New Scotland Brewing

All posts tagged New Scotland Brewing

It kinda feels like one of those Fridays that doesn’t feel like a Friday, y’know? Maybe it’s because this was the week of Blue Monday (cue New Order), but more probably it’s the dead of winter and there’s some weather in the region and COVID is still a thing. Or maybe the internationally auspicious events in the US this week haven’t completely sunk in yet, although ACBB are all extremely happy about a potential return to something like normalcy down there. So whether you’re toasting to another week of winter gone, or a new administration for our nearest neighbours, or whatever else brings you joy, see below for some notes on some of the beers that our region’s breweries have for you this week and how you can get them!

Those of you in the HRM were most likely at 2 Crows last weekend, picking up your share of their latest brews. We hope you don’t mind making a return trip, as there’s a couple more hitting their shelves today, a newbie and a returning fave. The new beer is Soft Fruits, a beer that makes good use of a brewing technique that has been gaining steam over the last few years. When sour beers are conditioned on fruit and then packaged, there is still quite often a good amount of character remaining in what’s left behind. In this specific case, we’re talking about the raspberry and blackcurrant used in last year’s Zap and Zop, fruited Berliner Weisses. The leftover fruit was transferred to a stainless tank, along with a pitch of malolactic bacteria to soften the acidity of the fruit. While all this sounds wonderful, of course we need BEER to go on there, right? So, they added a low-ABV Lager (brewed with Shoreline Pilsner malt, and flaked rice) onto the fruit, where it underwent a second fermentation (remember, the fruit also had the yeast from the barrel cultures) and seven months of conditioning before bottling. Super drinkable at just 3.8% ABV, this unique beer is “surprisingly clean and bright, with a subdued fruit character and incredible soft acidity”. Very limited supply, so best to grab some while you can. 

And if you like your IPAs Brett-y and extra fruity, there’s a supply of fresh cans (and pints!) of Brettango, 2C’s Brett IPA w/ mango. With a tweaked water chemistry, increased dry-hopping (Citra and Mandarina Bavaria), and a small addition of orange zest in this year’s batch (along with the maybe-pushing-it amount of 420 lbs of mango), this 7.9% ABV brew is plenty tropical, citrusy, and juicy for your needs, along with “a nice little pineapple funk” thanks to the blend of Brettanomyces strains used for fermentation. And keep your eyes peeled here next week for even more releases… The 2C Crew has big plans for what is normally their anniversary party and release, and while things may be a little less “let’s get together and drink” this year, does not mean they’ve done any less work behind the scenes.

Let’s pop over to the Rock for the next announcement, where we hope you were able to shovel your way from your bed to your beer fridge this morning! Quidi Vidi Brewery has released the third installment of their Newfermenters X QV mixed 4-pack this week. This annual competition sees amateur brewers from across Newfoundland and Labrador putting together some epic beers and sharing with their fellow enthusiasts in a massive bottle share and judging event. The all-new mixed pack features:

  • Brothers Scuff, a 4.5% ABV Session IPA from Ben Hussey
  • Lost in Time, a 5.5% Roggenbier from Mark Courish
  • Darkstar, a 6% Coffee Extra Special Bitter by Ralph Pike
  • Sabby Sour, a 4.2% Sour Kveik by Jordan Blake

The mixed pack is available today from QV’s new Hops Shop at 16 Harbour View Ave, and at NLCs and the better convenience stores next week. (Home deliveries are on pause for the time being, but will be returning soon)

And congratulations to the Quidi Vidi family who are celebrating 25 years in business, having opened in 1996. The beer landscape in Newfoundland was quite different back then (all over the country, really!), so while their 1892 Traditional Ale may have been a bit of a shock to the light-lager-drinking public back then, they have stuck it out through thick and thin, and are rocking along in the 2020’s. From one independently-owned brewery to just-under 20, things are looking great in the Newfoundland and Labrador beer scene.

Speaking of Homebrew Competitions, big congratulations to Halifax’s Tim Gregory, who took home Gold in the Eighth Annual Big Spruce Home Brew Competition. From 25 entries, his Sticke Alt recipe and beer grabbed the judges’ attention for its take on the “secret” version of the classic German style. You’ll be able to drink the winner yourself later in the year, once Gregory heads up (down? I can never remember…) to Nyanza and takes part in the brewing of a large batch suitable for distribution. And yes, this “Tim” is the same from the very first Home Brew Competition that brought us Tim’s (Dirty) American IPA, clearly he knows what he’s doing! 

Oh, and speaking of judging, for those looking to get into the homebrewing or judging game in Atlantic Canada, the Brewnosers Homebrew Club will be hosting Tasting and Written exams for the BJCP in the Spring and Summer. If you are looking to start, continue, or elevate your beer brewing and/or enjoyment, the Beer Judge Certification Program, and the studying and tasting sessions surrounding it, are a great way to go. Check out the thread on the Brewnosers, and sign up there or fire us an email to get on the list! While usually self-directed, drinking and filling out scoresheets with pals (even remotely) helps to keep the enthusiasm up!

