Graystone Brewing

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As many are aware, it’s a big weekend of beer in New Brunswick, but it’s a bigger weekend for women around the world. International Women’s Day is on Sunday and we’re happy to say that lots of breweries around our region have made an effort to recognize women, usually in the best way they know how: with beer. We truly hope that the celebration of women’s contributions by breweries and beer-related businesses extends past this Sunday and pervades all aspects of our industry. #EachForEqual #IWD2020.

Before we get on to our usual bevy of bevvy news, we’d like to thank everyone who came out for beer trivia at The Joyce last night hosted by our own acbbchris. We’re assured a good time was had by all, and how could it not be with all that great swag donated by so many breweries from around the region; thanks to everyone who sent prizes along for us to distribute, as well as to our gracious hosts The Joyce and 2 Crows.

Now let’s tell you about some beer, shall we?

We’ll kick it off with a beer made for IWD by a brewery started by women: Port Rexton brewed their new Violet Femmes using a very special ingredient that gives it a truly amazing color. Starting with a kettle sour, they added butterfly pea flower. Butterfly pea has bright blue petals that are often used as a natural dye, but the color depends on the pH of the liquid it’s added to. In this case, the acidic nature of the sour beer resulted in a lovely violet hue, perfect for IWD. The beer was then dry-hopped for fruity and floral notes that attempt to capture the taste of the color purple. At 4.6% ABV, you’ll be able to savour more than one as you consider how close they came to that goal. And there’s another good reason to have a couple: $1 from every pint sold (and $0.50 for each half-pint) will be donated to Stella’s Circle and their Naomi Centre, an emergency shelter for women aged 16 – 30 in St. John’s. You’ll also find bins at the taproom and shop if you’d like to make a separate cash donation. This special beer became available yesterday and will be on sale at the taproom and for fills at the PR St. John’s Retail Shop as long as it lasts.

Also brewing up something special for IWD is Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing, who will also be celebrating the occasion with a full slate of events on the evening of March 8th. Tide Breaker is a black currant gose brewed by the women of Upstreet. With a grist of 50% pale and 50% wheat malts, flavored with salt, coriander and hibiscus, it was hopped with Ekuanot and finished with black currant purée. We’ve no doubt that the combination of hibiscus and currant resulted in a rather purple colour. Named for the notion that sometimes you can’t just go with the flow and that, “Redirection can equal balance,” they’ll be donating $1 from every pint sold to Blooming House, a Charlottetown shelter dedicated to keeping women safe. It’ll go on tap at opening (11 AM) on Sunday. The evening will see some remarks from Upstreet and representatives from Blooming House at 4:45 PM, followed by an hour of open mic (open to anyone and anything), and then Kierrah Celeste + Band will take over for the night at 6 PM.

Those dialed into the global beer scene, or at least the North American beer scene, may remember a bit of a blip a couple years ago when suddenly there were beers appearing that were, for lack of a better term “sparkly.” Glitter beer was definitely a thing, but a thing that managed to almost totally miss our region (as far as we remember, Big Axe’s Northern Lights Glitter Stout was the only one, way back in mid-2017). Some might even say it was a good thing, and that such an adulteration of our sacred (pfft) beverage by a purely cosmetic (hah!) addition is somehow “wrong.” We’re sure those folks are no fun at parties.

Well good news for anyone who feels that they missed the boat on glitter beer never having much of a presence on our shores, as one has finally arrived, and it was brewed at Foghorn by a collection of ladies from across New Brunswick that included brewers, restaurant and bar owners, general managers, and servers, as well as folks from Loyalist City, Uncorked Tours, Craft Coast Canning, and ANBL, specifically for IWD 2020. Sparkölsch is a 5.1% ABV beer in the classic Kölsch style. Brewed with an ale yeast, to 20 IBU and 5.1% ABV, it was cold conditioned not unlike a lager to help encourage a clean and crisp finish. Edible glitter was added at kegging time using the novel technique of adding it to the sight glass on the way to the keg. Most of the batch went into kegs that will be tapped in various locations across the province, but a small amount was packaged into 60 bottles that was available at Red Rover Cider in Fredericton (sorry folks, they sold out!). In addition to the camaraderie of women coming together and making something unique and interesting, there is also a significant giving component to the enterprise. A portion of the proceeds from every pint, growler fill and bottle sold of this beer will go to various community organizations that support women. Foghorn’s in particular will go to the United Way as part of their Quarter Club membership, with the funds ultimately going to support mental health research and survivors of domestic violence. But other participants will decide what project they are supporting with their sales of the beer. You’ll be able to get your glitter on this weekend at the below list of venues in the Province, so go forth and get sparkly!

Lunn’s Mill in Lawrencetown, NS is debuting a new release this Saturday, in celebration of their third anniversary. A fairly clean saison with a little bit more of what you’re looking for, Extra Season was brewed back in February when our own acbbchris made a visit to the Annapolis Valley and helped to brew up this collaboration. Starting with a base of Belgian Pale malt, along with a decent percentage of oats for added mouthfeel, and Aromatic, Vienna, CaraVienne/Special B for added complexity. The kettle saw an early addition of Bravo for bittering, and then plenty of lovely Loral added later in the boil, as well as in a subsequent dry-hop (with Azacca as well). At 5.6% ABV, it is floral, fruity, and tropical, with just a touch of funk from the yeast, and finishes nice and dry. You will be able to grab this beer when it debuts tomorrow at noon in their taproom, as well as at March 21st’s Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival, and spots around HRM (maybe even a cask,eyes peeled everyone!), as well in cans at the end of the month. As if a brand new beer wasn’t enough to get you in the car to Lawrencetown Saturday, the LM crew is throwing a heck of a party! The first 100 people through the door will get a special gift, the kitchen will be rocking all day, a slideshow of the entire history of Lunn’s Mill will be playing in the Boiler Room all day (shots of the wood shop before renos started, growler fills at the garage door, home deliveries, right up to today), and Incoming are playing from 8 PM. Drop by to help them celebrate, have a beer or two, eat a steak taco or two, and rock out!

