – provided by the NCC – added and cold-steeped. While dry, light, and easy-drinking, the nibs give “big aromas of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, a slightly oakey flavour, and a touch of honey”. At 4.5% ABV and 32 IBUs, this one is a bit more sessionable than the first beer! You can find it on tap now at the Brewpub for pints and growlers.

• Let’s move on to Yellowbelly, who have a new beer on tap that is going fast! Big Land Lager is a “Labrador tea rice Lager” that was mashed in birch sap, according to the brewery. While only 4.8% ABV, it’s big on flavour, with subtle notes of pine, spice, and lemon coming through, and a “slight minty vanilla in the finish”. It’s on tap at the brewpub (but on it’s last keg or two, so may not be around when this post is published), with a very small supply also available for purchase in 1 L bottles at the brewpub only. And for those of you attending the Halifax Seaport Beerfest, a couple of kegs were sent over from the Rock, so this will be your chance to give it a try!

• Heading Northwest to the Bonavista Peninsula, you will find yourself at Port Rexton Brewing, who celebrated their first anniversary last weekend, and have released a slew of new beers for visitors to enjoy. Shed Session is a 4.4% ABV Session IPA, featuring a bevvy of late-hopping on a straw-coloured light base. East Meets West is a 5.0% ABV Saison, featuring Honey Dew melon and Black Pepper, and was brewed as a Cross-Country Simultaneous Collaboration with Port Moody, BC’s Moody Ales. And rounding out the newest arrival is Spruce Wayne, a 5.4% ABV amber ale with spruce tips added.

• Let’s finish off our tour of the Rock with a trip to the West Coast, namely Pasadena, home to Western Newfoundland Brewing Company. Their small and agile system has been working overtime lately, giving locals and visitors alike plenty of new flavours. The newest beer to be released is Green Gardens Haze, an “Oat Forward Pale Ale”, with flaked oats accounting for one third of the malt bill. The resultant base beer is creamy and hazy, with a nod to the New England IPA style. At 5.0% ABV and 25 IBUs, the late hop additions offering more in terms of flavours and aroma, than bitterness. It is currently on tap at the officially unofficial WNLBC taproom, Galliott Studios in Woody Point, Bonne Bay. And while the pilot batch of Tuckamore Spruce just kicked, we can report that there are several hundred litres of the beer set to be released in the next week or two. Inspired by the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s cartographic survey of Newfoundland, this is their take on a historically-inspired Spruce Beer, a 6.0% Amber with plenty of Munich malt to offset the resinous character of the spruce tips (added near the end of the boil). When released in early August, it will be available at restaurants in Corner Brook and Gros Morne National Park.

• Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing Co. will be releasing their first Double IPA, Under the Patio, this weekend. This 7.5% ABV hoppy brew incorporates a simple malt bill that gives “just enough body” to support the heavy hopping rates. Speaking of the hops – and that’s the important point with this style of beer, right? – a blend of five different varieties were used throughout the brew, with the focus falling on Chinook. At 80 IBUs, expect a firm bitterness in the finish, to complement the hop aromas and flavours sure to be found. Look for it on tap this weekend at the brewery, and at establishments serving Heritage beer.
Loyalist City‘s latest summer beer just hit taps yesterday, and we got your details right here! Peach Giant is a Berliner Weisse (a low ABV, sour German beer) that was mash-soured with the brewery’s house strain of four different Lactobacillus strains. Once soured, the brew was then fermented as usual, and once complete, saw the addition of real peaches, which triggered some additional fermentation. Now that it’s finally kegged and ready to go, expect lots of peach aroma and flavour, “complemented by a light, doughy sweetness”, all in an orange, hazy package. At only 4.5% ABV, you should be able to enjoy this one in relative quantity! Look for it today at your favourite Loyalist City tap source.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows had a few special taproom-only beer on the go this week, with Monday’s release of their collaboration with the fine folks from Everwood Ave Brew Shop , Ever Wood Aged, a Double IPA conditioned on wine-soaked oak. As of the time of printing (posting), this beer is still available, but certainly in short supply. The other new beer of note is Swan Fan Makkum, an American Pale Ale featuring loads of Belma, Citra, Hallertau Blanc, and Simcoe, resulting in a supremely smooth and quaffable 5.0% ABV and 13 IBU hazy beer. Pouring as part of the Tall Sips endeavour, the beer is named after a tall ship that co-owner Mark Huinizink worked on as a teenager. As with all of these small batches, they are only available on tap at the brewery, so drop down on Brunswick St for a pint before (or after) checking out the Tall Ships on the Waterfront. And as a heads up, watch this space for the second of 2C’s Foedre beers, to be released in cans mid-August. Featuring lots of mango and a bit of peach, this beer has us (milk)Shaking in anticipation.

Breton Brewing brewed up a light, lovely style that’s perfect for summer drinking, a Munich Helles named Island Time Lager. Featuring malty and bready notes, this is a style that is malt-focused, with an underlying hop bitterness that keeps it from being too sweet. And at 4.3% and 14 IBUs, you’ll be able to enjoy a couple of these in the hot sun. It’s only available in the Sydney area at the moment, but look for kegs to hit Halifax in the next couple of weeks.

• In Digby, Roof Hound has a new brew on the go that we should be seeing in the very near future. Hoppy Seconds is an APA that was brewed to showcase Victory, the brewery’s favourite specialty malt. Dry-hopped in heavy amounts with Columbus and Mosaic, expect similar aromas to their previous hoppy release, The Big Stink (which uses the same hop varieties). It should come in at about 5.5% ABV; look for it at the brewpub and local accounts within the next couple weeks.

• What do you do to up the ante when you’re one of Halifax’s littlest breweries? If you’re Tidehouse on Salter Street, you build one of Halifax’s littlest tap rooms and serve beer in little glasses! Seating seven comfortably, and serving only tasting flights (for now), this as-yet unnamed hideaway could easily become a place where everybody knows your name – and your brand of deodorant. Right now they’re pouring Tidehouse favourites, but will shortly be expanding to eight taps and, hopefully, will be mixing it up with some guest beers. There are also plans to have a turntable playing Shean and Peter’s favourites, although patrons are welcome to bring in their own vinyl for everyone’s enjoyment. Right now, in addition to Tidehouse classics like The Copper and Like a MotorcycALE we know they’ve got some Sumac Smack on the go, which we told you about last week, and the Noon Moon, a citrus-driven little number. There’s also the Fuzzy Sun APA (at least what the Stubborn Goat didn’t snap up), a pale with a round malt flavour from Melanoiding and Munich malts and a smooth mouthfeel from Wheat. It features Citra, Cascade and Simcoe for a very tropical hop profile with additional notes of citrus and pine. And today will also see the appearance of a new beer called City Mouse. This is another pale ale, of the juicy persuasion, featuring Citra and Mosaic hops. You should notice apricot and mango with underpinnings of orange citrus. Honey malt in the grist provides a bit of sweetness to this 5.4% ABV and 26.5 IBU beer, which also uses wheat and oats to create a smooth mouthfeel.

• Our friends at Good Robot are having their usual busy week, running the gamut of a new beer, a new variation on an existing beer, and a re-release on the docket. First, this afternoon’s Cask in the Sun (pay no mind to the weather, they’ll pour it inside and point the lights at you if you insist) takes a break from the Goseface Killah base that has served them so well in previous weeks in favour of the Leave Me Blue Kentucky Corn Beer, a summer stalwart on their taps. Corn Light Mojito sees that base adulterated (in the nicest possible way!) with organic lime and garden mint grown right there on the Gastroturf! Meanwhile the taproom has seen the return of the Skratch Plaskett Electric Tambourine Ale, originally a collaboration with Schoolhouse Brewery (who’ve lately been serving and bottling their own version of this very same beer). For those who don’t know, it’s an A/APA, or American/Australian Pale Ale coming in at 5.8% ABV and an enough-to-know-it’s-there 25 IBU. The grist side has 2-row malt, some wheat for mouthfeel and vienna for character, while the hops see high-alpha Warrior for bittering, classic American Cascade in the whirlpool and newcomer Australian Summer for the dry-hop. And finally, on Tuesday GR will remind us that Winter is coming when this week’s Beta Brewsday concoction drops. King in the North is a sessionable Black IPA at 4.5% ABV, but with a pronounced 55 IBU. Local Horton Ridge 2-row (we’re going to guess maybe the “winter” variety) and Maris Otter provide the base for the grist and big, bold, dank and piney Simcoe and citrusy Chinook are the hops.

