New Scotland Brewing

All posts tagged New Scotland Brewing

Hey folks, it’s another Friday and we’re not letting things like region-wide a State of Emergency keep us from our appointed rounds as chroniclers of the beer scene in Atlantic Canada. Breweries are continuing to work hard and keep themselves vital despite the craziness that’s going on and we’d like to encourage everyone who is able to, within their means, keep supporting their favorite producers.
We’d also like to send out a sincere “Thank You!” to everyone who tuned in to take part in our trivia evening on Wednesday. And thanks as well to The Auction House, Off Track, Propeller, and Spindrift for the donations of close to $500 in beer, swag, and giftcards to you deserving winners! Those breweries are celebrating the release of their Scotia Lager collab beer, still available at all three online shops for contactless pickup and delivery. With more than 80+ of you on 30+ teams connecting, it was definitely the highlight of our week, well, right up until the end (sorry again about that, but we know how to avoid that in the future). Speaking of which, if there’s enough interest, we may be able to run another one of these next month. Let us know what you think on social media or via email, our DMs are always open (but our Zoom won’t be, next time!). ♡
Just a note that in addition to the breweries and ciderhouses mentioned below, there are plenty more in our region continuing to pump out the good stuff. We’ve tried to summarize how they are pivoting in light of the current situation here, with curbside pick-up and deliveries spreading further across the region.
And if there is anything missing or out of date on that list, we’d appreciate a quick nudge via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred, Fb often gets missed).

In what was an “is it? or is it not?” April Fool’s joke, which some didn’t believe it until the goods were in their hands, Shelburne’s Boxing Rock Brewing released their first products ever in the canned format. In addition to the new format for their Puck Off! Kolsch, they also released two new offerings Wednesday. First up is the simply-named IPA, a 6.6% ABV American IPA, most definitely rooted in the West Coast style: think bright/no haze, quite bitter, and with a flavour of citrus and pine. Achieving that bitterness and hop character is a mix of Old- and New-School hops, like Summit, Cascade, Simcoe; Nelson Sauvin, Waimea.
The second new canned beer from Boxing Rock is Coffee Porter, a hefty beer at 7.3% ABV, building upon the dark and roasted malts in the base beer with an extra kick from fair trade coffee care of Annapolis Valley roasters Just Us!. In addition to the expected roast and coffee notes, the full-bodied beer shows some light sweet character along with caramel and raisins, rounding out the experience. Either a breakfast beer, or when you want something to keep you up and dancing in your PJs in the living room, this seems like a good choice!
Cans (it still feels funny writing that) of Coffee Porter and IPA are available through their online shop for local and HRM delivery or pickup at their Shelburne Taproom, their spot in Halifax’s Local Source Market (pre-order is best!), as well as at WestSide/Harvest Wines family of shops for pickup or delivery. 

Our friends at Upstreet are still keeping the brewhouse chugging along, and have a brand new Neon Friday release this week. The latest entry in their hoppy beer series is named Neon Friday 3.01 NEIPA, and was brewed with a grist made up of 2-row, Vienna, Wheat and Oats. Four wonderful, delicious hop varieties were added in the brew process: Galaxy, Citra, Mosaic and Ekuanot. The 6.5% ABV, 30 IBUs beer is soft and hazy, with low bitterness, and features aromas of “punchy pineapple, passion fruit, mango, guava, tangerine and banana”, with lots of tropical fruit on the palate. Look for cans of this bad boy at both Upstreet locations (taproom and Craft Beer Corner) and the PEILCC stores that have re-opened; the CBC will also be filling crowlers for takeaway.

Edmundston’s Brasseurs du Petit-Sault have debuted a new beer this week, a tribute to the high quality water found in the area. Source Kölsch is a collaboration brewed with friend and Chemist Mike Doucette of the nearby CCNB BTSC lab, who has assisted many in the province, and further afield, bring their ideas for recipes, breweries and distilleries, and even some non-alcohol endeavours (what are those?) to life. Now, back to the beer! Starting from naturally-filtered water from Iroquois-Blanchette watershed, the beer features light-coloured and -flavoured German Pilsner and Vienna malts, lightly hopped with traditional favourites Hallertau and Saaz, and saw a long conditioning time. Grab bottles and growler fills of Source at the Source on rue d’Eglise, or order for local delivery through their online shop.

