Newfoundland Beer Podcast

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We’ve got another full complement of beer and cider news for you today, showing the resiliency of the producers to power through these difficult times, and continue to bring us the good stuff. In case you missed it, we did a Profile with the cats from Delta Force Brewing yesterday, trying to uncover just a bit about them and their beer. They launched their beers yesterday, heading out for delivery today/this weekend, so if you get in touch right away, you may be able to catch them before they disappear back into the night!

More updates to our Delivery/curbside pickup options for breweries and cideries in the region, as Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse in Dartmouth has re-opened (with beer and take and bake food options available), and Truro Brewing Co is trying out curb-side pickup for the first time this week (order in advance online for best results). As always, if we’ve missed something, or just want to chat, get in touch via email or social media (Ig and Tw preferred, but Fb exists too). Take care of yourselves! 💙

We’ve got all of the detailed info on 2 Crows latest collaboration, a “Lagered wild ale w/ Riesling piquette”, Vinello. That mini-description right there is already begging for explanation, so don’t worry, we’ve got you covered (thanks to 2C, of course)! Waaaay back in mid-November – you know, about 6 years ago when shaking hands wasn’t weird? – the 2C peoples travelled to the Annapolis Valley to pay a visit to Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards. Of course they didn’t just drop in to say hello, and ended up leaving with a ton (just about literally) of freshly-pressed Riesling pomace (that pulpy residue leftover after the grapes have been crushed and the juice collected). This pomace was taken back to the 2C brewery and set in their blending tank with water to cover; after a week or so, this liquid had started fermenting with its native yeast. This method, which originated in France, produces a beverage known as piquette… basically a low-alcohol wine. Now that they had this part of the project raring to go, they called on Dave and Phil from St. Johns’ Bannerman Brewing to come over and brew up some wort; specifically, a base of Pilsner malt from Shoreline Malting, along with Spelt and raw wheat. The wort was transferred into one of the 2C oak foedres, along with a pitch of Mad Fermentationist Saison yeast from Bootleg Biology, and the actively-fermenting piquette. After 3 months of development, the beer was transferred to stainless and krausened with actively-fermenting Lager, dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Nelson Sauvin, and lagered for six weeks. The final 4.9% ABV beer was packaged in cans, and is tasting “floral, earthy, with a lively acidity and a ton of complexity”. Check out 2C for more info on how to get your hands on some cans this weekend.

Let’s hop across the border (beer is essential services, right?) to New Brunswick, and more specifically Dieppe’s O’Creek Brewing. They’ve got a handful of beers pouring these days, so let’s get you up to speed! First up is their Raspberry Milk Stout, a 5.5% ABV milk stout, meaning lactose (aka milk sugar) was added to the brew for a touch of non-fermentable sweetness. The addition of raspberry puree during the conditioning phase completes the picture, for a beer reminiscent of a raspberry chocolate coffee cake. Switching to Sours, O’Creek has Berry Mango Sour out currently as well, a 5.0% ABV fruited sour with plenty of lovely tropical fruit character with a tart kick. A return to the hops for them is IPAdemic, a 6.8% ABV Milkshake IPA, featuring heavy handed use of hops, for a tropical note, bumped up with the addition of coconut to the conditioning beer before packaging.

O’Creek also has two beers in completely new styles for them, coming in the next little while. We figure we’d get you all excited for them now, however… The first is Bock, their take on the traditional malt-driven German style. This 5.8% ABV version pours with a dark-brown body and a creamy head. Hop bitterness helps to balance the malt sweetness of the lager. And finally from O’C this week, is their first release in bottles, Beach Fire. This big boozy fella (10% ABV) is a Smoked Barleywine, taking advantage of the absolute beast of a yeast Kveik, to ensure the beer was nice and tasty without finishing too sweet. All of these are available at their neighbour CAVOK Brewing, who are open 3 – 8 PM daily for take-away, or GMA delivery. And, who have a full complement of their own beers pouring and available too!

From one Nanobrewery to another, let’s return to Nova Scotia, where Hardisty Brewing in Colby Village has released their first foray into Imperial IPA territory. Emperor’s New Clothes weighs in at 7.0% ABV, and features a heavy dose of Centennial hops for bittering, to the tune of 61 IBUs, and finished off with Amarillo to complete the picture. Right now, the only way for a Hardisty fix is to be fortunate to live in their Colby Village delivery area (if you don’t currently live there, there are 20 houses for sale there as of today), with more options coming once the current situation eases.

Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing has a new beer to try to help you deal with the madness of self-isolation. Based on the idea that peanut butter is an “eat it anytime” kind of food, they’ve put some into a “drink it anytime” kind of beer. PBP is a peanut butter porter weighing in at 6.2% ABV that’s perfect for having a beer when you don’t even know what time it is. With subtle chocolate flavors from the grist mingling with nutty goodness, expect a smooth and slightly creamy easy drinking beer. Available in cans for delivery along with a bunch of other Tire Shack goodness. Check their social media (Fb/Ig) for appropriate details on getting yourself some!

