Breton Brewing

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Welp, we’ve done it folks! Made it though another week. And a short one at that, though for us, the weekdays and weekends all kind of melt together now. Plenty of new and returning beer details below, and we’ve been updating the openings and changes in our Delivery/curbside pickup options page. As always, and you’d be correct if you guess we just copy/paste this part over week-to-week, if we’ve missed something important there, or just want to chat, get in touch via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred). Take care of yourselves and each other! ❤️

Looks like Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has a new entry in their DUOH series (that’s “Duo Hops” for those of you not in the know), where they brew a NEIPA focusing on two different hop varieties. Their latest – DUOH Citra/Sabro – features two wonderful and maybe-not-so-easy-to-always-attain hops (Citra and Sabro, of course!), both of which provide one heck of a punch of tropical, fruity goodness, with “citrus, mango, and guava” coming through in spades. You can currently find this 6% ABV hop bomb on tap at CAVOK Brewing, and don’t forget that they fill crowlers of guest taps to go there! Woohoo! 

Speaking of CAVOK Brewing, they’ve got a new beer of their own currently pouring. Expérience Croisée 2 continues the series of the same name, where they blend existing beer styles to come up with something that is even better than the sum of its parts. In the case of this second beer of the series, it’s a blend of a Hefeweizen and a NEIPA, so you can probably use your imagination to come up with at least a general idea of what this beer will taste like. Wheat and banana from the Weizen end, with juicy, fruity flavours from the NEIPA side, it weighs in at 6.5% ABV. If you can’t make it into the taproom, they’re still doing deliveries in the area, and shipping Canada-wide, so make sure you check out the details for that option.

Now that the weather is FINALLY getting warmer, some of you are no doubt craving something both sour, and hoppy. Well, North Brewing has you covered with their latest, Plush. After the beer’s wort was boiled without hops, and partially cooled on its way to the fermenter, it was soured with Lactobacillus Blend 2.0 from Escarpment Labs. This blend is active at warm, but not hot temps (30 – 40ºC), so doing that step in the fermenter is possible (many of the rapid sours out there are done in the kettle so that the temperature can be elevated to 50ºC or higher). After an acidic base has been achieved, the wort was chilled to normal fermentation temperature (under 20ºC) and the yeast was added. This same technique is used in their Breakwater series of fruited sours, for those curious. Once fermented, the beer saw its first hops, being heavily dry-hopped with Vic Secret, Amarillo, and cryo Cascade. We think we’ll just let them describe the final product: “the first sip is like tumbling into a pillowy cloud of peachy, citrusy, tart luxury”. See, we’re not near that eloquent! It’s refreshing and easy-drinking at 4.5%, and is available in cans this weekend; better grab some while the drinkin’ is good!

Ooo, speaking of low-ABV, bright drinking beers, Tatamagouche Brewing just released their newest hoppy American Pale Ale, Bengy (pronounced ben-GEE, like that dog!). Very-heavily dry-hopped with Mosaic and Citra (two hop varieties you know will bring you to flavour town), this 4.9% ABV brew is tasting super-juicy and tropical, with no doubt some dank aromas and flavours in there as well. Bengy is available in cans on their website for delivery orders, both locally and across Canada, and for locals, at the Brew Shop, open 10 – 5 PM daily (12 – 5 PM Sundays), just tag your order with code BREWERYPICKUP to let them know you’ll be coming by for a no contact click and grab.

The new beers just keep pumping out of Nova Scotia, with Roof Hound Brewing throwing their hat in the ring with Blunderbuss, an American Pale Ale. Blunderbuss is defined as “a short-barreled large-bored gun with a flared muzzle, used at short range” (a la the movie Looper!), and also “an action or way of doing something regarded as lacking in subtlety and precision”. We’re pretty sure their beer is named after the LATTER definition! Regarding the actual beer, they added some Honey malt to the grist to give it a touch of sweetness, and then hammered the wort with large whirlpool additions of Azacca. After fermentation was complete, a large dry-hop of Citra finished it off, giving big notes of citrus throughout. There’s some bitterness in this 6% ABV brew as well, for those of you who do prefer some to go with your hop experience! 

Let’s head back to New Brunswick for a draught-only release from Hanwell’s Niche Brewing. Delving into lager territory for just the second or third time (who can keep track?), Lanai is a German Pilsner, leveraging Bohemian Pilsner malt, along with Hallertau Mittelfruh hops added both early and late in the boil, and fermented with the Isar Lager yeast from Escarpment Labs. This 5.0% beer was brewed back in January, and has been lagered for more than 3 months. Well, the wait is over, as the beer has been released in kegs, with the first of those going to Downtown Fredericton’s Graystone Brewing, for safe in-person enjoyment, as well as to-go in growler and crowler fills, we believe. While you’re there, you may have a chance to try one of the last pours of Niche’s Empty Garden, their Kveik-fermented American Pale Ale, released recently. 