We haven’t been approaching the last couple of Fridays thinking that there’d be a ton of beer news to report on, but in true fashion for them, 2 Crows still has a boatload! Let’s start with the actual beers, first (yeah, you’ll see). First up is a brand new bottled beer, Olio. Starting its life as a small-batch, tart Grisette, the beer was blended with some fruit. But not just any fruit… second-use fruit! This is a technique that has been slowly gaining popularity over the last few years. In the case of Olio, a blend of strawberry, red gooseberries, and guava – that had been used in another sour/wild beer – was allowed to macerate (soften, basically) over 10 months. The fruit was then separated from its liquid, and added to the Grisette and bottled in late 2019. Now that this 4.2% ABV beer has had a few months to mellow out, it’s tasting “bright, funky, tannic, and grippy”, with “a distinct tartness, subtle fruit character, and a real zingy finish”. Only 240 bottles of this beauty exist, and it’s available only on the brewery’s webstore. And if delicious, wild/sour beers are your thing (of course they are!), 2 Crows has also brought back bottles of Hayward, their peach barrel brandy-aged sour beer with kiwi. It’s not a new batch, but a few more bottles they’ve allowed to escape from their cellar; who are you to refuse them?
And for those of you self-isolating who are finding it a touch more difficult to avoid reaching for a beer earlier in the day (hey, these are stressful times! And don’t even get me started on if you have kids in the house…), 2 Crows has your back, with Hop Water. We realize this is 100% NOT a beer, or a cider, or… anything alcoholic. There’s 0% alcohol in this, but it sounds pretty cool! The “recipe” is basically water, Citra hops, and a touch of yeast to give a little bit of umami character… plus some citric acid to lower the pH. Offering “some nice citrus/tangerine/pomelo” notes, and some citrus in the aroma, it’s light, refreshing, and most importantly, hydrating! Cans are limited, and also available for purchase online. 

Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom has just released a new sour beer to zip up your day a little, the next entry in their Field Trip fruited kettle sour series. Field Trip: Haskap was brewed with, yes, haskap berries, which have a taste that the brewery describes as a cross between raspberries, black currant, and Honeycrisp apples. The 5% ABV beer is “bursting with fruit flavour”, and while slightly-less sour than their previous release, Field Trip: Pomegranate, it’s still bright and tart. Available for curbside pickup at their brewery, as well as delivery in their online shop. In addition to delivery on the Island (free for orders over $50), they now offer Canada-wide beer shipping, with free shipping to fellow Maritime provinces for orders over $100 (roughly one flat), and for orders over $200 elsewhere.

In Port au Port on the West coast of Newfoundland, Secret Cove Brewing has a new IPA on the go. Named after the Tuckamore tree, an enduring symbol of strength and resilience, Tuckamore IPA is a 6% ABV beer in the East Coast IPA style. With a soft mouthfeel and a slight bitter kick at the end, with a hop profile of tropical and evergreen notes thanks to plenty of late whirlpool hop additions. As you drink it you can think of the Tuckamore tree, clinging to the rocky coast and no doubt shaped by the wind, but thriving nonetheless. Available for pre-order and pickup along with other Secret Cove offerings on Wednesdays and Fridays. Orders must be in by 1 PM, check their website for all the relevant details.

And staying with Newfoundland, but all the way across to the East coast of the Province, Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. also has a new IPA out, one on the tart side of the spectrum called Aloha Sour IPA. They were hoping to introduce it with a tropical beach party at the brewery, but recent events have made that an impossibility, so they recommend instead maybe curling up by the wood stove or cranking the heat to 30º before cracking one on your couch. And at 4.7% ABV you can feel free to have a couple without risking a day boil (although, really, where you going to go anyway?). Released two days ago on Wednesday, it’s available for retail pickup per the information in this Ig post (whether or not you’re in a position to grab some of this beer from them, we recommend you check out that link just to see the gorgeous can design).

And if sour is your thing and you’re in more Northerly areas of the Rock, Split Rock Brewing way up there in Twillingate has the latest in their Sour Patch B’ys series of beers available at the brewery now. Leveraging the same base as the rest of the beers in the series, with 50% Pilsner and 50% wheat, it’s super clean and “medium-sour” with plenty of peachy flavor thanks to the addition of peach purée. Only 4.1% ABV means a couple aren’t going to knock you sideways. Available for contactless curbside pickup along with other Split Rock favorites, you can find the details about putting your order in and picking it up in this Ig post.

It’s not only reassuring to see new, local beers making it into our fridges/cellars during the pandemic, but also to see that some breweries are still doing what they can to collaborate… maybe not directly, but at least intellectually? In one example, North Brewing is releasing a collaboration effort with Ottawa’s Dominion City Brewing. The beer in question, Goin’ Down the Road Helles Lager, was originally supposed to be brewed at Dominion City with the North peoples in February, but an unfortunately equipment malfunction scrapped the brew day. Luckily, the two breweries decided to brew the recipe later, on their own systems, which North is releasing today. Brewed with Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, hopped with Strisselspalt and Saphir, and fermented with the Isar Lager strain from Escarpment Labs, the 4.3% ABV beer was lagered for a time before packaging in cans. It’s available right now for “Click & Collect”, as well as home delivery; check out North’s website for ordering details. 