The gang at Trailway in Fredericton took a step away from their hazy, hoppy standards recently to brew up a rather traditional Berliner Weisse that they’re calling Low Key. Beginning with a grist of 50% German Pilsner malt and 50% wheat malt, it was fermented with a German ale yeast to start, then soured with Lactobacillus. Both kegged and bottled, the bottles were left to condition for six weeks before this week’s release. Inspired by authentic Berliners consumed on a trip to Europe late last year, it’s got a doughy and biscuity malt profile that supports a citric fruitiness. On tap for pints only at the brewery, but no growler fills, it was also packaged into both 500 mL and 750 mL bottles, so you’ll still be able to take some to go. And while at the brewery, pick up cans or fills of the latest batch of their Bliss, their 4.0% ABV India Pale Lager, brewed with Idaho 7 and Amarillo, which will also see wider distro across the province next week.

Two of our smaller Newfoundland breweries recently teamed up to make a special treat for their collective drinking public, Deer Lake’s Rough Waters Brewing Co and Corner Brook’s Bootleg Brew Co. The Real McCoy falls into the “White IPA” style, where a largely wheat-based ale is fermented with Belgian yeast for some light spicy and phenolic character before being dosed with hops, in this case Monroe and Enigma for notes of citrus, melon, and tropical fruit. Coming in at 5.6% ABV, it’s crisp, dry and easy drinking, with not a lot of bitterness, a prime example of old world meeting new world. Look for it at Bootleg for sure on tap and in bottles, but possibly at Rough Waters as well.

Like many folks, Moth Lane Brewing in Ellerslie, PEI, wondered what they could do to help the nearby community of Tyne Valley recover from the devastating fire that destroyed their community rink at the end of 2019. Going with what they know, they decided the answer, as is so often the case, is beer. Enter Rink Rat, a 4.75% ABV and 10 IBU light lager that aims to please. Moth Lane will be donating 100% of the sales of this batch of beer to the initiative to rebuild the sports centre in Tyne Valley. It’s already been delivered to Backwoods Burger, Mill River Resort, 511 West, Ansons, The Silver Fox and Brothers. More kegs are going out, however, including to Charlottetown today. Keep an eye on Moth Lane’s Facebook page to find out where you might grab a pint and support this worthy cause. And if you’re in the Ellerslie area, you can of course grab some at the brewery.

Way down on the South Shore near Yarmouth, Tusket Falls looks like they’re coming out of winter hibernation (or just getting good and ready for NSCBM) with three new canned beers coming out all at once. First up is Peach Mint Sour IPA, a beer that no doubt does what it says on the tin, with Citra and Galaxy hops meeting a kettle sour at 6.5% ABV. Next is Take Me to the Other Side, a Vanilla Milkshake IPA landing at 7.0% ABV also featuring Galaxy, but paired this time with El Dorado. And last, but not least, is Hello, Is Anybody Out There, a 6.0% ABV Hazy IPA with Lotus and Simcoe hops. Good times for hop lovers in Tusket, and, we suspect, the city as well, as TF beers are no stranger to private store shelves in Halifax.

Fredericton’s downtown is getting a bit more beery this weekend! The Capital Complex has re-branded as The Cap, and is adding a small brewery onsite to be able to supplement their support for other local breweries and cideries. The brewhouse is a 3 BBL (~350 litre) system from Stout Tanks, with three fermenters of the same size. The focus will be on beers fit for drinking during one of the many live shows to roll through the different venues under The Cap moniker, or perfect for enjoying on their own in their new Record Store opening in the Capital Bar space next Saturday, and operating daily (except Monday), 11AM until 6PM. The store will also be a place suitable for a day-time hang or laptops-out meeting place while listening to tunes. Once completely up and running in the next few months, the brewery, headed by local homebrewing collective “Tough Guy Brewing” (Ian Demerchant, Steven Christie and Mark Budd), will be supplying two taps in each of the Capital Bar and Phoenix and Wilser’s rooms. However, no need to wait to enjoy their first release, brewed as a collaboration at nearby pals Graystone Brewing. Collaborate and Listen Citra Pale Ale is a 5.0% ABV American Pale Ale, brewed almost exclusively with Citra, and light and refreshing to enjoy now or on the patio once those are a thing again. In addition to launching today at all three venues in The Cap, they’ll be pouring it this weekend at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival.

Tourism Fredericton has a brand new initiative to get folks out and about drinking good beer and cider made in the city, launching the Fredericton Taproom Trail. Pop by any of the participating spots to get your passport stamped, and win some prizes, and the affection of others, with every stop! Gahan House Riverside, Graystone Brewing, Grimross Brewing, RustiCo.& King West Brewing, Mama’s Brew Pub, Maybee Brew, Picaroons Brewing, Red Rover Cider, The Cap, TrailWay Brewing, and York County Cider.

Tatamagouche is definitely staying busy these days; they’re coming to the city for two events coming up this week. Plus another event you’ll want to attend later this month…

First up, coming on Wednesday, March 11th, at 6:30 PM, is the latest in the Agricola Street Brasserie’s Intimate and Interactive Beer Pairing Dinner series. The 5-course food menu planned by chef Dwayne MacLeod and his team has already been posted up on Instagram, and you can rest assured that the Tata team has been working hard to complement these dishes with suitable pairings from their oeuvre of tasty beers. Tickets are $100 per person, including all fees, taxes, and gratuity, and they can be purchased on-line through Eventbrite. A limited number are available, though, so if you like the looks of that menu or love Tata’s beers, or both, and you’re looking for something delicious to do on Wednesday night in Halifax, maybe grab a ticket or two and head down.