There’s still some new beers hitting the taps at Good Robot… of course, these will have to be enjoyed in the form of growler fills, likely in your own home, but hey, you can use your imagination and pretend you’re drinking them with friends at the taproom, maybe? This week they have two brand new beers, including Wilson Brown Ale, a 5.2% ABV Brown Ale (!) with notes of “dates, raisins, plums, and brown sugar”, and Blanket Fort IPA, which is 6.9% ABV and “medium-bodied, dank, and resinous”. Both beers are gluten-reduced as always, and join the FrontLiner Golden Ale we told you about last week, which is still available in short supply.

Our friends at Quidi Vidi have a couple of tasty new brews for those of you in their area this weekend. First up is a beer that is near and dear to head brewer Einar Holtet, an Altbier named Rhinegold. This is a recipe that Einar has been brewing since his younger years, when he learned to brew from his father (likely at an age that was just a wee bit earlier than 19!). This is the first time this beer has been brewed at Quidi Vidi, so that the rest of us can officially give it a try. Brewed with a variety of malts including 2-row, Pilsner, Carastan, Melanoidin, Red-X, Chit, and Dark Munich, it was hopped with Magnum, Perle, and Tradition. It comes in at an easy-drinking 5% ABV, and can be ordered online through QV now; it can also be found at select NLCs and convenience stores. While putting together your online order, keep their other newbie in mind, Pineapple Sour. A kettle sour with a grist of 2-row, Wheat malt, Maris Otter and Acid malt, it was hopped lightly with Cluster and features an addition of pineapple puree. At 5.6% ABV, expect some light tartness to complement all of that pineapple character. This one may also make its way to NLC stores next week, but it’s going fast so you’re best off buying it at the source.

If you’re starting to crave a well-crafted Kölsch (we don’t blame you, it is that time of year!), Stillwell Brewing has some exciting news for you! They’ve just canned (yes, their first cans!) Kompakt, a “Kölsch-style ale” brewed with Pilsner from Shoreline Malting. Hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh and fermented with Kölsch Ale yeast from Escarpment Labs, the beer was lagered for 2 months before packaging. Everything you want in a Kölsch, it’s tasting “clean, fresh, bitter, slightly fruity, and bready” with excellent foam and lacing (so make sure you pour this one into a glass). Cans of this 5% ABV beauty can be picked up at the brewery (back of 2015 Gottingen) today between 3-4:30pm; send them a DM after you’ve placed your order online so they can put it together and get it to you, contactless style. They’ll also be delivering tomorrow, so that’s an option, too! And while we’re too late to help you out this week, keep your eyes peeled to Bar Stillwell‘s Social Media (Instagram especially) for their return to being able to serve you some tasty food again. Yesterday and today saw Diner burgers, Tokyo fries, etc, etc, being available for curbside pickup, and we imagine the same will be happening next week as well. Plus you can add beer, wine, and cider from their Corner Store to accompany.

Tidehouse will be resuming their curbside pickup option for tomorrow (details on their social media), and they’ve got their popular Hibiscus City (a Gose w/ lime and hibiscus) available, along with two brand new beers. If you’re leaning towards the malty side of things this weekend, they’d like to introduce you to Albert, a “strong Amber ale” that was moderately-hopped with Idaho 7. Weighing in at 7% ABV, expect “deep stone fruit and light pine, backed by a touch of sweetness”. But maybe you’re more in a fruity, hoppy mood? They’ve got you covered there, as well, with Dry the Rain, an “Imperial Milkshake Sour”. Featuring additions of raspberry, blackberry, lactose, and vanilla, it’s 6.8% ABV and has lots of raspberry and vanilla character, with additional sweetness from the lactose. 

Halifax’s Chain Yard has introduced some new shipping deals for online ordering (free shipping for orders over $75 in NS, and free Canada-wide for orders over $150), and even have a couple of new products to help celebrate. First up is Pie Hard 2, a fusion of house-made cranberry and raspberry wine with a “select apple blend”. Coming in at a hefty 7.6% ABV, it was double-fermented and oaked, giving a “lightly sour taste with a burst of berry cider”; available in cans. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, they have 750 mL bottles of Eper Öak (Strawberry), an 8.6% ABV blend of house-made strawberry wine double-fermented with Northern Spy apple juice. Aged in Hungarian oak for six months before bottling, the final cider is off-dry with notes of strawberry, leather, toffee, fig, and spice. Also keep in mind that if you’re in the HRM, they’ll deliver to your door for free with orders over $40 (check out their website for specifics).

Halifax’s Garrison has a bunch of stuff for us all this week with the results of their 2020 Home Brew-Off and a couple of new beers. Firstly, the competition winners as announced on Facebook last night: congratulations go out to homebrewers Dan McAloney (Honourable Mention), The Bràthair Brewing Collective (3rd Place), Julien Belliveau (2nd Place), and the big winner, Trevor Armstrong. The style this year was New England IPA, an difficult one, particularly for homebrewers, and with 57 entries, taking top prize is a serious achievement. Based on past years, look for Trevor’s beer to be brewed in early 2021 for release in Spring.

