Garrison Brewing

All posts tagged Garrison Brewing

Well, well, well, another Friday is upon us, which means it’s time to inundate you with the latest beer news from the region. We’ve got more than 20 and returning and new beer and cider to tell you about this week, from every province in the region, so let’s dive right in so you know where to head after work today!

Saint John’s Loyalist City Brewing dropped a brand new beer late last week, RGB. They’re referring to it as a “German-style Pale Ale”, as they hopped it with three of the “new” hop varieties that hail from Germany: Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon, and Hallertau Blanc. This 5% ABV, pale gold-coloured brew features “a pronounced fruity aroma of melon, tangerine, and citrus” thanks to the use of these hops (along with a large dry hop of more Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon). The citrus and melon continue into the flavour, complemented by a bit of malt sweetness and a moderate bitterness (60 IBUs, calculated). You can find it on tap right now at your favourite LC destination.

If you were a big fan of the first entry – Dream Island #1 – in Landwash Brewery’s rotating DIPA series, you’ll be happy to know that they have just released Dream Island #2, which is now available for purchase at the brewery. This iteration was hopped with big additions of Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus, giving notes of “marmalade jam on toast, pineapple rings, and dried peach”. They also threw in a bit of lactose to boost the mouthfeel and add just a touch of sweetness to the final product. They’ve done a limited canning run of this 8.3% hop bomb, and it’s on tap for growler fills as well… probably won’t last long, so best to head there ASAP to pick some up. They also have a new batch of their NEIPA, That Much Ocean, so you can really fulfill your hop needs all in one go! Note that Landwash is now open on Wednesdays, in addition to their regular days, with their resident food truck, Saucy Mouth, open daily until 10PM.

Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing has a pair of new beers available, to fuel your adventures out and about this weekend. Released late last week was the latest in their Neon Friday series, this one a collaboration with Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing. A 6.5% ABV NEIPA is the result of that mind-meld, with big notes of coconut, orange, and papaya on a smooth base, thanks to generous additions of Sabro and Vic Secret hops. Tall cans are available at Upstreet’s two Charlottetown locations, and on tap there and at their Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth. Keep an eye out at the HRM private stores as well!

And debuting this week is Rhuby Sour, a new take on their popular Rhuby Social Witbier. Beginning life as a partially-soured witbier, Rhuby Sour receives the same great fruit additions as the OG, with rhubarb and strawberry, to kick up the refreshing character and still maintain plenty of fruit qualities. This 5.0% ABV beer is available on tap and in cans in both Charlottetown and Dartmouth now!

There’s a new Gottingen Small Batch brew pouring at Propeller, and don’t let the name – and the weather! – fool you into thinking it’s Halloween! Spooky Sour Saison is a kettle sour that was fermented with the Spooky Saison yeast strain from Escarpment Labs (as well as a blend of Brettanomyces strains) on fresh apricots. As you might expect, there’s lots going on with this beer, with plenty of fruit and spice characteristics coming through, as well as a dry, sour finish. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV and 8 IBUs, and is available at Propeller for pints, flights, and growlers only, for a limited time.

Rejoice, Glou fans, as this year’s batch from Stillwell Brewing is now available for purchase in bottles! A blend of oak-aged Saisons (different batches aged from 8-18 months) was transferred to a foeder, along with 1000 lbs of NY Muscat grape skins from Benjamin Bridge, where they were allowed to impart their deliciousness into the beer over a period of about four months. The aroma is huge with this beer, “all candy and fun upfront, with a deep and complex savoury quality on the palate”. Oak and tannins in the finish to leave you wanting more, it’s 6.7% ABV and lovely! Grab some bottles to go at Stillwell, where you may also be lucky enough to find it on tap (and at the newly-opened Beer Garden, too!).

Miramichi’s first brewery, Timber Ship Brewing, has just released How She Goin’, a beer they’re calling a “Honey Session Ale”. Intended to be an easy-drinking style for the summer (it IS coming, right?), it features the addition of wildflower honey from Napan, NB’s My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm. There was also a dry hop addition, featuring hops from Lindsay, NB’s Bloomfield Hops Farm. The final beer is “light and crisp, with a slightly floral aroma and notes of honey”. Very drinkable at just 4.3% ABV and 12 IBUs, you can find the first kegs on tap at the Piping Plover Gastropub and O’Donaghue’s Irish Pub.

We weren’t ALL lucky enough to be able to attend the annual Stillwell Open during Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week (dangit!), but luckily for us, some breweries have been doing larger releases of the single-hop Session IPAs that they entered in the friendly competition. For Tatamagouche Brewing, this means the release of Zaka, a Session IPA fermented with a Kveik yeast strain, and hopped entirely with the wonderful Azacca variety. This 4.4% ABV beer was created and brewed with local homebrewing legend Mark McKay, and is a hazy, aromatic treat, with pineapple and mango coming through in spades, along with “flavours of woody resin and light fennel”. It’ll be on tap at many Tata licensees, as well as directly at the source on draught, of course. They’ve also got a fresh batch of their wildly popular Kitty Clyde DIPA, hopped with Vic Secret and Galaxy, on tap and in cans.