In Halifax, Propeller Brewing is still celebrating the opening of their Quinpool location at The Keep condo/retail mixed use building, but that hasn’t slowed down the new beer releases at all! This week sees the return of two much-loved and oft-demanded favourites, both perfect for the warmer weather that the region has been teased with this week. First up is their Dark Berry Sour, which we’ve been assured will be available all summer, though we imagine that thirsty fans will do their best to drain the cans and fermenters in record time! Much like last year, the kettle-soured 5.0% beer features loads of blackberries, black currants, and black raspberries, but the new fruit addition of red raspberries brings a bright refreshing character, and lightens the final beer ever-so-much. Taking advantage of its tropical feels, Mosaic is used as a dry-hopping addition. DBS is available now at Prop’s three locations for contact-free pickup, delivery in HRM through their webstore, and will be found on shelves/for delivery through the Harvest, RockHead, and WestSide private shops.
The other new brew on the fridge shelves (physically and virtually) at Propeller today is Azacca Session IPA. At 4.5% ABV, this light-bodied hazy beer may be on the lower end of the IPA style, but certainly packs plenty of tropical character. In addition to the eponymous Azacca, El Dorado and Citra hops are added for a full-on experience of mango pineapple, tangerine, melon, and stone fruit, all in a small package. And speaking of… in addition to tall cans of the beer available at the brewery (and private stores), this beer will be found at NSLC locations in the 6 x 355 ml canned format in the near future (these are also at the brewery, fret not!). And great news, just like Dark Berry Sour, Azacca wil be around all summer!

Changing gears from hop- to malt-focus, a one-hour drive up the 101 will bring you to Horton Ridge Road, where Horton Ridge Malt & Grain find their home. They’ve released two beers this week, so let’s get you up to speed pronto! Simpler Summer Lager is a 5.0% ABV Amber Lager, featuring Light Munich malt as the base, with a touch of their special Honey Malt for light toast character with a touch of honey flavour (but light in the sweetness). Malt-forward, as you’d expect, but plenty drinkable and perfect for patios, beaches, and bonfires, when it’s safe to enjoy those.
What’s that saying, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play?” Well, that situation has definitely happened at Horton Ridge, as when Head Maltster Al wasn’t looking, Stephen and Connor decided to flip the script and brew up a Big Bad Double IPA. Al’s Away is a 7.7% Double IPA, leveraging both a load malts (you need a lot to get up to 7.7%!) as well as hops, to the tune of 60 IBU thanks to generous additions of  Citra and Mosaic. Tropical fruit flavours, grapefruit play on top of the malty backbone for an all-out assault on your senses. Both the Simpler Summer and Al’s Away are now available at the Malt House for pickup in 355 mL cans.

TrailWay Brewing is celebrating the re-opening of their tasting room this week, have welcomed Milda’s Pizza back onsite, and as if that wasn’t enough, have a brand new beer available! Sultana’s of Swing is a 7.5% ABV Double IPA, brewed solely with Sultana. You may recognize that hop by its previous name, Denali, but it recently received a moniker change. Bright, ripe pineapple, fresh tangerine, with a light pine finish. Sounds lovely! You can drop by the taproom to grab cans or growler fills (TW ones only), or stick around for a pint at a responsible distance from your neighbours. No bursting bubbles in there, folks!

On Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Tanner & Co Brewing have released a small batch of Sparkling Mead. Original is 7.2% ABV, using local honey and was fermented for over two months, conditioned for a couple of weeks, and then carbed up. This dry and fizzy mead is just available in limited amounts in bottles at their Duke Street, Chester location (and maybe for delivery if you’re quick!), and features label design by Hammerlock Design Co, a local graphic designer who is a big beer fan himself (hey Andy!).

Finally this week, Breton Brewing in Sydney has a new Session IPA hitting their shelves, and ready for delivery in CBRM and in early next week in HRM. Pink Boots Session IPA uses the hop blend by the same name put together by Yakima Chief, in celebration and support of Pink Boot Society, encouraging and supporting women brewery workers. Crisp and light at 4.5% ABV, it features floral and tangerine notes, and finished with a light bitterness. Refreshing, tasty, and for a great cause; we’ll cheers to that! Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and stay safe!

Another massive news week for you today, as breweries continue to do their best in these extremely tough situations. And with your faithful bloggers dealing with a bunch of their own stuff (read: real work), today’s post is a little late. Sorry ‘bout that, but we’re sure you’ll forgive us. 🙂
We’ve added just a few more updates to our Delivery/curbside pickup options for the region this week, including Breton’s foray into HRM delivery. As always, if we’ve missed something, or just want to chat, get in touch via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred, but Fb exists too). Take care of yourselves! ?