Boxing Rock, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, has released another in their line of kettle soured beers featuring fruit. Joining Over the Top! (Cranberry), For the Love of Grimace (Blueberries), Grafted (Orange Peel), this week’s release, Turn of Fraise, features strawberries on top of a sour wheat base. Grab the beer in bottles at the brewery now, and look for bottles at their market locations and the private beer stores this weekend.

• We have a pair of returning favourites from Halifax’s Rockbottom Brewpub this week. Recently, they brought back their Freudian Sip Vienna Lager, a light and crisp golden lager, featuring toasted malt with spicy and herbal noble hop characteristics. It weighs in at 5.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, and is available on tap for samples, pints and growlers. Also returning after a several month hiatus is Raspberry Sour, their 4.5% ABV kettle sour, featuring loads of raspberry for a refreshing and flavourful tart beer.

• Time flies when you drink this much beer. That must be the case, as the third episode in a month of the 902 BrewCast has just been released. Continuing their tour of the South Shore, the gents dropped into the hometown of the last remaining Arby’s in Nova Scotia, Bridgewater. They met and chatted with Adam and Devin of FirkinStein Brewing, were are celebrating the opening of their retail and second brewery location. Learn all about their start, the mixed origin of their brewhouse, inspiration for beer recipes, and their plans for the future. And be sure to drop by their new spot on Main Street next time you’re in the neighbourhood. Yes, they allow outside food, including roast beef sandwiches, so just head up Dominion Street and take a left on Hight…

• Craft fans on PEI can now join their New Brunswick brethren in sneering at Nova Scotia and the NSLC. The Island’s liquor control commission, PEILCC, has officially joined ANBL in providing growler fills with an 8-tap station installed at their Gateway location (Officially Store #002, in Borden-Carleton). According to spokesperson Mark Carragher, this is part of PEILCC’s overall strategy to help promote local products and expand their craft beer selection at retail. The focus is on local products, but even now the selection includes breweries from other parts of Canada. Carragher notes that growlers have been successful in other markets and customer feedback so far has been very positive, so there’s a chance that additional stations will be added in the future. For now, you can bring any clean 1.89 L growler to them for a fill in Borden-Carleton, or purchase a growler on-site for $5. And if you’re curious what they’re pouring, you can keep an eye on PEILCC’s Twitter for tweets like this one, or you can visit the dedicated growler station page on their website for a full list.

What’s on the go this weekend and beyond?

• TonightPropeller is bringing back their bi-weekly Cask Night, where a new beer will be introduced on cask at their Gottingen St. location, every second Friday. Up tonight will be a Cascade American Pale Ale, dry-hopped in the cask with Falconer’s Flight and Nelson Sauvin. As before, the cask will be tapped at 5 pm; there’s only 20 L available, so be sure to show up early so you don’t miss out! What’s coming up at future Cask Nights? Well, we can give you a few teasers: how about a Pilsner hopped with Strisselspalt, followed by a DIPA, then a Porter with American Oak? As always, we’ll continue to keep you updated!

Taste of Nova Scotia is holding two special events this weekend, on Halifax Harbour’s Georges Island. The Georges Island Dinner Series is running both tonight and tomorrow, with a different theme each evening. Tonight’s event is Nova Scotia Lobster Feast, featuring a feast of local lobster, mussels, oysters, paired with Nova Scotian beer, wine, cider and spirits. Tomorrow’s event is the Good Cheer BBQ, with a more land-based menu with pork and meat pies, and even more breweries in attendance. Your ticket includes your ferry ride to the island, all of the food and drink, and the live music shows from Joel Plasket and Port Cities.

• Saturday marks Unfiltered Brewing‘s Second Anniversary, which means they are inviting the lovers (and the haters) to Charm School for an epic birthday bash to celebrate. With special pricing on all of their beers, as well as the availability of previous favourites (including on- and off-site sales of bottles of their Commissar RIS), there will be plenty to keep folks happy. Their food menu is being expanded for the evening with help from Stillwell’s Joe Martin providing some special plates from 6-9pm.

Tomorrow, July 29th, Stillwell HQ will be hosting New Brunswick brewery Acadie-Broue, which will be pouring four different sour beers (safe to say probably the highest number of Acadie-Broue sour beers in one place, ever?). Look for the following beers to be on: Kiebitz Coti (Berliner Weisse), Reflux (Gose), Tête de Cochon (Lichtenheiner), and Boudeuse, a 5-year-old Lambic-style beer that has been blended with a Baltic Porter. If you needed an excuse to visit SW on a Saturday (we know, you didn’t), you now have one!

• If you are looking for a good excuse to visit the North Shore on Saturday, a reminder that the first North Shore Craft Brew Expo will be held at the North Shore Rec Centre in Tatamagouche from 6-11:30 pm. Tickets are still available, and your entrance fee get you started with five 4 oz drink tickets, live music from 8pm, and access to lots of local food vendors.

• Two weeks ago, we mentioned the upcoming beer from Big Spruce – Tag! You’re It! – a collaboration with Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network. Just a note to let you all know that this American IPA will be launched on Thursday, August 3rd at both Stillwell locations in Halifax (HQ and the Beer Garden), so be sure to drop by for a pint!

• Going down at Good Robot on Sunday from 5 PM – 8PM, is Moo Grass, a benefit event for Moo Nay Farms. For those who don’t know, Moo Nay is a family farm near Shubenacadie focusing on, “promoting nature and natural living conditions for both humans and livestock.” They’re also the destination for the spent grain from Good Robot’s brewing endeavours, ensuring that a large amount of brewing by-product doesn’t go to waste. Moo Nay had an unfortunate incident a few weeks back when it was discovered that someone decided to steal some livestock from their property. This event will directly help Moo Nay recover from this utterly despicable incident. Festivities will begin with a comedy set by GR’s own Dan Hendricken, followed by bluegrass, blues, country and folk from Big Country Ramblers. Food will be available, with Antonio Rinaldo of Rinaldo’s Italian-American Specialties serving up pig parts from a Moo Nay-raised Berkshire pig and, of course, plenty of Good Robot craft beer. There will be a pay-by-donation entrance fee for the event, with all proceeds going directly to Moo Nay farms.

• And attention, PEI! If you were just thinking to yourself the other day, “Dammit, I just can’t get enough Good Robot in my life”, we have some good (?) news for you! On Monday, August 7th, Upstreet will be hosting a Good Robot Tap Takeover at 5 pm. We’re not entirely sure yet what beers they’ll be bringing with them from Halifax, but since they seem to be brewing something new every week, rest assured they’ll have some interesting ones with them! Upstreet says there will be no gimmicks or games at the event, but… we just don’t believe you guys. Sorry! No charge to attend, just show up for some beers and some good times.

• August is just around the corner (gah!), which means that the New Brunswick Beer Run group will be having their annual events soon! First up is the Fredericton Beer Run on Monday, August 7th (New Brunswick Day) at 10 am – as usual, there will be three run distances available (4, 6, or 12 km), with beer available at the END of the run (sorry). Tickets are $60 and are available here. And on Friday, August 18th, the Moncton Beer Run will begin at 6 pm. Details on this one are slim at the moment, but they promise us they will be coming soon, along with a ticket link, so save the date!

