Good Robot Brewing

All posts tagged Good Robot Brewing

We’ve got a ton of great beery news to share with you this week, from breweries expanding into new territories, new Beer Gardens opening, as well as at least a dozen new beers to wet your whistle. Let’s do away with the formalities, and get you the good word!

We’ve got big news from Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing, who are making the trek across the Northumberland Strait, and will be partnering with Chef Bill Pratt (of Cheese Curds and Habaneros) to open a restaurant and brewery at 612 Windmill Rd in Dartmouth, NS, as Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse. This address may sound familiar to HRM beer fans, as it is the former location of the Sleeman’s Brewery and Down East Beer Factory. Upstreet’s Brewmaster Mike “Hogie” Hogan will be in charge of brewing operations on the mainland, brewing up both full-time Upstreet offerings like Commons, Do Gooder, Rhuby Social, and White Noize, and will also flex his imaginative muscles to bring other new brews to life to pair with the restaurant offerings. Speaking of food, the Upstreet crew is drawing inspiration fact-finding missions to Kansas City, and bringing home some best practices for their own pit crew for an authentic BBQ experience, made with, and to pair with, their beer. They are currently looking to hire a General Manager for the location, and will continue the hiring ahead of their opening in September.

And in more immediate Upstreet news, they have a bevy of new bevvies for us to talk about this week. Out today is the latest in their Neon Friday series, Neon Friday 008: Huell Melon India Pale Lager. Weighing in at 7.0% ABV, this German-malt base was fermented low and slow with lager yeast, but bumped up with a darling of the newer German hops Huell Melon, known for melon (natch), strawberry, and apricot fruit aroma and flavour. Available at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner on tap and in growlers and 4-packs of cans to go.

Debuting this Sunday is Upstreet’s ode to Pride PEI 2018, Rainbrew Farmhouse Saison. Featuring ingredients of all colours of the rainbow, including PEI Strawberries (red), PEI-grown 2-Row and Vienna Malts (orange), Yeast (yellow), Belma hops (green), Water (blue), and PEI Lavender (violet). And this beer isn’t just another pretty face, the sale of each pint, growler, or crowler at the Taproom or CBC will mean $1 donated to Pride PEI.

And we may have missed the boat with this beer, released right after publishing last week, but we did want to let you know that they’ve released the first beer aged in their PEI-built foeder. Foeder-aged Sour Saison is 6.5% ABV, and lightly hopped (and then dry-hopped) with Nelson Sauvin to 15 IBUs. Flavours coming through include pineapple, lemon, and white pepper, thanks to the mixed fermentation and wood-aging. If you did miss out on the first iteration from the foeder, fear not, as they’ve filled it with another Saison (not sour this time, though it will almost certainly pick up some of those flavours while it hangs out). And to learn more about foeder production and what projects are next for the Island workshop building them, be sure to follow New World Foeders for the latest scoop.

Fredericton’s Maybee Brewing has a new IPA being released today at the brewery. Featuring 48 vanilla beans, 80 kg of raspberry purée, and lactose, Send It! is a fruited milkshake IPA coming in at 5.7% ABV and 46 IBUs. The hops are “mostly Amarillo” but we’ve been advised that there is also some Cascade and Centennial in there. With the current price of vanilla we can understand why this beer is being released draught-only at the brewery for pints. We also suspect it might not last very long, so if it sounds like your jam put Maybee on your itinerary for the weekend!

Tatamagouche continues with new releases this week with their latest Berliner Weisse-style kettle sour, Soaked. Those who have enjoyed previous Tata kettle sours like Jitney and Philaroma should be excited by this one. Starting with a simple and ultra sessionable 3.3% ABV base beer, Hallertau Blanc and Enigma hops were added and the beer was finished with a rest on passion fruit. This one will be packaged into kegs and cans. Look for it on tap at Tata licensees, in cans at the private stores, and, of course, at the brewery.

Also available at Tata this week is the Fish Hawke double-dry hopped IPA that we told you about last week. This one had an extremely limited canning run, and all the cans will be sold from the brewery directly. While you’re grabbing some of those, you’ll also find the newly-released bottles of Saltwater Cowboy, which was the tequila barrel-fermented gose brewed for Tata’s 4th birthday celebration last month. This 4.4% ABV refreshing easy drinker was packaged in 500 mL bottles of which a few should make it to the private stores in the city this week.

And coming next week to the North shore is something entirely new to our region. You may or may not know that breweries in Nova Scotia are limited to a maximum of 11.9% alcohol by volume (ABV) in any beer product they make and sell. While most beers aren’t even in the ballpark of this limit, bigger, heavier styles like barleywine, Belgian quad and imperial stout can graze it, especially when barrel-aging in spirit barrels comes into play. Further, it turns out that occasionally a brewery will conceive of a beer that doesn’t just bump up against the limit, it shatters it. How can that beerbe sold? It turns out that one answer is for the brewery to get a distiller’s license, which Tatamagouche Brewing has done. And their first beer to take advantage of that drops next week: Man-o-War is an extra strong ale at a staggering (for beer, anyway) 15.2% ABV. Intended to be a sipping beer, it began with an English-style barleywine recipe that was fermented with an extremely alcohol-tolerant Norwegian Kveik yeast strain to create a base beer that clocked in at 13%. From there it went into grape brandy barrels for 4 months of conditioning, where it picked up the additional 2.2%. Look for this one to appear in 500 mL bottles at the brewery next Thursday. Try it as an aperitif before a big meal or share a bottle around and raise a toast to big beers, you might also consider grabbing a second to put down to see how it develops over a few months or years.