On Dartmouth’s waterfront, New Scotland Brewing has been busy, and have released four products this week, reflecting their various emotions throughout these past couple of weeks.
First up was Barracks (as in, confined to…), a 6.4% ABV dry English cider, made from the juice of Nova Scotian apples. This cider is available in 650 ml bomber bottles, and is perfect for drinking at the kitchen table.
The second release of the week was The Darkness Behind Us, a Chocolate Milkshake Stout. At just 5.0% ABV, this rich and decadent beer featured additions of chocolate in the boil, as well as lactose, with the resultant beer featuring extra notes of coffee, cherry, and vanilla, for a full on taste of a Black Forest Cake. Maybe a couch beer is in order?
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel is their third release of the week, a 6.2% ABV crisp and dry Champagne IPA. Fermented with Kveik yeast, and hopped to the gills with Citra and Sabro, it features lots of lemon and lime character, so much so that Margarita vibes come to mind. We think this is perfect for the balcony or deck.
Finally, released just moments ago, is Fresh Start. Mosaic hops are the star of this 7.3% ABV American IPA, which was fermented with their blend of three different ale yeasts. The result is a beer that finishes dry, but still has lots of juicy character. Let’s go wild and say shower beer for this… So Fresh and So Clean…
All four of these new drinks have joined their full-time offerings in their online shop, which can be used to pre-order for pickup (retail open 11 – 7 PM), local delivery in HRM, as well as shipping Canada-wide.

Tidehouse Brewing is up and running again, albeit strictly in a curbside-pickup capacity, starting tomorrow. But hey, it’s still a way to grab some beer from them! This weekend they’ve got two options, both available in cans. The first is a new influx of cans of their latest hoppy Saison, Float On India Saison (7% ABV), hopped with Azacca, Ella, and El Dorado varieties. They’ve also got a brand new American IPA, Bonosux, which weighs in at 6.5% ABV and is hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Make your choices now, and give them a call tomorrow (starting at noon) at 902-407-2550 with at least 15 minutes notice. Head to the taproom and they’ll take your cans to you outside for safe, contactless delivery. They’ll continue until 5 pm, or until cans run out, whichever comes first.

In Nova Scotia, there was a change in NSLC licensee regulations that came into effect this week allowing restos and bars to sell beer, wine (and maybe spirits?) along with food during our collective societal lockout. Wouldn’t you know that our friends at Stillwell Beer Bar would step up to that with a quickness, announcing the Stillwell Corner Store this week whereby you can get yourself some delectable treats from their bottle list along with tasty snax, some of which come from Stillwell pals Café Good Luck (currently sold out) and Ratinaud French Cuisine. You do absolutely have to order food with your sweet bottles and cans (stuff like Bellwoods, Burdock, Revel Cider, Crooked Stave, and even some Belgian delights!), but the offerings are small and geared towards having a quick bite while you enjoy the hell out of some tasty beer. Minimum order is $30 and it’s free next day delivery in the HRM. You can also sign-up for contactless curbside pickup between Noon and 2 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Check the website for full details, and keep your eyes peeled for other restaurants that you know and love in your area to be getting on this train in the coming weeks!

Happy Friday folks, and welcome to February! The region is once again under the cold, wet, and unpredictable blanket of winter, with one of our writers struggling to find alternate travel plans south due to flight cancellations. Thankfully, we’re all more than ready for this with our fine ales and lagers that the region’s brewers have on the taps and shelves this weekend. One final reminder that the very fun Craft Beer Cottage Party at the Halifax Seaport is tomorrow, and there are still a few tickets available. We’ll be there taking it all in, and have the important job as one of the judges of the brewery booths (liquid bribes graciously accepted!). Grab your ticket and say Hi! if you spot us.

Speaking of the CBCP, one of the many new debuting beer and ciders will be a collaboration between Lake City Cider and Bishop’s Cellar. Pretty Please is a special blend of cider, wine, and spice, perfect for warming you up and reminding you of cottage weather. Starting with an apple blend base, they added in some house-fermented cherry wine, and steeped the whole thing with a bit of real vanilla bean, for good measure. It comes in at a moderate 5.5% ABV, and is showing “delicate, earthy cherry tones” along with subtle aromas of vanilla, almond, and marzipan. It’s extremely dry, which is going to leave you wanting more. 