We mentioned last week about the album release party coming up at Good Robot for Aquakultre x Ghettosocks (Aquasocks) on May 31st and that it’s a fundraiser for Akuakultre’s debut album coming next year. We also mentioned that a special beer has been brewed for the event called Legacy. That beer debuted at the GR taproom yesterday for those who’d like an early taste. Nominally a Pilsner coming in at 4.5% ABV and 27 IBU, it apparently also contains blueberries, which provide it a rather purple hue, as well as pineapple, for a pleasant tropical note. Nicer weather that we’re sure just HAS to be coming soon is likely to make this a popular pour on the Gastroturf.

We know this time of year brings a plethora of light beers – hoppy, fruity, etc – but it’s still nice to see darker beers being brewed. We won’t get into a rant, but those beers are still ok to drink during warmer weather, ya know? We can thank O’Creek Brewing for realizing this with the launch of Matchless, a 7.1% ABV Robust Porter. This isn’t your grandpappy’s Porter, however, as it had an addition of raspberry and coconut after fermentation was complete. The raspberry is coming through subtly, with dark chocolate on the palate and the coconut in the finish. You’ll be able to find the first kegs at CAVOK Brewing and the Laundromat.

Baccalieu Trail has just added a new beer to their lineup, and it’s their first kettle-soured brew. A twist on the classic Gose style, Half Hour Ahead does include the addition of sea salt as any Gose should, but they also decided to add blueberries! Specifically, 20 lbs of dehydrated blueberries from Markland Cottage Winery, all of which was added directly into the fermenter. The deep-purple beer is tasting quite tart, with a strong blueberry presence in the flavour. It comes in at 5.3% ABV, and is currently available on tap at the brewery’s taproom, exclusively.

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider continues to put out new and interesting creations in their Something Different series with another entry now available. Rhubarb & Rosehips is a 7.0% ABV sparkling cider based on a juice blend from Golden Russet and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples that was infused with dried rose hips and fermented with rhubarb juice. Refreshing and bright, the rose hips bring a tartness that some might find similar to that of dried cranberry. Floral aromatics, a bit of red berry character, and a dry finish have this one sounding like a delicate delight. As always, $0.50 from every bottle will go to charity, this time it’s Rowan’s Room Respite & Development Centre in Middleton, NS.

Grimross has really been going hard with the Scratch series beers lately, as this week has not one, but two new ones to add to their growing list of one-offs. First up is Scratch #20: Living Roots Saison, a 5.7% ABV, 18 IBUs Saison named after the upcoming Living Root Music Festival in Fredericton (May 30th-June 2nd). Brewed with Pilsner malt and a mixture of flaked and malted Rye, it was hopped lightly with Calypso and Hallertau Mittelfruh. Fermented with a Brett and Saccharomyces blend from Escarpment Labs, the final beer has notes of “spice, considerable tangerine, light pepper, and dandelion”, and finishes nice and dry. You can grab it in pints and growlers, as well as cans, at Grimross, with cans available at ANBL stores any day now.

The next Scratch is on the American side of things, with Scratch #21: Session IPA. With a base of Maris Otter malt, they also blended in Golden Naked Oats, Honey malt, and Flaked Barley, lending some biscuit and granola character to the beer. Hopped late in the boil with Centennial and Delta, it was dry-hopped with a large addition of Calypso. The final beer lives up to its name at just 4% ABV (and 21 IBUs), and has lime, orange and grassiness on the palate, with an assertive bitterness. This one can also be found at the brewery (cans, on tap) starting today, with ANBL stores and licensees receiving it sometime next week.

TrailWay’s weekly Friday release today is an American IPA, which you may have guessed… however, this is the first beer they’ve fermented with a Kveik strain. Originating from Norway, this type of yeast ferments best at extremely warm – heck, even hot – temperatures, giving a wide variety of flavours and aromas. TW used the Voss Kveik strain from Escarpment Labs, and hopped the beer – which they’ve named Oculus –  “moderately” with Citra and Idaho 7. The result is a 6% ABV, full-bodied beer that is big in the citrus department. Available at the brewery today when they open at noon, on tap and in cans; kegs will be travelling across the province – and to Stillwell – over the coming days.

Lucky Moncton peoples can head on over to Tide & Boar, where the brewery has just released their latest beer, a Sour IPA named Millions of Peaches. This 7% ABV kettle sour features a grist that includes a large addition of oats, with lactose powder added in the boil to up the sweetness/body. Dry-hopped entirely with Citra, the beer was further conditioned on Fuzzy Peach candy (yep!) and peach puree. To tell you that the beer is tasting sour and peachey… well, it does, but we kinda think you could have figured that one out for yourselves! Limited availability, on tap at the brewpub only!

If you’re sight-seeing in the Lunenburg area, check out Shipwright Brewing, which has just tapped “Choc”-A-Block, their latest beer. A “Rye Stout”, it of course includes an addition of Rye malt in the grist, which gives a touch of spice in the finish, which goes well with the cacao and roasted coffee notes from the darker grains used in the brew. 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, you can grab it at the brewery right now in pints, growler, and crowlers. It should also be available on tap at the Grand Banker.

