Lazy Bear Brewing

All posts tagged Lazy Bear Brewing

Another week of positive news in the region’s response to the pandemic, with very few new and ongoing cases, the provinces continue to relax restrictions and allow more businesses to re-open, including big news from Newfoundland, where they entered Alert Level 3 of COVID recovery this week. That means folks can enlarge their social interactions beyond their double bubble, engage in some outdoor sports and recreation, and restaurants are allowed to open (while still maintaining physical distancing for patrons). This means the local breweries are able to send beer out to licensees, and for those able, can open their own on-site dining and taproom spaces, so be sure to keep an eye on your local’s social media page.

Let’s kick off this week’s post with news from breweries across Newfoundland, including Western, Eastern, and Bonavista regions. Let’s start in Deer Lake, where Rough Waters Brewing calls home. They have just released their first Double IPA, simply named Pandemic. The label sports a picture of The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, a name Newfoundlanders have learned over the past three months, giving guidance and advice, reporting on the recovery efforts, and sometimes having to put folks in their place when looking for loopholes. The beer brewed in celebration of Haggie’s efforts is 7.7% ABV, and features loads of Azacca, Centennial, and Chinook, including 3 separate dry-hopping additions, resulting in big tropical and citrus aromatics, and a little bit of haze (that’s how you know it’s working!). This is a limited release, available at their retail shop at 83 Wights Road with new hours established today (1 – 5 PM, Tuesday to Saturday). You can organize a no-contact curbside pickup (email info@roughwatersbrewing.com or message them through Facebook or Instagram), or if you can’t make it there in person, via delivery to Norris Point and Rocky Harbour (reach out the same way), with this week’s deliveries going out Friday (but maybe if you get in ASAP there will be some for the next delivery). Sorry, no Pandemic DIPA heading East, though you can find five other RWBC options at St. John’s NLC locations for purchase.

Let’s head East to the Bonavista Peninsula, where Port Rexton Brewing Company has recently released their version of the All Together world-wide collaboration. Hosted by Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn, this New England IPA was conceived with the goal of supporting the service and hospitality industries in breweries’ regions, hit very hard by the closures mandated to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. PRBC joins TrailWay in Fredericton, and 2 Crows in Halifax to take part (more info on that one below). Read more about it here. Ensuring even more proceeds go to the deserving parties, White Cactus Branding and Maritime Labels donated design and printing of the labels, which features an amazing picture of a recent visitor to Port Rexton, taken by Danielle Lethbridge. Port Rexton’s version stays true to the original, weighing in at 6.5% ABV, and featuring boatloads of whirlpool- and dry-hopping, resulting in massive tropical fruit punch flavour and aroma, with very little bitterness. They have also brought back a few favourites, including a re-stock of their Sea Buckthorn Sour, a collaboration with St. John’s Toslow restaurant. Not sitting on their laurels, the crew added an extra 25% sea buckthorn puree to the beer, giving even more character than the previous batch. And returning after a few months off is Long Trek Lager, their 5.0% ABV Munich Helles, ready to be stowed in your backpack for the adventures ahead. All of these releases are available for ordering and pick up now! A note, there are new instructions for their St. John’s Retail Shop: Online stock is refreshed each Thursday morning, so you can set your order for the weekend, and pick up at  286 Torbay Road Thursday and Friday, 12 – 7 PM, or Saturday, 12 – 5 PM. To grab it at the source, check this link, and pop by Friday and Saturday, 12 – 6 PM. And they are joined once again by Oh My Cheeses! food truck (open the same hours), giving you the perfect lunch or dinner accompaniment. No inside dining for the time being, b’ys!

