Heritage Brewing

All posts tagged Heritage Brewing

With two of your three writers traveling this week, we’ve decided to forgo the fancy introduction and get right to the important beer news. Wait, did I just write an intro without trying? Perfect. My grade 12 English teacher would be proud. Or sad that this is the height of my writing career these days… Anywho, here we go!

• We begin this week’s news with another new bottle release from Stillwell Brewing, a beer that follows with others they’ve released in the past, but also heads in a slightly different direction. Poptones started off as a hoppy pale ale when it was brewed last September, with a grist of Pilsner, Wheat, and Oat malts. Hopped in the kettle with Sterling and Saphir, it was fermented with a clean, American yeast strain. Once primary fermentation was complete, the beer started heading down a more-familiar road for SWB, as the brewery’s house cultures were pitched in the beer, where they were allowed to slowly do their work over the next three months in the tank, attenuating the beer further and working their magic in other flavourful and aromatic ways. Dry-hopped with more Saphir, the beer was then bottled (with a portion actually transferred over to barrels for some further aging; heads-up for this one in the near future), and is now ready for purchase. The brewery describes it as having “a nice hop bitterness, flavour, and aroma, with a light acidity from the house cultures and a really cool, rustic kind of fermentation character”, with a more-pronounced Brett funk that many of their other releases. You’ll be able to pick up bottles of this 5.3% ABV summer-drinker tomorrow at the brewery from 12-3 (2015 Gottingen, enter via the parking lot around the back); rumour has it that you’ll also be able to find some bottles of Gosh 2.0 and Preach, and maybe even some others as well!

• Around front/upstairs in the same space, Propeller Brewing has released the latest in their Gottingen Small Batch series, with yesterday’s tapping of Love the Way We Love. This American Wheat features loads of Mosaic hops (complemented by Azacca), for papaya, pineapple, and mango fruit nose and flavour in a 5.0% ABV package. As with all beers in the GSB line, these are only available on tap, with growler fills available at both their Windmill and Gottingen Street locations, plus pints on Gottingen and at licensees around the city. A portion of the sales are being donated to the neighbouring North End Community Health Centre. They are celebrating the release with a special cask of it today from 5PM, with a Mosaic Double Dry-hopped version, with pretzels from The Cake Lady for your pairing enjoyment. And you can enjoy LtWWL and a handful of other locally-produced beer and cider as part of Toast the Coast!, a Tap Takeover June 21 at Stillwell Beergarden celebrating The Coast’s 25th Anniversary.

• Let’s stay inside Halifax – and within walking distance, actually – with 2 Crows. They, too, have ventured a little outside their standard brew day (wait, does 2C even HAVE a “standard brew day”?) and created a refreshing, dry-hopped Lager. Named, appropriately enough, Refresh, this is their first Lager in some time. Brewed with German Pilsner malt, 25% Flaked Rice, and a touch of chit malt, it was hopped in the boil with Hallertau Blanc, to just 12 IBUs. Fermented cool with the Weingenstephan 34/70 Lager strain, the beer was lagered for close to two months before being dry-hopped with more Hallertau Blanc, and Huell Melon. The result is a 4.8% ABV crusher that has notes of “lemongrass, cucumber, gooseberry, and honeydew melon”. It was just canned this morning, and should be on sale at the brewery (also on tap) by the time you read this!

• Moving on to friends/arch-rivals of 2C, Tidehouse Brewing are releasing their very first Russian Imperial Stout, named The Sex (oh, those crazy kids!). It’s not like June has been that warm anyway, so why not sip on a 11.9% ABV dark beer? Featuring a mega-grist of Maris Otter, Midnight Wheat, Malted Oats, Carafa II, Pale Chocolate Malt, and Roasted Barley, it was hopped with Northern Brewer to help balance all of that roast and sweetness. After fermentation was complete, they decided to go with maybe a little more sweetness, and added a touch of Port, and raspberries! You can find this one on tap at the tiny tasting room starting today, and also in bottle form for aging/sharing/all the rest… at that ABV, we recommend against drinking an entire bottle by yourself. We’re not “Putin” you on (sorry)!

• The yang to The Sex’s yin is also being released today, Brew Swillis Hoppy Light Ale. Straw in colour thanks to the base malt of Pilsner, Carapils, Flaked Rice and Flaked Corn, this 4.5% ABV beer was bittered with Warrior at the beginning of the boil, and features aromatic/flavour hopping from Cluster and East Kent Golding. Light in body and colour, but still flavourful, this draft-only brew will be the perfect one to pour from your growler after mowing the lawn or doing some spring cleaning this weekend.

• Over to Robie St., where the fine people at Good Robot prepare to release their latest Beta Brew, Oh Captain, My Captain. Collaboratively-brewed with Meaghan MacDonald, this kettle sour was brewed with Pilsner malt, Flaked Oats, Red X, and Rye malt. Roasted beets were added to the wort during the first, brief boil; the wort was then soured overnight. Boiled again the next day, and hopped with Polaris to 40 IBUs, the wort was fermented out, and then pomegranate juice was added in two steps. The beer comes in at 5% ABV, and will hit taps next Tuesday. We also have a sneak preview for a special beer that will come out next Friday, Halifax North. Right now, we can tell you that it’s a collaboration beer (more on who with, next week), and it’s GR’s first Double IPA. We do have some recipe details: the grist was made up of Golden Promise, Maris Otter, Vienna, and Flaked Barley, and it was hopped and dry-hopped with Southern Passion and African Queen. Weighing in at 7.7% ABV and 90 IBUs, look for more info here next Friday, when the beer is released.