If you were at the NS Craft Beer Week Full House event, you might have stopped by the Garrison booth and tried a new IPA that they were quietly debuting that uses “American Noble Hops”. Whether you know about hops or not, you might wonder, “What the hell is that?” Well, we’ve mentioned the Cryo hop products from Yakima Chief – Hopunion (YCH) in previous posts, which allow brewers to get significantly more bang for their buck out of high-aroma and -bittering hop varieties by using less hop material and seeing less liquid (beer!) absorbed and lost. As it turns out, however, there’s a byproduct to the cryo extraction process that’s also been released to the market, the leaves and bract from the hop flowers that don’t have the same oil or alpha acid content of the cryo products, but which do maintain quite a bit of aroma and flavor. The name “American Noble Hops” seeks to qualify this product with brewers in terms of the classic low-alpha varieties from Continental Europe. Not a great name, no, but the alternative was apparently “Debittered Leaf” so… Anyway, Garrison has embraced these new hops in the first release in their new Hop Trip IPA series, starting with Hop Trip: American Noble Citra, a 6.2% ABV and 30 IBU beer in the NEIPA-ish style. Smooth and drinkable, thanks to those low alpha acid numbers, the beer still maintains plenty of Citra character, with mandarin, lemon, and lychee coming to the fore. Even better, this beer (and the beers to come in the series) has been canned in 355 mL cans, available this weekend at the Brewery for $2.99 each or 4 for $11.99. So if you’re a hop lover but can’t always justify a tall can, you might have plenty of reason to celebrate this one. Stay tuned for other entries in the series, we’ve been advised that a Hop Trip Brut IPA is in the offing as well.

Not too many beery events to tell you about this weekend, so use this as an excuse to get out and support your local brewery, or local bar who supports your local breweries, and toast their efforts. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give you one last reminder that whether you’re in Moncton or St John’s, there is a Beer Fest in your backyard, which can be a good way to drink your way through the beer landscape. Both events feature local craft beer alongside macro and foreign producers, so if you wanted to try the latest batch of Silver Bullet to see if it still tastes the same now that you’ve left that type of beer behind, now’s your chance.

Next Wednesday, Matt and Dave from Toronto’s Burdock Brewing will be taking over the taps at Stillwell, hot off the heels of a collaborative pairing dinner at Little Oak the evening before (sorry, all sold out, folks!). Featuring the full variety of Burdock’s offerings, including the modern styles like Vermont Blond and IPA, wine-inspired (and -infused) Baby Riesling and a trio of BUMOs, and barrel-aged funky beers like Auko and Flur. Check out Stilly’s social media for the full list (which also includes the debut of a collaboration between Burdock and another brewery (ed. note, we incorrectly said it was with Stillwell Brewing originally), and come prepared to spend some time on May 29th.

Just a handful more beers to tell you about before we send you on your way!

Douglas, NB’s 3Flip Brewing is following up the release of last month’s “Pretzel Ale” with Lemon Kilmister. A “Lemon Blonde” that was hopped with Amarillo and given an addition of fresh lemon peel. Look for it on tap at The Joyce, Saint John Ale House, and Fredericton’s York St. ANBL for growler fills.

Sackville, New Brunswick’s, Bagtown Brewing has released a small batch of their take on a Farmer’s Double IPA this week. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, it features the use of Cascade hops from local Wysmykal Farm to the tune of 60 IBU, and was bumped up with blueberries from Blueridge Berries in town. With such a limited production size, we definitely suggest dropping into the taproom and beergarden at 62 Main Street for a taste!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg BrewCo debuted a new beer this week, Brett Who? This 6.0% ABV beer was fermented with both brewer’s yeast and Brettanomyces for a light bodied and dry beer, with the iconic funky character that Brett imparts. Available now on tap for samples and pints in their taproom.

Newfoundland’s Dildo Brewing Company debuted a new one this week, playing on a question we imagine gets asked all over the world …Where the Helles Dildo? For those of us fortunate enough to know the answer, we’ll be rewarded with a German Helles, Dildo’s first Lager. This 6.5% ABV pale lager toes the line with malt and hops playing nicely together for an easily quaffable beer. Drop by the brewery this weekend to grab a pint or growler, and to tell the world, I know where the Helles Dildo!

Niche Brewing has brought back another of their popular beers this week: Ethos is their Brett saison, a lightly tart, dry, and funky beer brewed with their house culture. It’s going out to their usual New Brunswick accounts and will very likely also make an appearance in Halifax at Stilwell and/or the Stillwell Beer Garden.

Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has a brand new beer on tap these days. Belgian Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV brew reminiscent of those in Europe, with notes of toffee and toast from the malt, along with a complementing yeast character. As always, the best place to grab a sample, pint, or growler is at the source, at 75 Conception Bay Hwy, open today from 4 PM.

This weekend marks the return of another one of Greg Nash’s hop hammers at Unfiltered, namely Riddle of Steel. Touted as a hybrid of West Coast and New England IPA styles, it’s 7% and available for fills, pints and in cans, thank Crom!! Also available in cans at the retail shop this weekend are Twelve Years to Zion, All Falc’d Up, and Warning Label.

Here we go again, beer fans! We’re in the final weekend of NS Craft Beer Week! We hope those of you in the province have been getting out to support your local brewery and licensee. We want to sincerely thank those of you who came out and took part in our Beer Trivia Night at The Auction House last night, and big thanks to the breweries who donated so much swag that all of the teams who took part went home with something. We can’t wait to do it again, and it may be even sooner than next year! Enough gushing, on with the news!