We have some sad news to report this week, as Halifax’s stalwart Granite Brewery has closed their doors. Ginger’s Tavern owner Kevin Keefe opened Granite in 1985, well before microbrew/craft/local independent beer was a thing. So far before, in fact, that Granite Brewery was the first brewpub in North America east of the Rocky Mountains! It was more than ten years until the next small breweries opened their doors in the province, with Garrison and Propeller not appearing until the late 90s. After moving locations in the downtown core, Granite called Stairs Street home for ten years until the building came down due to redevelopment last year, and they shacked up on Gottingen Street with Propeller and Stillwell Brewing. Brewing traditional cask-conditioned English styles, many a pint was enjoyed at Ginger’s, Henry House, and Lion’s Head, and more recently Stillwell’s HQ and Freehouse, and the style and quality of these beers garnered a fiercely loyal following. At their best we don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that beers like their Peculiar, Best Bitter, Best Bitter Special and Ringwood were some of the best traditional English Ales on this side of the Atlantic. But with the mandated closure of restaurants and bars in the past 2 months and Granite’s nature as a non-packaging brewery, their biggest customers were no longer able to sell their beer. Plenty more details, including comments from Kevin are available on the independent news site AllNovaScotia (note: subscription-based).
We’d like to say a big thanks to Kevin Keefe, his family and all his staff over the years for everything they did to bring good beer to our little corner of the world, and wish him a well-deserved retirement. Our scene will be less for having lost Granite; we can hope that another brewery (or breweries) can fill some of the stylistic holes, but we know nobody can truly replace Kevin and his brewery.

We’re starting to see some new beers lately that are named in an appropriate-for-the-time manner, and Lunenburg’s Shipwright’s latest – Laid Up India Pale Lager – is no exception. Brewed with Belgian Pilsner and Biscuit malt, the wort was generously hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc. Lagered for eight weeks, the final beer is showing flavours of “citrus, pineapple, papaya, and herbaceous pine”, with a refreshing crispness in the finish. Coming in at 6.4% ABV and 42 IBUs, it’s available at the brewery in 32 oz crowlers (to-go, of course), as well as daily deliveries in Lunenburg, and Friday deliveries from Bridgewater to Chester, all accessible by a quick phone call (902-634-3300). Check out our delivery details page for more specifics.

Moving west in the province to Lazy Bear, who also have a new beer out this week. Unprecedented Pale is a 5% ABV American Pale Ale that was brewed with a malt bill made up almost entirely of Pilsner malt. Hopped with Columbus in the kettle, it was later dry-hopped with more Columbus, as well as some Southern Cross, a New Zealand variety, to add some citrus character. At 5% ABV and approximately 30 IBUs, it’s available in 500 mL  bottles and growler fills; a portion of the proceeds will go towards the purchase of a tablet for residents of Tideview Terrace, to be used for communication with loved ones. They’ve also got other beers available for local delivery and contactless pick-up, so check out their online shop to decide on your order.

On to Tatamagouche Brewing, where, thankfully for us, they’ve continued to brew up a storm and even have a couple new beers for us this week! First up is a style we all need more of in our lives, Grisette. Skiff is a 3.3% ABV representation of the style was brewed with a Pilsner malt base, along with Oats and Spelt. Hopped in the kettle with Aramis, Saaz, and Callista, it was fermented with Escarpment’s New World Saison (which contains both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeast strains) in stainless. Dry-hopped with more Callista and Saaz, as well as some Tettnanger, the final beer was conditioned in 500 mL bottles, and has “refreshing aromas of honeysuckle, lychee, and an earthy funk that brings out flavours of honey, mango, and a drying finish”.
Next up in new beer news is First Light Pilsner, a 4.8% ABV, 30 IBUs Czech Pils hopped with plenty of Saaz and Strisselspalt, and fermented with Czech Lager yeast from Escarpment. Expect a crisp, refreshing beer with a healthy amount of earthy/floral hop character; cans can be ordered from Tata’s online store as of today. And while you’re on there, they’ve also got a new batch of their Dusk Schwarzbier, as well as their popular Dekorum, the 2.9% ABV Light Lager, which is one of the newbies on sale at NSLC. Their store is open Mon – Sat 10 AM – 5 PM, but for those not in the Tata’hood, don’t forget about their free shipping/delivery in the Maritimes for orders over $95, and Canada-wide for orders over $150!

On North Street in Halifax, a new beer from Unfiltered is out, this one going a step further than their Hellevator from last year in exploring the maltier side of things. Like way malty. Way way malty. Like, as hoppy as a typical Nash beer is, this one is that malty. Okay, maybe not that far (you’d be spitting barley husks if it were), but definitely a change of pace for a brewery usually known for hammering in the hops. A Doppelbock, a German monastic style that falls under the general description of “bread in a bottle,” Isolator, was also aged on oak for a time, no doubt providing some tannins to balance the sweet nature of the beer. And if none of that was enough to get you interested, Unfiltered is also using this big beer (10% ABV!) to help raise funds for an important organization in our community, Adsum House for Women and Children. One dollar from every can sold will go to this very worthy cause that brings comfort and assistance to folks in their darkest times, and for many of those people the current COVID situation has only made times darker. So whether or not you know you’re a fan of big bready beers, this would be a great chance to try one and support a great cause.