And speaking of Bishop’s Cellar, they have dropped six new German beers in the store (online and IRL) from monastery brewery Weißenohe. With a traditional Pilsner, Helles, Dunkel, and more, all of us lager lads and lasses are definitely encouraged to check out this Reinheitsgebot-observing brewery on the shelves in Halifax.

The folks at Upstreet in Charlottetown are also scheduled to be at the CBCP again this year, and here’s hoping they bring some of their new French Saison. Using 5 varieties of malt from Island Malt House (2-row, wheat, rye, oat and amber), it’s got a bit of a New World/Old World hop thing going with Motueka from New Zealand meeting classic Continental varieties Perle and Magnum and a classic dry character from the use of French Saison yeast. Landing at 5.5% ABV and 25 IBU, you can expect a bit of orange zest and a little spicy banana and a big carb to accentuate it all. Only a little is being released to the wild right now, with some staying local at the Upstreet Taproom and Craft Beer Corner and some hopefully making it to Nova Scotia (perhaps Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse for on-site enjoyment, perhaps some other venues), but the bulk of the batch is in for some barrel love, so we’ll no doubt be talking about a different version of this beer in a few weeks or months.

But that’s not all that’s coming out of Upstreet this week. On Tuesday, February 11th, they’ll be hosting a launch party for Island Hop Company, the first commercial-scale Hop Farm ever to be established on the Island. We’ll no doubt have more to say about that in coming months, but for now, get your taste buds ready for the latest beer featuring their hops: YYG Lager. On the grist side of this traditional lager are Pilsner and Vienna malts from another Island producer, Shoreline Malting, with Magnum, Saaz, and Perle comprising the hop side. Full-bodied and substantial, though a fairly light 4.5% ABV, there’s some residual sweetness balanced by 25 IBU. It’s got a deep golden color and a frothy, persistent head, and brings notes of fresh bread and floral hops with a bit of spicy character to balance. Hopefully we’ll see it around the region as well!

Boxing Rock has released another beer that medaled in their annual homebrew competition, the Black Box Challenge. Common Sense, originally brewed by Mike and Brenden (we’re unsure of their last names, unless it’s like a Cher thing?), is a traditional California Common, meaning it was hopped with Northern Brewer (to 29 IBUs) and fermented cool with an ale/lager hybrid strain. This 5% ABV golden-amber beer features some pleasant “minty and pine resin” flavours (thanks to the NB) to go with the toasted malt and caramel notes in the background. You can find it on tap at Boxing Rock and local licensees, and it’s also available in bottles (those of you in the HRM can find these at the private liquor stores).

Up in Deer Lake, NL, Rough Waters Brewing Company is super excited for their WinterFest event tonight as it will represent the first time they’re serving their own beer in the tap room! Starting at 6 PM, there will be live music, charcuterie available, and, of course, beer! And what better way to celebrate than with a brand new brew, one they’re calling Down South. Acknowledging the snow birds who spend their winters in warmer climes, the travelers who manage a week or two’s vacation during the winter months, and the rest of us schmoes who can only dream, this is a moderately bitter IPA coming in at a rather light 5.1% ABV. No dry hops in this one, but there sure is a whole bunch of pineapple for a little taste of sunnier places. If you’re in the Deer Lake area tonight, it sounds like a great time and a fun beer to celebrate with.

Whatcha got for us this week, Big Spruce? Looks like they’ve got not one, but two new beers, both of which involve some barrel-aging, making them good sippers to have on hand for this craptacular weather we’re in the middle of. Let’s start with To Mars ‘N Back Again, a 6.8% ABV Bourbon barrel-aged Marzen.If you’re thinking you haven’t had a barrel-aged Marzen before, there’s a good chance you’re right. This amber lager aged for four months in Buffalo Trace barrels, and is exhibiting plenty of oak on the palate, with “notes of Bourbon, spice, and dried flowers on the nose”. It’s tasting fairly sweet, with hints of vanilla and butterscotch to complement. Bottles and kegs for this one, as it’ll be pouring on tap at the brewery and beyond. The next brew is even bolder: Just Peachy! is a Barleywine aged for over a year in peach brandy barrel.  “Fruity, subtle vanilla notes, and smooth as silk”, it’s big (as expected) at 11% ABV; available in bottles only, you can find it at the Sprucetique, Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, and Bishop’s Cellar.