• And just a stone’s throw away, Unfiltered is launching a brand new Double IPA today at noon, Inducement. This “fruity, hoppy, and hazy” 7.5% ABV brew was hopped with (undoubtedly, plenty of) Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight, so rest assured the beer is full of tropical, fruity goodness as advertised. Nash also threw in a little Honey malt in the grist to give the beer just a touch of sweetness, to help balance all the hop presence that we can expect. Drop by Charm School today to pick up your pints and growlers.

• Ok, time to move out of the big city and visit Annapolis Brewing Co., where their brand-spanking new taproom is officially open! Located at 302 St. George St. in Annapolis Royal, the location will have eight Annapolis brews on tap, along with a few guest beers and ciders from other breweries/cideries in the province; wine and kombucha can also be purchased. You can stay for flights and pints, and/or leave with growlers and 355 mL bottles. While food isn’t available on-site, you’re more than welcome to order in or bring your own! Their hours are 12-8 pm Sun-Thurs, 12-10 pm Friday, and 10-10 on Saturday. And keep Saturday, June 30th on your calendar if you’re in the area, as they’ll be holding their grand opening (with live music) on that day.

• Let’s leave Nova Scotia for today and cross the ferry to PEI. Charlottetown’s Upstreet has two new beers for us as of today, both of ‘em split off from a single kettle sour. The first one is Dry Hopped Sour with Motueka, a 5.5% ABV brew featuring the lovely New Zealand variety (Motueka, if it wasn’t obvious enough to you!), which gives this particular beer aromas of lemon and pine, according to the brewery. Followed by a creature of a different sort, Strawberry Rhubarb Sour drops the hops and goes with an addition of strawberry and rhubarb juice (the same, actually, that they use in the flagship Rhuby Social). “Full-bodied and perfectly balanced with sweetness”, it’s here just in time for patio season (maybe?). Both beers are available today on tap and in growlers at the Upstreet taproom and at Craft Beer Corner. And as a little preview, there was a third split from that same original kettle sour… stay tuned for what they’re doing with that portion in the near future.

• Just across town, PEI Brewing has launched a new brand this week, Rix Light Craft Lager. The beer is named in honour of Bill Rix, who opened the short-lived Island Brewing Company in Charlottetown in 1986, the first brewery on the Island in decades. While it may have been a little ahead of its time and did not survive the decade, it had planted the seed of a local brewery for others to take up. The beer is very light in body and colour, and at 4.0% ABV, definitely an easy drinking brew. The beer is available at the PEILCC now, and there are launch parties being held across the province during the month of June, to help introduce the brand.

Speaking of events, there’s lots going on this weekend in our region, so be sure to get out and support your local brewery and good beer bar…

Horton Ridge Malt & Grain is celebrating the First Anniversary of their brewery and taproom tomorrow, with food, fun, and beer. They will have Asado Wood Fired Grill onsite with plenty of chicken, ribs, sausage, brisket, and elote to keep you happy, with live music from 3-5PM and 7:30-9:30PM. The beers will be flowing, too, with plenty of their own brews as well as a couple of guest taps and cans, all brewed using their own malted grains. Drop by to tour the brewery and malt house. Congratulations to the Stewart family!

• If you wanted to try the Red Racer Across the Nation 12-pack, now’s your chance, as it is available in our region. If you wanted to taste all 12 of them in one sitting, and learn more about the beers and styles while doing so, consider signing up for the Collaboration Beer Tasting being held at Upstreet Brewing tomorrow afternoon. This ticketed event will have Certified Cicerone Bryan Carver pouring and chatting about each of the dozen beers from 2-4PM at Upstreet. Pop by to try Upstreet’s Salted Caramel Lager, 2 Crows’ Coast 2 Coast Ancient Grain Saison, TrailWay’s Three Beasts American IPA, YellowBelly’s Me Ol’ Trout East Coast Cream Ale, plus 8 others from across the country.

Heritage Brewing in Yarmouth is celebrating their One Year Anniversary this Sunday, June 10th. From noon until 5pm, drop by their 19 Kirk Street location for samples and growlers of their beers, including their fan favourite Scotia Prince, a 6.0% ABV New England IPA. They will be serving cake, having some fun contests, before their move to their new location on Main Street later this month.

• And speaking of Yarmouth, next weekend is the Yarmouth Craft Beer Festival, being held at the Rodd Grand Yarmouth Hotel. The weekend kicks off Friday night with a 2.5k or 5k Hop Run through downtown Yarmouth, where participants are congratulated with a medal and a cold glass of beer. The festival itself is Saturday June 16, with two sessions happening that day: Afternoon 2:30-4:30PM, and Evening 7:30-9:30PM. General admission tickets get you in the door, your tasting glass, and your few few beer tokens (with more available for purchase after you use those). VIP tickets are available, allowing entry 30 minutes earlier, plus more 10 vs. 5 tokens, and an extra pint glass and bottle opener to take home. More than 100 beers from 15 breweries from across the province makes for a great day out. Beer pong onsite, plus a chance to win a brewery swag pack. Grab your tickets here before it’s too late!