• There’s a new beer festival coming to New Brunswick this fall, and it’s the first one to hit Woodstock! The First Town Craft Beer Festival will be held on Saturday, September 23rd, at the Best Western Plus Hotel. With two tasting sessions available – 1:30-4:00 pm and 7:00-9:30 pm – and twenty local breweries, cideries, and meaderies confirmed to be attending, there’ll be a wide assortment of products to sample! Your ticket gets you a 4 oz souvenir glass to keep, and unlimited pours for your session. There will be live music at the indoor/outdoor festival, Covered Bridge will be supplying chip samples at each session, and local restaurant/bar The River will be on hand, barbecuing up some tasty eats for purchase. Speaking of The River, everyone attending will be able to vote for their favourite beer of the festival; the winning brewery will have their beer on tap at The River for one year (minimum). Tickets are $55 each (tax included) and are available here (note there are also $15 designated driver tickets available). Finally, if you’re in the Woodstock area and able to drop by the Best Western, you can purchase a VIP ticket at the front desk for $65, which gets you into your session an hour earlier, a larger tasting glass, and a beer education session. Get your tickets now!

• We’re just about two weeks away from the annual Halifax Seaport Beerfest and the list of breweries and beers has been released for public consumption. And what a list it is! There are 370 brands represented with a record 113 producers in the mix! This year they’re also nearly doubling the number of Atlantic Canadian beers, which will represent 43% of the total. They’ve also managed to increase ciders by 68%, which along with beer options, has them at 42 gluten-free options available. A full 56% of the brands are not available through the NSLC, so this is a chance for folks, especially those from more rural parts of the region that don’t have a private liquor store or a happening craft beer bar, to sample a wide range of local and non-local products. And you may be used to seeing local organizations like the Ladies Beer League and the Brewnosers Homebrew Club at their information tables, but this year they’ll be serving at the new TAP LOCAL! booth which will see 8 taps rotating through 24 special one-of kegs over the course of the 3 tasting events. Tickets are still available (and there will be some tickets available at the door), but we suspect once folks start perusing the beer list tickets might start disappearing quickly! (We’re honour-bound to point out that the list is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, but we don’t figure it could change drastically).

Finally, one more thing before you head out for your (late) lunch…

Scudrunner Brewing, set to open late summer/early fall in Gander, is looking for an Assistant Brewer and Bartenders to join their team in the near future. Reach out to them via email, or in person at the brewery space to let them know you’re interested. We’ll have all of the news fit to print as they get closer to their launch.

Wow, what a #NSCraftBeerWeek so far! Aaron and Chris had a blast competing in the Stillwell Open last Sunday and hosting Craft Beer Trivia on Wednesday night at Timber Lounge, and everyone is getting excited for this weekend’s conclusion, the Full House Craft Beer Fest in Halifax, which will see beer from 30+ breweries from across the province! Here’s your latest news on what to keep an eye open for this weekend in Nova Scotia, and across our region:

• Starting off the Nova Scotia new beers, uh, news, North Brewing released a couple earlier this week. Midnight, their Glenora barrel-aged Belgian Strong Dark Ale (aged with Brett Q, a Brettanomyces strain isolated from a barrel-aged sour beer from Quebec), was re-released yesterday in 650 mL bottles. This 10.5% ABV monster has notes of dark chocolate, tart cherry, stone fruit, oak, vanilla, and whisky, and is one of those beauties you know will benefit from picking up an extra or two for aging; it’s available at both bottle shops. And last Sunday saw the release of Betroth Ale, a Braggot (think beer and mead mixture) created for North employee Brad’s wedding. Brewed with honey, heather, and yarrow, this was North’s Stillwell Open entry last weekend. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV and 9 IBUs, it’s available in bottles and for growler fills at both locations.

• Another debut at Sunday’s well-attended event was from Breton Brewing. They teamed up with homebrew collective extraordinaire Brathair Brewing to put together the winner in the Amber category, Seven Years, a New England Amber Ale hopped to the gills to produce notes of juicy tropical fruit, citrus and pine. Although more heavily hopped than Breton’s flagship Black Angus IPA, it’s less bitter, at only 25 IBU. And at 5.2% ABV it’s fairly sessionable, with slightly sweet flavours and soft mouthfeel contrasting with the hops to give an overall gentle impression that suggests, “maybe I’ll have another one of those…” This one won’t be canned, but it will be available in kegs and growlers from the brewery, and likely for growler fills in the HRM at some point. You’ll also see it appear at various tap accounts throughout the city as well.

• Also claiming a win at the Stillwell Open, this time in the pale category, was the collaboration between Annapolis Valley upstarts Lunn’s Mill and South Shore stalwarts Boxing Rock, April, May and Juniper, a saison style ale. This brew features juniper berries, a primary component in gin, with an aromatic profile that marries nicely with the classic French Saison yeast used for fermentation. This 6% ABV beauty sold out awfully quickly at the Open, but is available in bottles at the private liquor stores in HRM, and for growler fills at Boxing Rock’s Seaport Market and Alderney Farmer’s Market stalls (both formats are available at the brewery in Shelburne, natch).

• Let’s continue on with Schoolhouse, who will be releasing their latest beer, Staffroom Stout, at this weekend’s Full House Craft Beer Fest. Brewed with 40 L of cold-brewed coffee from local roasters T.A.N. Coffee, the brewery describes it as a “rich and smooth Oatmeal Stout, full-bodied with a mild coffee bitterness”. Quite drinkable at 5.5% ABV, it should also be available starting today at the brewery’s taproom (open 3:20-8 pm today, 11-8 Saturday and Sunday) for samples and growlers, and in bottles. Schoolhouse will also be re-releasing their previous collaboration with Good Robot, Scratch Plaskett – Electric Tambourine Wheat Ale, next Wednesday, also in bottles and on tap. And hopefully joined by their patio shortly thereafter! And be sure to drop by their booth at the Full House event Friday and/or Saturday, as they will be making a big announcement to their loyal fans!

• Debuting late last week, and pouring at this weekend’s Fest, is a brand new offering from Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing. Brier Rose is a 4.5% fruit beer, featuring rose hips harvested from Brier Island. The malt bill uses a combination of Pale and Munich malts (totaling 85%) from Horton Ridge, and the beer was fermented European Ale yeast. The combination of fruit and malt come together for a vibrant hue to enjoy while sipping the beer. If you’re not able to catch the Full House, it will also be available at their booth at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Winter Market Saturday morning.

• Reminding us that it’s not always about beer, Annapolis Cider Company has released the latest in their Something Different series. Earl Blue is a blend of cool-fermented dry cider made from local apple varieties (including Golden Russet and McIntosh), along with juice from NS-grown wild blueberries, and freshly-pressed apples. Not stopping there, the blend was cold-steeped with Earl Grey tea leaves (a black tea flavoured with the addition of oil of bergamot), “to add tannins and structure”, according to Annapolis. The result is a sparkling, “blush-hued cider with aromatic notes of citrus and earthy, wild blueberries that finishes with a hint of bitterness from the tea”. Coming in at 6.8% ABV, it’s available now at the cidery. The recipient of the $0.50 from each refill will be the Wolfville School Playground Fundraiser.

• One of the grand-daddies of Nova Scotia craft beer, Propeller Brewing in Halifax, announced yesterday the hiring of a new Head Brewer. Cameron Crerar is a native of Tasmania, Australia, where he cut his teeth as an Assistant Brewer with Moo Brew . From there, he travelled halfway (or more!) around the world to take a spot as Brewer with Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in the hamlet of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. The Propeller gig is Cameron’s first as a Head Brewer and he brings with him from his previous positions a combination of creativity and large-scale brewing experience. Look for him to continue the 20-year tradition begun by Propeller President John Allen while bringing new ideas and interesting limited edition beers to the taps. We suspect Cameron might be somewhat recognizable by an accent…if you run into him, consider buying him a beer and asking about his celebrity beer story that features Justin Timberlake.

• On Robie Street, Good Robot is bringing a new beer out this week that’s geared for the hot summer weather (which we’re assuming will happen; at some point; eventually). Koji Kondo named for the man who composed many of Ninendo’s classic video game themes, is a “Sake Beer” containing a preponderance of rice, with only a small portion of barley (2-row and Pilsner) in the mash. It’s also a single hop beer, leveraging the divisive Japanese variety Sorachi Ace for bittering and flavor/aroma in the kettle, as well as whirlpool and dry hop additions. And if that wasn’t Faaaar East Coast enough for you, the yeast used to ferment this beer is the same used to ferment sake, Japanese rice wine. We don’t suggest you drink this beer warm though. At 5.2% it’s fairly sessionable, and it’s certainly not a bitter bomb at a paltry 9 IBUs. What it is likely to be is an exceptionally crisp, dry, fruity and light, possibly non-beer-like beer that might be just the thing for a sweltering summer day on the Gastroturf.