Brand new hoppy beer debuting at TrailWay’s taproom in Fredericton today, an American IPA named Perfect Landing. This 6% ABV brew exclusively features a new-to-TW hop variety, Callista. A German hop variety that came on the market about ten years ago, it’s described as “intensely fruity”, making it a natural for IPA styles. In this beer, TW  describes it as providing “huge stone fruit, particularly peach and mango, with plenty of juicy red berries”, with extremely low bitterness. Grab your pints, growlers and cans at the brewery when they open today (weather-permitting, of course). Oh, and while we’re on the topic of ultra-hoppy IPAs, their all-Citra American IPA, Seeing Citra, has made a return and can also be picked up at the taproom; it’ll also be on shelves of select ANBL stores any day now.

If you were a fan of Port Rexton Brewing’s Salted Porter that they released last year, we’re happy to report that it’s making a comeback… albeit with a slight twist. While the base beer is still the same, providing delightful, roasty goodness in a 5.4% ABV package, the salt used is different. It’s still from the Newfoundland Salt Company, but this batch features coffee salt. Yeah, apparently coffee salt is a thing! The addition provides “a subtle minerality”, with “lingering black coffee” notes, to go with the touch of bitterness in the finish. Sounds great to us! If you’re curious too, you can find the beer on tap at the brewery for pints and growlers; you can also grab growler fills at their retail shop in St. John’s.

Barely outside Fredericton, in Douglas, 3Flip Brewing has released their newest beer, El Fuego Chipotle Porter. This dark ale was brewed with a grist of Maris Otter, Caramel malts, and a bit of Chocolate malt, and was hopped with Mt. Hood to 28 IBUs. As you might have guessed from the name of the beer, chipotle peppers were added during the brew process; specifically, the peppers were chopped up, de-seeded, and thrown in at the end of the boil. The peppers provide the roasty malt profile with “just a little heat”, and a touch of smoke in the finish. Weighing in at 5.1% ABV, stay tuned to their social media pages if you’re interested in where you can track some down… we CAN tell you that the first keg is currently pouring at Sussex Ale Works. 3Flip will also be celebrating their 1st Anniversary with an event at The Joyce next Saturday, Feb 15th; there’ll be several of their beers pouring, including El Fuego

And in other 3Flip news, co-owner Alicia (and her beer) will be attending the “Babes and Brews” event tomorrow at Miramichi’s Apero Lounge. She’ll be joining Gill and Erin from the ‘chi’s own Timber Ship Brewing, and highlighting their wares. Hosted by WOMEN of Miramichi, an entrepreneurial and networking group for women in the region. Tickets are available here for the 6 – 9 PM event, with beer and food pairings, tasting notes, learning more about beer in general, trivia, and meeting some like-minded folks. Everyone is invited.

We’re light on the Good Robot news this week, but it’s their fault, we promise! But in all seriousness, they’re prepping hard for their Heat Wave event next weekend (Sunday, February 16th), which will see the release of three one-offs, so rest assured that we’ll earn our stripes with them next week. In the meantime, we do want to remind you homebrewers out there that registration for their FemmeBrew competition will close on February 10th. There’s no set beer style for this one, but you do need to incorporate a “local or foraged ingredient” into your brew. Check out the full form here

It’s not normal for Tidehouse Brewing to release a beer in the middle of the week, but since when has anyone accused Tidehouse of being normal, amirite? Well, they DID release a new beer, Sotil, on Wednesday, and as a result it’s all gone and now I’m typing this as basically an exercise in futility to show you what you may have missed out on and no I am NOT bitter. The beer started as a simple Pilsner wort that was “very lightly soured” with a pitch of Lactobacillus, before being fermented with the lovely French Saison yeast. Once complete, freshly-pressed Marquette grape skins from Bent Ridge Winery were added, starting a secondary fermentation to dry out the beer further. The final beer comes in at 4.5% ABV, that “drinks very much like a hard seltzer”, with hints of blackberry, cherry, and black currant. Oh, did we mention they released it in cans? Well… maybe you know someone who was able to grab a few? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The fine folks at Quidi Vidi Brewing have released the winning beers from their Newfermenters Homebrew Club competition held in the fall. The four top brews are: Half Nelson Sour Lager (4.5% ABV), Mother of Mangoes Farmhouse Ale (6.0% ABV), White Out White Stout (6.0% ABV), and Wild Rover Wee Heavy (8.4% ABV). The beers are available as a mixed four-pack at their retail shop and select NLCs, as well as on draught at the QV taproom and possibly at licensees around St John’s.

Brand new episode from the 902BrewCast fellas today, just how you want to start out your weekend (maybe?)! Listen to them hang and chat with Bishop’s Cellar’s Lucas Mader and Evan Fougere from the Malty Media blog; rumour has it they also drank a buncha beers, so you can live vicariously through them… at least until you get home to your OWN beers and REALLY start your weekend off right! Available right now wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

We’ve got a pair of events to remind/inform you of this week, both happen to be in Newfoundland (assuming you’re able to dig out after today’s dump of ice/snow!).