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention that Big Spruce also has a couple of returning brewskies for your drinking pleasure. The first is The Hour of Sour, their 6.2% ABV mixed-fermentation raspberry sour. Conditioned on organic raspberries, the brewery likes to describe it as the “cool, grownup cousin of The Silver Tart”. With all sorts of complex flavours and aromas (including watermelon candy, bumbleberry pie, citrus, and funk, to name a few of the descriptors) to go along with the raspberry, it may be just what you need to break out of the winter blues. If hops are more your thing, the delicious-but-not-fun-to-pronounce Brobdingnagian Mosaic DIPA is also back. A big beer at 8.5% ABV, it’s exclusively hopped with the wonderful Mosaic, and boasts “arousing aromas of ripe peaches, apricots, and sticky marmalade”. You can grab both at the Sprucetique while quantities last.

Not to fret if you’re over in St. John’s, reading about DIPAs… your own Bannerman Brewing has actually just released a brand-spanking-new DIPA of their own. After Hours was brewed with lots of wheat malt and toasted wheat flakes, and hopped very heavily with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy. Notes of “stone fruit, pineapple, and white grape” abound, and the body is full and creamy thanks to all of that wheat. At 8% ABV, just be sure to imbibe carefully! You can drop by the brewery for growlers of this one right now; no cans yet, but it sounds like they hope to have those out at some point soon.

Continuing on the DIPA train, let’s move over to New Scotland Brewing, whose latest beer may have just the hazy, hoppy goodness you’re looking for in the Dartmouth area. Tough Chit is brewed with a grist made with a majority of… can you guess? That’s right, Chit malt, how did you know? Usually used to boost a beer’s body and improve head retention, the chit likely also contributed to the heavy haziness in this brew… especially considering that a higher-than-normal percentage of the grist incorporated it. With heavy late additions of Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops, this 7.5% ABV DIPA has flavours and aromas of “mango, honeydew melon, and pineapple”, along with some dank notes. Available today at the brewery in pints and cans, you may see a few kegs pop up at better beer locations in the area. 

Finally – did we miss a memo or something? – Unfiltered also has a DIPA that just became available at Charm School yesterday. It’s a returning favourite, Here it Comes…, a 7.5% ABV DIPA hopped entirely with Chinook. Available for pours, growlers, and cans just in time for the weekend. 

Making sure we hear a little bit from beleaguered New Brunswick today (hang in there folks!) is Trailway Brewing, who are happy to say that they’ve got cans of their collaboration brew with Lagabière out of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, on the shelves. Originally brewed at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020, De L’Autre Boutte to Here is a 7% ABV Double Dry-hopped IPA brewed with Citra, Simcoe, and Motueka at rates that even Trailway themselves describe as “incredibly high.” The massive level of hops along with extra time cold conditioning results in a very drinkable and soft beer familiar to those who’ve had IPAs from Lagabière before, with zesty citrus, plenty of tropical fruit, and a dank and piney hop backbone. Only available in these parts from Trailway themselves (as far as we know right now), submit an online order for contactless curbside pickup or for shipping anywhere in the Maritimes or Ontario.

A few events on the go, plus a couple more things we want to leave you with today. Happy Friday!

Borden-Carleton PEI’s Lone Oak Brewery is also celebrating their anniversary this month, marking their first year around the sun next week with lots of what they do best: great beer, and hosting amazing artists and serving up excellent food. Two ticketed musical events are on the go from 2 – 6 and 7 – 11 PM, with details available here (and grab your tickets via email here). We’ll have the scoop on the food and beer for you next week, natch!

A quick update to last week’s call out of the Moncton Craft Beer Week. Due to the *ahem* goings ons in the province, it has been pushed back by a month, to March 22 – 27. However, those folks who were eying up the Extreme Homebrew competition are advised that the submission date is still the same, with beers due by Feb 22nd, drop off at the Tide & Boar.

For those who like to consume beery-things with their ears as well as their mouths, Beer.Diversity.’s Ren Navarro has launched a podcast Ren Likes to Talk. The first two episodes are available now, one of which is with North Brewing’s Co-Founder and -Owner Rozina Darvesh! Grab those episodes and subscribe today! (In case you strike out by searching by the name, try including ”Liquid Culture Podcast Network”, or just add it via this direct RSS link: http://liquidculturenet.com/category/ren-likes-to-talk/feed/ [we got you!] )

Copper Bottom is looking to add to its growing production team, specifically someone to operate the canning line and support other production duties in the brewery. If you have a passion for great beer (of course you do, you’re reading this blog!) and are interested in working in picturesque Montague, check out their posting here

Happy New Year? There is a lot to be reflective of today, as we started 2021 with a bit of hope, but the harsh realities of our political, social and global health landscapes come right back and slap us in the face. We need to support our friends, families, communities and businesses, as we have through 2020, and we’re hoping with bringing news about beer in our region, we can bring a bit of light and positivity to you each week. There’s a lot of things you could be concerned with, or your minds and hearts conflicted with, but we’re still here, hoping to help in what little way we can. Cheers from ours to yours.