Let’s head Southeast, to Mount Pearl, to be precise… where Landwash Brewery released a “Tiny Pale Ale” earlier this week, named after some very Tiny Fish. The stickleback, also known as prickly fish, are found all around Newfoundland, hanging out in brackish waters and tidepools, and have spines along their dorsal fins (you know, sticky backs…). Prickly Fish is a 4.5% ABV Session APA/IPA sorta thing, featuring hopping in the boil and conditioning tank with Sorachi Ace, Ekuanot, and Bru-1, giving great harmonious notes of coconut, orange, and other tropical fruit on a hazy base. It is joined by the return of their Green Nap Hazy IPA series, with this release featuring Simcoe and Amarillo hops, giving off dank citrus, mango skin, and dried apricots, with a bit more bite than their That Much Ocean NEIPA. Both are available for order and pickup through their online store, now open 12 – 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and we highly recommend coordinating your timing to grab something from Saucy Mouth, who continue their residency at the brewery the same days, 4- 8 PM. And keep your eyes open for news on the in-taproom enjoyment front, as the Landwash folks are busy making some moves in the direction, to be able to welcome you inside real soon.

One last stop on the Rock, as Quidi Vidi has a pair of small batch releases available for sale at their Hops Shop this week. First up is the Imperial Baltic Porter, an 8.0% ABV beast of a beer with plenty of chocolate and roast notes, with a bit of toffee and dried fruit character. Joining it is the Czech Pilsner, a 5.0% ABV continuation of the Continental European styles they’ve been dabbling in lately, opting for an unfiltered version, with light grain notes and a touch of bread crust and toast, with a slightly bitter finish. How do you get hold of these? Head to their online shop and choose “Pick Up Order” (both of these new ones are small batch releases, in the Hop Shop only), fill out your request, give them some time to pack it together, then head down for pick up. They are also running deliveries for other cans and bottles, Tuesday – Saturday afternoons, accessible from the same page, choosing the “Home Delivery Order” button. Be sure to keep any “Pick Up Only” items out of your cart, or you’re gonna have a bad time. 

We’ve heard of a brand new beer in the wild from Hanwell’s Niche Brewing, so let’s get you up to speed on this one. A “return to hoppiness” for them, Peaks Island is a 6.0% ABV hoppy hazy NEIPA. Named after the island in Casco Bay just offshore of Portland, Maine, a town home to many well-made NEIPAs (and sometimes you just need to escape them all for an afternoon!). Starting with a base of 2-row and Pilsner malts, with additions of flaked oats and wheat, as well as a touch of CaraHell, the star of the show is definitely the hops, with a variety used throughout. First hopped in the kettle with Chinook and El Dorado, it was dry-hopped with plenty of Ekuanot and Galaxy. The combination leads to a low- to mid-range bitterness, with a ton of tropical fruit on the nose and tongue, complemented with a bit of green pepper character from the Ekuanot. You can grab the first pints of these in Fredericton at The Joyce Pub and in Saint John at Peppers Pub, and may be picked up elsewhere if you’re lucky!

The worldwide collaboration brew started by New York City’s Other Half Brewing to support hospitality professionals during COVID-19 times, All Together, continues to be brewed by breweries, and late last week 2 Crows is releasing their iteration. This 6.5% ABV American IPA was brewed with 2-row, flaked oats, and Carapils; hopped in the boil with Columbus, and lots of Mosaic and Cascade in the hopback, it was later heavily dry-hopped with more Mosaic and Cascade, along with Simcoe and Citra. As you may be guessing… hoppy juice bomb alert! Specifically, “overripe mango, passion fruit, clementine, papaya, and a touch of pine”, if you’re into that sort of thing (you are). Some of the ingredients in this brew were graciously donated by local suppliers, and a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to Halifax’s Laing House, a non-profit organization that helps youth facing mental health challenges. In addition, 2C is also giving a portion of proceeds to their taproom employees, who have seen a reduction in hours as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ⁣You can grab it in cans and on tap at the brewery. And in other 2C news, their non-alcoholic carbonated water, Hop Water, is back in stock… refreshing, guilt-free, and with a nice hop presence of Citra, it’ll go down even easier in this warmer weather than it did before!

Elsewhere in the province, Roof Hound’s Kingston location is launching a new beer today when they open at noon, Fuzzy Navel IPA. Inspired by the cocktail of the same name, this hazy, juicy brew was hopped with lots of Summit, and features additions of orange juice and housemade peach purée. It comes in at 6.5% ABV, and is definitely tasting reminiscent of that drink you may have tried when you were younger, only it’s better, because it’s beer, you know? Available on tap and in bottles to go; the brewery is still doing home deliveries, so that’s an option as well.