And three days later, on Saturday, March 14th, the Tata gang will be taking over the taps at Stillwell on Barrington, with 12 taps pouring their best draught, 3 casks on the go, and the debut of the collaboration beer brewed by Stillwell staff at (and with!) Tata a little while ago. Don’t be surprised if you see re-releases of some of their longer term cellared offerings available in that mix. Joe Martin will also have some special things coming out of the kitchen specifically for that day. Come out and celebrate with Team Tata and Team Stillwell and drink some fine beers with some great people!

We are just two weeks away from the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival, which serves as the kick-off to Nova Scotia Craft Beer Month in April. The March 21st event will feature more than 40 breweries from across the province, showcasing the latest and greatest from CBANS members. There are two sessions that day, 2 – 4:30 PM and 7 – 9:30 PM, with VIP tickets getting you in an hour early. While only standard tickets remain for both sessions, you’re sure to still have a great time drinking your way from Yarmouth to Sydney,and Amherst to Sheet Harbour, all in one day. We’ll update on the events during NSCB Month as they become available, but we can tell you to mark your calendar for Friday, April 3rd at 7 PM, as we’ll be hosting a Trivia Night at Auction House, which will also serve as the release party for a collaboration brew that saw Propeller host Off Track and Spindrift in their Dartmouth brewery.

As if we haven’t already inundated you with new beers, here are a bunch more to round out your day!

If you like your cider with a bit of beer bite (i.e. you like Snakebite, a mixture of beer and cider), ChainYard has just the ticket with King Crimson Cobra Commander. They blended a cider made with Crimson King apples with North Brewing’s Malternate Reality, kicking off a new fermentation. The result is “tart, funky, and refreshing”, and is only available on tap at ChainYard, for a limited time.

Heritage Brewing has a new brew for your Yarmouth beer needs: El Dorado IPA is a 5% ABV Session IPA brewed with a simple malt bill, and hopped to 40 IBUs (and dry-hopped heavily) with the lovely El Dorado variety, giving plenty of tropical fruit character. 

Iron Rock Brewing has something new to help you cool down after your long trek across Labrador, a refreshing Wheat Ale named Checkpoint 19. Fermented with the Norwegian Voss Kveik yeast, it’s “slightly spicy with notes of citrus on the nose”, and is available for pints only at the brewery.

O’Creek Brewing has launched their latest fruited kettle sour, Berry Mango Sour (5% ABV). Soured with Lactobacillus and fruited with mango, raspberry, and blueberry, the lion’s share of kegs are currently pouring at the Pump House Fill Station in Moncton. And keep your eyes peeled for their Route 117 IPA being released in cans for the first time later this month!

Picaroons has a brand new NEIPA hitting their taps this weekend. North of the Border (7% ABV), hopped with a large amount of El Dorado and a little Cascade, is hazy, juicy, and citrusy, and will be available first at the General Store; look for it to follow at the Roundhouse, shortly.

Sussex Ale Works is taking a crack at the salty, tart Gose style with their latest, Gose Before Bros (so do you pronounce the Gose part incorrectly, or Bros?). Brewed in the traditional style with a blend of Pilsner and Wheat malt, it was kettle-soured with Lactobacillus, hopped very lightly with Perle, and features additions of sea salt and coriander. 

Halifax’s Unfiltered Brewing would like folks to know that their very popular Citra-inundated DOA is back in cans and on the shelves (also available for fills and pints) as of noon today. Meanwhile they’ve also hinted on social media at the debut of an all-new Nash SMaSH beer coming out in the next little while; we’ll be sure to let you know when that happens. For now, if you’re a fan of the DOA we recommend you don’t wait as this one has a tendency to disappear pretty quickly.

Howdy howdy folks, and welcome to another ACBeerBlog Friday Wrap-up where we blather on at length about as many of the beer happenings in Atlantic Canada as we were able to get details about. This week we’ve got a new brewery announcement, some collabs, the usual fresh releases, and a couple of events to tell you about, so grab a beer and get ready. But before you read further, we’d like to give you a heads-up that next week we’ll be taking one of our (ultra-)rare weeks off from the blog, so you’ll have to do your own social media mining for beer news on Friday, July 19. We’ll be back on the 26th, refreshed and ready to bring you our usual high quality reportage.

While details are a bit light at the moment, we are thrilled to share news of a soon-to-open brewery coming to Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Delta Force Brewing is the culmination of well over a decade of recipe development and perfection of techniques by decorated homebrewers Jayme Keddy and Gavin Stewart. Concentrating on “farmshed” beers (think “farmhouse”, but smaller and with a local bent), Delta Force will serve the Valley and HRM before fall. Follow along on their social mediums for progress ( Fb / Ig / Tw ), and we’ll have a full Profile with Keddy and Stewart (aka Alexander and McCoy) closer to opening, with background on their beer, brewhouse, and plans. 

Lake City Cider celebrated their Anniversary this week, marking their cidery and taproom’s first year of operation with a tap takeover at fellow downtown Dartmouth business Battery Park. One of the ciders ahem beverages debuting yesterday was Hometown Hybrid, a collaborative graf brewed with North Brewing. Graf (or graff) is the melding of beer and cider, with the starting wort and juices fermented together for the best of both styles. Hometown Hybrid is a 5.0% ABV bevvie, and is available on tap and in cans today at both host fermentories, with kegs being sent out to licensees as well. And if you’re lucky, there may still be a few ciders on tap at BP to quench your thirst today.