Propeller Brewing had a busy few weeks since our last post, introducing two brand new products as they closed out 2020, and are debuting two more today. Let’s start with the newest two, so that you can beat the rush to grab them. First up is Denali IPA, another in their on-going foray into single hop IPA. Named after the highest peak in North America, the Denali hop is full of tropical and citrus notes, showcasing pineapple and citrus, with a touch of pine kicker. Rather than go all out for a highly bitter beer, this 6.0% beaut features the hops late in the process, and plenty of them, to bring out more flavour and aroma, with a smooth mouthfeel. Cans and growler fills are available at all 3 Prop Shops, with cans coming to the HRM private stores shortly.

Also debuting today is another IPA, but of a different sort entirely… Triple IPA. This 10% beast features a bale-full of hops throughout its creation, from early in the boil for an aggressive bitterness, all the way to a healthy dry-hop to solidify a whole lotta tropical fruit and dank character, courtesy of the Citra, Sabro, and Galazy hops used. Expect a bit of alcohol warming in here, but any harshness is rounded off thanks to the oats and wheat malts, as well as a touch of lactose to lend just a hint of sweetness. Seek out the Triple IPA at the 3 Prop Shops today, in a 500mL bottle format.

And in case you missed two special releases in that twilight week after Christmas and before most are back to work, Propeller made good use of that time to launch two products that are a little different for them. The first was Prime Lager, a 5.0% crisp and clean lager, while it may be light on the hops, it’s made with premium ingredients, and comes in at a “stock-your-fridge” $39.99/24 price tag (also in singles if you so desire). And if you are partaking in Dry January, your life just got a little more interesting, as they’ve released a Hoppy Sparkling Water, named Void. Featuring a favourite hop of your friendly blog authors, Galaxy, this 0.0% ABV and zero calorie drink sports a load of fruity and hops character, but with no guilt. These two are only available at the 3 Prop Shops (and like the rest of the beers today, also through their online delivery).

Heading to New Brunswick, (virtually, of course!) our good friends at Tire Shack in Moncton keep brewing up a storm, and after some great releases over 2020, they’re kicking off 2021 with another tasty treat. Mango Sour, brewed with lots of mango puree, is now available as a super tropical and delicious ale to try and brighten up some of the COVID gloom. Taking it tropical, you’ll get some mango flavours shining through followed by a nice lactic bite at 6.0%. It’s available now in cans and for growler fills. Check out their home delivery, too for the Greater Moncton Area, as their taproom will remain closed while the province remains at an Orange level. Stay alert, stay safe and check your local zones and levels!

Do you love the Flanders Red style, and/or beers inspired by Flanders Red? So do we! You probably wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that the latest brewery to tackle one of these beers is 2 Crows, and you’d be correct to trust your instincts. Releasing today is Birds of a Feather: Cherry, described by 2C as a beverage that is part beer, part cherry wine, ultimately being designated as a Flanders-style Red with Nova Scotia cherries. The base sour red beer was brewed in mid-2019, fermented and conditioned in Port barrels with wine yeast, Brettanomyces, and Pediococcus bacteria. In July, 2020, some of the 2C folks made a trip to Greenwich’s Stirling Fruit Farms to grab 800 lbs of freshly-picked cherries. The fruit underwent carbonic maceration, a technique the brewery has used before that allows the fruit to ferment inside its own skin. Once this step was complete, approximately 400 L of the blended sour red beer was transferred onto them and conditioned for several more months before being bottled in October. The final beer has a “massive rounded cherry flavour and a touch of marzipan, and is smooth, tart and complex”. A bit of tannins work their way through, as well as a touch of balsamic character. 

You may have guessed from the first part of this beer’s name that it was in a series of releases, and you’d be right. In fact, the other two beers are being released today as well, so it only makes sense to fill you in on those, no? The next is Birds of a Feather: Marquette, another Flanders-style red, features the same 2019-brewed base sour red beer as the Cherry, and was also fermented and conditioned in Port barrels with wine yeast, Brett, and Pedio. It swerves off there, though, with the addition of a huge amount (700 kg!) of freshly-pressed Marquette pomace from the Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyards. Shortly after, the beer was bottled and allowed to condition, and is showing off “massive red wine notes of blackcurrant, cherry, leather, and tobacco”. 

Finally, we’re also getting Birds of a Feather: Bruin, the brewery’s very first attempt at the delicious Oud Bruin, another dark sour Belgian style. The base beer for this one dates way back to 2C’s Megadregs project, which was a beer brewed as a large collaboration.. of sorts. Approximately 20 Canadian breweries contributed yeast and bacteria dregs from wild/sour beers that they had produced, which were allowed to mingle together in two barrels. While most of that beer became Megadregs, released over a year ago, a portion of that was transferred to two Port barrels after 3 months, and allowed to condition for another 14 months before bottling, finally giving us Bruin. The final beer is “smooth, slightly roasty, with notes of coconut, and a touch of balsamic, cherries, and blackcurrant”. 