Halifax’s Tidehouse Brewing is bringing us two brand new hoppy beers during their Salter Street curbside pick up event tomorrow, 12 – 5 PM. Kicking it off is the appropriately named Noon Gun, a little 3.4% ABV beer packed with Vic Secret late in the boil, and bumped up with Ella at both the beginning and end of fermentation (biotransformation, anyone?). Fresh as heck but without the hop burn, hazy and juicy, and in a nice light package, this sounds like a perfect beer for enjoying on a May afternoon lounging on Citadel Hill, sufficiently separated from your neighbour, that is!
And a little bit bigger than NG is For Greg About It! Developed, brewed, and named with their pal Greg in mind, this 7.0% ABV beaut features the deadly combination of Galaxy, Mosaic (added at the very end of the boil), and Citra (added during conditioning). Tropical, dark berry, and pine meld together for a 1 Up by using the “cheat code” in hop combinations.
So, how to get your Tidehouse love? You’ve got a new option this week: call in your order this afternoon between 2 – 5 PM, and then drop by tomorrow 12 – 5 PM for a contactless grab and go. Or, if you prefer, you can call them during the pick up time to order and pay, just give them 15 minutes to put it all together for ya. Either way, 902-407-2550 is your path to success!

Inverness’s Route 19 Brewing recently celebrated their 1st Birthday, and while the official celebrations may be over (and in these current times, were likely less exuberant than they should have been), they’ve still got new beer for us, with this week bringing Supernova, a New England IPA. Double-dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado, it’s a 6% ABV hazy brew with lots of citrus and tropical fruit, a soft mouthfeel, and aromas of pineapple and grapefruit, according to the brewery. You should be able to find it at NSLC stores in Cape Breton now, and it will be available further afield at the private stores and a few more NSLCs in HRM and environs later this month; $0.50 of each can sold in May will be donated to the Stronger Together Nova Scotia Fund. And while you’re shopping for Route 19, their Dog Daze Passionfruit Sour just hit the shelves of the HRM NSLCs, and is coming soon to the private shops.

With sightings of American juggernaut hard seltzer brand White Claw in Halifax, and no doubt to follow if not already present in the other provinces here in Atlantic Canada, lots of breweries are taking steps to fend off the potential glut of these fruity and super easy-drinking beverages. While our craft providers have managed to hold their own against lots of similar ready-to-drink products in the last couple of years, given the current situation any deterioration in market is going to be dangerous. So it’s not surprising that we’ve started to see breweries enter that market, with examples so far coming from Trailway, North, Good Robot, and Hell Bay, all of which have brewed with grains and then used techniques to keep “beer” flavor low. Enter Nyanza’s Big Spruce Brewing, who have stepped up the technical side of things by implementing a proprietary nano-filter resulting in something that they are referring to as a UFO: Ultra-filtered, Fermented Organic beverage. Still “beer-based,” starting with 100% Horton Ridge Pale malt and using clean-fermenting yeast, after the filtering process raspberry essence is added and the result is carbonated yielding a super-crisp and clean fruity bevvie coming in right at 5% ABV. Throw a couple ice cubes in the glass and pour some Bliss in and you’ve got yourself a recipe for relaxing in the sun. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, sure, but we’re not into beverage shaming. We are, however, definitely into pointing folks towards a local option where possible, and this certainly fits the bill. And with Jeremy & Co. promising more flavors coming, we’re happy to keep pointing to Bliss and other local products over megacorporate malternatives.

Back to the mainland, and Garrison Brewing, for a big release of their own this week. Playing off their very popular Juicy Double IPA, but easing back on the alcohol a touch, they have brought us Lil’ Juicy. At a still-solid 6.0% ABV, what it may be lacking in booze, it still keeps up with tons of flavour and aroma from generous hopping from a quartet of lovely hops, namely Citra, Comet, Mosaic, and Simcoe. These meld together for tropical notes, reminiscent of citrus, peach, and pineapple on the nose, and OJ, mango, complemented by a touch of malt sweetness on the palate (that’s 2-row and Oat malt in the grist). Nicknamed the “scrappy little brother” of Juicy, it is available now at their Seaport and Oxford retail locations, delivery in HRM and beyond through the brewery directly, and will be at the NSLC and private stores very soon.

Speaking of Garrison, Sydney’s Breton Brewing teamed up with them for their third annual spring collaboration brew. This year’s entry is West Coast Pale Ale, a 5.4% ABV ode to the classic North American style, featuring bold pine, citrus, and fruit flavours thanks to a ton of classic NA hops Cascade and Simcoe. Breton’s Head Brewer Iain Sutherland, a West Coaster himself, took the lead on this brew, which ended up with “an aggressive bitterness”. In addition to brewing partner Garrison’s shops, Breton is carrying it in their own retail shop on Keltic Drive, as well as through their delivery options in both the CBRM, and now, within HRM! Both are next day delivery, Mon – Fri, with a 12 can minimum (and a discount $0.50 per can discount when ordering more than 24!). The full details are available here!