• If you’ve been worried about a lack of three-brew release and double tap takeover weeks from 2 Crows, you can rest easy. Jeremy and the gang are still up to all kinds of no good, starting with the release of In Theory, the kettle-soured, Brett-fermented, dry-hopped (with Dr. Rudi) 5.8% ABV beer brewed with the crew from 902 BrewCast. This pilot batch will only be available for on-site enjoyment, and at this weekend’s Full House, and not much of it, so be sure to drop by today. But good news, the guys dropped by earlier this week to brew a full batch of In Theory, which will be available in wider distribution next month. And if you drop by soon enough, you may be able to grab a pint of Nervous Waters before it kicks, a 6.6% Belgian Dubbel released during last weekend’s Open Brewery Day. Also look for a couple of small canning runs of two of their seasonal beers, the Fantacity (note pronunciation) Witbier and the Midnight Mood porter. You’ll find these on the shelves in the fridge at the brewery as long as supplies last.

• During your drive/walk/toktok to 2 Crows, listen to the latest podcast of theirs to drop, featuring Peter Burbridge, Emily Tipton, and Brian Titus of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, during which they talk about the mandate and goals of the CBANS, NS Craft Beer Week, and plans their respective breweries have for the near future. After getting your fill at 2C, take a turn towards the water and hit Bishop’s Cellar, who the 902BC gang partnered with for the release of a curated 7-pack of beer, including an exclusive run of Cedric the Great Double IPA from Bad Apple Brewhouse.

• In bigger news, however, and news that is shared with both 2 Crows and new kids on the block Stillwell Brewing, the next time you find yourself on Brunswick Street, poke your head in and check out the beautiful wooden vessels now on display in the brewery. These are foeders, big-ass wooden barrels previously used to age spirits. 2 Crows have four, two of which formerly held cognac and two that housed the classic French apple brandy Calvados (for 65 years!). Stillwell Brewing have two, both from cognac. And you know what folks? These things are going to be filled with beer. And then that beer is going to sit there in those barrels while we wait. And wonder. And wait. And wonder some more. Chances are it’s going to come out even tastier than it was when they put it in. And then that beer is going to be made available for sale and we are going to be a happy, happy beer-loving region. FULL STOP.

• Pivoting away from Nova Scotia now, Fredericton’s TrailWay has released another brand new small-batch beer this week, their second iteration of a Hoppy Sour Ale. El Generico was kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus pitch, and heavily-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a German variety that has been referred to as the country’s version of Galaxy. Expect notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and a unique flowery-fruity character from this hop, to go along with the sourness and crispness of the beer. At 3.8% ABV, it’s available right now at the brewery only, in cans and on tap for pints and growler fills. Expect this brew to change constantly for awhile, as the brewers at TW experiment with the hop profile.

• Beer fans in New Brunswick have likely noticed Tatamagouche Brewing beers popping up on tap at various bars and restaurants across the province. If you’ve been upset you haven’t been able to take Tata home with you, good news! The first Tata cans should be appearing in ANBL stores any day now. The brewery’s Kolsch, North Shore Lagered Ale, will be the first brand to hit. While it may be awhile before other Tata beers follow, rest assured it WILL be happening!

• In St. John’s, Mill Street Brewpub has been busy getting some beers ready to go – three offerings hit their retail counter earlier this month, and have been moving to the main draught system ever since. The first was Rowhouse, a lager in the Czech Amber style. It features big aromas of caramel, coffee, and graham crackers in a 5.5% ABV and 12 IBU package. The subtle hop aroma from the noble continental Saaz variety should complement the malt flavours nicely. This one is named for the famous “Jellybean” row houses in downtown St. John’s and might be just the thing to get you through Sprinter.

• Next is the Round Da’ Bay, an American Pale Ale, which will hit the taps earlier this week. This style emerged as a New World adaptation of the classic English Pale and Mill Street’s version has big American hop aromas of Pineapple and Grapefruit thanks to a hefty addition of Mosaic hops. It’s 5.3% ABV and a fairly hefty 50 IBU, with a solid malt bill and some sweetness characteristic of the style; it’s also got a touch of wheat to smooth things out and provide some extra body, perfect for a day of dreaming about camping out “Round Da Bay”.

• And finally, we have the return of an old favourite, RDF Hefe. “RDF” stands for the triumvirate of Newfoundland weather, “Rain, Drizzle and Fog.” It’s 5.7% ABV and 25 IBU, same as it ever was, and is a wheat-based ale in the classic Hefeweizen style. With a bright golden color, long-lasting foamy head and classic banana and clove esters from the yeast, this is a malty and refreshing brew. They have also put together a special cask for Mothers Day, with RDF as a base, but adds strawberries and partridgeberries and was primed (carbonated) with an addition of Purity Syrup! Even better, Moms can enjoy a free pour from the pin when they drop by Sunday.

Here are the latest events on our radar:

• The culmination of NS Craft Beer Week is the Full House, taking place at the Halifax Forum Multipurpose Room over the course of three sessions: tonight 6-9PM, and Saturday 1-4, and again at 6-9PM. 32 breweries from across the province will be pouring their best beers, with plenty of great food to keep you happy as well. We don’t have to sell you on this one, we know you’ll want to go! This is your chance to check off beers from across the province that are not normally available in HRM, and to chat with the passionate folks who make them. Also keep your eyes open for booths from Mashed In Beer Gear, The Brewnosers, 902 BrewCast, and Ladies Beer League.

• If you won’t be able to make it into town Saturday for the Full House, we highly suggest dropping by the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish to grab a pint of Half Cocked Brewing’s beer. Located in North Grant, and launching this summer, HC has been brewing up some pilot batch with Terry on the small system upstairs, and is debuting another one Saturday in the Pub. And of course, while you’re there, be sure to grab a pint of Terry’s Bitter, or Stout. Keep an eye on Half Cocked’s Twitter and IG to find out when it goes on tap.

• Whatchagonnado on Sunday morning when the grim reality that Craft Beer week is over and your white charger-pulled carriage has turned back into a pumpkin hits you like the proverbial ton of bricks? We suggest you give some consideration to heading on down to Good Robot where they’re promising to triage that hangover and maybe help you get ready to face interaction with normal people again. Festivities start with Yoga in the beer garden at 11am (Yeah, 11am. You think you’re going to be up before 11? Pffffft.) From there, it’s coffee and beer pairings featuring Bottleneck Coffee Co. (strangely now spelled “Low Point Coffee”) and some of the most crushable and sessionable (read: low alcohol) beers from various NS breweries. Rinaldo’s will be there to help you get some food in that troubled tummy and there will be an oxygen bar to recondition those lungs after that pack of darts that you totally don’t remember buying. This event is “Come as you Are”: wear your hangover outfit, whether that’s bathrobe, pyjamas, loungewear, three-piece suit with tails, whatever. But come out, and lament the end of Craft Beer Week in style.

• Up on the Rock, the ladies of Port Rexton Brewing are planning a big presence for the BBQ tap takeover tomorrow, Saturday, May 13th, at the Merchant Tavern in St. John’s. A bevy of PR beers will be available, along with Texas BBQ from Toronto’s renown Smoke Signals Barbecue, and additional libations from Lot 40 (Canadian Whisky of the Year) and JP Wisers while brand ambassador Dave Mitton teaches a master class on Whisk(e)y. If any of those things strike your fancy, let the Merchant Tavern know, remaining bookings for this one are likely pretty low!