All three of these beers are releasing at the brewery today, and come in at 6.3% ABV. Of course supplies will be quite limited; we highly recommend grabbing all three, and holding onto at least one bottle of each to save for down the road!

New year, same Pride of Hanwell, as Niche Brewing will bring another new bottle release this weekend and rolling into next week. We’re really hoping you answered yes to the Flanders Red question above, because we asked for a reason! Neighborino is another Flanders Red-inspired beer coming to you this week. Fermented and aged in some wood, this 5.6% beer spent over a year in a single Cabernet Sauvignon barrel with Niche’s house sour culture, consisting of Sacch, Brett, Lacto and Pedio. That’s not all! If you said “this is missing raspberry puree!”, you’d be right! Secondary fermentation occurred back in stainless on raspberry puree. This one promises to be fruity and tart, with a red wine-like complexity and just flat out appetizing. Look for these bottles going out this weekend and around Fredericton at York Street ANBL, Maybee and Picaroons Drinks Market. This will hit CAVOK Brewing and some others the following week. Get your hands on this tasty treat if you can. Please check your local guidelines before heading out!

Do you love little birds? Do you love beer? We’re hoping you answered “yes” to one of those questions, because Tatamagouche is back with new take on a fan favourite, Kiskadee. This was first released two years ago (and we hope some of you enjoyed some from your cellar over the holidays!), a sour Porter aged for 14 months in barrels. This iteration was then refermented in stainless on black currants (setting it apart from the first release, which was refermented on strawberries), before bottling. This second iteration of this should have beautiful aromas of currants, some barrel characteristics, and loads of chocolate. This stronger style porter comes in at 10.8%, and is available today at the brewery (and online) in 500mL bottles (don’t worry, HRM, bottles will be heading your way soon!). Look for kegs of this one to be appearing at the taproom next month, as well as at other lucky NS tap accounts.

Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing did not take the holidays off, releasing two beers when we weren’t lookin’ (or at least weren’t writin’, because let’s be honest, we’re always lookin’ out for new beers). First up was Oatcake Computer, a “chocolate-dipped Oatcake” Stout. If you guessed that means there’s both plenty of oats and chocolate involved, give yourself a fabulous no-prize. But you may not have guessed that there’s also a portion of molasses to help provide a deep and dark base. Coming in at a fairly sessionable ABV of 4.9% and with all that oaty goodness, you can certainly justify cracking one for breakfast, but it would fit in just as nicely for Friday tea with the virtual gang. Apparently the name (and some hints in the can design) are a “vague reference to an album from a 90’s musical group.” We were about to argue about the vagueness of that reference before realizing we’re THAT OLD. *sob*

Next up is a re-release, as the delightfully named GoKart Jackass is back. Described as a “Scott-ish Red Ale,” this 4.8% ABV beer has a deep and rich amber hue and a subtle spicy hop character laid over a very smooth palate. Also allegedly blessed by the fae folk of Scotland. We wonder, does that blessing transfer through drinking? There’s only one way to find out!! But wait, there’s more! Crossing up Mario Kart with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they’ve got a contest on the go right now: TEN very super extremely special cans are out there in the wilds of Nova Scotia that feature a GOLDEN GOOMBA. If you find one of them, send a picture of it to Nicki who will give you a secret code you can use to claim a number of special mystery beers!

A couple of quick hits before you’re dismissed today…

A pair of new canned releases Dartmouth’s New Scotland Brewing today, Lockdown Lager is a 4.2% light lager, and McCoy’s Contraband is an 8.5% Tropical Stout. Grab them today from their retail shop or for delivery!

Quidi Vidi has opened a new Hop Shop location, a spot to grab beers that is a little less congested than their original location. Located at 16 Harbour View Avenue, it’s open Tuesday through Sunday, for retail sales and bottle returns. And great news for those of you waiting patiently, their taproom at their brewery in the gut is reopening this afternoon at 4PM!

And finally, before you head out to grab a growler fill or pint, be sure to check that your favourite brewery or taproom is open. With COVID restrictions coming and going, it can be tough to keep on top of them all!

Have you heard of the second wave? Will you ride the wave like an undercover cop pretending to be a surfer? Have you reached your point break breaking point as cases rise? The Atlantic beer scene keeps rolling along and many of our friends have kept home delivery going strong. We wish you nothing but safety, tasty beers and merry cheers as we roll into the holiday season. Stay alert (like the COVID alert app) and stay safe!