These Kveik yeast strains are all the rage now, ain’t they? Luckily, there’s lots of good reasons for that, and Hampton Brewing is betting that you’ll love their latest beer, Koselig (pronounced “koos-uh-lee”), which was fermented with the Ebbegarden Kveik yeast from Escarpment Labs. Brewed with the malt base of a previous release of theirs, Mosaic Blonde, they’ve increased the dry hop (we’re betting it’s Mosaic!) with this beer; that and the yeast combine to give “flavours of guava and mango, and aromas of tropical and stone fruit”. Definitely not your typical Blonde Ale! Coming in around the mid-5% ABV range, the first kegs can be found pouring at Grass Roots Grill and the Hampton Golf Course.

In Lunenburg, NS, Shipwright Brewing has a new beer available that they’d love you to try. Shoreline Export Ale is a 5.2% ABV Golden Ale brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat, and Light Munich malts, and hopped with Saaz and Hallertau Blanc. Featuring notes of honey and biscuit, with a balanced bitterness (22 IBUs), it’s meant to be one of those easy-drinking styles, yet with a lovely mix of hop and malt character, all in a clean package. You can grab crowlers to go from the brewery right now, and it should be pouring on tap soon at the Grand Banker

Riverdale Orchard in Bonshaw is open today, and this weekend, for retail sales of bottles and baked goods, and are also running a hot meal take-out special this afternoon and evening, featuring pulled pork in Scottish Rolls. The best way to success is via pre-orders on their site, and you will receive an email with a day/time confirmation. In addition to their award-winning 2 Scots 3 Apples flagship, they now have 2 Scots Go Wild, their low-intervention cider made with solely wild apples grown right on their property, and fermented with the naturally-occurring yeasts during a low and slow process, and has been maturing for 5 months before bottling. No sulphites added either! This 5.5% ABV dry cider features a heavy fruity undertone, letting the apple shine through.

Up in Northern New Brunswick, in Bathurst to be specific, Four Rivers is quite pleased to announce the availability of their first barrel-aged beers. Both based on a stout (the same one, we think), they got different barrel treatments for 7 months before 2 additional months of conditioning in the bottle: La Grande Hermine spent it’s time in a Shiraz barrel and Eau de Vie was cognac. Both beers finished at 5.5% ABV and due to the size of the barrels and the aging process, there’s only 200 (or so) 750 mL of each, so they’ll have bottle limits per customer per day and they won’t be accepting reservations. They will, however, be opening an hour early tomorrow specifically for the release, so if you’re in that area of NB and have a hankering for some barrel-aged goodness a trip to the brewery is probably better done earlier than later!

Let’s end this week’s main stories the same place we started, in Newfoundland! Split Rock Brewing in Twillingate has recently released their newest one-off brew, Dry-Hopped Rye Ale. They started with a grist chock full of rye malt, and added a hefty amount of Willamette and East Kent Goldings hops in the boil. Fermented with the brewery’s house English yeast, the final beer was dry-hopped with more Willamette and EKG, before packaging. At 6.3% ABV, it’s tasting “slick and full-bodied, with notes of spice, earth and honey”. Available right now at the brewery in 473 mL cans.

Well, the week got away from us (Chris!), and we didn’t get to put together the big list of re-openings that we had hoped to. For those in Nova Scotia, please check out Kim Hart Macneill’s guide to brewery reopenings and we aim to add our own deep dive into all Atlantic provinces this weekend. If you want to tell us if we’ve missed anything (y’know, like the entire province of New Brunswick), fire us an email! A few notable spots that popped up on our radar:

Newfoundland:

Bannerman Brewing has opened their cafe and restaurant today, with coffee and beer from 8:30 AM until midnight daily (closed Mon and Tues). Baked goods in the morning, with their kitchen operating with a reduced menu 3 – 9 PM. They have suspended their Curbside and To-Go service, as well as filling growlers (this one should just be temporary).