Meanwhile, in Garrison beer news, both of their new offerings this week are riffs on the IPA style. First up is one they’re calling Relax!!! a very limited seasonal only available in 473 mL cans at Garrison retail locations (Seaport and Oxford) and for home delivery. Described as “aggressively relaxing,” it was built on a base of Pilsner, Dark Munich and Honey malts, with Citra and Mandarina Bavaria comprising the hop side.The bend in the road comes with the addition of ginger and turmeric, a little bit of yin to the hoppy yang. Expect a balanced beer at 6.0% ABV and 32 IBU, with flavors of ginger and turmeric of course, but also caramel and orange, and a spicy bitterness on the finish.

Also new this week is the latest in Garrison’s Hop Trip series of IPAs: Citrus White IPA. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 26 IBU, like all “white” IPAs this one is driven by the use of a Belgian yeast strain, which brings a bit of bubblegum and possibly a little bit of spiciness to an otherwise citrusy brew. Simple on the grist side, with just 2-row, wheat, and oat malts, the hops are a blend of Huell Melon, Mandarina Bavaria, and Citra, which along with the addition of orange peel give this beer a citrus kick in addition to some tropical flavors. This one is available in a novel 4×355 mL can format. You can check out one or both of these new beers via your usual means for acquiring Garrison products. And stay tuned, as we have reason to believe there’s another new IPA coming from Garrison soon, a sibling to their ever-popular Juicy IPA.

Back to cider, briefly, where Lake City has the latest iteration in their Alpha Series of hopped ciders. Alpha 4.0 features both El Dorado and Chinook hop varieties, lending some pineapple, citrus, and pine character to the base cider. Check out their delivery details for info on how to give this one a try.

We have some details on the latest from New Scotland Brewing, a Zwickelbier named Alderney Dry. Think of it as an unfiltered Helles, and the smaller brother to Kellerbier. Named after the street they’re located on in Dartmouth, the beer is a 4.9% ABV, easy-drinking Lager that has been available on tap at the brewery for a while, but is now in cans and available to a wider audience. If you act *right now* you may be able to catch their cutoff for Friday delivery, otherwise head to the brewery 11 – 7 PM daily to grab a few.

We’ve got a handful of fruity-adjunct beers (and not) for you today as well, so let’s work our way into those…

Let’s start with Propeller, who have released what will be this year’s summer seasonal, Lime Lite. A Light Lager (4.5% ABV, to be exact) infused with fresh lime (and lemon, apparently), it’s thirst-quenching and refreshing, with “bright citrus aromas and flavours”. Cans are currently at Propeller and some of the private liquor stores in Halifax, and should be hitting NSLC stores very soon.

Going in another direction for a summer refresher are Shelburne’s Boxing Rock who are releasing their The Shandy this week. For those not in the know, a shandy is the British version of a radler, where beer meets fruit juice for a light and hydrating summer cooler. In this case, BR went with the tried and true lemonade (their own), but a bit of a twist by blending it with their cranberry-laden kettle sour Over the Top. The result is a 2.5% ABV quaffer that’s light and tart and perfect for après mow (assuming summer comes eventually). Available 6-packs of cans through their online ordering platform.

And lastly, Hell Bay in Liverpool has decided to hop on the hard seltzer train with Mangoberry and Margarita flavors now available. The former features a blend of 100% unsweetened mango, blueberry and cranberry, while the latter is, we believe, lime and bit of salt. At 5% ABV and 0 IBU, we’re not sure how much, if any, beer character they boast, but if you’re looking for something fruity and don’t care whether it’s beery, these sound like just the thing. Available for growler fills only (with appropriate social distancing and sanitary protocols) from the brewery.

That’s it for the beer and cider and seltzer talk for today, but before we leave you…

In case you haven’t gotten enough beer talk in today, may we recommend some more? The fine fellas over at the 902 BrewCast released a new episode earlier this week, their April Tasting one. They drank, and chatted about, a couple of new releases (North Brewing’s Goin’ Down the Road Helles and Roof Hound’s Gimme a Hint <1% ABV Pale Ale), plus whatever else is grinding their gears this time.

And after a little hiatus, the Newfoundland Beer Podcast has come back in full force, with 4 episodes released in the last month, looking into Food and Beer pairing, kegerator maintenance, the connection of beer and sport, and more!

Well, we’re officially knee-deep into September now, and we have the perfect way to ring in the almost-last day of summer – the announcement of umpteen different returning Pumpkin Ales! Whether that brings you vast excitement or the urge to scream “Nooooooooooooooo……!” at the top of your lungs, there’s no avoiding it. But hey, there’s plenty of other new beers out there, too (including Octoberfests, natch), so let’s stop wasting time being smart about Pumpkin beers and just get into it, shall we?

Might as well dive in with one of those Oktoberfest releases, as the actual Oktoberfest in Germany starts tomorrow, and will run for a little over two weeks. That means Bannerman Brewing is releasing their Oktoberfest/Marzen, Safe Bet, just in time. This 5.5% ABV lager was brewed with a blend of Vienna, Pilsner, and Caramel malts, giving a copper-coloured beer that is “full-bodied, with a pleasant malt sweetness and nutty finish”. You can drop by the brewery in St. John’s to get your fix, where it’s available for pints and growler fills. 