Don’t forget about tomorrow’s Crafternoon Experience at YellowBelly, where there will be a whole whack of new and old beers pouring, from lots of Newfoundland breweries. We could wax poetic about it, but why not just check out last week’s post? It’s easier! We should also note that there will be an Australian Gose from YellowBelly’s own Nardia.

Do you like to drink beer, listen to live music, and eat tasty food, all while supporting a local ski hill? Hey, good news! The Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival, Port Rexton Brewing, and White Hills Resort are teaming up to present BrewSKI 2020 on Saturday, February 22nd. This is a small event (only 125 tickets available) that will feature unlimited sample pours of beers from multiple Newfoundland craft breweries; sampling will run from 7-9:30 pm, but there will be a cash bar open until midnight, in case you want to keep imbibing! 3 Shades of Gray will provide the live music (right until midnight), and Oh My Cheeses will be on hand to provide you with a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches for purchase. Tickets are $55 (you can grab yours here), with proceeds going to support White Hills, which is a community non-profit.  

And here’s our last few items for the week; drive safe, stay warm, drink beer!

New Scotland has a pair of Lagers out this week to tickle your fancy (or your liver, whichever works). Alderney Dry, a 5.2% ABV, 22 IBUs Zwickelbier, and a currently-unnamed, 5% ABV, 25 IBUs, dark-copper-red-coloured Marzen; both are available on tap at the brewery. 

Niche Brewing has brought back – after a fairly long hiatus – one of their more popular kettle sour releases, Boysenberry Persuasion. This Lactobacillus-soured, 4.2% ABV brew was conditioned on lots of boysenberry puree, giving the final beer a mix of tartness and sweetness. It should be on tap at several of their NB accounts now/soon, and will be making an appearance at Halifax’s Stillwell (along with Ethos and Single Origin).

Tatamagouche Brewing has (thankfully) brought back Square One, their dry-hopped, mixed-fermentation Saison. Great to drink fresh and great to age, you can find bottles right now at Tata, or in Halifax at Bishop’s Cellar. They’ve also re-released super fresh cans of Gold Lotus, an 8% ABV DIPA hopped with Lotus, Citra and Galaxy, at the brewery today; it’ll be heading out elsewhere next Thursday.

Expect 3-4 new kettle sours on tap at Moncton’s Tire Shack this weekend if you’re dropping by; details are slim, but Sour Bite Apricot, Sour Bite Pink Guava, and Sour Bite Kiwi are currently flowing, with Sour Bite Pineapple possibly popping up on tap as well. Details are less than slim, but we’re pretty confident you can guess on what to expect!

Let us take this opportunity to be the last to wish you a Happy New Year 2020! As we kick off a new year, it’s a great time to take stock of the state of beer in our region, with the number of breweries having exploded since the Atlantic Canada Beer Blog started on January 1, 2012. As we inevitably hurtle towards 200 breweries and cideries across the region, one of the stories we continue to hear is the markets outside of the big cities being served by small breweries opening there, and serving as a gathering place for locals. We hope that trend continues in 2020, as there are still many places in the region where getting a locally made pint are near-impossible.

Halifax’s Propeller Brewing is releasing the latest in their line of “solo hop showcase” beers (think Cascade, Azacca, and Galaxy) with their Sabro Double IPA. At 7.5% ABV and more than 100 (calc) IBU, this is a hazy flavourful ode to this newer experimental hop. A very similar beer, by the same name, saw a one-time release in May 2019, as part of the “Single Hop IPA” competition at the Stillwell Open (brewed with our own acbbchris). This beer has had a few tweaks made to it, but not many! Like last year, the beer features a massive tropical nose and flavour of pineapple, passionfruit, and coconut, with a smooth body and balanced bitterness. No fruit added to this beer, that’s all from the Sabro hops! Available on draught for growler fills (both Prop Shops) and pints (at their Gottingen Street taproom, and at licensees across the province), as well as in cans at Prop both locations, plus at many NSLC locations across the province (check store availability here). And fear not fans, unlike last year, this beer will be sticking around for a spell, at least through winter and spring.

And in case you missed it, Propeller released a very different beer last week, a Rauchbier. Focussing on the malt side of things, this features a light smoke character thanks to the beechwood-smoked malt used. Melded with a pleasant toast character from medium-dark malts, the hops are there only for a balancing act. Fermented with lager yeast means this is a clean and crisp beer without anything getting in the way of the light flavour. This is a draught-only release, with growlers and pints of the 5.0% ABV beer available now. And as if you needed another reason to visit, today’s Cask at their Gottingen Street taproom is Baltic Porter on Oak aged in rum. That is tapped at 5 PM, and lasts… until it doesn’t.