• Mark your calendar and make plans to visit Tatamagouche Brewing next Saturday for their 4th Birthday celebration. With several brand new beer releases happening Friday and Saturday, the fun is happening all day with live music that afternoon and evening (including a ticketed concert at 7PM that evening). Route 6 Food Truck is onsite that day as well to keep you happy. We’ll have more details on the new beers next Friday!

• If you’re on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, be sure to drop by Saltbox Brewing to check out their Soapbox Races next Saturday the 16th. 28 cars have registered to take part in the all day event, as they will race down Clearway Street in Mahone Bay. Plenty of beer will be flowing, and food trucks will be set up onsite as well. All proceeds are going to the Bayview Community School Breakfast Program.

We’ve got a few Newsbites to leave you with today before you head out for a pint today:

– The seasonal Watermelon Wheat Ale, Melonhead, from Picaroons should be popping up in stores and on tap about now, with a new spokescat on the label (Henry Smith), and in cans for the first time. Also, Pivot #16 is now available; this time the rotating-hop(s) 8% ABV DIPA features Fuggles, Northern Brewer, and Willamette.
– For beer fans in St John’s who would like to try beer from the province’s latest-to-open brewery Scudrunner, but unable to make the trip to Gander, you’re in luck! They’ve dropped off a couple kegs of their Scudrunner Red to Blue on Water Hotel, at 319 Water Street, and the beer is pouring now.
– Spindrift’s latest Seventh Wave release is And The Hazy Sea. This 5.1% ABV fruited Witbier features blueberries and lemon zest to complement the coriander used in the boil. Lightly hopped to 17 IBU, this beer is available for growler fills at their Frazee Ave location now, and at the Toast the Coast event on June 21.
– Fredericton’s TrailWay had their Red Racer party earlier this week to celebrate the release of their Across the Nation collaboration brews, including the Three Beasts American IPA which represents the province of NB. As we mentioned in an earlier post, TW decided to brew that same beer on their own system, and it’s available now in limited quantities on tap and in cans at the brewery. Full of Mosaic, Citra and Galaxy, it comes in at 6.6% ABV.

We’ve had another big week of beers and events in Nova Scotia, thanks to the continuation of Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week. Check out our Map and Calendar to help you plan this weekend’s escapes, plus we’ll summarize them below.

• One of the consistently stellar events during NS Craft Beer Week is the Stillwell Open, where teams of breweries conspire with local homebrewers in a friendly competition for flavour domination. This year’s event was no different, with Team North taking top honours again, with their top showing in two categories. Consisting of breweries Big Spruce, Breton, Tatamagouche, and Uncle Leo’s, they teamed up with homebrewers Brian Harvey, Bràthair Collective, Mark McKay, Duncan English, and Dave Martin to produce another batch of highly regarded beers. They hoisted the cup and will hold onto it until 2019, when the Dartmouth, Halifax, and South teams will be fighting to win it. Here is a summary of the winners, plus some other honourable mentions that are now (or will be shortly) available to the public:

  • Tatamagouche and Mark McKay took top honours in the American category with their Amrita, an American IPA with Passionfruit and Mango, fermented with Brettanomyces. This bright yellow beer featured a solid hop bitterness, along with tons of tropical fruit character. Look for it at the Full House event tomorrow, and on tap around the province this weekend/next week, with 500ml bottles available at the private stores next week as well.
  • Taking Gold in the Belgian category was conspiracy between Breton Brewing and the Bràthair Homebrew Crew, Wild Bretton. This Brett Amalgamation-fermented Witbier was aged in Chardonnay barrel for a couple of months, and packaged up for limited release. We understand it will see further distribution in the near future!
  • Team Dartmouth member Brightwood Brewery teamed up with Chain Yard Cider to take Gold in the English category with a cask of Goosebite, a 5.7% ABV Porter/Cider hybrid known as Graf. The base beer and cider also featured cranberries and raspberries, resulting in a fruity and chocolate mix that the judges (aka the public) voted their favourite. We believe this was a limited release, but may pave the way for future experimentation from Brightwood and cider partners.
  • And in the German category, Boxing Rock and Tusket Falls debuted their Rauch Star, a dark Rauchbier (German Smoked beer). Malt forward with light but solid smoke flavour. At 6.5% ABV, it still features a light crisp mouthfeel and a light bittering to finish it off. Look for kegs of Rauch Star around the province, and in bottles at the private stores in HRM.

Among the other dozen beers pouring that day, there were several more available to the general public now or shortly:

  • Tidehouse went the New England IPA route with their entry, Champions Regardless, which took second place (very fitting for the name!) in the American category. Swapping into the brewhouse for this batch were co-owner Shannon Rockwell and frequent collaborator/homebrewer Ian Wheatley. Brewed with 2-row and a combination of Flaked Wheat, Oats, and Barley, they also added just a touch of Honey malt for complexity, and dextrose to help dry the beer out a bit more. Galaxy and Kohatu hops were used for the first-wort, hop stand, and dry-hop additions, with Vermont Ale yeast taking over fermentation duty. Plenty of tropical fruit deliciousness, without the high bitterness, in this 6.2% ABV beauty,
  • A collaboration brew between Lunn’s Mill and Heritage Brewing will be appearing on tap this week at Good Robot. Named Paradise Found, it’s an Imperial IPA hopped with hefty amounts of three American varieties: Chinook, Simcoe, and pretty-new-to-the-scene Tahoma. To “spice” things up a little, the breweries decided to add a “generous amount” of Grains of Paradise and Lemongrass near the end of the boil. The result is an 8.9% ABV, 89 IBUs beer with a “delightful piney punch, and a smooth, tropical finish”, with a “sharp spiciness and lemony finish”. In addition to taking over one of GR’s fine guest taps, it should also be pouring at Heritage, currently.
  • Halifax’s Propeller Brewing teamed up our very own acbbchris to brew two beers in one. Back in March, the brew crew of Head Brewer Cameron Crerar, Assistant Brewer Denys Ploughman, and Chris brewed up Doppelbock, a 6.0% ABV malty German beer, featuring a base of Munich and Pilsner malts, along with Vienna and Cara 120 for some residual sweet notes. Hallertau and Northern Brewer hops were used to offset the sweetness and offer some traditional woody notes. This Gottingen Street Small Batch is now available at the Gottingen and Windmill locations for pints and growler fills. On the day of the Stilly Open, there were a pair of Eisbock kegs available for enjoyment, created by partially freezing the Doppelbock to remove some of the water content, and upping the alcohol to 7.0% ABV and rich malt character.
  • Lazy Bear debuted their Dubbel on Sunday, which will be available in bottles shortly. This 6.7% ABV Belgian style features a complex malt bill and an iconic yeast. Inviting in students in the Industrial Microbiology program at Universite de St Anne, both brewers and students enjoyed the learning and brewing process that day, and those who missed out on Sunday’s event will soon have a chance to enjoy the final product. We’ll update with more information once we know it!

• Switching gears from the Open, it looks like North Brewing has a couple of releases today, one new and one returning. Let’s start with the new, shall we? Actually, maybe we’re using the word “new” a little loosely, here, but Finite Series: Midnight is just that… their popular Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Midnight, in their limited edition Finite Series. To be more specific, they took one barrel of Midnight and added peaches, nectarines, and Shiro plums, and Escarpment Lab‘s Brussels Brett (a Brett brux strain that exhibits “plum, red berry, citrus, and red apple, alongside subtle acidity”). Aged for 8 months in the barrel, and then bottle conditioned, the brewery is describing it as “smooth, with lots of peach character, a little cherry, and a bit of toffee on the finish”. There’s just over 20 cases available, so don’t wait to grab a bottle or two! As for the returning beer, Twinkle Pony, a “Cookie/Tiramisu Stout” is back today. This 7% ABV beer was brewed with lady finger cookies, Chocolate malt, lactose, vanilla, and cold brew coffee from Manual Food & Drink Co. It’s available in cans at both bottle shops, and will be on tap at a few lucky locations (including tomorrow’s Full House event).

• Moving on to New Brunswick, Niche Brewing released the details on their latest beer, Innerstate, earlier this week. Described by the brewery as an “Amber Brett Saison”, the grist included a healthy portion of Rye malt. Fermented with Niche’s house blend (French Saison yeast and a variety of Brettanomyces strains), the beer was allowed to age for some time, in order for the Brett character to develop. Dry-hopped with Saaz before packaging, the result is a copper-coloured brew with a touch of caramel sweetness, citrus and spice from both the yeast strains and Rye malt, some spicy/floral character from the dry-hop, and, finally, a “touch of barnyard character from the Brett”. It’s available on tap now at a couple of Niche accounts, with others likely having it over the weekend.

• In other Niche new beer news, look for their first Session IPA sometime next week, which will also be the first in a series of one-hop beers. You Had Me At… Ekuanot was brewed with 2-Row, Wheat malt, Malted Oats, and a touch of CaraRed, to keep the beer light-coloured, while at the same time boosting the mouthfeel of this low-ABV (4%) beer. Hopped entirely with Ekuanot (with all additions occurring at the end of the boil, and in the dry-hop), it was also fermented with a new-to-the-brewery yeast blend meant to work best with hop-forward beers. The beer will have your typical Ekuanot characteristics – melon, orange, lime, green pepper – in a hazy, light-golden package. Look for it mid-week at your favourite Niche tap accounts.

Flying Boats has comfortably settled into their new location – with a much-expanded 15 bbl brewhouse and taproom in Dieppe – and they’ve released a new beer to join their flagships on tap. A Session IPA, Coastal Good Life was bittered with Magnum, with Galaxy making up the rest of the hopping schedule for both knockout and whirlpool additions, as well as in the dry-hop. With a simple grist to allow the Galaxy to shine, expect aromas and flavours of passion fruit, with a dry finish. Coming in at just 4.8% ABV, it’s just the sort of beer to enjoy a pint of in the afternoon… although, the evening works perfectly fine as well! Drop in at the brewery today for a taste and/or growler fill.

• Now that Spindrift‘s Seventh Wave series is officially back, they’re upping the ante and aiming to have two different batches available each week. For this week, they’ve succeeded with that goal! Let’s start with Full Steam Ahead, a Steam beer (natch), aka California Common. Golden-coloured, with a “slight caramel toast presence, backed by an assertive, yet complementary hop program”, it weighs in at 6.2% ABV and 34 IBUs. Thousand Ships Wildberry Wheat is next, and was brewed with patio weather in mind, with notes of “tart cherry, smooth strawberry, and thick blueberry” coming through in this reddish-coloured beer, thanks to the a blend of cherry, strawberry and blueberry purees (at 50:25:25, respectively). At 4.2% ABV and 7 IBUs, this one is available right now, along with Full Steam Ahead, at the brewery for growler fills. We’ve been warned that both are in very short supply due to a busy Thursday apres-work crowd, so we suggest getting to their retail location at 21 Frazee as soon as you can! And keep your eyes peeling to their Twitter and Instagram Thursday morning for the latest release details.