This long awaited release from Tatamagouche is finally here, adding to the global lineup of this cultural beer. Black is Beautiful (9.5%) is their take on the Weathered Souls recipe shared around the world, as other breweries have done. Our friends at Tata used Crisp Pale Malt and Horton Ridge Pale Malt for the base with oats, C-120 malt for some dark caramel malt, chocolate wheat and rye with roasted barley and a pinch of lactose. This malty beauty was bittered to 75 IBU and with Nugget and Cascade hops.
As with all of the Black is Beautiful releases, a local initiative will benefit from the sales. All proceeds will be donated to the Tatamagouche Centre to be used for bursaries and scholarships, supporting equality and inclusion. For over 60 years the Tatamagouche Center has been a meeting place for those who care deeply about spirituality, leadership, and social justice. Each year they offer over 10 programs, which cover areas such as congregational life, spirituality, community growth and development, transformational learning, social justice, youth and family, and retreats. Available now in 500ml bottles at Tatabrew HQ on Main Street in Tatamagouche, via their online store and in the city at Bishop’s Cellar real soon. Kegs in the Tata tap room will be available as well as a few licensees in HRM. Many have tried this already (including us!) at Stillwell and the Stillwell Freehouse. It is smooth and has a beautiful balance with the bittering hops. Keep an eye out for this over the winter months, support a good cause, and you may even see it on Nitro taps, too!

Straight out of Hanwell, we missed one from last week! If you’ve followed Niche (like we have), you may be aware of Hop Altered, a Northeast American Pale Ale (NEAPA!) that changes their hop schedule in the recipe. Back for a third iteration, this beer sticks with the flaked wheat and oats and Escarpment Labs’ Foggy London yeast, but goes tropical fruity with Galaxy hops in the kettle and dry-hopped with Citra and Nelson. These are 3 tasty hops that should bring a nice balance of dank, haze and citrus to this 5.2% pale ale. This will be available on draft at the usual Fredericton accounts, along with Stillwell in Halifax. 

Over in PEI, Upstreet has two new beers, both being released on the same day. First up is the latest entry in their Million Acres series of barrel aged brews, Million Acres Yuzu Farmhouse Ale. A Saison that was hopped with Kazbek and Sorachi Ace, and conditioned on yuzu (a citrus fruit of East Asian origin), it spent about 2 & ½ months in the barrel before bottling; the shorter time (compared to “usual” barrel aging) was to allow the Saison yeast character shine through. The beer is pale yellow, with aromas of “candied orange peel, hay, and farmyard goodness” and flavours of grapefruit and lemon zest, with a bit of oak and tannins coming through as well. It’s 7% ABV, and available only in 500 mL bottles at the taproom and Craft Beer Corner.

Next up is a new beer in another ongoing series, but hops instead of Farmhouse. You guessed it, it’s the latest Neon Friday, Neon Friday 3.04 NEIPA. Brewed with 2-row, Vienna, wheat, and oats, they hopped it heavily with plenty of varieties: Sabro, Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot. Hazy, golden, and bursting with big aromas of “peach, coconut, tropical fruit, and dehydrated strawberries,” along with lots of stone fruit on the palate, you can find this 6.5% ABV hop bomb on tap at all Upstreet locations, as well as in cans at their Charlottetown taproom and the CBC (no, not the news organization).

Coupla new brews coming out of Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing the last couple of weeks. Let’s start with the hoppy one, just for a change (:D). Hot Sky is the brewery’s latest American IPA, which was hopped almost exclusively with Eclipse. An Australian variety that used to be known as the less-catchy name of HPA 016 (BOR-ing!), it’s giving this particular 6.6% ABV beer notes of “sweet citrus fruits, candied orange, peach juice, papaya, Juicy Fruit gum, and pine needles”, according to TW. It’s currently available both on tap and in cans at the brewery.

And in a move away from the world of hops, TW released their newest German-style beer late last week, Alternate Side. Brewed in the Altbier style, it was fermented cool with an Ale yeast, which is traditional for the style. Exhibiting lots of malt character (specifically “honey, caramel, and multigrain toast”), it’s balanced by a firm hop bitterness, while remaining dry in the finish. Balance is key for a beer like this, not to mention drinkability; at 4.5% ABV, it sounds like TW may have hit the nail on the head. This one is only on tap at the brewery, in their 0.5 L mugs, so you’ve got to visit to try it!

Halifax’s Tidehouse has a new beer in cans available for takeaway starting today; continuing their look back at their first four years of beers, it’s a re-release, but it’s been such a long time since it was originally brewed, it’s bordering new-beer territory! The beer is El-Galaxarillo, a 7.5% ABV New England IPA that was first released way back in October, 2017, for pints and growlers at the TH taproom. Many of you may be able to look at the beer’s name and surmise what hops they went with, but just in case you’re not that hop-geeky, the varieties are El Dorado, Galaxy, and Amarillo. With a heavy amount used in the whirlpool, and multiple dry-hop additions, it’s exhibiting plenty of stone fruit, orange, and grapefruit notes in the aroma and flavour. Available in cans to grab and go today at Tidehouse, starting at 2 PM. 