Looks like there should be two new canned beers freshly available at Tusket Falls Brewing for this weekend. They’ve got a classic Czech Pilsner they’ve named Once Blind, Now I See Clearly; brewed with Czech Pilsen malt and hopped entirely with Saaz, it’s 5% ABV and tasting just like a classic Czech Pils should. The other newbie is While You’re Waiting, a “Peach Mint Sour IPA”, a 6.5% ABV kettle sour that we’re betting you can guess a) some of the ingredients in this beer, and b) what it may taste like. This Sour IPA was hopped with Galaxy and Citra, to add lots of tropical notes to the peach character, thanks to the addition of peach puree. Fresh mint was also added as a dry-hop (“dry-mint”?) to complement. Check out their online shop for delivery options if you can’t make it by the brewery.

For those of you in St. John’s looking for an easy-drinking beer, Quidi Vidi has you covered with American Wheat. Featuring a relatively simple grist of 2-row, Vienna, Wheat malt, and Acid malt, it was hopped with Cascade and Lemondrop to add a touch of citrus character to go with the light wheat presence. Pretty sessionable at 4.9% ABV, you can find it now at their retail shop in the city, and at NLC and convenience stores by this coming Monday. 

Moving on to New Brunswick, where Grimross Brewing has just released their first new beer in awhile, Gose German Wheat. Their first take on this German, salted, sour style, they’re calling it an evolution of their Scratch #18: Session Sour, a kettle sour originally released a year ago. This time around, it has the additions of salt and coriander that are typical for the Gose style, all in a 4.5% ABV refreshing package. Available now at the brewery, you can call them for contactless pickup.

While on the topic of Newfoundland, just a quick note that Bannerman has brought back State of Emergency, their 7.2% ABV American IPA that is heavily dry-hopped with Citra, and conditioned on mango puree. Sounds tasty, no? This batch should also be available in the new, “smaller format” cans (read: 750 mL), for those of you looking to reign it in a little bit. Keep an eye on their online store for full pick up details and availability.

Brightwood Brewery has an early summer crusher for you, Mojito Crushable. They’re calling this one a “Kombucha Sour”, as they used the SCOBY probiotic from kombucha to kettle sour the wort, before fermenting it to 4.7% ABV. With an addition of pureed fresh strawberry and mint, it’s got the best of both worlds, if the worlds we’re talking about are fruit and Mojito minty goodness. It’s available as of today, so be sure to grab some for the weekend.

While Good Robot may be taking a hiatus from their Beta Brews, it doesn’t mean we can’t expect to see new releases every now and then from their alpha brewhouse. This week they’re bringing us Infinite Saturday, a 5% ABV Vienna Lager. Not many notes on the recipe, but they’re describing it as a smooth, malty brew, with “honey sweetness, herbs and rye, with a nutty smokiness”. They’d also like to pass on that starting next month, expect to see more cans coming, as they’ve decided to can more varieties of their beer so that it’s a little more accessible to the public. Stay tuned!

Roof Hound in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley has opened their Kingston location for food take-out, to complement their beer offerings. Starting today, and running Thurs – Sat, 2 – 7 PM going forward, call in your order of one of their burgers, sandwiches, or tacos in advance, to pair with their wide variety of beers on offer. Check out the full menu of both food and beer here, and then call 902-765-0102 to get the process started!

And rounding out the news is a late entry from Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing (so you can blame the time of this post on them!), but it sounds like it may have been worth the wait. Their newest beer is a limited batch of a “Brett Pilsner” named Different Kind of Dance. Starting off as a fairly traditional German-style Pilsner, it was hopped with Huell Melon, Saphir, and Hallertau Blanc, and fermented with a traditional German Lager yeast. The beer was lagered for nine weeks, and then took a fairly-traditional 2 Crows turn when they inoculated it with the 261 Brett strain from The Yeast Bay. It was allowed to condition for a further 6 months for this secondary fermentation, and was then bottled and conditioned for 5 *more* months. It’s ready to go now, and is tasting “dry, lemony, and herbal, with classic barnyard funk and a bit of zippy guinep [that’s Spanish lime] and a touch of white grape”. They’d also like to point out that the carbonation is extremely lively, so be sure to chill your bottle for a good 24 hours, and have your glass nearby when opening! Only 400 bottles are available (it’s on the webstore now) so grab ‘em while you can.

May the Fourth (be with you) was a big day in Nova Scotia, as it is the launching day for a new round of products in the NSLC. There were no fewer than 50 new beers and ciders from small independent producers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island hitting the shelves for the first time this month. For a quick hit of what’s new, click these links for beer and cider. While certainly not our favourite retailer and licensing monopoly, their reach and popularity is undeniable, so we’re glad to see more shelf space for local producers, to get more eyes on good products.