• As if they need to reinforce their status as utterly mad men and women, the motley crew of saucy suds slingers at Stillwell have upped the ante once again by scheduling, get this, a Tuesday Tap Takeover for May 16. Seriously. Tuesday. And this isn’t some mincing, fraidy-cat, “not-sure-how-this-brewery-will-go-over-in-Halifax thing,” this is the very successful, multi-award-winning Sawdust City Brewing Co. out of Gravenhurst, Ontario (“Gateway to Muskoka” is the phrase you’ll recognize if you’ve ever driven that stretch of highway). Bringing core favorites like the Lone Pine IPA and Twin Pines IIPA, as well as collaborations that became regular offerings like Little Norway Pale Lager originally brewed in Norway with Arendals Bryggeri, and some new school collaborations with Southern Ontario bright lights like Burlington’s Nickelbrook, Toronto’s Bar Hop and Ottawa’s Tooth & Nail, Stillwell’s going to do their very best to get you fired on a Wednesday morning. Maybe be careful with the Long Dark Voyage to Uranus (Imperial Stout, 9.5%), the 11.05 (Belgian Tripel w/ Brett, 11%), the Princess Wears Girlpants (American Saison, 9%), and the Old Dirty Bastard (Barrel-aged Saison w/ Brett, 10%)? There’s lots more besides those ones, the full tap list is on Stillwell’s Twitter feed.

• The Moncton Beer League is holding their second Flights ‘n Bites: Whisky and Beer edition on Thursday, May 25th at Bistro 33 in downtown Moncton, from 6:30-9:30 pm. Featuring a variety of pairings of Whisky, Scotch and Bourbon with craft beer, food items from Chef Marc Surette will also play a role. Tickets are $55 each and are available now, and also include a custom-made Belgian-style glass to keep.

• And in other MBL event news, tickets are also now on sale for the next Urban Beer Hike, being held on Saturday, June 17th. This downtown Moncton walking tour will take you to five beer bars where you will sample multiple craft beer and food pairings at each location. The event runs from 1:15-5:30 pm; tickets are $49 each. Follow along on the event page for updates as to which bars will be visited, and where to meet for the beginning of the tour.

A few more beer-droppings to tell you about before signing off this week:

Hammond River has released a new iteration of their Two Rivers Black IPA (originally brewed with Big Axe), with this one being hopped entirely with Citra. Look for this one (7% ABV, 77 IBUs) at your favourite HR tap account.
Petit-Sault now has their summer seasonal Witbier, Tante Blanche (4.7% ABV, 18 IBUs) back on shelves and on tap in local bars, just in time for warmer weather (it IS coming, right?).
– Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has canned up a small run of their Dynamite Trail Hefeweizen, Holy Mackerel Pale Ale, and Nun on the Run Cream Ale. Grab them from the brewery for the perfect cottage accompaniment, and ask for them at your favourite local establishment, including Oh My Cod.
– There are rumors afoot that Stillwell is gearing for the opening of their Beer Garden on Spring Garden Road, possibly as soon as later this month. Stillwell Brewing is also apparently brewing up something special in the lager vein specifically for the venue, and communication with Backoos Korean Food about a Beer Garden pop-up have allegedly taken place. Summer 2017 is fixing to be immense.
Unfiltered‘s monster of a DIPA, Warning Label (10% ABV, 100+ IBUs), has returned; big, bold, and hoppy, this batch differs from the first in that no oak has been added this time around. Drop by Charm School today to get your fill (but go easy, ok?).

You might think that the last week of February/first week of March would see a bit of a slowdown in beer news — winter’s not quite over, March break is yet to come and the University students are back in class. But if you write a beer blog and you try to keep up with it all, you know better. There are plenty of things to tell you about as the region prepares for one of its biggest annual events, the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. As well, seasonal beers are being released, plenty of events going on, another new brewery has opened its doors and we’ve received word of another brewery in the works! We’re starting to think there might possibly be something to this whole “Craft Beer Industry” thing.

• The wait is over for local beer fans in Lawrencetown, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley! Lunn’s Mill Beer held their first growler session yesterday afternoon, with their four core beers available (Charming Molly Blonde Ale, Brickyard Red Red Ale, Lunn’s Pub Ale English Ale, and XPA #1 IPA). For those who contact them ASAP, there will be the first Growler Delivery happening this afternoon, for folks in the Annapolis Royal to Greenwood region. For now, Growler Nights and Delivery will be the best way to get your hands on Lunn’s Mill beer, and we will be sure to let you know when the brewery is set up for samples and pints, as well as draft available at local pubs and restaurants. Congratulations to Mark, Sean, and the whole Lunn’s Mill Crew!

• We’ve received word of another new brewery on the way for New Brunswick, with Valonray Farmhouse Brewing (changed from the initial name, “46th Parallel Brewing”) scheduled to open later this summer in MacDougall Settlement. Founded by Phil and Allison Fontaine, they plan on launching with a small line-up of American-style ales – brewed by Phil on a 1 BBL (115 L) electric system – with Belgian-style barrel-aged ales following within a few months, thanks to the acquisition of twenty 225 L oak barrels. The initial beers will be available at select licensees, as well as some being bottled and sold through the ANBL. The couple will be using 100%-locally sourced ingredients, with some being grown directly on-site. A tap room is also in the planning stages, and will hopefully be open by the summer of 2018. The eventual goal is to become an authentic Belgian-style, Farmhouse brewery within the first few years, including expanding to barrel-aged sour beers. Look for a Q&A with Allison and Phil from us in the near future.

• Early this week, Maybee Brewing released Mars Madness, a Bière de Mars. This style is closely related to the Bière de Garde, a French style traditionally brewed in the early spring, and then cellared for several months to be enjoyed during warmer weather. Bière de Mars, on the other hand, is usually brewed in March and released immediately. It is in some ways similar to a Belgian Saison, especially in that the yeast provides a lot of the character, with a malty backbone from the grist. Mars Madness was fermented at a low temperature to keep the fruity esters in check, and had a lengthier conditioning time than usual for Maybee brews. Described by the brewery as a crisp, refreshing beer, it has “fruity notes of banana and bubble gum, and subtle hints of noble hop spice and clove”. Clocking in at 6.7% ABV and 30 IBUs, this one is available on tap only. For those of you attending the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival next week, it will be available on cask at both the afternoon and evening sessions.

• Dartmouth’s Downeast Beer Factory has a new beer on tap, perfect for the approaching St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Nitro Irish Stout was brewed with plenty of Roasted Barley and Midnight Wheat in the grist, to give lots of the roasted aromas and flavours expected from the style. Both Cascade and East Kent Goldings hops were added, with “a generous amount” of EKG at the end of the boil. Served on a 75/25 nitrogen/CO2 blend to boost the creamy mouthfeel, it’s easy-drinking at 4.8% ABV, and on tap right now at the brewpub.

• With the 2017 Brier kicking off this week in St John’s, YellowBelly Brewpub has released a new beer to celebrate. They’ve released the quintessential American Pale Ale, weighing in at 4.5% ABV and 40 IBU, featuring two dry-hopping rounds with Cascade. The beer is on tap now (and only on tap, no plans for bottles), but they need your help to name it! Hit them up on Twitter or Facebook with your best curling pun name to win a $100 gift certificate. And once this small batch APA kicks, their St Patrick’s Day celebration Patrick’s Pale Ale will hit the taps. This year’s version features Sorachi Ace as the sole hop in the 6.0% ABV, 45 IBU beer.

• After two straight releases of the decidedly less hoppy variety, Unfiltered Brewing is bringing out a beer today to remind everyone just who punches the hoppy dance cards in HRM. And speaking of dancing, the beer is being released in conjunction with the film Goon: Last of the Enforcers, which will be screened in Halifax on March 9 a week ahead of its March 17 release date. Fist of God is a NASHian DIPA in the Northeast IPA style with 100+ IBU and featuring a mix of Citra, Simcoe, Columbus and Mosaic hops for big citrus, tropical and dank aromas and flavors. At 8% ABV, it’s also likely to leave you in a bit of a FoG if you’re not careful. Look for it at the brewery and Charm School pub for pints and fills as of noon today, as well as on tap at Primal Kitchen, Stillwell (from Friday open), and Tom’s Little Havana (who will keep it on tap as long as Unfiltered can supply it).