Over in Miramichi, Timber Ship Brewing has released their first new beer in several months, Peabody Porter. This English Porter (usually sweeter than their American counterparts) was brewed with Maris Otter, Brown malt and Chocolate malt in the grist, and hopped with the Fuggle variety to 27 IBUs. Once fermentation was complete (it rings it at 5% ABV), the beer was allowed to condition on vanilla beans for some time, to complement the notes of coffee and dark chocolate in the flavour. Look for it on tap at your favourite Timber Ship accounts.

TrailWay is launching their latest batch of El Generico, their constantly rotating fruited kettle sour. The latest batch – released today – features a large addition of peach puree, as well as a small amount of passion fruit concentrate. Stone fruit is obviously the center of attention here, with “an overall tropical vibe” and moderate acidity. Cans and on tap at the brewery and elsewhere too! 

And while on the subject of TrailWay, they still have two new-as-of-last-week hoppy beers available at the brewery (on tap and in cans). South Island (6% ABV)  is their newest American IPA, which was single-hopped with the very difficult to source Nelson Sauvin. This New Zealand variety is well-known for the gooseberry character it imparts in beer; South Island also exhibits grape and grapefruit. Next up is Box Theories, an 8% ABV DIPA that focuses on Strata, a fairly new hop variety that gives the beer lots of tropical fruit (especially mango and melon, according to the brewery), as well as citrus and tangerine. The beer was also brewed with small amounts of Munich and Rye malt, and flaked grain, to provide a bit more malt character than is typical for TW’s hoppier offerings. Look for this one to pop up at ANBL stores in the not-too-distant future.

Finally in TrailWay news, they rang in the New Year by making full use of their taproom beer engine by “reinventing” their cask program. The plans are to brew a new beer every month, with these beers specifically designed to be served via the beer engine. Their first release was Dry Stout, their 5% ABV take on the style of the same name. Also known as an Irish Stout, the beer is “slightly roasty and coffee-forward, complemented by some chocolate sweetness”. No word yet on the next release, but we’re all for well-made beers poured via handpump (and cool to see it served in their new 10 oz British-style Nonic glassware).

Edmundston’s Petit-Sault so enjoyed the first Brut beer that they brewed (Brighid, a collaboration with Big Tide’s Wendy Papadopoulos for International Women’s Day), they’ve gone ahead and created a completely new one. La Pêchée is a Brut IPA hopped with heavy amounts of Mosaic, Galaxy and Amarillo, and features an addition of peach puree. Which the peach definitely comes through in the aroma, this 8.8% ABV beer is definitely not sweet; enzymes were added to help the yeast chew up any remaining sugars, so the beer finishes very dry, with a lingering bitterness. It’s only available at the brewery; you can pick it up there in growlers or in bottles.

Back in Nova Scotia, Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing teamed up with their pals across the bridge at Timber Lounge to release a special collaborative brew. Long-time supporters of local craft beer, the axellent people at Timber Lounge were looking to spruce things up on their taps, and New Scotland bowed their way in to help. OK, enough of my horrible puns. Timbeer is a 6.0% ABV Spruce-infused Ale, but the name alone does not tell the whole story… Using spruce bows and bark hand selected by TL’s Darren Hudson (World Champion lumberjack), the New Scotland crew did an overnight infusion of the brewing water with the wood, before sparging traditional European malt, adding Old World hops, and fermenting it with Kveik yeast. Think Norwegian farmhouse ale, but with a Nova Scotian twist. That extra effort is worth it, as the beer is brimming with spruce character on a pale base. This is a Timber Lounge / New Scotland exclusive (and limited) release, so be sure to drop by one, or both, to grab a pint of it before it makes like a tree, and leaves. (sorry, had to do it)

Out of the bustling metropolis of Hanwell, NB, comes a welcome re-release from our friends at Niche Brewing. If you love you some hops but are looking for a bit of a break from the ultra hazy, super juicy, low bitterness, soft mouthfeel NEIPAs that are currently dominating the market and are waxing sentimental for a good old West Coast IPA, then Niche has you covered. First released a few months ago, North Park harkens back to a time when nobody suspected anyone of putting flour in their beer. Piney, fruity, and a bit dank, owing to the use of some classic American hop varietals (Simcoe and Columbus in the kettle, more of the same plus Citra in the dry hop), it weighs in at 6% ABV. Not a candidate for the IBU wars, this one’s still plenty bitter at 45 IBU. Look for it at the usual Niche tap accounts as well as the ANBL Moncton North Growler Station (which is also scheduled to have their Day Tripper Belgian Tripel real soon now). And in other Niche release news, this time on the packaged side, version 2 of their barrel-aged saison, Evolution, will be available next week at select ANBL stores. Featuring the house culture that they’ve been nurturing and using since they opened, it was aged in the same Chardonnay barrel as version 1 and Golden Flair for about 6 months. Super dry, extra bubbly, and slightly tart, it comes in at 6.8% ABV. And stay tuned for more bottled Niche news as they’re pledging to package more this year and even if that doesn’t work out (bottling sucks, folks), we happen to know that the one they’ve got coming up next is pretty special.