Speaking of the North shore of NS, beer lovers in Pictou County now have a new place to enjoy a few malt beverages. The team behind Uncle Leo’s brewery in Lyons Brook have opened up a new Craft Beer Garden in the town of Pictou called Quayside Beer Garden. Next to the replica of the Ship Hector that brought some of the first settlers to our province, the patio is right on the water and has spectacular views of the harbour. The facility sports 8 taps, through which they’ll be rotating a wide variety of beers from regional producers. Their opening list included Unfiltered, North, Garrison, Chain Yard, and red and white wines from Jost Vineyards. Quayside is located at 33 Caladh Avenue in Pictou and has its own social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram) where you’ll find updated info on the current taps and any events that might be in the works.

Mahone Box’s Saltbox Brewing is launching a new beer today, another in their line of charitable beer releases. Dory Racer is a 5.8% ABV Northeast IPA, featuring that iconic hazy appearance, fruity hop aroma, and tropical citrus aroma with low bitterness. Available on tap at the brewery and licensees, as well as for growler fills and in cans, a portion of the proceeds from every can purchase will go to the Canadian Dory Racing Association based in Lunenburg. And drop by brewery tonight at 6 pm to try the new brew and for the presentation of Saltbox’s donation to SHAID, as a result of their previous charity beer, Homeward Bound. And you can use Dory Racer as inspiration to enter the Dory Racing Challenge as part of Mahone Bay Heritage Boatyard Weekend, August 3-5th.

We’ve got two kinda-sorta-brand-new-debut-launch bottle releases from Stillwell Brewing to tell you about this week. The first is Easy, which we’ve told you about previously when it debuted by-the-glass at Stillwell Beer Bar, but it will be for sale “to go” for the first time this weekend. To catch you up, this 4.7% ABV Saison spent a couple of months in their largest foeder, during fermentation with their house blend of yeast and bacteria, for a more sour take on their Stillwell 2 Saison, with a mix of lactic and acetic acid coming though, complemented with some floral and spicy hops. This one will be in 750 mL bottles. This weekend is also the debut of Merryweather, a blend of 10- and 5-month old oak-fermented farmhouse ales, aged with wild rosehips and blue juniper berries, foraged by FD WildFoods & Fine Products, before bottle conditioning for the past four months. It made its debut during SBC’s trip West to Farmhouse Fest in BC, it is now available on the yEast Coast. The Stillwell Brewing retail pop-up, located around the back of 2015 Gottingen Street, will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 12-3PM, with these two, as well as a handful of other recent bottle releases, plus label-inspired t-shirts, and branded hats.

[Ed note: at 5:30PM we learned that Vaquero’s release is being delayed by a month due to THP being detected in the beer. We are leaving the post up, but please note that the beer and Mexi-food pop-up have been delayed until further notice. More details here.]

Hot on the heels of their first bottle release a couple of weeks ago (and there are still bottles of Dandy left, folks!), Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing has another bottle release set for tomorrow. Vaquero is a 5.3% ABV Tequila barrel aged sour, featuring black lime and agave, that has been months in the making. With Pilsner, Wheat, Spelt and a bit of Rye malts making up the grist, the beer was lightly hopped in the boil with Hallertau Blanc. First soured with a blend of Lactobacillus cultures, the beer was co-fermented with Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeasts. After primary fermentation was complete and the beer reached terminal gravity in stainless steel, the beer was transferred to a freshly-emptied Tequila barrel, with fermentation re-started thanks to the addition of several litres of agave nectar. After that, black limes were added for a conditioning phase, adding bright citrus as well as a lightly smoked character. Fresh lime zest was also added to increase that flavour. At bottling, champagne yeast was dosed in order to finish the entire package with bright, light, and spritzy carbonation. As you may have gathered from the description, there was only one Tequila barrel used in the production of this beer, which means this beer is available in short supply, and ONLY in bottles at the brewery. It will be available to takeaway from noon tomorrow, or better yet, grab a bottle pour at the bar and hang out while Chef Joe Martin slings some Mexican-inspired food, including Elote salad, shrimp tacos, grilled quesadillas, and Mexi dogs, from 12-7PM. Full info on 2C’s insta page.

This week at Good Robot in Halifax they’re doing things a little differently, with a beta brew release on MONDAY for a change. Doc Rauch was brewed with Lee MacDonald and his mentor Chris Thomas to celebrate Lee’s dissertation defense, which will take place Monday morning. That afternoon you’ll find the beer, a smoked lager (Rauchbier) reminiscent of beers that Lee and Chris enjoyed in Germany, on tap, during several research-related trips. Smoky, smooth, and balanced, it used Pilsner, Vienna and Smoked malts along with Tettnanger hops. Brewed June 4th, primary fermentation took roughly three and a half weeks before it was transferred into two casks. So if you miss this 4.7% ABV and 29 IBU beer on Monday, you might be able to get in on the second cask due to be tapped on Tuesday afternoon, on their normal Beta Brewsday schedule.