Not to be outdone over in Nova Scotia, Boxing Rock has brewed up Equinox, a “classic Bavarian Lager”. With a grist made up of Pilsner malt, the wort was hopped in the boil with German hop varieties, keeping the beer as close to traditional as possible. After a lagering period at near-freezing temperatures, the final beer is now ready for purchase. Sporting “toasted bread flavours, and a soft spiciness”, as well as herbal notes thanks to the hops used, it finishes clean and dry and is mighty drinkable at 5% ABV. Available on tap and in bottles at the brewery in Shelburne, with bottles following at your local NSLC later in the fall. Also, the brewery’s Kolsch, Puck Off, is back, with their latest batch being released in six packs, each of which comes with a Boxing Rock hockey puck.

If you tend to lean towards the darker side when it comes to beer styles, and maybe you’re just a little over-hopped by all those IPAs and such that continue to be popular at the bars, you’ll be happy to hear that Fredericton’s TrailWay has taken a break from hoppy ales to release their first Stout in some time. Not your everyday stout, Snak-Pak was brewed with banana, chocolate, and vanilla! To be more specific in the details, once fermentation was complete, banana puree, Cholaca (a form of pure liquid cacao) and pure vanilla extract were all added, at different stages. This 5.5% ABV dark beer is “well balanced, but all three flavours can be picked up individually”. Curious? Drop by the brewery today when they open, and grab a pint/growler/cans to render your verdict. 

Elliston, Newfoundland’s fall festival, Roots, Rants and Roars, is happening today and tomorrow, and two of the province’s breweries have teamed up to brew a collaboration beer to celebrate! This “co-fermented” Kveik Ale, named Cellar Season,  was designed with festival organizers and Port Rexton Brewing and Quidi Vidi, and features a blend of PRB’s house Kveik (Ebbegarden) and QV’s house Kveik (Voss), both of which are from Escarpment Labs. This light-bodied Kveik beer came out with plenty of yeast character, including “banana, melon and clove on the nose, with spice, berry, melon, and orange on the palate”. Sounds pretty delicious to us! It weighs in at a moderate 5.4% ABV, and will be available at the festival this weekend. You’ll also be able to grab it on tap at the PRB taproom as of today, if you can’t make it to the festival (but you should!). 

Clarenville and Shoal Harbour are located just off of the Trans-Canada Highway where the Avalon, Burin, and Bonavista Peninsulas meet, and for those heading to the Roots, Rants, and Roar festival from St. John’s, a perfect stopping point. As such, the Newfoundland Cider Company located in the community has teamed up with the RRR festival to release the Roots, Rants and Roars Beet Cider. With Elliston being the root cellar capital of the world, it only makes to play on that and choose a veggie that is found in cellars across the province, and nation. The apple cider base underwent a wild fermentation, and was aged in oak barrels for 3 months. The matured cider was then infused with locally-grown (and -stored) beets before packaging. The result is a lovely rosé coloured cider with a semi sweet and balanced flavour. It is available at the Clarenville bottle shop as well as at the Festival. Be sure your Road to RRR includes a stop by NCC’s bottles shop or tasting room this weekend!

Upstreet has thrown down the gauntlet by announcing that today’s Neon Friday release will be the last new beer in their hoppy series of the year, so they’re under pressure to make it a good one! It IS their biggest Neon Friday to date, as Neon Friday 2.07: Hazy Double IPA is, well… a hazy DIPA. Guess the name kinda stole the blog thunder. But still, it IS a big beer at 8% ABV, and was mega-hopped with Cryo Simcoe, Ekuanot, and Amarillo, giving a very juicy brew with aromas of “fresh-cut pineapple, honeydew melon, and soft mint, as well as flavours of orange, lime, and banana”. Available right now at the brewery and Craft Beer Corner in all forms, and pints only in Nova Scotia. 

In Dieppe, NB, Flying Boats has just launched the latest in their Test Pilot one-off series, Test Pilot No. 6: New England IPA. The grist included a percentage of flaked wheat and oats, which help to add haziness, as well as boost the mouthfeel of the final beer. All hop additions were added in the whirlpool and dry-hop stages, and included large amounts of Vic Secret, Citra, and Mosaic. With 43 calculated IBUs, the beer has lots of tropical fruit flavours and aromas, and comes in at 6% ABV. Available at the brewery taproom in pints, growlers, and cans. 

While we’re in New Brunswick, let’s check in with another brewery that is releasing their take on the seasonal Oktoberfest style. Fredericton’s Grimross is today debuting their Oktoberfest Märzen-bier, a beer they’ve been lagering over the summer to have ready just in time for your home Oktoberfest celebrations (hey, drinking good beer at home is reason enough to celebrate, amirite?)! Brewed with a base of Munich malt, and fermented with the brewery’s house Lager strain, it was packaged after a 2 month lagering period. It’s showing off some “rich, toasted malty notes, with old world herbal hop flavour”, while remaining highly drinkable. Available at the brewery on tap and in cans, it comes in at 5.6% ABV and 27 IBUs. 

Speaking of Grimross, they are currently hiring for the position of Head Brewer. You can check out the full job posting here; of course, brewing experience at a senior level is a requirement. 

