Moncton Beer League

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Hey! We heard you missed us, we’re back! We trust you all kept yourselves well hydrated while we took a hiatus, and are ready to hit the ground/taps running this weekend as we round up the news of the week’s releases. There’s always a danger that when we take some time off, we’ll miss some important news, and this time was no different, so let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the important news for your first day of November (wow times flies)!

Great news for those of you in Labrador City, you finally have a brewery that you can call your own! Iron Rock Brewing Company opened their doors on October 19th, and have been going great guns ever since! They are currently pouring five beers, for enjoyment onsite, or to go in growlers, including: Lawn Sweeper Cream Ale (4.3% ABV), Shabogamo Sour (4.0% ABV), Railbender Red Ale (5.5% ABV), Spike Maul IPA (6.9% ABV), and Overburden Oat Stout (4.9% ABV). We’ll have plenty more information on Iron Rock, and the folks behind it in the coming days, but in the meantime, get out to the brewery at 118 Humphrey Rd in Lab City this weekend to toast their arrival! Hours are Friday 4 PM – 12 AM, Saturday 2 PM – 12 AM, and Sunday 2 PM – 10 PM.

Propeller Brewing has announced that they will be opening a new location in The Keep, a mixed use building at the corner of Quinpool and Vernon Streets in Halifax. It will feature a pilot system for experimentation, a taproom where samples, flights, and pints can be enjoyed, and a full retail shop to keep the local community well stocked. They’ll be offering cans and bottles, as well as growler fills. Watch this space for more details, as they aim for an early-2020 opening. For those who can’t wait that long for their Propeller fix, tonight’s cask at their Gottingen Street taproom is their Porter on rum-aged oak.

While we were away, Nova Scotia South Shore’s Tanner & Co were able to cap their second anniversary celebrations this month with the opening of their new Tap Room, in the heart of Chester. With a small batch brewery onsite for testing out some of the wilder side of brewing, visitors to “Tanner & Co on Duke St” (that’s 59 Duke Street) can grab a flight or pint, and then take their favourites home in bottles or growlers. The tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 – 9 PM. With the opening of the tap room, the brewery at 50 Angus Hiltz in Chester Basin is adjusting its hours to be open Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6 PM. At either location, you can pick up their latest releases, including the Barrel-Aged Porter with Berries, and Reserve Sauvage, a barrel-fermented (French oak Chardonnay barrels) version of their Sauvage, brewed with Horton Ridge Malt and the Scotian Sauvage yeast first isolated at Big Spruce.

Fredericton’s York County Cider is happy to announce their newest product to hit the shelves at ANBL, their first seasonal to be widely available. Previously only available at their taproom, Apple Pie is a spiced cider, but still crisp, with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and apple, perfect for the fall. Available in 355 mL bottles, this 5.8% ABV bevvy should pair well with an afternoon of raking leaves or a walk in the crisp fall air.

We were very sad to hear of the passing earlier this month of Jennifer Defreyne, one of the co-owners and founders of Mount Pearl’s Landwash Brewery. An Engineer, she was critical in the location searching, planning, development, and construction of the brewery, and many of her aesthetic and practical choices are part of what is making Landwash so successful to this day. In celebration of her life, raise a pint of your favourite beverage tonight. Her family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Landwash has a pair of new beers out recently that we’d like to mention, to keep you Mount Pearlers happy. First up is Rock and Willow, a 6.0% Amber Saison. Featuring Munich malts for strong bread and toast character, and then fermented with Escarpment’s Saison Maison yeast, for some spicy pepper character and a dry-as-a-bone finish. The beer was brewed to showcase and pair with restaurant Fork. in Mobile, just south of Witless Bay, who are competing in the Newfoundland stop of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party this evening. Their dish features partridge, hence the name – Rock and Willow – two common breeds of ptarmigan. The beer will pair with whatever you want to drink it with, even if that’s solitude, and is available in cans and growler fills at the brewery now. And while you’re there, you can grab the other recent release, Pearliner 2019. This Munich-style Helles was dry hopped with Ekuanot (formerly Equinox), for a blend of citrus, bread, and honeysuckle vibes in a crispy 4.5% ABV package. This is the first of their rotating fall lager they’ll be releasing annually, playing on whatever they’re into at the time. Stop by the brewery for a sample, pint, growler fill, or can of the good stuff.

Shelburne’s Boxing Rock has a new big and dark beer out, one named after the local term for a big storm. Tan Toaster is a Baltic Porter, full of smooth and sweet malt character paired with elements of dark fruit with a touch of spicy Magnum hops providing balance. Brewed in early September, it’s had plenty of time to rest and relax and for the flavors to integrate. Look for it at all the private stores in Halifax as well, of course, from the brewery shops in Halifax and Shelburne themselves, but be careful, at 7.5% ABV this one could very well blow you over. 

Hanwell’s Niche Brewing is releasing a new beer to the Capital and Southern NB regions this week (and Halifax), the latest in their small line of Brettanomyces-fermented IPAs. Ramble On is a 5.9% ABV golden-orange hazy beer, late-hopped (think more aroma and flavour than bitterness) with Hallertau Blanc and Idaho 7, two hops known for tropical and fruity characteristics. That is only complemented by fermentation by a blend of Brettanomyces strains from Escarpment Labs, under the Mothership name. A further dry-hopping with these two hop varietals, as well as Vic Secret, seal the deal, with passion fruit and gooseberry notes enhanced by funky Brett notes. Grab it for pints at The Joyce and Peppers Pub, and pints & growlers(!) at Grimross Brewing; it should also be making an appearance at Stillwell very soon. As with all of their releases, they don’t tend to stick around too long, so we suggest checking in on your way home from work (or grab a quick lunch pint!).

If you’re in Saint John, you may want to drop by the Hammond River taproom, as they’re pouring a new beer that they brewed in collaboration from the fine people behind The Manatee (if you’re not sure what that is, we highly suggest clicking on the link and getting caught up!). Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff, co-founders of the Maritimes’ “biggest source of satire”, joined the brewers at HR to create Burning Manatee, a Rauchbier (aka German Smoked Lager). The grist contained a “hefty” amount of Beechwood Smoked malt, to give the final product a “distinctive and extremely tasty smokey flavour”. A beer for fall that can help you move away from all those Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales, it weighs in at 5.7% ABV and 29 IBUs. Aside from directly at the source, you’ll also be able to find it at various Hammond River licensees.

Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing has their latest beer hitting taps this week, and we’re guessing you’re going to have an idea of what went into this one, based on its name! NB Hops Pale Ale is – wait for it – an American Pale Ale hopped with all New Brunswick-grown hops… specifically, Cascade, Chinook, and Sorachi Ace from Moose Mountain Hops. With another dry hop of all Cascade, the final beer has floral and citrus notes, along with some caramel and earthy qualities from the malt. Finishing at 5.5% ABV, look for it at Marky’s Laundromat right now, and likely at other O’Creek accounts very shortly. 

Moving back over to Newfoundland, Port Rexton Brewing has their latest, a 5.3% ABV “Black New England IPA” named Chasing Moon. Dark as dark can be, thanks to the addition of a variety of dark malts in the grist, lactose was added to the boil to help round out the hop character from dry-hop additions of Mosaic and Vic Secret. With aromas of pine, blackberry, and tropical fruit, look for “dark chocolate-covered berries/coffee beans and tropical fruit” on the palate. This one is now available on tap at the taproom and their St. John’s retail shop location. And speaking of their taproom, now is a good time to remind you about their reduced hours, which will take place until Spring returns (sob). They’re now open Fridays and Saturdays 4-10 pm. The one exception to this is this weekend, when the Ales for Trails event is happening. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a fundraising initiative for Hike Discovery, a non-profit committed to the development of a hiking trail network on the Bonavista Peninsula. The event is happening on Saturday, and the brewery has some live music and beer planned for everyone after the run/hike; as a result they’re open 12-10pm Saturday, and 10:30-4 on Sunday. 

In St. John’s, YellowBelly is pouring a brand new sour beer, Blueberry Cheesecake Sour. If you assumed that this beer was kettle soured with Lactobacillus, you’d be correct, but you may be wondering how exactly they went about getting the blueberry cheesecake part of the beer to work. The answer is graham flour (added to the mash), lemon zest and vanilla in the boil, and lactose and 200 lbs of blueberries added while the beer was conditioning. The final, 5.4% ABV beer is finally ready, and currently available on tap at the brewpub for pints and growlers.

Over in Good Robot Land, they’ve just released Thompson and Thomson, a beer they’re categorizing as a “Belgian Party Ale” (that sound you heard was the BJCP exploding). Originally planned as a collaboration, but cancelled when the other party couldn’t show (some party!), they started with the idea of a Belgian Tripel with fruit, and created what you’ll be seeing on tap at the brewery’s taproom… a 6.8% ABV, 32 IBUs beer with “splashes” of blueberry and kiwi. Next week will see the return of Bingo Bronson, a 6% ABV Chocolate Porter, so keep your eyes and mouths open for that one.

The launching of dark beers continues in Fredericton at Grimross Brewing, which just yesterday (hey, it was Halloween, after all) released Tmavý Pivo, named after the Czech style that is most likely unheard of by the majority of beer drinkers in Atlantic Canada. Second in popularity in the Czech Republic to the beloved Pilsner, it’s a dark Lager that’s been around that part of Europe for hundreds of years. Grimross’s take on the style involves a grist made up of floor malted Bohemian dark and pilsner malt, as well as some Carafa Special III. Hopped entirely with Czech Saaz to 20 IBUs and fermented with their house Lager yeast, the beer was lagered for five weeks before packaging. The result is a 4.8% ABV beer that is “dark, hearty and dry, with notes of baked brown bread, roasted nuts, and a touch of creaminess”. Available on tap and in cans at the brewery, with cans following shortly at ANBL stores.

Until recently, those who wanted to experience the taste of beer without risking tipsiness or ingesting too many calories only had a few options and those options weren’t so attractive to those with a taste for flavorful beer. But no such product has emerged here in Atlantic Canada that we can think of. So it’s exciting for us to report that, near as we can tell, this week PEI’s Upstreet Brewing becomes the first brewery in the region to release an ultra-low ABV beer to market. Featuring Amarillo, Citra, and Galaxy hops, Pace Pale Ale has a fresh light citrus aroma, notes of brown sugar and tangerine, and an ABV that hovers around 1%! Even better, if you care about such things, it’s estimated to carry only about 50 calories. In development since Easter of this year, it took three pilot batches dial it in; Upstreet’s Brewmaster Mike “Hogie” Hogan describes it as “a very challenging beer to brew,” especially, “mak[ing] it taste like beer and not just hop water or unfermented wort.” You’ll be able to find it at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner now, with cans expected to go to PEILC in the near future and hopefully the private stores in Halifax soon as well.

If you live in New Brunswick, you’ve probably heard that finding beer to take home has just got a lot easier! No longer limited to ANBL stores and brewery visits, you’ll now be able to find beer at 66 different Sobeys and Loblaws stores across the province. Yes, a good portion of the brands available are “big beer”, but there are a total of ten beers from seven different craft breweries that will also join the mix. These craft offerings include Brasseurs du Petit-Sault (Snap Dickie Cream Ale), Graystone (Patagonia Pale Ale), Grimross (Maritime Cream Ale, Maritime Pale Ale), Maybee (Work Horse IPA), Picaroons (Yippee IPA, Feels Good Imperial Pilsner), Pumphouse (Blueberry Ale, Crafty Radler), and TrailWay (Hu Jon Hops). The “convenience” of having these beers available to you through these outlets means that the price of all these beers is about 7% higher than what you’d pay at ANBL stores. This *is* a trial run, so naturally all of this is subject to change; the program was officially started yesterday, and we haven’t seen the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… yet. Stay tuned!

And in “coming to New Brunswick in early 2020 news”, Uncorked Tours NB is opening a location at the Saint John City Market next year. This new home base will be where you can sign up to take part in their tours of the city, as well as sample and enjoy local beer, cider, and spirits in their space. We’ll share all of the details when they have them, but in the meantime, congratulations on the new venture, Gillian and Crew!