Schoolhouse has brought back their summer thirst-quencher, Skratch Plaskett, an American Wheat Ale. Staying true-to-style, they’ve altered the recipe slightly and increased the amount of Wheat malt in the grist (to 33%), keeping the colour of the beer a very-light golden colour, with the emphasis on the malt character as you’d expect. Bittered with Warrior to just 18 IBUs, with a “healthy splash” of Galena at knockout for a touch of citrus character, it comes in at 5.2% ABV and is available now on tap and in bottles.

• Further down the 101 Highway is Paddys Irish Pub, who have several new beers on the go, as well as the return of their seasonal cider. Foote’s Cider is a truly local cider, made with fresh-pressed apples from Foote’s Farm in Centreville, who also handled the fermentation there at the Farm. It was blended with Paddys’ own Hard Cider, which is quite dry, for an expression that is balanced, delicious, and weighs in at 6.5% ABV.

• On the beer side of things, there are a pair of new beers also available currently at their Wolfville and Kentville locations (and hopefully pouring at this weekend’s Full House Fest). Their first Sour IPA started as a light-bodied and -coloured base, and was inoculated using Organic yogurt to get the Lactobacillus bacteria necessary for the acidic kick. After completing the fermentation with a clean yeast, the beer was dry-hopped with a blend of Mosaic, El Dorado, and Citra hops, resulting in a lemonade tart character with plenty of grapefruit-like hop character, in a 6.6% ABV package. And continuing the IPA theme is the bigger brother of the Sour IPA, but without the kettle sour treatment. This clean IPA features the same blend of hops, and will hit the taps shortly for plenty of chances for comparing and contrasting. You can also keep any eye on Paddys’ Facebook for details and teases on a few more Spring beers, including a Light Domestic Lager, Maibock, and a Blonde Ale, with a Saison coming soon.

Big Spruce has paired up for yet another collaboration brew, and as usual, they’re not letting us down when it comes to producing an interesting take on a classic style. Inter-Provincial Bureaucracy was created along with the fine people of Newfoundland’s Port Rexton Brewing and Wolfville’s L’Acadie Vineyards, and is being described as a “Red Wine Barrel-Aged Co-Fermented Wild Tripel” (told ya!). Let’s get a little deeper in details of this one, because that’s a lot to wrap your head around. The beer was fermented with two of Big Spruce’s wild yeast strains in stainless; once complete, fermented red grape skins, seeds and stems from L’Acadie’s 2017 Passito vintage were added for conditioning. Finally, the near-finished product was moved into red wine barrels for some further oak aging, before being packaged. Described by Big Spruce as being “funky, full of NS terroir, and altogether a unique hybrid beer”, the only bad news is that it will be available on tap only, at the Sprucetique in Nyanza and a very select number of BS tap accounts in the province. So, if you have the chance to taste it… get it!

Good Robot‘s Adjunct Lager, El Espinazo del Diablo, is making its return next Thursday (May 10th). With the addition of lime peel and jalapenos during conditioning, this isn’t your father’s Lager… it’s spicier! As for Tuesday’s Beta Brew, being tapped May 8th, we don’t have a lot of details this time around, but we can tell you it’s a “Coffee Kolsch” named Ground Skor. Local businesses Low Point Coffee Co. and Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe teamed up for the brew, concocting a pale, cold-brewed coffee added to the Kolsch base. The beer was brewed with GR’s own Katie Whitlock, and comes in at 4.7% ABV and 20 IBUs. And apparently tomorrow, there’s a “special surprise treat” coming out at the brewery… we assume it’s a beer?

Unfiltered has a brand new beer released today at noon for you lucky Haligonians, and it’s the first beer officially brewed by Assistant Brewer Emily Keeler. Sunday Morning is best described as a New England Pale Ale, meaning that you can expect a hazy beer big on hop aroma and flavour, without necessarily a lot of bitterness to go with it. The ABV with this one is kept quite low (4.5% ABV), meaning that you can experience all of that hop deliciousness (with an emphasis on orange/orange pith) and still be coherent (depending on the person) afterwards. No details from the brewery on which hop variety/varieties was/were used for this one, so you’ll just have to try it yourself and take a guess or three! Available at the brewery for pints and growlers.

• St. John’s YellowBelly launched a new beer, Downtown Brown, late last week. Described by the brewery as a “Fennel Brown Ale”, it is exactly that, as roasted fennel bulbs and a vodka-based tea of fennel seeds were both added to the Brown Ale base beer. At 5% ABV, it has “strong notes of chocolate and biscuit, and a subtle, lingering black licorice finish”. You can still find it on tap at the brewpub now, with growlers and bottles also available for takeaway at their Shop down Water Street.