Speaking of downtown Dartmouth, Brightwood Brewery shares a space with Lake City at 35 Portland Street, and is releasing a new beer today, a hybrid in its own way. Pineapple Crushable is a Sour Wheat Beer, but arrived at in a unique way. Using techniques developed a couple of years ago, the Brightwood crew used a SCoBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)  from Pop Culture Kombucha to first sour the wheat-heavy wort, before halting the process by boiling (and killing all bacteria and yeast). Yeast is then used to complete fermentation, generating alcohol instead of lactic acid as in the first step. After fermentation, loads of fresh pureed pineapple and Idaho 7 and Simcoe hops were added to the fermenter to round out the beer. Pick up this tart, fruity, and refreshing 4.7% ABV beer at the brewery’s taproom today for pints and growler fills, with cans to follow next week.

Last weekend’s Beer on the Bridge festival in Fredericton saw the debut of several new beers, one of which was the latest to come out of Harvey’s Think Brewing. Train of Thought is an American IPA brewed with a grist that includes flaked oats, and malted and flaked wheat, giving the beer a smooth body and slight haziness. Hopped with Citra and Amarillo, expect juicy and tropical aromas and flavours. No need to be upset if you missed this 6.9% ABV, 43 IBUs beer last weekend – it’ll be popping up at regular Think tap accounts across the province.

Tatamagouche Brewing, conveniently located located on Main Street Tatamagouche (that was good planning!), has a new brew out this week. Holiday Honeycomb is a 5.5% ABV Blonde Ale with all malts originating from the Valley’s Horton Ridge Malt & Grain Co. Featuring the addition of 60 lbs of honey (20 lbs in the kettle, 40 lbs in secondary) from Holiday Inn Truro’s hives, the beer was hopped with Saaz to 25 IBUs. Grab this one on tap at the brewery, partner hotel, and at better beer spots around the province (including Horton Ridge, Battery Park, Stillwell, and HopYard Halifax).

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has spent the last few months releasing new and interesting things for you to drink and they’re continuing that trend this week with their Brut Rosé Sparkling Ale. This one has been inspired by classic light and easy summery rosé wines, perfect for this time of year. A “sparkling ale” (which we assume means more highly carbonated than your average ale), it carries the brut designation, implying a very dry body and finish, and a blush color provided by pinot noir grapes and hibiscus. Very light and refreshing at 4.4% ABV and a mere 8 IBU, limited kegs have been filled for Propeller’s own locations and, most likely, licensees around the city, but it’s also been packaged in 473 mL cans, which you can pick up at both Prop shops and hopefully the private stores in the city.

No one has ever accused Big Spruce Brewing of a lack of experimentation… or, if they have, they likely received a well-deserved smack! But with their latest beer, Slam Dunkel, they’ve even got us admitting that the “style” is one that likely hasn’t been seen before: a “Jamaican rum-barrel-aged Dunkel Wit”. This 7.3% ABV brew has a Dunkelweizen-type grist, fermented with a Witbier yeast strain. Aged for five months in dark rum barrels from Jamaica, the final beer has an aroma of chocolate-spiced rum cake, with lots of dried fruit and spice on the palate… and more rum! A touch warming in the finish, as you may expect, this dark beer is meant to be sipped on during these fine summer evenings. It’s available in kegs only, so look for it on tap at the brewery and a select few tap accounts in Nova Scotia. And in returning beer news for Big Spruce, their organic guava IPA, Guava Get Me Some (6.4% ABV), is back on tap and in cans, so grab some tropical goodness wherever you see it.

Moving westward to Amherst, where Trider’s has a brand new beer for you fans of American Wheat Ales out there. American Orange in Paris isn’t your typical wheat beer, however, as it was dry-hopped with the French variety, Triskel. While this hop is known for imparting citrus and floral character when used, the brewery decided to add a bit more punch with an addition of sweet orange peel. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, it was fermented with a neutral American ale yeast to allow the hop and orange peel additions to shine. It’s draught-only for now, at the brewery tap room and maybe one or two lucky licensees.

Up in Fredericton, Niche Brewing has a brand new beer on the go this week, the first to be designed and brewed solo by Matt Scott, secret squirrel member of the Niche team for the past few months (but not anymore!). Westfalia is a straight-up, classic Hefeweizen built on a grist of Pilsner and lots of malted and flaked wheat and fermented on Niche’s favorite Weizen yeast strain. Look for plenty of banana and clove presence from the yeast and a classic wheat-driven body in this 4.5% ABV refresher. Kegs of this are going out to The Joyce, Ringo’s Grill, Peppers Pub, Brasseux BrouePub, and Graystone Brewing in New Brunswick, and folks in Halifax will also get a chance at this one thanks to Stillwell and The Auction House.

While it kinda feels like Port Rexton Brewing just opened yesterday, it also feels like they’ve been around forever. That’s probably just old age talking, but regardless of that, they’re turning the big 0-3 this Saturday, and you’re probably not too surprised to hear that they’ve got some celebratin’ planned! With four new beers, new glassware, and free cake – at both the taproom AND St. John’s retail shop – it’s fun times for all, guaranteed! Let’s dive into these beers and get started…

John Jacob Lichtenhainer Schmidt – Brewed with a portion of smoked malt, this is a 4.1% ABV sour beer that has “a limeade tartness” to contrast all of that delightful, smoky BBQ character

Dry-Hopped Baycation Blonde – Name gives it away, this is their regular Baycation Blonde that has been dry-hopped with Cascade and Azacca. The 5.2% ABV base beer is showing plenty of “grapefruit, peach, stone fruit and pineapple” thanks to that dry-hop addition, along with a little more bitterness than the non-dry-hopped version. 

Continuum w/ Mandarina Bavaria – The latest in the Continuum series, a whole whack of Mandarina Bavaria (along with some Simcoe) was added in the whirlpool, hop back, and dry hop additions. Hazy, bitter, and 5.6% ABV, this IPA has notes of mandarin orange and wildflower in the aroma, along with “tropical mango/pineapple, apricot and rose” on the palate. 