Winter technically isn’t here yet, but that wouldn’t stop some breweries from getting their winter seasonals ready for release, would it? Hells, no! And really, it’s basically cold enough most of these November days/nights to warrant sipping on some stouts, barleywines, et al. In an answer to our needs, the people at Spindrift Brewing have conjured up their newest winter seasonal, Seeker Espresso Stout. Featuring additions of cocoa, toasted coconut, cinnamon bark, and – yes – espresso, it’s a complex brew with “bold flavours reminiscent of a holiday dessert”, with a silky, smooth mouthfeel. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV, you can grab some right now at the brewery in the form of pints and growlers, with cans rumoured to be hitting shelves very soon.

Experimentation is still the name of the game at Tanner & Co. with the release of their latest beer, Kuhlmann. With a grist of Pilsner and Vienna malts, along with a touch of Rye, the wort was fermented on 100 lbs of Lucie Kuhlmann grape skins from Planters Ridge Winery out of Port Williams. No yeast was pitched in the making of this beer – all of the fermentation took place from the wild yeasts naturally occurring on the grape skins. The final 7% ABV beer has “youthful grape-forward notes of blackberry, cherry, and black currant”, and can be found at the brewery on tap and in bottles, as well as on their online store (which will unlock the secret of Friday delivery in the Bridgewater to Halifax stretch of the province, if ordered before midnight Thursday).

Continuing to surpass the high bar set by their award-winning German styles, Montague PEI’s Bogside Brewing is releasing the Gladiator Doppelbock tomorrow, Saturday November 21st. This beer is truly a meeting of the minds between German-trained Head Brewer Mark Patriquin, and Island Hop Company’s Josh Mayich. Using a Mayich family recipe for Doppelbock, and their own family farm grown hops, this beer is just about as authentic as it gets outside of Munich. Heavy use of Vienna and Munich Type 2 malts, as well as a decoction mash step, bring out some lovely rich caramel notes and full mouthfeel. The use of IHC Hallertau Tradition in the beer was used to target the flavour of traditional Doppelbocks, and it underwent a controlled aging process to bring out those characteristics. Beer science and history incoming! Historical brews of this style were done a couple of months after hop harvest, due to availability of resources, and during that time a light oxidation of the hops would change the aromatic compounds (those terpenes you’ve heard so much about) ever so slightly. Mayich performed the same steps, monitoring the results often, before halting it and locking in the character. Added late in the boil, allowed more of the woody, tobacco, floral, and light citrus to stay in the final beer. A low and slow lagering over the course of two months rounded out the beer to where it stands now. Available on tap and in cans tomorrow, the release party from 2 – 5 PM will feature live music, and even a pairing of schnitzel from Thatchers Eatery kitchen onsite. Get thee to Montague tomorrow, or make an order for delivery!

It’s getting to be *that* time of year, when husbands, wives, partners, and kids struggle to find a meaningful and useful gift for loved ones. Well, if that special someone in your life loves beer, maybe we can lighten the load a little bit. Here’s a round-up of some Holiday and Gift Boxes we’ve spotted. Have we missed one? Let us know! Hit us up on twitter or instagram or via email.

In Shelburne, Boxing Rock is releasing a very-limited number of the Brewmance Box this December. A gift box that includes thirteen beers (4 x Unobtainium, 4 x Vicar’s Cross, one Temptation, and four of either IPA, Sour, or Puck Off!, your choice), it also includes a Boxing Rock toque, drinking game, and spice mix (with recipes). You can purchase yours here for $89; if you sign up for a subscription, you’ll receive a different Brewmance Box every three months for a year, and save 10% on each Box. Free local pickup or delivery in the HRM (at Local Source Market) or Shelburne area, with $15 shipping elsewhere in NS. 

North Brewing is very rarely outdone in these parts, whether that’s for quality, style, or grace, and their Holiday Beer Box is no exception – there’s a lot going on here. Non-beer wise, you’ll find a North Brewing Holiday Card and an exclusive-to-the-box 20 OZ ceramic stein with a North Snowflake design in yellow or blue. Beer-wise, there’s a can each of local favorites Lawrencetown Surf session ale, Rosy Berry saison, Pleasant Disposition IPA, Alloy Champagne IPA, Cole Harbour Red, Little Beast lagered ale, and a can of their Cranberry Clementine Seltzer as well. Where things get extra delightful is with the holiday beers and seasonals, including one brewed specifically for, and not available outside, the box. First up, a couple of returning beers that exemplify both North’s penchant for experimentation with grapes and grape skins as well as their relationship with local winery Benjamin Bridge. Blanc is a 4.5% ABV beer in the Grisette style (think “baby saison”) made with Sauvignon Blanc grape skins. Musqué is a burlier beer, an 8% ABV Double IPA made with Chardonnay Musqué grapes. From there are three very special beers not made before:

  • Cinnamon Bun and Stack o’ Pancakes are both 9% ABV “Holiday Stouts” based off the same recipe (no actual Cinnamon Buns or Pancakes were harmed in the brewing of these beers). Cinnamon Bun was given treatment with a generous dose of cinnamon bark along with vanilla and salt. Stack o’ Pancakes was fermented with “many” buckets of Nova Scotia maple syrup, which was allowed to ferment out completely to prevent a cloyingly sweet result, along with vanilla and salt as well. 
  • Down Time is at the opposite end of the spectrum from those two, an Altbier that comes in at 4% ABV. Brewed specifically for this box and not available outside of it, it’s apparently something they’ve been wanting to brew for a long time and will be an extra special treat for those who grab a box.