• And while you are grabbing a pint and/or growler at Unfiltered today, be sure to try the other latest addition to their taps, kombucha from Mad Boocha. Brewed in small batches in the Unfiltered brewhouse, kombucha is produced using yeast and bacteria, fermenting sweet tea into a lightly acidic and refreshing low-, or no-, alcohol drink. Mad Boocha has released several styles of the drink, with a Hibiscus Ginger version available currently for both pints and take-away in growlers at Unfiltered. Keep an eye on their social media pages for more details on the next releases.

North is releasing a new beer today, a Belgian Dubbel named Doki Doki Dubbel. Not your typical Dubbel, this one had a secondary fermentation on black cherries, gives notes of cherry, raisin, and dark fruit in the flavour, along with a light spiciness in the finish. Weighing in at 7.4% ABV, it will be available for growler fills, as well as in 750 mL swing tops. Battery Park will have it on tap, and it will be available at tonight’s North Tap Takeover at Good Robot; it may also appear at other beer establishments in the HRM in the near future.

• Earlier this week Boxing Rock in Shelburne brought a new beer to market in a style not common around these parts, and certainly not one we’ve seen from a local brewery any time recently. Stayin’ Alive is a malty lager in the traditional bock style, fairly high in alcohol and hopped very mildly for a satisfying and filling experience. Originating in the town of Einbeck some 700 years ago, it was commonly brewed and consumed by monks as a means of maintaining nutrition during pre-Easter fasting. Though they eschewed the de rigueur billy goat on the label, Boxing Rock’s version stays true to the style, coming in at 6.8% ABV, with biscuit, bread and roast flavours, smooth bittering and just a touch of noble hop flavor. You can find it now at the brewery, at private stores in HRM, and on tap at tap accounts throughout Nova Scotia. And speaking of taps, Boxing Rock has announced their Legendary Keg Club contest, where the winner will see a beer tap installed in his or her home and Boxing Rock will supply 6 months of beer to stock it! To enter, simply go to the contest page and fill in the blanks appropriately.

• Like Boxing Rock, Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay will also be hopping on the seasonal malty German lager train early in March, but with the bigger, beefier version of the bock style, the Doppelbock. Doppel being German for “double”, doppelbock takes the maltiness of the bock to deeper, darker places where more roasty and dark fruit flavours emerge. Doppelbock 1753 pays tribute to the German heritage of the South Shore and is subtitled, “The Winter Beer of Lunenburg County.” This beer features the requisite malty sweetness as well as rich plum flavours, hints of dark chocolate and a slightly warming mouthfeel consistent with the 8.1% ABV. A characteristically low 19 IBU provide slight bitterness to this dark brown brew that finishes with a lingering vinous character.​ A firm launch date has not yet been determined, but watch the brewery’s Twitter feed where it will surely be announced. Late notice addition: Launch Date is March 10th.

• After celebrating their First Anniversary this week, the fine folks at Nine Locks Brewing have decided to give us all the gift of another new beer! Launching this coming Monday, Vanilla Porter will be available on draft and in cans. Featuring three separate additions of vanilla, this full-bodied porter blends dark chocolate and vanilla together in a great brew. At 5.0% ABV and a light 25 IBU, the malt and vanilla are the stars of the show. Keep an eye on their Twitter page for the exact launch details.

• Launching at next weekend’s Fredericton Craft Beer Festival is a cross-Confederation-Bridge Collaboration, between Charlottetown’s Upstreet and Fredericton’s Picaroons breweries. Brewed using the same malt bill, featuring a healthy dose of Rye malt, Rye’d On is an 8.0% ABV Imperial Rye Beer, but fermented with two different yeasts. Upstreet’s Hogie brewed the beer at his brewery in Charlottetown, and then travelled to Fredericton to assist in brewing the same beer on the Picaroons system. In Fredericton, the beer was fermented using Pics’ own Ringwood ale strain, while in C’town, Upstreet used a pitch of lager yeast normally destined for their Commons Pilsner. The result is two different beers with a common origin. You’ll have the first chance to try the beer at the Fest March 11th, and to a wider release at both ANBL and PEILCC stores, and on draft in both provinces on Monday the 13th.

• Hammond River is brewing a new American IPA next week – single-hopped with Summit, this is a high alpha-acid American variety known for providing plenty of orange, tangerine, and citrus character in beer. Going in the dry-hop with the Summit will be lots of freshly-zest grapefruit zest, so we can likely expect a beer chock-full of citrus character! Expect this one to come in at around 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, and to start popping up on tap in a few weeks.

And the goings-on keep going strong:

• Head out to Digby’s Roof Hound this Saturday, March 4th, for another Beer Launch Music Event. Kicking off their “Dive Bar Classic Cocktail Series”, they are releasing the Mojito Dry Hopped Sour that we told you about last week. Weighing in at 4.8% ABV, the light-bodied tart beer features loads of freshly zested and squeezed limes and fresh mint. To celebrate, they are holding a live music event that evening, with Hannah-Grace playing from 10pm, after the beer starts flowing at 9pm.

• For those of you in Halifax, drop by Lion & Bright Saturday night from 8pm for a Breton Brewing takeover of their taps. Featuring their core lineup, as well as a few seasonal and fun favourites, there will sure to be something for everybody flowing tomorrow night. Find out more on their event page.

Good Robot continues to keep their schedule packed with goings-on. After last night’s tap takeover at Battery Park in Dartmouth, tonight sees North-end neighbours North Brewing populating 8 of the GR taps completing a craft beer quid pro quo celebrating the collaboration beer Moo Nay Tripel that we told you about last week. On Wednesday, they bring you FemmeBot, a celebration of International Women’s Day hosted by comedian Megan McDowell. They’ll have three new beers on tap: Red Moon Landing, a Red IPA that celebrates the African American women who were key to NASA space missions (and who inspired the film Hidden Figures); Baba Yaga Chaga Brown, an American Brown Ale featuring Chaga Fungus that invokes a supernatural feminine spirit of Slavic folklore; and, Faster Pussy Hat! Kill! Kill! a hibiscus-infused IPA. The first two of these were brewed by female staff of Good Robot, the third by Glee Club member and home brewer, Robyn Vaughan. There will also be guest taps from other breweries with prominent female brewers, including Sober Island, Boxing Rock, Spindrift and Lazy Bear. Much more information is available on the event’s Facebook page and Thursday’s article in The Coast.

• Next week is Fredericton Craft Beer Week, with plenty of events leading up to the grand finale, the FCBF, on March 11th. In addition to these events, the James Joyce will be hosting a New Brunswick IPA Showdown from Tuesday, March 7th to Thursday, March 9th. During this time period, all 25 taps (and a cask) will be pouring various IPA styles, ranging from American to English, White to Black, and beyond! All of your favourites will be on, as well as some new beers, including the first appearance of Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing, which will have both their Hop Series Cascade and Hop Series Motueka on tap at some point. Be sure to show up and order some flights (and/or full pours) to get your hop fix!

• Also next Thursday, March 9th, don’t forget to stop by the King Street Ale House for their Nova Scotia Tap Takeover and Trivia Night. Lots of great NS beer, lots of easier (we promise) trivia questions from Shawn and Chris… and lots of brewery swag to the winners! Beer starts pouring at 6 pm, with trivia following at 7 pm. No charge to attend, but if you buy a ticket in advance you get a special glass and ten 5 oz pours to get you started. And once you’re done there, maybe you can head down the street to Graystone to sample some beers from their New Brunswick NanoTakeover, where 8 different small NB breweries will have their beers on tap.

Enjoy your weekend, and as always, just a few more things before signing off…

Picaroons seasonal Maple Cream Ale is back; this 5% ale is brewed with maple syrup from local producers Briggs Maples. Available for a limited time on tap at the Roundhouse and Brewtique, and in bottles at ANBL stores.
Tatamagouche Brewing has added a third can to their offerings at the NSLC, their popular Hippie Dippie Pale Ale. Check here for the availability at your local outlet. And watch your podcatching app next #902sday (aka March 7th), as the 902 BrewCast folks (with our own Chris in tow), drop by Tatamagouche to learn about the history of the brewery, and some cool new beers and projects on the horizon.
– Yesterday, TrailWay released the winning American IPA in their first Homebrew Challenge; Hoppy McHazy was brewed by local homebrewer Pierre Gagnon, and is available now on tap and in cans. Only 50 cases of cans were released, but fear not… the beer will be brewed again within a couple of months. Check here for the full details on the beer.