Another week of releases for Big Spruce, this time it’s the return of She’s Maibock. A fitting release, given we’ve just entered the month of May, this is a heritage German style of lager brewed similar to a Helles, but a bit more intense in malt/ABV/hops (pro tip, “bock” means buck or ram, and these beers will often feature one on the label). Their take on the style is a 5.9% ABV copper beer, brewed using their own farm-grown hops, and lots of complex and flavourful malts, giving rise to toast and bread notes, with a light citrus character. Grab this beer on tap at the brewery in Nyanza, and at licensees around the province. And drop by HopYard Halifax this afternoon (4 – 7 PM) for the official launch of Year 3 of their Tag! You’re It! IPA, with $0.50 from each can going to Ocean Tracking Network.

Boxing Rock’s Agricola Street Test Kitchen at Local Source Market has another new beer pouring this week. Fail No More is a 3.7% ABV English Mild, keeping to the iconic style with a light bitterness and pleasant caramel and toast and roast notes. You’ll have to pop in for a taste and a growler fill soon, as these Test Kitchen releases are always quite limited!

And in more great Boxing Rock news, the culmination of their Black Box Challenge was on Sunday. This saw homebrewers given the same list of ingredients, and it was up to them to come up with a recipe using some or all of the materials. With presentations ranging from a game of Jeopardy!, to a Crazy Game of Porter, the finalists put their best foot forward on Sunday to present and “sell” their beer to the judges. At the end of the afternoon, Jana Dellapinna and her Hello Darkness Schwarzbier was crowned the winner, through a combination of scores of the beer, presentation, and song choice (The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel). Dellapina will be traveling down to Shelburne to brew up a full size release of the beer, for wide distribution. And some of her fellow finalists may receive the same call, given the quality of the entries in this year’s competition!

Backstage Brewing will be releasing their first Red Ale (aka American Amber) this weekend in time for the main festivities (read: Full House). Simple Man was brewed with Pale malt, CaraMunich, Carafa and Roasted Barley (likely in moderation, to help provide colour). Hopped lightly to 20 IBUs with Willamette from Fundy Hops, the brewery is describing the final beer as “smooth, malty, and simple”. In addition to pouring at Full House, it’ll be on tap at the brewery.

Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay is celebrating the opening of their new location in Bridgewater, King Street Beer Co. Not surprisingly, this brewery and taproom is located at 463 King Street in the town, and features a pilot system that they are using for special on-premise beer releases, LaHave River Beers. The first of these hits the taps at 6:30 PM this evening. Silvercat Legendary Canamerican Pale Ale (that’s a mouthful!) is a 5.5% ABV, 39 IBU, Maple Pale Ale, brewed with local homebrewer Don Graham. No word on the origin or amount of maple used in the beer. As with all the brews on this pilot system, it is in very short supply (under 40 litres!), so pop down this evening to avoid disappointment! And drop by both King Street and Saltbox this weekend as they are hosting the Highway 103 Tap Takeovers, featuring breweries from up and down the 103 Highway on the province’s South Shore.

To help celebrate NS Craft Beer Week, Tanner & Co. Brewing is releasing the latest beer in their Sauvage series, with 2019 Sauvage. This Saison features a malt bill built entirely around grain from Horton Ridge, including Pale malt, Vienna, and Wheat. Hopped to 20 IBUs with EKG and Mt. Hood, it was fermented – like last year – with Big Spruce’s pin cherry yeast isolate. All about the yeast character (as a good Saison should be!), it’s showcasing “tropical fruit such as pineapple, mango, citrus, and a bit of lemon rind on the finish”. It clocks in at 6% ABV, it’ll be pouring at the Full House event this weekend, with bottles at the brewery as well.

Coupla new hoppy beers coming from the Upstreet family for this weekend, starting with an early sneak peek of Great Day Session IPA. Brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, Wheat, and Golden Naked Oats, they hopped the beer with Cashmere, Amarillo and Mosaic, for aromas of “pear, white grapes, melon, and coconut”. Light-golden in colour, with a smooth body thanks to the addition of the oats, it lives up to its name at 4.8%, and finishes only mildly bitter (25 IBUs). It’s officially launching at tomorrow’s Full House, and will also be on tap at the BBQ Brewhouse for pints, growlers, and crowlers this weekend. Look for draught and cans to follow on PEI next Thursday.

Upstreet’s other hoppy offering is Neon Friday 2.04, the latest in the ongoing series. With the addition of some Honey malt and Melanoiden to give the beer a “gentle, warming sweetness”, as well as a reddish colour, it was hopped with Amarillo, Southern Cross and Sorachi Ace (to 45 IBUs), providing the 6.5% American IPA with aromas of “orange peel, lemon, pine, and a hint of dill”. This one is debuting on the Island today at the Upstreet taproom and Craft Beer Corner (on tap and in cans), with a few cans making their way to the Nova Scotia private stores as well.