Though we’re all familiar with the breweries in our region and many of the suppliers that support them with things like equipment (brewhouses and tanks), ingredients (malt, hops, yeast), and facilities like canning, there are some unsung folks around who you might not think of when you consider what goes into making our beer scene what it is. Do you have a glass growler (or 6) kicking around your house? How about branded glassware from your favorite local brewery? A couple (or a dozen) tasting glasses from various beer fests and other events? Well chances are that many, if not most of those came out of one facility in the HRM: Jym Line Glassware in Elmsdale, NS. Today marks 50 years since the registration of the company, formed by Jim and Lynda Adams and now capably run by their son, Tom. We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize Jym Line’s contribution to beer culture around these parts and wish them many more successful years. We can’t think of a better way to do that than to grab a favorite glass, whether it be a Becher, a Teku, a tulip, or even a shaker pint, pour a favorite local beer into it, and raise a toast. If you’d like to do something more, why not check out the celebration they’ve got going on this Sunday, November 3rd, from 1 – 4 PM at Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Burnside? Stop by, grab a beer (looks like there might be some fancy celebratory branded glassware to drink it from) and say hello to the Jym Line team!

Definitely some fine looking events coming up in the next couple of weeks:

You may recall that we mentioned a Newfoundland tap takeover at Charlottetown’s HopYard a few weeks ago; if you live in Halifax and were feeling a little left out, no reason to sulk any longer! That’s right, the Halifax HopYard location will be holding their own event tomorrow, November 2nd. All ten taps (we see nine on their page, but maybe there’s an extra surprise?) will be dedicated to Newfoundland beers: four from Port Rexton, three from Quidi Vidi, and two from Landwash (check out their FB page for the actual beer list). In true HopYard fashion, they’ve got a special Newfoundland Night food menu, featuring Johnny & Mae’s Food Truck, direct from St. John’s! And if that wasn’t enough, there’ll be live entertainment from Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset. That’s gotta be enough for you, right? It all starts when they open at noon, and continues until closing that evening.

TrailWay’s latest venture, The Drome – a bowling alley on Fredericton’s North Side that they took ownership of months ago, and recently renovated – is having it’s official Grand Opening tomorrow, November 2nd. Aside from bowling and food (if you’d like to bowl, you should likely call and reserve a lane, as they’re filling up fast), they’ll have happy hour pricing on beer all day long. And since you’ll be in the area, you might as well wander a little further down Main St. to the brewery’s taproom, where they’ve got El Generico (raspberry version) back on tap and in cans, along with last week’s new American IPA, Good As (hopped with Motueka and Citra).

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing will be taking over the taps at Dartmouth’s Battery Park next Thursday, November 7th, with a wide selection of core brands, favourites from the vault (we’ve got our fingers crossed for some Framboise, but won’t hold our breath), as well as a new collaborative brew they put together with BP’s sister North Brewing. Details are hush-hush on that right now, but we’ll have the full info next week, assuming there’s any left. Check the FB Event link to take part in a contest they’ll be launching soon. The fun goes all day, kicking off at 11:30AM, so drop by to enjoy a selection from their extensive library of offerings, as well as food to pair. 

The Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Fest is turning five this year and is set to go next weekend, on Saturday, November 9th at the Moncton Coliseum. Benefiting United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB and organized by the Moncton Beer League and Cox & Palmer, this year’s event features products pouring from more than 35 breweries, cideries, meaderies and distilleries, all from the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The regular session runs in Hall C from 7:30 to 10 PM, with tickets costing $58 (plus taxes and fees) and entitle you to unlimited samples in your event-branded glass. VIP tickets are sold out, but there’s a VVIP tier at $78 that runs from 5:45 to 10 PM, gets you a special glass, entrée to an industry panel discussion, and early entry onto the pouring floor. There’s also a designated driver ticket available for $20 that doesn’t come with a glass, but gets you into the event with access to water and non-alcoholic options. Tickets are available on the Facebook event page or via Eventbrite

The day before, on Friday, November 8th, from 8:30 to 5 PM, there will also be a Business of Brewing Conference at the Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown geared towards industry business owners looking to transform their businesses. Featuring a full slate of speakers, plus panels and round tables, it’s an opportunity for folks to learn from others about how to grow and improve. Tickets and registration are available through Eventbrite.

This is the time of year in Nova Scotia when tourism starts to flag and harvest season is winding down, leaving our more rural areas to look forward to the next year’s flurry of activity. What better time, then, thought the folks at Sober Island and Lunn’s Mill, to start putting on an annual event? Combine that with both breweries’ love for traditional English styles served in the traditional style on cask, and you’ve got the first annual Cask in the Sticks coming up on Saturday, November 23rd from 1 – 5 PM. The event will rotate between rural breweries on a yearly basis, and the first host will be Lunn’s Mill, who will be tasked with showing off their rural location and organizing a great time. The event will be inside/outside, so dress warmly; to encourage that, they’re having a onesie competition with the prize being tickets to next year’s event. They’ll also have a s’mores station! Tickets are $25 and will get you a Cask in the Sticks branded glass (from Jym Line, of course!) you can take with you at the end of the day; there are no beer tickets at this one, just present your glass and it will be filled. Eight casks will be pouring from Lunn’s Mill, Sober Island, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Meander River Farm, Tatamagouche, Roof Hound, and Annapolis Brewing, with a special 9th cask from homebrewing friends the Roscoe Brothers. Only about 70 spots are available; you can pre-pay for your tickets from any of the participating breweries.

Good morning, and welcome to another Friday! As usual, there’s plenty of beer news to share for the week, so let’s not waste any time with preamble. Ok, truth is the site was down for awhile and we lost a lot of changes, including a witty intro, and I just don’t have it in me to try to come up with it again!

• Let’s kick off the week with the announcement of a new brewery on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Heritage Brewing is opening their doors for the first time tomorrow, at 19 Kirk St in Yarmouth. From 11-3, they will be pouring their four beer for sampling onsite, and in growlers to take away. They will be pouring their Amber Ale, Blonde Ale, Session IPA and/or Stout all day (or until they run out!). Merchandise, including clothing and glassware will also be available for purchase. Look for a full Profile with the Heritage crew Monday morning. Congratulations on your opening!