On sale as of yesterday (earlier for newsletter subscribers), 300 of these are being assembled and they’re selling for $89.95 (tax-in). They will be available for pickup on December 1st, but they also qualify for free shipping in North’s local delivery area but not quite free shipping within the Maritimes or Nationally (although you could always add a few things to your order, such as a second Holiday Beer Box to get to the respective $100 or $150 minimums). Wrapped in custom North Brewing holiday wrapping paper, they’ll even write a special note for you if you indicate that your purchase is a gift. There’s a good chance, we think, that these will sell out fairly quickly, so if you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be?!) best act soon! But if the box isn’t your thing, look for all of its contents (except the steins and the Altbier) available separately via North’s online store or at the brewery. The Stack o’ Pancakes is out today and the Cinnamon Bun is coming soon, as are the Musqué and Blanc (the latter two will see a $0.50 donation per can to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust); we’ll do our best to let you know when those are all available.

Bathurst’s 13 Barrels Brewing is getting in on the fun as well, with a, you guessed it, 13 days of Christmas Advent Calendar box. Pre-orders are open now at the brewery until December 5th, with the pickup scheduled for December 9 – 12. In addition to the baker’s (brewer’s?) dozen of beers inside (some of these thirteen will be exclusively available in this box), look for some mystery gifts as well! Message 13B on social media to place your order, and then fall asleep with visions of a sugar plum gose dancing in your head. And once it’s all over, return your box in good condition and they’ll give you a bonus 14th beer!

If cider is more your speed, Lake City Cider has you covered! They have a handful of gift boxes all ready to rock, some feature just the cider in the “Spice Up Your Life” or “Mixed Three Pack”, or go all out with the Holiday and Fan packs featuring blankets, stemless glassware, tote bags, and much more! Check out their online shop and grab them today!

Brightwood Brewery in Dartmouth is also thinking of your hard-to-buy-for friends and family, with a Gift Box set ready to pick up and share in a hurry. A six-pack of Beer is complemented by a 16oz Brightwood Glass and Canvas Tote Bag. Pick from some curated options for selecting the beers (whether your giftee is into Hops, Malt, or something a bit more seasonal allowing you to grab the Christmas on Portland Street Raspberry Porter), or you can opt pick exactly the six beers you’d like if you visit their shop!

If a surprise every day of December leading up to Christmas sounds more up your alley, the Harvest Wines/RockHead/WestSide group has brought back the Maritime Craft Beer Countdown, which features 23 beers and ciders from across the Maritimes, plus a free glass to enjoy them in. The identity of the beers is secret until you open them up, and you can expect several exclusive Countdown-only bevvies, but peep the box’s website for a sneak peek at which breweries and cider producers took part! Available now in store and online if you can’t wait the two additional weeks until December 1st (or want to get them chilling ASAP).

What about gifting your beau/belle a membership in the hottest club to ever hit the shores of Spryfield? Serpent Brewing has re-jigged their Membership Clubs so that you can get in on the ground floor even easier. The benefits will start once their opening-real-soon Taproom is complete, but here’s a sneak peek: As a member of the Brew Club, every month for the next two years you’ll enjoy a free growler fill or two bottles or two pints, plus $3 off growler fills every Thursday, a Serpent shirt and a pair of glasses, plus vouchers for a handful of free pints and flights to use or share with friends. How about gifting them a full Beer Creation Experience? This will allow them to work with Head Honcho Glen O’Keefe to formulate a brand new beer recipe, work with Serpent to name and design the label, sample it throughout the brewing and maturation process, and get the first case of the finished product! And if you are feeling especially generous, gift them both as part of the Founders Club. More details and how to sign up are on their website, but don’t delay as there are only a limited number of the memberships available!

OK, enough of those “Future Holiday Boxes”, let’s get you up to speed with the events happening in our region this weekend!. It just so happens to be a little Hali-centric this time ‘round, but we know there’ll be great beer on tap no matter where you find yourself!