Landwash Brewery, out of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, has lots going on this weekend, including the launch of a brand new beer. Might as well start there! Another Shore is releasing in cans and on tap at the brewery today at 4 pm, and it’s a very specific take on the classic Kolsch style. Brewed with malted barley and wheat from PEI’s Shoreline Malting, it was fermented cool and allowed to condition at low temperatures. Once complete, they dry-hopped it with Amarillo and Sabro, and then went further by adding “a whole whack” (that’s a lot!) of fresh lime zest. You can probably imagine in your head how this 4.2% ABV brew is tasting… we’ll leave you to it. In other Landwash news, they’re holding their first Cask Night at Toslow in St. John’s, tonight, where they’ll be tapping Coconut Hazures Rock (and they’ll have a keg of Another Shore, too). Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new batch of One Wave Blonde Ale coming out soon.

While in St. John’s, why not stop by YellowBelly and try Deadly, Missus, their 2019 International Women’s Day brew. It’s being referred to as a “Belgian India Blonde Ale” (!) that was hopped with the Pink Boots Society hop blend (Loral, Glacier, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Sabro). Designed and brewed by head brewer Nardia McGrath, it’s tasting “spicy, funky, and earthy”; it clocks in at 7.1% ABV. And hey, you’re there, so you might as well give their latest cider, Iceberg Cider, a try. Made entirely with iceberg water (natch), it’s 5.5% ABV and on tap now; bottles should follow next week in local NLC stores.

Speaking of cider, the PEI Brewing Company has a new one of their own available, 6 Hours of Sun. Made with a “special blend of apples”, it was fermented with Champagne yeast to give a crisp, fruity, refreshing cider. Semi-dry with a semi-sweet finish, it’s 5% ABV and can be found right now at the PEIBC taproom in Charlottetown; you’ll be able to find it at all Gahan locations soon, as well as in cans at PEILCC stores.

New beer alert from Moncton’s Grand Monk Artisan Ales, Flat Earth IPA. Hopped copiously with varieties from North America (Cascade and Mosaic) and Australia (Ella), you can probably expect a beer full of tropical, juicy goodness. It weighs in at 7.5% ABV, and can be found at your favourite Grand Monk watering hole. And stay tuned for their next beer, Down With Vaccinations Pale Ale. Too soon?

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing is releasing their first Lager tomorrow, May 4th. A Schwarzbier, we’re slightly confidant you could take a crack at what the name was going to be, knowing the date… and if you guessed May the Schwarz Be With You, you would be correct! This black Lager was brewed almost entirely with German malt and German hops, it was fermented cold with a dry Lager yeast. Fairly dark (24 SRM), and pretty easy-drinking at 4.9% ABV and 29 IBUs, it’s showing aromas of espresso, milk chocolate, and caramel, and a medium-light body with chocolate and caramel on the palate. They’re releasing it initially at the brewery on tap and in cans; look for it to follow at tap accounts later next week, and it should be on at ANBL growler sites later in the month. Drop by the brewery tomorrow from noon, where they’ll be holding a launch party, featuring beer (of course) and food from Gastrognomes.

Plenty of things going on in the region this weekend and into next week, check them out! And of course keep an eye on the NSCBW Calendar we put together so that you’re never late for an event.

Tomorrow, Propeller’s Gottingen Street taproom will be the site of their celebration of all things Star Wars, with their May the Fourth celebration.They’ll be featuring two casks, both hopped with out-of-worldy hops, like their Galaxy IPA hopped with an extra dose of (Millenium) Falconer’s Flight, and a cask made with their brand new canned (also draught) release, Sasquatch Pale Ale. This 5.2% Pale Ale features a wholly-Canadian hop, Sasquatch, grown in BC, and used throughout the brewing process to impart a tropical and juicy note to the beer. Also back this week is their Stone Fruit, which will be hitting the shelves of the private and NSLC stores soon. Back to the taproom, the Propeller Arcade is open all day (from 10AM), and they’ll have Star Wars-themed Vandal Doughnuts to pair with your pint. And if you’re wearing some Star Wars paraphernalia, your first pint is just $5! Pop by on your way to…

The Full House Beer Fest is also tomorrow, with forty breweries from across Nova Scotia pouring the newest and best beers at the Halifax Forum Multipurpose Centre (entrance is from the Young Street parking lot). From Yarmouth to Sydney, Amherst to Musquodoboit Harbour, breweries from all over are coming together for the biggest celebration of #NSCraftBeer. Tickets for both the afternoon and evening session are still available, and we will certainly be there taking it all in. One of the new releases you’ll be able to enjoy is Annapolis Brewing’s Port Royal Pilsner, which was fermented low and slow (over a month!), for a smooth finish, with the Saaz used giving a hint of herbal notes. (It will also be available for pints and growler fills in their taproom this weekend)

If you wake up woozy and disoriented in Halifax on Sunday morning, Good Robot has your hookup to maybe soothe your self-inflicted wounds with a taste of the tropics. The Limestone Group will be hosting a brunch featuring food inspired by sunny climes (and based on the weather forecast a little imagination might be required there). How does coconut crusted French Toast sound? And if lovely food isn’t enough to get you over the hangover hump, there will, of course be beer. The brunch runs from 10 – 3 PM, so there’s plenty of time to drag your sorry self out of bed and get down to Good Robot and partake.