• Moncton’s Bore City is back on the board with a couple of new beers! First up is the recently-released Jus de Citra, which has been on tap at Marky’s Laundromat for a couple of days and is going fast. This American IPA is hopped entirely with, you guessed it, the beautiful Citra variety. A simple grist of Pilsner and 2-row malt, along with a healthy amount of Flaked Oats to boost the body, lets the tropical juiciness of one of our favourite hops shine through. Fermented with Conan to boost that juicy character even further, it weights in at 6.5% ABV and 68 IBUs. If it’s out at the Laundromat by the time you read this, fear not… you can always make the trek to Fredericton’s James Joyce, where it should be available on tap any time now.

• The other new beer from Bore City has been brewed and is just finishing up fermentation. Accordingly named Koalatee Pale Ale, this one was hopped with three Australian varieties: Ella, Summer, and Vic Secret. Expect plenty of citrus and tropical fruit in this brew as well; it should clock in around 5.5% ABV, and will be available within the next few weeks. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

• Now that there’s finally some inklings of nice weather in our area, those of you in Fredericton have a good excuse to head over to TrailWay Brewing to check out their new-and-improved patio. Luckily, they’ve also released a brand new beer to give you yet another excuse! Blueprint is the brewery’s latest Porter, described by the brewery as “chocolate-forward, sessionable, dry and crisp”. A popular style in the taproom (where you can pick up growlers, pints, and cans), this 5% ABV brew will also be available on tap around the city.

• Sticking around Fredericton, Half Cut Brewing has their first new beer in a while out and about the city. Tickle Fight IPA is a 5.8% ABV American IPA hopped with Warrior and Sorachi Ace, giving an “ample amount of bitterness, with lots of fruit character, including citrus, mango, and passionfruit”, according to the brewery. Look for it on tap at your favourite Half Cut tap account today.

• In cider news in the city, Red Rover has their first cask-conditioned release on at the Cider House as of this week. Paradise is a 7% ABV dry cider with a “sweet aroma of pineapple and a dry apple finish”; available only for glasses served in-house at the downtown location, be sure to drop in and try this limited released while it’s still available!

• You may have noticed an announcement from Petit-Sault about a new beer of theirs, La Madoueska, which they’re referring to as an “Acadien Brown Ale”. Brewed with a combination of “Pale, Caramelized, and Toasted malts”, it has an aroma of freshly-ground coffee beans and dark chocolate, accompanied by a fairly dry finish. There will be an announcement later today  by Sebastien Roy of Fils du Roy regarding this new “style”; you’ll likely be seeing several beers brewed in this way from Acadien breweries in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the 6% ABV La Madoueska is available on tap at the Petit-Sault taproom for pints, bottles and growlers, at ANBL growler stations this weekend, and in bottles at select ANBL stores.

Good Robot is bringing back last year’s The Shocking Pink, a Gose-Radler hybrid of sorts that they originally introduced for the 2016 OUTeast Film Festival in Halifax. Well, the festival returns on June 15th, and so does version 2.0 of the beer! This hazy, straw-coloured beer is the brewery’s Goseface Killah with pink lemonade added, as well as organic teas “Queen of Tarts” and “Fruity Oasis” from DAVIDsTEA. Tart, salty, lemony, and fruity, v 2.0 will be launched on the 15th when the festival opens; look for it on tap across the city.

• Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has released the latest in their Heritage SeriesOld-Fashioned Gravenstein. Using only hand-picked, local Gravs, they crafted a 7.4% ABV cider with a fresh apple aroma and crisp, tart, flavour. This release is available exclusively at the cidery on Main Street.

Mill Street St John’s has released a new beer, taking inspiration from Italy. Terrazza Lager clocks in at 4.8% ABV and 30 IBUs, featuring biscuit and bread notes, with a spicy hop character from Saaz hops. Grab a pint or growler at the bar today, and at EVOO in the Courtyard, at Water and Beck’s Cove.

• Digby’s Roof Hound Brewing is putting the finishing touches on a brand new beer set to mid-next-week. Thyme to Grow a Pear Blueberry Kettle Sour is a complex and flavourful beer that will be hitting their taps, as well as licensees shortly. Featuring a light base from Pilsner and Wheat malts, the beer was soured in the kettle thanks to a healthy dose of yogourt (which contains the necessary Lactobacillus bacteria). After a couple of days letting those guys do their work, the beer is boiled to kill them off, at which point Pear puree was added. After further fermentation with a traditional yeast, Blueberry puree made its appearance in the beer. And while the beer finished its conditioning and carbonation, fresh Thyme was added to the brite tank. All of this culminates in a 3.9% ABV acidic, yet clean, beer, with a lovely thyme and fruit finish.

• You may have spotted a new publication in Nova Scotia breweries this week, the NS Beer Guide. Published independently from any brewery or organization, it aims to put the information for all Nova Scotia breweries together in one book for easy reference. Follow along on their social media pages to see where the guides have been delivered to grab yours over the next few days, as they visit all of the breweries in the province.

• On the Isthmus of Chignecto (try saying that after a couple beers), Trider’s in Amherst has a new beer in bottles. My Honey, My Heather is the result of experimentation that followed after a local honey producer approached Trider’s and asked if they wanted to do a honey beer. The beer uses a few buckets of wild honey and the team is pretty happy with the result; it also contains heather, hence the name. Meanwhile, if you’re in Halifax and you’re wondering where you might find Trider’s brews on tap, we’ve got the scoop: The Local on Gottingen has had White Ogre and Rod’s Red, The Stubborn Goat will be serving Rod’s Red as well, and the Timber Lounge will have 500 ml bottles of the Brew-Deau. More accounts will no doubt follow in coming weeks; we’ll let you know as we’re made aware.