Welcome to your last full week of February, 2020, although we’re cynically sure that leap day is going to make it feel like a 31-day month because that’s just the way winter has been this year. We’ve got a ton of news to share with you this week, including another new brewery in Newfoundland, a bunch of other news from the Rock, and the usual catch up with what’s going on in NB, NS and PEI. So settle in comfortably, with a hoppy and/or malty beverage, for preference, as we take you around Atlantic Canada’s beer news for the week.

Attention Corner Brook, your town just got a bit more beery! Boomstick Brewing Company has officially opened their doors this week, with their Growler Shop at 55 West Street. Gracing the shelves of their can fridge are Penstock No. 2 American Pale Ale, Wild Bologna IPA, Veto Power Pilsner, Half Marathon Hefeweizen, Bitter Bird ESB, Lone Flamingo Sour, and The Webber Black Lager. All of these are also available to take away in growlers, except for The Webber. Merchandise and other goodies are also available, and visitors can get a sneak peek of their snazzy taproom which will be opening March 1st. And you’ll soon be able to stay right at the brewery, as the Hew & Draw bootique hotel will be opening early March. But until then, the Shop is open Friday and Saturday 2 – 8 PM, and Sunday – Thursday 4 – 8 PM. Be sure to pop by this weekend and say hi, and we’ll have a full Profile with the Boomstick Crew next week!

And before or after (or both!) you’re visiting Boomstick, be sure to head back up West Street to Bootleg BrewCo, who have a new beer on tap right… about… now! Dr. Schmilsson’s Magical Elixir is a bit of a mouthful to say, and even more of a mouthful when you’re drinking it! The latest in their line of fruited sours, this one features flavours inspired by the Harry Nilsson song Coconut from the Nilsson Schmilsson album (aaah, now it becomes clear!). Coconut and Lime notes aplenty in this sour, to remind you that there will be a break in the cold coming soon (right?). Pouring from 2 PM until late today, and 4 PM tomorrow. And good news for those on the Avalon, you should be seeing this popping on tap at Toslow sometime next week!

And even more Newfoundland beer news (man, they’ve got a lot of breweries there now), Labrador City’s Iron Rock Brewing has a pair of brand new beers on tap exclusively at their taproom, just in time for their Grand Opening festivities (which started on Wednesday, and continue through the weekend). We don’t have a lot of the nitty gritty details on the first beer, unfortunately, but we can tell you it’s a hazy, hop-packed Double IPA named Hop Shocker. “Shockingly juicy”, according to the brewery, they’re describing it as “Sunny Delight for adults”, so yeah, you can probably believe them on the juicy description; it weighs in at a perfect-for-the-style 8% ABV. The second new release of the weekend, launching at 2 PM this afternoon, is Banishment, a Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Weighing in at a modest 5.6% ABV, it packs a punch having been aged in Maker’s Mark barrels for three months, picking up notes of vanilla and oak, complementing the solid roast character from the underlying beer. Grab it on Nitro pours today, with bottles coming soon. As for the rest of their grand opening events, they’ll have live music at the taproom tonight (8:30-11:30) and tomorrow (from 7:30 pm), as well as a Vendor Fair on Sunday (2-5pm) and a Tattoo Expo both days (10am-7pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun). Note that the Tattoo Expo is for ages 19+ only (sorry, kids!), and is first-come, first-serve for pre-drawn tattoos only.

Moving over to St. John’s with Bannerman Brewing (see… there’s a ton of them!), where they’re releasing their own juicy, hoppy beer, State of Emergency. Described as a “Milkshake/Fruited IPA”, it was heavily dry-hopped with the magical Citra variety, and also features a large addition of mango. If you like your hoppy beers super-hazy, with “heavy flavours of tropical and candied fruit”, this is the beer for you! It’s on tap at the brewery for pints and growlers right now, and you can expect to see cans of this 7.2% ABV beer appearing sometime next week. 

Back on the mainland, we’ve got a couple of important notes to tell you about Hanwell’s Own Niche Brewing. With more than one hundred batches released since their opening in late 2017, they have moved into new territory with this week’s new release, Highroller DIPA. Having played in the Session, American/Standard, and IPA vein before, they’ve chosen to go big into the Double IPA category this go-around. For those who just can’t get enough hops, this sounds like the pint for you! Featuring flaked oats and wheat in the malt bill for a softer mouthfeel, and hopped to 50 IBUs in the kettle with Chinook and Columbus, it was further hopped post-ferment with El Dorado and Enigma. Think melon, stone fruit, and citrus on the palate, finishing moderately dry. At 8.0% ABV, it is one of Niche’s bigger releases, but the massive character masks any alcohol heat. Kegs are now a-pouring at Peppers in Saint John and The Joyce in Fredericton, where it rounds out the dozen beers the Niche fellas will be pouring tomorrow for their second Meet the Maker event. Starting at 7 PM, you’ll be able to try any/all of the twelve offerings from Niche, including faves like Day Tripper, Ethos, The Bear, and Single Origin, as well as two exclusive beers for the evening, Hold Fast Dry-hopped Sour (with Cashmere), and Cordial Sour with Elderflower. Be sure to pop down to chat with Rob, Shawn and Matt, grab a pint, and a pint glass, as they’ll have some merch for sale as well.