Dildo Brewing has opened their brewery taproom and restaurant for the year, open daily from 11 AM, closing at 8 PM Fri and Sat, 7 PM Sun – Thurs.

Nova Scotia:

Bar Stillwell Barrington is now open, Tuesday – Thursday 4 – 11 PM, Friday – Sunday 12 – 11 PM. RSVP required (902-421-1672). The Spring Garden Beergarden is also open, weather permitting, 12 – 11 PM daily. No resos needed. Canned beers (and other packaged product) can be added to a takeout food order. No word yet on the Freehouse’s re-opening. 

Battery Park is now open for in-person dining, from 3 PM during the week, and noon on weekends. The North Brewing shop onsite follows the same guidelines, check here for more details.

Big Spruce Brewing is opening their taproom, as well as their on-site food truck today, with pints and flights, as well as a full menu of options.

HopYard Halifax is now open for onsite and takeout, 12 – 9 PM daily. Reservations recommended.

Stubborn Goat’s location on Grafton Street is open from 11:30 AM until late Monday – Friday, and from 10:30 AM on the weekend. Their rooftop patio is open, weather permitting. The Beer Garden is open 11 – 11 daily, weather permitting.

Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse is back open for dining, from 11:30 AM until 8 PM, Tuesday through Saturday (closed between 2 and 4 PM, Tues through Thursday, and open until 9 PM Fri and Sat).

North Brewing has resumed in-store retail purchases, to complement their contact-less pickup and delivery options. The taproom is also open again, for on-site enjoyment and eats thanks to the folks at Side Hustle Snack Bar.

Prince Edward Island:

HopYard is open 11:30 AM – 11 PM daily, for sit-down or take-out options.

Bogside Brewing has re-opened their taproom and patio for onsite dining and imbibing, with The Wheelhouse providing food options for folks. They are open daily (except Monday), 12 – 7 PM.

Lone Oak Brewing has re-opened the taproom for pints and flights, and have the Terry’s Berries Food Truck set up onsite noon til 7 PM daily. And are working towards a more permanent kitchen setup inside, for year-round food service.

And if you’ve been missing the shorter newsbites section you’re in luck, as we’ve got a bunch for you today:

Grimross has a fresh batch of Hop Blonde (6% ABV, 23 IBUs) on tap at the brewery today; you can grab it in prefilled 750 mL and 1.89 L bottles/growlers, and it should also be popping up at restaurants and bars across NB. Look for the next batch to be available in cans.

Lazy Bear just released their latest beer, Balancing Rock Ale, at the brewery for growlers and pints. Brewed with a blend of Vienna malts and lightly-hopped, it weighs in at just 4.5% ABV.

Newfoundland’s Secret Cove Brewing is now canning, and have re-released their Come Home Beer, an Apricot Wheat Ale, with a temporarily-new name, Stay Home Beer (we’re sure you can figure out why). “Tart and juicy”, you can grab cans at the brewery’s Curb Shop, which means you do have to leave home…. *brain explodes*

If you’re looking for a job this summer, why not consider applying at your local brewery for a position? If you leave in or near the Chester area of Nova Scotia, Tanner & Co. is currently hiring for the summer; check out this link for more details.

Timber Ship Brewing has announced that they are re-releasing their popular How She Goin’, a “Honey Session Ale” again very soon (if not now!). Brewed with wildflower honey from My Lil’ Bee Honey Farm in Napan, NB, it’s light and crisp, with some slight aromas and flavours from the honey. 

We mentioned it last week, and now it’s a reality, Upstreet Brewing continues their Million Acres series this week with the release of Gamay Noir Saison, a saison aged on grape pomace. And we also mentioned the introduction of their Rewind vodka soda line of 5% ABV and 100 calorie alcopops; these are now available in 6 packs of 355 mL cans with the initial flavors of Raspberry Lemon Zest and Key Lime Sea Salt available now with Blood Orange Grapefruit coming soon!