In other GR news, up for release this week is another lager, this one in the Vienna-style, smooth and malty with a touch of sweetness, a nutty smokiness and a touch of herbs and rye. Leveraging both Vienna and dark Munich malts along with Perle, Mandarina Bavaria, and Willamette hops, we don’t know the name of this 5% ABV and 24 IBU beer, but we can tell you it’ll be hitting the taps on Thursday. And if you’re a fan of GR’s Leave me Blue, their pre-prohibition Kentucky Corn Beer, you’ll find it on tap for Halifax Pride Week events including Comedy Night at Spatz on Thursday, the Bump at Garrison Grounds on Friday, and the Pride Parade on Saturday, among others. If the stocks somehow aren’t drunk dry from all of that, anything that remains will likely be put on tap at GR’s own taproom on Robie Street (but if you want to make sure you get some, we highly recommend checking out those Pride events!).

Down on the south shore of NS in Shelburne, Boxing Rock has a new beer out now, a collaboration with Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co called Floor to Shore! Using a grist of 100% Horton Ridge malt, this 4.5% ABV beer is a dry-hopped Hefeweizen which means it no doubt contains a significant portion of wheat. Look for a smooth, possibly almost creamy mouthfeel, and a distinct hop aroma from the dry hopping. This one is in bottles, so look for it at the brewery, possibly the private stores in Halifax, and no doubt in growlers at BR’s usual farmers market locations as well. And look for it to join several other Boxing Rock beers (featuring their malt) at Horton Ridge during a Tap Takeover July 28th from 12-8PM, with live music 3-5PM, and an Open Mic starting at 7PM.

And up towards the Valley in Digby Roof Hound has a new beer they’re calling Lucille. Described as a “Rhubarbed Mojito Sour”, it’s known to have quite a bite. You’ll be able to find it in bottles next week, but for now it’s only on tap at the brewery. Roof Hound was unfortunately broken into this past week, with damage done and things stolen. A new and interesting beer is another great reason to head down and show your support for Les and his hard-working team!!

Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co has a new beer available now, Breaker Room Grisette. This 4.3% ABV little sister to the Saison was brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, hopped with Strisselspalt, and fermented with New World Saison Yeast from Escarpment Labs. Brewed for French and Belgian miners, looking for a beer after their shifts underground, the style is ideal for delivering flavour and refreshment in a small package. Drop by their 92 West Street location for a pint of this and their other beers this weekend!

In cider news, Halifax’s ChainYard has a new and interesting cider hitting the taps that’s called Drunken Cherry. Featuring both house-made cherry wine and “rhumb” (unaged white rum) from neighboring Compass Distillers, it’s a 9.4% ABV robust and earthy brew with a hint of sour cherry. Fermenting juice to make wine before blending it into cider is a technique that’s fairly unique to Chain Yard and helps encourage a nuanced product that can be quite different from one where juice is added for primary or secondary fermentation. Look for the cherry to have brought cinnamon and nutmeg notes. You can try it for yourself on tap on Agricola Street where it’s pouring now!

Just one event to tell you about this weekend, but it’s a big one!

Port Rexton Brewing is celebrating their Second Anniversary this weekend, with Saturday being an all-day-party-and-new-beer-release-extravaganza! From noon until 12, there will be live music, magic shows, pop-up shops, fresh food, and more, plus the debut of not one, not two, not three, but four new beers!
New-Foeder-Land is the first foeder-aged beer to be released in Newfoundland (and Canada’s most Easterly), an Imperial Farmhouse Ale
High Fives is a Foeder-Aged Brettanomyces Kettle Sour
Oatmeal Stout is a barrel-aged Oatmeal Stout, aged on local Partridgeberries
Kölsch is the winning beer from the Newfermenters Home Brew Competition, brewed by Bill and Ryan late last month
Congratulations to the entire Port Rexton Family! And due to all hands needed at the brewery, their St John’s retail shop will be closed this weekend. But fear not, they’ll be open again next weekend, Friday 12-8PM and Saturday 12-6PM.

Just a few more Newsbites to tell you about today before we let you go:

Halifax’s North Brewing has brought back their Alloy Champagne IPA, with the second in this series a 6.0% IPA that is fermented extremely dry (low- to -no-residual sugar), thanks to the addition of an enzyme to break down complex sugars, making them more available to the yeast. This version features Callista, Huell Melon, and Vic Secret hops, and is available now at both their Agricola and Ochterloney Street locations. And speaking of their Dartmouth location, it is now open 7 days a week, from noon, for all of your bottle, cans, and growler needs.

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing is releasing their newest IPA today, Inception. Featuring loads of Falconers Flight, this 6.5% ABV IPA features notes of spice, citrus and dank, and is available on tap and in cans to go from the brewery now.

And a final “good news in the right direction” for inter-provincial beer, the provincial leaders agreed to raise the personal exemption limits for bringing beer across provincial borders last night, meaning fans can now move 49 litres of beer between provinces. No changes for breweries looking to ship beyond their provincial borders just yet, even though we’ve seen wineries and cideries in our region who ship country-wide, so maybe it is more of a case of “if no one complains, you can get away with it”. More at CBC News.

Happy Friday the 13th! Oh, stop complaining, it’s just a silly superstition (knocks wood, tosses black cat over left shoulder). Plenty going on in the world of Atlantic Canadian beer news, as usual, including the opening of two new breweries in our region, one in PEI, and one in Dartmouth. So let’s get into it so we can all go about the rest of our day (read: waiting for the weekend to officially start).