• On the South Shore of NS Boxing Rock is holding a contest to name their latest beer, this one a Cream Ale brewed specially for the Tall Ships visit to Shelburne on August 14th and 15th as part of the RDV2017 Guest Port Program in Canada to celebrate Canada 150. Your prospective name needs to be submitted in person at the brewery (open 7 days a week, 11AM – 7PM) between June 8th and July 8th to qualify. The winner will be revealed at Boxing Rock’s birthday party celebration on July 8th. This isn’t a ballot-box stuffing style contest, it’s all about creativity, and we’ve been assured that “Beery McBeerface” isn’t in the running. We’re told that the beer itself is light and easy-drinking, with a grist comprised of 100% malt. Hopped with both European noble and North American varieties for a light bitterness and mild aroma, it weighs in at 5% ABV.

• Halifax’s 2 Crows tapped a new beer yesterday afternoon, a “super tropical” brett pale ale called Angel Eyes. Fermented with a blend of Brettanomyces strains, it’s a healthy 6.5% ABV and a solid 34 IBU. Dry hopped with new world hop varietals Azacca, Galaxy, and Citra, expect a juicy and funky presence, with a dry finish and a strong pineapple and lemon notes. Brewmaster Jeremy Taylor even gave a shoutout on Facebook to our own Shawn Meek and a similar recipe he concocted a couple of years back (but don’t tell him that, it’ll go right to his head). This is a very limited release, with only 250 litres available on tap at the brewery. And speaking of the brewery, 2 Crows now has a patio with seating for 20 out front on Brunswick Street. We suspect that a pint of Angel Eyes and a seat on the patio might be an excellent squad goal for craft beer lovers in Halifax this weekend! And if Brett isn’t your thing, there’s still some of the 2 Crows x 902 BrewCast In Theory to be had.

• You may remember the Pucker Up Cranberry Hibiscus Wit originally launched by Garrison back in 2015. They’ve revamped the beer as a kettle sour, and have re-launched the beer as Pucker Up. This bright red beer is brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malt, and was soured with Lactobacillus bacteria, before being briefly boiled (but no hops were added to the brew). It still has the pomegranate and hibiscus notes like the original beer, and comes in at a quaffable 4.7% ABV. The brewery describes the taste as “Fun Dip for adults”, which probably gives you a pretty good idea of the flavours! Available at the brewery for tasters and growlers now, look for it to follow at local tap accounts very soon. And in other Garrison news, they’re once again putting out calls for locally-grown rhubarb! Bring your fresh, usable rhubarb in to the brewery (leaves removed, please) for a free taster, plus an in-store credit of $1 per pound (limit of 10 lbs per person).

Another busy weekend ahead of us, folks!

• Starting today, visitors to Schoolhouse Brewery‘s new Windsor location will be able to grab a full pint of Schoolhouse’s, and guest breweries’, beer.  Drop by 40 Water Street today at 3:20PM (when school lets out, off course) until 9PM, or on the weekend from 11AM. While there, pick up your tickets for their Graduation next weekend, and GradParty after the day’s “formal” fun is done. They’re hosting a Four Square Tournament that day as well, be sure to sign up early to secure your spot! And keep your eyes open for the return of favourites Skratch Plaskett – Electric Tambourine Ale and Vice-Principal Session IPA, both slated for their return next week.

• Good news (Prince Edward) Islanders! Beginning tonight, BarNone Brewery in Rose Valley is open for pints and growler fills on both Thursday and Friday evenings! From 6-10pm both nights, drop by the brewery to check out what’s newly released, what’s coming next, and take a seat upstairs in the auditorium for some great local music. Friday’s music leader is Jon Rehder, and will feature plenty of local and visiting musicians throughout the summer.

• For those in the Annapolis Valley (or looking for an excuse to head there), La Torta Pizzeria in Wolfville will be hosting a Tap Takeover by Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing Saturday from 3pm. Featuring their core lineup, as well as several one-offs and brand new offerings, be sure to drop by for a slice and flight tomorrow. (If you can’t wait to see what’s available, checkout La Torta’s IG  for the details)

• There are few good reasons to stay close to Moncton’s Tide & Boar tomorrow morning: at 10AM they are holding the latest of their Growler Fill Mornings, when they offer some of their house-brewed beer in a take-away format. This weekend’s offerings are Pow Pillows IPA (a New England-style IPA with CitraGalaxy, and Nelson Sauvin hops, with some lactose for residual sweetness), Hand PlantIPA (all Galaxy, and a non-flocculating yeast for a hazy outcome), and Layback Lager (brewed with rye, New Zealand hops, and fermented with a German lager yeast). And stick around until 11AM, where you can grab a pour from their single bottle of Sam Adams Utopias, the 25%ABV+ beer that drinks more like whisky than a beer. Plus those who do purchase a 1 ounce pour with have a chance to win the iconic bottle.

• Now that the Central City “Red Racer Across the Nation” collaboration twelve-pack can be found in three of the four Atlantic Provinces (ANBL, NLCBishop’s Cellar and Cristall Wine in NS, with PEILCC to come very soon), the dates and details for the kick-off parties are all set. Next week, the good folks from Central City will be visiting our region, pouring the collaboration beers, and having a proper East Coast time:

June 12th at Quidi Vidi. 4:30-10PM. Sample all twelve beers, plus grab pints of QV’s collab brew too. Food onsite. Facebook Event.
June 15th at PEI Brewing Co. 5-9PM. Live music and pints of the PEIBC collab beer. Facebook Event.
June 16th at Picaroons. 5-11PM. Live music, collab 12-packs for sale, food and beer. Facebook Event.
June 17th at Garrison. 1-4PM. Free samples of Garrison’s collab, plus meet the folks from Central City. Facebook Event

• After a brief stint on tap last month, YellowBelly has brought back their Ryan’s Fancy IPA, which is available in bottles at the brewery now, and select NLCs this weekend. Celebrating the eponymous iconic band that formed in 1971, the beer will be re-launched in earnest June 13th at their “What a Time – Volume 2” CD release party at O’Reilly’s Pub, at 7PM.

• The Moncton Beer League will be holding their next Urban Beer Hike in downtown Moncton June 17th. Start your afternoon of fun at Marky’s Laundromat, and hit up four other bars for a taste of the region offers. Grab your tickets today!