• On Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Melanie of Hell Bay and Amanda of Firkinstein decided they’d like to do a beer together. Raising the level of difficulty on that plan was that Amanda doesn’t really like beer, but she wanted something with strawberries that was creamy. Tapping Melanie’s greater experience with beer, the pair decided on a strawberry cream ale, a light-colored beer to which a large amount of strawberries were added. A very large amount. A “shit ton” even. But for some reason they didn’t quite make it through to the taste, so they’re calling it, Hell, We Firked Up! Strawberry Cream Ale. Lightly hopped, expect this to be a refreshing cream ale coming in a 6% ABV; and you’d be forgiven if you thought perhaps maybe you might possibly be tasting a slightly strawberry flavor!

• You may recall last year when Dartmouth’s Low Point Coffee took the opportunity provided by 2 Crows to age some coffee in their Calvados foedres. This year, with 2 Crows recently coming into possession of a whole lot more wooden vessels formerly used to age wine and spirits, they again offered Low Point the chance to put some green beans in a barrel before roasting. Available at the Halifax Crafter’s Spring Market tomorrow and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM, you’ll find two such coffees: Invicta! a Colombian Tolima aged in Port barrels, and Quetzalcoatl! which is a Mexican Tapachula Chiapas that spend time in Tequila Barrels. If it’s anything like the last batch, there’s not a ton of this to go around, so best make plans to act on it if you’re interested. And if you’re wondering why we’re including this in the beer blog, consider that we know of at least one commercial beer and one batch of homebrew made with the last barrel-aged coffee from Low Point and let’s just say we’d like to encourage that to happen again!

• We have some early news from Montague’s Copper Bottom concerning a new beer which will likely be brewed sometime next weekend. Parkman Ave DIPA will feature a grist of mostly 2-row, with a little Carafoam and Acid malt, allowing the brewery to focus on what should be focused on in an Imperial IPA… hops, baby! In this particular case, lots of Ekuanot will be used at knockout, with a very heavy dry-hop of El Dorado, Mosaic, and even more Ekuanot. Expectations are for an 8% ABV, 70 IBUs beer with lots of tropical, orange, and citrus notes throughout. Follow along with CB’s social media for details on the release party for this one. And in other good CB news, they’re now officially canning their beer! All three of their flagships are available for takeaway at the brewery and select PEILCC stores; the Parkman Ave DIPA will also be canned when it is ready for packaging. And finally, a big congratulations to the brewery for making the list of this year’s Beer Advocate’s 50 Best New Breweries, along with Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing!

This is the last weekend of NS Craft Beer Week, so be sure to get out and support the more than 40 breweries, and supporting bars, restaurants, and stores that carry their products.

• Day 2 of the Origins and Evolution of NS Beer is happening today at Battery Park Beer Bar, with 20 beers embodying where beer in the province is now, and where it will be going. Several of the Stillwell Open beers will be there, for those who missed out, as well as other small-batch brews.

Propeller Brewing is hosting a May the Fourth Cask Day today at their Gottingen Taproom, featuring all things Star Wars, including a cask of their ESB (you get the connection, right?) fermented with Empire Yeast from “a galaxy far far away”. Kicking off at 5pm, there will be Star Wars pinball, Humble Pies, Star Wars doughnuts from Vandal Doughnuts, giveaways, and plenty more fun. It will also be a great excuse to drop by for a taste of that great Doppelbock we told you about (hint, hint!). And keep an eye here for details on the rest of May’s Cask Nights, as they will be featuring different treatments of Prop’s iconic ESB with a variety of different hopping and yeast choices.

The Grand Banker is hosting their Fourth Winemaker vs. Brewmaster this evening, pitting Benjamin Bridge vs Uncle Leo’s. Alex Morozov, of Benjamin Bridge and Karl Whiffen of Uncle Leo’s Brewery, will each receive the 5 course menu in advance, with the mission to put their best pairing forward for each course and present them to the guests! Tickets are still available for this fun beer, wine, and food event, which starts at 6:30PM.

• Tomorrow marks the culmination of NS Craft Beer Week, with the Full House Craft Beer Fest, at the Halifax Forum. 39 breweries from across the province are bringing their favourite beers to share with their fans, and it should prove to be another fun event. Tickets are still available for both the afternoon and evening session, but do tend to sell out before go-time.

• In Newfoundland, today is the day that many beer fans have been waiting for: Port Rexton Brewing has opened their brewery taproom again for the season! Located at 6 Ship Cove Rd, their taproom will be open 12-10pm daily for the summer, and are taking this weekend as an opportunity to welcome their fans to come out for a boo. Today they are toasting the great news by releasing a brand new beer, Firehouse Red Ale. Brewed in collaboration with the Port Rexton Area Fire Department, this 4.7% ABV Red Ale features some sweet caramel notes, with a fresh toffee and moderate malt aroma. The beer will also be a fundraiser to help in the PRAFD efforts in acquiring safety equipment to better serve the region. In addition to the beer itself, those wanting to help can take part in tomorrow‘s Cutthroat LEGO Competition, with 4 teams of three compete and sabotage to build the best models from the blocks given. Register your team at 7:30pm sharp, and enjoy the evening! There will also be pop-up shops on site all day tomorrow, with East Coast Glow and Two Whales selling their wares.

• For those who can’t make it to the brewery, fear not, their retail store is open today and tomorrow. Take note, however, that this is the final day for cans until the fall, so if you were waiting for a sign, this is it! Horse Chops West Coast IPA and Chasing Sun NEIPA are both available in cans, with growler fills of discomHOPulated and T-Rex Porter both available. And fear not, the retail shop will remain open all summer, but only for growler fills and merchandise sales.