We hinted last year about Summerside, PEI getting their own brewery, thanks to the work of Alex Clark, owner of the OpenEats restaurant in the downtown area. Well, it looks like all of that planning and preparation has worked out, as Evermoore Brewing just opened their brewery and taproom this week at 192 Water St. Featuring a 10 bbl (1200 L) brewhouse from DME, the brewery’s taproom will be open Sunday-Thursday from noon-8 pm, and Friday and Saturday noon-10 pm. They’re currently filling growlers of their first two beers, Summerside Light and Hoppy Lager, and you’re of course welcome to stay onsite to enjoy a pint! Summerside Light is a 4.0% ABV light and easy going lager, while the Hoppy Lager weighs in at 6.0% ABV and features solid citrus and grassy flavour and aroma, with a hoppy aftertaste. Look for food service to be available later in the year. We hope to have more info and a Profile of Evermoore, including specific details on the beers they hope to have in the future, very soon.

After some major renovations at 91 Alderney Drive in downtown Dartmouth, New Scotland Brewing Company is opening their doors tomorrow. Brewing on a 4 BBL (500 litre) system, their beer will be available in the taproom for flights and pints, as well as to take away in growlers. Keep an eye on their social media for musicians (and maybe even the owners and brewers, musicians in their own right!) to take stage in the taproom. Unfortunately, details on what beers will be pouring are scarce, and we haven’t been able to get hold of them for contact. We hope to have more (is this a trend?) in the near future.

While not a brand new brewery, it is certainly worth mentioning that St. John’s YellowBelly Brewery has opened their new location in the newly expanded Departures level at the St. John’s International Airport. The restaurant and bar is open from early until late (6AM until 11PM) to satisfy both the early business flyers for breakfast, and the rest of us looking for a pint and decent meal before leaving the Island. The restaurant continues the tradition set at their downtown locations of offering freshly-prepared pizza and a full menu, as well as casual bites. Borrowing from the aesthetics of their building at the corner of Water and George Streets downtown, the 150 seat bar and lounge features historical wood and stone features throughout. And, now for what you’re really interested in knowing: what about the beer? They will be pouring their core group of four beers, Yellowbelly Pale Ale, Wexford Wheat, St. John’s Stout and Fighting Irish Red, as well as a brand new beer, the YYT Cream Ale. Their Crooked as Sin cider will also be pouring. They will also be pouring a rotating line or two from other Newfoundland and Labrador craft breweries, as available, showing their love and support for the great shift happening in the province in the past few years. These will be announced on social media as they are tapped. Also available for sale will be YellowBelly merchandise and local treats, and there may even be the possibility of packaged beer available to go in the future (we’ll let you know when that happens!). Congratulations on the launch of the new location, it certainly proves that local beer in Newfoundland is taking off!

Tatamagouche Brewing is bringing back a favourite brew of theirs that first debuted at the start of 2018, their Crack of Dawn. This Breakfast Porter features a Horton Ridge Pale malt base, along with Chocolate Wheat and Oats to offer roast character and mouthfeel. The pièce de résistance is the addition of a cold brew preparation of barrel-aged coffee, this time around featuring Ethiopian green beans aged in a Bulleit Bourbon barrel before getting a light roast treatment from Tata’s neighbours at Meeting Waters Roastery just a few doors down Main Street. The resultant beer is 8.4% ABV, with significant coffee roast and barrel character complementing the full-bodied base Porter. This version, as well as the original release, was brewed with assistance and guidance from homebrew guru Brian Harvey (aka 1029Brewing) and our own acbbchris (former homebrewer, full time drinker). Due to the batch size, this version will only be available on tap, including at the brewery this weekend, as well as Battery Park and Stillwell in HRM, and at Tata’s tent at this weekend’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.

Tata is also debuting a brand new beer this weekend, one for the hop heads among us. Fish Hawke is an 8.4% ABV double dry-hopped Double IPA, featuring a variety of new school and old classic hops, all added after the boil is complete. Chinook and Centennial meet Azacca and Vic Secret insubstantial whirlpool and subsequent temperature-drop additions (this is the period while the wort rests post-boil, and helps to reduce the amount of trub is transferred to the fermenter). After fermentation is complete, two rounds of dry-hopping while conditioning were also undertaken with the same hop blend. Though the bitterness is tough to calculate, there will be some, but the flavour and aroma is the goal in this brew. Looks for Fish Hawke to debut on tap at the brewery and a couple of spots over the weekend, with a small number of cans being released at the brewery on Monday.

The fine folks at Big Axe Brewery have been extremely busy prepping for their second annual Big Axe Craft Beer Festival happening tomorrow (more on that in the events section below), but that hasn’t stopped them from brewing some new beers on their brand-spanking-new 10 bbl system in Nackawic! Launched this week if their Lumberjack East Coast Lager, a “Czech Amber Lager” brewed with summertime drinking in mind. Featuring a grist of Pilsner and Vienna malt, the brew was fermented with a Lager yeast strain and then allowed to lager at cool temperatures for four weeks. Richly malt, with bready and biscuity notes, it has a medium body to help support the sessionable 4.1% ABV, letting you enjoy a couple of these without feeling out of control (YMMV). On tap now at your favourite Big Axe tap account!