Given the events of the past week or so, we would like to open this week’s post with a message of solidarity to our friends, family, brewery employees, and beer fans, acknowledging that acts of racism and marginalization, both passive and active, continue to occur in our region and in our country. We pledge to speak up and speak out condemning bigotry and hate, and submit that anything but love has no place in our communities. It is through many voices that our lives are enriched, and any oppression of these is unacceptable. “Stop being political; you’re just a beer blog,” some might say, and they’re right about the second part. But we will use our modest platform as we see fit, and right now we see fit to say #blacklivesmatter. 

On a more specifically beery note, with PEI brewery taprooms and restaurants able to open earlier this week, NS following suit today (and word coming that beer deliveries in the province will continue to be legal going forward), and Newfoundland poised to relax restrictions Monday, this is a week of transition for the region’s alcohol producers and licensees. We are anticipating the continuation of safe-distance interactions and PPE for the moments when distancing is not possible, to continue to keep all employees and imbibers safe and comfortable. As usual, it’s best to double-check directly whether your favourite taproom or bar has opened, as not all will be back up and running immediately. And we ask everyone to remember to be understanding: you might arrive at a place and find it full to its revised capacity; you might dislike or disagree with some of the social distancing measures; staff who haven’t worked in nearly three months may have some issues getting back into the swing of things. Breweries and Taprooms are going to do the best they can to remain open and vital, but they absolutely need their public to respect the measures that are in place and be understanding of the hiccups that are bound to happen. Be kind, folks.

It’s always sunny in Newfoundland… ok, not really, but the weather is even getting nicer there, meaning it’s time for some super-refreshing, tasty beers to have on hand for deck drinking. Bannerman is up to the task with Permanent Vacation, a 5.2% ABV Mexican Lager. Brewed with a combination of Pilsner and Vienna malt, along with a large addition of flaked corn, it was lightly-hopped with Motueka to provide just a hint of lime. The beer itself is “light and crisp, with a hint of sweetness”, perfect for warm, spring weather; available now in cans and for growler fills. And if you’re looking for something with a little more “kick” in the flavour department, Bannerman has also brought back Shore Leave, their kettle sour dry-hopped with Mosaic, and conditioned on blood orange and pineapple. Totally drinkable at just 5.2% ABV, expect “bright acidity with heavy tropical fruit flavours”. 

During this worldwide pandemic, the “old days” of large gatherings of people are a distant memory, meaning that many beer events have been, unfortunately, cancelled. One such event would have been the annual party TrailWay has been throwing to celebrate the anniversary of their taproom opening on Main St. in Fredericton (their 4th, this year, if you were wondering). We get you may be upset to miss out on an excuse to drink beer in the sun, but don’t fret… they’re still releasing what would have been a special anniversary beer. It’s the second entry in their wine barrel-aged series, and is named 3rd Room (like the first entry). They brewed up a lightly-hopped base beer and fermented it with a neutral ale yeast strain; once this was complete, they transferred it to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels and pitched their house culture of Brettanomyces and bacteria. The beer was allowed to condition for 15 months before blending, and was then packaged in 750 mL bottles, where it was left for another 5 months to carbonate and condition further. The final 6.3% ABV beer is tasting “incredibly vinous, with Pinot’s red berry and Chardonnay’s light pear and buttery character”. The Brett and bacteria has provided some complementing funk and acidity to go with the effervescent mouthfeel and dry finish. There’s going to be about 550 bottles going on sale at the brewery only, starting tomorrow at noon. 

In hoppier news (shakes head at leaving a TrailWay post without really mentioning hops), Propeller has just released Strata Double Dry-Hopped Pale Ale. A 5.5% American Pale Ale beer that is… wait for it… double dry-hopped with Strata hops (a new-ish American variety), it’s showing aromas and flavours of passion fruit, melon, fresh berries, and some dank character as well. You can grab cans of this one at all three Prop Shops, or order online for home delivery. Note that this is a one-off release for now, so supplies are limited!

The beer is flowing regularly through the taps at Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing now, and with warm weather finally a semi-regular occurrence in New Brunswick, they’ve been wracking their brains for the perfect patio beer. After some deep contemplation, they’ve decided to bring back Roman Road, a dry-hopped Italian Pilsner that made a brief first appearance last December. Double-dry-hopped with Spalt Spalter and Hallertau Mittelfruh, it’s extremely refreshing and crisp, and 5.5% ABV. You can find it at the brewery right now in cans and on tap.