Also going down on Sunday is an annual event that’s near and dear to our hearts here at the ACBB (well, the empty places where our hearts used to be anyway), the 2019 Stillwell Open at Stillwell Beer Bar on Barrington Street. Now in its 5th year, this event pairs homebrewers and breweries together to develop beers for a blind tasting competition that ultimately crowns a champion beer based on the voting response of the public. To up the ante a little in terms of bragging rights, once again the province has been divided into geographical regions, North, South, Halifax, and Dartmouth, with a title going to the team with the best overall showing. This year’s theme for beers is single-hop IPAs. Each team will bring four beers in the Session IPA, American IPA, Double IPA, and English IPA (served on cask) categories, all made with but a single variety of hop. Beers are expected to be one offs for the competition or production batches that will debut at the competition, so 100% brand new, never sampled, sipped, or swigged before beers will be available. Our own Chris McDonald is captaining Team Halifax, with Les Barr of Roof Hound heading up Team South, Spindrift’s Kyle Jeppesen helming Team Dartmouth, and Jeremy White of Big Spruce once again leading the charge for the two-time (TWO-TIME!) defending champions, Team North. If you attend you may need to plan to balance your blood lupulin levels next week with some crispy Pilsners and fruity mixed ferms, but Sunday is all about the hops. The blind tasting starts at 12 PM with the field being cut in half based on votes after 90 minutes and again in half every 30 minutes until 3 PM when the category winners, the winning Team, and the overall champion beer will be revealed. So come on down and see if you don’t find yourself bleeding green afterwards!

Let’s turn our gaze away from NS Craft Beer Week for a moment, and look elsewhere… Namely, the fact that Hanwell’s very own Niche Brewing will be holding a Meet the Maker Tap Takeover tomorrow, May 4th, at The Joyce Pub in Fredericton. Those crazy cats decided to brew and keg up 16 different beers for this event, with almost half of them being one-offs and debuts. One of those is Into the Great Wide Open, a Saison dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Amarillo. The Takeover officially begins at 7 PM, so be sure to drop by and meet the brewers behind the beer, and try the many offerings on tap. The full list of beers for the evening is available on the FB event page.

HopYard Halifax is holding a Battle of the Breweries every Thursday, where they’ll be dedicating three taps each to a number of breweries who will be fighting to the death… or, bragging rights, I suppose. Round 1 will be stretched over four Thursdays (starting yesterday) with three breweries for each day… ten from Nova Scotia, one from PEI, and one from NB. The brewery who has sold the most beer for each day moves forward to the next round, so you’re essentially voting with your wallets! Show up to support your favourite(s)!

And a couple last things before you get your plans together for the weekend:

Garrison is re-releasing Lemondrop, their dry-hopped kettle sour, this weekend at the brewery. Hopped entirely with Lemondrop after the boil was complete, this 5% ABV sour is tart and lemony, and will also be available at NSLC and private stores. You should be able to find it in other provinces this summer, too.

TrailWay is bringing back Good Times in the Fridge today, their 6% ABV American IPA brewed with a rotating hop schedule. This batch features Southern Cross, Wakatu, Enigma and Loral, giving a beer that is “dank, pungent, fruity, pineapple, spicy, and herbaceous”. You can find it at the brewery starting today.

Drop by Unfiltered today at noon if you’re a fan of Warning Label, their super strong (10% ABV) and super hoppy DIPA; it’ll be available on tap and in cans.

Happy Spring Everyone! Now we just need to tell Mother Nature that! But it will be nice to see the snow eventually receding so that you have a big more time to dodge the potholes. A handful of new beers and events this week, so grab that coffee, or coffee stout, and get up to speed on the beer news. As always, if you have beer info you’d like us to share, please don’t hesitate to send it along! We’re always happy to spread the word about the great beer in our region.

News concerning collaboration beers brewed for International Women’s Day keeps trickling in; this week, we can fill you in on the one released by Petit-Sault and Big Tide. Brewed at the Petit-Sault brewery in Edmundston, Brighid is an 8.8% abv “Strawberry Brut IPA”. Hopped with Mosaic and Lemondrop, enzymes were added to help the beer dry out as much as possible, as is typical for the Brut IPA style. During fermentation, strawberry puree was added (to the tune of 300 lbs), giving the beer a hazy, pinkish hue. Tropical, juicy, and super-dry (as expected), it’s currently available on tap only, at both breweries. Look for 750 mL bottles to appear at both locations next week, as well.

One of New Brunswick’s newest breweries (for a little while longer, anyway), Hampton Brewing, dropped a new beer release in time for St. Patrick’s Day last weekend. Ol’Marley is a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, brewed with a mixture of Roasted Barley and Chocolate malts to impart plenty of roasted, coffee-like character in the aroma and flavour. The beer also features the addition of rum-soaked, organic cacao nibs, adding even more chocolatey goodness to the finished product. Weighing in at 5.5% ABV and 32 IBUs, it has a medium body and moderate bitterness in the finish. Look for it on tap at your favourite Hampton Brewing account.

Let’s move back to Brut IPA territory; specifically to Smiths Cove, NS, where Lazy Bear Brewing has released their very own. Simply named Brut IPA, it was dry-hopped with Ariana, Callista, and El Dorado; we’re going to assume no hops were added during the boil, as the brewery lists the IBUs as “very low to none”. The beer comes in at 7% ABV and finishes very dry (again, thanks in part to the addition of enzymes); it’s available on tap at the brewery during the Thursday Growler Evenings and the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market, with kegs possibly being sent elsewhere soon.