Fredericton’s TrailWay is releasing the latest iteration of El Generico, their constantly-changing fruited kettle sour. This time around, the 3.8% ABV beer had raspberry puree and lime juice added after fermentation, giving plenty of bright fruit aromatics, along with a high level of lime in the flavour. Look for it on tap and in cans at the brewery today at opening (11 am), and likely on tap at several licensees across the city. And in other TW news, they won a coolship (long, shallow, open-top vessel used to cool wort) at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, TN, which recently arrived at the brewery; they’ll be using this new addition to kick off their barrel-aged, sour beer program (naturally, don’t be looking for these beers anytime soon… it’s a long process!).

Heading over to Newfoundland, Port Rexton is putting two beers on tap at their taproom this weekend; while these beers aren’t new, exactly, they have been difficult to find in the past, making appearances at both Stillwell locations over the CBA weekend in May, and sporadically at Port Rexton. First up is Tyrannosaurus Brett, a Brett Porter brewed with acbbchris. Fermented entirely with Brett D, this one was aged for six months in fresh red wine barrels (one American, one French), giving aromas of “red wine, dark chocolate, berries and oak”, with fig and red grape notes as well. Finishing clean and dry, it weighs in at 5.9% ABV. Next is Brett Chops (6.3% ABV), which is the brewery’s flagship Horse Chops IPA, aged in red wine barrels (the very same used for Tyrannosaurus Brett) for six weeks with Escarpment Lab’s Brett D. The finishing beer has a light acidity, an aroma of “light barnyard funk, overripe mango, mild strawberry, and red grapes”, and stone fruit and a “pop rocks/candy” presence in the flavour, along with some wonderful Brett character. Stop by the brewery this weekend to satisfy your funk crave! Note that the brewery’s retail shop in St. John’s has extended their hours for the summer, Friday 12-8 pm and Saturday 12-6 pm.

Back over to Rothesay, where Foghorn has a new beer on tap, named after a Billy Madison reference that I was supposed to Youtube, but forgot (oops!). The Blue Duck is a dark lager brewed along the lines of a Munich Dunkel. With a grist made up mainly of Pilsner malt, along with some CaraMunich, CaraAroma, and Melanoiden, it was fermented with a dry Lager yeast strain, and then lagered for over a month before its release. Bready, with a touch of caramel, it finishes light, clean, and easy-drinking at just 4% ABV. Enough malt character to satisfy your needs, but not too heavy to scare of those of you afraid of dark beers (stop it!). On tap at Foghorn now for pints and growler fills, at a few accounts in New Brunswick, and pouring at this weekend’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.

Propeller promised us last week that they’d have a new variation of their summer-favourite Hefeweizen this week, and staying true to their word, they’ve released Azacca Hopfenweisse, their latest Gottingen Small Batch.The brewery is describing the beer as a “fusion” of Hefeweizen with a “New World IPA”; while staying at a very-drinkable 4.8% ABV, the Azacca hop is featured prominently, providing aromas of tropical fruit and citrus, to complement the typical banana and clove character found in all good Hefeweizens. Highly carbonated, with a medium-light finish, you can find it on tap at Propeller starting today, where it will be available for growler fills only.

Remember when we told you last week that Good Robot would be re-releasing their Burban Legend this week? Well, turns out they decided to hold off on that, therefore turning the ACBB into a house of lies. Being the fine, fine people that we are, however, we’ll still tell you all about their latest Beta Brew, Pink Flamingo. This “Watermelon Kiwi Radler” was brewed with Giovanni, and has fresh watermelon and kiwi added, giving the 5% ABV beverage a pink colour, and a light, refreshing tartness. An infusion of tea from David’s Tea was also added; Look for it on tap at GR next Tuesday. Look for Leave Me Blue this week as well, which will mostly be available at various Pride events.

After many months of renovations and other preparations, Alma’s Holy Whale Brewing has opened their Riverview taproom location. Located in a former shipping container along the Petitcodiac River, you can find it at 391 Coverdale Rd., in the parking lot of the Riverview’s Chocolate River station. They’ll be pouring on 12 taps, with six dedicated to Holy Whale beers, and six to guest beers, with a focus on New Brunswick craft. They’ve also taken their small, test brewery equipment from Alma and installed it in the shipping container, so expect to see some very small-batch one-offs on tap over the coming weeks! Everything sold at the location will be for consumption on-site only, where there is seating capacity for 70, including space on the boardwalk to enjoy your beer(s). They’re open Wed-Thurs 5-9, Fri 4-9, Sat 1-9, and Sun 1-6.

A few beer related things you might get up to in the coming week:

Tickets have been sold out for some time, but the 2nd Annual Big Axe Craft Beer Festival – the largest outdoor craft beer fest in Atlantic Canada – is happening tomorrow, July 14th, from 4-8 pm in Nackawic. Those of you lucky enough to have grabbed your tickets will be treated to a gargantuan (I’ve always liked that word… so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence) number of vendors pouring their tasty beers, ciders, mead, and vodka, as well as five food trucks, 3 live bands, and one mechanical bull (BYO pen to sign the waiver, and BYO neck brace!). On top of all that, there’s outdoor drinking during a beautiful day, and free boat rides from 3-7 pm. The 40 attending breweries, cideries, etc. will be from across the Maritimes, as well as Ontario and Maine. One thousand people will be attending… have a great time!