2019 High Fives – Some of you may recall that for their 2nd birthday bash, PRB released High Fives as a tribute to their customers (that’s you!); this year’s batch is another “thank you” to the people they love and appreciate! A mixed-fermentation Farmhouse Ale that was aged for 11 months in their Calvados foeder on their Brett-packed house culture, it’s finally ready, just in time! Weighing in at 6.4% ABV, it’s showing lots of Brett character, with “undertones of oak, apple brandy, and pear” in the aroma. Expect a dry cider-like experience in the flavour, with “Champagne-esque vibes backed up by green apple Jolly Rancher/kiwi/green grape skin”.  

All of these birthday beers will be available on tap, and will be sold as 12 oz pours only… at a discount! If you get there nice and early, however (i.e. you’re one of the first 40 people through the door), you’ll be given a special 16 oz PRB birthday mason jar, which you’ll not only be allowed to take home, but you’ll also have filled at the 12 oz price all day! When the birthday brews sell out, there’ll be other PRB flagships ready to go on, to ensure the beer/fun keeps flowing. Happy birthday, PRB!

Earlier this week, Maybee Brewing released the second beer in their barrel-aged series, Maple Bourbon Elevensies. As you may have guessed from the name, this beer is their regular Espresso Stout, Elevensies, aged in Maple Bourbon barrels (more specifically, Kentucky Bourbon barrels which previously held Vermont maple syrup). The beer was fermented in stainless, then moved into barrels where it went through a brief, secondary fermentation, and then was allowed to age in the barrels for seven months. Carbonated before packaging, this dark brew has aromas of maple syrup, Bourbon, and vanilla, with a touch of chocolate and caramel, all supported by notes of oak. Both the oak and maple carry through to the flavour, with a low level of carbonation allowing the barrel character to be more prevalent. At 6% ABV and 41 IBUs, it’s available at the brewery right now in 750 mL cork & cage bottles, and is also pouring on one of their nitro taps. Look for kegs to make their way to select tap accounts across NB over the coming weeks.

Brand new bottle release from Halifax’s Tidehouse this week, a 7.5% ABV Double IPA named It Was All A Dream. A tropical, juicy brew hopped heavily with El Dorado, Idaho 7, and Ella, it’s available exclusively at the brewery. You can purchase some 650 mL bottles to go, or stay for a visit in the taproom and sip on a glass. Growler fills are available as well, but limited to the 1 L size.

Congratulations are in order, as homebrewer Derek Woods’ winning D Rock Dunkel has been released. Gahan House in Charlottetown hosted Woods as he won the Maritime Home Brew Challenge in the fall, with his 5.7% ABV Dunkel taking top honours. Woods reports that the experience was great, and “Brewmaster Trent Hayes let me get my hands dirty on brew day and the Gahan team gave me a healthy dose of Island hospitality”. Cans of the brew are currently available at the host brewery in Charlottetown, as well as the PEI Brewing Company taproom, and the three Gahan locations in New Brunswick (Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton). Fingers crossed that it will also be available at the Nova Centre location soon. And if you want the chance to brew up a full batch with Hayes in 2020, check out the details of this year’s Challenge, submitting your best IPA (any style), Mixed Fermented/Sour, or Stout by October 27th. Check out their website for more information.

And speaking of homebrewers, and those looking to transition away from amateur brewing and making it a career, The Capital Complex in Fredericton is adding a 4 BBL (500 litre) brewhouse to their portfolio. Take a look at their Assistant Brewer job posting on Indeed, package up some of your homebrews to share. They are focusing on easy-drinking Pale Ales to start, with expansion of the offerings to come later.

We don’t have a whole lot of events to report on this week, or at least we didn’t manage to find out about a whole lot, but as always, check your favorite breweries’ social media pages to see what they’ve got going on.

We’re a little late to be mentioning this one, as online ticket sales have ended, but this weekend marks the 3rd edition of the Big Axe Beer Festival in Nackawic, NB. Billed as the largest outdoor beer festival in Atlantica Canada, it’s taking place near the World’s Biggest Axe on the shores of the Saint John River. Taking place tomorrow, July 13th, from 4 PM (gates open at 2 PM), attendees are welcome to roll on up via the river, by car, or by one of the several buses they’ve got running from Fredericton, Woodstock, Saint John/Quispamsis, and Moncton. More than 35 producers, mostly of beer and cider, but with some mead as well, will be pouring, with representation from all Atlantic Provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and the State of Maine. Tickets are still available for the Friday Night Kickoff Party featuring Denum tonight starting at 6 PM.

Thanks to the brewers in our region, we in Atlantic Canada can celebrate the IPA style all year round, but as some may know, there has been a movement, started by Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. in 2011, to designate the first Thursday in August as International IPA Day. This year #IPADay falls on August 1 and Halifax’s Propeller Brewing has decided to celebrate it in style at The Carleton in Halifax. Chef Dolente will be on-hand introducing his five-course dinner menu paired with five unique beers in the India Pale Ale style from Propeller, with beer sommelier Pat Robichaud providing insight into the pairings. Only 20 tickets are available for this intimate dinner, so if you’re interested it’s best that you act quickly; cost is $60 per person plus tax (gratuity included) and tickets can be purchased online on The Carleton website.

And, as is our wont, we end with a few final items to inform and possibly influence your beer buying this weekend:

Good Robot is pouring Nova Scoby at their taproom this weekend, which is a blend of Pale Ale with Goodmore’s Black Sage Lavender Kombucha. At 4% ABV and 14 IBUs, it’s refreshing and easy-drinking… and maybe good for your belly!

Grimross has brought back Grimdonk (6.5% ABV, 17 IBUs), their award-winning (from this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards) Belgian Blonde. “Golden, crisp and dry, with balanced fruity and spicy notes”, it’s available now on draft and in cans at the brewery, with cans heading out to ANBL stores in the not-too-distant future. 