Sober Island Brewing in Sheet Harbour has officially opened their taproom, and are continuing the celebrations this weekend and next, with the space open Saturday and Sunday afternoon, 2 – 5 PM. They are then switching to full winter hours, which means more access to their taps and crowlers on Thursday and Friday, when they are open 4 – 9 PM both days, and are featuring Trivia each Thursday night beginning at 7 PM. Those hours begin on Thursday the 16th, and will continue until they open up 7 days a week in the summer, after all of their renovations, improvements, and expansions are complete, which includes doubling their taps to eight. Pouring now are their Beth’s Black Oyster Stout, Marigold Blonde, and a fresh batch of their IPA. And they’ll soon be pouring an Old Ale that we’ll fill you in on when we have more information.

Lunenburg’s Shipwright Brewing released a pair of new beers over the last two weeks, on decidedly different ends of the spectrum. Due South Pina Colada Milkshake IPA features the addition of raw coconut and fresh pineapple, along with some lactose (milk sugar), complementing the massive hops addition, resulting in a 7.2% ABV, 80 IBU beer. And on the other end, Rum Row is a 9.9% ABV, 40 IBU Imperial Stout, that was aged on cranberries from Terra Beata farm and Ironworks Distillery Bluenose Rum-soaked oak cubes. Rich dark malt, tart cranberry, and dark rum notes blend together in this beer. Both should still be available on tap and in crowlers at the brewery, and also at the Grand Banker.

Montague, PEI’s Copper Bottom Brewing released their inaugural brew in their Field Trip series, featuring different fruit featured in kettle sours. The first release is Field Trip: Pomegranate, jam packed with the eponymous fruit, complementing the tart and sessionable underlying beer. This 5.0% ABV beer is still on tap at the brewery and available to go in cans.

Is it already getting to be FCBF 2020 time? Eek! Here’s the pertinent info on another related event going on in Freddie that week:

With the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival two months away (still a few tickets left for the Friday night session as well as Saturday afternoon), the other events surrounding the fun weekend are coming into focus. One of which is the Down East Brew Conference, happening on Thursday and Friday, March 5 & 6. Aimed at those in the brewing and distilling industry, or those looking to get into it, there are two full days of talks on all aspects of the craft. From malt and hops history and analysis, how to treat and test your yeast, as well as trademark and tap room operations, attendees will be sure to learn a thing or two. Speakers are coming from across the country, as well as the US, and there will be plenty of time for socializing and networking. The conference will also feature a Tradeshow floor with booths from suppliers and producers. Tickets (and the full agendas) for attendees are available here (don’t forget to use code DEBC20 to save $30 off admission if you are a member of any of the provincial brewery/alcohol associations).

And, as usual, here’s a couple more quick newsbites before you get on towards your first weekend of 2020!

Big Spruce’s Conniption Fit, a 4% ABV Golden Ale, has only been around for a very short time, but cans are already hitting NSLC stores across the province. Crisp and refreshing, it was brewed with the word “sessionable” in mind, and now it’s even easier for you to get it into your home (and then your stomachs)!

Flying Boats has a “Brewer’s Test Recipe” batch exclusively on tap at their taproom in Dieppe; Mango Wheat Ale (5.3% ABV)  was brewed with mango puree to give plenty of tropical flavour.

Our regular schedule of Friday afternoon posting has some downsides and one of them is that sometimes a small batch of special beer is released earlier in the week and we can’t tell you in time. Such is the case with CAVOK Brewing’s Alpha Canis Majoris, Cuvée 2019, a Sirius (hah!) 4.5% ABV mixed-fermentation beer with Brettanomyces and dark berries (dark cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries) that was aged for some 4 months before packaging. Only 80 bottles were available when it was released on the 31st of December and we’re told that there were only a few left as of yesterday morning so we don’t suspect there are any remaining at this point, but we thought we’d let you know so you can keep an eye out for more interesting releases from CAVOK in the future (Cuvée 2019 does sort of imply that there might be a Cuvée 2020, now, doesn’t it!).