The third “In Concert With” dinner from The Carleton will be partnered with Garrison Brewing and Upstreet, and is happening on Thursday, July 19th. “Chef Dolente’s Craft Draught Showdown” will involve five courses, each paired with two 4 oz beers (one from each brewery). Both Daniel Girard of Garrison and Mike Hogan of Upstreet will be in attendance to speak about the pairings, along with Chef Michael Dolente. Those of you attending will vote on your favourite beer at the end of the night. The event also includes live music; tickets are $55 + HST and can be purchased here.

Lastly, a couple more quick ones that might influence your weekend beer plans:

Breton Brewing has just kegged the second beer in their Summer Sour Series, Strawberry Rhubarb Kettle Sour (4.2% ABV). It’s available now in their taproom for pints and growler fills, and should be hitting tap accounts in the HRM sometime next week.
Lake City Cider has officially opened their taproom in downtown Dartmouth, at 35 Portland St. They’re open every day from 10am-8pm, so drop by to grab some cider-to-go, or to enjoy a pour at their new location.
Niche Brewing has brought back their “Hibiscus Sour Ale”, Ruby Tuesday (4.4% ABV). This fruity, tart, bright red beer will be pouring at select locations in Fredericton and Saint John, as well as at tomorrow’s Big Axe Craft Beer Festival.
Upstreet is now selling packaging two of their flagship beers, Do-Gooder and Rhuby Social, in 12 oz cans; the two join their other flagship, Commons, which they started canning a couple of months ago.

Happy first day of Summer and longest day of the year, you’ve got more daylight today than any other day of the year during which to enjoy the fine beers of our region’s producers and it looks like the weather in most of Atlantic Canada is cooperating. So give a read below to see what might be new and interesting in your particular geographical corner of our burgeoning beer scene and get thee to a patio!! (Although if you’re in Newfoundland, maybe bring a sweater? Sawwy).

Starting up on the Rock, waaay up in Twilingate, where Split Rock Brewing has plenty on the go. First is the latest iteration of their Gateway, a 7.1% ABV India Pale Ale that’s been getting successively hoppier as batches have gone on in a possibly not-so-subtle effort to gently introduce modern IPAs to their local market. Featuring plenty of Cascade and Amarillo in both late additions and dry hops, they’ve now gotten it to where they want it, at least for the time being. Also released this week was Razzin’ Around, a Raspberry Wheat beer made with lots of real raspberry puree for aroma and flavor. Tart, but not sour, it still manages to have a crisp finish, making for a refreshing summer beer with a pleasant fruit kick. Lastly, but definitely not least, this weekend Split Rock is kicking off what is planned to be a series of sour beers, each of which will feature something different added to the base, which is a kettle sour using Pilsner and wheat that has been soured with a pure pitch of Lactobacillus plantarum. These beers will come in under the moniker of Sour Patch B’ys and the first has been dubbed Sour Patch B’ys: Citra, for the generous addition of Citra in the dry hop stage. Pale yellow in colour, this medium-sour beer has a lemony-lime tang and overall citrus flavor. You’ll find all three of these beers primarily at their brewpub, the Stage Head Pub (hours on their Facebook page), but some will no doubt make it to other parts of the province, most likely St. John’s (we can confirm that the Gateway IPA is on at Jack Axes and Razzin’ Around is at Fort Amherst Pub in Churchill Square).

Speaking of St. John’s, YellowBelly Brewery has a new beer pouring, a black IPA they’re calling Gravity Base, an homage to the many Newfoundlanders working in the oil and gas industries at sea and on land. This 5.3% ABV and 60 IBU brew is big and toasty, bready and bitter, with Pacific Gem, Citra and Topaz hops added in the boil and a dry hop of Motueka providing a fruity balance. Look for it on tap on site, pouring for pints and growler fills, and bottles to come this week.

And rounding out the Newfoundland news, over in the Southwest portion of the island in Corner Brook, Bootleg Brew Co. has a brand new beer on tap themselves. Drunken Muppet is an Extra Special Bitter ale aimed solidly at non-hopheads. Only 20 IBU and a fairly sessionable 5.0% ABV, it features hints of cocoa and coffee to accompany a light malt toastiness. Available only by the pint at the brewery.

Heading south to Nova Scotia, Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing has released another in their lineup of Black Box Challenge winners, Bursted! IPA. Brewed by Truro’s Derek Wood (known as Woody amongst the local homebrewing community), his runner-up entry took a different turn than the already-released Oh Snap! Ginger Snap Brown. Focusing on the plethora of hops provided in the box, he used Mosaic late in the boil, Cascade and Amarillo at flameout for a 30 minute whirlpool, and tons of all three in the dry-hop after the fact, extracting more aroma and flavour than bitterness and elevating this pale-coloured beer to new heights. As well as on tap and in growlers, look for bottles of the 6.5% ABV Bursted! at the brewery, their market stalls, and at the private stores in HRM this weekend.