Those on the North Shore of Nova Scotia have a special connection to Prince Edward Island, as they share a common love of water, and are counting down the days to when the Wood Islands – Caribou ferry starts up again (May 1st, in case you were wondering!). Well, you don’t need to wait that long to rekindle that connection, as there’s a new beer on the shelves now to celebrate. Ferry Boat Fantasy came about when the folks from Charlottetown’s Gahan Pub dropped into Tatamagouche Brewing over a year ago. This Golden Sour was aged for almost a year in Chardonnay barrels, before receiving a dry-hopping treatment with Vic Secret and Hallertau Blanc, and then natural carbonation in bottles before release. From Tata, “Big tropical aromas of pineapple and mango and bright citrus notes of lemon rind and grapefruit combine with whimsical barrel aromas of butter tart, vanilla and hints of amaretto to create this creamy, tart and bright dreamscape.” Couldn’t say that better ourselves! Draught and bottles are available at TataBrew right now, with selected kegs coming soon to PEI, NB, and around the HRM. And for those not in the immediate region, check out their online store for bottle shipments direct to your door!

We’re thinking that maybe everyone is getting just a tad tired of winter, as the “dreams of summer” theme is starting to pick up with more and more beer releases. Breton Brewing is throwing their hat in the ring here with Tropical Lager, brewed for those of you “dreaming of a sunny escape” from all this snow and cold. Described as light and crisp, the beer was fermented with the Common Lager yeast and lagered for three weeks. Dry-hopped with the pretty-new-and-popular Sabro variety, it has notes of “coconut, pineapple, and mango” in the aroma. This 4.8% ABV beer is a very-limited supply test batch, so it is available at Breton’s taproom only, for pints and growlers. 

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing has a surprise batch of Go Kart Jack Ass Scott-ish Red Ale back for your enjoyment. It’s a smooth beer, with a rich amber color, subtle spice notes, and a bit of honey in the aroma. Also (allegedly) blessed by the fae folk of Scotland. Wheeeeeeeee!!! Super easy drinking at 4.8% ABV and 19 IBUs, you’ll find it on tap at the tap room and (probably) available for fills to go. Also on Robie Street, the BetaBrew program is kicking out a new beer this week with Pump Up the Yams, a “candied yamber ale” (oy!). Orangey-red with and off-white head, there’s plenty of caramel flavors no doubt brought by the inclusion of candied yams during the brewing process. It’s also got a crackery presence on the malt side and a bit of noble Tettnanger hops to balance the sweetness. As usual, it’ll be tapped on Tuesday afternoon, so plan to get to GR where the jams will no doubt be pumpin’ and the crowd jumpin’ (maybe also plan to get your booty on the floor that night). 

Dieppe’s Flying Boats is known to release the occasional one-off brew in their ongoing Test Pilot series; sometimes, if a beer is popular enough, it will join their regular line-up. Well, that has happened recently with the brewery’s NEIPA, Test Pilot No. 6, which has been rebranded (thankfully!) as Whoopie Kat NEIPA. Brewed with a considerable portion of flaked wheat and oats to boost the mouthfeel (and haziness), it was hopped with the Aussie Vic Secret variety. At 6% ABV, it has a “clean and bright tropical bouquet of passion fruit and pineapple, along with supporting notes of fresh herbs and pine”. You can find it on tap and in cans at FB’s taproom right now, with cans shipping next week to select ANBL stores.

Yesterday marked the culmination of a month of Brewery Battles at HopYard Charlottetown, with Lone Oak facing Copper Bottom in the final. Both breweries brought their A-game, debuting new beer at the event. Let’s start with Lone Oak’s entry, Hollywood, which may have been a factor in eking out a victory. This West Coast IPA is the first of the style from the brewery, and at 6.7% ABV, brings loads of melon character with a nice bitterness. After its debut last night, you’ll be able to find it on draught at the brewery at Gateway Village this weekend, with cans coming in the next little bit.

As for Copper Bottom, their brand new beer to hit the taps is FLUX: Lotus, the first in their FLUX line of single hop IPAs the brewery is launching next Friday. Think of everything you are hoping to hit in an IPA: hazy, sessionable, and flavourful enough to keep coming back, and this is what they hope to achieve with FLUX. Not surprisingly, this initial release features the Lotus varietal, showcasing “big notes of pineapple and tropical fruit, followed by a candied grape and subtle hint of vanilla”. Weighing in at a very reasonable 4.3% ABV and 30 IBUs, the beer will be available on draught and in cans next Friday.

If you’re in the Yarmouth area, you may want to drop by Heritage Brewing, where they’ve just dropped their latest beer, Cranberry Sour Wheat. We’re betting you’ve put together a few of the details on this beer already, but that’s not going to stop us from telling you that it’s a kettle sour that was brewed with a portion of Wheat malt. Already quite tart thanks to the souring process, they added a generous amount of real Nova Scotia cranberries during fermentation, giving this cloudy, 5% ABV beer even more tartness, as well as a red colour. Check out Heritage this weekend for a taste.