Hey, were you a fan of a couple of beers from Chester’s Tanner & Co. Brewing, specifically their French Saison and Brut series? Good news! They’ve melded together the best of both worlds into this week’s release of Mandarina Brut Saison. Starting with a base of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat malts, enzyme is used pre-fermentation to make as much of the sugars available to the French Saison yeast as possible, resulting in a bone-dry beer. Mandarina Bavaria hops are used throughout for bright and fresh citrus notes, and on the dry base, the 30 theoretical IBUs punch well above their weight. This 6.8% ABV beaut of a brut is available at their retail shop and taproom today.

Upstreet is another brewery missing out on celebrating with another big, annual party this month, but on the bright side they’re releasing 5 new beers to celebrate turning five! They’re not being dropped all at once, so breathe… you’ve got a reasonably good chance at trying them all. This week they’ve launched the first two beers, the first of which is Fireworks Farmhouse Ale 2020, their collaboration with Chef Michael Smith of The Inn at Bay Fortune. Not just a basic Saison (as you may have suspected), the 6% ABV, 10 IBUs beer features additions of smoked applewood and spruce tips, both of which were gathered/harvested at the Inn. The resulting beer is spicy and complex, with “notes of orange, honey, and toasty vanilla”. Next is Limelight Lime Lager, a 4% ABV refreshing lager with a hint of lime from an addition of pure lime juice as well as a touch of salt, meant to be enjoyed in quantity with (hopefully) a background of hot weather. And playing on the “Lite” name, it is only 100 calories, and contains 0 g sugar. Both beers are available now in the Upstreet taproom (in person and online), and at Craft Beer Corner. And hitting the shelves later today is the latest in Upstreet’s Neon Friday series of hoppier beers. Known internally as 3.02 (3rd year of the series, 2nd beer of the year), it’s a pale ale in the New England/Northeastern style. With lots of BC Comet, bolstered by Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot for plenty of hop character, it’s hazy and plenty juicy, though a little lighter than an IPA.

Moving from “currently available” to “coming soon,” next week will see the release of Gamay Noir Saison, which started its life as De Novo 4 before being aged for 10 months, before being lovingly conditioned on grape pomace (of the Gamay variety, of course), and then bottle-conditioned. Expect a very dry saison, with a delightful interplay between brettanomyces and red wine character. And if you’re on the hunt for something to provide to your non-beerloving COVID-19 bubble-approved guests this summer, Upstreet is getting into the vodka soda game (makes sense, as they’re already in the soda game) with their Refresh series. Developed in-house and targeted towards being light and refreshing, all three initial flavors, Raspberry & Lemon, Key Lime & Sea Salt, and Blood Orange & Grapefruit, come in at 100 calories or less and leverage a combination of fruit and natural flavors. Available in 6-packs of 355 mL cans some time in the next couple of weeks. Lastly, getting towards the end of June, we’ll see Neon Friday 3.03, which will hop to the other side of IPA to DIPA; we’ll get you further details on that one closer to release.

Let’s keep the fruit beers rolling with Lifesaver, the latest release from Unfiltered Brewing. A 4.2% ABV sour beer, it was re-fermented on 230 kg of wild blueberries, resulting in a bright blue-ish-purple colour, screaming out that there’s plenty of fruit and flavour inside. Tart and refreshing, with a juicy blueberryness that will have you wanting more. Cans and fills are available from noon today, and join the recently-returned DOA aka Double Orange Ale, their 7.5% ABV Citra DIPA. A note that their store hours are now 12 – 9 PM daily, with deliveries happening Tuesday through Saturday, get your order in before 2 PM for some same-day lovin’. No date yet for the re-opening of Charm School next door, btw.