• We don’t want the summer to go by too quickly (hey, we’ve earned it!), but a reminder that tickets for this year’s Atlantic Canadian Craft Brew Oktoberfest (being held on Saturday, September 30th) go on sale today at noon. Featuring unlimited beer samples from many local craft breweries, there are two ticket options available: regular tickets get you entry from 7:30-10:00 pm and a takeaway glass, VIP tickets get you in at 7 pm, and “VVIP” tickets get you a special glass, access to an industry panel discussion, and a guided beer tasting. Ticket prices range from $58-$75+fees, and are available here. Check out the link for additional festival details. As in the past, funds will help support the United Way of Greater Moncton.

Just one more more beer to keep an eye out for this weekend:

– Attention, Halifax  beer drinkers: keep your eyes open for a new Tidehouse brew, Simcoe Krush (5.2% ABV, 30 IBUs), an American Pale Ale focusing strongly on Simcoe hops.

Wow, what a #NSCraftBeerWeek so far! Aaron and Chris had a blast competing in the Stillwell Open last Sunday and hosting Craft Beer Trivia on Wednesday night at Timber Lounge, and everyone is getting excited for this weekend’s conclusion, the Full House Craft Beer Fest in Halifax, which will see beer from 30+ breweries from across the province! Here’s your latest news on what to keep an eye open for this weekend in Nova Scotia, and across our region:

• Starting off the Nova Scotia new beers, uh, news, North Brewing released a couple earlier this week. Midnight, their Glenora barrel-aged Belgian Strong Dark Ale (aged with Brett Q, a Brettanomyces strain isolated from a barrel-aged sour beer from Quebec), was re-released yesterday in 650 mL bottles. This 10.5% ABV monster has notes of dark chocolate, tart cherry, stone fruit, oak, vanilla, and whisky, and is one of those beauties you know will benefit from picking up an extra or two for aging; it’s available at both bottle shops. And last Sunday saw the release of Betroth Ale, a Braggot (think beer and mead mixture) created for North employee Brad’s wedding. Brewed with honey, heather, and yarrow, this was North’s Stillwell Open entry last weekend. Weighing in at 5.4% ABV and 9 IBUs, it’s available in bottles and for growler fills at both locations.

• Another debut at Sunday’s well-attended event was from Breton Brewing. They teamed up with homebrew collective extraordinaire Brathair Brewing to put together the winner in the Amber category, Seven Years, a New England Amber Ale hopped to the gills to produce notes of juicy tropical fruit, citrus and pine. Although more heavily hopped than Breton’s flagship Black Angus IPA, it’s less bitter, at only 25 IBU. And at 5.2% ABV it’s fairly sessionable, with slightly sweet flavours and soft mouthfeel contrasting with the hops to give an overall gentle impression that suggests, “maybe I’ll have another one of those…” This one won’t be canned, but it will be available in kegs and growlers from the brewery, and likely for growler fills in the HRM at some point. You’ll also see it appear at various tap accounts throughout the city as well.

• Also claiming a win at the Stillwell Open, this time in the pale category, was the collaboration between Annapolis Valley upstarts Lunn’s Mill and South Shore stalwarts Boxing Rock, April, May and Juniper, a saison style ale. This brew features juniper berries, a primary component in gin, with an aromatic profile that marries nicely with the classic French Saison yeast used for fermentation. This 6% ABV beauty sold out awfully quickly at the Open, but is available in bottles at the private liquor stores in HRM, and for growler fills at Boxing Rock’s Seaport Market and Alderney Farmer’s Market stalls (both formats are available at the brewery in Shelburne, natch).

• Let’s continue on with Schoolhouse, who will be releasing their latest beer, Staffroom Stout, at this weekend’s Full House Craft Beer Fest. Brewed with 40 L of cold-brewed coffee from local roasters T.A.N. Coffee, the brewery describes it as a “rich and smooth Oatmeal Stout, full-bodied with a mild coffee bitterness”. Quite drinkable at 5.5% ABV, it should also be available starting today at the brewery’s taproom (open 3:20-8 pm today, 11-8 Saturday and Sunday) for samples and growlers, and in bottles. Schoolhouse will also be re-releasing their previous collaboration with Good Robot, Scratch Plaskett – Electric Tambourine Wheat Ale, next Wednesday, also in bottles and on tap. And hopefully joined by their patio shortly thereafter! And be sure to drop by their booth at the Full House event Friday and/or Saturday, as they will be making a big announcement to their loyal fans!

• Debuting late last week, and pouring at this weekend’s Fest, is a brand new offering from Smiths Cove’s Lazy Bear Brewing. Brier Rose is a 4.5% fruit beer, featuring rose hips harvested from Brier Island. The malt bill uses a combination of Pale and Munich malts (totaling 85%) from Horton Ridge, and the beer was fermented European Ale yeast. The combination of fruit and malt come together for a vibrant hue to enjoy while sipping the beer. If you’re not able to catch the Full House, it will also be available at their booth at the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ Winter Market Saturday morning.

• Reminding us that it’s not always about beer, Annapolis Cider Company has released the latest in their Something Different series. Earl Blue is a blend of cool-fermented dry cider made from local apple varieties (including Golden Russet and McIntosh), along with juice from NS-grown wild blueberries, and freshly-pressed apples. Not stopping there, the blend was cold-steeped with Earl Grey tea leaves (a black tea flavoured with the addition of oil of bergamot), “to add tannins and structure”, according to Annapolis. The result is a sparkling, “blush-hued cider with aromatic notes of citrus and earthy, wild blueberries that finishes with a hint of bitterness from the tea”. Coming in at 6.8% ABV, it’s available now at the cidery. The recipient of the $0.50 from each refill will be the Wolfville School Playground Fundraiser.

• One of the grand-daddies of Nova Scotia craft beer, Propeller Brewing in Halifax, announced yesterday the hiring of a new Head Brewer. Cameron Crerar is a native of Tasmania, Australia, where he cut his teeth as an Assistant Brewer with Moo Brew . From there, he travelled halfway (or more!) around the world to take a spot as Brewer with Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in the hamlet of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. The Propeller gig is Cameron’s first as a Head Brewer and he brings with him from his previous positions a combination of creativity and large-scale brewing experience. Look for him to continue the 20-year tradition begun by Propeller President John Allen while bringing new ideas and interesting limited edition beers to the taps. We suspect Cameron might be somewhat recognizable by an accent…if you run into him, consider buying him a beer and asking about his celebrity beer story that features Justin Timberlake.