Hanwell, New Brunswick’s Niche Brewing has a new beer out this week that hopefully will put you in mind of warmer days to come. A grisette, In Limbo was brewed with primarily Pilsner malt, with plenty of spelt and both flaked and malted wheat rounding out the grist, and it was hopped lightly with classic noble Saaz before being fermented with Niche’s house culture. The result is a beer with a light body and a pleasant lemon presence that’s definitely on the funkier side of the style, but which certainly doesn’t bash you over the head with yeast character. Easy-drinking and refreshing, at 4.2% ABV you can have a few and without worrying you might dart out in front of an oxcart during the festival of the vernal equinox! Look for it at Niche tap accounts around NB and, if the folks in Halifax are lucky again, maybe some will come to that city as well.

We warned you a month ago to keep your eyes out for a beer featuring carrots, and sure enough, it has come to pass as those crazy kids at Boxing Rock in Shelburne, NS, have pushed the boundaries yet again with 14 Carrot Gold. This beer is a collaboration with Square Roots, a brand that encompasses a pair of projects under the aegis of Enactus SMU that aim to help reduce food waste and eliminate food insecurity in our communities. One way to address the former is to find uses for the less pretty produce that might not be sold if it were put on the shelf. So this beer isn’t just full of carrots, it’s full of ugly carrots, carrots that might roll a rabbit in a dark alley, carrots that you wouldn’t bring home to meet your Mom, but carrots that taste just fine. The juice of these carrots was added to the mash, joining a grist that included some honey malt to encourage some balancing malt sweetness. Into the kettle the wort went, to be hopped up (sorry*) with Calypso, Magnum, and Hallertauer Mittelfruh. The overall result is a clean and refreshing rather orange pale ale that is herbal and slightly spicy, but which also definitely tastes of carrots. You can find it already in 650 mL bottles at the brewery, Boxing Rock Bottle Shop at Local Source and private liquor stores in Halifax, and it will also be on the shelves at NSLC locations starting April 1st. Maybe grab an extra to put out for the Easter Bunny to enjoy? And speaking of the bottle shop, thanks to the associated Test Kitchen, they’ve also got a brand new one on the taps: FLEX IPA clocks in at a hefty 7.3% ABV and sports plenty of Falconer’s Flight, Centennial, and Simcoe hops. Stop by to grab a growler if you’re in the North End.

* totally not sorry

Spindrift Brewing has their latest entry in their Out of the Hold series bottled and available for sale, FIKA. This one is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout that was fermented in stainless, and then transferred to a French oak barrel for months of aging. Once it was ready to be packaged (in 500 mL bottles), the beer was infused with espresso beans, vanilla, and cardamom (in essence, now making it an Imperial Coffee Stout). Wondering about the beer’s name? Well, “fika” is apparently the Swedish word for “coffee break”, and the espresso beans were bought from IKEA (which we’re sure we do not have to explain to you what that is). You can pick up your bottles at the brewery’s taproom right now; check out the HRM’s private liquor stores in the near future as well. Note that this beer was brewed with lactose, just in case you’re intolerant of such things!

Halifax’s Garrison brewed up a special collaboration with the staff of Agricola Street Brasserie that made its debut last week at their beer dinner at that restaurant. How Dairy?! is a one off draft-only release available for now at the brewery for samples, pints, and growler fills, although it’s expected to be sent out to a few tap accounts as well. A stout weighing in at 4.7% ABV, it was built on pale ale and Munich malts, with oats, crystal malt and roasted barley rounding out the grist. Hopped to 32 IBU with Millennium, it also contains lactose, which very well might take it into the sweet stout or milk stout category. You can make that determination for yourself if you head down and give this smooth and full-bodied beer with notes of coffee and chocolate a try.

Bryan Carver, certified Cicerone, former Brewmaster at PEIBC, and former employee in the technical services department at DME Brewing, will be opening his own brewery – Modern Brewer’s Village Green – in Cornwall, PEI, this summer. Located at 1 Cornwall Rd, the building currently houses a dentist’s office which is relocating at the end of this month. While his equipment has not been ordered yet, as he’s waiting for the building to be rezoned, Carver plans to brew on a 2 bbl (240 L) system, to concentrate primarily on serving the 25-seat taproom. Locals can expect to try beers that they may not have tried before, as Carver plans to focus on styles that may not be easily-accessible to the area. We will have much more with Carver on Village Green as the project progresses.

We’ve got a few events to tell you about this week, definitely worth leaving the March Madness behind for a few hours, we reckon!

We mentioned it a few weeks ago, but here’s your reminder that this year’s Péché Day will be happening tomorrow and folks in our region are lucky enough to have two options available: Stillwell in Halifax and Tide & Boar in Moncton. Péché Day celebrates Péché Mortel, a Imperial Coffee Stout from Dieu du Ciel! that continues to be one of the finest beers in the country year after year. There will be seven variants on offer this year, all boasting an ABV of 9.5%:

  • Péché Mortel – the original
  • Péché Mortel Bourbon 2018 and 2019 – two different vintages aged in bourbon barrels
  • Péché Mortel Cerise – brewed with cherries
  • Péché Mortel Coconut – matured on toasted coconut
  • Péché Mortel Islay 2019 – aged in Islay Scotch barrels
  • Péché Mortel Moka – brewed with cacao

If you’re at all a fan of big, dark boozy beers, especially those featuring wood aging or other additions, you might want to find a way to check it out. You might also want to strongly consider 5 oz tasting glasses if you want to run to try them all!!