As a follow-up to last week’s mention of Dream Time, the DIPA collaboration between Bannerman Brewing in downtown St. John’s and Landwash Brewery in Mount Pearl, Landwash is pleased to announce the release of the version of that beer that they brewed on their system, packaged in cans. Look for it at the brewery as soon as they can get the labels on to ‘em!

And on the West Coast of the Rock, Secret Cove Brewing is releasing Newfoundland Light & Sour, a 3.8% ABV Berliner Weisse with loads of local Marsh Berries. Grab a pint or fill at the brewery in Port Au Port, and you may be lucky enough to see it in Central or the Avalon too!

It was probably too much to ask for two awesome weather weekends in a row across the Atlantic Provinces, but fear not, our region’s breweries and cideries are gearing up for a good’er anyways to help beat those Vitamin D deficiency blahs. Plenty of new beers available this weekend, some grand openings, and some birthday parties. Plus, there’s apparently some kind of sports championship thinger worth celebrating. Or something.

Sourwood Cider has been producing funky, tart, and dare we say wild, ciders in Halifax for just over a year now, focussing on spontaneous or pitched mixed yeast and bacteria, playing with barrels for primary and secondary fermentation, and incorporating local fruits, berries, and other adjuncts (Chaga, anyone?). After pop-up sales at their spot on Almon Street, they were able to supply the NSLC with Sour City, a 6.2% ABV dry and sour cider available across the province. And today at 4 PM, they will be opening the doors to their new taproom located at 5576 Cornwallis St. Featuring several of their own ciders on tap (as well as guest taps), a small kitchen will provide food perfect for pairing, and a retail sales counter will allow for cans and bottles to go. Pop by today, or throughout the weekend, to get your Sourwood fix. Congratulations to Jake and Kyle on all their hard work!

Last Saturday, Stillwell Brewing had a 3-beer release (two new, one returning) and we kinda, sorta didn’t mention it in the Friday post! Whoopsie! This stuff happens, we’re only human, yada yada yada the beers are still around so let’s just pretend this never happened, shall we? Let’s start off with Shiro, a sour Farmhouse Ale. Made up of a blend of various barrel- and foedre-aged beers brewed between April, 2017 and February, 2018 (including Batch #1, which at about 25% of the beer is the first time it has appeared in a blend), this blend was then re-fermented on 300 g/L (= a lot) of Nova Scotia-grown Shiro plums, for five months. Bottled back in early March of this year, it’s been conditioning ever since, and is finally available for your eager mouths/tummies. Lots of tannic notes in this beer thanks at least in part to those plum skins, the aroma is described as lambic-like (hooray!), “with notes of hay, funk, wet stone and bright, pithy lemon”. Available in bottles at Bar Stillwell, and on tap!

Next up is the brewery’s second stab at their beloved Pilsner style, Prince Pils. Designed to be a different sort of beer than their house Pilsner, Stilly Pils, it was brewed with extra pale premium Pilsner malt and wheat in the grist, and was hopped with Pacific Jade (a New Zealand variety that is a descendent of the oft-used Saaz). The wort was fermented by a Bavarian strain from Escarpment Labs, that has not been used by the brewery in the past. The result is an aroma that is “bigger, more peppery, and herbaceous” compared to Saaz, with a light, fluffy body and firm bitterness. Highly drinkable at just 4.4% ABV, this royal beer is available only on draught, and has been a frequent presence on tap at both Stilly HQ and their Spring Garden Road Beergarden.

Finally, newly-returned is Poptones, the second batch of the brewery’s Farmhouse Pale Ale. Fermented with a clean, Saccharomyces yeast in primary, and then Brettanomyces in secondary, it’s a bright and easy drinking hoppy Pale Ale with funky Brett shining through. All stainless, six months from brewing to the beer’s release, at 5.3% you can approach it as you prefer (you know, like Smarties). Bottles and on tap at Stillwell.

Tatamagouche Brewing has a full weekend of fun ahead of them (and us!), as they are celebrating their Fifth Anniversary all weekend. The details are available in that FB Event, but the highlights include the release of a new beer that was first previewed/teased at May’s NS Craft Beer Full House Festival. Spring is a 6.6% ABV Saison, both sour and funky from the blend of yeast and bacteria used to ferment the wort. The golden yellow beer also features plenty of tropical fruit esters, reminiscent of mandarin oranges, lychee and stone fruit. Bottles of Spring are available at the brewery as of 10 AM today, so we certainly suggest popping by to grab a few bottles and take part in the fun. They have also brought back Guava Heist, their 3.6% ABV guava-infused Berliner Weisse, available on tap and in cans. The Shree Curry Place food truck is onsite for lunch, with live music from Eric Fresia beginning at 6 PM. There are brewery tours at 10, 12, 2, and 4 tomorrow, with a fundraising BBQ lunch starting at 11 AM, and live music from 1 – 4 PM. There’s more live music and a food truck on Sunday, and if you stick around/come back on Monday, you can enjoy cake with the Tata Crew!

Two new beers from 2 Crows this week, one a draught-only release that is on right now (we hope!), and another a very special can release. Let’s start with the draught beer, shall we? Named Pony Up, it’s a Brett Pale Ale from brewer Miles Bishop. A parti-gyle brew using the leftovers (the remaining sugary wort, that is) of an Oat Wine which should be released in several months, the original grist included a whopping ~70% mixture of malted, flaked, and golden naked oats. Hopped lightly to 13 IBUs with Nelson Sauvin and Citra, the wort was fermented with a Brett strain from The Yeast Bay that showcases “strong barnyard funk and backing notes of peach and strawberry”. Coming in at 5.8% ABV, the final beer has a grainy texture, smooth body, and “a pleasant white wine and affirmative citrus aroma” to go with all that funk. There is only a single keg available, so pony up for some Pony Up (ha!) at the 2C taproom right now… assuming it isn’t all gone already.