Propeller’s Gottingen Taproom continues their Community Cask this evening, once again highlighting and supporting a community group that inspires and improves the community. November’s recipient is Ecology Action Centre to benefit the Green Avengers Team, a group of 16 dedicated individuals who are running in this year’s Blue Nose Marathon to raise funds for the Ecology Action Centre. So, help support EAC while enjoying a pint! What can you expect in your glass, when the cask is tapped at 5 PM this evening? It’s a sneak peek of a big release coming in December, with a rum-soaked-oak-stave-conditioned Mocha Oatmeal Stout! The base 5.5% ABV beer already showcases tons of locally roasted coffee, tempered by the smooth character of the addition of oats in the malt bill, and the rum and oak are sure to bump this up to a truly special beer. Real Fake Meats will be onsite with Donair Egg Rolls (vegan, natch) for a fun pairing.

Tomorrow, Saturday November 21st, Brunswick Street’s 2 Crows Brewing will be putting a few of their favourite beers back on tap for a “Hey, it’s Saturday, let’s have a pint” event they’ve dubbed “Some of the Good Ones”. Plenty of fun collabs done with the likes of Change is Brewing Collective (Good News), Bannerman Brewing and Lightfoot & Wolfville (Vinello), Orono Brewing Company (Deux II), Kilter Brewing (Lil’ Miguel), plus a great variety of fresh & hoppy (Perfect Situation) and wild (Old & New). The doors open at noon, and you’ll also have the chance to grab the amazing fried chicken sandwiches, pastries, and more from Buttered Bliss, onsite from 12 – 4 PM (or earlier, most likely, if they sell out).

The Stillwell Freehouse at 2534 Agricola celebrates its First Anniversary next Saturday, November 28th, and they will be stacking the taps and casks with killer beer and cider options from the region, and beyond. Chef Graeme will continue to work his magic in the kitchen, preparing some lovely complementing dishes… Or will the beer be complementing the food? I’d say both are true! Open noon til 1 AM, no reservations required, just show up with an empty stomach!

A few more things to tell you about this week before you’re dismissed. Don’t forget to wash your hands and wear your mask, things are getting a bit hairy out there again!

Gahan is jumping on the holiday dessert beer wagon (or should we say sleigh?) with the rerelease of Shortest Day. Their take on a milk stout is spiced with nutmeg to get those holiday feels going. Expect notes of vanilla to go along with the spice. Coming in at 4.5%, you can find cans of Shortest Day on the Island at PEI Brewing Company, the Gahan Beer Store, and look for it next week at PEI Liquor locations and Gahan’s other outlets across the Maritimes. 

Keeping on trend, Garrison is also re-releasing one of its holiday seasonals with All Lit Up making its return. This 7.0% ABV spiced ale features Cascade hops and is available in single cans or in their Holiday Mingler 4-Pack. You’ll also find Stay The Blazes Home Ale back in stock, this time only at the Oxford Taproom and Seaport locations (or for home delivery). As before, a portion of sales will go to support Feed Nova Scotia. 

Brand new IPA from Good Robot available just in time for your Friday drinking needs! SpaceTime NaviGator is a 6% ABV brew hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria. Fruity and tropical, no doubt, you can find it at the bar for pints and takeaway cans, and online.

Back in Fredericton, Grimross is adding to its Maritime Series with Maritime Wheat Ale. Expect classic Belgian witbier flavours of clove and fruit, and a slightly cloudy appearance (can swirl anyone?). As an added bonus, this 5% ABV beer features 100% Maritime ingredients from two excellent local supplies, Shoreline Malting and Island Hop Company. Grab some today on tap or to-go in cans.

Hardisty Brewing Co. has expanded its reach beyond the Colby Village area of Dartmouth. Look for cans of their BlockParty SMaSH pale ale at Harvest Wines in Dartmouth, starting today. And they are now in rotation at Battery Park in downtown Dartmouth, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled to their IG page for the latest updates. 

Crossing the harbour, check out North Street’s Unfiltered Brewing for the release of Riddle of Steel. This 7.0% ABV IPA is back in cans and on tap next door at Charm School. 

New Scotland Brewing has released Tough Chit, a DIPA brewed with – we assume – some Chit in the grist, and bigly-hopped with late additions of Mosaic and Idaho 7, as well as a large dry-hop. Slightly sweet, with flavours and aromas of “mango, honeydew, and peach”, it weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 40 IBUs. You can find it on tap at the taproom this weekend.

Let’s end on a new beer from Quidi Vidi Brewing, for those who need a whole buncha hops in their lives (isn’t that all of us?). Simply named Imperial IPA, this small batch release is an 8.7% ABV blast of citrus, orange, and pine on the nose, along with a serious bitterness and just a touch of warmth on the finish. Fans of Calm Tom will certainly dig this one. You can grab it at their Hop Shop in QV Village, or their Home Delivery happening Friday and Saturday. More details on their website. And look for a rebrand on the line of sours QV put out this summer, now dubbed the Sofa Sour Series. The first to be released under this moniker is the Pineapple Sour Sour, a re-brew of their July debut. Other sours getting the facelift will feature passion fruit, peach & raspberry, and strawberry & guava, on shelves and out for delivery in the coming months.