• On Robie Street, Good Robot is bringing a new beer out this week that’s geared for the hot summer weather (which we’re assuming will happen; at some point; eventually). Koji Kondo named for the man who composed many of Ninendo’s classic video game themes, is a “Sake Beer” containing a preponderance of rice, with only a small portion of barley (2-row and Pilsner) in the mash. It’s also a single hop beer, leveraging the divisive Japanese variety Sorachi Ace for bittering and flavor/aroma in the kettle, as well as whirlpool and dry hop additions. And if that wasn’t Faaaar East Coast enough for you, the yeast used to ferment this beer is the same used to ferment sake, Japanese rice wine. We don’t suggest you drink this beer warm though. At 5.2% it’s fairly sessionable, and it’s certainly not a bitter bomb at a paltry 9 IBUs. What it is likely to be is an exceptionally crisp, dry, fruity and light, possibly non-beer-like beer that might be just the thing for a sweltering summer day on the Gastroturf.

• If you’ve been worried about a lack of three-brew release and double tap takeover weeks from 2 Crows, you can rest easy. Jeremy and the gang are still up to all kinds of no good, starting with the release of In Theory, the kettle-soured, Brett-fermented, dry-hopped (with Dr. Rudi) 5.8% ABV beer brewed with the crew from 902 BrewCast. This pilot batch will only be available for on-site enjoyment, and at this weekend’s Full House, and not much of it, so be sure to drop by today. But good news, the guys dropped by earlier this week to brew a full batch of In Theory, which will be available in wider distribution next month. And if you drop by soon enough, you may be able to grab a pint of Nervous Waters before it kicks, a 6.6% Belgian Dubbel released during last weekend’s Open Brewery Day. Also look for a couple of small canning runs of two of their seasonal beers, the Fantacity (note pronunciation) Witbier and the Midnight Mood porter. You’ll find these on the shelves in the fridge at the brewery as long as supplies last.

• During your drive/walk/toktok to 2 Crows, listen to the latest podcast of theirs to drop, featuring Peter Burbridge, Emily Tipton, and Brian Titus of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, during which they talk about the mandate and goals of the CBANS, NS Craft Beer Week, and plans their respective breweries have for the near future. After getting your fill at 2C, take a turn towards the water and hit Bishop’s Cellar, who the 902BC gang partnered with for the release of a curated 7-pack of beer, including an exclusive run of Cedric the Great Double IPA from Bad Apple Brewhouse.

• In bigger news, however, and news that is shared with both 2 Crows and new kids on the block Stillwell Brewing, the next time you find yourself on Brunswick Street, poke your head in and check out the beautiful wooden vessels now on display in the brewery. These are foeders, big-ass wooden barrels previously used to age spirits. 2 Crows have four, two of which formerly held cognac and two that housed the classic French apple brandy Calvados (for 65 years!). Stillwell Brewing have two, both from cognac. And you know what folks? These things are going to be filled with beer. And then that beer is going to sit there in those barrels while we wait. And wonder. And wait. And wonder some more. Chances are it’s going to come out even tastier than it was when they put it in. And then that beer is going to be made available for sale and we are going to be a happy, happy beer-loving region. FULL STOP.

• Pivoting away from Nova Scotia now, Fredericton’s TrailWay has released another brand new small-batch beer this week, their second iteration of a Hoppy Sour Ale. El Generico was kettle-soured with a Lactobacillus pitch, and heavily-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a German variety that has been referred to as the country’s version of Galaxy. Expect notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and a unique flowery-fruity character from this hop, to go along with the sourness and crispness of the beer. At 3.8% ABV, it’s available right now at the brewery only, in cans and on tap for pints and growler fills. Expect this brew to change constantly for awhile, as the brewers at TW experiment with the hop profile.

• Beer fans in New Brunswick have likely noticed Tatamagouche Brewing beers popping up on tap at various bars and restaurants across the province. If you’ve been upset you haven’t been able to take Tata home with you, good news! The first Tata cans should be appearing in ANBL stores any day now. The brewery’s Kolsch, North Shore Lagered Ale, will be the first brand to hit. While it may be awhile before other Tata beers follow, rest assured it WILL be happening!

• In St. John’s, Mill Street Brewpub has been busy getting some beers ready to go – three offerings hit their retail counter earlier this month, and have been moving to the main draught system ever since. The first was Rowhouse, a lager in the Czech Amber style. It features big aromas of caramel, coffee, and graham crackers in a 5.5% ABV and 12 IBU package. The subtle hop aroma from the noble continental Saaz variety should complement the malt flavours nicely. This one is named for the famous “Jellybean” row houses in downtown St. John’s and might be just the thing to get you through Sprinter.

• Next is the Round Da’ Bay, an American Pale Ale, which will hit the taps earlier this week. This style emerged as a New World adaptation of the classic English Pale and Mill Street’s version has big American hop aromas of Pineapple and Grapefruit thanks to a hefty addition of Mosaic hops. It’s 5.3% ABV and a fairly hefty 50 IBU, with a solid malt bill and some sweetness characteristic of the style; it’s also got a touch of wheat to smooth things out and provide some extra body, perfect for a day of dreaming about camping out “Round Da Bay”.

• And finally, we have the return of an old favourite, RDF Hefe. “RDF” stands for the triumvirate of Newfoundland weather, “Rain, Drizzle and Fog.” It’s 5.7% ABV and 25 IBU, same as it ever was, and is a wheat-based ale in the classic Hefeweizen style. With a bright golden color, long-lasting foamy head and classic banana and clove esters from the yeast, this is a malty and refreshing brew. They have also put together a special cask for Mothers Day, with RDF as a base, but adds strawberries and partridgeberries and was primed (carbonated) with an addition of Purity Syrup! Even better, Moms can enjoy a free pour from the pin when they drop by Sunday.