We are mid-way through April, which means the first signs of life are being spotted on our local hop farms. These ambitious little sprouts will grow to more than 6 metres in height, and produce enough cones to make any beer a little hoppier (and happier). Plenty to tell you about today, so let’s go!

• It seems like it’s been a while since Stillwell Brewing has had any of their tasty, tasty new releases, but fear not! Their latest beer, Glou, will be available for purchase this weekend. A blend of barrel-aged Saison and a sour, foedre-aged beer (both of which were originally brewed in May of 2017), Glou then had New York muscat grape skins from Blomidon Estate added, to the whopping tune of 200 g/L. The final 6.3% ABV beer is being described as “hugely aromatic, floral, woodsy and bright, with a great acidity and tannic structure”. Sounds great to us! Bottles of Glou (along with Dang, and maybe even another brand or two!) can be purchased at the rear entrance behind 2015 Gottingen St. from 12 – 3 PM both tomorrow and Sunday; if you can’t wait till then (we get it!), drop by Stillwell (the beer bar) today if you’d like, where you can try Glou on-site. And keep it locked here for more info on another new release, plus fan faves, in the coming weeks.

• Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewing has a new beer available this weekend, a collaboration with local kombucha producer Pop Culture. Starting with the malt bill of a Wheat Ale, Brightwood used the Scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from Pop Culture to start the process of souring. After this first wave of fermentation was complete, the beer was boiled, with grapefruit and Palisade hops added during that process, and fermentation completed with a clean yeast. A further addition of Palisade during a dry-hopping step complements and increases the grapefruit character from the citrus fruit. The resulting RadBucha is available at their Alderney Farmers’ Market stall tomorrow, and will be part of the “Evolution” Tap Takeover at Battery Park Thursday (more details below).

• Fredericton’s Coastliner Cider will soon be releasing their fourth cider, Full Steam Ahead. This entry definitely takes your typical cider in a completely new direction, thanks to the addition of coffee beans roasted by local Whitney Coffee Company. Quite drinkable at 5.4% ABV, this semi-dry cider has notes of coffee in the aroma and flavour, but still retains its complementary cider character. It will be officially released this Saturday for the Saint John Beer Fest, and will follow shortly thereafter in kegs at select accounts on Monday. If you can’t make it out to try it, fear not – it will eventually be packaged in bottles, hopefully sometime in the not-too-distant future.

• The folks at Tidehouse continue to come up with new beer ideas, with their latest brew, Grisette Jungle, available on tap now. Brewed with Horton Ridge Pale and Wheat malt, the wort was bittered to ~30 IBUs with Warrior, with some Belma also being throw in at the end of the boil for a touch of fruit character. Fermented with a blend of Belgian and French Saison yeasts, it comes in at just 4.3% ABV and pours a light-straw colour with a bit of haziness. Coming across as “floral, fruity, with a nice grainy note and a little spicy zing”, you can find it at the Tidehouse taproom for growlers and small pours; look for it to pop up on tap at Stillwell in the near future.

• Over at Good Robot, you can soon expect the return of last year’s Falstaff, an American Pale Ale, next Thursday. Just-about-sessionable (always a debatable subject!) at 4.4% ABV, this one was brewed with plenty of Pilsner malt, and a bit of Red X, Rye, and Flaked Barley throwing in for good measure. It was dry-hopped with Azacca and Jarrylo to add some notes of tropical fruit, and at 30-35 IBUs, should have a moderately-bitter finish. And for this week’s Beta Brew, they bring us the winning entry in their successful FemmeBrew, an all-female homebrew competition. I Love My Dog was brewed by Drella Green-Simony, and is a “Liquorice Stout” that features a grist of Pilsner, Belgian 2-row, and Black malt. It was hopped in the boil with Willamette to the tune of ~50 IBUs, with star anise thrown in the kettle as well, giving it a mild but present liquorice character. You’ll be able to grab this 5.1% ABV Stout on tap at GR next Tuesday.

• Looks like Spindrift Brewing has a new entry in their Seventh Wave series on tap right now at the brewery. White Whale Wheat Pale Ale is a light-and-hazy brew hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a wonderful hop variety that lends “citrus overtones of grapefruit and lemongrass” in this particular beer. With a smooth mouthfeel thanks to the generous addition of Wheat in the grist, this is an easy-drinking, 4.5% ABV beer that blends perfectly with the slowly-but-surely-getting-better weather out there. Limited amounts only, of course, so grab a growler before it’s gone!

TrailWay Brewing in Fredericton is dropping another juicy and hazy Double IPA at their taproom today, All is Well. Featuring some super-fresh Amarillo hops, along with Idaho 7, it all comes together for a blast of tropical and orange notes, in an 8.0% ABV package. This release is only available at the brewery, enjoyed at their bar or in cans to go.

PEI Brewing Company has released a pair of new beers in their After Hours series, just in time for last evening’s launch event. Earlier in the week they released Mango Smoothie IPA, a 6.5% ABV featuring loads of vanilla fruit puree for a hazy and lovely bright orange appearance. The hops used complement the fruit character as well. And yesterday saw the release of Raspberry Sour, a 5.0% Sour Wheat Ale (using the kettle sour technique) with raspberries added. Both beers are still available at the brewery, but won’t be around forever, given the nature of the styles, and batch size.