Before Hurricane Dorian made landfall in our region a couple of weeks ago, it caused major destruction and loss of life in the Carribean, with the Bahamas being particularly hard hit. With many Bahamians living, working, and going to school here in the Maritimes, there are many stories of tragedy of family and friends back home. This is very true for Gio Johnson, a brewer at Good Robot. In support of him and all those affected by the storm, Good Robot is dedicating their next release to raise awareness, and funds, for recovery efforts. Hope Nation Saison is a light-bodied Saison hitting the taps next week, featuring a bright lemony spritziness, a bit of spicy zing, and light fruit character. For those looking to contribute over and above the portion going from drinking a pint or filling a growler, the Rotary Club of East Nassau and Red Cross are two groups working tirelessly to rebuild the islands after the destruction.

From one of Halifax’s littlest breweries (motto: “we used to be smaller!”) comes a really big bastard of a beer this week, with Tidehouse releasing Mars. Featuring plenty of 2-row and Pilsner malts as a base, “massive” portions of chocolate, pale chocolate, standard and dehusked roasted barley, roasted wheat and flaked barley rounded out the malt side. While there’s a ton of dark specialty malts there you would expect to impart roasty and especially chocolatey flavors, we figure at least some chocolate flavor would also have come from the 198 Mars bars that were added at the end of the boil! But that’s not even all! Non-fermentable lactose was added to bump up the sweetness and the beer was finished with blackberries added at the end of fermentation. The result is an 11.5% ABV beer that’s darker than dark, with a slightly dry, tart and fruity finish to balance the sweetness. You’ll find it available on tap at the brewery starting today (but likely only for a little while), or take it to go in the traditional 650 mL bombers or much more reasonable “single serving” sized 340 mL bottles (yay!)

Every year, tens of thousands of folks descend on Southeastern PEI to check out the 70 Mile Yard Sale. This year’s event takes place this weekend, and what better excuse do you need to release a new beer? Montague’s Copper Bottom has created the way to toast the day’s great finds with 70 Mile Yard Ale, a 5.0% ABV American Wheat Ale. Brewed with 2-row, wheat, and acidulated malt, it was lightly hopped to 15 IBUs with Mandarina Bavaria, Amarillo, and Centennial. Light-bodied, refreshing af, and thanks to the addition of orange peel, bright citrus notes shine through as well, to complement the aromas of bread dough. The beer will be launching tomorrow at the 70 Mile HQ at Wood Islands Village, as well as at the taproom with a kick-off event beginning at 3 PM. Mellow Dough will be on hand slinging donuts, PEI Pop Stand will have their gourmet popsicles, and DJ Logan Roche will be spinning some tunes to soothe while you count your new treasures. Download the booklet to plan your attack of the yard sales in the region! After the release, it will be available on draught and in cans at the brewery, as well as at bars around Charlottetown.

Hanwell, New Brunswick’s favourite brewery has brought back a local favourite that is sure to sell out before you know it. Niche Brewing has been playing in the New England style with plenty of hazy and hoppy offerings, and they’ve got a fresh batch of Intergalactic back on tap in the Capital region, and beyond, this week. At 4.9% ABV, the alcohol may not be high, but the flavour is, thanks to massive additions of Citra and Mosaic added late in boil, and then dry-hopped with more Mosaic as well as Galaxy. Tropical notes of pineapple, mango, and citrus shine through, with the hazy-friendly yeast blend keeping the smooth mouthfeel and restrained bitterness in check. We’ve seen that it’s now pouring at The Joyce in Fredericton and soon at Pepper’s Pub in Saint John, with more kegs hitting the taps in the near future.

As we mentioned above, this is the time of year when we start to see one of the most polarizing phenomena in the brewing industry: pumpkin (spice) beer. Whether you’re a fan of it or not, you can’t deny the simple fact that if these beers didn’t sell nobody would make them. This week we had word of at least 4 (tasty treats/abominations) hitting the taps and/or shelves, all of them return engagements. We thought we’d put them all in one place so it’s easy to (get the news you really want/skip the section). We know the 902BrewCast guys will appreciate that; in fact, let’s call this The 902BrewCast Pumpkin Beer Roundup!! And be sure to check out their September Tasting Episode coming this Tuesday when they feature a totally non-polarizing style, Pilsner! So without further ado, here’s the first batch from the pumpkin patch:

  • A long time favourite for fans of the gourd is Propeller Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale. Using real pumpkins (from Howard Dill’s world famous variety from the Valley), the blend of seasonal spices accent the brew to be a true pumpkin pie in a glass. The 5.0% ABV beer is available at both Prop Shops and the private stores this week, and at the NSLC in the next little while.
  • Nine Locks have been making their Harvest Pumpkin Ale for quite a few years now, and this dark, full-bodied amber ale is a favorite with their customers. Both pumpkin and pumpkin spice are paired with a malty backbone and a crisp finish that’s perfect for Autumn. Available at the brewery for sure, we also see an NSLC listing, although we’re not sure if that’s from last year or for this year, so be sure to check ahead before making any plans to procure it from there!
  • Brasseurs Petit Sault way up in Edmundston has their Bonhomme Sept-heures back on tap this week. A big’un at 8.5% ABV and featuring a suitably seasonal spooky label, this coppery-colored amber ale has hints of caramel and a bit of biscuit sweetness to go along with the familiar pumpkin spices. Get a pint at the brewery or take a bottle (or more!) to go, it will also see distribution in select ANBL stores over the coming weeks.
  • Windsor’s Schoolhouse Brewing has their Pumpkin Paddler back as well. Named for the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta, which sees participants paddling giant hollowed-out gourds from the Dill Family Farm across Lake Pisiquid. Unfortunately, due to a terrible growing season and Hurricane Dorion, there weren’t enough 6 – 800 lb pumpkins to hold the regatta this year, but there was enough of a crop to make the beer! Featuring both real pumpkin and the brewmaster’s secret pumpkin spice blend, you’ll be able to wax poetic about Pumpkin Paddles past while enjoying one. Find it on tap and in bottles at the brewery and at select private stores in the city.

The Brewnosers homebrew and beer appreciation club has been around since 1986, advocating for better beer and respect for beer, before some of us were even born. What started with four guys in a kitchen sharing beers has evolved into a group of hundreds who are still sharing beers and homebrew recipes, and advancing the state of good beer in the region. Saturday, September 21st, marks the group’s Hoptoberfest event, where members get to show off their latest brews in a relaxed and fun environment. And it is open to the public! In addition to the beer (so much beer!!), there will be hop- and beer-infused sausages from Cavvicchi’s meats, as well as veggie and vegan snacks (and you are encouraged to bring your own). It is taking place at a private residence on the Halifax peninsula (please check out the forum link for further details). There is no cost to attend, a donation for the meal is requested. If you are looking to chat beer, try some great homebrew, and have a fun evening (pop by any time after 4 PM), we can think of no better place to be! And for those who do make it out for a visit, Hammerhead Hops, a local hop supplier, will be graciously donating a pack of 2019 Canadian Cascade hops for your next brewday!

Old school gamers rejoice: this weekend the Propeller Arcade Levels Up! As we mentioned last week, for one weekend only they’ve expanded the arcade out onto the brew floor, bringing in lots of extra cabinets and games not otherwise on site. Open from 4 PM today and tomorrow, and for the first time, noon Sunday for a Family Day, with food from Hopyard Halifax. We’ll see you there! And don’t forget that Propeller holds a Cask Night every Friday, where they tap a small-batch experiment that the brewers have tried. This week’s new one is their Tropical Sour truly cask-conditioned, allowing a milder carbonation to finish the beer. 

Good news, Woodstock (NB) beer drinkers: the 3rd annual First Town Craft Beer Festival is happening tomorrow, September 21st. This year’s event is one evening session only (6:30-9:30pm), and will be held at a new location, at 205 Tamarack St. They expect to have around 25 vendors on site to pour their products, which include beer, cider, mead, wine, spirits, and coolers. Your ticket will get you unlimited pours for the evening, and there will also be food trucks on site, as well as plenty of games to take part in while you’re imbibing. This year’s festival will also include the debut of Carleton County’s own Cross Creek Brewing, who will be launching with five beers, all of which should be available at the event; be sure to drop by their booth to be one of the first to try their brews! Tickets to the event are still available; the VIP ticket gets you in an hour earlier, and also gives you free admission to the After Party with Wisecracker, which includes a cash bar and continues until 1 am (pace yourselves!).

The annual PEI Beer Festival is happening next weekend, September 27th & 28th, in Charlottetown at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel. With 35 vendors attending, there will be a wide variety of beer and cider to suit your “needs”. There are three sessions: Friday evening 6:30-9:30pm, and two on Saturday (2-4:30pm and 6:30-9:30pm); check out this link to go over your ticket options and prices (note that there are designated driver tickets available as well). While you can buy tickets at the door, there is a strong possibility that some or all sessions will sell out in advance, and tickets are slightly cheaper if you purchase them beforehand. There will also be food available for purchase at the event (including oysters), to keep your tummies full to absorb some of that sweet, sweet alcohol.

Not to be outdone by their peers along Highway 101 who have now done two Highway 101 Tap Takeover events, the brewers and breweries of Highway 103 have announced their own event, the Highway 103 Tap Takeover and Tailgate, happening next Saturday, September 28th, from 4 PM to 8 PM at Boxing Rock’s new taproom on Water Street in Shelburne. Featuring the fine folks and beers from the hosts along with Yarmouth’s Heritage Brewing Co, Chester’s Tanner & Co Brewing, Mahone Bay’s Salt Box Brewing Co, Liverpool’s Hell Bay Brewing Co, and Tusket Falls Brewing Co out of Tusket, the party will be tailgate style in the parking lot. Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 if you wait and pay at the door) from the Boxing Rock web store and entitle you to 8 four ounce samples and a commemorative tasting glass. There will also be food available for purchase, games, live music, and more!