Here are the latest events on our radar:

• The culmination of NS Craft Beer Week is the Full House, taking place at the Halifax Forum Multipurpose Room over the course of three sessions: tonight 6-9PM, and Saturday 1-4, and again at 6-9PM. 32 breweries from across the province will be pouring their best beers, with plenty of great food to keep you happy as well. We don’t have to sell you on this one, we know you’ll want to go! This is your chance to check off beers from across the province that are not normally available in HRM, and to chat with the passionate folks who make them. Also keep your eyes open for booths from Mashed In Beer Gear, The Brewnosers, 902 BrewCast, and Ladies Beer League.

• If you won’t be able to make it into town Saturday for the Full House, we highly suggest dropping by the Townhouse Pub in Antigonish to grab a pint of Half Cocked Brewing’s beer. Located in North Grant, and launching this summer, HC has been brewing up some pilot batch with Terry on the small system upstairs, and is debuting another one Saturday in the Pub. And of course, while you’re there, be sure to grab a pint of Terry’s Bitter, or Stout. Keep an eye on Half Cocked’s Twitter and IG to find out when it goes on tap.

• Whatchagonnado on Sunday morning when the grim reality that Craft Beer week is over and your white charger-pulled carriage has turned back into a pumpkin hits you like the proverbial ton of bricks? We suggest you give some consideration to heading on down to Good Robot where they’re promising to triage that hangover and maybe help you get ready to face interaction with normal people again. Festivities start with Yoga in the beer garden at 11am (Yeah, 11am. You think you’re going to be up before 11? Pffffft.) From there, it’s coffee and beer pairings featuring Bottleneck Coffee Co. (strangely now spelled “Low Point Coffee”) and some of the most crushable and sessionable (read: low alcohol) beers from various NS breweries. Rinaldo’s will be there to help you get some food in that troubled tummy and there will be an oxygen bar to recondition those lungs after that pack of darts that you totally don’t remember buying. This event is “Come as you Are”: wear your hangover outfit, whether that’s bathrobe, pyjamas, loungewear, three-piece suit with tails, whatever. But come out, and lament the end of Craft Beer Week in style.

• Up on the Rock, the ladies of Port Rexton Brewing are planning a big presence for the BBQ tap takeover tomorrow, Saturday, May 13th, at the Merchant Tavern in St. John’s. A bevy of PR beers will be available, along with Texas BBQ from Toronto’s renown Smoke Signals Barbecue, and additional libations from Lot 40 (Canadian Whisky of the Year) and JP Wisers while brand ambassador Dave Mitton teaches a master class on Whisk(e)y. If any of those things strike your fancy, let the Merchant Tavern know, remaining bookings for this one are likely pretty low!

• As if they need to reinforce their status as utterly mad men and women, the motley crew of saucy suds slingers at Stillwell have upped the ante once again by scheduling, get this, a Tuesday Tap Takeover for May 16. Seriously. Tuesday. And this isn’t some mincing, fraidy-cat, “not-sure-how-this-brewery-will-go-over-in-Halifax thing,” this is the very successful, multi-award-winning Sawdust City Brewing Co. out of Gravenhurst, Ontario (“Gateway to Muskoka” is the phrase you’ll recognize if you’ve ever driven that stretch of highway). Bringing core favorites like the Lone Pine IPA and Twin Pines IIPA, as well as collaborations that became regular offerings like Little Norway Pale Lager originally brewed in Norway with Arendals Bryggeri, and some new school collaborations with Southern Ontario bright lights like Burlington’s Nickelbrook, Toronto’s Bar Hop and Ottawa’s Tooth & Nail, Stillwell’s going to do their very best to get you fired on a Wednesday morning. Maybe be careful with the Long Dark Voyage to Uranus (Imperial Stout, 9.5%), the 11.05 (Belgian Tripel w/ Brett, 11%), the Princess Wears Girlpants (American Saison, 9%), and the Old Dirty Bastard (Barrel-aged Saison w/ Brett, 10%)? There’s lots more besides those ones, the full tap list is on Stillwell’s Twitter feed.

• The Moncton Beer League is holding their second Flights ‘n Bites: Whisky and Beer edition on Thursday, May 25th at Bistro 33 in downtown Moncton, from 6:30-9:30 pm. Featuring a variety of pairings of Whisky, Scotch and Bourbon with craft beer, food items from Chef Marc Surette will also play a role. Tickets are $55 each and are available now, and also include a custom-made Belgian-style glass to keep.

• And in other MBL event news, tickets are also now on sale for the next Urban Beer Hike, being held on Saturday, June 17th. This downtown Moncton walking tour will take you to five beer bars where you will sample multiple craft beer and food pairings at each location. The event runs from 1:15-5:30 pm; tickets are $49 each. Follow along on the event page for updates as to which bars will be visited, and where to meet for the beginning of the tour.

A few more beer-droppings to tell you about before signing off this week:

Hammond River has released a new iteration of their Two Rivers Black IPA (originally brewed with Big Axe), with this one being hopped entirely with Citra. Look for this one (7% ABV, 77 IBUs) at your favourite HR tap account.
Petit-Sault now has their summer seasonal Witbier, Tante Blanche (4.7% ABV, 18 IBUs) back on shelves and on tap in local bars, just in time for warmer weather (it IS coming, right?).
– Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing has canned up a small run of their Dynamite Trail Hefeweizen, Holy Mackerel Pale Ale, and Nun on the Run Cream Ale. Grab them from the brewery for the perfect cottage accompaniment, and ask for them at your favourite local establishment, including Oh My Cod.
– There are rumors afoot that Stillwell is gearing for the opening of their Beer Garden on Spring Garden Road, possibly as soon as later this month. Stillwell Brewing is also apparently brewing up something special in the lager vein specifically for the venue, and communication with Backoos Korean Food about a Beer Garden pop-up have allegedly taken place. Summer 2017 is fixing to be immense.
Unfiltered‘s monster of a DIPA, Warning Label (10% ABV, 100+ IBUs), has returned; big, bold, and hoppy, this batch differs from the first in that no oak has been added this time around. Drop by Charm School today to get your fill (but go easy, ok?).