Just when you thought it was safe to take your eyes off the local beer scene and focus on your holiday shopping, the region’s breweries, cideries and tap venues bring you another wild week of brewery openings, beer releases, tap takeovers and other beer-related news. Fortunately we didn’t let ourselves be too distracted by holiday cheer last night, and we’ve got a full report of the goings on in the Atlantic provinces.

• Harvey, New Brunswick’s very first brewery, Off Grid Ales, is releasing their first beers today! The 3 BBL (350 L) brewery is housed in a barn on the property of owners Randy and Denise Rowe, and is both solar- and wind-powered. All four of their flagship beers will be available in 500 mL bottles at the Harvey ANBL outlet, and all four Fredericton ANBL stores; these beers are Campfire Red, an American Amber (5.5% ABV, 23 IBUs); Sunny Day IPA (5.5% ABV, 70 IBUs); High Tower Double IPA (7.8% ABV, 60 IBUs); and Unplugged Porter (5.5% ABV, 34 IBUs). The official launch party will be happening soon, so stay tuned for details! And check out our full post on Off Grid from October.

• The brewery at Moncton’s Tide & Boar is hard at it again, with several new/returning beers now out, or arriving soon! Released earlier this week was the next beer in their Sour Otis series – Sour Otis Cranberry features the addition of 25 lbs of locally-sourced cranberries, resulting in a sour, refreshing, super-sessionable (4.2% ABV) brew. Also look for the return of Forum, their 5.4% ABV, heavily-hopped American Pale Ale that’s big on tropical fruit aromas and flavours. T&B is kegging a new American IPA this weekend, Robot Food IPA, brewed with an “insane amount” of Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops. Finally, yet another new beer should be ready for release next week – Peach Ale Shake is the next addition to their Milkshake IPA lineup. It was brewed with lactose powder to slightly boost the body and sweetness, heavily hopped (of course), and also features the addition of 20 lbs of peaches. As with all the T&B beers brewed on site, they tend to go fast, so be sure to stop by to give them a try!

• There’s a couple of hot news items concerning Tatamagouche Brewing this week. First up is a brand new beer that is being released tomorrow, Adoptor, their take on the Doppelbock style. Named after two adopted dogs in the Tata family, the beer’s grist is made up entirely of German malts, to emulate this strong, malty, German style. A mix of Munich and Vienna make up the majority, with small amounts of CaraAroma and CaraMunich, to enhance the malty goodness in the aroma and flavour. This is another big beer for Tatabrew, as is per the style, clocking in at 7.6% ABV and a low 24 IBUs. It’ll be making its debut in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, with $0.50 from every bottle sold being donated to the Home to Stay animal shelter; expect a few kegs to pop up at select licensees at a later date. And their other recent release, Square One, a dry-hopped Saison, is now available in bottles at the brewery as well.

• And continuing on with Tatabrew… great news, New Brunswick – kegs of Tata beer are heading your way! Along with their core brands, some establishments have also ordered some seasonals/one-offs, including Blue Bales, Philaroma, Square One, Cellar Slammer, and Russian Imperial Stout. Look for Tatamagouche beers at the following licensees: Tide & Boar, Ducky’s, Saint John Ale House, King Street Ale House, Maybee Brewing, and Pepper’s. Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing cans in the province soon…?

 

• There is was a brand-spanking new BetaBrew on tap at the Good Robot taproom; this one was brewed by the brewery’s own Kelly & Jillian. The Ales of Friendship is was a 5.2% ABV British Pale Ale brewed with Maris Otter, Red Wheat, Vienna, and Caramel malts, and features featured the addition of honey and basil from Jillian’s family farm. Hopped with Perle and fermented with a British Ale yeast strain, the beer is described as a well-balanced beer, with a “nice sweetness which isn’t overpowering”, the basil is just present enough so you know it’s there… but aren’t overwhelmed. Unfortunately, GR informed us this morning the beer is already gone, but I’m not about to throw away this beautifully-written post on it!

• Oh, but Good Robot sent us the info on another new beer they’re releasing (thanks?), Dave & Morley, a “Coffee Brown”. Brewed with Pale, Victory, Franco-Belges Kiln Coffee, and Munich Dark malts, as well as some Flaked Oats, and hopped with Magnum and Willamette. A portion of Rwanda Gisuma cold-brewed coffee (from local Bottleneck Coffee) was also added (20 L in a ~2300 L batch), resulting in a wonderful blend of “toast, caramel, and chocolate, with an herbal and coffee finish”. The coffee in particular adds a fruity character, according to the brewery, as well as waffleberries. Look for this 6.3% ABV, 19 IBUs brew to debut early next week.

 

• Wicked week though it be in general, North Brewing may very well take the cake for goings on, with a couple re-releases, a very unique new beer, some extra-special new labels, and a tap takeover to boot! First, Wednesday of this week saw the return of two North beers. On the seasonal front, a December tradition continued with this year’s version of the Glenora Distillery Barrel-aged Strong Dark Belgian Ale, now formally known as Midnight. And in the occasional category, and just in time for the first birthday of Battery Park, the Dartmouth Dark is back, a lagered ale featuring Cannon cold-brew from Anchored Coffee, originally brewed for BP’s opening last year.​

• Next, you’ll find a brand new collaboration between North and Benjamin Bridge. Hinted at back in October by those in the know, Saison de Pinot is a mixed-fermentation beer that leverages 300 litres of must from BB’s pinot noir grapes. This must (sans skins to avoid unpredictable tannin contributions) was added to the beer when fermentation was almost complete, but after it was moved off the lees, giving the brewers maximum control over the blend. The complex inoculation included two Saison strains, with one being a wild isolate, along with a Lacto strain and, if it’s not too much to hope for, possibly some wild critters from the grape must. It comes in at 6.4% ABV and the tasting notes suggest red berry, light rose and hay with a vinous character and a tart dry finish to complement its effervescence. It was bottle conditioned and we’re told it should cellar well, so don’t be afraid to get one for now and one or more for a year or two down the road. North themselves have filled a Benjamin Bridge wine barrel with part of the batch, which they’ll age further before bottling in preparation for Battery Park’s second birthday party in 2017!

• And as if the beers themselves weren’t enough, North is also launching an entirely new look for their bottled offerings, the result of an ongoing project involving five local artists. Six brews will be seen in an entirely new light by early next week (four are in production now, the Farmhouse Red is on the way) with the new Artist Series of labels. Local painter and illustrator Julianne Harnish took on the Priority Pale and Headline Milk Stout. Graphic designer and artist Amy Corbett handled the Dark Sky Strong Dark and Midnight barrel-aged Strong Dark. Jillian Jackson of Jill & Jack Paper designed the new look for Gus’ 65m Ale that, for the observant, reveals shoutouts to many of the businesses in the area the North relies on. And Nicole G, who works in North’s bottle shop, but who is also a textile artist dabbling in watercolours and illustration, produced a new look for the Farmhouse Red Bière de Garde. Lastly, but not leastly, each label includes a short poem by 2011/12 Halifax Poet Laureate and artist/actor/musician/creator Tanya Davis. From now on, when you pick up a bottle of North beer, you’ll be picking up a piece of local art and culture.

• Those of you in the Fredericton area, keep your eyes peeled for a new beer from local brewery Bogtrotter – they’ve just released a small amount of 1/2 Cracked Nut Brown. This rich, full-bodied ale has a “moderate, persisting head” and features a “sweet, nutty-caramel flavour, with a hint of vanilla”, thanks to the addition of sliced almonds, crushed hazelnuts, and real vanilla bean in the fermentor (take note, those of you with nut allergies!). Weighing in at a very-drinkable 5% ABV, you should be able to find this one on tap at the James Joyce and the Hilltop, and will follow in 500 mL bottles at the York St. and Oromocto ANBL stores within a few weeks.