Now that Newfoundland is approaching a critical mass of craft breweries, it seems only fitting that we’re starting to see more beer-related events popping up there. Next weekend will see a whole weekend’s worth of events going on at the 1st Annual Oktoberfest.NL event presented by the City of Mount Pearl along with YellowBelly Brewery and taking place at the Reid Community Centre. Starting with the Craft’ernoon Experience on Saturday, September 28th, from 2 PM to 5 PM you’ll find beers from Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co, Dildo Brewing, Landwash Brewery, Ninepenny Brewing, Port Rexton Brewing, Quidi Vidi Brewing, and, of course, YellowBelly as well. Tickets are $29.75 (plus taxes and fees) per person and entitle the bearer to four 5 oz samples and a soft pretzel. Later Saturday evening and into the night is Rocktoberfest, starting at 7 PM, where YellowBelly brews will be pouring along with wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages while Miss Conduct and 709 take the stage to provide live music. Prizes will also be awarded for the best Oktoberfest costume. Tickets for this event are $24.75 (plus taxes and fees) and include one 16 oz YellowBelly brew. And Sunday morning, if you’re not too done in from the afternoon and evening before, starting at 11 AM and going to 2 PM is a family-friendly brunch prepared by YellowBelly and with entertainment from The Swinging Belles. Brunch is included in ticket prices ($19.75 for adults, $9.75 for children, plus taxes and fees) and bar service is available. All tickets, including some combos (Craft’ernoon + Rocktoberfest, Craft’ernoon + Brunch, Rockoberfest + Brunch) are available online.

We have been spouting the community and economic benefits of breweries and cideries revitalizing smaller communities for years, with too many shining examples to mention here. In all four provinces of the region, there are stories of brewery owners moving to (or moving back to) a small town with other businesses, and residents, growing around them, supporting and growing each other. This is seeing amazing effects in Newfoundland especially, with breweries on both sides of the island, and soon Labrador, spawning new businesses, jobs, and vitality. As part of the Sustainable Communities Conference, put on by Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and North Atlantic Forum, there will be a public panel event with members of the brewing and distilling community, as well as those researching and assisting with funding, discussing the impact of these businesses in small towns. Held at The Stone Jug at 232 Water Street in Carbonear, the “Craft Breweries & Distilleries as Drivers of Rural Development” panel takes place 1:00 – 2:45 PM on Thursday, October 3rd. The event is free to attend, though the organizers do request registering in advance. It will be a casual environment, with local beer available for purchase, and a lively discussion and Q&A. And giving those in the region a good excuse to get out of town for some sight seeing around the Bay (and the many breweries in the region!).

Just a quick intro a mostly-newsbite edition (Chris’ loquaciousness cannot be contained!) as your three faithful authors are traveling across the region soaking up the sun and beers before real life sets back in (aka school and work).

Let’s kick off the week with the brand newest beer to go on tap at Port Rexton Brewing, the latest of their Continuum IPA series. Continuum – Down Under features boatloads of Aussie and New Zealand hops, by the name of Enigma, Galaxy, Vic Secret, and Wakatu. The latter features a lovely lime zest nose and palate, with mango and pineapple coming through from the other additions. Hazy, juicy, and just a touch bitter, this 6.2% ABV brew is on tap for pints and growlers at the brewery, and is/was also available along with a handful more at their St. John’s Retail Shop. While you’re in the area for Trinity Days, pop by for some great beer, grilled cheese from Oh My Cheeses!, and a lovely night out.

Wolfville’s Annapolis Cider has released the latest in their Something Different line this week, Raspberry & Russet. This 6.8% ABV blend features a base of crisp and dry Golden Russet cider (with a touch of Bosc pear juice to lend some weight) with fresh-pressed raspberry juice to accent. The tart juice adds its own complexity and lovely pink hue. As with all of their Something DIfferent releases, $0.50 from each fill goes to a local charity, this time around Children’s Wish Foundation, Nova Scotia Chapter.

Speaking of continuing beer or cider series, Halifax’s Garrison Brewing is continuing their Hop Trip exploration of IPAs with Hop Trip: Mosaic & Citra IPA. At 6.2% ABV, this is solidly in the middle of the ABV range for the style, with the hazy golden colour hinting at the mounds of hops inside. The two hall-of-fame hops shine through with citrus, tropical and stone fruit notes, underlied by a light 30 IBUs bitterness. Oat and Wheat malts help to keep it hazy and a smooth mouthfeel. Available now at the brewery in a 355 mL 4-pack, these will also be launching at the NSLC at the end of the month. 

The Church Brewing Company has passed another milestone this week as they have opened their retail shop at 329 Main Street in Wolfville. Cans of all of their releases are available to take away, as well as a full line of shirts, hats, and other breweriana. They’ll be open from 11 AM until 11 PM every day except Sunday when they close at 9 PM. And, giving you even more options to enjoy onsite or take away, they have released 3 new beers over the past 7 days, with their Silver Lining Witbier (5.1% ABV), Congregation Pilsner (4.7% ABV), and Married to the Sea German Porter (5.6% ABV) all available to go, joining their Mayflower White IPA, Sanctuary Enkel, and Eight Bells Belgo Pale Ale.