Secret Cove Brewing up in Port au Port East (NOT to be mistaken for Port au Port West-Aguathuna-Felix Cove), has a new beer on the taps that pushes the boundaries of good taste. Not actual taste, we’re sure it’s a delicious beverage, but the name, dear lord the name. Blueberries Crying in the Grain pays homage to “Berry Head,” an area of Secret Cove’s home region that was made part of Port au Port (but would you believe there’s ANOTHER “Berry Head” on the East side of the Rock?! Newfoundland geography is a trip.) Aaaanyway, you should not be surprised to hear that there are both blueberries and grain in this fruited wheat beer, which weighs in at 5.1% ABV. Featuring a “vibrant purple hue” with an aroma that is both tart and sweet, the blueberries are definitely prominent. So if you’re in the area, whether you’re a local who knows all about Berry Head or a visitor who might wonder where exactly it is, stop by and give a taste of the local flora a try.

Sussex Ale Works is bringing back their Notorious APA, a 7.3% ABV, 66 IBUs American Pale Ale hopped with Sasquatch in the whirlpool. Juicy, with a supporting malt character, this is the second time this beer has been brewed. Find it on tap at their bar in Sussex this weekend.

The beery beardos of the 902BrewCast seem to maybe be hitting the gas again after a couple of slow months of soul searching and heavy drinking. Now it’s just heavy drinking. We kid! At the very least they’ve been managing to get the band back together at least a little more, with Kyle Andrus actually being spotted out in public at the Craft Beer Cottage Party a couple weeks ago, and rumours swirling of tapings with all three members in attendance. For now you’ll have to make do with a quick 30-minute or so bonus ep that dropped today featuring a few conversations Tony and Kyle had that night at the CBCP, but get ready for a Podcast that involves an actual brewery (!!) coming in March as well as a February tasting episode that we think might drop this coming Tuesday (as always, full refund on this blog post if we’re wrong about that). So grab the Bonus ep at their web site or via your favorite podcast provider and start looking forward to more content from a rejuvenated and less baby-beholden crew.

Not to be outdone by Tatamagouche and Big Spruce with their job postings last week, the news out of Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing is that they, too, are on the prowl for brewery staff. But in a classic case of the Island one-upping the mainland (or maybe being better at “finding efficiencies”), Upstreet is looking for someone to be a Brewer AND Cellarperson. Currently listed as a full-time summer/seasonal position, it has the potential to turn into a permanent gig. Production experience as a brewer is obviously highly valued, but brewing experience of all kinds will no doubt be considered. As always when it comes to making good beer, attention to detail is a major must along with an understanding of quality and how to achieve it consistently. If you think you’d be a good fit for this and are interested in spending at least a summer in Charlottetown, you can check out the full job posting on the Upstreet site for full details and information on how to apply.

Plenty on the go around the region this weekend, check it out!

The Guv’nor on Elizabeth Ave in St. John’s is hosting another round of their Newfoundland Craft Beer Tap Takeover all weekend. Kicking off yesterday, they are showcasing beer from a dozen Newfoundland breweries and cideries during the course of the next couple of days, as kegs kick and more come online. You can peruse the list of offerings here, but we suggest you don’t wait too long, as some options are in short supply!

Normally, beer festival season starts in New Brunswick with the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival in early March, but this year Saint John is kicking things off with the first KV Craft Beer Festival tomorrow, February 22nd. Happening at the QPLEX, there will be one evening session, with two sets of tickets available: VIP ($69) from 6:30-9:30 pm, and general admission ($49), 7:30-9:30. Your ticket gets you unlimited samples from close to 20 different breweries, cideries, and one distillery; there’ll be live music as well. Tickets are still available; you can get yours through the event link above.

As we mentioned above, this cold and snowy season often has us dreaming of warmer weather… but ya gotta admit, winter is a helluva nice time to really sit back and appreciate a good Stout. Luckily our friends at Stillwell are well aware of this, and have created a special event, STOUT SZN, that will be happening this Sunday, February 23rd, from 4pm to close. They’ll have nine different stouts on tap for your roasty needs, eight of which are from local, NS breweries, and one from Quebec’s Brasserie Dunham (Total Disrespect, a Pastry Stout w/ pecans, black cherries, and cocoa nibs). They’ll also be serving up some oysters from Sober Island, if that’s your thing! Check out the event page up there for a full brewery/beer list.⁣

Looking for a fun time this coming Monday, February 24th? Happy Hour Co is hosting their first event at Tire Shack Brewing on John Street in Moncton. Brewery Tour and Tasting kicks off at 7 PM, and will feature a tour of the brewery facilities, and then a guided tasting of Tire Shack’s lineup of beers, thanks to owners Jerrica and Alan. No need to sign up in advance, just show up and look for the other thirsty folks!