Beer number two is an international collaboration, of sorts. The online Saison, Biere de Garde, and Farmhouse Ale Appreciation Society arranged the collab between about 40 breweries, all of who brewed a recipe for a Biėre de Garde that was determined by the society and a number of brewers. While some of the brewing techniques were also predetermined, each brewery had the freedom to determine fermentation, and the possibility of oak aging. The 2C version of L’Internationale Vol II was brewed back in December with 90% six-row malted barley and 10% raw wheat from PEI’s Shoreline Malting. They used a turbid mashing technique (spoiler: it takes a long time) and a 5-hour boil (ok, that makes the day even longer!), hopping the wort with Saaz and Strisselspalt to 17 IBUs. Fermented in one of the brewery’s oak foedres (with a variety of microflora), the beer was finally packaged in early May to condition in the can, and it’s being released at the brewery tomorrow. Rich and complex, 2C’s house cultures have added “a distinct tartness and funk, which play well with the rich malt backbone and deep honey vibes). Grab your cans on Saturday!

Propeller Brewing is releasing a brand new beer this week, a limited release that may be your next summer sipper. Azacca Session IPA is a 4.5% ABV ale, which showcases the unique Azacca hop. Used in combination with El Dorado and Citra, aromatics and flavours of mango, pineapple, and tangerine dance on top of this light and hazy easy-drinking beer. Azacca is available today on draught and in cans at the Prop Shops on both sides of the harbour, and in cans at the four private stores in HRM now/very soon. And pop by their Gottingen Street taproom for a cask of Azacca, featuring real pineapple added to the cask. It will be tapped at 5 PM (or earlier if you ask real nice), and make the perfect accompaniment to a round of pinball downstairs in the Arcade.

New Brunswick’s Niche Brewing continues their longtime trend of zagging after every zig with this week’s release. After a big bruiser of a Belgian Tripel last week in Day Tripper, this week brings a much smaller, hoppier beer that you can fearlessly have a few of without worrying about stumbling away from your barstool or patio chair. Paradox is a session IPA fermented with a hazier strain and heaped with Columbus, Simcoe, and Topaz late additions and a huge dry hop of more Simcoe as well as Enigma. Weighing in at a super (duper!) sessionable 3.0% ABV it’s plenty light, but not to the point of being watery, with enough citrusy and juicy hop aroma and flavor to satisfy your need for hops. This one is heading out to tap accounts this week, with Pepper’s Pub, The Joyce, 540 Kitchen & Bar, and Graystone at the head of the line. Hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend and you’ll be able to enjoy a pint (or a few) of this in all its refreshing glory outside in the sun.

Hampton Brewing has delivered kegs of their latest beer, an American Pale Ale named Big Shoes. The brewery’s first new beer since April, it’s a Pale Ale brewed more towards the New England side of the style. With a grist made up of 2-row, Vienna, a touch of Crystal malt, and a “healthy” dose of wheat, it was hopped aggressively in the whirlpool and a two-stage dry hop with a combination of American ‘C’ hops and Amarillo. This hazy 5.6% ABV, 45 IBUs beer is sporting plenty of tropical fruit and citrus in the flavour and aroma, with low bitterness. You can find it on tap at Peppers, The Joyce, and the Hampton Golf Club.

Port Rexton is celebrating the local release of their Across the Nation collaboration with Red Racer this weekend, Skerwink Haze. Named after the nearby Skerwink Trail, a must-visit when visiting the brewery, Skerwink Haze is a 6.4% ABV New England IPA fermented with Kveik yeast. Using the Escarpment Labs Ebbegarden Kveik blend, this incredibly hearty and temperature-resilient yeast (in fact, it thrives at high temperatures [think 35C and higher] that many yeasts would produce some serious off-flavours) chews through most any wort that’s thrown at it. Expect a soft mouthfeel, and juicy vibes from the Belma, Galaxy, and Vic Secret hops used late in the brew to favour flavour and aroma over bitterness. To celebrate the release, their friends from Jack Axes in town are coming out for pop-up axe throwing from 2 PM today, and tomorrow will see a guided hike of the Skerwink Trail, leaving the brewery at 11 AM (free cake after!), and live music from 8 PM.

Skerwink Haze joins the PRBC taps as the second new IPA this week, after launching the latest in their Continuum series last week. Continuum w/ Zythos is a 5.5% ABV hazy IPA, which features loads of, you guessed it, Zythos in the whirlpool (post-boil in the kettle), hop back (out of the kettle and into the fermenter) and dry hop (in the fermenter). Getting a little help from its friend Azacca, tropical, citrus, and stone fruit vibes shine through with an orange-pith bitterness. If you can’t make it out to the brewery to take part in the fun this weekend, you’re in luck! Look for Continuum, and seven more Port Rexton brews taking over the taps at Jack Axes in downtown St. John’s, kicking off today at 6 PM, and running all weekend/until the kegs kick. Or find Skerwink Haze at Toslow’s One-Year Anniversary party Saturday.

Hey, Landwash fans! The brewery has announced they’ll be pouring a whopping seven of their tasty beverages at Rocket Bakery in St. John’s today from 7 PM – 12 AM. If that isn’t enough to excite you, two of these beers will be brand new releases! First up is Silvern Voices, a 5.3% ABV kettle sour that has been dry-hopped with the lovely Cashmere and Azacca varieties; there’s also a touch of lactose powder added to up the sweetness just a tad. They claim that if you’re big on “sour key candy, fruity white wine, and/or passion fruit flavours”, you’re probably gonna enjoy this one! They’ve also got a new hoppy brew that will be making its debut at the event, Green Nap. This 6.3% ABV NEIPA was brewed with plenty of oats and malted oat in the grist, to help give the beer that trademark haze/smooth body you’d expect in the style. Hopped mightily with Bru-1 and Galaxy to give flavours of apricot, pineapple, and lime, don’t be expecting too much bitterness, so it’ll go down plenty easy. Look for future iterations of Green Nap that will feature different hop varieties. We should probably mention that both of these new beers will also be available at the brewery’s taproom this weekend (which starts today at 3 PM, FYI), on tap and in cans.