Halifax’s 2 Crows has a pair of special beers coming out tomorrow, both of which have been a long time coming… The first is Saddle Up, a foedre-aged Farmhouse Ale, featuring rye malt and with hay (yes, hay!) added to the mash. That addition was supposed to act as a filter in the tun (similar to the husks and other malt pieces), but instead the hay and rye (known already to gum up the works) led to the brew day from hell, clocking in at 15 hours, more than double a usual brew day length. Hopping in the boil with East Kent Golding, Azacca, and Huell Melon, it was transferred to foedre to receive a dosing of their house cultures, before being canned still (flat) and allowed to carbonate naturally in that package. Pick up the 5.4% ABV Saddle Up and drink to their epic brewday beginning tomorrow!

Also out tomorrow is the 4.5% ABV Sunrise, another beer with quite the story. Beginning life as a golden sour beer brewed 18 months ago, it was aged in tequila barrels, and conditioned with pomegranate arils (the fleshy bits incorporating the seeds), juice, and pom molasses, as well as the zest and juice of a box of oranges. Despite the multiple fruit additions, they complement rather than overshadow the base sour, raising the bar of the bevvie overall. Grab the bottles at the brewery tomorrow from noon.

Stillwell Brewing is releasing their first new beer in a little while with one that’s been nearly two years in the making. Rieslinger is a blend of Pineau des Charentes barrel-aged saison and white wine barrel-aged saison that was then re-fermented on some 2018 harvest Riesling skins from Blomidon Estate Winery before the whole works was bottle conditioned for “a good, long while.” You’ll find it for sale at Stillwell from opening today.

With their turn to the Dark Side almost complete now, North Brewing is hitting their stride with frequent releases once again. This week is another iteration of their Breakwater series of sours, but with a slightly tweaked recipe from last year. Breakwater Mango-Lime Sour, the 4% ABV tropical thirst quencher with tons of mango and lime character, will be available at both North cold beer stores as of today. And stay tuned for it to hit the shelves at the NSLC at the end of the month.

Fredericton’s TrailWay Brewing has a new version of their Milkshake IPA, Velvet Fog, out today, this time with some very summery additions. Blackberry purée, Key Lime juice and Lime zest were added to the usual vanilla, lactose, and hop doses yielding berry fruitiness and bright lime tartness from this 6.5% ABV brew available today at the brewery on tap and in cans.

Down on the South Shore of NS in Lunenburg, Shipwright Brewing has another new beer on tap. Eclipse Dark Saison is what it says on the tin (well, the crowler, anyway), a yeast-driven beer in the saison style, but with a darker and toastier body. Add to that a dose of cranberry from an addition of berries from local producer Terra Beata and you have a lot of interesting things going on in your glass.

Let’s heads back to the Rock to finish off the news today. Ninepenny Brewing in Conception Bay South has released their first sour this week, Route 60. This 3.9% ABV sour is based on the granddaddy of many of the recent sours, the German Berliner Weisse. Named after the road that connects Cupids and St. John’s, along the Bay, the best place to grab a pint of growler fill of the beer is at the brewery itself.

And while you’re in CBS, keep going out to Dildo, where there’s been plenty of news this week about their new mayor! And what better place to toast the appointment than with the Jimmy Kim-ale, only available at the Dildo Brewing Company!

Big congratulations to Natalie Dignam, an avid member of The Brewnettes and Queer Beer, who has launched the Newfoundland Beer Podcast this week. The inaugural episode gives an overview of the current beer scene in the province, and more about Dignam, and plans for future episodes. Join us in subscribing to keep up with all of the news and events happening in the province!

Here’s what’s going on this weekend!

Downtown Dartmouth’s Brightwood Brewery is celebrating the first anniversary of their Brightwood Market on Portland Street. Pop by any time, but from 5 PM they will have cake, snacks, prizes, and live music beginning at 6 PM. Congratulations to Ian, Matt, and the entire Brightwood family!

And speaking of birthday parties, Charlottetown’s Upstreet Brewing is celebrating their anniversary with an all-weekend extravaganza. Their 4th Annual Bike Rave is happening tonight, kicking off at 7:30 PM at Confederation Landing, and winding its way through downtown. And tomorrow is their Block Party, which kicks off at noon at their Allen Street brewery, with live music, a beer garden, food vendors, a petting zoo featuring goats, and much more! This event is free and open to all ages. And Sunday is Do Good Day PEI, with an aim to celebrate the loveliest of Islands with 300 random acts of good. Stop by the tent at the brewery to pick up your envelope and spread a little love, joy, and good. And pop by their newest location at Founders’ Food Hall and Market on Prince Street for a beer. Check out their Facebook page for more details on this big weekend!

If, like us, you were disappointed by last Saturday’s unfortunate postponement of the Orono & Austin Street tap takeover at Stillwell, your day has arrived. The kegs have now cleared customs and the stage is set for the event to go down tomorrow from noon to close. Sweet, sweet State of Maine beers and plenty of goodies (including some new jams) out of the kitchen. We would also be remiss not to note the excellent substitute takeover Stillwell put together on a wing and a prayer last weekend, with North, 2 Crows, and Stillwell Brewing putting on a local all-star game.