Lazy Bear in Smith’s Cove brought back their First Crush last night. This Saison is fermented on wine grapes grown in their own vineyard right on the brewery grounds, with this year’s release featuring Lucie Kuhlmann grapes. After fermentation, the beer hung out in Oak barrels for a spell before release. Check their site for ordering options at this weekend’s Markets, and they’ll be open at the brewery again Thursday the 11th for bottle sales, as well as pints, for the first time in 3 months!

As friends and frequenters of New Scotland Brewing in Dartmouth are well aware, non-beer beverages get equal billing in their brewhouse and taproom, specifically ciders and meads, and this week marks the first time that they’ll be packaging one of their meads in cans for general sale. Rosehips Don’t Lie is a 5.5% ABV sparkling mead (although some folks might prefer the term “hydromel” at that ABV) that was produced with a natural fermentation: letting the microorganisms in the environment ferment the must instead of explicitly pitching yeast. Aged for 6 months with rosehips, the resulting beverage is a balance of tart acidity and a slight honey sweetness. Get yours either via a visit to the brewery or by ordering online for home delivery.

Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is excited to let everyone know that they’ll be amongst the breweries opening their taprooms today with both their Seaport (12 noon) and Oxford (3 PM) locations geared to allow 50% of their nominal capacity. And what better way to celebrate their re-opening than with the re-release of a fan-favorite beer? Georgia Peach is an APA at 5.0% ABV, with a grist of Maritime Pale malt, oats, and wheat,  hopped with Cascade, and hit with plenty of peach. Not especially bitter at 27 IBU, it’s hazy and orange and bursting with peach flavor. Grab some at either of the aforementioned Garrison locations as of today, but you can also expect to see it at select NSLC stores and private stores in Halifax in the coming weeks.

You can now count Cole Harbour’s North Brewing amongst the breweries who are getting into the hard seltzer game. Our this week is their “sparkling, spiked and fizzy” Pink Lemonade Seltzer. A blended seltzer, it’s gluten-free (tested!), and fresh frozen Nova Scotia raspberries are added, giving an all-natural lovely pink colour, with lemon juice added for a tart kick. It comes in at a light and lively 5% ABV. Available now via the webstore and at the brewery, you can rest assured that this won’t be the only seltzer coming out of North this summer.

You can expect to see a new, summery beer (seeing a pattern with today’s post?) coming from our friends at Good Robot very soon (maybe even as soon as today!). Viking Holiday is billed as a “Pineapple Wheat Ale”, a beer that was brewed with a simple grist of 2-row and Wheat malt, and fermented with a strain of Kveik yeast. Kveik can usually be counted on to offer a wide range of tropical, fruity flavours, but GR boosted that even further with an addition of pineapple puree. With bright carbonation, and pineapple and nectarine notes, it’s very sessionable at just 4.2% ABV.

Speaking of beers-that-should-be-available-very-soon-if-not-right-now, newly-opened Grand Falls Brewing is just about ready to launch their latest, a Helles Lager named Régal. Brewed with German ingredients (including a German Lager strain) and lagered appropriately, it weighs in at 4.6% ABV and 19 IBUs. There’s a bit of bready malt sweetness in this one, balanced by herbal and floral notes from the hop additions. Finishing crisp and dry, this could be a good one for those of you who appreciate a good Lager, and for sharing with your friends or family members who haven’t quite made the full leap into craft beer world yet! Keep your eyes on the Grand Falls social media pages for when exactly this beer will be available.

And a couple of quick final mentions as we leave you to your weekend:

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated…” After whispers and rumours that Somerset’s Bad Apple Brewhouse would be closing, we can report that is not the case. Fresh cans of their signature Box Cutter IPA and Stearman APA are available at the brewery retail shop, located at 515 Parker Condon Road, a stone’s throw from Exit 15 on the 101 Highway. Open 1 – 6 PM daily, you may be able to snag some of the last cans of their Apearently Funky Brett Pear Cider before it disappears.

It looks like the Rockbottom Brewpub, which closed in March like all other restaurants and taprooms, will not be re-opening. However, we hear that it will be reopening as a Nine Locks taproom in the future. Your Father’s Moustache, owned by some of the same group, will be opening their doors now that restrictions have been lifted, and are targeting a June 17th date for their return.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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