Let’s stick with the Newfoundland theme we’ve got going to update you on the goings ons (going ons? goings on?) at 90 Duckworth Street in St. John’s. Since opening just over a month ago, the crew at Bannerman Brewing have been working like mad to keep up with demand and interest for their beer and food. And more recently, they have launched the cafe side of things in their taproom, with shots and pour-overs available from 7:30 AM weekdays, and 9 AM on the weekend. While the kitchen does not open until later in the afternoon (4 PM Mon, Wed, Thurs; 1 PM Fri; and 12 PM on the weekend, closed Tues), there are some baked goods onsite for a grab-and-go European breakfast. And while you’re stopping in, be sure to check out their 946 mL cans, filled on demand to take away.

Way out on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, Sober Island Brewing has put together a very special beer, developed in concert with the 5th Canadian Division of the Canadian Army and intended to be their official beer. This one has been in development since December, with Commander Brigadier-General D.A. Macaulay and several members of the division involved in helping Sober Island taste test and guide the development of the recipe. The result is called The 5 and it’s a super-easy drinking blonde ale that’s low in bitterness, but not on flavour. A touch of honey malt gives it a touch of roundness, Magnum, Cascade, and Mt. Hood hops provide a hint of bitterness (only 5 IBU) and some gentle hop flavor, and an American ale yeast ensures a well-attenuated beer with a crisp finish weighing in at a perfectly fitting 5% ABV. You’ll be able to find this at Rockhead, West Side, and Harvest Wines, with in-store tasting events coming tomorrow at Rockhead from 11 – 4 PM and at Harvest on June 22nd from 2 – 4 PM. The 5th Canadian Division covers all of Atlantic Canada, and Sober Island is working to ensure that the beer eventually will too, so hopefully you’ll be hearing of this beer being available in New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland later this year. Hopefully you won’t have any trouble finding it in stores, but be aware that the super swank camouflage can (designed by Pierre Tabbiner) may be hard to spot if you take a few out into the field. You can also find it at the brewery as early as next weekend. Go Mighty Maroon Machine!

In other Sober Island news this week, their blueberry blonde ale known as The Blueberry Express, brewed in collaboration with the Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum is back for the summer, again at Rockhead/West Side Harvest, with $0.50 from every can going to the museum ($1,600 raised last year!). The blueberries for this one came from local producer Glenmore Farms Blueberries. And fans of Beth’s Black Oyster Stout should be aware that Marigold Blonde is replacing it in the seasonal rotation, but that they’ll still be able to grab it through the summer at the brewery and the same private stores as well as at events where Sober Island is pouring beer.

The weekly new releases from Shipwright Brewing continue with a “Rye Session Ale” named Rye’T Aweigh. Featuring rye malt in the grist, of course, the wort was generously hopped with three different Australian varieties: Topaz, Ella and Vic Secret. The addition of rye malt provides some sweetness on the palate, with “flavours of lime zest, honeydew melon and papaya” following suit, thanks to juicy hop additions. Quite sessionable at just 4.6% ABV (and 30 IBUs), if you’re around Lunenburg this week, best drop by the brewery to give this one a taste. It’ll also be pouring at the brewery’s regular tap account, the Grand Banker.

We’ve already told you (last week) about the East Coast Cider Fest and North Brewing’s Retail Spot and Lighter than Air launch, both happening tomorrow (Saturday). We’ve got one more big thing to tell you about this week…

Since opening their doors in late February, Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has been supplying their community with their blend of English, Belgian, and American beers. And this weekend, they are celebrating their Grand Opening, and we’re all invited! The return of their Porter means their taps are once again full, with seven beers for enjoyment onsite or to take away. Plus there is an Open Mic tonight beginning at 4 PM, live music tomorrow from 7 PM, and a Paint Night on Sunday from 6 PM. Full details in their Facebook Events page. Congratulations to the Ninepenny family on their continued success in bringing great beer to folks around the Bay!

And just a few last things to inform your beer buying (and drinking!) excursions this weekend:

Good Robot has a new take on a Mexican-style Lager with the release of El Corazón Del Ángel (5.5% ABV). Like their fan-favourite El Espinazo Del Diablo, there’s plenty of lime zest added, but this newer beer substitutes the jalapeno addition with sweet orange peel. Grab it at the GR taproom today.

It’s been a couple of years since Grimross has brewed their Maritime Amber Ale, but it’s hitting shelves and taps again this week. Hopped with Goldings from Southan Farms, it’s a malty, toasty 5.2% ABV, 32 IBUs brew with hints of caramel and a balancing bitterness. Available at Grimross in cans and on tap, with cans hitting ANBL stores next week; kegs will also be shipping to licensees soon.

Nine Locks has their latest kettle sour available on tap and in cans at the brewery, Bohemian Raspberry (4.8% ABV). A Berliner Weisse brewed with ripe raspberries, it pours a hazy pink colour and features raspberry in the aroma and flavour, to go with the tartness in the finish.

Tanner & Co. Brewing has hot weather on the mind, and what better beer to enjoy with nice weather than a Kolsch? Their take on the style, which they’ve simply named Kolsch, is 5.2% ABV and 20 IBUs, and is currently available at the brewery on tap and in bottles; stop by this weekend between 12 – 6 PM.

St. John’s YellowBelly has brewed up a special beer to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the very first non-stop transatlantic flight, performed by John Alcock and Arthur Brown in June, 1919. Named after the duo, Alcock and Brown is a 5.5% ABV, 49 IBUs unfiltered Porter, sporting notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and coffee, along with hints of plum. You can grab it at the brewpub this weekend, and bottles and growlers are available at the Takeaway shop down Water Street.