• For fans of Picaroons who have been missing out on all the one-off beer releases at their Saint John General Store lately, good news – they brewed a new beer at their main brewery in Fredericton, which was launched late last week. The Vinyl Cut Black IPA is described as “full-bodied, roasty and hoppy”, taking the approach of blending characteristics of both an American IPA and a Stout. Hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook, it comes in at 8% ABV and ~90 IBUs. It’s now pouring on tap at the Roundhouse, the Picaroons taproom located at their brewery location in Devon, which opened last Friday. Currently serving pints and counter-service munchies and coffee, they’re not filling growlers for the time being, but should be in the very near future. Look for The Vinyl Cut to be pouring at other local establishments as well, soon.

• St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has released the 2016 edition of their annual Mummer’s Brew beer. 2016’s release is an Imperial Oyster stout, an 8.5% ABV, 50 IBU brew perfect for those cold winter nights of mummering. The base malt is enhanced with Carastan, Roast, and Black Patent malts for a jet-black colour and lots of roast, with a significant bittering charge from Pacific Gem hops. Featuring local adjunct ingredients, including buckwheat honey from G&M Family Farm in Placentia and PEI oysters provided by The Adelaide Oyster House, the beer also features figs, raisins, dates and prunes soaked in Lamb’s Dark Navy Rum added late in the process. Grab the beer on tap at YellowBelly and Adelaide now, with bottles available at the brewery and local NLCs today.

Gahan House Halifax has a new beer on tap, a German hybrid lager/ale Altbier. The 6.0% ABV beer uses some specialty malts for bread-like character and light chocolate notes. The use of Tettnang hops impart their characteristic spicy Noble properties. Grab the Alt on tap or in growlers to go from Gahan today, and check out their line-up of other seasonals including the Tommy’s Chocolate Orange and Night Vision Porter.

• Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has released a new beer with local iconic ingredients throughout. Balsam Blue is a 6.3% ABV lager, featuring the addition of Balsam to the brew, which shines through in both the flavour and aroma. Local blueberries were also added, imparting a light flavour finish to the beer. It is available on tap at the brewery for pints and takeaway (in a fliptop bottle), and can also be found on tap at Grand Banker in Lunenburg and 2 Downs Down in Halifax. And don’t forget to sign up for the Home Brewers Competition, as registration closes next Saturday.

Sober Island Brewing Company has been busy getting their expanded location at Sheet Harbour’s Henley House ready for the delivery of their DME 8 hl (7BBL) brewhouse in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Henley House will be open Thursday-Sunday this week from 4pm, for a few more pints of Christmas cheer. Catch their Oyster StoutBitter, and Mild Ale on tap, and celebrate with Henley’s annual Christmas Tea, Sunday 2-4pm. You can also catch Sober Island at the New Glasgow Farmers Market Saturday 9:00 – 1:00, and the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers Market Sunday 9:00 – 1:00.

Mill Street St. John’s has released a new seasonal this week, Downtownor Doppelbock. Originally brewed for monks to drink during fasting in lent (those tricky monks!), Mill Street’s take on the Doppelbock style resulted in a hefty 7.7% ABV dark lager, which boasts sweet malty and dark fruit flavours, but finishes fairly dry. The lower 24 IBU bitterness means that several can be enjoyed in a session without burning your taste buds. Grab a pint or growler waterside today.

Bulwark Cider is releasing a brand new offering next week, Rum Cider. Their Traditional cider was blended with barrel-aged dark rum to boost the flavour and ABV to the next level. The rum makes its presence felt through spicing and light caramel notes, building on the bright cider base. The 8.8% ABV blend is in the NSLC warehouse now, and will be available at their retail locations next week.

• Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear saved some late-harvest local oranges from the cold this week, and are using them in a special small-batch brew today, which also features local wild hops and malt from Horton Ridge Malt. The yet-unnamed brew will be available in the New Year at their retail and Farmers’ Market locations, as well as select taps in the Valley and HRM.

We’ve got yet another jam-packed weekend in the region. Be sure to check out our Calendar of Events Page for all of the scheduled events in our region, and if we’re missing anything, let us know!

• The tiniest brewery in Halifax is launching this weekend with a pair of pouring parties. Tidehouse will be on tap at Bar Stillwell today from noon, featuring their four core beers (Like a Motorcyc-ale, The Copper, Mild Thing, Golden Glacier), as well as a house-special 5.25% India Saison. And they’ll be doing it all over again at Good Robot tomorrow from noon with the Core Four, and a Spruced Red Ale. Learn more about Tidehouse from our Q&A with them in the summer, and stay tuned for the launch of their retail space, which could be as early as next weekend.

• While at Stillwell today, look for the return of Tideview Cider, with their Hyslop Crab Apple Cider. First introduced in March, the 7.2% ABV still cider will be served from the bartop, and features their own apples.

• As alluded to above, North Brewing will be celebrating their partnership with Battery Park today by kicking off BP’s first birthday weekend with a tap takeover. Those who have been following social media this week already know at least the first three taps and we expect to see the Saison de Pinot there as well. More taps may very well have been posted by the time you read this, so do check out Twitter (@BatteryBeerBar | @NorthBrewing ) and Facebook ( Battery Park Beer Bar | North Brewing Company) for more details. And congratulations to the folks at Battery Park on their first (of hopefully many) birthdays!​

• After plenty of teasing and anticipation, Saturday will mark the Maine Event Tap Takeover at Stillwell, featuring Bissell Brother Brewing and Orono Brewing each bringing 6 beers north to Halifax. From Bissell, expect to see Bucolia, LUX, Reciprocal, Substance, Swish, and Umbra, and OBC will be pouring Amorica, AOK, Dr. Quince, Ozone, Pocatello, and Van Life. Doors open at noon, and while no tickets are required, your $15 entrance fee includes a glass to keep and your first pour. The whole acbb gang will be there, so be sure to say hi!

• There’s a new event being hosted by New Brunswick Beer Tours in the New Year – BEERexploration Downtown Fredericton, on Saturday, January 28th. This 3-1/2 hour walking tour (1:00-4:30 pm) will include stops at several of Fredericton’s best beer-drinking establishments, with a total of six local beers (8 oz each) being poured. The cost of this event is by donation only, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Diabetes Association. If you plan on attending, please register here and make your donation in advance; a tax receipt will follow. Remember, this is a walking tour in January, so dress accordingly!

And a few more things…

– Moncton’s Acadie-Broue has a new beer on tap at their Bar Le Coude location at Universite de Moncton, Kacho Kolsch. The German-influenced hybrid lager/ale is only available on tap, so drop by for a pint.
– Breton Brewing has brought back their seasonal Storm Chaser Vanilla Stout, available on tap at the brewery for pints and growler fills, and in licensees shortly.
– Shelburne’s Boxing Rock‘s U-889 Russian Imperial Stout is now available, with bottles at the brewery and hitting the shelves of the private stores shortly. Featuring coffee and vanilla, this is a perfect beer for sharing with friends around a cozy fire.
Petit-Sault has brewed up a fresh batch of their Canon Franchetti, a “Cappuccino Stout” (4.6% ABV, 25 IBUs) brewed with organic and fair trade coffee beans; look for its return sometime in January, with more details on distribution to follow, soon.
Red Rover‘s popular blueberry cider, Jingle Berry (7% ABV), is back just in time for the holidays; even better news, it’s now available at local ANBL stores in bottle form (750 mL).
River Valley Micro has a new beer, Rye Pale Ale, available exclusively on tap at the James Joyce Pub these days. At 6.1% ABV, it features light spicing from the aforementioned malt, and some citrus aromatics.
– Speaking of James Joyce, they recently tapped a special collaboration braggot, Axius Clay. At 7.5% ABV, it features a mixture of Honey Ale and Queen’s Nectar from Big Axe Brewery and Sunset Heights Meadery, respectively. It carbonated naturally in the cask over the course of several weeks, and the experiment was a glowing success. Expect to see more collaborations from these Fredericton-region producers in the future.
– And this evening at 6:00, JJ will be tapping the first casks of the Moosehead beers on the premises, including a Gingerbread Ale, and their popular Cask Ale, an English-style Bitter.