Last week we gave you the full rundown on the Flavabot: Rake ‘n Scrape event being thrown down on Sunday by the Lime Stone Group at Good Robot in Halifax, but we thought it prudent to give you a little reminder that there will be four brand new beers available, all with a Caribbean influence:

  • Rake ‘n Scrape – 6.9% ABV Tropical IIPA with mangoes & pomegranate, 70 IBU
  • Blackbeard’s Amber Ale – 4.5% ABV, Blackberry Amber Ale, 30 IBU
  • Pineapples & Coconut … Bro – 5.6% ABV, Pina colada Wheat Ale, 27 IBU
  • Passion Bliss – 5.5% ABV, Passion fruit Pale Ale, 50 IBU

Brunch starts at 10 AM but the party goes ALL DAY. That said, only the Rake ‘n Scrape is a full-size Alpha batch, so if you want to increase your chances of tasting the other three best get there early.

Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is celebrating the release of a brand new beer Sunday, a collaboration with the Hopped Up Gaming East (HUGE) podcast. Button Masher is a 7.0% Cherry IPA, featuring loads of Citra hops for a hazy, aromatic and bitter IPA, that was then “juiced up” with black cherries. Keeping with the mutual love of video games and beer, the teammates will be launching the beer at the Board Room Cafe on Barrington Street in Halifax. From 7 – 9 PM, there will be Video Game Trivia, with the beer pouring all evening. Drop by to grab the first pints and take part in the fun, and then look for it on tap around Halifax, with bottles of Button Masher coming next week.

Next Saturday, March 30, White Hills Resort in Clarenville, NL, will be celebrating BrewSKI 2019! With Beer Yoga kicking off the day at 10 AM, to a fun ski & snowboard race at 12 PM, to the BrewSKI Craft Beer Fest starting at 7 PM, there is a whole day of fun to be had on the ski hills. The evening’s festival will feature beer from 8 Newfoundland breweries and cideries: Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co (Conception Bay), Bootleg Brewery (Corner Brook), Landwash Brewery (Mt Pearl), Port Rexton Brewing Co (Port Rexton), Quidi Vidi Brewery (Quidi Vidi), Split Rock Brewery (Twillingate), YellowBelly Brewery (St. John’s), plus the Newfoundland Cider Company (Milton). There will be live music by 3 Shades of Grey and The Dimaggios, and food from Oh My Cheeses. Tickets for the day’s events are available now, grab them and find your best retro snowsuit to fit right in with the crowd.

Just a few more notes to pass along this week!

We mentioned it briefly in yesterday’s post with His Excellency Pavel Hrnčíř, the Czech Republic’s Ambassador to Canada, but wanted to remind you that the 902 BrewCast has dropped their March Tasting Episode today, and it covers all things Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. In addition to that interview, they spoke with Geaghan Brothers, Holy Whale, and O’Creek Brewing. Listen in!

Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery has brought back their Brackish, a 4.8% ABV Sour Ale that features Newfoundland Sea Salt, their take on a German Gose. With draught, growlers, and cans available at the brewery now, we suggest popping by to grab some. And to celebrate its return, the folks at Landwash have a couple of fun things on the go. They actually brewed a second full-sized batch, and added mango puree to it, and so Mango Brackish is pouring (and available to go in growlers) at the brewery now. And, also, too, they’ve cask conditioned 20 litres of the unfruited Brackish, and swapped out the standard sea salt for Newfoundland Salt Company’s Juniper Smoked Salt, for a floral and herbal cousin of the original. This one is in short supply (and we’re not even positive it’s still available!), so if that sounds like something you’d like, be sure to pop by the brewery today when they open at 4 PM.

Propeller Brewing has brought back a favourite from the fall, their Galaxy IPA. This 6.5% hoppy, hazy, and juicy IPA feature a ton of the great Aussie hop Galaxy added in the kettle and fermenter, for tropical, citrus, and stonefruit character. Back now on tap and in cans, with four-packs available at the NSLC for the first time next week.

Unfiltered is bringing back their Fist of God DIPA again, a “fruity, tropical, soft, and delicious” 7.5% ABV hop bomb. Available today at the brewery in pints, growlers, and cans. So is their Citra bomb DOA which came back last week. If you love some hops, you know where to go.

In a case of a community doing the right thing, the Town of Wolfville agreed Tuesday to amend their Land Use Bylaws and Municipal Planning Strategy to explicitly allow breweries to operate and sell beer off-site. This is great news for Church Brewing, who continue construction of their on-premise brewery at 329 Main Street in the town, to complement the already thriving restaurant. If struck down, it would have severely handcuffed them from the start, and had the unintended consequence of hurting other craft alcohol producers in the same zone, including Annapolis Cider Company, Bad Apple Brewhouse, and Paddy’s Pub.