Now that we’re officially into summer, Annapolis Brewing Company is ramping up their energy level to keep the thirsty Valley- (and Visiting-) folk happy. Now that their taproom is open at 302 St George Street, they have a pair of beers coming out in the next several days. Debuting this weekend is a brand new Session IPA named Cool Calm & Collected. “CC & C” also covers the hop side of the beer nicely, with Cascade, Chinook, and Citra coming together to provide a solid hop presence to a very sessionable 4.1% ABV beer. Expect this one to be a hoppy refresher for the deck or the dock this summer. And speaking of summer beers, expect to see Blockhouse Blonde back on tap early next week. Brewed with a combination of 7 malts and hopped with modern Ella and classic East Kent Goldings, it weighs in at 5.3% ABV.

In the big city, Stillwell Brewing has yet another double release happening tomorrow from 12 – 3 PM at their usual spot behind Propeller on Gottingen Street. If you’ve been enjoying the Poptones released two weeks ago but have been musing to yourself, “I say, this is a delightful farmhouse pale ale, but I do wonder what it might taste like if someone were to have aged it in oak barrels for a while,” you’re in luck! Adjust your monocle, good sir/madam, and peep the Poptones Remix. This beer went into Burgundy-style white wine barrels at the same time the OG Poptones was first put into bottles, so while it’s the same age, it grew up in a different part of town, so to speak. Still light and refreshing, but with some oak character, a deeper acidity and funkier flavors overall, it’s 5.3% ABV and displaying herbal and lemony notes with hay and funk. Also up on the block tomorrow is version two of Sport, which was a much bigger batch than the original, allowing more flexibility and variety in the blend. At 5.6% ABV, it’s light and refreshing, if a little heavier than last year’s version, and it once again features lime zest and sea salt to complement the subtle coconut character provided by the barrels. And if you want to get into these beers quickly without cracking into bottles, you’ll also find both on draught today at Stillwell HQ on Barrington, the first time they’re featuring Stillwell Brewing oaked farmhouse beers on tap!

Halifax nano Tidehouse is re-releasing their Cloud Shadow hopfenweisse again, this time in smaller bottles (340 mL vs 640 mL), but still packed with the same flavor. A hoppy wheat beer with Mandarina Bavaria and Ahtanum, expect citrus, tangerine and floral aromas and flavors balanced against a solid malt bill of 50/50 wheat and pale malts. There’s a bottle limit of 6 per person and you can only get them at the brewery on Salter Street starting today at 2 PM. And while you’re there, you might consider asking the helpful barperson for a pour (still only 4 oz, sadly, but only for 10 more days!) of another Tidehouse new release, a strong hoppy saison they’re calling Houndstooth. We’ll have more information on that one as its bottle release approaches in a couple of weeks, but you can get yourself a preview today!

A stone’s throw (OK, maybe a long drive on the fairway) up and over from Salter is Brunswick Street, where you can find a pair of new beers from 2 Crows Brewing’s fermenters. First up is a special collaboration with Coady and Griffin from Dartmouth cocktail and foodie hotspot The Watch That Ends The Night. Inspired by mixology, specifically a cocktail called the Last Word, and expressing brewer Jeremy Taylor’s love of gin (and giving him an excuse to walk over to TWTETN for “research”), Last Word started with a basic grist of Pilsner and wheat malts, with some raw wheat for character, and was lightly hopped in the boil with Halltertau Blanc and Calypso. From there it was fermented warm to encourage earthy and pithy grapefruit yeast character from the Brettanomyces strains used. This became the base for additional machinations centered around the various elements of the Last Word cocktail, namely gin, lime, chartreuse and maraschino, each in its own way. The gin is represented through the addition of juniper berries, coriander and orange peel, the lime by 5 cases worth of lime juice and zest, and the chartreuse by bay leaves and lemon verbana. The maraschino was creatively reflected by the use of mahleb, a spice made from cherry pits, that brings marzipan (sweet almond) and light cinnamon notes. Lastly, a small amount of sour beer was blended in for a bit of zip and to accentuate the lime character. For packaging the beer was keg conditioned with Champagne yeast to provide a tight effervescence. The result is definitely a beer, but one with a lot of subtle reminders of the cocktail. Lime is the dominant flavor, but there is also earthiness, the zip of the gin botanicals, some herbaceous notes, and a slight marzipan sweetness. You’ll find this one of a kind beer only on tap at the brewery and, of course, at The Watch That Ends The Night for now, with kegs possibly going out to other places in coming weeks.

The second of the pair is a pilot brew from Assistant Brewer (let’s be honest, these guys and gals do all of the hard work in breweries) Miles, and Assistant to the Brewer Nick. Retrograde is hoppy and hazy New England-style Pale Ale, available now at the brewery, only by the glass. The malt bill started out as one destined for a Saison, featuring Pilsner, Wheat, Rye, and Spelt, but this dynamic duo decided to cross the Atlantic mid-way through the boil and used loads of Azacca, Ella, Hallertau Blanc, and Loral hops, and fermented it with the darling of NEIPA beers, London Ale III. With more of the same hops added on the cold side, the flavour and aromas shoot through the roof, showcasing peach, pineapple and pear notes on a soft and pillowy base. As mentioned above, this 5.5% ABV beer is only available at the brewery by the pint, so don’t delay your visit to grab it!