• When you drop by Port Rexton’s Retail Shop on Torbay Road today, you’ll be greeted by a brand new beer in the fridge. Though the beer started out with the same malt bill as their Chasing Sun NEIPA, through a series of “weird and wonderful events” (we can only imagine!) on brewday, it didn’t end up that way! Enter DiscomHOPulated, still in the New England IPA style, weighing in at 6.0% ABV, generously dry-hopped with Amarillo, El Dorado, Mandarina Bavaria, and Mosaic, and still just as delicious as its original direction. The beer is available at the Shop for growler fills only, joined by Baycation Blonde for growler fills, with cans of T-Rex Porter and Blazing Sun also available to go, today 4 – 8 PM and tomorrow 12 – 6 PM.

• Rothesay’s Long Bay Brewery is releasing Amplified Kölsch in celebration of Record Store Day on April 21st. Using authentic yeast imported from a brewpub in Cologne, this 5.0% ABV beer features a malt bill of primarily Pilsner, for a bright yellow appearance. The bitterness of the beer is quite light, at less than 20 IBUs, but features a large whirlpool addition of Mandarina Bavaria after the boil was finished, in order to extract some lovely citrus aromatics. Teaming up with Backstreet Records, there will be live music by Christina Martin in store at 2PM, plus t-shirts of the beer logo available for purchase. You can also drop by the brewery to get your fix, and keep an eye out at local ANBL locations as well. Turn it up to 11!

Here’s what we’ll be trying to squeeze into our calendars in the next week or two:

• As we mentioned last week, if you’re in the environs of Lower Sackville tomorrow, give a thought to heading down to Freeman’s to celebrate Sackvegas’ own nanobrewery, Ol’ Biddy’s. Eight of Keith Forbes’ brews will be on tap, including the much loved Sackvegas Sour. Look for the rest of the taplist to be posted on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); the event starts at 10 AM and runs until close. Come celebrate the belated grand opening of Ol’ Biddy’s and show your support for Freeman’s, who continue to show their dedication to local beer on tap!

• Dartmouth’s Battery Park will be hosting a “small batch brewery” takeover next Thursday, April 19, from 11:30 AM until close. Dubbed “Evolution Part II”, it follows on from last year’s event, which was the last opportunity to try Sober Island and Schoolhouse before their respective evolutions out of the small batch market space. This year the taps will be populated by Halifax’s Tidehouse, Yarmouth’s Heritage, and Dartmouth’s Brightwood, who are the brewery undergoing an expansion this year. You’ll find the Facebook event page here, which will no doubt be updated with tap info as the day approaches. Head on down and remind yourself that great beer can be brewed on any size system.

• Also taking place April 19 is the first event of the #weekendofbeer in St John’s, courtesy of the folks behind the St John’s BrewFest. Featuring local favourite Port Rexton Brewing going head to head against Come From Aways 2 Crows, the taps at the Sundance SunDeck Bar will be flowing with 14 great AtlCan beers. Kicking off at 6:30 PM, a $5 cover charge gets you in the door, and started on your way to a great evening. The full taplist is available on the FB Event page, and we can tell you that both breweries are bringing their A-game, with at least one brand new release debuting, and plenty of new-to-the-region beers available. To keep you going round after round, there will be live music and food available as well.

• Friday evening (April 20th) tickets are still available for the St John’s BrewFest at Club One. In addition to the slew of great beer being brought to the Island (updated beer list here), there will be a strong showing from Newfoundland breweries, including Port Rexton, Quidi Vidi, Split Rock, Storm, Western Newfoundland, with Scudrunner on site with their merchandise for sale. Grab your tickets today to avoid missing out!

• Good news, New Brunswick (especially those of you in the Moncton area)! If you’re still sore over missing the Mikkeller takeover at Halifax’s Stillwell last January, the people behind the Tide & Boar have the perfect “analgesic” for you. Yes, Denmark’s most famous brewery will be pouring six of their delicious creations at a Mikkeller Tap Takeover at T&B Saturday, April 28th, from open till close (or the beers run out!). If you’re lucky enough to be able to attend, expect to see the following on tap: Jackie Brown, Citra IPA, Mosaic IPA, Black, Monk’s Brew, and Green Gold. But that’s not all – several other beers will be available in bottles, including Spontanbeetroot, Spontanlingonberry, Spontanyuzu (all three of which are funky, sour offerings), and their French Oak barrel-aged Barleywine, Foret Limousine. There’s no charge to attend, just make sure you’re there bright and early when they open at 11 AM, if you want to “Maximize Your Mikkeller” (™ pending)!

And a couple more little bits before we let you get on with your Friday:

– We have it on fairly good authority that Niche Brewing’s extremely popular Orange Creamsicle Milkshake IPA will be back early next week. Look for it to appear at the James Joyce for sure and, as other craft beer pubs savvy up, there too!
– The Gose of Christmas Past that Big Spruce brewed up with Hamilton’s Merit Brewing back in December is just now being seen in the wild. A gose brewed with Indian coriander and French Sea Salt before being aged in Tequila Barrels, look for it to appear at the Sprucetique and at tap accounts around the province this week. And keep your eyes out over the next couple weeks for some other big releases from Jeremy and the gang!