Niche Brewing in Hanwell, NB, has released a new Belgian-inspired beer this week, but setting aside the wild and funkier side for a classic and clean one. Day Tripper is a Tripel, with a malt bill of primarily Pilsner malt, with a little Aromatic and Wheat malt as well, and hopped with the very traditional Saaz varietal to 24 IBUs. Using a traditional Trappist yeast strain which exhibits fruity esters, it melds well with the spiciness from the Noble hopping. With the light sweetness often found with Pils-heavy beers, it transitions to fruity and spicy, and finishes dry with a touch of alcohol warmth from the 8.4% ABV. It can be found around Fredericton at Graystone, King Street Ale House, and The Joyce, and kegs may be available further afield soon.

Fredericton’s Grimross Brewing has dropped the latest beer in their Scratch Series, this being release #11. 100% Brettanomyces is, you could probably guess, fermented solely with our favourite wild-but-domesticated yeast Brettanomyces. The straw-coloured base was lightly hopped (to 20 IBUs) with locally-grown Hallertau and Magnum from Darlings Island Hop Farm, before fermentation. The resultant beer is quite dry, with bright tropical fruity notes and a touch of funkiness from the yeast. As with the rest of these Scratch releases, this is a draught-only beer, so drop by the brewery, or check out the local haunts for your next pint.

PEI’s Upstreet Brewing is finally releasing a beer they say has been 548 days in the making (but who’s counting?). Part of their Million Acres series of barrel-aged farmhouse and sour beers, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Apple Brett Blonde Ale was brewed on December 21, 2016 and bottled some 9 months later in September of 2017. It’s been aged in those bottles for an additional 9 months, which brings us to today and its availability at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner. Blurring the line between farmhouse and orchard, expect an overall easy drinking beer, but with notes of interest from apples, Brettanomyces and Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon barrel. Although quantities are definitely limited, you might consider grabbing two of these and salting one away to see what another 9 months (or even 18) might bring to it. You can also try a glass on tap at both locations while it lasts.

Unfiltered Brewing on Halifax’s North Street has released their first bottled beer in a spell, Mise en Garde. This 10.8% ABV stunner is a Barleywine fermented with both American and Belgian yeasts, before being aged on oak. Today’s release is available in 500mL bottles (perfect for adding to the cellar), as well as on tap and in growler fills, but as the name implies, proceed with caution.

Good Robot on Robie Street has a pair of new beers hitting the taps next week, hot off the heels of their Halifax Beer North and South Double IPA collaborations, and the perhaps-aptly-named Sorry from the past week. On Tuesday the 26th, they’ll be releasing their latest Beta Brew, Four Freddy Beaches. Assistant Brewer and Beta Brewster Kelly Costello grew up in Fredericton (aka Freddy Beach), and recruited three high school classmates Jenni, Leah, and Ally to brew this one. This 5.3% ABV hoppy Pale Ale has a base of 2 Row, with some Cara Aroma, Red X, and a touch of Rye malts, and hopped in the boil with Warrior and Vic Secret, and dry-hopped with Belma.

On Thursday the 28th, GRBC will be releasing their latest big batch brew, Pterodactyl Song. A 4.8%  American Wheat named in honour of comedian Maria Bamford, the malt bill consists of 2 Row and Wheat, along with Vienna, Red Wheat and a bit of Honey Malt. Hopped to 23 IBUs with Warrior and Falconer’s Flight, this beer also received a dry-hopping treatment of Belma after fermentation.

And mark your calendars for their Hair of the Dog event at the Garrison Grounds (think the edge of Bell Rd at Sackville St) June 30th and July 1st. From 11-11 each day, this dog park/beer garden combination will be full of dogs and their owners playing fetch, rolling in the grass, and sniffing each others butts (mostly the dogs, we reckon). Pints of Good Robot will be available for purchase, plus there will be plenty of dog-related vendors as well as food trucks/tables. While admission to the grounds is free, donations and pint sales proceeds will be going to support the Nova Scotia SPCA and Halifax Pop Explosion. And in case you were wondering, no dog is needed to come hang out and pet the friendly mutts.

A couple more new and re-releases to tell you about, before you hit the nearest beer garden, patio, campground, or dock this afternoon

– Spindrift continues their Seventh Wave Series with Pineapple Pear, a 4.7% ABV unfiltered Helles this week. Lightly flavoured with pineapple and pear, the underlying beer is still the star of the show, giving a fine base for the fruit aroma and flavour. As always, these are only available at the brewery, and in short supply, so be sure to drop by today for a fill.
– North Brewing has a fresh batch of their Lawrencetown Surf Session Ale available at both their Halifax and Dartmouth locations, in both cans and on tap. This 4.0% ABV beer is full of hoppy goodness, but is all flavour and aroma with very low bitterness. The oats in the grain bill help to keep the beer from being too thin, despite its dry finish. And check out the Launch Party tomorrow night at Lion & Bright in celebration of East Coast Surf School.
– PEI Brewing Company is continuing their Growlers of Summer with Hopscotch Lager today. Think New England IPA, but fermented with a lager yeast, the beer features plenty of late- and dry-hopping on a base of light malts and oats to enhance the mouthfeel. Drop by at 4PM for your fill to start your weekend.
– Tanner & Co in Chester have a brand new beer on tap at the brewery this weekend. This Double IPA is a big one at 8.9% ABV, and features loads of Citra and Simcoe in the boil, and at multiple times during the dry hopping phase, ending up at 75 IBUs. Take a trip down Angus Hiltz Road this weekend to grab a growler.